...What I'm Saying

The Elephant in the Room (Part 2: Prescriptions for an Ailing Elephant)

(This article is part 2/2 of The Elephant in the Room which was posted yesterday. Please read that before continuing onto this article.)

Time to get it together, and fast. The GOP has lost five of the last six presidential popular votes. Bill Clinton won  in 1992 and 1996, Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000 (though Bush won the electoral college and the presidency); the only popular election win was George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign, and Barack Obama handily won in 2008, and now again in 2012. This is a party whose message is falling on deaf ears, perhaps because most of those ears have passed away, and the GOP is being left with an aging, white, religious and fringe base. Demographics matter, and the Republicans simply do not have the numbers to win nationally, or to an extent at the state level, in presidential elections anymore.

So, what to do? Simple, actually. Lead. Read more…

The Elephant in the Room

( This is part 1 of 2 of this article. To read the second part “Prescriptions for an Ailing Elephant” go here)

There is an elephant in the room. Look in the mirror, Republicans: It’s you. There is no one to blame but yourselves, and it’s time to get your act together. This past election made it clear: President Obama and the Democrats did not defeat you, you have been defeating yourselves for the past twenty years. This past election was a culmination of a ruinous policy, and trajectory, that is of your own making. The primary purpose of a political party, or any organization, is to achieve their policy, and in order to do so you must win. The goals of the Tea Party and the religious super-right are sacrificing electoral success for ideological purity. That is the surest formula for self-defeat and the GOP has mastered that formula. Dogma does not win elections, and as long as you choose to be a political party rather than an ideological movement, your goal is to win elections. Having a candidate who shares most but not all of your ideals is better than not having a candidate win at all. Somehow, somewhere, the party has forgotten this fundamental principle.


Lets highlight the losses that Republicans have inflicted upon themselves, both in the 2010 mid-term election, and in this year’s election. Read more…

Validation and Vindication: Hope and Change

President Obama’s re-election was more important and meaningful than his first. Let me explain.

When the president won his election against John McCain in 2008, it was heralded as a historic moment in America. The election of the first African American was seen as groundbreaking. Even if Hillary Clinton had been nominated instead, she still would have won and it would have been just as historic. But she did not: Barack Obama got nominated, he beat John McCain, and he became president.  But any Democrat would have; I am not taking anything away from the president, but after eight years of George Bush the country was looking for a change— a drastic change— and it elected a relatively young and inexperienced Senator as President of the United States. Read more…

Four More Years, of the Status Quo?

First and foremost, congratulations to President Barack Obama on winning re-election yesterday and on a well run, and tremendously successful, campaign.

Despite all the punditry and right-wing news and media projections it was not as close as anyone had expected. The Obama campaign was well organized  thanks to the incredible work of David Plouffe, David Axelrod, and Jim Messina, who I believe will go down as the best campaign organization in the modern era. Their ability to turn out the vote using all methods of traditional media and modern technology, along with a strong grassroots political machine, ensured a decisive and quick win for the president. Read more…

Country First, Candidates Second

Today  is election day. Both parties and presidential candidates have been campaigning for months and it will finally culminate today. Regardless of who wins this years election, it is set to be the most divisive in American history. If Barack Obama wins, he will do so with the lowest percentage of white voters in history and if Mitt Romney wins he will do it with the least amount of non-whites ever recorded. This just illustrates one of the numerous ways this election is being decided through a divided prism of opposing voters such as: whites and non-whites, married women and single women, pro-life and pro-choice, tax cutters and revenue raisers, those worried about the debt and deficit and those not, small-government and big-government believers, pro-Obamacare and anti-Obamacare, pro-gay marriage and anti-gay marriage, pro-gun control and anti-gun control, and the list goes on dividing us up…

However, despite all the negativity and constant rhetoric, we are fortunate to have two well-qualified and dignified men running for the highest office in the county. Though they may not be many peoples first choice, and there are many more qualified people, our political process has nominated and chosen these two men and that choice is a blessing in and of itself. Today, the United States continues its growth and living history by adding a new chapter and a new leader. What we should hope for is true leadership not just from the winner, but from the loser as well. Read more…

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Finally, a Two Person Debate

If you need a debate recap to tell you that President Obama beat Mitt Romney this past Tuesday you need to take a couple lessons in debating. Obama made strong points, looked in control and comfortable, whereas Governor Romney was aggressive, tried too many gotcha moments, and instead of enjoying his past performance and building on it reached too far. Read more…

Bar Tab Tax Policy

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for a beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.00
The sixth would pay $3.00
The seventh would pay $7.00
The eighth would pay $12.00
The ninth would pay $18.00

The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.00

So that’s what they decided to do. The men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with arraignment, until one day, the owner threw them
a curve. Read more…

Debating Solo

Last night’s debate between President Obama and Governor Romney exceeded the expectations of many pundits and political analysts. It was civil, substantive, and provided a sharp contrast between the two candidates who outlined their vision and future for the nation. President Obama made a case for government, while Governor Romney argued on behalf of the private sector. Both men defended their differing visions, and have finally given us a race with substance and not just talking points. But what truly stuck out was that Mitt Romney, perhaps the real Mitt Romney, showed up… And won, handily. It is hard for any objective viewer to make any other logical or factual conclusion. Read more…

The Abdication of Endeavor

I can not help not comment on the attention placed on the Space Shuttle Endevour’s so called “Victory Lap” last Friday around the state, and especially in Southern California. News commentators said it was a proud moment for our country and would inspire the next generation of young Americans to excel and “reach for the stars,” per se. This is nonsense. It was not a “Victory Lap,” it was a funeral procession.

Let me clarify, the Space Shuttle program still had a few years left as a viable method for the US to go into space, conduct research, go to the international space station, and do whatever it is we do in space. Instead, we shut it down, retired it. Half a century ago people were inspired by the Apollo missions and our adventures to the Moon, after that the Shuttle inspired people for decades (since 1981). Now what do we have? Nothing. What goal is the US striving to achieve? Nothing. What will inspire the next generation of young Americans to literally “reach for the heavens?” Nothing. Read more…