Category Archives: Media

A Conservative Republican Wish for 2014

As 2013 comes to a close, the GOP finds itself in the enviable, if somewhat unexpected, position of commanding the political high ground in a mid-second term election year. With the generic vote showing the GOP with a 5 point lead over the democrats, a pickup of more than a dozen house seats is more than likely and the 7 needed to gain control of the senate, while not as likely, very much achievable. Yet we saw in 2012 the right GOP coalition of conservatives, libertarians and right of center moderates is more than capable of seizing defeat from the jaws of victory. Remember, we allowed a president who presided over the worst economy in half a century, imposed a widely unpopular government takeover of health care and implemented a disastrous foreign policy to be reelected. Controlling the high ground means we have the advantage of defining the agenda, but it also presents the opportunity for spectacular defeat.

In 2014 the Republican Leadership and the Party as a Whole Faces the Challenge of Capitalizing on the Political High Ground They Now Occupy, or Squandering Opportunity

In 2014 the Republican Leadership and the Party as a Whole Faces the Challenge of Capitalizing on the Political High Ground They Now Occupy, or Squandering Opportunity

For those of us who believe in free markets, limited government, equality of opportunity and personal responsibility, the imperative is to stop the Obama left in 2014 and set the groundwork for a Republican to take back the White house in 2016. We can play “could have, would have, should have” over missed opportunities in 2010 and 2012, or we can seize the moment and begin to right the course of the nation in 2014. The words here are not a policy prescription for renewal but rather a wish for the right to unite in its pursuit of a single shared objective, to stop the leftist drift we have been on since 2006 and begin the restoration of America by releasing the potential of the American people. It is my hope that as we move forward in the battles that will define 2014 we keep these few guiding principles in mind.

  1. The American People Seek Solutions, Not Opposition. Obamacare represents the greatest threat to the America economy of any government policy in half a century. Almost since it was adopted the majority of Americans have opposed the takeover of our health care by government.  To the frustration of Nancy Pelosi, the more Americans have come to know Obamacare, the less they have liked it.         While it is well and good that we on the right hang the O-Care albatross around the necks of the democrat left that shoved this down the throats of the American people with zero bi-partisan support, 2012 showed us that is not enough. The GOP and the right coalition have failed to present a single cohesive and comprehensive free market alternative to Obamacare. People want to believe in something, not simply oppose the wrong. Health care does need reform, free market reform. While some have tried to propose alternatives, no single viable plan has emerged. If Washington conservatives stop simply screaming “Repeal” and propose reforms that will truly improve healthcare, they will be embraced. The American people want to believe again.
  2. Shout Less, Think More. I am tired of idiots claiming to be conservative guiding lights. Growing up in the Goldwater, Reagan and Gingrich era’s, the right were the ones proposing the innovative and effective policy alternatives to the challenges and future of America. Somehow we lost that and have allowed those who simply scream no at increasingly loud volumes to take the helm. The left is still peddling the discredited neo-socialist ideology that they pushed for the last half of the 20th century. The American people have not moved left, but they will only follow the conservative/libertarian right if we demonstrate we are in fact the grownups in the room and are ready to lead. We have no right to power in 2014/16; leadership must be earned. Ideas and words matter, it’s time we think before we speak, they will listen.
  3. The Media Establishment Will Never Be Balanced, Take The Message to the People. The media establishment, particularly in the New York/Washington corridor will never give the GOP fair coverage, nothing new here. Get over it. In the early days of the internet it was conservatives who initially effectively embraced technology. Those days are gone. For the right to successfully regain control of government, we must bypass the media and take our ideas directly to the people. Forget converting viewers of MSNBC, they are the extreme left who wallow in their hate and envy. However, we must also stop talking to ourselves about how right we are and take our intellectual arguments directly to the people. Obsess on those who seek solutions and alternatives and forget the leftist screamers.
  4. Purity in Martyrdom is for Suicide Bombers. Those were the words of former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and with which I could not agree more. We must once again not only accept but embrace the diversity of ideas of the coalition of the right. Moderate is not a bad word, but rather a friend who needs support and encouragement to support you. Fight for your ideas based on their merits, rather than against those who do not agree totally with you. The conservative movement can never allow the ideological perfect to become the enemy of the politically achievable. In 1980 Ronald Reagan ran on a promise of an across the board 30 percent cut in personal income tax rates. Once in office in 1981 when the democrat controlled congress passed the Kemp-Roth Tax Cut which only contained a 25 percent cut, he did not veto it and issue an all or nothing demand. Reagan embraced victory and signed the bill before they changed their mind. Embrace those who are inclined to support, trust in the virtue of our beliefs and ideals.
  5. Be Aware of Motivation of Those Who Seek to Lead:  Each of us needs to consider the motivations of self promoters who put their personal advancement ahead of advancing the cause and national interest. An idiot with a large following on Twitter is still and idiot. Presidential ambition can be admirable unless it is put ahead of the nation’s interest.
  6. America Cannot Afford Even 2 More Years of Obama Unchecked. With Harry Reid exercising the nuclear option and abandoning senate traditions to force through more leftist judges and appointees, we need to check mate Obama with effective, if not our right, GOP control of the senate. And don’t take 2016 for granted. The media establishment is ready to put Hillary in the White House in 2016 and never underestimate their ability to get what they want. That which advances our cause is virtuous, all else is working for the left.
  7. Embrace Reagan’s 11th Commandment, “Thou Shall Not Speak Ill of a Fellow Republican”. We have come to confuse high follower counts on Twitter with wisdom. Many cheered when moderate GOP senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) did not seek reelection in 2012. They celebrated the departure of a moderate who was not as conservative as most of us. What they got in exchange was a leftist senator, while declaring himself independent he caucuses with the D’s and is to the left of all but few in the senate. In what idiotic logic was this an improvement? Snowe supported every Republican Presidents Supreme Court nominations and most proposals. Most important, she voted for the GOP leadership in the senate and not Sen Reid.  Think about this one long and hard. An 80 percent friend is better than a 100 percent advisory.

History is on our side and the apatite of the people for change is strong. Barack Obama has produced the worst economic record of any two term president in 75 years. Harry Reid and the do nothing Democrat Senate has produced one budget in his 7 years as Majority leader. Nancy Pelosi consumed so much leftist cool-aid that she is self delusional in her pursuit of an extreme left wing agenda which is supported only by the left wing of the democrat party. The political high ground is truly owned by Republicans in 2014, yet I wonder will we again let victory slip from our grasp. Only in victory will we stop the leftward drift in America and begin to restore the personal and economic freedoms we cherish.

To one and all an outstanding 2014, and let’s make 2014 the year Americans take back our freedoms.

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Filed under 2014 Election, 2016 Election, Media, Politics, Republican Party, The Grand Old Party

The Republican No New Taxes Pledge and the Vilification of Grover Norquist

As the Congressional so called “Super Committee” is on the verge of its most predictable failure, Obama administration representatives and congressional democrats are abuzz with their claims that its failure to achieve results is because Republicans will not agree to new taxes. Additionally they have begun to personally vilify the creator of the modern Taxpayer Protection Pledge and leader of American’s for Tax Reform Grover Norquist. All of this has been adopted as a basis the narrative of the day by the Democrat’s tools in the media and blasted across the airwaves. Yet lost in the liberal diatribe is the base question, are the American people truly under taxed or has government expanded beyond the levels the American people desire. Additionally all Americans should be outraged when the state adopts a coordinated attempt to impugn the character and reputation of a single private citizen in the way the Obama administration and their supporters in congress have.

Leading Democrat on the Deficit Super Committee, Senator John Kerry

While many throw around the “No New Taxes Pledge” in interviews and writings, few seem to have read the actual Taxpayer Protection Pledge. In the 112th Congress, 238 Representatives (including 2 Democrats) and 41 Senators (including 1 Democrat) signed the pledge BEFORE the 2010 election. The pledge itself is relatively simple and straightforward stating:

“I, (candidate’s name) pledge to the taxpayers of the (insert district) district of the state of (insert state) and to the American People that I will:

ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and

TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”

The pledge is signed before the election and far from being hidden or part of any back room deal; virtually all who take it proudly feature it as a key part of their election campaigns. This is not a pledge to some special interest group; it is a pledge to the American people and specifically those voters who send the member in question to Washington. What is really shocking is the way in which the Democrat establishment and their media friends seem shocked when elected representatives actually keep their promises to their electors. One can only assume that keeping ones word to voters is a concept which President Obama and the majority of congressional democrats are not in any way familiar.

Levels of Federal Government Spending and Taxation since 1960 projected to 2021 (source: The Heritage Foundation)

The real question, the ones the Democrats seem unwilling to really address, is the unprecedented increase in federal government spending under the administration of President Obama. While they stand in front of the television cameras claiming to support expenditure cuts, President Obama runs around the country demanding support for his “Stimulus 2 Jobs Bill” which would be funded with additional tax hikes. America is in the midst of the longest and most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression and the Democrat solution is tax increases, which flies in the face of almost ever accepted economic theory. Additionally, if the is second stimulus works as well as the first, the American people may want dig a hole in the back yard and hide because the economic consequences may be catastrophic.

The Leftist Class Warfare Myth that "Taxing the Rich" solves Deficits (source: The Heritage Foundation)

The democrats hold to the myth that they can tax only the “rich” to solve the deficit problem. But the reality is there simply are not enough rich tax payers to tax away the problem and the middle class will have to be taxed to balance the books if Democrats are given their way. We will leave aside that increased taxation on the upper income levels has often produced lower revenues due to capital flight and reduced investment (a story for another day). What the Obama Democrats are doing is attempting to make permanent the record level of peace time spending they have established by putting in place new taxes to sustain it. The only way to get America out of the current economic mess is to fire up the private sector which has always been the true engine of economic growth in this country. One need only look to the current economic turmoil in Europe to see that higher taxation is not a solution to government overspending; it simply feeds the beast of government excess.

This brings us to the unprecedented attacks by the Obama White House and his congressional Democrats on Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. It seems whenever the left wants something they need to create a villain of the day, and to give them cover for the failure of the “Super Committee” they have found Norquist. To be clear, I do not know Grover Norquist, have only met him in person in passing at CPAC meetings and have never contributed to Americans for Tax Reform (something I may have to reconsider). It is outrageous that the full power of the federal government, as controlled by its chief executive, the President would target the destruction of the character and reputation of a private citizen. One is drawn back to the late 90’s when operatives of then President Clinton tried to discredit a certain former intern as “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty” until a blue dress emerged with Clinton’s DNA making that a dead line of attack. Now Norquist is the target because the leftist Democrats know attacking the Republicans directly for keeping their word to their electors by honoring the Taxpayer Protection Pledge has never worked in the end.

It’s time the media who so often lament politicians who come to Washington and forget the promises they made to voters, point out that those rejecting new taxes today are simply keeping their word. Elections matter, a fact conservatives and Republicans had to accept after the 2006 and 2008 elections. Unfortunately the Democrats failed to show the American people their way worked and in 2010 the people revoked their mandate. Republicans were elected overwhelmingly with open support of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. For Republicans to accept higher levels of taxation for Americans now would not only be bad policy, it would be a breach of their commitments to their voters. If the Democrats want higher overall taxation in America to support their expansion of the Federal Government, they should run on that platform in 2012. Maybe Walter Mondale’s campaign manager is available to help them.

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Filed under 2010 Election, 2012 Election, Budget, Congress, Conservative, Grover Norquist, Media, National Debt, Obama Administration, Politics, Republican Party, Spending, Taxes, United States House of Representatives, US Senate

Democrats Engineering Economic Disaster as Foundation of 2012 Election Strategy

As much of the financial world waits with anticipation the outcome of the so called Budget Super Committee whose report is due in just seven days, the back room strategists for the Democratic Party and Team Obama 2012 are giddy with anticipation of the economic train wreck to follow. The plan is elegant in its simplicity; allow a budget disaster which will have dire economic consequences and then cast the “obstructionist” republicans in congress for the resultant economic consequences. They have not had to be overly covert in their strategy as their pet tools in the media have been gladly echoing the White House talking points. Indeed this is the only strategy left for the leftists in Washington as the American public has rejected every element of their tax, spend and government control agenda. What is unfortunate is this destroy America strategy may well work.

Senate Democrats Ploting Stratewgy With President Obama and Vice President Biden in the Oval Office (White House Photo)

The scheme is largely the work of New York Senator Chuck Schumer who is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s political war monger in chief. Throughout more than a decade in the senate and 18 years before that in the house, Schumer has gained a reputation as a narcissistic publicity hound. With an anemic legislative record comprise almost entirely of attaching his name to bills constructed by others, Schumer has developed the finely honed skills of a political ambulance chaser. If the media is there, so if Chuck with political incendiary bombs to toss at his opponents. Credit needs to be given as he has built a successful political career by blaming opponents for everything while personally accomplishing very little.

The first stage of the “Blame the Republicans” was to create the ruse of Republican control of Congress. Forgotten is that the democrats remain in full control of the senate where Senator Harry Reid has been the Majority Leader since January 2007. Not only have the Democrats controlled the senate for the past 5 years, for almost 2 years that had the lofty position of 60 seats constituting a filibuster proof majority allowing them to proceed without Republican cooperation. Reid’s period as Majority leader is most notable for the senate never producing a single years worth of budget authorizing bills but rather relying on an uninterrupted stream of continuing resolutions. Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer have succeeded in one of the most audacious Orwellian “Big Lie” strategies, and the media has embraced their message and are now full partners in the narrative.

Team Obama has been quick to join in on this destroy the American economy and blame republicans game. President Obama won the White House by promising a new political climate in Washington. Credit must be given to him he has kept his promise, as while it was almost inconceivable that the political acrimony of the final Bush term could be exceeded, Obama has done just that. I must admit as with the Democrats in the senate, Team Obama 2012 has had no choice in this strategy, everything else they have proposed has been soundly rejected by the American people. His signature achievement, Health Care Reform is opposed by more than 60 percent of Americans and is largely responsible for Democrats suffering the second biggest loss in the 2010 elections for the House of Representatives. If he were to again propose Health Care, he would be lucky to get 35 votes in the senate his own party controls. One component of that package, the SMART long term care insurance was withdrawn by his own administration when they admitted it was irreparably insolvent. In his first year in office he said in an interview 8 percent unemployment was intolerable and if he did not improve the situation his administration would be “a one term affair”. With unemployment stuck in the 9 percent range, his administration’s economic record is the most dismal since the Carter administration.

Unfortunately the GOP in congress handed the Democrats a political life jacket this past August by agreeing to $1.5 trillion in mandated cuts, divided equally between defense and entitlements, in exchange for raising the national debt ceiling. I’m not even going to get into the constitutionality of a 12 member joint senate house committee with automatic sending authority, which is questionable at best. But politically it set up an artificial Thanksgiving deadline which stood almost no chance of being achieved. Team Obama and Senators Reid and Schumer saw the opening almost immediately. President Obama initiated immediate class warfare and demanded tax increases on the “rich”. Schumer and Reid pronounced the republicans obstructionist while not allowing votes on more than 2 dozen bills passed by the house. In the single biggest act of political hypocrisy in memory, Reid prevented the Presidents own “Jobs Bill” to come to a vote in the senate less Obama be embarrassed by the repudiation it would have received by his inability to get even senate democrats to support it. As the same time President Obama was flying around the country on Air Force One blaming the do nothing republicans, while raising millions in campaign contributions from his “1 percent” supporters.

Team Obama 2012 Capital Hill Leads: Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Dick Durbin

So here we stand with a week until a train wreck which will further damage the American economy, potentially even resulting in further downgrades in the credit rating of US government securities. Give the democrats credit, they may have out foxed republicans and have kept President Obama in the race for a second term. But what cost are the Democrats prepared to make the American people pay for their political games? They could not win the battle of ideas in the 2010 election where their tax and spend policies were rejected. Today they are prepared to drive the economy over the cliff in order to manufacture an issue that could preserve their own jobs in 2012. Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Harry Reid and President Barack Obama; three who are prepared to further devastate the American economy to preserve their own political viability. They may well win, but will not be able to escape the shame that will forever tarnish their reputations.

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Filed under 2010 Election, 2012 Election, Barak Obama, Budget, Congress, Constitution, Health Care, Leadership, Liberals, Media, National Debt, Obama Administration, Politics, Republican Party, Spending, Taxes, The Grand Old Party, The White House, United States House of Representatives, US Senate

“Courage to Stand”: An Amazing Political Ad

Politics has been one of the loves of my life; I worked on my first campaign when I was 12 years old and appreciate the art of the race. I love to READ speeches; I love to watch political commercials. In modern society this is how a campaign communicates the message. While some are cynical about the political communication process, I find you can in fact tell a great deal about a candidate by the message they send and how they package it. To that end I ran across the most amazing political advertisement I have ever seen today when I was looking at Tim Pawlenty’s youtube postings. No, I’m not in the tank for T-Paw but not many political commercials leave me without words. Up to now Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America” and “The Bear” held top spot with me. Lyndon Johnson’s “Daisy” ad from 1964 aired against Barry Goldwater may have been the most effective, but it was purely cynical which may have been a warning for what was to come from the Johnson Administration.

A couple months ago Pawlenty’s exploratory committee aired a video called “Courage to Stand” which is a spectacular combination of massage and visuals. If T-Paw can live up to this and communicate this effectively throughout the campaign, he is well on the way to the White House. For your viewing Pleasure here is “Courage to Stand”.

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Filed under Media, Politics, Republican Party, The Grand Old Party, The White House, Tim Pawlenty

Our Obsession with the Governator

This week we saw the total implosion of Arnold Schwarzenegger, a personal tragedy which ultimately is a private tragedy involving a real family. Yet combined with his dismal approval ratings as governor, his failure to solve California’s budget crisis and the ongoing gridlock in Sacramento, one has to ask why the obsession with celebrities in politics. The answer is simple, Ronald Wilson Reagan, a former actor to went on to become one of the great presidents. The attraction of political operatives is obvious, Schwarzenegger came to politics with name recognition which was unparalleled and an image based upon his reputation from years of acting in mostly action movies. He was, quite literally, made in Hollywood for public office.

Yet while for some consultants image is everything and indeed to took him to the governor’s office, he entered that office with none of the qualities which make good candidates great officials. Yet targeting people in the entertainment industry brings with it many disadvantages. Schwarzenegger’s image was just that, an image created by the Hollywood publicity machine, when pressed he has very little evolved political ideology when he ran in 2003. Upon entering office he talked about being “post partisan” which had a ring so statesmanship. In fact Schwarzenegger had very little idea how to actually get the job of governor done by getting people to actually work together. His post partisanship was met with partisanship and he simply was not able to match the skill of professional politicians with his name recognition. To be sure he was a great communicator, but communications skills without a refined message are just empty.

Additionally, with Hollywood name recognition come Hollywood egos. We all know there is an entire industry of voyeurs who make their living off the cult of celebrity not only in America but around the world. Name recognition does not in itself mean a person has the qualities and skills needed to be a good public leader. Let’s be honest, celebrities have very well developed egos stroked for years by special treatment in every facet of life and sycophantic handlers who tell them they can do no wrong. All behavior is accepted and indeed encouraged. Nobody can be surprised at Schwarzenegger’s conduct; it has been more than rumored for years. While one’s private life is private and should remain so, we can express outrage at politicians who campaign with photogenic families, profess family values yet embrace none of it in their private lives. Schwarzenegger had his love child before he became Governor of California and is simply, a jerk.

So we can’t leave this subject without looking at why Reagan was an exception to this Hollywierd trend. Part of the answer comes from the era in which he lived. While post World War II Hollywood was celebrity driven, it was a screen created by the studios, not by tabloids who spike the name recognition of Hollywood flakes by how bad they behave and outrageous their deeds. Reagan became active in real politics long before leaving acting and, agree with them or not, had s very well developed political philosophy. Before entering electoral politics he had spent years speaking on real issues across America, not blogging or tweeting incoherent thoughts to adoring fans. We need to realize, Reagan was the exception, not the rule. Will Schwarzenegger’s implosion save us from another Hollywood derived candidacy, not likely? Let’s hope that the voters will however be more critical of star candidates before they achieve office and the candidates themselves choose to live the image and not just leverage their celebrity.

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Filed under Arnold Schwarzenegger, Leadership, Media, Politics