At Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall just published a message from a reader who notes that the combatants in the latest GOP mini-civil war -- Karl Rove and the tea party -- were actually allies not long ago, united in their support for just about everything the Bush/Cheney administration did.
Andrew Sullivan agrees, and wonders when someone in the GOP will repudiate the Bush presidency:
Someone in the GOP needs to take Bush-Cheney apart, to show how they created the debt crisis we are in, by throwing away a surplus on unaffordable tax cuts, launching two unfunded wars, and one new unfunded entitlement. They need to take on the war crimes that has deeply undermined the soul of the United States. They need to note the catastrophic negligence that gave us the worst national security lapse since Pearl Harbor (9/11) despite being warned explicitly in advance, accept weak and false intelligence to launch a war they were too incompetent to fight or win, sat back as one of the worst hurricanes all but took out a major city, and was so negligent in bank regulation that we ended up with Lehman and all that subsequently took place.But why would any Republican do this? They can argue that most of these policies have been resounding successes.
Yes, the tax cuts are unsustainable, but they're now sacrosanct -- Republicans wanted to make them all permanent, while Democrats have insisted on locking them in for everyone but the rich. Government-sanctioned torture, once unthinkable, is now celebrated in movies and on TV, and much of what's worst about America's post-9/11 foreign policy -- Gitmo, rendition, indefinite detention -- is still in place. In fact, Republicans are talking about Chuck Hagel as if the neocons were right about Al Qaeda and Iraq, and are right about Iran right now -- and they're getting away with it, because not enough Americans have learned to feel disgust for them.
Financial regulation? Both parties agree with the Bush-era principle that banks and bankers can't be seriously punished, while Too Big to Fail can't be dismantled and Wall Street transaction taxes can't be imposed, nor can special tax treatment of hedge-fund income be ended.
Katrina? Hey, displacement plus the demonization of the Democratic mayor of New Orleans helped make a somewhat purple state much redder. What's for Republicans to dislike?
And meanwhile, Republicans control a majority of states, which gives them the wherewithal to gerrymander, disenfranchise, bust unions, make taxation regressive, and severely restrict reproductive rights.
Why on earth would Republicans think they're failing? Things are looking pretty damn good for them.