Sunday, March 01, 2009

Tom Watson on Rush and the C-PAC Convention

Tom Watson puts together delicious political prose.
Go read it all.

Leading gullible Republicans into the hills of guerrilla ideological resistance during the nation's toughest economic crisis in 80 years constitutes a gift of incredible political proportions for the Obama Administration. Instead of principled point-by-point opposition by a chastened party of experienced professionals ready for tough dealings at the bargaining table, President Obama is blessed with clownish truculence and pure rejectionism - embodied in the Republican response to the President's forceful Congressional address by Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, a moment of excruciatingly tone-deaf ideology rescued only by the attention lavished on its shockingly poor delivery.

As I watched C-SPAN's three-hour in-depth interview of Ronald Takaki by Pedro Echivera this afternoon with echoes of the Conservative Political Action Committee reverberating in the background channels I had the same thought. Along with a bunch of fellow Obamacons I'm having my sensibilities stretched and adjusted by the many discussions and arguments he has started. I wonder if he is a deliberate political arsonist. Every week or so he tosses another lit match out window and squirts just enough gas to get it burning before moving to the next item.

Meantime, a group of well-placed old white men who have found just enough minority spokespersons speaking the right language, goes right along the same old path, unaware that the world is leaving them behind. It's really sad, in a way. I'm reminded of the seniors I now assist... aware of the Internet but not involved, knowing that their peer group is not being replaced by like-minded younger people, that something is seriously awry with their world... but unable to get their heads around it.

Mike Huckabee was talking with Geraldo Rivera yesterday about Rush's speech. Huckabee made an excellent point, that it's much easier for Republicans to be a minority party than the one in charge. It's much easier to be the opposition in the minority because if something goes wrong they can always say "We told you so."

But he kept talking and said something sad and wrong, referring to Bush's term in office. "They don't have to defend the president when he's wrong." That is an admission that even though they knew the president was wrong they HAD TO DEFEND HIM. That is wrong on so many levels. No one HAS to defend anyone who is wrong.

Paul Harvey, whose voice everyone knows, was a widely respected Conservative who died yesterday But he had the character to say to Richard Nixon about the Vietnam war, "Mr. President, I love you but you're wrong." Just this week Senator Robert Byrd criticized Obama for what he called a "power grab." When he chose Rick Warren to participate in the inauguration Obama pissed off nearly everyone on the Left. Every time he rescinds OR DOESN'T something done by his predecessor he pisses off another group. He gets no points from any quarter for a moderate exit from Iraq, even from those who thought he might call for an earlier exit. (Never mind that's one of the main reasons many of us voted for him.)

So Tom Watson, you're more right than you know. Rush and C-PAC are great political gift to Barack Obama. The more they rattle the more marginal they sound. And their stubbornness to mutter a word of support, even when he does something they like, reflects far more on them than the president.

No comments: