Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Party Line

The Moose is not exactly a party animal.

One of the most annoying aspects of modern politics is the tedious effort to impose party discipline on wayward members. The Leninist commissars in the Republican Party were the Norquists and the Club for Growth Crowd. They were constantly hurling their pathetic threats at alleged miscreants who were deviating from the reigning theology of rewarding the comfortable.

What is most striking to the Moose is how ineffective these groups have been. While organizations such as the National Rifle Association and the National Federation of Independent Business can actually inflict political pain, it is not clear that the full-throated ideologues are much a threat to anyone except their funders bank accounts.

Now, some on the left are unfortunately attempting to replicate the conservative model. This is a particularly discouraging development. At a time when the Democrats control no federal power, there is talk of further narrowing their support base. Unlike the Republicans who are making inroads into traditional Democratic constituencies, some donkeys, particularly those who are internet-based, seem to be contemplating a purge.

While the Moose is clearly partial to the blogosphere, as of yet, he has not seen evidence it carries much political clout outside of raising money. As an old community organizer who was trained by the United Farm Workers, the Moose will take organic blood and flesh organizing over the virtual community any day of the week.

The admirable passion of activists should certainly be channeled to oppose the dastardly policies of the Bush Administration. But thought should also be given to innovative alternative proposals to the Bushies. Yes, we oppose privatization - but how will we promote retirement prosperity for older Americans? Social security, alone, is an insufficient solution. "No!" is not an alternative program.

Lately, a prime target of the scorn of the left-wing bloggers has been Joe Lieberman. The Moose is particularly partial to Joe, because if he belonged to a party, it would be the McCain-Lieberman Party (Bull Moose). Like McCain, Lieberman is not afraid to buck party orthodoxy which makes him the bane of the lefty ideologues. They both will work across the aisle to get things done - that is why there is a McCain-Lieberman Climate Change legislation.

And similar to McCain, Lieberman is actually within the mainstream of his party. For example, he has the fourth highest ranking ACLU record and according to the National Journal he has votes with the liberals on social issues 82% of the time.

Yes, lefties may disagree with Joe from time to time on foreign or economic policy. But, like most Americans outside the blogosphere, Lieberman is not tediously predictable.

Both the Moose and the Senator graze in the vital center.
-- Posted at 8:32 AM | Link to this post | Email this post