Monday, October 09, 2006

Politics

Lost in all the fun of watching the Republicans self destruct this fall is any sense that the Democrats represent real, genuine change.

You can point to policy differences. You can pretend the Dems occupy the moral high ground. In point of fact, though, the Democratic party is every bit as addicted to lobbyist money – and every bit as vulnerable to corruption – as the Republican party is.

Should the House and/or the Senate change hands this fall, the underlying system will still be in place. Influence will still be influence. Pork will still be pork. The good times will continue to roll.

They’ll just roll the Democrats’ way. And, after a while, when the public gets good and upset with their excesses, the public will turn things back over to the Republicans. The hand basket we are in will change. The route to hell will not.

Politics. Such a strange and mesmerizing bit of theater. Part morality play, part professional wrestling, complete with good guys, bad guys, plots, subplots, back plots heroes and villains. The losers now always win later. The good guys become the bad guys. Life goes on.

It would all be uproariously fun, except it is deadly serious now. The planet is warming. The global economic paradigm is shifting.

Indulging themselves and their friends, the Republicans have played fast and loose with the Constitution, impeaching one president for a frivolity, refusing to oversee the misguided excesses of another president, deeding away individual civil rights, taking care of their corporate pals.

They deserve to be thrown out. They have earned our scorn one selfish, misguided act at a time.

But don’t think for a moment that the Democrats are not capable of the same levels of corruption, malfeasance and myopia. There is no moral high ground in that swamp.

Human nature being essentially crooked, the job of governing ourselves comes with a certain amount of grease, juice and corruption. Our job as citizens is to rail against it – to perpetually vote new heroes in as we throw the old bums out, regardless of political affiliation – to perpetually believe that we can do better.

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