Dead people talking politics

March 1, 2012 by  

While they were busy writing endless columns on such things as Obama’s manliness, whether or not Americans should wear jeans or whether or not Monica Lewinsky would bring down the nation, America’s famed band of “conservative and moderate intellectuals” failed to notice that the GOP was going insane.

They’re noticing now.

David Brooks:

All across the nation, there are mainstream Republicans lamenting how the party has grown more and more insular, more and more rigid. This year, they have an excellent chance to defeat President Obama, yet the wingers have trashed the party’s reputation by swinging from one embarrassing and unelectable option to the next: Bachmann, Trump, Cain, Perry, Gingrich, Santorum.

George Will:

“Newt Gingrich said the American people have a right to demand two dollar and fifty cent gas prices. They have a right to demand lobsters grow on trees. This is economic nonsense.”

Maureen Dowd:

Once elected, those presidents curbed the id with the ego, common sense and reason. But now the G.O.P.’s id is unbridled. The horse has thrown the rider; the dark forces are bubbling. Moderates, women, gays, Hispanics and blacks — even the president — are being hunted in this most dangerous game.

David Frum:

But the remark also illustrates the Tea Party’s disconnect from reality. Except in the rarest cases, to work with one’s hands in modern America is to face a lifetime of very low-wage work. (And the exceptions do things that I suspect Tea Party activists would dislike almost as much as they dislike college: artisanal cheese-making, restoration of antiques, high-end floral arrangement, etc.—and anyway people who do those things typically have at least some higher education and often quite a lot.)

Yes, while the so-called moderate Republican columnists were sleeping, their party left them. More than that, their party is blaming them for their woes. So while people like Brooks, Dowd, Will & Frum will continue to spout what they consider conservative intellectualism, the simple fact is that they no longer have an audience. And their shrill criticism of the GOP is coming far too late for it to have any effect on political discourse.



8 Responses to “Dead people talking politics”

  1. Dr. Woody on March 2nd, 2012 9:00 am

    What “worries” me, to the extent that anything about Duopoly politics can be said to be “worrisome,” is that the likes of Dowd, Will, Frum and Brooks will feel compelled to leave the GOPhux, but JOIN the Dims, thereby driving THEM further RIGHT…

  2. Black Dahliance on March 2nd, 2012 11:44 am

    The only reason these conservative pundits are now throwing open their shutters and screaming the obvious to the knowing masses is that the harsh (absurd) right wing strategy of dividing and demonizing is backfiring across the nation. If for some ungodly reason it were working in their favour, Will, Frum, et al. would be singing their praises and wallowing in the new bed of the GOP. The hideous approach of Tea Party constituents crawled out from under a rock four years ago…why didn’t the rukkus wake the “intellectuals” that now seem to have been sleeping under said same rock? don’t tell me they were oblivious to this all along… And I still don’t see any of them throwing Mitt Romney into the mix with Santorum, Gringrichl, etc., when he too is just as gregarious, unhinged and pathetic as the rest of them.

  3. brantl on March 2nd, 2012 12:00 pm

    SInce they have done lip service for the nutwing element, they have been reluctant to speak out, now they’re screwed. I feel so sorry for them.

  4. Wild Clover on March 2nd, 2012 2:04 pm

    Since when is Maureen Dowd a conservative writer? She’s been praised or demonized (depending on the writer) as a liberal as long as I recall. A moderate, pragmatic, liberal so dissed by the far left often, but still a liberal.

  5. El Ronbo on March 2nd, 2012 7:05 pm

    I blame Bill Clinton! And by blame, I mean credit.

    We are at the moment a center-right nation. Like it or not. Republicans play politics as a sport – yay for our team! The other team sucks!

    Bill and his team put those two facts together, and first started playing policy notes that resonated with the center-right. And coupled it with some sensible economic policy, taxing enough to keep the books balanced and investing in the right places.

    The GOP reacted not by saying “hey, a lot of these are our ideas!”, but by going on the offensive, denouncing whatever it is that darn other team did. Which pushed them farther to the right.

    Follow this with Karl Rove, who is a smart guy, but no Lee Atwater. He played the fear buttons to boost turnout – you’ll catch the ghey! the Muslims are coming with nuclear bombs!

    Trouble is, that worked too well, and you ended up with a very right wing party, out of the mainstream, that had an energized base that started getting very active in small state primaries

    Obama has taken the Clinton playbook to heart, and stayed center-right. The progressives can whine all day that he isn’t a true liberal – okay, he isn’t. Al Gore was, and his haste to steer clear of Clinton’s legacy got him beaten by a mediocre opponent. True progessives can’t win, the last was Carter and that took Watergate’s legacy – even then he barely won, Ford peaked too early.

    Which brings us to Romney. A genuinely intelligent person, a nice guy, a guy that governed Massachusetts pretty reasonably. He’s what pragmatic Republicans should want. But the primaries are dragging him so far to the right, and he’s getting beaten up so badly, he doesn’t have a chance.

    The tea party lost Republicans the Senate in 2010. They’re largely finished, these movements are one-and-done (see Perot’s We the People for a perfect parallel). Maybe in 2016 Republicans will learn to stop reflexively opposing whatever the other side is for, and stop relying on turnout from the wingnut base to win elections.

    But I wouldn’t bet on it. There’s an equally good chance they’ll reproduce the history that created their party in the first place – with the current GOP playing the role of Know-Nothings, and the moderate conservatives founding a new center-right party similar to the group that ran John Fremont in 1856.

  6. dgun on March 5th, 2012 12:23 pm

    Black Dahliance, I like the cut of your jib.

    I was looking for an excuse to use that phrase. But I do agree with your comments.

  7. William K. Wolfrum on March 5th, 2012 12:42 pm

    It really was a great comment. Hopefully will shake some of the cockiness off of my regular three ;)

  8. William K. Wolfrum on March 7th, 2012 2:03 pm

    Great comment & points, Ronbo. Thanks.

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