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State of confusion

I really try to avoid disparaging anybody. I just don’t think that adds to the political debate. There are plenty of people out there who are pointing fingers and making caricatures of the candidates. Yet, when you look at the Republican field it seems as if there is something missing. Like… a real candidate. Is it possible to have a conservative who is a real person and represents the average American?

Mitt Romney is stiff, wooden and doesn’t seem to have any core convictions besides making money. To say that he has flip-flopped on the issues does a disservice to people who flip-flop on the issues. Rick Perry is a phenomenon in and of himself. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this. I’m not sure how he’s been governor of Texas for over a decade. I’ve met Gov. Perry. He’s the only Republican presidential candidate that I’ve personally chatted with. He’s a nice guy. Unfortunately, he doesn’t come across in superficial conversation as being all that mentally astute. Unfortunately for him and his campaign, he could not have performed worse in the debates. I really think the nomination was his to lose after he stepped in the presidential race with a groundswell of support. He had the Tea Party in his back pocket. All he had to do was perform adequately in the debates. Instead, he tried to place himself to the right of everybody, more conservative than any of the other conservatives. Herman Cain may be the most personable. He comes across as comfortable in front of the microphone. Yet, it’s hard to imagine a conservative winning the nomination of the Republican Party with a different woman coming out of the closet every week and claiming either a sexual relationship or sexual harassment from/with Herman Cain. Then throw in that he’s quoting Pokémon and draws a complete blank on the biggest foreign policy story in the last six months (Libya). Remember Michele Bachmann? It was almost a year ago when Michele Bachmann was raking in millions of dollars and developing this seemingly unstoppable campaign. For the last several months, her poll numbers can’t break 10%. For the life of me I can’t see what conservatives see in Newt Gingrich. It is clear that Newt Gingrich is an interesting man. He’s extremely engaging. He’s extremely knowledgeable. But, it should be clear to everyone by now that Newt Gingrich is out for Newt Gingrich. He is constantly promoting himself, his books and his multiple companies (which all funnel money to him). Rick Santorum is simply out in right field. Remember when he thought the military had found Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction? He was adamant that they had been found. I think when you go out of your way to make a fool out of yourself on national TV, you don’t get to be president. Ron Paul is consistent but is not a conservative. He’s a libertarian. The two are not synonymous. I simply don’t know enough about Jon Huntsman to comment.

We must remember that it is still early in the presidential race. The Iowa caucuses are still five weeks away. There’s plenty of time for candidates to rise and fall and rise again. Yet, when it’s all said and done, I don’t think a strategy of giving more to the rich will win the general election.

By |2011-11-29T07:08:37-04:00November 29th, 2011|Elections|Comments Off on State of confusion

The State of Healthcare Reform

Our legislators are sure doing us a disservice. Very few are serious about universal healthcare. The bipartisanship sought by many Democrats (Max Baucus) is a waste of time!!! Republicans have said that they are not interested in any type of healthcare reform. They want the status quo. How do you negotiate from that position?

From the Political Animal:

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) of Utah complained yesterday, “From the start of the health care debate, Democrats have completely shut us out of the process.”

One wonders which process Hatch has been watching. The Senate majority seems to have invested an enormous amount of time and energy trying to reach out to the 40-seat Republican minority. Indeed, had Dems decided early on to blow off the GOP altogether, chances are, we’d be closer to a finished product by now.

And yet, Republican outreach continues anyway. Late yesterday, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) continued to huddle with Republicans on his committee, and around the same time, President Obama chatted up Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Susan Collins (Maine) and Saxby Chambliss (Ga.). The Politico reported this morning that the president will meet with “more Republican senators at the White House” today.

Do these efforts suggest Democrats are back to prioritizing bipartisanship as a perquisite to reform? Apparently not.

[P]rivately, White House officials said the administration is moving closer to advancing the overhaul under a congressional procedure known as budget reconciliation that would make the bill immune to filibuster in the Senate.

While the administration still prefers to get a bill that commands some Republican support, its standard for a bipartisan agreement is a measure that contains GOP amendments — not something that will necessarily attract Republican votes.

The subtle but important shift reflects Obama’s eagerness to get House and Senate bills to a conference in September and sign a final bill into law by fall.

There’s nothing inherently contradictory here. Obama and his allies are effectively telling Republicans, “We’re listening and we’d like your support. But we’re not going to let the minority derail reform.” It adds some leverage to the discussions — Dems want GOP votes, but they don’t need GOP votes, and the majority would apparently prefer that Republicans keep that in mind.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) no doubt spoke for many when he said, “There’s a strong preference for bipartisanship because it makes the bill easier to pass. But if we cannot get bipartisanship, we must forge ahead because health care reform is too important.” Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) added, “There’s a value in achieving bipartisanship, but I will not sacrifice a good bill for that. The people we are working for are not our colleagues, but the American public.”

Meanwhile, in the House, conservative Blue Dog Dems continue to be an ongoing obstacle for reform. Rep. Mike Ross (D) of Arkansas told CNN yesterday, “We remain opposed to the current bill, and we continue to meet several times a day to decide how we’re going to proceed.”

By |2009-07-16T10:17:57-04:00July 16th, 2009|Congress, Healthcare, Obama administration|Comments Off on The State of Healthcare Reform

Journalists Complain About Debate on ABC

From the Nation:

We, the undersigned, deplore the conduct of ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and Charles Gibson at the Democratic Presidential debate on April 16. The debate was a revolting descent into tabloid journalism and a gross disservice to Americans concerned about the great issues facing the nation and the world. This is not the first Democratic or Republican presidential debate to emphasize gotcha questions over real discussion. However, it is, so far, the worst.

For 53 minutes, we heard no question about public policy from either moderator. ABC seemed less interested in provoking serious discussion than in trying to generate cheap shot sound-bites for later rebroadcast. The questions asked by Mr. Stephanopoulos and Mr. Gibson were a disgrace, and the subsequent attempts to justify them by claiming that they reflect citizens’ interest are an insult to the intelligence of those citizens and ABC’s viewers. Many thousands of those viewers have already written to ABC to express their outrage.

The moderators’ occasional later forays into substance were nearly as bad. Mr. Gibson’s claim that the government can raise revenues by cutting capital gains tax is grossly at odds with what taxation experts believe. Both candidates tried, repeatedly, to bring debate back to the real problems faced by ordinary Americans. Neither moderator allowed them to do this. (more…)

By |2008-04-18T12:55:16-04:00April 18th, 2008|Election 2008, Media|Comments Off on Journalists Complain About Debate on ABC
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