Sunday, May 26, 2013

"Closed for repairs"

I could not catch the most recent "Real Time" when it first aired, but I've seen the New Rules segment, in which Bill Maher delivered this well-written observation about the Benghazi pseudoscandal:
In a poll this week, four in ten Republicans said Benghazi is the worst scandal in history. Second worst, Kanye West snatching the mic from Taylor Swift.

If you think Benghazi is worse than slavery, the Trail of Tears, Japanese internment, Tuskegee, purposefully injecting Guatemalan mental patients with syphilis, WMDs, and the fact that banks today are still foreclosing on mortgages that they don’t own, then your hard on for Obama has lasted for more four hours, and you need to call a doctor.
I think one should read these words in conjunction with this much-discussed interview with Bob Dole:
Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole says he doesn't believe he could make it in the modern Republican Party.

"I doubt it," he said in an interview aired on "Fox News Sunday" when asked if his generation of Republican leaders could make it in today's GOP. "Reagan couldn't have made it. Certainly, Nixon couldn't have made it, cause he had ideas. We might've made it, but I doubt it."
"They ought to put a sign on the National Committee doors that says 'Closed for repairs,' until New Year's Day next year," he said. "And spend that time going over ideas and positive agendas."
One should not be overly sympathetic to Dole; there was plenty of take-no-prisoners partisanship when he ran the Senate. I can recall the election of 1996, when he tried to use some of the crazier Whitewater theories to his advantage. At the time, he seemed willing enough to play to the nutball wing of his party, even though the grimace on his face made it painfully obvious that he didn't believe a word he was saying.

Dole also criticized Obama for not reaching out more to the Republicans in Congress. Christ, if Obama had reached any further, he'd be guilty of practicing proctology without a license.

Believe it or not, Dole used to represent the party's rightmost sector. That's why Ford chose him as a running mate.

Now, appallingly, Bob Dole is considered a liberal Republican. As this blog notes:
If Dole really does have qualms about an approach to governance he once championed, and he thinks his party has gone too far, he should just quit the party. He should quit and Jon Huntsman should quit and Christie Whitman and Colin Powell and Arnold Schwarzenegger and every other Republican who's put off by the party's excesses should quit all at once, and run a full-page ad in The New York Times explaining why. If these gray eminences, respected as they are by the mainstream press, said the party had finally gone too far for them, maybe mainstream journalists would wake the hell up and recognize that both sides aren't equally responsible for the mismanagement of our government.
Notice that none of those individuals have spewed any nonsense about Benghazi. When will they revolt against the paranoid fools who have commandeered their party?
These are some of the reasons that they do not quit the Republican party: 1) They have a life long investment in the party; 2) They believe that this change is only temporary and will soon be fixed and; 3) There is no where else for them to go. That is they are not going to become Democrats and Independent is not an official party.
If they didn't revolt under Bush, why would they revolt now? Read "What's the Matter with Kansas" for a very perceptive analysis of the Republican strategy of keeping the red states red through the politics of indignance.

Palin was an obvious sop to the naive indignant. And Obama serves the indignance as well, which is why I'm convinced that Karl Rove wanted him in the WH and not Romney. Seriously, if they wanted a Republican in the WH, would they have run Thurston Howell III?

The posture of indignant activism is the key to maintaining Republican control of Congress--without which, Obama's admirers might actually expect him to do something.

Both parties are terrified that voters will wake up to the fact that both parties serve the 1% and are alike as Pepsi and Coke, and begin to realize that another world is possible.

Dole was an early target of the bomb-throwing back bencher of his day, Newt Gingrich, who called him 'the tax collector for the nanny state.'

Why? Because Dole was a fiscal conservative who saw the hole Reaganomics had created, and wrote (as the then-Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee) the largest tax increase bill in history, TEFRA, the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of '82.

Somewhat ironically, the Clinton strategy was to run ads linking Dole WITH Gingrich, which was not entirely fair, but served the purpose.

As much as Dole should resent and oppose the Gingrich-style (and on to infinity!) GOP that demonized him, I'm guessing tribal loyalties prevent his frankly acknowledging what even Gingrich himself said, although on his way out, that the GOP had become 'mindless cannibals.'


Well said. And I absolutely agree with your last paragraph, snug.bug!
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