Diary

Republicans need to be the "Daddy Party" again

When I was growing up, it was pretty common to hear people describe the Republican party as the Daddy party and the Democrat party as the Mommy party.  This wasn’t controversial to me at all.   Sometimes that meant that Dads had the job of telling you the tough things that you needed to hear, but didn’t want to.  Moms got to hog the fun stuff—birthday cakes, trips to the park, and inspiring talks about how you could do better if you tried.  Any bold pronouncements of future improvements were welcomed by moms and dads, but dads are generally more likely to be a bit skeptical and moms seem to relish being as supportive as possible.  Yes, these are all just stereotypes, but they definitely seemed true to me.  In any case, there is broader political point that I am going to loop in here, so please do stay with me.

I think there was a time when Republicans were pretty good about telling us hard truths.  At least they were far superior than Democrats in that regard.  I no longer think that is true, and I think a lot of anger and distrust on the Republican side is the result of our politicians not telling us the hard truths.  Of course, for our part, we seem to reward the people who tell us what we want to hear.

Examples:

(1) Republicans proclaiming that the House and Senate had repealed Obamacare in December 2015.    As it turns out, this didn’t really happen.  They just repealed parts of it.

(2) Trumps promise to build the wall and have Mexico pay for it.  As it turns out, it is essentially “impossible” to build a continuous wall across the entire Southern border.  Lets not even get started on having Mexico pay for it.

I am going to add to this list, but it is troubling for what it says about us.  The problem is getting worse, as we fawn more and more over gimmicks and short hand like one-sentence repeal bills that nobody truly wants to pass.  We become convinced that all our side lacks is spine.   That may be true, but the lack of spine is evident not in failing to do all these great things, but in overselling what they are planning to do.

In discovering that  the Senate’s Obamacare Repeal Bill of 2015/2016 was in reality, so vastly different and inferior to how it was sold to us—-it just makes you want to think about the big picture a bit more.