Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Political Season of Spite

The most mundane man in Washington puts his finger on the prevailing mood. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, fed up with the Republicans blocking judicial nominees, says they are being “being held up out of spite.”

Spite, malice, resentment increasingly pervade the American landscape in an election year that promises to be uglier than any in living memory.

It recalls the farmer who, upon being told he will be granted a wish but that his hated neighbor will be given twice as much, replies “Pluck out one of my eyes.”

As Reid asks the President to unilaterally appoint scores of judges during Congressional recess, the White House agrees that “Republican obstructionism is an overtly political maneuver to thwart the president’s agenda” while waffling on whether to follow his lead.

Venom spreads across the country in GOP primaries.

In Georgia, Newt Gingrich tells former neighbors, “Let’s be clear what this election is all about. We believe in the right to bear arms, and we like to bear the arms in our trucks.”

Clean-cut Mitt Romney’s SuperPAC sugar daddy keeps suing media critics for pointing out that his wealth comes from a company selling dietary supplements and cleaning products in what Michigan regulators have called “the marketing and promotion of an illegal pyramid.”

On the stump, Rick Santorum says public schools are “anachronistic” and that Barack Obama is guided by “some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology.”

The American political landscape is unreeling backward at warp speed, and philosophical Harry Reid has identified a key element.

Will voters reverse the momentum? Or spite themselves by putting one of these bozos in the White House?

Update: On Sunday TV, Santorum is still holding his medieval fort. “I wasn’t suggesting that the president’s not a Christian,” he says, but linking him to what “radical environmentalist” believe:

“The earth is not the objective. Man is the objective, and I think that a lot of radical environmentalists have it upside down.”

Not backing down from his criticism of education, the candidate who home-schooled his own kids insists, “I think the parent should be in charge.”

So much for the votes of environmentalists and teachers.

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