Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd. -- Bertrand Russell
Alex Castellanos | All Articles
She is beautiful and virginal, the freshly paved road guiding me to my office this morning. She lies there immobile, flat and black as the American coal industry. She stretches out before me like our debt.
I watch Rachel Maddow's program on MSNBC more than I'd like my bosses at CNN to know. Not unlike Rush Limbaugh, she is a joyous warrior for her ideological cause, a comparison she may not find flattering. This Sunday, we were both guests on “Meet the Press,” where Maddow was offended when I complimented her on her passion. She found it condescending. I meant it as high praise and still do: In political campaigns, business consulting, and my own company, I often urge those I work with, male and female, to give themselves passionately to their effort, no matter the sacrifice or obstacles. It is my experience that no one ever does anything well unless they give themselves to it passionately. Working for a candidate or cause, not because you believe in them, but for power or money, would be my definition of hell.
Who has ever seen an election like this one? Millions unemployed, three out of four Americans reporting the country is on the wrong track and consumer confidence 10 points below what incumbent presidents suffer, on average, when they lose the White House. Barack Obama can’t possibly win this election. Then we look at the Republican field. Can’t anybody in that orchestra play an instrument?
Republicans are uncivilized, hostage-taking barbarians. Worse, we are drama queens. That wisdom prevails in our nation’s capital, as we emerge from our no-holds-barred, debt-ceiling death match. The GOP inconvenienced Washington’s comfortable elite, the story goes, to deal with a petty accounting issue: raising the debt ceiling. Washington has routinely dispatched this annoyance 74 times since 1962, without difficulty or drama. Why should this time be different? The established news media, in chorus with the Democratic Party, instructed us of their conclusion: Boorish Republicans, led by an ignorant and fanatical Tea Party minority, manufactured this unnecessary drama and put the full faith and credit of the United States at risk.
Chris Matthews is not an economist, though he has overcome that constraint and fearlessly plays one on television. Recently, on his program “Hardball,” where for the sake of efficiency, he both asks and answers all the questions, he took on what he termed the Republican Party’s “religious argument” that there is a relationship “between taxes and jobs.”
Newt Gingrich is seductive.