Monday, December 27, 2010

2010: Don’s look back at some of the year’s news, part 1

Author’s note: to be completely upfront and honest, these year-in-review essays typically are my way of finally writing about the topics that had lost their timeliness by the time I finally got around to attempt tackling them but were important enough – I felt – to warrant revisiting under some format down the road. These are stories that hold ramifications for what we can expect to see play-out in the coming year, retain a degree of poignancy as time has worn-on, had key points missed by the media during coverage of them, or were dropped from the news cycle much too quickly for my taste.

The more I have studied libertarianism over the past year-and-a-half (even in my hodge-podge manner), the more I have realized Republicans deserve as little of our confidence in managing public affairs as Democrats.

Few situations exemplify this as clearly as their inability – in the wake of their undeniably significant gains in Congress in the general election – to formulate a cohesive plan for doing what they pledged to voters they would do: rein-in government spending.

Among the best examples of the ludicrousness-to-come dribbled out of the mouth of our very own 4th District Representative Jim Jordan (for the sake of full disclosure, also my erstwhile yet victorious election opponent). In the days following the midterm election, he told The Lima News that, “It’s about symbolic cuts.”

Pardon me for a moment as I channel the spirit of Sam Kinison, but our country is hurdling toward a crisis with the national debt, our currency is on a path of devaluation that has one foreign nation after another calling for moving away from the dollar as the international reserve currency, all the while the resultant inflation is making life more and more difficult for everyone living paycheck-to-paycheck, and the best with which Jordan can come up is “symbolic cuts?!”

Now, as any reasonably informed person could decipher, the bulk of a discussion on symbolic cuts refers to earmarks. That would seem to make sense, would it not?

Meanwhile, in the other congressional chamber, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell continues to fight, tooth-and-nail, against a proposed earmarks ban in the Senate. Not that I’m surprised by his pettiness: considering this is the same political narcissist who fought with even greater fervor the candidacy of fellow Kentuckian and now-Senator-elect Rand Paul, a nationwide Tea Party favorite.

Paul, mind you, insisted all during the 2010 campaign and continues to trumpet after the election that there are no sacred cows in the budget. All areas of spending, according to Paul, must face cuts – as they should.

Most of his fellow Republicans, however, are working as diligently to make Paul feel like an island unto himself as they are to challenge the other major party’s recent stranglehold on legislative propagation. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is not why the voters of Kentucky sent him to Washington. This is the same party, though, which decried the Democrats’ circumvention of the will of the people during the deem-and-pass vote that sent the health care overhaul bill to President Barack Obama’s desk for signing.

The 112th Congress has not even been sworn-in and the GOP already is collectively behaving as though their so-called conservative revolution was nothing more than a pile of hype in a paper bag placed on someone’s porch and set on fire.

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