Around the Horn Friday

Filed in National by on April 24, 2009

Life marches on in the First State. Except for Delaware Politics, which in the last week (from Friday April 17 to Friday April 24) has had two posts, both concerning that week’s release of Coastal Sussex. Well, I guess it is representative of the problem facing the Republican Party: no new ideas means no new posts.

Nancy and Mike are right: community newspapers like Hockessin Community News are the future.

Nancy reports on the coming layoffs of NCCo paramedics as a result of the budget crisis. CR over at Copeland’s blog, Resolute Determination, celebrates the layoffs. Yes, nothing says “Let’s celebrate” like recession driven pink slips. The new motto of the Republican Party: Viva La Recession!

Wanna catch up Red Clay news? Check out Mike Matthews’ live blog of the latest board meeting and the School Board Candidates Forum, Kilroy’s thoughts on the meeting and a coming dilemma concerning the special education waiver, to which one of his commenters has a good answer. He also stamps out rumors started on his blog. He also has video of the Candidate’s Forum. Oh yes, and you can also follow FixRedClay, where our own Pandora got her start in blogging.

Now, a question that rears its ugly head often when discussing budget deficits and increased funding for education is should we raise taxes to close the gap? Steve over at Delaware Libertarian publishes a March 2008 UD poll on the issue, and yes, as you can guess, no one wants taxes raised. Well, not “no one,” as you can see from the report, but substantial majorities are against it. And that is not surprising, since I don’t want my taxes raised either. But I also want services provided, yet education, like emergency paramedics, like police protection. Taxes are the price we pay for civilization. So while I always want to cut inefficient, unnecessary, wasteful or redundant programs first, I am not opposed to raising taxes. Like one thoughtful New Jersey Republican Freeholder said amid last week’s teabagging, (and I am paraphrasing) “Everyone is against taxes, but if you take one service away, they will come for you.” Indeed. Here’s hoping no one dies unnecessarily because a paramedic got laid off.

Redwaterlily marks Earth Day.

Brian Shields asks if Libertarians can affect the outcomes of Sussex County elections, while Kavips says embracing Libertarianism is basically the only salvation for the Republican Party. I agree. The Republican Party as we know it, a coalition of the libertarians, the anti-tax rich, false fiscal conservatives, neocon militants, know nothings, and the radical religious right, is dead. By all rights, we should see four minor parties emerge in the coming years, or at least see the bolstering of the Libertarian and Constitution Parties with swelled ranks.

Republican Charlie Copeland has fun with Republican John Atkins here and here.

Next time you Markell staffers are drinking at a bar, because look to see if there are any strange looking blogger types in the vicinity. And remember, this is a small state.

CR is right: Michael Migliore lost the election and he shouldn’t be standing with the public officials at a public forum. It would be like John McCain demanding to stand next to President Obama at the podium during the State of the Union.

Dana Pico deletes two comments from his blog. Outrage ensues throughout the blogosphere with cries of horrible censorship… oh wait. They only do that when we do it.

Kavips shows us how clean our air is. Cough.

Oh, and I was wrong about Delaware Politics. Our dear friend RSmitty had a post about legalizing sexting before the two Coastal Sussex posts. I was unaware it was illegal.

Till next week, this has been Around the Horn.

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  1. Unstable Isotope says:

    I think going the libertarian route is probably the future for the Republicans. Could that why we’re hearing noises from Republicans about relaxing their opposition to gay marriage? If the Republicans are really serious about libertarianism, they need to stop being torture apologists.

  2. jason330 says:

    More Castle pretending that he is going to run for the Senate.

  3. anon says:

    I think libertarianism is too hard a discipline for conservatives. They will always return to their authoritarian roots, and in truth, American voters have a taste for authoritarianism. Before they started calling us socialists, they were calling us bleeding-heart liberals… soft on crime… acid, amnesty, and abortion….

    Republicans will never let go of their authoritarian/social conservative legacy; they will return to it like a dog returns to its vomit.

  4. jason330 says:

    embracing Libertarianism is basically the only salvation for the Republican Party

    The question is not will the Republicans become more Libertarian, but will the libertarians become libertarian?

    With very few exceptions, our DE Libertarians were all too eager to throw the Constitution under the bus because George Bush said so.

  5. anon says:

    The angry white suburban Republicans (Reagan Democrats) are basically just high school kids who saw an opportunity to taunt the DFH’s. Their concept of libertarianism is just as murky as their concept of conservatism. Electorally, these people are up for grabs over kitchen table issues.

  6. nemski says:

    Oh, and I was wrong about Delaware Politics. Our dear friend RSmitty had a post about legalizing sexting before the two Coastal Sussex posts. I was unaware it was illegal.

    Poor RSmitty, always an afterthought, here and at that other site.

  7. pandora says:

    I still think Libertarianism is more of a philosophy than a system of governing. As I said over at Kavips, it’s more an adjective than a noun.

    Republicans may try and steal the name, but it will just be surface fluff, soon discarded. I think it’s more likely the party will split, but given what’s left of the Republican base, I’m not seeing big pick-ups for the Libertarian Party. I think it’s more likely to see two new parties rise from the ashes of Republicanism.

  8. Delaware Dem says:

    No RSmitty is not an afterthought. I just did not go back far enough to find his post last week.

  9. RSmitty says:

    Who’s RSmitty?

  10. RSmitty says:

    Oh, and I was wrong about Delaware Politics. Our dear friend RSmitty had a post about legalizing sexting before the two Coastal Sussex posts. I was unaware it was illegal.

    That’s the thing, DD. “Sexting” itself, I don’t believe is illegal. It’s the lack of clarity that allow the legalese to morph it into a form of pornography. Then, you add that this is focused on the teenagers sending it to other teenagers, all of a sudden, prosecutors are now charging them in a way that they become labelled child sex offenders for life.

    My post does not condone the act of sexting (where minors are involved, that is – I certainly don’t want to thought-police consenting adults ), but I explain the immature critical-thinking process of most minors and how slapping them with child-offender status for life is a horrible application of the intent of that law.

    That’s the very brief idea of the post and also that I don’t believe it is actually illegal now. Oh, I forgot, this came up because the state of VT is contemplating language making it legal to give clarity to the act and to avoid these teens from being labelled for life.

  11. Unstable Isotope says:

    Pandora,

    I think you’re right that two parties may come out of the Republican split. One would be the social conservative party and the other would be the big business/money party, I think. Right now the big business/money types are joining the Democratic party as Blue Dogs.

  12. jason330 says:

    Their plan to avert that is to have GOP operatives comb the countryside looking for Reagan II, like Tibetan monks in search of the baby incarnation of the Dali Lama.

  13. I have been checking back on DE Politics and theorize that Dave Burris froze the site on his new venture – the magazine.
    I may be wrong, but do the other contributors feel a bit held hostage by Dave’s commercial interests?
    I know I would….and do as a reader.

  14. RSmitty says:

    No, I don’t feel hostage, Nancy. Given I hardly have a spare moment, I can’t find much time to create a meaningful post these days. “Life” has been happening to me in unimaginable ways as of late. Also, I applaud Dave’s venture. It’s a great thing. To address your Dave-suppressing-us-conpiracy-theory, keep this in mind. It’s his site. He OWNS it. He can do whatever the heck he feels like with it. That said, he has not suppressed any of us one bit. It just so happens we all became slackers at a coincidental time.

    Who knows, maybe David Anderson and Frank Knotts are busy changing their registrations to “D.”

  15. Mark H says:

    “Who knows, maybe David Anderson and Frank Knotts are busy changing their registrations to “D.””

    In Franks case, the D would stand for Dumbass :)

  16. cassandra_m says:

    anon@5 has an exceptional point, and points (at least to me) why libertarianism in its traditional 3rd party form is not where the repubs are going. Libertarians are never going to be interested in “kitchen table issues”. “Kitchen table issues” are your problem and any government effort to help or mitigate or somehow be involved with those issues is not what they do. In other words, libertarians are way more interested in whether you are behaving in accordance with their long list of libertarian behaviors than they will ever be in governing.

  17. So Smit, you neither confirm nor deny…sort of…
    I am not dissing Dave’s venture per se. He even sent me an email about it.
    I am just not very interested in Dave’s Coastal rag and I am interested in the community of posters at DE politics. He shouldn’t try to have it both ways if he is indeed freezing posting there.
    I say Revolt!!!

  18. Libertarians in their current form aren’t going anywhere. It is only if we become more responsive to local politics with libertarian based and reality laced solutions when we will become more relevant.

    I honestly don’t think about replacing the GOP. It will still be there. I would think the proper goal would be a 30/30/40 mix. In other words, working to attain a goal where we are part of the balancing act of politics, tempering the polar swings.

    I see the LPD, eventually, becoming a viable third party which will be the go to party for compromise. It is all in “counting the votes” in Leg Hall. Issues are currently facing the GA which fit Libertarian principles as well as GOP or Dem principles; like eminent domain, civil unions, transparency, or budget balancing, where one side will need to caucus votes from Libertarians to overrule the other side.

    We are perfectly willing to be accessory votes to get agenda items that fit both parties’ agendas, as long as they fit ours. That’s what I mean. It is a win-win situation, unless you’re on the non libertarian side.

    We just have to get in there. We are not there yet. Kavips is right, I fully intend to play both sides.

  19. Steve Newton says:

    No, libertarians are not yet a viable third party: cassandra and Brian are both right. Until a libertarian candidate can deal with local politics/kitchen-table issues, there won’t be much success in electoral terms, although they still have a significant impact on political discourse. Lack of support for the drug war and even gay marriage are at least in part the result of libertarian influence.

    We must be doing something right or jason wouldn’t feel the need to attack us with ridiculous, palpably false charges:

    With very few exceptions, our DE Libertarians were all too eager to throw the Constitution under the bus because George Bush said so.

    Where, oh where, jason, are the Delaware Libertarians who were willing to throw the Constitution under the bus for Bush? Names and issues, please, or man up and admit you’re making things up. Again.

  20. anon says:

    Where, oh where, jason, are the Delaware Libertarians who were willing to throw the Constitution under the bus for Bush?

    Steve is right to call foul here. The handful of actual Libertarians in Delaware were mindful of the Constitution. I’m sure they could all fit into a living room to debate it.

    It was the faux “libertarian Republicans” who preferred Bush to the Constitution.

    And both groups made the choice that Bush was more libertarian than any Democrat.

  21. Steve Newton says:

    Actually, anon, we pretty much have not needed the living room–as kavips once pointed out, the New Castle County Libertarian Party of Delaware monthly meetings can usually be held at one table at Panera Bread on Kirkwood Highway.

  22. Steve Newton says:

    Oh (part two): I can say with pride that I never voted for Dubya, so that one’s not right either.

  23. anon says:

    Oh (part two): I can say with pride that I never voted for Dubya, so that one’s not right either.

    Well it’s moot because Delaware went blue by good margins, so keep your moral victory.

    But if you had lived and voted in Florida we’d have to stake you out on an anthill with the Naderites.

  24. jason330 says:

    Where, oh where, jason, are the Delaware Libertarians who were willing to throw the Constitution under the bus for Bush?

    Hube, You, every other silent DE Libertarian. The only person I’ll let 100% off the hook is TPN.

    If there was some Libertarian uprising against Bush, I never heard of it. All I heard was that the times had changed and the Constitution was not a suicide pact.

    Maybe you can prove me wrong by pointing to some DE Libertarians that challenged Bush
    policies openly?

    I will not be holding my breath.

  25. jason330 says:

    You know Steve your indignation is hilarious. I don’t know how many times I thought, “Well this Bush outrage, at long last will get the libertarians stirred up,”

    Only to hear crickets.

  26. anon says:

    If there was some Libertarian uprising against Bush, I never heard of it.

    The waitress at Panera Bread must have gotten quite an earful.

  27. Steve Newton says:

    jason
    Your standard and your response are ridiculous.

    Hube is not a libertarian, as far as I know.

    And it’s pretty difficult for you to hold me responsible for “not speaking out” prior to November 2007 when I started a blog precisely to speak out about that and other issues. Before that, you’d have had to come to my classes, or read articles in homeland security circles, to find me speaking out on a regular basis.

    The fact that I didn’t choose to join your little blogfest until November 2007 doesn’t equate with moral or intellectual silence. It only equates with the poverty of your intellectual world view: only what you happen to hear has any relevance.

    FYI: as I have proven to you on multiple occasions, if you go back and check the archives of the national LP website, you will find that libertarians have been consistently against the trashing of the constitution since they first opposed the original Patriot Act. Did you? And if so, where can we read about it from 2001-2002?

  28. Steve Newton says:

    anon
    Don’t eat at Panera much, do you? No waitresses.

    That’s why we go there; we can relish our impotency in peace.

  29. jason330 says:

    Hube is not a libertarian, as far as I know.

    Like you, he claims to be.

  30. jason330 says:

    Sorry Steve. Just checked out that page you mentioned. I guess I took your party’s utter impotence for acquiescence.

    To anticipate your next point, I know that the Democrats were pretty impotent throughout as well.

  31. Steve Newton says:

    jason
    Actually, we’re been looking for some political viagra for awhile now. Took a wrong turn with Bob Barr and Wayne Root, and now some of us are actually trying to build a party from the states up. I realize, jason, that you personally believe that in order to expect to make a real difference you have to choose to work inside one of the existing party organizations. In pragmatic terms you may well be correct, but I have too many differences with both the GOP and the Dems to be able to sign on.

    To be perfectly candid, throughout the months of September-October 2001 I wanted nothing less than to eradicate those who had done this to us, their friends, their families, and even if necessary to turn entire countries into parking lots. I lost friends at the Pentagon.

    I initially supported the invasion of Afghanistan for the limited purpose of hurting Al Qaeda.

    But then with the Patriot Act and everything that followed, I realized something really really bad: Osama bin Laden won on September 11. He single-handedly (metaphor) diverted the course of American history into places we all never dreamed it could go.

    Before we can deal with the people around the world who don’t like us, we’ve got to take back our own country first. You believe (honestly) that the process has been started with this election. I am less sure, and so we quarrel. That’s OK. As long as WE are quarreling about who we should be, instead of reacting to what somebody else wants us to be, America is still alive.