Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Paranoid Style

TPM Headline

O'Reilly: 'We Can't Kill All The Muslims' -- So We Want To Win Hearts And Minds Instead

Marshall: The Paranoid Style

There are many ways in which the political moment (hyper-polarizing) and the technological moment (Twitter, instant news cycles) creates a self-perpetuating arms race of hyperbole. On the other hand, some of these new publishing and communications systems do allow us to get a view into where the head of a big chunk of the country is at.

To that end, we've got the story of the Colorado state senator who represents the hyper-conservative Colorado Springs compared Obama to the al Qaeda terrorists who took over Flight 93 on 9/11 and real patriotic Republican Americans to the passengers who had to retake control of the plane.

On the one hand, this is textbook feverish, eliminationist incitement. On the other hand, I think back to how paranoid and in the thrall of their own victimization these folks were a few years when they ran the entire country. So I'm not sure we should be surprised that they go totally crazy when they're largely shut out of power in the country at the national level.

  • atrios adds that this is No Surprise: I think this is an under-appreciated phenomenon of the past 8 years, that even when their team ran everything they still felt marginalized and were perpetually acting as victims. "Some Guy With A Sign Somewhere" was a great threat to their personal liberty, as was anyone who didn't pay appropriate respects to Just How 9/11 Made Them Feel.

John Cole: Fifteen Minutes of Shame

So looking at the GOP instant heroes of the last year, Joe the Plumber has exposed himself as a crazy and ignorant fool, Carrie Prejean is involved in amessy and very public litigation with the pageant and now has unpaid for breast implants and a sex tape, Doug Hoffman proved that you actually can lose NY-23 to Democrats, and Sarah Palin quit her job to suck up some of that wingnut welfare while paying someone to write stupid shit on her Facebook page, all while waging a public battle with the father of her daughter’s child, who is spilling all on every nightly gossip show and showing all on Playgirl. And I haven’t even gone into Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and many others.

You would think they would vet their instant celebs before making them the faces of conservatism.

All of this, of course, is excellent news for John McCain.

DougJ: Strange days

Does anyone else think it’s strange the most important figure in American media is an eccentric, right-wing Australian billionaire? And that one of the other most important (probably the second most important within wingnut media) figures is a Korean cult leader?

This is weird, right? It’s not just me being a Pat Buchanan nationalist, is it?


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has one of the Senate's most conservative voting records. It's true in the 111th Congress, and the 110th, 109th, and 108th. Apparently, however, it's not quite conservative enough for some of his home-state allies.

Republican leaders in a South Carolina county have censured their own U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham for working with Democrats on a climate bill and other legislation.

The Republican has often worked with Democrats in Congress, but Charleston County Chairwoman Lin Bennett says his work on climate legislation is the last straw.

The vote in Charleston was reportedly unanimous. And the effort isn't over -- apparently, a similar censure resolution will be pushed at the state GOP convention next year.

In light of the apoplexy, it's probably worth remembering that Graham hasn't moved to the center. Let's once again take a look at the always-helpful VoteView analysis, which ranks lawmakers from the most liberal to the most conservative. In the current Congress, #1 is Dick Durbin (furthest to the left), #100 is Tom Coburn (furthest to the right). Graham is tied for #82, meaning only 17 senators are to his right. Graham is not only more conservative than most of the Senate, he's more conservative than most Republicans. This year, based solely on his voting record, Graham is to the right of notable conservatives like Sam Brownback and Mitch McConnell.

In South Carolina, that's worth a censure resolution?

One of the other angles I find interesting is that, for the better part of the year, the small and discredited Republican minority has insisted that they'd like to see "bipartisan" lawmaking. And yet, when Lindsey Graham tries to work with Dems on one issue, and gets much of what he wants in concessions, he's immediately slammed -- formally -- by Republicans in his own state.

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