The State of the Union – The Rebuttal’s and the Lack of Hope in Change, Except from Within the Beltway
The President delivered his fifth State of the Union address last evening, while watching it recalled previous speeches, with the more use of the word “investment” – in education, construction jobs, et al. There was the usual, “I’ll do it my way” Sinatraesqe bluster regarding Presidential pens and a Congress that wont’ get out of His way, a rise in the minimum raise – and of course, the please put back the Unemployment extensions. The full video of the speech can be found, along with the variety of rebuttals at the Washington Post Video Library here
What rang true was the pomp and circumstance that is Washington, with a few voices crying out in the “wilderness” – among them Mike Lee of Utah, who delivered the Tea Party (who is now organizing in certain states as a political party) (See SC Tea Party Convention), and Paul Rand, who makes as much sense as Mike Lee, meaning, literally, they both make sense. The Republican official Rebuttal was delivered by sweetness and light, Cathy McMorris Rogers, (R-WA), who talked more about American Exceptionalism, stepped lightly and referred to policy differences – it was cookies and milk after a repeat of the Walton’s gone astray in the White House.
What this means to the American People, is the same old, same old, with a twist – There used to be a State of the Union and the Rebuttal by the Party not in the White House, and however, now we have options. Granted those options need to grow, but at least that’s one thing we can take away from this annual “rah-rah” speech – there are options, and not a moment too soon.
For those of us, not, as was suggested by some, trying to save, but to stay even and not drown, those holding onto jobs for dear life, regardless of the circumstances – and the ever present, yet not ballyhooed inflation that is eating away at income which is now available for essentials only. Most American’s are trying to keep what’s left of their heads above water –and yet the platitudes and the promise remain the same, year in and year out.
Being older than dirt, one can recall a time when, after a rather depressing 4 years of one President, a cowboy from the west, rode into town and put things to right – the horror of trickledown economics was discussed in every institution of higher learning as a disaster, yet, the general public, was enjoying an increase in income, not necessarily in real terms, but where it counts, at the gas pumps, at the grocery stores, with the ability to have extra to put away, as well as take-in a movie, or go to a ball game.
Yes, things change over time, and when one adjust for inflation that $1.00 an hour, is worth the same as it was 50 years ago, so not so much really. It is the policy and the policy makers, and the leadership or lack thereof, strict adherence to political ideology without the ability to compromise that is killing those middle class and those struggling to obtain middle class – by giving those more – of the same and not allowing growth in this nation.
It isn’t as if those in Washington are clueless, they know how to budget and how to cut into the budget and eliminate waste, but they don’t, they also know putting more money into the pockets of working American’s will increase businesses, and the economy all around. They know what has worked in the past, and yet, they refuse to budge.
Which is why Rand Paul and Mike Lee make so much sense, they, in leadership roles, although not mainstream, and more libertarian –Tea Party, they instill a confidence that things can improve, by using historical and proven options.
It makes perfect sense, and so, as a result of making perfect sense most of those in Washington from the top down, will ignore it, and continue to make platitude speeches. PT Barnum would have been proud.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Flipping through the dials, I happened upon a C-Span program – the S.C. Tea Party Convention - video here at C-Span, and decided to watch – what I learned was rather astounding. The main gist was as follows – The Tea Party, not unlike the New York party that held influence and reinvented the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln See Graphics hereat Learnnc.org., was promised by the current Republican party that they would indeed welcome them, and made promise of a Constitutional nature, that were soon dismissed (as soon as they were back in the beltway).
Apparently, what they did not understand, and perhaps still do not understand is the power behind the Party that began by being disgusted with the Republicans under George Bush (TARP specifically) and those same policies under the Democrats. The Tea Party, therefore is neither Republican nor Democrat, but a separate, states’ rights, constitutional political party. In South Caroline, they are literally organizing by precinct. Good.
The first order on the agenda appears to be to get individuals on the ballot not as Republican’s, but independents, who will challenge incumbents. It is apparent the Tea Party leaders have been watching the political landscape and do understand that those two brands, despite the money and the perceived power, are on shaky ground with the general electorate. As more voters identify themselves with neither party, the more the Tea Party stands to gain. Lindsey Graham will face a challenger, and one can bet the house, 2014 will see a Tea Party individual in the race.
They appear more savvy than one might imaging, and as historically, it is part time to form new political parties with some clout, the timing is perfect.
Some articles worth reading:
The Greeley Gazette Gen. Vallely unveils liberal’s worst nightmare: united tea party
The Charlotte Observer On the Tea Party holding the Convention.
There is not much solid reporting on the subject, but suffice it to say, one might find they have more sympathizers than most often believed.
Monday, January 27, 2014
2014 should see a shift in power in both the House and the Senate, given 2013 local races and the anti-incumbency that drove incumbents out of office. Politico lists the 12 most vulnerable Democrat Seats here, and they are not far off the mark, figure 8 of the 12 are in any serious jeopardy. On both sides, the Progressive and Tea Party Factions will be pushing candidates that will in based on the aforementioned angst of the voter against anything Washington – throwing the baby out with the bathwater in some cases.
Although 2014 options are on the table – one who is suggested to run for the Presidency – but does not seem to be avidly pushing that front – is one Ted Cruz – he’s fighting in the trenches, and appears more concerned about being the point man for the base – against the Democrats – specifically the President and Harry Reid. CBS’s Bob Schieffer attempted to corner him this weekend, and failed – the transcript here is telling, in that Cruz shifts from a Presidential run to his usual for the people – which given the shift in power that is likely, Cruz would be a perfect replacement for Harry Reid. – One would have to have the support of one’s peers, however, once the primary dust settles, that may not be a problem on the GOP side.
As to 2016, Rand Paul (R-KY) is the most probable candidate to run at this point, and has been telling it like it is –most notably pointing out some disturbing facts about the alleged War on Women – going so far, The Daily News reports, as to suggest Bill Clinton’s relationship with a young intern was – predatory. He’s a favorite among those who are, again, looking for a different flavor other than – Republican and/or Democrat – he’s not seen as a strict Republican.
The chess board is open, there are few pawns and knights on the board as of yet, but there is plenty of time to speculate and look to the disillusioned low information voter to lead the charge.