doctorow at January 3rd, 2014 09:02 — #1
tornpapernapkin at January 3rd, 2014 09:23 — #2
They're not really side shows to the non-billionaires. They are just the first casualties before anything affects people who are less marginal.
Or that is to say, they are just the first to get thrown to the lions before the main act.
franko at January 3rd, 2014 09:47 — #3
tents fingers exxxcellent...
steven_e_caplan at January 3rd, 2014 09:49 — #4
Yes. We must defeat the GOP and elect the most liberal Democratic candidate available to prevent "the serious business of looting the nation and spying on everyone to prevent any kind of popular uprising." That has really worked out well, hasn't it?
sdmikev at January 3rd, 2014 09:53 — #5
Not the point. Try to keep up.
funkdaddy at January 3rd, 2014 09:58 — #6
Yes, while utilized as sideshows they are serious about curtailin human rights in these regards as it paves the way for further unsuccessful, weird homogenization of culture toward a fictional ideal that serves practically no one.
Round up or at least silence all the wimmins libbers, gays, 'lectuals, colors that furgit their place & the traitors these groups employ... & you're left with something remarkably easy to manipulate. A population of serfs that won't speak truth to power because they are either frightened or wearing a badge that fools them into thinking they are the arm & not the baton.
elmarkitse at January 3rd, 2014 10:27 — #7
Actually, it pretty much is the point.
The article sums up pretty well right there, suggesting that the only two options from the GOP is a bowl of Fruit Loops or Robber Barons, at the expense of our civil liberties with thanks to the NSA. It's not the GOP's fault that the left's agent of change has been so dissapointing, but it is amusing to see how earnestly the blame for that gets placed on those who came before, and not those currently in power.
The entire article is an attempt to spin a movement back towards the center for the GOP (from its own self induced manias) as some kind of crisis of conscious instead of a natural restoration of sanity - part of the ebb and flow of politics. There are a ton of disillusioned folks just to the right of center and even a ways into the right who are tired of the circus that's been playing out with the Palins and Santorums who are now finally moved to change or restore some sanity to the party.
I guess my question for you is what are you afraid of? That a more centered right will appeal more broadly to those who leaned left a few years ago, but have been disappointed by current events?
nadreck at January 3rd, 2014 10:40 — #8
This will be just like all those other "Wars On..." that have gone on over the years. Just watch, years from now they'll have spent billions and the War On Stupidity will have nothing to show for it.
actionabe at January 3rd, 2014 10:51 — #9
pathological fear of marble tits
Instant band name.
sdmikev at January 3rd, 2014 10:52 — #10
Blah, blah, blah.
Are you trying to tell me that after reading Taibbi's blog post that you feel his thesis was -
'We must defeat the GOP and elect the most liberal Democratic candidate available to prevent "the serious business of looting the nation and spying on everyone to prevent any kind of popular uprising."'
randyrandy at January 3rd, 2014 11:08 — #11
I guess 50 mil is the going rate for a little "natural restoration" these days.
david_witt at January 3rd, 2014 11:11 — #12
I've got news for you: the Clintons and Obama are essentially center-right, and look at how they are regarded by the Republican establishment. Good luck with the future - considering how well California is doing now that the Republicans have been reduced to a rump superminority party.
nathanhornby at January 3rd, 2014 11:24 — #13
But Obama is about as liberal as David Cameron. If your republicans move to center right then they'll be your left-wing party.
As an outsider looking in id say Obama has done a terrible job, but I don't see anyone saying otherwise. Seems to be a common tactic of the US conservative to suggest that liberals only blame the right for Obamas failings - which is a fallacy.
That said the republicans have done a marvellous job at preventing the current president from doing pretty much anything that he did want to do. They even managed to shut down the government not long ago, over a policy that most of the western world consider a basic human right.
We're not talking left vs right vs nuts here, we're talking right vs nuts vs terrifying.
technogeekagain at January 3rd, 2014 11:37 — #14
Right. Reactions to Obama are irrelevant to the question of whether and how the GOP is attempting to refocus/rebrand itself.
I would be delighted if the GOP could turn itself back into a party I could at least seriously consider voting for. If they could stop playing to the extremes and know-nothings (in both senses), it would at least be possible to have a serious discussion with them.
We've seen this coming, as the Tea Party and religious right drag the GOP further and further off the rails. They became "New Coke" conservatives -- so concentrated on winning new customers that they're starting to lose their existing base.And that's doubly a problem if any of those actually cross the aisle and start backing Democrats.
Which many of them would be happy to do, if the GOP continues to lose its "party of industry" reputation. Some of the big donors care a lot less about which party gets elected than that whoever's in office doesn't do anything directly harmful (like, say, shut down the government over something that really isn't a huge issue and that they can't win) and owes business lots of favors. Yes, you get folks like the Koch brothers who think their money can change society, but for many of these guys it's a business investment and the GOP just looked like the easier way to buy seats at the table.
elmarkitse at January 3rd, 2014 11:42 — #15
No, as I said, I think his 'thesis' is that there's a natural correction going on in the GOP. Nobody except the fruit loops want more crazy in the pot, and frankly none of the extremeophiles (fruit loops, robber barons, libertarin-ishers, whatever) ultimately drive the party, it's every day people in the middle who oscillate back and forth between the left and right. They went left, an now at least some of the ones who are left on the right are trying to change the calculus since it doesn't seem like we'll ever have a legitimate centrist party where everyone can mostly get along.
I was pointing out the fact that as soon as Taibbi veers from interesting objective commentary about political action:reaction to subjective caterwauling about tropish political memes like "looting the nation" or "spying on everyone to prevent any kind of popular uprising" he loses credibility because his argument hangs on the assumption that this 'desperate' investment is being made to ensure those actions can resume unfettered. The reality is that looting and 'spying on everyone' is not some exclusive function of the GOP, its endemic to politics, and any effort to try to restore sanity on either end is a good thing.
Taibbi is rubbernecking here, and since it's an opinion piece, that's fine and his colorful language gets clicks, but I still cry foul over wasting the platform he has. It's far more interesting that there is a major investment being made to create a course correction - and it is amusing to me that instead of embracing the fact that the GOP has recognized 'wtf' with the Tea Party nonsense, that Taibbi runs to political comfort food while ignoring that the donkey was/is at the same trough.
welcomeabored at January 3rd, 2014 11:42 — #16
Actually, it was Tiabbi's point, if you've been reading his blog for the past few years. He doesn't like the Democrats any better, and Caplan is acknowledging the fact with sarcastic irony... kinda like the chant, 'John McCain! More of the same!'
elmarkitse at January 3rd, 2014 11:44 — #17
I was trying hard not to make this about Obama, since that seems to be a vector for endless nonsense replies. I agree however that based on his record, he's far from what the voting left was hoping for. I don't think that changes the internal benchmarks for left and right however. As David_Witt points out, there's a full range out there (like in california, for example) and folks like Pelosi will always be well represented in 'the left'.
We may have far fewer political options than our parlimentarian friends across the pond, but it's still what makes up our left and right.
Apparently I'm out of replies too, so I can't keep up with the thread anymore.
malky at January 3rd, 2014 11:50 — #18
How is 'the Dems are terrible too' anything but the comfort food of political oratory?
I don't disagree that Taibbi is ignoring some other, potentially more substantive, points in favor of simply railing against the madness of the GOP.
But turning around and equating Obama and the other Democrats to the Republicans is even more pointless. These two sides are not equal, and even if they were, there's not much to be gained from yet again pointing out the mutual weakness of our political parties.
nathanhornby at January 3rd, 2014 11:53 — #19
You're definitely right about the robbing and spying being party-neutral. Politically both align more with conservative politics though, which is maybe the point.
But then both of your parties are conservative, so maybe that's why?
snagglepuss at January 3rd, 2014 12:07 — #20
Why, oh why, do you conservatives insist that everything is Obama's fault because he hasn't successfully cleaned up the mess you made ? Especially when you've fought him tooth and nail on every single aspect of the clean up, dragging the recovery out as long and as painfully as possible ?
One would almost think you were all shameless, self-serving liars...Oh, wait...
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