A Holiday Message

December 25th, 2011 at 11:32 am

We may be at an interesting inflection point.

–Large majorities have had it with Congressional dysfunctionality.

–Influential Republicans like Mitch McConnell are recognizing the above and view it as a threat to their party.

–Reasonable conservative voices are writing smart pieces that seem to be reaching for hybrid positions on social and economic issues.  See here and here, for example.

–The latest debacle—the fight to extend UI and the payroll tax cut—appear to have demonstrably hurt the Rs and helped the Ds (especially the President), and one might expect that ensuing fights will redound similarly, i.e., the public appears to be internalizing the meme that the D’s are fighting for the middle class while the R’s are fighting for the rich.  Politically, this is a dangerous possibility for R’s, especially in an election year.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m not suggesting a Kumbaya moment is in the offing.  There are still irresistible forces in play here; the tea party members of Congress are, I suspect, if anything, even more pissed off and ready to wreck more havoc when they get back.  A wounded tiger is a dangerous tiger.

The R candidates are also busy fanning these flames.

But these forces of negativity can only breathe if they have the oxygen of public and media support.  If they become widely viewed as a small, angry minority selfishly blocking the rest of us from the pragmatic approach to meeting the challenges we all face, they will become increasingly ignored and irrelevant.

Kind of like what Bob Dylan was talking about here.

We thus may look back at this moment as one when the hyper-partisanship undermining our democracy began to crack.  Or not.  Either way, you can read about here in the pages of OTE.

Happy Christmas and Seasonally Adjusted Greetings!

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4 comments in reply to "A Holiday Message"

  1. Michael says:

    There is no possibility that Obama will learn the correct lessons from this fight, so no — we are hamstrung by our incompetent and indifferent leadership.

  2. Bumpa says:

    Should the Republicans be unhappy with where they are, they must remember that they have no one to blame but themselves. The result of 30 years of taking the wrong road.

  3. Brenda says:

    Merry Christmas Jared.

    “We may be at an interesting inflection point.”

    Old Chinese proverb…… interesting times…. yadda yadda.

    I enjoy your media appearances. You make sense of a subject that I have a hard time understanding. Thanks.

    Oh… and I think you could be right. One thing that the far right forgets, and they dominate the GOP right now, is that no one wants what they’re selling. Like most people the Right tends to believe that everyone else wants the same things they want. They don’t. People like Medicare and social security and highways and schools and all the other things government does every day.

    So, eventually that fundamental difference will make itself very visible. When it does expects lots of tantrums and breath holding and hootin’ an hollerin’. A second term for Obama *plus* majorities in both the house and senate (I can dream can’t I?) should produce lots of exploding radio talk show heads. 😀

  4. Jean says:

    If it were true that what happens going forward is based on some modicum of reality, I would agree. But as Paul Krugman says in his recent article, The Post-Truth Campaign, Republicans will say anything without requiring it to be factual or to resemble reality in any way. That being the case, where we go from here could be anywhere. Sort of like in Quantum Mechanics … all things are possible. We could jump into another reality at any moment, and all of a sudden the President could find himself on the defensive about something that never even happened. How does one deal with that? Especially since the Media will do no fact checking or reality based reporting.