“When we look into the abyss, searching for monsters, the abyss looks into us as well.”
Right now we are staring the abyss in the face and there are indeed monsters there. This abyss is the elections this fall. The chance that radical Republicans will take over the House and perhaps the Senate has grown. The affect of constant lies from Fox News and Talk Radio have energized the Republican base. The limp leadership from the White House and from Majority Leader Reid has demoralized the Democratic base.
The passing of many of the Lefts long term wish list items, barely and with tons of ridiculous and galling compromise has created a situation where the Right is fired up and the Left is angry at its own leadership. The conditions are in place for a wave election and the wave is not likely to go the way that we Liberals are going to like in any fashion. . . .
It would be one thing if we didn’t have a clear cut difference between the parties, but it really is very stark. The fact is the Republicans have embraced their inner radical. The proposals that their marquee candidates are espousing would, in any other time, force them into ignominious defeat. Now they are accepted and even pushed by their “Know Nothing” base.
Black is white, up is down in the radical Republican base these days. Somehow the TARP bailout is the fault of the president elected two months after it was enacted and not the sitting president. Somehow tax cuts which have contributed hundreds of billions to the debt and to our deficit need to be preserved and paid for in reductions in social safety net programs.
We are in a situation where the possible Chair of the House Ways and Means committee is pushing a deficit reduction plan that not only does not reduce the deficit it continues and accelerates the transfer of the tax burden from wealth to work. Rep. Paul Ryan is the man who will try to make this a reality if Republicans retake the House this fall.
The craziness goes much further though. Rep. Darrel Issa is already saying that he will unleash a flurry of subpoena’s to investigate the Obama Administration. This is not because there is any evidence of wrong doing (unlike say the last Administration which lied us into a trillion dollars worth of war, captured and tortured people world wide, provided tons of no bid contracts to companies which had direct ties to the VP or outed a CIA covert agent for political reasons). It will be the late 90’s all over, though of course this time the economy is in the crapper and there are no adults left in the Republican party to curb the excesses.
All this is before we get started on the Constitutional nonsense. The radical Republicans are just dying to take a red pen to the founding document of our Republic. The good news here is that the process is so long that even if they manage to pass, say a repeal of the 17th Amendment’s direct election of Senators, getting it past the States will be a near impossible task.
All this leaves out their neo-Hooverite ideas about how to bring the nation out of the worst economic crises it has seen in eight decades. Those of us who are just barely hanging on with unemployment can rest assured that it will end and there will be no support from the Federal government. After all, we’ve got to make sure that folks like Tiger Woods and Wall Street traders don’t have to pay any more in taxes. Putting a roof over our heads or food on the table must take a back seat to them being able to save a few hundred thousand more dollars, at least that is what the radical Republicans think.
After a bad accident we often think “If I had only done X”. Well, we all know what the X is that we have to do this cycle. We have to work our asses off to get Democrats elected. I know there are lot of folks reading this who are rolling their eyes about now. I can’t really blame them, the Democrats have not done a good job with the large majorities we gave them in 2008. They have been weak-kneed and lily-livered in the main. Worse if we help them to hold on to their majorities they are not very likely to learn the lesson that being too moderate, that by being too willing to compromise and being unable to reign in their own more conservative members is the reason they are in trouble.
Yet they are our best, and really only hope. The choice is between them and the denizens of Crazy Town. For all that we would like (desperately love) to have a more affective and liberal Democratic caucus, the way they are now is so much better than what we will get under the Republicans we have to support them. If there were a viable third choice at this point we could probably take it. The thing is this is binary, it is either what we have with the Democrats or what we will suffer if the Republicans take over.
It is time to step up for your country. This is not an intellectual exercise, this cycle is going to decide the course of the nation for the next two years, at least. We don’t have a margin for error. If the Republicans can enact any of their agenda, the consequences will handcuff the next Congress and probably the one after that. They have made it abundantly clear that they will do nothing to for the vast majority of the people. Their idea of liberty is being free to starve in the street because your job was outsourced and you have to compete against 5 other unemployed workers for a part time minimum wage job at Staples.
This is not about holding our noses, though there will be an element of that. This is about keeping bat-shit crazy people from running the country. If we can hold on to majorities in the House and Senate, things will not get actively worse. That is not the case if we lose control.
So, there is the abyss, the monsters are there and they are nuts. They have told us in no uncertain terms what they will do if we let them out. The choice is ours. We can bitch our majorities to death and pay the cost or we can avoid a catastrophe. The way to do that is to get out and work for a campaign. Pick a candidate and do everything you can to make sure that a Democrat wins in your Congressional District or in your Senate race. Talk to all your Democratic and Independent friends and neighbors. Badger them to vote and vote for the only sane group of leaders in this contest.
There is always the chance that we will lose anyway. There is that chance in any election, but if we get out and work, bust our asses for the next 62 days, we can say that we tried to keep the nation from self-destructing under the pressure of a political party that has lost touch with reality and given in to radical reactionary policy. Don’t let the abyss find monsters in you. Act now and for the next two months to prevent your country from falling to those who will not act to help you or the vast majority of the nation.
The floor is yours.
[Photo: Looking into the Abyss (source: What What via Flickr)]