Andrew Sullivan crystallizes my own feelings on the Brown victory in Massachusetts:
Those of us who want Obama to succeed in tackling this country's deepest problems are bummed enough. But healthcare reform was never my reason for supporting him. I was much more invested in getting past the cynicism and laziness of the red-blue divide, restoring the rule of law and the constitutional balance, ending the unwinnable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stopping torture, and so on. But for those progressives who have fought for wider access to health insurance for their entire lives, this must be an excruciating, devastating moment.I publicly stated yesterday that if I lived in Massachusetts, I would have voted for Brown. If you peruse my stances over the years and Brown's, you understand why. (Feel free to couple this with the fact that no one ever asks me how I feel about HCR, although many of you probably know the answer).
But I recoil at the unadulterated glee exhibited by some in the Republican party.
Yesterday, I heard the Health Care Reform bill being described as "radical". This position must be from an alternate universe as the measure almost exactly matches Bob Dole's 96 reform bill and is arguably more conservative than Richard Nixon's 71 version. Those instances were the last time Republicans attempted any form of health care reform. The current Republicans? Nada. Zip. Nothing. And even though the current bill contains provisions Republicans have long supported, they lockstepped their caucus to save us all from the "radicals".
Today is the anniversary of President Obama's inauguration. One of the much bally-hooed tea party organizations called for people to stay home from work and for businesses to close in order to deny the government money. It's not about policy or ideology. It is about throwing tantrums towards a President they do not consider legitimate.
If you believe Fox News, the Hannity's, the Erickson's, not only do they represent the soul of the Republican Party, they represent the soul of America. Right now, these alledged keepers of the soul rely on one philosophy and wrap it in a false layer of "good governance". Their only position is exactly as Sullivan describes it - "tough shit".
In a recent conversation with a young Republican, I imparted a piece of advice. Some times you have to lay ideology aside, look around and see who stands with you on your side of the river.
This morning, although I would have voted in a manner that would make many a Republican proud, I begin to wonder if it's time to put on the swimming trunks.