Yeesh…

Last week, two D.C. thinkers wrote this op-ed for the Washington Post, excoriating the Republicans in what can only be described as putting steel wool on a brick and scrubbing the exposed eyeballs of your enemies.

It’s pure verbal artillery and various anthills in the blog navelverse are scrambling, responding and reforming. Check it out here at The Dish. One particularly pissed off blogger went so far as to call former senator Chuck Hagel a “fringe crank”. For the record, that was the last time I looked at the Republican Party as a possible party to vote for, when Chuck Hagel left public office. Fringe crank he isn’t.

*whistle of incoming artillery*

Today, thanks to the GOP, compromise has gone out the window in Washington. In the first two years of the Obama administration, nearly every presidential initiative met with vehement, rancorous and unanimous Republican opposition in the House and the Senate, followed by efforts to delegitimize the results and repeal the policies. The filibuster, once relegated to a handful of major national issues in a given Congress, became a routine weapon of obstruction, applied even to widely supported bills or presidential nominations. And Republicans in the Senate have abused the confirmation process to block any and every nominee to posts such as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, solely to keep laws that were legitimately enacted from being implemented.

Seriously. A must read.

On regulating Capitalism

Marx’s predictions about the inevitable collapse of capitalism have been wrong so far because the system has worked reasonably well, thanks to the rules and redistributive programs established after the Great Depression.

The lesson is that the surest way to save capitalism is to regulate it in the public interest. The surest way to create socialists is for everyone to experience the economic consequences of counting only on the goodness in the hearts of Mr. Potter and Fabrice Tourre.

So, as a history nerd, I found the use of Marxist interpretation in an immediate context – what happened the day before – kind of riveting.

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