Archive for September, 2010

This is a link to Mike Lee’s Issues page on his website. If you go there, under the heading “Illegal Immigration” you will find the following:

Mike Lee emphasizes protecting the Southern US border

Keeping the racism subtle, Mike.

Now, my question to you, dear reader, is why say “the southern border”? Why not say “the border”? Are there good reasons to emphasize that the southern border needs to be secured as opposed to other borders? Because I’ve heard that our coastal ports aren’t terribly secure. And I imagine that crossing over from Canada isn’t that difficult (heck, I imagine the border is heavily wooded for the most part without a fence). So, if security is an issue, why just the southern border?

Thoughts? (Mine are evident from the title, of course).


A Rally for our cause

I can’t get embedding to work. Please feel free to follow the link. Had I sufficient money and time, I would so be there. Wishing I lived a bit closer to the East Coast today.

Here’s what I think will happen ( you might not want to place any money on me 😉 ):

I think that the Republicans will do pretty well (this upcoming election), possibly enough to take the House, but even if not they’ll have enough to make it much more difficult for the Democrats to get anything done.  Of the seats they gain, it’ll be split between Tea Party Republicans and more moderates.

Once in office, I think the Republicans will do a good job of saying “no” to what the President puts forward, but will have a difficult time putting forward anything of their own initiative.  The Tea Partiers (really, the emerging far right in general as some are likely just using the Tea Party movement as the wave to ride in on) will clash with the old guard and moderates, which means that the majority of the Republicans have to either get a significant amount Democrats on board (and get blistered by the far right in the process), or (more likely, given the emerging right’s all of nothing attitude of calling anyone who ever was seen within 30 yards of a Democrat a “RINO”) it means that the Republicans won’t be able to get enough of their own on board to win a few token independents and conservative Dems.

Even if the Republicans manage to get some decent stuff through the House, the Senate will be a problem.  There are enough old guard Republicans in office that the emerging right is alienating to cause problems, and those who might be swayed are going to be wary of the new batch’s ability to maintain enough momentum over several election cycles to realistically gain enough power to secure the Republican agenda.  Thus far the emerging right has shown itself to be inconsistent in securing traditional Republican seats, while it is doing well in Utah it got its butt kicked in Arizona.  It’s those seats that people will want to see them win, and hold, before they’ll really start setting the priorities.  People aren’t going to be wary of Republicans who win in battle grounds or traditionally Democratic areas, and want to see if they were flukes that’ll be out in a term or two or if they’ll stick around.  So, if the either the merging right or the old guard can’t find a way to bridge the gulf that the Palin/Beck/Tea Party candidates are happily digging in order to unseat incumbents, the Republican agenda is going to have all the success of people fighting over the steering wheel of a car gone off a cliff.

If that happens, I think the President will then be reelected.  The Republicans will have a bloody primary between the emerging far right and a moderate old guard candidate, which will not be at all pretty.  Ultimately, we’ll get a candidate that either no one likes or that half the party hates (maybe both).

Meanwhile, the President will capitalize on the last two years of Republican congressional ineptness and their constant voting of “no” on anything he does by claiming that they are either sandbagging the nation’s economic recovery or just plain unable to lead, and after the ugliness of the Republican primary the moderates will probably listen.  Meanwhile, the liberal base will be energized by fearing that the love child of Limbaugh and Beck is the Republican candidate and so they’ll rally behind the guy they aren’t pleased with but would much rather have.

The election will go more or less like ’96 or ’04, a weak opposition candidate running largely on a wave of partisan dislike, which despite general lack of enthusiasm for the incumbent won’t be enough to actually win.

I think that if the Republicans want to win they need to crystallize around a central message that is distinct and consistent enough from the Democrats to really be seen as an alternative that isn’t there simply to be an alternative.  It needs to be championed by people who aren’t seen as ideologically compromised by the Bush years, but lacking the inexperience and populist emotional rage that is, in far too many cases, the primary qualification for office being offered by the Palin/Beck/Tea Party inspired Republican challengers.  And those being elected need to be both competent in what they are doing (it’s a lot harder than just showing up, contrary to popular opinion) and show themselves to be consistent in their cause, which quite frankly, the emerging right’s candidates have shown no reason to believe that they are (they are usually those who have either shown little to no consistency in their policies, or who have virtually no experience in politics, neither of which gives us anything to go on rather than “trust me!”).

But regardless of what the message is, if the Republicans don’t find some why to not only unify, but also to support the candidates that emerge from that unity, I don’t think they’ll unseat the President, nor effect significant change.

Hopefully by the time I’m done with law school the Republican civil war will be over, with sanity prevailing, and I can work for a proper Statesman…

The Fall of the American Republic

I don’t subscribe to the rosy idea that once not so long ago American politics was a bastion of selflessness and altruism, yet it does seem as though there has been a marked decline over the last two decades of the level of political professionalism and discourse in our society.

What happened?

Infotainment happened, pop culture politics, the fall
of the political parties, and too much democracy in our republic.

Why spend years working on building party ties, meeting people and
developing educated, moderated views that result in the party trusting
you when you can put out a youtube video and tell people just what
they want to hear? Why settle for a politician who you agree with 90%
of the time when you can have someone who promises you that you can
have it all? Why look for the person who can solve the problems we
don’t know about when we can have someone who promises us they’ll make
us feel like we think we did yesterday?

American politics is a reflection of American life, for better and for
worse. With notable exceptions politicians act the way everyone else
does, few rise above the image of those who created them. Sadly,
those true Statesmen have a hard time doing the hard, time and labor
intensive work of government while competing with every clown with a
web cam back home that thinks their fifteen minutes of fame will come
through fifteen second increments of attention.

And as we look at the fruits of our tree we grow angry at what we see,
so we demand that politicians and politics be “closer” through
referendums and term limits. We bind them close through polls,
commentary, and short elections, and if they aren’t sycophantic enough
to our demands we cast them aside in favor of someone who will be.
Rather than leaders, stewards, statesmen or trustees we make them
puppets, and destroy any sense of deliberation and debate that a
republic desperately needs in order to produce wise legislation.

Despite my cynicism I do have faith in America and its people, I
really do. But at the risk of sounding like Glenn Beck, I don’t
expect the quality of politicians or politics to improve until
Americans change, until we stop thinking ourselves so wise as to mock
the educated, until we stop thinking ourselves so exceptional as to be
beyond accountability, until we stop looking for the next Patrick
Henry or Ronald Reagan, but instead look for the next Madison and

We can’t expect politicians to be giants among men when we demand our candidates to think and act “just like me”, while decrying those who achieve more as “elites” who aren’t to be trusted. It doesn’t matter what Washington, Jefferson or Madison would think of politics today, because were they here we wouldn’t trust them anyway. Athens fell to Sparta, and Rome fell to Caesar, but America will fall to the MTV VJ.

*This will probably be adapted later on for a larger piece I’m wanting to write, which will likely be titled (originally enough) “The Rise and Fall of the American Republic.” It’s been on my mind lately and an opportunity came up earlier (after a long day at work that left my mind only partially functional) to talk about it some, with this being a result of that discussion. So, if it looks disjointed, incomplete, sporadic or not terribly well thought out… it probably is. The next one will hopefully be better. Also, read Hel. 13: 25,26

This video is of Green Day’s cover of the John Lennon song “Working Class Hero.” I think this song serves as a good reminder of the social outlook that goes along with the socialist political and economic program. It is this outlook that I so very much relate to. It is probably the reason that I am comfortable with the socialist label. While Lennon’s song “Imagine” addresses a  form of a social utopia, this song addresses socialist social theory, in particular the concepts of alienation and exploitation.

Green Day covered this song as part of a Save Darfur album that was put together by Amnesty International. The best part of the above clip is that this performance was at the American Idol charity show. Like so many charity events, little mention is made about the root causes of poverty and suffering. It is more about the advantaged feeling better about themselves. Green Day brought the issue to the table.

Lyrics to Working Class Hero :

[By John Lennon]

As soon as your born they make you feel small
By giving you no time instead of it all
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all
Working Class Hero is something to be
Working Class Hero is something to be

They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
They hate you if you’re clever and despise a fool
Till you’re so f###### crazy you can’t follow their rules
Working Class Hero is something to be
Working Class Hero is something to be

When they’ve tortured and scared you for 20 odd years
Then they expect you to pick a career
When you can’t really function you’re so full of fear
Working Class Hero is something to be
Working Class Hero is something to be

Keep you doped with religon, sex and T.V.
And you think you’re so clever and classless and free
But you’re still f###### peasents as far as I can see
Working Class Hero is something to be
Working Class Hero is something to be

There’s room at the top I’m telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill
Working Class Hero is something to be

Yes, A Working Class Hero is something to be
If you want to be a hero well just follow me
If you want to be a hero well just follow me