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written by Bill:
Pull over or shut up
Loonie Lefties
and Raving Righties
So what's
wrong with gray
Them's fightin' words
They don't like what they see
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Them's fightin' words
Emotion. The enemy of reason
Punish conduct, not thought
What's so scary about tea partiers?
Celebrate being alive
Yes. Be careful
Lessons to learn from conflict
No longer needed?
Bill Barth
Consider this definition: “Extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration.”
     The word defined is, narcissism.
     It may as well be, politician.
     I have spent much of the past 24 hours listening to political reactions in the wake of the Massachusetts Miracle, Scott Brown’s astonishing upset of the anointed Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate seat formerly occupied by the Kennedy brothers – first JFK, then for 47 years by Ted.
     The fact this race was even remotely competitive could not have been predicted just a few weeks ago. Massachusetts has been the most reliable Democrat stronghold in America. This particular Senate seat has been reserved for liberal representation for longer than most people have been alive. There was no indication, prior to the death of Senator Kennedy, that the people of Massachusetts had any thought of reversing field.
     So what happened?
     Politicians on both sides are rushing to fit the facts into their own interpretations. And, surprise, in the interpretations from both sides there is no fault in their own houses.
Democrats blame the lackluster performance of their candidate, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. They deny the vote was some sort of referendum on President Obama or his policies, particularly healthcare reform legislation. It is not some sort of revolt against Democrats, but rather a decision voters made based on local concerns and conditions. So Democrats in Washington vow to keep plowing forward with their agenda.
Republicans, on the other hand, say Brown owes his victory to the nationalization of the race. The bluest of all blue states put a Republican in Teddy Kennedy’s place because Bay State voters no longer love Obama or his policies. It’s evidence Americans reject health reform. It’s a red wave sweeping from east to west, destined to turn out Democrats from coast to coast in the fall elections.
     Maybe.
     More likely, though, such reactions are just more evidence that politicians/narcissists think it’s always about them, and that the people just need a hug.
     To the Democrats: Elections in 2006 and 2008 did not mean America lusted for a lurch to the left. That’s change very few can believe in.

     To the Republicans: Just because voters are mad at Democrats doesn’t mean they’ve fallen in love with you.
     The capacity for the political class to thoroughly miss the point is boundless. Both sides view the world through cracked lenses, seeing only what they want to see. With grim determination, both parties steadfastly refuse to allow facts to alter their worldview.
     The American people, in their great wisdom, are neither far left nor far right. Reliable surveys consistently show America is a center-right nation, listing just a bit toward the conservative side.
     Ideology, however, does not fire the furnaces of most Americans. They want solutions, not endless arguments.
     I keep coming back to candidate George W. Bush’s oft-repeated phrase of the 2000 campaign — compassionate conservatism. There was promise in that phrase. In a very real sense, I believe, it defines the common mood of the American majority.
     Another way of saying it comes from the wisdom of my dad. He once told me, “I’m conservative, until it starts to hurt people.”
     And so it is, I think, with most Americans. They believe in many conservative principles, but only when applied with a heart.
     Of course, President Bush didn’t really practice compassionate conservatism. He may have had good intentions. Or not.
     For my reasoning, though, the message from Massachusetts is not a mystery. Folks are tired of Democrats. And they’re tired of Republicans. They’re mad at the economy, the spending, the debt, the overreaching, the partisanship, and all the tin ears in Washington when it comes to listening to the people.
     In a phrase: Incumbents, beware.
     The American people have awakened. And they don’t like what they see.
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