Seriously, dude? Seriously?!

Now that I’m a Georgian, I try to write about things Georgian in nature.  Tonight, I’m going Yankee…

…I moved here from a city outside Chicago called Crystal Lake.  I still own a condo there (it’s where I summer, obvi) and have a good number of friends I stay in contact with.  Today, one such friend let me know an election board removed her from the ballot in the upcoming Republican Primary.  Losing sucks, and losing before you get to jump onto the field of play sucks even more, but I think she’ll be the first to admit it that it’s probably her fault and a great learning experience for the next time around.  Admittedly, it’s not a big deal.  See, in Illinois, you run as a candidate for the “elected” position of Republican Party precinct committeeman.  Since Illinois’ qualification rules require petition signatures, you have to go through the same rigmarole as the Gubernatorial candidates do.  That includes the challenging of petitions, which means lawyers, hearings, and procedures.  Yeah, it’s fun, and that’s where my friend screwed up.  By the end of her hearing, she did not have the required number of signatures to qualify as a candidate and therefore removed.

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You’d think that would be the end of it, but it isn’t.  Enter “RegimeOver” who apparently has killed the Leviathan with the slaying of Ms. Melissa Denker as precinct committeeman.  Cal Skinner, another old acquaintance from the Illinois stomping grounds, runs his McHenry County Blog and reported the story today where this comment appeared.  Naturally, with Melissa both being a friend and sheer stupidity being an enemy, I thought I had to engage.

I don’t know to what degree stupidity is a commendable quality, but Republicans generally don’t seem to be in short supply these days.  I really, really want to believe we Republicans have more substantive stuff to talk about than a 21-year old’s citizenship.  More importantly, I wish we could have some fruitful conversations where loaded questions like that were never asked.  After all, it’s a loaded question from the start and merely asking it says “Prove my suspicion wrong…”  We wonder why Republicans in Congress cannot find the legitimacy to govern effectively or even the legitimacy to get elected to the position in which they could govern.  At a very deep level, it only builds on the fear and foreboding I have that Republicans are driving down a path of unintellectual, overly emotional reactionism on everything.  We’re better than.  We need to be.

Democrats play the unintellectual, overly emotional reactionism game much better than we do.

Hooray!..I guess…

So, the government shutdown is over and the world can get back to running as normal.  Or, can get back to running as normal as it can considering we’re governed by the me and women we are.  Nonetheless, the sky isn’t falling and the late Senator Lautenberg’s wife gets the customary payout widows tend to receive.  I guess that’s all a good thing, except for the fact that Republicans have managed to screw up their messaging more than their governance during the profligate Bush years.

Both sides in this are guilty in this whole debacle.  Before going into exactly how they are guilty, I think it is important to discuss the two sides I am talking about here, neither of which is the Democratic Party.  It’s a given they wish to govern with a greater role for the central state and all that comes with that – wealth redistribution policies, higher tax burdens on the “wealthy” and more social assistance for those in “poverty.”  Generally speaking anyways, they are pretty consistent.  No, the problem is in the Republican Party itself from two sides that individually are quite craptastic.  Together, we could be amazing, but that bridge refuses to be built.  Instead of meeting in our own Promontory, Republicans on each side are demanding that the effort be made at the expense of the other.  For all the talk of game theory involved in this debacle, we seem to have poor players.

So, that said, who are those players?  Well, if you live here in Georgia like I do, it’s probably just convenient to label them “establishment” and “liberty,” regardless of how ridiculous those names are to begin with.  Names aside, the context in which both operate are pretty consistent.  “Establishment” = demande we play the politics game with all players involved, negotiate and compromise, assume the public notices the big things and not the details.  “Liberty” = play the drum loudly, decry compromisers, appeal to emotion and assume the public gets it.  To a degree, both sides have the answers.  Problem is, they want to have all the answers.  That’s just not possible, as demonstrated by the ridiculousness of this Obamacare fight.

First, I think it’s a bit ridiculous that Mitch McConnell negotiated a partial rollback of the sequester cuts that took place.  $19 billion is a drop in the bucket to be sure, but the fact that the cuts did not in any fashion lead to the end of the world – at least no more than the shutdown did – proved that the hard fought compromise they represented was worth retaining in the form they were developed.  It’s hard to explain to the conservative, anti-government base that you’re working on their side if something that small is unimportant to you.  Small things matter.  If nothing else, the rise of folks like Cruz should signal that.  After all, he took quite small differences with a very conservative Lt. Governor Dewhurst all the way to a U.S. Senate seat.  You’re not going to gut Obamacare right now, Mitch.  At least stand for the small victory that you’re able to have up to this point.  Oh yeah, don’t allow a $3 billion pork project either.  That’s kinda crappy.

Second, I think it’s a bit ridiculous that Ted Cruz feels the need to filibuster – wait, not filibuster – against a bill to defund Obamacare that he supports by comparing those that don’t want to defund Obamacare to Neville Chamberlin.  Yes, he filibustered a bill that he supported because the Democrats in the Senate would change it.  I think the hard cores “get it” Senator Cruz, but Republicans who aren’t activists probably don’t.  Not because they’re stupid, but because they see the obvious political theatre you’re engaging in.  Theatre isn’t reality, which explains why college students who major in it are working at Starbucks.  When Republicans are in the House and Senate trying to find solutions to a troubling situation, you stage a talk-a-thon devoid of any intellectual consistency.  After all, voting for the bill that you just filibustered that you initially supported is wildly inconsistent.

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The truth is that this is all just a microcosm of the schism we see here on the ground.  It’s just rather sickening, honestly.  I canno do anything but shake my head in disgust when I see someone point to the compromise and say “I wish our Senators could be more like Ted Cruz…”  Here’s a tip, principles are meaningless if you’re the only one that believes in them.  Then again, I don’t know that I can feel good about party elders bashing the “libertarians” in the party and ostracizing them in the process when the antics of McConnell are the result.  Really, it just make me feel like being a Republican ain’t worth it anymore.  It’s like the AVP poster says – “Whoever wins, we lose…” So, hooray!..we just let the Democrats retain their ability to govern horribly…

 

Having the liberty to be a douchebag doesn’t mean you should use it…

A recent video posted on TruthSeekerDaily.com details the encounter of a Libertarian Open Carry Protester vs. 6 Police Officers.  I have to say, I’m a little disgusted by what transpires in the video.  (Warning:  The douchebag – I mean protester – uses the foul language in this video).

Here’s what I have to say about encounters such as this.  Government is nothing more than a collection of individual people organized to maintain social order.  Although there are many, many differences with a corporate entity, it does have commonalities that are key to remember (organization hierarchy, mission statements, measureable objectives, etc.).  That said, effectively dealing with government means effectively dealing with the agents of government.  Essentially, you’ve gotta be willing to be a people person.  This noticeable demonstration of douchebaggery is a ridiculous example of ignoring that.

I think it’s safe to say there are numerous example of government officials overstepping their bounds.  This is not one such case.  Police officers do not have easy jobs, and there are probably ten men and women out there more than willing to point a gun at an officer and shoot for every one of these “peaceful” protesters exercising their rights.  I won’t say that officers have the authority to do what they did, but I also won’t say the actions of this particular individual are justifiable.  The man was wrong, and he was a douchebag to boot.  In fact, the officer went so far as to say “…can I just explain something to you, work with me here?”  That’s hardly the comments of an “scumbag” police officer.

Our interactions with people are both learnable and teachable moments that we need to take advantage of, none more so than interactions involving the agents charged with protecting the safety and welfare of our communities.  This was one such instance where a 2nd year law student, because of course 2Ls obviously know more than veteran police officers, could have communicated in a more interactive and engaging manner instead of being an ass.  As someone who values my liberty quite a bit, I’m actually kind of pissed this child made these officers more likely to react aggressively themselves towards similar situations in the future.  Furthermore, a chance to educate them about their responsibilities as government agents was just missed.  Someone who has a greater degree of intelligence might recognize the long term goals of protecting our freedom are better served with some warmth and kindness.  I suppose they don’t teach you that until you’re a 3L, though…

Grow up, douchebag.  You’re the reason we can’t have nice things.