… You have to remember that during the Reagan era, a lot of conservatives thought the party, so to speak, would never end — that they’d created not only an Administration but an Age, a historic era in which every citizen was taught from birth that nothing couldn’t be fixed with a tax cut and the poor had no one to blame but themselves. (You can see it in the way they still invoke His holy name, especially in extremis.)
Then Clinton got in. He was a DLC trimmer and almost as bad as the Reaganauts, and you might say his victories were at least a partial tribute to Reaganism. But Clinton’s yak also included some of the old Democratic equities as a point of distinction, and his lines about working hard and playing by the rules must have hit conservatives like a gut-punch — here they’d been selling America a survival-of-the-fittest gold rush, and Clinton was giving them home and hearth — and getting away with it!
A saner opposition would have appreciated this turnabout philosophically, as a grifter might laugh ruefully upon discovering someone had managed to grift him. Certainly some of them did. But the true believers simmered and stewed, because for them it was not just a reversal of fortune, but of their whole way of looking at the world. And when they got their chance, they came up with both the 1995 shutdown and the Lewinsky Impeachment — kamikaze missions of the sort that make no sense unless you actually believe that God is with you, and that the seemingly unconvinced American people will follow once they realize it (which they never do).
In the Obama years these folks have been no less crazy, but much busier. As I’ve detailed in these pages and at the Voice, they’ve devoted so much time and energy to developing unflattering caricatures of the POTUS — he’s a socialist! He’s a crony capitalist! He’s two slurs in one! — that they can no longer actually see what he’s doing, nor why anyone would vote for him, leading to their great confusion in 2012 when their “unskewed polls” turned out to be total bullshit…
This doesn’t make sense to a normal person; none of their arguments do. But they don’t have to. They may as well put Because Reasons in all their column spaces. They’re not trying to convince outsiders that their cause is just; they’re just adding some stuff that looks like arguments to the furnishings of their Reagan Dream House to better resemble their increasingly vague memories of reality.
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg 0 0 Anne Laurie https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg Anne Laurie2013-10-02 22:30:332013-10-02 22:30:33Open Thread: Falling for Their Own Con