With this hyperventilating, hysterical overreacting from Republicans over the change in filibuster rules for Judicial and Executive nominations, it will be interesting to see how over-the-top Republican overreactions will be regarding future changes to legislative filibusters which have plagued the Senate over the past five years …
Ignorant people convinced they are right … With passionate intensity spouting ignorance and misinformation/disinformation, while claiming others who do not agree with them are doing the same … It’s a sad state of affairs, to be sure …
Hmmmm … Republicans disappointed that their unprecedented obstruction has been curtailed, check … Typical histrionic insults of Democrats, Liberals, Socialists, and Leftists in general, check … Plenty of ignorance combined with confidence in being right, check … It seems everything is normal in the Republican, Conservative, Libertarian worldview, sadly ….
“Everybody has got plenty of advice,” sighed President Obama at Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. “Maureen Dowd said I could solve all my problems if I were just more like Michael Douglas in ‘The American President.’ And I know Michael is here tonight. Michael, what’s your secret, man? Could it be that you were an actor in an Aaron Sorkin liberal fantasy? Might that have something to do with it?”
That’s it. That’s the joke. Or, perhaps more to the point, that isn’t the joke. There’s no punchline. It’s more of a straightforward rebuttal to a recent Maureen Dowd column.
Why can’t Republicans let go of the welfare issue? The answer, I’m afraid, isn’t nice. For nearly half a century, the party has derived at least some of its appeal by scapegoating the poor as dusky, lazy good-for-nothings undeserving of your tax dollars. Today’s Republicans continue that tradition by inviting whiter and more affluent Medicare and Social Security recipients to feel superior to the welfare hordes (even as they edge toward trimming their benefits). Even Ronald Reagan paid lip service to the “social safety net.” But in today’s GOP, the only reason to mention that net is to suggest we cut there first.
And third, and maybe most of all—the country has changed culturally. Four years ago, conservatives, liberals, and centrists alike all assumed that middle-of-the-road Americans were, while not Dittoheads, pretty conservative by default. Among the political class, this has meant—for pretty much my entire adult lifetime—that your average American was likely to embrace conservative arguments about the culture, and that Democrats had to be crazy to do anything but meekly suggest that they more or less agreed with a caveat or two.
But no more. With each new day that the election recedes into the past, it becomes more and more apparent just what a watershed it was. No, it wasn’t a realignment election according to the standard political science definition. But it was in a way even bigger than that. The election was a cultural watershed moment. All the old dog-whistle tricks, hating on gay people and all that, failed utterly. After decades of struggle and activism and fights and losses for the liberal side, a switch got flipped in November. Middle-of-the-road voters just stopped buying right-wing fear-mongering.