Posted by: JDM..... | November 11, 2009

regarding politics and underwear

I was asked a couple of months ago where I stand politically.  I get a little spasm up my spine when anyone asks me a question like that.  That’s pretty personal.  It’s kind of like walking up to someone on the street and inquiring about their underwear. Usually my eyebrows go north causing a little tsunami on my forehead before I deliver a non-answer.  If I’m in a really good mood I might just bark “none of your #@*&! business.”

Nevertheless, for some inexplicable reason, this morning I feel moved to reveal all.  I’m not going to talk about my underwear though.

WHERE I STAND

I find myself stuck between the extremes of neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism.  I find each to be alternately amusing and annoying, but neither to be a source of serious concern or fear because their moments in the sun tend to be temporary.  They do leave footprints, however, and those can be problematic.

I am annoyed by those who rail ad nauseam about The End of Days.  I am equally annoyed by those who rail ad nauseam about those who rail ad nauseam about The End of Days.  That can quickly become circular and I find myself sitting around simply being annoyed, and therefore unwittingly being a part it.  That’s both amusing and annoying.

As always, I continue to be a political mongrel.  Those parts of me that might be called “liberal” are more akin to the brand of liberalism that reportedly defined some of the philosophies of those who thought up this whole United States schtick in the first place.  Nothing “leftist” about it.  The “conservative” part of me is more Paleo than Neo, and hasn’t got a thing to do with JC Waterwalker or any of those who have made a hell of a living over the centuries hawking JCW t-shirts and posters and gory little statues at the gates of Western Civilization.

I’m a bit of a Pantheist, if one must pigeonhole me, which really drives them crazy.  Catholics don’t want their children to play with me, Muslims want to kill me, and Evangelical Christians don’t know whether to Save me or pray to me……….I’ve never had so much fun in my life.

My favorite source of “opinion” is CATO Institute.  It tends to be “conservative” but not in the raging, maniacal sense of the word.

Regarding the whole healthcare issue at large, if I knew the answer I would be quite wealthy and someone would name a church after me.

I couldn’t agree more that there are serious problems.  I couldn’t agree less with the belief that the federal government is the solution.  And I am extremely concerned about President Obama having mortgaged the nation to China to bail out the financial and auto industries.  I fear he is creating a hornet’s nest of very serious issues which won’t bloom until long after he and Michelle have retired to a life of opulent leisure, protected from the consequences.

When I read that General Motors was giving their white-collar employees back the ten percent pay cuts they had instituted back in May to try to avoid bankruptcy, I felt like going outside and setting my Buick on fire, but it’s a great car and it’s paid for so I just swore a little instead.  On the heels of that had come the inevitable bankruptcy anyway, the federal bailout, the exit from bankruptcy, and …taDAAH!… the return of the ten percent on the grounds that they have to do that so they can “return to profitability”.  Excuse me, but doesn’t the usual business model suggest rewarding employees after profitability is achieved, not before, and especially not with dollars confiscated from the American wage earner in the form of taxes ?  

The financial quarter reportedly has been engaging in similar behavior, returning to dancing with derivatives and other high risk, big ticket financial instruments now that the heat is off thanks to the federal bailout a few short months ago.

Isn’t this all sort of like blowing on a fire to try to put it out?  It reminds me of a brat screaming “gimme a #@*&! candy bar!” and being given a candy bar to shut him up.  The only thing gained is temporary silence, but the lessons taught him lasts forever….and they aren’t particularly good ones

Thus, I’m skeptical of any “federal bailout” of the healthcare system, whether that be financial, regulatory, legislative, or a combination of them all.  That is not to say I don’t think there is a role for government in the whole thing. 

Those who rant on about Obama’s administration being the reincarnation of Nazi Germany should have their medications checked.  They really don’t warrant any serious discussion. 

On the other side of the coin, I have concerns about fiscal short-sightedness in the “neo-liberal” approach and, of course, politically I don’t favor increased federal micromanagement no matter what flag it flies under.

I don’t like the status quo, but I have some serious concerns about the package being proposed.  I especially have concerns about the urgency with which it is being pushed through, which is entirely politically motivated in my opinion. The conservative in me likes some of the counter-proposals like doing away with the inability to shop across state lines for insurance.

Obama, if nothing else, has certainly slammed the issue down on the table and forced us to take a look at it.  That is a definite plus.  Now, we need to look at it, and look at it carefully, not just slam something through for political expediency.  By the same token, block headed resistance from the neo-conservative faction serves no useful purpose and is a distraction from the issues at hand.

As for the guy from South Carolina calling the President a liar, that wasn’t very nice, but I think Obama handled it better than anyone else has. He just blew it off and moved on  (maybe he learned a lesson when he put his mouth in motion before his brain was in gear on the Professor Gates arrest issue in Boston back in July).  I have to admit, though, I did rather enjoy watching Nancy Pelosi struggle to not soil her Garanimals….

Hey, it wasn’t too many years ago people were shooting each other on the floor of Congress!  What’s a little bellowing among friends?  English Parliament’s been a rather noisy show from the git-go…it’s part of the process! 

In brief:  “BFD“………..

So, “where I stand” is somewhere between making a snap-decision based on immovably polarized biases and never getting around to making a decision at all.  It’s a very uncomfortable place to be, which I happen to think is a good thing.

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