The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Yeah, blame the Republicans for everything!

There is a blog supported by MSNBC called “The Maddow Blog,”, and, as one might expect of anything named for Rachel Maddow, it spouts a hard-left propaganda line. On Friday, a post appeared on this blog by Steve Benen, which has the audacity to blame the Republicans in the House of Representatives for the poor employment figures that were released that morning.

You see, a year ago (specifically, a year ago yesterday) President Obama proposed a piece of legislation he called the American Jobs Act, supposed to create 2 million jobs. And the Republicans in the House turned it down.

So much is pathologically wrong with Mr. Benen's analysis. First of all, it took him until 2011 to put forth a jobs proposal. In January 2009, he took office. From the beginning of 2009 till the beginning of 2011, he had a Congress solidly controlled by Democrats. If he had put his “American Jobs Act” before that Congress, there was no way the Republicans could have prevented its passage. But of course, in that time he was otherwise occupied. He had to push “Obamacare” through. For this he needed every single Democrat in the Senate, and when Massachusetts voters told the world, by electing Scott Brown to the Senate, that this “Obamacare” monstrosity was not what they wanted — Massachusetts, the most Democratic state in the country! — they had to use parliamentary trickery to get it through. No time for jobs then.

Secondly, most of the time, a President with a Congress that has at least one house controlled by the opposite party will find a way to compromise and propose legislation that at least some members of both parties can accept. When the voters elected a Republican House in 2010, if Obama were like most past Presidents faced with that sort of opposition, he should have done that. But Barack Obama refuses to consider any ideas that the Republicans — or even the less radical among the Democrats! — could have signed on to. So of course, as he pushed “Obamacare” through the Congress, getting not a single Republican vote in the Senate and only one in the House, he tried to propose a “jobs” bill with no Republicans allowed any input. Could the Republicans be legitimately expected to merely roll over and play dead?

Of course, Mr. Benen claims that “Obama sought to shift the national conversation away from austerity and towards job creation, and presented a sensible plan, filled with ideas that have traditionally [emphasis mine] enjoyed bipartisan support.” But obviously, he never asked Speaker Boehner whether those ideas enjoyed bipartisan support in 2011. (Of course, this was the same President Obama who, in 2010, when he needed to call Speaker Boehner to congratulate him after the election, didn't even have his number and needed to ask someone else to dig it up! So much for inter-party consultation!) And even if some of those ideas enjoyed bipartisan support, others were probably poisonous.

When Mitt Romney was Governor of Massachusetts, he faced a legislature that had both houses controlled by the Democrats — by 85%-15% margins — so he didn't even have a veto threat! Yet he was able to get legislation through that legislature. Barack Obama has no idea what it takes to work with a Congress that he does not totally control. All he can do is lay blame — on his predecessor, on the members of the opposite party whose constituents elected them to express their views, not his, and on anyone else he can. He refuses to accept responsibility for the flawed performance of this country's economy — or anything else.

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