Thursday, September 2, 2010

The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying

There is a certain kind of person who, upon watching a hatchling break slowly free from its shell, thinks of nothing but the ghastly stench of the corpse it will one day be.

Some of them write for AmCon:
Even if there is a major opportunity to take power, slipshod Republican organization and fundraising have squandered much of it. Third, there aren’t really enough districts that Republicans can plausibly win to get the majority. To make up for the likely losses in Louisiana, Delaware and Illinois, they will need to win a total of 43 seats elsewhere, and it is genuinely difficult to see where these seats come from. Yes, there are 80 Democratic incumbents in House districts that voted for Bush in ‘04, but the story here is that most of the voters in most of these districts learned their lesson from ‘04 and stopped voting for Republicans, and not enough of them have changed their minds to undo all of the political damage Bush and his allies did to the GOP. Republican failure is too recent and too glaring, and the GOP leadership has done far too little to show that it has learned anything from that failure (emphasis mine - TKB).
If you know me at all you know I love Dan Larison (congrats on the nuptials, by the way!), but the pessimism here is a step too far even for me. If there's one thing Republicans have been doing pretty consistently since '08 it's distancing themselves from neoconservatism, and I know I'm not the only erstwhile third party voter astonished by just how much Obama exceeded our expectations, and not in the good way.

Americans, for better or worse, don't have long memories, and neither do our institutions. Perhaps you're thinking, pshaw, all they've changed are the buzzwords! The rhetoric might ring a bit new, but it's the same voice, the same tune!

At which point I ask you to consider our friends over on Prison Island:

What on earth could a months-old television spar between Julia Gillard and the world's second most attractive world leader (God willing) have to do with countering the splenetic prophesies of Old Man Larison?

They're discussing the controversial "plain packaging" requirement introduced way back in the days of Rudd, scheduled to go into effect in July 2012, which will "force tobacco companies to use plain packaging with graphic health warnings" instead of logos, imagery, or, y'know, colors.

Iron man, former seminarian and all-around dreamboat Tony Abbott apparently passes for some kind of right wing nut job off in the land down under. Imagine my surprise, then, upon watching a clip ostensibly about paternalism and intellectual property rights and not hearing the word "freedom" cross his lips even once!

Regardless of whether those kangaroos ever get their shit together enough to form a government, we all know it's too late for them. But observing their election these past few weeks has made me appreciate just how ideological (contra technocratic) American politics has managed to remain over the years, and even if all the GOP's figured out since Bush is that they need to pay more lip service to libertarianism and less to war- well, at least we want to hear the right things.

Granted, no less than Silouan of Athos said "Keep your mind in hell, and despair not." Dark Days Dan is certainly helping us with one half of that prescription.

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