Thursday, January 17, 2013

Drowning In Stupidi-Tea

As some of our readers have mentioned over the last few years, we tend to point out the flaws in the Republican Party in specific, and the conservative movement in general, on a regular basis. Meanwhile, we haven't generally focused on the faults of the Democratic Party lately.

It's not because those on the political left or in the Democratic Party don't have faults. Ask any politically astute Democrat, and they'll be more than happy to give you a list of what they see is currently wrong on their side of the proverbial aisle. That said, the American political left and the Democratic Party aren't drowning in a sea of extremism, as the Republican Party is and has been for some time now.

The reactions to President Obama and Vice-President Biden's moves on gun violence reduction yesterday are a perfect example of this failure in the GOP.

President Obama's list of 'Gun Violence Reduction Executive Actions' released on Wednesday are sensible and broad, and not at all severe. They include items like "Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers" and "Nominate an ATF director." In fact, Obama's executive actions on gun control aren't even as strong as the actions of previous Presidents on the same subject. Both George Bush Sr. and Ronald Reagan either supported or enacted more stringent gun control initiatives. Further, Obama's actions generally add to or augment gun safety policies that gun owners have already said they'd like to see.

Yet, for these simple and sensible actions, agreed to by a majority of gun owners, President Obama is now being mocked and implied that he's a traitor in right-wing media, and even threatened with impeachment by tea party Republican Congresspersons.

This is why the Republican Party is drowning in a political tea cup.

Even vaunted young conservative Republican media figures like Jonah Goldberg have finally begun to voice their concerns. No matter how "pure" any group's ideology is, if the group can't grow and convince a wider audience that their ideas have value and merit, that group will shrink and eventually die.

It's not just Goldberg who understands this.

Justin Green - a fellow Nebraskan and current assistant to sensible moderate Republican David Frum - also pointed out on Wednesday what we've thought was obvious, namely that "the GOP should be working to limit its losses over the next two years and prepare to recover in the midterms. Instead, we're seeing the hucksters of the movement claim the answer is to get madder, get louder, and to really ramp up the fight. In what way do they think this moves us closer to the our desired ends?"

Ideology without effecting any real progress is dead in the water - or tea, as is the case currently, with the GOP.

Progressive conservatism − being conservative, but still actually making progress by accomplishing legislation - is doable. It was done in Congress for years, on all kinds of small and large measures. Progressive liberals - more commonly thought of as progressives today - worked together in real bipartisanship with progressive conservatives to get the original PAYGO structure set up. That was one of the two key pillars that balanced the federal budget during the Clinton years.

The key now, that only one side seems to understand, is simple: Effective governing is the art of the possible.

If one of our two major political parties is going to let its most extreme elements determine the entire direction of every action in that party, then that political party will only be going one direction.

Down. Or, to be more specific, underwater.
Or in this case, tea.

No comments:

Post a Comment