How to answer Republicans concerning the sit-in

As I write this, the House Democrats are staging a sit-in to protest the GOP’s unwillingness to deal with the problem of guns in America. As usual, people are taking sides based on their party affiliation. Here is how to respond to those who are attacking the Democrats, based on the most common things I’ve read online:
sit in“This is just a publicity stunt!”  Yes, of course it is. All politics is. Sit-ins back in the 60s were publicity stunts. Marches and protests are publicity stunts. The goal of a publicity stunt is to get people talking about the issue. Since we are doing that now, it is clearly a successful publicity stunt.

“The Democrats want to curtail your civil rights because the no-fly list has no due process guarantees!” Oh, now you care about due process? The no-fly list, which was developed under Republican leadership, is one of the GOP’s proudest achievements in their war on terror. Apparently, the Democratic goal of preventing people on this list from getting guns easily has turned the GOP into civil rights advocates. Either that or they’re just a bunch of flaming hypocrites.

“When the Democrats were in charge, they also prevented bills from being voted on!” Yep, that’s politics. Maybe you guys should have staged a sit-in too. The difference here is this: The vast majority of Americans support background checks and other laws to prevent criminals, terrorists and the insane from getting guns easily. I’m talking like 90% of Americans. This is about more than just politics — this is about a group of politicians who are in the pocket of the NRA preventing the American people from getting what they want.

“The laws the Democrats want are bad because (fill in the blank).” That’s an interesting argument. Let’s debate it in a reasonable manner. Oh, right — the GOP isn’t even allowing us to discuss it. How is democracy served by that? Isn’t that their job — to debate bills and discuss important issues, especially issues that the vast majority of Americans want discussed?

Did I forget anything?

Wolf won the Governor’s Race by Being a Democrat

A murder of Tea Party governors was elected four years ago and they immediately went about destroying their states’ economies.  (I wasn’t sure what word to use to describe a group of Tea Party governors, and a “murder of crows” came to mind for some reason.)  In Maine, Michigan, Kansas and Pennsylvania, these governors went on to become the most unpopular governors in the country.

Governor Wolf (artist's approximation)

Governor Wolf (artist’s approximation)

“We will put our economic policies in place and the economy will boom!” they promised.  Of course, when they did, their states all suffered.  Pennsylvania dropped to 49th in job creation, for instance.

in the 2014 election, they were all vulnerable, with negative rankings higher than their positive ones.  Yet they were all re-elected, save for Governor Corbett here in Pennsylvania.  What made the difference?

Tom Wolf ran as a Democrat.  A real Democrat.

In every other state, political advisers told their candidates to tone down the talk about taxes, to distance themselves from Obama, and to appeal to a more conservative base.  They said to attack the other side relentlessly, and use negative campaign ads.

Not Wolf.  He emphasized his liberalism.  He stood for reasonable gun control, reproductive rights, marijuana decriminalization, Obamacare, and environmental protection. He invited Obama to travel the state and campaign with him.  And he immediately responded to every negative ad that came at him, without becoming negative himself.

Now there are other reasons those other Democrats lost as well — Voter turnout was the lowest it had been in 75 years, so that always hurts Democrats. But turnout was low in Pennsylvania, too.

I think there is a lesson here that Democrats should heed:  You need to give voters a reason to come out and vote for you. You have to stand for something.

As a wise man once said, if you give the people a choice between a Republican and a republican, they will chose the Republican every time.

The Mommy and Daddy parties

Republicans are the Daddy party, and Democrats are the Mommy party.

If you read enough about politics, you’ve heard this before.    The Daddy party represents “power” and the Mommy party represents “warmth.”  

Daddy provides for our safety, protecting us against the evil outside our door. elephant-donkey  He teaches us to be independent and strong, and to fight when things don’t go your way.

Mommy worries about our comfort.  She tries to get everyone to get along and solve their problems without fighting.   She makes sure everyone wears their sweaters, does their homework, and doesn’t go hungry.

These are, of course, gross simplifications but somewhat revealing.    Democrats believe we are all part of a family and we need to take care of each other;  Republicans believe that you advance by being independent and self-reliant.

Neither of these viewpoints is wrong.  It’s just how you personally see yourself, society, and government.  And if the parties adhere to these roles, we can have reasonable debate.

The problem lately is Daddy.  Daddy is no longer the reliable, strong independent leader — he now lies and deceives to get his way.  Instead of reasonably debating where we should go, he beats up the family until he gets his way (“Do what I say or I’ll shut down the government!”). And then when he doesn’t get his way, he has a temper tantrum.  (“Fine! Then I will block every bill in Congress even if it benefits us all.”) He’s willing to hurt the family for his own selfish goals.

Having a Mommy party and a Daddy party is not a bad thing.  But as columnist Josh Barrow points out, we now have a Mommy party and an “Abusive-Ex-husband-With-a-Substance-Abuse-Problem party.”

Good news for Republicans … and Democrats

The always entertaining Matt Taibbi reports that the GOP establishment is taking action to prevent the party from being completely taken over by idiots.

“No fools on our ticket” is their mantra, and I mean that literally. Elephants-Fighting They are literally saying that they’re “tired of being the Stupid Party.”

This is good news for Republicans who are tired of losing elections in red districts when they nominate people so crazy that even their own supporters vote for the other guy (or stay home).

I may disagree with most Republicans, but the majority of them aren’t stupid idiots.  I have many friends who used to consider themselves Republicans who have seen the party taken over by religious fanatics, conspiracy theorists, evolution deniers, and radicals who refuse to compromise or do the job they were elected to do.   They just can’t support the Sarah Palins, Ted Cruzes, and other  crazies that are identified with the GOP these days.  And who can blame them?

So this change is good news for the party.  Maybe they can rid themselves of these people who cheer when the government is shut down, boo heroic soldiers who are gay, and clap when one of the leaders say it’s better for people to die than to give them health care.

This is also good news for Democrats in two ways:

1.  It will split the GOP and cause an internal war.  This will make it easier for Democrats to get elected in the short term.

2.  If it is successful, we may end up with a GOP of reasonable and intelligent politicians who understand that adults get things accomplished through compromise.

And therefore, in the long run, we all win.