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Cross-posted at The American Way.

Why is it so difficult to have political conversations? I feel stuck in a box here. I am trying to be non-partisan, trying to create dialogue, trying to create a sense of urgency around the state of our political process, but I feel pegged in. I was told just today that "When you get the right and left talking, the Right caves into the Left and calls it 'compromise'." In this, I feel pegged as a "leftie" just for wanting to start dialogue. This is very frustrating.

Look at our political system. Less than two weeks ago, our federal government nearly shutdown. This over a budget bill that should have passed last year (we are six months into this fiscal year). I am not interested in the specifics of who came out looking better on this deal. I am frustrated that our political process is so broken.

According to a Washington Post Poll, approximately two-thirds of Americans felt that a shutdown of the federal government would have been a bad thing. And yet, our government continues to froth and foam in the news about partisan issues ... and get nothing done. There is a serious problem here.

Much of what has been written about the aftermath of the shutdown focuses on who came out looking better. Really?!? Who looks better?!? I say they all look bad. I don't want to hear lefties whining about rightwing obstructionism. If the left were doing more for the middle class and less for Wall Street, then the right-wing would have no leg to stand on with the vast majority of voters. I don't want to hear the rightwing whine about left-wing overreach particularly with the overreach of the GOP during the first the Bush regime. Both parties are asleep at the wheel and failing to address the most serious issues facing Americans: job creation, ongoing wars, serious poverty, etc.

Originally posted to joshuacook on Tue Apr 19, 2011 at 11:16 PM PDT.

Also republished by oo.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The advent of popular government (0+ / 0-)

    (government by the people) renders political parties somewhat anachronistic.  At a minimum, they are uncertain about their purpose.  If people know what they want accomplished, they don't need political parties to mediate between them and the public officials they elect.
    However, hardly anyone in an organization wants to be declared irrelevant.  So, the political parties have a common cause with other private corporations and public officials in not wanting to be subject to the public.
    There's a reason why "public" is almost a dirty word.  The inhabitants of traditional power centers don't want to acknowledge the change that was wrought by the realization of universal suffrage.  Indeed, the reluctance is so great that even the nature of civil rights is disguised.  We are supposed to believe that civil rights are simply recognized human rights when, in fact, the real issue is what should more properly be called civic or citizen obligations.  To wit:

    serving on juries
    holding public office
    drafting laws
    providing material support
    enforcing the law

    Indeed, the denial goes so far as the redefine citizenship as a privilege, including the evasion of  providing material support (paying taxes).  Freeloaders are preferred to people meddling in public affairs.

    Government of the people and government for the people aren't very different.  One is just, presumably, more punitive than the other.  Government by the people, on the other hand, presents a sea change.  It not only locates the power point elsewhere; it redefines the meaning of "of" and "for."  "Of" shifts from imposition to ownership and "for" shifts from authority to agency or stewardship. When they are governed by the people, public servants are to cater to, not order the people around.

    by hannah on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 02:19:00 AM PDT

  •  So you don't like legitimate criticism of the (0+ / 0-)


    You don't like "being partisan"...

    What are you doing on a blog dedicated to electing more and better Democrats?

    "This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it." -- Keith Olbermann

    by allergywoman on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 02:54:47 AM PDT

  •  Simplistic and superficial (0+ / 0-)

    I doubt the value of any analysis that starts by presuming that the Democratic Party is synonymous with "the left".

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