The GOP has a great idea. They want to chop food stamps to preserve military spending
We have to abandon the "both parties are the same" narrative. Yes, the Dems have drifted from their principles -- but only to the degree that the entire country has drifted from sanity.
Ronald Reagan couldn't get the GOP nomination today: Too much of a lefty. Richard Nixon couldn't get the Democratic
nomination today: Too much of a lefty.
In a zeitgeist like ours, of course
you are going to get a lot of Dems who don't act like Dems. You can't blame a person for veering right if he's trapped on a boat going starboard; the best he can do is stay on the port side of the ship.
Under these circumstances, I'm surprised at the number of Dems who continue to stand by principle. Take CISPA for example: Yes, it was co-sponsored by a Democrat -- by a guy who is, literally, the NSA's congressman. (Also my
congressman. But the boys and girls at Fort Meade have his attention in a way I never will.) It is also true that a couple of dozen House Democrats voted for this terrible assault on the Fourth Amendment.
Fact 1: The vast majority of House Dems voted against
Fact 2: The vast majority of Republicans voted in favor
Fact 1 and fact 2 tell us that the two parties are still very different animals. Anyone who says otherwise is either a blinkered ideologue or a Rovian ratfucker.
Fact 2 also tells us that when teabagger Republicans talk the libertarian talk, they care about just one aspect of the ideology: The part where Wall Street gets to control everything. Baggers don't give a damn about anything else -- privacy, anti-imperialism, separation of church and state -- that traditional libertarians claim to favor.
If you scan the comments on right-wing blogs, you'll probably encounter quite a few Republicans disavowing Dubya and his stupid wars. Those disavowals come from the perspective of libertarian isolationism -- an honorable stance, if held sincerely. But it's all a pose. It's phony. Everyone knows that if Romney gets into power, he'll seek any excuse to launch an attack on Iran. When he does, those very same Republican rank-and-filers will retreat to their 2003 position: They will wave the flag and they'll accuse anti-war liberals of not supporting our troops.
If you haven't read it yet, run your eyes across this important piece
by Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein. A lot of people are talking about it
On financial stabilization and economic recovery, on deficits and debt, on climate change and health-care reform, Republicans have been the force behind the widening ideological gaps and the strategic use of partisanship. In the presidential campaign and in Congress, GOP leaders have embraced fanciful policies on taxes and spending, kowtowing to their party’s most strident voices.
Republicans often dismiss nonpartisan analyses of the nature of problems and the impact of policies when those assessments don’t fit their ideology. In the face of the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, the party’s leaders and their outside acolytes insisted on obeisance to a supply-side view of economic growth — thus fulfilling Norquist’s pledge — while ignoring contrary considerations.
And seven Republican co-sponsors of a Senate resolution to create a debt-reduction panel voted in January 2010 against their own resolution, solely to keep it from getting to the 60-vote threshold Republicans demanded and thus denying the president a seeming victory.
This attitude filters down far deeper than the party leadership. Rank-and-file GOP voters endorse the strategy that the party’s elites have adopted, eschewing compromise to solve problems and insisting on principle, even if it leads to gridlock. Democratic voters, by contrast, along with self-identified independents, are more likely to favor deal-making over deadlock.
I would like to argue in favor of the spirit of compromise, but that time is past. The Republicans never compromise on anything; they simply demand compromise of others. And even when that compromise occurs, GOP propagandists will continue to pretend that liberals are extremists. They will continue to say that all moderates are really liberals, and all liberals are really socialists, and all socialists are really commies.
The either/or, off/on, "shirts versus skins" mentality is hard-wired into their skulls. Perhaps into all
of our skulls, by this point.
The Republicans insist on war. There is nothing for it but to engage them on that level.
I just wish we had a Democratic warrior as president.