2009-10-16 / Columnists

The Progressive

Going For The Jugular

Since 2001 progressives, liberals, and Democrats have questioned the use of enhanced interrogations, torture, the increasing economic gap between the elite and less fortunate of our society, the punitive nature of our justice system, the reliance of military might to resolve international disputes, and the disgraceful recovery efforts in the Gulf region of the Bush administration. The knee jerk reaction of our reactionary media clowns and the Republican kool-aid drinkers is that the left does not accept the anointment of the decider by the Supreme Court.

Since the election and inauguration of Obama, the feral political instincts of the crazy right and some Republican operatives are complicent with so-called journalistic commentators who incite and encourage their viewers and listeners to question the president on a variety of issues. These include his encouragement of our nation's children to strive for excellence in their scholastic endeavors and his promotion of a major city of our nation as a venue for international athletics. This encouragement extends to a member of Congress who insulted the president as he addressed a joint session of Congress. Americans are now asked, in an Internet poll, to vote whether the president should be shot. Partisan politics now has an ugly, dangerous, and aggressive nature. In the past our political life has had similar incidents of political intolerance.

Many of the critics of the president only have differences with his proposals and policies. It is unique, however, that the nature of discourse has been degraded to such a level. All of us should be shocked and request a return to civility and intelligent debate.

I have just reread the first paragraph of this missive and an accusation that I also am guilty of insulting and demeaning characterizations of the conservative political movement can be made. At the same time, I recall that Republican response to reasonable criticism was vicious, partisan, and generally included personal attacks to the critic's intelligence and integrity.

I understand the Republican desire to return to the corridors of power as the majority in Congress after the mid-term election. Political rhetoric, though, must be civil and proposals to reform our nation's ills are paramount. Republican refusal, though, to propose a health care reform that ensures all Americans health insurance coverage that is universal, adequate and affordable is regrettable. The only proposals the Republicans approve enrich the health insurance industry and the pharmaceutical companies.

Last November we elected the Democratic candidate to the executive mansion and the Democrats as the majority in Congress with the platform of a public option in our health care delivery system, a reliance on diplomacy, and an end to some of the policies used in the battle against international terrorists.

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