The GOP, Evil Empire. (Tee Hee.)

 

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.images.jpg

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.

There are 71 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @EJHill

    I don’t know about you but I like being an insurgent…

    • #1
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    @TheKingPrawn

    They’ve accepted every premise of American leftist political doctrine and policy. Of course they see the GOP as evil and wrong. We’re still trying to argue for a different set of premises. Just as the science is settled on AGW, the left wants move beyond establishing basic facts about things like the size and scope of government.

    • #2
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    @BryanGStephens

    Maybe I am wrong to feel as good as I do, Peter, but I was thinking as I listened to the Pod Cast: The Swing people do not even know Romney yet. They know Obama, and he and his ilk are pretty unlikeable when it comes to their attitudes.

    Maybe we can get a landslide yet.

    Of course, Romney will do something as POTUS to make us unhappy. Such is life.

    • #3
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    @AlbertArthur

    Yeah, I like how they phrase it as “no choice but to acknowledge” in order to appear as if they are impartial observers.

    And I like seeing Peter write things like, “Romney may yet win in a landslide.” It’s heart-warming.

    • #4
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    @PaulARahe

    If Romney tacks to the middle, this will be a close election. If he runs as a conservative, he will win a landslide. The American people want a choice, not Obama-lite. Mann and Ornstein must be living in a bubble. In 2010, we had a referendum on “healthcare reform” and on their notions about how we should handle the deficit, and they lost . . . bigtime.

    • #5
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    @DocJay

    Impartial? Well it would appear they’ve jumped the snark.

    • #6
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    @jetstream

    Guess that makes us “Rebels With A Cause”.

    ++ Romney in a landslide

    • #7
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    @PeterRobinson
    DocJay: Impartial? Well it would appear they’ve jumped the snark. · 5 minutes ago

    Oooh.  Sly of you, DocJay.  I love it.

    • #8
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    @PeterRobinson
    Paul A. Rahe: If Romney tacks to the middle, this will be a close election. If he runs as a conservative, he will win a landslide. The American people want a choice, not Obama-lite. Mann and Ornstein must be living in a bubble. In 2010, we had a referendum on “healthcare reform” and on their notions about how we should handle the deficit, and they lost . . . bigtime. · 7 minutes ago

    As usual, Paul, you speak wisdom.

    • #9
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    @Pseudodionysius

    Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the American people.

    • #10
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    @Fredosphere

    I’ve nothing to add to your post, Peter, except maybe an “oh, yes” at the end of every paragraph.

    • #11
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    @PeterRobinson
    Pseudodionysius

    Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with theAmerican people.

    1 minute ago

    Exactly!

    • #12
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    @SeverelyLtd
    EJHill: I don’t know about you but I like being an insurgent… · 8 minutes ago

    Not me EJ, I want to be in the exact middle of the American political spectrum, with the number of conservatives on the one side of me equal to the number of libertarians on the other. I want to be the new squish.

    Where does that leave the left? In Europe, I hope.

    • #13
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    @Pseudodionysius
    Peter Robinson

    Pseudodionysius

    Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with theAmerican people.

    1 minute ago

    Exactly! · 2 minutes ago

    The two gentlemen in question have more than a passing resemblance to David Gergen eating a cookie at his desk and muttering “this is very complicated” under his breath during a commercial break. I’ve long admired Mr. Gergen’s ability to pass off bewilderment and imcomprehension as contemplative wisdom.

    • #14
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    @DougKimball

    Sounds like we’re really getting to them – absent logic they respond with a hissy fit.  “But, but we’re so smart!  How come they’re not listening to us?” 

    They had their chance – it took exactly two years for them to nearly blow up the entire country.  We’re busy trying to deal with the crater they created while they lament the fact that we’ve taken away their keys to the munitions closet.

    Take ’em to the woodshed, Peter.

    • #15
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    @Mendel
    Peter Robinson:

    We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years…

    I think this opening statement explains everything that follows in the article.

    Two phenomena were occurring when these two gentlemen came to Washington: 1) the US was just finishing an unprecedented 40-year leap toward social democracy, and 2) the political parties had not yet sorted themselves out among ideological lines.  In other words, when Mann and Orstein came of age politically, it was not unusual that a Republican would impose wage and price controls.

    The shift in politics since the early 70’s has been little more than a slow, natural reversion to the American tradition.  Of course Republicans have often been aggressors in that time: they are fighting the current status quo.  But Ornstein and Mann have mistaken the political situation of 1972, a time which was anything but normal, for “the way things always were.”

    • #16
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    @JosephEagar
    Paul A. Rahe: If Romney tacks to the middle, this will be a close election. If he runs as a conservative, he will win a landslide. The American people want a choice, not Obama-lite. Mann and Ornstein must be living in a bubble. In 2010, we had a referendum on “healthcare reform” and on their notions about how we should handle the deficit, and they lost . . . bigtime. · 18 minutes ago

    How can you believe that?  The American people love their goodies from the government, just look at our tax code!  They’ve been subsidized for decades: by government spending, by the overvalued dollar (and the unsustainable high wages it created), by our trading partner’s tendency to subsidize their exports, giving us the illusion of a higher standard of living, etc.

    • #17
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    @AlKennedy

    Lexington’s column in this week’s The Economist titled “Are the Republican’s Mad?” discusses Mann and Ornstein’s new book It’s Even Worse Than It Looks and contrasts it with Grover Norquist’s new book Debacle.

    Mann and Ornstein fall prey to the ill they decry: they question the legitimacy of a political party with which they are in disagreement.  One of their proposed fixes for the ignorant voters who have caused this situation is to have the media stop providing balanced coverage of the unbalanced Republicans.

    Having just read Sean Trende’s The Lost Majority, I find it hard to believe that any serious political scientist would give any credence to the argument of Mann and Ornstein.

    Convincing people to give up benefits to which they believe they are entitled is not easy, but I don’t think we have made our case yet with the American public.  We need to do that each and every day between now and November.  We have many excellent examples like Paul Ryan and Mitch Daniels’ arguments on which to build our own arguments.  If we persist, we’ll be rewarded with a Republican president, Senate, and House in 2012.

    • #18
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    @LeslieWatkins

    Sickening. Just sickening.

    • #19
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    @Misthiocracy
    Severely Ltd.

    I want to be in the exact middle of the American political spectrum, with the number of conservatives on the one side of me equal to the number of libertarians on the other. I want to be the new squish.

    I am so stealing this line.

    • #20
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    @Charlotte

    Norm Ornstein.

    Barf.

    He often appears on The Diane Rehm Show (“in the studio we have Norman Ornstein from the American Enterprise Institute…”) as the right-most guest. Which means that with Diane and the two other lefty guests, the score is 4-0, left.

    • #21
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    @Ron

    One does not need to know much to know the liberals/progressives/democrats are full of wind.  For the over 110 years from our founding until the first progressive president, Teddy Roosevelt, the classical liberals dominated the American scene.  During the 19th century it has been estimated that our GDP grew at an annual rate of 26%.  Since Teddy Roosevelt became the 1st progressive president has also been a little over 110 years.  Compare the classical liberal performance to the progressive party’s performance — just look at the mess we are in.  Frankly, I glory in their calling me an outlier.  I bask in the knowledge that they can find no comparison between their party and ours.  Who needs success like theirs?  Who needs their advice on anything — even how to conduct a one car funeral procession.  When thinking of their performance inept is the only word that will describe them.

    Ron

    • #22
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    @Pseudodionysius
    Leslie Watkins: Sickening. Just sickening. · 16 minutes ago

    Leslie, do not overlook the entertainment value of their bleatings: its one of the few fun things not yet taxed by Liberals.

    • #23
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    @Yeahok
    Joseph Eagar

    Paul A. Rahe: If Romney tacks to the middle, this will be a close election. If he runs as a conservative, he will win a landslide. The American people want a choice, not Obama-lite. Mann and Ornstein must be living in a bubble. In 2010, we had a referendum on “healthcare reform” and on their notions about how we should handle the deficit, and they lost . . . bigtime. · 18 minutes ago

    How can you believe that? 

    I want to believe it because it it’s not true we’re doomed.

    • #24
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    @Pseudodionysius
    Charlotte: Norm Ornstein.

    Barf.

    He often appears onThe Diane Rehm Show(“in the studio we have Norman Ornstein from the American Enterprise Institute…”) as the right-most guest. Which means that with Diane and the two other lefty guests, the score is 4-0, left. · 2 minutes ago

    He’s the Kangaroo on the court with the smallest pouch.

    • #25
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    @Guruforhire

    Holy projection disorder batman.

    • #26
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    @tabularasa

    There’s nothing new here.  James Burnham, formerly a man of the left and Bill Buckley’s great collaborator in creating National Review, wrote this in 1964 in Suicide of the West:

    “[The liberal must do something about the social problem even when there is no objective reason to believe that what he does can solve the problem—when, in fact, it may well aggravate the problem instead of solving it. . . . The real and motivating problem, for the liberals, is not to cure poverty or injustice or what not in the objective world but to appease the guild in their own breasts; and what that requires is some program, some solution, some activity, whether or not it is the correct program, solution and activity.” 

    I wish I knew who said this, but it does say it all about liberals:

    “Liberal:  A person with a high pressure feeling, low pressure thinking and a constant urge to give away what belongs to somebody else.” 

    • #27
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    @PeterRobinson
    Mendel

    Peter Robinson:

    We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years…

    I think this opening statement explains everything that follows in the article.

     · 41 minutes ago

    Cruel, Mendel.  Very, very…delightfully…cruel.

    • #28
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    @MothershipGreg

    Augh, there’s a link to Chris Mooney on Ricochet?  I voluntarily stick my head into the sewers where that type of dreck flows several times a week, please don’t tempt my masochism any further.

    • #29
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    @Guruforhire

    Its stuff like this that makes compromise and serious government impossible.

    The Ryan Plan is an inadequate joke.  Its the biggest olive branch the left is ever going to get, and its spurned as a dystopian gutting of the poor.

    The right cant offer a compromise ever, because it will mark the rightward poll of acceptable conversation.

    If the left wants the right to compromise stop being unreasonable.

    • #30

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