Sunday, November 8, 2015


It appears my post on why I’m not about to vote for a Republican anytime soon is making the rounds again, if Blogger’s hit-count tracker is to be trusted.  While that post has been a reliable backlist hit machine since I wrote it back in 2012, logging on average about a hundred hits a month, nearly a thousand people have landed there in the last five days – mostly from Facebook, though some from Twitter.

For those of you who have found your way here because of that, welcome.  Feel free to look around the place.  I hope you like it.

I just hope you won’t be too disappointed in the fact that I don’t do much political blogging anymore.  It got old.

Once in a while I do, though, and I’ve been thinking that perhaps I should revisit that post for the 2016 election cycle.  Maybe when the election is closer.  Maybe not at all.  We’ll see.  But mostly the political stuff I’ve been writing of late has been more analytical, more historical, and less focused on the day-to-day travesties that appear like clockwork in the news. 

This is a change.

There was a time when it seemed like every other post I wrote was a description of some outrage perpetrated by the right-wing fanatics who took over the once-proud GOP and transformed it from a responsible purveyor of conservative opinions and policies into a demented howling wasteland of Gilded Age Social Darwinism and Dominionist blasphemy.  I live in the blinking warning light that is Scott Walker’s Wisconsin – it’s been fascinating watching this process up close, in a Pyrrhic sort of way, and for a while it seemed worthwhile to argue against it.

But after a while even the choir can’t stand the preaching.  Those who could see the blisteringly obvious didn’t need me to point it out.

Also, it became clear that – far from being horrified at what the party claiming to represent their interests had degenerated into – the Republican base saw that transformation as merely a down payment on the level of batshit insanity that they required.  And as every assault on American morality and values perpetrated by the leadership of that party was greeted with strident calls for further assaults and condemnations that those assaults hadn’t gone far enough, it stopped being either entertaining or educational to point out how far down the rabbit hole that party had gone.

I think they’ve figured it out, though.  The sane ones, anyway.  The reality-based conservatives.  The ones who understand the actual history of this country and who draw conclusions from that history that are simply different than most of the ones I draw.  There are a few of them left out there, I know.  I’m friends with some.  I read others.

I feel bad for them.  There’s nobody out there advocating for their interests.  There is nobody out there representing their views.  They have been abandoned by their own party.  Only recently have they finally figured out that their party has been consumed from the inside by the cancerous rot of the Teabaggers and their fetid ideology.

I think it was the current crop of GOP presidential nominees that finally brought that home.

Seriously – Ben Carson?  He’s your front-runner?  A man whose defense against charges of fabricating his own life story is to double down on claims that he actually did stab someone?  That’s the guy you want with his finger on the nuclear button?

The fact that the guy he bumped down to the number 2 slot was notorious blowhard and serial bankrupt Donald Trump only makes that more ridiculous.

But really, how often can you write about that without depressing yourself into a coma?

So while the politics appears now and then, mostly I write about other things these days.  If you like what you see, you are welcome to stick around.  If you don’t, well, the internet is a big place and I won’t be offended if my corner of it is not to your tastes.  I’m not for everyone, even if you agree with my politics.  Move on to other, more congenial places, with my blessings.

For those who choose to stay, welcome aboard.


Random Michelle K said...

Yeah, I almost never blog about politics anymore (or much of anything outside of food and how pretty WV is) because it just made me miserable.

I also learned that it's totally okay to turn off a news program if it's making me yell hostile things at the radio (as opposed to my regular snarky commentary) because life is too damned short to be made that unhappy over something I can't do anything about.

David said...

That was a very liberating realization, I found.

Although sometimes you just have to holler to get it out of your system, so once in a while I still blog about politics. Just not regularly.

Jennifer Hill said...

What depresses me is the fact that Republicans dominate at the state and local levels and it seems it will take decades for that to change. I don't exactly see Americans being determined to change gerrymandering. The destruction of America's democracy, republic, national security happens more at the local level than at the national one. Plus, if the next president is a Democrat, s/he's in for more of the same from Congress. That could happen even if the president is Republican (I could see Mario Rubio being elected) because the rabid right wing will tear him down if he does anything that even smacks of compromise.

David said...

That's a serious problem for Democrats - they've been out-organized at the local level. While the Republican party has proven a dismal failure at governing over the last two decades, it is extraordinarily well versed in campaigning. And the Great Gerrymander of 2012 - the first time in American history that a political party has pursued rigging the future of elections as a deliberate national-level strategy - has largely cemented their gains in place. Fortunately there are lawsuits working their way through the courts challenging this, so there may be hope for free and fair elections returning to the United States sometime soon. We'll see.

Honestly, though I doubt anyone will be pure enough to satisfy the ideological demands of the extremists on the right. The shabby treatment of Paul Ryan - one of their very own! - as he became Speaker of the House is a warning.

Gonna be a long few years, it is.

Jennifer Hill said...

I thought both parties used gerrymandering regularly to try to rig future elections. That's what it's there for. Is it that it was used for so many more areas of the country in 2012? And do the lawsuits have the law on their side if gerrymandering is legal? (I don't know the legal ins and outs of gerrymandering, obviously.)

Jennifer Hill said...

I completely agree with what you said about the right's ideological purity. It is eating its own, with Paul Ryan being a startling example of it.

David said...

Gerrymandering has a long history in the United States. It goes back all the way to the Founding Fathers, in fact. It's named for one of the lesser known Founders, Elbridge Gerry, whose electoral district looked suspiciously like a salamander to those opposed to him. He pronounced his name "Gary," though.

All American political parties have engaged in gerrymandering over the course of American history. What is new in recent years (and especially in 2012) is that a) it was done as a coordinated national strategy rather than left to individual states, and b) it was done with a thoroughness and brazen arrogance that no party had ever quite matched before. And it was successful. In Wisconsin, for example, it now takes 1.4 Democratic voters to elect a representative for every 1.0 Republican voters electing a representative. This calls into question the legitimacy of the legislature. For this reason, the Wisconsin GOP has destroyed much of the evidence for their process of coming up with those districts rather than hand it over to the courts - for which they should be imprisoned, frankly.

Gerrymandering occupies a fine grey line when it comes to legality. On the one hand, setting up electoral districts to favor your party and hobble your opponents is shady but not specifically illegal, and - as noted - has a long tradition in America. On the other hand, when it reaches the point of a) collusion and b) undermining the Supreme Court's "one man, one vote" rule by making some voters count more than others, then it crosses a legal line. Whether that line is actionable is what is currently at issue in the lawsuits.

Jennifer Hill said...

Thank you for explaining it, especially since you are sick of writing about politics!

David said...

You're welcome! I'm a teacher - I love explaining things. :)

Especially if there's history involved.