Archive for Democrats

The Political (Party) System

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 25, 2010 by Arne

It seems I rarely agree with Thomas Friedman (NY Times). Whenever I see him on TV or read his columns – I’m old fashioned in that I follow even those editorialists/journalists/pundits with whom I seldomly agree – I find them just slightly naive or platitudinous… What is the right word ? He often seems to either state the obvious but give it a fancy name (the whole flat world concept got real old real quick) or he seems to make unrealistic (utopian) appeals that I can’t take serious. But maybe that’s just me.

I DID like this column here. Take a look, and see if the Alternative Voting concept makes sense to you.

What’s really wrong with America these days is the political system. It’s one thing to say you got the greatest system when you’re comparing it to North Korea or the Congo. But the American system seems sclerotic. It’s just not working. It is inefficient. It’s hamstrung by such ridiculous, arcane things as the filibuster. Getting rid of THAT would be a great start.

What also drives me nuts is all this second guessing how the forefathers might have intended 21st century Americans to read the constitution. There is a document that could use some serious overhaul. I’m all for simplicity. But the US Constitution may be a little too simple for a complicated world as ours.

And then there is the party system. I have been saying for  months now that I don’t think there is a Republican Congressman out there who’s got any sense. Then I was watching Charlie Rose this week and heard Judd Gregg talking about healthcare. Here’s a Republican that I don’t agree with but who’s got sense. Next thing you wonder is how he could agree with any of his fellow party men on anything ?

The problem is the two party system. Friedman talks about the Tea Party of the Center. The problem is that a Centrist Republican has more in common with a Centrist Democrat, than either of them has in common with their party members on the fringes. I don’t know how many Centrist Republicans there are in Congress.  You sure don’t hear much from them. If mainstream America pleads allegiance to Centrist views and policies, then the country doesn’t need a Tea Party on the right and a Coffee Party on the left. What the country needs is a Centrist Party for people who want to fix problems and are able to set aside religious belief and cultural preference to get stuff done.

The rest of the world seems to be doing fine with multi-party systems. You don’t like A nor B, so you vote for C. But actually, right now, maybe most people would vote for C, and then C-politicans – having returned some sense and civility to Washington – could make some serious policy relying on the support of A’s and B’s depending on specific issues.


Why you need to vote for Obama…

Posted in Politics with tags , , , on July 22, 2008 by Arne

I haven’t seen the latest poll, so I don’t know if the Presidential race is neck to neck right now or whether Obama has a lead, or maybe, regrettably, McCain. What I can’t figure out for the life of it is why anyone in their right mind would vote for McCain !?

John McCain, I’m sure, is a pretty nice guy, as nice as they come in the Republican Party, anyway, whatever that means because many of their flag bearers aren’t on the nice side of the character scale. People like to call McCain a Maverick. Not sure that describes him well. Just because from time to time you say what you think (if you’re thinking for yourself)rather than nod your head to what the President has said, to me, doesn’t make you a Maverick.

But McCain’s behaved and acted unlike many of his fellow party members in years past, and that says something about the state of the Republican party. If all the sudden you’re willing to vote for the black sheep in the family, then the rest of the family must be up to their necks stuck in the muck. Which means you don’t really care who the candidate is. Instead you care about which party it going to control the White House. America, unfortunately, has a two-party system. Most people vote for parties not candidates. Good democracy functions through balance – balance of power, of voices, of representation. Therefore, reason #1 why you should vote for Obama is: Balance!

1) The Republicans have been screwing up for 8 years. It’s time to balance the scale. Granted, not all Republicans are bad. But we haven’t heard much from the good ones lately. It’s time the other side got a chance. Vote for Obama to balance the system !

What are the central issues of the American Debacle 2008 ? Well, there is the economy. Inflation is up, real estate in the dumps, jobs are lost… Then there is Iraq. No need to comment further. There is energy, the subject that’s always just below the radar till prices spike. And then there is the environment, unheard of since the 1970s, it seems, with the exception maybe of the occasional mention of the ozone layer and the dying rain forests. Healthcare ? Social Security ? Which of these really matter when it comes to picking the right party ???

The economy ? No. Both Republicans and Democrats got us to where we are. Just like the boom of the Clinton years wasn’t something Bill thought up in the Oval Office. The economy as a whole is way beyond the control of any administration. Thank God for that, or Bush&Cheney might have done more damage.

But there are some things that you should think about on election day. Republicans claim Democrats like big government and government spending. But spending has never been bigger than under Bush, and government hasn’t been this big either. The war in Iraq is BIG government !!! It seems that defense, fighting wars, is the only type of government Republicans like, and they like it EXTRA LARGE. Which brings me to another dilemma.

Republicans would like to dismantle government. They prefer to say they’re cutting spending but what they really are pursuing is their goal of privatizing America into the Stone Age, replacing government programs with more expensive and less effective “private” programs that are designed to make rich people richer… I know, I know, I must be sounding like a socialist now. But that’s the Republican world view. Money’s not supposed to be spread around. That would be unfair. Money’s supposed to go to money came from. Pooling money from everyone and providing such services as healthcare and retirement is about as bad as stealing money. No, instead cut taxes down to 0%, require people to put all that money in the stock market so that, in essence, it will trickle down to those who own stock market America by way of earnings and dividends – people who already have money.

2) If you believe there is a place for government in providing equal, guaranteed programs to everyone, to spread wealth, and share the burden, then you must vote for the Democrats.

Iraq is a mess. The fact that fewer Americans are dying now is fortunate but doesn’t make it less of a mess. The fact that we haven’t had another 9/11 is not a result of the Iraq War. Everyone knows America can’t leave Iraq over night, and regardless of how long we wait, eventually America will pull out – even under a President McCain. But just like BAD CEOs who loose their company a lot of money or make fatal decisions should be fired, very bad Presidents should be fired and with them their echo-chamber party. It’s time for a change in direction. One team’s been fouling up for 8 years, the other team should get the ball, not by decree but by the voice of the people. Vote Democrat !!! Vote for Obama.

The Environment. Finally we’re talking about it. Against this challenge all others will pale for years to come. Compared to the environmental storms on the horizon, our “energy crisis” is a breeze. The energy crisis is all about economics, something we don’t always understand but have the tools to grapple with. The environmental crises of the future are unpredictable. Very few politicians in America, I think, have realized what’s going on and are willing to make this the priority it ought to be. One of them, obviously, is Al Gore, and the hope that Gore might play some kind of important role in how environmental politics will play out under an Obama administration is my reason #3 for saying:

3) Vote for Obama, and you might get a bit of Gore for free !!