Crazy Election Theatre: Enter Michele Bachmann From Far-Right…

As the 2012 Presidential Election draws near, political craziness has been exponentially increasing. Mitt Romney’s short-lived campaign has essentially been decimated by fellow Republicans. Newt Gingrich has been abandoned by his own staff. Small government, libertarian conservatives are sparring with big government, social conservatives over issues like same-sex marriage and what the tax rate should be. So far, the Republican side has Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum…..and Michele “Crazy Eyes” Bachmann.

Newt Gingrich’s Worst Enemy: Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich never had a chance. Why? His mouth. Even the senior staff of his presidential campaign has had enough.

Gingrich has flipped and flopped more than an inflatable air man on the sales lot of a used car dealership.

Examples:

 

Before the President sent troops to Libya, Gingrich said the US should intervene. Once the President DID intervene, Newt had a change of heart.

 

A few weeks ago, Gingrich went on NBC to decry Paul Ryan’s “Kill Medicare” plan. Within two days, he made a complete reversal on his position, praising the plan and calling it “bold”…and even claimed that those who use the clip of him rebuking Ryan’s plan are liars. What?!

 

 

The Proposition Must Be Abolished

The proposition (aka “ballot initiative”) is a horrible way to make law. California has been afflicted with it since the early 20th century, when it was introduced with the Progressive Movement. Since then, the state has become a fractured, unworkable, special-interest-driven disaster. If enough signatures are gathered – and millions of dollars raised to spread propaganda – a proposition is placed on the ballot where it is approved or rejected by voters.

Propositions strike at the heart of what a republic is: smart government. After all, California is modeled after the federal system: It has three branches of government – legislative, executive and judicial – and a bicameral legislature, made up of the lower-house Assembly and the upper-house Senate. Under this system, the idea is balance of power. The people elect lawmakers to the legislature who in turn make laws. Those laws are then approved, rejected (vetoed), or enforced by the Executive and checked by the Judiciary to determine if the laws are constitutional. Lawmakers are [supposed to be] intelligent and educated individuals who reason with each other and make compromises; through this, we get wise government. If we the people are unhappy with their performance, we can either elect someone else during the next election or recall (impeach on the national level) them. The proposition completely bypasses this checks-and-balances system.

There have been many terrible propositions in California over the century. Some of the worst are Propositions 8, 13 and 140.

Proposition 8, passed by voters in November 2008, banned same-sex marriage. Earlier that year, the California Supreme Court struck down the previous ban on same-sex marriage – Proposition 22 (2000) – and said that homosexual couples had the legal right to wed. Opponents of the decision claimed that the court’s decision would lead to societal breakdown and with nearly $40 million and backing from the Mormon Church and conservative groups, Prop 8 was added to the constitution. This is a classic example of what Thomas Jefferson called “Tyranny of the majority,” where the majority (voters) took away the rights of a minority (same-sex couples). Whether one approves of same-sex relationships or not is not the point; a minority had its rights denied simply because the majority said so.

Proposition 13, passed by voters in 1978, put a limit on the amount of property taxes levied on property owners. At first glance, it sounds like an excellent idea; limit the government’s ability to increase taxes on property. However, after Prop 13, local governments – whose main source of revenue had been property taxes – had to find other ways to generate revenue once money was severely reduced. Thanks to Prop 13, the state is now responsible for supporting local budgets and schools while local governments are left scavenging for funding from sales taxes and fees. Voters were angry at the government for raising taxes and rather than research where their communities get funding, they passed a proposition that essentially crippled them.

Proposition 140, passed by voters in 1990, put term limits on politicians into place. It sounds good in theory: limit assemblypersons to three two-year terms and senators to two four-year terms. Arguments for Prop 140 included claims that it would eliminate professional politicians, make the legislature more diverse and break special interest networks. Now, we have bitter, partisan lawmakers who don’t work together to make law in a reasoned manner. These days, legislators are too busy trying to bring their own agenda to Sacramento or running their campaigns for their next term or next position. Prior to 1990, it took a couple terms for an assemblyperson or senator to truly understand and grasp their office and its responsibilities. Now, by the time they know what they’re actually doing, they are term-limited out of office. California is complex and experience and reason are desperately needed.

There are many more examples because the proposition itself is a flawed way to make laws. Instead of relying on intelligent lawmakers to design policy, anyone who’s registered to vote can simply make their own laws if they don’t agree with what the government is doing. With this, minority rights are threatened, local governments are crippled and politicians are more partisan than ever. This is why direct democracy is a horrible idea. The proposition must be abolished.

 

California Election Results

California Attorney General Jerry Brown will serve a second term as governor…nearly 30 years later. With 75 percent of precincts reported, Democrat Jerry Brown had 54 percent of the vote vs. his challenger, Republican Meg Whitman, who had 41% of the vote. I voted for Brown. *check*

Jerry Brown

Incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer will serve a third term as United States Senator. With 74 percent of precincts reported, Boxer had 52 percent of the vote vs. her challenger, Republican Carly Fiorina, who had 43 percent of the vote. I voted for Fiorina.

Barbara Boxer

CALIFORNIA BALLOT INITIATIVES

Proposition 19 (“Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010”) failed. I voted NO *check*

Proposition 20 (“California Congressional Redistricting Initiative”) passed. I voted  NO

Proposition 21 (“Vehicle License Fee for Parks Act”) failed. I voted YES

Proposition 22 (“The Local Taxpayer, Public Safety, and Transportation Protection Act”) passed. I voted NO

Proposition 23 (suspension of Global Warming Act of 2006) failed. I voted NO *check*

Proposition 24 (Repeal of Corporate Tax Breaks) failed. I voted YES

Proposition 25 (“Majority Vote for the Legislature to Pass the Budget Act”) passed. I voted YES *check*

Proposition 26 (“Supermajority to Pass New Taxes and Fees Act”) passed. I voted NO

Proposition 27 (Elimination of the Citizen’s Redistricting Commission) failed. I voted YES

 

To see the reasons for my votes on the propositions, see https://micahstwocents.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/my-two-cents-on-the-2010-california-ballot-propositions/