One Last Time (I Hope)

Sorry for returning to politics, but Kathleen Parker wrote an opinion piece for the WAPO that really impressed me.

I was quickly drawn in by her opening remarks:

Truth be known, I haven’t liked Trump since he came on the stage. Not my kind of guy. The thought that he could become president was, to me, absurd and sickening.

Here is the link. BTW, don’t be put off by the article’s title. You’ll understand more when you read her column.

How The GOP Can Be Reborn

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P.S. I know that WAPO often restricts access to its articles, so if you’re unable to read this one, Click Here for a .pdf file.

29 thoughts on “One Last Time (I Hope)

  1. Nan, strong words regarding Trump. She actually gives his ideas too much credit, but does address the poor execution. Conservative pundit David Brooks has two quotes that frame the former president, well before the insurrection he invited and incited.

    Brooks said early on the Trump White House is “equal parts chaos and incompetence.” Later, he noted that Trump “does not have a sense of decency or empathy.” I agree on both counts. The election fraud lies and the insurrection just sealed the deal. Keith

    Liked by 4 people

  2. From her article:

    First, the Democratic Party has moved as far left as the GOP has moved to the
    right.

    I wonder what planet she is from? The Democratic Party today is well to the right of FDR’s “New Deal” and of LBJ’s “Great Society.”

    Apart from that, I’m glad that she and others are speaking out.

    Liked by 4 people

    • If she said that, it totally discredits her. In any case, the Coup Klux Klan (Republican party) has done more than just “moved to the right” in any conventional sense. It’s moved into orbit around Neptune, wearing a tinfoil hat and a straitjacket, and endlessly shitting itself. It’s no longer a party, it’s a lunatic cult.

      In any case, I hope she’s wrong. After the party’s embrace of Trump, it doesn’t deserve to be reborn. It needs to die.

      Liked by 6 people

    • Agree. How could anyone think the Democratic Party is far to the left! They are about where Eisenhower was years ago and then there’s the trump Republican Party of white nationalism, greed, corruption and ignorance.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Given a choice between a tax-and-spend leftist state and a Fifth Avenue-Palm Beach loudmouth, the choice was easy if also inglorious
    This spending myth is one most Americans cannot shake. Aotearoa New Zealand is more "left" than even a Bernie Sanders' America would look like, yet as a percentage of GDP, Government spending under Trump is similar to NZ (2018: NZ 36.7%, US 35.1%). The trouble with many on the right is that they compare government incomes as a percentage of GDP, ignoring the fact that any shortfall in income vs expenditure has to be accounted for eventually. When we compare income vs GDP, the difference is glaringly obvious (2018: NZ: 37.5%, US 29.5%). So while there is was a government surplus in NZ in 2018 of 0.8% of GDP, the US government had a deficit of 5.7% of GDP. Who is going to make up that deficit some day? I'll wager it won't the wealthiest 1%.

    M]ost Americans would agree that the country needs two strong political parties
    Perhaps that’s true, but perhaps that’s also part of the problem. Two party systems tend to polarise, eventually resulting in both camps holding the view that “If you’re not with us, then you’re against us”. The stronger the parties, the stronger the polarisation. I’m not persuaded that this is healthy for any nation in the long term. A multiple party system provides room for alternative points of view to be present in the legislature, and in any resulting legislation, especially if no party holds an absolute majority.

    As an outside but not disinterested observer, the party system in America has become very partisan (prejudiced in favour of a particular cause) and what concerns me is that the rot that has set in within the Republican party will infect the Democrats too.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Heh heh. I really was not trying to steal your idea, Barry. We were probably both writing similarly, but separately, at the same time. But probably you typed faster than I so your comment appeared while I was still hunting and pecking on my keyboard. Great minds, and all that…

      Like

  4. I strongly disagree with much of what Ms Parker said, starting with her statement of a strong and equitable two-party system is needed. The two party system ensure an either/or situation. Despite the fact you also have two other separate governing bodies federally, who ichan make or break a president, still the winning candidate must be in a majority position as per the number of partaking voters. Trump took huge advantage of this situation by governing like a tyrant, despite being the head of a democracy. And what Trump has done, others will do, but they will do it with greater impunity.
    So, I am advocating for a multi-party system, yes? No, too many parties can become unwieldy. More than 4 parties creates chaos, if nations like Italy, India, or Isreal are considered. And depending on what the non-mainstream parties represent, four can also be too many. My own preference would be a three party system,
    Providing they represent general populations, all races, all colours, all creeds, a two party system is still dark and light. The conservatives, the ones trying to control or prevent change, cannot keep up with the spirit of a changing population or a changing economy. They are not forward thinkers. Maintain the status quo! The liberals, the ones trying to make more changes, are forward thinkers, but they are still part of the establishment, believers in keeping the classes separate, while sounding like they believe in equality. They want some fluidity, but not too much. What a third party in American politics would represent I do not know, but I would hope it would work to overcome income inequality, advancing the lower classes, and reigning in the wealth-owning class.
    Why, because with three political agendas represented, the probability of one party having total control are ameliorated, and there is a softening of a party’s authority level. Between dark and light, there is a shade leavening the two.
    Using Canada as an example when it was mainly a three party system, although the third party never achieved control, still they had to be considered in order to get legislation passed. For the most part, except when the big two parties are given huge majorities, we have no would be dictators. It still is not a perfect form of government, but it is somewhat more responsive to the entire populace than is a two 0arty system.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I disagree that four or more parties necessarily create chaos. The nations you mention expect coalitions to act and behave as though they were a single party while in government where there can be no open disagreement. That’s doomed to failure. That doesn’t have to be the arrangement as shown in Aotearoa New Zealand.

    While the current government elected in 2020 is an exception (it’s the first party to gain 50% popular support in 50 years) every government since the introduction of MMP in 1996 has resulted in coalition governments made of of 3 or more parties. Coalition agreements are very loose and coalition parties are free to disagree apart from the few conditions set out in the coalition agreement. A great deal of legislation introduced by the major party in a coalition is opposed by the minor partners and the government needs to seek the support of other parties, and that may even require the support of the largest party in opposition, in order to pass bills into law.

    Not only have lose coalitions been the norm, many of the coalitions have been minority coalitions where they rely on the support of another party on matters of confidence and supply.

    There are 5 parties in the current Parliament, just as there was in the previous Parliament. The junior partner in the previous government has been ousted completely from Parliament and a party that had been missing for a few years returned. We have had up to 7 political parties plus independents in previous Parliaments.

    Perhaps our politicians understand the need for negotiation and compromise better than elsewhere. The unease that I and many of my compatriots have regarding one party having a simple majority in Parliament suggests we’re not fond of power, no matter who holds it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Can’t say as I know anything about New Zealand government, let alone Aotearoan specifically, but I do respect the outcomes you have, speaking generally. We get coalition governments in Canada, where we now have about 5 major parties run, but only two have ever formed a government, and never together. Nor have I ever heard of them have signed agreements of what a coalition involves. I could be wrong.
      When was talking about multi-party systems I was thinking mostly about Italy. I just threw the other two in there cos they started with I’s.

      Like

      • Coalitions are only formed here after the election results are in. And coalition agreements are always made public – displayed on the party websites of all coalition members. I don’t know what electoral process you use in Canada. Perhaps FPP? We use MMP which just about guarantees no party can win an absolute majority. The 2020 election was an exception, but that can be blamed in Covid and the very positive way the government has handled it.

        BTW, Aotearoa is the Māori name for New Zealand. I’m one of a significant minority who want to see Aotearoa as an official name for this country. We’re not quite there yet, but i think it won’t be too many years away.

        Like

        • I am so apolitical that I had no idea what FPP or MMP were. But now I know, and Canada is still mired in FPP, or First Past the Post, elections. There was talk many years ago of trying a form of Proportional Representation –not exactly your version of Mixed-Member Proportional– but the Conservatives shut that down so fast the idea vanished without even a funeral. America also uses an FPP system, except that the electorate can vote sort of directly for their president, through a very antiquated Electoral College system –my learned and biased opinion, but a spreading one in the USA. Please don’t ask me to explain it, I can a bit, but I refuse to try.
          As for published coalition terms, there is no public agreement to be found in Canada. All deals are made behind closed doors, and stay there. You are very enlightened where you are, compared to us. I envy you. But are you like Australia, in having a mandatory voting system? I could not live under such an authotitative regime. I refuse to take part in a system I abhor!
          Aotearoa (How does one pronounce that, my attempt is A-O-TE-ar-O-a, Caps long vowels, small vowels short?) is similar to a one man battle I tried to fight over here, but a fight that got side-railed by the all-encompassing Trump fiasco spreading up from our southern neighbour. Being almost half-aboriginal or First Nations, and a bit more than half-white, I hate that our nation, Canada being a bastardization of a First Nations word, exists on the northern of two continents named by a European, Christofo Colombo –bastardized itself to Christopher Columbus– after a European friend of his, AMERIgo Vespucci. This Columbo went on to purposely and wrongly call our people Indians to pretend he made it to India, when he knew all along he was not in India, but somewhere else altogether. Why else give the land the new name of America if he really thought it was Asia!
          This is not my main goal, changing the name of the land we live on, but it introduces my main goal, which I find insulting to all people whose ancestors were here before the whites came and screwed everything up for us with their guns, horses, and small-pox-laden blankets, trying to commit genocide on us. They had no right to give us the name Indians, which rightfully belongs to the people of India (though I doubt even that is what they call themselves in their native languages) becsuse the English had to rename everything to suit the sounds their tongues could make!
          We are not Indians, or even aboriginals (no offence to the original peoples of îAotearoa, or whatever the land of Australia should have been called by their original inhabitants. Or to the original inhabitants of the Philippines who now seeming proudly are named after the old King of Spain, and all the other countries in the world whose names have been Anglicised!)
          As example only, I made up the phrase (in English only because it it the only language I know!) Original Human Inhabitants Of The Areas Now Known As The Americas, or OHIOTANKATA, TANKATA being a possible name for our continents (pronounced Tan-Ka-Ta).
          Of course, I would like those names to be in a native language, but Tankata has multiple native languages, and I doubt any consensus could be reached, though looking for a consensus should be attempted. In our own original languages, we basically call ourselves the People, and we live on the Land. But those too are English words, and I want to see us drop English as our labelling language.
          One of my motives for this is because words like native, or aboriginal, or even First Nations are used as racist swear words in North American white culture, like nigger, though few people want to admit that. I aim for a bias-free nomenclature.
          Any interest in spreading this fight to Aotearoa. It seems to be connected, though I do not know how emotion-laden your fight is. At this point my fight is emotion-laden, though I wish it weren’t.

          Like

    • I realize I should elaborate. First, Kathleen Parker has historically been an apologist for Republicans, including (but not only) for the ill-advised invasion of Iraq by the GW administration. Next, she is calling the Democratic Party left, when it is more like the Republican party of yore, likely the Republican Party Ms. Parker wishes it was. As to the Democratic Party, what Infidel says. That should cover my no. Thank you so much for the space!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Republicans see only what they want to see, but they talk to try to villify others. They want people to fear Democrats by calling them far leftists. They have no idea what a far leftist is. I am one, and I don’t believe in any kind of government. I believe in teaching children to be responsible adults, and letting us rule ourselves. No one in this world can know what is good for me, except me. I have no real desire to harm anyone, though when it comes to Trump I talk like I want harm to come to him. Really want I want is him to be prevented from harming anyone else. He has harmed so many, in so many ways, already, and he takes no responsibility for any of it. I may have talked about drawing and quartering him, but I really don’t mean it. Either drawing or quartering will be sufficient. Doing both is sheer vengeance.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Perhaps many of you saw the article from a different perspective than me. I saw a condemnation of Trump and those in the Republican party who followed and praised him. I saw someone who wants the party to shake the dust (more like the filth) off their feet (sorry for the biblical reference) and regain their core principles. If she leans Republican, so be it. She most certainly wasn’t defending the man who led the party –or those who followed him– these past four years!

    For me, the things Ms. Parker wrote had little to do with my personal political leanings. It had more to do with getting this country back on some kind of even keel.

    There will always be (at least) two parties. Each individual chooses the one that most represents their personal perspective of how the country should be run. Personally, I lean towards the more democratic principles, but I recognize that my preferences are exactly that … my preferences. Of course, as a result of those preferences, I’m going to do what I can to elect individuals that align with my thinking. And, whether we like it or not, those on the other side of the fence are going to do the same.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I don’t know when I formed my low opinion, but it was years before he (and his slimy mob) walked into the White House. I shall not go there with you today, because I’ve had enough of it.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The Republican party is garbage and contributes nothing of value to the system. All it does is drag us backward, keeping us the only developed country with no government health-coverage guarantee, the one with the most threadbare social safety net and the worst poverty and inequality, and constantly trying to enact medieval religious taboos into civil law. It doesn’t deserve to recover. It deserves to die.

    If the Republican party didn’t exist, the Democrats would probably split — the moderate Obama/Clinton/Biden wing from the more leftist Warren/Sanders/AOC wing. That would give us two main parties more like what most other developed democracies have. To my knowledge, no other advanced democracy has anything like the religion-dominated, anti-science, anti-social-safety-net US Republican party. We’d be far better off without it.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Why don’t you say what you REALLY think, Infidel??? 😁😂🤣😄

      But seriously, you do make some good points. I just fear we’re too far down the rabbit hole for anything to change … at least not until the “woke” generation takes over.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Wait until the conservatives come back to power in Canada. Hell, why wait? Look at Alberta for the past two years. Mini-Trump Jason Kenney has run roughshod over Alberta. He wants to privatisze our health care, turn it into a carbon copy of the USA. Fine for him and his cronies, not only can they afford it, they have vested interests in private medical care facilities.
      But, the people of Alberta are finally catching on. They gave him a huge majority last election. Now they are starting to see the error of their ways. They are outside in freezing weather, not to mention the Covid pandemic, telling him they don’t love him anymore. He has had to reverse two of his new policies in the last rwo weeks due to public pressure. People who voted for him pinned broken hearts on the constituency offices of almost every United Conservative legislator today to show their unhappiness with what they are doing. Billions upon billions of dollars have been wasted on the Keystone XL Pipeline to nowhere. He spent most of the first year of Covid doing nothing, like Trump, taking no organized action. It was only when a close friend of his almost died of Covid that he began to take it seriously. Not sure what his rating is today, but at the last announced poll, he, who was over 60%, is now down under 30%. He has lost half his electorate, but he is afraid to call a new election. He wants to stay in power, just like a Trump did. But the stress is getting to him. He is avoiding the cameras all of a sudden, where he used to be on everyday with his smug little smile. Now he is sweating.
      And I love to see him sweat!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I like the article. But all I can say at this point is:

    “Good luck with that!”

    The R party is Thelma and Louise going full tilt over the cliff into crazytown. If they can find a way back it will be from the ashes after the crash.

    Either that, or crazytown wins. If crazytown wins, we are in for it. I hope I can get our place paid for in the next year or so, so we can just pack up and head to Mexico when the clown car party regains power.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Got this in part from the WPO this morning. Sums it up well what we are facing.

    “Some of the senators may have little sympathy for the former president, yet made the partisan choice to appease an increasingly extremist Republican base. A recent poll conducted by the conservative American Enterprise Institute found that nearly 4 out of 10 Republicans believe that political violence is justifiable and could be necessary in a troubled domestic future. Another poll found that three-quarters of Republican voters want Trump to play a prominent role in the party’s future.

    Analysts point to the asymmetry of U.S. politics. Comparative studies place the Republican Party on the far right of the Western political spectrum and the Democrats closer to the center. But the intensifying divide within the United States has heightened a sense of zero-sum conflict, one that could be seen in the passions and terror of the deadly Jan. 6 attack. Trump may carry some blame for the combustible atmosphere surrounding Washington, but the problems run deeper, down to the aging pillars of the American political experiment.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d say that last sentence totally sums things up. And I can’t help but believe that “aging pillars” is being used as a pseudonym. It certainly matches a large percentage of the members of Congress.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But opinions are not facts so until the event you predict actually takes place, I will celebrate the existing President and his ADULT approach to governing this country.

      Like

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