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Friday, June 13, 2008

Maybe Senator Coleman is Starting to Get the Message

I don't know if heat applied from those of us on the right is finally raising the temperature under Senator Coleman's chair but, to his credit he did issue a press release yesterday hawking his latest energy legislation. The legislation calls for more drilling on the outer continental shelf and promotion of clean coal technology, nuclear energy, and, of course, the obligatory call for more funding for "renewable" energy sources.

A closer examination of the details reveals that, in addition to advocating more conventional energy production, the legislation calls for a lot more bureaucratic horse hockey and government regulatory involvement than most limited government advocates, myself included, would care for.

For example, the following excerpt from the press release is symptomatic of a fairly serious case of bureaucratitis:
This proposal would also create an Energy Independence Trust Fund to be funded with the federal share of additional royalties that would be collected when more of the OCS is opened for development. This trust fund, which could receive tens of billions of dollars from new royalties, would go to fully fund all renewable energy, energy efficiency, R&D, and technology deployment programs from the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence Security Act of 2007. This would make sure programs we already have on the books to develop technologies like fuel cells, hybrid vehicles, solar, wind, advanced batteries, building efficiency, the list goes on and on, are fully funded. Additionally, the fund will provide resources for a new ethanol pipeline loan guarantee program and fund new nuclear energy production incentives.
Senator Coleman obviously has a severe case of the aforementioned affliction. He still wants to throw too much of our hard-earned money into the bureaucratic black hole instead of just removing the government shackles and getting out of the way of the private sector, but his acknowledgment that we need to produce more fossil fuel based and nuclear energy is a welcome step in the right direction relative to where he's been going lately. It will be interesting to see if he continues to move toward goodness and light or if this is merely a weak attempt to shore up some of his base.

While Senator Coleman's legislation is far from good I guess we should be grateful for what we can get given how far to the left he has gone over the past few years. A small step in the right direction is better than no step at all or stepping into it with windfall profits tax proposals and cap-and-trade nonsense.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, this sounds better than you think, to me. Since the government has already, wisely or otherwise, decided to fund all these questionable "alternatives" and since they are going to get the money from those leases anyway, why NOT trade one for the other? Some of them are bound to pay off at least a little better than giving the government a "windfall" from the leases and having them squander it on, well, whatever they usually squander money on, and then having to pay MORE in taxes to fund all those energy pipe dreams.

J. Ewing

6/16/2008 11:09 AM  
Blogger Right Hook said...

This is why RINOs like Coleman are such a problem. We as Conservatives are expected to give him full support in exchange for something not as bad as we may initially think. The thinking has been that the RINO/moderate position can't possibly be as bad as the liberal alternative.

Maybe so, but the result of continually caving to the moderate element is often bad enough to make a cost/benefit analysis end up far too close to the "break even" line and threaten to cross it.

And where has this go-along-to-get-along practice gotten us? Liberals now control the House, Senate, and in large measure, the Republican party at both the state and national levels.

We've been played too many times for too long with the promise that it will be better the next time around. I heard a commentator once refer to this as "Battered Conservative Syndrome". I for one am as mad as hell and don't plan to take it any more.

Coleman has gone so far left that any movement rightward is welcome, but this is far too little to get excited about. I am especially skeptical about whether Normy is beginning to see the light or if it is merely an act of political expediency as more and more of his constituents are expressing "mad as hell" sentiments.

6/16/2008 4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think it's RINOs that are the problem at all. I think it's people unwilling to do the (sometimes exceedingly difficult and persistent) work of letting your elected representatives know how you want to be represented. It's real easy to just call them a RINO and walk away. Then when some wild-eyed liberal wins the election and votes agains you on EVERY issue, instead of a few, you can truthfully say "I never voted for him," but the damage gets done. Better a RINO than a dead Elephant.

J Ewing

6/16/2008 10:39 PM  
Blogger Right Hook said...

So just what are Conservatives to do? I have given lots of time, effort, and money to get Republicans elected (including Senator Coleman). And believe me, my elected officials hear from me on a very regular basis.

RINOs definitely are a problem. The state gas tax hike was made possible by the dirty half-dozen RINOs who cast their lot with the liberals. RINOs who get into leadership positions dilute the power of Conservatives even when we are in the majority (remember Trent Lott's power sharing deal, President Bush's "new tone", McCain and the Gang of 14 that shut off the Republican majority from laying down the law on judicial confirmations, etc.?). How successful would an athletic team be if a third or so of the team was actively working against the effort to win?

In addition, RINO policies are getting increasingly dangerous. The "green" and "comprehensive immigration reform" bravo sierra that McCain and Coleman are pushing are just as dangerous as the overt socialist policies of liberals. Many of the "things" Coleman touts as "getting done" due to his "independence" are footholds for future liberal expansion - we would be better off if much of it never got done. Tyranny can originate from either side of the aisle.

When RINOs move far enough leftward all of the sudden they find themselves with no constituency as liberal voters will vote for a full-blown liberal and Conservatives get so demoralized they stay home.

Bottom line: tolerance of RINOs has not even maintained a Republican, let alone Conservative, majority and has led to liberals coming to power. It's going to be a long, hard climb back to majority status and when we finally get there we had better have elected officials who will govern like the majority or the reign will be short lived.

Better to ride to power on a strong elephant rather than on a moribund one or on a jack-ass disguised as an elephant.

6/17/2008 8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that you have not come to the "principles more important than winning" position that is so self-defeating, but I also understand the immense frustration at being unable to find articulate conservatives to run and to govern accordingly. I think there are two things we can do. First and most important, we have to keep the pressure on our elected officials to support conservative principles. For example, McCain now says we have to secure the borders first, and Coleman says we should drill off the coasts, as this post says. This is the short term solution.

The longer term solution, starting in 2010, is to start finding those articulate conservatives that can win elections, get them to run-- against incumbent RINOs if necessary-- and make certain they WIN, because unless they win, we get less than we get with RINOs. And if you can't find such a candidate, then work like the dickens to re-elect the RINO you have, haranguing them all the while. It's not very satisfying, but it's a heap better than being ruled over by elite liberals.

J. Ewing

6/17/2008 12:39 PM  
Blogger G-Man said...

J, thanks for adding to the discourse on our site. You make some valid points.

One of the problems that conservatives have is the tendency to think of an election cycle as a game that starts with the endorsement process and ends on Election Day. But, if it's a game, it's a marathon that never ends.

Perhaps my biggest complaint with President Bush is that he quit campaigning when he was elected and again when he was reelected. While it is honorable for the President to govern according to what he knows is right and without regard for his approval rating, the President's objectives would have been met with greater ease if he kept up the campaign (whatever the issue).

We know that Democrats, with the willing participation of the media and the entertainment industry, will campaign constantly. Conservatives – both the grass roots variety and those in office -- cannot afford to take breaks. This is how liberal myths about the war, about Big Oil, about global warming, etc.. take hold. Now, come election season, we find ourselves bucking media inspired conventional wisdom to explain that the sky isn't falling and that that the SUV won't destroy the planet as we know it.

Had President Bush and other elected Republicans kept up their campaign to win the hearts and minds of the American people, I don't think we would have lost Congress and the State Legislature in 2006. Further, we would have widespread national pride for liberating the people of Afghanistan and Iraq; for removing the threat that Saddam posed to the region and to the U.S.; and for protecting Americans and many others worldwide from radical Islamic terrorism. Algore might have even won an Oscar for Best Comedy Performance.

This is where we, the conservative grass roots, come in. As both J and Hook state, we need to keep up the pressure on our candidates during the campaign season and on our elected Republicans while in office. Our voice is their compass and their backbone. But our audience is not limited to politicians. By giving volume to the voices of conservative thought, we stand a better chance of winning more hearts and minds of fellow Americans -- and for setting the stage for those "movement conservative" candidates to come forward.

6/18/2008 12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we're all right, which is a very good thing for conservatives to be. What you have pointed out about Bush is that is is not the /articulate/ conservative that he needed to be. As for the rest of it-- the continuous campaign, I like to sum it up thusly:
1) Let no lie go unchallenged.
2) Let no truth go unspoken.

That about covers it, but it's a full-time job, with Democrats lying ALL the time.

J. Ewing

6/19/2008 10:20 AM  
Blogger G-Man said...

J, nicely stated – brief and full of wit!

6/20/2008 10:40 AM  

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