Fear and Hope

Donny: Are these the Nazis, Walter?
Walter Sobchak: No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there’s nothing to be afraid of.

A great column by Joe Klein in Time about The Party of Nihilists:

The most liberal members of the Democratic caucus…are honorable public servants who make their arguments based on facts. They don’t retail outright lies. Hyperbole and distortion certainly exist on the left, but they are a minor chord in the Democratic Party.

It is a very different story among Republicans…they have been overwhelmed by nihilists and hypocrites more interested in destroying the opposition and gaining power than in the public weal. The philosophically supple party that existed as recently as George H.W. Bush’s presidency has been obliterated. The party’s putative intellectuals — people like the Weekly Standard‘s William Kristol — are prosaic tacticians who make precious few substantive arguments but oppose health-care reform mostly because passage would help Barack Obama’s political prospects…There is no Republican health-care alternative in 2009. The same people who rail against a government takeover of health care tried to enforce a government takeover of Terri Schiavo’s end-of-life decisions. And when Palin floated the “death panel” canard, the number of prominent Republicans who rose up to call her out could be counted on one hand.

I have been hesitant to even write anything here about the loons in the GOP and their hypocrisy, because I simply am having a hard time believing that they are relevant to this debate. Well, they aren’t. The bipartisan hope–which I believed was a slim possibility in the election of Obama–is a myth. It is clear that the only principle on the right is to bring Obama down, much as it was with Clinton.

There is no solution, no compromise, no debate at all with these people. Obama deserves credit for trying but as everyone seems to be saying now, it is time to fuck ’em. Go your own way, like Fleetwood Mac. There’s problem enough with the conservative Democrats, who needs the Party of No?

I still think that these crazies are a very small minority of people, the 20%ers, and hardly worth the time or the coverage that they receive, but realize that cable tv news is nothing without this kind of garbage. I just hate to waste my time or this verrrrrry valuable space in The Booze Cabinet on such wackjobs. Not when we could be posting beer pictures and fictional tales of existential misery.

Walter Sobchak: Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.

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