I can’t remember when exactly it happened, but it was early in my first year of my undergrad that I became increasingly involved in following politics. I found myself on the left side of the spectrum and have stayed there ever since. I’m not about to move either, but that’s a bit besides the point. For seven years now I’ve noticed two key distinguishing features of politics in the US.
1. Many Republicans and people on the right say some of the most shockingly dumb things that could be said. And what is worse is that many of their supporters eat it up. This is not a hard and fast description, but it’s pretty damn accurate. A whole book could easily be written documenting America’s infatuation with the “gut” instead of the head and shunning higher education and critical thinking while demonizing their opponents.
2. The Left and Democrats seem completely incapable of defending themselves and deconstructing the arguments of their opponents. The Left has its idiots as well, but they are not nearly as loud.
As it stands, Democrats are in a well-known tight spot this year. The midterm elections of a new president are known to be difficult for the party in power and history shows that. Combine this fact that it is the Democrats in power in a terrible economy, who lack a spine, and the Republicans, who say whatever the hell they want regardless of the truth, and it seems that there is going to be a significant number of seats changing hands. But why should this be?
If you’ve followed the goings-on in the political world you are well aware of the Tea Party. This over-inflated, nebulous political group is incredibly ridiculous. They bounce back and forth on their stances, are amazingly puerile, and clearly have no idea what they stand for. They create strawman arguments, look up to figures such as Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Dick Army. They are funded by incredibly conservative businessmen such as the Koch brothers. They also seek to rewrite the history of America and wish to elevate white people even higher than they are now (I’m white, for the record). They also lie… a lot.
All of these are things that the GOP leadership is carefully trying to rein in to their advantage — and yes, they lie as well. One of their favorite phrases is the, “American people think X,” even when polls show clearly the opposite. But that pales in comparison so many of the other statements that are said. Most recently has been Newt Gingrich’s jaw-dropping idiocy: What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?” Gingrich asks. “That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.
That’s quite amazing, isn’t it? How does anyone respond to that? Either Gingrich is incredibly fucking stupid or incredibly wicked as this statement is only going to appeal to what is essentially the racist element of America. But this is just a single step in the Right’s march toward complete, resounding asininity. Most of the time, so many of their claims are really just attempts to ignite irrational emotions against their political opponents. When examined, they quickly break down and their fallacies should be seized upon by the Democrats. These are issues with great big targets painted on them. In fact, we should analyze one right now.
Take Sharron Angle. She’s running for Senate in Nevada, which also happens to be the same seat held by the Senate leader Harry Reid. I have my qualms with Reid (he’s a pussy, for one), but he’s done a fair amount of good; Angle is also batshit crazy. I’m sure anyone who has followed the news in the past several months is well aware of her radical statements. A good one is her call for “Second amendment remedies” if the election does not go her way. Recently she reaffirmed this view, which is incredibly scary. For someone who constantly invokes the US Constitution, she certainly seems to enjoy shitting all over it. Really, think about that:
If the country does not vote for the GOP and Tea Party, then those voters who did not get what they want should look to their guns. They should literally overturn a democratically decided election by force of arms. Granted, that isn’t likely to happen, although the idea that anyone should advocate this is clearly, clearly, clearly un-American. Reid should be jumping on this. He should be holding this up on a sign to highlight how dangerous she and her ilk are to the Union. The Right often yells about the Left being unAmerican, but if this doesn’t turn that oft-stated notion on its head, what does?
This is what I’ve been talking about when it comes to the easy hits that Democrats have when it comes to their opponents. It is an example such as the Angle comment that should be the reason why Democrats should be riding high still on their win in 2008. This does not even begin to bring up the fact that the Obama administration has actually achieved a number of legislative victories. Despite the somewhat watered-down nature of the bills they’ve passed, they have been generally successful and busy despite the political climate. To campaign on what they’ve accomplished should be obvious, but they aren’t doing it. To campaign on the sheer insanity of their opponents is easy and not even dirty, but they aren’t doing it. They’re doing the same thing they’ve done for so very long, but it’s those who are the most lionhearted that are doing so well where other, more centrist candidates are struggling. I sincerely hope that they do get their act together, because a slogan of not giving the keys back isn’t going to work.
You can’t make an argument on sucking less than the other guy.