Being an old farm boy myself

This doesn’t make me sad, it makes me glad:

[I]t was while watching the debates last night that it finally hit me: This is justice. What we have here are chickens coming home to roost. It’s as if all of the American public’s bad habits and perverse obsessions are all coming back to haunt Republican voters in this race: The lack of attention span, the constant demand for instant gratification, the abject hunger for negativity, the utter lack of backbone or constancy (we change our loyalties at the drop of a hat, all it takes is a clever TV ad): these things are all major factors in the spiraling Republican disaster.

[….]

This is the last stage in any paranoid illness. You start by suspecting that somebody out there is out to get you; in the end, you’re sure that even the people who love you the most under your own roof, your own doctors, your parents, your wife and your children, they’re in on the plot. To quote Matt Damon in the almost-underrated spy film The Good Shepherd, they became convinced that there’s “a stranger in the house.”

This is where the Republican Party is now. They’ve run out of foreign enemies to point fingers at. They’ve already maxed out the rhetoric against us orgiastic, anarchy-loving pansexual liberal terrorists. The only possible remaining explanation for their troubles is that their own leaders have failed them. There is a stranger in the house!

It was always thus with the show-trial style of politics, whether it’s Bolsheviks, McCarthyites, “House managers”, or Fox News execs running the show. Republican higher-ups should be thanking their lucky stars that they don’t have the legal authority to imprison and execute each other.

62 replies
  1. 1

    Republican higher-ups should be thanking their lucky stars that they don’t have the legal authority to imprison and execute each other.

    Don’t have it *yet*… I’m sure they’ll figure out a way, given time and enough Koch-sucking.

  2. 2
    c u n d gulag says:

    OMG!
    The call…
    It’s…
    It’s…
    IT’S COMING FROM INSIDE “THE PARTY!”

  3. 3
    dmsilev says:

    I get more of a French Revolution vibe from them, except of course today’s GOP are royalists through and through.

  4. 4
    cathyx says:

    But here’s what happens with the republicans I know. After this is all sorted out and they have selected a candidate, then they will all love him and only talk of his good qualities and how great a president he will be.

  5. 5

    Would’ve thought you’d have gone with “but now they look in tired and bitter glances” or somesuch as the post title here. But yeah, the crazy is coming from inside the House. It’s the Cultural Revolution, with Bob Inglis and Bob Bennett fortunate to experience only metaphorical defenestrations.

  6. 6
    PaulB says:

    The problem is that this craziness is still attracting a sizable portion of the voters and the Republican candidate still has a decent chance at winning the election. While it’s fun to think about their self-immolation and a party that seems bent on making itself irrelevant, the reality is that even with all of the rhetoric, even with all of the self-inflicted wounds and shooting themselves in the foot, even with the radical ideology and policies that are counter-productive, the American public is still willing to give them a very real shot at power.

    I’m not amused; I’m terrified.

  7. 7
    forked tongue says:

    DougJ, given the reference to a “stranger in the house,” I am gobsmacked by the missed opportunity in the title. Shouldn’t it be “This never was one of the great romances”? “I get the feeling that I don’t belong here”?

  8. 8

    Being an old farm boy myself, chickens coming home to roost never did make me sad; they’ve always made me glad.” [Muhammad X]

    I had to look it up.

    But now that we know where the quote came from, I’d say it was a quite appropriate title for this post.

    And I’d also say that Matt Taibi really writes very well.

  9. 9
    dedc79 says:

    I can’t really say i’m glad about it. It’s not an election at all at that point, we’re stuck with the sane alternative. We have only the illusion of choice.

  10. 10
    DougJarvus Green-Ellis says:

    @forked tongue:

    Yeah, you are right. I thought about it, but I couldn’t find a phrase that worked.

    Also too, I like to refer to Malcolm X whenever possible.

  11. 11
    Waldo says:

    To really seal their fate, we need Ron Paul to stay in the race as an independent. Or someone like him. Anyone checked Ross Perot’s pulse lately?

  12. 12
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @PaulB:

    The problem is that this craziness is still attracting a sizable portion of the voters and the Republican candidate still has a decent chance at winning the election.

    There is a lot more reason to be terrified about the Senate falling into Republican hands than the presidency. Obama is the most popular politician in Washington, and it’s not even close. So popular that Grover Norquist would rather focus GOP resources on winning congressional elections than running against Obama.

  13. 13
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @forked tongue:

    Doug couldn’t resist the Malcolm X reference after seeing “chickens coming home to roost”. Nicely played, Doug.

  14. 14
    Zifnab25 says:

    @cathyx:

    After this is all sorted out and they have selected a candidate, then they will all love him and only talk of his good qualities and how great a president he will be.

    Not if Santorum gets the nod. He’s the national equivalent of Christine O’Donnell. All that is left is for him to deny that he is a witch.

    If Republicans seed the nomination with NotRomney, you’ll see an establishment revolt. If the Republicans seed the nomination with Romney, everyone will line up behind him in theory, but I don’t think you’ll see the rank and file campaigners working terribly hard to defend him.

  15. 15
    Cacti says:

    The biggest reason I’m rooting against Romney isn’t because of his vaunted “electability”. It’s because when he goes down in defeat, the insane right can blame it on him being a RINO.

    I want Santorum as our opponent. I want a genuine proto-fascist like Frothy as the other choice on the ballot, not an insincere johnny-come-lately like Willard.

  16. 16
    sb says:

    It’s as if all of the American public’s bad habits and perverse obsessions…

    Taibbi? Just a guess.

  17. 17
    cathyx says:

    @Zifnab25: Well, we’ll just have to see. They have the unique ability to overlook any flaw and turn a blind eye to anything in order to appear united.

  18. 18
    Mino says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe: If the Senate goes Republican, expect the filibuster to go. That might be an actual favor for Dems, as I can’t see them ever moving on it.

    And two of our best, Brown of Ohio and Warren of Mass, are at the top of the list. I think Rove would be satisfied with that outcome, even if Obama won.

  19. 19
    General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero) says:

    This is where the Republican Party is now. They’ve run out of foreign enemies to point fingers at.

    And why I think, in spite of all the racist ugly and violent overtones coming from the confederate tea party types, is a good pol turn of events for dems. The 27% ers have experienced some of what organization and electoral power is, and they aren’t going to easily meld back in with the mainline player type wingers. And they are at least 50 percent of the GOP.

    We have now in the House of Reps, the bizarre situation for that majoritarian body, that is run marginally by the mainline republicans, but with the GOP leadership needing democrats votes to pass legislation that is as fundamental as paying our national bills, and continuing to run the US government. This is unheard of in modern politics. The tea baggers don’t have enough power to get their way, but enough power to play havoc with right wing party politics. And the country as well.

    They are like in Goldfinger,
    in the laser scene where Bond asks, ‘you expect me to talk, and Goldfinger says, ‘no Mr. Bond, I expect you to die’. This is the nihilistic mindset, and it will only neuter the GOP more and more as time goes on. It is possible that enough time elapses, out of the WH and power, they do what they’ve done in the past, congeal into a single entity to get that power back. But is less likely with the Tea Party still an organized group, even a loosely organized, and double without a charismatic candidate to pull everyone together . Dick Armey , the Koch’s etc… created a monster with their tea party org help with cash, expecting to control these people, and we have 60 to 80 House tea tards voting to not raise the debt ceiling. That is bad bidness for the plutocrats, and no doubt not what they bargained for. We will see where it goes from here. But the present POTUS candidate circus of mean spirited clowns, knows where the primary votes are to make it to the show, and we have what we have.

  20. 20
    goethean says:

    There was a preview of this last year when Frank Gaffney accused CPAC of having been infiltrated by mooslims.

  21. 21
    RossInDetroit says:

    @Cacti:

    I want Santorum as our opponent. I want a genuine proto-fascist like Frothy as the other choice on the ballot, not an insincere johnny-come-lately like Willard.

    That scenario would certainly result in the greatest differential in turnout. Moderate Republicans too appalled at a sanctimonious nativist to go vote for him, so they stay home. Democrats terrified of the prospect of Frothy as Leader of the Free World for four years so they turn out in 2008-scale numbers.
    The outcome, and to me the most critical point, would be wins in close races all down the ticket for Dems. That could make a huge difference.

  22. 22
    Lockewasright says:

    I agree, but have to admit that I had assumed from the title that you were talking about a different set of chickens coming home to roost for the GOP. I have been saying for quite a while that it is the GOP’s bigoted chickens that are coming home. Social conservatism, be it the religious zealotry variety, the southern strategy flavored, or the southern strategy’s anti-immigrant mutant spin off, is a politics of exclusion by nature. In a democracy with a diverse population, it can only have limited success. One can only exclude entire demographics one by one for so long before so many have been alienated that too few voters remain to support the party. I said it right after the 2008 election. This wasn’t whites moving en masse to magnanimously let a black candidate out of the back of the bus. Rather, it is the tipping point at which social conservatives have shoved so many groups into the back of the bus that the back is now more populated than the front.

    The leadership that failed the GOP was Reagan, Goldwater, and Nixon. They set the party on this path. The current leadership is simply a collection of dullards with little experience caught between a rock and a hard place. The only way out of the wilderness for the GOP is to jettison the social conservatives that are at once the biggest part of their voting base (or at least significantly large) and the thing that is shoving them further and further down the path to their demise as the country’s demographics shift.

  23. 23
    middlewest says:

    Peak wingnut again? These predictions always fail.

  24. 24
    Sly says:

    @Cacti:
    If, by some miracle, Rick Santorum wins the nomination and goes on to lose big in the general, the conservative movement will just as easily declare that he was too liberal as they would Romney. Conservatism cannot fail. You know the rest.

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    Even in the best case scenario of this election, Republicans will have more power in Washington than they did in 2009-10, when a lot of Democrats thought the world was safe for internecine warfare. As a Democrat, I’m thrilled that the GOP looks electorally weak right now, but I’m more concerned about how we handle victory than with how they handle defeat.

    I agree with those who say the real fight in this election will be control over Congress. But that’s not a bad thing for the Democrats to focus on. It’s impossible to conceive of a scenario where the Democrats do well in congressional elections but Obama loses the presidential election.

  26. 26
    MattF says:

    Generally good columns on topic in the NYT from Dowd and in the WaPo from Parker. No linkee to avoid moderation, Parker’s column ends with an amusing “Could it be that Obama is smarter than we thought?” paragraph.

  27. 27
    J says:

    @PaulB: i’m with you on this one. Say to yourself ‘ surely the Republicans are now so crazy and repellent the electorate will see them for what they are’ or ‘surely no sane person could consider voting for these people’ and then think of recent elections in which one could and did say the same. After the eight unspeakably ghastly years of GWB, the Republican party should have been in the political wilderness for a generation, instead they were gaining ground in a few months. I don’t have a crystal ball, but beware complacency!

  28. 28

    It’s Bunker Time!

    Up next, why it’s really good that they didn’t win the Presidency with anything less than a True Believer. This was a shakedown for finding him (since it’s been established that a mere woman cannot do it) and they have simply eliminated the unsuitable.

    What I’m rooting for now is two things; the stench of failure will spread to downticket races, making R candidates less attractive to the Undecideds.

    AND

    There will be a counterwave of pissed off women. Because they haven’t been paying attention. Now that they are; there’s lots to be pissed off about.

  29. 29
    Raenelle says:

    Republican higher-ups should be thanking their lucky stars that they don’t have the legal authority to imprison and execute each other.

    Yet.

  30. 30

    After that article, I need a cigarette and a nap.

  31. 31
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Every time i see rick santorum, i think of this song.

  32. 32
    General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero) says:

    The way I look at it, there is no reason to fear. If the country chooses a Santorum, or Romney, or the Big White Baby, then there was no need to not stop worrying and learn to love the bomb. It’s out of our hands, and baby jeevus has America by the balls. Eat yer spinach and clean yer Muskets.

  33. 33
    cmorenc says:

    @Lockewasright:

    The only way out of the wilderness for the GOP is to jettison the social conservatives that are at once the biggest part of their voting base (or at least significantly large) and the thing that is shoving them further and further down the path to their demise as the country’s demographics shift.

    Unfortunately, the 2010 elections created another path for the GOP to build seawalls to hold off the rising demographic tide from destroying them…seawalls that retard voter turnout of groups disinclined to vote for the GOP, seawalls that hobble groups such as unions from organizing against the GOP, seawalls in state and federal judiciaries of people picked from the Federalist Society rather than the ABA bent on reversing constitutional law back to a pre-New Deal state, seawalls of jerrymandering of state legislative and federal congressional districts that will have lasting effects for at least ten years (and perhaps longer due to statehouse-level redistricting still having reverberations in the 2020 redistricting).

    The GOP may be tearing themselves apart in viciously spectacular fashion that hurts them in the 2012 Presidential race, but the beast has dug itself into the infrastructure of our country in a way that will not easily be destroyed by a single election, even if it turns out to be a very bad individual cycle for them. Had the dems not underperformed so badly in 2010, the GOP might be in far greater jeopardy of far deeper devastation from a bad loss in 2012.

  34. 34
    Sly says:

    @WereBear (itouch):

    There will be a counterwave of pissed off women. Because they haven’t been paying attention. Now that they are; there’s lots to be pissed off about.

    Hopefully the DCCC and the DSCC are out aggressively recruiting and funding female candidates for House and Senate. When an all-male group of Republican Senators essentially called Anita Hill a lying whore on national television, we had a wave of Democratic women elected to office in 1992. Patty Murray herself, now the chair of the DSCC, was elected that year and specifically referenced the Thomas hearings as the reason why she decided to run.

  35. 35

    @Baud:

    Republicans will have more power in Washington than they did in 2009-10, when a lot of Democrats thought the world was safe for internecine warfare

    When, among Democrats, is it not safe for internecine warfare.

  36. 36
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @sb:

    I was wondering…..Taibbi?

    Impressive filter fail.

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Republican higher-ups should be thanking their lucky stars that they don’t have the legal authority to imprison and execute each other.

    “My lord, is that legal?”

    “I will make it legal.”

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Heh. I think it’s actually been pretty decent since the debt-ceiling fiasco, but maybe I’ve just stopped paying attention to the idiots.

  39. 39
    cathyx says:

    Where’s John Cole been lately? Is he at an undisclosed location again?

  40. 40
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero):

    This is a blog that revels in cat pictures, song lyrics, pie and horse races. Unfortunately, the horses being prepped for the Derby all suffer from syphillis and osteoporosis. But fear not, there will be plenty of local horse races for the dedicated Juicer to overanalyze after the primaries are over.

    Over the next three months, I expect the trend in the comments will shift from “How to use Frothiness to our advantage” to “My Democratic senator is doomed”. I promise to bring lots of popcorn.

  41. 41
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    Ain’t it nice and easy…?

  42. 42
    Citizen_X says:

    They’ve already maxed out the rhetoric against us orgiastic, anarchy-loving pansexual liberal terrorists.

    Good, considering they’ve been beating that horse for NEARLY FIFTY FUCKING YEARS.

    Sorry for yelling, but it bugs the shit out of me that they’re still campaigning on repealing the Sixties.

  43. 43
    EliVictor Cruz_Manning says:

    Just because they don’t have the legal authority doesn’t mean they might not try!

  44. 44
    General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero) says:

    Polling of the horse race between candidates is fairly useless right now. But some numbers on issues, especially performance of the economy, are sometimes important. Here is a result just posted by Quinnipiac on economic outlook, that maybe will comfort the worry warts among us.

    While the country still believes we are in a recession, meaning thing are not good, they have a better outlook for the future.

    “Do you think the economy is beginning to recover or not?”

    Is – 54%
    Is not- 43%

    and compare that to the last time Quin asked this question in August of last year.

    Is – 28%
    Is Not – 68%

    This is sea change, and the public that doesn’t follow the official stats like we do, base their opinions on their immediate econ environment, not only on jobs being created, but the quality of those jobs. During Bush’s phantom recovery, a lot of low paying service sector jobs were created, but the public never gave Bush numbers like the above with Obama. 50,000 manufacturing jobs last month is a very big deal, and the public is sensing there are more to come .

  45. 45
    Lockewasright says:

    @cmorenc: I agree that is the strategy they will try next. It’s the reason for all of the voter ID laws written to address the non-existent vote fraud problem. It’s yet another attempt at exclusion of demographics not favorable to them. It will mean that we have to work hard to get our people registered. It will, however, still be legal to register them and for them to vote. It’ll take a lot of effort, but we can overcome it. Once in office, we can counteract that portion of the strategy legislatively as well as appoint judges of our own. These voter suppression tactics are un-democratic and extremely offensive to me, but their potential impact doesn’t scare me as much as the short sighted “true progressives” who label everything short of every legislative dream they’ve ever had worded in exactly the words that they would choose with none of compromises needed to build a voting consensus as “hippy punching” and decide to take their ball and go home. They are the biggest obstacle their own (and my own) progressive legislative desires. They hold the biggest potential to botch what well could be a generation of democratic electoral success and increasingly more progressive legislative successes over time as the Overton window slides to the left with the aforementioned demographic changes.

  46. 46
    Professor says:

    Rick Santorium said (paraphrasing):he does not believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. The tragedy of that statement is that this Idiot did not learn his history lessons! He should read the reason why the Pilgrims left England! Whilst he is at it, he should brush up on the Act of Toleration 1689!

  47. 47
    Montysano says:

    I prefer to think that Hunter S., wherever he is, sits down, and with peacocks screeching in the background, reads Taibbi and smiles.

  48. 48
    Suffern ACE says:

    The GOP will win every off year election until the Dems address the issue that Republican are more successful in motivating their base.

  49. 49
    Mark S. says:

    Santorum comes from behind in Alabama three-way

    These headline writers have to be trolling us, right?

    Also, I realize a lot of people are historically illiterate, but do people actually believe shit like this?

    Paul also recalled that after World War II, 10 million soldiers came home and prospered without any kind of government aid at all – all they needed was a massive cut to the federal budget, and those soldiers just surfed on the resultant wave of economic progress. “You know what the government did? They cut the budget by 60 percent,” he said. “And everybody went back to work again, you didn’t need any special programs.”

    I can’t wait for Politifact to rate that as mostly true.

  50. 50
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Montysano:

    When he ate that shotgun shell, he was in constant pain. The last straw, was the re-election of Bush.

  51. 51
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Just had a horrid thought – Romney/Paul 2012. But not Ron, Rand. At first it made me laugh, explaining why Ron Paul has been playing an eager second banana to Romney’s attacks on Santorum recently. And Mitt/Rand would be a great way to fulfill the brand of the Grand Old White Men Party once again.

    And yet it would also be a way of uniting the party bosses/power structure with the Ron Paul Revolution. With Santorum out of the way, who else are his religious bigots social conservatives going to vote for? Mitt/Rand unites the now-fractured Republican vote in a way most other combinations don’t. And a united GOP means 47% of the vote that no longer has to be worried about.

    I still think Romney will have an enthusiasm gap, but not on TV. The Ronulans will always show up to help awaken the elder gods of Austrian economics. And, Jesus, think about the night of the convention when Ron Paul introduces his son as the vice presidential nominee. The only thing that may wreck this marriage is Romney’s fears that Rand Paul will unwittingly outshine him. Rand’s cunning enough to try his best to play down his enthusiastic crowds or send the rEVOLution Mitt’s way. But the crowd will be there for his old man. Romney may get tired of hearing the crowds start to die down when Rand leaves the podium.

    If the two of them make it work, they’ll have a credible candidacy. It looks good on paper, they can make it look good on TV, and if they can hang enough bullshit on President Obama, they can give him a run for his money. Mitt/Rand will certainly poison his coattail effect. Even if President Obama gets elected, the GOP could keep the House and take the Senate, already a distinct possibility now.

    OK, OK, that’s enough pessimism for me. I need breakfast.

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Sorry for yelling, but it bugs the shit out of me that they’re still campaigning on repealing the Sixties.

    They’ve moved on to other things to repeal

  53. 53
    Montysano says:

    @Benjamin Franklin:

    When he ate that shotgun shell, he was in constant pain. The last straw, was the re-election of Bush.

    Yeah, I know, and by that time he best work was decades old. But his best work is still a thing of wonder to read, and I hear echoes of it in Taibbi’s writing. Like Hunter, he’s adept at distilling things down to some very solid truth. He’s excellent.

  54. 54
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Montysano:

    Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail should be required reading for any Poli Sci student.

  55. 55
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    You’re not the first person to be scared of Rand Paul, but I haven’t figured out why. He’s a slimy, stiff, inauthentic weasel with no people skills. People forget how close his original senate race was, because he kept shooting himself in the foot. There might be someone out there who can convince the general electorate to love objectivist sociopathy, but it ain’t him. And don’t worry about the Paultards, as a group, swinging the election. Cripes, the old man is only getting 10% of the vote in a GOP primary. His less-famous son isn’t going to do better in the general.

  56. 56
    Marcellus Shale, Public Dick says:

    that was an enjoyable read. it does leave me with this haunting; how much do we have to think like them to defeat them? can we turn away from their insanity and run the opposite direction in time to not get any on us, when it all blows up?

  57. 57
    Tyro says:

    Hopefully the DCCC and the DSCC are out aggressively recruiting and funding female candidates for House and Senate.

    Yeah, that would be a good idea, but they’re not that smart.

  58. 58
    300baud says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    The GOP will win every off year election until the Dems address the issue that Republican are more successful in motivating their base.

    Every time I hear people use that phrase for the fundie loons I can’t help but recall that “al Qaeda” means “the base”.

  59. 59
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Mark S.: Thanks, Stenographic Press!

  60. 60
    redshirt says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I know the Prequels get a lot of hate, much of it deserved, but I think the political story told in the three films has an eery semblance to what’s going on in America. I just want to know who the Dark Lord is – it seems, given the infectious hatred spreading across our land, he’s out there, somewhere.

  61. 61
    fuckwit says:

    Wow. You forgot the Jacobins, perhaps the first bloody example of this kind of insanity from a secular standpoint, or maybe the Inquisition and such before that on a religious basis.

    More recently and closer to home, the SDS/Weathermen in the 70s.

    Yes, this is how negativity-based revolutionary movements destroy themselves. Paranoia, purity wars, internal purges. It consumes them and they die. At last.

  62. 62
    fuckwit says:

    @Mark S.: I love that headline very very much. Thank you for that.

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