The old joke was, a Republican is a Democrat who’s been mugged. Now it seems that a Democrat is a Republican who’s been without electricity for a week or two. Representative Peter King of New York, nominally an R, and himself one of those stranded without power for a week or so, is now expressing his outrage at LIPA, the Long Island Power Authority.
Representative King says that the electrical company was not properly prepared for the onslaught of Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy, and did not bring sufficient resources to bear for the cleanup that was to come. Apparently, part of the problem is that LIPA did not request enough assistance from out of state electrical workers, and when non-union workers did show up, they were sent home. His proposed solution: calling on President Obama to become personally involved, and supporting federal intervention in the internal doings of LIPA, if it becomes necessary.
Why is he not calling for the entrenched interests at LIPA to step out of the way and allow him and his fellow citizens to step up and clean up the mess?
I see that one more person has drunk the Kool-Aid of the personal savior, not to mention the rhetoric of the unions. I can certainly understand how liberals feel the pinch of a little hypocrisy. More and more, it seems as though Republicans are not the party of limited government, but of the government they want.
It’s no wonder that Democrats say, if we are going to have a large government, then let it be one that is tolerant of the standards and lifestyles of the millions of people who inhabit this part of the continent, whether they are here legally or illegally. If we are to pay for big government, why should it be focused on our intervention in other countries, when there are so many people who are suffering here at home?
There have been a great many discussions about what happened during the last election—why Mitt Romney, the man of business, lost, when it is self-evident that so many Americans out of work is a major problem. It seems that Democrats believed that they were not likely have government’s influence in their lives lessened any with Mr. Romney in the White House, and they were determined to have that influence present itself in a positive way, through social reform, rather than the negative protection of oil interests abroad.
It doesn’t help the Republicans’ cause when their representatives call for more federal assistance whenever there is a emergency. I know Representative King’s call to action occurred after the election, but it is indicative of some Republicans’ mindsets. With instances like these, the Tea Party’s recent mantra of no more taxes sounds more like “We don’t like President Obama’s policies, because we sure weren’t around when President Bush was getting all flagrant with the checkbook.”
If the Republicans truly want to be the party of limited government, then they need to act that way. Not just mucho spending when it comes to defense, with little interest in social justice: they need to show Democrats that they want the government to interfere little in people’s lives in any way, whether in the bedroom, the board room, or the war room.
The Republican party needs to decide, and pretty quickly, where its most important interests lie. Is the fiscal cliff the biggest deal? If so, why? Is it because of sequestration, the debt ceiling, or the increase in taxes? If the sequestration, decide whether cutting defense will really dismantle our entire defense system, or whether defense spending could manage to limp along at a mere $500 million per year for a short while, until we can get the rest of our house in order.
If it is the debt ceiling, is there way to put off lifting it without shutting down essential government services? I can’t think of a way right now, but I am open to suggestions. And what about the increase in taxes? Can we all abide an increase as a show of good faith while we are trying to figure out which government services are essential?
The Democrats are suspicious of Republican motives, and it is easy to see why: from Senator McConnell stating that his prime objective was to keep President Obama from being re-elected (yes, I know that it is always Republicans’ prime objective to keep the other party from being re-elected, but still), to those ill-mannered ejaculations about abortion (yes, I know that the party called for Representative Akin to step down, but still), the Republicans appear to be the party that hates women and blacks.
First things first: repair your image. The Democrats won the election. Let them govern. If things don’t stick in your craw too much, give in, graciously. If it is not a matter of life and limb, don’t fight so hard. The fiscal cliff is just economics, after all. And if we do go over the cliff, there’s nothing that says we can’t band together as individuals, to help each other out, to get through this crisis.
Let the Democrats savor their victory, instead of fighting them tooth and nail all the way. What you don’t want is entrenched bitterness and suspicion. Extend the proverbial olive branch, and see where that gets you. If they are calling for increased tax rates, then let the taxes go up. If that means that the fat cats on Wall Street refuse to infuse their money into new business: start your own. If there are too many regulations, make that the direction of the bargains to come: have the Democrats reduce regulation instead of the size of the government, to start with.
If Republicans give on social issues, and allow some leeway on fiscal policy, the Democrats may be able to rise from their hunkered down position, and give a little back. Republicans do not yet seem to realize how scary their policies seem to those who feel that they have had little power in the past. Regardless of what the actual situation is, it is what seems to be that rules. Extend the hand of friendship, and then let’s get on to the business at hand.