Tag Archives: conservatives

Now the Trumpsters are angry? At Wolf’s insults?

I have stated my piece about comedian Michelle Wolf’s hideous performance at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Her comments were not funny; they were tasteless; they were vulgar. I switched the channel after watching it for about 10 minutes the other evening.

OK, now for the critics of Wolf’s monologue.

Most of them are conservatives and archconservatives who for whatever reason seem all too willing to give Donald John Trump a pass for his own version of humorless tastelessness and vulgarity.

Yes, these folks need to look inward as well as at their guy, the president of the United States. They need to understand that what’s unacceptable for one individual should be equally unacceptable for a critic of that individual.

Wolf’s comments were in reality no worse than many of the things that have poured forth from the president’s mouth.

High Plains Blogger was critical of Trump when he:

  • Made fun of a reporter with a serious physical disability.
  • Referred to certain female celebrities as “fat pigs.”
  • Denigrated the sacrifice of a Gold Star Family because of their Muslim faith.
  • Suggested that Sen. John McCain was a Vietnam War hero “only because he was captured” by the North Vietnamese. “I like those who aren’t captured. OK?” Trump said.
  • Poked fun at the physical appearance of several of his Republican primary opponents in 2016.

On and on it goes. I just want to make the point that I am proud to exempt High Plains Blogger from the List of Hypocrites who are newly offended by the joke spewage of a comedian while looking the other way when such nastiness comes from the president of the United States.

There. I’m out.

What a difference a year makes for CPAC

It’s been said that a “week is a lifetime in politics.”

So is a month, or perhaps an hour.

If any of those time measurements amount to a lifetime, how does a year compute?

I pose the question because of what transpired this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where Donald J. Trump took the place by storm, prompting rousing applause and cheers, declaring that CPAC finally had one of their own as president.

Do you recall what CPAC speakers were saying a year ago to equally rousing cheers and applause? They were calling Trump a phony conservative. You had the likes of U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz talking trash about Trump. The crowd ate it up, swallowed it whole.

Trump then went on to vanquish those two, and a host of other Republicans to take command of the GOP and ultimately to become elected president of the United States.

What gives? How fickle are these CPACers? I believe they’re quite fickle. You see, the president is still the same guy who got the raspberry a year ago.

Trump was supposed to speak to CPAC a year ago. Then he backed out, fearing his immigration policies would provoke disturbances at the conference … or so he said.

CPAC conservatives used to embrace free trade. They used to consider Russia to be a mortal enemy of the United States. They frowned on politicians who led less-than-upstanding personal lives.

Trump — the thrice-married admitted philanderer, free trade foe and supposed pal of Vladimir Putin — gets elected and then stands before CPAC to soak up all the cheers that once went to other Republicans.

What on this ever-lovin’ Earth am I missing?

Small-government conservatives?

08-dallas-shooting.w529.h352

I’ve already commented on a bill authored by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn that would federalize the crime of killing a police officer.

I’m against it. States that have the death penalty — such as Texas (Boy, howdy! Do we ever!) — already make cop-killing a capital punishment offense.

Cornyn’s bill is a reaction to the deaths of the five police officers in Dallas this past week.

A friend of mine reminds me, though, that he opposes Cornyn’s legislation, too, for another reason. It flies in the face of conservatives’ usual mantra that calls for “limited federal government.”

He wonders why GOP lawmakers react with this expansion of federal authority.

I think I know. They do it because it’s politically popular. Quite naturally, Democrats do the same thing when the issue suits their philosophical bent.

In this case, Americans are outraged over the officers’ death. So, in swoops Sen. Cornyn — a true-blue GOP conservative — to propose a bill that deals directly with that outrage. He wants to add another federal law to the books.

But what has happened, though, to the conservative view that less federal authority is better for everyone?

Tilting left, most of the time

conservative-liberal-road-sign

Readers of this blog, specifically those with a conservative political outlook, have at times accused me of being a flamer, a lefty progressive.

One reader keeps referring to “liberal logic” when trying to counter whatever argument I seek to make.

It’s time, therefore, to set the record straight on a few issues.

On abortion, I believe in a woman’s right to control her own body. Do I condone abortion? No. Neither do I believe government should set laws that criminalize someone from making an intensely personal and heart-wrenching decision. I could not counsel any woman to terminate a pregnancy, but I will never condemn her for making that decision.

Wealth redistribution runs counter to my capitalist instincts. Bernie Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate, makes no bone about it. He’s a socialist and he’s damn proud of it. Good for him. He wants to share the wealth. I don’t have much wealth, but my wife and I do have a nest egg that’s building and we intend to keep our hands on it.

War or diplomacy? I’ll take diplomacy every time whenever possible. I am weary of Republican critics of Barack Obama who contend he is too timid about the use of force against our adversaries/enemies. I have had a tiny exposure to war — back in the late 1960s. Some of you might remember that time. What angers me more than anything in this regard is hearing the get-tough talk from chicken hawks in Congress who fought like hell during the old days to avoid going to war while many of the rest of us were answering the call to duty.

I struggle with the term “gay marriage.” I happen to be a traditionalist on this matter. But I do know what the U.S. Constitution says about “equal protection.” It guarantees that anyone is entitled to marry whomever they wish, without regard to their sexuality. If that’s what the Constitution states — and if the Supreme Court affirms it, which it has done — then I accept the document’s intent.

I am not a partisan Democrat. Texas voting law gives people the opportunity to choose which primary in which they can cast votes. In the two-plus decades I’ve lived in the heavily Republican Texas Panhandle, I’ve cast many votes in the Republican primary. Why? Because here, the Republican primary is where the action is. Democrats often don’t field candidates for local offices. I want my voice heard on races involving county government and the Legislature. I’ll acknowledge here, as I’ve done before, that I haven’t yet voted for a Republican for president since I cast my first vote in 1972. I do, though, split my ticket liberally.

Rich people should pay more in taxes than middle-income folks. I have no difficulty insisting that wealthy Americans should pay more per capita than those of us who haven’t acquired as much wealth. I don’t want them to pay all of their wealth, just enough to help fund government. Hey, they can still be rich!

Finally, I believe in good government. I don’t believe necessarily in big government. I believe government can be a force to help people. I don’t believe, as Ronald Reagan said upon taking the presidential oath in 1981, that government “is the problem.” I want our elected leaders in Congress to stop using their anger at certain agencies to threaten to shut down the entire government. That is demagoguery at — or near — its worst.

There could be more examples. I’m sure some of you will challenge these few items. I just felt the need to lay it out there.

Do I lean left? Sure. There you have it.

Court switches roles and angers everyone

Think about this for a moment.

Before this past week, political liberals across the United States were angry with the Supreme Court, calling it a body comprising conservative “judicial activists.”

They cite the Citizens United ruling of 2010 in which the court ruled that unlimited amount of money can pour into political campaigns, thus giving the very rich an even more powerful voice in electing public officials.

We’ve witnessed a 180-degree turn.

Conservatives now are chastising the “liberal” court — even though its ideological balance is the same as it was in the Citizens United ruling. Conservatives say the court is “too activist” because it upheld the Affordable Care Act and then ruled that the Constitution guarantees gay people the right to marry.

Liberals dislike the high court. So do conservatives.

Journalists are fond of saying that if “Both sides are mad, then I must doing something right.”

Does the same truism apply to judges?

 

Fox dumps Palin … imagine that

The Fox News Channel says it has parted company with Sarah Palin, the former half-term Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee.

But it hasn’t. Not really. Palin will continue to get guest spots on Fox. She’ll get to have her voice heard. She’ll also be free to appear on other news and commentary outlets — have you put her on your speed dial, MSNBC?

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/06/sarah-palin-dumped-by-fox-119357.html?hp=l2_4

She remains a hot commodity among TEA party conservatives. She speaks their language, whatever that is.

But she also has become a political circus act. The reality TV appearances haven’t delivered any broader appeal. The drama involving some of her family members has created more snickers and ridicule than any politician should want. Her bombastic rhetoric has become tiresome and, frankly, quite repetitive.

However, in this age where public policy intermingles with pop culture, Sarah Barracuda will remain among us.

U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona chose Palin to run with him in 2008, seeking a “game-changer” in the race for the presidency. Her selection might have changed the game, all right, but not necessarily in the way Sen. McCain expected or hoped — especially as American began hearing the things that flew out of her mouth. Remember the “death panels”? And those amazing stumbles while being interviewed by what she calls the “lame-stream media”? Priceless.

As Politico reports: “When Palin was at her zenith, she made frequent appearances, and Fox installed a camera at her house. But executives consider her less relevant now, and her appearances were sometimes hampered by the vast time difference with Alaska.”

Is she going away? Not any time soon. If ever.

 

Huck needs to cool the rhetoric

“We are moving rapidly toward the criminalization of Christianity.”

That was the Rev. Mike Huckabee in a conference call to conservative activists. The one-time Baptist preacher and former Arkansas governor is going to announce soon his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination and this is going to be a theme of his second White House campaign.

Honestly, he needs to settle down.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/27/republican-candidates-evangelicals_n_7148310.html?ir=Politics&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000013

Huckabee and a host of other GOP candidates are roiling the party’s base by using scary rhetoric, declaring that there’s a phony war against Christians in the United States. Rick Santorum says it. So does Bobby Jindal. Same for Scott Walker. They all oppose same-sex marriage and suggest that this issue is pretext for the war against Christian belief in this country.

I once considered Huck to be a fairly reasonable man. He ran for president in 2008 and acquitted himself fairly well during much of the GOP primary. He’s gotten a bit overheated in recent years. His statement now about the threat of “criminalizing” Christianity goes beyond what’s reasonable discourse.

He knows that’s not going to happen. Ever.

In this supercharged political climate, it plays well among the party’s base, which seems to believe anything that its political leaders say out loud.

 

House GOP 'survey' loaded with baloney

Nice try, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner.

You sought to ask me my views on how you and National Republican Congressional Committee are seeking to save the country from those reckless and feckless liberals in the White House. I ain’t taking the bait, Mr. Speaker.

You’ll get your State of the Nation Survey back in the mail. I even signed my name to it to validate its findings.

You see, sir, I don’t share your view that President Obama has wrecked the country. Almost every question you pose in your survey presumes that you and your party are right and the president and his party are wrong … across the board.

To be fair, I do agree with a few of the questions you pose. I believe, as you do, that the feds should work “closely with state and local officials to stop border violence and enforce federal immigration laws.” I also believe in the Second Amendment’s guarantee that we have a right “to keep and bear arms.” I agree with you that our legal system should “better protect victims and consumers while also giving manufacturers and small businesses confidence to keep jobs in America.” I even believe in “Republicans’ landmark ban on all earmarks” attached to federal legislation.

So, Mr. Speaker, your survey isn’t a total loser with me.

However, I do not subscribe to your notion that liberal/progressive policies are inherently bad for the country. I happen to be a good-government liberal who thinks the Obama administration has done well to revive the economy and keep us safe from terrorists. I also believe, contrary to your view, that our standing in the world hasn’t been diminished. Furthermore, I believe that the Affordable Care Act, which likely needs more fine-tuning, should remain on the books, as it is providing millions of Americans with health insurance they didn’t have before it was enacted.

Those are my views, Mr. Speaker, and I’m sticking with them.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to vent.

God bless the United States of America.

 

That's the liberal caucus we have known

Well now. It appears that Democratic liberals in Congress are rising up to give their leaders as much grief as the tea party Republicans are set to do to their leaders.

Excellent! That’s the Democratic Party with which I came of age back in the 1960s.

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/keystone-xl-senate-liberals-113009.html?hp=r1_3

The defeat of the Keystone XL pipeline in the Senate seems to have juiced up the lefty caucus on Capitol Hill. They’re set to do battle with the more, um, “establishment” members of the Democratic minority in both congressional houses.

It’s looking like we might have two intraparty squabbles erupting in Congress when the next body convenes in January.

The president is stuck having to deal now with two warring factions within each party. He’s bound to anger the extremists on the left, too.

As Politico reported:

“I will use whatever tools I have as a senator to protect the environment,” said Sen. (Jeff) Merkley, a liberal from Oregon. Asked if he could ever envision himself performing a Rand Paul-style talking filibuster in the Republican Senate, (Sheldon)

Whitehouse of Rhode Island replied: “Oh, of course. We will have more tools in the minority than we had in the majority.”

The liberals don’t like President Obama any more than the conservatives do, or so one might be led to think.

Which begs the question: If Obama is ticking off conservatives so much, how is it he can do the same thing to liberals?

A truism in journalism is that if you’re angering both sides of an argument, then you’re doing a good job.

Not so in politics.

Obviously.