Let’s Do The Time Warp Again…

7 comments March 28th, 2007at 11:51am Posted by Eli

Harold Meyerson wonders just WTF the Republicans are thinking:

The truly astonishing thing about the latest scandals besetting the Bush administration is that they stem from actions the administration took after the November elections, when Democratic control of Congress was a fait accompli.


During last year’s congressional campaigns, Republicans spent a good deal of time and money predicting that if the Democrats won, Congress would become one big partisan fishing expedition led by zealots such as Henry Waxman. The Republicans’ message didn’t really impress the public, and apparently it didn’t reach the president and his underlings, either. Since the election, they have continued merrily along with their mission to politicize every governmental function and agency as if their allies still controlled Congress, as if the election hadn’t happened.

Clearly, they had grown accustomed to the Congress of the past six years, whose oversight policy towards the administration was “Anything Goes.” But their total and apparently ongoing inability to shift gears once the Democrats had taken control — with an oversight policy that could be summarized as “You Did WHAT?” — is mind-boggling.

Democrats such as Waxman clearly had planned to hold hearings on the administration’s hitherto-unexamined follies of the past six years. Instead, the most high-profile investigations they’re conducting concern administration follies of the past five months, since they won the election.


[C]ongressional Republicans were knocked into the minority last November because voters had sickened of their lockstep support for Bush’s war. Clearly, they will be knocked a good deal further into the minority if that support continues.

So what are they doing to respond to this dire state of affairs? They’re continuing their support. And they’re continuing, in the Senate, to obstruct popular and overdue domestic measures such as a raise in the minimum wage, though polling confirms not just overwhelming support for that particular measure but also growing concern over the rise of economic inequality and a growing repudiation of the Republican positions on both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Meyerson then offers four possible explanations for why the Republicans are so staggeringly out of touch: They’re hoping for a clean-handed outsider presidential candidate like Rudy to save them; they plan to obstruct everything and then blame Democrats for the lack of progress; they’ve come to believe their own hype; and/or they’re simply incapable of good government.

I’m not sold on that first one, but the other three all sound very plausible. Some other possibilities that came to mind:

Desperation. The Republicans need all the extra help they can get in 2008, so they’re taking more risks to stack the deck in their favor. Or maybe it’s a calculated strategy to distract the Mean Oversight People away from much, much worse offenses committed when they thought their oversight-free majority would be eternal.

Arrogance. The media has been so tame, and so willing to ignore, softpedal, or spin damaging storylines that the Republicans think they can get away with murder. And if not for the blogosphere (and Pat Leahy), they would have.

Meanness. In-your-face bullying is just What They Do.

Fear. Maybe it’s not so much that they believe the extremist right-wing hype, as that they’re afraid their own hypers will turn on them if they try to move to the center.

Rep Van Winkle. They just can’t accept that it’s not late 2001/early 2002 anymore, and that Dubya no longer has a 90%, blank check approval rating.

They’re just stupid.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Elections,Iraq,Politics,Republicans,Uncategorized


  • 1. Ruth  |  March 28th, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    They’re GOPerverts being GOPerverts, hon. Edgar Allen Poe had a theory about people being drawn toward the absolute worst things for them – and that’s what I think drives the thugs. They can’t help it.

  • 2. Smarty  |  March 28th, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    I don’t see so many “W” stickers on Texas cars anymore…

  • 3. Eli  |  March 28th, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    Actually, I think I left out the single most likely reason (for their continued support of the war, at least): They’re unwilling to admit error. They’ve been insisting for so long at the top of their lungs that the war is the Most Important Thing Ever, that they can’t admit it’s an ill-conceived clusterfuck without a colossal loss of face.

  • 4. Donna  |  March 29th, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    All of the above, Eli. And more desperation, they see it coming to an end and so they will do as much crap as they can before the 2008 elections. Besides, it’s Dubya, he doesn’t give a damn about the Republicans really. If he goes down he doesn’t mind taking them with him. When you really think about it, alot of “good” or moderate Republicans have been ruined since coming into contact with Bush and his administration. Colin Powell, John McCain, Christine Todd Whitman, Tommy Thompson, etc. All of these were rising stars of the Republican party who have been shown to be corrupt whores for the party. I remember talk of Powell possibly being the first black president, if he ever had that dream it’s no more now. The same goes for McCain and his presidential aspirations, although he is too blind to see it. At one time I could see how both conservatives and some liberals might have been willing to vote for him in much the way that Reagan came into office. Now no one trusts him.

  • 5. Eli  |  March 29th, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    I have a hard time feeling sorry for *any* Republican “ruined” by association with Dubya. All the ones you listed voluntarily, even *eagerly* provided cover for his disastrous policies. If they had stood up and said, This is wrong, I can’t vote for it, I resign, or whatever, their reputation would have been savaged in the short term and salvaged in the long term. But no. The only ones who spoke up waited until it was far too late to do any good. So they’re either cowards or phonies, or both, so good riddance.

    I just got an e-mail from MoveOn asking for money to run ads against the fake moderate Republicans in Congress who publicly denounce the war but keep voting to continue it. I’ll definitely contribute to that one.

  • 6. Donna  |  March 30th, 2007 at 1:16 am

    Oh I don’t feel sorry for any of them either, but I note that when Dubya needs em, they are there, but stabs them in the back when they are no longer useful to him. Loyalty is a one way street with this WH.

  • 7. Eli  |  March 30th, 2007 at 6:14 am

    Heh. I kinda suspected as much…

    Of course, that’s how it’s *supposed* to work. He’s the boss-king, and they’re all his loyal subjects. He owes them nothing, but they should all be willing to die for him.

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