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How"s that Tea Party thing workin' out for ya?
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Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 11536
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a profound difference between having careful, or conservative instincts, and being batshit crazy. The former might lead, with sane people, to sensible compromises between those on the right and those on the left who originally sympathized with the Occupy movement, that whittle away at some of the thicket of useless or low-efficiency Federal programs. Maybe even some reform to the tax code to eliminate low value deductions.

Most of my scorn is reserved for those who argued that we should put amateurs, and particularly amateurs that had shown themselves in large numbers to be cranks, in charge of government. The idea that government is less complicated than say, the oil industry, is simply nuts. Each law that was passed, at any level of government, was passed because a group of people lobbied for it. Nearly all of those laws represented some compromise that captured areas of consensus. Many of those laws have outlived their usefulness and need to be repealed or amended. But that takes lots and lots of work. When you put amateurs in government, and you institutionalize it with term limits, they have a strong motive to paper over problems for the duration of their term, while they seek higher office, rather than fix the problems. Fixing problems with legislation requires devotion to a specific area--maybe we could use health care as an example. It requires getting to know the existing legislation, and those on both sides of the issues. It requires something rather rare on this forum--empathetic listening, where you engage people that you may not agree completely with, to try to understand the areas where you may be able to reach compromise with them.

Until Karl Rove recruited social conservatives, and until Dick Armey hijacked the Tea Party movement, that was pretty much how government worked. Slow by design, small steps. But the decision was made, and some say it began with Rush Limbaugh, to make every issue one that galvanized the base, and rule from the fringe rather than the middle. That attitude, amateurs, and the election of batshit Tea baggers, have put us in a situation where the House has passed 40 bills trying to repeal the ACA, and is willing to shut down government to try to get a result that they failed to achieve legislatively and electorally. In the process, they have recruited the bigots and the social conservatives, and offended women, children, and minorities. It has pretty much destroyed the conservative brand--but it brought back Ayn Rand from the obscurity she so richly deserved.
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