I go back to Grover Norquist telling his friend Deval Patrick at a Harvard reunion during the Bush administration that on the off chance another Democrat ever became president, “We’ll make it impossible for him to govern like a Democrat.” Norquist and friends did their best with Clinton; they’ve succeeded with Obama, with terrible consequences for the country.
This is certainly what is happening. I remember a segment on the Stephanie Miller show (only $4.95 a month if you pay for a year in advance) where Chris was asking why the GOP controls the government when they are in the majority, and still controls the government while they are in the minority?
John Judas on the New Republic spells it out for us,
Over the last four decades, the Republican Party has transformed from a loyal opposition into an insurrectionary party that flouts the law when it is in the majority and threatens disorder when it is the minority. It is the party of Watergate and Iran-Contra, but also of the government shutdown in 1995 and the impeachment trial of 1999. If there is an earlier American precedent for today’s Republican Party, it is the antebellum Southern Democrats of John Calhoun who threatened to nullify, or disregard, federal legislation they objected to, and who later led the fight to secede from the union over slavery.
The Republicans have a pretty sick pathology going on. They are truly domestic terrorists, but very few people would dare say that out loud. What else would you call a party that brings your government to a standstill? That ruins your economy? The only difference between these people and the people commonly recognized as terrorists is the means by which they kill people. Islamic terrorists kill people with bombs and anthrax and airplanes. Republican domestic terrorists kill people by using dog whistles to activate the lone wolves.
Google map showing locations of right-wing violence.
There’s a section in the preface of Sean Mullally’s book that illustrates my theory as to why the GOPers are effing nuts:
as I look back, I can see something else as well. My first memories are as a young child at the time of our nation’s bicentennial. America was still on a forward march. The women’s and civil rights movements were making increasing progress toward equality. The middle class was accessible and standards of living were rising. Technology and industry were growing. People were exercising unprecedented power over their government. Public discontent had successfully ended an illconceived war and forced a corrupt president from office. The Church Committee and other post-Watergate reforms were truly making government more ethical and accountable to the people. …
And this is where the right-wing went nuts. This is when the conservatives started writing books, organizing in the churches, and preparing the way for “Republican TV,” now known as Fox News.
But what appeared to be an ever-rising tide, in retrospect, looks more like a high water mark as American progress crested and began to recede. The subsequent three decades would see the middle class squeezed, standards of living steadily decline, and the American Dream itself called into question. The post-Watergate government reforms have largely been marginalized.
This is the GOP asserting its priorities, though mass communication, organized religion, lone wolf violence, and the biggest straw men you ever did see. Any attempt now to address the GOP war on the middle class is labeled “socialism” (dog whistle). The actual policies never get discussed. Any attempt to deal with GOP lone wolf terrorism is called “anti-american” (dog whistle) and the righties scream that they are victims of big-government anti-liberty slander (dog whistle). Any attempt to govern responsibly results in complete obstruction by the GOP on the basis that Democratic government is dangerous to the people (dog whistle). Then they lie to America and say that the socialists are making advances in America and must be stopped (dog whistle). Any attempt to point out what GOP policies have done to America results in a bunch of idiots waving tea bags around and lying about US history (dog whistle). And besides that, they’re libertarians, not republicans, and you can read all about the goodness of libertarianism in the true story of Atlas Shrugged. Dog whistle.
It is in the context of this pathological anger and racism that the Democrats have to govern. Is it any wonder that people are not happy with their government? Heck, there’s only one sane political party, and its hands are tied by a handful of little teabagging bitches who don’t mind destroying the US as it is because they want it to go back to the way they think it was when the founders signed off on the constitution. The founders being Ronald Reagan and Ayn Rand. (Ignorance is an asset on the right) The GOP cannot even address the political opposition by the proper name of Democratic Party. They truncate it to Democrat Party (dog whistle), and then demand that we change our names to the Socialist Party (dog whistle).
There is definitely anger on the left too. For example, right now I am actively hating several right-wingers, including Mike Bishop and Bruce Patterson. But instead of dog whistles and lone wolves, we use parody and foul language. Where Mike Bishop used censorship to deal with BFM, BFM used comedy to deal with him. I guess you have to go with your strengths.
Bill Maher summed up the right-wing pathology best,
“You are like the jealous ex-husband who can’t get over the loss. Now you want to call America a whore and key her car.”
If only we could limit the damage to a little car paint.
More on right-wing violence: