No one likes to have to do all of the work of changing paradigms in the middle of the stream.
When Obama took office, the voters had had enough of Republicans. But as a nation we were still trapped in the very powerful cultural and political atmosphere of fear imposed by the Republicans after 9/11. The paradigm of the Right Wing had been shoved down America’s throat for so long that everything…and I mean everything was approached, examined, and acted upon from a RW viewpoint.
All issues, policies, statements and actions were not based on what was right for the country, what was morally right, or even what would work.
All issues, policies, statements and actions were determined by how they would be viewed through the imposed Right Wing Paradigm that had been established, with the help of appealing to and exploiting deeply primal fears, by eight years of Cheney/Bush.
This is not a condemnation.
That sort of ‘politickin’ was necessary for political survival in the paradigm that existed then.
A politicians job is to blow in the wind.
Whichever wind (Left or Right) of political pressure is stronger, that is the way they blow. Again this is not a condemnation, it is the reality of politics. Their jobs literally force them to do this, to respond to the ‘mood of the country,’ or in other words the present political paradigm.
When that paradigm changes, the politicians have to change.
And the paradigm is changing.
Out of political necessity, each and every statement and action from the White House for the past two years has been carefully parsed, judged and formulated to play against the imposed and deceitful RW paradigm.
But now with the Republicans out of political power, and thus unable to effectively ratchet up the fear without the bully pulpit, and with a new generation rising that does NOT buy their divisive wedge tactics such as gays are evil or mosques are evil and Muslims are coming to kill you in your bed or that Christianity is the State Religion. And with the rash of Republican sex scandals that have forced them to back away from claiming the mantle of Family Values….
And with the undeniable evidence that democratic economic policies, however imperfect, are far far better for most Americans than Republican economic policies….even if they haven’t yet turned the economy around and created jobs for Main St…..
The Republican Paradigm has been, or more accurately is now in the process of being, broken.
Or to put it more bluntly….no one is buying the Republican Bullshit anymore.
And so the political paradigm is changing. It has in fact, changed at the root of the American psyche, but just like another immense Republican failure, Climate Change Denial, the symptoms of that change are just now starting to show up.
In the new paradigm, the once vitally necessary political position of “supporting gay rights” while at the same time not “supporting gay marriage” now looks, well………stupid.
Supporting killing Afghan children in order to “stop terrorism”, once again a position that was absolutely necessary politically two years ago under the Republican Paradigm, is now being seriously questioned in all quarters.
Especially the part where we spend billions of dollars a month that we don’t have to create more terrorists…..while turning off streetlamps, firing police and firefighters and unpaving roads here at home.
What was a vital necessity under the old paradigm, fighting terrorism in foreign lands no matter what the cost in blood and money….now just seems foolish. Or at least is starting to.
Because the paradigm is changing.
And in part it is changing because of Left Wing pressure. Because the professional AND non-professional Left just will not shut up about it.
All the years of loud annoying Lefties standing up and pointing a finger at the utter stupidity of the Right Wing Paradigm is starting to pay off.
With the help of the Obama Administrations “No Drama” approach to governing. An approach that has shown the American people who the real “radicals” are, the Republican obstructionists that want to return to the fear and horror of the Bush years. Of course in order to pursue that political strategy, they had to embrace or at least accommodate the Bush Paradigm, especially on issues of “National Security.” The “Soft on Terror” part of the paradigm absolutely, well, terrorized them.
The cost of being forced to pander to the Republican paradigm on absolutely everything from national security to health care has taken an immense toll not only on the sensibilities of many of the folks who would like to support Obama….but even worse, on the policies themselves. Pre-compromising to the Republican paradigm, going way too far, farther than was absolutely necessary, to pander to the Republican paradigm lost Obama a LOT of goodwill. And that and that alone makes the arguments that “Obama has achieved more than any President” ring false to aware lefties. We KNOW we could have gotten much more through Congress if it wasn’t for this pre-capitulation to the existing paradigm.
But now the political paradigm has shifted, the cultural paradigm has shifted, the economic paradigm has shifted.
Now when the Left Wing stands up and points at something stupid that the Obama administration has done, the Obama administration no longer has the cover of the Republican paradigm to hide behind. They are forced to listen. They are forced to react.
They are being forced to deal with a new paradigm…..and that is…. uncomfortable, shall we say.
You don’t yell at people, as Gibbs did, who aren’t affecting you.
You don’t insult people whose criticism of you isn’t effective and truthful.
You don’t, if you have power, react strongly to people who have no power.
The changing times we live in, the abject failure of every Republican policy, and to a lesser extent the voices from both the ‘professional” and non-professional Left, are finally forcing us out of the Republican paradigm.
As the old paradigm fades and a new one is established sans the Cheney/Bush/Religious Right influence, the Obama administration will be forced (kicking and screaming apparently. in Gibbs’ case) to adjust to the new paradigm. A paradigm where the horrific, ineffective and just plain wrong policies and views of the past have far lesser currency.
A paradigm where the effective, humane, sensible, and equitable ideas and policies of the Left, ideas and policies that actually work for all Americans, cannot be denied any longer.
This is the cyclical nature of American politics and culture. But in that cycle, someone is needed to stand up and point out that indeed things have changed. As uncomfortable as that may be to Mr. Gibbs.
Left Wing pressure is starting to work.
The White House had fallen into the habit, the politically necessary habit, of listening to, appeasing, and performing for the old, Right Wing paradigm. And we all know how annoyed we get when we are forced to break a habit.
A new paradigm has….occurred. One that will force all of us to break old habits, to rethink our approaches, to Change. Including the White House.
This will be doubly true after the imaginary Republican Wave of 2010 breaks harmlessly upon the shore of this new paradigm, and the Democratic Establishment has to adjust to the fact that they have no more excuses for pandering to the obsolete Republican Party. They will have to govern, they will have to implement new ideas and new policies that reflect and account for this new paradigm. And where will they get those ideas and policies? The same place they always have, from those loud, impolite, annoying Lefties! The ones that keep insisting that doing the Right Thing IS the right thing to do politically as well! And who have been proven historically right time after time as to what the right thing is.
Heck they might even find that Hippie-Punching is not such a good idea anymore! That working with and embracing the Left, instead of openly despising them, might be the new political necessity!
Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! That is a bridge too far to a paradigm that only exists in a parallel universe! For now.