Friday, October 26, 2012

Grepped from Facebook

On my Facebook wall (in response to a post about the Republican record on job creation):
Joe: Just tired of Democrats taking credit for everything good that has ever happened since the beginning of recorded history and blaming everything bad on those rascally republicans.

Me: As I've said many times before, one-party rule is no democracy's friend; the role of the loyal opposition is critical in modulating the ability of a power-bloc or party to implement its will. (Checks and balances don't spring into action on their own: they are the result of someone in power standing athwart and shouting "stop!".)

Of course, since I am of a progressive bent, I favor the political ascendency of party/ies close to my own vision of how to solve the country's problems; and will start from a skeptically pessimistic position about the outlook of a proposed solution beginning from premises as different as those held by many conservatives... but there are plenty of instances of "conservative" proposals which end up improving on whatever the status quo was, or even solving the problem entirely. Alternatively, there are plenty of examples of places where conservatives negotiated a provision into a solution, which may have weakened the solution slightly but enabled the solution to move forward under the endorsement of all the major powerholders -- thus making it much less likely for the program to come under partisan fire in the near future.

[Note that the inverse is also true: bad solutions with strong bipartisan support, such as a lot of the privacy violations of the War On Terror, are almost impossible to dislodge.]

So let's think historically for a moment. From the New Deal realignment of the parties until Gingrich, the Republican party was constructive when in the minority and, when in power, allowed the Democrats room for constructive contribution. Consequently, shit got done. The shit that got done under Republican majorities tended, in my view, not to work as well, but it was not nothing.

Then Gingrich happened, and by "Gingrich" I refer to a wholesale revision of the Republican party's strategy for participation in government: when in the minority, use every procedural method available to block all progress; when in the majority, deny the minority any say in the construction of solutions.

And for that alone -- even leaving aside the dehumanization of their opponents, their embrace of white male Christian supremacism, their reckless fiscal irresponsibility, and their rejection of fact-based inquiry -- I say, for just the offense of undermining the concept of "loyal opposition" in American public life, the Republican party must be stopped, and until such time as the party is willing to return to the table willing to cooperate with the rest of the country, no American has any business voting for them.

No comments:

Post a Comment