It's a Family Affair

Thursday, February 10, 2011 - 02:22 PM


The worst part about the conservative rift within CPAC is the public way in which it has been handled. It's the information age, of course, and everyone wants to have their name mentioned as often as possible. Still, watching Heritage Foundation skip CPAC is like hearing mom and dad fight. It's not my fault, is it? The liberal glee over the whole thing is really annoying. Their coalition is held together by the loosest of principles and yet we've become mockable for falling out on one issue, an issue that divides Democrats just the same (let's not forget Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton, and any other serious presidential candidate of both parties also oppose gay marriage).

I agree with much of what Dorian Davis writes at Daily Caller about the CPAC controversy; mostly that the organizations and people skipping the event because of GOProud's attendance are going to render themselves irrelevant. The world has changed, and while gay marriage may still not be widely supported, exclusion of gay people for any reason is just not acceptable.

So what does this mean for the conservative movement? The truth is, not much. You don't have to have Thanksgiving Dinner together every year to be family and you don't have to attend the same events and parties to vote for the same candidates. Ultimately, politics is about elections, and no matter what else we may disagree over, conservatives of all stripes will likely rally around Barack Obama's 2012 challenger. We did it holding our noses in 2008, we'll certainly do it after four brutal Obama years.

As with any family, there will be black sheep and there will be the kooky ones you can't believe you're related to. It would be nice if your crazy uncle Arnold didn't take his complaints about the family to the town square but you love that old son-of-a-gun anyway. Maybe we'll all be back together next year, maybe not, as long as we're all voting the same way in 2012, it really doesn't matter.

Born in the Soviet Union and raised in Brooklyn, Karol Markowicz is a public relations consultant in NYC and a veteran of Republican campaigns in four states. She blogs about politics at and about life in the city with her husband and baby at http://www.212baby.comShe can be followed on twitter:


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Comments [6]

Marcello from Brooklyn

@Tex: The economy is recovering in the sense that GDP is growing again which, in turn defines an economy in recovery.
Unemployment is still very high but that is what normally happens after the bursting of big financial bubbles. When the same thing happened in Japan at the beginning of the 90s it was followed by "the lost decade" of sluggish
employment and investments.
Inflation is not growing. In fact it is the opposite: core inflation is still tame.
And now about health care:
I don't even know what you are talking about trains and switches but here is something else:

To support its claim about "job losses" due to health care reform, the GOP report first cites the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office — but the report badly misrepresents what CBO actually said.

House GOP Leadership, Jan. 6: "The health care law will cause significant job losses for the U.S. economy: the Congressional Budget Office has determined that the law will reduce the “amount of labor used in the economy by … roughly half a percent…,” an estimate that adds up to roughly 650,000 jobs lost".

In fact, CBO did not predict a 650,000 job loss. The Republican report cites a CBO report from August, which actually said that the economy will use less labor primarily because many people will choose to work less, or retire early, as a result of the new law. What CBO projects is mostly a reduction in the supply of labor, which is not the same as a reduction in the supply of jobs.
Here is what the CBO said on August 2010: "The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the legislation, on net, will reduce the amount of labor used in the economy by a small amount—roughly half a percent—primarily by reducing the amount of labor that workers choose to supply".

CBO said one reason fewer people will choose to work is that many low-income people will have more money in their pockets as a result of the law expanding Medicaid and providing federal subsidies for many who buy insurance privately. "The expansion of Medicaid and the availability of subsidies through the exchanges will effectively increase beneficiaries’ financial resources. Those additional resources will encourage some people to work fewer hours or to withdraw from the labor market."
(Continues below)

Feb. 26 2011 11:33 AM
Marcello from Brooklyn

Another reason that people might work less is that the new law requires insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions, and also limits their ability to charge higher rates for older persons who buy policies for themselves. "As a result, some older workers will choose to retire earlier than they otherwise would," (CBO).

To be sure, some jobs will indeed be lost. Still accoridng to CBO that’s because "...the new law requires many businesses to pay a penalty if they do not provide health insurance to their workers. That will probably cause some employers to respond by hiring fewer low-wage workers,". But it also said these firms may hire more part-time or seasonal workers instead. CBO did not estimate the number of jobs likely to be affected either way.

In a more extensive look at the subject, CBO on July 14, 2009, said the effect of the employer mandate "would probably be small."
Obviously the GOP report did not mention that.

Finally, CBO did not attempt to estimate the number of jobs likely to be gained in the health care and insurance industries. It has projected that the law will result in 32 million Americans gaining health insurance that they would not otherwise have, enabling them to buy more services from physicians and other health care providers.

Feb. 26 2011 11:28 AM
Tex in the City from NYC

Marcello - the economy is recovering? Sure the stock market is up but the stock market is not the economy. Looking at it objectively, GDP is basically stagnant in real terms, unemployment is the same or in some regions worse, and inflation in terms of things people actually need (food and energy) is WAY up. I don't call that a recovery.

As for the serious effort to reform healthcare, I agree it was an effort, but it was unserious in that is not only overreaching in constitutional terms, but ineffective. It is ineffective because by the CBO's own estimate, there will be a loss of 800,000 jobs as a result of the reform; and more importantly though those pushing reform claim that 19mln more people will be covered, the estimate is that as many as 10mln people who are currently covered will likely lose their coverage. I guess that increase of 9mln is nice, but I would use this analogy. A runaway train is heading down a track, directly towards 19 people. You are standing near a track switch that can divert the train from these 19 innocent people. However, in doing so, you send the train hurtling down a different track towards 10 other innocent people. A serious solution would be to attempt to build another track for the train to go down, or to attempt to halt the train before it hit anyone. Killing 10 people to save 19, while mathematically better, is not necessarily ethically better.

Feb. 16 2011 11:36 AM
Marcello from Brooklyn

I think Deirdre's point is right on. Moreover, I believe that to be a Conservative or a Liberal goes beyond diverging opinions on abortion or taxes.
It is rather a difference in the way we are psychologically hardwired. Liberals tend to analyze reality "from the bottom up", looking empirically at the facts on the ground and, from those, identifying patterns and finally conclusions. This approach, which used to be called "inductive" in Psychology, tends to be rational but, because reality is complex, the ability to see multiple sides to any issue, paradoxically fosters nuances and differences. In other words less conformistic views.
Conservatives instead tend to favor a less rational and more symbolic approach to reality; one that goes "from top down" (deductive), where assumptions are usually already formed and facts just need to be squeezed into their molds. For this reason, conservatives value more concepts like "loyalty" and "belonging" rather than "objectivity" and "justice". That's why institutions like the Army and churches are such reservoirs of conservative consensus.
A perfect example of what I just outlined is the fact that in this blog post Karol Marcowicz talks about the 2012 election as following "four brutal Obama years" in spite of the fact that he has been in office only for two. Her assumption is already set.
Besides, from an objectivity standpoint, what has been so brutal about these two years? The fact that the economy has been growing again after being brought back from the brink of collapse? Or that the first serious attempt was made to address that major national shame that is Health Care in America? The decision to put an end to the senseless war in Iraq? The effort to set up some rules to prevent another financial disaster like the one we are still digging out from? What exactly is brutal about all this? And above how can anybody in his/her right mind say anything like this when making a comparison with the eight years of conservative rule that ended in 2008?

Feb. 14 2011 12:36 AM
Karol from NYC

While that remains a popular opinion to parrot in liberal circles, history and reality prove it otherwise. The Republicans had extremely divisive primaries as recently as 2000 and Fox News has a much wider viewership than just Republicans (for the record, I watch zero cable news). I understand liking to see the other party in trouble but the 2010 elections show that's just not so. As I wrote above, no matter what issues we hash out in public, all that matters is that we vote the same. Finally, Democrats have the same gay marriage disagreements, they just pretend not to.

Feb. 10 2011 08:10 PM
deirdre Vignone from New Jersey

The reason people find the division in the Republican Party so pleasant is because usually everyone in your party follows like lemmings. You all use the same 50 vocabulary words and utter the same ideas as Fox News. It comes down to your not wanting the government to supply any services that your people can already afford. And you have no intention of helping anyone else out. It is also amusing to see your party ,that pretty much created and empowered the tea party, is now being haunted by it. Poetic justice!

Feb. 10 2011 05:41 PM

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