It’s hard for folks to imagine, but every U.S. President has been harassed by nay-sayers and overpaid poop-heads. Even George W. the First, who is the only man ever to be unanimously elected as President of the United States. During his second term as President, Washington called out the militias from Pennsylvania, Virginia, and several states to put down an armed revolt in 1794 by a large number of angry farmers. The force used was as large as the entire Continental Army of the Revolutionary War, so more than a few men suggested the response, especially to be used against citizens, was excessive, even perhaps oppressive. Thus even George Washington found his judgment and decisions questioned. From his administration to the current George W., whining and complaining has been a constant counterpoint in American political discourse.
Although Congress has always held the commanding portion of power in the American government, Americans have always considered the President to be the man who sets plans into motion and makes policy. Accordingly, entire parties have held prolonged and heated debates on the initiatives and programs of various Presidents. That has reached a ridiculous condition in the present Administration, where Democrats and Republicans these days both do their worst to malign and insult President Bush, equally falsely, but with a strange argument why they are assaulting the President.
What seems to be happening, is that the Democrats see the schism on the Right and believe it is opening a door for them, then they blow it by making statements and supporting positions that any sane person could tell them is a losing play. Republicans, for their part, were only too happy to take the gains which Dubya made happen, only to shun him the moment the MSM claimed he was not effective. It strikes me as an oddly fitting balance; George W. Bush has done more for the United States of America and its citizens, than most Republicans and the Democrats put together, so it makes a strange kind of sense that so many “Phants and ‘Donks would lie about him and attack his character as they do. But it also proves worth the effort, to consider why these turncoats and demagogues chose that course in the first place.
Over the past generation, a sea change has been taking place in the American political culture. People who, to be blunt, had bought into the lie that FDR’s leadership was continued in Democrats like LBJ and Carter, or even Mondale and Kerry, have largely come to their senses or been replaced by a generation that is more likely to test claims made by politicians. Democrats can no longer presume that they own whole demographic blocs, much less that the Left-tilted media will be able to fool enough people to win on a regular basis. Once the hysteria of discovering they are no longer in the majority, but actually in a condition which may fairly be described as a tailspin, the Democrats will have to decide if they are willing to do what it takes to survive. More on that in a moment.
The Republicans, for their part, have become a bit arrogant. Extremists declare themselves the “base” of the party, emit demands that are very much like Extortion in their character and practice, with the express intent of shutting down debate. So-called “moderates” ignore the will of their own people, because they vainly believe that their condition is immune to change or electoral loss. And the self-ordained “leaders” of the party are far more devoted to Machivellian intrigues than the welfare of their nation or party. Even when it is clear that a party may only retain its majority by allegiance to the promises which brought that majority into being, and to the President whose leadership made their post so much more secure, these narcissists see only their own design and purpose, and they wager everything they have or influence on the myth that their vanity counts as virtue.
It is a plain fact that most Americans are not especially enamoured of either major political party. Both parties are facing exceptional dangers, but also exceptional opportunities. And this country needs both parties, like it or not. It should be understood that the Republicans and Democrats of today have changed a lot from their progenitors, even from the variety which fought and won against the Nazis. The Democrats need a center of focus, to understand what really matters. The Republicans need to remember how they came to be the majority, and what represents the promise and the ideal in America. Name-calling and attacking the elected leadership is not sound governance, but symptoms of a serious malady. In the classic case, Liberals sought ways for government to serve the greater good against extant evil, while Conservatives sought to keep American ideals on top and the government aware that it reports to the people. Liberals have sought to reach future hopes, while Conservatives have protected traditional virtues. There is something of the mix of the Liberal and the Conservative in everyone, as the words originally meant to be used. The twisting of them, by enemies and by politicos who wanted to replace Accountability with slick Rhetoric, is a perversion which both Republicans and Democrats should eschew. The notion that a new veneer or package will do the trick is self-delusion, and only delays the much-needed repair.