Glen Greenwald reminded me of some of the absurdities of two party politics in America – here’s some recollections. The bizarre dualism established by the two party system sets up some weird rhetorical tricks that really demonstrates how entrenched the political class can get.
“If it’s good enough for ‘them’ it’s good enough for ‘us'” – the positioning of the two parties as somehow equivalent opposites means that they openly borrow each other’s rhetoric based on their minority/majority status. The open application of each others’ arguments shows how all are driven by pure convenience or self interest. In the latest election, this weirdly took the form of Democrats embracing McCain’s attacks as truth – I actually had several people call Obama a ‘closet liberal’ in his defence, parroting the GOP talking points that they called lies in other circumstances. So, whenever coming across arguments like this about Obama’s appointments, remember that they really come down to the right of the governing class to rule, not just for Obama to do as he likes. The arguments made here and now for Obama’s right to govern will be co-opted come 4 or 8 years, based on the logic of two-party, electoral governance.