I Wish I Was Republican 

What lefties could learn from the party of no

SOMEWHERE ON THE CARIBBEAN SEA—"Damn! I wish I was a man," sang folksinger Cindy Lee Berryhill. Me, I wish I was a Republican.

Conservatives dress frumpy, are bland and don't know much about history. But they have more fun than liberals. They stick together and they fight for what they believe in (or, more often, they fight what they're against). Why can't left-wingers be tough?

Consider where the GOP was in November 2008. Republicans had lost control of Congress. They were reeling from the defection of Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter. The GOP, Jonathan Capehart wrote in The Washington Post, was in crisis. "[It] hasn't coalesced around any ideas that weren't born in the Reagan years. It hasn't been able to muster the kind of galvanizing policy positions that made the Contract with America a rallying point for Republicans to go toe to toe with President [Bill] Clinton in the 1990s. And it's still in search of a leader ... While the party isn't over for Republicans, it's getting there."

But by Jan. 6, 2010, The New York Times reported that President Barack Obama and the Democrats were "facing a shifting and perilous political environment that could have big implications for this year's midterm elections and his own agenda."

Health care is a lose-lose, and the details Democrats have kept secret will cost them.

Dems are also taking hits for the bailouts—ironic, since they began under George W. Bush. But Americans have short memories, and no one is buying Obama's argument that 20-plus percent underemployment rate would have been worse without the bailouts.

Going into the midterm elections, right-wingers are fired up by the Tea Party and their thinly disguised contempt that a black guy is in the White House. Liberals couldn't be less motivated. They see health care as a sellout, hate the bailouts and are disgusted by Obama's decision to expand the war in Afghanistan. November 2010 will be a rout.

Capehart was right: The Republicans didn't have any new ideas. They didn't need any. Voters who back a losing party are angry, but realistic. They only expect their representatives to obstruct the other party. Which is exactly what the Republicans have done.

As The New York Times put it: "Republicans are monolithically against the health-care legislation, leaving the president and his party executing parliamentary back flips to get it passed, conservatives revived, liberals wondering what happened."

The "party of no," as liberal commentators slagged the GOP, is unified in its opposition to what it calls big government but is in reality opposed to anything the Democrats want.

"Their goal," said Senate Democratic Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois, "is to slow down activity to stop legislation from passing in the belief that this will embolden conservatives in the next election and will deny the president a record of accomplishment."

During the early years of the Bush regime, the Senate was split 50-50. One can't help admire the unity of today's 41-vote minority.

What's the point of being a Democrat? When they lose, they let the other side have their way. When they win, they do the same.

Damn! I wish I were a Republican.

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