January 10, 2011

NICK GILLESPIE: The Giffords Shooting, The Instant Politicization of Everything, & Why Americans Increasingly Hate Dems & Reps.

How do you take one of the most shocking and revolting murder sprees in memory and make it even more disturbing? By immediately pouncing on its supposed root causes for the most transparently partisan of gains.

Instantaneous bitch-tweeting online (within moments of the shooting, it seems, messages such as “Sarah Palin has blood on her hands” were all over the place) is one thing. Stories filled with actual Democratic Party players such as Paul Begala going on about what an “opportunity” the shooting presents Obama politically aren’t going to help the Dems or anyone else in the long run. . . . The problem isn’t with the current moment’s rhetoric, it’s with the goddamn politicization of every goddamn thing not even for a higher purpose or broader fight but for the cheapest moment-by-moment partisan advantage. Whether on the left or on the right, there’s a totalist mentality that everything can and should be explained first and foremost as to whether it helps or hurt the party of choice.

That sort of clearly calculated punditry helps explain one of last week’s other big stories, which is how both the Dems and the GOP have really bad brand loyalty these days.

Few in our political class have the self-discipline or public-spiritedness needed to successfully govern in a constitutional republic. Which is our biggest problem; much bigger than the financial crisis, the war, or anything else external.

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