Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Devil You Know

Andrea is worried about her blood pressure, and my doctor has told me that mine is a little high. We're both supposed to avoid things that are bad for our blood pressure, like stress (I work in the Pentagon, so good luck with that), too much salt in the diet, and anger.

The anger part is going to be a little tough to deal with, especially when I read things like this front page article from yesterday's Washington Post: Republicans Divided on the Importance of an Agenda for Midterm Elections. If there was anything better suited to get my blood pressure soaring, I haven't seen it lately.

The point of the article is this: many Republican strategists believe they improve their chances of trouncing the Democrats in the November midterm elections by relentlessly attacking everything the Democrats do, while avoiding advocating any specific plans or actions of their own which might invite attacks from the other party. What they're saying is not vote for me because the country is in trouble and here's how I'm going to fix things, but vote for me because the other guy is a useless bastard who kicks puppies.

If ever there was anything that exposed the moral bankruptcy and utter cluelessness of our major political parties, it's this.

Now, to be fair, the article goes on to say that this Republican approach was based on the strategy proposed in 2006 by President Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel who, as a Democratic congressman from Chicago, advocated that Democratic candidates spend 80 percent of their time on the attack and 20 percent on the issues.

Let's think about that for a moment.

If you spend 80 percent of your time attacking the other guy, and only 20 percent explaining what you yourself would do if elected, how do we - the Great Unwashed - know who is the better candidate? How can we evaluate whether your ideas are better than your opponent's ... or even if you have any at all?

The Post article notes that the House Minority Leader John Boehner plans to unveil a blueprint of what Republicans will do if they take back control of Congress "sometime after Labor Day," and that this "will be a full plate of policy proposals that will give voters a clear sense of how (the Republicans) would govern."

So, let me see if I understand this correctly ...

The Republicans have relentlessly criticized and blocked everything President Obama and the Democrats have tried to do for the last two years ... but we have to wait until September to find out what they would do that's different ... and then only if the Republican strategists decide it's politically advantageous to let their ideas be made public so that Real People can decide whether or not they're worth voting for.

Is it any wonder my blood pressure is high?

The immediate source of anger is the stupid Republicans, but the stupid Democrats are equally at fault. It looks like it's time once again to dust off my favorite campaign poster:

If you actually have the chance to ask someone running for Congress a question this summer and fall, ask this one: "What will you do?" If he (or she) responds by just attacking the opponent, ask again. And if you don't get a straight answer, just shake your head and walk away.

Because, in politics as in so many other areas, you may be better off with the devil you know than the devil you don't.

Have a good day. Insist on real answers. You deserve them. More thoughts tomorrow.



The Mistress of the Dark said...

I'm with you 100 %

Oh and I see your working at the Pentagon with living with my parents. It's no wonder my pressure is high.

Mike said...

I had to read MD's comment twice to get the card metaphor. That's one of the hazards of type talking. You can't hear the m-FAA- sis inside someones head.

And as far as hearing what they are going to do. WAIT ..... If they told you would you believe them?

KathyA said...

If I didn't think it would kill you, I'd suggest you run for office!!