Saturday, August 25, 2007

Where are the Real Republicans?

Where are the real Republicans? You know, the ones who believe in limited, transparent government, checks and balances, fiscal responsibility, taking care of yourself, minding your own business, strong national defense.

The current crop of Republicans seem to believe in such principles only where they apply to limit the ability of anyone to challenge their power (refusal to comply with Congressional subpoenas; exempting themselves from the FOIA), or where they deny government support to individual people (the current campaign to deny health insurance to uninsured children). But these principles do not seem to apply to limits on the wielding of power as long as those in power are Republicans (waging war with borrowed money; executive secrecy), or where power over individual people is the issue (unsupervised wiretapping; abandonment of habeas corpus). There are dozens of such issues in play where the power over individuals by government and corporate interests has been expanded and where the ability of individuals to challenge that power has been diminished. Folks, this is not conservatism. This is corruption and the consolidation of power for its own sake.

Seems to me that our Founders well understood the impulse to abuse power and set up our system to minimize the damage any individual or group could do. In the past it was Republicans who were most vigilant in guarding against such abuses of power. I know there must be real Republicans out there. I implore you to take back your party. We need real Republicans, just as we need real Democrats. The fundamental impulses of these two parties are not mutually exclusive, they are complementary. Balance is the key, which requires ongoing vigilance and occasional corrective action as well as mutual respect. We'll see what the Democrats do when they get back into power, but right now it is the Republicans who have lost their way and need to get back to their roots.

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