Sunday, October 24, 2010

Prognostications on politics

Here's how I see things going -- for the long haul:

-- The "tea-party" movement will be history by 2013, if not sooner. I say that for one reason: It's really a religious movement masquerading as a political one, which is why you have so many evangelical Christians involved. Of course, "religious" movements by their very nature reject outside counsel, so even if you try to "talk some sense" into such people no matter how nicely they will cry persecution; on top of that, tea-partiers don't talk or listen to anyone else or participate in the actual political process of give-and-take with those not with them. The result is that they will eventually turn people against them because they simply can't deliver what they promise.

-- The anti-abortion movement will finally gain steam when, and only when, the modern conservative movement collapses. Since the latter's inception it has hypocritically split abortion from other legitimate issues of the sanctity of human life, which leads directly to its general ineffectiveness in reaching folks who might be allies, specifically African-Americans disproportionately affected by abortion.

-- I'm somewhat surprised at the showing of Democratic candidates in Pennsylvania, my state. The races for governor and senator, in which the Republicans once held commanding leads, have shrunk to dead heats, with Democrat Joe Sestak even slightly ahead of Republican Pat Toomey in one poll in the Senate race. But that points to a basic weakness in the GOP platform that the Democrats have exploited: Lower taxes on businesses don't necessarily or automatically create jobs, so the Democrats have been hammering the Republicans on "derivatives" and outsourcing. It's working.

-- For some of the same reasons I've mentioned above, should Barack Obama decide to run for president in 2012 he will walk to victory. The Republicans will again try to catch lightning in a bottle by conjuring up the spirit of Ronald Reagan and trying to find his doppelganger; the trouble is that they still haven't figured out that people voted for him, not necessarily them. Every candidate the GOP can come up with right now is either insufficiently conservative for its base or revolting to the rest of the country; however, because of its insularity and unwillingness to consider other viewpoints it can only drive people away.

-- If you oppose the health-care insurance bill passed in March, tough luck because it's not going to be repealed. Ever. A number of things to be considered: First, even if a bill were up for a vote and passed it will never survive a veto. Second, by the time some of its provisions kick in folks won't want it repealed anyway. Leading to the third point: As I mentioned, Obama will be a shoo-in for reelection anyway.

-- Lately the conservative movement has promoted Alveda King, niece of the late civil-rights movement leader Martin Luther King Jr., as his rightful heir, even having her speak at Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally in the 47th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. They often ask the question: Why don't people support her? Well, let me give you two things to think about: Her uncle was very, very critical of "Northern right-wing whites" in general and, after the 1964 presidential election, called defeated GOP candidate Barry Goldwater "the most dangerous man in the country" at the time. (That should put the lie to the statement that he was actually a Republican being persecuted by Democrats.) Furthermore, I met his son Martin III, then a commissioner in Fulton County, Georgia, which incorporates much of Atlanta, in 1992 -- when he was stumping for Bill Clinton.

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