Tag Archives: Constitution

Destroying The Myth That Government is Business

There was a Republican candidate who touted his business success as a qualification for office.  During the campaign, a number of unflattering facts came out about his past, and his reaction was to attack the press for it.  He made quite a number of outrageous statements, rude suggestions, and frequently issued threats.    That he was actually the Republican Party’s candidate was a source of astonishment not only to Democrats, but a large number of establishment Republicans.   Am I talking about Donald Trump?  No, that was back in 2010, when the candidate for governor here in NY was Carl Paladino.   Donald Trump was him 6 years later, on the national stage, and it’s no surprise that Paladino was one of biggest supporters here in New York.

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Letting The Perfect Be The Enemy Of The Good

Back in my military days, we used to have a saying which drove the perfectionists nuts: “Close enough for government work.”  What that meant was that whatever the project we were working on was completed, and while it may not have been pretty, it was not worth spending the time and effort at the moment getting to perfection.  That doesn’t mean that there weren’t things that had to be exact, but for those things where exactitude wasn’t important, it wasn’t the best use of time getting there.  I’ve said here in the past it’s experiences like that, that made me a pragmatist.   In politics, it turns out to be much the same thing.  The idealists have a “perfect.”  Depending on what issue you’re talking about, they have an ideal solution for it, and they want it implemented.  The problem?  If they don’t get it, or it isn’t on the current agenda, they walk away.

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Civics 200: The Talk Of A Third Party Versus The Reality

Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of people complain about the two major political parties, and then start saying that there should be a third party, which would be more in line with their beliefs.  I’ve been hearing it a lot recently on the national side from both die-hard liberals and die-hard conservatives, both groups absolutely convinced that “their” party has gone badly astray.  In the case of the Republican Party in this year, they have a point.  What all of these complainers fail to recognize is that this country already has a number of third parties.  There are currently a number which are on the ballot in almost all states, and three of them are fairly large.

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Civics 100: You Have To Know How It Works To Fix It

Back in my IT days, one of the banes of my existence was “the friend who knows something about computers.”   Hearing that phrase meant that I was in for a long, involved effort to repair not just the original problem, which would have been a quick fix, but to repair what the helpful friend had done.   I’ve run into it in other fields, and it is often put as “They know just enough to be dangerous, but not enough to know what they’re doing.”   What would cause me to think back to that?   Over the past few weeks, I’ve been running into a lot of the more rabid Bernie Sanders supporters, and what has stood out in those encounters is that they don’t understand government.  In particular, they don’t understand the government this country operates under.

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“Liberals” Keep Pushing The Wrong Way

This past week, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont announced that he would enter the Democratic primaries to run for President.  Given the amount of buildup, leaks, and hype before this in various sectors of the press, it was one of the least surprising announcements since Hillary Clinton’s announcement.  In the build-up to this, and now after the announcement, various “progressive” sites have been swooning over it.  One of the common threads through them is that even if – and they’ll admit it’s more likely than not – he doesn’t win the nomination, he’ll “push Hillary (or whomever is the nominee) to the left.”  There’s also a lot of chatter about the need to keep pushing the nominee to the left, to make sure they stay there.  All of which is fine, except for what they ignore:  It doesn’t really matter how far to the left a presidential candidate is.

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