Who Are These “Independents”?

And Why Is Everybody Chasing Their Votes?

If you follow the political punditry you know that all the talking heads are constantly pontificating about how the various candidates and their policy proposals are going to be received by the bloc of the electorate variously described as “independents”, “moderates”, and variations on that theme.

Democrat and Republican operatives alike seem to think that these “independents” are a left-leaning group who want “progressive” social policy coupled with a modicum of fiscal restraint. For the Democrats, this means constant surprise when their policy proposals are rejected by the majority of the electorate. For the GOP this means that the Establishment hacks, in their constant search for winning nominees, repeatedly back the least conservative candidates – commonly labeled RINOs (Republican In Name Only) – in the apparent hope that they’ll be able to lasso in some votes from liberals.

I have no idea where either party gets their ideas of what comprise the “independents”. And I think they’re both dead wrong, other than in the idea that winning over “independents” can be key to winning elections.

The most obvious and recent indication is the rise in popularity and influence of the Tea Party, an amorphous group that rallies around traditional conservative principles of fiscal restraint, small government, individual responsibility, and an Originalist interpretation of the Constitution. These are hardly “progressive” positions. We also saw the rise and fall of the “Occupy movement”, and how they failed to resonate significantly with the populace, and in fact wore out their welcome without really having any effect whatsoever.

Polling data consistently show that the people in this country consider themselves to be “right of center” politically. Further, the data show that over the years, while the percentage of the electorate that’s registered as Democrat has stayed pretty stable in the mid-30s percentile, the GOP has lost about 18% of its registered voters to the “independents”. In other words, where in the past the electorate was split pretty evenly among the three options, the Democrats are unchanged while the GOP’s share has shrunk to the upper-20s percentile with the loss going to the uncommitted.

That’s important to note. The Republicans’ loss did NOT translate into the Democrats’ gain. It translated into an increase in the size of the uncommitted.

The question then becomes: why?

I think it’s instructive to look at the clear lessons of history to find our answers. Traditional American conservatism almost always does extremely well in the voting booth. Look at Reagan’s two landslide victories, followed by Bush the Elder’s landslide as Reagan III and his defeat as his more real and more liberal self. As a matter of fact, whenever the GOP runs their Establishment RINO-type candidates, they don’t do well at all: Dole, McCain; even Bush the Younger didn’t do very well against two rabidly leftist opponents, both of whom ran incredibly inept campaigns.

Contrast that with Bobby Jindal’s sweeping success in Louisiana, running on true conservative principles in a Democrat stronghold; or Sarah Palin’s success (whatever you may think of her now) doing the same thing in Alaska. Even Scott Brown’s success in winning “Teddy Kennedy’s Senate seat” in that most liberal of states, Massachusetts, was based on his opposition to Obama’s landmark socialist healthcare legislation. In Massachusetts, that’s what passes for conservative.

More history: as Daddy Bush became more and more “compassionate”, his support left him in droves and coalesced around Ross Perot, giving Clinton the win. But a mere two years of Clinton’s unchecked leftism swung control of Congress to the GOP and its 1994 Contract With America, a clear statement of conservative ideals, forcing Clinton to “triangulate” into a less-leftist “moderate”.

We saw the pattern repeated with the last Bush. His support kept dwindling as his policies swung more and more leftward, costing his party the control of Congress in 2006 and the loss of the presidency to Obama in 2008 when the GOP ran a candidate – McCain – who was almost indistinguishable from Obama on policy positions. But again, a mere two years of Democrat control of the entire apparatus was enough for the electorate to rebel in 2010, giving the House to the GOP and winnowing the Democrat majority in the Senate to a razor-thin margin. Yet another repudiation of leftism.

I can understand why the hard-core leftists who inhabit and control the Democrat party want to ignore all this. To acknowledge it would mean they’d have to abandon their goal to fundamentally transform this country into yet another “social democracy” such as those in Europe.

But why the GOP keeps clinging to this idea, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, defies all reason and logic. Are they really stuck on stupid?

I guess we’ll soon see.
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© Brian Baker, 2011
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154 comments on “Who Are These “Independents”?

  1. clyde says:

    Good post. The problem,IMHO,resides in the fact that the hierarchy of the GOP seems to want to hear the liberal establishment PRAISE them for not running (GASP) conservatives. No question who they want to see get the nod,BEFORE a single primary vote has been cast. It does make me wonder WHY the liberal media have been absolutely SILENT on Romney,while blasting away at the rest of them. Now ask yourself,is ANY libstream media type going to vote for Romney over THEIR guy? Not likely,IMHO. All this talk about compromise,hell,you NEVER hear of ANYONE saying the DEMOCRATS must compromise with the R’s. Always the other way around.

  2. BrianR says:

    Thanks, Clyde.

    Yup, exactly. Again, the same phenomenon we saw four years ago. The MSM gave McCain a big pass, even wrote articles praising him… right up until he became the nominee. Then they turned on him like a pack of junkyard dogs.

  3. captbogus@yahoo.com says:

    What do you call it? An oxymoron? An anachronism? It can’t be just plain stupidity as all of the GOP heirarchy are multi millionaires so they can’t possibly be just plain dumb.
    What is it?
    A whole nation is out here waiting for a good, solid conservative candidate.
    Yet
    They keep pushing Bushes and McCains and Romneys/
    If the GOP would just get behind ONE conservative and put their heart and money and time into it…
    But they treat conservatives like they treated O’Donnel. Or the…senior moment..the senatorial candidate in Nevada…
    And while they push another Bush or Dole or McCain or Romney to the ticket they are pushing the election over into the Democrat column.
    You’re right.
    Independents don’t want another Obama. But nneither do they want a pseudo conservative either.

  4. Nee says:

    Excellent essay, Brian, excellent! I don’t understand it, either. Interesting to note, I have the same conundrum as last election cycle and I am taking heat for saying that so far, there is nobody to vote for that meets my rubber. “But if so and so is the candidate…” XXXX!! Not gonna do it. I simply refuse.

    Buck, you are exactly right in your sentiment. Spot on.

    PS…loved the family pic!

    • BrianR says:

      Thanks, Nee. I appreciate the kind words, and the compliment on the picture. I love my family!

      Yeah, I’m starting to see the same conversations start up, too. As a matter of fact, Willie and I are having that kind of discussion on the comment thread on my other essay here.

  5. CW says:

    Where’s the disconnect?

    “Polling data consistently show that the people in this country consider themselves to be “right of center” politically.”

    If that’s true someone needs to explain to me how we ended up with McCain as the Republican nominee and Obama as POTUS! It’s not logical.

    I’m sorry but I don’t entirely buy the premise that RINO’s get foisted on an unwitting electorate that’s bona fide conservative at heart. I DO agree that there’s a lot of pushing and manipulation of the process from the top down; however, that can’t explain all that occurred in ’08.

    Consider what the various polls are showing us right now. Even after 3 years of Obama and with so much at stake, who are the frontrunners? Romney, Gingrich and Paul. Those polls don’t reflect just the GOP insiders. They reflect the general republican electorate. If we’re truly right of center as a group, why can’t Santorum or Bachmann get any traction?

    I can think of only two possible explanations, one of which is that every republican believes that every OTHER republican is a RINO and assumes a true conservative can’t be elected, so they are forming behind the “electable” Romney or Gingrich. The other possibility is that people have been so brainwashed over the decades that many no longer understand what true conservatism is. They think it is ‘not-Obama.’ I think the truth is a combination of those two, and real conservatives are a smaller majority than we realize.

    This nation rarely involves itself in principled debates about the principles embodied in the Constitution. The most recent example is the “payroll tax” debate (not) on which “conservative” pundits claimed victory for republicans because they tied it to the Keystone pipeline. Michelle Bachmann is the only one I’ve heard who gets what a mistake that was because, while we may have won on strategy, we lost on principle. The only thing that could make the socialist program of Social Security worse is for people to incorporate the idea that they are entitled to benefits without paying in. Republicans, by trying to be clever, helped solidify this notion and no one batted an eye. Instead, they foolishly hailed it as a victory. That’s only the latest example of how conservatism has been re-defined, and that’s why we can’t elect a true conservative.

    • BrianR says:

      CW:

      “If we’re truly right of center as a group, why can’t Santorum or Bachmann get any traction?”

      Let me explain this again, as I did last time, from a former insider’s point of view.

      The GOP party apparatus — the guys who run the party — determine the allocation of resources to candidates. They control how the money is spent and on whom, and who to supply “volunteers” for. If they decide Romney’s their guy, he’s the one who gets the party money and people.

      The example I used last time: when Dianne Feinstein was running for re-election, she was opposed by the staunch conservative Republican named Dick Mountjoy. But you’d sure never have known it if you weren’t a political junkie. The guy couldn’t get arrested! He seemed to be running a total stealth campaign. So I called his election HQ and asked what the deal was.

      I was told that the state and national GOP had refused to allocate to him any funding at all. Not one thin dime.

      In essence, they’d decided not to fight for the Senate seat in California. Needless to say, Mountjoy went down in flames.

      That’s the reality of the issue, CW, and is exactly what I described in my essay. It’s exactly why the GOP has such a hard time wiunning elections so often. It’s the ongoing war between the “moderate” country-club/Rockefeller wing of the GOP and the conservative Goldwater wing that’s been going on for 50 years, now.

      Reagan was constantly fighting the “moderates”. He LOST his first run at the nomination; most people forget this.

      Even during the 1980 race, he was opposed for the nomination by Daddy Bush, and it was a very bitter campaign. Most people forget that, too.

      But that’s the reality. The GOP has to be dragged kicking and screaming to the right… yet once they’re there, they enjoy great success.

      Only to forget about that instantly and lurch back to the left again, almost immediately.

      Look at what Boehner did in 2010, when the GOP took control of the House. His fiorst moves were efforts to marginalize and minimize the conservatives and Tea Party people who were new to Congress.

      That’s the whole problem, in a nutshell.

      • CW says:

        >>“The GOP party apparatus — the guys who run the party — determine the allocation of resources to candidates.”

        I don’t mean to be dense, Brian, but if the allocation of resources is all that’s required to win the votes of republicans, how do you explain that you aren’t sold on Romney yet? Neither are many of the posters here.

        It’s true, funding and support make a big difference, but there’s something wrong if those things alone can persuade true conservatives to suddenly forget what their values are and think that John McCain is the right guy. It didn’t work for you and it shouldn’t work for anyone who is truly conservative.

        I think one of the pitfalls of blogging for a hobby and/or belonging to conservative organizations is that by frequently conversing with like-minded folks our view of the nation’s mindset can be a bit distorted. I am frequently surprised by the things people say that are so out of sync with the discussions I have on the blogs and with close friends.

        You’re right about the fight in the GOP between moderates and conservatives, but it is a reflection of broader based problem among the general electorate.

      • BrianR says:

        No, it’s not an issue of being dense. I know a lot of people don’t understand the system.

        I want to assure you that before I state something in my essays as “fact”, I actually research it. I always want to be as accurate as possible.

        Now, as to your question about McCain, for example: the proof is actually in the pudding. He lost to Obama. That’s the whole story right there. That’s exactly the problem I’m highlighting.

        The Establishment GOP foists off weak candidates. Those candidates don’t get the support they need to win; what’s the lesson the GOP usually takes out of that? That their NEXT round of candidates have to be even lefter, thereby ensuring a vicious cycle of defeat.

        But what’s the piece of that puzzle the GOP doesn’t want to accept? That their “chosen” candidate didn’t win because he couldn’t secure the votes of the CONSERVATIVE independents.

        Again, look at my essay. Where has the growth of the “independent” bloc come from? The DECLINING ranks of the GOP. It’s a direct relationship. It speaks VERY clearly as to the problem for that party.

        What’s the main message of the Tea Party? “A pox on BOTH your houses!”, basically.

  6. CW says:

    I might add that I very much agree about what a mistake republicans make when they pander to non-conservatives to win their votes. Making people actually stop and think is very powerful, and running for president is the perfect opportunity to re-introduce people to conservatism. It’s time to win on the merits.

  7. thedrpete says:

    A “classic liberal” (now sometimes called “libertarian” and usually called “conservative”) would look at the United States Government (I can no longer refer to it as “federal”) and see what must be UNDONE, not DONE. Once one becomes part and parcel of that government, however, — say, as a senator or congressman — he realizes that it’s neither fun nor profitable nor popular to UNDO.

    No one ever — other than by me — asks what a candidates un-platform is. And in Washington, the bureaucracies are stuffed with Kennedy School of Government (Harvard) liberals/progressives. “News” media people graduate from J-schools, all stuffed with liberal/progressive faculty, and are determined to make the world a better place by DOING something to help.

    It’s always more fun to pack than unpack, go on vacation than return, put up the Christmas tree than dismantle it, play golf than be scorekeeper.

    Welcome, BrianR, to WordPress.

  8. Slow Cowboy (aka Virginia Daddy) says:

    Brian– first, I may up a bhave to set up a spot someplace like wordpress. Townhall doesn’t seem to much care about its blogs anymore. Putting its eggs in another basket, I suppose.

    But here’s my theory on the current GOP– they simply are not conservative. They are about elections and not ideology. They want to be “in” and cool. They have assumed many assumptions about the world as espoused by the left, either directly or indirectly. Sure, they place limits on these assumptions, but these limits merely lag behind and are not set in stone.

    The result is a party platform that places image over substance, and will drift ever leftward trying to follow the image. This result will destroy the party, which would be deserved if you ask me.

    • BrianR says:

      VDad, welcome!

      Yeah, TH couldn’t care less about their “junior bloggers”.

      As to the GOP, “. They are about elections and not ideology… The result is a party platform that places image over substance, and will drift ever leftward trying to follow the image. This result will destroy the party, which would be deserved if you ask me.”

      Yep. They’re sure heading in that direction. If they don’t wise up and turn around, they’re doomed. Hopefully they don’t take the whole country with them.

      • Slow Cowboy (aka Virginia Daddy) says:

        What leaves me most baffled is what to do about it. Its tough, when you love the country and what it represents, to sit in a position where you can’t change much. The Dems want something eerilly similar to a socialistic state. The GOP wants the same, only to a lesser degree. And there’s no room at the inn for a third option. Maneuvering through this will be difficult, unless we are simply willing to let it go to hell and start afresh. But are we willing to do that? Am I willing to put my kids through hell for a large portion of their lives to achieve that? I don’t know…

        I’d hoped we would have a better answer at this juncture three years ago. With Obama’s win and ascendency we all knew what was coming, and what the stakes would be now. Many were willing to let these four years go to allow a better voice to represent the conservative platform. Now, is our best Romney? I have a hard time accepting him, but he seems likely to get the nod. He certainly falls well short of what I had hoped for.

        But I think the stakes are higher this go round the block. Obama’s four years could well turn into eight. I’m not ready for that, and I don’t think the country can survive.

    • BrianR says:

      Yeah, it’s very problematic. I have to say, I don’t have as much of a problem with Romney as others seem to. I think he’ll pretty much toe the line; maybe not as strongly as we’d like, but he’s no rabid ideologue RINO like McCain was.

      And like this time’s version, Gingrich. That guy’s just plain nuts, his ideas are completely unsound, and he’s a disaster waiting in the wings.

      Now his latest lunacy: arresting “activist” judges. Where does he get this stuff?

      • Slow Cowboy (aka Virginia Daddy) says:

        I am not convinced re Romney. He won’t rock the boat too much, but I would not be surprised to see him raise taxes and other forms of revenue to a high degree. He’ll also do nothing to shrink the size of the government. Does this bide the time until we can get someone who will do the hard stuff? Will that be possible later, though? I don’t know.

        I’m just uneasy about the prospects, and while the dems control the narrative, Obama will only gain strength for the nexst 11 months.

      • BrianR says:

        LOL!

        Don’t get me wrong; I’m no Romneyite. But like you said, I don’t think he’ll “rock the boat too much”. Not ideal, and that’s a pretty lame excuse, but it’s better than Gingrich.

        I like Santorum, Bachmann, Perry. I’m grudgingly okay with Romney. Pauls’s got the problem we mentioned, plus he has absolutely zero chance of winning anythig. And Gingrich is crazy.

        Quite the lineup.

        I don’t think Bat Ears will control the marrative, though. He’s got some real negs going into the new year. The economy still sucks big time. Obamacare’s going to get killed by SCOTUS, and I think he’s going to lose on the Arizona immigration enforcement case, too. Both of those will probably be handed down next summer, and either — and especially both — loss will be a huge black eye for him going into the final election season.

        He can’t run on his record, so all he has is to try a scorched earth negative campaign. Well, that gets old REAL fast when all your opponent has to do is ask the peeps: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”

  9. Sgt Relic says:

    Well reasoned, as usual, Brian.

    I’m as mystified as you are at what seems to pass of strategy in the inner circles of the GOP.

    I think the question that I struggle with the most is: Who does the conservative movement have to contend with the RINOs?

    The conservative stable is kind of thin, IMO. The names that come to mind, such as, DeMint and Sessoms, don’t seem to want to take the trashing that goes with running. Our conservative Governors don’t have much by way of name recognition.

    I should be really excited about the idea of ousting Odumbo, but the idea of electing another RINO just leaves me flat! Just once more, before I die, I’d like to fired up to elect a candidate.

    Is that too much to ask?

    • BrianR says:

      Sarge…. I really don’t know. Maybe it is too much to ask, but I’m in the same boat you are. I remember being excited about Reagan, and I haven’t had that feeling since.

      I loathe Bat Ears… but the idea of Gingrich in the White House strikes me as being just as bad, except from another perspective.

  10. captbogus@yahoo.com says:

    How can the GOP heirarchy think they can convince the electorate that they are so much smarter and should decide who is the GOP candidate when they cannot even learn from recent history?
    It all supports my theory the GOP country clubbers are no different than the Democrat party string pullers.
    Neither gives a tinker’s damn about who occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Ave so long as they maintain their lofty positions.
    Neither will relinquish the reins of power without a vicious struggle.
    Both care not whether the country goes EU or returns to the Constitution…

    • BrianR says:

      Agreed. That’s always been the problem with the “country-clubbers”, AKA Establishment GOP. To them it’s only about power, not principles.

      Principles be damned; they get in the way!

  11. I commented somewhere today about this problem. The “establishment” folks and the GOP leadership care more about having their own power and being accepted by the media and the DC social scene than they are about upholding the GOP platform, much less the Constitution.

  12. Hardnox says:

    Brian,

    Good essay. I have wondered the same thing.

    Conservatism sells in this country. Everytime. There are no exceptions. The GOP is most certainly stuck on stupid.

  13. Speedicut says:

    Hey Brian, I left the party in 2008 – couldn’t take it anymore. I’ve been agitating for a move back to basics ever since. Doesn’t look like the Tea Party or conservative Independents are going to “win” since the Repub candidate will most likely end up being Romney. Newt is a great Republican in terms of accomplishments but hardly conservative. I wish Paul were more presentable and I am annoyed that he won’t really answer the Iran with a Nuke question to my satisfaction but I like 95% of what he says.

    So, yes, the Party best move back to the Right asap or they will go the way of the Whigs and the Dems will rule for a decades.

    -Speedicut aka Scarlet Pimpernel aka HarryFlashman

    • BrianR says:

      Hey, Speedi. Good to see ya!

      Y’know, Paul is right on quite a few things, but when he’s wrong he goes waaaaay off the bubble. His ideas on foreign policy and national military matters would spell national suicide.

      They don’t even make any sense in light of the actions of the Founders upon whom he claims to base his ideas. Jefferson sent the Navy and Marines to Tripoli to defeat the Barbary pirates in a matter having to do with the free flow of shipping in the Med. Monroe had his Doctrine.

      How does Paul conform that with his isolationist crackpot ideas?

  14. Gunny G says:

    The RNC is stuck in the 60’s/Goldwater days. They refuse to understand that Conservatism WINS everywhere it is talked about/tried.

    BTW, Ron Paul just backed up traitor Pvt Manning.

    I am coming to believe that the RNC merely wants the status quo to remain and the hell if the country fails. After all, they’ve been lining their pockets on insider trading for decades.

    • BrianR says:

      “The RNC is stuck in the 60′s/Goldwater days.”

      Yeah, Gunny, except on the not-Goldwater side of the divide.

      There are definitely some major problems. They remind me of the US Chamber of Commerce, supposedly a bastion of conservatism, and yet they back amnesty.

      Another case of false advertising.

      As to Paul; why am I not surprised? That guy’s a total whack job.

  15. BrianR says:

    Here’s another goodie about GOP candidates:

    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katehicks/2011/12/21/bill_clinton_id_vote_for_huntsman

    “Bill Clinton: ‘I’d Vote for Huntsman'”

    Just what you want to hear about any “conservative” candidate.

  16. Mrs. AL says:

    First, welcome to wordpress (I will change your location on my blogroll). Have not read all your posts to know what led up to your move here but I like it. I can now get notification of your posts and comments via email — yea! Second, sorry I have been so absent lately but I am trying to get back in the groove. Third, Merry Christmas to you, your family and friends, BrianR.

  17. jevica says:

    Yes, yes and yes.

    The GOP want to be thought of as “nice” guys by the liberal media, and the talking heads on TV.

    As soon as a conservative comes up they get no support from the PSP leaders.

    Yes McLiberal was the great “maverick” until he was the nominee, then goodby John.

    Look at how BHO now looks at signing statements.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/12/22/obama-to-add-signing-statement-to-defense-authorization-opposing-mccain-levin-amendment/

    They need the independents because they will lose those of us on the right.

    Independents those that have no core values.

    BTW Good post.

    • BrianR says:

      Hi, Jev.

      Thanks for the kind words.

      Part of the problem, of course, is that I believe they’re mistaking the nature of the “independents”, as I mentioned in the essay. I think it’s a more conservative group than either party seems to believe. Not as “progressive” as they think.

  18. willibeaux says:

    Brian! In the spirit of the season let us bury the hatchet and accept this in the spirit it is given. Thank you!

    Merry Christmas

    Mr. & Mrs. willibeaux

    We pray you have a wonderful
    Christmas as our Lord and Savior’s
    Birth is celebrated

    JESUS is the only answer for our
    struggling country and world.

    Please pray with us for forgiveness
    and mercy and spiritual awakening,
    and healing of our land.

    If My people, who are called by My
    Name, will humble themselves and
    Pray and seek My face and turn from
    Their wicked ways, then I will
    hear from Heaven and will forgive
    their sin and will hear their land.
    2 Chronicles 7:14

    .

  19. BrianR says:

    Willie, that sounds great to me.

    I wish you and Mrs. Wille the Merriest Christmas possible, and a bevy of blessings in the New Year.

    Thanks for that passage. Let’s hope it works out that way for all of us.

    I hope you get to spend it with family. Kids? Grandkids?

  20. Gray Ghost says:

    Brian, I’m sorry I am late to the “dance”; but I have been very busy with the closing out calender year 2011 with my consulting firm. (I have also been working out the details for a deer hunt for my oldest grandson and myself next week. This time he will get to carry a “real” gun.)

    My take on the problem with the GOP is more along the lines of the actual occupation of most of the “leader elites” of both the GOP and the Democrats. You and I are well aware that most politicians are lawyers. Most lawyers treat the entire legal profession as a “game”. I have a brother-in-law who is a lawyer. He and I have spoken about this concept many times. In a courtroom trial, the lawyers on opposing sides will get so “heated” in their comments that you would think that they are about to kill each other.

    Yet in the afternoon these same two lawyers are playing a round of golf with each other and are the best of friends.

    Could it be that the “leader elites” of both parties are closer friends than they would want the average citizen to know about? Could it be that to the “leader elites” of both parties this whole election process is more of a “game”? Could it be that the “leader elites” of both parties are more interested in getting rich than in governing our country in accordance to the US Constitution?

    I am not a “conspiracy nut”; but the actions of both parties would sure seem to fit the above assumptions. At least it is something to think about.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family Brian. And a Happy New Year!

    • BrianR says:

      Gray, as always, I’m glad to hear your business is doing well. Sounds like fun with your grandson! I’m looking forward to my ganddaughter being old enough that I can take her to the range, like I did with her Mom (I recall that she was about 5 or 6 the first time).

      As to the “leader elites”, I enter into evidence the golfing rounds Boehner and Bat Ears used to play together.

      Frankly, I’d prefer if we go back to the days of the 19th Century, when congresscritters used to get into brawls on the floors of the respective chambers, conk each other on the heads with their canes, and even pull guns on each other. Those were the days!

      Merry Christmas!

  21. clyde says:

    Brian,Merry Christmas to you and yours. Spoil that granddaughter rotten,like I do mine. To all who post here, A Merry Christmas to you all. Rest up,recharge,enjoy the holidays,and then get ready to rumble.(insert Michael Buffer here) Right after Christmas,we’ll be loading up the motorpalace for the run to Florida. Ain’t had any winter to speak of here,but the wife is sick of it already. Sheesh. Won’t even get to ice-fish before we go.

    • BrianR says:

      Clyde, Merry Christmas to you and your family.

      I absolutely do plan to spoil that little munchkin. I’m already working at it How old’s yours?

      BTW, your wife sounds like she has my attitude towards cold. It’s one of the big reasons I moved here. Any place where ice fishing is even possible is waaaaay off my list.

      LOL

    • jevica says:

      Brian;

      They [grand kids] get so big so fast. Treasure these times as much as you can.

      Granddaughter is now 4, in preK, we have her 1 day a week.. Parents have her in dance school, karate. The kids have to be socialized [learn how to get along with other kids] do you believe that?

      Brian Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and many more.

      It’s nice here without loons.

      • BrianR says:

        Jev, it sure does go by quickly. Reminds me of how fast my daughter grew up.

        Yes, this loon-free environment is… excellent!

        Merry Christmas, to you and Mrs. Jev, and the rest of your family.

  22. clyde says:

    The twerpette turned 5 in July.We also have a granson there who is 9,already as tall as Gramma,and the middle daughter has two stepsons,11 and 8. The youngest has pit bulls for her “kids”. Hell,after working up in the North country,before retiring,running between Detroit,Yellowknife NWT,Thompson MB,and upper Michigan and Minnesota all winter,this ain’t nuttin’.Used to working in about -50. After ZERO,I don’t know why they bother to keep score.

  23. Gunny G says:

    The NEW Anti Liberal Zone is at:

    http://www.theantiliberalzone.com

    I bought my own domain name. PASS THE WORD!

    BANNED BY GOOGLE BABY!

  24. jevica says:

    Watch out for this VAT;

    “The key thing to remember is that Milton Friedman was right when he warned that “In the long run government will spend whatever the tax system will raise, plus as much more as it can get away with.” This means that a VAT will allow more government spending and no reduction in deficits and debt, which is exactly what we see in Europe . . .”

    Cut spending and Taxes

    http://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/more-arguments-against-a-value-added-tax/

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielmitchell/2011/12/24/since-romney-is-willing-to-consider-a-vat-should-libertarians-and-conservatives-be-willing-to-consider-him/

    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/12/27/romney-and-the-vat/

  25. BrianR says:

    That’s a great quote, Jev. I’d never heard it before, but it sure seems to accurately reflect history.

  26. clyde says:

    Well,pard,time to load up the motorshack and haul the wife and dogs to Florida. check back in when we get settled in. Happy New Year to you,Brian,and all who stop by.

  27. Sgt Relic says:

    Brian,

    I’d like to wish you and yours a belated Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for the coming year. A year that I HOPE will bring a CHANGE that removes that giant skid mark from the WH!

    Of course, if the Mayans were right, maybe it doesn’t matter. LOL!

  28. edamon50 says:

    What’s up bud! Loving the new look blog, man. Tell a brother how to get hooked up with owordpress.

    Anyhow, you know we are simpatico on the whole independents thing. The idea that we need to run to the left to capture right leaning voters is crazy! Why would a right leaning indy want to vote for some left leaning squish?

    btw, I finaly got something new up, so check it out. I know letting you know drives traffic!

    • BrianR says:

      Hey, Ed!

      Happy New Year!

      Thanks for the kind words, and the heads up. I’ll be over to your place shortly, and since you’re active I’ll add your link to my blogroll.

      I’ll also give you the link there to set up your own blog here. It’s GREAT not having to deal with troll comments!

  29. jevica says:

    Dr. Walter Williams, one great man.

    “When you reach into your own pocket to help your fellow man, that’s laudable. When you reach into somebody else’s pocket to help your fellow man, I think that’s despicable.” -Dr. Williams

    “I wouldn’t put Obama in a class with Carter’s failures. I’d put him in a class with FDR’s.” -Dr. Williams

    Another one Thomas Sowell,

    “Those rioters in London were not poor, starving people. In all these riots I’ve read about, I’ve never seen anyone break into a bakery. They’re taking Xboxes.” -Dr. Sowell

    • BrianR says:

      Thanks for those quotes from two great thinkers, Jev. They’re excellent.

      “When you reach into somebody else’s pocket to help your fellow man, I think that’s despicable.” It’s also theft.

  30. captbogus@yahoo.com says:

    Jevica
    Also in regards to Dr. Sowell’s comments.

    If you get the chance check out the high dollar Nikes most of the “poor” are wearing. And the Eddie Bauer sleeping bags and tents.
    Yeah.
    Poor.
    My ass.

    • BrianR says:

      Don’t forget the smartphones, I-pods, and notebook Macs.

      Having spent many a year overseas — as I know you have, too, Buck — the definition of “poor” in this country is truly laughable. They’d be “rich” in much, if not most, of the rest of the world.

      TVs, cars, air conditioners, regular food, drinkable water, a roof over their heads, on and on and on.

      • jevica says:

        Brian exactly right. I have posted about this often. What we call poor is not the same as in really poor countries [Hati, Ethiopia, etc.]

        BTW have any loons tried to comment here?

    • BrianR says:

      No, they haven’t even tried.

      I LOVE it!

  31. captbogus@yahoo.com says:

    Brian, Jev:

    The libs definition of “poor” reminds me of the story of the grade school class that each student had to write a short story.
    One little girl from the better side of town wrote,
    “Once upon a time there was a very poor family. The father was poor, the mother was poor, the butler was poor, the chauffer was……….”

  32. Anonymous says:

    Not to change the subject but I will never understand why we tolerate a system where one state essentially gets the opportunity to eliminate candidates before all of the other states get to have their say. I don’t know if Michele Bachmann could ever win and I’m not even saying she’d have my vote but here in Texas we’ll never even have that choice. Would someone please explain to me how that’s fair and why we can’t change it?

    Maybe we all need to move to Iowa.

    • BrianR says:

      Thanks for that comment, and I don’t think you’re actually changing the subject. As a matter of fact, you’ve touched on a topic I’m considering writing an essay about.

      There are a couple of thoughts that occur to me. Obviously, some state has to be first. In this case it’s Iowa, and only a couple of days into the New Year. But really, when you think about it, it has to be SOME state at SOME time. Would it mean anything different if it were, say, Oklahoma in February? Or your state of Texas in, say, May?

      As each state has its primary, the field will obviously winnow down. By the time we here in Commieforina had our primaries last time, McCain had already been selected — which REALLY sucked!

      The only way things could be different were if the entire nation voted the primaries on a single date.

      Of course, part of this primariy process is exactly that winnowing. It gives the field a chance to go through a Darwinian process, and as it unfolds the strengths and weaknesses of the various candidates are exposed. That’s the upside.

      BTW, I think Bachmann’s withdrawal is quite a blow, as she was actually my favorite candidate. But there it is, I guess.

      Again, thanks for taking the time to comment.

  33. CW says:

    Hey there, Brian. That was my comment about Iowa. I forgot to sign my name.

    I’m not sure what the answer is (except for moving to Iowa, as I mentioned above). Maybe there should be 4 or 5 states holding primaries on day 1, then 4 or 5 at a time until they’re all done. That way if a candidate did poorly in one but well in others he or she would have a better indication of whether or not it was worthwhile to go on.

    I understand that the Darwinian process has to take place but I question whether Iowa or any one state accurately represents the political tastes of the entire nation to justify so much of the process taking place in that one state. In fact, I would say it doesn’t, and this will be born out by the fact that the results will vary in every state as the primaries go forward.

    I’m just frustrated and felt like complaining. Thanks for lending an ear!

    • BrianR says:

      Hey, CW!

      Your doing that actually answers a question I had about the site: whether people COULD sign in anonymously. I can’t tell from my own computer, of course, because the site recognizes it. I’m VERY happy to see that people can do that.

      Hey, I know what you mean about the frustration. Don’t forget: last time, by the time the primaries took place here, the race was already over, and the fat lady had warbled.

      The big problem with the 4 or 5 state at a time approach is that as the primary season advances, no one can campaign in that large an area. So, the various campaigns don’t have an opportunity to adjust to changing circumstances.

      I know; that’s a kind of rationalization. I don’t think there’s a real “solution” to the problem. No matter what approach is taken, something will be gained while something else will be lost.

      I wish I had an answer! The only “answer” I find to be completely satisfactory is that I, personally, get to hand-pick the GOP’s nominee!

      I’m sure everyone else feels exactly the same way!

      LOL

  34. CW says:

    So are you ruling out the idea of moving to Iowa? You got something against corn?

    • BrianR says:

      BIG something against snow!

      • jevica says:

        You and me both.

        This is supposed to be a mild winter [I hope so]

        I can’t stand snow, but the wife will not move, so here we stay.

        BTW Lewrockwell is [to me] really far out.

        I [that’s me] don’t think that “neocon fascist” is the right call for Santorum, that’s an answer for Rialph, the next commenter.

    • BrianR says:

      Couldn’t agree more, Jev. Lew Rockwell is a lunatic. As is Paul.

      But I won’t block a comment just because someone links his loony site in a comment. I won’t editorialize like that, as long as the commenter observes the rules of etiquette.

      As I said, though, I’m not approving through lengthy copy-and-paste nonsense just so the Paulbots — or anyone else — can simply try to proselytize. Never gonna happen!

      • thedrpete says:

        This is the ECO (Equal Commenter Opportunity) Officer, BrianR. We insist on Affirmative Action for loons. Our studies indicate that 1 in 25 commenters (though that may be based on multiple-persanility-multiple-username individual loons) is a loon. Thus, a minimum of 1 in 25 comments to your blogposts should be loony.

    • BrianR says:

      Hahaha.

      I will institute such a program poste hast, sir!

  35. Rialph says:

    Heil Santorum

    Brian Wilson of WSPD interviews Lew Rockwell on politics: the neocon fascist Santorum vs. the libertarian Ron Paul, and fears about irregularities in Iowa.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/lewrockwell-show/2012/01/07/heil-santorum/

    • BrianR says:

      Rialph, I didn’t allow your other comment because there was nothing in it that you yourself wrote. It was nothing but one long copy-and-paste from someone else’s editorial commentary.

      If you want to link to an editorial — as you did in this comment of yours — you’re free to do so. I won’t disallow a comment simply because I don’t agree with the writer.

      But my blog isn’t a showcase for material written by other authors.

  36. Gray Ghost (Mississippi) says:

    BrianR,

    TH just made me change my “handle” at their site. They said there is a duplicate “Gray Ghost”. (However, I have never seen another “Gray Ghost” at TH, not in my years there.)

    They wanted me to change to “Gray Ghost2”. But I decided who ever this other Gray Ghost is, I was not gonna be “#2”.

    So now my “handle” at TH is “Gray Ghost (Mississippi).

    • BrianR says:

      Yeah, Gray, it just happened to me, too. Now over there, I’m “BrianR.3”.

      What the hey?

      I’m not going to bother with it, because I so rarely comment there anymore. And I know who the “other” BrianRs were: that troll bonehead who haunted my blog kept spoofing my name.

      I don’t know why I didn’t get #1, though, since I originated the name. Morons at TH.

      • jevica says:

        Brian [you are always number 1]

        Seems like those fools over at TH took something nice and really screwed it up.

        BTW who are those [except PSP leaders, media, etc.] that give “. . . Mitt Romney . . . [a] special claim to electability.” Remember “John McCain and Bob Dole” won South Carolina.

        We have to beat BHO with someone to the right of him not some RINO, what we have to do is ” . . . pick a candidate who can effectively make the case for conservatism to voters who might not otherwise hear it.”

    • BrianR says:

      Jev, I couldn’t agree with you more on everything you wrote, both about TH and the Establishment GOP.

      Because, of course, as you wrote, this “electability” nonsense is the exact same thing we heard four years ago.

      Y’know, it’s funny… but it’s ALSO the exact same stuff we heard in 1979 and 1980 when Reagan was running against Bush in the primaries, and Bush was the “electable” one.

      The Establishment GOP… bound and determined to continually snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The Perpetually Stupid Party.

  37. clyde says:

    Some excellent comments. Not much to add,except I’m thinking the GOP hierarchy needs to have it’s collective asses kicked. But,then again,we already knew THAT,too. What do you make of the lib “outrage” at the story of Marines pissing on dead muzzies? Guess beheading Americans,waving the skull like a trophy,and hanging the corpses off highway overpasses isn’t as bad in their idiotic eyes? If you haven’t,check out a comment Ivan the Turd left at Gunny’s place.

    • BrianR says:

      Thanks, Clyde. I agree; excellent comments by the posters.

      Thanks for the tip to Gunny’s; I’ll swing over there.

      But those Marines… didn’t anybody ever tell them to leave the cameras off? THAT’S the really stupid part of that whole thing.

  38. EDamon50 says:

    New post up.

  39. JeffB says:

    Its seems mainstream conservatives (Right-wing Progressives) are intent on nominating either a McCain Republican (Romney/Gingrich) or a Bush Republican (Santorum).

    There are no more excuses for RwP’s…it isn’t Independents manipulating the Primary process (since Ron Paul is getting all of those votes) as you claimed in 2007-08…it only takes an internet connection and about 20-30 minutes of research to understand Romney/Gingrich/Santorum are nothing but Establishment hacks…the “lesser-of-two-evils” rationale is no longer acceptable either…

    You guys are KNOWINGLY going to nominate a big-govt. Republican hack…this means the typical RwP is either horribly uninformed/misinformed or totally unprincipled…in any event this proves RwP’s are irresponsible voters and enablers of the status-quo.

    • BrianR says:

      Jeff, thanks for taking the time to comment.

      I don’t think you’re clear on what I’m saying. First, I’m not a Republican, so there’s no “you guys” that applies to me. And I make no claim that Independents are manipulating the primary process. What I am saying is that the powers that be in the GOP heirarchy throw their support to “moderates” or, as you put it, RwPs because they misread the tea leaves as to the overall constituency that comprises the general election.

  40. JeffB says:

    And, as far as appealing to Independents goes…it isn’t only the GOP which needs to think about pursuing them; conservatives, themselves, need to reassess their principles to understand that you’re out-of-touch w/a large segment of the populace.

    People are initially drawn to conservatism/GOP because of the limited-govt message. They soon learn that conservatism ISN’T about REAL limited-govt, but simply is a Right-wing version of Progressivism…THAT’S why fewer are registering as Republicans (which, for practical purposes, IS conservatism).

    We don’t want your military or culture wars, your lack of respect for true justice, or your State Capitalism…

    • BrianR says:

      I agree that there’s a difference between true conservatism and the right-wing, a point I make often. In many ways, the GOP is as bad as the Dems in using the cudgel of government to impose their views. They simply support different policies. I’m not in favor of nanny-statism from either side of the aisle.

      “THAT’S why fewer are registering as Republicans (which, for practical purposes, IS conservatism).”

      No, it’s not. Especially not lately.

      Now, as to a military: the idea that any nation, especially ours, can exist without a military is beyond naive. Even the Founders didn’t believe such nonsense. I’ll point to Jefferson’s actions regarding the Barbary pirates, and Monroe’s Doctrine, not to mention the War of 1812.

      • JeffB says:

        FYI…I meant military wars ALONG w/culture wars.

        Didn’t mean to say no kind of defense is needed.

      • JeffB says:

        W/all due respect, Jefferson’s and Monroe’s actions don’t reveal how we’re gonna get out of the $15 TRILLION (long-term, many say its closer to $100T) hole we’re in, nor is Jefferson or Monroe going to show us how to roll back Progressivism today.

        I’m less concerned w/the actions and ideas of long-dead, early-19th century slaveowners, than I am w/the problem of the 21st century.

      • BrianR says:

        “I’m less concerned w/the actions and ideas of long-dead, early-19th century slaveowners, than I am w/the problem of the 21st century.”

        Those are the same guys who wrote the Constitution. Are you saying the Constitution is irrelevant?

    • jevica says:

      JeffB;

      Conservatives need to change [reassess] their principles to attract more of these moderate/independents. Is that one of your ideas? Then they will no longer be CONSERVATIVES.

      Conservatism does not = GOP [or as Brian says PSP]

      BTW what do you see as “true justice”?

      “You guys are KNOWINGLY going to nominate a big-govt. Republican hack” Not “you guys” but the GOP [some] leaders and some right wing media people, conservatives don’t want Romney, and possibly not Newt. South Carolina shows that Romney can’t get the base.

      Jeff who are the “we” that don’t want the military?

      • JeffB says:

        True justice = common-law rulings, not political law.

        An ex. of con injustice is Modern Prohibition (Drug War)…which is identical to the Alcohol Prohibition enacted during the beginning of the Progressive Era. This is the Right-wing Progressivism I referred to.

        Conservatism = GOP

        When big-govt. cons stop being elected I’ll buy this. Until then, I’ll re-iterate that cons routinely vote/support very bad GOPers.

        We = Independents who are tired of the same old Right-Left Progressivism.

  41. JeffB says:

    BTW, sorry to generalize…”you conservatives”, etc.

    It isn’t fair to lob all together, and I do believe there are competing strains of conservatism…however, I think conservatism–as a whole–HAS been heavily infected w/the Progressivism (idea of an govt. which heavily intervenes economically, personally, and militarily) that has dominated America much of the last 100 years.

    • BrianR says:

      Yep. I absolutely agree with that. That’s one of the reasons I left the GOP after being a registered Repub for almost 40 years. That’s actually kind of the point of this essay: that the Establishment GOP insists on misreading the tea leaves as to what their mandate’s supposed to be. Instead of trying to advance the ideology they CLAIM to represent, they’re just the Dem-Lite Party.

    • jevica says:

      Jeff;

      I agree that the answer to our problems is limited government, the founders gave us this in the Constitution, Article I Section 8, enumerated powers

      • BrianR says:

        Would that anybody actually paid attention to that!

      • JeffB says:

        In theory I agree w/you…however, in practice, A1S8 hasn’t done much to limit govt…and there has always been serious divergencies in interpreting the Constitution.

        The Constitution will simply reflect prevailing social and political attitudes.

        If the populace adopts a live-and-let-live attitude, that will be reflected.

        If the populace adopts a govt-must-do-something attitude, that will be.

        The problem in America isn’t that the Constitution is ignored, but the Progressive-minded populace.

      • BrianR says:

        “The problem in America isn’t that the Constitution is ignored, but the Progressive-minded populace.”

        Um… that’s the same thing.

  42. JeffB says:

    I wonder if we’ll ever see a viable 3rd Party?

    Its seems to me that even many libs have become disaffected w/govt…

    Is there enough, if any, common-ground which could unite a significant number of cons and libs?

    • BrianR says:

      What common ground? The two philosophies are ideologically opposed by definition. It’s against human nature to “unite” with your opponents. What would be the basis for such a union? Dislike of the current government? But that dislike stems from different bases: libs think government does too little, true conservatives think government does too much. How can those divergent ideas unite?

      • JeffB says:

        That’s a tough question for sure…I guess I’m more thinking of (possibly and hopefully libertarian-trending) cons and libs who are aware enough to see things like unsustainable debt, outrageous assaults on civil liberties and a hyper-aggressive and fatally flawed foreign-policy as unifying issues.

        Things are NOT going too well right now, and unless cons and libs are willing to compromise on their ideologies, we’re screwed.

        And, again imho, mainstream cons and libs aren’t all that different…Right-wing Progs and Left-wing Progs who aren’t–in principle–opposed to an activist govt…only in how that activism is applied.

      • BrianR says:

        “… unless cons and libs are willing to compromise on their ideologies, we’re screwed… And, again imho, mainstream cons and libs aren’t all that different…”

        See, that’s where we’re talking about things defined entirely differently. You’re conflating “conservatives” and “Republicans”. The two aren’t the same thing at all.

        The reason we’re in this Godawful mess we are right now is exactly BECAUSE the Dems and the GOP have “compromised” to get us here.

        But you’re never going to get leftists and traditional conservatives to “compromise” because their ideologies are diametrically opposed. Ain’t gonna hachee, GI.

        I’m a traditional conservative; a constitutionalist. I know I”M not willing to compromise my beliefs. Now, if the leftists want to “compromise” by signing onto what I believe, I’ll welcome them!

    • jevica says:

      Jeff

      Liberals are disaffected because government is not liberal enough [not big enough]. How could those that want limited government [us] and those who want even bigger government find common ground?

      What kind of common ground could there be, none as I see it.

      Viable 3rd party, I don’t see any possibility, at this point in the story of the country.

      • JeffB says:

        If there is no possibility of “common ground”…then why bother w/politics?

        Cons and Libs don’t seem to accomplish much by voting Republican or Democrat and hoping for the best…

        You’re never gonna get libs/Dems to agree w/your interpretation of the Constitution or w/your idea of what govt should do and you’ll never agree w/theirs…

        The only people who aren’t totally insane (libertarians) are a minority…

        Secession and real States’ Rights don’t seem to be an option w/people who refuse to compromise…

        So, where does that leave us?

  43. JeffB says:

    Is the Constitution irrelevant?

    In a word, yes.

    Unless you’re saying everything the federal govt. does is “Constitutional”, you should agree w/this statement.

    • BrianR says:

      First of all, your closing sentence is complete and utter nonsense. The federal government’s power and authority is limited by that very same Constitution you call “irrelevant”. That document delineates and LIMITS the power of the government.

      All of our problems derive from that fact that no one pays any attention to it.

      People who consider it “irrelevant” are the very people who create the problems. I guess that would include YOU.

      Instead, you come up with a bunch of pipe-dream nonsense that has nothing at all to do with reality or human nature, trying to propose — I guess — some brand new form of government.

      Well, go start your own revolution.

      • JeffB says:

        I guess when I look around, I’m hard-pressed to see how the Constitution has “limited” govt…

        “No one pays attention to it.”

        Would that mean its IRRELEVANT?

        “Pipe-dream nonsense”…? WTF?

      • BrianR says:

        No, it’s not irrelevant; people are sometimes stupid.

        Two entirely different things.

        If someone’s walking around the observation deck of a skyscraper and climbs over the perimeter rail to “get a better view”, does tha make the guard rail “irrelevant”? Or is that person just a dumb cluck?

  44. JeffB says:

    Questions:

    Can anyone supporting/voting for the McCain Conservative (Romney-Gingrich) be considered a “real” conservative?

    How about the ones supporting the Bush Conservative (Santorum)?

    If we can’t conflate conservative w/the GOP…does that mean liberals can’t be conflated w/the Donkeys?

  45. JeffB says:

    I, obviously, don’t consider myself a “conservative” of ANY kind…

    However in my talks w/people who label themselves such…of all the Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, Perry, and Bachmann supporters (Ron Paul, according to nearly all the people who label themselves “conservative” isn’t a “conservative”, so I won’t count him)…not ONCE have I ever seen one who DIDN’T claim to be a “real” conservative…

    So, which ones are the REAL “real” conservatives and which aren’t?

    I’m among folks, here, who ALSO claim to–I assume–be “real” conservatives…so, please, educate me!

    • BrianR says:

      I already answered that. True conservatism is based on the idea that the Constitution says what it means, and means what it says. That it is the “rulebook” for our country, just like it says within itself. That the basic tenets of our government are individual responsibility, fiscal restraint, and limited government. That our nation is governed under the precepts of federalism.

      It’s really quite simple, no?

  46. thedrpete says:

    Yes, BrianR, “[i]t’s really quite simple,” yes! JeffB, it seems, enjoys making the simple complex, the clear cloudy, the concrete sand, commandments suggestions, and truth lies. He consistently lays obfuscated premises, then uses logic to get to false conclusions.

    Reminds me of a certain multi-handled loon, albeit without the crudity.

    • BrianR says:

      Thanks, DrP.

      Yeah, it is interesting that there seems to be a certain group of people who seem to do just exactly that.

      But that “without the crudity” part is essential. I won’t censor someone’s posts just because I disagree with them. But that “crudity” thing will sure get the ax.

    • JeffB says:

      If tis “really so simple”…what the heck has gone wrong?

      The next time you convince a lib that his/her position is “unconstitutional” let me know!

      • BrianR says:

        Well, what’s gone wrong is that the Constitution is simply ignorfed nowadays, by pretty much everybody.

        As far as convincing a lib… that’s why the idea of both opposite ideologies somehow “compromising” is such an unrealistic idea.

    • JeffB says:

      A “loon”…WTF?

      Guess I should know better than to attempt rational debate w/Right-wing Progs…

      • BrianR says:

        It’s a free country. You can comment here or not as you see fit.

      • jevica says:

        JeffB;

        Reading the entire comment about loon will show you that it was another commenter that said this not Brian.

        As long as you behave yourself Brian will not cut you out.

        Yes Jeff it’s difficult if not impossible to convince a liberal that their position is wrong [they keep moving the goal posts]

        You can attempt a debate, but don’t get upset if others don’t just agree with you because you say such and such.

      • BrianR says:

        Thanks, Jev. Exactly.

  47. jevica says:

    Brian;

    An off topic update on the bullet train.

    “The California high-speed rail project isn’t “increasingly risky.” It’s increasingly insane. Small wonder it has disappeared from Obama’s wish list.”

    “CA auditor warns bullet train project financing “increasingly risky””

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/01/25/ca-auditor-warns-bullet-train-project-financing-increasingly-risky/

    Brian stay well, BTW how old is grand daughter now? Hope daughter and husband are well.

    Did not bother to listen [or watch] the SOTU, never do no matter what POTUS is doing it.

    • BrianR says:

      Yeah, that bullet train is the biggest boondoggle in California history. $100+ BILLION and climbing, when it was originally projected at about $46 billion or so, as I recall.

      Jev, you stay well, too; I hope you and Mrs. Jev. All are well. My Dad died last week. It’s been a bit rough and hectic since, as I’m sure you can imagine (or know first-hand).

      Bambino is 2 now, and a real heart-stealer, I gotta say.

      I didn’t watch Bat Ears’s campaign speech… uh, I mean SOTU… either. Why waste the time? Life’s WAY too short for that.

      LOL

      • jevica says:

        Brian;

        RIP your dad, sorry to hear the news. My dad passed in 1966 in his 70s.
        Best to all of you.

        Remember he got to see the little one and she did the same, it may not help now but things will get better with time.

        Best always.

      • BrianR says:

        Jev, thank you. I truly appreciate that. Yeah, he made it to 87, and it’s been coming for a while now, so it wasn’t a surprise or anything. It’s rougher on Mom, of course.

      • Mrs. AL says:

        Please accept my belated condolences to you and your entire family, Brian. And please let your Mom know that she and all of you will be in my prayers during this time. 87 … goodness. Time flies, doesn’t it?

        Take care.

      • BrianR says:

        MrsAL, thank you so very much. I really appreciate the kind words.

        It really does just fly by.

  48. Sgt Relic says:

    I’m very sorry to learn of the passing of your father, Brian. I lost my Dad about 15 years ago. Fortunately, like you, my mother is still living and going strong at 86.

    All my best to you and family. I suppose you always know it’s going to happen someday but you never seem to be prepared when it does. I guess that’s life.

    • BrianR says:

      Thanks, Sarge, I appreciate your thoughts.

      Yeah, it’s funny… even though he was no longer part of daily life — geography, dementia, etc. — it’s very weird and strange just knowing he’s no longer here.

  49. jevica says:

    BrianR;

    Every time nanny NYC and its mayor think they have me, CA and gov Moonbeam surge ahead, I really can’t believe this.

    “Super. California votes to mandate more electric cars”

    “What’s not explained in this report is exactly how the state government of California plans to enforce this mandate. If there aren’t enough electric vehicles sold, will they just send in the national guard to shut down the dealerships and prevent them from selling standard technology cars until a sufficient amount of people show up to buy the green models? Will you be arrested as you drive off the lot in your new Camaro if not enough people bought a Leaf that month?”

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/01/28/super-california-votes-to-mandate-more-electric-cars/

    I can’t believe this B. S., are they going to put a wind mill on top of cars to take advantage of wind power?

    Are the fire department follow the Chev volt after any accident?

    The liberal nanny state always loves to mandate what the rest of us have to do.

    My favorite saying is “give me a break.”

    • BrianR says:

      LOL!

      Well, when it comes to state-level insanity, Commireforina leads the way, as usual.

      I may have to write an essay on this one, though. It’s just freakin’ hilarious!

  50. captbogus@yahoo.com says:

    It’s just California helping Zero out. He “runs” GM. He mandates GM manufacture a car no one wants. So. California mandates GM sell “x” amount of cars to folks that don’t want them.
    Next they will pass a law mandating everybody must buy a Volt.
    Hmmm…
    Saw a blurb somewhere about Ford stock going up.
    Now.
    I wonder why……………

    • BrianR says:

      Yup!

      Classic illustration of the lunacy of socialism: they think they can mandate what people are going to spend their money on.

      I wonder what’s gonna happen when all those electric shoeboxes are all sitting around gathering dust on the lots.

  51. thedrpete says:

    My best wishes, BrianR, to you and especially your mom. Hard for me to relate since my now-29-year-old-son has never known a grandparent. My wife’s parents have both been dead for 29+ years and mine for even longer than that.

    • BrianR says:

      Thanks, DrP.

      Wow. I can’t really relate to NOT having parents around. In many ways, they’re an anchor; a reference point. I’m having a really hard time imagining what it’ll be like when my Mom goes. I’ll be the oldest person in the family at that point; the patriarch, I guess.

      I gotta brush up my wisdom…

  52. BrianR says:

    I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the concept

  53. Mrs. AL says:

    BrianR and DrPete … wow, different circumstances indeed. Quite remarkable that there would be any type of like-mindedness between you relative to politics. Isn’t that remarkable. Would relate my circumstances, but don’t think it would help any.

    And BrianR, waiting for that new post. DrPete, I have read your latest and am still working on something that resembles a coherent response. There is so much I want to say but want to cull it down to its essence as far as possible.

    • BrianR says:

      Hmmmm…. that’s interesting. Actually, I think DrP and I agree quite a bit on politics. I think we may have some minor differences on strategy, maybe, but actually agree on principles and the state of the nation.

      BTW, interesting icon you have there. What is that, a Dagwood sandwich?

      Yummmmm……

      Oh! Nope. I see it’s a stack of books.

  54. AfterShock says:

    excellent post Brian. In my experience, and I know others have said it before me, independents are quite reticent about committing to a political party or candidate, they don’t like to admit where they stand by taking sides. That said, I’ve found that most independents are attracted to strong leadership and an unambiguous position on issues. Since it’s difficult to find a progressive or liberal possessing both strength of leadership and a clear unambiguous message, the advantage rests with true conservatives able to articulate conservatism with conviction. That’s why Romney is having trouble catching on, his record and his rhetoric are choc full of ambiguity. Independents resist being led, but they will follow a strong leader with a clear message.

    • BrianR says:

      AfterShock, good to see you. Thanks for stopping by, and commenting.

      Yes, I think you’ve verbalized another aspect of the whole problem for the politicos.

  55. jevica says:

    Brian it’s time people realized that “Obama Didn’t Cave on the HHS Mandate . . .” he just changed who was to pay. Who do they think they are. He can’t any more tell the Catholic Church what they have to do than he can tell insurance companies what they have to do. Or how much they can charge for it. Where does this fool think the money comes from. WTH I’m waiting for my free lunch.

    We’re supposed to think that we have emerged with a big victory here? Anyone who believes that is smoking some strange stuff.

    He tells insurance companies what they have to cover then how much they can charge [or in this case not charge], this A.H. is really full of himself. Where does he think he POTUS gets the power. Can you imagine if a PSP President did this the media, Dems, etc. would go crazy.

    If they nominate Romney they just want to insure another four years of BHO, then they will cry about the fact he was reelected.

    • BrianR says:

      Yeah, Jev. Apparently the PSP strikes again.

      Of course, you put your finger on exactly the problem with this “compromise”, and ObamaCare in general: dictating to the free market as to what products they HAVE to offer and what they’re ALLOWED to charge for them.

      Just exactly what constitutional authority does that derive from, I’d like to know.

  56. jevica says:

    One interesting point, big government makes everything else small.

  57. jevica says:

    Brian a slide show “The Biggest Holders of US Government Debt”

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/biggest-holders-of-us-gov-t-debt.html;_ylc=X3oDMTNuZGU1Y3JjBF9TAzExODMzMDg3MjgEYWN0A21haWxfY2IEY3QDYQRpbnRsA3VzBGxhbmcDZW4tVVMEcGtnA2IzNGEyNTc4LTIyNjAtMzdiYS1iZWFkLTkyNzQwNWFiZTdjMQRzZWMDbWl0X3NoYXJlBHNsawNtYWlsBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

    Most say China will not call our debt because then what they have will be worth nothing. But the fact that they have so much of it will change our policy to them. These fools have to stop spending or else China will own us.

  58. BrianR says:

    Yeah, it’s the same problem we’ve had with Middle East oil suppliers, too, primarily Saudi Arabia. Why do we treat them like “friends” when they’re nothing of the kind?

    Same deal.

  59. Conservative Man says:

    What do you think about Rick Santorum? A very easy win for Obama!?
    Rick Santorum – the latest candidate to try and establish himself as the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. Instead of backing down, he had the audacity to defend his Big Government record, including: Voting for Title X funding, which sends tens of millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood;
    Campaigning and endorsing Arlen Specter in a tough Republican Primary versus a true conservative – Pat Toomey; Voting for bailouts and raising the debt ceiling five times.
    He even said at one point having limited government is nothing more than a pipe dream and hinted that the problems with existing Big Government programs, are more Big Government programs!
    These are hardly the marks of a conservative. Very much a big spender, I guess being a lobbyist has taught him the value of continued spending of taxpayer money.

    • BrianR says:

      All valid points. Unfortunately for the GOP, they don’t have any candidates in the race with completely clean records.

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