An article on Huffington Post writes that House Republicans just voted down the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2010. Almost everything you need to know about the bill is in the title. The major “problem” Republicans had with the bill (even those who initially supported it) is that it uses taxpayer money for abortion. Yep, once again a largely male congress is trying to legislate against a women’s uterus. The disappointing thing? (Other then the bills defeat?) Desmond Tutu and Mary Robinson (the former president of Ireland) both wrote Op-Ed columns supporting America’s finally speaking out against such marriages. Wow. Once again I am OH SO PROUD to be an American.
Posts Tagged ‘republicans’
“So, what SHOULD we be doing now?”
Midterm Election season is over and gone are the campaign ads and annoying robocalls, at least for now. What this election really meant and how it will shape the nation remains to be seen and there is plenty of speculation and attempts at precognition out there amongst the professional pundits, so I will spare you my analysis. The real question that comes to my mind in the wake of this topsy-turvy anything goes election cycle is “So, what SHOULD we be doing now?”
For many people, the answer is simple. They will slip back into the shadows, content that they have won the day for/against such and such ideology. Others are already looking to the next election, trying to figure out what went wrong and what was done right, and what moves are needed for the future. And yet others will continue to sit out of the whole process, convinced that neither party represents their interests. In my time of working behind the scenes in party politics, this is the most frustrating mindset to encounter. There’s no denying that both parties have their flaws, but in my experience the greatest flaw of the party system is one that is so easily fixed. It’s called “participation”. You see, any organization, be it political party, local church, Boy Scout troop, or book club, is only as good as the people who participate in it.
So if you want to make an impact on Alaskan or American politics, get involved! It’s a great way to be informed about what’s going on, who the candidates and elected officials are and what they really stand for, and to ensure that the two party system works effectively. If you are a student at UA-Fairbanks, there are groups for both college Republicans and Democrats, as well as regional party affiliates to the state party organizations. I won’t lie, it’s not always easy or rewarding, but in my opinion it beats sitting on the sidelines. To quote Theodore Roosevelt, “It is not the critic who counts… The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings…” So I encourage young people to take up the fight, be the change you want to see in the world, and contribute to the political discussion in the state, because it’s your future too.
Disclosure: James Shewmake is the Vice President of the Alaska Young Democrats and student leader of the UAF Campus Democrats club. He has been active in party politics since 2002.
I am going to come right out and say it: I am going to be more opinionated in this post than I usually allow myself to get.
For those out of the loop: The Hays Research Group published a poll that was first picked up (if I am not mistaken) by Jeanne Devon, aka “AKMuckraker” over at her Mudflats blog.
The essentials of the poll are this: Scott McAdams (D) is at 29%, Joe Miller (R) is at 23% and Some Mysertious Write-in Candidate is at 34%. Oh, and 13% of those polled were undecided. That’s still a lot of undecided voters.
It’s been interesting to watch the Huffington Post’s Pollster page change it’s color code for Alaska. It had bounced back and forth between light red (Lean Rep.) and a sort of malarial yellow (Toss Up). Now it’s at beige (Leaning Ind.). I’ll confess, for someone who likes bright alternating colors it’s kind of cool.
For someone who likes seeing things change right before his eyes, it is even cooler. Which leads me to another point: No one knows what the fuck is going to happen in Alaska on November 2. If a lot of Democrats and Independents vote their conscience, McAdams definitely has a shot. A real, actual “OMG ‘2 Dems 1 Senate'” shot. If some Democrats and most independents get frightened about Joe Miller (and who simultaneously buy into the notion that Murkowski is Alaska’s only hope) and vote “Write-in”, then it’s going to be a toss-up between shades of red.
Believe me when I say (or don’t) that Murkowski and Miller are not that far apart politically. Yes, Miller talked an extremist game before the primary but Miller is simply pure gold: valuable to whoever controls him and as equally malleable. His back-and-forth wavering has been well documented.
Murkowski, IMO, is perhaps more willing to think for herself, and can, but will she? She’s cowtowed to the GOP during her term-and-a-half and is rated as a Hard Core Conservative on ontheissues.org. (Scroll to the bottom of the page).
Oh, and this idea that a candidate needs experience to be in the senate suffers from one gigantic flaw: How can you gain senate experience unless you actually work in the senate? Was Lisa Murkowski experienced in the senate when her father, former Governor Frank Murkowski, appointed her to replace him? No. Did Frank Murkowski himself have senate experience prior to being in the senate? No.
No one is born knowing how to do any job, and to think otherwise is a failure to think at all.
So, you know, go vote…and do your civic duty.