Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Baiting Harry Toward Substance

While it is nice to see evidence that Harry S Truman Fellow (the "S" must stand for "someplace else") is alive and did not fall victim, as many believed, to an ice-skate-related casualty, I would like to take this opportunity to bait him into posting the rare analytical post.

A thread at Direct Democracy's blog has tackled an interesting notion; namely, maybe the GOP's problem isn't necessarily a serious of bungled policy decisions but instead a general politico-culture. The author, a Scott Shields (not this one, who I hate), notes that the Bush-43 presidency is the first time in decades wherein a Republican president has no Democratic Congress with which to compete. Now, the American people get a chance to see if the core Republican ideas can succeed with no check or balance. Shields' thesis?

The problem is that Republican governance doesn't work. Every theory the modern Republican Party bases its policies on has failed the test of realistic implementation. Lower taxes on the wealthy will create jobs and increase revenue? Wrong. People all over the world value Western-style Democracy over nationality? Wrong. Self-regulation of business will be more effective than government regulation? Wrong. And the list goes on.

When this post originally landed, I thought of Harry and his almost-assured distate for the democracy line. Lo and behold, someone wrote a comment saying so, with a succinct point: We should support democracy, period. Shields response (also brief) noted that "everyone everywhere deserves the right of self-determination. But imposing self-determination at the barrel of a (foreign) gun is absurd."

Most appalling for Harry must be that his cohort simply folds his cards soon thereafter. (The conversation continues in the comment section, further illuminating and adding to the discussion [hint, hint].) As I've previously stated on this blog, I'm inclined to agree that America's plopping down of democracy without appropriately setting the stage is not sound policy. And so I ponder two things: A) Does Harry have an opinion on Shields and the ensuing dialogue and B) is this what it's going to take for him to contribute to APR on a regular basis?


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