I have not been following the political scene closely due to the fact I have already decided to vote for president Obama. However, I have an awareness of what’s going on politically, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times, which I read daily. I am very puzzled about the political strategy of the Republican candidates. When I am puzzled like this and am searching for a way to describe and summarize what I’m reading, I usually examine my trove of cultural and political clichés to see if I can find some wisdom there. Clichés, in my view, arise in the popular lexicon due to the need for short and concise comparisons in conversation. I find them very helpful. So what did I find?
What got me thinking about all this was a statement made by Mr. Gingrich that really puzzles me as to his intent in making the statement. The statement most certainly does not elevate him to a higher presidential candidate status. I’m referring to his statement regarding sending the Capitol police to bring activist judges before Congress and examined by that body. Maybe he was seeking media attention and wanted to say something so outrageous it could not be ignored by the media. He certainly succeeded. This behavior is something like the behavior of a disgruntled party-goer who wants to make a big splash at the party. He proceeds to throw a turd in the punch bowl and gains the attention he seeks. This strategy will work well as long as one does not really care about the consequences. In Mr. Gingrich’s case, the consequences of making this statement are not to be greatly feared due to the fact Mr. Gingrich already has set new standards for non-presidential stature.
Years ago, before my world view was completely formed, I was a Republican and voted Republican many times. My world view then was consistent with the activities and policy aims of the Republican Party, i.e., before the Reagan era. During that time, as my world view matured and moved toward more liberal ideas, I began to realize I was more a Democrat than a Republican. I did what any sensible person would do and changed parties. I still harbor a slightly nostalgic feeling about the conservative policies of the pre-Reagan era. I suppose you can call me a middle of the road democrat if you want to call me anything. I’m really worried the right half of the political spectrum in the United States is committing political suicide by embracing what I feel are stiff necked, imagine your own facts, wacko ideologues. If the left side of the democratic party does not have a viable and strong middle of the road Republican Party as a political counterbalance, we will be as much trouble as if the right wing of the Republican Party had effective power in our government. Please note that I do not the define effective power as the antics of the right wing wackos in the present House of Representatives, who are nothing but backbench grenade throwers. I fear the Republican Party wackos have effectively cast out all Republicans who might conceivably have the statesmanlike qualities necessary for effective political leadership. As I have said before, I believe there is a shortage of willing citizens, across the political spectrum from left to right, that possess the qualities I believe define the statesman, or should I say, states-person. I’m sure there’s a group of citizens out there somewhere that meet my requirements for states-person, though where are they and why are they hiding?