I spent last week at an annual conference of the National League of Cities for Local Elected Officials Conference (no it is not a super team for politicians).
After some rather practiced tired rubber chicken belt banter (hahahaha he is a regular guy like us!) Halperin went into the trade required "What's Wrong in Washington" Post Election analysis. It is what you would get watching him on tv or reading him on-line, just with nowhere near the lack of cleverness. Halperin's entire speech was/is not worth the efforts but what pissed off my fellow council person, who was sitting next to me (I was pissed off but he was pissed off because I continued to angrily whisper to him my rebuts to Halperin's inanities and he couldn't get to his dessert) was Halperin trotting out the "False Equivalence" game, better known as the "Everybody in Washington is Fucked Up" stratagem. While discussing that mythical beast known as the Fiscal Cliff nee Deficit Crisis, Halperin argued that the Washington game, i.e. the Congress' inability to come to compromise was the fault of the extremists in both parties and that true resolution could be found by finding the "common sense middle". I don't know what that common sense middle looks like but I suppose they were the creators of half slave/half free America, gradual suffragism America, state by state abortion law America (you get my drift) but I do know that those that support the "common sense middle" America are often guilty of lazy bread and sleepy meat thinking. I fairly shat my mind onto the floor thinking about how lazy Halperin and his colleagues are. The supposition that the few lefties in the Congress (the Progressive Caucus is not as bold as we would like to think) have the same amount of power as the Tea Baggers (almost a hundred strong in the Republican Caucus). I for one would have loved to see Affordable Healthcare Act come under serious negotiation under the cloud of a single payer system. I would love to see "Increase social services!" become a ubiquitous part of the Democratic Caucuses attempt to achieve party alignment on budget votes. But these are not issues or the type of issues Centrist Democrats have to reckon with to make their base happy. Speaker Boehner however, must take seriously, Creationism, Climate Denial, Prayer in School and the limiting of a women's ability to make health care choices on damn near every issue he has to take before his caucus. The tail wags the elephant so effectively that there is no difference between the two. Halperin's unwillingness to do what pronounced Condservative Norm Ornstein has dared to do, which is admit the Republican Party, in its dealings with the Democratic Party, is like Israel's Likud Party with the Palestinians, fundamentally opposed to peace and cooperation and only interested in domination and submission. Hence, the Republican Party creates and maintains; an ungovernable circumstance, a failing government and the erosion of faith in the government's ability to do anything. Which by the fucking by is not everyone's fault. It's the fault of the republicans, the conservatives, the crypto-christianists, the climate deniers, the creationists, the misogynists, the racists and the xenophobes who have been embraced by the 3 people in the Republican Party that can remember what Nelson Rockefeller looked like.