Political Rivals Are Not Personal Enemies or Enemies of the State

Bob Dole salutes the flag-draped casket containing the remains of former President George H.W. Bush as he lies in state at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, 

On July 4, 1826, at the age of 90, Adams lay on his deathbed while the country celebrated Independence Day. His last words were: "Thomas Jefferson still survives."

He was mistaken. Jefferson had died five hours earlier at Monticello at the age of 82.

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Comment by koshersalaami on December 5, 2018 at 6:29am

That recent innovation I’m afraid comes from Newt Gingrich, who by doing so probably did more damage to his country than anyone else living. 

Comment by Ron Powell on December 5, 2018 at 7:25am

Gingrich will go down as a principal architect of political tribalism in America.

He along with the likes of Carl Rove closed the door on legislative bipartisanship and compromise....

They, along with others of their ilk, set in motion the "Conservative Movement" that has become little more than a thinly veiled attempt to create an American Apartheid

The political and social paradigm where racism, antisemitism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, isolationism, and white nationalism are at the heart of a political process and government in which common people are encouraged or duped into voting against their own personal self interests in favor of some patently false and erroneous notion of 'us v them'....

Comment by Robert B. James on December 5, 2018 at 8:24am

True. Rivals are shaped and pitted against each other. The shaping...prodding, bribing, blackmailing is part of the political process. One third of the mission is HR...fabricating the human fodder for political theater. Behind the tribal lines are all the isms but the war is over blood and treasure. It takes both to maintain a status quo we all know is unsustainable. 

The people behind both parties put on this show, be it bear baiting, dog fighting ...or a civilized political process. We gawk as the nation and planet suffer degraded social and ecological environments. 

Dole is not Bush, and Bush was no saint. He was a soldier for his tribe and party...and lacked the foresight that might have embraced a level diversity necessary to prevent the predictable destruction of the empire and planet. 

These two are the state as it existed in the era of segregation, and both approved of mass incarceration as a way to limit democracy in the post segregation era. These were and are pogroms and policy of the state. 

Comment by koshersalaami on December 5, 2018 at 8:57am

Neither was a saint; after all, Lee Atwater worked for Bush. They just look good compared to whom we have now. They both worked with the other party extensively. Of the last several Presidents, look at how Bush waged war:

  • He had a real cause: a friendly country and oil supplier was invaded.
  • He assembled a coalition. Not a phony one, a real one.
  • He went in with overwhelming force resulting in a rapid victory with minimal American casualties.
  • As soon as he achieved his stated objective, he left. No mission creep.

I don’t know about you, but that’s how I want whatever wars we’re forced into waged. Short, quick, achieve clearly defined objective, take care of our people. Sometimes there are advantages to having a combat veteran in the White House. 

Comment by koshersalaami on December 5, 2018 at 8:59am

This may sound strange, but one reason I think Bush lost to Clinton was that he made waging war look too easy. 

Comment by alsoknownas on December 5, 2018 at 8:59am

G. H. W. Bush voted against the Civil Rights Act saying it was because it only benefitted 14% of the population and he was concerned about the other 86%.

Comment by Tom Cordle on December 5, 2018 at 12:33pm

Ron is correct that Newt "Philanderer" Gingrich, along with his henchman Tom "Bugman" Delay", shares (but not shoulders) a great deal of the blame for the worsening of our politics. The impeachment of Bill Clinton was a debacle, a petty and foolish attempt to get even for Nixon, and attempt that back-fired on Newt.

That folly, as well as the Tea Party and Trump travesty, may well cost the Republican Party its status as a major political party. Couldn't happen to a more deserving pack of slithering reptiles, and I include George H.W. Bush in that crowd. For all his laudable qualities, he deserves to be scorned for his embrace of Lee Atwater and the Southern Strategy. Let us not forget, it was Daddy Bush who approved the Willie Horton ad, and it was he who rewarded Atwater for his perfidy by naming him head of the Republican National Committee.

Comment by Ron Powell on December 5, 2018 at 3:18pm

The courtesies and considerations political rivals/leaders accorded one another during the framing of the Constitution pursuant to the ideals and principles of the Revolution which was a culminating product of the Age of Enlightenment, have long since vanished from the American political scene and psyche.

The avaricious thirst for wealth and power has wrought an incivility that is virtually impossible to undo and overcome without a sea change in the fundamental nature and structure of the political system and governmental construct....

We're going to remain in trouble and at peril unless and until we bring about wholesale change in the way we think and behave in the political arena....

Unless we do something, Trump will not be the last of his kind, and may well be seen as just the beginning of demagoguery gone amuck in the Oval Office.

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