When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say—but what is equally true—is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed—if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office—Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.
That's not just true of Limbaugh, but of all the press. It's the distortion of getting our news from businesses who rep their own interests first. Their interests are not ours. For all the evidence you need, consider who sleeps in the White House.
The chickens have come home to roost. Loops have closed. Sowing happened ten years ago, reaping now. It's time to step back from the failed theory that Repubs would know what to do if they won it all.
Yesterday I wrote this in a tweet:
Repubs, our form of govt requires compromise. Lots of Dems don't get this too. Make a diff, dismiss Gorsuch, nominate Garland. Govern.
This is consistent in Frum's theme, as expressed in a post he wrote yesterday. Anyone trying to govern from the extremes of either party is doing it wrong. It can't work, and it's not good for the country, or for them. Our journalism will never tell that story, so we must find ways to tell it to each other. It's the only way we can win.
I listened to Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, and I am sure they would welcome a chance to work with the Republicans in Congress, in the role of the minority party, to make our government work in a more routine and functional way. That means we have to have a real Supreme Court, not one that does what the billionaire class wants, but what the country needs. And real elections without Russian interference or voter suppression. It starts with a real Congress that works in a bipartisan way to do the work of the people. And the people have to get and remain involved, to make sure we are not being herded by journalism with its own ax to grind.
Mitch McConnell quietly said something very true after the surprising election results. But as is often the case with wisdom it applies even more to the person with the idea. McConnell overreached in not playing an advise-and-consent role with the Garland nomination. That was a step too far, one of many in the last eight years. But this was an attempt to cement a victory in the Supreme Court. So instead of taking a decade to undo the damage of the Tea Party, we'd have to wait generations.
Pelosi, Schumer, Ryan, McConnell should get together in an offsite, quietly and privately retreat and talk, as adults, how to get our country back on course. You four people have the power to do it. You should. And you should now be ready to do it.