UPDATE: Athenae responds with one great kickass reply that blames the real villains.
Charlie Pierce on how shocked people are when Republicans they voted for act like Republicans:
I have become impatient over the past few years with the concept of “buyer’s remorse.” This notion pops up anywhere a freely elected Republican legislative majority and a freely elected Republican governor get together and put in place policies of the sort they were freely elected to enact. Suddenly, vast numbers of people see Republicans behaving like Republicans and profess themselves shocked — SHOCKED! — to find that there is wingnuttery going on in here. We’ve seen this with Walker in Wisconsin, Kasich in Ohio, Rick Snyder in Michigan, and Rick Scott in Florida. And, “But they didn’t say they were going to do this when they ran!” is a vain and witless excuse. Republicans do what Republicans do.
Look, folks. Everybody knew who was behind Walker in Wisconsin, and why they were behind them. The same is true of Kasich and Snyder and all the rest of them. Hell, Rick Scott was a convicted felon. Anyone who didn’t know any of this either wasn’t paying attention, or didn’t give enough of a damn for it to matter and voted for these guys anyway. Which, come to think of it, fairly well sums up what happened in the 2010 midterms. The country handed itself over to ignorance and apathy and let those two scamps run amok in the process of self-government. The country doesn’t get to wake up, blinking, in 2011 and wonder how all this happened.
It all happened because you let talk-radio drive the narrative in your tiny little minds. It all happened because you let yourself be convinced by grifters and charlatans that an insurance-industry-friendly health-care bill was the first in a series of Nuremberg Rallies. You people went to the market. You came home with the bag of magic beans. You all set the throttle to Full, cut all the brake-lines, and sent your elected governments careering down the slopes of Nutball Mountain. It’s a little late now to decide that you don’t have the stomach for the trip.
If you were to hand out sufficient sodium pentothal on the lawn outside the Ohio state capitol building today, how many of those people would be dittoheads? How many of them bought the whole reactionary package until it fell on their heads? How many of them actually voted in 2010? How many of them… shhh… voted for John Kasich, or a Republican state legislator, because they liked his stance on abortion, or what some men do to other men in the deep, sweaty dark? Oh, look, dear, we stood up for American Values. What do you mean my pension’s gone?
And let’s assume that Kasich gets kicked around, the way it looks like he might, and the way he thoroughly deserves to be, god knows. What happens next? Is there really an actual movement building here, a parallel mobilization among the largely white middle class that would parallel the one taking place in the Occupy camps around the country? Or will the people on the lawn go back to sneering about the drum-beating hippies sleeping in the parks? Will they all leave the state capitol in Columbus and go back to listening to the hundreds of sub-Limbaughs on their local radio stations, telling them that teachers have it too good because they have summers off, or that firefighters are gaming the disability system, and that “government” is merely a way for all of Them to steal Our money, and that voting is just a waste of time? Do they all go back to worrying about The Deficit, which is merely convenient shorthand for all the things they don’t want to pay for? Do they all go home and prepare themselves, through ignorance and apathy, to vote for the next John Kasich who comes along?
There are other elections going on today, too. It looks as though the Democrats may lose the state senate in Virginia, which will hand the entire state government over to the Republicans. I am going to be very impatient, then, with Virginians who get angry in a year or so that their public services have withered and that a decent middle-class lifestyle is receding from view. In Mississippi, they are voting on a fantastical proposition whereby a zygote is declared to be a “person” protected by law. If it passes, I am going to be very impatient with any Mississippians who get angry in a year or so that they must remain childless, because every in vitro fertilization clinic in the state has fled to places where they don’t see Jesus in the trunks of gum trees.
Here’s the deal: Everybody should know by now what the results of these elections will mean. Virginians, if they care to look, can see what will happen to them by looking to Wisconsin, and Ohio, and Michigan, and Florida. Mississippians have been told, over and over again, what the ramifications of this arrant lunacy will be. There ought not to be any surprises any more in politics. You knew what they were when you invited them in. You might as well be surprised and offended when your dog licks his nuts in front of the vicar.
Well, I think Charlie’s assuming a degree of knowledge and focus most people don’t have – but I get his point.