Puppy Training

Why the Mackinac Center decided to weigh in this way is somewhat of a mystery, but we learned from them ...

Mr Lehman, (with whom I have had little argument in the past) premises a decision made to be based on politics, though policy is really their game.

Gratuitous picture of Dave Agema to 'prove' he is not an insensitive Racist

Gratuitous picture of Dave Agema with ‘black’ tea folk

He makes a brief statement, which essentially claims that fact, and then implies clearly that (We cancelled our sponsorship of the Pow wow because we don’t like Dave Agema) The reason the Mackinac Center withdrew from the event was Mr. Agema’s prominent role there” And stopping there. Fair enough.  Its not my money, resources, or political ties to the Snyder administration that is going to stop them.

OK, taking a page from the book of Mackinac, I figured it would be appropriate to deal with disagreements in policy or politics in the way they have previously suggested.  For this exercise, I have located two articles from the Mackinac Center.

The first article was written by a guy who once worked for MCPP, and now spends his time stalking a particular retired Air Force Captain hoping to find SOMETHING that can be used to further defame the many time honored veteran.   Ken Braun during his time at the Mackinac Center wrote:  (I have made critical edits to update)

Almost everyone loves puppies, at least until they start making messes on the carpet.  With every puppy comes the responsibility of training it to become “man’s best friend.” The same can be said about legislators Policy advocates.  While they are, of course, not dogs, they do need to be trained in order to be turned in to a voter’s best friend. While most go to Lansing or Washington to do the right thing, many will end up making messes that result in less liberty.

Training legislators Policy advocates, as with training puppies, must be done with care and common sense. An external system of rewards and punishments is used to guide the puppy toward doing the right thing.

There’s a lesson in this for tea party groups who seek to communicate their concerns to politicians Policy Advocates. You don’t need to explain the principles or speak their language to get your point across. Indeed, this is often the last thing that will work.

While trying to speak their language can take many forms, the most common one is the misconception that activist citizens outside the legislative process can – in real-time – easily influence lawmakers policy advocates during the heat of a legislative poorly understood battle tree marking process.

In most cases, you got the word too late. Your lawmaker policy advocate may have already made up his or her mind ‘Screwed the pooch’.

The brutal fact of representative government  blind uninformed decision making, is that policy heads citizens not on the floor of the legislature not paying attention are suffering a massive information deficit that is usually fatal regarding their ability to change the mind of a politician during a legislative battle avoid a really bad trap.

Like the trained puppy, your lawmakers policy advocate will follow the training that has been driven into them beforehand. Trying to teach these at the last minute is ineffective.  Representative democracy, like puppy training, means you teach the big idea well in advance and then trust the politician or the puppy to do the right thing with the specific details when the big moment arrives.

Counter-intuitively, this means that you can often make the biggest difference well after the vote is over. Afterward, you can find out what your lawmaker policy advocate knew at the time, and judge whether they made the right decision or not. If they barked smartly and did their business outside where it belongs, a tea party group can send a big important message by effusively praising them for it. But if they chewed your slippers, they should face swift consequences.

With this past experience in mind, a politician will learn what is expected of them the NEXT time an important vote comes up. Whether the issue is taxes, spending, regulations or what not blindly condemning good people inappropriately, a message has been sent to the politician regarding the type of conduct is acceptable – and what is not. Either way, they learn that praise or punishment from a tea party is a real consequence of their future actions.

Astute readers of Michigan Capitol Confidential will notice that this understanding of the process informs much of our work when we report to you about legislation. We don’t attempt to give you a blow-by-blow, up to the minute, accounting of what is happening. We do indeed hear a lot of rumors, and a lot of informed speculation, as bills are moving through the process. We certainly could pass all this along to you … and then spend a lot of time backtracking, and changing the story as circumstances warrant. Every word we wrote would only be as good as the next committee hearing or amendment. The result would be frustration for both us and our audience, and not a whole lot of useful advice about bringing about changes.

.. As with the puppy, you should deliberately seek out opportunities to praise politicians who bark when they are supposed to and don’t make a mess.


Then a year later by golly, the theme continues with the woman who was once merely ‘a colleague’ of the (at the time married?) puppy-meister Braun while at the MCPP, and is now his blushing bride?  Quite original thought during a speaking series I suppose, and being ‘kittenish’ she said “be a cat” (but still puppy train – oh yeah and don’t be a doggie). She wrote:

” 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.

Yep. Emphasis added.

But cats, like dogs are still stupid.  And short of getting into the trash or becoming completely feral for their survival will STARVE without their benefactor as most domesticated animals do.


Oh yeah..

The picture at the top of the article, is of Agema and Pastor Phil Smith at today’s powwow.  I had first met Smith when he and ‘insensitive’ Agema  spoke at one of our 912 meetings a couple of years ago.  Why post this?  Because anyone who knows the top gun conservative could not possibly mistake a posting he had copied from Colonel Alan West to be intended as anything BUT information for discussion and critique.


You Betcha! (45)Nuh Uh.(4)

  19 comments for “Puppy Training

Leave a Reply to Izzy Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *