Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

In favor of intra-party disagreements

Kenneth Baer, a former speechwriter for Al Gore, argues that what the Democrats need is not unity but a good internal discussion about some major issues, including global economics and national security. I not only agree, but think the principle of intra-party conversations and disagreements about the most important matters facing the country is a good thing for both parties. This includes primary contests, on both federal and state levels. This process should begin, for example, in the Republican Party at every level. I say this not because I want to GOP to hack at itself, but because such conversations are not only good for the party, but good for the country as a whole. There is a massive tendency (described clearly by Baer for the Demos) among Republicans (on the state level, see Ohio, for example) to try to prevent having any substantive conversations and disagreements by not having meaningful primaries. The Party leadership thinks that doing this will put them at a disadvantage. They are wrong. Exactly the opposite is the case. Such disagreents are both necessary and good. I hope the GOP changes its ways, else it risks losing whatever authority and power it has on both state and federal levels.

Discussions - 5 Comments

Well stated! It makes no sense for there to be any arguement about the future of the Democratic party when there is no reason for even me to want to be defined the way the Dems are creating themselves to be. (I hope that made sense) I think a more successful America needs a stronger party--on all fronts, left or right.

Again, well put.

The Republican party badly needs some serious conversations about what it stands for. The Democrats need to get beaten badly in a couple more elections. Like it or not, they weren’t beaten badly in 2004. They got 48 percent of the vote with one of the most left-wing members of the Senate, who also happened to be a highly unattractive personality. This is not enough to force a rethinking among the hard ideologues that most of them are.

Hmmmm,

I think the Democrats have a lot more to discuss than the Republicans. The Democratic party is less united than the Republicans.

The Democrats are an archipelago of special interests. Many of those "interest islands" are in opposition to each other and are often very narrowly focused on their interest. Hence you have John Kerry bragging to the UAW about his SUVs and then when talking with Greenies the SUVs were not his but belonged to others in his family. This is just one example of this phenomana.

The GOP while also consisting of many different interests are more closely related by philosophy. Even if one is a pro-abortion Republican, Republicans do not typically weight their given issue so lopsidedly so as to be the sole factor in determining who gets their vote.

Does this mean the Republicans do not have internal conflicts? No, I think we do a better job of finding the appropriate times and places to have those conflicts.

"Like it or not, they weren’t beaten badly in 2004."

It wasn’t as close as the numbers look. One must remember to include the Senate & House races as well. The GOP extended their margins in the Congress and amongst almost every demographic group President Bush came out better in 2004 than he did in 2000. Certainly no Reagen landslide but good enough. One must also remember President Bush had some liabilities as well, the Iraq for instance.

It’s funny. It seems nobody in the left corner seems to care that much about Senate and House losses--no heart attacks or spontaneous combustion, really, but perhaps some dandruff. The real "loss" was the presidential election. One would have to be rather closed-minded to think that the Republicans could benefit from conversations with the sore Dems. As a Dem myself, I’m not that sore--I don’t care anymore unlike 75% of my pals. I think Pres. Bush made a strong effort, and won the vote fair and square based on his likable personalilty and some revolutionary ideas about the economy and social issues. But anywhoo, to the point, I think it is interesting how little I think the Democrats worry about Congress. They went for blood and barely scratched the armor.

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