In a recent thread on Polinaut, Bob Collins asks some good questions about "Outrage" so here are some of my thoughts.
First, a personal note. I never wanted to side with one of the "two parties" I have no fondness for the two party system. For those who read what I write (and I don't expect anyone would) know this. I have in recent years become active in the DFL (they are now my chosen "team"), but it is not because I am not critical of Democrats, nor the two party system, but rather because of the far right wing extremism that has taken control over our state and federal government. "Bipartisanship" has been dead ever since there has been one party rule, and ever since Bush abused the trust and good will the world shared with us after 9/11. They (the GOP) use war language all the time to describe the political divide, they want to eliminate (and you can take that word metaphorically or otherwise how you see fit) those who disagree with them. That is why I have chosen to act within one of the two parties, and wishing for some sort of step back in time to a civil era just is not possible with those in power currently. If there was a viable third party, things would be better, but there are only two parties who exist outside of the election cycle here in MN, and a party is only a party if it has a base of support. No one is fooled that the IP is currently nothing but an election year scam, they need to do much more work outside of running token candidates to have legitimate impact, and I wish they would. They have not yet earned anyone's vote, "Team MN" is just another election year gimmick.
The use of the term "political hay" is a very cynical approach to all this business with Foley and Torture. Sure there are folks out there that see all this in those terms, but that does not get to the real endemic problem of corruption and ideological divides. People feel very real outrage over our current leaders, and this business of politics is the most serious of businesses.
I am full of outrage FULL of it. The tragedy in Penn adds to it, but it is again a symptom of the greater problem of violence (specifically gun violence and violence on children) in our society. The REAL outrage should be in directed at those who think that this current set of republicans, who cover up violence on children, and condone torture, are from the same mold as previous generations and thus treat them with some legitimacy. The extreme has taken control of their party and they are desecrating our way of life and our constitution. There is no way to look at the this with any sort of balance, things have been WAY out of balance for a long time now, and those in control have abused their power at every step with no one really calling them out. We are at the edge a very deep chasm, and unless these forces are stopped feeling outrage won't do us much good when we can be rounded up on the streets for expressing it. You may find that statement paranoid, but that is the direction we are headed in, denying that potential is naive.
It is just as real that this country just voted to condone torture (and have tortured people, or why do you think that clause was in that bill the pre-pardoned those who participated in this stuff just in case the law did not get through the courts?) as it is real that there are sick people who lose it and go shoot up a school. All this "actually did happen." Is happening, and will continue to happen unless we turnout those cowards who think the only way to beat an enemy is to become just like them.
Those Republicans who wish to regain control of their party, and return it to a respectable player, need to realize that the only thing that will allow some sort of reconstruction, is for their party lose the power which has corrupted them so heavily. The moderates, those like my father who were driven out of that party, need to wake up are realize that the current players of their "team" need to have their contracts torn up.
We all should continue to feel Outrage, but also a great deal of Shame for allowing our country to become what it currently is.