The haunting question

It’s sad to watch what passes for politics these days. There is no appetite for compromise, much less consensus. Both parties have good ideas, but are ready to hold out until they can have the whole enchilada. Both of them labor under the assumption that total victory is only one or two election cycles away. Meanwhile, us peons are stuck in the present, trying to hold onto the pot we piss in and avoiding reality by watching reality shows on the big flat screen.

Here in California, more voters are leaving the Big Two every day. The Democrats are down to 44% and the GOP has fallen to an embarrassing 30%, only nine points ahead of the decliners at 21%. Of course, the decliners are hardly united. Some believe that the parties aren’t extreme enough. Uh huh.

Although some might try to pigeonhole me as an old curmudeonly pessimist, I refuse that honor. I am optimistic that if enough of us in the “extreme middle” hold out, eventually a better product will come along to fill the void. The haunting question is; will it come in time? 


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11 Responses to The haunting question

  1. Gulping the whole enchilada can lead to heartburn.

  2. PeteK says:

    I would think that if there is ever to be a “moderate” third party, now would be the time to step up to the plate. We have seen that a far right (tea party patriots) and a far left (occupy wall street) are both complete disasters.(not to mention, at times the main stream GOP and Dems) It is time for all us “Fence Squaters” to have our representation.

  3. TD Pittsford says:

    I’d love to see a 3rd party manifest itself out of the beleaguered middle class. Unfortunately they can’t agree on how long each others’ lawns should be much less any kind of political agenda. Crabby is right, there must be compromise before any group could gain enough power and momentum to challenge the firmly entrenched conservatives and liberals. After that they would have to willingly agree to make ungodly sacrifices in order to take on the corporations, the banks, and the unions who, again, are so firmly entrenched in our society that many people are totally unaware of their impact on their lives, or they conveniently ignore them and simply hope that things will work out. In short it’s a monumental commitment that none, or very few in the middle class are willing to undertake. The biggest enemy facing the American middle class is the IRS who holds them hostage and will continue to do so unless there is a willingness to sacrifice virtually everything they own (or perhaps more accurately, which owns them) in order to show a unified front. “Money makes the world go ’round” says the song from the musical, “Cabaret” and nothing could be truer. There is no doubt that a tax boycott would get the attention of the enemy, but the risk of losing their homes, boats, jobs, bank accounts is simply too great for enough taxpayers to unify and utter the famous words, “I’m [we’re] mad as hell and aren’t going to take it any more!” Unfortunately this isn’t a movie, it’s real…possibly the last reel in this vintage motion picture… Sorry, I got distracted but I’m sure you get the picture. Yes we desperately need a 3rd party. Times demand a third choice; I am tired of having to choose the lesser of two evils–of voting AGAINST a candidate (“Anyone but Obama” as the cry goes) instead of FOR a real leader. I don’t know where we are going from here but be assured that after this election the face of American is going to change unalterably and, unless the Mayans were on to something, to our detriment.

    • Greg Goodknight says:

      As a longtime radical moderate, I’ll say the problem isn’t taxation, it’s profligate spending. Keep taxes down, the legislatures borrow, executives sign it off and the printing presses run overtime. Raise taxes, they’ll spend even more.

    • Greg Goodknight says:

      Also, corporations really aren’t tax payers, they are tax collectors. Increase corporate taxes and the real losers are the pension funds (even you public employee union guys), including my measly 401k, that own most corporate stocks. Ever see the movie Casino? The corporation income tax is the skim the gangsters took off the top.

  4. As a conservetarian, I am willing to play your game Bob. We on the right will agree not to “pave every acre …”. Now, will our neighbors on the left agree not to continue “gutting the Constitution and surrendering to UN authority”?

  5. Todd juvinall says:

    So what are the solutions the middle has for say, timber harvesting? What is the middle’s position on removing the mercury in the rivers? How about that fire in the belly middle’s position on late term abortion? Waiting! Oh and could you name the politivian whose positions I have mentioned is carrying the load?

  6. Tony Waters says:

    RL: In my books, compromise would go along something like this: The Democrats give on something that they care about dearly, like environmental regulation. In exchange, the Republicans give up on something that they care about dearly, like the Bush tax cuts. Both would take flak from their base and would probably get primary challengers. But maybe the rest of us would be better off in the long run.

    Don’t see much interest in such compromise from the comments about your cartoon so far!

    • Greg Goodknight says:

      Tony, I don’t see much reduced spending in your ‘compromise’. In round numbers, we’re spending about $3 trillion this year, $2T being borrowed. Looking to the “Bush tax cuts” is the Federal equivalent of someone lifting up the sofa cushions and looking for lost change when their home is about to be foreclosed upon.

  7. Ben Emery says:

    Good cartoon and even better commentary. The BIG two are doing the bidding for opposite ends of the same group, those with the most money money to fund their too big too fail institutions.
    The middle ground is this, a economic plan that allows for profit but not at the expense the commons. The commons being what we share as a society, infrastructure is the big one.
    One last thought that has seem to have been lost over time. The US Government was established by those same founders that fought the revolutionary war. They set up a government that had direct involvement from the citizens of the nation, the ability of self governance. It wasn’t equal and it wasn’t fair but we have to consider the time they wrote this radical document called the US Constitution. Allowing average citizens to fill the chamber of the House of Representatives that have the power of the purse, war, outlining boundaries of judicial branch, and power of impeachment of the executive branch. This was such a radical idea very few in the world thought it could survive. I think the biggest difference between right and left is the perception of what our government is and supposed to be. “We The People” are supposed to be the government not some foreign entity that needs to be feared. What we have today is a government for sale to the highest bidder. Saving frogs doesn’t pay too well and thus the rigidness from the environmentalists.

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

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