Restless GOP

Rand Paul has probably stirred some of the biggest debates over any candidate that has thrown their hat (or likely will) into the Presidential contender ring. One of the reasons why is that he seems to be the anti-GOP GOP which dips into some of the Democrat strongholds.

For one, Paul has been spending time in town halls and gatherings listening to minorities (really listening) and talking about issues that are important to them. Issues such as the non-criminalization of pot possession or allowing certain ex-prisoners to be able to vote again. The fact that he listens rather than lectures has caught the attention of some in the black community and has them thinking.

Recent polls have suggested that more blacks identify as conservative in the worldview than ever before (by double digits nonetheless) are showing cracks in the monolithic black vote. It could also have something to do with the fact that a lot of black people think that the Democratic Party has taken them for granted. Whatever it is, winning the support of even a small percentage of black votes increases his chance of winning (if he can survive the primaries).

Another plank in Rand’s platform is taking a more hands off approach in foreign affairs. While this gives traditional conservative voters pause because of their view of the United States on the world stage, Rand does have an important point; when we have removed dictatorial secular regimes they have been replaced with religious extremism which are even worse. ISIS is a prime example of that.

On the other hand, he is willing to name the enemy – that being Islamic extremism which is more than what our current President can say. That kind of clarity helps leaders to make better decisions when in office rather than trying to force world events through a certain political lens. For sure, the current approach to see everything through political lens has not worked. In fact, it’s made things worse (“it was a anti-Muslim video, cough, cough) and made those who would kill us feel emboldened and make us appear weak.

Interestingly enough, many of Rand’s position are quite conservative, even on the social issues. But what makes him attractive to the younger set is that instead of campaigning on all these social issues, he talks about liberty and freedom in ways that attract the young. I believe he also supports medical marijuana probably helps too.

So while Rand Paul might be the white male grand satan of liberalism on paper, he certainly doesn’t come across that way in person. He appears to be more thoughtful rather than simply righteous. Intelligent without being smarmy. Approachable rather than distant. Practical rather than ultra political.

So I give him some props but it’s going to be a long road particularly with the GOP bench being a lot deeper this time around.

No Where to Hide

Well, the Congressional Budget Office just released their latest report citing that over the next 10 years, 2.3 million jobs will be lost to Obamacare. The White House is characterizing this as giving people options to leave the work force but who is going to pay to support all these people who will choose not to work?

If you guessed the taxpayers who do stay in the work force, you are correct.

This characterization by the White House tries to put a positive spin on a very damning report. We already know that because of Obamacare many employers have cut back on employee hours below the 29 hour weekly threshold so they don’t have to provide costly health insurance. Temporary firms have been in a boom business the last couple of years as employers hire more temporary workers instead of of full time workers where they have to provide expensive benefits.

So the Congressional Budget Office has reported what many of us knew all along – that Obamacare is damaging to the economy and the employment market. And because of their extensive work, the CBO really leaves Obama no where to hide.

It is no longer a faltering website with poor security. It is not Fox News. It is not Bush. It is his legislation that is doing this. And for a President that has struggled to demonstrate his competence and lost the people’s trust, this is a very bad place to be in.

Perhaps if the media had spent more time questioning Obama’s thin resume rather than propping him up as the second coming, we may have had a more competent President who understands how an economy works and would have put us on a track to a better future.

You can read about the report here:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/04/obamacare-expected-to-lead-to-loss-nearly-25-million-american-jobs-report-says/

Scandals to the left of me, scandals to the right of me

With so many scandals circling the Obama administration you wonder how all this is going to play out. While I will give a president a pass for making a mistake and owning up to it, Obama doesn’t seem go want to do that.

The fact that so many scandals are occurring for seemingly political reasons is bad news.

The point is, the President cannot micromanage the country. But he does set the tone for the leadership at our agencies. And that tone has turned out one scandal after another. Whether it was intentional or not, these things occurred under his watch. There is no cover of “blame Bush”.

Worse yet, there seems to be little or no remorse from Obama. Even the appointment of Susan Rice who is the center of another scandal smacks of wanton hubris.

One wonders where his moral compass is tuned to.

If Obama was the president of a public corporation he would have long been fired for bringing in lousy senior management and his arrogance in continuing to run the company into the ground. The reason why we have so many scandals arises from the leadership style in the Oval Office. He has allowed all of his appointed leaders to politicize their agencies. That approach never ends well because there is a public trust between the government and edge people. Once broken, you lose your political capital and moral authority to move legislation of significance.

At best Obama sits as a lame duck for the rest of his term. At worst, if it is found out that he did collude with the IRS to target tea party applications, he will be forced to resign rather than risk impeachment.