Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Clearing Up Some Things

They should start to call this time of year "silly season" on cable news. With no election on tap, every political issue is over-analyzed to death. And, despite arguably higher interest in political causes and news, there is still a ridiculous misunderstanding of basic civics. As such, as a public service, I'd like to clear up some things:
  • We are not "socialist," nor are we likely to be. We have this thing, see, called the Constitution. This document, which people hold up all the time, might be the least-read document in our country. Or the most misunderstood. See, the Constitution states that we have a republic, including a bicameral legislature, an executive and a judicial branch. We are required, unless, we the people vote to amend the Constitution, required to be a republic. And if we start doing things that aren't in concert with that, the Supreme Court walks in and takes care of that. Further... a socially-supported healthcare system that is passed into law by a democratically-elected legislature, signed into law by the executive and not challenged by the Supreme Court isn't socialism. It is a model of our republican system. The government taking over a car company isn't truly socialist either. If anything, it's saving jobs. A truly socialist auto plan would be to halt imports and then the government takes full control of all car companies, manufactures the cars and distributes a car to every eligible American.
  • More on healthcare - It's not OK to say you're against the government being at all involved in healthcare, you cannot support government taking a stand on abortion. It's not OK for a government to be allowed to intervene in certain medical cases as it will set a much scarier precedent.
  • Lots lately on opinion polls. Aside from the always-present "approval rating," my favorite lately was how Mitt Romney would fare in an election against Barack Obama. The earliest that could happen is three years from now. I'm just going to throw this out there, but I doubt anyone voting in 2012 will vote based on how they felt in 2009. They'll vote on how things are going at that moment in 2012. If you agree with that, you agree that a poll looking at a potential election at this stage means about as much as a prediction of the weather on Nov. 1, 2012.
  • On a lighter note... watching the Yankees the other night, they were making a big deal about how bad the Yanks are against the AL East. Let's note that the Yankees are, as of this writing, in first place. The Yankees have lost all eight games against the Red Sox so far this year. People seem to think that matters. It doesn't. Let's look at this. Take out the eight head-to-head games and the Red Sox are 47-38. The Yanks are 57-29. In the division the Yankees are 18-9 against everyone but the Sox. The Red Sox are 15-11. So, against the Red Sox, maybe the Yankees aren't as strong. Against everyone else in baseball, the Yankees are much better.
Anyhow, thanks for your time. Glad we could clear this up.

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