So the other day I got a Republican Party Census in the mail. Basically, it's a fund-raising device for the party faithful with a survey to discern the mood of the grassroots. (And also to help frame debate on certain issues, of course.) Obviously this blog is a small personal endeavor only intended to amuse myself. As such, I generally DON'T want to blog politics, but occasionally I can't help myself. The Dubai port deal got my attention, and now so has this survey. So I've decided to simul-blog my survey responses, just for shits and grins. (The posts on the Dubai port deal were for Shiites and djinn.)
Unless otherwise noted, all questions are to be answered by a 'Yes', 'No', or 'Undecided'. However, I wouldn't be bothering with this if I couldn't mouth off some....
Section I Domestic and International Security
1. Do you support President Bush's initiatives to promote the safety and security of all Americans?
Answer: I'm tempted to check 'Undecided' on the premise that Bush hasn't been real clear on what his initiatives are. However, I'm going to check 'No', as nothing has been done to secure the nations borders. The (illegal) flow of goods and people across the borders is huge, and until that flow is stemmed, domestic security is going to be questionable at best. (And there is no point in worrying about the legal flow of goods and people in the meantime.)
2. Do you support the use of air strikes against any country that offers safe harbor or aid to individuals or organizations committed to further attacks on America?
Answer: 'Yeah', baby! Let's blow their asses up! Let's film it and sell the movie rights to defray the cost of the operations.
3. Do you continue to support increasing the amount of security at airports, train stations and all government buildings including monuments and museums?
Answer: Trick question! There's a difference between increasing the amount of security, and improving security. Increasing bad security measures isn't that helpful. Plus, it's a damn shame that so many public buildings are becoming less and less accessible. (This last bit predates both 9/11 and the current administration.) So let's check 'No'.
1. Should the inheritance or "Death Tax" be permanently repealed?
Answer: 'Undecided'. A few years ago, I would have checked 'Yes', but damn we're spending money fast! We're going to have to pay for that eventually. May as well do it when we're already dead. Still, I hate just saying 'Yes' to a tax. Thus my weasel answer.
2. Do you support President Bush's pro-growth policies to create more jobs and improve the economy?
Answer: 'No'. Trick answer! I don't really care about the President's policies to create jobs. Mostly, the government should be getting the hell out of the way, especially at the federal level. Plus, if the President wants to be pro-growth, he shouldn't be creating new entitlements! That damn drug benefit he created is going to be a killer. And yes, it is corporate welfare of a kind, but not in the way most of the idiots complaining about it suggest. At least that part of it is only a one time deal. (The corporations are killing their retiree medical benefits anyway, so long-term effects on the business community will be negligible.)
[Note: I need to remember to explain why people are wrong when they insist that corporations don't really pay for their medical benefits even when they provide medical insurance.]
3. Do you think Congress should focus on cutting the federal budget deficit by reducing wasteful government spending?
Answer: Hell yes! For an example of said wasteful spending, how about rescinding that drug benefit? Of course, that's not going to happen. Federally subsidized drugs for Boomers is a right, goddamnit! Screw the citizens coming after them.
1. Do you support President Bush's plan to make our schools more accountable to parents and to restore local control of education?
Answer: 'Yes' for lack of any better options. Of course it will never work, at least not until we blow up all the Peace Balls. That'll get the little monsters' attention! But enough about Education School graduates....
2. Should students, teachers, principals and administrators be held to higher standards?
Answer: 'Yes', and how about throwing the parents on the higher standards bonfire, too.
3. Do you think that teaching our children to read and increasing literacy rates should be a national priority?
Answer: Okay, what dolt ISN'T going to say 'Yes'? And if we get improved literacy, then perhaps the pollsters won't write such horrible sentences as the one in the question. Shouldn't that be 'national priorities'?
1. Do you support President Bush's initiative to allow private religious and charitable groups to do more to help those in need?
Answer: 'No', because the government is spending enough money without looking for other people to help them spend more.
2. Do you support the law, passed by the Republican Congress and signed by President Bush, that bans partial-birth abortions?
Answer: Pretty much 'Yes', but despite all the fuss, partial-birth abortions aren't really that big of a problem. Also, shouldn't we be returning these issues to the individual states to decide? So let's change that to a 'No'.
3. Do you support the President's efforts to save Social Security?
Answer: 'Yes', out of naked self interest. I don't think I'll ever see anything from the current system. However, I'd also be happy with reforms to the current system. A well-designed means testing system would help.
4. Do you think Congress should pass legislation on the Federal Marriage Amendment?
Answer: Not just 'No', but 'Hell no!' The Constitution should be about strict matters of governance, not social engineering. And again, let the states sort this matter out. What's the point in having 50 individual testing grounds for government policy if we're not going to use them? Where the hell did the small government conservatives go?
1. Do you think U.S. troops should have to serve under United Nations' commanders?
Answer: 'No'. Personally, I can't understand how anyone still believes in that corrupt organization.
2. Do you agree that our top military priority should be fighting terrorists?
Answer: Oooo, this is a tricky question. Does this mean we should be engaging terrorists directly (e.g., the Afghani campaign, using Predator drones to kill terrorists in Yemen), or the more vague idea of nation building (e.g. the Iraqi campaign)? The question needs to be restated in a clearer fashion before I can even to answer it.
3. Should the U.S. continue work on building a defense shield against nuclear missle attacks?
Answer: In principle, 'Yes'. However, with the deficits we're running, I'm not sure we can continue to fund this kind of research. (And it is still definitely a work in progress, and yes it is research worth pursuing.) So, given the current financial environment, I will choose 'No'.
1. Do you support the election of Republican candidates across the country and rebuilding our majorities over the next ten years?
Answer: 'No'. That can be changed to a 'Yes', but only if the party returns to some sane principles concerning the size of the government, the scope of the government, and fiscal policy. Otherwise, why the hell should I care?
There's a little more to the survey, but this is the end of the non-begging portion of the survey. And the end of this overly-long post. More later in the week, if I still care.
[Further observation upon rereading: I write 'hell' an awful lot.]
Update: Bill catches me in a bit of wishful thinking:
On [Icepick's] last answer there, what's this "only if the party returns to some sane principles..."? Returns? That's assuming an awful lot. I don't recall any party practicing "sane principles" about the size of government. Sure, they'll talk a good game when they're the minority party, but once in charge they become Emily Litella.
Sadly, Bill is spot on, and is right to call me out on this.