Tag Archives: United States

Post-Election Navel Gazing

Voted! via gfscookie
Voted! via gfscookie

First, I do not believe either the candidate (Romney) or his Veep pick (Ryan) are the issue. Around mid-August we heard that his sons had told the political operatives running his campaign to stop trying to hide their father, and the revealed Romney was a sight to see. It was at that point that people began getting excited. Unfortunately, by that point it was also probably too late.

For the campaign itself, more of the blame lies with the man-handlers of the Republican party leadership who have these archaic and too-careful views of what does and does not sell here in America. The Republican party leadership needs to be up-ended, shaken out, and taken in fresh. I don’t necessarily mean taken in Conservative. I mean fresh, new, people who are honest and real, whatever they believe. The breadth of viewpoints is important, as it guarantees a wide range of ideas and solutions and a generally higher level of brilliance than the tired and decrepit losers we have now.

Romney himself did admirably against heavy odds. He remained a gentleman and a man of honor who obviously loved his wife, was obviously capable of the job he sought, and held himself above the fray in a way that was inspiring and Presidential without being haughty or snooty. Ryan was an inspired pick that I couldn’t have hoped for. He didn’t have the political finesse of the seasoned Biden, but he generally remembered what city he was in, and didn’t have a knack for saying the most inappropriate thing at the most inopportune moment. And he was a capable individual to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Second, there are two obvious trains of thought coming out of this election for Conservatives. The “it’s all over, the country has shifted, and we have to get used to being the opposition party that is shafted and ignored for the rest of our lives”, and the “hey, it’s just an election, yea this one sucked particularly badly, but there’s always tomorrow and we just have a bigger job than we thought we did yesterday”.

I tend to subscribe to the latter argument rather than the former, but I recognize some of the serious implications of those who are making the former. The people of America chose the path of Greece, of the PIGS of Europe, of endless debt, with the bigger issue that there are few who are willing or even capable of bailing us out. And that’s not all. From a friend of mine:

Four years ago, if I was the type of person who believed birth control was wrong, I could simply not use it. Now I am legally obligated to pay for other people to do so.

Four years ago, it was perfectly acceptable to for me to refuse to provide my professional services in support of an event with which I disagreed. Now, doing so might get me sued.

Four years ago, the government was not in the business of engaging in character assassination of private citizens. Now the full weight of the Presidential bully pulpit has been leveraged to attack Rush Limbaugh, Charles and David Koch, Sheldon Adelson, and others by name. Meanwhile, the Senate majority leader, in violation of Senate rules, took to the floor of the chamber and gave what was essentially a campaign speech, accusing the other party’s candidate of committing felony tax fraud without a shred of evidence. The nation, collectively, shrugged.

Four years ago, I lived in a country which had just overwhelmingly elected a black man to the White House for the first time and was joyously celebrating another step closer to Martin Luther King Jr’s dream that we might all one day be judged not by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character. This morning I woke up in a country where the hashtag #fuckwhitepeople was trending on Twitter.

There’s more where that came from. Go read the whole thing. It’s sobering and lays out very clearly some of the more momentous changes we’ve just seen.

But I also don’t give up hope. I’m an optimist. Sue me.

A comment left by a self-identified Canadian offers some hope:

Can I offer you folks some perspective from a Canadian viewpoint?

Up here in Canuckistan we had virtually unrivaled Liberal rule for decades, and conservatives could see no hope of any end to it. The public, we feared, would always vote for more free goodies and handouts. Yet today we have a Conservative government, while the all-powerful Liberals have been reduced to a pitiful rump.

As Mark Steyn says, Progressives are fond of telling you that the “tide has turned”, but they never take into account that the tide that comes in goes out again. Food for thought.

In other words, life goes on. We lost big. There are many good reasons we lost. It does us good to consider them thoughtfully, and then, rather than dwelling on them, dwell instead on what it’ll take to fix them, prevent them.

In the run-up to the election, as we conservatives gained excitement over what we thought were good numbers pointing to a probable win, we talked a lot on Facebook and Twitter. But we mostly engaged with other conservatives, people of like mind. It was as much an echo chamber in the depths of conservatism as it is in the hallowed halls of academia, the media, and extreme leftists. Did we go out and engage with our friends, as they say it, IRL? Did we communicate with the young people the enormity of the fiscal mess? Did we counter the claims made by the despicable Villagairosa that Republicans want to end the Voting Rights Act (which we passed in the first place over the screams of the racist Democrats and their KKK supporters)? Did we show just how stupid the idea that conservatives want to role back rights of anybody is?

Which brings up a final point. Even though we have hope, we also have work. We have been successfully demonized. Significant numbers of women have been convinced that Republicans are not only against government paying for their contraceptives, but that we are also against them voting. Significant numbers of black Americans now think Republicans do not want them participating in civic duties and the rights of the citizenry. These are lies, and you and I know they are. But there are mouthbreathers in the media who have made these claims (I’m look at you “Tingles” Matthews) and hacks in politics (I’m looking at you “Ignore my city’s issues” Villagairosa) who make these claims without anybody standing up and calling them on the horrible things they are saying.

We need to stand up and actively counter these and other lies about us. Too many liberals and leftists think we are a tiny minority, and perhaps we are, but allowing them to go their whole lives without meeting a competent, friendly, happy conservative who knows what they believes, is reasonable and rational, just makes our task harder. Talk politics at work, but in a way that is constructive, with lots of give and take. If you have to start by letting them do most of the talking, the long game makes that worthwhile.

Ask leading questions on your social feed. Don’t necessarily come out with a party-line answer, but try and lead people around thinking about issues in a conservative fashion.

We know conservative values are popular. The huge success of the Lord of the Rings and Batman franchises, just to name two, indicate that it is an intense attractive philosophy.

We just have to show it work in the real world too. And then we need to live our lives as embodiments of conservative principles, and show by our success and happiness and fulfillment, the joy of our lives, that we, truly, have the better way of life.

Also, read Andrew Klavan’s take on what we have to do now.

Obama’s Record

Obama begins his latest email with the following large, friendly letters:

Sometimes, I admit, I just have to do what I’m told. Thankfully, this is not one of those times. So, no thank you, Mr. President. I’ll pass.

This email is all about his record. Lots of pretty graphics, a la Julia. Lots of claims. Lots of facts gotten wrong. But what does it matter? Those getting these messages as opposition research, such as myself, will just shake our heads and laugh at the latest antics that are apparently designed to appeal to a large number of us, and those getting these messages as true believers will hang on every word just as they always have. Like I’ve said before, it’s imperative that this election go landslide one way or the other. For it to come down to a nail-biting cliff-hanger will mean great damage to the already fragile ties that bind us Americans together.

But, because I’m a bitter partisan, I’ll just go right ahead and talk about this latest line of lies and exaggerations and the subterfuge the President and his election staff have concocted for us.

Just. Because. I can.

So, yes, 5.4 million new jobs have been created during the President’s term. That’s great. Every new job is a good thing, even if they are only McJobs. Beggars can’t be choosers and I, for one, am happy there are that many new jobs.

Of course, I won’t leave it at that. No, the real problem isn’t that there were than many new jobs created, the problem is that we have no way of knowing if that is a good number or a bad number. Looking at the graph in that pretty picture indicates to me we’ve stagnated. Yes, we got out of the Pit of Despair, but we haven’t really gone anywhere after that. In September, the number of jobs needed to maintain a steady unemployment rate was just over 104,000 per month. 5.4 million jobs total since Obama took office (45 months) comes out to 120,000 jobs per month, or just a smidge over the number necessary to maintain the status quo. And we see that the unemployment number has just now reached the number it was when Obama took office.

5.4 million, for all its goodness, is a number without context. And so we cannot really criticize or praise the President based on it. We can, however, look at the number of people who have dropped out of the job market entirely and who are therefore not listed in the unemployment roles, even though they, of all people, are the most unemployed, and may need employment as badly as any other. We can look at many different numbers. 5.4 million appears to be a good thing for the President. But it really isn’t. There are just too many other numbers pointing down, down down.

Obamacare did nothing to create the generics market in prescription drugs. It did make MediCare even less solvent, and it did it while making it even more unwise for doctors to participate in it. Doctors need to be paid, just like any other group. And if they aren’t going to get paid, they’ll adjust their practices so they start getting paid, or they’ll go out of business. By cutting the already low amounts doctors are paid for accepting Medicare patients, Obamacare has effectively ripped off those who relied on it for their primary medical benefits.

Obamacare also created in out consciousness the idea that 25-year-olds are “children”. Pardon while I laugh.

From Julia, to Lena, to Fluke, Obama apparently has a different sort of soft spot in his heart for women than the previous Democrat President. But both men do apparently make it primarily about sex. Lena and Fluke diminished their gender by proclaiming that women need, and should want, the government “helping” them in their reproductive needs. Where does this become empowering? Since when does trading dad for “Big Daddy”, family for Sugar Daddy Government, become a good thing in anyone’s life? And so this marketing schtick is disingenuous: President Obama doesn’t want a woman’s health choices to be between her and her doctor. He wants the government squarely involved, telling the woman what they can and cannot do with their body, telling doctors what they can and cannot do with a woman’s body. From support for government-provided contraceptives, to Obamacare, to the side he’s chosen in cultural battles, Obama things government needs to be involved in all the intimate aspects of a woman’s life.

Why has he pushed so hard for such deep involvement in lady’s health, and not gone nearly so far for men? Is he sexist or something?

Or something?

This is just false. President Bush set the timeline and the schedule by which all soldiers were out of Iraq. So the schedule carried over into the next administration, but President Obama had nothing, zilch, zip, zero, nada to do with this except not getting in the way.

Government involvement in the financing of higher education has created consistent and repeated examples of unintended consequences. Costs for higher education have risen astronomically faster than the economy has grown, in large part due to the guaranteed payments promised by more and more common and substantial financial aid programs. So he’s doubled Pell Grants funding. And the cost of college has continued to skyrocket and so the greater dollar number simply means its effectively paying for the same amount of more expensive education.

A real solution would involve cutting public college budgets, cutting grants and government-provided financial aid, forcing colleges to compete once again on price, even as they do on academics and “campus life”. Make colleges reflect the realities of the world around them, and they’ll produce graduates better prepared to go into that world and make something of it.

Why is the government providing loans to businesses? Aren’t there banks to do this? We’re broke, we don’t have any more money as a government. Sending good money after bad isn’t a good way to get out of a mess. Yes, we need to encourage the growth of business, but that can be done more effectively by getting the government out of the way than by pouring more money down the hole.

Yet another lie. Obama supported pumping millions upon millions of dollars into failing companies in hopes of preventing them from going into bankruptcy. Which they did anyways. While there have been claims that the money has been repaid, the US taxpayers still own significant percentages of stock of these automakers, and these stock have continued to lose value to such an extent that it seems Chevrolet, at least, is likely to go into bankruptcy again.

Romney supported letting the companies go into bankruptcy without the bailouts first. Obama sent the companies huge amounts of money that did nothing to help the situation. The outcome would have arguably been the same, except we wouldn’t still be losing money on the deal had Romney had his way.

Fuel efficiency only affects new cars. You’d have to shell out $20,000 to save that $8,200. But that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that while mandated fuel efficiency has gone up, prices of gas have gone up faster.

I’m conflicted regarding required fuel efficiency standards. I don’t like the idea of the government dictating business policy. But I’m happy that vehicle manufacturers have taken these requirements and have started developing to meet them while maintaining entertaining driving characteristics. I’d rather see import restrictions dropped so we can experience the benefit of a wider car market, eliminating the union-supported protectionism that straps our current car market. With care manufacturers fighting on a global scale, we the consumer would only benefit.

Other pretty images tout the President’s signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which purports to help women fight against wage discrimination, when in reality it removes standard and accepted and tested and working limitations on suing. Lilly Ledbetter was a liar and a cheat who waited until her supervisors were dead and so could not contest her claims against the company she claims she discovered underpaid her when documented evidence indicates she new of the pay disparity long before. The bill ought to have been called the Lilly Ledbetter Lying And Getting Away With It Act.

And then there’s DADT, or the “I was against it before I was for it” moment of this administration. Remember, President Obama was for traditional marriage when it would help him politically (getting more of the more traditional black American vote) and then chose, in a highly publicized moment of internal enlightenment, to support homosexual marriage when it would benefit him politically (shoring up support from the wary homosexual lobby). Craven? Yes.

So yes, the President has a plan to keep the country moving forward for the next four years. A plan of stagnation and economic ignorance. A plan of political theory rather than leadership capability. A plan of “you have to pass it before you’ll know what’s in it” rather than bipartisan progress.

No thanks. I’ll pass. The other guy’s got experience and experience. Two things you lack in spades, Mr. President.

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What Obama Thinks About Women

President Obama’s campaign saw fit to release this ad yesterday, and I’m still trying to figure out why. I don’t like assuming the worst about people, but it seems to me that in this case, the worst may be the most accurate.

A woman who thinks that voting for anybody validates her as a woman is a woman with a small view of herself. A woman who thinks that voting for a specific person as the only reasonable course because of her gender is a woman with a small view of womanhood.

As a man I cannot pretend to understand womanhood. As a married man I’ve been mostly disabused of any notion that I might come even close. But if my wife came to me and told me she had to vote for Romney in order to validate herself as a woman, she and I would have a deep discussion about what she thinks it means to be a woman.

Heck, if an ad was released showing a woman claiming that a vote for Romney was the only thing a woman could reasonable do and still call herself a woman, leaving out all the stuff about the “first time” and other sexual innuendo, there would be hell to pay whether it was released by the Romney campaign or simply some over-enthused supporter.

In short, I hope Lena comes to recognize her value and validity as a person stem from the fact she is a person, and that her value and validity as a woman stem from the fact that she is a woman, and that neither of those have anything whatsoever to do with whose name she punches on the voting card every four years.

UPDATE:

Instapundit says this ad echoes one from the leader of our greatest geo-political competitor.

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May We Always Be Happy…

English: This is an alternate crop of an image...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…and may our enemies always know it.

Thanks to Sarah Palin for this gem of an Irish blessing.

Here’s to the happiness of being the true lovers of liberty!

Having an accurate view of the world, even if our enemies would call it dour and depressing, is the best foundation for getting on with life, laughing at what we can, and crying at what we must. And always, always, always striving for what is best, what is right, and what is good.

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Breaking: Government Issuing $3300 Checks To Every American

Without money
Without money (Photo credit: Toban Black)

Welfare spending in 2011 topped $1.03 trillion. That’s $1,030,000,000,000.

To put it another way, divide that astronomical amount by the number of  people in the US (Google says it’s 311,591,917 as of this writing), and you get $3,305 per American.

If you think 108 million Americans are very much interested in keeping their handouts coming strong, that’s $9,537 for each and every one of them in 2011.

Just to be clear, this number does NOT include any of the following budget items:

  • Social Security (adds another $725 billion)
  • Medicare (adds another $480 billion)
  • health care for veterans without service-connected disabilities
  • veterans pension programs

From the Daily Caller (via the Daily Caller)

Update: 47% is those who pay no income tax, not those who receive welfare. Welfare recipients were around 108 million in 2011. Edited article to reflect.

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