Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Republican leadership has lost it's way

Republicans are not bad people. Many Republican principles are good and respectable principles.

It's too bad that the modern day Republican leadership doesn't follow any of them.

This article from the Post Star is a prime example of how skewed Congressman John Sweeney's priorities are and it is fairly typical of the modern day national Republican party as a whole.

Last Friday a vicious storm ripped through upstate New York causing widespread tree damage and power outages. I arrived home that evening to find a tree down across my road and another down across my driveway. But we were lucky and had power. I had driven through a couple of communities on the way home that were completely in the dark. My sister and the whole city of Saratoga Springs were without power for a couple of days. National Grid had it's hands full in this large rural district getting to all the downed trees and downed lines, in order to restore power. Local unions site cut backs, "downsizing", as part of the reason for the delays in restoring service.

And what does John Sweeney do? He interferes with this already stressed utility on behalf of ski resorts rather than on behalf of the people of the 20th Congressional District.

Now I am all for helping business and don't want to see any business losing money due to power outages. But when seniors and families are trying to survive in sub-freezing temperatures without heat or electricity, many of them in rural areas where no electricity means no working water pump, then your priorities are completely screwed up.

Kudos to Moriah Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava for recognizing where our elected officials priorities ought to be... with the people, especially the most vulnerable like our seniors, that elected them to represent them in government. He rightly criticed Sweeney, a member of his own party, for getting in the way and prolonging the problem as a result.

"I had 5,000 people without power, and they're worried about a ski center? I can't believe that," said Scozzafava, who contacted The Post-Star to complain.

But John Sweeney has never understood that his job is to serve the people of this district. His record shows clearly that it is his belief that a Congressmans job is to serve himself.

This is typical of Republican leadership at the national and state level today. Being business friendly is all well and good. Cutting taxes for the sake of cutting taxes is all well and good. But elected officials jobs are to serve the needs of their constituents. Governments job is to provide services to the communities and people they represent.

The national Republican party is all about a dog eat dog, every man for himself, world.

We are better than that. Americans are better than that. We believe in community. We believe in helping our neighbors. This isn't solely a Democratic trait. All the good, decent Republicans I know believe in this too. Neighbors help neighbors. Communities pitch in together to solve problems they share and to help the needy amongst them even if they don't share their problems. This is what Americans believe and do.

Todays national Republican party, so typically represented by John Sweeney, is hardly recognizable anymore. They have lost their way. They don't represent America. They don't even represent Republicans anymore.

1 comment:

Van said...

You wrote:
"It's too bad that the modern day Republican leadership doesn't follow any of them."

Oh for the days of traditional Republicans! The people in office, many of them anyway, are not really Repbulicans, at least not in the traditional sense. They are Neocons.
There is a world of difference.

Thanks for this insightful post.