We, who still believe in America's possibilities must fight hateful politics and not give in to them!
by Charlie Leck
Paul Krugman came right out and said it! Listen up!
“For if you care about America’s future, you can’t be happy as extremists take full control of one of our two great political parties.” [Paul Krugman: Going to Extreme, 25 March 2010]
His column about this subject is worth a careful reading.
It’s especially interesting to read his doubt about the Republican claims that America didn’t want this health care reform. You’ll understand, after you read Krugman’s explanation, that the truth is that the country is about evenly split on this matter and that puts Obama on safer ground than you might think. It’s just that a very large percent of those unhappy with the recent bill come from a group within the nation very much like I – who simply wanted and hoped for much, much more than we got. Do you think we’re going to turn against Obama or the Democratic Party in a national election? Of course we’re not!
It puts Republicans on a much more even playing field than we might think in this fall’s Congressional elections.
If, for a moment, you think the Republican Party has not been recaptured by Karl Rove and his methodology, you haven’t been watching the news. Rove has become one of the frequently interviewed talking heads about the coming election. And look at the Rovian way leaders in the party like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are talking these days.
“What has been really striking has been the eliminationist rhetoric of the G.O.P., coming not from some radical fringe but from the party’s leaders. John Boehner, the House minority leader, declared that the passage of health reform was “Armageddon.” The Republican National Committee put out a fund-raising appeal that included a picture of Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, surrounded by flames, while the committee’s chairman declared that it was time to put Ms. Pelosi on “the firing line.” And Sarah Palin put out a map literally putting Democratic lawmakers in the cross hairs of a rifle sight.
“All of this goes far beyond politics as usual. Democrats had a lot of harsh things to say about former President George W. Bush — but you’ll search in vain for anything comparably menacing, anything that even hinted at an appeal to violence, from members of Congress, let alone senior party officials.” [Paul Krugman: Going to Extreme, 25 March 2010]
Of course, what Democrats and other reasonable people are hoping is that there will be a voter backlash against such harsh, mean and untruthful tactics by Republicans. We live in a crazed nation right now, however, and one just doesn’t know what will happen. I’ve lost a lot of my faith in my nation, but not so much so that I really believe there is a possibility it would turn to someone like Sarah Palin for leadership.
Those of us who really love America, and believe it ought to be a nation of fairness to all people, will need to rally behind President Obama this summer and fall and contribute mightily to those good candidates who will be threatened by scurrilous Republican attacks. In other words, we must reject politics of hate.