The Politics of winning

It’s funny.

Apparently  winning gracefully is something that’s only expectted of Republicans.

As reviled as it is to be a sore loser (especially one who then blames it on your runningmate),  clearly its okay to be a bad winner. Except in football. In the sports world, its called ” Unsportsmanlike conduct” and it will earn you at least a 5 yard penalty. But that doesn’t apply in left-wing politics

For the last 8 years, being a part of the ‘winning’ majority of Americans who voted for George Bush was something to be ashamed of; you were common, misinformed and (to coin one of my least favorite bands) part of a red-neck agenda. I was constantly reminded by my friends ‘in the know’ that I had no right to act picked-on by them because technically I was in the majority. Now that my side has lost, they flip the logic and use their win (and now their majority) to show me that the rest of the US has seen the light, and its high time I stepped in line.

But for all the bi-partisanship, benevolence and unity spouted by the Democrats before the election, I am feeling particularly un-unified right now. Maybe its the fact that I still have to see about a 500 Obama stickers a day (seriously, why are they still on cars? I know my Bush one came down the day of the election.) Or maybe it was the fact that I had to endure gag-worthy coverage of the inauguration – for the three days leading up to AND following it.  Maybe its the sudden move to try to further polarize figures like Rush. Whatever it is, it sure isn’t graceful winning.

Case in point: If your rebuttal to a point in a debate is “I won” maybe you aren’t the one who should be calling – and then moderating – said debate.

That’s what Democrats call “Bi-partisanship”.

But then let’s talk about Prop 8.

I’m sure you’re aware of  the monumental significance of Prop 8 in California. I’m sure you know it passed. Since then, I’ve seen it compared to everything from Jim Crow laws to the persecution of Jews. And I’ve watched as gay-rights activists protested a church, ruined peoples lives and protested in the streets. God forbid you actually donated to the Yes on 8 campaign. Free Speech or not. You might just lose your job, or worse, your restaurant. Just like the loss of secret balloting in union formation, liberals don’t just want you to vote, they want you to vote their way, or face the consequences. The LA Times today  argues that it just gives protesters a fair opportunity to peacefully demonstrate, and graciously offers that you call law enforcement when thing go wrong.

Too Bad for you Republicans: if you win – you lose and if we win – well, you still lose AND we’ll rub it in your face.

But maybe that approach isn’t working so well. The most recent polls are showing that the Dems are losing support on the forced stimulus bill, House Republicans are refusing to play ball, and the RNC just elected a truly galvanizing leader. I’m sure Pelosi and Reid don’t care, but for a large majority of people, ugly winners are still distasteful.

You know what, maybe losing isn’t so bad. The politics of winning seem complicated on this side.


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