In the Washington Post, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein have just published a comprehensive attack on the Republican Party. A sample:
We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.
The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition....
On financial stabilization and economic recovery, on deficits and debt, on climate change and health-care reform, Republicans have been the force behind the widening ideological gaps and the strategic use of partisanship. In the presidential campaign and in Congress, GOP leaders have embraced fanciful policies on taxes and spending, kowtowing to their party’s most strident voices.
For decades, Mann (pictured on the left) and Ornstein (to the right), both attached to Washington think tanks, have passed themselves off as above-the-fray, utterly impartial, interested not in ideology but in getting things done. Which is to say, of course, that they reflect, without the smallest flaw or distortion, the conventional wisdom of the mainstream media and the Democratic Party, both of which believe that ever-expanding government is simply the result of responsible governance.
Now here's what's interesting. During the very period Mann and Ornstein deride, the supposed crackpot and marginal GOP has captured the House of Representatives in one of the biggest electoral swings in congressional history, picked up seven seats in the Senate, and chosen to nominate Mitt Romney, who, even though in many ways a remarkably weak candidate, nevertheless is already virtually even with the Democratic incumbent in national polls.
Mann and Ornstein don't have a problem with the GOP, in other words, they have a problem with the American people. "Shut up, sit down, and let people like us run the country." That's what Mann and Ornstein--and, again, the media and Democratic Party--have convinced themselves is the message, the responsible message, to carry into this election year.
Beautiful. Just beautiful.
Romney may yet win in a landslide.