Political Diatribes

Another conservative take on the world around us

Posts Tagged ‘Opinion’

With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on November 4, 2010

The Biblical version of this might be “To whom much is given, much is expected.” But the title above comes from my beloved Spider-Man. One of those things that just always stuck with me after reading it as a kid. It may only be a comic book, but it always struck me as filled with wisdom.

So, I don’t have a lot of time to provide an in-depth analysis of the 2010 mid-term elections. I hardly need to do so, since there are thousands of such opinions out there, many of whome will echo my own thoughts.

So, real quickly, let me just say “It was a very good night on Tuesday.” Speaking from a central Wisconsin perspective, it is the first time in my entire lifetime that my district has gone Republican. Sean Duffy defeated Julie Lassa! And on top of that, Ron Johnson defeated Russ Feingold. This was simply a pipe dream mere months ago, and I never even seriously thought there was any chance that old Russ would fall. The capitol went GOP, as well, with Scott Walker defeating Barrett. I don’t even know how to respond, this is such an unusual trifecta.

But it doesn’t end there. Both statehouses flipped from Democrat to Republican.

We all know by now that, nationally, the House had a historic number of seats switch from Democrat to Republican. We also know that the Senate will stay in Democrat hands, but there will be a minimum pickup of 6 seats, which is nearly double the norm for a mid-term election.

But my take on this is not one of euphoria, though I will admit it is one of relief. If these guys do nothing but stop the flood of horrible agenda items crammed through in the last 2 years, it will help us greatly.

But here’s the deal: This isn’t like the old days. Believe me, I am a dyed-in-the-wool conservative and that means I almost always end up on the side of the GOP. That’s true in the general election. In the past, I think many of us – even myself to an extent – believed that the GOP would live by its core principles and it didn’t necessarily matter who the individuals were. In the past, sins of incumbents were often forgive because, well, this or that GOP incumbent has the best chance in the general election, even if not perfect.

I’m not saying perfection is demanded, but I am saying that any abandonment of core principle is not going to be tolerated. The Tea Party movement needs to stay focused, needs to hold all of our politicians accountable, and needs to stay on message. And this message needs to be harsh. We need to be willing to stand up and say “Hey, we supported you, we elected you, and you let us down. We’ll find somebody else next time.”

In fact, that threat needs to be there even if it means we lose the general election. A big deal is being made in some circles about how the GOP could have won the Senate if the Tea Party hadn’t been so… so… principled in Delaware and Nevada. Imagine that. The largest criticism of the Tea Party is that they put forth candidates who didn’t win in the general election, even though they knew that candidate would have a more difficult time in the general election. And the reason they did it was because, out of principle, they couldn’t support someone that did not see things the same way the Tea Party did. That may not be the most strategic, but it’s the most principled approach. And even in that losing effort, it sends a clear and strong message: if you go off the reservation, we won’t save you.

Besides, who really cares about not winning the Senate? They wouldn’t have veto override power of a Democratic President, so whether they have a slight majority or a slight minority is, quite honestly, close to irrelevant. Others have delved into that analysis, and I won’t do it again here. But it’s a point worth noting in the context that the criticism of the Tea Party for “costing the GOP the Senate” is entirely a red herring. The analysist know it wouldn’t matter, in real terms. They also know that there may even be some political value in not owning both the House and the Senate. But it’s all they’ve got right now to try and undermine that movement.

It won’t work, mainly because the Tea Partiers don’t care. I can guarantee you that there aren’t a whole lot of Tea Party supporters wringing their hands today and wondering “If only we had supported the other guy in the Primary…”

Nope, Tuesday was a victory for the GOP, and it’s because of the zeal of the Tea Partiers. More importantly, it was a victory for America. But it’s only one game. Whether or not America is on its way back to being a Championship team depends on whether or not those who campaigned on Tea Party principles govern in the same way, and whether or not the movement that put them there continues to be vigilant, watch ALL of our elected officials, and approach 2012 the same way it approached 2010, without regard to party of incumbents who fail to pass the test.

Posted in Elections, Opinion, Politics, Sean Duffy, Tea Party, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Congressional District 7 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hoping and Praying for Obama’s Success… and Failure

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on January 20, 2009

Obama InaugurationJoseph Farah, at http://www.worldnetdaily.com/, offers a perspective on praying for Obama’s success: don’t do it.

Farah presents his view from the point of view of a Christian who believes that praying for Obama’s success means that you are praying for success in his specific positions that are contrary to our moral position. These things by now are no particular secret. Clearly, abortion rights is a major issue, and any attempt to expand these rights through the Freedom of Choice Act, his past voting record as an Illinois State Senator, voting against an act that wouold protect infants who were born alive after botched abortion attempts, and the appointment of liberal judges can’t be supported. During the campaign, Obama and Biden both stated that they are not for gay marriage, though they favor civil unions. But in the past, Obama has said he favors it, and even since the election he does not support constitutional bans of same-sex marriage, and ‘respects’ state Supreme Court decisions that thwart the will of the people. When asked to discuss one of his greatest regrets, of all things he could have chosen, he decided to point to his support to review the case of Terri Schiavo. Why, of all matters possible, would an intervention to simply review the case one last time to ensure justice to a woman who is being starved and dehydrated be the one thing that comes to mind? It’s somewhat galling. This clearly presents Obama in a different camp than us Christians on the issue of euthanasia. It’s also been no major secret that Obama supports publicly funded embryonic stem-cell research.

These are moral issues. I cannot and will not support Obama in any of these issues if he continues to take the path he has taken in the past, and claims to want to take in the future.

But does this mean that I should pray for Obama’s failure as a president? Well, I guess it depends on what it is you focus on.

Here’s my thought: Hope and pray for America’s success. Pray that Obama succeeds in doing God’s will. Pray for his safety. Pray that, on issues that are not moral issues, he succeeds and fails in accord for what is best for our country.

Let’s leave the moral issues aside at this point. We have strict differences there, and my opinion is known. I most certainly hope the promotion of these issues fails. It is nothing personal against Obama, and it is not for political expediency that I feel this way. It is because my convictions in these areas must outweigh any perceived lack of patriotism some misguided souls may inappropriately apply to such hope for failure.

But on other issues, should we pray for failure? I suggest that the answer is ‘no.” Don’t get me wrong here. I wholeheartedly disagree with increasing our tax burden. I disagree with trillion dollar debts and more bailouts. I disagree with increased regulation. I am less certain about the best strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan, and foreign policy. There may well be a few nuggets that I can agree with and support Obama on, as well. But these issues are debatable. They are not strict issues of morality (not even welfare, social security, and the role of government. That is NOT a moral issue. It is the strategy of attacking a moral issue which all of us fundamentally agree is an issue, but with different ideas of addressing it. That is why it is so maddening to have people compare that to abortion).

Let me outline my thinking here by providing the analogy of working for a company. Let’s say the company is discussing a new marketing strategy. Let’s say you have an idea on the best route to go with it, and someone else has the polar opposite view. Now, let’s say the polar opposite view from yours wins out as a strategy. Now, you may personally believe that this is a mistake, and it could be a disaster. You have made your opinion known, you have had the debate, but now the decision has been made.

So, do you undermine your own company and try to cause the new strategy to fail? Not if you have any integrity. Unless we’re talking about moral or ethical issues, you do your part to try and make this new strategy succeed. You assist when called upon, you do your best, and you falt-out hope that your perception of this was wrong. That’s right, you humbly hope you are mistaken, and wish success to the company President, the team, the whole company, and the guy who had the idea in the first place. If necessary, you shoot for success even if it’s in spite of the decision that was made in lieu of a potentially better way to go.

I personally believe we’re heading for disaster if we introduce a near-trillion dolalr stimulus package. I believe that an effort to roll back the Bush tax cuts is ill-timed and could cause even worse economic hardship. I am concerned that we will withdraw too quickly from Iraq. I am concerned about over-regulation in a number of areas, and even a restriction of our rights via the ‘Fairness Doctrine.’. I’m concerned that the left will go bonkers and start trying to send former administration officials to jail for political purposes.

Some of these I feel more wary about than others. But in the end, what I hope for is that, whether or not I can see the wisdom of a certain action, that whatever is decided is the right thing for America. Maybe that means Obama fails miserably in terms of getting his way, and that is what’s best. Maybe it means that he gets his way and I am wrong about the implications for the country. Maybe it means that Obama is more willing to stand up to the extreme left than I give him credit for, and that he really does want to govern from the center. Maybe it means that the Republicans get a spine and get energized, and thwart bad policy. And however it happens, if it’s the best for America, that means we’ll be better off in four years. And it may be because of Obama or it may be despite Obama. But that’s what I hope for.

It’s what we all should hope for.

So, hoping and praying for Obama’s success, in my opinion, is not the same as hoping and praying for a successful institution of his policies. It is at once reasonable to be praying and working for a failure of some policies, while praying and working for the overall success of our President and our nation.

Posted in Barack Obama, Inauguration, Opinion, Politics, Prayer, President | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Perplexing Electorate and the Next Eight Years

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on November 15, 2008

Originally posted at http://digitaldiatribes.wordpress.com on October 28, 2008.

Anyone who knows me well also knows that I have very strong political opinions. I’ve occasionally presented them here, but not too often. After all, with all this global warming statistical analysis, who has time for that? Plus, my meager little blog isn’t going to change the world, anyway. Plus, I really have decided to not push too many political buttons, since most readers don’t come here for that reason and anytime you delve into this arena, you’re bound to offend somebody.

But, with the Presidential elections only 7 days away, I am left perplexed by the U.S. Electorate.

OK, to be up-front about matters, I am a conservative. The intent of this post is not to argue about why conservatism is superior to liberalism. I believe it to be true, and others will disagree.

So, let’s just accept that 30%ish of us are pretty staunchly conservative and 30%ish of us are pretty staunchly liberal. I don’t know the exact numbers. Perhaps it’s not an even split, or perhaps it’s a higher percentage. None of that is particularly important, because it is not this group of people that perplexes me. Agree or disagree, one knows exactly why conservatives vote for conservatives and liberals vote for liberals. And while not universally the case, it is generally recognized in the current political climate that the conservative will vote for the Republican and the liberal will vote for the Democrat.

This is a little different from saying that each side is a strong supporter of that candidate. After all, McCain was probably my 4th or 5th choice among the Republican Candidates in the primaries. And just because he’ll get my vote doesn’t mean I’m overly excited about him. But compared to Obama, there’s simply not even a question about who is the better candidate for me to vote for.

Where my confusion lies is with that mushy middle. Those who are called independents, moderates, undecideds, or whatever the identifier of the day is.

The main reason I am perplexed has nothing to do with my own ideas of Obama and his own lack of qualifications for the Presidency, or his absolute liberalism on social policy that is out of step with the mainstream, or an economic policy that I think would prove disastrous in current times, or past ties with questionable characters, alignment with ACORN, Marxist professors, support for the “Freedom of Choice” Act, and the list goes on. I admit, I scratch my head as to why anyone supports this ideology, but since I know enough people personally who actually do support it, I understand that they exist and it would make sense to support Obama.

The main reason I am perplexed also has nothing to do with understanding that some people may align with one party on economic policy while aligning with the other on social policy, and that there is constantly a conflict in trying to determine which part of that means more to an individual at the given moment. I understand and accept that not everyone lines up well with either party, and so there is great thought put into the given candidates in order to settle on a preference.

No, the reason I’m perplexed actually has much more to do with the fact that an Obama victory coupled with an increase in the number of House AND Senate Democrats makes about as much sense as investing all your money in a single stock with no diversification.

Granted, we have only a limited ability to diversify our political leadership. There are, for all practical purposes, only two parties in the current framework. As much as I’d enjoy seeing more, the reality is that there isn’t a 3rd, let alone a 4th and 5th party that has any significant presence.

I suppose I thought it was not just mere lip service all those times where I’ve heard people talking about how bad it is to concentrate all this power into the hands of one party. I suppose that I thought a single-digit approval rating for Congress, both houses of which have a Democratic majority, should rightly put at risk some of those who are responsible for those record lows. It would seem to me that someone who is truly undecided and torn between the candidates would recognize that we are about to elect enough Democrats in both houses to put at risk a filibuster-proof scenario, while at the same time electing the most liberal Senator over the last two years to be our leader.

Of course, this is a nightmare scenario for conservatives and a dream come true for liberals. But for those in the middle of the road, is this truly what you want? Even if McCain isn’t all that exciting, and you may not like his stance on a war that will be coming to an end at about the same pace regardless of who gets elected, it would seem like the disparity between party power should leap forward to an undecided or independent voter as possibly the most important issue. Perhaps I underestimate how much the average person cares about that.

This is only my opinion, but here is what I believe is in store for us with an Obama Presidency coupled with a very secure Democratic majority. Some of you will probably think this is fine and dandy. I would think it would scare most others, conservative or not.

1) Freedom of Choice Act passes. Sounds nice enough, right? Well, regardless of your thinking on Roe v Wade, polls show that large majorities of Americans support some restrictions on abortion, including parental right to know, restriction of late-term abortions, not transporting minors across state lines, waiting periods, etc. This act effectively makes ALL restrictions on abortion illegal. Everything. It even goes so far as to force religious hospitals to offer abortions. It is a travesty. Obama has promised to make this his first act when speaking to Planned Parenthood. This is much more than an honest disagreement in ideology.

2) Suppression of Free Speech through the Fairness Doctrine, and other methods – The “Fairness Doctrine” is a sham, and it will be shown to be a sham. If there were a true fairness doctrine, it would apply to all media, whether radio, TV, newspapers, internet, etc. But it won’t. It will specifically target only that media which is condiered “right wing,” such as radio talk shows. Never mind that nearly all mainstream news leans left. This will be untouched. This will be a power play by the Democratic Party that is absolutely an infringement on free speech. What is amazing is that anyone will believe that this is necessary, considering they will have the executive and legislative branches all sewn up.

3) Suppression of Free Speech through intimidation. I’m not crazy. This has already happened, and it will only get worse. Talk to anyone challenging global warming, and you’ll understand what kind of intimidation I’m talking about. When the media are in bed with you, they can help portray dissenters as nutjobs. Worse, when it comes to anyone with dissenting opinions on liberal policies, whether it be economic or social, you’re a bigot, a homophobe, or a religious zealot who should have no voice. Just wait. This is already the case now, but things have only just begun.

4) Gay Marriage – Thank God I homeschool (well, at least I’m allowed to homeschool right now… wouldn’t be surprised to see pushback on that front within the next eight years, either). I can’t fathom the tripe all of our textbooks will have in them as public education continues to deviate from reading, writing, and arithmetic to social engineering on how to use contraceptives and present homosexual activity as a beautiful thing. Those of us with large families are considered an enemy of nature while we embrace unions that are unnatural.

5) Cloning / Chimeras / Embryonic Stem-Cells – Never mind that we have made so many advances with adult stem cells and alternative cells that act like embryonic stem cells without the need to clone and destroy embryos, you can bet this will be fast-tracked. Just another moral line we will be willing to discard.

6) Judges – Everyone thinks about the Supreme Court, but the President appoints all federal justices. This is literally hundreds if not thousands of judges over a President’s two terms. The scary thing about this one, unlike #1 – #5 is that those mistakes can be reversed in the short term. This cannot. I reiterate that this will be the most liberal President combined with the most liberal Congress in the nation’s history. It isn’t even close.

7) Carbon Taxes, and higher capital gains taxes – Carbon taxes are just plain stupid for all sorts of reasons, and so are higher capital gains taxes. There is no better way to crush investment precisely at a time where we are starving for investment.

And I haven’t even delved into general economics. And for the life of me I can’t figure out why people want to “change” to a guy who mirrors Jimmy Carter’s economic approach right now (or ever, actually). Whatever you want to say about Bush’s policies as it relates to the particular crisis we’re in right now, if there is anything saving us from complete collapse it’s because of the other economic policies in place. I really look at the financial sector and policies/regulations regarding that area as quite a different animal from the general economic policies of taxes and budget.

So, there it is. Are these really the policies the moderates want to see rushed through? Mark my words, this will be swift and dramatic. Pelosi laughably suggested that Congress will be much more bipartisan now with a large Democratic majority. I think she actually believes that lie. If bipartisanship means there is less fighting because you can just ignore the other side due to numbers, then she has a point. But this is not the definition of bipartisanship I know.

Well, anyway, that’s just one guy’s diatribe. Feel free to disagree that this will happen, or that it would be a bad thing.

Posted in Barack Obama, Elections, Electorate, John McCain, News, Opinion, Politics, Talk Radio | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »