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Tom Toles
Posted at 07:15 AM ET, 03/01/2013

Friday rant: Tiddly winks edition

The GOP can do whatever it pleases. It’s a free country, as they never tire of telling us, with regard to semi-automatic arsenal-building, anyway. If they want to spend their time alienating larger and larger swathes of the electorate, and guaranteeing smaller and smaller numbers of elected officials, less power to them, I say!

But my message today is not to them, it’s to you. The GOP, in it’s determination to fight to their last breath against the now-clear tide of history, has decided in their death thoes to wreck what could be described (and now barely remembered) as a normally functioning government, and the economy into the bargain! A Grand Bargain that! A normally functioning government gives minority players a role and some of what they want. What it does NOT do is repeatedly lock into rigor mortis in an attempt by the minority to deny the majority-endorsed election results. That’s what is happening now. And yes, it is starting to slow the economy down. This affects you, your job, your kids’ prospects, your health care and retirement and everything else that a growing economy enables and a not-growing economy doesn’t.

They will not win this fight. They will yield, enough, and eventually. The sight of a significant clump of Republicans endorsing GAY MARRIAGE of all things, tells you that all their brow-mopping lectures about bedrock moral priciples, true and unchangeable, is just so much pulpit posturing. What a surprise that politicians could posture. I saw John Boehner talking to Scott Pelley about his budget “convictions.” It was pretty clear to me Boehner was lying. His whole manner had the look of someone forced to take a public position without real conviction. For this I actually thank him. Politicians used to regularly signal insincerity as part of the whole dance of politics. This is actually a favor to the process. It’s when politicians drop the wink and nod and start sounding like Elmer Gantry that the true trouble starts. But the obviousness of his lying is the ONLY thing I thank him for. The GOP is now engaged, Boehner out in front, with tear-streaked cheeks, in a process of throwing their office furniture into the gears of the economy, and that makes it not a game anymore. That’s sabotage. The public, who prefers to look at Washington as a distant, always-dysfunctional source of entertainment, needs to decide how they feel about the fact that the long fingers of movement-conservatism are currently wrapped around the windpipe of YOUR economy, and whether you are just going to wink and nod off.

By  |  07:15 AM ET, 03/01/2013

 
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