Saturday, November 21, 2009
Like It Is
In essence, that's what I've been saying here: our political system is broken beyond repair.
We have a president smart enough and willing to take on our very serious problems: health care, climate change, a broken economy. That there is need in all these areas is undeniable (except for people like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck and the rest of the RWS™.) And yet.
John Kyl announces every Republican senator will vote against health care reform. Every one. No matter what. And Mitch McConnell wants another six weeks of debate. Reconcile those two facts, will you?
That's but one example of the dysfunction. On the left we have a party of disorganization and undiscipline. On the right, one of ideological "purity," based on denialism. Of the failures of their central tenets; of the facts; of the damage being done to the country by fomented hatred, based on lies. And, of course, evolution. Sort of the perfect avatar.
So here we are, curarized by a full quiver of poison arrows: an unprecedented propaganda machine in particular (yes, Fox "News" and right-wing talk radio) willing unabashedly to distort and dissemble, and a lazy remaining media, ill-equipped and uninterested in countering it; liberal politicians congenitally unable to focus; conservative ones unable to rise above failed ideology or to assimilate facts; an electorate consisting of too many gullible people unwilling and unable to think for themselves, preferring paranoia over process. And in Congress, not limited to but egregiously exaggerated on the right, the easy forgetting of everything they've ever said when they were in power: the "nuclear option," "up or down vote," "elections have consequences." Today, down is up; if I said the opposite yesterday, well, you're a hater for bringing it up.
So, yeah, Friedman is exactly right. We're on the way to failure as a political entity, and when the dust settles and there's nothing left, the death will have been brought entirely by those who most vigorously (and disingenuously) claim to be fighting to save our country.
I wonder if there's a point at which they'd admit they were wrong: a tax-free country unable to provide any services, polluted skies and soaking seaboards, starving people unable to cross the moats around the castles? What is their ideal, their end-point? How much higher do health insurance premiums have to rise, how many more dying for lack of it? How far do the glaciers need to recede, how much further behind do our students need to fall? How much money do the oligarchs need to accumulate before it's enough, how wide the gap? Really. I'd like to know. What is the tea-party ideal, how do they plan to get there, what would it look like? Does the previous eight years not tell them anything about soil in which they plant their flag?
If they could wave a magic wand, who would be left in this country, what would they be doing, and how would it work? Based on what evidence?