A flurry of links made me backtrack -- and I have discovered my old-days conservative blogging pal John Cole has basically said he just can't swing with the Republicans anymore, and name-checked the article over which we became acquainted -- I Miss Republicans. I look back at that article where I say "I don't like to get overtly political here..." and laugh and laugh.
But that's what the last two years have gotten us. Cole is no less a conservative than he ever was -- but he's a principled conservative, and that's what doomed him. He called bullshit on torture and smear campaigns and mismanagement of Iraq because they were wrong and he refused to drink the kool-aid just to get along/go along. That doesn't mean he's suddenly universal health-care boy.
And hell, I am in no way shape or form more liberal than I was two years ago. But the things that made me go "huh, that's weird" two years ago have now escalated to the point where I am genuinely convinced this country is being run by actual crazy people. To be blunt, a country where John Cole and I find ourselves on the same side of the "What the Fuck?" line has gone seriously, seriously off the rails.
I don't call myself a Democrat -- I know this will anger some of my more politically-minded friends, but I don't self-identify around political parties. To me that's about as relevant as calling myself a Whig. I have my little checklist of political beliefs, and whatever candidate most matches them, I vote for them. It's just the crazy time that we live in where my checklist item #1 -- "Basic competence and decent grip on reality" has been completely abandoned by one party's rulers.
In the same way that right now, if you're a progressive you currently vote Democrat, as a conservative you suddenly find yourself without a party. Because whatever the hell Bush and company are doing in Washington, that ain't Republicans.
Listen, we've all had the questionable hook-up. We get it. Bush didn't seem at all crazy when you met him at the club. And sure you dabbled in faith-based stuff, and maybe his foreign policy was a little naive, but come on -- sexy, sexy tax cuts.
But then things got out of control, and kinkier and kinkier and next thing you know you're in a war with no occupation planning and no exit strategy and being told that's okay and back off; and people are being tortured, and then not allowed to talk to their lawyers because they might reveal the secrets of their torture; and the one dude who had oversight on the corruption in the war is fired in secret; and you have record deficits and record spending and Congress meeting over Terry Schiavo and warrantless wiretaps and faith-based anti-science and the end of separation of Church and State and troop families in food banks and the most venal Congress in history and Abramoff and K Street and Young Republican college students in charge of Iraqui reconstruction and fucking HORSE LAWYERS IN CHARGE OF FEMA and bing bang boom you got a whole American city, just lying there dead, no explanations, no excuses, just stunned at how the hell you got here. Exactly like our questionable hook-ups, just substitute "waitress in Provost" for "New Orleans" and "all that vodka and blow" for "Hurricane Katrina" --
But let's not get distracted. Point is -- questionable hook-ups. We, as ordinary citizens, all know how we get out of this: you stop returning the crazy person's calls. We promise never to bring it up when drinking. Several years from now, when everything's scabbed over the two of us can joke about our mutual lapses in judgement while sharing a fine Rolling Rock beverage.
Don't return their calls on Tuesday. It'll suck for a while, and they may bomb Iran to get your attention, and you'll get lots of screaming and crying about how they're the only ones who love you and can protect you from Osama and the gays, but you dig in, man up, come over and watch a few baseball games,and ride it out. You'll probably have to hang tough through 2008, when they have that fake rehab "No baby, I'm okay now, come with me to group" bullshit going on. Don't fall for it. Cra. zy.
Then one day -- one day soon, I promise -- you find you've gone and gotten your party back from the crazy people, and you and I can go back to arguing about minimum wage and universal health care and tax rates on millionaires like civilized countries do.