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Why We Should be Cat People
Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 4/24/2011 | Kathy Hoekstra

Posted on 04/26/2011 7:41:08 AM PDT by MichCapCon

A little while ago you heard from my colleague Ken Braun who gave you a primer on “politician puppy training”. It is one of the best analogies I’ve ever heard about holding your elected officials accountable for their actions.

I’d like to go one better. As Ken said, you need to treat politicians like puppies. But while you treat them like dogs, you need to act like a CAT. Even if you’re a dog person, and don’t like cats.

Here’s why. (And anyone familiar with either of these animals knows exactly what I’m talking about.)

There are a few characteristics about cats that appeal to me. Once you hear these, they may appeal to you as well:

Cats are Curious. They want to know exactly what’s going on in every nook and cranny of their environment, and sniff out trouble when they can.

Cats are hunters. They root out unsavory rodents and rid the world of them.

Cats are survivalists. They always land on their feet.

Cats are independent. They set their own agenda and are bound to no one else’s plans for them.

But the most important characteristic is that unlike dogs, who are loyal to the person, cats are loyal to the House.

Let me repeat that. Dogs are loyal to the person; cats are loyal to the House.

So train your elected officials like puppies, but don’t act like one yourself. Here’s why.

If you act like a dog and stay loyal to a particular politician or party, you will become attached to them just like a dog on a leash.

Being on an elected official’s “leash” means you become subject to their priorities, not yours. As Ken Braun put it in an earlier essay, "Use political parties (and politicians) only as tools toward your ends, not theirs. Your loyalty is too valuable to sell so cheaply."

Like being bound to a leash, when you are loyal to that one politician, you are bound to that politician’s actions. You are attached to that politician’s good votes as well as bad votes. Like when an owner takes his dog for a walk, no matter what path that the owner takes the dog has to go along. Whatever path that politician decides to take after you elect him or her, you have no choice but to follow.

You run the same risk when being loyal to a political party. There are times a political party may not want to do what’s best for your house and the same idea applies. If you treat a political party as if you are a dog, you could find yourself being led down paths that stray from your core belief system.

Now, let’s look at this like a cat. Again, cats are not loyal to the owner. Cats are loyal to the house they occupy.

As long as cats have a roof over their heads they don’t care who lives in that house. The owner could change as often as every two to four years (or whatever election cycle applies to that house). As long as the occupant of the house feeds it, changes its litter box and generally leaves it alone to do as it pleases; as long as whoever is under that roof is doing these things right, the cat is content and can thrive.

If the people who live under that roof do not do the right thing; if you don’t feed a cat or change its litter box or let it do as it pleases, what does the cat do? Anything it can do to keep the house the way he wants it regardless of the person running the house.

If a person who lives in a cat’s house does not do what he or she should be doing to keep the house to a cat’s liking, a cat will make some noise. A cat will arch its back and hiss. A cat will howl. A cat will pop out its claws. A cat may even scratch or bite you. If the cat’s wrath works, you’ll end up doing the right thing to keep the house in order to please the cat. If you do not, the cat will simply give up on you and go elsewhere. Perhaps the cat will find another home.

The state of Michigan is your house. This is where your loyalty should be. Your elected officials are the people who operate your house. If they’re not making the state of Michigan the way you want it, you need to be like the cat. You need to make some noise.

You want to get rid of burdensome and unnecessary regulations and licensing that keep Michigan from being an inviting place to do business. You better arch your back and start hissing at your elected officials—or puppies.

You want government to spend less of your money and be smarter when they do spend it. Start howling at the top of your lungs. The puppies will hear you.

And you want fiscal responsibility in your house. If your elected officials—or puppies-- are not doing what they should to get this fiscal house in order, there’s a reason cats have one of natures’ best tools--retractable claws. Cats keep them sharp and choose when to use them.

Your retractable claws are tools like Michigan Capitol Confidential, Michigan Votes, the Mackinac Center and other resources that keep you sharp so you can scratch and claw at the people occupying your house when they don’t keep your house the way you want it; a house that allows you to live in relative peace and prosperity. A house in which, cat-like, you call your own shots. A house in which you’re not at the end of someone’s leash, following someone’s lead.

As you move forward to the next election cycle and beyond consider your loyalty. Is it to the person who makes your house undesirable to live in or undesirable to do business in? Or is your loyalty to the house itself?

Meow.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government
KEYWORDS: politicians; teaparty

1 posted on 04/26/2011 7:41:14 AM PDT by MichCapCon
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To: MichCapCon
I think that we already have these cat people around.


2 posted on 04/26/2011 7:46:05 AM PDT by Lazlo in PA (Now living in a newly minted Red State.)
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To: MichCapCon

Kathy Hoekstra, obviously, has a little too much time on her hands. Speaking for myself, I prefer being human.


3 posted on 04/26/2011 7:49:19 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: MichCapCon
The best thing about a cat is that when they find the unsavory character in their territory they dispatch them quickly with no mercy and then leave a display as a warning to other unsavory types.
4 posted on 04/26/2011 7:51:30 AM PDT by Wooly
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To: MichCapCon

act like a cat, maybe, but not like a crazy catlady, or any other woman. Many believe, and I’m one of ‘em, that it’s women voting that has ruined us.

“If we took away women’s right to vote, we’d never have to worry about another Democrat president. It’s kind of a pipe dream, it’s a personal fantasy of mine, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

—Ann Coulter, Oct. 2, 2007, New York Observer

...Academics have long pondered why the government started growing precisely when it did. The federal government, aside from periods of wartime, consumed about 2 percent to 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) up until World War I. It was the first war that the government spending didn’t go all the way back down to its pre-war levels, and then, in the 1920s, non-military federal spending began steadily climbing. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal — often viewed as the genesis of big government — really just continued an earlier trend. What changed before Roosevelt came to power that explains the growth of government? The answer is women’s suffrage.

For decades, polls have shown that women as a group vote differently than men. Without the women’s vote, Republicans would have swept every presidential race but one between 1968 and 2004.

The gender gap exists on various issues. The major one is the issue of smaller government and lower taxes, which is a much higher priority for men than for women. This is seen in divergent attitudes held by men and women on many separate issues. Women were much more opposed to the 1996 federal welfare reforms, which mandated time limits for receiving welfare and imposed some work requirements on welfare recipients. Women are also more supportive of Medicare, Social Security and educational expenditures.

Studies show that women are generally more risk averse than men. Possibly, this is why they are more supportive of government programs to ensure against certain risks in life. Women’s average incomes are also slightly lower and less likely to vary over time, which gives single women an incentive to prefer more progressive income taxes. Once women become married, however, they bear a greater share of taxes through their husbands’ relatively higher income. In that circumstance, women’s support for high taxes understandably declines.

Marriage also provides an economic explanation for men and women to prefer different policies. Because women generally shoulder most of the child-rearing responsibilities, married men are more likely to acquire marketable skills that help them earn money outside the household. If a man gets divorced, he still retains these skills. But if a woman gets divorced, she is unable to recoup her investment in running the household. Hence, single women who believe they may marry in the future, as well as married women who most fear divorce, look to the government as a form of protection against this risk from a possible divorce: a more progressive tax system and other government transfers of wealth from rich to poor.

The more certain a woman is that she doesn’t risk divorce, the more likely she is to oppose government transfers.

Has it always been this way? Can women’s suffrage in the late 19th and early 20th century thus help explain the growth of government? While the timing of the two events is suggestive, other changes during this time could have played a role. For example, some argue that Americans became more supportive of bigger government due to the success of widespread economic regulations imposed during World War I.

A good way to analyze the direct effect of women’s suffrage on the growth of government is to study how each of the 48 state governments expanded after women obtained the right to vote. Women’s suffrage was first granted in western states with relatively few women — Wyoming (1869), Utah (1870), Colorado (1893) and Idaho (1896). Women could vote in 29 states before women’s suffrage was achieved nationwide in 1920 with the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

If women’s suffrage increased government, our analysis should show a few definite indicators. First, women’s suffrage would have a bigger impact on government spending and taxes in states with a greater percentage of women. And secondly, the size of government in western states should steadily expand as women comprise an increasing share of their population.

Even after accounting for a range of other factors — such as industrialization, urbanization, education and income — the impact of granting of women’s suffrage on per-capita state government expenditures and revenue was startling. Per capita state government spending after accounting for inflation had been flat or falling during the 10 years before women began voting. But state governments started expanding the first year after women voted and continued growing until within 11 years real per capita spending had more than doubled. The increase in government spending and revenue started immediately after women started voting.

http://johnrlott.tripod.com/op-eds/WashTimesWomensSuff112707.html


5 posted on 04/26/2011 7:56:28 AM PDT by flowerplough (Thomas Sowell: Those who look only at Obama's deeds tend to become Obama's critics.)
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To: MichCapCon
Kittenz is all fuzzy. Puppyz gots bad brefs.

Dogs are followers, pack animals, cats have a better perspective. Forgive my rough anthropomorphism, but the dominant traits exist.
6 posted on 04/26/2011 8:46:13 AM PDT by allmost
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To: MichCapCon

Say you were living alone and had a fatal accident at home. Your pet dog would perhaps try to make enough noise to get someones’ attention, or lay at your side and mourn. Your pet cat would eat you after it’s food ran out.


7 posted on 04/26/2011 8:50:44 AM PDT by Spruce
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To: Spruce

Sounds like the cat has more common sense.


8 posted on 04/26/2011 8:56:05 AM PDT by Lazamataz (The Democrat Party is Communist. The Republican Party is Socialist. The Tea Party is Capitalist.)
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To: flowerplough

My observation is women are simply innately socialists.


9 posted on 04/26/2011 9:12:51 AM PDT by hoosierham (Waddaya mean Freedom isn't free ?;will you take a credit card?)
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To: MichCapCon
If you act like a dog and stay loyal to a particular politician or party, you will become attached to them just like a dog on a leash.

My tag line sentiments!

10 posted on 04/26/2011 10:28:28 AM PDT by varon (Allegiance to the Constitution, always. Allegiance to a party, never!)
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To: flowerplough

Blacks vote far more differently from whites than women do from men. Take away the black vote and there’s no President Obama.

Is it any more outrageous to imply that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote than that blacks shouldn’t?

No, both are obviously noxious.


11 posted on 04/26/2011 11:09:23 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: 9YearLurker

Blacks are about 10% of the population, and falling. Women are over 50% of the population. Crazy women votes hurt the U.S. that much more than the crazy votes of any particular minority group. And, hey, Lott’s numbers don’t lie. Our federal government began growing when women began voting. Read it and weep. Once the low-lived, unprincipled voting members of a government begin to vote themselves slices of the treasury, that government is doomed, and a strong statistical case shows that women’s suffrage has contributed greatly to the impending death of our republic.


12 posted on 04/26/2011 11:52:08 AM PDT by flowerplough (Thomas Sowell: Those who look only at Obama's deeds tend to become Obama's critics.)
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To: flowerplough

Blacks are 12% of the population and when you are talking about a 90%-10% split that’s almost 10% of the aggregate vote. Far greater than the impact of the women’s vote.

Also, of course, correlation is not causation. Could well be argued that women got the vote as the population was becoming more liberal.


13 posted on 04/26/2011 2:32:25 PM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: MichCapCon
While some dogs are truly fixated upon a single person - it is not at all true that a cat is alternatively “loyal to the House” (i.e. a socialist not a capitalist/ loyal to the State, not your wife/husband, etc).

Most cats I have known are only loyal to ONE thing.

Themselves.

Love em for it. They are the ultimate in (usually) benign self interest. They like to torture small varmints to death - and I don't like having small varmints around. They like to get pet - I like to stroke a warm pussy(cat).

14 posted on 04/26/2011 2:38:18 PM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send the GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism.)
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To: 9YearLurker

Correlation is not causation, but big black lesbian Donna Brazile, erstwhile Gore 2k campaign manager, said the pillars of the ever-spend-evermore Democrat Party were African Americans, organized labor, women and homosexuals.
And, you wanta try the math again? Blacks are 10% or so of the populace, and women are 50%+, so black’s (or any other ethnic minority’s) votes tip the balance further than women’s?


15 posted on 04/26/2011 5:32:12 PM PDT by flowerplough (Thomas Sowell: Those who look only at Obama's deeds tend to become Obama's critics.)
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To: flowerplough

Brazile: http://www.npr.org/programs/npc/2001/010502.dbrazile.html


16 posted on 04/26/2011 5:36:06 PM PDT by flowerplough (Thomas Sowell: Those who look only at Obama's deeds tend to become Obama's critics.)
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To: flowerplough

Looks like I’m going to have to do the math for you. Obama had record female and black support: 95-5 for blacks, 55-43 for whites. Here’s a story with that breakdown:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27524699/ns/politics-decision_08/

So he actually won by a 90% margin of the 12% of the vote that is black: .9 x .12 = .108.

He also won by a 12% margin the 53% of the vote that is white: .12 x .53 = .0636.

That works out to 11% vs. 6% of the total vote.


17 posted on 04/26/2011 10:44:45 PM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: 9YearLurker
95-5 for blacks

That is truly shocking! 5% didn't vote for The One?

18 posted on 04/26/2011 10:55:06 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Oh, well, any excuse to buy a new gun is good enough for me.)
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To: 9YearLurker

55-43 for whites, perhaps, but for white women? And percentage of population, percentage of registered voters, or extremely inaccurate exit polling? 95% of blacks, 95% of black voters, or 95% of the voting blacks that the exit pollers happened to catch? and the same confusion over white’s or white women’s votes.

And Lott and Coulter, they ain’t talking white women only. Women vote Democrat, and the more likely they feel they’re gonna end up “financially independent” the more likely they are to vote to become government-dependent. Like hoosierham sez, women just seem to be congenital socialists.


19 posted on 04/27/2011 5:38:59 AM PDT by flowerplough (Thomas Sowell: Those who look only at Obama's deeds tend to become Obama's critics.)
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To: flowerplough

About 1 in 10 women vote more liberally than men do. Not that big a difference. Again, the difference is far greater—and of greater total impact—in comparing the black and white vote. I suspect you at least have the decency to see how odious it is to bemoan blacks having the right to vote, though you are blind to the same with your stupid anti-female argument.

Are you simply math-challenged or what? The figures from the ‘08 elections were confirmed by multiple polls. Trying now to shift the focus to white women is a red herring that wouldn’t yield you what you’re looking for anyway.


20 posted on 04/27/2011 6:33:04 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: 9YearLurker

Math challenged? usually not, but occasionally a careless reader. female and black support, your quoted numbers are. hadn’t noticed the “female and” before. My mistake. Your mistake is to believe your numbers would be useful. They would be if we elected our presidents on straight national percentage, but our state-by-state electoral college skews the system and makes some votes literally worth more than others. Regional population densities, ethnic distributions, whatnot?

And speaking of skewing the system, you’re making your noise about ‘08. ‘08 ain’t the question. Lott says that without the women’s vote, Republicans would have swept every presidential race but one between 1968 and 2004. Lott also tells us that “state governments started expanding the first year after women voted and continued growing until within 11 years real per capita spending had more than doubled. The increase in government spending and revenue started immediately after women started voting.” Coulter was joking, pipe-dreaming her outrageousness, but Heinlein put it down more sternly:

“The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a ‘warm body’ democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction. It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens… which is opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it… which for the majority translates as ‘Bread and Circuses.’

‘Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader—the barbarians enter Rome.”

And you’re right, 9Year, to point out the idiocy of attempting to take back female suffrage, or any particular minority group’s franchise. Constitutional rules say we hafta let all vote, and we do, and that’ll most likely kill us, in the long run. As the republic degenerates into a democracy, there’s no way out but down, eh?


21 posted on 04/27/2011 1:55:10 PM PDT by flowerplough (Thomas Sowell: Those who look only at Obama's deeds tend to become Obama's critics.)
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