Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Future of the GOP

I was reading a recent book review in Reason Magazine about the 10 year anniversary of the Weekly Standard. The day before, I was reading an article in Slate called "Why Republicans are Screwed." The last paragraphs of that article had an interesting viewpoint that made my ears perk up:

If Republicans manage to hold on to their majorities, it will be because they have perfected the ability to use gerrymandering, pork-barreling, and other toll-keeping powers to maintain themselves in office, much like the Democrats they turned out of office in 1994. Retaining control by a narrow margin will do nothing to solve the struggle at the heart of the party between moderates and social conservatives, neoconservatives, and realists, and between fiscal conservatives and big spenders or fanatical tax cutters. In some sense, if the GOP wins ugly and keeps control, they'll be worse off, retaining undivided responsibility, without much actual ability to do anything, heading into the 2008 election. Even the nomination of Hillary Clinton may not unite the factions. Antipathy toward her husband didn't keep Republicans from a debilitating primary struggle in 1996.

Change may come only if a more bruising internal fight between these factions breaks out into the open. During Ford's presidency, the ideological thicket was cleared by Ronald Reagan, who spoke out against the sitting president of his own party, declaring that the national government had "become more intrusive, more coercive, more meddlesome, and less effective." Perhaps no Republican can make a broad assault on GOP leaders while the country is at war. And it may be harder for, say, John McCain, to moderate a reckless, radical party than it was for Reagan to radicalize Ford's limp, idealess one. But if the GOP doesn't have that fight this year, it's going to have it in 2008.

These two stories have made me think about the intellectual state of moderate Republicanism, if such an animal exists (I tend to think it does). The rise of the conservative movement in the GOP was because of think tanks, radio talk show hosts, and magazines, that spread ideas that helped give rise to the ascendancy of Ronald Reagan. Back in the early 70s, moderate Republicanism was on the wane. In 1976, Reagan gave then President Ford a run for his money during the presidential campaign. By 1980, the conservative movement was unstoppable and Reagan became president.

It seems that for the moderate movement to become strong again, it needs to be producing some ideas. There are many advocacy organizations such as Log Cabin that uphold certain values, but there isn't really a moderate Republican think tank or magazine.

In many cases, the conservative movement in the GOP has run off the rails. It's swung too far to the right and has scared the public. But moderates won't get far if we don't present moderate ideas.

There has to be some rich old Rockefeller Republican who could bankroll a magazine or something.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tiny Violins Alert

Gas prices are rising again, so of course you start hearing calls for doing something about. Politicians look into price gouging, or windfall profits tax on oil companies. Of course it's those evil oil companies that are to blame for the average joe paying such high prices on gas which should be cheap. I mean, that's a right of every American, isn't it? Don't they see how we are suffering?

My response? Let me get out the world's smallest violin.

Look, if Americans are upset about high oil prices, they might want to look into the rear-view mirror of their SUV. A lot of Americans feel they have to buy these huge behemoths for whatever reason. Top that with the fact that said people like to live in far flung suburbs where they have to drive many miles (alone) to work, eschewing public transportation or rideshare or carpooling or what have you. We bascially got ourselves into this mess because we think that the oil will just keep flowin'.

Bull Moose shares his thoughts on this issue and says about the same:

Is there anything good about high gasoline prices? Needless to say , the Moose has sympathy for the working stiff who must take a second mortgage to pay for a gallon of gas. And no one likes Oil CEO's who get compensation packages bigger than the GDP of some nations.But, contrary to the all of the politicians' demagoguery, we have met the enemy and he is us .

The Moose is no economist, but surely consumers (along with rising demand in China and India) are partly responsible for the soaring cost of gas because of our insatiable appetite for more oil. High demand fetches high prices.That was the Moose's thought as he attempted to negotiate a shopping mall parking lot in his '88 Toyota Corolla this past weekend. The Moose felt lost amidst a sea of SUV's and Maxi-Vans the size of M1 Abrams tanks. To paraphrase Bill Maher, when you drive a vehicle the size of a 18 Wheeler, you drive with Bin Laden.

Everyone talks about energy independence, but who does anything about it? Even those Hollywood lefties who kvetch about oil dependency and global warming will be the last ones to give up their private jets.The Moose is no oil dependance fanatic, but perhaps a gas price attack is not bad for the nation. Just maybe, we'll change our behavior. It is truly outrageous that we are at the mercy of the likes of Sheiks, Mullahs and Hugo Chavez's for our energy.

He also offers that a gas tax joined with a payroll tax cut might do the trick to weaning us off our oil jones.

I'm not anti-car, but we as a nation need to start to change our own practices before we start blaming other people. If we really are upset about high gas prices, then we need to look into more fuel-efficient cars. As the old saying goes, when you point a finger at someone, four fingers are pointing back at you.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Another Green Republican Blogger

In honor of Earth Day that occurred this weekend, check out a blog by a conservation-minded Republican called Green GOP.

A Green Republican Blog

With Earth Day two days behind us, I think this might be a good time to introduce a new blog by an enviromentalist that is a Republican. Please check out Green GOP. You will definitely like it.

A Green Republican Blog

With Earth Day two days behind us, I think this might be a good time to introduce a new blog by an enviromentalist that is a Republican. Please check out Green GOP. You will definitely like it.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

All Hail the Purple Party!

The problem with Clinton, pace the right, isn’t that she’s a nuthouse sixties liberal. And, pace the left, it isn’t that she’s willing to betray her principles in order to get elected. The problem is that, even after watching her on the national stage for more than a decade, it’s impossible to ascertain if she has any principles at all that are independent of political calculation. Does she, in her heart of hearts, believe in the bill she co-sponsored to criminalize flag-burning? No one—including, I suspect, her closest confidants—really knows. Thus we have the template for the campaign that she will run: a campaign of perpetual triangulation, a maddening, wearisome game of hide-and-seek, executed with none of her husband’s finesse or his grander vision.

McCain, meanwhile, is playing a different game but one no less confounding. Where Clinton is triangulating to position herself for the general election, McCain is racing to the right to ensure his nomination—cozying up to Jerry Falwell (whom McCain denounced in 2000 as an “agent of intolerance”), cheerleading for Bush, endorsing the teaching of “intelligent design” in the public schools, supporting a constitutional amendment in Arizona to ban same-sex marriage. For the partisan androgynes who have long regarded McCain as a maverick, the genuine article, his maneuvers present a devil’s choice: Believe your eyes and accept that he’s actually a more conventional conservative than you thought—or believe your gut, assume that he doesn’t believe a word he’s saying, and accept that he’s a panderer, a standard-issue hack.

What of Rudy Giuliani? Certainly it’s true that our former mayor is polling as strongly as Clinton or McCain (and, in some surveys, more strongly than either). But Giuliani knows that once his stances on social issues (abortion, gay rights, gun control) are widely apprehended (and once the pictures of him dolled up in drag make their rounds on the Internet), his acclaim among GOP-primary voters may prove evanescent. So he travels the country, raising cash for raving rightists such as Senator Rick Santorum. In a speech to the Global Pastors Network—whose leaders believe that the apocalypse is just around the corner—he declares, “I appreciate what you are doing: saving people, telling them about Jesus Christ, and bringing them to God.”

Depressing? Sure—unless you happen to be fomenting a third party. Taken together, the machinations of Clinton, McCain, and Giuliani provide a vivid illustration of precisely why the Democratic and Republican duopoly has become so intolerable to so many: It has eaten away at the vital center, hindered new thinking, and made ever rarer the manifestation of conviction in politics. And it’s created a yawning vacuum to be filled by the candidate of our dreams.

So says An Article in New York Magazine. It's part of a series of articles on building a Centrist Third Party and it seems to be gathering some interest in the Centrist blogosphere. Check it out.

Maybe there's hope yet for this country.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

On Fred Phelps and Protesting at Funerals

I've been thinking about what to say regarding the latest news of uber-homophobe Fred Phelps and his band of nutjobs protesting the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq. The I found out that someone said it for me:

I know I am supposed to feel all warm inside, now that it will be illegal for Reverend Fred Phelps to “disrupt funeral services, graveside services, or memorial services” when a new law taking effect in August will stop him and his “church” from disrupting services in Minnesota (other states already have passed similar laws to stop his disrupting soldiers’ funerals).

Don’t get me wrong, I think what his church is doing is sick, but here is where it becomes gray for me: October 16, 1998, Matthew Shepard’s funeral. Phelps and his followers came to scream “God Hates Fags!” and carry antigay signs (as seen in The Laramie Project).

For the next eight years, Phelps was allowed to “disrupt” the funeral services of hundreds of gay men. He even runs a hate Web site at announcing his next protest. Did anyone make laws then? Didn’t anyone care?

Phelps and his followers decided that attending gay funerals didn’t get enough attention, so he announced that the United States is losing the war because of its tolerance of gays, and started disrupting soldiers’ funerals.

Am I wrong to be a little angry that Minnesota lawmakers didn’t have time to protect gay funerals, but they had time to propose an amendment restricting my right to marry?

What are our lawmakers telling us? That it’s OK to pick on the defenseless gay kid, and disrupt our funerals? It’s OK to hate gays, and to limit our rights with a marriage amendment?

I'm glad that people are outraged at the sickness of Phelps and his ilk. But what bugs me is that he's been showing up at the funerals of gay men for years, most notably, Matthew Shepherd's. There was no goverment action then to stop his protests. In fact, at Shepherd's funeral, it was brave people who took their umbrella's (it was raining that day) and shielded the protests so the family wouldn't see them.

Not that I think these laws are a good idea anyway. As sick as I think Phelps protests are, he does have a right to protest. The right to protest is one of our basic rights, even if I don't like it. And as history, shows, gays have found ways to deal with Phelps without begging the government to do something.

I guess what really bothers me is that this whole situation shows how unimportant gays are to the wider society. Everyone will blog and rightly condemn when Phelps goes after our servicemen and women, but it seems that no one cares when it's the gay man who died from AIDS.

So, I'm glad the wider society now knows about how twisted Fred Phelps is. I just wonder where the hell they've been.

Another Moderate Republican Blogger

It's always nice to know that you aren't alone. There is another moderate Republican blog out there called Weekend Pundit. Check it out.

An Ill Wind?

Around the time of the last presidential election, there was some talk of how some people on the Massachusetts coast being upset because of a planned wind farm. You've probably seen windfarms, with those giant wind turbines twirling in unison. With rising energy prices and environmental concerns over coal, wind energy is being seen as a viable alternative that's produces clean and affordable energy.

As someone who fashions himself as a environmentalist, I think this is a good alternative. You'd think a lot of people would think wind energy is a good idea. This is a no brainer: it produces no waste, it's safe and doesn't pollute.

You'd think wrong.

Anne Applebaum reports that about the rising anti-wind movement. Yes, you heard me: the anti-wind movement. The antis complain that the windmills are ugly, noisy and kill birds and bats. Applebaum also talks about how other eco-friendly energy alternatives are being attacked as well for a host of silly reasons.

I sometimes think that the enviromental movement has gone off the tracks at times. My motto has always been to leave as little of a footprint as possible. My guess is there are a lot of environmentalists who think we should leave no footprints whatsoever. That's impossible unless we decide to go back to the 16th century.

In the scheme of things, we are dealing with things like global warming and oil supplies that controlled by the likes of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. These worries are more important than someone in Massachusetts who is upset that he no longer has a "clear view" of the ocean.

My advice to those who are against these winds farms: get over yourselves. There are bigger things to worry about.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Maunday Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Break

Since I will be busy doing my job as a pastor over the next few days, I will be taking a few days off from blogging. See you on Monday.

Yet More Musings on John McCain

If you've been reading this blog, you know that I've had some concerns about John McCain supposed lovefest with the far right. (You can read my prior posts here andhere.) I've said in the past that McCain may have lost me, but I've given that some more thought and now I'm thinking about how tricky politics can be.

Slate'sJacob Weisberg and engaging article entitled "John McCain's Not Really a Conservative." He tries to explain McCain's manuouvers not as losing his maverick egdge, but about playing the game to get the GOP nomination. He notes:

Most liberal commentators take McCain's love fest with the neo-Calvinists at face value, arguing that he's finally revealing his true colors. A few months ago, The Nation ran a cover story titled "The Real McCain," which contended that the Arizona senator is a dyed-in-the-wool conservative. To the American Prospect, McCain is Barry Goldwater's true heir. A couple of weeks ago in the New York Times, Paul Krugman wrote, "The bottom line is that Mr. McCain isn't a moderate; he's a man of the hard right."

But the literal-minded left has McCain all wrong. He's trying to win over enough of his party's conservative base to win, for sure. But this is a stratagem—the only one, in fact, that gives him a shot at surviving a Republican presidential primary. Discount his repositioning a bit, and McCain looks like the same unconventional character who emerged during the Clinton years: a social progressive, a fiscal conservative, and a military hawk. Should he triumph in the primaries, we can expect this more appealing John McCain to come roaring back.

Weisberg then goes into detail explaining some of McCain's moves as more of facing reality than it is about him becoming a true believer. The thing is: Weisberg is right. Let's face it: if McCain wants to win the nomination in 2008, he has to be realistic: he has to pay attention to the social conservatives. McCain ran as an insurgent in 2000 and got burned by the right. I think McCain is still very much a reformer, but he is more of a realist in 2006 than he was in 2000. He wants to win, not simply get his message out.

I think some of the problem with people like myself and others is that we want this perfect Messiah that will stand up to whatever demons we think are out there, even if we lose. Centrists have this problem just like those on the extreme left and right. McCain could make no compromises and end up just like he did in 2000, or he can bend a little and get the nomination and make some changes as President. I may not like it, but you know, it's politics in a democracy. If you want the golden ring, you have to make some compromises and those who follow have to determine how much they can stomach. While I might not like his daliances with Jerry Fawell, McCain is still good on issues like immigration, the enviroment and foreign policy in my eyes. I know that there are many who think McCain would do well as an independent, but let's wake up and smell the coffee: no third party candidate has won the Presidency since 1860. Not Teddy Roosevelt in 1912, not George Wallace in 1968, not John Anderson in 1980, not Ross Perot in 1992, not Ralph Nader in 2000. Again, this would be McCain as the noble crusader, tilting at windmills, but not really doing anything to change things.

I'm still a little worried about McCain's dances, but I will keep my eyes open and hope. McCain is still the candidate I want to see get the GOP nod two years from now. I just pray he plays his cards wisely.

Here are some other worthwhile views on this issue:

McCainiac Marshall Witman aka Bull Moose still has faith in McCain, seeing him in the mold of his hero (and mine) Teddy Roosevelt. He notes:

Both the right and the left often do not understand John McCain. The truth is that he is very much like the Moose's idol - T.R. During his time, both the left and right, at times were dissatisfied with the Colonel. Progressives thought he betrayed their cause. Stand-patters loathed his progressive traits.

The truth is that John McCain has always been a conservative. The Senator's political mentors were Goldwater and Reagan. He is a hawk who advocated rogue state rollback and Clinton's intervention in the Balkans when then Governor Bush was against nation-building. He voted against spending bills and the Medicare drug bill because he supports limited government. McCain is a strong supporter of private accounts in Social Security. He is a pro-lifer who only endorses choice when it is related to private school selection.

And... John McCain believes that we need strong action against global warming. He joined with Russ Feingold on campaign finance reform. He courageously denounced and did something about torture. At the same time that liberals complained about McCain speaking at Falwell's Liberty University (keep in mind that the Senator reconciled with the Vietnamese who imprisoned and tortured him), our modern T.R. was working with Ted Kennedy to make our immigration laws more reasonable taking on the restrictionist right. Although he has supported a state ban, he opposes a federal constitutional amendment barring gay marriage.

Can McCain's critics cite a politician alive or dead who similarly defies the turgid categories of the left and the right? Who are the other brave souls in either party who consistently put country before party? America is looking for leaders who defy the conventional categories.

Also, there is a great piece on National Public Radio about McCain's moves to woo Bush Republicans for 2008.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

From the "And the Sun is Big, Red Ball in the Sky" Dept.

Well, well, well. It's looks like all the hopes GOP Congressional leaders had about using immigrant-bashing as a wedge issue in this year's midterms, has backfired. The Washington Post reports:

In the wake of this week's massive demonstrations, many House Republicans are worried that a tough anti-illegal-immigration bill they thought would please their political base has earned them little benefit while becoming a lightning rod for the fast-growing national movement for immigrant rights.

House Republicans rushed through legislation just before Christmas that would build hundreds of miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, require that businesses verify the legality of all employees' status through a national database, fortify border patrols, and declare illegal immigrants and those who help them to be felons. After more lenient legislation failed in the Senate last week, the House-passed version burst into the public consciousness this week, as hundreds of thousands of protesters across the country turned out to denounce the bill.

Duh. Did they Republicans really think that they could get away with such legislation and not rouse the ire of Latinos? What's interesting is that GOP leaders, Denny Hastert in the House and Bill Frist in the Senate are blaming the Dems for the harse House Bill. Sorry, guys. It's the GOP that's in control and that means you bear the responsibility. Why didn't Hastert knock some sense into the sponsor of the draconian House immigration bill, James Sensebrenner of Wisconsin? He didn't, the bill passed and now Latinos are turning their fury on that bill.

I'm all for more enhanced border security (except for that wall). But the House bill was nothing more than red meat to the arch conservative base and in the end, the GOP may have lost the Hispanic vote this fall.

It's high past time for some forward-thinking leadership in the party. We need people who are interested in both secutiry and welcoming immigrants. We need to find ways to help those who are already here become citizens, and find ways to help Mexico boost their economy to stem the tide of immigration. We need to get the guest worker program up and running to give immigrants the option of working here for a time and going back home, or working towards legal citizenship. Playing to the baser instincts of some Americans isn't going to get the GOP anywhere, but maybe in history's dustbin with parties like the Know-Nothing Party.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Blacks vs. Latinos?

On a recent post on immigration, I got a response from Shay over at Booker Rising. She had this response:

Hispanics are only the country's fastest growing group **because about half of them are illegal**. I.e., it has been done through criminal means.

As anyone who has seen 'guest worker' programs operate in other countries, these so-called guests have a very strong habit of staying in the countries for decades.

You fail to consider that the Republican Party may gain a few black votes over this issue (or the Democrats lose black votes, as folks may sit on the fence) which is ticking many black folks off because illegal immigrants undermine black economic opportunity and have led to demographic changes in many black communities. If black folks must follow the law, then there should be no special rights for anyone else.

I find this statement full of bigotry. You can't dress up this pig any other way. For those of you who don't know, I'm part Latin, myself. My Mom was born and raised in Puerto Rico and has been an American citizen since she was born, as have the 3.5 million people on that Carribean island since 1917. I grew up in a home where I heard both English and Spanish and I can speak it myself. So, when Shay says that half of all Hispanics are illegal, I find that rather bigoted and small minded and it attacks part of my heritage.

Second, what Shay is suggesting is that the GOP engage in immigrant-bashing to help blacks. Shay is saying the GOP should pit one group against the other. I find this repulsive. America is a multi-ethnic nation and all parties have to learn to appeal to a diverse America and not engage in ethnic bashing.

Finally, I don't understand the animosity that comes from some African Americans on any other minority that isn't African American. It seems as if some black folk feel they have the right to be bigoted towards other ethinic groups, since we were slaves. Bull. Bigotry is bigotry. Latinos aren't a threat to blacks or to the wider American society. They are our allies, NOT our enemies.

I'm glad for those African Americans who have stood up for their Latino neighbors. I just wish more of them would.

Blogging on Holy Week

Not that, I need to write this, since I don't blog very heavily, but blogging might be lighter than usual this week. As many of you know, I'm an ordained minister that works at a local church in the Twin Cities, and Holy Week is a busy time for church types, meaning, I'm planning worship services and writing sermons galore. I will probably have some time to share a rant or two, but just be warned.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Folly of the Neo-Southern Strategy

I haven't talked much about the whole immigration who-ha. I'll sum up my views by saying, yes, we need to beef up enforcement to keep tabs on illegal immigration, and yes, we need to find ways to make those 12 million who are here already on the path towards citizenship. I'm against the House proposal, but for the President's proposal of guest workers.

With that said, I think the GOP should tread carefully on this issue because it could cost them votes. I think they are giving some red meat to the conservative base that is very isolationist at the expense of Hispanic votes. I don't think they will listen to me, though.

It's no big surprise that Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic group. Unlike African Americans, they are not solid voting bloc, but the GOP is doing their best to drive the Latin vote to the open arms of the Democrats.

Joe Gandleman reported a few days ago that the current immigrant-bashing could have some ill effects for the Grand Old Party. He cites a Wall Street Journal op-ed by former GOP chairman Ed Gillespie who warns:

The Republican Party cannot become an anti-immigration party. Our majority already rests too heavily on white voters, given that current demographic voting percentages will not allow us to hold our majority in the future. Between 2000 and 2004, President Bush increased his support in the Hispanic community by nine percentage points. Had he not, John Kerry would be president today.

Hispanic voting percentages are increasingly decisive in swing states like New Mexico, Nevada, Florida, Colorado and Arkansas. Mishandling the immigration debate today could result in the Republican Party struggling in these states and others in the same way it now does in California. People who come legally to this country with nothing and labor in the most menial ways to get a new start should feel at home in our party. As a rule, they are hardworking, law-abiding, freedom-loving and patriotic Americans.

When Gillespie is talking about California, he talks about the former Governor Pete Wilson's anti-immigrant proposals back in 1994. The net result was that a fair number of Latinos became Democrats and it weakened the state GOP.

I don't think that all Republicans are racists or bigots, but there are some and they are in prominent positions in the party. The GOP did a bad job of reaching out to African Americans which used to give the GOP a substantial numbers of votes, and has driven many gays who were strong on issues like national defense out of the GOP as well. There are some deluded into thinking that the GOP can win with only white, fundamentalist Christian voters. You don't have to believe in the whole "Emerging Democratic Majority" rhetoric by some on the Left that amounts to demographics as destiny to see that this is folly. Fundamentalist Christians might think God will choose who will win Congress in December, but it's voters who will decide who will control our national legislature and when you manage to get a major ethnic group mad at you by saying that you aren't welcome, well, I don't think even God can save you.

If Congress fails to come up with an immigrant-friendly bill, you might see a lot of Latinos vote Democratic in November and the Republicans will have no one to blame but themselves.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

More on Delay's Decamp

I've been reading the blogosphere this morning on the whole Delay affair and there is a lot of celebrating. The most common theme is that he won't be missed and I agree. What has bothered me though, is that people have the hope that Delay's exit from the scene will change the direction of the GOP.

Don't hold your breath.

It's not that I don't think that the GOP should change; that's the reason behind this blog. But I think too many people see Delay and his ilk has the problem with the party and I think we are only part-right. Delay is a problem, but he is more a symptom of an illness than he is the source of all that is wrong in the GOP today and his departure won't change things.

A few weeks back, the outgoing congresssman gave a speech to a gathering a fundamentalist Christians where the assertion was that Delay was forced out of power because he was a Christian. This is what convener Rick Scarborough said at the "War on Christians" conference about Delay:

"I believe the most damaging thing that Tom DeLay has done in his life is take his faith seriously into public office, which made him a target for all those who despise the cause of Christ," Scarborough said, introducing DeLay yesterday. When DeLay finished, the host reminded the politician: "God always does his best work right after a crucifixion."

Then there were the words from Delay himself, which should scare the whatever out of you:

"Sides are being chosen, and the future of man hangs in the balance!" he warned. "The enemies of virtue may be on the march, but they have not won, and if we put our trust in Christ, they never will. . . . It is for us then to do as our heroes have always done and put our faith in the perfect redeeming love of Jesus Christ."

The problem facing the GOP these days isn't Tom Delay; he is just a symptom. Instead, it's Christian fundamentalism, that is driving policy and tactics in the Republican party. THAT is what has to be faced, not some slimy Texas representative.

The people who attended that conference is the problem. Delay was doing their bidding. With him gone, they still have others to turn to.

We seem to forget that it is these so-called "Christian" soliders that are the ones who control the apparatus of a major political party.

As a friend and former Republican once said, the religious right did things the old fashioned way, they went to meetings and made their voice known. Pretty soon, they were the ones in charge.

Joe Weedon has a noteworthy post on Delay in that he states Delay was a visionary leader. Now, that might set some teeth to grinding, but the thing is, he's right. Delay and his Christian right supporters have a vision and they have worked hard to make it a reality. I can't say the same thing for Republican centrists and Centrists in general. What is our vision? Do we have any interest in doing something to change the tone of politics other than spout stuff on a blog?

If you want to be a force for change you need to get involved. If you are a Republican dissatisfied with the far right, then you need to stand up and say something. Get involved with some of the Republican organizations that are trying to change the party. I have links to them on the right of this page. Give money to those Republicans who are working for change. If you are centrist, find some way to support causes that can push back on the far right agenda.

Cheering Delay's demise might feel good, but it isn't worth a plug nickel in changing the party and the nation as a whole. Put down the party streamers and get to work.

Introducing Another Centrist Blog

Waaaaay back when (2005) there was a certain blog called The Yellow Line run by Alan Stewart Carl and Joe Weedon. These days, Alan has his own blog called Maverick Views. I have always wondered what happened to Joe. Well, now we know that he has his own little blog called The Middle of DC. It's nice to see more Centrist bloggers out there, so please check him out.

Monday, April 03, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: "The Hammer Gets Hammered"

Looks like Congress won't have Tom Delay to kick around anymore. The Washington Post is reporting that former Majority Leader Tom Delay is not only bowing out of his re-election race, but possibly resigning from Congress. As the Post notes, this decision comes only a few days after a former Delay aide plead guilty to corruption and conspiracy charge. The aide told federal prosecutors of "criminal operations" being run out of Delay's leadership office.

It's late here in Minnesota and I do have a day job, but let me say this: it's about time. I will leave up to a judge to determine Delay's guilt in legal matters, but I think the representative was a symbol of all that is wrong with the GOP today. His leaving probably won't change things for the better, but I think it's a good thing for him to not be on the Hill anymore.

As they say, this is developing...