Archive for the ‘Mitt Romney’ Category

Putting to Rest Some Dire Misconceptions About This Disastrous Election

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

So it is said in politics...

I received an email from a reader who was thoroughly angry with me.  I asked for permission to use the text in a blog post, but I’ve not received further communications, so I will paraphrase the writer’s complaints, since I think there may be more than a few who feel this way.  The complaint boiled down to this:  Contrary to what I asserted in my post on the Reasons Romney Lost, Romney didn’t lose because he didn’t talk about important social issues enough, because said this e-mailer, Romney did indeed talk about these issues important to Christians.  If he did, many of my evangelical Christian friends didn’t hear it.  These issues were largely avoided in the debates, as well as in the stumps speeches late in the race.  The perception among many Christians, at least here in the middle of the Bible Belt, was that Romney was uninterested or evasive on issues important to Christians.  You can argue that he did in fact  talk about all of these topics at some point during the cycle, but the perception among evangelicals in my vicinity was that he avoided talk of religion whenever possible.  Again, it matters not whether he actually discussed it, but instead whether he appeared willing to broach these subjects, and in what frequency.  The problems in the Republican party are much deeper than I once thought.  It’s not only the establishment that doesn’t understand the grass roots, but also that different segments of the base fundamentally misunderstand one another.

To conservatives concerned primarily with freedom issues, they really don’t “get” the evangelical voters.  To many evangelicals who comprise a broad portion of the conservative base, faith isn’t supposed to be something you talk about once a week.  It’s something they believe ought to inform the way a person lives, the decisions one makes, and the way one conducts himself toward others.  Evangelicals will be the first to tell you that they aren’t infallible, but the people who comprise this segment tend to try in earnest to live out their faith in daily life.  They put their faith ahead of family, ahead of friends and community, and certainly ahead of politics.  They’re not generally interested in “going along to get along” because that’s not what their faith dictates.  Therefore, when they see candidates who seem less than fully concerned about faith, at least in their perceptions, they tend to be less than concerned about supporting those candidates.  Period.  You can accuse them of being too rigid in their beliefs if you like, but you see, they take that as a compliment.  They intend to be rigidly faithful to their beliefs.  They are accustomed to the left and to moderates who mock them, most frequently comparing them to some sort of westernized Taliban, and it merely steels their resolve. Contrary to the propaganda against them, however, they’re not looking for a preacher in the presidency.  They simply want a person of deep and abiding faith and understanding who isn’t afraid to take a few jeers and lumps from the left on this basis.  They perceived widely that Romney didn’t fulfill that requirement.

Some will immediately say in response that “well, at least Romney is better than Obama, and worth getting him out of there.”  True enough, but please remember: Evangelical Christians will tend to view politics as a thing of this Earth, but they’re less concerned ultimately with Earth than with their salvation.  Some of them genuinely wonder at the consequences of selling out their souls on issues important to their faith for the sake of transitory political expedience.  Once viewed in this light, it is easy to understand how evangelicals would view elections as less important, and with no candidate appearing to fulfill their requirements for support, many were certain to simply walk away.  You may not like that, and you may not agree with that view, but if you want to understand what has happened, this is a part of the formula you ignore at your own peril.

I will also tell you quite plainly that if you believe Romney’s religion had nothing to do with it, you’re making the mistake of projection.  You’re projecting your sense of religious tolerance onto people who widely view Mormonism as a cult.  Of course, I realize this fully because as my wife points out, in her homeland(Germany,) there are widely thought to be two “legitimate”  religions, being Catholicism and the Lutherans, and the Catholics aren’t entirely convinced about the latter.  As children, they learn about their faith, and in much the same way as evangelicals here in the US view Mormons as part of a cult, German Catholics and Lutherans tend to view any church newer than theirs in much the same light. My point to you is this:  There was always going to be a percentage of evangelical Christians who would never support Mitt Romney, and that was one of the risks implicit in nominating him.  Even though Romney won Texas, it wasn’t by nearly so much as one might expect.  I think if candidates like Ted Cruz hadn’t been on the ballot, Romney might have been in some danger here.

Of course, the misunderstanding isn’t all one-way.  They don’t understand why others in the GOP don’t try to live out their faith as a priority in daily life.  They may admire the wisdom and common sense of free market ideals, economic liberty, and all sorts of issues that are mainstays of the conservative sphere, but they don’t really fully understand why anybody would support a candidate who isn’t strong in his or her faith, and willing to testify to that faith in public.  As I said, the misunderstandings run in all directions, between all factions, but in politics, perceptions become realities, whether or not we think that’s right. I’m not suggesting that conservatives ought to yield to false perceptions, but that instead they should challenge them instead of leaving them without refutation.

You see, it doesn’t matter whether Mitt Romney mentioned the issues of abortion and traditional marriage a few times along the campaign trail.  It matters that he didn’t exhibit his beliefs through his actions when he was pro-choice until a few years ago, or amenable to gay marriage while Governor of Massachusetts.  Those things stick.  You will not know this, but early in the primary season, I had to ban some posters for what I viewed as over-the-top assaults on Romney’s faith.  Some were quite lengthy, but I wasn’t about to permit that sort of bashing.  It was real, however, and in retrospect, I’m afraid that in so doing, I may have done a disservice because it stifled those who feel as they do on these matters.  You didn’t get to see some of these comments, and maybe if you had, you might have understood why getting the full body of the evangelical Christian segment of conservatism to the polls for Mitt Romney was going to be a chore in any case.  That’s the truth of it.  What you do with the information is up to you, but if you’re ever to see the sort of full support from evangelicals any national conservative victory will require, you’re going to need to find candidates who satisfy their minimum requirements.  In too many ways, Mitt Romney didn’t.

The Role of the GOP Establishment in the 2012 Disaster

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

Can it be revived?

My readers deserve the courtesy of bluntness, since it’s preferable to get the unpleasantness out of the way early.  I’ve always been a “save the good news for last” kind of fellow, and if you’ll bear with me, I’ll get to that eventually.  If you’re a loyal and strident fan of John Boehner, Mitt Romney or anybody named Bush, you may wish to exit this blog for the duration.  Let me first say that if I had to point to a date on which Mitt Romney’s loss was cemented, it would have to be after the ides of July, 2011.  At the time, we were headed for a shutdown of the federal government over the debt ceiling.  Congress must authorize the amount of money the federal government can borrow, and at the time, what was particularly disconcerting to conservatives had been how willing John Boehner seemed to be to pull the rug from beneath the feet of conservative House members.  He went through the dog-and-pony show of letting the House pass “Cut, Cap & Balance,” but only because he knew it would die in the Senate, since he already had a tentative deal worked out with Reid and Obama.

I knew this would doom Republicans in 2012, so I urged members to stand fast, and I was particularly harsh when they didn’t, perhaps undeservedly so with respect to one particular freshman representative from Florida.  Like a number of others, he was told to walk the plank and vote for the “deal” and after some fussing, he folded, and the bill was passed.  That would come back to haunt us in the election of 2012.  Giving Obama a pile of money to spend through the election would give him unlimited resources for spending on the “power of the incumbency” as the vote drew near.  That’s precisely what happened.  The Strategic Petroleum Reserve was cracked open to drive down the price of gas at the pumps. Giveaway programs including everything from foodstamps to Obama-phones accelerated to new heights.  All of this free stuff was purchased with your money, but the irony is that it is money you and your children have yet to earn.  Thank John Boehner and those operating his strings for the colossal debt incurred to keep Obama in office. The Debt Ceiling Deal of 2011 basically guaranteed it would be difficult to beat Obama, if not impossible, and at the time, there were reports that Romney had urged the deal.

You see, Mitt Romney was never supposed to win.  That may be why the Bush clan endorsed him.  They needed a fall-guy.  They needed somebody who would believe he could win, be controlled if he somehow did, but most importantly, prevent any real conservative from making it into the Oval office.  They surrounded him with their own campaign stooges, many part of the permanent political consultancy class in DC, and many of whom undoubtedly gave him counterproductive advice, and gave him false assurances about his situation in the polls. Romney believed that come election day, he would have the full support of the team, and they were going to bring new technology to the voting process, using a mobile app on smartphones among their volunteers to track and report and to try to get people to the polls.  For some odd reason, the technology failed.  That’s right, the technology failed all day long, and the passwords volunteers were supposed to use to access it didn’t work, but the good news was there was a password reset tool, and the worse news is that it didn’t work either.  Poor hapless volunteers stood around with no back-up plan, and some went home early in disgust.  As I said, whether Romney knew it or not, he wasn’t supposed to win.

Whether Mitt Romney was so inept on his own, or was instead the unwitting victim of really bad, sabotage-laden advice, we may never know, but what is clear to me now is this:  As soon as Romney conceded the race, almost before the smoke cleared, there were those in media who had prepared remarks about how this was the result of demographic changes to the country, and that the Republican Party ought to get behind “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”  Yes, you see, the argument was that the Hispanic vote went with Obama in search of an amnesty of some sort, in the form of the “Dream Act,” or similar. I was not shocked therefore when I heard an account of John Boehner telling Dianne Sawyer in an interview on Thursday that his legislative priority would not be jobs, the fiscal cliff, Benghazi-gate, or anything of the sort, but instead: Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  You might wonder where this would originate, since it’s almost incomprehensible that Boehner came up with this on his own, and you’d be right.  Jeb Bush, the former Governor of Florida, and brother of George W. Bush, is about to publish a book on the issue.  It’s part of Jeb’s agenda: Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Plausible Deniability

One might ask how all of this ties together, and I will admit that my evidence is thin, except for the events we’ve all witnessed in puzzled disbelief.  I believe that JEB Bush will run for President in 2016, and since the Bush clan has been hot and heavy for comprehensive immigration reform for decades, but doesn’t want the political pain involved in shoving CIR down the throats of conservatives, they’ll have Obama, Boehner and Reid get it out of the way.  In fact, the Bush clan has had a hand in subverting US sovereignty via what is known as the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, whereby the notion of a EU-like North American Union was conceived(and you’ll doubtless notice how well the EU has come out for member nations.)  A necessary part of that union will  be open borders, and this is why the Bush presidencies never resulted in any tangible results in getting control of our borders.  The problem for the advocates of SPPNA is that to get it through, and to realize it fully, they will need a good deal more votes in the Senate.  I would ask you to view the results of Tuesday’s election in light of the SPPNA, and ask yourself if it was a positive or detrimental outcome for the SPPNA adherents.

Boehner is one of the people bringing this to us, and he wanted to eliminate through this election any members he thought might be trouble.  He succeeded in large measure, and he almost rid himself of Michele Bachmann, who received no help from the party, as she’s been a squeaky wheel.  At the same time, the establishment had to sabotage Richard Mourdock, because he wasn’t one of theirs.  Lugar had been a supporter of the SPPNA and he’s a big fan of comprehensive immigration reform. When conservatives in Indiana dumped Lugar, Mourdock couldn’t be allowed to win.  The GOP establishment and a bunch of disgruntled Lugar supporters(I call them Lugies) showed up to sabotage Mourdock in every way they could.  In fact, as I look at the candidates closely, what I notice is that those new faces who made it into the Senate tend to be people who are amenable to the SPPNA and Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

If we had 41 Senators who were staunchly opposed to CIR or SPPNA, those things would never gain ground.  It was therefore imperative that any candidates who made it into the Senate be CIR and SPPNA advocates.  Go look at the results.  I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions, but if Jeb Bush is about to publish a book on the issue of immigration, and if he intends to run for President in 2016, one of the things you ought to consider about him is this whole business of CIR and SPPNA.  You ought to consider likewise the impact Jeb and the family Bush had on this election.  Was Mitt Romney an unwitting placeholder?  After all, the name “Bush” is still toxic even among conservatives, and that family wouldn’t want to risk that an actual conservative might get into the White House, so they could have supported Romney knowing he would lose, but knowing that with their help, he would be strong enough to freeze out the others. I’d like you to consider the whole of the 2011-2012 primary season in this light.  For those who still believe this election failure had been about “outreach to Hispanics,” I urge you to read this piece by Heather MacDonald.

For those of you who wonder at my dislike for the Bush policy agenda, let me put it in these terms: “Compassionate Conservatism” is merely Establishment Code for “We’ve got free stuff too!” If we can’t make the Bush family irrelevant in the GOP, then we’ll need to abandon the party.  They still control many levers of the party machinery, including in Texas and Florida, but also other states.  We must rid ourselves of these people.  They’ve never managed to do anything but sink us in the long run, and they have advanced the statist ball down the field more reliably than most Democrats. On Friday, it was reported that Jeb’s son George P. Bush intends to seek office.  The times article quoted a State representative in Texas:

“George P. was recently our guest down here in the Valley, where we held an event for him,” said a state representative, Aaron Pena, a Republican who represents part of Hidalgo County in the Rio Grande Valley. “The level of excitement was through the roof. Here you have arguably the most famous family in American political history, embodied in a person who is much like ourselves. After the trouncing that Republicans received in losing the Hispanic vote in the recent presidential election, George P.’s candidacy is the sort of remedy that we’re looking for.”(emphasis added)

Apart from the subtle racism  implicit in Mr Pena’s remarks, I find it troubling that yet another Bush intends to run in order to advance the family agenda.  It’s for this reason that I submit that we won’t repair the Republican Party until we finally accept the Reverend Jesse Jackson’s advice, but only this one time, and only with respect to the family Bush:

Alternative content

(click “play” for Jackson’s advice)

Really people, “stay out da Bushes.”  I don’t think we’ll ever have another conservative President until we excise the Bush influence from our body politic.  America is not a land of royalty, and no single family should wield so much power over so long a span.  There is nothing peculiar to the Bush family that makes them more suited to leadership.  Nothing.  The problem is, they want the power and prestige because they have goals that supersede your interests or mine, in their view.  The SPPNA is just one of them.  They don’t mind being out of power for eight years if that’s what it takes to rehab their family name.

When you take all of this in, it stings a little, but it also begins to make sense.  I don’t believe Mitt Romney was supposed to win, and I think that the Bush family intends to restore their family name, a name that took a beating as a result of many of their policies while in power, not only from rigid leftists, but also among conservatives who have rightly noted that the Bush family seems to have extensive sympathies with statists, and with globalists who are more interested in big ideas about global governance than with American sovereignty.  The Bush family seems to wish to drag us unwillingly into their global vision, and I’m not going without a fight. Neither should you.  We conservatives simply must stop walking into these minefields.

After all, who will be their next moderate patsy, and will we go along with that one too?  If their family name is still too toxic in 2016, expect them to put up another stand-in.  I think the next one will be a big fan of donuts.  He’s shown himself willing to help, but he may now be damaged goods himself.  Time will tell.

Solution to two problems?

Insofar as Boehner, he is a cog in this machine.  The good news is that we can rid ourselves of this particular tool, and I even have an idea as to how we might do that. I realize this may be slim consolation, but we need a win. We need to start somewhere, and I think this is as good a place as any.  As you know, there is no requirement that the Speaker of the House be a voting member of the House of Representatives.  If they wanted to, they could elect Rush Limbaugh…or me. (Though if nominated, I would not run, and if elected, I would not serve…)  It just so happens that we have a plausible candidate for the position, since he’s recently been left jobless after being set up for defeat through redistricting in Florida.  He’s still contesting the results, but win or lose, Allen West would make a great Speaker of the House, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t call our respective representatives to insist on it. I’m not trying to start a movement, but I think we must finally rid ourselves of Boehner, and the best way to do that is to replace him with somebody we want.  While it’s not likely, it is possible, so that when they vote for the Speaker for the next term, we can make a difference.

For readers who want more background on the immigration argument, Heather Mac Donald also wrote this piece some time ago.

 

The Reasons Romney Lost

Friday, November 9th, 2012

I realize the fact that there are roughly fifty-seven million people trying to go through the results of this election, to determine how it went bust.  Demographics do play a factor, and free stuff plays a significant factor, but so does the lack of a massive turnout by evangelicals. All of these things have some validity, but I think we may be making an error if we don’t drill down on these to get to the bottom of it, rather than making rash assumptions.  Where a changing culture mattered, it was largely single mothers who clobbered conservatives.  Where free stuff mattered, it was largely Hispanics who walked away.   Insofar as Romney’s flip-floppery with respect to issues important to evangelicals, we had a serious problem.  Let me suggest to you that we’ll need to be very honest about all of this if we’re ever to reverse it, assuming the nation survives as a single political entity through 2016. Mitt Romney lost for a number of important reasons, and most of them are a result of how he campaigned, or didn’t, throughout the entirety of the cycle.  I have said he was trying to win by default, but that such an approach could not prevail.  It didn’t.

Republicans should not expect to win any national election in which there is not significant evidence that the candidate is strong on issues critical to evangelicals, including abortion, assisted suicide, and gay marriage.  Listen to me, Republican wannabes: YOU  CANNOT  WIN  WITHOUT  THE  FULL   SUPPORT   OF  CHRISTIANS.  I don’t care how many moderates or independents you think you might lose by being strong on those issues, because what you lose in evangelicals’ support will far outweigh what you will pick up with the few loose moderates or independents you believe you will gain.  Get accustomed to it.  It’s a part of your base, a part that does participate in getting out the vote when they believe the candidate warrants their efforts, and you cannot win without them.  You might gain a few independents and moderates by flexing in your principles, but they aren’t the committed sort who will go out and knock on doors for you.

You cannot win by trying to compete with Democrats in giving away free stuff, either in principle, or in fact.  Stop trying.  When alleged conservatives do this, it looks too much like trying to purchase votes, even though those same people are willing to be bought-off by Democrats’ much more generous offers won’t hesitate to take their deal.  You won’t be able to get Hispanics votes in any larger proportion than the one were seeing for Republicans now, plus or minus a couple points, because most Hispanics are responding to free stuff, and as mentioned, Republicans can’t compete with that(and shouldn’t try.) There is no manner of “free stuff” that Democrats won’t give away more thoroughly.  Republicans must focus on people who come to vote not because they are seeking stuff, but because of the larger ideas and principles.  Once a GOP candidate walks away from principles, what remains is a candidate who has little to offer, even to  his or her own base.

Single mothers are another demographic Republicans can’t win, because they are frequently dependent on social programs. Again, if you can’t win this segment, and if can’t even get close, you’re going to need to do a better job appealing to the segment of women you can reach: Married mothers and grandmothers.  That’s still a goodly portion of the female population, but again, you have nothing tangible in the sense of goods and services to offer them that the left won’t beat you to the punch in offering in larger measure.  They’re interested in the future of their children.  They’re interested in what kind of world their children will face.  They’re interested in what the economic future will bring, and what it will inflict on their relatively happy homes.  These are women who have made the rational decision to share their lives with men they expect they will depend on into old age.  Their thinking is less transitory, and less pop-culture oriented.  They’re all about the practical necessities of living their lives, sharing it with a husband, and rearing children who will likewise seek out productive, independent existences.

What we must recognize about this election is that Romney did nothing to inspire or reach out to those who ought to have been the natural constituency for conservatives.  First, he didn’t talk much about social issues, meaning conservatives Christians of the sort who would be inclined toward a Rick Santorum or a Michele Bachmann simply weren’t interested.  Let’s also stipulate that a good deal of animosity grew between supporters of the various candidates for the nomination because so often, it appeared to have been rigged. That turned a good many conservatives off, and it also made it harder to unite the party.  Mostly, there were too many ways in which Mitt Romney failed.  We were told early on that because of 2008, he had a solid ground-game.  We now know that this wasn’t the case.  McCain clearly had a more effective ground-game, although some larger measure of that is undoubtedly a result of his VP choice.  Still, in being circumspect about the results, we must admit that conservative turn-out was down, and evangelicals again stayed home.  The demographic issue is real and emerging, but it shouldn’t have been the fatal blow this time.  The problem with single mothers and single women may be insurmountable, because conservatism runs counter to what many women of that description have been indoctrinated to believe.

The most fatal flaw was the candidate.  Whether by ineptitude, or by sabotage, his campaign missed too many opportunities to attract voters and score big when Obama fumbled. They let the media put them off their game with ludicrous notions.  They permitted the Obama campaign to define Mitt, and he did not effectively counter.  Most of all, however, Mitt Romney failed to capitalize on the natural constituencies of the conservative movement, perhaps in part because he was at least as unpalatable to them as they were to him.  I said early on in the primary fight that Romney seemed to have been planning to ignore the Tea Party and evangelicals on the basis that they’d show up anyway.  In many important ways, they didn’t, and this is what spelled defeat for Romney.  That, and I don’t think he was supposed to win.  More on that later.

Fighting on the Ice…

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Nearly one-hundred-fifty years ago, in central West Virginia, William “Mudwall” Jackson(cousin of famous “Stonewall” Jackson) advanced on the improvised “fort” at Bulltown. He intended to capture it, and during the fight, more than twelve hours, he twice sent surrender demands under a flag of truce to the Union garrison commander, Captain William Mattingly.  Mattingly reportedly replied:

“I will fight until Hell freezes over and then fight on the ice”.

Mattingly and his men escaped and fled, but it was a tough road out of hell.

Barack Obama is having his victory speech, and he’s trying to sound magnanimous.  It’s fake.  He’s fake.  I’m not interested in his notions of unity.  He doesn’t want unity.  He wants to dominate.  I’m not interested in unity at the price of freedom.

That’s my message to Barack Obama, and to all of those who will be gleeful at his re-election.  We’re on the ice now, and with Hell frozen over, there’s nothing better to do, and nothing that needs more doing. I am going to fight you.  My message to conservatives is simple: Don’t yield, don’t surrender, and don’t give any damned ground to these ruthless, cheating Marxists.  Of course, this fight is just beginning, and there’s going to be some fighting in the conservative movement, and that starts now.  Right now.  To every conservative, I urge you to watch closely who you choose for your candidates in the future.  I wasn’t a Romney fan, but I did the only rational thing remaining and voted for him.  I don’t regret that decision, but I have already noticed some glee on the part of some who wouldn’t stand and do the same.  That’s fine, and you’ll have your day in the court of conservative opinion, but let me suggest to my conservative brethren that what you are about to witness is going to shock your senses and drive you to the brink.

We have people in the Republican establishment who have conspired to obtain this result.  They will undoubtedly continue to conspire against us.  First, they shove a moderately palatable candidate down conservatives’ throats.  Next, they hand-cuff us and him with the same old mush that has landed us in this quagmire.  Rather than aggressively campaign, he played it safe. On August 3rd, I wrote, in part:

“Romney is being careful, to the extent that he has begun to run what looks like an NFL “prevent defense,” intended to prevent any game-changing mistakes late in the game, but almost invariably leading to defeat by an accumulation of a series of lesser mistakes, any of which would be insignificant on their own, but that in the aggregate prove lethal.”

Ladies and gentlemen, isn’t this precisely what has happened?  When Chris Christie hugged Barack Obama in the wake of Sandy, wasn’t this an unaccounted circumstance that threw a monkey-wrench in the “prevent defense” plan?  How did Romney react?  He did nothing.  He continued to carefully plod along with no mention of Benghazi, no refutations of Obama’s shrill diatribe, apart from his line about “revenge.”

To be sure, there were several saboteurs, and you can bet that come 2016, we’ll see a couple throw their hats in the ring. The New Jersey Windbag will likely be one of them, or he’ll be somebody’s pick for VP.  Somebody from Florida, I’m betting.  Meanwhile, the best and the brightest conservatives in our party have been mocked and disparaged.  America  is likely to be on its knees before the passage of another four years, and if so, we must admit that a positive conservative message on all fronts must carry the day going forward.  We cannot win with mushy moderates.  Even if at this late hour, or in the days to come, Mitt Romney’s count is somehow found to make him the winner, it will be in court until time stops.  Can you imagine the infamy of it when it turns out that just like the illegitimate Senator from Minnesota, who holds his seat solely on the basis of fraud, Barack Obama turns out to have done the same?

No, our strategy must be a simple one from now until 2016:  We must rebuild conservatism even if it means walking away from the Republican party, and we must fight a stalling delaying action with everything we’ve got.  They own the media, the bureaucracy, the education, the executive branch, the Senate, and the judiciary.  We’ve got John Boehner. Don’t tell me we’re losing the country.  We’ve already lost it.  Now it’s time to take it back, if we can.

There’s nothing worse than knowing what’s coming, except perhaps for the poor fools who will be taken by surprise.  This country will not survive in this form.  This blog certainly won’t.  There may be a day in the not-distant future when I will be forced to suspend this blog for purely economic reasons.  By then, I’ll probably be eating horse, rather than raising them. That’s fine. When that day comes, I’ll do what I must, but every day from now until then, I am going to fight the statists and their miserable claim to the production of others who they would enslave to their service.  I am not interested in getting along. I am not interested in any more moderation. My message for the left? Andrew Breitbart said it best:

When All Else Fails, Lie

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Dishonesty You Can Count On

Conservatives and Republicans along with Romney-supporting independents should steel themselves for the media barrage now in motion.   If you’re like me, you’ll have noticed that not only are they spiking the story on Benghazi, but they’re also running away from the fact that FEMA relief efforts in the Northeast aren’t going so well as the coward-in-chief had promised.  In the run-up to the election, the American people are beginning to notice that the facts don’t match the media meme, and the media is becoming increasingly desperate in their relating(not reporting) of positive spin for Obama. As election day approaches, the biased mainstream media is pulling out all the stops for their candidate. Americans mustn’t permit their campaign of lies to succeed.

Now, having had Obama make a remark on the campaign trail stating that “voting is the best revenge,” one mainstream media outlet has turned to outright lying in order to try to sabotage Romney.  Reuters actually ran the following headline on Saturday:

As Campaign Roars to Close, Romney and Obama Talk “Revenge”

This is pretty desperate, and it’s not merely a matter of biased headline writing.  It’s a lie.  The only context in which Romney was discussing “revenge” was to quote Obama’s remark and comment on it.  This fact is buried in the story, but the headline is constructed to leave you with the impression that Romney brought it up, and that both candidates are moral equals in the matter.  There’s really no other explanation for the name order in the headline.  “Obama” is alphabetically ahead of “Romney,” and chronologically, Obama brought it up.

Of course, it’s going to get much worse as the campaign draws to a close. The mission of the mainstream media is to cover up all negative news about Obama, pounce on Romney for anything they can paint as a misstep, and outright lie about the state of the campaigns.  All of this has one basic purpose: Swing the election for Obama.  There are two things they hope to do, and these are to depress Romney supporters in order to get them to stand down, and to bolster Obama supporters by getting them to show up.  Don’t fall for it.  No matter what the mainstream media says on the Sunday shows, and no matter how many fake polls they thrust in your face, the truth is that you control the outcome of this election.

All day tomorrow, and all day Monday, they will be searching for some salable meme with which to slap Mitt Romney or prop up Barack Obama.  It’s close, but it’s not as close as they need in order to have cover.  You see, for weeks, they’ve been telling you it’s neck-and-neck or Obama up by two or three.  None of it matters, because it’s all nonsense.  What matters is their blessed “reputation,” or “credibility,” either of which they have little to note.

Let’s put this another way: If you swell to the polls in support of Mitt Romney as I suspect will be the case, the mainstream media is going to be tarnished in a big way. They’re going to look like idiots.  They’re going to be revealed as liars and con-artists, and they will immediately turn to the task of resurrecting their supposed “credibility” by coming up with explanations for how they “missed it.”  Of course, if they can turn you off, and get you to stand down, they won’t need to do so even if Romney wins in a squeaker, because they will be calling this a dead heat from here to the end.  Naturally, if Romney wins by larger margins, “Lucy, you’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do.” They just as soon avoid that debacle, so at this point, they are willing to lie in order to trim that margin a little if they can.

Don’t fall for it.  On Tuesday, you go out and do as you were going to do, and take your friends and neighbors along.  Make an event of it.  These lying, miserable bastards need to be taken down a peg, and this is your chance to do it.

Even if Mitt Romney isn’t the candidate you would have picked, I suspect that like me, you want to see the mainstream media eat crow. That will be our best revenge. Well, that and watching Mooch cart her bags to the waiting limo. Don’t worry Michelle, it’s just like going on vacation… only better.

I’ll never have been prouder of my country. Lately.

 

I’ve Made Up My Mind

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Where it all counts...

I don’t like Mitt Romney very much, as I don’t think he’s at all conservative in the full sense of the word.  I find myself fully agreeing with him only around one-third of the time.  Naturally, as I’ve explained all along, this is why we conservatives were prohibited from selecting an actual conservative candidate, or one with at least reasonably solid conservative views.  The pages of this blog are replete with my criticisms of Romney, both on specific issues and in particular contexts, as well as in a general philosophical sense.  If you have any confusion, feel free to do a category search on the menu at right and select the category “Mitt Romney.” With that in mind, I would like to talk to you a bit about another character whose category is at least as extensive, and who is infinitely worse:  Barack Hussein Obama.  There is no doubt that while I have some trepidation about Romney’s willingness to fight for constitutional principles, Obama will demolish, shred, and burn it.  I do not claim this as some exercise in epic hyperbole, and my long-time readers will know it is absolutely true:  If Obama wins on Tuesday, by any means, our nation is finished.  If you believe too easily that you’re willing to undergo all that such a calamity entails, read no further and exit this blog, because you’re either a terminal patient or somebody with no respect for the reality of such an event.

First, I want you to know that when I went into the polling place, I skipped the Presidential question.  I ticked right through the remainder of the ballot, knowing that I wanted Ted Cruz to prevail, and knowing the other offices on the ballot, who it is that I would support in those offices of local concern.  After completing the whole ballot, I went back to the Presidential position, being the only one remaining to consider.  I stood there for what seemed like an eternity.  I looked at the names on the ballot, and I thought about what would happen if I stood firmly in my intention to let Mitt Romney rise or fall without my help.  I knew that being in Texas, even without my vote, Mitt Romney was likely to win.  I knew that my vote would be of little consequence, thus affording me the escape clause if I decided to leave the Presidential section unmarked.  The problem is that I have readers in every place in this wondrous country, and while as a practical matter, it mattered little whether I would make a selection, my readers would want to know.

I leaned a bit against the writing surface of the voting booth.  I rubbed my brow as I realized the full measure of what is at stake in this election.  Sure, we’ve discussed it at length, but this was the first time I had really personalized it.  Romney?  Obama? Other? None?  On this basis, I immediately ignored Obama and the other “third party” entries.  Whatever my final choice, I knew that I would never vote for Obama, and that the non-Romney alternatives were merely a protest that equated to voting for none of them.  No, the question was really Romney, or none.   As I stood there pondering my choice, I began to turn our country’s recent past over in my mind, and I began to think about this from a highly personal point of view.

If I were not to make any selection, what would it mean?  No, it was more important to place the appropriate pressure on my decision, and since I came of age in Ohio, much of my family still residing there, it was proper to think of this as though I were in that context.  After all, for many of my readers, that is the choice, whether they’re in Ohio or other states where this contest will be decided, they haven’t the luxury of knowing that either their state is so thoroughly blue or red as to make their one abstention irrelevant.  I began to think about the matter as if the whole question rested on my shoulders, and when I did, something odd happened.  I realized that somebody would win.  Withholding my vote from Mitt Romney would not make some other imagined candidate appear on the ballot.  More, knowing the intentions of Barack Obama as I do, I began to think what would happen if he wins.

My farm would be a goner.  It will be difficult for our farm to survive as an entity for another year in this economy.  When we bought horses and began to breed and raise them, we had no idea that the bottom would drop out of that industry within two years’ time, and that other economic forces, namely the prices of petroleum, and feeds and hay would escalate to heights previously unknown.  We are bleeding money, and with no change, no chance exists that does not end with horses going to slaughter buyers at a government-coerced auction.  My daughter, now nearly twenty-three, along with her husband, have decided to forgo children indefinitely, being unwilling to bring children into the world with which we are now confronted.  They would rather be childless than to raise a kid into serfdom, and they refuse to be sucked into the welfare mentality that permits so many to procreate without pausing to consider those facts.  If Barack Obama is re-elected, the country will die, my farm among its many victims, and the possibility of grandchildren with it.

Every day brings more bad news on the economic front, though the media would have us believe otherwise in their pursuit of a second Obama term.  There will never be any chance of justice on the matter of Benghazi, and there will be no chance that we will know liberty again.  Ronald Reagan was right about many things, and one of them was this:

“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 where men were free.”

At least I will be free from telling my child’s children, since there won’t be any, but as I stood there pondering my choice, it seemed at last like slim consolation.  I thought about a lifetime of hard, dedicated work, but not only mine.  My wife’s, my brothers, and all our forebears who had made the glorious expanse of my life possible.  I thought about the slow, skulking death of a nation, culminating in a rapid dissolution into anarchy and tyranny.  I wondered how long I would hold out.  I wondered how much stamina those like me would have, and whether it would be enough.  I wondered at the thought of my wife and I, no longer in the condition of our youth, trying to stave off all that such a scenario would imply.  I thought about the wisdom of my position to date, and my resolution not to vote for Mitt Romney.

After all, as veterans will know, one thing the military teaches you is that if all else fails, you must figure out how to survive, and how to live to fight another day.  Pointless but seemingly heroic acts of single-handedly charging a vastly superior enemy are really acts of suicide, so that unless there is something tangible to be gained for one’s cause, one should never consider it.  In turn, that begged the question behind my furrowed brow:  What is my cause?  Will it be served by the immolation of our country?  That was the proposition before me, and for a long time, I began to argue with myself:

“What’s the matter, Mark?  Chickening out?”

“No, of course not.  I’m doing the harder thing: I’m standing on principle.”

“Principle?  The principles that become meaningless the moment Barack Obama is unleashed and unrestrained in a second term?  Those principles?  Who will honor them?  The souls of the grandchildren your daughter will never bear forth into the wretched world the left is creating?”

“Somebody. Somehow.  Some day.”

Somehow? It’s a sad day that you resort to that plea.”

 ”America will rise again.”

Will it?”

As I pondered Ronald Reagan’s words again, it struck me that though I have read them, repeated them, and heard them spoken a thousand times, I had always grasped the first part, but never fully the severity of the second.  Standing there looking down at my ballot, the presidential section unmarked, I wondered about the truth of the matter: How do I restore a country by yielding it completely to those who wish it destroyed?  It is preposterous to suggest otherwise, because in that moment, I saw with clarity that a little chance is better than none.  A small opportunity, and a tiny window are greater than their absence.  I’ve already pledged to you that with your help, I will fight the GOP establishment, come what may, but that is only relevant if we’re not already fighting for our basic survival, and if Barack Obama prevails, that will be our situation.

You are free to call me a “chicken,” or to say that “Mark folded” when the going got tough, but after all, what the in Hell are we fighting for anyway?  A tactical retreat is preferable to a massacre.  With those words in mind, I looked again one long last time at the ballot, and slid it close to me on the writing surface, and marked “Romney.”  I turned away from the booth, depositing the ballot in the slot in the ballot box with a satisfied grimace.  That may not be the ending you had expected.  It wasn’t the ending I expected when I walked into the polling place, until I realized this really could be the end. I apologize to those readers who believe I have abandoned them, and I will not damn any for doing as I have done, but in the end, history may damn all those who don’t.  In the name of all in this world that you may still love, and in the name of all that remains of our potential, go vote, and do what your conscience demands.  I cannot damn my own life, never mind my daughter’s, to the world a second Obama term would usher in.  Damn me if you must.  If Obama is re-elected, Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s misappropriation of scripture is certain to come true.

 

 

Americans Died, Obama Lied

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Would I Lie to You? Next Question...

On Tuesday evening, Greta Van Susteren reported the astonishing but predictable news: The Obama administration knew within hours or even minutes who had perpetrated the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, ultimately killing Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.  The cover story about an anti-Islamic video was merely a scapegoat of convenience that had absolutely nothing to do with the attack on our consulate, but the sickening fact is that President Obama’s administration, including the State Department, and high level national security officials were well aware of the truth even as they continued to try to sell its cover story to the American people.  The reason is simple:  The Benghazi attack was the first successful strike on American soil by organized radical Islamic supremacists since September 11th, 2001, on its 11th anniversary.  Fourteen days after this attack, Barack Obama was still telling the American people it was about a video, desperately hoping to disconnect the events from the obvious failures in his leadership and foreign policy.  Barack Obama has deceived the American people.  For seven hours, in full possession of the facts, as the attack raged and Americans were slaughtered, this President and his administration did nothing except to concoct a cover story.

Perhaps the most galling meme put forward by the Obama administration in the wake of this dismal failure was the attempt to accuse Mitt Romney of politicizing the event.  The facts speak for themselves: The Obama administration commenced the politicization of this attack by lying to the American people on the basis of politically motivated calculations about the impact the truth would have on the upcoming election.  Barack Obama and his administration clearly have no shame, but while they have sought to hide the truth, on Tuesday evening, emails were disclosed that should put an end to the obfuscation.  From FoxNews:

The emails obtained by Fox News were sent by the State Department to a variety of national security platforms, whose addresses have been redacted, including the White House Situation Room, the Pentagon, the FBI and the Director of National Intelligence.

Fox News was told that an estimated 300 to 400 national security figures received these emails in real time almost as the raid was playing out and concluding. People who received these emails work directly under the nation’s top national security, military and diplomatic officials, Fox News was told.

That Candy Crowley would give Obama cover on the cover-up during the second Presidential debate is bad enough, but to now discover that the whole administration was quite well aware of the source of the attack means that we not only have a President willing to lie to the American people, but that he has surrounded himself with a cadre of bureaucratic henchmen who share his contempt for Americans.  The Obama administration may be amateurish with respect to its handling of foreign policy, but they are first-rate professionals when it comes to lying to the nation.  The mainstream media continues to cover and hide the lengths to which this administration has gone in its disinformation campaign against the American people.

Joe Wilson was right when he yelled at Obama during a State of the Union address: “You lie!” Worse, however, President Obama isn’t a man who once told a lie and got away with it: He is a reprobate.  He is a liar by trade, and nothing he says may be trusted.  Cataloging the lies of his debate appearance on Monday night would take many pages, but suffice it to say that even some in the mainstream media are having a difficult time covering his tracks.

What readers need to know about Barack Obama is this: There is no lie he won’t tell, and no American whose life and memory he will not sacrifice to his political desires.  This President yammers about the politicization of a tragedy as a pre-emptive strike against the shocking truth that political calculations were and remain the motive for the cover-up of the events in Libya.  Obama hopes the American people will be fooled again, and that when he says he has “kept us safe,” they will forget the deadly attack on our consulate, and the Fort Hood shooting, among other acts of terrorism he refuses to acknowledge as such.  That’s all this really is, and all it’s intended to do.  His entire administration is convicted of a lie, and he’s betting the American people will be too.

Terrorism?  What terrorism?

 

Media Malpractice Leaves Obama Unprepared

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Lost

Anybody who’s ever raised a child knows that for them to get stronger, they must “take their lumps” along the way.  If you shelter children too much, particularly from the consequences of the choices they’ve made, they don’t learn from their worst mistakes, errors, and simple bad judgments.  The mainstream media has been treating Barack Obama as an affirmative action case for more than four years, and on Wednesday night in Denver, they paid a price:  Unprepared on the facts, and unaccustomed to facing pressing, difficult questions, Barack Obama looked stunned at first, and then annoyed, and finally petulant as he was thoroughly drubbed by Mitt Romney in the first Presidential Debate.  Even Jim Lehrer couldn’t prevent it, despite his obvious efforts to coach and guide President Obama. No amount of deck-stacking on the night could save Obama from his own state of unpreparedness.  This stunning defeat was a demonstration of the real world result of affirmative action, and since the media who has sheltered him is composed of leftists who believe in that nonsense, rather than toughen-up Obama, they will seek to shelter him further.

In the 2008 campaign, the media succeeded in sheltering Obama through the election.  They got their man in place because they were able to conceal his many warts, and because McCain was not at all aggressive.  The Republicans ought to be more prepared for any debate, simply because they are almost never coddled by the media.  The real problem began for Obama after his disastrous press conference during which the subject of his former professor and friend Henry Gates arose, and Obama went well off script, telling the press that the Cambridge Police “acted stupidly.”  From that moment on, both his own staff and the press, often in a joint effort, went into full protection mode because they realized Obama wasn’t up to the scrutiny or the tough questions.

Since then, the actual number of press conferences that Obama has conducted has been quite limited, and all of the questions were known in advance.  This permitted Obama to prepare for the soft-ball questions, so that he never fell into any mire quite so sticky as the earlier press conference debacle.  Most other times Obama has appeared in public, it has been to issue prepared remarks, fed to him on a teleprompter.  When everything he’s going to say is scripted for him, he can deliver a speech quite well, irrespective of whether you agree with its content.  In the debate on Wednesday night in Denver, he had no such advantage, the closest thing to shelter available being the coaching given by the moderator Jim Lehrer.  The lack of readiness merely highlights the matter: Obama hasn’t taken many hard questions during his presidency,  but under the harsh lights of the debate stage, that simply won’t help him.  He was neither agile nor strong.  He had no substance, but uncharacteristically, he didn’t seem even to possess style.  On Wednesday night, the media could not conceal it for him.

This doesn’t mean the media will simply give in.  They took a pounding last night, when even Chris Matthews seemed to have lost the tingle in his leg:

“Tonight wasn’t an MSNBC debate, was it? It just wasn’t. It didn’t mention all the key fighting points of this campaign. [...] I don’t know what he was doing out there, he had his head down, he was enduring the debate rather than fighting it.

“Romney on the other hand, came in with a campaign, he had a plan. He was going to dominate the time, he was going to be aggressive. He was going to push the moderator around, which he did effectively. He was going to relish the evening, enjoying it. Nothing to do with the words he spoke.”

Extreme leftist Andrew Sullivan was beside himself in the liveblog on the daily beast:

“How is Obama’s closing statement so f*cking sad, confused and lame? He choked. He lost. He may even have lost the election tonight.”

I’d be happy to explain to either man why Obama debated so poorly, but neither would listen:  Their constant coddling, their covering, and their failure to hold Obama’s feet to the fire on any issue over the last four years has led to a debacle for the left in which their guy, the President of the United States, is a bumbling, inept candidate who is arrogantly unaccustomed to being questioned on anything.  They built this candidate, and this candidacy, but also this administration.

Naturally, this is far from over, and you can expect the media will go after Mitt Romney relentlessly over the coming days and weeks.  There will be no cessation in hostilities, because rather than learn from their failures, the media will double-down.  They will criticize Obama a bit in the wake of this debate, as they must, but the media will close ranks around him and continue to shield him.  They will because they cannot conceive of the fact that it is precisely this sheltering, coddling affirmative action that has left their candidate wholly unprepared.  Indeed, that is the story of his entire presidency, and their role in it.  Rather than being hardened by repeated hammering and heat, Barack Obama has been able to maintain his stature by the artifices erected by a sympathetic media.

It is in these moments when a candidate’s character becomes known, and on Wednesday night, what was revealed about Barack Obama is that he had been too small a man for the office to which he had been elected.  He was not able to rise to an occasion for which the media’s lack of testing had not prepared him.  Here was a petulant child, caught with his hand elbow-deep in the cookie jar, and as he stammered through excuse and rationalization, one after the other, the media could no longer hide the fact that he had been unprepared to lead four years ago, and that even given the job by the manipulations of their own affirmative journalism on his behalf, he remains unsuited to the office because after four years, he’s learned nothing, because it was never demanded of him.  The media will double-down on this approach because they’re desperate, and don’t have any other ideas, except to attack Romney, but at this late date, there is nothing they can do to make up for their malpractice.  Obama is who he is, and it’s too late to fix that, but that doesn’t mean the media won’t try.

 

Barack Obama’s Despicable Conduct of US Foreign Policy

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Hoisting al Qaeda's Colors

We’ve known for some time that US foreign policy has become the instrument by which America has been ceding its interests around the globe, but what the response of President Obama and his State Department to attacks on US personnel in Libya reveals is a sickness that pervades this administration from top to bottom.   We have seen administrations in the past that have failed to put America’s interests first in our global relations, but it is clear from the record that Obama’s foreign policy consists of a single maxim: “America Last.”  This nightmarish projection of the dreams of Obama’s father onto American foreign policy is not merely wrong-headed, or ill-conceived, but instead plainly and virulently anti-American.  At every turn, Obama and his minions place the interests, the safety, and the security of the American people dead last, and the media scurries to cover it up.  Examining what’s happened in Libya and around the Middle East, it is impossible to conclude that the results were accidental.  The events we’re witnessing are the direct result of a policy that puts America last, at home, and around the world, and Barack Obama is that policy’s author.

On September 11th, 2012, American consulates and embassies came under attack by radical, militant Islamists.  In Benghazi, our ambassador to the nation of Libya, Chris Stevens was murdered, his life poached by murderous thugs who were bent on attacking Americans on the eleventh anniversary of the attacks of 9/11/2001.  Outside the consulate, the chant  “Take a picture, Obama, we are all Osama,” could be heard, and while Americans were under attack, the first assumption the State Department made about the motives of the attackers was that it had been a backlash against an anti-Islamic film aimed at exposing the crimes of Islam against the Coptic Christians of Egypt.

This is not merely naive, but foolish.  In what is clearly a coordinated effort to attack US possessions and personnel, our ambassador was beaten and killed, dying of “severe asphyxia.”  Meanwhile, Barack Obama does nothing, but as bad as that is, I am astonished by Hillary Clinton’s naive remarks in a statement released in the aftermath of the attacks:

“How could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction? This question reflects just how complicated and, at times, how confounding the world can be.”

These are the words of the Secretary of State of the United States of America?   A few things come immediately to mind:  When many responsible Americans, myself among them, warned that the so-called “Arab Spring” was a farce, we were mocked as “reactionary” and “conspiracy theorists.”  When we looked on in horror as Senator McCain(R-AZ) went to Libya, and actively supported the imposition of a no fly zone in Libya, many were horrified because all the signs were present that we had climbed into bed with al Qaeda and affiliate organizations.  Secretary Clinton’s advancement of the “Arab Spring” and “Democracy Movement” notions of the Obama administration are simply deplorable, and this question posed as a rhetorical device by Clinton simply serve to demonstrate the point that she should resign in disgrace.

Naturally, in her long and rambling statement, she expressed appropriate grief at out losses in Libya, but then she began the excuse-making on behalf of Libya:

“But we must be clear-eyed, even in our grief. This was an attack by a small and savage group – not the people or Government of Libya. Everywhere Chris and his team went in Libya, in a country scarred by war and tyranny, they were hailed as friends and partners. And when the attack came yesterday, Libyans stood and fought to defend our post.”

This is disgraceful.  It is true that Libyan security teams moved our consular staff, but what Mrs. Clinton doesn’t state here is that it was these very Libyans who told the militants where they had moved our people, essentially giving them up.   Meanwhile, as of this writing, there are al Qaeda flags flying over at least two US facilities in the Middle East, and other facilities are now under attack, including Yemen, and al-Jazeera is propagandizing as flags are burned in Tunisia.  The consulate in Berlin has been evacuated because of a suspicious package.  Iraqi militants are threatening, and new attacks have been launched on US facilities in Cairo, Egypt.  The Examiner is now reporting that Ambassador Stevens was raped before he was murdered.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama is too busy to attend security and intelligence briefings, since he can’t miss a fund-raiser anywhere.  I find it simply mind-numbing that our consular staff in Libya  is left to issue a statement or that Hillary Clinton is issuing statements, while Barack Obama appears long enough to say a few words, takes no questions, and walks away.  “The buck stops here” apparently doesn’t apply to President Obama, but I have some questions:

  • Why wasn’t a coordinated attack of some sort on the 11th of September anticipated by the Obama administration?
  • Why wasn’t security augmented before the attacks?
  • When Ayman al-Zawahiri issued a statement a urging Muslims to rise up and attack Americans around the world, why didn’t this administration react to the danger?
  • Why hasn’t President Obama attended all the security and intelligence briefings?
  • Why is this President still playing patty-cakes with the Muslim Brotherhood in the West Wing of the White House?

Rather than seeking answers to these questions, the American press has largely gone into a protective mode, giving aid and comfort to President Obama, instead going after Mitt Romney by pretending there had been some gaffe by virtue of his statements on this matter.  The truth of the matter is that these had been some of the finest moments of what has been a mostly lackluster campaign by Team Romney.

Ladies and gentlemen, the United States is once again under attack, and as the acts of war against us accumulate at consulates and embassies around the globe, we need a President who is willing to take on the threats arrayed against us.  Governor Sarah Palin made a strong statement on Wednesday, rebuking the intolerably useless under-reaction of the Obama administration.  It’s clear that Barack Obama isn’t going to stand up for America, her interests, or even her citizens serving abroad.  There’s something fundamentally broken with Barack Obama’s worldview that would permit him to continue on his current course in light of all that has happened.  We have a man in the White House who is seeking to damage the country, and through his inaction in the face of mayhem and murder is abetting the enemies of America.  Barack Obama should heed now his own advice to Hosni Mubarak. Speaking of Egypt, Obama said: “[the transition] must be meaningful, it must be peaceful and it must begin now.”

Amen.  Go home, Mr. Obama…and take Mrs. Clinton with you.

 

The Farce of “Somehow”

Monday, September 10th, 2012

I’ve had a few comments from sincere people who have argued in response to my last post that we must focus on defeating Barack Obama until after the election.  I still wanted to know how we were to hold Romney’s feet to the fire.  It’s a simple question: “How?”  A number of my longtime readers responded to some of the Facebook comments by repeating my simple query.  Naturally, there’s no answer, or if the proponents of this theory know one, they’re not offering it.  Time after time, I’ve been berated by ostensibly conservative people who tell me that I must “focus on Obama,” as if by looking at that awful picture, it will relieve me of the awful truth about Mitt Romney.  Again and again, I ask them to explain how Romney will be bent to a more conservative direction, and time and again, I am told to focus on Obama.  This sort of redirection hints at the desperation so many feel about this election, but it also demonstrates a willingness to dissemble and it’s surprising to see it coming from conservatives.  At the end of it all, if you can corner them into an answer, it amounts to an undefined, unexplained “somehow.”

“Somehow” is the retort of leftists when you tell them that the budget cannot be sustained as it has been, and that by simple mathematics, it’s not possible to continue.  You might ask them how they’ll pay for it all, and when they’ve exhausted all of the ludicrous ideas about taxing the rich, their last resort is almost invariably the same: “Somehow!”  Somehow?  My paycheck doesn’t come to me “somehow.”  My taxes don’t pay themselves “somehow.”  Food doesn’t leap onto my table “somehow,” but when you ask them for the concrete steps that must be undertaken to pay for all the spending they propose, it always comes down to “somehow,” which in the short run means “some one,” but in the long run means they haven’t a clue, and worse, don’t care enough about it to bother with the details.

When you ask a liberal about their latest environmental scheme, their energy-limiting, anti-industrial, pathologically anti-human schemes, they are no less evasive.  First, they hurl insults. Next, they tell you how important it is for future generations(a.k.a. “the children”) to save our planet by the measures they propose, but when you show them the math, and the undeniable truth of the insufficiency of wind, solar, and hydro-electric or geothermal resources, and you want to know from them how you’re to maintain anything like your current standard of living under their scheme, they might utter something about “shared sacrifices” but if you’re insistent, they will retreat to “somehow.”  In this context, the “somehow” they’re imagining is one they’d prefer not to name, since it comprises entirely of reducing the human population of the Earth, and the standard of living among those who remain(except them, naturally,) but since they’ve been less than successful at convincing the Third World of this goal, they’ve switched their focus and will begin with you.  That’s the essence of the “somehow” they dare not name, and it consists of reducing you to the state of a hut-dwelling refugee in some barren wasteland.

All of this is to be expected from liberals or leftists, since it signifies the dishonesty and delusion enabling their philosophy, but what has happened that heretofore conservative Americans resort to similar language?  I have seldom heard such an amazing collection of otherwise conservative Americans adopt the language and argumentation of the left.  Apart from the intellectual laziness implied, there’s something horrifying about the proposition that good and serious Americans would offer us “somehow” in answer to anything.  I hope it is a temporary affliction, but alas, I don’t see it as such.  I don’t know how one can go from “somehow” back to concrete answers at the drop of a hat.  It usually ends badly, in more rationalizations.

I asked how it could happen that Mitt Romney’s feet could be “held to the fire,” and the first thing I was offered was that I am guilty of a treason against the country.  After that, I was told I need to focus on Obama, but when I would not relent, and instead focused on the answer to my question, what I was given, if anything, is “somehow.”  How will we maintain our principles while supporting a man who doesn’t share them?  “Somehow.”  How will we protect our values if the nominee we’re supposed to support thinks they’re fungible?  “Somehow.”  How will we get Mitt Romney to make conservative appointments to the bench if John Boehner has already engineered it right out of Congressional oversight?  “Somehow.”  How will we get Mr. Romney to do anything at all, such as the complete repeal of Obamacare, if he’s already abandoned that position and now speaks of his fondness for some portions of it?  “Somehow.”  How will Paul Ryan’s position as Vice President have any bearing upon the kind of legislation Mitt will sign into law?  “Somehow.” How will we exert pressure on him by running a challenge to him in the 2016 primaries, since the RNC has essentially amended the rules to make that almost impossible?  “Somehow.”

No, the truth of the matter is that the only way we have available to exercise any control over Mitt Romney is now, here, at this time, before he’s elected, and the fact of the matter is that if he is, he will not cater to our wishes.  He can only be controlled if we exercise that control this moment.  Since we have no control, many of us having departed the party proper in disgust, there is only one method of control we can exercise.  Only one.  Exercising it may lead to Mitt Romney’s defeat.  Exercising it could, in a backward sense, contribute to Barack Obama’s re-election.  Why is that the fault of people who rightly ask these simple questions about Romney?  Why is that the fault of people who simply want to know how it is that Mitt Romney is to be controlled by those who are being asked to entrust him with the presidency?  Maybe I’m stubborn, or maybe I’m out to make a point to all of these who have in desperation leaped onto the Romney bandwagon:  You can’t trust him, and even if you elect him to oust Barack Obama, there will be no end to this fight. Or, will there be?

When they get around to “somehow,” what I suspect is that either they haven’t the foggiest idea and haven’t considered it, or they do not care to throttle Mr. Romney’s liberal tendencies.  Either way, it’s unacceptable to me. 

 

Holding Mitt’s Feet to the Fire

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Time for a Shake-Up

I’ve been told repeatedly that we must elect Mitt Romney, come what may, because the country won’t survive Obama for another four years. Whether this assertion is true, those who hold this point of view invariably follow up with a claim that I now find utterly laughable.  I am told: “Besides, if Romney wins, we’ll be able to hold his feet to the fire, and get him to do our bidding…”  I wonder if the people who express this view realize how thoroughly nonsensical that position really is.  There is only one way to hold a President’s feet to the fire, and it is by being able to exert electoral control, but as of the Rules Committee report of Tuesday at the RNC, that option is now all but effectively gone.  I would like those who claim that we conservatives will be able to exert some influence over a President Romney to explain to me with precision how that is to be accomplished, apart from vague platitudes:  How can we expect to “hold his feet to the fire?” By what mechanism?

First of all, what fire?  Romney hasn’t pledged much except to repeal and replace Obama-care.  Replace?  Yes, “replace.”  For those of you who practice self-deception, you might not have heard him say that, but now I ask you:  “Replace with what, precisely?”  Here we are delivered more vague platitudes about market-based solutions, but not once does Romney offer what those solutions will be.  More platitudes.  More vague generalities.  It’s a load of hogwash. Welcome to Romney-care 2.0. Welcome to Romney 3.0.

Let us assume, however, that there is some magical laundry list of things Mitt Romney had promised with some specificity.  Even if he has, could some brave soul please explain to me the method by which he is to be made to perform as promised?  What will you do if he refuses?  Will you “primary” him in 2016?  Fat chance.  The power grab begun in the RNC’s rules committee consisted of making that nearly impossible.  What will you do?  Deny him campaign funds?  The advent of SuperPACs has made this an irrelevant point.  Karl Rove will merely scare up a few hundred million dollars and spend it on his behalf.  Why should he care?  Now, if Karl Rove were to get mad at him, that would be a different thing.  What are the chances that he won’t do the bidding of his masters?

Right.  Now you’re catching on.

Once you understand that there is no method by which you will be able to even lean on Mitt Romney, except in the court of public opinion, you must also realize that this notion of “holding his feet to the fire” is as vaporous as spilled acetone.  There is nothing you can do to affect Mitt Romney if he is elected.  Nothing.  The influence any party and its voters exerts over a President is already slim once they obtain that high office, but in the case of Romney, given the rigging carried out on at the Republican Convention, but frankly throughout this primary season, there is virtually nothing short of an actual coup d’etats that would pry him from his positions, whatever they may be.

Amnesty?  Abortion?  Romney-care?  What are you going to do about it once you elect him, having effectively given him the power to re-write the rules of the convention at will?  You’re going to whimper and cry, and you will be stuck with eight years of his liberal tendencies, and as almost half the span of yet another generation will have elapsed believing that this had been  conservatism, your country will be lost. Even now, Governor Romney is out on the campaign trail explaining that he will not repeal all of Obama-care, but will instead opt to keep some of it.  This is what we are told is conservative?  This man, it is said, can be held to perform the promises he’s made?  It hasn’t been two weeks since the convention, and he’s already ditching promises.

One can’t help but observe that the GOP establishment is bound and determined to give us candidates who are not conservative, but who will claim the label long enough to win in primaries before becoming full-bore mush.  For a man who had described himself as “severely conservative,” whatever that means, the rush to retreat from his promise to repeal all of Obama-care is breath-taking.  For those of us who hadn’t believed him, the only thing breath-taking about it has been the predictability of the matter, and the gullibility of all those who have assured us it wouldn’t go that way.  Put another way, the Mittster has shaken up the Etch-a-Sketch, and he’s drawing a new picture.  Post-convention Mitt will now advocate a modified Obama-care rather than a full repeal.

Will anybody who claims to be a conservative please explain to me in unvarnished terms how it is that we will “hold his feet to the fire” on this issue?  This is the enduring problem with Mitt Romney, and it puts the lie to the claim by some who argue that despite his clear attachment to liberal positions on a variety of issues, we conservatives will somehow be able to exert some sort of governing force over him.  It simply isn’t so, and the delusions attached to such claims are astonishing only in the implicit motives of the claimants.  Why pretend?  Why not simply deal with the truth?  If conservatives expect anything but Obama Lite from a Romney administration, they’ve been led astray.  It’s time we begin to contend with the reality at hand:  The GOP establishment moderates who are running the party have led it to ruin, and it’s going to be up to we conservatives to rescue the country, not only from the rabid left, but also from their collaborators in the Republican party’s liberal wing.

On the Charge of Treason

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

String Me Up?

Since my last post, I have been deluged in email, on Facebook, and via Twitter, as well as in comments here.  Those comments have roughly fallen into three groups, and they are: 1.) Full support.  2.) Screaming insults.  3.) A mix of support and disapproval with an added note of disappointment.  I appreciate those described by the first, ignore those composed of the second, and will now address my remarks to those described by the third.  In particular, I have been told that I should have expected the GOP establishment to seize power(and I did,) and that by refusal to support Romney, I am effectively taking my ball and going home at precisely that time in which my support is needed most.  One poster actually suggested that if Obama should win in November, it will be my fault. Mine! One last time, I am going to address the sheer depravity of that sentiment, and I am going to be blunt about it.  You may wish to accuse me of being too inflexible, but if so, we’re going to examine that charge in light of the facts, under the microscope of logic.

It has been charged that refusing to support Mitt Romney is tantamount to a support of Barack Obama.  Apart from being a bold-faced, mathematical lie, this is done as a matter of bullying.  If I vote for Romney, he gains one vote, and if I vote for Obama, he gains one vote, but if I vote for neither, it is a zero-zero proposition.  None for, but also none against.  Put another way, in order to believe that Romney starts out at a “plus one” with my vote, one must first presume that my vote belongs to Mitt Romney and the Republican Party, but that is an arrogantly faulty presumption.  My vote belongs to me.  That’s the math and the fact of the matter, but having dealt with this aspect, let us talk about the other, much more monstrous argument.  There is a clear desire on the part of some to prod me into support by virtue of my love for my country.  It has been stated often, and in approximately the following form:

“If you love America as you claim, you would vote to save her from Barack Obama even if it means accepting a terrible candidate like Mitt Romney.”

 

Apart from the desperation implied by such a lame attempt at emotional appeals to my patriotism, there is the implicit logical fallacy demonstrated by the switching of contexts.  This is offered in the context of my love for the country, rather than the love of the country as expressed by the Republican Party’s choice of Mitt Romney.  In short, what I am being told is that since I love the country more than the GOP establishment does, I ought to abandon my principles in order to support their candidate.  I wish for my readers to consider the philosophically suicidal entrapment entailed in this proposition: I should abandon my principles, principles that give rise to my love of country, in order to support a candidate who demonstrates a less than thorough love of those same principles.

This argument is frequently attended by dire but vague warnings about the consequences of my decision.  These warnings sound suspiciously like the warnings conservatives have been issuing for some time, but now they’re being turned against conservatives as a bludgeon with which to hammer us into support of Mitt Romney.  The warnings consist of what Barack Obama will do to the country in an unfettered second term, but what none of them will acknowledge is what Mitt Romney is apt to do to the country in an unfettered first term.  In fact, the Rules Committee maneuvers on Tuesday at the convention should serve as some indicator of what form that will take, and it consists almost entirely of “What dissent?  Dissent? I hear none,” issuing forth from the despotic intent of John Boehner as he hammered away with his gavel, dismissing the minority report on rules with a vengeful finality.

With those gavel blows, what I recognized, finally and irrevocably, was that the Republican Party is no less corrupt in its methodologies or intentions than the Democrats.  The party’s establishment is no less committed to having things their way by every foul trick on the planet than any Marxist we’ve ever witnessed.  What this instance had proved to me is that at the end of the line, there is no effective difference between them, excepting only the nature of the flocks each is attempting to herd, respectively.  I would have preferred it had been otherwise, and one might have hoped that seeing the state of things erupting in the convention, Romney himself might have interceded to stop the nonsense, but no, he did not, and some suggest, perhaps could not.  Either way, the effect of this power grab was to nullify the meaning of the convention as well as the meaning of the party.

What good is a political party that does not serve my long-held convictions, except occasionally and only by accident?   I have listened intently to those who have argued these last months that I should give Mitt Romney a chance, but when it came to it, when he should have been willing to give the party a chance, he did not, instead rigging things in his favor for the future.  One must then ask the question I had been pondering as Boehner swung the gavel, shedding no tears for the abominable despotism his actions exemplified:  If a man seeks an office but creates a set of rules under which it will be more difficult to challenge him in the future, what is his motive?

The only answer is that Mitt Romney wishes to rule without restraints.  He does not wish to be confined by a base that will make trouble for him if he fails to live up to the promises he has made.  He does not wish to be held  to account, or to even have his arm twisted when it comes to such things as appointments or executive orders, or even such bills as he may sign into law.  It is understandable that a politician would not wish to be accountable to people who had not supported him, but the truly baffling aspect of this case is that Romney does not wish to be accountable to people whose support he expects to garner in the coming election.  Once one considers the explicit meaning of this action, there really is no method by which to resolve it without concluding that Mitt Romney intends to govern not only in disregard of conservatives, but in contempt of them.

For opposing this, there are those who would label me a traitor should I withhold my vote from Mitt Romney in November.  It is at this point that I must say that while all must be free to do as their conscience dictates, I would ask those who wield this label to consider who it is that is committing a treason, and who is being faithful.  If one can become convicted of the notion that Mitt Romney’s actions express an ill intention toward conservatism, and if conservatism is the vital life-sustaining philosophy of our great nation, what must be the end result of Mitt Romney’s administration, if he wishes to govern without respect to those principles?

That is a question you ought to answer before you descend upon me with your charges of treason.  If the purpose of the conservative movement is to advance the philosophy of non-conservatives, then I will depart this movement for some other, or for my own.  I have no intention of surrendering my beliefs to a party of nothing.  If that offends you, you are free to depart.  I will not be cudgelled by scurrilous accusations about my commitment to this country and its future simply because I will not support Mitt Romney.  If you’re of a mind to cast these accusations, I’d suggest you consider instead your flexible, fungible standards in the cause of expediency before you begin to pummel me or others of similar mind. There is plenty of room under the big tent of the RNC convention, and what the Rules Committee made clear is that they’re going to keep it that way.

Note to readers:  As I mentioned earlier in the month, I will be out of town over the next week and I may not have time to post. Thank you for your patience as I attend to some family business.

WTF? Romney Camp Removes Two Florida Rules Committee Members

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, stop, look and listen! Read this story at FreedomWorks: Romney Camp Removing Rules Committee Members

This is absurd.  Now we have the spectacle of Romney’s camp pushing out Committee members?  What’s next?  Is Mitt Romney going to be the Republican version of Barack Obama?  Dictator?

I’m sorry to use such caustic language, but this is madness.

Go here, find your state’s rules committee members on this .PDF, and call, email and raise hell.  You have probably 90 minutes to save the GOP, if you still believe it’s worth saving.

The Power Grab Isn’t Over

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

If you’re not aware of Morton Blackwell’s letter to RNC delegates, I suggest strongly that you read it here.  As the controversy continues, there was on Monday night a so-called “compromise” floated that would strike Rule 15, the objectionable rule that would permit the party to dominate the State parties, but hidden behind all of this was the unchanged rule 12, that would permit the Party to change the rules at will.  In other words, they were willing to pull back the most obviously objectionable rule now, but maintain the rule that is a complete abomination in the long run.  This sort of trick is precisely the kind of thing we have come to expect from Democrats, and from the Obama administration.  As usual, Michelle Malkin is doing great work on keeping us updated on the state of all of this, but I must tell you that your input is required.  Read Mr. Blackwell’s letter.  Act accordingly. (RAISE HELL!)

If the GOP establishment has its way, our voices will be muffled and silenced.

Governor Palin has weighed-in too:

“We have to remember that this election is not just about replacing the party in power. It’s about who and what we replace it with. Grassroots conservatives know this. Without the energy and wisdom of the grassroots, the GOP would not have had the historic 2010 electoral victories. That’s why the controversial rule change being debated at the RNC convention right now is so very disappointing. It’s a direct attack on grassroots activists by the GOP establishment, and it must be rejected. Please follow the link to Michelle Malkin’s article about this.”

As I reported, the Republican establishment seems to be obsessed with dominating the grass roots, and this calls into question the future of the Republican Party. Rule 12 is Mitt Romney’s insurance policy against a primary challenge in 2016 if he moves too far to the left.  What leverage will the grass roots have if he were to appoint another Harriet Miers or to go along with some sort of modified Obama-care?  None.  It’s also the Bush Clan’s insurance policy if Romney fails in 2012.  Any way you look at this, it’s all about controlling the party from the smoke-filled rooms of political consultancy in Washington DC, leaving you in the dark as they feed you manure.  The GOP establishment prefers mushrooms.  It’s our job to force them into the light.

Update(8/28/2012 6:45am): Apparently, not satisfied with having tried to rig this, the establishment tried another dirty trick.  They sent details of the alleged compromise over rule 15/16 to the Hearst papers (via the Houston Chronicle,) but omitted the discussion of rule 12.  This was done to trick people into believing that the controversy was over, but it isn’t over. As long as rule 12 remains, the truth is that they will retain the ability to change the rules at any time.

Update(8/28/2012 7:15am):The truly unseemly part of this is the Chronicle’s attempt to refer to only “the Texas delegation” and “the Ron Paul delegates.”  There is much more involved in this than a few wild-eyed Ron Paul supporters. Washington (state) is supporting the minority report opposed to rule 12 also, and the possibility of an all-out floor fight continues. This is simply astonishing. They are hoping by associating this solely with Ron Paul supporters, you’ll shrug it off and walk away.  The fact is that rule 12 is a problem whomever you support, now or in the future, in 2016, and in perpetuity.

 

Becoming a Top-Down Party of Nothing

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Mitt's Party

Deciding to walk away from the Republican Party has relieved me of becoming an accomplice in convincing people that down is up, left is right, and that crap-loads are creme-puffs.  Mitt Romney’s insider attorney, Ben Ginsberg, a long-time servant of the Bush Clan has been rigging the process.  While grass-roots conservatives have been figuring out how they’re going to swallow the bitter pill of Mitt Romney, if we can at all, he’s been busy consolidating the party’s convention process to make sure that: A.) If elected, he will be able to ensure there is never a primary challenge no matter how far to the left he moves(as we know he will,) and B.) Even if he doesn’t get elected, that the Bush Clan will have clear sailing if they put up JEB in 2016.  What this set of rules changes represents is the Bush Clan Take-over Plan for the Republican Party, and for those of you who haven’t been keeping up, that’s not a good thing for conservatism.  This is the same cadre of moderate to liberal Republicans who have pursued unfailingly the same ends as the left, and if it isn’t stopped now, you might as just well begin plans to start your own party because you will have no voice among Republicans any longer.  It’s not often that I urge readers to action, but this is one of those times when you ought to be yelling at every delegate to the RNC whose ear you are able to bend.

Even now, the Texas delegation is joining the uprising in advance of critical rules committee votes, trying to turn the tide against these dastardly rule changes that are aimed squarely at depriving the grass-roots of the party a voice in future elections by substituting the will of party bosses in the smoke-filled rooms of political patronage and payback.  This is precisely the sort of thing about which every conservative should be appalled, but there’s no point in pretending there is a great deal of time remaining to turn this around.  It’s basically now, or never, and if you don’t seek to be heard tonight and early tomorrow, you never will be, and you will see that your party is reduced to a servant of the ruling machine.  This cannot be the direction any of us would like to see the Republican party go, and yet it will be dragged there as people like Bob Dole(R-KS) actually tell us that the party must make room for different philosophies.

“We have got to be open,” he said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph. “We cannot be a single-issue party or single-philosophy party”. He added: “There’s a big split in our party. There’s this undercurrent of rigid conservatism where you don’t dare not toe the line”.

Yes, there’s a big split, and it owes to people who talk from both sides of their mouths, Senator Dole. Take it from him, he knows how to lose like nobody’s business. Let us be blunt: If Republicans do not share even a single root philosophy, it isn’t a political party, but instead a block party.  What sort of befuddled rationalization permits Senator Dole to conclude that one can have a political party composed of people who not only vary on specific issues, but disagree in part or in whole on the principled basis on which one’s position on particular issues are formed?  What Dole is offering us is a vision of a Republican party in which anything goes.  No standards.  No qualifications.  No principles.  Nothing but loyalty to the party.   This multi-philosophy party he describes immediately seems a good deal like the Democrats.  No longer a philosophical or ideological consistency, but instead a coalition of vastly disparate groups that has as its driving motive a single idea: “Win at all costs.”  This is the establishment of a second party of nothing in progress.  Does Bob Dole think a party of nothing can win something?

Of course, the truth is that the GOP establishment has two major issues about which they are concerned, and would like to take off the table.  These issues are abortion, and amnesty.  Of course, they don’t really want to deal with the big entitlements, and they really don’t want to tackle the growth of the welfare state.  Come to think of it, they really don’t want to do much of anything about any pressing matter in any respect, except to keep it all going.  They aren’t capitalists, they aren’t conservatives, and they aren’t particularly concerned with law and order.  The more you think about it, the clearer it becomes that they haven’t a single issue in which they’re willing to fight, because at the end of the day, they don’t care about any issue so long as you vote for them, and as Ben Ginsberg has made clear, they will decide who shall be the approved candidates and you will damned-well like it.

Ladies and gentlemen, you can do what you will about this, for whatever good it may do.  You can do nothing, or you can rise up and make a stink.  I will simply tell you that I am burning up phone lines and the email servers of everybody I can think to contact.  This is a shocking denigration of all the efforts of all the Tea Party folk, all the people who have turned out to support Republicans in 2010, and all those who have participated in trying to recapture the country from the runaway villains in the Democrat Party.  You’re being shafted again.  It’s as simple as that, and any argument to the contrary is simply the bleating of sheep who simply haven’t the heart for the fight.

I had been a Republican because I wanted to stand firmly for the issues we conservatives hold dear, and to stand with my fellow Americans in defense of our constitution, but under current management, the party is being turned into a party of nothing, and as the well-worn line admonishes us, “if you won’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” The other practical matter is that a party of nothing must ultimately become the party of no one.  The Republican Party is taking a firm step in that direction, and I am running, not walking, in the opposite direction.  If you find no satisfaction upon registering your complaints with your respective states’ delegations, I hope you will join me.  This entire procedure is despicable, but not satisfied at having rigged the process in Romney’s favor over the last year of the current election cycle, the same old crowd is rigging it in perpetuity, but their motive is clear: They don’t wish to have any reason whatever to listen to you.

 See Update Here

Confessions of an Electorate: When VP Picks Matter

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

When VP Picks Matter

In 1980, Ronald Reagan selected George H.W. Bush as his running mate.  The electorate yawned.  In 1988, George H.W. Bush selected Dan Quayle as his running mate.  Again, the electorate was unmoved.  In 2000, when George W. Bush selected Dick Cheney as his running mate, there was some discussion about the importance of Cheney, but most shrugged and went on.  In 1996, and again in 2008, but also now in 2012, everybody was really excited about the running mate selections.  In 1996, Bob Dole’s pick of Jack Kemp was going to rescue the Kansas Senator’s campaign.  In 2008, John McCain wisely chose a woman who had the ability to move the base, though his own staff seemed to sabotage him.  This bit of historical truth should be considered carefully as the Republican party faithful prepare to descend on Tampa for their Presidential nominating convention.  In 2012, Mitt Romney has chosen Paul Ryan in an attempt to ignite the base, but I’d like you to consider the nature of the picks and their relative importance to their respective campaigns, and what they confess to the electorate about their candidates:  Only when the party’s nominee is a weak candidate does the Vice Presidential pick matter much at all.

The elder Bush could have won having picked Mickey Mouse when running against Michael Dukakis in 1988, and Ronald Reagan could have picked Caspar Milquetoast in 1980(and in fact, some say he did.)  The salient point to take away from the excitement about the Vice Presidential pick by Mitt Romney isn’t that he chose Paul Ryan, so much as it is the fact that it matters who he picked.  Think about it:  Vice Presidential picks only matter when the Presidential candidate is desperately weak.  It’s why Biden doesn’t matter.  What this entire episode should tell you is what most conservatives will have known already:  Just as in 2008, we have a weak presidential candidate, and the importance of the Vice Presidential pick has grown only by way of compensation.

Consider the pressure brought to bear on Sarah Palin in 2008.  She had the unenviable chore of trying to excite a base that was mostly disgusted with John McCain.  The truth of the matter is that without Gov. Palin on the ticket, McCain would have lost by larger margins.  His own campaign’s staff, primarily Steve Schmidt, concocted a notion to suspend the campaign to deal with the financial crisis.  This action sank McCain, but Palin, being the fighter and champion of all things America refused to yield and almost rescued McCain from his own staff.  Almost.  The problem is that Sarah Palin shouldn’t have mattered so much.  The only reason she did is because McCain himself was such a terrible candidate.  There will be those who become angered with me for stating it this bluntly, but if Sarah Palin mattered so much, it meant also that McCain himself mattered too little.

Observe the hysteria of Saturday morning after it went out via the Romney-app that Paul Ryan would be the pick.  Consider that there had been such an application for smart-phones at all.  What does this tell you about the relative importance of the Romney VP pick?  It was crucial.  It’s Romney’s last big push to bring resistant conservatives along, and this matters.  It doesn’t matter, however, because it’s a good choice or bad choice, but only because the fact that it matters at all reflects the weakness of the top of the ticket.  I would ask my conservative and Republican friends, preparing to head to Tampa, Florida in body or spirit for the RNC convention:  If the VP pick matters this much, isn’t there still time to pick a new ticket?  The truth is that there is time, but the problem is that few will think outside of the box Romney has constructed for them.  Most will accept this Vice Presidential pick with unthinking adulation, but we conservatives really must elevate our game if we are going to rescue the country.

The importance of the VP selection in some elections signifies a sort of confession, not only by the campaign, but also by the electorate, about their general assessment of the candidate in question.  Mitt Romney’s VP pick matters only because there are so many lingering, long-held doubts about Romney himself.  The same was true of McCain in 2008, and we shouldn’t expect a different result.  When you consider the Republican presidential nominees of the last thirty-two years, the only time a Vice Presidential pick mattered to any great degree had been instances when the party’s nominee was desperately weak vis-à-vis the competition.  In each of those cases, Republicans lost the election.  In 2000, when Cheney had mattered more than a little, and Lieberman had mattered also, it was predictable that we would see a campaign fought out between two inferior candidates, with the victor being the candidate whose VP pick mattered least.  Advantage Bush.

This should give conservatives and Republicans a moment of pause.  History’s formula is clear:  If the VP pick matters, it is only because the Presidential nominee is weak, and weak nominees generally beget defeat.  Jack Kemp was a great guy, and Sarah Palin really is a phenomenon, and Paul Ryan seems to be a decent politician, so this isn’t really about them, as the bottom of their respective tickets.  It’s about the top of the ticket, and the problem is the same in all three cases.  When there comes to be this much focus on who the Vice Presidential candidate will be, it is as good as a confession by the campaign and also by the electorate on the weakness of the top of the ticket.  Republicans may go to Tampa with their heads in the clouds if they like, buoyed by the selection of Paul Ryan, but if you’re serious about winning, you’ll take the time to confess at least to yourself what all of this chatter of the importance of the VP pick really means.  It isn’t good.

 

Poor Paul Ryan…

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Mitt Keeps Tight Grip

Mitt Romney has announced his running mate, selecting seven-term Congressman Paul Ryan(R-WI) to fill the post. While I like Paul Ryan, I don’t think this choice will change the trajectory of this campaign, and like Sarah Palin in 2008, he may be the campaign’s biggest individual victim. Ryan has been inside Washington DC for nearly two decades now, a creature of the establishment who has worked for various well-known figures including Jack Kemp, William Bennett, Sam Brownback and others before kicking off his Congressional career.  Ryan is a technocrat in some respects, and while he is modestly conservative, his conservatism seems focused in the fiscal arena.  He’s been depicted by Democrats in television ads as the guy who pushed Grandma (in a wheelchair, no less) over a cliff.  What does he bring to the ticket?  Is Paul Ryan enough to save Romney from himself and a heretofore inept campaign?  Paul Ryan may be a nice guy, but is that enough in the face of a relentless attack the likes of which the Obama campaign is launching as I write?  I have my doubts, because running mates can’t overcome the inherent shortcomings of the top of the ticket, as the selection of Palin in 2008 proved, since even her talent wasn’t enough to overcome terrible advisers.  Can Ryan avoid the same fate?

Some might argue that what Ryan brings to the ticket is youth but also reliability.  After all, the seven-term Congressman has been toiling on budgetary matters for most of his career, and in the last number of years, he’s been focused on entitlements as the single largest factor in our continued deficits, and the consequent explosion in our national debt.  He was a fierce critic of Obama-care, laying out all of the ways in which it would explode our deficit, costing far more than promised by President Obama.  His willingness to tackle the entitlements issue when others ran for the tall grass earns him a gold star, and everybody should see this video of Ryan facing off with the President, explaining that hiding costs doesn’t reduce spending:

Romney is looking for a safe pick.  He wants a running mate who won’t embarrass him, but of course, Gov. Romney does enough of that on his own.  While in Norfolk,VA to officially launch his campaign, introducing Paul Ryan, Romney introduced Ryan as the “Next President of the United States…”  (We should be so lucky.)

Romney wanted a safe pick, and he got one.  Ryan is safe in every way an establishment Republican thinks is safe, but he isn’t a particularly charismatic or inspiring fellow.  He certainly seems like a nice enough fellow, but historical Republican losing tickets are littered with nice guys as running mates.  Dan Quayle is a nice guy.  Jack Kemp was a really nice guy.  What Romney’s ticket had needed was a bit more than a nice guy, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Paul Ryan except that he will not provide the boost Romney’s campaign needs.

Naturally, the Democrats were right out of the box with attacks on Ryan’s foreign policy experience, and true to form, Romney’s team countered with perhaps the most pathetic response ever:

“The ticket is no different than Obama and Biden.”

In the end, this may be why I agree with Mr. L on the 2012 election:

If the Romney campaign is going to defend Ryan’s lack of military and foreign policy experience on this basis, they’re going to lose. Who is running the Romney campaign?  To me, it looks like a re-run of 2008, with the weakest possible nominee, and a rising conservative lion in the role of sacrificial lamb.

I like Paul Ryan, and in fact, I like him too well to see him sacrificed on the altar of another losing campaign.  Just as Sarah Palin was sliced and diced by a dishonest press working on behalf of a desperate Obama campaign in 2008, I think we’re going to see the same thing in 2012 with Paul Ryan, although I doubt they could match their venom of 2008.  Why is it that for the second presidential campaign in succession, I have the distinct feeling that the Republican ticket should be flipped?

Of course, there’s one inescapable conclusion to be drawn from all of this, and it references those who Gov. Palin might consider part of the “permanent political class” of Washington DC, who move from campaign to campaign, party to party, back and forth and around again: It seems the same bunch is running the show in 2012 for the Republicans.  I noticed Elliot Abrams, who wrote a disgusting anti-Gingrich screed earlier this year was briefing Paul Ryan on foreign policy.  I noticed Andrea Saul, who worked for McCain in 2008, is doing Romney no favors in 2012.  It seems like the Romney campaign has hired many of the same faces who have remained behind the scenes, infecting Washington DC for a generation, and they all have something in common:  They know how to fight against conservatives, but they seem less than sincere in their fight against leftists.  One can only imagine why.

 Note to regular readers: Thank you for your prayers and get-well wishes as I’ve been recovering from an eye injury.  It’s still pretty sore, but on the mend. Thank you!

Is Mitt Romney Running For President, or Dog-Catcher?

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

Does He Understand?

I listen to the pundits. I ignore many of them, but the reason I do so is because so many are merely servants of an agenda, having abandoned the truth. I realize no commentator can be right every time, but it’s easier to be correct in one’s judgments if one cares even slightly about facts, rather than pushing an agenda. I’m a conservative, so of course, I tend to see things through the lens of conservatism, and what that means is that I sometimes err like anybody else in media who offers an opinion, because occasionally, I let my wishes come between me and the facts. I’ve been wrong about some things, and bluntly, I will be wrong about some more, but there are a few things about which I hope to be wrong, while being virtually certain that I am right. This is one of those cases: Even if conservatives manage to drag Mitt Romney across the finish line first, his presidency would be remarkable only in its mediocrity, but more importantly, I do not believe Romney can win since he is conducting the campaign of a man running for dog-catcher, rather than for the office of the President of the United States.

If you’ve ever lived in a small town, you know how the local elections there frequently go. They can sometimes become aggressive affairs, but more often, the candidates are only vaguely partisan, and mostly non-ideological because it’s generally more important to accommodate a larger proportion of the populace and thus ensure election than to take on difficult issues or matters that may have no direct bearing on the office. This is the campaign Mitt Romney is attempting to run, and he’s staying well away from issues and topics that could alienate this group or that, but that have no direct bearing on the immediate job of being President. The problem with this approach is not that it can’t work, but that it’s made for a different level of politics. The presidency is an office that ultimately deals with virtually every issue in one way or another, and since the President lives in a virtual fishbowl of news coverage, there’s almost nothing a president can say that isn’t examined, folded, spindled and mutilated as people look for deeper meanings, but because of this, a President must be aware of virtually every issue, particularly those that are “hot” in current coverage, because the press is apt to ask about them at some point.

The other significant difference is that when you’re running for dog-catcher in AnyTown, USA, you’re not expected to take a position on global warming, or to wax philosophic on the notion of manned space flight. They want to know if you’ll catch dogs, and why you’ll be better at it than the other guy, but there’s no real need to get into deep philosophical discussions about it. You’re expected to shut up and catch dogs. As President, a whole nation, and indeed, a whole world looks to you to stake out a position, and they expect you to do it in a timely fashion, when your position might hold some sway. When Barack Obama said nothing about the uprising in Iran until Iranian dissidents had begun to be slaughtered, part of the reason for Iran’s slightly delayed oppression was undoubtedly due to their waiting to see what the new American President might say. When it was clear he’d say nothing, and do nothing to bring down international heat on the regime, they felt secure to begin reprisals.

In much the same way, Mitt Romney has held his tongue on far too many issues, passing up opportunities to make greater philosophical points during the course of the campaign. He never failed to hammer away at his Republican opponents, but now that he’s facing Obama, it seems as though he’s gone weak in the knees. True, he has had his moments, but the problem is that’s all they’ve been: Fleeting, stillborn interjections of passion that only hinted at a deeper conviction on any subject. The American people expect more, and they fully expect that their President will stake out positions that are more substantially ideological than most pundits admit. It’s not “red meat” as so many condescending commentators contend, but instead that people want to hear the ideological consistency that takes one the full distance from A to Z. This is what Mitt Romney has lacked, and it’s going to hurt him come November, whatever the Republican pundits may say to the contrary. In short, the American people are waiting for Romney to make a solid, irrefutable case, and it must be about more than economics and statistics.

Most of the American people are not fools, and they know there is more broken with the country than what a litany of economic statistics will reveal. They know there is a moral crisis, but many of them are unsure about how to characterize that crisis, or to explain with any precision how it is to be addressed. They don’t know where or how to begin, and the problem has become so great that they have no confidence in politicians to fix it, and given the average of this crop of politicians with which we’ve been cursed, it’s easy to understand their misgivings. Mitt Romney, or indeed any candidate who would seek to oust Barack Obama must be willing to say what it is about Obama’s policies that is hurting the country, but also explain the philosophy that gave rise to those policies, comprising their central motive.

This is the problem with Mitt Romney’s line about Obama being “in over his head.” That is a vague expression that barely scratches the surface of the problem with Barack Obama. If only it were a matter of incompetence, it would be easier to retire him to Chicago next January, but he’s not Jimmy Carter. He’s infinitely worse, and he’s worse precisely because while Carter was a mix of nine parts of incompetence and one part malice, Barack Obama’s philosophy and the policies it spawns are 100% pure malevolence. When you are faced with a killer wielding a gun in random bursts of violence, you do not rally people to oppose him by claiming he had been merely incompetent to bear arms. You must tell the people the truth, and that truth is that “this guy is going to kill you, or as many of you as he is able, if you don’t take him down.” When faced with a killer, moral equivocation is not only a terrible strategy, but a lethal capitulation.

Barack Obama’s policies are killing America, and there is every evidence that it is being done with malice aforethought. That Mitt Romney continues to conduct his campaign solely on the basis that he’ll be better at catching dogs is an admission that he’s really not willing to fight for the country, and the reason for this can only be that he’s incapable or unwilling. Which of these do we expect will be acceptable to the great body of the American electorate? If Mitt Romney does not learn to make the case and make it unflinchingly, he is going to lose this election, and we will be faced with the ghastly proposition of four years of unparalleled malice directed at the American people. This is not the time for tepid leadership, and but for those rare moments, that’s all Governor Romney has offered. If he’s to defeat Barack Obama, he cannot do so by default. He must challenge the moral basis of Barack Obama’s philosophy, but since Romney will not even name it, I do not see how victory will be possible. After all, if he will not name it, how can the American people be expected to take him seriously, or to understand by hints what case Mitt Romney is trying to make?

Romney lives in fear of bad press and ridicule in establishment media, but if he’s to stand any chance of winning, he can no longer afford to mince words by way of “playing it safe.” Otherwise, he stands the chance of appearing afraid to make his case openly, and Americans will begin to wonder why. The old saying is “nothing ventured, nothing gained,” and if Mitt Romney doesn’t begin to venture outside his safe zone soon, this race will be over. You’d think a capitalist would know that.

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Mitt Chickens Out

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Hiding From Issues?

Perhaps we shouldn’t be astonished, and maybe we should have expected this from the Republican “presumptive nominee,” but I don’t understand it: Why is Mitt Romney unwilling to take a stand on something so obvious as the matter of Chick-fil-A?  Todd Starnes has reported that Mitt Romney has decided to avoid the issue, rather than confront it, and that while he was at it, he declined to comment on the case of Michele Bachmann’s interest in seeing certain people in the Obama administration investigated as to their ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.  Honestly, I can’t imagine why Mitt Romney has decided to demur on these two issues, apart from the cowardice that has generally characterized his overall campaign.  Tweeting about the matter, Starnes said he thought Romney needs a new communications team, but to be blunt about it, I don’t think one can fix this problem by changing his communications team.  This is about the candidate himself, and his unwillingness to touch anything with the first hint of controversy attached to it.  Will this be the manner of a Romney administration, and if so, for what purpose are we electing him? To run and hide?  To “chicken-out?”

I realize that a candidate for President is trying to walk a tight-rope between public opinion and attention, but this seems to me to have been a no-brainer, particularly where the Chick-fil-A matter is concerned.  One might guess that Willard doesn’t want to risk alienating potential voters who find the personal opinions and convictions of Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy objectionable, but one wonders if that’s the point.  After all, the matter of Chick-fil-A is more about free speech, freedom of conscience, and the attempt of the fascists of the left to bully a company into submission, and the Appreciation Day, a wild success on Wednesday, was all about standing up against this sort of philosophical dictatorship.  It was also a blow against those who attack business in any case, applying politics as a wedge against companies and those who run them.  That Mitt Romney was unwilling to go on the record on this issue is a matter of pure cowardice that demonstrates Romney’s unfitness for the office.  How can you lead the free world if you are unwilling to take a stand on free speech, freedom of religion, and harassment of businesses on the basis of their owners’ beliefs?

The issue of the conservative five, with Bachmann taking the brunt of the pro-Jihadi attacks, is another disgusting matter of surrender, but this one pervades the entirety of the GOP establishment, because it steps on too many toes.  None seem willing to take on tax-reform advocate and friend of Islam, Grover Norquist, and his influence within the Republican establishment causes many insiders to squirm about the issue of radical Islamists making inroads into our government, our culture, and our polity.  This writer grimly notes that while John McCain was attacking Michele Bachmann for daring to ask a question about Secretary of State Clinton’s top aid, Huma Abedin, Mitt Romney neither defended Bachmann nor would even acknowledge the issue.  Why not?  This is a matter of national security, and that ought to be something about which a would-be President should be concerned.  Instead, from Romney, we get obfuscation.

I don’t expect a Presidential nominee of the Republican party to respond to every issue, but it would be nice that when serious issues arise, the “presumptive nominee” might find his…voice… and say something useful on the subject.  This has been the repetitive behavior of Mitt Romney since he announced his campaign, avoiding the issue of the debt ceiling increase until it was a fait accompli, and refusing also to discuss the criminality of Eric Holder and Operation Fast and Furious until such time as virtually every other living Republican had come out to denounce Holder and finally call for his resignation.  Romney is being careful, to the extent that he has begun to run what looks like an NFL “prevent defense,” intended to prevent any game-changing mistakes late in the game, but almost invariably leading to defeat by an accumulation of a series of lesser mistakes, any of which would be insignificant on their own, but that in the aggregate prove lethal.

I am desperately afraid for my country, because we now enter the last few months of this election cycle, and it is imperative that we remove Barack Obama from office, but my fear is multiplied by a candidate who seems unwilling to confront the wider base of political philosophy upon which his arguments ought to have been based.  Worse, as he is frittering away opportunities to speak on behalf of the American people in criticism of leftists and their collaborators, he seems also to be directing Congress to undertake anything at all that would be necessary to avoid a significant conflict.  This showed up not only in the matter of the appointments bypass bill, but also in the latest continuing resolution.

My suggestion to Mitt Romney is one he will ignore.  One of his best moments thus far had been when he took on the President’s nonsense about capitalism, and the idea that “you didn’t build that.”  What he should do is to man-up, and start confronting these issues.  If he wants to get the conservative base to the polls on his behalf in November, he’d better begin to attack on a wider range of issues.  He needs to ridicule President Obama, often and savagely, because only in Washington DC, in academia, and among leftist groups is Barack Obama anything but a truly broken figure.  He should begin taking on the broader philosophical base of the left, addressing the wide and varied issues that signify not only our economic morass, but also our cultural decline.  If he doesn’t begin to do this, and soon, he will begin to lose ground, as many conservatives continue to wait, more desperately each day, for a candidate whose voice echos their concerns.  Thus far, Mitt Romney is an incomplete candidate, and it his preternatural fear of losing that may prevent him from victory in November.  At this stage in the game, chickening-out simply won’t do.

 

 

 

 

One-Half of One-Third of the People Screwing Us [Again]

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Boehner and the Boys

There must be something in the water in Washington DC, and I think it’s about 80 proof.  Speaker John Boehner has led the abandonment of principle once again, and I can’t believe these are allegedly our guys.  This evening, the rotten Republican leadership sent down the word that Republicans ought to support a bill that eliminates Senate confirmation for an additional 169 Executive branch positions, meaning that they just let Barack Obama have his way with 169 more positions he can fill, unchecked by Congress, and able to appoint the most maniacal leftists he can dig up.  Thankfully, it was a roll-call vote, and you can look to see how your Representative voted.  My own Representative voted “Aye” on this hogwash, and before this evening is over, his office is going to hear about it, and tomorrow, his offices both in the district and in DC are going to hear about it.  The purpose of confirmations is that there should be Congressional oversight on these appointments so no President can become too powerful.  Boehner and the boys just voted to reduce their own power but according to Mark Levin’s sources, there’s a reason they did so:  Mitt Romney told them to do it on the basis that he would like it if he were to become President.  What?!?

The purpose of this collection of elected jack-wagons is not to dispense with the Constitution, or to weaken the legislative branch on the basis that somebody from their party might become President at some date in the future.  It is their job to protect and defend the constitution, and that means to uphold its intent, which includes the Congressional responsibility of oversight over Presidential appointments.  Who in the world do these people think they are?  It’s not their job to “remove obstructions” to the process.  For the love of Pete, why don’t Boehner and McConnell just get together with Obama and give him all power of Congress, since Mitt Romney might want to be dictator someday?  This is preposterous.  It truly is disheartening, but more than that, it’s a bit more evidence that we cannot salvage the Republican party.  It’s broken.  It doesn’t represent us in many cases, and it certainly doesn’t represent our interests when our elected Republican majority throws we and our constitution under the bus in the name of expedience.

Others may take a somewhat less terse approach, but I no longer give a damn about holding back “for the sake of party unity.”    When they sell us out, I am going to scream it.  What party unity?  The only “unity” I see in this matter is that between John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Hussein Obama: They’re united against us!  I heard part of Mark Levin’s commentary on this, so I’ve decided to share it with you.

Clips 1 & 2:

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Ladies and gentlemen, if you want to know what’s wrong with the Republican party, look nowhere beyond this instance of dire stupidity.  Or is it something else?  Barack Obama is a dangerous thug wearing the office of President like the robes of a king, and yet the Republican leadership in the House just gave him a pass on 169 appointments.  Their excuse is that Romney wanted it?  What if Romney doesn’t win???

Even if Romney does, do we want him filling those jobs without Congressional oversight, or the ability of the American people to call their Senators to object to appointments?  What happens when Romney begins filling these jobs with RINOs?  What happens when he fills them with more of his friends, in payment for their support?  What are we to do then?  I’ll tell you:  We should thank John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell and all the other all-star losers in the Republican party who voted for this garbage.

Your voice as a check on the power of the Presidency is being stolen from you, but the they’re not finished.  They intend to bypass the confirmation process for up to an additional 270 positions.  That’s 440 total possible instances in which some President will have no need to worry that he’s appointing a louse, whether it’s the current jerk, or some future occupant of that office.  Do you not see what they are doing to us?  Do you not realize it?  They are systematically converting the courts and the Congress into a mechanical auto-pen for the office of the President.  In short, they’re building a dictatorship, and I don’t much care whether the dictator has a “D” or an “R” behind the name.  It matters not one whit to our liberty what party a tyrant might claim.

The Republican establishment is a part of the disease in Washington DC, and with incidents like this, it’s becoming apparent that they’re the larger part.  Obama and the Democrats can only get away with this because guys like Romney, Boehner, and McConnell let them, and this sell-out is a prime example.

We pay the price, every time.

This isn’t about Mitt Romney.  This is about the separation of powers under our constitution, and the role of the Senate in confirming Presidential appointees.  It doesn’t matter that Mitt Romney may become President.  It doesn’t matter if Ronald Reagan were to rise and somehow become President again.  This is a bad idea, no matter who the President is, and the fact is that at present, the occupant of that office is Barack Obama, and it may just be him again.  Defending the separation of powers is something our Congress ought to do, and on Tuesday evening, the Republican “leadership” in Washington DC failed us again.

 

 

 

Shooting-Off Again: Dick Cheney Leads the Attack… on Sarah Palin

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Still Mad, Dick?

Bless his heart, but Dick Cheney really stepped in it this time.  I want to know why the former Vice President is attacking Sarah Palin. We were all sickened when leftists publicly wished he would die, or be denied the heart transplant that has extended his life, but apparently, Vice President Cheney has no heart left for common-sense conservatives, or for the lady who bore the brunt of the left’s most vicious attacks in 2008, since he now adds to them.  Having been the frequent target of the left’s senseless harangues, one would expect that Cheney would know better, but it’s apparent that a decade in Congress, four years as Secretary of Defense, and eight years as the Vice President haven’t made him any smarter.  If I were a leftist comic, I would take the opportunity to remind readers that Cheney has a history of shooting at the wrong target.  Asked by Jonathan Karl of ABC News what advice he would offer about the process of selecting a VP candidate, given 2008 as an example, he said this:

“The test to get on that small list has to be, ‘Is this person capable of being president of the United States?’”

True enough, but then he said:

“I like Governor Palin. I’ve met her. I know her. She – attractive candidate. But based on her background, she’d only been governor for, what, two years. I don’t think she passed that test…of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake.”

As is the current fashion in the media, ABC used the occasion of Mitt Romney’s impending VP pick to launch an attack on the former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, and predictably, this representative of the Bush administration and of the GOP establishment crowd wouldn’t miss an opportunity to get his digs in.  Mark Levin was so annoyed by it that he posted to Facebook on the subject, and he’s right to be upset with the former Vice President.  After all, what is served by attacking Sarah Palin?  What’s in it for Cheney?  I believe Cheney’s criticism of Sarah Palin reveals something ugly about the Republican establishment, but also their basic view of the Presidency. In their view, the Presidency and Vice Presidency should never be held by “amateurs,” a.k.a., “non-insiders.”

When Cheney said he thinks Sarah Palin hadn’t “passed that test…of being ready to take over,” what he’s stating bluntly is that she was not qualified to be President.  There are likely millions who would disagree vociferously with that assessment, and Cheney’s criticism is one we ought to examine because he had held that office, but we should not fail to turn the question on him:  Was Dick Cheney qualified to hold that office?  Some would argue that from the moment he first exhibited substantial health difficulties, Cheney should have stepped down as Vice President, permitting President George W Bush to replace him.  After all, if something terrible or unfortunate had happened to the President, the health of the Vice President, then unceremoniously elevated to the Presidency,  would have been of immediate concern for the country.

Americans expect is their leaders will do the most responsible thing in pressing situations, but Dick Cheney failed that test.  Whatever the objections of President Bush may have been at the time, Cheney should have stepped down, for the sake of the country, if for no other reason.  He didn’t.  He could have done the responsible thing, and nobody in the country would have blamed him had he stepped aside due to ill health, and a frightening heart condition that could have claimed him at any time.  He’d have enjoyed the sympathies of millions who would have respected him for doing the responsible thing, and yet he failed that test.

While Dick Cheney gives interviews to ABC News, Sarah Palin has been out on the campaign trail doing the hard work of getting out the vote for common-sense, constitutional, conservative candidates.  Dick Cheney is giving interviews to mainstream media outlets to attack Sarah Palin.  To me, one of the most important qualifications for either the job of President or Vice President is to exhibit leadership.  What is Dick Cheney leading?  An assault on Sarah Palin?  What is Sarah Palin leading, and what has she recently led?  In 2010, she helped to lead the battle to retake the House of Representatives, and in 2012, she is helping to lead the charge to retake the Senate.  Meanwhile, Dick Cheney gives interviews offering advice to Mitt Romney on his forthcoming VP pick.  While the country is burning down around us, this is the battle in which GOP insiders like Cheney wish to engage? Nobody stops to turn the question around and ask Cheney about his qualifications, which are assumed to have been sufficient:

Cheney states: “She’d only been governor for, what, two years.”

Question: How many years was Cheney governor of a state?  Answer: None.

Cheney headed the Department of Defense under George H.W. Bush, but that’s a largely bureaucratic position more than one of leadership.  Leon Panetta is the current Secretary of Defense.  Is Panetta qualified for the presidency?  Cheney was a legislator, first and foremost, and an insider who elevated himself within the House of Representatives.  Is this the qualification for President?  Cheney was never an inspirational figure.  Did this qualify him for that office?  After all, it was Cheney who had helped to select Vice Presidential candidates before, including in 1976, and again in 2000, when he headed the search committee, but himself got the nod from George W. Bush.  It was also Cheney who was campaign manager for the Ford Campaign in 1976, and he served as Ford’s chief of staff.  I don’t know how any of that qualified him to be Vice President, or President, but if Sarah Palin ever decides she wants some advice on how to be a DC insider or political hanger-on, she should immediately contact Dick Cheney, as in this at least, one might conclude that he had been eminently qualified.

It’s not my intention here to drag Dick Cheney’s name through the mud, but I must repeat Mark Levin’s question: “Why does Dick Cheney feel the need to attack Sarah Palin?”  Cheney is an insider.  Way back in 1976, it was Cheney at the GOP convention who helped to make sure that Gerald Ford was the Republican nominee, but not Ronald Reagan.  The GOP establishment is rightly sensing a bit of a revolt forming in the rank-and-file, as many conservatives are not altogether thrilled with the presumptive Republican party nominee.  He knows there is a move afoot to ditch Mitt Romney at the convention, and he sees Sarah Palin as one of the threats to the Romney ascendancy because the grass roots of the party loves her. Whatever happens in this election cycle, it is the aim of the establishment to be sure that none but another member of the extended Bush clan rise to the nomination in 2016.  Hammering away at Sarah Palin now, in 2012, helps to solidify the notion that Governor Palin is a political has-been, and one who was never qualified for the office in the first place.

That’s garbage, but in the perceptions-driven game of politics, it contributes another few slashes in the death of one-thousand cuts.  The GOP establishment doesn’t want a Palin candidacy, now or any time in the future, and it perturbs them greatly as the collective hive-mind of the anointed class that at present, the most effective spokesperson for rank-and-file Republicans is a woman they would rather have us all forget.  Sarah Palin brought big oil to heel as Governor of her state, forcing them to live up to contracts with the state of Alaska on which they had been dallying interminably.  She exposed and throttled crooks in both parties, including the state’s own GOP establishment.  None of that sits well with the Washington crowd of which Cheney is an undeniable part.

Whatever Governor Palin’s electoral potential in the future, I find it simply astonishing that a man who had virtually nothing to recommend him as a potential President of the United States other than his appointed proximity to that office now offers Mitt Romney counsel on who to pick as his VP, and in so doing, sets out to demolish the party’s last nominee for that post.  It’s a despicable bit of politicking on Cheney’s part, and it is in such instances as this one that cause many in the grass-roots to wonder about the motives of the establishment.  It is Cheney, as part of Washington DC’s permanent political class that symbolizes the problem.  From his first day working inside the Beltway as an intern for Congressman William Steiger in 1969 until present, Cheney has been hooked into DC politics. Forty years of his influence in Washington is more than enough.  Until we begin to discard these insiders, we will never get very far in restoring our republic.

His opinion on Governor Palin was offered up as another propaganda victory to the left, as it was the sort of answer Jonathan Karl had been seeking.   An old Washington insider like Cheney couldn’t possibly have fallen into a trap of that sort, so this was said with the full intention of malice, and the manner in which it was said makes it clear there is plenty of that left in Dick Cheney’s heart.

(I suppose this evinces also the fact that one can change one’s heart but still not alter one’s mind, however small the latter chore might have been.)

 

 

It’s True: Bush Did It; Obama’s Finishing the Job

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

He Signed a Lot of Liberal Laws

As Senator Jeff Sessions(R-AL) made plain on last Thursday’s Mark Levin Show, George W. Bush in 2002 signed into law an act that made foreign nationals from Mexico eligible for food-stamps. That’s some damned-good “compassionate conservatism,” don’t you think?  What this reveals is more evidence of what I’ve been arguing right along:  What is killing our country is the unwillingness of conservatives to stand on strict principle, and the intentional undermining of conservatives by establishment Republicans at every turn.  I listened to Dr. Levin launch a tirade aimed at the policies of the former President and those like him, as well as at the government of Mexico for several minutes.  He was right in virtually every detail, and he was right to feel betrayed and put-upon by the people who are supposed to be on our side, but with all due respect to the radio giant and conservative beacon, he missed a few things.  I do not intend here to criticize Levin, but I want instead to show conservatives how he had erred, not in his appraisal of the facts, but instead regarding what we ought to do about them.  Dr. Levin’s error is the inevitable result of the contradictions too many conservatives accept,  even those with the intellectual clarity to have known better:  There is no compromise possible between liberty and tyranny, whatever one’s excuses for the latter.

Here’s the clip:

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Nearing the conclusion of his justifiable tirade, Dr. Levin began to speak of Mitt Romney.  He offered:

“I sure as Hell hope that if Romney is elected President, that he doesn’t pull these stunts.”

As Dr. Levin said this, in my own mind, there issued a challenge to the Great One:

“What if he does pull these stunts, Mark?  What will you do?  Not vote for him in 2016?”

Yeah, right…

You see, this is emblematic of why we conservatives have lost much(if not all) of our power within the Republican party.  They’ve called our bluff too many times, and on far too many of those occasions, we have gone along despite our protests.  We always rationalize it in terms of “saving the country” from this liberal demon or that leftist monster, but the fact is that when it comes down to it, we are the ones who have blinked, time and time again.  Anybody who had been confused about the matter should see it plainly now:  Conservatives have been neutered in this manner because we have largely demurred from carrying out our threatened walk-outs.   We lose our spines, the walk-outs never materialize, and therefore, we are seen by the party establishment as mere paper tigers to be managed, but never respected, let alone feared.

You might say to me “but Mark, really, we simply must win, because we won’t survive four more years of Barack Obama. The country won’t survive.”  You may be right, but then again, you may not be.  It could be argued that the country is already dead in constitutional and cultural terms, and Levin is among those who has effectively articulated that very argument.  In 2000, I was assured by establishment Republicans that if Al Gore won the presidency, the country would be over, but I told the person with whom I argued that if George W. Bush was elected, it wouldn’t be much different.  Yes, Gore would have pushed the enviro-fascist agenda harder, but then at least the Republican Congress would have opposed him.  Yes, Gore would have tried some of the same tactics of executive fiat that Obama has tried, but again, at least the Republican majority in both Houses of Congress at the time would have been more inclined to do battle with him.  They didn’t oppose George Bush as he extended the power of the presidency through ever more extra-constitutional power grabs.  Instead, we had a Republican President who had a majority Republican Congress for six of his eight years, and he did immeasurable damage to our republic, whether you’re willing to acknowledge it or not.  Yes, he defended the country after 9/11, and yes, he commanded honorably in his role as commander-in-chief, but he had many failings, and the weight of those failings multiplied by the gargantuan multiplier of Obama now smothers us.

To have signed into law a bill that provided for food-stamps benefits to illegal alien Mexican nationals was a crime against every tax-paying citizen in this country, and to all those who will be forced to pay for it over the next several generations, assuming the country survives as a political compartment.  He expanded other social programs as well, created vast new bureaucracies, and otherwise set the stage for everything Barack Obama has done to further the damage ever since he assumed the presidency in 2009.  One might argue that Bush had been well-meaning, but as you know by now, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and it doesn’t much matter whether they’re born in the mind of somebody with an “R” or a “D” after their names.  This is perhaps the single greatest contradiction faced by conservatives like Dr. Levin, who also have good and honorable intentions, and who usually are able to see the folly in pursuing them.

Levin lamented the fact that this isn’t a mere safety net any longer.  He implied that it was instead something monstrous, and he’s right, but let me say to the good Dr. Levin, certainly one of the most talented advocates for our constitution:  There is no rational place in which to draw a line once you begin to build a publicly-funded safety net.  The march of Progressivism throughout the 20th and 21st centuries has proven it, if you needed evidence.  In the early days of our republic, some of our early Presidents drew a firm line when Congress would undertake to create some compassionate measure intended to provide relief to this class or that, always on some construction of the concept that somehow, it could be limited, and that it could be justified in moral terms.  I am here to tell you that it cannot be true that safety nets can be limited and specific, because the primitive nature of pre-humanity is to seek the path of least resistance, or to exercise the least possible discomfort for the greatest comfort available at ease. At its founding, America had the greatest prospects in all of the world precisely because this notion was frowned-upon, and banished in a socially scathing manner, and we tended to consider the purveyors of easy money and easy solutions as con artists and frauds.

Social Security began as a program for widows and orphans.  How long did it remain as such?  The space of a generation had not elapsed before it was extended to wider and wider groups of recipients.  The entire welfare state, from the first bits of Medicaid and Medicare, to AFDC and Food-stamps have all undergone similar transformations, at first for a very limited group, to a broadened eligibility that encompasses vast segments of the American people.  This is what happens, always, once this chain of destruction commences.   It works this way: I say there should be no public safety net. Dr. Levin admits there should be a small, limited one.  His argument is based on his own subjective evaluation of what is the proper level of compulsory compassion.  George W. Bush comes along arguing for food-stamps for foreign nationals.  Levin cries foul, but after all, why is his subjective limitation on compulsory compassion any more valid than the one proposed by President Bush, or President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, or some future statist politician? Simply, it is not.

This is how it gets out of control, and it’s really quite elementary: Once it begins, there is no way to reduce it for long.  You might curtail it a little here or there, but eventually people will come to power who will advance it again, and then still more.  This is why our earliest Presidents, fresh from our post-revolutionary travails, did all they could to oppose the encroachment of any of this redistribution under the guise of “compassion.” James Madison, eventually our third President, and the man thought by many to be the father of our constitution, offered this, as he served in Congress debating a bill providing for some sustenance and relief for French refugees from the Haitian revolution.  He said:

“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.” -3rd Congress, Annals of Congress

This makes the matter plain.  There is no room in that statement for a public safety net of any description or purpose, and being one of the authors of the Constitution, one would suspect he understood its intended limits.  Madison would not be the last to make this sort of delineation, and subsequent Presidents actually stated the same sentiment in vetoing legislation proposing various forms of relief for this group or that.  It was not until the rise of the Progressives, in both parties in the early 20th Century that the first great transgressions of this principle began in earnest.

I would argue that Dr. Levin is right insofar as his evaluation of the Bush enactment of the law permitting the provision of food-stamps to illegal alien Mexican nationals, but I must also suggest in the strongest possible terms that Dr. Levin, and those like him of apt reverence for the constitution ought to consider the contradiction implicit in their protestations on behalf of any public safety net. Once it begins, it will not easily be stopped, and usually terminates with the death of the country in the upheaval of bloody revolution.  Only by rapidly undoing it all are we to avoid such mortal discomfort, though the time-frame to undo it all needn’t be overnight, still it mustn’t exceed much more than a half-decade.  We are living with the necessary result of the contradiction explicit in trying to create some firm boundary along the lines of flexible, subjective criteria, perpetually open to reinterpretation by whomever holds the reins of power. Our constitutional principles are fixed, but it is only our adherence to them that has been flexible.

In a letter to Edmund Pendleton, James Madison also wrote:

“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.”

Is this not now the state our republic has attained?  We have undergone precisely the reversal here-described by James Madison, and it will be our undoing.  I am certain that a constitutional scholar with the precision and vigorous intellect of the sort made plain by Dr. Levin’s long history in service to that document and to the republic it had authored must see and be convinced of the fatal dangers of this contradiction harbored so widely, even among our greatest minds.  It is time that we decide if we are going to live in a constitutional, representative republic, or if we prefer instead to be subject to the indefinite power of a colossal government.  It is the choice made plain in the great book Ameritopia, and as a complete work in defense of our liberty, one would expect that with the fullness of time, its author will ultimately embrace the full wisdom of that which he so magnificently defends.

For we conservatives, it is long past due that we should embrace the meaning of Madison’s admonishments.  He didn’t offer exceptions to the principle, but it is only because no exceptions are rationally feasible.  The danger implied was grievous enough that Madison would not countenance its passage, despite surely being as compassionate and charitable a man as any.  He understood that the only manner in which to draw this line was to make it absolute.  He also understood that any less a proscription would lead inevitably to the national turmoil into which we are now sliding.  This is our true challenge as conservatives, because we mustn’t merely begin the already seemingly impossible chore of diminishing the size and scope of the festering blight of the welfare state, but we must begin the process of excising it from our country altogether.   This may seem a fantastical, practically impossible proposition, and yet if we are to restore the republic to the land of possibilities it had been at its beginning, no less will do.

We must undo Obama-care, rolling it back to 2009, but we must roll back to 2002, and then to 1982, and eventually to 1964, and to the 1930s.  We must keep going until it is gone, replacing government with private, volitional charity of the sort that had permitted us to take care of the truly unfortunate persons among us, but that left no room for graft of any sort at taxpayers’ expense.  One-hundred-forty-four million or so Americans now rely upon the welfare state in all its various forms.  That number is exploding, and will soon top half our population, and when it does, there will be no rolling it back, and surely no salvaging of our republic.  Our desire to help others must be restrained from the realm of government.  The contradiction explicit in attempting to have a system that regards the wealth of citizens as one part private property and one part public loot must be abolished, even if there is some temporary pain.  It’s our last chance, time is quickly running out, and I dare say time is a good deal shorter now than any of our public officials dare admit. It’s time to draw an indelible, solid line.

Romney’s Tax Returns Revisited

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

How Credible?

Let me begin by saying that the veracity of the people involved in “reporting” this story is suspect, and as a consequence, I am bringing the story to you on the assumption that it is probably garbage. Nevertheless, if it should turn out to have some basis in fact, it would be an electoral disaster for the GOP if disclosed in late October, for instance, and having encountered it, I would be remiss if I failed to at least mention it.  Catherine Crier, who I don’t see as a particularly credible source, was on the race-baiting moron’s show(Al Sharpton) on MSNBC.  She admitted it was sheer speculation, but I bring it to your attention precisely because this is the sort of thing about which many conservatives have worried with respect to Mitt Romney’s candidacy.  We’ve been told he’s “squeaky clean,” and that may well be the case, but the Democrats are driving at this Tax Return disclosure business relentlessly.  Crier suggests that Mitt Romney might have been one of those who took amnesty in order to stay out of legal jeopardy back in 2009, when Barack Obama put the IRS on the trail of Americans with undisclosed Swiss bank accounts.

What I found peculiar at the time was the focus on a single banking entity.  When the government does something of that sort, they’ve either been tipped-off, or they have a specific target in mind.  Of course, we are talking about Catherine Crier, appearing as a guest on Al “Tawana Brawley” Sharpton’s show on MSNBC, which is to say that it isn’t exactly iron-clad, and Crier in no way offered a source, but the theory was advanced on Slate on Tuesday and over at the ludicrous HuffingtonPost as well. HuffPo is continuing its coverage as I write this.

Here’s video of Crier on Sharpton’s circus(H/T Mediaite):


Let us imagine for a moment that all of this were true.  What would it mean to the elections?  If disclosed now, I don’t see how Romney would avoid withdrawing from the campaign.  If disclosed post-convention, this would simply cause the end of the GOP’s hopes of capturing the Presidency in 2012, and would almost certainly ruin the down-ballot prospects of retaking the Senate or strengthening in the House, with Romney going down to flaming defeat.  If disclosed after a Romney victory, it would dog him throughout his Presidency, and the Democrats would spend the entirety of his term agitating for his impeachment.  Of course, Democrats would do that in any case, but there’s no sense giving them ammunition.

As is clear, conservatives should view this allegation with the appropriate skepticism.  The source of the information is far too unreliable to be taken all that seriously, never mind at face value.  Still, it should be a concern, and it is one of the reasons that early in the primary season, I was pushing for the disclosure of Romney’s tax returns.  He ultimately provided two years, being the 2011 and 2010 returns.  The return that would reveal whether he had been one of those accepting an amnesty deal from the IRS would have been from 2009, so we do not know with certainty.

We also know the Democrats want ammunition to use against Romney, and that in part, this demand for more years of tax returns is primarily a fishing expedition, and an attempt to get him to disclose that which might hurt him.  He doesn’t need to have done anything illegal, but simply something Democrats can paint as morally questionable or hypocritical.   That would be enough to severely damage the Romney campaign.  That said, I wouldn’t be inclined to comply with the Democrats’ demands for additional disclosures, particularly if I hadn’t anything to do with the allegations Crier tried to imply.  Here is the problem, however, and it is the only nugget in all of this that would suggest there could be some actual smoke, if not fire:  Back in January, when Romney disclosed his 2010 return, it included a disclosure of a Swiss bank account.  That account was indeed with UBS, the bank that had been examined and bullied by the IRS into disclosing some 4,400 American customers. BusinessInsider is now carrying the story, and they’re pushing it further still.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is why I urged the release of Romney’s returns following his father’s example, way back in January.  If there is any connection here, Romney might well be able to conceal it a while, but I would fully expect this to become Obama’s “October surprise,” his last hole-card.  Even if it were true, Romney wouldn’t have violated any laws, because he would have accepted the amnesty to avoid legal consequences, but I must also say that if he actually has this problem, and if Obama’s campaign leaks it to the press in the closing days of the campaign, Mitt Romney will not be elected.  There will be no time to spin it, soften it, or clear up the fact that he had ultimately complied with the law.  Instead, it would be a 24×7, non-stop “Breaking: Romney is a Crook,” with the media fairly jeering on Obama’s behalf, and the Obama administration would have its second term.

This explains why the Democrats are on this fishing expedition, but then again, if it is true, the Obama campaign already has that information, and is sitting on it for the big ambush in late October.  I can understand why Governor Romney wouldn’t want to disclose his tax returns, even if he had done absolutely nothing wrong, but the problem here is that if it were true, and if such a disclosure were to occur late in the campaign, we would have no viable horse for this race, and we will see Obama destroying the country another four years.  Of course, Governor Romney doesn’t need to release his entire 2009 tax return. In my view, if he wants to answer any question, this would be it: “Did you accept amnesty under the 2009 Voluntary Disclosure Program?”  Naturally, even if he answers “no,” there are those who will play up the “denial,” but here’s the other problem:  Given the sorely lacking credibility of the sources in this story, and on the highly dubious proposition that Romney does has some “splainin’ to do” with respect to this so-far unfounded accusation, should Obama catch him out in late October, the Republican Party will burn, and I will be among those wielding torches.

When you consider all of this, you might wonder why I’d report it at all, but my reasoning is simple:  The Republican Party has exhibited a habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, and with all that is at stake in this election, I’m now accustomed to being disappointed by the GOP establishment.  With all of my friends who have swallowed their pride and grudgingly gone along with Romney for the sake of defeating Obama, if Mitt blows it now over something like this, there will be literal Hell to pay.  I am in no way willing to take the word of this collection of leftist ghouls for anything, but ladies and gentlemen, trust Mitt Romney if you please, but I’ll be keeping an eye on this.  I fully recognize the Obama campaign’s desire to trap Romney with this, but I also know that if there’s anything to it, I don’t want my readers to be blind-sided in October.  If Romney can refute this, he should, because while it would never alleviate the clamor in the press, it would at least put at ease the minds of those he expects to support him in November.

 

OMG! Mitt Romney Gave a Good Speech? OMG!

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

It's Alive!

Mitt Romney gave a speech on Tuesday for which he is being widely praised as “having gone on offense,” and “sounding passionate,” and while I am happy to see that he has taken a slightly more aggressive stance, almost leaving one with the impression that he might have some desire to win after all, ladies and gentlemen, it’s one brief stump speech.  Governor Romney has been on the campaign trail pursuing the Presidency longer than most kindergartners have been alive.  One would hope that in such an expanse of time, he’s had a few moments to brush up on his form, and to actually refine his message a bit. More than anything, one would hope that somehow, over that period, he’s managed to conceive of some core values that consist of more than making deals, or seeking consensus.  Even if he has, before you toss your undergarments on the stage in a frenzy of adulation, I hope you’ll be a bit more reserved in asking:  Is this an anomaly or a the beginning of a trend?  If it is a new trend, you must ask yourself one question more: Is it sincere?  Does he mean it?

If he says it now, will he carry it out later?  I apologize to the “hope brigades” who will casually give themselves over out of desperation to be rid of Obama, but it’s going to take a good deal more than one decent speech to move me.  It might be argued with some justification that cynicism is prohibiting me from viewing this one speech as some watershed event in the evolution of candidate Romney, but call it what you will, my skepticism is not entirely or even slightly unfounded in light of the evidence.  On the one hand, we have the long record of Governor Romney’s public statements over decades, but on the other, we have less than thirty minutes in a stump speech following broad-based criticisms of the candidate’s tepid approach to campaigning.  Can you tell yourself without flinching, never mind me, that this is now the real Mitt Romney?  Put another way, I’m a great believer in Ockham’s Razor.

Given any number of plausible explanations, the simpler is more apt to be correct.  In this case, the three explanations for Romney’s speech on Tuesday must be that either he has really been a conservative all along, who is only now finding his voice despite years of opportunity, that he has undergone a real and abiding transformation in his philosophy, or that political expediency and the desire to unite the party behind him under severe recent criticism has forced him to go out on the ledge a bit.  While all of these are plausible explanations, I hope you’ll agree with me that the last is the simplest, because boiled down to its essence, it consists only of something politicians have done expertly for the entirety of human history:  He faked it.

I can already hear the rumblings from off in back, from those who will argue that I am being unduly harsh, but I must ask of those who would clobber me for my assessment:  In the last four years, I have never heard anybody ask whether in her numerous speeches, Sarah Palin had been passionate or sincere.  I have never seen the GOP so breathlessly exuberant over such a short speech.  The comparisons to Ronald Reagan are absurd, but that hasn’t stopped anybody in the establishment from beginning to whisper them.  All this over a few minutes in a speech, and yet you would think he had delivered the Sermon on the Mount.  Let us set aside the questions about his sincerity, and see what he said that had been so extraordinary. After all, Michelle Malkin was all a’twitter. Mark Levin called it “superb.” Let’s see what the hubbub is all about, shall we?

From Irwin, PA:

 That’s a very good speech indeed. It’s one, and it’s only one, but it was a good speech.  Unfortunately, I’ve heard better, recently, and indeed, much of it seemed to have been repeated from Governor Palin’s speech at the AFP Patriots in the Park speech over the weekend.  No, I’m not accusing Governor Romney of plagiarism, or anything silly like that.  I’m simply pointing out that one could nearly view it as though he had a good example, test-marketed if you will, of what revs up a crowd on Saturday when Governor Palin spoke.  What Republican candidate wouldn’t seek to emulate that appeal?  As to the substance, he has reduced his list to just five major points, rather than a lengthy fifty-nine point economic plan that would take several hours to deliver in a speech.  If he drops the bit about education, that would help more, since in fact, education really isn’t a Federal matter, although he seems to be dangling some notion of a voucher system without any details.  Also, what’s with the “replace it” business with respect to Obamacare?  I want to replace it with the law that existed the day before it was enacted.  He mentions defense, which is great, but he also spent a bit of time talking about energy development, and that’s been a major area of interest for Governor Palin as well as every productive American for some time.

A good speech?  Yes, it was good, but I think superlatives are a stretch. I also worry about his sincerity, but also his passion.  At times, his enthusiasm seemed forced, but his best moments may have come as he discussed the crony capitalism that defines this current presidency. His critique of Obama’s remarks about not “doing it on [our] own” should resonate well, and indeed, when he said with an indignant tone: “We paid for those services,” he hit the nail on the head. In my view, he should have extended his remarks a bit on one related matter, in which he was explaining how all of those services (teachers, fireman, road crews) hadn’t built the businesses, he went on to make mention of the fact that furthering one’s education, Obama would say that you had used the roads to go to school.  He acknowledged the truth of this, but he should also have noticed something else left unsaid in the President’s ridiculous remarks:  If one person can use the roads to go to school, upgrading their education, what is the excuse for all those who haven’t?

If some of us are paying for all of these services that Obama says are so critical to our collective success, why is it that more are not successful?  I think Romney should work that in, because it makes a fine point of differentiation.  After all, if schools, and fireman, and road projects benefit us all, why is it that only the successful should be thankful for them?  If that’s all that makes the difference between success and failure, we should have three-hundred-million billionaires by now.  Clearly, this proves the point: It’s not the road and bridges, the firemen, or the school teachers that make some successful while others are not. It is the spark of individual achievement, and it is best expressed in the notions of liberty that to his credit, Mitt Romney addressed.

While I’m not blown away as are some others by this speech, in part for its shortfalls, but also in part because I’m not altogether convinced he’ll follow through, I nevertheless note that many more will be willing to listen again, to see if he sharpens his message or heads back into Milquetoast territory.  I’m afraid that if he does the latter, you can prepare for a second term of Barack Obama, because to defeat him, Romney will need to attack his record, his philosophy, and his contradictory ideas, all without exposing his own.  That’s a tall order, but this speech was one positive baby-step in that direction.  Let’s hope he believes it. I’m withholding judgment pending more evidence.