Perhaps it’s an entirely futile endeavor teaching self-defense to liberals and Democrats. And yes, my pacifism probably needs work.
And speaking of futile endeavors, God knows the American media hold the conviction their careers would remain intact even under the governance of The Ebola For Everybody Party (just slightly more onerous than the Republican Party).
I can hear them on Meet The Press already: “Ebola, deadly, gruesome disease, or pleasant way to spend your vacation, will the partisan bickering never end?”
Indeed, my fellow liberals, civility is a wonderful social virtue, deliberation a grand thing, and factual, rational rebuttal always helpful.
On the other hand, have you noticed how many people of the Republican persuasion refer to guns as their Lord and personal savior?
I’ll acknowledge that many Republicans are very fine people if you get to know them, if you’ll acknowledge that whatever their personal merits, as political actors they are complicit in the transformation of the country into something ugly, something perhaps irrevocably unrecognizable even.
My finely tuned sense of etiquette tells me it’s ok to be polite to them in everyday life and beat them senseless politically. However, this advice may be considered reversible if things go badly the next several years.
In any case, you may have noticed that the speaker if the House of Representatives, the highest serving Republican in the nation is suing the President of the United States for exercising executive power, in other words, for being president.
Or, you may have heard that a poll revealed that 57% of Republicans favor impeaching President Barack Obama, and for nothing in particular, incidentally. And that there are more than a few individuals actually elected to the congress of the United States by American citizens, citizens of admittedly suspect mental competency yes, but citizens nevertheless, who say they are hoping to carry it out.
Naturally these muffin heads have no firmer a relationship to constitutional reality than they do to the regular kind. But in fairness, Obama, for all his many excellent virtues, has been painfully slow at recognizing the nature of the beast he is dealing with, and extremely bad at tearing Republicans the new one they need. Indeed, let’s just say the president’s six years of openness to harsh compromise, and his appeal to Republicans’ better angels hasn’t worked. You mean, you still believe they have better angels? Where are they? In a hidden bank account in the Cayman Islands? No one’s seen them around here for a couple of decades.
With the lead-up to the Civil War as perhaps the only queasy precedent, one party’s members of congress have in the last six years obstructed and undermined attempts to address the nation’s challenges to the point of earning a legitimate accusation of national sabotage, with evidence of real harm to the country and many of its citizens as a result everywhere to see. This is what they refer to on the cop shows I like to watch as: A CLUE. Maybe I’m just sensitive (who could doubt it?), but is this not a brazen “Fuck you, democracy, and anyone and everyone opposing our aims,” worthy of taking seriously enough to warrant maximum retaliation, full self-preservation mode, and “going to the mattresses” in Godfather-speak?
I’m supposed to simply smile bemusedly with high pundit aplomb that the peckerwoods are talking impeachment again? Impeachment of Clinton was a cheap stunt too, and should have been an eye opener for those with working optical muscles that this Republican Party had become an unprecedented brand of off the rails stupid and crazy, one desperately in need of corporeal punishment.
The impeachment of Bill Clinton, and the frivolously proposed impeachment of Barack Obama indicate the call for impeachment is now a routine expression of Republican sour grapes, of partisan pique and petty retribution for being ousted by the opposition party from the White House, and prevented by voters in the following election from reacquiring it.
The press only made matters worse then too. Since the New York Times and Washington Post and Newsweek barked up every wrong tree in Arkansas, and chased down every dirty shit-kicker with a bogus yarn to tell about Clinton, the reliability of the wine and cheese press as horseshit detectors has remained mortally suspect (See: Iraq War).
For the zany sort of person who regards self-preservation as a relatively important priority, it may have been noticed that when Republicans have gained the slimmest majority in a state government, not only is there no thought of attempting to govern on behalf of every citizen, nor to reassure or gain the confidence of the broad electorate with an appearance of deliberation and equanimity, but rather the swift imposition of a harsh, and radical agenda, with defiant indifference to the majority of the state’s citizens, who do not favor it and do not want it.
Indeed, the swiftness and harshness of the imposition of this unwanted agenda has the putrid redolence of something other than mere policy: punishment, retribution and vengeance. This is what we’re dealing with. This is the twisted nature of fanaticism we’re up against.
Customarily, the pressing of this draconian agenda is accompanied by a concurrent effort to lock in that agenda through restriction of the voter franchise, more specifically to limit voting to the old and the lily white and the already registered Republican. Frankly, I would take this sort of abuse personally, but that’s me.
Some of our less gifted thinkers in the pundit class would have you believe that Republican aims to dismantle Medicare and Social security are all talk and hair up the ass rhetoric used by Democrats for scarification of voters. Have you read the Ryan Report? You know the guy is probably running for president don’t you? And he’ll have oodles of ill-gotten Koch brother gazillions backing him? And that virtually every Republican with a viable opportunity to win the Republican nomination feels exactly the same way? If it’s close, remind me again: who’s in control of the Supreme Court?
Does anyone with a reasonably good brain in her head really expect the radicals controlling the Republican Party now ever to work constructively with the opposition party again? To ever compromise for the betterment of the nation again? Really? Seriously? Does any observer without a careerist incentive to do otherwise believe there is equivalency in the current behavior of the governing right and left, or the two major political parties, or anything remotely resembling equivalency? Of course fucking not.
Ideological absolutists and dogmatic extremists don’t believe in people choosing how they want to live; they believe all must conform to the prescribed way of life dictated by the dogma to which they subscribe. It feels something like a chronic kick in the nuts that so many people in positions of importance one would hope would know better, seem, relatively speaking, remarkably under-fazed by the ascendance to prominent power of such radicalism in plain sight, potentially very dangerous radicalism, brazenly anti-rational radicalism.
If you’re a public official on the Democratic side and the veins in your neck aren’t regularly bulging out as you go on the full offensive against the policies and beliefs of the political movement attempting to vaporize you, you probably aren’t smart enough to survive, or at the least, you shouldn’t be in charge of the survival of the rest of us.
To the segment of Republicans in and out of office who are neither stupid nor crazy, and exert themselves in a well-intentioned effort at bringing a modicum of reason and moderation to their party, I have only a single observation to offer: Boy, are you losing. I commiserate with you, sincerely. But boy, are you losing.
And for all the Washington insiders in politics or media for whom it is all one big dinner party of jaded, entitled camaraderie regardless of agendas for the woebegone hoi polloi (citizens) I understand Robespierre was quite a congenial golfing partner too. But if the man turns out to have been responsible for my mother’s beheading, or let’s say, her death from ovarian cancer because her insurance was unavailable or unaffordable due to tampering with the Affordable Care Act, there’s a Louisville Slugger with your name on it too I can assure you.
Now, if you happen to be the type who remains preternaturally poised even as you’re about to be eaten by sharks or skinned alive by Mongolian irregulars, there is certainly a case to be made for chasing Republicans with a bat in your hand simply on the basis of principle. Under this scenario, it is permissible to do so simply because they are intolerable dunderheads aggressively wrong about everything: This includes their inanely rancid perception of so many of their fellow Americans as bloodsuckers, while themselves contributing not a damn thing other than bad faith, bad ideas, bad math, bad science, bad history, bad economics and buckets full of slime and bile.
Brain them with a large, shovel-shaped or baseball bat-shaped object simply for their dissemination of the factual, intellectual and common sense equivalent of airborne toxins. Do it for the children.
Hell, do it for the unborn. They’re all going to be born now, right?