Day: April 5, 2010

More Political Party Division Today Than Since The Reconstruction Era!

Newsweek Magazine this week has an article about the massive political divide that exists between the Democrats and the Republicans presently, and comes up with a shocking statement!

The partisan warfare between the parties, with each unable to cross the aisle for support in a bipartisan way, is the absolute worst it has been since the Reconstruction Era after the Civil War, when the Republicans dominated, and depicted the Democrats as the “party of treason”!

Does this mean that the American people are more divided by ideological conflict than during other controversial periods, such as FDR’s New Deal during the Great Depression; the McCarthyism “Red Scare” of the 1950s; the tumult over civil rights and the Vietnam War during the 1960s and early 1970s; and the administration of Bill Clinton in the 1990s?

Unbelievably, YES, as even in these periods of great conflict in the past, there were still the ability of a substantial number of the opposition party to work across the aisle, rather than the “lockstep” mentality of Reconstruction times, and the present period where the concept of cooperation has become totally repudiated, sadly! 🙁

It is tragic, that in the time of the Great Recession, and so many intransigent problems facing the nation, that we cannot have cooperation and bipartisanship! That is what is causing the dangerous levels of extremism that we are seeing with the militia groups and the Tea Party Movement!

Rather than uniting around our common American nationalism, we are dividing based on such factors as race, religion, geographical section, age, and widely varying views of the meaning of the Constitution!

What we need is statesmanship, rather than partisanship, but the likelihood of improvement in the relationship of the two major political parties is not likely at any time in the foreseeable future! 🙁

The Republican Party, Mitt Romney, And 2012

At this point, before anyone announces their candidacy for the GOP Presidential nomination in 2012, it makes sense that the strongest potential nominee is former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Romney has the record of having been the favorite of those Republicans who did not want Senator John McCain of Arizona as their Presidential nominee in 2008.

Conservatives rallied around him, even though one could argue that his record in Massachusetts, particularly with the state health care plan enacted in 2006, made him seem more as a moderate to many Republicans.

As the alternative to many Republicans, he stands now in a similar position to Bob Dole in 1996 (after President George H. W. Bush) and John McCain in 2008 (after George W. Bush). In other words, he is, in many people’s minds the heir apparent for the nomination.

Romney’s personal background as a successful businessman and promoter of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, and his photogenic appearance and wonderful family image, also help him greatly.

But, at the same time, the fact of the Massachusetts health care plan being very much like the Obama Health Care Plan now in effect, harms Romney, despite his attempt to deny that there is much of a link between the two plans.

And, unfortunately, the fact of his Mormon faith remains a problem for many evangelical Christians, who see the Mormon faith as a cult.

By far the most reasonable choice for the Republicans, the question also arises whether the Tea Party Movement activists will see him as an ally, which at this point seems highly doubtful.

So at this point, Romney will not say if he plans to run. Apparently, President Obama thinks so, however, as he referred this past week to Romney as a presidential nominee.

It will be interesting to see how Romney deals with the problems surrounding his candidacy over the rest of this year.

But also realize that except for Jimmy Carter, it has been the reality, in the last century of American politics, that the party which wins the White House always keeps the control for at least eight years.

So it will not be easy for any Republican to defeat President Obama in 2012, even though one could, theoretically see the President as in trouble, due to the problems with the economy.