Quote of the Day:
It is easy to understand why there would be pent-up resentments among Republican voters. But are elections held for the purpose of venting emotions?
–Thomas Sowell at Investor's Business Daily
The Republican hopefuls will engage in their second debate tomorrow night at the Reagan Library. CNN will host. Do you have questions you'd like to have answered?
CNN contributor and Princeton professor Julian Zelizer puts for his in a CNN article headlined "Six Questions for a Republican Debate." Actually, the headline should have been "Six Loaded Questions for a Republican Debate."
Here are three: Will you liberalize immigration policy or follow nativist path? How will you repair the political process? Can Republicans govern?
The one on reparing the political system is explained in a way that makes it clear that Mr. Zelizer has slept through the last six years.
Rip van Zelizer goes on about "lobbyists" and "special interests," which are important, no doubt, but fail to take note of the real damage that has been done to our political system over the last years and that either can or can't be repaired.
That's what I want to ask the candidates about.
Have we learned over the last six years that there is no constitutional remedy if a president wants to do something and is willing and daring enough to pull the levers of raw power to get it? President Obama has just gotten his way on a nuclear deal with Iran that a majority in Congress and, if polls are to be believed, the public fear. Congress made a tepid attempt to have some say, but the Corker-Cardin bill, ironically, greased the way for the president's getting what he wanted.
The Iran treaty–which the president designated not-a-treaty, because he knew that he could not get a treaty through Congress is just one example. Over the last six years, we have learned that there is no stopping a president who wants what he wants and will do anything to get it. We have learned this and it will be difficult, if not impossible, to unlearn this. Are we now dependent on the will of the president, and we must merely hope that our leader is benign and well-intended? Or are their remedies to repair the damage? If there are remedies, why were they not found in the Obama years?
This question could be asked almost with Zelizer's words about repairing the political process, but leaving out the lobbyists which are highly detrimental but a sideshow when you have a president unrestrained by any hint of checks and balances. There is a ruder way to ask the question, however: Are we on the way to becoming a banana republic, and, if so, is there any way to halt the process.
Candidates who say we are not engaged in the bananification of a great republic must then explain why there were no remedies to a lawless administration in the last six years. I'm all ears.
Voters are angry but anger is no substitute for knowing about our history, constitutional system, and trying to ascertain who might make the best president. The American electorate has twice chosen President Obama. I will close with some quotes from Sowell's column:
What is even more remarkable is that, after six years of repeated disasters, both domestically and internationally, under a glib egomaniac in the White House, so many potential voters are turning to another glib egomaniac to be his successor.
. . .
Despite many people who urge us all to vote, as a civic duty, the purpose of elections is not participation. The purpose is to select individuals for offices, including president of the United States. Whoever has that office has our lives, the lives of our loved ones and the fate of the entire nation in his or her hands.