I find myself more and more disenfranchised from politics.
I wish it was because of the absurdity we see day in and out, with certain politicians reciting Dr. Seuss during a filibuster or others taking pictures of their private parts and sending them around electronically. But rather, I think it is due to the hypocrisy and double-standards that exist.
More than 40 years ago, the journalists who reported the Watergate scandal were given Pulitzer Prizes and celebrated for their efforts, and President Richard Nixon was impeached and forever disgraced.
Today, the government is caught spying on the public at will, the whistle-blower has to hole up in a foreign land, and very few repercussions are likely in store for President Barack Obama.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, once a likely candidate for president, is heavily scrutinized for supposedly ordering a couple lanes of traffic to be shut down as political payback against a Democratic lawmaker who didn’t support his re-election.
Also last year, national parks and government offices were shut down during a budget standoff over the “sequester,” and Obama was rather effective in blaming it on the GOP by calling it a “Republican-led government shutdown.”
Meanwhile, no evidence has yet surfaced of Christie’s direct knowledge, and he’s already taken more grief than Obama ever will for the sequester.
I don’t necessarily buy in to an intentional media bias, but you have to ask yourself, what would have been said if President George Bush were in office during a spying scandal or a government shutdown? Where would the blame have been placed?
I’m taking an educated guess that it would have been put squarely on George, and frankly it doesn’t matter which George it would have been: George H. had to weather Broccoli-Gate, which will define him more for some than his handling of the first Gulf war. And later, George W. was even given the lion’s share of blame for Mother Nature laying a whooping down on New Orleans and the Gulf from Hurricane Katrina.
I thought it was ridiculous then when people didn’t heed warnings to leave and then flipped good old George the bird from the rooftops of their flooded homes, and I find it even more maddening now given the way Obama is treated with kid gloves by reporters who normally attack certain Republicans with the razor-sharp teeth of an orca.
I don’t like the way politics is predicated on “picking a team” and then blindly standing behind it. For years, I have been as fiscally conservative as Alex P. Keaton and as liberal socially as Sean Penn, but without Penn’s nastiness and constant threats to leave the country.
What is a shame is that while those beliefs might mirror many people in this country, it doesn’t match one of the main politcal parties.
I’m effectively a man without a team, a free agent of sorts.
I’m starting to like it that way.
You can reach Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org to blame me for the sequester.