Scary, Out-of-Touch, Stuffy Old Men…

Scary, Out-of-Touch, Stuffy Old Men

Originally published in the Ann Arbor News, Bay City Times, Flint Journal, Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle, Saginaw News
March 24, 2013

It kind of got lost in the news shuffle last week, but in an amazing instance of honesty, the Republican National Committee put out a “what went wrong for us in 2012” report that actually self-reflected (which almost never happens in any big organization, government or otherwise). They squarely put a large part of the blame on themselves, which was, the concepts of conservatism are good but we do a lousy job of selling them. This is what I’ve been drawing about for years! Living within your means, self-reliance, grow slowly but consistently — sensible, positive ideas that are easily embraced. Instead in 2012, the GOP spent the majority of their time and money beating us over the head with how bad guys are plotting to take all our stuff. Fear is an even easier sell but it eventually gets tiresome you see the results. Why do Republicans consistently behave like Dick Cheney when they could embrace their inner Jerry Ford?

Case in point, in a lame duck session last December the Michigan legislature rammed through a right-to-work law. It was legal (despite continuing efforts by Democrats to find a legal loophole to prove otherwise), but it certainly violated the spirit of fairness and open debate. Now several unions, including those at Michigan universities, have been trying to lock in multiple year contracts before the law takes effect this month. Again, legal. Some have tried to set the terms of a new contract to, like, 10 years (whereas 3 would be more the norm) — that’s clearly violating the spirit of law. But getting a contract in before the new terms is understandable. Grouchy old Republicans in the Michigan legislature (aka, the pot calling the kettle black) were shocked at this violating of the spirit of the law and threatened to cut funding to universities who sign those contracts. And this is how you plan to win young voters in the next election?…


  1. WILDMAN said,

    March 26, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

    As usual, you are spot on John! Now, if only your jump shot was as accurate… 😮

  2. John said,

    March 26, 2013 @ 8:29 pm

    The inaccurate jump shot I can live with — it’s the blown layups that are killing me!

  3. Nora Boguslaski said,

    June 3, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

    Just a comment about your cartoon in The Grand Rapids Press, June 2 paper. I think public education needs to be fixed, but government involvement is not the solution. The less government in our lives the better. You state, Public education needs to be fixed, it works okay for some but for many – especially the poor – it is an expensive failure, right? I don’t get that.
    What does being poor have to do with doing well in school and becoming productive in society. What we need is more parent involvement from the time a child starts school. The parents and teachers need to impress on the kindergartners or first graders that it is up to the STUDENT to be self motivated. My husbands family was poor and out of the four boys and a girl they have become a mechanical engineer, a chemist with a PHd. in organic chemistry from Notre Dame who owns his own business, a dentist, a pharmacist, and a small business owner. They paid for their own schooling, although once again they were poor. And Obamacare are a farce.
    Nora Boguslaski

  4. auch6963 said,

    June 4, 2013 @ 7:46 am

    Hi Nora. Thanks for posting. And you’re right — being poor is not an excuse for an individual not to succeed. We all have challenges, and we certainly cannot expect others or institutions to provide for us. It’s our own work that gets us ahead. That said, my vision of the role of government is that of a referee. The referee ensures that rules are enforced and the game is played fairly. In the best cases, you are hardly aware that the referee is involved at all. So when I say that public education works okay for some but not so much for the poor, what I mean is a kid in a well-funded, functional district has an obvious advantage over a kid from a poorly-funded, broken district. The game is uneven and the rules not fairly enforced. What we are free to disagree on is what we should do about that. (But one thing we both do seem to agree on — rich or poor, education has to start with good parenting.) Thanks again!

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