From Ezra Klein at Vox:
The difference between the Republican and Democratic parties has never been clearerIn 2012, the congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein wrote a column for the Washington Post diagnosing what they saw to be the central problem in modern American politics.
"The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics," they wrote. "It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.
"When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges."
The op-ed hit like a bomb. Mann and Ornstein were institutionalists with wide respect in both parties — Ornstein, in fact, worked (and still works) for the conservative American Enterprise Institute. For them to call out one party as "the core of the problem" in American governance was to violate all the rules of polite Washington society. Their diagnosis was controversial at the time, to put it lightly.
It is obviously correct now....
"Controversial" is indeed putting it lightly.
The terrible crime Messers Mann and Ornstein committed was that of carefully fleshing out an obvious reality which many despised Liberal bloggers had been writing about since the dawn of blogging: the clearly observable fact that, whatever flaws and weakness the Democratic party may have, they are several orders of magnitude less terrifying that the outright madness, bigotry, paranoia and defiant pig-ignorance of the Republican party.
And for the offense of stating a plain truth, the Beltway media chucked Messers Mann and Ornstein into Coventry with the rest of the Dirty Hippies, there to rot in obscurity forever.
The Beltway media, whose only fucking job is supposed to be creating and maintaining that "enlightened citizenry"...
An enlightened citizenry is indispensable for the proper functioning of a republic. Self-government is not possible unless the citizens are educated sufficiently to enable them to exercise oversight. -- Thomas Jefferson
...without which our representative democracy is impossible, cast them out.
So yeah. "Controversial".
Mr. Klein continues:
There is a deep pull in political punditry toward asserting symmetry between the two political parties — whatever sins one party is guilty of, surely the other party is no better. But this was a week in which the pretense of symmetry between the modern Democratic and Republican parties fell away.
The way I heard this story was that the first German aerial bomb dropped on Britain in WWI landed in garden Dover on Christmas Eve, 1914, knocking the gardener out of the tree and breaking several teacups. Upon hearing the news, one a prominent local townsman was supposed to have said, "Now the Hun has finally gone too far!"
Which is by way of saying that this is approximately the one millionth time I have read about how "obviously" the GOP has at last gone too far for the political pundit class to continue it's decades long, Both Siderist bender.
To which I say, "Nonsense".
As I have said on this blog literally hundreds of times, Both Siderism is the Big Lie which makes all the little lies possible. Both Siderism is the tent-pole that keeps the GOP propped up, because it has become the all-purpose, no-credit-limit excuse for every wingnut excess and alibi for every Republican atrocity. You know the joke. Of course Dick Cheney/Mitch McConnell/Ted Cruz/Donald Trump being caught on the White House lawn throwing burning kittens at homeless veterans may be bad...
..but... but... but... the Democrats!
You see, without constant, withering, humiliating pressure being brought relentlessly to bear from outside, there is no reason in the world for the Beltway media to change its very profitable tune now.
So here's the test.
This afternoon there was a well-reported "secret" meeting of the Republican "He Man/Trump Haters Club" attended by various, well-heeled establishment plutocrats and their various yes-men and finger-puppets and "led" (which is the closest approximate word in the language of humans) by noted Conservative degenerate, Erik Erickson:
GOP operatives, conservative leaders meet to thwart TrumpA secretive group of Republican operatives and conservative leaders convened Thursday morning for more than three hours to discuss ways to unite the right against Donald Trump, with a presentation about the feasibility of mounting a third-party challenge as well as extensive deliberations about whether a coalition of anti-Trump forces could prevent the billionaire mogul from securing the party's presidential nomination at the July convention in Cleveland."It's certainly not too late," Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) said as he left the session. "You could get another party on the ballot. A candidate could be picked as late as August. … It would have to be a movement conservative.”""I was there to listen," Franks, a supporter of Trump rival Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), added. "I am worried about the kind of damage that Trump could cause to our party. … As a conservative, I can’t trust Donald Trump to do the right thing. However, I can trust Mrs. Clinton to do the exact wrong thing. Therefore, if it comes down to a one-on-one contest, I would vote for Trump."...
Sorry, heroes, wrong answer, but thanks for playing our game!
Because when your party's most attractive alternative to its braying fascist demagogue front-runner is either getting behind an unhinged theocrat who has already been repeatedly and aggressively rejected by his own party like a diseased kidney or trying the "Teabagger" switcheroo one more time and reconstituting the same old pissy oligarchs into some kind of Brand!New! "No Homers" Club
-- then things have gone way, way past "fixable".
Instead, in the words of Kay Adams-Corleone, "This. Must. All. End."
The Right -- all of it -- must be broken and driven back into the political sewers, and their Both Siderist enablers in the media -- all of them -- need to be sacked.
So when an equally large numbers of wealthy and powerful Americans gather together with ordinary citizens like us to launch a #BreakTheRight movement, give me a call.
Until then, as long the Both Siderist canaries in our nation's political mine-shaft continue to chirp and twitter away, hale and hearty and gainfully employed, nothing has fundamentally changed except the color and decibel-level of the fireworks.