Thursday, October 26, 2017


Paul Waldman says that Republicans are putting Hillary Clinton in the dock again because they would have preferred a Hillary Clinton presidency:
They were so excited about what these years were going to be like with a Republican Congress and Clinton in the White House. She would give them purpose and focus, the idea of vexing her and catching her in multitudinous crimes would be the thing that got them jumping out of bed in the morning....

Subpoenas would fall upon her administration like a righteous hurricane of justice, exposing every bit of malfeasance and misconduct to be found. "Even before we get to Day One, we've got two years' worth of material already lined up," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), then the chair of the House Oversight Committee, two weeks before the 2016 election.

But then she lost, to the surprise of Democrats and Republicans alike. For his part, Chaffetz quit just a few months into the new Congress, despite having just been re-elected himself. What was the point of being there if he couldn't be Inspector Javert to Clinton's Jean Valjean, Captain Ahab to her white whale?

You might say, "What about enacting all that conservative legislation you've been waiting so long to pass and have a Republican president sign?" But that hasn't quite worked out, and it turns out that being in the opposition was just more fun than having a president of your own party.
I'm sure they're not enjoying power as much as they expected -- but I can't believe they'd want to give it up. I think they're going after Hillary again (and James Comey, and Christopher Steele) because Republicans always need a powerful enemy to complain about, both when they're out of power and when they run everything.

As I've said many times on this blog, right-wingers always have to portray themselves as victims of dangerous foes who allegedly have all the real power. In George W. Bush's first term, when Republicans also ran everything, the enemies were Dan Rather and the Dixie Chicks, college professors and Barbra Streisand, Michael Moore and French people. Even when Bush had Rushmore-worthy approval ratings and Republicans could act at will, they had to portray themselves at besieged by the liberal media and minority Democrats in Congress. Republicans will never acknowledge that they're in power. They feel compelled to portray themselves as a banned underground movement fighting the power and defiantly sticking it to the man.

Or, in this case, the woman. If Hillary and her husband didn't exist, Republicans would probably be telling us that they're under the thumb of the all-powerful Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders or Martin O'Malley -- or the Obamas. (Remember a couple of months ago when were told there was an Obama "shadow government" looking to undermine President Trump?)

GOP voters love this. It jibes with how they feel about their own lives in America. They're besieged! They have to press 1 for English! There's a Muslim guy in Congress! Those two New Black Panthers were standing in front of the polling place nine years ago! Self-pity is a key part of the GOP brand.

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