Letter 2 America for January 22, 2013

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English: Newt Gingrich

English: Newt Gingrich (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear America,

The content of The President's inauguration speech was much less interesting than was the manner in which he delivered it, and while its ideological recitations verged on inspiring, it wasn't what he said that made me smile.  By that I mean that he revealed more of who he is now with his tone and demeanor than he did with what he said.  It was no revelation that he wants to tackle immigration reform or that he believes in, and will act to curtail global warming.  And though he may have been late in moving from the passive state to active advocacy on the issue of gay rights, he explicitly expressed his support for same sex marriage late in his last term, and the belief that any two people who truly care for one another should have the right to legalize and memorialize for all to see the bond they wish to create between them seemed all along to be consistent with his secular humanistic mantle.  He also signaled a determination to draw the United States back internationally not only so that we no longer had to bear the burden of defending the principles that the rest of the world was too lazy or diffident to defend, but so that the United States could dispel the impression that we respect the suzerainty of no other nation's government unless it is doing what we believe it should.  In general, he took a progressive posture right from the beginning of his first campaign for president, and his principles and preferred policies are no surprise to anyone.  But now that his mettle has been annealed in the furnace that is American partisan politics...now that he has experienced the epitome of cynicism and Machiavellian ambition by virtue of trying to govern with a disloyal and even hostile opposition...he understands that he cannot prevent the ad hominem tactics that he allowed to thwart him for his first four years in power.  He even said as much when he pointed out that name calling isn't rational thought and that absolutism is not the same as principles and commitment to the goals of a party's platform.  He made it clear in his inaugural speech that the old pastoral approach is a thing of the past; there's a new sheriff in town, and that is what we elected him for the first time, even though we pretended...as he did...that we were willing to bend over backwards to get half of what we believe this nation needs.  The half loaf days are gone, and good riddance.  That's what he said in no uncertain terms by saying nothing new.  His point was, I'm still here, even though I've been away in spirit for awhile.  He even told the Republican conservative complex (Rcc) opposition how he was going to go about redeeming himself with those who share his beliefs...us.  He is going to rely on us to issue his ultimatum for him to the Rcc: do what we want or we'll get someone else to do it for us.  That's true electoral politics.  But it won't be easy for a reason that hasn't gotten near as much discussion as, say, the filibuster.

While procedural politics is the problem in Washington, the problem out here in the hustings is something more insidious...and probably more intractable as well.  The problem is "gerrymandering" and we can't get at it for seven more years...until there is another census and the states have to redistrict again.  In the meantime, some other tactic has to begin to work, and that tactic...one that will have the same effect--realigning our party politics in terms of the party-power distribution--is the undermining of the Republican Party's ruling oligarchy, the Tea Party, both overtly and from without.  The Republicans have to be held up to the light so that everyone within the party is scrutinized not for his allegiance to the party but for his allegiance to The People and The Nation.  And the Tea Party must be exposed for what it is: a small group of insurgents who have been able to assert their will through the abuse of the redistricting process by creating political fiefdoms within which insular politics can be practiced.  The Tea Party congressmen in both houses are successful candidates only within their own districts, and to be frank, the same is the case for the Democrats.  But the dogma by which the Tea Party congressmen are bound if they want to be reelected--and no matter how pure they are when they get to Washington, all congressmen want to be reelected--shackles them to positions that have been revealed to be self-destructive and na├»ve at best...cynically anti-communal, callous and materialistic at worst.  The American people, who voted more Democratic than Republican this past election even though the Republicans retained power in The House of Representatives, will eventually make those who cleave to such policies pay with their offices.  And in his inaugural speech, President Obama made his plea to enlist us in that cause.  For the first time since I can remember, a president said in a major speech what I have believed all along: that we, the people, have the power to change the course of the nation in the end.  No one else can do it for us.

It is still early to begin talking about the election in 2014, but like the past two elections, this one may be the most important in modern times.  The compassionate progressive national constituency--not just the progressive wings of the political parties but the entire national constituency--has a leader who is publicly calling them to action.  This is no longer politics.  Now how we vote is a moral issue.  We have sidled up to this advent for the past two decades or so during the political tears of the likes of Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay and Mitch McConnell.  And as a nation, we cast them out for awhile from 2006 until 2010, but they resurged and we are having a bit of a problem achieving the unity we need to dash their ambitions once and for all.  Leadership in the cause is what we lacked.  But yesterday, all that changed.  The Republicans can pule all they want about the lack of a spirit of compromise as they make compromise that isn't all their way impossible.  They can call all the names they want and complain about the unwillingness to negotiate until the proverbial cows come home.  But our president--and I believe that even though some Americans have been duped into believing that only a conservative can be on their side, President Obama is all of our president with everyone's best interest at heart--will forge ahead and rise above the bellicose rhetoric of a political faction that has lost its way.  It is time for our progressive president to simply make his case to the American people and let us decide who we are as a nation.  This is an exciting time.

Your friend,

Mike

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Wolf published on January 22, 2013 9:19 AM.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Wolf published on January 22, 2013 9:19 AM.

Letter 2 America for January 18, 2013 was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter 2 America for January 25, 2013 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

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