Now, onto more important things; I'm starting to believe that what Chris Hayes says is correct, that many of the Republicans who have reached the upper echelons of their party's leadership have decided that the best way to win back some power in America would be to stymie Democratic attempts to fix America. If they obstruct many pieces of legislation, or, you know, the sitting of a senator, then they are playing on the hopes that it fails and that they can point out its failure in 2010 or 2012 without mentioning the part their obstruction could have potentially played in that failure. I have no doubt that Norm Coleman really wants to be Minnesota's senator. But really, at a certain point in time it is more than appropriate to throw in the old towel; and this, along with Republicans voting against the stimulus bill and then bragging about all the goodies they got in it, along with continued Republican lies about organizations like ACORN and what was actually in that stimulus bill, makes me a might bit suspicious.
The game many Republicans are now playing seems directly related to the game they play in regard to national security. I live in a blue state - not a blue dog state, just a true blue one. Our Republicans are for things like gun control laws and abortion rights (not that we have any more on the national scene), that's how blue we are. And even I have heard and seen plenty of talk about how Bush kept us safe for 8 years, because after 9/11 there hadn't been another terrorist attack. The problem with that is two-fold; it is trying to prove a negative in that it is trying to create a correlation between the policies that have ostensibly proven to create more terrorists with the fact that we have not had a terrorist attack, and it is playing the numbers game. There is no way to keep America perfectly safe, especially now that we've (we've) destabilized a nation in an already tumultuous region and tortured people; we can keep America fairly safe, even very safe. But what the Bush administration and those who have fixed upon their talking points have done is to ensure a climate where any hint of terrorism under Obama equals a fail for him, even if those engaged in terrorism had turned to terrorism because of Bush era policies. And that is as intellectually disingenuous as it is politically savvy.
A less politically savvy aspect of this "My country when it thinks I'm right, but I hope it fails when it thinks I'm wrong" are things like Sean Hannity's poll asking what kind of rebellion his followers would prefer against the country, and Rush Limbaugh hoping out loud and often that President Obama fails; but the presence of such ideas in the overall dialogue lends credence to the thought that the other obstructionist stuff may be less based on principles and more on politics. It doesn't prove anything, but it sure does leave a bad taste in my mouth.
But back to Chris Hayes. Chris makes a point that "the town remains wired for Republicans. It still listens to Republican talking points. We saw this in the stimulus and when you had all these Republicans on the cable networks talking all the time about, you know, their objection to this part of the stimulus. That still permeates the institutional structure of elite consensus opinion in Washington despite the massive change in public opinion about how people feel about conservative ideas and the Republican party. The smaller, kind of insular, beltway establishment still is far more willing to cut Republicans slack than actual voters at large are." This is an echo, though less tinfoil hat extreme, of someone I thought was just insane on Bill Moyers' The Journal on February 6th. Says Glenn Greenwald:
I think it raises an interesting dilemma. Which is, if you look at what the media were saying about Obama favorably, both around the time of his election and subsequent as well, they kept insisting that he could continue Bush's counterterrorism policies that were so controversial.
They were praising him for leaving in place all sorts of Bush officials that the media wants to see is continuity, that he's not threatening to their way of life and to their establishment, for the reason that we talked about before. That's how he wins praise from them, is by showing that he isn't going to change things fundamentally, and therefore, isn't a threat to their system.
At the same time, as Jay said, what he needs to do more than anything to fulfill the commitments that he made, is demonstrate that he's a true change agent. And I think these objectives are very much in conflict, because the more he threatens the Washington system, I think the more hostility the press will feel towards him, and therefore, project to the public about him. And that, too, can undermine his political popularity.
And while Nancy Pelosi may have schooled Rachel Maddow about how effective the Republicans dominating the talking points during the stimulus debate was, I think at some point the dominance will affect American perception of the presidency and the legitimacy of the Democratic rule and liberalism in general. Liberal is already a damned dirty word, and I would like that to change. But as long as the Republicans can play keep away without being seriously called on it, that isn't likely to.