Saturday, December 8, 2012

Signs of politics breaking out

Prior to the election, I wrote:

"Voting against Romney is the only way I can vote against the Tea Party, the Evangelicals, and the Libertarians."  

I was afraid that if Romney won, the extremists of the Republican Party would take it as a victory for themselves and would take over the party and the country, which I most assuredly did not want.  

I had hoped that the whacko wing would lose power to more reasonable and moderate voices, voices of those whose goal was to run the country rather than over-run the country with their ideological purity.  There are glimmers in the water of that hopeful future, which I am glad to see.

My favorite center-right columnist, David Brooks, points out that Marco Rubio gave a speech that suggested a move toward the center, and that there are some signs that House Republicans will join with the Speaker, John Boehner, in committing politics - i.e. creating a deal, compromising, and raising taxes along with cutting spending in order to avoid the Fiscal Cliff.  Thank goodness.  

In addition, Brooks points out that even Paul Ryan, unsuccessful VP candidate, is talking about helping the middle class rise rather than spouting Ayn Randian libertarian absolutes.

It could well be that the Republican Party can be taken back from the revolutionaries whose only passion is their ideology.  

The country needs a healthy Republican Party.  It becomes healthy with the marginalizing the ideologically intransigent extremists.  It becomes a healthy political party by acting as politicians, i.e. cutting deals, negotiating behind closed doors, finding compromises, getting what they can and allowing what they need to.  Pushing aside the ideologues and creating space for politicians.

Of course, the Democratic Party needs to do the same thing.  Right now we have the hard core lefties like Robert Reich writing that no deal is better than a bad deal.  No deal means the country goes over the Fiscal Cliff, and despite what Mr Reich would like us to believe, that would be a very bad thing, indeed.

Both parties need to gently ignore their extremes and get on with the business of working together to run the country like adults, rather than warring with each other as alien tribes bent on unconditional surrender.

One can hope.