OK

Enough with the outrage.

Each day the headlines here, at TPM, at HuffPo, and other left political sites scream of the latest outrageous behavior by Republicans. Endless Benghazi hearings, appointments blocked, voting rights denied, illegal contributions, statements so looney they make you smack your forehead in disbelief; the list goes on and on. Followed by appeals to sign the petitions and contribute a few bucks here and a few there. To what end? Who will be swayed by the petitions? What will the bucks buy?

We need to recognize the contest in which we are engaged - the state of play, in the British phrase. The point of the exercise is to re-enable the government to make policy decisions - preferably progressive ones. The only thing that matters for achieving that is control of congress, and as Paul Krugman notes, the only thing that matters for that is party affiliation, and conservatives have figured that out. The GOP as a party has no path to the future. Each individual pol is trying to survive as long as possible. Why? They like the attention and survival makes them wealthy. So, they grandstand for their base. Who, as Charles M. Blow points out, are largely unrepentant racists, and many of whom want to refight the Civil War. But their base is dying off, while ours is growing. We all know this.

The centrist (middling?) pundits, the Friedman-Brooks-Dowd crowd, are irrelevant. There is no possibility of compromise with the House Republicans, no matter what the President proposes or how much he sweet talks. We all know this, too, and I assume that the pundits do as well. But they,too, presumably have their own constituency to whom they have to pander, I'm just not sure who that would be anymore. Ignore them. Take a deep breath and read Krugman and Blow. Keep in mind the state of play.

The only thing that can make government functional again is a change in Congress, and that can't happen before 2014, maybe not before 2016. You will not change the behavior of conservatives in office with petitions; it's not in their immediate self-interest. Their voters are immune to facts, logic, reality, and they know that. They just want to hang on as long as they can.

So spare the emotional appeals. Make note of each outrage for the record, but bear the pain and squeeze. Identify the best targets for defeat. Organize for an effective campaign. Find the candidates. Propose policies, like Sen. Warren's on college loan rates, that will energize our voters and increase turnout.

Their party is dying. Squeeze.

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