Archive for the ‘Hispanics’ category

When Small Thinkers Lead The GOP

June 6, 2016

Over the weekend, presumptive GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump stirred up another hornets nest. Trump called for Judge Gonzalo Curriel, who is presiding over the “Trump University” fraud trial, to recuse himself. Asked why, Trump said because he was Mexican and with Trump’s promises to build a wall between the US and Mexico, Trump felt the Judge was not being “fair”. Hmmm.

Defendants call for Judges to recuse themselves all the time. So what’s the big deal?

Most defendants call for recusals within the trappings of courts and legal procedures, not the spotlight of television interviews. But, the choice of venues is not the main issue.

Trump’s already well established prejudices against Mexicans (and probably Hispanics in general) and Muslims make his statements against Judge Curriel not news. Trump was just being Trump.

The real news is the spotlight which is now showing how small and “not ready for prime time” that GOP House and Senate leaders really are.

Senate Leader Mitch McConnell is narrowly focused upon maintaining GOP control of the Senate and will make whatever deals and concessions necessary to build large enough coalition of loyal voting Republicans. As a consequence, the GOP is willing to panders to a diverse collections of factions and themes, like the NRA (guns without restrictions), evangelicals (forcing their views on others), tax cuts (which benefit the wealthy who do not need the cuts), neoconservatives (who brought us the Iraq invasion and occupation), and privatization of Social Security and Medicare (safety net for senior citizens).

House Speaker Paul Ryan while less obvious in his deference to these groups, never the less has found it necessary to also pander albeit in a more thoughtful way. Ryan speaks of building a strong economy but proposes solutions, including repealing Obamacare, which could devastate the most vulnerable while rewarding those best off.

For McConnell and Ryan, their legislative agendas should be enough to mortally wound the GOP Presidential standard bearer. The refusal to allow the Senate to act upon President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee was just another manifestation of a Party totally adrift from custom, the Constitution, or the best interests of the majority of Americans. It’s all about now.   Hmmm.

Following months of rejecting the Trump candidacy (in favor of some other candidate representing some minority faction within the GOP), McConnell and Ryan have both endorsed Trump and vow to support his election as President. In doing so, McConnell and Ryan have made clear that they are not about thoughtful governance. Instead they are about expedience and letting the future take care of itself. For the average American, this should be a lonely message.

Trump has placed both McConnell and Ryan in a difficult position.  Regardless of what they really think, both have made calculations that unless Trump does well in the general election, the GOP will do poorly in general.

Trump has found little value in pandering to each of the GOP minority factions and has delighted in antagonizing Hispanics, Muslims and women. When McConnell and Ryan announced their Trump endorsement, over arching principles, what little of them existed, went out with the bathwater.

Most analysts have observed that the success of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump signal a desire by a large and growing segment of Americans to see government do more about income inequality (more better paying jobs). The 2008 and 2012 GOP Platforms could not be more out of step with US demographics and only fantasy towards narrowing income inequality. Sweeping Platform changes are sorely needed for the 2016 Platform but it appears it will be same old, same old.

I guess that’s what you get with small thinkers.

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Hershey Kisses

January 15, 2015

Today in Hershey, PA, begins an important GOP Congressional retreat, presumably to facilitate the House and Senate Republican governing majorities to plan successful strategies and tactics for the next two years. Pundits report that the ultimate goal Republican leaders seek is a legislative posture which would support a Republican Presidential victory in 2016. Good luck.

The retreat’s objectives are not a waste of time or a hidden opportunity for a weekend of frolic. There is a desperate need for a functioning Congress. All Americans would be well served if the GOP could galvanize around sensible objectives, and pragmatic and transparent tactics to reach these goals.

Progressives, however, are already girding their forces to defend at all costs social security, healthcare, Medicare/Medicaid, Education, and a wide range of social network laws. Defending the status quo, however, is short sighted since each of these Progressive programs are full of shortcomings and in danger of running out of funding or bankrupting the rest of the national budget. Hmmm.

Progressives might be well advised to relax for at least the time being and not worry about a GOP frontal assault on these programs. The GOP is racked with ideological division (not unlike moderate Democrats and extreme liberals) and are highly unlikely to get their act together. Progressives might better use their time to engage the GOP in discussing benefits, costs, and how the need for these programs might be reduced or ultimately eliminated.

Thinking this way may sound silly or naive, or both. Hmmm.

But think about the alternative, doing business as normal. Already the House has passed a bill which increases funding for Homeland Security but denies authority to spend it on implementing President Obama’s executive order. The House GOP has said no to Hispanics and yes to spending more. Hmmm.

The insanity of this GOP position is that there are not enough votes to bring the law into force in the Senate. Instead the GOP will go on record of denying Hispanics some relief through a comprehensive immigration reform.  I doubt that will be helpful in 2016.

Hershey, the home of Hershey chocolate (especially Hershey Kisses), seems an ideal place for the GOP to work out the acrimonious division between its right and moderate wings. I wonder whether the aroma and mouthfuls of chocolate will work?