|In Washington, and in the country there has always been a sense of the political universe dichotomized into those on the inside and those on the outside, but in the past this division didn't carry the explanatory power of The Left versus The Right. We could place someone, and predict their future actions better from know if they were of the Left or of the Right. That appears to be changing. |
This isn't to say that one can't categorize political doings along more than one axis. We can have Left-Right and Insider-Outsider. What is becoming interesting is seeing a shift in which is the more predominate axis - the one that is the most telling.
For a long time, we've seen a split along party lines but it wasn't as deep a fissure or as intensely felt in the past as it is now. But party factionalism has massively increased and nearly all votes became partisan and all we heard from the mouths of politicians and media talking-heads were party-line talking points. I believe this factionalism is the result of two things: The Democrats transformed from moderate welfare state advocates to Progressives, not just moving their party to the far left, but taking it over... silently and completely. On the other side, the continuing drift to the left evident in national politics gave rise to the Tea Party as a grass-roots expression of conservative views - the reaction to a country moving away from their political norms.
In response, they elected fiscal conservatives and even a few libertarian conservatives. The distance between the new Progressives and the reinforced conservative wing of the Republicans became a far greater a chasm to span than the distance between the old Democrats and the old Republicans.
Left dangling in the middle are the ESTABLISHMENT - those politicians who are there for power itself, and have no particular ideology, and who often find themselves supporting the current administration. This includes those Republicans who put Establishment/Big-Government above ideology. On the Republican side that includes the power structure with people like the House Majority Leader, the Whip, and the Hawks, like Senator's McCain and Graham.
But with a new war looming in the Middle East in Syria, we see the shift from ideology to Inside versus Outside. Polls show that the people don't want to go to war, the far left doesn't want their President Obama to continue his march towards military intervention, the Libertarians and even most of the Conservatives don't want the war either. It is a shift in the ruling dynamics from left-right to Insider-Outsider.
It is frightening in one way: It may be a signal of a critical stage in the transformation from a relatively free nation to a statist nation. We all know that politicians can only pretend to be doing this or that comprehensive reform package for the good of the people for so long before the facade wears thin and everyone knows it is about power and control (wrapped up in lies and give-aways). At that point, the rhetoric continues - and it is called what it is: Propaganda. The forces within the government focus out on controlling the citizens more and more (kind of like what we have seen with beefing up the IRS, using NSA to target citizens, granting exemptions to cronies to keep them close while tightening regulations and taxes on everyone else, a more powerful Executive branch, a weaker legislative branch, and a judicial that begins to rubber stamp the Executive's constitutional overreach.)
The good news is that as culture adopts this it should clarify many of the issues... with most of us on the outside, even the neophytes and non-political will come to see the Inside as being the enemy. It will be harder for the mass media to continue their Progressive bias without being painted as pro-Insider.
(Edited by Steve Wolfer on 9/10, 7:58am)