Mike Pence asked me for money today. He seems like a good guy. I hope he wins.
Life, liberty and limited government, he wrote, these are the cherished ideals of our nation, and they are ideals from which we must never stray.
Indeed they are. Truly American ideals. As David Mamet, writes, as American as apple pie or stuffing the ballot box.
But I’m not giving money to Mr. Pence. I am tapped out at this point. I have already sent small contributions to Sharron Angle, Allen West, Dan Webster (who is running in Florida against the blunt, swaggering, third rate demagogue Alan Grayson, of course lionized by the so-called progressives), Sean Bielat (Barney Frank’s opponent), even Christine O’Donnell in Delaware (seems like a nice young lady, maybe she’s a flake, but the Senate already includes Al Franken, so the bar for flakiness has been lowered).
But I digress. The point I want to make is this: HOLD ‘EM ACCOUNTABLE. Republicans will no doubt win big in November. But, as PJ O’Rourke says, this is not an election as much as it’s a restraining order served on Democrats.
The Republican party should not get the idea that they have any intrinsic value, or merit. Damn them if they do. They got the boot in 2006 and 2008 and now want to convey the idea that “we get it.” Do they? That remains to be seen. Hornswoggle tends to outrun and outlast good intentions.
We the People are the source of political power and legitimacy. Says so in the Constitution and Constitution is the law of the land and the basis of our governance. A political party is merely an instrument of the people, a tool to be reworked or cast aside if it fails to do the job you set it to. Its institutional life is finite and its integrity can be bartered away by small weak men, and women, who believe they are something other than small weak men, and women.
So let me reiterate: the Republicans must be held accountable past November. And into 2011, and into 2012, and thereafter. The battle does not end. It’s not never-ending jihad, of course, but it is a long running conflict in the West between the people who would govern themselves,thank you very much, and the people who would rule over other people because We Know Better. Than you bitter clingers. Than you rabbit people. Than you teabaggers. Than you, well, you get the idea.
You don’t do the victory dance, get drunk and then go home to sleep it off and wake the next day to business as usual. As Franklin said (however apocryphal it may be) it’s a republic if you can keep it. Most haven’t been kept. History, like the casino, bets you lose. Study history: republics founder and fail. Machiavelli asserted so, and Cicero, for all his patriotism and fine words, got his head chopped off by Antony’s agents, with Octavian’s acquiescence. But Washington did not make himself emperor (if you want to see a contrast, google Iturbide). We’ve prided ourselves on American exceptionalism: America is the land of reinvention, restlessness and winning the trifecta. I am willing to take that bet.