As all my regular readers know, this really isn't the most topical of blogs. At best, I can be counted on joining the liberal chorus about a week or so after everyone else has started wrapping up. But my Biobrain's cranking at full-steam tonight, so you'll be getting the rare treat of a blog topic from the very same night that it happened. But not really. It's really just another chance to show how everything fits in with our current theme of crazy conservatives.
And in this case, what else could I be writing about but the Nuclear Compromise between Superhero Harry Reid and the moderate Republicans. Now, when I first read of the compromise, I took it as a defeat. I'm no hardliner politico guy, but in this case I saw almost any compromise as defeat. Not because I think our team always has to win, but because the Republicans are such ballbreakers that any compromise will only last as long as the ink is dry before they try to walk all over us again.
As Hitler showed, there is no compromise with people who are trying to destroy you. There is only delay. And if there's no direct advantage for the delay, you shouldn't do it. Compromise can only work in good faith.
But maybe it doesn't look like such a bad deal. I say that first off because Mr. Josh Marshall says it wasn't such a bad deal. I trust Marshall's political mind on this kind of thing, and so if he doesn't think we're being walked on, I guess it can't be so bad. I don't know the internal workings of Congress and Washington, so I have to trust his judgment on this.
But even better, the fanatics hate it. And anything that they hate must be good for us (which explains my Devil worship).
But maybe that's all wrong. Maybe you can't trust either Marshall or the fanatics on this one. And I say that, not as a reformed contrarian who's backsliding, but because both groups are doing exactly what they're supposed to do. The political-types like Marshall and the Whitehouse will claim victory, while the extremist-types will scream defeat. That's just standard operating procedure. And so them doing these things doesn't necessarily mean anything.
Marshall first. He outright says that he needed to spin this to victory. And the Whitehouse will surely do the same. That's just politics for you. In politics, appearance is everything; and if you're not the winner, you're the loser. That's just how the game is played. You always have to declare victory and just hope it sticks. Not that I'm necessarily saying that Marshall is falsely spinning this. I'm just saying that he'd probably do that in either case, as it's the political thing to do.
Shame On Them All
But what of the fanatics? Is their open declaration of defeat a clear sign that we won? Not necessarily. Because that's exactly what fanatics do. They declare defeat, agony, sacrifice, and persecution at every turn. Especially persecution. That's just how they are. I mean, just check out one-time presidential candidate Gary Bauer's immediate press release:
"Under this agreement it is now more likely that radical social change will continue to be forced on the American people by liberal courts committed to same sex marriage, abortion on demand and hostility to religious expression. The Republicans who lent their names to this travesty have undercut their President as well as millions of their most loyal voters. Shame on them all."
My lord. Reading that, you'd think that Bush had handed the Nomination Stick over to Michael Moore or something. Does he really fear that, with the filibuster option still in place, Bush will be stuck appointing Devil Worshipers (such as myself) to the courts? Really?
Of course not. Guys like Bauer peddle in outrage; the more outrageous the better. That's his thing. If he wasn't selling outrage, he'd have to get a real job; and god only knows who'd hire that fruitcake. The worst thing for fanatics like Bauer and Dobson is when they win. And the best thing is a complete loss. Even a win should be taken as a loss. Otherwise, their base will lose its steam. And I'm not even saying that they're both phonies who don't want to win; I'm just saying that they don't want to win. Whether or not they're phonies is a judgment call that I'll leave up to you...for now.
And so it is for all extremist/activists. The better the cause does, the harder it is to drum up support and funding. Which is why selfish activists have to worry about doing too good of a job. Were MADD able to stop all drunk driving, they'd cease to exist. And if we were all religious, we wouldn't need Bauer or Dobson telling us we're immoral. Activism and fanatics are a bundle of dissatisfied energy in search of a cause. Any cause. The more energy they have, the worse the cause they want.
And don't mind the contradiction of Bauer acting persecuted, while simultaneously insisting that he has a large majority with millions siding with him. For them, that's just more evidence of how evil and powerful we are. Somehow their persecution is even worse because they deserve so much power, yet are consistently thwarted. You'd think they'd be happier living in a Muslim nation, where they wouldn't have to worry about a minority oppressing them. I know I would be. Maybe I'll suggest it to them.
And so nothing can satisfy them. They don't want to be satisfied. They don't want their followers satisfied. But it's not due to extremism and the inability to compromise. It's because they don't want to be satisfied. And as I've said repeatedly before, they've got a lot of anger and frustration that they need to work out (least of all that too many of them are gay and hate themselves for it). And so this has nothing to do with God or morality; and everything to do with craziness and trying to find someone else to blame for it.
Anyway, I'm pretty tired and I think you get the general idea. I wasn't even writing so much about the filibuster thing, which I'm really fairly agnostic on. I just wanted to write a little about how politico-types always declare victory, and how the wacko extremists always announce bitter and agonizing defeat. You can figure out the rest from there.
Hell, pretty soon I think I'll just start linking to past posts and just write "Etc.". The hardest part of this job isn't in seeing how everything connects, but rather on how to find the loose-end so I can start unraveling it for your reading pleasure.