Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Getting Some Political Things Straight

I have admitted that the results of the mid-term elections shook me a bit in my last post, and I certainly wrote a missive against Rep. John Boehner that was tilted more toward my feelings than normal.  I used my time in the Outer Banks to try to relax, watching the waves crash on the shores, and I've been listening to a lot of Suzanne Vega and k.d. lang to put me in a better autumnal head space.  It's all been working for me. 

But today, there were two posts that I read that have helped to point me in a direction that I want to follow.  One is an interview with soon to be former Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida at Crooks and Liars, and the other is a great post by Andrew Sullivan over at The Daily Dish.  These two posts reminded me of precisely what is wrong with politics in the age of Obama.

In the interview with Rep. Grayson, I found it really fascinating to read about the procedural ongoings within the House of Representatives.  The level of obstruction perpetrated by the GOP is not surprising, to be honest, but the fact that it wasn't reported as obstruction in a way that was plain was indeed a failing of the media, and of the Democratic Party.  The lie that was perpetrated was that the Dems were not allowing the GOP to offer meaningful amendments to help improve Democratic legislation:  there were no meaningful amendments.  All were tactics to slow down or kill Democratic legislation.  Was it that hard for Republicans to say that that was their goal to the broader public?  And though I am tempted to call Democrats cowards for not screaming through the rafters about this obstructionism, it seems pointless now.

The Sullivan post breaks down precisely how pundits on the right have used lies to create false narratives about President Obama.  Now, I am the first to admit that I have my problems with how Obama's administration has handled things that I find important, but I've never felt it was necessary to make shit up to prove my points.  Just read Sullivan's post on the claim that Obama doesn't believe in American exceptionalism.  Sullivan provides, in full context, Obama's explanation of our exceptionalism, and then he shows how just a snippet of Obama's original comment has been pushed to create a lie that many on the right now firmly believe to be the truth.  "Death panels" is another great example of a lie.

Legitimate supporters of conservatism deserve better from those they look to for information, or at least I hope they feel that way.  The strength of one's honest political arguments should be enough for all of us to make informed decisions, and we need an honest, thorough and vigorous press to shine the light on shenanigans that help none of us.

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