Monday, November 10, 2008

"Now we are engaged in a great civil war..."

By Carl

Abraham Lincoln meant that about the United States, but if he lived today, he could just as easily be speaking about the
Republican Party, the party he helped create:

It could be a tough four or eight years for conservatives.

It will be tougher yet if they underestimate Obama. His selection of Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff suggests that Obama’s not going to be mindlessly leftist, and that he’s going to shape a legislative strategy that is attentive to Congressional realities while not deferring to a Congressional leadership whose interests may not be his own. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were both tripped up in their first two years by their Democratic Congresses. Obama intends for Emanuel to ensure that that doesn’t happen.

Curiously, while Kristol makes a good case (a rarity) for keeping some of the conservative planks of the Republican platform, he loses out to this kind of rhetoric:

But many on the losing end of last week's election want to hold on to their anger. And there are those in the media -- led by the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity -- only too ready to feed that animus, along with their own ratings.

"The Obama recession is in full swing, ladies and gentlemen," Limbaugh told his radio audience of 15 million to 20 million on Thursday. "Stocks are dying, which is a precursor of things to come. This is an Obama recession. Might turn into a depression."

Apparently the tanking of the real estate market, record losses in the auto industry, and massive failures in the banking and investment industry have very little to do with our problems. The economic system is collapsing, Rush wants us to know, because it anticipates the tax increases Obama has pledged on capital gains and for the highest income earners.

There's a seething anger on the right wing, paralleling the seething anger on the left (and to be fair, the center) of four years ago when Bush somehow managed to struggle off the canvas of 40% approval ratings... can you imagine how nice those must seem to him now?... to eke out re-election.

This isn't, thank goodness, being reflected in "assassinate Obama" rhetoric, at least in the more polite circles, the ones who at least use forks to eat. There is a nascent movement to file immediate impeachment charges based upon...what, I'm not sure, since impeachment has to be for high crimes and misdemeanors and considering the guy isn't even president yet, it'd be a bit hard to accuse him of official misconduct.

There is a stiffenining of resolve amongst the crackpot wing of the Republican party to
clear out anything that smells like a RINO, Bill Kristol included:

We intend to constantly remind the base about these people, monitor who they are working for, and, when 2012 rolls around, see which candidates hire them. Naturally then, you'll see us go to war against those candidates.

It is our expressed intention to make these few people political lepers.

You read that right, folks: the radical right has declared a pogrom.

There's an element of "cry-babyness" here. First off, the clear reason for this overreaction is the loss of the 2008 election. Something, power, was taken away from these folks.

Or rather, in keeping with the mindless American trope of so many of these numbbrained knuckleheads, the illusion of power, as if some mommy in Maryland with a computer, bile, and too much time on her hands is somehow responsible for the political transformation of an entire nation.

Sorry... I had to take a moment to stop laughing.

A few "inside scoops," a couple of cocktail party invitations, and the occasional television appearance or mention by some high "White Horse souse" (to use the turn of phrase), and someone like Mickey Mousekin thinks she's got stroke?

Um. No?

It doesn't work like that, and the one area in which I have to tip my hat to Karl Rove is his ability to con these folks, like Malkin and Morrisey and Nordlinger and Hannity and Limbaugh into some form of power broker, when all they performed was what Stalin would have called "useful idiocies".

Tools. Gotta love. Wish I had some.

The con works because the conner takes what the connees want, and neatly pastes it over what he, the conner, has.

Unwittingly, tho, Karl Rove may have destroyed the Republican party. Certainly, by enlisting these crackheads, he's likely disposed of the relevancy of the conservative argument for many many decades. After all, how many time could a Michelle Malkin go and inspect the countertops of a Graeme Frost, while throwing a hissyfit over the media treatment of Joe the Plumber, all while identifying herself as some media figure?

Damn, Karl Rove even had her believing her own press... that's impressive!

The tragedy for Malkin, et al's sake is that they dragged some pretty smart people down with them, people who could have had useful voices in the coming economic crisis. Like it or not, Obama is going to have a hard time selling his entire reform package of healthcare, peace AND a tax cut when people's jobs are being lost. He will need a formidable and loyal opposition, one that deals in facts and truths and not National Enquirer headlines, in order to fix the problems of this nation.

The trouble is, those folks, the ones who could help with the solutions, will be lumped in with these assholes and thus deemed irrelevant.

I for one do not want to see a "permanent Democratic majority." I want them to have to fight and occasionally fail for their ideas and ideals. One party rule, no matter how benign, is a form of fascism long term, if there is no accountability to the people, and no other legitimate option.

I would welcome a Republican party that moved back to this planet, and dealt with the reality-based reality, and not wandered off to the clouds of some pseudo-sociological experiment in strapping down the less fortunate and less privileged and hooking up electrodes to their genitalia.

I would welcome a Republican party that learned to respect its opposition, to invite their opinions, to include their concerns in forming a platform and legislative agenda.

I would not welcome a Republican party that is divisive and divided, torn asunder by four or five minority factions who lost the lessons of the Democratic diaspora of the past thirty years: we are all in this together.

I sincerely hope, as a progressive and a life-long Democrat, that one day I'll be offered a real choice of two candidates for President who both are neither tied to their extremist moneyed factions, but who actually fight for my vote.

I doubt I'll see it, but this defeat bears truth that hopes springs eternal.

(Cross-posted to
Simply Left Behind.)

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