Justin Arnold on July 22nd, 2010

So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.

—Sun Tzu, The Art of War

The two major forms of Republicanism each have a doctrine that is tied to actual documents.  Religious social conservatives have The Bible, while fiscal and Constitutional conservatives have the Constitution.  It is safe to say that the vast majority of Republicans have their political tenants supplied by one, if not both, of these documents.  This type of textual anchor is a positive philosophically and morally but in a strictly political sense can be a liability.  The resulting positives are what tend to be deep, time-tested convictions, stability, certainty and, when used, an effective measuring stick for candidates in primaries.  However, in our current event driven and largely politically uninformed society the negative is that this rigidness makes it nearly impossible to adapt positions to individual situations and use current events for maximum political gain.

This is a problem that the modern day liberal Democrat will not have anytime soon.  They indeed stand in the starkest of contrast.  Having left the Constitution behind decades ago, they move forward with no defined doctrine.  No set of black and white documents that create, inform, or guide their ideology (and don\’t even try to give me the party platform).  This creates a situation in which changing party leadership sets an evolving standard as to what defines a Democrat.  This not only allows them to easily tailor their political message to what they perceive to be popular at the moment, but grants them the option of playing the role of “lifeguard” and coming to the citizenry’s rescue with politically crafted legislation.

This, in tandem with the current perception that this is indeed the role of government, is extremely effective but thankfully also comes with disadvantages.  First, the […]

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Brian Nygaard on April 27th, 2010

Crisis On Wall StreetWhen Senator Levin says “Goldman made a lot of money by betting against the mortgage market” what do we think he might have meant?  Knowing some of the political philosophy of the esteemed senator from Michigan, it is obvious that his inference was that Goldman was acting in a fashion that was either illegal or immoral.  How could any American institution bet against motherhood, apple pie or the American dream of universal home ownership?  And certainly the notion of ”making a lot of money” is of dubious quality on its face.  The Senator is literally screaming “These people are the enemy of the state, and they need to be leashed, or chained, or imprisoned, or tortured…all for the good of the system of the people.”

It is always amusing when a single statement contains such a large number of fallacies.  Let us count the ways.

First, Goldman was acting in their role as an investment broker.  Everything they do is essentially either a bet for or against something…or the facilitating of someone else doing the same thing.  More technically, they are simply acting as brokers, and not as agents. Agents represent a buyer or seller.  Brokers facilitate the transaction. This is the “market mechanism” and it is what guides the whole system of the effective allocation of resources.  It is fundamental to our material progress.  As significantly, if people […]

Continue reading about Levin V. Goldman: Big Solution For a Big Problem?

Brian Nygaard on April 8th, 2010

Brian NygaardIn the February 16th, 2010 Wall Street Journal, Gerald F. Seib wrote an article called Senate Woes Flag Wider Disease.  The premise of the article is that the center of the political continuum has been eroded and that the bridge historically connecting the left and the right is being dismantled.  He goes on to indicate that the result is a Senate without an ability to accomplish anything.  The Framers, along with many who have followed, have long-since understood the power of the majority in a democracy.  Accordingly, they have inserted safeguards against the potential “tyranny of the majority” that are now coming into clear view.  Mr. Seib also points to the rapidly expanding use, over the last twenty years, of filibusters and cloture votes used to end those filibusters.  In the end, the article concludes, “The broader political system, more than the filibuster, is the problem.”

The notion of the “broader political system” is an interesting focal point for the current situation.  And while I am not certain what Mr. Seib intended by his use of the words, I am certain that the problem we have is much greater than a purely political problem.  To cast blame on the system is to address a second-order cause, as opposed to any level of fundamental or first-order cause.  The issues we face today are simply a proxy for the broader existential and self-identification issues we face as a nation.  We face an array of ontological problems that have been emerging over several decades, but are now, for the first time, exhibited for everyone to see.  The fundamental issue we face today is one of determining whether we as a nation are going to be governed by the use of power, or whether we will continue to be governed via “authority.” The distinction is becoming essentially clearer with every passing day.  And the distinction could not be more significant.

Our nation was built on […]

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davidl on February 8th, 2010

The reprobate and former Marine, John Murtha,  has assumed room temperature, Associated Press: Murtha’s criticism of the Iraq war intensified in 2006, when he accused Marines of murdering Iraqi civilians “in cold blood” at Haditha, Iraq, after one Marine died and two were wounded by a roadside bomb. Say hello to Senator Oldsmobile.

Continue reading about John Murtha: RIH (age 77)

on December 23rd, 2009

healthcare-reformWe are going to try and keep it simple on this one.

The bill stinks.

Put aside the fact that it expands Medicare.

Put aside the fact that it establishes coverage mandates (you will be forced to buy health insurance somehow).

Put aside the fact that it is a colossal power grab for an industry that has been well managed by the states for a long time.

Put aside the fact that it will increase taxes.

Put aside the fact that it will dramatically increase the cost of insurance for everyone (and they sold this to us originally as being needed to stop the soaring cost of insurance!).

Put aside the fact that it will wreak havoc on the tax code, balloon the size of the IRS and increase the size of corporate tax management teams (which will increase consumer costs in all industries).

Put aside the fact that this bill is overloaded with earmarks… in a bill that was intended to bring equality in health care.

Put aside all of those issues and focus on the one true deception that will be broadcast throughout the weekend and coming weeks: that the Congressional Budget Office has determined that the bill will have a reducing impact the deficit.

The lie here is that although the Federal deficit will […]

Continue reading about The Senate\’s Health Care Reform Is Abysmal