Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Off With His Head

When a party purges any and all members who speak truth, what will come next? In the short run, it seems, they'll win some elections. In the long run, when it's necessary to generate real ideas that address real problems, will it be too late? Will the people who voted them into office realize, as I've been saying forever on this blog, that they've been played for fools?

Not yet. Among the casualties of the putsch is this guy, who had the audacity to speak truth:

"There were no death panels in the bill ... and to encourage that kind of fear is just the lowest form of political leadership. It's not leadership. It's demagoguery," said Inglis, one of three Republican incumbents who have lost their seats in Congress to primary and state party convention challengers this year.

Inglis said voters eventually will discover that you're "preying on their fears" and turn away.

"I think we have a lot of leaders that are following those (television and talk radio) personalities and not leading," he said. "What it takes to lead is to say, 'You know, that's just not right.'"

Is there a precedent for this, in the US, anyway? He wasn't just defeated; he was crushed. Nor is he the only one summarily expunged. For indicating willingness to work across the aisle, seeking solutions, the penalty is political death; for the unforgivable sin of willingness to help, the teabaggers will steep you in boiling water. But oh how they love America!

Giving homage to the certifiably insane and the demonstrably clueless, teabaggers have forced a purity pledge on their candidates which is both severe in its demands and empty in its content. Take back our country!! Love America!! No to... whatever!! Return to the ideas that (don't say it!)... well, that were easy: no taxes, no regulations!! No immigrants!! Yes Christians!! No actual ideas, no way forward, no grasp of how democracy works. No compromise. No plans, apart from disencraniating anyone who speaks the truth.

Answering my own question: No. I think this is new. It's the full institutionalization of emptiness, throughout an entire major party. It's not these guys. It's the whole Republican party, caving to fear, lowering themselves below see level, succumbing to stupid. For the power to do.... what? So I ask again: Will the people who vote them into office realize, as I've been saying forever on this blog, that they've been played for fools? And if so, will they wake up before it's too late?

I know the answer to that, too. But it's too painful to say.

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