Timothy Egan at the New York Times thinks the Republicans have finally pounded the last nail into their coffin with the hammer of the shutdown.
Sarah Palin finally got her death panels — a direct blow from the Republican House. In shutting down the government, leaving 800,000 people without a paycheck and draining the economy of $300 million a day, the Party of Madness also took away last-chance cancer trials for children at the National Institutes of Health.
And now that the pain that was dismissed as a trifle on Monday, a “slimdown” according to the chuckleheads at Fox News, is revealed as tragic by mid-week, the very radicals who caused the havoc are trying to say it’s not their fault.
It’s too late. They flunked hostage-taking. About 30 or so Republicans in the House, bunkered in gerrymandered districts while breathing the oxygen of delusion, are now part of a cast of miscreants who have stood firmly on the wrong side of history. The headline, today and 50 years from now, will be the same: Republicans closed the government to keep millions of their fellow Americans from getting affordable health care.
Politically, the shutdown is terrible for a party trying to rebrand itself. When Bobby Jindal said Republicans have to “stop being the party of stupid,” he swallowed a teaspoon of common sense. That’s been washed away by a river of stupid.
This week’s Quinnipiac Poll found 72 percent of Americans opposed to shutting down the government to halt the Affordable Care Act. When asked to pick a party in a generic Congressional matchup, those surveyed chose Democrats over Republicans, 43 percent to 34 — the widest measure in recent polling.
Those numbers won’t penetrate the gerrymandered fortresses that produced the people who have made our democracy a laughing stock of the world.
“We’re right,” crowed Representative Steve King of Iowa.
“We can always win,” seconded Representative Raúl Labrador of Idaho.
Say it enough times, and it’ll be true, like Karl Rove’s gasping on election night that Obama had not yet won. But the die is cast. They wrecked the car, dug their own grave; no matter what you call it, history’s verdict came early.
I really wish I could believe that’s the case, but for every time that the Republicans have been wrong on an issue or an ideology, be it the New Deal, desegregation, women’s rights, reproductive choice, marriage equality, civil rights, and every time they’ve suffered through a scandal that would normally kill off a political party like Raid on a roach, they’ve bounced back.
Not only that, they’ve learned nothing from their shame and scandal. Even a child learns not to touch a hot stove more than once, but these radicals think they can not only do it, but come out even better. They are counting on the slow clock speed and short attention span of the electorate, and a year from now they’ll probably keep all their seats in Congress and perhaps pick up a few more. The one thing they do best is polish a turd.