17 Jun

This is why Republicans can’t rebuild the party on being better people.

Courtesy LV Review Journal

Courtesy LV Review Journal

It turns out John Ensign, my old Senator, has been cheating on his wife. I was shocked (SHOCKED!) to learn that yet another politician (Clinton, Edwards, Kilpatrick, Gingrich, Spitzer, McGreevey, et cetera et cetera) let power go to his head and decided to dilly dally.

Consider Ensign Exhibit 5,286 on why the Republicans need to drop the moral high ground plank from the Party Platform. When the Republican Party married Christian Conservatives, holding up politicians as moral examples, a la the Pastor in Church, was part of the deal. That doesn’t work out well for pastors sometimes, and it especially doesn’t work out for politicians.

I don’t expect a professional athlete like A-Rod or OJ to be a hero to my kids. I also don’t expect politicians to be a moral example of how to live my life. I have other examples for that. Republicans make a mistake when they try to make political hay about a Democrat’s infidelity. Because if there is one thing American’s hate more than a cheater, its a hyprocrite.

6 Responses to “MoralizingFAIL”

  1. Ethan June 17, 2009 at 8:24 pm #

    hypocrisy has definitely been among the R’s biggest problems of late, though indeed, they have no monopoly on it. And I think you’re quite right to source a fair amount of the R’s issues to their hitching up with the UberXtians. That partnership certainly seems to have run it’s course, at least, if the R’s are to mount any kind of comeback. Honestly, that partnership has been deleterious to the Dems, too.

  2. Brian Castner June 18, 2009 at 12:43 pm #

    I disagree – I think Dem’s go too far the other way, excusing constant bad behavior, some of which affects policy decisions. If Dems are racist, they are taken out of context. If Dems are accepting bribes, they misunderstand campaign contribution rules. Nothing is their fault. There has to be some middle ground between self-flagellation and putting on blinders.

  3. Starbuck June 18, 2009 at 8:45 pm #

    This is why Republicans can’t rebuild the party on being better people. …
    Republicans need to drop the moral high ground plank from the Party Platform…
    holding up politicians as moral examples, …

    What are any recent (let’s say past 5 years, or even 10 years) specific examples of any R politician, or the R party, or the R platform saying that R’s are more moral than D’s, or that R’s are “better people” than D’s, or of anybody “holding up politicians as moral examples”?

    Which plank in the 2008 R platform (easy to find online) are you suggesting they drop?

  4. Brian Castner June 19, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    The moralizing undercurrent hits nearly every plank on the party platform. It started with the Presidental Campaign loss of a reserved Christian NE Republican – George HW Bush – which encouraged the rise of social conservatives and Christian conservatives. It grew with the Republican Revolution in ’94 as those conservative groups were recruited, and were shown they could win. It blew up with Clinton and Monica in 1998. It became institutionalized when Bush 43 listed Jesus as his favorite political philosopher. It reached its zenith with the push of anti-gay marrriage amendments across the country, trying to drive up voter turnout for other R candidates.

    I advocate modifying every plank that has a moralizing foundation, rather than a policy foundation.

    “Preserving Traditional Marriage” and “Safeguarding Religious Liberties” is a good place to start. Those two planks pick fights, declare moral authority, and enflame the base for the sake of turnout. Unfortunately, they also lose elections.

  5. Starbuck June 20, 2009 at 1:30 pm #

    No specific examples of “holding up politicians as moral examples” as your post mentioned?

    “became institutionalized”? In what way is a debate answer institutionalizing anything? Did all of Obama’s debate answers institutionalize anything?

    Is it causing a big political problem for the D party that Obama is mentioning Jesus more than GWB did?

    If not, why not?

  6. Starbuck June 20, 2009 at 1:36 pm #

    About traditional marriage – personally I’m not opposed to legalizing same sex marriage, but 57% of Americans do oppose it as of last month accoring to Gallup: “May 27, 2009 Majority of Americans Continue to Oppose Gay Marriage PRINCETON, NJ — Americans’ views on same-sex marriage have essentially stayed the same in the past year, with a majority of 57% opposed to granting such marriages legal status and 40% in favor of doing so. …”

    Politically, doesn’t it make sense that when any issue has that much support one of the two parties will adopt it? For example the county is pretty evenly split pro-choice and pro-life, so it’s not surprising one of each party’s platform favors one of those positions.

    It doesn’t always work out that way on every issue but often it does. It seems inconsistent that there’s so much call from the media for the R party to be neutral on abortion but no call for the D party to be neutral about it, when roughly half the country’s voters agree with each side of that issue (which btw, isn’t an important issue to me either way).

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