Monthly Archives: April 2017

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“It Ain’t What You Eat It’s the Way How You Chew It” – Lessons For Democrats

After their 2008 electoral sweep, many Democrats ridiculed Republicans for continuing, even intensifying, in playing to their base. Gleeful Democratic pundits commented that Republicans were out of touch with the mainstream values of the electorate. The Republicans were forcing moderates out of their party. Moving further and further to the right seemed laughably misguided for a national strategy.

And yet…. We saw the popularity of an invincibly captivating president with consistently moderate politics evaporate from 76% job approval rating in February, 2009 to 49% by January, 2010 (CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll). We saw President Obama’s signature effort to reform the U.S. healthcare system drop in public support from 59% to 42% over the last year (Family Foundation Kaiser Health Tracking Poll), with support of a public plan to compete with private insurance plummeting from 76% to 36%* from October to December last year (ABC News/Washingtion Post Poll). Now, with the upset election of a Republican senator in Democratic Massachusetts, we hear many Democrats nervously back-peddling on health care reform. Even Barack Obama’s former senate seat in Democratic Illinois is widely viewed as a potential pick up for Republicans this year.

How is it that a Republican party that appeared to be eating itself into oblivion has so quickly re-emerged to threaten the ever-so-brief Democratic majority in national government?

This is not a new phenomenon. After all, we are the same country that followed up an election of Jimmy Carter by hiring Ronald Reagan to play the President. Furthermore, many moderate Democrats who voted for Reagan would vote for Jesse Jackson in the following Democratic primary. Now, Jackson and Reagan did not have much in common politically. But they did share one important attribute: both of them spoke with believably strong conviction. While polls have always showed that Americans disagree with Republicans on the issues, people will vote Republican if the candidate seems to genuinely stand for something**.

Meanwhile, Democrats cater their message to court moderates. What do we perceive these candidates to stand for? Moderation? While moderation may have its intellectual appeal, it doesn’t normally stir the passions of voters. I have attended many political rallies, and I have yet to hear people chant, “Moderation! Moderation!”

If history is any judge, the national Democratic Party, chastened by the sudden success of right wing Republicans, will take away the same losing message they always do. Instead of seeing that it was the Republicans’ move to their base that saved them, they will see it as the Republican’s move to the right. They will ill-advisedly try to compete with Republicans on Republican terms. This will fail, as it nearly always does. What right-minded Republican will vote for a fake Republican when they can vote for the real thing?

The message the Democrats would be well advised to take home is that the public like politicians who stand for something. It’s less important what you stand for in U.S. politics than how convincingly you deliver your message. Or, in the words of Sleepy LaBeef, “It ain’t what you eat, it’s the way how you chew it.”

*Many polls still have this number in territory above 50% – it seems to depend on how the question is worded.
**A little demonizing of the Democratic candidate and a few dirty election tricks also tend to help.

Understand Exactly How To Do Much More With Your Devices

Businesses that use injection molding will likely need to make certain their own workers know how to use the equipment. Nevertheless, just understanding the basics of exactly how to make use of the devices is not going to be adequate. Companies are likely to want to make sure their particular employees fully understand precisely how to use the machines comprehensively to make it much easier and speedier for the work to be completed. To accomplish this, companies will want to consider decoupled molding training they can take to be able to learn more about the process as well as how their devices are going to work.

Anytime an employee takes scientific molding training, they will be practicing with an expert who knows the equipment comprehensively and also can explain everything to the staff. They’re going to obtain comprehensive instruction, some examples, and also will be able to practice just what they will study with their own equipment. This is important as it assures they will understand the material and also know far more about just how to make use of the machines they’ll work with each day. This can supply the company with significantly less waste material, less down time, far better productivity, and far more. It additionally ensures the staff understand just how to be safe when utilizing the equipment as well as what to do if perhaps something goes completely wrong.

While just about any training is going to be advantageous, professional injection molding training is going to be greater since it enables the staff to ask questions and also understand just as much as is feasible from a professional. They may learn more in this type of atmosphere than they would just viewing training videos and may find out a lot more regarding precisely what the professional could do in specific situations to allow them to recognize just what to do if perhaps it happens when they may be working. This permits them to completely have an understanding of the devices they’re utilizing, not simply any kind of machine in a training video, as well as can supply them with the solutions they need to have in order to do better at their particular work.

In case you want your workers to do more as well as to have a better understanding of their own occupation, make certain you are going to look into the injection molding seminars right now. They’re going to manage to get a lot of details from the seminars as well as lessons that they may make use of whenever they may be at the job. Get more details today to find out how beneficial these kinds of courses can be for your staff and organization.

Democrats Need Iraq Surge to Fail

Given the steady flow of anti-war and anti-surge rhetoric spewing from the mouths of the Congressional majority and Presidential candidates seeking the Party’s nomination, I have to wonder if key Democratic players suffer from a genuine lack of understanding regarding the threats we face if we fail in Iraq, or if they are just choosing to ignore those threats and the likely consequences of precipitous withdrawal.

Critics of recent Congressional action on the Iraq war like to argue that Democrats are traditionally weak on national security, and that they simply don’t have a firm understanding of what will happen if we pull our troops out prematurely and surrender Iraq to the jihadists and the Iranians. This position is understandable.

It’s easy to surmise that those on the left misunderstand the threat when you read comments like the ones made by LA Times columnist and fervent Bush / Republican basher Rosa Brooks, who in a column called “9/11 was bad, but…” published on April 27, wrote: “The 9/11 attacks were appalling and tragic, but they did not threaten the survival of the nation.” Ms. Brooks went on to write, “Of course, 3,000 dead is 3,000 too many. But keep it in perspective.” Keep it in perspective? Her words and her comparison of the death toll from 9/11 with our casualty figures from the two world wars, Korea and Vietnam reveal a leftist mentality that is focused on the damage caused by one supposedly isolated act of violence and not on the threat posed by a radical ideology determined to effect our eventual subjugation under the banner of Islam.

While this belief of natural weakness and lack of comprehension may be true for the more radical members of the Party, who are blinded by their hatred for the President, wars in general, and the Iraq war in particular, I don’t believe it to be the case for the Democrats’ core leaders in the Congress or on the Presidential campaign trail. Instead, I believe it more likely that the heavy hitters of the Democratic Party do in fact recognize the threats we face and are purposely ignoring the consequences of defeat for political gain in 2008.

There is some basis for this theory. Earlier this year, the Democratic Leadership Council, chaired by former Representative Harold Ford, Jr. of Tennessee, published its Plan B on Iraq, citing the failure of President Bush’s strategy as a call for changing direction in the conduct of the war. Part of the plan reads as follows:

“…the ‘out now’ option would likely compromise U.S. security interests, trigger a full-scale civil war, invite foreign intervention, provide an unprecedented propaganda victory for Sunni Jihadists and Shi’a theocrats whose savage violence has been aimed at creating this outcome, and abandon those millions of Iraqis whose suffering under Saddam Hussein will be compounded by more chaos, war and tyranny.”

The plan goes on to say: “A precipitous withdrawal would also drive the Iraqi government further into the arms of the Iranians…making Shi’a-Sunni reconciliation even harder and increasing Iran’s regional influence. And it could definitely create a dangerous recruitment point and training base for the international Jihadists who remain the key global threat to our, and the world’s security interests. A rapid and complete withdrawal from Iraq isn’t really a Plan B: it’s a ‘Plan Zero’ for liquidating the whole Iraq engagement as hopeless.”

So where’s the disconnect? How can the Democratic Leadership Council recognize the dangers associated with premature withdrawal while the Party’s Congressional leaders and Presidential candidates vociferously demand that very course of action? How does the Council reconcile its position with Senator Reid’s public statements concerning a war that is already lost and the need for bringing our troops home in accordance with the mandate allegedly granted by the November 2006 elections?

The truth, I believe, is that most Democrats understand exactly what will happen if we fail in Iraq. They understand that the unchecked genocide of Iraqi Sunnis by the Shi’a majority could spark a regional sectarian war. They understand that Iran’s position in the region would be enhanced and that a traditional buffer against Shi’ite influence in the Middle East would be eliminated. They understand that the violence and chaos in Iraq would likely escalate, endangering our allies in the region and our national security interests worldwide while creating a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. And they understand that terrorists around the world would be emboldened by their victory over the world’s only remaining superpower, just as they were when the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan.

Given this understanding of the consequences of premature withdrawal, why are leading Democrats denouncing the President’s “surge” strategy and demanding a reduction in forces or a complete pullout instead? There can be only one answer.

Democrats know that they must maintain the status quo in Iraq until after the 2008 elections. To concede, even a little bit, that the surge might be working, that there may be signs of progress, would be to admit that the President might have been correct in implementing his new security strategy for Baghdad and al-Anbar Province. That is why it was necessary to discount General Petraeus’ reports of initial progress and encouraging signs even before he appeared in the House and Senate. It is also why Speaker Pelosi felt it was more important to work on securing votes for the withdrawal resolution than it was to be at Petraeus’ briefing.

The success of the surge would spell political disaster for Democrats as Americans realized that we could in fact win in Iraq, and that there was an honorable end in sight for a conflict that has torn at the very soul of this nation. For Democrats, the surge must fail in order for Iraq to be used as political ammunition in the 2008 elections.

Democrats also know that they cannot, under any circumstances, cut off funds for the troops, for they alone would bear full responsibility for abandoning our men and women in harm’s way and for the increased violence and chaos that would surely follow in Iraq after U.S. troops were redeployed.

So what we get from the Democratic-led Congress and from the Democratic Presidential field is resolution after resolution criticizing the President while avoiding responsibility for anything that happens in Iraq. The hope, I believe, is to maintain the current pattern through the 2008 elections, allowing Democrats to claim that the President was the problem and that they were powerless to stop him because Republicans in the Congress would not support overriding a Presidential veto.

The end result is the undermining of the Commander-in-Chief, the troops in the field, and their mission in Iraq purely for political gain. The strategy is an astute one, as far as Washington maneuvering goes, but it is also one of surrender and defeat in Iraq in order to secure victory at the ballot box in 2008. For Democrats, political advantage has taken priority over national security. That is why the surge must fail, and that is why Democrats have fittingly been accused of being “The Party of Defeat.”

What Do Democrats Believe in Anyway?

According to dictionary.com, the technical definition of Democrat is “a member of the Democratic party.” This is not exactly helpful, especially if you are new to politics and trying to figure out where you fit in the political spectrum. At the risk of sounding partisan and getting the political bloggers on my back, the basic difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Democrats want bigger government while Republicans want smaller government. Obviously there are plenty of ways to incorporate both philosophies into a political belief system, so don’t think that this article is going to favor the Democrats over the Republicans. We only want to explore what makes Democrats…well, Democrats!

It might be hard to believe with all of the partisan bickering happening in Congress, but Democrats were, once upon a time, members of a party called the Democratic – Republican Party, which was founded by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The Democratic Party officially separated from the Republican Party when Andrew Jackson was elected.

That’s all fine and good, but what do Democrats really believe? We can’t speak for individuals within the Democratic Party, but the party defines itself as believing in the following:

Raising the minimum wage
Investing in and favoring renewable energy over oil
Lower taxes for the middle class
Higher taxes for the wealthy (currently defined as those who make more than $250,000 per year)
Public funding for Welfare, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security
National/Universal health care
Lower pharmaceutical costs
Protection of the environment
Lower costs for Higher Education
North American Free Trade Agreement
Central American Free Trade Agreement
Adjusting the Alternative Minimum Tax
Equal Opportunity regardless of gender, age, race, orientation, nationality or religion
Making gay marriage legal
Pro-Choice legislation
Stem cell research
Ending the war in Iraq
Reversing Unilateralism
Decolonization of Puerto Rico (if Puerto Rican citizens want that)
This is simply a quick laundry list of what Democrats believe in as a party. All of these points have paragraphs of complicated policy behind their headlines (which we do not have time to explore in this article). Within both political parties there are members who do not agree with every facet of a party’s political platform.

The 2008 election has caused the balance in Washington to tip toward the Democrats’ side of the aisle. Americans have elected a Democratic President and both the House of Representatives and the Senate will have Democratic majorities when everyone has been sworn in to session. Many Republicans worry about how this will shift the balance for laws and policy in the United States. It is important to remember that you cannot paint all Democrats (or all Republicans) with the same brush. It is also important to remember that being “liberal” and being “a democrat” do not always mean the same thing. In the last few decades the “liberal” brush has been used against Democrats and it is important to remember that liberals can be found in the Republican, Constitution, Green and Libertarian parties as well!

Death of Suburbia and Resulting Democratic Party Dominance

United States is a huge country. That and favorable conditions led to an early and advanced car culture (Canada, Russia, China, Brazil had various restrictions stifling that, ranging from permafrost to outright ban on private property). The love for cars and the infrastructure that makes it possible has been a source of national pride for decades and brought envious glances from around the world. As much as smaller vehicles make sense in urban areas, anybody who has been to rural U.S. would immediately appreciate the benefits of increased horsepower and vehicles whose size would be considered military grade elsewhere in the Western world. When you take into account that most Americans lost their virginity inside cars, the psychological obsession with motor vehicles begins to make sense. It’s no wonder that road trips hold a special place in the national consciousness and that advertisements for cars overly utilize freedom and sex appeal compared to how cars are marketed elsewhere (for more on this, check out advertising guru Clotaire Rapaille’s Culture Code).

However, the unfortunate side effect of Eisenhower administration’s emulation of Germany’s Autobahn (rather than large scale development of high speed public transit as in France or Japan) also allowed the whites to not live together with non-whites. Non-whites (and the poor in general) were subsequently never fully integrated into the national fabric since those better off could now move away from the poor into suburbia. Unlike the Soviets (who attempted national integration with their colonial subjects through mass education) or the British/French (who were geographically separated from non-white subjects), white Americans found a way to solve their disinterest of getting along through mass movements into the suburbs for which there was plenty of space for.

It has been common knowledge for decades now among social policy experts that a mixing of different classes is good for society as a whole. For instance, over a third of Holland’s people live in affordable public housing since once you qualify to move in, they don’t kick you out if your income greatly increases. Many professionals of course remain to take advantage of the savings. Class polarization along geographic lines is thus greatly reduced. In United States, the subsidies to highways (and the resulting creation of suburbia) have done more than just rot inner cities, deteriorate food quality, and create fertile ground for South Africa-esque gated communities. They have set the ground for inevitable reversal of suburbias becoming slums due to the sheer economic and logistical inefficiencies of suburban construction in general.

Interestingly enough, the two party system was preserved as rural whites and the remaining urban whites (often cynically using racial politics to bolster electoral numbers and influence) were balanced numerically. However, in the last 20 years a number of the following factors began to create an imbalance:

1) More than half of people now living in urban areas than rural ones

2) More people deciding to remain single and not having children (diminishing appeal of creating a suburban nest

3) Increase in the amount of people renting rather than trying to buy a home (the “American dream” so far has been achieved by only 1/3 of the population with a third flat out rejecting it for urban living and a third either desperately trying or slowly converting to the urban dream. The recent housing bubble and collapse is by far the best evidence of this. It will hopefully create a proper national attitude readjustment concerning what dream to pursue and what mode of living to support and encourage with laws, regulations, and incentives. People who rent are increasingly seen as at least co-equal to home owners by politicians)

4) Increase in secularization of United States that leads to a view of small town residents as backward religionists

5) Globalization and de-industrialization of United States leading to reduction of opportunities for rural areas and increase in opportunities in Urban hubs

6) Rapid increase in college access (for at least majority of the whites) creating a stronger educated class that abhors small towns and where educated individuals try to move out.

Considering that the population of this country doubled over half a century, the suburbs had to expand or at least rise in price. The demand from educated whites could not be readily satisfied due to sheer physical and financial logistics.This of course resulted in white migrations into the Urban areas once again resulting in gradual change in urban political leadership (notice NYC under republican mayors), increase in infrastructure improvements for new migrants due to wealthier tax base, and corresponding millitarization of police. The drop in crime in major urban areas in last 15 years is not due to some role model efforts of a mean spirited former mayor and cracking down on squeegee men but by outright displacement of the poor from the urban areas.

Colonization of Brooklyn in areas such as Williamsburg is a fascinating example. Colonization as a term is not used lightly in this piece. First came the brave poor urban whites wanting to rent cheap space (much like the displacement of blacks from another further part of Brooklyn, Brighton Beach, by Soviet emmigrants for whom money was an issue). These individuals who would have otherwise preferred lower Manhattan:

1) could tolerate living next to minorities more than their more timid white counterparts from suburbia due to greater familiarity of the landscape

2) many were physiologically (ENFP, ESTP, ENTP psychological types most likely predominate the party scene at the edges of white settlements in Brooklyn) understimulated and were more free of the bonds of religion/tradition/ignorance

They used their newly acquired cheap habitats to throw wild parties and engage in large scale hedonism that would not be allowed in lower Manhattan. The contrast of educated hedonistic college graduates amidst populations of blacks with whom they had little in common slowly displacing previous residents through economics makes the term of colonization resonate. Of course once they settled the area, infrastructure improved from increase in tax revenue. This allowed other whites, older and more suburban to follow on their heels in increasing numbers. The L train connecting predominantly white lower Manhattan with Manhattan’s expansion across the river is of course shiny and new.

The trend has interesting political implications. The political center rather than being split like before will move to the cities. It is unlikely that rural racist/religious will flip to being democrat again as in the 50s. The increase in financial power of the cities and the influx of educated whites into the Democratic party creates a Democratic party that keeps growing stronger with time as the wealthiest 20-30% of population (who haven’t fled abroad in search of employment) occupy what was once “inner cities”. In effect, around some major cities the suburbia has moved into them. Long Island suburbia is thus creeping westward. Some cities perceived as unsalvagable like Detroit will be allowed to die and become decrepid shells like many Soviet cities now rotting in Siberia. Suburbia will not disappear of course and those too far away from cities will transform it into a more militarized gated community structure. Rise in gated communities in last 20 years illustrates this.

American cities will become more like France’s, with immigrants and minorities being on the outskirts rather than the whites. This dynamic of the most powerful individuals dominating the political sphere from the urban areas will not escape the attention of non-white Americans for long. The tension within the newly powerful Democratic party and the imbalance of one party always setting the national agenda can be resolved in 2 scenarios.

A) Although we’ve seen rather pathetic recent attempts by the Republican party to re-assess their relationship with minorities, it is not impossible that they will transform themselves into a multi-ethnic political party years in the future and structure themselves more along economic populism. This would allow them to dominate numerically as white population declines below 50% in the 2020s and so on. If they do not do so then they will continue losing national election after election.

B) The uneducated/rural/religious and more blatantly racist core of the Republican party might not tolerate being part of a multiethnic construct and thus would not take into consideration a platform that attracts and integrates the minorities being driven from the cities. This will result in Republican party turning increasingly millitant and radical and their continued failure at the national polls will shrink them into almost a third party status. At that point, non-whites disillusioned with situation in many urban areas (surely there will be some urban areas that integrate better with influx of education and resource redistribution) and the increasing radicalism of the Republicans can lead for a creation of a third party.

This is an open ended scenario that sees partial disintegration of Republican rural/suburban political power through loss of voters to Democrats, Libertarians, crypto-Fascist conservatives and conceivably some Hispanic-black coallition that tries hard to attract some poor rural whites with populism. Many Midwestern states will continue Republican dominance unchanged and would resort to rabid state’s rights calls to insulate themselves from the influence of the Democratic center. However, without significant numbers in Congress, the efforts of Republican state governments will not go as far as hoped. No longer would they be able to rally rural whites against the cities as the cities will become increasingly white and wealthy. It is possible that libertarian ideology would prevail by default in large swaths of rural areas due to its non-redistributive nature, dog eat dog survivalist ethic, and thus potential to reduce public conflict (even while further alienating ethnic groups from one another). Private money from cities would then have unhindered influence.

(Sidenote: the above scenarios assume there is no national break up, constitutional reorganization, or civil violence. This article was originally written in May 2009 and things have deteriorated dramatically since then. As mentioned above, although rural Republicans are not likely to switch to Democratic party, it is possible that psychological association of executive branch with steep downward economic spiral will lead urban whites to GOP in 2010 elections. Although I continue to believe that democratic majority will be strengthened through election of more progressives, even if urban voters flock to GOP in the next congressional round, the Palin crypto-fascist faction should still split the GOP allowing continuation of Democratic national center.)

As of today, many Americans are distracted by the many troubles and pressures of international commitments and economic crisis to pay attention to United States taking many of the trappings of South American countries. Although the country is too big to have all of the elites concentrated in the cities, their increase in globalized urban hubs will, for the first time, create a concentration of corporate power behind one party. Urban areas are also easier to defend and logistics of food transport become streamlined. The Democratic party could very well resort to empty promises of equality, progress, social responsibility, and every man woman and child needing an education to preserve an image of a multi-ethnic construct. Reality on the ground however will make it easy for it to not fulfill any of the promises. The great educational gaps between the races, lack of national ethnic integration, the backwardness and biases of southern evangelicals will make it hard for people to hold Democrats accountable. After a while it could very well be that the Democratic party will stop pretending about whose interests it defends and having shed American international commitments abroad (and promises to spread freedom and equality), United States would transform into a Brazil-esque entity. Decadent hedonistic urban individualism with vast swaths of the rural population left behind (even more so than before if that can be imagined). White flight is a radical concept and a symptom of a rotting nation without national unity (last time we saw white flight was in post-colonial spaces such as Africa and Central Asia where Russians found it intolerable to live with one formerly dominated group but found it easier to remain within the Baltic space where they are hated perhaps even more).

Solutions to this are few and they have to be relatively radical:

1) Rapid shedding of our imperial ambitions and commitments abroad to save money to dump into infrastructure rather than acceleration of Soviet type decline and rot due to the executive being browbeat by military leadership

2) Utilizing the internet to augment education ( and thus bypass some of the gridlock for education reform) to provide Hispanic and black children a nationally standardized Pre-K to High School materials that can be taught at home
3)Voting restructuring to allow a more proportional representation in congress. Our government is too weak and divided to make major changes even under a committed intellectual like Obama. Hopefully, he isn’t our version of Tony Blair. His stand on Afghanistan tomorrow will reveal a lot about the nature of his character. Major surge in Afghanistan will demonstrate a fundamentally weak character and the specifics of the possible surge will show the current strength and ideological orientation [nationalist/internationalist] of military leadership

Internet as it stands now is not enough to create a common culture for Americans. However if nothing radical is done and south-American style impudent corporate power begins to finally rule with the backing of a relatively homogeneous cultural/political group of elites and their white educated supporters (undivided as they were last few decades) then social tension will continue to increase. Then we will have education provided more forcefully years from now by an American version of Hugo Chavez. The experience of Brazil has shown that a large multi-ethnic country becomes dictatorial once their oligarchs and the educated begin to cluster in urban cosmopolitan hubs. It may sound silly now with Obama’s troubles to think that Democratic party can become so monolithic but in the absence of a national split up into smaller federal unions, this scenario is not out of the question. Many countries in the Western hemisphere (notably Cuba and Brazil) provide valuable information as to what can occur.

When the Big Speech Is Over: Democrats in Search of the Middle Class

I have long been suspicious about the adamancy of true believers. It’s not nice at times, and it definitely reveals my own impatience and in fact even snobbery, but nevertheless, when I hear people utter parroted news speak I realize sooner or later they will issue a new incantation explaining away either the limitations of their previous thoughts, or why they collectively or individually failed at their objectives. To me, those who believe something so piously have elected to wear on their psyche Kevlar blinders to block out the occasional sliver of critical thinking. Few realize the more obvious limitations and vulnerabilities of any dogma. Which often dooms them from the get-go.

The irony of most true believers is that they believe themselves to be open thinkers. They are open to any new thoughts as long as they can perceive them as far inferior to the their own. Should those posing alternate perspectives not acknowledge their insufficiencies, the true believer launches into a flurry of clichéd diatribes. Or, if faced with the plausibility of alternate reality they may withdraw entirely from the confrontation, pulling in their heads like turtles in a shell. So much for quality discourse.

In the world of the true believer, his ideology is never suspect and no matter what results are achieved, there exists no such thing as failure. Failure, the true believer contends, should be deemed as relative. It is not failure that his party or group has acquired, it is in his eyes a limited victory. Those who set out to run the twenty six mile marathon and struggle to make it past ten city blocks might deem it a victory of sorts. But for the rest of the world, this is failure, not achievement. Which leaves the true believer to issue his fall back position, they “tried, and did the best they could.”

What is then confusing to the true believer is that not everyone is buying it. Not everyone is a lifetime subscriber to the nauseatingly pervasive “everyone gets a trophy” mentality. I know I am far too results oriented for that. My own fault, maybe. My own impatience. But like a fair amount of the world, I believe this very attitude severely limits innovation and performance. I believe it dresses the stage for reduced expectation. Rather than set new standards of performance, our reflexive readiness to resort to the “we did the best we could syndrome” let’s us beg off and otherwise rationalize our collective sloth and personal limitations. We do this nationally, and we do this as individuals. We have forgotten that success doesn’t really need to be explained. Failure requires a million excuses.

A perfect example is the recent mid-term election. I cite this not just to pick on the Democrats, but to also take note of the cycle of apology and explanation that ensues after such an event, all as a substitute for relative lack of action. As we all know, the Democrats were soundly beaten. For mid-term elections, the incumbent party losing twenty to thirty seats in the House is considered acceptable. The Democrats lost more than sixty three seats in the House and six seats in the Senate. Let’s face it, nobody likes to get his butt kicked. Or let’s say, unless you are a masochist, you don’t like getting beaten to a pulp. However, that’s what happened in the recent mid-term elections.

While it was clear to some, in my opinion the more astute, the Democrats were failing at their message, Democratic pundits went on TV and instead of reaching out and communicating gave some rambling examples of their accomplishments. These virtues were garnished with laments that the average American just didn’t understand all the good that was done for them. In essence, the party of the people was claiming before the cameras that the party of the people no longer knew how to communicate with the people. Which is true. It seems that every rambling utterance that emanates from the Democratic Party elicits more confusion than resonance. The messages are obscure, tangential, and without any emotional focus.

Coming from an age when Democrats were roll up your sleeves and bang it out in the gutter types, we now see a Party that is either so diverse its objectives are diluted, and with all its education and high minded ideas out of touch with much of the American middle class. Why? Because if you are alleged intellectuals, academics, media people, or other members of the Democratic Leadership who are driving its train, chances are you don’t come into contact with the average American Joe. Democratic leaders and supports really don’t talk to the guy running the tire shop, the small business manufacturer, the owner of a modest IT company. Middle management and even the majority of senior executives. You may believe they do, but they don’t. Okay, maybe during election time. There is no personal contact, and there is no political contact. Once upon a time when diverse types actually lived in the same communities this was the backbone of the Democratic Party. This and labor.

Well, labor has been diminished and the true middle class, the small business owners and technocrats, the truckers and healthcare workers, are largely being ignored. Big news here, organizations like the Teachers’ Union are not the middle class. The underclass worker is just that, underclass. The poor are the poor. None of them, despite all rhetoric to the contrary are middle class. If you are out to save the middle class, then it would be helpful to know who and what the middle class actually is.

The person running a business or holding onto a job at some local business with a house, two cars, two kids, and the bills to pay for all of it, this is the middle class. This is not the poor or the underclass. This is the middle class. This is the pissed off segment that doesn’t really want to hear some weak rhetoric about “sacrifice” and that it takes a village. What they need to know if if they can get credit for their business or if their jobs won’t be shipped off to Timbuktu. Before they want to hear about contributing to the well being of others, they want to know how they will pay for their mortgage or put shoes on their kids’ feet. They want to know how they can care for their own family members, whether it means putting their kids through college or caring for an aging or dying parent. They want to know now and not with some promissory rhetoric posed by a bevy of politicians and academics who have never run a business in their lives. They don’t want to hear how the government will take care of them but rather how they can take care of themselves.

The middle class is complex. In the modern age, it is difficult to pinpoint. It may be dissected economically but as never before social and cultural tastes will differ. There may be the same salary levels, but this is a segmented market with its different tastes and different priorities. The advertising industry knows this. Politicians do not. The person making fifty grand in Topeka is probably more drawn to lawn care and less drawn to Broadway Theater then the person making fifty grand in an emerging neighborhood in Brooklyn. Each to his own. The middle class covers a broad spectrum and to attract that spectrum to your way of thinking you have to find some common ground. You have to be direct and not ramble in the abstract. In short, you have to know who they are and what they are.

Other than the buzzword, the Democrats have little idea about the broader spectrum of the middle class. They sort of have a vague notion of the urban middle class and they certainly devote their focus on the poor. Not to besmirch the poor, but let’s face it in a global economy in a time of economic crisis, it would be a damn sight smarter to focus on those who can pull you out of the crisis and set you back on a path of global competition. When it comes to restoring jobs and global competition, all hand wringing and obligatory rhetoric aside, for sure as hell the poor ain’t driving that bus. I don’t want to sound cruel here, but it’s is relatively easy to figure out what the poor need and want. Simply put, the socially marginalized want to be included. Not an easy task, but that directive is a lot simpler to figure out than the needs and wants of a very segmented and therefore complex middle class.

The Republicans figured it out. The have done a far better job at communication than the Democrats. Strategically speaking, they have out messaged and for the most part outsmarted the Democrats in strategic terms. Mind you, this may be more of a s a case of style over substance. The Republicans may have also gotten it wrong, but when it comes to messaging they certainly have the right idea. The previous eight years offer bitter testimony that they, too, don’t have a clue. But they do have a better line of rhetoric. They are better organized and there is no mistaking their message, no matter how spurious that message is. They are masters at taking Democratic niceties and twisting them to the Republican advantage. They show the Democrats to be weak and tentative and they run through those whole like like a Mack Truck through Paper Mache.

As for truth speak and the party line, prior to the elections I watched one Democratic pundit after another cite Democratic accomplishments, mostly followed by the deep chagrin that much of the nation wasn’t embracing these accomplishments. President Obama, they contended, had done so much and was so under appreciated for all he has wrought under much resistance and great duress. Some alluded to his weaknesses, but most held the party truth speak talking about his character and great strength. How much he cared and what a fighter he was. In all, before the election, the Democratic position was we have done so much for so many; it is their fault that they are such idiots that they don’t understand our political largess. Reality didn’t seem to be a factor, even in the face of overwhelming samples that the Democrats were heading for disaster. Democratic supporters, rather than confront the situation head on and examine why they were not reaching the public with their message, preferred instead to cling to their rhetoric and take up residence in that turtle’s shell of denial. This may offer temporary comfort, but it is not very strategic. Nor is it particularly intelligent as more often than not it will only exacerbate the negatives.

What was missing of course, was the reality. Case in point, and I know some have argued vehemently otherwise, that the president blew opportunity big time with the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf. The resulting catastrophe severely damaged what amounts to the 29th strongest economy in the world, the Gulf Region. Forgetting the fact that Energy Secretary Salazar, an oil guy, was warned that the necessary drilling protections were not in place, this was President Obama’s version of “you are doing a Heck of a Job, Brownie.” I know all the lamentations that the President was doing the best he could and that he had no magic wand to wave and the other horse shit that was offered up as lockstep and lame excuses. But the fact is, in seeing British Petroleum as a partner, rather than demanding they seal the well, billions of dollars were lost to that economy. Tens of Thousands of people lost their livelihoods. A culture that had existed for centuries was devastated.

Of course once the President did lean on BP, the leak was sealed. After a hundred and something days, miracle of miracles, they found a way to seal it in less than a weak. According to the news media and most Democratic pundits, mistakenly believe the crisis was all over. All’s well that ends well Everything was fine. No, it was not fine. People were outraged. Maybe those who lived elsewhere and perhaps didn’t really care about what they deemed a bunch of Cajuns and Southern Crackers, thought that after a brief time out everything was back to normal. But the Democratic politicians and their supporters knew damn well, in a literal sense the Party was over. The Democrats had just lost what little they had initially retained of the Gulf Region. With the exception of Democrats like Mary Landrieu and her brother Mitch, icons and real supporters of their native state, you can kiss it goodbye for many other Democrats.

Of course, I can’t think of any Democratic pundits who diverted from truth speak and pointed out on the cable shows that you can forget about gleaning votes form the Gulf Region. Not a mention as it would not fit into the lockstep dogma that the public just doesn’t understand us. No one pointed this dreadful inaction in time of crisis as Presidential failure to step up to the plate. No one pointed it out that this may be endemic of a behavior pattern few could discern amid the impassioned speeches from an inexperienced politician who was never forced to confront adversity of this magnitude. No, not a peep about indecision or possible behavior flaws. Nobody was saying, despite all the time constraints and opposition, the President wanted the job, and this is the job. Again for the cheap seats…this was the job he signed on for.

Instead just prior to the election, we heard the party line about the encroachment of the Tea Party. Oh the Tea Party, a bunch of racists who were determined to undermine the Democratic efforts in spite of their own self interests. And, sure, it’s true. Big news there are racists living in the United States. And being bigoted individuals, there is no doubt racists will be emboldened under times of economic weakness and national indecision. The worst part of this country will emerge for sure. All this seething and underlying bigotry, be it racism, sexism, or Antisemitism that seethes beneath the surface will pop up like so many oil blisters in the La Brea Tar Pits.

But did that throw the mid-terms to the Republicans? Doubtful. First off, what of the 53% of the voters who voted in Presidential Election? It would seem there were not enough voting racists then to really move 63 Democrats out of office. That would mean the majority of the country is not just biased but vehemently racist. Some would say so. I wouldn’t.

Did a commanding majority suddenly transform itself into racists and vote out Democrats on order to get back at their President? Maybe. Makes sense if you stick to the party line. One of them, anyway. But the thing is as it the final results have established, with the exception of the Latino vote, just about every demographic group moved some of its voters from the Democratic to the Republican column Even African American voters pulled the Republican lever more than they had a couple of years ago. In the 2008 Presidential election, Bush and company garnered a meager 4% of the African American Vote. But in the 2010 midterm elections, of the African Americans who voted, nine percent voted Republican. More than double. So then with every demographic but the Latino voters switching in varying degrees in favor of the Republicans, either every hidden racist decided to expose himself or many truly believe the not only the President but the Democratic Party had not fulfilled his promises. I don’t know the answer here. I really don’t. Nor do I fully understand how many voters in need of Democratic policy bought into the Republican rhetoric. Maybe they sold it better. But the results are what they are. So before I assign the explanation of the Democratic debacle to the Tea Party, Racism or to other simplistic rhetroic, I would review more thoroughly the bigger picture. But then that’s me.

Look, while I write this for a broader audience, a mixed bag of conservatives and progressives, and whatever else who read my blog, I realize much of this would fall on deaf ears. And like I said, I don’t by any means have all the answers. I realize, too, that recalcitrance and vilification is an essential part of rhetorical lockstep and the blind faith in the party line, so I don’t harbor much expectation. Although, now that the butt kicking is over and we see a few pundits coming to their senses. Increasingly, there is growing concern by various columnists and politicians that our President may not indeed be all that he can be. There is increased frustration with him within his own base and among the media folk who drive it. We are not talking about the Republican flacks here, but writers and personalities who tend to lean toward the Democratic view of things. They have been watching now for a couple of years, and now, all apologies and excuses notwithstanding, they don’t like what they see. They realize that exhortations about what do you expect the President to do, and he has had so little time, is falling on increasingly deaf ears. And as a party, the Democratic Party, if you are being humiliated, lame excuses for indecision just won’t cut it anymore.

Perhaps it becomes apparent when you put in an inexperienced politician to handle one of our worst national crises, despite his great speech making, he is just not up to the job. Perhaps when President Obama consistently negotiates prematurely against his own best interests, he fails to understand the principles of negotiation. Perhaps, despite what all have said to the contrary, his team of advisors and cabinet, with some exception, are second stringers who have no real political leverage, except they are great political campaigners or that they got really good grades in school. Perhaps the excuse that he hasn’t had time is insufficient, as the country was promised one thing and got another. Perhaps the few band aids that helped shore the dikes against the economic flood placated the true believers but not the rest. Perhaps claiming that the mean ol’ nasty Republicans beat up on the heartfelt, well intended but ultimately incompetent Democrats has any real currency to the family trying to pay its mortgage.

Perhaps it is time to stop with the convenient but ultiamtely unproductive rhetoric and lame excuses. Perhaps it is time to do the smart thing, the adult thing, and try to understand in often painful but realistic terms why the Democrats screwed it up so badly. Our adversaries and global competitors could care less for our lame excuses. Our global competitors and our professional sports teams are well aware that not everyone gets a trophy. Our global competitors and our sports franchises are well aware that those who do get the trophy are the ones who are able to pull it off in spite of the adversity, the obstacles, and the biases against them. Perhaps it is time to cool all the jargon and like the sports teams, review the playing films. Analyze things carefully and without prejudice. See what you did wrong and where you messed up. Make the rewarding distinction between catering to the the middle class and having your head in the clouds. And then, cut out the nonsense and try to get it right.

Democratic Congress Versus Republican President

The Challenge for Democrats

Democrats will be challenged in the next two years by tugs in different directions. They will want to do a good job for the American people so that they are re-elected in 2008 and gain the presidency. One group of pragmatists, represented by Tim Walz, Minnesota Representative-elect, believe that the American public voted for “healing.” Americans want, according to Walz, a time to recover from a broken government riddled with bad policies and corruption. On the other hand, several other new Democrats are ideologues, similar to their Republican counterparts that took office in 1994, who led the Republican Revolution and produced the Contract with America. That era ushered in a more conservative America in many ways, leading to such things as tax cuts and a more hawkish attitude towards defense.

The goals of the present Democrats already contain contradictions. The next Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, for example, wants fiscal responsibility. She would like to balance the budget and reduce the national debt, using a “pay as you go” system of funding. Yet, already, she and several Democrats will be pushing for things like making college tuition tax deductible, cutting student loan interest rates, increased health care coverage, funding embryonic stem cell research, and a national cap on industrial carbon dioxide emissions. All these worthy programs cost a lot of money.

The Democratic theory is that they will pay for all this, and more, by getting rid of “tax cuts for the rich.” They also want to make life more fair by raising the minimum wage.

Republicans versus Democrats on the Economy

The Republicans believe that Democrats will be raising taxes on everyone, not just the rich. They judge that raising taxes even just on the “rich” will hurt the economy, killing the goose that laid the golden egg—which is the present robust economic situation, with low unemployment and the highest stock market in history. Republicans believe that raising the minimum wage will also hurt business.

Democrats counter that yes there are plenty of jobs, but that they are “Wallmart jobs,” low-paying with low benefits and no unions. Democrats believe that raising the minimum wage will not hurt business. In fact, they point to the Henry Ford theory that paying workers a livable wage will enable them to buy more products, hence helping business.

In addition, Democrats will want to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare patients; do something about industrial job loss overseas; and fight President Bush on any privatization of Social Security.

Presidential Power and Investigations

Bush will continue to try to strengthen presidential powers, an area where Democrats think Bush already has grabbed too much.

Several Democrats want investigations into missteps in the war, treatment of terrorism detainees and Bush’s expansion of executive power. Pelosi is more moderate on this. She rejects out of hand, for example, any impeachment proceedings against Bush. She was pleased that Bush accepted the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Iraq

On Iraq, Democrats clearly look for withdrawal, and place some hope in the bipartisan Iraq Study Group—led by James A. Baker III, former secretary of state, and former Representative Lee H. Hamilton. The Baker crowd and others like Condoleeza Rice, considered to be pragmatists, now have the President’s ear, as opposed to the hawkish Neo-Cons like Rumsfeld and Cheney, who were the most influential advisors up until this election.

The Baker report is expected to present two alternative policies. Redeploy and Contain calls for the phased withdrawal of US troops to bases near Iraq where they could be redeployed against new threats, such as an emerging terrorist organization, anywhere in the region. Stability First calls for maintaining a presence in Baghdad and encouraging insurgents to enter the political arena, while Iraq’s neighbors, including Iran and Syria, would be asked to help end the fighting.

The Democrats also want to enact all the recommendations made by the commission that investigated the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

My Predictions

Pelosi and the Democrats will try to be on their best behavior, so corruption will actually go way down in government for awhile, which is great. Republicans were disgraceful in this area.

Pelosi will be able to enforce fiscal responsibility with her colleagues until the 2008 elections; but then, after they have retained their majority, their Democratic instincts will overwhelm them and they will begin enacting their social and economic agendas, and will raise taxes significantly across the board. This will hurt the “little people” that they say they love.

On the other hand, I don’t think raising the minimum wage will hurt the American economy or business as much as is feared. I actually do believe in the Henry Ford theory—that raising worker’s wages will help them buy more products, which helps business eventually.

I don’t know what the Democrats, though, can do about Wallmart and the globalization of the economy. They want to re-investigate our trade agreements. Can we go back to protectionism? Can you put the runaway horse back in the barn? I somehow doubt it.

I don’t mind Democrats letting us buy prescription drugs from Canada, which is a free-market solution to drug prices. I would mind, though, if they engage in price caps. This is tampering with the economy with socialism, and leads to bleak economics, again hurting the “little people” eventually.

As far as Iraq goes, I have high hopes for the Baker commission. Both their solutions seem feasible. Plus, if you noticed, I proposed one of their solutions in an earlier post.

As far as investigations against Bush and Republicans, I say cool it Dems. Americans just want the mess to stop. They are not in the mood for congressional hearings and righteous indignation. Just stay clean and try sincerely to solve our problems.

As far as your agenda goes, Madam Speaker, congratulations. This is the first time I’ve heard a Democratic agenda in years. I may not agree with all of it, but at least now we know your intentions, and we can debate them.

On Financial Matters, Panic Is Democrats’ Preferred Currency

Democrats haven’t passed a budget in years, yet somehow it’s Republicans’ fault that the country is about to go over a fiscal cliff.

Harry Reid’s Democratic-controlled Senate has, for three consecutive years, refused to pass a federal budget or even bring a proposal to the floor as required by law. In 2011 Reid announced that passing a budget would be “foolish” because of ongoing negotiations over other fiscal matters. Senator Chuck Schumer declared that proposing budgets was “not the point” of the Senate.

Later in 2011, Nancy Pelosi claimed that when Democrats controlled the House in 2010, they didn’t pass a budget because Republicans would have filibustered it. White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew made the same claim. In fact, both were wrong: filibustering a budget is impossible, because budgets require only a simple majority to pass.

Earlier this year, Reid announced, “We do not need to bring a budget to the floor this year – it’s done, we don’t need to do it.” He was referring to the Budget Control Act of 2011-which is not a federal budget-that raised the debt ceiling, established the supercommittee that failed to agree on debt reduction, and set the country up for the fiscal cliff we face today.

Reid’s other excuse for not passing a budget in 2012 was that there was an election in November.

(Type “Democrats haven’t” into any browser’s search engine and see what auto-complete suggests.)

Now Senator Patty Murray, who seeks to chair the Senate Budget Committee next year, hints that the Democratic Senate won’t pass a budget in 2013, either.

Thanks to Democratic intransigence, Congress isn’t even required to pass a balanced budget, just a budget. Is that so hard?

Meanwhile, Democrats’ inaction is forcing the country to white-knuckle it via an endless series of herky-jerky, over-before-the-ink-is-dry continuing resolutions and stopgap measures every couple of months.

Last year’s fiscal crisis resulted when the government was about to run out of money and needed its debt ceiling increased. This year’s crisis has two parts: (1) Congress’s failure to address deficit reduction during last year’s debt ceiling showdown will trigger unpalatable, automatic, across-the-board spending cuts of $1.2 trillion over the next ten years; and (2) the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year, Congress is divided on whether to extend them for high-income earners, and taxes will increase for everyone if an agreement isn’t reached.

The debt ceiling debacle was demonstrably, entirely the result of Democrats’ failure to pass a budget anytime in recent history. The Bush tax cuts are also Democrats’ fault, because a 2013 budget would have specified whether the cuts were to continue, and we would have had this discussion long before the end of November. (It was also Democrats’ fault that the cuts weren’t made permanent or extended for more than two years in 2010.)

Since Democrats will control the Senate for at least two more years, yet show no inclination toward passing a budget anytime soon, they’ll probably set us up for another fiscal cliff after we avert the current one. The U.S. is already set to hit its debt ceiling limit again in spring 2013.

Why do Democrats leave financial matters unresolved until the last minute?

Answer: So they can spread fear and leverage Americans’ anxiety to threaten Republicans into giving in.

Democrats’ M.O. for prevailing on fiduciary matters these days seems to be: irresponsibly and historically refuse to pass a budget for several consecutive years; dismiss the very requirement as an antiquated relic; continually lead us to a series of unnecessary, economy-rattling, bond-rating-threatening fiscal crisis; then claim that Republicans are kamikaze pilots who want to take the nation down to score political points.

The site About.com describes the current standoff thus: “[L]awmakers have had three years to address this issue, but Congress – mired in political gridlock – has largely put off the search for a solution… ” No. Republicans have been dealing with this issue all along, including proposing and passing budgets and debt reduction plans once they took control of the House. Democrats have been obfuscating, stalling, and spinning their wheels, even when they controlled both chambers of Congress and were capable of passing a budget without a filibuster-proof majority. It’s not gridlock when one party has the right of way and refuses to move.

Republicans plan long-term. Democrats thrive in crisis-filled environments-like the 2008 financial collapse-that allow them to charge in and claim we need more government.

Democrats traffic in panic; it’s their preferred currency. Getting everyone all agitated at the eleventh hour gives them cover to toss out ideas at random-like eliminating mortgage interest deductions-before the public can properly debate them. When things move too quickly for people to pay attention, there’s room for mistakes to be made, for liberal Republicans like Lindsey Graham and Saxby Chambliss to slip up and later justify themselves by telling constituents, “I had to do it.” And Democrats know this.

Democrats not only pushed the country to the edge of the fiscal cliff, they invented the fiscal cliff.

Democrats in United States of America

Democratic Party in United States of America put forward strong viewpoint upon balanced budget, tolerance, proliferation of ammunition, capital punishment versus life imprisonment, socialism and statesmanship, judicial freedom and scientific advances including business, environment. Democratic Party has beliefs more harmonious to the ideals the youth carries nowadays. Their stand on abortion and gay rights etc allures many of American people and some would say “Democrats are for everyone else.” Democrat government seems to be determined to provide for the masses and they do have stricter government controls.

Democrats actually have a different brain type that tends to respond with greater emotion to violence and suffering and their viewpoint is that this makes the party caring an empathetic. They have plans and actually making it happen to lower taxes, ensure fair pay for women, restore funding for stem cell research and create jobs. The Democrats agenda is to give relief to the public from the daunting pressure of high taxes and these tax cuts are targeted relief to help middle class families. Democrats are taking about jump start US economy and make American Dream of honest living; education, owning a home and raising a family come true.

The Democrats in US want to have safety and more opportunities for every American with an emphasis upon strong economical growth, provision of security upon retirement, and health care plans that are affordable to all American citizens. Democrats expect to be open, honest and accountable government. Civil rights and liberties protection is first among the list of Republicans. Democrats plan and have established a few guiding principles to restore civil liberties of the US citizens and uphold the civil rights of all. Democratic agenda has the 50-State Strategy that means to win elections at every level in every region of the United States of America. The Democrats party provides platform for freedom of speech and to express freely. Democrats believe in controlling the proliferation of guns to have a society with less violence.

Democratic point of view is to lower taxes and observe tolerance as it an important code of conduct in society. Capital punishment over imprisonment for life should be reprimanded. Socialism is favored statesmanship is demanded. Judges will follow charter of law by having freedom to create the law and enforcement. Democrats have strong attachment to the modern feminist movement and their fiscal policy is also admired and supported by many of the republicans as well.