Resist

Resist

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Both sides are NOT equally guilty

Bob Cesca once again nails it.
Yesterday, Senator Jim DeMint, from the politically loopy state of South Carolina, announced that he intends to summarily block any Senate legislation that he finds personally objectionable, regardless of which party introduced the offending bill. This also goes for non-controversial legislation that would have normally blasted through the cooling saucer with unanimous consent.
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It goes without saying this is inexcusable, and it serves to illustrate with striking clarity the lengths to which the Republicans will go to obstruct the Obama agenda and, more importantly, to sabotage this slow growth economic recovery.
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The Democrats by and large have a record of compromise with Republicans, even though their comparative generosity hasn't been reciprocated by the Republicans. The Democrats understand that voters want to see legislative accomplishments and not idle grabassery. As the minority party, the Democrats compromised in the name of getting work done -- but, since leadership changed hands in 2007, the Republicans have filibustered twice as often. And since the inauguration, the Republicans have tried to filibuster nearly every piece of legislation that's brought to the floor for a vote. Middle class tax cuts, small business tax cuts, the healthcare reform bill, the recovery bill, military spending, unemployment benefits. All of it.

So it seems laughable on its face that otherwise smart people are going around these days and repeating this bullshit meme about how "both sides" are to blame for the insanity that's overtaken American politics.
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Regardless of the motivations, an equivalency between "both sides" simply doesn't exist. But by being all-inclusive with criticism, the shotgun effect of the "both sides" meme taints the left with the far-right's exponentially crazier stink. A handful of trespasses on the left become inflated to and conflated with the the group-session-from-Cuckoo's-Nest meltdown happening on the right. Some legislative flailing on the Democratic side becomes incongruously magnified to the size of the all-out strangling of the U.S. Senate by the Republicans. To employ a metaphor here, I certainly hope that if I'm ticketed for rolling through some stop signs along an abandoned road, I'm not lumped in with drunken drivers who t-bone school buses filled with children. Sure, everyone breaks the law sometimes, but there are, of course, various levels of malfeasance -- levels that are deserving of different degrees of punishment and scorn.
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While it's our duty as citizens to hold the government accountable, it's also necessary to operate within the bounds of reality when levying blame for a lack of sanity, or a lack of civility, or a lack of decent legislation. Ask yourself whether Republican obstructionism and contradictions are equally matched on the Democratic side. If the answer is "no," then decide which party ought to be appropriately spanked. Meanwhile, anyone who continues to employ the "both sides" meme, especially given the DeMint stunt, needs to seriously reevaluate their judgment criteria and wise up.

Exactly right.

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