Sunday, March 1, 2015

The CPAC 2015 Poll is in

I've really not made a big point of following CPAC this year because I finally get that I am not the audience this whole shindig is for. Of course, part of the deal is that the prominent voices of today's conservatism are supposed to be showcased. Yes, some of these people are running for POTUS. But that doesn't mean I have to take it totally seriously, because the likelihood that, for example, the CPAC straw poll actually ever meant anything would probably mean that we were experiencing Ron Paul's second term. And we are not. So, if Sen. Rand Paul has enjoyed his third CPAC poll win, this has more to do with inheriting his father's libertarian apparatus, and less to do with anything like being able to win in 2016. (I think.)

WI Gov, Scott Walker has come in a respectable second, despite or probably because he compared union workers to ISIS, which would no doubt haunt him if he made it to a general election. His claims that facing protesting union folks prepares him for foreign policy is kind of strained, I think. And making the "Reagan" connection is so obvi. Try harder, you try-hard!

The distance of Sen. Ted Cruz's third place is heart-warming. Let this excerpt of his appearance signal why:

“#1. Repeal every blasted word of Obamacare!”
Applause.
“#2. Abolish the IRS—take all 125,000 IRS agents and put them on our Southern border!”
Applause.
“#3 Stop the out-of-control regulators at the EPA
Applause.
“#4 Defend out Constitutional rights! All of them!”
Applause.
“#5 Restore America’s leadership in the world as the shining city on the hill!”
This is seriously what Cruz thinks he would do as president? OK. So instead of the Affordable Care Act, we'd go back to unaffordable care for a significant portion of Americans--I'm sure those guys who had a brief window of thinking their country liked them enough to not want them dead in a ditch will appreciate being told, no--unless you can pay up, die in a ditch. As for abolishing the IRS: this makes no more sense when Cruz says it than when Ben Carson says it--how is that supposed to work? Are we going to not have taxes anymore? Because I think the federal debt means we need to keep some taxes. So--who collects them and makes sure tax compliance is working? Because if we take all the IRS guys and put them on the Mexican border, like, we'd need all new guys to oversee tax return and payment processing and audits and all that. And we'd need some kind of infrastructure to support that. So like, would we privatize it, so that, like, we would save negative a billionty dollars because privatizing things never makes them cheaper? And also--what in the hell would make IRS agents necessarily good border patrol--is Senator Cruz on drugs? Senator Cruz--laugh lines are laugh lines, but please stop taking drugs if you are running for president!

As for Ben Carson, see what I said about Ted Cruz.

Is it wrong if I point out that Scott Walker and Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal (way down there at .9% of the vote) all have the same Lamar Smith problem? Except Jindal has the very worst case of it? They all sort of think President Obama is not now currently doing anything about ISIS even though he really, truly is. And at least Rubio and Jindal think it's because he doesn't want to piss off Iran, even though Shiite Iran really, really, has an animosity for ISIS. Like, they are fighting them. Like, as the US is also fighting them. As in, if you don't know that right this minute, you have no business thinking about being president.

And of course Sen. Lindsey (Let's go for ground troops against ISIS) Graham and Governor George Pataki (for why, now? but yeah, he also said some shit about ground troops) were at the bottom.

I'd have a hard time voting for any of these dipshits even if the Democratic nominee was a brain tumor. In a baby. Who was like, a saint. So, happy White Housing, President Glioblastoma of St. Infantus of Betterworldthanthis. You totally win!

2 comments:

Formerly Amherst said...

CPAC! Vixen, I'm surprised you bothered to look in, knowing your politics. One of your virtues is that you at least try to be fair. You've spent more time on CPAC than I did; in fact I barely watched at all, and I'm supposed to be the conservative. Frankly, pep rallies don't interest me, and we're about to experience a bunch of right and left pep rallies. Who was it who said “sound and fury signifying nothing?”

I will mention a few things that I find interesting.

1. CPAC invited Nigel Farage from Britain to speak at the pep rally. Now this is interesting, because it means that Nigel Farage is the American Republican candidate for PM. Now of course he's not running for PM, but is running for Parliament, and I presume that CPAC will put more wind at his back and he will be a very interesting member of Parliament to watch. He has a more interesting history in the European Union than most American politicians do. So we Republicans now have a candidate for British Parliament. Ha!

2. I will not be selecting a candidate for a year or more. So at this juncture I really have no preferences. However, I believe the two most interesting candidates are both conservatives. Rand Paul and James Webb.

They are interesting because both of them are stepping outside of the expected mold and doing something a little bit unusual in our usually stodgy left-right political system. Rand Paul's campaign reminds me a little of Gary Hart without the risky business (unfortunately and fortunately, as I enjoyed all the pictures of Hart's paramour in bikinis in the tabloids). Unlike Hart, Rand Paul has a political philosophy and economic system rooted in libertarianism, and he has the support of most of the people who liked his father. And like Webb, he draws from both Republicans and Democrats more or less equally.

James Webb probably doesn't have a prayer, but he's very interesting, because he really does speak for most Democrats in the South. He speaks for Democrats before the party was wrested from the traditional perspective by the New Left. He is conservative socially in that he has great respect for the military (I'm sure you know the military part of his history and his work as Secretary of the Navy), and he speaks for Democrats who are still very patriotic, believe in family values, and have deep religious convictions. This makes him a very unusual Democratic candidate. His entire thrust is a desire to benevolently impact the working class which used to be what Democrats tried to do.

3. John Kennedy lowered taxes and explained that “a rising tide lifts all boats” . He meant that when you lower taxes you paradoxically return more money to the treasury. He believed that when you leave a lot more money in the private sector it fuels economic activity. That means more jobs, more upward mobility, more start-up businesses, more opportunity, and since people make more money they pay more in taxes. Kennedy was right as it turns out, and so others have been who pursued this strategy. A guy who used to make $18,000 a year but in a new tax climate is making $45,000 or $50,000 will pay more taxes. It's a good theory and it has worked. Naturally, it's arguable, but then everything is.

Vixen Strangely said...

Paying attention to what conservatives are saying is important to me because I think having a well-rounded POV is necessary--knowing what Republicans are saying puts things in a different perspective for me. I don't agree a lot, but breaking out of a basically liberal frame reminds me that no one has *all* the answers. My last graph is harsher, in retrospect, than I actually feel, but was intended comically--one of the downsides of these pep rallies is the "pandering to the base" aspect, which makes me feel like candidates are shallow themselves, and also don't have such a good opinion of the intelligence of their base.

I've noted that Democrats seem to have less of these shindigs--it's a blessing and a curse, really. On one hand, I think Dems might benefit from a little more "pep" and concensus-building--on the other hand, if I heard a Dem pol trying to let their hair down with an off-base idea about our real priorities, I'd lose respect for them pretty quickly.

Jim Webb is a neat character. He disappointed me recently on seeming to have fallen for pretty much all the oil company propaganda regarding the Keystone XL project--and as an environmentalist, that bothers me. But his foreign policy positions hew pretty close to what I consider ideal--and you might have noticed, I rank solid foreign policy instincts pretty highly for many reasons, not the least of which are the potential expense of lives and treasure. W James Antle III did a nice piece on him for The American Conservative late last year that made me curious to see if he'd challenge Clinton. We'll see.

Rand Paul has the benefit of not really having been in politics so long that he's "stuck" in his positions. I scoff a bit at libertarianism because it's kind of idealist, and some of his "audit the Fed" sorts of ideas make me wonder if he entirely gets what the Fed is for. His associations with Alex Jones and some fringier characters are also worrisome--but to his credit, he seems to be a "questioner". He's willing to dialogue about things like race and social injustice, and even if he does it awkwardly, that he does it at all is pretty interesting. I don't know how seriously I'm willing to take him as yet, because his father served as more of a "gadfly". But he seems to be an "evolving" character as far as his political persona goes, so that has me keeping an eye on him--

The downside is that his quirks still seem sometimes wrapped up in his own "offbeatness" and his attitude towards women better evolve--a recent interview where he "shushed" a female interviewer looked kind of sexist. (That was a CNBC anchor though--actually he wouldn't have tried that with Megyn Kelly, I'm pretty sure.)And he or his staff did some odd fake Pinterest page for Hillary Clinton which was a stereotypical "stuff ladies do" lead balloon, too. Can't speak for all women, but that sort of thing sets my teeth on edge.