These guys have got some gaul, OOPS! -I mean gall. Much like the French, and other European mobs (as in Greece), who think that the democratic process involves “revolution,” the union thugs in Wisconsin have decided to take up residence in the State Capitol, as their Senate toadies hide in another state.
This would be a bad joke, if most Americans weren’t paying into the public sector unions’ coffers, only to get endless budget deficits in return. Most of us private sector, non-union workers don’t have anything close to what we provide for them. The political power of public sector unions has corrupted the entire political system as much, if not more than “big business” money has.
This is why it’s so important that the union stranglehold on Wisconsin is broken. As a NY’er, I can only dream of freedom from this yoke. Gov. Cuomo is not going to touch that issue, but is probably hoping that the events in Wisconsin will give him leverage to get the fiscal concessions here. I’ll take whatever he can get, if he really tries. GO, CUOMO!!
One thing about revolutions, they sometimes come in pairs. How often have “democratic” revolutions turned ugly, within a few weeks, months, or years? This is a hopeful moment, but there may come a time when the military will act against the people. That seems a long way off, if it ever happens. Some say that the military’s restraint was because “we (the U.S.A.) own Egypt’s military,” based on our financial support. We “own” them only as far as our next check clears, and let’s remember that they were Soviet clients before they were ours. In the future, they may find China willing to sponsor them, for control of the Suez canal, with less concern for how they treat their citizens. For now, America’s investment in Egypt’s military seems to be paying off, when they refused to back an unpopular president against the people. You have to be blind not to see another shoe, ready to drop, sooner or later, though…
Q: How widely will this “democratic revolution” spread through the Islamic Middle East? A: It’s only going to spread in “tolerant” US-backed regimes, such as Jordan and Yemen, if the Media follows the script. Others will repress it, as Syria and Iran (which justified banning the protests as an anti-Valentine’s day edict!) have done “pre-emptively,” by arresting or detaining all known opposition leaders. Authoritarian states that are not “US allies” are much better at this kind of repression than our “authoritarian allies” are, for some reason…
Egypt’s “regime change” came after the Obama Administration cut levels of funding for Egyptian “opposition groups” established under Pres. Bush, and returned “approval” of the list of eligible “opposition” groups to the Mubarak regime. Maybe we should follow a similar policy with all of our “authoritarian” allies. Is the President on to something, or is he just the political beneficiary of world events? Can he take credit for a “fixing” a situation that our nation supported for decades, including his explicit support for the dictator Mubarak? Possibly, if things don’t take a turn for the worse…
I can’t help projecting Mubarak’s deposing to Nixon’s experience. They both had thousands of protesters screaming for their resignation, and were totally oblivious to the depth of the situation. Very different situations, but both men were overthrown by public opinion, ultimately. The differences are important, as well. We ban our military from acting on American soil, by law, and our Constitution is designed to protect us from government abuse of power. I hope that Egypt will conceive a new constitution with this in mind, and the military will support it. I’m still waiting in vain for our own US government to stay within it’s constitutional limits, so I can’t really throw stones at Egypt…until/unless the military goes against the people.
Back in the days of the USSR, conservatives like Reagan argued that people behind the “iron curtain” wanted to be free. Others said that these people never had a tradition of “freedom,” and that they wouldn’t be able to exercise “democracy” correctly, or some such nonsense. I know that the threat we face now is at least as big and bad as Communism or Fascism was, in the “Islamist” ideology. If Egypt is on the forefront of becoming an “enlightened Western democracy,” it still has a long way to go. It’s not about giving “power to the people,” if the people don’t believe in equal rights for all. That may be a concept that even the Egyptian military can’t stomach, if it is considered “blasphemous” to “decent” Egyptians…
If I was an Iranian dissident, I’d be pissed off right now. President Obama sided with the opposition to a “friendly” dictator in Egypt much more than he supported the opposition to Ahmedinejad, when a similar uprising occurred in Iran, a while back. This is not criticizing Obama’s stance on Egypt: it’s OK, for now. I’m criticizing his response to the Iranian uprising.
Our real “Sputnik moment” will be when China puts a man on the moon, which might happen on Obama’s watch, if he’s a two-termer. He’s just “softening us up,” by using that phrase now, in another context. Nothing says “rising world power” better than doing something neither of the “old “world powers can do, today.
Meanwhile, President Obama has expanded NASA’s mission to “acknowledging Muslim contributions to science,” as he cuts their funding. This time, the “Sputnik moment” is quite forseeable, even from as distant a planet as LEAVWORLD.
I support Andrew Cuomo. There, I said it. I’m not putting aside my mistrust of an Albany “insider” (read as “liberal”), but I like the game he’s talking. His plan to merge the banking and insurance regulatory bureacracies, along with the much smaller consumer protection division is “outside the box” thinking, for a new Governor. He’s also correctly stated that spending has to be cut, rather than raising taxes, to balance the budget. This will cause quite a squeal from the public sector unions, which brings me to the point of this post: If Gov. Andrew Cuomo is really going to take on the public sector unions, and the corrupt bureacuracy, he’s going to need some help. I stand behind my Governor on these and other issues, regardless of what party he belongs to. He talks the talk, let’s see if he can walk the walk, as Gov. Christie has, across the river.
As this Newsday article points out, he is socially liberal. This is not a problem in NY, where conservatives are mostly of the libertarian stripe. I believe that if a liberal Democrat NY Governor is embracing fiscally conservative principles, conservative libertarians have to speak out in support of him.
I remember giving Eliot Spitzer the benefit of the doubt, and saw Pa-TAX-i as a “knight in shining armor,” for his first few years. I’ve been suckered by all kinds of politicians, so I retain my pre-election skepticism about Gov. Cuomo. The Senate GOP majority seems to be willing to work with him, which could be a good or bad sign. I may be a Republican, but I don’t trust or like the NYS GOP any more than the left wing “insider” political machine. They all play ball together, with the public’s tax money and safety at stake.
Gov. Cuomo is asking the people to support him, in this fight against oppressive levels of taxation and regulation, and bureaucratic corruption. Fool me thrice, if it’s to be, but I want to be among the first conservatives to stand behind a Democratic governor of NYS.
UPDATE: A reminder of why I’m skeptical: Today’s “Inside Albany” column from Fred U. Dicker:
President Obama has agreed to extend all of the current tax rates for two years, in a “grand compromise” with the GOP. The deal includes extending unemployment benefits another thirteen weeks, which the Dems have been pushing for. There are several more provisions that are popular with one side or the other, but that’s not the aspect of this deal that I want to focus on. The reaction to it, by partisan pols and media people, is worth examining.
Rush Limbaugh thinks the GOP could’ve gotten more, that they have much more leverage than they realize, but won’t use it because of past experiences (link). He also notes that “Republicans do not run the House; they don’t run the Senate; they don’t run the White House, so in that limited context it’s a good deal.” (link) As the “biggest dog on the (conservative) block,” he is “barking” against “the deal,” which is to be expected. Still, as a regular Rush listener, I didn’t hear real outrage from him.
Meanwhile, the left is apoplectic, and it may be more than just “barking.” Katerina vanden Heuvel’s column (link) sums it up: “Obama: On the way to a failed presidency?” She borders on becoming a “birther,” according to James Taranto of the WSJ (link), with this line: “This daunting project is not a matter of ambition or appetite–or even unconscious Kenyan socialism.” I think Taranto’s just poking fun, but Obama’s accomplishments have emboldened the left to push for more than he can deliver. There is open rumbling about a 2012 primary challenge from the left, but seriously, anyone further left than Obama would be unelectable.
It’s expected for the furthest right and left people to criticize any compromise, but what does one make of the President’s statement, calling the GOP “hostage takers?” When James Rosen of FOX News asserted that Obama’s formulation of that statement might embolden terrorists, on the O’Reilly Factor, he was laughed off the air by Bill O. Still, the choice of words by our President was far from “bipartisan,” to say the least.
Granted, Obama called his own left-wing critics “sanctimonious,” but when he himself is using such extreme rhetoric, he can’t be surprised when CNN’s liberal commentator James Carville says he “capitulated.” In the same segment, conservative Tony Blankley seemed to defend Obama, while acknowledging that neither side got everything they wanted. Perhaps the similar response from several prominent conservatives adds to the perception that the President “got rolled,” or that this is a bad deal for the Dems.
One Dem who supports the deal is Sen. Joe Leiberman, though he’s is actually an Independent that caucuses with them, after his own split with some on the far-left of his lifelong party. Leading the Dem opposition are Sen. Mary Landrieu in the Senate, and Rep. Bernie Sanders in the House. I know Sanders calls himself a Socialist, but he’s also an Independent that caucuses with the Dems. On the GOP side, Sen. Jim DeMint is leading the opposition, and in the House, Rep. Michelle Bachman is the “point person.” Both are favored by the “Tea Party” movement, which is calling for fiscal discipline.
All of these opponents seem to be acting out of principle, whether from the right or left. The difference is that the left is whining harder, and exposing themselves as “out of touch” with the reality of public opinion. A perfect example is the lib who wrote this on the Huffington Post:
“Yet, what you told us last night is that you couldn’t imagine the average American family getting by on $3000 a year less than it currently has.
Mr. President, if you had asked the American people (instead of deciding this question for us), I think you would have found almost unanimous agreement that it was worth spending $3000 over the 12 months of 2011 – $250 per month – to break the backs of those who were trying to blackmail you… those who were holding our future – as well as yours – hostage.”
(Hat tip to Mr. Taranto for the link) What all of this points to is a problem that’s been developing for years: Where are the moderate Democrats? Judging the reactions from both sides, the GOP is looking like the centrist, moderate party. I think the President is seeing this, which is why he took the deal. He is obviously a far-leftist, but now that he’s “hit the wall” of public opinion, he’s probably more interested in holding on to the parts of his “progressive” agenda already passed, than pushing his whole party back into the minority in 2012.
Once upon a time “Leftists” were labeled as “Reds,” as in Communist. Now, the “Right-wing” of America is labeled “Red” and the Commies have gone “Green.” It’s interesting that the Dems have chosen “Blue” as their color, because when combined with “Yellow” (as in journalism), it makes “Green.”