Saturday, July 03, 2010

Democrats & Republicans

This past week, Michael Steele said some (at best) poorly worded things about the war in Afghanistan. Many Republican leaders are calling for his ouster.

This past week, WV Senator Robert Byrd (a former KKK leader, organizer, and recruiter) died. As a Senator, supposedly post-KKK, Byrd fought against the Civil Rights Act. To the end of his day, he said very ugly things about race, including references to "n*ggers" in a televised interview.

At his funeral, Democrats were unanimous in lavishing praise on Byrd.

Do you see the disconnect?

In the mid-90's, Newt Gingrich led the Republicans to majority status in the House of Representatives. Gingrich was offered several lucrative book deals. The Democrats HOWLED, led by the pit yorkie David Bonior. It was unethical, they argued, for the Speaker of the House to profit from his position. (Never mind the fact that hundreds of Senators and Reps previous and dozens since have made money from writing books, many with advances not disproportionate to Gingrich's.)

Republicans didn't defend Gingrich. They let him twist in the wind until he agreed to restructure the payments he received on his book deals. Other Republicans chipped away at his leadership over the next few months, through scandals (some actual, some implied) and innuendo, until Gingrich gave up leadership and ultimately left the House.

Christopher Dodd, on the other hand, is one of the most ethically challenged people ever to walk the halls of the Capital. Date rapist, sexual harasser, the King of kickbacks; he has kept his place in the Senate, and is leaving now only because his popularity with the voters began to wane.


This is what I meant this morning when I tweeted / posted the following: "The lesson of Michael Steele and Robert Byrd: Democrats are better team players and more interested in winning than in ideological purity. Republicans are poor team players, more interested in ideological purity (often in the interests of self-advancement) than winning. Democrats have no shame; in politics, that's an asset. . . ."

What is it about Republicans that makes us incapable of circling the wagons around an embattled leader, damning the press and pushing ahead with what we believe in? What is it about Republicans that makes us tend to shoot our wounded rather than rallying around them?

Why do we have such a hard time being pragmatic, willing to gain ground incrementally, willing to compromise on ancillary issues in the interests of the big picture?

Is it our ties to conservative religious groups?

Is it the ghost of Watergate?

Is it the entrepreneurial spirit of our beliefs and convictions, which rewards & fosters ambition and the desire to get ahead (sometimes even if it means stabbing in the back the person in front of you)?

Obama has been a dismal failure. The Dems are on the run. We have the chance to rise from the dead (Nov 2008) and retake at LEAST one house of Congress, maybe both. IF . . .

If we can unify and focus on fighting our true ideological opponents, articulate a clear, pro-growth, anti-deficit agenda. If we don't, we will waste the most incredible electoral opportunity of our generation.


Blogger Chris and Jen said...

Here is my opinion: Dems are able to rally around leaders because their true value is power. There are idealogical tenants to their platform but at the core is power and control. They believe that the country needs them in power because the rest of the world is to dumb to know what is best for them. With that mindset they can rationalize rallying around anyone because they are being true to the what they believe is the most important value, power.

Republicans have two problems. Some of them are just power hungry politicians like Dems, just with different opinions on some issues. For these republicans (Lindsey Graham) they will do whatever advances them personally, not what is best for the party.

For true conservative republicans, the core value is not power but character. They believe in the character of the regular american and have too much respect for the voter to be fake for political sake. Unlike the Dems, they think the people are smart enough to spot a fake and run in the other direction of shooting when there is blood in the water.

The key to mid-terms and to the 2012 elections will be each candidate confronting Obama's record and not getting into debates about other crap. If presented truthfully there are very few precincts in the country where Obama's record will be embraced.

8:35 PM  
Blogger Chris and Jen said...

This is Chris Jones

8:35 PM  

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