Thursday, March 10, 2011

In Praise of 21st Century Guerrilla Politics

When the Republican-majority Wisconsin State Senate met in virtual secret last night, sans their Democratic colleagues, and decimated all public-sector unions in the state with one fell swoop, they were practicing 21st Century Guerrilla Politics. And whether you agree or disagree with their position (guess where I fall…), you’ve gotta give `em an A+ for balls and the courage of their convictions – however demented their convictions may be.

Their move will likely (hopefully…) be challenged by the Democrats; this fight isn’t over. But more important than this specific incident is the fact that the Republicans have been practicing Conservative guerrilla politics for years. They began with stealing the 2000 election (with the help of their Conservative cronies on the U.S. Supreme Court) and continued with eight years of George Bush doing whatever the hell he wanted to – including starting two unfunded wars and ratcheting up the federal deficit by billions – while ignoring public protest and disapproval all the way.

Now, while continuing to reject the legitimacy of the Obama administration at every turn, the Republicans are at it again, full-tilt-boogie, emboldened by a small percentage of the voting public who put a few additional Republicans in power on the federal, state and local levels in the 2010 elections. And as the race for 2012 begins in earnest (give me a huge goddamn break: another 2-year election cycle??), Congressional Republicans are working very hard to dismantle virtually all legislative good that’s been accomplished over the past 50 years.

And what are the Democrats doing in response? For the most part, nothing, no doubt taking a cue from our Democratic President, who is still trying to govern by diplomacy, generosity and fair play – which would be admirable if it weren’t for the fact that his opponents are playing as mean and dirty as they possibly can!

It would be great if the Republicans and Democrats could play nicely together, debating and compromising by day, and whoring and drinking together by night, as they used to in the old days. (I think everyone on both sides of the aisle would function better if they were getting laid more regularly, but such are the conse-quences of living in a Born Again Puritan nation.)

However, that isn’t what’s happening. What’s going on is that many people in this country are royally pissed off that there’s a black man in the White House and a small number of Democrats (not including the Presi- dent) are trying to inject a little Liberal flavor into a Republican legislative diet of pure Conservative values.

But, common belief notwithstanding, those with Conservative beliefs do not represent the majority of Americans. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans don’t vote and don’t pay attention to politics, because they think that whatever politicians do, their lives will be made no better and no worse than they are right now. About this the majority is quite wrong. Republican politicians – such as those in Wisconsin, for example – are in a position to make our lives much less pleasant and much more difficult than they are now (hard as that may be to imagine).

Today, President and Mrs. Obama hosted a White House Conference on the dangers and general badness of bullying and the impact it’s having in schools and family neighborhoods across the land – an important and noble undertaking. I sorely wish the President would (1) whip his stupid-ass party into line and (2) either call out the Republicans for their bullying, or, start doing some bullying himself, start playing some 21st century guerrilla politics himself. He must come to terms with the fact that the people who hate him are never going to like him, and the people who love him are growing weary of standing by a President who isn’t standing by them.

Yes, we’ll vote for him in 2012, rather than cast our lot with the Republicans, no matter what he does or doesn’t do – and he knows that. But we deserve better than to be taken for granted. Please stand up for us, Mr. President – whether you do it directly, or sneak up behind them and hit them in the head with a rock. When the opposition plays hardball with you, then you gotta play hardball back. You’re enough of a politician to know that. Where’s your gumption? Where’s your outrage? Where’s your Lincoln? Come on, Mr. President: show us your game!

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