Ed Driscoll » Obama: Republicans ‘Gotta Sit in the Back’
Thirty years ago if any politician of any party at any level said anything as stupid as "They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back" a delegation of Elders would have walked into their office and said "You're through." Ever since 1968 all the brakes and checks have been removed from our political system. The old machines were terrible and corrupt and inefficient but they were supposed to do one thing right. Like the Parliamentary system the Clubhouse served to vet that is screen rising party operatives. Self interest served to motivate party bosses and other politicians to weed out the manifestly incompetent or delusional. Honesty was not the desired criteria but a degree of self control and the guile not to get caught were rewarded. The old system produced some spectacular failures but also had its successes. Harry Truman and Al Smith rose through the most corrupt machine politics but, even if you disagree with their policies, were far more effective and less gaffe prone than Obama.
The domination of politics by outside special interest groups and manipulators who specialize in crafting campaigns as if they were selling a media product is what has allowed untested mediocrities to rise. People like David Axelrod and special interest fundraisers like Emily's List work with advocacy groups, like the Tides Foundation, to control the Democratic Party and advance candidates. Thirty years ago they would have been viewed by the politicians as simple sources of money to be shaken down. Now the outsiders run the show and a politician's actual track record means little. In fact in both elective office and in appointed positions such as the Supreme Court having a paper trail that can be examined is considered a liability.
In their defense senior Republicans may be afraid that the Tea Party movement may expose the GOP to a similar wave of unqualified ticking bombs. It is important to focus the energies of the base into capturing local offices. This will serve not only to crowd out the breeding grounds of much of the money and many of the foot soldiers for the Democrats but will also provide for a tested cadre of office holders that the GOP can run for higher office.