Sunday, September 03, 2006

The weakening of the Republican Party

Karl Rove is the man. If there is a way to win a political campaign, he is the guy who can do it. People may be appalled at his "values" and the techniques that he is willing to employ, but there is no question that he knows how to get the job done. I read in a NY Times article by Adam Nagourney and Jim Rutenberg entited "Rove’s Word Is No Longer G.O.P. Gospel" that Republican candidates are running scared and attempting to distance themselves from the adninistration's low approval ratings. Rove has not lost his touch. Sure, the Neoconservatives have bitten off more than they can chew with their "War on Terrorism", but Rove will only do the best that can be done in a bad situation. After all, many of these scared Republicans actually approved of the administration's approach to terrorism, preemptive war, and radical democratization of "failed states". They even egged the President on and were ardent cheerleaders for his policies. Only now when Iraq has devolved into a "civil quagmire" are they deciding to "cut and run" -- from their own policy decisions.

These turncoat Republicans may feel that there is a significant risk with Rove's strategy and advice, and this is in fact true, but it is also true that running counter to Rove's better judgment is far riskier and an even surer path to defeat, either at the polls or in a weakened ability to shape policy on Capital Hill.

Sure, some of these Republican turncoats may in fact win in November, but that means they will return to Washington in January with far less vigor to pursue adminstration conservative policies and far less ability to influence administration policies in a positive manner.

I don't approve of the administration's foreign policy or a lot of Rove's techniques, but the Republican party would serve its own interests far better by losing a few battles during this election, in the name of maintaining its integrity for the longer-haul "war" against the liberals.

Liberals will be pleased to hear that it is unlikely that Republicans will follow my best advice any more than they will follow Rove's best advice.

Win or lose, the Republican party will be dramatically weakened as this election plays out.

Alas, the flip side is not that the Liberals will regain control of Congress, but merely that nobody will control Congress. We'll have a lot of Democrats acting like Republicans and a lot of Republicans acting like Democrats. The good news is than more politicans will be acting like Independents.

Some may lament that we'll be stuck with a do-nothing Congress for two years, but the real truth is the best that Congress can ever do for most citizens is to stay out of our lives and do precisely that: nothing. New laws promise much but rarely deliver on their promise and usually make life miserable for all but the consultants and service providers who "help" citizens and businesses cope with the odd and perverse changes that legislation brings to our doorsteps.

So, what if we get stuck with a do-nothing Congress? My response: Bring 'em on!

-- Jack Krupansky


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