Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hey Democrats: Don't be Cleveland Browns

My liberal friends seem to have a faith of infallibility in the policies of the current Democratic administration. It is a far easier thing to blame the KKK and the racists for this loss that looking at what the democratic party did wrong. Trump won with less votes that what McCain and Romney received and it only means that a lot of the Obama coalition stayed home or switched to Trump (some McCain/Romney republicans seem to have stayed home too). 
I don't believe that there is a racist majority in America; nor is there a large racist plurality. Whether it is the folks who are left behind by the new economy or those with unaffordable healthcare, a lot of people weren't helped by the government policies in the past couple of decades and chose to blame the party who has been in power for the past decade. The Clinton campaign just couldn't offer anything for them. They mostly focused on why one shouldn't vote for the Donald. Trump focused on why they should vote for him with promises to change things: empty as those promises may end up being, he was the only one peddling hope and change. 

If you can't open your eyes to how these people are affected by government policies (some can be squarely blamed on you, some maybe not), you will not learn how to earn their votes back. You can keep blaming the Comey or a 3rd Party. Or yo u can recognize that this was an outright rejection of the establishment: both of the Democrats and Republicans; at least the Republicans have less to worry about with the control of White House for four years and both houses of the Congress for at least two. If you're looking at these voters with the racist narrative, the only option you have is to fight them; recognizing that these are non-deplorable good folks some of who voted for Obama in the past but are now lost is the first step of figuring out how to bring them back. Also look at the democrats who stayed home and figure out how you failed to inspire them. Now, was the Klan all for Trump, sure, but they are not as influential as the millions of good men and women who supported the Trump movement. 

What didn't help Hillary is that she was running one of the most opaque campaigns in recent memory - save for Trump campaign, which didn't matter for him - refusal to do press conferences, no traveling press escort or anything that deviated from the scripted message that the campaign wanted to present. The media didn't make a big deal about it, but it denied the voters to get a close look at her. In this age that demands 24/7 accessibility, transparency and authenticity, she fell flat; she wasn't trusted because many folks didn't know much about different aspects of her. Trump may have refused to divulge a lot of things - tax returns or health records - but being a loose cannon to the point of alienating a lot of people, he maintained the aura of authenticity. 

Now, the Trump administration will take charge in earnest in a couple of months - notwithstanding the crazy-pot theories spread by left on how he can be stopped, much like the ones the right used to trade in during the Obama years - and no one can really predict how it is going to go down. Trump doesn't have a proclivity to follow any defined ideology or pattern. For one thing, he is definitely not going to spread theocracy as some in the right would hope. Even the policies on immigration that he is saying he would do is far less severe than what other countries like Australia currently practice. Even with Republican control of both houses of the Congress, there are enough checks and balances left to control what he could do - Democrats still have the tool of filibuster after all. 

This is probably a blessing in disguise for the democratic party. After all, the best growth in its popularity came during the eight years of George W Bush presidency that culminated in it claiming a full filibuster proof control of Congress and previously unthinkable election of the first black president. As they used "Blame Dubya First" as a strategy to widespread success, "Blame Trump First" would probably prove to be equally successful. As in sports leagues, rebuilding years usually lead you to great success eventually. Unless you are Philadelphia 76ers or Cleveland Browns.

Thinking of Trump Election

The wildest presidential election in recent history is over and a charismatic businessman has taken on two national parties and has reached one of the most powerful positions in the world. Some thoughts:
The Donald has proven that the best way for an outsider to become a president is not to do a third party/independent bid but rather to hijack one of the major parties on the way to power. In this process, he took on two of the biggest and most powerful political dynasties in the last generation in Bush family and Clintons and prevailed. Anyone who claims to have foreseen this is lying. They will write songs about this election (maybe movies, since that's the new norm).
Listening to his victory speech, I take him on his word that he wants to be the president for all Americans. I hope he would listen to those who haven't supported him - from both parties - in trying to unify our great country. You want to do the job so well we will be proud of you as the president: go ahead.
If he is actually planning to build the wall that he said he would build, I hope that he remembers his promise to build a "big beautiful door" in it.
I hope that he runs the country like a CEO, assembling a team of the "best people" to do every job as promised.
I hope that he puts an end to the war mongering interventionist neocon foreign policy that the current administration has been peddling and stops trying to provoke Russia into a Nuclear War. Keep your promise of improving relations with Russia by talking to Putin and getting along with him. Talk to North Korea as you said you will. We don't have to go around the world toppling governments and creating fertile recruiting grounds for terrorist groups.
I hope that he will fix healthcare costs. One thing nobody is talking about is that since Nov 1st, Open Enrollment started and millions of Americans looked at it and decided that it is not affordable. I wonder how many of those folks were previous supporters of Affordable Care Act and chose to vote for Trump solely because they suddenly didn't believe in it anymore.
About free trade, I hope that he doesn't start a bout of protectionist policies that let the government pick winners and losers. Review and rework "free trade deals" to make them truly free trade. But Tariffs only make consumers suffer and is essentially an income redistribution from the general population to the specific companies whose lobbyists manage to get these tariffs enacted.
Please do enact your vision of reforming the entire regulatory code to get rid of every wasteful and unnecessary regulation. An outsider like you who isn't beholden to any special interests is the best person to do it.
I also hope you abolish designated hitter.
As for the Democratic party, look at where it went wrong. You need to build a bench that is longer than dynastic retreads from previous administrations or old socialists who has little traction outside the circle of his small but ardent supporters. Having won the culture wars of the past couple of decades, it appears like you have nothing left fighting for; at least nothing that inspires its "Obama Coalition" to come out and vote. I already see a call from Michael Moore to obstruct and block everything that Trump wants to do; this is exactly the wrong thing to do: take each policy at its merits.
On the other side, the GOP shouldn't think that everything is rosy on your side: this ain't your victory. Donald J Trump isn't one of you even though he won under your label. You need to develop a coherent idea about what you stand for.
Anyway, now it is Trump time. Congratulations on becoming the President elect. There are grave structural issues that our country faces that require strong actions. Maybe a politician will never have the gall to make some of these tough decisions; a businessman maybe just what the doctor ordered. America is already great. Feel free to make it even greater. Please lay off your fascist, autocratic impulses. Let freedom ring.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Living in the New, Splintered America

For those of you who were old enough to worry about the “mighty” Soviet Union in the 70s and 80s, you all lost sleep about nothing. News broke about the story of an ex-KGB analyst turned professor Igor Panarin predicting that the United States will fall apart in 2010. If this is the best that a KGB analyst and current US-Russia relations expert can come up with, they never stood a chance against the US or against anybody, for that matter. And of course, this theory currently has a huge following in Russia, so we can kiss goodbye any fear of Putin being able to turn Russia back to the old Soviet glory.

I don’t want to undermine the wishful thinking of an old dog, but there are gaping holes in his understanding of America. The very map of how he says the United States are going to be split up illustrates that he fails to show even a layman's knowledge of our great nation. Let’s examine his theory and see how likely these are and what could be the consequences.

Read on...


Monday, January 5, 2009

Three State Solution to Middle East - Bolton

John R Bolton writes in the Washington Post about a three state solution for middle east that is more sensible than any of the solutions that have been offered so far.

He writes,
Let's start by recognizing that trying to create a Palestinian Authority from the old PLO has failed and that any two-state solution based on the PA is stillborn. Hamas has killed the idea, and even the Holy Land is good for only one resurrection. Instead, we should look to a "three-state" approach, where Gaza is returned to Egyptian control and the West Bank in some configuration reverts to Jordanian sovereignty. Among many anomalies, today's conflict lies within the boundaries of three states nominally at peace. Having the two Arab states re-extend their prior political authority is an authentic way to extend the zone of peace and, more important, build on governments that are providing peace and stability in their own countries. "International observers" or the like cannot come close to what is necessary; we need real states with real security forces.

This is exactly what could be termed as a genius solution. Both Egypt and Jordan being Arab nations, the control from them would not cause any ethnic or religious side effects that could face if Israel is involved. The fact that Gaza belonged to the Egyptian territory before being taken away by Israel adds strength to the theory. Also, Egypt being a fairly strong and stable nation, can easily establish the necessary peace and democracy that the Gaza strip sorely lack currently. And once Egyptian border forces are in place, it is fair to expect that the rocket attacks from the strip would stop relieving Israel's complaints. Even though they are rivals, Egypt and Israel have kept away from tearing each other apart for decades now. Once they leave each other alone and once the Egyptian forces control the strip and makes sure that it conforms, there should not be any future issue.

On the other side on the West Bank, it is much calmer already compared to Gaza. However, being part of Jordan, a very reasonable Arab nation would do miracles in the tensions that invariably occur when Israel and Palestinians are involved. Already, Jordan is one of the nations that cause the least trouble to Israel.

The biggest winner of the situation would be humanity. The conditions in the Gaza strip has been pretty bad of late at least partly due to the Israeli embargo. Once it becomes part of Egypt, economic growth in the strip would lead to much more prosperity and success of humanity. The same holds true on the West Bank.

Friday, December 26, 2008

PRUDEN: Only 26 days left for Bush-bashing

Wesley Pruden writes in Washington Times about the looming crisis that the liberals are about to face.
With only 26 days left to harangue, mock and bash President Bush, some of our colleagues in the media aren't wasting a day. Bashing ex-presidents, except for the ex-presidents with shrill prominent wives, isn't nearly as much fun as bashing while he's still the real thing.

There's method in the gladness at the New York Times, which relieved itself at the beginning of Christmas week with an umpity-thousand word accusation - beginning on Page One and continuing across several acres of newsprint inside - that George W. Bush invented the meltdown of the subprime housing market, which in turn has led to the collapse of Detroit and all kinds of bad things for Atchison, Topeka and maybe even Santa Fe.
There is only for so much more time can they blame Bush for everything is that has gone wrong in the country. After that they will have to own up responsibility for what is happening. They have escaped from that by blaming Bush for everything for almost a decade. Reality will hit them, and hit them hard.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Rick Warren Was A Good Pick

Yesterday I spoke why I thought that it was a good idea. Now Aymar Jean Christian writes in Splice Today in the same lines.

I'm not going to defend Rick Warren; well, not too much. I am going to defend Barack Obama, at the risk of looking like a hack to my friends and colleagues.

There are many reasons why the controversy over Obama's selection of Warren to perform the inaugural invocation is stupid. I plan to list every single one of them.

First, the invocation is ceremonial. It's publicity, theater, a show; to the cynical, it's marketing. It isn't policy. It won't change anyone's life. So, as a sometimes-angry gay, I'm going to take a deep breath and calm down....

Second, as publicity, it's not half bad. Since 2004 Obama has talked about ending the blue state/red state divide. Are people really surprised by this? The hoopla over Warren shows that message needs to be restated, because the divide persists. People in the media must have no idea how popular Warren is....

Third. Okay, so Rick Warren opposes gay marriage—who cares? Most people do. Rick Warren is pro-life and in many other ways a social conservative. So what? A lot of people are...

Obama is doing his job. He's saying to the country: I want to be the president of all of you, not just the ones who agree with me. This is the mistake Hillary Clinton—and a lot of Boomers—made when she ran healthcare reform in 1992. It was "us" versus "them."....

Fourth, any attempt to imply an Obama policy shift from the Warren selection is pure hypocrisy from the left, who argued against Rev. Wright as a relevant campaign topic...

The best part I liked was that, this proves that Obama is not Bush. A left wing Bush, I mean. After eight years of extreme polarization in the political discourse, and eight years of triangulation before that, I'd rather see some engagement between the poles.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A liberal Case for Rick Warren - Cynthia Tucker

Cynthia Tucker writes in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

[A]s a member of the Christian left, I would still bow my head for a prayer led by the Rev. Warren (assuming he doesn’t disparage any group in the process). There are some important issues on which we agree, after all: Christ’s ministry emphasized an obligation to help the needy; Christians ought to be good stewards of the planet; and, most important, God’s love is for all.

Gay-rights activists are outraged that Warren has been invited to give the invocation at Obama’s inauguration, a platform which, they believe, legitimizes Warren’s discriminatory views. Some even seem to think that Obama agrees with Warren’s offensive rhetoric about same-sex marriage.

That’s ironic. Gay-marriage advocates have adopted the same overwrought logic that many conservatives applied to Obama’s relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, retired pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. How could Obama listen to Wright’s offensive rants all those years unless he agreed with them, they asked.

Among Obama’s several admirable qualities is his ability to sit and converse — debating, but also listening — with those with whom he strongly disagrees. That’s why he stands a better-than-even chance of tamping down the harsh partisanship that has dominated domestic politics for the past 15 years. He won’t silence partisans determined to see only differences, but he can forge coalitions of interest with those looking to cooperate where they can.

I could not have agreed more. I have always believed in him when Obama said he will bring people together from the right and the left. Where did the liberals think that much promised meeting shall take place? In the left field? I am glad that as much as a liberal he is, Obama is refraining from the Rush Limbaugh politics of demonizing the opposing views.

The true unity of the nation could only come from first learning to respect each other and work to find common grounds. Liberals were complaining about the right being mean all the time. Now it is the turn of the left. I'm glad that Obama is turning out to be much better every day.