Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Now It's Personal

I happen to know this guy, lived in the same neighborhood, attended the same grade school and high school. He's a friend of my brother; in addition to the secondary schools, they also attended Stanford together, have worked together since. He is, indeed, one of the good guys. In a country where sense is made, you'd think it'd make a difference. In a senate where the minority party had a nanogram of belief in responsible government, it would. But no.

Shortly before Obama announced Bryson’s nomination, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office reiterated Republicans’ threat to block all administration nominations until the president acts on pending trade deals with Panama, Colombia and South Korea.

Our entire political process has been reduced to a series of hostage stand-offs. McConnell hasn’t raised concerns about Bryson, per se — at least not yet — but he wanted to remind everyone that unless the GOP gets what it wants on some trade measures, Republicans won’t allow a vote on Bryson’s nomination anyway. It doesn’t matter if he’s qualified or not.

American governance has never worked this way; it wasn’t designed to work this way; and it can’t work this way.

This is not governance. This is not serious commitment to anything but one's own agenda. Since the election of Barack Obama, the Republican party has abandoned what little had remained of its integrity and taken up an agenda of blockage, along with the occasional reiteration of demonstrably unworkable policies.

Whenever I wonder -- it does happen -- if I'm too hard on them, if my thoughts of teabaggRs are blinded by ideology, all it takes is another example like this one. Nope. I'm not. They're not. The current version of the Republican party is venal, nasty, stupid, negative, destructive, close-minded, undemocratic, unpatriotic, hateful, unhelpful, dishonest, cynical, resolutely uninterested in discourse that might challenge their simplistic ideology. They have no sense of responsibility to anything but their recycled ideas and their personal power. The future of our county is of no concern to them. Nor, for that matter, is the present. Other than their games. Putting it as simply and clearly and decently as possible: they are assholes.

The Republicans in our government are undeserving of any respect whatsoever, nor are the propaganda machines that support them, lie for them, shill for them. Nothing I can say, no matter how strong or how apparently partisan, can fully characterize -- or overstate! -- how despicable they are. With everything they do, with everything they don't do -- and this is perhaps their only significant accomplishment -- they manage to make the Democratic party look admirable.

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