Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Random Thoughts on the SOTU Speech

So I actually watched the State of the Union speech, and the GOP response.  Here are my random thoughts:

  • It is nothing more than a show.  There was nothing really new, no real honesty on the state of the nation, and is more about showcasing a "Regal" presidency than anything else.  Maybe we should just go back to the old days (before Woodrow Wilson) and have the President submit a written report to Congress instead what we do now.
  • The opposition response will always appear weak no matter who gives it.  The President speaks in front of a crowd, with plenty of opportunity for partisan applause, while the opposition gets to speak without an audience, and nothing but a flag for company.
  • Marco Rubio's response will be remembered more for the urgent drink of water than the content.
  • The SOTU speech itself was essentially the same speech we have heard from the President for the last four years.  We need to invest (you can read that as spend) in various democratic favorites (typically unionized workers, and green projects) and the rich need to pay their fair share.  Everything is paid for (as long as we tax the rich more), and on and on. Long on vague big ideas, short on details.
  • It would be more refreshing if the President got up and said the economy still sucks and we need to work together to get government out of the way without removing safeguards that protect the weakest amongst us.
  • This President truly believes more government is the answer to everything.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What is wrong with the Republican Party - Part 1

I have been writing this series in my head for the last 3 months since the Republicans lost the Presidential election.  By all indications, they should have been able to win easily.  The economy still wasn't speeding along, unemployment was high, inflation for basic needs was up (Note, I don't care what government agencies say, I feel the prices every time I get gas or go to the grocery store). There was an American Ambassador killed in Libya just before the election.  All of this should have added up to a significant Republican victory if not an outright landslide.  So what went wrong?  In my opinion, a whole bunch of things.

First they put forward an incredibly competent, but wholly unexciting candidate.  Mitt Romney would have made a fine President, but he was sorely lacking in the charisma department.  In this age of American Idol, and reality TV in general, you need a candidate that will excite the voters and Mitt just was not it.

Second is the media, but that is a topic for a post of its own.  Come back later for that one.

A related problem is messaging.  They have got to have a coherent message with broad appeal, and a way to get it out.  The Democrat message is Vote for us and we'll give you sh*t and make rich people pay.  If the only news you get is from mainstream media or Comedy Central, the Republican message is we hate women, minorities and old people, take stupid pledges, and refuse to raise taxes on anyone.  Not a very appealing message if you are in one of the first three categories, or part of the large percentage of folks that pay no income taxes, or actually use tax credits and get more back than you pay in.  Plus Democrats will give you sh*t.

 To wrap up this post, it appears that the Republican ground game on election day was horrible.  Democrats have lots of community organizers in their camp (Think Acorn, or whatever they call themselves now, and oh yeah the President).  They know how to get their people to the polls (in some areas multiple times).  From what I have read they made excellent use of the latest technologies and got their voters to the polls.  In contrast, Republicans aren't big into the community organizing thing, and there are reports of major technology failures on election day.  I'm a Software Consultant maybe they should give me a call before the next cycle.  I'm pretty adept at developing software that won't crash just when you need it most.

Time to try this blogging thing again

I started this blog back in 2011 with the intent of doing some level of my own research and analysis of current political issues and posting what I found.  Well time for actual research just was not there, so this blog went nowhere.  So now I am going to try again, only this time posting shoot from the hip opinion. 

I'll start by posting a bit about myself just to give some idea of where these opinions come from.  I am a 50ish college educated white male who works in the software industry.  I have worked for both large and small companies, and currently am an independent consultant.  I am firmly in the middle class that both parties give lots of lip service to.  As far as family I have been married for 26 years to the same wonderful woman, and we have 3 kids ranging in age from 8 to 21.