Morning Briefing for February 15, 2012

RedState Morning Briefing
February 15, 2012

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1. The Competitive Disadvantage of Principle

If you have not read it, this is a fascinating article in the New York Times. The crux of the article is the title — even critics of the safety net increasingly depend on it.The article profiles a number of people who take advantage of the federal social safety net and are increasingly resentful of it. The solutions on fixing it vary. The angry, for some, may or may not be misplaced. The article reads as a Rorschach test on your ideology — liberals will read it and find the people hypocritical. Conservatives will read it and find it all maddening.To summarize it, the United States is increasingly taxing the middle class to subsidize the middle class. All the talk about the poor and what the safety net is designed to do for the poor overlooks that the government has taken it upon itself to keep the middle class from falling into the poorer classes of society.It is a long held principle in this country that the individual is supreme above the collective and the government. Tied to that is the principle espoused by Abraham Lincoln back in Kalamazoo, MI back in 1856, that in this country, unlike so many others, “every man can make himself.” It is less and less true.More and more, the Middle Class has become dependent on the federal social safety net. It was a slow and creeping dependence the Middle Class did not recognize until it was too late. Now suddenly their principles have come into conflict with their lifestyle.The Middle Class believes that with hard work it can move up the ranks of society. It is not content to and does not expect to stay in the Middle Class. At the same time, the Middle Class recognizes its current dependency. It also recognizes that if it does break through it will be despised by government. Even more troubling, it does not know how to break through. Due to lobbyists, regulators, and legislators, the process of inventiveness and creativity has been shut down.Please click here for the rest of the post.

2. The Demise of the Tea Party is Greatly Exaggerated

Certain people keep opining that the Tea Party is all but dead, but those who wish for the demise of the Tea Party are missing the emerging new political infrastructure where Tea Party groups have set aside rallies for political action. Consider Wisconsin to determine where the Tea Party is going in 2012 and beyond.From New York to California, newspapers are weighing in on the importance of Governor Scott Walker’s recall in Wisconsin. Stephen Moore in the Wall Street Journal described it as “the most important non-presidential election of the decade.” The Orange County Register even penned an editorial about how important it was that the public unions are stopped in Wisconsin.Please click here for the rest of the post.

3. The Highway Bill and ANWR: It’s a Trap!

Well, it appears that our efforts are paying off. Responding to our charge that the GOP was violating the pledge against bundled megabills, Boehner announced that he will split the proposal into three separate bills; the highway bill (HR 7), pension reform (HR 3813), and expanded oil and gas drilling (HR 3408).This is great news. But here’s the catch.Please click here for the rest of the post.

4. Beware Greeks Demanding Benefits

In the most recent round of violent protests that have rocked Greece, a group of aggrieved Communist party members went up onto the Acropolis and hung banners from the massive rock. “Down with Dictatorship” they proclaimed (in English as well as in Greek for the benefit of the western media and/or relevant parties in London and Washington, D.C.).The message was not particularly subtle: Here, in the birthplace of democracy, Greeks would once again stand up to their oppressors and claim their ancient freedoms. At the very feet of the Parthenon they made their stand, with the ruins of the classical past providing witness.The juxtaposition between the “birthplace of democracy” and Greece’s current budget woes has been echoed in the media, illustrated with video of Athenians torching Starbucks and Cinnabon. What this analysis fails to recognize is that the contemporary Greeks are rejecting their own heritage as they riot not for freedom, but against it.Please click here for the rest of the post.

5. CPAC: Not Quite Like the Media Matters Communications Room. But Still, Grow Up.

Stephen Glass was a fabulist. He made up stories and eventually he was caught. I read somewhere he wants to be a lawyer now, but his contrition is in doubt.One of the things he made up was a story on CPAC. He may have made it up, but I think he got it right nonetheless.After RedState got started in July of 2004, blogging on the right became all the rage, though it was correlation and not causation. By 2005, CPAC had a Bloggers Row and I went for my first time. The event was held that year at the Reagan Center in Washington, D.C. Most of the attendees stayed across the street at the JW Marriott. It was not an ideal venue, but it was my first time and I did not know better.Being the good, intrepid blogger, I ran across the street to a CVS to buy a notepad, having left mine in my office back in Macon, GA. There in line were a half dozen young men, each with CPAC credentials around their necks and each buying condoms.Please click here for the rest of the post.