Pulling the (wingnut) weeds

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  1. The far-right wingnuts are ranting and raving as if George W Bush owes them something for getting him elected twice. Well, he DOES owe them something, but as an employee of the United States of America, he is not beholden only to his most ardent followers but to the nation as a whole. It would be irresponsible of him, at this point, just to play to his biggest fans.
    And incidentally, isn’t it curious how one’s most ardent followers become eager to throw down one’s statues and defecate on one’s portrait in the first minute after one does something out of line with the admirers’ expectations?

  2. Great blog and good point about Bush being President of the whole country and not just his base. Of course, he no longer has much of a base. Guest worker programs are not what the base wanted to hear. They want to hear about fences and deportation.

  3. Forester –
    Mark Tapscott (at Tapscott’s Copy Desk) has written what he thinks the hard-right wing of the GOP should do. He laid out a number of items, and then said,

    “Second, if the GOP majority fails to act or merely continues to talk about it, conservatives then have an obligation to find or create a new party. I’m not unaware of the immense difficulties that face new parties in American politics. The GOP’s sucess in coming to power in only three elections (1856, 58 and 60) is the great exception to the norm for minority parties.”

    Given that I already think a moderate alternative is desperately needed for American politics, I found that thought intriguing. I also think that the Progressives might consider something similar, taking with them the more radical elements from the left wing of the Democrats.
    So when I read your comment, I found myself wondering where a moderate Republican (like yourself) would fall in a potential disintegration/splinter-off scenario such as that put forward by Mark Tapscott.
    Do you think that the GOP has enough of a moderate constituency to survive in such a scenario? Thoughts?

  4. I’ll have to give your question some thought. I’m still a bit burned by the victory Ross Perot handed to Bill Clinton in 1992, so third parties make me pause. I wish we could move suddenly to a four- or five-party system — our politics would be in much healthier shape.
    Will that happen? No — for precisely the same reason that we’re a two-party system now: the mad dash to the center. Call Bush an extreme right-winger if you like, at election time he still runs as a moderate — and so does every Democrat. Technology has enabled such skilled and ceaseless polling that candidates can tweak their positions and rhetoric with high precision, making sure they land just left or right of center while still bringing as many voters under their umbrella as possible. I believe that for the rest of American history, every election will be just as close as the last two were.
    And that’s to our detriment, in that it makes us a 50/50 nation grown so accustomed to the status quo that we think it a principle to be preserved. Much as you may diagree, I don’t believe our hostility against Bush is so much over the specifics of his actions as it is about the fact that he acts at all. Consider how he contrasts with Clinton, who did basically nothing in office but wave his arms and let us all proceed. Thankfully that worked in terms of our economy (thanks to the internet’s rising business force), but it was disastrous in terms of opening us up to 9/11 (after the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, our two embassy bombings in Africa, the naval ship bombing in the Middle East, you’d think our nation would have done something).
    Of course, I’m the one who started this post by resisting the thought of starting a third party. I guess I’m infected by the status quo, too.

  5. Why is it so very hard for you “rational” people to recognize the distinction between legal and illegal? It’s not just the so-called Republican “base” upset by the spectre of amnesty. Democrats and Independents are also concerned. Millions of people who pay their taxes and do not hire illegal aliens are deeply concerned, and these are not irrational racists. They are just good people who do not cheat, and they are bewildered at the arrogance of the “rational” bloggers who favor deceitful employers and illegal aliens who lie, cheat and steal to obtain competitive advantage and then demand amnesty because it is “rational.”
    Who is most harmed by illegal immigration? The middle class wage earners, entry-level laborers, and small business owners who obey the laws, pay the taxes, and get screwed from both left and right by limosine liberals and country club conservatives. The big shots don’t pay for amnesty. The little people pay.
    Amnesty will disenfranchise these good people by diluting the voter pool with millions of illegitimate voters, further impoverish them by taking even more of their hard-earned wages to pay for the unearned benefits of the illegals, destroy what little is left of the social compact, and render respect for the law and therefore the constitution meaningless.
    Rational indeed.

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