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The Beltway rather effectively cages off the Washington DC environs, to the point where those within its confines, and particularly those who spend an extended chunk of life there, can experience tremendous difficulty in understanding what transpires well beyond the limiting boundary.

Meanwhile, those beyond and at a distance from these caged quarters often experience genuine frustration in getting reports in to within the cage, to inform its residents how life transpires for those of us at a distance.

But the spaces between the cage bars however are apparently ample enough to permit the occasional morsels and tidbits of update to pass on through to the outside world.

And by way of these reports, it appears as though the elephants are not at present getting along very well together.

More on the down side of the digital doily ...

At the national office level, we've witnessed the abject failure of Mitt Romney to connect with the voters and win the White House, the slimming down of John Boehner's Republican caucus margin of majority in the House of Representatives, and what was mere months ago an unimaginable widening of the Democratic majority in the Senate.

Although the results at the state level were not uniformly good, the 2012 election yielded a decent crop of good news for Democrats at the state level:

The fair-minded side of the marriage equality debate ran the tables.

And while Republicans did succeed in flipping four state level legislative bodies from blue to red, our side claimed seven, including both bodies in the state of Minnesota and -- so very near and dear to my heart -- the state of Maine as well.

Add it all up -- all of it. so much FAIL. -- and in the wake of delusional high hopes dashed by the reality of what was, for them, a largely disasterous 2012 election cycle, the once (precariously) unified political right is reeling and bewildered and unsure what to do next. And they're non too pleased with themselves. Or with each other. Fractures are appear as factions seek distance from each other.

It looks like The Club for Growth is wasting no time in pitching a prophylactic pissy fit about a just-announced 2014 challenger to West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

Within an hour of Shelley Moore Capito's announcement of her candidacy, the influential and conservative Club for Growth branded her as the "establishment candidate" whose record in Congress of supporting prominent bailouts has led to bigger government. Capito just won her seventh term to Congress, securing about 70 percent of her district's vote.

It's certainly been especially rough sledding for Grover Norquist, whose unelected position of Grand Poohbah of GotYouByTheShort&CurliesOnTaxes Enterprises Inc. is demonstrating serious mojo hemorrhage:

House Speaker John Boehner is struggling to keep his party in line on so-called “fiscal cliff” negotiations after Republican Rep. Tom Cole broke ranks to urge conservative lawmakers to join him in supporting President Obama’s plan to extend the Bush-era tax rates to Americans making less than $250,000.
More and more, conservative Republicans in Congress are breaking from a pledge they signed years earlier against any kind of tax increase or additional tax revenue ...  GOP legislators are signaling their willingness to cut a deal with President Barack Obama and Democrats that would include more money for the government.

The overall numbers remain relatively small -- a handful of senators and House members -- but they include influential veterans such as Sens. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, along with Rep. Peter King of New York.

King has "tried to weasel out" of the pledge, anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist told CNN's Piers Morgan on Monday.

(ed. baaaah hahaha! Hey, Grover.  Weasel is as weasel does, yo.)

And lastly: es tu, Jonah?!

Appearing on Special Report this evening, conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg had a pretty harsh assessment of the Republican Party at this current moment.

...

The main problem, Goldberg said, is that “the Republican Party has not developed an alternative idea set other than what Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan were campaigning on, and so it is sort, by default, has become their opening negotiation position.”

(ed.. you fake it, you bought it. sorry. store policy.)

With all of that as prologue (all of which has certainly been more meticulously and intelligently covered by others here under the orange umbrella), it's time for a large lateral jump into the natural world, which has for many years served me as a touchstone and source of inspiration and meaning.

And I would add:

Oh, metaphor, you saucy little minx, you. Look how you just appear out of nowhere, all pert and sassy, with such meticulous timing (via Raw Story).

Photobucket

              ( objects in mirror are smaller than they appear )

A Dutch zoo said Wednesday it was looking to give away four outcast elephants after a power clash of jumbo proportions forced the park to split up the herd.

...

“They started pushing each other. They trumpeted loudly and flapped their ears. The situation became unbearable,” Landman told AFP.

...

The park is now looking for other zoos to take on four of the elephants — on offer for free — while the other eight will remain.

As my educational background and several past years of my professional life have focused on natural and environmental sciences, it's kind of a hard-wired, default setting for me to look to the water cycle or to the animal kingdom or just to a ripping good view of an unspoiled landscape for some aspect of my experience of mortal meatspace to be reflected back at me.

But this, here, though, is simply too rich and too on-point to not pass along.

(ed. For the record -- and I target this comment to fellow animal lovers -- I am deeply conflicted on the matter of zoos. I can count the number zoo visits during my 40-odd years on the digits of one hand, and still have at least one unoccupied finger left to cram up my nostril. The very best of them do offer a natural world learning experience that might otherwise go undelivered, especially to urban residents.

But to say that I have ethical misgivings is to understate. I do recognize the dark and unfunny aspects of the Dutch zoo story. I hope my application of it as snark device might be forgiven. And anyhow, in light of my history as reluctant and unsuccessful diarist, I do expect it'll all just pass unnoticed. Peace hn / dave )

(photo credit: by Brian Snelson via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license -- use w/attribution)

Originally posted to homo neurotic on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 12:52 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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