A TEST OF ENDURANCE

So the Federal government is once again on the verge of shutting down – at least partially – if a House-Senate deal on funding disaster relief cannot be reached by Thursday.

I have to be honest: that sentence took me about 10 minutes to write. I lost interest in it so many times I could hardly focus long enough to finish it. The reason you have not heard much about the latest and impending "shutdown crisis" may be no more complex than simple fatigue. No one cares. The media lost interest after the debt ceiling three ring circus. People who follow politics have seen this show before and we already know the ending. Just cave in to the Tea Party and get it the hell over with.

On a personal level I've been dealing with this problem for the past year, a problem getting myself to pay attention to current political events as they get increasingly ridiculous. I'm supposed to be all earnest and deeply interested and devoting my mental energy to understanding this pseudo-gamesmanship as fully as possible. But I just don't care, because the outcomes do not vary. Cynicism always feels lazy in the realm of politics, yet I think we've reached the point at which it is warranted.

This is all academic, though. I can do my job and even keep up a reasonably interesting blog about politics without getting emotionally invested in congressional dick-waving and the antics of overgrown children in the world's most expensive sandbox. One thing I can't punt on is the election. And holy crap, people, am I going to have a hard time making myself take a detailed interest in this magnificent shitshow. Somehow I get the feeling that I am not alone.

The GOP, seeing Fred Thompson 2012 (aka Rick Perry) begin the crash-and-burn phase of his campaign, are furiously looking for yet another savior. The fact that they are begging Chris Christie to run is less a ringing endorsement of the New Jersey Governor than a tacit admission that their current crop of candidates is an embarrassment of historic proportions. Whoever the party ends up nominating, the majority of Republicans and potential Republican voters are going to be seriously unhappy and faced with the prospect of supporting a candidate they don't like.

Democrats already have their candidate, the guy who has spent three years giving the finger to all those people who went crazy for him back in 2008 (and in many cases devoted dozens or hundreds of hours to his election). His quest to win over moderates and independents by being all compromise-y and bipartisan-y has been a spectacular failure, meaning that he will need those core supporters from 2008 in order to survive the election with his 40% approval rating. Of course, they won't believe his happy horseshit and endless, empty speeches a second time. Most of them will sit this one out, and some portion of them will look at the nutbag nominated by the GOP and dejectedly agree to campaign for Obama one more time….

This is going to be little more than an endurance test, an obstacle course of empty promises, hollow rhetoric, inane commercials, manufactured controversies, and constant pleas for your time, money, and support from candidates who will produce indistinguishable outcomes if elected by catering to nearly identical special interests. Republicans are supposed to vote just to get rid of Obama. Democrats are supposed to vote just to keep the nutty Republican away from the White House. Everyone hates the person they're voting for, the process is interminable, nobody's happy at the end, and the whole thing somehow costs fifteen billion dollars and the better part of a year. Sounds like fun. Can't wait.

I don't think I can do it, people. I don't think I have it in me to take this sad excuse for a process seriously this time around.

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59 Responses to “A TEST OF ENDURANCE”

  1. Turok Says:

    I can feel Ed's frustration…liberals are mad, not because Obama hasn't done good, but because deep down we all wanted a liberal version of Bush that would steamroll the opposition and give Republicans fits for 8 years.

  2. Elle Says:

    Presidential term limits apply to Vice Presidency too? I'm kind of surprised.

    Isn't the answer that no one knows? The West Wing compelled me to look this up, and there's some different schools of thought about whether the Twelfth Amendment, which debars people who aren't eligible to be President from being VP, interacts with the Twenty-Second Amendment to prevent term-limited ex-Presidents from being VP. It seems like something a court would have to decide.

    Fwiw, and this is a selfish, internationalist perspective, I would very much appreciate any vote that would not return the State department to Republicans. I think Hillary Clinton has been a more than adequate SoS, particularly with regard to the nudges she has given other States in directions supportive of the rights of poor women. There has been continued cavilling in the White House on enjoyment of sexual health and reproductive rights for women around the world, and I don't believe that Obama is pro-choice, but the inching in the direction of support for the ICC, among other institutions, would all be rolled back under a Republican White House.

  3. Confused Says:

    you want a progressive super liberal democratic party? then pay a little f-in attention. Look at what the movement conservatives have done over the last 40 years. They have involved themselves in the foundations of party politics. They positioned themselves in all the crappy little deputy county commissioner of the Republican party positions, and worked their way up. They involved themselves in all the infrastructure that help finance and elect candidates. It's a crapload of hard work, and it takes a long time, but eventually it gets you the power to help shape which candidates are nominated. It also means that you can drag the entire party towards your policy positions.
    Instead, you whine about the guy that presented himself as a moderate, who believes in compromising, because he is too moderate and too willing to compromise. Your big action will be to sit out the election. I'm sure that will get you the change you want. Sit out the next election, don't work to get Obama re-elected, and the change you get may well be whatever the great job creators decide to put in your cup as they pass your unemployed ass on the street.
    PS SCOTUS you idiots.

  4. cromartie Says:

    Take a moment to figure out who profits the most from your apathy.

    Then get off your ass and get organized.

  5. Arslan Says:

    What some of you people STILL aren't getting is that even if one of those "crazy republicans" gets into power, they will shape up and go into "business as usual" mode once in the oval office. Their ranting and raving is all for a specific purpose right now. Do you REALLY think that people running for public office want to see government eliminated so badly? Do you really think that people who intend to lead a world empire are going to cut ties with allies which help them enforce the empire's will around the world?

    Let me remind you people of a fact you seem to have forgotten: More Democrats have started wars in the 20th and 21st century than Republicans. Hell, who started the war in Vietnam, and who ended it? Johnson expanded the war because it was NECESSARY to the empire at that particular time. Nixon ended it because it was no longer necessary and had become a liability.

    Some of you haven't gotten it through your skulls yet that Obama doesn't give a shit about your "progressive" values. He might not stand up and attack abortion, but he sure as hell isn't going to defend it. And was it not Bill Clinton whose opinion on the matter was "safe, legal, and rare?" And exactly how did Bush ban or restrict abortion?

    As long as you keep rewarding these scumbags, they will continue to disappoint you. At some point you have to wake up and say no.

  6. Rick Says:

    The beauty of the Obama presidency is that it exposes the Progressive philosophy for the bankrupt fascism that it is. You bowed down to him then and you will again because you can only pretend to think for yourself but in reality must have someone to tell you what is good. Kiss his ring then kiss his ass you knee bending big government storm troopers.

  7. Elm Says:

    @Rick – Obvious troll is obvious.

  8. Elle Says:

    He might not stand up and attack abortion, but he sure as hell isn't going to defend it. And was it not Bill Clinton whose opinion on the matter was "safe, legal, and rare?" And exactly how did Bush ban or restrict abortion?

    Enforcing or withdrawing the Mexico City Rule has become a little bit of a pantomime signifier at the start of a presidency, but its impacts on SRHR services and policy around the world are pretty profound.