Let us start by saying that we RINOs, "Republicans In Name Only", long derided for our moderation and willingness to reach across the aisle and compromise with like minded Democrats, have had enough. Armed with the oft repeated statements that our moderation is a vice, we at Yankee Rino, whose interest is above all in running the country, have begun to question, bereft of politics, what the record really is of this administration, versus that of the present Republican Congress and Republican Candidate. Having done so, we are quite satisfied that the United States will do better with a second term of President Obama, and ultimately, hopefully provoke the GOP to return to its senses and seek constructive new ways to build the United States beyond gutting its government.
We predict that President Obama will be re-elected by massive proportions, if not a landslide. Despite our own moderate Republican affiliation, we support this. This administration, despite some serious domestic problems, must be viewed in the context of an energy policy success that no other administration in recent American history can match. With that in mind, President Obama has made some political missteps, but they should be survivable.
We doubt the conventional wisdom is that President Obama should be in serious political trouble due to employment and budget issues. Americans are willing to endure some hard times for long term gain. After all, George W Bush made an enormous mistake in invading Iraq, and yet survived for a second term. Compared to stacks of corpses landing in Dover, an 8% unemployment rate and a trillion dollar deficit ought to be chump change.
The most spectacular success story for this administration, is one that any administration would envy. President's Obama's basic energy plan is starting to show real dividends, and, if America sticks with it, we could be more stinking rich, as a country, then we have ever been.
Despite all of the GOP's claims that President Obama's green energy agenda is blocking fossil fuel development, the United States is actually producing more oil than it has in twenty years, and for the first time since the 1970s, has essentially eliminated all imports of natural gas. Indeed, the United States is so awash in natural gas that major players such as Shell are investigating the construction of mega-refineries (at some $18 billion a pop), that would convert natural gas to badly needed gasoline.
In addition to increasing oil and natural gas production, policies enacted under President Bush and expanded under President Obama have led to a torrent of adoption of solar cells throughout the USA. Finally, President Obama is the first administration to approve new nuclear power plant construction in a generation.
||US Natural Gas Production||
We'll leave aside the dismal charts of declining domestic energy production and increasing imports under the previous administration. To its credit, the Bush administration acted aggressively to increase domestic energy production. Yet, within the GOP, a prevailing argument is that the United States does not need energy independence. Geopolitical business interests, such as the magazine owned by onetime GOP candidate Forbes argues that energy independence is a bad thing because it will cause global instability. Market oriented writers, such as this site argue that energy independence is bad for America. So, although Mitt Romney adds his name to the long list of Republicans who have promised an end to an America held hostage by global trends and two bit dictators, he is informed otherwise by many in his party. Only Barack Obama has truly and steadily actually overseen the increasing production of domestic energy resources while at the same time promoting the conservation needed to ensure that our demand does not ever again exceed our domestic capacity.
President Obama whacked Bin Laden, who blew up the World Trade Center, whacked Qadaffi, who blew up Pan Am over Lockerbie, brought our troops home from Iraq, and also easily rescued American hostages from pirates in Somalia. If any Republican candidate matched that track record, we at Yankee Rino among millions of other Republicans would be naming aircraft carriers after him and lobbying to put him on the dollar bill and blast his likeness into the moon with nuclear explosives. Yet, today's GOP refuses to give any credit where credit is due, and that level of intellectual dishonesty, the trading away of the traditional "buck stops here" Presidential accountability that Reagan personified in apologizing for his own failed Lebanon mission, for cheap political points, leaves us gasping in wonder at the loss of Republican manly chivalry. Where has our party gone?
Yes, the budget is a disaster, and unlike Republicans trying to absolve W for snoozing on 9/11, we can say that the President has not used his bully pulpit or party leadership to seriously enact a balanced budget. Still, Obama has asked for modest tax increases to match the spending levels increased under the Bush administration, and has not gotten them. By contrast, however, on this issue, the GOP is a total fraud and has been for 30 years.
Endless Republican replays of the President's own campaign speeches decrying the deficit are supposed to entice we RINOs with the implicit promise of balanced budgets. Yet, facts obscure the GOP position. The narrative that Barack Obama has caused the deficit by exploding the government is flatly false. Not only President Obama has not actually expanded the size of the Federal government not much beyond what George W Bush legislated into being, he's expanded government less than any American President since Eisenhower. The present deficit, is, in fact, partially because of the falloff in corporate revenues caused by this recession, the decision to more honestly account for the cost of government by moving war expenditures and other stimulus funding onto the books, and finally, by the President's own very broad middle class tax cuts.
The case can be made that the GOP has never had any intention to balance the budget at all. First off, there are those Republicans that candidly worry that if budgets were balanced, the wealthy would have no safe haven to park their money, and that would cause economic collapse. Jack Kemp didn't care, and neither does VP Candidate Paul Ryan. Former VP Dick Cheney famously once said that Reagan proved deficits don't matter. Thus, the GOP has its own sorry fiscal history. This, it followed up with the recent "Jersey Shore" meets "Waltons" circus that is today's Congressional Republican Caucus. First, they turned a routine, if unpalatable, debt ceiling vote into a fiscal crisis to negotiate a balanced budget deal that they then torpedoed. Panicking after America's credit rating was downgraded for the first time since Alexander Hamilton got shot, the GOP signed onto a slapdash budget deal that, lead by John McCain, they are now working to undo because it might cut military spending from four times the size of China, Russia, and Iran, combined, down to three. Why? Is it because we need to spend a trillion dollars on an F-35 that still doesn't work, and even John McCain doesn't like. What does the GOP plan on buying for the DOD?
Although recent figures indicate the economy is on the mend, the employment picture has been pretty rough. But, generally speaking, Barack Obama tried to do a lot of what Republicans would normally say one should do, and Republicans blocked him. The fact is this, the much derided stimulus package was in fact an extremely large, perhaps largest ever tax cut, for the middle class, and the GOP opposed it, and continues to ridicule it.
That's right, the GOP, the party of tax cuts to stimulate the economy, actually voted against them. House Republicans voted against a payroll tax cut, arguing not so credibly that "The problem here is payroll doesn't go into general revenue, it supports Social Security" while at the same time arguing for cuts to entitlements, and incidentally, spending Social Security.
So, despite GOP opposition to another round tax cuts in the American Jobs Act, the private sector is creating jobs. And, in some cases, growth in American technology centers is halted for lack of workers and on that score the GOP has had a terrible message on both education and immigration. Arguing that the government should simultaneously not prepare new workers for new trades while blocking the import of those workers who have those skills smacks of advocating national suicide. On the public sector, governments across the board, quite frankly, at GOP insistence in many states, have been shedding them. In the long term, this arguably necessary as some states simply have less people and thus need less services.
Republicans from Rush Limbaugh on down argue that Businesses exist to make money, not create jobs, and that's true, from the perspective of the owners. But if it's true that businesses have no obligation to create jobs, then, isn't the responsiblity of the government to act? If anything, a national work ethic fosters national security and protects families, and the opportunity for the government to avail itself of a buyers labor market should make make more attractive those infrastructure projects that will nurture future businesses. Imagine, if water were cheaper and plentiful in the deserts of the west? Imagine, the opportunities for manufacturing, if electricity were less expensive? Imagine the development that could take place, if better rail and road service were available in appalachia? Imagine, the opportunities for online businesses, if internet were available everywhere even in rural areas.
This is as much a recession of automation as it is outsourcing, both of which have bloomed during the last decades. Automation has also bloomed during this administration - 3d machining has made it possible, within the last few years, for a computer to carve out parts that would have required a team of men working lathes and other tools to do previously. One wonders, if, at some point, machines will be capable of manufacturing everything.
A conservative, nationalistic, patriotic federal policy might be to reposition American workers, through education, to match skills needed to meet market demands worldwide. It shows large investors, if anything, that a nation is serious about competing in a space and providing a framework for free enterprise to succeed. To this end, President Obama has proposed jobs banks, funds for worker retraining, modest spending compared to his gargantuan tax cuts, and the answer, from today's GOP, is NO. Finally, there is outsourcing, the shift in labor to less expensive markets, made possible by the very free trade agreements and stronger dollar policies that today's GOP continues to advocate.
We RINOs recognize that creating a competitive country is more than just a matter of cutting taxes. Culture matters, history matters, the arts matter. While we would certainly disagree with our left wing friends about the outrage of publicly funded birth control, we certainly would agree that investing in national parks, museums, folklore, and cultural programming such as NPR or PBS all add significantly to the perceived value of the United States, while simultaneously investing all of America with a common cultural bond. We grew up with Schoolhouse Rock. We like the Cookie Monster. To that end, explicitly targetting fairly low cost items on the Federal Budget, such as NPR, or PBS, in the name of the budget deficit smacks more of an attempt to deconstruct American nationalism, particularly when the GOP would make these cuts without actually balancing the budget. By contrast, President Obama, being a Democrat, has spent and will spend perhaps more than we like, but, given the draconian choice of no cultural works, versus too many, for a price that on the high side pales compared to a ridiculous incentives for oil companies to well, conduct oil business, we think we can live with Obama's proclivity for cultural works.
We are not ones to normally promote, puke, a Democrat, on a site that is considered moderately Republican. However, we stand in horror at the carnage visited upon the once proud GOP by the Tea Party, a carnage partially fueled by the failure to recognize that some of the good ideas from 30 years ago simply did not work when applied. Certainly, as believers in freedom, we are not at all happy about the bible based legislation our far right brethren would enact. What goes on in one's relationships and one's bedroom and certainly marriage should be of no concern of government, and if government should be involved, it should be equally, and not without a prejudice to the particular religious superstitions of a rurally minded minority. We are bothered that the GOP would double down on a national security program of domestic oppression and global militarism that we are frankly sick of.
We RINOs prefer our wars on the History Channel, not the news. We RINOs think that when Reagan said, "Peace through strength", that there would be peace.
Previously, we would have laughed at the idea of a green economy matched by wisely increasing traditional production in fossil and nuclear as so much hippy pot smoking, yet, the numbers speak for themselves. Pass the bowl and put on some Phish, we guess, because the liberal energy plan is working, and to that end we feel it would be wise, having left the market to its course over the last decades, with mixed results, to see if not another four years of something else might not be so bad after all. We're curious and hopeful at this point - increased energy independence, a solution to the federal budget impass, those give us the hope that confidence may yet be restored in America as a business proposition and create more jobs.
To that end, compared to Governor Romney's lack of a serious budget plan, the lack of an energy vision, the lack of a commitment to any particular sort of any ideal, the adoption of religion in state, a tax proposal that is intrinsically unfair, and the offer to involve America in yet more wars, the continuation of President Obama's uneven presidency for another four years stands as something that might make yet hope for America. Thus, we at Yankee Rino endorse Barack Obama for President, for a second term.