The Moose suggests that the donkey divine lessons from the fall of the Bushies.
President Bush's primary fault was his failure to unite the country after 9/11. Instead, he remained slavishly obsequious to the monied plutocrats and the right wing base of the Republican Party. It was a national greatness moment, and W. blew it.
However, now, even the base of the party is dissatisfied with W. The Miers nomination was the final straw for many of them. The lesson is that, at the end of the day, a President and a Party will ultimately fail if their first interest isn't the national interest.
David Ingatius writes in today's Washington Post,
"Bush and the Republicans had a chance after 2004 to become the country's natural governing party. They controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. The Democrats were in utter disarray, leaderless and idea-less. When Bush took the podium in January to deliver his soaring second inaugural address, the future seemed to belong to the Republicans.
"Bush squandered this opportunity by falling into the trap that has snared the modern GOP -- of playing to the base rather than to the nation. The Republicans behave as if the country agrees with them on issues, when that demonstrably isn't so. The country doesn't agree about Social Security, doesn't agree about the ethical issues that were dramatized by the torment of Terri Schiavo, doesn't agree about abortion. Yet, in a spirit of blind partisanship, House Speaker Dennis Hastert announced last year that bills would reach the floor only if "the majority of the majority" supported them. That notion of governing from the hard right was a recipe for failure...
"Principles are a fine thing, but a narrow, partisan definition of principle has led the Republicans to a dead end. Their inability to transcend their base and speak to the country as a whole is now painfully obvious. Like the Democrats in their years of decline, they are screaming at each other -- not realizing how far they have drifted from the mid-channel markers that have always led to open waters and defined success in American politics."
Will the Democrats learn from the Republican experience at governing? Can the Democrats transcend its own base and unite the country? America hungers for leaders who understand that there is a patriotic duty to find concrete solutions to the nation's problems regardless of their ideological pedigree.
The Moose is a huge fan of John McCain because he instinctively puts the national interest first - it is a matter of the character and nature of the man steeled by personal experience. David Rogers writes a perceptive piece in the Wall Street Journal,
"No prominent Republican since Dwight Eisenhower is more steeped in military traditions than Mr. McCain -- the son and grandson of admirals -- and it affects his politics. Conservatives celebrate the individual; liberals emphasize the use of government for the collective good. Mr. McCain's military tradition melds the two with a message of service that calls on the individual to spend at least part of his or her life serving the nation and that collective good.
"Second, he is prone to speak of ideals rather than ideas. His rebelliousness fascinates the Weekly Standard-bred "big idea" school of conservative intellectuals and columnists who hold sway in Washington these days. But this distinction -- between ideals and ideas -- keeps Mr. McCain one step apart."
It is time for politicians committed to ideals that put country first to step forward. --