13 March 2011
i am in awe of the GOP
i am in awe of the GOP, for mostly two reasons. first is their ability to consistently get people to vote against their own interests. second is their ability to control the debate and get their way, even when in the minority.
the recent events in Wisconsin and Michigan highlight recent brazen attempts at power grabs and attacks on democrats' power bases that underscore what i see as outright contempt for the idea of balancing forces and governing for the people.
it's an amazing Big Lie in action. during GW Bush's two terms, i was amazed at how the GOP could sell the idea that running huge deficits was actually good for the economy. right around the day Obama took office, we saw a complete 180 on how deficits are destroying the economy. to the surprise of no one (i hope), the GOP turned their attention to slashing the budgets of items that run counter to GOP ideology.
in Wisconsin, take that a step further to weaken democratic power bases, such as organized labor. heck, in this instance, be sure to exclude organized labor that voted for you (police and fire unions). that this is political payback and an attack should be obvious, yet the GOP still (mostly) frames the debate that this is about balancing budgets.
there's a lot of noise being made by a large number of people who see through all this and i'm even hearing talk of an illegal, general strike in Wisconsin. side note: apparently this might include the fire fighting unions, at which point firefighters should prepare to have their own collective bargaining rights eliminated.
despite the noise, and even in the event that Governor Walker is eventually removed from or voted out of office, i see this as the opening salvo in a sustained and eventually successful effort by the GOP to become the dominant party for decades.
if the GOP can succeed in destroying the fundraising bases of the dems, and if the GOP can succeed in ensuring that public education is ineffective, and if the GOP can continue succeeding in those two things of which i am in awe... what is left to stop the GOP?
imho, it can only be a splintering of the party. though i hear grumblings within the GOP about elected tea party officials maybe over-reaching, i'm not yet seeing anything resembling a parental smackdown.
the election of Obama left me hopeful, though that hope has all but faded. i see his election as the last hurrah of the liberal left (side note: well done to the GOP for painting the words "liberal" and "social" in such a negative light), an earth-moving event for which calls of "general strike" are mere aftershocks.
maybe i'm too soon declaring the patient dead, but i fear the best days of the United States are behind it.