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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Clarifications From Those That Lack Clarity

Glenn Reynolds, over at the Washington Examiner says that Republicans should now seek "clarity" from those they just elected.

Really?!?!

But wasn't it the Republicans that were providing "clarity" to the Tea Baggers that voted them in this past week?

Oh, this is fucking rich.

With the deficit and the debt ballooning, with the economy remaining in the tank, and with tough choices on the horizon, what Americans need more than anything is clarity about what those choices involve, about who is making them, and about who is avoiding them.

Sometimes clarity will mean confrontation.


I find it hard to believe that Republicans have even the slightest notion of how to clarify anything. They have spent the better part of two years being anything but.

From wildly misrepresenting TARP, healthcare reform, and the multitude of success stories provided by the stimulus, it seems that Republicans - at least those that carry their water without asking the question "what would happen if we were actually in a position to do something" - are having to face the fact that if they don't provide specific examples of how to fix issues like rising debt and deficit spending then the Tea Baggers are going to turn on them faster than they did with their original messiah Scott Brown.

And in terms of confrontation, Republicans have a rich and storied history of being just that - confrontational - but lack the sand to actually throw the first punch. Well, if you're a Rand Paul donor, you tend to use your feet rather than your hands. But we already knew that.

ASIDE: as I - and many liberals/progressives - have stated before, the Democrats haven't been as confrontational as they should have been - especially with healthcare reform. While they aren't afraid to throw a punch, it all too often comes off like Ed Norton punching Brad Pitt in the ear in Fight Club - clumsy, yet effective to a fault.

More from Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds:

A move for clarity will meet much resistance. First, of course, from Congress itself -- including many Republicans. Virtually the entire superstructure of today's legislative branch is designed to minimize clarity, and hence accountability.

The survival instincts of politicians involve the avoidance of taking stands, and Republican politicians aren't immune from them any more than Democrats are. Republicans just have more to worry about in terms of Tea Party primary challengers.


I think we just saw Glenn admit what us Democrats already know, that the Republicans that rode headlong into election night victories are going to have to find a way to actually legislate in the completely unrealistic ways that the average Tea Bagger expects them to.

But in terms of resistance, it's already being met - and from within the GOP itself.

...from the administration, which despite its promises has never been much for transparency regarding its policy initiatives, and from its in-the-tank allies in the press -- which is to say most of the press, aside from fine institutions like this one. They will do their best to make the issues about race, about personalities, about class warfare, about anything at all except about the actual choices involved.

Republicans in Congress -- and the more elevated institutions of the press, like this one, that are not in the tank -- will have to fight such efforts and make sure that the facts come out.


Naturally, Reynolds has to point out that all these bad things you've been hearing about the Tea Baggers are nothing more than creations from the "liberal media". It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that there are widely recorded instances of racism, violence, how the "non-wealthy" in this nation are responsible for the financial crisis, how Christianity is being attacked, and general hatred toward all people who's voter registration card doesn't have the "R" checked on it. I'm thinking Glenn should change his blogger handle to "ProjectionPundit".

And saying that the Obama administration has completely renounced their desire to be a more transparent governing body is simply laughable. There is transparency, it's just that the Republicans like to call it "propaganda" because it sounds fancy and was instrumental in the Tea Baggers coming out to the polls for the mid-terms.

Could there be more transparency? Without question. But it's quite clear that anything short of having everyone in the Obama administration fitted with tracking devices, and cameras that would broadcast a live feed to every news channel in the world just isn't going to cut it.

But it's the closing paragraphs that really put this piece into perspective:

By listening to voters at town hall meetings, Republicans can not only show that they care, they can accomplish something else. They can actually learn something.

By not listening to voters, and not being straight with them, Democrats committed political suicide. Republicans should take a lesson, and promote clarity. In these times, voters will reward that.


The problems with Reynolds closing statement is that it is completely divorced from the reality of how the Tea Baggers got their information, how the Republicans that latched onto that misinformation, and how the Democrats lost as much as they did last Tuesday.

Democrats did, despite what you may have heard from people like Glenn Reynolds and his media masters at Fox"News", listen to the voters in America. The problem is that they didn't take it far enough.

Conservatives love to tout that the average American wants a complete repeal of healthcare reform, when in reality they want it to be furthered more towards a "public option" system. Conservatives will shout that financial regulation doesn't tackle Fannie and Freddie, while not taking into consideration that they need to be addressed as a single issue. From what Net Neutrality is, to clean energy initiatives, on down to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", Republicans have never been about clarity, and the call for such at this point tells me that they aren't ready for their renewed responsibility.

Over at Hot Air, Ed Morrissey seems to be backing away from the use of the word "mandate" - something that the Tea Baggers were claiming from the very first win on Tuesday night.

Did voters give the GOP a mandate for a complete reversal of direction, or did they deliver an ultimatum to the White House to start compromising with Republicans. Reading that mandate correctly will be the great challenge of the next few months, and for both parties, the stakes could not be higher for success and failure at reading it correctly.


Here's something that's not difficult to read - Republicans are starting to show that they aren't too sure they are pleased with what they have done. But make no mistake about it, they are going to find a way to blame Democrats for their own inadequacies and failures right up to election night 2012.

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