Blue is the New Red

A Middle-of-the-road TieHave you noticed that, among Washington politicians, blue is suddenly the new red?

When US Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stepped up to the microphones on Wednesday night to get his face time upon passage of the $700 billion bailout plan, he was sporting a bright blue tie. In fact every time I’ve popped on television in the last few days, I’ve been seeing a lot of blue ties, scarfs, and more.
Before the economy tanked, Republicans were festooned with various shades of red. But as the public approval ratings for Congress slipped south of the 15% mark in recent days, it seems that the fire bell has been rung and now it is every man, and every woman, for themselves.

Which is why blue is the new red.
Politicians have always had a chameleon quality to their personalities. And when trouble strikes, like the kids who broke the neighbors window, they have a tendency to scatter in every conceivable direction. This bailout battle is one grand example of that.
Ultimately it’s not about a color, blue or red, or any particular philosophy it’s about extending your stay in office for as long as you possibly can. After all, do you want to find yourself thrown out of office and in a position where you have to look for a real job?

For one thing, healthcare benefits are lousy in the private sector, not to mention uncertain pension plans. It’s always amused me that those who talk about the hordes of lazy welfare recipients  and illegal immigrants standing at the trough of public largesse are always the first ones in line when it comes to increasing their pay and benefits.
I enjoy seeing how whipped up we civilians become at election time, when the professionals simply see it as their “busy season.” The pendulum of history is swinging back to the left and so blue is the new red. The far right, fire-eating conservatives of recent years are steadily cutting back their partisan tones in favor of a “one America” theme. If you want to be a survivor in the game of politics you’ve got to be willing to change with the times.

Political philosophies are like hemlines, if they’re well above the knee their bound to drop and if their below the calf their bound to go up.
So the hot color of the day, as color of money pales with each additional tightening of the credit noose, is blue. Wait ten years and watch it swing back in the other direction. The pros know this. Those red neckties and scarfs aren’t going in the Goodwill bin, there just going in the closet for a little while.

Martin Brown

Money Editor –