No Easy Answers


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Republican Doldrums

Robert Novak is at it again, "bashing" Republicans. But he makes an observation in his recent column that I happen to agree with. In politics, there is no value to being true to principle, the scam is to be marginally "better" than your opposition. And so there is no doubt, the scam requires a two-party system, where the winner will always be one of the two. That is what passes for competition in the political realm.

But seriously, why be "much better" or "much different" from one's competitor, as long as a marginal difference results in winning the election? What are nominally Republican voters going to do? Let the DEMs take control of the government?

I posit that the strategy by the Republicans is politically sound, as long as marginally different is enough to win elections. Mind you, I don't like it, but it's hard to argue with success.

Republican Doldrums
By Robert D. Novak - Published 4/25/2006 12:08:40 AM

Indeed, Republicans may escape catastrophe this year because of what I have called the Henny Youngman Syndrome. The old standup comic often began his routine by being asked, "How's your wife?" Henny replied: "Compared to what?" Republicans seek votes by tacitly urging citizens to forget their faults because the Democrats are much worse. In that sense, Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean, and Teddy Kennedy could be the most valuable players of 2006 for the GOP. ...

The Republican members of Congress are also reluctant to answer for their own contribution to their party's malaise. During the past eleven years, the Republicans controlling the legislative branch have come to look more and more like the Democrats who sat in those chairs over the previous four decades. Hard to believe though it is, the Republicans are in some ways worse, as in the use of earmarks and the growth of lobbyists' power. They will not admit it, but the Republicans in Congress have made their own bed for this year's election.

Like the children of biblical Israel who so enjoyed the "flesh pots" of Egypt, Republicans derive too much pleasure from the joys of majority status in Congress. Far from being a reason to re-elect them, their attitude toward living the good life in Washington may be reason for their defeat.

But as noted above, the defining measure isn't "how bad has the GOP been?" Rather, it is, "how much worse would it be under the Democrats?" And in that measure, the GOP wins, regardless of how much it spends and inability to enact "small government." Earmarks? Piffle, you haven't sen earmarks until the DEMs have power. Economy? Remember Jimmy Carter?

Folks, it's a race to the bottom, where the winner is the party that gets there second.


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