Daniel Larison takes the long view on Republican obstructionism:
Is the GOP in a worse position than a year ago? On the surface, no, it isn’t. Once we get past the surface, however, the same stagnant, intellectually bankrupt, unimaginative party that brought our country to its current predicament is still there and has not changed in any meaningful way in the last three years. Why would it? The party’s leaders have no clue, its pundits are reveling in the luxury of opposition, and its rank-and-file has been whipped into such a state of agitation over their own impotence that they cannot see that they are led by people who will ignore and abuse them the moment they are no longer needed to win elections. It may seem that the GOP has derailed the majority’s agenda, but in reality it is the GOP that went off the rails long ago and has yet to begin to recover.
I think this is about right.
Obviously, it’s a cliche for a liberal like me to obsess about fucked up how Republicans are these days. But isn’t it right that the nihilism (I think Sullivan is right to used this word) of the Republican party is the most striking feature of contemporary politics? Seems to me you’ve got a capable, if reasonably mistake prone, White House, a Democratic majority that is about as disciplined as Democrats usually are (not very), and then a Republican minority whose cynicism and/or delusion are historic.
Do you think that’s accurate?
Update. Getting a lot of comments like these — anyone got a link?
If you all missed it, be sure to watch Obama’s Q&A with the House Republicans today. Wow.
Update. Jobs bill:
In an effort to spur job creation, President Obama unveiled Friday a $33 billion package of tax breaks aimed at encouraging businesses to hire workers and give employees raises.
The proposal would provide a $5,000 tax credit for each worker hired in 2010 and subsidize wage increases by reimbursing Social Security tax increases for businesses that expand their payrolls.
The tax breaks would be capped at $500,000 a business, meaning that they would mostly benefit small firms, according to senior administration officials who briefed reporters on the plan. The tax break on pay increases would apply only to workers making $106,800 or less.