[This post first appeared on March 27, 2008, and bears repeating.]
To a recovering Republikan, who cannot fathom the circular firing squad nature of Democratic party politics: There is a fundamental difference in style between the two parties — but they switch sides on issues constantly. (Remember when REPUBLIKLANS were screaming about deficit spending?)*
[* 2012 - Whoops! Somehow they've switched 180 degrees again.]
The Republiklan Party is run as though only one heir to the Peacock Throne were available, and all available resources must be marshaled to his (yes, HIS) potential Reign.
The Democratic Party, on the other hand, behaves as a dandelion behaves: chaotic, self-conflicted, no rhyme or reason, floating on the breezes of fad and fashion, but it succeeds from sheer strength of (ofttimes stupid) numbers.
If you had been raised with a bias towards “elegance” (in the engineering sense of least means for greatest effect) then it is bewildering to suddenly immerse yourself in the chaos of Democratic politics.
That’s what took me awhile to get used to when I switched parties in 1988 (having—as it now turns out, ACCURATELY — seen the handwriting on the wall)
But remember this: no lawnmower ever engineered, no defoliant ever formulated, no organization of human industry and coordinated action has EVER yet defeated the humble dandelion.
They’re good in salads, too.