An interesting article by David Frum talks about the Mugwumps of the 1880s. They were a group of Republicans who crossed party lines to support the Democratic nominee for President, Grover Cleveland. They did so because the Republican nominee was too fraudulent even by the lax standards of politicians. Frum points out that there are parallels to this era where politicians should stand up for what is right for the country, not just their party.
Here is a highlight from the article:
This highly ritualized approach to politics, this pretense of great disagreement, is familiar in our own time. A quarter century ago, Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale offered Americans substantial policy alternatives. In 2010, by contrast, we see the parties hammering each other over differences barely more perceptible than those of 1880. Republicans rage against the Democrats’ bailouts, takeovers, deficits—yet all three commenced under George W. Bush, not Barack Obama. Almost every concept in Obama’s intensely controversial health plan has at one point or another been advanced by a senior Republican, from Bob Dole to Mitt Romney. I type these words having just watched Fox News’s Glenn Beck liken President Obama’s call for voluntary national service to something out of Maoist China. Obama’s service program barely differs in form, content, and rhetoric from Bush’s program, which in turn was almost identical to the program created by the elder President Bush in 1989.
Frum is correct. Blind party loyalty continues to drag this country down as we find ourselves about to be lapped by the likes of China. While we continue to shoot this country in the foot by following a politicized reenactment of a Civil War we are only injuring ourselves. Republicans need not give in to Democratic demands, but you think they could vote for things that they already agree to.