I was raised a Republican and believed my father, a former FBI agent, when he told me Communists were a threat to our way of life and I remember arguing with my friend David Schilling when I was eight insisting Joe McCarthy was a better candidate than a guy named Fairchild a Democrat. After my first church youth conference I came home amazed that the kids I liked were Democrats. (It was the Unitarian Church.)  In college I held out for moderate Republicans and one afternoon I organized friends to make phone calls in support of Bill Scranton’s nomination during the Republican convention in 1964.

Things changed.  When Strom Thurman became a Republican I became a Democrat.  But I watched them to find out how they kept winning elections. It wasn’t the philosophy of Teddy Roosevelt, the Progressive Republicans like La Follette or moderates like Rockefeller and Charles Percy. It’s playing  dirty using scare tactics. Obviously they know how to manipulate public opinion if they can convince people to vote against their best interests and give tax breaks to the rich. Now they are attacking Obama and stalling Congress and behaving like losers, but they have the guns.  Even working in local government it was clear that you didn’t want to piss off the ones with the guns.  A case in point; the NRA getting special dispensation on campaign donations.

At the hearing with BP today I saw Democrats with spines.  What a relief!  They need to keep them and remind Middle America how things got worse when Republicans were in charge.  How Republicans turned Clinton’s surplus into the largest deficit ever. Obama has stumbled  few times because he’s been too cautious. He’s not starting from scratch; he has to clean up the mess left him by George Bush.  He needs to tell the American public honestly what he’s dealing with and who’s playing by the rules.  Republican fought every major initiative in Congress, and now they’re using the stalemate in Congress at to campaign against the Democrats. Who’s too partisan?   That’s what Republicans are good at, bullying the Democrats who so far have been too timid to fight back.

My advice: If you want to know what Republicans are trying to get away with look at what they’re accusing the Democrats of doing.

PS:  My father changed, too.  He voted for Eugene McCarthy in the Wisconsin primary and distanced himself from J. Edgar Hoover before everyone knew about his dresses.


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