Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Wow-This really misses the point.

I really enjoy David Ignatius' columns over at the WashPo. But I really think he should stick with his true expertise-the Middle East. Today's column How the Republicans Let it Slip Away, is pretty far off-base in my opinion.

Ignatius points to the DeLay and Miers messes as the sign of the downfall-which could be right, however he believes those messes have come up for the wrong reasons. For our lazy readers, here are some of the highlights:
The hard right, which is the soul of the modern GOP, would rather be
ideologically pure than successful. Governing requires making compromises and
getting your hands dirty, but the conservative purists disdain those qualities.
They swim for that beach with a fiercely misguided determination, and they
demand that the other whales accompany them.

Bush and the Republicans had a chance after 2004 to become the country's
natural governing party...Bush squandered this opportunity by falling into the
trap that has snared the modern GOP -- of playing to the base rather than to the
nation. The Republicans behave as if the country agrees with them on issues,
when that demonstrably isn't so.

The bickering over the Miers nomination epitomizes the right's refusal to
assume the role of a majoritarian governing party.


Principles are a fine thing, but a narrow, partisan definition of principle
has led the Republicans to a dead end. Their inability to transcend their base
and speak to the country as a whole is now painfully obvious.

The 'meltdown' is not a result of maintaining a partisan definition of principle-but one not maintain a definition of principle. Bush sacrificed a conservative principle-choosing from the best quality available-to choose a loyal friend. Had Bush stuck to conservative principles, had he chosen another Roberts, there would be no outrage over the choice (except from the left). Miers, if anything, was a compromise choice, meant not to play to the base-so I don't even understand how Ignatius can include it.

Republicans have backed down on many other principles too...Social Security reform (which Ignatius says was unpopular...polling of those under 50 shows differently, and had Bush and Congress done a better job of presenting it, at least some of the elderly could have been convinced). Principles such as low or even *gasp* cutting government spending have been thrown out the window-much to the chagrin of many Republicans. Low government spending is a winning principle-nation wide-has been and will continue to be. Vetoing the Transportation Bill would have been a tremendous signal...and I think a political winner.

Arguments can be made that Bush is playing to the social right-but I don't think that is what is causing the point that Miers is trying to make. The schism isn't over social issues. It is about spending.

The only principle Bush has stuck to has been staying the course in Iraq-that is the one issue which is really containing the fury that could be in D.C.


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10/12/2005 12:08 PM  

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