Left In Lowell

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April 28, 2012

I Told You So.

by at 7:51 am.

File this under “Plain as the nose on your face.”

We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.”

“The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”

“When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.”

(h/t Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire)

10 Responses to “I Told You So.”

  1. -b Says:

    I think Republicans would say the similar things about the Dems. And perhaps someone in the middle would say there are problems across the board.

  2. Jack Says:

    I can say the moon is made out of cheese.

    I guess it comes down to the source. The GOP has asserted “The Press” is in the tank for the liberals. Maybe, “The Press” is also made out of cheese?

  3. Publius Says:

    Jack,

    Shouldn’t thoughtful comments be treated with some respect?

  4. Christopher Says:

    RE Comment#1

    That’s the whole point of this piece. One can no longer with a shread of intellectual integrity say the other side does it in equal measure. One side can SAY that the other side does it too, just like they can SAY the earth is flat, global warming doesn’t happen, or all life was created in a week, but that doesn’t make it true.

  5. Jack Says:

    Publius,

    Respect is engaging the subject, maybe offer a salient counterposition with backup. Politely saying, “I know you are, but what am I?” is a farce.

    Kinda like you inferring -b is a victim of my bullying.

    Watch how it is done. Remember the Grand Bargain?

    And yet, in the end, while both leaders had profound reservations about a grand bargain that would threaten their parties’ priorities, what’s undeniable, despite all the furious efforts to peddle a different story, is that Obama managed to persuade his closest allies to sign off on what he wanted them to do, and Boehner didn’t, or couldn’t. While Democratic leaders were willing to swallow either a deal with more revenue or a deal with less, Boehner’s theoretical counteroffer, which probably reflected what he would have done if empowered to act alone, never even got a hearing from his leadership team.

    Your turn.

  6. joe from Lowell Says:

    I think Republicans would say the similar things about the Dems. But, you see, this isnt Democrats saying this about the Republicans. It’s the Washington Post, that great supporter of the Iraq War, publisher of George Will’s climate change denial columns, and hero-worshipper of Paul Ryan.

    And perhaps someone in the middle would say there are problems across the board.

    The Washington Post defines “the middle” in American politics more than any other institution, and they aren’t saying that at all.

  7. Paul@01852 Says:

    @jfL: No this is NOT the Washington Post! It’s two think-tank analysts, one from Brookings Institute (center-liberal), the other from the American Enterprise Institute (center-right) who wrote this as an OpEd piece which just “happened” to be published in the Post. It could just as easily have been published in the Wall Street Journal or The National Review!

  8. Publius Says:

    Jack,

    I will be glad to respond to the excerpt.

    1. Outliers by definition are outside the norm. To have significant numbers elected to office means that it is not an outlier. The Republican surge of 2010 showed significant support of their agenda or, in the alternative, opposition to Democratic policies.
    2. Ideologically extreme is a matter of definition. The Democrats of the 1950’s would consider most Democrats of today to be socialists at best.
    3. Scornful of compromise is a canard. It could be viewed as being principled. Republicans learned a long time ago that compromise with Democrats actually means surrender. Republicans agree to x and the Democrats come back later and ask for x+ saying Republicans should compromise. It is far smarter to just say no to the never ending Democratic moving of the goal post.
    4.Unmoved by conventional understanding of facts is actually the Democrats saying we get define the facts and therefore get to define the debate. The facts on many things are not settled, despite the Democratic claims.
    5. Republicans are no more dismissive of the political opposition than the Democrats.In 2009 when Republicans objected to the actions of Obama he said we won the election so we can do what we want. However, that tune changed when the Republicans won the House in 2010.
    6. Why should the Post or Democrats get to define where the mainstream is? I consider Democrats, particularly Massachusetts Democrats, to be out of the mainstream.

  9. Mr. Lynne Says:

    Some points of order.

    Elected to office and majority support aren’t necessarily congruent. We’d have national marriage equality if it were. Unfortunately not everyone votes and even fewer d0 in midterms.

    The axis of Democrat/Republican and Conservative/Liberal were not so congruent in the 1950’s so the observation of 50’s Democrats (which I don’t concede) doesn’t really have the implications you’d think. Now liberals of the 1950’s would consider liberals of today to have moved rightward (at least the elected ones). Conservatives of the 50’s would also see much of modern conservatism having moved right - at least on economic grounds. Keep in mind that the Birchers were shunned while modern Birchers are embraced.

    It’s pretty clear what the role of ‘no-compromise’ has gotten us. To the extend that democrats have moved goal posts - it’s been to the right in the vain hope of gaining conservative votes. That’s why the ACA looks like it does and doesn’t look like single payer.

    Your points number 4 and 5 are meaningless without addressing specifics. I understand that the losers in the election might be faced with the impression that the opposition now claims it can do anything - but in practice I don’t see how that claim held up. Feel free to cite specifics.

    As to 6 - people make whole careers out of analyzing the public mainstream. One can certainly claim what they want but doing so doesn’t magically make am ‘anyone-can-make-any-claim’ any more legitimate.

  10. joe from Lowell Says:

    Paul@01852,

    “just happened to be published in” is the funniest thing I’ve seen all day.

    I picture the editors of all the newspapers and magazines in the country pulling slips of paper out of a hat. “Hey, I got the baby pandas!” “No fair, you always pick the baby panda story!”

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