Friday, May 10, 2013

Republicans Doing the Right Thing

Way back, 39 years ago, when President Nixon was impeached in the House of Representatives for lying about Watergate, three Republican senators went down Pennsylvania to tell the president that he had to resign rather than face trial in the US Senate.  The three senators were Jim Buckley (R-NY), Barry Goldwater (R-AZ), and Hugh Scott (R-PA).

By the way, Hillary Clinton was a young staffer on the House Judiciary Committee during Watergate.

Were those three senators patriots,  asks F.H. Buckley?  Nah.  Patsies.

Because 20 years later, when President Clinton was impeached in the House of Representatives for lying about Monica Lewinsky, Vice-President Al Gore went down Pennsylvania Avenue to hold a pep rally for the impeached president and encourage him to fight on.

What was the point of Republicans doing the right thing and telling President Nixon to go if the Democrats won't to the right thing when a Democratic president breaks the rules

Now, of course, we have a new presidential scandal, about the Obama administration lying about the killing of a US Ambassador in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012.  So what should Republicans do?

They should do the right thing, even if the Democrats won't, and even if the "spectacle of the Dems on the Committee trying to save Hillary was sick-making."

Politics is a rough game, and the Clintons play it harder than most.  But there is no percentage for Republicans and conservatives to play the Clinton way, and here's why.

  • The Clinton hardball and the Obama Chicago way require willing accomplices in the media to echo their statements and excuses and accusations.  Republicans can never get that kind of support.  So hardball doesn't work.
  • Liberals and Democrats believe in politics like a religion.  The political game of Us against Them gets transformed into the religious battle of Good against Evil.  So politics for them is a battle of Good against Evil.  Conservatives and Republicans don't believe in the salvific effect of politics.  For us, the drama of good and evil takes place outside politics.
  • Conservatives and Republicans are "People of the Responsible Self."  We believe that each of us, individually, is responsible to God, to our self, to our families, our neighbors, our country for our actions.  That means that it is difficult to justify questionable means to obtain a noble end.
Anyway, life and politics do not stand or fall on tactics.  There are bigger things in play than the way you throw a punch on the playground.

The bigger thing is that, however the Clintonistas and the Obamis play their games and coverups over Benghazi, the failure in Benghazi points up the bankruptcy of the see-no-evil foreign policy of the Democrats.  Obama bin Laden is dead, but Islamism is still a totalitarian ideology that a nation like the United States should name and oppose.  The question should be: what are the appropriate means to this end?

The bigger thing is that the Democrats are pursuing a disastrous economic policy that will end in tears --either in inflation or in financial crisis.

The bigger thing is that the Democrats' refusal to reform government entitlements and the rest of their creaking bureaucratic government programs is going to lead to real widespread hardship among Democratic voters when the government runs out of money.

So the right thing to do is to be formulating policies and messages to deal with the coming disasters, to solve them competently and with the least amount of hardship to the American people, including even the foolish Democratic voters that keep voting for the free stuff that, soon enough, will stop.

And if, in the future, a Republican president lies to the American people and covers it up, we can only hope that there will again be three Republican senators with enough honor and principle to go down Pennsylvania Avenue and tell the president it's time to go.

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