Jul 28, 2014

The Grand Old Party..Or….Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves?

Dan Bell says we should be taking advantage of these recall elections to right the course.

The Grand Old Party..Or….Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves?

We are going to have a recall election.

Six Republicans and three Democrats. At stake is control of the legislature and the ability to dictate the agenda for the state. We get a second chance to decide whether we want a legislature that deliberates and compromises to get things done, or one that has the power to ram through whatever they want without proper checks and balances.

Right now the Republicans have absolute control over both houses and the governorship. More precisely, they have absolute power - and they like it that way. There is an old saying that goes; “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Which brings me to the much-publicized strategy the Republicans plan on using for the recall.

It is times like these some people call character-building events. I couldn’t disagree more. These events don’t build character – they reveal it. And what is being revealed to us is something quite ugly. The Republican plan is to run phony Democrats to force a recall “primary.” What this strategy reveals to us is that they are nothing more than a party of gypsies, tramps, and thieves; bankrupt of decency and clearly afraid of competing on their record and in the area of ideas and governance.

It is a delay tactic, designed not only to cost the Dems money, but also to confuse the electorate. This strategy isn’t designed for governance, but a desperate grasp to retain power. The Republicans are unabashed, unashamed, and so profoundly arrogant that they have gone public with this – speaking openly about this strategy. It is as if they want the world to see just how clever they are, forgetting that cleverness is not wisdom.

What got us to this place of recall elections and the use of phonies as a purposeful strategy? Apathy, pure and simple. The 2010 election saw 50 percent of those who could vote stay at home. Of those who did vote, it would seem that emotion and social group norms held sway over individual thinking and assessment. The recall gives us a “do-over” a “mulligan” – a second bite at the apple.

Plato said; “The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” I don’t know if the men are evil, but what they are doing is completely dishonest and a deliberate attempt to mislead voters. It is the actions of the Republican “intelligencia” that is evil.

We should be asking ourselves a few questions like: If the ruling party’s ideas are so good, why can’t they just run on them? If these ideas are so good, why do they have to resort to deceitful and injurious strategies? If everyone is so enamored with their leadership, how is it that tens of thousands descend on the capitol in opposition?

The Democrats are now being counseled to use the same strategy on the Republicans. I hope they do not. I hope they think better of it. I want the voters to have a clear choice of principled, honest governance over power-grabbing at all costs.

Let’s use this “buyer’s remorse” to full advantage. Let’s send the message we want honest, principled governance.

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