Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rod Blagojevic Is Why I'm Not a "Democrat for Blackwell"

Some merry blogosphereic pranksters have started a "Democrats for Blackwell" Facebook group, advocating that the former Secretary of State and current far right commentator be elevated to RNC chair. The gag -- and it's a good one -- is Blackwell's radical conservatism coupled with his political incompetence will keep the Republican Party weak and regional. All respect to the guys behind this, I laughed when I got the invite. But the ill fortunes of the Republican Party are not a good thing.

Case in point, a David Broder column about indicted Democratic Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevic. After recounting Blagojevic's improbable rise to power, Broder notes

    He had a rocky first term in Springfield, where he quickly became known as an absentee executive and where his inner circle was rumored to be operating with hands out. An unseemly family feud with his father-in-law fed the gossip mills.

    But in 2006, the badly weakened Illinois GOP furnished another unelectable opponent, and Blagojevich won without breaking a sweat.
I for one want the Republican Party to come back, at least enough to be a credible threat. (I'd like it if we could consistently beat that threat, but still) First I'm close enough to center to understand that a Democratic agenda with no brakes is not a good thing. But more than that, losing political accountability makes the Blogojevices (and for that matter, Tafts and Noes) that much more likely.

I want a Republican Party that can both deter corruption and root it out when it happens. I'd prefer a party that can occaisionally field a moderate candidate who I could vote for if the Dem is, say, a more recalcitrant version of Marc Dann. Sadly, conservatives have spent so much time filtering out anything that doesn't tell them how right they are, I doubt they can properly diagnose their problems, much less fix them.

RNC Chairman Blackwell would calcify all the worst tendencies of the Party. That's an excellent subject for Facebook humor. But it's not something anyone should actually wish for.


Madrigal Maniac said...

I agree. As a moderate progressive, I become irritated with those who think that the right cannot have plausible ideas. I had a political science professor who said the political pendulum swings slowly between right and left. However, I think the arc may have become a little too wide in recent times.

Anonymous said...

Excellent column. One party rule, Summit, Cuyahoga, Mahoning, Akron, Cleveland, etc. is responsible for the state of those areas.

It's not that they are controlled by Democrats, but that the public officials know they have no chance of losing an election unless the threat comes from within their own party. And if you are a part of that political machine, you are set.

Look at the Bill Mason machine north of us.

Plusquellic's city council...etc..

David said...
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David said...

Aw Pho, why'd you have to go and inject rational thought into things?

But, to be fair, if our little Facebook group really DID influence the RNC race, than there probably isn't much hope for what you want anyway.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous above already explained the problem with one party rule. Politics become very static and stale.

Two parties is still very limiting in terms of ideas presented, because you have a "black vs. white" (not racial) conflict between two established and opposing platforms assembled under two very "big tents" made up of diverse and often conflicting ideologies.

Dominant, established interests in both big tents very often succeed in marginalizing new ideas and interests that pose a direct challenge to the status quo within the party. And because the two party political system is so firmly entrenched, there normally aren't many viable options for a new movement to successfully express and establish itself outside of one of the two parties.

This leaves a lot of gray area in beween, within and outside of the two existing parties that goes unaddreesed and mostly unheard. My solution, rather than seeking to directly reinvigorate the dying GOP (which I think quite frankly should kick-off and be buried already), would be instead to rewrite or reboot the system to allow the factions within both big tent parties to organize and operate as their own parties in a parliamentary-style system of government. More parties? More ideas presented. And the "big tent" coalitions then can at least be formed outwardly, so that people can plainly see which interests are aligning with each other.

Anonymous said...

Funny that you mention Dann as the type to cause you to vote Republican. He ran against a moderate Republican and won. Did you vote for, or promote here, Betty Mongomery? Dann's antics still keep making the papers, with more to come. Ohio could have prevented that if Democrats had a stronger policy against endorsing the ethically shaky to bgein with.