Friday, November 16, 2012
Sunday, November 11, 2012
The Grand Ole Ruling Class Party
The time for starting a viable third party was years ago. Just like in politics in general, those who suggest starting a third party become drown out by entrenched, organized voices of the establishment parties with admonitions like: It’s crazy. It will guarantee perpetual power to the opposition party indefinitely. It is a betrayal of… something. Etc. etc.
Look. The GOP is just like the Democrat party with one very glaring difference. The Democrat party actually listens to, and appeals to its base. The Republican Party, on the other hand, resists its base when campaigning and ignores it completely between campaigns. That the Republican Party was once again repeatedly described as the party of old white men is no mere cynical portrayal. That, more than anything other general portrayal, is a perfect description for the party overall.
The old timers within the establishment of the party and in positions of power in congress, who have been there for decades, have no fear for the future. They know that even in the odd chance that they will lose, their colleagues will keep them feeding at the trough of government as long as they want to. They know that their sons and daughters can partake of the established machinations to perpetuate familial ruling class dynasties, if they so choose.
That we can even utter the words “ruling class” should be revolting to us. We are the owners of the country supposedly, but we hear the term bandied about as if it was referencing a class established by divine right.
That's not to suggest that the Democrat Party has any less of a problem. It does. But they have the pander market cornered. Both parties can’t just give stuff away, there’d be no difference. The fact that the Democrat Party can hold itself out as the party that gives people stuff, means that it can weather its obsolescence better than the Republican Party can.
Most of us can look back to the primaries this year and remember the level of frustration that existed with the way the nominee was being picked. This says nothing about Romney as a person, as a matter of fact, as things turned out; it's believable that he was one of the best candidates the Republican Party has put forth in a long time. It’s just the way the process worked. We were told by the establishment within the Republican Party from the very beginning that Romney would be the candidate and he was. Because of how this unfolded it became clear that the agenda of the majority of the base wasn’t reflected in the agenda of the party establishment. As a matter of fact, the party’s agenda was substantially at odds with the agenda of the base.
A case can be made that social libertarianism and fiscal conservatism are likely the majority position of most Americans let alone those on the right, but they've never been embraced by the establishment of the Republican Party. This should make obvious the course that must be taken. That Tea Party ideals which more closely resemble the attributes of social libertarianism and fiscal conservatism are currently under fire by the Republican establishment should solidify the path forward.
It's arguable that a party with the attributes described would appeal to a huge segment of the population and would attract Republicans, Independents and a significant number of Democrats.
Edison told us what the definition of insanity is.
And we all know he was right.
And in the end there’s this; this really isn't a proposal for the establishment of a third party as much as it is a proposal for the elimination of the Republican Party. Especially now the times call for something different than what we’ve always had – something better. Much better. Of the people.
We should do this. Seriously.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Truth Is Dead - or
I don't think that I am much different than most people on the right who were gut punched by the results of the election as they watched the events unfold on Tuesday. Even though Obama's performance in his job the last four years had been dismal even by any honestly objective evaluation, and for that the election should have been a walk in the park for Romney, this election contest had set itself up as a contest unlike any in generations. The stakes as many on the right saw them, were existential for the country.
We were told that this election would certainly come down to the wire. Many pundits gave the advantage to Obama, but most people handicapped what the pundits said with the knowledge that the main stream media skewed their coverage and opinions heavily in Obama's favor. More independent, or impartial pundits gave a slight advantage to Romney noting the breakdown in enthusiasm among the ranks of Obama's supporters that was a direct result of his horrid performance as president. If there were to be a breakout performance contrary to the polls we were told, it would certainly be in Romney's favor.
The set up:
For two years, Americans had been subjected to exceedingly negative campaigning. First, a cannibalistic Republican primary followed by a historically nasty campaign on the scale of the Judge Bork confirmation process. Not in recent history anyway, has there been a campaign more infused with lies about an opponent or more singularly designed to destroy a person's character.
From the very start of the presidential campaign, one provably dishonest ad followed another as one staffer after staffer told one indefensible lie after another eviscerating Romney but never defending Obama. They couldn't defend Obama because to do so would draw attention to his breathtaking incompetence. When history looks back on the Obama campaign, and insofar as history is capable of telling the truth about someone whose essence is as obscure as that of Obama, it will regard it as one of the sleaziest, most despicable endeavors to maintain power ever foisted on a 'free' society.
While the dishonesty of the Obama campaign continued to reveal itself, even pundits on the left decried there being nothing from the Obama record to tout. But the tack the Obama campaign took of character assassination was successful. As was the campaign of dividing American society into discrete segments and setting them against each other.
So as the date of the election approached, the stage was set for either Obama or Romney to achieve a hair thin victory, or conversely, for Romney to win going away. There was no probable scenario where Obama would win in a landslide.
For weeks, media told us that there just weren't that many undecided voters left. I'm writing from memory, but as I remember, the contest boiled down to winning over a lion's share of anywhere from 7 to 9 percent of voters who at that time remained undecided.
Enter Frankenstorm. The storm smashes the Northeast and puts 10's of millions of people in dire straits. So the President does what presidents do and he visits the hardest hit areas including NJ. Certainly a gift with regards to taking a bite out of the very few undecided voters and sucking any wind out of the Romney campaign sails. The storm had not one iota of impact on the projected election results in the areas hit by the storm. They were, and had always been in the president's camp. Another unexpected gift came when the Republican governor of New Jersey publicly embraced the president and complimented him on his awesome presidentiness. So, another couple of points out of the undecided pie – probably enough to win the election but not enough to really change the fact that it would almost certainly still be a nail biter of an election.
For weeks there were two spins on the polls: 1) that the race was neck and neck and vacillating between the candidates, and 2) the polls were wrong and Romney would win in a landslide. Enthusiasm had been identified as a factor likely to influence the election and that enthusiasm was on the side of the right across the board. Conversely, the left's lack of enthusiasm was viewed as likely to have a negative impact on Obama's chances, notwithstanding a well organized “ground game.”
In the days leading up to the election, we were still being reminded that there was virtually no chance that we would know the winner of the election before Wednesday morning. In fact, on the day of the election, analysis of early voting, the polls, and the exit polls that had been conducted throughout the day indicated that the election was just too close to call and still indicating a very late night finish before any winner would emerge.
So the night started off and progressed pretty much as advertized and then... chak ta slsls spak* BOOM!
When the announcement was made suddenly that Obama had won Ohio, and then mere minutes later that he'd won the election, considering everything we had seen up until then, considering everything we had been told would happen up until then, and when it happened in a way that defied everything we expected – the end. Game over. Like a conditioned response. They said that Obama had won and that (even though there was an obvious letdown) was that.
There was certainly shock, but there was no, “Hey wait the f**k just a minute! This isn't right!” None of that. What came next was an automatic, “Why?”
The news programs scrambled to fill a vacuum and they filled it with trying to explain what had just happened. In short order, exit polls provided a quick answer that mysteriously hadn't existed in any conversation or analysis of the election earlier. Suddenly 42% of the people polled called Obama's handling of the storm response a key influence for their vote.
Now suddenly, looking back on Christie's intimate embrace of Obama and there it is! Miraculous validation that in fact, a huge number of people saw Obama photo oping and sharing tender moments with the governor of New Jersey and it suddenly all makes perfect sense!
What the importance of Gov. Christie's Obama hug was, is that it opened the door of plausibility to use the 42% argument to justify how almost 40% of decided voters had suddenly became undecided, then re-decided in favor of the other team all because of an obviously contrived photo op. That arguably the most divisive president in this country's history had instantaneously mutated into a hero and model for bipartisanship.
So what am I saying? That the election was stolen? – You know what? I don't have the foggiest idea whether the election was stolen. I'm amused (in that stupefyingly cynical and incredulous way that we all experience from time to time) at the shear number of coincidences and paradoxes that surround the results of the election. But no, that isn't what I'm saying.
What I am saying is that under this administration, the truth disappeared – vanished. It went extinct. To be fair though, because of the decay of our political system, it had become an endangered species decades ago.
I submit that in any single matter of importance to this country or to the people of this country that this administration has been involved in, we simply have no idea what the truth of that matter is. Let's take Obama's magnum opus – Obamacare. There was not, and there may not be even now, a single civilian American alive who knows all of the possible permutations or implications of obamacare on individuals, the future of healthcare, or the impacts it will have moving forward on spending. What we do know though is that nearly as many people who didn't have healthcare before obamacare will still not have healthcare under it. So where is the truth concerning obamacare? It simply cannot be found.
What about these issues?
Where did the stimulus money go? All of it?
How did Corzine manage to escape punishment for loosing $3 billion?
Besides the UAW, who benefited from the auto bailout?
Who were enriched and who lost out in all of the alternate energy failures and how much did they get?
What is the full truth of Fast and Furious?
What is the full truth behind Benghazi?
Do you seriously expect me to believe that the news about Petreaus is absolutely coincidental? (I hate it when people imply that I'm stupid).
What is the truth about the senior leaders of the military suddenly losing their posts?
Look -- In 2008, everyone – EVERYBODY knew that the Obama campaign was raising money illegally through obviously fraudulent administration of their site security. What was the truth that we eventually found out about this? Well the truth of this is that it happened - with impunity. What was different in this campaign? Absolutely nothing.
Election fraud and voter intimidation were obvious and widespread in 2008. It was ignored following the election and eventually justified because of its difficulty to prove. Fraud was identified throughout 2012 as something that could potentially influence the election, but again, it was universally ignored by both sides.
Further, now that the revelations of Petreaus are out and he's suddenly not fit to serve as CIA chief we are to just accept that it is because of an affair? Seriously? WTF! Obama did drugs. He probably sold drugs. He associated with terrorists, and criminals of the full spectrum. His transcripts are secreted away. Meetings he had with virulent supporters of terrorists that call for the destruction of Israel and the deaths of Jews everywhere is quarantined by people who decide they have some duty to protect us from the TRUTH. Please stop taking us for idiots.
Speaking of which, what about all of the holes in Obama's past. Hell - we don't even know the truth about the stuff we know! Shouldn't we expect to know the truth about the president's past?
Where is the truth? How is it now permitted that it is so difficult, most of the time impossible, to find out what the truth is about anything even remotely related to Obama specifically, and this administration in general?
Look at it this way; Say for example, notwithstanding all of the obvious contradictions and coincidences, that this election was totally on the up and up. Let's take the next election as a hypothetical situation where there are no contradictions and coincidences and a victor is announced the same way it was this time. And what if, hidden from view, a sophisticated mechanism had been put in place say, using the clearing mechanism that tabulates the results and then transmits the results out to the media... Say that mechanism had been corrupted to steal the election. And what if the election results were reported exactly the way they were this time? Do you know what would happen? I'll give you a hint: Exactly the same thing that happened this time. We would look at what happened with surprise and say to ourselves (vainly), “What did we do wrong?” And we would set about fixing problems that may not even exist. Or we place all of the blame on our candidate.
And why, you might ask? Because we do not know the truth. We do not know the truth and we are not permitted to know the truth even if we demand to know it.
The truth as it stands now is that, “We the People,” is a meaningless cliche'. A more accurate phrasing would be, “We the Chumps”. “Of the people, by the people and for the people,” is just patent ridiculousness.
The most transparent administration in history my ass.
But it's not just this administration. And that will lead to my next post.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
I had a conversation with my Rabbi some months ago and something he said to me really penetrated deep. He was speaking in general terms about leaders and he said, “People like the president for example, have a power that few people will ever have. They have the power to send people to their death, to have people killed. That power changes them.” That’s was the gist of the conversation.
But that isn’t where my contemplation of that conversation ended. I’ve literally thought about that conversation every day since then and I’ve arrived at conclusions based on reflections that I’d never given time to before. I don’t have time to relate all of those conclusions, but one of them is this: Like most influences and situations that cause a person to change, the change that occurs can be either good, or bad. It’s never neutral, or it wouldn’t be change.
When President Bush sent troops against the radical Islamists, I don’t think that he really deeply considered the implications of that decision – at first. It was an obvious decision; they’d left this country no choice and he did what any leader (for the most part) would have done. But after a while, any honest observer would have noted that his decision to deal with America’s enemies by defeating them – killing them, and to have American’s lose their lives as a result, deeply affected him. I also believe that any honest observer would have noted that though he made the decision that had to be made, he also regretted that he had to have made it. In other words, the change that the power of life and death made in him was a good, or positive change, in my opinion.
After the tragedy of Benghazi, something that struck me that several people said immediately following the event was that the people murdered knew the risks involved. The obvious conclusion that nearly everyone draws is that this is a reference to the courage of all Foreign Service employees. Even though this is a seemingly obvious one, I don’t think that this interpretation of the statement could be further from the truth.
The events of Benghazi are hard for me to dwell on. The consulate came under an organized attack. Lives were in peril. There was a struggle to survive. People needed help. They needed rescuers - they needed rescued. There was unimaginable fear – terror – desperation – prayers for salvation. There were calls for help. Hope faded as the calls for help were refused. Hope returned as someone disobeyed orders to “stand down” and at the risk of their own lives, two men rushed to the scene in an heroic effort to save those in peril.
The story goes continues, but we know the ending.
Someone made a decision. They had the power. They had the power of life and death. The possession of that power, the knowledge of it at some earlier point in time, had changed them. They made a calculation. In this calculation among a number of factors, was one that informed them that these people knew the risks. They made the decision, turned off a monitor and retired for the evening as if the decision they had just made was about the color of the shirt they would wear tomorrow.
And in the morning following the event, they came before the American people and talked of the tragedy and they informed all of us of the courage of these people because they knew the risks. The only problem is that they didn’t mean that statement as a statement of courage of the victims; they made that statement as a form of absolution - self-absolution and an expression of will that the whole of America absolve them as well, because they were the wielders of the power. The murdered knew the risks, they concluded, so they must have known that someone somewhere held the power over their lives, so implicitly no fault could be imputed to they that made the decision that cost them their lives, as long as the decision makers themselves decided that their lives were a reasonable expense. The decision makers were absolved.
From this we can see how the power of life and death can change someone – for good, or bad.
The person, or the people, who made the decision not to rescue these people absolved themselves of any blame in their deaths. They justified their decisions based on that power having been bestowed on them and on the fact that the people over whom they held the power knew the risks.
But I don’t absolve them. I believe their callus decision; their morbid, ghastly math to allow these people to be murdered in terror and desperation borders on evil. It informs us as to their fitness to hold their offices and to wield this terrible power over people’s lives.
Obviously, it’s ok if you disagree with me about my conclusions, but before you do, I would ask you to look back on decisions that have been made by this administration with respect to withdrawal deadlines, the surges, the handling of the Fort Hood murderer and many other decisions that influenced the lives, and in many cases the deaths, of people – especially soldiers and “people who knew the risks,” even the voting history they had before they came to power; e.g. the “Born Alive” legislation.
I don’t absolve them. Neither should you. We deserve, and we should demand answers. The person or persons who made this decision are deserving of punishment – severe punishment. These people should not be allowed possess this power because THEY DO NOT POSSESS THE CHARACTER to wield it. They should have it not one moment longer. Not optimal. Not tolerable.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
I Went to See "Act of Valor"
The ‘device’ in the film of having a bad guy portrayed as a wealthy Jew who has been corrupted by his quest for wealth to participate in unspeakable acts… worked - on about a million different levels. I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this now, other than to say that condemning the film on this basis is beyond bogus – on about a million different levels. And if someone wants me to expound on that in a separate post, I’ll think about it.
Now to the film on its merits:
Heartbreak Ridge. I’ll probably tweak a few people with this, but in my opinion, that movie was weakly acted, feebly directed and at least partly based on a ludicrous premise (Recon Platoon of Marines runs amok… yada, yada), yet that movie is on lists of all time great military movies. The movie was made by, and acted by, “professionals” in movie making.
Act of Valor. The acting was pretty good. Compared to the acting in Heartbreak Ridge it was great. The acting did what good acting is meant to do in this medium; have the audience relate to the characters. I related – strongly. The premise of the movie was totally believable and the scenes and the sequences were utterly authentic. I say this not because I know, but because I knew going in, that the Seals in the movie had been granted enormous leeway in making the film authentic. This made following the movie… unusual, to say the least - like say, watching a silent movie in this day in age. Could never happen, right?
I have one major complaint with this movie; Because of the way the movie was made, because of the shorthand nature of the acting in the conduct of the ops, the movie was simply not long enough. The sequences of the operators in the actual buildup to the action sequences could have been much longer, in my opinion… Or maybe the movie was just too short. I don’t know.
Bottom line: I loved this movie and I will see it again - probably multiple times. For me, it wasn’t about the movie, it was about the men. The movie made me feel proud of these men and now, when pride is increasingly hard for me to feel, the men make me proud of this country.
There is certainly no shortage of memorable – and when well acted – incredibly moving scenes, in Shakespeare’s plays. This movie reminds me of one of them; the St. Crispen’s Day speech from Henry V. Maybe to others that’s not significant, but to me it is – greatly.
Could the acting have been better? Of course, but these guys are Seals, not actors. They seemed like they might have been Seals acting normally without the gloss of actors performing their craft to appear to be Seals acting normally. Could the story have been better? Probably not. Should the movie have been longer? Definitely (IMO).
This movie will be one of the great military films of all times, or at least it will be on the list right above Heartbreak Ridge. I hope they do this type of thing again. In times like these, we need movies like this. I’m not saying that all men should convince their sons to all aspire to become Seals, but from time to time, we as fathers need movies like this to show our sons what some men have within them to achieve - that being able to look at the world and discern that there exist things in life that are worth one's life to see preserved is rare and precious trait still worth cultivating in an honorable person's character.
Listen. It’s not only Seals, or Rangers, or Green Berets, or Delta Force, or Para-Rescue or any of the other special operators out there. It’s our military men and women. Since 9-11, they’ve been the best. And this from a generation of kids that up to 9-11 people called the Generation X’ers for their promise of not ever amounting to anything. Talking about missing the mark!
And we’ve lost too many of them. This film is a tribute to them all, in my mind.
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
So Here We Are
Well let me take off my amateur climate and global warming expert hat for a moment and put on my amateur psychoanalyst hat, and I’ll tell you.
The right is in uncharted territory. I’ve said that, in my opinion, one of the greatest successes that the left has had over the past number of years is that they were able to redefine ‘moderate’ to mean conservative and ‘conservative’ to mean radical. In so doing, they shifted the entire political discussion left. So what we have is a lot of people, from both parties really, traipsing around in unfamiliar fields of politics - lost.
Patience, Grasshoppa, all will be revealed.
Up to a couple of weeks ago, this was a two man race. One of them isn’t who you think. Even though the polls and primary results reflected otherwise, the race was really between Romney and Perry.
Romney was the candidate that very few outside of the GOP “establishment” wanted but whom many had decided to support because he was who the party said was going to be the nominee - party loyalty and all that. Perry, on the other hand, was initially the anti-Romney whose poor debate performance capsized his ratings. His failure to recover though, even after some very good performances, some very good advertising and a record that should have spoken at least a little for itself, continues to baffle many of his supporters and probably many more who now wish they’d given him a closer look.
Perry, I think, failed to recover for an interesting reason.
President G. W. Bush was a President who many on the right deeply admired. He was outwardly, yet humbly a man of great character. The way he cared for people, especially America’s service members was movingly obvious. That depth of character is what many on the right view as a foundation stone of conservative ideology. Ironically, it was also a trait shared by Governor Perry. But Bush was also given to the regular misstatement – the regular mispronounced word – the regular good ole boy -ism. Something that came to people’s minds when they reflected on Gov. Perry’s debate performance. And being reminded of G.W. also brought to mind some other less attractive characteristics of the former President, like the fact that G.W.B. spent like a drunken liberal, and unfortunately that wasn’t all. People didn’t want to go through that same experience again – that deeply liking the President while having their conservative ideals muddled by “compassionate conservatism”.
So, in effect, the race was between a candidate that nobody wanted, but whom people were reluctantly willing to support and a person that many, many people wanted to support, but couldn’t bring themselves to.
Insanity? Maybe, but think about this; how strong was Newt’s support before Gov. Perry left the race? He had a faction of core support a whole lot smaller than Romney’s, who remembered the Contract With America with some fondness and who were willing to forgive his previous political activity and character flaws and the fact that Newt, in reality, is a master of political chess - an ability that handed him the Speakership. He is a candidate who, just a few short weeks ago, had no chance – and for good reason. He is a candidate who is very well liked by a relatively few people. He is also a candidate who is disliked by a relatively large number of people. Newt is easy to dislike for a number of reasons including arrogance, hostility, cunning, and deceit, just to name a few. The fact that he went from obscurity to prominence in the race by virtue of a sound bite, isn't lost on people either.
So we have what is in reality, a two candidate race. And if we are honest with ourselves, we have a two candidate race consisting of two candidates whose Republican bone fides are moderate, at best. And this isn’t the old moderate, before the left’s successful redefinition, but the new moderate. In fact, had any of the current field of candidates hailed from the southeast (with the exception of Paul), they all would have most probably fit the mold of Blue Dog Democrat.
We all know that Santorum is not going to win. He’s a likable guy, with a wonderful family, who is strongly socially conservative. But that resume will not sell in this election. Many people on the right are way past being part of a movement that supports having the government be the arbiter of social behavior. Not that “traditional values” are any less important, it’s just that traditional values are being seen as a social responsibility, not a political one. For me, it’s like one morning I got up, splashed some water on my face, and there was a much less handsome Clint Eastwood staring back at me saying in that imposing gravelly voice, “I don’t give a f—k who marries who.”
Though certainly not universal, I think many people on the right have come to grips with a gnawing concept that freedom necessarily means freedom and the pursuit of happiness applies to everyone even when it makes us uncomfortable or impinges on our deeply held convictions.
Whatever! Not this time. Moral activism is often a good thing, but it’s something society must deal with. And that means the fight against the left’s imposition of their compromised value structure on the rest of society must continue as well. Taxpayers should not be bribed, cajoled or constrained by law into supporting repugnant social concepts. This is a legitimate struggle.
Paul, as we all know, won’t win and he can’t win. But he and his perpetual campaigning, deserves credit for bringing the hypocrisy of our tortured ideology to light. Libertarianism in some moderated vestige (hopefully moderated), is here to stay I believe.
So this is where we find ourselves – one fine mess. We’ve given ourselves a choice between two moderate/left candidates either of whom are not only disliked, but despised by factions of the right. But it goes deeper than that. We have a conservative movement run amok that is no longer conservative, and a Republican Party that represents an ever shrinking minority in the conservative movement. Even many of the Pundits that we’ve seen as anchors for conservatism over the years have had weaknesses in their rhetoric exposed that may damage them permanently. At least I believe that it should.
Our country is in decline, there is no questioning that. How far will it decline before it turns around? If Obama is reelected, then probably a long way. If either of these candidates is elected, then we can at least hope. But because these candidates are who they are, when we are honest with ourselves, we know that hope is not as strong as it should be.
There remains a possibility, however so slight, that I am wrong.
Monday, January 23, 2012
So Gingrich Won South Carolina With…
I hate this, but I need to throw in a caveat here: I don’t support any of these guys. Not Romney, because of his record of flip flopping. Not Santorum, because… well… I should spend some time on that, but suffice it to say that ideologically, I can’t support him. Not Paul, because to probably most Americans, he’s about half way ‘round the bend.
But this is about Gingrich, and his win in S. Carolina.
Gingrich, in my opinion, is not a charismatic person. He can argue well. He’s politically cunning. He’s an historian and it shows. And he has a quick mind together with all of the previous attributes, makes him a great debater. And, like all of us, he has a past. He ushered in the contract with America that most people on the right think was a good thing. It certainly won him the speakership of the house.
But he also was the first and only Speaker of the House ever to be reprimanded by congress – and for ethics.
Again, I hate this, but I have to point out again that I am not for anyone – yet. And I am certainly not for Gingrich – yet.
A little more than a week ago, Gingrich led the charge against Romney that many, many people on the right, pundits as well, said was tantamount to an attack on the soul of the right - capitalism. Perry, and Perry supporters especially, were disparaged everywhere for their attack on “the foundation of conservatism” capitalism. How it happened I don’t know, but the one who led the attack this dastardly attack on capitalism, Gingrich, managed to survive his anti-capitalist bent virtually unscathed and he began to beat the drum for Romney to open his tax records.
This, to me, is astonishing. What are Romney’s tax records going to reveal about Romney? That he’s rich? That he successfully manages his money according to the tax law that allows people at his level of wealth to do? And this is an indicator of his being bad for the right in what way exactly? Is this not just another attack on Romney for being a… gasp… capitalist?
When it comes right down to it, even we on the right don’t like rich people. We are just as envious of them as people on the left. The main difference between we on the right and they on the left, is that we are less hypocritical about our hope to one day be one of those people that both the right and the left hate – rich.
So, Gingrich knocked Romney back on his heels and leveraged everybody’s envy of the rich by clanging the gong of tax returns. But is that why he won S. Carolina?
Everybody knows why Gingrich won S. Carolina, but not everyone is going to emphasize too heavily the reason. Gingrich won S. Carolina because of a one and a half minute verbal slamdown of the CNN debate monitor who, like other debate monitors in this primary campaign have done, wanted to be the memorable event of the debate. He acted the idiot and got what idiots deserve.
And we on the right awarded that slamdown with S. Carolina.
For the third freaking time; I do not support anyone. But I really don’t support Gingrich. I don’t support Gingrich because he is the first and only Speaker of the House ever to be reprimanded by congress. For ethics.
I was a Perry supporter. Was – keyword - dammit. I read in many places to the effect that Perry had a good record, he just couldn’t articulate it. You know, I disagree with that assessment a lot. There’s a truism in our culture that a record speaks for itself. Perry’s didn’t for some reason.
But neither is Gingrich’s record speaking for itself, not because it is out there, like Perry's, but because it isn't. It's hidden.
It’s possible that I could be brought around to supporting Gingrich, but not until his record is laid on the table. Not until I know what it was in those ethics – repeated – ethics hearings that caused him to be reprimanded by Congress and to go down in history - you know – like Clinton – second President in history to be impeached. Gingrich was the first in history in his position. Until Gingrich can say what it was that he did to deserve reprimand, I will not support him.
So what was it that won S. Carolina for Gingrich?
I think that the talent of the collective left is their ability to first sell, and then to believe with passion, a losing argument. I believe that by-in-large, the entire philosophy of the left – that those with less are inherently entitled to that which those with more have eventually impoverishes everyone, in many ways – is the epitome of a losing argument that the left through history, has been able to sell to a relatively large segment of society. Snake oil.
But if S. Carolina is any indicator, then we on the right have our own unique demographic locked up.
Gingrich won the debate, and then S. Carolina because of a sound bite. And with that, we’ve cemented our lock on the coveted ‘fickle’ demographic.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Oooo Baby, That Was Awesome!... Now What?
This will not set well with almost anybody, but it's the truth... maybe.
Republicans have almost forgotten about the campaign of 2008, except for that faint, yet ever so disgusting aftertaste. Still there. This one promises to be every bit as bad, probably worse.
Why? Because last time we were left with a choice when everything else percolated out, a choice between a hero and a flip-flopper. This time what we are left with is a choice between a person who will be able to beat Obama in the debates and the person who would, in all likelihood be the better President.
The truth is that Newt is a great debater, but another truth is that he isn't a good leader. Several of his peers have said so and others have sharply intimated that. I know that people will point to the contract with America and to that I would respond, "Yeah. And your point is?" Newt is an opportunist. He read the tea leaves of voter sentiment and he became Speaker of the House. And that is the same thing that he is doing now.
But the wrinkle in the story this time is that Newt has a lodestone around his neck that will eventually bring him down - potentially. Newt has done things. Newt has repented of those things and has been forgiven. And that makes things ok. Clean slate. Alz cooool.
The reality is, alz not cool. For many people these flaws aren't forgiven. For many, especially women, who have been betrayed and abandoned by those they trusted and relied on, he’s not forgiven and never will be. Their children maybe feel the same way. How big of a demographic is that? You know people like this. Guess. My bet is that it is less insignificant than we allow ourselves to think it is.
Here we are then; the party that was revolted to our core by Bill Clinton’s philandering as President and now we are going to give a pass to Newt because he repented and was forgiven. How very Christian of us. Problem is, not everyone buys into that. For some, this might appear to be just a touch… a little more… no just a bit mo… come damnit! A lot hypocritical.
And there is other “stuff”. Nancy Pelosi alluded to it. Come on, really? This is not going to get out? And how much stuff is out there, anyway?
The truth is that Newt is a crapshoot with an IED for the winner.
With Mitt, his problem is that he is viewed as a flip flopper. And he is. And what does this reveal to us?
Mitt is a very successful man. How did he get that way. He got that way by working with people, people who didn’t necessarily agree with him on everything, so he compromised. Everyone wins. In business, when everyone wins, everyone is happy. Sometimes, rarely, it’s even like that in politics.
Take Romneycare for example. We on the right look at Romneycare and we see Obamacare light – Obamneycare. The people of Massachusetts look at Romneycare and they see something they like. Something they want to keep.
But we on the right still hate that. The same way we continue to hate the Texas version of the dream act, notwithstanding the fact that the vast – let’s say that again – vast majority of people in Texas wanted it - liked it - advocated for it.
We on the right say we are all about states rights. We’re all over it! Come on, you can admit it! That’s not really true - is it? The truth is that we know what we know and we believe what we believe and if you have a problem with that…
So there we go. Guy who will wipe the floor with Obama in the debates, the guy whose presidency will likely be every bit as controversial as Clinton’s, with the possible exception of an utter lack of charisma; or a guy who people refuse to accept because he’s the establishment candidate, who we refuse to like for a lot of reasons, but who, of the two, would very likely be a much better President. *Probably not the President we need in these times but who ya gonna pick?
Santorum? Paul? We tossed the others already – remember?
Yeah. Unfortunate that.
Oh. And by the way, I'm not a Romney supporter. The sentence above, the one with the *. That's why.
Friday, January 13, 2012
Why Do You Support Him?
By in large, there is no discernable sense of urgency or depth of concern perceptible from the voters interviewed on TV. Those TV commentators who aren’t openly hostile to all Republican candidates, have accepted that the nominee is going to be the “establishment” choice. Hell, even the term “establishment” candidate is thrown around as if it were a totally passive term. Rush freaking Limbaugh, for crying out loud, has even joined the parade.
So my thought is; maybe the existential threat that I'm afraid of doesn't really exist. Maybe the direction this country is headed won't really lead to decline and fall. Perhaps the $15 trillion plus debt isn’t unsustainable at all. What if all of the DOOM crap that we have been hearing is really just so much hysteria?
If this is the case, then of course, the candidate whose life and professional record is reflective of a person who will say anything and do anything to whomever and whenever as long as it results in a win for him, this candidate is a harmless choice. We know that he will work with the other side to get things done that both sides want and that the labels conservative or liberal in the grand scheme of things are really not that relevant. In the end, we are members of a group and he is the choice of the ‘establishment’ of that group. Going along with the establishment makes the group more cohesive. As long as the country isn’t in any danger, what's the harm?
So things are pretty bad, but not that bad. We didn’t get here through any fault of a single party, after all. So a candidate who was a member of the institution that got us here – an insider if you will – that candidate wouldn’t be a bad choice either. Even if he used his connections to that institution as a basis for enriching himself wouldn’t be that bad. That's how the system works. The problems have evolved over time and it will take time to fix them. We should just let the system work.
So what if we were to choose a social conservative with a less than conservative history of voting in congress? As long as there is no need to focus on existential problems this person would fit right in. Many people feel that a return to traditional values is long over due and would be good for this country and like I said, if the economic future of the country isn’t at stake, this would be a good thing.
But what if those who think that this nation truly faces an existential threat are correct? What then? Would choosing any of those candidates still make sense?
Look, I don’t pretend to be absolutely right about this, but to me, given the circumstances this country and the world find themselves in, we should be certain that we have a solid basis for selecting the candidate who would have the best chance of saving this country or at least preventing its continued decline.
It’s obvious if you have read up to this point, that I am a Perry supporter and I believe I have a strong basis for that support. But let me go down the list of candidates and give, what I believe to be, a fair assessment of each candidate's strengths and weaknesses.
First Romney. Romney possesses some strong attributes such as the fact that he turned the Olympics around when they were facing really catastrophic economic circumstances. This, by anyone’s standards, was a major feat. He has also had stellar success as a venture capitalist and he was Governor or Massachusetts. One might include that he is very wealthy if that is a criteria that makes sense to evaluate. That to me is pretty much it. Now for the negatives: Many people would give Romney credit for being a successful Republican governor of a strongly Democratic state. But how did he do it? He did it, in my opinion, by giving his ‘opponents’ everything they ever wanted. I would have to say that Romney was one of the most successful Democrat governors that state has ever had. From this, and his work as a venture capitalist, Romney appears to be all about success – his success – and damn any other consequences or considerations. It is clear that Romney will work with the left to get things done, but would he work against the left to undo things if it meant that he wouldn’t be able to put a ‘W’ up in the win column? I have my doubts. He is the establishment candidate. Most people see that term as neutral, at worst. I don’t. I think that the establishment thrives in the status quo and to me, the status quo, at this point in time, sucks.
Gingrich – Newt, regardless of how he wants to portray himself, is an insider. He is student of history and political genius, in my mind. He knows how to operate within the system because he helped make it what it is. With Newt, it’s harder to separate his negative attributes from his positive ones. The fact that he wants to portray himself as an outsider tells me that like most politicians, he has no issue with deceit. Being a student of history, the fact that Newt recognizes this time as historically significant could work to his favor. He might actually do the things that need to be done so he can go down in history. Newt also knows how to work within the system. He made a lot of money out of politics by leveraging that knowledge. My fear of Newt is whether he’s in this for history; for going down in history as President, not necessarily a good or a bad President. Is he in this for the benefits that accrue to the holder of the office? We all know that win or lose, Newt will write a book about this experience. If he is elected, he’ll have material until the day he dies. There is some good and some bad in all of this, but for me, the fact that Newt’s character and his ethics have been called into question on multiple occasions, I simply can’t bring myself to trust that he will do the right things.
Santorum – Santorum was a liberal Republican senator from a highly Democrat state. He’s also a strong social conservative. Santorum bills himself as the conservative choice. That’s good – as long as you think that we need a strong social conservative as President and as long as you think that social conservatism will cure the ills that face us. His voting record as senator was liberal. Santorum to me, is the candidate that I like least in this election. As a liberal Republican, he lost in a landslide to his rival in PA which to me signifies that even the moderate Democrats had serious issues with the way he represented them. For me, Santorum is the wrong man, with the wrong record, at the wrong time.
Paul - Ron Paul would be my second choice in this election. He has a reputation as being off the rails on a lot of issues. For anyone who has really researched his positions on issues, they will know that his positions are significantly mischaracterized. Let me give you an example: His position on Israel. For me as a Jew, this is more important than it may be for many non-Jews. His position is that we should not be giving Israel the more than $3 billion annually that we give them in aid. From his critics, this is all that you know about it. What they don’t tell you is that he believes that giving this aid to Israel at the same time we are giving $20 billion a year to Israel’s enemies, is screwy policy. To me, it's hard to find fault with that. He has other more Libertarian positions on issues that appeal to me as well that make him a better choice than any of the other candidates except for one.
Perry – I’ll start with his negatives. Gardasil – most people fault him as a big government interventionist on this issue. Maybe he shouldn’t have sought to make it manditory. But I, and I think many others who have seen how cruelly cervical cancer kills women, can understand why he might have taken this position. The next negative is that people see the Texas version of the dream act as a program totally at odds with Republican doctrine. That position is indefensible in my opinion. The people of Texas, a huge majority of them, wanted it. Anyone supporting state’s rights should not be at odds with it. Oh - I almost forgot. Perry can’t debate. Perry can’t answer largely irrelevant questions from moderators who for the most part, want to portray all Republican’s as either radical, out of the mainstream, or kooks. I would have liked him to have performed better, but the truth is, Perry, speaking extemporaneously about relevant issues, without practice and without the aid of a teleprompter, is unrivaled in his ability to speak to them. Nobody in the field, with the possible exception of Gingrich, can touch him. Perry has had more than a decade of “vetting” by the media and by his rivals, and he is unassailable. Period. His character is unimpeachable, as are his ethics. The most important consideration to me is for this time especially, his record of success governing Texas, a state with a world class economy that is performing extraordinarily well while the economies of states and nations around it flounder.
That’s it. That’s my assessment of the candidates and that is my basis for my selection.
What’s yours? Is the basis for choosing your candidate sound? Is it fair? What is influencing your decision?
All I am saying is this: If you truly believe this country is at a crossroads in its history, then it’s my opinion that you owe it to yourself and those that come after you to have a sound basis for supporting your candidate.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Now Why, and What Did He Mean When He Said That?
There is nothing necessarily wrong with doing big, radical things. The majority of the problems though, start seeping in when one attempts to do things that nobody has ever been able to do successfully before.
There are typically reasons why people have failed in implementing big, radical things like socialism and why they are likely to fail again and there is a metaphor for the likelihood of that failure, and that is N. Korean military parades.
The big radical thing that leftists want to eventually implement world-wide is Socialism. In their minds, the rationale of the fairness of socialism is inescapable, but just as inescapable to them is what is required for it to succeed – unanimity. Everyone must participate for it to succeed. Everyone must share the vision. And that is where the metaphor comes in – everyone must march, in strict lockstep, unwaveringly, inexorably toward the goal of universal fairness. No exceptions!
For a universal idea to succeed, participation must logically be universal. And contained within that phrase is the word which virtually guarantees its failure. Must.
Look at the countries where governments have created the illusion of the success of socialism. What is it that they have tried their best to convey to the world? Uniformity. Unanimity. The metaphor of the perfectly choreographed, one organism, military parade.
But everyone looks at these countries and recognizes their seeming success to be an illusion. Even the leftists of this country see that while the parade is in unison, not everyone is at the parade. Yet the leftist in them remains convinced that somewhere, someone will make socialism work – that universal fairness must be achieved. And they are convinced that they are the ones to do it.
That they are the ones they have been waiting for.
Friday, June 18, 2010
What is the agenda? No - not the superficial agenda, you know the one that causes that spurt of instant anger. I'm talking about the underlying agenda - the hidden agenda, the one that ignites the flame of anger in you that can't be extinguished. There are obviously reasons for the choices to do, or not do these things. What are they?
Why the resistance to policing the border? Certainly there are the obvious and really pretty petty and irrational reasons such as expanding the voter base for the left, or maintaining a cheap labor pool from the right.
But these can't be the real reasons, can they? It makes no sense.
Why isn't there an environment being created to foster the creation of jobs? This is striking! Strikingly cruel. Millions of people who, by the way, we hear virtually nothing about, are having their lives utterly destroyed. Family units are being destroyed. There is significant reason to believe that people are being subjected to a level of poverty so abject that they may be going hungry - in this country. I am not over dramatizing this. What is the reason for this? Are they purposely trying to create a class of Americans that will live in abject poverty? Surely, this can't be the plan, can it?
Why the urgency of subjecting this country to such profound debt? What will be gained from this? Why is capitalism under such assault? Why are markets being destroyed and why are the markets being mined for the wealth of the investors? Why are peoples' savings being destroyed? Why are large corporations and investment banks being allowed to totally ignore their fiduciary obligations to their investors?
Why is it necessary that this country be deminished in standing in the world? Why is it suddenly necessary for the U.S. to abandon historic, trustworthy and faithful allies in order to embrace radical, oppressive regimes that would welcome our disintegration as a world power, and who would eradicate billions of people who do not share their beliefs without a second thought? Why neuter the only force for good in the world and why the urgency to do so?
Why aren't all of the forces available to this country from within the country and from around the world being brought to bear to solve the oil disaster in the gulf. What will be gained from destroying this ecosystem and this way of life? And why are clearly unconstitutional remedies being carried out with the collusion of the company that was the principal player in the disaster that seems to be so obviously detrimental to that company?
Why aren't these unconstitutional acts being more vigorously resisted by the opposition?
These are questions that require some thought. They are some questions that require some answers and the answers are obviously not the superficial ones.
Look at these questions. Think about the answers. What do they lead you to believe about where we are in the lifecycle of this country? What do they lead you to believe about the people who are behind what is going on that lead you in the direction of answering the questions?
What do these questions, and possibly the answers to these questions say about what time it is? For this country? For you and your family? For the fate of billions of people? For freedom?
How much longer you will wait before taking action? What is necessary for you to take action?
Speak out! Support those who oppose the leftist movement that is undermining this country! Pressure your representatives with your anger! Do not stand for representative who will not resist the destruction of freedom and perhaps the very existence of this country!
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Failed Idiotic Utopian Plans Disguised by Lies
But the real message here I think is that the Obama administration let things get away from them with their 'Smart Diplomacy' and they are desperately trying to back track and re-calibrate their relationship with our historic dependable allies because they’ve come to realize that making allies out of our enemies isn’t working out so well.
Of course the message from the MSM will be, “See! He wasn’t trying to destroy relationships. He was just misunderstood.”
No, in fact he gambled with our security and now he is having a hard time covering his bets. Let's hope the payoff is not in blood.
Link from Israelly Cool
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Congress: Hey People, Thank You For Being Stupid
Congress, by focusing on further demonizing institutions that they have already vilified for *gasp* making money, hopes to annoint a scapegoat for the world's economic mess while deflecting blame from themselves. They hope to lay a cause for the meltdown for history on a symptom instead of the cause and thus maintain their all important legacies. Goldman, having made their windfall and certain to benefit even more from any future "regulation", and looking at most a mild slap on the wrist as punishment is showing itself to be quite the resigned sacrificial offering.
Our elected officials caused the global meltdown. Not the ones in Europe or the far east, but American politicians. They with their towering economic intellects, contrived and then crafted the perverse model that European politicians copied that led to the debt - the unperforming debt - that caused the global economy to collapse. Debt that continues to grow, by the way, at an astronomical pace and for which an illusion was created to dupe everyone into believing is under control. That illusion will fade, but no-one knows when. Here’s a nice synopsis of our debt condition - http://tinyurl.com/2ct5pym.
Was Wall Street innocent in the unfolding of the events that led to the collapse? Was Goldman Sachs?
Not by any stretch of the imagination. Wall Street and the players who made out like (pardon the pun) bandits in the economic disaster of 2008 merely fanned the flames of the collapse by taking advantage of what for them was a once in a lifetime business advantage that they were fortunate to see arising and those like Lehman and WaMu didn't. What they did that fueled the fire was almost certainly the most selfish and worst example of collective greed run amok, but was also probably not illegal and in the end they can claim, and rightly so, that they were only servicing the interests of their shareholders.
Our elected officials think we are stupid. And when they see polls that show that the people want them to punish Wall Street, they smile inwardly knowing they have dodged the bullet that they themselves inadvertently tried to shoot themselves with and once again, they are proved right.
The people who elected them are stupid.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
You sound frightened. Yeah... me too. Not for me, but for my children. I’m frightened for the children of other Jews and for Israel and the children there, and for other Jews.
In my weak mind, Jews have been the target of murderers for a lot of reasons, but one main one has been that when it became inconvenient to be constrained, or at the very least restrained by standards of conduct and morality, there stood the Jews, a human signpost placed by G-d to warn against straying from the road to humanity when all other roads lead to freedom from restraint and immorality and eventually inhumanity.
Another reason was that when certain people needed something, normally someone to blame, there were the Jews - always a minority and nearly always without a fallback position. Convenient.
And that is the state that we find ourselves again – a minority, with not our interests, but the importance of our existence it sometimes seems, being weighed against things like the interests of Islam, or Europe or even the U.S.
If I were but fortunate to know the mind of G-d, but in my mind (weak mind remember) it is such an irony to me that possibly the main reason that humanity still exists at all is what so much of humanity wants to see destroyed and that we find ourselves today, so soon it seems after haShoah contemplating whether or not it is possible again in our day.
But we have a fallback position. Israel. And they want to take it from us. And it is heart breaking that so many of us don’t seem to care all that much.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Healthcare Observers - Wrong On Many Accounts
They're wrong about healthcare - the reasons for it and the why it was so urgent to implement it. They're wrong on why the two sides disagree.
Healthcare has nothing to do with healthcare whatsoever. It has to do with a well of money that is running dry. The well I am referring to is a number of programs that had become bottomless pits of money to politicians. Unfortunately, they weren’t bottomless, and when the bottom was reached, there literally was nothing left.
I’m talking about programs such as Social Security and Medicare that were like fire hoses of money to the government that politicians grew accustomed to having at their disposal to use basically to bribe states, corporations and individuals into doing whatever they wanted them to do. There were also semi-governmental entities like Fannnie Mae and Freddie Mac that operated as essentially as political slush funds for funding re-election campaigns for politicians on both sides of the filth filled capital isles.
The reason why the two sides disagree is that on one side, you have people with a common belief that the end justifies the means in achieving their ideology. On the other side, you have people with a common belief that honesty has disappeared from the exchange of information between politicians and the people.
On one side you have an ideology that focuses on empathy for who they consider the downtrodden to the absolute exclusion of consideration of any expense that this focus may incurr. On the other side you have an ideology that focuses on ownership and self sufficiency and a set of rules that protect those ideals which, because of its focus is portrayed as being ambivalent at best, toward those who have less or who are judged to be suffering.
With the advent of socialized healthcare, there is a new firehose filling the well. A well that might not run dry for a decade or more, but when it does, because 1) the money will almost certainly be spent, and possibly multiple times as it flows in, and 2) the outflow money will be, at a minimum, triple the inflow after that time limit has expired. And instead of an official debt of $12 trillion, the debt will be much, much more and it will be growing at a rate that will be impossible to comprehend let alone manage.