A Small Plea to the Right: Vote Left in 2006
Here’s the thing. We’ve got ourselves a Republican President who likes to whiz all over the Constitution; really, he just likes to whip out Lil’ Dubya and make a splatter tinkle all over James Madison’s handiwork. Then he looks over to the Republican Congressional leadership, which says “that’s a right pretty tinkle, Mr. President,” and hands him a six-pack so he can reload. And while they’re doing their little Andres Serrano act on the founding document, they’re holding back a reserve for your basic Republican ideals of individual freedom, fiscal responsibility and smaller government. You see how this might be a problem.
As Republican voters, I figure you’ve got two choices when you step into the voting booth today. You can either get pissed on, or you can get pissed off. And if you choose the latter — if you decide it might be important that your Republican leaders actually act like Republicans, and also treat the Constitution as something other than a nice absorbent blotter for their processed beer — you might consider doing what it appears so many others are going to do this year and give your vote to the Democrats.
“But wait,” I hear you say. “Won’t voting for a Democrat make me a Democrat? Won’t it scald my flesh? Won’t the ground open up underneath me and tumble me into a hellish chasm where Susan Sarandon and Barbra Streisand savage my nether regions with a strap-on that looks just like Al Franken?”
Absolutely not! Nothing could be further from the truth. First off, the strap-on actually looks like John Kerry (his chin massages your prostate!). But you don’t get invited to The Pit until the second time you vote Democrat. So you’re safe. Try not to be too disappointed. Second, and rather more importantly, voting Democrat in this case doesn’t make you a Democrat. Far from it — it makes you a better Republican, one who recognizes that the likelihood of Republican party reforming itself and re-embracing genuine Republican principles without being booted on its ass is roughly the same as, say, Al Gore waxing poetic about the health advantages of breathing coal dust. By voting Democratic, you’re letting the GOP know that you think it would be nice if it stopped being the party of swelling deficits and shrinking individual rights and got back to what it says it believes in.
Third, let’s be honest: Even the wettest of their dreams, the Democrats won’t be getting anything close to a veto-proof majority. Yes, they’ll whoop and holler and Nancy Pelosi will sacrifice a goat or whatever it is that she does, and then the Democrats will get all misty about their big plans. But without a veto-proof majority, they’re mostly harmless for the next two years. That’s enough time for the GOP to tear itself apart in a fury of bitter recrimination, crawl out of the bloody ruins re-energized and then take a rock to the skulls of those unwary Democrats in 2008. Foolish pinkos! They’ll never see it coming! Where’s your goat now, Speaker Pelosi?
Now, believe me, Republicans, I sympathize with you. I’m sure it will be hard to pull the lever for the party of Bill and Hillary, and to know that for the next two years, somewhere in Hollywood, Sean Penn is giggling like a bisexual Wesleyan freshman inhaling his first whippet. But, listen: you’re not doing it for Sean, or for that Wesleyan bisexual. You’re doing it for the idea of separation of powers, for congressional oversight of the executive, and for a re-establishment of the genuine ideological principles of the GOP. You’re doing it for the good of the nation and your party. And anyway, that’s why it’s a secret ballot. Go ahead and lie to your friends and the exit polls. It’s all right. Like that night in college with that lacrosse player, no one has to know.
Just give it some thought, is all I’m saying. About the voting, that is, not the lacrosse player (save that for later). Consider whether the Republican party you have now is the Republican party you signed on for, and the one you want to lead the country. If it’s not, help to make it become the right party for the right side of the political spectrum. Vote Democrat in 2006.