Thursday, March 29, 2012


In response to Greg Sargent's post "How Did Legal Observers and Obamacare Backers Get It So Wrong?," Digby writes: current belief is that the administration's overriding problem is exactly what it seems to be --- they constantly overestimate their own abilities and underestimate the opposition's.

... it's about believing your own hype instead of believing your eyes.

That's not it. The main problem is that everyone in the Beltway believes that extremism of the kind practiced on the Supreme Court this week, or as practiced on the streets by teabaggers in the first two years of the Obama presidency and in the House ever since, is a marginal phenomenon -- our friends and acquaintances can't possibly be that extremist. No matter how much wingnuttery we get from important actors at the heart of the Republican Party and the GOP establishment, it's always believed that reason will prevail and that extremism will be pushed to the fringes. Even now, people believe that the 2012 elections will "settle" our current conflicts one way or another.

They'll "settle" those conflicts only if Republicans win everything, because in that case they're just going to burn everything down. If Democrats retain the White House and emerge with control of one or both houses of Congress, the Republicans will just keep opening cans of gasoline and lighting matches, while Democrats struggle to put out the flames. Dems will probably keep the place from burning down, but only barely. Even then, nothing will be allowed to be improved.

And yet Beltway insiders will still say that the insanity is coming just from a few crazies at the fringe. They'll change their story and tell us that everything will surely settle down after 2014 or 2016. That won't be true either, unless Republicans sideline the Democrats and light the bonfires.


Ten Bears said...

I had a lifelong friend tell me the other day just exactly what he thought of our president, and I was agast.

Yes, our friends and acquaintances can be that extreme.

I didn't punch his lights out, but tonight i'm going to fuck his wife. And he wonders why.

Batocchio said...

Steve, I agree somewhat, but what you're saying and what Digby's saying aren't mutually exclusive. I suppose you're arguing they're more cloistered than in denial. I'd say the denial looms much larger, but both are present, they're related, and they reinforce each other. There's also the social pressure angle, since you're not allowed to call out how stupid, evil and crazy the Republican Party and conservatism are. As usual, the Emperor's New Clothes remains one of the best explanations of the Beltway gang.