Archive for August, 2022

No, not at all

Author: admin

Some critics of this space have, from time to time, accused me of hating Republicans. Seems they think I’m too critical of the breed.

Actually, I don’t hate Republicans en masse. I hate specific Republicans who do stupid, hateful and dumb things. I hate Republicans who try to subjugate others by race or economic status. I hate Republicans who try to twist and bend laws meant to protect the citizenry from – in some cases – Republicans who twist or bend laws. I hate armed, so-called Republicans who threaten people using intimidation and guns.

Other than that, I even have Republican friends. Yes, I do.

Names like Everett Dirksen, Barry Goldwater, Nelson Rockefeller and other honorable GOP’ers who spent lifetimes in service to the nation and their party deserve respect. And I do. Earl Warren, Margaret Chase Smith, Bob Dole and Howard Baker come to mind.

There are – and have been – hundreds and hundreds of Republicans who’ve labored long and hard in our nation’s political vineyards. The Republican Party has – most of the time – been a worthy opponent in the country’s domestic political dramas.

But…….

The current breed, doing everything in its power to disenfranchise voters in a dozens states, does not deserve to stand on the firm foundation those previously mentioned built and sustained. They’re a weakened bunch, trying to cling to the power they were handed.

The problem they face is not the cruel lie of voter fraud they claim. It’s that more people than ever before marched to the polls in 2020 and voted. Legally. More voters exercised the franchise and many in the belligerent GOP chorus found themselves on the losing end of the stick. That’s what drives them to create as many roadblocks as possible to slam the door on any chance of that happening again.

At the moment, legislatures in GOP-controlled states have some 250 bills in the hopper to curtail millions of legitimate voters from casting ballots. It’s pretty obvious the dirty hands of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) are at work here, given the similarity of the paperwork.

Some critical parts of the Republican Party are slowly becoming inured to replacing facts with ignorance – to live in a phony existence where black is white, green is really blue, up is down.

Example: A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll found 55% of Republicans falsely believe the Biden victory was the result of illegal voting or rigging. Just over 60% of those queried agreed the election was stolen from their idol.

A recent CNN poll of voters showed Democrats (79%) and Independents (64%) believe the January 6th attack on Congress weakened American democracy while only 36% of Republicans shared that same view.

The blatant ignorance of many in the GOP is showing up in bad legislation that won’t withstand the light of day or the certain-to-come court challenges.

Example: Idaho has a recently-enacted law providing $4-million for the legislature to fight future court battles sure to come from some of the “bad laws” being served to Idahoans under the guise of “good laws.” Just last week, the state hired more Boise attorneys to defend a draconian abortion law. That 4-mil won’t last long.

Been happening for years. With its steady losses to court challenges, the Idaho Legislature has become the largest depositor in the “Boise Attorney’s Retirement System.” This year looks to be especially spendy.

This willful ignorance of truths and facts on the part of one political party can truly damage our entire system of governance if not the actual Republic itself. States controlled by such people, believing lies over truth, fraud over fact and traipsing behind their false “prophet” can produce dangerous laws, subvert truths with lies and lead us all into truly disastrous situations.

Our country, with its military and strategic leadership, has been looked at by other countries for many decades as the guarantor of peace. Many of our laws have been adopted by others because of our strength and wisdom. Many of our leadership practices have provided a sense of unity in our worldwide relationships.

A few crackpots in our governance can damage all that. A national political party, riven with lies, faithless practices and a determined ignorance of reality can substantially weaken not only this country but others as well.

We can’t afford a faithless Republican Party, run by fools blindly following a fool.

Nope. I don’t hate all Republicans. Never have. But, honestly, most of the ones I respect are either dead or retired. Most of the ones on active GOP duty, well………………

Angry statistics

Author: admin

Taken as a whole, Americans are in a sour, somewhat angry mood as we get closer to what is probably the most important off-year election in our brief national history.

Pollsters, questioning dozens of different test groups in dozens of different places and using literally hundreds of people of all ethnicity and economic backgrounds, are coming up with nearly the same conclusions.

We are a worried, troubled nation with many expressing doubts in the abilities of government(s), afraid of future financial conditions and casting about for solutions to seemingly intractable problems like climate change and rising costs of nearly everything. Especially gas at the pump.

Using one such sampling – taken a month ago by CNN and its polling arm – we can see the same profile developed, matching so many other groups.

In sum, the CNN poll, conducted by SSRS, found the public’s outlook on the state of the country to be the worst it’s been since 2009 and the worst view of our economy since 2011.

The sampling group put Biden’s approval rating at just 38-percent with 62-percent disapproving. Even lower, just 25-percent supporting his handling of the economy.

Some 75-percent said inflation and the cost of living were their most pressing problems. A year ago, that figure was at 43-percent.

Even the support of Democrats for Biden was down 13-points just in the last few months. Also dwindling, support of Black and Hispanic voters.

Maybe the most troubling finding is that seven out of 10 say Joe Biden isn’t paying attention to the country’s pressing problems. Seven out of 10!

Those are terrible numbers. Especially with so much riding on those off-year elections.

The problem I find with those polling outcomes is that so many people think the President can just issue an order or decree and such things as high gas prices can be overcome. Or, that Biden can do something about high interest rates. Just order it and it’s done! Which is, of course, wrong-headed.

If the President had any control over gas prices, for example, they’d be at $1.50 a gallon. Why wouldn’t any political professional act to drop the per-gallon costs if he or she had the ability to do so? And inflation. If a wave of the presidential hand could change the level of pain, why wouldn’t we be seeing that wave from the Oval Office?

But, take heart. There’s this. With so much anger being directed at both major political parties, there may be a third choice at the polls. Maybe the most hoped-for – and potentially viable – third party to come on the scene.

Former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman (Republican),
one-time Congressman David Jolly (former GOPer) and businessman Andrew Yang have filed the necessary paperwork to form that third choice, calling the movement “Forward.” Just one word.

In their announcement of “Forward,” you could read – between the lines – these political pros have been listening to pollsters and small group movements of dissidents looking for change.

“Political extremism is ripping our nation apart, and the two major parties have failed to remedy the crisis,” the three wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. “Today’s outdated parties have failed by catering to the fringes. As a result, most Americans feel they aren’t represented.”

Citing the outcomes of several polls, they said some 63-percent want a third party choice.

The goals of “Forward,” as cited by the organizers, are seeking a change to ranked voting in national races, finding answers to gun issues, abortion, open primaries, the end of gerrymandering and nationwide protection for voting rights.

Jolley said Americans – in large numbers – agree on such issues.

“Forward” hopes to be on the ballot in 15 states this Fall and all 50 by the 2024 elections. If so, it would be the first time a third party has been that successful.

Serious, experienced Independent candidates are on the ballots this year in several states. Betsy Johnson is one. She’s on the 2022 ballot in Oregon, running for Governor. Most political observers are giving her third-party candidacy serious thought.

Given the rampant anger over political stalemate in Congress, blame being cast on both Republicans and Democrats for achieving nothing to ease the burdens at home, voters wanting progress on issues of abortion, access to guns, lowering gas prices and curbing inflation, maybe “Forward” has a chance of being successful.

If you’re one fitting the pollster’s profile of an angry, dissatisfied voter, you ought to check ‘em out. Might help with the heartburn.