As Digby reminds us in her recent Salon.com piece, it's become a meme of corporate media that, although it's now widely acknowledged that the political right has moved farther in that direction in recent years, the left — already far out on the fringe — has moved equally leftward. This despite analyses by Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann, among others, that suggest "Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem".
On April 12, NY Mag's Jonathan Chait wrote:
The argument for Clinton in 2016 is that she is the candidate of the only major American political party not run by lunatics. There is only one choice for voters who want a president who accepts climate science and rejects voodoo economics, and whose domestic platform would not engineer the largest upward redistribution of resources in American history. Even if the relatively sober Jeb Bush wins the nomination, he will have to accommodate himself to his party's barking-mad consensus. She is non-crazy America’s choice by default.
Rand Paul's quixotic presidential campaign launched this week, but the dominant narrative was not his association with conspiracy theorists, or his amorphous positions on issues, but rather his apparent inability to tolerate interviews with reporters. The creatively coiffed, self-certified opthamologist capped off a week of "Randsplaining" by walking out of an interview with The Guardian
Watch this space for the launch of IsItaRug.com, a site devoted to Rand Paul's tonsorial novelty.
In his November 6 commentary, economist Paul Krugman writes that Republicans won primarily by masking their true positions on issues, and having discovered that "obstructionism bordering on sabotage is a winning political strategy."
Describing Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) attempts at describing for Fox News what Republicans will do with their new majority as "so pathetic even the Fox News crowd could barely hide their dismay," conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan observes that "after this relentlessly negative and vacuous campaign ... it’s hard to detect an issue or platform around which the GOP constructed a victory."
... [W]hat this represents is a backlash against a change that is coming anyway – a vote by the older generation against the America that the younger generation seems to represent and want. Or a rising up of white America against the browns and blacks. This is too crude, of course. But it captures something important about this moment of vacuous retrenchment.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was caught on tape by The Nation explaining to a secret conference of billionaires organized by the Koch brothers that he plans to use the appropriations process to prevent action by the executive branch. If the GOP wins the Senate this year, McConnell promises to attach riders to appropriations bills limiting how the funds can be spent, in an attempt to curtail the actions of government departments and agencies.
TalkingPointsMemo.com (TPM) highlights Harvard sociologist Theda Skocpol's analysis of the effect of state adoption of the Affordable Care Act on the number of people insured.
States that chose not to set up their own insurance exchanges or opted out of Medicaid expansion "are putting all their lower income residents at risk ... not just by refusing to expand Medicaid but also, in many cases, by failing to help people get subsidized private coverage through the exchange."
Talking Points Memo digs into the semantics of What Really Happens To People Whose Insurance Is 'Canceled' Because Of Obamacare, and finds that "Almost all of them are going to receive the same or much better coverage, and many of them are going to receive financial help to purchase it."
Politico reports on the carefully planned campaign by Republicans to sabotage the Affordable Care Act at every step.