GOP Assholes

“The ‘Great Society’ has not worked and it’s put us into the modern welfare state … If you look at China, they don’t have food stamps. If you look at China, they’re in a very different situation. They save for their own retirement security…They don’t have the modern welfare state and China’s growing. And so what I would do is look at the programs that LBJ gave us with the Great Society and they’d be gone.”


With Perry and Bachmann in the race poor Sarah Palin is a bit old ha and looking a little desperate.

She  is being out-crazied by people who at least sound like they know what they are talking about. But I found this article I must have missed the first time around which captures her ignorance beautifully:

“Tina Fey’s caricature of Palin as an unprepared high-school student trying to bluff her way through an oral exam by mugging and flirting hit its mark not merely because of the genius of the mimicry, but because of its fundamentally accurate diagnosis of Palin as bullshit artist. Palin’s exuberant incoherence testifies to an unusually wide gulf between confidence and ability. She is proud of what she doesn’t know and contemptuous of those “experts” and “elitists” who are too knowledgeable to be trusted. This curious self-regard echoes through her book, Going Rogue, described by the critic Jonathan Raban as “a four-hundred-page paean to virtuous ignorance.”

Ah the good ol’ days with the devil you know.


I’ve been avoiding the Daily Show, Colbert, Bill Maher and all American politcs at the moment becasue I find the current situation depressing beyond words, so I’m going to appropriate a post by Andrew Sullivan

“The Republican refusal to countenance any way to raise revenues to tackle the massive debt incurred largely on their watch and from a recession which started under Obama’s predecessor makes one thing clear. They are not a political party in government; they are a radical faction that refuses to participate meaningfully in the give and take the Founders firmly believed should be at the center of American government. They are not conservatives in this sense. They are anarchists.

Their fiscal anarchism has now led to their threat to destabilize and possibly upend the American and global economy because they refuse to compromise an inch. They control only one part of the government, and yet they hold all of it hostage. I cannot believe they are prepared to allow the US to default rather than give an inch toward responsibility. Except I should believe it by now. Everything I have written about them leads inexorably to this moment. Opposing overwhelming public opinion on the need for a mixed package of tax hikes and spending cuts, drawing the president into a position far to the right of the right of his party, and posturing absurdly as fiscal conservatives, they are in fact anti-tax and anti-government fanatics, and this is their moment of maximal destruction.

I read George Will’s retread column from the 1980s today and simply cannot fathom what he is talking about. Except, I fear I can. He is channeling Mitch McConnell. Boehner and McConnell have one goal and it is has nothing to do with the economy. It is destroying this president and this presidency. They are clearly calculating that the economic devastation their vandalism could create will so hurt the economy that it could bring them back to power through the wreckage. And they will use every smear, every lie, every canard possible to advance this goal. The propaganda channel dreamt of by Roger Ailes in the Nixon era will continue to pump poison into the body politic, until they defeat the man whose legitimacy as president they have never truly accepted.

Coming from abroad, this country seems as if it is beyond dysfunctional. It looks like a banana republic on the verge of economic collapse. Now that Nixon’s dream has come true and the GOP is fundamentally the party of the Confederacy, it was perhaps naive to think they could ever accept the legitimacy of this president, or treat him with respect or act as adults in the governing process.

But this is who they are. I longed for Obama to bridge this gulf in ideology. But he cannot bridge it alone, especially when the GOP is determined to burn the bridge entirely, even when presented with a deal so tilted to the right only true fanatics could possibly walk away from it. And so the very republic is being plunged into crisis and possible depression by a single, implacable, fanatical faction. Until they are defeated, the country remains in more peril than we know.”


Barry Jones thinks not and I agree.

I’m not sure this blog demonstrates my commitment to intelligent debate but i try with the time I have. Perhaps it is better to stay silent?

On one level I’m very pleased that the White House is calling Fox news out, but I’m not sure it is the right course of action to take. I wish it was the right course of action, but that doesn’t make it so. For a flavour of the  debate raging, on the pro side we have Weisberg, and on the con side we have Parker. So from a purely pragmatic point of view, what is the right course of action for the White House?

The White House goes on the attack.

Rick Perlstein takes the long view of what he calls “the tree of crazy“, describing it as “an ever-present aspect of America’s flora”.

Why have we never been able to counter this effectively?

Why have we never been able to theorise it?

It was Spinoza’s political question too “why do people fight for their slavery?”

I can;t escape this question.

It’s not enough to write them off as “irrational”   (liberalism) or “dupes” (communism), it’s about affect but for all my thinking I’m not sure I’ve managed to adequately articulate how that operates.

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