Oct 30 2010
Soon to be Ex-Speaker Pelosi and soon to be Ex Majority Leader (and Senator) Reid and our young, inexperienced President have achieved something fairly impressive this election – they united the nation in common cause.
I say this because I disagree with what two very experienced Democrat pollsters have written in the WaPo this morning regarding the mood of the country coming into the final days of this historic election cycle:
President Obama’s post-partisan America has disappeared, replaced by the politics of polarization, resentment and division.
In a Univision interview on Monday, the president, who campaigned in 2008 by referring not to a “Red America” or a “Blue America” but a United States of America, urged Hispanic listeners to vote in this spirit: “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.”
Recently, Obama suggested that if Republicans gain control of the House and/or Senate as forecast, he expects not reconciliation and unity but “hand-to-hand combat” on Capitol Hill.
What a change two years can bring.
The fact is this is simply a sign of where the unity and common cause is focused, and what it is aimed at eliminating. Once again a party his being thrown out of office for being too aloof, too outside the common ground of the center and too corrupt. The tea Party movement was a spark of gestalt realization that DC has too much power, too many incompetent bureaucrats and too much time on their hands. It created an alliance of agreement and unity that spans the left of center, right of center and some of the far right. There are still ‘true conservatives’ out their wailing it’s their turn to remake America in the social conservative image, but they don’t have the votes or support to take this country where it does not wish to go, any more than their far left liberal ‘enemies’ did. The nation is in a rare moment of post-partisan agreement.
Post partisanship is not hard to retain and hold. It simply means dropping the RINO and DINO crap and letting people express their views without retribution. That is the personal responsibility that must come out of the mess of the last two years. Neither party is respected right now – independents are the new power.
It is finally clear the power of DC, derived from its over interpretation of the Commerce Clause and its trillion dollar budgets, corrupts the minds and intentions of even the best. The path that is before us this November is one that curtails the government in a careful and managed manner. This new goal will take a decade to make happen and will require respectful dialogue and steps too small for the patience of some. There is too slow and too abrupt – and like a ‘true independent’ I am of the opinion there will be an optimum solution that will be different for each and every federal program and agency soon to be on the chopping block.
Some solutions have become obvious. Public Broadcasting can be completely cut from the budget. We have 5000 channels on cable, we don’t need to subsidize any of them. Keep and expand C-SPAN, allow more visibility into statewide government and panels and commissions. Take the money from PBS and expose government to the governed.
The Department of education can be basically gutted. This Nixon-Carter era disaster has done more to lower our education standards than anything else. It’s attempt to push one-size-fits-all solutions has proven the foolishness of this approach once again. It has also helped establish a bloated and unresponsive education system in every state. Dismantle it and provide a clearing house for new methods and successes to be communicated across the country. Let it be our repository of things that worked, lesson plans that succeeded and can be shared.
Allow it to be a pool of emergency funds for impoverished school districts – a very small pool with tight requirements. No more $578 million elementary school buildings as monuments to monumental egos. If LA & CA can waste that much of their tax payer’s money while being billions in debt, they sure as hell don’t need federal handouts – they need a list of priorities and a backbone. The DoEd should be a small national resource that has no authority to dictate anything to anyone (except who gets emergency funds).
The EPA needs an overhaul, while NASA, NOAA, USGS and the DOE need to be integrated and streamlined from a management stand point. There is a lot of overlap and conflict in the areas of national science and technology that can be made much more effective with a better partnership with the private sector, allowing the government to lead in areas too risky for corporate financing alone to tackle. We waste billions in overlapping efforts and agenda driven ‘science’. CO2 will not be pollutant nor will it be taxed or managed. Global warming will not be a niche science with low standards, it will have to prove itself the same as all other engineering and scientific concepts.
November 2nd is going to be a historic moment, and the results will be a mandate that cannot be fumbled by a few who want it all for themselves. The liberal debacle of the last two years has created a new, post partisan coalition. If handled right, it will center itself around solid and acceptable common ground and begin building momentum towards 2012 – and the hard work ahead. It took over 200 years for the government to grow out of control, many times out of the necessity of the time (e.g., the ridiculous national helium reserve from the days of blimps and WW I). It will take time, dialogue, debate and compromise to fix.
The energy of the wave hitting DC Tuesday is enormous because it comes from so many united in the rejection of Obama, Reid and Pelosi. It is not united in the details of going forward. We only have the general parameters to get started: lower taxes, lower spending through minimal government, more personal freedom and responsibility, more respect for diversity, no dictating behavior or preferential treatment of groups (unions, races, or religions). No government health care – ever. Get the lawyers out of our lives as well (tort reform everywhere). Unlock the individual initiative by removing regulations and laws meant to keep established companies in power.
And then there are things we know we must fix which are also political lightening rods: Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid. First step to finally fixing this is to pass a law that freezes the current approach for everyone over 45 years old. Allow those up to 50 or so to participate in any new systems with their own money. Once these basic rules are set we can review options and look at the costs to support those grandfathered in the existing systems and those ready to go a new route. With those 45 and over guaranteed the current system not matter what, no one can use scare tactics to push off reform once again.
This wave is historic and exciting, but it is also a huge responsibility. Everyone who has stood up to reject the liberal madness now must step up and work to fix the problem. We have been united, but it cannot be a moment of petulant frustration, where it is thrown to others to take the risks and do the hard work. This is a monumental time in history, and we may not have a leader in the White House capable of grabbing hold of it and moving us back in the right direction. Enjoy the moment Tuesday, but be prepared for the tough work ahead.