Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I wish the fight over equal rights would just go away!

"Go away", as in "become so normal and unremarkable that nobody ever thinks of it as an issue."

Sorry about that headline, but, you know, headlines should grab your attention.  If you are still with me, hey, it did!  Hang around, I've got something to say.

There are a lot of other things I wish would go away as a national issue, just like that.

Women's rights.
Racism, in the form of Immigration
the Debt.
The Deficit.

If you look at all of those issues, they have a couple of things in common.  First, they are all right wing issues.  Not hard, was it?  Second, they are all what we call "dog whistles".  Issues that, when called up, tend to excite the base and get them to the polls.

Third, they provide a distraction, moving the political conversation into paths of conversation with no solution, so those conversations can continue to hog headlines ad nauseum for one primary purpose:

Distract the voters from recognizing the fact that the Republican Party has no solution to the real problems this country faces - a high unemployment rate, rich right wing billionaires who want to buy the political process, and a political agenda by the religious right to bring religion to the fore in control of our lives, using the political process itself to emasculate that process.

Oh, and also the fact that the last item is a secondary goal of the Republican party, not a primary one.  Witness the fact that since a number of Republicans have come out in favor of marriage equality, the religious right has begun threatening to take their marbles and leave the Republicans to form their own third party.  A move that would cut the Republicans off at the knees by taking half their base along with it, guaranteeing Democratic wins for at least the remainder of this decade if not resulting in the destruction of the Republican Party as a viable national party.

Oh, as for you Democrats out there, you can stop chortling.

The recent re-election of President Obama and the right wing meltdown has hidden the very real issues that he will inevitably face if his problems with the Republicans ever get pushed to the back burner.  Issues that, if they don't, will devolve onto his successor, should he/she be a Democrat.

Things like the drone war.  Guantanamo and human rights violations under both Republican and Democratic Administrations.  Warrantless wiretapping.  The Patriot Act.

All these things started out as Republican initiatives, and in spite of fervent hopes by many Democrats, have continued under the Obama Administration as if they were his own idea.  The ONLY Republican initiative ended by President Obama was the torture thing.  Yeah, kudos to him, but he's still got people we tortured under lock and key in Cuba without trial as if the US government is not governed by the US Constitution on foreign soil.

I've got news for you.  It still is.  There are no indications that the Founders intended for that document's guiding principles of organization and delegated powers to end at the water's edge!  It also didn't specify that the protection of rights was limited to only American citizens, either.  Not to mention the International Agreements and Conventions we are probably violating every day we continue to hold those men.  It bothered me when Bush did it, and it bothers me worse now.

I won't pretend that these issues are simple.  They are not.  Obviously, the Guantanamo thing is complicated by the fact that if we do release some of those guys, they will go right back to plotting against us.  Yep, and the way we treated them did nothing to win their forbearance, either.  Had we refrained from torture and relied on standard, traditional methods of evidence gathering, we could have tried these guys long ago and disposed of the cases normally.

But we didn't.  We used torture to gather information, and even if none of the info we got that way is any good, it still taints the stuff we did get to prove our case, even if it was gathered normally.  In other words, if we try them in Federal Court, the courts will release these guys so fast, they'll break the sound barrier.

I do think that once we get some real progressives on the SCOTUS, those other things will collapse like a house of cards, and when they do, the Democrats had better have their ducks in order.

You do hear about this stuff.  The memes do pop up every once on a while on Facebook, and articles do get written about them.  They are just overshadowed by the Republican dog whistles.

The Democrats had better get some ear plugs and stop listening to those dog whistles and start dealing with the real issues we face, or eventually, they will catch up with them, and the voters will not be kind.

1 comment:

Oldfart said...

That has been my problem with the Obama administration from the beginning. There is no doubt in my mind that Obama made a better president than either McSame or Mittens, but his behavior when it comes to civil rights, privacy and the Constitution is more than suspect. As much as I like Hillary, I don't know that she would be any better. Elizabeth Warren might be.