I just thought I would go on record stating that the last few weeks and months have really sucked for me. I spent my whole life in the GOP- starting in 1984 with county meetings, going to Teenage Republican camp (my friends called it Hitler Youth Camp, proving that Nazi/Republican quips are no new development), and spending the better part the fall of 1984 going door to door for John Raese in his race against Rockefeller (Raese, as you know, lost). Now, 22 years later, I find myself not only refusing to support Raese against Robert Byrd (the man who for years has embarassed me with his pork), but I have come to the conclusion that the Republicans are so corrupt, so dishonest, so beholden to special interests and fanatical lobbying groups that Byrd not only looks to be the better option, but the entire Democratic party looks better.
I don’t know when things went south with this party (literally and figuratively- and I am sure commenters here will tell me the party has always been this bad- I disagree with that, and so do others), but for me, Terri Schiavo was the real eye-opener. Sure, the Prescription Drug Plan was hideous and still gets my blood pressure pumping, and the awful bankruptcy bill was equally bad, and there were other things that should have clued me in, but really, it was Schiavo that made me realize this party was not as advertized. And it is frustrating as hell.
What makes this even more frustrating is that not only do I feel like I have been duped, but I established a lot of friends in the right wing of the blogging community- and now I read their pages and I can’t believe what I am reading, even though I know that five years ago I probably would have been saying the same or similar things. I know many of them as people- and not just GOP parrots- having spent time working on collaborative projects with them, serving on the editorial board at Red State, appearing on radio shows with them- you name it. I have, at one point in time, defended many of them from what I perceived to be unfair attacks. So I know that by and large they are not bad people (Dan Riehl is an unmitigated asshole, however). Yet I read their pages now, and through my eyes, it looks like they are so divorced from reality it makes me question what, if anything, I ever believed in.
In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias.
And it makes me mad. I still think of myself as a Republican- but I think the whole party has been hijacked by frauds and religionists and crooks and liars and corporate shills, and it frustrates me to no end to see my former friends enabling them, and I wonder ‘Why can’t they see what I see?” I don’t think I am crazy, I don’t think my beliefs have changed radically, and I don’t think I have been (as suggested by others) brainwashed by my commentariat.
I hate getting up in the morning, surfing the news, and finding more and more evidence that my party is nothing but a bunch of frauds. I feel like I am betraying my friends in the party and the blogosphere when I attack them, even though I believe it is they who have betrayed what ‘we’ allegedly believe in. Bush has been a terrible President. The past Congresses have been horrible- spending excessively, engaging in widespread corruption, butting in to things they should have no say in (like end of life decisions), refusing to hold this administration accountable for ANYTHING, and using wedge issues to keep themselves in power at the expense of gays, etc. And I don’t know why my friends on the right still keep fighting for these guys to stay in power. Why do they keep attacking decent people like Jim Webb- to keep this corrupt lot of fools in office? Why can’t they just admit they were sold a bill of goods and start over? Why do they want to remain in power, but without any principles? Are tax cuts that important? What is gained by keeping troops in harms way with no clear plan for victory? With no desire to change course? With our guys dying every day in what looks to be for no real good reason? Why?
I really don’t know where this post is going, so I will just end it now, but I do have to say the past few months have really sucked, and I am completely disillusioned.