Thursday, April 02, 2009

Hey, it's a whinge about the Republican party. All secondhand, derived information from other, more interesting folks. Yet I post it all here, because I feel frustrated. Enjoy - or don't read.

After demonizing their opponents for so long, too much of the GOP leadership can't remember that there is a line of decency that can't be crossed even if it will win a few dozen votes.
Thus, VP Cheney feels it perfectly fine, while still wearing the mantle of the vice-presidency, to denigrate his successors to foreign governments and then tell the world emphatically that the new guy's an easy mark. Come and get him!
(Imagine the uproar in the GOP and the mainstream press if a Democrat had done anything remotely so unpatriotic. There'd be a public hanging.)

Thus, GOP leaders and pundits talk about the massive incompetency of the Obama presidency while he's in the midst of passing more and more sweeping legislation in his first 100 days than most presidents attempt in their first two years.

Thus, GOP senators put anonymous holds on top-level treasury appointees, then make fun of the administration for not staffing up instantly in a crisis.

Thus, the ambassador to North Korea, phenomenally well-qualified, appointed by Bush five years ago to accolades, is now too inexperienced to go to Iraq. Our effort is weakened because we can't confirm a talented ambassador, but at least the GOP thinks they've scored a few political points. Mission accomplished!

When I think of all the terribly incompetent appointees the Democratic congress confirmed in 2001 because a president should, after all, be able to get his people, I shudder. Obama was right that we need to be bi-partisan (or postpartisan) as a nation, but he's made a terrible game theory blunder.

I don't know alot about game theory (kind of like politics), but what I have read suggests this is a prisoner's dilemma situation (best outcomes for me, in order: 1) I defect, you cooperate 2) we both cooperate 3) we both defect 4) I cooperate, you defect.) The winning strategy for these types of sits is to do whatever the opponent cum partner did the last round. So, let's say the opponent - we'll call him "Rep" - defected, by say, impeaching the last Dem prez for lying about an affair. The proponent, Dem, shouldn't cooperate by confirming an attorney-general (at least two) who don't believe in the rule of law and civil liberties for US citizens.

That's old history. If Rep spent alot of time demonizing you and claiming your election would destroy the United States, don't expect trying to cooperate with him on a desperately needed bailout is going to get you to that #2 state where it's a win-win for both parties.

Nope. Accept that lose-lose is the best that's on offer. And force the other guy to cooperate first. Nothing else is going to work. With this GOP leadership, even that won't work until they feel there's absolutely no other choice for political survival. If the country's survival is jeopardized in the process, so much the better, evidently.

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