(Drew Sheneman via GoComics.com)
Harold Meyerson enjoys a little hard-earned schadenfreude:
… As the August recess unfolded, Republicans — including a number of prospective presidential candidates — contemplated whether to shut down the government as a protest of Obamacare and whether to refuse to honor the nation’s debt as a cri de coeur against Obamacare or the deficit or Obama himself or perhaps modernity in general. These issues were debated at length, if never quite in depth, on right-wing talk radio and Web sites. That nobody but the hard-core Republican right seemed stirred by shuttering the government and defaulting on the debt mattered not at all.
If the American right increasingly seems to occupy an alternative planet, that’s largely because its media outlets — we can throw Fox News into the mix — dwell on stories so exquisitely calibrated to excite the right that they may not be stories at all. The New Black Panther Party? The Epidemic of Voter Fraud? The calculated perfidy of Benghazi? The impeachable crime of Obamacare (a socialist scam actually modeled on a proposal from a conservative think tank 20 years ago)? It’s not the editorials and opinionating of right-wing broadcasters and journalists that are driving the right into fantasyland. It’s the tales they spin into stories and the time and space they devote to events that never actually happened or that they surreally misconstrue.
By throwing the Syrian conundrum to Congress, Obama has at least confronted Republicans with a real-world choice. Since Saturday, the drumbeat for closing down the government has been muted in its usual haunts.
That’s why the coming collision of libertarian fantasies with reality will be instructive. Can a congressman vote to defund the government and approve a military action in the same month? Or vote to authorize cruise missile attacks while insisting the government default on its debts? All these issues will soon come before Congress in rapid succession…