The recent internal elections by Democrats and Republicans for their respective House leaders highlighted a crucial difference between the two parties. While Democrats have some internal disagreements, the Republicans are all on the same page no matter how far back the chapter is from where we need to be as a nation.
Democrats elected former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as their minority leader by a vote of 150-43. The Republicans, on the other hand, unanimously elected John Boehner as the next Speaker of the House, despite previous reports of Tea Party dissension. Again the Democrats come to play with a divided team while the Republicans act as one cohesive unit.
And it's not necessarily a bad thing that Democrats have some disagreement within their ranks. One of the benefits of a big tent system like this is that they can reach a more refined and more polished party platform. But what may be beneficial philosophically simply does not translate into the realm of politics.
Take the last decade as an example. Despite the fact that many facets of the Bush Administration were extremely harmful to this nation, both at home and abroad, they were enacted. They did not necessarily reflect the will of the people, but that is no matter. Bush surrounded himself with individuals who followed the same line of thinking and stuck to their talking points no matter what.
There are no WMDs in Iraq? Whatever, we're going there and it is the right thing to do. Torture is against international law and will further galvanize extremists? Whatever, authorize waterboarding. There is undeniable evidence of human effect on rising CO2 levels and, thus, global warming? Whatever, unanimously vote in a global warming denier as Speaker of the House.
In contrast, when the Democrats try to get anything meaningful done, they fold upon meeting any resistance. You want Gitmo closed? You got it, wait, actually, no you don't. A government health care system will lead to "death panels?" Okay, single-payer is off the table. More than 70 percent of members of the armed forces do not oppose repealing a discriminatory policy? Eh, we'll fight to keep DADT in place.
So while Democrats were telling the public what they would do if they only had the chance, Republicans were demolishing roadblock after roadblock to invade Iraq, to torture individuals and to somehow get part of the American public to believe that the climate change we're experiencing is somehow a natural phenomenon. Meanwhile, gays are relegated to second-class citizen status, Guantanamo is still housing prisoners and we have a watered-down health care bill that did not solve the underlying problem of our health care industry.
If Republicans can accomplish all of this by simply remaining a unified bloc, imagine what Democrats would be able to do if they could stay on message.
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