Thursday, June 10, 2010

Political Endorsements and Party Affiliation

With a few days to go before the primary elections, endorsements in the Republican primary have been emerging.

For Tim Bridgewater, the first big endorsement came from former Senate Candidate Cherilyn Eager. Glen Warchol put it best when he posted in Salt Lake Crawler:
Cherilyn Eagar should help land the most distant right of Utah's conservative voters. Eagar says Bridgewater has "mature statesmanship," which apparently means he listens politely to her Utah County tin-foil hat crazy talk.
That "Utah County tin-foil hat crazy talk" quote made me spew milk out of my nose -- bravo Mr. Warchol. She was a favorite for some of the Sarah Palin-loving far-right members of the GOP and her endorsement of Bridgewater may bring some of her supporters to his camp.

The second big endorsement for Bridgewater came today when it was announced that soon-to-be former Senator Bennett will endorse Bridgewater's candidacy. While this endorsement may bring back some disenfranchised Bennett supporters, it may prove problematic with the far right of the GOP. Mike Lee has definitely seen the Bennett endorsement as a potential advantage trying to use the Bennett endorsement as evidence that Bridgewater will join in "politics as usual in Washington if he is elected" -- although I suspect that Mike Lee's apparent partisan style politics would be more of a problem for Utah than Bridgewater's more moderate approach.

Another blogger made an excellent point about endorsements an the partisanship that exists in our two party system. He quoted Washington and made the following observations:

In his 1792 farewell address Washington warned us on the dangers of political parties:

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the
spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and
countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful
despotism.

In my vision of "What would Washington do?" it would be exactly this on their first day in office: renounce being head of the Party. The Chief Executive, as our Supreme Court, should be above partisanship and the politicking of endorsement; and being the leader of a private political party does nothing to speak of representing the interests of ALL AMERICANS. While Washington might advocate the complete abolition of political parties, Executive declination of the leadership role while remaining part of the party would be a tremendous step in the right direction.

I am in complete agreement, but I wouldn't mind taking it to the level of Washington's warning. American politics has reached the despotism that Washington warned of in the farewell quote mentioned supra. By eliminating political parties American voters would be forced to examine candidates views and platforms rather closely, and we might be better at electing bright and innovative leaders and representatives. More importantly, partisanship would be a much more difficult political strategy to pursue in Congress -- representatives might actually take some time to analyze and truly debate bills that are brought to the floor rather than voting blindly on 2000 page bills at the urging of the prevailing party's leadership.

1 comment:

nacilbupera said...

Phillip:

Although we differ on the political spectrum, I appreciate your fair analysis on this issue of political parties as well as a thank you for the quote.