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Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, aired on RainbowRadio from 2015-2017.
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Friday, August 12, 2011
Do the Right’s Thing
As the Republicans have moved farther and farther to the RIGHT, the Democrats hacve responded by moving to the Right.
And this is a dangerous phenomenon, for than just the obvious reasons of… well… the fact that the Right is inherently dangerous. It is worth remembering that before the Civil Rights movement, it was the Democrats who dominated the Southeast and were the Social Conservatives, while the Republicans dominated the Northeast and were the fiscal Conservatives. (For what it’s worth the Mid-West has always been a battle ground, the Mountains have always been Republican, and the West Coast was also mostly Republican, at least at the Presidential level, up until the early 1990’s.) Anyway, the great switch happened after the Civil Rights Act: Noreasters became Democrats, while Rednecks started voting Republican. And while there was a great shift in Party affililation, each party still had its Conservative and Liberal wings. And thus there remained some Democrats that were to the Right of some Republicans (the last of the Dixiecrats and the last of the Yankee Republicans, for example) and vice-versa. So while the Civil Rights Act changed the geographic political landscape, I do not necessarily mark it as the moment when our currently toxic political environment began to form. It gave the Right an opportunity, but it would be another decade and a half before someone would finally seize on it:
RONALD W. REAGAN.
It was Ronald W. Reagan that cobbled together the Republican Coalition that lives on to this day of Libertarians, Funny-Mentalists and Chicken-Hawks – three groups that basically had mutually exclusive agendas, at leats before the first two sold out. (Also, I read somewhere recently where someone pointed out that Libertarians are just Republicans who want to smoke pots and have sex. I KNEW there was a reason I could tolerate the Libertarians! LOL). And it was Regan who stamped out all the intra-Party bickering and forged the iron-clad lock-step Republican unity that live on to this day. “Do not speak badly of your fellow Republican” was his mantra, and his victory in 1980, followed by the 2nd biggest landslide in history in 1984 showed them the wisdom of this.
The Republicans moved to the Right, and the Democrats figured it might be a good idea to follow suit.
Now, the one thing about the politics of ideologues, about those who hold their ideology as sacred, is that there is a constant need to differentiate oneself for the opposition. To the one who is the farthest to the Right, in this case, goes the prize. So as the Democrats moved to the Right, the Republicans had to respond by moving even farther to the Right!
See how that works?
The Republicans PULL the Democrats to the Right, and each time this happens the Democrats then PUSH the Republicans farter to the right! Where does it end? Well, in complete and utter insanity for one thing. Only it doesn’t END there: It perpetuates there. And this was on full display listening to the latest brand of Corporate Nationalists on dis play last night in Iowa.
For example, Michelle Bachman saying she stuck to her “principles” and opposed raising the debt ceiling. Apparently her “principles” include not paying her bills. Maybe I should stop paying my mortgage out of “principle,” what do you think? And here she is, saying she’s opposed to the fact that President (1) caved to Republicans on (2) an issue entirely create whole-cloth out of nothing, in order that (3) our country to do something as basic as fulfill its existing obligations to its creditors and the public.
She’s OPPOSED to that.
Well… so am I, I guess! I mean… Obama never should have let the Republicans make an issue out of this in the first place. But somehow I doubt that my objections and those of the Crazy Congresswoman from Minnesota have anything in common.
She went on to criticize Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (not very Reaganesque of you, Michelle!) for endorsing “Cap-and-Trade,” another Republican idea that was invented to oppose the once Liberal policy of “Cap,” and then again for endorsing the individual mandate in “Obama-care.”
Pawlenty for his part deflected, calling it “Obomney-care” and saying he opposed it and then turned to the former Massachusetts Sellout, Mitt Romney.
Romney then insisted that there were “significant differences” between what they did in Massachusetts and what Obama did.
Yeah: For one thing? “Obama-care” includes things that eliminate some of the worst abuses of the insurance industry – denial of coverage, preexisting conditions, dropping people, etc… So the most glaring difference between the two? Are the things that most people actually LIKE about “Obama-care.” Another difference? In Massachusetts there were subsidies lined up to assist people who couldn’t afford it. In “Obama-care” we’re apparently going to use “markets.”
See what they did there? Obama moved to the Right, and the Right had to respond by moving farther to the Right!
How far to the Right does Obama really want to push these people anyway?
And how much farther are the Democrats willing to be pulled?
A few facts to consider:
1) Congress historically gets a below 50% approval rating from the public. And this has only been trending worse and worse and worse over the past few decades.
2) While Americans generally self-identify as “Conservative,” issue polls have shown that the bulk of Americans, typically over 60% favor the position which is represented by the Liberals.
Now… Do you suppose that maybe, just maybe, people’s general dissatisfaction with Congress have anything to do with a growing feeling, as both parties move to the Right of the General Public that they don’t feel like they have adequate representation? Or ANY? That their Candidate or their Representative doesn’t fight for polices that will actually help them? Or benefit them?
I would say that, in a country that wants the Liberal Position 60% of the time, and the “new-Liberalism,” according to this mythical “Liberal Media” that I keep hearing about, includes:
1) Taking Republican ideas on Health Care
2) Taking Republican ideas on Taxes
3) Taking Republican ideas on Entitlements
4) Taking Republican ideas on Environmental Protection
5) Taking Republican ideas on Foreign Policy
And the “new Conservative” involves rejecting these ideas as being “too liberal” and finding a new position even farther to the Right?
Well… It’s no surprise to me that people don’t feel well represented. It’s no surprise to me that Congress gets increasing negative approval ratings as they keep drifting to the Right. We’ve gotten to the point that their absurdly chosen poster child for Liberalism is actually to the Right of most of America! And it’s no surprise to me that there is no end in sight. But moving farther to the Right is not, can not be and has never been the answer to the problem. That we have BOTH parties moving farther and farther to the Right IS the problem!
And maybe it’s coming time for us to have a Tea-Party of our own.
Maybe tell the Right that they’ve Taken Enough Already!
(*sigh* If only the media would report something that generally resembled reality)
I’ll end with one more example of this, from the Iowa Debate…
Mitt Romney said that “he wouldn’t eat the dog food Obama was serving,” in reference to the “debate” about the debt ceiling and the “deal” that was finally worked out. See what he did there? I mean, just as with Loony Bin Bachman, I AGREE that it was ‘dog food.’ BUT, it’s only because Obama never should have given the Republicans the time of day on it! If caving into Republican demands and letting them frame the issue and dominate the debate and giving them everything they want in exchange for what amounts to routine housekeeping is the “new liberal?” Where does that leave the Republicans to go?
Note to Obama: The Right will always seek to distinguish itself from the Left. And, accurately or not, the Democrats will continue to be labeled as the Left. So you will not get the Republicans to stop running to the Right by chasing them there! You are embracing their insanity and only making them more crazy! If you want to “bridge the partisan divide” try using a ROPE, like in a tug-of-war, and try PULLING ON IT for a change! Right now? You’re chasing a moving target who, right or wrong, for whatever reason, doesn’t want to be anywhere near you! And the closer you get, the faster they run! You can’t go on trying to be just like someone who will only, ever seek to differentiate themselves from you! You will never achieve that, nor will you ever get them to stop! So stop chasing them! Stop PUSHING them farther to the Right! The Republicans have only, EVER shown a desire to Negotiate with Democrats when the Democrats actually OPPOSE them! SO FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, COUTNRY AND PROGRESS, PLEASE: START PULLING!
Before there’s nothing Left!
Worst Democrat since Andrew Johnson.