The other day, gus and I had a little back and forth over the state of the cable industry especially as it relates to Congress and specifically Republicans. In short, my position is that, with the telecoms just as with almost everything going down in the nation's capital, the problem is widespread on both sides of the aisle. I interpreted Gus to respond with the notion that Democrats want to work out things such as lobbying reform, campaign financing reform, etc. but Republicans are blocking them every step of the way.
I got cheesed. Mostly at myself in the way I would be upset with myself if I invited a partner to duel and realized I had no bullets. I can no longer defend this point of view. I haven't been able for some time.
gus and I go way back and we've had spirited discussions on many political subjects in a Kirkpatrick/Hoffman sort of style. He generally wins, but sadly we can't have those discussions anymore because my side of the argument has no ground on which I can stand. I don't think that it is so much my philosophy of politics has been changed so much as it has been devoured by the hatred of the fringe. And the fringe ain't staying to the fringes.
I came across a post by Andrew Sullivan today that explains this mindset in crystal clear detail and it is why fifty-something former Republicans like me have been abandoned by the system. Those of us with similar philosophy of government have no party to turn to. Beyond that, the future looks bleak.
Now we get the extreme religious liberty bills across the country that are clearly a function of gay panic among fundamentalists and a decision to capitalize on it for electoral gain; we have a Republican lobbyist pulling a publicity stunt by drafting a law to ban gay players from the NFL; we have a state senator, using sarcasm in such a way as to describe mothers as "hosts" of unborn children; we have gubernatorial candidates proudly campaigning with a man who called the president a "subhuman mongrel"; and the list goes on and onObama has been in the cross-hairs since he won in 2008, and while I am not happy with his performance overall when reflected in the mirror of my expectations, I would say the failures as I see them are not because of his race, his birth certificate, his religion (or lack thereof) or his general upbringing. But I have no one in Washington on my side. The so-called Republicans are merely banging gongs with no credibility mainly because they are concerned with these flash points of hatred.
[And] at some point, a party that seems increasingly defined as angry, contemptuous of the president, constantly rabble-rousing (Jindal yesterday) and hostile to immigrants, gays, Latinos, African Americans and women will become so tainted in an increasingly diverse, pluralistic and multi-racial society it may take a generation to recover.Or longer. But that's the thing about politics. Kids often seem to take a point of view contrary to their parents, but I cannot imagine any of my children, who each are blessed with above-average intelligence, would ever vote for a Republican. Frankly, I would be disappointed if they did.
though they may promise, they only bring pain