Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Lean To The Right?

Bennett is out.

“When it was announced that Bennett had been eliminated from the race, a huge ovation swept through the convention hall and there were hoots and shouts of 'He's gone! He's gone!' Other delegates hugged and tea party members waved their yellow 'Do Not Tread On Me' flags.”

I am exceptionally curious about what, specifically, Bennett did that resulted in this level of vitriol. Even more, I am interested in what the Republican delegates see in Tim Bridgewater that has him as their nominee. If anybody out there has an answer better than “Bob Bennett was too liberal to represent Utah,” I would love to hear it.

My greatest fear is that democracy is slowly being smothered by popular media. Do “democrats” understand “liberal” policy? Do “republicans” truly agree with “conservative” ideology? Are “independents” and party swappers (and everyone else for that matter) simply opportunistic snakes, waiting for the chance to strike?

I don’t live in Utah, but I found a recent article from The Salt Lake Tribune that I felt brought up some excellent questions for conservatives. Naturally, one could make a similar, polarized list for “liberals”. What I struggle with is that the major gripe of the Tea Party movement is that the incumbents are not conservative enough, and as such, I thought it would be interesting to point out what “ultra-conservative” really means. Here are the ten questions from the recent article I cited above:

1. Do you oppose or support socialized medicine? If you answered "I oppose socialized medicine," will you introduce legislation to repeal Medicare for seniors -- socialized medicine brought to us by Great Society liberal Lyndon Johnson? If not, explain why you support socialized medicine for seniors and but do not support Obamacare for working families.

2. Will you introduce legislation to repeal all agriculture, grazing and mining subsidies? If not, please explain why you support socialized agriculture, grazing and mining.

3. Will you introduce legislation to sell off all federal lands in Utah to the highest bidder? If not, please explain why you think the big federal government, not the private sector and private landholders, should own Utah's lands. (Note, giving the land to the State of Utah just transfers the socialism to a different level of government, so that is not a valid answer).

4. A major criticism of Sen. Bennett was his support of the TARP in 2008. Will you pledge to oppose all government bailouts, even if that means a freezing of the credit markets and the failure of small businesses across the United States?

5. Which federal regulatory agencies will you eliminate? The Securities and Exchange Commission? The FDIC? The Consumer Product Safety Commission? The Federal Mine Safety Administration? The Environmental Protection Agency? The Agricultural Inspection Service? The Food and Drug Administration? If you support these agencies, please explain why we need big government in these areas, none of which are expressly provided for in the U.S. Constitution.

6. Do you support repealing the Small Business Administration? If not, please explain why you think big government bureaucrats know better than the free market which small businesses deserve help and support (and what a bureaucrat could possibly do to help a free market capitalist business person).

7. Do you support the National Weather Service? If so, please explain why big government can track the weather better than the private sector.

8. Will you oppose all appropriations earmarks for Utah?

9. Will you pledge to oppose government interventions to bring jobs to Utah? If not, please explain why you think you, and not the market, should determine where jobs are located in the United States.

10. Will you introduce legislation to repeal the Federal Communications Commission and the work of its nanny state, liberal, politically correct bureaucrats who regulate the words people can say on the television and radio and the images shown on TV? Or do you think bureaucrats, not the free market, should decide what is appropriate to air in America?

I’m sincerely curious about people’s responses to these questions. I will never suggest that a party member must adhere to all of said parties’ ideology; however, considering the cry that the GOP needs to be more conservative, I wonder how many people out there are ready for what that really means. Comments?


Daniel H said...

I love these questions! Absolutely love them, because if people were true to their ideology, Tea Partiers would go along with this checklist - but most of them don't.

I have an interesting situation - the lead in my barbershop quartet is the precinct delegate for his area of Provo.

One of the biggest reasons that Bennett lost was this: Club For Growth.

Yes, that's right, the group that is run by people who successfully bilked Medicare and Medicaid for Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars while CEO's of Insurance Companies.

And they didn't like Bennett because he had the "gall" to stand up to the status quo.

Jacob S. said...

We're starting to see how this plays out in the real world with Rand Paul, who is running for the Senate in Kentucky as the anti-government candidate. He has stated that he disagrees with the portions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that impose on private businesses, he disagrees with the Americans with Disabilities Act, he disagrees with government protection of the environment, etc. These are incredible unpalatable positions with most Americans because these, and other acts like them, are very popular and very important and have righted systemic wrongs and have made life better for many Americans. He is getting a huge amount of press for his extreme views. These are the views that the anti-government protesters that ousted Bob Bennett want to put forward. I have no doubt that these positions will be rejected by mainstream Americans as they become more public.

Architect said...

Should any politician have a "right" to "their" seat? Every politician serves at the pleasure of voters. Your questions are all loaded. Libertarian Harry Browne in his campaign for Prresident in 2000 phrased them differently. Essentially, what would you give up to gain more?

Moving government from remote controls in Washington DC to the states, counties, and cities generally means it is more responsive to people that have less political power. I believe that the US Constitution allows for competition between the states for people - our most important resource.

Hola said...

I think the tea baggers were so vehemently against Bennett simply because they love to be against things. It rallies them together. They feel empowered rather than scared and confused over what "change we can believe in" means to them. They're fighting back but against what they're not sure but they sure are fighting.

I blame Fox and Beck for polluting their opinions on what people should be scared about. It certainly isn't socialism, but manipulation and stupidity.

Jacob S. said...

Architect, why did you put "right" and "their" in quotation marks? Who are you quoting? I don't think anyone here has ever suggested that a politician has a right to maintain his or her seat. The concern is that Bennett, who is extremely conservative, was ousted because he wasn't conservative enough and on principles which, if taken to their logical conclusion, would be extremely unpopular and destructive to our society. Politics based on emotion lead to extremely uncomfortable consequences, and it is my belief that the Tea Party is a movement based primarily on emotion, not logic, and people aren't really extending the Tea Party rhetoric out to see where it will lead them.