Note: I’ve adapted these 10 things from this post about Christians and atheists. It’s not a complete rip off (or an endorsement of that post), but I wanted to give credit where credit is due.
We fight all the time. Every problem America has is because of them. They did this to our country. The bickering will continue forever, but there are a few things Republicans and Democrats all need to be able to agree on.
1. Both sides have done some awful things.
Let’s stop pretending we’re perfect and admit that both parties have pushed some bad legislation on America. This act where we pretend we’re perfect and they’re pure evil is pretty pathetic.
2. Both sides really believe what they’re saying.
The Democrats really do believe they can fix our problems by taxing the rich. Republicans really do believe that tax cuts stimulate job growth. The other guys aren’t trying to trick you – right or wrong, they really believe in what they’re saying.
3. For the most part, we want the same things.
It’s important to remember that we really do want the same things: a better America, opportunities for our children, a chance to succeed. We differ in our views on how to reach those goals, but it’s important to remember that we have many of the same goals in mind.
4. There are good people on both sides.
It’s an election year, so we’re hearing all the lines from Romney and Obama’s presidential campaigns about how bad the other is. In fact, Vice President Joe Biden remarked yesterday at the NAACP convention that “[t]his isn’t your Father’s Republican Party.”
Admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of Democrats, but Republicans were terrible during the Bush years, and, more often than not, compromised what they say is their core belief in limited government. While there have been some hints that they have gotten their act together, there is a lot that shows they still deserve to wonder in the political wilderness.
But yesterday while surfing on Reddit, which has become one of my favorite sites thanks to my wife, I came across this political cartoon that really sums up the fight between the GOP and Democrats:
Yesterday, I noted that several Democrats were opting to skip their party’s upcoming national convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. There is little doubt that these Democrats are frustrated with their party and don’t want to be lumped in with President Barack Obama, who will be re-nominated at the convention. That’s understandable from a political perspective, and DCCC Chair Steve Israel apparently agrees:
The Democrat charged with trying to win back the House majority is telling his candidates that it’s OK to skip the party’s national convention.
Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told a gathering hosted by Reuters his advice has nothing to do with President Obama.
“If they want to win an election, they need to be in their district,” Israel said yesterday at the Reuters Washington Summit.
The New York lawmaker added: “I don’t care if the president was at 122% favorability right now. I think (candidates) should be in their district.”
That’s humorous. Four years ago, Democrats, many of whom were ecstatic over the coronation of Obama, couldn’t stay away from the DNC in Denver. After the shellacking Democrats received in 2010, suddenly Obama is toxic and, unless you’re in a relatively safe district, no one wants to be seen with him.
It’s been an interesting several days for Democrats. Last week began an avalanche of elected officials declaring that they would not attend the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
A few West Virginia Democrats — Sen. Joe Manchin, Rep. Nick Rahall, and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin — recently kicked off the trend. Pennsylvania Rep. Mark Critz joined just a few days later. New York Reps. Bill Owens and Kathy Hochul joined the crowd the following day. And yesterday, three more joined Georgia Rep. John Barrow, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, and Montana Sen. Jon Tester announced that they would not attend the Democratic National Convention. Heidi Heitkamp, a Senate hopeful from North Dakota, also says she won’t be making the trip to Charlotte.
Coming off a few great days of media exposure, including an appearance on The Daily Show, Gov. Gary Johnson is making an appeal to all voters — regardless of their political persuasion — to get behind his candidacy for president.
Johnson, who served two terms as Governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, explains that Democrats and Republicans are ruining the country through excessive spending and endless war. Noting that the status quo will not fix these problems, Johnson explained that he wants to focus on fixing the issues facing our nation through through peace and prosperity.
Compared to some of the other ads from the campaign, Johnson’s team needs to put out more stuff like this:
Yesterday Senators Mark Udall and Tom Coburn introduced legislation that would prohibit the use of Presidential Election Campaign Funds for party conventions after 2012. Many people don’t even know that the federal government puts over $36 million into the parties’ presidential campaigns. There are a couple things to mention about this proposal.
First, it prohibits use of funds for presidential campaigns after 2012. So this wouldn’t save us a dime for four years. It tends to make you think that maybe this proposal is just election year politics.
On top of that, the money to be saved is only 0.002% of the national deficit. It’s $36.6 million with a deficit of more than $1.5 trillion. To put this in perspective, I made this chart:
Even though the proposed savings here is such a small fraction of what needs to be cut, and even though this is done in the heat of an election year when it’s probably not being done for all the right reasons, we should embrace this proposal. Getting any senator to give specifics of what to cut is a feat. (To be fair, there are exceptions, and Coburn is usually one of them.)
We need to balance the federal budget. There is no chance that we can sustain adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt each year. Even though this proposal is barely cutting into that deficit at all, it’s a start. And Senators Udall and Coburn should be commended for their efforts.
Last night, Gary Johnson, the former two-term Governor of New Mexico and current Libertarian Party nominee, stopped by The Daily Show to chat with Jon Stewart about his campaign, the differences — or lack thereof — between Democrats and Republicans, and the obstacles he faces in getting into the debate:
Last night, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his Democratic opponent, Tom Barrett, squared off in Milwaukee for the last debate before Tuesday’s recall election. From the looks of it, the debate was heated at times; however, Walker managed to make Barrett look foolish on economic issues facing the state, including job creation. He also knocked Barrett for supporting a very expensive, two-mile train.
* Money: Walker raised an unprecedented $21 million for his recall campaign this year, nearly double the $11 million he spent getting elected in the first place in 2010. Barrett, who entered the race in March, has raised just $3 million. At the same time, independent groups have poured money into the state; though national progressives and public-employee unions are on the side of the recall effort, they haven’t been able to match the pro-Walker side’s spending. Currently, Walker and his allies are outspending Barrett and his backers on television ads by a 3-to-1 margin, according to a Hotline analysis.
With a week to go in the recall election against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, it looks like Democrats are beginning to manage expectations, a signal that they know their nominee, Tom Barrett, will lose:
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Sunday attempted to mitigate the potential fallout of a Democratic loss in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race next month, saying that the race has no national implications and has been useful even if Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett loses there.
“I think [Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett] has a real opportunity to win,” the Florida congresswoman said on CNN’s State of the Union.
But with recent polls showing Gov. Scott Walker in the lead, Wasserman Schultz took a decidedly less optimistic tone on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers, asserting that it was impossible for Democrats to respond to the amount of outside money poured into the race by Republican supporters.
“There’s no way that we were ever going to be able to counter the massive efforts that was dropped into Wisconsin by Republicans’ special interests,” she said on Newsmakers.
On both shows, the Florida Democrat attempted to play the race as a win for Democrats, even if they lose.
This isn’t exactly a suprise. The Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Governors Association opted not to send money to the state in mid-May, realizing early on that it was unlikely that they would knock off Walker.
While President Barack Obama’s re-election strategy is focused on class warfare and attacking private capital, the Congressional Budget Office is warning that the coming “Taxmageddon” at the beginning of the year would send the economy reeling back into a recession:
Tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect in January would suck $607 billion out of the economy next year, plunging the nation at least briefly back into recession, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.
Unless lawmakers act, the economy is likely to contract in the first half of 2013 at an annualized rate of 1.3 percent, the CBO said, before returning to 2.3 percent growth later in the year.
Canceling those tax and spending policies would protect the recovery in the short run and encourage more vibrant growth, around 4.4 percent, in 2013, the CBO said. However, unless lawmakers adopt policies that would reduce budget deficits by a comparable amount down the road, the CBO said, the national debt would continue to climb, imperiling future economic growth.
The report, “Economic Effects of Reducing the Fiscal Restraint That Is Scheduled to Occur in 2013,” comes as policymakers are bracing for the most consequential battle over government tax and spending policies in years. The George W. Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire on Dec. 31, along with a payroll tax cut proposed by President Obama. Meanwhile, sharp cuts are scheduled to hit the Pentagon and other federal agencies to meet a deal cut during last summer’s showdown over the nation’s debt limit.