-- by Eugene Robinson [click on the title for the full article]
"[T]he right-wing Republicans in Congress, especially those in the House, are all too sincere. And that's the problem.
Last November's election so wounded the GOP that the nation is now suffering collateral damage. The Republicans who were punished at the polls for the failures of the Bush years were those in the most evenly contested districts, which meant they tended to be relatively moderate. Those who represent solidly Republican districts were safe, and their greatest fear isn't being defeated by a Democrat next fall but being challenged by a primary opponent who's even more of a right-wing yahoo.
There are quite a few Democratic pragmatists in Congress -- which is why health-care reform is being worked over so thoroughly by the Blue Dogs. In the Republican ranks, especially in the House, pragmatists are few and ideologues are legion. Many of them probably believe the nonsense they spout about creeping socialism and an urgent threat to America As We Know It. But it's still nonsense. The ideologues' sincerity just makes this toxic, rejectionist rhetoric more dangerous."
I hadn't put together the dynamics of the far-right move of Congress -- particularly the House of Representatives. Robinson clarified that for me and I owe him a debt of gratitude for the realization.
And, of course, he's right on the other matter, too -- the rhetoric is, indeed, dangerous. It can lead to actions by other sincere people. That is what frightens me so much and that is why, every time I see Obama in public, I fervently hope he is wearing a bullet-proof vest.