Friday, October 3, 2014

GOP Unveils Principles...Alleges They Have Them

OK, this is sort of like a Contract With America. Shouldn't these principles be givens? They roll out these vague ideas ("Our veterans have earned our respect and gratitude...") There are no commitments and no calls to actions here. Except perhaps the healthcare and budget items, most Democratic office holders could claim these as their own. BTW, we remember how the GOP did NOT balance budgets when they were in control from 2000 to 2006.

Reince, this is lame.

1. CONSTITUTION: Our constitution should be preserved, valued and honored.
2. ECONOMY: We need to start growing America’s economy instead of Washington’s economy so that working Americans see better wages and more opportunity.
3. BUDGET/DEBT: We need to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, make government more efficient, and leave the next generation with opportunity, not debt.
4. HEALTHCARE: We need to start over with real healthcare reform that puts patients and their doctors in charge, not unelected bureaucrats in Washington.
5. VETERANS: Our veterans have earned our respect and gratitude, and no veteran should have to wait in line for months or years just to see a doctor.
6. SECURITY: Keeping America safe and strong requires a strong military, growing the economy, energy independence, and secure borders.
7. EDUCATION: Every child should have an equal opportunity to get a great education; no parent should be forced to send their child to a failing school.
8. POVERTY: The best anti-poverty program is a strong family and a good job, so our focus should be on getting people out of poverty by lifting up all people and helping them find work.
9. VALUES: Our country should value the traditions of family, life, religious liberty, and hard work.
10. ENERGY: We should make America energy independent by encouraging investment in domestic energy, lowering prices, and creating jobs at home.
11. IMMIGRATION: We need an immigration system that secures our borders, upholds the law, and boosts our economy.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Team Players

The requisite ego of men and women who seek the presidency is such that they sometimes think lower office is beneath them. I get that. These are alpha dogs. They don't want to be ordered around by a blogger with a megaphone. Got it.

And I will reiterate that I am not even a Republican, I just vote that way by default given the sorry excuses for human beings who now hold office for the other party. And I have a thing about career politicians having an impact on this country our forefathers never envisioned. With those disclaimers out of the way, something can be said for people who have paid their dues to their party.

If Michelle Bachmann (or Sarah Palin for that matter) are finished with politics, good for them. Two ladies who paid their dues. However, if Bachmann seeks higher office later I will hold it against her that she did not challenge the vulnerable Al Franken. Palin's situation is different. The GOP seems to have a good chance of defeating Mark Begich--a man who came to power only because of his family name and bogus charges leveled against Ted Stevens. But if Begich hangs on, that is a mark against future candidate Palin.

I am disturbed by the Ben Carson for president movement. If Donald Trump was in the mix, I would say the same things about him.  Yes, we should recruit from diverse backgrounds. In the old days, almost every public official had a real job (as opposed to a community organizer or an office hopper in gerrymandered districts.) LBJ was a teacher. Hubert Humphrey was a pharmacist. Mayor Daley worked in the stockyards. Ronald Reagan was an actor. Job experience was the norm.

That is not to say one should entirely skip public office. Dwight Eisenhower would not win a primary today. Times change.

There are three basic reasons why a candidate should hold public office before seeking the White House:

1. If a candidate has any bone chips in his closet (Herman Cain) they need to be exposed before they hit the Iowa State Fair.

2. No matter how good a campaigner one might be, the presidency is a different game (Rick Perry 2012.)

3. The challenges of the presidency are daunting and ideally one would hold public office before taking on the big job. I agree with Ann Coulter that a governor or even a big city mayor brings executive experience that legislators do not attain. I am slow to disqualify all Senators and Congressmen but I understand the executive bias.

If Ben Carson seeks the presidency in 2016, I cannot support him. In part because he is not ready for prime time and would get tripped up on the campaign trail and in part because he is not a team player. If he was serious about spreading his values into the public arena he would not sit out Congressional and Gubernatorial races in his home state of Maryland. He might also consider seeking the Senate in 2016.

Donald Trump is a publicity seeker at heart and I doubt if he would run for president if he had other means of staying in the spotlight. Should he seek the big job after backing off from multiple New York Senate and Governor's races, I for one will not support him. Not a team player.

So Mitt Romney is running again in 2016? Ho hum. If Mitt challenged Ed Markey for his Senate seat I would see him in another light. If he defeated Markey, even better. Unfortunately, Mitt is not a team player.

I am no Jeb Bush fan but had he defeated--or even just challenged-- Bill Nelson in 2012,  I would have some respect for the man. Jeb Bush, not a team player.

Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico who was both popular and controversial, might have won a Senate seat in 2012. Instead, he became the Libertarian candidate. Why? I have no idea. He could have challenged again in 2014. Nope. Not just a non-team player, also a series of bad career moves.

I doubt if Pataki or Giuliani get back into the mix but if they do, I would say the same thing about them. Herman Cain is a resident of Georgia and the GOP has a lock on most state offices so maybe we can give him a pass. Gingrich is a resident of Virginia. Santorum is, oh who cares about Santorum?

If the GOP does not take the Senate in 2014, we might take a long look at the prima donnas who sat on the sidelines, sometimes for multiple elections. In 2016, the GOP needs to support a team player

Tuesday, September 30, 2014