Friday, October 16, 2009

The "N" Word

David Harsanyi says that instead of seeing it as a stigma, Republicans should embarce being the party of NO:

Now, as unlikely as it is, history also offers Republicans an unexpected opportunity to remake their party, to find an ideological center, to use politics to thwart a movement that is antithetical to every tenet they've been rhetorically peddling since Ronald Reagan.

Of course, Republicans will increasingly be accused of being ideologues. If only.

Is ideology something to be dismissed as a barrier to progress? Isn't ideology a framework of ideas that politicians should be using to inform their decisions?

Mavericks dismiss ideology because it would bind them to consistent and principled votes. John McCain, for example, often displays the muddled and mercurial thinking of a person with no political, intellectual or economic philosophy.

There is plenty of room for dissent in political parties. But when it comes to health care reform, Republicans--powerless to stop meatloaf from being served in the Senate mess, much less a bill--do have a chance to embrace the ideals they've been pretending to champion for a decade with one straightforward, graceful and honorable word: "no."

They have no moral or civic or political obligation to embrace bipartisanship. History might even be telling them not to.

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