Anyone who makes a big deal of being a political centrist can't be trusted with important issues. On MSNBC's Morning Joe this morning, they showed a clip of Michael Bloomberg and Joe Scarborough talking to Harvard students, moderated by John Meacham. I almost threw my coffee cup at the monitor.
What Scarborough and Bloomberg were attempting to teach the college students is one of the most dangerous political lessons than can be taught in our present political environment. First, they used Rush Limbaugh's statement that he wants Obama to fail as an example of unpatriotic partisanship. Both Bloomberg and Scarborough stated that a president should be backed and that no one should hope the president fails. Scarborough said he has many disagreements with the president, but he doesn't hope the president fails. Then, Scarborough hopes the president succeeds.
What does it mean for the president to succeed? If the president passes his agenda and does the things he wants to do to fundamentally transform America, then he succeeds. Obama has said that his preference for healthcare is single payer and that the present reform is the first step to get there -- these are Obama's plans. Obama wants cap and trade and card check. Obama wants to accomplish an agenda which will give the government much more control over Wall Street, healthcare and energy producition and use, just to name a few major goals for change.
Limbaugh said, over and over, explaining his point many times, that he wants Obama's progressive agenda to fail. Scarborough and Bloomberg know that this is what Limbaugh meant, and it's the only way the president can fail -- to not accomplish the policy objectives he sets out to accomplish. If we fail in other areas which are outside the president's control, then these failures are a national failure, or a failure of congress, or of the courts, or of the private sector. But anyone who disagrees with Obama's political agenda should hope he fails to get them passed, otherwise, our ideas mean nothing, and any ideas of a current president are fine -- we should hope he/she succeeds. They can't say it's mean they hope the president succeeds in some general way, because success entails the particulars of his political agenda.
Teaching students that their policial ideas should be subjugated to the prevailing political party out of patriotic duty to support a president is the most harmful lesson anyone can teach. This statist/nationalistic combination is dangerous. Young people don't have to be taught to question authority, they do it naturally but trying to inculcate these lesons in the young is abhorable -- it is possible to indoctrinate people over a period of time. This is the route to a mediocre, intellectually-stunted nation filled with "proper" citizens of the State. These ideas are remnants of a monarchy where subjects honor the wishes of a King.
Bloomberg and Scarborough are Republicans, statist Republicans who claim centrism as a way to maintain a political status quo which shares State power. As our nation begins to wake up to the creative power of the private realm, hopefully freed from the grasp of an interventionist government which teaches obedience to and undeserved respect for State power, the main lesson going forth is that values are important. True liberal values, classical liberal values, are the lifeblood of all great, free and creative societies, and the absence of classical liberal values is what has caused the decline and fall of great societies, the Greeks, The Romans, the British, and Americans, if we continue to destroy these values and replace them with the statist values of obedience and unthinking loyalty to authority. Scarborough and Bloomberg can scream this is not what they meant, but it's what they were saying. We need clear ideas and direction, not platitudes and general, smiley-face bipartisanship.
(BTW, when asked if he'd consider running for president, Scarborough is open to the idea -- I report, you decide)