"In Tampa, the Republican argument against the president's re-election was pretty simple: We left him a total mess, he hasn't cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in."
That's one of the many great lines from Clinton's speech last night. This Democratic Convention, I think, marks the death blow for the Romney campaign. Assuming Obama makes no major gaffes between now and election, he's going to win. That's not a bold prediction, I know, but I can't help that what seems obvious to me seems obvious to everyone else. My hope is that an utter defeat this fall will help the Republican Party reform itself into a party of viable, responsible adults.
Can anyone who has watched both of the nominating conventions believe that the Republican Party, as currently constituted, deserves--or is prepared--to be in power? Their entire strategy since Obama came into power has been to oppose his every attempt to do anything (including an attempt to balance a budget the substance of which they agreed with) in the hopes they could defeat him. Or, as President Clinton put it last night:
President Obama...tried to work with congressional Republicans on health care, debt reduction, and jobs, but that didn't work out so well. Probably because, as the Senate Republican leader, in a remarkable moment of candor, said two years before the election, their No. 1 priority was not to put America back to work, but to put President Obama out of work.
This was Mitch McConnell, of course. And this, at core, has been the motivating ethos of the Republicans--not we want to govern, but we want to WIN.
When times are tough, constant conflict may be good politics but in the real world, cooperation works better. After all, nobody's right all the time, and a broken clock is right twice a day. All of us are destined to live our lives between those two extremes. Unfortunately, the faction that now dominates the Republican Party doesn't see it that way. They think government is the enemy, and compromise is weakness.I tend to value small government over large, and the private over the public sector. I am fully persuaded that our most important challenge over the next ten years will be cutting entitlements and working out a sustainable model for balancing budgets. I have many problems with several stalwarts of the Democratic base. And yet for all that, I have never been so fully repulsed by the Republican Party as I am today. I won't say they have no ideas--I think (hope?) they do. They don't make arguments based on those ideas, however; they argue only that Obama is bad. The entire Republican convention, last week, could be summed up in the phrase "Obama Is Bad." It's lame dispiriting stuff. What a contrast to what we've seen from the Democrats so far in Charlotte.