Think the upcoming 2010 elections are less important than the 2008 presidential election?
Less exciting, granted - so far. But this year's midterm elections are without question just as, if not more important than any in recent American history.
Because since before President Obama's ultimate victory in November 2008, the Republican Party saw the writing on the wall and began preparing for recovery from defeat by rallying around its loudest, most politically active fringe - angry, alienated anti-government extremists. That explains the decision to force Sarah Palin on John McCain, a move that may have helped put Obama over the top - but which served its greater purpose of signaling a new organizing and communications strategy for the GOP moving forward.
Instead of moving a little to the Center to try to win back Independent and moderate Republican voters who swung Democratic in 2008, the Republicans instead swerved Right - calculating there would be enough fear and anger about the election of a moderately liberal half-African American man as President to justify building a new brand of oppositional electoral momentum on that subversive foundation.
They figured if they nurtured a relatively small but vocal fringe in its virulent opposition to the new Obama administration, its actual size would be irrelevant - because of the unlimited corporate money and media power poised to publicize, promote and inflate that fringe into something that might somehow seem more widespread, more mainstream - and more acceptable to all those moderate voters who had been lost to the Democrats in 2008.
And so, for almost a year-and-a-half now, the Republican Party has embraced all that is obstructionist and divisive in debating President Obama and the Democrats about the sociopolitical directions that our American democracy, and society in general, should be taking. The danger presented by this ruthless partisan politics is clear, and present.
Only a bold willingness to call out such clear and present danger can succeed in protecting us from it - and in overcoming it at the polls on Election Day. That is exactly what Florida's Democratic congressman Alan Grayson so vividly demonstrates the strength and capacity for in this exclusive new video clip from an appearance this past weekend. Democrats in Florida, and nationwide: Please Take N otes.