I didn’t used to pay a lot of attention to politics. For a third of a century or more I was a pretty good Republican. I voted for the man, not the party (and no, there weren’t any women), but it always turned out to be GOP.

What first drove me away from the party, fat old white guy that I am, was the insanity of the post-9/11 wars. What’s kept me away from the party is their insane obstructionism. Everybody says both sides do it, but that’s not true. Or, what’s true is that both sides did it on occasion, and neither side did it as a basic part of their self-image. It was a tactic, not a strategy. The danger, as the doctors say, is in the dosage. What might be healthful and restorative in small doses (excuse me while I make a quick trip to the wine cellar) can become deadly when it’s all you consume, or when it becomes all-consuming.

John Cole, over at Balloon Juice, has an interesting item on this same topic. In it, he does a thought experiment on what the Dems might have done to block the 2003 Medicare drug legislation. Might have done, but didn’t.

That “but didn’t” is the reason I continue to vote Democratic, despite the fact that I fall squarely in the center of the GOP’s natural constituency. One of the things I’ve realized is that, while it’s important to vote for the person, you have to look beyond them, at the behavior that will emerge because that person is a member of a specific party.


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