Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Politics, loyalty and unease

If you exclude the bumcombe, this NY Times story on how black voters may not vote in the numbers that Democrats need is interesting. In the meantime, Larry Sabato says it is all over but the shouting, and the only question is how big the Democratic victory will be; but also note that he admits that the New Jersey Supreme Court decision to mandate the legislature to pass full legal rights to New Jersey’s same-sex couples "could not have come at a worse time for Democrats all across the country." And Forbes calls Blackwell a "reincarnated Ronald Reagan" and explain why he is not doing well and why he ought to be doing better. Personal loyalty vs. intellectual unease among the GOP ranks is the way Peggy Noonan puts the problem as she elegantly carves up Bush for dinner and asserts that the loss may turn out to be a good thing (for the cause). In passing, I note that former United Nations chief weapons inspector Hans Blix described the invasion of Iraq as a "pure failure" that had left the country worse off than under the rule of Saddam Hussein. And a new CNN Poll finds that most Americans do not believe the Bush administration has gone too far in restricting civil liberties as part of the war on terror.

Discussions - 18 Comments

Just trying to give us a little weekend cheer?


Noonan does carve up Bush. Yet what I see in this article and in so many other predictions is that the Republican Party is going to prune itself. A pruned shrub or tree looks really awful at first, but ultimately there is "progress through loss." So how do you prune a Bush? You cut the suckers and dead wood that clutter the base and hack back the recent growth in the branches, to shape, stimulate and form future growth in a more pleasing form.


So, the bad ones will lose and the good ones will survive.

Somehow, I don’t think politics works this way.

Losing to win is ridiculous.

Actually, to the gardener, to prune effectively, even the good can be lopped, which is why it is painful. It is just another of my housewifely analogies and I am trying to explain this image recurring in my mind’s eye. I hope the Republicans do NOT lose anything. I hope they win but that the closeness and anxiety of this election encourages them to do better. I think they play to a center that does not really exist and doing so has done them no good at all. They may as well stick to principles, and need to remember what those are if they have forgotten.

David, I don’t know...sometimes a party must spend time in the wilderness (as the GOP did between 1974 and 1980) to get their "minds right." I’m not advocating intentional loss in elections, but I refuse to think of occasional losses as catastrophes.

Personally, the foreign policies, the energy policies, spending, taxes, all of it pales before the immigration problem (permanent changes to our demography resonate for decades and decades -- look how ethnic immigration changed politics in the NE). The GOP has done its very best to ignore this 800-pound gorilla, but I for one would vote out anyone who fiddled while the the country burned...if I had an alternative.

If you prune the bush too much, it will not bear flowers in the spring, Eve.

It’s better to replace a weak and puny rose bush with a larger and stronger rose bush in the spring than to replace it with a weed in the Fall, Eve.

To add to C the G’s post (which I admit was submitted by me) It’s better to replace a RINO with an elephant in the spring than with a donkey in the fall.

Kate, did you intend to paraphrase "Chance the Gardener?"

No, or at least not knowingly. How funny that I did. I remember seeing the movie when it was at the theater, (oh my) in 1979, as I find on your proffered website. I thought I was being funny and was surprised to be taken seriously. Also, I was dreading the last gardening clean-up of fall, which includes pruning, so I had it on my mind. Then there was the language, as in carving Bush and Noonan said,....of course, if I have to explain it, it just wasn’t funny. Well, till Chance the Gardener made it so.

4: Dain, the Republican House prevented an amnesty from passing. The fact that we nominally control the Senate allowed the fence bill to be voted on. Without control of the Senate, the Democrats couldn’t bury the fence bill, so it passed. Being in the spotlight, half the Dems voted for it. But it’s the GOP that deserves credit. (A Democratic president, except in an presidential election year, would have covered for the congressional Dems and vetoed.)

Half a loaf is better than none.

David, I blame the GOP for dragging their collective feet on immigration, and for being all to willing to support the status quo. The "fence" at the 11th hour is just too little too late, and was clearly meant to appease the base rather than solve the problem.

Sometimes you’ve got to have more than half the loaf...they say if you turn up the heat on boiling a frog very gradually it never notices until it dies of the heat. That’s America, my friend, and the GOP isn’t helping nearly enough to avoid this fate. I’ll flip the switch for the GOP, but they better be grateful there’s no robust 3rd party around. I’ve just about had it with tardy half-measures on critical policy issues.

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