The Failed Columnist

A personal take on current events - political, social, cultural, educational, scientific, and other subjects.


All you need to know about me is that I have never called anyone a Macaca and I have never denied my heritage!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Congratulations Senator Macaca!!!

The Price We All Pay for Extreme Partisanship.

The nation is in a big big mess under twelve years of Republican rule, so you would think that Democrats will cruise to victory today right? If you think so, then you are living in an imaginary and ideal world, so let me welcome you to the reality that is today’s society.

On Wednesday, November 8, the rest of the nation is going to wake up and wonder why Senator George Allen could be re elected to office after all the Macacas, Niggers, Pork Chops and Tax Filings. But we here in Virginia are not going to be surprised. All across America, the phenomena will be repeated - Republicans will win elections not because they have demonstrated competence, but because some Americans will rather vote for an incompetent, corrupt, out of touch Republican than vote for a Democrat who is competent, qualified and ready to change Washington. Yes, that is the price we have to pay for extreme partisanship today!

If by some ‘miracle,’ Democrats don’t win the House and Senate, there is going to be a lot of soul searching for the Deems and rightly so. However, the larger question should be for the American people – What type of democracy have we become? Have we let party loyalty blind us to the needs of accountability and personal responsibility in public service? If you cannot find the reason (sorry, courage) to throw out Republicans today, when would you ever find one? This is a democracy and the greatest thing is that we get a chance to freely elect our leaders. Thus the people in Washington to an extent are a reflection of who we are or have become as a society. If they are incompetent, it is because we did not elect them based on their competence and qualifications but on narrow ideologies. If our leaders in Washington do not care about being accountable to the public, it is because we keep re electing them over and over again. What exactly then is the motivation for our leaders to change?

The key to extreme partisanship has never been to debate the issues or accentuate the positives; instead it is a slugfest to make your opponent look so bad that the electorate would rather vote for you or not at all given the choice of only two people. That means that if you are a Republican, even if Bush were caught in bed with a live boy and a dead woman, you would still support him, because compared to the Democrats, he is the lesser evil. The conservative strategy was never to get voters to vote for them based on issues; rather it was to demonize Democrats as being such evil that conservatives especially core Conservative Christians could never fathom voting for a Democrat. That means you are only left with two choices – vote Republican or stay at home. It has worked for years, but what is good for the Republican Party has been disastrous to the nation as a whole.

The list of incompetencies and failures of the Republican administration is appalling – Hurricane Katrina, Harriet Miers, the Iraq war, squandering the surplus, reckless government spending and deficits, No Child left Behind flop, Terri Schiavo, the Mark Foley Scandal, Abramoff and Delay corruption scandals and absolute disregard for public opinion. None has ever warranted so much as an investigation by the Republican controlled congress. All these are tolerated because Republicans continue to support Bush and the Republicans no matter how bad things get.

Such a condition guarantees that Republicans who have controlled all branches of government never have to be competent or accountable as long as the choice is between them and the Democrats, they ll always do well. Americans have paid with their pockets, at the pump and some ultimately with their lives in Iraq. In the 1990s, Republicans believed everything Clinton did ought to be investigated, but soon as they get into power, they were suddenly averse to investigations or oversights of any kind. So, we have no checks and balances within our government. The voters on the other hand are still bitterly divided over Red and Blue. The more half of the country complains about Bush and an incompetent administration, the more half of the country blindly rallies to support Bush.

The past election was spent by Republicans virtually demonizing the Democrats – from the female Nancy Pelosi to the black Charley Rangel, these are the new boogie monsters for Conservatives. The rally cry is not that conservatives have any message or have accomplished anything. The message is simply, “how could you vote for a democrat? That is just taboo! Vote us back to power and please do not ask us to be accountable or competent for that matter.” Can you imagine how America would look today at home and abroad if we all went to the polls and voted as independent Americans not as Democrats or Republicans? Can you imagine if we actually went to the polls and voted the most qualified and competent candidate and not based on party or ideological bias? Would that not make our founding fathers proud?

Doomsday prophets like Thomas Friedman, Charles Kuppman, Francis Fukuyama, John Mershearmer are busy predicting that the world is changing technologically and otherwise, the US might wake up to find out it is no longer the world’s superpower. So what do our politicians in Washington do? Of course they are busy crafting legislature to keep America competitive in Science and Technology right? If you thought so, you are wrong. Our politicians have more pressing issues to deal with like flag burning and gay marriage. Tom Delay proclaimed in his farewell speech to the Senate that there is nothing wrong with partisanship. Yet all across the country the effects of the poisonous partisan culture is felt. Flag burning is not an issue that matters to most Americans, but it is a partisan issue that satisfies a few activists. So we become a country that focuses on what is good for a political party or ideology than on what is good for America. That is what partisanship does, it makes us forget that after all is said and done, we are still all Americans!


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