Cutting Edge: New ideas / Sharp opinions
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In The New York Times' Room for Debate blog, Kiron Skinner, a CMU professor and foreign policy adviser to Mitt Romney, suggested one way Republicans might attract more African-American voters:
The U.S. military continues to be the pathway to a stable future for millions of Americans, including African-Americans, who have fought in every American war and now comprise 16.9 percent of the armed forces. ...Gov. Mitt Romney outlined a defense policy that would add 100,000 active-duty troops, among other increases in the military. The Republican Party should make the case to African-Americans that the future of the United States' defense posture has significant pocketbook implications for them and for all Americans.
The local Spork in the Drawer blog comments: "Now, I've heard a lot of rationalizations for ever-increasing military spending but this is a new one. Oh, and the declaration that 'the future of the United States' defense posture has significant pocketbook implications for them and for all Americans' is frighteningly true, but in a way that Ms. Skinner fails to understand."
Sarah Westwood, a student at George Washington University in The Wall Street Journal: "If Republicans hope to win in 2016 and beyond, they need to change everything about the way they sell themselves. They're viewed by the 18-24 set as the 'party of the rich' and as social bigots. That harsh, flawed opinion could be rectified if Republicans started presenting their positions in a different way. The GOP is like a supermodel who has been doing photo shoots under fluorescent bulbs without any makeup. But fix the lighting, dab on some foundation and highlight her good side, and she can take the most attractive picture.
"My age group is one pocket of voters who Republicans should be carrying with ease. Youth is all about rebellion and freedom and independence -- things the Democratic Party preaches but doesn't deliver. Behind their clever one-liners lurks a government shackle waiting to be slapped onto the wrists of every young voter they ensnare. ... Shame on Republicans for not seizing the opportunity this time around. They could so easily define their brand as the true advocate of rebellion; a 'stick it to the government' movement in the spirit of the 1960s hippie wave."
The Borowitz Report: "In response to a high volume of panicked phone calls from the general public, the CIA has published a new informational brochure entitled 'How to Tell if You're Involved in the Petraeus Scandal.' The CIA rushed to produce the brochure after it became clear that as many as one in three Americans may have some involvement in the Petraeus affair. ...
"The booklet includes a 'simple, user-friendly checklist' that should help people determine whether they are at risk for being implicated in the scandal, [a CIA spokeswoman] says: 'Have you ever met David Petraeus? Have you ever received and/or sent shirtless photos of an F.B.I. agent? Have you ever exchanged e-mails with Jill Kelley? Under 5,000 pages of emails and you're probably OK, but anywhere between 10,000 and 15,000 pages of emails could potentially mean you're involved in some way,' she says."
Chuck Thompson in The New Republic on the petition movement in several states to secede from the United States, most notably Texas:
" ... Maybe the solution is simply to give Texas and other secessionist-conservatives what they really want: free passage to the land of all their conservative fantasies. Send them all off with gratis one-way tickets (I'm happy to earmark some of my socialist tax dollars for the effort) to a country with: a small federal government with limited power and meager influence over the private lives of its citizens; extremely weak trade unions routinely sabotaged by the federal government (i.e., a 'pro-business environment'); negligible income tax; few immigrants, legal or otherwise; a dominant Christian population, accounting for some 70 percent of the people; no mandatory health insurance or concept of universal health care; a strong social taboo surrounding homosexuality ... and a gun culture so ubiquitous that you can find automatic weaponry displayed openly on the streets of its capital city and in many households.
"Sound like a Texan secessionist's dream? Well, it's no dream. This country already exists. It's called the Democratic Republic of the Congo."
First Published November 18, 2012 12:00 am