David Kirkpatrick

October 23, 2009

Cato v. Heritage

On the topic of the Patriot Act two right leaning think tanks pair off. This she says/he says is a nice, succinct illustration of one key difference between the right-wing hawkishness/pro-military industrial complex and libertarian schools of thought.

In a nutshell, the Heritage Foundation is all for the Patriot Act and its civil liberties trampling totality. The Cato Institute is for protecting the hard-won freedoms of American citizens while continuing to work at keeping the U.S. safe from terrorism.

The point further boils down to: do you trust handing the government total control over your civil liberties and right to privacy, or not. Personally I’m 100 percent behind the Cato approach, and honestly the Heritage position strikes me as profoundly un-American. The founding fathers would certainly not recognize the Heritage stance as having anything to do with their noble ideals.

April 5, 2009

The Tea Party phenomenon

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:35 pm

Here’s some talking points from the Heritage Foundation for any Tea Partiers out there.

A sample from the link:

  • Lower Taxes: Senator Jim DeMint’s “American Option” would have reduced business taxes from 35 percent to 25 percent to spur rapid growth in wages, jobs and business incomes. It also would have permanently repealed the Alternative Minimum Tax and reduced the individual tax rate to three levels—10, 15, and 25 percent—giving Americans more of their own money to fuel the economy and increasing disposable income for an average family of four by up to $4,500 by 2013.
  • On the whole, I’m just not getting the Tea Party movement. It doesn’t seem to be gaining much actual attention outside the blogosphere and the usual right wing hangouts. All in all the movement seems fairly fragmentary and largely comprised of angry cranks with a few opportunists thrown in for good measure.

    The odds of the activity adding positively to the national dialog on this economic crisis is near zero. Overall the public supports Obama right now and is offering him the chance to solve these problems. The public is also pinning the crisis on the Bush 43 administration for the most part. I doubt the Tea Party movement will do anything to change public opinion.

    To give examples of the fractured nature of Tea Partiers you need look no further than the comments on the linked site.

    Here’s a small taste:

    • “Some Tea Party organizers are making a huge mistake by making this about President Obama. This is about all our legislators who are not listening and following the constitution.”
    • “‘organizers are making a huge mistake by making this about President Obama’ Wrong! It is in fact “ALL” about this Marxist ideologue.”
    • “While the media will make our rallies out to be against the President, they are not and should not. We need to protest against the coup d’etat that took place on Jan. 21st. The battles began over a year before that and culminate in November.”
    • “The problems we currently face are because of Government in General. Not political parties.”

    This movement is all over the map — it’s not about Obama, it is about Obama, it’s about government. Sheesh. And “the coup d’etat” on January 21st? Really? What planet are these people living on and how exactly are these comments going to persuade the average American to take them seriously? Seriously.

    December 5, 2008

    ACLU, Heritage Foundation and the Department of Homeland Security

    I’m sure some would be shocked to see the Heritage Foundation and the ACLU in agreement, but the two groups have a whole lot more overlap than you might think at first glance when looking at the big picture.

    I like to remind people I support the actions of the ACLU and the NRA. And I think there’s something to like on both sides of the current US political spectrum. Plenty not to like on both sides, too.

    That’s why I vote the candidate, not the party. Always have, expect to always will. I read somewhere today that there’s no such thing as an independent voter because of low information or something. Can’t remember where I read that, but I think they used the wrong word.

    “Undecided” voters are low-information and to that end aren’t really a key part of the electorate in major races (totally different dynamic in low-key local races where the decision may well be made on a whim in the booth.)

    “Independent” voters are very likely to be very high information and making decisions as I do — voting the person and issues of the race at hand, not pulling a straight party ticket because of something dumb like, “I like old so-and-so, but can’t vote for him because he’s a dirty Republican and I’m a Democrat.”

    Straight party voters are pretty much no-information voters because any information makes no difference in the selection.

    At any rate this is from the link way up there in the first sentence:

    This morning, NPR did a segment with Tim Sparapani of our Washington Legislative Office and our frenemies at the Heritage Foundation. They discussed ways that the Department of Homeland Security under the Obama administration could endeavor to do better by the country. First, Tim suggested making the watchlists, you know, work:

    Any terrorist worth his or her salt can go out and get a fake ID in about 20 minutes, or they can show up under their own name if they’re not a name of somebody that we’ve been monitoring abroad[…] And there are lots of people, unfortunately, who have been willing to be recruited whom we would never know about until the moment they actually commit an attack.

    So while the TSA is busy stopping all the Robert Johnsons of the world, potential terrorists might be slipping by.


    Now, Heritage’s take:

    …[The Heritage Foundation] says the government’s multi-billion dollar investment in what’s often referred to as “guns, guards and gates” is the wrong way to go — that it’s futile to try to protect everything in a country that has a seemingly endless number of potential targets.

    We couldn’t agree more, Heritage!