Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Political Purgatory

For all of my adult life, I've known exactly where I fit into the political landscape....I was a mildly liberal Democrat who occasionally sided with the Republicans on particular issues. Now I'm like a once-devout Catholic who has lost her faith. I've grown to detest the 21st century version of conservatism but I don't have any respect for modern-day liberalism either.

I hear Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin and I think, "my God, is this collection of loonies what the Republicans have become?" But I watched the Democrats burn themselves at the stake of Barack Obama's near-deity and thought they'd entered a state of mass delusion too. Change? But to what? The Democrats neither knew nor cared. The mantra was all that counted. Bipartisanship? Are you kidding? With the party that impeached our last president over the lowest of crimes and misdemeanors? Hillary? She was too polarizing but, Barack could sing his change tune and sooth the savage Republican beast. In the immortal words of Sarah Palin - "you betcha!'

I see the Tea-Party people fighting with all their might against a benefit as basic as healthcare. "Give me the liberty to have no healthcare or give me death!" Well, yeah, that's very well what no healthcare could mean but by God, if your child or spouse dies because of not having needed treatment, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you sacrificed him for America's freedom. Comforting, huh?

And there they are protesting about Obama's freakin' birth certificate because, you know, he could be a closet terrorist instead of what he really is, a career politician, part of the Chicago machine, which is bad enough.

Somehow, the Republican working class have got on the wrong side of aligning themselves with the bankers, insurers, oil companies and other corporations that would like nothing more than to return to the days of aristocrats and peons. But they avidly support Squire You'll Take Your Pittance And Be Damned Happy To Get It and woe to any union that tries to convince them to stick up for themselves. Trust me, folks, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck aren't going to be down there in the trenches to give you a hand when times are tough. But, hey, in an "every man for himself" world, I guess we look up to that "I've got mine, screw you" attitude.

On the other hand, the sanctimonious liberal Democrats are equally as bad. Mark Morford, who writes for SFGate.com (on-line version of the San Francisco Chronicle), is one of my favorite writers. His style blows me away until he starts getting all superior about American cars (he wouldn't be caught dead in one and if you own an SUV, OMG!) and NASCAR fans (beer-swilling redneck Neanderthals all) and gun-owners (who are all just dying to shoot someone as proof of their machismo, dontcha' know?)

And then there is Katrina Vanden Hoevel, editor of the Nation Magazine, who is happy, oh-so-happy that Evan Bayh is retiring from the Senate because his voting record (77% with the president) is not nearly pure enough. She wants someone like Barbara Boxer or Russ Feingold. Good luck with that in Indiana, Katrina. But who she really wants, she told Joe Scarborough on Morning Joe, is John Mellencamp! Oh, please, God, no. I love Mellencamp but he is the farthest idea of a Senator imaginable. John is an outlaw, a rebel. He's "let the chips fall where they may" outspoken. Buck the system is what he does, not be the system! I don't even want to think about our boy, John, in a suit talking to a lobbyist! And he couldn't make a difference. You know he couldn't. They'd just beat him down until he quit in disgust but hopefully, not as politely as Evan Bayh just did.

During the last primaries, we learned that the Democrats think the merest suggestion of possible racism is beyond the pale but sexism? Not so much. We learned that Donna Brazile believes the Democratic party is no longer about women, the elderly and the working class. The New Democrats are the young, the minorities and the affluent. And the masterminds in the leadership set up the primaries in just that way, with a lot of help from the media and the hip, young liberal bloggers...and they got their way. They shunted us women and seniors and blue collars to the side, making the small caucus states more influential than they should have been, blowing off the results of the big states like Texas, Ohio, California, not counting Michigan and Florida until it was safe to do so for Obama. A lot of us are sitting back while we watch to see what happens now. What has happened so far is that Virginia, Massachusetts and New Jersey have all gone Republican. Hmmm. Maybe those New Democrats aren't as faithful as us traditional types always were. Way to go, Nancy, et al.

So, here I am in political limbo. Now I live for NASCAR weekends rather than election nights.  I was baptized in the Democratic church and attended worship services without fail. I still think politics is important but my belief has been shaken. I'm not sure I'll ever find my way back.