Wednesday, November 18, 2009

All's Fair in Love and Politics

I was going to blog about religion and religious discussions (which I adore and can hardly stand to not participate in). It was going to be witty and erudite and full of amusing anecdotes about duct tape and a brief belief in reincarnation. Aren’t you sad you missed it?

But reading the Post this morning made me want to write about something else. I mean, religion is fascinating and religious beliefs are at the core of so many people’s personalities, but religion is always there.

So instead, I want to tell politicians and political groups to stop being so freaking divisive. I’m so SICK of both sides excoriating their opponents, reaming members of their own parties who disagree on some issues with them. I like moderates. Moderates are closer to the majority of Americans than those who are more far right or far left. Moderates are like combining the two extreme sides and coming up with something that most people can live with.

This stands out to me more with Republicans in the minority in Congress. I’m perfectly willing to admit that that is probably due to my own political leanings. But don’t rail against the tools that the Democrats used to get their way when they were the minority, and then turn around and be perfectly okay with them. I admired the Democrats for filibustering judicial candidates. I thought it was a way to work the system, a way for the minority not to get steamrolled by the majority. I’m okay with Republicans now threatening to filibuster. But when the SAME Senator who previously stood up, declaring that filibustering Democrats were ruining the process when they disagreed with him, stands up and declares that filibustering candidates is perfectly acceptable and indeed should be done? That bothers me. When Republicans throw hissy fits about everything that Democrats say and do, and offer no alternatives, it annoys me. When either side sabotages their own members for disagreeing, it frustrates me. (The recent election in NY comes to mind, as does the threat by MoveOn to fund any Democrat who runs against a Democrat who votes against the health care bill.)

Senators and Representatives should be able to vote in the way they feel is best for their region and the country as a whole, without fearing reprisals by those on the extreme ends. I worry that as politics grows more polarized, less and less will be accomplished by our government bodies. I’m not na├»ve enough to believe that this is a new phenomenon. But the strength and impact of the organizations with the most money who are the most radical is frightening.