A Conservative’s “Enough!”

Republican Seal - Unhinged Fanaticism   :   http://mariopiperni.com/

Another year of politics is behind us – one which focused on the presidential run and the madness which is the Republican Party. Even with the decisive election loss, Republicans refuse to set the madness aside and work with Democrats for the common good of the  country.

Conservative Andrew Sullivan has had enough and writes of it in a post he aptly titles “Enough!“. I quote in full.

Between the humiliating and chaotic collapse of Speaker Boehner’s already ludicrously extreme Plan B and Wayne La Pierre’s deranged proposal to put government agents in schools with guns, the Republican slide into total epistemic closure and political marginalization has now become a free-fall. This party, not to mince words, is unfit for government. There is no conservative party in the West – except for minor anti-immigrant neo-fascist ones in Europe – anywhere close to this level of far right extremism. And now the damage these fanatics can do is not just to their own country – was the debt ceiling debacle of 2011 not enough for them? – but to the entire world.

Those of us who have warned for years about this disturbing trend toward ever more extreme measures – backing torture, pre-emptive un-budgeted wars, out-of-control spending followed, like a frantic mood swing, by anti-spending absolutism of the most insane variety in a steep recession, vicious hostility to illegal immigrants, contempt for gay couples, hostility even to contraception, let alone a middle ground on abortion … well, you know it all by now.

But the current constitutional and economic vandalism removes any shred of doubt that this party and its lucrative media bubble is in any way conservative. They aren’t. They’re ideological zealots, indifferent to the consequences of their actions, contemptuous of the very to-and-fro essential for the American system to work, gerry-mandering to thwart the popular will, filibustering in a way that all but wrecks the core mechanics of American democracy, and now willing to acquiesce to the biggest tax increase imaginable because they cannot even accept Obama’s compromise from his clear campaign promise to raise rates for those earning over $250,000 to $400,000 a year.

And this is not the exception. It is the rule. On abortion, the party proposes that it be made illegal in every state by amending the Constitution. Torture? More, please. Iran? It should be attacked if it merely develops the technological skill to make a nuclear bomb, let alone actually make one. Israel? Leading Republicans don’t just support new settlements on the West Bank. They show up for the opening ceremonies!

Gun control? A massacre of children leads to a proposal for more guns in elementary schools and no concession on assault weapons. Immigration? Romney represented the party base – favoring a brutal regime of persecution of illegal immigrants until they are forced to “self-deport” – or rounding as many up as they can. Climate change? It’s a hoax – and we should respond by shrieking “Drill, Baby, Drill!” Gay marriage? The federal constitution should be amended to bar any legal recognition of any gay relationships, including civil partnerships. Their legislative agenda in this Congress? To “make Obama a one-term president.” Not saving the economy, not pursuing new policies, not cooperating to make Democratic legislation better. Just destroying a president of the opposite party. And, of course, failing.

Then there is the rhetoric. In just the last fortnight, House Republicans have asserted that secretary of state Clinton faked her recent fall and concussion at home in order to get out of testifying on the Benghazi consulate attack. And then the Weekly Standard quotes a Senate Republican staffer saying: “Send us Hagel and we will make sure every American knows he is an anti-Semite.”

Enough. This faction and its unhinged fanaticism has no place in any advanced democracy. They must be broken. But the current irony is that no one has managed to expose their extremism more clearly than their own Speaker. His career is over. As is the current Republican party. We need a new governing coalition in the House – Democrats and those few sane Republicans willing to put country before ideology. But even that may be impossible.

Unhinged fanaticism…and it’s not about to end any time soon.

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The Midnight Ride of Sarah Palin

I might be wrong but I’m thinking that Andrew Sullivan over at the DailyDish does not hold a high opinion of Sarah Palin.

One of the most pernicious and dangerous features of Palin is her clinical refusal to understand reality, to accept error, to acknowledge when the facts she has cited are not actually facts, but delusions. And her vanity and pathologies are so deep she will insist that black is white until her minions actually find a source to prove it.

She’s dangerous; she’s shrewd; she’s an exhibitionist. But she is also, we must keep reminding ourselves, a farce. What worries me about this political leader incapable of telling fantasy apart from fact is that, in a long and deep recession, someone who can lie that readily and manipulate religious and cultural resentment as well as she does is a danger. Not just to America, but to the world.

My thoughts concerning Palin have less to do with her and more to do with her followers.  Palin is a grifter who lacks the awareness skills and intellect to understand that she’s an idiot. I get that part, no problem. What is more troublesome, I think, is that there are literally millions of Americans who adore this cartoon character and who would go to no end to defend her against all criticism. What is wrong with these people?  Can there be that many fools in the country?

I imagine so.

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General and Saint – David Petraeus

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I agree with all of this.  Andrew Sullivan.

The canonization of Petraeus has got to stop. He follows in the footsteps of Colin Powell who mastered the art of Beltway schmoozing and press management. But at least Powell won a war where Petraeus has so far lost two (can anyone now believe, as Iraq descends into political chaos and increasing violence, that the surge was simply a face-saver to get most, but not all, of the US troops out, after failing to achieve the original war goals?).

And the Palin meme – that somehow members of the military have some kind of special status in a civilian republic and their political views demand more respect than those of others – is just as repugnant.

We owe servicemembers immense respect and gratitude for their courage and service – but we also owe them – to honor the civilian democracy they serve – no more influence or status in the political arena than anyone else. The idea that the military is given an effective veto over a Congressional and presidential decision is a dangerous precedent.

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This is a country run by civilians, whose elected offices are as valid regardless of their military experience, and the military’s job is to take orders, to offer private and confidential military – not political – advice to their commander-in-chief. Their role after that in public is quite simple: to shut the fuck up.

The way in which Petraeus is leveraging his Iraq experience – an experience which, as every day reveals, ended in total failure except as a temporary face-saver for partial withdrawal – and his media clout to force an elected president into an open-ended commitment in Afghanistan is deeply disturbing. It’s long since time we put these commanders and their enablers in their place.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

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Mitt Romney – “Makes Plastic Look Authentic”

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Oh, what the hell, I had the mouse ears out on my drawing tablet anyway.

Andrew Sullivan asks “how ambitious is Mitt Romney.”

We know he will say anything, do anything, take any position to advance his own agenda. He makes plastic look authentic. But it says something surely that he has sided with O’Donnell against Rove in this sudden outbreak of GOP civil war. He wants to win. He knows his only chance is to follow Palin, not challenge her. But she will eat him for breakfast.

As much as Mitt Romney wants it, he will never be President of the United States.  His desperation will be his undoing.

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Basil Marceaux Could Only Be A Republican

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The right has portrayed Basil Marceaux as a freak not representative of either Republicans or conservatives…which leads Andrew Sullivan to write:

And yet the wonderful thing about Marceaux is that he does represent a core constituency. Aren’t his views on gun-control identical to Glenn Reynolds’? Isn’t his nostalgia for the Jim Crow south one strand of Southern conservatism that now dominates the GOP? Aren’t his views part of what Palin calls the “real America”? It seems to me the right cannot have it both ways. If this man’s views make him a joke, then why isn’t the GOP as a whole a joke?

But they are and any non-wingnut who thinks differently has simply not been watching or listening for the last number of years.

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