Monday, February 22, 2016

A Knife Fight In Bedlam

As I have mentioned before, the Holy Beltway Both Siderist Master-Narrative is a lie so big and stretchy that (as the kids say) it's like grandma's nightie: it covers everything. And one of the Little Lies that this Big Lie conceals is the ludicrous notion that because the rise of Donald "The Demagogue" Trump and Ted "The Eater of Souls" Cruz has freaked the Republican establishment out so much that they are rushing to put all their chips on Marco "Hobbson's Choice" , this has somehow magically transformed Rubio into a "reasonable" choice.

Today in the New York Times, Dr, Krugman points out that this is nonsense.  That every faction still inside the Party of Lincoln is dangerously insane; they're just each a different flavor of insane:
Marco Rubio has yet to win anything, but by losing less badly than other non-Trump candidates he has become the overwhelming choice of the Republican establishment. Does this give him a real chance of overtaking the man who probably just won all of South Carolina’s delegates? I have no idea.

But what I do know is that one shouldn’t treat establishment support as an indication that Mr. Rubio is moderate and sensible. On the contrary, not long ago someone holding his policy views would have been considered a fringe crank.

Let me leave aside Mr. Rubio’s terrifying statements on foreign policy and his evident willingness to make a bonfire of civil liberties, and focus on what I know best, economics.

You probably know that Mr. Rubio is proposing big tax cuts, and may know that among other things he proposes completely eliminating taxes on investment income — which would mean, for example, that Mitt Romney would end up owing precisely zero in federal taxes.

What you may not know is that Mr. Rubio’s tax cuts would be almost twice as big as George W. Bush’s as a percentage of gross domestic product — despite the fact that federal debt is much higher than it was 15 years ago, and Republicans have spent the Obama years warning incessantly that budget deficits will destroy America, any day now.

Then there’s Mr. Rubio’s call for a balanced-budget amendment...
And this is where we despised outsiders can find our cheap thrills.  It is precisely because no one is going to listen to a word we say, not matter how right we are or how many mountains of facts we have on our side, we are free to sit in the bleachers and laugh our asses off at the sight of the each faction of loathsome, batshit Conservative try to bite the legs off of every other faction of loathsome, batshit Conservative so it can claim the title of the King of the Conservative Dunghill.

Which brings us to this choice quote from...can you guess where?
Arguing with some ardent Trump supporters (I’ve argued with some perfectly rational ones, I should note) can be exhausting simply because they don’t really care about the things we normally care about when measuring a politician’s merits. Consistency is no concern. Temperament is for lesser mortals. Good character is for chumps. Intellectual rigor — or even coherence — is the fixation of “the smart set” that allegedly got us into this mess. Trump is a blind, crazed, bull in a China shop smashing and stomping everything to bits, and his fans stand on the side and salute his genius and care.
It is not from Digby.  And it's waaaay to long for Duncan Black.  And it's not something I brought up from my own cellars.  No this tangy portion of "Can you believe these meatheads?" comes from the National Review Online.  From Lucienne Goldberg's wretched whelping himself.  In an article which also contains the following paragraph:
It’s hard being a Clinton. And while I have every confidence that I could get a solid 300 words’ worth of Viagra jokes out of that statement, I’m not even going to go there. No, it’s hard being a Clinton because Clintons lie. They are liars. It is what they do. It is who they are. They lie about big things and small. They lie about lying and they lie about having lied about lying. As R. Emmet Tyrell Jr., an almost unhealthy student of Clintonian prevarication, once said, “The Clintons lie when they do not have to lie, and they tell a gaudy whopper when a little white lie would be perfectly satisfactory.”
Jonah Goldberg...

...hauling Richard Mellon Scaife's "Arkansas Project"/American Spectator errand boy -- R. Emmet Tyrrell, Jr. -- out of encroaching obscurity...

...and wedging him sideways into an article decrying the lack of concern for temperament, good character and intellectual rigor among people who disagree with Jonah Goldberg.

So many stupid little fish, flopping angrily around in such a tiny, tiny barrel.

Meanwhile, up here in the bleachers, the weather is fine, the view is excellent and popcorn remains inexpensive and plentiful.


bowtiejack said...

I've only middling kept up with the Republican "debates".
Are they, in the exercise of their sacred 2nd Amendment rights, allowed to show up packing?
It would seem the very least they could do to prove their authenticity to the baboon horde they seek to lead.
And, if so, I could see a real Cecil B. DeMille - Sam Peckinpah - Quentin Tarantino final act which would be dynamite television!
Whaddya think for Trump? Sawed-off shotgun down his pants leg and a couple fragmentation grenades on the back of his belt?
We're talking YUUGE numbers here.

trgahan said...

Still early I know, but this isn't about policy.

The donor class likely knows that, baring a fourth quarter miracle, this Presidential election is already lost. So they "favor" Rubio not because he can win but because if nominated his general campaign will do less collateral damage to down tick races than Trump/Cruz.

The GOP's pig people simply aren't numerous enough in the right areas to carry a national presidential election outright. Unless Democrats refuse to unify behind whomever is nominated, a Republican campaign based on outside voice hatred, bigotry, fear, and revenge will raddle down the ballot impacting anyone with an (R) beside their name.

Neo Tuxedo said...

In the September-October 1992 bumper number of Mother Jones, in a column headed "Wiggy Republicans" which could be written today with only the names changed, the sainted Molly Ivins said of R. Emmett Tyrrell that his "prose style runs from perfervid to frothing-at-the-mouth." And, in the words of a great American philosopher, that's all I got to say about that.

Habitat Vic said...

What? No one mentions Driftglass' selection of a photo of Joe Mantegna (and, bonus, Dennis Farina) at a Cubs game?

Attention, attention must be paid to such a person. OK, a national writing/blogging gig commensurate coin would be nice too.

The Kraken said...

I kept looking for a blade runner reference.