On my way out to the NYC Tea Party at City Hall Park. It’s a beautiful day for it, a bit cold, but sunny and bright. A great day for freedom, to quote Pink Floyd. Expecting around 200-300, but we’ll see. The thing didn’t get a ton of publicity (I only heard about it two days ago), so we’ll see. Whatever happens, it’s a start. Pictures and report to come later.
Despite Pepsi’s blatant attempts to welcome our new overlord with a blatant ripoff of the Obama logo, they find themselves given the marketing equivalent of a swift kick in the junk by the new administration. Apparently they’re Coke people. Sucks to be you, Pepsi.
Also, in a related story – I’m sure it’s not just me, but the new Chrylser/Jeep/Dodge “Driving America” logo is eerily similar:
Et tu, Jeep?
The basic message I took from the NextRight piece was that the author, Patrick Gavin, was disturbed by the GOP’s elevation of Joe the Plumber, seeing it as a gimmick and unworthy of a legitimate party. A taste:
Conservatives should not need Joe the Plumber to prove their middle class bona fides. We are naturally the party of the middle, and we don’t need gimmicks to prove it. Demographically, Democrats rely on being the party of the upper sixth and the lower third, while Republicans tend to do better with everyone in between. When we start losing the middle class and the suburbs, we lose big like we did in 2008.
I agree with the idea that Joe the Plumber is a gimmick, and I certainly agree with the first line above, we shouldn’t need a gimmick to prove ourselves. Unfortunately, the reality is that we do. As things stand, the GOP is not seen as the party of the middle class. We are seen, rightfully or not, as the party of big business and the elites. A lot of this has to do with media portrayal, but that’s not going to change. In order to correct the public perception of the GOP, it might take a gimmick. Joe the Plumber, and, by extension Sarah Palin, resonated in a big big way with a lot of people. Obviously they aren’t going to do it for everyone, but they have served to reenergize a segment of Americans who felt ignored and condescended to by party leadership.
Eric responds with:
If Pat really thinks, as he says, that the “Republicans thrive as the party of normal Americans — the people in the middle culturally and economically”, then how is it that the only ’serious’ candidates are those of the intellectual class? The connection Pat’s never made, in my sight, is that such a middle class party doesn’t feel the need of intellectual leadership… a beholding to an advanced inner circle.
And he nails it, by my way of thinking. A couple generations of electing elites and career politicians has gotten us into the mess we’re in today. What’s wrong with turning to “normal” people to serve us in Washington? They certainly couldn’t do worse than the folks we’ve got now, and I believe that the American people will respond to a candidate who has proven that they can accomplish things in the real world.
The media is going to try to tear down whomever we put out there (witness their attacks on McCain), so we might as well put someone out there that people can actually identify with. When the Dems and the media rip into a McCain or a Mitt Romney, I find it hard to bring myself to defend them. But when Sarah Palin or a Joe the Plumber is attacked, it gets my blood up. I’m willing to work and fight for people who I can identify with, who have worked to get where they are (not that McCain hasn’t sacrificed, but as a politician he is firmly entrenched in K Street and DC). I say, let the Dems and the media rip our “common folk” candidates and spokespeople, and we’ll see how the public reacts to that.
Just read via Instapundit that there is an NYC Tea Party scheduled for this coming Saturday, Feb. 28, from 2-3 pm at City Hall Park in Manhattan. There’s a short piece here. It’s a little sad that it’s two days before the event and the word is only now getting out (and that it’s only for an hour). But I’ll be there. And, apparently she will as well:
It’s fun to read, in a very much schadenfreude-y kind of way (language warning).
I haven’t gotten a chance to read anything else that he’s written, but he’s very very very angry at Obama and the Dems for basically crippling this country with spending and debt, and lying through their teeth about it at the same time. When Vermont liberals start feeling this way you know it’s not good.
Unfortunately, I can certainly see the GOP screwing this up though. If we were smart, we would completely drop any sort of social intervention, i.e. abortion, gay marriage, anything mentioning religion, and completely focus on economic responsibility, deregulation, smaller government, lower taxes, and drastic spending cuts. Expose and fight government corruption at every turn and cut ties with the RINOs and we’ll have it made in 2010. This doesn’t mean get rid of Jindal or Palin, by all means, they’re the future of the party. But force them to forget about the social aspects of conservatism. If we don’t take back the economic high ground in this country there’ll be nothing left anyway.
But I fear that the GOP leadership is too dumb to do any of this. They’ll continue to preach to the religious base (of which I’m a member), forcing government where it doesn’t belong, and they’ll continue to alienate those social liberals, moderates and libertarians who are otherwise economically conservative. Sigh.
RedState’s Moe Lane updates his earlier post re Jeff Flake’s proposed inquiry into the shady dealings between numerous Congress folks and the PMA Group “a once-powerful lobbying force that has disintegrated in the wake of an FBI probe into fraudulent campaign donations to numerous members of Congress.”
The whole thing stinks to high heaven, and Flake (as usual – he’s awesome) is doing his best to bring it to light. This is the kind of thing that Republicans need to be trumpeting on any news program that will have them. Unfortunately, and as was entirely expected, House Democrats defeated Flake’s measure, effectively whitewashing their graft and corruption.
However, as Moe points out, at the very least the GOP was able to get 17 House Dems to join them on this (although 2 Repubs defected and 6 pulled an Obama, aka voted “present”). But again, this is exactly the kind of thing that:
A) the GOP needs to make sure they steer well clear of down the road; and
B) we need to make sure that the public hears about, both now and in 2010, 2012, etc.
The public needs to be made aware and reminded of the blatant disregard for the law that our elected “representatives” hold.
Michelle Malkin highlights a story in the Times this morning in which our own Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano ordered a review of an immigration raid on an engine plant in Washington state.
Apparently Janet is a little hot and bothered over the raid, which resulted in the arrest of 28 illegal immigrants. Her reasoning?
“She was not happy about it because it’s inconsistent with her position, and the president’s position on these matters,” said the official, who agreed to discuss the matter on condition of anonymity because the secretary had not authorized the conversation.
Yes, arresting and deporting people in this country illegally and presumably living and working under false or stolen identities is apparently inconsistent with the Department of Homeland Security’s “position.”
Our country is rapidly becoming a bad parody of itself.
It would be naive to claim “I don’t understand why this isn’t read in schools” or something like that – I think it’s quite obvious – but it does boggle my mind how completely some people misread the story. My roommate, a pretty far-left liberal (she works in admin for a union, among other things), read and thoroughly enjoyed the book, but then was shocked when I mentioned that Ayn Rand is a pretty big hero of the libertarians and plenty of conservatives, and that Atlas Shrugs is basically a bible to fiscal conservatives and small government folks.
Apparently she had read the entire novel and hadn’t picked up on that. Amazing. Her defense was that she thought that there was a pretty strong anti-religion theme running through the book (which of course there is) and that as a result, conservatives must hate it. But even given that, this otherwise very intelligent young woman completely missed the entire point of the novel, one that Rand is not very subtle about making, again and again and again and again. I’m not quite sure what to make of this.
Is it willful blindness, the unwillingness to accept that a philosophy that makes incredible sense and strikes a chord as an American and an individual flies completely in the face of everything that you stand for politically? Did my roommate on some level realize that what she was reading and identifying with, the struggle of the individual for freedom from government oppression, did my roommate realize that it was exactly opposite everything that she stood for?
I suppose my point is this: There has been much talk on the Right recently about what conservatives can do to hope to change the thinking of so many people, particularly young people, in this country. Encouraging them to read Atlas Shrugs (or the Fountainhead, or Anthem or Animal Farm or 1984…) is a big start. As preachy and over-the-top as the Rand works can be at points, the message is an incredibly powerful one, and made in such a way that even the most brainwashed Marxist can’t help but identify with the protaganists in their various struggles. Work on getting these books into schools, work on finding teachers that will use them and teach them. It’s a start.
Kathryn Lopez in The Corner has embedded a YouTube clip of Bobby Jindal on the Today Show this morning. I didn’t “get” to watch Obama’s speech last night (was working on a paper for school) and didn’t watch Jindal last night. I’ve been reading that Jindal was less than impressive in his follow up to Obama, but I can’t hold that against him. Jindal was in a no-win situation last night.
However, moving forward, when he’s not following the proverbial “tough act to follow,” I think that’s when Jindal can make a difference. This is actually the first time I’ve heard him speak at length, and while he definitely needs to work on his cadence and style – he just speaks way too quickly and with too many run-on sentences – he has the intelligence and confidence to be a great spokesperson for the party. He has none of the “Uh’s” and “Um’s” that so often find there way into Obama’s responses, he seems to know exactly what he’s trying to say before he says it, and he’s very likable and trust-inspiring.
He’s definitely at his best near the end of the clip, when he defends his refusal to take stimulus money in order to protect the people of Louisiana from higher taxes, and is able to cite his job-creation stats. That’s the kind of message that people can easily relate to. If I’m in Louisiana and I hear that rational, I’m happy with it. And if I’m in another state that’s getting hammered with high taxes (that will inevitably go even higher, say, New York), I’m thinking that that argument sounds pretty good to me too.
The GOP needs to get Jindal out there and keep him out there, get his face and his message on TV as much as possible. Jindal’s message is what should be made the GOP’s centerpiece, when he says that he’s merely doing what he was elected to do – to protect the interests of Louisiana taxpayers. And the best way to do that is to make sure their taxes are low and stay low. Simple, non-partisan, and very appealing to business owners and workers alike.
Kate at small dead animals links to a very brief NY Times interview with Dambisa Moyo, who takes on the whole celebrity-driven foreign “aid” scam. It’s a little refreshing to read – Moyo calls out these worthless aid packages for the incredible waste of money that they are, billions and billions of our dollars that are basically funneled to keep corrupt dictators in power at the expense of their people.
However, two things occured to me:
1) If Moyo, and presumably the interviewer, Deborah Solomon, can make this connection, that merely shoveling money at a people basically keeps them in poverty, how come they can’t make the same connection with welfare and domestic government aid? Is this too much of a stretch?
2) The last “question.” Solomon doesn’t really ask anything, she merely states:
For all your belief in the potential of capitalism, the free market is now in free fall and everyone is questioning the supposed wonders of the unregulated market.
Is this some kind of joke? When was the last time our economy was anything close to even resembling a free market, or “unregulated?” Is she truly this ignorant, or is she just purposefully lying? Either way, it’s a ridiculous assertion, and one that I wish Moyo had challenged.
But for us to allow the media to continue to paint the collapse of our economy as proof of the failure of capitalism or the free market is an enormous mistake. Every time someone says, “Well, everyone can see capitalism and the free market doesn’t work, just look at the last eight years!” and we allow it to go unchallenged, we are merely accelerating the rise of socialism. We must not allow this blatant ignorance to continue. Educate your friends, your neighbors – stop letting the media and the Dems make these ridiculously untruthful assertions in a vacuum.