A Stupid Argument Made by Smart People
There is arising among the members of our elite press a feeling that the Democrats and the dwindling number of smart people in Congress should let the Republicans burn down the country because the consequences of said arson will be so severe that the Republicans will awaken in a Cormac McCarthy wasteland of abject Fail and come to their senses, causing them to dig up Dwight Eisenhower, prop him up in Mitch McConnell’s office, and apologize to him for the next 20 years.
Todd Purdum takes to the pixels of Tiger Beat On The Potomac to make this case. Ezra Klein also seems to be aboard, too. These are both pretty smart guys, so why they’ve decided to believe this nonsense ees-a-puzzlement to me. Let us get the goopy humanity stuff out of the way first. Both a government shutdown and/or a debt-ceiling catastrophe will have savage real-world consequences for millions of people who do not live in Washington and who do not appear on panel shows, and who already are making due with the cuts that came from sequestration, the previous attempt to shame the inhabitants of the monkeyhouse into a return to sanity. How’s that working out for everyone? Now, granted, the stakes are immeasurably higher, but what leads anyone to believe that even being blamed for inflicting incalculable pain on millions of people is going to result in the kind of national revulsion that will cause the Republicans to come back to the pack? Purdum writes:
Like an insistent teenage driver, determined to see how fast he can take that blind curve on a rainy road at night, the GOP seems unwilling to abandon its particular brand of brinkmanship until it winds up in the emergency room. If that’s the case, mightn’t it be better to let the crash happen, if only so the reconstruction can start?
To what “reconstruction” is Purdum referring here? If he’s talking about the economy and we, somehow, we come out out of this with a bogus “bipartisan” solution along the lines of the bogus Simpson-Bowles extravaganza, the Republicans will have won more than the Democrats have, because feeding Vaal on entitlements is their policy, not that of the Democrats. If he’s talking about the Republicans coming to their senses, he’s just wrong. I know I can get boring on this point but, to reconfigure the party the way Purdum and others seem to believe the party will be reconfigured in the wake of the fiscal apocalypse the Republicans have brought upon us, you would need a party establishment powerful enough to force the issue, and there…is…no…Republican…establishment. There are independent centers of power, none of whom are particularly indebted to the party, and all of which have the money to pursue their own interests and their own imperatives regardless of what may happen to Reince Priebus and Mitch McConnell, and, frankly, regardless of whether or not the party ever elects another president. These independent centers of power already are working their wills out in the state legistatures, which is where the next generation of Republican congresscritters will be produced. Those people are deeper into the izonkosphere than Ted Cruz is. When will this great reconfiguration show itself? Two decades from now? Three?
Moreover, have the Democrats ever shown any inclination to make a meal of the simple, self-evident fact that the other party has gone completely out of its mind? It’s not enough to decry the ongoing vandalism. The nihilism behind it has to be brought out and hammered home, day after day, election after election. Letting the crazy people work their crazy will while the rest of us suffer in the vain hope that voters will figure out on their own what happened to them, and why, is a fool’s errand.