Monday, April 27, 2009

"The End of Wingnut Welfare?"

... asks claymisher, before passing along a post from Paul Krugman, part of which appears below.

But you have to understand what Bybee is: he’s someone who made a career as a movement conservative apparatchik. In his world, following orders and getting rewarded for his obedience was what it was all about; he’s completely shocked to find that the rules have changed.

And here’s the thing: most prominent Republicans are just the same. We wonder how someone as hapless as John Boehner could be minority leader, why one Congressman after another abjectly apologizes to Rush Limbaugh, and so on; the answer is that they’re hollow men, careerists who thought they had a safe ride. If someone like Newt Gingrich seems like a giant in his party these days, that’s because, say what you like about him (and I don’t like much about him!), he got into the business when doing so involved taking some actual risks.

And that, I think, is why the Republicans have fallen apart so completely since losing the election. Careerism is what held the party together; an environment in which the party no longer has the patronage to reward all its loyalists, and may not even be able to protect apparatchiks who broke the law, destroys the whole system.

To his own question, clay answers, "I wish." But it is nice to think the gravy train will be parked on the siding for at least a little while.

In addition to reading the rest of PK's post, it's also worth having a look at the one from Adam Serwer that got him started. The final line is money.

[Added] Adam is also dead-on about the WaPo article on Jay Bybee that got him started: it's part of charm offensive on behalf of Bybee, and amazingly (he said in as sarcastic a tone as he could muster), the WaPo asks, "How much water may we carry for you, sir?"

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