Thursday, November 06, 2008

Heartbreakingly funny

Is how I describe Lucy's breakdown this morning- after weeks of rough, mostly unsuccessful potty training, she finally broke down in tears and sobbed "I don't want a bum anymore!!!"


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

How to fix the Republican party and win a landslide in 4 years.

So as I write this, Virginia just went for Obama meaning it is virtually impossible for McCain to win, which means we are probably about to experience a huge lurch to the left- a solidly liberal house and senate, combined with a president that has a very non-centrist record.
America will soon see what an unchecked liberal agenda looks like. While there is a small chance that Obama may deliver on his promise of governing as a centrist and restraining a heavily democratic congress, the odds are he will follow the pattern of his career and govern from the left.

This presents the Republican party with an opportunity that it hasn't had for decades. It finally has the political cover to discard some of its more unsavory positions, and toss out its more unsavory politicians (see Stevens, Ted). Voters in red districts who may have been nervous to vote for the new guy in a primary can now do so without fearing a loss and swinging congress more to the left. The party can rid itself of divisive positions on immigration, gay marriage, abortion, and many others, in favor of more centrist (but still conservative) positions. A few examples:

Hispanics are going for Obama in a landslide. Why? To listen to the anti-immigrant rhetoric of many republicans, you'd think that we as a party don't even think they are human but are in fact, aliens. In my opinion, the republican party should be the party of immigration. We are the party that thinks of America as the shining beacon, the hope and envy of the world, the city on a hill, etc. Why not translate that into our immigration policy? We are also the party of the rule of law. The law must be followed, therefore illegal immigration must end, period. So I propose that the party adopt the following platform (party leaders: are you listening?): First, that legal immigration quotas be radically increased. Make it so that if you want to immigrate, it is realistically possible to do so legally. Second, end illegal immigration. End. No more. People say a wall doesn't work. Go tell that to the communities on the border that have walls- border crossings are basically non-existent there. Plus, with the new immigration quotas, who would want to risk a life and death crossing if it is relatively easy to immigrate legally? With these two policies, current immigration levels will probably stay the same, the only differences being that we now can track everyone coming in, there will be much more cooperation in the hispanic community with law enforcement, and also, most Hispanics will be republican, breathing new life into the party.

Specifically, relations between blacks and the Republican party. With Obama as president, maybe, MAYBE, blacks will feel that they are now included in national politics, and will feel more willing in the future to vote for republicans, especially if there are more black republican candidates. I think the republican party is the natural home of the vast majority of blacks (in terms of the majority of blacks being religious, and socially conservative). The republican party can help them do this if: a.) we start actively recruiting more black candidates, and b.) actively campaigning for black votes. It might seem foreign to republicans to include elements of affirmative action in its recruiting and campaigning efforts, it might be a necessary, temporary step to bridge the huge racial divide. If the black republican candidates lose, oh well, at least blacks will start seeing that we are making an effort to include them in the party.

Foreign Policy
Simply put, return to the traditional conservative republican position of non-interventionism. Keep the policy of aggressively pursuing terrorists and the countries that harbor them, but as we learned with Iraq, intervention is other states is kinda costly, so there better be a reason to go in on the order of Hitler invading Europe.

Fiscal Policy
Can we please reclaim the mantle of fiscal responsibility? Please? Lets return the balanced budget amendment to our platform.

Can we please just get rid of people who want to ban all abortions in any circumstance whatsoever? That is just silly. If someone wants that, then we don't even want them in the party anyway. Lets just limit our abortion bans to people who are just doing it for birth control. I realize that this is tricky to legislate and trickier to implement, but at least get it on paper that the republican party does not want to force women who have been raped to have the baby.

Gay Rights
Many of the arguments I hear from pro-traditional marriage people against gay rights is that it is a slippery slope. I say, the stone is already sliding down the slope, so lets run ahead of it and set up a brick wall to stop it. Lets as a party advocate for sweeping gay rights laws that include things like hospital visitation rights, civil unions, anti discrimination laws, the works. Demographic trends are going to win this issue in the end anyway, so lets own it before it ruins the party. We can still oppose gay marriage, but lets be out in front on everything else.

The republican philosophy of self reliance and hard work is better than the democratic worldview of victimhood and handouts and reliance on government for, well, everything. It is better for prosperity to allow people (yes, even rich people) to invest their money as they see fit rather than redistribute it to others. Low taxes and sensible regulation produce prosperous nations. So over the next 4 years, all the adoring masses and hysterical young people are going to jarringly realize that Obama is: Surprise! A Politician! He will inevitable disappoint, and in the worst case scenario, will recklessly endanger. In four years, if we can make sensible platform changes, and actually nominate someone of competence, charisma and intelligence, then this hiccup to the left can be shortlived. If we don't, we can only blame ourselves for future elections losses.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

I endorse...

none of the above. That is a cop-out though, so I will endorse.

I had a long winded, rambling post already written. But it was tedious, and didn't really get at the core of what helped me make my decision. A conversation with Jenny solidified it for me. She asked me, "So, how comfortable would you be if McCain died and Palin became president?". Without hesitating, I said "Not comfortable at all. She has too little experience to be president." And thats what made me realize that I am voting for.... McCain, dangit. Why? When I realized that Palin had too little experience to be president, the fact that Obama has even less makes me even more nervous. The experience she lacks are areas of knowledge like foreign policy and the like, things that Obama was equally ignorant about until he decided to run for president after less than 2 years as a senator. Palin has at least governed. Palin has made decisions at the executive level. Palin has had to struggle against well established incumbents in her own party. Obama has done none of those things. He has only done one thing at the presidential level- run for president. Once I realized that, my gut told me I can't vote for him, even if his voice sounds nice and he seems competent. So my default is McCain, even though I am not excited about him- just less concerned about his qualifications.

If McCain loses, I will be disappointed, but only somewhat. Either Obama can be successful at being president, or he will not. If he is successful and manages to improve the economy and stimulate growth and in general be a competent president, the country wins. If he is awful and swings the government and the courts far to the left, the republicans have a chance to nominate a competent candidate in 4 years (not very long, after all), and rebuild the party. Either way, the world will still be here in 4 years.






So did I even consider Obama? I did. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. Associates of his how have worked with him in the past claim he is a fair minded centrist. His legislative history, however, showed me he is not a centrist, but is in fact a solid leftist (not that theres anything wrong with that...). I don't want another repeat of the Bush years: generally incompetent while brazenly partisan and divisive. I think Obama would be a repeat of that. I fear that McCain may be the same, but who is to know?