Mr. Obama, optimistic to a fault—or as shrewd as Machiavelli—is offering Republicans yet another opportunity (yet another “grand bargain”) to come to the aid of the country, an opportunity right-wingers will, of course, reject.
Why? Why would they reject a deal to cut tax rates on businesses in exchange for “a significant investment in creating middle-class jobs,” as the President offered in Chattanooga today? Because the rejection is not based on the offer, but the offer-er, the Scary Negro in the White’s House. They deal with him at their own political peril.
President Obama, making fun of House Republicans, said today that “wasting the country’s time by taking something like 40 meaningless votes to repeal ObamaCare is not a jobs plan.” About that he is certainly wrong. Taking all those meaningless votes is a jobs plan for right-wing legislators, as those meaningless votes will help keep them employed in Congress after the 2014 elections. Republican primary voters have a preternatural affection for such meaninglessness and they nearly always reward its champions.
And there’s the problem. A relative handful of extreme and energetic reactionaries, strategically spread across the country in tangled and twisted congressional districts, fed propaganda day after day by well-funded right-wing interest groups, can, by proxy, stand in the way of anything that looks like progress for the country as a whole.
For that we can think the collective genius of our Founders, the Supreme Court, and, most important, the indifference and complacency found among a rather large number of Americans, folks in the 99% who can’t send their spare cash on exotic vacations in the Cayman Islands, but who are willing to sit back, refuse to vote, and allow a tiny fraction of the electorate who can park money in sun-soaked hideaways to control politics in Washington and elsewhere.