Sunday, October 26, 2008

flip-flopping republicans

The Republican Party is warning voters against the perils of one-party rule - urging votes for GOP candidates for Senate and the House. I guess they think John McCain might lose to Barack Obama.

And David Frum, making his case that McCain's candidacy is dead and the GOP should concentrate on retaining as large a minority in the Senate as possible, writes that the "angry new wing of the Democratic Party will seek to stifle opposition by changing the rules of the political game. Some will want to silence conservative talk radio by tightening regulation of the airwaves via the misleadingly named "fairness doctrine"; others may seek to police the activities of right-leaning think tanks by a stricter interpretation of what is tax-deductible and what is not."

On the first point, one-party rule. The real threat isn't one-party rule. It is one-party REPUBLICAN rule. Witness the fine mess the Republicans made 2001-07 (with a brief period when the Senate was Democratic). The problem wasn't so much one-party rule (misrule), it was rule by a party that was determined to misgovern. I doubt Obama (if elected) and the Democrats (who will almost certainly retain control of Congress) can make quite as big a mess as the de facto Bush administration and the Republican Congress of Denny Hastert, Tom DeLay, Trent Lott, and Bill Frist.

On the second point, Frum again assumes that what the REPUBLICANS do with unfettered power will be how the DEMOCRATS would respond. For example, DeLay's infamous K Street Project sought to guarantee Republican predominance among the permanent lobbying class by punishing companies for not hiring DeLay and Republican acolytes. It was DeLay's Congress that increasingly quashed the right of the Democratic minority to do anything in Congress, that changed the rules of Congress to fit their tactical concerns, and to run a maximalist Republican policy of passing the most extreme legislation that could garner a narrow majority vote. A divide, not unite, policy.



Blogger John E said...

There are a number of misconceptions in your review of McCain's career. First, his father only became an Admiral after McCain graduated from USNA. Even if he had been an Admiral it would not have mattered for getting into USNA -- the admissions process doesn't work that way. As for his fighter pilot billet. In those days McCain's risky behavior is exactly what the fighter community was looking for. I know, I'm an academy type from that same vintage.

8:22 AM  
Blogger Don Q Blogger said...

John E, thanks for the comment. It is interesting that the Navy was looking for such risk-taking back then. But it doesn't mean that is a quality that might be good in a President!

5:47 AM  

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