If there’s one thing that can be said for the national GOP leadership, it wouldn’t be that it has fully considered the long-term ramifications of its current predicament. Consider the “presumed” nominee this election cycle, one Willard “Mitt” Romney. Formerly a liberal Republican when it suited him in Massachusetts, the wily politician is hoping that eight years in absentia from holding office and growing distrust of our current President will propel him to the highest office; all without having to stand tall on any conservative meat and potato issue.
The last time a Republican won with this strategy, it was a squeaker of an election. Eight years of Clinton fatigue made even some democrats weary (a mathematical necessity if any Republican can expect to win the Presidency)..
Consider that Dubya in 2000 at least threw a bone to anti-war liberals and conservatives by claiming he would institute a humble foreign policy and eschew the nation-building that had ended so tragically for our former allies in Serbia ( ironically the US sided with extremist Muslim groups tied to Osama bin Laden ) and our troops in Somalia. In fact, it was this particular stand that may have solidified conservative support for Bush and some moderate anti-war liberals.
To add a bit of intrigue into the mix, Ralph Nader decided to run on the Green Party ticket splitting some of the anti-war left away from Gore and Bush resulting in a nail-biting affair that left most astute watchers with a bad taste in their mouth. It was not pretty watching weeks of hanging chad on TV and ugly legal challenges to election results that left the real outcome in doubt.
A new story from Neil Munro at the Daily Caller is making the rounds of the blogosphere. The main focus of the article is that Obama’s new strategy will be to paint Mitt Romney as a radical libertarian, which to actual libertarians is so laughable it’s genuinely sad. But I’m sure my colleagues are going to tackle that main point, and I will certainly get to it in just a bit. But there are some things that immediately jump out at me I feel need to be focused on.
First, there’s this tidbit, which I emphasized in bold:
President Barack Obama is previewing his next strategy in the 2012 campaign — an audacious effort to paint former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and the majority GOP as radical libertarians that have abandoned mainstream American politics.
Since 2000, “we [Democrats] haven’t moved that much… What’s changed is the Republican Party,” Obama told a group of wealthy donors gathered Monday night at a New York town-house owned by Marc Lasry. Lasry is a billionaire equity-capitalist who runs a $20 billion fund that buys up the shaky assets of failing companies.
Nicholas Freiling over at Values & Capitalism—a blog run by the American Enterprise Institute—has a well meaning but utterly misguided—and I would argue, rather silly—post about bankruptcy and student loans. It is inappropriately titled “Student Loan Forgiveness: One Idea That Doesn’t Deserve to Graduate.” He says:
If you are like most college students, you have already accrued a considerable amount of student loan debt. College is expensive, and without student loans many would simply be unable to obtain a college education.
But over the past few months, many have begun to question the efficacy of borrowing so much money—even for a purpose as worthy as education. Recently, the Chicago Tribune reported that student loan debt reached $870 billion—surpassing both car and credit card debt—and is projected to climb rapidly over the next few years.
Thus, it is understandable that The Fairness for Struggling Students Act (FSSA) has become high on the agenda for many government and education officials. The FSSA would allow student loan debt from private lenders to be wiped out in bankruptcy proceedings. Seen as a remedy for a growing economic problem, the Act has found support among many in government and academic circles.
But the reality is: The FSSA is an unjust bill that should warrant no support from respectable students, no matter how indebted they are.
So basically, what FSSA would say is that student loan debt would be treated like…every other single type of debt? So it wouldn’t be, you know, a “special” and “unique” form of debt that people could not erase, but would be treated like debt from any other source, like a mortgage or a car loan or anything like that?
And this is bad thing? Where does he get this idea from?
Every election year, both major parties start up wth “wasted vote” rhetoric to convince those of us who don’t buy into their policies to not vote for a third party. The fear of 2000 still weighs heavily on their minds, it seems. I’ve always contended that, in a democracy, the only wasted vote is the vote you give to someone who you disagree with, since it entirely defeats the very point of, you know, a democracy.
But if we’re going to go down the wasted vote road, for once, let’s do it on the Democrats’ and Republicans’ terms, so they can see the folly of their argument. Mine is thus:
If you live in a non-battleground state, any vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate is wasted.
You heard that right.
This year, according to the AP, the battleground states are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia. Of course, this list is bound to change within the next six months, and I’ve seen that there may be as many as 12 “swing states” (a near-synonym for “battleground states”). Charlie Cook—one of the best political pundits out there—takes out New Hampshire and North Carolina and swaps in Pennsylvania instead. It doesn’t matter the exact state right now; in the weeks leading up to the election, you will definitely know if your state is a battleground or not based on how many ads you get, and how many visits candidates make.
You always hear about how the left is so tolerant, so open-minded, so embracing, so encouraging of individual people to be themselves and live their own lives.
The introduction of Senators Schumer and Casey’s new tax collection law—and some of the commentary on it—shows how much of that is just totally bupkiss.
As many of you are no doubt aware, Eduardo Saverin, co-founder of Facebook, gave up his US citizenship in 2011 and became a permanent resident of Singapore. Many believe this is because of his stake in the Facebook IPO—he could pay upwards of $100 million on that if he’s still a citizen due to capital gains taxes. (Although I’m pretty sure you still have to pay taxes for some odd number of years after you renounce your citizenship, though I may need to check that out.)
Doug Mataconis blogged about this last week over at Outside the Beltway, where he notes that it’s probably an unconstitutional law and is going nowhere. But it was in his comments that I found something much more illuminating: how the left truly sees this.
We immediately start off, right at the beginning, with this, from a guy named “Norm”:
This guy is a scumbag.
Well, isn’t that nice and compassionate and caring. Doug challenges him, to which Norm responds with:
He came to America and benefited from the safety and education and business opportunities that taxes help fund. Only now he doesn’t want to pay the taxes that fund those things he benefited from.
Ipso facto…scum bag.
President Obama has been playing games over the past week, after Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview that he was “comfortable” with gay marriage and the administration has rushed out to say that he’s not marking a change in government policy or any such thing. There’s even been talk that Biden’s comment was deliberate, an attempt to have one’s cake and eat it too.
Meanwhile, Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson had this to say in a press release:
Libertarian nominee for President and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson today called for the Obama Administration to “make up its mind” when it comes to supporting marriage equality for all Americans, citing Vice-President Biden’s weekend comments appearing to support gay marriage and White House efforts since to clarify those comments.
Johnson, who supports gay marriage equality, received the Libertarian Party nomination for President Saturday, and will be on the ballot in all 50 states. “The President is playing cruel, cynical politics with a deeply personal issue for many Americans,” said Johnson. “He should quit trying to have it both ways and take a stand.”
In a statement released Wednesday, Johnson said, “Gay marriage equality is not a trick question, and we shouldn’t be getting trick answers from the President of the United States. Gay Americans deserve better than a President who winks and nods and tries to convince them that he will protect their rights, but refuses to emerge from the closet and support one of the most basic rights – the right to equal access to marriage. And frankly, even opponents of gay marriage deserve the truth from the White House. Is the President for it or against it? Right now, the Administration is trying to have it both ways”
“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States
The famous line, uttered by our nation’s only Catholic president on a cold January day in 1961, is often used by liberals and conservatives alike as rallying cry for public service…and larger government. Citizens should sacrifice, it is said, for the greater welfare of their nation and fellow countrymen, and the government should be there as a parent to watch over us. The great Milton Friedman wrote in the introduction to his 1962 edition of Capitalism and Freedom (h/t Michael Cannon of Cato):
Traditionally Conservative institutions like the New Republic, Fox News, Cato Institute, American Interest, and many more are being subsumed by the leftist creep of socialism. This is more, than just mere observation. Main editors at the New Republic are openly ‘Obama for America’ contributors and backers on their Facebook subscription sites.
Fox News has gotten monetary contributions, and is; heavily backed by billionaire investor George Soros (who also supports Occupy Wall Street movements throughout the US).
Stalwart think-tanks like the Cato Institute are changing hands, covertly, because main-stream establishment parties like the GOP, DNC are not content with ‘national’ philosophic currents. Even the beatdown ultra conservative American Interest magazine, is starting to run articles by Harvard liberal pundits like Fareed Zakaria, among others.
To me, these development are frightening. Pres. Obama was no joke when he announced in 2008 during his Chicago platform, that he wanted “to fundamentally transform America.”
Capitalism is not failing, never has, never will. But somehow, these fringe liberals, European socialists and ‘intellectuals’ are coming around on some shape of footing: I dare claim, that they are actually finding their warstance against the United States.
Make no mistake, while transformations are taking place; they are always hardest to pin-point, to frame. But they are happening. Like a plains-storm gathering.
What the left actually do, and what they are planning; go together symbiotically.
Americans are to be supplanted as guarantors of freedom around the world; and be replaced with ‘multilateral’ bodies, assemblies and parliamentary bodies, that can then be filled with all sorts of non-American interests: the UN, NATO, ASEAN, the EU, Sahel Zone, inmates, criminals for a puppet-Global Government.
Our U.S. Constitution is a remarkably efficient document. It is our only founding charter. Many times changed, rendered, adumbrated. But it’s essence is unshakable. Written in Thomas Jefferson’s handwriting, edited against his will, pored over, discussed, hushed about, while it lay about some small wooden tables in independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Americans believe, that the Constitution is the link between our government and our lives. Congress and the Executive, can not overstep the harmony that exists, by each American following his path of liberty. Unfortunately, too many harmful minds, want too much power in this country. Power never vested in the Constitution. Power never meant to be handled by bureaucrats or officials or committees. We need to change all this. The oath of office should be sworn on the Constitution. In the Capital Rotunda. Among the historicity of remains from past great ages of the United States.
Drones in our night skies. Unelected lawyers interpreting the U.S. Constition. Surveillance. Internet spying. Blackouts and Stasi-like encroachements. Torturing. Deaths and internment of American citizens. Socialization of medicare for the elderly, and healthcare for those in mid-age. Food stamps and deductibles for people who do not work. Taxation over representation. Data-accumulation. Groping at airports. Fumbling and nefarious Justice Department officials. Cronies. Welfare abuses. War and destruction as an industry, like Hollywood and Corporate America! Blame-games. Undermining of basic civil rights. Monetarism-mongering! Unaccountability and state-sponsored fear. Campaigns of division. Solutions disguised for self-created problems.
With Senator Olympia Snowe announcing that she will not run for a fourth term, some pundits—including John Nichols of The Nation—are claiming that moderate Republicanism is dead. I’m not 100% sure of that, but it does seem that moderation within the GOP is fast becoming impossible. Santorum and Gingrich have stalled, but even with Romney in the lead, it appears that the Republican party is still moving to the right, and not in the manner of Ron Paul.
Doug Mataconis is calling it the “Twilight of the RINOs.” I find it to be apt—and lamentable. It is quite disheartening to see the GOP get devoured by radical “wingers” who are unable to compromise in order to advance a truly free market agenda, and are basically letting the left win the ideological battle because they are painting themselves as frothing-at-the-mouth nutjobs with their talk of how the gays are destroying America and how President Obama is actually a Muslim from Kenya with an anti-colonialist worldview—things that the vast majority of the American public simply does not buy.
There have been many treatises written over the decades about the demise of the GOP. This is a common defense of many Republican and conservative pundits, but that’s just the appeal to history fallacy: you guys said it before and it didn’t happen, so it obviously won’t happen this time. I’m not so sure.
Americans are fed up with both parties. They’re disgusted by the blatant disrespect for democracy and economic stupidity practiced by the (inappropriately named) Democratic Party, yet simultaneously are turned off with the radical right-wing psycho-populist pro-war Republican Party. And with the moderate faction of the GOP essentially dissipating, the question becomes: what now?