Monday, October 30, 2006

Whither Republicans? ...

I had a genuine "Hmmm ..." moment this morning.

I was reading my daily blogs and ran across this post by Henry, a man with whom I went to school. He's a Republican (but I like him anyway! - insert rim shot here) and is involved in Illinois politics, not as a day job but as a concerned citizen. And good for him. Too many people don't care enough to go to the polls, let alone roll up their sleeves and get involved in the more daily grind.

So though he's talking about the race for Illinois governor, not the elections that will reshape the national political landscape, I found it fascinating that, more than a week before the election, he's writing about what should have been done differently, conceding defeat before the finish line is even in sight.

I find it interesting not in a gleeful "They're giving up!" way, but because in this ever-cynical political age we live in, I wonder if it's some form of psychological manipulation. I read an interesting story in the Washington Post this morning about Karl Rove and his legacy, depending on the outcome of the mid-term election.

"... it is a mark of the particular place Rove holds in the Washington psyche that even the most exuberant Democrats are wondering why he seems so confident.

There are two questions. Is Rove just acting cocky as a way of lifting GOP morale, or does he really believe it? And, if the latter, is he deluding himself, or does he once again know something that Democrats do not?" writes Michael Abramowitz, wondering if the administration has Osama bin Laden in a freezer and will trot him out the day before the election.

In a perfect world, campaigns would be up-front affairs, about issues and not about personal attacks, and we the people would feel that politicians were really striving to make the world a better place and not engaging in psychological warfare. The fact that I question Henry's motives in his latest post somewhat saddens me, that the gaping political divide has left even friends leery of each others' motives.

And it also saddens me that in eight days, no matter which party controls all or part of Congress, that no one will really have won. If the Democrats wrest control away from the Republicans, I do believe they'll stall as much of Bush's agenda as possible. And if the Republicans manage to hold on to control, the devisiveness in this country will only continue to grow. Not that a Democratic Congress will instantly heal all the wounds that have festered while the Republicans had a stranglehold on the government. The country isn't going to gather around a national campfire and sing "Kumbaya." Democrats, I'm sure, will gloat.

We as a country face enormous problems, and yet, all I see on TV are snarky commercials that aren't far removed from schoolyard taunts, millions of ad dollars being spent on electronic raspberries that could be put to much, much better use.

I hope I'm not altogether naive in hoping that someone, on at least one side of the aisle, will offer an olive branch and get this country back on track.


Blogger Dave said...

The last time this country was this divided - well, it actually wasn't that long ago. It was September 10, 2001. You saw what it took to unite us, and even that didn't last that long. I fear it may take something even worse for us to finally put away our petty bullshit and get down to real business. I hope I'm wrong. And, by the way, I think Beth has, probably unwittingly, pinpointed one reason why "The West Wing" was so popular, even among a lot of Republicans who couldn't stand the show's politics. It was because, for the most part, the different sides acted civil toward each other as if what they were doing was - slap! - serious business. Even the Alan Alda-Jimmy Smits fake presidential campaign was much more about issues than personalities.

In other words, "West Wing" was, in the end, a fantasy. Science fiction, even. Especially when Allison Janney shot lasers out of her eyes to zap a smartassed reporter in the briefing room.

Verification word: lzhheck

8:00 AM  
Blogger Marc said...

I for one welcome our alien robot overlords (who should have been here by now).

11:22 AM  

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