|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
For roughly 30 years, since Ronald Reagan opened his 1980 campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, with a speech about states' rights, conservative Republicans have been marked by four traits:
* A willingness to twist the truth for political gain;
* A willingness to act corruptly in order to gain and consolidate political power;
* A willingness to make expert use of the race-based fear card in order to attract middle-class white voters; and
* A tendency to govern in such an incompetent fashion that voters turn to Democrats to clean up Republican messes.
Obama clearly wants to break this dysfunctional cycle. But we fear he's going about it the wrong way.
The president tried to reason with Republicans last Friday--politely, but bluntly, calling them on their false statements. For good measure, Obama seemingly tried to shame them into realizing that they needed to work with Democrats in a bipartisan, constructive fashion.
But here, we suspect, is the ugly truth about the modern GOP: You can't reason with them, and you can't shame them into doing the right thing.
That's because the modern Republican political brand, shaped by Reagan with several dollops of Nixonian skulduggery, remains intact. It never has been discredited the way it should have been long ago.