Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Ed Kilgore offers words of insight and wisdom

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Ed Kilgore writes in Political Animal:

I have journalistic friends who aren’t really happy with me for early (and middle, and late) doom-saying about the trajectory of gun and immigration reform legislation. Yeah, I was right, but why rub it in, and why not try to promote good bipartisan legislation even if the odds against it are stiff?

My answer to this kind of complaint has been two-fold: First, Political Animal isn’t a public utility or an agitprop operation; its mission is to offer acute and accurate and sometimes even slightly profound (at least by frantic-news-cycle-blogger standards) observations about political life in our country from a progressive POV. But second, I’m convinced the most important phenomenon in contemporary American politics is the radicalization of the conservative movement at almost the precise moment it consolidated its hold on the Republican Party after nearly five decades of struggle. There are a variety of interesting byproducts of this phenomenon, including asymmetric polarization, culture wars, the Tea Party Movement (a radicalized phase of the conservative “base” activism that has been there all along), congressional gridlock, and a Democratic Party deep into a defensive crouch. But the main show is what’s important, and I feel an obligation to keep pointing that out so long as people keep misunderstanding or discounting it, as they most definitely do.

It does seem, however, that people are coming around, particularly as the reality of what’s happening on immigration reform sinks in, viz. a column from the New Yorker’s John Cassidy that concludes that it will take at least a third consecutive presidential defeat to bring the GOP to its senses.

With even some respectable political analysts now peddling the argument that the most urgent task of the G.O.P. is to appeal to more alienated and absentee white voters, is it time to junk the theory that the party will eventually direct its attentions to the electorate at large? Could the party really remain in thrall to the God, guns, and anti-government brigade until Ronald Reagan returns to save us all from eternal damnation? That’s doubtful. Clearly, though, the adjustment process is going to take more time.

Indeed. But where I part company with Cassidy and a lot of other progressive and/or neutral observers who wonder, as Barack Obama put it, when “the fever” might break, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

16 July 2013 at 3:54 pm

Posted in GOP, Politics

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