17 June 2009

Enough whining already!

When my eldest daughter was but a tot, she had a horrible habit of whining incessantly when things did not go her way (as they so often do when you are four years old). I would tell her "no" for something -- a toy, a snack, whatnot -- and then she would begin. Pleading, whining, sometimes even tears.

My standard response to this behavior was to say, "I can't hear you when you whine," and then I would go about my business until she stopped whining and settled down. Only then would I address whatever it was she wanted.

What brings this to mind is the latest attempt by conservatives in general (and Republicans in particular) to bring some sort of attention their way.

The current (and now hopefully almost over) dust-up over David Letterman telling a joke about Sarah Palin's daughter is the most recent attempt for the right to get some media coverage. Unfortunately for them, it is getting about as much response as my daughter's whines. A scheduled demonstration yesterday brought out approximately 15 people -- fifteen! -- to rail against Letterman and CBS. The demonstrators were outnumbered by media, and were often out-shouted by a few vocal counter-demonstrators.

I can understand their frustration -- even Obama swatting a fly gets coverage these days, and I suppose it seems quite unfair to those on the right. But I believe there is a larger issue that conservatives just don't get -- the public, more and more, understands that there are significant problems to be addressed, that the status quo doesn't work, and we need people who are trying to create solutions.

The right isn't doing that. Conservatives seem only to want to pander to the electorate (such as bringing in Palin as a VP candidate to try to win over Hillary supporters), show token evidence of inclusion (making Michael Steele chairman of the Republican party -- "hey, we've got a black guy too!"), or distract people from the real issues of the day (Letterman and most of the Clinton years).

I think people are tired of it. At least I hope they are.

Back to my daughter: Sometimes, the whining wouldn't stop. Those times I would just mostly ignore her. But on occasion, if she was being particularly bad about it, the whining session would end abruptly with a smack on the butt.

One would think that with the smacking the Republicans got in November that they would stop whining, too.

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