Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I think that the country, if I may stretch a metaphor, is in just such a dance. We can not stand each other and there is no central ground for us to meet in agreement. Chris Dodd retired today after thirty years in the Senate and decried the current unprecedented partisanship. Government is at a standstill. We would rather score points bashing each other than find ways for our country to move forward together. Many people in this country can not seem to get over the fact that we elected a mixed race president with a foreign sounding name.
Obama rubs a lot of people the wrong way. I hated his predecessor. Last week Sarah Palin jumped on Michelle Obama for taking a stand against childhood obesity. Inferred that she was overstepping her bounds and interfering with a parent's responsibility to raise children as they saw fit. This is ludicrous to me, the first lady of this country always promoting similar projects for the nation's well being. I don't recall anyone going after Laura Bush for promoting literacy or Lady Bird for beautifying America. Some people just want to be sore. There are an awful lot of fat kids out there and the parents' message obviously ain't getting through.
After both 9/11 and even the first Desert Storm, Americans joined together and supported our presidents, not as republicans and democrats, but as Americans. Overwhelmingly. Things went a little south but there were protracted periods of extraordinary consensus. And both Bush I and Clinton managed to steer through bipartisan legislation.
People don't seem to have personal beliefs about what is right or wrong anymore. Their attitude seems to shift depending on whose team is getting gored. Or they heap blame on the media messenger, either the hated MSM or Fox, the GOP house organ.
I have been monitoring the right wing press and blogosphere in the wake of the Wikileaks fiasco and many right wingers are positively giddy because the Obama Administration gets shown in a negative light. Standing in solidarity with our nation's enemies. They have done everything in their power to neuter the chief executive, both domestically and internationally. It's disgusting, frankly. Pure gotcha politics. A game that they didn't invent but one that has only gotten worse and worse in the past decade.
With the Republican party heading more and more to the right and a timid Obama Administration ineffectively seeking middle ground, I see little hope for improvement in the near term. Of course unemployment benefits are about to run out and it will be interesting to see if the scrooges that will not authorize extensions have a tin ear or not and can keep doling out the tough love.
I don't know what the answer is. Republican moderates have been given the message that they are in the tea party's gunsights and better not compromise. Looks like another stalemate.
I think that with such an even split among us americans, the thought that the undecided middle will veer to one side or the other is simply a pipe dream. We can only expect more and more paralysis unless we can find a way to work together and listen to each other respectfully, once again. Until then, expect things to stay more of the same.