Going To Extreme


Mr. Obama seems to have sincerely believed that he would face a different reception. And he made a real try at bipartisanship, nearly losing his chance at health reform by frittering away months in a vain attempt to get a few Republicans on board. At this point, however, it’s clear that any Democratic president will face total opposition from a Republican Party that is completely dominated by right-wing extremists.

For today’s G.O.P. is, fully and finally, the party of Ronald Reagan — not Reagan the pragmatic politician, who could and did strike deals with Democrats, but Reagan the antigovernment fanatic, who warned that Medicare would destroy American freedom. It’s a party that sees modest efforts to improve Americans’ economic and health security not merely as unwise, but as monstrous. It’s a party in which paranoid fantasies about the other side — Obama is a socialist, Democrats have totalitarian ambitions — are mainstream. And, as a result, it’s a party that fundamentally doesn’t accept anyone else’s right to govern.

In the short run, Republican extremism may be good for Democrats, to the extent that it prompts a voter backlash. But in the long run, it’s a very bad thing for America. We need to have two reasonable, rational parties in this country. And right now we don’t.

3 thoughts on “Going To Extreme

  1. why is there always the implication that the Republican party is necessary and that two parties instead of, say, 10 is required ?

  2. How long have Susie and others on the intertubes been saying that the reich-wing would be as insane about any Democrat not just Obama. What kind of tin foil-hat delusion would they have dreamed up for Hillary? Edwards? Dean? And it’s become apparent lately that it’s not just the President, it’s all Democrats or anyone at all that’s not them. That’s why they feel free to assault with impunity. What’s the term they use on Criminal Minds all the time? They’re devolving . . . at a rapidly increasing pace.

  3. Alternatively, Obama played the process out until he got the outcome he wanted: A plan originated by the Heritage Foundation, drafted by a Wellpoint VP on secondment to Max Baucus’s staff, that screwed women, unions, and the elders, while bailing out the insurance companies by guaranteeing them a market. Please don’t throw me in that briar patch, President Obama!

    Look! Over there! Sucky Republicans! (Who, by presenting as crazy, are helping to nail the Overton window firmly in place on the right, just as the Dems and career “progressives” are nailing the Overton Window firmly in place on the left.

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