Thursday, October 24, 2013

Republi-CON Insanity

UPDATE VII:  Speaking of trafficking in conspiracy theories, Glenn Beck now alleges that Grover Norquist is an Islamist and ally of the White House.

Of course, Beck has long pandered to Republi-con fear, anger and hatred

So many delusions, so little time to refudiate.

UPDATE VI:  "Stories of cabals and secret plots provide comfort as its power wanes" but [m]ost elected officials who traffic in conspiracy theories are too rich and successful themselves to believe in them; they deploy them opportunistically, to push voters’ emotional buttons. As Michael Tomasky wrote in The Daily Beast last week, 'The rage kept the base galvanized….The rich didn’t really share the rage, or most of them. Even the Koch Brothers probably don’t….But all of them have used it. And they have tolerated it, the casual racism, the hatred of gay people, and the rest….because they, the elites, remained in charge. Well, they’re not in charge now. The snarling dog they kept in a pen for decades has just escaped and bitten their hand off.'"

Read Salon, Conspiracy theories explain the right.

UPDATE V:  "The budget fight that led to the first government shutdown in 17 years did not just set off a round of recriminations among Republicans over who was to blame for the politically disastrous standoff. It also heralded a very public escalation of a far more consequential battle for control of the Republican Party, a confrontation between Tea Party conservatives and establishment Republicans that will play out in the coming Congressional and presidential primaries in 2014 and 2016 but has been simmering since President George W. Bush’s administration, if not before. . .

Far from being chastened by the failure to achieve any of the concessions they had sought from President Obama — primarily to roll back his signature health care law — the conservative activists who helped drive the confrontation in Congress and helped fuel support for the 144 House Republicans who voted against ending it are now intensifying their effort to rid the party of the sort of timorous Republicans who they said doomed their effort from the start."

Read The New York Times, Fiscal Crisis Sounds the Charge in G.O.P.’s 'Civil War'.

UPDATE IV:  "Every time Republicans suffer a rejection of the most right-wing items on their agenda, a significant number decide they haven’t been sufficiently crazy. That was the conclusion that many Republicans drew from the defeat of Mitt Romney in 2012. And now that Republicans in Congress have been forced to surrender in their fight with President Obama over the budget, health care and the nation’s credit, some are drawing the same conclusion."

Read The New York Times, The Insufficient Craziness Theory.

Expect more Republi-con insanity, that is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.

UPDATE III:  "On talk radio and in the conservative blogosphere, the bipartisan vote on Wednesday to reopen the government without defunding President Obama’s health care law was being excoriated as an abject surrender and betrayal by spineless establishment Republicans. But for glum and frustrated conservative voters on Thursday around breakfast tables in eastern Tennessee, in the shadow of a military base in Colorado Springs and on the streets of suburban Philadelphia, it was as much a surrender to reality as to Democratic demands."

Read The New York Times, From the Right, Despair, Anger and Disillusion.

Read also Salon, GOP’s next civil war: A demented blame game.  

UPDATE II:  "However you slice and dice the history, the strategery, and the underlying issues, the decision to live with a government shutdown for an extended period of time — inflicting modest-but-real harm on the economy, needlessly disrupting the lives and paychecks of many thousands of hardworking people, and further tarnishing the Republican Party’s already not-exactly-shiny image — in pursuit of obviously, obviously unattainable goals was not a normal political blunder by a normally-functioning political party. It was an irresponsible, dysfunctional and deeply pointless act, carried out by a party that on the evidence of the last few weeks shouldn’t be trusted with the management of a banana stand, let alone the House of Representatives.

This means that the still-ongoing intra-conservative debate over the shutdown’s wisdom is not, I’m sorry, the kind of case where reasonable people can differ on the merits and have good-faith arguments and ultimately agree to disagree. There was no argument for the shutdown itself that a person unblindered by political fantasies should be obliged to respect, no plausible alternative world in which it could have led to any outcome besides self-inflicted political damage followed by legislative defeat, and no epitaph that should be written for its instigators’ planning and execution except: 'These guys deserved to lose.'"

Read The New York Times, A Teachable Moment

UPDATE:  "On his radio show recently, Glenn Beck urged his listeners to 'defund the GOP.' Sarah Palin has threatened to leave the Republican Party; Rush Limbaugh calls it 'irrelevant.' The Senate Conservatives Fund has targeted mainly incumbent Republican senators for defeat. Erick Erickson, one of the right’s most prominent commentators, wonders if what's coming is 'a real third party movement that will fully divide the Republican Party.'

Conservatives have declared war on the GOP.

Tired of feeling taken for granted by a party that alternately panders to them and sells them down the river, in their view, Tea Partiers and others on the right are in revolt. The Republican Party itself is increasingly the focus of their anger, particularly after Wednesday's deal to reopen the government, which many on the right opposed. Now, many are threatening to take their business elsewhere."

Read The Atlantic, The Conservative War on the GOP.

"It happened slowly, didn’t it? The change in the Republican Party? I don’t know. Maybe it’s nostalgia. There have always been the wild, vicious voices of the right. The devil on the shoulder of the conservative movement that whispers in its ear, “burn it down, burn it down.” But those voices were to be ignored, humored, tolerated, placated, or just deceived. That was the way of things, and we were protected by the obvious: people who believe foolish things tend to be easy to fool.

Then it all changed. The Republican elite caught a ride on the tiger. But the tiger got sick of waiting for the gazelles it was promised, the gazelles that were always one election away. The tiger was hungry and angry and tired of being used and the longer it waited the more appetizing the elite on its back became. So the tiger got a radio station and a news channel. The tiger got organized and mobilized. And finally the tiger realized it didn’t need someone kicking its sides telling it which way to run and who to eat and when to eat and why it wasn’t time to eat and the time to eat would come, don’t worry, you’ll eat soon enough.

So the tiger ate its master and now here we are. . .

This moment in American political life is insane. That a group of narrow-minded zealots could push us to the brink of economic ruin, that they maintain a base of support in their frenzied, quixotic, incompetent gambit, that there is an apparatus that exists to defend this kind of nonsense—it came on us slowly but it is no less an emergency. This is broken. This cannot go on.

And if you can’t see that then it’s not just the world that’s gone mad. You're crazy too."

Read The Atlantic, How the GOP Slowly Went Insane.