Archive for November, 2008

Mandates?

I’ve been a registered Republican for all of my adult life, but for more than a decade I’ve wished there was something that suited my sensibilities better. I’m not alone in that. It becomes clearer every year. The message came with such a resounding boom this election that pundits are once again talking “mandate”, this time for the other party.

I live in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. We gave the nation Newt Gingrich. I voted for Newt every time he came up for election, but I felt less good about it each time and will never trust him again. I took it personally when he quit with comments about no longer having the “mandate”. I was part of the constituency who elected him to represent me and he threw away my vote when he quit. He didn’t warn me that he required a “mandate” in order to actually serve the position he was elected to.

I felt another sting when I wrote to his replacement Johnny Isakson to tell him that the Endangered Species Act was important to me. He is an impressive orator and my Realtor’s Association was very happy to have a fellow Realtor in office, but my feelings of association came to an abrupt end when the response from his office sounded like a slap on the wrist. I don’t tow anyone’s party line so I don’t expect that the politicians I support will agree with me on every issue. Still, I was put off by the lack of recognition that there was at least a public relations component to the responses that come from Mr. Isakson’s office and I don’t identify with the level and quality of the rhetoric I’ve observed for those of his public appearances that I’ve seen. From time to time I see Mr. Gingrich on television again too. In a recent interview he was talking about taking a long hard look at how the Republican Party has lost so much popular support. I wished that I could reach through the screen and hand him a mirror or replay for him some of his own bluster from the days when the thought he held a mandate.

I think Arnold Schwarzenegger hit the nail on the head this weekend in an interview with George Stephanopoulos. He said that the Republican Party wasn’t giving the people what they wanted. Then he listed a lot of things that people care about and they were things that I do indeed care about. He also said that people care about issues, not party rhetoric and competition. This is the whole story from my point of view. What is yours?
We are about to have a run off election here in Georgia. On one hand, the Republican Party has my registration, but not my heart. On the other, I have grown leery of the games that politicians play when anyone gets it into their head that they have a “mandate”.  What will you consider when you cast your vote?