It was only a few months ago that we still saw the Republican party as a well-oiled machine, a machine that had delivered over and over against from 1980 on. Now it's back to Nixon. Worse. Because the whole party is involved, from funders like the Kochs and Scaife, flaks like Rove, numbnuts like George W. Bush, and barnicles like Wayne LaPierre, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, and public relations experts like the National Review.
Really! Add it all up and it's about as embarrassing as politics can get. The official Washington news outlet, the Post, headlines it "chaos" and adds "disarray" and "incoherence" to the mix.
Disarray is a word much overused in politics. But it barely begins to describe the current state of chaos and incoherence as Republicans come to terms with electoral defeat and try to regroup against a year-end deadline to avert a fiscal crisis. ...WaPo
Will there be a sudden turnaround? Will some magic return political clout to the Republican party and its furious, confused, thwarted gun-toters and conspiracy theorists from Texas to Idaho who may react badly to the realization that they're members of a party that no longer has cojones? Are we in for an explosion of anger out here? Not just in Washington?
“We have sunk to the lowest common denominator in order to get a deal — sheer panic,” said Republican strategist Ron Bonjean, a former aide to House and Senate leadership. “The reality of a stock market crash is probably the only way Washington will strike a deal. It is probably the only scenario that could likely force the speaker’s hand and allow for a deal driven by Democratic votes to pass the House.”
Which, of course, is not an ideal way to govern.
“The hard-core anti-tax conservatives in the GOP seem to believe that Barack Obama will be blamed if there is no agreement reached to avoid sequestration and the tax increases that are coming,” said Sheldon D. Pollack, a University of Delaware law and political science professor who has written a history of Republican anti-tax policy. “Calculated gamble? Or are they simply incapable of recognizing that they do not control the White House or the Senate, and hence do not have the ability to control the agenda? Sadly, I think it is the latter.” ...WaPo
The next issue we have to face is whether Democrats now have the cojones to lead. Everyone needs a break and none more than a beleaguered, temperate President Obama. But I hope that well-deserved time off in Hawaii is both restorative and brief.
In the meantime when we think about the cojones angle let's not fault Obama. You could argue this is merely chutzpa but I'd call it a definite sign of cojones. From WSJ via Political Wire:
"Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn't reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault."
At one point, Boehner told the president, "I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?"
Replied Obama: "You get nothing. I get that for free." ...Political Wire
Sheesh! Reminds me of playing Monopoly with my big sister.