By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers
Dear Wolfgang and Jacqueline:
Always nice to hear from you and to get your queries about politics in the U.S. of A.
To make it easier, I'll copy-and-paste your five inquiries in italics, with my responses below that. My answers will be in the way of informed speculations, since many of us progressive Americans can't believe what we're seeing either. It's like we're caught in a Republican-created whirlpool of crazy: spinning around and around with no way the raging flow can be turned off in time to save the country -- or our battered minds.
Here we go:
1. A MAD VIDEO GAME
So what the f--- is going on? American politics is always a bit weird, but these days it seems even more bi-polar and demented. It's more like a mad video game, points being given for especially ruthless, ignorant, and violent denunciations directed at your perceived opponents. No wonder so many of your citizens stay home on election day. What's the American saying?: "Why should I vote? It only encourages them."
Indeed, the extreme right-wing of the GOP is dedicated to its Manichean, no-compromise ideology, one that could push the country's economy and social structures off a cliff. These HardRightists have gone so far the off the reasonable radar that more and more traditional, stalwart conservatives are coming to realize the likely electoral consequences in 2012: a second term for Obama, and a broken GOP and an intra-party civil war.