Tag Archives: Politics

Congressional republicans

President Obama, The GOP, And Moving Poll Numbers

Congressional republicans

photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America

There may be a price to pay for intransigence.  Because of a deliberate attempt at self-sabotage by congressional republicans, an inability of Speaker Boehner to reign in tea party freshmen, and the likelihood of a substantial tax increase on more than 160 million Americans–something conservatives would normally consider anathema–they find themselves on the wrong end of poll numbers.

Given the need to bolster the economy, something only the President has seemed willing to do so far, Obama has made significant strides with the public on the country’s most pressing issues:

Obama’s gains have come at the expense of the Republicans in Congress and the GOP in general. By a 50% to 31% margin, people questioned say they have more confidence in the president than in congressional Republicans to handle the major issues facing the country. Obama held a much narrower 44% to 39% margin in March.

And the GOP’s overall favorable rating has dropped to six points, to 43%, since June, while the Democrats’ positive rating remained steady at 55%. “The Democrats do particularly well among middle income Americans, while the Republicans win support only from the top end of the income scale,” adds Holland.

Perhaps the strategy of congressional republicans is to continue its abject stonewalling, lest they risk making the economy better right before 2012 elections.  Politics before country doesn’t sound like a sound, winning strategy to me.  In a divided government, absolutism is the wrong play.   If their intended result was to achieve historically low congressional poll numbers, mission accomplished.

 

Reggie Brown’s Lack Of Self-Awareness

I wouldn’t say these jokes about Barack Obama are racially charged.  They may push the envelope on good taste though. More broadly, they lack certain sensibilities.  It’s almost as if Brown expected his audience to soak up the venom gladly. Not with the cameras running.

I’ve heard worse, but don’t quit your day job Mr. Brown.

Affirmative Action II: American Privilege

That’s the price of affirmative action. It taints black achievements, in the mind of many, with the question of “would this man have succeeded without race preferences” even in cases where the answer is undoubtedly “yes!”

The only price of affirmative action is the misguided attempts at disproving its usefulness in American society.   Whatever your views on it, to say it taints black achievement is not only wrong– it’s misguided, and fails to dig deeply into the root of what affirmative action is. What irritates me most is the notion that somehow only black folks benefit from this system–thus black people must be inferior and unable to conquer the rigors and requirements others must to succeed.

Opponents of affirmative action point to a color blind society– a level playing field upon which all of us should be competing.  When has this ever been the case in this country?  For centuries, certain elements of society have always had inherent advantages based upon race, money, gender, family, etc. White America has thrived from a system built on white privilege.  The irony here is the same people who’ve benefited from these privileges lead the charge against others receiving them. 

This country will never have an equal playing field, and that may be to the good.   But it is pure fallacy to assume that the person with the most melanin is the only one thriving because of affirmative action.  Affirmative action is built into American DNA.  George W. Bush knows it.  Donald Trump knows it.  They’ve both become successful in part because of it.  At least we’d be dealing with absolute truth if we accept that premise.  Can either of them claim to have ascended to the halls of success without the advantages their money and family brought them?  Can anyone in society make such a claim.

Before you accept that black success is tainted as fact, I would recommend a closer examination of American history to see just how many of us have received a leg up.

 

Allen West, Another Member Of The Untalented 2010 Class

Allen West proves his disdain for women. Again.

He is becoming quite the caricature.  Those with no talent, foresight, and ability make it more apparent by their constant need for the spotlight.

Anyone can push wedge issues.  That’s why West does it.  He has no ability to lead on any real, substantive ground.  I hope he enjoys this last year and a half in office.  And I hope he’s polishing his resume.

Just How Liberal Was Ronald Reagan?

I’m convinced today’s conservatives don’t know anything about Ronald Reagan and his policies. For example: Did they know Ronald Reagan raised taxes eleven times during his administration? Do they know that the tax rate under President Barack Obama is lower than it was under President Reagan? Is this a case of selective amnesia, or they so far removed from reality, they don’t care about altering history for political expediancy?  It fits into their modus operandi to selectively edit historical fact.  That doesn’t have to mean the rest of us have to fall for this sleight of hand.  All you need to do is read a book to.  Evidently, they never do.

 

About That Revolution…

Uh-oh:

Exit polls showed independents supporting the GOP by a 19 point margin last year at 56-37. Now only 30% of those voters think that the Republican controlled House is moving things in the right direction, compared to 44% who think things were better with the Democrats. Given those numbers it’s not much of a surprise that independents now say they’d vote Democratic for the House by a 42-33 margin if there was an election today, representing a 28 point reversal in a span of just five months.

Overreach tends to result in numbers like these.  Things have a nasty habit of changing quickly in politics.  Let’s see how malleable the Boehner brigade is.  So far, they’ve proven their reluctance to… everything.

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Straight, No Chaser

Quote of the day:

I  don’t want politicians who are “above politics,” anymore then I want a plumber who’s “above toilets.”— Ta-Nehisi Coates

Call me a cynic, but I’d prefer someone who knows the hustle above someone claiming never to have engaged in the game.  This is a slight variant of TNC’s line–one I obviously agree with.  There isn’t anyone Teflon enough to fix a “broken” government– no matter their private sector credentials– or their perceived distance from Washington.  Give me someone who can brawl for the cause, but regards pragmatism and flexibility as prerequisite traits of leadership.

Sadly, many in Washington–and those aspiring to leadership roles in Washington–are sorely lacking those.

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Context Is Just As Important As The Facts

When discussing the act of defunding National Public Radio– and placing the recently release video of known liar and deviant James O’Keefe in context– the average citizen can probably make two assumptions:  First; why would you quickly castigate NPR before discerning all of the facts of the case?  Second;  James O’Keefe is an inveterate liar, thus his shabby, juvenile investigative reporting should be seen as just that:  juvenile.

When clips are spliced and edited, you’re virtually assured of achieving the results you’re looking for–regardless of what the actual context is.  It achieves the results you desire– which, truth be damned– is all that matters.  Is this the case with O’Keefe and NPR?  You be the judge.

UPDATE:  For some reason, this video clip has been removed.  Curious am I .

 

This and other detailed examinations of the tapes made by O’Keefe, were performed by a conservative site called The Blaze.  They do a good job of skewering O’Keefe’s scoop, and calling into question the tactics used to expose his NPR.

The irony is rich here. The Blaze, run by Glen Beck–perhaps the biggest charlatan and conspiracy theorist in America–has uncovered the truth behind another conservative conspiratorial charlatan.  Truth has no agenda apparently.

 

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Who’s Really Serious About Taming The Budget In Wisconsin?

I haven’t written anything on what’s taking place in Wisconsin yet.  Rather than go off half-cocked, I’d much prefer giving a more enlightened opinion, without resorting to my own pre-determined feelings on the issue.  This issue is rather timely for me also, as it coincides with my take on  teachers unions, and their effects on our public educational system.

For now, check out this short clip put together by heritage.org.  It gives you a bit of perspective on the impasse from different angles–although it’s slanted toward Governor Scott Walker and his conservative legislation.

For those of you unsure as to what is going on in the upper Midwest, here is a great primer for you.  Immerse yourself in the process from  different political angles, and draw your own conclusions.

Ezra Klein speaks about what niether side wants to admit:

State and local budgets are in bad shape. They’ll need deep reforms across a variety of categories, from tax increases to service cuts to changes to employee compensation. But the focus on public employees — and the accompanying narrative that they’re greedy and overcompensated — obscures a lot of that: It makes it seem as if the decisions that have to be made are easy and costless and can be shunted onto an interest group that some of us, at least, don’t like. It’s the Republican version of when liberals suggest we can balance the budget simply by increasing taxes on the rich. But it’s not true.

Pain will be a necessary result of fixing this mess, but neither side is willing to capitulate.  At all.  The end result is the protest-fueled melodrama playing itself out.  If Scott Walker is as serious as he claims about reducing the state deficit, is he willing to acquiesce to demands of tax increases on corporations?  Are unions willing to pay more than the 1% they’re currently paying toward their pensions?

We will see.

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