Recent Republican Reversals

Well, how’s that for a title. Some quality alliteration going on there!

Ok, so if you know me well, you probably know two things… first, I don’t regularly start political discussions and second, I’m a Democrat for many many reasons. So, its somewhat awkward for me to write this blog, but there is a part of me that just can’t help but point out a few amusing things going on right now in our political culture… all of which have to do with how people generally classified as Republicans are acting in strange ways…

First up, lets go back in time 1 month and take a look at the appointment of Sarah Palin to be the vice-presidential candidate for that ticket. There are a couple of amusing things here, one of which, a possible gender bias, has already been covered thoroughly and in much funnier terms than I could even consider writing. Its the second one that is less well publicized that really amuses me though… celebrity bias.

To me, it is terribly ironic to watch the McCain campaign rail on Obama for being a ‘celebrity’ and then to turn around and treat Palin like one. The reason McCain got the huge bump in the polls leaving the convention is Palin, not him. Take a look at attendance reports for their appearances since then, and you’ll see that people are considerably more interested in her than in him. Yet, despite her considerable new clout as a celebrity, the campaign, and more so the supporters, still egg Obama about being too 'popular’ to be a president. That argument is just utterly laughable.

I’ve heard McCain supporters, even those not registered as Republicans, mock Obama as the 'savior’. I find this just completely amazing. Sure, there are a LOT of Obama supporters whose devotion and fanaticism do lend credibility to that label, but couldn’t the same be said of many Republican fans of Regan, even today, almost 20 years since he left office? Even very few real celebrities get that kind of play.

So, reversal #1… political fame.

Unless you’ve been living under that proverbial rock, you know that only slightly less publicity than the election has been going towards the state of the economy. Well, that’s not exactly true… the politicians give tons of talk-time to the economy and the economy really doesn’t give any back to them, so lets say the economy is really top of the list at the moment.

If I could sum up the last nearly 8 years in three words, those words would be militarism and selective deregulation. The first one has been covered really thoroughly by the media (again) so I’ll skip it and move on to the second which, again, I find a lot more interesting.

One of the big things that the Republican party loves to talk about is how government is too big, with its tendrils in too many parts of our lives and, if government would just get smaller, the markets would regulate themselves so much better!

Well, that’s what they say anyway. We should know better though as it simply isn’t true.

Five years ago, the Fed dropped the interest rate to 1% and left it there for a year. There was a great deal of money sloshing around in the economy and no place really to put it… except to allow people to buy homes. The spike in home ownership by people who couldn’t afford the house the purchased, combined with the mortgage, banking and investment companies who saw a way to make a quick buck off the processing fees, led directly to the crisis in which we now find ourselves. Mortgage backed securities are the children of placing trust in people who do not deserve it.

Now, I would be wrong to lay all the blame on one party, especially the one in power at the time. In fact, I think we are all, as a people, more to blame than any government… BUT, the amusing reversal is how that, during this time of crisis, free market supporters suddenly turn very, to use a derogatory term for socialists, pink. Socialism is a system of government where the government owns or controls the most important pieces of the economy. Where as communism allows for the government to own all, and pure capitalism means the government owns none, socialism is the balance in the middle.

In the past few months, the government has essentially purchased 4 failing companies, gave the first one away for peanuts (while keeping all the risk), and is now running the other three in all but name. My, where did my smaller goverment go to? High minded talk, for sure, but it has proved by its actions to be an utter failure.

But not everyone gets the failure… or, at least not until they’re called on it publically. Seriously, if you’re running for president, and you’ve admitted publically that you don’t know nearly as much about the economy as you should, wouldn’t it be wise to keep your trap shut? Now, admittedly, McCain did revise his statement, another reversal if you will, once it became painfully obvious that what he was saying was not in any way true.

So, there you have it, three ways in which the Republican party has had to backtrack and reverse itself in recent days. Yes, I’m being political, and yes, I’m biased. We all are, I’m just the guy here who is pointing it out. I’m sure someone will now bring up Obama’s reference to airing up our tires to conserve gasoline, and that’s fine. I brought these up, and its your right to bring those up. I just enjoy pointing out how we all, every one of us, is wrong, and Republicans have just had a lot more practice at it recently than have Democrats.

Don’t worry too much though, time will turn and that shoe will move over to the other foot in time, of that I have no doubt.