We are long past the stage of constructive dialogue in Congress, which seriously puts a halt to social progress in a system that most of us with even minimal historical awareness call a democracy and the other side sneers is socialism. The sickness runs incurably deep. Since the day that Barack Obama stepped into the Oval Office - Barack Hussein Obama! - the Old South began its dramatic return to the podium with the vibrant assistance of the GOP's high priest, Rush Limbaugh, unapologetically aided and abetted by a television network whose deception begins with the kooky assurance that it is fair and balanced.
Why has the unanimous assault from the political right been so much more bitterly sustained beyond ordinary ideological disagreement? . The most entrenched element, less and less muted as time goes on, is racism. Losing to a Democrat, as has happened from time to time in presidential politics, is one thing. Losing to an African-American Democrat is unacceptably something else. Particularly for the political party that is not represented by a single black in Congress.
As Columnist Bob Cesca writes in the Huffington Post:
"...when you strip away all of the rage, all of the nonsensical loud noises and all of the contradictions, all that's left is race. The tea party is almost entirely about race, and there's no comparative group on the left that's similarly motivated by bigotry and racial hatred."
So-called mainstream Republicans have stood before angry crowds and stared diectly into the ugly racist placards with indifference. At the same time, Cesca notes that Limbaugh "can stoke racial animosity on his show by suggesting health-care reform is a civil rights bill - reparation - and no one seems to mind. The Tea Party is an extension of talk radio...of the Fox News Channel. It's an extension of the southern faction of the Republican Party - the faction that gave us the Southern Strategy, the Willie Horton ad, the White Hands ad , the racially divisive politics of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove. It's an extension of the race-baiting and, often, of the outright racism evident in all of those conservative spheres."
In the grand scheme of things, Jim Bunning was no more than a bit player who enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame for the team. Unfortunately, there will be others.