Thursday, April 07, 2011

Where To From Here?

Politics has always been about preaching fear to some extent, but it accelerated to fever pitch after 9/11 and has never let up since then. It is almost entirely about making you afraid today. The Republicans have pretty much worn out making you afraid of terrorists, so now they are making you afraid of government; a pretty neat trick, since they want to be the government that they are making you afraid of.

Democrats are doing what they’ve been doing since I can remember, but now are just screaming at the top of their lungs to make you afraid of Republicans. You cannot let the Republicans get into control because they are absolute nutjobs and will just destroy everything in a heartbeat. And electing Democrats back into office won’t solve anything, because all of the bad things Republicans do are unrecoverable mistakes. Democrats are never able to undo any of the disasters that Republicans create.

Democrats were horrified that Medicare Part D was created with such a bloated cost because it specifically excluded the government being able to negotiate prices with the drug companies, but when they gained control of Congress they made no attempt to change that feature of Medicare Part D. Even in the process of passing the “most historic health care reform in several generations” they specifically excluded consideration of making that change to Medicare Part D.

Republicans passed the Patriot Act and Democrats have made not the slightest attempt to repeal that act. When a small minority in Congress tried to weaken the Patriot Act, they were challenged by the Democratic majority and by the Democratic President and the measure failed.

Republicans passed the Military Commissions Act and Democrats have made no effort to repeal any part of that act.

Democrats were appalled at the Bush tax cuts and the deficits that resulted from those cuts, and after four full years in control of Congress without making the slightest effort to reverse those tax cuts, they proceeded to extend those tax cuts for two more years.

Maybe Republicans put up roadblocks, and maybe they could have prevented Democrats from accomplishing some of these things, but we’ll never know because Democrats did not even give the voters who elected them the reward of making any attempt at those reforms.

There is certainly some validity to being concerned about electing Republicans, especially Republicans of the Tea Party variety, but I cannot see how much good it has done us to elect Democrats. We have the “health care reform” if and when it ever goes into effect and if it actually turns out to be beneficial, but meanwhile we have health insurance costs that have increased by half since that reform. We still have unending war, government spying on citizens, “too big to fail” hanging over our heads, an economy perched on the edge of a cliff, half measures toward economic regulation reform, and a government virtually unable to function.

So where do we go from here?

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