Rational Minds in Politics? It’s Possible

Call me crazy, but I think rational minds can prevail.  I think the only way around political  gamesmanship and absurdities is real talk, about real issues, by adults who put country ahead of party.

Occasionally, this actually happens, such as when MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow met with the Republican Party’s Meghan McCain at the recent NRA Convention in Pittsburgh. Yes, a liberal and a conservative, under the same roof.  Surrounded by weaponry.  Yet both emerged unscathed.

Both women agreed that there isn’t a big difference in their thinking on some issues.  For instance, they both see little need for semi-assault rifles or extended magazines, such as the one that led to so much blood shed during the shootings, earlier this year, of an Arizona congresswoman and her constituents.

Perhaps if more straight-forward discussions were to take place, the federal ban on assault rifles that expired in 2004 could be re-instated.  And more lives would be spared.  Imagine that?

But sometimes rational minds don’t seem to be the ones that grab the spotlight.  Take Glenn Beck’s thrashing of Meghan McCain for her role in a skin-cancer public service announcement.  McCain’s face and bare shoulders are visible in the spot, which is called “Naked” because the thought is that people who go outside without applying sunscreen might as well be naked.  Both of McCain’s parents have had skin cancer.

Beck made fun of the advertisement and of McCain’s weight, saying his stomach was upset and making vomiting noises when discussing the PSA on his radio show this week.  Intelligent talk?  Adult behavior?  A way to affect real progress and meaningful change? You decide. (Oh, and Glenn?  Trying to remember the last time someone described you as “svelte”).

Finally, there’s the reaction to President Obama’s announcement about the killing of Osama bin Laden.  You’d think Republicans have a short-term memory problem by the way they are harping on the President for saying the Pledge of Allegiance at the end of his Sunday-night announcement or for giving a single interview to CBS’s “60 Minutes.”  Fox News is grousing about a victory tour.

Uh…guys?  Seriously?  Do you remember President Bush and his White House’s “Mission Accomplished” banner draped across the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln in 2003, declaring an end to the war in Iraq?  Remember the flight suit that Bush wore to land on the aircraft carrier?  Remember the pomp and circumstance?  Remember the John-Kerry-can’t-keep-America-safe re-election scare tactics? Remember the fact that the war wasn’t really over?

President Obama made a tough call.  Luckily, it resulted in the elimination of the leading terrorist figure on the planet.  Can’t we just take a deep breath and, I don’t know, maybe allow ourselves to think of all of the families who were and will always be deeply and personally affected  by the tragedy of September 11th?  Can’t we be real, rational, caring, hopeful adults?  Just for a little while?