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They’re not all Dems

rainey BARRETT


In recent days, several readers have responded to these irregular musings with decidedly different views – most of which are quite welcome. We keep putting words and thoughts on the old computer machine in hopes of getting readers to think about various issues. Think their own thoughts – not necessarily the views and opinions on the screen. So when others give feedback, I’m exposed to different – mostly welcome – views.

Notice the “mostly welcome” exception. The “un-welcomed” aren’t such because they aren’t well-expressed or vastly different. No, the most aggravating are those that jump to assumptions not written or indicated – assumptions that if I’m not “this” then I’ve got to automatically be “that.” Attempts to label. Which are wrong much of the time.

Two fallacies show up a lot. One is that what’s on the screen with my name attached is necessarily fact – which it sometimes is. But often, it’s opinion. My opinion. The second misconception is if I’m castigating Democrats then I must be a Republican. Or, if I’m chewing on the GOP, I’m automatically a Dem. As a registered Oregon Independent, neither is true.

One reader wrote awhile back that he wanted to be taken off the “subscription list” because “if I want a Democratic Central Committee newsletter, I’ll subscribe.” Needless to say, he was responding to a piece that was highly critical of Republicans. Not all Republicans. Just the 50 or so trying desperately to gut our federal government.

He noticed – as have many others – that GOP members of Congress – at least some of them – are often cast in these musing as cancerous growths on the body politic. Since that depiction is not an unusual occurrence – and not entirely wrong – the “obvious conclusion,” is that said scribe is a “bad ol’ Democrat.” Ironically, the critic was a professional journalist, too.

Well, this scribe found it interesting that – on the very same day as this latest mislabeling and faulty logic was emailed to me – Mitt Romney was talking to a group of Eastern Republican donors and party officials. His message was very clear. And very similar – though maybe more muted – to thoughts expressed here a day or two earlier.

Romney, following his election defeat some months before, was warning those 50 or so Republicans wanting to shutter our government that – if they succeed – the GOP will lose badly in 2014 national elections. He wisely said the Party should return to its traditional roots of support for business, lower taxes and the rest. Further, Romney predicted, if his Party didn’t support immigration reform, “Democrats will win big.” Again.

Romney’s not alone. Many top Republicans are forcefully carrying the same message to the same obstructionists. Knock off this right-wing suicide mission and get behind the elephant you used to get yourselves on the ballot. Romney and his peers are doing what House Speaker Boehner won’t. Shut the idiots down and get to work on a real Republican Party agenda. Stop the 42 efforts to kill Obamacare which will never succeed. Stop screwing over women, Hispanics, Blacks and other minorities. Stop playing to an ever-diminishing old, white base while ignoring a racially evolving electorate. Hear! Hear!

To be critical of the Republican Party these days doesn’t automatically make one a Democrat. If that were true, 86% of Americans fed up with what’s happening – or NOT happening – in Congress would be called “Democrats.” They’re not, of course.

Even thinking Republicans are fed up with the crazy ideologues – and others like them – dragging the Party off the right-most edge of their square earth. It’s not that Democrats are doing everything right or being entirely responsible or providing superb leadership. They aren’t. But loudmouth Republican crazies in Congress aren’t being challenged – or even disciplined – by their own party elders. The good works both parties could be doing are being mucked up by a small group that needs to be exorcized. Banished!

Republicans control the U.S. House of Representatives. At the moment. And that’s where you’ll find the bulk of our political mess. To intelligent folks, criticism of what’s happening there can come from a thinking Democrat – or a thinking Republican – or even a thinking Independent.

There’s no need – or excuse – for misplaced labels. Which are most often wrong anyway.

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