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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Meanwhile, in Obamaworld...

Obama's campaign emailed this message to his supporters last night:

"The extremist Tea Party agenda won a clear victory. No matter who the Republicans nominate, we'll be running against someone who has embraced that agenda in order to win -- vowing to let Wall Street write its own rules, end Medicare as we know it, roll back gay rights, leave the troops in Iraq indefinetly, restrict a woman's right to choose, and gut Social Security to pay for more tax cuts for millionaires and corporations."

Let's dissect this quote for a minute, shall we? Firstly, he referred to "the extremest Tea Party". 34% of Americans support the Tea Party, and another 30% have no opinion of it or are undecided. Calling the Tea Party extreme is to call over a third of the American people, at minimum, extreme. 1/3 of the electorate is not the "radical fringe", even if you don't plan to target your message to those voters. The Democrats continued insistence that anyone who doesn't agree with them must be nutty or have something wrong with them, instead of just having a reasonable ideological difference, is apalling. The ideology that drives the Tea Party is a return to constitutional government. If believing in limited government has become an extreme position, American is in deep shit. Same goes for Republicans who call Ron Paul "dangerous" for opposing Newt's proposal to fire Supreme Court Justices he doesn't like, or for saying we need congressional approval before declaring war. If following the constitution has become "dangerous", I shudder to think how much danger we're already in.

But back to Obama. Now lets address what he claims the Tea Party is vowing to do:

"let Wall Street write it's own rules" - no Barack, that's what you want to do. Not technically, of course; a bureaucrat who's in bed with those corporations will actually write them. But he will write them under the influence of those who have the money, power, lobbying might and connections to sway government proceedings. Namely, mega-rich corporations. Or, in your analogy, Wall Street. No matter how many regulations Obama tries to impose, the writing, formulating, and enforcing of those regulations will be heavily influenced by those who have a stake in the game. Consequently, they will always result in protecting both sides from competition: corporations from business competition, and incumbents from political competition. Only when the government stops trying to regulate what risks people can take or decisions people can make with their own money will these interests cease to have a stake in politics, and only then will those ties be severed.

"end Medicare as we know it" - technically this isn't true, but I really wish it was. Most Tea Party members are still too enamored with entitlements to end them outright, and are still hesitant to make any drastic changes to "Medicare as they know it". Which is unfortunate, because Medicare as we know it is going to bankrupt the country. Medicare as we know it is unconstitutional, which means Medicare as we know it restricts peoples' rights to liberty and property.

"roll back gay rights" - not true at all. This is not a tenet of Tea Party ideology, and the Tea Party does not have a cohesive position on social issues. At worst, they simply disagree about what those rights entail. But groups don't have rights anyway, individuals do. And for sure, almost all Tea Party members support the rights to life, liberty, and property of gay individuals, just as they support them for everybody else. Those are the only rights anybody is guaranteed.

"leave the troops in Iraq indefinetly" - um, Barack? They're already out of Iraq. How can we leave them there when they're not there? In fact, if Ron Paul wins the nomination, he wants to pull the troops out of the rest of the world too, including Afghanistan. If he were to win, you can bet he'd attack you for wanting to "leave the troops in Afghanistan idefinetly", and you'd have jack-shit to say because that's exactly what you've done and plan to continue doing. Who's the hawkish, senseless warmonger now?

"gut social security to pay for more tax cuts to millionaire's and billionaire's" - If by "gut" social security you mean "privatize" social security, then yes. Privatizing it doesn't end it or even much change it, it just clarifies what it actually is. People are contributing savings to their own nest egg, not to the government, and they are awarded benefits upon retirement from their own life savings, not from the government. The idea that everything good must come from the hands of the government is the oldest trick in the book of tyrants to foster dependency on the leaders, which increases the people's allegiance to those leaders and enhances the leader's power. But I digress. The more important silliness here is that Republicans are doing this to "pay for more tax cuts". It is infuriating to me when people use this term. Tax cuts are not an expenditure. You do not need to pay for them, you just need to stop paying for other things. Lowering revenue is not an expense, it just means you have to decrease your actual expenses. The only way this can be construed as an expense which must be paid for is if one views the present level of government revenue as something which the government is entitled to, and all federal spending programs as immovable. Now, for sure, when we lower taxes, we should lower them across the board so as to be consistent with the principle of equality under the law. Republicans are often guilty of breaching this principle when they advocate targeted tax cuts to families or small businesses. But taxes themselves are only justified when that money is being spent on the defense of our constitutional rights. Sometimes that requires more money, other times less. When it requires less, the government should spend less money, and since it needs less money, it should lower taxes. The trouble is, politicians realize that money is power and money can help them get reelected, so they'd much rather invent new ways for the government to spend it. Then they blame any who want to return that money to it's rightful owners - the people - for imposing expenses on the government!

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