Sure the Mouse Circus was the same, gibbering asylum of pomaded Centrist drones and wingnut freaks that it always is. And, sure, there was not a Liberal permitted anywhere within shouting distance of a microphone for fear they might be packing, say, a dangerous stovepipe-hat-full of quotes from, say, David Brooks about how we never need to worry about deficits again, how the only problem with the Bush tax cuts was that they were probably too small and how anyone who said otherwise was "stupid".
This is, after all, our media's new default setting and people like Mr. Charles P. Pierce have already put it on a spit and roasted it to a tender turn.
However I did not want to let the occasion pass without pointing out that amid all the utterly predictable, dishonest Beltway palmistry and tea-leaf reading there was a genuinely new thing in the world: this was the Sunday when the President of the United States went Full Driftglass on national teevee:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I think we're all frustrated. You know, the only thing I would-- I would caution against, David, is I think this notion of, "Well, both sides are just kind of unwilling to cooperate." And that's just not true. I mean if you look at the facts, what you have is a situation here where the Democratic Party, warts and all, and certainly me, warts and all, have consistently done our best to try to put country first. And to try to work with everybody involved to make sure that we've got an economy that grows, make sure that it works for everybody, make sure that we're keeping the country safe. And, you know, the-- the-- does the Democratic Party still have some knee jerk ideological positions and are there some folks in the Democratic Party who sometimes aren't reasonable? Of course. That-- that's true of every political party.But generally if you look at how I've tried to govern over the last four years and how I'll continue to try to govern, I'm not driven by some ideological agenda. I’m a pretty practical guy and I just want to make sure that things work. And-- and one of the nice things about never having another election again, I will never campaign again, is, you know, I think you can rest assure that all I care about is making sure that I leave behind an America that is stronger, more prosperous, you know, more stable, more secure than it was when I-- I came into office and-- and that's going to continue to drive me. And I-- I think that the issue that we're dealing with right now in the fiscal cliff is a prime example of it. What I'm arguing for are maintaining tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans. I don't think anybody would consider that some liberal left wing agenda. That’s some-- that-- that used to be considered a pretty mainstream Republican agenda.And it's something that we can accomplish today if we simply allow for a vote in the Senate and in the House to get it done. The fact that it's not happening is an indication of, you know, how far certain factions inside the Republican Party have gone where they-- they can't even accept what used to be considered centrist, mainstream positions on these issues...
Understand that the Big Lie of Centrism -- the Big Lie of "Both Sides Do It" -- is the pillar on which the entire Beltway media establishment rests. "Both Sides Do It" pays for David Gregory's Chevy Chase country club membership and David Brooks' vast spaces for entertaining: it is a Lie so vital to the continued operation of the Right that, like Casablanca's letters of transit, it cannot be rescinded. Not even questioned.
And the reason is really very simple; as I wrote in 2012, for all of it's shrieking and stomping, the Right is actually incredibly fragile:
The entire Conservative enterprise is built on delusion and old dynamite, which is why every clock much forever remain stopped at one minute after Reagan's inauguration, every fact must be smothered under the stasis field of Rush Limbaugh roaring, rage-drunk bluster. It is the sarcophagus of a dead ideology where the walls are now so densely postered and palimpsested with the detritus of Conservatism's lurid, lying history that its denizens cannot find the exit anymore, and its floors are so sticky and pitted with the grue of its savage, tribal, beat-in rituals that no one bothers to even look for the door.
Which is why no deviation can be permitted, no error can be admitted and no apologies can be allowed.
So without a Phantom Liberal Menace onto which they can blame-shift 50% of every Conservative atrocity, both the Right and the lazy, inbred Beltway media that keeps the Right propped up would implode within weeks and be laughed out of existence within months, which is why the Big Lie of Fake Centrism remains the Beltway's most sacred and inviolate Holy of Holies. It is the pillar that keeps the entire scam from collapsing and forcing the blow-dried clown posse who suckle at Mother Centrism's noxious teat to go find honest work, which is why David Gregory got so freaked out by the President of the United States' comments that he invoked Special Douchebag Moderator Privilege and leaped to the defense of the lie that has made him so very, very rich (after POTUS was safely out of earshot):
GREGORY: Jon Meacham, there’s something I also wanted to pick up on. The president’s obvious irritation, Chuck was just mentioning it before we started, at the notion that it’s a pox on both Houses.
MR. JON MEACHAM (Author, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power): Right.
GREGORY: And one of the president’s top advisers is rather defensive on Twitter saying that it-- you know, it should bug every American because it’s lazy journalism and punditry and has a real effect on our political system. Well, here’s the reality that even his advisers have to understand. The American people, Republicans and Democrats, do look at results or the lack thereof. So, it’s not lazy punditry when people are out there very frustrated with both ends of this.
MR. MEACHAM: Right. And I see the system as broken because as you say, it doesn’t produce a result, a desirable result.
GREGORY: Right. Being right is not enough, even if you’re the president.
MR. MEACHAM: Exactly. Exactly.
The shearing stress caused by being forced to simultaneously report on the self-evident, real-world results of Republican fecklessness, derangement and incompetence while at the same time pretending that the last four years of unified GOP obstruction and the last 30 years of Conservative psychosis never happened is enormous: something we haven't seen on this kind of scale since the days when Pravda dutifully reported on the health and vitality of the Soviet Union as it visibly disintegrated around them.
And the single, rusting truss plate holding the whole mess together is the Big Lie of "Both Sides Do It".
And while I am under no illusion that this moment of presidential clarity will last, it did my old heart good to see the President of the United States walk right up to this Big Lie and kick it squarely in the yam sack.