Friday, October 15, 2010

A History Lesson Before You Vote

Before all you “conservative” controllers run out to vote in a couple of weeks, there’s an article in Time magazine you should read. Pay particular attention to the historical part of it -- unless you just like repeating history.

Why Washington Is Tied Up in Knots

”But it was only after Reagan and his GOP successor, George H.W. Bush, left office that congressional Republicans realized they could use political polarization to stymie government — and use government failure to win elections.”

”With the GOP no longer controlling the White House, a new breed of aggressive Republicans — men like Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay and Trent Lott — hit on a strategy for discrediting Clinton: discredit government. Rhetorically, they derided Washington as ineffective and conflict-ridden, and through their actions they guaranteed it.”

Is any of this sounding familiar yet? There’s a reason the Republican “Pledge to America” sounds just like the “Contract with America”.

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”In Clinton's first two years in office, the Gingrich Republicans learned that the vicious circle works. While filibusters were occasionally broken, they also brought much of Clinton's agenda to a halt, and they made Washington look pathetic.”

”When the parties are polarized, it's easy to keep anything from getting done. When nothing gets done, people turn against government. When you're the party out of power and the party that reviles government, you win.”

”On the surface, it appeared that Obama took office in a stronger position than Clinton had, since Democrats boasted more seats in the Senate. But in their jubilation, Democrats forgot something crucial: vicious-circle politics thrives on polarization. As the GOP caucus in the Senate shrank, it also hardened. ”

”In 2009, Senate Republicans filibustered a stunning 80% of major legislation, even more than during the Clinton years. GOP leader Mitch McConnell led a filibuster of a deficit-reduction commission that he himself had demanded.”

It’s simple, the Republican Party doesn’t want the Federal government to work. That is an interesting realization when you’re a Federal employee -- an air traffic controller to boot. Play with that thought for a second. Do you want the government to fail if you are the government? Do you want air traffic control to fail? It’s government, right? Do you not want air traffic control to be in government?

When you’re done chewing that over you can read the next article in Time. It was written by none other than Newt Gingrich.

It's Time to Team Up

”Some GOP partisans so deeply distrust Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority leader Harry Reid that they assume even meeting with them is an act of betrayal.”

Gee, I wonder where any Republican ever got that idea, Newt?

(From the previous article)

”After moderates broke a 1993 filibuster on campaign finance, GOP conservatives publicly accused them of "stabbing us in the back." Their pictures were taken off the wall at the offices of the Republican Senate campaign committee. ”

”The Obama White House spent months trying to lure the Finance Committee's ranking Republican, Chuck Grassley, into supporting a deal on health care reform and gave his staff a major role in crafting the bill. But GOP officials back home began threatening to run a primary challenger against the Iowa Senator. By late summer, Grassley wasn't just inching away from reform; he was implying that Obamacare would euthanize Grandma.”

Be careful how you vote. Remember, PATCO endorsed Reagan and you see what that got them.

Don Brown
October 15, 2010

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