Is not refreshing the RealClearPolitics page every five minutes leaving you with a big chunk of free time? Maybe I can help with your doledrums.
Next Up — The Rove Pardon.
Pardons leak from the Oval Office, silent but deadly, around Giftsmas. This year, we’ll get a slew of them — just as we did on January 20, 2001. The Biggie, no doubt, will go to Karl Rove.
Deal with it. It’s in the Constitution.
Republicans of late do not read the Constitution. Lots of Democrats don’t, too. So when Bill Clinton pardoned his own slew of felons on the final day of his presidency, some Republicans and Democrats called for an investigation.
This is one of the many ways in which Republicans and Democrats are exactly alike: They are dumb. The single, significant similarity, however, is that neither party cares about any issue. They are concerned only with winning elections.
The End of Political Parties
Right now, most pundits say the Republican Party is in disarray. I see it the other way around. The Democrats are in enormous trouble.
Bill Clinton transformed the party, via the DLC, to a fiscally disciplined gang of boring moderates. Almost everything worked — the economy was super, we got a free-trade agreement, we fought successful wars for good reasons.
The party now teeters on the abyss of its 80s incarnation: coastal socialists + midwestern labor unions + southern populists. The Obama campaign was insufferably old-school Democrat. I held my tongue throughout this fall’s campaign, because I hate Sarah Palin and everything she embodies. Also, I wanted the Republicans to pay for their crimes — especially the swiftboating, and the scare tactics.
But the Obama campaign sounded much more like David Bonior, Mike Dukakis and Dick Gephardt than Bill Clinton and Paul Tsongas. Rahm Emanuel is the most polarizing partisan since Tom DeLay. And he’s recruited southern religious populists to the party. Why? To win elections.
I can’t support a party whose candidates think Jesus and abortions are more important than balanced budgets — boring as that may seem.
This is not to say that I don’t support the Obama administration. I think Barack Obama is fantastic. I want him to succeed. We need it.
The current party system must go. I have two proposals for replacing it.
Proposal 1: The Realignment
First, allow me to define my terms. Left-wing refers to government presence in daily life, or, generally “more government.” Right-wing is the opposite.
Therefore, FDR, Hitler and Stalin were all left-wing. George W. Bush is left-wing, to a greater degree than his father was. Laws which limit access to abortion are left-wing, as are any attempts to control human behavior by introducing a god or gods into policy debate.
Most people conflate anything “Republican” or churchy with right-wing. This leads to confusion: what does right-wing mean? The Jesus People were right-wing (doing what they do privately, not through government) until 1980, when, at the urging of James Robison and Jerry Falwell, they became politically active. Ironically, they removed a devout evangelical from the White House, replacing him with a guy who didn’t even go to church for the sake of appearances.
In an earlier America, churchy activism was the province of socialists — William Jennings Bryan, and that crowd. That made sense. Jesus was a socialist. Bryan was a Democrat. Today’s Democrats should coalesce big central government, social programs, intervention in the economy, and the Jesus/Abortion movement — all into one party.
It would seem, somehow, more fair if the people that force you to have babies are also the ones who help you raise babies.
My dad is one of these people. He’s a devout Christian who votes anti-abortion. But to back it up, he’s been giving my inheritance to Birthright for decades. His pastor now has him delivering the feeble to doctor’s appointments, every week. It cuts into his Drudge-reading, but it’s what Jesus would do.
The GOP, once purged of its idiot majority, can focus on fiscal prudence. That’s all. One issue: how to trim the fat from the budget. (This means cutting government jobs, and providing fewer services to you. Sorry.) The Jim Edgar/Christie Whitman/William Weld types can take the party reins again.
I don’t know who would win national elections based on this dichotomy, but it would give voters a more coherent idea of who’s who, and what they stand for.
(Note — Some people define right-wing as “corporations running government” while defining the left as “government running corporations.” Of course, that’s the same thing. The people in power get all the nice clothes, food, and villas.)
Proposal 2: The Alternative — Issue-based elections
Vote for people because they share your opinions, not your party label.
In 2006, a house full of homosexual feminists spent two hours making calls to Pennsylvania on behalf of anti-abortion Catholic laborers’ hero Bob Casey. I was there…
…until I pointed out to the group that they were about to go to work on behalf of a candidate who shared none of their ideals. Then I got kicked out.
The Casey Calling party was sponsored by MoveOn.Org — a group I joined at its founding, when its single issue was to get House Republicans to move on (hence the name) — to stop frittering away valuable time worrying about Bill Clinton’s blowjobs.
Only one of the partygoers knew that Bob Casey is a prominent abortion foe. Maybe they assumed all MoveOn-sponsored candidates share their ideals, not just their party label. In fact, the last time the Democrats controlled Congress, the majority of pro-life congresspersons were Democrats. Did you know that?
MoveOn.Org is now another name for the Democratic National Committee. Bob Casey is a Democrat. And that, in a nutshell is what is wrong with our system: A lesbian feminist activist making calls on behalf of Bob Casey, a man working hard against everything she stands for. She could have saved time by shooting herself in the head.
Unfortunately, nobody can be bothered to find out which candidates share their views. So they vote based on party, and get results they hate. It’s especially bad in states where people are allowed to vote straight-tickets — an act so brainless as to defy the idea of informed choice altogether.
I am a liberal — open to ideas. I am a conservative — demanding evidence that the new ideas are better than the old ones. I am a little right of center — slightly preferring libertarian ideals to utopian ones. I have no problem with labeling myself. I don’t mind it when others label me with these terms, even when wielded as epithets.
But please, do not call me a Democrat. Please, do not call me a Republican. I care about things.