You'll note that the name Ron Paul continues to dominate, despite the fact that I have almost as much chance being elected President as he. There's a simple reason why his name, not runner-ups are at the top. The runner-ups, in order, were: Mitt Romney (suspect conservative), Sarah Palin (probably conservative, but politically sloppy), Tim Pawlenty (not conservative), Mike Pence (don't know), Newt Gingrich (all over the map), Huck-a-Duck ('nuff said), and so on. Also of note, "A majority of participants said they wished the Republican Party had a better field of candidates to choose from."
In short, the field offered sucks ass. Thus, it's easy to vote for Ron Paul as the paragon of conservatism. He hasn't sold out principle and grown the government. Romney, Palin, and Pawlenty specifically have done so. And it was that growing of government like the "I banged Tiger Woods" list that cost the GOP in 2006 and 2008. And if the GOP doesn't look at the results and run some actual fiscal conservatives, all the failings of Democrats (which will be laid bare next) won't mean dick because any gains will be quickly lost.
One other note to social conservatives out there. While your issues may be important, if we lose our freedoms and economic liberty for false security, people will be more inclined to vote in people who will keep that government tit in their mouths, and the majority of those aren't social conservatives. To make it plain, would you rather have pro-choice Rudy Giuliani in the White House, or Barack Obama? Social issues have to be won in the minds and hearts of people. Legislating morality doesn't necessarily work, no matter which party is trying to do it.
For those of you who believe in the Democrat big government vision (up to and including the President), the polls should be screaming at you right now: Most Americans think government is broken (in addition to being broke). The number is at 86%. Now let's look at what transpired above. CPAC went for the candidate that has NOT expanded government power, scope, or debt. More people identify as conservative than liberal. and independents nationwide generally favor a strong conservative candidate, because they speak about less government intrusion (unless it's a hypocritical candidate that shat on the principles when they had control of the country for 6 years). And New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts provided examples of this (much of the GOP support came because of dissatisfaction with the bloating of Washington (stimulus, health care)).
And failure to at least look like you're succeeding, or even better, succeeding, costs you elections. The Bill Clinton (who is rumored to be bidding on Tiger's black book (joking) after getting dumped by his *shock* mistress ) maxim (courtesy of James Carville) "It's the Economy, stupid" always applies. And in a time when crushing debt is passing from corporate America to all levels of government and the government seems to be unable to do anything but past bills spending more money and not fixing shit, Obama is coming back today with what appears to be a rehashed health care bill (which was released as I wrote this and I haven't looked at yet) and a blue-ribbon commission of government insiders to study why the government spends too much money (please pay me the money for the commission so I can tell you it's because you spend money on stupid shit like commissions). To go back to comparing with Clinton, after the debacle that was Hillarycare, and the 1994 election, Clinton changed course, slowed down on government growth, and was a relatively successful two-term president. Here's a hint, you can break some promises if you have justification to break them. A major recession is a damned good reason.
So it's either exacerbate the problem that the overwhelming majority of people see (the bloating of the Imperial Federal Government), or do what it takes to stabilize the country and get reelected, and then maybe sell your ideas after 2012. Your choice, but I like the former because the phrase "one-termer" and the name Obama sound so nice together.
But politicians not learning the lessons of the past is not worthy of asshattery. Which brings us to the award for the week. Government, controlled by either party, is what it is (that whole broken thing). And forgetting that in the long term for profits in the short term is more than just standard asshattery:
Now as you know, I am a staunch defender of a free market system, capitalism, and less (and specifically minimal) involvement by the government in business dealings. To that end, I oppose most of the crap that Washington throws at them and the money they funnel to them. And what I expect in return is for them to do what's best for themselves while raking in lots of cash. And I will keep defending them, as best as is possible.
With this week's lineup of news, however, I can say you bastards are making it damned hard for me to say anything other than "I give up" and let the whole thing go to a command economy.
First, the health "insurance" morons. Between the stories of rescission (where they cancel coverage of people who paid in good faith then get cut when they need it), to stories where they deny coverage that to lay people is necessary, to massive rate hikes in the face of the past and current Obamacare bills, you guys are cutting not only your own throats, but the throats of all Americans. But it all began by letting the government in to give you more of a monopoly, and not keeping the shit a free market in the first place. And now comes fun with price controls (and I have yet to see an instance where that scheme works).
The credit card companies are also in the news, as their stupidity has meant the government got motivated to put the screws to them, with good justification. This comes from a series of insane decisions, beginning with the idea that you should give credit to those who can't handle it (interestingly, I'm on that list). This led to credit cards with rates that rape the consumer (20% or more). Then they deployed the mice type. And they kept changing rates, dates, terms, and conditions. Which led to the newest law limiting that shit, that took effect today. Prior to this, the credit card companies have been jacking rates on everyone, cancelling cards, killing limits, etc. And of course, this creates a whole new list of pitfalls.
And then comes Toyota (maker of my current car), which was unsullied by last year's mess of the Bad Three automakers (although, to Ford's credit, they aren't government owned (yet)). Even in the wake of a massive recall, which included Mr Toyoda himself coming to Washington for Congressional berating, they were pulling it back from the brink. And then comes the memo, where "Toyota officials claimed they saved $100 million or more by delaying safety regulations, avoiding defect investigations and slowing down other industry requirements." Nice, you silly asshats.
The underlying problem? It's too easy for them to get in bed with the Imperial federal government, who will give them cash (and cash is good), will limit competition (which leads to more cash), and will throw cash (notice a theme?) at them to "save" them when they, through either bad decisions or by gambles, lose cash. And almost everyone does it to some degree. My current employer put in for stimulus cash for network development. My father (much more of the "staunch conservative" variety than I) is looking at government money to fund some new business ventures. And should I go on? Chrysler bailout of the 80's, protectionism of the auto industry, AIG and the Wall Street bailouts, subsidies for every business you can imagine (ethanol, farms, oil, renewables, health care, etc.), the housing mess (specifically Fannie and Freddie). I could go on, but here's a nice page with a good list.
In the end, corporate america is going to kill itself by not looking at what makes a good bottom line: Provide a good product, give reasons for customers to trust you, take care of your customers when things aren't working, and reap as many delicious, great, filthy, obscene profits as you can (that cash thing), because you can't do it forever. Also, stay away from the easy money and perpetual chains that the government offers you. That's not an absolute, but remember that, like your competitors, the government doesn't care whether you succeed as log as they get what they want (and they have the guns). And most important of all, learn from those companies that are dying what you should NOT do!
And finally, an Associated Asshat Award for games in bad taste, courtesy of newgrounds.com. Of course, since they also gave us the aptly-named Throw Rocks at Shit (which my daughter loves (good father note: she uses the word "poop")), what do you expect?