Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Less Reasonable Al Swearengen

I don't usually repost huge chunks of other folks' articles, but this is worth it:

From Would Democrats Ever Pull the Same Stunt by Steve Benen:

"As hostage strategies go, the current crop of congressional Republicans are pulling an unprecedented stunt, which only works because most sincerely believe they really are dangerously crazy. It’s critical to making the strategy work — those holding the hostage have to convince everyone that they’re ready to follow through on their threat.

In this case, that means a fairly radical assumption — Democrats have to be convinced that the congressional GOP is willing to hurt the nation, ignore their constitutional obligations, and undermine our credibility, stability, and global reputation. In other words, Republicans have to tell the political world they love a right-wing agenda more than they love the country, and convince everyone they mean it.

Democrats, in this case, are persuaded. It’s why the debt-ceiling negotiations have occurred, and why Dems have been willing to concede so much — Democrats genuinely believe Republicans are as radical and dangerous as they appear to be.

But what would happen if/when a Democratic Congress started making comparable threats to a Republican president? Probably nothing. It’s a question of credibility — GOP leaders and everyone else knows that Democrats aren’t crazy; they’re not irresponsible; and they’re not indifferent to the nation’s needs and future.

They wouldn’t, in other words, be perceived as folks who would shoot the hostage. Republicans play this game far more effectively because they satisfied the political world’s skepticism — few question the notion that they’re stark raving mad."

Am I too off in thinking the GOP has become a party of wife beaters? Too much? Too soon? Too...whatever this is?

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