Racing to the bottom

There’s an old story about a king who wished to own the fastest horse in his kingdom. He invited the owners of the fastest horses to the castle to race, and announced that he would keep the winning horse for himself. Naturally, none of the horse owners wanted the “honor” of the victory, since it would cost them their horse, so they all planned to lose. That’s when the king announced that each horse would be ridden by another owner’s rider, to keep the race honest.

I am reminded of that story whenever I read or hear about the fighting between the Democrats and Republicans over who ought be trusted with governing the nation, but without the king’s Solomonic twist.

The Republicans have had years and years to put their principles — the ones they ran on — in action, and through accident, design, or sheer ineptitude have done very little. They ran against profligate spending — but pass out taxpayer money like a drunken Kennedy (but I repeat myself). they railed against Big Government intruding in our lives — but embrace it. They denounced grotesque public spending and entitlements — and jacked them through the ceiling. In short, they have become nearly everything that they fought against. Measured by that standard, they absolutely do not deserve to win.

But politics, for all its grays and nuances, is a binary equation. We have, for better or for worse, a two-party system. Almost without exception, a defeat for one side means a win for the other. (Jesse Ventura, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and — with luck — Joe Lieberman aside.) While the Republicans certainly seem worthy of losing, does that mean that the Democrats are entitled to win?

I’d have to say no. Sometimes when I look at the leading Democrats of today, I have to wonder if they’ve looked at the Republicans’ failures and errors and mistakes and somehow connected them to the Republicans’ electoral successes, and decided that they can somehow flop their way into power.

Let’s look at the most prominent Democrats. Howard Dean? A flop as a candidate, a flop as a party fundraiser, most famous for his “Dean Scream” moment and an unending series of attacks, but never presents any alternatives besides vague platitudes and promises that “we can do better than they can.” Hillary Clinton? Openly loathed by a large portion of the electorate, trying to juggle her own disdain for the unwashed masses and having to submit to their regular approval, her own far-left personal beliefs, and the need to present a “sane, rational” face for her factions? John Kerry? Please. Barack Obama? It seems his greatest selling point is his newness, his freshness, his lack of a definable platform or history — very reminiscent of the first President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees.

I don’t give a damn about parties. Last election, I cheerfully split my ticket, with the top four slots (president, senator, representative, and governor) divided evenly between the parties. Next month, I’ll most likely vote (again) for my sitting Democrat governor, and I’m still unsure about my representative — I’m not that thrilled with the incumbent, Jeb Bradley (R), but what I’ve heard about the Democrat so far (which isn’t much), he’s pretty chummy with the moonbat faction.

All my adult life, I’ve defined myself as a moderate, a middle-of-the-roader. Since that time, the Republicans have pretty much held the same ground, while the Democrats have moved farther and farther to the left. As a consequence, the “middle of the road” has been redefined, geographically speaking, as farther to the left. Hence I find myself having not really moved at all, but the lines of demarcation have been redrawn around me, putting me in Right territory. I’m still in favor of decriminalizing drugs, against laws regarding “victimless” crimes, squishily pro-choice on abortion, supporting gay marriage, and holding many more “liberal” views, but that doesn’t matter — the far left has such sway over the Democratic party that they can — and do — demand absolute loyalty to a large number of issues, and deviance from the party line on even a single one of those issues is, to them, a political capital offense.

Again, look at Joe Lieberman. Six years ago, they were thrilled to have him as the number two man on their presidential ticket. Since then, he has remained rock-solid to his liberal beliefs and voted consistently with his party — except on one single issue. And that one dissention — although perfectly in line with the “old truth”, the Clinton-era policies that everyone spoke in favor of, suddenly fell out of favor when Bush started putting deeds to words. That action, that consistency, by Lieberman has made him a pariah among his own party.

No, I’d have to say that, judged solely on their own merits, the Republicans certainly don’t deserve to maintain their hold on power. But since the only alternative is the party of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, John Murtha, and those unworthies I mentioned above, it looks like they should keep it in the worst possible way — by default.

And the worst thing about it is, we have only ourselves to blame. As they say, in a democracy, the people tend to get exactly the kind of government we deserve. We keep electing and re-electing these people.

So the next time you hear someone bitching about those miserable, cowardly, craven, licentious, disgusting, repulsive, greedy, power-hungry, noxious, deceitful, manipulative, hypocritical, thieving swine we have running our government, tell them to put the blame right where it belongs — and go look in a mirror.

Not Bad. Not Bad at All
The Foley Fallout

21 Comments

  1. dr lava October 7, 2006
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  6. John F Not Kerry October 7, 2006
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  21. Arthur October 7, 2006