Monday, February 8, 2010

Don't get stuck on stupid

After Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, tea parties, town hall meetings, and general unrest among the populace, you'd think the Democrats would be smart enough to change at least their political tactics, let alone their strategy (unless you're James Carville and just think blaming Bush will keep you in power).

But Pelosi and Obama have stated several times that they will stay the course and try to ram not only bad legislation, but a huge national debt on us, whether we like it or now. (And the current Health Care Reform legislation is bad -- it's too big, bloated and not the kind of reform desired by the majority of people in this country). They know better than us, anyway. Charles Krauthammer puts it this way:

Well, they understand it through a prism of two cherished axioms: (1) The people are stupid and (2) Republicans are bad. Result? The dim, led by the malicious, vote incorrectly.
These are bad axioms to guide your political strategy, because they are not based on any reality that I'm aware of. But many on the left think conservatives in general are stupid, which shuts down any hope of constructive conversation about the issues.

Krauthammer continues:
That brings us to Part 2 of the liberal conceit: Liberals act in the public interest, while conservatives think only of power, elections, self-aggrandizement and self-interest...This belief in the moral hollowness of conservatism animates the current liberal mantra that Republican opposition to Obama's social democratic agenda -- which couldn't get through even a Democratic Congress and powered major Democratic losses in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts -- is nothing but blind and cynical obstructionism.
By contrast, Democratic opposition to George W. Bush -- from Iraq to Social Security reform -- constituted dissent. And dissent, we were told at the time, including by candidate Obama, is "one of the truest expressions of patriotism."
You can only insult people so much. Eventually they will turn against you. The Republicans got fired for spending too much and creating non-ending wars (with a lot of help from Democrats, if you remember correctly). If the Democrats keep going along their current course, they too will get fired. Jason Richwine, in an interesting article for the American Enterprise Institute, concluded:

The bottom line is that a political debate will never be resolved by measuring the IQs of groups on each side of the issue. Even if certain positions tend to be held by less intelligent people, there will usually be plenty of sharp thinkers who take the same side. Rather than focus on the intellectual deficiencies, real or imagined, of certain politicians and their supporters, people should strive to find the best and brightest spokesmen for the opposing side.
There is a certain devilish fun to contemplating the intelligence of liberals and conservatives, but it should have no effect on how we think about issues. Political debates would be better without it.
We should just get past all this stupid stuff, if you know what I mean. But most likely, human nature being what it is, we won't.


ladyj said...

Media decided to draw a line in the sand, so to speak, and in doing so, made enemies of Republicans/Conservatives and Democrats/Liberals. Media loves a good fight. Just watch FoxNews and count how often a Liberal gets a word in edgewise on The Factor!
Congress no longer works together to make this country generate productivity of any kind. They are too busy back-biting,spying,fillibustering, and generally being fools to do any real work. Mores the pity, because the country suffers. Should we dress up like a bunch of Indians, grab boxes of English tea and descend on the Capitol? I've been e-mailing Congresspersons and telling them how I feel about their childish behavior. How I feel about Lobbyists and Special Interest Groups. I've mentioned why they are in Washington as MY voice and they can be easily be replaced. If everyone with a computer did this, can you imagine what could possibley happen in DC? But we just sit on our asses and complain, don't we, Steve?

Steve said...

If you are infering that I "just sit on my ass and complain" then you jumping to an incorrect conclusion.

However, even by blogging, I am participating in the process. But I maintain fairly frequent contact with my reps and senator. Maybe not enough. And I vote, in every election.

BTW, I have never claimed to be either liberal or conservative, because the labels no longer serve a purpose for me.

I don't know if we have enough voice to replace the money. That's why I support public financing of political campaigns.

ladyj said...

I have always voted for the man not the party and always will. And I believe a certain amount of money should be set aside for campaigns and all Television stations should provide free time for candidates to have their say prior to primary. No private fund raising...every candidate have the same amount of money. Equality for all! Labels, everyone must have a label...why is that, Steve?
Well, Steve, let's round up the troops and do something about changing the status quo, before we all go to hell in a handbasket. We have learned that part of our govt's stimulis package is paying China to build Windmills while our companies here in the US are out of work. Let's do something about that.