I read and hear a lot these days about how ugly the partisan nature of American politics has become. Republicans really hated Bill Clinton; Democrats really hate the current George Bush; back in the day it was different. I'm not sure it's so different, but I certainly hate George Bush.
People like me are generally blamed for the current state of affairs. Whatever happened to respect from the loyal opposition? I'm at fault, not because I disagree with Bush, but because I hate him. Some are concerned that the rhetoric of hatred is poisoning the American political system.
If this is so, it's not my fault. Place the blame for the current mood of spiteful partisanship where it belongs: with the fucking dickheads of the Republican party.
If you accept the simplistic view that our major parties represent the left and right of the political spectrum, you won't buy my argument here. I don't accept that view. The Democratic party is centrist. Clinton was a centrist ... Gore was a centrist ... Kerry is a centrist. Here in the Bay Area we have plenty of examples of real left-wing politicians, if you want one: my Representative, Barbara Lee, is a leftist. To a lesser extent, so are Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi. But the Democratic Party isn't Barbara Lee ... she is an extremist within the party, which is focused on centrists like John Kerry (and if you can't tell the difference between Kerry and Lee, you're a moron). The Democratic Party is partisan, to be sure, but they are fighting for the center. I don't agree with them, but I recognize their effort.
But the mainstream of the Republican Party IS right wing. As I mentioned when quoting Garrison Keillor yesterday, the Repugs have moved so far to the right you almost get nostalgic for Dick Nixon. Since Reagan became President, the Republicans have been far more to the right than the mainstream of the Democratic Party has ever been to the left, at least since the days of FDR.
And this is the root of today's current partisan ugliness. The Democrats try to placate everyone by placing roots in the center ... like I say, I don't agree with them, but that's what they've done. The Republicans have moved away from the center, though ... they are the reason mainstream American politics today is so bitterly partisan.
Bush and company give me reason to hate them. They lie every day of their lives ... they are the direct cause of the deaths of thousands in Iraq ... their domestic policies are a pile of putrid garbage ... they are trying to remake America in a dangerous fashion. They deserve my hatred, and it's them that causes it, not me.
And I'm sure they'd hate me right back, if they knew I existed. They hate Kerry and Clinton ... one can only imagine how much they'd hate someone who was an actual left-winger. There's a war going on in this country ... now isn't the time to be polite. If you vote for Bush in 2004, you are a fucked-up asshole, plain and simple.