The Middle Exists. Compromise Exists.

The middle is actually the middle of the Democratic Party. And compromise needs to happen within that party. And actually we only need that party, because the other party is consumed by the need to constantly throw poo: 

Democratic legislators know that Pritzker will have their backs should any of this spring session’s votes haunt them in the next campaign cycle. He has enough money under his couch cushions to fund their campaigns.

Pritzker also truly believes in this stuff. Where others settled for tiny increases in the minimum wage, Pritzker is nearly doubling it. When his most recent Democratic predecessors either rejected income tax hikes or insisted they be “temporary,” Pritzker went all out and proposed permanently raising taxes on the top 3 percent of earners. Gov. Pat Quinn reluctantly signed a way too restrictive medical marijuana bill into law. Pritzker enthusiastically pushed for legalization.

This much change this quickly can frighten people. So, we’ll see what the future holds. But for now, the governor and his supporters can bask in a bit of glory.

Summary for the uninitiated: Illinois was a clusterfuck for four years under Bruce Rauner, then elected a Democratic governor and whole lot more Democratic representatives, who then proceeded to do popular things. Wild times.

I’ve been saying for years that Republicans don’t need to be saved. AMERICA badly needs to be saved, but the Republican Party serves no purpose to the Republic unless it chooses to do so and SPOILER ALERT FROM 1954 it ain’t making that choice. Totebagger Nation likes to talk about some imagined glory days when “both sides” could get things done by coming together and reaching across the aisle and compromising and giving each other handies in the cloakroom and such. But you get a lot more done when you simply vote the Republicans out.

We don’t need them in order to run the country. A whole assload of my fellow white liberals have convinced themselves we do, because how else are we going to make sure Butthole, West Virginia and the suburbs of Milwaukee are adequately heard in the halls of power if not by listening sincerely to some mouthbreathing Cletus tell a joint session that Little Golden Books make kids gay. But what if we didn’t owe Cletus-Americans a hearing? What if they get what they get, which is their chosen representative, and nothing else? What if we stop trying to compromise with them and just vote in enough Democrats that they don’t matter?

I am so tired of being told we need to bend over forwards and back to give people who have no interest in governing a shot at government. If a bunch of poo-flinging zoo animals get elected to throw poo, we can respect the wishes of their constituents by acknowledging the animals’ existence but we are not obligated to throw poo. Let them do it in their corner, may it grow smaller by the day.

For those who fetishize centrism, here’s what it actually looks like: Legal but limited abortion rights. Legal but limited gun ownership. Legal but limited immigration. A general reluctance to go to war, but if we get pissed off enough, so be it. People being fed and housed and taught to read and given healthcare in some accessible, imperfect fashion that probably puts too much pressure on them. Welfare for businesses that have 10 employees instead of 100. I dunno, subsidies for art that doesn’t suck.

(I don’t, of course, agree with all of those provisions, but this is about the center, not about me.)

All of that is basically the Democratic Party. There is push and pull within, of course, but that push and pull is the politics of which our media-historian complex is so fond. If what we really want is a politics that compromises and finds the center, fine, but let’s recognize where that center actually is. It isn’t in the cage, all covered in poo.