Friday, February 11, 2005

The Demise of the Republican Party? Nice try...let me pat you on the head and give you a gold star for trying!

I found this article countering the Republican assertions that the Democratic Party is falling into an abysmal pit, by saying that the Republicans have it is the other way around. Political mudslinging is really amusing, it’s the grown-up version of “I know you are, but what am I?”

Anyway, I thought I would examine a few of the author’s assertions:

  • Deny science when its findings are not agreeable to your base. Republicans, notably, are on the wrong side of the largest issue in human history: human driven, rapid climate change. They’ve chosen instead to live in a Crichton-esque science fiction fantasy in which real science has no standing and human actions have no tragic, irreversible, and global ecological consequences. This is not just boneheaded, it is a form of criminality for which we have, as yet, no adequate words.
Real Science? Hmmm...that’s funny. What the author truly wants to say here is that some theories are better than other theories that contradict said theories.
Plus, I love the dig at Michael Crichton once again...I mean, it’s not like he’s a real scientist or anything, so we should completely disregard any theory he has. Oh, wait, actually he IS a doctor, and he has accumulated a lot of scientific experience. So, maybe the guy isn’t totally living in some fantasy world.
The Bush Administration has admitted that global warming is a real phenomenon. I think they are just a little more careful with the decisions they make, and how those decisions can be detrimental to certain groups. Reforms are put in place, but they can’t be implemented immediately.
And they are not going to jump onto the bandwagon of the newest climatic Armageddon. Somehow people would like to think that global warming is something unique to our age, that it thus must come from our abuses of the atmosphere. The Earth’s temperature has been steadily rising since the 1860’s, so one could definitely argue that industrialization brought around this global warming. Okay, so how to you explain this?:
A careful examination of the climate record reveals that Europe experienced a prolonged warm period known as the Medieval Warm Period (hereafter referred to as MWP) between the years 600 and 1150, cooling of the climate between the years 1150 and 1460, a brief warming between the years 1460 and 1560, followed by dramatic cooling known as the Little Ice Age (hereafter referred to as LIA) between the years 1560 and 1850.

I am not saying that climate changes can’t be attributed to man-made sources, I am just saying that it isn’t as clear cut and obvious as some would lead us to believe. And just because we don’t believe them, they call us criminal fanatics.
  • Deny the looming approach of peak oil extraction thereby advancing the potential of economic, political, and social chaos when global oil supply and demand diverge as soon they will.
  • Deny the proven potential of superior technologies, design strategies, and policies that would move the country toward energy efficiency and a secure energy base of solar and wind power as well as the reasons of self-interest and economic advantage for doing so.

According to an article published in the New Yorker in October, 2004, American energy independence isn’t as simple as the politicians like to pretend:

Power generated from waves, windmills, and solar panels is weak, intermittent, and expensive—at least twice the cost of electricity produced from coal or gas. When it is cold or dark, solar panels don’t produce energy; when it is calm, wind turbines don’t turn. To insure continuity of supply, renewable power plants have to budget for large amounts of overcapacity, a problem that isn’t going to disappear. And, although alternative energy is getting cheaper as technology improves, the same is true of energy generated from hydrocarbons. “He”—Kerry—“is asking for an awful lot without telling us how he’s going to get there and at what cost,” Robert Ebel, a veteran oil-industry executive who once worked for the C.I.A. and now heads the energy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in Washington, said.

And I think that last comment is pretty much true of a lot of the jibes from the Democratic Party: they have a lot of ideas, but don’t really grasp what implementing them would mean and cost in the long run.
Also, once again, the Republicans don’t deny that there is any looming problem, they are just dealing with it in a less hysterical fashion. In a report published in May, 2001, The Bush Administration’s National Energy Policy Development Group wrote:
“America leads the world in scientific achievement, technical skill, and entrepreneurial drive. Within our country are abundant natural resources, unrivaled technology, and unlimited human creativity. With forward-looking leadership and sensible policies, we can meet our future energy demands and promote energy conservation, and do so in environmentally responsible ways that set a standard for the world.”

  • Deny the true costs of air and water pollution thereby undermining the health of Americans.

I don’t know about this, so I won’t comment on it.

  • Deny the human and economic effects of pandering to the wealthy, thereby undermining social cohesion and the sense of fairness? Historically, often a prelude to societal breakdown and revolution.

Ha...that is funny. Pandering? Well, if any party is guilty of pandering, it would have to be the Democratic Party’s pandering to those in poverty, which definitely undermines social cohesion. Take this speech by John Edwards, and tell me he isn’t villifying the wealthy:

Bush honors wealth while we honor work
The fundamental difference between George Bush and us is that he honors wealth, and we honor work. We believe in giving real chance to every single American. He takes the side of insiders, we take the side of regular Americans. Look at this tax cut. He's about rewarding wealth, not work. He wants to make sure that we leave out millions and millions of working families and put a priority on cutting taxes for those who get money from trust funds, instead of those who drive the cars & answer the phones for those who get money from trust funds. These are not the values of the American people! What's the thread connecting all this? They value wealth, they want to protect it. They value wealth, while we value the work that creates it. We cannot play defense with this President, we must play offense. We must take this right at him, in the toughest possible way. This is a fight about values, this is a fight for the American people and it is a fight we will win!
Source: Speech at the Take Back America Conference, Washington, DC Jun 5, 2003

  • Deny any and all mistakes, bad judgment, and corruption, relying on spin not truth and thereby building a solid reputation for mendacity and incompetence.

Once again...this isn’t unique to the Republican Party. Basically, if you are a politician, your reputation won’t be clean by the time you make it to a higher office. Most politicians will deny mistakes and bad judgment until their backs are against the wall and they are forced to admit failure, otherwise it is business as usual.

  • Deny the limitations of military power to impose order on a recalcitrant world and thereby condemn the U.S. to a future of international isolation, conflict, and endless terrorism.

I could also counter with: the Democrats deny the limitations of diplomacy to impose order on a recalcitrant world.

  • Deny the great vulnerability of the American infrastructure to malice, malfeasance, and acts of God, thereby laying the groundwork for a future of recurring disasters.

I really don’t understand where the author is coming from here. I think the Republican Party, the official fear-mongering party, as the left likes to point out, is really astute at pointing out weaknesses in American infrastructure. I think everyone is aware of how vulnerable America is to wrong-doing, corruption and acts of God (interesting choice of words there...I am assuming the author means natural disasters). I think since 9/11, the numerous corruption scandals currently in the news, the hurricanes which blasted the South-East this year, and the Asian tsunami have kept everyone in awareness. The Republican Party certainly isn’t the “let’s take the batteries out of the fire alarm” party, so I guess I really don’t understand what the author means here. Anyone have any ideas?

  • Deny the necessity for civil discourse, honesty, and transparency in the conduct of public life, thereby holding the citizenry in contempt and promoting a spirit of meanness.

Once again, I am thinking that this is the pot calling the kettle black. Holding the citizenry in contempt? If one party should be guilty of thinking people are too stupid to know what is good for themselves and families, it would be the Democrats.

  • Deny without admitting it the democratic values of the country enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the Gettysburg Address, and the Four Freedoms of Franklin Roosevelt, thereby undermining democracy at home while purportedly fighting for it in Iraq.

I am guessing that he is referring to the Patriot Act? I guess the media isn’t covering the loss of rights. I keep on hearing hysterics about the erosion of democracy in America, but have yet to see concrete examples of Americans losing their rights and freedoms. Maybe I am not looking in the right direction.

I have to admit that the Republican Party doesn’t completely represent my beliefs, however I identify with it more than the Democratic Party, because they just seem to be more reality and solution based, rather than the hypothetical elitist discourse of the other party. And this author’s fantasy-filled rant just further justifies my reasoning.


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4:57 PM  

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