A Political Wish List for the Holidays
The retail stores, despite the greatest economic slump since the Great Depression (we are told), were busy this weekend. There are plenty of sales, but the important things I could hope for can't be found, discounted or not, on store shelves. Aside from good health and world peace, my list would include some items that feature extra helpings of political nostalgia and just desserts.
For starters, I'd like to have close political races in which the loser concedes promptly and gracefully. Al Gore bequeathed us not just environmental hysteria, but a new electoral tradition of heading to the courts after close contests. Norm Coleman appears to have won, but won't "win" until the last court denies the final challenge and Sen. Harry Reid is convinced no good will come from sitting Al Franken by legislative fiat. This is a harmful and regrettable pattern which breeds ill will, paranoia, and litigation -- an unholy trinity if there ever was one.
Next, I'd like a ban on "whither conservatism?" -- and also "more or less God?" -- columns. At some point pundits really need to get out of the way and let political leaders (ah, the people who run races and govern) find their own way. It matters not at all whether Kathleen Parker wants less religiosity. It matters much more whether Bobby Jindal can balance budgets and create a political following. Pundits really don't pick the 2012 frontrunners; the voters do -- in three years. (So ditto on the Sarah Palin "savior or curse?" missives. She'll sink or swim on her own merits.)
After that I would like some straight talk on the auto bailout. How many congressmen drive GM cars? What's the salary of the head of the UAW? How much did Big Labor give to the Democratic chairs of the committees which held hearings? You know, the important stuff. And better yet, how many cars would GM have to sell to pay back $10 billion in taxpayer "loans"? $100 billion?
Once we have that in our shopping basket, I'd like the repeal of McCain-Feingold. We've seen the demise of public financing as we know it thanks to the billion-dollar campaign of Barack Obama. And now we should see the end of the myriad of restrictions, limitations, and anti-free speech requirements that have made our electoral system a playground for lawyers. We might actually see this gift, now that Democrats have learned to love one free market, the market of campaign fundraising.