Sunday, April 11, 2010

Political Pitfalls of Hating the "Tea Party" Movement

Why do all these people have to be hatin' on the "Tea Party" people? Rep. Steve Cohen, among others, brand us as racists. Now, I've never been to a "tea party" rally, though I've wanted to check one out. I'm one of them because for years I've advocated the same principles they espouse, and am happy to see people rallying to something I agree with. I don't know how Rep. Cohen equates "limiting government spending and taxes" with "racism," but he's in a seat that is supposed to be "reserved" for a Black candidate, according to a supporter of his African-American primary opponent. This being his second time through that wringer, he's obviously grasping at a political straw, by bashing the "tea partiers" as racists.

The real problem I have is with the media coverage of the protests, and the movement in general. Like any "movement," it's more about ideas that people share, and agree on, than the differences between them. Media outlets that allow the race card to be played against the "tea party" supporters on their programs, unchallenged, are not giving an analysis of what is bringing these people together, or what they're protesting for. "Limiting government's power, to comply with the Constitution; cutting government spending; balancing our total national debt, and putting all of it "on the books." Is that too difficult for them to report? I suspect that the "cutting government spending" part is considered "racist" by the media, for the usual reasons...(social justice, etc.)

Unfortunately for both the left-wing media, and the progressive Democrats, it looks like most people agree with the "tea partiers." The venom directed at them from both the media and politicians is backfiring, primarily because most people don't trust the MSM on politics. If I can coin a phrase, "Some bad press is good press." This was/is a real "grass roots" movement, although it's going through the turmoil of political popularity/infamy. There are many "tea party" groups, at many different levels of organization, across the nation. Some may be frauds or fronts, but it's a fact that this is a more valuable "demographic" than most media or political strategists realized, when they alienated them.

I expect to see alot more "tea parties" this Summer, but wonder how the media coverage will slant. Pres. Obama is on shaky ground with the media already, over a number of other issues. I'd be pleasantly surprised to see a change to objective reporting of "my political community's" complaints against President Obama and Congress, on CNN, (ms)NBC, ABC, CBS, theNY Times, WaPost, etc...but I don't expect that to happen. Still, they're being stung by their blatant slander of a large group of Americans, so they may need to "kiss some ass." Actually, they better, if they want to survive as media outlets. (Barring a government takeover)

A final note: Remember how the details of the TARP and Stimulus bills "dribbed and drabbed" out over the Spring and Summer, and dragged Dem's poularity downward, as they were trying to pass health care? Think of the "dribs and drabs" that have already started to come out of the health care bill. Besides not covering children's "pre-existing conditions" immediately as promised, Congress is holding hearings on why so many large companies are anticipating losses on their balance sheets, since it's passage. I don't think the surface has been scratched, yet, when it comes to unknown parts of this law. That reminds me of another "tea party" principle that I forgot to mention: "Let us read the bills before you pass them." It could be the final nail in the Dem's political coffin.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

God Bless Joe Biden, For Motivating the Opposition

If we didn't know already, Vice President Joe Biden reminded us that passing health care reform is a "BIG (F-bomb)-ING DEAL!" Thanks, Joe! Of course, he used the profanity in praise of Obama, so it's not like when Cheney said "go (f-bomb) yourself" to some Democrat Senator. Personally, I find both comments unremarkable, but for the fact that they've been remarked about.

I could rightly argue that Cheney was somewhat more discreet, only being on the Senate floor. Also, let's be honest; Biden is a serial offender, when it comes to sticking his foot in his mouth, surpassing even Pres. Bush's famed malapropisms.

For some reason, this endears Joe to most people. I have to admit, I like the guy, though I consider him an old-school "hack" politician, who rode Obama's coattails. He's got to be enjoying this, or he wouldn't have made that comment, at such an inappropriate moment.

So God Bless Joe, for giving us a peek at the "hack" mentality of shoving through unpopular legislation. It sounded as if Biden thinks this is like making the playoffs, to use a sports analogy. Now, they can build on this momentum, to win further victories, over public opposition. I feel bad for him, if that's what he thinks.

He was right, though. This was a "big deal," to paraphrase him. It's a big deal to the people who opposed it all along, and the people who want to repeal it now. We're going to replay your comment, and it will keep us motivated for a long time.

Joe Biden is priceless, for both political and comedic entertainment. Sometimes he helps his own party, but more often he helps the comedy writers, and the GOP. Ya gotta love him!

NYS GOP Backs Levy, Conservatives Back Lazio...What Will Happen?

The NYS Conservative party appears to be supporting Rick Lazio, over newly-minted Republican Steve Levy, the formerly Democratic Suffolk County Executive. The Conservatives endorsed him in his '07 re-election campaign, but he ran unopposed. Why was that? It looks as if he was fighting against the "tax and spend" mentality that most elected officials and bureaucrats have, and it was politically popular. That's why he might be a tougher opponent for Cuomo than Lazio, in the general election.

I want to share some excerpts from some recent columns, and use them in support of Levy's candidacy:

(link) The rallying cry in NYS is "stop the spending," and people are looking for candidates whose record reflects that. They are tired of having the party "anoint" candidates that they have to hold their nose while voting for...I think the GOP senators are scared, because he may represent the exact threat they fear the most: the voice of voters from both parties, who are saying "the party is over! STOP THE SPENDING!"

(link) If there was ever a state that needed a "political insurrection" by the taxpaying people, it is New York. "Governor" Cuomo (this is 99.9% certain to happen) will not fix the system; he is part of it, and has been for years. NYS needs a governor like Chris Christie of New Jersey, someone who will take the bull by the horns, and challenge the entrenched liberal interests.

(link) Meanwhile, the GOP has a revolution within it's ranks. The fiscal conservatives are taking precedence over the social conservatives...Socially liberal, or "Rockerfeller" Republicans have usually been fiscally liberal, as well. That has changed...The GOP, as the minority, stands to benefit, whether it's "divided" or not. They are better positioned to adopt the "tea party" principles, in any case.

There's more to this story. Those same Republicans from the NYS Senate, most of whom opposed Levy? Well, they unanimously supported a bill that "busts the cap" on property tax rates. This is a clear dividing line between "politicians" and "constituents." Let's see if Levy is on the constituents' side of the line, on this and other "pocketbook" issues.

I'm leaning toward supporting Levy, because Andrew Cuomo is not an "agent of change." Much like Spitzer, he has been a "do-little" Attorney General, who reeks of empty promises of "reform." His latest crusade is against excessive overtime by public employees in the last three years before retirement, to "pad" their pensions. He's quoted as saying"how long has this gone on?" ...rhetorically, and answering "Decades. Decades." So where was he when this scandal started? Well, his father was governor of NYS, decades ago, and he probably knew about it back then. That's why it's almost comical to see him, as AG, just now launch this investigation.

Even shooting these fish in a barrel, I can guarantee that Cuomo will miss, and nothing will change, regarding public sector overtime abuse, if he becomes governor. He'll prove as effective as Spitzer was at "cleaning up Wall Street." What I know of Levy's record compares favorably with Cuomo's. Levy also seems to see the bigger picture of how the system is geared to increase public spending, and is looking for a way to break that cycle.

It's interesting that Levy has a record of butting heads with "public sector" unions, most publicly the Suffolk County police union. I hope he "butts heads" with the state troopers just as much, after their role in several recent gubenatorial scandals. They are just one of many entrenched interests that any "reform-minded" governor will have to fight. Plus, as an "underdog," I naturally want him to win, and continue his anti-spending crusade. Can he do it? We'll see.

Millions Lose Insurance: "No One Saw It Coming"

If the fine or tax is less than the cost of health insurance, millions of people will be dumped from, or drop their "current" insurance, in the coming months. This will not be due to "some government bureaucrat," but Democrats in the US Congress, if they pass health care reform this Sunday night. This follows a pattern of passing the toughest votes on weekends and holidays. "It's 10 PM, do you know how you're representative is going to vote?" I know my rep, Carolyn McCarthy, will vote for it, because she's part of the Dem leadership.

What legislators don't account for, when they pass regulatory laws, is the anti-regulatory nature of private individuals, and most businesses. That's why only a few are talking about this (well, there's Rush, Hannity, Beck, and a few others, but "no one" listens to them...), and the MSM will try to say "no one saw this coming," when it happens. It will happen over this Summer, leading up to the elections.

What is likely to happen, if the Senate bill passes, is the fight for the House rvision bill, which must pass the Senate. The GOP is going to try to use this process to strip out certain parts of the law, or at least stretch out the process, to allow time for everyone to examine what the Dems passed into the law already. If the Dems are attempting a "fix," then there is something wrong with the law as passed. This will be politically exploited, beyond a doubt.

There is a chance that I'm wrong about employers dropping insurance, but I think that other parts of this law will have similar "unintended" consequences, any one of which will damage our overall economy. It's going to be a tough Summer for Democrats, whether this gets passed or not. That political reality is why I think it will pass tonight. They've been herded to the ledge, and there's nowhere to go, but off...