The headline in our daily paper today announces that the Republican candidate for Senator in our state "focuses on fiscal restraint," which she has practiced with some skill in our state legislature. But our state legislature is theoretically non-partisan, and she is entering national politics under the banner of a party that entered into two unbudgeted foreign wars when they held the White House from 2001 to 2009. Wars don't count when Republicans speak of fiscal restraint.
Of course the Republican Party is no longer the Party of Eisenhower; it is barely the party of Reagan, though they love to evoke his name. In those days there was some variety in the Republican ranks, not a lock-step mentality. Today what used to be called the Republican Right is now the Republican Center; they have no room for right or left. Witness their raid on the Ron Paul delegates from Maine to their convention, apparently because they were determined to exhibit a phony consensus in their ranks—an ethical breach of contract beyond shame, not even necessary for Romney's nomination. They and Congress together have discouraged Chuck Hagel and Olympia Snowe out of running for political office--shining lights who took informed positions according to available facts instead of prescribed dogma. Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker expressed her outrage last week on what the Party has become.
"My country, right or wrong,"may have merit in extreme international crisis; but "My Party, right or wrong," is dunderheaded no matter who says it or when.
The headline in our paper evoked the image of a Constitutional Convention in which the controlling members were modern Republicans—let's say, the current Republican Convention. The Preamble we have is remarkable, but surely the Republicans must think it needs rewriting,
Here is the Preamble as we now have it: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Let's tweak it just a little so it is more agreeable to today's Republicans:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility by silencing dissent through appropriate legislation, provide for the common defense through the awarding of government contracts which guarantee high profits to private interests without risk,, promote the general Welfare at the lowest tolerable level if there is no way to turn it toward private profit, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to everyone who agrees with us now and ever after, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
I'm sorry I didn't get this version written early enough to get it before the Republican convention. It surely would have passed, don't you think?