Charles Blow -- with whom I often agree -- got paid actually money to write this claptrap in the New York Times:
...On the Republican side, they have a conundrum. As the saying goes: “Be careful what you set your heart upon — for it will surely be yours.”Republicans ran against Washington, but now they are Washington. Now that they control both houses of Congress, they must demonstrate that they are capable of solutions, and not just sullenness. They have to pass actual legislation and not just demonstration bills that the president will be sure to veto....
No, Charles. No they really don't. In fact, if the modern history of the GOP can be said to conclusively prove one thing, that thing would be the exact opposite of what you just said.
By Jesus, Wellstone and Cesar Chavez, can we please have some smarter Liberals.
Mr. Blow continues:
Mr. Blow continues:
The American people, for their part, are eager to have their faith reaffirmed that Washington is not irreparably broken and that our politicians aren’t implacably insolent.There is only a small window for politicians in Washington to provide some proof.
Who the Hell is this "American people" of which you speak? There are no "American people" in the political sense anymore. There are the wreckers and cannibals and their dupes and fellow travelers. There are those who think wrecking and cannibalism are, y'know, bad. There are those who want to blame "politicians in Washington" because they're either idiots...or they are too terrified by the moral burden which comes with acknowledging that one American political party is run by wreckers and cannibals...or they are David Brooks. And then there are those people -- maybe half of all adults in this country -- who are so checked-out that despite having a $100 billion in campaign advertising dropped on their heads, they are barely aware we just had an election.
What makes Mr. Blow's (who I usually agree with, but fuck am I tired of these delusions) flapdoodle slightly more grotesquely hilarious is that it puts me momentarily in agreement with Andrew Sullivan who -- in case you haven't been paying attention -- has spent the last few years building a helluva cottage industry for himself by purloining what Liberals have been saying for the last 40 years, filing the serial numbers off, and re-selling it at a considerable mark-up as "True Conservatism".
Thus proving, if nothing else, that I have no head for how to make money in this racket.
...My own view is that this complete nihilism in terms of governing is actually quite emblematic of the most powerful forces in the GOP today. Fox News and the entire conservative media-industrial complex have no real interest in Republican governance. They thrive on conflict and on opposition. How many ratings-rich shows are they going to produce on tax reform? They have created an alternate cultural universe for the right where the craziest tub-thumpers get the most attention and where the boring, necessary act of governing is anathema....It’s a politics in which voters are denied the chance to compare varying responses to particular challenges and expect their representatives to reach an agreement. It’s a politics designed to make deliberative self-government close to impossible. It’s factionalism gone mad. Waldman sees no political incentives, in our current climate, for the GOP to govern...
This is the terrible harvest that has grown from the seeds which men like Ronald Reagan planted in the toxic soil of the Once and Future Confederacy. Predictable...and predicted by the same people no one ever listens to because, frankly, there is no place in the American Marketplace of Ideas for any Ideas that do not come with major corporate sponsors.
And when confronted by Conservatism in the raw -- naked, grinning, its fangs and claws red from conquest -- people like Mr. Blow have zero cognitive ability to comprehend what they are looking at. It is simply beyond their capacity to imagine that Republicans -- having spent billions of dollars and decades of effort to achieve power by cultivating every atavistic, fearful, bigoted instinct of their Base -- would not set aside to tools of paranoia and rage and bigotry in order to get on with the business of prudent governance.
And so, like Winston Smith in 1984, Mr. Blow looks into the face of his conqueror and says, "But you can't!"
And like O'Brien, the GOP leers back at him and says "Why?"
...Winston had recovered himself sufficiently to speak. 'You can't!' he said weakly.'What do you mean by that remark, Winston?''You could not create such a world as you have just described. It is a dream. It is impossible.''Why?''It is impossible to found a civilization on fear and hatred and cruelty. It would never endure.''Why not?''It would have no vitality. It would disintegrate. It would commit suicide.''Nonsense. You are under the impression that hatred is more exhausting than love. Why should it be? And if it were, what difference would that make? Suppose that we choose to wear ourselves out faster. Suppose that we quicken the tempo of human life till men are senile at thirty. Still what difference would it make? Can you not understand that the death of the individual is not death? The party is immortal.'As usual, the voice had battered Winston into helplessness. Moreover he was in dread that if he persisted in his disagreement O'Brien would twist the dial again. And yet he could not keep silent. Feebly, without arguments, with nothing to support him except his inarticulate horror of what O'Brien had said, he returned to the attack.'I don't know — I don't care. Somehow you will fail. Something will defeat you. Lifewill defeat you.''We control life, Winston, at all its levels. You are imagining that there is something called human nature which will be outraged by what we do and will turn against us. But we create human nature. Men are infinitely malleable. Or perhaps you have returned to your old idea that the proletarians or the slaves will arise and overthrow us. Put it out of your mind. They are helpless, like the animals. Humanity is the Party. The others are outside — irrelevant.'
What Mr. Blow cannot wrap his head around is the fact that paranoia and rage and bigotry are not the tools of Conservatism; they are Conservatism.
*Now with 80% fewer glaring typos
*Now with 80% fewer glaring typos