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Sun Dec 23, 2012, 10:58 AM

Michael Tomasky: The GOP Brings Politics to a Crisis Point

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/23/michael-tomasky-the-gop-brings-politics-to-a-crisis-point.html


Michael Tomasky: The GOP Brings Politics to a Crisis Point
by Michael Tomasky Dec 23, 2012 4:45 AM EST
With their refusal to vote for Boehner’s Plan B, Republicans have definitively shown that they’d rather sabotage democracy than govern. How can they be stopped?


Really, what is to be done about this Republican Party? What force can change it—can stop Republicans from being ideological saboteurs and convert at least a workable minority of them into people interested in governing rather than sabotage? With the failed Plan B vote, we have reached the undeniable crisis point. Actually we’ve been at a crisis point for years, but this is really the all-upper-case Undeniable Crisis Point. They are a direct threat to the economy, which could slip back into recession next year if the government doesn’t, well, govern. They are an ongoing, at this point almost mundane, threat to democracy, subverting and preventing progress the American people clearly desire across a number of fronts. They have to be stopped, and the only people who can really stop them are corporate titans and Wall Streeters, who surely now are finally beginning to see that America’s problem is not Barack Obama and his alleged “socialism,” but a political party that has become psychologically incapable of operating within the American political system.

snip//

They didn’t come to Washington to govern. They came to sabotage. So our working assumption must be whatever the issue, sabotage is what they’re going to do.

And they can do it all they want. Our founders didn’t assume that a cadre of people of such immense bad faith and cynicism would ever come to control key levers of government; they built a system that would work, albeit slowly, in the hands of people of reasonably good will. It’s a system that people of bad will can subvert and stop from functioning.

Someone has to tell them enough. The only people I can think of with the power to do so are the high-profile figures of Wall Street and the corporate world. They’re the only people these Republicans might conceivably listen to. They should have done it—and some did—last year during the debt-limit hostage-taking. But then, most of corporate American was still wagering that the Republicans could beat Obama in 2012. Now that that hasn’t happened, now that we’re four years away from another election and Obama will be retiring anyway, and now that the Republicans have demonstrated that they are interested in no compromise at all in any way shape or form, maybe the business elite will finally show some responsibility.

Once upon a time, the statists—Roosevelt and his brains trusters—helped save capitalism from the Bolsheviks of the left. Today, the capitalists have to help save the state. This time the enemy is the Bolsheviks of the right, our current GOP. They’re taking us over the fiscal cliff, and they’ll do far worse without an intervention.

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Michael Tomasky: The GOP Brings Politics to a Crisis Point (Original post)
babylonsister Dec 2012 OP
Little Star Dec 2012 #1
dawg Dec 2012 #2
samsingh Dec 2012 #3
OnionPatch Dec 2012 #4
sulphurdunn Dec 2012 #7
OnionPatch Dec 2012 #18
CrispyQ Dec 2012 #5
byeya Dec 2012 #11
AZ Progressive Dec 2012 #6
TheKentuckian Dec 2012 #10
world wide wally Dec 2012 #8
byeya Dec 2012 #13
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #9
byeya Dec 2012 #14
Wellstone ruled Dec 2012 #12
judesedit Dec 2012 #15
NoMoreWarNow Dec 2012 #16
starroute Dec 2012 #17

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:01 AM

1. Tomasky's correct, they came to sabotage. k&r

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:08 AM

2. Ultimately, we need Constitutional change.

We need a system that allows the majority party to implement its agenda, and receive all of the credit and all of the blame for the consequences.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:36 AM

3. kick

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:59 AM

4. Maybe the founding fathers didn't expect

congress to be taken over by the party with the LEAST amount of votes. If it wasn't for the gerrymandering, the house would probably be in the control of Democrats and we wouldn't be seeing this kind of problem.

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Response to OnionPatch (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 01:32 PM

7. The Democrat's

Third Way, fake left go right play calls between 2008 and 2010, contributed greatly the Republican take over of the House and state legislatures that then gerrymandered themselves into the body politic like ticks.

"Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time."
- Harry S. Truman

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 05:09 PM

18. I agree that's also a factor.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 12:26 PM

5. With every day I'm seriously reconsidering my relationships with people who are republican.

How can any person who genuinely cares about other people & the country support this party?

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 01:44 PM

11. I haven't had anything to do with them other than superficial politeness for years. It's worked

 

out for me - you really can't convert anyone so...What? Fuck 'em I guess

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 01:22 PM

6. Well Duh, that's been the Republican Party Lately

Hopefully more and more people will realize that the Republicans have hijacked Congress like a band of terrorists and intend to impose their way or make everyone pay for not doing so.

If the Republicans threaten America with the debt ceiling again, let them do so. If the Republicans make America default on its debt, that party will be history because everyone (except the teabaggers of course) will see them as the dangerous madmen that they are.

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Response to AZ Progressive (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 01:43 PM

10. I see little reason to believe "exposing" them to be fruitful.

Seems a lot closer to wishing than an effective tactic. Especially when the tactic seems to rely heavily on always coming closer to their positions and seeking compromise with delusional policy aims.

The body of work is beyond substantial, if the case hasn't been made then there are severe issues with presentation, tactics, and/or strategy.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 01:39 PM

8. I asserted that Bush and Cheney had one major objective shortly after they were elected,

and that was to sabotage our entire economy to eliminate the middle class and replace it with an aristocracy and a working class.
Their game plan has been working all to well and still the "working class" fools still vote for Republicans often enough for them to keep the plan in tact. We ABSOLUTELY have to take the house back if we can. We somehow have to get through to these blockheads to vote in their own self interest and to stop pretending they are still voting for the "Party of Lincoln"

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Response to world wide wally (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 01:45 PM

13. Well then, you asserted correctly!

 

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 01:40 PM

9. Tomasky can't resist slipping in a little bit of red-baiting in the final

 

paragraph: "Bolsheviks of the right".

WTF? The Bolsheviks took Russia from a feudal agrarian society to an industrial powerhouse in roughly 50 years, while losing 20 million people in World War II (while the liberal democracy was losing a mere 250,000). WTF????

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 01:48 PM

14. The last Czar's family owned over 2 Billion acres of land. Feudal is correct.

 

To move from a system where the majority were recently slaves, and still treated as such, to an industrial nation in such a short period is an accomplishment that doesn't get talked about much.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 01:45 PM

12. History repeating it's self

circa late 1800's when our Political parties were all on the take. What was the story---only one piece of legislation passed in some 20 years. So many similarities as to what the Rethugs are all about. Big Banks and big Oil,Rockefeller's and the Koch's. Our President has a ton of garbage on his plate at this time in our Nations history.

What is so telling at this point is,we have the right person at the right time with the right brain power to start the process of reversing 30 years of Regannomics and the changing of culture of hatred. I've said and predicted the demise of the Rethug party some 10 years ago. The only thing that slowed that progress was the theft of 2 elections because we as progressives took our eye off the ball so to speak. Just assumed that Justice would prevail. That being said,the sleeping giant was awaken and the Rethugs are pulling out all the stops to prevent progress.

Political Science is and will always be a hoot.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 01:57 PM

15. If we can hold on until 2014 we can get rid of these lazy, greedy mf'ers. It's up to us, people and

hopefully our good hacker friends will ensure the GOP doesn't steal any election ever again.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 01:58 PM

16. have we finally reached peak wingnut?

 

hopefully, their destructive ideology will start to wane.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 02:01 PM

17. I'll grant the GOP one valid point that has to be addressed

Many of our political conflicts at this point are over the size and functions of government.

As the population grows, people move around more, and society in general becomes more complex, issues arise that can not be dealt with by communities or local government.

That is where state and federal governments have been stepping in over the last century or so -- but that's really only a stopgap solution, because massive, top-down, bureaucratic institutions are naturally flawed. They're out of touch, rigid in their procedures, and often unresponsive to the people they're supposed to be serving.

So on that level, the conservatives aren't wrong to be nostalgic for a time when local communities were more self-sufficient and people looked to their friends and neighbors if they needed help. But where they are wrong is in imagining that if central governments could just be crippled, a utopian state of things would magically emerge.

The real challenge, I think, is to find a third alternative -- to empower people to do more for one another while at the same time making available the resources of the larger society in times of crisis. This is more or less what Occupy Wall Street is after, but the real question is how to get there.

I don't have any easy answers, but I know that one of the biggest impediments is inequality. It's the existence of rich neighborhoods and poor neighborhoods, and the unwillingness of the more affluent to support what they see as those deadbeats across the tracks, that makes a system based on sharing almost unobtainable at this point. Even out the inequality and it becomes a lot more possible to have the necessary discussions about mutual aid.

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