From the NYT's "After 4 Years, Friends See Shifts in the Obamas":
The man who wanted to change the nature of Washington now warns job candidates that it is hard to get anything done there.
A moment, please, to reflect on why, in large part--and from a quite unlikely source.
In Ellen Schrecker's magnificent history of McCarthyism, Many Are the Crimes, the author philosophizes on the real and immense national cost of political fanaticism, such as that so profitably practiced by the Wisconsin senator (and many others)--that cost being years of squandered opportunities to achieve the public Good. We could have improved, for instance, healthcare and education during the postwar prosperity of the late 1940s and '50s rather than busying ourselves with hunting non-existent subversives, but my how a few political careers would have suffered. In the McCarthyism era Democrats certainly weren't immune from propagandistic grandstanding; but it was Republicans, refreshed but still petulant from their anti-New Deal hysteria, who really came into their intoxicated prime.
And here we are, again, as though some sort of collective Tail-Gunner Joe were directing the political circus. We can't have sensible gun safety laws because Obama wants to confiscate your guns and we can't have prudent climate-change legislation because Obama wants to also confiscate your car and we can't have humane immigration laws because Obama wants to decimate the white race and we can't have effective economic stimuli because Obama wants to kill private enterprise, and so on.
Not an honest, genuine word ever spoken--and all of it a complete waste of time.
The Republican Party--once again bringing you the very best in phantoms, hysteria and grandstanding, Joe McCarthy-style.