Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Follow Up Post to Who Is More Out Of Touch

In follow up to my post - Who's More Out of Touch? - I think Pedro sums it up well

Basically, we have two parties right now in America: one that looks out for the interests of rich people, and one that looks out for the interests of the rich people who like to think of themselves as looking out for the interests of poor people.

And, also a comment left in reply to Pedro by Bilwick:

I agree with comedian Colin Quinn, a lifelong Democrat, explaining to his show-biz-lib friends why he was supported George Bush: "Because the fascism of the Right is at least out in the open."

Whether you are liberal or conservative, if you are in the middle, your respective parties have been taken over by a fringe that is intolerant of dissent.

Yes, the Democrats have become obstructionists in the Congress. So have the Republicans. Democrats have been shut out of all forms of the legislative process. Republicans meet behind closed doors to draw up legislation and block Democrats from even adding amendments to bills. In return, Democrats block any movement of significant legislation through the house or senate.

30 years ago, legislators of both parties would dine together after a day of debating each other on the floor. While they had partisan disagreements, they could still act cordially to each other off the floor and form friendships that would help them cooperate with the opposition.

Now, we are in the world of "K-Street projects" and if a republican legislator is seen in the company of a Democrat or vice versa, they are considered disloyal and traitors to their party.

We need to demand more of our elected officials. Sometimes we will have to be happy with only getting 50% of what we want in order to get anything at all. This partisan divide serves to the benefit of none except the few who use it to raise money and push fascist ideas of either extreme.


Pedro said...


This isn't "centrism." This is just common sense and sanity. You are absolutely correct.

So the question is, what can we do to turn this trend around? One of the first steps, I think, is what you identified earlier -- that is, we need to get rid of the right for politicians to choose their own voters (gerrymandering).

Complacent and unaccountable politicians are bad politicians. They settle into whatever makes their own position cushier. For the Republicans, that means they have sold out their principles, their dignity, and their democratic sensibilities. For the Democrats, that means they refuse to offer solutions and instead cater to ideologues. And both of them feed off each other.

But politicians who are held accountable act differently.

Just my take. Pedro

Bob said...

Would a third party for the middle 40% of America be the solution? Would it be possible? Could a McCain-Leiberman ticket be the answer?

tommy said...

30 years ago the democrats had a very solid conservative wing of the party, giving a voice and power to those that weren't on the edges. I don't know why, or how that changed (I can present theories but that's all they are) but the movement of that party away from tolerating its conservative element has cost the dems the majority they enjoyed for so long, and it's left a lot of the country without a voice they trust.

Dingo said...

Tommy - The split in the democratic party started in the 60's with LBJ and the civil rights movement. Dems in the south used to be the segregationist even though they also were a little bit more for the working man than the upper class. In the south, they used to lynch Republicans right along side blacks, because Republicans were the ones to end slavery. The first elected African American to congress was a Republican.

But as the civil rights movement came along, Democrats in the south started migrating towards Republicanism and Republicans started becoming Democrats. It is not really an issue of toleration. you really can't be pro-civil rights and pro-segregation at the same time. You have to choose one or the other. Both parties are vastly different than what they were 100 years ago.

Bob - we would all love to see a third party, but I doubt even McCain or Lieberman are daring enough to branch out even though it would be a winner.

Dingo said...

Following up on Bob's comment - You really have to have some respect for the brass pair that Sharon had for quitting Lakude. It is a little bit different with a parliament than our two party system, but it still takes a lot of balls.