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    Thursday, June 30, 2011

    St Louis Today Editorialists Paint Caricature of GOP. Are they right? You read, I decide.

    The people who identify themselves as the "Editorial Board" of St. Louis Today, herein perpetuate myths about conservatives, and Republicans. I guess a caricatured version of the opposition makes it easier for these idiots, but, let me help them out here.

    Editorial: Eight myths to chill an old-school Republican soul
    By the Editorial Board

    In their op-ed, they say the GOP has become a "spectacle of smart, patriotic men and women putting their brains and integrity on ice to please a party dominated by anti-intellectual social Darwinists and the plutocrats who finance and mislead them."

    Heh? Social Darwinists? What does that even mean? Plutocrats? Isn't it the Democrat party who have given nprecedented amounts of money to the Obama campaign? Wasn't the Clinton administration and the Obama administration filled with refugees from Goldman Sachs? Seriously, this stuff is just laughable.

    "Consider the mythology that makes up GOP orthodoxy today. Imagine the contortions that cramp the brains and souls of men and women of intelligence and compassion who seek state and national office under the Republican banner."

    They go on to list these things you must believe, in their opinion:

    "• They must believe, despite the evidence of the 2008 financial collapse, that unregulated — or at most, lightly regulated — financial markets are good for America and the world."

    Liberal orthodoxy is that everything in the world can be tamed, if only our omniscient, all-knowing, Liberal Masters were allowed to make those decisions for us. What Liberals fail to point out is that these experiments have all been tried, with no success. The Soviet Union, and China are filled with 5 years plans, most of them dramatic failures. Even the vaunted New Deal was largely a failure of government planning. Conservatives don't believe that less regulation in free markets is correct for any other reason than that is what works best.

    "They must believe in the brilliantly cast conceit known as the "pro-growth agenda," in which economic growth can be attained only by reducing corporate and individual tax rates, especially among the investor class, and by freeing business from environmental rules that have cleaned up America's air and water and labor regulations that helped create America's middle class."

    This is a two part stupidity. Part one is that economic growth is attained by maintaining low individual and corporate tax rates. To that, again, I don't know how Liberals avoid history. I give you the Bush, Reagan, and Kennedy tax cuts, all of which were followed by sustained years of economic growth. Let me posit the alternative - which is that we increase rates. Is there anyone, other than former Soviet planners, who think THAT creates econiomic growth. Come on, not even Obama believes that.

    Part two is the gratuitous swipe at the GOP as against clean air and water. Conservatives recognize the need to craft and maintain regulations to ensure the safety of our drinking water and air. What we don't see is the need and the cost effectiveness of many more regulations that do little to further clean the air and water, and do more to stifle economic activity. Capitalism is the best way to ensure clean air and water. JUst look at the cesspools in Eastern Europer and China, if you want to see the results of unfettered State planning. This is just ridiculous. Again, it gets to the heart of Liberal conceit, which is that the hoi polloi can't see what's good for them (clean air and water) and need their Liberal betters to pass laws to make sure they are protected. Finally, it's a popular liberal myth that without the union movement of the early 20th century, we'd have no middle class. That's an untruth. The union and workers' rights movements of that time may have accelerated the formation of a broad middle class, but it would have happened eventually anyway as the economy and technologies matured.

    " Though rising health care costs are pillaging the economy, and even though health care in America is now a matter of what you can afford, Republican candidates for office must deny that health care is a basic right and resist a real attempt to change and improve the system."

    They deny it as a "basic right" because it is not a "basic right" as defined in our Constitution. Since Liberals pretty much interpret the Constitution however they want, I can understand their confusion.

    "GOP candidates must scoff at scientific consensus about global warming. Blame it on human activity? Bad. Cite Noah's Ark as evidence? Good. They must express at least some doubt about the science of evolution."

    The only scientific consensus in the "climate change" debate is that temperatures rose for a 20 year period in the late 20th century. After that, the rest is debatable, and most certainly isn't consensus. COuld the rise in temps be due to human activity? Could it be due to solar activity? COuld it be due to normal variations in the Earth's cooling and warming cycle? It could be a combination of them all. What is true, though, is that no models created by the global warming alarmists fit the actual trends, and none of them fit going backwards. What is also true is that AGW proponents have willfully manipulated data and lied, probably either for political reasons, or to keep the research bucks flowing.

    I see that the theory of evolution is now science. Nice trick.

    "They must insist, statistics and evidence to the contrary, that most of the nation's energy needs can be met safely with more domestic oil drilling, "clean-coal" technology and greater reliance on perfectly safe nuclear power plants."

    Anyone who says they want the US to be entirely energy independent is denying reality. Fossil fuels are traded in an international market.  We compete with China, Japan, France, etc for resources. 

    But, we can improve supplies of oil here at home, and use more coal and natural gas, sources found in great abundance in this country. That would lessen our dependence on foreign sources of oil, serve to reduce prices for energy, and improve our safety from blackmail from middle eastern dictatorships. Adding more nuclear plants would provide a greeenhouse-gasless way to produce energy and make all those plug-in hybrids actual non-polluters.  Adding to the worldwide supply will not only make us richer by becoming a net supplier (perhaps), but it will provide good, high-paying (and likely lots of unionized) jobs, and reduce enegery prices worldwide.

    I realize people may mistakenly believe we get a large percentage of oil from the Middle East, and I understand that's not true - our greatest suppliers are Canada and Mexico, and no, they're not poised to attack us. But, since so much of the world's current oil reserves are in Middle Eastern countries, they coutrol the price of oil to a large extent, and that's how they have us (and the rest of the West) over a barrel, so to speak. Want to mnimize that risk, encourage more production here, as well as in friendly countries (like Brazil, so Barry O has that part right).

    "They must believe that all 11.2 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States can be rounded up, detained, tried, repatriated and kept from returning at a reasonable cost."

    This one really kills me. I mean, if you said this to one of your conservative friends, you either wouldn't be able to get up after the punch, or the laughter at your stupidity would drown you out for a while.

    Typically, these caricatures include some veiled statement that Conservatives are racists. Kudos to St Louis Today for avoiding that. I am amazed that St. Louis today has such an exact number. Perhaps they have been doing the documentation.

    My argument on immigration is that we should control our borders and that we should know who is in our country, where they are, why they are here, and that they have some valid reason for being here. We'd also love to debate what skill sets we need from immigarnts, how many we need, and we'd like to make sure we can assimilate them into the American experience so that they continue to be productive, valuable citizens. We used to actually have those debates, and we were able to assimilate immigrants into our society.  At some point, we just became an open borders country, and it's costing too much money to provide services to immigrants and it's a security issue (it's mostly a security issue). 

    If we need 2M immigrants/year, and they all come from Mexico, by all means, let's get it done, and let's put them on a path to citiizenship, and perhaps we need to make changes in that process to make it quicker and fairer. But, we need control of the borders for national security. Let's have the immigration debate, but let's have it honestly. This statement is just so dishonest that it means we can't have the debate with people who believe this.

    "Even though there are more than four unemployed persons for every available job, GOP candidates should at least hint that unemployment benefits keep people from seeking jobs."

    There's plenty of evidence that long-term unemployment benefits discourage job seeking. Like immigration, there's a balance somewhere between how long and how much we should provide in unemployment benefits before the beneficiary begins to adapt to that as a way of life. I don't think the conservative argument is that unemployment benefits prevent people from seeking employment, but there's a rational argument to be made for just how long should we provide them before we decide the beneficiary is, perhaps, unemployable, or isn't willing to look hard enough for a job.

    I could share anecdotal evidence of my own about people whom I consider are abusing the system, but, in deference to them, the system exists as it is, and they are doing nothing more than pkaying the game the way the rules are written, and, in my opinion, these folks are emblematic of a broken system.

    I look forward to the editors reply.  Not holding my breath.

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