I've been intensely active in politics for years now. I've had my share of discussions with people of various stripes. I've learned that keeping it cordial and sticking to the facts is the best approach. Sometimes snark is unavoidable, but trying to keep it level-headed will often reveal surprising things about the other person's viewpoint.
Sometimes those surprises can be scary. In particular, a small segment of those on the Left have a peculiar notion about how to bring about a Progressive Utopia. Their "plan" (such as it is) is not to beat Republicans and work to replace moderate Democrats with more progressive ones - it's to let the Republicans win, so that they'll drive the country into such a deep hole (in all respects) that revolution will be unavoidable.
In other words - they think we need to burn the village to save it.
In their eyes, Democrats and Republicans are exactly the same
(which begs the question - why would Republicans create the aforementioned apocalypse, and not Democrats?), so they just can't
bring themselves to vote for "the lesser of two evils", even though one is not really lesser, even though that puts a hitch in their Master Plan, blah blah blah...
Yet, the constant battles in Congress, and - especially - the battles between House Republicans and President Obama paint quite a different picture, vis-a-vis their differences. I imagine the nihilists will claim it's all politcal theatre, but I know of political theatre and this is not it.
Consider the bill to extend the "payroll" tax cuts (the FICA taxes): House Republicans finally agreed to them yesterday, but deliberately put a poison pill in it
. Along with the extensions, is a completely unrelated requirement to build the oil pipeline that has been hugely contentious, due to its running through native-American lands:
...Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., derided the GOP-backed pipeline provision as "ideological candy" for the tea party-set.
After the House vote, the White House urged Congress on in finishing work on extending the tax cuts and jobless aid. Press Secretary Jay Carney issued a statement that didn't mention the pipeline but renewed Obama's insistence that the legislation be paid for, at least in part, by "asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share" in higher tax levies.
Lawmakers "cannot go on vacation before agreeing to prevent a tax hike on 160 million Americans and extending unemployment insurance," he said.
Republicans mocked Obama's objections to their version of the bill.
"Mr. President, we can't wait," said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, employing a refrain the White House often uses to criticize Republicans for failing to take steps to improve an economy struggling to recover from the worst recession in decades.
Essentially, the House Majority leader is toying with the lives of people struggling to make ends meet, in an effort to antagonize the president. That is immature, despicable, and completely out of touch. What an asshole.
But Republicans didn't stop there. Despite the repeal of DADT, it is still illegal for those in the military to engage in homosexual sex. In fact - it's illegal for ANY couples to engage in what is termed "sodomy", which includes oral sex between a married man and woman.
The Senate repealed Article 125 of the Military Code with the latest military authorization act. The Republicans put it back in
(to be accurate - the congressional committee charged with reconciling differences between House and Senate bills removed it; they went with the Republican House version). Oddly, the bill is allowing gay couples in the military to get married. So - they can get married, they just can't "consumate" their marriages? This makes no sense at all.
It is, however, another example of how the Republicans will push their ideological agenda. We already know about the bills redefining rape and trying to destroy Planned Parenthood. Imagine if they had a Senate and President that would rubber-stamp their bills... We could end up with laws like Saudi Arabia where a woman could get the death penalty for practicing witchcraft
(oh that's right - we used to have those...).
Imagine a President Newt Gingrich (*shudder*)
- child labor laws would disappear (or not be enforced) and there would be more cases like Chuck E. Cheese
- except that they wouldn't be prosecuted.
It would indeed be a dark ugly world. Would it be enough to drive people to revolution? Even if it did, who has all the guns?
Sorry - sitting back and allowing the country to go into the toilet under the misguided notion that we could start over is absurd, misguided, and unrealistic to anyone that's been paying attention. We are already
at war with an ideology that is antithetical to what most Americans believe in. What we need are leaders to push the mindset in the direction it needs to go, and the people in power to make it happen. This will only occur if people get involved and VOTE.
Occupy the voting booth!