Posts Tagged ‘Michele Bachmann’

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.

 

 

 

 

Bachmann Holds Fire Against Romney for VP Slot?

Friday, December 30th, 2011

 

Some Explaining to Do?

Politico has published a lengthy article about Michele Bachmann’s slide from being momentary front-runner to bottom of heap, minus only Huntsman. It’s a scathing review of her campaign, but that’s not entirely unexpected from Politico.  What makes this particular story so interesting is what it reveals about Bachmann’s intentions, and it’s interesting that so many folks had thought she was merely acting as a stalking horse for Mitt Romney, and it turns out that according to Ed Rollins, she had been holding her attacks against Romney because she had been angling for the VP slot.

“There was some talk early on between her and her husband that she could end up as the vice presidential nominee,” Rollins said.

That’s a stunning disclosure, and it should make every Bachmann supporter wince in pain. To have placed their hopeful support in a candidate who was merely making back-up plans out of presidential campaigns.  Slowly but surely, Bachmann’s campaign is breaking down, and she’s now having a substantial credibility issues, as people are abandoning her campaign.

 

Bachmann SuperPAC Defects to Romney

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

 

Where's the Love?

The Daily is reporting that Citizens for a Working America, a so-called Super PAC that had earlier backed Michele Bachmann has now launch an ad campaign backing Mitt Romney.  This is extraordinarily convenient timing, with the Iowa caucuses only six days away, and it’s more evidence that the Romney crowd has things all sewn up behind the scenes.  Here, we have a PAC shifting from Bachmann to Romney.  It makes you wonder what other surprises are in store.   You might wonder how much CWA has spent so far in supporting Bachmann, but according to OpenSecrets.org, they’ve spend $0 in the 2012 election cycle.  That’s right, they said they would support Bachmann, but according to OpenSecret, they’ve spent exactly nothing in support of her campaign. Last year, the group ran ads against Rep. John Spratt, (D-SC.)

There’s not much published about this Super PAC, but thus far, I’ve found that Ken Blackwell, former Ohio Secretary of State, is supposed to be the chair of this Super PAC, and David Langdon, is listed as treasurer of the group in SEC filings.  What’s a little disturbing to me is that a group that was allegedly going to be supporting Bachmann has yet to show any expenditures on her behalf, but now seems to be throwing support to and making expenditures on behalf of Romney. With supporters like that, who needs opponents?

 

A Conservative’s Dilemma

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

The Choices Before Us

I’ve been receiving a number of emails today, some of which were authored by those who think I’ve been too rough on Congressman Paul, Governor Romney, or Speaker Gingrich, or any of the other candidates I may have from time to time examined.  A couple of very important and consistent conclusions can be drawn from all of these emails, and I thought it would be proper to consider them together with you.  Nearly every one of the notes goes on at length to defend the candidate in question, and each of them goes on to tell me in one way or another that I’m falling for some media narrative or other.  This suggests a confusion about what I believe, and I’d like to clear that up for readers, both new and old.

With Newt, I’m “too harsh” because I’m a “Beckerhead,” despite the fact that I’ve been critical of Beck at times.  With Mitt, I’m “too inflexible” because I’ve noted that he’s been all over the place on various issues. In the case of Ron Paul, I’m being told that I don’t know what conservatism is, despite spending much of the last half-year discussing that very subject.  So arises the question: “What’s the truth?”  The truth is that like so many of you, I am unhappy with the current roster of choices, and none of them offer me much hope with respect to electing a “conservative,” as I conceive that term to mean.

Of course, this necessarily leads to the question as to what constitutes a “conservative.”  Various people will offer you a range of definitions, and the dictionary will focus on the notion of “conserving traditions,” but I think that’s a tortured application of a term that in our political context has almost no discernible, concrete meaning any longer.  In part, it stems from the redefinition of terms over the last century or more of political discourse.  The statists sought cover under the labels “progressive,” “socialist,” “liberal,” and more recently, “libertarian.” We’ve concocted new terms to try to differentiate, and most of them have been misused or misapplied with absurd results.  Of all the abuses of terminology that makes me angry, it is the misuse of the terms “liberal” and “conservative.”  These two have been stretched and twisted and reshaped until they in no way resemble the people who claim them as labels.  What this argues for is a little truth in advertising by way of labels.  I’ve tired of this nonsense in respect to the way in which it is used to pigeon-hole people into associations with beliefs and ideas they do not share.

Rather than try to tell you a definition under any of the bastardizations of the modern usages, I’m going back to a time when these terms still had some meaning.  I wish to go back to the days of our founding to explain to you what it is that I believe.  In the end, you will brand me with any label you find useful, but I would have it that you understand at the very least what I believe, and take from that understanding what it implies about the sort of candidates I choose to support.

In the era of our founders, I would have been called a “liberal,” in the precisely classical sense that characterized Thomas Jefferson’s inclusion under that label.  It would in no measure imply the sort of collectivist reflex with which the current uses of the term “liberal” are nowadays stained.  In the specifics of my belief, I need little beyond this from the preamble of our Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,[74] that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

I believe that such a government must regard the people it serves as its master, mindful of their individual rights in all things.  In this respect, I see government in the place of an honest umpire, neither for nor against any particular person, but in favor of a standard of right and wrong according to an objective set of rules the object of which is only the guarantee of those rights.

I also believe that government, in pursuit of the guarantee of those rights, must exercise its delegated authority in the name of an organized defense.  This means I believe in a vigorous national defense, but it also means I do not believe the purposes of our government should include military conquest. It means that I believe in a strong enforcement of our laws against criminals, but it also means I do not believe law should be placed in the service of plunder by some citizens of others.  It is this last that under modern constructs and usages characterizes me as a “conservative.”  I believe acts of government must serve all citizens simultaneously.  In today’s political discourse, there are those that would thereby label me a “libertarian,” and again, I would reach merely to history to make my case that it is not the object of government, as envisioned by our founders, to redistribute wealth or favors or benefits.  In this, I adhere to the sentiments of James Madison:

“If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress…. Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.” — James Madison

This would nowadays be called a “libertarian” by some, but this does not answer all that a government is or must do. It merely speaks to what a government must not do.  Madison here offers a warning that our nation’s government has long ago discarded in reckless pursuit of the very objects against which he warned.  This is not the government of our founding, nor the government of its re-framing under our Constitution.   The argument of some is that we have a living constitution that permits reinterpretation, but that would be a detestable reinterpretation itself.  Our founders thought this Constitution ought to be flexible, and so it is, but not in the manner now described by modern “liberals” who I call “statists.”  The framers of our Constitution laid a foundation for our republic, and for change of its laws, and most important among the things they enshrined in the Constitution are the only valid method by which it was intended to be flexible.  Article V:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

If you want to know the means by which ours was to be a “living constitution,” there in Article V you will find it.  Notice that it does not say that the meaning of the law is to be amended by reinterpreting its words.  It gives us the ability to change the meaning of the law by changing the law itself, either by the Amendment or Convention procedures as outlined therein.  I am a strong believer in this, because I know full and well how the statists have long preyed upon the ignorance and indulgence of the American people.  It offers me some hope that so many now finally understand what has been at stake in the progressive era, begun arguably with the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, but nevertheless in full swing by the time of Woodrow Wilson’s inaugural.

This would at first make the case of those who say I am therefore a modern-day “libertarian,” but I eschew that definition by virtue of all that term has now come to encompass.  Under this definition, I would necessarily reject any foreign involvements at all, but this is not so. I recognize as all conservatives do that there is the matter of reality from which one cannot escape.  Am I satisfied with the manner in which we have tended to a changing reality?  Hardly.  Am I satisfied that the measures we’ve undertaken were “necessary?”  Not at all.  Despite this seeming contradiction, I believe that we must fundamentally address this if we’re to  restore our constitution to its proper meaning.

As an example, I don’t believe the method by which we’ve circumvented the Constitution’s restrictions on military establishment is right and proper.  In our modern world, with push-button warfare of potentially devastating arms, it is necessary to consider that we ought to have not only a standing Navy at sea, but also a standing Army, which we do in fact have, even if Congress has continued the charade of no appropriations to that purpose for more than two years in technicality.  The National Security Act of 1947 does not amend the constitution, but merely adds to the charade.  I believe we ought to  amend the constitution to provide for this necessity rather than carry on with the fiction.

One must look at Madison’s quote above, in consideration of the government we now have, and wonder which Amendments provided for the growth of all those things against which he had warned.  The answer, of course, is simply: There haven’t been any.  Nowhere will you find an amendment providing for the welfare state, or education, or NASA, or a million other things that were considered by our framers as obscenities.  Whether I support them or not, still we have not amended the Constitution to permit them, but have instead acted on the notion of “necessity” as a matter of pure political expedience.  For this, I would be called a “radical” inasmuch as I present the radical notion that we ought and must adhere to our Constitution, or dispense with it and call our government something else, but it is not the government prescribed by the US Constitution, and has not been for many years.

This will lead inevitably to the question put forth by the adherents of Ron Paul, who will argue summarily on the basis I have outlined that I must be his kind of “conservative.”  This too is erroneous, for in fact what troubles me about Dr. Paul is that which has troubled me about much of modern “libertarian” dogma with respect to matters of national security: An unwavering belief in the absurd, the impossible, and the Utopian.   It is the key consideration among such “libertarians” that we must not involve ourselves in any matters but trade beyond our border, but since that will remain largely within the conduct of the private sector, the government need not be involved.

This is a lie, and an abrogation of our responsibility to the truth.  When Thomas Jefferson dispatched the Navy and its Marine forces to Tripoli in combat against the Barbary pirates, he did so not as an adventurist, but as a defender of American shipping.  It is preposterous to suggest that one’s trade will be sufficient intercourse with the world, because in truth there is yet another underlying and fundamental flaw that lies at the heart of such contentions: The abiding assumption that all others are guided by a similar reverence for those natural, unalienable rights of man that government exists to guarantee.  As Michele Bachmann said in Thursday night’s GOP Debate on FoxNews, only a knave or a fool believes this to be the case, and yet with nearly every dose of modern “libertarian” thought to which I exposed on the matter of defense and foreign policy(including Dr. Paul’s,) this juvenile, almost hippie-like presumption about the motives of all men emerges to a degree and extent that makes of their positions a laughing stock in the face of reality.

Contrary to the latter-day peacenik propaganda, we do not all “cherish the same things.”  If that were so, there would be no crime and no war and no strife anywhere among men, and yet it persists in our world, in our nation, and even in our neighborhoods and homes.  No unreality is more dangerous than such an assumption of the sort of Utopian relation of men and civilizations.  For what purpose do we have a government if not to defend us against those who do not share our views of the rights of man?

Damn me if you please, or if you feel as though you must, but do not permit yourself to believe I have not fully considered these issues.  Of late, I’ve given consideration to little else.  This entire blog is in service to that consideration, and to arouse yourselves to the belief that I would so casually entrust the future of this country, or its government to somebody on the basis of an unthinking support is patently absurd.  I don’t care if you call me “conservative” or “libertarian” or “liberal,” because I know in our current context, all those terms have lost their original meanings, but this much I do know:  I know what sort of candidate I would happily support.

I would support a candidate who shares my reverence for the Constitution in terms of the government’s relationship to its masters: We the people.  I would support a candidate who understands that our government now needs vast reforms, that some would call “sudden and relentless,” because our government has inverted its role in our lives, by which means it has become the master and we have become its servants.  I would support a candidate who understands the cruel and dangerous realities of our world, and is willing to act to bring our government and its operations into compliance with them by legal, constitutional means.  These are all the things, in general, that I would support, but I will not support any candidate absent any of these to any substantial degree.

These are the characteristics of the candidate I would support, but therein lies my personal dilemma, whatever you choose to call me:  None of the candidates now in the field have shown me that they are substantially, and in the greatest measure, what I believe such a candidate ought be.  I suspect the rapid climb and descent of one candidate after the other means that while many of you may not share my views entirely, the greater number of you are dissatisfied with your choices, and you now find yourself choosing from among what you consider an imperfect lot. In truth, I expect many people feel as I do in this matter, but this may be the nature of the choice we will have in 2012, and I fear, as do so many of you, that it will be insufficient to the grave national tests that lie ahead.  This may be my dilemma, but many of you share in it, and I wish for you the wisdom of Solomon.  We cannot afford to see this infant be rendered in halves.

New Rush Parody: Ron Paul

Friday, December 16th, 2011

This is hilarious, because like all good humor, it finds its roots in the truth.  Rush was on the warpath about Ron Paul Friday, and frankly, he has it right: Ron Paul simply is too disconnected from reality on the matters of foreign policy and national defense.  Paul seemed on the verge of coming completely unglued in an exchange with Michele Bachman during Thursday night’s debate on FNC, and Michele Bachmann surely got the better of Paul.  Here’s Rush Limbaugh’s parody, from Dailyrushbo.com:

For the record, what follows is the exchange between Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul during the debate Thursday:

Is Ron Paul a Conservative?

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Separated from the Rest

The supporters of Ron Paul say he’s a conservative.  They cite his strong commitment to the US Constitution on economic issues.  They remind us about his focus on the 10th Amendment.  They point out his desire to return to a solid currency. What they scurry to cover is his naive, nonsensical ideas about national defense and foreign policy. What they rush to ignore are the asinine contentions of Ron Paul that seek to pander to 9/11 conspiracy theorists, and his child-like view that Iran will be fine if it develops nuclear arms.  Even if these weren’t bad enough, his supporters use stealth and misleading approaches to sell him as a conservative.  I’m weary from all those who tell me Ron Paul is a conservative, because in fact, he is not.  Instead, he’s a libertarian, and he’s in the wrong party, and I have no problem suggesting he should take his act elsewhere, and if need be, take his followers with him.  Conservatives don’t pander to so-called “truthers” or to the hemp lobby, but that is the core of his support.  Conservatives don’t blame America for the September 11th attacks of 2001.  Ron Paul does.

Even during Thursday night’s debate, Ron Paul was clearly out of place on the stage with fellow Republicans.  His views on several issues of national import made it plain that he’s missed something basic in how he regards the role of the United States in foreign affairs, but more fundamentally, something is broken with respect to the extremely naive view he takes of foreign governments and their actions.  What Congressman Paul supposes is that Iran will act every bit as rationally as the United States, but we have no evidence upon which to base such a supposition. History is replete with examples of regimes that were fundamentally irrational and completely unmoved by the notions of human rights or natural law, and supposing that they would accept our moral basis or standard for rational conduct is every bit as absurd as the proposition that we must accept theirs.  In point of fact, the Islamic Republic of Iran has enshrined in its constitution the requirement to spread Islam to all parts of the world.  When Paul argues that we might reasonably rely upon a notion of peaceful Iranian intentions, he does a serious disservice to the American people, either through purely wishful thinking, or through sheer dishonesty.

In his heated exchange with Representative Bachmann in Thursday evening’s debate on FoxNews, he exhibited the ridiculous extent to which he has bought into leftist mythology about Iraq, too.  He cited a number of Iraqis killed as more than one million, but this reflects the most absurd estimates of the most radically anti-war propagandists.  Even WikiLeaks, having stolen and released actual classified US estimates of Iraqi War dead is around one tenth of that number.  Don’t get me wrong: This is a tremendous number of deaths, but it is a small portion of what Ron Paul reported, and what it reveals is his willingness to rely upon the most ridiculous claims of conspiracy theorists and anti-war propagandists.  Had he relied upon the more accurate number, he wouldn’t have come across as a bizarre conspiracy nut, but by exaggerating this number by relying upon numbers from sources of dubious credibility, he became his own worst enemy.

When Ron Paul talks about the overbearing size of government, he makes much more sense, because in that arena, he speaks to issues wherein he needs no bombastic, incredible claims in order to demonstrate his point.  He can merely reference the laws made by Congress, signed by the President, and this is sufficient.  When he gets into the discussion of foreign policy matters, it is as though he loses all grounding in credible facts, both in history and law, but more importantly in his flawed understanding of human nature.  The tyrants of our world do not care for the arguments of John Locke, or Adam Smith, or Thomas Jefferson, to name a few.   Such despots care not for the facts of human nature or human rights, or they wouldn’t be despots at all.  When Ron Paul pretends to himself or to others that one can contend with the Islamic Republic of Iran in the same manner one can deal with Canada, he is ignoring the facts of the world in which we live, and in which a President must successfully navigate the ship of state.  Ron Paul’s misunderstanding is so thorough as to be dangerous, not merely to individual citizens of the United States, but to the country as a whole.  This is a dire misreading of our founding documents, the design of our government, and the purpose for which it stands, and it negates the value he might offer in other areas of discourse.  On this basis, Ron Paul is wholly unfit to claim the mantle of conservatism, never mind to be sworn in as President of the United States.