Fred’s Thoughts – December 16th, 2011


What’s behind Newt’s surge?

One reason is simple and obvious. He’s not Romney. Newt is now the fourth anti-Romney to take the Republican lead.

But Newt has another advantage. Far right Republicans have become angrier at their own leadership, at Washington in general, and most powerfully at President Obama. They are not looking for a moderate who might win. They want one of their own– an angry conservative who will attack Obama in every way possible. They want blood more than they want victory. Newt fills that bill Remember the people deciding the Republican primaries are the same who booed a gay soldier, cheered the large numbers of execution in Texas, and generally demand bombast not nuance.

The Republican Party has a pattern in its actions.

It attempts to marginalize low income and working class voters–to regulate their actions.
It is trying to destroy unions; it is trying to make it hard for the poor, elderly and minorities to vote.. And in Michigan it has passed legislation to give the governor the power to take complete control of towns and cities in financial difficulty.
In dealings with the ultra rich and corporations, however, it promotes complete freedom and no regulations even for the too big to fail banks that brought on the recession.
This conservative philosophy goes back several centuries and stems from the belief that the aristocracy–who are in our times the rich– know better than the rest of us. This is a deeply anti-democratic belief …

Last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at the United Nations Human Rights Conference, meeting at Geneva. Secretary Clinton delivered a clarion call for all countries to respect the human dignity of gay men and women. The speech received widespread news coverage but we wanted to print it in its entirety in today’s Common Good Forumbecause it compellingly addresses one of the outstanding civil rights issues of our day, and it does so with acute sensitivity to the religious and cultural concerns that have led some people to resist the inclusion of gay men and women within the ambit of human rights concern.

Tuesday, President Obama warmed the hearts of those of us who care about the common good with a rousing speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, cite of Teddy Roosevelt’s famous “New Nationalism” speech one hundred and one years ago. We turned to CACG board member and longtime DC-insider Ben Palumbo to comment on the President’s speech in this week’s Common Good Forum.

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