Because ‘piling on’ is an established Balloon Juice tradition, I feel compelled to quote Doghouse Riley’s response to Mann & Ornstein’s brave, bold, however-did-the-Repubs-come-to-this thumbsucking:
Pfui. Both of you have punditological careers dating to the Carter administration. Did you sleep through the Reagan presidency? Miss the rhetoric of the Nixon years? Tricky Dick didn’t deliver the famous “Silent Centrist Majority” speech, y’know. Though he might’ve, since it’s you guys who remained silent while the Republican party went from cabal of 19th century capital pirates to cabal of 19th century capital pirates cosseting Nixonian lunatics, to cabal of Nixonian lunatics who revere 19th century capital piracy in thirty years….
The GOP hasn’t “moved from the mainstream”. It’s gained more power. The “center of power” hasn’t gone much of anywhere. It may have followed Goldwater West and South, thanks to the evil genius of Nixon, but it’s not exactly a seismic shift from Joe McCarthy to Jesse Helms, from John Wayne to Glenn Beck. When th’ hell was it Chuck Hagel’s party? When was it Nelson Rockefeller’s, for that matter? They called Truman a commie, for chrissakes….
Okay, sure: the Republican party has become increasingly dilatory and obtuse in the halls of power, but that’s not a change of the last four years. Had Republicans had the power in 1981 they would have dispensed with all the Reagan sainthood bullshit and just rammed through their radical agenda, instead of getting Democrats to agree to do it for them. And there’s no question this has been facilitated, both by a venal and cowardly Democratic party, and a venal and cowardly Press. But, really, enough of this stuff. I’m not gonna make common cause with Democrats, or rueful Republican centrists, who suddenly notice what the GOP has become, and expect a medal for saying so. The time to speak up was thirty years ago, when this stuff was just as plain, and was being covered by a transparent rewrite of unpleasant history, and a clear retrenchment on individual rights. Y’know, when Reaganism was the Wave of the Future the Republican platform had no more chance of actually governing than it does today. David Stockman was just as big a liar as Paul Ryan. I’m going to settle for having been right about this shit all along, and hope we don’t kill too many innocents when it all blows up. Don’t offer to help me shovel now. You’ve already done enough.
More to savor at the link. Mann and Ornstein went rummaging through their closets looking for a safe place to hide from this year’s crop of Republican monsters, and discovered the tiny, shrivelled, long-forgotten remnants of their journalistic ethics. Kudos to both of those fine professionals. But the fact that airing vulgar truth in front of the other Media Villagers qualifies as news just demonstrates how far “our” standards have fallen.
I think Mitt Romney’s Seamus Experience is a commendable story. Unlike most people, Romney is so committed to caring for his beloved dog that he put a doghouse on top of his car, in addition to the one in his yard, just so that Seamus would never be lonely. Unfortunately for most dogs their owners are simply too cheap and stingy to provide such luxuries for them.
That doghouse riley piece is a smug and arrogant load of shit. Fine, don’t give them a medal for finally recognizing the truth that has been right in front of their noses for decades. But, you know, *that they recognized the truth and wrote about it is still a good thing*. We need to encourage more of that, not spit at it when it happens. Otherwise, the status quo will remain unchanged.
@ShadeTail: Let’s not start sucking their dicks just yet.
They didn’t even manage to make through the entire piece without falling back on the ol’ false equivalency, as when they said that Republicans had gone from their 40 yard line past the end zone, while Democrats have gone from their 40 to their 25.
O, rilly? In what fucking universe are today’s Democrats to the left of McGovern? They’ve gone from Great Society to welfare “reform” (deform), assisting in the destruction of the unions, defunding education, NAFTA, etc etc etc…Richard Nixon would be a liberal in today’s Democratic Party, for fuck’s sake. And here’s these two bozos undermining their entire premise with the transparently phony statement that while Republicans have moved so far to the right as to have fallen off the edge of the map, meanwhile Democrats have been moving to the left?
The prophet Nostradumbass
@Elias: Every time I hear about poor Seamus, it reminds me of my own cat, with the same name.
I somewhat disagree with DR that Republicans were just as crazy in 1981 as they are in 2012. In 1981 the GOP was still in the process of taking the South and losing the Northeast. That’s not to say that the same crazy ideas haven’t been floating around since whenever, it’s just that the GOP wasn’t the monolith it is today.
Anyway, I wonder which éminence grise will be the next to utter the truth, if one does.
ETA: It won’t be the Moustache of Understanding, because that would undermine Billionaires Select.
Ok. OT. I ate porchetta tonight and I’m giving up politics. Also, apparently the kid at the movie theater box office thought I looked old enough for the senior discount without carding me. I didn’t have that problem In the past, back when I wasn’t commenting on political blogs. I think it’s all related.
Wow. That is a really weak attack on Maddow.
Hey, you know what proves Modern Republicans are just the same as they’ve always been, and are just like Nixon? You could totally see Bush, or Boehner, or Ryan, or McConnell, or the new Tea Party Caucus – proposing – and signing into being – a new federal agency charged with overseeing protection of the environment.
Could totally see that.
Here’s another uncomfortable truth being told.
Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K.
@LT: Nixon was right in the middle of the Great Liberal Era. It’s quite possible he would have been just as big an asshole as Mitt Romney if it had been viable political strategy at the time, just as I suspect Clinton would have been more liberal if he hadn’t been right in the middle (at least, I hope that was the middle) of the conservative era.
If this and the Nocera piece linked above are heralds of a new trend of Villager writers overcoming their bipartisanship fetish, I’ll be happy as anyone. But I seem to recall David Brooks himself writing a column way back in 2008 that read “The Republican Party is intellectually unfit to govern right now” or something of the sort. Smile and give them a back-slap, sure, but get ready to sprint for the exit if they turn on you.
DR’s a good writer, but I sometimes think the “I figured out already, why didn’t you morons?” strategy of rhetoric has, well, limited returns, shall we say?
@satanicpanic: “Nixon was right in the middle of the Great Liberal Era.”
And? Are we supposed to completely separate him from what he did for purposes of comparing him to this class of clowns because of that?
Yeah, fuck ’em because they didn’t say it fast enough. Fucking wankers. Jesus, isn’t it good that people like this are recognizing the situation and that it got published in a mainstream outlet?
I read the Doghouse Riley thing. He has a point, I guess. But his self-righteousness makes it hard to take. Given who Mann and Ornstein are, I agree it’s no small thing that they’ve come to this realization. It wouldn’t have been easy for them to get past a lifetime’s worth of political loyalties. Better to engage Mann and Ornstein than to growl at them, “What took you so bloody long?” That kind of welcome might just drive them back again to the right.
Truman is small potatoes. The modern Republican party is the spiritual and political heir of the folks who thought Eisenhower was a commie.
@LT: @LT: Times have changed. Nixon, to me, seems like the Romney of the 1960’s. I could see Romney creating an EPA if it were advantageous to do so. It is now starting to hurt the Republicans to have their crazy views out in the open. When they continue to do them, despite it hurting their electoral chances, then I think it’s fair to say they’ve gone nuts in a new way.
Pretty excellent writing – started reading Doghouse Riley since you linked to him that one time a month or so ago, and have been reading him pretty regularly even if Indiana politics is his forte.
@Omnes Omnibus @Amir Khalid: Yeah, sure, Doghouse Riley is being sanctimonious but I don’t blame him – the time for conciliatory gestures is over. The fuckers have to fully own up to their assery lo these 30 years – actually, he’s being generously lenient, as I’d put their fuckwadery at 50 to 75 years.
When you need as many people as possible in your tent, don’t yell at the latecomers. However understandable your feelings about them lingering in the other side’s tent, however gratifying it is to vent them, that only drives people away.
Wikipedia war looks to be starting on the Bersih 3.0 rally article
I agree with the basic sentiments of your comment.
However, what I would add, is that despite the impulse to do the right thing, Mann and Ornstein, when it came right down to it lacked the last ounce of integrity and courage and lamely included two sentences (or maybe three or four total) that simply didn’t belong in their essay.
Both sentences showed just how deep the “both sides do it” reflex runs in the US today.
It was simply wrong to put either of those sentences in this essay. First, the primary movement in Democrats hasn’t come from individuals becoming more liberal, but rather from southern conservatives leaving the party and joining the GOP. Second, just which people make up this so-called “extreme wing” of the Democratic Party? I’d argue that there are virtually no Democrats who are as extreme left as the majority of Republicans are extreme right. There may be a few outliers in the Democratic Party, but the mainstream of the GOP has moved to a point where they are anti-democratic radicals. (That’s small “d” democratic.)
Inclusion of both of those sentences showed that Mann and Ornstein are still worried that unless they condemn the Democrats too, they will be ignored or written off as partisan.
Instead, all those sentences do is give desperate readers little life boats to jump into and claim “See, they really are both guilty.” As Mann and Ornstein point out, nothing the Democrats are doing is outside the bounds of traditional congressional practice, whereas the Republicans are playing a completely new, and profoundly destructive, game.
If Romney wins, and the Republicans regain control in the Senate (highly likely), who wants to bet on the survival of the filibuster in a Senate where the Republicans are short the 60 votes they supposedly would need to ram their entire plutocratic platform through?
Marcellus Shale, Public Dick
well said. the other thing underlying the 40 to the 25 yard line analogy is that it draws from the “base” in terms of democrats, ignoring what the actual party in power and the professional dems are doing or have done. by contrast, the gop message, the one that has moved past the goal posts is done down through the chain of command.
in order to pose as objective, even in this piece, they are comparing our amateurs to their pros. our audience to their sponsors.
unlike some, i don’t think the beltway is that out of touch. you almost can’t be that out of touch. they knew it, they all know it, this barely scratches the surface. it only scratches the surface because the insider crowd finally feels the least bit threatened.
@Triassic Sands: I thought we moved from our 40 to their 25, not our own 25. It would be interesting to ask them what game they think we are playing. What does a touchdown look like?
James E. Powell
I’d argue that there are virtually no Democrats who are as extreme left as the majority of Republicans are extreme right.
Exactly. If both sides really did it, Rep. Cynthia McKinney would have been the chair of the house foreign affairs committee.
Stated another way, it isn’t just that the Republicans have more extremists, it’s that their extremists are actually running the show. Meanwhile, the Democratic ‘leadership’ is dominated by DINOs like Harry Reid and Steny Hoyer.
Ah, open thread. This is a figure from a recent patent application:
The lesson, children, is that yes, the Singularity is approaching, but no, it’s not going to be the one that Ray Kurzweil expects. Go back to bed.
What does a touchdown look like?
Re-imposition of Glass-Steagall.
Repeal of Gramm-Leach-Bliley
Repeal of much of the “PATRIOT” Act
Ratificaton of a Constitutional amendment making explicit the right to privacy found in the penumbra in Griswold
(a man can dream, can’t he?)
Actually closing Guantamo would be a nice field goal.
Those democratic partisans intolerant of fellow democratic criticisms of Obama are the ones who should take that op-ed to heart.
It might even lead to them to understand why those of us who have watched this shit-train gather steam for what seems like eternity are justly contemptuous of their intolerance.
Republicans were always this nuts, that’s why Nixon’s Administration oversaw the creation of the EPA.
Reagan pushed the Senate to have the U.S. ratify a U.N. declaration against torture and wanted to abolish all nuclear weapons.
Bush, Sr. signed into law the ADA, FMLA and Republican think-tanks created cap-and-trade as a market oriented approach to tackle acid rain causing emissions in the industrial Midwest.
Bush, Jr. – despite how flawed those laws became – expanded Medicare, signed campaign finance reform and one of the most major overhauls of corporate governance in a long time.
Heck, even a Gingrich controlled House got sCHIP passed.
The current crop of Republicans are truly unique in their obstructionism and refusal to do anything, unless they have absolute power.
@Triassic Sands: It’s a rule that you must say something negative about Democrats in any piece attacking Republican. See the Doghouse Riley post or most anything by Charles Pierce.
@MattF: Uhh, you have seen google glass, no?
vague straw men should take this article to heart!
@Triassic Sands: First, the primary movement in Democrats hasn’t come from individuals becoming more liberal, but rather from southern conservatives leaving the party and joining the GOP.
I would argue that currently the primary movement in Democrats is sane Republicans taking over the Democratic party. The is no Democratic Party for all intents and purposes.
When was the last law passed increasing the power of collective bargaining?
@Baud: I see I’m right on time, heh.
@ShadeTail: “that they recognized the truth and wrote about it is still a good thing. We need to encourage more of that, not spit at it when it happens.”
I agree with this. As much as I sincerely loathe the false journalism that brought about this low place in our history, politics really isn’t a good place to seek emotional releases. To support good actions seems the better way.
But I do understand Riley’s anger and share it fully. I’d like to focus that anger on bad actions instead.
There is a strain of online commentary that sneers at anyone who was ever on the other side. Here, of all places, I’d think that people would value the ability of people to change their minds. We’re seeing pieces in mainstream outlets that portray Republicans as dangerous radicals. This is important.
And I also think that Rileys’ claim is, objectively, bullshit. Reagan raised taxes, for example. It was possible for a non-radical to win a Republican primary; I voted for Lowell Weicker, who would be considered a liberal in the modern Democratic party and who would be completely outside the spectrum of the Republicans. We have a party that has been completely purged of moderates, willing to drive the nation bankrupt, attacking birth control, and unable to ever raise taxes under any circumstances. This is far, far more radical than the Reagan Republican party on multiple levels. To pretend otherwise is to admit that you’re incapable of making distinctions. Can you imagine a modern republican proposing the EPA, or the Reagan tax increases?
this has been facilitated, both by a venal and cowardly Democratic party, and a venal and cowardly Press
when do we get over giving democrats and the press a pass because they’re rationalized as incompetent when in realty they’re just part of the show: The Plutocrats Plunder Machine. Democrats are the pretend opposition and hapless foil and the press are conjurers of confusion and obfuscations so the rubes don’t realize they’re being robbed blind. Both are integral to the Great American heist of the middle and working class to create the new American aristocracy.
The Regan administration was split about 40/60 nuts to thieves. The modern Republican party is 80/80.
The other difference is the complete alternate reality that they’ve built for the base. Back in the day, crazyland was a lonely place. Now they can all live in it together.
And apparently our media didn’t notice all of the grandstanding and crotch-grabbing Bush did judging by how ready they are to pick up GOP crying over that Osama ad.
“When was the last law passed increasing the power of collective bargaining?”
The Democrats controlled the White House and Congress for 2 two-year periods since 1980. Let’s keep them in power for an extended period of time and maybe we can get a few more wish list items accomplished.
@Baud: The problem is that they are not on anybody’s wish list anymore. Card check got the number of votes it got from Democrats initially because it had no chance of passing. When there was an actual chance, it never came to a floor vote. Remember?
I could not believe it when I learned that unions were enjoined from economic boycotts. Citizens have that power; when did it get taken from unions?
Well, that’s part of the problem, isn’t it?
We go to inform the populace and provide opinion on issues of the day with the pundits we have, not the ones we wish we had, I suppose.
“DR’s a good writer, but I sometimes think the “I figured out already, why didn’t you morons?” strategy of rhetoric has, well, limited returns, shall we say?”
Abso-byGod-lutely. Smug and condescending is not a winning combination. Even if you’re right a fair amount of the time.
What OC said. Look at the screams of outrage by righties at the WaPo site on the original article.
“Mann and Ornstein went rummaging through their closets looking for a safe place to hide from this year’s crop of Republican monsters, and discovered the tiny, shrivelled, long-forgotten remnants of their journalistic ethics”
Say what, now? This isn’t just wrong, it’s bizarre. Neither Mann nor Orntein is now or ever has been a journalist.
Not sure what you’re trying to accomplish by pretending these guys are something that they manifestly are not.
There is a great portion of this type of public regret about Republican Craziness 2012 which is reminiscent of how so many conservatives began taking issue with George W. Bush Jr. (and many Republicans) after he became very unpopular.
If Bush Jr’s numbers had never declined with the rise of the Iraqi ethnic cleansing / civil war and Katrina, the strongest boosters would never have stopped celebrating him as the new reincarnation of Macho Reagan and the more real-world conservatives like Ornstein would have remained quite contained in their dissent.
Conservatives who are relatively more independently minded (or more visionary about their own individual futures) suddenly become louder and more listened to when many of them begin noticing they’re being tied to an anchor and that anchor’s getting ready to drop.
Exactly. The goals haven’t changed!
Imagine a human hand whacking a mole … forever.
That doesn’t change the fact that the WaPo piece was more correct than not. Nor does it change the fact that the doghouse riley piece was a smug and arrogant pile of shit that is completely counter-productive.
Mann and Ornstein didn’t get everything correct, but they *were* correct on the most important point. You can be sure they’re getting condescending snarling from the right on this. If they also get it from the left, do you really think they’ll improve on the parts where they didn’t quite get it? Because that is absolutely not what would happen.
I say again, that they recognized the truth and wrote about it is still a good thing. We need to encourage more of that, not spit at it when it happens. Otherwise, the status quo will remain unchanged.
@ShadeTail: The “truth” is not that the Democrats have become more liberal in the past 40 years. That was my point.
They mostly made good points, yes, but why undermine them with stuff they both know to be patent nonsense? How does that help accomplish anything other than feed into the Fox News “today’s Democrats are as far to the left as the Marxists” meme – which quite frankly, needs no feeding?
I pointed this out on the WaPo thread, minus the strong language.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
I am not a Christian, but I happen to think that Jesus had the right idea on the cross when he forgave the thief. Just because they are late doesn’t mean we shouldn’t welcome them.
In times such as these, I reflect on the wisdom of Saint Molly: “It’s not true that things are getting worse. They’ve always been like this.”
pseudonymous in nc
I’m a fan of “credit where due” here.
Ornstein was writing about executive overreach and legislative dysfunction (and showing up on Air America to talk about it with Al Franken) during the Bush years — and not just at the point where people in wingnut welfare positions were distancing themselves from W.
Here’s a piece from 2006 in Foreign Affairs by Mann and Ornstein, talking about how Congress (at the time, under total GOP control) had failed its duty of oversight.
The notion Republicans have always refused to govern or cooperate with Democrats on governance falls flat in the face of history.
There’s no point in trying to demonize Republicans, the way Republicans attempt to demonize any and everything Democrats have ever done; we are just stooping to their level of stupidity and ignorance, which only dilutes how totally unprecedented in their obstruction the modern Republican Party has become since January 20, 2009.
There are no past parallels. This really is an historic level of obstructionism and refusal to deal with reality not seen, since maybe the pre-Civil War era Congress sessions.
@ShadeTail: This is also what 85% of the Daily Howler is now. “I’ve been angry about X for years, and you’re only just now angry about X, so fuck you.”. It’s sort of like snarling at people who started liking some indie band after they signed to a major label.
@gene108: Yup. I think the difference is that Republicans used to want to push policy in a Republican direction, even when Democrats were in power, but now they barely want to make policy at all. They used to agree on some number of what the problems facing America were, and so there would be the Republican plan for environmental protection and the Republican plan for urban blight and what have you. Now there’s just tax cuts and fewer rules on businesses, and whatever happens outside of that, well, tough noogies.
Nor does what you write change the fact that the essay was weakened by unnecessary inclusion of the now mandatory criticism of Democrats.
Ornstein is a moderate conservative, and one of the few left on the Right who is able or willing to recognize that the GOP’s glass is not only completely empty, it’s got some poisonous mold growing in it. I wasn’t surprised to see his name on the essay. I don’t know anything about Mann. He’s at the Brookings Institution so if I had to guess, I’d say he is probably a very moderate Dem. Their hearts were in the right place, but they lacked the guts to do the job right. To borrow from E.M. Forster, “two cheers” for Mann/Ornstein.
Completely true. I’ve been re-reading Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland and it’s startling how perfectly the bizarre headlines and sociopathic statements by Republican leaders back in 1968 could be transplanted word for word to today’s headlines and today’s quotes by Republican leaders.
Really, nothing has changed for 44 years.