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Hullabaloo


Thursday, November 27, 2003

 
Walking On Eggshells

David Niewert has a must read post up about how the political became the personal as the modern Republicans rose to power. There is much to recommend this post, but I'd like to add something to one aspect of it.

He is saddened and disappointed by some of his conservative friends who refused to discuss Bush vs Gore and who don't seem to be willing to speak out against the encroaching totalitarianism of the conservative movement. As he did, I had always assumed that the majority of Republicans out in the real world were decent, hard working people who didn't subscribe to radicalism of any kind, whether from the right or the left. I suppose I counted on them to step in if things got out of hand and I've been puzzled until fairly recently about why that hasn't happened. I simply can't believe that real conservatives and mainstream, non-dittohead Republicans actually endorse the thuggish hyper-corporatism and will to power that we are seeing in Washington today.

David reluctantly concludes that they either implicitly endorse the increasingly blatant eliminationist rhetoric and strongarm tactics or they don't give a damn. But I actually think it's something else.

I think they are actually more afraid of these jack-booted bullies than we are. They are, as Hesiod once memorably said, "battered GOP moderates." Like an abused spouse they know that nothing pisses off the Lord of the Manor more than lip from his own family:

Smith, self term-limited, is leaving Congress. His lawyer son Brad is one of five Republicans seeking to replace him from a GOP district in Michigan's southern tier. On the House floor, Nick Smith was told business interests would give his son $100,000 in return for his father's vote. When he still declined, fellow Republican House members told him they would make sure Brad Smith never came to Congress. After Nick Smith voted no and the bill passed, Duke Cunningham of California and other Republicans taunted him that his son was dead meat.


It isn't easy being a liberal Democrat in this political landscape. But, it's even harder being a Republican rebel.


... And speaking of crushing enemies, the White House and the GOP generally will be guilty of professional malpractice if they don't punish Jeffords for pulling the rug out from under them. I know that it's illegal to sew a half-starved weasel into his small intestine, but there are some other options.


changing the tone...

Roll Call's Ed Henry reports an image of Vermont's independent senator was being used for target practice inside the men's urinal at Capitol Hill Club, a gathering place for Republicans adjacent to Republican National Committee headquarters.

"Although several folks apparently got a kick out of taking aim at the photo of a man they now detest because of his decision to bolt the GOP, a peeved member of the club ripped the photo out of the urinal, fearing it would be seen as yet another symbol of the party's alleged intolerance," Henry reports.


Imagine that.





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