Friday, May 29, 2009

Got to enjoy this

The Republicans can't figure out what to do with Sotomayor - do they keep their 22% or less 'base' or keep the minority of the Hispanic vote that they have left? The usual far right drumbeaters (Limbaugh, Newt, Malkin, etc.) are doing their usual thing - hating on any and everything done by Democrats - while, as much as they want to agree with them, the Republicans who actually have to face voters are trying to have it both ways.

Good times.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

This says it all when it comes to Obama SCOTUS pick

I was going to write something about Judge Sotomayor and how unsurprising that a centrist President would pick a centrist for the Supreme Court - even how unwise it would be for the Republicans to filibuster her - then this came through my email:

Please, Please Filibuster Sotomayor

At the gym this morning I could not help but notice that corpulent right wing fuck Karl Rove (that's actually his official title) on Fox "News" going on about the possibility of a filibuster against Sonia Sotomayor.

To which I say, paraphrasing the words of Mr. Rove's former boss, bring it the fuck on.

Please GOP, filibuster a woman of Puerto Rican descent, who grew up in the projects in the Bronx, yet managed to attend Princeton and Yale Law School. Sotomayor worked as a federal prosecutor and corporate attorney before getting appointed to the federal bench by Bush 41, and then served on the Court of Appeals for ten years after Clinton elevated her to the Second Circuit. She is clearly well qualified and her appontment would be a milestone. But hey, filibuster away.

This is just what the Republican base wants and I would hate to see them deprived of the opportunity of denying this woman a seat on the high court.

Let this happen and then Obama should make a priority of passing comprehensive immigration reform. The Republicans can then spend the next twenty years seeing if they can crack the 40% mark in presidential elections.

Posted by Sir Charles at 07:24 AM

Monday, May 25, 2009

A word to Democrats: Leave the GOP alone

One thing I and I'm sure other Democrats, in email groups and from (D) leaning pundits, have been guilty of is giving the Republicans advice on how to bring their party out of the political wilderness. Our message: be more like us. Well, that stops right now for me and I hope for anyone else passing that along.

First of all, in the interest of full disclosure, I have never seen a reason to vote for any Republican, ever, and I doubt that's going to change. However, my very first time volunteering for any campaign was when I was 14 and who I backed then was Richard Nixon - of course, at the time I thought he was the peace candidate when it came to Vietnam and bought his "secret plan to end the war" line. Little did I know his "secret plan" was to keep the war going until we "won," but I figured that out soon enough and became a lifelong Democrat because of it. I do vote for the person and their positions - it's not my fault they're all Democrats. And blah blah blah.

Back to the original point, I think that we need to stop giving unasked for and sure to be ignored advice to the GOP on how to run their party. After all, think back to when it was us Democrats who were the minority, couldn't get a presidential candidate elected, and the slew of articles from Republicans who were giving us advice about how to revive our party. You remember, how we should be more conservative and what a really good Democrat Joe Lieberman was and how he would save the Democrats. I'll wait for the gagging to subside. Didn't like it much, did ya?

Well, the upshot was that we didn't take their advice and finally started winning again. This may work the same way for the Republicans. We got the same questions back when we were on the outs that we're tossing at the GOPers now: Who's your leader? Are you just running on what you're against or do you actually stand for something? Can you tell us what it means to be a member of your party? I recall we had as much of a problem answering those questions back then as the Republicans do now too.

When it comes down to it, I don't know what the Republicans need to do make a comeback. It may happen by default if Obama stumbles badly, the Democrats in Congress could lose it by continuing to act like they are mewling little cowards in the face of the currently outnumbered GOP...who can say for sure. Who's correct in the GOP ranks - the ones who are saying their party needs to go further right or the moderates like Colin Powell that says they need to moderate their positions and allow more voices to be heard? Who knows right now. Can't say that I much care either, to be honest. Right now, I'm more than enjoying being a member of the party in power finally and I hope that doesn't change for quite a while. The cons enjoyed rubbing our noses in it when we were down and I'm not so pure of heart to say that giving it right back to them now isn't one hell of a lot of fun.

I do, however, caution strongly about taking the fact that we hold the reins now to mean that we'll hold them forever. I don't want to start seeing in print - online or otherwise - how our wins means we will have a permanent majority. Look how well that worked out for Karl Rove when he said that about the Republicans - and he was making the case that the Democratic Party was essentially the party of the coasts and big cities, just like I'm seeing the case being made that the Republicans are essentially a regional party based mainly in the South.

Besides the awfulness of the Bush years, we are also enjoying the pendulum swinging our way (given the temporary push the other way post 9/11). That swing actually started in 2000 when, if you combine the votes for Democrat Al Gore and Green Party Ralph Nader, marked the first time in 20 years that the majority of voters voted center-left. Had there been no terrorist attack on 9/11 (and a stronger Democratic nominee in 2004 than John Kerry) I daresay that George W. would have joined his Dad in being a one term President. That pendulum can keep going our way or turn around on a dime too.

Admittedly this is all from the viewpoint of the member of a party who even it's most conservative members would be considered ultra-liberal in the other party but the point still stands: don't completely count out the GOP quite yet. And stop trying to tell them the way out of being the minority is to be more like us - that's advice they soundly reject and rightly so.

Just askin'

Is it appropriate to wish someone a Happy Memorial Day? It just doesn't sound right to me.

The President and the time he needs

I supported President Obama before he even announced for the job, but I am noticing a disturbing trend among other erstwhile supporters - I'll call it the "right now" syndrome.

Why hasn't Obama done more for gay rights? When is he closing Guantanamo? Why is he continuing some of Bush's policies? Why isn't he doing everything he said he would RIGHT NOW?!!!

Take a breath folks and remember how our government is set up - we just aren't configured to do things real fast. Let's remember a couple of things too, Obama has been President for less than a year. Heck, most new Presidencies haven't even filled their cabinets this early in the first term - at least he's done that much, not to mention getting passed and signed into law some important legislation like the stimulus bills that at least slowed if not stopped our slide into another Republican Great Depression.

This is in no way meant to give Obama a free ride on everything he does - I don't want us to become the Democratic version of the Republicans agreeing to everything (but immigration, of course) that Bush wanted either. The lean to keep some Bush policies going is particularly troubling, but if you read deeper into the news stories that report this there are two words that are strongly implied but rarely written: "for now." I'm willing to allow that ending everything in place from the Bush era with nothing to replace it with yet may not be the best idea in terms of actual governing so I'll give a little bit of slack here. Remember too that the Obama version isn't exactly the same as the Bush policies - there have been tweaks to make them a bit more palatable.

I think the criticism is fair about the need to really change Bush's policies when it comes to the treatment of detainees and just what are we going to be doing in Afghanistan. What's unfair is the left going on that Obama has failed us and he's just like Bush. Oh puh-lease. Give the man some time - they are working on it. As for Afghanistan, with all the moanings over how Obama is going to stick us with another quagmire I have a challenge to the moaners: Show me where Obama or his administration has ever said that they plan on staying in Afghanistan forever like the Rush Republicans want to do in Iraq. Now, if these Bush-like policies are still essentially in effect a year or more from now, I'll be joining the folks on the left that are decrying the fact that Obama hasn't done everything they wanted right now. But not quite yet.

There's a couple of things to remember as well when it comes to President Obama. First of all, after 8 years of having to deal with who lied and what outrage was going on today when the Republicans were in charge, I find myself and others still stuck in that mindset. Tell me that you haven't cringed at first when you hear that the President is giving a speech, a press conference or whatever then having to stop and remind yourself just who is the President now. That's also a function of how little time Obama has been in office - it's taking us some time to adjust as well.

There's something else to remember as well as the new administration goes forward - it's being headed by a man who actually tells us the truth. He said he wanted to hear all sides of an issue and and be less driven by ideology and more run by what is going to work and he means it. The man has actually changed direction when it's been pointed out to him that a policy idea of his is a bad one - twice so far. He's met with people on the right and the left who disagree with him - he may not agree with their analysis or positions but he did give them the chance to have their say right up in his grille as it were.

Will President Obama be a great President? Hard to say right now, but I will say this: so far, mostly so good and only time will tell. Don't let up on him but give him the time he needs to get it done.

About time!

OK, so I'm retired now and wondering what to do with myself soooo....I figure I'll keep my hand in writing-wise and blog away! I'll be putting my two cents in and sharing some good posts from my various email groups as well. Wish me well and I hope you'll be with me. COMMENT COMMENT COMMENT!!