Monday, February 20, 2012

It is the company you keep, as much as the economy

The other night, I watched the unfortunate You Tube video Rick Santorium made. All of it. All agonizing 44 minutes of it. As I have said before, I think it is bad form to criticize things or people, you have not properly vetted.

When Newt was being called out by his ex-wife, I read alot. Herman Cain, the same. Bill Clinton, and his very public situation, the same. John Edwards. Again...

I will say early on in the GOP quest for implosion, I had not heard of Santorium and I stumbled upon some of his thoughts on taxes and fiscal responsibility. I liked what I read, until I read more. Yikes, he makes Ron Paul look pretty palatable, and that is saying something, because on a good day Ron Paul is just left or right of crazy.

None of this should imply that I think Obama is doing a bang up job. I don't. We have seen in the last few years some very suspect and down right scary maneuvers. The TSA has grown in power under Obama's watch, we are seeing an acquiescences to torture and the slow erosion of our civil rights. All on his watch.

None of that is a good thing.

And frankly, the economy is still in the toilet. No matter how you massage the numbers, the economic future isn't that rosy. We have no vision for the long term growth and development of the economy.  That debt ceiling, that is scary.

I would say in any other year the Democrats would have at least had rumblings of someone wanting to at least run against Obama.  Not this year.

One wonders why not... the economy isn't great, the Congress has remained deadlocked. Obama has not shown a willingness to build consensus, and honestly seems to favor the deadlock. I am not saying someone should run against Obama, I am just saying that for a Democratic upstart, the conditions are good. A splash could be made.

The GOP could have run a pickle with a sign saying, "It is the Economy!" and had a proper showing. Sadly, they can't even manage that.

So what is a GDI like me left with? I have only once or twice declared a party and voted in the primary.  This year won't be a third.

News flash - I don't like either party. Neither party has a place for me. I am fiscally conservative, social progressive or a social liberal -- with a Libertarian bent. I actually think more should be done at the State level and less at the Federal level. I think abortion is a medical procedure and it is between a woman and her doctor and no one else. I think the government should not be in the marriage business and I think our tax system is for the birds. I think the two party system is broken and we need to look to the Europeans and learn something, a multi party approach will create an environment of compromise and if it doesn't - you send them packing, dissolve the parliament and vote in some new blood. I think the government should butt out of social matter, stop giving religious groups tax breaks when they engage in political campaigning and start focusing on the meat of the matter and stop being distracted by social issues.

I think the GOP has made a fatal miscalculation. Mixing conservative values with respect to money, spending, and interpretation of the Constitution with that of social conservatism. Getting into bed with radical religious groups, will not ever get my vote. Rick Santorium's vision of a religious (ie Christian) utopia is not going to EVER get my vote. Wasting time (ie money) debating why homosexuality is against the Bible's teaching is never going to get my vote. First of all, I don't care, I don't necessarily use the Bible as my road map and secondly, it isn't the business of government what religious teaching is most valid.(And hello, there are other religious groups in this country. Lots of them. A fair number of agnostics too.) It is the business of government to ensure we have roads to drive on, a means to support the free flow of goods and an orderly commerce. Protecting our boarders and so forth. The road map that ought to guide our government is not the Bible, but rather the Constitution.

I suppose, if Rick or Newt or Mitt can fix all the problems connected to the roads, the tax system, the subversion of our civil rights and finds himself bored, then I suppose a deeply religious and philosophical discussions of morality can ensure - but only after the real work is done.

America is and has been off track. We are refusing to deal with the real issues and instead wasting time and millions on the non-issues. Social issues are not the business of government. The mountain of debt owed to foreign nations and the lack of checks and balances in spending, those my friends are the make or break issues. I have heard my friends making fun of Greece, judging Greece. Well... let me just say, debt snowballs quickly and the Baby Boomers, well the Baby Boomers aren't getting any younger and in case anyone was confused, when the economy tanks, the amount of tax revenue generated trends downward also.

It isn't just that we are seeing a huge erosion of the middle class in this country, what we are seeing is the development of a new class of entitled individuals. The members of congress. They want the big bucks, the nice health plan and the retirement plan that knocks your socks off. They are above the law because they are writing the law. Newt is a prime example, I think of this thinking, as is Obama, by the way. The career politician who makes rules for the rest of us, but feels no need to be bound by it. Their grasp of personal honor and integrity is shaky at best. They are above us, the unwashed masses.

And think about it... their livelihood depends upon it. They are not serving their country, they are gutting it. One bill at time. Looting and gutting, while beholden to their special interests and campaign contributors. Not the voters back home... they forget about us the day the polls close.

So here is what I have to say to the GOP - who frankly my vote was yours to lose and lose it you have. For me it isn't just about the economy. It is about the company you keep and all the times that you have a chance to really take a stand, even if it is painful one and you passed. Blame the democrats for luring you into a debate designed to divert attention from the true matters at hand, you went and with gusto. Blame the liberal media, you know - there is Twitter and blogging and money talks, buy an ad in the paper - you didn't. Each and every time you have a chance to really speak up, be a true agent for change - you pass( and hold nonsense hearings instead.) If you cannot even control your own public image, divorce yourself from social conservatism - which by the way is leading you down the path of big government of a religious controlling sort - cannot show me some real passion for change. How then, can you as a party possibly get this country back on track.

You can't.

And let me be clear, a primary reason for this, is directly connected to the company you choose to keep.

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