Saturday, January 31, 2009

Judd Gregg Speculation

A lot of speculation has been going on lately as to whether or not Barack Obama is going to select New Hampshire Republican Senator Judd Gregg as his Commerce Secretary. Gregg is highly qualified to take the position, but it's more what will happen to his senate seat should he accept the position.

New Hampshire has a Democratic Governor who would select the replacement should Gregg's seat become vacant. So there's a strong chance that a Democrat would take over his seat. Add to that the fact that Al Franken is more than likely to win in the battle still going on over Minnesota's senate seat, and the Democrats would have a 60-seat majority in the Senate (independent Bernie Sanders caucusing with them).

I doubt that any of this is even going to happen. Consider the position that Barack Obama would find himself in. If he offers the job to Gregg and he accepts, it looks like political maneuvering. But if he offers the job to Gregg and he declines, it looks even worse; not only does it look like maneuvering, but it kills any likelihood of anyone taking seriously Obama's call for a team of rivals.

Expect Obama to select someone else, or if he does select Gregg, to request that the governor of New Hampshire select a Republican to take his place.

UPDATE (11:55 PM): Then again, I could be wrong.

Rush Limbaugh

It is my firm belief that it would do America a lot of good if Rush Limbaugh were to develop a case of laryngitis.

The long-time right wing talk radio host has nothing intelligent to say, and appeals only to the pathos of his listeners. Nothing logical comes from his lips.

Most recently, Rush stated he would like to see the Obama administration fail. When asked if this made him un-American, Rush said he simply meant that he wanted Obama's policies to fail so that America would not see his liberal policies enacted.

I argue this: whether Rush wants Obama to fail simply because he is in opposition to him, or if he wants him to fail because he wants a conservative government, does not matter. You do not wish for your opposition to fail simply for your own benefit. Many liberals who did so under the Bush administration were criticized for it; thus, Rush is fair game for such criticism.

But many more liberals -- myself included -- did not want the Bush administration to fail. America would be in better shape today if he hadn't, though we did disagree with many, if not all, of his initiatives. Rather, we knew (or perhaps correctly believed would be a better phrasing) that his policies would fail; why wouldn't we criticize those policies, then, and push for some more sensible solutions to the problems facing us?

Rush has every right to believe that Obama's policies will fail. He has every right to argue until he's blue in the face about it, and try to convince legislators to vote against Obama's policies. But, though he also has the right to do so, his wishing for Obama to fail is selfish and disheartening. If Obama fails, so, too, the nation fails.

Friday, January 30, 2009


My name is Chris Walker. I am a liberal, I vote Democratic, and I love my country.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, with a minor in Journalism and Mass Communications. While in college, I wrote a weekly column for the UWM Post that dealt primarily with national political issues as well as some local topics that mattered deeply to me (among them, the right to free speech and dissent within our campus and a ban on gay marriage in the state of Wisconsin).

I believe there are many misconceptions held by mainstream Americans and conservatives about liberalism in our country. For example, liberals are perceived to be anti-family and anti-religious. Yet, using myself as an example, I pray daily (to the Lord, in the privacy of my own mind) and have my own family that I care deeply about. Do I go to church as often as I should? Probably not, but I don't fault my liberalism with this -- it's more my own desire to get some sleep when my son decides to sleep in on Sunday mornings. :-p

Liberalism, in fact, does not preach anti-anything; it is more a belief that the individual is free to choose their own belief structure, their own religion or no religion, their own lifestyle, and so forth, and that government ought to cater to all of these beliefs rather than just a select few Judeo-Christian beliefs. All-inclusiveness is the goal of liberals across the country. It is understandable that the belief can be misconstrued by some to be anti-Christian; yet at the same time, the belief allows those very Christians to continue on without any interference from the government whatsoever.

This blog is an attempt by me to change how some perceive a liberal to be. I will also write my opinions on the day-to-day happenings within the political world. I expect that I won't write in this thing as often as I would like to do -- I'm a busy person with a family to provide for. But like Keith Olbermann of MSNBC, I hope to make at least a few special comments a week with an emphasis on why conservatism is wrong on certain subjects and why liberal beliefs are right.

I welcome comments from both sides, so long as both sides show a measure of logic and humility. And though I am steadfast in my liberal beliefs, like our new president I feel that a bipartisan approach is best to govern. Cooperative measures need to be taken, for everyone feels that their own beliefs are "right;" it would be hypocritical of me to say that my ideals are right when others are so sure in themselves, too. We've come to our opinions in different ways, but we are entitled to have them no matter what.

So this is it: welcome to Political Heat.