Thursday, May 03, 2007

Because It Worked So Well for the Republicans

The old saw among some Democrats is that the Democratic party is the home for moderates these days and that we moderate Republicans should just become Democrats. (Never mind that there are some major ideological differences between moderate Republicans and Democrats, but that's another story.) The underlying theme is that the Dems are more tolerant of differences than the current GOP. While I do agree that there isn't much room for differences in the GOP, one might be careful to see that the Dems might start becoming just as narrow-minded.

If you haven't read Jonathan Chait's piece in the New Republic about the netroots, you should. He has an interesting story about the "netroots." They have studied the Christian Right and how went on to dominate the GOP. They are fascinated by this and have sought to create the Democrats in their own image.

Three things have come to mind:

First, karma is definitely a bitch. The GOP might finally get a taste of its own medicine and it will not taste good.

Second, moderates in the Democratic party better watch their backs. We might start hearing about "DINOs" in the same way the Christian Right went after "RINOs."

Finally, in all that is true and right, are the Dems out of their freaking minds? Listen, the Christian Right were able to control the GOP and wield power like never before, but it hasn't got us very far. Maybe if there were more dissident voices in the GOP, we wouldn't be in this stupid war in Iraq. The other fact is that a Democratic Party that is only interested in attaining and holding on to power, will be just as bad as the GOP circa 2001-2006: a corrupt party making laws that don't really help Americans, but does help the base (ie: the Medicare Drug Bill). The other thing, is that the Christian Right created a party that doesn't play well with others. The Netroots are doing the same thing and the thing is, our government is set up in a way that for anything to get done, people have to cooperate and compromise. These days the partisans seems to frown on working with the other party, seeing it as tantamount to treason. Well, let's see what was done when both parties cooperated:

  • The Civil Rights Act;
  • The Voting Rights Act;
  • The Interstate Highway System;
  • The Clean Air Act;
  • The Endangered Species Act;
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act;
  • The 1981 Tax Cuts;
  • The 1986 Tax Reform.

These days, not much has got done. We are more interested in being right and pleasing a rabid base, than in actually doing something.

I wish the Dems would turn away from the netroots. But I think they won't and that's sad, because we all know how the story ends- we are seeing it right now.

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