Category Archives: local politics

If It Walks Like a Duck

On the Sunday morning shows, where politics is explored, where our politicians and our congress people and our journalists get together to talk about issues (and reveal their obsession with all things political), right now we get to meet the candidates competing for the Republican 2012 nomination to decide who will run against Obama. This past Sunday I watched David Gregory interview Rick Santorum on Meet the Press. Rick Santorum has had me all riled up lately because of the things he has to say about all kinds of social issues, which I did not believe were the key issues in this election. Rick Santorum blamed the press for skewing his message. He said he wants to address employment and the economy and all of the issues related to our current financial situation, but that the press keeps asking him questions about social issues, like abortion, and contraception and the role of religion in American politics. He says that the press is trying to destroy conservatives. He assured the American public that in spite of what he believes about when human life begins and about the importance of being allowed to express religious beliefs while governing, he does not intend to make these issues the center of his presidency.
I would like to feel reassured by Rick Santorum’s statements on Sunday morning television relative to what he will do if elected but I can’t. I live in the New York district that elected Ann Marie Beurkle to the House of Representatives. She did not run on social issues. She never mentioned that she is not just against abortion on her own behalf, but is against abortion on behalf of everyone. She never told her electorate that she was at the radical end of the conservative spectrum. She hid her inflexible biases throughout the election, although if her constituents had done their due diligence on the internet her stand on these issues would have been apparent. We’re bad voters sometimes. We don’t do our research. We elected Ann Marie Beurkle and ever since she has represented only herself and her extreme agenda. She has held a number of town meetings, but at these meetings she does not listen to her constituency; she only preaches the platform of Ann Marie Beurkle. It is extremely frustrating.
So, I say, take a clue from what is happening to the people in Central and Northern New York. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is duck. If you elect Rick Santorum, no matter how much he believes that he will leave his social agenda aside, he does not have the flexibility to do so. He will not be able to leave his extreme ideas out of the dialogue a President must have with America. The news media may be trying to destroy conservatives, although they seem to be doing a good job of self-immolation: I don’t really know. But in the case of Rick Santorum I think what they are doing is trying to preserve the rights and beliefs of all Americans, not just one small group of Americans. They are trying to help us do our due diligence.

Here is a comment from the Republican in my Backyard. Most people cannot figure out how to publish a comment on my site and neither can I.


Comments from the Republican in your backyard:
Social issues are certainly important and should certainly be something to consider (abortion, birth control, religion) but what the press is doing is wrong, wrong whether you are a democrat, republican, conservative or liberal (or the new code word, progressive).  The press by only focusing on certain social issues, the social issues that certainly polarize the nation, is doing a disservice to the country by not addressing the most critical issues today – the national debt, deficit, economy, devaluation of the dollar and unemployment.  Regardless of who gets elected, the republicans in general are going to push for maintaining the status quo or pushing back on abortion.   Half the country believes that abortion is wrong, half believe it is right.   The current case regarding birth control and religion is a case of the government infringing upon religious freedom.  If the press wants to focus on social issues, why not focus on the failure of great society to lift ANYONE from poverty.  Trillions of dollars later, we have the same number people as a percentage in poverty.  Isn’t it about time we consider that program a failure and look for another way to move people from poverty?  As an example, consider South Korea?  What raised the standard of living there and moved people out of poverty… capitalism.

Shell Game

While I was watching national politics and state politics someone was deciding to get creative at the local level. In Sunday’s paper we were informed that our local property taxes are going up. In fact, in my town, the county executive wants to raise taxes 113.5%.

Are you nuts Joannie Mahoney? You want to raise taxes in Salina by 113.5%? Salina is not a town full of wealthy people. We’re so poor they won’t even put a YMCA here. Since when do we charge the least affluent people the most money? Our homes are the least expensive in the area, that’s why we have the lowest taxes.

You are using the people who you represent as pawns in your grand consolidation plan. You are manipulating us because you want to cut county costs by increasing the cost to live in the towns and villages. You want to force some towns and villages to go out of business or to consolidate services. You feel that there is too much duplication of service. While it’s true that there probably are too many subdivisions in local government, to raise our taxes when the economy is in crisis and our incomes are shrinking is wrong. We do not expect our county executive to “kick us while we’re down.” Please save your grand plan for another day when we have had a chance to recover a bit. Or come up with a new plan to get to your goal.