Friday, March 26, 2010

Temporary (Political) Insanity

One of our country's two major political parties has lost its mind.

To prove how angry it is at the other party, it is stopping all committee meetings promptly at 2 pm. This is the political equivalent of a two-year old holding its breath to show mom and dad how upset he is.

To prove that the other party passed a law it doesn't like, it is using all kinds of angry rhetoric and inciting its supporters to throw bricks at the windows of people in the other party, cut a gas line to a home, and make other ugly threats.

This is what we'd expect from a school-yard bully who was finally stared down on the playground, not the behavior of a major political party.

This party is trying to win votes by demonstrating that it has the emotional maturity of a small child. It wants the American people to vote for it, so it can stop holding its breath, so it can calm down and stop threatening to repeal legislation, so it can get back to doing the people's business. An odd bit of political logic there.

We've seen a major political part lose its mind before.

The Democrats did it around 1968, after the convention in Chicago went off the rails. The Democrats then created an elaborate reform effort that splintered the old guard and the new guard, and in 1972, to demonstrate the wisdom of this strategy, George McGovern carried, oh I think it was, 1 state.

The Democrats did it before that, unless I'm mistaken, when the Dixiecrats walked out of the party. This time it was over race, not the War in Vietnam. But the results were the same.

When a political party decides that it needs to act out in public, the public often decides it needs to opt out of that party.

That's the cure for temporary political insanity: losing elections.

All Rights Reserved 2009 (c) Alan Webber, Rules Of Thumb