Updated for clarity
Guest Post By Marcus Brutus
Extremist responses to anti-US atrocities fall into two categories: denial which spawns troofer movements or justification with dismissal. Glenn Greenwald’s latest article is an example of the second category, it’s his automatic response to Islamist terrorism. When the Oslo slaughter was believed to have been caused by salafis he justified slaughter by writing that Norway “prompted” (defined as to cause or bring about something) the attack. When news about Breivik came to light he changed his tune and decried how horrible the Oslo attacks were since it was now something he could exploit. The only conclusion to make is that Greenwald believes mass murder is justifiable depending on the perpetrator’s political and religious views. He justified the Boston bombings in an article that is an example of Comment Is Free depravity which published articles in support of North Korea and FGM.
On twitter he said that the Tsarnaev’s relative who denied the attacks is “talking more sense” about the attacks than the government. He wrote material dripping with sympathy for the surviving brother complaining that he was “being interrogated by the most aggressive and sophisticated agents the USG has. He’s 19, traumatized, injured & medicated” that is not impression of Mama Tsarnaev. A striking contrast to his past attempt to dismiss the attacks: so massacre are dismissible to him but making murderers uncomfortable is an inexcusable atrocity. Never forget! One person replied: “Martin Richard is 8, he’s dead. His sister is 6, lost her leg &is traumatized & medicated. Your sympathy is misplaced.”
Glenn endorsed multiple articles justifying the attacks he tweeted: “citing @JeremyScahill, Chomsky writes: “Boston Bombings Gave Americans Taste of the Terrorism US Inflicts Every Day.” It would be more accurate to say that Boston bombings gave Americans a taste of what Chomsky and Scahill (who described Bosniaks as “White Al-Qaea”) support. He retweeted an article by FAIR describing the Tsarnaev brothers as people who “responded to violence with violence” meaning that FAIR and Greenwald see it as just retaliation. FAIR is the same outlet that publishes pro-Assad propaganda, one article denies the Houla massacre based on the lunatic rambling of media lens, a hate group that promotes Rwanda genocide denial.
Greenwald quotes the young Tsarnaev that he and his brother “were motivated by the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” He also quotes similar motivations for other attempted or successful terrorists. When extremists shed crocodile tears by the gallon about Afghanistan and Iraq they are really expressing sympathy for the Taliban and Iraqi Sunni militants.
Glenn doesn’t try to hide it since he quotes Najibullah Zazi admission of conspiring “with others to travel to Afghanistan to join the Taliban” which suggests laziness or (understandable) disrespect for audience. He presents killing fellow citizens out of sympathy for the Taliban who are responsible for most Afghan civilian deaths, running a slave state and genocide as a noble dissent. Iraqi Sunni militants committed the Yazidi car bombings in an attempt to extirpate a harmless religious minority. The bombings were the worst atrocity in the Iraq war in which most civilian deaths were caused by Iraqis. If any of the men listed in the article ever once had any sympathetic motives or genuine outrage over civilian deaths they would not have killed out of support for groups responsible for most Afghan or Iraqi deaths.
Glenn goes on to describe Anwar al-Awaki as a former “moderate” he became “radicalized” by 21st century US foreign policy. Foreign policy magazine ran an article disproving his narrative about al-Awaki which he continues to repeat over and over again. Next its “Osama bin Laden, when justifying violence against Americans US military bases in Saudi Arabia, US support for Israeli aggression against its neighbors, and the 1990s US sanctions regime that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children.” Bin Laden didn’t mention Israel nearly as much as Kashmir or Chechnya. Israel was a motive since Al-Qaeda believes in a global Jewish conspiracy that uses the US as its enforcing arm that’s the view that Greenwald prettifies. The claim about sanctions is false, the Baathist regime’s wealth increased during sanctions they were able to easily smuggle in gold and build palaces, they had the means to provide for children who perished solely because of state neglect. The whine about bases only proves that Islamist extremism is an ideology devoid of legit grievances, that won’t change no matter how many articles GG hacks out urging us to consider Jihadi complaints and not the grievances of their victims.
He sheds crocodile tears for Khomeini by mewling that ” Iranians who took over the US embassy in 1979 cited decades of brutal tyranny from the US-implanted-and-enabled Shah.” The Shah contrary to apologist revisionism was not implanted by the US he succeeded his father who had come to power by overthrowing the Qajars without American assistance. Islamic regime apologists who harp on about real or imagined Pahlavi abuses ignore that the monarchy fell because the Shah was not willing to slaughter his people. Khomeini had no similar squeamishness as he came to power by killing 20,000 people. Torture was probably the worst crime in the Pahlavi monarchy, except the Shah’s torturers remained employed by Khomeini. Soudabeh Ardavan described how her torturers were “pros”, “from the Shah’s era.” The real motive for the embassy seize was to allow Khomeini to seize control of Iran from the moderate interim leadership and bring about decades of brutal tyranny that Greenwald produces apologia for.
Glenn tries to cover his tracks with denial: “the issue here is causation, not justification or even fault.” That proves nothing if someone were to claim that women have smaller brains than men he would be a misogynist no matter how many times he wrote that he wasn’t a misogynist. On twitter in response to criticism he sneered “have an adult explain to you the difference between “causation” and “justification.” The critic made an excellent response that he ignored: “causation in this case can only come from a justification. You’d have to assume ‘choice’ doesn’t exist among Yemenis, Iraqis etc.”
What is justification? Glenn distorts what the word actually means, justification isn’t necessarily stating that the victims deserved it though that sentiment wouldn’t be unwelcome at CIF. The j-word is defined as “to declare free of blame; absolve.” The word seems to have roots in religion: “to free (a human) of the guilt and penalty attached to grievous sin.” Glenn attributes the “cause” of terrorism to the US not the actual perpetrators by that reasoning the terrorists are “free of blame” and “absolved” since if someone didn’t actually cause something they are free of blame and absolved. That makes Glenn a justifier which is defined as “one who justifies; one who vindicates, supports, defends, or absolves.” Conclusion: Greenwald justifies terrorism.
He claims that we must understand why “there are so many people who want to attack the US as opposed to, say, Peru, or South Africa, or Brazil, or Mexico, or Japan, or Portugal. It’s vital for two separate reasons.” The argument that Al-Qaeda never attacks small non-US countries is false. They attacked Indonesia twice in one attack slaughtering peaceful Christians, they attacked Australia over its support for the Timorese people. They participated in genocide alongside the Taliban proving their real motives are a blend of racism and wahabbism. They committed mass murder in Algeria, Spain, Denmark, Turkey and other countries which disproves Glenn’s argument. Can we expect an article justifying terrorism in Spain as “blowback” that was “caused” by the medieval reconquista?
Greenwald complains that “so many Americans, westerners, Christians and Jews love to run around insisting that the only real cause for Muslim attacks on the US is that the attackers have this primitive, brutal, savage, uncivilized religion (Islam) that makes them do it.” He complains about Sam Harris who believes that “Islamic doctrines … still present huge problems for the emergence of a global civil society.” To claim that Islam in general “makes them do it” is inaccurate, after all the Crimean Tatars did not respond to Stalinism by massacring Russian children. he disturbing thing is that both conflate Islam with fundamentalist strains only Glenn does so out of sympathy and Sam does it out of contempt.
Jihadi atrocities are actually caused by extremist interpretations and strains of Islam and racist ideologies. This is confirmed by briefly skimming a history of al-Qaeda, glancing at the news or otherwise stepping out of the alternate universe Greenwald creates with his articles.The facts show that people Greenwald presents as motivated by rational outrage at old glory constantly attack harmless, irrelevant non-US targets because of religious views. Al-Qaeda has slaughtered Christians, Shias, non-Wahabbi Sunnis and bombed a Turkish synagogue. Many of the worst attacks predate the US foreign policies that Greenwald focuses on.
He quips that “people often love to accuse Muslims of being tribal without realizing the irony that what they are saying – Our Side is Superior and They are Inferior – is the ultimate expression of rank tribalism.” He’s made it clear what sort of people he means by ‘Muslims’, there’s nothing tribal about the view he attacks as ‘our side’ is multi-racial and multi-cultural. That’s an incoherent argument, is Glenn suggesting that Islamist dictatorships are ethically equivalent to democracies? I see nothing self-glorifying about stating which one is the best, offering a better life than theocracies is possibly the lowest standard for a democracy. Similarly stating you’re not a serial killer is the lowest standard individuals can meet, not self-glorification.
He insists “attackers themselves make as clear as they can, it’s not religious fanaticism but rather political grievance that motivates these attacks…the motive is anger over what is being done by the US and its allies to Muslims.” That can easily be rebutted by pointing to al-Qaeda’s record of slaughtering civilians without any political or military significance solely because of their victims’ religion or ethnicity. Glenn’s argument is so facile that it can be refuted by quoting Islamist terrorists who plainly state they are motivated by religious fanaticism.
The GIA leadership explained their motives for butchering Algerian civilians in a communiqué describing Algerians as “infidels and apostates” with no right to live because they didn’t practice the GIA’s brand of Islam. Mullah Omar ordered his men to slaughter Hazaras because of their ethnic heritage and Shia religion: “the Hazaras are not Muslims and now we have to kill Hazaras, killing them is not a sin.” Justification is also defined as “to defend or uphold as warranted or well-grounded” which perfectly describes his argument which is as absurd as describing the Interahamwe as a civil rights movement.
Glenn complains of a “pervasive belief in the US that we can invade, bomb, drone, kill, occupy, and tyrannize whomever we want, and that they will never respond.” ‘They’ were Chechens does Glenn think that the US invaded, bombed and droned lands occupied by Chechens? If so it would be his least inaccurate opinion. He claims that the Boston attack was an “inevitable outcome of these choices” another justification, anyone who attributes responsibility for an atrocity to anyone other than the perpetrators is an apologist for that atrocity. He also includes a link to a Ron Paul speech. To recap: Glenn wrote an article justifying Sunni extremist terrorism and Khomeinist tyranny then endorsed a White supremacist and someone actually published that instead of mistaking the article for a parody of far-right drivel.
Greenwald concludes by describing the Boston bombings as a result of “our own actions” I’ve already explained why that is justification unlike Glenn I hate to repeat myself. Greenwald ignores that anti-Semitism motivated the Boston bomber brothers (the perfect video game for any CIF fan) since one was interested in buying a copy of the protocols of Zion: that’s what Greenwald defends and justifies. There is growing evidence they killed three people solely because the victims were born Jewish, if it turns out that Tsarnaev committed the murders, was that the result of “our own actions?” Or maybe it was caused by Israel? Anyone believing those views would be expressing views no different from Greenwald’s arguments.
He ends by endorsing by endorsing Jeremy Scahill whose record includes support Somali pirates, jihadis and Milosevic. The guardian is useful only as an example of Poe’s law. Every day it comes more indistinguishable from Inspire or the American Free Press.
Jim Carrey released this statement today in response to Fox News, who attacked him for his “Cold Dead Hand” video on Funny or Die. The video targets assault weapons and large magazines.
Since I released my “Cold Dead Hand” video on Funny or Die this week, I have watched Fux News rant, rave, bare its fangs and viciously slander me because of my stand against large magazines and assault rifles. I would take them to task legally if I felt they were worth my time or that anyone with a brain in their head could actually fall for such irresponsible buffoonery. That would gain them far too much attention which is all they really care about.
I’ll just say this: in my opinion Fux News is a last resort for kinda-sorta-almost-journalists whose options have been severely limited by their extreme and intolerant views; a media colostomy bag that has begun to burst at the seams and should be emptied before it becomes a public health issue.
I sincerely believe that in time, good people will lose patience with the petty and poisonous behavior of these bullies and Fux News will be remembered as nothing more than a giant culture fart that no amount of Garlique could cure.
I wish them all the luck that accompanies such malevolence.
Go check out his Twitter feed, he’s on a mission. Go Jim!
Cross-posted at Extreme Liberal’s Blog
The Republican party has no shame. They lie, cheat and steal their way into office. They embody such good Christian values…cough, choke, spit.
I often fantasize about a movie in the style of “Oh God”, where George Burns (God) confronts people like Michelle Bachman and Louie Gohmert or a long list of Republicans who blatantly tell falsehoods, repeatedly and even after being called out on it. If there is a hell, I imagine there will be an especially hot place reserved for these people.
It’s not often that we get to see the birth of one of these lies, placenta and all. From Steve Benen…
The National Republican Senate Committee accused Markey yesterday of claiming he “invented the satellite dish, low-cost mobile phone calls, and the ability for cable companies to provide long distance service.” The NRSC added, “Perhaps Markey can use the technology he invented to call, tweet, or message his friend Al Gore, inventor of the internet.”
Conservative humor is just so droll, isn’t it?
The problem, of course, is that the National Republican Senate Committee is lying. For one thing, Al Gore never claimed to be the inventor of the Internet. It just never happened — Republicans distorted a Gore comment, the media uncritically ran with it, and a ridiculous smear quickly entered the public consciousness.
For another, Markey didn’t say he “invented the satellite dish.” Matt Yglesias sets the record straight.
What Rep. Ed Markey helped to do in the 1992 Cable Act was to force the cable companies to license content to satellite companies in order to compete with the vertically integrated cable systems that were beginning their takeover of television markets. Competition being a good thing, right?
I guess it’s hard to blame them for attempting it, since the “Al Gore invented the internet” lie worked so well for them in 2000. And with the superficial media, who I’m beginning to think are illiterate, gladly helped to perpetuate that lie.
The sad thing is, the media is much worse than it was in 2000. Let’s see how they handle this one.
The Extremely Liberal Podcast Talking Drones, The Filibuster Bluster and Polls As A Crutch for the Media!
This podcast was recorded on March 13, 2013. I’ve been a very bad podcast poster and deserve to be scolded by someone. In this episode we talk about Rand Paul’s filibuster that brought out support from the faux-left, those who conveniently ignore Rand’s crazy ideas about such things as the Civil Rights Act. We also talk about Chez Pazienza’s great article that caused David Sirota to lose his mind and attack Goldie Taylor for tweeting it. He shouldn’t have done that, as I’m sure he learned very quickly. We round things out by talking about how the media uses and abuses polls. Give a listen. More episodes coming soon…
Go here to see the video, for some damn reason, my version of WordPress doesn’t like MSNBC’s embedded code. (curses under his breath)
This morning on Morning
Joke Joe, Rev. Sharpton asked an excellent question, which prompted Governor Snyder to reveal how he feels about our right to elect our local leaders.
Rev. Al: …how do you deal with the fact that the “customers” as Kevin called them, feel disenfranchised. I mean, you made a unilateral decision. Their elected officials have really been, their power has been taken away and it undermines peoples right to vote because the only one who voted for Kevin was you. And this is something that is very disturbing that you have governors undermine the will of voters. There was s referendum last year that was opposed to this kind of action, you did it anyway.
Gov. Snyder: Reverend, if you look at it, the old law went away but we put in a new one that really was responsive to the issues that came up during that process. If you look at it, I’m also the elected official. I was elected by the people of Michigan, so there is an elected official responsible for this process and I think that is critically important.
Rev. Al: But what about the local elected officials, what about if I’m in Detroit, Rev. Charles Williams and others are raising this. In all due respect, and I voted for a city council and a mayor to represent me during this financial crisis. Now you bring in someone unelected, like in Pontiac, we had someone on the show who talked about an emergency manager came and sold the Silverdome for a half a million dollars that had been valued at several million dollars, over 200…I mean, Kevin has no one to answer to in the local constituency. That’s undemocratic. (emphasis mine)
Gov. Snyder: Blah, blah, blah….(my words)
If you want to know the details of what is happening in Michigan, go over to Eclectablog.com and spend some time in the archives, because Chris Savage has been all over this for many years and has the facts to back him up.
Now that I got that out of the way, Governor Snyder’s response to Reverend Al’s first question is an admission that he thinks he was elected dictator of Michigan. How else can it be interpreted? He said, “I’m also the elected official”, which translates as, I have authority over local officials and I have the power to invalidate their elections. I am a supreme elected official, I take precedent over those peons.
But let’s back up a little. He said prior to that, in regards to the referendum that we in Michigan overturned on November 6th, 2012, that the law “went away”, as if it just got lost on its way to Lansing. The people of Michigan made their voices heard, but Snyder ignored us and the Republican’s abused their control of the Michigan legislature and passed a new one. They slipped some money into this one, which they claim under Michigan’s laws makes it immune from a referendum.
It’s not just the goal of the law that’s offensive. House Republicans, stinging from a voter referendum last month that overturned the previous emergency financial manager act, have arrogantly inserted an almost $6 million appropriation into the new emergency financial manager law. By adding an appropriation, Republicans hope to make the law immune to another voter referendum.
It’s just one more example of the dirty tricks that Koch-financed Republicans across the country are pulling to privatize states and sell them off to their corporate buddies like the Koch brothers.
This has to change NOW!
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
This podcast was recorded on March 6, 2013 and we take on the Republican’s “lead me Seymour” mentality; obstruction/dirty tricks; the emergency financial manager coming to Detroit to take away representation; blogging for Malaysia on the right and we delve into some pop culture and talk about the freak show that is the paparazzi in America.
The RSS Feed for the podcast is in the right column.
This was recorded a couple of weeks ago, but still timely and relevant IMHO! We talk about the Oscar Pistorius case and the connections to gun safety; suicide and how we wish Aaron Schwartz was still around; President Obama’s misinterpreted words on fathers in a speech in Chicago; single moms and the importance of role models.
The RSS Feed for the podcast is in the right column.
Sometimes it takes a really old politician who doesn’t quite have the talking points down in order to get honesty from the Republican party. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) let the truth spill out last week in an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune. (emphasis mine)
“I’m for sequestration,” Hatch said, if Congress can’t cut spending. “We’ve got to face the music now, or it will be much tougher later.”
And in the very next paragraph, the Tribune offered this…
With across-the-board spending cuts set to kick in next week, Hatch said sequestration would lead to an economic disaster in Utah as two-thirds of civilians working at Hill Air Force Base would be furloughed. He said it would be “devastating to our nation’s readiness.“
Republicans are trapped inside a bubble of their own making. They keep breathing the fetid air inside the bubble and it clearly makes them crazy.
A little history for those who have lives and don’t follow all this political back and forth.
- Republicans held the economy hostage in the summer of 2011. Remember the first “debt ceiling crisis” that made the markets jittery and caused Standard and Poors to downgrade the U.S. credit rating for the first time in our history? I envy you if you don’t remember it. The ransom was basically the sequester and John Boehner bragged about getting 98% of what he wanted when it was over.
- The sequester was supposed to force Democrats and Republicans to come together (super committee) and solve the imaginary crisis that existed only in the minds of Republican politicians who thought that if they made the economy tank, they could somehow blame it on the one guy who the American people trust, President Obama. How did that work out for them on November 6, 2012?
- The super committee came and went with Republicans continuing their childlike ways, kicking and screaming on the floor, saying no repeatedly and whining like someone took their pacifier away at bedtime.
- Which brings us to the most recent debt ceiling crisis, because you know, nothing better to do. President Obama stood firm this time, fool me once…and Republicans folded like an origami swan. Well, actually, they punted and acted like children once again by just pretending like there is no debt ceiling until May 18th, 2012.
- And now we have dunt, duh duh….SEQUESTER. I like to refer to it as “John Boehner’s 98%” or “How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Sequester”.
And why on earth would the Republicans stick to this dumb ass tactic? So they can blame it all on President Obama. And Republicans were all excited when they got an assist from Bob Woodward, who in his insider wisdom, came up with a “moving goalpost” analogy that was crushed by several real journalists.
What a great plan, Republicans. Hurt your constituents, hurt the U.S. economy some more, make up a bunch of lies to cover your sorry asses and get the compliant and equally dumb ass media to play along with it. On Sunday morning, I stopped counting the word “blame” when I reached 15. The media likes playing the blame game just as much as the Republicans, commissioning polls to see who the public will “blame” when the cuts start hurting.
This is what passes for strategy in the Republican Party of 2013.
In this episode, recorded on February 13, 2013, we talk about Joe’s encounter with a Navy Seal with irony on top of irony as the backdrop. We also spend a good deal of time talking about drones and the reality associated with the different “tools of war” as they have evolved over the years and I get a mention on the Poli-Sci-Fi Radio podcast by my hero, Steve Benen.
Want some good, liberal, pragmatic talk? Give us a listen.
The RSS feed is in the right column.
P.S. Here is a link to a great piece by Wil Saletan titled, “In Defense of Drones: They’re the worst form of war, except for all the others.” He was attacked by the usual suspects for this piece with all sorts of crazy shit being projected on him because of it. Here is an example of some Tweets that show the maturity level of his critics.
“drones aren’t as bad as carpet bombing” = “waterboarding isn’t as bad as hot pokers in the eye”
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 20, 2013
@saletan But drones are your first preference. if you were US dictator, they would continue, right? You wouldn’t stop them?
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 20, 2013
@ggreenwald Come on. You know that’s not a legit inference. Not stopping a war or weapon doesn’t mean it’s your first preference.
— Will Saletan (@saletan) February 20, 2013
I’ve decided that I’m going to try to do short takes on the news of the day and provide links when appropriate. Finding the time to write longer pieces would entail quitting one of my jobs and living in a trailer somewhere. So instead, I’ll try this. If you want to consider this an open thread, please do so. And you trolls, please read the comment policy and don’t be surprised if your vile comments never make the cut.
I got a good laugh watching the reports about Mark Sanford attempting to rehabilitate himself after his fall from politics. He was, of course, hiking the Appalachian Trail, which a lot of people didn’t know extends all the way to Argentina.
The story about Oscar Pistorius shooting his girlfriend is a perfect example of why having a gun in the home often leads to tragedy. Whether he did it on purpose or it was an “accident”, she would be alive today if there wasn’t a gun in the house.
I’ve seen quite enough of Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, why don’t they get jobs or something and contribute to the economy, instead of pretending like Republicans in Washington actually give a shit about the future of our country.
Reminder of the day: Republicans held our economy hostage in the summer of 2011, our President negotiated a deal to prevent a financial meltdown and at the time, Politico called Mitch McConnell “the chief Republican architect of the compromise”. Media, please stop letting the Republican stooges keep repeating that the sequester was the President’s idea, just stop. You look like damn fools….again.
And of course, Mitch McConnell wasn’t the only Republican counting on nobody paying attention to reality for the last 4 years. Paul Ryan tried some serious revisionist history by trying to use his “baffle them with bullshit” techniques when asked about his touting the sequester back when it happened. It didn’t work. Busted!
I’ve been seeing on Twitter that the White House Press Corp is whining about access to the president or the number of press conferences or some horseshit. Considering what the WHPC has become, they should be glad he even acknowledges their existence.
We welcome a special guest who worked for CNN for many years and now teaches broadcasting. He offers great insight into the issue of media bias and how social media is becoming a big part of local news operations. We talk politics as well, so give us a listen.
In this edition, recorded on January 31, 2013, we discuss the failing attempts by the GOP to rig elections, Lindsey Graham’s latest batshit crazy appeal to the Tea Partiers in his state, Lance Armstrong and his drugging ways, immigration reform, the media sleeping on the job and a little gun control talk to top it off.
The RSS Feed is hanging out over there on the right sidebar.
This latest podcast was recorded on January 23, 2013 and we cover a lot of ground, even though it is an abbreviated podcast (48 min). We talk it up on President Obama’s second inaugural address, the Republican whinefest that followed, the debt ceiling cave by the GOP, gun safety, the GOP’s attempt to cheat their way into the White House and Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the Republican clown posse. Click on that little triangle and give it a listen.
I’m enjoying watching the reaction from Republicans to President Obama’s incredible second inaugural speech. I especially like their whining about the President not reaching out to them.
They way I see it, the Republicans are speeding towards the edge of the cliff and now they want the President to grab their outreached hands and save their tea party asses before the “momentum of their ideology” flings them into the canyon. Sorry dudes, this is your runaway mess. Enjoy the ride.
It takes a special kind of crazy to spend four years walking in lockstep against our President and slapping his outreached hand at every turn, only to cry about him not reaching out to them in the second inaugural. It has become obvious to anyone who is honest with themselves that the Republican Party is bankrupt, out of ideas and has no foundation remaining. They are a reactionary party now, and they don’t seem to be doing that very well either.
Beyond that, they are also becoming a party of whiners. Recent articles by Charles Krauthammer, Michael Gerson and David Brooks give us the best examples of this. Krauthammer started the trend that is best summed up by Smartypants as “conciliatory rhetoric as ruthless strategy”. Here is a piece of Krauthammer’s whine, via Smartypants…
He’s been using this, and I must say with great skill–-and ruthless skill and success–to fracture and basically shatter the Republican opposition… His objective from the very beginning was to break the will of the Republicans in the House, and to create an internal civil war. And he’s done that.
Michael Gerson, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, came up with yet another great expression for us liberals to use, in bold.
The debt ceiling is a form of leverage they can’t responsibly use. A partial government shutdown or full implementation of the sequester are less toxic alternatives but of questionable utility. [...]
Given this weak Republican position, Obama must be tempted by a shiny political object: the destruction of the congressional GOP. He knows that Republicans are forced by the momentum of their ideology to take positions on spending that he can easily demagogue.
For a noted Republican to admit that the Republican Party is out of control, careening towards the cliff, is pretty astounding. I have very little sympathy for them, since we all watched as Republican leaders let the Tea Party take the wheel of their party while they stood on the curb cheering.
It’s more likely that today’s majority party is going to adopt a different strategy, which you might call Kill the Wounded. It’s more likely that today’s Democrats are going to tell themselves something like this:
“We live at a unique moment. Our opponents, the Republicans, are divided, confused and bleeding. This is not the time to allow them to rebuild their reputation with a series of modest accomplishments. This is the time to kick them when they are down, to win back the House and end the current version of the Republican Party. [...]
“Then he could invite a series of confrontations with Republicans over things like the debt ceiling — make them look like wackos willing to endanger the entire global economy. Along the way, he could highlight women’s issues, social mobility issues (student loans, community college funding) and pick fights on compassion issues, (hurricane relief) — promoting any small, popular spending programs that Republicans will oppose.
That last paragraph is just hilarious considering the reality that we all just witnessed.
I frequently ask myself who the Republicans think they are appealing to with this whining strategy. Do they think that the base of their party wants to hear them cry about those mean ole Democrats? I’m sure more than a few Republicans are calling them some choice names for that.
Do they think their whining appeals to Democrats who just worked their asses off to defeat their party? If anything, it makes us gleeful as we watch them form a circular firing squad and then argue about who gets to go first.
Maybe they think all that crying and whining will appeal to independents in the country. I suspect there are a few of those who will sympathize with them, since that swath of “independents” or “undecideds” aren’t the brightest bulbs in the bunch – see the CNN focus groups after the debates.
I probably shouldn’t get so much pleasure from seeing all this, but I do hope this Republican sideshow gets picked up for another season.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
H/T to Smartypants for the links!