The only thing I know that grows when pruned are roses. And trust me, I know roses, which are part of the apple family..
The thing is, roses are peculiar critters. They will hang on and do anything to survive.
A hybrid rose, when exposed to a hard winter, sometimes freezes to it’s graft. The original rose then pops up, but that hybred is gone forever.
You fertilize them. You preen them. In order to grow the largest flowers, it is important to vigorously pinch buds. You don’t get many flowers, but the ones you do get are exquisite (if the Japanese beetles don’t get ‘em).
Then there is water. How much is too much? How much is tool little?
Have you ever fought a battle of life and death with what seems to be a plague of Japanese beetles that makes Moses and the locusts seem like child’s play?
If the winter is too hard, you lose the plant all together. If the graft isn’t strong, the plant dies. If there is no water, they die. If you don’t use the right fertilizer they don’t grow and bloom.
Then there is that pruning. If you prune too viciously, the plant never recovers. If you regularly prune, they only grow to a certain point, and take forever to grow beyond it.
Then, there is my theory – never ever prune them. Let roses grow – big, hardy, healthy, and full of beautiful flowers. You pinch a bud here and there, but don’t go crazy. The object is to produce happy, healthy flowers – and abundance of happy healthy beautiful flowers.
You do this with a bed of 400 hybrids and soon there are so darn many flowers, you can’t even pay your friends to take them off your hands.
Political parties are like roses.
Currently the GOP is dealing with a battle of the heart and soul. We have the pruners like Jim DeMint who want to cut the bed of roses back to nothing, and then control production to produce a few perfect blooms.
The problem with this is what happens if it is too wet, too dry, or too cold? What happens when the Japanese beetles attack? Then – if you put the wrong kind of chips on the rose bed, you can literally bake your bushes to death.
Then there are those who want controlled pruning, searching for perfection, and never really achieving it because they have perhaps pruned the most beautiful flowers, never to bloom.
And then there is the Lindsey Graham theory.
Don’t prune. Fertilize, groom, plant, and let nature lose. Take your rose bushes and let them grow, producing so darn many beautiful flowers you have no idea where they are all going to go.
That’s the GOP right now. Do you prune, control, or encourage?
The ultra conservatives want to cut the party back to just a few perfect roses. Once in awhile you might win a prize, but you’re never going to have a beautiful garden. Controlled pruning, where you reach for purity is fine, but you never allow the roses to grow beyond a certain size. But – if you let them go with water, fertilizer, and careful grooming, you will have so darn many Republicans you don’t know what to do with them.
That perfect rose, the George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan happen once in a generation. Sometimes a Sarah Palin can surprise you, but alone, they are not enough for that perfectly huge, magnificent bouquet that takes over the House. The only way to achive that huge bouquet is to go from quantity and quality.
The reason hybrid roses are so beautiful is because of the almost endless diversity of flowers.
There are hybrid roses in so many colors: lavender, purple, white, cream, pink, yellow, red, orange, apricot, brandy, “blue”, and even “black”. They come in doubles, singles, and bunches. Some, like Sweet Surrender have the most perfect aroma ever conceived. Others, like Olympiad have given up aroma for perfection of bud. Some roses only look good as buds, but others only look good when fully
opened. Some last forever, others fade in a day or two. Some roses will turn into hips and go on to “apple”. Others just do nothing.
That’s the only way to re-grow the GOP – like a beautiful bed of roses. Once you start growing roses you will discover you’re never happy with just one – you want as many different roses as you possibly can handle.
You see, if you love the GOP, the way I love roses, every rose is beautiful in its own way. It doesn’t matter what color it is,
how it smells, or how often it blooms. It’s the rose that counts. With Republicans, in order to grow the party, we should be concentrating on quality candidates. It doesn’t matter what they look like, or if they are perfect. All that should matter is the fact that they are quality candidates who will not dishonor the party.
The wonderful thing about roses is how long they will will last when properly cared for and cherished. Not only do they grow in the wild, but a good strong rose will last for years. There are the old war horses like John McCain – classics you would never prune from the garden. Then there are times when a plant will become diseased and it must be removed – for the good of the whole bed, rather like Arlen Specter. A good rose bush will last – will grow for decades, like a good, honorable statesman. The flash in the pan cute little hybrid, like some upstart far right conservative, doesn’t last very long. They aren’t strong. They become diseased, full of bugs, and it’s best just to pull ‘em up and toss them on the rubbish heap of history.