The Republican Purity Test

Jim Bopp, Jr., the dude who had the smart idea for relabeling the Democratic Party as the “Democratic Socialist Party” has one more brainwave. He has listed a purity test for Republicans with predictable slogans from the Tea Party Movement. The ten commandments are:

(1) Smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama’s “stimulus” bill

(2) Market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run healthcare;

(3) Market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;

(4) Workers’ right to secret ballot by opposing card check

(5) Legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;

(6) Victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;

(7) Containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat

(8) Retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;

(9) Protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and

(10) The right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership

[Source: The Washington Monthly]. He even sneaks in Reagan there by calling it a Resolution on Reagan’s Unity Principle for Support of Candidates; something that even Reagan would fail at passing (raised taxes and provided amnesty to illegal aliens for starters). If you notice, you see a smattering of failed Bush policies and a whole lot of strawman arguments (no one has proposed any restrictions on guns). the Obama obsessions continues with first two tests aimed at strictly opposing Obama policies. The very first point is almost comical because no Republican administration (Reagan or Bush Jr.) has ever achieved that even when they controlled all forms of government (2000-2006) and we know they are no pushovers like Democrats when it comes to pushing their agenda.

Reliance on buzzwords is almost comical; what do market-based healthcare reform and energy reform entail? Point #5 contains two contradictory statements; feasibility notwithstanding. But all said and done, I would really like to see the Republican National Committee strictly enforce this ‘purity’ commandments so that the Republican Party implodes and a seriously rational and coherent fiscally conservative national party emerges. Right now, it just seems like a ragtag motley crew of xenophobic and ignorant characters shouting above everyone else without making any sense. People are supporting the Democratic Party not because they believe in it (at least not all) but rather because they rather not be associated with the current Republican Party that is hell bent on driving out the moderates.

Pat Buchanan’s Outdated Racist Terms

Pat Buchanan’s racism consists of using outdated slurs. Why is this guy still on TV?

Limbaugh as Republican Party Leader

And for the leader of the Republicans? A man who is aggressive and bombastic, cutting and sarcastic, who dismisses the concerned citizens in network news focus groups as “losers.” With his private plane and his cigars, his history of drug dependency and his personal bulk, not to mention his tangled marital history, Rush is a walking stereotype of self-indulgence — exactly the image that Barack Obama most wants to affix to our philosophy and our party. And we’re cooperating! Those images of crowds of CPACers cheering Rush’s every rancorous word — we’ll be seeing them rebroadcast for a long time.

One conservative who gets it. Unfortunately for the country, he is a minority in his own party.

Update: Yet another one:

I don’t think Limbaugh is a less serious voice for conservatism than Keith Olbermann is for liberalism. But that’s because I don’t think either of them should be taken all that seriously – because they’re media personalities whose primary loyalty is to their image and their audience, and whose primary purpose is to provoke and get attention. And I think it should go without saying that American liberalism would be in serious, serious trouble if someone like Olbermann were occupying the kind of role on the left-of-center that Limbaugh seems to be shouldering his way into at the moment.

I wouldn’t want Olbermann to be the voice of the Democrats either. And he isn’t; or wasn’t during the Bush years the way Limbaugh is now to the Republicans.

Obama – Fiscal Conservative?

Almost 90% of Americans will pay less taxes under Obama than under McCain. And you thought Republicans were the fiscally conservative party. You’ll seen an increase in your taxes under Obama only if you earn $112K or more (strangely only $12 increase if you earn between $227K and $603K). Perhaps the ‘tax cut to the richest’ argument has some teeth after all.

Would Bobby Jindal really be a good choice for VP?

The chatter for McCain’s Veep is rising and Jindal is getting lot of consideration. His nomination would supposedly give McCain not only an age counterbalance but also a conservative slant. Jindal although an Indian-American holds ultra-conservative values such as refusal to believe in evolution in favor of advocating creationism and strongly opposing abortion in any condition. Not to mention, he is an avowed Catholic and wears his faith on his sleeve without being shy about his religious views influencing his policy decisions. He is the manna from heaven for social conservatives.

Sometimes I wonder minorities who are socially conservative often try to overreach so as to compensate for their obvious ethnic background. Case in point, Michelle Malkin who sometimes seems to project intensely strong conservative values as if she is trying to disguise her Asian-American background in order to be accepted into the ranks of similar people who are traditionally white. I may be wrong because I merely have anecdotal evidence in form of Malkin and Jindal.

But would he really be the balance to McCain as they tout him to be? Not that Democrats would try but he could be easily painted as a Muslim given his looks and color of his skin. Remember, the Appalachia racists consider race as a primary factor in their voting decisions and overwhelmingly vote against Obama (not for Clinton, mind you). Would they vote for an Indian-American who might be considered more foreign than African-Americans? Or is the prejudice against blacks so strong that anyone but them is fine for such an electorate? Also, given McCain’s age and health, his vice-president is more likely to take over compared to Obama’s running mate (ignoring Clinton’s warning that Obama might be assassinated). Would the American voters or more specifically Clinton’s ‘working class white Americans’ be comfortable voting for McCain considering that an Indian-American who looks suspiciously like the 9/11 guys (not my way of thinking, mind you) might become President?

The ‘elite’ social conservatives might be able to look past Jindal’s background and go crazy for his ultra-conservative views but would their typical voter who isn’t exactly known to be intelligent be able to do that? Jindal might be ‘one of the family’ in the circles of social conservatives but in the varied voter preferences outside Louisiana, his views will lose more votes than gain any for McCain. The decline in support for evangelist and/or social conservative candidates (remember Brownback and Tancredo?) makes it almost a no-brainer for McCain. He is better off with a candidate aligned closely to his centrist image. Jamelle at United States of Jamerica advises GOP to keep Jindal in Louisiana for the sake of his political career:

The country seems to be in the midst of a Democratic realignment, and the last thing the Republicans want is for one of their rising stars to be sullied (in a big way) so early in his career. Instead of sending him to Minneapolis and sticking him next to McCain, the GOP should keep him in the Louisiana state house, and let him build his experience and his appeal.

Finally just to give you an idea of how out of touch these social conservatives are, check out the comment in support for state financing of private faith-based educational institutions in Jindal’s state:

“If in the end we get kids who can read and write, who cares whether they went to St. Aug or Brother Martin?” said Mr. LaBruzzo, naming two prominent parochial schools in New Orleans [source].

Mr.LaBruzzo, you would be right if it was enough to just ‘read and write’ but unfortunately, in today’s competitive global environment, you need more. And you wonder why jobs are leaving American shores. Thankfully not all states in these United States are thinking along similar lines.

Terror Scarf

Only the right wingers see terror alerts in an ad for American coffee. The fashion police, literally.

Aggie Women Scale New Heights

The Aggies Womens basketball team crashed out of the NCAA tournament yesterday and failed to make the Final Four. They lost to the defending champions, Tennessee. But it was still one of Aggies triumphant moments by playing in the Elite Eight for the first time. Until they choked in the final seven minutes, they were leading old warhorse Tennessee by four points. The men had reached the Sweet Sixteen last year and lost in the second round this year but the women after starting off on a disastrous note came into their own and even won the Big 12 tournament. To better understand the success of this woman’s team, it is vital to understand the background of the program. Texas A&M is undoubtedly one of those rare conservative universities and that attitude can be seen on campus as well. The football team doesn’t have cheerleaders but male yell leaders that lead cheers for fans. A New York Times article last week [hat tip: Confused] gives a better picture of what the womens program had to go through to get here:

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Jindal elected Governor strangely sparks off celebrations in India

Piyush “Bobby” Jindal was elected to be Louisiana’s first non-white Governor since Reconstruction. After acquiring nearly 53% of the primary election vote, he avoided a potential runoff in November. While this might be a significant achievement for an Indian-american, I don’t see the sense of celebratory spirit expressed in Indian newspapers. When I first read the news of the election, I was hoping that the Indian media would downplay it but that was like a snowball’s chance in hell considering how much they went out to laud Gujrat ki beti, Sunita Williams. I’m even told that his ancestral village, Khanpura “erupted in celebration” and “distributed sweets and performed bhangra” at the success of its “son of the soil”. Of course,this is ironic that Jindal had to get away from that soil to achieve his success and probably rarely ever thinks of his village where he wasn’t even born. But probably, I shouldn’t be so harsh. Residents of Khanpura may have had less chances to celebrate and probably have rarely had “sons of the soil” succeed so I don’t blame them for grabbing every chance they get.

Moving away, to look at Bobby Jindal’s election as a vindication of Indian-Americans is mostly bunkum. Of course, he looks brown and in a state where racism still runs deep (remember last week’s story – Jena Six), this is a major event. Bobby Jindal’s stand on certain social issues are particularly disturbing. He converted to Christianity as a teenager and although I am not against conversions per se, the indication that he did so for political reasons are pretty strong (Louisiana may vote for a brown man but definitely not for a non-Christian). I’m sure if he could change his color just like his religion, he wouldn’t think twice. He takes assimilation into the American way a bit too far by pandering to the worst in this society but paying mere lip service to the real spirit that this country embodies.

Bobby Jindal is a staunch conservative Republican. He has stated that he is “100% against abortion, no exceptions.” By no exceptions, he even stands apart from some of his fellow Republicans by supporting an abortion ban without taking into consideration exceptions for the life of the woman, the health of the woman, rape, or incest. He values the life of an unborn fetus over the life of its much-living mother. He is light on gun control and even garners an ‘A’ Rating from the Gun Owners of America. He is for offshore oil and natural gas drilling which prompted his own party’s environmental watchdog to given him demerits. Further, he believes in teaching of intelligent design in schools and doesn’t support hate crime legislation. All these positions hardly make him to be a worthy political candidate in my mind be it white, black, or brown. By not supporting the hate crime legislation, he simply doesn’t understand the sentiments of his fellow brown countrymen who have faced unmitigated and verbalized racist actions. Manish at Ultra Brown rightly identifies him as a “brown Mitt Romney”, ever willing to pander to the regressive wing of the Right.

As far as his foreign policy goes, he is a staunch supporter of Bush’s Iraq War and had even raised an ink-stained finger after elections in Iraq that sought to usher in democracy. The democracy in Iraq faded far faster than the ink on his finger and I’m sure he hasn’t wisened up to that mistake either. If India indeed wants to claim him as one of their own, it should examine if he has had any policy positions in favor of India be it in regards to defense or trade.

While Jindal expresses any pro-India sentiments or not, the Indian media is quick to latch on to any successes enjoyed by individuals with a remote connection to India. I find this exceedingly frustrating and as our (Ex-) Lord of the Blogosphere has repeatedly said, this would happen only in the “land of pygmies.” The very fact that an individual has succeeded outside its shores is not a matter of pride but in fact would be otherwise unless of course, his conception on this soil somehow imbibed some magic qualities in him. Now if some foreigner not born in India would move here and find unprecedented success not likely in their home country, would they still be celebrated as a moment of pride in India. In fact, we have one such individual (not necessarily through merit).

The World according to Ronald Reagan

Reagan digitized Poster

…is not too different from George W. Bush’s world, except for the now-defunct USSR [via Kottke]

College Station – How conservative?

After Semantic Overload told us that College Station was a typical conservative town, Ash was worried and managed to dig up some dirt on the town that now I call home. Of course, it isn’t the liberal heaven that Atlanta was in spite of being located in a crimson red state. Being located in Texas and on the edge of the famed Bible belt, it will definitely have tinges of conservatism. I am also smart enough not to air my liberal opinions out in the open. But reading through the site that ranks cities on the scale of their liberal friendliness that Ash linked, you come across several gems that make you laugh and wee bit nervous. It is mostly comments left by readers who have lived in College Station. I am listing some below:

“In the ’92 election, 80% of students who voted voted Republican. Most of the rest voted for Perot. This must be the only college where you can walk around all day and never see a ponytail or a tie-dyed shirt (unless you’re with me or my few friends). The big shots on this campus are the Corps of Cadets, who walk around like uniformed Nazis (complete with jackboots) and physically assault anyone whom they don’t like.” “You are considered a Liberal in these parts, if you dont believe we should burn homosexuals alive, deport all immigrants, and stop the Catholic “papists” from taking over America. Texas A&M is the only campus in the nation where hate crimes against Gay and Lesbians are not only overlooked, but they are not even adressed. Democrat is a swear word on this campus, and socialist is a death warrant.”

“It is a true statement that it is a rarity to see a guy with a pony-tail around here and that is because people around here are clean cut, God-fearing, and common sense oriented. As far as gay people go, less than 1% of this campus will even admit to making a joke about being gay. “Why is that?” you ask. Well, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 CLEARLY states, <insert any gay-bashing quote taken out of context from the Bible here>. God frowns upon those who think they can love who or whatever they feel like. We, Aggies feel the same way about issues such as homosexuality. If God says it is wrong, then it is wrong. That is why A&M has such a low tolerance of people who think that they are smarter than God.”

“Are you people trying to give a one-sided view of our nasty town? Yes, we like our traditions at A&M. For instance, people are asked not to walk on the grass around the Memorial Student Center. The building is dedicated to Aggies who have died in war, and not walking on the grass around it keeps the place looking nice. We consider this respectful. Does this particular tradition threaten you in some way? I have never tried to kill a gay person. I do not belong to the KKK. I don’t hate people because they are different from me. I like my short hair cut. I love my country. I am a Republican. I pray to God. I try to live life without lying, cheating, or stealing. I don’t do drugs. I am an AGGIE. I am quite sorry you open minded liberals don’t seem care for my lifestyle, but I don’t plan to loose too much sleep over it.”

“All of the above is very typical of life at A&M. Very heated debates about what the bible says and why Aggies are the best in the world. My fun anecdote is that when I would walk through campus with my Pro-Choice Aggies T-shirt on people would actually stop and stare dumbfounded. My advice to any liberal Aggie is find like minded groups like the Aggie Democrats, Pro-Choice Aggies and the nationally famous TAMU Skydiving Club (not all liberals but a fun crowd). Avoid the Chicken like the plague (a bar, for those who haven’t had the pleasure) and go next door to Dudley’s Draw.”

Now if you feel scared for me, fret not. I think this is typical of liberal-conservative battles. Both sides like to present extreme viewpoints. I almost laughed at the third comment when the writer chastised us for trying to be smarter than God. Don’t worry, dude, God will strike me dead if he/she thinks so; you needn’t fume in anger.

Largely the town doesn’t seem too hostile. I have been visiting shopping outlets and coffee shops and although the southern charm isn’t quite evident, you don’t see the obvious repulsion that we normally associate with hick country. There is a sizable international community here (the local supermarket, HEB Foods stocks Indian spices too). Don’t worry, I am not too confrontational; I do not argue with people who see beyond reason. The fourth commenter, a hardened conservative, at least seems like a reasonable person that you can sensibly argue with or at least agree to disagree with. I will be just fine here; if not then I might just drive down to Houston or Austin to refill my liberal beliefs.

Incidentally, Kevin Drum over at Washington Monthly also is surprised by the ranking of his city, Irvine. Other rankings of cities available here. These rankings, however go against popular notion. For e.g. Dallas, TX is ranked as a highly liberal city whereas it is almost accepted widely in Texas that Austin is heaven for liberals in a starkly conservative state.

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