Monday, June 27, 2011

How libertarian is the Tea Party? Not very!

One of the great urban legends in American politics is that the so-called Tea Party movement is libertarian, or significantly libertarian. All the data I’ve seen, and personal experience, has indicated to me that the Tea Party is overwhelmingly conservative, in every sense of the word, and not libertarian at all.

I have no doubt that some libertarians participate in this movement. That is their right, and their problem. But adding a sprinkling of salt to your bath doesn’t make it the Pacific Ocean, and adding a handful of libertarians to conservative movement doesn’t make the movement libertarian. Given how outnumbered the libertarians are by conservatives I suggest that the influence is more likely to push these libertarians in a conservative direction, than the other way around. Many would consciously alter libertarian theory in order to sound more acceptable to their new conservative friends. Others will simply adopt the unthinking, Right-wing views of the Tea Party as their own.

Various surveys and polls have clearly shown the Tea Party to be typically conservatives, at least in regards to today’s conservative movement. It was more religious than the Republican Party but less religious than the Religious Right. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Falsifying reality to prove their point: NOM and gay marriage.

The Right-wing Christian Post claims that a new poll shows that "57 percent of New York voters oppose gay marriage." This new poll was released to convince Republicans to continue stalling the vote on marriage equality.

In paragraph three we read that 57% want only heterosexual marriage, while 32% support equality, and 11% don't know what they believe. It takes another couple paragraphs before they tell you that the "poll was commissioned by National Organization for (sic) Marriage." This is the secretive, highly funded anti-gay group run by Maggie Gallagher. The group is enmeshed with numerous state agencies around the country as they are the only political campaign in the country that illegally hides the donors from public scrutiny.

But, earlier this year the New York Daily News reported a Quinnipiac University poll found that 56% of voters supported marriage equality. Earlier this month the same poll was conducted again and found support had edged up slightly to 58%. This is slightly higher than the national average. Gallup, in May, found that 53% of all Americans support marriage equality. CNN, in April, found 51% support it. An ABC/Washington Post poll March also found 53% support.

So, why is it when respected, professional polling outfits ask about marriage equality they get a much higher ratio of support, than when NOM commissions a right-wing, Republican outfit to do it for them?

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Republican of a different kind.

While Republicans like Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, et. al. all jostle for the position of being the most bigoted Republican there are a some rare and wonder exceptions. Gov. Gary Johnson, who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination, but who is being blackballed by CNN, is one of them Another is State Senator Roy McDonald of New York.

New York is ready for marriage equality, which remains the great civil rights battle of this decade. The Republican Party is adamant in support of all sorts of bigotry, but especially against the rights of gay and lesbian citizens. Marriage equality was voted down narrowly last year and McDonald did what the party leadership demands. This year he announced he would support marriage equality. And he put his thoughts in some plain, easy-to-understand words that I think will resonate with people.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Markets don't solve problems, people do.

What if there is no perfect solution? A lot of people certainly believe there are such things for the problems that arise from the complexities of life. I personally believe a great deal of the desire for there to be a deity comes from the yearning that their be perfect solutions. The entire concept of the Kingdom of God on earth comes with the belief that it will usher in perfection.

I, however, tend to think there are no perfect solutions. I believe there are only human solutions and human solutions will tend toward imperfection since humans themselves are imperfect. What exist are choices between imperfect solutions. Market liberals, such as myself, do NOT advocate markets because they promise perfection, though we do advocate markets.

And I know some fellow travelers who do seem to operate under the illusion that “markets” can solve every possible problem. You hear it with terms like “the market will take care of it.”

But markets don’t take care of anything. Markets can’t solve problems because markets are not sentient beings. They don’t understand problems; they can’t consider solutions. They have no brain. In one sense they do not even exist.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Constitutional Case for Marriage Equality

A seven minute video from our friends at the Cato Institute on the case for marriage equality.