In a column by David Brooks (New York Times, Aug. 10, 2006), he offers the possibility of a ticket of John McCain and Joe Lieberman – alluding, of course, to these two politicians’ status as mavericks of their respective parties. Much of what Brooks offers is very interesting and, if pulled off, could certainly be the kind of draw for the average American as H. Ross Perot could have been way back in 1992. Brooks is trying to draw out the best of both parties while leaving the worst of both parties within their respective parties.
Again, this is all very intriguing in paper and in theory, but pulling it off is another matter. I believe that it can be done – but it’s going to take some very skilled and talented people to pull it off, because McCain and Lieberman’s reps as mavericks won’t be enough to sustain such an effort. I certainly support such an endeavor and I wish it well, because Brooks’ statements go along a lot with what I’ve been saying myself.
However, I will have to take a “wait and see” attitude toward this ticket. After all, when you take two separate bags of nuts and mix them together, you still end up with a bag of nuts. Remember, McCain and Lieberman ARE politicians, and politicians have the tendency toward jumping in front of parades rather than actually leading them.
And if I come across as snide or pessimistic, it’s because I’ve been let down before with Perot and the Reform Party. For this ticket to have any chance of succeeding, it MUST learn from the mistakes of the Reform Party. They must NOT try to be all things to all people, which was the Reform Party’s mistake. No tent can ever be that big. Brooks’ suggestions toward a party platform are a good start.
Anyone trying to organize such a party will need to really study the Reform Party to find out what it did right, and most importantly, what it did wrong. It must be its own party, and not merely the “anti-Democrat” or the “anti-GOP” party. Movements based on negatives have a way of collapsing. This new party must offer hope, not more rhetoric.
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