You better watch out…

And no, I’m not talking about Santa.

Everyone has heard the cliche, those who do not learn from history are
doomed to repeat it. Mostly that old saw is nonsense. History
doesn’t repeat. Study it in even a cursory manner and you’ll see that
clearly. People, however, generally do make the same stupid mistakes
over and over again regardless of what historical period they live in.

Thus we have this
story from today
of [tag]Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich[/tag] who has been
arrested for blatantly shaking people down over various things,
including the appointment of President-Elect [tag]Barrack Obama[/tag]’s successor
in the [tag]US Senate[/tag].

The historical lesson that I’m hoping the [tag]Democratic Party[/tag] learns from
is that of the Republican Party of the Reconstruction period following
the [tag]US Civil War[/tag]. [tag] Republicans[/tag] held sway over practically the entire
US government for 9 years following the end of the Civil War. They
did so primarily because theirs was the party of victory in that war –
the party of loyalty to the Union. When a Republican ran against a
Democrat for an office all the Republican needed to do to discredit
his opponent was call the man a traitor, and it worked. It stopped
working in 1874 for a number of reasons. One of the big ones, and the
one that put the [tag]GOP[/tag] at a significant political disadvantage for
decades afterward was rampant corruption.

One of the greatest military leaders in US History, [tag]Ulysses Grant[/tag],
became President in 1869 and has gone down in history as one of the
worst, if not the worst, chief executives this country has ever had.
That evaluation is mostly based on the hot and cold running corruption
in his Administration that he was never able to get control over. The
Grant Administration sold influence like no other in our history. It
is also based on the horrid mismanagement of the first economic
depression in US history. These two events led to the Democrats
(remember, these folks were literally traitors to the Union and
defeated combatants in a recent civil war) retaking Congress in 1874.

Part of the problem for President Grant was his unwillingness to
denounce the members of his Administration or party who were caught
with their hands in the cookie jar. By refusing to come out against
people who had clearly broken the law and the public trust he lost the
confidence of the public and was viewed as a political puppet by the
news media and portrayed as such often by his political opponents.
One of the weaknesses of the current Democratic Party is their history
of being lead like puppies by lobbyists and political donors. In 1994
the GOP knocked the Democrats out of their majority in the House by
successfully branding the Dems as crooks and liars. One of the
weaknesses of the GOP in the last two Congressional elections was
their own recent tendency to let the donors and the lobbyists call the
shots.

If Barrack Obama, and the rest of the Democratic Party leadership,
hope to maintain control over the government beyond the next
Congressional mid-term elections they will need to make sure that
Blagojevich and anyone else who conducts their affairs in a less than
scrupulous manner in the Party is not only rooted out but also
ridiculed and vilified. Otherwise the American people will most
likely choose another “change” in 2010.

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