September 14th, 2010


Fear in America and the living Constitution

* Great read: Justice Breyer on why the Constitution should be viewed as a living document.
* Good read: 'why a fearful America worries minorities.'
* "Viewed from Pakistan, the rise of U.S. Islamophobia looks depressingly familiar."
* Interesting! On the 40-hour work week and its effects on the economy. (Courtesy, uh, someone?)
* John Dickerson on Obama's press conference and the lack of reasonable political negotiations.
* The Fox News echo chamber draws in more Republicans.
* Fun with balloon maps.
* Hee. John Waters advocates banning heterosexual divorce.


Team Evil vs. Team Stupid

"I don't think there's any equivalent to this on the left. Liberals can be annoyingly self-righteous and swept away by hyperbole — calling George W. Bush a moron, for example — but I don't see much deliberate lying. Certainly nothing on the scale of Fox or Limbaugh.

"I have two theories about this. One is that the conservative intelligentsia is deliberately training the Republican base to be irrational. I can almost see them chortling: 'If we can get them to believe the earth is only 6,000 years old, we can get them to believe anything!'

"But while this theory provides a little consolation, I don't actually think it's true. Far more likely is theory No. 2 — that Republicans have lost all confidence in their ability to convince the American people with honest arguments. Their triumphalism about November conceals a stink of desperation.

"Consider the big picture: Conservatives have lost the culture war so completely. They can't even keep military gays in the closet anymore. Their most celebrated evangelical politician — Sarah Palin — admits to premarital sex without a blush or an apology and nobody even notices. Their one useful idea is the old fiscal conservative ideal, which has become so tarnished by their own abuse that they have to tart it up in silly cries of 'socialism.' (I respect those who would add abortion, but oddly enough that is no longer a Republican preoccupation.) And they're doubling down on hatred of outsiders like Mexicans and Muslims, an ominous sign that is always a sign of weakness.

"I don't think the American people are going to fall for it. Sure, Republicans will probably pick up a lot of seats in November. But when they get to Washington, they will either compromise in order to run the country or live up to their rhetoric and wreak havoc, thus revealing themselves as either hypocrites or irresponsible extremists. There are no other choices. And opportunistic liars like D'Souza, the cheerleaders of this episode of madness, will bear much of the blame."

[Emphasis mine.]