Saturday, February 11, 2012

Conservatism's Keeper

It’s gotten to the point where the ridiculous is real and real is ridiculous. Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC not only made fun of a system that lives in a utopian fantasy world it used the system as a tool to facilitate his parody. Yeah, my mind was blown too.

If you ever read Citizens United you’d see that it exists in a mythical vacuum world where people are all honest and don’t collaborate ever. Yeah right. And for that matter, most of our campaign finance laws are built on that concept. They are outmoded and full of loopholes.

Oh, and Rachel Maddow just skewered the ranks of our illustrious GOP representatives by showing their opinions side by side. It’s a well known fact that politicians change their opinions. But it is scary to think that their opinions are so mercurial. I seriously wonder where the moral compass lies on these individuals when their only motivation seems to be to stay in power. And that doesn’t just apply to the GOP.

I have to hope that there is room for real discussion. It disturbs me that contrarianism has run rampant in the ranks of our representatives.

George Will, renowned conservative intellectual, just tore apart the GOP ranks for just that charge. He astutely observed that there is a vein of ‘not Obama’ which somehow equates to conservatism. The GOP leadership, basing itself off this misinformed perception of ‘real American values’, has started making big issues out of what were previously uncontroversial issues.

Example: the contraception requirement for all insurers. Proof: watch the liberal lesbian Rachel dissect the issue. Of course she adds in her hippie liberal commentary--what a pixie-cut anarchist--but the facts are pretty irrefutable. 28 states already had the requirement before Obama enacted it. 5 of those states did not have a religious exemption. Obama’s policy would have actually deregulated laws in 5 states. His newly announced policy is even more of a step back.

And fundamentally, women who want contraception should be able to have access to it. That, for now, enjoys widespread bipartisan support without religious lines. So the question remains, who and how should it be paid for?

And therein lies the reason behind the policy. It wasn’t so that Obama could take a meaty thumb and crush religion in America. Frankly that’s a stupid argument. It decontextualizes the entire meaning behind the policy which is to guarantee consistent and adequate coverage to all American citizens in their healthcare policies regardless of occupation.

It’s distilling meaning into sound-bites. And they play well. But then they bite. Without some foresight into how that battle will affect subsequent ones I fear the GOP is making itself look increasingly irrelevant in a modern and rapidly changing world. Conservatism isn’t dead, the GOP just doesn’t have a monopoly on it.