Fire Hydrant of Freedom

Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities => Politics & Religion => Topic started by: Crafty_Dog on November 07, 2008, 04:30:52 AM

Title: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 07, 2008, 04:30:52 AM
'Compassionate' Conservatism Was a Mistake

The liberal pundits who embraced the candidacy of Barack Obama are also eager to issue a death certificate for free market capitalism. They're wrong, and they remind me of what the great Willie Nelson once said: "I'm ragged but I'm right."

To be sure, the American people have handed power over to the Democrats. But today there is a categorical difference between what Republicans stand for and the principles of individual freedom. Parties are all about getting people elected to political office; and the practice of politics too often takes the form of professional juvenile delinquency: short-sighted and self-centered.

This was certainly true of the Bush presidency. Too often the policy agenda was determined by short-sighted political considerations and an abiding fear that the public simply would not understand limited government and expanded individual freedoms. How else do we explain "compassionate conservatism," No Child Left Behind, the Medicare drug benefit and the most dramatic growth in federal spending since LBJ's Great Society?

John McCain has long suffered from philosophical confusions about free markets, and his presidential campaign reflected as much. Most striking was his inability to explain his own health-care proposal, or to defend his tax cuts and tax reform. Ultimately, it took a plumber from Ohio to identify the real nature of Barack Obama's plan to "spread the wealth."

Mr. McCain did find his message on taxes in the last few weeks, but it was too late. A Rasmussen poll of Oct. 30 reported that 31% of likely voters believed that "taxes will go down" under an Obama administration versus just 11% under a McCain administration. Shockingly, 19% of self-described conservatives believed Mr. Obama would cut taxes; only 12% thought Mr. McCain would.

The response by Mr. McCain to the financial crisis on Wall Street was the defining moment of the campaign. In what looked like a tailor-made opportunity to "clean up Washington," the Republican nominee could have challenged the increasingly politicized nature of Federal Reserve policies, and the inherently corrupt relationships between Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and various Democratic committee chairmen. Instead, his reaction was visceral and insecure: He "suspended" his campaign and promised "to put an end to the reckless conduct, corruption, and unbridled greed that have caused a crisis on Wall Street."

In the process, he squandered his political standing with the investor class, a core Republican voting bloc. An October 26-30 Reuters/C-Span/Zogby poll of likely voters showed Mr. McCain barely beating the Democratic nominee among self-identified "investors," 50.4% to 43.8% -- a dramatic drop from the 15-point lead he held in a similar poll a month earlier.

The modern Republican Party has risen above its insecurities to achieve political success. Ronald Reagan, for example, held an unshakably positive vision of American capitalism. He didn't feel a need to qualify the meaning of his conservatism. He understood that big government was cruel and uncaring of individual aspirations. Small government conservatism was, by definition, compassionate -- offering every American a way up to self-determination and economic prosperity.

Republicans lost control of Congress in 2006 because voters no longer saw Republicans as the party of limited government. They have since rejected virtually every opportunity to recapture this identity. But their failure to do so must not be misconstrued as a rejection of principles of individual liberty by the American people. The evidence suggests we are still a nation of pocketbook conservatives most happy when government has enough respect to leave us alone and to mind its own business. The worrisome question is whether either political party understands this.

What will be the fate of free market capitalism in America? Will the 2008 election look more like 1932 -- or 1992?

On both occasions, Republican presidents had abandoned their party's principles for bigger government policies that exacerbated difficult economic times. On both occasions, Democrats took control, largely hijacking the small-government, fiscally responsible rhetoric of their opponents. Of course, FDR's election ushered in the New Deal, the most dramatic expansion of government power in American history, together with policy changes and economic uncertainty that inhibited investment and growth and locked in massive unemployment for nearly a generation.

The official agenda of the incoming administration is not so different from FDR's. Whatever doubts remain about Mr. Obama's governing principles can be cleared up by looking at the governing philosophy of the Democrats in Congress he will be crafting legislation with or the liberal constituencies he is indebted to support. Democrats will not be ambiguous. They have every right to be energized, and will attempt sweeping changes to our economy and the very nature of the relationship between individual American citizens and the federal government.

Their wish list is long. Charlie Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, has said he would like to redistribute a trillion dollars through the tax code, including massive tax hikes on capital accumulation and individual entrepreneurship. Labor unions want to take away the right of a worker to a secret ballot in organizing elections. Radical environmentalists demand strict curbs on energy production and use. Hillary Clinton may have lost the primary, but expect Democrats to push her favorite idea: government-run heath care.

Will Democratic overreach give the small-government movement the opportunity to reassert itself in the GOP? Former Congressman Dick Gephardt has warned President-elect Obama and the new Democratic majorities to be humble and measured. But with a legislative agenda driven by Nancy Pelosi, George Miller and Mr. Rangel, the temptations may be too great.

In 1992, Republican backbenchers including Newt Gingrich, myself, Bob Walker and John Boehner rose up to challenge the Clinton administration's agenda on taxes, spending and government-run health care. But before we could beat the Democrats, we had to beat the old bulls of our own party who had forgotten their principles and had become very comfortable as a complacent minority. We captured control of Congress in 1994 because we had confidence in our principles, and in the American people's willingness to understand and reward a national vision based on lower taxes, less government and more freedom.

That can happen again today -- but it will require a new generation of leadership, the sooner the better. Rest assured that the American people will show up for the fight.

Mr. Armey, U.S. House majority leader from 1995 to 2002, is chairman of FreedomWorks Foundation.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: G M on November 07, 2008, 06:53:34 AM

Zo rocks! I disagree with him about Huckabee, but I think his core point is very valid.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: ccp on November 07, 2008, 07:38:01 AM
The modern Republican Party has risen above its insecurities to achieve political success. Ronald Reagan, for example, held an unshakably positive vision of American capitalism. He didn't feel a need to qualify the meaning of his conservatism. He understood that big government was cruel and uncaring of individual aspirations. Small government conservatism was, by definition, compassionate -- offering every American a way up to self-determination and economic prosperity.

Do not every single poll out there show the majority of Americans believe the Democrats are better for the economy?

Total deregulation had led us to the savings and loan fiasco (thanks RR!) and now this.

And again I state the RR led us to the immigration mess we are in.

No mention of that from nonobjective RR lovers.

There will be a never ending fight from the wings of the political spectrum yanking America back and forth.

Real compromise and moderation is always torn by these two extremes.

I really feel like there is no place/party for me to go.  I am disgusted by both ends.

I am also disgusted by the rights blaming McCain.  Who in there right mind would not agree that the campaign process is not corrupt and yes controlled by special interest groups?  I can only hear the libertarians scream over this now.

Why we don't even have any clue where BO got his billion dollars from.  Does anyone really think this was from all small donors?

McCain was right about this.  But because the Cans held the fund raising advantage (at least in the past) they threw honesty out the window for party politics.

And McCain did come out for regulating Fanny and Freddie.  So what was he supposed to do let the market confidence completely crash now and not support the government credit ballout?

I don't want all my savings going to zero.

And people like Coulter who of course blame the loss on McCain.  Well who should have been the Can nominee?  Romney?  He has zero charisma.  He would have been wiped even more.  McCain is a great American hero.  Coulter is a great American embarassment.

Why W was the rights candidate in 2000 and 2004!  And W was right to reach out to immigrants and was McCain.  Thanks to the greatest living Republican we are left with that mess.  And they don't vote for RR's party!
That said Latinos sitll voted for crats by over 2 to 1.  Can anyone imagine if Romney was in there?  It would have been 10 to one.

I am now a reluctant member of the Can party.  I simply have no where else to go.  Many of these people don't speak for me.

BTW, I like and respect Dick Armey but I disagree with him and think he is to some extent out of touch.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: ccp on November 07, 2008, 08:31:00 AM
***Thanks to the greatest living Republican***

Obviously a mistatement.  I meant RR who is not alive.

And don't get me wrong.  I loved RR.  But lets not blindly put him on a pedestal and idolize his (though ok to idolize the man who is great one) policies as though he had all the answers to the world we live in today.

We need *new* ideas.  Or at least new applications of his ideas with *real* adjustments to the changing world.

We don't need a simple rehash of Reagonics or Reagan's lets let capitalism and free markets roll as though everything will take care of itself.   It obviously doesn't. Yet I certainly lean more towards Reaganomics and away from bomonomics.

We need great thinkers who can adjust what is wrong with Reaganomics and fine tune them.  Not simply declare we need to go back to them blindly and stupidly as though they are the answer to all.  Lets learn from history not cling to it.

I guess my views are not able to be heard.  I would be willing to bet there is a great mass of those who would agree with exactly what I am saying in this country. But all the far right cans are coming out with articles defending the hard themselves and villifying moderates like me. 
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: G M on November 07, 2008, 08:47:35 AM
The "four pillars" of conservatism:

1. Adherence to the ideals of the founding fathers.

2. Prosperity through low taxes and reasonable regulation of trade.

3. Individialism and self reliance.

4. Small government.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 07, 2008, 10:30:42 AM

That clip from Zo was awesome!  I don't agree on Huckabee, but Zo's mindset and delivery are great.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: DougMacG on November 07, 2008, 11:04:26 AM
We should leave Ann Coulter out of this.  Like certain leftists her job is to strike a nerve, not rebuild a party.  I suggest leaving Reagan out of this too.  Admirers like me refer to Reaganomics to selectively cover only the things we liked about Reagan.  He was wrong occasionally as CCP points out.  I sincerely doubt Reagan would favor porous borders in a post-911 world.  McCain favored a form of amnesty.  Should he have bucked the right wing and reached further to the Hispanics? Politically it was a no-win either way for McCain in the campaign, not a major issue or distinction from Obama who just wants hope and change. Instead it was a symptom of the fact that he was a maverick not a leader in congress.  If his earlier proposals had been better structured, more persuasively argued and better received, maybe we would have these new residents documented and our fences built by now. CCP, aren't you on the (far) right-wing side of this one?

Deregulation hurt S&L's.  More specifically you could say that S&Ls existed only because they were propped up by government policies.  Would they exist today (No) if they were still prohibited from offering demand deposit accounts (checking, electronic transfers etc.), just updating passbooks and moving stable savings money into 30 year mortgages in the neighborhood?  S&Ls had been granted a half point interest advantage over commercial banks by federal law in exchange for staying out of the checking and payments business.  Would we have been better off in the 80s if the banks had failed instead of the S&Ls?  I don't know, but we didn't deregulate, we changed the regulations.  Back to today, did Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac fail due to deregulation?  The videos of the congressional regulation oversight committees have been posted here and they say otherwise.  All the right questions were asked by the oversight committees and all the wrong answers were given, mostly by those with their hand in the cookie jar.  Faulty regulation is not deregulation.

Deregulation and the failure of free markets keeps getting blamed for failure only in our most regulated and least free industries.  Nobody is calling for deregulation of federally insured and federally supported institutions. 

Now the first appointee from the party not blamed for the crisis comes from the board of Freddie Mac.  That is the audacity of hope.  Who can compete with that?

Moving forward, I agree with conservative principles laid down by GM, would add peace through strength, but they need to all be specifically applied to the major issues of the day.  They also need a spokesman, a podium and an enormous power of persuasion to get heard and considered in an era where nearly all the main media along with their viewers are looking the other direction.  The round table style post recently had many interesting ideas.

Conservatives and center-right people need to debate positions and issues BEFORE the election contests and find solutions and consensus.  Crafty can offer to host, lol.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: G M on November 07, 2008, 01:01:06 PM

If we are lucky, our grandkids will have peace. We are in a multigenerational war for our survival. It doesn't feel like it to most right now, but it's absolutely the case. Survival, then victory through strength, then someday peace through strength.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: ccp on November 07, 2008, 01:53:28 PM
Thanks for the thoughtful take.  I am happy to leave Coulter out of it.  I used to like her but she has lost me.

As for Reagan it is hard to keep him out of it when many conservative journalists, some of them posted here, keep bringing up his name as though he can come back from the dead to save the R party.

I would like to leave him in his rightful place in history within the pantheon of party greats  but move on in a forward not backward direction.

As for your point about the immigration thing there is probably a small *majority* of Americans (not only those on the "far right") who want the illegal immigration flood stopped.  And I agree with this stance.  I want to dispose of old laws that make it ok for people to come here illegally and utilize our hospitals to have babies who are thus legal citizens automatically.  Or for those who come here be able to bring 12 or what is it 18 relatives over to live here.  I bet more than 50% of Americans would still agree with this. 

But!!!  I question if it is not *too late* for this because the voting power of the immigrants and particularly the Latino immigrants is now so huge they can make or break national candidates.  Look at California, New Mexico, Colorado, and possibly NY and NJ etc.
These states have huge Latino voters. 

I feel we must be realists.  Some including Rove have felt if we get too strict with the Latinos we "will lose them for generations."
After seeing the Latino voting polls he appears to be right and that was even after W and McCain taking leniency.

Rove was pointing out how Latinos have conservative values with regards to work ethic and family and religion.  While that may be true I see them wanting government sponsored health care and many government programs.  If they loved Repub. ideals so much they would vote for that party.  But many love the big government the Dems offer. 
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: DougMacG on November 07, 2008, 06:49:16 PM
Thanks for comments back.  GM: I agree about requiring victory before peace.  Also our strength is not just our arsenal but our will.  My recollection of the Iraq war is that 80-90% supported the effort when the Americans appeared to be winning easily and that nearly flipflopped when the war seemed to be going badly.  Now it is back to about 50-50 depending on how you ask the question.  I don't know why we poll the popularity of war while troops are in harm's way but the results reveal a lack of strength in our resolve that our enemies were happy to expose. 

CCP: I don't know to what extent securing borders offends how many Hispanics.  You covered the other factors that would have been my reply in the next paragraph.  I think the 2/3 that supported Obama related to the class envy / pro-working class message of the campaign.  From my point of view that means I think they were sold a false bill of goods since punishing employers doesn't grow jobs or expand middle class wealth.  Should we match their proposals or come up with a better false bill of goods.  I hope not.

Newt was on the right track earlier this cycle coming up with innovative proposals for the issues of the day.  Yhanks for those posts. I disagreed with him on cap and trade but liked most of the ideas and loved the approach.  Also, I liked the positive proposal from the recent round table post that indicated we should evaluate our needs and recruit immigrants from around the world.  Like Obama did, over the next couple of years we need to change the game, not just re-fight the same battles. (The adventure continues.)
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 08, 2008, 07:34:21 AM
Occasionally Coulter is still funny, but mostly I wouldn't even let her perform fellatio on me. :lol:

OTOH IMHO President Reagan remains profoundly relevant on many levels, not least of which is the , , , audacity of believing in free minds, free markets, freedom of choice, freedom of worship, the pursuit of happiness, and America.

Here's this from today's WSJ:

After the shellacking it received at the polls Tuesday, the Republican Party faces a choice. It can put the loss down to the country's fatigue with the Bush Administration and the bad luck of running amid a financial panic and shrug it off. Or it can choose a new direction, with new leadership, and retake the high ground it once occupied, especially on the economy.

Paul Ryan
These columns are devoted to ideas, not party, and ordinarily we would not insert ourselves into the internal debate over party leadership. But in the current political and economic climate, it is important that somebody offer an effective argument against the interventionist, antigrowth conventional wisdom that dominates the majority party in Congress. And if the Republican Party would offer that counterargument, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan seems to be the right man to make the case.

Mr. Ryan was first elected in 1998, and he has always won re-election comfortably in a state and a district that are not particularly safe territory for Republicans. Racine County, which represents the biggest piece of Mr. Ryan's district in southeastern Wisconsin, voted for Barack Obama, 53%-46%, but still voted to re-elect Mr. Ryan 62%-37%. He is, in other words, a politician practiced in speaking to and winning over voters who are not necessarily die-hard Republicans.

But the most important reason that Mr. Ryan is the right man at the current moment has nothing to do with electoral calculation. The 38-year-old Mr. Ryan cares about free markets and economic growth and can talk about those subjects in a way that makes sense without falling back on ideology, bromides or oversimplification. He engages these subjects with a vigor that befits his age, and while he has been in Congress for nearly a decade, his is a fresh face on the national scene, one not associated with the bipartisan failures of Congress.

Mr. Ryan is also an effective communicator on television, which will be an important outlet for reaching the American people and presenting an alternative to the economic ideas of Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi and Charlie Rangel. This summer, with a Presidential election well underway and his party in the minority, Mr. Ryan unveiled a far-sighted "Road Map for America's Future."

It is a remarkable document: Other politicians, including Presidential candidates, boldly declare their intentions to push any hard or painful choices off to blue-ribbon commissions. Mr. Ryan's Road Map puts into legislative language not mere general principles, but a plan to pay for all the promises we've made to seniors while preventing government spending from achieving French proportions. "I want to be the Paul Revere of fiscal policy," he said at the time, raising the alarm on our long-term liabilities even while President-elect Obama and others insist that there's nothing to see when it comes to the long-term insolvency of Medicare and Social Security.

More generally, the Republican Party needs a prominent figure who can discuss the full range of economic issues -- growth, the dollar, global trade and monetary policy included. The economy was the top issue on voter minds in this election, and Republicans lost. The party needs someone who can put these issues into a context that voters can understand and relate to. And looking at the national field, there seem precious few candidates for the job.

Mr. Ryan did not solicit our support, and we should note that he said Thursday that he isn't seeking the leadership job. John Boehner, the current leader, wasn't the cause of this year's GOP losses and is the favorite to retain his position. If that's what House Republicans want to do, so be it. Our job is to say what we think in any case. And Mr. Ryan's economic knowledge and youthful energy make him the best choice to pull his party in a more promising direction.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 08, 2008, 07:56:13 AM
These words bear re-reading-- especially with BO about to give driver licences to illegals, and the vote to anyone with a driver's license:

"As for your point about the immigration thing there is probably a small *majority* of Americans (not only those on the "far right") who want the illegal immigration flood stopped.  And I agree with this stance.  I want to dispose of old laws that make it ok for people to come here illegally and utilize our hospitals to have babies who are thus legal citizens automatically.  Or for those who come here be able to bring 12 or what is it 18 relatives over to live here.  I bet more than 50% of Americans would still agree with this. 

"But!!!  I question if it is not *too late* for this because the voting power of the immigrants and particularly the Latino immigrants is now so huge they can make or break national candidates.  Look at California, New Mexico, Colorado, and possibly NY and NJ etc.
These states have huge Latino voters. 

"I feel we must be realists.  Some including Rove have felt if we get too strict with the Latinos we "will lose them for generations."
After seeing the Latino voting polls he appears to be right and that was even after W and McCain taking leniency.

"Rove was pointing out how Latinos have conservative values with regards to work ethic and family and religion.  While that may be true I see them wanting government sponsored health care and many government programs.  If they loved Repub. ideals so much they would vote for that party.  But many love the big government the Dems offer." 
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: ccp on November 08, 2008, 08:43:45 AM
***These words bear re-reading-- especially with BO about to give driver licences to illegals, and the vote to anyone with a driver's license:***



I'm all ears.....

What do you prescribe?  Lets face it.  There is no political will to do anything about the illegals because as Lou Dobbs points out everyday they parites are afraid to lose votes.  Each party is ignoring this issue to get Latino votes.  The Democrats sold american citizens down the river years ago on this issue to bring in the Spanish who overwhelming vote for them.  The Republicans did not or could not stand up to this and W/Rove/et al must have felt it was too late fighting the tide and tried to also kiss up to those who just got here.  So they tried, and unfortunately, even that didn't work because the Dems won them over with more promises.

It doesn't help that Romenys own lawn guy was using illegals.  Though I think my lawn guy does to.  The cans did not seem willing to go after those in this country who employ illegals.  And of course it didn't help that it at least in some places it appears to have been made a crime for empolyers to even try to verify citizens status.  ("Why this is not a state or local problem" the local governments would scream - its up to the INS to do that).

Now the only party that would have had any will to do anything about it is out of power.

So what do you suggest?  I'm all ears because I am disgusted with seeing ever more people who obviously are not here legally all around me (and far from just Latinos - people from Asia, Africa, Europe) just walking in at their leisure and we sit here like dopes doing nothing.  All the while the left talks our own country down and now is going to use their prescription for winning over the world's love by ensuring we become a second rate country.

So did Rove et al make a mistake trying to win over the illegals?  I don't know.  I do know the Dems are happy to sell out US citizens who were born here or who are non citizens here LEGALLY to get and keep power.
Could Republicans have secured our border and improved standing among immigrants and Latinos in particular?  I guess Doug alluded to that question *I don't know to what extent securing borders offends how many Hispanics.*  I would think Rove looked into this and made his conclusions that led to his and W strategy regarding this.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: G M on November 08, 2008, 10:08:37 AM

November 08, 2008, 7:00 a.m.

The Death of the American Idea
An electorate living high off the entitlement hog.

By Mark Steyn

‘Give me liberty or give me death!”

“Live free or die!”

What's that? Oh, don't mind me. I'm just trying out slogans for the 2012 campaign and seeing which one would get the biggest laughs.

My Republican friends are now saying, oh, not to worry, look at the exit polls, this is still a “center-right” country. Americans didn't vote to go left, they voted to go cool. It was a Dancing With The Stars election: Obama's a star and everyone wants to dance with him. It doesn't mean they're suddenly gung-ho for left-wingery.

Up to a point. Unlike those excitable countries where the peasants overrun the presidential palace, settled democratic societies rarely vote to “go left.” Yet oddly enough that's where they've all gone. In its assumptions about the size of the state and the role of government, almost every advanced nation is more left than it was, and getting lefter. Even in America, federal spending (in inflation-adjusted 2007 dollars) has gone from $600 billion in 1965 to $3 trillion today. The Heritage Foundation put it in a convenient graph: It's pretty much a straight line across four decades, up, up, up. Doesn't make any difference who controls Congress, who's in the White House. The government just grows and grows, remorselessly. Every two years, the voters walk out of their town halls and school gyms and tell the exit pollsters that three-quarters of them are “moderates” or “conservatives” (ie, the center and the right) and barely 20 per cent are “liberals.” And then, regardless of how the vote went, big government just resumes its inexorable growth.

“The greatest dangers to liberty,” wrote Justice Brandeis, “lurk in the insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.”

Now who does that remind you of?

Ha! Trick question! Never mind Obama, it's John McCain. He encroached on our liberties with the constitutional abomination of McCain-Feingold. Well-meaning but without understanding, he proposed that the federal government buy up all these junk mortgages so that people would be able to stay in “their” homes. And this is the “center-right” candidate? It's hard for Republicans to hammer Obama as a socialist when their own party's nationalizing the banks and its presidential nominee is denouncing the private sector for putting profits before patriotism. That's why Joe the Plumber struck a chord: he briefly turned a one-and-a-half party election back into a two-party choice again.

If you went back to the end of the 19th century and suggested to, say, William McKinley that one day Americans would find themselves choosing between a candidate promising to guarantee your mortgage and a candidate promising to give “tax cuts” to millions of people who pay no taxes he would scoff at you for concocting some patently absurd H G Wells dystopian fantasy. Yet it happened. Slowly, remorselessly, government metastasized to the point where it now seems entirely normal for Peggy Joseph of Sarasota, Florida to vote for Obama because “I won't have to worry about putting gas in my car. I won't have to worry about paying my mortgage.”

While few electorates consciously choose to leap left, a couple more steps every election and eventually societies reach a tipping point. In much of the west, it's government health care. It changes the relationship between state and citizen into something closer to pusher and junkie. Henceforth, elections are fought over which party is proposing the shiniest government bauble: If you think President-elect Obama's promise of federally subsidized day care was a relatively peripheral part of his platform, in Canada in the election before last it was the dominant issue. Yet America may be approaching its tipping point even more directly. In political terms, the message of the gazillion-dollar bipartisan bailout was a simple one: “Individual responsibility” and “self-reliance” are for chumps. If Goldman Sachs and AIG and Bear Stearns are getting government checks to “stay in their homes” (and boardrooms, and luxury corporate retreats), why shouldn't Peggy Joseph?

I don't need Barack Obama's help to “spread the wealth around.” I spread my wealth around every time I hire somebody, expand my business, or just go to the general store and buy a quart of milk and loaf of bread. As far as I know, only one bloated plutocrat declines to spread his wealth around, and that's Scrooge McDuck, whose principal activity in Disney cartoons was getting into his little bulldozer and plowing back and forth over a mountain of warehoused gold and silver coins. Don't know where he is these days. On the board at Halliburton, no doubt. But most of the beleaguered band of American capitalists do not warehouse their wealth in McDuck fashion. It's not a choice between hoarding and spreading, but a choice between who spreads it best: an individual free to make his own decisions about investment and spending, or Barney Frank. I don't find that a difficult question to answer. More to the point, put Barney & Co in charge of the spreading, and there'll be a lot less to spread.

I disagree with my fellow conservatives who think the Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Frank liberal behemoth will so obviously screw up that they'll be routed in two or four years' time. The President-elect's so-called “tax cut” will absolve 48 per cent of Americans from paying any federal income tax at all, while those that are left will pay more. Just under half the population will be, as Daniel Henninger pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, on the dole. By 2012, it will be more than half, and this will be an electorate where the majority of the electorate will be able to vote itself more lollipops from the minority of their compatriots still dumb enough to prioritize self-reliance, dynamism, and innovation over the sedating cocoon of the nanny state. That is the death of the American idea — which, after all, began as an economic argument: “No taxation without representation" is a great rallying cry. “No representation without taxation” has less mass appeal. For how do you tell an electorate living high off the entitlement hog that it's unsustainable and you've got to give some of it back?

At that point, America might as well apply for honorary membership in the European Union. It will be a nation at odds with the spirit of its founding, and embarking on decline from which there are few escape routes. In 2012, the least we deserve is a choice between the collectivist assumptions of the Democrats, and a candidate who stands for individual liberty — for economic dynamism not the sclerotic “managed capitalism” of Germany; for the First Amendment, not Canadian-style government regulation of approved opinion; for self-reliance and the Second Amendment, not the security state in which Britons are second only to North Koreans in the number of times they're photographed by government cameras in the course of going about their daily business. In Forbes this week, Claudia Rosett issued a stirring defense of individual liberty. That it should require a stirring defense at all is a melancholy reflection on this election season. Live free — or die from a thousand beguiling caresses of nanny-state sirens.

© Mark Steyn 2008
National Review Online -
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: G M on November 08, 2008, 10:18:17 AM

Ok, so here is the good/bad news: read the above and see that the nanny-state can't go on for much longer. Prepare for a hard landing.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: G M on November 09, 2008, 09:14:59 AM
**I don't agree with every point, but his take on the size of gov't is right on.**

We Blew It
A look back in remorse on the conservative opportunity that was squandered.
by P.J. O'Rourke
11/17/2008, Volume 014, Issue 09

Let us bend over and kiss our ass goodbye. Our 28-year conservative opportunity to fix the moral and practical boundaries of government is gone--gone with the bear market and the Bear Stearns and the bear that's headed off to do you-know-what in the woods on our philosophy.

An entire generation has been born, grown up, and had families of its own since Ronald Reagan was elected. And where is the world we promised these children of the Conservative Age? Where is this land of freedom and responsibility, knowledge, opportunity, accomplishment, honor, truth, trust, and one boring hour each week spent in itchy clothes at church, synagogue, or mosque? It lies in ruins at our feet, as well it might, since we ourselves kicked the shining city upon a hill into dust and rubble. The progeny of the Reagan Revolution will live instead in the universe that revolves around Hyde Park.

Mind you, they won't live in Hyde Park. Those leafy precincts will be reserved for the micromanagers and macro-apparatchiks of liberalism--for Secretary of the Department of Peace Bill Ayers and Secretary of the Department of Fairness Bernardine Dohrn. The formerly independent citizens of our previously self-governed nation will live, as I said, around Hyde Park. They will make what homes they can in the physical, ethical, and intellectual slums of the South Side of Chicago.

The South Side of Chicago is what everyplace in America will be once the Democratic administration and filibuster-resistant Democratic Congress have tackled global warming, sustainability, green alternatives to coal and oil, subprime mortgage foreclosures, consumer protection, business oversight, financial regulation, health care reform, taxes on the "rich," and urban sprawl. The Democrats will have plenty of time to do all this because conservatism, if it is ever reborn, will not come again in the lifetime of anyone old enough to be rounded up by ACORN and shipped to the polling booths.

None of this is the fault of the left. After the events of the 20th century--national socialism, international socialism, inter-species socialism from Earth First--anyone who is still on the left is obviously insane and not responsible for his or her actions. No, we on the right did it. The financial crisis that is hoisting us on our own petard is only the latest (if the last) of the petard hoistings that have issued from the hindquarters of our movement. We've had nearly three decades to educate the electorate about freedom, responsibility, and the evils of collectivism, and we responded by creating a big-city-public-school-system of a learning environment.

Liberalism had been running wild in the nation since the Great Depression. At the end of the Carter administration we had it cornered in one of its dreadful low-income housing projects or smelly public parks or some such place, and we held the Taser gun in our hand, pointed it at the beast's swollen gut, and didn't pull the trigger. Liberalism wasn't zapped and rolled away on a gurney and confined somewhere until it expired from natural causes such as natural law or natural rights.

In our preaching and our practice we neglected to convey the organic and universal nature of freedom. Thus we ensured our loss before we even began our winning streak. Barry Goldwater was an admirable and principled man. He took an admirably principled stand on states' rights. But he was dead wrong. Separate isn't equal. Ask a kid whose parents are divorced.

Since then modern conservatism has been plagued by the wrong friends and the wrong foes. The "Southern Strategy" was bequeathed to the Republican party by Richard Nixon--not a bad friend of conservatism but no friend at all. The Southern Strategy wasn't needed. Southern whites were on--begging the pardon of the Scopes trial jury--an evolutionary course toward becoming Republican. There's a joke in Arkansas about a candidate hustling votes in the country. The candidate asks a farmer how many children he has.

"I've got six sons," the farmer says.

"Are they all good little Democrats?" the candidate asks.

"Well," the farmer says, "five of 'em are. But my oldest boy, he got to readin'??.??.??.??"

There was no need to piss off the entire black population of America to get Dixie's electoral votes. And despising cracker trash who have a laundry hamper full of bedsheets with eye-holes cut in them does not make a man a liberal.

Blacks used to poll Republican. They did so right up until Mrs. Roosevelt made some sympathetic noises in 1932. And her husband didn't even deliver on Eleanor's promises.

It's not hard to move a voting bloc. And it should be especially easy to move voters to the right. Sensible adults are conservative in most aspects of their private lives. If this weren't so, imagine driving on I-95: The majority of drivers are drunk, stoned, making out, or watching TV, while the rest are trying to calculate the size of their carbon footprints on the backs of Whole Foods receipts while negotiating lane changes.

People are even more conservative if they have children. Nobody with kids is a liberal, except maybe one pothead in Marin County. Everybody wants his or her children to respect freedom, exercise responsibility, be honest, get educated, have opportunities, and own a bunch of guns. (The last is optional and includes, but is not limited to, me, my friends in New Hampshire, and Sarah Palin.)

Reagan managed to reach out to blue collar whites. But there his reach stopped, leaving many people on our side, but barely knowing it. There are enough yarmulkes among the neocons to show that Jews are not immune to conservatism. Few practicing Catholics vote Democratic anymore except in Massachusetts where they put something in the communion wafers. When it comes to a full-on, hemp-wearing, kelp-eating, mandala-tatted, fool-coifed liberal with socks in sandals, I have never met a Muslim like that or a Chinese and very few Hispanics. No U.S. immigrants from the Indian subcontinent fill that bill (the odd charlatan yogi excepted), nor do immigrants from Africa, Eastern Europe, or East Asia. And Japanese tourists may go so far as socks in sandals, but their liberal nonsense stops at the ankles.

We have all of this going for us, worldwide. And yet we chose to deliver our sermons only to the faithful or the already converted. Of course the trailer park Protestants yell "Amen." If you were handling rattlesnakes and keeping dinosaurs for pets, would you vote for the party that gets money from PETA?

In how many ways did we fail conservatism? And who can count that high? Take just one example of our unconserved tendency to poke our noses into other people's business: abortion. Democracy--be it howsoever conservative--is a manifestation of the will of the people. We may argue with the people as a man may argue with his wife, but in the end we must submit to the fact of being married. Get a pro-life friend drunk to the truth-telling stage and ask him what happens if his 14-year-old gets knocked up. What if it's rape? Some people truly have the courage of their convictions. I don't know if I'm one of them. I might kill the baby. I will kill the boy.

The real message of the conservative pro-life position is that we're in favor of living. We consider people--with a few obvious exceptions--to be assets. Liberals consider people to be nuisances. People are always needing more government resources to feed, house, and clothe them and to pick up the trash around their FEMA trailers and to make sure their self-esteem is high enough to join community organizers lobbying for more government resources.

If the citizenry insists that abortion remain legal--and, in a passive and conflicted way, the citizenry seems to be doing so--then give the issue a rest. Meanwhile we can, with the public's blessing, refuse to spend taxpayers' money on killing, circumscribe the timing and method of taking a human life, make sure parental consent is obtained when underage girls are involved, and tar and feather teenage boys and run them out of town on a rail. The law cannot be made identical with morality. Scan the list of the Ten Commandments and see how many could be enforced even by Rudy Giuliani.

Our impeachment of President Clinton was another example of placing the wrong political emphasis on personal matters. We impeached Clinton for lying to the government. To our surprise the electorate gave us cold comfort. Lying to the government: It's called April 15th. And we accused Clinton of lying about sex, which all men spend their lives doing, starting at 15 bragging about things we haven't done yet, then on to fibbing about things we are doing, and winding up with prevarications about things we no longer can do.

When the Monica Lewinsky news broke, my wife set me straight about the issue. "Here," she said, "is the most powerful man in the world. And everyone hates his wife. What's the matter with Sharon Stone? Instead, he's hitting on an emotionally disturbed intern barely out of her teens." But our horn rims were so fogged with detestation of Clinton that we couldn't see how really detestable he was. If we had stayed our hand in the House of Representatives and treated the brute with shunning or calls for interventions to make him seek help, we might have chased him out of the White House. (Although this probably would have required a U.S. news media from a parallel universe.)

Such things as letting the abortion debate be turned against us and using the gravity of the impeachment process on something that required the fly-swat of pest control were strategic errors. Would that blame could be put on our strategies instead of ourselves. We have lived up to no principle of conservatism.

Government is bigger than ever. We have fattened the stalled ox and hatred therewith rather than dined on herbs where love (and the voter) is. Instead of flattening the Department of Education with a wrecking ball we let it stand as a pulpit for Bill Bennett. When--to switch metaphors yet again--such a white elephant is not discarded someone will eventually try to ride in the howdah on its back. One of our supposed own did. No Child Left Behind? What if they deserve to be left behind? What if they deserve a smack on the behind? A nationwide program to test whether kids are what? Stupid? You've got kids. Kids are stupid.

We railed at welfare and counted it a great victory when Bill Clinton confused a few poor people by making the rules more complicated. But the "French-bread lines" for the rich, the "terrapin soup kitchens," continue their charity without stint.

The sludge and dreck of political muck-funds flowing to prosperous businesses and individuals have gotten deeper and more slippery and stink worse than ever with conservatives minding the sewage works of legislation.

Agriculture is a business that has been up to its bib overalls in politics since the first Thanksgiving dinner kickback to the Indians for subsidizing Pilgrim maize production with fish head fertilizer grants. But never, since the Mayflower knocked the rock in Plymouth, has anything as putrid as the Farm, Nutrition and Bioenergy Act of 2008 been spread upon the land. Just the name says it. There are no farms left. Not like the one grampa grew up on.

A "farm" today means 100,000 chickens in a space the size of a Motel 6 shower stall. If we cared anything about "nutrition" we would--to judge by the mountainous, jiggling flab of Americans--stop growing all food immediately. And "bioenergy" is a fraud of John Edwards-marital-fidelity proportions. Taxpayer money composted to produce a fuel made of alcohol that is more expensive than oil, more polluting than oil, and almost as bad as oil with vermouth and an olive. But this bill passed with bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress and was happily signed into law by President Bush. Now it's going to cost us at least $285 billion. That's about five times the gross domestic product of prewar Iraq. For what we will spend on the Farm, Nutrition and Bioenergy Act of 2008 we could have avoided the war in Iraq and simply bought a controlling interest in Saddam Hussein's country.

Yes, we got a few tax breaks during the regimes of Reagan and W. But the government is still taking a third of our salary. Is the government doing a third of our job? Is the government doing a third of our dishes? Our laundry? Our vacuuming? When we go to Hooters is the government tending bar making sure that one out of three margaritas is on the house? If our spouse is feeling romantic and we're tired, does the government come over to our house and take care of foreplay? (Actually, during the Clinton administration??.??.??.??)

Anyway, a low tax rate is not--never mind the rhetoric of every conservative politician--a bedrock principle of conservatism. The principle is fiscal responsibility.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: G M on November 09, 2008, 09:15:53 AM
Conservatives should never say to voters, "We can lower your taxes." Conservatives should say to voters, "You can raise spending. You, the electorate, can, if you choose, have an infinite number of elaborate and expensive government programs. But we, the government, will have to pay for those programs. We have three ways to pay.

"We can inflate the currency, destroying your ability to plan for the future, wrecking the nation's culture of thrift and common sense, and giving free rein to scallywags to borrow money for worthless scams and pay it back 10 cents on the dollar.

"We can raise taxes. If the taxes are levied across the board, money will be taken from everyone's pocket, the economy will stagnate, and the poorest and least advantaged will be harmed the most. If the taxes are levied only on the wealthy, money will be taken from wealthy people's pockets, hampering their capacity to make loans and investments, the economy will stagnate, and the poorest and the least advantaged will be harmed the most.

"And we can borrow, building up a massive national debt. This will cause all of the above things to happen plus it will fund Red Chinese nuclear submarines that will be popping up in San Francisco Bay to get some decent Szechwan take-out."

Yes, this would make for longer and less pithy stump speeches. But we'd be showing ourselves to be men and women of principle. It might cost us, short-term. We might get knocked down for not whoring after bioenergy votes in the Iowa caucuses. But at least we wouldn't land on our scruples. And we could get up again with dignity intact, dust ourselves off, and take another punch at the liberal bully-boys who want to snatch the citizenry's freedom and tuck that freedom, like a trophy feather, into the hatbands of their greasy political bowlers.

But are we men and women of principle? And I don't mean in the matter of tricky and private concerns like gay marriage. Civil marriage is an issue of contract law. A constitutional amendment against gay marriage? I don't get it. How about a constitutional amendment against first marriages? Now we're talking. No, I speak, once again, of the geological foundations of conservatism.

Where was the meum and the tuum in our shakedown of Washington lobbyists? It took a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives 40 years--from 1954 to 1994--to get that corrupt and arrogant. And we managed it in just 12. (Who says Republicans don't have much on the ball?)

Our attitude toward immigration has been repulsive. Are we not pro-life? Are not immigrants alive? Unfortunately, no, a lot of them aren't after attempting to cross our borders. Conservative immigration policies are as stupid as conservative attitudes are gross. Fence the border and give a huge boost to the Mexican ladder industry. Put the National Guard on the Rio Grande and know that U.S. troops are standing between you and yard care. George W. Bush, at his most beneficent, said if illegal immigrants wanted citizenship they would have to do three things: Pay taxes, learn English, and work in a meaningful job. Bush doesn't meet two out of three of those qualifications. And where would you rather eat? At a Vietnamese restaurant? Or in the Ayn Rand Café? Hey, waiter, are the burgers any good? Atlas shrugged. (We would, however, be able to have a smoke at the latter establishment.)

To go from slime to the sublime, there are the lofty issues about which we never bothered to form enough principles to go out and break them. What is the coherent modern conservative foreign policy?

We may think of this as a post 9/11 problem, but it's been with us all along. What was Reagan thinking, landing Marines in Lebanon to prop up the government of a country that didn't have one? In 1984, I visited the site where the Marines were murdered. It was a beachfront bivouac overlooked on three sides by hills full of hostile Shiite militia. You'd urge your daughter to date Rosie O'Donnell before you'd put troops ashore in such a place.

Since the early 1980s I've been present at the conception (to use the polite term) of many of our foreign policy initiatives. Iran-contra was about as smart as using the U.S. Postal Service to get weapons to anti-Communists. And I notice Danny Ortega is back in power anyway. I had a look into the eyes of the future rulers of Afghanistan at a sura in Peshawar as the Soviets were withdrawing from Kabul. I would rather have had a beer with Leonid Brezhnev.

Fall of the Berlin wall? Being there was fun. Nations that flaked off of the Soviet Union in southeastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Caucasus? Being there was not so fun.

The aftermath of the Gulf war still makes me sick. Fine to save the fat, greedy Kuwaitis and the arrogant, grasping house of Saud, but to hell with the Shiites and Kurds of Iraq until they get some oil.

Then, half a generation later, when we returned with our armies, we expected to be greeted as liberators. And, damn it, we were. I was in Baghdad in April 2003. People were glad to see us, until they noticed that we'd forgotten to bring along any personnel or provisions to feed or doctor the survivors of shock and awe or to get their electricity and water running again. After that they got huffy and began stuffing dynamite down their pants before consulting with the occupying forces.

Is there a moral dimension to foreign policy in our political philosophy? Or do we just exist to help the world's rich people make and keep their money? (And a fine job we've been doing of that lately.)

If we do have morals, where were they while Bosnians were slaughtered? And where were we while Clinton dithered over the massacres in Kosovo and decided, at last, to send the Serbs a message: Mess with the United States and we'll wait six months, then bomb the country next to you. Of Rwanda, I cannot bear to think, let alone jest.

And now, to glue and screw the lid on our coffin, comes this financial crisis. For almost three decades we've been trying to teach average Americans to act like "stakeholders" in their economy. They learned. They're crying and whining for government bailouts just like the billionaire stakeholders in banks and investment houses. Aid, I can assure you, will be forthcoming from President Obama.

Then average Americans will learn the wisdom of Ronald Reagan's statement: "The ten most dangerous words in the English language are, 'I'm from the federal government, and I'm here to help.'?" Ask a Katrina survivor.

The left has no idea what's going on in the financial crisis. And I honor their confusion. Jim Jerk down the road from me, with all the cars up on blocks in his front yard, falls behind in his mortgage payments, and the economy of Iceland implodes. I'm missing a few pieces of this puzzle myself.

Under constant political pressure, which went almost unresisted by conservatives, a lot of lousy mortgages that would never be repaid were handed out to Jim Jerk and his drinking buddies and all the ex-wives and single mothers with whom Jim and his pals have littered the nation.

Wall Street looked at the worthless paper and thought, "How can we make a buck off this?" The answer was to wrap it in a bow. Take a wide enough variety of lousy mortgages--some from the East, some from the West, some from the cities, some from the suburbs, some from shacks, some from McMansions--bundle them together and put pressure on the bond rating agencies to do fancy risk management math, and you get a "collateralized debt obligation" with a triple-A rating. Good as cash. Until it wasn't.

Or, put another way, Wall Street was pulling the "room full of horse s--" trick. Brokerages were saying, "We're going to sell you a room full of horse s--. And with that much horse s--, you just know there's a pony in there somewhere."

Anyway, it's no use blaming Wall Street. Blaming Wall Street for being greedy is like scolding defensive linemen for being big and aggressive. The people on Wall Street never claimed to be public servants. They took no oath of office. They're in it for the money. We pay them to be in it for the money. We don't want our retirement accounts to get a 2 percent return. (Although that sounds pretty good at the moment.)

What will destroy our country and us is not the financial crisis but the fact that liberals think the free market is some kind of sect or cult, which conservatives have asked Americans to take on faith. That's not what the free market is. The free market is just a measurement, a device to tell us what people are willing to pay for any given thing at any given moment. The free market is a bathroom scale. You may hate what you see when you step on the scale. "Jeeze, 230 pounds!" But you can't pass a law making yourself weigh 185. Liberals think you can. And voters--all the voters, right up to the tippy-top corner office of Goldman Sachs--think so too.

We, the conservatives, who do understand the free market, had the responsibility to--as it were--foreclose upon this mess. The market is a measurement, but that measuring does not work to the advantage of a nation or its citizens unless the assessments of volume, circumference, and weight are conducted with transparency and under the rule of law. We've had the rule of law largely in our hands since 1980. Where is the transparency? It's one more job we botched.

Although I must say we're doing good work on our final task--attaching the garden hose to our car's exhaust pipe and running it in through a vent window. Barack and Michelle will be by in a moment with some subsidized ethanol to top up our gas tank. And then we can turn the key.

P.J. O'Rourke is a contributing editor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 10, 2008, 08:28:50 AM
For those here who think Reaganism' relevance remote:


Barack Obama won the White House by campaigning against an unpopular incumbent in a time of economic anxiety and lingering foreign policy concerns. He offered voters an upbeat message, praised the nation as a land of opportunity, promised tax cuts to just about everyone, and overcame doubts about his experience with a strong performance in the presidential debates.

Does this sound familiar? It should. Mr. Obama followed the approach that worked for Ronald Reagan. His victory confirmed that voters still embrace the guiding beliefs of the Reagan era.

During Reagan's campaign, the nation suffered from high unemployment and high inflation. This time around, data from the Rasmussen Reports Daily Presidential Tracking Poll showed that Mr. Obama took command of the race during the 10 days following the collapse of Lehman Brothers -- when the Wall Street meltdown hit Main Street. Before that event John McCain was leading nationally by three percentage points. Ten days later Mr. Obama was up by five and never relinquished his lead.

Mr. Obama's tax-cutting message played a key role in this period of economic anxiety. Tax cuts are well-received at such times: 55% of voters believe they are good for the economy. Only 19% disagree and see them as bad policy.

Down the campaign homestretch, Mr. Obama's tax-cutting promise became his clearest policy position. Eventually he stole the tax issue from the Republicans. Heading into the election, 31% of voters thought that a President Obama would cut their taxes. Only 11% expected a tax cut from a McCain administration.

The last Democratic candidate to win the tax issue was also the last Democratic president -- Bill Clinton. In fact, the candidate who most credibly promises the lowest level of taxes has won every presidential election in at least the last 40 years.

But while Mr. Obama was promising to cut taxes, the Bush administration took the lead on a $700 billion, taxpayer-backed bailout bill -- with very little marketing finesse. Few Americans supported the bailout, and a majority of voters were more concerned that the government would do too much rather than too little. In terms of getting the economy going again, 58% said that more tax cuts would better stimulate the economy than new government spending.

A Rasmussen survey conducted Oct. 2 found that 59% agreed with the sentiment expressed by Reagan in his first inaugural address: "Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." Just 28% disagreed with this sentiment. That survey also found that 44% of Obama voters agreed with Reagan's assessment (40% did not). And McCain voters overwhelmingly supported the Gipper.

The real challenge for the new president will be attempting to govern with a message that resonates with most voters but divides his own party. Consider that 43% of voters view it as a positive to describe a candidate as being like Reagan, while just 26% consider it a negative. Being compared to Reagan rates higher among voters than being called "conservative," "moderate," "liberal" or "progressive." Except among Democrats, that is. Fifty-one percent of Democrats view that Reagan comparison as a negative. There's Mr. Obama's dilemma in a nutshell.

Mr. Obama won the White House promising tax cuts, but he will be governing with a Democratic Congress bursting with desire for a more activist government. As he faces this challenge, he might remember the fate of another man who made taxes the central part of his campaign: the first President Bush, whose most memorable campaign line -- "Read my lips, no new taxes" -- was as central to his victory as Mr. Obama's promise to cut taxes for 95% of Americans. George H.W. Bush famously reneged on that promise. Voters rejected his bid for a second term.

Mr. Obama ran like Reagan. Will he be able to govern that way, too?

Mr. Rasmussen is president of Rasmussen Reports, an independent national polling company.

Please add your comments
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: ccp on November 10, 2008, 09:26:13 AM
***Mr. Obama ran like Reagan. Will he be able to govern that way, too?***

Oh comon.  What spin.  He ran the opposite of Reagan.  First of all Reagan didn't want tax "cuts" to be only for certain chosen segment of the population nor did he expect that the other segments would be the ones to pay for them.

Reaganomics is trickle down and Bomonomics is build from the *bottom* and let it work up.

BO is huge government and soak the succesful to pay for it.

BO did not run on Reagan principles. 
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 10, 2008, 10:17:32 AM
Fair enough-- but I think the point here is that if BO had not dramatically and glibly shifted his tax positions during the campaign (and had McC not been so imcompetent as to let him get away with it) to where he was successfully pretending to be a tax cutter, McC would have won.

The larger point is that tax cuts, a key strand of Reaganism, remain quite popular across the political spectrum.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: ccp on November 10, 2008, 01:49:06 PM
***The larger point is that tax cuts, a key strand of Reaganism, remain quite popular across the political spectrum***
True and
BO did disingeniusly steal Rep thunder with the rant about reducing taxes on 95%.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: JDN on November 12, 2008, 07:40:55 AM
It's too bad McCain tried to out democrat the democrats.

Another viewpoint:

Commentary: GOP should ask why U.S. is on the wrong track
Ron Paul: Asking about the future of the GOP is the wrong question
Paul says instead people should ask why the country went in the wrong direction
Republicans stopped being the party of limited government, Paul says
Paul says it will take time for GOP to return to its traditional values
Next Article in Politics »

By Ron Paul
Special to CNN
Editor's note: Ron Paul is a Republican congressman from Texas who ran for his party's nomination for president this year. He served in Congress in the late 1970s and early 1980s and was elected again to Congress in 1996, serving continuously since then. Rep. Paul is a member of the House Financial Services Committee.

Ron Paul says the nation is off track and Republicans have to rediscover their core beliefs.

(CNN) -- The questions now being asked are: Where to go from here and who's to blame for the downfall of the Republican Party?

Too bad the concern for the future of the Republican Party had not been seriously addressed in the year 2000 when the Republicans gained control of the House, Senate, and the Presidency.

Now, in light of the election, many are asking: What is the future of the Republican Party?

But that is the wrong question. The proper question should be: Where is our country heading? There's no doubt that a large majority of Americans believe we're on the wrong track. That's why the candidate demanding "change" won the election. It mattered not that the change offered was no change at all, only a change in the engineer of a runaway train.

Once it's figured out what is fundamentally wrong with our political and economic system, solutions can be offered. If the Republican Party can grasp hold of the policy changes needed, then the party can be rebuilt.

In the rise and fall of the recent Republican reign of power these past decades, the goal of the party had grown to be only that of gaining and maintaining power -- with total sacrifice of the original Republican belief in shrinking the size of government.

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Most Republicans endorsed this view in order to achieve victories at the polls. Limiting government power and size with less spending and a balanced budget as the goal used to be a "traditional" Republican value. This is what Goldwater and Reagan talked about. That is what the Contract with America stood for.

The opportunity finally came in 2000 to do something about the cancerous growth of government. This clear message led to the Republican success at the polls.

Once the Republicans were in power, though, the promises faded, and all policies were directed at maintaining or increasing power by trying to whittle away at Democratic strength by acting like big-spending Democrats.

The Republican Congress never once stood up against the Bush/Rove machine that demanded support for unconstitutional wars, attacks on civil liberties here at home, and an economic policy based on more spending, more debt, and more inflation -- while constantly preaching the flawed doctrine that deficits don't matter as long as taxes aren't raised.

But what the Republican leadership didn't realize was that ALL spending is a tax on middle-class Americans through price inflation and that eventually the inevitable consequence is paying for the extravagance with a financial crisis.

Party leaders concentrated only on political tricks in order to maintain power and neglected the limited-government principles on which they were elected. The only solution for this is for Republicans to once again reassess their core beliefs and show how the country (not the party) can be put back on the right track. The problem, though, is regaining credibility.

After eight years of perpetual (and unnecessary and unconstitutional) war, persistent and expanded attacks on our privacy, runaway deficits, and now nationalization of the financial system, Republicans are going to have a tough time regaining the confidence of the American people. But that's what must be done.

Otherwise, Republicans can only mimic Democrats and hope for an isolated victory here and there. And that's just more of the same that brought on the disintegration of the party.

Since the new alignment of political power offers no real change, we will remain on the same track without even a pretense of slowing the growth of government. With the new administration we can expect things to go from bad to worse.

Opportunity abounds for anyone who can present the case for common sense in fiscal affairs, for protection of civil liberties here at home, and avoiding the senseless foreign entanglements which have bogged us down for decades and contributed so significantly to our fiscal and budgetary crisis.

During the debates in the Republican Presidential primary, even though I am a 10-term sitting Representative Member of Congress, I was challenged more than once on my Republican credentials. The fact that I was repeatedly asked how I could be a Republican when I was talking a different language than the other candidates answers the question of how the Republican Party can slip so far so fast.

My rhetorical answer at the time was simple: Why should one be excluded from the Republican Party for believing and always voting for:

• Limited government power

• A balanced budget

• Personal liberty

• Strict adherence to the Constitution

• Sound money

• A strong defense while avoiding all undeclared wars

• No nation-building and no policing the world

How can a party that still pretends to be the party of limited government distance itself outright from these views and expect to maintain credibility? Since the credibility of the Republican Party has now been lost, how can it regain credibility without embracing these views, or at least showing respect for them?

I concluded my answer by simply stating the Republican Party had lost its way and must reassess its values. And that is what needs to be done in a hurry.

But it might just take a new crop of leaders to regain the credibility needed to redirect the Party. It certainly won't be done overnight. It took a long time to come out of the wilderness after 40 years of Democratic rule for the Republican Party to take charge. Today though, time moves more quickly. Opportunities will arise. The one thing for certain is that in the next four years we will not see the Republic restored. Instead the need for it will be greater than ever.

The problems are easily understood and the answers are not that difficult. Abusing the rule of law and ignoring the Constitution can be reversed. If the Republican Party can grasp hold of the needed reforms, it can lead the way and regain its credibility. If power is sought for power's sake alone, the Party will never be able to wrench away the power of the opposition.

In the past two years, I found that when the young people heard the message of liberty, they overwhelmingly responded favorably, fully realizing the failure of the status quo and the need to once again endorse a system of self reliance, personal responsibility, sound money, and a non-interventionist foreign policy while rejecting the cradle-to-grave nanny state all based on the rule of law and the Constitution.

To ignore the political struggle and only "hope for the best" is pure folly. The march toward a dictatorial powerful state is now in double time.

All those who care -- and especially those who understand the stakes involved -- have an ominous responsibility to energetically get involved in the battle of survival for a free and prosperous America.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: G M on November 12, 2008, 07:49:01 AM
Ron Paul is ok domestically, but to pretend that we can withdraw from the fight with the global jihad is suicidal.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 12, 2008, 08:48:47 AM
I think one of the key variables is how the Fed has printed too much money and has kept interest rates too low ((ROI should be greater than inflation + taxes).  Too much money at too low a price has been sloshing around the global system.   Conservatives (and Republicans) need to understand this and communicate this.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: G M on November 12, 2008, 11:30:13 AM
Ok, why is this bad?
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 12, 2008, 03:08:08 PM
Are you serious?
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: G M on November 12, 2008, 08:50:20 PM
I get that too many US dollars translate to a loss in the value of the currency, but I'm not sure I grasp every element of the impact that makes on our economy, aside from the "wheelbarrow of money to buy a loaf of bread" from 1920's Germany scenario.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 12, 2008, 09:53:11 PM
OK, that give me a sense of where you are at on this subject.

Briefly (and this is a huge subject!) deflating a currency has several consequences.  Off the top of my head here are some of them in no particular order:

1) Amongst the most important is the misallocation of investment capital.  This is a matter of HUGE importance-- for example too many homes get built.  This leads to a bubble, which when it bursts creates calamity and tragedy-- (and the free market gets blamed :x :-P )

2) Savers get screwed.  For example, they save what should be enough for old age, then the government comes along and decimates the values of their savings leaving them with a much harder old age-- this then makes them more dependent upon the government;

3) With negative interest rates (inflation + taxes being greater than the interest rate) people are penalized for saving.  This leads to one or both of two behaviors: First-- less saving and Second-- riskier investments as savers/investors seek to outrun the dimunition of their savings through inflation and taxes.  We see both of these behaviors in abundance on the American landscape.

4) A devaluing currency.  Because of the unique role of the dollar in the world economy (i.e. we are the main currency of international transactions) this has profound consequences for the world economy.  What happens is that when the dollar depreciates, other countries often feel that this then creates a price advantage for our products on the international market.  So other countries print more money too so as to maintain stable exchange rates.  This was a major variable in the creation and the maintainence of the Great Depression.  These were known as "beggar thy neighbor" devaluations i.e. by devlaing my currency, my country's products become cheaper and my people make the sales and your people do not.  The net result is that everyone tries to devalue which means simply that too much money is created and a world-wide inflation is unleashed.  We just saw this in the commodity bubbles (including oil) and the housing bubbles world-wide.  When the bubble bursts (and it always will) the consequences are terrible--e.g. the current meltdown and often lead those who created the problem blaming the market and panicing people into giving them power to control and manipulate the market even more!!! 

Does this help?
Title: The Third Way - There is another way forward for the Republican Party
Post by: Chad on November 15, 2008, 10:38:34 AM
Anthony Randazzo | November 14, 2008

In the wake of Clubber Lang's vicious defeat of Philadelphia's favorite son in Rocky III, the Italian Stallion reflected back on why he lost. It seemed he had everything going for him—but then he got caught up in his own glory. When Rocky finally hit bottom, his former nemesis, Apollo Creed, dramatically stepped in to offer some stock speech wisdom: "When we fought, you had that eye of the tiger, man, the edge! And now you gotta get it back, and the way to get it back is go back to the beginning."

Today's Republicans are in similar spot. After Barack Obama's massive win, they've been reviewing the fight tapes, only to discover that getting caught up in the glow of their own power eventually led to their downfall. They should've gotten the message in 2006, but this November's spectacular defeat (save Ted "Marion Barry" Stevens) has finally woken them up. Now the question is: What direction will the Republican Party take? Will the GOP "return" to some dogma of the past? Reaganomics would appease many in the Old Party "old guard" who think like Apollo Creed. Or will the party invoke Teddy Roosevelt's progressivism and shift more to the political center? These are the two options currently being debated by pundits on all sides, but the fact is that either option would spell doom for Republicans.

Consider David Brooks' most recent column in the New York Times, where he outlines what he sees as the GOP dividing into two warring camps now that they've been thoroughly defeated. It's the Traditionalists versus the Reformers. Reagan versus Teddy. Old Party power versus moderate centrism. But in reading Brooks' analysis, one is left wondering if there isn't another direction the GOP could head in order to return to power.

Brooks defines the "Traditionalists" as those who believe "the G.O.P. should return to its core ideas: Cut government, cut taxes, restrict immigration. Rally behind Sarah Palin." He puts Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Grover Norquist, and organizations such as the Federalist Society and Family Research Council into this camp.

Palin, Limbaugh, and Hannity truly do belong in the same wing of the GOP, the branch that has rejected intellectualism in favor of dogma, the group that believes passionate devotion to the "real America" will energize a Nietzschian-like will to power. Unfortunately, Brooks identifies this group as the defenders of the free market. That's not a reassuring thought for those who favor both free markets and free minds.

The second group Brooks sees the GOP splintering into is the "Reformers." This group tends to believe that "American voters will not support a party whose main idea is slashing government. Reformers propose new policies to address inequality and middle-class economic anxiety. They tend to take global warming seriously. They tend to be intrigued by the way David Cameron has modernized the British Conservative Party."

Brooks puts authors David Frum (Comeback), Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam (Grand New Party), Ramesh Ponnuru, and Peggy Noonan into this group—as well as himself, proving that his neocon spine has cat-like flexibility. These Republicans believe in John McCain's mission to take the party towards the center with the rest of the country—though most were critical of his methods during the campaign.

Given the Brooks analysis, here's the real problem for the Republicans: The Traditionalist defenders of capitalism wind up out of touch with America and grounded in rhetoric rather than political principle. Meanwhile, Reformers who want to "appeal more to Hispanics, independents and younger voters" have to abandon the small government model and become the conservative wing of the Democratic Party.

None of that spells long term success for Republicans. What the GOP needs are libertarians, those who believe not only in small government, but also in individualism and the truly liberating power of free markets. If the Ron Paul movement tells us anything, it's that the Republican Party can be more than a party of old white guys with bad hair cuts.

Brooks believes that the Traditionalist will win in the short term—led in 2012 by Sarah Palin—but that Reformers will win out in the end as the GOP continues to lose. He argues that once the GOP suffers more defeats, the Reformers "will build new institutions, new structures and new ideas, and the cycle of conservative ascendance will begin again."

Again, it's doubtful that Brooks' vision of a reformed, moderate Republican Party will be able to differentiate itself from a lukewarm Democratic Party. But even if they were to rise to power, it wouldn't be the small government, Goldwater-style GOP of old. It would simply be a new kind of party.

What does this mean for the future of free market economics? Perhaps today's libertarians will learn first hand the pain of Hayek, Friedman, Mises, and the rest at Mont Pelerin who had to confront a world that adversely opposed their ideas.

But perhaps not.

A new conservative movement that takes libertarian ideas seriously could use the inertia created by the nation's new progressivism to slingshot itself into the future on a platform of reduced government, lower taxes, and limited interventionism, while also respecting climate change (adjusting the tax code to encourage green reform without any expense to taxpayers) and reforming the immigration system (opening the borders as the market demands labor without sacrificing security).

The Republican Party has a chance to transform itself into something it has never been: a party of small government based on classical liberal principles. It doesn't have to be one of David Brooks' visions of the GOP. In fact, if the Republican Party wants to return to power it will recognize the flaws in both approaches, avoid them like Road Runner toying with Wile E. Coyote, and embrace libertarianism instead.
Title: PD WSJ
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 17, 2008, 09:36:17 AM
No Room for RINOs

South Carolina's Mark Sanford is one of three GOP governors now being widely mentioned as potential saviors of the Republican Party between now and 2012. All are conspicuous for calling on their own party to live up to its principles. Most notably, none have advocated the GOP move to the left.

Mr. Sanford is a two-term governor known for vetoing spending bills, pushing market-oriented policy reforms (such as moving his state's Medicaid system to a private account-based model) and criticizing the lapses of the national GOP. "Some on the left will say our electoral losses are a repudiation of our principles of lower taxes, smaller government and individual liberty," he wrote on after this month's elections. "But Tuesday was not in fact a rejection of those principles -- it was a rejection of Republicans' failure to live up to those principles."

In the same op-ed he took a swing at Alaska Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, identifying him as someone who "personifies what went wrong in the election. . . He was a proud champion of pork barrel spending and bridges to nowhere and stayed so long that he developed a blind eye to ethical lapses that would be readily seen by scout leaders and soccer moms alike."

Two other leading lights for a troubled GOP are Govs. Sarah Palin of Alaska and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. Before she became John McCain's running mate, Mrs. Palin was best known for challenging her own state GOP to cure its spendthrift, corrupt ways. She unseated a sitting mayor in her first bid for office and became a giant killer by knocking off the high-handed, free-spending Gov. Frank Murkowski in a Republican primary.

Mr. Jindal is a boy wonder of the party. At 25, he was appointed to fix Louisiana's failing Medicaid program, and succeeded. At 32, he lost a hard-fought campaign for governor but later landed a Congressional seat from which he criticized bureaucratic bungling in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Last year, after Katrina had destroyed Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco's reputation, he won his second bid for the office by promising sweeping reform of Louisiana's corrupt and inefficient government culture.

That Republicans are coalescing around these three governors is also revealing for who is not included. Several years ago Christie Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey and EPA administrator, wrote a book called "It's My Party Too." She used that treatise to argue for the party to abandon its conservative roots. Even after two serious GOP drubbings at the polls, she has found no takers. Likewise, Lincoln Chaffee, the former Rhode Island Senator once labeled a "Republican in Name Only," was still complaining last week to the Washington Post that "right-wing talk show hosts and the Ann Coulters and that ilk" never understood that the GOP needs people like him.

Maybe that's because Republicans have looked closely at the election results. The country hasn't so much moved left as it has abandoned a GOP that abandoned its own principles. In Ohio, Barack Obama actually won about 40,000 fewer votes than John Kerry did four years ago. Mr. Obama took Ohio only because John McCain pulled 350,000 fewer votes than George W. Bush did in 2004. Republicans and Republican-leaning voters stayed home.

That's not an endorsement of the ideas of the left. It's a lack enthusiasm for a party that failed to deliver the smaller government it promised in Washington. At least the GOP, in settling on future leaders like Governors Jindal, Sanford and Palin, seems to understand that.

-- Brendan Miniter

Title: From the Economist
Post by: ccp on November 17, 2008, 12:30:16 PM
 Reposted from another thread that was essentially of duplicate of this thread.

Future? of Republican party
« on: November 15, 2008, 08:06:02 AM » 

I agree with some of the following though not all.  I think he is right on target at the Republican party's banckrupcy in ideas and inability to adapt.  Falling to the position that the reason for the failure of the party is due to its diverting from its core principles is hopefully not going to win out the minds of what is left of the  leadership and dircection of the party and dooming it to further defeat.  If Shawn Hannity and Rush are going to lead this party than whomever follows them goes the way of the pied piper.
If anyone questions the barren thoughtfulness of the party just witness that some in the party think that putting Palin at the forefront and labelling her a leader of the party is a good idea.  Anyone who now thinks this woman can attract anyone new to the right is dreaming.  She is turning into a total mindless cad inmo.  I am surely dissappointed and becoming quite embarassed by her.
I was wrong to think she has her own wisdom or ability to engage in real insightful conversation.

I really thought she would go back to Alaska, perhaps get Steven's Senate seat, or run for the Senate or Congress later and re-establish herself with more gravitas.  And if she would then spend the next couple years really LEARNING the issues so she could speak with some authority, sensibility, and logic rather than just run around with some by-gone party slogans.  Again I over-estimated her (or if I try to be kind - her "handlers").  The cans are relying on governors.  I guess because they are out of power they no longer have the floor to speak their views and establish themselves with cabinet posts, chairmanship seats, etc.

We need another Newt to rise from the Democratic controlled houses to lead the party back.  Why can't/won't Newt run again?
Amzing thing to see how our liberal University system honors a person like Ayers but despises a person like Newt.

   ***Ship of fools
Nov 13th 2008
From The Economist print edition

Political parties die from the head down

Illustration by KAL
JOHN STUART MILL once dismissed the British Conservative Party as the stupid party. Today the Conservative Party is run by Oxford-educated high-fliers who have been busy reinventing conservatism for a new era. As Lexington sees it, the title of the “stupid party” now belongs to the Tories’ transatlantic cousins, the Republicans.

There are any number of reasons for the Republican Party’s defeat on November 4th. But high on the list is the fact that the party lost the battle for brains. Barack Obama won college graduates by two points, a group that George Bush won by six points four years ago. He won voters with postgraduate degrees by 18 points. And he won voters with a household income of more than $200,000—many of whom will get thumped by his tax increases—by six points. John McCain did best among uneducated voters in Appalachia and the South.

 The Republicans lost the battle of ideas even more comprehensively than they lost the battle for educated votes, marching into the election armed with nothing more than slogans. Energy? Just drill, baby, drill. Global warming? Crack a joke about Ozone Al. Immigration? Send the bums home. Torture and Guantánamo? Wear a T-shirt saying you would rather be water-boarding. Ha ha. During the primary debates, three out of ten Republican candidates admitted that they did not believe in evolution.

The Republican Party’s divorce from the intelligentsia has been a while in the making. The born-again Mr Bush preferred listening to his “heart” rather than his “head”. He also filled the government with incompetent toadies like Michael “heck-of-a-job” Brown, who bungled the response to Hurricane Katrina. Mr McCain, once the chattering classes’ favourite Republican, refused to grapple with the intricacies of the financial meltdown, preferring instead to look for cartoonish villains. And in a desperate attempt to serve boob bait to Bubba, he appointed Sarah Palin to his ticket, a woman who took five years to get a degree in journalism, and who was apparently unaware of some of the most rudimentary facts about international politics.

Republicanism’s anti-intellectual turn is devastating for its future. The party’s electoral success from 1980 onwards was driven by its ability to link brains with brawn. The conservative intelligentsia not only helped to craft a message that resonated with working-class Democrats, a message that emphasised entrepreneurialism, law and order, and American pride. It also provided the party with a sweeping policy agenda. The party’s loss of brains leaves it rudderless, without a compelling agenda.

This is happening at a time when the American population is becoming more educated. More than a quarter of Americans now have university degrees. Twenty per cent of households earn more than $100,000 a year, up from 16% in 1996. Mark Penn, a Democratic pollster, notes that 69% call themselves “professionals”. McKinsey, a management consultancy, argues that the number of jobs requiring “tacit” intellectual skills has increased three times as fast as employment in general. The Republican Party’s current “redneck strategy” will leave it appealing to a shrinking and backward-looking portion of the electorate.

Why is this happening? One reason is that conservative brawn has lost patience with brains of all kinds, conservative or liberal. Many conservatives—particularly lower-income ones—are consumed with elemental fury about everything from immigration to liberal do-gooders. They take their opinions from talk-radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and the deeply unsubtle Sean Hannity. And they regard Mrs Palin’s apparent ignorance not as a problem but as a badge of honour.

Another reason is the degeneracy of the conservative intelligentsia itself, a modern-day version of the 1970s liberals it arose to do battle with: trapped in an ideological cocoon, defined by its outer fringes, ruled by dynasties and incapable of adjusting to a changed world. The movement has little to say about today’s pressing problems, such as global warming and the debacle in Iraq, and expends too much of its energy on xenophobia, homophobia and opposing stem-cell research.

Conservative intellectuals are also engaged in their own version of what Julian Benda dubbed la trahison des clercs, the treason of the learned. They have fallen into constructing cartoon images of “real Americans”, with their “volkish” wisdom and charming habit of dropping their “g”s. Mrs Palin was invented as a national political force by Beltway journalists from the Weekly Standard and the National Review who met her when they were on luxury cruises around Alaska, and then noisily championed her cause.

Time for reflection
How likely is it that the Republican Party will come to its senses? There are glimmers of hope. Business conservatives worry that the party has lost the business vote. Moderates complain that the Republicans are becoming the party of “white-trash pride”. Anonymous McCain aides complain that Mrs Palin was a campaign-destroying “whack job”. One of the most encouraging signs is the support for giving the chairmanship of the Republican Party to John Sununu, a sensible and clever man who has the added advantage of coming from the north-east (he lost his New Hampshire Senate seat on November 4th).

But the odds in favour of an imminent renaissance look long. Many conservatives continue to think they lost because they were not conservative or populist enough—Mr McCain, after all, was an amnesty-loving green who refused to make an issue out of Mr Obama’s associations with Jeremiah Wright. Richard Weaver, one of the founders of modern conservatism, once wrote a book entitled “Ideas have Consequences”; unfortunately, too many Republicans are still refusing to acknowledge that idiocy has consequences, too.***

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Posts: 8269

   Re: Future? of Republican party
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2008, 10:20:21 AM » 


Very interesting article. 

May I ask you to put it in this thread?

thank you,
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: SB_Mig on November 17, 2008, 02:59:52 PM
One reason is that conservative brawn has lost patience with brains of all kinds, conservative or liberal.

This quote strikes me as especially important in regards to the party's future.

There was a time when the power of the "intelligentsia" (for lack of a better word) was incredibly important to the evolution of the conservative movement. Sadly, intelligence has somehow become a bad word. There was a time when sending your kids to college was actually something to be proud of regardless of political affiliation. Unfortunately many in the political realm have equated intelligence/book learning/a degree with being elitist or out of touch with the main stream.

The Economist article points to many examples of this dumbing down, but doesn't ask an important question:

How do you evolve a political movement which for the past few years has placed negative connotations on college education/book smarts? How does one turn the smart folks bad, regular folks good equation around (or at least balance the equation)?

I'll throw it out to the group for a response.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: G M on November 17, 2008, 03:22:44 PM
A rejection of the leftist indoctrination mills that masquerade as schools of higher education does not equate to a rejection of education.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: SB_Mig on November 17, 2008, 03:35:44 PM
"A rejection of the leftist indoctrination mills that masquerade as schools of higher education does not equate to a rejection of education"

Funny, I hear that a lot and yet no one ever presents alternatives or solutions. I know you can give me some GM, so please do.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: DougMacG on November 17, 2008, 04:50:47 PM
(Butting in here), if I understand the conversation correctly, there was a request for examples  of "leftist indoctrination mills" in higher education.  Maybe the most obvious example IMO would be the presentation of the anthropogenic global warming theory without also presenting obvious holes and flaws in the theory.  Millions and millions of children I believe have been either shown directly the Al Gore movie, from elementary school to PhD, while few have been taught about the revisions and corrections to the selected data presented.  Almost none of the children are taught about the plethora of other interest facts (Arctic ocean level falling, for example) that would lead one to at least partially doubt the alarmist conclusions implied by the warminig view - that a major portion of the United States will be lost to the ocean levels in this century, for example, and that temperatures can only accelerate upward and man is the cause even though temps haven't gone up in ten years.

Besides Al Gore's movie, examples of unbalanced reporting comes from sources as trusted as Weekly Reader, Scientific American and of course the NY Times.

After consistently teaching 'an inconvenient hypothesis' as truth and fact and testing on the fundamentals of human caused warming, then we poll young voters on the topic and are surprised and impressed by the degree of  'consensus'.

Another area would be the widespread focus in higher education on flaws in the free enterprise-based, capitalistic  system without the context of also teaching the amazing mechanics and merits of the system.

Would you agree and can others add more examples...

Obvious solution to climate change indoctrination is to have all who are taught the theory to be also taught the view of the most prominent skeptics, that anthropogenic causes are likely a minor part, that the data is inconsistent and that many other factors are still largely not well understood.

Solution for economic teaching is to require the teaching of our economic system to all children with all its successes before teaching its flaws, shortcomings and the alternative systems with their own strengths and weaknesses.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on November 17, 2008, 08:21:13 PM
I've certainly had a hard time finding historically accurate information about the Second Amendment and it's genesis at various colleges, and my kids are certainly not getting accurate info about it in elementary school. AGW, on the other hand is all over the place; I've had a couple interesting conversations with teachers after my kids relay that dad says AGW is unmitigated foolishness.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: SB_Mig on November 17, 2008, 08:46:43 PM
Don't need examples of "indoctrination mills". Actually, I find the use of the term not only an over-generalization, but insulting to the intelligence of the individuals that teach/work/attend them. I mean, do you really think that the great majority of this nation's youth is lock stepping to some type of liberal educational agenda? If so, you are veering into paranoid conspiracy territory.

And yes, a "rejection of leftist indoctrination mills that masquerade as institutes of higher education" is a direct attack on education. Especially when you present no alternatives. I'm asking for alternatives to college and university. So give me some.

DMcG, your solution of fair and balanced education looks suspiciously like a 'fairness doctrine' type of equation. Let each subject that is taught be examined equally from both sides, right? So who decides the equal balance? A government entity? The school board? The parents? I find a ton of problems with the state of education across the board, and d*mn if I can think of a solution.

I'll cut it here 'cuz I'm veering way off the thread subject. But please, give me some realistic alternatives or suggestions to what some view as "indoctrination".

Back to my question:

How do you evolve a political movement which for the past few years has placed negative connotations on college education/book smarts? How does one turn the smart folks bad, regular folks good equation around (or at least balance the equation)?

Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: G M on November 17, 2008, 09:26:42 PM
"A rejection of the leftist indoctrination mills that masquerade as schools of higher education does not equate to a rejection of education"

Funny, I hear that a lot and yet no one ever presents alternatives or solutions. I know you can give me some GM, so please do.

Solutions: The social sciences need to return to the scientific model and reject political correctness and the "Ward Churchillization" of academia. It should be a search for truth and a venue for exchanging ideas rather than imparting post-modern, queer theory talking points while engaging in a stalinesque suppression of dissenting ideas.

The traditional campus and undergrad/postgrad paradigm need to be scrapped. Smaller segments of education that stand alone, or that can be coupled with other segments to reach a more advanced degree, while the student works is much more useful and practical.

The virtual campus/distance learning should be the rule and not the exception. This could be used for greater transparency of who is actually teaching and what is being taught. Much like teaching martial arts, let those that excel be recognized and rewarded rather than labor under a brand name like Stanford or UCLA.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: G M on November 17, 2008, 10:18:23 PM
Don't need examples of "indoctrination mills". Actually, I find the use of the term not only an over-generalization, but insulting to the intelligence of the individuals that teach/work/attend them. I mean, do you really think that the great majority of this nation's youth is lock stepping to some type of liberal educational agenda? If so, you are veering into paranoid conspiracy territory.

**The is a ton of documentation that would support those criticisms of academia. I can cite my own experiences as well.**

And yes, a "rejection of leftist indoctrination mills that masquerade as institutes of higher education" is a direct attack on education. Especially when you present no alternatives. I'm asking for alternatives to college and university. So give me some.

**See my comments above. The current model is wasteful, inefficient and does not serve the taxpayers, the students or the society at large.**

DMcG, your solution of fair and balanced education looks suspiciously like a 'fairness doctrine' type of equation. Let each subject that is taught be examined equally from both sides, right? So who decides the equal balance? A government entity? The school board? The parents? I find a ton of problems with the state of education across the board, and d*mn if I can think of a solution.

**If a school takes any state or federal money, then they had better be ready to meet some standards that demonstrate that the school isn't just teaching only how evil America, western civilization and any random heteosexual white male is.**

I'll cut it here 'cuz I'm veering way off the thread subject. But please, give me some realistic alternatives or suggestions to what some view as "indoctrination".

Back to my question:

How do you evolve a political movement which for the past few years has placed negative connotations on college education/book smarts? How does one turn the smart folks bad, regular folks good equation around (or at least balance the equation)?

**If you are a student of history, you can recognize that our president-elect is getting ready to take our economy over the cliff. As most people have bought into "hopandchange", not realizing it translates to socialism, they'll have to learn the hard way. Post-disaster, a good candidate can then stand up to help fix the mess. Funny enough, lots of NPR fans that fancy themselves intelligent and educated know nothing about anything, like basic economics. This allows them to vote "hopeandchange".**

Title: Shilling Epistemological Purity Uber Alles
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on November 18, 2008, 06:14:03 AM
I mean, do you really think that the great majority of this nation's youth is lock stepping to some type of liberal educational agenda? If so, you are veering into paranoid conspiracy territory.

Is that a fact? Guess you've never dealt with any of the "green" gibberish being pounded into kids' heads these days. Recycling by about any empiric measure is a grossly ineffective tactic that for the most part leads to sorted piles of trash heading to the landfill instead of unsorted piles of trash doing the same. The underlying cause of the recycling effort would be done a hell of a lot of good if some entrepreneur came along and created markets for recycled material, but what's being taught from kindergarten to grad school in just about every school in the nation, sort your trash into piles that end up in the same place, or find economically productive means of using recycled material? I've rarely seen the latter while the former is epidemic, IMO because members of the nanny state left figure if they can get you feeling guilty enough to muck around in your trash can from elementary school on they are well on their way to getting you to feel guilty enough about everything else to dictate other odious, counterproductive responses.

As mentioned above, the Second Amendment is another case in point. It's not like their isn't copious source material demonstrating the Second Amendment means what it says, and it's not like there aren't leftist in possession of intellectual rigor who haven't, often times reluctantly, come out and said the framers clearly intended US citizens an individual right to keep and bear arms, but try to find those facts in any curriculum in America. My kids are regularly chastised for relaying historical truth with no veering into paranoid territory required. Think on that for a minute: kids contending with opprobrium at school because they spoke accurately. And that's 'sposed to be trumped by the concern that the folks who are force feeding falsehoods might feel insulted when their methods are called out? Which is the bath water and where is the baby?

The solution is simple: intellectual rigor, but that's getting pretty hard to find in the current everybody-who-competes-gets-a-trophy climate. If "save the planet," or "don't hurt anyone's feelings," or "regurgitate this reflexively" are the educational ends then yes, muddleheaded lockstep is a common result. If, on the other hand, the ability to marshal evidence, speak of it cogently, document sources, analyze them effectively, respond incisively to critcism and so is the educational end, then level headed thinking results.

Indeed, the best class I ever took was taught by Roger Wilkins, a very left wing professor who won a Pulitzer for writing the Washington Post editorials that helped drum Nixon out of office. The first day of class he said something like "I am an unapologetic liberal and believe the left wing democratic ideals are what this country needs most." I remember thinking "oh fornication, here we go again: I'll take on some left wing fruit loop on his own ground and end up with another 'C.'"

Didn't happen; Roger respects rigor above all else and favors well framed argument he disagrees with over fuzzy headed gibberish favoring his side of the aisle. He got my libertarian number quickly and used me as a foil as needed. Many a class would start with Roger saying something like "Guinness, let's here what you think about affirmative action," and then it would be on from there. I spent many an office hour debating things further with him, took every course he offered, earned an "A" in them all and was used as the example when students complained he never gave high grades, helped him with his research, and, when he'd be called out of town suddenly, was the guy he'd ask to help with his classes in his absence. I learned a hell of a lot from the guy, and respect the hell out of him for showing me just how effective rigor embedded in the lesson plan can be. As such I'm further all sorts of annoyed that I had to spend so much far less productive time in classrooms with baton wavers who'd get wounded and snarky if you didn't join their parade.

Bottom line: there's no need to present alternative forms of education if rigor is introduced early and throughout the curriculum. Alas these days concepts of PC epistemological purity seems to be the driving force.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: DougMacG on November 18, 2008, 08:21:22 AM
"DMcG, your solution of fair and balanced education looks suspiciously like a 'fairness doctrine' type of equation. Let each subject that is taught be examined equally from both sides, right? So who decides the equal balance? A government entity? The school board? The parents? I find a ton of problems with the state of education across the board, and d*mn if I can think of a solution."

SB, I agree with you and did NOT mean to imply a government solution.  Institutions filled with indoctrination will face the wrath of me whining on this board, not a federal balance enforcement board.  School choice is one solution.  but often the choices look a lot alike.  Entrepreneurs and capitalists don't generally go into teaching.  K-12 is largely a creature of the teacher's unions unless parents, voters, school boards or legislators speak out and they rarely do.

Schools were loaded with bias in the 1970s too but many kids grew up and voted for Reagan.  Kids eventually can smell BS it just takes some time to sort things out.  When I was in Jr. High we were told that the world would run out of natural gas in 1982.  Either we were lied to or their theory just had some holes.  I see many of these new Obama voters as conservatives of the future, just give them time to experience a few of life's real-world experiences.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 18, 2008, 09:03:27 AM
May I suggest we continue the discussion of education over at the Education thread on the SCH forum?
Title: Center for American Progress
Post by: ccp on November 18, 2008, 09:36:54 AM
This center is really for pushing an agenda of government control of liberalism (ie "progress)

The radical left fights back with money and research.  They now have their perfect spokesperson and wolf in sheeps clothing.  My fellow Jews have for centuries knew that education, research and knowledge will ultimately win the day.  Probably that is why we lasted for millenium despite dozens of outside attempts at being conquered and wiped out.  I am proud of this.  Unfortunately their are too many of us enamored with ideas, ideals that are counter to my beliefs.  Soros is another Marx, Alinsky and all the rest who just love Obamanism.  BO is one of them.  Time will tell how much he can get away with.

Perhaps Palin can become a conduit for countering this radical threat but she is NOT intellectual enough to go up against this.

I don't know who is other then Newt at this time - David Horowitz and others do exist.  They are out there somewhere.  Joe the Plumber is nice but he won't work against this sort of thing.  This is a battle of ideals more akin to 1930's Europe IMHO.  What I havent quite figured out it how can Soros, a product of the holocaust be more on the side of the philosophy that is closer to Socialism.  Somehow Conservatism and the Republican party have become more alinged with Nazism, Marism?  I don't get how Soros thinks more and big pushy goernment is not like what created WW2?  Newt, could you explain this to me?  Anyone here have enough historical knowledge?   

****Bloomberg TV Bloomberg Radio Bloomberg Podcasts Bloomberg Press   

Soros-Funded Democratic Idea Factory Becomes Obama Policy Font

By Edwin Chen

 Nov. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Three blocks from the White House, on the 10th floor of a sleek glass building, young workers pound at computers, with giant flat-screen TVs overhead. It has the look and feel of a high-tech startup.

In many ways it is. The product is ideas.

Thanks in part to funding from benefactors such as billionaire George Soros, the Center for American Progress has become in just five years an intellectual wellspring for Democratic policy proposals, including many that are shaping the agenda of the new Obama administration.

Much as the Heritage Foundation provided intellectual heft for the Republican Party in the 1980s, CAP has been an incubator for liberal thought and helped build the platform that triumphed in the 2008 campaign.

``What CAP has done is recapture the role of ideas as an important political force, something the Republicans had been better at for 25 years,'' said Walter Isaacson, president of the Aspen Institute, a non-partisan policy-research organization in Washington.

CAP's president and founder, John Podesta, 59, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, is one of three people running the transition team for president-elect Barack Obama, 47. A squadron of CAP experts is working with them.

Some of the group's recommendations already have been adopted by the president-elect.

Withdrawal of Troops

These include the center's call for a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and a buildup of forces in Afghanistan, a plan for universal health coverage through employer plans and proposals to create purchasing pools that allow small businesses to spread the cost among a larger group of workers. Obama has endorsed much of a CAP plan to create ``green jobs'' linked to alleviating global climate change.

CAP also is advocating the creation of a ``National Energy Council'' headed by an official with the stature of the national security adviser and who would be charged with ``transforming the energy base'' of the U.S. In addition, CAP urges the creation of a White House ``office of social entrepreneurship'' to spur new ideas for addressing social problems.

To help promote its ideas, CAP employs 11 full-time bloggers who contribute to two Web sites, ThinkProgress and the Wonk Room; others prepare daily feeds for radio stations. The center's policy briefings are standing-room only, packed with lobbyists, advocacy-group representatives and reporters looking for insights on where the Obama administration is headed.

`Premier Progressive'

``The center is the premier progressive think tank in Washington,'' said Mark Green, head of the New Democracy Project, an urban-affairs institute in New York.

Just eight days after the Nov. 4 election, CAP released a 300,000-word volume called ``Change for America: A Progressive Blueprint for the 44th President'' that offers advice on issues such as economic revival and fixing the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Work on the book began almost a year ago.

CAP, which has 180 staffers and a $27 million budget, devotes as much as half of its resources to promoting its ideas through blogs, events, publications and media outreach.

The center's future was far from certain in 2003, when wealthy donors such as Soros and film producer Stephen Bing gave $10 million or more to fill what they believed was an intellectual void in the Democratic Party and create a vehicle to produce an agenda for the party's eventual return to power.

Heritage Foundation

Podesta modeled the center on the Heritage Foundation, which became the go-to policy-research organization in 1981 when newly elected President Ronald Reagan embraced its conservative ideas embodied in a book called ``Mandate for Leadership.'' Heritage was just seven years old.

CAP and Heritage have something else in common.

``Others strive to be objective, we don't,'' said Jennifer Palmieri, CAP's vice president for communications.

Podesta likes to say, ``we're not a think tank, we're an action tank,'' said Dan Weiss, an environmental activist who joined CAP last year.

CAP isn't the only Democratic-leaning research organization in Washington with enhanced cachet after Obama's election.

The 92-year-old Brookings Institution, for example, has advisers in Obama's inner circle, including economist Jason Furman and foreign-policy expert Susan Rice. Others are working either part-time or full-time in the Obama transition.

Podesta's center isn't even among the biggest or best- funded. Brookings has a staff of more than 400 and an annual budget of $48 million. Heritage has a staff of 200 and a budget of $60 million. The American Enterprise Institute, which has close ties to the administration of President George W. Bush, has about 140 staffers, including Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, and a budget of $28 million.


Yet CAP may be the most influential. In addition to Podesta, at least 10 other CAP experts are advising the incoming administration, including Melody Barnes, the center's executive vice president for policy who co-chairs the agency-review working group and Cassandra Butts, the senior vice president for domestic policy, who is now a senior transition staffer.

``John understood that ideas have power in this town, and he brought in super-bright people whose ideas have become essential reading,'' Isaacson said.

CAP's successes offer a lesson for Republican-leaning groups, said James McGann, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia who tracks policy groups.

``They've shown that one has to constantly innovate and be responsible to an ever-changing demographics and electorate, and have policies that are responsive to that,'' McGann said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Edwin Chen in Washington at .****

Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 18, 2008, 11:18:34 AM
The proper name for this is Liberal Fascism.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: SB_Mig on November 18, 2008, 11:23:59 AM
Thoughtful answers as always. Lots to think about now....
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 18, 2008, 11:34:48 AM
 :-P :lol:

Actually, appearances to the contrary,  :lol: it IS a serious answer.  I've misplaced my copy of the book "Liberal Fascism" and so cannot even give you the author's name.

That said, if you go back to the intellectual origins of Mussolini and Hitler's National SOCIALISM, you will see that fascism is a LEFT WING ideology, not right wing.  If you go back you will see that FDR's New Deal, which BO seeks to emulate and dramatically expand, was essentially FDR's take on what Mussolini was doing.

Although American Fascism, a.k.a. Liberalism, usually lacks the overtly violent tactics of Mussolini's Brown Shirts, its economic and social concepts and its goals are those of fascism. 
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: ccp on November 18, 2008, 12:05:09 PM
***That said, if you go back to the intellectual origins of Mussolini and Hitler's National SOCIALISM, you will see that fascism is a LEFT WING ideology, not right wing.  If you go back you will see that FDR's New Deal, which BO seeks to emulate and dramatically expand, was essentially FDR's take on what Mussolini was doing.

Although American Fascism, a.k.a. Liberalism, usually lacks the overtly violent tactics of Mussolini's Brown Shirts, its economic and social concepts and its goals are those of fascism***

Yes Crafty.  You stated in a better way exactly what I was thinking.  Somehow this nut job BO compares the US with "starting to appear uncomfortably close to Nazi Germany!".  This is what he said.  This guy is a nut job. It is exactly the *opposite* which is true!

They twisted around US conservatism to represent Naziism.  In fact Conservativsim is freedom and the liberal agenda is closer to Nazism with its increasing and expanding government control over all of us.
Number 1)  We do not have the spokes people, the MSM, around who will straigten this out in a way that appeals to most people IMO. 

Number 2) Additionally as Rove says Republicans need to address real time issues in real time ways that ordinary people talk about at the table.  Slogans about freedom, liberty, less government alone are not enough IMO.  How can this be relayed in a way that appeals to ordinary Americans and in a way that address our modern problems?  I don't know.

Hannity and Limbaugh do the first part in a crude way.  They have NO clue about the second at all IMO. 

Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 18, 2008, 12:43:28 PM
Hannity is a putz and a schmuck.  I can't bear to watch him even when I agree with him.  :-P
Title: Gingrich: Crony Capitalism
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 18, 2008, 05:47:05 PM
Other names for Liberal Fascism are Corporatism (running society as if it were one giant corporation) and Crony Capitalism:


Crony Capitalism, Predatory Politicians, and the Detroit Three
by  Newt Gingrich

There’s a term that’s commonly applied to the economic systems of some Asian and Latin American countries.  It’s “crony capitalism.”

Crony capitalism is when government controls significant parts of the economy.  Under this kind of bureaucratic micromanagement, politicians -- not the free market -- call the shots.  And that means that the decisions that control the economy are of necessity political decisions, not economic ones.

Crony capitalism is bad for government.  Economic power in the hands of politicians breeds corruption.  Crony capitalism is bad for democracy.  Individuals and businesses outside favored industries have an unequal voice in self-government.  Crony capitalism is bad for business.  Politicians wedded to the status quo stifle growth and innovation.  And there’s one more thing about crony capitalism:  It’s come to America.

Predatory Politicians Practicing Crony Capitalism Created the Economic Crisis

It’s the nature of crony capitalism to expand -- for government to acquire more and more of the economy. The agents of this expansion are elected officials.  Call them “predatory politicians.”

Crony capitalism practiced by predatory politicians is at the root of the current financial meltdown.  In exchange for campaign cash and support for favored constituents, predatory politicians aided and abetted the government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as they created and fed the subprime mortgage market. Now Predatory Politicians Are About to Make It Worse

And to fix the mess they created, what have predatory politicians turned to?  Why, more crony capitalism of course.

First, they designed Wall Street bailouts in which a former chairman of Goldman Sachs got a blank check to disburse hundreds of billions of dollars to his former colleagues on Wall Street.  Then they took over an insurance company at a hugely inflated cost. Now predatory politicians want taxpayers to fund a bailout of three bloated, stagnant companies that have been losing money for years, one of which is currently hemorrhaging over $1 billion a month.

The Detroit Three:  An Investment Only a Predatory Politician Would Propose

To reward the unions that helped produce its electoral victory, the newly empowered Democratic Congress is proposing that American taxpayers pony up $25 billion to bail out the Detroit Three automakers, Ford, GM and Chrysler.  Democrats are using the current financial crisis as their excuse to bailout the autos.  But in fact, the Detroit three were unprofitable long before the current crisis hit.  According to one economist, GM and Ford made more money-losing investments in the 1980s than any other U.S. companies.  And the Detroit money pit only got deeper in the ensuing two decades.  Since 1998, GM has been losing an astonishing $1.5 billion a month.

That’s an investment only a predatory politician would propose.

Bringing Fannie and Freddie Style Accountability to the Auto Industry

One of the things that makes crony capitalism so profitable for politicians is that Washington exempts itself from the economic and financial rules it imposes on private industry.  For example, in 2003, federal regulators discovered that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had engaged in Enron-style accounting fraud.  But while executives at private companies who engaged in similar fraud went to prison -- and Congress responded by imposing the draconian and business-killing Sarbanes-Oxley bill on private businesses -- Fannie and Freddie executives barely received a slap on the wrist. 

One of the reasons was House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.).  Frank fought tenaciously against the regulation that would have held Fannie and Freddie executives accountable and might have averted the financial crisis. Now Chairman Frank wants to bring his particular style of crony capitalism to the auto industry.

Any Detroit Bailout Government Board Should Be Subject To Sarbanes-Oxley

On “Face the Nation” this Sunday, Chairman Frank announced that not only would he push for a taxpayer bailout of the Detroit Three during the special session of Congress this week, but he would also create a government oversight board for the three companies -- in effect, a board of directors made up of predatory politicians.

I believe that it would be a mistake for the taxpayers to be forced to bail out Detroit.  Companies at which union workers make $71 an hour in wages and benefits -- compared to just $47 an hour at Toyota’s U.S. plants -- are not going to be saved by a $25 billion government check.

But if Democrats do find the votes to bring crony capitalism to Detroit, Americans should at the very least insist that any government board of directors created for the auto industry be subject to the criminal penalties and lengthy prison sentences in Sarbanes-Oxley.

What’s fair for the rest of us is fair for predatory politicians.

A Chance For President-Elect Obama to Deliver Real Change

The solution to our economic problems, be they in Detroit or on Wall Street, isn’t more crony capitalism; it’s economic growth. 

While politicians in Washington are constantly calling on taxpayers to put up more and more money to bail out flagging businesses, there are practical things that wouldn't cost the taxpayers a penny that we could do to make America a better place to create jobs.

One of these things is to repeal Sarbanes-Oxley.  As I outline in more detail here, Sarbanes-Oxley has had the unintended consequences of stifling innovation, killing new business start-ups and driving listings overseas.

President-elect Obama won an historic victory two weeks ago on the promise of delivering change to the American people.  Bailing out the Detroit auto dinosaurs is not change. It is crony capitalism in service of a failed status quo. 

President-elect Obama should stand up to congressional Democrats and say “no” -- “no” to saddling future generations of Americans with the bill for today’s crony capitalism.

That would be change we could believe in.

Your friend,

Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: ccp on November 19, 2008, 02:02:21 AM
From what other Republican [than Newt] do we hear such a logical discussion of the problem from the viewpoint of the right?
Wwhat Newt says certainly sounds logical.  And it certainly makes me wonder how Frank could still be in the House and in a position to attempt to fix the problems.
I guess we need a "Republican Soros" to fund a front organization at Frank's district and make his constituants more aware of what a corrupt official he is.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 19, 2008, 05:41:01 AM
And on a more mundane level, we also need to end gerrymandering and to kill "campaign finance reform"-- both of which make it harder to take on an incumbent.  I don't know what the current numbers are, but not so lmany years ago, the incumbency re-election rate was well above 95%!!!
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: DougMacG on November 19, 2008, 08:21:51 AM
Crafty wrote: "not so many years ago, the incumbency re-election rate was well above 95%!"

Here is a link for your stat:  In the years 1998, 2000 and 2004 the reelection rate was 98%!  2002 was 96% and during the changeover of congress in 2006 it was still 94%.  This year was also extremely high even though the approval rate for congress was 17% or so.  I have seen statistics claiming that 92% of election money spent is by the incumbents.

If not for the fun and sport of earmarks, pork, over-regulation and corruption, maybe these brave public servants wouldn't want to stay in Washington so long.  On the flip side, if your industry (free enterprise for example) exists only on the whim of some congressional committee, making heavy donations to both sides is extremely rational.

Limbaugh and Hannity are not leaders of anything.  Hannity show is relevant because of his guests.  Rush often has spot-on political commentary but he is REACTING to the stories of the day, not setting an agenda.  Not as extreme as Coulter, but these guys have the job of holding/pleasing an audience, not solving problems or setting the agenda.  I think Rush offends CCP by his tone and attitude more so than by his positions and I highly doubt that the Economists editors listen consistently to the radio shows.  Both of these  conservatives failed to give any verbal backing to a candidate, then whined about the result.  Oprah did better than that.

SB's question about 'intelligentsia' remains unanswered and I am still pondering it.  If the college educated favored Bush 04 by a couple of points and Obama 08 by a couple of points then they appear to be caught up in the same excitement of the moment as the less educated, whether that is excitement for Obama or excitement to be rid of a bad bunch of Republicans.  Meanwhile they sell off their assets in anticipation of the new confiscatory regime.

Every issue presents an opportunity look for some intelligence-based book learning wisdom; today it is the auto bailout.  Any first look at the issue is - 'big three are failing, Oh that's bad.  Many will be hurt.  How can we stop it.'

Any thoughtful, intelligence based look at capitalism such as Thomas Sowell's book 'Basic Economics' would tell you in a longer sound bite that things like foreclosure, bankruptcy and being fired from a job that you are lousy at are all very GOOD things for the economy.  Immobility of resources is a terrible thing.  The fact that all these people have no clue about any other way to make a living except to show up 9 to 5 and have a union shakedown a losing business for 3 times the industry value only to have your congressman lobby the feds for a stopgap measure that won't change the underlying fundamentals is pathetic, from an intelligence-based analytical perspective.

But what happens in the knee jerk media and with the emotions based electorate when a conservative supports allowing failing businesses to fail?  He/she will be destroyed and some spineless, mushy, 'compassionate' new politician will be found to take the seat and the nationalizations and bailouts will continue until no industry is untouched or self sufficient.  JMHO.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: G M on November 19, 2008, 09:00:43 AM
The nation, as a "debtoholic" probably has to hit rock bottom before facing reality. God help us.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: SB_Mig on November 19, 2008, 09:34:25 AM
The nation, as a "debtoholic" probably has to hit rock bottom before facing reality.

I hear ya on that. And as twisted as it might seem, I think the easy credit lifestyle so many have become accustomed to needed a serious slap in the face. Unfortunately, the reprecussions will be felt by many for a looooooooooong time.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 19, 2008, 10:16:43 AM
Closely related to debt is the matter of interest rates.  The Fed/Govt has been pushing interest rates to artificially low levels for quite some time now-- to the point where interest rates are actually negative!!!  :-o

Who on earth wants to save when in constant dollars after inflation and taxes you lose money?

Who doesn't want to borrow at no money down with negative interest rates?
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: ccp on February 17, 2009, 06:53:08 AM
You know Crafty,
I think the Republicans could get popular again if they get new blood and if they get take "Reaganism" to the next level.

We need a national effort for the party to get new people who are committed not just in talk but in deed to stop the corruption in Washington.  Unfortunately we hear this every cycle - yet we need to find a way to break this.   

We need to get rid of the the financial interest in lobbyists  - they can be heard but not able to buy representatives.  One way this would work is to legislate that bills only tackle one issue at a time.  We can't pass bills that have hundreds of pages with benefits to local districts of the influenced.

We need to legislate the Federal dollars only really gets spent on Federal issues.  Why and where did become the norm for Federal government to be spending Federal tax dollars that goes out to state or local programs.  That is the root of the corrupt process in my opinion.  This is a real opportunity for Republicans to clean house.  Yet to do so they need to clean there own house.

Limbaugh IS wrong.  Reaganism is NOT enough.  I just got a Hillsdale College report with Rush's dissertation on how "moderate" repblicans are not conservatives and we are wrong.  I beg to differ. 

Colin Powell is right.  If we don't change our message we are destined to continue losing market share.  Yes we can hope for a catastrophy that will spell doom for BO but is that what we want?
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 17, 2009, 07:07:10 AM
Here is the key question:  Change the message to , , , what?

Something like this? 


WASHINGTON — President Obama must wish governors could vote in Congress: While just three of the 219 Republican lawmakers backed the $787 billion economic recovery plan that he is signing into law on Tuesday, that trifling total would have been several times greater if support among the 22 Republican state executives counted.

The contrast reflects the two faces of the Republican Party these days.

Leaderless after losing the White House, the party is mostly defined by its Congressional wing, which flaunted its anti-spending ideology in opposing the stimulus package. That militancy drew the mockery of late-night television comics, but the praise of conservative talk-show stars and the party faithful.

In the states, meanwhile, many Republican governors are practicing a pragmatic — their Congressional counterparts would say less-principled — conservatism.

Governors, unlike members of Congress, have to balance their budgets each year. And that requires compromise with state legislators, including Democrats, as well as more openness to the occasional state tax increase and to deficit-spending from Washington.

Across the country, from California’s Arnold Schwarzenegger to Florida’s Charlie Crist and New England’s Jim Douglas in Vermont and M. Jodi Rell in Connecticut, Republican governors showed in the stimulus debate that they could be allies with Mr. Obama even as Congressional Republicans spurned him.

“It really is a matter of perspective,” Mr. Crist said in an interview. “As a governor, the pragmatism that you have to exercise because of the constitutional obligation to balance your budget is a very compelling pull” generally.

With Florida facing a projected $5 billion shortfall in a $66 billion budget, and social costs rising, the stimulus package “helps plug that hole,” Mr. Crist said, “but it also helps us meet the needs of the people in a very difficult economic time.”

Mr. Obama’s two-year stimulus package includes more than $135 billion for states, to help them pay for education, Medicaid and infrastructure projects. Yet even that sum would cover less than half of the total budget deficits the states will face through 2010, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal research and advocacy organization.

The states’ reliance on the federal government in times of distress will be showcased this weekend, when the governors come to Washington for their annual winter meeting. Their focus will be on infrastructure needs and home foreclosures.

The disconnect between Republican members of Congress and governors recalls the mid-1990s, when Republicans took control of both the House and Senate for the first time in 40 years. After an initial public show of being partners in a “Republican revolution,” the partnership all but dissolved when governors strongly objected as the more dogmatic conservatives in Congress tried to cut domestic programs and then shut down the federal government in an unsuccessful showdown with President Bill Clinton.

Recently, Governors Schwarzenegger, Crist, Douglas and Rell joined 14 Democratic governors in signing a letter to Mr. Obama lauding his economic plan. Other Republicans would have signed on, said a person familiar with the letter’s drafting, but for party pressure in their states.

The National Governors Association sent a bipartisan letter of support to Congressional leaders of both parties, signed by its Democratic chairman, Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania, and Mr. Douglas, its Republican vice chairman. “The combination of funds for Medicaid, education and other essential services is critical for governors as they work to manage the downturn in their states and improve government for the long term,” it said.

Mr. Crist even campaigned last week with Mr. Obama in Florida for the recovery package.

“Whether it’s teachers or people on road crews helping our infrastructure, those in the health care arena as it might relate to Medicaid, all of these areas are important, all of them can produce jobs,” Mr. Crist said, adding, “Regardless of what your party is, Republican or Democrat, it really doesn’t matter. We have a duty and an obligation to the people who elected us, no matter what our position happens to be, to work together to get through this thing.”

Yet all 16 of Florida’s Republicans in Congress voted against the package. Representative Cliff Stearns condemned it during the final debate as an “unprecedented big-government grab for citizen reliance on the federal government.” Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida, called the bill “a steaming pile of garbage” on his cable television talk show.

The House Republican leader, John A. Boehner of Ohio, angrily dumped the 1,073-page bill to the floor during debate. In the Senate, John McCain of Arizona called it “nothing less than generational theft.” And Republicans in both chambers derided what they described, often misleadingly, as pork spending for the likes of marsh mouse preservation.

Many projects, however, reflected the job-creation wish lists that governors had sent in.

Utah’s Republican governor, Jon Huntsman Jr. sought up to $14.4 billion for roads, rail and sewer projects and for construction of a prison, courthouses and veterans’ nursing homes. Gov. Bob Riley of Alabama, another Republican, came to Washington to discuss transportation projects with his state’s Congressional delegation. “He’s going to make sure Alabama doesn’t miss out on the money we’re entitled to,” a spokesman said.

Mr. Obama began courting the governors before taking office. He invited them to Independence Hall in Philadelphia in December to discuss the economic challenges. Nearly all accepted.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Obama had “a special word” for the Republicans: “I offer you the same hand of friendship and cooperation that I offer our Democratic governors.” He deferred to Mr. Douglas, the Vermont Republican, to steer the discussion.

Privately, Republicans favorably contrasted Mr. Obama with the outgoing Republican president, George W. Bush, according to two participants.

Though Mr. Bush had been a governor — in good economic times — his relations with state executives were distant at best. Amid a downturn early in the decade, he unsuccessfully opposed $20 billion for the states. Last fall, he resisted some Republicans’ pleas for aid.

Mr. Douglas in January sought a meeting with the new administration at the White House office that is a liaison to governors. Instead, he got an Oval Office meeting with Mr. Obama.

When reporters briefly came in — the two men flanked the fireplace just as presidents and foreign heads of state typically do — Mr. Douglas praised Mr. Obama for his leadership. The stimulus bill “might be a little different” if he had written it, the Republican said. “But the essence of a recovery package is essential to get our nation’s economy moving.”

Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: ccp on February 17, 2009, 08:20:51 AM
Actually no.  This is the opposite of what I was suggesting.  Sure Repblican governors have to suck up to BO because if they don't the electorate will vote them out and vote in crats who are more than happy to buy their votes with taxpayers (the fewer and fewer of us) dollars.  How can this be stemmed if not stopped?  There seems no end.

"The states’ reliance on the federal government in times of distress will be showcased this weekend"

This may be the problem.  Why do States suck up and go begging for Federal dollars every five minutes?
It is always for entitlements.  For education?  you mean property tax does not cover this?
How come every time money goes into education we hear that money is not the answer.
Maybe it is for teacher unions?
Infrastructure is a code word for union jobs - no?

When did it become the role of the Federal government to bail out states for every darn thing?

Is this good?  Is this necessary?  Will not local and state pols endlessly ask for Federal dollars to buy votes for themselves?
Isn't this part of the problem?

It seems reasonalbe to have some Federal disaster relief but everything now is a disaster.  It seems like evwery week we are hearing another Disaster.  Every flood, every fire, every earthquake, tornado hurricans storm you name is now a "disaster" it seems to me.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: DougMacG on February 17, 2009, 01:01:45 PM
"Colin Powell is right.  If we don't change our message we are destined to continue losing market share."

    - I am curious what you think would be a good summary of Colin Powell's positions on the issues of the day.  I don't know what they are and I don't think Republicans will ever win by running with Clinton or Obama style ambiguity.  I also think he can get away with flip-flopping (supporting Bush, then supporting Obama) only because he is a war hero and a NON-candidate.

"Limbaugh IS wrong." 

   - Wrong on style to run for office, but like Colin Powell, Rush will not be the candidate.  He is intentionally too rough on people who hold different views (as if Obama is tolerant of other views, lol).  So aside from style or temperament, what positions do you think Rush holds on the issues of the day that are too conservative?
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: ccp on February 18, 2009, 04:44:19 PM
Hi Doug,  I am tired at the end of along day but I hope this sort of helps explain the mindset.  Sometimes I lament and think out loud but I am trying to figure out how to better the republican party.
Powell's talk with Zakaria:

***“I think the party has to take a hard look at itself,” Powell said in the interview… “There is nothing wrong with being conservative. There is nothing wrong with having socially conservative views — I don’t object to that. But if the party wants to have a future in this country, it has to face some realities. In another 20 years, the majority in this country will be the minority.”

Powell, who crossed party lines and endorsed President-elect Barack Obama just weeks before the election, said the GOP must see what is in the “hearts and minds” of African-American, Hispanic and Asian voters “and not just try to influence them by… the principles and dogma.”***

I agree with him that "dogma and principles" is just too abstract to appeal to most people. How can this message be expanded so all groups that Powell talks about can relate to it?  I don't know.  Maybe Michael Steele will help us sort it out.  How can we change the 70% Latin and 90% Black vote to republican? 

What is wrong with that question?  It seems to me that is what Powell is saying. 

And to me that is where Limbaugh fails.  He just cannot appeal to all except a small minority of these groups. 

On the other hand W tried to reach out to minorities and it appears to have mostly failed. 
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: DougMacG on February 19, 2009, 07:40:34 AM
CCP,  Thanks as always for the thoughtful reply.  I appreciate Colin Powell for all the things he did for this country - past tense.  For my money, he is worthless now to the party.  'We' nominated the least conservative, most centrist candidate for the purposes of winning in a Republican-unfriendly environment - and he ran against the Senate's most liberal and least experienced member.  Gen. Powell couldn't contain himself with the excitement of voting for a half-black man and the media attention of finally distancing himself with the administration he once served proudly.

For sake of argument, let's just stipulate that Rush is another negative that R's have to deal with while 'reaching out' to minorities, young people or other potential new supporters.

Obama gave away to me in his pork, massive government-enlargement bill signing ceremony the key to the message for Republicans moving forward:

"We have begun the essential work of keeping the American dream alive in our time."

The party and the candidate of the opposition better learn to articulate a different view of the American dream.  $5 billion to ACORN, picking and choosing which homeowners to help, federal takeovers of banking, housing, healthcare, transportation, education... Is socialism unevenly applied by lobyists and staffers who write bills that representatives can't read the American dream.  I thought that term was coined to describe something like the viewpoints you read here: rugged individualism, self-discipline, work hard, retain a right to self-defense, look back regularly at statements about individual liberties in the actual words of the founding fathers, the right to personal freedoms and self-determination and maybe even the right to choose which charities you support with your excess income instead of having it rammed down your throat by Washington.

We need someone to paint that picture.  Reagan was 1980s and our next leader runs in 2012 so he is no longer relevant, and we can pick at his errors or inconsistencies, but what he did overall was project the bigger picture of the American dream for all, over the hodgepiodge of federal programs for the unlucky who qualify.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: SB_Mig on February 19, 2009, 10:16:22 AM
The party and the candidate of the opposition better learn to articulate a different view of the American dream.

This is the obvious key. Re-tooling the message is the biggest part of the equation IMHO.

1) Rush, Hannity, Coulter - The "mouthpieces" of the party. Whether or not they actually speak for all conservatives is irrelevant. They are perceived as "semi-official" spokespeople. Conservative politicians go on their shows and to some that people that equals tacit approval of their views. Big minus if you're looking to for a "big tent" party. The voice that is heard is the one that counts. Conservatives need a voice(s) that can reach the masses on both sides both in office and on the air.

2) Getting the message across - "Mouthpieces" aside, the tone of the discourse is key. Obama's campaign was a masterpiece of massaged message. "WE", "TOGETHER", "DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS ALIKE", "GAY AND STRAIGHT", "YOU AND I", etc. Sounds silly, but it WORKS. Conservatives need to make liberals FEEL welcome. They need to make people WANT to become Republican. Tell them WHY. A huge part of the Obama machines power came from manipulation of image. Stay positive, stay cool, let them attack us, we'll take the higher ground, etc. The fingerpointing by the McCain campaign (again, massaged by the MSM) came across as angry, paranoid, and out of touch, all of which was used by Obama to his benefit. Republicans need to get across their message using modern means (see #4) and a modern face (see #3).

3) The FUTURE not the PAST - Whether us old folks like it or not, our world/way of thinking/views are slowly but surely becoming unimportant. The world is moving on. One of the biggest perceived failures of the Republican party was/is their inability to see that and their desire to cling to the past. Reagan is gone. Period. He is irrelevant to the majority of the voting population. Period. Take the IDEAS, let go of the MAN. In four years, what will most voters remember: 8 years of Bush (which to many equal war and the creation of a recession) and 4 years of...who knows. Republicans can't use Bush. Resurrecting presidents is only useful if they have been overwhelming successes while in office. So even if Obama tanks, Republicans need to come up with a new face to carry the brand forward.

4) Being "in touch" - Internet, facebook, myspace, twitter, bebo, blackplanet, flickr, friendster, linkedin, plaxo, xanga. Have you heard of them? Has your friendly politician heard of them? No? Then they've already lost the race. We are in a world where people are more and more reliant on social networking and the internet. You want votes? Get to those people on the Web. Obama sent texts, uses a BlackBerry, does webcasts, has a website. McCain didn't even use email. Seems silly to those of us in older generations, but the reality is the functionality, usefullness, and yes percieves "coolness" attached to these sites is hugely influential nowadays.

5) The Look - Bodysurfing, BlackBerry using, Facebooking basketball player. That is our president. Again as galling as the image may be to some, to others it signifies being in touch with today's world and IMAGE IS EVERYTHING REGARDLESS OF REALITY. Once the reality hits, it's too late, the dude is in office. Palin's appearance on the scene is HUGE for Republican's. Why? Not because she espouses certain views (which is a large part of it), but because she LOOKS COOL. Soccer moms want someone who looks like them AND has some great ideas. So much of our world is based on image now it isn't even funny. Image first. Vacuous? Yes. But it works.

Now, am I suggesting that Republicans put out a skateboarding, myspace user who plays in a rock band? No. But they do need to break out of the tired old ways of approaching politics and put on new twist on things. They have to CHANGE the way they do business. All politicians need to. Does that mean rebuilding the foundation? No. But it does mean big time remodel.

I actually believe that we are going to witness some massive battles within each party in the next 4-8 years as the old guard starts to fade. It should be interesting.
Title: Repub message we have to crash and burn before we can rise back up
Post by: ccp on February 19, 2009, 01:59:30 PM
Last night on Fox they had their panel discuss what they thought of the mortgage bailout to homeowners that BO claims will keep 7 to 9 million in their homes.  Krauthammer stated "I am a Republican" and I am for it only because while it is unfair to most people who have not taken out unreasonable mortgages it tries to get to the root cause of the problem starting at the bottom. Another panelist stated that it helps those whose do not have a mortgage problem by maintaining the value of their home by hopefully preventing further home value drops.  Juan Williams who I think tends to feel the exact way I feel the Rep party's problem is that while he doesn't necessariy agree with the plan or that Reps are wrong "they really offer no other solutions".

Saying basically, we all have to crash and burn before we can rise from ashes (which is the repubs message) is a pretty tough act to sell. Sorry but I don't think that the answer of tax cuts is stimulating too many people by itself.  And what about the what, 40% who pay no taxes.  They don't give a hoot about that.  And this group is being widely expanded as we speak.

I thought this is the delemma in a nutshell.
Why do Reps even have to sell the American dream to minorities?  Aren't we ALL Americans?  Why does the pitch have to be different for specific groups?

Obviously the root cause is minorities and immigrants views of America is or should be about are different from conservatives.
So Republicans are faced with how to bridge this gap.  Is it even possible?

How can we sell the American dream as it was meant to be to all Americans?

The answer is we may not be able to.  We keep hearing about social injustice....

 This will require more thought and more time than I have at the moment.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: SB_Mig on February 19, 2009, 03:02:56 PM
Why do Reps even have to sell the American dream to minorities?  Aren't we ALL Americans?

Ahhh, here comes the heart of the matter! Minorities have been force fed/taught/experienced the opposite. Opposition to racism, sexism, economic disparity, are the bastions upon which the Democratic party has built its foundation (For sake of this response I won't get into the reality of their positions... :wink:) In that regard, they have "branded" themselves as the helping hand.

The idea the we are "all Americans" is solid. It looks good on paper. But when you look at the spokespeople/rallies/conventions of the Republican party for the past 30 years, what do you see: old white men. So, when you take say an African American and tell them, "Our party believes in X ideals", but the IMAGE that they see does not jibe with the rhetoric, the trouble starts. I think in many regards Republicans have been late in coming to the table in terms of "demonstrating" their inclusivity. Should they have to? I personally don't believe so. But the viewing public needs a face that matches what they hear.

Michael Steele is a step in the right direction for a number of different reason. Unfortunately, the response I've heard to his choice tends to be more along the lines of "Do the Republicans really think that by putting an African American in the spotlight, people will rush to their side?" It's going to take some very serious strategy and brainstorming by the Republicans to turn stuff around.

More later...I actually need to do some work today :-D
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 19, 2009, 03:52:18 PM
I think in similar ways on this point SB Mig.  Recently I wrote a little something.  If I find it I will bring over over.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: G M on February 19, 2009, 05:39:49 PM
As much as Obama is going to ruin things, the question will be how much we can do to recover from the damage inflicted.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: SB_Mig on February 19, 2009, 08:28:50 PM
From today:

The Republican Party needs to change — at least when it comes to its use of technology, Meghan McCain says....

McCain, who authored a popular blog on her father's Web site while he was running for president, also recounts early pushback from Republican strategists when she first sought to establish the Web site.

"Many of the established Republican strategists told me that young people would not visit my web site," she wrote. "I used to categorize many of the advisors in my father's campaign into one of two groups: those that 'respected' the Internet and those who didn't. It was a running line between me and my friends who worked on my site."

McCain also suggested the party's lack of online savvy greatly contributed to her father's defeat last November.

"The Obama administration understands that my generation spends most of its day on a laptop or a BlackBerry, and that using the Web is easy way to communicate their ideas to their constituents," she said. "Until the Republican Party joins the twenty-first century and learns how to use the Internet, its members will keep getting older and the youth of America will just keep logging on to the other side."

Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 19, 2009, 11:12:43 PM
The Rep Party office in Manhattan Beach (the office nearest to me) is like a deranged SNL parody of stereotypes of the Reps being white haired old farts.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on February 20, 2009, 08:48:00 AM
Yeah, between the patrician fossils and the vapid bible thumpers it's pretty hard for me to get much invested in the Rebups.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: G M on February 20, 2009, 12:25:11 PM
Got a better option?
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on February 20, 2009, 12:31:49 PM
Libertarians, baby. (Countdown starts for GM's brains to extrude out his ears. . . . :evil:)
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives
Post by: G M on February 20, 2009, 12:47:19 PM

I'd post some pics of libertarians, but I can't stomach going to "9/11 troof" websites right now.   :-D
Title: Malkin
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 22, 2009, 01:34:52 PM

Malkin on the incipient tax revolt movement , , ,
Title: Jindall
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 25, 2009, 10:58:04 AM
"Democratic leaders say their legislation will grow the economy. What it will do is grow the government, increase our taxes down the line and saddle future generations with debt. Who among us would ask our children for a loan, so we could spend money we do not have, on things we do not need? That is precisely what the Democrats in Congress just did. It's irresponsible. And it's no way to strengthen our economy, create jobs or build a prosperous future for our children." --Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in his rebuttal to Obama's address Tuesday night
Title: WSJ: Rep Ryan'
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 02, 2009, 01:34:04 AM
Inheriting countless challenges, Congress and the Obama administration have moved quickly on many fronts to implement their economic agenda. After two months of drastic interventions, has hope replaced fear, and confidence pushed aside uncertainty? Hardly.

David GothardThe budget the president released last week, however, does provide some certainty about where we are headed: higher taxes on small businesses, work and capital investment.

Add to this the costly burdens of a cap-and-trade carbon emissions scheme and an effective nationalization of health care, and it is clear that the government is going to grow while the economy will shrink. In a nutshell, the president's budget seemingly seeks to replace the American political idea of equalizing opportunity with the European notion of equalizing results.

A constructive opposition party should be willing to call out the majority when it falls short. More important, Republicans must offer alternatives. In this spirit, here is what I would do differently:

- A pro-growth tax policy. Rather than raise the top marginal income tax rate to 39.6%, it should be dropped to 25%. The lower tax brackets should be collapsed to one 10% rate on the first $100,000 for couples. And the top corporate tax rate should be lowered to 25%. This modest reform would put American companies' tax liability more in line with the prevailing rates of our competitors.

We've seen 10 years of growth in our equity markets wiped out in recent months, while 401(k)s, IRAs and college savings plans are down by an average of 40%. The administration and congressional Democrats want to raise capital gains tax rates by a third. Instead, we should eliminate the capital gains tax. It supplies about 4% of federal revenues, yet it places a substantial drag on economic growth. Individuals already pay taxes on income when they earn it. They should not be socked again when they are saving and investing for their retirement and their children's education.

Capital gains taxes are a needless burden on investment, savings and risk-taking, activities in short supply these days. Getting rid of this tax could help establish a floor on stock prices and stem the decline in the value of retirement plans by increasing the after-tax rate of return on capital.

Democrats oppose this, playing on emotions of fear and envy. But while class warfare may make good short-term politics, it produces terrible economics.

- Guarantee sound money. For the last decade, the Federal Reserve's easy-money policy has helped fuel the housing bubble that precipitated our current crisis. We need to return to a sound money policy. That would end uncertainty, help keep interest rates down, and increase the confidence entrepreneurs and investors need to take the risks required for future growth.

I believe the best way to guarantee sound money is to use an explicit, market-based price guide, such as a basket of commodities, in setting monetary policy. A more politically realistic path to price stability would be for the Fed to explicitly embrace inflation targeting.

Transcripts from recent meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee meetings suggest that the Fed may already be moving in this direction. This would be an improvement over the status quo: It could help combat near-term deflation concerns while also calming the market's longer-term inflation fears.

- Fix the financial sector. A durable economic recovery requires a solution to the banking crisis. There are no easy or painless solutions, but the most damaging solution over the long term would be to nationalize our financial system. Once we put politicians in charge of allocating credit and resources in our economy, it is hard to imagine them letting go.

The underlying structural problem at our financial institutions is the toxic assets infecting their balance sheets and impairing their operations. In order to help purge these assets from the system, we need a government-sponsored, comprehensive solution, but one that is transparent and temporary, and which leverages -- rather than chases away -- private-sector capital.

The general idea is to establish an entity or fund to purchase troubled assets from financial institutions and then hold them until they could be sold once the market has recovered. The Treasury has announced its intention to use capital from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, along with financing from the Fed's soon-to-be operational Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, to set up such an entity. It will be a tall task to get all the details and incentives right, but the administration's general strategy appears to be sound.

A good model for this government-sponsored entity is the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC), which helped clean up bank failures in the wake of the savings-and-loan crisis in the late 1980s and early 1990s by absorbing and selling off bad bank assets. The circumstances of today's financial sector are different, but the goals of our current efforts should mirror the general merits of an RTC-like entity. We should aim to recoup a portion of our initial expenditures, and we should leave only a fleeting government footprint on the financial sector and the economy.

- Get a grip on entitlements. With $56 trillion in unfunded liabilities and our social insurance programs set to implode, we must tackle the entitlement crisis. President Barack Obama deserves credit for his recent efforts to build a bipartisan consensus on entitlement reform. But we can't solve the entitlement problem unless we acknowledge why the costs are exploding, and then take action.

I have proposed legislation, called "A Roadmap for America's Future," that would bring permanent solvency to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. By transforming these open-ended entitlements into a system with a defined benefit safety net for the low-income and chronically ill, in conjunction with an individually owned, defined contribution system for health and retirement, we can reach the goal of these programs without bankrupting the next generation. It would also show the world and the credit markets that we are serious about our debt and unfunded liabilities.

Republicans can help Washington become part of the solution, not part of the problem. We can do this by pushing to enact tax policies that boost incentives for economic growth and job creation, focus the Fed on price stability, fix our banking system to get credit flowing again, stop reckless spending, and reform our entitlement programs.

Our economy is begging for clear leadership that inspires confidence and hope that the entrepreneurial spirit will flourish again. Our goal must be to offer Americans that leadership.

Mr. Ryan, from Wisconsin, is ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee and also serves on Ways and Means.
Title: IBD: NEWT!!!
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 02, 2009, 09:36:56 AM
Eyeing Newt For '12
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Friday, February 27, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Politics: As the Republican Party hunts for new faces for 2012, an old face has intruded from out of right field. Clearly, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is running for president.


Read More: General Politics


Can the man who a decade and a half ago led Republicans to control of Congress for the first time in over 40 years perform another unlikely feat and replace Barack Obama in the White House?

Gingrich gave the speech of his life Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. His pre-planned grand entrance, working an overflow hotel ballroom crowd as he inched to the podium in State of the Union fashion to the rhythmic strains of "Eye of the Tiger," left no doubt of his intention to run for the highest office in the land.

Considering that Gingrich was thrown out of the speakership by his own House Republicans after serving only four years, the roaring CPAC crowd might justly be accused of amnesia. But the real electricity came from Gingrich's extraordinary rhetoric.

Again and again, he referred to the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress as the "left-wing machine." Repeatedly he referred to Attorney General Eric Holder's accusation that America is a nation of cowards — challenging him to a one-on-one "dialogue about cowardice anywhere and anytime."

Gingrich suggested that the best locale for such a talk might be a poor neighborhood in Detroit, a city whose once-prosperous population of 1.8 million was halved by liberal policies that "trap children in schools that are disasters."

The former speaker taunted President Obama for opposing earmarks yet supporting spending legislation containing 8,000 such items, contending that the nation would rally behind this president "if he were to take on the Democratic machine" against wasteful spending.

He mocked the president's vow that taxes wouldn't be raised on those making under $250,000, saying the $650 billion pegged for energy tax revenues in Obama's budget would only hit those below $250k who use electricity, gasoline, heating oil or natural gas.

Those taxed the least under the new plan are apparently only "the Amish in central Pennsylvania," he quipped.

The most inventive content in Gingrich's electrifying address, however, was the political prescriptions for the coming Obama years. "We are bigger than the Republican Party," he said of the political movement that has found the GOP to be its most effective vehicle.

He accused the Bush administration of launching a "Bush-Obama continuity in economic policy" with its financial bailout last fall, noting Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's role in that government intervention.

The political division in America, rather than Democratic-Republican, he said, is "a party of the American people" and "a party of big government and political elites." And unfortunately, according to Gingrich, Republicans became "the right wing of that party" of massive government and elitism.

In this context, remembering that Ronald Reagan as a former Democrat "reached out to Democrats and independents" in all of his major speeches, this Republican revolutionary actually called on conservative activists to recruit candidates to run in Democratic Party primaries against incumbent Democratic members of Congress.

He also touted the audacious economic proposals of his think tank, which include cutting Social Security taxes in half, a zero capital gains tax and matching Ireland's low 12.5% corporate tax rate.

How you sell the scrapping of capital gains taxes, Gingrich said, is by asking Americans how they would like an overnight increase of between 20% and 40% in the value of their 401(k)s and other savings.

As speaker, the talented-but-flawed Newt Gingrich was taken to the cleaners by President Clinton. Veteran Washington reporter Robert Novak found Gingrich guilty of "a mindless tactical incompetence that invites defeat."

But if Washington really is dominated by a "left-wing machine" intent on imposing socialism on America, Republicans may end up turning not to an outsider to fight the Goliath, but to a warrior who knows Washington well.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on March 02, 2009, 10:34:11 AM
Interesting piece on Newt.  Of course the person who can electrify the room at CPAC is not likely same one who can connect with the other demographics that need to stop seeing a massive government in control of everything as the American dream.  Far more urgent than the Presidential election of 2012 is the congressional election cycle of 2010.  For certain, the Republicans / conservatives need to nationalize these contests the way Newt did in 1994.  Even then, very few Democratic Senate seats are vulnerable (maybe Harry Reid in Nevada?) while several Republican ones are.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: ccp on March 03, 2009, 08:19:33 AM
Of course everone has heard of the Steele Limbaugh thing and of course all the Democrat bent talk shows are having a field day with this. 

I agree with those who say listen to Limbaugh and the Rebs are doomed to minority status. Rush is not going to win anyone new over with this stuff.  But if the economy continues to tank and BO gets the blame than there is a chance for a Republican come back.  The only one of prominence who I see gets it is Newt who was on the other day saying that we need new ideas, we need to take conservatism, Reagonism to the next level.  We can't just throw out the same old song and dance. Newt is the only one of prominence who I agree with.  I think Steele is on the right track but I don't think he is quite level of spokeperson needed.  Only Newt can IMO that I can see.  Romeny might be able to but I am not sure if he can attract new faces.
****RUSH: I was not going to talk about Michael Steele. I have had e-mails from the Drive-By Media. I have had interview requests to be on television shows to talk about Michael Steele and what he said about my speech Saturday night. He was on CNN and I was going to ignore it, but so many of you are e-mailing me asking me to respond to this that I have changed my mind and I'm going to do so. Here is what has prompted all of the irritation at Michael Steele. He was on the D. L. Hughley show on CNN Saturday night, and the other voice you'll hear is the other guest, the rapper Chuck D. They had this exchange about me.

HUGHLEY: Rush Limbaugh, who is the de facto leader of the Republican Party --

STEELE: No, he's not.

HUGHLEY: Well, I'll tell you what, I've never --

STEELE: I'm the de facto leader of the Republican Party.

HUGHLEY: Then you know what? Then I can appreciate that, but no -- no one will -- will actually pry down some of the things he says, like when he comes out and says that he wants the president to fail, I understand he wants liberalism to fail.

STEELE: How is that any different than what was said about George Bush during his presidency? Let's put it into context here. Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh, the whole thing is entertainment. Yes, it's incendiary, yes, it's ugly --

RUSH: Okay, so I am an entertainer, and I have 20 million listeners, 22 million listeners because of my great song-and-dance routines here. Yes, said Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, I'm incendiary, and yes, it's ugly. Michael Steele, you are head of the RNC. You are not head of the Republican Party. Tens of millions of conservatives and Republicans have nothing to do with the RNC and right now they want nothing to do with it, and when you call them asking them for money, they hang up on you. I hope that changes. I hope the RNC will get its act together. I hope the RNC chairman will realize he's not a talking head pundit, that he is supposed to be working on the grassroots and rebuilding it, and maybe doing something about our open primary system and fixing it so that Democrats do not nominate our candidates. It's time, Mr. Steele, for you to go behind the scenes and start doing the work that you were elected to do instead of trying to be some talking head media star, which you're having a tough time pulling off. I hope you figure out how to run a primary system. But it seems to me that it's Michael Steele who is off to a shaky start. 
My parents taught me when I was growing up that you always stood behind people who defended you, you never abandoned people who stood up for you and who defended you against assault. Michael Steele was a candidate for the Senate in Maryland. Michael Steele was on this program, he got airtime on this program to attempt to refute the lies being told about him by Michael J. Fox in those famous ads way back when that were also run against Jim Talent in Missouri. I personally took time to defend Michael Steele and to rip the substance of those ads, had him on the show. I went after Chuck Schumer when Chuck Schumer's former employee stole Michael Steele's private credit record information and released it. When I went to Washington a couple years ago for a personal appearance from my station there, WMAL, WMAL arranged for a number of dignitaries to meet me backstage. One of them was Michael Steele, who thanked me very much for coming to his defense. Something's happened. Now I'm just an entertainer and now I am ugly and my program is incendiary.

Michael Steele has been around long enough to know that the liberal media will use him by twisting what I say or what others say. He took the bait, he bit down hard on the bait, he launched an attack on me even though the premise of what was said to him was false. He took the bait and he went for it. Now, Mr. Steele, if it is your position as the chairman of the Republican National Committee that you want a left wing Democrat president and a left wing Democrat Congress to succeed in advancing their agenda, if it's your position that you want President Obama and Speaker Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid to succeed with their massive spending and taxing and nationalization plans, I think you have some explaining to do. Why are you running the Republican Party? Why do you claim you lead the Republican Party when you seem obsessed with seeing to it that President Obama succeeds? I frankly am stunned that the chairman of the Republican National Committee endorses such an agenda. I have to conclude that he does because he attacks me for wanting it to fail.

This isn't complicated stuff here, folks. It's difficult to organize the defeat of Obama and the Democrat Congress in 2012, if we want to. It's going to be difficult enough, but on one hand it shouldn't be difficult at all. But it's going to be really hard, Mr. Steele, if you, as the chairman of the RNC, want Obama to succeed. Where does the Republican Party go if you, who are supposed to be redesigning our primary system and helping reestablish our grassroots movement, how are we going to retake elective office if you want this agenda of Obama's and Pelosi's and Reid's to succeed. My colleagues in talk radio can attest to this next point. We get press release after press release after press release from the Republican National Committee attacking the Democrat agenda. They send us points of refutation. I never use them 'cause I don't need them. But they send out all these points of refutation about how this part of what Dingy Harry wants or Pelosi wants is wrong, is wrong, is wrong. Why are you sending out these things, Mr. Steele? Why is your office sending out all these talking points to defeat the Democrat agenda in Congress if your position is you want it to succeed? And I don't understand why you're asking Republicans to donate to the Republican National Committee if their money is going to be spent furthering the agenda of Barack Obama.

If we don't want Obama and Reid and Pelosi to fail, then why does the RNC exist, Mr. Steele? Why are you even raising money? What do you want from us? If I want Obama and Democrats to succeed, I suppose we should be sending the RNC donations? You know, these people, it's a bizarre discussion to have because there's a news story on this, on this feud now between me and Michael Steele. And listen to this. This is a quote from RNC spokesman, Alex Conant, I'm not sure how he pronounces his last name. "The feud between radio host Rush and Rahm makes great political theater, but it is a sideshow to the important work going on in Washington. RNC Chairman Michael Steele and elected Republicans are focused on fighting for reform and winning elections. The Democrats' problem is that the American people are growing skeptical of the massive government spending being pushed by congressional leaders like [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi."

Mr. Steele, your spokesman sounds like the RNC wants 'em to fail, to me. You're opposing 'em. You say the American people are growing weary of it, getting suspicious of it. But it's not just Pelosi's spending. It's Obama's. Where are your guts? Why can't you tie Obama to these policies? They're his! Where are your guts? (interruption) Snerdley, they don't want me doing the dirty work because when I go out there and, quote, unquote, do the dirty work, they try to cut me off at the knees for doing so. The point is, when you read that statement from Alex Conant, they're opposed to the Obama agenda, too, they're just too gutless to say so, and they get frightened when they hear the words, "I want Obama to fail." "Oh, no, no, no, we can't be associated with that." Yet you're sending out all these talking points designed to help people explain to other people why the Obama agenda is wrong. So I think it's bizarre. They put out statements and press releases damning Obama and Pelosi policies and they object when somebody like me says he doesn't want them to succeed.

Now, if it's the purpose of the Republican National Committee to urge the success of the Obama and congressional agenda, then stop sending these press releases here. I don't want 'em anymore. Stop sending all these quotes and facts and figures to prove how the Obama and Pelosi agenda is full of lies. I don't want to see it anymore, because you don't believe it. Why are you even sending these things out, Mr. Steele? It's amazing how many Republican politicians contact this show wanting on it. It's amazing how many Republicans want to come on this show. It's amazing how many send this show an endless number of press releases, their PR flacks are constantly sending me press releases and points, Congressman X saying this, special interest group X saying that, hoping I will mention it, hoping I will promote their cause. Why do they work so hard to be on this show? Why are they so eager to get me to take up their cause? I'm just an entertainer, ugly, incendiary, they say. We don't discuss current issues or policies or history or economics. So on the one hand, they had their PR flaks inundating me every day with this group or this congressman's doing that. I'm supposed to take it and make this or that congressman look good or this or that RNC chairman look good. And then they do what they do.

They chicken out when I happen to articulate exactly what their agenda really is. They don't have the guts to admit it, and I do. I'm going further and telling you today it's not that I want Obama to fail; that's not it anymore. The president is presiding over economic failure. The president is watching it, doing nothing about it. He's watching unemployment grow; he's watching the stock market plummet; he is watching people sign up for unemployment. The president of the United States is doing nothing to stop the downward spiral of this economy. He has no economic recovery plan. The truth is, the president of the United States and Rahm Emanuel, who, remember, said, "Crisis is too great a thing to waste." What does that mean? They want you suffering, they want you miserable, they want it worse, they want you rejecting conservatism. They want you rejecting capitalism. They want you turning to them in fear and desperation and angst for an immediate fix to the problem. They want you thinking you have no ability to fix your own problems. They think you have and they want you to have no ability to take care of yourself. So as the stock market now approaches minus 2,800 since Obama was elected, the statement today is to speed up the economic recovery, we're going to focus on health care. Ask yourself how that is going to get you your next job.

One other thing. Mr. Steele, if you want to lead the Republican Party, as you say you do, then you need to run for and win the presidency. You are chairman of the Republican National Committee. That is your job. To run the Republican establishment bureaucracy and prove you can defeat Democrats and elect Republicans, to come up with a new primary system that eliminates Democrats participating in ours and choosing our candidates and getting the grassroots revved up again. This is how you're going to be measured, not by how entertaining or cute you are on talk shows. By the same token, I'm not in charge of the Republican Party, and I don't want to be. I would be embarrassed to say that I'm in charge of the Republican Party in the sad-sack state that it's in. If I were chairman of the Republican Party, given the state that it's in, I would quit. I might get out the hari-kari knife because I would have presided over a failure that is embarrassing to the Republicans and conservatives who have supported it and invested in it all these years. I certainly couldn't say I am proud of the Republican Party, as I am leading the Republican Party. Right now the Republican Party needs to be led, and it will be. The next Republican president is going to be the head of the party. Last time I checked, I don't think Mr. Steele is running.

And finally, Mr. Steele, we do like to entertain people here. The audience is very smart, sir. They know the difference between entertainment, and they know the difference between deadly serious issues that affect their country. Don't underestimate the intelligence of this audience or Republicans and conservatives generally. The biggest problem with all of you who live inside the Beltway is you look out over America and you think you see idiocy and unsophisticated people, ignorant people, and when you're looking at liberal Democrats, largely you're correct, but your own voters are every bit as informed, involved, engaged, and caring, if not more so than you are. We don't care, first and foremost, about the success of the Republican Party. We care about the United States of America and its future, because we cherish it and love it, and we know what it is that made it the greatest nation on earth, and we don't hear you articulating that you understand that, not just you, Mr. Steele, but hardly anybody else in Washington, DC. So send those fundraising requests out, and, by the way, when you send those fundraising requests out, Mr. Steele, make sure you say, "We want Obama to succeed." So people understand your compassion. Republicans, conservatives, are sick and tired of being talked down to, sick and tired of being lectured to, and until you show some understanding and respect for who they are, you're going to have a tough time rebuilding your party.

RUSH: Hey, psst, folks, just a little secret between us. Don't tell anybody, all right? This is just between us. Don't tell the Drive-Bys. The Drive-Bys were tuning in for that because they've been asking me for quotes on this. So the way they're gonna interpret -- and really don't tell anybody, this is between us, because I don't want this getting out beyond the show -- the way they are going to interpret what I just did in response to Michael Steele is, "Oh, this is great, this is great! Emanuel's strategy is working great, the Republican Party and Limbaugh are splitting apart, there's a feud, there's infighting." They will miss the whole point, and even if there are any Drive-Bys listening while I tell them the real point, they will reject it because it doesn't fit their template. What happened starting Saturday -- actually, CPAC started on Thursday, but what culminated with my speech on Saturday at CPAC was the reawakening of a huge sleeping giant that is ready to rumble, and that is American conservatism, which is found in the Democrat Party, it's found among independents, and it's found in the Republican Party.

More Americans live their lives as conservatives than you would believe. They don't get their paychecks and walk down the street and say, "Hi, you want some of this?" They'll vote for people who will do it for them, but they're trying to raise their kids right and make money, save money. They've got morality and values, most of them, not all, but most, they may not vote that way, but they live that way. They're waiting to be awakened and that awakening has started. The pressure is on the Republican Party to be more Democrat Party-like, and too many Republicans in Washington want to make that happen. Well, just the opposite is going to happen. The sleeping conservative giant has been awakened here. It's a beautiful thing. ****
Title: Adviser: Steele overhauling GOP
Post by: Chad on March 09, 2009, 02:31:34 PM
By CURT ANDERSON | 3/9/09 4:59 PM EDT 

Over the past week, new RNC Chairman Michael Steele has walked through the fire, or more accurately, through a shooting gallery inside the Beltway. To be clear, some of this was self-inflicted. As the chairman has said, he made some missteps in a few media appearances. Live and learn.

Behind the noise however, there is a different scene unfolding, and one that should give hope to Republicans everywhere, or at least Republicans outside the beltway. For the first time ever, the new chairman is conducting a complete and thorough overhaul of all party operations. Anyone associated with the Republican campaigns of the past few cycles knows the real truth: Our party has been out-gunned, out-worked and "out-technologied.”

The chairman promised to clean house at the RNC if he won. He did, and he did. This has led to some serious griping inside the Beltway. Many were lying in wait, hoping he would stumble, so they could pounce. He did, and they did.

As part of Steele’s transition at the RNC, 10 members of the RNC have descended from around the country onto the headquarters at 310 First St. Their mission has been to conduct a thorough forensic audit of all the functions of each department — everything from finance to communications to research to politics. Every line item in the budget has been scrubbed; every position in the organizational chart has been reviewed.

This process was completed on time at the end of February. Now comes the hard part — taking the recommendations of this ten-member transition team and melding them into a new RNC that will do more with less and move the party to the place where we can compete and win in the 2010 elections.

Change is never easy, of course, and many feel threatened by it. Steele’s election as chairman of the Republican Party was a shock to the system for many of the Republican ruling class, the old guard in Washington. Over the past week, countless anonymous sources have brought out the long knives. Indeed, over the past week, the empire has struck back.

To be clear, some of the criticisms have been legitimate. This process has not been perfect. This new administration at the RNC has made mistakes, and all of us on Team Steele will make more, and we will own up to them.

That said, the vast majority of RNC members, both old and new, both those who supported Steele and those who did not, are on board with this overhaul of party operations. There is great unanimity on one thing: The 2006 and 2008 elections were not just bad, they were disastrous. Staying the course is not an option.

The best news is this — over the course of the past month, there is increasing evidence that the Republican Party as a whole is once again finding its voice. With 99 percent of elected Republicans in Washington standing on principle against the so-called stimulus package, the unprecedented expansion of government and wasteful spending, Republicans are coalescing.

We did not get into this mess in a just a few months, and we won’t get out of it in just a few weeks. But the seeds of the comeback are being sown. 2010 will be a different story.

Curt Anderson is a partner at OnMessage Inc, a Republican media and polling firm. He is a top adviser to Chairman Steele and has been Steele’s personal friend for 15 years.
Title: Re: The Way Forward Michael Steele
Post by: DougMacG on March 09, 2009, 03:58:14 PM
Chad, Thanks for posting.  Steele will be fine IMO if he can now hit the ground running.  If not for the mis-steps (all publicity is good publicity?) no one would have noticed or cared that a black man is now running the Republican Party.  Repubs had a black man and black woman at the highest cabinet posts and a black man to the highest court in the land without black voters noticing or caring.  If/when Michael Steele has accomplishments as RNC Chair, maybe then he will become a national voice and begin to influence a voter or two.  There is plenty of room for Steele to make a huge difference, but this defense of Steele came from his own PR person. We will see.  We will see what he can do with top down leadership for a deflated structure that needs to be re-built from the bottom up.

One public improvement that comes to mind is to stop having the equal-time opposition speaker talk to an empty room.  These should be done with enthusiasm that spills from the live audience to the television, radio and internet audience - either with stadium sized support or in a staged, Letterman/Leno type setting.  A citizens version of a joint session of congress is what they need IMO.  The future political leaders need to speak to a crowd and the party had better go find and train the candidates that can do it.  They also need clarity of message...
Title: Re: The Way Forward Michael Steele
Post by: Chad on March 10, 2009, 12:41:19 PM
Chad, Thanks for posting.  Steele will be fine IMO if he can now hit the ground running.  If not for the mis-steps (all publicity is good publicity?) no one would have noticed or cared that a black man is now running the Republican Party.  Repubs had a black man and black woman at the highest cabinet posts and a black man to the highest court in the land without black voters noticing or caring.  If/when Michael Steele has accomplishments as RNC Chair, maybe then he will become a national voice and begin to influence a voter or two.  There is plenty of room for Steele to make a huge difference, but this defense of Steele came from his own PR person. We will see.  We will see what he can do with top down leadership for a deflated structure that needs to be re-built from the bottom up.

One public improvement that comes to mind is to stop having the equal-time opposition speaker talk to an empty room.  These should be done with enthusiasm that spills from the live audience to the television, radio and internet audience - either with stadium sized support or in a staged, Letterman/Leno type setting.  A citizens version of a joint session of congress is what they need IMO.  The future political leaders need to speak to a crowd and the party had better go find and train the candidates that can do it.  They also need clarity of message...

I enjoy posting  thought provoking articles here, and enjoy reading what others find and post here...  :-)

I'm wondering if Steele (and Jindahl for that matter) are to be victims of the "Palin effect" it seems like any conservative that comes along who has been competant in any way, will be trashed by the media. The more competant, the dirtier the trashing. God forbid you ask the president an honest question ala JTP.
I just don't see anyone that will be able to hurdle the media double standard put on Repubs. Obama is handling the economy in the same exact way that Bush did, but somehow now it "change"? As long as the Dems own the media the right side of the aisle will continue to shrink. IF they ever take power again I hope and pray it is fashioned after Reagan's first term and then stop there. No more new tone.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: prentice crawford on March 13, 2009, 07:45:14 AM
 This should be interesting.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: ccp on March 13, 2009, 08:22:07 AM
It was bad enough for Steele to offend the religious right's defacto spokeman Rush Limbaugh but he commited the greatest transgression after that.   I believe the religious right will force him out.  What a pity that more moderate views are simply not tolerated by the religious right.  They rightly claim that Republicans will lose much of their base by not pleasing them.  I can also tell something they won't:

The party loses millions of the women's vote because of this same view.  Sure the party would be happy to take all Balcks, Latinos, Asians.  But they must abide by all *our* beliefs.  No compormise no prisoners, no discussion.  And that folks is why we lost.
I don't know how being a Republican means I have to believe in every Christian value to be considered worthy.  There are more Republicans who are not the religious right than vice a versa.  Yet they claim to be the defacto party.  I am not afraid to stand up to them.

"RNC chief Steele clarifies his abortion stance after 'choice' remark
By Ann Sanner | The Associated Press
7:06 PM EDT, March 12, 2009
WASHINGTON - A day after a magazine quoted him as saying abortion was "an individual choice," Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said today he opposes abortion and that Roe v. Wade should be overturned.

A leading conservative called Steele's remarks in the magazine "cavalier and flippant," underscoring the new chairman's precarious position with party regulars concerned about his off-the-cuff style and penchant for miscues.

Steele, who was adopted, told GQ magazine that his mother had the option of getting an abortion or giving birth to him.

"The choice issue cuts two ways," Steele said in the wide-ranging interview published online Wednesday. "You can choose life, or you can choose abortion. You know, my mother chose life."

This morning, Steele attempted to clarify his remarks in a statement.

"I am pro-life, always have been, always will be," he said. "I tried to present why I am pro-life while recognizing that my mother had a 'choice' before deciding to put me up for adoption."

Both in the interview and in his statement, Steele said he believed Roe v. Wade was "wrongly decided." He said the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion should be overturned and the decision left to the states.

In the GQ interview, Steele said he was opposed to gay marriage but wasn't going to "beat people upside the head about it."

Steele, a Catholic and former Maryland lieutenant governor, was elected chairman of the Republican National Committee nearly six weeks ago.

Since then, Steele has compared Republicans to alcoholics on a 12-step program and called Rush Limbaugh "incendiary and ugly," though he has apologized to the conservative radio host. Steele has also promised to give the party a "hip-hop makeover" that would be "off the hook" and would attract even "one-armed midgets."

Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, said in a written statement that he was disappointed with Steele's remarks to the magazine on abortion and gay marriage.

"This only serves to reinforce the belief by many social conservatives that one major party is unfriendly while the other gives only lip service to core moral issues," Perkins said, "which is why many have dropped their affiliation with the GOP."

The Republican platform asserts the GOP's opposition to abortion, saying that "the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed."

In his statement, Steele said he supports the platform. "The Republican Party is and will continue to be the party of life," he said.

Steele said in the magazine interview that he believed marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman. "I just draw the line at the gay marriage," he said.

"And I'm not gonna jump up and down and beat people upside the head about it, and tell gays that they're wrong for wanting to aspire to that, and all of that craziness," he continued.

Steele said states should address gay marriage.

"Just as a general principle, I don't like mucking around with the Constitution," he said."

Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on March 13, 2009, 09:03:27 AM
CCP, The way forward IMO involves building the coalition between the factions you allude to, not to abandon EITHER core group in favor of another.  There is nothing 'Christian' about being pro-life or else at least half of Christians aren't Christian.  The second strongest defense of pro-life views I ever heard came from radio host Dr. Laura Schlesinger who is Jewish, and the strongest argument I've seen comes from science and ultrasound photography.

The point you make about the platform is correct.  The platform tradition should be ended instead of ignored by the elected candidates.  It is used only by opponents to demonstrate the extremism of their opponent.  The pro-life wording in the platform you cite would trump abortion for even the areas where all serious elected conservatives politicians would draw an exception.  The platform process is dominated the small minority of the involved and should be replaced by a Newt-style contract, agreed to and promoted in public, finding core principles that overlap realistic, electable plans for governing. 
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: prentice crawford on March 13, 2009, 10:12:45 AM
 There has been a push within the leadership of the Republican Party over a number of years, to have what they call a "big tent" membership. This is how President Bush and John McCain became the front runners for the Party's nomination for President. Most of the true Conservatives of the Party didn't like either of these two candidates; even with GW being a "born again" the religious right were leery of him because of his dad's appointment of a Liberal to the Supreme Court. Many Conservatives voted for these guys simply because they would be better than Al Gore or Kerry or Obama as President.
 Many of us are now thinking, well if we're going to lose anyany, why not make it a "smaller tent" membership and restore Conservative principles and push out the so called moderates, that are basically Liberals and becoming more Liberal everyday. So what you're seeing now are the first shots in that war. I'm on Rush's side of things, he is not an extremist and the people that want to cast him in that light, are the ones that want the "big tent".
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: Chad on March 13, 2009, 10:20:19 AM
Many of us are now thinking, well if we're going to lose anyany, why not make it a "smaller tent" membership and restore Conservative principles and push out the so called moderates, that are basically Liberals and becoming more Liberal everyday.

ah-men. The Republicans need to stand for something other than just being "democrat lite". I won't get my hopes up tho, the whole opposition party thing is ringing hollow after the last eight years.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: ccp on March 13, 2009, 12:18:44 PM
"well if we're going to lose anyany, why not make it a "smaller tent" membership and restore Conservative principles and push out the so called moderates"

I have to respectfully disagree.  Most of the Republicans would not call themselves "religious right" though they may think of themselves as "conservatives". 
I am not exactly sure what you mean by "moderate". You and or Chad suggest that those of us who are less strict on principle are Dems lite or not really Republicans or conservatives.

Yet I am sure that most of the Rep party would fall into this group.  Without them/us, you or I like it or not the strict conservatives are a shrinking group in the overall population.  Rush doesn't get it.  Hannity doesn't get it.  Colin Powell does - in this regard IMO.

I am not sure Michael Steele has the abilities to "lead" the party but I think having a minority at the forefront is a good idea.  I would like to give him backing and the chance to try to show minorities they too have a stake in America and a real chance at the pie if they work hard, take responsibility and stop giving in to a party that is more like slave master whitey whose idea of helping them is with their benevolent handouts that was obtained by confiscation from others.

And speaking of W being born again, what the heck does that have to do with being President?
Why is a religious group running a political party?
Is it not all about abortion?  Please correct me if I am wrong.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: Chad on March 13, 2009, 12:53:38 PM
I am not exactly sure what you mean by "moderate". You and or Chad suggest that those of us who are less strict on principle are Dems lite or not really Republicans or conservatives.

For the record I am fiscally conservative and when I say "dem lite" it is the people in the party that want to be democrat, but not all the way democrat. That is to say they will tell us that a $400B stimulus bill is outrageous, but a $350B stimulus bill is responsible.

As for how I feel about social issues is that everyone should be free do do as they please as long as it does'nt interfere with the freedom of others.
So when I say small tent I mean the people who want liberty and can be adult enough to let others enjoy their liberties.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: prentice crawford on March 13, 2009, 01:12:43 PM

Yet I am sure that most of the Rep party would fall into this group.  Without them/us, you or I like it or not the strict conservatives are a shrinking group in the overall population.  Rush doesn't get it.  Hannity doesn't get it.  Colin Powell does - in this regard IMO.
Hey ccp,
 I'm not religious right either, I was just pointing out that the religious right had problems with Bush but voted for him anyway just like a lot of Conservatives did. It was more difficult for Conservatives to vote for Bush the second time because he practically doubled the size of government when he created Homeland Security and it became obvious that he wasn't going to tighten up the border. He was finally forced into it because a majority of citizens showed that they were in favor of a border fence and workplace enforcement of immigration laws.
 And I need to disagree with you that Conservatives are a shrinking part of the population, I think the majority of Americans are Conservative. The problem is that they don't vote. I believe if the Republican Party returns to actually doing what they say they will do then these people will rejoin the process and help make our nation a strong Republic again.

And speaking of W being born again, what the heck does that have to do with being President?
Why is a religious group running a political party?
Is it not all about abortion?  Please correct me if I am wrong.
The abortion issue is one part of the much larger issue of moral character and values, it's not about a religion running anything.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: ccp on March 14, 2009, 08:04:18 AM
As Chad points out:  "I just don't see anyone that will be able to hurdle the media double standard put on Repubs"

And as we are seeing it doesn't have to be a Rep they go after.  Perhaps that is why Dems who are criticizing BO are doing it indirectly like criticize Hillary for speaking out against Israel when her policy is obviously based on BO's design.  Or Finemans somewhat negative citique of BO but then he pulls up short with oh "but Obama is definitley not a socialist".  Maybe they are actually afraid to go after the chosen one?

The liberal media is going after anyone who criticizes the chosen one.  Of course Stewart goes after Cramer only now because Cramer came out against the latest liberal icon:

****Cramer vs. Stewart: Post-Fight Analysis
Posted Mar 13, 2009 05:07pm EDT by Aaron Task in Newsmakers, Banking
A week-long verbal battle between cable TV personalities Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer came to a head on The Daily Show Thursday night. By nearly all accounts, Stewart won in a unanimous decision, if not a knockout:

"Cramer was playing rope-a-dope while Stewart swung away," writes Washington Post columnist Howard Kurtz. "Jim seemed more concerned with being liked than justifying what he does for a living. It was a mismatch."

Some other items of note:

While eager to admit some mistakes, Cramer defended himself (in part) by saying Wall Street CEOs such as Dick Fuld lied to him and (by extension) other CNBC personalities. "I had a lot of CEOs lie to me on the show," he said, suggesting former Bear Stearns and Wachovia executives also misled him.
Stewart's populist rants often got in the way of any real conversation, and Cramer rarely has been at such a loss for words. Stewart tapped into the anger many Americans are feeling toward Wall Street and the financial media, given the ongoing bailout bonanza and the decimation to our collective portfolios: Americans' total wealth fell 18% in 2008, according to the Fed, the biggest annual loss since they started tracking the data after WW2.
Stewart said repeatedly his issue was with CNBC generally, not Cramer personally. But it sure seemed like Stewart's attack was directed at Cramer. (Of course, Cramer was sitting there and further invited attack by sarcastically dismissing Stewart earlier in the week.)
Speaking of the personal, I made a cameo appearance on 'The Daily Show' last night when Stewart showed clips of a segment I filmed with Cramer for back in 2006. (Full disclosure: I worked for, which Cramer co-founded, from 1998 to 2007. The company and Cramer were good to me and I still own some shares, much to my dismay.)

In the clip, "Cramer explained how traders gamed the system and seemed to say he had used such techniques in his Wall Street days," as Kurtz writes. There was a minor flap about the segment back in early 2007 and it's certainly received a lot of attention this week.

On The Daily Show, Cramer said he was speaking hyperbolically and denied having done those things personally. "I didn't do it," he said.

While I have no doubt Cramer pushed the envelope before he got out of the hedge fund business in 2000, I had assumed the same during the "infamous" video. I believed he was speaking hypothetically and trying to call attention to what hedge fund managers were doing then versus what he had done five-plus years prior.****
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: ccp on March 27, 2009, 06:23:49 AM
BOs poll ratings will not come down as long as the majority of Americans think they will not be footing the bill for the unprecedented budgets he is proposing.  Until events prove that they too are screwed, along with those of us who know they are his poll numbers will be over 50%.
At this time the Republicans have not convinced many of this IMO.
The Dems keep throwing the chant Rep are the party of "no" and offer no alternatives.  I am not sure it is in the interest of Rep to present an alternative while they are out of power and most elections are still a bit off.
OTOH I don't know anyone but Newt who could articulate a message that would get through the left MSM filter.
Perhaps it is best to keep up the no tactics and let BO;s policies eventually fail as I believe will by themselves.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 27, 2009, 06:38:59 AM
At the moment   :wink: I disagree.

I think we are in serious danger of cultural transmission of the American Creed crossing a tipping point from which we may never recover.     Reagan was a clarion voice in the wilderness for many, many years before he was elected.  People trusted that he believed what he said because of this.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: ccp on March 27, 2009, 07:51:46 AM
Well, I am not sure we disagree.
I am not saying we should not articulate conservative values.  What I am saying is the majority of Americans do not think conservative values will benefit them - hence BOs continued popularity. So are you saying rep should come up with a plan and articulate it or are you saying is the plan is to let the markets crash and burn because that is the best long term course of action?
It does not appear most in this country want to hear that.
While I hate BO's politics I am not clear strictly leave the markets alone to "repair" themselves is enough either.  Certainly the majority of Americans don't want to hear that. 

That is why I like Newt.  He recognizes this shortcoming and is searching for ideas that take conservatism foward in a way that applies to todays problems at least in a practical and sensible way.
One risk of articulating your plan now is the other side will steal the ideas for themselves and take the credit.  That is what Clinton always did.  The great example is welfare reform. 
But you certainly raise a good point that that risk is a far better alternative to allowing BO, Pelosi and the other cooks to have their way and destroy what made this country great.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 27, 2009, 08:41:47 AM
I too like Newt a lot.

One of my deep concerns is that the Big Lie that "the free market caused it" is becoming accepted fact.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on March 27, 2009, 10:05:27 PM
"...the Big Lie that "the free market caused it" is becoming accepted fact." - the markets that are the most screwed up are the ones that experienced the most government intervention, and vice versa.  Besides housing finance with Fannie Mae and the Community Reinvestment Act Program (CRAP), health care is very close to the top of that list.

Whatever and whoever 'our side' is, we always seem to lack a war room with a rapid response team and a clear message back refuting falsehoods.  Maybe that is Michael Steele's job.  Conservatives answer this kind of bs but they are only heard and read by conservatives.

Luckily, some truths are so true and so obvious that even unspoken they can become known truths.  For example, the fact that the policies of the current left machine embody tyrannical socialism. 

People have learned hate Nancy Pelosi and the politics she represents even though we are only fed glowing fluff reports about her everywhere we turn.  'Rasmussen Reports has the latest numbers:  Sixty percent (60%) of U.S. voters now have an unfavorable opinion of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, including 42% Very Unfavorable, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.  Even Democrats are now bailing on Pelosi.'

Reelection rates in congress are typically 98-99%, but every seat goes up for campaign and reelection next year.  The way forward - step one - is to retake the house or at least retake the momentum in the country in the next congressional election.  I'm sure the Republicans are already working on the next 'contract with America'.  It will feature a number of positive agenda items but the underlying message is that 'we' offer a vision a little closer to the pursuit of happiness that Jefferson, Madison or Lincoln might have called the American Dream and a little further from the rationed benefits and downsized equality handed out by central planners and central enforcers like Stalin and Pelosi.

Right now the only check/balance on the American Left machine is 'Communist China'.  If they stop buying our debt, we will have to cut spending by most of the $10 trillion (and eat the rest as inflation) even without the participation in the process of Republicans.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: ccp on March 28, 2009, 11:14:26 AM
"Conservatives answer this kind of bs but they are only heard and read by conservatives.

Luckily, some truths are so true and so obvious that even unspoken they can become known truths"

Doug, well said.  And that is the thrust of my concerns about "conservatism" whatever the reitierations.  It doesn't seem to be heard by those who are not already "conservatives".  Or the message just does not appeal to others.

I am hoping the new contract with America will appeal to all of us with common sense.

Title: Paul
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 31, 2009, 10:25:42 PM
Today, the House of Representatives will consider two budget plans that represent dramatically different visions for our nation's future.

We will first consider President Barack Obama's plan. To be clear, this is no ordinary budget. In a nutshell, the president and Democratic leaders in Congress are attempting to bring about the third and final great wave of progressivism, building on top of the New Deal and the Great Society. So America is placed in a special moment in our history -- brought about by the deep recession, Mr. Obama's ambitious agenda, and the pending fiscal tidal-wave of red ink brought forward by the looming insolvency of our entitlement programs. If this agenda comes to pass, it will mark this period in history as the moment America turned European.

House Republicans will offer an alternative plan. This too is no ordinary budget. As the opposition party, we believe this moment must be met by offering the American people a different way forward -- one based on our belief that America is an exceptional nation, and we want to keep it that way. Our budget applies our country's enduring first principles to the problems of our day. Rather than attempting to equalize the results of peoples' lives and micromanaging their affairs, we seek to preserve our system of protecting our natural rights and equalizing opportunity for all. The plan works to accomplish four main goals: 1) fulfill the mission of health and retirement security; 2) control our nation's debts; 3) put the economy on a path of growth and leadership in the global economy; and 4) preserve the American legacy of leaving the next generation better off.

Under the president's plan, spending will top $4 trillion this year alone, and consume 28.5% of our nation's economy. His plan would mean a $1 trillion increase to the already unsustainable spending growth of our nation's entitlement programs -- including a "down payment" toward government-controlled health care and education; a $1.5 trillion tax increase to further shackle the small businesses and investors we rely on to create jobs; a massive increase in energy costs for families via cap and trade. Moreover, the Obama plan would result in an exploding deficit, a doubling of the nation's debt in five years, and an increase of that debt to more than 82% of our nation's GDP by the last year of the budget. This approach will ultimately debase our currency and reduce the living standards of the American people.

 Instead of doubling the debt in five years, and tripling it in 10, the Republican budget curbs the explosion in spending called for by the president and his party. Our plan halts the borrow-and-spend philosophy that brought about today's economic problems, and puts a stop to heaping ever-growing debt on future generations -- and it does so by controlling spending, not by raising taxes. The greatest difference lies in the size of government our budgets achieve over time (see nearby chart).

While our approach ensures a sturdy safety net for those facing chronic or temporary difficulties, it understands that the reliability of this protection and the other functions of government depend on a vibrant, free and growing private sector to generate the resources necessary for it.

Here's an outline of what we propose:

- Deficits/Debt. The Republican budget achieves lower deficits than the Democratic plan in every year, and by 2019 yields half the deficit proposed by the president. By doing so, we control government debt: Under our plan, debt held by the public is $3.6 trillion less during the budget period.

- Spending. Our budget gives priority to national defense and veterans' health care. We freeze all other discretionary spending for five years, allowing it to grow modestly after that. We also place all spending under a statutory spending cap backed up by tough budget enforcement.

- Energy. Our budget lays a firm foundation to position the U.S. to meet three important strategic energy goals: reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil, deploying more clean and renewable energy sources free of greenhouse gas, and supporting economic growth. We do these things by rejecting the president's cap-and-trade scheme, by opening exploration on our nation's oil and gas fields, and by investing the proceeds in a new clean energy trust fund, infrastructure and further deficit reduction.

- Entitlements. Our budget also takes steps toward fulfilling the mission of health and retirement security, in part by making these programs fiscally sustainable. The budget moves toward making quality health care affordable and accessible to all Americans by strengthening the relationship between patients and their doctors, not the dictates of government bureaucrats. We preserve the existing Medicare program for all those 55 or older; and then, to make the program sustainable and dependable, those 54 and younger will enter a Medicare program reformed to work like the health plan members of Congress and federal employees now enjoy. Starting in 2021, seniors would receive a premium support payment equal to 100% of the Medicare benefit on average. This would be income related, so low-income seniors receive extra support, and high-income seniors receive support relative to their incomes -- along the same lines as the president's Medicare Part D proposal.

We strengthen the Medicaid safety net by converting the federal share of Medicaid payments into an allotment tailored for each state's low-income population. This will enhance state flexibility and sensitivity to spending growth.

In one of the most valued government programs -- Social Security -- our budget begins to develop a bipartisan solution to the program's pending bankruptcy by incorporating some of the reforms advocated by the president's budget director. Specifically, we provide for a trigger that would make small adjustments in the benefits for higher-income beneficiaries if the Social Security Administration determines the Social Security Trust Fund cannot meet its obligations. This is a modest but serious proposal which would not affect those in or near retirement, but is aimed at helping develop a consensus, across party lines, toward saving this important retirement program. We also assure that benefits for lower-income recipients are large enough to keep them out of poverty.

- Tax Reform. Our budget does not raise taxes, and makes permanent the 2001 and 2003 tax laws. In fact, we cut taxes and reform the tax system. Individuals can choose to pay their federal taxes under the existing code, or move to a highly simplified system that fits on a post card, with few deductions and two rates. Specifically, couples pay 10% on their first $100,000 in income (singles on $50,000) and 25% above that. Capital gains and dividends are taxed at 15%, and the death tax is repealed. The proposal includes generous standard and personal exemptions such that a family of four earning $39,000 would not pay tax on that amount. In an effort to revive peoples' lost savings, and to create an incentive for risk-taking and investment, the budget repeals the capital gains tax through 2010 for all taxpayers.

On the business side, the budget permanently cuts the uncompetitive corporate income tax rate -- currently the second highest in the industrialized world -- to 25%. This puts American companies in a better position to lead in the global economy, promotes jobs here at home, and strengthens worker paychecks.

We hope the administration and Democratic leaders in Congress do not distort and preach fear about our Republican plan. Some may be tempted to appeal to the darker emotions of envy and insecurity that surely run high in times like these. Yet we know Americans are stronger, smarter and prouder than this ploy assumes.

In the recent past, the Republican Party failed to offer the nation an inspiring vision and a concrete plan to tackle our problems with innovative and principled solutions. We do not intend to repeat that mistake. America is not the greatest nation on earth by chance. We earned this greatness by rewarding individual achievement, by advancing and protecting natural rights, and by embracing freedom. We intend to continue this uniquely American tradition.

Mr. Ryan, from Wisconsin, is the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee.
Title: Re: The Way Forward: Borrow less and keep spending within bounds
Post by: DougMacG on April 13, 2009, 07:03:23 AM
A worthy House Republican plan
Borrows less and would keep spending within bounds

By Donald Lambro (Washington Times) | Monday, April 13, 2009

When President Obama delivered his record-breaking $3.6 trillion budget to Congress, it was Page One news and led all the TV broadcasts - with little or no critical analysis.

But when the Republicans brought forth their alternative budget, it was relegated to the back pages and received only a cursory mention on the nightly news shows, usually accompanied by a Democratic talking head who dismissed the GOP plan as coldhearted and a penny-pinching approach that turned its back on people in need during these hard economic times.

Actually, the House Republican plan does a number of things to grow the economy that the Democrats do not, like provide tax incentives for business investment, economic growth and job creation; borrow a lot less than the Democrats would and create less debt; and not raise taxes, when to do so would be job-killer in a recession.

In short, House Republicans took up Mr. Obama's challenge to offer their own budget, and it turns out to be pretty good. It deserves a lot more attention than it got from the news media, says Brian M. Riedl, chief budget analyst at the Heritage Foundation. Among its provisions:

• It borrows $3.6 trillion less than Mr. Obama's budget. That works out to $23,000 less debt per household.

• It keeps total federal spending slightly above 20 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), roughly the same rate of spending we had before the recession.

• It contains no tax increases and would shorten and simplify the federal tax code.

• It places a moratorium on wasteful earmarks and tackles needed Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid reforms.

Mr. Obama's budget and the barely trimmed-down version the House and Senate Democrats taped together would slap more than $9 trillion in new debt on our children and grandchildren. "This is more debt than has been accumulated by all previous presidents in American history from George Washington to George W. Bush - combined," Mr. Riedl says.

The Republicans would freeze nondefense, nonveterans discretionary spending for five years at present levels, and stop the stimulus spending planned in 2010 and beyond when the economy is expected to be in recovery.

Unlike Mr. Obama's budget and the Democrats' proposals, the GOP plan would raise no one's taxes. Instead, it would make the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent, along with the alternative minimum tax reduction. But it would give beleaguered taxpayers a further tax break by giving anyone a choice between a 10 percent marginal tax rate for those making less than $100,000, and a 25 percent rate for those making more than $100,000.

And they would offer needed pro-growth incentives that include cutting the 35 percent corporate tax rate to 25 percent and suspending the capital-gains taxes through the end of 2010 to spur capital investment.

"Even with all those benefits, the House Republican budget proposal would bring in revenues averaging just below 18 percent of GDP, which is near the historical average," Mr. Riedl says.

The Obama budget and the versions hatched by Democrats on Capitol Hill would push federal spending as a share of GDP from 23.6 percent in 2011 to 24.5 percent in 2019 - "significantly above the past 40-year average of 20.7 percent," says Americans for Tax Reform.

The Democrats respond to all of this by saying it is just a repeat of the policies offered by former President George W. Bush.

In fact, as Mr. Riedl points out, the Obama and Democratic budgets would "actually accelerate" Mr. Bush's fiscal policies, producing "more runaway spending, more bailouts and even bigger deficits. The president is not repudiating Bushism - he's doubling down on it."

Is he ever. Increasing government spending by $1 trillion during the next 10 years; raising taxes on millions of Americans and businesses by $1.4 trillion during the next decade; and doubling the publicly held federal debt to more than $15 trillion.

In a few days, millions of taxpayers will send hundreds of billions of dollars to the U.S. Treasury to pay for the costs of Mr. Obama's voraciously growing government - in many cases, this is money Americans desperately need to make ends meet.

This is not a time - now or next year - to take more money out of a recessionary, cash-strapped economy with an unemployment rate that is fast approaching 10 percent.

This is a time when the government's policy should be to let the businesses and their workers keep more of what they earn. Mr. Obama's minuscule $7 a week for most workers provides little if any real relief.

Taking less money out of an anemic economy is a message that still resonates with taxpayers, who are beginning to doubt that the Democrats' dubious, snake-oil, tax-and-spend remedies will strengthen the economy.

It didn't make sense when Franklin D. Roosevelt did it in the 1930s, and it doesn't make any sense now.
Title: WSJ: Gay Conservatives
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 18, 2009, 10:42:07 AM
'There's a stereotype that if you're gay, you're liberal - and if you are a conservative, you're a bigot. Well, there are people like me who are gay and conservative, and we think it's important that we have a voice."

The speaker is Jimmy LaSalvia. Tomorrow morning in Washington, Mr. LaSalvia and his allies will launch a new tax-exempt 527 political organization they hope will be that voice for gay conservatives. Called GOProud, it will certainly make for a more interesting Republican Party -- and a richer internal debate.

Mr. LaSalvia, the new group's executive director, points to the arithmetic. In the 2008 presidential election, between 4% and 5% of voters self-identified as gay. Of these, 27% went for John McCain. That works out to 1.4 to 1.8 million gay Republican votes.

"If you pulled the lever for John McCain in 2008, then passing hate-crimes legislation or ENDA [Employment Non-Discrimination Act] is probably not your priority," says Mr. LaSalvia. "Most issues that are defined as 'gay' issues have been defined by the left. We take a different approach."

Health care is one example. Mr. LaSalvia points out that many gays do not believe their best interests are served by government-run health care. To the contrary, he says, they believe they would be better served by private-run individual accounts that are portable, that put them in charge of their own health care, and that would allow them to designate their own beneficiaries.

Some of these issues are explored at, whose founder, Bruce Carroll, is also on the board of GOProud. From the disastrous economic policies of Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Barney Frank to the outing of gay Republicans to the importance of male sexual monogamy, this conservative site offers a perspective you just won't see anywhere else. Even on hot-button social issues, it can make for some strange bedfellows.

Take abortion. Christopher Barron, GOProud's chairman of the board, points to an example from a few years back, when a Maine state legislator introduced a bill that would have outlawed abortion for a child thought to be gay, in the event genetic testing ever reached that point. That politician, Mr. Barron says, received virtually no support from gay groups. Though he himself is pro-choice, he says, "I want pro-life gays to know they have a home here."

There may even be some common ground on the issue that most divides GOProud from long-standing Republican orthodoxy: gay marriage. Like most conservative organizations, GOProud is skeptical about using courts to advance social change. They also tend to believe that social issues like this one are best left to the American people acting through their state legislatures.

"I opposed the federal marriage amendment because I do not believe we should federalize marriage," says Mr. Barron. "Marriage is and always has been a state issue. The last thing I want is for some federal court to impose a tortured Roe v. Wade law on gay marriage that will make sure that this issue is never resolved."

That's not likely to be satisfying to those who oppose gay marriage on the merits. But the approach is consistent with a conservative respect for process. Even more important today, this approach also helps make possible a real conversation between people who share the same principles but operate from strong, opposing beliefs.

As Mr. LaSalvia puts it, "Demonstrating common ground is just as important as saying it exists, and that's where we're different."

Whatever else it is, these are not your father's gay Republicans. To the contrary, GOProud springs from a growing dissatisfaction among some gay Republicans that the Log Cabin Republicans, the traditional gay advocacy group within the party, has drifted to the point where its positions are indistinguishable from those of the left. It didn't help when the Washington Blade chimed in with a report that Log Cabin's biggest contributor, Tim Gill, is a Democrat.

Messrs. LaSalvia and Barron are themselves former officers for the Log Cabin Republicans. They know they belong to a defeated party that has no clear leaders but is now making decisions that will determine that party's future in the years to come. They say they have formed GOProud in part to participate in that conversation -- as conservatives who want to contribute to the team.

The ironies are legion. Since the loss of Congress and Mr. McCain's defeat in November, any number of people have come forward to suggest that if the party ever wants to win again, it has to abandon its conservative principles. What does it say about the Beltway's established ideological boxes that it is the gay wing of the Republican Party which is now advocating for a return to the party's Reaganite roots?

Write to
Title: Sen. Gregg
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 25, 2009, 05:01:25 AM
Sen. Judd Gregg is perhaps best known for something he didn't do. Two weeks into the Obama administration, he announced that he was leaving the Senate to become commerce secretary. Two weeks later, he withdrew his name, drawing a testy jab from the administration for denying it a bipartisan feather in its cap.

Zina SaundersIt's hard to reconcile the man who nearly boarded the Obama express with the tough-minded Republican senator who sat across from The Wall Street Journal's editorial board at our offices earlier this week. As for the lessons he learned from his dalliance with the administration, he reserves his criticism for himself: "I should have been smart enough to see the daylight before I walked in the door. . . . I don't think there's any big lesson here for anybody but myself, which is the obvious: It would have been impossible for me to be with the president 100% of the time, which is what a cabinet secretary has to be."

Just how obvious that should have been became clear in the course of our interview. Also obvious, Mr. Gregg said, was that the Obama administration is filled with "really capable, dedicated, smart, sharp people with an agenda that they intend to pursue aggressively."

The kind words mostly stop there. From health care to global warming, financial regulation, spending and tax policy, Mr. Gregg doesn't pull any punches in his criticism of the new president. He may be "a charismatic person" with "a very strong understanding of who he is and what he wants to do," but when it comes to the substance of what Mr. Obama seeks to accomplish, Mr. Gregg is less charitable. "They have a goal," the senator says, "and he's very open about it. They are going to grow this government."

Mr. Gregg believes the stakes are high. "This is the first time a budget's had real meaning in a long time," he says. In recent years, presidential budgets have been formulaic exercises. Even if Congress went on to adopt them, they would only serve, at best, as rough guidelines for the real work of crafting the appropriations bills that actually set discretionary funding levels. But this budget "is real, and he [Mr. Obama] intends to push it."

That's bad news, in Mr. Gregg's view, because "We're headed on an unsustainable path. The simple fact is these [budget] numbers don't work and the practical implications of them are staggering for the nation and the next generation."

His "main concern," he says, "is that if you look at the Obama budget, it projects on average about a $1 trillion deficit [every year] over the next 10 years." And as a result of all that spending, "You see the size of government growing from 21% [of gross domestic product] to 22%, to 23%, 24%, 25% . . . toward 30%."

Set against this spending growth, Mr. Gregg points out, "the revenue base is only so big. Granted, right now it's way down because of the economic situation. But even if you took it back to an economy that's performing extremely well, say [revenues of] even 19% [of GDP], you can't close that gap under the present projected situation. And so we're in trouble. And the policies of this administration are driving that to an even more acute situation." Spending and deficits are both heading skyward, and government debt held by the public is heading toward 80% of GDP.

For Mr. Gregg, this is like living a nightmare. He has been a hard-nosed advocate for government spending restraint since his days as a Congressman (1981-87) and governor of New Hampshire (1987-93). At times, his commitment to fiscal responsibility led him to oppose tax cuts when they weren't matched by spending restraint. Those stances incurred the ire of his Republican colleagues, but he always stuck to his fiscal-responsibility guns. Now he's staring down a spending explosion that makes those battles look picayune.

One of the big drivers of government spending in the Obama budget is universal health insurance. And on this point, Mr. Gregg says, "At least Obama was half-way honest about how much he was going to spend on health care. He had it at $600 billion. And the real number . . . is $1.2 trillion." But that's better than Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad. "What Conrad did was take the entire amount off-budget and not account for any of it." Mr. Obama's budget, therefore, "was honest to a higher degree. It held itself to a higher degree of integrity than the Senate budget or the House budget."

Well, except for one point: "the huge savings that they claimed on defense spending, which was a total fraud." Mr. Gregg refers to the fact that the administration's budget builds the full cost of the surge in Iraq into the budget baseline. Under that assumption, we would continue to appropriate money for the surge every year for the next 10 years. That allows the administration to "find" $1.6 trillion in savings, "all of which is spending we would never do," according to Mr. Gregg.

Health-care reform is not just about the price tag. How it gets done matters too. And in Mr. Gregg's view, the Obama administration's goal is crystal-clear. "This is a single-payer government. . . . It doesn't want to say that publicly and it rejects it publicly. But the goal is to push that substantively. Because that's what they believe." In other words, what Mr. Obama bills as a "public option" for those who need health insurance but can't get it through their employer or in the private market would soon become the only option -- even for those happy with their current insurance.

Before you cry "conspiracy," Mr. Gregg argues that he has history on his side. The Democrats, he says, pulled the same public-private switcheroo before with student loans for college. Back in the late 1990s, "there was a huge debate in the committee . . . between myself and [Senator Ted] Kennedy over a private plan versus a public plan." In the end, they compromised -- the government would offer loans directly to students, but that program would have to compete with private-sector lenders. "And the agreement was very formal, and the record shows this very clearly. We agreed to level the playing field, put both plans on the playing field at an equal status and see who won. Well, private plans won. Big time."

Given the choice, most borrowers went to the private sector for their loans. But the Democrats who wanted to nationalize the student-loan market did not take defeat in the marketplace gracefully. "They didn't like that," Mr. Gregg says. "So ever since then they've tilted the playing field back and now they're going to wipe out the private plans in their budget."

When it comes to health insurance, Mr. Gregg expects more of the same. "That's the scenario that you're going to see if you have a public plan for insurance that competes with the private plans. That's the game plan" -- call it competition at first, but tighten the screws until the private insurers leave the market or get forced out. But with health-care spending representing 17% of GDP and climbing, the stakes are much, much larger. "Everyone in this country is affected by these policies."

And while the aspiration for universal coverage may be noble, the practical realities of getting there may prove harder for the American public to swallow. "There's no question," the senator says, "that this is a debate about rationing to a large degree. All your single-payer systems are rationing systems. It's also a debate about technology and innovation. Because you will not have capital pursuing technology, innovation and science if it's health-care related, because the return on capital won't be there. And these things are so expensive, especially on the pharmaceutical side and the biologic side, that you'll dramatically slow improvements in the quality of health care through science with a single-payer plan." Mr. Gregg thinks that critique will resonate with the public.

Even so, given the balance of power in Washington, Mr. Gregg gives the Democrats good chances of success in nationalizing our health-insurance market. "I think the odds are pretty good that it's going to happen -- that you'll have a major health-care reform bill pass." As he says, "Elections have consequences."

That said, Mr. Gregg doesn't necessarily think the American people will be happy with those consequences if the Democrats succeed in pushing through a "stalking horse" for a single-payer health-care system. "If they produce a partisan bill and pass it on a party-line vote, it's their baby," he warns. "They're going to have to defend it in the next election cycle and it's likely that it's not going to be perceived as fair by the American people."

Moreover, he says, "I don't think the American people want unilateral government control over the entire health-care system. I think most people understand that we've got a pretty good health-care system. It doesn't reach as many people as it should, and that has to be corrected. But it's innovative, it gives you decent health care for most Americans, and it's a lot better than any of the other countries that have these massive national plans."

That, together with the runaway spending and growing pile of debt, could yet set the stage for a Republican comeback, and sooner than most pundits would predict. Mr. Gregg will not run for re-election when his current term ends next year. Republicans, he says, "became very clouded as to what we stood for under the Bush presidency." But now they're getting their "definition" back.

"We're beginning to speak in a much more definitional voice on issues that were historically Republican issues: fiscal responsibility, giving individuals the opportunity to go out and create a better life for themselves, American exceptionalism, viewing America as a special place, not apologizing for our nation. These are things that we've always, as a party, resonated around. And I think we're starting to do it again." He corrects himself: "I know we are."

The Republican excesses during the Bush administration "haven't been forgiven and they haven't been forgotten" by voters. But if the president and his majorities in Congress get their way, voters will, Mr. Gregg believes, be ready for an alternative. "And we're the only show in town."

Mr. Carney is a member of the Journal's editorial board and the coauthor of "Freedom, Inc.," forthcoming from Crown Business in the fall.

Title: WSJ: The NY congressional loss
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 27, 2009, 08:42:18 AM
Republicans lost another Congressional race on Friday, as Democratic newcomer Scott Murphy was declared the victor by some 400 votes in the March 31 special House election in New York state. But you wouldn't know it from the response of House Minority Leader John Boehner, who declared that GOP candidate Jim Tedisco "forced the Democratic Party to invest heavily and defend a seat they should have had in the bag."


New York's 20th Congressional district is precisely the kind the GOP will have to win if it wants to regain a majority. It is one of the few Northeast districts where Republicans retain a party registration advantage, and Republican John Sweeney had held it for four terms before Democrat (and recently appointed Senator) Kirsten Gillibrand won in 2006. George W. Bush carried it twice.

Republicans lost because they fielded a poor candidate who ran a lousy campaign. While Mr. Murphy was a fresh face who could plausibly argue he'd assist President Obama's call for change, Republicans picked an Albany careerist who personified more of the same. GOP power broker (and Al D'Amato pal) Joe Mondello rigged the nomination to deny a real contest, thus cutting out the likes of former state Assembly minority leader John Faso.

At one point, Mr. Tedisco had a 20-point lead but squandered it by waffling on the Obama stimulus plan, running anti-Wall Street ads that confused the Republican base, and waiting until the last few days to criticize pro-union "card check" legislation. In other words, Mr. Tedisco betrayed that he wasn't all that different than the other politicians who have made Albany the tax and spend center of America.

The fact that the race was so close shows that, had Republicans run a credible candidate, they had a chance to send a message to Blue Dog Democrats in Congress that Mr. Obama's agenda is less popular than he is. Mr. Boehner would do better to stop spinning defeat and start looking for candidates who believe in something beyond their own careers.
Title: Re: Way Forward for Reps, Sen. Specter switches, and Newt opposes cap and trade
Post by: DougMacG on April 28, 2009, 05:23:47 PM
As proverb goes, when a Republican senator crosses the aisle and joins the other side, the average intelligence of both sides improves...  I will not miss Sen. Specter and no one should read anything more into this than the fact that he was trailing challenger Pat Toomey by 20 points in his bid to be endorsed for reelection.  Pat Toomey was Club for Growth president the past several years and will do more for conservatism by running IMO than Sen. Specter can ever do by winning.


Interesting story about Newt regarding 'cap and trade', maybe one of the two biggest domestic issues facing the country (nationalized healthcare being the other.)  Newt previously favored some version of cap and trade.  Is it really a flip flop to decisively move from the wrong side of an issue to the right side? Anyway, here is a hate piece from a left wing publication, Mother Jones, attacking him: it was money from the coal lobby, not logic, honesty, principles or wisdom that changed his position, according to the left.

Gingrich v. Gingrich
— By Kevin Drum | Mon April 27, 2009 11:59 AM PST

It's hard to get too worked up when a politician turns out to be opportunistic, but Media Matters documents a pretty stunning case of cynicism from Newt Gingrich today.  Last week Gingrich vilified a Democratic cap-and-trade plan for carbon emissions as a "command-and-control, anti-energy, big-bureaucracy agenda, including dramatic increases in government power and draconian policies that will devastate our economy."  But two years ago, when he was in his "big ideas for conservatives phase," he was cap-and-trade's biggest fan:

    I think if you have mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system, much like we did with sulfur, and if you have a tax-incentive program for investing in the solutions, that there's a package there that's very, very good.  And frankly, it's something I would strongly support....The caps, with a trading system, on sulfur has worked brilliantly because it has brought free-market attitudes, entrepreneurship and technology and made it very profitable to have less sulfur.

Well, that's Newt for you: he dumps policy positions as quickly as he dumps wives.  But it also goes to show how fleeting conservative support for "market-oriented solutions" like cap-and trade is.  A lot of the liberal enthusiasm for cap-and-trade over the past decade has been based on the idea that it might be more acceptable to conservatives than a straight tax, but obviously that hasn't turned out to be the case.  Basically, they just don't want to do anything, full stop.
Title: Buchanan: Glimmers of Hope
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 05, 2009, 09:00:34 AM
The mostly feeble and unprincipled Rep response to the explosion of liberal economic fascism continues to diminish the Rep's credibility with me.  That said, here's this from Buchanan.
Glimmers of Hope for the GOP
by  Patrick J. Buchanan


For conservatives fretful over the future of the party to which they have given allegiance, "How Barack Obama Won: A State by State Guide to the Historic 2008 Election" reads like something out of Edgar Allan Poe.

Co-authored by NBC's Chuck Todd, it is a grim tale of what happened to the GOP in 2008, and what the future may hold.

Yet, on second and third reads, one discerns, as did Gen. Wolfe's scouts 250 years ago, a narrow path leading up the cliff to the Plains of Abraham -- and perhaps victory in 2012. First, the bad news:

Obama raised the national share of the black vote to 13 percent, then swept it 95 percent to 4 percent. The GOP share of the Hispanic vote, now 9 percent of the electorate, fell from George W. Bush's 40 percent against John Kerry to 32 percent. Young voters ages 18 to 29 went for Obama 66 percent to 31 percent. And Obama ran stronger among white voters with a college education than did either Al Gore or Kerry.

 Put starkly, the voting groups growing in numbers -- Hispanics, Asians, African-Americans, folks with college degrees, the young -- are all trending Democratic, while the voters most loyal to the GOP -- white folks and religious conservatives -- are declining as a share of the U.S. electorate. And demography is destiny.

Other grim news: As noted here recently, 18 states and Washington, D.C., with 247 electoral votes -- all New England save New Hampshire; New York and New Jersey; the mid-Atlantic states, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland; Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota; the three Pacific Coast states plus Hawaii -- have all gone Democratic in all of the last five presidential elections. And John McCain lost every one of them by double digits.

In this Slough of Despond, where is the hope?

Despite all of the above, John McCain, two weeks after the GOP convention, thanks to the surge in energy and enthusiasm Sarah Palin brought to the ticket, was running ahead of Obama.

It was the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the crash and the panic that ensued, which McCain mishandled, that lost him all the ground he never made up. Had the crash not occurred, the election might have been much closer than seven points, which in itself is no blowout.

Second, an astonishing 75 percent of voters thought the country was headed in the wrong direction. Obama won these voters 62 percent to 36 percent. But if the country is seen as headed in the wrong direction in 2012, it will be Obama's albatross.

Third, only 27 percent of voters approved of Bush's performance as of Election Day; 71 percent disapproved. Only Harry Truman had a lower rating, 22 percent, and Democrats were also wiped out in Washington in 1952.

Here is Todd's dramatic point: "With the single exception of Missouri, which barely went for McCain, Obama won every state where Bush's approval rating was below 35 percent in the exit polls, and he lost every state where Bush's approval was above 35 percent."

Obama rode Bush's coattails to victory. Had Bush been at 35 percent or 40 percent, McCain might have won. But, in 2012, Obama will not have Bush to kick around anymore.

On candidates' qualities, the situation looks even rosier for the GOP. In 2008, no less than 34 percent of the electorate said that the most important consideration in a candidate was that he be for "change."

Obama was the "change candidate." He patented the brand, and he carried this third of the nation 89 percent to 9 percent.

But in 2012, Obama cannot be the candidate of change. That title will belong to his challenger, the Republican nominee. Obama will be the incumbent, the candidate of continuity.

The second most critical consideration of voters in choosing a president was "values." No less than 30 percent of the electorate said this was their primary consideration in voting for McCain or Obama.

Among values voters, fully 30 percent of the electorate, McCain won 65 percent to 32 percent, or by two to one.

What these numbers demonstrate is that liberals and neocons instructing the GOP to dump the social, moral and cultural issues are counseling Republicide. When African-Americans, who gave McCain 4 percent of their votes in California, gave Proposition 8, prohibiting gay marriage, 70 percent of their votes, why would the GOP give up one of its trump cards -- not only in Middle America but among minorities?

A conservative who could have sharpened the social, moral and cultural differences might, from the exit polls, have done far better.

McCain's diffidence on life, affirmative action and gay rights, his embrace of amnesty and NAFTA, all help explain the enthusiasm gap. Twice as many voters were excited about the prospects of an Obama presidency as were about a McCain presidency.

Lastly, on Election Day, only 7 percent thought the U.S. economy was doing well, while 93 percent rated it as not so good, or poor. The GOP will not have to wear those concrete boots in 2012.

The tide is still running strong against the GOP. But there may be one or two more White Houses in the Grand Old Party yet.
Title: WSJ: Henninger
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 07, 2009, 09:02:55 AM
The Republican Party's unending tale of woe sounds like a friend's account of sitting through the New York Yankees' 22-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians at the new Yankee Stadium April 18.

In the 14-run second inning, three Indians hit home runs into the right-field seats, including a grand-slam. One ball hit a woman in the head because the fans had stopped watching the game. A nasty fight broke out in the stands. After the fourth inning (16-2), the subway trains taking Yankee faithful back to Manhattan were packed. Republicans know the feeling.

Rookie President Barack Obama has been pounding policy after policy through the Republicans' hapless defense. His approval is out of the park. He's teeing up his first Supreme Court appointment. Al Franken -- in a "say-it-ain't-so" moment if ever there was one -- is close to giving the Democrats a filibuster-proof Senate majority. And Republican voters are heading for the exits, with a puny 31% willing to tell a pollster they belong to the party.

During downturns in sports, three rules of thumb are: Don't panic, stay within your game, play to your strengths. This being politics, the Republicans naturally are violating all three.

Should Republicans return to Reaganism? Daniel Henninger explains. (May 7)
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush made headlines last weekend suggesting it's time for the party to get over its glory days: "I felt like there was a lot of nostalgia and the good old days in the [GOP] messaging. I mean, it's great, but it doesn't draw people toward your cause." Joyful Democratic bloggers put this more clearly in five tight words: GOP Needs to Forget Reagan.

Is this true?

The answer to that historic question is an apt subject this week as the GOP, looking for a path from the wilderness, says farewell at National Cathedral tomorrow to Jack Kemp, who remained a Reaganite to the end.

Jack Kemp, anyone who spent time around him will tell you, stayed on message. That message, like Reagan's, had a number of parts, but it is not possible to even guess how many times Jack Kemp summarized his explanations of that message in three words: "Work, save and invest." Republicans should think hard about building a governing philosophy on the foundation of those three words, ideas that most voters understand.

The full Kemp phrase, of course, was "incentives to work, save and invest." Those incentives were to be the result of a government willing to admit the social benefits of modesty -- in taxation and regulation of the economy. For now, the American public has elected an immodest government. This government says that circumstance forced it to spend $787 billion on stimulus. Its $3.5 trillion fiscal year 2010 budget, however, will by choice take spending to 25% of GDP next year.

Listen to Daniel Henninger's Wonder Land column, now available in audio format.
Last weekend, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor began a GOP "listening tour." What's to hear? People want what they always want: a job that will let them build a life and family. What they want from Republicans is leadership toward that goal.

Today Mr. Obama releases the details of his $3.5 trillion budget, his path to the same goal. Rather than drown as usual in this accounting morass, Republicans should contrast the Obama-Pelosi budget with the Reagan-Kemp philosophy of how a striving nation works, saves and invests.

Republicans can start by taking the time to read the first Obama budget document, "A New Era of Responsibility." The word "investment" occurs over 140 times in its 142 pages. But this "investment" isn't private capital invested in private start-ups, what Mr. Kemp constantly called "entrepreneurial capitalism" and what most parents hope their children will join. Mr. Obama's document genuflects to "the market economy," then argues that it won't endure unless we "sacrifice" (through tax increases) to make "overdue investments" (which literally only means public spending) on four explicit goals: green energy, infrastructure, public health care, and education.

This calls to mind the way Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry guided that economy from 1949 to 2001. The Obama-Rattner strategy for GM and Chrysler -- a rescue if the companies agree to the government's desire to build more small "green" cars, presumably sold with a large tax credit -- is industrial policy. Why be postwar Japan?

It is not conceivable that a Reagan or Kemp would have directed the U.S. economy's legendary energies into building hybrid cars, windmills and bullet trains. It would not have occurred to them that America's next Silicon Valley -- Apple, Intel and Oracle -- could grow out of "investments" listed in the federal budget. This would not have occurred to either man because their politics were rooted in the 300-year-old, singularly American tradition of individuals freely deciding how to spend their productive hours and money inside a public system that mainly provides security and safety.

Mr. Obama won the election and deserves time to see what his vision adds to the nation's productive life. If while it awaits that, the Republican Party can't renew what Reagan and Kemp gave them, its listening tour could last a very long time.
Title: Time to long term invest in the Rep. party?
Post by: ccp on May 10, 2009, 12:33:52 PM
I recall a Dem pundit saying it was time to short Sarah Palin after her approval ratings soared after the Rep convention.
He was right.
I don't know if it is yet time to short Dems but I feel it is time to start ling term investment with Republicans.  When we start hearing talk about how the party is finished it is probably time to invest.

Yet the reps have alot of work to do to get it right and to work to appeal to the changing demographics.  They also need to find the right spokespeople.  Out of the darkness someone will emerge.  How about a Latino?
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on June 20, 2009, 12:48:01 PM
Must steal this Milton Friedman wisdom from BBG post in the healthcare debate and apply it to all issues:

What should we do about it? Ideally, Friedman argued, we should reverse the mistake that started all the trouble... Yet Friedman was a realist. Vested interests, he recognized, would make such a radical reform impossible. Instead he believed we should seek incremental changes, asking of each proposal simply whether it would move [the issue in question] "in the right direction."
Title: The Way Forward for Conservatives: Start by Taking Congress
Post by: DougMacG on August 05, 2009, 08:25:16 PM
Crafty: :To quote my mocking description of the demagogues philosophy during my most recent run for Congress (in 1992)  "We had a vote.  You're paying."


Marc, maybe 2010 is your time.  There is a political pendulum that swung far too far in the wrong direction for all the wrong reasons and it seems to be swinging back - ready to knock down incumbents in its path.  Run as a Republican, not for what they used to be but for what they ought to be.  I will give my last dollar to the campaign. (Announce soon because that's about all I have.)  Let's take back our country the old fashioned way.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 06, 2009, 03:36:38 AM
I am deeply honored by your offer of support.  I think I would like very much to mount a serious campaign to win. 

Unfortunately, I am reminded of a nearly two hour conversation I had (in 1985 IIRC) with then Congressman Dan Lungren of the district (the 42d?) now held by Dana Rohrabacker (sp?).  Lungren had just helped his brother run in the neighboring district against long-time pork barrel Dem Congressman Glenn Anderson who headed the "Public Works Committee".  In my run as a Libertarian in 1984 against Anderson I caught the eye of his top aide, retired Col. Mike Gravel.  Col. Gravel set up the meeting with Lungren.

Long story short-- if I had $100,000 of my own money to kick off my campaign (and the ability to support myself while campaigning), Lungren would support my candidacy.   This was in the context of a House of Representatives that at the time had an imcumbency rate of over 98%  :-o and a district that was so outrageously gerrymandered that its silhouette was regularly featured in WSJ editorials (this when the editorial page of the WSJ was still a genuine intellectual heavyweight and not like it is now that Murdoch bought it out) on the subject of gerrymandering and the Congress's shockingly low rate of turnover.   

In short, I would have to cough up $100,000 of my own money (remember, this was in 1985 dollars) in order to surely lose-- and support my single self.  Now, I am a family man and I still don't have a spare $100k (or probably a spare million at this point).

Title: Taking Back Congress
Post by: DougMacG on August 06, 2009, 09:03:42 AM
The money requirement is unfortunate but I didn't hear the door slam shut very hard  :-).  In some ways it seems that it could be done today without all the outlays but congressional districts are in particularly hard to reach because they don't line up nicely with media markets.  Besides campaign cash, supporting your family during the run is of course the issue that doesn't go away.

OTOH: a) When if not now? Obama-Pelosi overstepped so badly that some new voices will be heard and noticed.  b) There are ways to get some free traditional media coverage not to mention web-ads and youtube videos clever enough to draw attention.  Draw enough attention nationally to get noticed locally. c) You are obviously able to put out amazing effort just observing the breadth of your readings  and the times of posts. d) People yearn for non-traditional candidate and may be open to a back-to-the-founding-fathers, limited government / libertarian message - even in sunny southern Cal. d) The more that people or media or opponents question your credentials, the more publicity and interest you generate for your business.  e) You can advance your political philosophy by reaching more people even without winning.  f) Experience with previous runs, knowledge of the issues and the founding principles, studying law under Ruth Ginsburg and leaving the profession of law all make a compelling story. g) The image of a fighter has proven political appeal.  h) You were more available to run or serve when you were single, but will look more mature and responsible when photographed with the beautiful bride and smiling children... i) The job pays $174k per year plus a pretty good health plan!

While knowing it would be nearly impossible financially, maybe still set out at least part way with some exploratory work.  Just like with the pilot television programs, publish a few trial runs both video and written and approach a few people.  My guess is that that are some people and groups out there with means might get behind the right messenger with the right message.  Who knows?

(No reply required - I'll drop the subject until I hear the announcement)
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 06, 2009, 10:08:40 AM
IMO, this is where Republicans fail miserably. Rather than learn the lessons of their thrashing, forging coalitions that have some demographic momentum, and speaking in a straightforward manner about the damage being done to this nation's founding principles many opt to embrace a status quo that seeks to drive stakes through the heart of the limited government ethos. These timid souls are not that upon which foundational change is precipitated.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 06, 2009, 10:12:25 AM

Although you make good points, my realities simply do not permit.


Exactly so.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 08, 2009, 05:49:27 AM
Various clips of people challenging their Congressman at town hall meetings
Title: The Way Forward for Reps: The US Senate
Post by: DougMacG on August 08, 2009, 09:00:05 PM
Miscellaneous political thought:  Arkansas is a conservative state with a Dem Senator Blanch Lincoln up for reelection, in need of a prominent R. challenger.

Mike Huckabee doesn't know it right now but he will never be President.  My sister lived in Arkansas when Huckabee was Governor and thinks he is wonderful (I don't, but that's another story).

If anyone knows Mike, give him a call and tell him his country needs him - in the Senate.
Title: Way too soon to celebrate
Post by: ccp on August 10, 2009, 12:18:11 PM
I think Buchanan rejoices way too soon.
BO does not continue to crash in the polls like constantly stated by the right pundits.  Yes he is down but stabilizing.
And I think that they underestimate there are many people who do want a "public option" (not me), and do want a government nanny.
And I think he underestimated the Dems ability to spin this right back.
And there is still no spoke people for the Republicans.
Palin has a lot of studying to do if he thinks she can attract more than her base.
Who can convince the skeptical that the job of government is to keep level and honest the playing field and then GET OUT OF THE WAY?

The cans are still singing to the choir IMHO.

****A GOP That Can Say No
by  Patrick J. Buchanan


Reports of the death of the Republican Party appear to have been premature.
Not since Sen. Bob Griffin derailed LBJ's scheme to replace Chief Justice Earl Warren with crony Abe Fortas, before Nixon got to the Oval Office, has the GOP defied this city and voted to reject a liberal judicial activist for the court.
In 1970, after revelations of scandal forced Fortas to resign, Rep. Gerald Ford moved to impeach "Wild Bill" Douglas on similar grounds. Then the fire went out -- for 40 years.
Meanwhile, Democrats trashed Republican nominees Clement Haynsworth, Harrold Carswell and Robert Bork, forced Reagan to withdraw Douglas Ginsburg, and made Clarence Thomas and Sam Alito run an Iroquois gauntlet.
Finally, yesterday, Senate Republicans, defying threats of an Hispanic backlash if they voted to reject the first Hispanic nominee, stood up and said no more EZ passes for any liberal judicial activist.
And this is only the most recent act of defiance by a party that, at long last, seems to have found its conservative compass and to be finding its way home.
Recuperation began when House Republicans stood beside Middle America and rejected the Bush-McCain-Kennedy-Clinton amnesty for illegal aliens, inflicting a humiliating defeat on the establishment.
The next sign of recovery was the decision of John McCain to damn the torpedoes and put Sarah Palin on the ticket. The smashing reception Palin received stunned mainstream media, vaulted McCain into the lead, and signaled the party what America wants it to become again.
The next act of defiance was the Republican rebellion against the $700 billion bank bailout of last September. Though House resistance was swiftly broken, Republican instincts were subsequently proven right.
Next came rock-solid Republican opposition to the mother of all pig-outs, the Pelosi stimulus package. Not one Republican voted for it in the House and only three went over the hill in the Senate. How many Blue Dogs are back home bragging about having supported that beauty?
Then, yesterday, mirabile dictu, the Republican minority in the Senate voted four-to-one to send Sonia back to Greenwich Village.
Wailed retiring Republican Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, "We have allowed ideology to hold a preeminent role as opposed to qualifications. I find it very, very appalling."
But what is truly appalling is the senator's inability to understand what is going in his country.
For decades, a leftist ideology has permeated the Supreme Court. Protected by lifetime appointments, liberal justices have imposed upon this once-democratic republic a social, cultural and moral revolution no Congress could ever have survived imposing and no majority would ever vote for.
Prayer, Bible study, the Ten Commandments were purged from public schools of a nation whose coins bear the inscription "In God We Trust" and whose Constitution never mandated any kulturkampf on the birth faith of the West.
Pornographers were awarded First Amendment protections. Abortion, a crime in every state half a century ago, was declared a constitutional right. New shackles were put on police and prosecutors. The death penalty was outlawed for 20 years because Bill Brennan and friends did not like it. Forced busing for racial balance was imposed, generating white flight, destroying urban schools, and tearing communities apart.
For decades, federal judges and justices were on a rampage. For decades, we lived under a judicial dictatorship.
As for Sotomayor, she was a political activist whose academic and legal career is marked at every step by clamors for raced-based hiring, promotions and admissions. As a judge, she trashed the appeal of Frank Ricci and the New Haven firefighters who had been robbed of promotions they had earned in competitive exams solely because they were white.
She declared the New York state law denying voting rights to convicts a violation of the U.S. Civil Rights Act because it had a disparate impact on minorities, who are overrepresented in prison. Using that yardstick, Justice Sotomayor would have to vote to outlaw the death penalty.
Suddenly, in national politics, the momentum has shifted.
The Republican Party is stirring. Its poll numbers are rising, as support for Obama has fallen to 50 percent in the Quinnipiac Poll, support for his handling of the economy and deficit has fallen into the 40s, and support for his health insurance scheme has plunged to 39.
Of his big initiatives, the stimulus bill is looking like a loser, cap-and-trade may not survive the Senate, and national health insurance may have to be pared back -- or be killed by nervous Blue Dogs.
In both big races three months off, the Virginia and New Jersey governors' contests, Republicans are running 14 points ahead.
As they say in the press box, "Fans, we have a brand-new ball game."
And the reason is that some exasperated Republicans decided to declare independence of the White Houses of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama -- and "dance with the girl what brunt ya."

Mr. Buchanan is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World, "The Death of the West,", "The Great Betrayal," "A Republic, Not an Empire" and "Where the Right Went Wrong."****

Title: Prager
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 01, 2009, 10:25:11 AM
The Bigger the Government, the Smaller the Citizen
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Those of us who oppose a massive increase in the role the national government plays in health care ("ObamaCare") do so because we fear the immense and unsustainable national debt it would incur and because we are certain that medical care in America would deteriorate. But there is a bigger reason most of us oppose it: We believe that the bigger the government becomes, the smaller the individual citizen becomes.

Here are five reasons why bigger government makes less impressive people.

1. People who are able to take care of themselves and do so are generally better than people who are able to take care of themselves but rely on others. Of course, there are times when some people have absolutely no choice and must rely on others to take care of them. Life is tragic and some people, despite their best efforts and their commitment to being a responsible person, must have others support them.

Even if one believes, as the left does by definition, that the ideal society is one in which the state takes care of as many of our needs as possible, one must acknowledge that this has deleterious effects on many, if not most, citizens' moral character. The moment one acknowledges that the more one takes care of oneself, the more developed is his or her character, one must acknowledge that a bigger state diminishes its citizens' characters.

Presumably one might argue that there is no relationship between character development and taking responsibility for oneself. But to do so is to turn the concept of character, as it has been understood throughout Judeo-Christian and Western history, on its head. The essence of good character is to care of oneself and then take of others who cannot take care of themselves.

2. The more people come to rely on government, the more they develop a sense of entitlement -- an attitude characterized by the belief that one is owed (whatever the state provides and more). This is a second big government blow to character development because it has at least three terrible consequences:

First, the more one feels entitled, the less one believes he has to work for anything. Why work hard if I can look to the state to give much of what I need, and, increasingly, much of what I want? Second, the more one feels entitled, the less grateful one feels. This is obvious: The more one expects to be given, the less one is grateful for what one is given. Third, the more entitled and the less grateful one feels, the angrier one becomes. The opposite of gratitude is not only ingratitude, it is anger. People who do not get what they think they are entitled to become angry.

3. People develop disdain for work.

One of the effects of the welfare state on vast numbers of European citizens is disdain for work. This is in keeping with Marx's view of utopia as a time when people will work very little and devote their large amount of non-working time writing poetry and engaging in other such lofty pursuits. Work is not regarded by the left as ennobling. It is highly ennobling in the American value system, however.

4. People become preoccupied with vacation time.

Along with disdain for work, one witnesses among Western Europeans a preoccupation with not working. Vacation time has become a moral value among many Europeans. There have been riots in countries like France merely over working hours. In Sweden and elsewhere, more and more workers take more and more time off from work, knowing they will be paid anyway. In Germany and elsewhere, it is against the law to keep one's store open after a certain hour, lest that give that store owner an income advantage and thereby compel a competing store to stay open longer as well. And, of course, Americans are viewed as working far too hard.

5. People are rendered more selfish.

Not only does bigger government teach people not to take care of themselves, it teaches them not to take of others. Smaller government is the primary reason Americans give more charity and volunteer more time per capita than do Europeans living in welfare states. Why take care of your fellow citizen, or even your family, when the government will do it for you?

This preoccupation with self includes foreign policy: Why care about, let alone risk dying for, another country's liberty? That is the view of the world's left. That is why conservative governments are far more supportive of the war efforts in Iraq or Afghanistan than left-wing governments of the same country. The moment the socialists won in Spain, they withdrew all their forces from Iraq. The new center-left government in Japan has promised to stop helping the war effort in Afghanistan.

Of course, there are fine idealistic individuals on the left, and selfish individuals on the right. But as a rule, bigger government increases the number of angry, ungrateful, lazy, spoiled and self-centered individuals. Which is why some of us believe that increased nationalization of health care is worth shouting about. And even crying over.

Title: Davy Crockett
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 01, 2009, 08:44:37 AM
Alexander's Essay – October 1, 2009

Not Yours To Give

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents..." --James Madison

David CrockettMy paternal ancestors settled in East Tennessee about 10 years before it was admitted to the Union (1796). Not far from where they settled lived a fellow who was the region's most famous frontiersman.

David Crockett was his name.

He has been immortalized as a folk hero, known for his battles with the Red Stick Creek Indians under Andrew Jackson, and his last stand at the Alamo with fellow Patriots James Bowie from Kentucky and William Travis from South Carolina.

Crockett battled the Creek side-by-side with fellow Tennessean Sam Houston, but both men were friends to the Cherokee clans, which were composed of highly civilized native peoples living in the border regions between Tennessee and North Carolina.

At the end of his formal service as a soldier, he was elected Lieutenant Colonel of the Tennessee Militia.

Crockett is less known for the several terms he served in Congress between 1827 and 1835 during the presidency of his old commander, Andrew Jackson. Crockett's friend, Sam Houston, had been elected governor of Tennessee. (Houston, who would later become governor of Texas, is the only American in history to serve as governor of two states.)

Though he had little formal education, Crockett exuded a commanding presence and was feared, if not loathed, by his more refined congressional colleagues for his backwoods rhetoric.

In one of his more legendary orations, Crockett proclaimed: "Mr. Speaker ... the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Everett] talks of summing up the merits of the question, but I'll sum up my own. In one word I'm a screamer, and have got the roughest racking horse, the prettiest sister, the surest rifle and the ugliest dog in the district. I'm a leetle the savagest crittur you ever did see. My father can whip any man in Kentucky, and I can lick my father. I can out-speak any man on this floor, and give him two hours start. I can run faster, dive deeper, stay longer under, and come out drier, than any chap this side the big Swamp. I can outlook a panther and outstare a flash of lightning, tote a steamboat on my back and play at rough and tumble with a lion, and an occasional kick from a zebra."

Crockett continued, "I can take the rag off -- frighten the old folks -- astonish the natives -- and beat the Dutch all to smash, make nothing of sleeping under a blanket of snow and don't mind being frozen more than a rotten apple. I can walk like an ox, run like a fox, swim like an eel, yell like an Indian, fight like a devil, spout like an earthquake, make love like a mad bull, and swallow a Mexican whole without choking if you butter his head and pin his ears back."

What I wouldn't give to hear a tad more of that on the floor of the House these days!

Though his rhetoric may have been unorthodox, Crockett was a man of principle.

His fervent opposition to Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act of 1830 (forcing removal of the peaceful Cherokee tribes along the infamous "Trail of Tears") cost Crockett his congressional seat, but he declared, "I bark at no man's bid. I will never come and go, and fetch and carry, at the whistle of the great man in the White House no matter who he is."

But it was Crockett's stalwart opposition to unconstitutional spending that is most worth noting given today's congressional penchant for such spending in the trillions.

According to the Register of Debates for the House of Representatives, 20th Congress, 1st Session on April 2, 1828, Crocket stood to challenge the constitutionality of one of the earliest welfare spending bills.

While the exact text of his speech was not recorded in full (as that was not the practice of the time), the spirit of his words was captured years later under the heading "Not yours to give" in the book "The Life of Colonel David Crockett" by Edward Ellis.

Ellis wrote, "One day in the House of Representatives a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support. The Speaker was just about to put the question when Crockett arose..."

According to Ellis, Crockett said, "Mr. Speaker; I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has not the power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him.

"Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks."

Though the measure was expected to receive unanimous support, after Crockett's objection, it did not pass.

Be sure you are right...Ellis recounts that Crocket was later asked by a friend why he had opposed the appropriation, and he replied: "Several years ago I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some other members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could. In spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made houseless, and, besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many women and children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them. The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done."

Crocket explained, "The next summer, when it began to be time to think about election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there, but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up. When riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more of a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came to the fence. As he came up, I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but, as I thought, rather coldly.

"I began: 'Well, friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates, and..."

His constituent interrupted, "Yes I know you; you are Colonel Crockett. I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine, I shall not vote for you again."

Crockett replied, "This was a sockdolager ... I begged him to tell me what was the matter."

The farmer said, "Well, Colonel, it is hardly worth-while to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it in that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the constituent to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting or wounding you. I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the Constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what, but for my rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest. But an understanding of the Constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is."

Crocket responded, "Well, my friend; I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing Treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just as I did."

But the farmer fired back, "It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man. ... So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people."

Thus, Crockett explained of his opposition to support the widow of that distinguished naval officer: "Now, sir, you know why I made that speech yesterday."

Today, there are but a handful of Senate and House incumbents who dare support and defend the Constitution as Crockett did. But there are candidates emerging around the nation who, with our support, will deliver orations as brazen and eloquent, and stand firm behind those words.

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

Mark Alexander
Publisher, PatriotPost.US

(To submit reader comments
Title: The Way Forward - Victor Davis Hanson: 10 random suggestions
Post by: DougMacG on October 04, 2009, 09:42:04 AM
We Should Vote for Anyone . . .

Who offers a coherent systematic agenda of reform. What do most want? Not necessarily a Republican or Democrat, or at this 11th hour to be mired in messy issues like gay marriage (I’m opposed to it), but rather fundamental matters of finance, investment, and defense. Here are ten random suggestions; dozens more could be adduced.

I will add one, McCain should have picked VDH for running mate and so should the next nominee.  That would keep the issue and policy debates on track.

1)   Fiscal sanity that leads to federal spending freezes and a balanced budget that in turn soon allows a paying down of the debt.

2)   An oil/nuclear/coal/natural gas rapid development effort (again, to exploit especially new fields in Alaska, California, the Gulf, and North Dakota) to tide us over until alternate energy and new conservation lessen dependence. The alternative is to dream on about “green jobs” while we go broke trying to pay for scarcer imported oil, and lose our autonomy in the next price hike or Mideast crisis, even as we suffer amoral rants from oil-rich unhinged thugs like Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Gaddafi, and Putin.

3)   A new national consensus on security to decide that when and if we go to war, to see the effort through, on the principle that whatever the mistakes we commit in battle are far outweighed by the cost of defeat.

4)   A bad/worse choice gut check reform on entitlements, especially concerning those unsustainable like Social Security and Medicare, that calibrates payouts in terms of incoming capital—whether by raising age eligibilities or curbing automatic cost of living hikes.

5)   Clear, demarcated, and enforced national borders, and an end to illegal immigration through greater enforcement, employer sanction, border fortification, and a change in national attitudes about unlawful entry.

6)   Zero tolerance on government corruption. There is no reason why someone like a Charles Rangel is still the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

7)   Tort reform, including limits on personal injury settlements and loser-pays law suit reform.

8)   A renewed commitment to national and regional missile defense, on the expectation that the next two decades are going to be terribly dangerous, as lunatic regimes may well threaten to hold an American city or ally as nuclear hostage.

9)   Federal investment in hard infrastructure projects, not redistributive entitlements or Murtha-like earmarks, such as freeways, dams, water projects, electrical grids, ports, rail, etc., with regional needs adjudicated by national bipartisan boards.

10)       A move to lower taxes, preferably by alternatives to the present income tax system, whether by a consumption tax or flat taxes, calibrated to commensurate spending cuts.
Title: Decline is a Choice, Krauthammer
Post by: DougMacG on October 10, 2009, 11:27:19 AM
Decline is a Choice, by Charles Krauthammer is a fairly long read.  I recommend reading it slowly - in its entirety.  Krauthammer does a nice job of showing how Obama's policies favor American decline for both economic and foreign policies.

Decline Is a Choice
The New Liberalism and the end of American ascendancy.
by Charles Krauthammer
10/19/2009, Volume 015, Issue 05

(go to the link, article didn't fit in a post)
Title: Battle for the Republican party
Post by: ccp on October 12, 2009, 09:05:05 AM
Actuall I personally like and agree with a lot of what Levin and Beck say.
I used to agree with 90% of LImbaugh but I would guess it might be down to 65% now.  I don't find him winning over any new converts.
O'Reilly I agree with most of the time.  Hannity I am not a fan of.

I haven't read much about this guy but I notice MSNBC is happy to have him on criticizing many on the right for not being inclusive.
That tells me something about him.  So I don't yet have a real opinion of him yet, but he now has my ear.

Published: October 2, 2009
Let us take a trip back into history. Not ancient history. Recent history. It is the winter of 2007. The presidential primaries are approaching. The talk jocks like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and the rest are over the moon about Fred Thompson. They’re weak at the knees at the thought of Mitt Romney. Meanwhile, they are hurling torrents of abuse at the unreliable deviationists: John McCain and Mike Huckabee.

Yet somehow, despite the fervor of the great microphone giants, the Thompson campaign flops like a fish. Despite the schoolgirl delight from the radio studios, the Romney campaign underperforms.

Meanwhile, Huckabee surges. Limbaugh attacks him, but social conservatives flock.

Along comes New Hampshire and McCain wins! Republican voters have not heeded their masters in the media. Before long, South Carolina looms as the crucial point of the race. The contest is effectively between Romney and McCain. The talk jocks are now in spittle-flecked furor. Day after day, whole programs are dedicated to hurling abuse at McCain and everybody ever associated with him. The jocks are threatening to unleash their angry millions.

Yet the imaginary armies do not materialize. McCain wins the South Carolina primary and goes on to win the nomination. The talk jocks can’t even deliver the conservative voters who show up at Republican primaries. They can’t even deliver South Carolina!

So what is the theme of our history lesson? It is a story of remarkable volume and utter weakness. It is the story of media mavens who claim to represent a hidden majority but who in fact represent a mere niche — even in the Republican Party. It is a story as old as “The Wizard of Oz,” of grand illusions and small men behind the curtain.

But, of course, we shouldn’t be surprised by this story. Over the past few years the talk jocks have demonstrated their real-world weakness time and again. Back in 2006, they threatened to build a new majority on anti-immigration fervor. Republicans like J.D. Hayworth and Randy Graf, both of Arizona, built their House election campaigns under that banner. But these two didn’t march to glory. Both lost their campaigns.

In 2008, after McCain had won his nomination, Limbaugh turned his attention to the Democratic race. He commanded his followers to vote in the Democratic primaries for Hillary Clinton because “we need Barack Obama bloodied up politically.” Todd Donovan of Western Washington University has looked at data from 38 states and could find no strong evidence that significant numbers of people actually did what Limbaugh commanded. Rush blared the trumpets, but few of his Dittoheads advanced.

Over the years, I have asked many politicians what happens when Limbaugh and his colleagues attack. The story is always the same. Hundreds of calls come in. The receptionists are miserable. But the numbers back home do not move. There is no effect on the favorability rating or the re-election prospects. In the media world, he is a giant. In the real world, he’s not.

But this is not merely a story of weakness. It is a story of resilience. For no matter how often their hollowness is exposed, the jocks still reweave the myth of their own power. They still ride the airwaves claiming to speak for millions. They still confuse listeners with voters. And they are aided in this endeavor by their enablers. They are enabled by cynical Democrats, who love to claim that Rush Limbaugh controls the G.O.P. They are enabled by lazy pundits who find it easier to argue with showmen than with people whose opinions are based on knowledge. They are enabled by the slightly educated snobs who believe that Glenn Beck really is the voice of Middle America.

So the myth returns. Just months after the election and the humiliation, everyone is again convinced that Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and the rest possess real power. And the saddest thing is that even Republican politicians come to believe it. They mistake media for reality. They pre-emptively surrender to armies that don’t exist.

They pay more attention to Rush’s imaginary millions than to the real voters down the street. The Republican Party is unpopular because it’s more interested in pleasing Rush’s ghosts than actual people. The party is leaderless right now because nobody has the guts to step outside the rigid parameters enforced by the radio jocks and create a new party identity. The party is losing because it has adopted a radio entertainer’s niche-building strategy, while abandoning the politician’s coalition-building strategy.

The rise of Beck, Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and the rest has correlated almost perfectly with the decline of the G.O.P. But it’s not because the talk jocks have real power. It’s because they have illusory power, because Republicans hear the media mythology and fall for it every time.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: October 3, 2009
Title: Re: The Way Forward - does not go through David Brooks
Post by: DougMacG on October 12, 2009, 10:33:36 AM
David Brooks is from the Obama wing of the Republican Party IMO.  He is infatuated with Huckabee only as it relates to a split among conservatives.  There isn't a snowball's chance in hell that Brooks would vote for Huck.   Rush is a radio show based on one person's opinion.  He doen't hold Get-out-the-Vote rallies.  To the extent that his views resonate with others he attracts and holds listeners.  That he doesn't change minds could be said about any of them including Obama whose electoral win didn't translate into support for his policies.  I listened to Rush more than Brooks did and Rush DID NOT ENDORSE ANYONE for President in the primaries. Even Oprah took a side.  Fred Thompson was largely ignored.  No one trashed Huckabee.  Plenty of conservatives exposed his policies and rhetoric that is/was not conservative.  Isn't that what a conservative, opinion commentator should do?  No one melted over Romney.

Social conservatives felt threatened by Giuliani but Huckabee knocked him out (and Thompson) in the first state.  Then Republicans held their nose and nominated the most centrist and anti-Republican of all the choices hoping that would bring moderates, centrists and independents to the cause in a bad year.  The opposite happened.

Huckabee is interesting to the left because his charisma and partial success help to widen the divide among conservatives. 

Brooks: "So the myth returns. Just months after the election and the humiliation, everyone is again convinced that Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and the rest possess real power."  - In this case "everyone" refers to the people he shares elevators with at the NY Times.  He perhaps should take Rush's advice that the NY Times should send 'foreign correspondents' out to the heartland and find out what the people there really think.

On the right, people are fascinated with the so-called tea party movement that really is the groundswell without a leader.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: ccp on October 12, 2009, 10:54:05 AM
"On the right, people are fascinated with the so-called tea party movement that really is the groundswell without a leader."

It seems to me many participants in the tea party would find Levin and Beck appealing.
I really don't know how much they are simply preaching to the choir or are actually finding growing support among independents.
Couldn't they be leaders of the tea party?
They may actually be catching moderate/independent ears unlike IMO Limbaugh/Hannity.
Doug perhaps you, or another poster may have heard if they are catching on or simply popular with those who already subscribe to the right.

I am not a fan of Huckabee at all.
I wish Fox would come up with something better on the wknds rather than inundate us with his boring show.

Brooks is also placing all these names in the same vein but they are not the same.
O'Reilly is certainly far more moderate than Limbaugh.

I will have to read Brooks a little more to ascertain what his RX is or if he is just critical without an alternative.

Title: Re: The Way Forward - pundits and leaders
Post by: DougMacG on October 12, 2009, 12:24:01 PM
CCP: "It seems to me many participants in the tea party would find Levin and Beck appealing.
I really don't know how much they are simply preaching to the choir or are actually finding growing support among independents.  Couldn't they be leaders of the tea party?"

Not speaking for the movement but if I get to choose a leader from among the right wing punditry I think I will go with Prof. Victor Davis Hanson.

Let the left wing media try to take him apart.  Katie Couric can ask him what he reads, Charlie Gibson can see if he understands the Bush Doctrine, and maybe George Stephanopoulos can try to trip him up on the names of leaders around the world.   :-)
Title: Republican unpopularity
Post by: ccp on October 19, 2009, 07:49:33 AM
Caveat:  this comes from Princeton NJ.  Not the bastion of liberal academia but I am not sure how objective Gallup is either.
Remember 42% want the health reform as it now is proposed.  To me this says at least 42% want huge government, huge handouts, and their perception of social justice which is to take from successful and hard working and give it out.
If one has ever been to a Democrat political rally one knows who I mean.  So from the getgo these folks will never change their opinion (unless they win lotto).  So how do Republicans appeal to independents?  I would think if Limbaugh, Hannity and the rest of the crew could do it they would have by now. 

****GOP Losses Span Nearly All Demographic GroupsOnly frequent churchgoers show no decline in support since 2001by Jeffrey M. Jones
PRINCETON, NJ -- The decline in Republican Party affiliation among Americans in recent years is well documented, but a Gallup analysis now shows that this movement away from the GOP has occurred among nearly every major demographic subgroup. Since the first year of George W. Bush's presidency in 2001, the Republican Party has maintained its support only among frequent churchgoers, with conservatives and senior citizens showing minimal decline.

So far in 2009, aggregated Gallup Poll data show the divide on leaned party identification is 53% Democratic and 39% Republican -- a marked change from 2001, when the parties were evenly matched, according to an average of all of that year's Gallup Polls. That represents a loss of five points for the Republicans and a gain of eight points for the Democrats.

The parties were also evenly matched on basic party identification in 2001 (which does not take into account the partisan leanings of independents), with 32% identifying themselves as Republicans, 33% as Democrats, and 34% as independents. The 2009 data show the GOP losing five points since then, with identification increasing three points among both Democrats and independents.

As was shown earlier, the GOP's loss in leaned support over this time is evident among nearly every subgroup. The losses are substantial among college graduates, which have shown a decline in GOP support of 10 points. (The losses are even greater -- 13 points -- among the subset of college graduates with postgraduate educations.) This may reflect in part Barack Obama's strong appeal to educated voters, a major component of his winning coalitions in both the Democratic primaries and the general election.

Aside from education, for which the parties were basically at even strength in 2001, the Republicans' losses tend to be greater among groups that were not strong GOP supporters to begin with. These include self-identified liberals and moderates, church non-attenders, and lower-income and young adults. Thus, a big factor in the GOP's overall decline is the Democratic Party's consolidating its support among normally Democratically leaning groups.

In turn, the GOP has generally avoided significant losses among only its most loyal groups, including frequent churchgoers and self-identified conservatives. The Republican Party maintains majority support among these two groups.

Two exceptions to this general pattern are senior citizens, and racial and ethnic minorities. Republican support among blacks and the larger group of nonwhites has not changed much in the past eight years, but these groups have shown only very limited support for the Republican Party. And while Obama's candidacy seemed to attract young voters to the Democratic Party during the 2008 presidential campaign, it did not have the same effect on older voters. As a result, the share of older voters aligned with the Republican Party has generally held steady.


The Republican Party clearly has lost a lot of support since 2001, the first year of George W. Bush's administration. Most of the loss in support actually occurred beginning in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina and Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court -- both of which created major public relations problems for the administration -- and amid declining support for the Iraq war. By the end of 2008, the party had its worst positioning against the Democrats in nearly two decades.

The GOP may have stemmed those losses for now, as it does not appear to have lost any more support since Obama took office. But as the analysis presented here shows, the losses the GOP has suffered have come among nearly all demographic groups apart from some of the most ardent Republican subgroups.

Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with 7,139 national adults, aged 18 and older, in Gallup polls conducted January-April 2009. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point.

Margins of error for subgroups will be larger.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on land-line telephones (for respondents with a land-line telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell-phone only).****

Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 19, 2009, 08:41:53 AM
Well, I for one no longer take the Republican Party seriously.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on October 19, 2009, 09:19:15 AM
Gallup, like a lot of polls, samples all Americans not likely voters to get their numbers.  Still their Obama approval spread fell from about 60 points to 12.

Rasmussen measures Strongly approve versus strongly disapprove, groups more likely to show up.  Strongly disapprove numbers stand at about 40% which would be a pretty good combined measure of the different types of conservatives out there.

The commentators don't need more than 40% market share to be very successful.

The Obama vote included people not fully sold on the agenda.  The excitement of blacks which went 95% to Obama is not likely to be energized in the off-year of 2010.  I wouldn't think the Jewish or Israel supporting groups would be energized either.  Obama has had double digit losses of popularity in the 18-24 groups among others as hope and change starts to get specific.  Gallup story is a little slow since the Republican losses were well known since 2006.  The Obama slippage and Pelosi congress disaster polls stories would be more timely stories.

The Republican brand name hasn't meant anything specific or positive, especially to conservatives, for a very long time.  (Crafty just expressed that very succinctly.) Bush cut tax rates twice and never articulated why.  The so-called Bush Doctrine was dropped by the Bush administration at about the time of the Harry Whittington shooting.

Elected Republicans have had no real, observable tie to limited government for as long as any voter can remember, and no one is out front right now making a persuasive case for common sense conservatism.

This board has a wide enough range of conservative and libertarian thought to come up with the next Contract with America to steer next year's candidates in the right direction.  Anyone care to take a stab at it?
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 19, 2009, 09:32:43 AM
"Elected Republicans have had no real, observable tie to limited government for as long as any voter can remember, and no one is out front right now making a persuasive case for common sense conservatism."

Exactly why I don't take them seriously.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: ccp on October 19, 2009, 09:40:09 AM
Personally I agree with you.
This statement though I am not sure:
Elected Republicans have had no real, observable tie to limited government for as long as any voter can remember, and no one is out front right now making a persuasive case for common sense conservatism.
What I am not sure about is how many Americans this really appeals to.
There is clearly a large number of Americans and those others who reside here who don't seem to have problem with bigger and bigger government.  Obviously they think this will help them get through their miseries.
I would suggest that any Contract with America which on face value is an excellent idea, has to address this point:
That bigger government is going to hurt all of us. That Obama is trashing 200 years of what made this country the greatest in the world.
These people cannot ID with Limbaugh and Hannity and the rest.   
Title: Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on October 19, 2009, 12:46:18 PM
Crafty: "Exactly why I don't take them seriously."

   - And the other way forward for conservatives is ....... ?

CCP: "What I am not sure about is how many Americans this [limited government] really appeals to."

   - Yes.  That's a big problem, but so is credibility.  You don't persuade people in the middle when they see you don't believe in what you say either.  George H.W. Bush was kicked out mostly for breaking his pledge of no new taxes.  He was replaced with someone who admitted he would raise taxes.  Bill I-didn't-inhale/Gennifer-Flowers Clinton was perceived as more honest?  I don't know, just know that the brand name didn't stand for anything at that point and people were open to change and compassion instead.
Title: Top 20 signs from the tea party
Post by: DougMacG on October 20, 2009, 07:51:30 AM
I liked this one:

Also: "Don't tell Obama what's after a trillion"
        "Put the Constitution on your Teleprompter"
Title: Patriot Post
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 26, 2009, 08:58:10 AM
The Foundation
"But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever." --John Adams

You can either support Democrat health care or the Constitution ... but not both

"At the heart of the American idea is the deep distrust and suspicion the founders of our nation had for government, distrust and suspicion not shared as much by today's Americans. Some of the founders' distrust is seen in our Constitution's language such as Congress shall not: abridge, infringe, deny, disparage, violate and deny. If the founders did not believe Congress would abuse our God-given rights, they would not have provided those protections. After all, one would not expect to find a Bill of Rights in Heaven; it would be an affront to God. Other founder distrust for government is found in the Constitution's separation of powers, checks and balances and the several anti-majoritarian provisions such as the Electoral College and the requirement that three-quarters of state legislatures ratify changes in the Constitution. The three branches of our federal government are no longer bound by the Constitution as the framers envisioned and what is worse is American ignorance and acceptance of such rogue behavior. Look at the current debate over government involvement in health, business bailouts and stimulus packages. The debate centers around questions as whether such involvement is a good idea or a bad idea and whether one program is more costly than another. Those questions are entirely irrelevant to what should be debated, namely: Is such government involvement in our lives permissible under the U.S. Constitution? That question is not part of the debate. The American people, along with our elected representatives, whether they're Republicans or Democrats, care less about what is and what is not permissible under our Constitution. They think Congress has the right to do anything upon which they can secure a majority vote, whether they have the constitutional or moral authority to do so or not." --George Mason economics professor Walter E. Williams

"Can President Barack Obama and Congress enact legislation that orders Americans to buy broccoli? If so, where did they get that authority? What provision in the Constitution empowers the federal government to order an individual to buy a product he does not want? This is not a question about nutrition. It is not a question about whether broccoli is good for you or about the relative merits of broccoli versus other foods. It is a question about the constitutional limits on the power of the federal government. It is a question about freedom. Can President Obama and Congress enact legislation that orders Americans to buy health insurance? They might as well order Americans to buy broccoli. They have no legitimate authority to do either. Yet neither Obama nor the current leadership in Congress seems to care about the constitutional limits on their power. They are now attempting to exert authority over the lives of Americans in a way no president and Congress has done before. ... All versions of the health care bill under consideration in Congress would order Americans to buy health insurance. If any of these bills is enacted, the first thing it would accomplish is the amputation of a vital part of our Constitution, and the death of another measure of our liberty." --columnist Terence Jeffrey

Faith & Family
"Hard work and self-denial were part of our national character -- actually our Christian heritage. In recent years, the 'sound economic values' have eroded. ... But the problem, you see, is that values and the character they produce aren't divisible. People will not exercise restraint in their economic dealings while casting off restraints in their sexual and social ones. ... Or turn on the television. There, people are indulging every sexual desire in the midst of a consumerist paradise -- big homes, expensive cars and fashionable clothes. You can do anything you want. The 'Calvinist restraint' ... didn't preach chastity or thrift; rather it preached chastity and thrift. That's because it saw both as proceeding from a common source: the Christian understanding of man's nature and the purpose for which God created him. If you try to have the one without the other, you will get neither. Far from being obsolete, the old culture war is more relevant than ever. Restoring moral values across the board is essential to rescue a sagging economy as well as renew our nation's spirit." --author Chuck Colson

"Quick: when I say 'Matthew Shepard,' what do you think? A man killed because he was gay? Or just some poor sap in the wrong place at the wrong time? More on that in a minute. Hate crime legislation aimed at making it a federal crime to assault someone for being a homosexual passed the House last week, and could be on its way to becoming law. It sounds great, doesn't it? Who wouldn't be against a law that would prosecute someone for targeting another person based on bigotry and bias? What could be wrong with this scenario? Plenty. I'm all for prosecuting criminals for their acts, especially violent criminals. I'm pro-death penalty, if truth be told. I figure that if you deliberately take someone else's life, you should pay by forfeiting yours. Not very PC of me, but there you have it. However, it bothers me that individuals may soon be prosecuted for not just the crime, but the 'behind the scenes' thoughts that may have contributed to that crime. ... When we begin to prosecute for the thoughts behind the crime, we open a very wiggly can of worms that can't be shut again. ... Thanks to the pop culture myth that helped perpetrate the false reason for Matthew Shepard's senseless death, we could now all be facing regulations that resemble '1984' more than they do 'Land of the Free.' Is this really the direction in which we want to head?" --columnist Pam Meister

The Gipper
"Our party must be the party of the individual. It must not sell out the individual to cater to the group. No greater challenge faces our society today than ensuring that each one of us can maintain his dignity and his identity in an increasingly complex, centralized society. Extreme taxation, excessive controls, oppressive government competition with business ... frustrated minorities and forgotten Americans are not the products of free enterprise. They are the residue of centralized bureaucracy, of government by a self-anointed elite. Our party must be based on the kind of leadership that grows and takes its strength from the people. Any organization is in actuality only the lengthened shadow of its members. A political party is a mechanical structure created to further a cause. The cause, not the mechanism, brings and holds the members together. And our cause must be to rediscover, reassert and reapply America's spiritual heritage to our national affairs. Then with God's help we shall indeed be as a city upon a hill with the eyes of all people upon us." --Ronald Reagan

Opinion in Brief
"President Obama keeps roaring out deadlines like a lion -- only later to meow like a little kitty. Remember, for example, how he bellowed to cheering partisan crowds that he would close down the detainment facility at Guantanamo within a year? The clock ticks -- and Guantanamo isn't close to being shut down. It once was easy for candidate Obama to deplore George W. Bush's supposed gulag. Now it proves harder to decide between the bad choice of detaining non-uniformed terrorist combatants and the worse ones of letting them go, giving them civilian trials or deporting them to unwilling hosts. Going back further to September 2007, candidate Obama postured about Iraq that he wanted 'to immediately begin to remove our combat troops. Not in six months or one year -- now!' That 'now!' sure sounded macho. On Iraq, candidate Obama also railed that 'the American people have had enough of the shifting spin. We've had enough of extended deadlines for benchmarks that go unmet.' Talk about 'unmet' deadlines and 'spin'-- here we are in October 2009, and there are still 120,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. The reason why Obama fudged on his promised deadline is that the surge in 2007 worked. American deaths plummeted. The theater is quiet. Iraqi democracy is still there after six years. Obama cannot quite admit these facts, but on the other hand he does not want to be responsible for undermining them. ... The list of what a melodramatic Obama threatens or promises to do and what he actually does is endless." --Hoover Institution historian Victor Davis Hanson


For the Record
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on October 26, 2009, 09:16:43 PM
A thought sparked by the B.O. & friends thread:  It is not enough to point out when these people, President Obama and his inner circle, are Marxists, support terror against our country, believe our country deserved attacks of 9/11, were never proud of our country, think Americans are cowards, respected and admired Chairman Mao, want to disarm America, want to curtail free speech, stop out investment incentives, nationalize industries, subsidize the press, bankrupt our energy sources, etc etc etc.  Unfortunately, you/we must always also take the time on each point to say or write the part we think goes without saying --- why that is a bad idea!
Title: The Way Forward: 10 Cannots
Post by: DougMacG on October 27, 2009, 07:19:53 PM
Freki, all,  We should add this wonderful list of truths (from Freki) to 'the way forward' thread as well.

What clarity!

The 10 Cannots

1.  You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
2.  You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong
3.  You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
4.  You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
5.  You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.
6.  You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
7.  You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
8.  You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
9.  You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
10  You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves.

(1942 by William J. H. Boetcker)

Title: Nobody questions that
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 29, 2009, 09:18:12 AM
Alexander's Essay – October 29, 2009

'Nobody Questions That'?
"In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." --Thomas Jefferson
Never before has there been more evidence of outright contempt for our Constitution than under the current liberal hegemony presiding over the executive and legislative branches of our federal government.

The protagonist of this Leftist regime is, of course, Barack Hussein Obama, who promised his constituents, "This is our moment, this is our time to turn the page on the policies of the past, to offer a new direction. We are fundamentally transforming the United States of America. And generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was our time" [emphasis added].

Obama proclaimed, "Everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act -- to lay a new foundation for growth."

In his inaugural speech, Obama declared, "The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works," signaling his rejection of the old paradigm, which pitted the conservative position, "government is the problem," against the liberal position, "government is the solution."

Thus, by virtue of his election to the presidency nearly one year ago, he believes he has the authority to establish a new paradigm to "fundamentally transform" our nation by creating "a new foundation."

However, if we are a nation of laws with a national government limited by our Constitution, and, indeed, we are, then Obama has no legal authority to "transform" our government.

Those who laid our constitutional foundation were very clear about its limits on government.

Our Constitution's principle author, James Madison, wrote, "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined [and] will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce."

Concerning the legislature's authority, Thomas Jefferson asserted: "[G]iving [Congress] a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole [Constitution] to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please. Certainly, no such universal power was meant to be given them. [The Constitution] was intended to lace them up straightly within the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect."

Madison added, "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."

But too many among us have become so fixated on the superficial parameters of today's political debates rather than demand an answer to that most essential question: What is the constitutional authority for Obama's proposals now being debated in Congress?

For example, amid all the acrimony over Obama's transformation of health care, the debate should not be centered on which plan is better, but whether constitutional authority exists for any of the plans under consideration.

Unfortunately, such inquiry is scarce, and hardly noted.

Last week, however, three leading Democrats in Congress were asked during news conferences to cite the constitutional authority for their healthcare proposals. To a one, they responded with answers that betrayed unmitigated arrogance and a disdain for our Constitution second to none in our nation's noble history.

"Are you serious? Are you serious?" replied House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when asked specifically about the constitutional authority for Obama's health care proposal. Pelosi's spokesman later clarified, "You can put this on the record: That is not a serious question. That is not a serious question." (Apparently, there was an echo in the chamber.)

Democrat House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer attempted to answer the question by demonstrating his illimitable ignorance on the subject: "Well, in promoting the general welfare the Constitution obviously gives broad authority to Congress to effect [a mandate that individuals must buy health insurance]. The end that we're trying to effect is to make health care affordable, so I think clearly this is within our constitutional responsibility."

Perhaps Hoyer should take a basic civics course on the "General Welfare" clause in Article 1, Section 8, as written by James Madison. On the limitations of the Constitution, Madison wrote: "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents..."

Finally, Democrat Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee (where Rule of Law once prevailed), responded to the question of constitutional authority by insisting, "We have plenty of authority. ... I mean, there's no question there's authority. Nobody questions that. Where do we have the authority to set speed limits on an interstate highway? The federal government does that on federal highways." (No, actually, the states set speed limits, and only misinterpretation of the Commerce Clause by judicial activists could be construed to give the federal government such authority.)

As for Obama, his publicist, Robert Gibbs, claimed, "I won't be confused as a constitutional scholar, but I don't believe there's a lot of -- I don't believe there's a lot of case law that would demonstrate the veracity of [questions about constitutional authority]."

For sure, nobody will confuse Gibbs with a scholar of any stripe. And, we would remind Gibbs that when the Clintonistas attempted to nationalize healthcare (18 percent of the U.S. economy) back in 1994, the bi-partisan Congressional Budget Office issued this piece of analysis: "The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States. An individual mandate ... would impose a duty on individuals as members of society [and] require people to purchase a specific service that would be heavily regulated by the federal government."

Remarkably, neither Obama's bête noire, Fox News, nor any nationally syndicated conservative column, devoted air time or print to these egregiously errant responses.

To be sure, there are a few Republicans who have questioned Obama's authority. Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch proposed an amendment requiring swift judicial review of the health care folly if it is ultimately passed into law. Not surprisingly, Democrat Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, refused to take up Hatch's amendment, insisting that it was a matter for the Judiciary Committee -- the very committee chaired by the aforementioned Senator Patrick "We have plenty of authority" Leahy.

In order to divine the real source the Left claims as its authority for "fundamentally transforming the United States of America," consider this congressional inquiry from last March.

Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann dared ask Obama's tax cheat Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, "What provision in the Constitution could you point to gives authority for the actions that have been taken by the Treasury since March of '08?"

Geithner responded, "Oh, well, the -- the Congress legislated in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act a range of very important new authorities."

Bachmann tried again: "Sir, in the Constitution. What in the Constitution could you point to gives authority to the Treasury for the extraordinary actions that have been taken?"

Geithner's response: "Every action that the Treasury and the Fed and the FDIC is -- is -- has been using authority granted by this body -- by this body, the Congress."

The "authority granted by this body, the Congress."

In every successive Congress since 1995, conservative Arizona Republican Rep. John Shadegg has sponsored the Enumerated Powers Act (HR 1359), which requires that "Each Act of Congress shall contain a concise and definite statement of the constitutional authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion of that Act."

The measure continues to fail, however, because of a dirty little secret: There is no legitimate constitutional authority for almost 70 percent of current federal government programs, and, thus, no authority for the collection of taxes to fund such activities.

Though Obama swore to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," and every member of Congress has pledged "to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic," and "bear true faith and allegiance to the same," Democrats, and too many Republicans, have forsaken their sacred oaths.

In doing so, they have inflicted grievous injury upon our Constitution, thereby placing our Essential Liberty in eminent peril.

In May 1775, at the onset of the hostilities that gave rise to our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, the Second Continental Congress adopted a resolution calling on the states to prepare for rebellion. In its preamble, John Adams advised his countrymen to sever all oaths of allegiance to the Crown.

Since that time, generations of American Patriots have honored their oaths, shed their blood, given their lives -- but not to the crown of any man or a partisan sect. Instead, these sacrifices have been made to support and defend our Constitution and the Rule of Law it established.

Put simply, there is no authority for a "constitutional rewrite" by Barack Hussein Obama, nor Nancy Pelosi, nor Steny Hoyer, nor any like-minded revisionists. Such contempt for our Constitution, such willful violation of their sacred oaths is a disgrace to the selfless dignity of generations of Patriots before them.

At present, we have a gang of outlaws at the helms of the executive and legislative branches. Under such despots, we are being unlawfully taxed without lawful representation. Sound familiar?

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

Mark Alexander
Publisher, PatriotPost.US

Title: 2010 Elections: Pelosi-Reid vs. Madison
Post by: DougMacG on October 29, 2009, 10:20:01 AM
From the previous post: ""If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one..." - James Madison

Perhaps the upcoming referendum on the direction of congress should be entitled:

Pelosi-Reid vs. Madison
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Freki on October 29, 2009, 09:22:45 PM
Alexander's Essay – October 29, 2009 is very good.  Hat tip to Crafty!
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Rarick on October 30, 2009, 05:45:52 AM
One of the other boards I frequent has an "Oathkeepers project" going I understand it made some appearances on MSM recently.  It is just reminding Law and Military about their oaths to protect and defend the constitution.  It may provide some wiggle room if and when the break with these jokers finally comes? :roll:

I just hope that not too much damage is done by this apparent "print it, see if we can get away with it" policy.  He was elected president, not king.

Title: Noonan
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 30, 2009, 10:09:48 AM
The new economic statistics put growth at a healthy 3.5% for the third quarter. We should be dancing in the streets. No one is, because no one has any faith in these numbers. Waves of money are sloshing through the system, creating a false rising tide that lifts all boats for the moment. The tide will recede. The boats aren't rising, they're bobbing, and will settle. No one believes the bad time is over. No one thinks we're entering a new age of abundance. No one thinks it will ever be the same as before 2008. Economists, statisticians, forecasters and market specialists will argue about what the new numbers mean, but no one believes them, either. Among the things swept away in 2008 was public confidence in the experts. The experts missed the crash. They'll miss the meaning of this moment, too.

The biggest threat to America right now is not government spending, huge deficits, foreign ownership of our debt, world terrorism, two wars, potential epidemics or nuts with nukes. The biggest long-term threat is that people are becoming and have become disheartened, that this condition is reaching critical mass, and that it afflicts most broadly and deeply those members of the American leadership class who are not in Washington, most especially those in business.

It is a story in two parts. The first: "They do not think they can make it better."

I talked this week with a guy from Big Pharma, which we used to call "the drug companies" until we decided that didn't sound menacing enough. He is middle-aged, works in a significant position, and our conversation turned to the last great recession, in the late mid- to late 1970s and early '80s. We talked about how, in terms of numbers, that recession was in some ways worse than the one we're experiencing now. Interest rates were over 20%, and inflation and unemployment hit double digits. America was in what might be called a functional depression, yet there was still a prevalent feeling of hope. Here's why. Everyone thought they could figure a way through. We knew we could find a path through the mess. In 1982 there were people saying, "If only we get rid of this guy Reagan, we can make it better!" Others said, "If we follow Reagan, he'll squeeze out inflation and lower taxes and we'll be America again, we'll be acting like Americans again." Everyone had a path through.

Now they don't. The most sophisticated Americans, experienced in how the country works on the ground, can't figure a way out. Have you heard, "If only we follow Obama and the Democrats, it will all get better"? Or, "If only we follow the Republicans, they'll make it all work again"? I bet you haven't, or not much.

This is historic. This is something new in modern political history, and I'm not sure we're fully noticing it. Americans are starting to think the problems we are facing cannot be solved.

Part of the reason is that the problems—debt, spending, war—seem too big. But a larger part is that our federal government, from the White House through Congress, and so many state and local governments, seems to be demonstrating every day that they cannot make things better. They are not offering a new path, they are only offering old paths—spend more, regulate more, tax more in an attempt to make us more healthy locally and nationally. And in the long term everyone—well, not those in government, but most everyone else—seems to know that won't work. It's not a way out. It's not a path through.

And so the disheartenedness of the leadership class, of those in business, of those who have something. This week the New York Post carried a report that 1.5 million people had left high-tax New York state between 2000 and 2008, more than a million of them from even higher-tax New York City. They took their tax dollars with them—in 2006 alone more than $4 billion.

You know what New York, both state and city, will do to make up for the lost money. They'll raise taxes.

I talked with an executive this week with what we still call "the insurance companies" and will no doubt soon be calling Big Insura. (Take it away, Democratic National Committee.) He was thoughtful, reflective about the big picture. He talked about all the new proposed regulations on the industry. Rep. Barney Frank had just said on some cable show that the Democrats of the White House and Congress "are trying on every front to increase the role of government in the regulatory area." The executive said of Washington: "They don't understand that people can just stop, get out. I have friends and colleagues who've said to me 'I'm done.' " He spoke of his own increasing tax burden and said, "They don't understand that if they start to tax me so that I'm paying 60%, 55%, I'll stop."

He felt government doesn't understand that business in America is run by people, by human beings. Mr. Frank must believe America is populated by high-achieving robots who will obey whatever command he and his friends issue. But of course they're human, and they can become disheartened. They can pack it in, go elsewhere, quit what used to be called the rat race and might as well be called that again since the government seems to think they're all rats. (That would be you, Chamber of Commerce.)

And here is the second part of the story. While Americans feel increasingly disheartened, their leaders evince a mindless . . . one almost calls it optimism, but it is not that.

It is a curious thing that those who feel most mistily affectionate toward America, and most protective toward it, are the most aware of its vulnerabilities, the most aware that it can be harmed. They don't see it as all-powerful, impregnable, unharmable. The loving have a sense of its limits.

More Peggy Noonan
Read Peggy Noonan's previous columns

click here to order her new book, Patriotic Grace
.When I see those in government, both locally and in Washington, spend and tax and come up each day with new ways to spend and tax—health care, cap and trade, etc.—I think: Why aren't they worried about the impact of what they're doing? Why do they think America is so strong it can take endless abuse?

I think I know part of the answer. It is that they've never seen things go dark. They came of age during the great abundance, circa 1980-2008 (or 1950-2008, take your pick), and they don't have the habit of worry. They talk about their "concerns"—they're big on that word. But they're not really concerned. They think America is the goose that lays the golden egg. Why not? She laid it in their laps. She laid it in grandpa's lap.

They don't feel anxious, because they never had anything to be anxious about. They grew up in an America surrounded by phrases—"strongest nation in the world," "indispensable nation," "unipolar power," "highest standard of living"—and are not bright enough, or serious enough, to imagine that they can damage that, hurt it, even fatally.

We are governed at all levels by America's luckiest children, sons and daughters of the abundance, and they call themselves optimists but they're not optimists—they're unimaginative. They don't have faith, they've just never been foreclosed on. They are stupid and they are callous, and they don't mind it when people become disheartened. They don't even notice.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on October 30, 2009, 02:42:52 PM
Noonan expresses the feelings I expressed in my last post under the health care thread.
Title: Moving Forward in VA
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on October 31, 2009, 07:40:32 AM
The new GOP model
Last Updated: 4:39 AM, October 31, 2009
Posted: 12:25 AM, October 31, 2009
The Republican Party has no national leaders. Its stand ing with voters is at an all- time low. It battens itself on an ideological purity that turns off the center and can't appeal to an increasingly suburban and diverse electorate. If it is not fated to go the way of the Federalists or the Whigs, it is certainly a spent force.

This is the rote obituary for the GOP that the left can't resist. It is all the more alluring for its elements of truth: A party that holds neither the presidency, the House nor the Senate won't be stacked with national leaders. In polls, the GOP is still suffering from its Bush-DeLay hangover.

Yet, in Virginia this year, this death notice has been shown to be both dated and premature. It foolishly extrapolates from political conditions a year ago that have already drastically changed and assumes that Republican candidates will never adjust to new circumstances. Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell has run a model campaign for the Obama era, energizing the right and winning the center in a tour de force directly on President Barack Obama's doorstep.

The battle over how to interpret the imminent defeat of the Democrat in the race, Creigh Deeds, has already begun. Democrats want to shrug it off as not surprising in essentially a red state, home to the former capital of the Confederacy.

Except Virginia has been trending blue. Obama won it 53-47. Since 1997, The Washington Post notes, a million more people live in the state, most of them minorities and many in the affluent northern suburbs. Democrats hold both US Senate seats; they won a majority in the state Senate in 2007; and they picked up three US House seats in 2008. Virginia is a swing state, even if Democrats don't like the way it's now swinging.

McDonnell is benefiting from some factors outside his control. Since 1977, Virginia has always elected governors from the opposite party as the president. And the Deeds campaign has often matched strategic purposelessness to tactical incompetence. McDonnell, however, has mostly made his own good fortune.

The White House contends Deeds fumbled badly by not basking enough in the reflected brilliance of Barack Obama. It fails to understand the reason he didn't. The cataract of spending at the federal level has turned off independents and created a political opening for limited-government conservatism that hasn't existed since Bill Clinton won the government shutdown fights of the mid-'90s. McDonnell has effectively hit Deeds on Obama-Pelosi issues that are unpopular in Virginia -- deficit spending, card check, cap-and-trade and the ban on offshore drilling.

While tough on Deeds, McDonnell has stayed upbeat, both substantively and in tone. He has unleashed a flurry of policy proposals. Focusing on the pocketbook issues of jobs, transportation and education, his ideas emphasize regulatory reform, competition and private-public partnerships. They are conservative but pragmatic, meant to appeal to nonideological voters. Polls have McDonnell beating Deeds on taxes, economic development, education, transportation and even "issues of special concern to women."

A few weeks ago, that last datum would have been a shocker. When a 20-year old graduate thesis McDonnell had written at Pat Robertson's university came to light, Deeds fastened for weeks on its inflammatory language. He managed only to convince voters he was running an issueless, negative campaign. Deeds narrowly leads on the issue of abortion. But guess what? People care about jobs more.

McDonnell's comportment has perfectly complemented his campaign -- relentlessly cheerful and moderate in demeanor. He's been gracious about Obama personally, even while excoriating him on issues. When a GOP candidate for the House of Delegates unleashed lunatic comments about resorting to "the bullet box" if Obama can't be stopped at the ballot box, McDonnell instantly rebuked her.

After Obama's sweep last year, liberals have talked as if Republicans will never win elections again. They will, and Bob McDonnell shows how.
Title: The Way Forward for Conservatives, comments with encouraging polling data
Post by: DougMacG on November 01, 2009, 08:30:47 AM
Republican is a brand name that is supposed to be larger than its conservative base to include moderates that share some of the philosophy (and  oppose Democrats).  There is always a struggle between factions in the party of whether to choose candidates with core conservative principles or to choose more centrist, compromising candidates for electability by appealing to moderates, independents and conservative Democrats.  In spite of media hype and conventional wisdom to the contrary, the centrists generally dominate, at least once they are elected,  because they know the more conservative base has nowhere else to turn while moderates can cross over any time they choose.

Another strategy would be for the candidate to have clear principles, limited government etc, and set a contrast with the opponent, then try to persuade voters in the middle why this philosophy is a better course.  There is always a risk that the opponent will move to the middle, but in this environment, with Pelosi-Obama and the Czars, that doesn't look like the case.

Individual Democrat incumbents and candidates for congress and senate make their own cases for independence and moderation especially in conservative districts and red states but their defining vote is really the first one when they decide on the leadership and who will control the committees.

Strange that with all the negative polling of the Pelosi congress, the generic ballot of the two parties is pretty even.  Real Clear Politics average of polls gives Dems about a 5 point edge consistently, but they are averaging polls that count anyone who answers the phone with other polls that attempt to measure likely or registered voters and get very different results.

Adding confusion to it all is that no one really knows what the tarnished brand name Republican means today.  In 2006 and 2008 it probably meant something akin to how well do you like the scorned President George W. Bush who was unable to communicate and all over the map with his stands on different issues from taxes, spending, deficits, entitlements, immigration, war, security, etc. and a congress that increased spending faster than anyone imagined possible.

What it most interesting today is that the 'conservative' brand name has never been better.  Take a look at this Gallup poll:

There was only a slight surge in liberalism during the elections of the Pelosi congress and the Obama adminstration and a great surge in conservatism now.  Latest numbers have Conservatives at 40%, Moderates at 36% and Liberals at 20%. 

Rasmussen has likely voters choosing more trust in Republicans over Democrats on ALL of the top ten issues in the country (story follows). 

It should NOT be a long shot or impossible task to paint this congress and this administration as too liberal/socialist for the nation and to form a winning coalition with some kind of consensus on some other way of governing this great country.   - Doug

Trust on Issues
Voters Trust Republicans More On 10 Top Issues

For the first time in recent years, voters trust Republicans more than Democrats on all 10 key electoral issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports. The GOP holds double-digit advantages on five of them.

Republicans have nearly doubled their lead over Democrats on economic issues to 49% to 35%, after leading by eight points in September.

The GOP also holds a 54% to 31% advantage on national security issues and a 50% to 31% lead on the handling of the war in Iraq.

But voters are less sure which party they trust more to handle government ethics and corruption, an issue that passed the economy in voter importance last month. Thirty-three percent (33%) trust Republicans more while 29% have more confidence in Democrats. Another 38% are undecided. Last month, the parties were virtually tied on the issue.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

A recent Rasmussen Reports video report finds that voters are more disappointed lately with Obama’s performance in dealing with corruption in Washington.

Among unaffiliated voters who see ethics as the most important issue, 26% trust the GOP more while 23% trust Democrats more. Most (51%) are not sure which party they trust.

On the highly contentious issue of health care, voters now give the edge to Republicans 46% to 40%. The parties tied on the issue last month, after Republicans took the lead on it for the first time in August.

Separate polling released today shows 49% of voters nationwide say that passing no health care reform bill this year would be better than passing the plan currently working its way through Congress. Most voters (54%) oppose the health care reform plan proposed by the president and congressional Democrats, but 42% are in favor of it.

On taxes, Republicans are now ahead of Democrats 50% to 35%, nearly doubling their September lead on the issue. Prior to July, the percentage of voters who trusted the GOP more on taxes never reached 50%. It has done so three times since then.

Thirty-eight percent (38%) of voters say cutting the federal budget deficit in half in the next four years should be the Obama administration's top priority, while 23% say health care reform is most important.

Republicans are down to a seven-point lead on immigration after enjoying a 13-point advantage last month. Recent polling shows that 56% think the policies of the federal government encourage people to enter the United States illegally.

Voters trust Republicans more on Social Security by a 45% to 37% margin, after the GOP trailed Democrats by two points on the issue in the last survey.

The president is proposing a one-time $250 payment to seniors who for the first time in years won't be getting a cost of living increase in their Social Security checks because inflation's down. While half of voters support this idea, they are more skeptical when told how much it will cost.

Republicans lead on the issue of education 43% to 38%. Last month Democrats had a five-point lead.

Voters also trust Republicans more on the handling of abortion 47% to 35%.

The GOP advantage over Democrats increased from two points to five in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot. Forty-two percent (42%) would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate while 37% would opt for his or her Democratic opponent.

But 73% of GOP voters nationwide think Republicans in Congress have lost touch with their voting base.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Rarick on November 10, 2009, 12:33:04 PM
Maybe if the Republicans moved to a more Libertarian stance, they would gain some more traction.
Title: Common Sense Conservatism
Post by: DougMacG on November 15, 2009, 11:39:24 AM
Rarick wrote: "Maybe if the Republicans moved to a more Libertarian stance, they would gain some more traction."

Not just libertarian as if that were just one possible direction to turn, but to truly make the honest reading and adherence to founding principles and constitutional limits on government that these elected officials are already sworn to uphold; that is what I would like to see.  Unfortunately, constitutional and libertarian labels remind people of candidates that tend to win about a half percent of the vote.  People see them as uncompromising on principles (a compliment in my book) but unworkable in today's society.  In other words, if you were sworn to these principles you could do nothing but dismantle most of the 'government' as we know it.  People envision disruption and riots in the streets.  The dependency we have created over the last half century or so is very real and not easy to repeal.

Another concept comes from the NY Pravda article just posted about Palin is the term 'common sense conservatism'.  One commentator during the last campaign looked at Palin's record as Governor and called it 'pragmatic conservatism' with the idea that supporters who expect her to govern with uncompromising conservatism will be sadly disappointed.

The key poiint in my mind is for the candidate or the leader to always know we need to turn, even with very small steps, in the right direction, toward limited government, founding principles, individual liberties and responsibilities and private sector solutions, not to pretend that we can dismantle huge programs overnight.

Another active non-candidate of this type is Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty who has been visiting Iowa, New Hampshire etc.  He is NOT a sweep you off your feet, charismatic candidate, but he is a level-headed, common sense conservative that opponents easily underestimate.  After plenty of ground testing efforts he hasn't broken out of the lower single digit support and probably won't until the bigger name, front runners start beating each other up.  What he has done is run, win and govern in a medium sized, blue to purple state - 2 terms. 

In terms of his home state polling, half of Minnesotans predict that he will win the nomination.  Amazing number considering most Americans haven't even heard of him, also a higher percentage than actially plan to vote for him if he is the nominee.

Picking Pawlenty wouldn't guarantee you a win in MN; his wins were against second rate candidates, not the leader of the free world with the support of the Chicago machine.  Picking Palin doesn't deliver you Alaska because that is already a red state.  Picking Mitt doesn't bring you Massachesetts (or Utah) nor does picking Huck bring you Arkansas, those are not swing states.  So this will all come down to political skill, positioning and presentation that can be effective across the heartland and in all the usual key states.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Rarick on November 16, 2009, 03:31:54 AM
Given Schwarzaneggers recent moves, I was wondering what he was up to, President is out because he isn't a citizen- right, but could he get rep. or senate?  I would not be surprised if the Kennedy clan finds a way to lever him in there.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 16, 2009, 06:56:02 AM
Why on earth would we be discussing that pussified weenie in the context of The Way Forward for the American Creed?!?
The Foundation
"They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare.... [G]iving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please." --Thomas Jefferson

PelosiCare is not about compassion -- it's about controlFor the Record
"Last Saturday [Nov. 7], at 11 o'clock in the evening, the House of Representatives voted by a five vote margin to have the federal government manage the health care of every American at a cost of $1 trillion dollars over the next ten years. For the first time in American history, if this bill becomes law, the Feds will force you to buy insurance you might not want, or may not need, or cannot afford. If you don't purchase what the government tells you to buy, if you don't do so when they tell you to do it, and if you don't buy just what they say is right for you, the government may fine you, prosecute you, and even put you in jail. Freedom of choice and control over your own body will be lost. The privacy of your communications and medical decision making with your physician will be gone. More of your hard earned dollars will be at the disposal of federal bureaucrats. It was not supposed to be this way. We elect the government. It works for us. How did it get so removed, so unbridled, so arrogant that it can tell us how to live our personal lives? Evil rarely comes upon us all at once, and liberty is rarely lost in one stroke. It happens gradually, over the years and decades and even centuries. A little stretch here, a cave in there, powers are slowly taken from the states and the people and before you know it, we have one big monster government that recognizes no restraint on its ability to tell us how to live." --Judge Andrew Napolitano

"Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi's constitutional contempt, perhaps ignorance, is representative of the majority of members of both the House and the Senate. Their comfort in that ignorance and constitutional contempt, and how readily they articulate it, should be worrisome for every single American. It's not a matter of whether you are for or against Congress' health care proposals. It's not a matter of whether you're liberal or conservative, black or white, male or female, Democrat or Republican or member of any other group. It's a matter of whether we are going to remain a relatively free people or permit the insidious encroachment on our liberties to continue. ... In each new session of Congress since 1995, John Shadegg, R-Ariz.,) has introduced the Enumerated Powers Act, a measure 'To require Congress to specify the source of authority under the United States Constitution for the enactment of laws, and for other purposes.' The highest number of co-sponsors it has ever had in the House of Representatives is 54 and it has never had co-sponsors in the Senate until this year, when 22 senators signed up. The fact that less than 15 percent of the Congress supports such a measure demonstrates the kind of contempt our elected representatives have for the rules of the game -- our Constitution. If you asked the questions: Which way is our nation heading, tiny steps at a time? Are we headed toward more liberty, or are we headed toward greater government control over our lives? I think the answer is unambiguously the latter -- more government control over our lives." --economist Walter E. Williams

The Gipper
"The difference between the path toward greater freedom or bigger government is the difference between success and failure; between opportunity and coercion; between faith in a glorious future and fear of mediocrity and despair; between respecting people as adults, each with a spark of greatness, and treating them as helpless children to be forever dependent; between a drab, materialistic world where Big Brother rules by promises to special interest groups, and a world of adventure where everyday people set their sights on impossible dreams, distant stars, and the Kingdom of God. We have the true message of hope for America." --Ronald Reagan

Political Futures
"Barack Obama told the House Democratic Caucus before the roll call vote on health care on Nov. 7 that they would be better off politically if they passed the bill than if they let it fail. Bill Clinton speaking to the Senate Democrats' lunch on Nov. 10 cited his party's big losses in 1994 after Congress failed to pass his health care legislation as evidence that Democrats would suffer more from failure to pass a bill than from disaffection with a bill that was signed into law. These were closed meetings, but we can safely assume that the two Democratic presidents also assured their fellow partisans that health care legislation would do all sorts of good things for the American people. We know Obama did say that Democrats should 'answer the call of history,' even though America has gotten along pretty well without government-run health insurance for some 220 years. But political calculations are always on politicians' minds. The two presidents were urging passage of legislation that has become increasingly unpopular as its provisions become more widely known. They were speaking at a time when Gallup tells us that only 47 percent of Americans think providing health insurance is a government responsibility, down from 69 percent just two years ago. So despite their assurances, it's unclear whether Democrats will be better off passing a bill or seeing one fail. In political discourse, it's often assumed that there is some clear path to a favorable outcome. But sometimes both paths lead down." --political analyst Michael Barone

"As an American, I am embarrassed that the U.S. House of Representatives has 220 members who actually believe the government can successfully centrally plan the medical and insurance industries. I'm embarrassed that my representatives think that government can subsidize the consumption of medical care without increasing the budget deficit or interfering with free choice. It's a triumph of mindless wishful thinking over logic and experience. The 1,990-page bill is breathtaking in its bone-headed audacity. The notion that a small group of politicians can know enough to design something so complex and so personal is astounding. That they were advised by 'experts' means nothing since no one is expert enough to do that. There are too many tradeoffs faced by unique individuals with infinitely varying needs. Government cannot do simple things efficiently. The bureaucrats struggle to count votes correctly. They give subsidized loans to 'homeowners' who turn out to be 4-year-olds. Yet congressmen want government to manage our medicine and insurance." --columnist John Stossel


Re: The Left
"In the late 1930s, the noted economist Friedrich Von Hayek wrote his landmark pamphlet 'Road to Serfdom,' laying bare the diseased skeleton of socialist/utopian thought that had permeated academia and the salons of his day. With an economy of words that showcased the significance of his conclusion, he pointed out the Achilles heel of collectivist dogma: for a planned economy to succeed, there must be central planners, who by necessity will insist on universal commitment to their plan. How do you attain total commitment to a goal from a free people? Well, you don't. Some percentage will always disagree, even if only for the sake of being contrary or out of a desire to be left alone. When considering a program as comprehensive as a government-planned economy, there are undoubtedly countless points of contention, such as how we will choose the planners, how we will order our priorities when assigning them importance within the plan, how we will allocate resources when competing interests have legitimate claims, who will make these decisions, and perhaps more pertinent to our discussion, how those decisions will be enforced. A rift forming on even one of these issues is enough to bring the gears of this progressive endeavor grinding to a halt. This fatal flaw in the collectivist design cannot be reengineered. It is an error so critical that the entire ideology must be scrapped." --columnist Joe Herring

We Depend on You
Title: PatriotPost
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 18, 2009, 01:54:27 PM
The Chronicle · Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Foundation
"The circumstances that endanger the safety of nations are infinite." --Alexander Hamilton

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Editorial Exegesis

"[Attorney General] Eric Holder's move to try the 9/11 masterminds in Manhattan makes it official: This administration has reverted to pre-9/11 'crime' fighting. Amid all the talk during the attorney general's surreal press conference of the 'crime' committed eight years ago, the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon wasn't even mentioned. Lest anyone forget, the military headquarters of the United States was attacked that day along with the Twin Towers. An entire wedge of the Ring was gutted when the Saudi hijackers slammed American Airlines Flight 77 into it. Nearly 200 military personnel were killed, along with the passengers and crew of the hijacked jet. The jet was a weapon used to attack the very center of our military. That was not a 'crime,' as some say. It was an act of war. And 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, along with the four other al-Qa'ida terrorist co-conspirators Holder wants to try, are no mere criminals. They are enemy combatants -- and should be treated as such. ... Holder clucked that the 'trials will be open to the public and the world.' And they will turn into circuses, playing right into the hands of the enemy. These trials will drag on for years, perhaps even decades, as defense lawyers file endless motions and appeals. Meanwhile, valuable intelligence about interrogation techniques and other methods we've used against al-Qa'ida will be revealed to the enemy during trial discovery. This move to a civilian court makes no sense at all, except viewed through a political prism. ... It will only remind people how much America has shrunk in the last nine months." --Investor's Business Daily

"The malice of the wicked is reinforced by the weakness of the virtuous" --British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

"We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst." --Irish novelist C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)

"If you are afraid to speak against tyranny, then you are already a slave." --author John "Birdman" Bryant (1943-2009)

"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." --American author Mark Twain (1835-1910)

"From indictment to trial, the civilian case against the 9/11 terrorists will be a years-long seminar, enabling al-Qaeda and its jihadist allies to learn much of what we know and, more important, the methods and sources by which we come to know it. But that is not the half of it. By moving the case to civilian court, the president and his attorney general have laid the groundwork for an unprecedented surrender of our national-defense secrets directly to our most committed enemies." --columnist Andrew McCarthy

"In the string of amazing decisions made during the first year of the Obama administration, nothing seems more like sheer insanity than the decision to try foreign terrorists, who have committed acts of war against the United States, in federal court, as if they were American citizens accused of crimes." --economist Thomas Sowell

"After 9/11, we fought back, hit hard, rolled up the Afghan camps; after the [Danish] cartoons, we weaseled and equivocated and appeased and signaled that we were willing to trade core western values for a quiet life. Watching the decadence and denial on display this last week, I think in years to come Fort Hood will be seen in a similar light. What happened is not a 'tragedy' but a national scandal, already fading from view." --columnist Mark Steyn

"President Obama traveled all the way to China to praise the free flow of information. It's the only safe place he could do so without getting heckled. With a straight face, Obama lauded political dissent and told Chinese students he welcomed unfettered criticism in America. Fierce opposition, he said, made him 'a better leader because it forces me to hear opinions that I don't want to hear.' How do you say 'You lie!' in Mandarin?" --columnist Michelle Malkin

"In the U.S., the call is for government control, through regulations, as opposed to ownership. Unfortunately, it matters little whether there is a Democratically or Republican-controlled Congress and White House; the march toward greater government control continues. It just happens at a quicker pace with Democrats in charge." --economist Walter E. Williams
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 19, 2009, 09:47:58 AM
Alexander's Essay – November 19, 2009

"It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth -- and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. ... For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it." --Patrick Henry
Sometimes the biggest lies come under cover of a truth.

Such was the case this week, when Barack Hussein Obama proffered this observation about deficits: "I think it is important, though, to recognize if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the U.S. economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession."

"Keep on adding to the debt"? From this, one might conclude that Obama has never suggested such a thing, and is truly concerned about deficits.

His revelation came amid discussion of tax reductions engineered to increase employment, as if our Constitution has a provision for that, anymore than for Obama's other proposals.

Obama is feigning concern about deficits now that there is discussion of tax cuts, which he concludes would increase deficits.

"At some point, people could lose confidence in the U.S. economy"? Like the Red Chinese, who hold more U.S. government debt than any other nation ($800 billion), and upon whom we are depending to fund more of our debt. No coincidence that Obama's remarks were made while on his most recent appeasement tour in Beijing.

"Even in the midst of this recovery"? What recovery?

Oh, the one that his $787 billion "hope-n-change" big-government payout package was supposed to ensure?

At the time of that proposal, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office offered this summary: "In the longer run, the [Obama] legislation would result in a slight decrease in gross domestic product compared with CBO's baseline economic forecast." Put another way, the CBO static scoring projected that Obama's big government pork giveaway would hinder economic recovery. Dynamic scoring by economists shows a much worse destiny.

But Obama warned, "If nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse."

Now, after a quick assessment of the Obama Recovery through October, one is stuck with the conclusion that his spending spree has resulted in 10.2 percent unemployment -- except, of course, in such places as Washington, DC, where government jobs are immune to recession.

That would be double-digit unemployment -- so now you know why Obama cleverly framed his recovery program in terms of jobs "created or saved." His administration announced that through October, the American Recovery Act had "created" or "saved" 640,329 jobs. However, a growing number of skeptics, even among his once-adoring media, found some very questionable accounting methods used to come up with that figure.

Asked about some of the discrepancies, Obama's Recovery Czar, Ed Pound, responded, "Who knows, man, who really knows?"

Recovery reality check: Remember when Obama claimed, "This is our moment, this is our time to turn the page on the policies of the past, to offer a new direction"?

That is a reference to Obama's v Reagan's policies, big government solutions v. free enterprise solutions.

Ronald Reagan's economic policies unleashed an unprecedented period of growth, which continued right up until the financial sector collapse in '08, a calamity resulting from policies implemented during the Clinton years, which undermined the values of derivatives used as collateral due. Those policies, as we now know, gave license for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to back high-risk loans to unqualified buyers, thereby setting the stage for the subprime mortgage meltdown and the crash of 2008.

Recall that in 2005, Sen. John McCain sponsored the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act, saying, "For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ... and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market. ... If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole."

McCain noted that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac regulators concluded that profits were "illusions deliberately and systematically created by the company's senior management."

McCain was right, but Democrats, including Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, ensured that nothing would be done to alter current practices at Fannie and Freddie. "These two entities ... are not facing any kind of financial crisis," Frank said at the time.

The net result of the derivative dilution was a crisis of confidence in the U.S. economy, second only to that which led to the Great Depression.

Remember when Obama claimed, "We are fundamentally transforming the United States of America"? Well, we're in mid-transformation, and how are things looking now?

Obama also said, "Generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was our time."

Indeed, his time to saddle them and their children with unprecedented debt, not only from his "stimulus" folly, but next up, ObamaCare, and then his job-killing cap-and-tax scheme.

If you think you can count on the administration's estimates of the true cost of ObamaCare, think again. The Washington Times recently reminded us of the estimated cost of Medicare shortly after Democrats implemented it in 1965. Then, it was predicted to cost $12 billion by 1990. In actuality, it cost $98 billion, which is to say the original estimate was short by more than a factor of seven.

In my home state of Tennessee, we've already been there and done that. Our state's version of ObamaCare, known as TennCare, implemented by Democrats in 1994 ostensibly to contain healthcare expenses, has quickly grown to consume more than a third of state revenues.

The CBO now says that the $1 trillion estimated cost of ObamaCare is "subject to substantial uncertainty." How's that for qualifying understatement?

As for the big picture, U.S. National Debt topped the $12 trillion mark this week, or approximately $39,000 for every man, woman and child in America, and the federal deficit that Obama now pretends to be concerned about hit a record high $1.42 trillion for fiscal year 2009.

Obama's administration projects that the national debt will top $14 trillion by this time next year, and my sense is that they're being modest. At the current pace, within 10 years our national debt will exceed our Gross Domestic Product.

Of these staggering debt figures, Obama now claims, "I intend to take serious steps to reduce America's long-term deficit because debt-driven growth cannot fuel America's long-term prosperity."

But, what's his real endgame?

We can be certain that Obama's solution to deficits will not be less government. Instead, it will be unprecedented tax increases, a.k.a., socialist redistribution of wealth, a.k.a., "the fundamental transformation of America."

The Tax Foundation now estimates that to offset deficits, "Federal income tax rates would have to be nearly tripled across the income spectrum," with the lowest bracket at 27 percent and the highest at 95. Even the CBO estimates that rates would have to exceed 80 percent, and that's before state and local taxes.

Do you get the picture, folks?

Obama will succeed in his effort to socialize the U.S. economy, using the tax code as his hammer and sickle, unless growing ranks of Americans object to the fact that he has no constitutional authority to do so.

In the meantime, Patriots, keep your powder dry.

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

Mark Alexander
Publisher, PatriotPost.US

Title: Patriot Post
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 20, 2009, 08:44:44 AM
Digest · Friday, November 20, 2009

The Foundation
"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." --Thomas Jefferson

Government & Politics
Health Care Cost Nightmare

Harry Reid claims his 2,000-page bill will reduce the deficit. He's quite the comedian.It's an accepted fact that no government program comes in on budget, and this maxim likely won't change with the health care legislation that recently passed the House. Republican analysis of the bill in the Senate Budget Committee reveals that a more realistic price tag for the House version, after the benefit provisions are figured in, comes to $3 trillion over 10 years, not $1 trillion as Democrats claim. The disparity comes from the fact that the taxes and fees meant to pay for the bill occur immediately, while major aspects of "reform" won't be implemented until at least 2013. Thus, the true cost of the plan won't reveal itself until well after the current president has stood for re-election.

Despite Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) assurances that the bill will lower health care costs, another report released this week by the nonpartisan Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services found that the House plan would actually raise costs by $289 billion over 10 years. Furthermore, Medicare would be cut by half a trillion dollars, leading to reduced benefits and services.

On that note, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced the Senate's 2,074-page, $849 billion version of the health care takeover plan. Reid has laid out an ambitious plan to pass HarryCare by Christmas.

The Senate bill clocks in a tad cheaper than the House version in part because many major provisions, such as the public option, would be delayed until 2014 -- one year later than the House bill. Reid also claims the bill will reduce the federal deficit by $650 billion in its second 10 years. A 2,000-page bill will reduce the deficit? That Reid is quite the comedian. Besides, while the Congressional Budget Office says the bill will reduce the deficit by $130 billion over 10 years, CBO cautions that its effect on the deficit over the following decade would be "subject to substantial uncertainty." That's comforting, isn't it?

Notably, the Senate bill includes a 40 percent tax on high-deductible "Cadillac" insurance plans (though, naturally, Congress' Cadillac plan is exempt) as opposed to the House's tax on the "rich." It also includes a 5 percent tax on elective cosmetic surgeries (how will Nancy feel about that?), which apparently helps pay for providing -- surprise -- federal subsidies for abortion.

Reid wants to hold a vote to begin debate as early as this weekend. He has "promised" not to use the procedural tactic of reconciliation, which would allow him to pass the bill with only 51 votes instead of the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster -- but experience shows how little we should trust Democrats' promises.

As for that prized debate, Harkin referred to a Republican call to read the full bill on the Senate floor as a political tactic, and he threatens that Democrats will hold a live quorum to keep everyone in the chamber while the reading is taking place -- which sounds awfully like a political tactic to us.

It's interesting that both parties seem to view the public reading of the bill as some sort of parliamentary game. Perhaps if public readings of proposed legislation took place all of the time, we would actually know what Congress is up to. What a novel idea.

Democrat senators who pride themselves as being deficit hawks will have a tough choice to make in the coming days and weeks. Will they support HarryCare, which makes them look like hypocrites when they face the voters next year and in 2012? Or will they do the right thing and stop this runaway entitlement before it shoots out of the gate?

The BIG Lie
Where is the constitutional authority for a federal mandate that individuals must buy health insurance?

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) says that one's easy: "The very first enumerated power gives the power to provide for the common defense and the general welfare. So it's right on, right on the front end."

For those who don't follow Sen. Merkley's brilliant explication, he refers to the Constitution's Preamble, which, among several other things, says that the Constitution was written to "promote the general Welfare," though the Preamble doesn't list enumerated powers.

Furthermore, James Madison, primary author of the Constitution, vehemently disagreed, writing, "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."

Thomas Jefferson likewise stated that if Congress could "do anything they please to provide for the general welfare ... t would reduce the whole instrument [the Constitution] to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please." For the simpletons in Congress, Jefferson concluded, "Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them." Regardless of what Senator Jeff Merkley says.

This Week's 'Braying Jackass' Award
"We even have blacks voting against the health care bill. You can't vote against health care and call yourself a black man." --race hustler Jesse Jackson, calling out Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL), the only member of the Congressional Black Caucus who dared to stray from the Democrat Plantation by voting against PelosiCare

Faith and Family: Shut Up, She Explained
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), like every other Democrat, could use a constitutional education. Oddly enough, though, the part of the Constitution DeGette needs brushing up on is the Left's favorite part: The First Amendment. Leftists have abused it for decades to hammer their agenda into our laws and culture. But they have also intentionally ignored its guarantee of the free exercise of religion. To them, the Constitution is just a scrap of paper written by dead white men. It's old and irrelevant today except for the few phrases that can be used to promote their socialism.

Regarding the health care legislative monstrosity working its way through Congress and the input of religious groups, DeGette said that "religiously-affiliated groups ... should be shut out of the process" because of their opposition to federal funding of abortions. "Last I heard, we had separation of church and state in this country," she sulked. "I've got to say that I think the Catholic bishops and all of the other groups shouldn't have input."

As Family Research Council President Tony Perkins observed, "According to her, if a group of people who are in association with one another because of their Christian faith, they should not have a voice in the crafting of public policy. What she is asserting is that if your ideas and actions are a product of your faith, you're a second class citizen and your voice should not be heard."

New & Notable Legislation
The House passed Medicare "doc fix" by a vote of 243-183 Thursday. The bill would permanently fix the way doctors who provide care for Medicare patients are reimbursed. The projected cost of the fix is $210 billion over 10 years and it doesn't include a way to pay for it, meaning that while Barack Obama has changed his tune and is now decrying the deficit, the House is busy adding to it.

Legacy of the American Revolution
"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood. ... A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever. Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives." --John Adams

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At latest accounting, we still must raise $270,831 for the 2009 Annual Fund budget before year's end.
Title: Patriot Post
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 23, 2009, 08:30:43 AM
Brief · Monday, November 23, 2009

The Foundation
"All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree." --James Madison

Passing major legislation on Saturday night is a symptom of Potomac Fever

"Here's a new maxim: Nothing good ever happens when the Congress is in session on a Saturday night. As you know, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-Nev) cajoled, coerced, and co-opted Senators Mary Landrieu (D-La) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark) into adding the 59th and 60th necessary votes to prevent a GOP filibuster of Reid's health reform bill. Reid and Obama Administration officials relied on the time honored method (used by Republicans and Democrats) of getting recalcitrant Members to vote a certain way: Bribery which, in the real world, is a felony but in Washington it is called 'hardball.' In Sen. Landrieu's case the bribe was $300 million in Medicaid benefits to Louisiana. It's not even a close call. According to the website 'Total Criminal Defense,' 'Bribery is an attempt to influence another person's actions, usually a government or public official employee, by offering a benefit in exchange for the desired decision.' Three hundred million in return for a vote to proceed. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck... Landrieu is a better bribee than she is an accountant. She said in her floor speech that there was $100 million in the bill specifically to pay for Medicaid in Louisiana and only Louisiana. Talking to reporters afterward, she said, 'I will correct something. It's not $100 million, it's $300 million, and I'm proud of it and will keep fighting for it.' No reports, yet, on how angry White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel was when he found out she had been satisfied with the $100 million and he overpaid by a factor of three." --political analyst Rich Galen


"The 'reformers' in the White House and the House of Representatives have made all too plain their vision of the federal government's power to coerce individual Americans to make the 'right' health-care choices. The highly partisan bill the House just passed includes severe penalties for individuals who do not purchase insurance approved by the federal government. By neatly tucking these penalties into the IRS code, the so-called reformers have brought them under the tax-enforcement power of the federal government. The Congressional Budget Office stated on October 29 that the House bill would generate $167 billion in revenue from 'penalty payments.' Individual Americans are expected to pay $33 billion of these penalties, with employers paying the rest. Former member of Congress and Heritage Foundation fellow Ernest Istook has concluded that for this revenue goal to be met, 8 to 14 million individual Americans will have to be fined over the next ten years, quite an incentive for federal bureaucrats. ... By transforming a refusal or failure to comply with a government mandate into a federal tax violation, the 'progressives' are using the brute force of criminal law to engage in social engineering. This represents an oppressive, absolutist view of government power. ... The idea of imprisoning or fining Americans who don't knuckle under to an unprecedented government mandate to purchase a particular insurance product should outrage anyone who believes in the exceptional promises and opportunities afforded by our basic American freedoms. ... Unless this paternalistic juggernaut is stopped, Americans will lose some of their most fundamental freedoms, and the power of the federal government to impose novel requirements in every facet of our personal lives will have become virtually unlimited." --Brian W. Walsh & Hans A. von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation

"Tragically, this administration seems hell-bent to avoid seeing acts of terrorism against the United States as acts of war. The very phrase 'war on terrorism' is avoided, as if that will stop the terrorists' war on us. The mindset of the left behind such thinking was spelled out in an editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle, which said that 'Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the professed mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, will be tried the right way -- the American way, in a federal courtroom where the world will see both his guilt and the nation's adherence to the rule of law.' This is not the rule of law but the application of laws to situations for which they were not designed. How many Americans may pay with their lives for the intelligence secrets and methods that can forced to be disclosed to Al Qaeda was not mentioned. Nor was there mention of how many foreign nations and individuals whose cooperation with us in the war on terror have been involved in countering Al Qaeda -- nor how many foreign nations and individuals will have to think twice now, before cooperating with us again, when their role can be revealed in court to our enemies, who can exact revenge on them." --economist Thomas Sowell

Opinion in Brief
"By the time Obama came to office, KSM was ready to go before a military commission, plead guilty and be executed. It's Obama who blocked a process that would have yielded the swiftest and most certain justice. Indeed, the perfect justice. Whenever a jihadist volunteers for martyrdom, we should grant his wish. Instead, this one, the most murderous and unrepentant of all, gets to dance and declaim at the scene of his crime. [Attorney General Eric] Holder himself told The Washington Post that the coming New York trial will be 'the trial of the century.' The last such was the trial of O.J. Simpson." --columnist Charles Krauthammer

Re: The Left
"In modern America, the guilty are sanctified, while the innocent never stop paying -- including with their lives, as they did at Fort Hood [recently]. Points are awarded to aspiring victims for angry self-righteousness, acts of violence and general unpleasantness. But liberals celebrate diversity only in the case of superficial characteristics like race, gender, sexual preference and country of origin. They reject diversity when we need it, such as in 'diversity' of legal forums. After conferring with everyone at Zabar's, Obama decided that if a standard civilian trial is good enough for Martha Stewart, then it's good enough for the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. So Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is coming to New York! Mohammed's military tribunal was already under way when Obama came into office, stopped the proceedings and, eight months later, announced that Mohammed would be tried in a federal court in New York. In a liberal's reckoning, diversity is good when we have both Muslim jihadists and patriotic Americans serving in the U.S. military. But diversity is bad when Martha Stewart and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed are subjected to different legal tribunals to adjudicate their transgressions." --columnist Ann Coulter

For the Record

"[There are] uncanny parallels between George W. Bush and Herbert Hoover: Both were president during a time of economic crisis; both presided over vast expansions of government that helped cause the crisis or at least make it worse than it might have been otherwise; finally both were (inaccurately) portrayed by their political opponents as dogmatic free market advocates, when in fact both were highly statist. After leaving the presidency, Bush is unconsciously imitating Hoover in yet another way -- by rhetorically supporting free markets and criticizing the even more interventionist policies of his Democratic successor (which in both cases built on the expansions of government initiated by the Republicans who preceded them).... Bush's belated support for free markets follows in Hoover's footsteps. After leaving office in 1933, Hoover wrote books and articles defending free markets and criticizing the Democrats' New Deal. Some of his criticisms of FDR were well-taken. Many New Deal policies actually worsened and prolonged the Great Depression by organizing cartels and increasing unemployment. But by coming out as a free market advocate, the post-presidential Hoover actually bolstered the cause of interventionism because he helped cement the incorrect impression that he had pursued free market policies while in office, thereby causing the Depression. Bush's post-presidential conversion creates a similar risk: it could solidify the already widespread impression that he, like the Hoover of myth, pursued laissez-faire policies which then caused an economic crisis. ... The greatest contribution Bush can now make to free market policies is to dispel the impression that he pursued them while in office." --Ilya Somin, Associate Professor at George Mason University School of Law

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Faith & Family
"[W]hy is religious freedom such a concern to us as Christians? Freedom of religion is called the first freedom for a reason. Our Founding Fathers recognized that without freedom of conscience, no other freedom can be guaranteed. Christians, in fact, are the greatest defenders of religious freedom and human liberty -- not just for Christians, but for all people. Compare religious freedom in those countries with a Christian heritage to the state of religious freedom in Islamic nations, Communist countries, and Buddhist and Hindu nations, and you will see my point. The reason that Christians place such a high value on human freedom is that freedom itself is part of the creation account in the Bible. God made humans in His image. He gave us a free will to choose to love, follow, and obey Him, or to follow our own way. That free will, given us before the Fall, is part of human nature itself. Perhaps more than anything else, it was this understanding of individual freedom that turned me into the kind of patriot who would willingly give his life for his country. It was the words of the Declaration of Independence that inspired me to join the Marines: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.' So this question of human freedom goes to the very heart of who we are as Christians and as Americans." --author Chuck Colson

We Depend on You
Title: The Way Forward for conservatives:
Post by: DougMacG on November 26, 2009, 08:09:54 PM

If we don't want to go down this rat hole of socialism and decline, we better get clear right now about what it is exactly that we want, why that is a better path than the one we are on, and start speaking out, and writing, showing up, etc.  Whatever it takes.

The word for Republicanism of recent past might have been fogginess.  Sometimes the principles were ignored; sometimes sold, almost always they were compromised or invisible and inaudible.  Sometimes the policies were right but the explanations were wrong, missing or mumbled. 

We need clarity as in easy to understand, distinctness, precision.  Clarity as a consequence of being explicit.  Clarity where actions and words are consistent with clear, stated principles that our great nation has already agreed on.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 27, 2009, 08:07:16 AM
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Rarick on November 28, 2009, 03:34:37 AM
Clarity, and Polite IN-tolerance.  The polite tolerance is being misinterpreted.
Title: The Way Forward - VDH - Change We Can Believe In
Post by: DougMacG on November 30, 2009, 08:25:22 PM
Prof. Hanson writes a blog at Pajamas Media called Works and Days.   Most recent entry fits well into the discussion of the way forward and ideas for the points of the new contract with America, my personal favorite: moving the UN headquarters to Lagos!
 November 29th, 2009 9:24 am
Change We Can Believe In

So, fellow critics of Obama, what would we do instead? It is easy to harp, as Obama did in 2007-8, but hard to govern, as Obama learned in 2009. So for all the criticism, let us put up some sample proposals of our own.

Ok, try the following.

1. Pay as you go, balanced budget—whatever you wish to call a return to fiscal sanity. Conservatives need to stop talking about tolerable deficits in terms of GDP; and liberals should cease the charade that trillion-plus annual borrowing is great stimulus.

The psychological effect on the American people of paying down the debt through annual surpluses would be incalculable. “Decline” is as much psychological as real, and begins with perceptions of financial insolvency. We have a $11 trillion economy, so balancing the books is not impossible. Note how Obama intends to “address the deficit” only after he has set two budgets that will increase it by nearly four trillion dollars. Note how Bush’s sin of running up large annual deficits is used to excuse Obama’s mortal sin of doubling them. Note how Democrats, after lining up for a trillion-dollar federal take-over of health care, are worried about a multi-billion dollar expense in Afghanistan.  Cuts in defense, as the later Romans knew, are always the first reaction to profligate domestic spending and entitlement.

2. Freeze federal spending at the present rate, and let increased revenues balance the budget. The idea that we could ever cut outright the budget seems long ago impossible—given the culture of complaint and the melodramatic rants about starvation and murder if another entitlement is not granted. Still, some sort of leadership is required to remind the American people that much of what their government does is not just unnecessary, but counter-productive and they would be better off without it.

Apparently, Obama simultaneously believes (a) he can create a permanent loyal constituency of millions who either receive or disperse federal “stimulus”, in the fashion of the old Roman turba; (b )he can borrow so much money that higher taxes will be seen as vital and therefore the original intent of income redistribution accomplished; (c) that, having had little experience in the private sector, but much financial success as a community or government employee, he can assume that money comes out of thin air and is to be dispersed non-stop through public benefaction; (d) the upper-middle class, which strives to be as rich as he is, is somehow culpable. A common theme throughout history is a paradoxical hatred of the equestrian, productive class, by both the idle aristocratic and entitlement constituents, who hand in glove need each other.

3. Some sort of fair or flat tax that ends the trillion-dollar industry of tax preparation, avoidance, and fraud.  For about a quarter of the population April 15 is a spooky sort of Halloween. Instead, we need a tax system in which one can complete the necessary preparation in about 2 hours. Whose bright idea was it to excuse nearly half the American households from income tax exposure (Clinton and Bush, and now Obama?)—a fact that explains why in Pavlovian fashion recently Senators have been saying that we can add on a new war tax, a health-care surcharge, and a new high rate on “them”? The justification of a 40% income tax, 10% state income tax, 15.3% payroll tax, and new war and health care surcharge taxes can only be that one’s income was undeserved, ill-gotten, and thus better “rectified” by more enlightened federal redistributors.

4. Close the borders to illegal immigration, through completion of the fence, biometric IDs, employer sanctions, beefed up enforcement—coupled with a radical change in legal immigration law that favors education and skill, rather than simply family ties. The present mockery of existing law undermines the sanctity of every law. Those who knowingly break immigration laws, and know that they will not in the future be enforced, naturally assume that other laws likewise will not apply to them, from tax reporting to the vehicle code. We really must ask—why the national outcry over whether illegal aliens will be included in the new health care plan when $50 billion is sent back as remittances to Latin America each year? In rough math, each of the supposedly 11 million illegal aliens sends out on average around $4000-5000 per year southward. Perhaps we could tax remittances to fund their health care? Something is strange about the attitude of “I must send $400-500 a month home to support my family, but now I am broke and need someone to pay for my care at the emergency room, etc.”

5. A can-do energy plan. Offer tax incentives for development of nuclear power. Promote exploitation of gas and oil reserves in, and off, the United States, as a way to transition over 20 years to next generation fuels without enriching our enemies or going broke in the process. I never understood why nuclear power for electricity and natural gas/hybrids for transportation—we could be nearly energy independent through both—were declared environmentally incorrect when dotting pristine fields, deserts, and mountain passes with ugly wind turbines, acres of solar panels, and miles of access roads was considered “green.” Does Obama really think that the truther Van Jones knows more about power production than the head of a natural gas or oil company, or the engineer of a nuclear power plant?

Now the symbolic and randomly odd suggestions:

1. For grades 8-12, teachers could choose either the traditional credential or the MA degree in an academic subject. Few laws would have wider ramifications in curbing the power of the education lobby and its union partners, and vastly improve classroom teaching performance.

It would cost nothing and do more for educational progress than anything of the last three decades (high school students can sense who wrote a MA thesis on the Civil War and who got a teaching credential taking Bill-Ayers-like courses on race, class, and gender stereotyping). Why can PhDs and MAs in American history walk into a JC classroom, but not a high-school history class? Eliminate tenure for teachers and professors, replaced by 5-year renewable contracts, subject to completion of contracted targets on classroom performance and continuing education. The combination of a therapeutic curriculum, with an increasingly illiterate student, has resulted in a national disaster. Hint: when students arrive ill-prepared from dysfunctional families as was common in the last few decades, they need more math, grammar, and basics, not more self-esteem and “I am somebody” pep courses. Each year I taught, I was struck by the ever more common phenomenon of students ever less prepped in grammar, syntax, and “facts”, but ever more ready to expound on something—anything really—about themselves, usually with the theme of their own victimhood.

2. Transfer the UN headquarters to an African or South American capital closer to the problems of hunger, disease, and poverty. I suggest either Lagos or Lima. Global elites could not walk from five-star hotels  to the CBS studios to grandstand about US pathologies. But delegates could match their solidarity rhetoric by concretely living with the other. We would get away from the “U.S. did it”.  UN forces could ring UN headquarters when a nearby Chavez or Mugabe was rumored to be saber-rattling and crossing borders. When the Kofi Annans of the world got upset stomachs from their luncheon salads, perhaps they could address world sanitation and government corruption rather than Israel.

3. An end to affirmative action based on race. If “help” is needed, it should be based on class and income. Why should Eric Holder’s children be classed as in need while someone from the Punjab (of darker hue) or Bakersfield (with less capital) is considered ineligible? Why should a Carmel female at the corporate level be seen as progress, but not a son of Appalachian coal miners? The entire corrupt system is redolent of the 1/16 laws of the Old Confederacy, as almost every American is conning some sort of Ward-Churchill-like heritage to pull off what Ward Churchill did—get some edge over the competition for something that they otherwise might not obtain. Whether intended or not, affirmative action has become the pet project  largely of elites, who feel their own capital and insider connections will ensure their own do not suffer from the unspoken quotas they impose on others—as a sort of cheap psychological penance for their own guilt over their own privilege.

4. Return of the US Homestead Act and expand it to urban areas. Instead of redevelopment for wealthy insider grandees who tear down neighborhoods for convention complexes, state and local government should be encouraged to deed over idle properties to individuals willing to build homes and stay 10 years on the property. Shedding, not adding to, government land-owning makes more sense.  Who knows, one might find self-help recolonization projects in downtown Detroit. Maybe Californians and some of their industries might move to the empty top third of their state, rather than families paying $1 million for a 800 sq foot bungalow in congested Menlo Park.

5. Outlaw the naming of federal projects after any living politicians. Don’t laugh. Without their names on highway stretches, bridges, and “centers”, most of these projects would not be built. Once a senator or congress-person accepted that there would never, never be  “The Hon. Tadd Burris Community Center” or “Mt. Bud Jones Wilderness Area”, much of the earmarks would cease. What is the logic behind the notion that we immortalize a senator or congresswoman who uses someone else’s money to build a bridge, or lobbies for an earmark for his district, or, at best, simply does his job? Should carpenters get every fourth tract house named in their honor for their work? Should teachers have their classrooms forever emblazoned with their own names (Instead of “room 11,” we would get The “Skip Johnson English room”?)? Should doctors have surgery rooms with their own names on the door? People who give their own money have a right to eponymous monuments, but not those who do it as part of their job descriptions and with someone else’s capital. Our political class, not content with being increasingly corrupt, is now buffoonish as well. The career of the court-jester John Murtha is emblematic of the age.

There!—some modest suggestions for change we can believe in.
Title: WSJ: Whole Food Republicans
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 14, 2009, 09:05:13 AM
I think this piece makes some very good points.

The Republican Party is resurgent—or so goes the conventional wisdom. With its gubernatorial victories in Virginia and New Jersey, an energized "tea party" base, and an administration overreaching on health care, climate change and spending, 2010 could shape up to be 1994 all over again.

Maybe. The political landscape sure looks greener than it did a year ago, when talk of a permanent Democratic majority was omnipresent. But before John Boehner starts measuring the drapes in the Speaker's office, or the party exults about its possibilities in 2012, it's worth noting that some of the key trends driving President Barack Obama's strong victory in 2008 haven't disappeared. Republicans need to address them head-on if they want to lead a majority party again.

There are the depressing numbers on young voters (two-thirds of whom voted for Mr. Obama), African-Americans and Latinos (95% and 67% went blue respectively). But these groups have voted Democratic for decades, and their strong turnout in 2008's historic election wasn't replicated this fall, nor is it likely to be replicated again.

The voting patterns of the college-educated is another story. This is a group that, slowly but surely, is growing larger every year. About 30% of Americans 25 and older have at least a bachelor's degree; in 1988 that number was only 20% and in 1968 it was 10%.

As less-educated seniors pass away and better-educated 20- and 30-somethings take their place in the electorate, this bloc will exert growing influence. And here's the distressing news for the GOP: According to exit-poll data, a majority of college-educated voters (53%) pulled the lever for Mr. Obama in 2008—the first time a Democratic candidate has won this key segment since the 1970s.

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David Gothard
 .Some in the GOP see this trend as an opportunity rather than a problem. Let the Democrats have the Starbucks set, goes the thinking, and we'll grab working-class families. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, for instance, wants to embrace "Sam's Club" Republicans. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee pitched himself in 2008 as the guy who "looks like your co-worker, not your boss." Even Mitt Romney blasted "Eastern elites." And of course there's Sarah Palin, whose entire brand is anti-intellectual.

To be sure, playing to personal identity is hardly novel, nor is it crazy. Bill Bishop and other political analysts have noted that people's politics are as much about their lifestyle choices as their policy positions. Republicans live in exurbs and small towns, drive pick-up trucks or SUVs, go to church every Sunday, and listen to country music. Well-heeled Democrats live in cities and close-in suburbs, drive hybrids or Volvos, hang out at bookshops, and frequent farmers' markets. These are stereotypes, of course, but they also contain some truth.

Widening this cultural divide has long been part of the GOP playbook, going back to Nixon's attacks on "East Coast intellectuals" and forward to candidate Obama's arugula-eating tendencies. But with the white working class shrinking and the educated "creative class" growing, playing the populism card looks like a strategy of subtraction rather than addition. A more enlightened approach would be to go after college-educated voters, to make the GOP safe for smarties again.

What's needed is a full-fledged effort to cultivate "Whole Foods Republicans"—independent-minded voters who embrace a progressive lifestyle but not progressive politics. These highly-educated individuals appreciate diversity and would never tell racist or homophobic jokes; they like living in walkable urban environments; they believe in environmental stewardship, community service and a spirit of inclusion. And yes, many shop at Whole Foods, which has become a symbol of progressive affluence but is also a good example of the free enterprise system at work. (Not to mention that its founder is a well-known libertarian who took to these pages to excoriate ObamaCare as inimical to market principles.)

What makes these voters potential Republicans is that, lifestyle choices aside, they view big government with great suspicion. There's no law that someone who enjoys organic food, rides his bike to work, or wants a diverse school for his kids must also believe that the federal government should take over the health-care system or waste money on thousands of social programs with no evidence of effectiveness. Nor do highly educated people have to agree that a strong national defense is harmful to the cause of peace and international cooperation.

So how to woo these voters to the Republican column? The first step is to stop denigrating intelligence and education. President George W. Bush's bantering about being a "C" student may have enamored "the man in the street," but it surely discouraged more than a few "A" students from feeling like part of the team.

The same is true for Mrs. Palin's inability to name a single newspaper she reads. If the GOP doesn't want to be branded the "Party of Stupid," it could stand to nominate more people who can speak eloquently on complicated policy matters.

Even more important is the party's message on divisive social issues. When some Republicans use homophobic language, express thinly disguised contempt toward immigrants, or ridicule heartfelt concerns for the environment, they affront the values of the educated class. And they lose votes they otherwise ought to win.

The races in Virginia and New Jersey show what can happen when the GOP sticks to its core economic message instead of playing wedge politics. Both Republican candidates won majorities of college-educated voters. Their approach attracted Sam's Club Republicans and Whole Foods Republicans alike.

It's good news that America is becoming better educated, more inclusive, and more concerned about the environment. The Republican Party can either catch this wave, or watch its historic opportunity for "resurgence" wash away with the tides.

Mr. Petrilli is a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and a frequenter of the Whole Foods Market in Silver Spring, Md.

Title: The Time has come
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 17, 2009, 09:35:53 AM
Alexander's Essay – December 17, 2009

The Time Has Come
"It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth -- and listen to the song of that syren, till she transforms us into beasts. ... Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not?" --Patrick Henry
The 2008 presidential election was much more than a referendum on the two candidates; it was a referendum on the ability of a majority of Americans voters to discern between one candidate who possessed the character and integrity of a statesman, and one who did not.

A year ago, a majority of our countrymen were hoodwinked into electing a charlatan with dubious credentials to the highest constitutional office in the land. Since then, millions of Americans who had become complacent about the Leftist threat to our liberty have begun to realize that our Constitution is now suffering an unprecedented assault.

There were those of us who realized in 2004 -- back when Teddy Kennedy and John Kerry let him take center stage at the Democrat National Convention -- that Barack Hussein Obama was a Marxist. Nonetheless, too many of our countrymen were lulled into believing that no leftist politico with such abhorrent extra-constitutional views on the role of government could rise to be president of the United States.

The awakening that has occurred since November of '08 is like nothing I have witnessed since the first election of President Ronald Reagan in 1980. After the economic and foreign policy disasters created by the Carter administration, Americans were stirred to action. Yes, the election of Bill Clinton in 1992 resulted in a conservative takeover of the House two years later, but Clinton was far more moderate than Obama, and his election didn't inspire millions of Americans to arm themselves for the first time.

That Obama's election inspired a wave of conservative activism is good news.

The great news is that since last November, millions of Americans have joined our ranks.

And the momentum continues unabated.

I knew we were turning a corner a few months back, when an establishment Republican, typical of most such Republicans, told me that Obama's health care proposal "amounts to socialism." This same fellow told me a year earlier that calling Obama a Socialist was just too severe. When I reminded him of his earlier admonishment, he said simply, "My eyes are now open."

If Barack Obama has given us one thing of value, it is the opportunity to clearly discern between Left and Right, between rule of men and Rule of Law. He is the quintessential socialist, and his domestic and foreign policies present a contrast between tyranny and liberty that has rarely been so apparent. Many who have been hitherto reluctant to rise on behalf of liberty or have been too comfortable to be concerned by such conflict, are now making an ever-louder stand.

Benjamin Franklin aptly noted, "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."


Obama is the personification of Leftist philosophy and dogma, and in a turn of irony, for the clarity he has provided to that end we owe him a debt of gratitude.

Despite the fact that the Leftists in media and academia have had a stranglehold on public opinion, seating one of their own as president, which they believe is a great prize, may well be their undoing.

The once noble Democrat Party is now led by those who have turned the wisdom of their iconic leaders upside down.

Then: "My fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country." --John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, 1961

Now: "Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you."

Then: "I have a dream that my children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." --Martin Luther King, Address from the Lincoln Memorial, 1963

Now: "I have a dream that my children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the content of their character but by the color of their skin."

Today, Democrat Party Leftists deride the notion of individual rights. Instead, they advocate the supplanting of individual liberty with statism.

They promote the notion of a living constitution rather than the authentic Constitution our Founders established.

They despise free enterprise and advocate socialist redistribution of wealth, the ultimate goal of which is to render all people equally poor and dependent upon the state.

They loathe our military and our national sovereignty, and they propose to replace it with treaties that establish supranational governmental legal and policing authorities.

They detest traditional American values, and they support all manner of behavior resulting in social entropy.

Being debated right now is whether an additional 17 percent of the U.S. economy is going to be nationalized under ObamaCare, and whether the rest of the economy is going to be shackled by cap-and-trade taxes in addition to a plethora of other job-eliminating taxes on private sector employers.

Would it surprise you to know that, while Democrat impositions on lending practices are largely responsible for the fact that millions of Americans are now out of work, the number of government "workers" making over $100,000 per year has increased 30 percent since the beginning of the current recession? There are more than 10,000 bureaucrats earning more than $150,000 annually, and the average federal salary is $71,206, not including generous government benefits, while the average private sector salary is $40,331.

Obama and his Democrat Congress have endowed future generations, unless soon reversed, not with liberty but with historically unprecedented levels of debt, which will enslave them to hyperinflation.

Conservatives and liberals can argue various policy points ad nauseam, but the question Americans are asking in greater numbers is this: Are we a nation governed by Rule of Law or the contemporaneous opinions of men?

History provides us with repeated evidence that the terminus of nations that are governed by men rather than laws is tyranny. In the last century alone, hundreds of millions have been enslaved under statist dictators such as Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Franco, Hitler, Mao, Kruschev, Pol Pot, Ho Chi, Idi Amin, Castro, Hussein, Mugabe, Kim Jong-Il, Chavez, Hu Jintao and others. Who might be next?

Surely not us?

Obama has clearly delineated the difference between individual rights and statism, between free enterprise and socialism.

Alexander Hamilton said, "In disquisitions of every kind there are certain primary truths, or first principles, upon which all subsequent reasoning must depend."

Today, more and more Americans are returning to the core principles upon which our nation was founded, which made it the freest and most productive in history. There is a renewed commitment to support and defend Essential Liberty.

John Adams wrote: "Human nature itself is evermore an advocate for liberty. There is also in human nature a resentment of injury, and indignation against wrong. A love of truth and a veneration of virtue. These amiable passions are the 'latent spark' ... If the people are capable of understanding, seeing and feeling the differences between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice, to what better principle can the friends of mankind apply than to the sense of this difference?"

I believe that a supermajority of us are fully capable of understanding the truth, if given the right information and opportunity.

As Thomas Paine noted, "Such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."

Of course, Barack Obama and his liberal lawmaking brethren have done us great harm this past year, and it may take several election cycles, or a revolution, to turn that around. But, the fields are being plowed and seeds sown.

Ronald Reagan delivered an enduring challenge to conservatives entitled "A Time for Choosing": "You and I are told we must choose between a left or right," Reagan said, "but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism."

Patriots, the time has come to choose.

Reagan also outlined a plan for "The New Republican Party," stating, "The principles of conservatism are sound because they are based on what men and women have discovered through experience in not just one generation or a dozen, but in all the combined experience of mankind. When we conservatives say that we know something about political affairs, and that we know can be stated as principles, we are saying that the principles we hold dear are those that have been found, through experience, to be ultimately beneficial for individuals, for families, for communities and for nations -- found through the often bitter testing of pain, or sacrifice and sorrow."

If Republicans want to regain majority status, the RNC must purge those who have forsaken the first principles of conservatism for power. In their stead they must lift up those who are devoted to the Rule of Law and Essential Liberty, those who incorporate Reagan's charge, and that of generations of Patriots before him. They must back real conservatives instead of arrogant pretenders (see Toomey v. Specter). Short of bold new leadership, what remains of the Republican Party will end up on the trash heap of political irrelevance.

Patriots take heart: Do not wither during these difficult times. For as George Washington advised, "We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times."

Indeed, the next several years will be a vital test for Patriots and our countrymen. Let us choose to persevere, to make our cause that of all men, to make no peace with oppression.

In 1776, Peter Muhlenberg delivered a sermon, concluding, "There is a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away. There is a time to fight, and that time has now come." He removed his clerical robes and set out to command the 8th Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army.

Patriots, we have great opportunity before us, and once again the time has come to fight for it.

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

Mark Alexander
Publisher, PatriotPost.US
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on December 22, 2009, 08:08:47 AM
And he was a moderate R, now called RINO.

Perhaps I am a Rino.  I don't know.


Do you actually think the Republicans can win by simply "going back to their roots?"

IMO such talk is only singing to the choir.  This alone will not move that party into power.  This alone will not appeal to the middle which cans need.

It seems to me the electorate keeps going back and forth from one party to the other because they don't like either one.

It always seems to boil down to the lesser of two evils come election time.

Just my opinion.  I am certainly no expert on this.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 22, 2009, 08:40:45 AM
It is as much "the lesser of two evils" as it is "the evil of two lessers".  Character, integrity, and fidelity to certain ideals are both necessary-- and lacking in both the Patricians and the Demogogues.  The point is not "to win", the point is to speak, to persuade, and to act on behalf of what one believes.  I believe in the American Creed of our Founding Fathers, in the Declaration of Independence, and in our Consitution.

I have no interest in Republicans who seek to out-slut the Dems in destroying our country.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 22, 2009, 09:50:35 PM
How does one effectively counter this debating methodolgy?
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Freki on December 23, 2009, 06:23:40 AM
My father tells a story(and I am sure it is just that) about Pancho Villa.  He and his men are sitting on a hill overlooking a village in Mexico.  It is being sacked by the Federals.  Pancho's 2nd in command says,"come on Pancho lets ride down there and save those villagers".  Pancho says," No lets wait and let them suffer a bit more then when we ride down there the villagers will be very grateful for our help!"

Now I do not see how you can argue facts with the youth of this country.  They are rebelling against the conservative way of life trying to find their spot in the world.  They do not have enough experience to judge things factually so react emotionally which plays into the hands of the progressives.  The only thing that might get their attention is the hard knocks of life.  The question is can we afford the time to let them learn this way.(this is obviously a generalization there are exceptions I am sure)  I think trying to educate the populace with the facts and principles of our history and founding fathers is the primary thing to do, which as I said does not work on the youth.  It is a tough question and all I can think that will work is to learn from Pancho and wait a bit.  While I wait on the youth I still use this forum to frame the debate this country is in with the light of history.  I use many of the articles and quotes I find here to that end passing them along to my friends and family.  My thanks Gents and Ladies for that.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 23, 2009, 08:19:30 AM
My initial thoughts run along the lines of personality types:  Logic is the dominant modality in only 10% of the population whereas, IIRC, emotion is the dominant modality for LOTS more people (the other two are Sensation and Intuition).  How do we speak effectively to call to the heart on this issue?
Separately, though not directly on point but perhaps tangentially of interest is a technique I used the last time I ran for Congress (1992).  Whenever I would get asked one of those wooly-headed "caring" based questions I would answer with the following story, telling it as if it were literally true-- the punch line giving away that it had been a parable all along:
"I was sitting in the _________ restaurant during the afternoon, having a late lunch with a friend.  The only other people there were three people at a nearby table.  They finished and when they received their bill they got up and came over to us and gave it to us.  "What on earth do you think you are doing?"  I asked. 
They answered "There's three of us and two of you.  We had a vote.  You're paying."
And for the rest of the debate, anytime someone proposed some sort of govt. meddling/program, all I had to do was say as I looked at the crowd.  "They had a vote.  You're paying."
This seemed very effective.
PS:  It is spelled "Villa", not Via (pronounced (Vee-ya)
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on December 23, 2009, 03:01:13 PM
"Logic is the dominant modality in only 10% of the population whereas, IIRC, emotion is the dominant modality for LOTS more people"

This would certainly explain the continued undying blind support for Obama from American Blacks.

I cannot understand their continued support for a man who is giving away their country just when at the same time proved they can reach the top if they want to.

Why do they support a party that is more interested in giving away our benefits to those who are recent and illegal arrivals as opposed to those who came here legally or are the descendants of those brought here in chains?

The Rebublican party needs to see this opening.  They need to show Blacks the bigger picture.  Forget exponentially increasing Black reliance on government.  Obama is doing more damage to Blacks by hurting their country, by increasing their reliance on doles than any conservative.

The One gives us the lines about education, about self reliance all the while promoting just the opposite.  That is because it is not about American Blacks.  For Obama it is about leading the world.  It is about socialism, one government, one leader, total world control.  He is the greatest megalomaniac since I don't know when.  Hitler?  Napolean?  Ghengis Khan?  Alexander?

I guess the difference is soft vs military force.  Not just soft tyrrany but "soft" world domination.
Title: National Tea Party forming?!?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 28, 2009, 03:29:33 PM
Title: Newt Gingrich
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 30, 2009, 10:19:05 AM
Title: Newt, The Way Forward
Post by: DougMacG on December 30, 2009, 10:36:42 PM
Newt is very impressive, reminds me of the Newt of old, challenging the establishment before he won the majority and the speakership.  He speaks without teleprompter and almost without notes.  If an election were about ideas and issues he would be quite an adversary for the current President.  

I like that he does not name Obama.  It is not enough to stand against one man, candidate or administration; the argument is against a line of thinking or governing that takes us in the wrong direction.  The urgency to bring down Hillary once seemed paramount, but the agenda grew stronger without her.

He makes a point I agree with but think many will find controversial, that the 'weakest' branch (judiciary) should not run roughshod over the two elected branches.  

Another point I like is that he challenges BOTH parties to engage in common sense thinking.  I doubt he has any pull within the Dem. party but the challenge is right on the money.  Security, healthy economy, liberty and privacy - these should not be partisan, only the smallest details should be our differences.  Like the Ben Nelson situation, if moderate and reasonable Dems can't find traditional and successful American principles in the politics of their leaders then they may cross over as they did with Reagan.
Title: The Way Forward?
Post by: DougMacG on January 01, 2010, 11:22:35 AM
Received this from a friend on the RNC written by a fellow committeeman who fled Communist China as a young man, seeking freedom.  He writes about fighting for freedom and holding the party, its candidates, and its officeholders accountable to the voters for their faithfulness to conservative principles. (published in the Wash. Times)

As others have described it, the 'big tent' strategy is to stand consistently for solid and proven principles like freedom, prosperity and security and invite all to join us, not as our opponents do - to calculate each demographic's special interest and compromise on principles enough to eek out a majority.

Solomon Yue:

On Jan. 29 in Honolulu, the 168-member Republican National Committee, the Republican Party's governing body, will debate a resolution over whether the RNC should continue to finance candidates who do not support many key principles in the party's platform. The resolution would set a standard -- some call it a "litmus test" -- to judge whether a candidate qualifies for RNC financial support.

Last month, the special congressional election in New York was a fiasco because the RNC backed liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava over a conservative Republican who wound up running on the Conservative Party line. Mrs. Scozzafava then quit and endorsed the Democrat candidate, who went on to win.

That raised some profound questions: Should the RNC maintain a balance between simply electing more Republicans on the one hand and ensuring that those elected defend the party's conservative principles on the other? To regain public trust, should the RNC match deeds with words by offering concrete steps to hold elected Republicans accountable?

As an immigrant from Communist China, I never had freedom until I got to the United States in 1980. I joined the Republican Party because of Ronald Reagan's pro-freedom agenda. He hastened the fall of the "evil empire" by putting unbearable pressure on its long-crumbling economy. Millions were liberated.

Back then, the Grand Old Party stood for freedom. But I began to share the tea-party activists' frustrations about broken promises, from earmarks to deficit spending. Those broken promises represented this party's failure to stand for principles.

After the 2008 defeat, broken promises continued, with the usual lip service. Republican leaders asked voters to trust them to reassert party principles, while some continued to back the stimulus bill, deficit spending, cap-and-trade plans and Obamacare. Those Republicans not only continued to erode the party's brand name, but also aided and abetted President Obama's march to socialism. Some fear that a candid debate could relegate the Republican Party to indefinite minority status; that the party needs those promise-breakers for a "big tent" to regain the majority.

During the debate at the RNC on a resolution declaring the Democratic agenda as socialist, party leaders put their concern for how the media perceived them above their standing up for conviction. Some of us ask, "At what price?" and wonder whether the tent is big enough for the tea-party activists.

While the RNC debated what the Republican Party should call the Obama agenda, individual freedom eroded at an accelerated rate. The activists saw Republicans as those who voted to take away not only their freedom, but also their children's and grandchildren's freedom while the party stood by. They perceived the GOP's failure to defend individual freedom as its acceptance of partial tyranny for the sake of "bipartisanship."

The anger at an out-of-control Washington has driven those activists to protest in town halls and a march on Washington. They blame both parties for taking away their freedom. I can see their point, since I am now partially owned by the same tyrannical regime that I thought I escaped 29 years ago: China remains the number one holder of U.S. bonds, valued at $799 billion.

The Republican Party is at a crossroads. The fear of becoming a permanent minority party, which caused the RNC not to hold Republican leaders accountable, now becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The latest Rasmussen polls showed, despite Republican victories in New Jersey and Virginia, a generic "tea-party" candidate in a 2010 congressional race would finish ahead of an unnamed Republican, by 23 percent to 18 percent.

The Whig Party's failure to stand up for black freedom gave birth to the Republican Party. What would happen to this party if it fails to stand for individual freedom? A political party ceases to exist when it no longer stands for principles. If the Republicans were to break into two or three smaller parties, would this Republic survive eight years of Mr. Obama's socialism?

After broken promises and more broken promises, would another "trust us" approach, without any teeth, be enough to save the Republican Party? Clearly, it is not enough. The RNC must offer concrete steps to ensure that party leaders will defend freedom.

First, the RNC must close the credibility gap caused by ideological inconsistencies. If this is the party of small government, lower taxes, less spending, free enterprise and individual freedom, the RNC must make sure candidates not only run as fiscal conservatives, but also govern that way.

Second, the Republican establishment must resist the urge to endorse a moderate candidate in a contested primary. This not only is divisive, but also raises questions about the party's commitment to conservatism. It further undermines the trust the RNC wants to rebuild.

Finally, the RNC must hold the party's elected lawmakers accountable to the voters by matching their promises with their records when their funding requests are considered.

Facing extinction as a party, the Republican Party must not fail. Benjamin Franklin reputedly said on the adoption of the Constitution, "We have given you a republic - if you can keep it."

Making elected Republicans accountable is one way to keep the republic.

• Solomon Yue, an Oregon businessman, is an elected member of the Republican National Committee and a founder of two conferences within the RNC: the 24-member Republican National Conservative Caucus and the 96-member Conservative Steering Committee.

Title: Glenn Beck
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 05, 2010, 05:47:49 AM
See today's entry in the Glenn Beck thread.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on January 05, 2010, 08:36:01 AM
I must admit I have called Rush a blow hard and sometimes he is just that.

But I was worried when he was reportedly in the hospital.
The thought of losing him is the thought of losing this country to liberals.

I don't always agree with him but I feel that we need voices like him to preserve this country or we are lost.
As yet there are no politicians who can do what he does.  There is no one on the horizon who can help us get us back to where we are track to stay the greatest place on the planet.

Liberals are dead set on giving it all away - for votes. for power, for their own enrichment.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: G M on January 05, 2010, 08:59:28 AM
I'ver never been much of a Rush fan. Frankly, his time is past. Beck and younger voices that can appeal to 18-35 year olds are who need to be cultivated and pushed to the forefront.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Rarick on January 06, 2010, 02:26:40 AM
Rush was a breath of fresh air, but now he is one of many advocates.  I hope he can continue to be around tho'.
Title: Patriot Post
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 07, 2010, 08:54:51 AM
"All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of superintending providence in our favor. ... Have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need His assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without His notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?" --Benjamin Franklin
I have been asked on occasion what most defines the difference between conservatives and liberals. There are, of course, many clear delineations between our diametrically opposed philosophies, but there is one that is defining.

Conservatives, The Patriot variety, serve a higher calling -- First Principles -- a calling superior to their own self-interest -- with the objective of enhancing individual and national liberty for the benefit of all.

Ideological liberals, on the other hand, no matter what the cause, tend to be motivated by pathological egocentrism, which generally correlates with the acquisition of power and the suppression of liberty.

The opposition between these competing philosophies is an expression of the light and dark sides of humanity. The struggle between liberty and tyranny is as old as mankind, and though our nation was founded on constitutional Rule of Law -- republican government in support of liberty -- the assault on freedom has been constant since our founding.

However, while this attack is more vigorous today than at anytime in our history, liberty will prevail.

Here, I give you just one small example of why I know that liberty, the Light, the Truth, will trump the darkness of tyranny.

Every year since we launched PatriotPost.US as a touchstone for Patriots across the nation, we have had significant growth over the previous year, both in readership and revenue, which has ensured our growth in successive years.

We are chartered as a "for profit" business (so we can exercise our First Amendment rights without IRS permission) but are donor based, and like most other public interest organizations, we raise most of our operating revenue within the last two months of each year. Needless to say, this highly irregular business model causes some heartburn for our bankers, accountants and legal team -- not to mention your executive editor.

In 2008, as we were ramping up our year-end fundraising campaign, economic collapse coincided with the election of über-Leftist Barack Hussein Obama, though that may have been no coincidence. I prepared to make the necessary cuts to scale our operation to what the economy would support. But much to my relief, our readers fully funded our budget (oh me of little faith).

This year, I was even more apprehensive about sustaining our mission, not to mention the modest budgets of our young staff and their families. However, I am pleased to report that, once again, thanks to Patriots across the nation, we met our budget requirements in full. More remarkable is the fact that PatriotShop.US -- all sales proceeds from which support our mission -- experienced a year-over-year sales increase of more than 30 percent.

I deduce three conclusions from these donor and sales results.

First, our readers are not, in the words of Thomas Paine, "summer soldiers and sunshine patriots." You, fellow Patriots, are cut from the same cloth as our Founding Fathers and all American Patriots throughout our history. You do not "shrink from the service of our country" when times are tough.

Second, these results indicate that a broad swath of Americans are taking a much more active stand for liberty, for now that they see its antithesis in the Oval Office and Congress, they have a tangible example of tyranny in action.

Third, concern for the preservation of liberty is so endemic that we received funding from many readers who fall within three groups from which we do not ask support: Military personnel, students and those in the mission field, or who otherwise have limited income. The letters below are representative of many we received from Patriot donors in those groups.

"I have been a reader of The Patriot for 10 years. I know you do not seek support from uniformed Patriots, but as a Marine officer and combat veteran of two wars, one who understands the full implications of my oath to 'support and defend' our Constitution against enemies 'foreign and domestic,' it gives me great pleasure to support the 'Voice of Constitutional Conservatism.'"

"As a student with no income other than what I earn through summer internships, I have a very limited budget. But the value of The Patriot to my education and growth has been incalculable. Consequently, I make my small but sincere contribution. My one regret is that any amount donated to The Patriot will never adequately reflect its worth."

"I just made a donation, even though I was laid off last month and am still unemployed. I receive The Patriot every day and I have been putting off a donation because I didn't think I could afford it. I realize now that I can't afford not to support this beacon of liberty."

"As a retired command fighter pilot with more than 500 hours in combat, I am honored to support the vital work you are doing for our great nation. Every day, I look forward to The Patriot and its inspiration to reaffirm my devotion to our Constitution."

These words speak volumes.

Though we have a long way to go to restore the integrity of our Constitution, we should all take comfort in the fact that America's strength, her Patriot defenders, are standing up and standing firm, and our ranks are growing. Indeed, the time has come.

And the Left is taking note.

Just this week, two senators, a member of the house, a governor and a lieutenant governor, all members of the once noble Democrat Party, announced that they will not seek re-election in 2010.

This is good news, for it is the strongest indication that all the activism this past year is taking its toll. But the great news, the unwavering verity upon which we can all depend in good times and bad, is, in the words of that wise sage Ben Franklin, "God governs in the affairs of men."

This year, and the two that follow, present enormous challenges for all who want to restore Rule of Law. We are mindful of the enduring words of George Washington at the dawn of American liberty: "We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times."

In 2010, The Patriot will respond to the exigency of our times, in part, by sponsoring the Essential Liberty Project. Clarity of mission and purpose -- First Principles -- are needed now, more than ever.

Let's make this a year to which our posterity will point and say, "They rose in defense of Liberty," a year that overflowed with Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Thanks to all of you for your support and for your steadfast loyalty to our Constitution and Republic. Make peace with no oppression and keep your powder dry!

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

Mark Alexander
Publisher, PatriotPost.US
Title: The Way Forward, yesterday's Patriot Post
Post by: DougMacG on January 08, 2010, 10:25:41 AM
I appreciate the Patriot Post, but on behalf of the dearth of liberal posters here I take offense with this:

"Ideological liberals, on the other hand, no matter what the cause, tend to be motivated by pathological egocentrism, which generally correlates with the acquisition of power and the suppression of liberty."

I draw a distinction between conservative Americans who support founding principles and elected Republicans who pass trillion dollar budgets with earmarks the same as their opponents.  Same distinction goes for the liberal path.  True liberals have some foggy vision of a community utopia where everyone has a fair share of what they need and live happily ever after.  We need not insult them; we need to articulate the flaws and downsides of their ideas.  It is the elected  phony liberals who pray off them for their votes to build their power, make deals, pay back special interests and chop away at our few remaining freedoms.

The true liberal out there doesn't see minimum wage law or single payer healthcare as a federal power grab or anything else other than trying to make the world we live in a better place.  You must take that view on, head-on, and demonstrate why that does not make a better world.

Luckily the proportion of true liberals out there hovers at only about 17-21%, see below, in spite of the fact that almost no one is persuasively arguing WHY a larger nanny state is a bad idea.
Title: WSJ: Young guns 2
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 08, 2010, 10:36:02 AM

Thank you for that.


Through the tall trees of northern Wisconsin, Republican Sean Duffy is stalking a giant. The 38-year-old district attorney is talking fiscal responsibility, job creation, entitlement reform. He's scoring Washington for higher taxes, and for a health-care takeover. He's Facebooking and Twittering. He comes across as a serious yet positive reformer, a combo that has caught the public's eye.

He'll need that eye, and more, since his Goliath is one David Obey, Democratic head of the Appropriations Committee, the liberal bull who has occupied Wisconsin's Democratic-leaning 7th congressional seat since before Mr. Duffy was . . . born. That the Republican is getting some traction says something about how bitter voters are with the Democratic agenda. It says something equally important about a nascent GOP effort to rebrand the party.

Meet the new Young Guns.

The recent wave of Democratic retirements bodes well for Republicans. Yet they are still largely winning by default. The public doesn't like the Democratic agenda, but it hasn't forgotten the GOP's own corruption and loss of principle. And crafting a new image is a tough haul for a minority that is stuck responding to events, and that is still populated by many of the same, entrenched faces.

What is happening instead is a real (if underreported) effort to reshape the party from the bottom up—to, in effect, repopulate it with a crop of reformist candidates in the midterm. Behind the effort are three congressmen—Wisconsin's Paul Ryan, Virginia's Eric Cantor and California's Kevin McCarthy.

In 2007, Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard profiled this trio as the "Young Guns" of the GOP. Hailing from different parts of the country, from different perspectives, what the three shared was a core belief in fiscal conservatism, a wonkish interest in tackling systemic government failures (budget, entitlements), and an ability to connect to younger voters.

At a recent interview, Rep. McCarthy remembers that not long after the article, the three sat down and vented frustration that party leaders seemed more interested in protecting old faces than investing in new talent. Inspired by Mr. Barnes's label, they began the Young Guns program, to recruit and bring along a new generation of House Republicans.

In the 2008 election, the program singled out 24 conservative candidates, providing them money and help. Seven went on to win in the GOP wipeout. Several of the victors—Texas's Pete Olson, Florida's Tom Rooney—are already proving to be aggressive new voices. Pete Sessions, who took over the National Republican Congressional Committee, was impressed enough to bring the program within the committee structure and expand it.

Participation in Young Guns today is more challenging. Candidates must hit benchmarks to qualify for the title, money and support; 47 candidates are working to qualify. And what exactly is a prospective Young Gun? It isn't as mapped out as Newt Gingrich's Contract With America. Yet it also isn't Rahm Emanuel's famous Red-to-Blue program, which simply ran candidates—regardless of ideology—who could win.

Mr. McCarthy says Young Guns tend to "fit their district." What they have in common is "that they are all fiscal conservatives" who believe in entrepreneurship and limited government. Many were already unhappy with Republican earmarking and spending, and the bailouts and deficits have provided a new focus on cleaning up government and tackling crony capitalism.

Most are running bread-and-butter economic campaigns, similar to Virginia Gov. Elect Bob McDonnell's. They are folks like Stephen Fincher, a farmer running for retiring Democratic Rep. John Tanner's Tennessee seat, or Frank Guinta, mayor of Manchester, challenging New Hampshire's Carol Shea-Porter. Mr. McCarthy is quick to note these are not backroom-anointed candidates, a la Dede Scozzafava in New York. In some districts, more than one prospective Young Gun is running in a primary.

Wisconsin's Mr. Duffy describes it this way: "I'm running because this is the fight of my generation. The prior one fought the Cold War, before that it was World War II. But our fight is becoming one for the principles of free markets and against creeping socialism." He's targeting Mr. Obey for writing the $787 billion stimulus, highlighting Democrats' failed economic program. The DA (who is also a professional lumberjack athlete) is crisscrossing the district to warn about rampant spending, Medicare cuts, higher taxes and overregulation.

But he's also aware that Republicans can only shake a tarnished reputation by embracing a modern, reform agenda. He's been laying out conservative alternatives to government-run health care. He's honest about the coming entitlement bomb. He's proposing a flatter, smarter tax code. In his first fund-raising quarter, he raised $140,000—a record for the district.

Young Guns is no panacea. Party leaders are still searching for a clear message. The NRCC is struggling to raise money to support its recruits. Voters remain skeptical of the GOP, and the environment may improve for Democrats as the year goes on.

Yet what the program does suggest is some of the GOP's heavy hitters are giving thought to the party's future. Given the Republicans' recent years of wandering, that's a start.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on January 08, 2010, 07:22:33 PM
It is so hard to put conservatism on a bumper sticker, but I think I finally got one:

America, Too Big to Fail

I'm visualizing a new national campaign platform where we propose to break this failing, drifting, expanding, authoritarian, bureaucratic enterprise into smaller pieces before it's too late - say 50 of them.  Let each one be self-governing except for just those functions that can done best by a centralized, consensual  government, like national defense, interstate commerce and a federal court system.  Put it all in writing, maybe in a constitution, requiring strict limits on federal powers, ratify it and then HONOR it.  Put in a clause making it difficult but possible to amend this constitution.  Require super-majorities of house senate and the state legislatures to make ANY change, otherwise NO crossing the line on the limits of central government power.  Then let we the people decide the other issues - closer to home.

Am I on the right track?
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on January 08, 2010, 08:04:11 PM
What a series of novel concepts, Doug.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Freki on January 08, 2010, 08:09:09 PM
I just had deja vu  :wink: :roll: :-D
Title: POTH: GOP Grief and Grieving
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 09, 2010, 08:46:38 AM

G.O.P. Grief and Grieving
Published: January 8, 2010

The attack on the Republican establishment by the tea party folks grabs the gaze like a really bad horror flick — some version of “Hee Haw” meets “28 Days Later.” It’s fascinating. But it also raises a serious question: Are these the desperate thrashings of a dying movement or the labor pains of a new one?

My money is on the former. Anyone who says that this is the dawn of a new age of conservatism is engaging in wishful thinking on a delusional scale.

There is no doubt that the number of people who say that they are conservative has inched up. According to a report from Gallup on Thursday, conservatives finished 2009 as the No. 1 ideological group. But ideological identification is no predictor of electoral outcomes. According to polls by The New York Times, conservative identification was slightly higher on the verge of Bill Clinton’s first-term election and Barack Obama’s election than it was on the verge of George W. Bush’s first-term election.

It is likely that Republicans will pick up Congressional seats in November partly because of the enthusiasm of this conservative fringe, democratic apathy and historical trends. But make no mistake: This is not 1994.

This is a limited, emotional reaction. It’s a response to the trauma that is the Great Recession, the uncertainty and creeping suspicion about the risks being taken in Washington, a visceral reaction to Obama and an overwhelming sense of powerlessness and loss.

Simply put, it’s about fear-fueled anger. But anger is not an idea. It’s not a plan. And it’s not a vision for the future. It is, however, the second stage of grief, right after denial and before bargaining.

The right is on the wrong side of history. The demographics of the country are rapidly changing, young people are becoming increasingly liberal on social issues, and rigid, dogmatic religious stricture is loosening its grip on the throat of our culture.

The right has seen the enemy, and he is the future.

According to a Gallup report issued this week, Republicans were more than twice as likely as Democrats and a third more likely as independents to have a pessimistic outlook for the country over the next 20 years. That might be the fourth stage of grief: depression.

So what’s their battle plan to fight back from the precipice of irrelevance? Moderation? A stab at modernity? A slate of innovative ideas? No, their plan is to purge the party’s moderates and march farther down the road to oblivion.

Erick Erickson, the incendiary editor of the popular conservative blog RedState, appeared on “The Colbert Report” on Monday and said that “no one really knows what a Republican is anymore.”

Split hairs about labels if you must, but the Republican brand already has begun a slow slide into obscurity. And turning further right only hastens its demise. Quiet as it’s kept, many in the party know this. That, alas, is called acceptance.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: michael on January 09, 2010, 09:47:35 AM
I think the tea party movement is alive and well, and spurred on by folks like Glen Beck, Sara Palin, et al. Another group that is gaining traction is Tim Cox's group, "GOOH---Get Out of our House". GOOH was began by Tim Cox and completely financed by him up to this point. He is well off financially, and does not want anyone's money until they reach 500,000 members, which they are well on their way to reaching. Once they reach 500,000 members, he has a plan to replace every member of the House of Representatives with folks from GOOH, who are tested and agree to vote by their stated goals. Their website is: Very interesting concept, and there is a growing number of American's that are sick and tired of the liberal, socialist government now in place. 2010 and 2012 will be very interesting election years.
Title: Well the author is from the NYT
Post by: ccp on January 09, 2010, 10:14:06 AM
I think the liberals are on the wrong side of history.  Have they ever heard of capatilism?  Democracy?  Freedom?

What makes this guy decide that socialism, gigantic control of every aspect of our lives by government, endless expansion of entitlements, giving up American soveriegnty is on the side of history?

These things were already tried and mostly failed.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 09, 2010, 10:34:03 AM
The reason I posted his piece is because it addresses the Republican Party.

Do YOU think the Republican Party stands for Free Minds and Free Markets?

Do you think the Reps are going to fare well with the already built into the pipeline demographics of the American people?  And what happens if/when amnesty and immigration deform are voted in?  :-o

Do you think the Reps are going to fare well with a population educated by the DOEducation, public schools, our Universities, and People magazine?

Do you think the Reps are going to fare well when most voters don't pay taxes?
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on January 10, 2010, 04:10:09 PM
Answers to questions
That is why I am not for a strictly conservative platform.  I don't think it can win.  That is why I think strict conservatism/Reaganism is dead.  Some feel it was the cans trying to be democrats during the W years that did it.  Not strict conservative.
Perhaps they are right.  I really can't figure it all out.

It does give me some hope when i see some Blacks on Glenn Beck speaking about conservative values - how refreshing.
If only we could convince more of this group that they would be better off in the long run if they embrace this rather than let crats literally give their country away like they are doing.  I can only wonder that many Blacks are so engrained to "even" the score for past injustices that they are now (IMO) shooting themselves in the feet while they are trying to get even with Whites.

But I digress, and back to your points,

Yes Democrats are winning the war on demographics by confiscation and bribery.

It seems most of the world has been moving towards freedom and capitalism so I meant in those terms crats are on the wrong side.

But you are right, I may have miscontrued his point -
We in this country are now moving away from freedom and capitalism and  yes what Charles Blow claims appears to be true.  It appears the Cans are on the wrong side of the trends you point out.

Actually if Bama had his way he would abolishment the concept of *country* altogether and there would be one world government that would control everything and everybody.  And in his mind, ideally, he would be the ONE running it.

To me this is plainly obvious.  I don't know how many others either don't seem to get it or frankly simply agree with the "plan" and therefore he still maintains some degree of popularity.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 10, 2010, 06:00:11 PM
I think what Glenn Beck is doing communicating with black Americans is quite interesting and potentially quite powerful.

It starts in the opening seconds of the show, wherein MLK is shown as a Founding Father to be mentioned as an equal of Washington and Jefferson. (Coincidentally enough something that I have been doing for a couple of years now in the Founding Fathers thread on our SCH forum)  It continues there with the iconic civil rights era foto of a civil rights protester carrying a sign "I AM somebody."  And the point is driven home in a variety of ways during the show.  Nothing forced, nothing phony, nothing condescending.  

PS:  I think the fact that white American voted for BO had a very powerful effect on black America's perception of white America that has the potential for a deep paradigm shift.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on January 11, 2010, 07:51:16 AM
"PS:  I think the fact that white American voted for BO had a very powerful effect on black America's perception of white America that has the potential for a deep paradigm shift."

Could you explain a little more detail what you mean?  I think I read you but could you clarify?

There is nothing more I, and I believe, all Republicans would like, than to have more Blacks come on board with us.
If only they would look at what I believe is the larger context rather than the quick "we'll give you quick cash and benes now" with the underlying but *unspoken* truth that you will become and thus remain OUR servants - meaning the Dem party and the government.

Why can't Blacks see themselves as field hands for governement?

Are there any Blacks on this board?

I hope I don't offend anyone but this seems to me a letigimate question.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on January 11, 2010, 09:55:21 AM
Crafty's point of a paradigm shift is logical but I don't think true at least in the short run. There are many reasons more blacks should identify more conservatively in their politics, yet we see no statistical move that I am aware of.   America proved they could elect a black man President and all black children were shown they could become anything they want, even President of the United States.  Black voters however did not transcend race.  Faced with nearly identical politics in the primaries, they almost universally identified with just the one candidate.

Following the race based excitement of the last election, I think turnout will drop in the off-year without Obama on the ballot and much of the excitement will be worn off by 2012.  By then I think the race identification fades - he is a politician serving as President with a record to judge - whatever that will be in 2012.  Are you better off...  But lower turnout is different than oining a free market paradigm for example.

I saw a list of all Presidents with their photo on a card from an inner city school.  I first thought this is great, they are learning all of the Presidents at a young age.  As I scanned through the photos to the end I realized this was all about highlighting the historic nature of the last election (43 white men followed by President Obama), and they perhaps should be proud in a predominantly black neighborhood.  But not all day every day instead of math and science.

When the excitement wears down a little, it would be nice to shift the discussion in every neighborhood back to economic policies that expand opportunities, national security issues, school choice, constitutional liberties etc. instead of who looks like what or as Harry Reid said 'speaks without a negro dialect'.
In the inner city politics they talk of welfare rights, social justice and voting to keep the programs coming.  Many very Marxist themes like taking more from those who can afford to pay more and success of groups like ACORN at opposing things like property owner rights.  Nobody seems to ask the question in the most crime ridden and welfare dependent areas, how is this all working out for you?

Elsewhere some brilliant, artculate, thoughtful black conservatives put out wonderful opinion pieces, from Thomas Sowell to Clarence Thomas, Walter Williams, JC Watts, even Michael Steele.  I am afraid they are admired mostly by white conservatives.  I see Keith Ellison's operatives taking his material from house to house in the neighborhoods regularly, knocking on every door and ready to engage in discussion.  I don't see anyone doing that for black conservatives.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 11, 2010, 10:09:00 AM
I think Glen Beck is leading the way here.

And frankly, I think WE have to see the potential here instead of staying mired in the "patricians and demogogues" feedback loop.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on January 11, 2010, 11:31:43 AM
"I think Glen Beck is leading the way here." - Look forward to hearing more on that.  I'm not seeing Fox News selected in the black non-conservative households I've been in, but they are number one and he is getting talked about.

And frankly, I think WE have to see the potential here instead of staying mired in the "patricians and demogogues" feedback loop.

That is a good point.  Our job is to make the case and get the information out.  I had trouble getting good numbers, but MN is 5% black, 3% Hispanic.  Republicans needed something like a 0.2% gain in their black vote for senate to prevent the 60th vote for govt run health care.  Or they needed to win 7/100th of a % of those who voted for the Independent and didn't want the Democrat either.  Or just 313 liberal dead people registered by ACORN to stay home and not vote.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on January 12, 2010, 08:24:23 AM
I found it fascinating to see Blacks on the cable shows vehemently disagreeing on Reid's comments.


I don't think I ever recall Blacks publically showing so much disagreement.

This proves they are not one block.

This proves they are willing to come out and publicaly disagree even when it is a Democrat they are speaking of.

Probably there are many who felt this way all along.  Perhaps it is only now we hear from so many more African Americans rather the darm MSM running and getting opinions from sharptons and Jacksons etc as though THEY speak for all Blacks.

If only Republicans can reach out to Blacks and LEGAL Latinos and convince them what I see as a truth that they are mistakenly letting the Democrat party hijack THEIR rights, their futures by giving it away to illegals and having  Pres who seems fit to down our country overseas and give away our soverienty to the UN, other nations, and his own delusions of megalomania.

The United States is their country too.  Not the governments.  Not the Democratic party.  Not Obama's.
It is not Obamas right to give us away.

If the Republicans can work on this type of approach then I believe we can win back Blacks to the party of Lincoln.

Why in the world are Blacks standing by and letting the Dems give away their country to illegals predominantly Latinos?

Wake up.
Title: POTH: Tea Party
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 15, 2010, 06:40:45 AM
HOLLAND, Pa. — The Tea Party movement ignited a year ago, fueled by anti-establishment anger. Now, Tea Party activists are trying to take over the establishment, ground up.

Across the country, they are signing up to be Republican precinct leaders, a position so low-level that it often remains vacant, but which comes with the ability to vote for the party executives who endorse candidates, approve platforms and decide where the party spends money.

A new group called the National Precinct Alliance says it has a coordinator in nearly every state to recruit Tea Party activists to fill the positions and has already swelled the number of like-minded members in Republican Party committees in Arizona and Nevada. Its mantra is this: take the precinct, take the state, take the party — and force it to nominate conservatives rather than people they see as liberals in Republican clothing.

Here, in a perennial battleground district outside Philadelphia, Tea Party activists are trying to strip the local committee of its influence in choosing the Republican nominee to run against Representative Patrick J. Murphy, a Democrat who won the seat in 2006 by about 1,500 votes.

After the local party said it would stick to its custom of endorsing a candidate rather than holding an open primary, Tea Party groups decided to hold their own candidate forum where people could cast a ballot. If the party does not yield, the groups say they will host a debate, too.

“We kind of changed the rules,” said Anastasia Przybylski, one of the organizers.

The Tea Party movement, named after the original tax revolt in 1773, might be better described as a diverse, rambunctious and Internet-connected network of groups, powered by grass-roots anxiety about the economy, bailouts and increasing government involvement in health care. At one extreme are militia members who have shown up at meetings wearing guns and suggesting that institutions like the Federal Reserve be eliminated. At the other are those like Ms. Przybylski, who describes herself as “just a stay-at-home mom” who became agitated about the federal stimulus package.

And if the Democrats are big-government socialists, the Republicans, in the Tea Party mind, are enablers.

In some recent polls, a hypothetical Tea Party wins more support than Democrats or Republicans, and the most anti-establishment Tea Party activists push to fight as a third party. But as the movement looks toward the midterm elections in November, a growing number of activists argue that the best way to translate anger into influence is to infiltrate the Republican establishment (Democrats being, for the average Tea Partier, beyond redemption).

“If you want to have revenge against the Republican Party for using you for so many years, the best way is to turn around and use the Republican Party to your advantage,” said Eric Odom, a Tea Party activist in Chicago who recently started a political action committee, and on his blog urged Tea Partiers to stop complaining about the Republican Party and “move in and take it over.”

Republican leaders have been trying to harness the Tea Party energy — Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, recently called the Tea Parties “a revelatory moment.”

“It puts in stark relief where the American people are, how they feel and what they feel,” Mr. Steele said. “It’s important for our party to appreciate and understand that so we can move toward it, and embrace it.”

Not all Republicans agree. Some say the party needs to broaden its reach, not cater to the fringe.

The defining experience for many Tea Party groups was the special election in the 23rd Congressional District of New York in November, where party leaders chose a candidate whom conservatives viewed as a Republican in name only — she supported same-sex marriage, abortion rights and the federal stimulus package. After activists flooded the district to support a conservative third-party candidate, the Republican dropped out and endorsed the Democrat, who won.

Conservatives took the Republican retreat as a victory, but also saw the power of the party structure in deciding who the candidates will be. The rallying cry for more local involvement has been “No more NY-23’s.”

“We don’t want to see what happened in New York happen here,” Ms. Przybylski said.

The forum here drew nine candidates and a standing-room crowd in an auditorium built for 1,200. The questions organizers had drawn up for the candidates hinted at the issues important to so called Teapublicans.

Will you pledge to vote against tax increases, even hidden taxes like those in health care reform? Should corporate executives who encourage illegal immigrants to stay because it is good for business be hauled off to jail? Do you believe manmade pollution is a significant contributor to global warming? (“I don’t necessarily think there’s been global warming,” one candidate objected.)

Each was asked to define the 10th Amendment, and to cite examples of where it “might have been violated.” “It’s my favorite amendment in the Constitution,” exclaimed one candidate, Ira Hoffman. “I can’t believe it!”

The amendment declares that powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution are reserved to the states or the people, and Tea Party activists hold that Congress has overstepped its bounds, particularly by legislating health care. So candidates were asked whether they would support efforts to nullify the health care bill?


(Page 2 of 2)

Finally, the moderator asked them if 2010 would be “the year of the Tea Party.” The candidates, and many in the audience, said it would, but only if the Tea Party advocates worked the system.

“I think we can do greater things working in a system that’s established than we ever can being a bunch of anarchists,” said Jennifer Turner Stefano, a vice president of a local Tea Party group who is contesting her local Republican committeeperson.
Ms. Stefano, a stay-at-home mother and former television reporter, will have to get 10 signatures and put her name on the ballot to run. But the National Precinct Alliance estimates that about 60 percent of the roughly 150,000 local Republican committee seats are vacant and can be filled by essentially showing up.

“Even if you’ve got a slight majority, you just need maybe 26 states, then you can have your say in how the party goes,” said Philip Glass, a former commercial mortgage banker in Cincinnati who is the national director of the precinct alliance.

The precinct strategy, like the Tea Party movement itself, has spread via the Internet, on sites like A National Tea Party Convention in Nashville next month will feature seminars on how to take over starting at the precinct level.

Advocates hold up the example of Las Vegas, where a group of about 30 people who had become friendly at Tea Party events last spring met to discuss how they could turn their crowds into political influence. One mentioned that there were about 500 open precinct committee positions in the local Republican Party.

They recruited other activists and flooded the committee — the Republican Party says it now has 780 committee people, up from about 300. In July, they approved a new executive committee, and Tony Warren, one of the organizers and a new precinct committeeman himself, said six out of seven executives are “constitutional conservatives,” in keeping with Tea Party ideology.

With the bulk of Nevada’s population in the Las Vegas area, the local committee was able to elect a conservative slate to the state party in December, including a state chairman who has said he wants to make the party “safe” for conservatives.

As recently as last spring, Mr. Warren said, “we didn’t even know how the darn party worked.”
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on January 15, 2010, 07:39:27 AM
This sound like....
Classic Clayton Christensian.
The 6'10" pituitary giant from Harvard and his "innovative disruption" that Gilder was so fond of.

There is no question the conservative talking heads are scared to death that the tea party will evolve/morph into a separate movement apart from the GOP.  The Hannities the Limbaughs the Levins are incensed at the idea the party will draw away from their power base.

I am not so sure I would mind if it did but more likely than not it would simply be shooting ourselves in the foot by *dividing* a group that would vote against Democrats.
Title: WSJ: The backlash is coming! The backlash is coming!
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 17, 2010, 04:33:57 AM

With characteristic hubris, people in this state like to think they've been at the leading edge of American politics since the "shot heard 'round the world" in 1775. And in the past few years, we've given the nation a preview of Barack Obama's presidential campaign with Deval Patrick's successful 2006 bid for governor; provided a critical boost for Mr. Obama's candidacy in the form of an endorsement by Edward Kennedy; and enacted a health-care law that is a template for ObamaCare.

But hubris has yielded to shock here at the possibility that the next political trend the Bay State might foreshadow is a voter backlash against the Democratic Party.

After Kennedy's death in August, few imagined there would be any problem replacing him with another Democrat in the U.S. Senate. It's been 16 years since Massachusetts elected a Republican to a congressional seat, 31 years since the last Republican senator left office. Gov. Patrick appointed a former Kennedy aide as the interim senator, and Democratic primary voters chose the well-regarded state Attorney General Martha Coakley as their nominee for the special election.

View Full Image

Associated Press
Martha Coakley
.That election, which will be held on Tuesday, was widely seen as a formality. Ms. Coakley coasted through the holiday season while the GOP challenger, little-known state Sen. Scott Brown, scrambled for traction.

The new year, however, brought polls showing the race tightening. This week a Rasmussen Reports poll gave Ms. Coakley a slim 49% to 47% advantage; a Suffolk University survey has Mr. Brown with a narrow lead. Independents are breaking for Mr. Brown by a three-to-one margin, Rasmussen finds. And many people do not realize that independents outnumber Democrats—51% of registered voters in the state are not affiliated with a party, while 37% are registered as Democrats and 11% as Republicans.

"Around the country they look at Massachusetts and just write us off," longtime local activist Barbara Anderson of Citizens for Limited Taxation and Government told me. "But people around here are really not happy with the extremes in the Democrat Party."

Those extremes are cropping up as issues in this race. One is giving civilian legal rights to terror suspects, which Ms. Coakley supports. Mr. Brown, a lieutenant colonel in the Massachusetts National Guard, hammered her for that even before Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up a Detroit-bound flight on Christmas Day. That incident has tried the patience of an electorate normally known for its civil libertarianism. Rasmussen's most recent survey found that 65% of them want Abdulmutallab tried by the military.

Another issue is taxes. Mr. Brown has scolded Ms. Coakley for supporting a repeal of the Bush tax cuts, for entertaining the idea of passing a "war tax," and for proclaiming in a recent debate that "we need to get taxes up." Ms. Coakley says she meant that tax revenues, not rates, need to rebound. Nonetheless, Mr. Brown's critique resonates with voters who are smarting from a 25% hike in sales tax last year.

Gov. Patrick's approval ratings have also crashed, fertilizing the soil for Mr. Brown's claim in a radio ad that "our government in Washington is making the same mistakes as our government here in Massachusetts."

But nothing excites Mr. Brown's supporters more than his vow to stop ObamaCare by denying Democrats the 60th vote they would need in the U.S. Senate to shut off a GOP filibuster. The Rasmussen and Suffolk polls report that once-overwhelming statewide support for the federal health reform has fallen to a wafer-thin majority.

Support for the state's universal health-care law, close to 70% in 2008, is also in free fall; only 32% of state residents told Rasmussen earlier this month that they'd call it a success, with 36% labeling it a failure. The rest were unsure. Massachusetts families pay the country's highest health insurance premiums, with costs soaring at a rate 7% ahead of the national average, according to a recent report by the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund.

Doubt about the Massachusetts health-care reform "does not necessarily translate into opposition to the federal bill," cautions veteran local Democratic strategist Stephen Crawford, who is not working for any candidate in the Senate race. "I don't think opposition to the plan is going to be a make-or-break issue." That's a far cry from the once widely-held belief here that the Democratic nominee would be hustled into office by voters eager to pass ObamaCare. But it reflects a conviction among local Democratic elites that antitax and anti-big-government politics are "a tired strategy, the same old Karl Rove playbook," as Mr. Crawford puts it.

On Tuesday, we'll have a reading on whether that complacency is justified. It may not be definitive; barely two in 10 voters voted in the primaries, and turnout, especially if it is short on independents, could render the outcome a road test for each party's get-out-the-vote machinery. Here that's akin to a drag race between a Democratic Cadillac fueled with high-octane labor support and a GOP go-kart driven by pedal power. But the long-range weather forecast for the Election Day is clear. There are anecdotal reports of brisk absentee voting, a practice often driven by the state's small but aggressive pro-life faction. And the polls show a sharp enthusiasm gap in Mr. Brown's favor.

Tellingly, the usually-demure Ms. Coakley has been scorching Mr. Brown with a tired strategy out of the Obama campaign playbook, linking him to "the failed policies of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney." Mr. Brown counters by linking Ms. Coakley to Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Deval Patrick—people actually in power.

Are we in for another shot heard 'round the world? Perhaps. More likely, listen for the sound of horse hooves on the pavement, and a modern-day version of Paul Revere's historic warning—the backlash is coming.

Mr. Keller is the political analyst for WBZ-TV and WBZ Radio in Boston.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 17, 2010, 06:32:01 AM
A bit of rabble rousing to fire up your day!
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on January 17, 2010, 12:51:47 PM
"On Tuesday, we'll have a reading on whether that complacency is justified. It may not be definitive; barely two in 10 voters voted in the primaries, and turnout, especially if it is short on independents, could render the outcome a road test for each party's get-out-the-vote machinery."

Doesn't this make one think we will be seeing another close call with endless legal challenges and murky counts and who knows what other shenanigans?

This article points out union's ability to get out their voters. 

I don't know how many "union" votes there are in Mass. but then one could thus ask about the timing of the recent sweetheart deal the legislatures just gave to the unions for the Federal health care bill.

It may not have been a coincidence.

Title: Newt Gingrich
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 23, 2010, 05:51:23 AM

PS:  Saw on FOX that Newt did not deny considering run for Presidency , , ,
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Rarick on January 23, 2010, 07:54:09 AM
Newt and Ron Paul?  in any combination?
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 23, 2010, 01:20:18 PM
FAR too much cognitive dissonance on foreign affairs, the War with Islamo-fascism etc.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: prentice crawford on January 23, 2010, 08:39:39 PM
 Newt, will forevermore leave his name hanging out there as a possible candidate but he will never run for any office again, at least not a serious run; he wants to keep himself in a position of relevancy as a Party leader and pundit but that's all.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 24, 2010, 09:26:42 AM
That certainly is a plausible analysis, but IMHO also plausible is that he wanted to run last time but thought that the others were starting too soon.  While he waited for his moment, Fred Thompson stole the thunder.  That Fred then wasted it is another subject. 

You may be right, but I am not ready to write Newt off yet.  If he decides to really make a go of it he could be really formidable.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Rarick on January 27, 2010, 06:50:34 AM
The Pres and V. Pres arguing it out in the office might actually hammer out something more effective than either of them alone.........   Either that or they go for a division of labor, the job is too big for one man right now anyway.
Title: Reagan's map for us
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 04, 2010, 08:45:40 AM
The Reagan Model for Restoration
"No man can well doubt the propriety of placing a president of the United States under the most solemn obligations to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution." --Joseph Story

Commander and ChiefThis week, we observe the anniversary of Ronald Wilson Reagan's birthday -- Reagan Day as it is known around our office.

Ronald Reagan was, and remains, the North Star of the last great conservative revolution -- and the next -- if more Republicans will abide by their oaths to Support and Defend our Constitution and abide by their own political party platform.

At the most recent Republican National Committee confab, some members proposed a "Unity Principle for Support of Candidates" resolution, which identified 10 conservative principles, at least eight of which Republican candidates must support in order to receive RNC funding.

The measure failed, perhaps because more than a few of the current crop of politicos who call themselves "Republican" could not pass muster.

Subsequent to that failed motion, some Leftist intellectuals (an oxymoron, I know, but play along) opined that, based on Reagan's record, not even he would have passed the test.

Of course, as Leftists are prone to do, they are contorting the record so it will comport with their hypothesis, or as Reagan said famously, "The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so."

What is clear about the Reagan record is that he both campaigned and governed on our First Principles, Constitutional Rule of Law and the basic tenets of Essential Liberty.

Unfortunately, at no time did President Reagan have Republican majorities in both the House and Senate, much less a super majority. Because of this, his conservative credentials were sometimes undermined by the opposition. This is most notable in the House's failure to abide by negotiated government spending cuts to social programs commensurate with the tax cuts and increased defense spending that Reagan enacted.

Reagan resurrected supply-side economics -- the real-world-tested fiscal policy that reductions in tax rates and government spending will invigorate the private sector economy, elevate GDP, resulting, ironically, in additional tax revenues even at the lower rates of taxation. But the principle works best only if reduced tax rates are accompanied by comparable reductions in government spending.

Democrats refused to cut spending, all while belittling Reagan's efforts as "trickle-down economics."

However, supply-side economics is so powerful that even though Democrat-controlled House budgets led to record deficits, Reagan's economic policies resulted in the largest peacetime economic surge in American history. This, of course, is in stark contrast to the "trickle-up poverty" of the current administration's past, present and proposed "economic recovery" plans.

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 Trickle Up Poverty sticker
Our high quality vinyl bumper sticker, sporting Obama's campaign logo, speaks for itself. Measures 3" x 9"

Typical of great statesmen, Ronald Reagan took no credit for our nation's economic recovery under his tenure. He was called "The Great Communicator" because of his ability to remind us of our nation's values, its character, its soul and its confidence, a far cry from the incessant apologizing and the political chicanery that characterize the Obama presidency.

"I wasn't a great communicator," President Reagan said in his farewell address, "but I communicated great things, and they didn't spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation -- from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries."

And what were those principles?

Back in 1964, shortly after Reagan parted ways with the Democrat Party ("I did not leave the Democrat Party. The Democrat Party left me."), he delivered a timeless challenge to conservatives entitled "A Time for Choosing": "You and I are told we must choose between a left or right," Reagan said, "but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right, There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism."

In 1977, Reagan outlined a plan for "The New Republican Party," stating, "The principles of conservatism are sound because they are based on what men and women have discovered through experience in not just one generation or a dozen, but in all the combined experience of mankind. When we conservatives say that we know something about political affairs, and what we know can be stated as principles, we are saying that the principles we hold dear are those that have been found, through experience, to be ultimately beneficial for individuals, for families, for communities and for nations -- found through the often bitter testing of pain, or sacrifice and sorrow."

He continued: "We, the members of the New Republican Party, believe that the preservation and enhancement of the values that strengthen and protect individual freedom, family life, communities and neighborhoods and the liberty of our beloved nation should be at the heart of any legislative or political program presented to the American people.

"Families must continue to be the foundation of our nation. Families -- not government programs -- are the best way to make sure our children are properly nurtured, our elderly are cared for, our cultural and spiritual heritages are perpetuated, our laws are observed and our values are preserved. ... We fear the government may be powerful enough to destroy our families; we know that it is not powerful enough to replace them.

"Extreme taxation, excessive controls, oppressive government competition with business ... frustrated minorities and forgotten Americans are not the products of free enterprise. They are the residue of centralized bureaucracy, of government by a self-anointed elite.

"Our party must be based on the kind of leadership that grows and takes its strength from the people. ... And our cause must be to rediscover, reassert and reapply America's spiritual heritage to our national affairs. Then with God's help we shall indeed be as a city upon a hill with the eyes of all people upon us."

In his 1981 inaugural address, President Reagan assured the nation: "The economic ills we suffer ... will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we, as Americans, have the capacity now, as we have had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom. In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."

Ronald Wilson Reagan appealed to the best in us.

His final words at the 1992 Republican convention reflect that appeal: "And whatever else history may say about me when I'm gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears, to your confidence rather than your doubts. My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty's lamp guiding your steps and opportunity's arm steadying your way. My fondest hope for each one of you -- and especially for young people -- is that you will love your country, not for her power or wealth, but for her selflessness and her idealism. May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will make the world a little better for your having been here. May all of you as Americans never forget your heroic origins, never fail to seek divine guidance, and never lose your natural, God-given optimism. And finally, my fellow Americans, may every dawn be a great new beginning for America and every evening bring us closer to that shining city upon a hill."

On the other hand, Barack Hussein Obama appeals to the worst in his constituents -- their fears, doubts, dependence on the state, greed and envy, brokenness, pessimism and sense of helplessness. He has twisted JFK's inaugural appeal to read: "Ask what your country can do for you, not what you can do for your country."

Ronald Reagan provided a timeless template for the restoration of our nation's economic and moral prosperity, and a return to First Principles and the Rule of Law. Once again, it is time for action, time to choose.
Title: The Tea Party
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 08, 2010, 05:34:41 AM TEA PARTY
"It's a leaderless movement" former House majority leader Dick Armey

The Tea Party movement in the US is an open source political protest.  It emerged due to a substantial loss of government legitimacy (primarily from the mishandling of the global financial crisis) and continues to percolate as legitimacy continues to drain away from the government (health care, banking reform, unemployment, foreclosures, bankruptcy, deficit, etc.).  Here's what open source means in this context:

•Lots of small local groups (and individuals), with a plethora of different motivations for action. 
•No barriers to entry.  Anybody can label themselves or their actions as part of the Tea Party.
•Lots of networked activity and cross movement communication.

As a movement, it is very similar to open source warfare and therefore shares many of the same dynamics.  Here are a few of them: 

•Its main value is systems disruption.  It can slow political processes.  It can say no (the name, "Tea Party" is derived from an act of disruptive, albeit non-violent, domestic terrorism directed at the government).
•There are lots of people trying to control it (grab the baton to lead the parade) and form it into a cohesive whole.  All of these efforts will fail.  Every attempt at control will be attacked and defeated by a majority of Tea Party groups/members.
•Swarms.  Groups will rapidly converge on attractive protest targets (typically signaled by media coverage via stigmergy). 
Traditionally, a failure by the government would result in a gain by the opposition party.  However, the peculiar dynamics of the two party system in the US works against this.  The two parties have converged into a single dominant party with roughly similar agendas.  Further, these parties have rigged the system to prevent third party formation.  As a result, there isn't a structured process to absorb this movement into the political system.  Here are some potential outcomes:

•It will merely damage the political party in power, preventing any action by saying no to everything (regardless of which political party is in power).  A future Republican government presiding over more loses of government legitimacy would yield movement growth and mutation.
•The Republicans will run an open source counter-insurgency against it, co-opting some of its member groups (not all) and using them to fight against the rest.  The result will be dissipation through infighting which will allow the Republicans to pick up former members.
•A new plausible promise emerges that allows it to grow and morph into something else (more of an insurgency than a political protest).  It's unclear if the environment is ripe for this yet.  A second financial crisis or recession downdraft may afford it.  Once it is ripe, all it takes is for one subgroup to demonstrate the plausible promise through action (for example:  a real and not a metaphorical Tea Party).
Title: WSJ: Tea Party Convention
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 13, 2010, 06:12:29 AM
Nashville, Tenn.

There were promises of transparency and of a new kind of collaborative politics where establishment figures listened to ordinary Americans. We were going to see net spending cuts, tax cuts for nearly all Americans, an end to earmarks, legislation posted online for the public to review before it is signed into law, and a line-by-line review of the federal budget to remove wasteful programs.

These weren't the tea-party platforms I heard discussed in Nashville last weekend. They were the campaign promises of Barack Obama in 2008.

Mr. Obama made those promises because the ideas they represented were popular with average Americans. So popular, it turns out, that average Americans are organizing themselves in pursuit of the kind of good government Mr. Obama promised, but has not delivered. And that, in a nutshell, was the feel of the National Tea Party Convention. The political elites have failed, and citizens are stepping in to pick up the slack.

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Associated Press
Angela McGlowan enters the GOP primary to represent Mississippi's First District.
.This response has brought millions of Americans to the streets over the past year, and brought quite a few people to the posh Opryland Resort (with its indoor waterfalls and boat rides, it's like a casino without the gambling) for the convention.

Pundits claim the tea partiers are angry—and they are—but the most striking thing about the atmosphere in Nashville was how cheerful everyone seemed to be. I spoke with dozens of people, and the responses were surprisingly similar. Hardly any had ever been involved in politics before. Having gotten started, they were finding it to be not just worthwhile, but actually fun. Laughter rang out frequently, and when ne w-media mogul Andrew Breitbart held forth on a TV interview, a crowd gathered and broke into spontaneous applause.

A year ago, many told me, they were depressed about the future of America. Watching television pundits talk about President Obama's transformative plans for big government, they felt alone, isolated and helpless. That changed when protests, organized by bloggers, met Mr. Obama a year ago in Denver, Colo., Mesa, Ariz., and Seattle, Wash. Then came CNBC talker Rick Santelli's famous on-air rant on Feb. 19, 2009, which gave the tea-party movement its name.

Tea partiers are still angry at federal deficits, at Washington's habit of rewarding failure with handouts and punishing success with taxes and regulation, and the general incompetence that has marked the first year of the Obama presidency. But they're no longer depressed.

Instead, they seem energized. And surprisingly media savvy. William Temple donned colonial dress knowing that it would be an irresistible lure to TV cameras. When the cameras trained on him, he regaled interviewers with well-informed discussion of constitutional history. Other attendees were hawking DVDs, books, and Web sites promoting tea-party ideals, while discussing the use of tools like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter for political organizing.

Press attention focused on Sarah Palin's speech, which was well-received by the crowd. But the attendees I met weren't looking to her for direction. They were hoping she would move in theirs. Right now, the tea party isn't looking for leaders so much as leaders are looking to align themselves with the tea party.

It's easy to see why. A recent Investor's Business Daily/TIPP poll found that three-fourths of independent voters have a favorable opinion of the tea party. This enthusiasm, however, does not translate into an embrace of establishment Republicanism. One of the less-noted aspects of Mrs. Palin's speech was her endorsement of primary challenges for incumbent Republicans, something that is already underway. Tea partiers I talked to hope to replace a lot of entrenched time-servers and to throw a scare into others.

One primary challenger is Les Phillip. He is running against Republican Parker Griffith in Alabama's fifth congressional district. Mr. Phillip, a black businessman and Navy veteran who immigrated with his parents from Trinidad in his youth, got his start in politics speaking at a tea-party protest in Decatur, Ala., last year.

"Somebody had to speak," he told me, "so I stepped up." He did well enough that he was invited to speak at another protest in Trussville, Ala., after which things sort of snowballed. Of the tea partiers, he says, "Their values are pretty much mine. I live in a town in North Alabama where there are plenty of blacks driving Mercedes and living in big houses. Only in America can someone come from a little island and live the dream. I've liked it, and that's what I want for my children. [But] I saw the window closing for my own kids."

Mr. Phillip has gotten tea-party endorsements, as well as one from Mike Huckabee. The Republican establishment is siding with Mr. Griffith, who only recently switched from Democrat to Republican. That support is perhaps understandable as realpolitik, but it's not the sort of thing that sits well with tea partiers, who think that too much realpolitik is what rendered the Republican Party corrupt and ossified over the past decade.

Mr. Phillip isn't the only black tea-party candidate in the deep south—Angela McGlowan, who spoke in Nashville, has entered the Republican primary in Mississippi's first district—and primary challenges aren't the only way activists are exerting influence. Cincinnati tea-party activists are running candidates for Republican precinct executive in every precinct in their area—if elected, these candidates will help set policy platforms within the GOP and have sway over which candidates the party endorses. Activists in other states are doing the same. Adam Andrzejewski, who ran in the Republican primary for governor in Illinois, told me he will run candidates in each of Illinois' precincts, and Utah activists are turning that state's convention-based nominating system into a trial for incumbent Republican Sen. Robert Bennett. Plus, tea-party activists used their convention to launch a political action committee.

If 2009 was the year of taking it to the streets, 2010 is the year of taking it to the polls. With ordinary Americans setting out to reclaim the political process, it's likely to be a bumpy ride for incumbents of both parties. I suspect the Founding Fathers would approve.

Mr. Reynolds is a law professor at the University of Tennessee. He covered the National Tea Party Convention for, an Internet television network.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 21, 2010, 03:46:40 AM
Newt Gingrich in fine form:
Title: Haley Barbour
Post by: ccp on February 21, 2010, 09:06:25 AM
Newt is great.  I just question his generalizable appeal.  He didn't exactly leave the Senate high up in the polls.

Barbour, I always recall was/is very well spoken, articulate.
He got rave reviews for his handling of Katrina in Mississippi from what I read.
Anyone have thoughts on him for Pres?
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 21, 2010, 04:17:37 PM
Barbour is very good in many ways, but IMHO will be too readily seen as "just another old white Republican male".  I also doublt his fighting spirit when a liberal-prgressive lynch mob gets in full-throated cry.

Newt on the other hand has a mental speed and verbal agility that can keep him from being pegged as such.  A lack of fighting spirit will not be a problem with the Newtster though methinks as his political killer instinct is well proven.  As for his foilbes in the mid 90s, as serious as some of them were,  I suspect America's concentration span and moral speciousness will not prevent him from being forgiven if he is seen as the man that we want.
Title: Jim Traficant
Post by: ccp on February 23, 2010, 08:16:23 AM
This AM he was on CNN and sat through what was a rather condescending and at times smart alec interview by some well made up and bejeweled low-cut blouse female interviewer who rapped up at the end of the interview by saying thank you for being on and  you are always an interesting "character" all the while sitting smuggly with  shit eating grin on her face.
Personally I agreed with most of what he said.

The tax code is absolutely nuts, the illegal problem is NOT being addressed in this country but by both parties courting Latinos for votes and that we will now AGAIN, like fools give amnesty to people who take advantage of our laws our services and our country.

As for his statement we are in two wars we have no business bieng in I am less in agreement.  I just don't know enoughto have an opinion on this.

The money in politics, the money that is needed that helps keep the incumbants in power, the money that is needed that goes to the mass media for advertising.  It is a merry go round of scams, bribes, and back door back scratching.

Some say the internet will neutralize this but I am not so certain.

Title: What is a Right?
Post by: Freki on February 26, 2010, 06:46:33 AM

by Andrew Napolitano

In the continually harsh public discourse over the President’s proposals for federally-managed healthcare, the Big Government progressives in both the Democratic and the Republican parties have been trying to trick us. These folks, who really want the government to care for us from cradle to grave, have been promoting the idea that health care is a right.

In promoting that false premise, they have succeeded in moving the debate from WHETHER the feds should micro-manage health care to HOW the feds should micro-manage health care. This is a false premise, and we should reject it. Health care is not a right; it is a good, like food, like shelter, and like clothing.

What is a right? A right is a gift from God that extends from our humanity. Thinkers from St. Thomas Aquinas, to Thomas Jefferson, to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to Pope John Paul II have all argued that our rights are a natural part of our humanity. We own our bodies, thus we own the gifts that emanate from our bodies.

So, our right to life, our right to develop our personalities, our right to think as we wish, to say what we think, to publish what we say, our right to worship or not worship, our right to travel, to defend ourselves, to use our own property as we see fit, our right to due process – fairness – from the government, and our right to be left alone, are all rights that stem from our humanity. These are natural rights that we are born with. The government doesn’t give them to us and the government doesn’t pay for them and the government can’t take them away, unless a jury finds that we have violated someone else’s rights.

What is a good? A good is something we want or need. In a sense, it is the opposite of a right. We have our rights from birth, but we need our parents when we are children and we need ourselves as adults to purchase the goods we require for existence. So, food is a good, shelter is a good, clothing is a good, education is a good, a car is a good, legal representation is a good, working out at a gym is a good, and access to health care is a good.

Does the government give us goods? Well, sometimes it takes money from some of us and gives that money to others. You can call that taxation or you can call it theft; but you cannot call it a right.

A right stems from our humanity. A good is something you buy or someone else buys for you.

Now, when you look at health care for what it is, when you look at the US Constitution, when you look at the history of human freedom, when you accept the American value of the primacy of the individual over the fleeting wishes of the government, it becomes apparent that those who claim that healthcare is a right simply want to extend a form of government welfare.

When I make this argument to my Big Government friends, they come back at me with…well, if people don’t have health insurance, they will just go to hospitals and we will end up paying for them anyway. Why should that be? We don’t let people steal food from a supermarket or an apartment from a landlord or clothing from a local shop. Why do we let them take healthcare from a hospital without paying for it? Well, my Big Government friends contend, that’s charity.

They are wrong again. It is impossible to be charitable with someone else’s money. Charity comes from your own heart, not from the government spending your money. When we pay our taxes to the government and it gives that money away, that’s not charity, that’s welfare.

When the government takes more from us than it needs to secure our freedoms, so it can have money to give away, that’s not charity, that’s theft. And when the government forces hospitals to provide free health care to those who can’t or won’t care for themselves, that’s not charity, that’s slavery. That’s why we now have constitutional chaos, because the government steals and enslaves, and we outlawed that a long time ago.

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at the Fox News Channel. His latest book is Lies the Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History, (Nelson, 2010).
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Rarick on February 27, 2010, 04:04:59 AM
I was watching that big debate put up on youtube, and your post sums it up nicely.  The fact that the healthcare bill was needed or not was sidestepped everytime that issue came up.  Instead they were arguing about how or what issues were addressed or resolved by the new bill.  I turned it off after about 30 minutes, Obama just doesen't see it, or want to get it.  Nice little used car salesman we have for a president mixed with a nice dose of.............something I can't quite put my finger on yet.  Might be lack of LEADER, or a lack of respect for others opinions.
Title: Romney - comeback?
Post by: ccp on March 02, 2010, 11:48:09 AM
I'll have to check this out.  My nephew was asked to help write this but he is doing something else instead.  He is I think a bit second guessing that maybe he should have helped on the book but personally, while I generally like Romney - I think he falls just a bit short of the charisma needed to get the no. one spot.  But only time will tell for sure.

****The title of Mitt Romney's new book, "No Apology: The Case for American Greatness," is a not-so-subtle jab at the visits President Obama made overseas when he first took office, derided by the Right as the "American Apology Tour."

Behar calls the former governor "hunky" during a discussion about politics.Romney's book as a whole, however, may best be remembered not for the contrasts it offers with the incumbent president but for the contrasts it presents with "Going Rogue," the best-selling memoir of Sarah Palin, a potential Romney rival for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Where Palin's book is a mix of score settling and juicy anecdotes, Romney's book consists of a 64-point plan for strengthening the United States and countless references to what he has been reading. Palin's book titillated audiences with her take on her husband without his shirt on ("Dang, I thought. Divorce Todd? Have you seen Todd?").****
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 02, 2010, 11:54:12 AM
Romney brings a lot to the table, and I liked his concession speech, but as a matter of politics (and some substance) the following concern me:

1) His Ken doll image, and his poll-driven campaign , , , until he was the only alternative to McCain.
2) His version of Obama care in MA pre-dating Obama (I could be wrong on this, but my impression is his candidacy would kill the HC issue for his party)
3) His patrician birth, like Bush's, makes him temperamentally incapable of dealing with race-baiting, class-baiting, and other typical Dem tactics.  Like Bush, I fear he will become a "compassionate conservative".
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on March 02, 2010, 02:12:00 PM
I agree.  I thought some years ago the "compassionate conservative" idea was sound to soften the stereotype of Republicans as cold harded for those who are of the lower socioeconomic ladder.  Now I have come to believe this was a mistake.
But I am still not personally sure we should be.  I still am not sure I believe in Levin/Reagan/Hannity/Limbaugh style conservative as being the best alternative.
I just don't know, am not smart enough, and/or just can't get my mind to get a good handle on what is the best way to make this country sound and keep it on top.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 03, 2010, 06:28:34 AM
Frankly, I think Glenn Beck is showing the way.  Did you catch his show on Monday and yesterday?

PS: Not familiar with Levin and Reagan's son in order to comment. Hannity is both an ass and a mental mediocrity, and Limbaugh , , , well too little content to time ratio for me to be bothered.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Rarick on March 04, 2010, 05:29:26 AM
I remember somthing about tough love.  Maybe that is more of the way to play it.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on March 04, 2010, 07:31:02 AM
You may want to tune into Levin.  6 to 9 EST on 77 Am radio.  I agree with Levin on most things, but I am still not sure of his prescriptions for this country's ills.

Actually I meant Sir Reagan - not the (conservative) son who I also like - unlike the son he had with Nancy who is a quack hell bent on proving he disagrees with his father on probably every political issue.
Title: Fisher Ames, 1789
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 05, 2010, 07:59:29 AM
"We are not to consider ourselves, while here, as at church or school, to listen to the harangues of speculative piety; we are here to talk of the political interests committed to our charge." --Fisher Ames, speech in the United States House of Representatives, 1789
Title: 2012: Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.)
Post by: DougMacG on March 19, 2010, 10:47:46 AM
Win or lose on health care, one person emerged as holding his own with the leftists policy wonks, with vision and with clarity on crucial policy issues.  Paul Ryan was chosen by his colleagues to open at the bipartisan Obama health conference:

The points and questions he makes on the bill remain unanswered by his opponents.  

Today, with the new bill published he is ready, informed, articulate, correct and available.Holds his own with the President and makes a nice contrast with the current speaker.

I've previously at least thought that I didn't see him as Presidential, not the type who can shout rhythmic platitudes from in front of fake Greek columns in large stadiums with adoring fans.  I prefer the executive experience of a governor, but in fact it is Presidents like Clinton and Obama who can sit and look very comfortable all day defending the details of horrible legislation and the cost of 'doing nothing'.  We will need someone who knows the legislative issues up and down to stand next to this incumbent President and debate persuasively.

If not this guy, we better find someone just as informed and articulate, without the baggage of previous mis-steps and flip-flops, and not someone who has stepped back from fighting these fights, to offer the country a seriously different direction, message and vision from the current leftist machine.

For example, I love Sara Palin (not necessarily for President).  If she is the candidate, she will be the issue.  If Romney is the candidate, Romneycare and other past works and positions will be the issue.  Far worse yet for Huckabee.  If someone like Ryan is the candidate, I think the issues will be the issue and leftists will be forced to defend the indefensible, like calling a new national health entitlement a step toward closing the deficit. MHO.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 19, 2010, 11:08:19 AM
Ryan has been impressing me.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Rarick on March 20, 2010, 03:35:58 AM
A real Ryan for Pres? :evil:   I guess we will see.   I would welcome this kind of Campaigning and Platforming, getting in the spotlight over legislation if there were candidates that can make this interesting like he can maybe thing would turn around?  Obama may shoot himself in the foot with these televised discussions and debates over policy.  A lot of people will see the side stepping that is going on.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 20, 2010, 05:30:26 AM
Much remains to be seen with regard to Ryan on foreign affairs, social issues, and preparation to run the Executive branch of govt.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Rarick on March 21, 2010, 07:43:47 PM
I see a lot of people talking about change, but what should we be changing, and where are we going with it?  It seems NO One is willing to put thes two W'S out there.........

I would suggest 2 changes.  The first would be for both houses of congress.   A 2/3 vote to pass any legislation and a 3/4 vote to overrule veto.  Right now it is something less than that and they are going too fast with tooo many laws time to "derate" the engine.........

The second would be a tax reform.  If we are paying taxes, let us decide what programs we want to fund.  If I want x% of my taxes to fund the Highway system then that is where it goes.  If I choose to leave programs I don't like unfunded, then that is what happens, not a cent of my taxes would go to programs I do not want funded.  Okay my tax form got another 5 pages, but it give a check against a congress that likes throwing money around.   It would also force the various government departments to get efficient too, after all they suddenly are competing on the tax dollar market now aren't they?
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 21, 2010, 09:37:00 PM
Keep the government within the boundaries defined by the Constitution.

Title: Great Britain Passes the Stamp Act (1765)
Post by: Freki on March 22, 2010, 06:01:48 AM
Here is irony for ya.  On this day 1765

Great Britain Passes the Stamp Act (1765)
Intended to help pay British debts from the French and Indian War, the Stamp Act established the first direct tax levied on the American colonies. It required all newspapers, pamphlets, legal documents, commercial bills, advertisements, and other papers issued in the colonies to bear a tax stamp. The act was vehemently protested by the colonists, and the Stamp Act Congress—the first significant joint colonial response to any British measure—petitioned for its repeal.

Well genital people history has repeated itself to the day, with the passage of this abomination of a health care bill..  The question is, how do we respond?  How did our forefathers respond?
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 22, 2010, 06:56:54 AM

I just posted that on the American History thread of our SCH forum.


Following up on my previous post:

"[T]he present Constitution is the standard to which we are to cling. Under its banners, bona fide must we combat our political foes -- rejecting all changes but through the channel itself provides for amendments." --Alexander Hamilton, letter to James Bayard, 1802
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 24, 2010, 01:03:52 PM
This most certainly is not the way forward.

 :x :x :x
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Freki on March 24, 2010, 06:06:49 PM
I agree with Crafty this is not the way forward.  The speed of news coverage and the left leaning nature of the press  the Tea party movement must be very careful.

I would like to point out the nature of politics during the revolution.  Tar , feathers, and rails were involved.  There was a tax collector in Boston whose house was burned down with his family in it!  My point is this, incidents like this are not new.

These types of incidents are isolated and in some cases I think made up by the left to discredit the Tea party movement.  This move is an old standard play in their play book.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 24, 2010, 06:16:54 PM
This most certainly is true.  We have seen many fraudulent claims of hateful behavior, and have seen complete silence when hateful or violent behavior comes from the Left e.g. the SEIU thugs beating up that black man who was a Tea Partier.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Rarick on March 25, 2010, 02:17:35 AM
Sigh,  I hate the way things are looking.  Options are getting closed down, channels within the system are getting clogged or modified only for a certain few......... :| :cry:
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 25, 2010, 08:34:37 AM
Now apparently the Obama team is planning to go for amnesty for the 11-20 million illegal aliens and future Democrat voters and the 30-50 million family members now in their home countries that they will be able to anchor in the coming decades :x

Oh, and by the way, these 11-20 million illegal and soon to be amnestied new Democratic voters, a goodly % of whom will wind up on Medicaid, are not part of the budgetary calculations of the new Health Law , , ,
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on March 25, 2010, 12:23:54 PM
"goodly % of whom will wind up on Medicaid"

I believe many already are on medicaid.  I think it is because their children are born here and are thus automatic US citizens and for that simple reason - qualify.  Not to mention food stamps, and public schools.

And when anyone uses the term "anchor" babies the reaction is one of fury and indignation and of course cries of racism.

This is the last stand.  We are on the brink of watching the Dems give our country away.

And yet, through it all, we have the MSM calling anyone who thinks this extremist and casting them as nuts.

Rove tried to reach the Latino voters as a way stemming the tide.  Obviously it all failed.

The phoney one struts and and beams more then ever.

Title: The Way Forward: dependency and groups
Post by: DougMacG on March 26, 2010, 11:54:16 AM
I have been following CCP's argument/observation that Dems are the party of giving out goodies and they will win forever (unless we can think of something fast) by making more people dependent on the government while flooding the voter pool with new people who also see the government as a provider.  True on both counts, at least that is their strategy.

The Way Forward, if there is one, I think centers around the way these concepts fit together: spending, debt and a vision of the future that young people will live in.

If you ask an immigrant worker what their income today is, you likely get a low number, well below what today is admitted to be targeted for new taxes, so all new spending is free, right?

But take a longer view.  Past income mobility data indicates that 86% of bottom quintile workers exit that group within 9 years: 

The children of today will either grow up and be primarily dependent on (a bankrupt) government or they will grow up to be productive members of society and pay the bills for our expanding older generation.  Then ask which group your immigrant children will likely be in, the ones getting a free ride or the ones paying the bills?  That is a different question.

People have a pride and optimism in the ability of their own children to grow up and achieve and succeed.

Immigrants, using the term loosely to include trespassers/illegals, might see themselves today as needing a hand up, minimum wage protection, OSHA laws, food stamp help and healthcare etc. but did not for the most part come here to have their children grow up to be dependent on a bankrupt government in the nation they risked everything to enter.  Immigrants also tend to be younger and the expenditures for health care go more heavily to the older generations.

I don't believe their vote can't be won.  The question needs to be, what kind of future do they want.  Is it a dependency-based society?  If so, not what is your income today, but do you like the idea of your kid footing the bill for the excesses we create today?

Hard to change the views of 5th generation welfare recipients and hard to win over the highly Democratic felon vote they are racing to register, but we need to fight hard for the votes of young people, immigrants and illegals who will live with the impact they make with their vote.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on March 27, 2010, 09:12:14 AM
Doug thanks for your thoughts.

"I don't believe their vote can't be won.  The question needs to be, what kind of future do they want.  Is it a dependency-based society?"

I wish you are right.  But I don't think this is the case.  I don't think minority votes can be had with ideology.  If that were the case why do 90-98%% of Blacks vote for dependency aka Democratic.  At least not anytime soon.

They don't seem to mind the dole and big government.  They obviously see this as some sort of justice against white oppression.

As for Latinos they are obivously less of one block per see.

Except for the Cubans who came over here in the 60's they are in large majorities Democrats.

They are in higher proportions unemployed, uneducated, single parent, and thus far more likely to love the idea of someone else paying for higher education, medical care, and to need and willing to take medicaid, food stamps and the rest.

Do you really think 20 something unwed mothers give a hoot about concepts of "freedom" or founding fathers who are all white English guys who lived 200 years ago?  And to many of them stole California, and the rest of the Southwest?

Yes Bush made some inroads with the Latino vote.  But it wasn't with ideology.  It was with cold cash.  It was the trial of "compassionate conservatism".  It was I am sad to say by being more like the crats - not ideology.

I wish and hope I am wrong.  But the immigrants legal or illegal are not the same as those of our ancestors.

Why the other day CNN was interviewing some Indian guy asking about the health care bill.  He was all for it and saying Bama is "his" president.  This guy was not born here.  He said the bill would bring the US back "into civilized world".  Can you believe this statement?

This guy has some nerve.  Why they are starving if in F.. India and hundreds of millions cannot pay for care.  Indian doctors tell me patients line up for care there and a doctor could see hundreds of people a day. I say how is this possible.  They tell me the doctor will ask the patient a question, the patient will answer and the doctor will treat based on that one minute evaluation in a shotgun approach and then on to the next pt. and hope they are right.  The poor Indians are happy to even have that.

And this guy  on CNN has the damn nerve to come here and criticize this country as needing to be brought into the civilized world? :x

This guy isn't interested in some ideology about freedom.  He likes ideology about socialism.

I guess this is more of an ideological choice for this immigrant.  Whereas many other it is about the bills, cold cash, and probably for some - let the white/anglo people pay up for a change. 

I have said before I think Blacks shoot themselves in the foot by agreeing in almost total mass to government control.  Perhaps with time, and more Black Republicans, this will change.  But by then it will already be worse.

Just my rather pessismistic beliefs about what I see/read. 

Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on March 31, 2010, 09:42:17 AM
Replying to what CCP wrote here and what Crafty wrote over on Immigration: "[Latinos] tend to vote strongly Democrat.  Groups that tend to vote Republican tend to be aging and in decline, both in absolute numbers and as a % of the population.  The Republican party is already fairly irrelevant in the northeast of the US and with demographic trends in place will become a shrinking minority.  THIS was Bush-Rove-McCain's impetus in supporting amnesty-- to remain competitive for the Latino vote."

Selling conservatism to groups that are traditionally non-conservative has two choices, support policies that violate your own principles to split their vote or articulate your own view better of an America built on founding principles and invite them in.

In 2008, African Americans went 95% to 4% for Obama and Hispanics 67% to 31% Obama.  That was an exceptional Democrat year based on many things, first person of color on the ballot, economy in the tank, Republican brand name on a par with syphilis, etc.  Besides the margin, turnout was at record levels.

In 2004, it was African Americans 88-11 Democrat and Hispanics 53-44 Democrat.

So the split today is maybe 90-10 Blacks, and 60-40 Hispanic, give or take.

Yet the country is evenly divided.  So winning one or two more percent of either or both groups is a BIG deal.  We don't need to win all or even majorities of them to win, Just need to reach more of them.

I hate generalities, but... Blacks favor school choice, tend to be more religious and are getting KILLED by abortion policies and see neighborhoods destroyed by failed policies they were taught to favor.  Hispanics are very family oriented, mostly hard working and also heavily pro-life.  Both groups  have more kids so they will take on our debt if we keep spending like we do today.

CCP wrote: "(Latinos) are in higher proportions unemployed, uneducated, single parent, and thus far more likely to love the idea of someone else paying for higher education, medical care, and to need and willing to take medicaid, food stamps and the rest."

True,  but also that means they are voting their circumstances that should be improving over time, as they join and move up our economic ladder.  As they take root they will see their children as bearing the burden of our increasing debt and unfunded future liabilities.  Maybe we can get that written into the amnesty agreement.  :-)

My words of course are colored in wishful thinking.  But in the 100% liberal northeast, Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy's seat. It is possible for liberals to go too far and lose portions of their base.  Liberals going too far also tends to clarify Conservatism and unite opposition.  The Nov. elections this year and the 2012 elections are our Olympics and what we do now to move forward is analogous to Apollo Ohno's workout regime.  Are we doing everything we can to reach these people, putting in something like his 2 hour hard sessions 4 times a day (or leaving it to others and hope it gets done).  Is the clarity of our arguments equal to 1000 pounds on the leg press.  Do we keep a journal and review it every night to see if we are doing everything we can do to reach ALL of these people.  Or are our leaders relaxing at topless bondage clubs? On election day we need to know we did everything we could do to make a difference.

Ignoring these demographic groups longer and losing ground further will be catastrophic to the future of traditional American (conservative) governing principles.  Opposing Amnesty means we have to work that much harder getting the message out on the other issues.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 31, 2010, 12:19:16 PM
Some good points there.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on March 31, 2010, 01:40:56 PM
Doug and Crafty and all,

There is hope. If it isn't too late before the Phoney One ruins the country.

Do you think any of these men and women would ask what I recall seeing a Black talk show host ask RNC man Michael Steele, "so what are Republicans going to do for Blacks?"

I can picture him but can't recall his name. However, I'm sorry to say that Mr. Steele's answer was less than inspiring.  I like the "page" he is on but he isn't inspirational as a spokesperson.

Certainly this is one question he SHOULD have an answer to if he is to be a leader attracting minorities back to the party of Lincoln.  How he could go on a Black hosted talk show and not be prepared to knock a question like that out of the park I don't know?
Title: Awakening a Sleeping Nation?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 03, 2010, 06:34:43 AM
Barack Obama has awakened a sleeping nation
Gary Hubbell
Aspen Times Weekly,
Barack Obama is the best thing that has happened to America in the last 100 years. Truly, he is the savior of America's future. He is the best thing ever.

Despite the fact that he has some of the lowest approval ratings among recent presidents, history will see Barack Obama as the source of America's resurrection. Barack Obama has plunged the country into levels of debt that we could not have previously imagined; his efforts to nationalize health care have been met with fierce resistance nationwide; TARP bailouts and stimulus spending have shown little positive effect on the national economy; unemployment is unacceptably high and looks to remain that way for most of a decade; legacy entitlement programs have ballooned to unsustainable levels, and there is a seething anger in the populace.

That's why Barack Obama is such a good thing for America.

Obama is the symbol of a creeping liberalism that has infected our society like a cancer for the last 100 years. Just as Hitler is the face of fascism, Obama will go down in history as the face of unchecked liberalism. The cancer metastasized to the point where it could no longer be ignored.

Average Americans who have quietly gone about their lives, earning a paycheck, contributing to their favorite charities, going to high school football games on Friday night, spending their weekends at the beach or on hunting trips — they've gotten off the fence. They've woken up. There is a level of political activism in this country that we haven't seen since the American Revolution, and Barack Obama has been the catalyst that has sparked a restructuring of the American political and social consciousness.

Think of the crap we've slowly learned to tolerate over the past 50 years as liberalism sought to re-structure the America that was the symbol of freedom and liberty to all the people of the world. Immigration laws were ignored on the basis of compassion. Welfare policies encouraged irresponsibility, the fracturing of families, and a cycle of generations of dependency. Debt was regarded as a tonic to lubricate the economy. Our children left school having been taught that they are exceptional and special, while great numbers of them cannot perform basic functions of mathematics and literacy. Legislators decided that people could not be trusted to defend their own homes, and stripped citizens of their rights to own firearms. Productive members of society have been penalized with a heavy burden of taxes in order to support legions of do-nothings who loll around, reveling in their addictions, obesity, indolence, ignorance and “disabilities.” Criminals have been arrested and re-arrested, coddled and set free to pillage the citizenry yet again. Lawyers routinely extort fortunes from doctors, contractors and business people with dubious torts.

We slowly learned to tolerate these outrages, shaking our heads in disbelief, and we went on with our lives.

But Barack Obama has ripped the lid off a seething cauldron of dissatisfaction and unrest.

In the time of Barack Obama, Black Panther members stand outside polling places in black commando uniforms, slapping truncheons into their palms. ACORN — a taxpayer-supported organization — is given a role in taking the census, even after its members were caught on tape offering advice to set up child prostitution rings. A former Communist is given a paid government position in the White House as an advisor to the president. Auto companies are taken over by the government, and the auto workers' union — whose contracts are completely insupportable in any economic sense — is rewarded with a stake in the company. Government bails out Wall Street investment bankers and insurance companies, who pay their executives outrageous bonuses as thanks for the public support. Terrorists are read their Miranda rights and given free lawyers. And, despite overwhelming public disapproval, Barack Obama has pushed forward with a health care plan that would re-structure one-sixth of the American economy.

I don't know about you, but the other day I was at the courthouse doing some business, and I stepped into the court clerk's office and changed my voter affiliation from “Independent” to “Republican.” I am under no illusion that the Republican party is perfect, but at least they're starting to awaken to the fact that we cannot sustain massive levels of debt; we cannot afford to hand out billions of dollars in corporate subsidies; we have to somehow trim our massive entitlement programs; we can no longer be the world's policeman and dole out billions in aid to countries whose citizens seek to harm us.

Literally millions of Americans have had enough. They're organizing, they're studying the Constitution and the Federalist Papers, they're reading history and case law, they're showing up at rallies and meetings, and a slew of conservative candidates are throwing their hats into the ring. Is there a revolution brewing? Yes, in the sense that there is a keen awareness that our priorities and sensibilities must be radically re-structured. Will it be a violent revolution? No. It will be done through the interpretation of the original document that has guided us for 220 years — the Constitution. Just as the pendulum swung to embrace political correctness and liberalism, there will be a backlash, a complete repudiation of a hundred years of nonsense. A hundred years from now, history will perceive the year 2010 as the time when America got back on the right track. And for that, we can thank Barack Hussein Obama.

Gary Hubbell is a hunter, rancher, and former hunting and fly-fishing guide. Gary works as a Colorado ranch real estate broker. He can be reached through his website,
Title: Get rid of the RNC. Clean them all out.
Post by: ccp on April 03, 2010, 08:17:48 AM
After giving it a lot of thought over the last week or so I am coming to the conclusion that Michael should resign.

Not that I don't like him or generally agree with him. Not that it isn't great to have a minority face on the party of Lincoln.

Not that necessarily the ridiculous spending of RNC donated money on lavish stuff is all his fault.

I don't know how to fundraise.  Perhaps the RNC HAS to spend lavishisly to get big donors to contribute.  I don't know.

Yet the idea that the RNC donations are down in a political climate like this,  the idea that the RNC cannot seem to gt serious about an ideology alone that should be able to attract donors without the birbes just goes along to further the impression that this organization is as corrupt and money hungry as the rest of Washington DC.

If the Republican party cannot send a real message about principles, then they are no better than the crats.

The law should be laid down hard by Steele.  We don't want shmoozers.  We don't want people dining at fancy restaurants, flying in private jets to Hawaii.

We want an organization that will take this country back and give it to the people who work hard to make it great.

He must go as well as the obvious political culture at the RNC.  I wouldn't send them one cent as it stands now.

Nothing appears to have changed.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: prentice crawford on April 03, 2010, 09:39:49 AM
 I stopped giving to the Rep. Party when they started the big tent push to include moderate Liberals like John McCain and other so called "Physical Conservatives" that masquerade as moderate Conservatives, and pretend to be a better choice over mainstream Liberals. These Republican politicans are worse than the Blue Dog Dem's that also pretend to be moderate but are nothing more wolves in sheep's clothing, stealing votes from true moderate Conservatives in both Parties and then when elected they prop up Liberal policies. Even Bush falls into this category with his foot dragging on illegal immigration and his willingness to grow government and government handouts. Yes, Bush was a better choice than voting for Al Gore or John Kerry but he was no Conservative and bit by bit the difference between these kind of Republicans and their Liberal opponents are getting smaller and smaller. Does anyone think that we would be in much better shape if McCain won against Obama? I don't think we would and there lies the problem, if we Conservatives continue to hold our nose and vote for these people the Party will end up just like the Dem Party with Liberals running the show. I still support Conservative Republican candidates and contribute directly to those champaign's and bypass the Party; I don't want any of my money going to the general fund that is used to support someone's reelection bid like Olympia Snowe. :-P
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on April 03, 2010, 11:08:35 AM
I agree with Prentice.  Your money needs to go directly to the right candidates and the right causes and you get to decide what that is.  After the nominees are set for each race, then you may have to hold your nose and vote, but there is no reason to have your hard earned money support candidates elsewhere around the country who will later be stabbing you in the back.

For example, McCain's career of being a maverick kills conservative candidates in other states. Dem incumbents excuse their extremist votes by saying it was a bipartisan vote, that they were joined in that vote by the respected R-senator from Arizona so therefore it was a reasonable position.

CCP I agree with you about Michael Steele, but think firing him now will only make things worse.  The RNC is not the republican party, the power today is from the ground up.  Let the party succeed in spite of the so-called leaderhip.  If the RNC does not earn your dollar then just go after the candidates and causes who will.  A group of MN businessmen have put up some attention grabbing billboards, here's one in Michele Bachmann's district this year:

Title: Patriot Post
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 05, 2010, 08:39:30 AM
The Foundation
"It has been said that all Government is an evil. It would be more proper to say that the necessity of any Government is a misfortune. This necessity however exists; and the problem to be solved is, not what form of Government is perfect, but which of the forms is least imperfect." --James Madison

"Over the past 14 months, our political debate has been transformed into an argument between the heirs of two fundamental schools of political thought, the Founders and the Progressives. The Founders stood for the expansion of liberty and the Progressives for the expansion of government. It's an argument that has been going on for a century but was largely dormant over the quarter-century of low-inflation economic growth that followed the Ronald Reagan tax cuts. It's been raised again by the expand-government policies of the Obama administration and Democratic congressional leaders. Those policies, thoroughly in line with the Progressive tradition, have been advanced by liberal elites in government, media, think tanks and academia. The opposition, roughly in line with the Founders tradition, has been led by the non-elites who spontaneously flocked to tea parties and town halls. ... The conservative rebellions of the late 1970s and middle 1990s were focused on taxes. The tea partiers are focusing on the expansion of government -- and its threat to the independence of citizens. ... By passing the stimulus package and the health care bills, the Democrats produced expansion of government. But voters seem to prefer expansion of liberty." --political analyst Michael Barone

Re: The Left
"The political issue rumbling toward both the Supreme Court and the electorate is whether Washington's size and power has finally grown beyond the comfort zone of the American people. That is what lies beneath the chatter about federalism and the 10th Amendment. Liberals will argue that government today is doing good. But government now is also unprecedentedly large and unprecedentedly expensive. Even if every challenge to ObamaCare loses in court, these anxieties will last and keep coming back to the same question: Does the Democratic left think the national government's powers are infinite? No one in the Obama White House, asked that in public on Sunday morning, would simply say yes, no matter that the evidence of this government's actions the past year indicate they do. In his 'Today Show' interview [last] week, Mr. Obama with his characteristic empathy acknowledged there are 'folks who have legitimate concerns ... that the federal government may be taking on too much.' My reading of the American public is that they have moved past 'concerns.'" --Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger

"So, what is the impact on the deficit when the Senate health care bill, the reconciliation bill to fix the Senate health care bill and the bill to fix the phantom reductions in doctors' fees are all considered together? ... 'CBO estimates that enacting all three pieces of legislation would add $59 billion to budget deficits over the 2010-2019 period.' Rather than cut the deficit by $1 trillion over two decades as Obama claims, the full health care package increases the deficit by $59 billion over one decade. ... [T]he bill authorizes new discretionary spending that Congress will need to approve in future years to make sure the bureaucracies are in place to carry out the new plan. CBO estimates this will lead to 'at least $50 billion' in new spending over 10 years that was not included in the health care bill itself. ... Nor should Obama's socialized medicine plan be viewed in isolation from the rest of his budget. CBO says his fiscal 2011 budget proposal will increase the national debt by $9.8 trillion over the next 10 years. He is running a record $1.5 trillion deficit this year, and the smallest deficit he will ever run is $724 billion in 2014 -- the year his unconstitutional individual insurance mandate kicks in. After that, the deficit starts an unbroken climb, surpassing $1 trillion again in 2018 and heading ever higher. Just as Obama's claim that his socialized medicine plan will reduce the deficit by $1 trillion will be his defining lie, his legacy will be this: He bankrupted America." editor in chief Terence Jeffrey

The Gipper
"The fact is, we'll never build a lasting economic recovery by going deeper into debt at a faster rate than we ever have before. It took this nation 166 years until the middle of World War II to finally accumulate a debt of $95 billion. It took this [Carter] administration just the last 12 months to add $95 billion to the debt. And this administration has run up almost one-fourth of the total national debt in just these short 19 months. Inflation is the cause of recession and unemployment. And we're not going to have real prosperity or recovery until we stop fighting the symptoms and start fighting the disease." --Ronald Reagan

Faith & Family
"What's so disheartening about America's present political environment is that those in Washington are truly convinced that more and bigger government is America's primary solution for recovery, future growth and security. President Barack Obama even declared early in his presidency that 'only government' is our savior. Our Founders had a far better solution than only government. ... As proud as they were of their newfound republic, our Founders' trust and hope was not in government, but in God. For what? For most of the things that people today often look to government to provide: life, liberty, happiness, provision, salvation, decency, civility, morality, honesty, restraint, equity of power and future hope, to name a few. Tragically, in modern times, government has usurped God's role in our republic and Americans' lives. ... To our Founders, God was the source of our human rights, which put limits on government power. Even more, God was (and should be) the ultimate agent for national sustenance and renewal. That is why we are dreaming if we think we can correct the ills in ourselves, our government or our society without his aid." --columnist Chuck Norris
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 06, 2010, 03:24:00 PM
Brooks is usually a typical liberal/progressive twit, yet there are elements in this piece worth considering:

Published: April 5, 2010
According to recent polls, 60 percent of Americans think the country is heading in the wrong direction. The same percentage believe that the U.S. is in long-term decline. The political system is dysfunctional. A fiscal crisis looks unavoidable. There are plenty of reasons to be gloomy.  But if you want to read about them, stop right here. This column is a great luscious orgy of optimism. Because the fact is, despite all the problems, America’s future is exceedingly bright.

Over the next 40 years, demographers estimate that the U.S. population will surge by an additional 100 million people, to 400 million over all. The population will be enterprising and relatively young. In 2050, only a quarter will be over 60, compared with 31 percent in China and 41 percent in Japan.

In his book, “The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050,” über-geographer Joel Kotkin sketches out how this growth will change the national landscape. Extrapolating from current trends, he describes an archipelago of vibrant suburban town centers, villages and urban cores.

The initial wave of suburbanization was sprawling and featureless. Tom Wolfe once observed that you only knew you were in a new town when you began to see a new set of 7-Elevens. But humans need meaningful places, so developers have been filling in with neo-downtowns — suburban gathering spots where people can dine, work, go to the movies and enjoy public space.

Over the next 40 years, Kotkin argues, urban downtowns will continue their modest (and perpetually overhyped) revival, but the real action will be out in the compact, self-sufficient suburban villages. Many of these places will be in the sunbelt — the drive to move there remains strong — but Kotkin also points to surging low-cost hubs on the Plains, like Fargo, Dubuque, Iowa City, Sioux Falls, and Boise.

The demographic growth is driven partly by fertility. The American fertility rate is 50 percent higher than Russia, Germany or Japan, and much higher than China. Americans born between 1968 and 1979 are more family-oriented than the boomers before them, and are having larger families.

In addition, the U.S. remains a magnet for immigrants. Global attitudes about immigration are diverging, and the U.S. is among the best at assimilating them (while China is exceptionally poor). As a result, half the world’s skilled immigrants come to the U.S. As Kotkin notes, between 1990 and 2005, immigrants started a quarter of the new venture-backed public companies.

The United States already measures at the top or close to the top of nearly every global measure of economic competitiveness. A comprehensive 2008 Rand Corporation study found that the U.S. leads the world in scientific and technological development. The U.S. now accounts for a third of the world’s research-and-development spending. Partly as a result, the average American worker is nearly 10 times more productive than the average Chinese worker, a gap that will close but not go away in our lifetimes.

This produces a lot of dynamism. As Stephen J. Rose points out in his book “Rebound: Why America Will Emerge Stronger From the Financial Crisis,” the number of Americans earning between $35,000 and $70,000 declined by 12 percent between 1980 and 2008. But that’s largely because the number earning over $105,000 increased by 14 percent. Over the past 10 years, 60 percent of American adults made more than $100,000 in at least one or two of those years, and 40 percent had incomes that high for at least three.

As the world gets richer, demand will rise for the sorts of products Americans are great at providing — emotional experiences. Educated Americans grow up in a culture of moral materialism; they have their sensibilities honed by complicated shows like “The Sopranos,” “The Wire” and “Mad Men,” and they go on to create companies like Apple, with identities coated in moral and psychological meaning, which affluent consumers crave.

As the rising generation leads an economic revival, it will also participate in a communal one. We are living in a global age of social entrepreneurship.

In 1964, there were 15,000 foundations in the U.S. By 2001, there were 61,000. In 2007, total private giving passed $300 billion. Participation in organizations like City Year, Teach for America, and College Summit surges every year. Suburbanization helps. For every 10 percent reduction in population density, the odds that people will join a local club rise by 15 percent. The culture of service is now entrenched and widespread.

In sum, the U.S. is on the verge of a demographic, economic and social revival, built on its historic strengths. The U.S. has always been good at disruptive change. It’s always excelled at decentralized community-building. It’s always had that moral materialism that creates meaning-rich products. Surely a country with this much going for it is not going to wait around passively and let a rotten political culture drag it down.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Rarick on April 07, 2010, 05:30:11 AM
With 300 billion in private charity, why do we need this health care thing?  Obviously, when people are not stifled by government there is room for chariity, maybe more efficient charity at that?

I only wonder how much America will have changed by 2050, will it be a land of entitlements and debt riding on top of the nice looking demographics? or a a pretty much free nation still accepting certain risks because thats what you have to do to live life?  We have been accepting so many rules in the name of safety, how many can you accept and still be free?

I like the picture, but I dislike what looks like a path that will nullify it.
Title: Is Dick Morris right?
Post by: ccp on April 08, 2010, 02:14:44 PM
By Dick Morris 04.7.2010 Stanley Greenberg and James Carville claim that the Republican Party has peaked too soon. Incredibly, Greenberg says “when we look back on this, we’re going to say Massachusetts is when 1994 happened.” Stan’s only claim to expertise in the 1994 elections, of course, is that he’s the guy who blew it for the Democrats. Right after that, President Clinton fired both of the flawed consultants and never brought them back again.

Now,their latest pitch is that the highpoint of the GOP advance was the Scott Brown election and that, from here on, things will “improve slightly” for the Democrats.

Once again, Carville and Greenberg are totally misreading the public mood. Each time the Republican activists battle, they become stronger. Their cyber and grass roots grow deeper. The negatives that attach to so-called “moderate” Democratic incumbents increase. And each time Obama, Reid and Pelosi defy public opinion and use their majorities to ram through unpopular legislation, frustration and anger rises.

Were Obama’s ambitions to slacken, perhaps a cooling off might eventuate. But soon the socialist financial takeover bill will come on the agenda, followed by amnesty for illegal immigrants, cap and trade, and card check unionization. Each bill will trigger its own mobilization of public opposition and add to the swelling coalition of opposition to Obama and his radical agenda.

And, all the while, the deficit will increase, interest rates will rise, and unemployment will remain high.

Meanwhile, the political process will generate more and more strong Republican challengers. We have yet to see if former Governor Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin or Dino Rossi of Washington State will emerge to challenge Senators Feingold and Murray. Better House candidates will decide to capitalize on the momentum and will jump into the race and Republican donors will come out of hiding, their efforts catalyzed by the growing optimism about GOP chances.

Presaging the Republican sweep that looms ahead, is the shift in the party ratings on various issues. Rasmussen has the Republicans ahead by 49-37 on the economy and 53-37 on health care. His likely voter poll shows GOP leads on every major issue area: national security (49-37), Iraq (47-39), Education (43-30), Immigration (47-34), Social Security (48-36), and Taxes (52-34).

When Republicans are winning issues like education, healthy care, and social security – normally solidly Democratic issues – a sweep of unimaginable proportions is in the offing.

Will the rise in economic growth and job creation – if they continue — offset the Republican gains? Not very likely. Remember Bill Clinton’s 1994 experience. Even though the recession had officially ended in the quarter before he took office and he proudly pointed to five million new jobs that had been created during the first two years of his presidency, Clinton got no bounce from the jobs issue or the economy. Even in the election of 1996, the economy was only marginally a source of strength for the Democratic president. It wasn’t until impeachment that the job growth that had been ongoing since he took office began to work heavily in his favor with the public. The hangover from a recession, certainly from one a violent as this, lasts a long time. A very long time.

And all this assumes that things will, indeed, improve. Worries about inflation loom large and concerns that higher taxes and interest rates will trigger a new downturn also abound. As long as the deficit is as high as it is, there is no solid foundation for a sustained period of economic growth.

Finally, Obama is now responsible for health care in America. When premiums rise, it will be his fault. When coverage is denied, it will be on his watch. When Medicare cuts kick in, it will be Obama who gets the blame.

Carville’s last book touted “forty more years of Democrats.” Now he dreams of a loss of “only” 25 seats in the House and “six or seven” Senators. But these are pipe dreams. Republicans will gain more than fifty House seats and at least ten in the Senate, enough to take control in both Houses. That’s reality.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 08, 2010, 05:51:37 PM

I heard today that the Reps are drafting a new "Contract with America". 
Title: Newt:
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 10, 2010, 10:19:13 AM
Transcript or video-- you choose:
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Freki on April 11, 2010, 08:06:07 AM
I watched the whole video.  Newt sounds really good,but I have always liked his ideas.  I hope the Republicans follow his lead; I have no faith in the Republican party.  It is so simple 2+2=4 with the courage to stiffen the spines of the politicians to stand up and say it!  He also said something in passing which I have always tried to follow, prepare the conditions of the fight so the opponent is set up to lose.  I try to always pick my ground when I can.  All I want is a fair advantage! :evil:  Lets not waste this position the Left has given us, lets make them pay for it and set this country back on its founding principles.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Rarick on April 12, 2010, 12:05:19 AM
Newt did not blink when he was Speaker in regards to budget- ever since he left the spine appears to be gone.  When a whole chunk of Congress walks out, the viability of the laws that are being passed becomes suspect.   If I or my staf as a Senator/Rep. only had 1 or 2 days to read a couple thousand pages, on top of all the other issues, I would consider a walkout. The principal of "I will not be railroaded into misrepresentation".  If that was the entire republican half of the house, the president would look pretty ineffective.  Exactly where you want someone routinely abridging the Constitution, in an ineffective position.  It would also put the "bipartisan" lie out in the open for all to see.

Title: Rick Perry
Post by: DougMacG on April 21, 2010, 07:33:36 AM
Before we narrow the list of names, we need to expand it.  Among people not running for President I added Paul Ryan recently and today mention the largest red state's longest serving governor.  Roger Simon CEO of Pajamas Media wrote:

    "Perry is a people person on a level I have not quite seen before in politics. You even worry about him, if he ever does make a White House run.

    When Rudy Giuliani was Mayor of New York, he had some of that people person thing, throwing out the ball at Yankee games and taking the role of America's Mayor after 9/11. But he doesn't have as much charisma as Perry."
Title: Rick Perry
Post by: Freki on April 21, 2010, 11:30:27 AM
I am from Texas and I don't like Perry.  He is a POLITICIAN = weasel.  I do not trust him.  I am a conservative and I did not vote for him in the primary.  If he gets the Republican nomination for Pres he will be better than a liberal but I would classify him as a progressive republican.  Voter beware.  IMHO

Title: The way Forward?
Post by: DougMacG on April 21, 2010, 03:52:00 PM
Thanks Freki.  I remember you are from Texas and was looking for your feedback on Perry.  As with Mark Sanford, I was hoping to hear they are great guys but will settle for hearing the truth before we head any further down the wrong road.

Anybody from further away have a first impression yet about our governor - Tim Pawlenty (R-MN)?  He is trying to run but not making much of an impact that I can see.
Title: The Way Forward: Guiding Principles and Values
Post by: DougMacG on April 24, 2010, 05:48:50 PM
The R party in our state has a platform so long and detailed that no ordinary delegate has read it and no candidate has ever agreed to it.  There has been an interest in coming up with something more succinct and marketable to describe what we strive for.  A year or so back I wrote my top ten list which was ignored by the party; I don't know if I posted it here.  Here is someone else's list that will be voted on by the state party next week.

I would ask every like-minded board reader here to comment on these or write their own answer to this question.  Let's say a 16 or 18 year old or new immigrant walks up to you and asks you to explain briefly what are the central, guiding principles of your political group or movement that you would ask candidates to follow in order to gain your endorsement or wear your label.

It would be especially interesting to see a serious equivalent posted also by any Dem-liberal-progressives.  Rog, Rachel, anyone willing?
Guiding Principles and Values

Individuals, businesses and the country succeed and prosper when government stays out of the way of those who lead the way with integrity, responsibility, charity, hard work, humility, courage, gratitude and hope.

Government has a role in our society – but that role is carefully enumerated in the United States Constitution. Our party believes that a good government does not eclipse roles that are best carried out by individuals, families, houses of faith, charitable organizations or businesses.

1) America is a great nation; we are the “Shining City,” an exemplar of virtues for all other nations and their people. The greatness of the American nation, the virtues of its people, and the success of the American experiment are a beacon of hope for the entire world.

2) Liberty is essential for our society to advance and prosper. The freedom to explore advances in culture, business, faith, science and government improves all of our lives; on the other hand, excessive government regulation and control hinders that development. The ability and freedom to disagree with each other and our government must also be protected; any hindrances to the free market of ideas will sap the ability of America to advance and to better herself.

3) We believe in the ability of the individual, by themselves or through families, businesses, groups and non-profit organizations, rather than the government to solve the problems of today and lead us into the future.

4) Faith is where we derive our moral compass and come to understand the eternal rules of order and rights which God himself has ordained. We believe each person needs to be free in order to explore his/her Faith.

5) Human Life is sacred; it must be protected at all stages.

6) The Family is among our society’s most important institutions. Government must not be allowed to infringe on the sanctity of the family.

7) The Pursuit of Happiness is essential to our existence; we support equal opportunities not equal results.

8 ) Charity comes best from the heart of individuals and cannot be forced or coerced via taxation and regulation.

9) The law must be applied to everyone equally; no one is above the law.

10) Law abiding citizens must be trusted to defend their life, family and property.
Title: Welcome to the Constitutional Crisis 27. Apr, 2010
Post by: Freki on April 27, 2010, 05:41:42 AM
by Brian Roberts

Most Americans are unaware but a Constitutional Crisis of immense proportions looms in our near future, and the early shots have already been fired. No, I’m not referring to the Obama birth certificate controversy; I’m referring to the fundamental battle for freedom and liberty based on the uniquely American experiment of Federalism. Federalism is the sharing of power between a federal government and the various state governments, and this foundation is at the very heart of the battle.

Through recent actions, the federal government has demonstrated that absolute power is its sole desire. They have ignored the message delivered through tea parties and have now directly engaged in political battles with state governments empowered by their citizenry. If “we the people” lose these battles, ALL power will centralize in Washington D.C. and the dynamics of our free country will rapidly change from a government that serves the people to a government that dictates to the people. The crisis ultimately revolves around this question:

    “Who decides the constitutionality of a federal law?”

The most visible battle centers around the unconstitutional health care bill passed in March 2010. But as this one proceeds, there are other Constitutional battles cueing up in the pipeline. Many states where the population embraces freedom have begun to draft legislation that challenges federal authority on matters that the federal government has already overstepped their authority; and, proactive states are preparing legislation in preparation for future offenses. Some examples of these battles:

    * Federal Health Care legislation designed to redistribute wealth and make states and people massively dependent on the federal government
    * Federal Cap and Trade legislation designed to foster more state dependence of federal funds by making them insolvent through excessive taxation
    * Federal Amnesty legislation designed to increase the voter base for federal level redistribution schemes.
    * Federal Financial Reform legislation designed to acquire more economic power at the federal level to use a coercive tools against states and the people
    * State Firearm Legislation that denies federal authority over firearms produced within a states; this is designed to proactively challenge the federal governments grasp on firearm laws by eliminating the “commerce clause” argument.

Each one of these battles between states and federal governments will test the very foundation of federalism upon which our great country has prospered in relative political, economic, and individual freedom. If the pillar of Federalism is to fall, the entire house of cards of the American experiment will fall with it, and a centralized authority will be formed. Your children’s future will be sealed as servants to corrupt politicians in Washington D.C.

Will the Supreme Court uphold the Constitution?

The first question that must be resolved is “will the Supreme Court uphold the Constitution?” Almost half of the state governments are participating in a lawsuit claiming that the health care bill is unconstitutional. One of the multiple points of contention has to do with the federal governments new power to force a private citizen, under penalty of law, to purchase a product; clearly unconstitutional and something that has never been demanded by federal law before.

This is the federal court’s chance to clearly reassert the state’s constitutionally empowered jurisdiction and put the federal government back under the chains of federalism as defined by the Constitution. If they are willing and able to do this in no uncertain terms, we may still avoid a full constitutional crisis. If, on the other hand, the federal court sides with the federal legislators, then they will have missed the golden opportunity to restore stability and liberty to this country and will have placed us on a road to a government of absolute power.

Past rulings indicate that judges are, as Jefferson warned, simply people too; with political ambitions and a willingness to apply arbitrary opinions over rule-of-law. In fact, Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor, the most recent Supreme Court appointee, publically argued the merits of rulings based on social justice over rule-of-law. Can an idea be any more dangerous to liberty than that?

In the 1942 case Wikard v. Filburn, the Supreme Court ruled that a farmer growing wheat, on his own property, for his own consumption, is subject to federal laws. The ruling was based on a laughable “commerce clause” interpretation that claimed that since the farmer was NOT participating in interstate commerce then the farmer affected interstate commerce.  This kind of circular thinking was used to steal the freedom and liberty from this farmer so that federal power might be increased. It was an impossible step of logic, but rulings like this are used as a precedent for incredible interpretations of the enumerated powers in the Constitution.

What precedent is set if the health care legislation is deemed constitutional and the federal government immediately acquires “constitutional” power to mandate private citizen purchases? No doubt, this precedent will be used to force you to purchase all kinds of products that “partner” corporations might offer. What warped definition of “liberty” encompasses this concept?

We can hope the federal courts make the correct ruling here, but this one is simply out of our hands.

Who has the final say on the constitutionality of federal laws?

If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the federal government and deems an obviously unconstitutional law to be constitutional then tensions between the states and the federal government will increase significantly. At this point, the Constitutional crisis will expose its head for all to see, and the fundamental question at the heart of it all is:

    “Who decides the constitutionality of a federal law?”

The constitution does not answer this question. The precedent is that the Supreme Court rules on these. But, what happens when “we the people” judge the Supreme Court to be part of the problem?

First, consider that the common idea is that the Supreme Court offers the final say on constitutional. This is partially true given past history and other Supreme Court rulings. But take notice that historically the Supreme Court assumed this power for itself; it was not allocated through the Constitution. This power of final authority was first considered with Marbury v. Madison in 1803 and accrued through other cases presided over by Supreme Court Justice Marshal, a well-known champion of centralized federal power. It’s easy to see the conflict of interest when a federal judicial branch deems itself to hold absolute authority over the constitutionality of federal laws and federal executive actions. Over time a federal court will become more and more emboldened to ignore the states and “we the people” and rule in favor of more centralized federal power.

It is important to realize that the Constitution is silent on this and does not provide the answer. This was intentional, because on all matters “we the people” are the final authority. Giving the federal judicial branch the supreme power of determination institutionalizes an obvious danger to freedom and liberty. This danger was described by Jefferson:

    “….To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions is a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have with others the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps…and their power is more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruption of time and party, its members would become despots….”

In 1798, Jefferson and Madison authored the Virginian and Kentucky Resolutions in response to the Alien and Sedition acts. The resolution argued that unconstitutional federal bills that became federal law were null and void and of no effect. According to Jefferson and Madison, states were to be the ultimate arbiter on which laws were constitutional and which were not. By nullifying unconstitutional laws state governments need not ask permission of federal courts to govern their sovereign states.

The Crisis Resolved

So, what’s it going to be?

reclaiming-american-revolutionFreedom through decentralized government in which the people and the states determine the constitutionality of federal laws. With this choice, federalism is restored and sovereign states each govern themselves locally through rule-of-law.

Or, servitude to a centralized government in which all three federal branches work together to pass laws, enforce laws, and judge their own laws constitutional. With this choice, the Constitution and federalism are destroyed, absolute power is centralized and rule-of-men will dominate law.

This question is ultimately answered by the will of the people. We will decide and it will have immeasurable impact on our country’s future.

Brian Roberts [send him email] is the State Chapter Coordinator for the Texas Tenth Amendment Center

Copyright © 2010 by Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Rarick on April 28, 2010, 03:32:14 AM
Health care and firearms.  There are a bunch of states pushing back on both those issues.
Title: The Global Crisis of Legitimacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 05, 2010, 06:35:50 AM
The Global Crisis of Legitimacy
May 4, 2010
By George Friedman

Financial panics are an integral part of capitalism. So are economic recessions. The system generates them and it becomes stronger because of them. Like forest fires, they are painful when they occur, yet without them, the forest could not survive. They impose discipline, punishing the reckless, rewarding the cautious. They do so imperfectly, of course, as at times the reckless are rewarded and the cautious penalized. Political crises — as opposed to normal financial panics — emerge when the reckless appear to be the beneficiaries of the crisis they have caused, while the rest of society bears the burdens of their recklessness. At that point, the crisis ceases to be financial or economic. It becomes political.

The financial and economic systems are subsystems of the broader political system. More precisely, think of nations as consisting of three basic systems: political, economic and military. Each of these systems has elites that manage it. The three systems are constantly interacting — and in a healthy polity, balancing each other, compensating for failures in one as well as taking advantage of success. Every nation has a different configuration within and between these systems. The relative weight of each system differs, as does the importance of its elites. But each nation contains these systems, and no system exists without the other two.

Limited Liability Investing
Consider the capitalist economic system. The concept of the corporation provides its modern foundation. The corporation is built around the idea of limited liability for investors, the notion that if you buy part or all of a company, you yourself are not liable for its debts or the harm that it might do; your risk is limited to your investment. In other words, you may own all or part of a company, but you are not responsible for what it does beyond your investment. Whereas supply and demand exist in all times and places, the notion of limited liability investing is unique to modern capitalism and reshapes the dynamic of supply and demand.

It is also a political invention and not an economic one. The decision to create corporations that limit liability flows from political decisions implemented through the legal subsystem of politics. The corporation dominates even in China; though the rules of liability and the definition of control vary, the principle that the state and politics define the structure of corporate risk remains constant.

In a more natural organization of the marketplace, the owners are entirely responsible for the debts and liabilities of the entity they own. That, of course, would create excessive risk, suppressing economic activity. So the political system over time has reallocated risk away from the owners of companies to the companies’ creditors and customers by allowing corporations to become bankrupt without pulling in the owners.

The precise distribution of risk within an economic system is a political matter expressed through the law; it differs from nation to nation and over time. But contrary to the idea that there is a tension between the political and economic systems, the modern economic system is unthinkable except for the eccentric but indispensible political-legal contrivance of the limited liability corporation. In the precise and complex allocation of risk and immunity, we find the origins of the modern market. Among other reasons, this is why classical economists never spoke of “economics” but always of “political economy.”

The state both invents the principle of the corporation and defines the conditions in which the corporation is able to arise. The state defines the structure of risk and liabilities and assures that the laws are enforced. Emerging out of this complexity — and justifying it — is a moral regime. Protection from liability comes with a burden: Poor decisions will be penalized by losses, while wise decisions are rewarded by greater wealth. Because of this, society as a whole will benefit. The entire scheme is designed to increase, in Adam Smith’s words, “The Wealth of Nations” by limiting liability, increasing the willingness to take risk and imposing penalties for poor judgment and rewards for wise judgment. But the measure of the system is not whether individuals benefit, but whether in benefiting they enhance the wealth of the nation.

The greatest systemic risk, therefore, is not an economic concept but a political one. Systemic risk emerges when it appears that the political and legal protections given to economic actors, and particularly to members of the economic elite, have been used to subvert the intent of the system. In other words, the crisis occurs when it appears that the economic elite used the law’s allocation of risk to enrich themselves in ways that undermined the wealth of the nation. Put another way, the crisis occurs when it appears that the financial elite used the politico-legal structure to enrich themselves through systematically imprudent behavior while those engaged in prudent behavior were harmed, with the political elite apparently taking no action to protect the victims.

In the modern public corporation, shareholders — the corporation’s owners — rarely control management. A board of directors technically oversees management on behalf of the shareholders. In the crisis of 2008, we saw behavior that devastated shareholder value while appearing to enrich the management — the corporation’s employees. In this case, the protections given to shareholders of corporations were turned against them when they were forced to pay for the imprudence of their employees — the managers, whose interests did not align with those of the shareholders. The managers in many cases profited personally through their compensation system for actions inimical to shareholder interests. We now have a political, not an economic, crisis for two reasons. First, the crisis qualitatively has moved beyond the boundaries of a cyclical event. Second, the crisis is rooted in the political-legal definitions of the distribution of corporate risk and the legally defined relations between management and shareholder. In leaving the shareholder liable for actions by management, but without giving shareholders controls to limit managerial risk taking, the problem lies not with the market but with the political system that invented and presides over the limited liability corporation.

Financial panics that appear natural and harm the financial elite do not necessarily create political crises. Financial panics that appear to be the result of deliberate manipulation of the allocation of risk under the law, and from which the financial elite as a whole appears to have profited even while shareholders and the public were harmed, inevitably create political crises. In the case of 2008 and the events that followed, we have a paradox. The 2008 crisis was not unprecedented, nor was the federal bailout. We saw similar things in the municipal bond crisis of the 1970s, and the Third World Debt Crisis and Savings and Loan Crisis in the 1980s. Nor was the recession that followed anomalous. It came seven years after the previous one, and compared to the 1970s and early 1980s, when unemployment stood at more than 10 percent and inflation and mortgages were at more than 20 percent, the new one was painful but well within the bounds of expected behavior.

The crisis was rooted in the appearance that it was triggered by the behavior not of small town banks or third world countries, but of the global financial elite, who took advantage of the complexities of law to enrich themselves instead of the shareholders and clients to whom it was thought they had prior fiduciary responsibility.

This is a political crisis then, not an economic one. The political elite is responsible for the corporate elite in a unique fashion: The corporation was a political invention, so by definition, its behavior depends on the political system. But in a deeper sense, the crisis is one of both political and corporate elites, and the perception that by omission or commission they acted together — knowingly engineering the outcome. In a sense, it does not matter whether this is what happened. That it is widely believed that this is what happened alone is the origin of the crisis. This generates a political crisis that in turn is translated into an attack on the economic system.

The public, which is cynical about such things, expects elites to work to benefit themselves. But at the same time, there are limits to the behavior the public will tolerate. That limit might be defined, with Adam Smith in mind, as the point when the wealth of the nation itself is endangered, i.e., when the system is generating outcomes that harm the nation. In extreme form, these crises can delegitimize regimes. In the most extreme form — and we are nowhere near this point — the military elite typically steps in to take control of the system.

This is not something that is confined to the United States by any means, although part of this analysis is designed to explain why the Obama administration must go after Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and others. The symbol of Goldman Sachs profiting from actions that devastate national wealth, or of the management of Lehman wiping out shareholder value while they themselves did well, creates a crisis of confidence in the political and financial systems. With the crisis of legitimacy still not settling down after nearly two years, the reaction of the political system is predictable. It will both anoint symbolic miscreants, and redefine the structure of risk and liability in financial corporations. The goal is not so much to achieve something as to create the impression that it is achieving something, in other words, to demonstrate that the political system is prepared to control the entities it created.

The Crisis in Europe
We see a similar crisis in Europe. The financial institutions in Europe were fully complicit in the global financial crisis. They bought and sold derivatives whose value they knew to be other than stated, the same as Americans. Though the European financial institutions have asserted they were the hapless victims of unscrupulous American firms, the Europeans were as sophisticated as their American counterparts. Their elites knew what they were doing.

Complicating the European position was the creation of the economic union and the euro by the economic and political elite. There has always been a great deal of ambiguity concerning the powers and authority of the European Union, but its intentions were always clear: to harmonize Europe and to create European-wide solutions to economic problems. This goal always created unease in Europe. There were those who were concerned that a united Europe would exist to benefit the elites, rather than the broader public. There were also those who believed it was designed to benefit the Franco-German core of Europe rather than Europe as a whole. Overall, this reflected minority sentiment, but it was a substantial minority.

The financial crisis came at Europe in three phases. The first was part of the American subprime crisis. The second wave was a uniquely European crisis. European banks had taken massive positions in the Eastern European banking systems. For example, the Czech system was almost entirely foreign (Austrian and Italian) owned. These banks began lending to Eastern European homebuyers, with mortgages denominated in euros, Swiss francs or yen rather than in the currencies of the countries involved (none yet included in the eurozone). Doing this allowed banks to reduce interest rates, as the risk of currency fluctuation was pushed over to the borrower. But when the zlotys and forints began to plunge, these monthly mortgage payments began to soar, as did defaults. The European core, led by Germany, refused a European bailout of the borrowers or lenders even though the lenders who created this crisis were based in eurozone countries. Instead, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was called in to use funds that included American and Chinese, as well as European, money to solve the problem. This raised the political question in Eastern Europe as to what it meant to be part of the European Union.

The third wave is represented by crisis in sovereign debt in countries that are part of the eurozone but not in the core of Europe — Greece, of course, but also Portugal and possibly Spain. In the Greek case, the Germans in particular hesitated to intervene until it could draw the IMF — and non-European money and guarantees — into the mix. This obviously raised questions in the periphery about what membership in the eurozone meant, just as it created questions in Eastern Europe about what EU membership meant.

But a much deeper crisis of legitimacy arose. In Germany, elite sentiment accepted that some sort of intervention in Greece was inevitable. Public sentiment overwhelmingly opposed intervention, however. The political elite moved into tension with the financial elite under public pressure. In Greece, a similar crisis emerged between an elite that accepted that foreign discipline would have to be introduced and a public that saw this discipline as a betrayal of its interests and national sovereignty.

Europe thus has a double crisis. As in the United States, there is a crisis between the financial and political systems. This crisis is not as intense as in the United States because of a deeper tradition of integration between the two systems in Europe. But the tension between masses and elites is every bit as intense. The second part of the crisis is the crisis of the European Union and growing sense that the European Union is the problem and not the solution. As in the United States, there is a growing movement to distrust not only national arrangements but also multinational arrangements.

The United States and Europe are far from the only areas of the world facing crises of legitimacy. In China, for example, the growing suppression of all dissent derives from serious questions as to whom the financial expansion of the past 30 years benefits, and who will pay for the downturns. It is also interesting to note that Russia is suffering much less from this crisis, having lived through its own crisis before. The global crisis of legitimacy has many aspects worth considering at some point.

But for now, the important thing is to understand that both Europe and the United States are facing fundamental challenges to the legitimacy of, if not the regime, then at least the manner in which the regime has handled itself. The geopolitical significance of this crisis is obvious. If the Americans and Europeans both enter a period in which managing the internal balance becomes more pressing than managing the global balance, then other powers will have enhanced windows of opportunities to redefine their regional balances.

In the United States, we see a predictable process. With the unease over elites intensifying, the political elite is trying to stabilize the situation by attacking the financial elite. It is doing this to both demonstrate that the political elite is distinct from the financial elite and to impose the consequences on the financial elite that the impersonal system was unable to do. There is precedent for this, and it will likely achieve its desired end: greater control over the financial system by the state and an acceptable moral tale for the public.

The European process is much less clear. The lack of clarity comes from the fact that this is a test for the European Union. This is not simply a crisis within national elites, but within the multinational elite that created the European Union. If this leads to the de-legitimization of the EU, then we are really in uncharted territory.

But the most important point is that almost two years since a normal financial panic, the polity has still not managed to absorb the consequences of that event. The politically contrived corporation, and particularly the financial corporations, stands accused of undermining the wealth of nations. As Adam Smith understood, markets are not natural entities but the result of political decisions, as is the political system that creates the allocation of risk that allows markets to function. When that system appears to fail, the consequences go far beyond the particular financials of that event. They have political consequences and, in due course, geopolitical consequences.

Title: For Republicans: great news
Post by: ccp on May 05, 2010, 03:32:29 PM
I was looking for this guy but could not find him till now.  I heard him speak on cable and he wowed me:   Allen West in Florida.

****Among the many reverberations of President Obama’s election, here is one he probably never anticipated: at least 32 African-Americans are running for Congress this year as Republicans, the biggest surge since Reconstruction, according to party officials.

Barbara P. Fernandez for The New York Times
Allen West, running in Florida, says the notion of racism in the Tea Party movement has been made up by the news media.

Princella Smith, in Arkansas, says she disagrees with President Obama but is proud of the country for electing him.
The House has not had a black Republican since 2003, when J. C. Watts of Oklahoma left after eight years.

But now black Republicans are running across the country — from a largely white swath of beach communities in Florida to the suburbs of Phoenix, where an African-American candidate has raised more money than all but two of his nine (white) Republican competitors in the primary.

Party officials and the candidates themselves acknowledge that they still have uphill fights in both the primaries and the general elections, but they say that black Republicans are running with a confidence they have never had before. They credit the marriage of two factors: dissatisfaction with the Obama administration, and the proof, as provided by Mr. Obama, that blacks can get elected.

“I ran in 2008 and raised half a million dollars, and the state party didn’t support me and the national party didn’t support me,” said Allen West, who is running for Congress in Florida and is one of roughly five black candidates the party believes could win. “But we came back and we’re running and things are looking great.”

But interviews with many of the candidates suggest that they felt empowered by Mr. Obama’s election, that it made them realize that what had once seemed impossible — for a black candidate to win election with substantial white support — was not.

“There is no denying that one of the things that came out of the election of Obama was that you have a lot of African-Americans running in both parties now,” said Vernon Parker, who is running for an open seat in Arizona’s Third District. His competition in the Aug. 24 primary includes the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, Ben Quayle.

Princella Smith, who is running for an open seat in Arkansas, said she viewed the president’s victory through both the lens of history and partisan politics. “Aside from the fact that I disagree fundamentally with all his views, I am proud of my nation for proving that we have the ability to do something like that,” Ms. Smith said.

State and national party officials say that this year’s cast of black Republicans is far more experienced than the more fringy players of yore, and include elected officials, former military personnel and candidates who have run before.

Mr. Parker is the mayor of Paradise Valley, Ariz. Ryan Frazier is a councilman in Aurora, Colo., one of four at-large members who represent the whole city. And Tim Scott is the only black Republican elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives since Reconstruction.

“These are not just people pulled out of the hole,” said Timothy F. Johnson, chairman of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, a black conservative group. That is “the nice thing about being on this side of history,” he said.

He added that the candidates might be helped by the presence of Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee who is black and ran for the Senate himself in 2006.

“Party affiliation is not a barrier to inspiration,” Mr. Steele said in an e-mail message. “Certainly, the president’s election was and remains an inspiration to many.”

But Democrats and other political experts express skepticism about black Republicans’ chances in November. “In 1994 and 2000, there were 24 black G.O.P. nominees,” said Donna Brazile, a Democratic political strategist who ran Al Gore’s presidential campaign and who is black. “And you didn’t see many of them win their elections.”

Tavis Smiley, a prominent black talk show host who has repeatedly criticized Republicans for not doing more to court black voters, said, “It’s worth remembering that the last time it was declared the ‘Year of the Black Republican,’ it fizzled out.”

In many ways, this subset of Republicans is latching on to the basic themes propelling most of their party’s campaigns this year — the call for smaller government, less spending and stronger national security — rather than building platforms around social conservatism.

“Things have evolved,” said Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, who is heavily involved in recruiting Republican candidates. “I think partly the level of hostility to Obama, Pelosi and Reid makes a lot of people pragmatically more open to a coalition from the standpoint of being a long-term majority party.”

Many of the candidates are trying to align themselves with the Tea Partiers, insisting that the racial dynamics of that movement have been overblown. Videos taken at some Tea Party rallies show some participants holding up signs with racially inflammatory language.

A recent New York Times/CBS News poll found that 25 percent of self-identified Tea Party supporters think that the Obama administration favors blacks over whites, compared with 11 percent of the general public.

The black candidates interviewed overwhelmingly called the racist narrative a news media fiction. “I have been to these rallies, and there are hot dogs and banjos,” said Mr. West, the candidate in Florida, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army. “There is no violence or racism there.”

There is also some evidence that black voters rally around specific conservative causes. A case in point was a 2008 ballot initiative in California outlawing same-sex marriage that passed in large part because of support from black voters in Southern California.

Still, black Republicans face a double hurdle: black Democrats who are disinclined to back them in a general election, and incongruity with white Republicans, who sometimes do not welcome the blacks whom party officials claim to covet as new members.

This spring, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell of Virginia was roundly attacked for not mentioning slavery in his Confederate History Month proclamation, which he later said was a “major omission.” Black candidates said these types of gaffes posed problems in drawing African-Americans to their party, but also underscored their need to be there.

“I think what the governor failed to do was to recognize the pain and the emotion that was really sparked by the institution of slavery,” said Mr. Frazier of Colorado. “As a Republican, I think I have a responsibility to continue to work within my party to avoid those types of barriers. The key for the Republican Party is to engage every community on the issues they care about and not act as if they don’t exist.”****

Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on May 05, 2010, 10:37:09 PM
Thank you CCP! More Black Republicans are running for congress than ever before.  Allen West sounds very good to me.  I listened to him here on a Laura Ingraham archive following your post:

Of course there is a shortage of people of color in the Republican Party when 19 out of 20 African-Americans voted for Obama.  West spells it out.  We don't compete based on selling Democrat-Lite.  We stand for a set of principles and ask people to join with us with those principles.

He says that if the tea party is only for white people maybe he just has a very good tan.

Florida 22 is the East coast from Palm Beach down to Fort Lauderdale. Allen West lost in 2008 by 9.5%, very possibly winnable this year.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on May 08, 2010, 09:05:45 AM
It seems most Blacks will never listen to Whites so if there are more Blacks in the "other" party maybe more will reconsider and we can break the Dem stranglehold on minorities.  It doesn't seem this can happen overnight.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Rarick on May 11, 2010, 03:43:11 AM
I remember a black conservative that lasted about a year in the public eye- he ended up "scandalled" into inconsequentiality.   I am amazed at how the consevative side ends up "uncle tommed" or "house N!@@a'd" to death.  (that is a misuse of reality, but there it is).  I remember a show done in recent memory where High Schoolers were questionaired about jobs and some of the reasons that came up were "that isn't a job a black man takes".   It reminded me of the women's job/man's job game and how those perceptions could be self limiting...........

I did see it in the service, Technical jobs were majority'd my whites and "smart" stereotyped minorities with a smattering of others, usually from "small town north" areas.  Supply/ Support was mainly minority with a smattering of "inner big city" majority.  I found the flip flop kind of interesting- but the TV show made it clear how people were taking jobs that were acceptable to a common vision of themselves and peers.............
Title: Morris:repubs look poised to retake Congress
Post by: ccp on May 14, 2010, 09:08:07 AM
By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann 05.12.2010 Behind the scenes, the chances of a GOP takeover of the US Senate increased in the past two weeks with key developments in pivotal states.

Already, Republican candidates are ahead in eight states now represented by Democrats: Delaware, North Dakota, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Colorado, Arkansas and Nevada. And, in California, Senator Barbara Boxer is polling in the low 40s just barely ahead of her Republican challengers.

But nine seats won’t give us control since Biden would break the tie for the Democrats. We need ten.

Enter Washington State where a large field of Republican candidates have failed to dent the lead of three term incumbent Senator Patty Murray. But now it appears that Dino Rossi, the former Republican candidate for Governor, is likely to get into the race. Rossi, in fact, won the election for governor in Washington only to have it stolen from him by 200 votes after multiple recounts. Rossi trails Murray by only 48-46 even though he has yet to announce his candidacy. The vital tenth seat may well be Washington.

Or will it be Wisconsin where Democratic incumbent Russ Feingold is seeking re-election. Feingold is so far left that he wouldn’t find any district this side of Havana safe. And he has now drawn two top tier Republican opponents: Beer mogul Richard Leinenkugel and conservative activist Ron Johnson. Feingold scores below 50% of the vote in trial matchups, a sure indication of vulnerability.

Leinenkugel has good credentials for a race having served as state Commerce Secretary albeit in the current Democratic Administration of Governor Doyle. Johnson brings a compelling speaking style and solid conservative credentials — and a boatload of dough — to the race. Feingold won’t sleep well tonight.

And bear in mind New York where three good candidates — David Malpass, Joe DioGuardia, and Bruce Blakeman — are vying to take on vulnerable appointed incumbent Kristen Gillibrand. Read our book, 2010: Take Back America: A Battle Plan, to see how weak Gillibrand is.

And Connecticut where Democratic Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has slipped to 52% of the vote against Republican challenger Rob Simmons (he leads by 52-38). Blumenthal runs stronger against Linda McMahon of wrestling fame (he beats her, according to Rasmussen, by 55-35). If Simmons wins the primary, he has a good chance of knocking off Blumenthal.

So among Washington, Wisconsin, New York, and Connecticut, we are looking increasingly likely to find a tenth Republican victory.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 17, 2010, 09:20:05 AM
Please post this in the States' Rights Thread or the Constitutional Law thread on the SCH forum too.  Thank you.
Title: Zo!
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 18, 2010, 11:43:44 AM
Title: POTH: Reps ask "Why us?"
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 24, 2010, 05:02:10 AM
It's POTH, so caveat lector:

Republicans See Big Chance, but Are Worried, Too
Published: May 23, 2010

WASHINGTON — Republicans remain confident of making big gains in the fall elections, but as the midterm campaign begins in earnest, they face a series of challenges that could keep the party from fully capitalizing on an electorate clamoring for change in Washington.

There are growing concerns among Republicans about the party’s get-out-the-vote operation and whether it can translate their advantage over Democrats in grass-roots enthusiasm into turnout on Election Day. They are also still trying to get a fix on how to run against President Obama, who, polls suggest, remains relatively well-liked by voters, even as support for his agenda has waned.
Republicans are working to find a balance between simply running against Democrats and promoting a specific alternative agenda. And they are struggling with how to integrate the passions of the Tea Party movement — with its anti-government ideology, anti-incumbent bent and often-rough political edges — into the Republican Party apparatus.

This week, House Republicans are beginning a program they call “America Speaking Out.” Their message is that lawmakers will be listening to their supporters over the summer, not simply dictating an agenda. In the fall, Republican leaders said, they plan to turn the ideas into specific policy proposals for the next Congress.

A series of events last week prompted a re-examination among Republicans of where the party stands less than six months before the midterm elections. In Pennsylvania, a Republican House candidate, Tim Burns, lost a special election by 8 points in a swing district of the sort the party needs to capture to have a shot of regaining the majority. And in a Republican primary for a Senate seat from Kentucky, Rand Paul, a leading emblem of the Tea Party, won a commanding victory.

“Democrats still need to be really worried,” said Joe Gaylord, a Republican strategist who helped guide the party’s sweeping Congressional victories in 1994. “But there has to be a message that we are for something, and that if you elect Republicans, there will be some change.”

For much of the first 16 months of the Obama administration, Republicans have unified around an opposition to the president’s agenda, trying to stop nearly every proposal. But that allowed Democrats to brand their rivals as obstructionists who were unwilling to compromise, setting off second-guessing among Republicans about whether they needed to do more. As the fall election comes into sharper view, the party faces the burden of introducing plans that appeal to its base without alienating independent voters.

Republicans continue to have much in their favor, and over all appear to be in a stronger position than Democrats. They continue to benefit from a widespread sense among voters that government has gotten too expansive, with Mr. Obama’s health care bill as Exhibit A. The economic recovery remains tepid, with unemployment still high.

Republicans raised more money than Democrats last month, a reflection of the optimism about the potential for gains in November among the party’s contributors. And the party did pick up a House seat in Hawaii on Saturday in a special election in a district that is heavily Democratic — two rival Democrats split their party’s vote — but Democrats expressed confidence they would win the seat back in November.

While Democrats also face challenges motivating their base this year, the Democratic margin of victory in the House race in Pennsylvania suggests that the party may enjoy organizational capabilities that Republicans do not.

Representative Pete Sessions of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, has said that anything short of taking back the House would be a failure. And since the setback in Pennsylvania last week, there has been decided concern in Republican circles that perhaps they were too optimistic.

“You’ve got a country that is in a surly mood and is skeptical of incumbents generally,” said Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota. “But some people have put the expectations so high, even if Republicans do reasonably well this fall, it could look like we haven’t done as well as we should have.”

The defeat in Pennsylvania not only helped alter the perception of the battle for control of Congress, but also prompted a review of how effective Mr. Sessions’s committee has been executing its on-the-ground campaign efforts.

“There is going to be a holistic assessment of what went wrong in the race and what we can learn from it,” said Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the No. 2 Republican. “We have to face the fact that these are going to be very tough races.”

Thomas M. Reynolds, the former New York congressman who headed the Republican campaign operation in 2004 and 2006, said the party needed to better balance local issues with appeals that take into account the national climate.

“We still have an angry electorate that both Democrats and Republicans face,” Mr. Reynolds said, “and our candidates need to talk about what matters at home and what they are going to do about it from an unpopular Washington.”

In the House, Republicans must capture 40 additional seats to win control from Democrats. In the Senate, strategists on both sides believe the prospects of Republicans winning 10 seats to take control remain slim.


Page 2 of 2)

“The one thing that hasn’t changed is, the Republican Party brand is still pretty weak,” said Phil Musser, a Republican strategist. “We need an overhaul, and there is a big opportunity to rebrand around a few unifying themes besides just opposition to Obama.”

As many primary elections give way to the fall campaign, Republicans face a host of broader, thematic questions.
Should the party, for example, seek to nationalize the election? Should it direct candidates to demonize Mr. Obama or Speaker Nancy Pelosi the way Democrats demonized former President George W. Bush in 2006, or the way some Tea Party leaders are demonizing Mr. Obama? Will the legislative achievements of Democrats in recent months — the health care measure and presumably a financial regulation bill — permit Democrats to argue that Washington can get something done, or will the substance of the legislation provide a target for those who argue against the expansion of government?

Some Republicans say they cannot win races by focusing on Democratic leaders, an approach that failed for Republicans in the Pennsylvania race as it did for them nationally in 2008. “It didn’t work then and it isn’t working now,” said Representative Mike Simpson, Republican of Idaho.

Rob Jesmer, the executive director of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, said he thought that given Mr. Obama’s popularity, it was critical for Senate candidates to run against the Democratic agenda, rather than just Mr. Obama himself.

At the same time, there is also increasing pressure on Republicans to come up with some sort of governing agenda to offer Americans an idea of what they would do should they win control of Congress, echoing what Republicans did in 1994 through the “Contract With America.”

But some party officials are wary of such an approach, saying it would allow Democrats to turn attention away from attacks on their own stewardship of Congress. A compromise was reached through the “America Speaking Out” tour, which is set to begin Tuesday.

“It’s a remarkable situation, given where things were a year ago, where Republicans clearly have an opportunity to do really well,” said David Winston, a Republican pollster who concentrates on Congressional races. “The door is open in terms of potential. But we have to answer the question, Why us?”
Title: On Rand Paul
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 24, 2010, 05:19:00 AM
second post of the day, from the POTH op-ed page

The Principles of Rand Paul
Published: May 23, 2010
No ideology survives the collision with real-world politics perfectly intact. General principles have to bend to accommodate the complexities of history, and justice is sometimes better served by compromise than by zealous intellectual consistency.

This was all that Rand Paul needed to admit, after his victory in Kentucky’s Republican Senate primary, when NPR and Rachel Maddow asked about his views of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. “As a principled critic of federal power,” he could have said, “I oppose efforts to impose Washington’s will on states and private institutions. As a student of the history of segregation and slavery, however, I would have made an exception for the Civil Rights Act.”
But Paul just couldn’t help himself. He had to play Hamlet, to hem and haw about the distinction between public and private discrimination, to insist on his sympathy for the civil rights movement while conspicuously avoiding saying that he would have voted for the bill that outlawed segregation.

By the weekend (and under duress), he finally said it. But the tap-dancing route he took to get there was offensive, tone deaf and politically crazy.

It was also sadly typical of the political persuasion that Rand Paul represents.

This persuasion shouldn’t be confused with the Tea Party movement, whose inchoate antideficit enthusiasms Paul rode to victory last Tuesday. Nor is it just libertarianism in general, a label that gets slapped on everyone from Idaho milita members to Silicon Valley utopians to pro-choice Republicans in Greenwich.

Paul is a libertarian, certainly, but more importantly he’s a particular kind of a libertarian. He’s culturally conservative (opposing both abortion and illegal immigration), radically noninterventionist (he’s against the Iraq war and the United Nations), and so stringently constitutionalist that he views nearly everything today’s federal government does as a violation of the founding fathers’ vision.

This worldview goes by many names, including “paleoconservatism,” “the old right” and “paleolibertarianism.” But its adherents — Paul and his father, Ron, included — view themselves as America’s only true conservatives, arguing that the modern conservative movement has sold out to both big government and the military-industrial complex.

Instead of celebrating the usual Republican pantheon, paleoconservatives identify with the “beautiful losers” of American history, to borrow a phrase from the paleocon journalist Sam Francis — the anti-imperialists who opposed the Spanish-American War, the libertarians who stood athwart the New Deal yelling “stop,” the Midwestern Republicans who objected to the growth of the national security state after World War II. And they offer an ideological synthesis that’s well outside either political party’s mainstream — antiwar and antiabortion, against the Patriot Act but in favor of a border fence, and skeptical of the drug war and the welfare state alike.

In an age of lockstep partisanship, there’s a lot to admire about this unusual constellation of ideas, and its sweeping critique of American politics as usual. There’s a reason that both Rand and Ron Paul have inspired so much visceral enthusiasm, especially among younger voters, while attracting an eclectic cross-section of supporters — hipsters and N.R.A. members, civil libertarians and Christian conservatives, and stranger bedfellows still.

The problem is that paleoconservatives are self-marginalizing, and self-destructive.

Like many groups that find themselves in intellectually uncharted territory, they have trouble distinguishing between ideas that deserve a wider hearing and ideas that are crankish or worse. (Hence Ron Paul’s obsession with the gold standard and his son’s weakness for conspiracy theories.)

Like many outside-the-box thinkers, they’re good at applying their principles more consistently than your average partisan, but lousy at knowing when to stop. (Hence the tendency to see civil rights legislation as just another unjustified expansion of federal power.)

And like many self-conscious iconoclasts, they tend to drift in ever-more extreme directions, reveling in political incorrectness even as they leave common sense and common decency behind.

It isn’t surprising that two of the most interesting “paleo” writers of the last few decades, Francis and Joseph Sobran, ended their careers way out on the racist or anti-Semitic fringe. It isn’t a coincidence that the most successful “paleo” presidential candidate, Pat Buchanan, opposes not only America’s interventions in Iraq, but the West’s involvement in World War II as well. It isn’t surprising that Ron Paul kept company in the 1990s with acolytes who attached his name to bigoted pamphleteering.

And it shouldn’t come as a shock that his son found himself publicly undone, in what should have been his moment of triumph, because he was too proud to acknowledge the limits of ideology, and to admit that a principle can be pushed too far.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: G M on May 24, 2010, 05:33:12 AM
"The problem is that paleoconservatives are self-marginalizing, and self-destructive."

Title: WSJ
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 24, 2010, 06:24:38 AM
Republican candidate Rand Paul's controversial remarks on the 1964 Civil Rights Act unsettled GOP leaders this week, but they reflect deeply held iconoclastic beliefs held by some in his party, and many in the tea-party movement, that the U.S. government shook its constitutional moorings more than 70 years ago.

Mr. Paul and his supporters rushed to emphasize that his remarks did not reflect racism but a sincerely held, libertarian belief that the federal government, starting in the Roosevelt era, gained powers that set the stage for decades of improper intrusions on private businesses.

Mr. Paul, the newly elected GOP Senate nominee in Kentucky, again made headlines Friday when he told ABC's "Good Morning America" that President Barack Obama's criticism of energy giant BP and of its oil-spill response was "really un-American."

That followed a tussle over the landmark civil-rights law, which Mr. Paul embraced after suggesting Wednesday that the act may have gone too far in mandating the desegregation of private businesses. Late Friday, NBC said that Mr. Paul had cancelled a scheduled appearance on the Sunday morning show "Meet the Press,'' a rare development in the history of the widely watched political program. The network said it was asking Mr. Paul to reconsider.

In tea-party circles, Mr. Paul's views are not unusual. They fit into a "Constitutionalist" view under which the federal government has no right to dictate the behavior of private enterprises. On the stump, especially among tea-party supporters, Mr. Paul says "big government" didn't start with President Obama, Lyndon Johnson's Great Society of the 1960s or the advance of central governance sparked by World War II and the economic boom that followed.

He traces it to 1937, when the Supreme Court, under heated pressure from President Franklin Roosevelt, upheld a state minimum-wage law on a 5-4 vote, ushering in the legal justification for government intervention in private markets.

Until the case, West Coast Hotel v. Parrish, the Supreme Court had sharply limited government action that impinged on the private sector, infuriating Mr. Roosevelt so much that he threatened to expand the court and stack it with his own appointees.

Following his comments on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Rand Paul said Friday morning President Obama's criticism of BP has sounded "really un-American." WSJ's Jerry Seib joins the News Hub to discuss the latest controversy and the political damage of Paul's recent comments.
."It didn't start last year. I think it started back in 1936 or 1937, and I point really to a couple of key constitutional cases… that all had to do with the commerce clause," Mr. Paul said in an interview before Tuesday's election, in which he defeated a Republican establishment candidate, hand-picked by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, Ky.).

Mr. Paul has said that, if elected, one of his first demands will be that Congress print the constitutional justification on any law is passes.

Last week, Mr. Paul encouraged a tea-party gathering in Louisville to look at the origins of "unconstitutional government." He told the crowd there of Wickard v. Filburn, a favorite reference on the stump, in which the Supreme Court rejected the claims of farmer Roscoe Filburn that wheat he grew for his own use was beyond the reach of federal regulation. The 1942 ruling upheld federal laws limiting wheat production, saying Mr. Filburn's crop affected interstate commerce. Even if he fed his wheat to his own livestock, the court reasoned, he was implicitly affecting wheat prices. If he had bought the wheat on the market, he would subtly have raised the national price of the crop.

"That's when we quit owning our own property. That's when we became renters on our own land," Mr. Paul told the crowd.

In an interview, Mr. Paul expressed support for purely in-state gun industries, in which firearms are produced in one state with no imported parts and no exports. Guns produced under those circumstances can't be subjected to a federal background check, waiting period or other rules, he reasons.

"I'm not for having a civil war or anything like that, but I am for challenging federal authority over the states, through the courts, to see if we can get some better rulings," he said.

To supporters, such ideological purity has made the Bowling Green ophthalmologist a hero.

"He's going back to the Constitution," said Heather Toombs, a Louisville supporter who came to watch him at a meet-and-greet at a suburban home last week. "He's taking back the government."

But to Democrats, some Republicans and even some libertarians, Mr. Paul's arguments seem detached from the social fabric that has bound the U.S. together since 1937. The federal government puts limits on pollutants from corporations, monitors the safety of toys and other products and ensures a safe food supply—much of which Mr. Paul's philosophy could put in question.

David Boaz, executive vice president of the libertarian Cato Institute, said that in many ways Americans are freer now than they were in any pre-1937 libertarian Halcyon day. Women and black citizens can vote, work and own property. "Micro-regulations" that existed before the Supreme Court shift, which controlled trucking, civil aviation and other private pursuits, are gone.

"Sometimes he talks the way libertarians talk in political seminars," Mr. Boaz said of Mr. Paul. "There are not really many people who want to reverse Wickard, but there are many professors who could make a good case for it."

"Rand Paul apparently has a deeply held conviction that corporations should be allowed to do what they see fit without oversight or accountability," Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, Mr. Paul's Democratic opponent in the Senate contest, said Friday.

Mr. Paul's views differ from those of the Republican Party on some fundamental matters. Mr. Paul opposes the anti-terrorism PATRIOT Act, which he says infringes on civil liberties. He opposed the war in Iraq and says any war cannot be waged unless and until Congress formally declares it. And he has expressed misgivings about the nation's drug laws.

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R, Ariz.) told the newspaper Politico that Mr. Paul's civil rights comments were comparable to "a debate like you had at 2 a.m. in the morning when you're going to college. But it doesn't have a lot to do with anything."

—Jean Spencer and Douglas A. Blackmon contributed to this article.
Write to Jonathan Weisman at
Title: The Way Forward: Reject the Keynesian 'stimulus'
Post by: DougMacG on May 26, 2010, 08:07:28 AM
From other threads: Next year's budget is to spend $4 trillion and take in just 2.5 while private employment is at the lowest percentage of the economy in history and public employment at its highest.

We can't all agree on all issues.  Could we all at least agree that the government is not the economy, that we do not stimulate the economy by growing the government and we certainly do not alleviate the debt crisis by exploding the debt.

If everyone knows you can't raise taxes in a weak economy, then get the tax increases scheduled for the end of this year off the table NOW.  The opposition party should make that point every morning on the steps of congress until the ruling party agrees or until the voters have their say.

The double tax on business is out of line competitively - the corporate rate should be lowered to the average of the OECD.  Then the rest of the tax cutting wish list needs to be put on hold while we Cut Spending First. 

At four trillion of federal spending and growing, the answer to which program to cut is yes - all of them will be fully scrutinized, cut and frozen until the private economy can catch up with the  funding.  JMHO.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 27, 2010, 09:11:40 AM
Alexander's Essay – May 27, 2010

In Memoriam: American Patriots
"With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live as slaves." --Declaration of the Cause and Necessity of Taking up Arms, July 6, 1775

Patriots RememberedMonday is Memorial Day, that exceptional day of each year all Patriots reserve to formally honor the service and sacrifice of generations of uniformed Patriots now departed -- Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who honored their sacred oaths "to support and defend" our Constitution and the liberty it enshrines.

In this era, however, our "progressive" academic institutions choose not to teach genuine history or civics. Consequently, many Americans have no sense of reverence or obligation for the liberty they enjoy. Indeed, many will "celebrate" Memorial Day as any other holiday, with barbecues, beer, and commercial sales at local malls. Simply put, they have sold out Memorial Day.

However, those of us who do understand the cost of liberty will advance this custom in honor of fallen Patriots, with both formal rites and simple prayers. For it is through the legacy of these Patriots that we are able to see most clearly our nation's noble history of eternal vigilance in support of liberty.

In 1776, an extraordinary group of men signed a document affirming our God-given right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Their commitment to the principles outlined therein are summed up in its final sentence: "And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."

Founding Patriot John Adams wrote: "I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States."

And the cost has been incalculable.

Generations of Patriots have since pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor in defense of the Essential Liberty codified by our Founders in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.

Our nation has, time and again, spent its treasure and spilt its sons' blood, not only for liberty at home, but also abroad.

However, Benjamin Franklin noted in 1777 that it should be so: "

Since the opening salvos of the American Revolution, nearly 1.2 million American Patriots have died in defense of liberty. Additionally, 1.4 million have been wounded in combat, and tens of millions more have served honorably, surviving without physical wounds. These numbers, of course, offer no reckoning of the inestimable value of their service or the sacrifices borne by their families, but we do know that the value of the liberty they have extended to their posterity -- to us -- is priceless.

"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died," said Gen. George S. Patton. "Rather we should thank God that such men lived."

While I greatly appreciate Gen. Patton's sentiment, I must respectfully disagree with his premise. I both mourn their absence and thank God they lived.

Etched into the base of the Iwo Jima Memorial in our nation's capital are the words of Adm. Chester Nimitz, his timeless tribute to the Marines who fought so valiantly there during World War II: "Uncommon valor was a common virtue." Such valor has attended every conflict involving American Patriots.

Not to be confused with men of such virtue, last week, Barack Hussein Obama addressed the graduating class at the United States Military Academy. His minions brokered Obama's appearance before the latest Corps (pronounced "core", not "corpse") of Cadets in the Long Gray Line, in an effort to burnish his thin veneer as "Commander in Chief" of our Armed Forces.

Obama used the occasion to dress up his strategy of appeasement.

In other years, men of somewhat greater stature have addressed the USMA, perhaps the most memorable being General Douglas MacArthur, who delivered his address on "Duty, Honor and Country," without the assistance of teleprompters, or even notes.

His words immortalize the spirit of all American Patriots who have served our nation in uniform:

Their story is known to all of you. It is the story of the American man at arms. My estimate of him was formed on the battlefields many, many years ago, and has never changed. I regarded him then, as I regard him now, as one of the world's noblest figures; not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most stainless.

His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give. He needs no eulogy from me, or from any other man. He has written his own history and written it in red on his enemy's breast.

But when I think of his patience under adversity, of his courage under fire, and of his modesty in victory, I am filled with an emotion of admiration I cannot put into words. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful patriotism. He belongs to posterity as the instructor of future generations in the principles of liberty and freedom. He belongs to the present, to us, by his virtues and by his achievements.

In twenty campaigns, on a hundred battlefields, around a thousand campfires, I have witnessed that enduring fortitude, that patriotic self-abnegation, and that invincible determination which have carved his statue in the hearts of his people.

From one end of the world to the other, he has drained deep the chalice of courage. As I listened to those songs of the glee club, in memory's eye I could see those staggering columns of the First World War, bending under soggy packs on many a weary march, from dripping dusk to drizzling dawn, slogging ankle deep through mire of shell-pocked roads; to form grimly for the attack, blue-lipped, covered with sludge and mud, chilled by the wind and rain, driving home to their objective, and for many, to the judgment seat of God.

I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory. Always for them: Duty, Honor, Country. Always their blood, and sweat, and tears, as they saw the way and the light.

And twenty years after, on the other side of the globe, against the filth of dirty foxholes, the stench of ghostly trenches, the slime of dripping dugouts, those boiling suns of the relentless heat, those torrential rains of devastating storms, the loneliness and utter desolation of jungle trails, the bitterness of long separation of those they loved and cherished, the deadly pestilence of tropic disease, the horror of stricken areas of war.

Honor. Duty. Country.

Thomas Jefferson offered this advice to all generations of Patriots: "Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them."


We owe a great debt of gratitude to all those generations who have passed the torch of liberty to succeeding generations.

In Memoriam, we recall these words from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

"Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours."

And these...

"[L]et us make a vow to our dead. Let us show them by our actions that we understand what they died for. Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their valor, and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died." --Ronald Reagan at Pointe du Hoc, 1984
Title: The Americans who risked everything
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 04, 2010, 11:22:59 AM
The Americans Who Risked Everything

My father, Rush H. Limbaugh, Jr., delivered this oft-requested address locally a number of times, but it had never before appeared in print until it appeared in The Limbaugh Letter. My dad was renowned for his oratory skills and for his original mind; this speech is, I think, a superb demonstration of both. I will always be grateful to him for instilling in me a passion for the ideas and lives of America's Founders, as well as a deep appreciation for the inspirational power of words which you will see evidenced here:
"Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor"

It was a glorious morning. The sun was shining and the wind was from the southeast. Up especially early, a tall bony, redheaded young Virginian found time to buy a new thermometer, for which he paid three pounds, fifteen shillings. He also bought gloves for Martha, his wife, who was ill at home.

Thomas Jefferson arrived early at the statehouse. The temperature was 72.5 degrees and the horseflies weren't nearly so bad at that hour. It was a lovely room, very large, with gleaming white walls. The chairs were comfortable. Facing the single door were two brass fireplaces, but they would not be used today.

The moment the door was shut, and it was always kept locked, the room became an oven. The tall windows were shut, so that loud quarreling voices could not be heard by passersby. Small openings atop the windows allowed a slight stir of air, and also a large number of horseflies. Jefferson records that "the horseflies were dexterous in finding necks, and the silk of stockings was nothing to them." All discussing was punctuated by the slap of hands on necks.

On the wall at the back, facing the president's desk, was a panoply -- consisting of a drum, swords, and banners seized from Fort Ticonderoga the previous year. Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold had captured the place, shouting that they were taking it "in the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!"

Now Congress got to work, promptly taking up an emergency measure about which there was discussion but no dissension. "Resolved: That an application be made to the Committee of Safety of Pennsylvania for a supply of flints for the troops at New York."

Then Congress transformed itself into a committee of the whole. The Declaration of Independence was read aloud once more, and debate resumed. Though Jefferson was the best writer of all of them, he had been somewhat verbose. Congress hacked the excess away. They did a good job, as a side-by-side comparison of the rough draft and the final text shows. They cut the phrase "by a self-assumed power." "Climb" was replaced by "must read," then "must" was eliminated, then the whole sentence, and soon the whole paragraph was cut. Jefferson groaned as they continued what he later called "their depredations." "Inherent and inalienable rights" came out "certain unalienable rights," and to this day no one knows who suggested the elegant change.

A total of 86 alterations were made. Almost 500 words were eliminated, leaving 1,337. At last, after three days of wrangling, the document was put to a vote.

Here in this hall Patrick Henry had once thundered: "I am no longer a Virginian, sir, but an American." But today the loud, sometimes bitter argument stilled, and without fanfare the vote was taken from north to south by colonies, as was the custom. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

There were no trumpets blown. No one stood on his chair and cheered. The afternoon was waning and Congress had no thought of delaying the full calendar of routine business on its hands. For several hours they worked on many other problems before adjourning for the day.
Much To Lose

What kind of men were the 56 signers who adopted the Declaration of Independence and who, by their signing, committed an act of treason against the crown? To each of you, the names Franklin, Adams, Hancock and Jefferson are almost as familiar as household words. Most of us, however, know nothing of the other signers. Who were they? What happened to them?

I imagine that many of you are somewhat surprised at the names not there: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Patrick Henry. All were elsewhere.

Ben Franklin was the only really old man. Eighteen were under 40; three were in their 20s. Of the 56 almost half - 24 - were judges and lawyers. Eleven were merchants, nine were landowners and farmers, and the remaining 12 were doctors, ministers, and politicians.

With only a few exceptions, such as Samuel Adams of Massachusetts, these were men of substantial property. All but two had families. The vast majority were men of education and standing in their communities. They had economic security as few men had in the 18th Century.

Each had more to lose from revolution than he had to gain by it. John Hancock, one of the richest men in America, already had a price of 500 pounds on his head. He signed in enormous letters so that his Majesty could now read his name without glasses and could now double the reward. Ben Franklin wryly noted: "Indeed we must all hang together, otherwise we shall most assuredly hang separately."

Fat Benjamin Harrison of Virginia told tiny Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts: "With me it will all be over in a minute, but you, you will be dancing on air an hour after I am gone."

These men knew what they risked. The penalty for treason was death by hanging. And remember, a great British fleet was already at anchor in New York Harbor.
They were sober men. There were no dreamy-eyed intellectuals or draft card burners here. They were far from hot-eyed fanatics yammering for an explosion. They simply asked for the status quo. It was change they resisted. It was equality with the mother country they desired. It was taxation with representation they sought. They were all conservatives, yet they rebelled.

It was principle, not property, that had brought these men to Philadelphia. Two of them became presidents of the United States. Seven of them became state governors. One died in office as vice president of the United States. Several would go on to be U.S. Senators. One, the richest man in America, in 1828 founded the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. One, a delegate from Philadelphia, was the only real poet, musician and philosopher of the signers. (It was he, Francis Hopkinson not Betsy Ross who designed the United States flag.)

Richard Henry Lee, a delegate from Virginia, had introduced the resolution to adopt the Declaration of Independence in June of 1776. He was prophetic in his concluding remarks: "Why then sir, why do we longer delay? Why still deliberate? Let this happy day give birth to an American Republic. Let her arise not to devastate and to conquer but to reestablish the reign of peace and law.

"The eyes of Europe are fixed upon us. She demands of us a living example of freedom that may exhibit a contrast in the felicity of the citizen to the ever-increasing tyranny which desolates her polluted shores. She invites us to prepare an asylum where the unhappy may find solace, and the persecuted repost.

"If we are not this day wanting in our duty, the names of the American Legislatures of 1776 will be placed by posterity at the side of all of those whose memory has been and ever will be dear to virtuous men and good citizens."

Though the resolution was formally adopted July 4, it was not until July 8 that two of the states authorized their delegates to sign, and it was not until August 2 that the signers met at Philadelphia to actually put their names to the Declaration.

William Ellery, delegate from Rhode Island, was curious to see the signers' faces as they committed this supreme act of personal courage. He saw some men sign quickly, "but in no face was he able to discern real fear." Stephan Hopkins, Ellery's colleague from Rhode Island, was a man past 60. As he signed with a shaking pen, he declared: "My hand trembles, but my heart does not."
"Most Glorious Service"

Even before the list was published, the British marked down every member of Congress suspected of having put his name to treason. All of them became the objects of vicious manhunts. Some were taken. Some, like Jefferson, had narrow escapes. All who had property or families near British strongholds suffered.

· Francis Lewis, New York delegate saw his home plundered -- and his estates in what is now Harlem -- completely destroyed by British Soldiers. Mrs. Lewis was captured and treated with great brutality. Though she was later exchanged for two British prisoners through the efforts of Congress, she died from the effects of her abuse.

· William Floyd, another New York delegate, was able to escape with his wife and children across Long Island Sound to Connecticut, where they lived as refugees without income for seven years. When they came home they found a devastated ruin.

· Philips Livingstone had all his great holdings in New York confiscated and his family driven out of their home. Livingstone died in 1778 still working in Congress for the cause.

· Louis Morris, the fourth New York delegate, saw all his timber, crops, and livestock taken. For seven years he was barred from his home and family.

· John Hart of Trenton, New Jersey, risked his life to return home to see his dying wife. Hessian soldiers rode after him, and he escaped in the woods. While his wife lay on her deathbed, the soldiers ruined his farm and wrecked his homestead. Hart, 65, slept in caves and woods as he was hunted across the countryside. When at long last, emaciated by hardship, he was able to sneak home, he found his wife had already been buried, and his 13 children taken away. He never saw them again. He died a broken man in 1779, without ever finding his family.

· Dr. John Witherspoon, signer, was president of the College of New Jersey, later called Princeton. The British occupied the town of Princeton, and billeted troops in the college. They trampled and burned the finest college library in the country.
· Judge Richard Stockton, another New Jersey delegate signer, had rushed back to his estate in an effort to evacuate his wife and children. The family found refuge with friends, but a Tory sympathizer betrayed them. Judge Stockton was pulled from bed in the night and brutally beaten by the arresting soldiers. Thrown into a common jail, he was deliberately starved. Congress finally arranged for Stockton's parole, but his health was ruined. The judge was released as an invalid, when he could no longer harm the British cause. He returned home to find his estate looted and did not live to see the triumph of the Revolution. His family was forced to live off charity.

· Robert Morris, merchant prince of Philadelphia, delegate and signer, met Washington's appeals and pleas for money year after year. He made and raised arms and provisions which made it possible for Washington to cross the Delaware at Trenton. In the process he lost 150 ships at sea, bleeding his own fortune and credit almost dry.

· George Clymer, Pennsylvania signer, escaped with his family from their home, but their property was completely destroyed by the British in the Germantown and Brandywine campaigns.

· Dr. Benjamin Rush, also from Pennsylvania, was forced to flee to Maryland. As a heroic surgeon with the army, Rush had several narrow escapes.

· John Martin, a Tory in his views previous to the debate, lived in a strongly loyalist area of Pennsylvania. When he came out for independence, most of his neighbors and even some of his relatives ostracized him. He was a sensitive and troubled man, and many believed this action killed him. When he died in 1777, his last words to his tormentors were: "Tell them that they will live to see the hour when they shall acknowledge it [the signing] to have been the most glorious service that I have ever rendered to my country."

· William Ellery, Rhode Island delegate, saw his property and home burned to the ground.
· Thomas Lynch, Jr., South Carolina delegate, had his health broken from privation and exposures while serving as a company commander in the military. His doctors ordered him to seek a cure in the West Indies and on the voyage, he and his young bride were drowned at sea.

· Edward Rutledge, Arthur Middleton, and Thomas Heyward, Jr., the other three South Carolina signers, were taken by the British in the siege of Charleston. They were carried as prisoners of war to St. Augustine, Florida, where they were singled out for indignities. They were exchanged at the end of the war, the British in the meantime having completely devastated their large landholdings and estates.

· Thomas Nelson, signer of Virginia, was at the front in command of the Virginia military forces. With British General Charles Cornwallis in Yorktown, fire from 70 heavy American guns began to destroy Yorktown piece by piece. Lord Cornwallis and his staff moved their headquarters into Nelson's palatial home. While American cannonballs were making a shambles of the town, the house of Governor Nelson remained untouched. Nelson turned in rage to the American gunners and asked, "Why do you spare my home?" They replied, "Sir, out of respect to you." Nelson cried, "Give me the cannon!" and fired on his magnificent home himself, smashing it to bits. But Nelson's sacrifice was not quite over. He had raised $2 million for the Revolutionary cause by pledging his own estates. When the loans came due, a newer peacetime Congress refused to honor them, and Nelson's property was forfeited. He was never reimbursed. He died, impoverished, a few years later at the age of 50.
Lives, Fortunes, Honor

Of those 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, in each case with brutal treatment. Several lost wives, sons or entire families. One lost his 13 children. Two wives were brutally treated. All were at one time or another the victims of manhunts and driven from their homes. Twelve signers had their homes completely burned. Seventeen lost everything they owned. Yet not one defected or went back on his pledged word. Their honor, and the nation they sacrificed so much to create is still intact.

And, finally, there is the New Jersey signer, Abraham Clark.

He gave two sons to the officer corps in the Revolutionary Army. They were captured and sent to that infamous British prison hulk afloat in New York Harbor known as the hell ship Jersey, where 11,000 American captives were to die. The younger Clarks were treated with a special brutality because of their father. One was put in solitary and given no food. With the end almost in sight, with the war almost won, no one could have blamed Abraham Clark for acceding to the British request when they offered him his sons' lives if he would recant and come out for the King and Parliament. The utter despair in this man's heart, the anguish in his very soul, must reach out to each one of us down through 200 years with his answer: "No."

The 56 signers of the Declaration Of Independence proved by their every deed that they made no idle boast when they composed the most magnificent curtain line in history. "And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
My friends, I know you have a copy of the Declaration of Independence somewhere around the house - in an old history book (newer ones may well omit it), an encyclopedia, or one of those artificially aged "parchments" we all got in school years ago. I suggest that each of you take the time this month to read through the text of the Declaration, one of the most noble and beautiful political documents in human history.

There is no more profound sentence than this: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness..."

These are far more than mere poetic words. The underlying ideas that infuse every sentence of this treatise have sustained this nation for more than two centuries. They were forged in the crucible of great sacrifice. They are living words that spring from and satisfy the deepest cries for liberty in the human spirit.

"Sacred honor" isn't a phrase we use much these days, but every American life is touched by the bounty of this, the Founders' legacy. It is freedom, tested by blood, and watered with tears.

- Rush Limbaugh III
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 04, 2010, 11:14:25 PM
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on July 13, 2010, 08:17:36 AM
This opinion addresses I think a point CCP just made in 'Politics'.

Think Big
Republicans should embrace Paul Ryan's Road Map.
BY Fred Barnes
July 19, 2010

For Republicans, the Road Map authored by congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is the most important proposal in domestic policy since Ronald Reagan embraced supply side economics in the 1980 presidential campaign. It’s not only the freshest, boldest, and most comprehensive Republican thinking, it’s also the most relevant. If Republicans adopt the Road Map as their basic ideological blueprint, it offers them the prospect of a landslide in the midterm election this year, followed by victory in the presidential election in 2012.

For sure, that’s a lot of weight for a policy statement drafted by a 40-year-old House member to bear. But the Road Map is perfectly timed to deal with the crises of the moment: economic stagnation, uncontrolled spending, the deficit and long-term debt, soaring tax rates, health care, the housing problem, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid.

Yet Republican leaders are wary of endorsing it, and for understandable reasons. The Road Map is sweeping and politically risky. It would overhaul popular programs like Medicare, relying on individuals to make decisions now made by government. Democrats are already attacking it. When Ryan delivered the weekly Republican radio address in late June, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi put out a press release under the heading, “Republicans Make Key Advocate of Privatizing Social Security and Ending Medicare Their Spokesman on Budget.”

Democrats insist focus groups have rejected Ryan’s reform of Medicare. When swing voters learn Medicare would become “a voucher system .  .  . it has a massive impact,” Democratic strategist Robert Creamer wrote in the Huffington Post. “People like the Democratic program of Medicare.”

Republican leaders fear the Road Map might jeopardize, or at least minimize, what is expected to be a decisive Republican victory in the November midterm election. Their advantage in the congressional generic poll is at an all-time high, and President Obama’s approval rating has dropped to the mid-40s. Given these usually reliable indicators, why give Democrats a target to shoot at?

There are three reasons Republicans should ignore their jitters about the Road Map. The first is that the nation’s disenchantment with Obama and Democrats will take Republicans only so far. There’s a residue of bad feelings toward Republicans from the years the party ruled Congress, spent too much, and produced scandals.

Voters have memories. To overcome their qualms, Republicans need to provide more than a litany of Democratic faults. Voters are frightened about the future of the country. They’re looking for a serious solution to the mess we’re in. The Road Map offers exactly that, plus the opportunity to win more seats than Republicans are likely to capture solely by zinging Democrats.

The second reason should be obvious after the ignominious Republican defeat in May in the race for John Murtha’s old House seat in Pennsylvania. Democrat Mark Critz won by running to the right—against Washington, Obama, spending, the deficit —and Democratic candidates across the country are taking the same tack.

Republican candidates need to put some daylight between themselves and their Democratic opponents. The Road Map will do that. Democrats can’t endorse it for fear of alienating their liberal base, which loathes anything that reduces the size of government. The Road Map stamps Republican candidates as the real conservatives, which is what voters happen to be looking for in 2010.

The third reason is the Republican message (or the absence of one). In Pennsylvania, it was “send a message to Nancy Pelosi.” Voters declined. I like the Republican slogan that worked so well in 1946—“Had enough?” But a slogan is not a message. The Road Map is a message. The country is falling apart, we’re going broke, government is on a takeover binge, the economy is wobbling. The Road Map is the solution. That’s a pretty good message.

Those who tremble at the thought of pushing a big idea should remember the campaign of 1980. Reagan, who for years had warned of the evils of government spending and overreach, suddenly became the champion of an across the board, 30 percent cut in tax rates for individuals and business.

That was very risky. The elder George Bush called it “voodoo economics.” Democrats were certain the whopping tax cut would turn the country against Reagan. Quite the opposite occurred. Reagan would have defeated Jimmy Carter without it, but not by the 10 percentage points he actually won by. The tax cut showed Reagan was serious about reviving the economy and not at all a weakling like Carter.

In 1994, the Contract With America wasn’t as risky. It wasn’t a big idea either, but a collection of smaller ones. Democrats, however, believed it would doom Republican chances of a substantial victory. It didn’t. It can’t be proved, but I think the Contract enlarged the Republican landslide.

For now, the Road Map has a relatively small but growing cheering section. A dozen House members have endorsed it. Senator Jim DeMint praised it in his book Saving Freedom. Jeb Bush likes it. On CNN last week, economic historian Niall Ferguson called Ryan “a serious thinker on the Republican right who’s prepared to grapple with these issues of fiscal sustainability and come up with a plan.”

Ferguson sees the Road Map as “radical fiscal reform,” which it is, and said Washington should recognize it as the alternative to “the Keynesian option,” which Washington doesn’t. “I’m depressed how few people in Washington are prepared to talk about” the Road Map option, he said.

Ryan isn’t depressed. “As soon as people become informed and know the details, the more they like it,” he told me. He says the Road Map is “based on a fundamentally different vision” from the “government-centered ideology now prevailing in Washington .  .  . and restores an American character rooted in individual initiative, entrepreneurship, and opportunity.”

The full plan—“A Road Map for America’s Future”—is outlined in a formidable, 87-page document. It would give everyone a refundable tax credit to buy health insurance, allow individual investment accounts to be carved out of Social Security, reduce the six income tax rates to two (10 and 25 percent), and replace the corporate tax (35 percent) with a business consumption tax (8.5 percent). And that’s not the half of it.

As ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, Ryan was able to get the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to run the numbers in his plan. CBO concluded the plan would “make the Social Security and Medicare programs permanently solvent [and] lift the growing debt burden on future generations, and hold federal taxes to no higher than 19 percent of GDP.” Pretty impressive results, I’d say.

The Road Map does one more thing. It would give Republicans an agenda if they gain control of the House or Senate in the midterm election—or a mandate if they win both. “What’s the point of winning an election if you don’t have a mandate?” Ryan asks.

He doesn’t expect a mandate in 2010. “I need to make sure these ideas survive this election,” he says, and set the stage for “the most ideological, sea-changing election in our lifetime” in 2012. Merely survive in 2010? The Road Map can do better than that. How about thrive?
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 13, 2010, 08:25:37 AM
Ryan is a bright guy who seems to have character and intellectual integrity.  Definitely someone to keep an eye on.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on July 13, 2010, 08:31:51 AM
Actually I saw the Barnes article.

The challenge is to convince the hoards of Americans who rely on unemployment, who work for beans paying their bills from week to week, that this is best for them as well as the country overall.

Maybe Ryan can be that point spokesperson.  Like Gingrich was in 1994.  I like Gingrich but I think it better if we can get new faces. We need someone who also evokes empathy - Gingrich does not and never has.

We need someone who can show he gets the "pain" while he is telling us the truth about the sacrifices we must all make to get out of this mess.
Title: The Way Forward: Paul Ryan
Post by: DougMacG on July 14, 2010, 02:33:34 PM
"Ryan is a bright guy who seems to have character and intellectual integrity."

I didn't realize he is only 40 and ranking member of the house budget committee.  Assuming no executive experience he might be perfectly qualified for President...  Better, I would like to see him as the next speaker.

The issue Barnes addresses is whether the party should adopt a comprehensive plan that fixes this mess, include necessarily the controversial entitlement changes and a mandate to reform or I suppose just take 3 or 4 bullet points on the weaknesses of the Dems just to win.

Paul Ryan:  "I for one tried to get us out of this rut by offering my own plan. I call it “A Roadmap for America’s Future.”  The motivation in putting this plan out there is twofold:

One: show us that we can do it.  Put out a plan with real numbers, certified by the actuaries of Social Security and Medicaid, certified by the CBO that shows us we can get off of this debt path that we’re on, that we can actually turn this thing around.  It’s a plan that does three things: pay of our national debt; fulfill the mission of health and retirement security; and get the engine of American prosperity back up and running. Get us on a pathway to growth; get us on a pathway to higher standards of living; get us on a pathway to creating jobs, instead of the path we are currently on.

The second reason why I did the Roadmap was to try and actually encourage other people to come up with their own plans.  I’m not suggesting that I have all of the answers to fix all of these problems.  This is how I would fix these problems.  What I’m trying to do is to get people who don’t agree with the way we choose to fix these problems to come up with their own plans.  Unfortunately, we’ve had nothing."
WSJ (JANUARY 26, 2010)

A GOP Road Map for America's Future
There's still time to rejuvenate our market economy and avoid a European-style welfare state.


In tonight's State of the Union address, President Obama will declare a new found commitment to "fiscal responsibility" to cover the huge spending and debt he and congressional Democrats have run up in his first year in office. But next Monday, when he submits his actual budget, I fear it will rely on gimmickry, commissions, luke-warm spending "freezes," and paper-tiger controls to create the illusion of budget discipline. Meanwhile, he and the Democratic congressional leadership will continue pursuing a relentless expansion of government and a new culture of dependency.

America needs an alternative. For that reason, I have reintroduced my plan to tackle our nation's most pressing domestic challenges—updated to reflect the dramatic decline in our economic and fiscal condition. The plan, called A Road Map for America's Future and first introduced in 2008, is a comprehensive proposal to ensure health and retirement security for all Americans, to lift the debt burdens that are mounting every day because of Washington's reckless spending, and to promote jobs and competitiveness in the 21st century global economy.

The difference between the Road Map and the Democrats' approach could not be more clear. From the enactment of a $1 trillion "stimulus" last February to the current pass-at-all costs government takeover of health care, the Democratic leadership has followed a "progressive" strategy that will take us closer to a tipping point past which most Americans receive more in government benefits than they pay in taxes—a European-style welfare state where double-digit unemployment becomes a way of life.

Americans don't have to settle for this path of decline. There's still time to choose a different future. That is what the Road Map offers. It is based on a fundamentally different vision from the one now prevailing in Washington. It focuses the government on its proper role. It restrains government spending, and hence limits the size of government itself. It rejuvenates the vibrant market economy that made America the envy of the world. And it restores an American character rooted in individual initiative, entrepreneurship and opportunity.

Here are the principal elements:

• Health Care. The plan ensures universal access to affordable health insurance by restructuring the tax code, allowing all Americans to secure an affordable health plan that best suits their needs, and shifting the control and ownership of health coverage away from the government and employers to individuals.

It provides a refundable tax credit—$2,300 for individuals and $5,700 for families—to purchase coverage (from another state if they so choose) and keep it with them if they move or change jobs. It establishes transparency in health-care price and quality data, so this critical information is readily available before someone needs health services.

State-based high risk pools will make affordable care available to those with pre-existing conditions. In addition to the tax credit, Medicaid will provide supplemental payments to low-income recipients so they too can obtain the health coverage of their choice and no longer be consigned to the stigmatized, sclerotic care that Medicaid has come to represent.

• Medicare. The Road Map secures Medicare for current beneficiaries, while making common-sense reforms to save this critical program. It preserves the existing Medicare program for Americans currently 55 or older so they can receive the benefits they planned for throughout their working lives.

For those under 55—as they become Medicare-eligible—it creates a Medicare payment, initially averaging $11,000, to be used to purchase a Medicare certified plan. The payment is adjusted to reflect medical inflation, and pegged to income, with low-income individuals receiving greater support. The plan also provides risk adjustment, so those with greater medical needs receive a higher payment.

The proposal also fully funds Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) for low-income beneficiaries, while continuing to allow all beneficiaries, regardless of income, to set up tax-free MSAs. Enacted together, these reforms will help keep Medicare solvent for generations to come.

• Social Security. The Road Map preserves the existing Social Security program for those 55 or older. For those under 55, the plan offers the option of investing over one-third of their current Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts, similar to the Thrift Savings Plan available to federal employees. This proposal includes a property right, so those who own these accounts can pass on the assets to their heirs. The plan also guarantees that individuals will not lose a dollar they contribute to their accounts, even after inflation.

The plan also makes the program permanently solvent by combining a modest adjustment in the growth of initial Social Security's benefits for higher-income individuals, with a gradual, modest increase in the retirement age.

• Tax Reform. The Road Map offers an alternative to today's needlessly complex and unfair tax code, providing the option of a simplified system that promotes work, saving and investment.

This highly simplified code fits on a postcard. It has just two rates: 10% on income up to $100,000 for joint filers and $50,000 for single filers, and 25% on taxable income above these amounts. It also includes a generous standard deduction and personal exemption (totaling $39,000 for a family of four), and no tax loopholes, deductions, credits or exclusions (except the health-care tax credit).

The proposal eliminates the alternative minimum tax. It promotes saving by eliminating taxes on interest, capital gains, and dividends. It eliminates the death tax. It replaces the corporate income tax—currently the second highest in the industrialized world—with a business consumption tax of 8.5%. This new rate is roughly half the average in the industrialized world and will put American companies and workers in a stronger position to compete in a global economy.

Even without the Democratic spending spree, our fiscal outlook is deteriorating. They are only hastening the crisis. It is not too late to take control of our fiscal and economic future. But the longer we wait, the bigger the problem becomes and the more difficult our options for solving it.

The Road Map promotes our national prosperity by limiting government's burden of spending, mandates and regulation. It ensures the opportunity for individuals to fulfill their human potential and enjoy the satisfaction of their own achievements—and it secures the distinctly American legacy of leaving the next generation better off.

Mr. Ryan, a Republican congressman from Wisconsin, is the ranking member of the Budget Committee.
Title: "E" in twelve?
Post by: ccp on July 15, 2010, 12:38:53 PM
H in 1988, W in 2000, and E in 12?
From Huffington Post:

2010 Bush Revival, Bush 3rd Term, Bush Brand, Bush Gillespie, Bush Jeb, Bush Reemergence, Jeb Bush, Jeb Bush 2012, Jeb Bush Revival, Karl Rove, Rosenberg Bush, Rove Bush, Simon Rosenberg, Politics News

Simon Rosenberg is the most bullish of Democratic strategists. The former Clinton administration official and head of the young non-profit group NDN has been the chief proponent of the belief that Barack Obama's election produced the opportunity for a "30-to-40-year era of Democratic dominance." A specialist in the political habits of different demographic groups (specifically Hispanics), he insists that, absent a drastic makeover, the GOP risks cementing itself "as irrelevant to the 21st century."

Sagging poll numbers and policy setbacks have done little to dissuade these rosy prognostications. There's only one thing that makes Rosenberg nervous: another Bush.

"Jeb [Bush] is married to a Latina, is fluent in Spanish, speaks on Univision as a commentator, his Spanish is that good," Rosenberg said of the former Florida governor and brother to the 43rd president during a lunch at NDN headquarters last week. "And if you look at the electoral map in 2012, you have to assume that Obama is going to have a very hard time in holding North Carolina and Virginia. The industrial Midwest, where the auto decline has been huge, has weakened Obama's numbers... a great deal. So Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin become a bit more wobbly. So if you're Barack Obama, the firewall is the Latin belt from Florida to southwestern California. And there is only one Republican who can break through that firewall. And it is Jeb."

Such a sentiment, Rosenberg admits, carries a slight hint of hysteria. After all, there is a good chunk of the country that recoils at the idea of another pol with the Bush surname. But that chunk has begun narrowing. And even within Democratic circles, there is an emerging belief that in a Republican Party filled with base-pleasing dramatizers or bland conservatives, Jeb stands out.

"The vast majority of the voting public yearns for a non-Bush," said longtime Democratic strategist Donna Brazille. But, she added, "Jeb has the talent, the experience and the ability to rebuild the GOP's tent."

"I believe Jeb Bush could run," said Stanley Greenberg, a longtime Democratic pollster. "He is more of a genuine conservative than Romney. Bush is a big hangover, but not impossible." The question, Greenberg asks, is "does his immigration position get him into primary trouble?"

Talk of a prospective Jeb Bush presidential run in the 2012 election is, by definition, speculative. But Rosenberg's frankness in acknowledging his fears gets at a larger, more immediate political phenomenon. Roughly one-and-a-half years after George W. Bush left office with abysmal approval ratings and the likelihood of historical ignominy, the Bush brand is vying once more for political relevance. Within Republican circles, the fear that once accompanied any association with the 43rd president has diminished. There remain, of course, substantive critiques of Bush's presidency. And news that the former president would be releasing his book right around the time of the November election ignited some consternation among Republicans on Thursday.

Story continues below

But the criticisms are mainly offered as a method of distinguishing oneself as a fresh, fiscally sound breed of Republican. Behind the scenes, some of the major figures from the Bush years have assumed influential roles.

Karl Rove, the strategist chiefly responsible for George W. Bush's rise to political prominence, has become the de facto Yoda of the Republican Party, dispensing wisdom in private and from his various public perches. Ed Gillespie, the former RNC chair and Bush hand, has assumed a more institutionally important position, launching a public opinion firm (Resurgent Republic) as well as a election-oriented organization (American Crossroads) that is promising to spend big on the 2010 elections. To be sure, many Bush-linked figures have become, essentially, apolitical in the post-administration era (think: former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman). But others have yet to kill the political bug, such as Sara Taylor, an ex-Rove aide who now plays an important role with likely 2012 candidate, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

And then there is Jeb. The former governor, GOP officials say, has become increasingly engaged in charting the future of Republican politics. In addition to working closely with House leadership on various rebranding efforts, he helped craft the delicate strategy that the party took in the Florida Senate Republican primary. Understanding that the National Republican Senatorial Committee was essentially obligated to put its support behind his successor, Charlie Crist, he cautioned chairman John Cornyn (R-Tex) to anticipate Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio's rise. The committee was, subsequently, well-positioned to handle Crist's GOP defection.

"I am running into him more around the country than before I would have expected, more [than] when he was governor," said Grover Norquist, head of the influential Americans for Tax Reform and a connected Republican tactician if there ever was one. "As I travel around, I hear Jeb Bush was here last week or is coming next month. And I didn't hear that when he was governor..."

What kind of impact the Bush reemergence will have on the broader landscape is a hotly debated question within both party circles. During the 2008 cycle, these officials were marginalized -- either burned out from the past eight years or too toxic for prospective candidates to touch (the McCain campaign, famously, had a fiery relationship with the former president and his team). Now back on, what one operative called "political terra firma," they have already positioned themselves as the axis around which the GOP's election strategies will turn. Both Rove and Gillespie have used their Rolodexes to recruit major donors and their reputations to pow-wow with some of the more high-profile candidates.

Of course, there's some self-aggrandizement going on, several officials cautioned anonymously. Rove, in particular, is often described as more interested in advancing his own brand, often by overstating his influence. "Karl seems to be mostly in the Karl Rove business," said one GOP operative. "Selling books, going on TV, writing for the Wall Street Journal, speaking engagements. I don't know much advising he is doing."

But that sentiment is not shared by everyone. Indeed, at a time when the campaign committees (mainly the RNC) have floundered, more top-flight Republicans are looking at the operatives who led the Bush years as the closest they can get to a sure thing.

"I think that those two particularly [Rove and Gillespie] bring a credibility," says Norquist. "If you want to write a really big check, you trust Ed Gillespie and Rove will spend $1 million wisely... Both of them you can look at through the prism of the last six election cycles. They've won some and lost some but they are always shooting in the right direction."

Whether that direction ends up being right for the GOP in 2010 remains to be seen. For Democrats, Rove's involvement has been cheered -- in as much as it's created the ideal boogeyman to get the 2010 blood flowing.

"He is larger than life all across the spectrum," explained Tracy Sefl, a Democratic strategist who has worked on campaigns at all levels of governance. "His contradiction is being well-known for the colossal failures attributed to his watch and also being well-known for his intellectual, strategic abilities."

But the major question is whether or not the old Bush guard is properly suited for the modern GOP. Rove, to this point, has had two high-profile endorsement busts: Sen. Bob Bennett in the Utah Republican primary, and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson in the Texas gubernatorial primary. In each instance, he found himself on the wrong side of the Tea Party movement. Whether those are simply glitches in a broader effort to get Republicans elected or indicative of the grassroots and the Bush clan not operating off the same playbook is a major question going forward. And it's one that Jeb Bush -- as he ponders a potential 2012 bid -- will have to consider as well.

"I think that Bush-ism is still alive," said John Feehery, a longtime GOP consultant. "There is, however, an anti-Bushism in the party associated with the Rand Paul crowd. They don't like neocons and government. And Sarah Palin could be seen as part of that group... What people like about Jeb Bush is that he is smart and conservative and well-liked by the base... If there is going to be a Bush revival, Jeb is going to be the leader of that revival. But he has to contend with that [anti-Bushism]."
Title: The Way Forward: MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty
Post by: DougMacG on July 15, 2010, 09:37:06 PM
CCP: I was trying to figure out the E.  Jeb's real name is John Ellis Bush.  Yes, he would be a serious contender or frontrunner if not for the family name affiliation.  Seems like a showstopper yet we keep seeing those patterns.  Maybe he will run against Michelle O or Chelsea Clinton in 2016.  Seriously he would have been a better pick in any of the last several cycles.

MN Gov. Pawlenty has a piece published by Politico this week.  He seems to be picking up on the Paul Ryan themes and some of Gov. Christie's toughness on spending. 

Time for Obama to make sacrifices

By GOV. TIM PAWLENTY | 7/14/10

Later this week, the White House budget office is due to produce its midyear report on the nation’s fiscal health.

If history is any guide, the administration will try to paint a rosy picture, but the truth is already obvious: Washington under President Barack Obama is not just broken — it’s broke.

When Obama entered office, he inherited a budget deficit that reflected the toxic combination of recession, bailouts and runaway entitlement programs. But rather than getting the government’s finances under control, Obama and his allies in Congress poured gasoline on the fire with trillion-dollar boondoggles.

To put the recent spending binge in context, consider this: At the end of 2008, just before Obama took office, the federal debt was about 40 percent of our nation’s total economy. Now, according to a recent Congressional Budget Office report, the debt will explode to 62 percent of our economy by the end of this year.

If we consider off-budget liabilities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, underfunded entitlement promises and the budget effects embedded in the Democrats’ new health care bill, the fiscal picture gets even worse.

In a bizarre development, the Democratic-controlled House won’t even pass a budget for the first time in decades. Any family or business knows you can’t live within your means without a budget. Congressional Democrats have now announced they won’t even try.

As the governor of a state that, like most others, has been facing recession-driven budget shortfalls recently, I understand the challenges in front of the president. What I don’t understand is his refusal to do anything about it.

During my two terms in Minnesota, we balanced every biennial budget without raising taxes. We set priorities and cut spending. As the economy continues to struggle, more challenges lie ahead for both federal and state governments.

We should remember President Ronald Reagan’s advice that solutions may not be easy, but they are often simple. Obama and Congress should:

1. Set clear priorities but cut almost everything else. Not everything government does is equally important. When faced with a budget shortfall in Minnesota, we considered the importance of programs. We decided to protect funding for the most important ones: the National Guard, veterans’ support programs, public safety and K-12 schools.

Nearly everything else has been cut. Last year, we cut overall spending in real terms for the first time in the state’s 150-year history.

2. Reform out-of-control entitlements. By far, the biggest long-term driver of the federal debt is entitlement spending, including Social Security and Medicare. These programs are going to have to be changed. And despite Beltway rhetoric, it can be done.

For example, in Minnesota, our bus drivers in the Twin Cities had benefits that were completely unsustainable. The premise of our reform was simple:

The status quo must change. We kept our commitment to current employees but changed the rules for new hires.

Reforming that entitlement program and others wasn’t easy. The reforms for our bus drivers led to one of the longest transit strikes in recent history. But we did it. So must Washington.

3. Sacrifice. Americans have sacrificed enough; it’s time for government to sacrifice for a change. When Washington Democrats talk about balancing the budget, they speak gravely about painful choices and sacrifice — but what they mean is tax increases. In other words, we sacrifice so they can spend.

Before we ask taxpayers to make “painful choices,” we need to ask the politicians and bureaucrats to make a few first. In Minnesota, we rejected tax increases every year I was governor, and even cut taxes overall, to make our state more competitive. Washington can — and should — do the same.

The White House’s midyear review will very likely try to present the case for tax hikes as inevitable. But they are not.

Washington politicians may say you can’t solve the problem by simply cutting spending, protecting crucial priorities and balancing the budget without raising taxes.

But in Minnesota, we’ve proven: Yes, you can.

Tim Pawlenty is the Republican governor of Minnesota.

(Gov. Pawlenty won reelection in 2006 when almost no Republicans were winning - in a state where Dems now have a 65% majority in the state house and a 68% majority in the state senate.)
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 16, 2010, 01:35:48 AM
My understanding is that GH. Bush always thought Jeb would be the more likely to achieve the presidency and was surprised when it turned out to be GW.  I don't know that much about Jeb, but the little I know does not suggest that he would be the forceful leader committed to rolling back of the Feds to traditional proportions that we need.

The Pawlenty piece is pretty good.   The one time I caught him for a substantial piece of air time he struck me as , , , OK, lacking in fire-in-the-belly as so many Republicans are.  Still, the construction of this piece suggests that he is getting "the storyline" for his campaign in order.

I gather Newt is once again making serious noises.  Truly a tragedy IMHO that Fred Thompson muddied the waters in a way that kept him out last time.  I'd love to see what he could bring at this point in time, or whether he has lost his edge with too much punditry.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: prentice crawford on July 16, 2010, 01:51:36 AM
 I think Pawlenty is the best bet but the party elite still like Mitt and just like McCain he is no conservative. As far as Jeb, I don't think there is a chance in hell that another Bush will get into office. I'll tell you who I would really like to see run, just to stir things up and that is Michele Bachmann.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 16, 2010, 02:07:56 AM
Mitt has two large strikes against him IMHO:

1) Like GW Bush, he was born into a presitigious and powerful political family and as such does not know how to respond to class warfare and race baiting because of feelings of patricianly guilt/noblesse oblige.

2) My understanding is that his health care program in MA bears substantial resemblance to Obamacare and therefore will not be able to fight Obamacare

Michele Bachman definitely bears watching but frankly I do not see her as having the preparation or gravitas for President at this point in time.

Christie of NJ is showing a lot of testicular fortitude of the sort we need for budget issues, but is unknown to me with regard to other matters.

FWIW the Bret Baier Report tonight showed polling that had each Huckabee and Romney beating Baraq by a point and Palin tying him.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Rarick on July 16, 2010, 03:21:13 AM
Mitt also takes a hit from many on the religion factor, bullcrap, but there.

Ron Paul beat Mit Romney in the starw poll a few months back.  He has long experience in the house and some concepts that just might work.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on July 16, 2010, 10:19:00 AM
Crafty wrote: "The Pawlenty piece is pretty good.   The one time I caught him for a substantial piece of air time he struck me as , , , OK, lacking in fire-in-the-belly as so many Republicans are.  Still, the construction of this piece suggests that he is getting "the storyline" for his campaign in order."

That is about right and P.C. thanks for the nice words about him.  I know Pawlenty a little.  He does not have knock you off your chair charisma or seem Presidential, but none of them do.  He is positioning himself fairly well and getting good experience with the national shows for when the bigger names falter.  I post not to endorse but just so we start to get familiar with the people who will likely run.  A bit moderate for my taste but about as conservative as we can get and not be painted as a scary extremist.  I would just say don't underestimate him.  I think he would do pretty well in a long general election as a contrast to Obama, but maybe not at setting the base on fire early and maybe not the ability to separate himself from the packin a crowded primary.

Crafty is right on with Romney IMO.  He can draw a distinction between failed healthcare in Massachusetts and Obamacare - that it is what his liberal state wanted to do, but to an energized base it is still what we don't want, government run healthcare.  He presents himself very well but became a little too skilled at explaining his changes in views that kept coinciding with changes in his target market.

I like Newt. Newt doesn't have anyone but himself to blame.   Fred hardly stole the air in the room.  I don't care for Huckabee - I think he is the one that fractured or won the conservative vote, yet like P.C. I don't see him as conservative or electable.  I don't know when the time is right but Newt needs to step in early this election cycle and stop being coy about it if he wants to be President.  That was one thing Obama did right.  He made it clear early that he was running.

Palin is one who may benefit by waiting.  She is getting stronger and doing good work for the cause IMO.

Michele Bachmann has the most conservative district in MN and will win again but she won't ever be President.  Congress needs strong leaders with principles too.  She was a tax attorney.  A good firebrand partisan full of positive energy for the base, but not much reach across appeal. Very intelligent but a little gaffe prone.  This is a good video of her questioning Geithner and Bernancke:
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on July 16, 2010, 10:38:28 AM
"Christie of NJ is showing a lot of testicular fortitude of the sort we need for budget issues, but is unknown to me with regard to other matters."

May I suggest we all keep our eye open to this guy.  Everytime I hear him on talk shows he sounds better and better.  This guy learns.  He improves. Some have criticised him for not being "conservative" enough.  They are worng and he is right.  He cannot win if he comes out to as to "right".  We are in a Demcoratic state.  One out of three New Jerseans have been reported to be on some sort of dole.

Taxes are astronomical. Costs of living are high.  Most are working class.  They are struggling.  Unions are powerful.  Private unions and public unions.  They have a stranglehold on the Dem party.  Cristie seems to have been able to get past this more than anyone could have hoped.  Even Bob Grant says his accomplishments on union concessions while hardly great are still impressive.  He held teachers to I think a 2% raise rather thna 4 to 5%.

Corruption in local, county, state government is legendary though I doubt any more than anywhere else in the US, or at least the NE or West coast or other major metropolitan areas.

Watch this guy.  His learning curve, going from someone who could barely talk and give speeches to someone who is quite logical, convincing, charismatic, realistic, and taking on the unions by going to voters directly is so far impressive to me.  FINALLY we have someone who is doing what needs to be done.  And people are agreeing with him.  Yet as he has said, he has not won, and it remains to be seen the final result, he or I underestimate the use of bribery by the Dems to buy votes amongst working class, and dole receiving voters.
Title: correction
Post by: ccp on July 16, 2010, 10:40:51 AM
"he or I underestimate"

Sorry, I meant he or I do NOT underestimate" the Dems willingness to bribe voters with taxpayer money.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: prentice crawford on July 16, 2010, 06:23:23 PM
 I think Pawlenty is the best bet but the party elite still like Mitt and just like McCain he is no conservative. As far as Jeb, I don't think there is a chance in hell that another Bush will get into office. I'll tell you who I would really like to see run, just to stir things up and that is Michele Bachmann.
Hey Guys,
 I didn't say Bachmann could win or even make a good President, I said I would like to see her run just to stir things up. We need someone that can clearly define conservative values both fiscally and socially as things stand now. I don't think most conservatives today hold on to the old guard religious values as being enough to overcome the political realities of our modern society. Yes, they may still hold strong beliefs about abortion and gay marriage but I don't think that overturning Roe vs Wade is realistic to them any longer and things like legal unions are now more acceptable in a political sense. Bachmann is against abortion and gay marriage but I think she could bring conservatism up to date by showing the difference in political focus that many conservatives have nowadays of what is practical policy and what is personal faith that can't be forced on to others and at the same time show a forcefulness and firm will in regard to restoring our Constitutional Republic as envisioned by the Founders and returning to a free market economy where Capitalism (not unfettered greed or political manipulation), is allowed to seek its own highs and lows, its own failures and successes that gives incentive for the kind of innovation that supports natural stability, not a stagnant artificial one supported by tax payers.
Title: Here it comes again
Post by: ccp on July 17, 2010, 12:28:51 PM
Yes the E is for Ellis.  I never knew that was his middle name, or even that his first name is John.

On another note IT is starting again.  Could anyone really have thought that either of them would simply go away?

It is no accident we are seeing  more headlines of Hillary lately.  I only post the news item below as an example of increasing Assoc Press releases about Hillary.  As always they follow her and discuss what she is doing without EVER being able to document ANY accomplishment on her part in anything she does.  As Crafty has so deftly pointed out with the simple question, what has Hillary ever accomplished?  The answer is nothing. Yet the MSM would have us believe she is and has accomplished so much for the country and the world.  Did we already here "rumors" that foreign leaders are "confiding" to her that they do not like Bmaster's policies.
 I am sick to think that we will be hearing and seeing more of her from lovers of Clinton and co. who are panicking over the failures of the ONE.  And of course behind the scenes she will encourage this while pretending to be loyal to the greatest super human who ever lived.  Pretending she is not interested in 2012 while waiting (and praying) for the "groundswell" of support with screams of "you go and girl", and "run Hillary run!"  Then she will due her duty for America and patriotically answer the people's calling for her to bring "Clintonism" back to save us (and of course the world).

***Clinton on key Afghan mission as US war fears grow
             Clinton AFP By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer Matthew Lee, Associated Press Writer – Sat Jul 17, 11:39 am ET
WASHINGTON – As concerns grow about the war in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is heading to South Asia on a mission aimed at refining the goals of the nearly 9-year-old conflict.

U.S. lawmakers are increasingly questioning the course of the war. The number of soldiers from the U.S. and other countries in the international coalition in Afghanistan is on the rise. Corruption is a deep problem in Afghanistan, and members of Congress wonder about the utility of massive aid to both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Clinton will attend an international conference in Kabul on Tuesday where the Afghan government is expected to outline plans to improve security, reintegrate militants into society and crack down on corruption. She also plans to stop in Pakistan to push greater cooperation between Islamabad and Kabul.

Clinton, who left Washington on Saturday, will meet up in the week ahead with Defense Secretary Robert Gates in South Korea, where tensions with the communist North have risen after the sinking of a South Korean warship that was blamed on the North.

She will finish her trip in Vietnam for discussions with regional leaders. Among the topics will be the upcoming elections in Myanmar.

At the Kabul conference, she will renew Washington's commitment to support Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government, but press him to follow through on reform pledges he made earlier this year.

Richard Holbrooke, President Barack Obama's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, has said the conference "will be a very important international demonstration of support" for Karzai and his administration.

But Holbrooke acknowledges concerns that the war and the reconstruction effort are not going as hoped or planned.

He told Congress this past week that "there are significant elements of movement forward in many areas, but I do not yet see a definitive turning point in either direction."

Last month was the deadliest of the war for international forces: 103 coalition troops were killed, despite the infusion of tens of thousands of new U.S. troops. So far in July, 54 international troops have died, 39 of them American. An American service member was killed by a blast in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, and an American died in a blast in the south on Friday.

International troops working with Afghan forces say they have killed or captured dozens of senior insurgent figures since April as they aggressively step up operations against the Taliban leadership. But those successes haven't slowed the pace of militant attacks, which continue daily, killing dozens of people each month.

The administration has said it will review its Afghan strategy at year's end. The slow progress against the Taliban and the disruptive effects of the firing of the outspoken American commander there last month, have led to a growing unease among many in Congress, including leading members of Obama's own party.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said it's not clear that the administration has a solid strategy for prevailing. The committee's top Republican, Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, decried "a lack of clarity" about U.S. war goals.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who leads the Senate Armed Services Committee, has said that while there remains "solid support" for the war among Democrats, "there's also the beginnings of fraying of that support."

In the House, Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., has put a hold on nearly $4 billion in assistance to Afghanistan, demanding that allegations of corruption be addressed and that the Afghan government be held accountable.***


Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 17, 2010, 12:35:24 PM
Not really the right thread for that piece.  Perhaps the Afpakia thread would have been better, or the Political thread.
Title: The Way Forward for the American Creed - Paul Ryan
Post by: DougMacG on July 19, 2010, 09:42:17 AM
Sorry I didn't catch that Paul Ryan had already ruled out in Feb a run for President in 2012, convincingly:
"There’s no way I am running for president in 2012," the Wisconsin Republican told the New York Times Magazine in a Q&A feature. "My head is not that big, and my kids are too small."

Too bad.  He is one who already proved he could win a debate with the President - on health care.  Did not rule out VP.  In the meantime he would provide an excellent contrast to Obama as U.S. Speaker of the House for Obama's last 2, lame duck years.
Title: Republicans:Puerto Rico for statehood?
Post by: ccp on July 20, 2010, 01:06:42 PM
Interesting read from G Will:

Through Puerto Rico, the GOP can reach out to Hispanics

By George Will | Republican governor -- a very Republican governor -- has an idea for solving one of his party's conundrums. The party should listen to Luis Fortuno, the Reaganite who resides in Puerto Rico's executive mansion.

Conservatives need a strategy for addressing the immigration issue without alienating America's largest and most rapidly growing minority. Conservatives believe the southern border must be secured before there can be "comprehensive" immigration reform that resolves the status of the 11 million illegal immigrants. But this policy risks making Republicans seem hostile to Hispanics.

Fortuno wants Republicans to couple insistence on border enforcement with support for Puerto Rican statehood. This, he says, would resonate deeply among Hispanics nationwide. His premise is that many factors -- particularly, the Telemundo and Univision television channels -- have created a common consciousness among Hispanics in America.

How many know that Puerto Ricans are American citizens? That every president since Truman has affirmed Puerto Rico's right to opt for independence or statehood? That every Republican platform since 1968 has endorsed Puerto Rico's right to choose statehood? That Ronald Reagan, announcing his candidacy in 1979, said, "I favor statehood for Puerto Rico"?


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Fortuno supports H.R. 2499 (also supported by such House conservatives as Minority Whip Eric Cantor, Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence and former Republican Study Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling), which would provide for a plebiscite on the island's current status. If a majority favor this status, the question could be asked again in eight years. If a majority vote for change, a second plebiscite would offer a choice among the current status, independence, "sovereignty in association with the United States" and statehood.

Puerto Rico, which is only half as far from Florida as Hawaii is from California, is about the size of Connecticut. Its population is larger than the populations of 24 states. There are, however, problems.

Puerto Rico's per capita income ($14,905) is only 50 percent of that of the poorest state (Mississippi, $30,103) and 27 percent of the richest (Connecticut, $54,397). The fact that Puerto Ricans are at home in American society does not entail the conclusion that the commonwealth, a distinct cultural and linguistic entity (most on the island do not speak English), belongs in the federal union. Currently, Puerto Ricans pay federal income taxes only on income from off the island.

Fortuno says the present system has failed to prevent the income disparity with the mainland from widening. But America does not want lukewarm citizens. In three referendums (1967, 1993, 1998), Puerto Ricans favored the status quo -- an unincorporated territory -- over statehood. In 1998, the vote was 50.4 percent to 46.5 percent. In the 1950s, the last time the federal union was enlarged, Hawaiians and Alaskans overwhelmingly supported statehood.

Many Republicans suspect that congressional Democrats support statehood for the same reason they want to pretend that the District of Columbia is a state -- to get two more senators (and in Puerto Rico's case, perhaps six members of the House). Such Republicans mistakenly assume that the island's population of 4 million has the same Democratic disposition as the 4.2 million Puerto Ricans in the Bronx and elsewhere on the mainland.

Fortuno disagrees, noting that while Republicans on the mainland were losing in 2008, he was elected in the island's biggest landslide in 44 years. The party he leads won more than two-thirds of the seats in both houses of the legislature and three-fifths of the mayoralties, including that of San Juan. Fortuno, who calls himself a "values candidate" and goes to Catholic services almost every day, says that Puerto Ricans are culturally conservative -- 78 percent are pro-life, 91 percent oppose same-sex marriage and 30 percent of the 85 percent who are Christian are evangelicals. A majority supports his agenda, which includes tax and spending cuts, trimming 16,000 from public payrolls to begin eliminating the deficit that was 45 percent of the size of the budget.

Fortuno, 49, who has degrees from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and the University of Virginia's law school, looks half his age. "Republicans," he says, "cannot continue to oppose every Hispanic issue." If he is correct that Puerto Rican statehood is, or can become, such an issue, Republicans should hear him out.

The United States acquired Puerto Rico 112 years ago in the testosterone spill called the Spanish-American War. Before another century passes, perhaps Puerto Ricans' ambivalence about their somewhat ambiguous status can be rectified to the advantage of Republicans.

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Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 20, 2010, 03:49:46 PM
Very interesting.  Nice find CCP.
Title: The Way Forward? Hit piece on Gingrich
Post by: DougMacG on July 27, 2010, 10:39:05 AM
I like Newt and I will vote for him if he is the nominee.  I don't endorse these criticisms.  If any or all are partly true that still doesn't tell a fraction of the amazing story of what Newt accomplished.  This criticism comes from the right but these things always get lapped up by leftists  Supporters of Newt should aware and ready to answer the critics' charges against him - that's all I'm saying by posting (linking).
On Gingrich: A legacy of surrender
By HOWARD RICH | 7/26/10
(Howard Rich is chairman of Americans for Limited Government.)
Title: Newt
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 27, 2010, 02:19:28 PM
I too like Newt.  Indeed I like him a lot, but it is true that he played the spoiled brat about that Air Force One incident and did fold to Clinton and the Dems.  Newt did side with the RINO Reps in upstate NY.  I am bummed to see him go spineless against the NAACP.

Doug, you are quite right we need to now where our weaknesses are.
Title: The Way Forward - Need Leaders and Leadership
Post by: DougMacG on August 08, 2010, 08:38:32 AM
I watched R-leader Rep. Boehner today on Meet the Press.  Very lousy interview mostly because of the interviewer.  Boehner looked a couple of times like he needed a script and much of the times like he was reading from one.  He was being careful to not make news by saying something controversial, mostly missed the opportunity to set a positive agenda and draw in new people to the cause.  Mike Pence followed and was far more personable.  Paul Ryan is more articulate, disciplined and persuasive.  Boehner is a good guy and I would give him a B as minority leader but someone new, more dynamic and visionary should be the next Speaker.  Boehner did say they would be introducing something of an agenda or campaign platform after Labor Day.  Looking forward to it!

At the RNC, I might give Michael Steele a D for his job performance so far, yet would still probably keep him for his term.  More important over there is the behind the scenes work at the RNC which is probably D work too, but who knows.  I don't understand that a first black President spends his time reaching out to liberal elites, offers the inner city of America only free, borrowed money, and then a black RNC Chair reaching out only to known rich Republican donors.  Where is the real outreach?  Michael Steele IMO should use his position to round up a rainbow coalition of free thinkers and take the message directly into the worst inner-city neighborhoods in this country that it is the economic freedoms, not the government programs, that brings prosperity.  Not with the expectation of suddenly winning the minority vote, but to at least put the word out that there is a conservative viewpoint to consider and plenty of intelligent people of color and different ethnicities are joining in.

Nationwide, the grassroots tea party movement and the broadbased rejection at the opinion poll level of the Pelosi-Obama agenda has been phenomenal.  Leadership for the most part is lagging or missing so far.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 08, 2010, 08:20:39 PM
To me Boener epitomizes the sort of Rep that has led the Reps into the cul de sac in which they find themselves.

OTOH Ryan seems quite promising.
Title: What WE need is a version of Netanyahu
Post by: ccp on August 13, 2010, 10:07:51 AM
What America needs is a man like this.  Who can bring pride and strength to America - not shame and weakness.  What a difference!  For Israel I say this brings me only pride and greatfulness there is a real man at their helm.   :-D  For America the opposite -  a great deceiver, a huckster of sorts, a lover of himself.  :cry: :x

From Greorge Will - another great article:

***Israel's anti-Obama

By George Will | JERUSALEM — Two photographs adorn the office of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Together they illuminate a portentous fact: No two leaders of democracies are less alike — in life experiences, temperaments and political philosophies — than Netanyahu, the former commando and fierce nationalist, and Barack Obama, the former professor and post-nationalist.

One photograph is of Theodor Herzl, born 150 years ago. Dismayed by the eruption of anti-Semitism in France during the Dreyfus Affair at the end of the 19th century, Herzl became Zionism's founding father. Long before the Holocaust, he concluded that Jews could find safety only in a national homeland.

The other photograph is of Winston Churchill, who considered himself "one of the authors" of Britain's embrace of Zionism. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 stated: "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." Beginning in 1923, Britain would govern Palestine under a League of Nations mandate.

Netanyahu, his focus firmly on Iran, honors Churchill because he did not flinch from facts about gathering storms. Obama returned to the British Embassy in Washington the bust of Churchill that was in the Oval Office when he got there.

Obama's 2009 speech in Cairo, courting the Arab world, may have had measurable benefits, although the metric proving this remains mysterious. The speech — made during a trip when Obama visited Cairo and Riyadh but not here — certainly subtracted from his standing in Israel. In it, he acknowledged Israel as, in part, a response to Jewish suffering in the Holocaust. Then, with what many Israelis considered a deeply offensive exercise of moral equivalence, he said: "On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people — Muslims and Christians — have suffered in pursuit of a homeland."


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"On the other hand"? "I," says Moshe Yaalon, "was shocked by the Cairo speech," which he thinks proved that "this White House is very different." Yaalon, former head of military intelligence and chief of the general staff, currently strategic affairs minister, tartly asks, "If Palestinians are victims, who are the victimizers?"

The Cairo speech came 10 months after Obama's Berlin speech, in which he declared himself a "citizen of the world." That was an oxymoronic boast, given that citizenship connotes allegiance to a particular polity, its laws and political processes. But the boast resonated in Europe.

The European Union was born from the flight of Europe's elites from what terrifies them — Europeans. The first Thirty Years' War ended in 1648 with the Peace of Westphalia, which ratified the system of nation-states. The second Thirty Years' War, which ended in 1945, convinced European elites that the continent's nearly fatal disease was nationalism, the cure for which must be the steady attenuation of nationalities. Hence the high value placed on "pooling" sovereignty, never mind the cost in diminished self-government.

Israel, with its deep sense of nationhood, is beyond unintelligible to such Europeans; it is a stench in their nostrils. Transnational progressivism is, as much as welfare state social democracy, an element of European politics that American progressives will emulate as much as American politics will permit. It is perverse that the European Union, a semi-fictional political entity, serves — with the United States, the reliably anti-Israel United Nations and Russia — as part of the "quartet" that supposedly will broker peace in our time between Israel and the Palestinians.

Arguably the most left-wing administration in American history is trying to knead and soften the most right-wing coalition in Israel's history. The former shows no understanding of the latter, which thinks it understands the former all too well.

The prime minister honors Churchill, who spoke of "the confirmed unteachability of mankind." Nevertheless, a display case in Netanyahu's office could teach the Obama administration something about this leader. It contains a small signet stone that was part of a ring found near the Western Wall. It is about 2,800 years old — 200 years younger than Jerusalem's role as the Jewish people's capital. The ring was the seal of a Jewish official, whose name is inscribed on it: Netanyahu.

No one is less a transnational progressive, less a post-nationalist, than Binyamin Netanyahu, whose first name is that of a son of Jacob, who lived perhaps 4,000 years ago. Netanyahu, whom no one ever called cuddly, once said to a U.S. diplomat 10 words that should warn U.S. policymakers who hope to make Netanyahu malleable: "You live in Chevy Chase. Don't play with our future."

Title: Esquire: Long piece on Gingrich
Post by: DougMacG on August 13, 2010, 10:00:11 PM
First must comment on CCP's post of Geo. Will writing about Netanyahu.  I love it that one of his heroes/mentors is Churchill, and no he was not bound to become a close personal drinking buddy with Barack Obama, lol.

I thought I was clicking on a positive piece on Newt when I clicked on "Newt Gingrich: The Indispensable Republican" and kept the tab open until I had time to read it in its entirety.  Apologies in advance for posting/linking a second hit piece on Gingrich in a short time, but this is what is being written.  I didn't realize that Newt is already the front runner in polls and in money. I'm sure that is why the attacks have begun.  If you can wade through the obviously anti-Newt, anti-conservative, anti-Republican slant of the writing, I think you will find in this long piece covers his strengths and accomplishments and his weaknesses and vulnerabilities very thoroughly.  The bizarre writing style wanders in and out of interviews with none other than the ex-wife Marianne and with Newt.  He writes what people said sometimes in quotes and sometimes not. I wouldn't assume any/all of the covered facts or personal accusations and stories are completely true but I will guess that contents of this will become the centerpiece of the future attacks against him.  I don't expect him to answer any of it, just to move forward with whatever his new blueprint for the country will be.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on August 16, 2010, 08:53:17 AM
"Not just Bush, but the R. congress of that time needs to be answered."

What is interesting is that I read that one of the architects of W was Rove and that he is behind the scenes making a comeback if you will and is gaining inside power in the party.  OR he never lost it.

I don't know what to make of this.  If we say that compassionate conservatism does not work and is no more than conservatives trying to keep up with Dems in spending taxpayer money and competing with them to buy votes than, if it true, that Rove is consolidating his political behind the scenes power in the party, than what does that mean for the future of the party?

By the way, I predict we will have a Black Republican candidate for President in 2016.
Title: The Way Forward: Karl Rove?
Post by: DougMacG on August 16, 2010, 12:15:34 PM
"if... Rove is consolidating his political behind the scenes power in the party, than what does that mean for the future of the party?"

IMHO Rove was never the problem.  He is an adviser, not a politician or a leader.  Presidents need political advisers to figure out the political implications of things.  Rove made mistakes, all of them did.  This is a different time and his political advice would be different.  Rove's name is political poison to some I'm sure but I think he is a conservative with a keen insight.  Rove has value, skill, weaknesses and baggage, but I don't think he has any power or ever will other than the power of his ideas. Bush probably used him beyond his area of expertise and that was the Presdent's fault. I don't think any candidate would hand the whole campaign or agenda over to him today. A real leader has to take in all the advice in different directions and then do the right thing.

If I were a candidate, I would love to hear his advice, especially if I could get it in private without being tied publicly to advisers that brought us the failures of the past (and a number of successes).   Same with Dick Morris, though I wouldn't buddy around with him in public, but I would hear him out.  You have to win elections to govern and to prevent people like Pelosi-Obama from governing.  I would also consult and train with all the others I could find who have shown great skill at simplifying, clarifying and articulating the conservative message and define a realistic platform and agenda for this unique time in history.

I don't think Rove (or Cheney) ever controlled Bush or congress; I don't think Rahm or Axelrod control Obama, or Carville or Stephanopoulus controlled Clinton.  HW Bush caved in to his advisers but that again was his fault and his responsibility. We have just had a series of inconsistent or wrong headed leaders unfortunately.
Title: The Way Forward for the American Creed: I want your money
Post by: DougMacG on August 19, 2010, 04:23:47 PM
Impressive, short video 2 1/2 minutes, summarizes the political time we live in.

Title: WSJ: Tea Party pollster
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 22, 2010, 08:03:17 AM
San Diego, Calif.

You can tell it's a volatile political year when a balding, middle-aged pollster gets a standing ovation from hundreds of state legislators after delivering the news that only 23% of the people in this country believe today's federal government has the consent of the governed.

"Americans don't want to be governed from the left or the right," Scott Rasmussen tells the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conference of 1,500 conservative and moderate legislators. "They want, like the Founding Fathers, to largely govern themselves with Washington in a supporting—but not dominant—role. The tea party movement is today's updated expression of that sentiment."

Mr. Rasmussen tells the crowd gathered around him after his speech that the political and media elites have misread the tea party. He believes this strongly enough that he's teamed up with Doug Schoen—a pollster for both President Bill Clinton and New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg—to publish a new book that will seek to explain the movement's significance. "Mad as Hell" will be out early next month.

Thanks to the shifting tectonic plates of American society, polls have come to dominate our politics as never before, and Mr. Rasmussen is today's leading insurgent pollster. A co-founder of the sports network ESPN as a young man, now, at age 54, he's a key player in the contact sport of politics. His firm, Rasmussen Reports, has replaced live questioners with automated dialers so it can inexpensively survey a large sample of Americans every night about their confidence in the economy and their approval of President Obama. Key Senate and governor's races are polled every two weeks.

Some traditional pollsters argue otherwise, but time has shown that automated telephone technology delivers results that are just as accurate as conventional methods (as well as being far less costly). Mr. Rasmussen correctly predicted the 2004 and 2008 presidential races within a percentage point. In 2009, Mickey Kaus of noted that Mr. Rasmussen's final poll in the New Jersey governor's race was "pretty damn accurate. Polls using conventional human operators tended to show [Democrat Jon] Corzine ahead. They were wrong."

Christopher Serra
Scott Rasmussen
.Early this year, Mr. Rasmussen delivered the first early-warning sign that Scott Brown would change the direction of American politics. A Rasmussen poll showing Mr. Brown surging and only nine points down with two weeks left to go before January's special Senate election in Massachusetts attracted the instant attention of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. "How had this happened? What the bleep was going on?" is how the New York Times characterized his reaction. A Boston Globe poll taken about the same time showed Democrat Martha Coakley with a safe 15-point lead.

Mr. Rasmussen has a partial answer for Mr. Emanuel's question, and it lies in a significant division among the American public that he has tracked for the past few years—a division between what he calls the Mainstream Public and the Political Class.

To figure out where people are, he asks three questions: Whose judgment do you trust more: that of the American people or America's political leaders? Has the federal government become its own special interest group? Do government and big business often work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors? Those who identify with the government on two or more questions are defined as the political class.

Before the financial crisis of late 2008, about a tenth of Americans fell into the political class, while some 53% were classified as in the mainstream public. The rest fell somewhere in the middle. Now the percentage of people identifying with the political class has clearly declined into single digits, while those in the mainstream public have grown slightly. A majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents all agree with the mainstream view on Mr. Rasmussen's three questions. "The major division in this country is no longer between parties but between political elites and the people," Mr. Rasmussen says.

His recent polls show huge gaps between the two groups. While 67% of the political class believes the U.S. is moving in the right direction, a full 84% of mainstream voters believe the nation is moving in the wrong one. The political class overwhelmingly supported the bailouts of the financial and auto industries, the health-care bill, and the Justice Department's decision to sue Arizona over its new immigration law. Those in the mainstream public just as intensely opposed those moves.

The division of Americans into these groups has real significance for the way polls are conducted and how their results are interpreted, according to Mr. Rasmussen. One reason some polls offer misleading results, he says, is that the premise behind questions asked isn't always shared by those queried. "Many pollsters have asked voters whether policy makers should spend more to improve the economy or reduce spending to cut the deficit. But I found that 52% of Americans think more government spending hurts the economy and only 28% think it helps," he says. "The trade-offs pollsters offer voters often don't make sense to them. How you frame the question often obscures the results you get."

Mr. Rasmussen argues that Mr. Obama misread the data from early on in his administration. "People remember from his 2008 campaign that he promised to cut taxes for 95% of all Americans," he says. But Mr. Obama's stimulus package only grudgingly included modest tax cuts as part of an effort to secure Republican votes in Congress. "The week it passed, our poll found 62% of voters wanted more tax cuts and less government spending in the stimulus," he says. "We shouldn't be surprised people now think the stimulus has failed."

President Obama also bungled his message on health-care reform because he misread the polls, says Mr. Rasmussen. "He kept citing Congressional Budget Office projections that his plan would save money and cut the deficit. But our polls showed people didn't trust the elites: 60% thought it would raise the deficit and 81% thought it would cost more than CBO projected."

Democrats pushed the bill through anyway, convinced that voters would warm to it. Yet this past week, key White House allies conceded that hasn't happened. "Many don't believe health-care reform will help the economy," concluded a PowerPoint presentation put together by Families USA, a leading liberal group.

As we sit in a holding room after his speech at the conference, Mr. Rasmussen tells me that understanding the tea party is essential to predicting what the country's political scene will look like. "This will be the third straight election in which people vote against the party in power," he says. "The GOP will benefit from that this year, but 75% of Republicans say their representatives in Congress are out of touch with the party base. Should they win big this November, they will have to move quickly to prove they've learned lessons from the Bush years."

Mr. Rasmussen says it is hugely important to know whether a poll has surveyed all adults, registered voters or likely voters. "I've been criticized by some for only polling likely voters, or 'political junkies,'" he says, "but the people who ultimately vote decide everything."

Identifying the likely voters is particularly important this year because turnout is different in midterm elections than in presidential ones. "Remember John McCain won voters over age 40, and this November's older electorate is likely to have more McCain supporters in it than Obama backers," he says. "The statewide elections in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts in the last year all saw fewer minorities and younger people vote than in 2008."

Given his frequent television appearances and the fact that his firm's website gets over a million hits a day in the weeks leading up to an election, I express surprise that people don't know much about Scott Rasmussen. "I'm a lot less important than the numbers I present," he says in an attempt to deflect attention from himself.

But Mr. Rasmussen has an interesting entrepreneurial story. He grew up in Massachusetts and New Jersey, the son of a sports broadcaster. Absorbed with hockey in high school, he joined his father in working for the New England Whalers. They would often bemoan that they couldn't get the team's games on broadcast stations. In 1978, trapped in a traffic jam on the way to the Jersey shore, they came up with the idea of an all-sports network on cable TV.

Using $9,000 charged to a credit card, they created the Entertainment Sports Programming Network, or ESPN. They soon scored a major investor in Getty Oil and launched in 1979. Within a few years, they had millions of viewers. Mr. Rasmussen was 22 years old.

The family sold its ESPN interest in 1984, and Mr. Rasmussen became interested in polling after taking a class at the University of Connecticut. He conducted his first poll in the late 1980s, but his business didn't take off until he embraced automated polling in the mid-1990s. With the exception of Gallup, he probably asks more Americans more questions today than any other organization.

With success has come criticism. Mr. Rasmussen has been attacked for alleged bias towards Republicans. He .rejects such complaints, noting that because he focuses on likely voters his survey sample often includes more Republicans. "The key is whether I've been accurate," he says, noting that he was bitterly attacked by Republicans in 2006 and 2008 for showing several longtime GOP senators in trouble early on. Many of them lost.

As for his own politics, he is coy other than admitting he has a healthy suspicion of the political class he devotes so much time to studying. "If I root for anyone to win, it's for our polls," he laughs. "If a Republican is ahead by two points, I want the Republican by two. If a Democrat is ahead by two, I want the Democrat by two."

This November, he'll be up late analyzing the data and hoping the Party of Rasmussen brings home the win.

Mr. Fund is a columnist for
Title: Mitch Daniels for GOP for 2012
Post by: ccp on August 23, 2010, 09:26:13 AM
The "Economist" wondering out loud if this guy would be a good candidate for GOP in 12?  I know absolutely nothing about him so I have no opinion.  I can't say I am knocked off my chair based on this article.  As a cynic I would wonder if that is why the Economist is suggesting this guy.

***Mitch Daniels
The right stuff
Indiana's governor is a likeable wonk. Can he save the Republicans from themselves and provide a pragmatic alternative to Barack Obama?
Aug 19th 2010 | Clay County

THE governor does not like to keep people waiting. On a recent morning this small man leapt out of a trooper’s Toyota (Indiana-made) while it was still moving. He burst into a tiny chamber of commerce and began joking with businessmen, teachers and farmers. He is comfortable with most people in most places. He can command a boardroom. He has moseyed through enough fairs to know how to sign a goat—on its left side, so as not to write against the grain of its coat. After some small talk with the chamber, he introduced himself formally: “Mitch Daniels, your employee in public service.”

Most Americans know little or nothing of Mr Daniels. He does not tweet. “I’m not an interesting enough person,” he explains. He is a Republican who had never heard of 9/12, Glenn Beck’s tea-party group, before The Economist mentioned it to him. But he is good at one thing in particular: governing.

Wonks have long revered Mr Daniels. Since February, when he said he would consider a presidential run, others have started to as well. The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine, published a glowing profile in June. At Indiana’s Republican convention he was greeted by chants of “Run, Mitch, run!” Mr Daniels is an interesting model. But whether national Republicans will embrace him is less clear.

“I never expected to go into politics,” he explains. Born in Pennsylvania and weaned in the South, he moved to Indiana at the age of ten before a scholarship took him off to Princeton. Over the years he has worked for Richard Lugar, Indiana’s respected and moderate senior senator, served as Ronald Reagan’s budget director, run North American operations for Eli Lilly, a big pharmaceuticals firm, and, from 2001 to 2003, served as George Bush’s budget director. To these jobs he brought a decidedly dorky passion: a reverence for restraint and efficacy. This pervades his life. At 61, he runs or swims almost every day. He subsists, it seems, largely on oatmeal. On a recent shopping trip his credit card was declined for “unusual activity”. He is, in short, just the kind of man to relish fixing a broken state—or country.

In 2003 Mr Daniels announced that he would run for governor. Democrats knew he was intelligent. To their horror, he turned out to be likeable too. Sarah Palin is strident and Mitt Romney disconcertingly perfect. Mr Daniels is at ease, an unusual politician who does not seem like one. He criss-crossed the state in an RV decorated with his slogan, “My Man Mitch”, and soon covered with signatures. He ate pork and watched baseball in the shadow of Gary’s steel mills. He stayed in private homes, first to save money on hotels, then because he liked it and his hosts seemed to as well. (He continues this even now, sleeping in children’s rooms, cramped Latino households and even more crowded Amish ones, often riding between them on his beloved Harley.) In November 2004 he won, by 53% to 45%.

Mr Daniels oozed with ideas. He introduced merit pay for public workers and performance metrics for state agencies. Indiana’s counties skittered illogically between two time zones, so he reset the state’s clocks. A toll road was losing money, so he oversaw a $3.85 billion lease to foreign investors. He was not dogmatic. In his first year he proposed a tax increase. He shrank the state workforce but increased the number of case workers for children. He passed a health plan that included private accounts for the poor.

Not everything went smoothly. The road lease and time change were, at first, enormously unpopular. He privatised the state’s welfare system, an unqualified disaster—eventually he cancelled the contract. But by the end of his first term he had transformed a $200m deficit into a $1.3 billion surplus and the state had earned its first AAA credit rating.

It helped that Indiana was faring better than its rusty neighbours. Manufacturing output grew by 20% between 1998 and 2008. Michigan’s slumped by 12% during the same time. The number of bioscience jobs, still small, grew 17.2% from 2001 to 2008. Mr Daniels tried to help, keeping taxes low and investing in infrastructure before it was hip. When the recession began, Indiana’s unemployment rate was lower than the national average.

By 2008 all this had culminated in a simple reality: Indiana liked its man Mitch. Barack Obama won the state, but Mr Daniels trounced his Democratic opponent, 58% to 40%. Some of this was luck. The opponent was lacklustre; the recession had yet to do its worst. But his victory was still notable. He won the young by 51% to 42%, and even picked up 20% of black and 37% of Hispanic voters.

Such numbers should make strategists swoon. Mr Daniels used to deny any presidential aspirations. Then Newt Gingrich shared a secret: if you say you might run, people will listen to your ideas. Mr Daniels has plenty. He calls the health-care bill “a wasted opportunity”, blaming both Democrats and Republicans. He is deeply worried about debt—he wants to raise the retirement age and stop sending Social Security cheques to the rich. He wonders whether America can afford all its military commitments, particularly those only loosely tied to fighting terrorism.

He has begun to share such opinions in Washington and on Fox News. In recent months Republican kingmakers have quietly descended on Indianapolis for private dinners. Nevertheless, he remains a long shot. Unlike Mr Romney or Mrs Palin, he is still running a state. The recession knocked Indiana backwards. Last year Mr Daniels closed a $957m budget gap by using reserves and making cuts, including some for education. But another hole is expected next year, and the next round of cuts will be more painful. Democrats argue that Mr Daniels has oversold his economic record. The unemployment rate is now 10% and the unemployment trust fund is insolvent.

Added to this, Mr Daniels is largely untested on the national stage. On television, he can seem wooden. His record includes contradictions. Though he has been a fiscal hawk in Indiana, during his time at the budget office a national surplus became a deficit. He has derided the federal stimulus but taken its cash—a sign of pragmatism or hypocrisy, depending on the audience.

More problematic, it is unclear that a clever, measured candidate stands a chance within the Republican Party. Neo-cons are allergic to talk of defence cuts. Social conservatives were rabid after Mr Daniels, anti-abortion himself, told the Weekly Standard that he favoured a temporary truce on social issues. “It just happens to be what I think,” he says, arguing that politicians need to unite on urgent matters of national security and debt. He is also unlikely to fire up tea-partiers. “Didn’t somebody say in a different context, ‘Anger is not a strategy’?” he asked your correspondent over a rare plate of steak and chips.

Mr Daniels still insists he is unlikely to run for president. But he has a familiar post-partisan sheen, not unlike a certain former senator—though he is more conservative, shorter and much balder. He likes to talk about a “programme of unusual boldness” that unites the parties and sets America back on track. “Supposedly we are not capable of making decisions like this,” Mr Daniels said, grinning as he smacked a stubborn bottle of ketchup. “But somebody has got to try.”***
Title: The Way Forward: George Gilder, Ron Paul
Post by: DougMacG on August 25, 2010, 10:56:37 AM
The way forward includes inspirational leading, not in-fighting.  I want to comment on the Gilder interview on interesting thought pieces here in terms of going forward.  Gilder is brilliant yet I think we all learned to take him in with a grain of salt.  As the analysis put it, I think he was a bit guarded and simplifying where he also can be loquacious.

I would include Gilder and Ron Paul, and VDH, Thomas Sowell, Karl Rove and plenty of others on my short list for input on how to lead, how to come together, and where to take this movement during this great opportunity, as it is still very vague in meaning and direction.

I agree with his criticism of Ron Paul' foreign policy views.  I agree with him on tax rates.  I think his insights about shifting the discussion to fostering human creativity is brilliant.

I also think a coalition between existing Republicans, conservatives, libertarians and center right moderates will come together politically only if we commit to cut and contain spending first.  Within that framework I think we can also cut military costs without surrendering or disarming.  I think we can reform entitlements if there is a will without starving the poor or pulling the plug on granny.  I think we can refuse to allow raising tax rates in a recession or any other time since that isn't working.  I think if we took congress we could reform the tax policy scoring mechanism at CBO, where I think Newt tried and failed, the model that always underscore pro-growth policies and disregards the contractionary effects of rate increases and regulation overload. I think we can put corporate tax rates at the median level of OECD instead of at the highest in western civilization.  I think we can do ALL the things proposed in Crafty's piece today regarding ObamaCare, namely de-fund it and send it back to the drawing board.  I doubt if we can do it but I would run with Paul Ryan's proposal that we put discretionary spending not to the stone age but back to the 2008 levels of the Pelosi congress and freeze it there until reforms of all the programs can be instituted.  I think we could truly end earmarks and could win on that issue alone if anyone believe us.  I think we can effectively contrast the last 4 supreme court picks and make a strong case to move all of our governing focus toward respecting constitutional limits on government.

Within that framework, we need to invite Ron Paul and all the people he has inspired to join and influence this movement, not to fight it.  I also think Ron Paul needs to fade back a bit especially on things and trust the work he has already accomplished while his son is front and center asking to be trusted for an extremely important seat.  You can't sweep swing states with any meaning if you can't win Kentucky.

I think Gilder's positive vision forward needs to overlay all of the root-canal work that need to be done first to make the full package a positive one.  But I don't think you can inherit a situation that has spending at $4 trillion, revenues at 2.5 trillion and a deficit that is greater than half of revenues, in a debt crisis environment, and not attack spending head-on.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 26, 2010, 07:44:02 AM
Wow.  Even Letterman is turning on BO:
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on August 26, 2010, 08:31:06 AM
I hesitate to criticize another Obama vacation - when he could have been nationalizing another industry.

Letterman doesn't rip anything about leftism, only a break from it.  Always nice to hear the term 'one term President'.
Title: The Way Forward: Avoiding Townhall Meetings
Post by: DougMacG on August 26, 2010, 09:12:12 AM
hypothetical Democratic congressman's story starring Ron Howard's younger brother Clint Howard.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on August 28, 2010, 08:55:13 PM
Two practical thoughts for 2010:

House) If conservative Republicans take the House, a number of new and pending big government  initiatives can be stopped or slowed in their tracks including ObamaCare, see Crafty's post regarding delay, de-fund etc. and cap and tax the energy and manufacturing destruction legislation pending.

Senate) If constitution-respecting conservative Republicans take the Senate, Obama may not be able to put another liberal activist onto the Supreme Court for the ages.  If Dems keep the senate, look for Ginsburg 75 now and possibly Breyer who will be 71 in 2012 to retire in the next 2 years so that Obama can pack the court with more young liberal women hoping to live to a hundred and finish dismantling the founding principles.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on August 30, 2010, 09:20:16 AM
The Republicans seem to have a lock on good looking politicians - at least females!

If looks could kill - Kagan, Sotomeyor, Clinton, Michelle, Pelosi we would all be dead by now.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on August 30, 2010, 11:50:27 AM
CCP: I see that O'Donnell has tea party backing. Hard to say it will be the same old party with all the new faces and commitment this time to positive change. 

Sometimes the house races in states that have only one house seat are interesting.  Powerline has done some coverage on the South Dakota race this year.  Both are attractive women saying they are conservative.  Problem for one is that in her first vote she would choose Nancy Pelosi for Speaker and Democrats to run all the committees and control the agenda.

Rand Paul's opponent has that same problem in Kentucky.  He is articulate and reasonably conservative on the issues but will align with Reid, Durbin, Schumer etc. if he wins.

Dems have a big problem coming - most of the reasonable and moderate ones from center-right districts are going to lose and all the far left ones from untouchable districts will win, leaving a party even further from the American people than it is today.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on August 30, 2010, 12:31:22 PM
"Both are attractive women saying they are conservative.  Problem for one is that in her first vote she would choose Nancy Pelosi for Speaker"

Gives new meaning to beautiful on the outside but ugly on the inside.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on September 10, 2010, 07:42:08 PM
I like the message of this candidate, Ryan Frasier running for congress in the Denver north metro, Colorado's 7th district.  He is currently one point up in a Dem. district.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on September 11, 2010, 05:57:35 PM
"He is currently one point up in a Dem. district"

He answers the questions I see all over CNN when a Black comes on and begs the question, "well what does the Republican party (or tea party for that matter) offer us???"

Well here is your answer,

A free and strong, and safe and properous nation with equal opportunity for all.

Not a country where we are wards of the state, where the elite decide what to do with our money, where property and wealth are not stolen, where we have leaders who are honest and proud of our nation etc.
Title: A 21st Century GOP
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 12, 2010, 07:44:38 PM
A Twenty-First-Century GOP
Republicans need to win back tech-savvy, educated voters. Here’s how.

With President Obama’s job-approval ratings in free fall, Republicans feel
justifiably confident about the 2010 congressional elections. But even if
the GOP has recovered some swagger, the party’s long-term political fortunes
require it to recover something else: the votes of well-educated,
well-compensated elites. Over the past decade and a half, Republicans have
watched scientists, high-tech workers, doctors, financial leaders, and
academics in engineering and business abandon the party in favor of the
Democrats. This exodus has weakened the GOP politically and left it
dependent on white evangelical voters. But the elites’ home could again be
the Republican Party—if the Republicans welcome them back.

An interviewer once asked Karl Rove to define the Democratic Party’s base.
“Anyone with a doctorate,” he responded. This wasn’t true in the past. Back
in 1975, Everett Ladd and Seymour Lipset found that university professors in
the hard sciences leaned somewhat Republican, unlike their colleagues in the
humanities. Ladd and Lipset also discovered that while 64 percent of
social-science professors were liberals, only 24 percent of engineering
professors and 23 percent of business professors were. In fact, when Ladd
and Lipset looked at the 1968 and 1972 elections, the Republican
candidate—none other than Richard Nixon, the scourge of humanities
profs—managed to “command solid majorities among professors of business,
engineering, and agriculture.” Overall, 43 percent of faculty members backed

The conservative foothold in faculty lounges began to loosen as the
seventies ended, and by the new millennium, academic Republicans had become
much harder to spot, even in traditionally conservative disciplines. In the
2004 election, pollster Gary Tobin reported, John Kerry secured 72 percent
of the faculty vote, with the candidate also getting 72 percent among
science and math professors and even managing to win half of the business
and management faculty. The trend of scientists voting Democratic has gone
beyond the campus: according to a 2009 poll, only 6 percent of all American
scientists called themselves Republicans, compared with 55 percent
self-identifying as Democrats.

Republicans have started to lose Wall Street, too. From 1998 to 2007,
reports the activist group Wall Street Watch, 55 percent of commercial
banks’ campaign contributions went to Republicans. George W. Bush beat Al
Gore in Wall Street dollars—$4 million to $1.4 million in 2000—and he nearly
doubled Kerry’s $4 million take in 2004. But these leads have disappeared
over the last few years, with the Democrats gaining a majority of Wall
Street contributions in 2008.

Doctors, like Wall Street execs, have a Republican history, but there are
signs that they, too, are moving away from the party. From 1998 through
2006, Republicans garnered 67 percent of all campaign contributions from the
American Medical Association; but by 2008, Democrats were pulling in 56
percent, and the AMA proceeded to support President Obama’s health-care
overhaul. While the AMA represents only 29 percent or so of American
doctors, this is a troubling development for the GOP.

Republicans are also failing to secure the votes of an emerging group that
should naturally align with the party: libertarian-leaning workers in
Silicon Valley and other high-tech enclaves. Despite the Valley’s
entrepreneurial, leave-us-alone spirit, two-thirds of tech-industry
contributions went to Democrats in the 2008 election cycle, according to

What’s behind the Republican Party’s poor performance with these key groups?
After all, they are often pro-innovation and anti-regulation, tend to favor
lower taxes, and frequently prefer what works to bromides about what might
be. Various factors explain the disaffection. Scientists particularly
disliked George W. Bush, believing the misleading arguments about a
Republican “war on science.” Silicon Valley and Wall Street executives have
not seen enough pro-growth policies from the GOP to overcome their dislike
of the party’s social policies. And doctors have seen far too few Republican
proposals to improve our health-care system. This unfortunate silence helped
build momentum among doctors for the health-care bill—even though, as Scott
Gottlieb recently argued in the Wall Street Journal, the bill is driving
many to abandon private practice for the apparent safety of HMOs and large
hospital networks.

These elite groups share an important characteristic: a deep attachment to
science and technology. So a serious, technology-friendly Republican agenda
could begin to reverse the party’s losses and could do so, moreover, without
alienating the GOP’s evangelical base. The agenda would have five
commonsense components.

First, Republicans should encourage innovation, especially in areas, like
health care, that provide benefits to millions of Americans. During the
health-reform debate, Republicans were eager to discuss how Democratic
proposals would harm innovation, but they failed to explain how they
themselves would help it. One way would be to promote the development of
lifesaving and life-extending products by offering clearer pathways to FDA
approval of new drugs and treatments. In addition, tort reform could help
reduce what the Pacific Research Institute estimates is $367 billion that
American companies lose in product sales each year by fighting litigation
instead of developing new products.

Second, Republicans should work to ensure that America has access to the
world’s best technological minds. Throughout our history, we’ve done this by
both nurturing native-born brainpower (like Thomas Edison’s) and attracting
great minds from elsewhere (like Albert Einstein’s). Our legal immigration
system currently emphasizes family reunification. Refocusing it to award
residency to people with desirable skills, as countries like Australia and
Canada do, would help us attract more of the best and brightest. Another
good step would be granting green cards to foreign nationals who earn
advanced technical degrees in math, science, or medicine from accredited
American institutions—instead of requiring them to leave the country and
apply for reentry, as we do now. This change would take advantage of
America’s top-flight universities and mask the weakness of our K–12
educational system. According to *U.S. News and World Report*, America has
13 of the world’s best 20 universities, and students from around the world
clamor to attend them.

The failed Kennedy-McCain immigration-reform bill of 2005 did create a
points system for those with certain education or employment credentials.
Unfortunately, the skills-based features of the bill were lost in the larger
battle over *illegal* immigration. Republicans should try to divorce this
issue—which divides the party—from the potentially unifying one of
encouraging skilled legal immigrants. The GOP could then draw a sharp
contrast with Democrats, who tend to oppose skills-based immigration.

The third way that Republicans can regain the elite, tech-friendly votes
that they’ve lost is recommitting themselves to free trade. In the past,
Republicans were overwhelmingly in favor of free trade and could find enough
like-minded Democrats to pass multilateral and bilateral trade agreements,
NAFTA being the most famous example. Nowadays, Democrats generally resist
free trade and cooperate with enough protectionist Republicans to block
free-trade agreements, regardless of who controls Congress.

President Bush must take some of the blame for this reversal, especially by
imposing steel tariffs during his first term, fulfilling a campaign promise
made in West Virginia. On the other hand, he did promote bilateral
agreements to jump-start free trade while cumbersome multilateral
negotiations like the World Trade Organization’s Doha round dragged on.
President Obama, for his part, has been largely unfriendly to free trade,
imposing a fee on imported tires from China, for example. According to
Post*, the Chinese unsurprisingly saw this as “a political concession to
U.S. labor unions” and retaliated, worsening trade tensions between the two
countries. Incidents like these have given Republicans an opportunity to
rediscover their inner David Ricardo.

Fourth, Republicans should capitalize on the Democrats’ recent spending
spree, which has opened the door for a message about fiscal discipline. It’s
true that cutting personal income taxes no longer has the resonance it once
did, since only 47 percent of Americans pay any federal income tax. (When I
served in the Bush White House, I worked on policy papers bragging that the
president’s tax cuts took 5 million Americans off the income-tax rolls; what
the papers didn’t say was that this change made 5 million more Americans
uninterested in what had been the GOP’s strongest talking point.) But the
party should not retreat on other questions of taxation and especially
budgets. Innovation-centered voters understand that our current fiscal path
of $1.4 trillion deficits is unsustainable. Republicans need to issue a mea
culpa for their past contributions to the nation’s fiscal problems and
articulate a serious plan for digging us out of our crushing debt hole.

At the same time, Republicans should promote tax simplification, as
President Reagan did in 1986. Administering the 67,500-page federal
income-tax code requires 100,000 IRS employees and costs our economy between
2 and 5 percent of GDP in lost efficiency, according to the Government
Accountability Office. Limiting the number of rates and loopholes, while
increasing the standard deduction, would help reduce these inefficiencies
and costs. Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire have
created a bipartisan proposal along these lines, and Republicans should make
sure that they remain out front with other tax-simplification proposals.

Fifth, Republicans should put improving our educational system front and
center, so that we can increase the number of high-skilled workers. One way
to do this is to use Title I, which is supposed to help educate 10 million
poor children and to promote flexibility and better educational outcomes.
Republicans used to support Title I “portability”—that is, attaching Title I
dollars to students rather than linking them to a bureaucratic formula that
rewards specific schools, regardless of performance. Republicans dropped
this idea as a concession to Democrats during the No Child Left Behind
negotiations, but they can pick it up again. Having Title I’s $14 billion
follow our neediest children will encourage schools to be accountable to
parents and allow parents to direct money to schools that work best, whether
public or private.

This reform would have a number of political advantages. The recently
oversubscribed school choice experiment in the District of Columbia shows
that parents, regardless of their ideology, want more of a say in the kind
of education their children receive. As many as four in ten parents already
send a child to a school other than their local public one. More to the
point for political purposes is that well-educated voters, including
business leaders, recognize how our deficient K–12 system harms American
competitiveness by consigning poor kids to failing schools.

Not only would this five-part agenda appeal to the highly educated,
high-income voters who once backed the GOP; it also couldn’t be replicated
by the Democratic Party because of the interest-group politics that govern
so many Democratic policy choices. Democrats can’t back tort reform, for
example, because trial lawyers would balk. They can’t advocate free trade or
high-skilled immigration because of labor unions’ objections. School choice,
even within public schools, is anathema to the Democrat-supporting teachers’
unions. Budget discipline gets in the way of ambitious Democratic spending

An agenda that joins pro-technology voters to the GOP’s evangelical base
would make the party truly formidable electorally. And it would do something
far more important: it would help America maintain its technological
supremacy going forward.

*Tevi D. Troy, the former deputy secretary of health and human services and
a former senior White House domestic-policy aide, is a visiting senior
fellow at the Hudson Institute.*
Title: Constitution Day
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 16, 2010, 08:49:46 AM
Alexander's Essay – September 16, 2010

The Enshrinement of Essential Liberty
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. ... Done...the seventeenth day of September, in the year of our LORD one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven." --George Washington and the delegates

The U.S. ConstitutionOn 17 September of every year, we observe Constitution Day in recognition of the anniversary of that venerable document's signing by our nation's Founders.

In our household, we observe it further because it is the date of birth of my eldest son.

I suppose there really is no such thing as coincidence, because this young man, like his younger sister and brother, proudly represents the promise of Liberty for the next generation. He is an outspoken advocate for both Liberty and constitutional Rule of Law (could be in his genes). He is a student leader, young scholar and great sportsman. A week ago, he completed his Eagle Scout project. He is interested in serving our nation and initiating that service as a cadet in one of our military academies.

I am, of course, proud of each of my children, but that pride is about much more than the delight of a father.

Our nation is under siege, and the Socialist regime of Barack Hussein Obama has proven to be a more subversive threat to freedom than that of any sitting president in our nation's history.

Much of the burden of the damage already done by this odious regime will be shouldered by the next generation, including my children, and it will take clear-headed young conservatives in their generation to hold the line against tyranny.

Like millions of other American Patriots, especially parents, I am of the same opinion as Thomas Paine on the matter of passing our burden to them: "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."

Just one short election cycle past, a majority of Americans were duped into voting for a childish and flimsy promise of "hope and change." What the nation received instead was a perilous attempt by a small cadre of elite Leftists to "fundamentally transform the United States of America."

To arm yourself with the right intellectual ammo to reverse that transformation, I invite you to read any or all of these collected essays outlining the Liberty proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence, and enshrined in our nation's Constitution. After all, if we are to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity," we must first know precisely what it is we're defending.

Start with Essential Liberty, a brief but comprehensive essay on the origins of Liberty: On December 16th, 1773, "radicals" from Boston, members of a secret organization of American Patriots called the Sons of Liberty, boarded three East India Company ships and threw 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor.

Further reading...

A 'Living Constitution' for a Dying Republic: For its first 150 years (with the notable exception Marbury v. Madison in 1803), our Constitution stood as our Founders, and more importantly, "the people," intended -- as is -- in accordance with its original intent. In other words, it was interpreted exegetically rather than eisegetically, textually as constructed, not as could be re-interpreted by later generations of jurists.

Our Sacred Honor ... to Support and Defend: The Constitution specifies in Article VI, clause 3: "The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution..." The Constitution also prescribes the following oath to be taken by the president-elect: "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

The First Statement of Conservative Principles: It took the election of a "community organizer" and ideological Socialist, Barack Hussein Obama, to launch a popular resurgence of interest in constitutional Rule of Law and the First Principles upon which our nation was founded, and not a moment too soon.

On American Patriotism: American Patriots will not stand idly by while the last vestiges of Liberty succumb to tyranny. In Jefferson's words, "Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them."

The Brushfires of Freedom: "It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men." --Samuel Adams

The 'Tea Party' Movement: "The people of the U.S. owe their Independence & their liberty, to the wisdom of descrying in the minute tax of 3 pence on tea, the magnitude of the evil comprised in the precedent. Let them exert the same wisdom, in watching against every evil lurking under plausible disguises, and growing up from small beginnings." --James Madison

Click Here 

 Tea Party Primer
Our quintessential field guide for the Tea Party movement, Tea Party Primer, is immediately available individually, in small quantity or as a bulk purchase. Inexpensively priced for wide distribution, the Tea Party Primer's purpose is to be a catalyst for the restoration of our Constitution's integrity and mandate for Rule of Law! All purchases at The Patriot Shop support our Mission of Service to America's Armed Forces.

When Debating a Liberal, Start With First Principles: Rule Number One: You must define the debate in terms of First Principles, which is to say, you must be able to articulate those principles. "On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed." --Thomas Jefferson

The Patriot Declaration: We are American Patriots, defenders of First Principles and Essential Liberty... The Patriot Declaration is not a petition. It is a "Declaration of Cause and Necessity" and stands on its own as a resolution of intent for all who sign it. Just as important, it serves as due notice for those who would abandon their oath to "Support and Defend the Constitution" and abuse their office to the detriment of individual liberty and states' rights.

Finally, I invite you to observe Constitution Day by visiting The Patriot's outstanding Historic Documents repository for the complete texts of our nation's most significant formative documents, and to see our excellent selection of constitutional items at The Patriot Shop.

This week, as our family celebrates the birthday of my firstborn son, we are reminded of the challenges he, his siblings and their peers will face in future generations. We pray that the upcoming midterm election will reflect a great public awakening to the perilous threats to liberty we now face, and foretell a trend to restore the integrity of our Constitution. Let us resolve this Constitution Day to arm and rearm ourselves with the First Principles necessary to defend Essential Liberty.

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 20, 2010, 08:36:36 AM
Brief · September 20, 2010

The Foundation
"When the government fears the people there is liberty; when the people fear the government there is tyranny." --Thomas Jefferson

"We are faced today with two different roads, one of which follows the path of liberty set

by our Founders in the Constitution, and one of which diverges from that path and leads us down the road to tyranny. There are two different warring camps within our society, and the ongoing battle between those camps has been graphically illustrated in recent primary elections and by the vicious fight over the nationalization of our healthcare system. On one side are those of us, including the members of the Tea Party movement, who work hard to support their families, who love their country, and who understand and revere a document that has stood firm for 223 years to guide us. These ordinary, everyday Americans rightly fear the unprecedented growth in the size and power of the federal government. They are angry over the unsustainable and uncontrollable growth of federal spending and the federal deficit that will inevitably lead to financial ruin. They are appalled over the contempt shown by so many in the other camp for our governing document, the Constitution. ... That other camp is made up of politicians who recognize no limits on their power, their liberal activist allies in the judiciary, and members of the media, Hollywood, and academia, who have been stretching, bending, and chipping away at the Constitution for decades. They welcome a tyranny of elites who can govern however they see fit without being checked and limited by what they view as an 'anachronistic' document and the parochial views of the American people. After all, they know what is best for all of us. They should control our lives and our economy. ... There is a growing movement throughout America to reinvigorate the tree of liberty, a tree whose trunk is the Constitution, whose limbs are the Bill of Rights, and whose leaves are the new sons and daughters of liberty who embody the same spirit that infused our Founders. On Constitution Day, let Americans rededicate themselves to securing 'the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity' by actively working to preserve the Constitution of the United States." --former Attorney General Edwin Meese

The Gipper
"We cannot escape our destiny, nor should we try to do so. The leadership of the free world was thrust upon us two centuries ago in that little hall of Philadelphia. In the days following World War II, when the economic strength and power of America was all that stood between the world and the return to the dark ages, Pope Pius XII said, 'The American people have a great genius for splendid and unselfish actions. Into the hands of America God has placed the destinies of an afflicted mankind.' We are indeed, and we are today, the last best hope of man on earth." --Ronald Reagan

Opinion in Brief
"[One of the] central reasons for the Tea Party's rise ... is the yardstick. ... Imagine that over at the 36-inch end you've got pure liberal thinking -- more and larger government programs, a bigger government that costs more in the many ways that cost can be calculated. Over at the other end you've got conservative thinking -- a government that is growing smaller and less demanding and is less expensive. You assume that when the two major parties are negotiating bills in Washington, they sort of lay down the yardstick and begin negotiations at the 18-inch line. Each party pulls in the direction it wants, and the dominant party moves the government a few inches in their direction. But if you look at the past half century or so you have to think: How come even when Republicans are in charge, even when they're dominant, government has always gotten larger and more expensive? It's always grown! It's as if something inexorable in our political reality -- with those who think in liberal terms dominating the establishment, the media, the academy -- has always tilted the starting point in negotiations away from 18 inches, and always toward liberalism, toward the 36-inch point. Democrats on the Hill or in the White House try to pull it up to 30, Republicans try to pull it back to 25. A deal is struck at 28. Washington Republicans call it victory: 'Hey, it coulda been 29!' But regular conservative-minded or Republican voters see yet another loss. They could live with 18. They'd like 8. Instead it's 28. ... What they want is representatives who'll begin the negotiations at 18 inches and tug the final bill toward 5 inches. And they believe Tea Party candidates will do that." --columnist Peggy Noonan

Political Futures
"Writing in 1962, [economist Milton Friedman] noted that 'conditions have changed,' as we 'now have several decades of experience with governmental intervention.' Indeed, it was clear then, way back in 1962, that free economies vastly outperform managed economies. And that was before the collapse of the Soviet/central-planning model, the economic explosion resulting from the Reagan-Thatcher tax cuts, the repudiation of Keynes even in Britain, the bankruptcy of the European welfare state, the rise of the Asian Tigers, and more. What was obvious in 1962 was beyond obvious in 2008 -- or should have been. And yet, Friedman sensed a lingering threat, one that hadn't sauntered off into the night. It was a 'subtle' threat, not from enemies outside but from do-gooders inside. He warned of an 'internal threat' from those professing 'good intentions and good will who wish to reform us,' who 'are anxious to use the power of the state to achieve their ends and confident of their own ability to do so.' It's so subtle that Americans voted for such reform, or 'change,' decisively, on November 4, 2008, without even knowing it, giving the threat vigor. Thus, the managers and planners are in charge, with their hands on the ship of state, seizing the resources that feed the most dynamic, prosperous engine that capitalism and freedom ever produced. The Invisible Hand has been waved off by the visible hands of the reformers. And they are spending us into oblivion." --author and professor Dr. Paul Kengor

"From 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed, until 1940, when the first Social Security checks were paid out, Americans did not receive income from the federal government unless they were pensioned veterans or employees of the government itself. For 164 years, Americans took care of themselves and their own families. With the Social Security Act, they began to slide into government dependency. Today, thanks to Social Security, a majority of Americans over 65 rely on the federal government for a majority of their income. Thanks to Medicare, enacted in 1965, American seniors now rely on the federal government for their health care, too. If Congress does not repeal Obamacare, virtually all Americans will soon depend on government for their health care. We will no longer be a free and self-reliant people -- we will be a government-dependent people." --CNSNews editor Terrence Jeffrey

Re: The Left
"U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently claimed: 'Districts around the country have literally been cutting for five, six, seven years in a row. And, many of them, you know, are through, you know, fat, through flesh and into bone....' Really? They cut spending five to seven consecutive years? Give me a break! Andrew Coulson, director of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom, writes that out of 14,000 school districts in the United States, just seven have cut their budgets seven years in a row. How about five years in a row? Just 87. That's a fraction of 1 percent in each case. Duncan may be pandering to his constituency, or he may actually be fooled by how school districts (and other government agencies) talk about budget cuts. When normal people hear about a budget cut, we assume the amount of money to be spent is less than the previous year's allocation. But that's not what bureaucrats mean. 'They are not comparing current year spending to the previous year's spending,' Coulson writes. 'What they're doing is comparing the approved current year budget to the budget that they initially dreamed about having.' So if a district got more money than last year but less than it asked for, the administrators consider it a cut. 'Back in the real world, a K-12 public education costs four times as much as it did in 1970, adjusting for inflation: $150,000 versus the $38,000 it cost four decades ago (in constant 2009 dollars),' Coulson says. Taxpayers need to understand this sort thing just to protect themselves from greedy government officials and teachers unions." --columnist John Stossel

Faith & Family
"Surrender on gay marriage is surrender on marriage -- which is surrender on the family and, ultimately, surrender on civilization. ... This unwillingness to fight for the family, on which civilization depends, is another sign of the failure of modern conservatism. The right can win a thousand battles against big government and lose the war for America's future, if it surrenders on marriage and the family. America's social traumas -- illegitimacy, juvenile crime, drug abuse, female-headed-households -- can all be traced back to the decline of the family: which started with the Great Society in the '60s, accelerated with no-fault divorce in the '70s, continued with the rise of cohabitation, and reached its culmination with strange-sex marriage. ... Unfortunately, many conservative intellectuals have lost sight of a crucial fact: American exceptionalism rests on three pillars -- faith, family and freedom. Remove any one, and the entire structure collapses. ... Without the family, it doesn't matter how many times we defeat socialism (nationalized health-care, government take-over of business, soaring deficits, redistributionism), in the end, we lose -- which is why the left has made same-sex marriage its priority, and why it is less tolerant of dissent here than anywhere else. Conservatives who don't understand this, understand nothing." --columnist Don Feder
Title: The Way Forward: A Pledge to America
Post by: DougMacG on September 27, 2010, 02:21:51 PM
A document of values and direction was released last week by the Republicans trying to take Congress while I was out.  Does anyone here have any comments either on how good or effective this will be as a governing document or as to how good or effective it will be as a political tool in the election.

My impression so far is that it is mostly right on the money.  Some critics call it the same rhetoric but putting it to writing creates a record that incumbents can be held to and judged by.  Some say too long for independents or ordinary voters to choose to read, but still they will know that it is there - a series of promises and commitments have been made - in writing.

Also removes the label that the challengers are only running against someone or that voters are only voting against something.  Some of the commitments are rather specific:
Title: The Real Test
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on September 30, 2010, 08:38:53 AM
Overhauling CBO and JCT Is a Real Test of GOP Resolve, not the “Pledge to America”

Posted by Daniel J. Mitchell

While I’m glad Republicans are finally talking about smaller government, I’ve expressed some disappointment with the GOP Pledge to America. Why “reform” Fannie and Freddie, I asked, when the right approach is to get the government completely out of the housing sector. Jacob Sullum of Reason is similarly underwhelmed. He writes:

In the “Pledge to America” they unveiled last week, House Republicans promise they will “launch a sustained effort to stem the relentless growth in government that has occurred over the past decade.” Who better for the job than the folks who ran the government for most of that time? …Republicans, you may recall, had a spending spree of their own during George W. Bush’s recently concluded administration, when both discretionary and total spending doubled — nearly 10 times the growth seen during Bill Clinton’s two terms. In fact, says Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, “President Bush increased government spending more than any of the six presidents preceding him, including LBJ.” Republicans controlled the House of Representatives for six of Bush’s eight years.

Redemption is a good thing, however, so maybe the GOP actually intends to do the right thing this time around. One key test is whether Republicans do a top-to-bottom housecleaning at both the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation.

These Capitol Hill bureaucracies are not well known, but they have enormous authority and influence. As the official scorekeepers of spending (CBO) and tax (JCT) bills, these two bureaucracies can mortally wound legislation or grease the skids for quick passage.

Unfortunately, that clout gets used to dramatically tilt the playing field in favor of bigger government. It was CBO that claimed that Obama’s stimulus created jobs, even though the head of CBO was forced to admit that the jobs-created number was the result of a Keynesian model that was rigged to show exactly that result . You would think that would shame the bureaucrats into producing honest numbers, but CBO continues to produce absurd job creation estimates regardless of the actual rate of unemployment.

CBO favors deficits and debt when it is asked to analyze proposals for more spending, but it rather conveniently changes its tune when the discussion shifts to tax increases. Since we’re on the topic of twisted economic analysis, CBO actually relies on a model which, for all intents and purposes, predicts that economic performance is maximized with 100 percent tax rates.

The Joint Committee on Taxation, meanwhile, is infamous for its assumption that taxes have no impact – at all – on economic output. In other words, instead of showing a Laffer Curve, JCT would show a straight line, with tax revenues continuing to rapidly climb even as tax rates approach 100 percent.  This creates a huge bias against good tax policy, yet JCT is impervious to evidence that its approach is wildly flawed.

And don’t forget that CBO and JCT both bear responsibility for Obamacare since they cranked out preposterous estimates that a giant new entitlement would lead to lower budget deficits.

Not that we need additional evidence, but the head of the CBO just repeated his higher-taxes-equal-more-growth nonsense in testimony to the Senate Budget Committee. With this type of mindset, is it any surprise that fiscal policy is such a mess?

Douglas Elmendorf said extending breaks due to expire at year’s end would increase demand in the next few years by putting more money in consumers’ pockets. Over the long term, he said, the tax cuts would hurt the economy because the government would have to borrow so much money to finance them that it would begin competing with private companies seeking loans. That, in turn, would drive up interest rates, Elmendorf said.

I’ve already written once about how the GOP sabotaged itself when it didn’t fix the problems with these scorekeeping bureaucracies after 1994. If Republicans take power and don’t raze CBO and JCT, they will deserve to become a permanent minority party.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 30, 2010, 08:56:23 AM
Good points about the CBO and the JCT.  To this list of two I would add a third, "Baseline Budgeting" which is the unique set of rules which apply to governmental bookkeeping.  Example?  A 10% rate of increase is projected over 5 years.  Then in year 2, the rate of increased is reduced to 6%.  Under BB, this is called a 4% cut.  :-o :x :x

Anyway, here's this:
Alexander's Essay – September 30, 2010

The New and Improved GOP?
"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor." --The Signers
Republican congressional leaders have issued their 21-page "Pledge to America" with the objective of convincing "the American people we have learned our lesson and we are ready to govern," as one of them claimed.

However, this Pledge amounts to "Trust Us, Version 2.0," and reads like a punch list for all the things Republicans did not do when they held the House, Senate and the White House, just a few short years ago. (As you may recall, Republicans controlled the House for the first six years of George W. Bush's presidency, and the House sets the budget.) It notes that its objective is to "stem the relentless growth in government that has occurred over the past decade," a large measure of which occurred under Republican rule.

The new Pledge is modeled after Newt Gingrich's successful "Contract with America," which was issued six weeks before the 1994 midterm election in the first term of another charismatic charlatan, Bill Clinton. That pledge propelled the GOP into a House majority for the first time in four decades.

The current slate of Republican leaders are hoping that enough of Barack Hussein Obama's supporters have awakened to the error of their ways, and will propel Republicans into the majority again. (It remains to be seen if enough Republicans have awakened to the error of their ways, and if so, can they follow up with a presidential nominee in 2012 with a bit more gravitas than Bob Dole, who, as Bush 41 did in 1992, gave Clinton the presidency.)

The Pledge spells out a few elements of the Reagan model for economic restoration, which Republicans promise to enact if they achieve a congressional majority after the November elections. To that end, it serves as a benchmark for accountability.

It vows to stop any tax increase scheduled after 1 January 2011.

It promises to end the much-maligned Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), revokes any unspent "stimulus" dollars, and commits to "roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels," which would reduce the budget by $120 billion in 2011 -- only about 10 percent of the deficit, but that's a start. It also pledges to end government intervention in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the massive mortgage entities that seeded the current economic decline.

It obligates Republicans to pass legislation requiring congressional approval for any government regulation that would have more than a $100 million impact on the economy (cap-and-trade legislation), effectively holding legislators accountable for the labyrinth of regulations which have greatly stifled job growth and productivity, and which cost consumers hundreds of billions of dollars annually.

While failing to address non-discretionary spending such as entitlements and debt service, which constitute most of the $3.8 trillion budget, the Pledge does promise a vote to "repeal and replace the government takeover of health care." This, of course, leads us to ask: Replace it with what?

The Pledge commits to put a cap on non-military government hiring and spending, but it lacks earmark reform (especially attached to military spending bills) and fails to mention the line-item veto, much less a Balanced Budget Amendment. It requires a "sunset clause" for any new federal program, which would require legislators to renew funding periodically -- and face the consequences of those votes.

The Pledge affirms, "Foreign terrorists do not have the same rights as American citizens," which is to say that acts of terrorism will not be watered down into mere criminal acts. It also "reaffirms the authority of state and local law enforcement to assist in the enforcement of all federal immigration laws," and the immediate need to secure our southern border.

However, the most important element of the Pledge is this: It assures that Republicans will pass legislation requiring "the specific constitutional authority upon which the bill is justified" for any and all legislation ... which will most assuredly put the contest between Rule of Law and the so-called "living constitution" front and center, where it belongs.

The Republicans' current Pledge is clearly a stepchild of the "Contract from America," a grassroots effort by the Tea Party movement to restore constitutional integrity. The Tea Party has thus rung the bell of wayward Republicans, most of whom are now promising to reform their ways.

Will the Pledge succeed?

The short answer is, yes, because among the diminished ranks of Republicans left in the House and Senate there are about 120 members who have been steadfast in their commitment to the conservative principles outlined in the Republican Platform, as their voting records attest. In other words, there is still a powerful core contingent of conservative Republicans in Congress.

But, the real chance of success lies in the influx of an outstanding slate of new candidates running on conservative principles, those who did not need a Pledge to America to run. And keep your eye on those outspoken Republican women among them -- they are leading the charge in defense of our Constitution.

Unfortunately, plenty of pantywaist RINOs, Republicans who have most certainly not voted consistently in support of conservative principles, will still hold congressional seats after November, and they will certainly derail some of the Pledge's commitments.

The bottom line, however, is not whether Republicans stick to their Pledge to America, but whether they will honor their sacred oath to "support and defend" our Constitution, as specified in Article VI, clause 3. It is that pledge which should, first and foremost, guide every elected official.

Finally, allow me a few words about the language in the preamble to the Republican Pledge: "America is an inspiration to those who yearn to be free and have the ability and the dignity to determine their own destiny. Whenever the agenda of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to institute a new governing agenda and set a different course."

The language above is a Beltway-processed knockoff of the real thing from our Declaration of Independence which set forth as follows: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness [and] whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government."

The latter is not about replacing "government agendas" when they become destructive to liberty, it is about replacing government.

Politicians of every stripe should take note: The defense of Essential Liberty was the foundation of the first Tea Party back in 1773, and it remains so in today's Tea Party movement. Millions of Patriots once again avow, "with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

That is how Republicans should close their Pledge.
Title: The Way Forward:The new congress and principled governing
Post by: DougMacG on October 18, 2010, 09:16:34 AM
First a reply to the Pledge post above in this thread: The new pledge is not "Trust Us, Version 2.0" in the sense that these promises were made after the polls already were showing 'certain' victory.  So I read the pledge as a promise to themselves to govern in a principled fashion, made publicly so as to deliberately be held accountable.  In other words, they are not trying to win - they already have that based on the mis-direction of their opponents - they are trying to make this win in November mean something in January.

I would note that the pledge was largely ignored by the public and the media, but it will come back very quickly if they veer away from the promises they made.
The examiner is running a series on the way forward for the new congress on various issues this week.  This first one is on repeal and replace healthcare.  This could also go in healthcare politics but I post it more as addressing the larger question about incremental strategies today for principled governance - and look forward to their other installments.
* Bureaucracy: Every year, Congress passes appropriations provisions that forbid the use of funds for certain purposes. Next year's spending bills should bar the Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies from establishing the 159 boards, panels and programs in Obamacare. The Treasury appropriations bill should likewise remove all authority from the Internal Revenue Service for enforcing Obamacare's tax provisions.

* Stop medical lawsuit abuse: Trial lawyers kept medical tort reform out of Obamacare despite the fact such provisions could save at least $200 billion in unnecessary annual health care costs. Trial lawyers made sure Obamacare did include provisions encouraging state attorneys general to outsource litigation against health care providers to ambulance-chasing trial lawyers. The new Congress should put tort reform into health care reform and take the trial lawyers out of it.

* Abortion funding: Congress can and should also permanently bar Obamacare from ever using federal tax dollars to pay for abortions. Not using tax dollars to pay for abortions is one of the few measures on which opponents and defenders of the procedure agree, but more is required to make the ban effective than a meaningless presidential executive order.

* Burdens on small business: Congress should quickly challenge Obama to veto legislation repealing the Obamacare requirement that small businesses fill out and file 1099 Forms for every vendor with whom they have significant dealings.

* Wheelchair tax: Do Obamacrats really want to face a 2012 re-election campaign after voting to tax someone's wheelchair? We don't think so.

* Employer mandate: However it is ultimately replaced, the new health care reform to come should end the tax breaks that make employers the main source of health care insurance coverage. All Americans should have access to good health care insurance without worry they will be denied because of prior conditions. And they should be able to get their coverage from the provider they choose, wherever it is located.

* Individual mandate: Obamacare may be the first federal law in American history that requires every American to purchase a commercial product under penalty of law. If the Supreme Court has not already declared Obamacare's individual mandate unconstitutional, Congress should repeal it.

Repealing and replacing Obamacare must be done carefully and without undue haste. These recommendations are only the first steps, but they are the essential elements for all that follows.
Title: New Repub. party?
Post by: ccp on October 22, 2010, 07:36:28 AM
I keep seeing all sorts of labels for Repubs now.  "True conservatives",  "rinos", libertarians, etc  I think Dick as hit the nail on the head with his categorization and explanation of what is evolving here.   And how the tea party is transforming the Reopublican party to broaden it away from control by the" religious right" which in my opnion has always been a two edged sword:

By Dick Morris10.20.2010Share this article
Published on on October 19, 2010

A fundamental change is gripping the Republican grass roots as they animate the GOP surge to a major victory in the 2010 elections. No longer do evangelical or social issues dominate the Republican ground troops. Now economic and fiscal issues prevail. The Tea Party has made the Republican Party safe for libertarians.

There is still a litmus test for admission to the Republican Party. But no longer is it dominated by abortion, guns and gays. Now, keeping the economy free of government regulation, reducing taxation and curbing spending are the chemicals that turn the paper pink.

It is one of the fundamental planks in the Tea Party platform that the movement does not concern itself with social issues. At the Tea Parties, evangelical pro-lifers rub shoulders happily with gay libertarians. They are united by their anger at Obama’s economic policies, fear of his deficits and horror at his looming tax increases. Obama’s agenda has effectively removed the blocks that stopped tens of millions of social moderates from joining the GOP.

As a byproduct of this sea change in the Republican Party, GOP grassroots activists are no longer just concentrated in the South. They are spread all throughout the nation, as prominent in Ohio as in Alabama, in New York as in Georgia, in California as in Nevada.

The Tea Party’s focus on fiscal and economic issues finds deep resonance among voters of all stripes, united as they are in economic hardship and disappointed as they all are by Obama’s economic program. This antipathy to federal policies is paving the way for vast Republican inroads in normally solid Democratic turf like New York state, Massachusetts, California and Washington state.

Fighting over abortion has become a cottage industry in America. As useful to the left as to the right, both camps have used the issue for 30 years to demand orthodoxy of their constituents and fidelity from their electorates. No longer does the pro-life/pro-choice debate hold voters in blue states hostage to the Democratic Party, bound and determined to swallow as much in regulation and taxation as their liberal candidates offer if only to protect Roe v. Wade. Nor does it hypnotize Southern or rural conservatives who grant their Blue Dog congressmen a pass on Election Day as long as they are right on life, guns and gays. Now these Blue Dogs are paying the price for their betrayal of fiscal conservatism and find that they can no longer assuage their angered base by way of ads showing them with firearms. While social concerns still exist and are held deeply throughout the country, economic and fiscal issues have gripped the hearts and minds of Republican voters and candidates, pushing the social questions aside.

This preference for economic and fiscal questions over social issues is not a top-down decision of the Tea Party leadership. There really is no Tea Party leadership. Those who conduct its affairs are mere coordinators of local groups where the real power lies. The entire affair is a grass roots-dominated movement. I was shocked to learn that the umbrella group, to which more than 2,800 local affiliates belong, has a total payroll of $50,000 per month, with only seven paid staff members, some of them low-level at that. This group, which embraces more than half of the self-described Tea Party groups in the U.S., leaves up to each local organization how to proceed and what to do. It is a bottom-up movement.

The determination to focus on fiscal and economic issues, to the exclusion of social questions, wells up from below as individual members vent their concerns over ObamaCare, stimulus spending and cap-and-trade legislation. It is around opposition to Obama’s agenda, not Roe v. Wade, that the movement is organized. It is a new day on the Republican right.

Related articles:


Title: Rich: GOP plot against Tea Party
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 31, 2010, 08:06:43 AM
Frank Rich of Pravda on the Hudson is the epitome of a chattering class progressive.  Nonetheless this piece is worth the reading:
ONE dirty little secret of the 2010 election is that it won’t be a political tragedy for Democrats if a Tea Party icon like Sharron Angle or Joe Miller ends up in the United States Senate. Angle, now synonymous with racist ads sliming Hispanics, and Miller, already on record threatening a government shutdown, are fired up and ready to go as symbols of G.O.P. extremism for 2012 and beyond.

Damon Winter/The New York Times
Frank Rich

What’s not so secret is that some Republicans will be just as happy if some of these characters lose, and for the same reason.

But whatever Tuesday’s results, this much is certain: The Tea Party’s hopes for actually affecting change in Washington will start being dashed the morning after. The ordinary Americans in this movement lack the numbers and financial clout to muscle their way into the back rooms of Republican power no matter how well their candidates perform.

Trent Lott, the former Senate leader and current top-dog lobbyist, gave away the game in July. “We don’t need a lot of Jim DeMint disciples,” he said, referring to the South Carolina senator who is the Tea Party’s Capitol Hill patron saint. “As soon as they get here, we need to co-opt them.” It’s the players who wrote the checks for the G.O.P. surge, not those earnest folk in tri-corner hats, who plan to run the table in the next corporate takeover of Washington. Though Tom DeLay may now be on trial for corruption in Texas, the spirit of his K Street lives on in a Lott client list that includes Northrop Grumman and Goldman Sachs.

Karl Rove outed the Republican elites’ contempt for Tea Partiers in the campaign’s final stretch. Much as Barack Obama thought he was safe soliloquizing about angry white Middle Americans clinging to “guns or religion” at a San Francisco fund-raiser in 2008, so Rove now parades his disdain for the same constituency when speaking to the European press. This month he told Der Spiegel that Tea Partiers are “not sophisticated,” and then scoffed, “It’s not like these people have read the economist Friedrich August von Hayek.” Given that Glenn Beck has made a cause of putting Hayek’s dense 1944 antigovernment treatise “The Road to Serfdom” on the best-seller list and Tea Partiers widely claim to have read it, Rove could hardly have been more condescending to “these people.” Last week, for added insult, he mocked Sarah Palin’s imminent Discovery Channel reality show to London’s Daily Telegraph.

This animus has not gone unnoticed among those supposedly less sophisticated conservatives back home. Mike Huckabee, still steamed about Rove’s previous put-down of Christine O’Donnell, publicly lamented the Republican establishment’s “elitism” and “country club attitude.” This country club elite, he said, is happy for Tea Partiers to put up signs, work the phones and make “those pesky little trips” door-to-door that it finds a frightful inconvenience. But the members won’t let the hoi polloi dine with them in the club’s “main dining room” — any more than David H. Koch, the billionaire sugar daddy of the Republican right, will invite O’Donnell into his box at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center to take in “The Nutcracker.”

The main dining room remains reserved for Koch’s fellow oil barons, Lott’s clients, the corporate contributors (known and anonymous) to groups like Rove’s American Crossroads, and, of course, the large coterie of special interests underwriting John Boehner, the presumptive next speaker of the House. Boehner is the largest House recipient of Wall Street money this year — much of it from financial institutions bailed out by TARP.

His Senate counterpart, Mitch McConnell, will be certain to stop any Tea Party hillbillies from disrupting his chapter of the club (as he tried to stop Rand Paul in his own state’s G.O.P. primary). McConnell’s pets in his chamber’s freshman G.O.P. class will instead be old-school conservatives like Dan Coats (of Indiana), Rob Portman (of Ohio) and, if he squeaks in, Pat Toomey (of Pennsylvania). The first two are former lobbyists; Toomey ran the corporate interest group, the Club for Growth. They can be counted on to execute an efficient distribution of corporate favors and pork after they make their latest swing through Capitol Hill’s revolving door.

What the Tea Party ostensibly wants most — less government spending and smaller federal deficits — is not remotely happening on the country club G.O.P.’s watch. The elites have no serious plans to cut anything except taxes and regulation of their favored industries. The party’s principal 2010 campaign document, its “Pledge to America,” doesn’t vow to cut even earmarks — which barely amount to a rounding error in the federal budget anyway. Boehner has also proposed a return to pre-crash 2008 levels in “nonsecurity” discretionary spending — another mere bagatelle ($105 billion) next to the current $1.3 trillion deficit. And that won’t be happening either, once the actual cuts in departments like Education, Transportation and Interior are specified to their constituencies.

Perhaps the campaign’s most telling exchange took place on Fox News two weeks ago, when the Tea Party-embracing Senate candidate in California, Carly Fiorina, was asked seven times by Chris Wallace to name “one single entitlement expenditure you’re willing to cut” in order “to extend all the Bush tax cuts, which would add 4 trillion to the deficit.” She never did. At least Angle and Paul have been honest about what they’d slash if in power — respectively Social Security and defense, where the big government spending actually resides.

That’s not happening either. McConnell has explained his only real priority for the new Congress with admirable candor. “The single most important thing we want to achieve,” he said, “is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Any assault on Social Security would defeat that goal, and a serious shake-up of the Pentagon budget would alienate the neoconservative ideologues and military contractors who are far more important to the G.O.P. establishment than the “don’t tread on me” crowd.

For sure, the Republican elites found the Tea Party invaluable on the way to this Election Day. And not merely, as Huckabee has it, because they wanted its foot soldiers. What made the Tea Party most useful was that its loud populist message gave the G.O.P. just the cover it needed both to camouflage its corporate patrons and to rebrand itself as a party miraculously antithetical to the despised G.O.P. that gave us George W. Bush and record deficits only yesterday.

Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News and Wall Street Journal have been arduous in promoting and inflating Tea Party events and celebrities to this propagandistic end. The more the Tea Party looks as if it’s calling the shots in the G.O.P., the easier it is to distract attention from those who are actually calling them — namely, those who’ve cashed in and cashed out as ordinary Americans lost their jobs, homes and 401(k)’s. Typical of this smokescreen is a new book titled “Mad as Hell,” published this fall by a Murdoch imprint. In it, the pollsters Scott Rasmussen and Douglas Schoen make the case, as they recently put it in Politico, that the Tea Party is “the most powerful and potent force in America.”

They are expert at producing poll numbers to bear that out. By counting those with friends and family in the movement, Rasmussen has calculated that 29 percent of Americans are “tied to” the Tea Party. (If you factor in six degrees of Kevin Bacon, the number would surely double.) But cooler empirical data reveal the truth known by the G.O.P. establishment: An August CNN poll found that 2 percent of Americans consider themselves active members of the Tea Party.

That result was confirmed last weekend by The Washington Post, which published the fruits of its months-long effort to contact every Tea Party group in the country. To this end, it enlisted the help of Tea Party Patriots, the only Tea Party umbrella group that actually can claim to be a spontaneous, bottom-up, grass roots organization rather than a front for the same old fat cats of the Republican right, from the Koch brothers to Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks. Tea Party Patriots has claimed anywhere from 2,300 to nearly 3,000 local affiliates, but even with its assistance, The Post could verify a total of only 647 Tea Party groups nationwide. Most had fewer than 50 members. The median amount of money each group had raised in 2010 was $800, nowhere near the entry fee for the country club.

But those Americans, like all the others on the short end of the 2008 crash, have reason to be mad as hell. And their numbers will surely grow once the Republican establishment’s panacea of tax cuts proves as ineffectual at creating jobs, saving homes and cutting deficits as the half-measures of the Obama White House and the Democratic Congress. The tempest, however, will not be contained within the tiny Tea Party but will instead overrun the Republican Party itself, where Palin, with Murdoch and Beck at her back, waits in the wings to “take back America” not just from Obama but from the G.O.P. country club elites now mocking her. By then — after another two years of political gridlock and economic sclerosis — the equally disillusioned right and left may have a showdown that makes this election year look as benign as Woodstock.

Title: The Way Forward: Tea party movement alienating young voters?
Post by: DougMacG on October 31, 2010, 08:40:13 PM
This article was linked at conservative Townhall and says that young voters are alienated by certain aspects of the tea party movement.  What I take from it is the need for one thing to keep a sharp focus on who will pay most for the trillions of excess today.  Young people by their nature come from a dependent class, used to having others pay their bills, needing tuition subsidies etc.  It is a rare talent in conservative leaders to be able to explain why pro-growth policies with economic freedoms are preferable to redistributionism and dependency.  In the current cycle one person with that gift i think is Marco Rubio.  We will need way more people to understand it and articulate if we want to be successful in 2012.  OTOH, reader beware, the underlying study comes out of Harvard.  People in their 20s are too young to know that liberalism, socialism and communism were all tried and failed. It's not still an open question.

Tea party movement alienating young voters

The tea party is failing to woo young voters despite a loose structure that could make it easier for those under 30 to achieve leadership roles, analysts and political activists say as the grass-roots movement prepares to flex its muscles in midterm elections.

A survey released Oct. 21 by Harvard University's Institute of Politics showed that only 11 percent of those 18 to 29 consider themselves supporters of the tea party, and analysts say the leaderless movement's ties to social conservatism and rhetoric in favor of an earlier America are hampering its appeal.

Despite widespread voter anger ahead of Tuesday's midterm elections, the tea party has been a hard sell to young voters because many equate joining with embracing conservative social values, said Peter Levine, director of CIRCLE, a Tufts University group that conducts research on the political involvement of young Americans. He said this holds true even for those who would otherwise identify with the party's call for stricter fiscal conservatism.

"A lot of young people, whether it's from the media, professors or other sources, come to the opinion that the tea party is just a bunch of right-wing extreme radicals, racists _ whatever," said Patrick Kelly, a tea party activist and freshman at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Ill. "That's the biggest deterrent."

Tea party supporters want to open the door for young voters, and FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe said the movement can win over those under 30 by placing them in leadership roles. FreedomWorks was founded by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, and has fueled much of the movement's growth.

"More young leaders begets more young participants," Kibbe said. He said that young voters are tougher to organize but that the tea party can engage them through things they enjoy. "The tea party is different," he said. "We have music, we have fun, we do protests. It's a different set of activities than your typical, canned Republican stump speech that was driving people away in droves."

Matthew Segal, the 25-year-old executive director of the nonpartisan Student Association for Voter Empowerment, said the tea party's opposition to government action also turns off young voters. "The tea party is based on an anti-government premise, and young people are the most trusting constituency of government," said Segal, whose Washington-based organization promotes electoral participation by students.

And while the tea party often seems to be recalling earlier times, with rhetoric harkening back to the Founding Fathers, American youth don't always share those sympathies. Even the movement's name refers to an insurrection more than two centuries ago, notes Christopher Kukk, who teaches political science at Western Connecticut State University.

"It's all about keeping America, preserving America, not changing America," Kukk said. Young people, he said, are "talking about changing America."

Many young voters also recoil at the tea party's homogenous racial makeup. According to the Pew Research Center's October political survey, 85 percent of registered voters who agree with the tea party are white. Just 2 percent are black.

"The young generation is just by the numbers the most diverse generation in American history," Levine said. "You can't get that much purchase on this generation if you look like you're all white."

Supporters agree that a large part of the party's problem with youth is perception. Although some tea party groups are libertarian and don't espouse socially conservative values, voters and the media rarely make that distinction, said Emily Ekins, a UCLA doctoral student who studies the movement's different, and sometimes opposing, philosophies.

Some tea party backers also note the generational gap when it comes to all the talk about history. Joel Pollak, a tea party-endorsed Republican trying to unseat Democrat Jan Schakowsky in Illinois' 9th Congressional District, said young voters' lack of Cold War memories prevents them from recognizing the threat that overreaching government policies pose to American freedom.

"Young people today grew up with very little knowledge of communism and socialism," the 33-year-old Pollak said.

Still, observers see an opportunity for a third-party group to make headway. More than 40 percent of voters under 30 don't identify with a major political party, according to Harvard University's October poll.

"There is room for an independent party to rise up and grab young people," Segal said. "If the tea party numbers don't show that, then they clearly aren't resonating with young voters."
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: G M on October 31, 2010, 09:12:16 PM
It's no shock to find that young people indoctrinated by leftists in academia cling to leftist beliefs. When they hit the real world, they are in for a harsh lesson. Good luck with all those crushing student debts and no jobs after graduation.
Title: The Way Forward: Young people
Post by: DougMacG on November 01, 2010, 09:09:18 AM
No surprise, but a terrible tragedy that young people, current President included, are only taught Alinsky-onomics through the age of 30 and need to find out real info by accident or by making political-economic mistakes.  We will never have an economy hitting on all cylinders consistently while we keep the fundamentals of how it works a secret from the newer participants.

The citizens on Communist China, a totalitarian, dictatorial regime with zero consent of the governed are receiving, in some ways, better economic governance than we are.
Title: The cans/tea party better be careful
Post by: ccp on November 02, 2010, 08:07:10 AM
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.   I can guarantee you Bamster already has his strategy for dealing with a Rep majority in Congress and based on history it WILL work to revive him

If Boehner does nothing more the oppose Bamster the Republicans WILL lose next cycle.  Here are two historic precedents for the exact same strategy and posture.
The "do nothing Congress" of 1948 which resulted in Truman upsetting Dewey and the Crats retaking both houses.  Also more recently the Reps strategy when Newt was speaker in 1995 paved the way for Clinton's comeback and eventually Newt left with disasterously low poll support:
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on November 02, 2010, 08:11:14 AM
I agree with pundits who say that Reps better not think any win is some sort of referendum for them rather than a repudiation of Bamster and Pelosi.
Strick right wing libertarianism/conservatism alone will not work with independents who want problems fixed in some way IMHO.

There is just too much of the country that wants others to pay for their ills.  50% don't pay taxes.  So tax breaks ain't gonna win them over.
Title: Barfed up from the memory hole
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 02, 2010, 08:31:02 AM
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on November 02, 2010, 09:09:39 AM
Is the "barfed up" speech a response to my post?

"free market principles" sounds ok to me and others who pay taxes.  But explain that to those who rely on doles to pay for their food, shelter, and sustenance and who would as Clinton says be on bread lines if not for the doles and bank bailouts.

No one on the right, libertarian or conservative is explaining this to those people.

Title: The Way Forward ...
Post by: DougMacG on November 03, 2010, 11:17:51 AM
CCP, From the thread 'California' I thought I would move my reply over to 'The Way Forward' as I wander with my answer.

"Doug, What is your take with California?  The state that gave us Reagan in the 70's? Rush was saying Fiorina and Whitman lost because they are "RINOS". He actually believes a stricter conservative would have won."

No. Some things aren't winnable, but in general a more consistent pro-freedom message is more persuasive than the we are just like them but not as bad message, with no mention or commitment to core governing principles.  The next Presidential race needs to be won without California unfortunately, just like Obama was able to win his Presidency without getting my vote.  Some people you need to persuade - some people you need to defeat.  Rand Paul wouldn't win in Calif. but he can play a role in this.  No bailouts for failed states.  Bailouts prevent error corrections.  I have no idea what it would take to make California look like the land of opportunity again, but right when political turnarounds seem impossible is when they can happen suddenly.

"Who do you think all these maids, grass cutters, nail hammerers, housekeepers, apple pickers are going to vote for?"  - They sound like very dedicated, principled, hard working people in a country where people can jump classes and quintiles in less than a generation.  I would think they would support economic freedoms but one good leader or candidate can not always cut through the rest of the noise they are hearing, and no one is really trying.  

"Savage lays out a proposal for repubs in his book though I haven't read it.  He says the new "contract" or whatever you want to call it is lame. I think he may be right."

 - I disagree.  The 'Pledge' is a governing philosophy that would have prevented most of this economic carnage if those basic fundamentals had been adhered to a few years back.

"the pocketbook issue"  - Yes.  There are hundreds of issues out there. My opposition to abortion and yours to immigration are not starting points - they follow things like giving responsibilities back to the states and having a federal government provide for our security. The focus needs to be on what rescues the republic right now and that requires a focus on what unites the coalition, what unleashes the economy, what balances the books, and what policies will get the government back to governing, not running the economy.  A maid may be on the free-ride side of current federal taxation, but does she really believe that her beautiful and smart children in school and her grandchildren not yet born will never amount to anything and will never be burdened by the debt and bureaucracy that we are now growing?  I don't think so.  Someone needs to make that case with every bill, every vote and every issue that we face.  This relates to what I posted about the tea party alienating young voters, and  blacks, Hispanics, gays thinking they have more economic opportunity and freedom under Dem rule.  At double digit unemployment, the facts indicate otherwise.  Right now the focus needs to be (IMHO) control spending first, stop the expansion and pull the government back out of private industries other than to provide reasonable and necessary regulation.

No time now but I would like to come back to this thread and post answers Marco Rubio gave to basic liberal questions (how can government create more jobs etc.) in his debates in a very key swing state.  He sounded more like Reagan than like Keynes or Krugman or a typical Dem-lite RINO. He won a swing state by a million votes over a (formerly) popular sitting governor.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: G M on November 03, 2010, 12:28:10 PM
Two Reagan-esque figures both come from Florida. Marco and West. Marco needs more seasoning, but has awesome potential, West is ready for 2012.
Title: Promote a soldier in 2012!
Post by: G M on November 03, 2010, 12:56:25 PM

Someone really ready to lead on day one.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 03, 2010, 02:40:43 PM
"Is the "barfed up" speech a response to my post?"

Goodness no!!!  Just riffing on a theme  :-)

@Doug:  Good post!

GM:  That's a hard to handle political ad!
 :lol: 8-) 8-)

Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: G M on November 03, 2010, 09:20:57 PM

Wednesday,  November 3, 2010

Sixty Seats, nationwide.

The interesting lesson is that the "moderate" Republicans in California were repudiated. In Delaware and Nevada the country club party wing of the Republican party didn't support the conservative women, while the Democrats ran vicious personal attack campaigns. They came close in races that the Democrats considered vital. In California two liberal Republican women didn't stir up much enthusiasm, while the tea party movement was discouraged and even rejected. In Alaska it's still undecided, and won't be for a while: the Country Club Republican leadership didn't support the tea party candidate and allowed one of their ruling class to retain committee assignments. All told, it was an extraordinary election: sixty sets, and the key conservatives won in most cases; and there were informative lessons in the cases where they lost.

One lesson is that the country is appalled at what has happened in the past four years, but not ready to turn to the Republicans in a blind trust. Another is that the mechanics of party structure remain important.

Carly Fiorina ran as "a Republican willing to compromise".  She took conservative stands, but she didn't try to rally the conservatives and the tea party. California has a highly professional Democratic machine with a unionized ground game; the only way to defeat it is to turn out the Republican and Independent vote, and that didn't happen. There were local movements against Sanchez in Bob Dornan's old seat, but they weren't good enough. California is a special case, with a long established and well oiled political machine; it won't be turned around easily. The same is true of New York.

Obama is now calling for openness and compromise. We must find common ground. Hardly astonishing: now he is eager to sit down with both parties. A typical and predictable speech. He has learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

The question is, have the Republicans learned anything?

The election has given the Republic another chance, but only a chance. It's time to build on that. We can begin by thinking hard about what "building consensus" means. We know what it means to the President. We know where Carly Fiorina got by making her willingness to compromise a key part of her campaign. Does the Republican leadership?


Republican tactics:

First, send an Obama-care repeal bill to the Senate. See if any Democrats will vote for it. If not, get them on record. If they will, then Obama must veto it; try to pass it over his veto. Get those who are defending it on record.

Second, refuse any appropriation for enforcing it. Append "provided that no revenues appropriated under this Act shall be used in any way for enforcement of the Health Care Act" to every appropriation for anything else; then just don't initiate or pass any appropriation for its enforcement. Again make the Democrats step up and defend their agenda.

The nation repudiated the Obama agenda last night. The Republicans need to make certain that the next election is also a referendum on that agenda.

The Tea Party needs to think hard about its candidates, understanding that every one of them is going to be subjected to vicious personal attacks designed to make them appear to be flakes or crooks or utter incompetents. The attacks will be unrelenting, and may not be based on anything factual. Candidates need to learn how to deal with la calumna as a campaign strategy. (See the Barber of Seville) and only choose candidates who can shrug that off and stay to message. That's not going to be easy.

The Tea Party can be proud. They hold the balance of power in the United States. It is no mean accomplishment.

And the Republican leadership needs to understand: the Tea Party played by the rules. They ran in primaries, and where they didn't win they still turned out to vote Republican. It is now the turn of the Country Club Republicans to learn how to play to win. The Tea Party holds the balance of power here -- and West Virginia shows there are alternatives to the Republican Party if the Country Club hasn't learned that. It's not an attractive alternative. It is better if the Republicans become a genuine center-right party.

All told it was a great night for the Republic. Not as great as I had hoped it would be, but it will have to do. It's a great start.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on November 05, 2010, 02:25:20 PM
Doug writes (a lot of food for thought),

"Who do you think all these maids, grass cutters, nail hammerers, housekeepers, apple pickers are going to vote for?"  - They sound like very dedicated, principled, hard working people in a country where people can jump classes and quintiles in less than a generation.  I would think they would support economic freedoms but one good leader or candidate can not always cut through the rest of the noise they are hearing, and no one is really trying."

You are  right about no one trying.  I haven't heard anyone making this case.  I am not for amnesty though which is what the illegals want. 

"Savage lays out a proposal for repubs in his book though I haven't read it.  He says the new "contract" or whatever you want to call it is lame. I think he may be right."

 - I disagree.  The 'Pledge' is a governing philosophy that would have prevented most of this economic carnage if those basic fundamentals had been adhered to a few years back.

I'll have to review the pledge.  From what I saw before it was rather vague.

"This relates to what I posted about the tea party alienating young voters, and  blacks, Hispanics, gays thinking they have more economic opportunity and freedom under Dem rule."

I don't recall this post.  The Tea Party is alienating these groups? 
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: G M on November 05, 2010, 02:35:24 PM
The tea party isn't hip and cool, like Jon "I'm afraid of being identified as jewish" Stewart or Snooki.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 05, 2010, 02:39:34 PM
""Who do you think all these maids, grass cutters, nail hammerers, housekeepers, apple pickers are going to vote for?"  - They sound like very dedicated, principled, hard working people in a country where people can jump classes and quintiles in less than a generation.  I would think they would support economic freedoms but one good leader or candidate can not always cut through the rest of the noise they are hearing, and no one is really trying."


In the big picture we can say "We will unleash you to succeed!" but THEN we must be able to specifically name the leashes that hold them back and what we are going to do to cut them.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on November 05, 2010, 05:48:46 PM
"but THEN we must be able to specifically name the leashes that hold them back and what we are going to do to cut them"

Okay, here's one.  Besides lowering and simplifying tax rates, how about a 90 day delay for all government compliance requirements for all private sector new-hires, including no tax withholding for 90 days, and a delay to file all paperwork, forms, IRS/OSHA/workman's comp/healthcare etc. requirements.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 06, 2010, 06:22:21 AM
Doug, anyone:

Any thing else at the federal level?

And what about at the state level?
Title: Video: Rubio gives GOP address, calls 2010 the Republican “second chance”
Post by: G M on November 06, 2010, 11:18:12 AM

If you want to see why Democrats feared Marco Rubio so much that they tried to stick a knife in the back of their own candidate to stop him, this video demonstrates just how powerful a figure he will become with a national platform on which to speak. The GOP may not have had a speaker like Rubio since Ronald Reagan, excelling at both the message and the mechanics of oratory — and even Reagan didn’t have this kind of compelling backstory. Rubio reminded listeners of his origins from a people exiled from their birthplace because of their desire for freedom, and the dream of a better life that is a “sacred duty” for this generation to deliver to the next, not to mortgage from the next generation for our own exploitation.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on November 06, 2010, 09:53:43 PM
Rubio's message is of Reagan but his presentation reminds me more of JFK.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on November 06, 2010, 11:44:59 PM
"Doug, anyone: Any thing else at the federal level? And what about at the state level?"

At the state level, hard to answer with 50 different states.  Mine just made the biggest flip in the legislature since parties have been designated on ballots.  Yours, ...  :-(   Seriously, the states have some role in this mainly by keeping their competitiveness up and lessening the burden they place on enterprise and investment.  I would like to see states implement preferential long term capital gains rates.  (Does your state have that now?) It make no sense to tax inflationary gains as ordinary income.  If nothing else it violates cruel and unusual punishment.  I like what states have done to join together and fight PelosiCare. 

At the federal level, we face two tasks:  a) rescue the republic, and b) keep the political momentum moving forward because point a. will take more than one election cycle.

Here is a 6-legged stool, taxes, healthcare, spending, energy, monetary reform and the border, to set the foundation for sustained growth. 

Taxes: The House should vote to make tax cuts permanent immediately upon taking office.  The Senate will probably agree to extend them all for one year, but that only leaves us in the same lousy situation we were in the past year with investors still not knowing what future rates will be. I think this will need to settle at two years which rightfully passes it to the next congress (and next President) which means letting the people decide again.

Health care defund needs to be accompanied with 'repeal and replace'.  Don't let the critics say it is going back to the way it was.  Republicans had bills that did most of the popular parts of this bill without the total takeover of government.  Go back to the best of  those ideas and pass it in the House.  Then defund the PelosiCare while the 'greatest deliberative body bloviates and dithers on the new proposals.

Spending.  End earmarks for two years - really - and roll back discretionary spending to 2008 levels.  That is a pretty good compromise; I would rather roll them back to 1956 levels.

Cap / Trade / Energy Tax:  I would take each serious proposal in this arena and conduct an up or down vote on each.  In other words reject these political limits on energy and get Dems on record for their votes.  Again I would do it right away so manufacturers know those caps and taxes are not coming.  Then approve ANWR, some offshore drilling, more clean coal and more nuclear.  Also a major new effort toward expanding clean natural gas into more areas of production and usage from north American sources. 

The Fed:  I would put the Fed on notice that we aren't going to tolerate another failed attempt at wealth through inflation and devaluation. That isn't where the jobs are.  Let the Fed know they will be getting their congressional charter re-written if they can't stay focused on their primary mission, a strong stable dollar.

Border: Link some of the human talent returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and resources freeing up with the need to secure the border.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 07, 2010, 04:59:09 AM

Good stuff all, but the intended meaning of my question was focused on appealing to Latino Americans.   :-)  Sorry for my lack of clarity  :oops:
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on November 07, 2010, 01:01:19 PM
"...appealing to Latino Americans"

I never understood why Republicans couldn't get a group of very persuasive black conservatives into predominantly black neighborhoods and at least expose people to a different message and win maybe a few votes. 

Republicans today should use the historic and impressive new class of newly elected Hispanic Republicans to take a very optimistic, pro-growth economic message to the Hispanic community. 

Second is to somehow get ahead of the curve on getting the undocumented documented and out of the shadows, without true amnesty and without ripping apart the conservative base.  But I really don't see how that can be done.

One question I have regarding Marco Rubio is what connection Cuban-Americans have with Mexican-Americans and people here from South America.  It often seems that politically they do not.  Does anyone out there have any insight on that?
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 07, 2010, 04:35:07 PM
Dashing off an observation:

The Cubans who came to US, especially Florida in 1959-60 etc. were the successful 10% of Cuba-- which in many ways was a much more successful country than people realize e.g. a very high literacy rate.   

The Mexicans who come to the US tend to be of those not finding opportunity in Mexico.

Title: American Creed, Reagan: Those Voices Don't Speak for the Rest of Us
Post by: DougMacG on November 08, 2010, 09:36:11 PM
A Reagan speech juxtaposed with perfect examples from today of what he warned about then.

If there is anyone out there young enough to not have lived through Reagan's spoken convictions or else weren't paying attention then, here is a 2 minute chance to start.
Title: WSJ: Reps and Latinos
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 09, 2010, 04:50:39 AM
When it comes to Hispanic voters, last week's elections were a tale of two results for Republicans. On one level, the GOP can take pride in the fact that 31% of all Hispanic members of Congress are now in their party. But on another level, the overwhelming Democratic advantage among Hispanics helped cost the GOP key Senate seats in Nevada, Colorado and California.

The next Congress will feature an unprecedented five new Hispanic Republicans. Two are from Texas and defeated Democratic incumbents - Bill Flores of Bryan and Quico Conseco from San Antonio. Jaime Herrera was elected to an open seat in Washington state. Raul Labrador defeated a Democratic incumbent in Idaho. David Rivera won an open House seat in Florida, just as Marco Rubio won that state's vacant U.S. Senate seat. In addition, Republicans elected two Hispanic governors -- prosecutor Susan Martinez in New Mexico and Brian Sandoval, a judge, in Nevada.

But Hispanic voters also powered the come-from-behind victories of two Democratic Senators. Hispanics accounted for 14% of the electorate in Nevada, up from 12% in the last midterm election of 2006. The two-to-one advantage they gave Majority Leader Harry Reid allowed him to win by a surprising 50% to 45% margin. In Colorado, Hispanic voters made up 13% of the vote, up from only 9% four years ago. Their big margin in favor of Democratic Senator Michael Bennet helped him pull off a come-from-behind victory.

Finally, in California exit polls show Hispanics made up 22% of all those voting, up from 19% in 2006. Republican Carly Fiorina won Anglo voters over Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer by nine points, but her 65% to 28% loss among Hispanics doomed her chances for an upset.

There are some lessons here. Clearly, Sharron Angle's ad depicting dark-skinned figures violating U.S. immigration laws angered many Hispanic voters in Nevada, especially after she clumsily tried to claim they might have been Asian. Similarly, the presence of anti-immigration hardliner Tom Tancredo on Colorado's ballot as the de facto Republican candidate for governor helped fuel Hispanic turnout.

On the other hand, there were Republican success stories. Texas Governor Rick Perry won 38% of the Hispanic vote in his re-election bid this year. He credits his showing to his advocacy of economic opportunity even while he vowed to tighten border controls. Marco Rubio won 40% of the non-Cuban Hispanic vote in Florida (and 55% of the overall Hispanic vote) and ran effective Spanish-language ads describing what the American dream means for immigrants. Columnist Luisita Lopez Torregrosa writes in that both men "appeal to the growing Latino middle- and upper-classes in states like Florida and Texas who oppose illegal immigration (because the negative image of illegal immigrants affects the image of all Latinos) and who believe in assimilation in the American mainstream."

Going forward, Republicans know that hardline immigration positions seen as insensitive to Hispanics can cost them votes among a growing share of the electorate. On the other hand, candidates can talk tough on immigration and still do well with Hispanic voters if they can convincingly promote a message of economic opportunity.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on November 09, 2010, 07:44:04 AM
"candidates can talk tough on immigration and still do well with Hispanic voters if they can convincingly promote a message of economic opportunity"

Truthfully, that would be the ONLY hope for Republicans to gain Latino voters who overwhelming like big government tax dollar support.

I am dubious it would work.

Remember, if all those who could legally have voted did - it would have been a victory for Dems.  The Repubs won because of of likely "voters" and turn out.

Title: The Way Forward: Latino / Hispanic
Post by: DougMacG on November 09, 2010, 09:22:54 AM
A well articulated, optimistic economic message gets you up to mid-30s percent of Hispanic vote on a good year.  Those numbers and Crafty's earlier post confirm what I suspected about Cuban Americans.  They are not politically connected to other Hispanics. 

"Texas Governor Rick Perry won 38% of the Hispanic vote"

"Marco Rubio won 40% of the non-Cuban Hispanic vote in Florida"

As I suspected, Marco Rubio's ethnic and culture advantage with Hispanics  is worth about 2 points outside of Florida though his across the board appeal is very high.

Republicans need to consider (again) getting out ahead of their opponents with a passable 'documentation' solution that improves the status quo.  There isn't going to be mass deportation and Republicans can't simultaneously play to the resentment of illegals and hope for increasing their Hispanic support. 

We need a settlement framework that will give us a shot at winning more than 40% of the national Hispanic vote without tearing apart the coalition and losing people with the concerns that CCP has very well expressed here.  I know Rove and McCain types already tried.  It needs to be a much tougher, longer term agreement (IMHO).
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: G M on November 09, 2010, 10:19:46 AM
The crisis that threatens this country is the ethnic loyalties that trump American loyalty. Rewarding illegal immigration is corrosive to the rule of law. If "La Raza" is more important than America, then we are fcuked.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on November 09, 2010, 10:57:47 AM
"Rewarding illegal immigration is corrosive to the rule of law."

I agree, but what then? The status quo IS an acceptance of illegality.  Mass deportation is not going to happen.  If Republicans write the bill, new border enforcement could actually come ahead of other provisions. I'm suggesting some sort of documentation agreement tough enough to be hated by extreme groups but to put some kind of offer on the table to bring an underworld out of the shadows within 10 years, I would say, before the next census. The last census was a missed opportunity. For security alone, we should know who is here.

Perhaps renewable work papers with some enforceable criteria, some deportation, and never citizenship or voting for anyone who entered illegally and won't go back to re-apply.

The other path I see is to ignore the problem, let Dems win in 2012 - all branches, buy gold, allow the collapse, and go underground ourselves.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: G M on November 09, 2010, 11:05:28 AM
1. Secure the border. It can be done. It should have been done long ago.

2. Prosecute the employers of illegal aliens after the needed changes in state/federal law.

3. Empower local level law enforcement to enforce the laws against illegal immigration.

4. Cut off all welfare, medical benefits to illegals.

Make these stick and the vast majority will self deport.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on November 09, 2010, 12:32:28 PM
"1. Secure the border.
2. Prosecute the employers of illegal aliens
3. Empower local level law enforcement to enforce the laws against illegal immigration.
4. Cut off all welfare, medical benefits to illegals.
Make these stick and the vast majority will self deport."

 - I am confident that we can get you, me and everyone to the right of you and me, (not exactly a controlling majority) to support this.  Point 4 is not going to happen, therefore mass self-deportation is not going to happen. Only the people who wanted to work would leave.  During the heated debates for point 4, we will drop our percentages to single digits, lose all branches and return to my plan b: lose the country, buy gold and go underground ourselves.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: G M on November 09, 2010, 12:45:44 PM
You can have a multiethnic/racial society, but not a multicultural one. Best case, you get Quebec in Canada, worse case, the former Yugoslavia. That leads us back to the aformentioned plan B.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 09, 2010, 03:33:31 PM
GM nails it:

"The crisis that threatens this country is the ethnic loyalties that trump American loyalty. Rewarding illegal immigration is corrosive to the rule of law. If "La Raza" is more important than America, then we are fcuked."

For a very long time I have had a wonderful Mexican mechanic who has a small neighborhood shop with two men under him.  He has been here a long time and speaks English just fine and seems to have Americanized.  Often he and his guys and I have bantered in Spanish; it chuckled them to see just how Mexicanized my Spanish was-- expressions I use are those only of someone who has spent a lot of time in country off the beaten path.  I thought and felt him to be exactly how it should be for Mexicans coming to America.

A couple of months ago I had on a t-shirt with a "Viva la Revolucion Reagan" caption to a silhouette of head shot of President Reagan with a posture like that of the famous Che Guevara picture.  So my mechanic gets aggro with me with "!Viva la Raza!"  Those who know of these things know that this is exactly whereof GM speaks.  Things went back and forth a bit, with one of his guys also chiiming in with his own "!Viva la Raza!" with me answering that this was America, that the place for people who thought of themselves as La Raza was 120 miles to the south and "!Viva La Migra!" (This is pocho slang for the INS). 

This is the short version of the story; bottom line though is that I feel quite bummed; I liked him, felt him to be a good addition to America, and then it turns out I had been fooled as to where his sense of loyalty lay
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: G M on November 09, 2010, 03:56:03 PM
It's not one bit different than a skinhead shouting "White power". Would an advocacy group called "The Race", that claimed to speak for the concerns of "european-americans" and european culture and european immigrants (legal or illegal) get the mainstream acceptance that "La Raza" does?
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on November 09, 2010, 08:35:55 PM
I always wonder what is the correct category for Ronald Reagan speeches. He deserves founding fathers status or a place of his own.  With Marco Rubio, he fits just fine under 'the way forward' but it looks to me like at this point in his career deserves a category of his own or could share easily share one with the Gipper.

Anyone who remembers Nov-Dec 2000 with the Florida recount bouncing from the Sec. of State to the candidates' attorneys to the Florida Supreme Court to the hanging chads and mistaken Buchanan votes in Palm Beach County to the absentee military vote controversy to the uneven recounts from Miami Dade and Broward unlike the rest of the state and then up to the Supreme Court where two different questions are settled with two different votes and the recount ends with Bush (rightly)awarded the President in total anger and disbelief by the other side... anyone who remembers all of that should appreciate that within one decade a 39 year old son of an exiled maid and a bartender is elected U.S. Senator from Florida - by a margin of a MILLION VOTES - over a second place Republican sitting Governor and third place sitting Democratic Congressman.  In his victory speech he asked his supporters to pray that he never lets Washington change him and with this speech introduces himself to the nation along with the serious challenge the new congress faces.

My first criteria for leadership of the movement is the ability to articulate freedom.  This is what I mean by that! 

Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 10, 2010, 04:48:25 AM

If you search for "Ronald Reagan" on the "Founding Fathers" thread you will find him there.  My house, my rules, and my rules say Ronald Reagan IS a Founding Father!

Rubio is certainly off to a most promising start and is a man to watch, but let us remember that Reagan had a very successful career as an actor and was head of the Screen Actor Guild (what a wonderful education in the ways of some of the finest liars on the planet and as such for a career in politics!) activist, governor of CA for 8 years during turbulent times, and an unsuccessful run for the Presidency before being elected.   At this point Rubio has the right values and speaks well but he has little life experience and testing so far IMHO.
Title: WSJ: The GOPs racial challenge
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 10, 2010, 08:33:21 AM
Lost in the GOP's euphoria over its landslide midterm victory is the fact that the Republican Party has almost become a whites-only party. Its strategy may win seats now, but it will lose over the long run.

Republicans won big in 2010 primarily because they won big among white voters. The 60% of the white vote that Republicans garnered last Tuesday is, by most estimates, the highest proportion of the white vote that the GOP has won in any national election since World War II.

Relying on white support is not a new strategy for the party. In 2008, 91% of the votes that John McCain received in his presidential bid came from white voters.

The problem for Republicans is two-fold. First, whites may currently be the majority but they are a declining demographic. The proportion of all voters who are white has already declined to 75% today from 94% in 1960. By 2050, whites are no longer expected to be a majority of the U.S. population.

Second, Republicans are alienating racial and ethnic minorities—the voters who will ultimately replace the white majority and who they need to stay in power. In every national election in the past few decades, Democrats have dominated the nonwhite vote. Democrats typically garner about 90% of the black vote, two-thirds of the Latino vote, and a clear majority of the Asian-American vote—and 2010 didn't fundamentally alter this pattern.

Even with Democrats presiding over the worst economy since the Great Depression, racial and ethnic minorities did not turn away from the Democratic Party. Last week Latinos favored Democrats over Republicans nearly 2 to 1 (64% to 34%), blacks voted overwhelmingly for Democrats (90%), and a clear majority of Asian- Americans (56%) supported Democrats.

If minorities didn't give up on the Democratic Party last week, they are unlikely to do so without dramatic changes in the platforms of the two parties. A growing and resolutely Democratic nonwhite population is clearly a serious threat to the Republican electoral calculus.

Republicans thus face a real dilemma. They may be able to gain over the short term by continuing their current strategy of ignoring or attacking minorities. But that is short-sighted.

Over the long term—as white voters become a smaller and smaller fraction of the electorate and Latinos and other racial and ethnic minorities become a larger and larger share of the electorate—any campaign that appeals primarily to whites will be doomed.

Mr. Hajnal, an associate professor of political science at U.C. San Diego, is author of "America's Uneven Democracy" (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: JDN on November 11, 2010, 06:44:57 AM
The GOP needs to be more vocal about why their position is what it is.  The Demms have a wonderful dogma about fairness, empowerment and caring (yeah, touchy feely stuff.....)The GOP expresses the same thing but it is framed as what the numbers say and over time this is the right course...........   They need to frame things with more immediacy, and as "this puts more food on the table NOW, and in the future will provide even more....." or as "Refuse to be a slave of the state! According to this survey, in the last 5 years, the state has created more slaves by........."

Also start putting out "study guides" that are always focussed strictly on helping people getting GOOD information to make up their own mind.  Show a "selflessness" and define the party by that.  Be the "Make up your own mind party" rather than what looks like the "WASP fudy duddy party"

It will appeal to the thinkers and the honest and the producers in many more ways than they are currently appealing.  "Make up your own mind about religion, Government does not do that for you".  "Make up your own mind about an appropriate lifestyle, government does not do that for you"
When you get right down to it, the democrats and republicans are not about government- they are really just different lobbying groups for jobs for politicians.........

It's true!!!  And I think this comment could be posted in a lot of sections.  For example, do you want more Hispanic to vote Republican?  Most Mexicans I know work hard for their money; they embody the American Dream.  So get the message out....  and add a little touchy feely stuff...
And you might find a lot of Hispanics changing parties. 

The same applies to truly sealing the border and strictly enforcing the laws, but offering some
form of amnesty (sorry) for qualified (healthy and non criminal) applicants.  If presented right, many Hispanics will understand and support
the Republican party position.  The Republican party has some great ideas, they just need a little touch feely stuff to sell it....    :-)
Give them hope, the possibility of reaching their dreams through hard work.  Isn't that what the Republican Party is all about?
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on November 11, 2010, 10:02:17 AM
I just did a yahoo search on "why immigrants vote democrat".  Didn't find much.  Wikepedia has information when one looks at Demcrat party with regards to history and voting preferences of different groups.

For example Asians used to be more Republican - when they came from Communist countries.  That trend has changed.  I wonder if it has changed in part because thier children are going to liberal dominated American schools and thus grow up more socially liberal than their tried and true elders.

Since most Latinos are lower wage employees they are simply not going to vote for reduction in government benefits.  It just believe it could happen.

I was very disheartened frankly when I heard Dick Morris on O'Reilly last night.  Did anyone else see him explain why Repbuplicans didn't win 100 in the house and a majority in the Senate as he predicted?

He stated he studied the situation with Zogby.  And they determined that 3% of the people who had not yet decided within 6 days of the election overwhelmingly voted for Bamster et al.  Why?  Because most were already Democrat and Obama running around the country "reving" up his base worked to get them out to vote.

He nodded yes when O'Reilly asked him if that means Bamster still has considerable power.

I am not so heartened as Hannity wants to sell us the notion conservatism is back.   Still 50% do not pay taxes in this country.  That stat alone is a disaster for what this country stands/or better stood for.

And Crafty's disappointment with his Mexican mechanic who he thought would have (at least by now) *bought into* the ideals of America is exactly why IMO Reagan made a huge mistake not enforcing laws against illegals in the 80's.  These immigrants are not the same as those from Europe.  Many of them come from countries with socialist movements.  They may not like dictatorships but they are necessarily capatilists either.

I see the revolving door of Latinos going to and from the obstetrics floor in the hospital.  Their children are in our schools.  Someone who works in the system told me they were not kidding at all when they said one of the first English words they learn is Medicaid. 

I probably agree with Doug.  I prefer what GM says but it is probably political suicide.  I would not rule out Bamster giving them all amnesty.  Apparantly there is nothing that could stop him or do anything about it.  All he has to do is want to do it.

I hope I am very wrong about this - but we may already have seen the Tea Party at its peak.

The country is almost given away.  I mean if we couldn't win the Senate this time around????

Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: G M on November 11, 2010, 10:03:50 AM
Amnesty is a message to everyone in the world that aspired to become an American and showed respect for this country and it's laws, that they were stupid for believing that the rule of law is important and filling out the forms and waiting for years to come here. Let's be clear, as our president would say, do what you want, no matter what the law says. If enforcing the law seems too difficult, we won't do it. Forget waiting in line at the US embassy. Save your money for the coyotes.

The rule of law is now as dated as powdered wigs and quill pens.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on November 11, 2010, 10:30:07 AM
"Amnesty is a message to everyone in the world that aspired to become an American and showed respect for this country and it's laws"

I agree with.  It doesn't help when our own President doesn't even respect this country.  I am still not clear why he think it necessary to go around apologizing for us.  For example, we need to repair relations with the Muslims.  Shouldn't they be apologizing to us?

I wonder.  Would the "Muslim world" if you will, have liked us if it weren't for our support of Israel?

Somehow I think the Jews are as usual the excuse for some other issue.
Title: correction:"I agree with you, GM"
Post by: ccp on November 11, 2010, 10:31:27 AM
Not just, "I agree with"
Title: Laffer: Growth Agenda for the New Congress
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 12, 2010, 06:35:58 AM
Since its cyclical zenith in December 2007, U.S. economic production has been on its worst trajectory since the Great Depression. Massive stimulus spending and unprecedented monetary easing haven't helped, and yet the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve still cling to the book of Keynes. It's an approach ill-suited to solving the growth problem that the United States has today.

The solution can be found in the price theory section of any economics textbook. It's basic supply and demand. Employment is low because the incentives for workers to work are too small, and the incentives not to work too high. Workers' net wages are down, so the supply of labor is limited. Meanwhile, demand for labor is also down since employers consider the costs of employing new workers—wages, health care and more—to be greater today than the benefits.

Firms choose whether to hire based on the total cost of employing workers, including all federal, state and local income taxes; all payroll, sales and property taxes; regulatory costs; record-keeping costs; the costs of maintaining health and safety standards; and the costs of insurance for health care, class action lawsuits, and workers compensation. In addition, gross wages are often inflated by the power of unions and legislative restrictions such as "buy American" provisions and the minimum wage. Gross wages also include all future benefits to workers in the form of retirement plans.

For a worker to be attractive, that worker must be productive enough to cover all those costs plus leave room for some profit and the costs of running an enterprise. Being in business isn't easy, and today not enough workers qualify to be hired.

But workers don't focus on how much it costs a firm to employ them. Workers care about how much they receive and can spend after taxes. For them, the question is how the wages they'd receive for working compare to what they'd receive (from the government) if they didn't work, plus the value of their leisure from not working.

The problem is that the government has driven a massive wedge between the wages paid by firms and the wages received by workers. To make work and employment attractive again, this government wedge has to shrink. This can happen over the next two years, even with a Democratic majority in the Senate and President Obama in the White House, through the following measures:

1) The full extension of the Bush tax cuts. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives can write legislation extending all the tax cuts in perpetuity. Of particular importance for employment is keeping the highest personal income tax rate at 35%, the capital gains tax rate at 15% and the dividend tax rate at 15%, while eliminating the estate tax permanently. If the Senate blocks this legislation or Mr. Obama refuses to sign it, House Republicans should hold firm and let voters decide in 2012. (My guess is that he'll sign it or have his veto overridden.)

2) The full repeal of ObamaCare, which allows individuals to pay only five cents for each dollar of health care. Who do you think pays the other 95 cents? As former Sen. Phil Gramm notes, if he had to pay only five cents for each dollar of groceries he bought, he would eat really well—and so would his dog. No single bill is more antithetical to growth than ObamaCare.

Repeal could take the form of Michele Bachmann's Legislative Repeal Act, and if it is blocked in the Senate or by a veto Republicans should continue bringing it up every six months. Come 2012 the public will have a clear view of what congressional candidates stand for. The end game for U.S. prosperity is the election in 2012.

3) The cancellation of all spending that punishes those who produce and rewards those who don't. This is really the distinction between demand-side economics and supply-side economics. Stimulus spending and quantitative easing don't make it more rewarding to work an extra hour. If the government pays people not to work and taxes people who do work, is it really so difficult to see why employment is so low?

So the government should sell its stakes in public companies acquired via TARP, sell government-run enterprises that lose money (e.g., Amtrak and the Postal Service), end farm subsidies that pay people not to farm, cancel the rest of the stimulus and return all spending programs to their pre-stimulus levels. Congress should also continually examine spending in Afghanistan and Iraq. And it should return the duration of unemployment benefits to the standard 26 weeks, from the current 99 weeks.

4) The enactment of stalled free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.

These changes would spur recovery, but they are just the start. Elected officials should offer longer-term measures that voters can judge in 2012, when 33 senators—including 21 Democrats, two independents who caucus with the Democrats, and 10 Republicans—as well as the entire House and President Obama are up for re-election.

Beyond 2012, the ideal growth agenda would include:

1) A true flat tax, a la Jerry Brown's proposal in 1992. Congress should replace all federal taxes (except sin taxes) with two flat-rate taxes, one on personal income and one on net business sales. The personal income tax would be on all forms of income: wage income, dividends, inheritance (as proposed by Democratic Rep. Jared Polis), and all capital gains. This tax code would remove loopholes and almost all deductions, and the static revenue rate would be around 11.5%.

2) Price stability. Congress should revise the Federal Reserve's mandate, making it serve only the goal of price stability (and not also full employment). In addition, the Fed should follow a monetary rule, targeting either the quantity of money or the price level. There can be no prosperity without price stability.

3) Passage of a balanced budget amendment, without raising taxes. This would prevent government from being able to balance its budget by unbalancing the budgets of its citizens. And it would force politicians to make difficult decisions about what spending is worthwhile, just like the rest of us. (Marc:  How would the language for this read?)

4) Finally, saving the best for last, the mother of all supply-side reforms is incentive pay for politicians (which the comedian Jackie Mason called "putting the politicians on commission"). Politicians must be held personally responsible for their actions. In business, firms align the incentives of decision makers with the incentives of shareholders to ensure that they take the best course of action. Washington must begin doing the same by creating an incentive structure that pays elected officials according to factors such as stock market performance and economic growth. (Marc: For some reason I am reminded of Fannie Mae accelerating its profits in order to pump up bonuses for its executives)

Mr. Laffer is the chairman of Laffer Associates and co-author of "Return to Prosperity: How America Can Regain Its Economic Superpower Status" (Threshold, 2010).
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: G M on November 12, 2010, 07:48:24 AM
I question growth agenda #4 as well.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on November 12, 2010, 07:50:00 AM
Some great ideas. Not all new but nonetheless excellent.  NOw if only we can convince enough of the electorate this is the right path for ALL of us.  We need the expert political salesmanship.  I don't know yet if we have it.  People on the dole, those who don't pay taxes are not going to be easily convinced.  See the terrible situation in Ft. Lauderdale wherein police officers are being let go.  A similar situation is happening here in Newark, NJ where a large proportion of the city work force is being let go.  I have to say the reason it is like that is the more senior employees are essentially screwing the newer employees.  They refuse to budge on their contracts so the only thing left is to fire the newer city employees.  My hunch is the same thing is happening to  private union members.  Some tell me the union "ain't what it used to be".  In other words the union bosses are screwing them to keep their cushy positions.  One union guy tells me they are having a meeting about a million dollars missing from their pension fund.  It is dog eat dog.  

The Republicans are going to have a very tough time convincing the "let the rich pay for it croud" that doing that is shooting themselves in their own heads.  I have not yet heard a single Republican convincingly address this issue.  I don't know why.  

"But workers don't focus on how much it costs a firm to employ them. Workers care about how much they receive and can spend after taxes. For them, the question is how the wages they'd receive for working compare to what they'd receive (from the government) if they didn't work, plus the value of their leisure from not working."

Absolutely.  As long as we can keep taking from the "rich" forget it.  

Updated 9:44 AM EST, Fri, Nov 12, 2010
The Broward Sheriff's Office has decided to drastically cut services to Lauderdale Lakes because the city has fallen behind in its monthly payments, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

"Let me be clear, we are not abandoning the residents of Lauderdale Lakes, but during these strained economic times, I have an obligation to the taxpayers of Broward County to ensure that services are provided based on allocated funding," Sheriff Al Lamberti wrote in a Nov. 5 e-mail notifying city leaders of the pending change.

The city owes about $6 million, which in these economic times isn't pocket change for a small city. Just last week, the City Commission approved another one-year deal with BSO.
But Lamberti's stance is the city has to pay to play, or be protected. He's made similar threats to the County Commission after complaining about an extra thin BSO budget.

While Lamberti isn't abandoning the city, it certainly appears BSO is taking a leave of absence.

Nine sergeants and deputies will be transferred from Lauderdale Lakes to other BSO-served cities and the city will also lose the use of a ladder fire truck and 12 firefighters.

That could leave residents in a pinch when they call 911 when something goes up in flames, fire union officials said.

"We have no choice but to scale back services to the residents of Lauderdale Lakes," Lamberti said.
Title: Dick Morris
Post by: ccp on November 12, 2010, 08:59:46 AM
"• Unmarried women voted Democrat by 61-34."

No suprise.  Sure the tax payers should be their sugar daddy.  I am tired of paying for this.  Take care of your own children.

By Dick Morris11.10.2010Share this article
Published on on November 9, 2010

President Obama’s last-ditch attempt to turn out his voter base worked — and changed the 2010 election from a tsunami of epic proportions into a mere catastrophe for the Democrats.

John Zogby’s post-election polling reveals that voters who made up their minds about how to vote within the last week voted Democrat by 57-31 while those who made up their minds earlier backed the Republican candidate, 53-44. Zogby’s data indicated that it made no difference whether the voter decided for whom to vote two or three weeks before the election or more than a month before. Both groups backed Republicans by 10 points. But those who decided in the voting booth or in the week immediately before voting backed the Democrat by large margins.

Fortunately for the GOP, only 8 percent of the electorate were late deciders. A full 46 percent were early voters.

These Democratic late deciders were all straight from the party’s base:

• 15 percent of single voters decided late, and singles voted 64 percent Democrat.

• 14 percent of under-$25,000-income voters decided late, and voters in this income category voted Democrat by 59-36.

• 20 percent of voters 18-29 decided late, and this group backed Obama by 56-37.

So Obama’s appearances on “The Daily Show” and in youth-oriented media worked well to his party’s advantage.

Race, age and marital status were the key predictors of how a person would vote.

Racially, the Zogby poll shows that blacks cast only 10 percent of the vote and Latinos only 8 percent in the 2010 elections. In 2008, they cast 13 and 10 percent, respectively.

Obama did well among Latinos. His appeals based on immigration worked. Hispanics voted Democrat by 58-37. But, surprisingly, Zogby showed erosion among black voters, who backed the Democrat by only 72-24, well below their percentage for Obama himself in 2008.

Age played a key role in determining one’s vote:

• Among the youngest voters, 18-24, Democrats got 66 percent of the vote.

• More broadly, those aged 18-29 voted Democrat 56-37.

• Those aged 30-49 were split fairly evenly, with Democrats winning 47 percent and Republicans 50 percent.

• Voters 50-64, the baby boomers, have shifted to the Republicans, backing them by 54-43.

• And, thanks to ObamaCare, the over-65 voters backed Republicans by 57-38.

But voters under 30 constituted only 11 percent of the vote, and those 18-24 were just 3 percent. The failure of these groups to turn out in larger numbers did much to doom the Democratic candidates.

Marital status continued to be one of the key variables in our politics:

• Married men voted Republican by 60-35.

• Married women followed suit by 58-40.

• Unmarried men voted Democrat by 50-42.

• Unmarried women voted Democrat by 61-34.

Oddly, Obama’s last-minute appeal seems to have been effective based largely on demographics, not on union membership. The unions are the Democratic Party’s financial base, but not their voters. Union members broke evenly, with 49 percent backing Democrats and 47 percent voting Republican.

Historically, Democrats “come home” as Election Day approaches, and those whose involvement in politics is most marginal — who tend to be poorer, less educated and more Democrat — make late decisions to support Democrats. The 2010 election was no exception to this trend.

I had thought that it would be. Based on the solid Republican trend that continued well into October, I believed that the late deciders would tend to side more with the GOP than usual. I felt that those who normally voted Democrat would stay at home. They didn’t. And Obama’s last-minute campaigning had a lot to do with it.****
Title: The power of RAZAism
Post by: G M on November 14, 2010, 11:05:44 AM

California school has done a U-turn after it forced a student to remove an American flag attached to his bike, saying the Stars and Stripes could spur racial tensions on campus.

Cody Alicea,13, had been flying the flag on the back of his bicycle for almost two months to show support for veterans like his grandfather, Robert Alicea.

But just in time for Veterans Day, school officials at Denair Middle School told Cody he would no longer be allowed to display the flag, citing complaints from other students.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: ccp on November 15, 2010, 07:43:03 AM
From Drudge:

Homeland security estimates there are around 2.6 million illegals in California.  Probably an underestimate but lets say it is remotely accurate.

There are 3 mill. self identified Latinos in California schools.  So how many of these are legal, or born to illegals? How many of the 7% of Asians are there legally?
Even asking the question would get any politician threats on his/her life. 

Obviously if most of these people were prospective Republicans than the entire Democratic Party would be building a Great Wall on the border.  But what is the stroy with Republicans?  I am not clear how much of it is they are just afraid to "offend" anyone and how much, as suggested it is due to them protecting business that rely on cheap illegal labor.  I think it is more the former.

Title: The Way Forward: The Paul Ryan Roadmap.
Post by: DougMacG on December 11, 2010, 11:07:00 AM
This could go under Palin or under 2012 Presidential as well.  I post it here for substance, not personalities. I see it as the way forward, economically and politically.  These are bold proposals.  Ryan isn't some wild extremist anymore; he is the incoming chairman of the committee, and Palin is a frontrunner putting heat on other potential candidates to say more precisely where they stand on spending and deficits, the Ryan roadmap and the deficit commission.  I would like to see a couple of Democrats endorse the 'Roadmap' or publish a comprehensive plan of their own.

Why I Support the Ryan Roadmap
Let's not settle for the big-government status quo, which is what the president's deficit commission offers.


The publication of the findings of the president's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform was indeed, as the report was titled, "A Moment of Truth." The report shows we're much closer to the budgetary breaking point than previously assumed. The Medicare Trust Fund will be insolvent by 2017. As early as 2025, federal revenue will barely be enough to pay for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and interest on our national debt. With spending structurally outpacing revenue, something clearly needs to be done to avert national bankruptcy.

Speaking with WSJ's Jerry Seib, Congressman Paul Ryan (R, WI) insisted that the deal between Republicans and the White House on the Bush Tax Cuts was not a second stimulus and that the agreement would promote growth despite adding to the deficit.

The commission itself calculates that, even if all of its recommendations are implemented, the federal budget will continue to balloon—to an estimated $5 trillion in 2020, from an already unprecedented $3.5 trillion today. The commission makes only a limited effort to cut spending below the current trend set by the Obama administration.

Among the few areas of spending it does single out for cuts is defense—the one area where we shouldn't be cutting corners at a time of war. Worst of all, the commission's proposals institutionalize the current administration's new big spending commitments, including ObamaCare. Not only does it leave ObamaCare intact, but its proposals would lead to a public option being introduced by the backdoor, with the chairmen's report suggesting a second look at a government-run health-care program if costs continue to soar.

It also implicitly endorses the use of "death panel"-like rationing by way of the new Independent Payments Advisory Board—making bureaucrats, not medical professionals, the ultimate arbiters of what types of treatment will (and especially will not) be reimbursed under Medicare.

The commission's recommendations are a disappointment. That doesn't mean, though, that the commission's work was a wasted effort. For one thing, it has exposed the large and unsustainable deficits that the Obama administration has created through its reckless "spend now, tax later" policies. It also establishes a clear bipartisan consensus on the need to fundamentally reform our entitlement programs. We need a better plan to build on these conclusions with common-sense reforms to tackle our long-term funding crisis in a sustainable way.

In my view, a better plan is the Roadmap for America's Future produced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wisc.). The Roadmap offers a reliable path to long-term solvency for our entitlement programs, and it does so by encouraging personal responsibility and independence.

On health care, it would replace ObamaCare with a new system in which people are given greater control over their own health-care spending. It achieves this partly through creating medical savings accounts and a new health-care tax credit—the only tax credit that would be left in a radically simplified new income tax system that people can opt into if they wish.

The Roadmap would also replace our high and anticompetitive corporate income tax with a business consumption tax of just 8.5%. The overall tax burden would be limited to 19% of GDP (compared to 21% under the deficit commission's proposals). Beyond that, Rep. Ryan proposes fundamental reform of Medicare for those under 55 by turning the current benefit into a voucher with which people can purchase their own care.

On Social Security, as with Medicare, the Roadmap honors our commitments to those who are already receiving benefits by guaranteeing all existing rights to people over the age of 55. Those below that age are offered a choice: They can remain in the traditional government-run system or direct a portion of their payroll taxes to personal accounts, owned by them, managed by the Social Security Administration and guaranteed by the federal government. Under the Roadmap's proposals, they can pass these savings onto their heirs. The current Medicaid system, the majority of which is paid for by the federal government but administered by the states, would be replaced by a block-grant system that would reward economizing states.

Together these reforms help to secure our entitlement programs for the 21st century. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Roadmap would lead to lower deficits and a much lower federal debt. The CBO estimates that under current spending plans, our federal debt would rise to 87% of GDP by 2020, to 223% by 2040, and to 433% by 2060. Under Rep. Ryan's Roadmap, the CBO estimates that debt would rise much more slowly, peaking at 99% in 2040 and then dropping back to 77% by 2060.

Put simply: Our country is on the path toward bankruptcy. We must turn around before it's too late, and the Roadmap offers a clear plan for doing so. But it does more than just fend off disaster. CBO calculations show that the Roadmap would also help create a "much more favorable macroeconomic outlook" for the next half-century. The CBO estimates that under the Roadmap, by 2058 per-person GDP would be around 70% higher than the current trend.

Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: DougMacG on December 11, 2010, 11:40:35 AM
Besides new strategies and new policies, the movement toward constitutional conservatism or common sense conservatism needs new 'spokesmen'.  Here's one.  Too bad that people like Marco Rubio and Kristi Noem will have essentially zero experience this coming Presidential cycle, but we need all the help and talent we can get in the House and Senate as well.
Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 13, 2010, 10:49:23 AM
Forwarded by an internet friend:

The piece below was part of a high school writing prompt that our daughter brought home on Friday. The paragraph is from Letters from an American Farmer , written in 1782 by Michel-Guillaume-Jean de Crevecoeur, a naturalized American citizen, known for observations on life in pre-Revolutionary America. His most famous work, included in the Letters, is “What Is an American?”… a classic articulation of the identity of the members of that new nation. It was considered such a definitive description of the American national character that it was included in the onboard reading material for passengers on American Airlines in the 1970s!

Three parts of this one paragraph really struck me. First, in terms of our circular’s discussion about power returning to the “East”… it is now, truly, a full circle. The second highlight, “without any part being claimed,” Crevecoeur would be surprised at the extent of the claim now! My third thought was that parts of our nation are returning to the very characteristics that the early America had been a refuge from: involuntary idleness, servile dependence, penury, and useless labor.

I can’t help but notice how far we’ve come…afield…from what he found so promising about this new nation. This includes the switch: rather than coming to America to be changed, transformed by the opportunities…some are now coming to America to change America rather than “be melted into a new race of men.” Nothing you don’t already know…just a curious read from 228 years ago!


He becomes an American by being received in the broad lap of our great Alma Mater. Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labours and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world. Americans are the western pilgrims, who are carrying along with them that great mass of arts, sciences, vigour, and industry which began long since in the east; they will finish the great circle.  The Americans were once scattered all over Europe; here they are incorporated into one of the finest systems of population which has ever appeared, and which will hereafter become distinct by the power of the different climates they inhabit. The American ought therefore to love this country much better than that wherein either he or his forefathers were born. Here the rewards of his industry follow with equal steps the progress of his labour; his labour is founded on the basis of nature, self-interest; can it want a stronger allurement? Wives and children, who before in vain demanded of him a morsel of bread, now, fat and frolicsome, gladly help their father to clear those fields whence exuberant crops are to arise to feed and to clothe them all; without any part being claimed, either by a despotic prince, a rich abbot, or a mighty lord. I lord religion demands but little of him; a small voluntary salary to the minister, and gratitude to God; can he refuse these? The American is a new man, who acts upon new principles; he must therefore entertain new ideas, and form new opinions. From involuntary idleness, servile dependence, penury, and useless labour, he has passed to toils of a very different nature, rewarded by ample subsistence. --This is an American.

Title: Noonan
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 18, 2011, 12:19:50 PM
There were two big speeches this week, and I mean big as in "Modern political history will remember this." Together they signal something significant and promising. Oh, that's a stuffy way to put it. I mean: The governors are rising and are starting to lead. What a relief. It's like seeing the posse come over the hill.

The first speech was from Mitch Daniels, the Indiana governor who is the answer to the question, "What if Calvin Coolidge talked?" President Coolidge, a spare and serious man, was so famously silent, the story goes, that when a woman at a dinner told him she'd made a bet she could get him to string three words together, he smiled and said, "You lose." But he was principled, effective and, in time, broadly popular.

The other speech was from a governor newer to the scene but more celebrated, in small part because he comes from a particular media market and in large part because he has spent the past year, his first in office, taking on his state's most entrenched political establishments, and winning. His style—big, rumpled, garrulous, Jersey-blunt—has captured the imagination of the political class, and also normal people. They look at him and think, "I know that guy. I like that guy."

Both Mr. Daniels, who spoke Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, and Chris Christie of New Jersey, who spoke Wednesday at the American Enterprise Institute, were critical of both parties and put forward the same message: Wake up. We are in crisis. We must save our country, and we can. But if we don't move now, we will lose it. This isn't rhetoric, it's real.

Here's why response at both venues was near-rapturous: Everyone knew they meant it. Everyone knew they'd been living it.

Mr. Daniels began with first principles—the role and purpose of government—and went to what he has done to keep his state's books in the black in spite of "the recent unpleasantness." He turned to the challenge of our era: catastrophic spending, the red ink that is becoming "the red menace." He said: "No enterprise, small or large, public or private, can remain self-governing, let alone successful, so deeply in hock to others as we are about to be." If a foreign army invaded, we would set aside all secondary disputes and run to the ramparts. We must bring that air of urgency to the spending crisis. It is "our generational assignment. . . . Forgive the pun when I call it our 'raison debt.'"

He argued for cuts and sunsetting, for new arrangements and "compacts" with the young. What followed has become controversial with a few conservatives, though it was the single most obvious thing Daniels said: "We have learned in Indiana, big change requires big majorities. We will need people who never tune in to Rush or Glenn or Laura or Sean," who don't fall asleep at night to C-Span, who are not necessarily engaged or aligned.

Rush Limbaugh, who is rightly respected for many reasons—lost in the daily bombast, humor and controversy is that fact that for 20 years he has been the nation's most reliable and compelling explainer of conservative thought—saw Mr. Daniels's remarks as disrespectful. Radio listeners aren't "irrelevant or unnecessary."

Of course they're not. Nor are they sufficient. If you really want to change your country, you cannot do it from a political base alone. You must win over centrists, moderates, members of the other party, and those who are not preoccupied with politics. This doesn't mean "be less conservative," it means broadening the appeal of conservative thinking and approaches. It starts with not alienating and proceeds to persuading.

The late Rep. Henry Hyde, he of the Hyde amendment, once said to me, "Politics is a game of addition." You start with your followers and bring in new ones, constantly broadening the circle to include people who started out elsewhere. You know the phrase Reagan Democrats? It exists because Reagan reached out to Democrats! He put out his hand to them and said, literally, "Come walk with me." He lauded Truman, JFK and Scoop Jackson. He argued in his first great political speech, in 1964, that the choice wasn't right or left, it was up or down.

That's what Mr. Daniels was saying. "We can search for villains on ideological grounds," but it's a waste of time. Compromise and flexibility are necessary, "purity in martyrdom is for suicide bombers." We must work together. You've got to convince the other guy.

Mr. Christie covered similar territory in a way that was less aerial, more on-the-ground. He spoke of making change in Jersey.

Pensions and benefits on the state level, he said, are the equivalent of federal entitlements. They have powerful, "vocal" constituencies. He introduced pension and benefit reforms on a Tuesday in September, and that Friday he went to the state firefighters convention in Wildwood. It was 2 p.m., and "I think you know what they had for lunch." Mr. Christie had proposed raising their retirement age, eliminating the cost-of-living adjustment, increasing employee pension contributions, and rolling back a 9% pay increase approved years before "by a Republican governor and a Republican Legislature."

More Peggy Noonan
Read Peggy Noonan's previous columns

click here to order her new book, Patriotic Grace
.As Mr. Chrisie recounted it: "You can imagine how that was received by 7,500 firefighters. As I walked into the room and was introduced. I was booed lustily. I made my way up to the stage, they booed some more. . . . So I said, 'Come on, you can do better than that,' and they did!"

He crumpled up his prepared remarks and threw them on the floor. He told them, "Here's the deal: I understand you're angry, and I understand you're frustrated, and I understand you feel deceived and betrayed." And, he said, they were right: "For 20 years, governors have come into this room and lied to you, promised you benefits that they had no way of paying for, making promises they knew they couldn't keep, and just hoping that they wouldn't be the man or women left holding the bag. I understand why you feel angry and betrayed and deceived by those people. Here's what I don't understand. Why are you booing the first guy who came in here and told you the truth?"

He told them there was no political advantage in being truthful: "The way we used to think about politics and, unfortunately, the way I fear they're thinking about politics still in Washington" involves "the old playbook [which] says, "lie, deceive, obfuscate and make it to the next election." He'd seen a study that said New Jersey's pensions may go bankrupt by 2020. A friend told him not to worry, he won't be governor then. "That's the way politics has been practiced in our country for too long. . . . So I said to those firefighters, 'You may hate me now, but 15 years from now, when you have a pension to collect because of what I did, you'll be looking for my address on the Internet so you can send me a thank-you note.'"

It can be a great relief to turn away from Washington and look at the states, where the rubber meets the road. Real leadership is happening there—the kind that can inspire real followership.

Title: Time to form a Tea Party?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 07, 2011, 04:40:01 AM

After the past few weeks, many GOP conservatives – and Tea Partiers – are beginning to understand how some of the Obamaphiles feel. Like Obama supporters, conservatives worked hard to secure leadership that, we believed, both understood what was best for America and had the courage to stand firm for real change. But the first months of GOP congressional control have been disappointing; if the GOP leadership continues down its current road, the disillusionment now being expressed by erstwhile Obama supporters like Matt Damon will soon be an entirely bipartisan affair.
Certainly, there’s no doubt that John Boehner and other congressional leaders have a tough job. In the interest of restoring America’s financial health, they are stuck proposing spending cuts and long-term, structural changes to well-beloved entitlement programs. What’s more, they’re forced to deal with a President whose budget reflected a fundamental unseriousness about the looming fiscal crisis -- and an obvious strategy of abdicating all budgetary responsibility in order to be able to demonize the GOP for any proposed cuts.

But still.

Last month, conservatives across the country were treated to fancy rhetorical footwork as some Republicans tried to explain away the collapse of their campaign-era commitment to a $100 billion spending decrease in this year’s budget. Further reductions were presented only after substantial push-back from the Tea Party and conservatives.

Just this week, Tom Coburn told radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt that a bipartisan “working group” of senators was considering a substantial cut in the home interest rate deduction for houses costing more than $500,000. Although the proposal may hold appeal inside the ornate conference rooms of Capitol Hill, in the real world, it would disproportionately punish homeowners in states with high-value houses, even as it devastates the home-building industry.

Coburn’s revelation came even as the GAO issued a report uncovering as much as $100 billion to $200 billion being spent on wasteful and duplicative government programs each year. It’s hard not to wonder: If more is to be demanded of the already-overburdened American taxpayer, shouldn’t the request come only after government has done its part to “sacrifice” first?

The tone-deafness doesn’t stop there. Days drag on, and Americans hear little from top GOP congressional leaders. What they do hear, too often, is filtered through left-leaning cable television shows. Nowhere are GOP leaders explaining why – in contrast to the “exploding deficit” scare of the early 90’s – our current fiscal situation presents an unprecedented threat, requiring serious and quick remediation. And amid all the hints about upcoming proposals for spending cuts and tax reform, no one is “connecting the dots” to help regular Americans understand how the proposals will create the conditions that secure economic growth, prosperity and a brighter future for all of us.

Instead, it’s beginning to look, once again, like leaders in the highest ranks of the GOP are more focused on their standing inside the Beltway than the promises they made to the people outside it. But this time, that won’t cut it; it’s an invitation for Tea Partiers to form their own, third party, and a recipe for political disaster come 2012.

But above all, the GOP has to act with the understanding that falling short won’t just mean unfortunate electoral results for their politicians. It will mean real trouble for America.
Title: Continuing Budget Resolution a mistake?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 17, 2011, 02:32:51 PM


Posted by Russ Vought (Profile)

Wednesday, March 16th at 7:10PM EDT

Keith Hennessey critiqued opponents of the short-term CR making the case that our intransience is hurting the cause. It has been endlessly forwarded around to conservatives since yesterday. Keith argues that the short-term strategy is better because it allows the spending cut coalition to avoid the pitfalls of a public shutdown fight.

He argues that conservatives who disagree either have no strategic plan and/or want to reward themselves individually or merely play to their conservative base. Keith then argues that such conservative discontent should be channeled to “ratchet up the spending cuts in the next CR” or to “choose one funding limitation and insist that it be included.” But the gist is that conservative opponents don’t have “a complete and viable alternative strategy,” and thus instead of discarding the short-term game, it’s better to just add to the list of demands.

I respect Keith a lot. When I was cutting my teeth as a legislative aide in the Senate, Keith was one of the big dogs, and then went on to bigger and better things in the Bush White House. However, I think these arguments—because of their prevalence in Leadership and establishment circles—need to be unpacked and responded to. Read on.

FIRST, our viable alternative strategy is to force Senate Democrats to pass a bill. Currently, the very willingness of Republicans to do the short-terms absolves both Senate Democrats and the President of any responsibility. The House acted. It passed H.R. 1. The Senate has not. Harry Reid has essentially thrown up his hands and said that he can’t pass anything (notwithstanding the fact that he claims to run the Senate). We all know that he can pass something. Until the Senate passes legislation, real Congressional negotiations cannot begin. Not unlike their Wisconsin state colleagues, Democrats must participate to have a say. Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, and Chuck Schumer are not, and the short-term strategy is letting them get away with it. Furthermore, it’s letting the White House get away with staying above the fray. Keith thinks this is a good thing, but why? Obama has an advantage for sure, but this debate is not a foregone conclusion, and conservatives operating on principle have bested Obama repeatedly since he has been President.

SECOND, Republicans can and must message the following argument:

a) Democrats controlled both the Presidency and the Congress and were unable to pass a budget, leaving a portion of the responsibility to Republicans.

b) House Republicans passed H.R. 1 to fully fund the government, make a down-payment of a mere $61 billion in cuts in the face of a $1.5 trillion deficit, and limit some of the main excesses of the current federal government (Planned Parenthood, EPA, Obamacare, etc.).

c) Democrats have not responded. The Democrat Senate Majority refuses to pass not just the right bill, but any bill. And the White House sent their chief negotiator to Europe and is spending more time filling out their NCAA brackets then getting serious about their shared responsibility to fund the government. Who is unserious here?

Can we be successful in making this argument while Obama has the bully pulpit? Well, what arguments have we failed to win against the Obama bully pulpit in the last two plus years? Think of the big fights that we have had with Obama—stimulus, cap-and-trade, his budgets, and of course, Obamacare. He had the bully pulpit. We won the argument. It takes message discipline, but it can be done.

THIRD, Keith is overselling the current strategy as a “complete and viable” strategy. He states that Democrats are more afraid of a shutdown than Republicans. That is simply not true. Sure, Democrats don’t want to shut the government down over $4-6 billion in cuts because they know they can’t sell that to anyone, especially when many of the cuts were proposed by their President. However, Senators Durbin and Schumer are all but rooting for a shutdown, while Congressional Republicans are petrified of that prospect.

The mere fact that no new riders were attached to the current three-week CR is evidence of that fear. For example, House Republicans had considered re-instating the Dornan Amendment (not exactly a “new” rider, I know) to bar federal and local DC funds from being used to fund abortions, as included in H.R. 1. President Obama previously signed legislation that included this rider before Democrats weakened the language in the last appropriations cycle. Republicans removed it because they were worried about giving the Democrats an opportunity to claim they were attempting to jam thru a “policy” agenda, using deficit concerns as a pretext. Simply put, the party that quakes at the thought of a shutdown has the least amount of leverage, thus Democrats have the most until Republicans find a spine. This weakness will not be on display on this three-week extension, but it will be when Republicans start packaging substantial cuts that Democrats refuse to accept. Part of the strategic reason to oppose short-terms is to regain the leverage in this fight, and to do that, you simply must be prepared to shut the government down. Not rooting for it, but prepared for it. Diplomacy without the threat of military force does not work.

FOURTH, our strategy will lead to more cuts and more riders. Currently, the short-terms are not securing any riders. Even Keith’s suggestion of attaching an EPA rider can’t happen on an upcoming short-term, because the fear of a shutdown has reduced their leverage to demand it. What about more cuts than the $2 billion per week that each short-term seem to contain? It’s important to remember a few things here. Some of these cuts are illusory. For instance, in the current short-term, of the $6 billion in cuts, $1.7 billion was to rescind excess money that was not used for the census and was not going to be spent. That is not a real cut. Others were proposed by Democrats. In addition, with every short-term extension, it makes it harder to get the full cuts that remain because there are less remaining weeks to absorb whatever haircut is being demanded. Remember when House Leadership was saying that they couldn’t cut more because they had to “pro-rate” the $100 billion for seven months? It wasn’t much of an argument at the time, but with every new short-term it is more credible.

Most importantly, as Keith points out, conservatives have exactly three leverage points to demand concessions from Democrats over the next year: a long-term FY11 CR, a debt limit increase, and the FY12 appropriations bills. Already this three-week extension will expire on April 8, the same week that Rep. Paul Ryan is unveiling his FY12 budget. The other side knows that they are best served by one big grand bargain—thus their “rope-a-dope” strategy. Conservatives need to understand they will get more concessions by keeping these three opportunities separate. That maximizes our leverage for more cuts and limited government riders.

FIFTH, it’s important to remember that most opponents of the CR have both principled and strategic reasons for their position. When you go out and promise voters that you are going to dismantle and defund Obamacare and Planned Parenthood, and then you exclude these issues from the negotiations on the first must-pass bill, then you’re not being very principled. Also, pretending that these short-term opponents do not have a political strategy or an endgame is simply to ignore the arguments we continue to make.

All of this requires Republicans to act and talk as if they understand the seriousness of our fiscal crisis. $2 billion here, $6 billion there does not accomplish that. They need to restore leverage to the negotiations with a willingness, but not a desire to shut the government down. They need to win the daily argument for why Democrats are fundamentally unserious about cutting spending and have chosen to repeatedly run out the clock instead. They can’t do that with the present strategy.

Republicans need to dig deep and embrace the sort of brinksmanship that shows they are playing to win.

Crossposted at Heritage Action for America

Title: Mercy Warren, 1805
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 24, 2011, 03:41:41 AM
"It is necessary for every American, with becoming energy to endeavor to stop the dissemination of principles evidently destructive of the cause for which they have bled. It must be the combined virtue of the rulers and of the people to do this, and to rescue and save their civil and religious rights from the outstretched arm of tyranny, which may appear under any mode or form of government." --Mercy Warren, History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution, 1805

Title: Kudlow on Cantor's proposal
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 25, 2011, 03:43:42 AM
 Share4  Buzz 0diggsdigg
Economic growth over the past ten years has been less than 2 percent annually. And this is a mighty soft economic recovery going on right now, following the very deep recession.

So it’s appropriate enough that Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor unveiled a strong pro-growth economic plan at Stanford’s Hoover Institution this week. Cantor is afraid the Republican budget-cutting message is a little too austere, so he’s attempting to balance the necessary budget cuts with a pro-growth, tax-and-regulatory reform message.

Cantor focuses especially on getting business tax rates down to at least 25 percent. He also proposes a tax holiday to repatriate the foreign earnings of U.S. companies. So many CEOs have made the same argument. And this was done successfully in 2004-05. If enacted, maybe $1 trillion in cash will flow back home for new investment and jobs.

But no sooner did Cantor make this speech, than the Treasury shot down any idea of a corporate-tax holiday. I guess this is the same Treasury that works for the Obama 2.0 pro-business president. Or not.

Cantor is completely right on this. He’s also right on his other proposals to lower trade barriers and put a freeze on regulatory burdens.

Mr. Cantor also has an interesting proposal to deal with the backlog of 700,000 patent requests in order to speed American innovation and small-business creation. He also believes the visa system should be streamlined to bring in high-skilled workers from abroad in order to create new jobs at home.

It will be interesting to see if Cantor’s growth message is taken up by other Republican leaders, most particularly Paul Ryan. Will Mr. Ryan include tax-and-regulatory reform with his tough budget-cutting proposals?

The only thing missing from Eric Cantor’s speech was a monetary hook to stabilize the dollar. The GOP needs a King Dollar policy. Otherwise, all the best tax cuts will be blunted by a sinking dollar and rising inflation.

But bravo to Eric Cantor for getting out a growth message. And let’s see if the GOP presidential wannabes pick up on the need for growth plan.
Title: The Way Forward... The Powerline Prize $100,000
Post by: DougMacG on May 10, 2011, 10:59:44 AM
There were videos posted that reached out to younger people with music and video that supported liberal causes and some envy and questioning from the conservative side asking how can we reach out with the best of today' communications and technology capabilities.

Rather than answer that, Powerline blog has posed it as a contest.  Mentioned as an example is the highly informative Keynes-Hayek video posted on Economics, but the subject here is federal spending and debt which is also hard to put to song or entertainment but is costing young people every hour of every day for the rest of their lives.  Stay tuned for the many great entries that are expected.

 Announcing the Power Line Prize

May 8, 2011  John Hinderacker

Our nation faces an unprecedented financial crisis. Every knowledgeable citizen understands that the fiscal path we are on is unsustainable. Indefinite continuation of the status quo is not an option. There are only two possibilities: reform and collapse.

The massive federal debt that is now being incurred represents an existential threat to America's future. In a best-case scenario, it will saddle our children with financial obligations that will cripple their ability to prosper over the remainder of this century.

What to do? Federal spending must be gotten under control, obviously. The problem is ultimately a political one. Approximately one-third of Americans understand the threat posed by the federal debt crisis, and are prepared to act to meet it. Another one-third may or may not understand the threat, but either have skin in the game--i.e., their personal financial interests in government spending outweigh concern about the national welfare--or are so blinded by ideology that they are hopeless cases.

That leaves the critical one-third, many of them young, who for whatever reason do not yet understand the threat that federal spending and debt pose to them and to the country. Data have been collected; charts and graphs have been prepared; op-eds have been written. But many millions of Americans have not yet been reached or persuaded by these sober economic analyses. We need a marketing campaign: a sustained effort to use the tools of modern communication to reach and educate every American, and to mobilize popular opinion to demand reform from the politicians in Washington.

Toward that end, we are proud to announce the Power Line Prize. Power Line, in conjunction with the Freedom Club, is offering a grand prize of $100,000.00 to whoever can most effectively and creatively dramatize the seriousness of the federal debt crisis. Any medium of communication is eligible: video, song, screenplay, television commercial, painting, Power Point, essay, performance art, or anything else. The runner-up will receive a $15,000.00 prize, and two third-place finishers will receive $5,000.00 each. Entries must be submitted by midnight on July 15, 2011. Judges' decisions are final. All submissions become the property of Power Line and the Freedom Club. Entries must be original and unique to the Power Line Prize competition; i.e., they must not have been published or made public in any form prior to the time when contest winners are announced.

The contest web site is here. You can find much more information about the contest there, including complete contest rules. You can also get there by clicking on this graphic:

We will have much more to say about the Power Line Prize over the weeks to come. In the meantime, if you are a creative sort, this is your chance to make a difference on the most critical issue of our time. (Spread the word!)
Title: Alexander: Sunset or Sunrise
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 12, 2011, 09:23:31 AM
Sunset or Sunrise on Liberty?
The Current Crisis and the Opportunity of a New Dawn for Liberty
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." --Thomas Payne

Sunrise on LibertyA few decades ago, one of the national service opportunities I pursued required a battery of examinations including a comprehensive personality profile. After three days of psychological tests, a career profiler compiled my assessment. In a later interview with said profiler, he looked at me and declared with candor, "You are crazy!"

That decree got no rise out of me. I have received that appraisal numerous times, but he did put a fresh perspective on it. He continued, "Not crazy in the pathological sense, but crazy in that you are one of very few people I have profiled who actually thrives in the midst of crisis and conflict." Apparently, most "normal people" try to avoid crisis and conflict. He labeled my folder, "Warrior."

In light of my penchant for what Sam Adams called "the animated contest for freedom," I offer the following opinion about the future of American Liberty.

On occasion I have been critical of Barack Hussein Obama, a phony "community organizer" con man, who, with the help of his Leftist puppeteers, masterfully duped 69 million Americans into giving him the most expensive public housing and benefits in the nation.

I am most critical of this charlatan's political endeavor to demolish free enterprise with a debt bomb, and from the economic rubble, resurrect a transformed USSA subject to tyrannical rule via Democratic Socialism.
Obama built his presidential campaign around the "change" theme: "This is our moment, this is our time to turn the page on the policies of the past, to offer a new direction. We are fundamentally transforming the United States of America."

His former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said infamously, "Never allow a crisis to go to waste," which was the basis for Obama's assertion, "this painful [economic] crisis provides us with an opportunity to transform our economy to improve the lives of ordinary people."

By no means will the full implementation of Democratic Socialism "improve the lives of ordinary people." As I have noted previously, Democratic Socialism, like Nationalist Socialism, is nothing more than Marxist Socialism repackaged. Likewise, it seeks a centrally planned economy directed by a single-party state that controls economic production by way of regulation and income redistribution.

The success of Democrat Socialism depends upon supplanting Essential Liberty -- the rights "endowed by our Creator" -- primarily by refuting such endowment.

Indeed, Obama's mission is transformation, and economic crisis is the horse he rode in on. It can also be the horse that he and his socialist cadre are chased out on.

Truth be told, I want to "fundamentally transform" what our nation has become after years of incremental encroachment upon Rule of Law by socialist predators, the most brazen offender in history being Obama. Indeed, I do not want the current economic "crisis to go to waste," and see it as a great opportunity to "change" our economy in such a way as to improve the lives of all Americans.

Of course, the opportunity I see in the current crisis is diametrically opposed to that which Obama and his Leftist cadres envision. I see a new dawn for Liberty on the horizon.

For all Patriots, steadfast in our devotion to Freedom, the sun is rising on one of two options to preserve the legacy of Liberty for this and future generations. The first and more desirable option is the transformational restoration of constitutional Rule of Law and the second is the transformational reformation of government, in fulfillment of Thomas Jefferson's contention, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

The current economic crisis, which had its beginnings in 2006 with the surprisingly ubiquitous collapse in real estate values and subsequent banking crisis, poses an ominous threat to Liberty. The Obama administration used the cover of this crisis to implement its so-called "stimulus plan," which primarily stimulated the growth of central government at an enormous cost.

The result was accelerated accumulation of crushing national debt, now approaching $15 trillion, which has placed our economy on a collision course with catastrophic collapse, short of bold intervention.

The economic indicators foretelling that collision abound.

The Commerce Department reports that the American economy grew at an annualized rate of 1.8 percent in the first quarter of 2011. (You might have missed that report amid all the political campaigning over OBL's demise.)

Home values fell three percent in the first quarter and it is estimated that more than 28 percent of homeowners now owe more than the value of their property.

Energy and commodity costs are highly volatile, in large measure due to abysmal domestic economic and energy policies plus weak foreign policy. One way to devalue outstanding debt is inflation, and there are plenty of indicators that inflation is underway.

Imports are up and exports are down. The International Monetary Fund estimates that China's economy will surpass ours by 2016.

Unemployment inched back up to 9 percent last month, but the "real" unemployment rate, those who have given up the search and part-time workers seeking full-time employment, is almost 16 percent.

More Americans are dependent upon government assistance payouts than ever before. More than 18 percent of total personal income was redistributed in the form of "government benefits." Almost one in seven households receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (food stamps).

The declining status of the U.S. dollar as the world's safest fiat currency is a metaphor for the decline of our standing as the world's beacon of liberty, the decline of "American exceptionalism."

Having a good recollection of the Carter administration, I invoke Yogi Berra's sentiment, "It is like déjà vu all over again."

Despite the considerable barriers these indicators pose to economic recovery, there is still time for a transformational restoration of constitutional Rule of Law and the consequential rescaling of our central government to comport with the limits placed upon it by our Constitution. But as noted above, that will require bold intervention, and it will require that a majority of the members of Congress honor and abide by their oath of office.

At present, there are outstanding plans on the table to put prosperity over poverty, including the Republican Study Committee Budget for FY 2012 and Heritage Foundation's comprehensive plan to restore prosperity.

House and Senate leaders are stepping out with bolder propositions to cut government spending. As a prerequisite to raising the national debt ceiling to avoid default, Speaker John Boehner has drawn the line, and may even hold it: "Without significant spending cuts and reforms to reduce our debt, there will be no debt limit increase, and the cuts should be greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority the president is given. We should be talking about cuts of trillions, not just billions."

Conservative Senate leaders are calling for a Balanced Budget Amendment as a condition to any agreement on increasing the national debt limit.

Of course, Obama, the consummate socialist, trotted out the class warfare card in response: "Their vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America, [pitting] children with autism or Down's syndrome against every millionaire and billionaire in our society."

Then, in his fatuous display of faux bipartisan, Obama insisted the budget talks must "start by being honest about what's causing our deficit."

Apparently, Obama thinks the budget deficit is caused by a lack of government spending and regulation, as he is proposing a lot more of both.

So, given the current crisis and the long odds against the restoration of Rule of Law, would you concede that this portends a Sunset or Sunrise on Liberty?

Call me crazy -- that profiler certainly did -- but I clearly see a new dawn for Liberty, whether it be transformational restoration of constitutional Rule of Law or the transformational reformation of government. Count me in for either option.

I believe, as did my mentor, President Ronald Reagan: "America's best days are yet to come. Our proudest moments are yet to be. Our most glorious achievements are just ahead."

But I also know, as did he, that "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States when men were free."

That extinction will arrive only if we "shrink from the service of our country."

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

Mark Alexander
Publisher, The Patriot Post

Title: Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Post by: G M on May 12, 2011, 09:25:44 AM
Alexander is right on.
Title: Not too much of this in Hollywood any more , , ,
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 22, 2011, 07:30:01 AM
Title: Kudlow: Eric Cantor's 5%
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 28, 2011, 08:59:03 AM
Woof All:

Of course this could have been posted in the 2012 campaign thread, but I post it here; deeper even than Presidential politics is whether this country continues to believe in the free market.


House Majority Leader Eric Cantor turned the policy temperature down on austerity this week by rolling out a strong economic-growth agenda. Headlined by a 25 percent top tax rate for individuals and business, the Cantor package includes regulatory relief, free trade, and patent protection for entrepreneurs. It’s job creation and the economy, stupid.

Sounds Reaganesque? Well, Eric Cantor has a lot of Reagan blood in him. Back in 1980, while Cantor was still in high school, his father was the Virginia state treasurer of the Ronald Reagan presidential campaign. So the apple never falls far from the tree.

In fact, it looks like Cantor is restoring the supply-side incentive model of economic growth. Forget tax-the-rich class warfare. Throw out wild-eyed government-spending stimulus and dollar-depreciating Fed money-pumping. Make it pay more after tax to work, produce, and invest. Go for a growth spurt, something the economy badly needs. And -- my thought -- crown such a growth strategy with a stable King Dollar re-linked to gold.

When I interviewed Cantor this week, he made it clear that faster economic growth was crucial to holding down spending, deficits, and debt. As scored by the CBO, every 1 percent of faster growth lowers the budget gap by nearly $3 trillion from lower spending and higher revenues. “Grow the economy,” Cantor said. “It will help us manage-down the deficit and it will help get people back to work.”

This is not to say that spending cuts and structural entitlement reforms aren’t necessary. They are. But it is to argue that lately the GOP has forgotten the growth component that is so essential to spending restraint and deficit reduction.

The GOP should say: In return for substantial federal-spending cuts, we’re gonna more than make it up to you with large tax cuts. You will win. Big government will lose.

I suggested to Cantor that the GOP adopt a 5 percent national growth target, which President John F. Kennedy had when he launched his across-the-board tax cuts in the early 1960s. “That is a fantastic goal,” he told me.

Cantor’s growth plan is very timely as the U.S. economy is once again sputtering. In what is already one of the weakest post-recession recoveries in the postwar era, first-quarter GDP came in at a tepid 1.8 percent. Many economists believe the second quarter will be no better.

And consider this: Between 1947 and 2000, average real economic growth registered 3.4 percent yearly -- an excellent prosperity baseline. Yet over the past ten years -- amidst boom-bust Fed policy, a collapsing dollar, and soaring gold -- the stock market on balance hasn’t moved as the economy has averaged only 1.7 percent annually. Because of the ongoing slump, actual real GDP growth from the early 2000s through the first quarter of 2011 has dropped nearly 17 percent below the long-run historical trend. That translates to a massive output gap of $2.7 trillion.

In order to close that gap in five years the economy would have to grow 7.3 percent annually (roughly Reagan’s two-year recovery rate in 1983-84). To close the gap in ten years, the economy would have to grow near 5.3 percent annually.

Alright, so why not establish a national economic growth target of over 5 percent? That might wipe out the current spirit of economic pessimism and decline.

A 5 percent growth target might give some hope to the roughly 15 million unemployed. Or the 12 to 15 million homeowners who can’t meet their mortgages, are in foreclosure, or have upside-down property values. Or the disappointed investors who haven’t made any real cash in ten years. Or the families who are suffe