The Struggle For Power

Everyday politics - No Rules - No Bars

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Moral Direction
Saturday, November 18, 2006
I must also admit that I am an expert in nothing really, I just do my best to understand the world around me and to develop an actionable sense of context. It seems like this goes hand in hand with surviving. I watch the news, read some of the newspaper, and try to get into conversations that are stimulate me to evaluate any given set of circumstances more thoroughly. Last month I was reading a blog I enjoy, Political Friends and Andy D. was reviewing a book title, Bankrupt, by David Limbaugh.

Now let me state, I have not read the book yet and will not comment on any of the particulars until I read it myself. Nonetheless, I enjoyed both parts of Andy's review. Andy, is openly critical of the Democratic Party and I am as well -- I am equally, if not more, critical of Republicans. That is because I am rational and consider what is put on the plate before I eat. Every time I go to McDonald's for some of their tasty and undoubtedly healthy food I look at it first even though the package is supposed to tell me what I am getting.

So back to Andy D.'s book review (yes - the book I have yet to read). Apparently, the author (Limbaugh) asserts that the Democratic Party suffers from moral bankruptcy. And, to this I agree before I read a page. The Democrats have essentially gotten into bed with the atheists and atheists have difficulty arguing for any morality. However, the Republican are simply duplicitous and to me moral turpitude or lack of morality is better than lying about ones morality. Since, we are dealing with politicians, I guess it is expected that we have to deal with liars on both sides. The news helps both sides cover their tracks, but the tracks are often uncovered when you look back a few weeks or months or years.

The Democrats now have their time in the sun, however, because the system has been so partisan for the last few Congressional session watching the parties work on C-SPAN has been a lot like watching parliament - except not as funny or eloquent and with a lot more empty seats that should have behinds in them. The partisan nature of the Congress has had a Majority Party doing essentially what it wanted and a minority party that essentially acted like a peanut gallery, offering criticisms, but because it was not the party in the power never offering any workable solutions. The Democrats have basically whined for the last few years and in that time do not seem to have developed any coherent plans for the nation even within their own party. And, this is a matter of concern and I think works to the disadvantage of any Democrat to run in the next presidential election, particularly if they try to transition from Congress to the Whitehouse. The most important measurement of a candidate in my opinion is the measure of the effectiveness of that candidate of formulating and implementing strategy when his or her resources are limited. That is why John McCain has a great chance in my opinion to come out on top in the next few years, because he has navigated the waters fairly well and seems to have compromised his own status to an extent to make his party stronger. I hope they don't stab him in the back again - of course, it might just be a show Republican morality if they do. Even, if McCain doesn't win the nomination - say it goes to Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani (Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!) the Democrats, in my opinion really don't have an electable presidential candidate.

Do you remember the debates for the 2004 election. Bush is not a great speaker, but was able to stay on message (again), while Kerry was still trying to figure out what his was. I personally feel Kerry outperformed Bush, not because of how great he was, but because of how indefensible so many of the Bush administration’s positions were. But, during his performance he failed to effectively differentiated his brand and his own Democratic allies beat him up enough in the primaries that the GOP was ready for him on Election Day. The election was close though.

As much disdain as there is for Dick Cheney, who is a remarkably composed and intelligent, he womped John Edwards, just by being able to hold his ground and essential convince the public that John Kerry was pretty, but didn't really exist. Mr. Vader at Johnny boy for lunch, I'm surprised they didn't pass him a toothpick at the end of the debate. Seriously, Dick Cheney, in my opinion is the most significant and powerful Vice-President in recent memory - up there with George Bush, Sr. and LBJ. He has the ability to convey a sense of definite, indisputable direction.

I'd love to be a Democrat, but I can't be one right now. I have to stay independent in order to hold on to some of my conservative values and to avoid turning the world upside down.

Take for example the Democrats green agenda (oh yeah they want nuclear power now - dizzy - compass keeps moving). While I love the environment most of the green agenda it is competively stupid and will make the US even less competitive as we pay for the transition cost of moving the new economy while the nations that are making the biggest gains on us such as China and India do not. The Dems talk about all the high paying jobs that will be created by transitioning the economy to new fuels and what not - that's true to a point but the jobs won't be producing a good, they will represent a higher cost for transitioning goods. We need so much energy, without reducing any of our usage of existing resources we just need to bring new ones online to reduce the actual cost of usage by increasing supply. If we increase our supply sufficiently we will drive the world prices down by reducing our relative percentage of demand. (As China and India’s increase and ours increases slower - we will reduce overall demand.) We are no where near running out of oil, we are just slowly running out of easy to pump oil -- that is why the oil companies spend so much money on increasing their capital investment they have no intention of walking away from an industry that may have a few hundred years left in it.

Anyway... I would like to see some spine and more importantly sensible spine in the Democrats. I happen to like Charlie Rangel and I tend to agree with much of his analysis on many matter, the man is wise to know he is old and wise enough to that old men don't have times to mince words. I could be wrong, but I believe that he has some morals - as much as a politician can have anyway. Joe Lieberman, who I think is as exciting as toast, actually has some morals - he got abandoned by the Dems for not agreeing to be wimp with them - of course he has a lot of state interest in Defense too - with the Naval Sub base and Electric Boat and all.

Even during the Clinton years, the Democrats weren't popular because of their moral certitude. The Waco disaster, which still has not been adequately explained, was not a moral act on American - there were children in that building. But, guys like Chuck Schumer did their part to defend the party as opposed to get to the truth. With the resources available to the ATF/FBI and the US government - non-lethal extraction was possible. You don't spray kids with flammable gases and powders and then claim moral high ground.

The Dems are now trying to claim some the moral high ground in relation to the War on Terror (a ridiculous term which the have adopted). The problem here is that war's don't have moral high grounds, they simply have winners and losers. And, if the US seeks to suppress terrorists it does little good to deal with the problem based on morality. Morality is what is used to determine who is or is not a terrorist as opposed to a freedom fighter, the means of dealing with either needs not be moral it only needs to be effective. The Democrats, at least many of them, have spent far too much time making the Christian Right the enemy and expressing desire to negotiated with entities that actually wish and practice death and destruction on Americans. The Christian right is the best friend of the Democrats, if the say fours things:
  1. Gay people can shack up but they can't be legally married...ever - because that is fricking ridiculous and opens the door to marrying dogs (such as myself) and horses, and chickens and children. Gay marriage is not civil rights issue it is a lifestyle issue.
  2. Partial birth abortion is a brutal killing and looks a lot like infanticide. (Stem cells are not the issue here it's how their obtained that causes the problem.)
  3. Peace and stability will be achieved at the expense of the enemy not of the US or its allies.
  4. It's ok to pray and display the Ten commandments.

Slap...bang... boom... the Dems win! Problem is they are on a slippery moral foundation and intellectual arguments only go so far with people when they feel that their getting punched in the gut.

To a different subject:
In terms of the news, I dislike much of the reporting provided by Fox and, although there are times when the presentations are balanced, in general, I find it to terribly biased. But Fox News is a cable channel and has no responsibility to provide its programming for the public good. As a cable (entertainment) outlet Fox is free to present facts or fiction as it chooses. That said, I do appreciate what fox has brought to the news world as it has forced the other news networks to work to be more aggressive in terms of the stories they report. CNN seems to be responding well to the challenge and working to shrug off Fox's powerful jump to the front since 9/11.

One thing that I truly disliked about the Fox broadcasts that has worked it's way into the other news outlets is the playing of rock music for programs about sober subjects such as the Operation Iraqi freedom and the war on terror. It is as though they were trying to make it into a movie and to get people to act based on raw unfiltered emotions rather than rational thought. But, I guess what has to be done....has to be done... to get the message out.

The news programs in general seem to do an exceptionally poor job of providing the history behind the stories that they present and in a sense leave viewers in a rather compromised position when developing opinions. It would be useful if more information would be provided about where the audience can go to get more information about the subject. Of course, thanks to the Internet we do all have the ability to find track down some of the missing links in arguments provided.
posted by Domesticated Dog @ 8:42 PM  
  • At Sunday, December 31, 2006 9:00:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound? You will mellow with age (there's really no alternative). Look, underneath all the silly views (and some nasty ones!) you're a good guy. Travel a bit. Nip over to England and settle down for a pint in a pub with the locals. You'll find out that you don't need half the silly ideas you have. I suspect, under the bull, you're actually a nice guy. Give yourself a chance. Stop blogging and start traveling! - and have a nice day!!

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