Monday, April 30, 2012

Get Ready

The upcoming 2012 election is like none in my lifetime, and very possibly none in a lot longer than that.  It comes closest to 1964, when the ideological right wing of the Republican party captured the presidential nomination from its establishment centrists and nominated Barry Goldwater to challenge incumbent (though unelected) President Lyndon Johnson.

Now suddenly in the past 4 years, the Republican party has destroyed its centrist segment and has become the most ideologically driven party in a century or more.  This election looks more like a European parliamentary election (though the winner won't necessarily have the power to govern, as the European government would have to) or even more like an attempted elective coup.  But calling it an ideology is too generous.  It's a Dark Ages cult.  It is a party incapable of governing or participating in a democratic government.

It's not just me noticing this, of course.  Here's exactly what T. Goddard's Political Wire grabbed from Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein's analysis in the Washington Post: "We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party." "The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition." "When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country's challenges."  

The entire analysis, which is worth reading, supports this excerpt. 

Not content with screwing with the filibuster and other undemocratic tactics, not content with relentless systematic lying as a strategy to seize power, the GOPer zealots in the states have actually changed the law to limit the ability of citizens--especially of certain citizens--to be part of this democracy through the most essential and sacred method there is: voting. 

These laws are being challenged but that takes time.  The purpose was to win the White House in 2012, so it may not matter if the challenges succeed later.  However the Obama campaign is not ignoring this, nor is it sitting around moaning about it.  According to this report, the campaign is aggressively pursuing a "vote anyway" strategy, to obey the letter of these onerous laws to register new voters, and to educate voters on what they will need to do (like get and bring a photo ID) in order to vote. 

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.  Stick that up your legislatures, GOPer tyrants. 

No comments: