For generations, the variations and gradients of perspective politically in both of our two major political parties was astounding. You had conservative Democrats and conservative Republicans who weren't in any ideological respect the same people when it came to the great issue of their day, civil rights for all (the latter were the supporters of it and the former attempted to ignore the issue entirely). And you also had a liberal wing of the Republican party with people like Charles Percy, Edward Brooke, Nelson Rockefeller and Dwight Eisenhower who, when you cross the partisan divide might have been seen as no more than moderate Democrats.
The current Republican party that's evolved, in my opinion, since the days of Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan thinks of all of those people and others to include Chuck Hagel, Colin Powell and John McCain as Republicans in Name Only, RINOs. The Chamber of Commerce ninja assassins and all those chinless wonders who push the buttons in the party of Lincoln at this time see Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Peter King and Paul Ryan as true blue Republicans and dismiss with a sneer all those whose pedigree is questionable and whose ideology may be less than pure (than their own).
Back in the day, we used to joke the Great Loyalty Oath Crusade always demanded to know "Is your grandmother's Great Dane a Communist?" and now we have, as I understand the November election results, 47% of the nation believing tthat wondering if you can't quote chapter and verse from the book of Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter, how dare you call yourself a Republican.
There's a gnashing of teeth when discussions of the merits of the Presidencies of either George H or George W Bush are raised since there's a growing consensus that neither of them was/is a 'real Republican,' which I'm thinking must come as somewhat of a shock to both men and to those who worked for them while they were in the White House.
I know Republicans, or believe to know of them. They're like people who are left-handed or who eat peas with honey. That is to say, I have little interest in their specialized and specific political beliefs because under the 'Big Tent' there's enough space to accommodate their belief system and mine in that 'one man's ceiling is another man's floor' kind of way.
So when Colin Powell shared his discomfiture not only about his party's (lack of) support for Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense but for almost any social progress or program created in the last thirty years Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" why did all of us get so silent? Yes, I realize MTP is another 'lamestream media' production. That leads me to wonder how is it we've permitted extremist trolls in both parties to frame the discussion and create labels for institutions that have been around for decades even though none of these morons could ever hope to make a meaningful contribution to ANY of them.
Where do Ann and Rachel and Sean and Ed go when the welcoming arms of Fox and MSNBC are not there for them? Back into Crankworld from whence they came and where they should have remained. Don't mistake me-I will not be going shoe-shopping with Chuck Hagel but I can see him more easily in the model of a Bob Gates and Les Aspin than a Donald Rumsfeld. And that he's being criticized for not being partisan enough makes my hair hurt.
Cabinet appointments should reflect our highest intentions and finest aspirations as a nation, NOT be a chance to advance a petty political agenda under yet another false flag. The dark vein of intolerance that General Powell sees on one side of the aisle has, I fear, long since spilled over and polluted both sides of the aisle. The hell with bridge-building-hair pulling is the order of the day, every day.
"I wake up in the morning, fold my hands and pray for rain. I got a head full of ideas that are driving me insane, it's a shame the way she makes me scrub the floor."