Friday, January 30, 2009

Down to the Hard Core

Republicans these days like to claim that the Bush-Cheney administration wasn't really a conservative Republican administration at all, a sweaty, desperate maneuver that may nonetheless serve some function at least by helping some of them go on. The rest of us might do well to note that the last administration was full-speed ahead on tax cuts and deregulation as a way to strengthen the economy for the past eight long years, and that the result of this strategy was ever-more disparity between the rich and what used to be called "the poor" but what we might as well now call "everybody else," and the current position of the economy, butt-up in the ditch. Thus one can only shake one's head in disbelief at the latest soundbite coming from the congressional Republicans, that their stimulus proposal contains "more job-creation" than the Democrats', a slogan based on the entirely discredited notion that giving all the money to rich people is merely efficient administration and not willful sabotage of the government, a project they enthusiastically support when they think no one is listening.

Meanwhile President Obama was probably making a rare slip into snarkyness when he tossed off the line that Republicans shouldn't just sit around listening to Rush Limbaugh, and I imagine Obama regretted his loose tongue this past week as Mr. Limbaugh has enjoyed the (as everyone is saying) "ka-ching" cachet of being singled out in this way. But after a couple days of this, I'm wondering: maybe it's not such a bad idea if the conservative movement is identified in the public eye with Rush. His followers are legion, but not that big of a legion. When he says that everyone is expected to bend over and grab their ankles because Obama is black (and lord knows nobody ever criticizes black people, right?), if everyone else is paying attention we might start to notice that there are bigger legions out there. Limbaugh as titular head of the conservatives: I find that that grows on me.

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