Saturday, October 06, 2007
On Polarization, From A Polarazi
Kevin Frum provides a salient point by saying that Giuliani is polarizing because he tries to be. Giuliani wants to get confrontational and slam around Democrats because that is what he must do to win the nomination of the Republican Party. What makes Hillary so polarizing is... the Republican Party! They can not stand her, and it's not because she is all confrontational and partisan either. In fact she has really made efforts to reach out to sane Republicans. Frum wraps up his post by pointing out that no matter who wins the Democratic nomination, that candidate will be polarizing from the perspective of the fanatic right. They have already commenced with the Obama/Osama puns... and Obama is making a mighty effort to stop the open partisan warfare. Recognizing that the wingnut koolaid drinkers will find which ever candidate is nominated by the Democrats to be polarizing leads us to ask, what is to be done. Do we Democrats try to run another campaign based upon a call to reason and intelligent debate about the various issues, or do we finally learn our lesson and take it right back to the right?
My take on all this will be along the lines of the 2nd link in the 1st paragraph: The letter to Sullivan from the person who says that it is BECAUSE of the rightwing fanatics fear and loathing of Hillary that she will get his vote.
My efforts on this little blog may not be read by many, but they are intended to be very polarizing for those who do lend an eyeball, and can work their way through my tendentious ramblings. That is because I have seen the political discourse in this nation positively ruined by a group of insidious and down right evil, power hungry right wing fanatics. I dream of a time when political discourse can be brought to the level of intelligent comparison of ideas based upon reality and facts in our elections.
My first real political experience in Presidential politics was watching Michael Dukakis being savaged with Willie Horton, because Lee Atwater discovered that negative campaigning on a national level worked. (Atwater's deathbed renunciation of his approach should have been taken to heart by the right, but they ignored it.) I watched the koolaid drinkers band together and savage a good President over a very personal failing, and drive the nation into impeachment in the name of partisanship. What these people do in the name of patriotism, against honored members of the military, should sicken us. The swiftboaters and the people who smeared John McCain so their guy would win... it is unacceptable to have our discourse polluted this way.
What is the solution? Dukakis, Gore and Kerry proved that proving ones intelligence and grasp of the issues is not effective. Kerry won all three debates with Bush decisively, but do people remember that? 2004 was the swiftboat election, and look at the calamity the results of that election have given this nation.
If I thought there were any way to simply appeal for reason and good judgement to take hold of our politics, I would gladly add my voice to those making that appeal. I would hop on the Obama/Paul bandwagon to reason and sanity in a split second if I thought it would get us anywhere. But guess what... The last 3 Presidential races the Republicans have won were by unfairly attacking and smearing good men. And if you think that pattern is going to change, then you are naive from my perspective.
Bill Clinton did the right thing from my perspective. He didn't let the whackjobs get away with it. And the right wing freaks REALLY hated that! These wingnuts don't like Kerry, but he basically rolled over for them so they don't hold the level of animosity for Kerry that they do for Clinton.
Now I'm not pointing out this history by way of pleading for a Democrat who will defend themselves in the upcoming election. I'm freaking mad about the state of affairs this nations politics have come to, and I want to punish the right wing for doing this to us. Many antidotes are based upon the poison which the antidote cures. The extreme right have poisoned our system and I intend to be a tiny ingredient in the antidote. Let us discredit, humiliate, scorn, parody and make fun of them.
It's not bad enough that they are so horrible in their discourse during our elections. They do that in order to come to power and pursue policies which are just awful for the nation, and then continue the mudslinging partisanship when sane people point out how wrong headed their policies are. It does not matter what party the dissenter is from either. It was not Democrats who called Republican Senator Chuck Hagel "Senator Betrayus"... that was Rush Limbaugh. It wasn't Democrats spreading rumors and push polling about John McCain being insane and fathering bastard black children in South Carolina in 2000. Frankly it would be one thing if the right used their acid attitudes to scorn us for trying to stop good policy. But attacking us for being pro terrorist when we are against the Iraq war? That is positively perverse. It is their stupid disaster of a war that strengthens our enemy. Attacking us as being bad for the budget after the example provided by Bill Clinton followed by George Bush... is PERVERSE!
So the person who wrote Sullivan, telling him that since Hillary was so loathed by the far right he felt duty bound the vote for her, is onto something. The right isn't going to stop playing what has been a winning hand for them. We Democrats who are sick of disastrous leadership from the neocons and sick of losing elections to underhanded thugs want to stick it to them. They must be crushed, and I'm gonna do my part to help in that cause.
Perhaps some time in my lifetime both sides will decide that the ugliness must stop for the good of the nation. But we lefties are not going to just sit by and run another high minded campaign while our candidate gets ripped to shreds by the dregs of the right. I will do my part from this obscure little blog to fire up my side of the great political divide with plenty of cheap shots and name calling... I suppose the difference between me and my counterparts on the other side will be that my shots will have a basis in reality.
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