I watched an hour of debate on whether it was undemocratic/tyrannical for George Bush to appoint John Bolton in the congressional recess. Mind you, no panelists could actually say, "NO! It's perfectly fair, normal, and even-handed." They just said, "Well, technically, it's legal." They also said it's an abuse of the spirit of the law, and the world should question America's commitment to improving international relations because they let this bozo become their Ambassador to the UN.
I guess I'm lucky...at least I got to watch someone debate this on ethical issues and not partisan politics.
But I realized a dark, evil secret about myself. Five years of Bush/Cheney leadership have corroded my heart.
There was a time when I would have fought this on principle. I would have thrown my heart and soul into objecting to this, and would have vehemently stood up for what I believe in.
Now I see it strategically. I'm thinking, "This is GREAT! We objected, he got in anyway, and now when John Bolton takes a giant dump in the middle of the UN floor we can blame the Republicans and prove our point. They won't be able to cry "OBSTRUCTIONISTS!" anymore...they'll show that it was a bad choice, that THEY actually obstructed the TRUTH by preventing a thorough review of his candidacy!" I'm plotting how we can exploit this in the midterm elections. I'm seeing this as Republicans taking enough rope to hang themselves, and I'm putting on my dancing shoes getting ready to bossa nova on their grave.
I can't help it. But I'm thoroughly disgusted with myself.
Deep down, I believe that politics should not be an us/them proposition. If you want a pennant race, follow the Twins. Politics should be about making people's lives better, about balancing the rules necessary for a civilized society without limiting the liberties of its members.
I don't want to be cynical. I want to be a proud, bleeding-hearted liberal again. I want to hug a tree and write things like this. I want to have principles and live in a country that faces its challenges head on, and has difficult discussions about issues that are dragging us down.
I want my country back.
And ironically, all the patriotic optimism, all the passion for a better world that I'm missing in my life? I learned it from my Republican father. Go figure.