OLATHE, Kan. - David Stockman, Ronald Reagan's budget director, uttered these words during a 60 Minutes interview on October 31, "...the Republican Party... should be ashamed of themselves." He was referring to the Republicans' insistence on tax cuts. Worse, he called their incessant chant "rank demagoguery."
In his Nov.8-14 Business Week article, John Meacham hearkens back to Daniel Patrick Moynihan's concern about crazies on both sides of the political spectrum, and the lack of a cool-headed center that respects all sides.
In the November 15 issue of Time magazine, Fareed Zakaria makes the point that the Republicans have another chance to show that they're not just a party of white, southern men -- a demographic cohort that is shrinking rapidly amid ever-increasing "minority" voters who lean heavily Democratic.
My point is that the Republicans are likely to fail again -- thankfully. They just can't get past their proclivity to have their hands in the cookie jar of the The Conservative Nanny State. A friend living in Chase County remarked, in the aftermath of Bush 2's appointment to president by the Supreme Court in 2000, that we'd just have to hope that Republicans would so badly overreach that they'd be driven from office. Boy, howdy.
Well, now we'll have to hope that they'll overreach yet again (not a hard thing to do, given Republicans' penchant for a corporatist agenda). Just look at the in-fighting between the likes of Mitch McConnell (Mr. Earmarks) and the Tea Party zealots who want all earmarks eliminated. There will be blood on the floor over that one. Add to the fact that the Republicans now have to produce -- govern -- and not just be obstructionist, and we have the makings for another progressive takeover in 2012 and 2014. The Chamber of Commerce's big business agenda in the new Congress will be irresistible to Republicans, and another blatant example of the Republican Party's obvious duplicity when it comes to getting spending under control. It will be fun to watch.
The key to 2012 and beyond will be both voter education and getting out the vote. If we can get more voters to the polls, then a progressive victory is all but assured.
On an unrelated note:
Thomas Frank, until recently a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal's opinion page, is now the "Easy Chair" columnist for Harper's magazine. Frank's disappearance from the WSJ is more evidence that Rupert Murdoch's agenda just can't stand the light of day. I've been an on-again, off-again subscriber to WSJ, but it's become so hard-right and bitter in the past year that I'm finished when my subscription ends. My current subscription was purchased with excess airline miles, and I just can't fork over hard cash for the Wall Street version of Fox News.