So many Republicans are crying foul at the democratic superPAC ads and some of the Vice-President's comments about Gov. Romney, and there is so much indignant outrage flowing from the Right these days... Did you see R. Priebus on the Daily Rundown this morning? Three weeks ago the RNC Chairman was on TV shouting that "Obama will destroy the American way of life." Today he was denouncing the Obama campaign as too negative and indecent. He was soft-spoken and wide-eyed; channeling the sad, one-eyed puppy in that Sarah Mclachlan-soundtracked animal rescue commercial.
As intelligent, reasonable liberals, I know there is a knee-jerk instinct to immediately display a rational, decent empathy. To say, "Gee, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. This is the American democratic process, and it should be civil and decorous. I hope you'll accept my apologies and commitment to keeping the President's re-election strategy honorable."
F*ck that. Here's why...
1) Let the man fight this fight. President Obama is a transformative figure in American politics. He represents the true end of the "Republican era" that started in 1980. No matter what the T-Party has tried to convince you about how bad he is, the fact is that twenty years from now we will look back on Obama the way we look back on JFK and Roosevelt. 2008 was about telling America that great things are possible, but only if we dare to think about more than ourselves. 2012 is about how, even when the fight gets ugly, the things we believe in are worth fighting for. We want Obama in '12. We want a Democrat in '16. If we want that, we're gonna have to get a little dirty.
2) It's OK, they're really not that offended. Swiftboat. Vince Foster. Whitewater. The Hillary/Muslim Brotherhood connection. Falsified birth certificates and DOJ conspiracies. Get it through your heads that these guys have no dignity, no sense of decorum. The Right feels totally at home in an American political process that looks like a Jerry Springer show. What's more, they're counting on your decency to be our undoing. They don't think you'll have the stomach for this nasty process and will stay home in November. They're not outraged that "the Obama campaign has stooped to new lows," they're kicking themselves for not getting there first, for once.
3) It's always been this way. If you think there was some sort of "golden age" of political process, when our nation's competing politicians said nothing but decent things about each other, you are wrong. Full stop.
4) As You Sow, So Shall You Reap. Republicans have survived and prospered over the past four years on sheer emotion. Greed, Fear, and Hate, the GOP trinity. Their leadership has convinced them that these are the end-times. Every bill we try to pass is the end of the American way of life, until the next bill we try to pass, then "no really, its this one." Every tick and quiver of the economy is the beginning of the inevitable, total collapse that has been about to happen since the last time they totally collapsed the economy in '07. Every time we meet with any nation abroad, they are really America's enemies and we are betraying our country. They are the ones who know that so much is at stake that they can say or do whatever is necessary to win. But this only works as long as the opposition is sane, self-criticizing, and rational. "You can be nuts," We liberals have always said, "We'd rather you'd not win, but if you do we'll get you next time." Now, you clowns are not the only ones who think there's too much at stake.
Faced with the real and pressing threat of global warming, the runaway corporate-empowerment granted by the Supreme Court, Congress' overt misogyny, and the frightening themes of eco-cultural sociopathy espoused by Romney and Ryan, we're starting to think we've got win by whatever means necessary, too.
The only difference is, in our case, it's true.