I believe in party politics, and the silly folks arguing for “non-partisan” or “bipartisan” approaches to politics distinguish themselves chiefly as ignorant of American political history or thoroughly deceptive in their appeals to the public.
What, I wonder, was the non-partisan approach to slavery? In 1860, the Democrats were for it, and the newly created Republicans against it. There wasn’t a lot of “common ground” on which to meet and confer.
Now we are engaged in another great debate about in which there is almost no middle ground, because the parties are –by and large, with some rare exceptions—approaching the issue from wholly different points of view: the war.
I think most Republican senators up for re-election in 2008 who are seen by GOP voters to side with Harry Reid on the war will be swept away by Democratic challengers powered by fierce grassroots organizations even as they are deserted by Republican activists for whom resolve in the war is a non-negotiable priority. These races won’t even be close. The divide between the parties on the war is deep, and the base of the GOP simply will not turn out for, much less work for, round-heeled Republicans.
Parties matter, and the Republican party will purge the defeatists from its ranks, even if it means a horrible cycle or two. Clarity on this issue matters more than a couple of more votes in the Senate. The Republican Party is the party of resolve, the party committed to victory in the long war, and it will not welcome among its numbers, defeatists, no matter what their views on the advantages of low marginal tax rates.
This is as obvious as anything in American politics can be, but still many GOP senators –driven to distraction by MSM and polls?—think otherwise. They read in the results of the elections of 2006 a rejection of the war as opposed to a rejection of stalemate, profligate spending and scandal. Because they cannot conceive of victory, they cannot conceive of voters for whom only victory matters. What a surprise they are in for.
I hope the GOP senators who are good votes on most issues realize that the dynamic is completely different on the war votes. Voting with Harry Reid on the most important issue of our time makes that senator an afterthought –an incumbent not worth fighting for. Indeed, it makes him or her worth defeating.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Let's Say You Are A Republican Senator. And Let's Say You An Idiot. But I Repeat Myself.