Diary

Why I Hate "Republicans"

OK, the title’s a bit inflammatory, but I really do hate a lot of elected and appointed Republicans. Erick’s “Leper” piece got me started on this thought and I will try to relate it to my own experience.

I was born a Southerner, a Baptist, and a Democrat. Learning to read pretty much took care of the first two, the third took a lot longer. At heart, I’m still a liberal Democrat as that term was understood a half century or so ago. As Zell Miller famously said, I didn’t leave the Party, it left me.

I’m a mechanic, a sort of Joe the Labor Relations guy. Instead of fixing engines, I fix the relationship between public employers and their unionized employees. I’m really, really good at it.

I was pretty contentedly an apolitical technician doing whatever whomever was Governor told me to do; the money was good, the fish were jumping, and the cotton was high. The the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees came to my state and made Tony Knowles their “made” man. For doing my job reasonably well, I found a price on my head; literally a campaign promise to fire me. That will crystalize your perceptions and that finally put me over the edge and caused me to renounce that Democrat registration. I’d known for ten years or more that their was no place for me with the dopers, baby killers, and communists, but it was a flag of convenience.

So, I became a Republican. Worked a stint with Alaska’s Republican controlled legislature. Became a Republcan appointee under Murkowski. Did my job and kept the unions off Murkowski’s back, out of the papers, and mostly out of politics. And then I had to look around me.

Like most Republicans, Murkowski could only find enough people to put a thin veneer of appointees in our government; most were holdovers from Knowles or earlier. A few of us were career employees who had hitched our wagon to Murkowski’s star. The rest were bright young lads and lasses who professed to be Republicans and Murkowski loyalists. What a disgustin lot!

Almost as soon as Murkowski’s hand came off the Bible, they were angling for their lobbying contract or trying to steer some State decision to some company that might give them a job, or hiring some piece of fluff that might curl their toes into a political appointment. It seems to be universal; GWB’s administration, the Congress, McCain’s campaign. All they think about is what will do something for them. No principles, no objectives, no desires for the Country, the Party; just what will do something for them.

I’m no angel; I’m batting less than a hundred on the Ten Commandments – never killed anybody but it wasn’t for lack of wanting to or trying a few times, the rest are toast. But I always did my job because it was the job that needed doing, not because I could do something for myself by doing it beyond getting my paycheck.

I’m no Sarah Palin fan, but this stuff coming from the campaign is just the old Republican staffer/appointee zero sum game. Hell, some of it is probably true; she ain’t no prize in some respects. But that’s not what this is about. She obviously didn’t like a lot of them and they didn’t like her. She is in the ultimate political class; the person whose name has been on the ballot. They are at best underlings. They are worried that she might be a presence in National politics and will take them out. They launch the pre-emptive strike.

Until Republicans learn that there really is enough power to go around, this sort of fratricide will be our undoing. If these pricks had been successful, they wouldn’t be trying to push each other out of the scrap box. As long as Republican operatives and candidates view politics as a zero sum game, these are the games we will play with each other and this is why we will hate each other.