Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Bitten Hands of the GOP

Decades ago the GOP embraced the anti-civil rights racism of the South, then subsequently embraced the evangelicals' posture on social issues.

When you sup with the Devil, use a long spoon.

In cynically embracing the far right in order to win elections, the GOP made a very bad bargain. And this year the bad bargain sprang two monstrous and devilish heads, both of which have sunken their teeth into their GOP progenitor. First, the fever of the far right has created a prolonged and damaging GOP primary, with a pack of crazies/candidates tearing apart the lead candidate and ignoring the old GOP maxim forbidding Republican candidates from speaking ill of other GOP candidates. This prolonged and bloody contest also has given Mitt Romney such extended exposure that he has had ample opportunity to alienate voters all by himself. (The longer he has campaigned to secure the far right vote, the lower his favorability numbers.)

A second self-inflicted wound on the GOP is the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United. Far-right-pleasing appointees to the Supreme Court have made our political system a free-for-all for well-heeled zealots. Now corporations and the super wealthy can finance campaigns independently of the political parties, opening the door to the two weird billionaires who kept Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum alive as candidates for months, much to the damage of the GOP.

The GOP elephant has become a rampaging rogue. No matter that Romney will likely survive as the nominee-apparent. No matter if he wins the presidency  -  heaven help us!  -  due to Democrats being as slack in voting in November as they were in 2010. No matter these outcomes, a roaring mass of enraged know-nothings and some irresponsible, filthy rich power seekers (including the Koch brothers) have found each other. It is an unholy alliance, wounding to the GOP but perhaps fatal to the rest of us.

We stand in horror with Ebenezer Scrooge before the specter in Dicken's "A Christmas Carol", as the  Spirit reveals the two snarling figures lurking beneath his robes: Ignorance and Want. The ignorance of the evangelical far-righters and the insatiable lust for power and money of the billionaire class. May dread fill our souls.

Is it too late to ask, as did Scrooge, whether these are shadows of things that might be or whether these are things that will be?

Can we change this ominous picture? Or are we helplessly doomed as the hijacked GOP and the billionaires carry us all over the brink into a very dark future where sensible politics and sensible governance are no longer possible?

What can we do? As individuals?

Think about it. I will too.

For now, I'm squeezing $20 out of my Social Security to send to Obama on this last day of the quarter. From running campaigns, I know that $20 CAN do something significant in a campaign. Maybe two large pizzas for precinct workers? (You gotta feed the troops!)

But I also know it's not enough to banish the darkness shadowing our future. Can we find other ways to fight back individually and collectively?

Yes. We can.

And more on that is coming soon.


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