I forlængelse af med-Punditokrat Mchangamas post vedrørende Chris DeMuths fortrinlige artikel bør man iøvrigt også læse denne passage fra et indlæg fornylig af J.C. Watts, det nu fhv. Republikanske kongresmedlem, der var med i partiets ledelse i Repræsentanternes Hus, og som (bl.a. fordi han var sort og en kendt football-spiller og konservativ) var spået en stor politisk fremtid (men som nu er gået ind i konsulentbranchen):
“I was part of that wild and crazy Class of ’94 that shook the political landscape by taking over the House after more than 50 years of unfettered Democrat control. We came to Washington full of ideals and conviction. But sadly, what they say about absolute power is coming to reality in the 2005 GOP Washington. Republicans in just 10 years have developed the arrogance it took the Democrats 30 years to develop. But you know, in spite of the very real arrogance displayed by my party in Washington in the years since taking the House, Senate and White House, I firmly believe the Republicans have a real chance to rebound simply because our Democrat friends just don’t get it. Essentially, they believe the basic plan of getting their base to the polls, increasing Hispanic voters, and better communication will put them over the top. They believe their failures in these mechanical functions have cost them in the past decade.”
Fra “den anden side” har The New Republic også i denne uge nogle kritiske ord om Republikanerne–men (naturligvis uden J.C. Watts’ positive slutning. Det kunne man nok forvente, og givet hvorledes Demokraterne opførte sig frem til 1994, må man nok tage kritik dér fra med det kendte kilo salt. Men til gengæld er noget af det faktisk morsomt. Her er en passage fra tidsskriftets “guide til Republikanernes Washington DC”, nemlig 1. afsnit Forhistorien:
A History of GOP D.C.
The first major wave of conservative settlers, who arrived in the 1980s and 1990s, encountered an indigenous Democratic civilization in serious decline. Much like the Aztecs and the Incas, the Democrats had constructed impressive monuments like the Welfare State and Regulatory Policy. Under the reign of President Bill Clinton, however, they succumbed to the temptations of imperial power, abusing a primitive congressional banking system and seducing young interns. So the arrival of the new settlers, mostly Southerners and Midwesterners of Caucasian stock, coincided with momentous upheaval. One visionary immigrant, Tom DeLay from Sugar Land, Texas, had a plan for a new city of elegantly circuitous money trails and a grid that would link lobbyists to the Republican Party. The DeLay plan for modernizing the city is also known as the K Street Project, and it benefits from the simplicity of its intentions: Want to work with the Republicans? Then you’d better hire Republicans at your law firms and lobbying shops–and then donate your money to Grover Norquist, conservative 527s, and other GOP D.C. charities. Nobody had ever dared to think so transparently.
The DeLay vision couldn’t have come to fruition were it not for a stroke of luck. That luck came to Washington in the form of a failed energy executive, failed congressional candidate, and all-around late bloomer with a recognizable name and a refusal to compromise with himself. Together, Tom DeLay and George W. Bush (with the help of a plucky, can-do guy named Karl Rove) raised the city that has become a magnet for corporate lobbyists and tourists alike.
Visitors expecting to encounter a thriving civilization, however, will be disappointed. After a few hours of exploring, you will immediately recognize that GOP D.C. has taken an unfortunate turn. The city’s culture has come to resemble the old Democratic regime in its final days of decay. Take the fall of Jack Abramoff, a lobbyist who helped DeLay make his vision for the city a reality. Abramoff once bilked Indian tribes for $80 million and enticed congressmen with golf trips to Scotland and free meals at his restaurants. Now he’s facing prison. Or consider another popular attraction–the office of Vice President Dick Cheney. In the prelude to the Iraq war, intrepid tourists who enjoyed a good scare would travel here for warnings about mushroom clouds that might soon appear over GOP D.C. Adrenaline junkies now make the pilgrimage to the OVP on the off chance that they might glimpse Cheney or one of his aides trashing CIA analysts, former ambassadors, and other critics. But we suggest that you don’t let GOP D.C.’s air of decline and omnipresent indictments interfere with the pleasures of your visit. If you place yourself in the 2002 mindset of the city’s lobbyists or Republican congressmen, GOP D.C. can be a magical place.