This blog originally founded by Blogger who holds a theological degree and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Taught Psychology for 32 years and is now Professor Emeritus. Is a board-certified psychologist and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in his profession. Ministered as a chaplain, and pastored Baptist and Episcopal churches. Publications cover the integration of psychology and theology. Served in the Army, the Merchant Marines and the Peace Corps.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Together



19 comments:

Blogger said...

I was working the polls on election day and my Democrat counterpart was a young college student. He was explaining to me how we would not win the Senate because of our Tea Party candidates. My response to him was that I knew he could not understand but that if we had to win with the same old same olds because they were more likely to be elected, then we would be the same old party that was fired. I told him that if we could not have this new blood that Sarah Palin was bringing in, then we would be better off as the minority. I believed that then and I believe it now

guy faulkes said...

Amen!!!!

Jack said...

First off, congratulations on conservative victories (the Ellmers win surprised me). I’m sure someone will call me a liberal, Socialist, Muslim, etc. But here are my tea party predictions for the near-future:

Health Care: The bill will not be repealed. Not in its entirety at least. Opponents will have a much easier time reversing certain provisions (individual mandate, Medicare tax hike, capitation cuts, etc) even though the health care industry (the same industry that funded many Republican campaigns) oppose it. But ultimately, the health care bill will be stymied on the state level instead of federal (anti)legislation.

Spending: Any major bill that does not pay for itself over 10 years will be stalled. Tea partiers will stay on-point with their campaign promises of spending cuts, no matter what the overall cost to the nation’s infrastructure. The Department of Defense, however, will escape unscathed. Pork will continue, but it will be eliminated on the extreme levels. Pork is too valuable (gasp!) to local districts and economies for it to disappear altogether. However, esoteric spending will be subject to increased scrutiny.

Tax Cuts: The Bush tax cuts will remain in effect for all but the highest bracket. This will happen during the lame-duck session.

Cap and Trade: Dismantled (and not replaced by another energy plan).

Unemployment: Fiscal policy from the White House and Congress has failed, and will continue to. And we’ll not be seeing any more stimulus plans. This holiday season will be the best chance of economic recovery, but only if consumers start spending. If not, unemployment will remain above 9% until the summer.

Radical Movements: Movement to the Republican center will occur. The tea party cannot exist, politically, without allies. Only one-third of the Senate has turned over. The tea party now fields a few senators. That leaves almost all of the Senate in non-tea hands. Most of these Senators are the same ones tea partiers called “elitist” and consistently railed against. Three things are constant in federal politics: 1) you can’t get legislation written or passed alone. 2) you don’t make friends by berating others. 3) you need friends. Tea partiers will kick and scream for a period of time. But they will have joined the ranks of their fellow Republicans by the end of 2011, with the possibility of a threatened congressional strike when they find that they can’t get their way. Department of Education - remains intact. Constitutional Amendments 1-27 - remain intact.

For the victorious tea party, the path from campaign slogans to political realities will be a difficult moral journey. The Economist puts it succinctly:

“...they need to move past ideology into the realm of practical policy. This means having something serious to say about how actually to bring spending under control. To date, they have preferred breezy slogans. Will they cut into pensions and Medicare, and if so how? Will they accept that taming the deficit will require hikes in taxes as well as cuts in spending? Will they continue to oppose reflexively every measure of a Democratic administration, or have the courage to share responsibility for the painful decisions the times demand? It has been all too easy from the outside to conjure up a mythic America of limited government, sing hymns to the constitution and denounce the federal bureaucracy in all its forms. Once they are in government themselves, that gig will be over.”

Honest Debate said...

Blogger and Guy,

While I do definitely agree, I respectfully submit that was the wrong answer to the young college student.

The focus of that meme is Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle but there is nothing guaranteeing Mike Castle or Sue Louden would have won. Further, in California the Tea Party and Sarah Palin supported Carley Fiorina who was not the most Conservative candidate in the primary. She was a RINO light and lost.

In the Senate we had Ron Johnson(WI),Marco Rubio(FL) and Rand Paul(KY). The other 3 pickups may have been tea partiers too but the names escape me at the moment.

We won 63 House seats, 10 Governorships, 6 Senate seats and 680 State legislators (I think it was 19 States that flipped). Countless numbers of those were tea party candidates. Not since 1938 has there been a victory like this.

In my humble opinion the correct answer would have been: "If not for the Tea Party, Democrats would still be in control".

Honest Debate said...

Jack,

Not surprisingly, I mostly disagree with your assessment.

It is very hard to undo legislation so you may be right about Obamacare but I believe the mandate for repeal is crystal clear and loud. It will come to a vote... repeatedly.

On spending, I pretty much agree with you but I think earmarks are history. I don't think earmarks are necessarily bad but in this economy we can't go there. Cutting them out won't save a lot of money
(relatively speaking) but it will save us from bad legislation. The "stimulus" bill or health care would not have passed without bribes to Congress in the form of earmarks.

The tax cuts will be extended, all of them.

I agree cap and trade is dead.

On unemployment, I think we will see more stimulus plans but they won't involve spending. They will be based on freedom.

The Senate will not stand pat. In 2012 many more Democrat seats will be at risk and I predict the Republican numbers will grow. The tea party does have allies, the American people. They are now awake.

I think the premise of the quote from "The Economist" is severely flawed. The paradigm has shifted.

Honest Debate said...

The Establishment

Jack said...

HD,

The tea partiers now in Congress do have the support of a percentage of Americans. However, common citizens can neither co-sponsor nor vote on legislation. Therefore, the handful of tea partiers cannot stand alone in the corner as the “anti-establishment” (as your posted article puts it). They will have to submit to political realities in order to pass any legislation. The Economist quote is dead-on, I believe. It brings to light the actualities of federal politics. Ideology may win you points on the campaign trail, but it does not yield results on Capitol Hill. The few tea partiers who have proposed somewhat concrete “plans” for taming the deficit, decreasing spending, etc have been ludicrously unrealistic. Many of them are new to politics (or politics at this level). I’ll use Renee Elmers as an example. I’m sure she is an intelligent and capable woman, but she is politically immature. That was abundantly clear in her style of debate and overall campaign rhetoric. It is this political immaturity that will inhibit the movement. If its members cannot adapt to the political real-world in a timely fashion, they will be cast aside by their congressional counterparts. The paradigm has shifted, but only for a bit.

Also, you state freedom-based stimulus plans. Out of curiosity, what would a non-fiscal stimulus plan entail?

guy faulkes said...

HD, The link you provided is exactly why Blogger was correct. The Republican establishment has no sense of self except for a loyalty to the party. They share this with liberals and communists. They do not believe in supporting ideals.

This is why I will not vote for liberal Republicans in any election. It is also the reason that the O'Donnell win in the primaries was so important. If the Republican establishment is forced to concede that loyalty to conservatism is more important than any other matter in order to win a primary, then eventually we will have a party that represents its base instead of keeping the status quot in power. Eventually the establishment will be true conservatives.

This does not mean we will all think alike as shown by the members of this blog, but it does mean that the party will not be Democrat lite.

Jack, It will take about four votes before the Health care bill is repealed. These votes may accomplish a little at a time, or they may call for a total repeal htat will happen when one of three things happen. These are the Democrats in the Senate abandon Obama in a sense of self preservation; Obama is impeached and Biden abandons the process for the same reason, or after the 2012 election when Obama is defeated.

The natures infrastructure will be fine. It does not take wasteful big government programs to maintain infrastructure. The maintenance of this infrastructure and the creation of new infrastructure will become more efficient when conservatives control both houses. Until then things will improve because of the measures that will be taken to improve this efficiency.

You are correct about the tax cuts during the lame duck session. However, this may be addressed again after this session. It certainly will before 2012.

Cap and trade is dead as a hammer.

Unemployment will remain high until tax relief and the start of elimination of over regulation occurs. This will allow entrepreneurs to grow small businesses and create jobs.

The remainder of your post can be combined. Your mistake is that you think the Tea Party is a party. It is not. It is a movement. People of all races, creeds, and political parties joined this movement. There are many disgruntled Democrats in the Tea Party. As minorities discover that they have been sold a bill of goods with the entitlement programs that have held them back in political slavery, they will join the movement. This will take awhile to overcome the we want our bread and circuses syndrome because they first have to realize they will personally be better off as productive citizens than they will be as political slaves. When the Republicans stray from the ideals of the movement, they will be toast just as much as a Democrat. The tea party does not care what you are. It cares what you do.

Honest Debate said...

Guy, I don't disagree. The point I was trying to make was the premise of the notion that the Tea Party lost us the Senate could not be more wrong. The Tea Party is responsible for the tsunami we just experienced.

Bloggers answer, while true, accepted the premise. I reread Bloggers comment and I was indeed wrong because the conversation took place before the results were in. It was easy to miss that part because now that the election is over everybody and their brother is saying the Tea Party lost us the Senate and that's a lie.

In my opinion the debate over the viability of the Tea Party has been settled. If a liberal wants to discuss why the Tea Party hurt us then I will not accept the premise. Saying that I'd rather have the minority than a majority of RINO's (even if it is a worthy notion) accepts the delusional premise.

Despite our ongoing debate, I have never disagreed with you in regards to the primaries. My only disagreement is with those who would stay home in the general and give us the likes of Obama. You did not do that although I sense you regretted voting for McCain/Palin. To me, you did all you could do to prevent this atrocity so I will never understand your regret.

Speaking for myself, I think attempting to make the political calculations to determine which primary candidate would win the general is a nonstarter. I won't give it an ounce of weight in my decision. In the general I will always vote for Republican lite over Socialism if that's the choice. Not even close.

Jack said...

You’re right, it is a movement. There have been dozens of political movements throughout our history. Each accomplished short-term change (to varying degrees), but not long-term. Bureaucracy is designed to resist radical change and support the status-quo (which is now a dirty word). It is not a personal affront to anyone, but this movement will not survive much past the nation’s economic recovery. Once the American public shifts its focus to other issues, the tea party will fade into obscurity and history books. By 2014, there will not be any “tea party” candidates.

guy faulkes said...

By 2014 there may not be any need for the Tea Party. The liberal establishment in the Republican party may be gone and the Democrats overcoming the fringe left in their party and moving back to the center, at least a little.

If not, then by 2016 the Republican party will be the third party. The Democrat party will be the second. A new party reflecting the Tea Party ideals will be the third.

HD, I do not regret voting for Palin. It is a sad thing to have to vote for a ticket in which you are betting the headliner might be incapacitated because that is the best option you have.

Honest Debate said...

"Therefore, the handful of tea partiers cannot stand alone in the corner as the “anti-establishment” (as your posted article puts it). They will have to submit to political realities in order to pass any legislation." -Jack

I got your "political realities" right here: 65 House seats, 6 Senate seats, 10 Governors and 680 State Legislators. Handful?

"By 2014, there will not be any 'tea party' candidates."

"Tea Party" is a misnomer because there is no party, only a movement. If by 2014 Republicans have not been reformed then the "Tea Party" will go rogue and actually become a third party to fight against Republicans and Democrats. I've seen no evidence to convince me Republicans are not being taken over by the tea partiers. The "establishment" Republicans are kicking and screaming to no avail.

Honest Debate said...

Guy,

I did not read your comment before my response to Jack (above). It looks to me that we both said the same thing albeit in a different way. I think we're right.

"HD, I do not regret voting for Palin. It is a sad thing to have to vote for a ticket in which you are betting the headliner might be incapacitated because that is the best option you have."

I wrote "McCain/Palin" instead of "McCain" in anticipation of your response ("I do not regret voting for Palin"). You get only one vote so if you turn it into two then it's only in your mind. Whatever the basis for your decision, I believe you made the right one.

Honest Debate said...

Jack, you wrote: "Also, you state freedom-based stimulus plans. Out of curiosity, what would a non-fiscal stimulus plan entail?"

I did not say "non-fiscal" I said:

"On unemployment, I think we will see more stimulus plans but they won't involve spending. They will be based on freedom."

Repealing Health Care and replacing it with something that actually does lower cost will stimulate the economy.

Stopping the reckless spending and returning the unused "stimulus" and TARP money will stimulate the economy.

Less regulation, bureaucracy and talks of drilling moratoriums will stimulate the economy.

Raising taxes on every single American is currently the default position. Stopping that from happening will stimulate the economy.

I would like to see the capital gains tax eliminated altogether at least for a time. That would stimulate the economy.

Actual tax cuts instead of bogus talk of tax cuts while none are being proposed would stimulate the economy.

None of that cost a dime. It's all about giving people more freedom to make their own decisions and keep the money they have worked for.

Jack said...

Tea Party (NYT)

guy faulkes said...

That was an interesting link, not because of its content, but because it is amazing that anyone reads the New York Times anymore. I think it is loosing readership so fast that it will soon be a thing of the past, at least in its present form.

Honest Debate said...

I think Jack's article is interesting but a pretty pointless exercise over analyzing the obvious. Obama massively overreached, flushed the Constitution down the toilet and the people got fed up. That's it.

What's wrong about the following sentence found in the article?

"Despite the Constitution’s tolerance of slavery, the black abolitionist Frederick Douglass intoned its language about equality and inalienable rights."

The author, Samuel G. Freedman, should not be writing about a document he clearly does not understand.

Blogger said...

Who discussed Southern Democrats with me? Anyway, here is an article for you Southern Democrats

guy faulkes said...

I beleive the Democrat party will also turn to the right in order to survive. Ir can no longer let the far left nut jobs be in control if it wishes to remain viable.

Almost the exact same thing can be said about the Republican establishment.