Posts Tagged ‘Democratic’

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Vote, Vote, Vote: Do Your Civic Duty in the General Election Tomorrow

11.01.10

I just got done researching the nine different measures on the ballot in tomorrow’s general election — it takes some work to do your civic duty right.

For those of you fellow Californians, check out this online resource for learning about each of the propositions, both sides of the story, so that you can form your own opinion on whether or not to vote yes or no.  It puts the onus on you, the voter, to read up on what the proposition actually stays and decide for yourself.

It also tells you which groups and/or companies are supporting and opposing the measure and how much they spent on the campaign, as well as which side the different newspapers took — which can be helpful if you’re on the fence or just completely unsure.

From the same link, you can check out information on the other races, the main one being for governor.

Whichever way you vote on any of the measures or races, just voting is the important factor. Especially for us blowhards on the Internet who love to espouse our opinions to the masses via blogs which sure can be productive in creating dialogue, it isn’t exactly the most effective way to change things.  Voting is.

There’s a recent thread on The Daily Dish which goes back and forth between a liberal notion that our freedom to vote is more crucial than property rights while a conservative notion values the opposite.  Both are strong arguments and I’d prefer to not have to choose either — but, being able to own my own property yet not be able to vote could allow the government to tax my property so high that it would render it nearly worthless.

Long story short: go vote.  Tomorrow.  Election day.  Make your voice heard.

Image courtesy of wallyg’s Flickr Photostream.

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The Republican Party Still Has No Interest in Actual Governance

10.26.10

Sure, if you read this blog, you probably have several notions of why I dislike the current Republican Party.

But leave it to GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to so eloquently explain it for me:

“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

Seriously? That’s the single most important thing the country needs right now? That’s the single most important thing on the minds of Americans right now?

What a total joke. People can complain about the policy choices of the Democrats in power, but at least they’re focused on actually fixing things, on making our country better.  You might not agree with the health care law (too big, too socialist?) but it’s goal is to help Americans without insurance obtain health care without risky bankruptcy.

What do the Republicans want to do?  They want to get rid of Obama.

That’s it!  9.6 percent unemployment? Not nearly as important.  The war in Afghanistan? Wasn’t a big deal when we invaded Iraq and still isn’t a big deal now.  Climate change? God has that figured out already for us.  Immigration? A wall or a fence or just kick em out I guess… we’ll worry about it later.

Just know that if you vote Republican in the Senate race next week, the possible-future Senate majority leader has already declared what the number one priority is.  And if you’re one of those few who – despite rational thought and factual evidence to the contrary – think that Obama is a socialist, Muslim who was born in Kenya and wants to usher in Sharia law and instill a New World Order with the Amero as the global currency… well, I suppose you should be stoked to hear that your represenatives in Washington are listening to you after all.

As for the rest of us…

(H/T The Daily Dish)

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3 Reasons Why the Tea Party Might Not Be a Game-Changing Movement

10.22.10

The Tea Party movement has been sweeping the nation for most of the past 18 months since President Obama took office. 

Much of the lead-up to the November 2nd election is not about if the Republicans will gain seats in Congress, but how many — and if they’ll actually win back both houses.  Much of that is owed to the Tea Partiers, who have won a number of GOP primaries.

Now, I’m not denying that there is a vocal segment of Americans who are fed up with… well, everything right now.  The economy, the unemployment, the spending, the taxes… the health care bill, the bailouts, TARP, Pelosi, Reid, Obama.

But is it nearly as big of a movement as our 24-hour news cycle would have us believe?

Here are a few reasons why I’m not so sure:

  1. The Tea Party haven’t (really) won anything yet. Sure, they’ve beaten out some incumbent Republicans in primaries.  But that’s about it.

  2. The Tea Partiers are more of a threat to the GOP than the Democrats. Tea Party candidates have knocked off some solid, traditional GOPers, most notably Rep. Mike Castle who lost the Delaware primary to Christine O’Donnell, who has a slim shot at defeating Chris Coons (D), while Castle (speculation) may have had a much better shot.  In that case, the Tea Party could end up being a liability to the GOP to re-take the Senate.

  3. No Tea Partiers are running for office as Democrats. It’s pretty clear that the country sways back and forth between Democrats and Republicans in waves.  Republicans dominated the 80s and the 00s while Bill Clinton handled the 90s.  In 2008, Americans voted heavily in favor of the Democrats, giving them majorities in both houses and the presidency.Now, I get that many of the issues on which the Tea Partiers are campaigning aren’t traditional Democratic Party stances: lower taxes and cutting entitlements. 

    But if the movement truly were all-encompassing the country, if it were truly capturing the sentiments of a strong majority of voters, it seems like it would’ve drifted into the Democratic Party even a little bit. It’s not like conservative-leaning Democrats don’t exist — I could see Sen. Ben Nelson running in accordance with some of the same ideas as other Tea Partiers.  There have been a number of Democrats who have voted in line with the Republicans on the major bills of the past nearly-two-years — why didn’t any Tea Party candidates emerge to challenge those seats?  Why are they only Republicans?

While much has been said about whether or not the Tea Party will defeat the Democrats in the general election in less than two weeks, it seems like not enough has been said about what this means for the Republican Party.  The Tea Party has gained a ton of traction due to the anti-incumbent mentality going around (natural when the economy is in the dumps — easy to blame those who are in charge even if they may not be the ones who are to blame); but that’s mainly hurt Republicans so far, not Democrats.

What the Tea Party represents are just Republicans in new clothes.  They’ve taken the anti-establishment, anti-elite tropes and run wild with them, riling up the base en route.  But they’re not new, as in converted from being Democrats.  And I think that’s why this is being misinterpreted.  Unless the Tea Party is convincing the moderates with their ideas to vote Republican this year — which I’m sure they have to some extent — they’re not going to be a game-changer at the polls.

Then again, it’s all speculation right now.  We’ll see in 11 days when the people vote.  I just wouldn’t be surprised if it’s not as revelatory as some think it will be.

Image courtesy of Fibonacci Blue’s Flickr Photostream.

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Why the GOP is Scared of their Tea Party Frankenstein

09.17.10

I’ve been saying all along that this wave of anti-establishment sentiment made no sense.

It’s something inherently ridiculous — elect me to go to Washington because I’m not from Washington so I’ll be different.  As if simply being new means that you’re better.  Or that just because you’re “part of the establishment” that your ideas, your plans, your policies are wrong.  There’s also the fact that the minute you get elected, you then are part of the establishment, the very group of people you were saying weren’t as good as you simply because they were in that group that you’re now a part of.  It makes no sense writing this and it makes no sense doing it.

It seems to be working, though, for Tea Party candidates much to the chagrin of the GOP elites, like Karl Rove himself:

“But we also can’t make progress if we have candidates who got serious character problems … [O’Donnell] attacked [Castle] by saying he had a homosexual relationship with a young aide with not a bit of evidence to prove it.”

Christine O’Donnell won the Republican primary for Senate in Delaware, beating out GOP incumbent Mike Castle.  And if you don’t know much about O’Donnell, well, she’s quite the character.  She’s what we call an ultra-conservative, which is saying something considering how far to the political right the current conservative movement has become. (I mean if you’re too conservative for Karl Rove, holy shit.)

Just take a look at the things O’Donnell stands for:

  • Opposes legal abortion, even in cases of rape and incest
  • Against women in the military
  • Believes gays can be “cured”

And here’s the best: Opposes masturbation, also believing it’s a form of adultery.

While her win was a huge upset, it’s important to note two things:

  1. She only won by a margin of 58,000 Republican votes
  2. She’s overwhelmingly favored to lose to Democratic candidate, Chris Coons

The main players within the GOP know that she’s far too radical to win the general election in a predominantly liberal state, which is why they rushed to support Castle, who has represented Delaware in the Senate since 1993.  It seems that the unilateral anti-incumbent mentality has backfired against the Republicans after all, which doesn’t shock me in the least. Because it’s not like Democrats are the only ones who have held office for a long time in the big boy’s club of D.C.  But the anti-establishment mentality is blind to party lines, apparently.

Most observers agree that O’Donnell has no chance of beating Democratic nominee Chris Coons in November, so for Republicans, an O’Donnell win means failing to gain a Senate seat, and thus likely losing any chance of taking control of the upper house.

The GOP has supported the Tea Party because it appealed to their base — angry, older, white, Christian voters.  But now that their own Frankenstein monster has turned against them, it seems that the political right has a bit of a civil war on their hands.  While the GOP has enjoyed the turning of the tide in their favor when it comes to polls, they’re showing that they’re worried that the exclusionary rhetoric of the Tea Party won’t win major elections — why else would they go to such lengths to bash O’Donnell despite having the backing of the political right god, Rush Limbaugh?

Perhaps the reality that having no real plans for healing the country has finally taken hold.  After all, you can only run campaigns on pointing fingers for so long before those fingers come pointing back at you.