Maybe you don't know what I mean by a "professional politico", so let me paint a picture first.... chances are they claim to be from a particular state... but the truth is they are more at home within the District of Columbia than Pope Benedict is at St. Peter's. If you attempt to be so presumptuous as to discuss politics with them, a pall drops over their face, they get this smirk and non-verbally say "Oh! How cute! This simpleton from a fly-over state is trying to talk about politics... isn't that just precious? I best nod and appear concerned, after all... it's a potential vote."
Of course, since they come from DC, they don't have the integrity to say it out loud, so they do their best to cover an overflowing sense of contempt and condescending arrogance. But only the true masters like Bill Clinton can accomplish this successfully without giving away the loathing within. For the record, Ken Salazar has a GREAT DEAL of learning to do in this arena. They will respond to you in answers learned by rote and entirely vented and politically correct. I've found one of the easiest ways to identify a "ProPol" is to measure just how glib and spontaneous these responses sound. In short, however, you will be talked down to for a period of 2.5 seconds through brilliant white teeth and an all-too-Cheshire like smile. For the most part, you walk away feeling embarrassed, very humbled, and a growing sense that maybe the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Carlyle Group, the Rockefellers or some other shadow government really DOES control Washington D.C. After all... why would someone like you - a fairly well read, informed, and passionate individual with a true love of American civics and history be so summarily dismissed as a "know-nothing."
Another dead giveaway of a ProPol is the impassionate, cold, and unflappable "businesslike" demeanor. Like David Gergan they don't seem to have a passion for one party or another, one ideology or another... they are a corporate cog whoring themselves out to their particular party out of convenience or career-path-of-greatest-potential. (see: Alec Newbery in "St. Elmo's Fire") To them, government is nothing more a chess game involving competing poll numbers, sound bites, and pawns called "voters." IT'S ALL calculations and mathematics... x-number of votes here, subtract y and multiply by pi divided by the number of likely voters.... gives you the outcome. Don't refer to Jefferson, Monroe, or Henry Clay unless it directly effects the equation. They're nothing more than old dead guys and only useful if repeating their quotes can attract a demographic voter bloc and gain you more pawns in your game.
I am left with the distinct impression that to their way of thinking:
A citizen is NOT important in any shape or form except that they can give you a vote, in which case they are called a "voter." "Voter" is actually Washingtonese for "ignorant pawn that is used to obtain victory."
"A citizen is not the basis of this country as Thomas Jefferson so naively dreamed. A citizen is an ignorant, malleable, foolish variable. If you believe that this is a country based upon the ingenuity, the passion, the imagination and hard work of free individuals, of citizens, then you best wake up, son! 'Cause you're deluded into thinking your opinion matters and your hard work is significant."
"Leave the governing to us, you're not qualified."
And this is from the REPUBLICAN ProPol's I've met!
So give me a moment in my frustration to point out the greatest flaws in the Republican Party of 2006 as I see them.
1. A party run by ProPols, not unlike those described above. Our leaders need to pay heed to Newt Gingrinch's passion for the individual American citizen. The value he (like Jefferson) placed in the "American" rather than one voter bloc or another.
2. Didn't ANYONE teach these supposedly learned men how to identify a fallacy in an argument, call it for what it is, and address the TURE issue at hand?
3. Allowing the Democrats to frame the debate. A perfect example is the Valerie Plame "outing." Scooter Libby was a whistle blower - pointing out that Joe Wilson was terribly unqualified for the trip to Niger and only got that paid vacation through familial contacts. THAT is where the debate should have been. Instead, through their silence and "taking the bait" to discuss whether Valerie Plame was "outed" out of vengeance... they completely missed the debate that SHOULD have been discussed... Joe Wilson should never have gone on that trip in the first place. Another example? During the impeachment of Bubba Clinton Republicans allowed the phrase of the moment to be "high crimes and misdemeanors" as pushed by the Democrats. Did anyone ONCE mention "ethical"? What Clinton did was HIGHLY unethical! Prove the lack of ethics and you've proven a "misdemeanor." By not framing the discussion, the GOP was left with splitting hairs on legal definitions.
False Premise: "The Clinton impeachment was all about
sex, sex, sex." No, it was about sexual harassment, lying to a grand jury,
and obstruction of justice.
Ad hominem: "Bush mispronounces 'nuclear' and constantly speaks
malapropisms, so he's an idiot" No, many great men in history have been
brilliant, but poor public speakers
Appeal to Anonymous Authority: "Experts say Bush stole the 2000 election" No, actually the Washington Post concluded that Gore would only have won had one UNASKED FOR recount taken place. The four recount methods used ALL would have awarded the election to GW Bush in varying degrees.
Fallacy Of The Crucial Experiment: "There were no WMD's in Iraq." As I
have pointed out in a previous post, over 20 MIG fighters were found buried in
the Iraqi sand. There is NO proof that 35-gallon drums of VX or Sarin
chemicals are not similarly buried in the sand.
There are so many more examples... but since the GOP can't identify the most obvious, there seems to be little point in going further
4. Hey, guys! It's the DEMOCRAT Party, NOT the DEMOCRATIC party. By letting THIS slip a few hundred times a day, you are allowing an Orwellian rewrite to subtly tell Americans that the Democrats are democratic... which is a laughable concept. Repeat something enough times... and soon people will associate the democratic elections in Iraq with the Democrats. Again, laughable.
5.The biggest difference between the Republican Party and the Democrat Party? Democrats place loyalty above ethics. Republicans have to look up the word "loyalty" in the dictionary. Don't believe me? The only reason Clinton wasn't convicted during the impeachment was that Democrats were willing to ignore the unethical actions and vote their loyalty over their morals. Loyalty on the side of the GOP? Ask Gingrich, Lott, Nunn, and now Delay. Most Republicans don't "eat their own" any more, they just cut them loose and let the sharks have 'em. McCain, however still eats other Republicans.
6. Doesn't ANYONE in the Republican Party remember the 11th Commandment?
7. Identify Democrat hypocrisy just ONCE! Please! John Kerry was a "war hero" and Bob Dole WASN'T? George Bush Sr. WASN'T? For 8 years the Dems praised a draft dodger as the 2nd coming (no pun intended) and then in 2004 "War Hero" meant something to them? I never ONCE heard this hypocrisy called out for what it was. Nor have I heard ONE Republican mention that those who are saying Judge Alito "should respect precedent" re: Roe v. Wade - are the SAME ones ignoring 200 years of precedent by even threatening a filibuster of a judicial nominee.
8. What's the difference between Zell Miller and John McCain? One is a moderate with integrity, strong convictions, and a backbone who speaks from his heart and the other is running for President in 2008
9. STOP prepping GW Bush before appearances! Just STOP it right now! When GW is speaking extemporaneously and off-the cuff, he mangles words and shows his emotions. This allows his true beliefs, candor, and passion to show forth, and is exactly why many of us voted for him! He is most effective when his words are his own and heartfelt. When he's prepped he looks stilted and uncomfortable. Didn't you guys learn ANYTHING from the first two 2004 debates????
With the Professional Politicos running the party, it's AMAZING we've kept the House, the Senate, The White House and the Governorships that we HAVE!