"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms."
... but good on Paul Krugman for saying it anyway.
I think Obama has to get some balls and give a speech about what's going on. He should say (in my hopeful imagination) that he's not willing to compromise the lives of Americans just because Republicans have become irrationally intransigent and brainwashed by the powerful and wealthy. He should be as tough as a President possibly be in his language. Reps that are playing around with the future of the country don't deserve any finesse. So, there.
My (last?) hope for him is that he will do as you suggest as part of his campaign. I would like to believe that he is, and has been, thinking that he wants to give the GOP every possible chance to compromise and help govern like adults, and that he will say sometime in early 2012, "I've given them three and a half years, and we can now conclude beyond any doubt what we're dealing with here."
I used to believe that was his motive, and I'm still open to the idea, but we never, as a nation, get any closer to that collective recognition of "what we're dealing with." The MSM continues to present every problem as a result of tension between equal and opposite political extremes on the left and right. The "radical extremist left" is now apparently Barack Obama, who in truth is basically a moderate Republican. But he's sane. He might be more conservative than the median American voter, but he's not a raving lunatic, like the set that is now in control of the GOP and half the media. And that makes him the only possible choice for president in 2012.
It's hard to say what our collective recognition of the current state of the GOP might be. Of course it is not as good as you and I might like, but I don't think it's completely escaped everyone's attention. I have not been following politics much at all for the past month or two, but even so, I can't help but notice stories about matters like the continued unpopularity of the Republican Congressional caucus in surveys, or the panic that a number of freshman Reps are feeling, or the increasing hints that the big money part of the GOP is seriously looking for a way to get rid of the teabagger infection in their midst.Another part of the problem, of course, is that those on the left side of the spectrum rarely unify, and never unify for long, to oppose the monotonic slide of the Republican Party into wingnuttery. But part of that slide is inherently self-destructive: the GOP is building a core of every more zealous support which is at the same time shrinking in number, because of both the age of their key constituencies and the ongoing number of people who come to some point where they say, "Okay, enough is enough. Let me off the crazy train." Think of everyone who fled starting in 2008 because of Palin to the Republicans in the New York state senate who voted for same-sex marriage. Even quite conservative people sense the abyss.Remember what Churchill said: "You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing. You just have to wait for them to try everything else first."
I like that Churchill quote. I don't think very highly of him, but I admit he had outstanding witticisms.
What a great article by Krug. I have to believe that O is partly performing a little jiu-jitsu with an eye towards 2012.PS Welcome back!!
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