Painted into a corner

Republicans have painted themselves into a corner. They've alienated a number of natural constituencies among Hispanics, women, gays and lesbians, Americans not of European descent and the working class through antagonistic positions on social issues, immigration, health care, choice, etc.

What they don't realize is that most people are naturally fiscally conservative, family-oriented, prefer safe neighborhoods, don't like taxes, want a strong defense, and love their country. This absolutely includes many Americans listed in the categories that the GOP has managed to irritate or frighten, to the point of voting contrary to their natural inclinations.

Recapture these folks by backing away from the racially tinged rhetoric, the homophobic diatribes and hyper-religious positions, and Republicans might find themselves adding committed voters who share their core values. The GOP has become the party of hate and fear instead the party that freed the slaves.

If they want to stop the loss of voters, then stop driving them away. These guys are getting really scary. — Roger Lemstrom, Medford

Let's see what we elected

The presidential election is over. With the help of "unbiased journalists" of the mainstream media and promises to give stuff to the great unwashed, Barack Obama wins again.

Now we will see what we have elected. First tests: Iran fires on a U.S. plane committing an act of war. Response?

We are approaching what is now euphemistically called the fiscal cliff. Response?

We have long-term deficits amassing by the billions hourly, and continue to borrow 40 cents of every dollar we spend. Response?

My guess of the responses:

Iran: send them a protest message. Real message conveyed: weakness.

Fiscal cliff: spend some more, saying it will help while giving small tax relief to look good. Effect: more economic damage.

Deficits: go a trillion dollars deeper each year. Effect: push us closer to national bankruptcy, increase dependency on lenders, and soon we will be Greece.

How will that work for you Obama voters? — Raymond Smith, Central Point

Nanny statists hard at work

The nanny statists are hard at work. They want to get into my wallet because I drive a hybrid automobile.

The Department of Energy runs announcements in which a child is teased about entry to the county fair and then denied "until next year" because his parents wasted energy. The disappointed child is urged to get his parents on board with DOE programs. Next, actors posing as public school employees offer pledges that they will personally halt bullying. Swell.

Could the Department of Transportation consider cutting staff and budgets? Could the DOE make a rational and sober assessment about its assumed role as the nation's energy messiah? Could schools lower class sizes now and vastly improve education and leave the pompous prattling for later? — Hubert Smith, Jacksonville

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