Ahh, how delicious is this? The NewsHour had a story tonight about those disappearing GOP moderates, featuring Mike DeWine-OH, Nancy Johnson-CT, Paul Bass-NH, and Jim Leach-IA.
Leach in particular bothered me the most, downcast eyes as he lamented the loss of comity, and along with the others, the increase in the polarization of our politics. Well Jim, I'm pretty sure you need only look at your party for that loss, as it was the thuggery of Lee Atwater, and the gang of cutthroats born of Nixon, and fathered by Reagan, that started the GOP down that road.
It wasn't the stupid Democrats that started this particular brand of polarization, no it was the GOP and their immaturity and greed that turned the key, an immaturity that was unable to grasp the reality of hardball politcs and conflated it into some sort of persecution complex, a persecution that could only be explained as an attack against their essence, which strengthened the bonds of their groupthink, which built The Wall(sans responsibility and thus redemption, George...George?) to protect them against further attack. Remember Gingrich whining about how President Clinton made him get off the back of Air Force One, and the vanity that led to the disastrous government shutdown? Disastrous for the GOP anyway.
Well, there was Jim Leach, moderate, respected, reasonable even, bemoaning his fate, the loss of a "center" in the body politic, and all I could offer him was, well gee, Jim, whose fault was that?
The hapless Democrats rolling over for "Bankruptcy Protection," "Repealing the Death Tax," "Class Action Reform?" Was it their fault, Jim? Did Minority Leader Daschle campaign for the defeat of the guy he would need to work with in the Senate, Majority Leader Frist? No, Jim, that was Frist doing that unprecedented act. Was that John Conyers banishing James Sensenbrenner to a dank basement to hold a hearing, then barging in after it had started and unceremoniously gaveling it to a close? Nope again, that was James in action. Was it Democrats who called the Capital Police out to break up a Bill Thomas meeting? Gosh no, that was cryin Bill calling the cops out.
You want comity Jim, you should have worked for it, instead of saying and doing nothing about it while the GOP systematically conducted an 8 year witch hunt against the Clinton Administration, and completely shut out the Democratic Party from any legislative role in the House, and disenfranchising half the country in the process. That would have been the time to speak up Jim, not now, after you've been shown the door.
If Republicans like Leach and Shays and Snowe and Specter had embraced the principles they claim to have, instead of embracing the delusions and stupidity and greed of Bush and Cheney and Rove and Robertson, then maybe, just maybe, I could feel some sympathy for Jim Leach. But really, I can't. You want comity Jim? Purge your party of hatemongers like Marilyn Musgrave, crooks like Jerry Lewis, amoral dirtbags like Karl Rove, greedy, grasping, selfish men like Newt Gingrich, criminally insane men like Rick Santorum and both of OK's Senators.
Don't come crying to me Jim, I'm busy looking for a bigger anvil to toss.