Beyond the Cusp

April 2, 2013

Can the Republican Party be Saved?

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Recently the Republican hierarchy released their report detailing the problems the party is facing and attempting to detail the deficiencies and propose solutions. There were numerous voting blocs where they also found problems. One prime example was their losing the under thirty vote by at least a ratio of three to one. Other such blocs included single women, the less well off, almost the entirety of minority voters, and so forth. From what I saw it was possibly debatable if they even won a majority of the registered Republicans. Ok, I made that up but it was really almost that bad. They also found that they managed to receive fewer votes in every voting group over the results from four years earlier. Somehow the Republicans with candidate Romney were unable to even hold on to the McCain voters as they received fewer votes across the board in this last election. As horrible as this news was it was not as unsettling as the solutions the report provided. The main gist of the offered solution was to move the candidates and campaigns to align them closer to the Democrat message.

My bet is should they pursue this path it will lead to the death of the Republican Party. When the base voters who are the lifeblood of your political party are not getting to the polls your problem is not that you are too far removed from the other party, it is that you are not offering them anything distinctly different from the other party. The solution is not to attempt to be perceived as the Democrat Lite Party but to be the heart and soul Republican Party. Show a difference and celebrate that difference. The Republican Party has not given the feeling that they are proud, confident, or even that they believe in their party. They sound almost apologetic whenever they sound all that different from what the Democrats stand for. If you want a near perfect example of the real problem is that is cursing the Republicans all you need to do is listen to the “old guard” of the GOP during the debates on virtually any legislation where immigration reform is one of the most glaring examples. Another problem is the seeming lack of unity and cooperation between the different factions that make up the Republican Party. Sometimes it appears as if as a whole the Republicans do not stand unified for anything and are without honest and driving principles. We had a perfect example after Rand Paul’s efforts to make a serious protest over the evasiveness and apparent policy which would allow the use of drone strikes on American civilians inside the country’s borders in place of arrests and a trial if the President so deemed necessary with his thirteen hour filibuster and a number of the senior Republican Senators demeaned his efforts on the floor of the Senate. Such disagreements should never be fought out in the public square but should be discussed and resolved within the party. When was the last time you heard one Democrat Senator demean another Democrat on the floor of the Senate? Such would never happen as the Democrats have party discipline and would not stand for parading the party laundry in public.

Another problem the Republican Party needs to work on is simply getting their message out and being heard. Since the mainstream press is actually a willing partner in any Democrat candidate’s campaign, the Republicans have to find a delivery for their message which does not rely on the mainstream press. They definitely need to work on their Internet usage and make more and better use of U-tube, Twitter, Facebook, and all other forms of social media as well as blogs and the new media. There are a good number of conservative bloggers who would be anxious to support getting the republican message out if they only would be included in the campaign planning and get some assistance in coordinating with the candidate. They could offer releases to these bloggers once they had compiled an extensive list. But the most important challenge facing the Republican Party hierarchy and planners is a message around which the membership can rally and be excited over. The current state of the Republican can be summed up in two words, disjointed disarray. Until they can establish something that can be advertised as the Republican core beliefs around which every party candidate tailors their message, the Republican Party will continue to wander leaderless in the political wastelands.

Beyond the Cusp

February 12, 2013

The Big Three Obama Appointments

Three of the most important nominations a President makes, as the Administrative Branch of the government is primarily responsible for foreign affairs, are Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and Director of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). President Obama could have made appointments which would have been uncontroversial, middle of the spectrum, and well versed in their fields and received quick Senate approval with little confrontational debate. But that was not his intent. The President cast cares aside and chose three candidates who were at best problematic.

For Secretary of State he chose Senator Kerry who originally made his name making outlandish and adversarial accusations before Congress demeaning his fellow soldiers with whom he had served side by side with in Viet Nam. He accused them of committing horrific atrocities comparing them with Genghis Kahn and the Mongol hordes. Since being elected to the Senate Kerry had castigated the State Department who served under Republican Presidents and was never really much of a defender of the state on the international stage. Still, of the three Senator Kerry was likely the least controversial and due to his relations with the members of the Senate received an easy confirmation hearing. Senator Kerry becoming Secretary of State was never in doubt and, by comparison with the other two appointees, was the least troubling.

Next is the President’s appointment for Secretary of Defense, former Senator Hagel. Senator Hagel’s hearings have had a grand display of ruffled feathers and looks to be flailing and headed to defeat. His hearings were a relief in many ways, none to Mr. Hagel’s credit. He was unprepared for answers which any competent appointee for Secretary of Defense would have known would be asked. His lack of having even a basic grasp of President Obama’s foreign policy positions was appalling and shocking. His admission after receiving corrections and admonitions from even Senators with whom he had served surprised and shocked even those who initially had supported his appointment. When even Senator McCain, who had been a friend and cosponsored legislation with Senator Hagel, appeared to lose his temper at Hagel’s’ evasions and prevarications was seen as shocking and a telling problem which evidenced the downturn of any possibility for Hagel to be approved. What may have been the final nail in the Hagel appointment coffin came when the senior committee member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, announced he planned to filibuster the appointment should it be brought before the Senate for confirmation. Seldom do we get to witness such a display of animosity shown publicly for a former Senator when brought before the Senate for confirmation. Partial proof of the deference shown by the Senate to former Senator during confirmation hearings was the easy and rapid approval given Senator Kerry just weeks prior when considered for Secretary of State.

The final appointment was the President appointing John Brennan to be the Director of the CIA. Any candidate for such a sensitive position is required to possess many varied and crucial qualifications. One of the most vital is the trust of both the employees of the CIA and the President while being able to display same before the Senate. Another would be a high sense of morality and a solid moral breadth to guide him in a position where temptations to go afield of the straight and narrow are numerous. That is where there may be some difficulty with the Brennan appointment. This was evident with his first appearance before the Senate where the hearings were disrupted repeatedly by demonstrators. What was amazing is that I have to give Code Pink credit for their consistency on this matter. Code Pink had problems with Mr. Brennan when he was instrumental in defending the use of enhanced interrogation techniques. Since then Mr. Brennan has been neck deep in President Obama’s use of drones for targeted assassinations including that of Americans overseas who have been identified of ties to terrorism. This too has troubled Code Pink and their demonstration against him as a President Obama appointee was something not often found in politics in the United States, a consistent and independent sense of morality that is applied without regards to political party. Code Pink was right on target about Mr. Brennan who has demonstrated that he has no internal morality and will simply take his orders and perform whatever he is assigned to without regards to legality or righteousness. He has uncanny ability to find justifications for any actions no matter their actual morality. That combined with Mr. Brennan’s tendency to be a simple yes man makes him problematic at best and a disaster waiting to happen at worst as Director of the CIA. Unfortunately, the Senate is very likely to allow Mr. Brennan to be confirmed as it is rare for the Senate to refuse two senior Presidential appointments so close together, but we can pray.

Beyond the Cusp

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