For the past few years, I’ve read any number of “Left” pundits, along with various bloggers and commenters on blogs saying that there’s “no difference between the parties,” and that “Obama is the same as Bush.” I’ve watched as pompous assholes like Michael Moore say that liberals should “stay home” in the next election, or vote for some yet-to-be-named third party candidate. What they’ve been doing is nursing a grudge because their fantasy platform wasn’t immediately enacted, or having a fit because some pet issue didn’t work out the way they wanted it to. Hence, “there’s no difference” between the parties. These past two weeks should have put a stop to that.
Let’s see what’s happened so far. There was the right-wing pandering by the Komen foundation, pulling breast cancer screening funds from Planned Parenthood. President Obama announced that health plans would cover contraception for women, and the Republicans went off on a tear. Presidential candidates denounced it, Representative Issa held hearings at which not a single woman was asked to speak, and Republican-held state governments were busily passing various laws – or attempting to – about “personhood” and transvaginal ultrasounds.
Let’s not forget Rick Santorum’s injection of religion into the campaign:
Rick Santorum said Sunday he wasn’t questioning whether President Obama is a Christian when he referred to his “phony theology” over the weekend, but was in fact challenging policies that he says place the stewardship of the Earth above the welfare of people living on it.
Which his spokesperson said referred to Obama’s “radical Islamic policies.” Dog whistling, anyone? Oh, Santorum also doesn’t like insurance companies being required to cover prenatal testing:
GOP presidential candidate and former senator Rick Santorum sharply criticized President Obama’s health-care law again Sunday for requiring health-insurance companies to cover certain prenatal tests, because some procedures are used to identify abnormalities and “encourage abortions.”
Just this one candidate? No, it’s being echoed in various ways by the others, and by their surrogates. At the state level, Republicans are doing their level best to implement it. It’s not just women, Republicans are moving across the board when it comes to attacking progressive policies. We’ve all watched Wisconsin and Ohio and their assault on unions. Michigan with its “Emergency Manager” law. Arizona, Georgia, and Alabama passing restrictive immigration laws. Voter ID laws in states. Attempts to roll back or do away with Social Security and Medicare. You name, it Republicans are acting against it.
You notice something? Democrats aren’t doing that! As a matter of fact, they’re doing their best to keep it from happening. For all the griping and moaning about the “Blue Dogs,” you knew that they wouldn’t go that far. Some people are still fooling themselves, thinking that the “Republicans really don’t mean that,” that they’ll be “reasonable” once they’re in office. If you haven’t been paying attention, and you should have, the Republican Party has demonstrated beyond a doubt that it’s serious about this. The “reasonable conservatives” or “moderate Republicans” are things of the past.
Look at all of those statements, at all the actions, and if you still think there’s “no difference between the parties,” then you’re beyond hope. Anyone who continues to say that is not a progressive! They may say they are, they may claim to be “speaking for the base,” but given the objective reality that there is a real, and significant difference between the two parties, they’re most definitely not speaking for the base. They have other motives to stop you from voting, and it’s not to your benefit. It probably is to theirs.
That’s why it’s important to get out and vote this coming November. There’s a lot at stake, and there is a very real choice happening. One party wants to take us into the future, the other wants to take us back to 1900. If you don’t realize that, you need to wake up and smell the coffee.