The Republicans don't know how to run a country. The party has become so inflamed by its ideological ardor that it no longer has the basic ability to do what a political party in a democracy does: advocate a view of the world, yes, but balance interests and constituencies in such a way as to show at least some regard for the common good. In Dwight Eisenhower's GOP, or Richard Nixon's (Watergate aside, of course), or even Ronald Reagan's and certainly Bush Senior's, there was always a sense that the Republicans, however conservative they may have been at heart, understood and respected the limits of putting ideology above all else.
To today's Republican Party there is no common good. [emphasis mine] Instead, there is a severe ideology that recognizes only what's good for the party, not for the nation. This conflation of party with state ought to sound familiar, and, indeed, today's GOP is dramatically like the Soviet Communist Party in this respect. Writing for TAP Online yesterday, Jason Vest quoted an administration official as having remarked that American soldiers would be greeted with a "deluge" of "rose water and flowers" in Iraq. This sounds like nothing so much as the party apparatchiks who praised the "liberation" of Finland in 1940.
And, of course, there are wealthy interests who keep the party alive financially and who must be rewarded on all possible fronts. This, actually, is the one service Republicans do perform competently. They make damn sure of that.
Thursday, August 28, 2003
why I am not a Republican
Michael Tomasky is on my wavelength: