Pax Obama, Part Deux

Amazingly, the Republican fringe may have started to acknowledge reality: it backed down on the debt ceiling hostage scenario in which they basically held a gun to their own heads.Jon Chait explains here. But I think the main lesson is that by incremental steps Obama is forcing the GOP to recognize that they have to govern. Every small compromise they make is a surrender of their all-or-nothing fundamentalism. And a win for actually governing.Addendum: A Sully post at The Dish links to Adam Gopnik on the importance of passing some gun laws and thereby starting to change the culture of guns in the U.S., much as the cultural norms around driving drunk and using seat belts (and smoking -- who'd have thought Big Tobacco could be tamed?) have changed over the years. It's about promoting a "culture of life," as the bishops say in endorsing Obama's gun control proposals. Not one fell swoop. But changing the culture. By forcing the GOP to make any concessions the White House changes the dynamic of "cliff-diving" and hostage-taking and extremism to one that at least affords the chance to make government and society function.Now we can get back to the real news, which is that wild and crazy Notre Dame football team and its star player, Manti Te'o. The good news: he apparently got himself a real girlfriend right after the fake love of his life died so tragically. Bad news: they broke up. So it goes with rebounds.

David Gibson is the director of Fordham’s Center on Religion & Culture.

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