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Restore the Wetlands. Reinforce the Levees.

Posts Tagged ‘alan wolfe’

“Dr. No” Hearts Senate Gridlock

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Photo by Stephanie Ziobro

“I love gridlock. I think we’re better off when we’re gridlocked because we’re not passing things.” —Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK)

Commenting on this remark by the good doctor in a town hall meeting over the weekend, Chris Hayes, Washington editor of The Nation, said on Countdown with Keith Olbermann:

“There’s a crucial asymmetry in the disposition of Republican legislators and Democratic legislators. Democratic legislators—I’m generalizing, but on the whole, want to legislate, they want to pass legislation. They think that’s their job. Republican legislators don’t really want to legislate so much as they want to sort of funnel resources of the state into the hands of their backers and their clients, and they want to obstruct, obstruct, obstruct. I mean, the old William F. Buckley quote is “standing athwart history yelling ‘Stop!’” That’s why all the things that tie up government, the filibuster, even if in the short term it favors one party or another, in the long term it favors the forces of reaction. Tom Coburn understands that well. I wish that all the Republican senators were as articulate in spelling that out.”

In this comment, Hayes elaborates well on an observation we’ve made before: what Republicans (the breed in power in Washington nowadays) take seriously is not governing but holding power, “power to cut taxes on the wealthy and corporations, to privatize the functions of government that can’t be abolished outright, to weaken labor unions, and to give the oil industry and the military / security complex anything they want.”

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“Conservatives cannot govern well . . .”

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

“Conservatives cannot govern well for the same reason that vegetarians cannot prepare a world-class boeuf bourguignon: If you believe that what you are called upon to do is wrong, you are not likely to do it very well.”

—Alan Wolfe, “Why Conservatives Can’t Govern
Washington Monthly, July/August 2006

LNW_IWantFDR2-1We have long believed that if either party takes governing seriously, it is the Democrats. Conservative Republicans do not seek office in order to govern but rather to hold power—power to cut taxes on the wealthy and corporations, to privatize the functions of government that can’t be abolished outright, to weaken labor unions, and to give the oil industry and the military/security complex anything they want.

The article below by political scientist Alan Wolfe explains in convincing detail the deadly consequences of the conservatives’ unbelief in governing and reveals why a deliberately weakened FEMA was unable to respond to the destruction and suffering wrought by Hurricane Katrina:

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