Friday, May 04, 2007
GOP Political Twister
Right hand ...where?
I remember when I was in college, our residence hall tried to set the world's record for the largest single game of "Twister" ever played. We had about two hundred people but didn't break the record. What I remember most from the attempt, was being sore for days from trying to twist my right arm six different ways to reach an elusive red dot that was just out of reach.
From what I saw last night watching MSNBC, the ten GOP presidential hopefuls are probably feeling the same way. What was billed as the first Republican debate, made our game of Twister look like a walk in the park. I have never seen ten men try so hard to twist, turn and reach for that one elusive red spot. the "mantle" of Ronald Reagan.
You had John McCain, who strained for reasons to attack Iran. Then you had Mitt Romney who twisted around his own record so much, he would need yoga lessons to untangle his own thought process. You had the also-rans desperately trying to out bigot, out bluster and out blast each other.
Duncan Hunter and Mike Huckabee want to build a moat across the US-Mexico boarder. Tommy Thompson, showed once again just how far down his throat he can shove his own foot, when he said it was ok fire people for being gay. (As of this morning his campaign was trying to quietly back pedal away from that.) And then there was Rudy...
Mayor Giuliani tried, I mean he REALLY tried to claim that red spot. He managed to work the phrase "Islamic fascist terrorism" in to as many answers as he could. Yet interestingly enough his own conscience got the better of him when asked about abortion. After trying to twist painfully aruond the issue, he admitted he suports a woman's right to make her own reproductive choices.
The Irony is by doing so, Rudy came closer to the "Reagan Spot" on that Twister board than any of the others.
What came through loud and clear on the stage at the Reagan Library was the Republican Party of 2007, is not the party of Ronald Reagan. It is not even the party of George HW Bush. What was on display last night was a GOP that has lost its mind, and sold its soul.
Amazing were the things that were NOT said. Nowhere on that stage did anyone come close to the Reagan ideals that government has no place intruding into people's private lives, or that "peace through strength" only works when you have strong partnerships around the world. None of the candidates seemed to understand that to promote freedom and human rights abroad we must first model them home.
All ten GOP candidates tried hard to pretend it was 1987 instead of 2007. They twisted to avoid their own culpability in a failed war on terror. They turned to deny their own hand in driving our nation to the brink of bankruptcy with reckless tax polices, insane spending during six years of a Republican congress, the complete neglect of over 47 million Americans without health care coverage, and a culture of corruption that as turned the party of Lincoln, Eisenhower and Reagan into the party of Delay, Abermoff, and Libby.
They stretched to avoid mentioning the damage their party has done to our Constitution. They strained to dance around GOP attacks on privacy, habeas corpus, the Geneva Convention, and Human Rights.
They fell over each other trying to prove who hated Mexicans more, who hated Hillary and Bill Clinton more, and who would fight the "Islamic Fascists" more. All they proved, is they represent a party that still thinks the way to win elections is to try desperately to divide Americans even more.
Abraham Lincoln led a GOP that sought to free the oppressed, unite the nation, and punish war profiteers. Last night we saw a GOP that still seeks to ignore oppression in countries that don't have Oil, or where the leaders are family friends> They didn't dare mention the fact we have a war profiteer for a Vice President.
Dwight Eisenhower led a GOP where war was always a last resort, and an unchecked military industrial complex is a threat to democracy. Last night we saw a GOP where an unchecked military industrial complex is their "base."
Even Richard Nixon understood we live in a world of interconnected global
relationships. Constructive engagement and détente' is always more successful than direct conflict. Last night we heard a GOP that still clings to a failed policy of you are either "With Us or Against Us".
Gerald Ford led a GOP where duty and the interests of the nation were more important than polls or elections. Where accepting responsibility for the actions you take in office is a president's first obligation. Last night we saw a GOP unable to even admit mistakes, let alone learn from them.
And sitting in that elusive red spot on last night's twister board, was Ronald Reagan, who always felt big government was never the answer for America's problems. Who felt faith was always a private matter. Last night we saw ten men desperately trying to use faith as a political tool. Ten men who think Big Government is great when it makes your base happy, leading a Republican Party that created the largest, most ineffective and costly expansion of the Federal Government in history.
George H.W. Bush once urged the GOP to see ; "In crucial things, unity, in important things diversity, and in all things generosity". Last night we saw the GOP of his son. A party that has left our nation more divided than at anytime since the civil war.
In the game of Twister they key to winning is who can adapt and change direction when needed, plan head while being flexible enough to reach the goal. What we saw at the GOP debate, was ten Republican candidates, who would rather break each other and our nation, than change their party's failed approach to government.