[Cross-posted at The Left Coaster.]
Something strange and more than a little disquieting is becoming more obvious by the day regarding our Republican brethren as they warm up for the 2008 elections: common variables of political success seemingly mean nothing to them to the point where it’s being characterized as political suicide, not merely negative behavior.
Everyone knows supporting the Iraq war, not caring about jobs or the environment and only caring that the rich are coddled is a recipe for political disaster (that’s a very short issue list the GOP is on the wrong side of) but it’s been so obvious for so long the Republicans are driving their bus over the cliff they must know it too, they have to. As Digby says, they’re fine with it. What the hell?
Lest any think I engage in exaggeration or hyperbole (me?) about this just look what’s happened to poor John McCain recently. As Krugman noted this morning, the new GOP pod person now drones that "cutting taxes increases revenue" and casually lies in the most blatant manner about his record. What the hell? What the fuck, John? There are bothers and sisters of yours in the United States Army Officer Corps serving this second with honor and integrity, and they don’t appreciate in any sense a veteran of theirs becoming a lying maroon.
The two explanations for this tragic (yes, I do think it’s tragic when a man like John McCain becomes a casual liar) development have become pretty standard by now: Republicans are endlessly enabled and never held accountable by American corporate propaganda some amusingly call "journalism," and the Republican political machine always takes care of candidates who lose with a decent job. If they demand one becomes a sleazy liar and loses at least one is personally, in a material sense, insulated from it.
The natural conclusion to watching all this happy political self-immolation is that the Republicans are knowingly throwing the 2008 election, oh well, losing in the past has never meant long-term failure for Republicans. Endless mountains of corporate cash, exploiting racism and a superb propaganda mechanism will bring them back, always has, always will.
There are two problems with this blithe acceptance to political suicide, however. The first is that after 15 years of "movement conservatism" truth and reality have been stretched and smashed to the point of oblivion in supporting blind ideology, in the past a Republican would state a valid differing political agenda in their campaigns, not this thorazine the-sky-is-green lying and delusional behavior John McCain just displayed. This casual acceptance to total unreality and rank lying is new, and creepy as hell, too.
It also must be considered in the current crisis of Executive political leadership, leaders of the Republican Party killed and buried the rule of law long ago, these felons truly do not think any law applies to them, and even if it somehow did they will never pay a consequence for it.
With over a year to go for scheduled Executive transition to very likely the opposition Democrat Republicans are strutting around spouting the most blatant fantasies, unreality and lies, confident that losing in 2008 is perfectly fine while the President and Vice President break any law they like. They’ll lose in 2008 and come back somehow in 2010, that’s normal American politics.
Almost anything can become normal in the Age of Terror, that much is very true, and the fact remains 2008 is not at all a normal election year with the Republican pod people so happily ascending the gallows, blathering mental-patient racist fantasies every step of the way, their President abusing Congress with imperial lawlessness. This is something very new in American politics, with blithe confidence that of course everything will work out completely unjustified.
It’s an extremely dangerous mix of arrogance, delusion and unaccountability. Everything may indeed work out as it constitutionally should, but the Republic never should have been allowed to be put at risk like this, never, and all must be done in 2010 to make sure that amazing Republican confidence that they come back does not, in fact, always happen.