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Oct 17, 2013

Off the cliff

We've been discussing this with Glenn and others since a while: the American Right, we argued, is still fighting the issues of the 1861 secession; the trenches of the culture wars are more or less aligned with the Mason-Dixon line. And here's the latest from Frank Rich, the world's leading we-told-you-so artiste, to say it so much more succinctly than we could.

(Follow the link and read the whole piece, our Rich-quote here is just a pretext to hawk yet another fragment from the Green Eyes. First Rich:)

"Implicit in this bipartisan gallows humor was an assumption shared by most of those listening: The non-legislating legislators responsible for the crisis [the Right Wing of the Republican Party in the American Congress] are a lunatic fringe — pariahs in the country at large and outliers even in their own party. They’re “a small faction of Republicans who represent an even smaller fraction of Americans,” as the former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau put it in the Daily Beast. By this line of reasoning, all that kept them afloat was their possession of just enough votes in their divided chamber to hold the rest of America temporarily hostage to their incendiary demands.

"Let's meet in the middle."


"Would that this were so, and that the extralegal rebellion against the Affordable Care Act, a Supreme Court–sanctified law of the land, would send the rebels, not the country, off a cliff. Off the cliff they may well have gone in this year’s failed coup, but like Wile E. Coyote, they will quickly climb back up to fight another day. That’s what happened after the double-header shutdowns of 1995–96, which presaged Newt Gingrich’s beheading but in the long run advanced the rebels’ cause. It’s what always happens. The present-day anti-government radicals in Congress, and the Americans who voted them into office, are in the minority, but they are a permanent minority that periodically disrupts or commandeers a branch or two of the federal government, not to mention the nation’s statehouses. Their brethren have been around for much of our history in one party or another, and with a constant anti-­democratic aim: to thwart the legitimacy of a duly elected leader they abhor, from Lincoln to FDR to Clinton to Obama, and to resist any laws with which they disagree. So deeply rooted are these furies in our national culture that their consistency and tenacity should be the envy of other native political movements."

And now us (Green Eyes, Ch. 20, "My father and your father were fathers"):

It isn't complete clear what he wants to say, as usual, it’s rarely clear to me what he wants to say. I've learned a lot from him though, how stupid people are — not that he ever explained, although he's also complaining a lot how stupid people are. I’m more stupid than him, for sure, so I've completely given up on syllogisms, or other debating tools, when we fight, it's not a debate. I really try hard not to argue, and when I succeed, it's because I've got him so mad, he runs after me, I jump off the cliff, (Wile E. Coyote), and he follows. It's very easy to make him mad, that's my weapon of choice, NRA, take note. I make him mad about everything, then I'm off to bed, he's off the cliff, no beer left in the fridge. We do this for three days, then we have a real fight, body language from the street...




Thanks for "reading more." You're rewarded with another cool link, leading to an interview with Dick Armey, a Republican veteran of the Gingrich shutdown of 1995, about the present crisis. And here's the master himself, Newt (Gingrich).