Four columns I really enjoyed today.
[T]he G.O.P.’s long transformation into the party of the unreasonable right, a haven for racists and reactionaries, seems likely to accelerate as a result of the impending defeat.
This will pose a dilemma for moderate conservatives. Many of them spent the Bush years in denial, closing their eyes to the administration’s dishonesty and contempt for the rule of law. Some of them have tried to maintain that denial through this year’s election season, even as the McCain-Palin campaign’s tactics have grown ever uglier. But one of these days they’re going to have to realize that the G.O.P. has become the party of intolerance.
Today’s election is poised to end the Republican era in American politics – an era that began in reaction to Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, the Vietnam war and the civil rights revolution, was pioneered by Richard Nixon, consolidated by Ronald Reagan, and wrecked by George W Bush.
Almost every aspect of the Republican ascendancy has been discredited and lies in tatters – its policies, politics, and even its version of patriotism – down to the rock-bottom notion that progressive taxation itself, initiated by a Republican president, Theodore Roosevelt, who John McCain hails as his personal icon, is unpatriotic.
Now, certain factors that have dominated US politics for 40 years seem destined to recede to the far corners. In economics, supply-side panaceas and deregulation created the worst crisis since the Great Depression, requiring a conservative Republican administration to part-nationalise banks, something unimaginable under any Democratic administration. In foreign policy, neoconservatism led to the morass in Iraq and Afghanistan while undermining the western alliance. In social policy, the evangelical right battered science, the separation of church and state, and the right to privacy. Finally, the conservative principle of limited government has become a watchword for incompetence, cronyism, corruption, hypocrisy, and contempt for the rule of law.
Here’s to the American people, the electorate, for finally coming to their senses and voting for something different, for someone different and for a chance to fix the multitude of man-made disasters that confront us.
By their votes, the Republican revolution and all it’s wrought — an economic meltdown, two endless wars, class warfare that’s enriched the very rich and beggared everyone else and a treasury bulging only with IOU’s — will be crushed.
That revolution began to take root with the criminality of Richard Nixon’s administration, with its paranoid enemies list. It gathered steam in the time of Ronald Reagan and with Newt Gingrich’s seizure of Congress.
High tide arrived with the unlikeliest occupant of the Oval Office in our history, the beady-eyed, smirking, tongue-tied, counterfeit cowboy George W. Bush, and a Congress that after 9-11 was run by runaway Republicans who were too busy enriching themselves and their friends to care what their president was doing to the country, the Constitution and even their own party.
Little wonder, then, that Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin will go down to defeat after a campaign of sheer desperation that’s been nasty, brutish and long.
[I]t was suggested that McCain, who has managed to turn the word “maverick” into a punch line, still rolls with the “politics of personal instinct.” No, he doesn’t. Not in this campaign he doesn’t. McCain has operated by the worst instincts of the worst elements of the Republican Party. He has thrown in with cynics and fools, and that is as much a reason as any why he is trying to come from behind in the late innings against Obama.
John McCain, who once stood up against people like these and tactics like this, threw down with them in his last shot at the presidency. He threw down with Steve Schmidt, who doesn’t like to be called a Karl Rove protege but is, and a flack like Rick Davis and the likes of Tucker Eskew, who led the charge against McCain in the 2000 South Carolina primary. And, at least in spirit, McCain threw down with Rove himself, the hero of political bottom feeders everywhere.
You don’t appeal to the best in the country when you get with people like that. You appeal to the worst. McCain didn’t pick Sarah Palin because he thought she was some sort of inspired choice as a running mate; he picked her as a way of pandering to the same evangelicals who came after him with everything in South Carolina 2000, the ones who believe the party is actually a religious movement. There is a reason why McCain seems more comfortable with Joe the Plumber.
Those are my favorite bits, but you should read them all in their entirety if you can.
November 3rd, 2008 at 11:27pm Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Coolness,Elections,Media,Politics,Republicans