Thursday, November 04, 2010

Let the healing begin?

Can't let the opportunity pass to commend this column on post-Election reconciliation by Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts of the Miami Herald. Beautifully thought, beautifully rendered.


roger o'keefe said...

Get real, Steve. How can you write the things you write about conservatives and the GOP generally and then talk about healing? I guess as you see it, the "healing" would be where the Republicans come completely over to your side, right? This is what I mean about liberals. It is very typical. You're so trapped inside your own view of life that you don't see the hypocrisy of your positions. You can endorse a column like this and it doesn't even occur to you. I bet Pitts himself if you asked him would have the same ideas about what this healing is supposed to consist of; a total capitulation on the part of the GOP. I also like the way he calls the swing toward the right a "temper tantrum". Classic!

Steve Salerno said...

Roger, with all due respect, I think you're reading more into that column than is literally there. As for the blog, I will review my remarks and give the matter some thought. To some degree (if not to a very large degree) we're all imprisoned inside the retaining walls of our own ideologies, are we not?

RevRon's Rants said...

Great article, Steve. Pitts' article reflects the opinion of most outside observers throughout the rest of the world. You know... folks who don't have a stake in one or the other of our political parties. I find it ironic - as do most Europeans - that the self-proclaimed "conservatives" were notably silent while the previous administration / majority ran up trillions of dollars worth of debt to fund an ill-advised war, yet came out screaming at the current administration about the newly-discovered deficit. And they say that LOVE is blind!

Roger, the swing toward the right is not a mandate for right-wing policies, as some would have us believe. Rather, the election was the manifestation of a country's demand for instant gratification, despite the fact that it had clearly been established that healing our economy was going to take a lot more than 2 years, even presupposing a non-petulant legislative minority, committed to something besides partisan opportunism.

I would ask how the country can "get along" when the seniormost individuals in the Republican party have determined that defeating a democratically-elected president should be their primary objective? Perhaps we could begin to get along if we were to abolish political parties altogether, and elect our representatives based upon their individual philosophies and qualities, rather than voting for straw men (and straw women), based purely upon which letter follows their name.

Of course, anyone is free to blame all of society's problems on "the other side," no matter what that "side" might be. Unfortunately, making such a simplistic (and inaccurate) assumption the core of one's own political ideology will only serve to perpetuate the kind of stagnation that could well bring our country to its knees. If "winning" requires that the other side bleeds, what could be a model for good governance is reduced to a schoolyard brawl, albeit on a devastating scale.

Cosmic Connie said...

Good piece by Pitts. I've always liked him.

Regarding the Stewart/Colbert rally, I found it interesting, though not at all surprising, that various right-wing cheerleaders (including one of our former SHAMblog participants) found ways to spin it as a gathering of drug-addled hatemongers.

Roger is correct to a certain degree about ideological blind spots, but as both Steve and Ron point out, we all have 'em. It's far from just a lib problem. Our brains on politix (or on any kind of passionate belief system, such as religious dogma, New-Wage gimmicks, or what have you) don't work so well sometimes.

If you'll indulge me yet again...

Elizabeth said...

A bit of a different perspective from a Soviet dissident/escapee, Dmitry Orlov*:

Who [Americans] are going to vote for doesn't matter: without exception they are going to vote for an American politician: a lawyer or a businessman, someone belongs to one of a few available political categories, all of them misnomers designed to confuse the public.

There are those who call themselves conservatives, and who are in fact not conservatives at all but free market liberals.

There are those who call themselves libertarians, but who either are not libertarians at all, or have somehow forgotten their anarchist-socialist roots, and who are in fact also free market liberals.

Then there are the “liberals,” who are also free market liberals but aspire to being nice, whereas the rest of the free market liberals are nasty. But nobody here wants to be called a “liberal,” because in this topsy-turvy political universe it has become little more than a term of abuse.

It takes a long time to explain this nonsense to visitors from abroad, and when you round out the explanation by saying that these distinctions don't actually matter—because no matter what these politicians call themselves they are all state-capitalists who have been exhibiting quite a few fascist tendencies of late—the visitors inevitably feel that you have wasted their time.

*Thanks, John, for the link.