Thursday, September 07, 2006

Newt gets it...

So, either Newt has been reading my stuff, and stealing from it, pun intended, liberally, or I'm just that much in line with what should be the leading voice in the GOP.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has come out with what he calls the American Eleven. Eleven platform planks that fall lock-step in behind 2/3 of my Dream Conservative Platform(yeah, I know, the social flexibility one will never fly...that's why it's a dream...).

Granted, I disagree with item 3, but I'm just a godless heathen like that. Well, that, and I'm too busy trying to push the other 10 to care if I'm requested to add in two more words to something I don't really repeat anyway.

I can only hope the GOP will give the American Eleven the 60 days and two years that they need to, to ensure that we never have to hear the words 'Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi' or 'President and Supreme Dictator for Life, The Smartest Woman In the World, Hillary Rodham Clinton' without massive laughter immediately following it...

12 comments:

dadvocate said...

Definitely a better platform than what the Republicans have now, especially the control the borders bit. Plus the "stay the course" approach seems to be becoming a wandering.

Patrick Armstrong said...

Gingrich ain't dumb. While Rove may be the best political mind (electorally speaking) Newt is the best political mind (policy sales speaking). He's the guy who took Congress for the Republicans in 1994, and with good reason.

Though he veils his planks in opposition to the 'liberal meanace,' he is really going after the philosophies of the currnent leadership.

Rovians just like to scare people and hit on 'anger points.' This type of campaigning has given us the current leadership and behavior of the Congress. People know that. You can only cry wolf so many times.

Newt knows how to add that populist ingredient to the mix. He is definitely not an 'echo-box' Republican like so many of the leadership. Newt isn't led by the polls, he uses them as source material to support his policy. The difference is huge.

I don't like a lot of what is in those planks (shocked faces, I know), but the positive aspect is that we actually get to debate policies not ideas.

I only wish more Democrats and Liberals realized how to start your coalition building in the center, and work your way to a real policy debate. Not many of them realize at this point that, though voters may not like their Republicans, that doesn't necessarily mean they will like their Democrats...

I don't see these 11 things coming into play in the next two months, the Balkanization of the Republican party pretty much prevents that on a national scale (unless Newt can get together a significant conference in the next two weeks). Plus, I think voters are going to look at it (especailly in the Northeast & Midwest) as 'what have you done for me lately?' (It must really suck to be in a Republican Party that got more done with Clinton in office as President than with Dubya)

But these 11 will definitely have an affect on 2008, especially when Newt can use the words "Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi" and it is a reality.

Dante said...

I really think Pat hit the nail on the head in his last paragraph. What's the point of bringing this up so close to an election? Newt knows that if the Republicans lose the House in 06 and he calls House Republicans out now about policy, it'll very much help his possible 08 Presidential run even though there's really not enough time to tackle the majority of these issues.

The problem Republicans are facing is that they think they can just keep running on the War on Terror platform forever. That's kind of like continually going all-in in poker. It works every time but once.

Republicans keep asking, "Well, do you want Pelosi and her Taliban-loving Communist friends to run the show?" Right now voters are answering in a resounding "maybe," and that's just not good for House Republicans.

"This refreshing approach [referring to persuing the American Eleven] would reject the "incumbentitis" of relying on pork-barrel spending for reelection and return to the basic populist conservative values which gave us a majority in the first place."

How true.

dadvocate said...

The problem Republicans are facing is that they think they can just keep running on the War on Terror platform forever.

I agree completely. My post yesterday tried to say something to this effect contrasting it with the Republicans abandoning the illegal immigration issue, for the time being at least.

Plus, the Republicans can say they are doing a good job fighting terrorism, but how do you prove it. There was 8 years between the first WTC attack and the second. Thus, because there has been no other serious terrorist attack in the U.S. doesn't necessarily mean the current administration has prevented it.

Fishplate said...

Plus, the Republicans can say they are doing a good job fighting terrorism, but how do you prove it. There was 8 years between the first WTC attack and the second. Thus, because there has been no other serious terrorist attack in the U.S. doesn't necessarily mean the current administration has prevented it.

Not to disagree with you, but ouside of our current theater of operations, there have been no Somalias, no Khobar Towers, no bombing of our embassies in Africa. Plenty of other targets have been hit, but none aimed at american civilians.

So far.

And while we're on the subject: does anyone seriously think that we have given up on the search for Osama bin Laden?

Buzzzbee said...

Well, since I have nothing else to do for a little bit, I'll give my take on Newt's 11 in an itemized format.

1. This one, I don't really care about.

2. Yeah, obviously. I'm just waiting for the Republicans to realize that this is their salvation.

3. Definitely against.

4. I'm for this one, just so long as gov't makes sure everyone can get one. My great grandmother(who turned 100 last month) told me the last car she's driven was a model T. She votes but she doesn't have a drivers license or any other picture id. If the government is going to change the rules, they need to help her acquire an id. She has a very hard time getting around, and going to a place like the dmv and waiting for an hour is just not an option.

5. Keep the ESTATE tax. Are we children? Are we really that susceptible to a play on words? I just really get sick of all these nonsensical games they play in Washington. Its a tax on the people most of us hate the most. The Paris Hiltons of the world. The people who get rich by doing nothing other than being born to very wealthy people. It doesn't even effect us normal folks. According to the IRS "so that only total taxable estates and lifetime gifts that exceed $1,000,000 will actually have to pay tax." This is such a stupid issue. (I tried to add a link to the IRS website, but blogspot wouldn't accept it.)

6. Of course. I don't think the Dems would argue on this one. As a matter of fact, this whole thing started with a portion of the republican base (corps.) wanting to take prime real-estate from private owners.

7. This would make them the last people to jump on board with this one. The otherside's been talking about this for years now.

8. Yeah, of course, with them being the party in control, they're the ones responsible for all this spending and the unbalanced budget issues. George W. Bush is probably the worst thing to happen to Small gov't conservatives in the history of conservatism.

9. Alright, this one I don't get. Teachers doing a good job=more funding for the schools. Teacher doing a bad job=cut funding and making the situation worse? How is this a good idea? There are better ways of making them accept your policies, than cutting off funding. Besides, I think this is more of a state issue. We see how well "no child left behind" is working. I wouldn't say it's a terrible idea, I just don't like the idea of trying this governmental experiment on the kids whose school system is already letting them down.

10. Yeah, good idea. I'd really like to see Republicans start defending America from the radical wing of Islam. Unfortunately, they haven't done a good job thus far.

11. This is just way too complicated to discuss in such a brief format and I refuse to simplify it in such a way.

Dante said...

buzzzbee, something tells me your not the target audience of Newt's plan. I'm not too surprised you don't agree with most of it, but I do have a few comments/questions on your commentary:

4. Courts are already picking up the slack from lawmakers over making sure IDs are easily accessable. If there's going to be mandatory ID checks at the polls, you can guarantee it will be as easy as possible to actually get an ID.

5. "Its a tax on the people most of us hate the most. The Paris Hiltons of the world." The people with real money can afford to hire lawyers and financial planners who find loopholes to paying estate/death/whatever taxes. It's the folks who have built a little something up for themselves but can't afford professional legal and financial advice who get drilled by this particular tax. Besides, last I checked Richard Hilton is still very much alive. As of right now, Paris hasn't directly inherited one penny of his fortune. Snobby rich kids still very much exist despite estate/death/whatever taxes. And hate? I feel sorry for you if you're so wrapped up in wealth envy that you take time out of your day to hate Paris Hilton.

7. So what specifically has the other side of the isle been doing to help out with energy independence at the national level? I'm not saying they haven't been doing anything but if they have been doing something other than talking about it, it's gone largely unnoticed.

8. Survey says: DING! Bush, #2. I'm sorry but the #1 answer on the board is Richard Nixon. Of course, to be fair Nixon had to deal with an opposing party that was much more powerful but I just can't turn a blind eye to a Republican who allowed outright price fixing to happen on his watch.

9. I'm actually inclined to agree with you here.

patsbrother said...

Lately I have eschewed stuff like this, but two things begged attention. The following refers to dante and buzzbee's competition lists.

4. Dante, hoping that courts will "pick up the slack" is a recipe for BAD legislation. Not only is this elected representation at its worst (confusing voters as to why a certain program/expenditure is in place by foisting the problem on someone else - here, the courts - and blaming courts when voters ask why this program/expenditure exists), but it actually encourages courts to use more "liberal" approaches when applying the law (which you putatively conservative times seem to rail against). Not only that, whether you are a kitchen worker or a Congressman, you should perform your responsibilities well, or else you're pretty worthless: bad legislation indicates bad legislators. Plain. And. Simple.

5. Dante: You ascribe a wealth-hatred to buzzbee through a cynicism on the one hand (regarding the really rich) and a dowdy, crocodile tear-laden optimism on the other (regarding the not really rich rich)? Come on. If what buzzbee says is correct (and there is no reason to believe she is not), the estate tax refers to flat-out millionaires. These are not people who have "built a little something for themselves and can't afford professional legal and financial advice"; if that were true, lawyers would exist in St. Simons and Buckhead, and that's about it. There's an Alabama bar, right? There are CPAs in South Carolina, right? You're completely off on this point.

It is also perverse to suggest Congress should eliminate X because X is flawed because Congress poked holes in it. If someone pokes a hole in a dyke, you don't let the ocean in: you patch it up.

Also, Congress, though strange in its own ways, created those loopholes to encourage those with money to spend it a certain way, and less taxes on those expentitures was the carrot to get them to do it.

And I'm done.

Buzzzbee said...

Ok, first and foremost, PatsBro referred to me as "she". I'm most definitely a he. Not a big deal, considering Patrick is the only person on here who's actually seen me in person. I just thought I'd clarify.

You're absolutely right, Dante, these were most certainly not aimed me, but I enjoyed criticizing them anyway. Seriously though, it takes all of thirty seconds from the time the dems release an opinion of any kind for the right to have 12 people on the news outlets bashing it with synchronized catch-phrases. That alone gives us left leaning people clearance to criticize a potential republican platform. Besides, if the dems screw up(I give it about a 50/50 chance), this will turn into policy that affects my life.

To continue with the Itemized format:

4. I'm all for using IDs to prove who you are when you vote. I think they will make it more difficult to cheat, by no means impossible, but hopefully more difficult. We just have to make sure we aren't impairing ability of people who meet the legal requirements to vote. I haven't heard anything about how they are going implement this program.

5. If you don't hate Paris Hilton, I think you might be the only one. She's an adult spending money she didn't earn. There's only one difference between what she does and what someone who's defrauding welfare does: what she does is socially and legally acceptable(what she does money-wise anyway). I thought I shared this view with you right-wingers. My respect for the American, Entrepreneurial spirit, and the value of a dollar earned, I thought these were core Republican beliefs. We accept the Hiltons, because we want to be able to spend money on our own kids, and it’s the parent's responsibility to instill a work-ethic, not ours. Still, we're supposed to look down on those spending undeserved wealth, who can barely pump their own gas. By the way, it doesn't take time out of my day to hate Paris. I'm actually doing it right now as I'm typing this. Hating someone doesn't burn nearly as many calories as you might think. For some reason, hating Paris Hilton is easier than most.

I'm sure you can relate. There's got to be someone that you hate. I bet I can even name a rich person you hate, and it won't take any extra time out of your day. Two words. Rhymes with Millary Minton. If don't hate her already, you might want to give a try. A lot of people seem get a great deal of satisfaction from hating her. While your at it, maybe you can figure out why people hate her so much, and explain it to me. I completely missed that one. She was really popular when Bill was president. So what happened? What did she do? Someone must've forgot to invite to the meeting where everyone got together and decided not to like her anymore. I know people dislike her intensely. I just don’t know why. Anyway, on to the next item.

7. I agree completely. They haven't been doing nearly enough.

8. You're probably right. I don't know nearly enough about Nixon's economy to argue.

The web address I got that estate-tax quote from has commas in it, and I think that's why it blogspot wouldn't let me post it using html. For some reason, this blog won't word-wrap it either, so I couldn't post it. I'll try breaking it up.

http://www.irs.gov/
businesses/small/article
/0,,id=108143,00.html

My quote is at the bottom of the third, non-bold paragraph.

Dante said...

"Dante, hoping that courts will "pick up the slack" is a recipe for BAD legislation."

Who is hoping? I'm pointing out that courts making sure IDs are easily available is happening, not that it should happen. Specifically, it's happening in Georgia. When other states go to write their own laws on issues, they don't tend to start from scratch. They start from what's already out there. If they see Gerogia having to jump through certain hoops to get this legislation passed, other state legislatures are more likely to go ahead and put the provisions in beforehand.

"There's an Alabama bar, right? There are CPAs in South Carolina, right? You're completely off on this point."

"It is also perverse to suggest Congress should eliminate X because X is flawed because Congress poked holes in it."

Well of course you take that position. You're training to be a lawyer. Even if this isn't your specific field, it's in your best professional interests to take this stand. I on the other hand would prefer a tax system easy enough to not need a hired professional just to navigate the system.

And Buzzzbee, you presume entirely too much.

"Still, we're supposed to look down on those spending undeserved wealth..."

According to who? I'm not beholden to your moral values and I don't expect you or the Hilton family or anyone else to be beholden to mine. I'll skip the "undeserved" part since I think you did a nice job of pointing out both sides of that issue already but I'm not "supposed" to look down on what other people spend. I do my best not to look down on anyone. I'm sure I have just as many faults as they do. You can put any other such suppositions where you would normally put a suppository. I thought your side of the isle was against forcing moral values on others?

"I bet I can even name a rich person you hate, and it won't take any extra time out of your day. Two words. Rhymes with Millary Minton."

Again presuming entirely too much. I don't hate the other side of the political isle. In fact, conservatives owe a great deal of gratitude to Ms. Clinton specifically. If not for her pathetic attempt at universal health care, we might not have taken control in 1994. Things were looking pretty bleak for Republicans in general in 1992. The only thing they really had a lock on for any length of time was the Presidency and then they even lost that. But along comes this health care legislation that won't even let you choose your own doctor and Hillary's face was plastered all over it as the spokesperson. People were seeing President Clinton's wife who was not elected or appointed based on merit to anything making her qualified to trot out this legislation. The people hated it and it gave the conservative Republican movement some serious momentum. Hillary Clinton is one of the best things to happen to Republicans. How could I possibly hate her?

I think the hate started when she became a carpetbagger in NY. I remember firemen booing her shortly after Sept 11, 2001. Let's face it, she is indeed a carpetbagger but who can blame her? If NY didn't want a local supporting them, they are certainly welcome to elect whoever they like. Still nothing to hate her about in my opinion.

"7. I agree completely. They haven't been doing nearly enough."

And that was really my point on #7. Much like Republicans and conservative agenda, House Democrats talk a lot about environmental policy but try to do surprisingly little. If it's gotten popular enough that the other side is starting to jump on board, then maybe you guys could've been trying a bit harder. Republicans could do the same with controlling spending.

Buzzzbee said...

Well, Newt had eleven so I thought it would be pleasing to make eleven comments here.

I've always disliked the hypocrisy of a rich person pointing at someone on foodstamps for not earning their keep, and then handing over millions to their children. Paris Hilton is just the extreme example. I, on the other hand, had a job when I was 16 and had to work for everything non-essential. Therefore, I don't feel the least bit hypocritical complaining about deadbeats on welfare. Of course, I include all undeserving welfare recipients, private and corporate, and I realize that many people are using it properly and need it to get back on their feet. Also, there's the issue of healthcare. Since we are one of the few western countries without universal coverage, some people stay on welfare longer than they should because they need the coverage and whatever potential job they're looking at doesn't offer healthcare or more often, the coverage it offers doesn't cover their needs. Ex. Child need $800 worth of medicine. Company-insurance only pays for $400.

I'm not going to get into the definition of "is" is, conversation about "hate". I can see you aren't the type of person one should be loose with words with when discussing an issue. That's not necessarily a bad thing, I'll just take note for the future topics. I did notice, you skipped the actual issue of the estate tax and focused on the Paris Hilton portion. Should I presume you had nothing to say about it or is that you found it less important hating Paris Hilton?

"House Democrats talk a lot about environmental policy but try to do surprisingly little."

Republicans have owned congress for the last 12 yrs. I don't see how Democrats can much more than send up legislation and watch it get shot down. This January, it may be a different story.

Dante said...

Ha ha. Here's #12.

"I don't see how Democrats can much more than send up legislation and watch it get shot down."

Which they haven't done. They could alternatively ally themselves with sympathetic Republicans but that's something you see more in a multy-party system than a two-party system.

"I did notice, you skipped the actual issue of the estate tax and focused on the Paris Hilton portion."

I was going to arm myself with some figures but haven't had time. $1 million sounds like a lot of money and in terms of income it would be. In terms of wealth accumulated over the course of your lifetime, it really depends on several factors. A responsible adult who has prepared for retirement and lives in a high cost of living area could easily exceed that figure without having a lot of cash on hand. Heck in California or Manhattan, you can easily exceed that in home equity alone. Those are the "crocodile tears" I shed earlier. They are tears for responsible people. People who didn't rely on their government or their pesnion to take care of them. People who had the good sense to hold onto property and investments that would turn to gold in their lifetime. And you want to tax them for it. And if their estate can't pay those taxes with the cash on hand, you want to do whatever it takes to get that money out of them, including selling off the neccessary portion of that estate. That's what I take issue with.