From “My Random Thoughts”
I Could Carve A Republican With More Backbone From A Banana
I said plenty about the Democrats, but that doesn’t mean the Republicans will get off easily. My problem with the GOP is how it keeps wimping out to the Democrats, again and again. What a bunch or girlymen; in 2004 I expected the Democrats to be poor losers, but the Republicans were even poorer winners! We elected them to cut spending, make the country more secure, and destroy the other party, but instead, they acted as if Washington politics was some sort of game. We also see them insist on playing by the rules, rules which the other side doesn’t follow. They are like the proverbial fellow who brings a knife to a gun fight, or a poker player who complains about being dealt too many aces, and proceeds to give them to the other players.
For example, on George W. Bush’s judicial nominations, and the confirmation of John Bolton, the Democrats resorted to an unprecedented filibuster, refusing to allow a vote on most of the candidates. The Republicans were in the majority until the 2006 elections, so they had the power to tell the Democrats to go suck eggs! Instead, they let the Democrats get away with behavior that was never permitted in the past, whining that if they ordered an immediate up or down vote to fill the increasing number of vacancies on the bench (the so-called “nuclear option”), the Democrats might someday do the same thing to them. For Bush’s second term, the Democrats took up a strategy of perpetual anger; they accused those around Bush (e.g., Scooter Libby, Alberto Gonzalez) of various crimes, when none were committed, and the Republicans meekly apologized for the appearance of any wrongdoing.
A more recent example was the 2008 Senate race in Minnesota, which pit a Republican incumbent, Norm Coleman, against Al Franken, a failed comedian and talk show host. For Coleman it shouldn’t have been a contest; Franken is so moonbatty that even the Minnesota Star Tribune, a newspaper known for its liberal tendencies, endorsed Coleman. Instead, the results were too close to call, so the Democrats blatantly stole the election, in a recount that dragged on longer than the notorious 2000 Florida recount. Except for a lawsuit from Coleman himself, there were far fewer Republican protests than you’d think. I don’t know which is worse: that half of Minnesota voters think Franken is fit to be a senator, or that the Republicans let Franken and the Democrats get away with it. A party which allows that to happen does not deserve my support.
Jay Dyson, the artist behind the defunct SacredCowBurgers.com, feels the same way about the GOP as I do.
They Can Say No to Taxes, But Not to Spending
When it comes to budgets, Bush outspent every previous president. Maybe FDR and LBJ increased spending by a larger percentage, but I’m too young to know for sure. Here are the figures I have for how much the federal budget increased every year, on average, under the past five presidents:
- Carter = 4.2%
- Reagan, first term = 3.5%
- Reagan, second term = 1.8%
- George Bush the Elder = 1.9%
- Clinton, first term = 1.0%
- Clinton, second term = 1.9%
- George Bush the Younger, first term = 4.4%
- George Bush the Younger, second term = 3.75%
The last figure is too recent to include the trillions spent in the financial bailouts of 2008. And this is from the party that promises less government in all areas but defense?
I know, we had a recession and a war less than a year after the 2000 election, and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security added an expense our grandchildren will probably be paying (government agencies do not willingly disappear when they’re no longer needed), but there are also quite a few spending increases that have nothing to do with these things, stuff I would only expect to see if a Democrat was in the White House. Hundreds of billions for Medicare to cover drug prescriptions. The largest agriculture subsidy in history. An education program (“No Child Left Behind”) so generous that only Teddy Kennedy wasn’t satisfied with it. A $286.5 billion highway spending bill loaded with 6,371 pet projects, in a volume so big (1,752 pages) that I doubt anybody ever read the whole thing. One appropriation in the bill that did get attention was $460 million for two bridges in Alaska, one of them connecting the mainland with an island that only has 50 inhabitants (the so-called “Bridge to Nowhere”). When Ronald Reagan vetoed a highway bill like that in 1987, one that earmarked money for only 157 projects, he said, “I haven’t seen this much lard since I handed out blue ribbons at the Iowa State Fair.” Bush, however, found it extremely difficult to say no; he didn’t veto a bill of any kind until July 2006, when he got one requesting funding for embryonic stem-cell research.
The Unarmed Invaders
The Republicans have also dropped the ball when it comes to illegal immigration. In fact, neither of the two major parties is serious about protecting our nation’s frontiers. The Democrats want illegal immigrants as new voters (presumably because their birth rate is so bad), and the Republicans want illegal immigrants as cheap labor (modern-day helots, as Victor Davis Hanson called them). Therefore they allow a flood of undocumented aliens to come in. Our borders with Canada and Mexico are still mostly unfortified, and in some areas unpatrolled. In the pre-9/11 world that symbolized more than a century of good relations between the three largest nations of North America. Today, however, neither Canada nor Mexico is allied with the United States in the War on Terror, so at least we ought to be sure that no terrorists are sneaking across the Rio Grande or the 49th parallel; Lord knows it is easy enough to do if the Mexican and Canadian governments aren’t watching their side of the lines. In April 2005 the “Minuteman Project” went to Arizona and simply watched, alerting the Border Patrol when they saw people sneaking across. They showed that our borders can be controlled, but the government largely ignored this news. It’s a crying shame that ordinary folks feel the need to take a primary function of government into their own hands, when the government itself will not do it.
Now let the record show that I am not against immigration; I am all in favor of legal immigration. You’ve heard that the United States was built on legal immigrants, from the Irish and Germans of the early nineteenth century to the Vietnamese of the 1970s and 80s. For that matter, my wife is a legal immigrant, and she came from an area the federal government sees as a danger zone (Mindanao, Philippines). Arnold Schwarzenegger is probably the most famous example right now of an immigrant who came to America with almost nothing and made good; we can always use more people like him. What I want to see is that we have a record of everyone coming in, so we can more easily track the bad guys. In addition, illegal immigration raises the cost of government all around; the bill goes up for law enforcement, social services, education, health care, etc, putting a severe strain on many state and local budgets. Finally, when those who come in illegally can receive amnesty simply by staying here long enough, it’s an insult to those who took the time and did the paperwork to become legal immigrants.
Mexico lost Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California in the nineteenth century because it wasn’t willing to settle those places, but the United States was. Now with Mexicans pouring in, it looks like the trend is going the other way; indeed, Hispanic racist groups like MEChA and La Voz de Aztlan talk about taking back the southwestern United States for Mexico. Michelle Malkin has called the illegal immigrants from Mexico “reconquistadors.” When you look at them this way, they aren’t just jobseekers jumping across our border, but an invading army. Don’t be fooled because these invaders are unarmed; in today’s society, an unarmed crowd can occupy land, too (e.g., Morocco did it with the “Green March” in 1975). If they were willing to assimilate into American culture, I would not have cause for alarm. Instead, these newcomers don’t want to learn English. At rallies they fly the flags of their home countries instead of American flags. They say things like, “With all due respect, Los Angeles is ours.” Finally, they don’t want to learn the civic values that made this country more successful than the countries they left. In other words, they are reversing what John F. Kennedy said in his inaugural address; instead of asking what they can do for America, they ask what America can do for them.
Apparently there are too many undocumented aliens in this country to lock them all up or send them back. Some people don’t want to do anything about the problem for that reason. I have read columns which offer various solutions, like increase the penalty on American employers who hire illegal immigrants (so that the illegals will go back if they can’t get jobs in the states), or raise up Mexico’s economy until that country is rich enough that it will want to keep its workers from leaving. Whether or not these are good ideas, let’s secure our borders first, and then we will have time to decide what to do with the illegals already here.
For the people living in the border states, illegal immigration is a big issue, in some cases the most important one, so if either major party took a tough stand, I venture it would win over these people, and that party would make considerable gains in the next election.
What I Would Like to See
Finally, the Republicans need to do something that will show the differences between them and the Democrats. I mean, if the Republicans want to act like “Democrats lite,” in terms of spending and their stand on the issues, then why vote for Republicans at all? Most voters, like most shoppers, would rather have the real thing, not an imitation product. And a RINO platform isn’t likely to win over those who vote Democratic most of the time. Just look at how the New York Times treated John McCain; they endorsed him as their favorite Republican candidate at the beginning of 2008, but started trying to tear him down the minute it looked like he was going to get the nomination.
To put it in a nutshell, when Democrats act like Republicans, they win. When Republicans act like Democrats, they lose. Gosh, you’d think more Republicans would have figured that out by now!
Saying “So-and-so Republican isn’t as liberal as the Democratic candidate” won’t do, either. That negative approach may keep the hard-core Republicans in line, but if you want the “swing” voters, you need to offer a positive message. Just look at how it worked for the Democrats in 2004. As long as that campaign was, I never found out what John Kerry stood for. Heck, I don’t think even Kerry knew what he stood for, except to oppose whatever George W. Bush favored. And though I was in one of the “battleground states” at that time (Florida), I never met a real Kerry supporter. All the people I met who had a political opinion were either Bush supporters or Bush haters; I didn’t consider “Bush haters” to be Kerry supporters because if the Democrats had nominated a baboon to run against Bush, most of them would have voted for the monkey anyway.
So what did the Republicans learn from 2004? Not too much! In 2008, the Democratic slogans of “Change” and “Yes we can” were some of the vaguest we have heard since Thomas Dewey was a presidential candidate (“You know that your future is still ahead of you.”), but it seemed that all the Republicans could say was “Vote for McCain, because he’s not Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.” Why not some good reasons to vote for the Republican, instead of reasons to vote against the Democrat? As the old saying goes, you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar. Of course a good fresh roadkill will beat both honey and vinegar hands down, but that’s another story!
The Republicans were at their best when they captured Congress in 1994, and they did it by issuing the “Contract With America,” a list of ten bills they promised to bring to a vote, during the first 100 days of the 104th Congress. Here is the text of the Contract, in case you haven’t seen it. What I’d like to see is a program for America like that, from whatever party I support in the future. Along that line, here is the sound-bite version of the promises I wanted from a presidential candidate in 2008:
- Abolish the IRS.
- Cut spending.
- Ignore the tree-huggers.
- Secure the borders.
- Kill the terrorists.
- Smack the hippies.
Of course the Democrats weren’t in favor of any of these, inasmuch as many of them are ex-hippies. The only ones McCain supported were #2 and #5, and I had my doubts about his commitment to #5. If any party will add them to their platform, count me in.
“Those of us who believe in the two-party system regard voting for a third party as throwing away your vote. However, we could use two new parties to replace the Democrats and Republicans.”–Thomas Sowell, 07/14/2005