“…. officials said they believed (Prominent Political Person) needed to placate hard-liners … who would have bridled at images of (PPP) greeting …” President Obama.
Do you think you know? Write your answer down before you read on. I’ll wait.
Did you think it was Mitch McConnell? He’s having a tough reelection fight in Kentucky, with a Tea Party challenger in his own party’s primary. Maybe it’s Marco Rubio, who seems to be a pleasant enough person on an individual level, but who is being bad-mouthed by some in his party for being too “soft” on immigration issues?
Here’s the whole quote, from The New York Times:
“Such careful calculations prompted Mr. Rouhani to eschew a handshake with President Obama at the United Nations General Assembly. After weeks of conciliatory moves, including Iran’s freeing of political prisoners, Iranian and American officials said they believed Mr. Rouhani needed to placate hard-liners in Tehran, who would have bridled at images of an Iranian leader greeting an American president.”
Do you think I’m taking my analogy too far? Maybe, but I doubt it. We just experienced Texas Senator Ted Cruz pontificating for more than 21 hours about how much he hates Obamacare. Agree or disagree with Cruz and his tactics, you must admit he doesn’t leave a lot of room for conciliation. It’s his way or no way.
There are people on the left who are rigid and nasty. However, except for (occasionally) Alan Grayson, they are not elected representatives, and have no official standing with the party. Al Franken, when he was a professional comedian, could get off a few (thousand) barbed zingers when he was so moved, but he has been a model of civility since he decided to run for the Senate.
Cruz is not the only offender, just the one most in the news this week. There have been those who hollered at the President during his State of the Union address. There have been those who called him a Muslim, or a foreigner, or otherwise unAmerican (never mind that there are plenty of American Muslims) when speaking to their constituents at Town Hall meetings.
It is not conducive to good governing. Even the Republicans know this. Every poll shows that the Tea Party faction has the support of less than twenty percent of the public at most. Why can they commandeer our discourse? Why does everyone cater to them?
Cruz’ conduct is conducive to rousing the rabble. There is no doubt in my mind that Ted Cruz’ campaign organization, any related PACs, and other conservative organizations raised a ton of money this week. At the same time, I know for a fact that the other side also sent out massive amounts of e-mail, asking for money to combat Cruz and his ilk.
Barry Goldwater once said, “Extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice.” Apparently, in adapting this philosophy to modern, more capitalistic times, it’s also true that extremism in pursuit of money is no vice.
The media is just as guilty, if not more so. There is rarely any real sharing of opinions anymore, just two sides yelling at each other (as if important issues only had two sides). If a reporter (or moderator) can provoke someone to say something outrageous, then that media person becomes a star. The story will fill up one or more news cycles, and everyone involved can be a highly-paid pundit on one cable news network or another.
Unfortunately, we still have another two and a half years to watch the Right obstruct every single thing Obama wants to do, just because Obama wants to do it. And, even worse, they aren’t going to let the expiration of his term slow them down any. The machinery is already installed to demonize the next Democratic frontrunner.
It’s bad enough that the American public has to witness this embarrassing spectacle. The least they could do for us in exchange is give us health care.
Martha Thomases, Media Goddess, apologizes for forgetting to write a snappy italic sign-off last week.