Log in

No account? Create an account
Hogarth judge

February 2018



Powered by LiveJournal.com
Hogarth judge

A perfect example of where the Republicans went wrong

No, I ain't going to cut this rant.

On the wrong side of the river, the congressional race pits incumbent republican Anne Northup against Democrat challenger John Yarmuth. Since our broadcast TV comes from there, those are the political ads we mostly see.

Yarmuth was one of the founders and chief editors of the Louisville Eccentric Observer, a tabloid local affairs, arts, and entertainment weekly more commonly known simply as LEO. This means Yarmuth has some sixteen years of published commentary that frequently touched on political topics. In today's climate, this is perhaps the worst possible background for a politician.

Northup has put up a website called "The Yarmuth Record", featured in her latest round of attack ads, in which she seeks to portray Yarmuth as a dangerous extremist. The positions that Northup claims are so extreme include:

  • Calling social security "welfare"

  • Calling for a tax on large engine vehicles, including SUVs and pickup trucks

  • Calling for the decriminalization of marijuana

  • Suggesting that the drinking age might be lowered

  • Supporting Planned Parenthood

  • Favoring removing "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance

  • "Every serious economist has concluded that a balanced federal budget is impossible until we’re willing to consider cutting entitlement programs , especially social security and medicare."

This website proves to me once and for all that the Republicans should rename themselves the stupid party. All of these ideas are off the table as far as they are concerned; anyone even capable of entertaining arguments in their favor lacks "moral clarity" or some such malarkey. It doesn't even matter that some of the columns are more than ten years old.

I won't talk about how badly the Republicans have fallen since the days of Abraham Lincoln, since that is mostly irrelevant. Or even how they have fallen since the days of Barry Goldwater. They've gone down the pipes since the days of Newt Gingrich. Whether you liked him or not, or liked his proposals or not, the "Contract with America" was a concrete set of fairly dramatic policy proposals, meant to be controversial and eye-opening. Whether you agreed with them or not, they were ideas.

The Northup campaign, by contrast, wants to scare people away from having ideas. This is what makes the Republicans twelve years out from the Gingrich era stupid.

Now, the demographics of voting are a sad thing. Here, Republican Mike Sodrel, a candidate I'd be prepared to admire, is running against Baron Hill, a gutless centrist Clinton Democrat and former occupant of the same seat, who voted for the Iraq war when he was the incumbent. The two candidates' ads seem to be mostly about which candidate will better make sure that the flow of Social Security money from the employed to the retired will continue unchecked, and seeking to frighten voters that the other candidate might cut them off.

(A thwack with the clue stick for feeble old folks: there is no such thing as the Social Security trust fund. It isn't as if all the money they paid in over time is sitting in some account waiting to be withdrawn, it doesn't work that way. Allowing the SS Administration to wager in stocks will make little difference to the soundness of the system.)

But I wish I lived on the wrong side of the river, so I could vote for Yarmuth against Northup, just because this series of attack ads is so obnoxious. Astoundingly, Yarmuth has apparently been written off by the national Democratic Party, which has so far contributed nothing at all to his campaign. The Democratic Leadership Council is still very much in charge, it seems, and they are as afraid of ideas as the Northup campaign wants them to be. We need a real opposition party in this country, and the Democrats are obsolete.



The only good House Republican is a retired one

Be gratified you can vote for Barron Hill, he has a chance over Mike Sodrel. Recall that prior to the last census redistricting, the 8th House election once came down to eight votes.

In the contrast of a not-so-astounding abandonment by the national Democratic Party, John Yarmuth has all the earmarks of a snowball candidate. Anne Northrup is among the 90% perennially gerrymandered and non-competitive House races, an alarm first nationally raised by Ralph Nader. Northrup also has the sympathy vote following the recent and unexpected loss of her well-liked adult son.

On the ad hominem level, I'd "be prepared to like" Anne Northrup. My centrist-conservative mother knows and has supported her for many years, probably due to Northrup's backing of arts education. I don't know his position, but music and art are the first things that oafs like Sodrel usually want to cut during a school budget crisis, even though they correlate positively with proficient mathematics education.

Whatever, egghead or oaf, to clean the national clock, these are times to hold one's nose and vote for the worst Democrat over the best Republican at the House level. Cutting off House funding seems to be the only way to stop a war since the U.S. started the executive denials of losing them.

Mark West
It's strange. Our father was registered as a Democrat, I think because of Nixon. Our mother was a Mondale Republican. In the 90s, he kept grumbling about Democrats and decided he was more Republican than Democrat any more, and switched his registration just in time for the beginning of the most extreme Neocon nonsense.

He regrets it now, of course. "WTF?!?! I thought these guys were sane, but now they really ARE nuts."

Meanwhile, our mother's remains as unchanging as moon dust. 'Cause, you know, she's a REAL Republican, all those other guys are just phonies using the party name. </end mother-ese>

Moral of the Story: by the time you figure what a party's about, it's not about that anymore.