El Cerdo Ignatius, a blogger I admire immensely, called me to task for my political rant of yesterday. He is an avowed conservative who I respect not just for his attitudes about Life in general, but believe it or not, his political views also. I will admit that my rant was chock full of pent up emotion finally being spewed onto the uncaring world. But his comments made me pause. He fell into the trap so many of us fall into and made assumptions based on no evidence found in the post. I do not fault him for this, he normally is way more measured. I am guilty of making assumptions also and should allow most anyone some slack when it comes to making assumptions about me. I chose to not correct many of his assumptions because well, it just doesn't matter.
Political differences do not go away by pointing out the mistaken assumptions of others. Political differences disappear only when both sides agree or one caves to the other. It would seem that in today's super charged political arena, caving is not an option for politicians and for politically opinionated boneheads such as myself. I often have said that I am willing to listen to reason and have actually changed my mind when the right argument came along. And it has happened. But sitting here after reading ELC's comments, I realize that I have become dug in when certain topics are discussed or argued. I am as unwilling to alter my view as it appears the opposing side is unwilling to alter their view. I can only imagine this type of attitude is even more pronounced in the halls of all the law making institutions around this nation. It would seem that the first knee jerk response for everyone now is to say no when the other side says yes.
We are so set on the idea of "they" being wrong and "we" being right, there seems to be no room for "us" and "them" to even think of coming to an agreement. It is as if we want to fight for the sake of the fight rather than winning the fight or resolving it in a manner that mollifies both sides. Anything short of beating the other side to a bloody pulp is a hollow victory.
This no quarter mentality in DC has to change. Both sides need to bury the hard feelings. It is imperative if we expect reasonable and well thought out strategies with which to bring us back from this economic chasm we find ourselves in.
This idea that politics has now become all about the fight and not about the solutions is one of my unshakable opinions that has developed from watching the process for 40 plus years. I am also positive who owns much of the blame for what we have today. I blame the Republicans for turning what used to be a somewhat civilized and consensus ending process into the knock down drag out take no prisoners atmosphere where a solution is almost accidental and often surprises everyone involved. Yes , the Democrats bought into it. But it has been the Republicans who have led the way.
The fact they want to continue this way is understandable. After all it worked for 28 years. What I find amusing is the Right seems to not understand how to handle being on the receiving side of the type of politics they developed and honed to the level of today's acrimonious charged political culture. They are reaping what they sowed and not handling it very well. And because they have no plan other than the same tired policies that helped set the table for this current mess, all they seem able to come up with is obstructing the process.
Take for instance, our man from Texas, Senator Cronyn. Depending on who is evaluating his performance, he is either the new standard bearer for all the God fearing Republicans, or he is a party hack who also happens to be an idiot. I lean away from deifying him but stop short of calling him an idiot. A party hack is probably close. Works for me anyway. His continued obstructionist crap during the appointment hearings for Sec/State and Attorney General are classic partisan stupidity 101. Get in the way just to get in the way. He contends that he was not being obstructionist because he eventually voted for Hillary, but only after holding up the appointment for a day so she could hold his hand and answer questions that did not change from the answers she had already given.
El Cerdo asked me why was it wrong for a republican to oppose Obama's plan. As I told him in my response in the comment box, it is not wrong. I would expect it. But if the Republicans expect me to take them seriously here, they need to offer up counter plans that are not based on failed policies of the past. Our current economic woes are way beyond having tax cuts alone resolve them. And don't even bring up deregulation again for a very long time. But these are the types of strategies or variations of the same old themes I see popping up as some of their alternatives. More of the same that got us where we are now is not going to do it. You don't pound your head on the wall for the hundredth time and hope this time for a different result.
Our goals should be short term and long term. Our plans should take both into account. For too many years both sides have only dealt with short term solutions to long term and long building problems. Basing solutions on election cycles and not looking beyond them is counter productive to creating a healthy society down the road. And because our leadership has lived on short term solutions for these problems that have been building for decades, we find ourselves in dire need of both types of solutions now. If we only look to resolve short term than this nightmare will be back sooner than later. We also need to address long term solutions as soon as possible. And I don't see the Republicans looking beyond the pages of their own bankbooks.