Archive | November, 2011

Rick Perry’s T.V. Commercial

23 Nov

Rick Perry currently has a T.V. ad that is showing here in Iowa.  There are two versions of it–in one, he claims to be a common man.  In the other he shows a clip of President Obama making a statement, probably taken out of context,  about how we have been lazy for a few years, and then feigns outrage about Obama calling us lazy.

Then, in both versions of the ad Mr. Perry calls for a balanced budget amendment to the constitution.  He says that if Congress doesn’t agree “cut their pay…send them home.”

Who cuts their pay?  Who sends them home?  I assume Mr. Perry knows that the president can’t. 

I think Mr. Perry is trying to project that he is a “good old boy.”  He expresses what he thinks the voters might be thinking.  He knows that he can’t cut the pay of Congress, and the voters would be very unlikely to as well.

Sometimes smart people project themselves as kind of stupid in order to seem more likeable.  It can work for salesmen.  It may even work for low level politicians.   My view is that it does not work well for someone who is running for the highest elected office in the land.  And it really doesn’t work if people already wonder if you are smart enough to handle the presidency.

Have you really thunk that out, Rick Perry?

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Who am I? Why am I Here?

11 Nov

That’s a famous line by James Stockdale, who was Ross Perot’s vice presidential candidate.

The idea of this blog is to dig a little deeper into political issues than normally gets done.  Politicians try to simplify things to get our their messages.  The problem is, often those messages can be attractive slogans with little or no real meaning.

Politics often gets framed into the “liberal” versus “conservative” mindset.    I see it a little bit differently.  In recent political arguments (since about Reagan’s time), I believe that people who called themselves conservative have controlled the agenda.  “Liberal” has been a straw man, used by conservatives to define their opponents.  People who call themselves progressives have tried to define their own agendas–sometimes with a degree of success, sometimes not.

The idea of what a conservative is has changed over time as well.  Russell Kirk  defined the principles fairly precisely in the 1950’s and 1960s.  Goldwater, Reagan,  Buckley, and a number of others argued for conservative ideas over time.

Recently, conservatives have been defined by the Tea Party and some of the radio talk show hosts.  I did not buy in to the conservative ideas of the Reagan years or earlier.  I find today’s conservatives to be even more extreme.  Their ideas are dogmatic and not well thought through.  Today’s conservatives might reject yesterday’s conservative icons as not conservative enough.

So my views are best described as “anti-conservative”.  This blog will consider current politics, as well as core beliefs.  I encourage comments, even from those who disagree with me, but I will disallow comments that are poorly written.  If you don’t use correct grammar or spelling your comment will be removed.