Sam Stein at Huffington Post notes that Obama’s presidential campaign manager David Plouffe is, rightly, warning Democrats and their allies not to get over confident. Plouffe argues that after gaining a lot of new seats in both houses of congress as well as seeing Obama sworn in, opportunities for continued pick ups will be fewer and farther between in 2010 and beyond.
Of course, 2010, not to mention 2012, are long ways away in political terms and a lot can and undoubtedly will happen between now and then. But his warning is well taken. Democrats, liberals, progressives and all left of center types can perhaps be excused for celebrating recent victories after enduring such frustration throughout the Bush/Cheney/Rove era. But resting on laurels is never good policy — complacency is a very bad thing.
Still, nonetheless, that should not preclude a realistic appreciation of the difficulty our friends in the Republican party and the conservative movement find themselves in.
I do a fair amount of lurking on various conservative sites. A constant and seemingly widespread refrain is to the effect that “the base,” the rightwing of the party or the so called movement conservatives, have had enough of receiving little more than lip service from the so called party elites, “moderates,” and “squishes.”
Something about being mad as something and not something anymore. While current Republican party identification is very low, it also seems to have boiled down to righteous purity of rightwing faithful.
This latest supplication to and placation of Rush, like the preceding ones, is telling. The party knows it must move away from the brink to attract more voters but it knows equally well that any retreat will bring up blood curdling furious howls of rage from the base. The Republican party and the movement conservatives who make up an increasingly larger percentage of its shrinking base are in a difficult spot. But a large contingent of the base refuses to acknowledge the precariousness of their position.
Indeed, they seem to honestly believe that soon, very soon, Americans will see the light and come around to their way of thinking about what a fraud and empty suit Obama is. They sincerely think voters will come crawling back to the Republicans and conservatives full of contrition and new found respect for the wise ones who were able to resist the hypnosis of Obama’s siren song from the start.
It reminds me of a joke that was supposedly circulating in the Soviet Union before it disappeared before our eyes: Gorbachev, addressing a rally of the party faithful, declares “Comrades, when I became the premier, our nation stood on the brink of an unfathomable abyss. Since then, thanks to my vision and dedication, we have taken a bold step forward.”
Update: and now Cantor has curled up like a little puppy at the Bossman’s feet, agreeing that Americans who fail to kneel before the wisdom of the Righteous Few need to be talked at, not listened to:
SCARBOROUGH: So, let’s start with Rush Limbaugh, who seems to be mocking the idea of a listening tour. What do you say to Rush?
CANTOR: You know, Joe, really, this — this is not a listening tour. You know, think about what we saw a couple weeks ago on the TEA parties.
Cantor is now in alignment with the unsure about evolution Pence:
[via the same ThinkProgress link as the Cantor quote] Yesterday, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) had a similar retraction, saying that the GOP’s objective was to help “educate the American people,” even though a week before he had said that “we’re going to listen, we’re going to learn.”