We are a little more than one week away from the mid-term election and here at The Forvm and, as near as I can tell, at most other politically oriented websites there is a depressing lack of substantive debate. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of snarky finger pointing, name calling and trash talking, but little debate.
I have suspicions as of why. First, the Republican Party, which has ridden to the political summit as "The Party of Ideas" has become instead the Party of "we'll keep you safe" and "the other guys won't" and seems bereft of new ideas and utterly incapable of telling a compelling story about well, anything. The Democrats, long derided as the "Party of No" has certainly chosen to focus its 2006 campaign around The President. All negative, all the time. The Dems actually have a six point plan but has anybody heard about it? To be fair, it is so filled with goals without tactics for achieving them or any concrete specifics that it is hard to defend.
The electoral goals in the Nation seems to have changed from a focus on capturing the middle to a focus on getting the base out. As a result we see red-meat politics. To our detriment I think. It is getting more and more difficult to actually debate as the human bridges between righties and lefties simply get ignored or treated as indecisive children. It seems to go further than that though. Righties seem to me embarrassed by the Republicans profligate spending and inability to lay out an agenda and verbally defend it. Dems demonstrate the same tendency with an unwillingness to engage in advocating what Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid would mean and instead try to distract by playing personality poltics with the golden boy of the moment. Don't get me wrong, both sides have plenty to be embarrassed about and what each is doing is probably the smart, maybe even the only play.
Nonetheless, it is still depressing and even here, where we pride ourselves on substantive debate, the atmosphere a week before is appalling. Well, I suppose we get not only the government we deserve, but the elections too.
Promoted by me to the Front Page: Not out of perfect agreement (I think the dynamic imposed by sound byte media is the big omision here.), but this is an issue dear to me. A country that can't effectively debate policy will sooner or later run into serious trouble. We may already be there. -MA
Spero in Deo
Spero in Deo