I don’t care whether showing up with guns where the President will be was a publicity stunt or not – it’s highly inappropriate and should be illegal (I don’t care that the White House is cool with this because it makes conservatives look bad. It’s the height of irresponsibility on their part, too). The 2nd Amendment does not give you the right to brandish arms to “intimidate” people because you feel like it, much less the President of the United States. If the Supreme Court decides that people have the right to wave guns wherever and however and at whomever they like, then count me in for advocating the formal repeal of the 2nd Amendment.
But there’s a deeper problem with the insanity I’m seeing now – the “Obama = Hitler” signs, the town hall yells, the forum topics ever so subtly titled “Is America heading toward dictatorship?” Let’s say these are just fringe lunatics saying this stuff: in fact, I do think that is the case. We still have a huge problem because those lunatics are dictating the tone of politics generally, and informally representing all of us who are making vastly superior arguments without all the extremist rhetoric.
The upshot is that yeah, this health care thing (hopefully) will get sunk. We can’t afford a takeover of 1/5 of the private sector, not now. But we’re not only not going to get a party out of this – all that will happen is fringe candidates will win a bit more – but we’re not even going to get a solid, feasible vision for the future. And it’s the latter that conservatism needs fast, because we need to offer something to voters as an alternative to all the junk that’s out there, tie it together, and start making that the agenda.
I’m not saying putting together such a platform is hard. It’s actually pretty easy: it probably would consist of the flat tax (or some other tax code simplification/tax reduction), tort reform, school vouchers, a commitment and funding to actually win in Iraq and Afghanistan and continue prosecution of the War on Terror, an end to federal scholarship aid/grants for higher education (all this does is drive up the cost of tuition), an energy policy that gets us the energy we need, prison and jail reform, definitely some drug law reforms (we can lessen the penalties for possession so that we don’t have to throw everyone and their mother in jail), etc.
Am I the only person in this country that actually looks ahead to what issues we face, or are going to face? I mean, seriously – all this time spent demonizing the President, and yes, in the process offering some solid arguments about why health care “reform” won’t fly. We’ve got other issues to press on, other concerns that are of critical importance. Part of the problem with declaring oneself “anti-Obama” is the fixation on the agenda as the President sets it. A viable party launches initiatives on multiple fronts, and the state of education in this country is a perfectly good issue to start hammering the President’s party on now, especially since President Bush’s NCLB hasn’t turned out to be all that bad, but needs some serious fixing.