An upstart political blog aspiring to keep alive the faint spirit of bipartisanship.
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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Lessons From Limbaugh

The other day, in response to the controversial NY Times article, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh said that it served as a learning opportunity for John McCain.

The important question for John McCain today is, is he going to learn the right lesson from this, and what is the lesson? The lesson is liberals are to be defeated. You cannot walk across the aisle with them. You cannot reach across the aisle. ... They are snakes. If the right lesson is not learned from this, then it will have proved to be of no value. link
I know many people think highly of Rush Limbaugh, including my colleague on this blog. However, I have long believed Limbaugh to be a cancer on our society and uniquely responsible for the much of the hatred, partisanship and decline of America. Even looking at this brief statement we see how Limbaugh condemns cooperation and labels fellow Americans in unfair and unwarranted ways. Sadly, this has always been the case with him.

Rush Limbaugh changed America by doing something that tyrants and dictators have long done; dehumanize others and create false enemies. Prior to the rise of Limbaugh and the right wing, people held opinions. I might hold mostly liberal positions while you may have mostly conservative opinions and someone else might mix and match their ideas. With Limbaugh and the right wing it is not opinions that are liberal or conservative - it is people. I am not an American with opinions to be considered, I am a liberal .... and liberals are snakes (one of the kinder things he has called us non-ditto heads over the years).

That division and distinction between types of people is critical to the survival of Rush Limbaugh and the strain of conservatism that has recently taken hold in this country. Through the years any person who disagreed with Limbaugh or the right wing was labeled a "liberal" (again the person is a liberal not just the policies they believe are best for the country). To this day, some on the right still feel the need to test politicians and pundits for "conservative purity" lest some of that bad blood get mixed with the good. After all, they are not merely people who hold conservative opinions, they are a superior type of person - "A Conservative!"

Rush Limbaugh doesn't believe in Reaching Across The Aisle because his mentality can't survive the light of day. There is a reason why Limbaugh does his show alone and never engages in a real debate with those who hold different opinions. Frankly, it's because his logic and arguments don't hold water. This being the case, he long ago chose not so much to debate politics on a policy level but instead on a personal one. It is easy to build up enemies to hate but much more difficult to defend a set of ideas with a record of almost universal failure.

So for Rush to remain a viable force on the radio and in Republican politics he has demonize his opponents and try to generate real hatred between Americans with different opinions. It's really tragic that a man with so many natural communication skills made that choice but in the USA that's his prerogative. But to me it's a sign of ultimate weakness to dismiss cooperation and generate animus between good and sincere people. In my opinion, it takes a real man to Reach Across The Aisle. That's the lesson I've learned. Thanks Rush!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

This stuff is great

Political junkies -- enjoy this campaign season. It's been a wild ride and the ride ain't over yet. I'm amazed at how much drama has been packed into the past 6 weeks. I said it before and I'll repeat again: I don't think the powers-that-be will allow for such an unpredictable election cycle again in the future. So I'm making the most of this while we got it.

Today is one of those "note the date" times -- after tonight's 3 Chesapeake primary wins, Senator Barack Obama is officially the frontrunner. I've been predicting a Hillary Clinton presidency for years now. To me it seemed one of those inevitable things you hate but you know is coming no matter what. And somehow my gut still tells me Clinton finds a way to win, even if by dirty tricks and under the table deals. But, all that aside, there is no way Obama cannot be considered the Democratic frontrunner. It's his race to lose right now. And so far he's shown no signs that he will choke on the opportunity.

On the GOP side, even a Huckabee guy like me knows John McCain will be the nominee unless he dies, his health fails, or he experiences a devastating scandal. However, I don't understand the media's obsession with Mike Huckabee giving up. Why? Is there no worth in coming in second place? Is it so wrong to want to give primary voters a choice? I don't understand why any of these candidates drop out, unless they run out of money, of course. Believe me - we're going to have plenty of down time in the campaign this summer as we suffer from burnout after a front-loaded primary season. I hope Huckabee sticks around and makes some noise by winning Texas.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Six Reasons Why John McCain is OK with me

As I write this, Super Tuesday is just hours away. As an Obama supporter, I will naturally be looking to see just how much his recent momentum can push back on the Clinton political machine. Additionally though, I will be looking closely at the Republican results. At this juncture, it looks like John McCain will be the big winner - maybe even enough to lock up the GOP nomination. In the interest of "reaching across the aisle" I will present a list of reasons (in no particular order) why I would be OK with that.

1. He's better than the other GOP candidates. With the exception of Mike Huckabee, John McCain is less crazy, less of an ideologue and has more real life experience than anyone else in the GOP field. Although I disagree with much of what he wants to do - I think he will actually change his policies and ideas if the result are disappointing. How good would that have been in a President that last 8 years?

2. He would be an improvement, as far as Republican Presidents go. I have been around to really see and understand Republican Presidents Reagan, Bush1 and Bush2. I feel John McCain would be so much better than any of those three. First of all, he is not wed to an ideology like Reagan and Bush2 were. He is a conservative for sure, but he does not try to deny reality in order to make his ideas fit. Many times in his career when logic, experience and circumstances called for a diversion from text book conservatism, Mcain has shown a willingness to change paths. That alone would put him head and shoulders above any recent GOP President.

3. He might pick Huckabee for VP. I am one of those folks who like Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee. Huckabee, has been doing very well with a group of voters that give Mccain a bit of trouble. He also has been helping McCain win primaries by syphoning votes away from Mitt Romney. Because of loyalty and the electoral necessity of getting evangelicals to the polls in November, McCain would be smart to choose Mike Huckabee as his #2.

4. Radio talk show hosts hate John McCain. The Rush Limbaugh's of the airwaves have caused so much damage to this country. They have poisoned the minds of so many good people and lowered the political discourse in a way that lead to the disaster of the George W. Bush presidency and the embrace of long discredited policies. If these forces can be neutralized in any way - it can only be a good thing for the United States.

5. He is willing to reach across the aisle. John McCain is hated so much by people who believe that compromise is a weakness. He knows it is not only a sign of strength but an absolute necessity to have a successful democratic government. So, while those who clearly are working for a one-party state oppose him, as a co-founder of this website I have to applaud anyone willing to work with people of different political beliefs.

6. He would probably lose the general election. I think that only Mike Huckabee has a chance of beating the Democrats this year. If McCain chooses Huck as his VP it will help to become more competitive but it probably won't be enough to put him over the top. Looking at it today, I would predict that John McCain would suffer the similar fate of Bob Dole - a beloved war veteran seen as too old by voters to take over the reigns of power. So while I have great respect for the man, as a Democrat his probable loss is appealing. (Got to be honest)