Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Brooks: The Possum Republicans


Best lines:
Without real opposition, the wingers go from strength to strength. Under their influence, we’ve had a primary campaign that isn’t really an argument about issues. It’s a series of heresy trials in which each of the candidates accuse the others of tribal impurity.
The thing about the wingnuts is that they are mindlessly, relentlessly dragging the GOP in a crazy direction, and the GOP, in turn, is relentlessly (though not entirely mindlessly, but, in part, as an electoral tactic) dragging the country in a crazy direction.

Take just the example of war. Having the GOP around is like going out to a bar with a friend who is itching for a fight at every possible opportunity. Innocuous actions are construed as slights to honor, ambiguous actions are always interpreted in the worst possible way, any counsel of prudence is characterized as cowardice. Now, if you go out with a friend like that, here's what you know: (a) you are going to get in fights, (b) you are going to get in too many fights, and (c) you are going to be in the wrong much of the time. Being subject to the inclinations of a friend like that is no better than being subject to the inclinations of a particularly cowardly friend. Either way, you're going to end up doing the wrong thing, and it's just a matter of time.

Or how about this: it's like going hiking with a person who is passionately and irrationally devoted to going right. Even when the route is clear and left, he argues for going right. And in every case in which there is any ambiguity whatsoever, he shrieks and screams and threatens until you agree to go right. Even when you want to follow clear trail blazes to the left, he accuses you of maliciousness and stupidity: you are trying to impose your let's-go-leftism on me! You love Satan, and think the left way will take you to hell, and you're trying to drag me with you! Whatever.

Now here's the thing: the odds that you will get lost if you go hiking with that guy are 100%. (Well, 100% - e).

It's just a matter of time.


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