Dr. Krugman once again covering an existential threat to America about which pariah Liberal bloggers have been relentlessly pounding away the point of despairing tedium for the last decade and which the Beltway Media still refuses to acknowledge exists at all.
Actually, we've been in that third stage for a long time now, and it's going to continue to strangle the life out of our country until a statistically significant number of Republicans have shambled off to their unquiet graves,...Yet, at the moment, it seems highly likely that the Republican Party will refuse to fund the government, forcing a shutdown at the beginning of next month, unless President Obama dismantles the health reform that is the signature achievement of his presidency. Republican leaders realize that this is a bad idea, but, until recently, their notion of preaching moderation was to urge party radicals not to hold America hostage over the federal budget so they could wait a few weeks and hold it hostage over the debt ceiling instead. Now they’ve given up even on that delaying tactic. The latest news is that John Boehner, the speaker of the House, has abandoned his efforts to craft a face-saving climbdown on the budget, which means that we’re all set for shutdown, possibly followed by debt crisis.How did we get here?Some pundits insist, even now, that this is somehow Mr. Obama’s fault. Why can’t he sit down with Mr. Boehner the way Ronald Reagan used to sit down with Tip O’Neill? But O’Neill didn’t lead a party whose base demanded that he shut down the government unless Reagan revoked his tax cuts, and O’Neill didn’t face a caucus prepared to depose him as speaker at the first hint of compromise.No, this story is all about the G.O.P. First came the southern strategy, in which the Republican elite cynically exploited racial backlash to promote economic goals, mainly low taxes for rich people and deregulation. Over time, this gradually morphed into what we might call the crazy strategy, in which the elite turned to exploiting the paranoia that has always been a factor in American politics — Hillary killed Vince Foster! Obama was born in Kenya! Death panels! — to promote the same goals.But now we’re in a third stage, where the elite has lost control of the Frankenstein-like monster it created.So now we get to witness the hilarious spectacle of Karl Rove in The Wall Street Journal, pleading with Republicans to recognize the reality that Obamacare can’t be defunded. Why hilarious? Because Mr. Rove and his colleagues have spent decades trying to ensure that the Republican base lives in an alternate reality defined by Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. Can we say “hoist with their own petard”?...
What Dr. Krugman does not mention is that the Frankenstein-like monster which (as one obscure pundit once put it long before Dr. Krugman) has "kick[ed] the lab door off its hinges and [is] running amok" would never have made it out of the lab and into the streets without its most despicable and reliable enabler: Centrism.
The chair recognizes March, 2012 Driftglass once again to make the closing argument because September, 2013 Driftglass is momentarily tired of pissing into the wind:
...Even George Will -- taking a break from extolling the virtues of Calvin Coolidge long enough to bother to notice that the monster his Party built to win elections had kick the lab door off its hinges and was running amok -- could not do so without obediently and automatically reciting Wingnut Catechistic Lie Number One. See if you can spot it:“[House Speaker John] Boehner comes out and says Rush’s language was inappropriate. Using the salad fork for your entrée, that’s inappropriate. Not this stuff,” Will said. “And it was depressing because what it indicates is that the Republican leaders are afraid of Rush Limbaugh. They want to bomb Iran, but they’re afraid of Rush Limbaugh.”ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd said the Republicans’ apprehension to say anything negative about the conservative big hitter is based on the “myth” that Limbaugh influences a large number of Republican voters.“I think the problem is the Republican leaders, Mitt Romney and the other candidates, don’t have the courage to say what they say in quiet, which, they think Rush Limbaugh is a buffoon,” Dowd said. ”They think he is like a clown coming out of a small car at a circus. It’s great he is entertaining and all that. But nobody takes him seriously.”While President Obama has denounced Limbaugh’s comments as “reprehensible,” Republican leaders and GOP presidential candidates have used far milder language.While Rick Santorum said Limbaugh’s comments were “absurd,” he said the radio host was an “entertainer” and “an entertainer can be absurd.” “No,” Will said about Santorum’s response. “It is the responsibility of conservatives to police the right and its excesses, just as the liberals unfailingly fail to police the excesses on their own side.”See the problem, David [Brooks]?You conservatives lie like junkies. You literally cannot stop lying -- lying about Liberals, lying about your own, very well-documented history -- because at the end of ever righteous criticism which you level at the Gorgons that are destroying this country comes the same, damning question:Where the fuck were you when it counted?Were you people really that stupid? That willfully blind? For all those years? In which case, isn't Public Intellectual a job from which you should be automatically disqualified for the rest of your life?Or were you just craven, money-grubbing whores who only came to Jesus once you got thrown off the Wingnut Welfare teat?Because seeing what was happening on the Right these last 30 years really wasn't that hard. It wasn't string theory or nanoengineering -- millions of perfectly ordinary people called "Liberals" got this right from the very beginning so again let me ask where were you it took more than a wet finger hoisted into the breeze to decide that Limbaugh was a cancer running wild through our body politic?Liberals have asked you and your pals this same question of over and over again for years, Mr. Frum, and your silence is beyond deafening so let me ask again: Where were you in when it counted? (From me in 2009, and to which I have nothing to add):What Rush says:Boss Rush and all of his bigoted, fascist, shitbag imitators were the fine print on Nixon's Southern Strategy, as was Newt Gingrich working from the inside to turn hatespeech into the Mother Tongue of the Party of Lincoln.
“I will kill this puppy, because I hate puppies and I like killing them.”How the Pig People react:
Unable to contain their joy, the throngs of hoof-stomping, rat-squealing, true-believing golem known as “The Republican Party” tear their own eyes out so that the torrents of orgiastic rage pouring out of their mouths can get from their brains into the open air that much quicker.How the Media reacts:
Blah blah blah context. Blah blah blah what Rush “really” meant was… Blah blah blah because, y’know, if some hypothetical Democrat somewhere had said that they didn’t like kittens blah blah blah.Until, in the end (from the Chicago Tribune):
Barack Obama's push: Make Rush Limbaugh appear to be the face of the GOP"Appears"?
Obama gambles that taking on conservative radio host will cow Republicans, benefit president's agenda
By Peter Nicholas | Washington Bureau
11:19 PM CST, March 2, 2009
WASHINGTON — The Obama White House has begun advancing an aggressive political strategy: convincing the country that the real power behind the Republican Party is not the GOP leaders in Congress or at the Republican National Committee, but rather provocative radio talk show king Rush Limbaugh.
President Barack Obama, top presidential aides and outside Democratic allies have been pushing the message in unison.
Sorry, Petey, but hack reporting like this is exactly why we on the Left have largely given up on the national press except as a Ridicule Piñata; because for the last 20 years, every time the Party of God shit all over itself, Villager reporters -- presumably as a condition of their employment -- could always be relied on to invent some ludicrous unattributed back-story about Democrats secretly slipping “Ex-Lax” into their cocoa.
Because if the GOP painted “I AM RUSH’S BITCH” on their ass in hundred-mile-wide fluorescent letters visible from orbit, the “Fair and Balanced” chip in the Villager’s heads would smoke and writhe and squirm until they figured out how to reformat the facts into a story where somehow Sneaky Liberals were the lead.
So since you obviously have no fucking clue about the modern history of the Republican Party, let me give you the nickel tour.
See, once upon a time, the Party of Lincoln got tired of losing.
Tired, tired, tired.
And their leaders sat down with many graphs and tables and Pareto charts and figured out that if they took a hard, Right turn at the corner of Loutish Bigot Avenue and Ignorant Christopath Way, they would start winning.
And it worked! So yay them!
But as the massive infusion of xenophobes, degenerate yahoos and wannabe fascists packed on Republican electoral muscle, the immutable Law of Fucktard Fluid Dynamics also meant that demagogues like Rush Limbaugh rapidly grew in Party power and influence, while anyone with an ounce of decency and self-respect was slowly cooked off and driven out of the GOP in disgust.
And that's the thing that makes "reporting" like yours so fucking laughable, Petey: the fact that Rush’s status as Party Overboss has never been exactly what you'd call a big secret.
Hell, it was on the God damned teevee!
If you'd bothered to do any checking at all you'd have found that fourteen fucking years ago -- while a popular but relatively unknown professor named Barack Obama was too busy teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago to plot out clever schemes to make it "appear" as though the GOP was Limbaugh's personal ass coachman and penis valet -- this was the actual state of the relationship between Rush and the Party of God (Spoiler Alert: video also proves yet again that no one knows "funny" like the Wall Street Journal's own shreddin' comic hellbeast, John Fund!):
This was a marquee Washington Post story about Rush and the GOP from December of 1994:
The House Republican newcomers made Rush Limbaugh an honorary class member tonight, a symbol of their gratitude for conservative talk-radio hosts who championed their campaigns. Limbaugh was presented a "Majority Makers" pin, the emblem of the newcomers who have given their party majority status in the House for the first time in 40 years.What has changed in 15 years, Petey, is that out here in the reality-based community we no longer feel alone and powerless to push back when we see a reporter contorting himself into bizarre, partisan configurations rather than simply reporting the simple fact that the Republican Party really has devolved into one, big, batshit crazy hoe-down where Limbaugh calls the tunes.
Six GOP women in the class added their own special thanks, presenting Limbaugh with a plaque that said: "Rush was right." And Rep.-elect Barbara Cubin (R-Wyo.) added: "There's not a femiNazi among us."
And you, David Frum, were perfectly willing to go along with these banal, daily treasons right up until your sugar daddy cut you off at the wallet.
Did you do it for love?
Did you do it for money?
Did you do it for spite?
Did you think you had to, honey?