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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Rage Within

I don't think I've ever seen the base of the Republican Party more upset with its national leadership.

When you have - on the same day - Peggy Noonan intimating that it's time for the creation of a third party because the GOP now too closely resembles the Democratic Party and Chad Dotson refers to Congressional Republicans as a "national embarrassment" and says the third-highest ranking Republican in the country "must go," there is clearly upheaval in the ranks. Perhaps seething rage is a better description.

How did we ever get to this point?

They're Down To Begging

This editorial in the Roanoke Times is amusing:
Transportation as a test of honor
The Virginia Senate capitulated. House Republicans now will demonstrate their trustworthiness with the state's future.


The General Assembly, by all accounts, is moving rapidly toward a budget compromise that will ensure state services continue when the next fiscal year starts July 1. Only transportation, the toughest item lawmakers confronted this year, remains unsettled.

A solution hinges on Republicans in the lower chamber honoring their word to negotiate in good faith. (
link)
Is that a whimper I hear?

If not, the attitude behind it is at least snotty:
Politicians committed to diplomacy, dialogue and discretion would have agreed upon a comprehensive transportation solution months ago. Such civic virtue, however, has been in short supply in Richmond, particularly among House Republicans more interested in political gamesmanship and denying the new governor any semblance of victory. [my emphasis]
The stance that the House Republicans took couldn't have had anything to do with the fact that the state of Virginia is awash in cash and that the governor's "comprehensive transportation solution" was a rehash of Mark Warner's 2004 "comprehensive education solution" that amounted to nothing more than a massive and unwarranted tax increase. And that the people of Virginia en masse saw the governor's ploy as being the humbug that it was.

No. The House Republicans had a low motive. Gamesmanship.

In either case, they kicked your ass. And deservedly so.

So stop your whining and start working on the 2008 "comprehensive Medicaid solution."

A Warning To The Virginia GOP

Mike Folmer is a tire salesman. Having recently crushed a long-serving Republican incumbent in his state's primary, Mike is soon to be a Pennsylvania state senator. His explanation for his David vs. Goliath success is instructive for all the members of the party here in Virginia who have in recent years strayed from the reservation.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal:
Contract With Pennsylvania

LEBANON, Pa. -- The Republican primary of 2006 in this state has been called a "political massacre," an "earthquake" and "payback." It has been discussed in media outlets across the country and across the political spectrum. Now, more than two weeks have elapsed since May 16, and pundits, editorial writers and political analysts are still trying to figure out what led to the defeat of 16 incumbent state legislators -- including Pennsylvania's top two state Senate Republicans -- at the hands of underfunded, and in several cases -- including mine -- unknown challengers.

My personal experiences working the campaign trail this past spring made it apparent to me that the political upheaval was due to a coalescing of two fundamental perspectives held by the rank-and-file: Government needed to be reformed; and the state Republican Party needed to be reformed, too.

Conservatives had long been chafing at the fact that an ostensibly conservative Legislature had linked arms with [the state's governor, Ed] Rendell to raise income taxes, push up state spending to record levels, and expand both corporate - and social - welfare spending without any apparent means of accountability ...

These people at the grassroots no longer viewed the state Legislature as a servant of the people but as an exclusive club for political insiders. (
link) [my emphasis]
Call it the Chichester syndrome.

I've not seen a poll but I'll bet one exists showing where GOP rank-and-file support was in the recent showdown between the Virginia Senate and the House of Delegates over that egregious tax increase proposal passed by the former.

If my instincts are to be respected, for the overwhelming majority of us the name John Chichester right now is synonymous with mud. And with the name John McCain. One in the same.

So you fellas who think you reach out to your constituents when you provide an interview to a Washington Post reporter might want to listen up. Them barking dogs outside are trying to warn you of something; you'd do well to go to the door and check it out.

You'll find us on the other side - the ones what got you there.

And Then There is The Magic Kingdom

Peggy Noonan writes ("Third Time" in today's OpinionJournal) what many of us feel when it comes to our national government and the parties that govern:
[Some hold to the] idea that the two parties are too polarized to govern well.

The problem is not that the two parties are polarized. In many ways they're closer than ever. The problem is that the parties in Washington, and the people on the ground in America, are polarized. There is an increasing and profound distance between the rulers of both parties and the people--between the elites and the grunts, between those in power and those who put them there.

On the ground in America, people worry terribly--really, there are people who actually worry about it every day--about endless, weird, gushing government spending. But in Washington, those in power--Republicans and Democrats--stand arm in arm as they spend and spend.

On the ground in America, regular people worry about the changes wrought by the biggest wave of immigration in our history, much of it illegal and therefore wholly connected to the needs of the immigrant and wholly unconnected to the agreed-upon needs of our nation. Americans worry about the myriad implications of the collapse of the American border. But Washington doesn't. Democrat Ted Kennedy and Republican George W. Bush see things pretty much eye to eye. They are going to educate the American people out of their low concerns. (
link)

She's right. It seems "We the people" has become - somehow - "They the people."

On Those Global Warming 'Models'

We've all heard the stories relating to global warming theory and how the models that are used to predict the future fail miserably when used to predict the past. Well, Richard W. Rahn, director general of the Center for Global Economic Growth, writing for the Washington Times, has an explanation:
Model hypocrites

Having spent three decades around model builders and reading their studies, I have concluded it is infinitely easier to obtain government funding to build a mathematical model likely to show the need for more government activity and spending rather than less.

Both physical and social scientists use mathematical models to make predictions about the future. The model is supposed to capture the relationships of variables and their magnitudes to enable scientists to forecast such things as hurricanes, crime rates, unemployment rates, and how many people who will get bird flu.

At the moment, many politicos and media elites are telling us the world's nations must spend quite literally trillions of dollars to stop global warming. But the scientists who study such things cannot get their models to agree on whether the present warming is temporary, and part of the normal climatic variability, or something fundamentally different. (
link)
On this basis we are going to spend trillions of our hard-earned wages? I don't think so.

I Guess That Would Include Me

I have now been unceremoniously tossed into the ranks of "the far-right." Why? Because I believe what we have believed since the day this country was founded. That makes me far right - according to the "moderates" on the editorial staff at the New York Times:
On the Low Road to November

Republicans are trying to rally their far-right base for the fall elections with a mean-spirited sideshow threatening to the Constitution: a ban on same-sex marriage. (
link)
There has been a ban on same-sex marriage in this country since, well, before we had a country. If it wasn't codified in the laws of all our states and municipalities, there certainly was a societal ban on homosexuals "joining hands in Holy wedlock." Even writing the words makes the whole concept seem surreal.

Today, those of us who still place a high value on the institution of marriage and choose for it not to be corrupted are deemed by some to be far-right. Fringe. Neanderthal. Odd. Deserving of scorn.

And homosexuality is considered normal.

Odd indeed.