This week has seen two classic examples of politicians (and political parties) demonstrating self-absorption to a ridiculous extent. As I've said before, I regard the Democratic and Republican parties with equal suspicion and distaste, so I'm kinda pleased that these revealing slip-ups came from both sides of the US political aisle. Fair and balanced, and all that sort of thing . . .
First, Democratic Senator from Massachusetts John Kerry showed clearly why he would have made an absolutely disastrous President.
“We have an electorate that doesn’t always pay that much attention to what’s going on so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth or what’s happening,” Kerry told reporters after touring the Boston Medical Center yesterday.
Conservative political blogger William Jacobson, who writes Legal Insurrection, immediately pounced on Kerry’s comments, saying that attitude is why voters are looking to shake up Capitol Hill by electing upstart candidates such as U.S. Sen. Scott Brown.
“It just continues the Democrats’ theme that the reason people are upset is because they don’t understand. They’re not smart enough. That sort of rhetoric just gets people even more upset,” said Jacobson.
There's more at the link.
Needless to say, Senator Kerry's allies have been rushing to his defense, denying that he meant what he so clearly did mean with those words. It's not going to work, fellows. We, the electorate, aren't nearly so blind, deaf and dumb as you seem to think we are. Contempt for the electorate by the intelligentsia is a deep-rooted reality on both sides of the political aisle . . . it's just that the Left is less careful about revealing it.
As Alan so snarkily put it, "Projecting, Lurch?" Can you imagine the damage that Kerry could have done as President, if he regards his constituency in these terms? Oh, wait . . . we already have a President like that. No need to imagine a thing - we see the reality in front of us day in and day out!
The Republican Party has obliged by being just as stupid, in public. Their new 'Pledge To America' is the platform upon which they hope to regain control of the House, and perhaps also the Senate, this fall. Unfortunately, it's so deeply flawed as to be highly suspicious. Don't forget, this is the same party that spent like drunken sailors under President Bush, ignoring the true needs of the economy and the American people in their rush to patronize their support groups and special interests. Sure, the Democrats have done even worse since they took over in 2006, but that doesn't excuse earlier Republican failures.
The Pledge To America is short on substance and specifics, long on rhetoric and vagueness. A few examples (with my observations following each, in italic print):
- "An unchecked executive, a compliant legislature, and an overreaching judiciary have combined to thwart the will of the people and overturn their votes and their values, striking down longstanding laws and institutions and scorning the deepest beliefs of the American people." (Yep - this has been going on for decades, under both parties.)
- "An arrogant and out-of-touch government of self-appointed elites makes decisions, issues mandates, and enacts laws without accepting or requesting the input of the many." (Ditto.)
- "Rising joblessness, crushing debt, and a polarizing political environment are fraying the bonds among our people and blurring our sense of national purpose." (Neither political party has a clue about a 'sense of national purpose'. Both are all about how their party sees our national purpose.)
- "With this document, we pledge to dedicate ourselves to the task of reconnecting our highest aspirations to the permanent truths of our founding by keeping faith with the values our nation was founded on, the principles we stand for, and the priorities of our people. This is our Pledge to America." (What took you so long? Given your past record of ignoring all these things, why should we trust you to honor them now?)
- "We pledge to honor the Constitution as constructed by its framers and honor the original intent of those precepts that have been consistently ignored – particularly the Tenth Amendment, which grants that all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." (This, from the party that gave us the Patriot Act, which rode roughshod over the Constitution? And that's just one example. Given that neither party has made a single move to repeal such unconstitutional legislation, why do I have a problem believing this blather?)
- "We pledge to advance policies that promote greater liberty, wider opportunity, a robust defense, and national economic prosperity." (Great rhetoric, but no specifics whatsoever. These are empty words. Give me specifics!)
- "We pledge to uphold the purpose and promise of a better America, knowing that to whom much is given, much is expected and that the blessings of our liberty buoy the hopes of mankind." (Ditto. Shakespeare would classify this as 'full of sound and fury, signifying nothing'.)
I could go on for pages in similar vein, but I'll spare you. Basically, the Pledge To America is a feel-good document that's long on promises, short on specifics, and clearly impossible to implement unless and until the Republicans control both houses of Congress and the Presidency. Given that they can't possibly do so until at least 2012, their promises amount to little more than a public relations exercise.
Once again, I appeal to all those who will vote this November: don't vote for the party - vote for the individual. More than anything, and more than ever, we need honest, upright men and women in Congress and the Senate who will faithfully represent our interests, our views and our priorities in the government of this nation. I don't care which party such a person happens to belong to. If he or she is a good, sound, honest, upright person, whether or not I agree with all his or her policies, I'll vote for them. If they're just party hacks, time-servers seeking the next rung up the political ladder . . . to Hades with them!
We've had enough of the likes of John Kerry or John McCain, Nancy Pelosi or John Boehner, to last us several lifetimes. We need fresh blood in Washington. One of the most hopeful things about the Tea Party movement, to me at any rate, is that it seems to be operating in both major political parties. If this movement can influence the selection of candidates in both parties, and at least diminish the influence of (if not, over time, eliminate) the ivory-tower elites that have run them for far too long, then I'll have renewed hope for our future as a nation.