THE BLOG
07/03/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Politics of Divisive Questioning

At some point in the nice-nasty exchanges between certain Democrats and Republicans about that Hispanic lady who President Barack Obama has nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court, some sane outsider needs to call a Come To Jesus Meeting to clear the air and recalibrate the nation's political scale.

While the likelihood of that meeting happening is slim to none -- and Slim has been exiled -- at least the overture could help us to get at the truth of wedge issues that continue to widen the gulf between the two parties, and by association, too many Americans.

For starters, the GOP's unwillingness and inability to understand that in these post-Bush days to the victor go the spoils means that they're an even sorer loser than LeBron James after the Orlando Magic sent his team home from the NBA's Eastern Conference finals.

The fact that some high-profile Republicans are displaying an inability or unwillingness to act like decent elected officials who best represent their constituents' interests rather than as petulant obstructionists is maddening to reasonable people to say the least.

On the other hand, however, the mean-spirited rhetoric being hurled by some of their members at the entire Obama administration and most recently at his decision to nominate a Hispanic woman with four syllables in her last name is unnerving a smaller subset of Republicans. These are the folks like Sen. John Cornyn out of Texas who has said, "This is not the kind of tone that any of us want to set when it comes to performing our constitutional responsibilities of advice and consent."

Or from Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, also from Texas, who observed: "I definitely think we need to have the respectful tone and we need to look at the record."

Who are they talking at instead of to? Try bombastic radio entertainer Rush Limbaugh and flailing-in-thin-air Newt Gingrich who have called that Hispanic lady with the stellar academic background a racist unfit for the highest court.

In their cases, "conservative Republican" is synonymous with "old, cantankerous guys who handle adversity -- never mind diversity -- with the aplomb of a hungry rattlesnake quarantined with a gerbil.

If you're wondering why those two senators aren't carrying the polluted water of the GOP's conservative wing that's been hijacked by Limbaugh and Gingrich, reference U.S. Census records to find out how many Hispanics live in Texas. The last time I checked, the state was contiguous to Mexico.

But back to that Come To Jesus Meeting that should be attended by an equal number of Democrats and Republicans.

Although it's highly unlikely that I'd be invited to attend (heck, I'm just a lowly voter whose interests elected officials purport to understand and advocate for), what I would pay to be a fly -- with a recording device -- on the wall.

If I had a chance to submit several questions for the attending members of both parties, my list, submitted on behalf of all Americans who are eternally nauseous over the behavior of and venom from local and national politicians, and the general state of politics, would look a little something like this list of five queries that admittedly contains some inherent contradictions. But when it comes to American political theater, nothing is as clear and clean cut as it's cracked up to be:

1. Why doesn't a larger contingent of the GOP grow some potatoes and grow up in a way that even the most haughty and confident members of their fractured party stop quaking in their boots at the prospect of angering Limbaugh and Gingrich, two myopic, self-serving, pompous and anachronistic grandfathers who could be elected dog catcher but only if dogs couldn't vote?

2. Why are too many Democrats so hell bent on trying to get everybody to like them instead of governing based on their articulated economic, education and military beliefs?

3. Do both parties believe the fundraising reform is synonymous with "joke"?

4. To the GOP: To what extent do you believe that the Politics of Slash And Burn and the Politics of Personal Destruction lend themselves to digging this country out of a federal deficit that your kid's kid's kid's kid's kid's kids still will be saddled with?

5. Have either the Democrats or Republicans ever met a sound piece of legislation that they were bound to support until they found its origins rested with the opposing party? (Talk about snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory.)

But back to that lady who, if approved, will become the top court's first Latina justice. It appears that the GOP's politics of poison has rubbed off on me as apparently I got too close to the fray via the print and electronic media; so much so that I'm unable to call the woman by her given name.

Forget guilt by association. How about guilt by voter's registration card. I need a bath.