Monday, November 09, 2009

Dems for a rationalist GOP - is there somewhere to donate?

Krugman is very worried about the 2010 triumph of the Tea Party ...
Op-Ed Columnist - Paranoia Strikes Deep -

Last Thursday there was a rally outside the U.S. Capitol to protest pending health care legislation, featuring the kinds of things we’ve grown accustomed to, including large signs showing piles of bodies at Dachau with the caption “National Socialist Healthcare.” It was grotesque — and it was also ominous. For what we may be seeing is America starting to be Californiafied...

...In fact, the party of Limbaugh and Beck could well make major gains in the midterm elections. The Obama administration’s job-creation efforts have fallen short, so that unemployment is likely to stay disastrously high through next year and beyond. The banker-friendly bailout of Wall Street has angered voters, and might even let Republicans claim the mantle of economic populism. Conservatives may not have better ideas, but voters might support them out of sheer frustration.

And if Tea Party Republicans do win big next year, what has already happened in California could happen at the national level. In California, the G.O.P. has essentially shrunk down to a rump party with no interest in actually governing — but that rump remains big enough to prevent anyone else from dealing with the state’s fiscal crisis. If this happens to America as a whole, as it all too easily could, the country could become effectively ungovernable in the midst of an ongoing economic disaster...
Krugman is not always right. Unfortunately, he's the best prognosticator we've got, even if he's better at forecasting doom than at coming up with practical alternatives (perhaps because we don't have a lot of practical options).

We can't make Palin/Bachman go away, because their constituency is right be afraid. Even if Bachman had lost her Minnesota seat (she almost did, it was surprisingly close) someone else would have taken her raving loon position.

Instead of focusing on the crazies we should be trying to build a Reason-based GOP. Liberal democracies need a dynamic tension between the genetically gifted and the neurotypical, between those who inherit wealth and those who inherit struggle, between the market and the wise, between the thrusting and the compassionate. If the powerful do not get their extra votes, they will crash the system (to their own detriment, but the powerful are not often insightful).

A rationalist GOP won't have my values of tolerance and compassion. It will, however, have a calculated interest in the survival of American (if not human) civilization, in educating productive workers, in reducing unprofitable and uncontrollable wars, and in clean air, water, and even beautiful spaces.

I wouldn't vote for or admire a rationalist GOP, but I would understand and respect its necessity. Without this kind of opposition, without the struggle for power, my Dem party will become a sewer of corruption (No, it's not a sewer yet. If you think it is you've led a protected life).

Today Newt Gingrich is the closest thing to a rationalist GOP -- which is pathetic. As feeble in Reason as he is, he's also powerless and all but forgotten.

We need to rebuild a post-Reagan rationalist GOP -- or we'll be governed by the likes of Palin and Bachman and human civilization will be a smoldering wreck.

Where do we start donating?
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