Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Murkowski Resolution's Failure

I caught this over at Freedom Works, but I had a little bit different, and more (long-term) positive read on it.

Hopefully, rather than speaking specifically to bi-partisan opposition to Cap and Trade (although that would also be nice), this is showing a greater understanding of and respect for the separation of power from our legislators.

The executive branch of the United States government, including all of the regulatory agencies which fall under it, is supposed to execute the policies outlined by the legislative branch.  It is not designed, intended to, or allowed to pass legislation or policy independent of the legislative branch.

Unfortunately, our legislature has bought into the idea of a bureaucracy of experts (more often a bureaucracy of people with good connections), and has given away both their right and their responsibility to legislate.  If people wanted experts on environmental policy with no accountability to the public to have final say on environmental regulations, we would have elected people with those qualifications to public office.  Instead, we want the people we elected to make laws for us to do that.  And we want to have the power of the ballot box to hold them accountable.

Unfortunately, the Resolution failed.  Fortunately, it was closer than expected, with even Democrats supporting it.  Hopefully soon our legislators will start legislating, rather than pawning their jobs off on bureaucrats.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gay Community Blinded By Partisan Politics

I saw this letter to the editor recently, and it caught my eye.  Let me preface this by saying that this is just one example of what I'm sure is a widespread problem.

First, let me point out that the blog this was found on is run by an organization specifically geared toward bringing together gays and the Republican Party.

Second, let me point out as a disclaimer that as a Libertarian (yes, a member of the Party, not just a blogosphere "Libertarian-minded" Republican), I offer a simpler solution for gay and lesbian voters.   The Libertarian Party is, in fact, the only political party I'm aware of that actually explicitly supports gay rights to marriage and other gay issues.

But, realizing that most voters are registered with (or tend to vote for) one of the major parties, lets' get back to the overall point.  Prominent gays and lesbian, gay and lesbian organizations, and the gay and lesbian media, tend to unequivocally support and endorse Democratic candidates.   This may have made sense a few years ago, but given recent political trends, I wonder how wise this is.  First of all, many Republicans, including candidates, are Republicans because they are sick of government spending, not because of the Republican stances on social issues.

On the other hand, Democrats seem less firm in their support for gay rights.  Has our Democratic President taken a stance yet on gay marriage?  Don't Ask Don't Tell?  We elected one of the most "progressive" presidents we have ever had.  He wants to provide free health care for everyone, raise taxes on the rich, etc.  Yet, he has said in the past that he does not believe gays should marry.  Granted, he wants to leave the individual decision to states, not the Federal government, but does that matter?

If the LGBT community continues its blind support of the Democratic agenda, we will simply elect state legislators who also oppose gay rights.  As Right Pride rightfully points out, there are a number of Republicans in office and running for office who have been vocal in their support for the LGBT community and/or LGBT rights, and a number of Democratic public figures who are vague at best, and anti-gay at worst.  Yet, the larger LGBT community continues to support the Democratic Party.

LGBT Organizations and the LGBT media (Human Rights Campaign, QVegas, etc.) are doing a real disservice to the gay community by continuing to blindly support Democrats in politics.  While perhaps many gay voters tend to lean left, the role of these organizations and media outlets should be to advise politically based on the common factor affecting their membership and readership, namely sexual orientation.  A specific candidate's track record and statements on LGBT issues, not their partisan affiliations, should be the grounds for endorsement by LGBT organizations and media.