Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:43 AM
muriel_volestrangler (80,047 posts)
Charles Pierce: Wherein Democracy Mocks Itself
Last night, he couldn't get the votes to pass a truly horrid plutocrat's wet dream. He couldn't get the votes to gut Obamacare or Wall Street reform. He couldn't get the votes to throw children off food stamps and he couldn't get the votes to throw the elderly off meals-on-wheels. He couldn't get the votes for a simple, vicious stunt. He couldn't get the votes because he couldn't budge enough Republicans to support a tax increase in the upper .01 percent of taxpayers. He couldn't do it because he had nothing with which to threaten people who look on governing the country as though they are running an evening-drive talk-radio program in Bugtussle. He couldn't do it because he is a Republican pretending to be a fanatic who went hat in hand to a bunch of fanatics pretending to be Republicans.
To hell with it. Over the cliff. It's a terrible idea, but it's also the only damned thing that makes sense now. (And can I mention right here how alarming it was last night to see Democrats like Elijah Cummings and John Garamendi and the absolutely hopeless Steny Hoyer pleading with Boehner to accept that Social-Security-gutting dog's breakfast of a "compromise" that the president put on the table the other day before Boehner's caucus lost its tiny mind again? That's the new compromise? That's the new "middle ground" on which "we" can come together? Are they trying to make me nostalgic for the domestic agenda of R. Milhous Nixon?) There is no deal the president can offer that Boehner can sell. If he stays, he's impotent. If he goes, he will be replaced by someone infinitely worse. Boehner at least makes a pretense of wanting to help govern the country. That will not be the case for whoever it is that comes out of the primeval political ooze into which Boehner's career sank last night. It will be somebody whose primary loyalty -- and therefore, whose primary duty -- will be to a loose universe of inchoate hatreds, or a sprawling confederation of collected resentments, or an unwieldy conglomeration of self-negating orthodoxies, or an atonal choir of rabid complaint, or a cargo cult of quasi-religious politics and quasi-political religion, or simply the deafening abandoned YAWP of our bitter national Id. All of these will command power among conservatives. Many of them will be lavishly financed, and all of them will be entirely sufficient unto themselves, beyond anyone's ability to command or control. This is empowered incoherence, and, at this point. we are all in its hands, if we choose to be. We should choose not to be.
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