Freedom Forum

Official portrait of United States Senator Mik...

Official portrait of United States Senator Mike Lee. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Senator Mike Lee appeared yesterday at a GOP sponsored Freedom Forum at the local college. With less than 12 hours notice, I decided not to attend. My comments that follow are based on an account published today in The Spectrum, our local Saint George newspaper.

Attendees cheered as Lee spoke about the national debt. Lee said, “If we start now, we can make some relatively modest cuts to a lot of programs to make them sustainable. It will hurt a lot of people who depend on (these programs), and the poor suffer the most when we do that. We can get to a point where we get the balance and we don’t have a $1 trillion annual interest payment, but these things have to be done more gradually.”

Apparently, Lee did not explain that under the Ryan plan, annual deficits will be cut gradually while at the same time the composition of the budget is shifted dramatically to favor military expenditures over safety net programs. Under GOP leadership the elderly and the poor suffer most during recessions and the Great Recession is no different. Instead of increasing our military budget, we should be making dramatic cuts there so that we can maintain or increase our safety net programs. Depending on the source, the US has between 700 and 1,000 foreign military installations, and we are moving into the African continent, an unstable area that will lead to more wars. We can no longer afford to be the world’s policeman nor should we.

Boehnercare

English: Depiction of the House vote on H.R. 3...

English: Depiction of the House vote on H.R. 3590 (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) on March 21, 2010, by congressional district. Democratic yea Democratic nay Republican nay No representative seated (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John Boehner is refusing to attempt to defund Obamacare. Some on the Right are now saying that Obamacare should be re-named Boehnercare. Instead of trading barbs, both John Boehner and Mitt Romney, the author of Romneycare on which Obamacare is modelled, should be proclaiming what good the Affordable Care act is going to do for millions of Americans and for our nation. Instead both men are too craven, fearing the noise machine of the far right. Rather they would support a one page healthcare bill acceptable to Mike Lee and others that with the usual header and footer would fit easily on one page. The proposed GOP healthcare bill would be worded like this: “Don’t get sick. If you do, die quickly.”

Compromise

English: March for America brings 200,000 peop...

English: March for America brings 200,000 people to Washington, DC, to call for comprehensive immigration reform. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mike Lee and others complain about the length of proposed laws such as immigration reform. The number of pages in a bill or law is not an indication of its quality; it is an indication of how much compromise was required to produce it. And in Washington now, compromise is not valued by some and is therefore difficult to achieve. Better and shorter bills could be written if the desire for compromise were greater.

TEA Party conservatives

English: Official photo of former Florida Gove...

English: Official photo of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To be a successful, TEA Party conservative, a politician must have a short name of 7 or 8 letters combined that supporters can remember and spell, such as Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. At 10 letters, Marco Rubio is too long; perhaps he should consider shortening it to Mark Ruby. Jeb Bush at 7 letters could make it if he changed some of his positions. Michele Bachmann failed as a successful TEA Party politician since her name is too long and too hard to spell. Here in Utah, Mia Love lost narrowly in 2012 and is expected to run again for Congress in 2014. Although her name is only 7 letters long, she has other factors against her success, including youth and gender.

Mirror, mirror

Official portrait of United States Senator Mik...

Official portrait of United States Senator Mike Lee. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mirror, mirror, on the wall
Who is the most conservative of them all?
Is it Mike Lee? No
Is it Ted Cruz? No
Is it Rand Paul? No
Who is the most conservative of them all?
Wacko Bird is who.
He/she is the one the Right seeks.
Palin and Bachmann missed the cut.
Acceptable to the base
But unelectable to higher office.