Thursday, June 2, 2005

Considering the alternative

(I have been holding onto this for more than a week, tweaking it and debating whether or not I wanted to publish it. I decided to let it go and see what happens. This is the first time I have held a post in the queue for so long, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to commit to what I've thought. I've decided to go ahead and speak my mind.)

A number of nominally conservative bloggers have expressed reservations (to put it mildly) on the current direction of the Republican Party. I, too, have a lot of objections, but as objectionable as some of the policies of the Republican Party have become to me (a social moderate), the policies of the Democratic Party are even more objectionable to me (a fiscal conservative).

My problems with the Republican Party:

·Free spending (comparing them to drunken sailors would be an insult to the drunken sailors I know; the GOP has become a party of big spenders)

·Free trade. The Bush administration has demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice free trade for partisan reasons (Steel or lumber tariffs, anyone? For that matter, what about the tariffs on beef and lamb from Australia and New Zealand?)

·The Terri Schiavo case (congress should NEVER have been become involved in this issue under any circumstances; it belonged in the courts)

·Opposition to any sort of gay rights legislation. Allowing two men (or two women) to enter a civil union with the same legal rights as marriage has no effect on "real" marriage, and anyone who argues otherwise is full of it.

·Immigration issues. Bush is trying to be "inclusive", but his permissive attitude towards illegal immigration is alienating those who believe in enforcing the laws we have in place, and those who entered the country legally under those laws.

·The appalling lack of support shown to Bush's nominees (cabinet, judicial, and otherwise). Bush has shown little inclination to support nominees who are opposed for purely ideological reasons, as opposed to...

·The ardent defense of Tom Delay. The man should have lost his leadership of the party when his legal troubles surfaced. (If he had been found innocent, that fact should have been used as a club to bludgeon his accusers; by not taking any action, there is no moral high ground for the GOP)

Obviously, the last two reasons are specific to the Republican Party, but the first five can be compared with the positions of the Democratic Party:

·There are no deficit hawks in the Democratic Party leadership. They decry Bush's deficits, but their only answer is to raise taxes or scale back the military (except bases located within their distrcits). There is no consideration paid to reducing domestic spending; in fact, John Kerry wanted to roll back the Bush tax cuts AND still increase spending for a socialized-medicine scheme. Show me a Democrat who advocates cutting spending, and I'll listen.

·Bush's record is less-than-stellar, but looking at some of the alternatives being shopped by the Democrats (Gephardt, Edwards, or Kerry), I have the choice between lukewarm, transient support of free trade, or outright hostility towards it.

·Terri Schiavo (and the tangentially related stem-cell research issue) are being (mis)used by the Democrats just as badly as by the Republicans, but for different reasons. Howard Dean admitted as much with his comment about using Terri Schiavo during the 2006 campaigns. The Democratic Party (assisted by the media) have managed to misrepresent Bush's position on Stem Cell research, which only bans FEDERAL money, not the research itself or state money.

·The whole gay rights debate is one of the few areas in which I frankly agree with the Democratic Party, in respect to civil unions. It's not something on which I will base my vote (same thing with abortion, another issue in which I tend to be left-of-center).

·The Democratic Party's whole immigration policy is dictated to it by a number of far-left groups, many of which allegedly speak for Latinos. These groups seek to balkanize America and turn it into a slightly more prosperous version of what we have south of our border. It's analagous to what it going on in Europe with Islamic immigrants, and while the effects are far less disturbing that the European situation, it's still troubling. I've not seen any Democrat who is willing to stand up to the multi-culti grievance industry, so again the edge goes to the GOP, since it's a choice between weak and weaker.

I find myself throwing up my hands in disgust.

For now, I am still in the Republican camp, but support in 2008 will be determined by who wins the 2008 nomination. I fully expect that whoever wins will be facing Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, who seems to have remade herself in the Senate (I say this in a positive way, not derogatorily), and Clinton's voting record. I don't support a lot of her positions, but if she's up against Frist or Santorum, I'm voting for her. If she's up against Giuliani or Rice, I'm voting for the GOP.

McCain won't get the nomination, because he cannot possibly win the GOP primaries on his new voting record. Much as Clinton has remade herself, McCain has done the same, only in his case the results are far less positive. He now combines the social conservatism of some Republicans with the authoritarian big-brother control (McCain/Feingold, gun-grabbing) favored by many Democrats. His only saving grace is his deep and abiding dislike of wasteful spending, and his willingness to call it out regardless of the party of the person responsible.

posted at 05:34 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

What the...

One of my coworkers received this photo from his sister's husband, who snapped the picture in the maternity ward while his wife was in labor. This popped up on the monitor that was displaying his wife's (and baby's) stats:

(click picture for larger version)

I don't know whether to laugh or to cry.

Bill Gates=Borg Queen. You will be assimilated; resistance is futile.

posted at 05:06 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

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