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"vote conservative"? my response to a right wing brother

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reprinted from dailykos.com

by sunspark says

I have a very, very conservative brother. (Actually--full disclosure--I have two. And a father. I don't know what is wrong with the men in my family.) :-) The brother in question owns his own business down in Florida, and my son, in his mid-twenties, has been having difficulties finding a job (like everyone). I had never asked before, but I decided to impose upon my brother to see if he might be able to help, though I doubted if, in today's economy, he would.

In his response (negative, of course), he took the opportunity to make some pretty blunt statements about "the mess that your president has made of the country's economics." He went on to say,

I only wish that someone in the administration at sometime had enrolled in a college course of Economics 101" Apparently, they all studied "Greek Economics" instead"

He closed by inviting me to "vote conservative please" in the midterms. I do not usually engage any of these men in political discussions because it is usually the verbal equivalent of repeatedly hitting my head into a granite wall, but this time I just couldn't help it. Follow me below the fold to see my response.

Hi, Greg,

I seem to recall that the current economic disaster began and in fact grew to its monstrous size under your President, whose policies were so short-sighted and reckless that he managed to turn a several billion dollar surplus into a near total economic collapse in eight years. The TARP was his program, a last minute bailout of his buds on the Street who had treated the money entrusted to them by the middle class as their own private casino funds, bet it all again and again in speculative endeavors that even they admit were absurd, and--gee whillikers!--ultimately collapsed under their own artificially propped up weight.

You may certainly disagree with Obama's Keynesian approach to resolving the problem, but if you examine what is happening in the economy today there is little doubt that it is working. Not as quickly as everyone would like it to work, certainly, but then it took a very long time to create this mess, so fixing it in a little more than a year is and always was highly unlikely.

Still, let's see what Obama has presided over thus far, shall we?

When he came in, the stock market was in free fall.
Today, it has completely recovered and is setting records.

When he came in, the American auto business was in danger of becoming extinct.
Today, Detroit may not be thriving, but the Big 3 are alive and well and looking to the future.

When he came in, Bush had paid out $700B in TARP money.
Today, all but $100B or so has been repaid.

When he came in, the nation was bleeding jobs, losing them at a pace that seemed assured to land us in another Great Depression.
Almost immediately, after passing the Recovery Act, the bleeding lessened. Every month of his administration, it has continued to lessen. Then, in December, the economy began producing jobs. Every month since then it has produced more jobs than the month before, with over 200K produced in April alone.

He has managed to accomplish something that Presidents have been trying to do since Teddy Roosevelt: get Congress to adopt a national health care policy that regulates the insurance industry and guarantees coverage without recision. It is not enough, but it is a start.

He has r emoved the banks as middle men in the student loan industry for the first time since Reagan put them there. Do you know when college education costs started skyrocketing? I'll tell you: the Reagan administration. Hmmm... Again, it's not nearly enough, but it's a step.

Despite being fought tooth and nail by opposition whose only cohesive policy appears to be "say no to everything Obama wants," he seems to be making headway against most of the big issues that faced him when he came into office. If the GOP would stop playing politics and start (oh, I don't know) trying to govern, we could be well on our way not only to recovery but to a truly remarkable time in America. But the GOP would rather foster unrest and encourage anger and hatred and doubt than do anything positive at this point in their existence.

Truly, that's too bad. When I look at the sorry state of the Republican Party right now, I just feel sad. It has been taken over by its worst elements. You ask me to "vote conservative"? I don't think I could if I even wanted to. True conservatives are hard to come by in this charade of "tea party" extremists. When Bob Bennett gets kicked out of the Senate by his constituents in Utah for not being "conservative" enough, the world is out of whack. When Charlie Crist and Arlen Spector can't find a place any longer within the GOP, something is seriously wrong with the party of Lincoln. When John McCain has to stoop to picking Sarah Freaking Palin as a running mate to appease the ultra right wing knuckle-draggers in his own party and then agree to allow her to foment vitriol in rally after rally to the extent that things got so out of control that even he had to step in at one rally and set his voters straight, someone has lost all sense of propriety. When the party becomes the home of bigots and birthers and men who show up to Presidential rallies wearing weapons, sanity has left the building. When the State of Maine, which usually remains somewhat above the lunacy and which has (to its credit) the only two moderate Republicans still allowed to roam free, loses its collective mind and issues a political platform that is so utterly (as one writer put it) "batshit crazy" that at one point it actually demands that the State of Maine officially oppose any attempt to create a one-world government, the whole party has officially come unhinged. Talk about giving in to the conspiracy theorists. Why don't they just mandate tin-foil hats?

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of how even a disappointing democratic president (... by Daily kos on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 8:30:48 AM
Rather than engage in discussions like "your presi... by Maxwell on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 1:29:02 PM
is in the business of making sure that "conservati... by John Sanchez Jr. on Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 8:45:33 AM
Conservative and Liberal candidates were not viabl... by Matthew Peters on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 2:06:05 PM
Do you really think it's as one-sided as that? Rea... by D.J. Lucas on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 6:59:36 PM
than i could have ever stated but everything you s... by Archie on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 9:39:08 PM
so black and white. Unfortunately, those on the fa... by Doc "Old Codger" McCoy on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 11:04:57 PM
This is a stunning piece of writing. It's not easy... by Allan Goldstein on Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 5:19:54 AM
When addressing conservatives, I recommend short s... by Perry Logan on Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 6:01:38 AM
Looks like the death of stereotyping was greatly e... by D.J. Lucas on Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 7:11:42 AM
Well said! I wish the Democratic politicians would... by David Ashton on Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 8:54:39 AM
I only wish that such well-articulated thoughts wo... by JimZ on Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 11:27:34 AM
...bewtween liberal & conservatives. Though th... by Scott Baker on Friday, May 14, 2010 at 9:52:35 AM