I know we've had dozens of diaries that fall into the "Obama rox!" and "Obama sux!" categories with a few people in between telling everyone to be realists. You can get your blood pressure up about chained CPI and others can marvel at Obama's latest match of 11th dimensional chess. We will also hear the centrists chime in every once and again, telling us that the whole system is filled with politicians who need to "come together" while drinking Starbucks. From my vantage point, the whole theater has been quite entertaining.
Hey, at least it's better than civil war.
American civilization is pretty sturdy, and this should be a sign to all of us that our union is actually quite strong. I know, that seems counter intuitive. Wouldn't a strong union mean that everyone at least agrees on the basics, and while they have different philosophical views on this, that, or the other, they at least have a basic set of ideas and morals that would never let them sink below a certain point? Nope. That's not human. We're a varied species, and natural selection needs quite a bit of variation to work its magic. In any given human population of sufficient size, you are going to have some wild swings of ideology and psychology. That's to be expected.
What the Republicans are doing is something that they actually believe in, and their base are just as fanatical to fiddle as Rome burns. They truly think not helping your fellow man materially will make them stronger. Many of you believe all entitlement spending must remain sacrosanct because to cut it would harm people in need. Both sides feel the other must be destroyed so that their ideology can prevail. Now, I think the Right is far more militant than the Left in trying to spread their values; there are many on this site that wish Republicans came to their senses about basic morality and would come back into the fold. The urge for humans to try and fight for homogeneity of their own ideas in a culture can be pointed at many times in human history: with chilling results.
Any other country would be having a civil war. If this were a poorer country with less of a tradition of civil government, Far right Christian pastors would be evangelizing at their pulpits for their liberal enemies to be wiped out. Militias would form. We'd have roaming bands of marauders making use of the chaos to rape and pillage. We'd have corrupt regional lords making backroom alliances, with the peasants fleeing for safety wherever they could find it. Once the first casualties come in, the hatred and enmity would crescendo into all out conflict. The authoritarians and their libertine enemies would meet on the field of battle.
Instead, we have a fairly polite country where a Republican or Tea Partier breaking decorum is shocking and the idea that a politician would go on an ideological crusade gets them labeled as a "Teahadist" despite the fact they're simply representing their crazy constituents. Compare this to South Korea, where fist fights occur weekly in the lower house, or the Ivory Coast where winning an election doesn't mean you take office, it means that you will have to go toe to toe with the losers' army. Japan has kicked out 3 Prime Ministers within the space of a year. The soon-to-be head of the Chinese Communist Parties' wife assassinated a British businessman because she's evil, and Goldman Sachs has conquered Southern Europe. It could be worse. Instead of conquering your neighbors land and burning his farms, you gerrymander. Instead of forcing your enemies to convert to your religion or die, you create an organization to donate to political candidates to keep the gays from ruining Christmas.
All in all, I think we have plenty to be thankful for, and I look forward to watching everyone back at each others' throats, politely of course, in two months.