November 13, 2008 [LINK / comment]
More GOP finger-pointing
After a political defeat it is perfectly natural for those on the losing side to want to vent their anger and frustration. Whenever a party loses a struggle of such historic proportions as was the case this year, the pressure to lash out is almost irresistable. But because political survival -- and ultimate victory -- depend above all on keeping an alliance together, it is far better for the party that such criticisms remain out of the public eye, so as not to further besmirch the party's image. That is why I am refraining from overt blame-pinning for the time being, preferring to think about the fundamental causes of the Republican Party's downward slide before venturing into the fray.
Unfortunately, that attitude of forebearance is not widely shared within the party, and the recriminations are flying all over the place. A perfect example is veteran conservative activist Richard Viguerie, who is really losing it. In a recent e-mail blast, he demanded that "All Republican congressional leaders should resign . . . or grassroots conservatives will withhold support from the GOP." What kind of leader exhibits a childish attitude such as that? On his blog "Conservative HQ" Viguerie heaps scorn and contempt on John McCain, which I find shocking. He faults McCain for not running as a conservative, but McCain is not identified as a conservative, so why pretend otherwise?
Another example of the right wing becoming detached from reality is radio talk-show host Michael Reagan. A couple nights ago on "Larry King Live," he claimed that after the GOP convention was over, John McCain completely ignored the Republican Base. That is the exact opposite of what I observed. McCain spent most of his campaign efforts trying in vain to "energize the base," but even with Sarah Palin on the ticket, they just refused to be energized.
It seems to me that a large proportion of the folks who belong to the "Republican Base" must harbor deep psychological insecurities, craving attention and respect much as a young teenager would. There must be hundreds of psychologists and sociologists across the country trying to unravel the mystery of just what it is that bothers "the Base" so much. Is it some kind of social status issue? Whatever it may be, instead of bawling and blaming somebody else when things go wrong, maybe those folks should just grow up.
Having just updated the Citi Field page with the photos I took while visiting the Mets' future home in Flushing Meadows, it occurs to me that editorial comment on the banking crisis is appropriate. (The new stadium's corporate sponsor is Citi Bank.) In light of the recent meltdown in the American banking sector, it is worth pointing out that the Mets are fortunate indeed that their corporate sponsor, CitiBank, seems to more financially stable than Enron, Ameriquest, or some of the other short-lived enterprises whose now-sullied names briefly graced Major League baseball stadiums. See the Stadium names page. CitiBank recently tried to aquire Wachovia Bank, but Wells Fargo then is a dispute. As of October 22, the Wells Fargo - Wachovia merger is going forward. See wachovia.com.