Thursday, September 29, 2005

One Last Time

This has been from the beginning a site in which my family (extended and nuclear - and, man, are the nuclear ones atomic!) can phish my head. The pond needs restocking, and today is as good as any to do it.

Saw my Pop last Friday, with the usual delight (this is the man who taught me how to read, after all, and to love words....), but we do a little dance around his tender feelings for a world gone by, one that started to recede decades ago and keeps sunsetting.

In his own insular way I think he is a good barometer of self-described Independent opinion - plague on all houses and why are you bothering me with taxes and all this other shit? (I heard a lot of this kind of dialogue in the meds line at the Kaiser Pharmacy last year, before the election.) Lefty partisans want to make me feel guilty, and I don't want to do that. Wingnuts are intemperate, but O'Reilly can touch a nerve - and they're all unbalanced anyway, right? Stop, you're making me uncomfortable!

The subject of politicians' thick/thin skins came up. We didn't get very specific, but I couldn't help but remember all the guys who bailed from Congress (both Houses) with the ascendancy of the Newts and the Hammers. Dad wants to think, like Broder, that if everyone is just once again reasonable, it will all work out. And so, for his education, I direct him to Franklin Foer's report in TNR (now open to all) on the College Republicans' Shark Training Camp. Hammerhead 101, Pop - they are serious, they have a marvelous track record (check the alumni list), and the scruffy Libs just don't do it that way - see the last paragraph.

So, today, DeLay descends many notches - there will be legions, well trained, to fill the gap. Fuck, it's going to take decades to flush these weasels out. Throw 'em in jail, and there are battalions of home-schooled kids, so bright-eyed they could be Village-of-the Damned spawn waiting in line for thinktanks and internships or a niche in the Corner.....

I must be fair to Pop - he doesn't read The Corner for guidance, he doesn't want to be partisan, he has the most accepting social values, but, god, I think we share a frustration - from opposite ends, perhaps - with a supine Democratic party that can't make a persuasive moderate case to him and that won't be vigorous enough to me. I'm a fucking LIBERAL, and I don't think Dad and I are unbridgeably apart. I'll leave that to him in Comments.

I am just hoping that we are reaching an illumination, and that we can survive what we are forced to see.


blue girl said...

Hi Grisha!

Great post. Is it really a matter of flushing the right-wing weasels out? Or is it more that we're not spawning our own weasels in such a strict, button-up, Nazi-like fashion?

Lance has a post today about workin' it from the ground up -- my take on his post was that we are very *federal* oriented -- and I can say -- I am guilty of that. I pay way more attention to the bigger races than the ones right here around me.

Your post here goes along with Lance's today -- for me at least.

Yours -- the way you were talking with your dad -- and Lance's and his Bobby Kennedy story --

Both yours and his makes me sad that I grew up in a household with parents who were never engaged in (with?) the world. Ever.


grishaxxx said...

Late getting back on this, BG, and sorry for the...can we say delay any longer without retching?

I absolutely agree with Lance about working local - dog-catcher and on up. The wingnuts have been brilliant about that - see that new book about Phyllis Schlafly (there's a review in TNR) if you doubt the efficacy of stirring up the bottom.

But, as I say that, it reminds me how ambiguous that "bottom" - that populist base - can be. I think one of the reasons you and I and Lance and most libs and progressives and even Establishment Dems look to the Federal Way is that, historically, in or near our lifetimes, it was federal authority that trumped racist and sexist laws that local authorities - democratically approved - would have upheld otherwise.
Now that the hand, the tactics, of the wingnuts has been made plain - and their corruption - maybe we have a chance. There have still been decades of indoctrination - to which, to a degree, people like my parents have been both subject and victim, as it aggravated their fears of a changing world - and we must overcome that. Fucking tough job.

Coming from a labor-relations family, I am inclined to see the weakening of collective bargaining and the union-smashing of the Reagan administration as the great turning point. As we are now, the crushing of Labor as an entity - political, social, economic - is at the top of the list for the Real GOP - the wingnuts could, I think, give a shit - and I think even the most progressive laborites have a hard sell on their hands to reverse some ingrained prejudices about worker organization.

More on this later.