Editor’s Note (9/1/2011):

“Nikki the Republican” is a new contributor to Discourse and Diatribe, and we are lucky to have her. This page will feature Nikki’s thoughts and opinions on a wide variety of subjects, from – as the page’s name suggests – a Republican perspective, thereby providing Discourse and Diatribe with some semblance of balance (something this website admittedly needs).

There will be times when Nikki’s opinion will differ considerably from mine (in fact, I expect this to happen a vast majority of the time), but that’s precisely the point – to present more than one side of a given argument helps to “educate and inform the whole mass of the people”, as Thomas Jefferson so eloquently put it. I urge you to read Nikki’s thoughts as a counterpoint to my own, and then to use the information from both of our writings to make up your own mind.

Welcome Nikki!


David Bleidistel

Editor, Discourse and Diatribe




 March 8, 2012:  What This Election Should Be About

According to a wide breadth of news articles and reports, the u.s. national debt is now a staggering 15.6 trillion, which is roughly equal to the value of all goods and services the country can produce in one year. Basically, we’re bankrupt and barren; we officially owe as much as we’re worth.

Thankfully, we do have an opportunity to curb this asinine nonsense. This election, I will be voting based on one factor: money. Yes, education, social security, gay marriage, abortion, unemployment,  the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, etc. are all important issues. But with circumstances as dire as they are, digging ourselves out of this financial grave is the number one priority. Nothing else matters if we’re on the brink of a monetary collapse. There will be no jobs, more foreclosures and bankruptcies, and things like education and social programs will face a significant downturn, if they survive the crisis at all.

So, I urge everyone to vote with their heads and their wallets, and not with their hearts. Many of us voted for change, and that’s exactly what we got – change with a hefty $4.2 trillion price tag. And if we make the same mistake at the ballot box this election, be prepared to face even more – starting with what Obama’s new budget plan will cost.

If you want a future for your children, any hope of seeing social security or pensions in your retirement, and a better country, this election has to be the answer. We need to heal our financial scars with a fundamental change that ends the decades of irresponsible spending. We need a government that can handle their finances without cutting back on what Americans have come to expect as citizens in the “land of plenty.” We need a government that can live within its means – just like every person on the planet has to do in order to keep their heads above water.


December 15, 2011:  Gingrich joins the ranks of the GOP’s dumbest candidates

This should be a good time to be a Republican. This election should be a great time to be a Republican. The Democratic president elected in a whirlwind of overzealous promises has failed to make practically all of them come true, and the “change” he so proudly represented during his campaign in 2008 has not made a significant appearance during the tenure it gave him. Obama was elected because everyone was fed up with George W. Bush, a Republican; and now a dismal 40% of Americans approve of Obama, a Democrat. 

It’s the absolute perfect time for a great, smart, and cunning Republican candidate to sweep in and steal America’s hearts and votes and turn the country around. But this is not the case. Why? Because pretty much all of the presidential GOP hopefuls have proven themselves to be arrogant, prejudiced, or simply idiots.

Along with Rick Perry’s super-Christian and blatantly anti-homosexual commercial and Herman Cain’s sleaze bag scandals, former House speaker Newt Gingrich has joined the ranks as one of the GOP’s dumbest candidates. 

The obstacle for Republicans as a whole is that they’re seen as wealthy, spoiled, blue-blood brats that don’t care nor understand what it’s like to be poor. During the Republican Presidential debate in Des Moines last Saturday (Dec.10) he drove the nail in the coffin by criticizing child labor laws.

Not only did Gingrich refer to child labor laws for teenagers and children under the age of sixteen “stupid,” but he had the gall to actually suggest that low-income schools get rid of their school janitors and replace them with poor kids. He insisted it would teach them a lesson and give them the opportunity to help out with household bills.

Unbelievably, it gets worse. After trying to convince potential voters that poor children should scrub down toilets with toxic chemicals to earn their keep, he went from stupid to really, really, really, stupid. He argued against Mitt Romney’s rejection of the idea, stating,  “I’ll stand by the idea, young people ought to learn how to work. Middle class kids do it routinely. We should give poor kids the same chance to pursue happiness.”

So, not only is it impossible to be happy and poor, but middle class children have a stronger work ethic? 

I seriously doubt a child with younger siblings whose parents work 8 or even 12 hour days has less work to contribute to the household than a child with a stay-at-home mom and a cleaning lady.

Gingrich’s argument is asinine, prejudiced, and even cruel. You cannot run for president and boldly tell poor parents that their children have no work ethic and will be cleaning their school bathrooms under his reign. Sorry, Gingrich, but you’ve made it a horrible time to be a Republican. 


December 7, 2011:  Could This Be the Perfect Recipe?

President Obama delivered a moving, logical, and surprisingly dual-valued economic speech in Osawatomie, Kansas yesterday (Dec. 6th). Obama outlined the basic economic issues at the roots of the current recession, which is dangerously close to becoming a true depression. He explained that the lack of guidelines and oversight over banks and lenders and financial institutions as a whole, coupled with irresponsible consumers that took “too good to be true” scenarios as their ticket to the next financial class had a hefty hand in toppling the economy.


For once, I agree with Obama; not because he’s eloquent and persuasive and a fantastic public speaker, but because he’s right. Our economy crashed because of a week infrastructure whose legs were too weak to hold up its exaggerated torso. More importantly, Obama danced on the edges of Republican values without discounting those of his own party. He instilled that both workers and companies, students and education systems, those receiving loans and the banks doling them out have equal responsibility in protecting their own investments and finances as well as the economy’s.


Obama’s speech begs a landmark, promising, and simple question: Are Republican tax cuts, interest rates, and responsibility combined with Democratic protectionism, social services and regulations the answer to rebuilding the American economy? Could it be the perfect recipe for a fair, just, and successful economy?


With the onslaught of regulations and laws Obama is attempting to implement, we could very well find out within the next fiscal year. Even as a Republican, it’s worth a shot. Obviously, well-educated financial advisors, CEO’s, and those below them cannot be trusted in a free market. In addition, everyday Americans offered flashy homes and loans cannot be trusted to make their own decisions either. A lightly regulated, “watchdog” type of system could finally, thankfully, be the answer.


My thanks do go out to Obama, possibly for the first time since he stepped into the campaign spotlight prior to his election. With this speech and its proposed changes under his wing, Obama may very well see his chances for a second presidential term take flight. Hopefully, his plans to tax the wealthiest Americans, challenge companies to create more jobs, limit CEO bonuses and give shareholders a stronger voice in the companies they invest in, are genuine efforts to improve the staggering economy and those suffering from it. The sole fear is that these changes will come tied down with red tape and puffed up with dishonest euphemisms that make them sound better than they seem and promise more than they were created to deliver. In an economy like this, even a Democrat deserves a chance to try something new, especially a plan so moderate and simple as Obama’s. All we can do is wait and see, and hope Congress passes the propositions that will keep the economy’s best interests in mind.



December 7, 2011:  A Stupid, Arrogant, and Offensive Political Train Wreck

It appears that not only does Republican candidate Rick Perry often fail to complete a coherent sentence or appear sober during his interviews, but he is now blatantly advertising that he has no idea what the Constitution states about secularism nor any concept of ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell.’ 

Perry proudly and nonchalantly walks through a green field, dressed up for a Land’s End catalogue, and begins his already-doomed ad campaign.

“I’m not ashamed to be a Christian…but there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can’t celebrate Christmas or openly pray in school.”

First of all, Rick Perry, anyone in the country is aware that you’re not ashamed to be a Christian. 

Secondly, ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’ was not an all-out ban on homosexuals in the military, which is something others and Perry fail to grasp. ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’ simply stated that the military is not allowed to inquire about their members’ sexual orientation, and that said members that want to remain members shouldn’t mention it either. The repeal of ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’ makes it illegal to kick people out of the military because of their homosexuality. 

Lastly, how can children not celebrate Christmas or pray openly in schools? The constitution clearly outlines the separation of church and state, which means that teachers and schools cannot force children to celebrate Christmas, pray in school, or press upon them any type of religious preaching or favoritism. On the other hand, no school can legally punish a child for praying or celebrating Christmas. Just because schools openly support other holidays, such as Chanukah or Kwanza or – oh no – the fact that not everyone celebrates something over winter break, does not mean Christmas is no more. It does not mean children are running around crying because they can’t write about Christmas in their spiral notebooks or pray before they eat lunch.

For the last time, religious politicians need to figure out that the inclusion of other beliefs in public schools is NOT the execution of Christianity. 

Rick Perry may think he’s ending “Obama’s war on religion,” as he states so confidently in his ad, but his plans to force Christianity down American’s throats are forbidden by the Constitution. Which is probably something a presidential candidate should know, or at least someone on his team could’ve brought up before they shipped out such a stupid, arrogant, and offensive political train wreck. 

Thanks, Rick Perry, for making all Christians look like raging jerks and all Republicans look like idiots. 


November 9, 2011:  Why Cain’s a Creep and His Campaign is Over

“You want a job, don’t you?”

GOP Presidential contender Herman Cain allegedly spoke these words as he slid his hand up then young, recently unemployed Sharon Bialek’s skirt.

Decades later, as Cains’ sinking marks in the polls threaten his stint as four-week front runner for the Republican nomination, it’s ironic to wonder if he’s asking himself the same question.

“You want this job, don’t you?”

Before the upsurge of sexual harassment charges, Cain’s self-made businessman charm gave him promise. He seemed simple, logical, and safe. Now, he’s anything but.

Rumors surfaced around the end of October that Cain had faced sexual harassment charges from two women during his tenure at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990’s.

Then, the NRA agreed to lift the mutual non-disclosure agreement tucked into the settlements for said charges, and one of the mysterious victims broke the silence through her lawyer, Joel Bennet. The anonymous victim clearly stated that the allegations were true – on multiple accounts – and that she was paid $45,000 to keep quiet. Bennet stated that revealing her identity would be “very painful,” and that Cain’s adamant denial that charges ever existed was “incorrect factually.”

A short and eventful three days later, the aforementioned Sharon Bialek spoke out against Cain Nov.7th, accompanied by notorious celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred. Bialek described an incidence in which she asked Cain for help getting a job, and quickly found her hotel room upgraded, dinner paid for, and Cain’s fingers creeping ever so slightly towards her no-no zone. 

As if Cain’s campaign wasn’t already underwater, a third woman stepped up. Karen Kraushaar, the second case first discovered by the press and mentioned on Politico, claimed that Cain came on to her as well while working for the NRA. 

Calls for a supposed fourth victim to come into the spotlight continue to build, while Cain continues to handle the situation stupidly, immaturely, and nonsensically. Cain reported that the allegations never happened, then stated that they did but he wasn’t present for or aware of any settlements. He claimed he didn’t even know Bialek, but later admitted he “might” remember her. First, he didn’t touch Kraushaar; then, he slightly remembers touching her under the chin while commenting on how tall his wife was in comparison.

Instead of going down with what little tarnished respect telling the truth would earn, Cain seems insistent on going down in flames. He blames the allegations on the Democratic party, claiming that they were conspiring to bring him down because “the machine to keep a businessman out of the White House is going to be relentless.”

Cain’s handlers are attempting to use Bialek’s financial troubles – she filed for bankruptcy twice – as grounds for falsehood, although she has not asked for any compensation or monetary rewards for coming out against Cain. He even was dumb enough to claim that sexual harassment is a real issue, but that it goes both ways, insinuating female NRA employees have harassment charges stacked against them as well.

The onslaught of educated women speaking against Cain makes it seem less and less like a conspiracy or incident and instead making Cain out to be a total creep. If the Democrats are so intent on derailing a Republican candidate, why would it be Cain and not Romney? Despite Romney’s fall from the polls’ grace, why and how would the Democrats get the NRA involved in decades-old allegations for a candidate that has only been ahead for a little over a month? Why wouldn’t they go for Romney, the most likely to win the Republican seat despite what the polls say?

The entire situation shows Cain’s true colors. Even if the charges aren’t true, which is highly, incredibly, unbelievably unlikely, it still shows that Cain and his people are arrogant, masochistic idiots that have no idea how to handle a scandal. And no matter what he says, nobody wants a president that’s going to make the country look like a bunch of perverts that can’t keep it in their pants nor their skeletons in their closets long enough to make it through a campaign. Regardless of what any source, expert, or poll says, Cain’s potential to be next term’s president is no longer a possibility. And whether the claims are true or not, it’s good riddance.


September 1, 2011 – A Look at the Top Republican Contenders for 2012

In the 2008 presidential election, voters focused on the echoing concept of change. Change for the better, for the worse, but change regardless. For the upcoming 2012 elections, voters seem to lack any clear-cut concept to grasp onto. With a mixed bag of varying candidates and a resonating frustration with the government as a whole, what will sway voters at the ballot box? Will it be budget cuts? Job creation? Social issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion? More funds towards education?

Barack Obama’s platform falls far short of his promises, which have failed to pull through and create the stable and equal country America visualized at the ballot box. Even the $1 billion in funding he aimed to raise for the election haven’t softened the blow of his 40% approval rating as of Aug. 22. Obama’s edge as somebody fresh, new and different from the stereotypical blue-blooded candidates has worn off, and the majority of the attention falls onto the Republican candidates.

The positive thing about the plethora of contenders is choice. The top four hopefuls vying for Republican candidacy, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and John Huntsman, each represent separate ideals which reflect where they will take the country – and the people in it.

Republican Mitt Romney stands on a platform of political and business sense, derived from his background in the business world and as former Governor of Massachusetts. He plans to nix the budget crisis with right-wing tax cuts and spending plans, but leans towards the Democratic side on gay rights, abortion, and health care, which appeals to a large pool of voters.

Texas Governor Rick Perry contends to create jobs for American families and run the country with a mix of Republican conservative values and Christian faith. He represents himself as an old-school American and family man, and his successful job creation in Texas and sound financial backing earned 33% of Republican support in the Public Policy Polling survey, placing Perry ahead of Bachmann, Huntsman, and Romney.

Republican hopeful and Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann calls for a return to conservative Republican government and constitutional values. A Tea Party supporter and founder of the Tea Party Caucus, Bachmann’s victory in the Iowa Straw Poll does not set victory as the Republican Candidate in stone. Her public stance against homosexuality and abortion pulls endorsement from the more extreme right wing, but will likely turn off moderate voters and prove she’s more bark than bite at the end of the campaign.

Lastly, Republican moderate John Huntsman has a lot to offer as the underdog. The California native and former U.S. Ambassador to China is a billionaire by blood and popular by personality; he also has two terms as Governor of Utah, diplomatic positions under President Bush, and foreign policy experience under his belt. However, Huntsman may lose Christian voters as a Mormon and is already struggling for the spotlight among fellow political giants.

The 2012 election is shaping up to result in either a sweeping change or imminent disaster. The country is arguably unraveling into shambles and political chaos, and the voters and candidates are no different. When many American voters voted for change, they followed their hearts. In this election, I urge everyone to not only vote, but to vote with your head, common sense, and wallet.


© 2012-2016 by David Bleidistel.  All rights reserved.