Ever since the Democrats took over the White House and both houses of Congress three months ago, the Republican minority has become strident and defensive in their disapproval of President Obama's policies. Strangely, this opposition has been all bark and no bite; rather than state their agenda, all they've done is whine and complain. Party leaders claim that they have an economic strategy of their own, but seem reluctant to spill the details. Is this the real deal, or just smoke and mirrors like John McCain's economic outline last year? If the GOP has a better way of doing things, why don't they explain how they would handle things differently than Obama? Maybe if the Republicans weren't so allergic to open government, they wouldn't have lost complete control 2 1/2 years ago. I'm a firm believer in the two-party system, but if you want to give the American people a choice, you need to give them the option.
I will attest that both the Republican and Democratic Parties have their share of problems (Speaker Pelosi's cluelessness notwithstanding), yet the GOP's maladies are far more egregious. It's sad when a media pundit like Rush Limbaugh has a stronger vision of the state of the party than a figurehead like Michael Steele. Bill O'Reilly, a longtime right-leaning independent, is slowly tilting towards the center out of his frustration with the tighty righties. This brings me back to my CPAC rant from five weeks ago; if the GOP wants to make their voice heard they need a singular focus to match their biggest target (i.e. the president). Stop making redundant comments like "criticizing Obama is not racist," stifle all the aberrant conspiracy theories, quit playing the victim, and most importantly, concentrate on the president's policies and what you think would be the best course of action for this country. It's not that difficult.
+ In a related story, France and Germany were arguably the most vocal critics of President Obama's global economic plan during the G-20 summit last week. Does that mean American conservatives have finally forgiven France? The enemy of your enemy is your friend, right?
+ The Chicago Sun-Times filed for Chapter 11 protection last week, an unfortunate turn of events that I foreshadowed last month. You can blame the economy all you want, but Sun-Times Media is unique in that it was bled dry by their previous management. As a Chicagoan I'm more than familiar with the antics of Conrad Black and his cohorts, but this excellent article from Slate.com explains it better than I ever could.
+ Speaking of Chicago, the city has been buzzing since disgruntled Broncos QB Jay Cutler was traded to Da Bears last week. Having a bona fide field general is wonderful and everything, considering the parade of underachievers that have called the shots these last 20 years, but one player isn't the solution to all the Bears' problems. Signing Orlando Pace for three years was smart, at least until his age catches up to him. For now, I can definitely forsee an NFC Wild Card.
+ If Michael Jordan was so great, why didn't the Basketball Hall of Fame waive their five-year waiting period for him? If the Hockey Hall of Fame could jump Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky to the front of the line, why not MJ? Either way, I'm glad to see he's in.