A Real Sunday Morning Ray of Sunshine

This Frank Rich piece was rather depressing.

And am I the only one who finds all the hand-wringing over Lugar and Scowcroft that DougJ linked to last night a little amusing. The GOP is now insane. There is no such thing as reasonable conservatives anymore. Call them what they really are, which is enablers. If you vote Republican, you are standing up and deciding to support the nuts. Reading Outside the Beltway and many of the other sites I enjoy is like watching an exercise in excuse-making.






28 replies
  1. 1
    Keith says:

    But maybe if we give them everything they want, they’ll start being reasonable again!

  2. 2
    MattF says:

    Crazy conservatives are not a new phenomenon— note the last sentence of the linked article, btw. De Maistre was famous for his view that the executioner was the foundation of the social order. And, um, that this was a good thing.

  3. 3
    Rick Taylor says:

    I find it more interesting than amusing. Ever since the Bush administration lead us into a disastrous war under false pretenses, I’ve wondered when more moderate Republicans would notice their party had gone insane. It seems like maybe we’re finally getting there; I expect when the Republicans shut down the government, we’ll get a few more.

  4. 4
    calipygian says:

    Non-insane Republicans are few and far between and are systematically excluded from GOP discourse to all of our sorrow.

    See also the irrelevant John Danforth

  5. 5
    cleek says:

    Call them what they really are, which is enablers.

    i prefer “ignorant”.

    the general public doesn’t pay any attention to all this stuff that political bloggers obsess over. they don’t know how bad the GOP has become, and nobody that they listen to bothered to tell them.

  6. 6
    bcwbcw says:

    RIch also said:

    Since the election, the Obama White House has sent signals that it will make nice to these interests. While the president returns to photo ops at factories, Timothy Geithner has already met with the chamber’s board out of camera range. In a reportorial coup before Election Day, the investigative news organization ProPublica wrote of the similarly behind-closed-doors activities of the New Democrat Coalition — “a group of 69 lawmakers whose close relationship with several hundred Washington lobbyists” makes them “one of the most successful political money machines” since DeLay’s K Street Project collapsed in 2007. During the Congressional battle over financial-services reform last May, coalition members repaired to a retreat on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to frolic with lobbyists dedicated to weakening the legislation.

  7. 7
    calipygian says:

    @bcwbcw: I saw an interview with David Stockman on Zakaria’s show this morning and he was incredulous that Obama would give any sort of lip service to compromise on tax cuts for the upper two percent. I called those tax cuts the “line in the sand” that Obama needs to stand firm on.

    David fucking Stockman.

  8. 8
    Rick Taylor says:

    Actually, what really matters is not when old-guard Republicans start admitting the Republican party is crazy, but when this becomes an acceptable position within the bounds of public discourse; when it becomes possible to say something like that without being immediately rejected as an extremist oneself.

    The general public doesn’t understand how much the Republican party has changed. Polls show that the general public wants the government to focus on jobs, that it generally likes health care reform, and then it went on to vote for people who are pledged to doing their best to oppose that. There’s little to hope for in the next two years; Obama’s pledge to redouble on bipartisan outreach has already been thwarted on Start, and the Republicans are not going to hold back. The government will be shut down, there will be no more attempts to stimulate the economy, the next two years will be a mess. Our only hope is that the Republican party will be largely seen for what it is, so there can be electoral change in 2012.

  9. 9
    ricky says:

    So where will we find the liberal outrage now that Rich has made a false equivalence between Jon Stewart and Glenn Beck?
    I expect St. Rachel will have Rich on her program bright and early next week for a whole hour to explain himself? Despite the Times not being television it is still media and that is something like cable television, right?

  10. 10
    WyldPirate says:

    John Cole sez:

    Reading Outside the Beltway and many of the other sites I enjoy is like watching an exercise in excuse-making.

    Funny, thats sort of what it feels like reading this site sometimes, especially when it comes to certain members of the commentariat.

  11. 11
    Montysano says:

    I found this surprising: Ben Stein, on CBC Sunday Morning, says “Charlie Rangel still a hero to me“.

  12. 12
    RaulW says:

    I’m reminded of a work situation, where I’ve been dealing with a colleague who seems to have become mentally unstable. It took several weeks and cc:ing my boss on e-mail attacks before people realized this was actual teh crazy and that normal sorts of HR interventions were just enabling the unbalanced person to continue to wreak havoc.

    I don’t think the US has quite reached the realization point. Dick Lugar is a boring old guy who Beck will find easy to mock with blackboard chalk, so I’d expect to see him go down in 2012, but even that won’t quite be the marker of insanity manifest.

    And of course, our fellow Americans may never reach the realization point. We could continue the slide into a full-on fascist, right-wing clown car kleptocracy.

  13. 13
    WyldPirate says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    The government will be shut down, there will be no more attempts to stimulate the economy, the next two years will be a mess. Our only hope is that the Republican party will be largely seen for what it is, so there can be electoral change in 2012.

    And then we’ll have another “change” election to sweep the bastards out. The Rethugs will stonewall the spineless and bought of Dems in the Senate. Nothing of substance will change and there will be a whipsaw back to the Rethugs.

    Chaos. Just like the moneyed powers that own our government want. It makes the theft much easier that way.

  14. 14
    cmorenc says:

    The most damaging thing the GOP won in the 2010 midterms isn’t that they gained a majority in the US House of Representatives, as much counterproductive mischief as that enables. Rather, it’s two other things:
    1) Most of all the six US Senate seats they captured are in GOP hands for SIX years – meaning that particular damage isn’t repairable until 2016. In 2012, a substantial majority of the Senate seats up for elections are those currently held by a Democratic incumbent. It’s possible that though we won the battle to keep the Senate in 2010, the GOP nevertheless won a favorable stratgegic position to potentially win control in 2012.
    2) More significant than the GOP’s momentary US House majority is the number of State Legislatures and Governorships they won control of in 2010 – with implications for controlling decentennial CONGRESSIONAL REDISTRICTING. If they are deviously manipulative enough, that could translate into demographic shifts in the redrawn district lines significant enough to give the GOP a leg up toward another ten to twenty seats.

  15. 15

    @ricky:

    So where will we find the liberal outrage now that Rich has made a false equivalence between Jon Stewart and Glenn Beck?

    Actually, Rich didn’t compare the two at all other than to point out that both had rallies (correct) and that they had different points to make at said rallies (also correct).

    On a side note, it’s really unfair (not that I mind) to Thomas Friedman that they print him side by side with Rich. Friedman looks bad on his own without Rich exacerbating the difference.

  16. 16
    ricky says:

    @Brian S (formerly Incertus): Your twisted logic sounds like Stewapolgy to me.
    As to your side note, Rich’s work, when compared to Friedman, proves how few “dear friends” Rich has stuck in every corner of the globe ready to offer him worthy insight to share with his readers.

  17. 17
    J says:

    @Rick Taylor: As clear-eyed a statement of the situation as one could hope for. It’s hard not to despair after reading your conclusion, however.

    ‘Our only hope is that the Republican party will be largely seen for what it is, so there can be electoral change in 2012.’

    If the public, or a large enough part of it, can’t see the Republican party for what it is, after the war in Iraq, the economic collapse, Sarah Palin, the Tea party lunatics, one wonders if anything could make the scales fall from their eyes.

  18. 18
    pattonbt says:

    I’ve become very polarized and outspoken in my political beliefs in the last 15 years. The build up to the Iraq war was the last straw and destroyed the last remnants of my inhibitions to aggressively put people in their place for supporting “reasonable” Republicans. My immediate family is pretty liberal to center so politics hasn’t become an issue with those I love (thank goodness). But I have extended family who it is getting difficult with (again, thankfully, I do not live in the same hemisphere as them so it never comes to a head). After the 2008 elections I happened to be in town and they told me (both very well-to-do doctors, highly educated, very “reasonable” and “good” people) they voted for McCain Palin. They told me how hard it was to do, but that, essentially, “taxes, you know”. I almost lost it right then and there. While it took everything in my power to keep my cool I basically said “so you are willing to sell the health of the US down the toilet for a couple more bucks in your pocket? You already have more than any ten families would ever need. You have wonderful family and friends. Your kids have been put through private university (with no debt to saddle them). Your retirement is set forever ten fold. Your kids will get a great inheritance to make sure they will never “need” anything and “want” for almost nothing. And you still want more? And you are still willing to support all the horrible collateral damage that comes with Republican (lack of) government? Wars? Fiscal insanity? Hatred? Religious insanity? Just to potentially save a buck or two? Jesus that’s selfsih”.

    As I said in another thread a long while back. It is time to stop referring to “good” people who support current Republicans as “reasonable”. They are not reasonable. They are selfish assholes who are willing to sell their soul and vote for the possibility of an extra buck or two. They are cheap selfish whores.

    All this said I am by no means saying Democrats are the “bestest evah!”, but given the damned options, it doesn’t get any clearer.

  19. 19
    John Cole says:

    @WyldPirate: You’re the photo negative of that which you hate. I’ve watched you post 30 comments in one thread just to make sure not one positive thing about Obama went unchallenged. Any time a post says something negative about Obama, you’re the first one in to pile on. It’s been amusing watch you slide into the category of deranged over the past two years.

    I’d ask if you were off your meds, but I don’t think there is medication that can fix your issues.

  20. 20
    Jrod the Cookie Thief says:

    @pattonbt: How did your family members react when you said that?

  21. 21
    parsimon says:

    Reading Outside the Beltway and many of the other sites I enjoy is like watching an exercise in excuse-making.

    Babe (forgive me), as far as I can tell, Republicans courted a base — a two-fold base comprised of corporatists as well as what are now Tea Party types, but used to be called the religious right — that they’ve now lost control of. This isn’t news.

    If you twist my arm into political science mode, I’ll tell you that severe income inequality does not work for the health of the polity in general, and they were stupid in the extreme to think they could pull it off long term without trashing the place. Big asterisk here for the complicity of the Democratic party in the advancing of corporate interests.

    I like you, by the way. It’s also impossible to say anything original about the subject matter.

  22. 22
    J says:

    @pattonbt: Had a conversation with a sensible and, I would have thought, Democratic-leaning friend some time before the 2008 election who is v. wealthy (married to a multi-millionaire). She said that they would be supporting McCain. The reason: Obama supported by unions! As I recall, this was before McCain’s selection of Palin, so things may have changed by the time of the election, but still the mind boggles. The greatest success of our politico-economic system and the policies pursued by both parties seems to have been the creation of a privileged class of smug self-satisfied whiners with an immense and ever growing sense of entitlement and no sense of solidarity with anyone else.

    I don’t get it:

    A short list of the accomplishments with which our ruling class can be credited in recent years:

    Insanely counterproductive (not to mention criminal) war based on lies.
    Banking crisis.
    Economic consequences of same, including protracted mass unemployment.

    Response:

    Give them more power, privilege and wealth; reduce further the extent to which they are held responsible for the consequences of their actions.

  23. 23
    Nick says:

    @pattonbt:

    They told me how hard it was to do, but that, essentially, “taxes, you know”. I almost lost it right then and there. While it took everything in my power to keep my cool I basically said “so you are willing to sell the health of the US down the toilet for a couple more bucks in your pocket? You already have more than any ten families would ever need. You have wonderful family and friends. Your kids have been put through private university (with no debt to saddle them). Your retirement is set forever ten fold. Your kids will get a great inheritance to make sure they will never “need” anything and “want” for almost nothing. And you still want more? And you are still willing to support all the horrible collateral damage that comes with Republican (lack of) government? Wars? Fiscal insanity? Hatred? Religious insanity? Just to potentially save a buck or two? Jesus that’s selfs

    Sounds like my family. They’re worried if their taxes go up, they won’t be able to buy a new car next year, which would be great except they’re planning on buying a German car and just bought a new one this year, and even if their taxes go up, they’d still have plenty of money to buy a new car next year. But me pointing that out doesn’t change their mind, it just makes them madder.

    I have a co-worker of mine who is so liberal, she voted Green in the midterms. Even she complains that we shouldn’t end the tax cuts on the rich because her parents make more than $250,000 a year and “it’s hard for them,” even though they live in a 2 million dollar home on the North Shore of Long Island with an inground pool and a maid.

  24. 24
    JWL says:

    The 2000 election boiled down to being a republican party judicial coup.

    The country was then intentionally Big Lied into unleashing war in 2003 by the GOP. The perpetrators of that treason walk free among us. At the very worst, they are celebrated as patriots, whose judgements were honest if misinformed.

    The rot began long before the so-called Tea Baggers of the Republican party began foaming at the mouth.

    This “what has happened to the GOP” handwringing is pablum for birdbrains.

  25. 25
    Triassic Sands says:

    I’ve noticed that older people (of whom I am one) who are not using the Internet have grown really out of touch with reality.

    Typical of this type is my neighbor, a lifelong Republican in her 70s who gets her news from Fox and doesn’t own a computer. She is living in a time warp and still sees the GOP as a party of fiscally conservative businessmen.

    On the other end of the spectrum is a friend of mine in his late fifties who also does not have a computer. He gets his news from reading daily print newspapers (Denver Post and Boulder Daily Camera) and watching some cable news — probably more CNN than anything and very little, if any, Fox. Still, he too is completely out of touch with what’s going on. He reads Krugman’s column, but not his blog, so he misses a lot. When I spoke with him about the Catfood Commission, he sounded like a conventional wisdom machine — must be adults, take our pain, cuts necessary, blah, blah, blah. When I read him Krugman’s blogpost about the Commission, he was shocked — he said he never hears or reads anything like that, yet he thinks of himself as well-informed.

  26. 26
    SFAW says:

    I have a co-worker of mine who is so liberal naive, she voted Green in the midterms.

    Fixed

    … even though they live in a 2 million dollar home on the North Shore of Long Island with an inground pool and a maid.

    Sounds like my childhood home.

    Well, except for the $2,000,000 part.
    And the inground pool part.
    And the maid part.
    But other than that, it’s as if we were twins or something.

  27. 27
    SFAW says:

    Re: your “Green” friend:

    After what Nader and his acolytes did to/for this country 10 years ago, I would guess she’s either extremely brave, or extremely stupid, to admit to it.

    And, yes, I think Nader should be locked up for life. Unfortunately, being a self-promoting, self-absorbed, sanctimonious dickhead is not a crime, so he’s probably safe for now.

  28. 28

    @J:

    If the public, or a large enough part of it, can’t see the Republican party for what it is, after the war in Iraq, the economic collapse, Sarah Palin, the Tea party lunatics, one wonders if anything could make the scales fall from their eyes.

    As I’ve said repeatedly on Salon: the complete destruction of television. (At least, he adds, as we currently know it.)

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