Friday, November 01, 2013

Bilbo Answers Your Questions: Part 2

Yesterday, I answered the first two of the questions you posed in response to my "Ask Bilbo" challenge posted last Wednesday. Here are my sage responses to the remaining questions:

The Bastard King of England asked: "Will we ever get a successful third party?"

No. The two major political parties in America are so entrenched and so well-funded that the chances of a third party being successful are remote in the extreme. The most likely candidate for a new third party is probably a hyper-conservative group growing out of the extreme right wing of the GOP, but while it will be extremely loyal and vocal, it will be too extreme for the vast majority of Americans and would be crushed in a national election except in the most gerrymandered of districts.

Kruiser asked: "What kind of political climate do you think we'd have today if Mitt Romney had defeated Barrack Obama for the presidency?"

I think we'd have something similar to what we have today, but it would be dysfunctional in a different way. Remember that Mitt Romney wasn't the real darling of the GOP, and didn't have the full backing of his own party - particularly of the most extreme elements of the right wing that didn't really accept him as a "true conservative." I think that Mr Romney would have many of the same problems that President Obama has with the far right, although it would be somewhat easier for Speaker Boehner to rally his troops. The Democrats would fight him just as the GOP battles President Obama, but with less success, because the Democrats will never be united and disciplined enough to accomplish much of anything.

Atomic Dog wanted to know: "Will we ever have rainbows and unicorn farts in American politics?," and, "Are there any democracies where politics is polite?"

We will never have rainbows in American politics because the GOP sees nothing but black and white, and the Democrats will spend the pot of gold at the end. We might have unicorn farts because they are far more likely to be detected than reasonable and statesmanlike behavior on the part of current members of Congress. As for democracies where politics is polite, I don't really know the answer, but I do know this: for all the asinine bluster and sorry behavior of American politicians, in this country they don't murder each other. Yet.

Finally, Duckbutt asked: "Is there any institution in society that works any more? I've pretty well written off government and education."

Oddly enough, the best-functioning institution any more is probably the much-maligned US Postal Service. For a mere 46 cents* per ounce, you can send a letter** all the way across the country and be 99% certain that it will arrive safely and accurately within a few days. Of course, there are - as with all large organizations - pockets of staggeringly poor service***, but in general, I think the Post Office is one of the last pockets of reliably decent service in today's America. Education is not a lost cause yet, but it's not for want of trying by politicians who try to save money by cutting education budgets and religious buffoons who try to impose their fantasies on children in the guise of "creation science" and "intelligent design," or who relentlessly push school boards to ban books that don't meet their standards of propriety and acceptability. Government isn't completely lost yet, but if people of good will and reasonable attitude don't start electing statesmen instead of partisan ass clowns, it won't be much longer until it swirls completely down the drain.

And there you have it ... Bilbo's answers to your questions. Got any more? Bring 'em on.

Have a good day. Come back tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday.


* I remember when it was four cents per ounce. Sigh.

** Except who writes good, chatty, informative letters any more?

*** Yes, I'm talking about the Post Office in the Pentagon.


Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

We get a lot of misdeliveries for mail with the USPS.

Netflix is very reliable with the DVDs; but streaming has a limited range of choices.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

I still wish we could get a reasonable alternative third party.

Big Sky Heidi said...

I'm confident in UPS and the Salvation Army.

Brandi said...

Third parties are usually drawn from extremists.