Thursday, February 16, 2012
Dunces to the Corner!
That serenity prayer so precious to AA and others has political variants. The original, God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference, understandably is solid to being widely useful.
Now imagine how great it would be if we went onto something harder, along the line of Let me know my limits but neither lose aspiration nor fail to do right.
Instead what we hear in the GOP POTUS stagger to the finish and the tone-deaf, crazy winger governors and legislators is malice to many. The candidates and officials are so high on the possibility of living their worst political and policy fantasies that they have lost all sense of limits. They can only have a hard crash, each and all.
This madness is widespread. Virginia passed a mandated sexual violation of any woman considering abortion (1:42 into the clip). Various GOP candidates, most harshly Rick Santorum, want to outlaw contraception. Roman Catholic bishops have doubled down on claims having to obey secular laws on their non-religious operations is unacceptable. On the U.S. Senate side, even our own Scott Brown joined in the cruel Roy Blunt blunder of limiting existing health care. It would be easy to go on and on in that vein. It's madness, it's reactionary, it's anti-American in government control not seen since the Colonial era's British occupations, it's atavistic in treating women like chattel and fools, and the daisy chain of loving among the most extreme right wing pols and clerics keeps us awake with its noises and smells.
The surprising theme here is that these groups would appear on the surface to be far apart. In what they do for a living, in their stated philosophies, in their known politics, each has a well defined niche or rather groove. Yet in the election year, here they are smooching it up.
More significantly, they are each and all overreaching. They peek over their walls at the others, apparently thinking, "Well, if they can get by with it, so can I. In fact, I can go them one or two better."
It was surprising enough when the deck of jokers that is the GOP candidate pack started imitating each other. Like so many frat boys at a bash, they have been figurative outdrinking and outlying each other. Anything you can do, I can do, if not better, at least more so.
Suddenly it isn't enough to say you respect life. Candidates have gone from pro-life to anti-choice to anti-Roe-v.-Wade to anti-abortion to life is an unimplanted egg and sperm to contraception is murder.
Somehow in this irrational frenzy, they lost political pragmatism as well as awareness of reality. They do not recognize their limits.
Ahem, would-be Presidents and Vice Presidents, the guidelines have changed, starting a few thousand years ago. In Genesis, as 9:7, it was And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein. We can note that those were days of high infant mortality, short life expectancy, and a need for many farm and herd laborers.
Today, nearly all women use birth control in their fertile years. In Western society, we rarely know families with a dozen kids. There is no endless post-WWII growth spiral. Women in general do not perceive their lot to be the property of men and useful as breed animals.
So here we have men running for President, other allegedly celibate men in dresses, and state-level pols trying to out-right wing each other in being anti-gay, anti-marriage equality, anti-choice, and well, anti-woman. This can only end badly for them...as they deserve.
It has really only been two generations, but politically that's several lifetimes, since the current mishigas was OK. Women, families and most men are not about to return to the regressive repression of yesteryear. Birth control is the norm. Abortions are awful, but if necessary, they are, as the accurate expression goes, a choice.
The Colonialists who moved to this continent to escape religious domination and the theocracy of 17th Century England set the tone for the nation and its Constitution. Yeah, they were pretty conservative by today's standards, but they knew that the church had no role in governing our actions and thought, those were also choices.
So, the burlesque, the variety show that is right wingers on stage and in state government does not know when to shut up. They do not know when they have gone too far.
The voters will tell them.