Punchinello’s Chronicles

February 8, 2010

The Party of ‘No’

Filed under: Word of the Day — Punchinello @ 4:08 am
Tags: , , , , ,

The media and cultural pundits have been making a big deal lately about the Republican party being the party of saying no. Saying no to everything! The overall and resulting sense is that the GOP and Republicans in congress have no ideas, no solutions, aren’t being constructive, and are acting only to stall everything and anything. In fact, we even have supposed compromisers suggesting that saying no to everything during such a time of crisis is bad for the country.

A friend of mine had a great way to sum up the idea of compromise, a number of years ago when we were talking about values. She offered to bake me some brownies. She’d bring them over, give them to me and we could enjoy those brownies together. Oh…just one thing…there was a little bit of shit in them. Not much; in fact, only a tiny, tiny little teenie-weenie bit of shit. I’d hardly even know it was there.

So I said no thanks.

But let’s carry that analogy forward. Let’s suppose that instead of putting shit in the brownies, she offered to put arsenic or cyanide in the brownies? No? Well what about if she put hydrochloric acid in with the brownies? I guess I’d still be saying no.

Liberals and progressives simply don’t fathom the idea that there can be absolute values. It’s impossible, particularly in a post-constructionist world where everything is relative. Since no human being can be perfect, then no values formulated by human beings can be perfect they say. At least, that’s the simplistic argument.

The problem is that values aren’t formulated by human beings. Values are logical constructs. They’re ideal formulas of how the world functions. The problem isn’t that human beings can’t live up to values perfectly. It’s that values are the goal and measure of how we ought to try to live. In most cases, none of us will totally succeed in perfectly living any particular valued principle. It’s our duty and moral obligation to try, though, not abandon all values.

Because of this faulty argument, we’re told that everything is subject to compromise. Values and ideals are simply statements of opinion. They’re opinions of how people ought to live, but they’re really only that; opinions. The way the argument goes is that who’s to say what’s right or what’s wrong? Particularly when anyone who states a value can likely be shown to have made wrong decisions in many specific instances.

That’s like saying there’s no absolute truth to the logical statement that 2+2=4. Well, it depends on what we mean by “2,” or how we decide to implement the equal sign. Maybe today it’s true, but who’s to say tomorrow it’ll be true? The whole nonsensical argument rests on removing all logic from the process.

If there cannot be any absolute values, then only a consensus of opinion remains. If the majority of people in congress “feel” that something is true, then it must be true. Why not have a vote on mathematics then? Let’s put it to the people: Should the oppressed minorities of 2 be forced to work together for the capitalist imperialism of the 4?

Congress wants to put a little bit of shit in the current administration’s agenda. Not a lot, just a tiny little bit, almost so’s you wouldn’t notice. Unless someone told you. In fact, you’d hardly even taste the shit, it’s such a fractional amount. But do those senators and representatives want to eat the brownies? Oh my no, that wouldn’t do at all!

The Republicans using the filibuster tool aren’t the party of “no.” They’re not obstructionists. Republicans DO have many solutions, plans, thoughts and proposals, but the Democrats (so far) have refused to even acknowledge there might be a reason to have meetings. Oh yes, Mr. Obama has announced that he’d like to get together with those waskawee Wepubwicans to hear if they have any solutions, but that’s only because of the Scott Brown electoral victory.

The fact remains that we’re being fed a little bit of shit in just about everything coming out of politics these days. Illinois just voted for a candidate to fill the Lieutenant Governor position, and it seems he has all sorts of bad things in his past. It’s just a little bit of bad things, just a little bit of shit, so why should we worry? Hey…we won’t even notice, really. Not once he’s in office. It’s not like he’s The Governor or anything, right?

Saying no to being murdered, raped, robbed and attacked is a permanent and continuing obligation. Acquiescing to violence and crime against one’s own person is utter stupidity. I don’t hear many people discussing this, lately. Everyone loves to chant the mantra, “The party of No!” It’s so much easier than actually thinking. It’s so much easier than actually speaking about values or ideals. It’s quick and simple, and leaves plenty of time to watch TV.

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