Friday, December 14, 2012

End of Week News Roundup: GOP Botox Problem, Continuing Civil War, Debt Crisis as Existential Crisis, and Defense of DOMA

Jeremiah Goulka thinks botox (same old face, desceptive cosmetic changes plastered over it) is not going to help the GOP successfully negotiate its current crisis:

Do any of their proposals exhibit a willingness to make the kind of changes the GOP will need to attract members of the growing groups that the GOP has spent years antagonizing like Hispanics, Asian-Americans, unmarried women, secular whites and others? In a word: no.

Did I say that the same tired, grim old face lies beneath the cosmetic changes, botox or no botox?

Noam Chomsky challenges Americans to look at a map, think about the configuration of red and blue states in the 2012 elections, and then remember the Civil War:

There's another very striking fact about the elections which you can't miss if you looked at the red-and-blue electoral map the next day: it's the same political landscape that you saw during the Civil War - nothing much has changed except the party names. In the 1960s, civil rights legislation was coming along, and Nixon recognized the Southern strategy would work - that combination means that the Republicans and Democrats shifted names, but other than that, it's the same distinction. And that tells you something pretty important about American politics.

And as we do so, he wants us to keep in mind that when we're talking about the 1%, who exploit racial and other divisions (and crazy pseudo-religion) that keep the nations divided down the middle, there's this to remember: "When you get to the very top, they essentially get what they want."

Paul Krugman thinks it's imprecise to talk of the debt crisis, when what ails the nation is an existential crisis--to be exact, the GOP's existential crisis, which becomes the existential crisis of all the rest of us, because the party owned totally by the super-rich still exerts control over everything as a minority party:

It’s a dangerous situation. The G.O.P. is lost and rudderless, bitter and angry, but it still controls the House and, therefore, retains the ability to do a lot of harm, as it lashes out in the death throes of the conservative dream. 
Our best hope is that business interests will use their influence to limit the damage. But the odds are that the next few years will be very, very ugly.

And about that debt crisis and runaway government spending: when it comes to bashing the gays, the Republicans continue to reach gladly into the deep pockets of the federal government (i.e., of taxpayers) to keep the gays in place: as Josh Israel reports for Think Progress,

It has come to light that House Administration Committee Chairman Dan Lungren (R-CA) secretly approved a $500,000 increase to a contract with a private law firm to defend the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in federal court. While the increase was approved in September, neither the public nor the Democratic House minority was informed until this week, Roll Call reports.

The graphic is by political cartoonist Mike Luckovich via Truthdig.

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