This morning the Republicans released an ad in my area blaming President Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner for the AIG bonuses. This came a day after members of the same party released their proposed “budget”—a 19-page pile of piffle that is almost entirely devoid of numbers.
As usual of late, the Republicans are several days late and several billion dollars short of anything approaching genuine intellectual engagement with the complex, monumentally important issues of the day. All they seem to be able to do is point fingers and snarl, launching ad hominem attacks against anyone in the administration who happens to grab a headline.
I’m a great believer in honest, respectful debate as a means for reaching deeper understanding and eventual consensus on issues that divide us. A Republican Party of the 21st Century that could offer what has been called (often euphemistically) “loyal opposition” could enhance the clarity and depth of public discourse in this country. Perhaps intelligent and respectful disagreement would result in a more informed electorate, rather than large segments of the population who merely react emotionally to hot-button phrases without the least idea of what those phrases really mean.
In order to regain some credibility, perhaps the leaders of the GOP (if leaders there are) might suggest to their members that they wait until they have something to say before they say it. As an alternative, those among them who believe in real principles that differ from those of the Democrats might wish to start their own party—one that is for something instead of against everything.
For the life of me, I cannot understand how educated, intelligent citizens who call themselves Republicans (some of whom I know personally) can stand to continue being tarred with the same brush as Sarah “Pray-with-Me” Palin, Michael “I-Said-It-on–Purpose” Steele, and Michele “Armed-and-Dangerous” Bachmann.