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If you know me, you know I am a huge fan of disclaimers. In fact, any piece that is solely by me usually comes with some type of disclaimer as I believe in transparency. I believe that before I discuss an issue, I need to tell you what my thought process was right before I decided to type it. Its my idea of personalization and also gives you all a peek into my brain which is of course a national treasure.
So here’s a disclaimer. I’m just as progressive as I’ve ever been. I’m a firm believer in a public option (or potentially single-payer, though I can’t pretend to know too much about it), in green energy investment, in higher tax rates for the wealthiest Americans, for a minimum wage hike, for Phil Robertson to still be suspended and for gun reform.
But over time, I’ve realized that the right wing has seemingly gone off the rails. Now, I won’t say they are crazy. I have far too many friends who disagree with me politically and I’m very against the idea of calling someone with a different opinion (sans conspiracy, tin-foilers) “crazy”. Just because you believe in trickle-down economics doesn’t mean you are insane.
However, we live in a world of quick-140 character sound bites, Facebook memes and knee-jerk reactions. The political climate reflects the national psyche quite well; in fact I think that’s the only thing our politics has been able to represent well. They are just like us and have really bottled it up and distributed to the public efficiently.
The right wing however, continues to frog march its way to a new stratosphere of caricature conservatism. It seems that what’s conservative today, is moderate tomorrow and liberal in the future. Its frustrating really, but as 2013 winds down and I prepare for 2014; I realize that I am more and more becoming someone who is willing to defend relatively centrist (or even right-LEANING) ideology because we have nearly lost the Republican Party.
Now, don’t get me wrong; you won’t see me trying to sell some Third Way bullshit on this blog. You won’t see us turning into a corporatist blog that is sponsored by General Electric and edited by Joe Lieberman.
But look at us right now. Look how much we’ve changed just because the right continues to run rightward.
The Affordable Care Act is better than nothing in both political and actual sense. “Obamacare” is detractors and defenders alike term it, had a borderline horrendous rollout but its seemingly improving by the day as enrollment continues to skyrocket.
However, the ACA is a Republican idea; a market-based law that basically allows hospital executives and the pharmaceutical industry prosper. It does, however, allow more people to be insured which should be the end goal and should allow some plans to be more affordable than they were before. That is good.
We on the left, though, remember how much we had to fight to get the public option (which didn’t make it) into the dialogue when the bill was being written and debated. We had the idea that single payer just wasn’t ready to happen yet, so we went to the next logical step below.
However, we lost that battle. So now, liberals and progressives are all defending a bill that ideologically doesn’t match up to what we want. If a public option is the junior varsity deal to single payer’s varsity; the ACA is basically an intramural squad. But here we are defending it from asinine Republican attacks simply because we are trying to be optimistic that it will pay off down the line with an actual healthcare overhaul.
We are still waiting.
Phil Robertson and A&E
Phil Robertson should’ve been suspended and in an ideal world, A&E would’ve cancelled Duck Dynasty. But we don’t live in an ideal world and A&E will make out like bandits here as they have reinstated the family patriarch and will surely have a ratings supernova when the season premiere has an emotional opening of hugs, tears and prayers.
But just to see how topsy-turvy everything is; how bizarre was this Robertson situation? Conservatives actually DEFENDED an employee’s right to free speech while chastised a corporation for doing what was best for the company. Meanwhile, progressives backed the corporation and was against the employee; which we should have been.
Still though, I never expected to see the day when I actually defended a corporation’s right on Pollitics Today. Hell, I didn’t think I even needed to but thanks to the fecal matter tossing from the right; here I am doing just that. Now though, we know that A&E is spineless, gutless and greedy which is the corporations that we all know and love; right?
I’ve largely stayed away from the Edward Snowden affair because, sadly; I’m not well-informed enough and I’m not bothered. That’s terrible I am admitting that but its true; I kind of assumed we all knew since the Patriot Act that this stuff was happening with the government.
However, regardless of our opinions on the NSA: we should want some type of transparency when it comes to national security. I am firmly of the belief that the NSA is a problem but its far bigger than the White House and overhauling it will take more Congressional action (fat chance).
When it comes to gun reform, we willingly backed Manchin-Toomey (another intramural squad level fix) just because the right was probably inching closer to universal gun ownership. Somehow it seems that we as a nation are closer to that than we are with simple background checks.
We have really made no headway on environmental issues, as Rolling Stone awesomely (I am nominating this for one of the best reads of 2013 by the way) it seems the President has kind of turned a blind eye to it.
We are constantly having to hope that midnight deadlines don’t go because it seems that the government is always on the verge of a shutdown, unemployment benefits are about to be exhausted and a continued resolution is the closest we will get to a major piece of legislation being signed.
Hell, I even had to defend a policy of George W. Bush that Obama was wrongly getting credit for. I am talking about that whole “OBAMA IS GIVING AWAY CELLPHONES” thing which is actually a policy that George W. Bush enhanced.
But here I am; migrating to the center because of a right wing that is about to fall off of the flat Earth that I’m sure some still believe in.