Friday, August 12, 2011

Corn Dogs

All but two of the current Repug presidential candidates - Romney & Huntsman -   believe  it's better to be a rigid ideologue than a competent leader & legislator. Bachmann has stated this openly. She seems to have no record of legislative success going back to her Minnesota senate career, where she lasted only six months as assistant minority leader, unable to cooperate even with Repug colleagues.  Ron Paul is a wonk nobody has ever expected to work toward consensus.  These types  are ruinous when they get into local positions of power, like mayor. Individually, large legislative bodies are usually good places to warehouse them, their influence  is absorbed & minimized. But we've seen what happens when there's too many of them; they  halt the legislative process without offering any way to get it moving again other than unconditional surrender.

Left ideologues are angry at Barack Obama for not being a stubborn ideologue himself.  But most of us on this side are pissed off more because we don't like where he positions himself before he even tries to negotiate a compromise. We wonder what principles he actually holds that he's willing to defend. Even Hillary Clinton has principles. I can't, for instance, imagine her putting vulnerable American children at  greater risk. I have some idea, on domestic issues at least, where she would draw a line in the sand. Sure, she'd put a lot of stuff on the auction block we wouldn't want to see auctioned off, But we'd have a pretty clear sense of what she intended to protect, She'd  be traveling around & reminding  the Democratic base that she was doing it.  One of Obama's problems is that he's better at explaining why he does what he does than at explaining what he's doing.

It's on the so-called "social values" issues that Repugs are increasingly losing touch with reality. Most Americans support marriage quality  or  partnership rights for gays & lesbians & an end to discrimination. Despite a variety of misgivings about abortion, most Americans support access to safe, legal first term abortions; very few take the hardcore stance of  Rick Santorum. As a matter of social values, most Americans believe wealthy Americans aren't sharing the sacrifice & contributing their fair share of taxes, &  want them to pay more as part of any budget deal.


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