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I get a real kick of out stories like today’s piece on Idaho Sen. Larry Craig . When it comes to the question of civil rights for homosexuals, I believe they deserve the rights of normal human beings –because they are.

With that said, I get a real kick out of guys who make their careers out of railing against the “homosexual agenda” and end up being queerer than steers themselves. In fact, they’re often the epitome of the very negative stereotypes they rail against: they’re into kids (er… pages), anonymous sex in my local international airport (see above), having drug fueled parties with gay prostitutes, or soliciting kids off the internet.

That’s not to say being gay and Republican are automatically incompatible in the same way it isn’t incompatible to be black and Republican –it just involves strong criticism on certain portions of your party (like a lot of normal people in any political party –at least, if you have a conscience). One of my best professors in law school was a prominent “homocon” as they are sometimes called, and that basically made him a Libertarian Republican –he was a major supporter of Lawrence v. Texas, writing an amicus brief– but that didn’t prevent him from remaining a conservative on other issues.

So as for this Senator? Just another conflicted, closeted fag. Feel free to point and laugh, I am.

Thomas JeffersonMuch has been said of the dichotomy of left and right. While what each concept actually means is up for debate, a marriage between the two extremes has always been disturbingly visible.

It is from the far left and far right that the calls for impeachment are coming in America and it is from the far left and far right that the isolationist currents are forming. The far left and the far right are fueled by populism, by distrust of the existing government, by the Lou Dobbs Democrats and the Ron Paul Republicans of the country.

The fact is the new emerging economies in Russia and China are perfect examples of the complicated ideologies in modern political theory.

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First off, let me say that I sincerely believe that people like VP Dick Cheney (and Pres. Bush) are not as bound to their more socially conservative positions in their day to day lives. Since they’re fairly intelligent people (note: I did not say strategic planners or orators), reason and maturity help prevent them from going as apeshit with a real life issue as they would during a press conference. Of course, we currently live in the political version of X-treme sports so these days no Republican (with national aspirations) can really say anything short of the Falwell-Party line without risking a serious backlash (McCain in 2000, anyone?).

Back to Cheney: With his lesbian daughter, Mary Cheney, 37, he’s usually avoided any discussions about GLBT rights. Well now the VP has something else to stir around in his head: Mary Cheney and her longtime partner, Heather Poe, just gave birth to Dick’s 6th grandchild, Samuel David Cheney, this morning. From published photos, he and his wife seem (expectedly) happy for their new grandson, thus we see the glimmer of a warm human figure behind the normal political bullshittery. While I’m tempted to go with the whole “see? Cheney loves his daughter for who she is and has some admirable traits”, at the same time I think there’s a strong argument that, if he really loves his daughter and is okay with it, he should be screaming at the barricades for GLBT rights. For now his position is going to go down in history has one of the ironic spots in the Bush Administration’s heavy social conservatism.

So much for that whole rapture thing, eh Jerry?

The Rev. Jerry Falwell, champion of loudmouthed intolerance and thinly veiled prejudice, died today slouched over his desk like Christopher Hitchens after his morning cup of “coffee”.

As callous as this may seem, Jerry Falwell was a great example of everything that wasDead asshole. wrong with this country today. He was at the forefront of a movement that has grown steadily more and more obnoxious and bigoted in recent years, and he somehow led them to political legitimacy.

He’ll be remembered by me and countless others as a belligerent prick. His condemnation of entire swaths of the American public as hedonists and hopeless sinners is a testament to how highly this arrogant jerk thought of himself. His habitual self-aggrandizement did damage to both Christianity and the Conservative movement as a whole.

The fact that Republicans running for President had to publicly kiss his feet (maybe even literally) is an excellent example of the damage Rev. Falwell and his silly little University have done to the nation as well as the culture at large.

It is very easy to criticize a dead man, I know. But the fact remains, Mr. Falwell and his movement were a cancer to this country and to the world. He was a supporter of apartheid, a homophobe, an anti-semite, a racist, and a sexist.

The Reverend Jerry Falwell, dead at age 73, was also very fat.

Photo from truthdig.com

Self described libertarians are one of the most sought after demographics in American politics. True libertarians, CATO cheerleaders and Goldwater babies, tend to be wealthier, more politically active, and fiercely loyal to candidates and their parties.

These are the statistical traits that have for so long tied libertarians to the GOP.Lady Liberty

Yet talk to anyone who seriously subscribes to the ideology and they will tell you just how disillusioned they are with both political parties, in fact they always have.

“I’ve never been happy with the GOP”

or

“The Democrats could never be small government.”

That last concept, small government, is so antiquated, so irrelevant, that the idea that it is still considered an attainable goal is laughable. Many will cite Ronald Reagan as a hero of small government, and they’d be right in a sense. Reagan oversaw an enormous amount of deregulation while in office, freeing up so much money that he quintupled the size of the military.

The military doesn’t count as the government? Since when?

The truth of the matter is, in a liberal-republic such as ours, eliminating government oversight can never, ever happen. If libertarians were serious, they would advocate for the privatization of the military, of the post office, of fire departments and the police. In America, there isn’t much talk about privatizing our most basic institutions, is there?

Canvassing libertarians will proudly wear t-shirts with pot leaves, hoping to entice stoners all over the nation to let go of their Hot Pockets and get out to vote. They cite a firm belief in gay rights, yet most of the most prominent libertarians on the GOP side either publicly oppose granting these rights to stay in office, or they stay silent and hope people won’t notice.

Have libertarians failed the GOP, or is it the other way around?

I argue it is neither, libertarians have failed libertarianism. How can a true believer elect a party that brought the Patriot Act TWICE, suspended habeas corpus indefinitely, and has done more to harm gays, immigrants, students, intellectuals, and small businesses, all of whom are considered constituents to the true free market cause, more than any other so-called advocacy group?

The answer is simple, American libertarianism speaks from the heart but acts from the pocket book. For all of the hot air that the GOP version of the movement makes about freedom, they almost always vote their wallet first.

If libertarians truly believe that the only suitable role for the government is the defense of the people, then doesn’t a basic guarantee of healthcare fall under that category? Why can’t the government act as a broker on behalf of its citizens?

The Department of Defense negotiates with weapons manufacturers on behalf of the Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen in the Armed Forces. Imagine what would happen if each and every service member were instead forced to purchase their weapon individually from a weapons manufacturer. In times of peace, those who couldn’t afford a weapon simply wouldn’t get one, but if war were to break out a weapon would have to be produced on an expedited basis and funded by tax dollars.

This is precisely what happens with healthcare. Those with no health insurance, the vast majority of whom simply cannot afford it, don’t go to the doctor until they are incredibly sick. A simple cough that could have been treated with $40 worth of antibiotics now becomes $5,000 in hospital care to keep him or her from dying. See my point?

The government could act as a broker between insurance companies and tax payers, giving them vouchers with which they could choose their own unique healthcare plan from the exact same companies that are offering care right now. These companies would be forced to compete for government contracts, just like military contractors do.

Small businesses would no longer be forced to pay outrageously high premiums (right New Jersey?) just to keep their employees insured, since a smaller amount would go to the federal government instead. Employer provided health care is unfair to small businesses who are already operating on razor thin margins.

Medicaid, Medicare, Plan D, all of these are doomed to fail. Government cannot subsidize healthcare and still offer good service…it can, however, use its size to bring competition to a fair level.

It is in this spirit that I argue the Democrats, not the Republicans, offer the most promising platform for true libertarians. Look at the GOP with an honest perspective and try and say that freedom can exist in a party moving more starkly to the right every day. Within the Democratic party there is room for discussion. The election of libertarians like Sen. Jim Webb of VA, the position of pro-business Dems such as House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and the embrace of conservatives such as Sen. Bob Casey show a party that is willing to evolve.

The Democrats are not an organized political party, they bash heads, bicker, fight and argue. It might be disgraceful and it might be unprofessional at times…but it’s freedom.

What an excellent start to my blog, but hey, the truth hurts.

Putnam was elected to the house in 2001, and the 32-year-old uber-conservative has, in recent months, been acting as the pointed weapon (read: functioning penis) of the Republican minority. The GOP has used him as a strategic mouthpiece due to his relatively innocuous committee assignments and he’s been the House Republican Conference Chairman since last November.

I just don’t like him. He’s loud, obnoxious, and is constantly ragging on Pelosi for “breaking campaign” promises even though the Democrats have been in power for less than two months.

I have no problem with Republicans per se, I’ve even voted for one or two. Many of them are nice enough and they tend to have impeccably parted hair, but Putnam strikes me as a disturbing indicator of the rising tide of young arch-conservatives. A brand of right-wing ideology that discourages compromise and discourse in favor of sharp parliamentary tactics that swing policy from left to right without taking into account any sincere reason.

Whatever, I’ll stop with the big words now. The guy even looks like a douche bag.

Just look at him.