Sunday, April 29, 2012


Robert Gibbs, Obama campaign advisor, said it best on Meet the Press this weekend:

"I think sometimes you listen to the Romney campaign and they do think a lot people in this country are stupid," Gibbs told NBC's David Gregory. "Their message is: You didn't clean up our mess fast enough."

More direct swipes at Romney and the failed GOP philosophy of governance:

"The last six months of the Bush administration, we lost three and half million jobs. We know this about Mitt Romney: He's not a job creator. When he was governor of Massachusetts, they were 47th out of 50 in job creation. His experience is in downsizing, outsourcing jobs and bankrupting companies and walking away with a lot of money for himself."

Gibbs added: "His economic ideas are the failed economic ideas that we tried for eight years, tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, and letting Wall Street going back to writing the rules all over again. That is the policies that got us into this mess."

Thomas E. Mann and Norman Ornstein of two different institutes with two different political bents have joined forces to actually tell the truth: the reason our political system is so frustratingly polarized is almost entirely the fault of the modern-day Republican Party:

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.

When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.

“Both sides do it” or “There is plenty of blame to go around” are the traditional refuges for an American news media intent on proving its lack of bias, while political scientists prefer generality and neutrality when discussing partisan polarization. Many self-styled bipartisan groups, in their search for common ground, propose solutions that move both sides to the center, a strategy that is simply untenable when one side is so far out of reach.

Or, as Jimmy Kimmel put it at the White House Press Correspondents dinner on Saturday:

I have my own theory about President Lincoln's death. I think John Wilkes Booth was innocent. I don't even think it was an assassination. I believe that Abraham Lincoln had a vision about what the Republican party would become in 150 years, and he shot himself."

Let's hope America is less self-destructive in November.

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