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Saturday, July 15, 2006

A quote about parties and the country

--posted by Tony Garcia on 7/15/2006

A quote by Henry Ward Beecher that was about the Civil War but I believe it should be re-uttered.
Is this nation...to remain dismembered, to serve the ends of parties? Have we learned no wisdeom by the history of the past ten years, in which just this course of sacrificing the nation to the exigencies of parties plunged us into rebellion and war?
For those who are uncertain of the deeper history of the start of the Civil War need to check out this history book. It was allegiances to parties that drove partisans to their entrenched positions and led to the Civil War.

Just a little food for thought for the Party over Principle crowd.

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Blogger Leo Pusateri said...

A little fodder for tomorrow's cannons, I suppose :)

July 15, 2006  
Blogger Tony Garcia said...

Oh yeah. I just realized I had better do some homework for that topic!!

July 15, 2006  
Blogger bobby_b said...

If one is strongly committed to certain principles and paradigms concerning how government should govern, and one wants to be effective in promoting those principles and paradigms instead of merely being impotently proud of one's position, isn't one sort of stuck working within a system which gives little, if any, hope for those working outside of parties?

I mean, let's not mistake the horse for the cart here. Some of us could care less about a "party", except that they offer the best - the only - chance for us to get a desired result.

July 16, 2006  
Blogger Tony Garcia said...

Fidelity to the party is the dangerous part. Over time it becomes difficult to seperate the party from the cause in that one begins to "settle" for what the party does instead of standing fast in trying to fix/change the party.

True, one of the 2 parties may be the best way to get your own principles and paradigms, but if you continue to "settle" for "as good as it gets" then you are doing you principles less good.

A fiscal conservative is getting nothing worth championing from Pawlenty. Fidelity to him is doing very little. Changing the party within is an option, but when the members are so unable to realize the difference between the principles advancing the party from the party masquerading the principles then there is not much hope within that party either.

For a party that claimed that "character matters" when trying to defeat Clinton (and hosts of other Democrats) I would have expected the rank & file to hold to that. At the 6th CD there were some people (Andy among them) who were going to try and remove Bachmann from eligibility for endorsement for character issues. She gets the endorsement and those people suddenly think she is the greatest thing since PB&J w/ the crusts cut off.

Fidelity to the party is a problem. Fidelity to the principles and using/moving the party to get there is the way to advance your principles.

That is I advocate fiscal conservatives to skip the Governor's race this year. Vote 'present' on the Governor's race.

July 16, 2006  
Blogger bobby_b said...

I still think that you can't "fix" a party unless you can "fix" the majority of state voters. I can lead the R's way far to the right - but, if 51% of the voters don't follow, I've merely given the D's a win, which ultimately does more harm to society than does my supporting the most-rightward-but-still-viable candidate.

July 17, 2006  
Blogger Tony Garcia said...

I will have to disagree for the center square please.

In 1994 the same line of logic was that you cannot go more rightward, Arne is as good as it gets, exact same stuff that is being uttered in Tim's defesne as an effort to keep the fiscal conservatives on board.

I disagree. I do not think Pawlenty would be in danger had he stuck to the same campaign platform that he won with in 2002.

Moving public opinion right-ward is possible. It requires consistency and honesty and to some degree simplicity.

Consistency: not abandoning the message. Pawlenty's abandoning fiscal conservativism tells those who don't pay close attention that the ideas might not work. Rhetorically the damgage will take a long time to fix.

Honesty: playing games with the words (tax vs fee) or political gambits will be damaging to the rightward movement. (Examples of the gambits can be found throughout this blogs archives.)

Simplicity: the right answers sometimes are not easy, but they are simple. How to solve the budget problems...cut spending. Easy. There is not a need for explaining why this or that program can't be cut. Just cut. Make that the proposal and go from there.

But by "fixing" the party I mean more the tactics. Westover has been right on with his "making the party better" series. Making certain that attacks on the Left are legitimate, not just 'good because they attack the Left' but intellectually fair and honest.

I had an interesting dinner yesterday with a few MOB members. One of them had no idea that much of what he said was 100% partisan and MAYBE half was intellectually honest...in that if the parties were reversed he would say the same thing.

So attacking the Left is not good enough. It has to be fair and it has to be honest.

With all of that in place the party can fix itself.

However, I do not see that as being possible. Most everyone I talk to within the party is of the mentality that all things Democrat are bad and all thing Republican are good. That goes for people, ideas, platforms, etc. This alone is dishonest because that is the same mentality they criticize from the Left.

That is why I don't think the GOP, at least in the short term of the next 5 years, can be fixed.

July 17, 2006  

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