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Posts tagged “politics

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Democrats and Republicans….at a glance

One of my fraternity brothers asked me to present a comparison fo Democrats and Republicans. Below is a pretty good break down of how the partys differ on the issues. This is brought to you by ironduke of worldaffairs.com:

Fiscal:
Republicans favor lower taxes and a smaller government.

Democrats favor higher taxes to pay for social programs to ensure economic equality.

Economic:
Republicans are pro-business and are economic liberals. They favor free trade and free markets, are against tariffs and believe that employers should be able to freely set wages.

Democrats are pro-labor and conservative with regards to trade. They favor tariffs to protect domestic labor from competition overseas, support workers right to unionize, strike, and collectively bargain for wages.

Foreign and Defense Policy:
Republicans favor foreign and defense policies that is made largely independent from foreign pressures and influences.

Democrats favor give and take with foreign countries when making foreign and defense policy, favor humanitarian intervention, etc.

Moral Issues and Crime:
There is a large morally conservative wing of the Republican party, which is a relatively recent addition after Nixon’s Southern strategy of the 1960s and 70s. Anti-abortion, favors punishment over rehabilitation, supports the death penalty, faith-based initiatives, legislate morality with regards to media violence, pornography, etc.

Most Democrats are socially liberal, tend to be less religious, are pro-abortion, favor rehabilitation over punishment in criminal matters, against the death penalty, etc

This is just a simple breakdown, and some may not agree with all the comparisons, but for the most part it is pretty accurate.


Arizona Governor completely loses it

Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer made headlines this week, but I can assure you it was not positive at all.  All the buzz that is surrounding her happens to be regarding the disastrous debate performance that she put on this Wednesday against her opponent, Democratic Attorney General Terry Goddard.  Below is the introduction, which shows that Brewer completely lost her bearings(similar to John McCain in the 2008 presidential election).

Brewer has been thrust into the spotlight because of her decision to sign Arizona’s tough new immigration law(SB 1070).  Sadly, she stops at nothing, even lies, to shape the debate regarding the immigration law. She has stated that, “law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded.  This false claim was quickly refuted, thank God.

The Arizona Guardians Dennis Welch was one who has called Brewer out on these lies and distortions.  In his investigation of the claim, “officials with six counties in the state, including four from other counties that have a border with Mexico say they have never heard of such attacks.  Furthermore, many of the officials stated that they have never  investigated an immigration related crime in which someone’s head had been cut off.”

The worst part about this is that Brewer has refused to walk back the lies that she has been telling regarding the beheadings, even in the office of evidence that proves this claim is not true. Below is a run-in she had with some reporters after the debate, who were attempting to get answers from her about the beheading claims.

Not surprisingly, Brewer is comfortably ahead in the polls. In the latest Rasmussen poll, she was pulling 57% of voters, compared with 38% for Goddard.  Her stance on the immigration bill(which is popular in Arizona) has helped her surge in the polls.  Funny thing is, I believe Brewer’s support of the bill was purely political.  She was running in a tough Republican primary, and realized that a bill such as HB 1070 would burnish her credentials with hard core conservatives.  Looks like the bet paid off.


McDonnell the Moderate????

I had to laugh with mock surprise when I heard that Bob McDonnell had plan to announce that April was Confederate History Month in Virginia.  His explanation for the designation also made me grin from ear to ear.  He claimed that he did it to boost tourism in the state, culminating with the anniversary of the Civil War.

You may wonder why I laughed.  It’s because a Republican will in so many cases show their true colors.  McDonnell ran a superb campaign prior to his victory in November.  Running on a moderate conservative platform mixed with a healthy distance from social issues  was his strategy, and it worked well.

To top it off, McDonnell received the endorsement of Sheila Johnson Crump, who happens to be the former spouse of BET founder Bob Johnson  If this didn’t seem like heaven for McDonnell, it gets even better.  Douglas Wilder, who was the first African American governor of Virginia(and a Democrat) decided to not endorse the Democrat running for Governor, and just stay out of the race.  All of this helped McDonnell garner a respectable 9% of the African American vote.

With all of the love he received from African-Americans in his state(from a former governor to a billionaire), you would think he’d be smart enough not to pull a stunt like this.  The complete racial insensitivity in McDonnell’s move is just part of a larger Republican stance when it comes to relations with African-Americans.  Of course slavery wasn’t the sole reason for the Civil War, but to argue that it was so insignificant as to not even get a mention is absurd.

Of all the things he could do to pander to the ignorant base of the Republican Party in Virginia, this was the worst decision.  Part of me thinks he will bounce back from this and not lose too much political footing.  Another side of me hopes he gets hammered politically for this epic blunder.

At least he had the sense to eventually apologize, after some arm twisting.  A few days after the story broke, Johnson Crump released a scathing rebuke of the governor’s decision.

Crump stated that, “The complete omission of slavery from an official government document, which purports to be a call for Virginians to ‘understand’ and ‘study’ their history, is both academically flawed and personally offensive. If Virginians are to celebrate their ‘shared history,’ as this proclamation suggests, then the whole truth of this history must be recognized and not evaded.”

Its amazing what a deep pocketed political supporter getting upset with you can do.  Don’t worry folks….something like this will happen again.  The party of Strom Thrumond, Jessie Helms, and Jim Demint will let their true colors show, and their honest opinions of minorities.


Artur Davis…..will he be Alabama’s first black governor??

I am intrigued at the prospects of Congressman Artur Davis being elected the first black governor of Alabama.  If Barack Obama can win the White House, Davis can surely get elected in the state of Alabama, right?? While its a possibility, the dynamics are much different.  First off, he must get past Agricultural Commissioner Ron Sparks in the Democratic primary.

President Obama only won 38% of the vote in Alabama, and only 35 % of the voters in Alabama approve of the job the president has been doing thus far.  Davis’ success in his quest for governor depends largely on how successful he is at distancing himself from Obama, and conveying the message that he is focused on the voters of Alabama, and not whats going on in Washington.  He must also show an independent streak, and prove that he has the skills necessary to be successful in working with the legislature. Even though Democrats control the house and senate in Alabama

Hopefully this is the next Governor of Alabama

, they happen to be conservative Democrats, and the Alabama legislature has been considered for a long time to be one of the most conservative legislatures in the country.

Artur Davis voting record has been moderate by most accounts, which puts him in a good position to run for a statewide office in Alabama. He voted no on the automobile bailouts, and climate change.  He has also stood out in his opposition to healthcare reform as it stands. According to Mary Orndorff of the Birmingham News, Davis said that his opposition to the healthcare bill had to do with his concerns over Medicare and Medicaid.  That may be legitimate, but I suspect that Davis wants to align himself with the voters of Alabama, in which a majority oppose the healthcare bill.

I checked out the Cook Political Report, and they still have pegged this race as leaning Republican.  I my opinion, Davis still has a shot to pull off an upset. It is all on the voters of Alabama,and if they can put race aside and vote for the best candidate.


Eric Massa….GO AWAY…that is all

Just when you thought that President Obama and my fellow Democrats had a full plate, the Eric Massa scandal hits.  For those of you that dont know, Massa is a first term Congressman from the 29th district in New York.   He lost his first race for Congress by only 5,952 votes to former Republican Rep. Randy Kuhl in 2006.  As is customary, Massa basically began campaigning right after his loss, to prepare for a rematch with Kuhl in 2008.  In November 2008, Massa was elected by a slim 1.5 % margin over Kuhl.

You would think that Massa would understand that he needed to focus on constituents, fundraise, and prepare for a tough re-election.  A normal person would have realized that any slip up would mean the end to a short political career.  All of this went in one ear and out the other, as Massa resigned on Monday because of health concerns and a pending ethics investigation related to possible sexual harassment charges made by staffers.

It seems as if it was only a matter of time before some issues surfaced in regards to Massa.  According to some Democratic insiders, Massa hired quite a few gay male staffers, and paid them so little that they were forced to all share living quarters with him.  I just want to state that someones sexual preference is their business, and I’m just stating the facts of the situation.  It seems that Massa’s inappropriate behavior  has been going on for some time now.

According to The Atlantic Online, “Past shipmates of Massa are charging that he used his status as a commander to subject underlings to abusive sexual advances.”  I am glad that he resigned, but I cant believe he has the nerve to be going on all these talk shows trying to say Rahm Emmanuel and the White House pushed him out of office because of his opposition to healthcare reform.  In my opinion, that is simply an excuse used to try and save his shattered reputation.  There are quite a few Democrats(many Blue Dogs)who opposed some pieces of the healthcare legislation, and while they may have received some tough calls from the White House, I’m sure no pressure to resign occured.  The fact is that his improper behavior finally caught up with him, and he wasn’t man enough to accept that.

I’m resigned to the fact that a Republican will most likely regain this seat. I guess thats life.


Rahmbo Leaks…for good reason

Emanuel and President Obama

When the Washington Post article by Dana Milbank concerning Rahm Emanuel hit, I took notice.  I have debated my father for over a year regarding my belief that Obama hasn’t tacked far enough to the center.

One prime example is the healthcare legislation.  What always puzzled me is that a bipartisan solution to healthcare that Democratic Senator Ron Weiden and Republican Senator Bob Bennett crafted was shown no love at all.  This bill was by no means perfect, but included good things such as:

  • succeeding in covering 99% of Americans
  • giving incentives to people so they could enroll in more cost effective healthcare plans to lower the cost
  • providing tough cost containment to save 1.4 trillion over 10 years
  • allowing individuals to keep their healthcare plan even when they switch jobs, or are in between jobs

I feel that a bill like this would have gotten respectable bipartisan support, and blunted the impact of protests from Republicans and the scores of interest groups.  They wouldn’t have been able to use an issue like the public option  as a tool to organize the deranged, but effective tea party movement, as they have successfully have thus far.

Rahmbo saw the writing on the wall.  He is a fiery/blunt, but effective political hand that will assure Obama is in the position to have a smooth re-election in 2012.  President Obama must realize that the man responsible for huge Democratic gains in the House during the 2006 midterms and 2008 elections is one voice in the administration that he can ill afford to ignore, especially on key pieces of legislation.

Intense debates occur in the White House before a President makes an important policy or legislative decision.  I’ll take Rahm over anyone right now. “Hope and Change 2012” depend on it.