Thursday, July 18, 2013

This Just In -- For the Infinitieth Time -- Republicans Flying off the Rails

Do I have to spell it out for you? No, because centrist WaPo columnist Dana Milbank will:
Wednesday’s 66th and 67th attempts [to repeal Obamacare] went much like the previous 65, except for a mid-debate recess so that lawmakers could have their official photograph taken on the House floor.
“This bill is unraveling before us,” exulted Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Tex.) reported that “the train is not coming off the rails; it’s already off the rails.”
On the Democratic side, Rep. John Dingell (Mich.) responded by saying, “Einstein observed that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again with the full expectation that the results are going to be different.” Actually, the quote is probably apocryphal — but Einstein didn’t live to see the 113th Congress.
 Leftist op-ed writer Thomas Edsall extends the theme of insanity in today's Opinionator, sampling opinion on the left, right, and center:
Thomas Doherty, patronage czar and political enforcer for the former New York governor George Pataki, reached the breaking point last week when he read that House Republicans were preparing to “slow walk” the Senate immigration bill to death.
Doherty turned to Twitter:
If Senate Immigration bill gets ripped apart and ultimately defeated by House #GOP I’ve decided to leave my political home of 32 yrs #sad.
Doherty told me that he has
come to the conclusion that my party has elements within it that dislike homosexuals and think America is still in the 1940s. And while we talk about freedom and liberty, that liberty and freedom only seem to be acceptable for some.
Doherty, no liberal, is representative of the growing strength on the right of the view that the Republican Party has gone off the deep end.
Edsall goes on with a litany of Republican rejectionists. It gets bad when William Kristol calls out the extremists in his own movement. Yikes.

An important point Edsall makes is to correlate the "stupifying" of the GOP with the rise of conservative media, both radio and, lately, TV:
There is a striking correlation between the rise of conservative talk radio and the difficulties of the Republican Party in presidential elections. In an April Reuters essay, “Right Wing Talk Shows Turned White House Blue,” Mark Rozell, the acting dean of the George Mason University School of Public Policy, and John Paul Goldman, a former chairman of Virginia’s Democratic Party, wrote:
Since Rush Limbaugh’s 1992 bestseller “The Way Things Ought to Be,” his conservative talk show politics have dominated G.O.P. presidential discourse — and the Republicans’ White House fortunes have plummeted. But when the mainstream media reigned supreme, between 1952 and 1988, Republicans won seven out of the 10 presidential elections.
The authors continue: “The rise of the conservative-dominated media defines the era when the fortunes of G.O.P. presidential hopefuls dropped to the worst levels since the party’s founding in 1856.”
Hey, Rush Limbaugh, well played, sir. Really, don't stop.

Seriously, when perusing the national media for just one morning yields so many stories on how crazy a political party has become, it's time for a "national conversation." Whatever that means.

No comments:

Post a Comment