Roger Abramson and I have had our differences, to put it mildly. If he heard that a semi-truck took the I-40/I-440 curve too fast and careened into my bedroom, killing me instantly, I imagine he’d shrug and say, “Well, that’s too bad.” And, if I heard that he was carried off by a pack of coyotes, my first thought would be, “Hmm. That’s not how I thought he’d go.” I’m not a big grudge holder, but I still think I might toss my drink in his face if I ever saw him in public.
So, it pains me to tell you that he’s right. I mean, he’s often right about shit, but who cares? I don’t admit to reading him. But no, I mean, he’s currently right about something so important that I feel compelled to share it with you, even though it means giving props to Abramson.
Here it goes. Abramson says, “A Political Party is not a Football Team.”
Now, as a Republican voter I am very willing to give “Rs” more slack than “Ds” in this regard (just as, if I were a Democratic voter it would be the other way around), but it’s not some kind of “get out of jail free” card. The fella can’t just hold up his “R” jersey and expect me to cheer for him every time he comes running out of the tunnel. He’s got to show me something more than that. I’m a citizen first and a Republican second.
Amen, Brother Abramson.
To that end, I’d like to propose a moratorium on “Well, you know if Clinton were in office…” and “Clinton did blah blah blah.” And, should we survive as a democracy until 2008, and the democrats find someone electible to run for office (because, let’s be clear, folks, unless the coastal democrats see something I don’t, it could be Hillary vs. Mothra in 2008 and Mothra would win, if’n he could prove he was born in the United States) let’s just agree to stop the Bush bashing.
Don’t get me wrong. As long as he’s in office, bash away. Remind the folks who voted for him that they voted for a smirky, smarmy, jackass who’s inventing for himself an imperial presidency. But once he’s out of office, we owe it to the country to reserve our critiques of his administration to real, substantial ones.
Because, at the end of the day, we need to have a discussion, across ideologies, about what we want the powers of the president to be. Is it okay for a president to circumvent congress and the courts? If so, then doesn’t that irreparably shift the balance of power established in the constitution? Do we want that?
Do we still want to be free?
Radley Balko–yes, another libertarian–has an interesting entry about that from the other day. He says:
Advocates for liberty are increasingly facing a new challenge. Used to be that our main fight was against the ever expanding size and scope of government. But it’s fast becoming the case that half the battle is convincing people that freedom is actually a good thing in the first place. People would rather have a massive government that makes all of their decisions for them, ostensibly because they’d rather have someone other than themselves to blame when they make the wrong decisions.
Preach on, Brother Balko.
Is he right? I don’t know. I’m kind of afraid that he is. But our nation was founded on concepts of freedom and liberty and justice for all and all that nonsense that only rich white men had in 1776 and we’ve been slowly and painfully struggling to recognize for everyone else. Isn’t that still a worthy goal?
If it is, people from all across the political spectrum are going to have to decide that and we’re going to have to have some painful discussions about where we go from here and how we get there.