Citing a soon-to-be-published NY Review of Books article by Elizabeth Drew, Krugman this morning calls out -- once again accurately (dedicated and articulate Cassandra that he is) -- the twofer political-and-policy idiocy of Obama and his enablers.
I look forward to reading the Drew piece -- she's a terrific and thoughtful reporter. But before that further fodder (thanks, Groucho), a thought:
Obama needs both parties to be seen as crazy. It is required for his self-conception and self-delusion as the only sane man in the room. He must be deeply terrified, really profoundly lacking in self-confidence, in a sense of self, to need this fantasy so strongly. But whatever the source, it is clear by now that it is in Barack Obama's self-perceived self-interest -- hence the pun in my title -- to posit a political landscape equally polarized between ideologies.
Problem is, the Dems aren't crazy; they're feckless, but they're not batshit. So he winds up ignoring them in practice, leaving them out of any negotiations. And the "negotiations" aren't any such thing. They're all about him, about how he will get to appear in their wake. The policies and principles involved are of no interest. The real-world outcomes are of no interest. He is entirely willing to abandon foundational things, to cut into supporting beams. He is walking around inside a fantasy world in which his success inheres in where he stands on the stage vis a vis the others there. And it must be alone.
As a result, the evisceration of the Democratic Party isn't just collateral damage, it's the point (albeit the still-unconscious point) of all this kabuki. This is what we PUMAs said during the 2008 primaries -- we grokked how dangerous this guy was to the Democratic Party, while the putative leadership of the Democratic Party ushered this fox into the henhouse.
What will come of this "disaster" (to quote the Krug)? The GOP won't be hurt, it'll be enormously helped -- but, in my view, even that isn't the goal. The goal is to establish the sui generis, above-it-all, new-paradigm cult of the Precious.
And that, of course, is mad as a hatter.
Update: The Connie Bruck piece is out. It lays out the full scope of the disaster that is this presidency, and this president.