I have previously written of the destructive result of the GOP poisoning the water with their sore-loser vitriol against the Democratic administration (https://yomamaforobama.wordpress.com/2010/02/28/anger-unleashed/). With the rhetoric reaching new crescendos daily in an attempt to garner votes, the Republicans are playing with fire. Another example of powerlessness gone awry is the shooter, John Bedell, in the Washington, D.C. metro right near the Pentagon. He was disgusted with government and decided to take matters into his own drug-addled, twisted hands:
Despite the leadership and the ranks of the GOP railing to encourage such wing nuts as the Tea Party, we must assess the destruction this can wrought. Here’s the best explanation yet of the Tea Party that I have come across:
The Tea Party offers nothing positive, not one iota of effective fixes for the government they so righteously hate (except for their Medicare). The GOP are blessed fools to ally themselves with such hate-mongerers, as they will just as quickly turn on the GOP as they have on everything else related to government.
However, it is not just the Tea Party fringe that is creating an undercurrent of acceptable violent reaction to an incompetent government. The GOP is using this platform as their only platform. They disguise this method as “bipartisanship”, but in actuality, even when they get their way, they come back to the table and diss those concessions.
Just this morning on one of the Sunday politics show, Senator Mitch McConnell tried to fall back on this fiery, deceitful rhetoric of the GOP. When questioned as to his party’s objections, their virtual blockade, to the health care bill, he reverted to the supposed sacred cow of an increased deficit. Then, when the host nailed McConnell by pointing out that the deficit soared to new heights under Bush, McConnell was caught. I surmise McConnell’s aim is to accept huge deficits for the purpose of war and tax cuts to the wealthiest citizens (which BTW, was enacted using the procedure of reconciliation that the GOP is now calling “undemocratic” because the Democrats might use it to pass the health care bill), but not for the welfare of the people. The GOP’s sharp disconnect between benefits for the general population and their own political objectives undermines the defined role of government, “for the people, by the people”.
Commentators like Paul Krugman and Frank Rich interpret this paralysis, characterized as a tacit (if not openly obvious) nod to the violent reaction of the people, as a flaw in the President. Here are Op-Ed articles by both writers:
Krugman and Rich are not correct this time. President Obama has been an activist president, genuinely concerned for the population. Sometimes, no matter what a leader may do to unite opposite ideologies, it is never enough to bridge the gulf. The fault of our current paralysis in our halls of government is much more a result of the selfish, greedy ways of the opposition than the sincere agenda of our President. This is exactly the state of our leadership today. The GOP’s blockade, coupled with that of some stubborn Democrats as well, of passing needed legislation for the betterment of America is the only item on their agenda. The GOP, being unable to comprehend that they are the minority party, will not override their personal disgust at this fact. If this strategy means that the GOP will instill fear and hatred into the national dialogue, they will do it. Anything to get back in power.
Remember when President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court bench? First the GOP used statements trying to present Sotomayor as a person not worthy, not of a suitable judicial temperament, to sit on the highest court. When that didn’t work, they hit new lows by speaking to her ethnicity as a detriment to her ability to make fair decisions. A reverse prejudice, if you will. Finally, the Democrats stated, and the Republicans conceded, that the party in power, the elected President, indeed has the advantage of naming a person of his choice, to the Supreme Court. The Democrats won the last Presidential election and the Republicans lost. Period.
Two thoughts enter my mind. First, why must America always have a mortal enemy? Can’t we value our lives, our children and our nation without having someone else to hate? Why can’t we take the vast amounts of money used to conduct our endless wars and funnel it into vehicles that will better our lives here? Secondly, by focusing on a constant enemy, instilling the fear of terrorist disaster into every American at every moment, the politicians are overtly giving the go-ahead to the fringe lunatics who just needed a slight shove to cross the line between extremism and criminal behavior. Our leaders should be much more wary of our own domestic terrorists. However, they are not, all in the name of getting votes for their next election. This is irresponsible and dangerous tactics. I guess this fueling the fires of discontent will not hit home with these demagogues until maybe one of their own family members becomes a victim of their devil-may-care attitudes.
It is kind of like the stem cell controversy. The Republicans, Nancy Reagan included, were totally against using stem cells from frozen, unused embryos because it represented to them a violation of life. They considered these balls of cells to be human. That is, until one of their own needs such treatment. Once President Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, his wife was all for stem cell treatment. Amazing how our own little lives can change our outlook on greater issues.
The Tea Party is no less ingenuous. The yell “Get rid of government but do not touch my Medicare.” Quite a conflict, no? Their elevation of Sarah Palin to the heights of hope for government speaks volumes to their distorted views on government. It is so ironic that in their fight for a competent government, the Tea Party has allied themselves with the most incompetent, confused and go-with-whatever-increases-your own riches-and-power public figure. This Tea Party, as well as the often supportive GOP who is willing to use any tactics to regain power, better re-evaluate their cheerleading for violence as an antidote to a government that is stuck in the mud.
My plea is for our leaders to hold back on their venom. A public figure has an obligation to the people of the nation to try their best to maintain order and reason. This has nothing to do with bipartisanship; this has to do with civic responsibility and a nod to rationality. Their desires for collecting votes be damned. How many more Joe Stacks and John Bedells must we witness? If our lawmakers (truly an oxymoron) continue raising hell and fear with their words, there will not be a country left to vote at all.