Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Breaking the "11th Commandment": Sometime during the Reagan years, it was said that Republicans should never speak ill of other Republicans. On the surface this seems a good attempt at civility, but these days I wonder if it is really a way of silencing dissent. If you look at groups like the Council for Growth and their attacks on moderate Republicans ( remember their slur, "Franco-Republicans?") you can see this rule is not being honored by the far right. Reading this Salon story about the brewing fight in the Democratic Pary makes me think that dissent is not always bad. Back in the 1950s the GOP always had strong debates between conservatives such as Robert Taft and moderates and liberals such as Dwight Eisenhower. These days moderates are considered traitors to the GOP and are driven out. Any moderate that is pro-choice or pragmatic is considered not a "real" Republican and targeted during the primaries. We have become a party of yes men. It would be nice if there were some debate in the party, but there is none. And the moderates that remain are too scared to stand for what they believe in. Debate, not obedience, is an important part of democracy.


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