Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Los Angeles Times Editorial: The Robert Bennett Message

Having grown tired of business as usual, we believe Utah GOP delegate grownups simply took matters into their own hands
It's certainly plausible that the GOP is tacking too far to the right, but that rightward shift is a natural and healthy response to the sudden — and largely unpopular — leftward shift of Washington since 2008. In Washington, the coin of the realm is "seniority and connections," and it is that currency that bought us the calamitous state of the country. Ironically, both George W. Bush and Barack Obama were elected promising to "change the way Washington works." For the powers that be, the more frightening and tangible lesson from Utah is "this time we mean it."

Los Angeles Times Editorial
The Robert Bennett message
May 11, 2010

Lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth in the Northern Utah print media this morning, as the various newspaper editorial boards do their postmortem analyses on Saturday's Utah GOP Convention, in which Utah GOP delegates showed Senator Bob Bennett the door, ending Bennett's 18-year stint on Washington's Capitol Hill:

The Salt Lake Tribune rages that the "candidate selection system is hopelessly broken," urges Utah voters to lobby for a direct primary system and even suggests that "Sen. Bennett might want to consider a write-in campaign."

The Standard-Examiner laments Bennet's ouster, and suggests that "[t]he activist, more extreme base of both parties seem to have an undue influence."

This morning's Deseret News editorial is slightly more pilosphophical in its analysis, and does pose this interesting question:
Was it merely a local oddity — the product of a nominating process that isn't inclusive and that doesn't represent the state at-large — as some suggest? Or was it the beginning of a wave that will sweep the nation as an angry electorate ousts incumbents of all stripes?
Nevertheless, it's apparent that even the Deseret News editorial board is unhappy with Saturday's convention outcome, as it suggests that the nomination process was at least in part tainted by irrational anger:
Democracies flourish when they periodically refresh themselves by ousting entrenched politicians and electing people with new ideas. The strength of the United States remains the fact that, ultimately, the people are in control. But in politics, as in personal relationships, anger is seldom a good motivator.
In that connection, we googled up a west coast newspaper opinion piece this morning within which we believe commentator Jonah Goldberg got it exactly right:
The Robert Bennett message - Utah Republicans aren't crazy in rejecting the GOP congressman; they just mean what they say that they're tired of politics as usual
Whereas the above-cited Utah newspapers (and various national news pundits) in their various ways clearly regard Saturday's outcome as the byproduct of a dysfunctional candidate selection system, Mr. Goldberg interprets it as a sign of rational political action... "a natural and healthy response" to a "leftward shift of Washington since 2008."

For our own part, we'll side with Mr. Goldberg on this. Having grown tired of business as usual, (and unfulfilled political promises), we believe Utah GOP delegate grownups simply took matters into their own hands. After all, that's how it's supposed to work in American politics, isn't it?

That's our take; and we're stickin' with it.

So what say our gentle readers about all this?

14 comments:

Rainbow Stew said...

Good one Rudy, and the plot sickens:

Utah conservatives strategize to take out Matheson

But here's a reminder:

The Utah Republicans are not the only Utah political party cleaning house.

Dan S. said...

Rudi, perhaps you could educate me on the meaning of the term "business as usual". From what I've heard recently, it seems to mean simply "pragmatism" and "compromise". Of course it goes without saying that within either political party, there will be many people who dislike pragmatism and compromise. When these people get their way, however, the result is simply the nomination (and eventual election) of political extremists who exacerbate the polarization in Washington. And, come to think of it, this polarization is also what many people are thinking of when they say "business as usual". Right?

shizoh said...

The average voter is a misinformed idiot-child, with next to zero knowledge of how legislating in Washington happens, zero understanding of the actual US Constitution, and hide behind fear-driven egos who think that what their fathers spouted off around the dinner table was somehow ordained of a god smiling on a city on the hill.

I recognize the faces in the tea-party crowd: they are the same people who hate social liberals, blacks, Mexicans, and anything anti-war anti military industrial complex. They tend to like NASCAR and crappy beer.

That these people are out of the drunken-peer-group-consensus closet and spouting off in front of national TV cameras is the best news that the Democrats could possibly have this election year.

The tea party racist homophobes who want to quit America if they don't get heir way are a loud and tiny minority. Democrats are going to mop the floor with anyone who takes the tea party line in the general election this fall; of course, that is if the under-thirty kids vote.

If you are going to tell me you are a fiscal conservative, first show me your own "personal debt to savings" ratio, and your "income to debt" ratio; most tea party'ers want the fed to be frugal, but can barely make ends meet because of a house full of crap they cannot afford.

Fiscal conservatives? Not a chance.

Dorothy Littrell said...

shizoh:

There are fringe radicals in every group..

If you are looking at the news items in most daily papers and tv news spots and the photo shots of some of the crowds that they zoom in on at rallies I want to remind you that they are only interested in making news they can sell and they are not about to educate anyone on the actual facts of anything.

My experience with some of the people that are part of the Tea Party movement convinces me that they are very passionate about getting the U.S. government back on track financially and constitutionally.

I would also remind you that the Tea Party is no "party" as to rules and aims of what they are trying to accomplish.

My hat is off to anyone who will take their time and spend their money to try to get at the truth of what the truth is behind some of the nonsense that has gone on in Washington for far too long!

I suggest that you get acquainted with some of them personally and make up your own mind about their goals and expectations. I can assure you that the ones I have met are not beer-drinking Nascar bums.

They are very concerned about their families and the future of this county.

I am curious as to which groups you do feel compatible with??

shizoh's mom said...

shizoh: 'The average voter is a misinformed idiot-child, etc."

Wrong shizoh. It's shizoh who's the misinformed idiot-child, etc.

Face the the truth, shizoh!

You're an IDIOT!

RudiZink said...

"Rudi, perhaps you could educate me on the meaning of the term 'business as usual'. From what I've heard recently, it seems to mean simply "pragmatism" and 'compromise'."

What it means is that people like Bennett shouldn't claim to be 'conservative," and say they're protecting their constutuents' interests while at the same time they're glomming up hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the banking industry, and voting for (TARP) banker bailouts, even while your blogmeister was paying by the rules and shorting financial stocks about two years ago.

Banking industry shills like Bennett cost me thousands of dollars a couple of years ago when I was playing the investment game by the rules that I mistakenly believed would stay in place as fundamentals of what's left of capitalist free markets.

I got personally creamed by Bennet's Tarp bailout.

Silly me, for relying on the integrity of so-called fiscal conservatives like Bennett.

"Compromising" government interventionist people like Bennett have screwed over what's left of free markets in America.

It's compromising assholes like Beltway Bob who are killing off freedom in America.

I could go on, but I won't. Suffice it to say that people like me who maintain their own self-managed retirement accounts, and play by the rules, would probably like to have a few quiet minutes in a dark back alley, with corporo-socialist government interventionists like "Beltway Bob."

Danny said...

I would suggest that Rudi is referring to the market moves caused by the TARP bailout that were abnormal and which bailout ultimately proved, and will yet prove even more so, to be a colossal failure. But the bankers kept getting their bonuses, and kept writing their checks to people like Bennett. All the while they misrepresent their nonperforming loans and misstate their balance sheets all the more so, while shills like Bennett who are supposed to keep them honest look the other way.

Indeed, the efforts of people like Bennett were intended only to bail out campaign cronies. Bennett said as much, after his votes, and noted he would catch flak back home, but didn't care.

Now, here we have all these liberals lining up to lament his political guillotining. The DN, SLTrib and SE editorials, after a few lines, were not worth reading, and I did not read them.

But the LA Times editorial was worth the minutes spent.

This is what happens. When things get this far out of whack, people get involved. It's the people speaking. Would that they spoke more often.

(Also please note that ETFs like SKF will slowly lose value due to volatility. I.e. they tend to fall behind their nominal value and so are not good long term investments, but are short term plays only making them hard to trade successfully. Most investment houses will disclose that.)

Danny said...

As far as volatility leakage, I find DXD to be one of the best (less leakage) due to the reduced volatility of the underlying index, the DJI. DXD sometimes has very little leakage in fact. So if you think the market is going down, you can sit on DXD more comfortably, with less leakage due to volatility and the passage of time.

Unfortunately, SKF is one of the worst for leakage.

You can see the typical volatility in Proshares prospectuses for each fund.

But for Pete's sake don't take this as advice. It's just information. Picture me on my knees, begging that no one ever take anything I say as specifically, advice on stock investing.

George K said...

I believe the Deseret News editorial’s philosophy that “Democracies flourish when they periodically refresh themselves by ousting entrenched politicians and electing people with new ideas. The strength of the United States remains the fact that, ultimately, the people are in control” was right on the mark and should have concluded its thought there.
However, it was way off track when it stated, “But in politics, as in personal relationships, anger is seldom a good motivator.” History has proven that it is when people are fed up with an oppressing ruler (government) and become angry enough to do something about it, that democracy works best. We praise Thomas Paine and his part of arousing and keeping the colonists aware of the injustices done to them during the American Revolution. In some respects, that is what the Utah Republicans did this year at their caucus meetings and their State Convention.
I believe the Deseret News editorial’s philosophy that “Democracies flourish when they periodically refresh themselves by ousting entrenched politicians and electing people with new ideas. The strength of the United States remains the fact that, ultimately, the people are in control” was right on the mark and should have concluded its thought there.
However, it was way off track when it stated, “But in politics, as in personal relationships, anger is seldom a good motivator.” History has proven that it is when people are fed up with an oppressing ruler (government) and become angry enough to do something about it, that democracy works best. We praise Thomas Paine and his part of arousing and keeping the colonists aware of the injustices done to them during the American Revolution. In some respects, that is what the Utah Republicans did this year at their caucus meetings and their State Convention.
Rudi said it very succinctly: “For our own part, we'll side with Mr. Goldberg on this. Having grown tired of business as usual, (and unfulfilled political promises), we believe Utah GOP delegate grownups simply took matters into their own hands. After all, that's how it's supposed to work in American politics, isn't it?”
Bennett voted and acted unwisely on several issues, and it was time to pay the piper for his indiscretions. He received exactly what he deserved for being greedy, unwise and arrogant!
I hope what the Utah Republicans did to Bennett carries over to Godfrey! For the same reasons (just different issues) that Bennett was ousted, Godfrey should receive his walking papers next year. He has said that he has done so much for Ogden and has been so successful that he could be re-elected. Look at the projects that he has started and not finished; look at the hundreds of millions dollars that Ogden has gone in debt since he became mayor; look at how he has misappropriated funds and lied about it; look at all his “unfulfilled political promises. The list of reasons not to re-elect him goes on and on!

George K said...

Sorry, I didn't catch the duplication of the Deseret News' editorial. I hope you'll read the rest of my comments as they do apply to Ogden.

Danny said...

Maybe this is old news, but I heard the list of voter challenges that Godfrey's cronies had - where they stood at the polls and challenged voters that they suspected were not going to vote for Godfrey - was based on who had Smart Growth Ogden signs in their yards.

An interesting question is whether Bennett wishes he had retired, rather than suffering the ultimate humiliation not of being voted out in the general election, not of losing the primary, but of being dumped by his own at the convention.

Had he retired, he could have cast himself as the wise statesman, or whatever other lies he chose to use. Now, he is an unpopular loser of historic proportions.

Godfrey might take note, indeed. Given that he was not as widely known in the last election, and therefore not as widely disliked, given that he used every underhanded trick in the book and yet won by only a handful of votes against Susan VanHooser, would he not be better off not running, and looking for another job?

It is much easier to dishonestly cast yourself as a popular ex-mayor on your resume, if you leave office after 3 terms, than it is if you are voted out by the people who know you best.

Godfrey should consider his future. It would be much easier to misrepresent himself if he declines to run next time around, than if he runs and looses. And given what happened to Bennett, it seems Godfrey will lose. This time he will also have strong anti-incumbent headwinds against him.

OgdenLover said...

I suspect that Godfrey had planned on grooming David Phipps as a new candidate for Mayor. Phipps wins, gives Godfrey Patterson's job (or the equivalent) and Matt could continue running things around here as always.

I doubt that Godfrey will run again, but I also doubt that he will plan on keeping his fingers out of the Ogden pie if one of his cronies is elected.

AWM said...

Career politicians need to GO! Bennett was in for 18 YEARS. Remember when J.V. Hansen went to the city council and asked for a variance to the cemetary code so he could have a larger marker because he was an ex Utah Senator?. Having a portion of HWY 89 named after him or a federal building in Ogden wasn't enough...he had to have a LARGER headestone than the people that elected him and and that he will be buried with. That's the kind of mindset a career in politics breeds. Contempt for the unclean masses. The fool, just like Bennett was incapable, or didn't care about the public backlash. With luck Orrin is next!

OneWhoKnows said...

Godfrey knows he can't win again and that enough people are on to him finally. He will find another way to keep feeding his short statued ego...believe me! He is quickly running out of friends and promises, so look for him to run for another office, possibly at State or Federal levels. God help us! He really needs to be held accountable for all his illegal bullshit he has bestowed upon us and his career ruined. He could be Southwick's home teacher partner in Draper.

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