Oppugnancy In The Defense of Oppugnancy Is In Fact A Vice

How far will the Republican majority in the House continue their oppugnant ways in the face of polls that show a majority of Americans likely to vote getting fed up with them? Yes, gerrymandering and redistricting have done quite a bit to insulate them, and fear of facing a righter-than-thou primary opponent makes deal-cutting complicated. But Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) are neither fools nor anything other than conservatives. Burr said today that it is nuts to threaten to shut down the government unless the health care law is defunded, and Cole called the shutdown threat a “temper tantrum.” Their frank critiques of Republican extremism are significant signals, I think, of the beginnings of a climbdown. Norman Ornstein and Bruce Bartlett, among others, are sensible, nonliberal, and fair-minded critics of GOP oppugnancy (hat tip re this rare word to Charles H. Long, history of religions scholar) and of the rampant and whorish conventional wisdom of false equivalence–but the real action is when deeply right-wing elected Republicans point to an exit strategy from lunacy.


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