Senator Ken Gordon's Note
The Minority Party's Dilemma
It seems that a majority of the country is willing to give President Obama a chance. Most Americans recognize that he came into a difficult situation and they are hoping his program will be successful in helping with the economy, the war, the environment, etc. Yet Republican elected officials seem to be less supportive.
I was in the minority in the Colorado Legislature for ten years so I have some familiarity with the quandary facing minority parties.
I think it is useful to create a decision box. On the vertical axis we have two possibilities. The minority can either support the President's program or they can oppose it. On the horizontal plane we have two possibilities as well. The program can either succeed or fail. So this creates four boxes.
The Minority Party's Dilemma
Plan Succeeds Plan Fails
Minority Party Supports
Minority Party Opposes
(for party, not country)
The minority party supports the President, and the plan is successful.
The minority party supports the plan, and the plan fails.
The minority party opposes the plan, and the plan succeeds.
The minority party opposes the plan, and the plan fails.
Let's assume that some of the Republican elected officials have a partisan interest. That is, their principle goal is to win more seats in the next election, and defeat the President in 2012. Which of the four possibilities is most likely to help them reach their goal?
If they support the President and he is successful, they may have done the right thing for the country, but the President will get most of the credit. So supporting the President when he is successful won't hurt, but it is unlikely to help them pick up seats or defeat the President in 2012.
If they support the President and he is unsuccessful, they won't get a benefit because they were advocates for the same unsuccessful policy.
If they oppose the President, and he is successful, they will obviously receive no benefit from that approach.
However, if they oppose the President, and his plan is unsuccessful, they can say, more or less, "We told you so." This will benefit them.
As you can see, this analysis does not consider the merits of any proposed program. It is an analysis that the minority can use regardless of the merits, and I believe that it is what leads so many elected Republicans to relentlessly oppose whatever the President and the Democrats in Washington, or Denver for that matter, propose.
The only political advantage they can receive is for them to oppose the Democratic program and have it fail.
Now there are quite a few Republicans who do not go through this analysis. They make their decisions based on a genuine examination of the merits of a proposal seen through the light of their values. But unfortunately there are enough who only care about the politics so that every talk show has no trouble finding knee-jerk opposition to every Obama or Democratic proposal. It is disheartening for those of us who would like to see the country come together in the face of our serious challenges, but there it is.
By the way, when the Democrats are in the minority, I am sorry to say, there is no shortage of knee-jerk opponents as well.
I have been troubled by the opposition to Obama, who in my view is making a good faith effort to deal with a difficult situation. I had hoped for more of a "country over party" position from the minority. Perhaps we will get there someday.
I hope you are doing well. As always do not hesitate to write back with comments or questions and feel free to forward this email to anyone you think might be interested or to republish, with attribution, in any blog or other publication.
Sincerely, Ken Gordon
Good Morning Ken,
Yours is an interesting analysis.
My pre-Obama concerns, as is becoming the concerns of awakening millions regardless Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or Independent affiliation, remains socialism.
Plain and simple. No frills. Simply socialism. Once people know what socialism is, they equally hate/despise it!
The reason more rural folks voted McCain, was because he was the lesser of the two socialists, AND - they know first hand what it's like to have their private property rights stolen from them by socialistic environmentalists.
The urbanites voted for Obama, because they've never had their private properties seized right out from under them.
Very simple equation Ken. Very simple.
We resource providers tried warning people. But socialists denigrated us while glorifying their rock star Obama.
Most media outlets then gifted billions in un-accounted for in-kind contributions to the Obama campaign, to interrupt and supersede our cautionings.
Problem? Too many people who know zero about resource production make policies negatively impacting resource producers.
Solution? Don't allow anyone who's not in resource production make said policies.
One perfect example of city people making policy they shouldn't of? Horse slaughter ban: They had no idea what the hell they were doing. Now they've made one God-awful mess of things,and the by-products of their ugly policy include: horses die of slow painful deaths, and opportunities to use by-products (dog/cat food and exports to countries when the human culture eats horse meat) have been extinguished.
I heard yesterday (from a solid non-partisan capital hill source) that Democrats flat out don't care how their decisions are hurting us.
They said, "They don't care if, for example, fuel goes to $7 or $8 bucks a gallon!"
Of course I was compelled to clarify their acute observation by reminding, "It's not the Democrats who are reeking havoc, it's the socialists!"
This AM, an excellent "Hollywood" source told me, "People aren't talking about Obama round here. At all. It's as though they're in a suspended state of, `What the hell?"'
And - for Obama to constantly harp, "I inherited this problem," is a show of either sheer stupidity, or the march to actualize socialism.
Regardless, either is un-acceptable.
Because he's been in grooming for this role for 17 years, he's had many opportunities to work with Democrats - and Republicans, to mediate, harmonize and set the tone for a much better place than where we are today.
Ergo - he has NO EXCUSES!!
His "inherited" claim is no different than had John Elway...upon taking over as QB, fumbled, lurched backwards, forwards, sideways, hog the ball, run and trip...with the ball (anyway... you get the visual), and take the Broncos backwards boldly - then state, "I'm behaving this way because I inherited a loosing team."
Good grief. And to think that Obama conned millions into believing he was a great super-hero, fixer upper repairman conciliator.
Now seeing what he's really made up of, and the direction he really wants to take this country, - those millions are fast becoming speechless.
Like Cher once said, "We ladies get excited over nothing, then we marry them."
That, is what happened with the Obama groupies. They lusted over then married him. Now we're all being forced into paying for to one hell of a rip-snort'n ugly, most expensive ever divorce.
If - Obama and his people were sincere about curing America of the disease "Socialisticitis," they'd have balls enough to completely surgically remove "income" tax, and install a fair form of an equitable consumption tax.
If - the Republicans (Libertarians, Independents) were sincere about curing America, they'd focus on likewise; for "income" tax is the cause of all that's destroying America.
Once removed, all else will start to heal.
If Obama was the great conciliator in desire of bi-partisan solutions as his pitch men and women tout him to be, he'd do this. Simple as that.
What we lack Ken, is sincerity from all but the socialists.
They, are very sincere about wanting to seize control of America.
Roni Bell Sylvester