Although Ezra Klein concedes that "we can come up with endless hypotheticals," he precedes that ambiguity with the sweeping, nearly certain assessment that "if President Obama wins reelection, it's likely that one or both chambers will be controlled by Republicans."
What's disturbing about that passage isn't so much its grim pessimism in contradiction of its happy premise of Who knows?, but that Klein could likely be right. I confess I cling desperately to the upbeat optimism of Who knows?, however, for much the same reason that comedian Lewis Black doesn't do jokes about Sarah Palin: his brain, he insists, refuses to acknowledge the towering nihilism of such a witless harpy in American politics.
My brain rebels at even the foreshadow of another two years--or four--of a Cantor/McConnell-led daycare for the criminally pseudoconservative; two or four more years of infantile dogma and adolescent bullying; two or four more years of grinding, akimbo gridlock--all of which would create an inescapable drag on this groaning economy of ours, soon returning us to 10 percent unemployment (or worse) and vanishing GDP growth, and all of which the criminally pseudoconservative could then blame on sabotaged Democratic policies, just in time for the 2014 and '16 elections.
Don't get me wrong. I find Democratic prescriptions for our weak economy rather anemic themselves, albeit necessarily, at least for the moment. But any alternative to the criminally pseudoconservative is preferable and by comparison looks and sounds positively splendid. What's more, my brain simply cannot accept--and hey, after all, we've six months to go--that even Democrats could be so inept as to lose to a party that openly avows the destruction of America's most cherished safety nets.
No, I just can't bring myself to entertain the horror of what Klein suggests; I won't panic till I actually see the torrential monstrosity of Citizens United descend all around us, state by state, district by district, television by television.
For the Democrats do have a plan, right?