Conservatism makes a return, in a very big way

Allow me to take a moment to apologize for my absence. I have been inspired to make an earnest return and resume my commentary on politics given the results of the last election.

Last week, we all witnessed our nation functioned in the way that the framers originally intended. A people rose up to their government and said "Enough!" The independents that had so supported President Obama in the last election, A party that was deemed to be dead for a generation, a party that was seen as a southern, white male dominated shadow of Reagan's original coalition came back and wrested control of the House from a large Democratic majority, and as predicted by yours truly back in April, we will indeed have a new Speaker of the House come January.

However, instead of further bashing on the Democrats and cheering on the GOP, I call now for cautious moderation and pragmatic reasoning. I sincerely hope that the Republicans do not interpret this election in the wrong way like the Democrats did in 2008. This was in no way a mandate from the people to block all of President Obama's initiatives and efforts. This was not a complete rejection of the liberal policies. If anything, this is a confused nation trying to find a sense of balance. Just like the Obama election can be categorized as an over-reaction to the Bush Administration, last weeks election was certainly an over-reaction of the Obama one as well. The United States is stumbling from election to election trying to right itself and is looking for continuity. The point is, the Democrats have only themselves to blame for the way they acted over the past 2 years. Because of their super majorities they have acted quite arrogantly towards the right and this culminated in the way the liberals portrayed the Tea Party. This is is a very real movement, my friends. The handling of health care reform was truly disgusting to myself and most conservatives as well as many independents who saw it as sheer hypocrisy on the part of the president who promised real change in the way Washington functioned, but merely did everything in the same exact way. No meaningful change. Let us hope that genuine and honest change from both sides of the aisle begins in earnest starting in January.

As stated before, I really do hope that the Republicans do not overplay their hand in the way the Democrats have. The nation does not want a liberal or a conservative agenda. The people want real, meaningful compromise that gets things accomplished. We the people want a government that will incorporate ideas from all sides not because of their position on the political spectrum, but because of their ability to help our country in a good way. Our country is mired in debt and war. We are still in the midst of a deep recession. And there is a sense that we have lost our way. None of these are entirely the fault of one party anymore so than the other. But through the strength of the unique American spirit and the creativity of Yankee ingenuity, this blogger is certain that America can yet come back and lead the world again if we ourselves are lead by pragmatism and common sense.


Regarding those Tea Parties...

It has been over a month since my last post and I really do apologize for my laziness and irresponsibility and hereby pledge to post much more often. Now bear with me as I brush off the rust in the first few posts. I will be back to myself very soon, I promise.

Much has happened since the last time I talked at length about anything. The Democrats managed to pass healthcare without a single Republican vote in either the House or the Senate, President Obama has agreed with the Russians to further draw down our nation's nuclear stockpile and Poland has experienced a horrible tragedy following the plane crash that killed off most of the country's best and brightest conservatives. I plan to address these as well as a few other issues in the coming weeks. Today however, I would like to address a growing concern of mine, this being the mis-representation and at times outright mocking that many liberals have engaged in in regards to the growing Tea Party movement.

Let me first and foremost make clear that I am in no way associated with any Tea Parties. Nor am I a Glen Beck watching or Sarah Palin listening drone. And once again, I am not a mouthpiece for the GOP. However I do point out when either side does wrong, and in my opinion, liberals have wronged the tea parties and have done so at their own risk. Let me further elaborate on this.

President Obama has referred to them as "folks waving tea bags around," liberals such as Jon Stewart point out their tri-cornered hats, not necessarily the issues they bring up, even my own friend and rival at the Spun Zone tags his posts on the subject with the relative pejorative of "tea-bagging" but I tell you the reader that the Tea Party movement is not to be taken lightly nor should it be mocked to the degree that it has been. This is a truly grassroots movement without a clear leader at the forefront. It is, simply put, United States citizens that are fed up with the over reach of the Democrats in the past year and a half. When this group, that is characterized by liberal media as a fringe element, touts 20% of the electorate among its members nearly half of which are independent and Democrat, President Obama should be on notice not jabbing one-liners towards them. President Obama less than two years since winning his election with a whopping 365 electoral votes has managed to re-invigorate the conservative movement which many had predicted was so utterly destroyed by the '06 and '08 election cycles that the Republican Party would become a regional party for an entire generation. A year after his inauguration, a Republican is occupying a seat in the Senate which had become essentially a possession of the Kennedy family for over a half century and he is in very real danger of losing a House that the Democrats had just conquered four years ago. Something, somewhere went horribly wrong on the way to hope and change. "Yes we can" has been replaced by "what are you doing?"

For one thing, as noted by your humble writer before, the Democrats misinterpreted the last two election cycles. America is a center right nation. The electorate voted the Republicans out of office more so than they voted the Democrats into it. Democrats won convincingly not because the people were calling for universal healthcare or cap-and-trade, but because we the people wanted to restore balance to the equation. Instead the Democrats came in guns blazing attempting to do accomplish everything on their agenda. They were so pompous when they managed to secure 60 votes in the Senate that they decided to forgo campaign pledges of true bipartisanship in both houses. I still cannot get over the fact that the Healthcare overhaul, possibly the most consequential legislation since the Great Society or perhaps even the Civil Rights Act was passed without a single Republican vote in either chamber. I am truly astounded by the Democrats. And then when Tea Parties sprout up gathering widespread support, President Obama in all his glory decides to mock them saying this last tax day that they should thank him for lower taxes. This either shows a disconnect between the president and his constituents or a blatant disregard for the honest issues expressed by said groups. Most members of the tea parties would point out that the very fact that no one is paying taxes while our deficits go up amid continued spending projects. This only serves to underline the problems of Washington and paint it as bubble that does not itself exist in reality. Either way the Democrats come off as the elitist, disconnected party which is bad for them.

It is exactly because of this kind of attitude in Washington that Tea Parties emerged. While Washington lives in a dreamy utopia, the rest of us look in shock as public debt is crawling over 50% of our GDP. We are shackling ourselves to a massive beast of a healthcare plan which has yet to be seen the exact costs that will be associated with it. And now we are considering cap and trade again as well as over regulation of finance, both of which will have immense negative effects on the recovery of the economy. All while unemployment remains at around 10%. And after all of this we are told that the Tea Parties are the ones that have no sense of reality. After the actions taken by the Democrats in the short time that they have been in power, I am led to say the very same things about them. The Tea Parties are angry and deservedly so. I am not saying that the Republicans were anymore right 5 years ago, but at least they made at least some attempt for bipartisanship and they never mocked the left at least never nearly to the same degree as liberals do now.

In the end, we should not be surprised if in November we see a new Speaker of the House emerge. It seems to me that the Democrats either really hate themselves or simply do not know how to maintain a majority. There is no other explanation for what they have been doing since Day One.


Healthcare and You Part III: Return of the Pragmatic Moderate

Having explained to you, the reader why the Healthcare Bill, in its current form should not be passed and established the case that the bill is indeed opposed by the majority of Americans for a variety of reasons, I will now give my alternative. For you see, it is easy to oppose something but it is much more difficult to present a true alternative. I also believe that if Republicans and Democrats could truly work together on a new bill it could become a harbinger of sorts of a new era in Washington. A return to the days when true statesmen created bills that really were based on compromise.

My proposal is based on the idea that most Americans are indeed themselves fiscal conservatives. Liberals point to the CBO numbers which show that the bill will actually decrease the defecit over the decade. I do agree with this. Yes it WILL decrease the defecit, but only over the decade. You see the CBO accounts for the fact that taxes for the legislation will begin flowing in sometime next year. At the same time, the benefits and entitlement programs in the bill don't kick in until three or four years later. Now it of course makes sense that if you spend three years taking money in without spending it, you would have a surplus. But this legislation is not for only the next decade, this will become the norm much like Social Security and Medicare have become. And all of the CBO numbers are based around the idea that the economy will indeed rebound very shortly and we will be back to Bush era economic numbers. Many business experts are predicting that unemployment will hover around ten percent for the next five years. Therfore I ask, can we realistically believe that Healthcare, in its present form, can actually reduce our defecit in the long run? The answer is of course no. Unless taxes go up radically, we cannot expect to cover thirty million Americans without increasing the defecit.

Therefore, I propose that this bill be scrapped. If the Democrats really want to help America, they need to come across the aisle and work with the Republicans in order to create true moderate reform. The problem is that Nancy Pelosi has created a sense of hyperpartisanship and has essentially banished the GOP out of the political process. And yes, before you tell me, I know that the Republicans did the same thing when they were in power. And I point that out as often as I can on this blog. However, to use the classic mom phrase, two wrongs never make a right. And they don't. The Democrats have the oppurtunity to truly create a historic situation: Bring back moderation. Barack Obama really could become a great president if he truly and honestly moved to the center and stayed there. The people elected him to be our leader. Not the leader of the left. And I will reiterate that the Republicans were just as guilty when Bush governed from the right. However we need a centrist now more than ever. And if President Obama is not that man, than I think that his party will be handed a defeat in November and he himself will be defeated in 2012. However if ce can indeed shift to the center, he has the oppurtunity to make his presidency truly historic and not just because of the color of his skin.

I propose that Congress pass healthcare in a series of bills, more akin to the New Deal. FDR fought the Depression not with one sweeping bill but with a series of bills. In similar fashion Congress should reform the different aspects of healthcare with individual bills that both parties can agree to. TORT reform, insurance across state lines, malpractice lawsuit reform, moderates can agree to all of these and create proposals that a true majority can embrace. Votes should not be along party lines. Only the fringe radicals like Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul of the world should oppose true moderate reform, not half the country. We simply cannot continue to pass things with half the country screaming yes and the other half screaming no. This creates a toxic political atmosphere which in turn creates the very gridlock that we all are so sick of. Therefore I appeal to you the people: Let us truly establish honest compromise. Let us return to pragmatic moderation.


Healthcare and You Part II: The Majority Strikes Back

Building off of yesterday's discussion, today I will talk about the meaning of Senator Brown's victory back in January and why I believe a Republican took the late Senator Kennedy's seat in the bluest of states.

First off, let me establish the fact that America is a center-right nation. Regardless of any individual election, our country remains moderately conservative in nature. This is an important thing to understand as many overlook this fact. What the Democrats did in November of 2008 is the exact same thing that Republicans did in 2002 and 1994. Whenever a party does very well at the polls, they always misinterpret the result as a radical shift in public perception. I would argue that elections are in fact instances in which America attempts to re-balance herself. Prior to 1994 America was very much thrown to the left. We had just elected a charismatic young governor, the first baby boomer, as our president. Congress was very much to the left. The Democrats interpreted this as a sign that America had itself shifted into a more liberal form. And then we had 1994. The year when Republicans took back Congress with a vengeance that would make Stalin blush. Newt Gingrich and his new right took it to Clinton. Wasting our time with witch hunts throughout the administration all because they thought that that was what we the people wanted. As you can guess this is not what we want. In reality, all we want is a government that will protect us while staying out of our way. And we proved it when Clinton was re-elected in 1996. I realize that Mr. Perot would take offense, but it is true. The exact same thing happened in 2006. The Democrats took Congress back from a party whose leader at the time really was more of a "divider" rather than a "uniter" Perhaps this man was too busy being the "decider," but we will leave that for another day perhaps. America's attempt to move back to the center culminated in 2008. A year when we elected our first minority president who coincidentally also promised to end partisanship. We gave the Democrats a filibuster proof Senate and we gave Speaker Pelosi an overwhelming majority in the House. It was high time to get things back to the center, right? Wrong. President Obama has proven to be the most liberal president since JFK. He has consistently ignored legitimate concerns from the right dismissing the Tea Parties as "folks waving tea bags around." Speaker Pelosi has proved to lead the most partisan congress in recent memory. And to top it off now they are attempting to force Healthcare through against the will of the people. Well the people have spoken back.

Scott Brown's victory in January for the seat of the late Ted Kennedy was a clear message to Washington: Take us back to the center Mr. President. To put this in perspective, let us discuss Massachusetts. The first state in the union to allow gay marriage. It was one of the first to create its own universal healthcare system. And it is a state where the Democrats control 90% of the legislature. Prior to Senator Brown, the composition of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation was completely Democratic. This was clearly a message to the Democratic Party. Now Liberals argue that Martha Coakley ran a poor campaign and that is, while completely true, not really the main point. This seat is essentially a Kennedy family possession. A Democrat should be able to win this seat sitting down over a Republican. This election along with recent gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey are symbolic o the people screaming no to the intense shift to the left.

Sadly the President Obama and the Democrats have not taken notice of this and continue trying to ram their agenda through. And now Speaker Pelosi is attempting to pass the Senate Bill without actually voting for it. The controversial Deem and Pass procedure would allow the Senate bill to pass given that the House would only vote on the Reconciliation amendments. This makes it easier for the moderate Democrats to vote on the bill without actually taking responsibility for doing so. What all of us need is moderation. And I can only hope that the GOP, if they do take back the House in November, will not make the very same mistake. They need to take us back to the center, and leave us there.


Healthcare and You Part I

This morning I would like to discuss the healthcare debate. I do this for the sole reason that it is well, the elephant in the room. This is a political forum and if I were to ignore the most prevalent issue in American politics today I would simply be doing a disservice to you the reader. So bear with me as I commence with this part one of a three part civil tirade against the current healthcare bill.

First and foremost, why pass healthcare as one sweeping national initiative? The democrats would have us essentially put 1/5 of a 15 trillion dollar economy on the line and experiment with our healthcare system using at best unproven and untested methods. Don't get me wrong, US healthcare is broken. And it does need to be fixed. However this should be done incrementally and responsibly with consensus on both sides. The Democrats cannot just ram legislation with at least half of the country screaming no. Liberals are always the ones stressing the rights of the minority. Even if 40 percent of the American populace absolutely did not want this bill, would that not cause you to wait and consider what you are about to do. Again, I am not defending the Republicans either. The way they attempt to block everything is despicable. However responsibility to lead falls on the shoulders of the majority. And leadership does not mean only do what you want and do not consider, in most cases, the opinions of half the country. Leadership's keywords are compromise and pragmatic consensus, not controversy and ambiguous discord.

In order to better illustrate the situation, I will present to you the reader a scenario, and you tell me what you think. You are married. You make slightly more money than your spouse and you are considering buying a car. Now here is the question: Do you go out and buy a car without considering any concerns your spouse may have? For better or worse, the Republicans and Democrats are married. And the Democrats, currently the dominant partner in the relationship have decided to force a massive Healthcare bill, or new car, on us, the kids.

Stay tuned for Part II in which I will discuss Scott Brown and what his place is in the debate.


A brief introduction

Well here I am. I decided to create this blog in order to express my thoughts publicly. I had gotten positive response to the idea, so I figured I would try it out. A brief background about myself is in order:

I am truly a paradox. I am a first generation immigrant to the United States, living in a blue collar family, and living in a very safe blue state. Considering all of these facts, conventional wisdom would conclude that I should be a liberal. However, as one could guess from the heading, I do indeed consider myself to be a conservative. I believe in the core principles of free enterprise and limited government. I believe that people know best how to spend their own money and do not need a big government to make those decisions for it. And I also believe in the invisible hand that is present in a capitalist economy. In my view the only true responsibility of government should be to provide a safe and reliable foundation from which individuals can pursue their own aspirations. Call me crazy, but I actually believe in the ability of human beings to, for the most part, look after themselves. Much like the stubborn elephant, I generally am well established in my ways and will typically see no reason to change my thinking. However I am also a pragmatic conservative. According to Merriam-Webster pragmatism is:

Pronunciation: \ˈprag-mə-ˌti-zəm\
Function: noun
Definition: a practical approach to problems and affairs

We must pursue our goals not without listening to constructive ideas from all sides. We cannot realistically achieve all of our goals and need to use true compromise to get things done. It is never practical to ignore the other side. However in recent years both sides have frozen themselves into such a mentality. The amount of different sources of news as well as opinion have done much to further polarize society into opposing camps. And I will concede that blogs such as this one typically only serve to increase such sentiment. However I offer opinions as a, well, pragmatic alternative. I stand for the reunification of America.

I believe that politics today are very much impractical as well as inefficient. Washington is bogged down by partisan line bickering as well as the permanent election season mentality. Today politics in Washington are characterized by a bully mentality in the majority party and an obstructionist attitude in the minority. Both parties are guilty of this, and we all know it. With each president, we are promised a "new era" in politics. One that "transcends" party lines. However with each president we see the problem only worsen. Bush's government was more gridlocked than Clinton's, and now Obama's is worse than Bush's. And then when a member of either party actually stands up for his or her convictions and does indeed reach across the aisle attempting honest compromise on a particular issue, the parties paint those individuals as cowards and traitors. I hold that these very men and women are the most courageous of us all. They put their public careers and reputations on the line in the name of true progress. These individuals are the true patriots. They are loyal to the people not to the party. They are public servants in the most classical sense. Therefore let this elephant leave you with the idea that if we are to truly break through all the gridlock, we must really take it to our elected representatives. We must demand bipartisanship from our elected officials or risk losing our country forever to the bitter forces of divisiveness.