Thursday, August 18, 2011

And Furthermore

scary ain't it

Doghouse today concludes as follows, with advice to the three rational Republicans left on the bus:

Why are you not making common cause with the moderate 'conservative' in the White House? The goddam Democratic party is yours for the taking, and there's little risk Barack Obama is going to do anything in the next five years. The Other Party refused to stomp a mudhole in your snake handlers' cult. Suck it up and do it yourselves. 

It is perhaps yet another symptom of the problem the former other party, the GOP, has, that this very wise remark could have been made all through the Clinton years as well.  As my wife and I agreed, in 1992, the real Democrat in that race was Tom Harkin.  Mr. Harkin, who somehow manages to survive in Iowa of all places even to this very moment, was greatly concerned about our tremendous loss of jobs overseas.  He understood that without consumers, a consumer-based economy wasn't going to work too well.  Mr. Clinton, however, was more dashing, more the pol, and in some ways more "moderate."  Or as we thought at the time, a "Rockefeller Republican."  Why, then, I kept wondering as the Clinton years passed, didn't the Republicans work with him?  All they seemed to do was complain that he co-oped "their" ideas.

But as we all know in our rational moments, ideas aren't really "owned," except in the sense that you'd best not put your name on somebody else's book and then sell it for your own.  Policy, on the other hand, is policy.  If politicians owned ideas and policies, there could be no bipartisanship, in principle.  If a particular policy was a good idea, then everyone should support it.  Yes, Clinton was a master "triangulator."  Maybe that's an issue when there are real principles at stake (as there are now, in Obama's case, viewed from my perspective).  But if you believe deep cuts in entitlements is the only thing that can  be done to "save" the country, and if the President of the opposing party agrees pretty much--well what the hell is the problem?  For example I mean.

Apparently the GOP is just plumb tired of incrementalism.  Mr. Perry wants it all, as I said yesterday.  He'll bring the jobs home, and sell the shiny stuff to the rest of the world.  Made in USA will be a selling point, for sure, in Bangalore and Beijing.

Of course, actually, as has been the case since Eisenhower at the least, the GOP doesn't care to show its hand, but prefers candidates who keep the public interested in the side show part of things.  As Ed Schultz correctly pointed out last night, Democrats would never lose if they just stick with working people and look out for their interests.  Because almost all of us, in the end, are working people.  Current events in Ohio are bearing this out too.

One day after the Wisconsin recalls are over and the Ohio governor, as radical as Walker in Wisconsin, is offering to "talk" if Democrats will not simply run a campaign to repeal his nasty anti-union legislation this fall.  One hopes that Democrats will not fall for it.  One hopes that Mr. Obama will even, maybe, perhaps, take note of what taking a stand looks like.  It's obvious, it's been obvious.  Republicans have no interest at all in simply achieving policy results that they allegedly believe in.  If they did, they would already have achieved what they say they want.  Obama says in his current stump speech that he gives Michelle 90% of what she wants.  It's a mind-mannered domestic joke in the speech of course.   But the Speaker of the House gloats that he got 98% of what he wanted in the just past negotiations, and he's not joking.  And at the same time, the Republicans toil on.  Mr. Perry is in the wings, ready to crush all entitlements and all environmental regulations, while (no doubt) willing to do battle with Iran and at the same time, return to the Gold Standard.  If Bush could run wars off budget, so can Perry.

First Reagan.  Now Steve Cochran.  In my own family I had a wonderful aunt who lived to be 86.  A member of the first graduating class of Duke University, She always drove a red car and favored a Duke baseball cap on a sparkling fall day when she was out raking leaves in her yard.  She idolized FDR.  She also idolized John Wayne and Ronald Reagan, to the point of hanging framed pictures of them on her living room wall.  She voted in every election, and taught school until well past 65. She left little piles of peanuts on her porch for the squirrels to find.  She took care of her invalid sister until her sister died in her '70s, after caring for her mother till she died.  When she got so aged that she could not care for herself, my aunt refused to eat until she died.  And that's the damn truth, about her, and about the voting public upon which this gigantic engine we've built floats, a feather in a monsoon. 

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