Monday, September 07, 2009

2010/2012: Issues and Context, Bi-Partisan

Grim, a Southern Democrat/HRC voter, started a thread (Veal Pens) which will be fun.

Rasmussen has been wondering if Obama faces a 2010 primary challenge. Goodness knows he deserves one.

I don't think that will happen. But I did submit an 'Issues' list for '10/'12:

Issues? In no particular order:

1) Disposal of US interest in GM, AIG, Chrysler. [add 'the Banks']

2) Rationalization, but not usurpation, of the existing healthcare system.

3) Serious reduction of US debt and deficits, probably paid for by serious reduction of the Federal presence in all areas except Defense and SocSec/Medicare. IOW, a revival of the 9th/10th Amendments.

(It is possible that DoD reductions will come through pullbacks of troops in Europe, Korea, and South Asia.)

4) Aggressive expansion of nuke, coal, and domestic petro utilization/exploration.

5) The Fair Tax--a tax on consumption, not investment, not income--which will eliminate "trust-fund" exemptions and scams.

I think a Pubbie who includes the above will be successful.

Fortunately, the Weekly Standard provides context. (HT: BeerBiker)

...For a while now, the message from Washington has been that we know what's good for the public, whether the public likes it or not. One after another, both parties have attempted to foist a series of grand reforms on a skeptical populace--in areas ranging from Social Security and immigration to energy and health care. Politicians have made decisions affecting millions of lives without accountability and oversight. The upshot has been more government, more debt, and--coming soon to a 1040 form near you--more taxes. No wonder the public is anxious.

It should hardly come as a surprise that the public views American elites with suspicion and disdain. Ordinary Americans have a point when they assign blame for the current mess to Wall Street CEOs, federal regulators, corrupt politicians, and gullible reporters.

Cutting to the chase:

...Two issues are at the center of the present discontent. The first is the state of public finances. The activists and other concerned citizens who showed up at the first tea parties last spring weren't protesting Obamacare (yet). They were protesting Obama's bailouts, budgets, and deficits. Obama's expansion of the state is an offense to liberty, but also to equity. People understand that as the government grows, they will have less opportunity to dispose of their income as they see fit. So the deficit is more than a number or a "structural imbalance." It's a symbol of unrestrained and irresponsible governance.

Unrestrained and irresponsible governance. Please note well: this is not merely the Statism of Obama that's in the crosshairs. It's also the Statism of GWBush, which built on the Statism of FDR (The Clueless One), Wilson, and TR.

The second thing that is motivating the new public outcry is a sense of estrangement from political decisionmaking

Estrangement from political decisionmaking.

Examples are too numerous to list, but we could start with the Fannie/Freddie/FHA collapse(s) which were effectively forced by Congress and the Executive Branch; the Government takeover of GM, AIG, and Chrysler; the slow alienation of 'justice' from the Justice System (e.g., abortion and Kelo); or more generally, the aggrandization of Federal regulatory power to the exclusion of State and local powers. Co-incident indicators are the ever-so-cozy relationships between Big Industry, Big Finance, and the Feds (see Mattel's influence in demoloshing mom-and-pop toymakers, or GE's influence in making incandescent lightbulbs illegal by 2015.)

In 1985, Irving Kristol wrote that the public activism of the Reagan era "is no kind of blind rebellion against good constitutional government. It is rather an effort to bring our governing elites to their senses." That's a fair description, it seems to us, of the public activism on display at town hall meetings across the country over the last month.

What is notable is that this movement is growing, fast. Four THOUSAND people in Sheboygan?

Two years ago, that was unthinkable.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting and more than a little amusing that the "Progressives" are just now being disillusioned by the politicians and power brokers in the Democrat Party.

They giggled at the conservatives not too very long ago for the same failings on our side of the political spectrum.

The difference is that so many of these people have looked to Democrats and the government as the ones that would make it all better - that they would give the power to the people - but now just want to keep the power for themselves. With their overblown faith in government, the shattering of that illusion to these people must be especially disheartening for them. The fall especially far and hard.