Michigan Leadership Still In The Dark

With all the excitement of Michigan becoming a red state, and the Republican Party holding their convention over the weekend, I hoped it would have been a happy, festive atmosphere. But all I had to do was see the first name board at the Amway Grand Plaza/DeVos Center, and I started thinking. And the more I thought about it, the more I scowled.

The image on the boards leading guests and delegates to their caucuses and the convention was an incandescent lightbulb with the inset of the State of Michigan inside of it, and the words, “Reinvent” and “Michigan” on it.

The crystallized version of why that irritated me is this, Michigan is finally led entirely by Republicans, the Governorship and both houses with a super-majority in the Senate, and 9 of the 15-soon-to-be-14 districts, and we are using the Edison bulb as a visual image of invention, the same bulb Michigan Representative Fred Upton banned by 2014.

It struck me that the ban was put in place to outlaw the innovation of Michigan’s Edison, and that we must usher in new inventions, which are subsidized by government and are dangerous, and are This approach is not helpful to the free-market in the least, and it cheapens the debate for free-market solutions.

The word reinvent was used by Obama as well, as if we are to reinvent the wheel, or in this case, reinvent our energy future.

Obama said in his:

“That’s what Americans have done for over 200 years: reinvented ourselves. And to spur on more success stories like the Allen Brothers, we’ve begun to reinvent our energy policy. We’re not just handing out money. We’re issuing a challenge. We’re telling America’s scientists and engineers that if they assemble teams of the best minds in their fields, and focus on the hardest problems in clean energy, we’ll fund the Apollo projects of our time.”

No, I disagree, we have not “reinvented” ourselves for 200 years. We have been the one free market nation inventing things for others to improve their lives and ours. It’s a terrible embarrassment that the Republican Party of Michigan jumps on board with this thinking.

If Republicans want the Presidency in 2012, we have to break from moderate patterns and be boldly for the free market. Edison was only able to bring light to the masses because of the free market, not because of government mandates. Michigan’s Republican Party should have the words, “Innovation” and “Free-Market,” printed on their minds and in their hearts, instead of going along with what has brought us to our knees, the green energy mandates of the Granholm administration.

The CFL was picked by government, by the moderate Upton, because it used less energy, but so do candles, and is the only reason cited to do so. But Upton has articulated that he is against mandates in his response to the Cap and Trade bill, as

“Representative Fred Upton wrote in The Hill: The proposed carbon mandates under consideration would mean that the United States could not emit more in the year 2050 than we emitted in 1910…The only nations in the world today that emit at the level mandated in this bill are struggling nations, such as Belize, Jordan, Haiti and Somalia. In order to reach the 80 percent reduction mandated by cap-and-trade, emissions from the transportation sector would have to drop to zero, as would those from all electricity generation, and we would still need to reduce all other sources of greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent.”

Mandates on energy, what kind and how much coincide with what kind of lighting instrument we are forced to buy. The questions that never come up are, “Why do we need to use less energy?” and “Why don’t we just make more?” You would think that Obama’s grandiose bipartisan sentiment in his SOTU meant making more energy is a good thing, right?

Upton has said he will “reexamine” the light bulb ban, “no problem,” and that is perhaps only in response to withering criticism prior to his confirmation as Chair of the Energy committee. But the issue is not just repealing the ban, it is the “innovation” of the free market, instead of the “reinvention” of the governmental mandates to allow the market to accept utterly useless and

After the SOTU address,

“House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) echoed that sentiment. “Innovation is not measured in federal dollars spent or government mandates imposed,” he said in a statement. “Energy independence is not achieved through government dependence.””

Quite an about-face for Upton considering the ban he imposed. Based on that statement, the repeal of the ban should be quickly forthcoming. Unfortunately for Michigan, our heads and hearts aren’t where they used to be.

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