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  •  Before Bush, depravity was covert (21+ / 0-)

    LBJ, Kissinger, Nixon, Reagan all engaged in depraved behavior of one form or another.  But at least they had the impulse to hide it out of a sense of shame. Iran-Contra, Watergate, Gulf of Tonkin, all qualify as "depraved" behaviors. But they were purposely kept from public view for fear of moral censure. Nixon went to his grave protesting that he was not a crook.

    Not so Bush and Cheney. They took depravity, looting, cronyism, murder, torture,  to an entirely new level, waving it in our faces and daring us to challenge them. Few did.   In doing so they enabled the depravity of the modern Republican Party, the willingness to sabotage an economic recovery, pass anti-labor and pro-polluter, anti-woman, racist  legislation, and basically act against the interests of the collective American people in every conceivable way.  That's the slippery slope we're all sliding down now.

    Part of Obama's 2008 election was a reaction to Bush's depravity.  It's why Jeb Bush didn't even think about running in 2012 because his name is so stained in the collective American consciousness.

    But once you open that door you can't shut it. If people see their leaders behaving in a depraved way, they'll internalize depravity in themselves 'til its become acceptable and justifiable.  Look at the financial community, the bankers.  Depravity is a contagion.

    I'm not blaming Bush and Cheney for the rotteness of these Steubenville kids  (their parents are probably the real rotten ones) but there are only a few degrees of separation between depravity in our government and representatives and depravity in ourselves.

    •  It started before Bush. (4+ / 0-)

      I think Newtie started a lot of it, then the impeachment of Clinton took it low. I can still remember the front page of the WaPo which had transcripts of whatshername talking about blow jobs.......that took the cake.

      Now anything goes. No matter how crass or stupid. So we have a different set of people vying for political office, the bottom of the barrel.

    •  I was right with you until this: (5+ / 0-)
      But once you open that door you can't shut it. If people see their leaders behaving in a depraved way, they'll internalize depravity in themselves 'til its become acceptable and justifiable.
      Do you have any strong evidence that we can't shut that door? Or, are you just feeling pessimistic these days?

      How about "difficult but not impossible"?

      •  I'd like to think it's possible to shut that door (6+ / 0-)

        But I think we'd be right back in the same place had Romney been elected.   I can't even begin to imagine what that asshole would have done if given the reins of power.  There's a constant undercurrent of hate and depravity that has been stifled by the Obama Administration but certainly not eliminated.  I think it has something to do with wealth inequality and the reaction of a population to realizing its future is screwed.  People are being conditioned to being treated as cattle and they don't like it.   They've become exhausted and exasperated with compassion and are more willing to lash out, as long as they're not direct victims of the violence they're being taught to condone.  The societal fabric has been cheapened immesurably by the behavior of the Bush Administration as well as by outsized voices in the media, all enabled by technology.

        So I am pessimistic. I'd like to be wrong, though.

      •  Fortunately, the facts are otherwise (0+ / 0-)

        Racism, bigotry, misogyny, and general Mammonism are in decline in the US, and have been for decades, along with religiosity more broadly. The best places to see this are in Pew Research and Pew Forum on Religion reports of polling over decades, split out by region, by age, by religion, and so on.

        The average improvement seems to be just barely under 1% annually, with considerable variation by issue. Gay rights is progressing fastest, apparently because at the tipping point more people feel that they have permission to come out of the closet, whether as gays or as supporting gays. Hillary Clinton and Ron Portman are the most recent high profile conversions. Most of the change, however, is not from conversions, but from angry old White men dying off and being replaced by young and diverse young men and women who have no interest in refighting the Civil War, Jim Crow, God, Guns, and Gays, and the rest.

        There is no question, however, that in public the racists are more racist, the bigots more bigoted, the misogynists more misogynistic, and the Mammonites greedier—in short, the depraved more depraved, and all of them more in-your-face about it. The NRA and the serious gun nuts, too. I take this to be a sign that they have noticed that they are all losing the battle for hearts and minds, and are becoming desperate.

        The question for Kossacks interested in electing more and better Democrats is whether these changes and others can get us to the point of overcoming and abolishing the filibuster and the gerrymander, and replacing Scalia (the oldest and nastiest on the right of the Supreme Court). I think we can, if we get with the program, basically spread the word on the majorities that back Progressive policies, and GOTV every day, not just when elections approach.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 09:50:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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