Saturday, January 21, 2006

Decorum and Politics

Hugh Hewitt posts a very interesting speech given by Karl Rove. There's a few points Rove makes I'd like to comment on:
Let me stipulate a few important things. Our opponents are our fellow citizens, not our enemies. Honorable people can have honest political differences. And we should strive for civility and intellectual integrity in our debates.
This is a very important point. The key to Republican electoral victory in fact. Voters are extremely tired of shrill, partisan politics devoid of decorum and respect. I think negative advertising has reached its tipping point and will just backfire. Left leaning shows and movies like the West Wing or The American President or The Daily Show always call for an honest, open discussion of the issues but in real life when people try to debate they get shouted down in the rudest of fashions. The far left is even doing it to their own now. Did you see recently when the Code Pink people shouted down Nancy Pelosi? Who in the world ever told them this is an effective way to change minds or gather support? If the Right remains civil and the Left allows their more radical folks to continue to man the bullhorns then hope is lost for the Democrats.
In 2001 Congress passed this law with a large, bipartisan majority -including a vote of 98-1 in the Senate. The Patriot Act has protected the United States from attack and saved American lives - and yet the Democrat leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, recently boasted that Democrats had "killed the Patriot Act."

Republicans want to renew the Patriot Act - and Democrat leaders take special delight in trying to kill it. This is an issue worthy of a public debate.
The message is that the Republicans want to protect you and your family while the Democrats want to protect the ACLU. An open discussion about the facts shows that the FBI doesn't track people's library books (besides who goes to the library anymore?) and the government is not wire tapping average peoples phones (although they are monitoring calls outside the country to suspected terrorists which gets us back to protecting you vs protecting the ACLU).

Rove points out that the economy is growing at an excellent rate, unemployment is under 5% and taxes are being cut. People know there is no more wasteful group of people than Congress (other than drunken sailors). Arguing against putting more money into people's pockets but instead putting more into Congress' is the side Democrats are trying to take and its a losing argument. The government does not know what's best for you or your family.
Recently, the American people have witnessed something like a national seminar on judicial philosophy. On one side of the divide were eight Democrat Senators: Kennedy, Biden, Leahy, Schumer, Durbin, Kohl, Feinstein, and Feingold. On the other side of the divide were two extraordinary judges: John Roberts and Samuel Alito.

The contest wasn't even close. The Democrats talked a whole lot longer - but John Roberts and Samuel Alito spoke a whole lot better.
This brings us back to decorum. Brow beating upstanding people like Roberts or Alito may play to the far left but to most average people its just rude. More than rude - its disturbing. Voters won't want to vote for unhinged, crybabies who lack decorum. The Democrats need more dapper Harry Truman types and less slob Abbie Hoffman types. Yet the reverse is true. The Democrats are making their own bed. They should, however, remember that Abbie Hoffman never won an election.

People are worried about the US becoming a one party state but if the Libertarians conduct themselves with decorum and speak about their ideas and views - I wouldn't be surprised to see them get support from many moderate Democrats who are ashamed of what their party is becoming. The Democratic Party is in danger of becoming the 21st century Whigs.

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