Saturday, April 09, 2011


Progressivism got rolled in the budget battle, but -- though this isn't much compensation -- at least we've (probably) been spared a wave of think pieces arguing that events of this week suggest a move toward good sense, and an aversion to extremism, on the part of right-wingers.

You know how these articles work, right? Three makes a trend.

Number 1: Glenn Beck was let go by Fox. Number 2: The GOP didn't shut down the government.

The problem is Number 3. Let's see: There was a poll of GOP voters released this week. How'd that turn out? Oh, yeah -- Donald Trump was the fastest-rising presidential candidate; he was tied for second place, and gaining fast on the leader. And not only isn't he letting up on the birtherism that got him to #2, he's now engaged in a Palinesque insult war with Gail Collins of The New York Times about birtherism. (His letter to the Times is here; her column in response is here.) So, um, so much for that.

...Oh, who am I kidding? Idiot pundits will still write "Republicans go sensible" pieces -- they'll just toss in Paul Ryan's "brave," "adult" budget as Number 3, and insist that it's different from tea party extremism ... somehow. They'll say the right is focusing on the One Important Thing, the Debt Monster That Will Eat Us All, and rejecting "extraneous" issues -- Beck's conspiracy theories (despite the fact that Beck still gets nearly two million viewers a day), social issues (despite the fact that they were nearly the reason the government got shut down), and birtherism (I don't know how they're going to explain those poll numbers away -- I guess they're just going to say that the same sensible souls who cut the budget deal will force the birther toothpaste back in the tube, and a year from now all good Republicans will hold hands and sing and dance and celebrate the good, sensible nomination of good, sensible Jon Huntsman or Haley Barbour, despite their current poll standing in the low single digits).

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