Is Williams really that clueless?I might have a bit more respect for Senator Mike Williams' decision to leave the Republican Party if I thought that he actually had some intelligence when it comes to decision-making. As it is, his statements to the press portray a real lack of common sense on the part of a man who has been elected to represent the people of the Fourth Senate District. Statements such as this one show just how utterly clueless he is:
"The parties don't need to come down here to the Capitol and dictate policy."
Williams (and everyone else) may decry what they deem as excessive partisanship in government, but the very purpose of political parties, aside from gaining power, is the formulation of policies upon which that power is based. Mike Williams, if what he says is to be believed (and that is questionable), lives in a fantasy world where parties need not exist and ought not exist.
I generally agree with Kleinheider's supposition that our political parties should be used as a means to an end. I am not a Republican because I have an undying love for the Republican Party. I am a Republican because I am a conservative person who loves America, and I happen to believe that conservative ideas and policies are what is best for Tennessee and America. The Republican Party, though far from perfect, is the best vehicle to advance those ideas. If I thought the best party to advance those ideas in 2007 were the Democrats, I would be a Democrat. If I thought the best party to advance those ideas were the Whigs, I would be a Whig.
If Mike Williams studies history with any depth (something that I somehow think is over his head) then he would know that this country tried the non-partisan experiment at its founding. It didn't last very long. People in government developed strong differences of opinion about the direction of the country, so strong that they could not work together within the same cabinet or governing body. They had to separate and divide not to the country's detriment, but so that the debate over these issues could be carried on in such a way that people could clearly see the two sides and what they stood for.
The creation of factions, which leads ultimately to the creation of parties, is a fact of life in a free government and in a free society. James Madison said it best when he said that "liberty is to faction as air is to fire." Even our Congressional independents caucus with a party. Parties exist to gain power and to formulate policy, so to make a statement like "the parties don't need to come here and dictate policy" is the most absolutely ignorant, utterly stupid, and profoundly foolish thing I have ever heard come out of the mouth of an elected official. Why? If this is what this man really thinks, than it wasn't a lapse in judgement (see Joe Biden), it wasn't a duh moment-if he really believes that, then he is really that clueless, and he has thus far been lucky that up to this point in his career his lack of ability to comprehend reality hasn't already backfired.
(See an article I wrote at Where I Stand explaining the development of parties.)
If he really believes this load of crap he is spooning to the press, than the man is not to be scorned-he is to be pitied, and must be removed from office before he poses a danger to himself.
As for how the Democrats are handling Williams' decision, their reaction is to be expected. Either Williams is a closet Democrat, or he believes the lines that he is feeding to others, in which case he is being used as a pawn in the political chess game that is the Tennessee Senate. In the end, all Williams has shown is that he is a man with no ideas who likes being other people's pawn and whipping boy.
Labels: Tennessee politics