February 23, 2008

AWWW

I got Fredstruck this year and forgot my love for ol' George W. This video of his whiteboy dancing reminded me of how charming I think he is. He deserves to party like a rock star for a day.

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February 21, 2008

COMPROMISE REVISITED

John Hawkins has a good post up today called Conservatism: Principles and Power. One section that caught my eye was this:

We've also gotten way off the tracks on the "purity" issue. There's this sense that if conservatism gets more pure, if we can just get rid of the RINOS, we can dominate again -- but that's not true. When a political party is losing, they need to find ways to draw more people into the tent, not throw people out.

I've been reading many comments sections these days, so I'm sorry that I can't remember where I read this. But someone was complaining that the Religious Right gets all the focus as the base of the Republican Party. He said (paraphrase), "As a fiscal conservative, when will I finally be accepted as part of 'the base'?" I completely relate to this. I want to know when my worries about spending will matter as much as others' worries about the sanctity of marriage. Pres. Bush (pbuh) has been running around like a teen with his dad's credit card, but all the questions at the YouTube debate were about which parts of the Bible the candidates take literally. I just don't freaking care.

In another comment thread the other day (sorry, don't remember where I saw this either), Democrats kept saying that the reason they need to defeat John McCain is so he won't overturn Roe v Wade. Honestly, that is so far from my mind right now that it made me snicker. I would prefer that abortion be left up to the states, but this issue is not at all a priority for me in voting. I am worried about the war and about spending. Period.

Hawkins is right when he goes on to say:

We should always be asking ourselves, "How can we reach out to more Americans?" How can we apply our principles in different areas to reach larger blocks of voters? What new solutions can we come up with to the problems that the American people are concerned about? In some of these areas, we've done a good job. In others, we haven't.

Solutions. We need real ideas, and realistic ideas, especially on spending. I remember how thrilled I was when Pres. Bush was talking about reforming social security back in 2004. I was beside myself with excitement at the time, but it went nowhere. And I think the Democrats are deluding themselves over health care the same way we did over social security four years ago; it's just not going to happen. Or at least it's not going to happen the way they want it to.

I remember hearing John McCain in one of the first debates getting hammered for the immigration bill, and he got an exasperated look on his face and tried to explain that it wasn't a perfect bill, it wasn't even something that he personally was all that thrilled about, but that you have to make concessions and compromises in order to get anything done in Congress. And I felt for him in that moment. It's so easy for those of us on the outside to point fingers at Congress about what they should and shouldn't be doing, but we don't have to sit in the same room as Nancy Pelosi and try to hammer out solutions. Can we even have any idea how hard that must be?

Most people don't like McCain because he is too willing to work with the other side, but that's how you get more people in the tent. And I quoted Lileks yesterday on compromise; I do believe that it's folly to compromise on your major principles. But if Congress is at a roughly 50/50 split, there's no way a MoveOn.org idea nor a Pon Raul idea is going to pass the vote. The solutions will have to be somewhere in the middle.

Which is why I think that the most important thing is for Republicans to get seriously better at explaining how their positions help people. Read a Thomas Sowell book and you have all the info you need, in layman's terms, to show people how economic ideas that are typically labeled "Republican" are the better choice. So why don't our Republican politicians do this? Steal from Sowell if you must; I bet he wouldn't mind! But make people realize that all these feel-good ideas the Dems come up with -- everything for everyone, free! -- are nonsense. Help people think beyond stage one. Show them that a clean environment is good but Kyoto will cripple us, that more affordable health care is within our reach if we let the free market take its course, or that a higher minimum wage means we get our hours cut. Arm the voters with knowledge and the tides will shift, and when Congress tips in our favor, we have to make less concessions and compromises.

We need to stop letting Democrats get away with "stage one thinking" and start pulling more people into our tent. Why are the same people thrilled that Lieberman moved slightly right of center but appalled over John McCain? There should be plenty of room on our side for both of them, for everyone.

Micklethwait and Wooldridge said that our country is steadily getting more conservative. I'd really like to believe that. But I think we could give it a little push if we got better at explaining our solutions.

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February 07, 2008

RACHEL LUCAS IS RIGHT

I want to go on the record as agreeing with Rachel Lucas. She has apparently been taking a ton of heat for saying that conservatives ought to vote for McCain in November if they don't want someone worse. I said it in a short version recently, but she lays it out in far more detail than I did. If you want to follow her argument, which I think is completely sound, here are the relevant posts:

Dear People, You have lost your minds. Love, Rachel.
I feel like I've been at an illegal cockfight for 2 days
I can stand the heat so I’m staying in the kitchen. (But I will not make you a sandwich.)
This debate is like crack

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PRIMARY DISGUST

OK, I'm irritable. Our state primary isn't until May. May, for pete's sake. Nothin' like having zero say at all in the primary process. I imagine my choices will be McCain and Pon Raul. Gee, thanks.

So in theory, Michigan was right. Even though they forfeited their delegates, they still got to influence the outcome. They get no votes later, but at least they got the media reaction. Meanwhile, states like mine get nothing at all, no influence, no delegates that matter.

So we still have about 20 states left, and it's done. And my candidate was out after only six states. Maybe if the primaries weren't spread out over five freaking months, he might've had a better chance. Or someone would've had a better chance. More importantly, people would've voted for the candidate they agreed with, not the candidate that the media steered them towards by telling them their first choice had no shot.

Not happy.

Posted by: Sarah at 12:41 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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February 01, 2008

HOLD YOUR NOSE

I'm just kind of flabbergasted that it looks like the Republican candidate might be McCain. Six months ago there was no way on earth it'd be McCain. Shoot, one month ago in Iowa he got slightly less delegates than Fred. I don't know about you, but I sure as heck didn't see this coming.

John Hawkins lays out some good points in his new article, "Why You're Going To Vote For John McCain In November And Like It!" There are some on teh internets who say that they'd rather stay home than vote for McCain, or that we deserve four years of Hillary to wake us up to just how bad it can get.

I told that last one to my husband, who replied that stupid, stubborn Republican voters will indeed deserve Hillary if they can't hold their nose at the polls and punch a chad for McCain, but that our military doesn't deserve Hillary. Our troops don't deserve a fate of fleeing Baghdad à la Saigon. Our troops don't deserve to be told again that they fought and died for nothing.

So hold your nose, throw up in your mouth a little, whatever it takes, but vote for McCain if he's our guy. There may not be a huge difference between him and the Dems, but there certainly is a difference when it comes to the GWOT.

Posted by: Sarah at 05:15 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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