Politics today is all about messaging. So I took a quick look at the Twitter account for Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate. What I found will not surprise you. Republicans are focused on the ACA rollout and the report that people are being drop from their insufficient healthcare plans. While Democrats are focused on everything from Women's Rights to debt reduction.
While the President mentions healthcare in his tweet today. He also mention's how low the debt is currently vs. 2009. The Democrats are currently searching for a winning message, while the Republicans think they have found one.
It has become apparent that House Speaker John Boehner has lost control of House Republicans. So the question becomes what should he do? From my estimation the speaker has two options. One, he can continue to be rebuffed by his own party for another year until he loses his speakership in 2014.
Or he can take option two and create an alliance with a few republicans (20 or so) and all the Democrats to pass a long term debt "fix" bill that will balance our budget over the next decade. This is assuming he can get a short term debt limit increase passed. I know that's a big assumption. This alliance will give John Boehner a place in American political history that will outlast any of his current opponents. Just look at newt Gingrich the "Historian".
Now it is true that both option have a bad immediate outcome for the Speaker. He will no doubt lose his speakership no matter what he does. But option number two leaves him a career bigger then being a contributor to FOX News.
Now that the government shutdown is a reality, I want to take this opportunity to register my disgust at how this played out. I try and take a reasonable approach to the issue of who is responsible for government problems, and have a rather evenhanded focus, but in this, I am rather upset at the Republicans in the House of Representatives. Read more
Dear Gov. McCrory,
Though I’m fortunate enough to hail from Ohio, the greatest state in our union, I still keep abreast of what’s going on in North Carolina—my second, wonderful home state. As a Republican, Duke student and political science major, I was disappointed to listen to the radio interview you gave a couple of weeks ago, during which you expressed an interest in defunding certain areas of study at North Carolina public universities. The sound bite the media grappled on to was your declaration, “If you want to take gender studies that’s fine. Go to a private school, and take it.”
I listened to the interview in its entirety, rather than just picking and choosing the choicest bits. I am guessing (hoping) this comment doesn’t express a malevolent view of the academic field of gender studies. Rather, I think it is a poor phrasing of your larger belief that public tax dollars should only fund areas of study that produce jobs for students. I’d like to respond to this larger sentiment and the potentiality of defunding certain academic disciplines, rather than the specific gender studies statement itself. Read more
Oftentimes I feel as though the views of the Republican Party are not properly characterized in campus discourse. Today I’d like to briefly summarize four oft-ignored perspectives on the Republican economic agenda, which isn’t as scary as it is usually portrayed in campus debate.
First and foremost, the Republican Party is not a party that only cares about rich people. Republicans want everyone to have a good-paying job that provides for his or her family. Many Republicans come from humble beginnings and humble backgrounds. Many were immigrants who came to this country with nothing but a dream. They know what it is to face hard times, and are not callous to the difficult circumstances in which many impoverished people find themselves.
In short, Republicans do not differ with Democrats at all in terms of empathy. Rather, they differ in their beliefs regarding the means by which to help the poorest among us. I think it’s safe to say Republicans have more faith in the power of free markets than the Democratic Party. Republicans would argue that free markets, unencumbered by unnecessary government regulation, allow for the greatest growth in prosperity for all. Read more
My AP English teacher once told me that I would get beaten up at least once in college for telling people I was a Republican. She made the comment in the middle of class, laughing as she said it. I don’t think it was necessarily meant as an insult, but the memory has stuck with me ever since.
It’s a bit funny to think about now. Not only have I never gotten into a brawl surrounding politics (that would be a low point in anyone’s life I think), but a majority of my good friends at Duke University are of the opposite political persuasion.
In fact, I haven’t just peacefully coexisted and debated the other side—I’ve actually experienced it. This past summer I worked for two organizations simultaneously. The first organization was the Romney campaign, where I acted as the student overseeing all of the Young Americans for Romney campus groups in North Carolina. The second organization, Friends of the Earth, I interned with for a short period of time in London. It’s as liberal as the name might lead you to believe. It was quite a dichotomous pairing. Read more
If you read at an average pace, it will take you four minutes to finish this column. By the time you’re done, approximately nine U.S. students will have dropped out of high school. That’s 1.2 million dropouts a year—dropouts who are qualified for only 10 percent of new jobs, are eight times more likely to be incarcerated and are 50 percent less likely to vote. When Texas projects how many prisons it will need 10 years from today, one of the data points it considers is the percentage of literate Texas fourth graders. The correlation is strong—six out of 10 American prison inmates are illiterate.
America’s educational problems permeate all aspects of our society—from economic growth to crime to national security. And that’s not a new, tantalizingly fresh concept I’ve just written. In preparing to write this column, I found so many websites with educational crisis statistics that my Google Chrome froze from an overload of tabs. Read more
Sen. Ted Cruz
Right around 12 pm EST today, Party of One Ted Cruz wrapped up his pointless nonfilibuster so he could appear on the Rush Limbaugh Show.
The right wing talk show host is the poster boy for limp noodles, having been detained for having someone else's name on his Viagra prescription and running loads of ads for pecker pills on his floundering radio program.
But not today.
Limbaugh was audibly aroused as he waited for the Texas senator to join him: Read more
Many commemorated the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington protest, one of the defining moments of the civil rights movement. The hopes, dreams and aspirations of Martin Luther King Jr. and many others striving for equality were celebrated. Some might argue that much progress has been made, and civil rights are no longer a partisan issue. However, this may not be the case. Frank James pointed out that “The parties have seldom seemed so far apart as they did Wednesday, on the 50th anniversary of King's speech and the March on Washington. Not a single Republican elected official spoke at the ‘Let Freedom Ring’ event at the Lincoln Memorial, site of King's 1963 speech, though some were invited.” http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2013/08/28/216580613/something-w...
This could be due to mere coincidence, yet there is some reason to believe otherwise. Read more
With the talks already ongoing to try and avert a government shutdown in the face of another debt ceiling crisis, I have decided to look at the broader question of whether it is genuinely possible to have an actual dialogue, on any subject, given the current political atmosphere. The first item in this conversation is to determine what dialogue actually is. Despite many different definitions that come to mind, and a lot of searching, I have happened upon a quote that seems to make the most sense. In the book On Heaven and Earth then Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, in his introduction has this to say on the idea of dialogue:
"Dialogue is born of a respectful attitude toward the other person, from a conviction that the other person has something good to say. It supposes that we can make room in our heart for their point of view, their opinion and their proposals. Dialogue entails a warm reception and not a preemptive condemnation. To dialogue, one must know how to lower the defenses, to open the door to one's home and to offer warmth. Read more
Mickey Edwards steals a page from those early Progressives who believed the cure for democracy was more democracy. Joining a long list of Republican "reformers" who are trying mightily to help the GOP avoid a rendevous with hostile demographics, the one-time Oklahoma Congressman wants to scrap the two-party system altogether in favor of a more participatory "nonpartisan" democracy able to govern itself without party labels.
It's an appealing vision of a restored "civic republicanism" that Edwards offers in his latest book, The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans. Appealing to me, at any rate, because it reflects my own belief that it is far more important how a party or a country thinks than what it thinks - since, as Edwards says, "democracy is not about policy but about process" and "how we select our leaders, how we deliberate, how we decide" are what really determine whether Americans are fit for self-government. Read more
Think for a moment about the world before Newt Gingrich and the Contract with America. Remember a time when Republicans and Democrats saw things differently, but could have discussions, pass laws, and hold productive legislative sessions together. There was a time when a Conservative could be a pragmatist, like Bob Dole, and not radically different than a moderate Democrat, like Bill Clinton. In the marriage between Republicans and Democrats, there was conflict, but also balance. There was union.
The relationship between the Democrats and Republicans is nothing less than a marriage between one half of the American heart and the other. Right and left joined in the task of creating and maintaining a large and complex government that services a large and complex country. The contrast between the two parties keeps the other in check.
Too much conservative energy causes opportunities to be aborted for the next generation as power for the wealthy few is protected. Too much liberal energy could cause America to slip into a stagnated state where people are not forced to work hard and grow. A balance between these energies is what has historically made us great. Read more
In the past ten years, Republicans have revolted against their own cap-and-trade & healthcare plans, against science, common sense & decency, purging the few moderates from their ranks.
In that decade, Democrats took the White House, took the Senate, took & gave back the House, but never took the opportunity for lasting change on economic justice, civil liberties or human rights.
Since 2003, Drinking Liberally has grown from one dive bar to a far-reaching constellation, from sharing a drink to shaping how we think, becoming the bartender of the progressive movement.
Maybe we haven't created the revolution yet, but we also didn't create the sequester, debt ceiling crisis, drones, deep water drilling, indefinite detention or the GMO racket either.
Compare our ten-year to our politicians' tenure and you'll mark our anniversary with the cheers: "Ten more years…and a few more beers."
Drinking Liberally: established May 29th, 2003.
Toast ten years of liberal comrades & conversation by lifting a liberal libation with like-minded lefties at your local progressive social club. Read more
Can Conservatives and Moderates get along? Could a Liberal be friends with a Republican? Is inter-political party love possible? Of course- these things happen every day. But if relationships are built on common values, how is this possible? Many Congressmen and Congresswomen believe Democrats and Republicans have different values, and that these values are an impassable gulf between us. However, the intractable divisions between the parties, from gun control to budget cuts, are all political, not value-based.
Except for sociopaths, all of us want our country to prosper and be safe. We want to see ourselves reflected in the leaders that represent us. Americans want to feel heard. How we achieve these aims is where we diverge. This is where politics steps in. Read more