And you think I’m tough on the Mainstreamers….

I just got my free copy of the Dakota Voice Newspaper run by Bob Ellis out in Rapid City. I had requested my copy because I wanted to read what they had to say about the Mainstream coalition. The teaser on their website read “The Mainstream Coalition – What’s the real agenda?” So I bit, and got my copy.

It was literally 2 full newspaper pages of article on the coalition, specifically with Mainstream Coalition Chairman Mel Olson, and Executive Director Ed Olson.

It’s way too long to completely reproduce here, and I expect it will be fully reproduced on the Dakota Voice website shortly. But for the sake of piquing your interest in the article, here’s a snippet:
On the issue of abortion, Mel Olson said, “The important thing about the abortion debate is not whether abortion is legal. It’s how the debate is carried forward, and how a legal right is limited. The mainstream coalition would say if it’s answered in a constitutional way, in a civil debate, well, then, okay, majority rules. But to say the majority rules simply because they have more numbers and can do what ever they want to, that’s tyranny, that is not democracy.”
Did we all get that? Majority rules in a debate, but if the majority does it because they have more numbers and can do whatever they want, it’s tyranny. (Then what the heck is majority rule, anyway?)

Ed Olson got stuck with the technical questions of the separation of religion and the state. Much of it was based on historical quotes and in what context the organization viewed them. Ugh. That run of questions was kind of a no-win situation, as the Dakota Voice is a very conservative Christian publication, and I don’t know if any answer agreed with the paper’s philosophy.

To their credit, I did think both Olson (the olson twins?) did a reasonable job in distancing themselves from the radical views of the Kansas version of the group.

I thought it was a good article, although it tended towards drawing conclusions for the reader as opposed to letting us make up our own minds. Like the posting title alludes to, I thought the article was pretty tough on them on the basis of the group’s beliefs on the separation of church and state.

I personally didn’t agree with that approach because my grief with the group is not based on philosophy. Do I agree with most of what they say? No. But my opposition is based on my contention that I do not see how it empowers the Republican Party. How does it make the GOP stronger for those Republicans to, in effect, take their toys and go play elsewhere? If anything, I consider it as a dividing movement which will stifle debate.

If you take moderate elements out of the party, how do they expose the rest of us to new ideas within the intra-party framework? And the same goes for conservatives. If they left the framework of the party, where is the drive to keep government off the people’s backs?

I say the Democrats love this movement because they know it splits the GOP, and that’s why they openly embrace it.

That’s my concern and my objection. You as a reader can make up your own mind.

For those of you who want to read more on the article, click here to get your free copy of the Dakota Voice, or click here to subscribe, and watch the Dakota Voice website for the full article, which should be coming soon.


Chad said…
PP ... I can understand your concerns about the GOP being split, but I'm not sure I understand how differences of opinion "stifle debate".

What I see, and of course you can take this with a grain of salt, is the current incarnation of the GOP kind of wants to operate under the "my way or the highway" philosophy.

It is inevitable that such a philosophy will divide a party, GOP or Dem. They can only sustain it for so long before a segment within a party raises a stink. That's what I think we're seeing here.

And in Mel Olson's defense, and I can't speak for him, but I think what I would have said, and what he perhaps meant was that a majority opinion in the country may win out, but that doesn't mean they should ignore the rights of the minority. What we have seen in Pierre and Washington is a GOP that is arrogant and wants to completely ignore the opinions of a substantial minority (and indeed sometimes a majority) on controversial issues where no semblence of a consensus exists.

And I know the answer to the Dems problems with this is not to whine, but rather win elections.

I just hope that when Democrats do hold a majority they don't behave the way Republicans have on some of these controversial issues. While I wouldn't blame them, I would probably be embarrased.
PP said…
chad -

I meant that if they take their toys and go away, that's going to stifle intra-party debate because they aren't there to participate.

I want them at the table, not off on their own.

If they think there is a GOP party problem, and they aren't in the party being part of a solution, well, it's never going to be fixed, is it?

Popular posts from this blog

Why should we be surprised?

That didn't take long