||[Nov. 6th, 2012|10:37 pm]
It looks like Obama won.|
There are times when I'd consider Mitt Romney a decent President. These are not those times.
I mean no disrespect to Republicans - there are good people in the Republican Party. But their party has been taken over by people who are too willing to forgo true leadership.
The Republicans refuse to raise taxes - period. It's good to fight for the lowest taxes possible; it's not good to take a tax cut that threw us from surplus to deficit, and refuse to even allow that tax cut to expire, because that would be "higher taxes". That's not fiscal conservativism... sure, allowing a few years of deficits, just in case economic growth wipes 'em out, that's reasonable. Deficits as far as the eye can see? It's time to bite the bullet and admit the tax cuts were a bust.
The Republicans allowed people to question the President's birth certificate and many actively encouraged it. They allowed people to think that maybe the United States was so stupid, so incompetent, that they couldn't even verify the citizenship of a man about to ascend to the highest office of the land. Obama had a passport - that means his birth certificate was verified. He was on the Foreign Relations committee which means he had a full background check. His birth place was known with certainty. To allow people to call that into question, to allow such rampant, insane distrust of the government to fester is not ordinary behavior.
The Republicans talked about "death panels" - the cost saving panel can't refuse or ration care; but they continued to insist there were death panels anyway. There are lies that politicians tell, and really nasty lies that politicians tell - that's part of the game. But come on - death panels? Think about the distrust one is seeding if one wants one's followers to believe such a thing!
The Republicans in Congress put the full faith and credit of the United States at risk. Now, a lot of people have threatened to hold back on voting for debt limit increases in the past, hoping to apply some pressure to do things. That's part of the game too. But for an entire party to drag it down to the last couple of days, insisting that they were willing to "shoot the hostage" if their demands weren't met? That's beyond ordinary politics.
There are a lot of things I don't like about the Republicans. There are a lot of things I would hate them for doing. But those are political differences. Those are things good people of good mind, heart, and spirit can argue about in good faith. But there are too many things they've done that are not just points of disagreement.
I want a Republican Party that will occasionally tell vicious lies, that will occasionally commit awful grandstanding, that will be intransigent on ridiculous things to get their way - but will do so with honor and, well, sanity.
For the sake of balance, I'll grant you that the Democrats occasionally tell ridiculous lies, commit awful grandstanding, and are sometimes intransigent on ridiculous things to get their way. That is part of the process, part of the game. It's not a pretty part of the game, but it's part of the game. But they haven't questioned that maybe the President was illegitimately elected. They haven't spread lies as hideous as "death panels"; they are willing to compromise in reasonable ways; they haven't sown similar amounts of mistrust in the government and their opponents, even at their nastiest.
I hope that Obama's re-election changes things, and starts to move them back to the way they used to be. Just as nasty, just as fiercely opposed, but with an acknowledgement that we're all on the same side, that we all want what's best, even when we disagree on what that might be.