Sunday, March 31, 2013

Back to the Republican future?


By Bill Kraus

The Republican Party has said it wants to clean up its act and strengthen its appeal to certain large segments of society that are important to electoral success in 2013 America.

This is easier said than done.

In the not-too-distant past the Republicans were respected for their competence. They knew how to make things work. In a long ago interview with the redoubtable then-WPR host Tom Clark I asserted that the party I joined in my youth while not always beloved could always fall back on this reputation. “What if things aren’t running well when they are in charge?” he asked. “This assumption is so strong,” I replied, “that the contention that things would be even worse if they weren’t in charge” was pretty much accepted.

Along with this not-inconsequential virtue and talent, the party was expected to be and was both frugal and mildly libertarian.

Then along came segmentation and the “wedge” strategy.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

One out of three would be good


By Bill Kraus

I have observed more than once that Lincoln's famous claim that we have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people is no longer true.

A reading of Jon Meacham's book on Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, suggests that it never was.

The revolution that created the government that Lincoln described was fomented by the colony's elite whose rights and privileges were unjustifiably and wrongly curtailed and restricted by the overreaching British. The new government they created was run by that same often contentious elite.

As it developed and matured a bureaucracy came in to run things. The bureacracy was chosen, directed and overseen by the elite.

So what we got over time was a government of the elite, by the bureaucracy, and for the people. The people batted .333. Not unlike baseball, this was more than satisfactory.