I am not a cynic. I am a conservative optimist.
…. not cynical, just somewhat dependably skeptical. I want to know the details. Yes, that’s me … in an optimistic way.
I am not a cynic. I am a conservative optimist.
…. not cynical, just somewhat dependably skeptical. I want to know the details. Yes, that’s me … in an optimistic way.
I am just amazed. As a fiscal conservative there are a ton of things that I would do to rein in spending. And I bet that we could get Democrats on board too.
Hooray for the Gang of Six.
As a responsible fiscal conservative I also understand that you have got to give to get. Some might call that compromise. It depends on whether you are selling your pride or your principals for cheap.
Pride should never be allowed to get in the way. And you aren’t selling your principals for cheap if you get most of what you want.
Charles Krauthammer — arch conservative — had a great piece in the Washington Post this morning on Paul Ryan’s budgetary plan. Called ‘‘After Ryan’s leap, a rush of deficit demagoguery“, even Krauthammer doubts that there is a Republican other than Ryan that even has a clue about the numbers and that can explain what they mean.
As to Krauthammer’s point, Republicans are already pulling the rug out from under Paul Ryan by having introduced an ALL NEW plan yesterday.
Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio and his allies essentially say that transitioning society to a different self-sustainable way across 50 years is about … 41 years and 9 months too long. We either get right by 2020 or sooner.
BTW – the Jim Jordan plan: some talking points. The essence of the Tea Party (and the meandering left, too): talking points, ideology, no math, no evidence balancing social programs with critical stuff such as credit card wars, blank check security spending, etc.
As for the federal shutdown soap opera: what a mess WE created.
We are the collective American voters that claim we want an independent-minded Congress and yet continuously elect people that vote the party line, of both parties.
However, we wouldn’t be arguing about an impending shutdown if the last Democratically-controlled Congress passed a budget, or even made an attempt.
To their credit, the current lineup of Democrats have compromised/agreed to much more than the $30 billion in cuts wanted by House Speaker Boehner and the Republican leadership. Hooray for meeting the Republicans more than half-way.
Although the Republicans then filled the spending agreement with poison pill programmatic bill riders that no self-respecting Democrat would vote for — note: Democrats have a long history of doing the same so there! Weasels.
Sober up folks! A shutdown might be good.
To the Democrats that are crying in their hands about how unfair and uncaring Republicans, especially Tea Partyers, are, then I have a few thoughts for you:
#2 – You, the Democrats never even finalized a budget bill. There was no Senate version that matched a House version. So a vote was not even possible until that happened, yet you say that you didn’t vote because of the threat of a filibuster.
#3 – After the election you could have called a special session and worked on the budget until the Senate and the House resolved the wording and came up with a single plan.
#4 – Screw the Tea Party. Democrats need to stop being afraid of their own shadows and need to hire an unemployed circus clown to bring some organization to the party. Many Americans may think that Republicans are mean, scary and could care less BUT why not just rename your party ‘the Jellyfish Confederation’ and be done with it.
Tip: Ask Bill Clinton to explain what cojones are.
When Congress and the parties come to understand that ‘We the people’ includes a whole spectrum of beliefs other than the snakeoil-of-the-day being peddled by individual congressmen then maybe, just maybe, we will have a better government capable of passing next year’s budget before next year is almost half over.
A pox on them all!
David J. Frum is a Canadian American conservative journalist active in both USA and Canadian politics, a former economics speechwriter for President George W. Bush, and founder of FrumForum.com (formerly NewMajority.com), a political group blog.
At the beginning of this process we made a strategic decision: unlike, say, Democrats in 2001 when President Bush proposed his first tax cut, we would make no deal with the administration. No negotiations, no compromise, nothing. We were going for all the marbles. This would be Obama’s Waterloo – just as healthcare was Clinton’s in 1994.
Only, the hardliners overlooked a few key facts: Obama was elected with 53% of the vote, not Clinton’s 42%. The liberal block within the Democratic congressional caucus is bigger and stronger than it was in 1993-94. And of course the Democrats also remember their history, and also remember the consequences of their 1994 failure.
This time, when we went for all the marbles, we ended with none.
Could a deal have been reached? Who knows? But we do know that the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big. The Obama plan has a broad family resemblance to Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan. It builds on ideas developed at the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for Republican counter-proposals to Clintoncare in 1993-1994.
Barack Obama badly wanted Republican votes for his plan. Could we have leveraged his desire to align the plan more closely with conservative views? To finance it without redistributive taxes on productive enterprise – without weighing so heavily on small business – without expanding Medicaid? Too late now. They are all the law.
No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the “doughnut hole” and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there – would President Obama sign such a repeal?
by Dennis Sanders, RepublicansUnited.us
I totally agree. GOP leadership can huff and puff all they like, but they aren’t going muster any votes to take away something that has been given to them. It’s a nice issue to stir up the passions of the base for the next few years, but let’s face it: this legislation is here to stay.
Sure, conservatives and Republicans might have their revenge in November and pick up a few seats-something that will make the hardliners feel good- but in the end, this is victory for the Democrats. We will end up with a bill that will be in effect long after the leading GOP leaders have left Washington.
Ross Douthat has made fun of moderate Republicans in the past for basically becoming the accountants of the welfare state- allowing Democrats to have their big government programs, but making sure these plans were fiscally sound. What would have happened had the party allowed Olympia Snowe to help work out a deal that would have made health care reform more fiscally sustainable? What if an Orrin Hatch (who is not a moderate) or Bob Bennett had been able to force a tax on so-called “Cadillac Plans” that would help fund the deal and also lead to some meaningful reform on costs?
We will never know because the leadership made damn sure no Republican cooperated. I think in the long run, this will be the GOP’s Waterloo, a big spectacular loss. We can’t see it now, but give it five or ten years.
We lost this one, big time.
Bill4DogCatcher.com sez: Tactics may win battles but poor strategy loses or wins wars. The Republican strategy had no tactics except delay and obstruction, and their strategy was to hope that the TEA Party rallied enough support to scare the bejesus out of lawmakers. A war lost due to squandered opportunities to capture the conversation and to work for the American people.
Here is the Election 2010 scenario as I see it: there will be a constitutional challenge to the passage of the Health Care Reform. However, there is a degree to which that really doesn’t matter. Timing will reward the Democrats.
The Supreme Court will not hurriedly accept appeals to overturn the new Health Care Reform Act. Sometime in 2011 may be the earliest that they accept a challenge, late 2010 at the earliest. This is bad news for Republicans.
Between now and late spring 2010 there are no major political issues for Republicans to champion. They have put all of their hopes into a single issue and failed miserably. Their closest allies, the TEA Party in particular, already consider the GOP largely impotent and this just proves it. Republicans can expect to face challenges across the nation in their primaries and in the general election from third party and independent conservatives.
Between now and late summer 2010 the economy will make improvements. These improvements will be sufficient enough to make President Obama and the Democrats look like they are doing good things — although I do predict an economic downturn in late 2010: see 2010 Dog Catcher Predictions – Economics, from January 3, 2010.
The Democrats, despite their historic ability to grab defeat from the jaws of victory, will do well enough in November 2010 to maintain control of one or both houses of Congress. The Republicans — between now and November 2010 — will descend into self-pity, playing pin the tail on the donkey, anger and will remain without a strategy.
There are issues that Republicans can win on in November but they will need to listen to cooler heads — and I think that there are some smart folks in the TEA party that actually have the basis for a winning plan, although TEA must work to overcome their negative imagery: one part deserved and one part the natural way politics works when there is strong disagreement and your opponent wants to paint you as being on the edge … about to fall off.
OK, so I did it. I went to the local Coffee Party on Saturday, March 13th.
I’m conservative with a long track record of supporting whatever walks the right side of the street. Although born a Democrat, back in 1972 I even joined the ‘Democrats for Nixon’ campaign as a highschooler — in Florida there were no Republicans elected to state office until 1978. None. Long story short: I have never identified with liberal or Democratic groups, even though I was born a Democrat — registering as a Republican only when that other former Democrat ‘God bless Ronald Reagan’ ran for president.
Bottomline: I wasn’t sure how these Coffee folks would take to someone with an NRA ballcap, who openly describes themself as conservative, or how they would deal with someone willing to discuss issues from a more conservative perspective. Certainly I have seen how more liberal-minded people were treated by the opposing view in my community — not a pretty sight.
There were a few things said by fellow attendees that made my ears twitch. At one point a group moderator even pointed me out and said “OK, so you smiling. So why the smile?” Blink. Blink. “Oh, crap” thought I. “She mistaked my smirk for a smile.” Time to put up or to shut up. So I did. Blink. Blink. “OK, well that’s a helpful perspective to understand a different view”, said she … and on we moved in the conversation. Hmmm …
Our group conversation focused on issues that we all individually believe should be of interest and worthy of group investigation. The issues added up: 15, 20, 25 … perhaps 30 different issues got listed. Then each participant got two votes to select two issues that they personally would like the group to focus on. Issues with the most votes were rolled into four study groups.
Hmmm … so the rumors that I heard beforehand that this was just a disguised group pimping for liberal causes or the Democratic party were … they were … bogus. Solidly bogus.
By the day’s end I found myself in the ‘Financial Oversight’ issue study group responsible for issues such as taxation, banking regulation, etc.
Boom! So now we would get our agenda if it were ever to happen. Someone would surely guide the study groups to what breadcrumbs should be followed. Nope. Didn’t happen.
We six group members decided what topics we wanted to study, set our own agenda for meeting, created a Facebook page to exchange info and to build whitepapers that can be used within the group and for approaching our legislators. The Coffee leadership didn’t even get involved in asking what we had decided upon. They’ll find out when we report back later in the month.
I’m not Satan, and you ain’t Lucifer … even though you drink coffee, tea and/or koolaid.
America stands at a crossroads. We are always arriving at some crossroad but the issues today are huge and imminently in front of us. The outcome will directly affect our children and grandchildren, leaving them incredible debt. We owe trillions to foreign countries and investors (and to Americans, too) — almost $2 trillion is due in October 2010 to pay back money borrowed in the early 2000s.
We have major healthcare issues that are at an impasse; our system is one of the best medicine that people can buy. Yet we rank just ahead of Cuba in the general health of our population. Obamacare to me is an abomination that will bankrupt the country and yet the alternative is “personal responsibility” — even though healthcare insurers are a monopolistic industry and some recently announced hikes of 25-36% in annual premiums.
Enough of labels. Enough of political party hacks and support groups — both the Democratic and Republican parties are focused on the next election. Neither can be trusted to hold real discussions and to make hard decisions. Each put party before country.
As for all the liberals, moderates, conservatives and wingers of every stripe: I’m not Satan, and you ain’t Lucifer … even though you drink coffee, tea and/or koolaid.
If you want to sit down with me and discuss issues then good. Check your name calling and label machines at the door — I don’t have time for you or that if that is what you are about.
Here is what I am about: God bless the U.S. Constitution, the 10th Amendment has real meaning, don’t put your hands in my pockets to pay for programs — unless we are both paying the same, and we should pay as we go. I don’t believe that “cut taxes” is the answer to everything, but taxes should be minimal and government intrusion into our lives should also be. But be assured “we” includes both you and me. We are both Americans — and I’ll drink any beer that you buy me. … :^)
I’ll meet with you any time and any place — except Sunday afternoons when I’m either enjoying my Second Amendment rights or playing soccer, or doing both.
BTW – I drink both tea and coffee. Both are OK with me.
This post by Bill Golden, aka Bill4DogCatcher.com, an independent observer of American political life, economics, and workforce issues.
In simple polling, the majority (50-60%) of Americans have consistently self-identified as “conservative” since the early Reagan era. When asked to explore their actual beliefs and to state preferences the picture changes.
The all-time great boogeyman of American politics — Liberals — never make up more than 15-20% of Americans no matter whether self-identified or as identified through issue preferences.
In this study, however, the electorate is broken down using a more expansive five-point scale of political ideology that reflects the variety of approaches people ascribe to today. Employing this more calibrated measure, 34 percent of the country identifies as “conservative,” 29 percent as “moderate,” 15 percent as “liberal,” 16 percent as “progressive,” and 2 percent as “libertarian.” After moderates are asked which approach they lean toward, the overall ideological breakdown of the country divides into fairly neat left and right groupings, with 47 percent of Americans identifying as progressive or liberal and 48 percent as conservative or libertarian. The rest are unsure or scattered among moderate and other approaches.
American politics are so much fun.
“The more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. The one that’s out always looks the best.” (Will Rogers, Illiterate Digest,1924, “Breaking into the Writing Game”)
One of the things that really bothers me about American politics is the passion for tagging someone: ‘Oh, he’s a left-wing socialist … or they’re a bunch of conservative right-wing fascists’ … or whatever.
What happened to just being plain about it?
Why not just say: ‘He’s a wuss that refuses to take the same position as me.’
Be a man about it. Just admit that the other guy is a moron because he doesn’t want to do it your way.
We Americans are just so into ‘us and them’. ‘Them’ is always the bad guy.
Republicans have long possessed a lockstep mentality (or did until recently). That’s probably the reason that they are so late to the game with proposed solutions when the call for ideas go out. However, with things being what they are we really need the Republicans to get into the game so we can come up with American solutions to the problems facing us all.
Hopefully the Republicans find out soon what the party line is … or start thinking on their own.
Democrats on the other hand span the spectrum of beliefs. They come available and ready for all occasions.
As a party, the Big D challenge is that many of them generally hold in poor regard anything to the right of the center. Not that you can always blame them when a key statesman for the other side is known as Darth Vader and ‘my way or the highway‘ is considered an entire political philosophy.
Historically the Democrats have opened themselves up to critique. The tail often wags the Democratic dog. (And the same can be said for the red R dawg, too). As Will Rogers once noted about his own political views: “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”
On Sale. Cheap! Political Labels Are Now Meaningless
Once upon a time you could call someone a liberal and it would almost end the political career of that person. Not any more. The Republicans so misused, overused and abused the term that since 99% of America is now labeled liberal then what’s to hate about being liberal?!
Of course, the remaining 1% of real Americans are arguing about what is a Republican?! Good luck with that.
Recently, many Democrats have taken the same tack by smearing right of center folks as being conservative and right-wing. Conservative and Right-Wing are being used interchangeably.
Technically that may be true; conservatives are normally to the right of center.
I am conservative and NOT right-wing … just as many liberals are to the left of center, or even in the center, but are not left-wingers.
Definitions of Left, Center & Right Americans
Left-wing and Right-wingers often sound like liberals and conservatives. The difference is that the wingers are not afraid to trample truth in order to achieve their political goals. “Propaganda” looks like gospel compared to what these folks put out. Propaganda is the truth with a little but important lie stuck in there somewhere. It is political spin. The facts and the tales that come out of the mouths of wingers are usually much closer to a big fat lie than it is to being good quality propaganda. Wingers have logic and veracity issues cloaked as liberalism or confused with being conservatism.
Liberals and Conservatives both have principles and represent what is best in America. They just disagree. And while they may see truth differently, they both try to put America first. America is not a victim when these two meet — preferably over a beer or some other wholesome American pasttime. America is blessed because at the end of the day we all, liberal and conservative alike, are challenged in our views and there is wisdom and answers from both — with compromise usually encouraged upon us by moderates and progressives.
Moderates are absolutely the finest blending of red, white and blue. Moderates are perhaps the most practical of all Americans — their focus is on consideration of the facts and selecting the best solutions. Unlike liberals and conservatives they seldom have the hurdle of needing to get past their pride before getting on to finding an answer. Moderates seldom lead the way forward, however — which is hard to do when you are standing in the middle of American’s political intersection with heavy traffic coming and going both ways — the probability of the blue car hitting me is .04% less than that big truck coming … so I’ll … oops, need to recalculate. God bless them and protect them.
Progressives share many of the same challenges that moderates do, except they’ve figured out how to run like hell across the street when they see the lights change. Progressives are proactive, and made up of liberals, moderates and conservatives. Progressives live in the land of ‘why not?!’ … and are usually at the forefront of coalition building. Progressives often lead from both the left and the right at the very same time — because they are goal focused, yet take in consideration the bigger picture of not just tomorrow but the day after, too.
Warning: Progressives tend to be American independents. Don’t include them in your little party unless you are prepared for the occasional food fight. “I don’t think so” and “you are full of … stuffing” are two of their favorite phrases. Blend in some moderates that believe they are being taken advantage of and your party will be a big l-o-s-e-r.
I know that my definitions won’t suit everyone. But if you hear or read me using a political label then … please see above.
“Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.”
-– Will Rogers