Saturday, April 11, 2015

10 Years After: 2012 -- A Blogger Darkly

The 10th blogiversary fundraiser continues with the Presidential Election year of 2012.

There was a time in 2012 when I started to wonder if, somehow, I had gone through some kind of split-brain thingie like Bob Arctor/Agent Fred in "A Scanner Darkly".

If I was by day, your 'umble scrivener driftglass, who write his little blog every day but also followed Big Time Writers who worked a for-real, getting-paid magazines and newspapers ...

 ... and was by night actually one of those Big Time Writers who skimmed the blogs and would occasionally read an amusing post by some guy named driftglass that stuck to the inside of my head.

Because in 2012 there came a Big Time Writer who began covering the same beats I had been patrolling solo all these years, who sounded, in phrasing, topic choice and cadence, remarkably like me on my better days.

It was...weird.

(Spoiler:  Brother Charles Pierce are on friendly terms.  All is copacetic.  Of course, if there is ever an opening at Esquire...)

Charles P. Pierce Extends his Realm


To encompass Andrew Sullivan.

First, a little quote from Mr. Sullivan's "Newsweek" cover:
The Republican Party is more insane than it was four years ago, and it never saw this president as legitimate in the first place. History shows that second-term possibilities, contrary to what the hopeful Andrew Sullivan argues, are more limited than we'd all like to believe.
Then a little reaction from Mr. Pierce:
Oh, Andrew. The willingness to believe in snow-white unicorns is so charming in a person of your brains and abilities. 
Then a longer cuts, followed by a longer reactions like these:
Trading cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid for some vague tax "reforms" that will be undone as soon as every plutocrat who can hire a lawyer manages to do so is a devil's bargain for anyone making less than $250,000 a year. Those tax reforms Reagan got — how are those faring these days? Does anybody even remember them?

There is also, Andrew, nothing in your prospective Obama economics that would do fk-all to solve unemployment, or end either wage stagnation or the massive inequality of incomes that make the social safety net so necessary right now

... Nixon had Watergate. Saint Reagan had Iran Contra, and was very likely a symptomatic Alzheimer's patient for most of his second term. Clinton got impeached and, amazingly, George Bush managed to be an even bigger cock-up in his second term than he was in his first. A re-elected president gets (maybe) six months to govern, and then it's time for all hands to run for president again. Ask James Monroe how well that usually works out.

Alas, Andrew, your arguments against this evidence seem to me mostly to be magical thinking....

...why do you think the Republicans would fear any of this? The president's own Secretary of Defense has made it clear that he will do everything he can to obviate those defense cuts, and that's a deal he could strike tomorrow. And I guarantee you that, even if he doesn't, and the date certain does pass without a deal, blame will be apportioned equally to "both sides" just as it has been over the debt ceiling debacle.

Or, more to the point, there's a strong element in the Republican party that wants Taxmageddon, that is, in fact, slavering at the prospect. Republican congresscritters are getting primaried for agreeing to the previous deal. And, in case you haven't noticed, those are the people who are driving the train these days. There is no "center-right" any more, at least not one that can wield any power. The Republicans were utterly thrashed in both 2006 and 2008. In 2010, they swept back in being by being nuttier than a nest of squirrels. Can you honestly argue that re-electing the Kenyan Muslin Usurper is going to bring them back to their senses? Good luck on that one.

Hell, in 1998, the country overwhelmingly told Republicans in the House through the election returns to knock off the impeachment kabuki. They impeached Clinton in the lame-duck session. If the Republican Party were capable of the logical thought you are relying on here, Richard Mourdock wouldn't be a candidate for the Senate and Jim DeMint wouldn't be a power there.

So, for the record, Mr. Pierce's repertoire now includes.

David Brooks?   


Sunday Morning gasbag analysis?  


And now, Andrew Sullivan?


OK, I shall now admit it.

Until proven otherwise, I am Charles P. Pierce.

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