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February 10, 2011
The Baehr Essentials
1. The Super Bowl is history, but the game of the year is almost here. On Sunday, the Washington Wizards, who are 0-25 on the road this year, travel to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers, who have lost a league record 26 straight games (including many at home). It is the battle of the resistible force and the movable object. I think the Cavaliers will be sky high for this game, and will win one to make the fans forget for a few minutes their former player who took his game to South Beach.
2. The Chicago mayoral election is coming up, and I am undecided. Rahm Emanuel, who will spend more money per day for this race than any Mayoral candidate in American history not named Michael Bloomberg, yesterday came out and endorsed paying reparations for descendants of slaves. With this statement, Rahm gave the lie to his claim of being the candidate of fiscal responsibility (after all, every voter needs some pandering ) and instead chose to compete for the votes of the Dorothy Tillman wing of the Chicago Democratic Party. My wife says Rahm should begin the reparations process by turning over his campaign funds left over after the campaign is over.
Could a white state legislator keep his job after making this kind of comment?
3. The American Conservative Union's annual CPAC meeting (Conservative Political Action Conference) is underway in D.C. and the big story so far has been the boycott of the conference by some social conservative groups and more troubling, by the Heritage Foundation, because of the inclusion of the group: GOProud , a gay conservative group. According to the exit polls for the most recent series of elections , gays vote Republican far more often than Jews do. Their vote percentage for Republican candidates has risen in every election cycle in recent years, even in years like 2006 and 2008 where the GOP support level declined among almost every other group. In 2010, about 1 in 3 gays voted Republican, whereas for Jews, the number was slightly higher than 1 in 4.
The platform of GOProud is one that is in conformance with general conservative principles (small government, lower taxes, less federal spending) except on the issue of gay marriage. One might argue that the presence of Grover Norquist at CPAC , and his efforts to undermine U.S Israel relations and create a greater political correctness and heightened sensitivity on the part of the federal government as regards Muslims in America, is much more out of step with conservative principles.
The fact of life is that political movements and political parties win with broad coalitions and big tents, and lose when they start excluding and driving away people and groups. The Democrats have moved further left, and become more orthodox in their thinking and legislating about the role of government. This is in large part why moderates like Jim Webb, Jane Harman and Joe Lieberman are retiring.
The Republicans and conservatives need to stand for something, and that something needs to be coherent. But it is wise, I think, to allow those who disagree with one part of a party or movement's platform to be included, if they are in agreement with most of it. The GOP is a pro life party, but there are pro life and pro choice Republicans. There are very few pro life Democrats.
There is an enormous age divide as regards acceptance of gays in America and more and more Republican elected officials now understand that their party cannot stand for bigotry. The repeal of DADT, (which I think will be a total non-issue in short order, as it has been in Israel for decades) was passed with key Republican votes. There is a growing libertarian influence on the right and in the Tea Party movement, which has applied a laser like focus to government finances. Keeping the country from going broke seems to me where conservatives should be spending their time, not fighting over the modern day meaning of a few biblical injunctions.
Sarah Palin agrees with me on this.
4. So your kid wants to go to journalism school? Michael Lewis examines Columbia's J School, "one of the best, if not the best", which gets blindsided.
5. Here is some good news on American oil resources, if you want America to be less reliant on foreign oil. Of course, the new jobs will not be green jobs, though a lot of American green will not go overseas as a result of them. I am sure the Obama administration and the EPA will find some way to shut this off.
6. Christina Aguilera may be among the 15% who think the U.S needs a new national anthem. I am among the 100% who think A-Rod should be able to feed popcorn to himself.
8. And in news from fake pro-Israel groups, J-Street will have as one of the speakers at its upcoming conference , a supporter of boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel. This raises a question - is there anything J-Street can do that would alienate Jan Schakowsky?