POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY JEFFREY SIMPSON IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
Obama's trouble in Washington is pretty much the same thing we are experiencing with Harper.
Harper's model is the Republican Right: offer no cooperation, take extreme measures, and endlessly insult the opposition.
Actually, "Republican Right" is a misnomer: the entire Republican party behaves this way, and this has been the pattern for our adult lifetimes.
It actually is the domestic political equivalent of Israel's "iron wall" towards its neighbors.
No talents around conciliation will help in the least when your opponent is dedicated to be stubborn, unreasoning, and ruthless.
I'm glad Obama tried, but his breath is wasted.
"Hope = Dope"
Surely the writer of that pathetic comment must recognize that Obama is an exceptionally intelligent person.
But in a country where Sarah Palin can command $100,000 for yelping a few times and where a certified moron like Bush can be president for two terms, bullsh-t baffles brains.
American national politics have become debased to an extraordinary extent, and it is solely the work of the Right which has settled into a philosophy of hooting and calling names and quoting God.
Our trouble, of course, is that that pernicious influence is flooding into our politics through Harper's behaviors, much as BP's oil is flooding the Gulf of Mexico.
"Like Abraham Lincoln, right?
"And those heroic Democrats that were the originators of the KKK (look it up)? Defenders of the common man, right?"
That is a prime example of how a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Neither the Republican party nor the Democratic party are at all the same things they were in the early 1860s.
Only the names remain.
Indeed, in some ways, their roles have reversed.
Lincoln believed in strong central government, which was what the Civil War was truly all about.
Lincoln's view is anathema to a Republican today.
The Democrats lost the South in the 1960s precisely because of the Civil Rights Voting act.
The Republicans today in many Southern states work hard and subtly to prevent blacks from voting. We saw this clearly in Florida.