Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Obama's Town Hall from Missouri (VIDEO)

MSNBC edited out a very nice introduction by a former Republican Housewife (turned Obamacan), who's out there volunteering for Habitat for Humanity.

Oh well, what can I say? C-SPAN doesn't offer embeddable video.

The Fireside chat for April 25, 2009

With apologies. Departing for the L.A. Times Festival of Books bright and early caused this delay.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The GOP inherits the wind...

Believe it or not, Arlen Specter’s move wasn’t all that surprising.

I mean, think about it. This is how the cycle works. This is the process a party goes through when its knocked out of power.

The process is fairly routine. After a voter rebellion, the party out of power goes through some soul searching, a reformation if you will. During this time, the old guard fades away (either through retirements or being kicked out by the voters). The party becomes a more ideologically pure, while at the same time bringing on new talent (i.e. candidates) that will show the battered survivors new ways to communicate the overall Republican brand with the voters, and eventually find their way back to electoral triumph.

The only difference in this story is Arlen Specter, instead of waiting to be voted out of office, chose to jump ship. Rare, but it's happened before with Jim Jeffords and Joe Lieberman. It'll probably happen again.

After you take a bath like the Republicans have done, your big tent is going to be, by necessity, a wee-bit smaller. Once you get the riff-raff out of there, you can start widening it again.

But just remember, Republicans, when the new arrivals come onboard, not everybody is going to be of the same ideological stripe. But they’ll all agree that losing sucks, and it’s better to be in power than out of power. Everyone will hang together, hold their noses and vote for someone tolerable, someone with broad, national appeal. Once that happens, you can start winning again.

That being said, fellow Democrats/Liberals/Progressives, one of these days, the GOP Reformation will be complete. One of these days, they will be back in power. It’s inevitable. The last guy who thought there could be one party in permanent majority was Karl Rove.

It’s going to happen.

The only question is when.

However, the way the GOP is handling this reformation, I can tell you, it’s going to be long time.

And I mean a loooooooooooooooonnnnnnng time.

I already thought 2012 was a lost cause for them. Now, I’m starting to wonder if 2016 is toast as well.

If there is a reason that the Republican Party did as well as it did in the 1980s is that the Goldwater Wing of the Party, led by its ideological scion, Ronald Reagan, expanded the tent to include the Libertarians, Neocons/National Defense Hawks, Club For Growth Types and Religious Conservatives, all under his flag. That coalition held together for many years, despite losing power to Bill Clinton for a little while. Then, come 2000, the Neocons and the Religious Conservatives took over the party, pushed aside the Goldwater types, and promptly ran the Party into the ground (along with the country, but that’s the subject of another posting).

Right now, the Republicans should be turning to their Goldwater Wing to go “pick them a winner”. But that’s not happening, is it? Instead, the very factions of the Conservative movement that drove them into that ditch are somehow complaining they weren’t allowed to drive.

This particular wing of the party, the ones that lost you the 2008 Election, the people that left the country in such a state that it allowed African-American to be voted into Office, is actually out there yelling louder and louder that their ideas are the only one’s of merit.

Hell, they’re actually out they’re saying the they’re the only people who should be listened to, period (and not just in the party, but nationally).

It’s not like the Goldwater wing has died off or anything: Gov. Charlie Crist (FL), Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA), Senator Olympia Snowe (ME), Senator Susan Collins (ME), the 2000 era John McCain, not the guy who ran in 2008, and Senator Arlen—


But that’s just the point, isn’t it. Not only are these guys not running the show, they’re getting better deals from the Democrats, you know…the party they’re supposed to oppose??

Crist, Collins and Snowe both worked with President Obama to get the Stimulus passed. Schwarzenegger practically has a man-crush on the President. The 2000 era John McCain was asked to switch parties (alledgedly) by John Kerry. (As a side note, who would’ve been our Party’s nominee in 2008 if that had happened??!)

And Arlen Specter was so disgusted he left the Party all together.

What does this tell you!??

Apparently, nothing.

I think the threat to the country presented by [the defection of Arlen Specter] really relates to the issue of whether or not in the United States of America our people want the majority to have whatever it wants without restraint, without a check or a balance.

- Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Some in the Republican Party are happy about this. I am not. Let's be honest -- Senator Specter didn't leave the GOP based on principles of any kind. He left to further his personal political interests because he knew that he was going to lose a Republican primary due to his left-wing voting record. Republicans look forward to beating Sen. Specter in 2010, assuming the Democrats don't do it first.

- RNC Chairman Michael Steele.

To tell you how sad things are. Even Bay Buchanan has a better grip on things than some of her colleagues on the right:

Did he give us a few things? Did he owe President Bush something because he flew into the fray in 2004 and saved him in the primary with Toomey? Were we able to call in a few chits? Absolutely. And now the Democrats will call in their chits. This is not good for Republicans. I’m not going to tell you that we’re cleansing the party and that this is good for Republicans.
In the same article, even Gary Bauer showed flashes of sanity:

I would remind folks that Ronald Reagan picked George H.W. Bush to be his running mate. Ronald Reagan understood that there was another element of the party that needed to be brought along. We gain nothing if we replace RINOS with Democrats.

My personal expectation is that the American people have decided to give the new President a chance to un!@#$ us out of our current dilemma, thus, they will give him time. My personal bet is that very little changes in the House in the 2010 Midterms, and maybe a few seats gain for Democrats in the Senate.

And that’s assuming we stay on the economic path we’ve been on. If things start to look up, start to feel better, or worse (for Republicans) start to turn toward recovery, then look to 1936’s Congressional Composition as a marker (where there were only 17 Republicans in the Senate).

If that is the future you want, then by all means, keep plowing ahead. But there needs to be a debate in this country about our future and our direction. And even I, the consummate Republican hater, know they have good ideas to contribute. But "He that troubles his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart."

That was an actual Bible quote, fellas. (Trust me, I'm impressed myself).

But, I thought the Bible was a Book that the "Party of Family Values" was at least somewhat familiar with.

I'm not sure I, nor my party, nor the President himself can lay claim to being all that wise of heart. We're just doing the best we can. But there's little doubt as to who is the fool in this equation.

Republicans, if you ever wonder why you lose...

...this would be the reason why:

I think the threat to the country presented by [the defection of Arlen Specter] really relates to the issue of whether or not in the United States of America our people want the majority to have whatever it wants without restraint, without a check or a balance.

- Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)