The conventional wisdom among Washington pundits is that gridlock and (what they label) obstructionism are very bad things.
Bad things Republicans—and in particular extremist, Tea Party Republicans like [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ]—do.
When you broach Brand Republican, this is the first thought that springs to mind through the writing of journalists bemoaning the poor governing skills or commitment of national politicians.
This is an ongoing theme of that quintessential Washington pundit, Ron Fournier.
Continuing his quest for the formation of a pro-government, civil liberties-respecting third party (like Democrats, but with integrity), Ron’s latest column stakes out the claim that Republicans didn’t win this latest election so much as lost it less than the Democrats did. (I like one guy’s take on that: “The Giants didn’t win the World Series, they just lost less.”)
Too many opinion journalists are like a tennis coach who keeps saying “helpful” things like “Hit the ball better” and “Don’t hit the net.”
Totally useless stuff.
Here’s some questions that might help them think through the issues, though.
That is if they seriously want to help and not just do the easy passive-aggressive taking of sides without anybody knowing they’re taking sides thing.
They’re based on The Davis Consistency Test, something I’ve heard conservative talk show host Mark Davis use on his show over the years.
He or somebody else might be criticizing the left or Democrats or something and he ask himself the question, If this were my guy doing (or saying or recommending) this, would I still be criticizing it?
I’ve found this test to be really useful in forming my own stands on issues and political personalities.
So here’s a five-part question based on a kind of role-reversal:
What if Romney had won the election, but somehow Congress remained in the hands of Democrats?
- What if, early in his administration, Romney submitted bills to Congress to abolish the Department of Education, ending all federal funding of higher education and converting funding for elementary and secondary education into block grants to the states?
- What if this last Spring Romney had decided to position ships around Crimea and send special forces as advisors to Ukraine—and needed additional appropriations from Congress in order to fulfill that mission?
- What if, instead of fighting and air war against ISIS and sending advisors to Iraq, Romney had decided to send 100,000 combat troops and heavy equipment—and needed additional appropriations from Congress in order to fulfill that mission as well?
- What if Romney decided Obamacare was a really, really bad idea and submitted a bill to Congress to repeal and replace it?
- What if Romney decided to seal the borders, round up all illegal immigrants, and bus them to internment camps—and then came to Congress for the money to do that?
All 48 Republican Senators and 212 Republican Representatives agree completely with Romney and will vote in favor of whatever he asks of Congress.
Democrats in charge of Congress come to you for advice (work with me here).
What advice would you offer them to help them govern well?