As Paul Krugman points out, it’s not the Republican crazies that are destroying the country – it’s all the media enablers who present their insanity as just one, perfectly valid side of the story, or pretend that both sides of the political spectrum are equally unreasonable.
Tom Friedman and Chris Cillizza are absolutely right that there is a palpable hunger for a third-party alternative to the godawful Republicans and Democrats, but I really don’t think that a new corporate-owned party positioned between the two corporate-owned parties that we already have is going to represent our interests any better.
Jennifer Rubin follows up her mega-wrong OMG NORWAY JIHAD!!!ONE! post with one explaining that even though this time it wasn’t actually al Qaeda, “[t]here are many more jihadists than blond Norwegians out to kill Americans.”
Which may be true, but it does kinda beg the question: How many terrorist attacks on American soil have been committed by jihadists vs. right-wing Christian conservatives?
If you want to be gung-ho about going after jihadists, at least be consistent about going after all the jihadists, not just the Muslim ones.
Almost as amazing as Obama’s apparent belief that cutting Social Security and Medicare without requiring any “shared sacrifice” from the corporations or individuals who can most afford it will somehow improve his prospects for re-election.
One of the strange things to me about the whole deficit/austerity debate is the business world’s willingness to go along with the Republicans’ bizarre meme that the economy is slow because all the corporations are spooked by the “uncertainty” of what’s going to happen with the national debt, as opposed to, say, not enough people having enough money to buy stuff.
More specifically, why are corporations standing on the sidelines as both parties strive to constrict spending even more? Why aren’t they demanding another stimulus or some kind of jobs plan to provide them with more customers?
Do they really buy into the Republican supply-side/austerity hooey, or is their business model so firmly based on deregulation, tax breaks, subsidies, bailouts and union-busting that they no longer care about actually, y’know, selling stuff? Or is their overseas business so lucrative (and tax-free) that they simply don’t need American consumers anymore?
For all of the people speculating about how the phone-hacking scandal could bring down Fox News or Rupert Murdoch, I just don’t see it. Even if it comes out that Fox hacked the phones of 9/11 victims, Obama and the Democrats just don’t have the guts to take them on, and would fold at the first Republican accusations of “politically-motivated witch hunt!”.
And of course, as the Guardian points out, Republicans would – and have – destroyed liberal organizations for far less, and even for nothing at all (see: ACORN).
Does no one remember all the scandals of the Bush administration, and how each one was going to be the one that finally brought it down? It never happened.
Most people I know think the Daily Caller story about Michele Bachmann’s supposedly debilitating migraines is the Republican establishment’s attempt to get her out of the way for the 2012 election, but I think maybe Tucker Carlson is just trying to reassure us that she won’t be trying to wreck the country 24/7.
MR. HARWOOD: Tomorrow you’re going to give a speech and talk about your economic stimulus package…It looks like it’s going to be at the high end of your range, around $775 billion. If it’s correct that, as your aides have said, the danger is doing too little rather than too much…why stop at $775 billion? Why not go to the 1.2 trillion (dollars) that some economists have recommended?
PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA: …We’ve seen ranges from 800 to 1.3 trillion, and our attitude was that, given the legislative process, if we start towards the low end of that, we’ll see how it develops….
That’s the Obama approach to negotiating in a nutshell right there, and the results have been predictably awful. Look, if someone says they’re going to open with their minimum position and then work their way towards their maximum position, they are either clueless, lying about which direction their max position is… or a Republican on the other side of the table from Obama.
“I think behind this notion of ‘We want shared sacrifice’ that they continue to say means ‘We want to raise taxes,’ ” Cantor told reporters, rejecting a suggestion from Obama that both parties would have to make sacrifices to get a deal done.
Shared sacrifice is great as long as it’s not actually, y’know, shared.
Even the prospect of cutting Social Security wasn’t enough for Republicans to get over their hatred of taxes. I guess Obama will just have to offer them up a plan that cuts Social Security and leaves tax loopholes alone now.
I thought it was particularly telling that when offered a deficit reduction plan that raises taxes and cuts Social Security, it was the taxes that the Obama-Wants-To-Kill-Grandma Party publicly objected to. But I guess if they complain about Social Security cuts, they won’t be able to accept whatever Obama’s safety-net-destroying Grand Bargain turns out to be.
Republicans understand that voters in “the base” turn out if motivated, and the undecideds in the middle do not. Consequently, they tailor their electoral strategy to pumping up their base to maximize that turnout, and they don’t worry about the middle all that much because they’re proportionally less of a factor. The Democrats, on the other hand, repeatedly throw their base under the bus in pursuit of those fickle undecideds who probably aren’t voting anyway.
Tell me again why alienating your base in pursuit of independents is a good electoral strategy?
(This is, of course, assuming that this actually is the Democrats’ electoral strategy and not just an excuse for pursuing conservative policy goals on behalf of their corporate benefactors. But as excuses go, it’s a pretty transparently ridiculous one.)
Shorter Thomas Sowell: Why is no one taking this fire seriously? Stop jabbering and posturing and throw some gasoline on it already!
I also liked the part where he explains that raising taxes on the rich is both a socialist takeover and an ineffective empty gesture. And where he explains that voting should be a privilege for the educated overclass rather than a right extended to just any peon.
Somehow, I don’t think restricting the electorate to only well-informed people would work out quite the way Sowell pictures. On the other hand, quizzing voters would be so unwieldy and contentious, so maybe we should use income or net worth as a proxy for knowledge and intelligence, since after all only the smartest and best-educated people get rich, right?