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I think that may qualify as the silliest commentary I've ever read. Mr. Carlson, do you seriously mean to suggest the Republican Party adopt the ideology of the Democratic Party, content itself with trying to moderate "waste neglect and outright fraud," and accept permanent minority status? Do you seriously mean to suggest that the halls of Congress should not be a place where our elected representatives come together to argue the path our nation should take, but rather a place for them to quibble over the details?
Much like the Republicans in 1981 and, especially, after Reagan's unbelievable landslide in 1984, you pretend the debate is over, the direction is established, the people have spoken and etched their words in stone tablets. Hardly, sir. The will of the American people is, at best, written in sand. The Republicans eventually pushed the American center a little too far out of their middle-of-the-road comfort zones and President Obama was elected as a true progressive leaning Democrat (Bill Clinton being a centrist). Assuming even that our current left turn endures for more than four years, it will also inevitably, eventually, push those same middle-of-the-road Americans in the center too far out of their comfort zones and America will turn right again.
You see, Mr. Carlson, at the heart of it, we are a very large, very populous democratic republic. As such, the United States of America must be governed from its center. There is simply no enduring way for any ideological bent to hold sway fully or for very long in this country. The Conservative Republicans, unchecked by their more moderate members, pushed their right leaning ideology a little too far for a little too long. Progressive Democrats, left unchecked by the Democratic moderates, will inevitably do the same.
The answer for the Republican Party, then, is not to abdicate all that they stand for and bring to an end meaningful political debate in this nation; it's simply to correct their course slightly and return to the core of the message that resonated with the American people.
The real question before us, Mr. Carlson, is not how the Republican Party should redefine itself; it's how far to the left the Democrats will be able to push this nation before they, in their turn, get slapped back to reality by the same center that dismissed Mr. Bush and his would be successors. I hope President Obama manages to use his time in the sun to put in place some of the best planks of the Progressive platform - things like Labor Reform and National Health Insurance - rather than fritter away this very brief moment on things easily undone and of mostly symbolic importance. If he and the Democrats in Congress recognize the election of 2008 represents a window of opportunity and not a permanent state of being, they may choose wisely. Time, as always, will tell.
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