Political Animal


November 23, 2012 5:12 PM Day’s End and Weekend Watch

By Ed Kilgore

Hope those of you who worked today had an easy one, and those of you who (like me) were visiting multiple relatives had as many sinful things to eat as I did. Here are a few news/views remainders of a sorta-holiday:

* Krugman connects the dots with various conservative delusions and evasions beyond the Rubio age-of-the-Earth controversy.

* Harold Meyerson reminds us that “the 47%” is disproportionately composed of “makers” who are sometimes forced by the 1% to become “takers” to survive.

* RCP’s Steven Malanga takes a fresh (but flawed) look at Moynihan’s agitation for eliminating federal subsidies to what are now considered “red states.”

* At The Nation, Josh Eidelson chronicles the Black Friday labor actions against Wal-Mart.

* At Ten Miles Square, Jonathan Alter makes the case for John Kerry’s appointment to succeed HRC as Secretary of State, acknowledging that GOP misbehavior towards Susan Rice has greatly boosted her chances for the gig.

And in non-political news:

* Coldplay announces it’s taking three years off after New Year’s show with Jay-Z. Must be nice.

I do plan to take two days off, though. The ever-reliable, ever-provocative Kathleen Geier will be back in for weekend blogging. I’m sure she will find some nuggets in the shallow waters of post-holiday news.


Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • wahoofive on November 23, 2012 7:08 PM:

    Re: Coldplay. They're not necessarily taking off WORK for 3 years, just not playing concerts. Instead they'll write new songs and record them, which is their real money-maker.

  • exlibra on November 23, 2012 9:04 PM:

    Re Kerry for SoS: We take Kerry out of the Senate, Scott Brown runs for his seat and, likely, wins. Not smart. On top of which, what's Kerry gonna do, once his 4yrs are up? In the Senate, he can (probably), stay for life if he wants to. Rice can afford to postpone, for 4yrs, whatever plans she has for the future. And Repubs will foam at the mouth no matter whom Obama names, so there's no profit in caving to them, preemptively.

  • JackD on November 23, 2012 9:45 PM:

    Isn't Kerry the guy who, in 2004, said if he knew then what he knows now, he'd have voted the same way on authorizing the invasion of Iraq? And you want to give him more influence and authority?

  • Hue and Cry on November 24, 2012 12:21 AM:

    Just plowed through some articles at the National Review's The Corner where conservatives are still accusing reporters of Palin-like gotcha questions, feeling badly for Rubio being asked about science, and claiming his answer was just fine (??)

    Money quote from article, made me laugh:
    "The truth is, Republicans think the point of being interviewed is to politely and honestly answer the interrogator’s questions, while Democrats know that the purpose of any interview is to use the question as a stick with which to beat the other side into cowering submission."

    Wow--right wingers not only deny math and science, they conveniently disregard video proof of life---in this case, the brutal interviews relentlessly directed at progressives appearing on right wing Fox News--Hannity, O'Reilly, and their ilk literally tear into their guests and scream for congruence. I see it on Morning Joe as well. Too much.

    Funny how bitter these conservatives are--I have been clicking here and there online, and the cognitive dissonance is amazing.

  • Richard W. Crews on November 24, 2012 4:23 AM:

    re: Republican ignorance. I had the following 200 word letter printed in my local very conservative paper, and Bilbray lost.
    TITLE : Republican ignorance leverages The Stupid

    Republican Akin's ignorance of woman's biology is a symptom of conservative (non)thinking. Having long rejected science as not in alignment with Party, they sail on their own personal sea of ignorance.. The human mind evolved perceiving patterns, and even a deprived mind makes up self-convincing explanations. We're talking about people living at the bottom of a well of self-imposed censoring, who look up and think they see the horizon. Rather than having a learning moment, Akin doubles down on the dumb; soon we're discussing the idea of legitimate rape. And having rape babies. Freedom!

    This yokelism adds up. The irresponsible atrocity of Republican numerical ascendency is a Midieval mindset in congress, stumbling against modernity. The cumulative ignorance gets Michelle Bachman, paranoid conspiracy nut, on the Intelligence Committee, and Akin, Health-Ed flunk-out, on the science committee. Each member contributing towards Republican majority enables this national sickness.

    So carpetbagging Bilbray, right-wing rubber-stamp Hunter, and not-criminal Issa leverage The Stupid. Not criminal? That's right, but how many of your acquaintances have been arrested 3+ times? Just sayin'. Issa has led an important committee on a wasteful years-long circus of dead-end vendettas. He recently disclosed classified secrets looking for political blame rather than solutions.

  • Hue and Cry on November 24, 2012 10:12 AM:

    Well said remarks on Republican ignorance, Richard.

    It is just so ironic and Orwellian that anti-science types use the term “Intelligent Design” to define creationism as they deny evolution.
    And that the worst of the worst anti-intellectual politicians are positioned on science and health committees. Hasn’t there been just one scientist--a physicist--out of the usual 435 congressional members?
    Republicans continue with their pathology of promoting scientific relativism, denying reality, despising the intellectual.
    Even the the Harvard graduate two eye blinks away from the presidency --> Myth Romney

    Hey, deniers--science most certainly got us to Mars, to the moon, constructed our beloved internet, cured diseases so many of us still have our elderly loved ones---PLUS YOU'RE STILL ON THE PLANET!!!
    And it might be the biggest, unquestioned hypocrisy that Republicans disavowing science *love* and *crave* yet more military power, high-tech military weapons and supplies-- all clearly the result of science and advanced technological design.

  • N.Wells on November 24, 2012 4:16 PM:

    According to Rubio, the age of the earth “has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States.” I just want to re-emphasize that without science, we 'd have very little of whatever has counted as progress since around 1820 or so. Science does not work by letting people disbelieve in the parts that they don't like: let that in your schools and you risk losing half of the next generation to idiocy.

    American society can probably run fairly well at about 1/3rd Republican / science-denial idiocy. Not a lot of the population contributes to science in the best of times, and in particular the willfully stupid fraction wasn't going down that career path anyway. Nonetheless, a healthy science-accepting sensible majority is required to avoid having the deniers clog up the works, and we are uncomfortably far down that route already. The islamic world, for a while the center of learning, provides several hapless examples, both ancient and modern, of what happens to societies that replace rationality with religion, but we seem determined not to learn their lessons. Idiocracy, here we come.