Thursday, January 22, 2009

A few thoughts on the post-Bush era.

Well so much for the honeymoon...

I was reading the conservative blogs earlier today, and most are in full throated "Loyal Opposition" mode. Shouts to the rafters that the GOP defeats of 2008 will not deter them from making fun of the new President. Promising that their blogs WILL go on, full of conviction that President Obama is manifestly unqualified for his office. Their duty and patriotic obligation is to point this out at every opportunity.

Well Hooray... I have no problem with that. Likewise, it is just as important to point out who owns the steaming pile of "legacy" that the Republican Party has left behind on its way to political exile.

Many conservatives, faced with a new political reality, are feeling a bit put upon. So they are are coming out swinging, full of comparisons to the chorus of dissent that greeted George W. Bush in January of 2001. Now I can understand the desire for payback. Yet the difference in the path to the Oval Office taken by President Obama compared to President Bush (43) is worth noting. President Bush's road the White House had to be cleared for him by the U.S. Supreme Court. President Obama's road to Washington was paved by the most decisive electoral victory since Ronald Reagan stomped on Walter Mondale in 1984.

Now let's be clear about something, the role a Loyal Opposition in a democracy is VITAL. It is essential for the checks and balances on power to be more than just words. It preserves, protects and defends our nation from the tyranny of the majority. And the Republican Party must fulfill this role as a critical rudder on the ship of state.

Yet what many conservatives don't like to admit, is the GOP has no problem with the tyranny of the majority when that majority is theirs. The strategy of gridlock wrapped in righteous indignation is understandably a very attractive one. It enables people who have turned a willfully blind eye to the disaster of the last 8 years to turn the torn, charred and bloody page, without having to face the truth of their own handwriting on that page.

So by all means let there be no "honeymoon". Come out swinging gloves off, and ready for battle. But just as you will be there to trumpet every misstep, so many more will be here to remind you who got us in this mess to begin with. The hard reality is the GOP will never move forward until they admit the horror story that we now face economically, strategically, environmentally and culturally in this nation was largely authored by them.

If the GOP decides to continue down a path of petulant denial wrapped in a cloak of historical revisionism, the electoral rehabilitation of the Republican Party will have to depend upon the American People being two things; Stupid and incredibly forgetful.

Fortunately 2008 has proven neither to be the case.

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