... A year before this next election in the U.S., the common space required for civil debate and civilized disagreement has shrivelled to a very thin sliver of ground. Politics requires a minimum of shared assumptions. To compete you have to be playing the same game: you can't thwack the ball back and forth if one of you thinks he's playing baseball and the other fellow thinks he's playing badminton. Likewise, if you want to discuss the best way forward in the war on terror, you can't do that if the guy you're talking to doesn't believe there is a war on terror, only a racket cooked up by the Bushitler and the rest of the Halliburton stooges as a pretext to tear up the constitution.There is much more; read it ALL. And pray for your country...
Americans do not agree on the basic meaning of the last seven years. If you drive around an Ivy League college town -- home to the nation's best and brightest, allegedly -- you notice a wide range of bumper stickers, from the anticipatory ("01/20/09" -- the day of liberation from the Bush tyranny) to the profane ("Buck Fush") to the myopically self-indulgent ("Regime Change Begins At Home") to the exhibitionist paranoid ("9/11 Was An Inside Job"). Let's assume, as polls suggest, that next year's presidential election is pretty open: might be a Democrat, might be a Republican. Suppose it's another 50/50 election with a narrow GOP victory dependent on the electoral college votes of one closely divided state. It's not hard to foresee those stickered Dems concluding that the system has now been entirely delegitimized.
Well, it takes two to have a cold civil war. The right must be doing some of this stuff, too, surely? Up to a point. But for the most part they either go along, or secede from the system -- they home-school, turn to talk radio and the Internet, read Christian publishers' books that shift millions of copies without ever showing up on a New York Times bestsellers list. The established institutions of the state remain under the monolithic control of forces that ceaselessly applaud themselves for being terrifically iconoclastic:
Hollywood's latest war movie? Rendition. Oh, as in the same old song?
A college kid writes a four-word editorial in a campus newspaper -- "Taser this: F--k Bush" -- and the Denver Post hails him as "the future of journalism. Smart. Confident. Audacious." Anyone audacious enough to write "F--k Hillary" or "F--k Obama" at a college paper? Or would the Muse of Confident Smarts refer you to the relevant portions of the hate-speech code?
Speaking of which, Columbia University won't allow U.S. military recruiters on campus because "Don't ask, don't tell" discriminates against homosexuals, but it will invite Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose government beheads you if they think you're bebottoming.
Steyn has nailed it; we are a nation which has become so polarized--thanks to 6 years of non-stop partisan vitriol from Reid, Pelosi, Schumer, the Nutroots, the media, et. al.--that the scorched earth campaign has left very little room for reconciliation. The closest thing to that I have seen to a gesture of goodwill in several years was Diane Feinstein's intervention on behalf of Judge Southwick--and against her party's leadership--which enabled the embattled judge to be confirmed for the Fifth Circuit seat he has been so long denied by Reid, Schumer, Leahy, and the big money special interests pulling their strings. I also note that Feinstein was the only California Senator standing by the President and the Governator today. The hysterical Barbara Boxer was a no-show.
Will this small olive branch be enough? I seriously doubt it. Feinstein will probably be roasted alive for this by the Nutroots--and will no doubt be "encouraged" to do something public soon to prove her steadfast partisanship and hatred for all things Republican. Otherwise those MoveOn.org checks or donations from Chinese dishwashers might stop pouring in...
And so we have stalemate in what is supposed to be the people's government. It has been co-opted by the ambitions of one party; ambitions which exceed that party's desire for the success and continued position of the United States and the Constitution its members are sworn to uphold.
I personally believe we are in the middle of our the biggest crisis in our government since the years just before the Civil War. It is hard to disagree with Steyn that we may already be too far gone. Is it salvageable? Only if there are more DiFi's to be found in the majority and only if the scorched earth power brokers like the Clintons and George Soros give the fast hook to the Reids, Schumers, Pelosis, Murthas, Durbins, Leahys, and Boxers--who have stolen the Democrat party, and who seem determined to take America down with it.