Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Moderate Republican Doesn't Like What He Sees in Today's Party

Former Minnesota Senator David Durenberger looks at the Bushies and doesn't like what he sees. Some highlights from a recent interview with Durenberger:

Today, though--I'll cite [anti-tax icon] Grover Norquist, who said something to the effect of, "Bipartisanship is like date rape." And that's what drives people now in the [Republican] party. They talk about freedom and values, but they really don't believe in representative government. They don't see that the country ought not to be divided in half. You're just looking at gridlock. I guess I'm a date-raper in the Norquist sense.
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In my view, the problem is a chief executive who will never acknowledge a mistake, an error, or a fault. Talking about leadership is not leadership. Leadership is not just success winning the seat of the president.

From the time he was governor, and a presidential candidate, he said he never once--never once--gave a second thought to any Texan that he sent to be executed. I've got concerns about that kind of person as a leader. To never, ever give a second thought to that sort of thing.

We saw it in the debates with John Kerry. I don't think the man believes that he's capable of making a mistake. Even though he's made them in his personal life and acknowledged them in his personal life. When I say that to somebody, they say, "Well, you know the way the system works in America is that you say you made a mistake and the other side is all over you." My answer to that is, "That's America. That is representative democracy." Because at some point, if you don't acknowledge mistakes, they're gonna come back and haunt you. I mean, that's just history. I'm not saying it'll happen on Bush's watch, [but] it will come back to haunt us.

We use the words "national security" to justify absolutely everything that goes on in this country. And that's not American. But that's the track [Bush] is on.
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The excesses of liberalism obscured the wonderful things about it. Most Republicans won't do this, but you need to read Garrison Keillor's Homegrown Democrat to understand some of the good things that came from liberalism.
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David Brooks writes about exurbanites, the people beyond the suburbs, using the analogy of golf. Their life needs to be like a golf course, where all the grass is clean, and cut to the same size, and the sand traps are all edged appropriately. That's the way they live, that's the way of a growing number of Americans. They want to go to churches where people are just like them, and go to malls that serve people and lifestyles just like them. This is Brooks's characterization, not mine. Increasingly, people want to vote for people who look like them, talk like them, and think like them. They go to church on Sunday, and they want to vote for somebody who talks to them the way the preacher does.

And what Keillor is saying is, "You know, you guys wouldn't have those opportunities. Your girls wouldn't be playing for national basketball championships and things like that. You wouldn't have 911 to call to save your kids' life or your own life, if there hadn't been Democrats or liberals fighting for those things." Those are some of the examples he uses. And he's right.

He's really saying, Give credit where credit is due. And there's a value in universities, there is a value to big old cities. There's a value to the Hmong or whomever. Here they are. And there's a value in that that doesn't exist in the golf course community, where everybody is the same. You can't possibly say you can represent everybody in your district, everybody in your state, everybody in your nation if have this golf course community mentality.

Check it out.

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