The Lonely Centrist

A place for reasoned debate about the issues of the day.

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Touchy Touchy!

From National Journal's Congress Daily:

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said today that President Bush had no intention of slighting Congress' new Democratic majority by referring to it as the "Democrat majority" in his State of the Union speech, the Associated Press reported. Bush's dropping of the "ic"' at the end of the word prompted grumbling by Democrats that he purposely got their name wrong. It is not a new charge: The late President Reagan used to refer to the "Democrat Party." and Democratic leaders have long considered it demeaning. Snow said Bush was not even aware he had done it, and certainly did not mean anything by it. The verbal slip came in the same breath as the president was congratulating Democrats for winning the House and Senate in last November's election. "This is a president who has tried to stay away from the business of doing slurs, and there was none intended," Snow said. The prepared text said "Democratic." Bush plans to speak to the House Democratic Caucus at its conference this weekend in Virginia, but on the president's schedule, that event is referred to as the "House Democrat Conference."

Let's see...:
National Journal, 1/13/07: [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid has called President Bush a "loser" and a "liar,"

Boy, if we really wanted to devote some time to this, we could have a field day, on both sides of the aisle. So, is it a good thing, a bad thing, or just a funny thing that in this day and age, Democrats should be upset about referred to as the "Democrat" party?

It's moments like this, with their goofy humor, that could rekindle my interest in politics!

Is the Lonely Centrist gone?

Well, not exactly. When I started this blog 18 months ago, I was weary of extreme partisan politics and the nonsense that today passes for political debate, and thought I'd like to talk about a whole host of issues. To my surprise, I quickly discovered it wasn't just the partisanship - or perhaps better put, maybe the partisanship had killed off much of my interest in politics. Politics has always been pretty central to my life, and I've made my living there. Now I just don't care. Even my little hobby horse, campaign finance, can't hold me.

Some of it, I think, is the post-9/11 environment. I get depressed when I think about our future, and the unwillingness of such a large segment of the public to seriously deal with the long term threat that radical islamism poses to our way of life.

Ah well, maybe something will happen in the presidential race to rekindle my interest. In the interim, we'll keep this blog alive, and try to write as mood hits. Much of the stuff I've written here on election issues has gotten a lot of circulation, so I think I'm contributing something here.

- The Centerman

The Death of Campaign Finance Reform?

Is the internet the death of campaign finance reform? Much has been written about blogs and so on, but with the growth of YouTube - well, read this article in the Los Angeles Times (free registration).

Money quote:
For the candidates, as well as their detractors, the chief attribute of Web video is its broad reach, accomplished at little or no expense.

"You can grab it, send it, link it, and at zero cost," said Matthew Dowd, a top strategist for President Bush's 2004 reelection campaign. "Two hundred thousand people could see it in 24 hours."

It seems to me that Republicans and conservatives are way behind in this game, which likely means that Republicans will continue their movement - started with the "527" controversy - from being anti-campaign finance regulation to being pro-campaign finance regulation; while Democrats move in the other direction. But frankly, I don't see how regulation can get a grip on this stuff.

Mind you, I'm not entirely thrilled - there will be a great deal of unfairness, quotes from long ago taken out of context, etc. - but as usual, the "cure" - government regulation - would be worse than the disease. I hope - and suspect - that soon enough voters will get wise to all that can be done with video. And ultimately lots of valuable info will be available to voters.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Jersey to take 'idiots,' 'insane' out of state constitution?

A snippet:
a section of the state constitution that addresses those who are eligible to vote. It states, 'No idiot or insane person shall enjoy the right of suffrage.'

Really, this is just too easy...

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