Our Bipolar Politics

 joe mccarthy and roy cohn at Army-McCarthy hearings (wiki commons)  Minnesota and Wisconsin are politically bipolar.  Wisconsin, in particular.  The home to so many progressives and union activists is the same state that gave us Joe McCarthy and Paul Ryan.  McCarthy’s  record of deception, witch-hunting, black-listing, career-wrecking and defamation, speaks for itself.  Congressman Ryan, who grew up in a nearly all-white town, attended a nearly all-white college and then went to work for his family’s small town business before being encapsulated by the bubble of conservative politics (great range of experience), is “ranked among the party’s most influential voices on conservative economic policy.” -Wikipedia

Lucky us.  No surprise that this guy is to the right of Attila.  Before long, he’ll probably be calling for hearings on un-American activities.  Like his fellow-traveler Michele Bachmann, he’s on the “Less government and more God!” track.

“Our founders got it right when they wrote in the Declaration of Independence that our rights come from nature and nature’s God, not from government. – Paul Ryan

Apparently Mr. Ryan sees no gap between the figurative and the literal, feels no real need for context (a number of the founders were Deists), and thinks that if we all pray hard enough everything will be just fine.  Hallelujah.

My home state of Minnesota, is also on tilt.   They’ve given us Humphrey, Mondale and Franken.  The good ol’ DFL.  Common sense at every turn.  Garrison Keillor’s written a wonderful book about Minnesota politics entitled, “Homegrown Democrat: A Few Plain Thoughts from the Heart of America.”  And now, like a bad cold that won’t go away, the great state of Minnesota continues sending us the uninformed right-wing mental machinations of Michele Bachmann.

Some years ago, The History Channel, featured panel discussions with educators talking about the historical legitimacy of the channel’s programming.    The movie “War and Peace” for example, would be followed by a panel discussion on whether the film was historically accurate or just an example of Hollywood fiction.  It was a great feature, very educational, and I’m sorry they dropped it.  Had to make room for Larry the Cable Guy, I guess.  Anyway, I recall a particularly enlightening discussion on the founding fathers and the comments of one professor who said that some or all of the founders would be amazed that the American experiment didn’t come apart at the seams long ago.

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