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Tuesday, July 1

What is a Ben Tre Republican?

I've come up with a new term to describe myself and my political affiliation ("Pants-Down Republican" required too much explanation, as well as having unfortunate Larry Craig connotations).

Ben Tre is a province in southern Vietnam, and has its own entry in Wikipedia concerning a curious type of logic. While a village was being destroyed during the Vietnam War, a US Air Force officer is supposed to have said to correspondent Peter Arnett that it was necessary to destroy the village in order to save it.

Hence the term, Ben Tre Republican.

The Party that I am in was once the party of Abraham Lincoln, of Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower. Republican Presidents all; Lincoln preserved the Union, Roosevelt pioneered conservation, and Eisenhower sounded the warning against the growth of the military-industrial complex.

That's a record to be proud of.

Now, however, the Party of Lincoln is now the party of Jefferson Davis.

The Party of Roosevelt is now the Party of Halliburton.

The Party of Eisenhower is now the Party of Blackwater.

The Grand Old Party sold its soul for power starting shortly after Goldwater's loss in 1964; it got much worse after Nixon tried to wrestle the racist yahoo vote away from Wallace in 1968 and 1972. Reagan blew the dog whistle for all it was worth in 1980, attracting the worst elements in the American electorate.

The remedy?

First, the Republicans need to lose this election, and the 2010 by-election as well. Probably a couple more. It needs to go back into the political wilderness.

While it's there it needs to be destroyed, burned to the foundations and then those foundations purified by high explosives. Then, and ONLY then, can the Republican Party truly rediscover its true roots and rebuild itself into a viable political party.

Not a gaggle of special interests, Luddites, religious extremists and warmongers.

Because you sometimes have to destroy the village in order to save it.

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