Another Perspective

Another Perspective

Political Patsies: Is That the Best the Stupid Party Can Be?

By 12.2.14

Let’s say there are two political parties in a country. The Evil Party and the Stupid Party. When the Evil Party’s candidate is elected president, he abuses his power and rules by diktat, like an all-powerful king. That’s why he’s evil. Not everyone likes this, however. Some don’t like his diktats, and some don’t like kings. The latter complain that this is contrary to the country’s constitution, but in fact no one is going to stop the Evil president from abusing his power while he’s in office.

One of the Evil president’s chief goals is to ensure that the Stupid Party never wins a presidential election. But now let’s suppose (hey, it’s just a hypothetical) that the Stupid Party wins a presidential election one year. At this point the Party has a choice. The Stupid president can either assume the broad king-like powers of an Evil president, or he can rule more modestly in what he thinks is the country’s constitutional tradition.

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Stop Giving Money to the Third World

By 11.25.14

Consider the following two statements: First, in Britain this winter, one old-age pensioner will die of cold about every five minutes—roughly 30,000 total for the season—because pensions are not large enough to allow both heating and eating. Second, this year, the British government will give $450 million in foreign aid to Argentina.

Yes, Argentina, which launched an unprovoked war against Britain over the Falkland Islands in which hundreds of Her Majesty’s soldiers and sailors died or were mutilated, which still refers to Britain as an enemy, and whose official rhetoric and policies suggest it may have another go as soon as it judges the time to be ripe. Britain still has only minimal forces (four aircraft) defending the Falklands. What sort of moral or political sense does this make?

Britain’s official foreign aid budget, which the strange quasi-Tory Prime Minister David Cameron claims is his proudest achievement, comes to about $22 billion. This would pay the heating bills of a lot of pensioners.

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The Forgotten Side of Illegal Immigration

By 11.24.14

In his speech last Thursday, President Obama had two objectives. First, a dual one: create future votes for the Democrats and gain gratitude from illegal Hispanics for his generosity. The other objective was to set a trap for Congressional Republican by making them so outraged that they would gum up the federal budget with riders that would cause him to veto it, thus creating a government shutdown for which the Republicans would get the blame, thus deflating their momentum from the recent election.

While many elected Republicans denounced Obama’s action as outrageous and an affront to the Constitution, it is also not action that is publicly popular. (A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows that 48 percent oppose it and only 38 precedent support it.)

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Verbosity Is the GOP’s Enemy

By 11.24.14

A verbose, incoherent website that looks like a dog’s breakfast would typically be satirically funny — except that it is the website of the Republican Party.  Attempting to define the platform, it does not convey a succinct and focused message, conflates values with initiatives, leads with its chin, dismisses all of Obamacare, omits critical content, and even offers us bad grammar. A visit to the GOP website section that addresses “Renewing American Values” is a nightmare for a branding expert or an instructor of the English language.

Values are often thought of as ideals that may inspire and enhance performance.  Like a brand, they have emotional appeal and cause us to bond with the source. Successful companies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies communicate their values to sell themselves to the public and seek the moral high ground.

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What About Obama’s Intransigence?

By 11.21.14

Two weeks ago Barack Obama presided over the electoral cataclysm he and his party richly deserved, but managed to escape, in 2012.

The Democrats lost eight Senate seats, a number that will grow to nine on December 6 when Bill Cassidy finishes off the mortally wounded Mary Landrieu in Louisiana. It might even climb to ten if West Virginia’s Joe Manchin gets around to doing the political math in his home state. In the House, an already quite healthy Republican majority reached a size not seen in nearly a century: officially 244 seats as of this writing, with three recounts and two runoffs possibly running the total as high as 249. And at the state level, Obama’s party was wiped out in gubernatorial elections as well as state legislative races; Republicans now have total control of half the country’s state governments, while Democrats rule only seven.

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The Online Lynching of Bill Cosby

By 11.17.14

The Internet is a wonderful thing. If not for the Internet, I would not have the privilege of writing articles and blog posts for The American Spectator over the past five years. But like any wonderful thing, the Internet can be used to commit harm. Who could forget the horrifying images this past summer of the beheadings of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff by ISIS? Sadly, we can now add American aid worker Peter Kassig to that list. The web is also cluttered with thousands of jihadist videos exhorting their followers to kill Americans in the name of Islamic radicalism. Closer to home there is also the terror of online bullying of children.

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Will Federalism Trump the Drug War?

By 11.14.14

Americas are angry with their politicians but nuanced in their political opinions. Voters in Alaska simultaneously ousted their Democratic Senator and legalized the use of marijuana. Floridians gave 505,000 more votes medical use of pot than they did in re-electing Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Milton Friedman and William F. Buckley took their places on the pantheon of the Right while arguing against drug prohibition. The electorate appears to be moving their way.

Which makes sense. If you want to limit government and protect individual liberty, it’s impossible to ignore the ill consequences of arresting and imprisoning millions of people for using illicit substances. Drug use is bad. Arresting people for using drugs is worse. 

But conservatives have another reason to abandon the drug war: federalism.

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How Republicans Can Win the White House

By 11.7.14

While it sounds simplistic, in order to win in 2016, the Republican Party must define its objective. That objective is to win the White House. It is not to embrace ideological purity for the sake of itself. With its taking of the Senate, the Republican Party now has the chance to redefine itself — otherwise it may remain a foraging dinosaur lost in contemporary times.

The Republican Party needs to be a party of rigid principle: its first principle should be flexibility. The GOP has allowed itself to be viewed as the party of insular, middle-aged white men — ensconced in country clubs playing liar’s dice in plaid pants, waiting to tee off at twilight golf. Some in the party have shown a remarkable willingness to drive off the proverbial cliff with their flag fluttering, heads held high with self-esteem — all in the name of values. The GOP has inflicted much damage on itself by becoming labeled as anti-immigration, anti-women and minorities, anti-planet Earth, and anti-gays and lesbians. Many Republicans are hardly like this and are embarrassed by such an unwise, unyielding, and unsuccessful marketing message.

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Is Jason Aldean the Obama of Country Music?

By 11.6.14

On Tuesday night, whether he wants to face it or not, President Obama received a stunning blow from the 2014 election results. The prestigious 2014 Country Music Association (CMA) annual awards extravaganza gave a similar comeuppance to country music superstar, Jason Aldean. The message? Personal popularity doesn’t give anyone the license to flaunt either America’s Constitutional principles or the Judeo-Christian values that are the protection of our people and the foundation of our society. Everyone knows President Obama’s story; let’s look at Aldean’s.

Jason Aldean enjoys pushing the envelope in his music and his behavior, generating the same kind of fan adulation that President Obama had in the early years. Plus, just as Mr. Obama promised to “transform” America, Aldean has vowed to move country music into “uncharted territory.” But some die-hard country music fans didn’t like the new direction when he began merging rap and country in his “Dirt Road Anthem” and “1994.” Many complained that he wasn’t “country” anymore.

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Fort Hood Five Years Later

By 11.5.14

It is the morning of November 5, 2014, and Republicans and conservative activists are overjoyed with last night’s election results which, among other things, saw the GOP take over the Senate, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker winning his third election in four years and Republicans regaining the Governor’s mansion in Massachusetts (subject to a possible recount).

But this morning, the joy is tempered by both sadness and anger. For it was five years ago today, that 12 soldiers, a civilian, and an unborn child were slaughtered in an act of both treason and terrorism by Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan. As Hasan killed his fellow soldiers, he shouted “Allahu Akbar!!!” over and over again. In his possession were business cards bearing the inscription “S of A,” meaning Soldier of Allah.