Like grandma's nightshirt, "Both Sides Do It"-ism can cover almost any damn thing
From the opinions of privileged Whig Conservative guys:
To the opinions of privileged Republican-trying-to-broaden-his-appeal guys:But since Mr. Brooks' Centrism is like unto Vampirism in that if he does not feed constantly -- if he doesn't wedge some insipid, fact-free Centrist claptrap into every single thing he says and writes every single day -- he will burst into flames and disappear in a puff of Broderian stink, wealso get this:Obama made his case beautifully. He came across as a prudent, nonpopulist progressive. But I’m not sure he rescrambled the debate. We still have one party that talks the language of government and one that talks the language of the market. We have no party that is comfortable with civil society, no party that understands the ways government and the market can both crush and nurture community, no party with new ideas about how these things might blend together.You can almost hear the tears in Mr. Brooks' voice as he chokes up for the lost opportunity.Oh if only President Obama had carefully counterbalanced each word eloquently spoken about the power of and critical necessity for collective action with another word about the merits of individual enterprise and the practical limits of government.If only the President had taken the opportunity to say something like this today!Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers.If only...Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.If only...
...To the opinions of privileged Libertarian guys:
In case you missed Jon Stewart's award-verging "interview" with Marco Rubio, here is your rush transcript of Senator Rubio's answer to Jon Stewart every single time Mr. Stewart tried very respectfully to point out that Senator Rubio was, um, lying, and that the relentless, pathological obstructiveness of the Republican Party was unmatched by anything Democrats have done in modern history.
"Well, you know, both sides..."
"Both Democrats and Republicans..."
"That's just politics..."
"The Democrats left us no choice..."
"Democrats and Republicans..."
"Both Democrats and Republicans..."
And so forth, to the point of being comical.
Like every other Republican culture war criminal, Senator Rubio has been conditioned within an inch of his life to always answer any question about the unique perfidy and hypocrisy of his political Party with the Big Lie of Centrism and to refuse to stop repeating the Big Lie of Centrism until the questions stop regardless of circumstances...
Every time someone votes for the lesser of two evils, the duopoly laughs and laughs.
— Barry Eisler (@barryeisler) July 5, 2013
Very flexible, this Both Siderism. Very versatile. Stimulant and depressant. A dessert topping and a floor polish. Water absorbent and water repellent.
It also has the additional virtue of being both fun and effortless. Like Mark Twain catching flies, from the supine comfort of the Both Sider hammock, any problem that buzzes along can be snatched out of the air and blandly asserted to be equally the fault of both sides. And if that one doesn't prove your point, well, just grab for another. And if you miss that one, another will be along in a minute. And another. And another. Doesn't matter which one you get because, as Twain said, any fly he got was always the fly he wanted.
But if your Great Big Idea comes to little more than incessantly bitching about the irredeemable and perfectly equivalent evil of both parties -- if your program for reforming the system consists of asking Democrats to deliberately tank elections and get more Republicans elected because then something something sweeping reforms something something liberty -- then expect to get asked questions about things like this --
...You know this story by now. The North Carolina legislature, which has been on a tear this session anyway, mounted a stealth attack on women's health. Like their brethren in Texas, North Carolina legislators magically morphed an anti-Sharia bill into an anti-abortion bill in Texas tradition, threatening to shut down all abortion clinics but one. And like Texas, it was a deep bow to their dominionist extremist Christian coalition partners.The legislation would now allow any health care provider to opt out of providing abortion-related services, prohibit health plans offered through federal health care exchanges from offering abortion coverage, outlaw sex-selection abortions, require doctors to stay in the room during the entire abortion procedure, force abortion clinics to obtain patient-transfer agreements with local hospitals, and mandate that abortion clinics meet the same stringent standards as outpatient surgical centers.
-- which are going on across the country every day and are almost always being enacted along straight party lines:
Flanked by a group of other male officials, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) signed a contentious two-year budget bill into law on Sunday evening. The governor vetoed 22 amendments to HB 59 before approving it, but he left intact several provisions that will severely limit women’s reproductive access.
The new budget, which takes effect on Monday, includes at least five new anti-abortion provisions. HB 59 will defund Planned Parenthood clinics, reallocate family planning funding to right-wing “crisis pregnancy centers,” strip funding from rape crisis centers that give their clients any information about abortion services, impose harsh restrictions on abortion clinics that will force many of them to shut down, and require doctors to give women seeking abortion information about the presence of a “fetal heartbeat.”
Taken together, the budget amendments ensure that Ohio now has some of the most stringent abortion laws in the nation. In a press release, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards blasted Kasich’s decision to approve HB 59′s abortion-related amendments. “Like Governor Perry in Texas, politicians in Ohio knew they couldn’t pass these unpopular measures if they played by the rules — that’s why they tried to bury these provisions in the pages of a must-pass state budget,” Richards pointed out in a statement, referring to the legislators in Texas who continue attempting to push through abortion restrictions during a special session. “If they thought no one was looking, Ohioans proved they were wrong. Texas lit a fuse.”