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“We the People” are Bald-Faced Hypocrites

President Obama receiving briefing on Gulf Oil Spill shortly after initial explosion

 

Let me get this straight…. First, we want to reduce the size, scope and power of government at all levels, and on all issues, AND  oppose increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level  AND  for any purpose.  When asked,   “What is the role of government”, we respond “No role”.  We say that government that governs least,  governs  best.   We want the government to keep its hands off our Medicare and Medicaid.   We want the federal government to keep its boot heels off the throats of Big Banks and Wall Street. We say “Drill Baby Drill”. We say that our freedom and liberty are seriously threatened or has even been abolished in some cases.  We want everything under the sun but we don’t want to pay for anything.  What raise my taxes? Forget it. We feel that if only I can portray myself as being more angry or can just shout louder than the other guy, either through distortion or just outright lying, no matter the circumstance, I win.  For those in the media, you  circle the wagons whenever one of your colleagues is questioned or chastised when they are called out for endorsing or propagating half truths or capitalizing on individual’s personal pains, sufferings and tragedies.

Now there is a massive oil leak corrupting the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  This leak is a catastrophic event that will cause devastating results for generations to come.  And now, you say that the government’s response to this Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill has been too slow. Others say that the response has been completely non-existent.   The federal government has not solved this problem.  All I hear now is “I want the government to end my nightmare”.  All of a sudden, we want “Big Government”, that same government that many of you have been hell-bent on abolishing.   I have heard criticism from Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, James Carville and Donna Brazille on the Left, and Billy Nungesser, Bobby Jindal, Haley Barbour to wackoo’s Glen Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh on the Right. Many of these criticisms have been outright lies and distortions. I say “We the People” are bald-faced hypocrites.

For anyone who has an interest, fact based information is readily available and can easily be obtained. Any media outlet worth its weight,  could have and should have set the record straight on the time-line of the government’s response to this disaster.  No.  Instead, none of these people really want to recognize the fact that a major disaster has occurred and all forces must be brought to bear to resolve the problem. Some have suggested that the government kick BP aside and take over all aspects of the operation.  So much for “freedom” from the government…. and exactly what do you think that would accomplish?  Someone even suggested that we just send divers down and plug the hole.  This one has to be my favorite. Unless you are a Sperm of Bluenose whale, good luck with that stupid idea.   For anyone to suggest that the federal government, our federal government, is not taking this catastrophe seriously or is not bringing all forces to bear to completely resolve and recover from this event is terribly misguided and obviously has their own agenda.

Until the leak is stopped, we are all in this oil-slicked boat together.  Posturing and playing politics is not helping nor is it going to help….not one iota.  So for all of you, who still believe that you can stake out a long term position for furthering your political agenda, padding your wallet or trying to increase your ratings, strap on your life-vest and jump out of the boat.  Once you start gulping oil and gasping for breath, it’s going to be very difficult and quite slippery trying to get back in, if you survive that long.  I’m betting that you won’t make it.   When it comes to having “freedom” without government or even “freedom” from government, small or large, be careful what you wish for….you can’t have your cake and eat it too. 

In our efforts to develop solutions, we should strive not to become part of the problem.  If nothing else, we should realize that we are not in a position today or in the foreseeable future to continue to pursue off-shore oil drilling.

May 25, 2010 Posted by | Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Cleansing of the GOP

"Ditto" or the Highway: Republican Democracy

The purification process — hard-core and uncompromising partisans driving heretics from their ranks — has been going on for a long time.  Saturday’s Republican convention in Utah, the one in which conservative Senator Robert Bennett was defeated for being not conservative enough (despite an 84 percent approval rating from the American Conservative Union), is just one more step in a decades-long effort to drive independent thought from the political decisionmaking process.

This year, of course, attention has been focused primarily on Marco Rubio’s success in driving Florida Governor Charlie Crist out of the Republican Party (he’s now running for the Senate as an Independent) and former Congressman Pat Toomey’s success in converting Republican Senator Arlen Specter into a Democrat.  But in both of those cases one can argue that the targeted incumbent was simply too far out of step with his own party.  The same ACU ratings index on which Bennett scored an 84 gave Specter a 40.  The ratings only measure members of Congress but Crist had more than once angered party members with his support of initiatives that were fiercely opposed by most Republicans.  But given Bennett’s long embrace of conservative positions, with relatively few departures from the party-line script over a period of nearly two decades, what happened in Utah was something of a very different and disturbing nature.  It was checklist politics, a demand for suspension of judgment and lockstep adherence to an ideological instruction manual that would brook no deviation.

 

That is important in assessing what is happening in the political wars.  When Jeff Bell, a member of the American Conservative Union’s board of directors, took on and defeated incumbent Republican Senator Clifford Case in a party primary in 1978, it was because Bell’s views were, in Republican terms, more mainstream than those of the liberal Case.  It was not a matter of the extremes knocking off the middle but of a traditional conservative ousting a Republican who was, for all practical purposes, not a Republican at all.  Similarly, two years later, Alfonse D’Amato knocked off incumbent Republican Senator Jacob Javits, another liberal, in a New York primary. 

When Ned Lamont defeated incumbent Senator Joseph Lieberman in Connecticut’s Democratic Senate primary — after Lieberman had been his party’s vice presidential nominee — it was because one overriding issue — war — was of sufficient weight to overshadow the rest of Lieberman’s record and his Democratic credentials.  War is a trump card; absent Lieberman’s support for the invasion of Iraq, it is unlikely that he would have been challenged by a fellow Democrat, much less be defeated, even though he had long been known for speaking his own mind (as witnessed by his forceful condemnation of Bill Clinton in the wake of the Lewinsky affair). 

To be clear, Bennett’s defeat in Utah was not an unprecedented challenge of an incumbent who was just not as conservative as his opponent.  Ronald Reagan almost defeated the generally conservative Gerald Ford in 1976 when Ford was seeking the Republican nomination to succeed himself in the White House.  But for the most part, parties have been willing to allow some departure from the party line if a legislator’s overall record has been sufficiently on key. 

Signs that this is changing were seen recently within the governing ranks of the GOP, with local party leaders attempting to force National Chairman Michael Steele to adopt a “purity” test to determine which Republican candidates would receive the party’s financial support.  Steele refused to go along but it is the same sentiment that has now ended Robert Bennett’s Senate career. 

When the voters send a man or woman to write the laws, in Washington or a state capitol, that legislator is obligated to weigh seriously the views of his or her constituents, to examine thoroughly the important issues of the day and the proposals to deal with them, and to consult the relevant constitution (federal or state) and then act accordingly.  Increasingly, the last two items on that list — intelligent assessment and constitutional constraint — are being driven from the process.  One is expected to listen — and to obey — the preferences, indeed the demands, not of “constituents” but of that small band of constituents who dominate party primaries and party conventions. 

Ironically, those who demand such mindless conformity cry out a demand for adherence to the Constitution, even as they undermine the most important principles of rational constitutional self-government.  

Original post by Mickey Edwards-The Cleansing: The Atlantic-May 10, 2010

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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