This post has just blown up on Facebook. A reader writes:
Nice piece, and all too true. But what it made me think is, none of this surprises me, because none of it is new. The right wing crazy we see now masquerading as “conservative” is simply the same old underbelly of right wing crazy I knew growing up in the flyover Midwest 50 years ago. The only difference now is that the inmates are in charge.
I liken the current situation on the right to a boil coming to a head: unpleasant, but necessary. History will lance it, and with the infection cleaned out, we have some chance of healing enough to address the real issues we face.
I also recommend Frum’s typically shrewd assessment. Another writes:
The really sad part is I cannot vote for my Republican congressman, someone I have known since we met in elementary school 47 years ago. He’s not a bad guy, I generally agree with him, he’s not a crazy and described as a low key member. I have called his office for services (passport snafu) for a friend and was treated well. But I cannot vote to maintain the Republican majority.
Completely tangential to the discussion of budget talks, the phrase “Plan B” is the elliptical way my wife and I refer to oral sex in the presence of kids. We’re gonna have to come up with a new phrase lest images of Speaker Boehner ruin our foreplay.
I just saw part of the press conference and something about LaPierre reminded me so much of the Catholic bishops whenever they are forced to speak about the sex abuse cases or the treatment of the women religious. They are just so in their own bubble that the arguments they make must sound perfectly reasonable if you are in that bubble, but of course sound absurd outside of it.
After extending sympathy to the families, the first point LaPierre made was that gun-free school zones are the problem. I mean, how insulated do you have to be to not see that, politically, that is going to be a losing argument? That you don’t want to go on national television and literally LEAD with this point?
I remember listening to a Terry Gross interview with the bishop in charge of beating back the nuns, and naturally the question of ordaining women arose. And he had this sort of gleeful moment when he thought he caught Terry in some logical trap by saying, “But St. Paul talks about Christ being the groom, and the church being his bride!” Well, duh! So women can never be priests because of some turn of phrase that is not even in the Gospels. Gotcha, Terry! But he must have truly thought that was a compelling argument,just as the NRA must truly think their arguments are going to be compelling to a national TV audience.
(Photo: Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) (R) speaks during a press conference as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) (L) looks on at the U.S. Capitol December 21, 2012 in Washington, DC. By Win McNamee/Getty. Lost elephant by Getty as well.)