I don't think he'll mind; this is pulled out of the comment thread for the post below on demagoguery. The quick and dirty: I am defending myself and the GOP on our motives in criticizing Democrats for failing to make good on process promises:
i would have to agree with the previous sentiment. the repubs had 12 years if they wished to deal with this issue.
# posted by jebus4me : 7:24 AM
Scroll back on this site and you will find more than a few posts claiming various unethical dem actions, dems thwarting process, and various other low-politic claims that are, and always will be, a minority complaint. I call it low-politic because both sides do it to push an agenda or stay in power. Any hypocrisy argument is silly because the complaint is as hypocritical as the action. No it is not right, and if you can show me a political party who upon becoming the majority limit their own power in this way, I will vote for them in a minute, because it clearly would be best for America. Until then, I have to support a candidate and a party who make me feel slightly less ill compared to the alternative.
# posted by jebus4me : 4:01 PM
Jebus - Don't think your posts make a lot of sense. You say that the GOP had 12 years to fix a problem and did not -- so they can't complain.
Democrats had years to fix entitlements and didn't. They had a chance to nab Osama bin Laden and didn't. George Bush has been President for 7 years and education still isn't fixed. Does any of those facts invalidate criticism from anybody? Of course not.
With regard to earmarks and open debate, the Democrats have failed to carry through on their promises to enact reforms, and in some cases have been worse than the Republicans.
So your conclusion is that Republicans need to quit crying about it? That's simply silly.
The job of the party out of power is to criticize the defects of the majority and propose alternatives. Whether Republicans are better or worse than the Democrats who replaced them, it does the public a disservice to say that they ought not criticize. When the Democrats criticize Bush over his handling of Al Qaeda, do you say 'now, now, you had your shot.' Of course not.
And did you last year regard all the promises of Democrats to change how Washington does business as irrelevant and vacuous? If you did not, then you can't now say that criticisms of their failure to fulfill said promises are invalid. That is, either the promises and the criticisms were both worth taking seriously, or they were not.
If instead, you feel that all that matters is the substance of the policies pursued - rather than the process considerations - so be it. I submit that you can't be all that happy on that score either, since by any measure the Democratic majority has failed to produce.
# posted by The Editor at IP : 4:45 PM
I'd also note that if you disregard process considerations -- the promise to change how things are done in Washington -- then you are...
OUT OF STEP WITH THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!
According to the LATimes, a majority of Americans are disappointed with Democrats' doing business the same old way:
# posted by The Editor at IP : 4:50 PM
You are right, the job of the weak party is to complain about the job of the more powerful one. This is because it, and blocking legislation, is really all you can do when you are not in power. What both sides know, and what I think repubs have been better at for the last decade, is that it is more important to have power than do what is right all the time. If you are not in control, you get nothing you want done, if you are, then maybe 30-40%.
My conclusion is not to stop complaining, I would have a better shot to ask that the world stop rotating. But rather, you only really need to listen to those who criticize consistently, for example, those who call a spade a spade regardless of who controls government. If you only complain about something when you are not in a position to exploit it, well, as the first posted said, "sour grapes".
# posted by jebus4me : 8:57 PM
And if the motivation of the critic is just 'sour grapes,' then the criticism is less legitimate?
It's worth remembering that the last time the GOP was out of power in Congress and took control, they adhered to the promises they made while they were in the wilderness. They shut the House bank, cut back significantly on Member and staff perks, as well as passed the policy initiatives they promised.
So in that instance at least, the party coming into power DID curb their own power and perks, as they had promised to do. And the system that you disdain -- with partisans promising change for 'disingenuous' or 'self-serving' reasons, DID produce the change that the public supported.
How are the Democrats doing in similar circumstance? So far they've already gone back on a number of such promises.
Why have they done so? Probably because as a party, they are more loving of the state, and the authority of the state. It is why (for example) significantly more Democrats chose to serve 12 years in the Minority, waiting for a return to power, than Republicans chose to stay in the majority, exercising power.
It is those 85 House Democrats -- who waited 12 years to have their chairmanships returned to them -- that are still running the show, and preventing the Democrats from delivering on their promises.
# posted by The Editor at IP : 9:52 PM