I have officially become one of those cranky old people who bemoan the passage of the “good old days.” Which is sad, since the good old days weren’t all that good.
Most of all, I miss the Republican Party I was a part of–a party that didn’t have an embarrassing slate of kooks for Presidential candidates, a party that had a platform rather than a religiously-held extremist ideology. It was genuinely pro-business, pro-family and pro-good-government.
How times–and definitions–have changed!
In Congress, the GOP has again defeated President Obama’s proposal to create jobs by repairing America’s deteriorating infrastructure. The party I used to belong to would have sponsored such a measure. Indiana’s two Senators participated in the Senate filibuster–something I would have expected of Dan Coats, but that constitutes one more shameful effort by Dick Lugar to ingratiate himself with the crazies who detest him for the sin of previously being thoughtful. But the GOP did offer an alternative to the President’s bill–they reaffirmed that America’s national motto is “In God We Trust.” Not that anyone had suggested otherwise.
A pro-business party understands that economic prosperity depends upon the creation of jobs that allow people to purchase goods from businesses. Whether they trust God or not, most businesses depend upon a well-maintained infrastructure, and a calm social order. Republicans used to understand that.
They also used to understand that responsible economic policies were the best way to be “pro family.” Today, we have the embarrassing spectacle of Rep. Joe Walsh, first-term Tea Partier, getting a “Pro Family” award from the Family Research Council, despite the fact that he owes over 100,000 in back child support for his own children. But he was “pro family” because he voted to repeal healthcare, defund Planned Parenthood and uphold DOMA. Words fail.
Good government? When I was in City Hall, in a Republican Administration, the party put a premium on professionalism and careful analysis. The people I worked with would never have been guilty of the gross incompetence that led to the Litebox blunder. They would never have relinquished control of the city’s parking infrastructure for 50 years, in order to enrich a well-connected vendor at taxpayer expense. (And the Mayor I worked for–who really wasn’t a “politician”- would never have stooped to accusing an opponent of responsibility for an increase in rapes that occurred during the time she served as Deputy Mayor for Economic Development.)
There was plenty wrong when I was politically active. The administration I served was far from perfect, and Republican politicians weren’t saints. But next to what we have today, they sure look good. I miss them–and America desperately needs them back.