We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
When all else fails them to explain their failures in majority governance, particularly the drubbing of ObamaCare, Democrats trot out Germanyís pre-Hitler Weimar Republic collapse reasons: the commoners just donít understand the enlightenment and react from irrational fears, and proportional representation minority parties undermine the better sense of enlightened democrats.
Los Angeles Timesí uberliberal Tim Rutten demurs from saying the US has fully entered its Weimar phase, while saying weíre nearing it.
When people's mistrust of their elected officials and the parties reaches these levels, there is little for political leaders to do but take counsel from their own anger and anxieties -- and, these days, the popular mood fairly seethes with both those things. Discontent with the present and apprehension about the future have become the background noise of our politics, yet both sides of the congressional aisle seem deaf to the din.
In one of his magisterial explorations of German politics between the wars, the historian Ian Kershaw mused that "there are times -- they mark the danger point for a political system -- when politicians can no longer communicate, when they stop understanding the language of the people they are supposed to be representing."
It would be reckless not to insist that this country and its politics remain, in crucial ways, far distant from Weimar. It would be rash, though, to pretend that the distance remains as great as it once was.
On the other hand, traditional puckish liberal Mickey Kausis more on point, our politicians werenít hamstrung by procedures, they listened and rejected ObamaNonsense.
Needless to remind, but we do not have proportional representation; our Democrats control the White House, have an overwhelming grip on the Congress, and froze out Republicans.Needless to remind, we donít have large, violent Nazi or Communist parties, nor are our corporate interests pre-WWI royalists.Needless to remind, weíre in recession but hardly bankrupt, paying impoverishing WWI reparations, or suffering the Great Depression.
We do have, instead, defenders of Constitutional protections, economic sense, centrist opposition to transparent corruption, and preference for improvements in individual choice over statist schemes. As Krauthammer notes:
[Democrats, instead,] understand it through a prism of two cherished axioms: (1) The people are stupid, and (2) Republicans are bad. Result? The dim, led by the malicious, vote incorrectly.
Hardly Weimar, except for those liberals who, themselves, are exposed as opposed to our Republicís democracy.
Oh, there is this reminder, burning money then and now:
I think it's also important to point out that we do not have large public brawls by storm troopers of the right or the left. What's often forgotten about Weimar Germany is that much of the perception that Weimar was ungovernable should be attributed to the fact that extremist parties on both sides (reds and fascists) were able to draw on thousands of unemployed veterans who were paid a daily wage for showing up at demonstrations designed to prove to the public that Weimar was ungovernable.
Lastly, the appointment of Hindenburg deprived the nation of a strong national figure as the head of the state. He was, sadly, the lowest acceptable common denominator to the political elites.