Conservatives and Republicans today suffered their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s.And here's another little taste for you:
It’s hard to exaggerate the magnitude of the disaster. Conservatives may cheer themselves that they’ll compensate for today’s expected vote with a big win in the November 2010 elections. But:
(1) It’s a good bet that conservatives are over-optimistic about November – by then the economy will have improved and the immediate goodies in the healthcare bill will be reaching key voting blocs.
(2) So what? Legislative majorities come and go. This healthcare bill is forever. A win in November is very poor compensation for this debacle now.
We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.Finally, the Democrats in Congress have decided to end their impersonation of Hamlet. Now we have something to defend and stand by.
There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible. How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or – more exactly – with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?
I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters – but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead.
Republicans have nothing. Zero. Less than zero, in fact. What the Republican Party has is the Tea Party, and the Tea Party is going to ruthlessly obstruct any attempt by the Republican Party to pursue a centrist policy. How's that no-hopey-or-changey thing workin' out for you?