Friday, February 4, 2011

Off Topic: The Politics of Suck

I got a letter from the Democratic National Committee a couple days ago. In it, I was advised that the time to prepare for the 2012 election is now, and that above all we must work to keep Republicans out of the White House. It went on for some length about the matter, in fact, how any Republican President would pull a "George Bush" and "run this country right into the ditch."

Now, as folks might have guessed from my post entitled "That was the decade that was," I was not and am not George W. Bush's biggest fan. If one is paying attention, one might guess that this has something to do with why the DNC is asking me for money, in fact. But as I read this letter, one thing got on my nerves.

It said nothing about what the President and Democrats in Congress are doing. The entire letter was about Republicans, in the most harsh tones, though remarkably without many facts to look at. The letter basically distilled down to this: Republicans suck. Give us money so we can keep them out of power.

So um. I take it the whole Civility in Politics thing didn't reach Governor whatsisnuts who wrote the letter?

See, here's the problem. Starting with the Reagan era, politics has become less and less about ideas and more and more about how the other guys suck. The results of this have been devastating. The parties have grown more and more polarized, lest anyone in party A admit that they suck by admitting that party B might have a good idea there. When party A is in power, they feel they have a "mandate from the people" to do things that suck. And verily, they do. And finally, and most importantly, they drive the civility out of the business of democracy where it is most needed - in the people who vote.

The tragic shooting in Tucson is the final result of this last problem. You can argue, as I was prepared to, that Sarah Palin knew exactly what she was doing when she set up the target reticles on her website to intimidate the candidates she was targeting. She certainly should have. The Operation Rescue web campaign against Dr. George Tiller of Wichita certainly netted similar success for that organization. Certainly, Palin should have known that her website put people's lives in danger. But the bottom line is that both those websites were inappropriate for mainstream politics, bordering on terrorism, and should have been roundly denounced by the sensible people of America. They were not so denounced. The level of normal violence was raised. Bloodshed and lives lost were the result.

Until our civilization refuses to sanction the violent undertone in our politics, blood will continue to be spilled. I, for one, will no longer sanction it. So no, Governor DNC. Not one fucking dime for you and your party. Not until you admit that the other party can be simply wrong instead of evil. I have had enough of the politics of suck, sir. And until you learn some manners, I don't want to see you or yours in the White House either.


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