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Parties being Parties

The news that a bunch of leaders from The Other Party got together on January 20, 2009 (according to Robert Draper’s new book, Do Not Ask What Good We Do) to sketch out a plan “to not just win back political power, but to also put the brakes on Obama’s legislative platform” has been causing a minor uproar in Left Blogovia.

I want to say this: If Mitt Romney wins the presidential election on November Sixth, I sure as hell hope that leaders from My Party get together well before January—Monday, November 26 is open—to discuss ways to win back power and to put the brakes on Mitt Romney’s legislative platform.

Understand this, too: if the economy is good, and there isn’t an international disaster of some kind, it’s very likely that Our Only President will be reelected to another term. Such a scenario would likely lead to a sweep of the legislative houses as well, and might be a rout. Which means that a Mitt Romney presidency would begin at a moment of terrifying vulnerability for our fellow Americans, and that absent some sort of coherent action from My Party, a legislative agenda that I believe would reduce the protection for the more vulnerable of my compatriots would become law. Putting the brakes on that would be a Good Thing.

What that would mean would be in large part the topic of discussion. I would hope that the leaders of My Party would come up with something better than the stuff the Other Party has been doing, something more responsible and reality-based and rational. Sure. But in theory the Other Party could have done that, too. The problem isn’t that the Other Party was scheming to prevent what they saw as a destructive political agenda from being implemented. The problem isn’t even that they attempted to prevent any political agenda from being implemented, although that was destructive and wrong. The problem was that in order to win back political power, they chose to promote people who incite hatred and fear, and they chose to lie, and they chose to let loose the worst elements within the Party, and they chose to make unrealistic promises, and, well, this is what I wanted to say: I hope My Party’s leaders do meet as a cabal to win back political power and put the brakes on the Other Party’s legislative platform, and I also hope that they act honorably and responsibly. I’m not appalled that the Other Party did the first of those, and I already knew that they didn’t do the second.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,

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