“Texas-Sized Lesson: The New Tone Era Is Over [March 05, 2010]
While the ever-helpful Jurassic media is trying to force-feed conservatives and Republicans groupthink analysis of Rick Perry's thumping of Kay Bailey Hutchison (KBH), the GOP had better heed the main lesson: The "new tone" era is over.
The bottom line is that the new tone was never called for by Americans. To think so was to be rather tone-deaf. Any strategy based on the assumption that people just could not get along -- and ignores the possibility of legitimate and deep ideological divides -- misses the point. By definition, the new tone more or less meant not debating your opponents very vigorously before compromising with them on almost everything.
….the results were disastrous for Hutchison. Perry defeated her 52%-31%, with Medina getting 17% of the vote.”
– Reference (1) at bottom.
The article above resonates with me. And yes, I voted for Rick Perry. I have been nauseated ever since the Presidential campaign with the term, bipartisanship (The new tone). This term was much tossed about by both Republicans and Democrats. It was editorialized about and pushed by talking-heads as being something that the American people desperately want.
This feel-good assumption is probably derived from the reasonable (and I think correct) opinion that most Americans are sick-and-tired of all the vested-interest, political bickering that goes on interminably in both branches of Congress. We should be sick and tired of it. But that disgust is simply not equivalent to a desire for bipartisanship.
What I want, and what I think most Americans want is statesmanship.
I want to see our politicians act with integrity, courtesy, courage, and persistence in support of principled Constitutional political-positions. I want them to support Constitutional political-positions that are in the long-term, best interest of the large-majority of the American people, not just in the interest of select minorities and elites. That is not bipartisanship. That is statesmanship.
The problem with bipartisanship is that too often, and in fact, most of the time it requires desertion or compromise of principle. Also, too often, the run-up to that compromise is characterized by lack of integrity, lack of courtesy, and a lack of courage that would enable individual politicians to stand on fundamental principle. When bipartisanship is preferred over statesmanship, most Americans, I think, prefer a fair fight, let the issues be openly joined and debated, and openly advocated and fought for. Let the American people see and understand exactly what their politicians support. That preference is why so many Americans enjoyed and admired John Wayne. Here are some pertinent John Wayne quotes (– Reference (2) at bottom):
Message suitable for American statesmen to deliver to bipartisans:
“"Young fella, if you're lookin' for trouble I'll accommodate ya."”
– From True Grit.
Message suitable for a real American President (a statesman) to deliver to Islamic dictators:
“"Well, I don't favor talkin' to vermin, but I'll talk to you just this once."” – From Chisum
Follow-up message suitable for a real American President (a statesman) to deliver to Islamic dictators:
“"Now you understand. Anything goes wrong, anything at all... your fault, my fault, nobody's fault... it don't matter...I'm gonna blow your head off. It's as simple as that."”
– From Big Jake
Message suitable for all American statesmen to deliver to our friends and enemies.
“"Well, we do exactly what we started out to do."”
– From Chisum
Message suitable for all American statesmen to deliver to our enemies and detractors:
“"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted..."”
– From The Sootiest
Message suitable for all American statesmen to deliver to all terrorists:
“"I'll hunt ya down and kill ya."”
– From The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Why was John Wayne admired by so many Americans? He became an icon for straight-talk (no spin), honesty, do-what-you-promise, courage, and American-styled toughness. To the extent that these qualities exist today, they are rare in Congress, and completely non-existent in the Obama administration.
John McCain and Barack Obama both made bipartisanship a major item in their campaigns. I think McCain naively meant it (McCain the maverick likes to cross the political aisle); I think Obama meant it as he defines it (the Republican party must yield on everything).
Balanced-results bipartisanship has never happened, and is never going to happen in politics. Bipartisanship from the viewpoint of group A means that given two groups (or political parties), group A and group B, group B yields more to group A on a given issue than group A yields to group B. In other words, group A wins (gets more of what they want), group B loses (gets less of what they want), even though group B will always brag that the result was a win-win.
There simply are no completely equal bipartisanship actions, someone always gets taken (rooked, finagled, finessed, out-maneuvered, snookered, screwed, etc.). I prefer a much more open and honest prospective: Anything that a cut-throat-opponent truly wants (not just pretends to want), I do not want (for it will not be in my best interest). I prefer statesmanship, not bipartisanship. I prefer John Wayne styled openness.
I do not want bipartisanship. It is very plain and easy to understand that whatever some leftwing politician such as Barack Obama, John Kerry, or Teddy Kennedy (if he were still alive) wants is exactly what I, as a conservative, do not want. And to try to “reach across the isle”, as John McCain was so fond of doing for Teddy Kennedy, and other liberals, is not statesmanship. It is political losership.
It is rather evident that the Tea Party movement has expressed wide-spread disgust with the behavior of our politicians. However, I do not believe that the Tea Party message is that we need a “new tone” especially if the definition of “new tone” is bipartisanship, which has almost always, translated into the actions of the congressional Republicans as “not debating your opponents very vigorously before compromising with them on almost everything.”
In life there are some ideological positions that are just too important to compromise.
So, Let's have courteous, courageous, principled statesmanship, not bipartisanship.
(1) Texas-Sized Lesson: The New Tone Era Is Over
(2) John Wayne Quotes and John Wayne Sound Clips