Monday, September 21, 2009

Manipulating Democracy

Karl Rove imagined a Republican Party permanently in control of Washington, and so powerful that it could implement its policies at will. He used some rather foul methods in pursuit of that “utopia,” and corrupted the White House and the office of President in the process. Ultimately he failed, in part because he is just not very smart.

Barack Obama doesn’t have a Karl Rove, at least we know of none and have no reason to suspect David Axelrod of being a Democratic version of one. (Although I consider Axelrod to be a rather slimy person and hit the fast forward key whenever he appears on my television screen. I watch Barack Obama with respect and enjoyment.)

Obama, however, does have his proclivity for meddling in local politics for the furtherance of Democratic Party power purposes. Attywood provides details of Obama telling the New York Governor not to run for reelection, trying to prevent a primary challenge for the newly-appointed New York Senator when she runs for election, and providing a heavy-handed support for Arlen Specter, Republican-turned-Democrat, in his campaign against loyal Democrat Joe Sestak.

None of this is supporting Democrats against Republicans (in one case it’s actually supporting a Republican in Democratic clothing against an actual Democrat), it’s the President working in primary election political machinery to deny primary voters of a choice. He is actually trying to keep Democrats from running in the Democratic primary election. His reason for this is to the effect that “divisive” primary elections weaken the Democratic Party, and that by running the primaries without competition the party will be better able to implement his policies.

Well two things. I seem to recall the Democratic Party Primary for the office you hold as being pretty competitive, and it looks like you still beat John McCain rather handily.

More importantly, as Attywood points out, democracy is an end in itself; not a means to be manipulated in pursuit of implementing the particular policies you favor. That was Karl Rove’s ideal and method of operation. It failed, as it richly deserved to do.

1 comment:

  1. bruce1:43 PM

    Ok, I know about some of this, esp the NY gov thing. I don't think Obama (or anyone else) should be meddling in politics the way this is happening. It political manipulation of the process of democray, designed to creates partisan divisions, perhaps even worse than we have now. For what?


    Not democracy
    Not "for the people"
    Not to create an even playing field

    I'm glad Karl Rove failed, and I hope this does too.