Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Should Democrats be Gracious in Victory?

I'm inclined to say yes, but just because I'm a fan of graciousness in general. But when Cal Thomas asks the question, well, you know what he thinks.
Shortly after Republicans won a majority in the 1994 elections, I recall warning them not to be arrogant. Have your celebrations, I said. Enjoy your new status, but don't use the gavel as a club. Kindness and grace in victory, I noted, goes a long way. Because Republicans chose to crow instead of the harder, but more rewarding path of pursuing consensus, they now appear about to reap what they have sown. In addition to watching Democrats, if they are victorious, pursue previously failed policies, Republicans will also have to put up with endless investigations of the Bush administration, which can only fuel bitterness and further paralyze government.

If Democrats win one or both houses, they will face the same choices Republicans had in 1994. They can return fire, like some Middle East revenge-seeker, perpetuating a cycle that never stops, or they can announce that America's problems and challenges are too large for one party and work with Republicans toward common objectives. My guess is Democrats will crow like the Republicans did and begin to position themselves to grab the White House in 2008, giving immediate problems a lower priority.
I think it's funny that after more than a decade of Conservative triumphalism and Democrat bashing, they are scolding Democrats in advance for taking advantage of their new situation. Poor Republicans - my heart really goes out to them.

Cal Thomas then does a section on Micro-Loans which are a good idea in some regards, and he proposes that Republicans champion this way of preying on the poor, in the guise of helping them. That's maybe a little too harsh; Micro-loans could be a good idea if implemented correctly. They certainly have done good things in Southeast Asia and Africa. But if handled poorly they could also be another way for people who already have plenty of money to siphon off a bit more money from the poor.

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