Friday, March 10, 2006

In Praise of Small Cracks

Having once before praised Leonard Pitts, Jr for several righteous turns of phrase, color me unsurprised that he's done it again. Go get some fabulous ass-kickery before you wander away...

After just listening to Joe Scarborough join the growing ranks of dissenters on the right by saying he's "embarrassed to be a Republican", I'm almost tempted to hope that comments like that and articles like the above are genuine signs that the cracks in the GOP facade of "family values" and "compassionate conservatism", or hell, just "competence", are finally becoming apparent to even the most strident Bush defender.

Naturally, there will always be a contingent of GW Junkies that will never give up the ghost. While I think they'd generally do more for the world as ground beef than as voters, I expect that the worst will be ruthlessly marginalized into obscurity for the pinheads they are. In the meantime, I take a distinct pleasure in seeing the Head Idiots of the GOP called on their bullshit in a highly vociferous and highly visible fashion.

And it's not just for the adolescent rush of self-righteousness (though I will admit I sometimes vacation there; the brochures are so tempting!). It's because I have to hope that this reign of feckless, imbecilic incompetence is about to end. This administration has pissed off far too many of the revered "moderates", (you know, that giant swath of voters in between the staunchly left or right that are hallowed as a candidate's road to glory) to recover without a debilitating limp.

I'm not about to haul out hackneyed pleas of "appealing to the center" since it's been done to death and I don't think anyone gets the concept anyway. Save for a precious few, our elected leaders seem to think this means pandering just inside the envelope of left or right (never mind that the positions they stake are on total non-issues). I don't pretend to be a strategist, but at some point, doesn't this become something of a no-brainer? No, you can't spread democracy across the globe at the end of a gun barrel, and no, you can't dismantle the military and redirect funding to pot farming (my endorsement of the latter notwithstanding). But there are a hell of a lot of options in between those two positions, don't you think?

Why the hell is it so hard to find a single inch of common ground? We can yell and scream about (insert your favorite pundits here), but the Malkins and the Dobsons pretty much just kick back and turn a profit on collective impotent, misdirected rage. They sell what we're buying, and as long as we eat it up like drippy ice cream on a summer day, they're going to keep ranting, keep fundraising, keep organizing.

Of course I'm biased here, I don't pretend otherwise. The radical fundamentalist right in this country have had their little bit of fun, but now it's time to stop. Now it's time for them to crawl out from under the rocks and understand that the spirit of domestic laws and foreign policy should not be punitive. That it is not their job to scold, cajole and bully the rest of us into doing things their way like obedient little lambs. Just because they could be brain-washed and indoctrinated into thinking gay people go to hell and that the earth is only 6,000 years old doesn't mean the rest of us are going to buy it, too. Pounding us over the head with fire and brimstone does not convert us, it repulses us. And whether you like it or not, "we" number in the millions, too.

If Bush and his groupies want to pretend that no one gets to disagree with them because they're right by divine proscription, they're perfectly welcome to do that. Just don't expect to maintain the slimy web of monopoly you've wrapped around our government, because even your own are begging for showers now. Maybe Scarborough will lend you the soap.

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