Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rinos and Dinos in 2010

In the months leading up to next week’s midterm election, the influence of the Tea Party made itself felt by relentlessly going after the few moderate Republicans who were up for reelection. One after another, experienced right-wing politicians—Utah’s Senator Bob Bennett, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, Delaware’s Mike Castle—went down to defeat in their party’s primary, replaced by extremist “Tea Party” candidates.

In today’s Party of No, anyone who’s ever said yes to anything in Washington—constructive or otherwise—is suspect. With the kind of mindless, knee-jerk decision making that’s all too typical in American politics, the conservative hoards seem to be obeying the libertarian mantra: “Throw the bums out.”

This purging of the right in the interest of some sort of ill-defined ideological purity may well result in sweeping away some of the nominal Democrats who’ve routinely abandoned their principles and their president’s progressive agenda in a quixotic attempt to please powerful right-wing interests.

In Arkansas, for example, Blanche Lincoln seems to be battling into oblivion against Republican John Boozman. I say good riddance to her: she didn’t do her party any good by voting for good legislation, like the health care overhaul, while trashing it publicly to please conservatives back home. Political columnist Max Brantley called her “wishy-washy by nature”—and we’ve got enough of that in Congress already, so long as we still have to put up with John McCain.

Similarly, a recent WSJ article reported that of the 54 “Blue Dog” Democrats (that is to say “Democrats in Name Only”) in the House, more than half are in serious jeopardy of losing their seats in next week’s election. If that happens, as the article suggests, the United States Congress may end up significantly more polarized than it has been for the past two years—or maybe the past two hundred years.

And I’m not sure that’s such a bad thing. It won’t be pretty, but maybe it will be a good thing for both sides in America’s battle for the minds of the masses to get their cards out on the table.

American voters are simplistic thinkers, after all, and impatient with too much analysis. Let’s get the Rand Pauls and the Joe Millers out there, in all their proud ignorance, and have them explain—at length— to the American people why Civil Rights legislation tramples on the “rights” of business owners and why Social Security should be “privatized” (which is to say “turned over to Wall Street”).

Meanwhile, let’s make sure that the Democrats we elect to Congress are “real” Democrats—people able and willing to stand up for the rights of individuals to have security, freedom, and fair treatment from banks, insurance companies, and big business.


Six said...

Lol - a bit sensationalist are we? You said, "If that happens, as the article suggests, the United States Congress may end up significantly more polarized than it has been for the past two years—or maybe the past two hundred years." Seems to me the Civil War years were a bit more divided than today, and for a person in education, I would hope you would know that didn't happen 200 years ago. Shoot, it was even more polarized during the 60s and in to 70s during Nixon, and again during Clinton in the 90s.

Also, I dream of a day when as you falsly claim, "the conservative hoards seem to be obeying the libertarian mantra...". Not hardly. If that were the case, gay couples would have the benefits as straight ones, they would be able to serve in the military openly, we would not be wasting billions upon billions in a failed drug war resulting in the largest incarceration population in the world per capita (2% of the worlds population, 25% of the worlds prison population should tell you something) and we would not be involved in two wars and so on down the list. Nevermind any of that - we need more Democrats, because they give us... more of the same.

Citizen Jane said...

Lol. Well, Six, you've got me there. I imagine things were pretty polarized in Congress just before the start of the Civil War.

Of course, once the war began, the Southern delegates packed up and left. That must have made the atmosphere in Congress a tad less hostile.

Which gives me an idea. You don't suppose, do you, that Mitch McConnell might get agitated enough to secede from the Senate? That would certainly enhance the posibility of civility in the chamber.

Six said...

There are some states I might not object to if they wished to secede with him!!