Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ron Paul, NDAA, SOPA, Taxes & Republican negotiating tactics

Ron Paul, NDAA, SOPA, Taxes and Republican negotiating tactics, in that order:

Ron Paul – the GOP machine has already started smearing Dr. Paul and will, if the results are in his favor in Iowa claim that they were hacked by Anonymous and then declare either Mitt or Newt the winner. The GOP has every reason in the world to smear the only libertarian in the race to prevent the conservative base from asking too many questions or learning about what Dr. Paul represents. Now I disagree with Rep. Paul on almost everything (except foreign policy) but as you can see here, have voted for him in the past.

Why you ask? Because I respect his philosophical consistency and because the State of Arizona foolishly has a semi-open primary. He believes in small government, low taxes and basically a “fend-for-yourself” attitude. Again, I disagree with his position, but any candidate that makes conservative voters take the blinders off and realize that the “mainstream” Republican Party doesn’t care about anyone but the super wealthy deserves my support.

If Ron Paul starts winning states, his candidacy seriously threatens to break the Republican Party. Ron Paul would likely get crushed in a national election because his small government policies are anathema to most elderly voters who rely on social security and Medicare. But Ron Paul can help us on the left too. If a radical candidate like Paul can get real grassroots support, so could a real progressive in 2016.

I will be a happy man if Ron Paul’s ascendency ushered in a 4 party (or more) shift in American politics. In the absence of a parliamentary democracy this would be incredibly difficult, but more parties would allow Americans to choose between the two centrist corporate parties and parties that actually represent the left and the right. Everyone wins, except the corporate interest who control the false dichotomy that passes for American democracy today.

NDAA – After backing down from a veto threat, the President signed this law that will allow the indefinite detention of US citizens. Why did we elect him again?

SOPA – The corporate law writers temporarily gave up their effort to basically outlaw the internet. Thanks guys. This is fascinating since this fight represents the clash of two powerful industries, Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Lots of tech executives have testified that this bill, if passed would basically break the internet as we know it.

Taxes – The democrats predictably gave up on a halfhearted attempt to partially fund the payroll tax cut extension with a surcharge on millionaires. Big surprise.

Republican negotiating tactics - Could there have been any clearer example of how the modern Republican party negotiates than what happened this week? The Democrats gave them everything they wanted to extend the payroll tax cut and they still demanded more!

Thankfully, even the Wall Street Journal is calling the house GOP out for their absurd "no compromise whatsoever" approach.

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