A Word of Explanation

Welcome to my political commentary blog. I figured I’d use this introduction to explain how I arrived at writing this blog. I grew up as a Conservative Republican and went through college and law school essentially holding to those beliefs. Being an Evangelical Christian as well, I would have been considered a member of the Religious Right. However, over the last few years, I became increasingly disillusioned by the Republican party. For instance, I believe in conservative fiscal policy, so I could not agree with continuing massive tax cuts aimed at the wealthiest Americans while the country had a serious budget deficit which was only increasing due to fighting two wars. I am also a firm believer in the rule of law, so I took issue with the Bush administration using the cloak of national security to deny habeas corpus rights. Finally, the politics of fear & division used by the Bush political team, turned me off. Especially, their use of the War in Iraq, which I now believe was a major mistake.

In 2008, this caused me to do what 5 years before, I would have thought to be the unthinkable – I voted for a Democrat for President. In supporting Barack Obama and since I am an advocate by trade, I decided to write a political essay setting forth my rationale. I enjoyed the process so much, I was looking for an outlet to continue my political thoughts. When my cousin started a personal blog, it gave me the idea to start a political commentary blog.

Like the name suggests, I still consider my self a conservative as many of my political stands are conservative, but I definitely have a more progressive line of thinking. You should see both sides come out as I post. Some of the posts will be more analysis while others will be more editorial and take a position. I look forward to any feedback. Let me know if there is a topic you would like me to discuss (see my contact info at the bottom of this page).


Thursday, March 26, 2009

And the True Spokesperson for the Republican Party Should Be . . .

In my last post, I laid out the arguments for seven different individuals as to why they could be the spokesperson for the Republican Party. I also indicated the cases against these individuals. With the Republicans unveiling their “budget blueprint” today, it got me thinking that I had not weighed in on this issue yet.

I must say that with today’s announcement by Republicans of their budget plan, I am becoming less and less impressed with the party to which I have belonged for most of my adult life. The release made by Congressional Republicans was even criticized by Fox News for its lack of detail. In releasing this blueprint, House Minority Leader John Boehner said “The president came to Capitol Hill and laid out his blueprint for his budget during the State of the Union. He didn’t offer his details until days later. Today we are offering our blueprint.” While that is true, it almost appears as though the Republicans were not even planning on proposing an alternative budget until President Obama called them on it in his press conference Tuesday night.

It has been a month since President Obama went to Congress and presented his overview. Two days later he submitted his budget. In the four weeks since the President submitted his budget, the Republicans have done nothing but criticize it. Now the Republicans are asking for more time. What were they doing the whole month while they were criticizing the President’s budget? It’s almost as if the Republicans were going to be content in sitting back and criticizing while never being a contructive part of the conversation.

All this leads me back to the original purpose of this post. Who should speak for the Republicans? Based on the above statement, Congressman Boehner and those like him should not speak for the GOP. If you are only going to criticize and not put forth a real effort to solve this country’s problems, then you need sit down and shut up. In fact, that is the problem I have with most of the candidates on the list. Rush Limbaugh, Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell have all been very content to sit back and criticize President Obama’s budget and economic plans. Until today’s feeble attempt, none of them had proposed any measures aimed at fixing the ailing economy. In addition, Rush Limbaugh, Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin are not part of the federal government and therefore, have no ability to enact any proposals anyway.

All this leads me to who I believe should be the spokesman for the Republican party: John McCain. While Senator McCain has been critical of some of President Obama’s initiatives, he has also recognized the need for action and has been willing to listen to the Obama administration’s proposals. In speaking to the Heritage Foundation today, he praised Treasury Secretary Geithner for at least making some progress in dealing with the toxic assets in the financial industry.

Senator McCain also recognizes that the Republicans cannot simply be obstructionists. In that same speech to the Heritage Foundation, said the following: “As both a policy and political matter, it is vitally important that Republicans refrain from becoming or appearing to become the party that just says ‘no.’” The entire text of Senator McCain’s speech can be found at his Senate website. While it is loyal to Republican “talking points,” it is measured in its approach and looks to try and work with Democrats to accomplish initiatives where common ground can be found. It is this kind of common sense approach that we need to have in these difficult economic times. Now is not the time for us to simply attack the other party and hope we can wait for the next election. Americans want action and Senator McCain recognizes that. It is his considered approach and conciliatory message that the Republican party needs to embrace during this economic crisis.

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