Friday, April 30, 2010

Better for Republicans Not to Win the House in November?

Republicans are expected to make significant gains in the House and Senate in November.  Is it possible that it would be better for the Republicans if they don't take over the House after the election?

I admit that this is something I hadn't considered.  However, I read a rather provocative article in the Wall Street Journal this morning by columnist Gerald F. Seib.  As put forth by Mr. Seib, it would very likely benefit the Republicans not to take over the House after the election, especially since it's unlikely that they will take over the Senate as well. He argues that even if they win control of the House, it will be by such a small margin that they won't be able to control anything.  But being the majority party in the House would put them in the forefront and force them to absorb blame for much of what goes wrong in Washington.  On the other hand, one must take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. 

In addition, Mr. Seib argues that if the Republicans take over the House, this will give Obama an excuse to move to the political middle, which is where he probably needs to be in order to win re-election in 2012. 

I do have a problem with his second argument, however.  Mr. Seib notes that Bill Clinton moved to the political center after Democrats lost the house in 1994.  There are a couple of important differences between Clinton and Obama though.  Bill Clinton is a liberal, but not an ideologue, and he is capable of moderation in some matters.  Obama, however, is a dedicated ideologue, even though he argues that he's not.  He can say "I'm not an ideologue" until the cows come home, but the fact is that he behaves like an ideologue.  He has shown us his true colors and he has no credibility as a centrist (I admit he has no credibility with me in any realm).  If he attempts to maneuver to the political center, it will be obvious to everyone that this is nothing more than a cynical ploy.  I rather doubt that Obama would do this.  I suspect he would rather move his agenda forward and be a one term president than be a two-termer with a watered-down agenda. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Voter Suppression

Let the voting season begin.  Democrats, facing potentially catastrophic losses in the November elections, are already ramping up charges that Republicans have in the past, and will in the future, attempt to suppress voting among minorities. 

This is very tired rhetoric.  I challenge Democrats to put forth concrete examples of voter suppression and/or intimidation aimed at minorities.  Come on - you've made the accusation; back it up with facts.  If you can't, then please at least come up with some new lines.  I'm sick of the old ones.

The only example I can remember in recent history of a naked attempt to intimidate voters was the "security" posted at polling places in Philadelphia in 2008 by the New Black Panthers.  That was a not so subtle attempt to intimidate white voters, but I guess that's OK with Dems.  What a bunch of lying hypocrites!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Precarious Position

Liberals like to think that they are the only compassionate people around and that conservatives care only about the wealthy.  There is plenty of evidence to refute that, which I won't go into now, but the Republicans have not, in my opinion, effectively dispelled that notion.   This could possibly have repercussions for the upcoming elections.

It's obvious to anyone who has even half a brain that we cannot continue on the current spending spree if we want to survive as a prosperous nation.  Cuts, some of them painful, are going to have to be made, if politicians can find their spines.  Of course, the Democrats will cry foul and make it sound as if Republicans are cruel and cold.  How can Republicans counteract this?

It's human nature to want to get something for nothing.  Those of us in touch with reality know that happens very seldom.  It's comforting to think that someone will take care of you too, but what's the downside of all this?

Aside from the obvious economic implications of a welfare state, people who are dependent on others for their care and upkeep are in a vulnerable position.  I believe that Democrats have a vested interest in keeping more and more people poor and dependent on the government because, after all, they count on their votes to keep them in office.  What's a Republican to do?

Let me say clearly and unequivocally that I recognize there are people who truly are unable to take care of themselves because of physical or mental limitations.  As a Christian, I feel a moral obligation to help people in need.  I have no problem with that.  However there are too many families in our society that have been on welfare for generations and way too many people who think the country owes them something.  I definitely do have a problem with my tax dollars being used to promote learned helplessness and/or laziness.

This brings me back to my original question:  what can Republicans do to counteract this trend?  Well, it's time that we had some politicians who talk to us like adults.  First, they should outline in a clear and concise fashion how being dependent on the government makes you vulnerable so people understand that having the government take care of you is not a free ride.  It actually decreases personal freedom; the dependency makes the government feel as it it has the right to make certain demands. 

Second, Republicans should make it very clear that the more people we have in this society of all races and ethnicities who are educated and self-sufficient, the better off our society will be for everyone.  If a person receives welfare, then perhaps we should put a limit on how long they may receive it and make it contingent on their getting educated or trained so they can get a good job (assuming they're able-bodied, of course).

Republicans should explain that being independent and self-sufficient produces a variety of benefits.  By facing challenges and mastering them we discover true self-esteem and confidence and are free to enjoy the satisfaction that comes with a job well done.