Friday, March 13, 2009

Episode 44: The Puppet Broke the Strings?

031209.2306



Something pretty amazing happened recently. RNC Puppet Michael Steele has been all over the press for these little “slip ups.” I wrote a pretty damning entry about his role as the chairman of the RNC. A week later, I mentioned that he was one of a handful that had the courage to challenge Rush Limbaugh, and then displayed extreme cowardice in apologizing for disagreeing with him. This story begins a couple days ago when Steele made a remark about abortion rights with GQ magazine. He stated that he was pro-life, but insinuated that the ultimate right to choose lies with the “individual.” The GOP were pretty upset with his stance, and he quickly revised his statement to mean individual states have the right to choose. I may be putting words in his mouth here, but after reading that interview, I really think Steele may pro-life, but he doesn't believe everyone has to subscribe to that idea – it is an individual choice. Therefore, he would not be in favor in overturning Roe V. Wade; Steele was trying to recover from a tailspin that he knew was going to get him in big trouble.

I give Michael Steele a lot of credit for speaking his mind. It is very apparent now why the GOP chose him to be the RNC chairman, and it is even more apparent that Steele was indeed a puppet. There was a momentary glimmer of hope that a republican could speak what he feels and not be told what to say. It was a glimmer as fleeting as a desert wind in July. Now Steele is on the chopping block for a vote of no confidence. The racial gambit employed to attract “the new GOP” will be considered a failure, and the person who was supposed to chair the RNC all along will take his place. The true leaders of the Republican Party will emerge, their manipulative tactics will be exposed, and they will sink further into the depths of irrelevancy. There is absolutely zero political and intellectual discourse going on in the Republican Party right now, and they will continue to be irrelevant so long as they cling to obsolete ideologies and fail to reconfigure their ideas for the 21st century.

I did my homework on Michael Steele. He is rather moderate. Some of his ideas are not that bad. If he wants to be a leader of the party, he had best say what’s on his mind while he still has a political forum to do so. Less “yo son! The GOP be my homies baby!” and more real politics – more creative thinking. The clock is ticking…
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12 comments: on "Episode 44: The Puppet Broke the Strings?"

conservative generation said...

tL,

Good points on the Republican party. I'm sick of the party being in other party members business. I do not believe you need to agree with all umptine billion party platforms. As you've read my posts, I agree that abortion is a state's rights issue and think it should be off the table in the Federal Government. Though I oppose almost all abortion. I don't feel like we need a law against abortion, we need to convince others that it is wrong. What's your take?

However, I hardly feel conservative ideals are obsolete. You have mentioned this as generality and I would be interested to hear exactly which one's you feel are no longer relevant and what you feel should replace them?

I'm not going to disagree, the republican party is a mess, but the democratic party is soon to follow. It has to do with people having all this opinions, but no principles. They don't know why they believe what they believe. When challanged, they faulter because they can't back up their opinions. This has been the political norm for about a decade now and I think you are going to see more and more politicains on both sides faulter.

The Law said...

Personally, I am pro-choice. I think government, state or federal, has no place deciding whether a woman wants to have an abortion. Also, as a man, I can only empathize with what must be a difficult decision. Furthermore, and this is open to much debate, I personally do not consider a bunch of cells to be babies. Of course many on the other side of the issue would disagree. I also think it is insane to outlaw abortion in the case of rape or incest - no woman should have to carry a baby if sex was forced upon her. My caveat would be there is a one term limit... by that point, the little bugger has a heartbeat, and that's where I draw the line. So I will agree with you in believing there should be no law against it. However, I feel the philosophical discussion of abortion has no middle ground, so in terms of convincing, guilt tripping or empathy are the only weapons in such a heat battle.

Where I do disagree with you however is the notion that democrats will soon follow the current GOP's lack of vision. The world is moving at a breakneck pace, so as long as there is a desire for progressive thinking, the situation happening with republican party is unlikely for quite some time.

The last time conservative principles truly won out was during the Regan Administration, which was an out and out repudiation of the craziness of the civil rights movement and post-Vietnam. There was a national desire for sober America. Right now, an overwhelming majority of Americans are longing for progressive ideals.

As far as obsolete ideas are concerned, The republican party is really being run by the far religious right. Megan McCain was on Rachel Maddow the other day, and her vision for the GOP is spot on... it *has* to be right of center. Ultra-conservatism cannot compete in the global economy because the rest of the western world is already far ahead of us in terms of progressive ideology. It's a shame too, because something I saw on fivethirtyeight.com indicated that the far right is such a small population of the party, yet it is ruining the prospects for revival.

But this is a loaded topic... so I'll have to make any elaboration a part of essay #2 =)

conservative generation said...

I'll be waiting with much anticipation of essay #2. I appreciate you taking the time. I have many friends who are liberal, but none willing to walk me through why they believe what they believe. I may not be converted, but I'd at least like to understand.

I think you are a little absolute in your beliefs that people are set in their beliefs on abortion. In fact many people change their feelings on abortion after having one. Most people are actually against it in most forms (it's a huge topic filled with lots of I'm for this but not this).

Also, I sure hope that the future of this country is not Europe. They are losing ground to almost every developing country in the world. We have no bright future in following in their foot steps. The countries gaining ground, China, India, Taiwan, and North Korea are headed in the opposite direction. Those countries are far from even considering things like cap and trade. I'm a little lost in why we should want to emulate Europe?

The liberal party is being supported by the atheist left, also a small minority. I think the religious right over played their cards, but if you notice, Bush did not really give them any ground if you really think about it. There was a fear of the religious right from the left and was proved unfounded. At most, you can hate them for Bush coming back a second time. I don't think the current policy of getting back at the religious right will heal any polarization, promote bipartisan, nor prove effective. I'll give you that the religious right threw down the gauntlet, but it's petty to carry grudges. I learned after first term Bush that social issues need to get out of government. It's not right for either side to make their beliefs the law of the land.

The Law said...

Heck, I am probably a bit absolute on the abortion stance... it's a war that will only end with a decided victor... the destruction of a cell, embryo, potential newborn, or whatever label one want to apply to it is as final as it gets. No edit undo.

The atheist left is a part of the party for sure, but they do not come anywhere close to having the type of influence on policy as the Christian far-right does (ie. abortion,prop 8, and health care rights for gay couples).

Also, I don't really look to Europe as competitors, but rather
collaborators. European socialism doesn't reward innovators the way American captialism does - that fact alone makes an American implemtation of what some may call socialist completely viable in our country.

Asia is the region we need to be concerned with. Their progress is really due to three things: 1) to get of America's shadow and compete as a superpower. Asians have a very rich and very proud history - their desire to emerge as a superpower I think has some roots in wanting to once again be the center of intellectual discourse, philosophy, and innovation as it had been for several millenia.

2)In order to acheive point #1, they have to be thinking of progressive ways to innovate... the kind of progressive thinking that gets starts many arguments between right and left in Washington.

3) They are communist. So they don't have to worry about the political bickering that we do. The most evident example of this was the Beijing Olympics. No other country, not even the USA could put on a show like the Chinese did. The government made the Olympics a coming out party, and spent A LOT on road and highway constructions, city planning projects, and creating the high tech buildings where the atheletes lived and performed. I don't rememeber exactly, but I think their show was to the tune of something like $50 BILLION USD!!!

And here we are talking about whether we should spend $19 Billion on healthcare reform =)

conservative generation said...

Great points! Just want to point out that over 70% African American males voted for prop 8. Just because the conservative voice is loud doesn't mean they are solely voting on these issues.

I love your China point. Shows you how motivated their government leaders are vs ours. No way our govt could pull it off for 50 bil. they need at least half a trillion and over 8000 earmarks jk.

Del or Alice Patterson said...

Great Article.
I believe Steele could have taken the Repubs to new and better horizons. Instead (you're right) they are about to show him the door or if not the door, they will muzzle him.
Look, they had a great opportunity to show the world that they weren't just the party of the rich white guys; they could have shown a willingness to embrace other ethnic/racial groups.
The perception is that they are the stodgy party of the unelected Limbaugh.

conservative generation said...

tL,

Maybe you'll be able to help me out in a future post, but I don't understand how you can disagree with the path Europe's taken, but support nationalized health care and cap and trade? They are European ideas. If the solution to competing with China is not European policies, then why are we considering these options? You can be sure China and India are not considering cap and trade. The reason is that it would kill their growth as a country.

The Law said...

Sure CGen, I can tackle this here.

I don't recall saying I disagree with Europe, I actually think they are on the right track with many of their progressive ideas. What I did say was I don't consider Europe to be a competitor, but rather collaborators. Because the EU is socialist, tough regulations and lack of monetary incentive can be factors that slow their growth, but some would argue that their method is better as it takes into consideration the needs of the many over the needs of the few.

I've been a long time supporter of nationalized health carr because I think it is completely horrible that I can't see a doctor for a basic problem because I'm no longer on my family's plan. There is no reason why the most powerful nation on earth can't take of it's own. My full thoughts on healthcare will be in an upcoming post.

Re: cap and trade,
We need to get off of fossil fuels. It is dirty, of limited supply, and keeps us tied to the middle east and their millenia long conflict. For a *growing* country like China, cap and trade make no sense whatsoever. Green tech has not been developed yet, so developing, implementing, and sustaining that technology is not economically sound.

Consider this as well, China's air quality sucks. As a result the air quality in neighboring countries suck. Combined with dust storms in Mongolia (that some attribute to global warming) the air quality problem is compounded. Their pollution is so bad some of it makes it to the west coast (as if LA needs more smog!)

The best example I can give, however elementary, is from the classic game Simcity. When most people start a city, they start with coal fired power plants. It's cheap, produces a lot of power, and lasts for a long time. Then after the city reaches a certain size, when you zoom out, you'll notice brown clouds and dirty water. You learn to deal with it for a while until your city is making a huge profit. Then you replace the coal with a more powerful solar plant. You need two of them to match the coals power, but over time more people move to your city because it's clean, making it a worthwhile investment =)

Point is, we are a developed nation. We have the tools, manpower, and incentive to make a strong push for green tech. If we don't nudge business to convert to at least make their buildings energy efficient, they never will.

One final note, if you consider nations like Singapore, where their whole country is connected to broadband (with an average speed that is 10 faster than the US), and a more sophisticated cell phone infrastructure, you'll notice that it was more economical to lay down modern information technology infrastrutcure than use landlines like us. That's because that technology was already developed. A technology invented in Europe, and perfected in America because of the incentives captialusm brings (google, YouTube, hulu etc)

conservative generation said...

tL,

Thanks for the clarification. I obviously didn't understand where you are coming from.

As you well know, I'm for green tech and I'm for the environment. Still, green tech is not ready to handle the needs of this country's economy. Not yet, they are getting there. I don't think it's wise to force something that isn't ready. Second, as I stated earlier and you did not respond to, they have cap and trade in Europe and it does not work. It never has nor will work. It has not made companies change habits and has become a drain on their economies. It doesn't make sense to enact a fail policy from another country. We should look into a different policy.

I truly can appreciate your situation with health care. I've actually spent a good part of my adult life uninsured. I am certainly for reform. However, following in Europes foot steps is not the solution either. The truth is, the government is already very much involved in health care. There is medicaid and medicare, which are failures and make up 1/3 of the budget prior to Obama. There are mandates on what must be covered in insurance. Ultimately, we can handle the details in your next post, but the system doesn't currently work. The European socialized system doesn't work either. The UKs is so bad they are starting to privatize. The state of MA recently tried state run health care and failed. We don't need more of what hasn't been working, we need to try something different.

With that said, I agree that whatever is decided it needs to be affordable to all. However, government run will not work. Let me list a few programs; social security, AMT, our tax code, government limits on executive pay for company's that take TARP. None of it has worked.

I support new infrastructure. Someone's got to do it.

conservative generation said...

Here's what I hope is a good explanation on why cap and trade doesn't work.

Cap and trade is pretty much a tax. It will almost entirely fall onto energy companies, they pollute the most. Energy companies are a monopoly. I cannot switch to Joe's windmill energy company. Neither do I have land for my own windmill, nor does the sun shine in my state. Finally, I need energy or suffer a terrible frozen death.

Since my energy company knows I can't switch to a different company, can't make my own energy, and need their product to survive, they are simply going to pass the cost onto me. They have no incentive to change because they are not footing the tax bill. I have no ability to change, because I do not have the means to make my own green energy.

The Power company makes the waste, but I now have the burden of trying to lower my bill. All the while, nuclear energy is clean and plentiful.

Is this really the best way to make change? Or the best way to make tax revenue?

The Law said...

Cap and trade has been a recurring theme in your posts, so what I will do is briefly address your comment, and dedicate a post to my idea on green energy and cap and trade. My friend and fellow blogger has done an excellent job researching green tech, and has some very interesting info on this blog "GROG" www.lifekills.wordpress.com (the link is on The LC Fav Blogs)

Some of the infrastructure for a lot of green tech power is already in place. It should not take more than 3 years for green energy to become viable. Therefore there would indeed be competition, for say NY Power Authority, vs. NY Wind and Solar. What I imagine happening is the current energy infrastructure will be used by NY Wind and Solar using Supreme Court precedents that allowed the TelCo companies to use the same landline and wireless infrastructure, or in communications, the TV infrastructure that is shared by cable and broadcast TV.

Long Island could have had the option to be powered by wind power via offshore wind turbines. Why don't we have it? Because the rich folks on the east end rallied against the construction on the wind turbines because it would ruin the view. Keep in mind you need binoculars to see a glimpse of them from the farest point of Long Island, Montauk Point.

The crossover will be simultaneous. If current power companies want to be viable, they will have to bring their prices down to compete with green tech. Cap and trade ensures at the very least these companies are more eco-conscience. THIS competition is the important factor to consider why cap and trade is viable in the US and not so in a socialized country. The burden of costs rest on the government in socialized countries, while the competition for energy will ultimately make your energy cheaper in the US. I will have more on this topic, but allow me to dedicate a post for it =)

conservative generation said...

tL,

I will look forward to a future post. You have also convinced me to put my objections on hold until the issue comes up again in 3 years. I likely will not have a problem if everything is in place.

I am so with you on the offshore wind. It's ridiculous! They did the same in MA. I think the companies should be able to use the right of emminant domain in the offshore stuff.

However, on a side note. I find it interesting that the same thing that was preventing oil drilling is now preventing wind power. The beach view arguement is completely unproductive.

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