A reader writes:
People should be more positive. Something good has happened.
This is a gross oversimplification, but it will get the point across. We can think of three groups of people. The first group is the crazy people – the ones who want to default in order to kill off the government. The second group is the people who are appalled by the crazy people — you and me, and lots of other people. The third group are the people who aren’t crazy, but who have made alliances with the crazy people.
It’s that third group that’s changing. All sorts of people who have always backed the GOP are saying, “Wow, that sure was crazy!” Your readers who want the people who are in the first group, the actual crazy people, to change course, will certainly be disappointed. But from my perspective, having all sorts of conservative bloggers, the chamber of commerce, lots of CEOs, etc., and mainstream Republicans in general wake up and question their support of the nutters is good enough.
It’s a big leap forward. It’s an almost uniquely positive event in the post Gingrich history of the nutty right. We’ve seen lots of important wins – times when the crazies have been defeated politically. But this is the first time mainstream people are actually saying, “Those people were nuts!”
It’s not a final victory, or even anything close to that. A huge chunk of the country is really whacked out politically. It’s going to take years to push back against that, a lot of work and struggle. But what’s happened has really brought that fight into a new place. It’s an extremely positive development.
It’s interesting. Things were sort of malaise-y around the administration for awhile; there was a bleak vibe. But then out of the middle of that, we had a big win in Syria. Another one here. Iran could be enormous.
I know you want a two-state solution. I do too. But we have to chip away at the region incrementally – reduce the tension, consolidate smaller wins. Iran is extremely important in that regard. Kerry bloviates a lot on TV, but he seems to know his shit.
There’s an angle of this that I haven’t seen discussed. It might be just a mean-spirited fantasy on my part. But when we talk about racism in politics, we tend to talk about it in terms of “other”. As in, white guys don’t like Obama because he’s not like them, he’s “the other”. But white supremacy goes further than that. White supremacy says that the other is weak and inferior. They’ve always treated the President that way, and they’ve always described him in those terms.
So I am finding definite pleasure in the fact that the President, as an individual, beat them so decisively. That it was his personal strength that carried the battle.
I’ve come to know this reader by his emails and he’s often extremely perceptive. I agree about Iran and Syria. And about Obama’s new steel. Know hope!