America’s recent economic implosion and the passage of House Resolution 1424 are not only stellar examples of fecklessness and corruption in our Congress, but how polar politics is being used to divide and conquer Americans.

Does this mean that there are essentially no differences between the Democrat and Republican parties anymore? Hardly, but there are elements of the same widespread vice and ineptitude within both parties, which conscientious members thereof ought to wish to see eliminated.

The imperious mien and brazen, cavalier manner with which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and company rammed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 down our collective throats, stealing as they went, is nearly beyond belief. The capitulation of those Republicans who had voted against the initial measure on Sept. 29, as well as the ones who were for the bailout to start with, was a study in cravenness. Few who believed that the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act was a horrible idea were willing to jeopardize their livelihoods or their legacies and do the right thing.

As far as Republican lawmakers at large: They have become as bad as Democrats in principle if not in practice. The example of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., who profited significantly from earmarks, throwing octogenarians off of their ancestral farms to further developments in his district, is a prime example. Conservatives have been demonized to the degree that many fainthearted Republican politicians are terrified of being branded as such, and real conservatives within the party are often marginalized.

The rhetoric of division abounds. To be fair, the vitriol and fancy of progressives’ charges tend to be more potent, but lukewarm, self-aggrandizing Republicans have become more at-the-ready with canned accusations and responses of their own. Few of these hold weight or are even on the mark; they speak generally to failure and lack of viability rather than the neo-Marxist direction of the Democrat Party’s evolution. The respective parties’ leadership have turned voters into the good cop and the bad cop, fighting amongst each other while criminals rob the stationhouse blind. The divisions we’ve been persuaded to embrace (largely, but not entirely by the political left) are just smoke.

It’s up to us to put out the fire.

Recently, I had a conversation with someone who plans to vote for Democrat presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama. I asked this person what he thought of the fact that the senator had benefited from the mortgage-banking crisis inasmuch as he received so much money in donations from Fannie Mae (second only to Sen. Dodd) prior to its collapse, and that his friend Franklin Raines had personally walked away with over $100 million.

“More power to ’em,” he said.

I was aghast. Then, I realized: This is near the heart of the matter, and one of the chief reasons Barack Obama may become president. Leaving aside the fact that few voters who support him know what he really represents, those who do know don’t care. Our values have sunk to the lowest common denominator; this is how Democrat lawmakers have been able to abandon all pretense of ethics and continue to thrive. Who can condemn a thief when, given the opportunity, an individual would steal every bit as readily? Though most Americans still hold similar core values, this is where we’re heading.

Again, to be fair, though this columnist assigns blame where blame is due within his own party, the cult of corruption is undeniably a creation of the left, and therefore ensconced and nurtured within the Democrat kraal. Hypocrites and pretenders aside, social conservatism has always promoted moral grounding, as opposed to progressives’ moral relativism, a paradigm the Bill Clinton presidency advanced to no mean degree.

All this gives new meaning to axioms referencing our getting the kind of government we deserve. Perhaps Americans deserve the pain connected with an unabated meltdown of our economy and the resulting civil and social turmoil Some would certainly consider it poetic justice, if nothing else: Rampant inflation, skyrocketing prices, fuel and energy shortages, more terror attacks, food riots, millions of recently unemployed taking to the streets, National Guard involvement, perhaps shootings …

Events such as these – most of which would have been laughed off a month ago, but have suddenly become topics of discussion in certain venues, would have far-reaching negative effects on our nation, but they would certainly wake Americans up. With luck, and assuming America did not suffer a complete breakdown of restraint within our society, it could give rise to a new age of Americans exercising meticulous discernment as regards who we allow to serve us in Washington.

It may come to some of the unfortunate occurrences mentioned above, because despite the disgusting displays of elitism and nefariousness on the part of our elected officials over the last week, no hint of this nascent discernment is yet visible.

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