One more delicious piece of irony

The shutdown the GOP engineered over opposition to Obamacare… is having no impact on it. Only discretionary spending is impacted, and the ACA is on the non-discretionary side of the budget.

The sooner the GOP fragments into an extremist right-wing party of teabaggers, and a more moderate right-of-center party with whom it would in principle be possible to actually debate and work and come to agreements and negotiate and get things done, the better off the country will be. And maybe then the Democrats can go back to actually being left of center instead of just right of center and we can get away from the ‘greed is good’ mentality that dominates both parties right now.

I have to laugh at those who call Obama and the Democrats “socialists” and “communists”. In any other functioning democracy on this planet, they would be considered the centrist party, even just a touch on the conservative side. In the UK, President Obama would far more likely be a Conservative than he would be in Labour. The leadership of the GOP simply would not be in power anywhere, because they would be in UKIP and other extremist minority parties.

You want to see actual socialists in action? Look at the Nordic states. And note that Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland reliably land at the very top of just about every measure you can think of for measuring social well-being.

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3 comments so far

  1. Paul Cales on

    I find your arguments compelling and would like to subscribe to your newsletter …

    I disagree with you about one thing. The Tea Party won’t split off from the Republican Party because the Repubs want and need every vote they can get. If there were more than two parties in the U.S. then we would likely see a split, but while it’s just the two they will do whatever it takes to garner half or better of the populace to their side, no matter how extreme their views. This is a problem not just for the Republicans but for the Democrats, too, as you noted. Real liberals have been shut out from winning elections or speaking out by the super-moderate Democrats – which is a damn shame because the most extreme liberals never remotely look as crazy as even moderately-extreme conservatives. Multiple parties – or no parties, as George Washington insisted should be the case – would be infinitely better than the two-party system, and we would never come to ridiculous messes like we have now.

    • trdsf on

      Oh, absolutely. The Founding Fathers explicitly tried to avoid a party system, preferring to imagine a House and Senate where majorities were forged by strength of argument rather than by party discipline. It was probably too much to ask, but it was a beautiful idea.

      I’ve always been a believer in multi-party democracy. It encourages cooperation over confrontation — and there’s only so much mud you can sling at a party that you may be required to work with after the election. I’m also a fan of instant-runoff and proportional representation, where any party that manages to get more than a certain percentage nationally gets represented, even if no individual candidate wins a seat for themselves. Germany’s parliament operates that way; it’s hard to say it’s been a failure, considering their long-term economic and social stability.

      PR would’ve undone the gerrymandered advantage the GOP engineered for themselves in the last election, where they lost the popular vote but maintained their majority anyway. It would allow the teabaggers to run their own party lists instead of hijacking the Republicans and would require them to compromise if they wanted to be part of leadership, it would probably mean that Greens and Libertarians would be represented, and above all else it would mean that the House would better reflect the electorate’s choice.

      Granted, it would take a complete overhaul of the Constitution, and I don’t ant anyone tinkering with it until the looneys are safely out of power. Our priorities for amending the Constitution do not include banning gay marriage and abortions, or declaring English to be the official language of the United States.

    • The Rev Dr Sherwood Forrester on

      Oh, an one other thing — the teabaggers could always hijack the Libertarian Party (which as far as I can tell they mostly have already anyway), which has always lurked on the edges of electoral respectability, and comes pre-loaded with the Rondroids and Rand-droids. That’s far from far-fetched; I think it could happen by the end of the decade, especially if one of their own doesn’t get the GOP nomination in 2016.


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