I loves me some Rachel Maddow, and the following is a recent
"special comment" of hers from her MSNBC program. Enjoy. =Mike=
A Model For Where We Are At
Republican Party has bounced around, intellectually speaking,
until they have arrived at a dangerous spot. They only contain
the following inchoate premises: they no longer accept that
government could or should do anything. They also believe
that government will enrich some people and dominate others,
and if they aren't in control, someone else will be.
Beyond that, they have no governing philosophy. And both
of these premises are themselves based on a fundamental rejection
of the notion of government as we understand it. Both simply
see government as pure power. The real debate in their caucus
is only between these two extremes. Ron Paul represents Anarchy
(which, from my perspective, is at least a morally acceptable
response to the belief that government is nothing but raw,
abusive power), and Dick Cheney represents Totalitarianism
(which is the cynical response to the same belief).
The two extremes check each other to some degree, which is
why the country didn't self-destruct over the last eight
years, but it's been like maintaining a normal body temperature
using only a blow torch and dry ice.
The Republican Party is boxed in by their own rhetoric, and
as they lose mainstream voters, they gain and elevate the
extreme. They might even grow over the short term as they
bring every nut out of the woodwork.
The Democratic Party has grown to now include almost everyone
who actually believes that government is a rational social
compact to achieve the public good. The Dems are the only
party that actually still believes in a public good.
There are, of course, some Republicans who believe these
basic things, but they are either trapped in the party and
silenced, or they are retiring, or they have switched parties.
All of the "blue dogs" are effectively Republicans
from an age when it was possible for a Republican to believe
in the idea of government. The Dems contain the public debate.
There are humane expressions of conservatism and liberalism
possible in this world, but those expressions are now largely
contained within the Democratic Party.
Where will things go:
The Dems will split. The health care fight is likely to precipitate
this. If the Health Care passes, the Blue Dogs lose their
corporate funding and will have to retrench, probably leaving
the party in some fashion. If Health Care fails, the Blue
Dogs will lose their liberal support, have to retrench, and
probably leave the party in some fashion.
The question is: can the Republicans, at this point, expand
intellectually to receive the Blue Dogs?
If not, the options seem to be:
Blue Dogs want to leave but just can't. Many of them lose
their elections, others simply redefine themselves within
the Dem Party.
Blue Dogs do leave, draw out the rational Republicans who
are lurking in their party, and form a third party. Kent
Conrad and Chuck Grassely start The American Party.
This craziness has to stop somehow.
For anyone who asks.... Barack Obama was not born in the
United States. He was born on Mount Olympus to Zeus and Hera.
I wouldn't make a big deal out of this, considering he could
seperate you from your DNA with his pinky finger.
One more thing... if you don't use phone books, and are tired of having another
15 pounds of dead trees plop on your doorstep every few months, you can stop
by following the directions at Eco