Monday, October 5, 2009

Sophomoric Conservatives

Paul Krugman identifies an essential characteristic of the contemporary conservative movement:
There was what President Obama likes to call a teachable moment last week,
when the International Olympic Committee rejected Chicago’s bid to be host of
the 2016 Summer Games.

“Cheers erupted” at the headquarters of the conservative Weekly Standard,
according to a blog post by a member of the magazine’s staff, with the headline
“Obama loses! Obama loses!” Rush Limbaugh declared himself “gleeful.” “World
Rejects Obama,” gloated the Drudge Report. And so on.

So what did we learn from this moment? For one thing, we learned that
the modern conservative movement, which dominates the modern Republican Party, has the emotional maturity of a bratty 13-year-old.

But more important, the episode illustrated an essential truth
about the state of American politics: at this point, the guiding principle of
one of our nation’s two great political parties is spite pure and simple. If
Republicans think something might be good for the president, they’re against it
— whether or not it’s good for America.

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