Carville advises White House to panic

James Carville

Democratic strategist and firebrand James Carville posted an article on CNN today titled “What should the White House do? Panic!”

Great story for CNN to trumpet all day. Great attention-grabbing headline. But “panic”? Come on, James. You’re too smart for that. Nobody thinks clearly in panic mode.

Nevertheless, Carville makes some very good points and Pres. Obama would be wise to heed some of the advice from this battle-tested Democrat.

Yes, fire some people. Shake things up. Do something!! The country is in trouble, current approaches aren’t working, partisan politics have gridlocked Washington, the presidency seems to have become irrelevant, and the ascendant tea party wingnuts are still ascending

As for indicting people … absolutely, if there are some legally indictable offenses. Don’t soft pedal it. Don’t wait. Don’t play footsie with the opposition. If there has been criminal activity at any level, take action now. Show the American people that you do have some backbone and you will bring the full power of the law to bear where appropriate.

I’ve become more and more alarmed as the Far Right — wingnuts, conservatives, Republicans, tea partiers, fundamentalists, whatever they call themselves — keep gaining ground. I’ve tried to make allowances for the media’s tendency to overhype everything and tell myself it’s still early in the game. But it’s not working anymore.

The situation didn’t seem too dangerous until Rick Perry swaggered into the spotlight. Alarms went off everywhere, and kept going off as he immediately took a huge lead in the polls. Then came the debates. Audiences cheering the mention of the death penalty. Audiences yelling “Let him die” about a man who couldn’t pay his hospital bill. Yes, they are Republican debates and predictably the audiences will be stacked with Republicans. But this was appalling behavior. Frightening, really. And most of the candidates, particularly Perry, couldn’t wait to throw them more red meat.

Carville may be a bit over the top, but I share his deep concern and sense of urgency. I don’t agree with him on all the issues, but I certainly agree the situation is becoming urgent.

In Carville’s words:

As I watch the Republican debates, I realize that we are on the brink of a crazy person running our nation. I sit in front of the television and shudder at the thought of one of these creationism-loving, global-warming-denying, immigration-bashing, Social-Security-cutting, clean-air-hating, mortality-fascinated, Wall-Street-protecting Republicans running my country.

The course we are on is not working. The hour is late, and the need is great. Fire. Indict. Fight.

8 thoughts on “Carville advises White House to panic

  1. I haven’t clicked over to the full article yet, but the bit you quoted at the end is dead on target. I know that I tend to look at the future in the bleakest colors possible, but considering the the proven propensity for our leaders to keep shooting themselves in the foot as of late – regardless of which party is in power, I have to wonder how long it will be before the military begins to question the whole “civilian authority” thing and take action to “limit” their ability to do damage. That, my friend, is a very scary potentiality.

      1. When you factor in all the “pull the trigger” psycho-rhetoric and the actual violence that rhetoric has inspired, is it really such a stretch to imagine the military viewing a government takeover by right-wing extremists as a national threat?

        My psychologists say the “nightmare scenarios” I come up with are just by-products of my depression. I think they’re logical extrapolations from known history and established trends. The fact that they tend to come true makes them impossible to ignore, however much I’d like to.

  2. This trend toward knife edged polarization in politically defined social issues began for me back when we debated arcane philosophical principles in bulletin boards on Fido-net using 300 baud modems and Commodore 64 computers. The late 1970’s. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. I have two concrete conclusions.

    1. Ideological rebellions are always successful within the context of the ideology as it changes.
    2. Any excuse used to justify the initiation of coercive force is immoral and unethical and will eventually become the focus of an ideological rebellion.

    I equate those two observations with laws of nature and I apply them to every issue. Abortion, Medical Care, War, Rights, etc.

    Maybe you can imagine how these “laws” are reflected in the currently debated issues.

  3. Watched the interview. Thought he had some good points. I think “panic” is his way of emphasizing his concern that something needs to be done to change the public’s perception before we end up with a nut job running the country. Oh, I know many will say we already have that, and they may be right. After all, everyone’s crazy, it’s just a matter of how much. When I watch the Republican debates, the crazy meter goes fully to the right, so… Panic.

    1. Hmm, yep, we must use the same meter. Mine also goes all the way to the right, and it says very clearly “PANIC!” In big red letters. Bold. Underlined. And backlit.

... and that's my two cents