Abortion politics may well sink us as a nation before wars and banks do. We're going down, probably within a generation or so, but I think the torpedo that sinks us has still to be selected. My bet's on abortion.
It is an issue without a solution. We can probably come to compromises on our wars and our finances (we won't have any money, so there won't be much to compromise), our national infrastructure, our food supply, potable water, the Fairness Doctrine, international relations, Guantanamo, Sarah Palin, Lane Kiffin, the date newspapers disappear, the value of Twitter and a myriad of other pressing issues. There's no compromise on abortion. You're either hard after it or hard again' it.
People like me--who detest abortion, understand the need for it, appreciate a woman's protective instinct for her own body and agree that the decision is lonely and nobody else's business--don't count. We have no voice because we waver, try to find common ground, seek compromise on an issue that won't be compromised.
We're getting ready to lose what is already a criminally weak health care bill because of the zealots who want to tack abortion riders on the bill, where they have no business. It's a legislative tactic, not good law for the people. It's an effort to impose a minority view upon a majority of people. And it's winning because our chicken shit legislators are letting it win. This bill--and dang near everything else they are touching these days--has so much less to do with the good of the people of the United States than with whether these jerks can get re-elected.
It is more appalling than the graft that keeps them in office, than the sell-off of integrity that begins the day after the election. Wonder why we're disillusioned (regardless of whether we're on one side of the political aisle or the other)? Look at this specific bill and this debate and just exactly where it's going with absolutely no chance of changing anything that is wrong.
Cynical? You're damn right, I'm cynical. Congress has given me ample justification*.
(* Let me note a significant exception here: the heroic Congressman Tom Perriello of a district going from Danville and Martinsville, through Franklin County and up to Charlottesville--talk about gerrymandered. Republicans have targeted him and think he's politically suicidal. His legislative assistant says Perriello "didn't come to congress to get re-elected" and the Huffington Post reports, "Inside the Beltway, this behavior is generally regarded as insane." That is a good thing.)