Friday, March 26, 2010

Some thoughts for today

I've been reading a lot about the horrid threats against Democrats after the passage of the health care bill. Mr. Krugman in the New York Times went has far as to say he'd never seen anything like it. So for those of you who think this is a first-time thing, never happened before, etc etc... let me refresh your memory.

Kill Bush Anyone?

Snipers Wanted?

Vandalism?

Bullet Riddled Political Headquarters?

Swastika in Madison?

Protesters Gone Wild?

And those are just the ones I could find easily. Let's not forget one Kenneth Gladly getting the snot beat out of him at a Tea Party Protest by those who support the Progressive movement. That was recent. Or the death threats to Sarah Palin and her family now circulating on twitter.

Righteous indignation is falling short. I'm truly not interested in hearing anymore stories about threatening phone calls to Congressman. Very few on the other side were condemning the above attacks when they were happening. Especially all those "Kill Bush" signs. It was just peaceful protesters practicing their first amendment rights...remember?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Re-Branding?

I was talking to a friend of mine not too long ago about the state of America and American politics, and what needed to be done differently. He actually asked me to write this blog. He may discover he doesn't much like what I have to say. However, I've discovered that somewhere along the way most people don't like what I have to say. I get over it.

Do the Republicans need to be "re-branded"? Well, I think there is no doubt, after the losses in both 2006 and 2008 that they need to do something. I don't think it's re-branding though. I think it's a simple return to the policies that once got them elected. Let's face it, they must have "something" worth selling. A Republican has occupied the White House 20 out of the last 30 years. My friend says we need to go back to the days of Reagan, and I won't disagree with that. But what does that mean, really? I see a whole lot of Republican/Conservatives who have a very different meaning to what the "Reagan Years" were.

***Side Note*** Okay, before I go any further, I'm going to mention that I am not a card-carrying member of the Republican Party. I haven't been for years. Because of that, maybe I am the wrong person to discuss what the Republican Party needs to do. I'll give it a shot anyway.

I've watched politics and essentially the Republican Party go down the drain for a long time. I was part of the "Contract With American" generation. As a matter of fact, the year the Republicans took back both the House and the Senate for the first time in a long time, it was only the second year I was legally old enough to vote in an election. I liked the product the Republicans were selling, and I voted for them.

Over the years, as the Republicans became entrenched in Washington, they cared less about those 10 things they promised to do for "we the people". Those 10 things were forgotten. Essentially (and a lot of people aren't going to like this) Republicans became "Democrat-Lite". No, that's not fair. There are some GOOD Democrats out there. Republicans became "Liberal-Lite".

George W. Bush got elected to the Presidency on a platform of "Compassionate Conservatism" whatever that means. After a mere 7 months in office, 9/11 happened. For the first time since Pearl Harbor, our country had been attacked on it's own soil. Compassionate Conservatism was forgotten in the wake of a damaged economy and the sudden realization that we were not as safe as we thought we were. First we went to Afghanistan, then Iraq, and as the months passed and the body county rose, people in America started to become unhappy with those wars. On top of that, a little nut-job, low-life named Osama Bin Laden was (and still is) running around loose. The mastermind hadn't been caught, and as young men and women shed their blood, more people became frustrated with what was happening militarily. Meanwhile, the Republicans had learned some very interesting lessons from their "liberal" counterparts, and a few they hadn't learned. They cut taxes, but they spent money as fast and sometimes faster than those Liberals. There were several "scandals" that plagued both the Congress and the Administration. Too many people looked at the Republicans and they had enough. In 2006 they lost both the House and the Senate, in 2008 the Presidency, and the cries came that "Conservatism was dead".

Um, no. Republicanism is dead. The truth is Conservatives and Moderates looked at the Republican Party and they weren't buying it anymore. Don't believe me? In the same year that the R's got ousted from the House/Senate, California voters rejected tax hikes, 6 states (including more than one liberal state) banned gay marriage, and Michigan voted a huge resounding no on Affirmative Action and Racial Preferences. All very conservative based policies.

Now, as far as I know, the Republican Party Platform hasn't changed since Ronald Reagan. At least not that dramatically. The Party itself still endorses all those things... Lower Taxes, Less Spending, Less Government Interference, Personal Responsibility, A Strong National Defense, etc... Actions speak louder than words. The Republicans elected didn't actually FOLLOW those platform principles.

The Republican Party doesn't need a new brand or a "re-brand". They simple need to remember what exactly they are supposed to stand for.

The responsibility doesn't just lie with Republicans though. It lies with all the idiots who vote for them, simply because they have an "R" next to their name. If you question that, I have two words for you: Arlen Specter.

A few short weeks ago, Mass. voters elected Scott Brown to the Senate. Scott Brown didn't ride around the state in a fancy bus. He bought a pickup truck and put 250,000 miles on it going out to meet regular voters. He promised them he'd stop out of control spending in congress. He promised that he would represent the people who voted to put him there. He would be "the people's senator". He would treat terrorists like terrorists. He would stand on the principle of strong family and personal responsibility. In essence Scott Brown ran on the Republican Platform, and he won in a state that doesn't vote for Republicans. Because the truth is, the average American voter, stands in the same place.

There are a lot of social issues that we may differ on, but the party that holds to Fiscal Conservatism and smaller government is in touch with a lot more average Americans. All the Republican Party needs to do, is get back to being that party.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Thoughts on the MA Election (and other things)

Maybe I should change my blog name to "morning after". Truly though, after the election last year, and much of what's gone on since, I took a long break from the political side of my blogging. (For those of you with a more personal connection to me, I do still blog on that side of the fence haha) I didn't stop reading the news, or watching what was going on, but I did stop commenting on it. The truth is, I'm tired of the same tired arguments, and interested in people stepping back from their parties and really looking at what we need to do to get back America. (I can say this proudly as a non-card carrying member of any party. Yay!)

First of all, to those of you who have made mention of Fox News in relation to the Scott Brown Campaign. Um, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC. It was okay for all of those networks to basically become arms of the Democratic Party during the 2008 Presidential Election, but you are seriously going to whine about ONE network in ONE election? More importantly, sites like Instapundit.com and Redstate.com have been reaching out to their network of readers for months, LONG before Fox news jumped on the bandwagon.

Second, the GOP has no right to claim victory in this election beyond the "R" attached to Senator-Elect Brown's name. In a state like Massachusetts where admitting you are Republican isn't entirely healthy, I would say a lot more then Republicans voted for this candidate.

Third, the "tea bagger" references need to stop. This is a crude sexual reference to a group of people who do not identify with a party, they identify themselves as Americans. They are Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and Independents. They are tired of of way government is being run. They are not real fond of either major party. They come from every background. If you don't like what they stand for, fine. But making crude sexual references to a group of people is not considered good political debate. (For the record neither is calling someone an idiot, ignorant, dumb or stupid. Just saying)

Now, moving on to my thoughts on what this election means.

First of all, Martha Coakley's campaign was dealt two death blows that she had nothing to do with. When the Senate Leadership bought off Senator Nelson, it pissed off the American people. In a big way. Color the American Public stupid, because we all know that stuff happens all the time. However, the health care debate, if you can call it that, took place where the public was kept in the dark. Let's face it, we are STILL in the dark about everything that's in that 2,000 page atrocity. And a good way to piss off the rest of the country is to promise that the rest of us schlubs are going to be footing the bill for Nebraska for the rest of our lives, our childrens lives, our grand childrens lives, etc. Then news came out that the American taxpayer was also buying off Louisiana to the tune of 300 million dollars. And if that wasn't enough, we got the news that while the Senate was going to tax "cadillac" health care plans to pay for their 2,000 page monstrosity, the unions were going to be exempt from that tax for 5 years. The collective response across the country was WTF? Ms. Coakley didn't have a say in either of those things, but the (D) next to her name doomed her to take credit for them regardless. (Much the same way anyone with an (R) next to their name gets labeled as George W. Bush...still.) In all fairness, both of those things were beyond the candidates control, and she got labeled with them, however unfairly. I will however say that when she said there was no Taliban in Afghanistan.... or that Curt Schilling was a Yankees fan... those things probably didn't help. The simple truth is, I believe, that Democrats thought since it was Massachusetts and it was Ted Kennedy's seat, they couldn't lose. Assumptions are bad things.

I've heard many pundits say this is a referendum against President Obama's agenda. Maybe. What I truly think you are seeing is this. In 2006, after 6 years of us spending money like it was water, and driving our nation into deeper debt, not to mention more than a few scandals, the American people wanted change. So they did what is so great about this country. They took power away from the people screwing up, and handed it to someone else. That's the basic principle this country was founded on. The power to change things lies with the people. Now it's 3 years later. In the space of a year we've spent 780 billion dollars on a stimulus plan that failed to do what was promised, we spent over 1 trillion dollars bailing out companies, another how many billions essentially buying car companies, etc etc etc. Our debt is astronomical. We were promised transparency, and yet we haven't seen a whole lot of CSPAN cameras covering the meetings involving the health care bill. We were promised ethics, and yet we've seen a lot of really unethical things going on. See, we were promised change, and change didn't happen. I understand that we need some kind of health care reform, and I think it can be done working within the framework of our country, but when millions of people are without jobs (me included), and families are struggling to put food on their tables, worried about paying their mortgages, and barely getting by, they don't want Congress taking on some MASSIVE output of money. And Healthcare is a MASSIVE output of money, money this country doesn't have to spend. So, I feel more likely that this is a referendum against Congress and the Senate.

The question is, are the Democrats smarter than their Republican counterparts? Are they smart enough to sit back and listen to the people they say they are looking out for? A majority of this country does not want either one of the health care bills currently making the rounds in the halls of power. When I hear the leadership stand up and say they are going to pass it anyway, I wonder when they forgot that they are at will employees of the citizens of the United States of America. We never lost the ability to decide what is best for us. And right now, at this point in time, this is NOT good for us or our country. Hopefully, this morning, they are sitting back and rethinking exactly what their priorities should be. If they do that, they stand a chance of retaining the mandate they believe they have. If they don't, 2010 could very well look much like last night.

That's really all I have to say. For now anyway.

my time is running short. Other more pressing needs are calling me to stop writing. I have not proof read this, so if there is a typo or stray spelling error, it's because I didn't have the time to correct them all. Please don't label me an idiot for it. That will get any comments quickly deleted. Remember, calling someone an idiot is NOT good debate.