Tag Archives: Joe Biden

An open letter to Joe Biden

Thank you for helping to remove Donald Trump from office. The last four years have probably been the most dangerous since the Civil War. And I think I can speak for everyone when I say I support your call to be the President for everyone, free from all parties, not just there for the people who voted for you.

However, if we’re going to start restoring correct political norms that will benefit everyone, one of the first norms from the public has to be that we can not give in to a cult of personality and that we have a duty to oppose those in power, and especially those whom we voted for.

I voted for you, not because I agree with much of the policies you proposed, but because you seem to be a decent human being and that is what we need right now (I’d prefer a decent human being who has the correct policies, but I didn’t have that as an option this time). And I think that many of the people who voted for you are in the same camp. We are moderates, a few practical Libertarians, and Never Trump Republicans. We didn’t vote for you to expand the ACA or tax the rich or bring about the Green New Deal, but because we needed someone to restore sanity to America. And that milquetoast victory speech that was more boilerplate than substance is not a good start—I can admit that a victory speech may not be the best time to pick a fight and it might be a tactical choice to wait until January 20th before picking fights, but there did seem some missed opportunities there, but again, I will write it up as a tactical choice.

Now, I hope that you are looking to be what we hope you would be, but I’m going to state what I think most of us believe, and hope that at least the ideas presented here will reach you in some form.

First off you need to bridge the gap with conservatives, real conservatives, not the populist hacks that have taken over the PR functions of the party. That means there should be three to four Never Trump Republicans in your cabinet. Just one token Republican in the Department of Transportation won’t do it. You need to make a sincere effort to reach across the aisle and find the best people for every position. It might be a bit too much to hope that you put Paul Ryan in as Secretary of Treasury, but something that blatant is needed. Further, you need to reject BOTH extremes, obviously the Trump wing of insanity must be rejected, but so must the Warren/Sanders/AOC wing of your own party—if you want to heal this nation then these illiberal extremes must be given exactly zero power—the illiberal left is just as dangerous as the illiberal right. To embrace the far left is just as bad as Trump’s embrace of populism, it is an illiberal philosophy that has no place in America and if you tolerate it, then your words of hope, opportunity, and healing are only words. Also, if you’re going to go after Trump and work on reforming the police through legal federal means, you’re going to need a Republican AG to avoid making it look like a liberal crusade—I have no idea who, but a conservative AG would deflect most the criticism from all but the Alex Jones crowd (and there was never any hope of getting their support).

Second, you need to calm the worries over the Supreme Court. The left is justifiably angry over McConnell’s court-packing and the right is worried about court-packing from the left (whether that’s rational or not, that’s what governing for all side is, you have to calm as many fears as possible, even the irrational ones). My suggestion is you go to Justices Thomas and Alito, who are both in their 70s and might want to enjoy the end of their lives instead of dropping dead waiting for another Republican president. Come up with a list of Libertarian/moderate justices who believe in abortion and LBGT rights but in limited government in all other things (those first two are about limited government as well so it would be looking for actually consistent justices) and work with them to find a pick they can agree that they will retire if you appoint that pick. This calms the left and the right, defends the most important right you care about, and restores faith in the Court for all sides.

Now let’s come to your goals. First and foremost you need to re-establish our place in the world. That means a heavy use of diplomacy, of not just reestablishing free trade but pushing it (rejoining TPP, ending the Jones Act, quickly getting a new trade agreement with the UK, rolling back all of Trump’s tariffs, and challenging China in the legal format of the WTO). Free trade is an absolute good, and it needs to be encouraged no matter how much the illiberal sides of both parties hate it. And while Trump has done a lot of stupid stuff, don’t compound the stupid by just reversing his idiocy—for instance moving the embassy to Jerusalem was silly, moving it back would be just as silly and petty. Don’t be petty. And while we need to re-establish our relationship with the world let’s not be groveling and begging forgiveness. The world wants the US to be the world cop and the stable one in the room they can all look to for support, that does not involve going around and groveling (like your former boss did). We can admit that Trump was wrong without acting like America is always in the wrong.

Next, you must establish limits on the Executive branch. You need to push for a Department of Internal Affairs that can investigate every president and every elected official and which is free from partisan politics. Presidents are not above the law and this needs to be made clear. A president who breaks the law needs to know that he or she can be arrested and hauled out of the Oval Office in handcuffs. If you don’t push for some kind of way to limit criminal behavior in the executive then you’ve missed what the mandate you were given was.

Further, you need to limit the capricious dictatorial power of the Presidency. A president who refuses to work with Congress and just says “I have a pen and a phone” and rules by fiat is not a president but a wannabe tyrant. This can no longer be tolerated from either side. You are the president, if Congress is being obstructionist, you have the bully pulpit and your job is to convince the people to push Congress to act. Now, part of this must be using that bully pulpit to push Congress to return power to committee created legislation and not just letting the House and Senate being the fiefdoms of the Speaker and Majority Leader respectively. I know full well this is a long-term project that you will not see the end of, but it has to start sometime, and the sooner the better.

In terms of economics, again: Free trade. You’re not going to bring manufacturing jobs back, because even if a company moved production back to the US it would be done by machines. But what you can do is open up more trade which will create more opportunities in new fields. I’m fine with more investment for vocational training and retraining but we are never returning to a 1950s manufacturing economy, and I have to hope your rhetoric on this point during the campaign was simply a pragmatic realization that right now you weren’t going to win without that voting bloc. But now act in that voting blocs best interest and bring them jobs for the future, not lying to them about bring back the past.

In terms of taxes. Don’t raise taxes. Just get rid of the myriad of stupid deductions that exist. You know all those loopholes that Trump uses to avoid taxes. Get rid of all of those. The smaller the tax code the better. And if the upper and upper-middle class can’t just deduct all their income then tax revenues will increase.

It goes without saying that immigration needs to be reformed. But it needs to be said again and again that there is no power given to Congress to regulate immigration. NONE. Any laws that try to limit immigration are unconstitutional along with evil and economically idiotic. ICE needs to be ended and the borders need to be opened.

The CIA needs to put anything they can into Putin’s water that will speed up his Parkinson’s.

Finally, there needs to be a return to a semblance of honesty, reality, and humility. Real daily press corp briefings, hold the White House Press Correspondents dinner and demand they do a full roast of you (I get there is a pandemic, but this is a norm that needs to be restored).

Of course, there is a plethora of other things that need to be dealt with, but let’s focus on these.

Now, Mr. President-Elect, you could be all talk, and like your former always willing to give into bitter partisanship, always foolishly throwing gas on a culture war fire, always only looking to play to the most infantile of your base…but I, and I think most of America, is hoping you’ll be better than that.

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Obama’s Short-Sighted Campaign and his Idiotic Stand on Gay Marriage

Obama and his team are running a laughably pathetic campaign.  It’s mildly to be expected, the thrill is gone, and you’d have to be dumber than Joe Biden to want to run on that record.  But still, there are some dumb moments…like

Is Newsweek trying to hurt Obama?…also I think Lincoln actually has right to that title.

claiming the New York Times is biased against Obama…uh-huh.

The latest major misstep is that Obama is now for gay marriage.  Well, kinda (he thinks it’s a state’s rights issues).  Sorta (he’s not going to push for the Defense of Marriage Act to be overturned).

Now before I lay into Obama for how stupid a move this was, let’s make a few things clear.  First, I have no dog in the gay marriage fight.  I think both sides are stupid.  Marriage is a religious institution and should not be in any legal code.  Legal codes should offer civil unions to any two adults that want one.  That would protect the religious institution from government meddling and would give everyone equality under the law….but as of yet it appears the majority of the nation is squabbling over two options, both equally stupid.  Second, you’re a moron’s moron, if you’re voting for or against Romney or Obama for their positions on gay marriage.  Really you’re just about as dumb as it gets. The economy, foreign policy, the size of government, the sacrosanct nature of the Constitution and private property, healthcare reform, immigration reform, all of these are far, far more important whether or not the government issues a piece of paper when two people love each other (yes there are private property issues entangled with the concept of marriage, but last time I checked Romney seems willing to endorse civil unions that cover all those private property rights, and Obama seems viciously opposed to private property rights for straight couples, gay couples, and single people of all orientations).  So for liberals who are voting for Obama because of this stance, you’re idiots.  And for conservatives who are now voting for Romney (after your first choice, the ever psychotic Rick Santorum dropped out) only because he says marriage is between a man and a woman, you’re also idiots.

Okay, that said, let’s deal with the pragmatic realities of this choice.

First off, let’s dismiss this as Obama making a principled choice.  If it was a principled choice, then the pragmatics of how it will affect his reelection wouldn’t be important, but it’s not a principled stand.  As my friend, The Snark Who Hunts Back, points out it’s a little hypocritical for Obama to say that this is a state’s rights issue when he has opposed the 10th Amendment at every turn (healthcare, enforcing federal immigration laws, voter laws, just to name a few).  And the fact that one in six of Obama’s high dollar bundler’s being gay also makes this ring a little hollow.  (And keep in mind it appears he did this to make a mere 60 million dollars…not exactly a high price for a politician).  (The actual number is about $12 million so far but I figure that the long term effect is going to be in the ballpark of $60 million, but I’ll admit this is a guess).

So if this isn’t a principled move, it’s a political one.  And a very dumb one at that.  One of Romney’s remaining problems was with the marginally unstable Santorum supporters who weren’t going to vote for a Mormon who passed gay marriage in Massachusetts. But low and behold Obama just gave this wacky bunch who considers social issues to be more important than those pesky economic and foreign policy issues that might actually have an effect on their lives a big reason to vote against Obama, even if they’re not still utterly thrilled with an economic conservative like Romney.  So what Obama just did there is shore up Romney’s base.  Did it shore up Obama’s base…not really, the people who this might have made a difference for were already going to vote for him.  So Obama gained $60 million and by that probably saved Romney $150 million in ads designed to appeal to the Santorum-voter base and not alienate the middle.

Gosh…how can I best kill my base and help Romney’s?

So instead of wasting all that money, he just had to have a throwaway line at a college graduation and he shored up the all the Santorum voters who were still on the fence.    “But Romney said he believes that marriage is between a man and a women, won’t that offend the middle?”  I doubt it.   While it’s not a 50-48 split in favor of gay marriage  that’s of an “anyone asked” poll, and registered voters are more conservative than “anyone asked” polls, and likely voters are more conservative than registered voters…so of the voting populace it’s probably still against gay marriage.  Further I think that of those 50% who are in favor of gay marriage, a heavy plurality if not a majority, can say, “I understand this is an issue with lots of religious, spiritual and personal values tied into it” and won’t have a knee jerk reaction against Romney who is in favor of civil unions.

This also hurts Obama.  Why?  Well because of those all important African-American and Hispanic votes.  Yes these are voting blocs that tend liberal, but they are also very socially conservative and very against gay marriage.  African-Americans in North Carolina voted 2 to 1 against gay marriage  and it was these two groups that killed gay marriage in California.  So will this mean that they will now vote for Romney?  Not necessarily, but these are two voting blocs with historically low turnout and if you cross them on an issue like this that statistically they’re very impassioned about it creates the distinct possibility that they may just stay home and not vote (which was already a major threat with African-American voters this election cycle, so this is tipping them over the edge to not vote). Overall I would say that this will translate to a around a 1 point advantage to Romney overall.  Not a lot, but let’s remember how many votes decided Florida.  It is a point that Obama couldn’t lose.

Granted there is a bit of guess work here, but I feel comfortable that my analysis is accurate.

So what does this do to the Electoral College?  Most pundits are pointing out that most of the swing states are socially conservative states.  Well, when you figure in the likely voter polls (as I did here), and that this shores up the Romney base and hurts the Obama base, I would say it moves Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Minnesota back into the toss up category and will probably give Romney the South.  So my guess is that if we took likely voter polls right now it would be somewhere in the ballpark of Obama 187 electoral votes to Romney’s 248 (meaning Romney would have to win Ohio and one other state, or some combination that leads to 22 votes).

This wasn’t a principled or pragmatic move.

And it gets worse for Obama.

RealClearPolitics has the current Senate battle at 46 Democrat, 46 Republican, 8 toss up.  This will probably move anywhere from 4-6 Senate seats from toss-up to lean Republican as most of those toss-up states are socially conservative.  And it could move 1-2 from leaning Democrat to toss up and 1-2 from likely Democrat to only lean Democrat.  In short Obama, in a tight election for control of the House may have just placed the straw that broke the jackass’ back.

Now you could say I’m reading too much into how this will effect the Senate, and you may be right, but if it convinces some of Obama’s base to stay home, as I think it will, this will hurt the Senate votes, especially in states where Romney is expected to win as Democrats will have even further reason not to go vote.  I’m not saying this move guarantees a 60 vote Republican Senate, but it certainly won’t hurt.  (And this will help the battle for GOP control of the House as well).

Again, if you’re voting against Obama and the Democrats only because of the gay marriage issue you’re an idiot.  But the fact of the matter is that both parties seemed filled with people who prove the rule that “People are Stupid” and right, wrong or indifferent you have to take the actions of these idiots when you’re in a leadership position (screw angelic, if all men were intelligent and rational no government would be needed).   Obama made a very stupid move not for principle but for a short-term gain that will hurt him in the long run.  Ignore what side of the gay marriage debate you’re on, this shows that this man is not a good leader.

The Teleprompter made me do it!

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Filed under Budget, Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Congress, Conservative, Debt, Election 2012, Evils of Liberalism, Faith, Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Illegal Immagration, Illegal Immigration, Long Term Thinking, Mitt Romney, Obama, People Are Stupid, politics