Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Unpopulist has some stats from a recent poll, asking who America supports to run in '08. He is quite pleased with the fact that Al Gore has 20% support (second to Hillary, with 30).

"I have to be honest with you, I hadn't even begun to allow myself to contemplate a Gore '08 run. But now that I'm thinking about it, thinking about it feels pretty good."

Perfectly understandable. And I know the feeling well - it's the feeling you get when you realize your party is a virtual shoe-in for the Presidency for the next century, because the opposition has gone completely crazy. Exhibit A: Howard Dean for DNC chief. Exhibits B and C: widespread support for Clinton and Gore.

But there's a problem here, and most Republicans recognize it to one degree or another. It's the problem Bill Ardolino and The Unabrewer (who has more links) refer to when they threaten to leave the coalition that election Dubya. Consider:

"The concept of a 'wasted vote' means little to me, as I’m beginning to feel I’m wasting my vote anyway when choosing between a Democrat who spends too much money or a Republican who spends too much money."

It's hard to disagree with that. Of course, it's all a matter of priorities, and people like Bill and Joe R. seem to have hopped aboard the Bush bandwagon because they rank "Not Getting Blown to Smithereens" a notch or two higher than "Fiscal Responsibility." If the Dems seem content with Deaning themselves into irrelevance, the "Not Getting Blown to Smithereens" issue gets taken off the table, because only serious candidates will be on the wrong side of it, and Fiscal Responsibility takes its turn in the spotlight. And of course, Bush has been roundly criticized for his spending like - well, like a Democrat - so the issue has that much more immediacy, should the Dems continue to go the way of the Dodo.

In this light, I had a conversation with a friend who wants to see a serious Democratic party because it forces Republicans to compromise. I completely agree with the sentiment. I don't want Republicans spending us into the ground any more than I want Dems doing it. So compromise is good.

But what if the only option is to compromise with lunatics? What kind of compromise is that? We've seen how well it works to compromise with the mentally unstable in North Korea - it gets us nowhere, because the guy on the other side of the table doesn't seem to get the whole "we're bigger than you, but we'd rather talk about our problems that smash you like a bug" concept. Barbara Boxer's idea of compromise seems to be her staying right where she is while conservatives abandon their principles and convert to liberalism. What kind of compromise is that? Why should voters expect Republicans to yield to the psychotic ravings of oversized children is pantsuits?

Again, I don't mean to trash on the idea of compromise, because I think it's vital. Irresponsible spending hurts the nation regardless of who writes the check. But Republicans fast-tracked certain bits of legislation by physically preventing Democratic committee members from participating in drafting bills. I want to smack them upside the head for that. On the other hand, does America really benefit from letting a barking moonbat into Committee to waste everyone's time spouting fevered conspiracy theories in front of cameras, when they're supposed to be discussing an energy bill (for example)? What is the use in compromise, if the other side doesn't seem to get that concept?