Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mike Lee donated $500 to Sen. Bennett's campaign

A blog pointing out that Lee donated to Bennett's campaign a full three weeks after Bennett passed TARP. Strange, because now one of the pillars of Lee's campaign is the unconstitutionality of that very bill. Hmmm, maybe he's a politician, just like everyone else running. He also points out the general silliness of the I-hate-Bennett crowd in thinking that someone else will go in there and "restore" the Constitution. Really, Mike Lee seems like a nice guy, and I like his parents, but I think people have a fantasy about what will happen if he's elected that's not going to come true.

Article in Washington Post about Utah Senate Race

The Trial of Bob Bennett

In fact, Bennett looks likely to lose primary. And the main example of his perfidy? Cooperating with a Democratic senator to develop a market-driven universal health-care proposal that would've covered every American with private insurance and abolished Medicaid.

Bennett isn't a liberal. He's not even a moderate. But he's a legislator: He's willing to work with the other side to get things done. And he's paying for it now.

The result of this isn't just that Bob Bennett might lose his seat. It's that other legislators will stop legislating. It's that all Bennett's friends will see what happened to their old colleague and go pale. It's that compromise will become too dangerous to seriously contemplate, and so the possibility for compromise will become even more remote.

Yep, we're probably going to elect some one to go to Washington and grandstand for six years. Lame.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

America's Center-Right Core

A synopsis of former Senator Norm Coleman's speech to students at Harvard.

Big Government vs. Small Government

A great article by David Brooks in the New York Times. Thanks Julie!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Presidential Campaign Slogans

This website lists presidential campaign slogans since 1840. My favorites are Lincoln - "Vote Yourself a Farm"; Coolidge - "Keep Cool with Coolidge"; Barry Goldwater - "In Your Heart You Know He's Right"; Carter - "Not Just Peanuts."

Do political partisans get their facts wrong on purpose?

Article from SmartMoney

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Utah and the Tea Party

An article about the political dynamics in Utah this year by my favorite political duo at the Deseret News.

Tea Party Takeover

Tea Party claims to have taken over Utah GOP

After going to a Bob Bennett campaign event last night, I think this is probably true. Which is really unfortunate for Utah. I came away with the impression that the people at the meeting were so ANGRY, and nothing Bennett could say was going to placate them. These were the issues that took up most of the time at the meeting.

1. People were questioning the constitutionality of Congress having any role in the banking system. I think Bennett did a great job answering this question by pointing out that even among the original writers of the Constitution there was disagreement about the constitutionality of a national banking system, but eventually a majority of them were in favor of it. It seemed to me that the people holding up their little Constitution booklets have a very simplistic understanding of the Constitution. Of course the Constitution is incredibly important, and I think it's obvious to most people that Bennett respects the Constitution and tries to follow it in his voting record. But I think the original writers of the Constitution understood that the Constitution wasn't going to be enough to govern a country all by itself. Which is why they set up a system where people could amend the constitution of a large majority of legislators and states were in favor of it. And they set up the Supreme Court to judge the constitutionality of laws that would come out of Congress. Just because someone doesn't interpret the Constitution in the same way you might doesn't mean that they are a traitor to the Constitution.

2. People were complaining that Senator Bennett didn't even read the bills that he was voting on. I really appreciated Senator Bennett's forthrightness in admitting that no, he doesn't read the bills in their entirety, and no, he's not going to promise to read every bill that he has to vote on in the future. That doesn't mean that he won't understand what's in the bill, but he doesn't have the time to read every single bill. People were still really upset and didn't seem to grasp the physical impossibility of a single person reading every word of every bill. They argued that they read all the way through their mortgage and that's only affecting them, so Senator Bennett should absolutely be reading all of these bills that affect the entire country. These numbers are from a few years ago, but there's an analysis here of how many pages that would actually be. In the 19995-1996 session the average bill was 19.1 pages long, and I'm sure they've grown since then. In 2005-2006 there were 10,670 bills introduced and 2,674 passed. I think anyone who knows anything about an organization knows that the leader shouldn't be doing the grunt work that can be done by somebody else, but should be focusing on building consensus and listening to their constituents and all the other activities that a U.S. Senator is involved in. Yes, the system is probably broken, bills are too long, staffers can add things to bills without the senator knowing about it, but I don't think we should be taking that out on Bob Bennett. And insisting that he read every word of the bill is ridiculous.

People are so frustrated with government, which is understandable, but if they think kicking out Bob Bennett and electing one of the other candidates is going to make things better they are in for a big surprise. Of course Mike Lee or Cherilyn Eagar can promise to go in there and repeal ObamaCare and "take back our country" and everything else, but the truth is that they are only one senator in a legislative body of 100. Anything they accomplish has to be done through building consensus with other senators and knowing the ins and outs of the legislative process.
And the only candidate in a good position to do that is Bob Bennett. He has spent years working his way up to senior positions in different committees so he can influence the process. If we kick him out, we get someone who's on the very bottom of some obscure sub-committees. Most of the time they'll be talking to an empty room, most senators just make their statement and leave, and our new senator from Utah will be speaking last. It will take us years before we get back to the point where Utah has the political influence it has right now.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Why Rush Limbaugh is bad for the Republican party

An article in Newsweek written by a conservative concerned about the influence of Rush Limbaugh and others like him on the Republican party.

See, this is what makes me crazy

This is a little old, but a good reminder.

Why democrats are fighting for a republican health care plan

Monday, April 12, 2010

I'm sorry, but Obama is not a socialist, I don't think you know what that word means

An article from Rick Moran at The Moderate Voice explains this perfectly:

I detest conservatives throwing around the words “socialism” and “Marxism” when it comes to Obama as much as I get angry when idiot liberals toss around the word “fascist” when describing conservatives. I’m sorry but this is ignorant. It bespeaks a lack of knowledge of what socialism and communism represent as well as an ignorance of simple definitions. Obama will not set up a government agency to plan the economy. He will not as president, require businesses to meet targets for production. He will not outlaw profit. He will not put workers in charge of companies (unless it is negotiated between unions and management. It is not unheard of in this country and the practice may become more common in these perilous economic times.).

An Obama presidency will have more regulation, more “oversight,” more interference from government agencies, more paperwork for business, less business creation, fewer jobs, fewer opportunities. It will be friendlier to unions, more protectionist, and will require higher taxes from corporations (who then will simply pass the tax bill on to us, their customers). But government won’t run the economy. And calling Obama a “socialist” simply ignores all of the above and substitutes irrationalism (or ignorance) for the reality of what an Obama presidency actually represents; a lurch to the left that will be detrimental to the economy, bad for business, but basically allow market forces to continue to dominate our economy.

Listen, I'm a Republican for a reason, I'm for fiscal restraint and family values. And I know that calling Obama a socialist might help in local elections this year. But if the Republican party nominates a candidate who constantly refers to the president as a socialist, the great middle of America is going to know that that Republican candidate is ignorant, and they're going to vote for the Democrat. Please, for the future of the party, stop with the inflammatory rhetoric.

The Right's Unjust War Against Sen. Robert Bennett

A nice article about how Bob Bennett is getting caught in a turf battle between Club for Growth and FreedomWorks, a group closely associated with the Tea Party movement. I understand that Bennett is really unpopular right now among republicans, and anti-incumbent sentiment is high in general, but I hope that people will really think about the different options and what's best for Utah. Bob Bennett really is conservative, it's only the political landscape in Utah that makes him appear less conservative. If it were any other year I don't think any of the other challengers would be taken seriously, but because of the well-funded anti-Bob-Bennett movement they might actually have a chance. If they take the place of Bennett Utah will have even less political clout for the next several years, I hope my fellow delegates will think about that when they get their several daily robocalls against Bennett.

Doesn't it seem odd that neither group has actually endorsed any of the challengers? Don't you think that if there was someone who was clearly qualified for the job, Club for Growth would have endorsed them instead of splitting votes between 3 or 4 different candidates? Doesn't that scare you a little bit?