Thursday, September 16, 2010
I think that's my favorite new term: Recreational Thinking. It is the luxury of thinking of something other than law school for a brief period of time. In this case, I'll write about my recent musings on national and state-level politics.
Let me set this up a little bit.
I've been observing the so-called "Tea Party" movement on TV and locally. I'm amazed. They've apparently been taking long, long drinks from the crazy fountain. They seem to be organized around a few elements: hatred of Obama, hatred of taxes, hatred of (insert your favorite prejudiced race here)_________, Truth, justice and the American way...(whatever the hell they think that is) and of course, the old standbys, GAYS (HATE), GUNS (LOVE) AND GOD...(only blonde-blue-eyed Jesus' please)
In other words, they are sort of a mixture of all the fringe elements of our society gathered in one spot to throw out anybody...Democrat or Republican...it doesn't matter...who doesn't buy into their agenda.
And they've been slightly successful at it. I think at last count they have been successful in getting eight or nine of their candidates elected. They've adopted as their iconic leaders both Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin; the Crowned Prince and Princess of Crazy, anti-establishment, anti-intellectual, anti-damned-near-anything that-will-earn-them-a-fast-buck.
Democrats, under the brilliant leadership of Harry Reid, (cough, gag) are doing their usual roll up into a fetal position in the corner and suck on your thumb strategy and by doing so have allowed the crazies to run rampant through the country...and the blogosphere too.
But the unanticipated victim of this movement has been the Republican Party. You see, the Tea Party has made most (if not all) of their political inroads into the Republican Party. They have used the Primary season to replace REPUBLICANS, not Democrats and have upended several stalwarts of the mainstream Republican Party.
Now, it is possible, especially where there are open primaries, that Democrats have "crossed over" to vote in the Republican Primary to sort of hand-pick the crazy they want to run against. I know more than a few of my fellow Democrats (If, in fact I still am a Democrat) who did so with either a sense of remorse, ("I've never voted Republican before. I feel DIRTY!") or with a sense of mischief. ("I can't wait until X sinks his/her teeth into that looney!")
I'm pretty sure that this phenom showed up locally because the Republican votes out numbered the Democratic votes by a 2-1 margin. Republican operative friends of mine scoffed at those numbers and said they thought the Democrats were engaging in a conspiracy to sabatoge the vote. They probably were. But the funny thing was that while the "crazies" on the ballot got far more votes than they should have, most of the main-stream Republican candidates won, but not by as much as they should have. It was without cost that Democrats could cross over. There were few contested races on the Democratic side and all mainstream Democratic candidates were safe for the general election so "crossing over" was painless.
I think, as a lot of other Democrats do, that the crazies who managed to steal primaries from mainstream Republicans are going to hurt the Republican's chances of taking over the House and Senate in November. As a matter of fact, it will be AN ABSOLUTE DISASTER for the Republican Party is any or all of the nine or so candidates that upset mainstream Republicans get into office. They are going to be uncooperative with the leadership because they achieved victory without the help, consent, or endorsement of that leadership and they ran their campaigns AGAINST THAT VERY LEADERSHIP. It will be pure, unshirted, HELL for the Republican Party. It might even be the demise of the Republican Party as we know it.
And even worse for the nation.
Gridlock isn't even an adequate word for what will happen. Paralysis is a much better term.
There is only one hope for the Republican Party in November. The mainstream has to "CROSS OVER" and vote for Democrats. The worst-case scenario is that the balance of power will be exactly what it is today, or maybe tilted slightly more toward the Republicans but not a majority. The upside, is that they will kill off the Tea Party once and for all and can get back to business-as-usual in time to the 2012 Presidential elections. For the nation, the upside is that something may actually get done in D.C..
At this point I would solidly welcome a rational, thoughtful,moderate conservative party into the discourse.
Now....if the Democratic Party would just do what they (allegedly) do best...