Too Much, Too Far: Leave Them Behind

August 13th, 2009

A “special comment,” if you will.

I have just become one of the crowd that is now firmly planted in the territory of forced partisanship. This has simply gone too far. If the Republicans have gone so thoroughly into the territory of anything-goes, balls-to-the-wall lying, fear-mongering and terrorizing, even resorting to thuggish mob shock-troop fear and intimidation, then they no longer deserve to be listened to.

From the very beginning, Obama tried–sincerely–to be bipartisan. Beginning with his first big initiative, the stimulus (which, by the way, now seems to be working), he bent way over backwards trying to include and appease the conservatives. He called them in for special White House meetings that even their Democratic colleagues did not enjoy. He integrated a large number of their demands into the bill, altering a great deal of the shape and form of the package until his own supporters started getting angry at how much was being given away. And then the Republicans voted, en masse, against the proposal and stabbed Obama in the back, accusing him of not being bipartisan.

The right wing and its propaganda arm Fox “News” began a steady drumbeat of vile, filthy smears that only heightened and heightened until you thought it could go no higher than its current crescendo, until it broke through into a whole new plane of insanely hateful rhetoric, until today accusations of Obama being a new Hitler, of forming death squads and death camps and death panels, of being a socialist, communist, terrorist, and worse have become so commonplace that they almost fade into the background of demented shrieking from the right wing of American discourse.

When it comes to the level that not only Sarah Palin, but a large number of prominent Republicans and incumbent politicians on the right begin a steady drone of bald-faced lies, like euthanizing grandma or forming death panels, lies proven to be lies beyond any shadow of a doubt and yet senators are stoking up fear and anger in crowds with these very lies–things have gone too far.

When the right wing creates such vehement anger and fear to the point where they start organizing angry mobs to overcome public meetings for the opposition, shouting down other Americans and their representatives, even to the point of coming to these meetings armed, things have gone much too far.

And when it becomes a celebrated act among the right for a man to wear a loaded weapon to a presidential event, holding a sign that declares that “tyrants” must be killed, and he clearly sees the president as a tyrant–when armed protesters bearing signs advocating the assassination of the president start populating presidential events, things have gone so far beyond the pale that it staggers the mind.

There is no chance for bipartisanship when one side goes to such hideous extremes. There can be no reasonable compromise. There in fact can be no respect for the contentions of such a sociopathic, toxic, lying, amoral movement so bought and owned by corporate interests that they would shred the very fabric of Democracy itself and promote violent extremism so as to prevent reasonable health care to pass to the great benefit of the people.

They. Have. Gone. Too. Far.

So, to hell with them. If no compromise is what they want, then give them exactly that. Do what we know is right and let them fester in their own cesspool of dark, twisted fantasy. They deserve no credence or respect.

A few months ago, Rush Limbaugh gave a speech to a fawning, cheering crowd of right-wingers in which he defined “bipartisanship” to mean Democrats “being forced to agree with us after we politically have cleaned their clocks and beaten them”; in a demonstration of Freudian projection, he then stated that this is what Democrats want to do to Republicans, and used that image to spur conservatives to fight like hell against any attempt at bipartisanship.

This warped, perverted view of how Democracy worked repulsed me. At the time, I could only imagine that I would never endorse such a horribly one-sided philosophy of governing. And I still don’t want to, which is why I have resisted for so long. A few months back, I hinted at this kind of idea, but it was more of a “wouldn’t it be nice if we could do this” fantasy, like wishing that Obama could be as dictatorial and aggressive as Bush, and not an actual, stubborn determination. But now there seems to be no choice–either we must forge ahead alone, or succumb to the madness which has engulfed the right wing. I feel sad, like part of the America I love has died–no, has been smothered by those seeking power and money.

But that’s the way it is. We pass the health care reform as it should be, no compromises, no concessions, and then just wait for the anger to (hopefully) peter out. Use what influence has been accrued to pass all the other things we know will work to repair the country and bring it back to a place where it might regain its former pedestal of esteem in the world as a leader of liberty, progress, and wealth.

Eventually, as the economy (hopefully) continues to improve, as health care gets better, as the state of the nation in general begins to recover, and as the nation becomes more used to these laws being not just acceptable but in fact productive and true to the American ideal, maybe we can head out of this darkness and come back to a place where actual bipartisanship is again an achievable goal instead of a hope dashed by an extremist right wing unwilling to even consider any form of cooperation. Maybe, someday, this demented nightmare of right-wing extremism will fade away as an embarrassing chapter of American politics.

I want my America back, indeed.

  1. stevetv
    August 17th, 2009 at 09:15 | #1

    And with that, the White House is prepared to forgo public option in the Health Care reform bill.

    I, frankly, never harbored any belief that Obama was different from the spineless Democrats in congress. I’m sorry to not be proven wrong. This administration was given a mandate by the American people. If they can’t stand up to an opposing minority in both houses, then whatever happens is on them. Not the Republicans.

  2. Luis
    August 17th, 2009 at 10:10 | #2

    Man, I hope not. This is hardly definitive, but it is a bit worrying. Hopefully it’s nothing more than a test balloon, and if they don’t gain traction from it they will leave the public option back in. But the frothing mobs may be having enough of an effect that the Dems will be OK with a de-fanged bill so they can call it a victory, and avoid losing outright. Still, let’s hope that it’s not an absolute sign of defeat on this issue.

    Even if it is, then let’s also not turn our noses up at what else the bill has to offer.

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