Saturday, February 20, 2010

Op Ed Rebuttal: Too Much GOP Hypocrisy

I was reading the Standard Examiner this morning and stumbled upon Steve Olsen's editorial piece about the GOP.  The piece seemed to be written in two parts.  The first part, a fair criticism of Rob Bishop and budget proposals, and the second, a tirade of hand grenade throwing with the hopes that something lands somewhere and hits its mark.

The first part made its point with back story and context and I will not address it since Mr.Olsens's opinion seems fair.  But lets take a look at the reckless accusations of hypocrisy made in the second part:

Accusation #1

It is hypocrisy for Rob Bishop to paint himself as a deficit hawk, when as recently as the 2006 Congressional elections he dismissed the Bush era deficits as a non-issue, claiming deficits would disappear in a few years because   of the economic miracle resulting from Republican economic policies. We all know how that turned out.
My rebuttal:  I think its fair to say that nobody saw the crash we are in coming except for a few people in cubicles at some banks.  Rob Bishop and the current GOP aren't responsible for the crash.  Fitch, Moody's, and S&P - the ratings agencies - are responsible.  Richard Nixon is responsible for changing the structure of the ratings agencies from working for the buyers of mortgage securities to working for the sellers of them instead.  Its like having a home inspector and appraiser work for the seller instead of the guy buying a home.

Nevertheless, blaming Rob Bishop for operating under the assumptions of the day and for not being an economic seer is ridiculous.  Democrats certainly aren't deficit hawks.  Mr. Olsen would have us believe that Democrats are better because at least we know in advance that they will tax and spend us into oblivion unlike the Republicans just telling us that they won't and then do it anyway.  That's a hard sell.  The answer is populating the Republican party with principled people...not changing principles and parties.

Accusation #2

It was hypocrisy for Sen. Bob Bennett to cosponsor the bill to create a bi-partisan deficit reduction commission and then vote against his own bill on the floor of the   Senate.

My rebuttal:  Senator Bennett is in hot water with his principled constituents in the Republican party and will be dealt with at the State Convention.

Accusation #3


It is hypocrisy for the 2010 Utah Legislature to engage in a self-righteous orgy of indignation over the federal government trampling on our rights, to the exclusion of more important business — when we heard deafening silence from that body during the Bush years over much more egregious attacks on our liberties.

My rebuttal:  I particularly like the phrase "self-righteous orgy of indignation".  What fun wordplay!  The point is that Federalism is more important now than ever.  Politics is all about timing.  If the legislature does not act now with other states to push back on Federal powers, the opportunity will be lost.  Perhaps Mr. Olsen would have us wait until its convenient to confront an overreaching federal government.  Liberty isn't something we obtained through convenience.  Also, what Mr. Olsen describes as hypocrisy by the Legislature is really an epiphany.  The state realizes that the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of federal government power and needs to swing it the other direction.  Now, and in tandem with other states, is the time to act.   

Accusation #4

It is hypocrisy for Governor Herbert to bemoan the horrible state of air quality on the Wasatch Front when the policies of three decades of one-party Republican rule in this state have contributed enormously to the problem.
My rebuttal: I keep hearing this "one-party" line repeated over and over again.  It's as if the Democrats need to guilt the public into voting for them because being "one-party" isn't fair.  What they don't want to admit is that the people's voice IS HEARD through one-party rule.  The people are the ones that continue to support and elect Republican representatives.  Therefore, it is not hypocrisy for the Governor to bemoan air quality because the people voted for Republicans for the last 30 years.  It is perhaps ironic, but not hypocritical.  To say so is intellectually dishonest.

Accusation #5

It is hypocrisy when every Republican legislator in the state runs on the platform “public education is my number one priority” when the Legislature has presided over a free-fall in support for education the last decade that is leading us to a crisis.
My rebuttal:  Mr. Olsen, do you have some facts to support this rhetoric?  If so, please produce them.  This statement has words that I often hear from one of my young children: "Dad, you NEVER let us do things. EVERY time we want to something you won't let us do it."  When people make broad generalizations by using the words "always, every, and never" I know they, like my kids, are trying to get their way by manipulating me.  

Mr. Olsen's op-ed was interesting.  I always appreciate other people's perspectives but the accusations of hypocrisy I believe were just an opportunity for him to throw some rhetorical hand grenades around.  Lets make our pointed accusations in the future less rhetorical and more substantive.  Perhaps by doing so, there will be less of them.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent thoughts, Jeremy. I would add to this that the Democrats seem to forget that Utah has been named by independent sources as the #1 managed state in the entire United States. This happened because of a conservative legislature. I would also add that the housing crisis that precipitated the economic crash resulted primarily from democrats wielding the banner of "affordable housing." It was democrats during the Bill Clinton era that pressed Fannie & Freddie to purchase subprime loans, making owning a home more of an entitlement than a privilege, and hence the democrats built a house of cards, the fall of which brought our economy to its knees.

    If we want to speak of hypocrisy, let's talk about the democrats championing free speech and then wanting the "fairness doctrine" installed again.

    The democrats basic platform: Vote for me and I'll give you your neighbor's money. It's an unsustainable model. The feeding trough is now empty and therefore their agenda has nowhere to go, hence the political swing we'll see here in November...

    ReplyDelete

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