Time for a Reset

I’ve had a longer post in mind that I just haven’t been able to focus enough to commit to paper.

For the time being, let me say this. I’ve been famous for making prescriptions for what ails Republicans. I attended a professional webinar two days ago where I was reminded “you can’t change other people’s behavior, you can only change yourself.” In that spirit, what can I prescribe to cure what ails liberals?

Whether or not you find it sincere, GOP Chairman Reince Priebus, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and Bobby Jindal have all called for Republicans to reconsider their tactics in achieving their strategic goals. It’s called introspection.

I’ve noticed lately that the one thing liberals lack is introspection. There is a self-righteous belief in their moral superiority. It’s assumed. It’s ironic because that is the very thing we accuse of Republicans. I’ve watched MSNBC morph from a liberal biased network that tried to be fair to the bizarro-world twin of Fox News.

In a mid-term election year where Democrats stand to get an ass-whupping their strategy is still how evil Republicans are. Where is the introspection? Where is the effort to find ways to be more effective?

Over the next few posts I’m going to try some political introspection. The posts will be less frequent. Introspection is hard.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

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Shame on Liberals: Dead Kids and Drones

Predator_and_HellfireAs we approach the four-month anniversary of the senseless slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School, there is much talk in the media about our tone-deaf Congress ignoring the 90% of the country that wants stricter background checks on gun buyers. Indeed, we hear lots of statistics pointing to a majority of Americans favoring restrictions on type of guns sold, and size of ammunition clips. The fault my friends is not in Congress but in ourselves.

When I was a kid, the evening news was full of coverage of protesters marching outside the White House over the Vietnam War. Who’s marching now? There are those who say the most effective thing a citizen can do is call his Congressman or Senator. I don’t buy it. Politicians respond to two stimuli: money and discomfort. Don’t get me wrong. I am not calling for violence. I’m calling for good old civil disobedience. If you’re tired of hearing about dead kids, whether it’s in the cushy CT suburbs or the inner city of Chicago, chain yourself to the nearest immovable object outside Congress and stay there. Do it until the press comes to cover it. Do it until the police arrest you, again with the TV cameras watching. The notion that you can drown out the NRA’s money with a phone call to your representative is pure nonsense.

I might be accused of being the pot calling the kettle black. I’ve never protested in my life and probably never will. It’s just not where my abilities and talents are best invested. However, I associate myself with the liberal cause because I support those who DO have it in them to protest for change.

Our current predicament only highlights what nonsense Occupy Wall Street was. Yes I’m doing an about-face on that topic because a bunch of liberals camped out in a NYC park to protest “unfairness”. We’re great about belly aching about a concept but when it comes to taking decisive action on a specific topic like dead kids, nobody is camping out anywhere.

Getting back to the Vietnam war for a moment — back then we didn’t employ the cowardly combat method of sending remote control planes to bomb our enemies into kingdom come. Now, we kill enemy and innocent alike with no risk to our own men. Now we drop a bomb on a teenager because he had the misfortune of having a traitor for a father. Where are the protesters? When Senator Rand Paul recently asked the White House whether they felt emboldened to drone-attack American citizens on American soil, he got a hypothetical yes from Attorney General Eric Holder. Only after Paul pulled off the grand old tradition of a true stand-up filibuster did the White House back off a bit. And what did we hear in the media? Nothing to see here because Obama is a nice guy who would never abuse such powers. Fortunately there were those who, like Senator Paul, pointed out that we must control the office, not the man. Obama could go crazy. Obama’s successor could be a nut job. When you enable the office, you give powers to the man holding that office.

What does it say about the liberal cause that it took a Republican, Rand Paul, to take serious issue with our drone policy?

Maybe I’m being too hard on Liberals? Perhaps the Internet has become a proxy for real protest? Whereas the Arab Spring was punctuated by social media being a driving force for communication AND organization, here in the States, we “like” some post on Facebook and think that we have made a difference. Have we been lulled into thinking electronic protest can match the power of the NRA’s money or the strength of the military industrial complex?

Have we become too cute and clever by half? Last night Dana Milbank of the Washington Post wrote about the changing face of protest. He cited an “eat-in” outside the FDA where protesters brought and consumed a huge vat of soup to protest the FDA not demanding labeling of GMO’s in foods. Milbank argues that these folks are opting for persuasion over confrontation. I am left scratching my head. How effective is quaint persuasion with politicians whose pockets are lined with money from the food manufacturers? How effective is gun control “persuasion” with politicians whose pockets are lined with gun money?

In the 1960’s the people pushed the President. In 2013, the President is forced to push the people. Obama has to give speeches imploring citizens to make their preferences known on the gun issue. Why do we need imploring? Where is our passion? Where are our ethics? Where is our shame?

Respectfully,
Rutherford

Photo by Brigadier Lance Mans, Deputy Director, NATO Special Operations Coordination Centre [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Are Liberals Really This Stupid?

On the night following the election of Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown to the US Senate, Howard Dean, former chair of the DNC, made an argument about the election on MSNBC’s “Hardball” that boggled the mind. He said that folks who voted for Obama ended up voting for Brown because the current health care bill does not go far enough.

Excuuuuuuuse me? I had to “rewind” the Tivo at least three times to make sure I heard him correctly. Chris Matthews essentially told him he was crazy and I agreed. Then I actually looked at the poll numbers upon which Dean based his assertion. You’ve got to see this crap to believe it.

First MoveOn.org asked 1000 folks who voted for Obama in 2008 whether they favored the current health care reform effort.

OK, so now our conservative friends are licking their lips. You see!!! No one wants the government involved in health care. This Brown election is a message to Washington!

Sorry, my tea bag dunkers but the stats get really weird from here.

They then asked the folks who said they opposed the current health care reform whether they felt it went too far or not far enough. Behold:

Sorry to disappoint the folks who want their country back but if we don’t count the fence-sitters,  most of the Obama voters who either voted for Brown or stayed home felt the current health care reform did not go far enough!

This brings me to my main point.

ARE LIBERALS REALLY THIS STUPID?

Granted the group polled were 2008 Obama voters, not necessarily liberal, but let’s face it, the great preponderance of them are liberal. These folks are such boneheads that they think the way to get good health care reform legislation is to either stay home or vote for a guy who explicitly said he would vote AGAINST health care reform. As crazy as Howard Dean sounded, the numbers backed up his statement.

But here’s the real rub. Dean didn’t seem the least bit angry at the Massachusetts voters. He seemed to almost have an “I told you so” attitude that this is the punishment we deserve for not taking reform far enough.

OK, let me give you liberals a clue for the next election. If you want something done, you vote for the person who ALSO wants that something done. You don’t let the perfect be the  enemy of the good (I know, over-used phrase but it works) and you don’t vote for the dude who will kill the very thing you want before it even has a chance.

I didn’t think I needed to spell that lesson out but apparently some liberals are just that stupid.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

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