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Red Herrings

It’s the Economy, Stupid!

Red Herring | It's the Economy, Stupid!

The left is incredibly adept at obfuscating the issues. They are masters of diversions and detours. This election is first and foremost about our economy; the high rate of unemployment, outrageous public sector deficit spending (the United States now spends $4,000,000,000 a day more than it receives in tax revenues), and a national debt that exceeds our GDP. Yes, there are myriad other issues (Israel, Iran, Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Euro-zone, Venezuela, and so on.) Too many to count, some would say. But on the first Tuesday in November, barring any major event changing the course of this election, it will be a James Carville moment. “It’s the economy, stupid!”

So it is with some angst that I recently read a rant on Facebook written by a fraternity brother from college. Yes, that was a long time ago, but that is not the point! The rant was written last week. The rant said:

I am so tired of hearing how Pres. Obama is a menace to liberty, ignoring the Constitution, etc. It is the Tea Party/ Right Wing who want GOVERNMENT to ban marriage for some, require English only, profile Mexicans in border states, profile Muslims at TSA checkpoints, require sonograms, drug test Welfare recipients, review science and history textbooks, deny reproductive health care benefits, ban certain persons from serving in the military, require photo ids to vote, deny benefits to children of illegal aliens, and on and on. Are the only important liberties for them economic or related to gun ownership?

So where do I start?

  • What is this amorphous “Tea Party/Right Wing”? Seriously?
  • Once we move beyond the impracticality of generic labeling, let’s agree that the Constitution should be the base off of which these discussions are led.
  • There are members of all political parties (big and small) who are walking contradictions. Their goose is not always good for their gander, and often they do not even know it.
  • Ours is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
  • We are a nation of laws. At the heart of the majority of disagreements between the progressive left and the traditional right (generic reference on both fronts) lies the argument over when (and where) government should regulate and rule or get out of the way, And to that point the discussion extends to a disagreement over whether the Constitution implicitly or explicitly supports the position of each “side”.
  • I agree that there are those on the right who like to pick and choose when government should intervene in one’s day-to-day life.
  • Fundamentally, however, the unadulterated view of those on the right is that the government’s role should be more limited. The government should be an economic facilitator and protector.
  • And on the other side, the left is convinced the government should be the economic provider, redistributor, and (occasional) protector.
  • The devil lies in the details and it is very, very hard to maintain philosophical purity when actually administering the rules and regulations attached to written law.
  • So to the extent we accept the fact that we are going to have a welfare safety net for those down on their luck, immigration laws, voter registration laws, etc., (to pick 3 topics in the above-referenced rant) it is completely reasonable to assume we will have different opinions as to how to implement and enforce them.
  • Opine Needles has no problem whatsoever:
    1. asking someone to prove they are who they say they are before he or she exercises his or her greatest right- the right to vote,
    2. asking a recipient of taxpayer dollars to submit to a drug test, and/or to commit to “workfare” programs designed to get him or her back into the workplace, and
    3. telling law enforcement officers to do their jobs without worrying about one or another special interest group attacking them for “profiling”. You see, we believe that if something looks like a skunk, smells like a skunk, and walks like a skunk, while we may want to do a little more investigation, there is a better chance that it is a skunk than the creature next to it that does not look, smell or walk like one. This is another way of saying, “let people do there jobs, and stop impeding them with senseless nonsense.”
  • Alas, we digress. And to not get the conversation back on track is to capitulate and cede the dialogue to the left; which is exactly what they seek! What the President and his minions desperately wish to do is distract voters and engage them in any dialogue NOT focused on the horrendous state of affairs in which we find our economy. The ultimate irony is that whilst democrats pillory Republicans over numerous so-called “social issues”, it is the democrats who are desperate to make the campaign all about these distractions.

Over the next several months, we will see one divisive attack after another at the Romney campaign. The President has made it very clear he will play the race and class warfare cards wherever he thinks it will help his re-election campaign. These are reprehensible tactics.

Opine Needles beseeches Governor Romney to stay on message and focused on communicating his message of economic restoration for this great country. The rest of this noise is just that; diversionary distractions. President Obama has talked through his first term. The U.S. Supreme Court may well relegate his landmark legislation to the dustbin of history, and his only other legacy is nearly $6,000,000,000,000 more in deficit spending that did NOTHING to help the United States.

It will get ugly. The administration has already proven it will stop at nothing to maintain its hold on power and continue its redistributive quest.

Stay focused, and do not get drawn into the quagmire of distractions about which the left so desperately wants the campaign to be focused. Do not be sucked into the vortex of red herrings!

More to Follow

Think Right. Act Right. Vote Right.

  • Mark Rennie

    Jim, you should be more circumspect in your word choices. Seems to me you like divisive words like “rant” and “reprehensible” which you’re quick to ascribe to the Obama campaign. Why is my sincere post a rant and your years-long anti-Obama blog, what, an illustration of civil discourse? Be that as it may, I certainly stand by every instance of Tea Party inspired or endorsed position I enumerated. And if you really want to ask “What is this amorphous Tea Party? Seriously?” why not put that question to Dick Lugar or Dave Dewhurst? They can tell you how amorphous it is. Tea Party favorites whether non-officeholders like Palin and Santorum or Governors like Brewer, McDonnell, Perry, and Haley or Congressmen like Bachmann, Broun, Duncan (TN), Duncan (SC), West, etc. have each embraced one or more of the positions I cite. Obviously, we disagree on the constitutionality of some of those positions (I trust you don’t support mandatory sonograms, for example), but at a minimum you must admit they each involve some invasion of privacy or curtailment of liberty however justified you may find it to be. My point again was to underscore that a group that advances such intrusions has no place calling out the President on the same supposed predilection. And they do, every day. Together, they ignite the class warfare and divisiveness which you so unjustifiably attribute to President Obama.

    • Jonathan Helitzer

      I never thought I’d see a reunion of the West Wing in such a forum, but glad to see even if the views disagree.

      Fortunately, our undergraduate education has taught the value of well-written critical thought.

      Jim – how do you find the time?
      Mark – nice to see you after many years.

      J. Helitzer