–An Essay by Member William
There is this oft-related, but thoroughly naive theme that runs through too much of the electorate. It is the “why can’t we all get along?” mythology. Poll after poll will show that the respondents want the two political parties to work together; that people do not like political conflict. That may be an admirable notion in theory, but it is fanciful and actually harmful when superimposed over the current political realities.
Of course there have always been differences between the two political parties. Unlike most of Europe, America has essentially had a two-party system since the 1860’s. In that sense, it has become a zero-sum game; if one party wins the white house, the other party has lost it. But the checks and balances system put in by the nation’s founders has provided for the possibility of balance, even if only one party can own the presidency at one time. So of course while there are always differences, it is in theory possible for the two parties to work together on some matters, and move the country forward. And there is the concept of “the loyal opposition,” where decent people of either party can make their case; which can ultimately lead to some kind of compromise from the synthesis of two differing views and even agendas.
That is how it is supposed to work. And we can all remember some periods where there were Republicans who were essentially decent people who put forth ideas that we Democrats might disagree with, but could reasonably debate with them about. For me, it was always a source of great disappointment and upset when the Republicans triumphed in an election; but I never felt that we Democrats could not bounce back in the next election; and I never really thought that the Republicans would destroy the country in their term of office. Usually, of course, the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, so there was that check and balance in place, although the area of foreign affairs was less susceptible to congressional balance, so that was always a concern. But politically there was an ebb and flow, fits and starts, as the social pendulum would swing, and then usually be somewhat corrected, before swinging again.
That all started to change in the late ’60’s, particularly as a result of Nixon’s “Southern Strategy,” which sought to take advantage for the Repubicans out of the passage of the Civil Rights Act. The Democratic “Solid South” turned Republican, and has never turned back. There are states down there that the Democrats haven’t won for fifty years, and are unlikely to ever win. And in subsequent years, various degrees of southern conservatives or racists were joined by evangelicals who started to take over the party at the state level. This was written about in magazines like “The New Republic,” but none of us paid it enough attention. Then suddenly it seemed like many of the midwestern states such as Kansas and Nebraska were completely controlled by evangelicals. And the people the Republican Party were nominating for various state and federal offices became immensely more radical. I would not call them “conservative,” because what they espoused was not old-time conservatism, but a kind of extreme anti-government, anti-education, anti-science dogma.
People have written lengthy books on all of this. Suffice it to say that the Republicans of the last twenty years have in almost science fiction fashion, morphed into the most dangerous political force this country has ever known. With the rarest of exceptions, they talk alike, mouth the same ignorant platitudes, brook no dissent. They have turned politics into a kind of religion, where they are out to purge the nation of the unbelievers, burn their enemies to the ground in a righteous crusade. You can’t argue with them, you can’t discuss anything. They know that they are right, it is their religion. A few are actually opportunists who say these things because it can get them elected and wealthy. But most of them are reminiscent of the people who lined the streets of Tennesee in 1925, chanting against the schoolteacher John Scopes, who had the audacity to try to teach about evolution in the public schools.
What is so terrifying about such people is that you cannot get through to them in any manner. They will not compromise on any issue, unless they are absolutely forced to by not having enough votes. Even then, many of the people who like to call themselves members of the “Tea Party,” would prefer to have the Congress collapse, or the government shut down, rather than concede on any matter. How can there be any negotiation with such people? How can there be what the public ignorantly keeps saying that they want. “for the two parties to work together?” Have you ever tried to reason with a religious zealot or political fanatic? Imagine trying to deal with a whole Congress full of them.
I don’t usually provide story links, but I have included two here, which some may have read. They are both informative and chilling, as regards the fate of the Democratic Party. The right-wing Republicans have managed to create a landscape where they have almost permanent control of various statehouses. They have so gerrymandered the districts, that they cannot lose. And the Supreme Court rubber stamps all of it. Another word for permanent control of statehouses or Congress, is “dictatorship.” Another is “tyranny.” The entire framework of this nation’s political system is in serious jeopardy.
And yet there is a whole group of media people, many of them comfortably ensconced in Washington, who keep arguing for “compromise” and “conciliation.” Is it that they just want to be able to go to as many fancy parties as possible? Is it that they are so intellectually lazy, or are so conceptually limited, that they cannot see that the current Republican Party is not susceptible to persuasion, or any kind of rational negotiation? It is populated by extreme radicals, who every year become more and intransigent.
What is the agenda of the radical Republicans? No restrictions whatsoever on any form of weaponry. No unions. No Social Security or Medicare. No abortion. on penalty of death or imprisonment. No voting rights for people who might tend to vote Democratic. No minimum wage. No workplace protections. No restrictions whatsoever on any corporate activity, including pollution. No Food and Drug Administration. No Environmental Protection Agency. 1870’s social darwinism multiplied by all the decades since then.
And who is going to stop them in this holy crusade? People who keep thinking that we can negotiate or compromise with them; that they ultimately have the same goals that we do? People who talk about there being “no red and no blue states?” Political figures who give their House Majority Leader 98% of what they want, and then praise the Republicans for “compromising”? Those who for whatever reason, want to insist that “the Republicans are not our enemy”? If you are being attacked by an army whose members declaim that they will never surrender, they will not negotiate a truce, they will fight to the death even if the battle destroys everything around them, what can one reasonably do but fight them with the same fierceness?
I don’t like seeing politics as war. It is too disoncerting and enervating. But I am pretty certain that if the Democratic Party does not awaken to the terrible danger the radical Republican Party is posing, we will not be able to recapture the decency and progressivism of this country. Trying to act nice to them; praising them for nothing; thinking that you are some transcendent figure who can rise above politics or partisanship, has helped accentuate this situation. What the country desperately needs is someone to stand up and call out these people for what they are, which is right wing radical fanatics, who have to be defeated, and isolated from power.
Hillary Clinton is virtually the only national Democrat who is willing to actually fight the Republican hordes. Any Democrat who seeks to have her modulate that, is either woefully wrong, or has a personal agenda. A few more years of this mollifying of Republicans; getting your side pushed further and further back toward your own goal line, in the name of “compromise,” and there won’t be anything left to compromise about. Anyone who watched the so-called Benghazi Hearings, would have a clearer picture of what the Republicans are about, and what they are like. These are people who have to be politically eradicated, state by state, district by district. Of course we can’t get rid of all of them, but we can mount a full-scale charge against them. Or has too much damage already been done. have we lost too much ground? If Hillary Clinton doesn’t think so, then we should not, either. But she has to win the presidency, and she has to do it by as large a margin as possible, to help to bring in more legislators on the national and state level, to help her fight against the would-be tyrants at the gate of our democracy.
Did you hear what Joe Biden said today? Uppity asked me to make up a handy-dandy reference list. Consider it a work in progress as you never know what he’ll say next! In other words, check for updates, often!
So Joe was invited to an event honoring Walter Mondale. And, Joe being Joe, naturally decided to make the event ALL ABOUT HIMSELF!!
I guess he was trying to contrast himself with Hillary Clinton, since he’s kind of running against her….without actually doing the running part. You didn’t have to bother, Joe, we know you’re NOTHING like Hillary Clinton! Anyway, one gaffe…led to another…and another…you get the idea.
He said that Hillary was “naive” because she listed the Republicans as enemies. You know, that throw away line at the end of the debate when she was asked about which enemy she was proud to have. We all laughed when she rattled off the list that included, the NRA, the Iranians and with a little pause for comedic effect….the Republicans! But not Joe! Apparently, he found that comment very disturbing!! Very disturbing indeed!
“It is possible, it is necessary to end this notion that enemy is the other party,” Biden told the crowd of Washington notables that included members of Congress and former President Jimmy Carter. “End this notion that it is naïve to think we can speak well of the other party and cooperation. What is naïve is to think it is remotely possible to govern this country unless we can. That is what is naïve.”
Then, he said that he, really liked Darth Vadar, aka Dick Cheney.
“I actually like Dick Cheney, for real,” he said. “I think he’s a decent man.”
I’m sure he was so proud of himself for saying that, being all bi-partisan and stuff. Until Mondale burst his bubble, that bully!
But after Mondale pushed back, arguing that Cheney had taken the vice presidency to the “dark side,” Biden quickly walked back his remark, claiming there was “no similarity” between Cheney’s record and his own
Wait, wait….I didn’t say I LIKED Dick Cheney, well out loud I did…but in the private conversation in my head….I really said he’s a terrible man, I hate him!
He also changed his story on the Bin Laden raid. First, he said that he had been against the raid that got Bin Laden, but he really meant that he was for the raid. When he was saying he was against it…got it?
He got to me. He said, ‘Joe, what do you think?’ And I said, ‘You know, I didn’t know we had so many economists around the table.’ I said, ‘We owe the man a direct answer. Mr. President, my suggestion is, don’t go. We have to do two more things to see if he’s there,” Biden recalled in 2012.
He claims now that didn’t want to share his true feelings in front of others, like you know, the Cabinet, national security team….shhhh….this was just between him and the POTUS. They have that “special” relationship. They walked, arm in arm up to Joe’s office, I mean, the President’s office, the oval office and then Joe could share his TRUE feelings!!
He also knew about the Bin Laden intelligence WAAAAAYY before anyone else did (read: Clinton) because, well, his BFF Potus told him so!
“The President and I, and only two others in the administration, knew about Abbottabad as early as August” 2010, Biden said Tuesday. “We did not go for almost a year to get him. And major players in the Cabinet did not know about it till January or February (2011).”
Finally, I shouldn’t say finally, we know there will be more…he talked up his creds with Obama. How they spend about ” four to seven hours a day together.” Everyday!!
According to Joe, their bro-mance was on from the get-go!
“It started off that I knew I was simpatico with the president-elect,” he said. “We had a genuine relationship.”
Obama even let him make all the really big decisions….it was a big f@#%ing deal!
Biden said Obama granted him the ability to sign off on all Cabinet picks — implying that he agreed to allow Clinton to become secretary of State.
And when it comes to foreign policy, who needs a Secretary of State when you’ve got Joe Biden on your team! Why he negotiates with world leaders even though he’s spending 4-7 hours a day chewing the fat with the president…..where does he find the time???
“We’ve had two great secretaries of State, but when I go, they know that I am speaking for the president,” Biden said.
I leave you with this tidbit, that Joe didn’t actually say today. In fairness, he said it in an interview in 1974. However, I think it’s relevant today, especially in light of his treatment of Anita Hill and all of the woman groping he’s done.
“When it comes to issues like abortion, amnesty, and acid, I’m about as liberal as your grandmother. I don’t like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far. I don’t think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body,”
I bet you don’t Mr. Joe, “some women are like that” Biden! Some women… no, make that all women… actually DO think we have sole right to say what should happen to our bodies.
I am personally looking forward to hearing Bernie scream his answers. It always tickles me…..and reminds me that First Come The Revolution, Then Come The Despot. Just saying.
I was thinking when I heard that Bernie actually raised some money last quarter, will he finally buy a comb? But nope. That didn’t happen. Think of how proud you would be to have a president who dresses like a bag man on the street, wears sandals all the time, looks like someone should run him through a car wash, and screams like a hyena all the time. So Proud. So Proud.
There’s also that other guy who will be there, what’s his name. Meh. Nevermind.
…..And let us not discount the possibility that the most prolific of Public Professional Crepe Hangers, AKA Joe “Pity me and help me in the polls Biden,” will make a surprise appearance so his ego can bask in that applause that keeps him continuously exploiting his dead son. The guy who wants all the consolations of running for President but none of the consequences. The possibility of this despicable man showing up are increased because he’s not polling all that well. Basically this could be because he doesn’t comprehend that he is supposed to either Shit or Get Off The Pot – and people are getting kind of sick of all that phony crepe hanging everywhere. Envision him running down the center aisle smiling to the cheers of his well-planted children — and then hopping right onto the stage to participate even though he hasn’t prepared for one minute. Envision him grabbing someone’s mic and saying softly with dewy eyes……”This one’s for Beau”….. This could actually happen, but not to worry! I’m just kidding! Joe is hosting his high school reunion tonight instead. Um……all righty then.
They’ve got an extra podium just in case Biden drops by! Like you do. You know. This year’s Presidential Debates are basically an open mic night. -Colbert
But then, there’s that other anatomically incorrect candidate……