Sunday, August 27, 2006

It's the Campaign Season Again

and consequently it's time to invest some effort in studying -- sigh -- the current political scene. I'm therefore going to embark much more frequently on politically-related posts. I thought about doing this on my other blog, Radical Civility, but then I figured, the central issues discussed over there are different, the tone of the comments is gratifyingly polite, and all in all I'd hate to pollute it with the hurly burly of partisan politics. So I'll do my politicking here.

Just by way of reminder: I'm a centrist Democrat who might easily be a moderate Republican if such animals still existed. But the fate of Christine Todd Whitman's PAC, My Party Too, has not exactly fired me with optimism on that score. Like it or not, the best organized and certainly the most effective Republicans are self-described conservative Republicans. I say "self-described" because it's usually unclear to me what exactly it is they're trying to conserve and in what meaningful sense they connect to the conservative tradition as historically understood. They basically strike me as stereotypical liberals with a different agenda. They overestimate the ability of government to re-engineer society -- the Iraq adventure is a case in point; they have not the slightest concern about the dangers of unchecked governmental power, so long as they themselves are in charge; and they have obviously forgotten a bedrock principle of conservatism: the law of unintended consequences.

Plus they whine a lot. If I hadn't seen it for myself, I could not imagine a political party that has controlled Congress since 1994 and the White House since 2000, to say nothing of so many governorships and statehouses and arguably the Supreme Court, rage about how besieged they are. I mean, can they possibly believe that?

The last thing -- and this is what really tears it with me -- is the way in which their style of politics, though undeniably successful at winning elections, contributes so signally to the coarsening of political discourse and the fraying of civility. Sure, there are plenty on the left who do the same thing, but there's also a big chunk of us in the center -- probably the majority -- who think it's bad for the country, both in terms of government and in terms of the general health of our society.

It's about time the Republicans took a big hit, because only a big hit is going to shake them loose from their current way of doing business and, hopefully, restore them to a GOP I could vote for and still respect myself.

PS to the Democrats: Get some ideas and grow some balls, will you?


Blogger Jill said...

Ok - last thing - if you like moderate blogging, have you checked out The Moderate Voice? It has an excellent blogroll of moderate blogs.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Mark G. said...

No - never heard of it. Thanks for the tip!

10:21 PM  

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