Sunday, April 18, 2010

"Burnham 3:16 says I just fooled your ass"

Jacob Weisberg extends and revises his perpetual lamentation on the causes of ineffectual government:

If Responsible Republicans are in fact nearing extinction, I think we can identify the crucial event that signaled their demise. It was a December 1993 memo by conservative strategist and commentator William Kristol. Kristol's advice about how Republicans should respond to Bill Clinton's 1993 health care effort -- and a series of follow-up memos he wrote in 1994 -- pushed the GOP away from cooperation with Democrats on any social and economic legislation. His message marks the pivotal moment when Republicans shifted from fundamentally responsible partners in governing the country to uncompromising, hyperpartisan antagonists on all issues.

What Weisberg is missing here is that all this theater is exactly that -- theater.

Politics in the modern American one-party (disguised as two-party) state is the functional equivalent of professional wrestling.

The Republican Party prefers to play the heel faction, and who can blame them? It's a lot more fun to chase your opponent around the outside of the ring with a folding chair than to just, you know, pin him or something.

Also, the babyfaces are expected to stay "good" after they win their belts, and that's just a drag.

In any case, at the end of the match (or, in some cases, a longer dramatic cycle) the outcome inevitably emerges according to the Managerial Consensus script. These guys all get their paychecks from the same bosses.

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