Category Archives: Republican Party

He Came in Like a Wrecking Ball: The Political Disaster that is Donald Trump

Living most of the last two decades in the tri-state area one cannot escape the presence of one Donald Trump. His presence is ubiquitous from the high end condo developments and office complexes to the billboards promoting his various ancillary ventures in media and branded products. Donald Trump is not a man, he is a brand that is bigger than life. In the business world, his record is admirable not just for his over the top promotion and resulting economic payout for him (he is very very rich), but as a survivor in an industry where may titans of today are dust in the wind tomorrow. Donald Trump is bigger than life and he knows it.

The Political Wrecking Ball that is Donald Trump

The Political Wrecking Ball that is Donald Trump

Donald Trump is also a political chameleon who has poured considerable money in to political campaigns, mostly democratic including the likes of Andrew Cuomo and Hillary Clinton. In stark political terms, Donald Trump has the political convictions of a weathervane. As the wind goes, so goes the Donald. Thus he has decided to run for President in 2016 and joins the 16 other declared major candidates. No person can deny the importance of money to the political equation and Trump brings the satchel filled to the rim. He also brings an incredible understanding of how to feed and manipulate the media machine who love a big mouth and love one even more if it is damaging to the Republican party. Trump is an amazingly shrewd self promoter and has acutely identified the frustration in the conservative base. For years we have been promised large and delivered light by Republican candidates and leaders. With so many truly viable and electable candidates as are in the GOP race this year, trump understands that a low teens popularity puts him near the top of the polls and his mouth has an unlimited ability to entertain.

While many of Trumps remarks this year are objectionable and have rendered him undetectable (Donald Trump will not the the 45th President of the United States), what is most regrettable is that Trump has not brought his considerable business expertise to the debate around improving the American economy. In this area he has much to add and could have created a compelling case for a Trump presidency. Instead he resorted to his carnival barker roots and went loud and wild. Its not his policy proposals that are wrong, there are polls that consistently show a majority of Americans want real boarder control (ie a BIG wall) on the southern boarder and economic disincentives for Mexican illegals crossing the boarder have been discussed before, and need to be back on the table. Trump had much to add to the debate, but instead has emerged as one of the most destructive forces to enter conservative politics since Joseph McCarthy.

Donald Trump has introduced a tone of hate and negativity into this campaign which is not only destructive to both the Republican brand but also his own reputation. Additionally he is discrediting the very positions he is advocating by framing his positions with anger and hate. Mr. Trump is a big boy and he can answer to his own conscience for his positions and statements. I support the 1st Amendment rights of any American even when their words are, in my opinion, vile and repugnant. But all conservatives and republicans should understand, the broader electorate sees Trumps rantings as being representative of the GOP. In 2012 the repugnant statements of Missouri GOP Senate candidate Tood Akin not only assured the reelection of one of the worst senators in recent history, Claire McCaskill, but contributed to the defeat of at least 4 other senate candidates and several house nominees. Donald Trump has the ability to make Akin look like a tremor to the earthquake that is Trump.

Oh how the media and the left are eating this up. They cant get enough of Trump and when some second rate poll shows him leading in the mid teens, they gladly anoint him the GOP front runner. These news organizations are run, without exception, by New York limousine liberals who are already planning Hillary’s coronation. The fact Trump makes good copy is just icing on the cake. All this is seriously eroding the Republican position in 2016. The election which on the fundamentals is strongly leaning in a conservative direction could well be handed to the Clinton left if they conclude the GOP cannot lead. Conservatives must understand, if the Republican nominee does not win, Hillary will be the next President, the very woman Trump has enthusiastically supported for more than a decade. One never really knows what motivates a person to run for president, but for Trump it is most assuredly not conservative principles.

Its time for those of us on the right to speak up for real conservative candidates, to speak in an inclusive and positive tone, not with hate. I came of age during the Reagan era when he sought an America which would be a shining city on a hill, not a junk yard dog fight in the Bronx. This is our time and this may well be our test. Decide carefully.

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Filed under 2016 Election, Donald Trump, Republican Party

Convictions, Conscience and Political Activism

Those who know me or have read this blog in the past know for the last few years I have, for the most part, gone quiet and withdrawn from the fight.  While getting a little older adds perspective it should also result in your questioning how your beliefs interact with your fellow citizens and more broadly society as a whole. I have never wavered in my core conservative believes. I believe in the individual rights and personal responsibility of the citizen. I believe in a government limited in scope to only those core responsibilities necessary for a free and just society. I believe in the defense of our freedom and those around the world who stand with us in the defense of liberty. What was shaken was my belief in the “conservative” movement and indeed the Republican Party is the internal dramatics which seem bent on self destruction. The 2012 election cycle was a disaster for conservatives and Republicans alike (I believe the two are inseparable), yet I reached the painful conclusion in the waning days of the 2012 campaign that the impending defeat was self inflicted. That the Republican Party with the weight of the conservative movement could not defeat the Obama-Reid-Pelosi Democrats made me question if those groups truly represented my view.

“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”                                                                                                                                                                                   Senator Barry Goldwater, Republican National Convention, 1964

Like many conservatives of my age, my views were rooted in the 1964 campaign of Senator Barry Goldwater, who lost that election just 6 weeks before my birth. Those views were crystallized during my teenage years as the Reagan-Thatcher conservative wave redefined western culture and politics while defeating, at least in the short term, the forces of evil that threatened the very existence of individual liberty. I believe in simplicity for it is that which can adapt to the unforeseen and provide direction in times of crisis. Conservatism is simply limited government, personal freedom and responsibility as well as the defense of those values against all those who seek to defeat them. For me, that is the test I apply to any political question. However in the early part of this century that direction seemed to be lost within the conservative movement and most certainly in our elected represent ivies.

At the elected level Republicans took on the character of “Big Government Conservatives”, a fundamental contradiction of terms that defies reason or logic. However of greater concern the conservative movement began to be dominated by those who sought to used government power to achieve their parochial agendas rather than to limit government’s interference in the ability of the individual to achieve those most basic of American values: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. I grew up in an age where conservative leaders were “happy warriors”, driving forward an agenda to improve the lives of people by improving mutual prosperity while limiting government interference in the lives of the citizen. We earnestly believed that our policies represented the best path for the largest number of people while still protecting those who needed a hand up.  By the middle of the last decade some claiming the mantle of leadership of the conservative movement had become decidedly nasty. Indeed many were advocating government activism to advance their respective special interest agenda at the very expense of the liberty of the individual.

The election of 2008 seemed to erase those issues as we were reminded that conservatives and Republicans of differing perspectives were not the political foes, the most left wing President and congressional majority in the history of the Republic were. The rise of the tea party movement, the most effective grass roots effort sense the Sons of Liberty in the 1770’s, united the right and in 2010 resulted in the largest congressional reversal in a century. For a time it seemed like order had been restored and rational conservatism was again in the majority of the body politic. Then came the 2012 GOP presidential campaign and the gates of the asylum were opened as one of the most internally destructive political races in memory resulted in the election of the politically weakest incumbent Presidents in a century (Yes, Jimmy Carter was politically weaker – his own party was fatally divided – but in the wake of Obamacare this incumbent should have been doomed).  For me it was late summer of 2012, convention season, when I first realized that the damage was done and like a freight train rumbling down the tracks toward a washed out bridge, the GOP nominee was headed to defeat. To be honest, there were many contributing factors leading to Mitt Romney’s loss, but in my opinion the divisive and indeed hateful soundtrack of the 2012 primary campaign resulted in the eventual outcome.  Political fratricide is so illogical and irrational that it borders on the insane. Thus my crisis of conscience and belief began.

“Purity in martyrdom is for suicide bombers. King Pyrrhus is remembered, but his nation disappeared. Winston Churchill set aside his lifetime loathing of Communism in order to fight World War II. Challenged as a hypocrite, he said that when the safety of Britain was at stake, his “conscience became a good girl.” We are at such a moment. I for one have no interest in standing in the wreckage of our Republic saying “I told you so” or “You should’ve done it my way.” “                                    Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, CPAC 2011, February 11, 2011

Politics without principles is a dangerous thing and I have always believed that a leaders beliefs and convictions were not only more critical but a better prediction of success than policy specifics. Going back to my earlier reference to simplicity, the conservative-libertarian-Republican right’s failure can , my opinion, be laid almost entirely on the movement forgetting two of Ronald Reagan’s foundational rules of politics: the so called 11th Commandment “thou shall not speak ill of a fellow republican” and his 80/20 rule on those who agree on 80 percent are friends rather than enemies for disagreeing on 20. We saw a presidential campaign where those who stood no chance of ever being elected president were elevated by a media set of ratings, and more than a little leftist dirty tricks agenda, as they spewed hate filled attacks of fellow candidates in the name of “real conservatism”. In life I have very little sympathy for those who are the “victims” of deliberate self inflicted wounds, in politics it is unforgivable.

Honesty time, I have a soft spot for internet politics, these words appear as such. However the apparent anonymity that the internet provides many of all political persuasions brings out the worst in many as they utter words they most likely (we hope) would never say face to face. Rather than improve transparency and increase dialogue among citizens, the internet has turned places like twitter and facebook into digital MMA Cage Fights: anything goes and the consequences are irrelevant when compared to the number of “likes” and “retweets”, where number of followers determines the virtue of the words. While entertaining when bored, this is not a recipe for either intellectual or electoral success; it brings into question the virtue of the author. A few years into the internet era I abandoned the use of usernames, where the technology allows, and only write under my own name. Only where there is a very real threat to the use of a real name exists, and those are rare indeed, is there value in anonymous words.

Yet the problem is deeper and more fundamental than simply the words, it seems like many have suspended that part of the brain that questions the motivation of the speaker. The air waves are filled with so many voices of conservative thought (there would be leftist voices if only they could get ratings – think Air America) yet perversely those voices do dramatically better economically if the Republican party fails. Bill Clinton was a financial windfall for many conservative hosts only to be surpassed by Barack Obama. Now I am not saying all these hosts are motivated only by money and as a believer in free market capitalism I support entrepreneurism. However it is the listeners who seem at times to turn off their own brains. Politics, like government itself, must gain its intellectual legitimacy from the people, not the hangers on to the process.

Lastly we come to the question of purity. While we all like to be in a room full of people who agree with us totally, it soon becomes apparent that those conversations provide little intellectual challenge. Politically it is death. The hard core reality of politics in America is philosophically there exists no pure majority in our politics. I do believe there is a fundamental conservative undercurrent, especially on the role of government, but that is not enough to form a governing majority. If we learn nothing else from the lessons of recent years, divided government achieves nothing but delaying hard choices (think Social Security, Debt…). Governing majorities are created, built from individual building blocks of points of agreement between individuals. Ronald Reagan understood this. Those who truly remember the 1980’s know he didn’t get all he wanted. Yet even with Democrats controlling at least one chamber of Congress his entire presidency he arguably achieved more than any conservative in modern memory (yes I know a strong case can be made for Thatcher, but the message would be the same). It is time we must decide do we want a government consistent with conservative values that only gets 80 (OK, maybe 90) percent; or do we want leftist majorities which give us more like Obamacare. Winning and electability are not bad words, intellectual dishonesty is much darker.

We now find ourselves in the middle of the 2016 Presidential campaign and yes it is very much underway. We on the right will be facing a left united behind Hillary Clinton in a way no party has in a century. I have concluded that this is the fight that will define much of the rest of my life. If the left wins Obamacare will be permanent, Clinton Immigration reform will change the nature of America (full disclosure, I am an Immigrant, an American by Choice) and the economics of envy so common in Socialist Europe will come to our shores.  This is a fight no true believer can stand by and watch. For me it is a challenge to stand by my principles, convictions and respect for others while helping in some small way preserving  America as the land of personal freedom and liberty: home of an exceptional people.

Let the fight be joined.

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Filed under 2016 Election, Conservative, Politics, Republican Party

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

Mitt Romney: A Conservative’s Dilemma

If one were to be casting a President for a high budget Hollywood thriller, Mitt Romney is the person you would cast. His resume, his look, his family and his political presence are just about perfect. Having taken the time to read his economic policy, even though I take issue with a few points, it is perhaps the most well thought out I have ever seen from any presidential candidate. In interviews and debates it is clear he has a command of the issues and background few non-incumbent candidates have ever had before the first primary. At a time when America faces tremendous economic challenges, his business and economic background appear to be a perfect fit for the times. Sure his time as a private equity job cutter would be fodder for the Obama 2012 attack machine, but all Americans know the real world economy is a tough place. While other candidates have challenged him, and in some cases passed him for the GOP front runner, Mitt just cruses along in the low to mid 20 percent range, almost rock solid. Add to that a campaign financial war chest which is unmatched among the GOP contenders and Mitt Romney would seem to be almost inevitable. Almost.

GOP Frontrunner in Waiting, Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney

So why is it that the GOP, and particularly its conservative base, has not rallied around Romney? Even more puzzling is that in 2008 when John McCain appeared to be on the verge of taking the nomination, conservatives and conservative media personalities tried to rally around Romney in the Stop McCain movement. What a difference 4 years makes. The cliché answer is the similarities between Obamacare and Romneycare. The fundamental difference between 2008 and 2012 is the enactment of the single most unpopular act of social engendering in American Political history. The democrats and President Obama drank their own Kool-Aid and passed their central government focused healthcare reform on the belief that once passed the American people would like what they saw. Instead the people shocked them and the more they saw, the more they disliked the Democrat healthcare plan. The result was one of the biggest midterm butt slappings in the last century. Now even a casual observer would have known Mitt Romney had some explaining to do. Indeed there are some major differences not the least of which is that the Massachusetts plan was a state plan, not federal and as such no unconstitutional. We conservatives have always believed in the 10th Amendment and Romney care may well have been appropriate for Massachusetts which had a solidly democratic legislature.

Yet this spring when Mitt Romney gave his much anticipated speech on healthcare reform, it was like watching a bad PowerPoint presentation by a Chief Financial Officer trying to explain away a bad quarter with double talk. I must admit watching it with great anticipation and figuring that day I would fall in behind team Romney and support his candidacy. Instead I saw a technocrat trying to explain away the similarities of the two programs without distancing himself from his signature achievement as Governor of Massachusetts. As George Will recently said, the GOP had found itself a Massachusetts Technocrat Governor; in Mitt Romney we have our Michael Dukakis. Now I have been reading George Will since I was in High School (that would be before Reagan was President) and even I was taken aback by that characterization. Mitt Romney is far more charismatic and I believe honestly passionate about his candidacy than that other Governor. Yet in that article was the core issue with Mitt Romney; the more I see him the more I feel he is a designer candidate. Created by committee and focus group tested.

Recently a quote of Winston Churchill struck me as relevant to considering Mitt Romney, “I shall not be deterred from doing what I am convinced is right by the fact that I have thought differently about it in some distant past”. That Mitt Romney has seen his positions evolve over time does not in and of itself bother me. I have struggled over the question of the rights of the unborn for a year until ultimately concluding life begins at conception as much on scientific grounds as moral (a discussion for another time). Yet when you look at Mitt Romney’s positions over the years you just come away with the feeling changing polls had as much to do with this evolution as did intellectual consideration. I wish Mitt would just sit down and truly speak from his heart, less polished, and explain why he has changed over time. For gosh sakes, Ronald Reagan voted for FDR, more than once!. Most conservative not only would understand his changing views as many of us have changed over times (OK, most to a lesser extent).

Mitt Romney’s candidacy is not without significant strengths from a conservative perspective. The Romney family seems genuinely loving and well grounded as does his marriage, a fact not lost on many conservatives in comparison to others in this campaign. Romney is by far the best campaigner in the race, with only Rick Santorum as comfortable in front of the camera during debates. One can almost smell the fear from Team Obama 2012 at the prospect of facing Romney in the fall of 2012. As one who believes the defeat of President Obama is crucial to the future of America, electability is no small consideration. My fear is some of my conservative friends have been drinking our own flavor of Kool Aid and believe anyone can will next year. While I think 2012 is now a Republican year to loose, it can be lost.

So what does Mitt Romney have to do to convince me, and I think many conservatives, that he has earned the privilege of being the nominee of the party of Lincoln and Reagan? Mitt Romney has to show me that what he says he believes in his heart. That he shares the same conservative vision of the Future of America that we do, and is not just regurgitating campaign slogans. I would tell Governor Romney to go face to face with your conservative critics and leave the private equity sales pitch behind. Show us the values that helped raise a great family. Governor Romney, it is as much the vision thing as anything. The real vision thing. Conservatives have been sold a bill of goods before by fast talking back slapping wanna-be conservatives more than once. The question is, are you the real deal.

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Filed under 2012 Election, Conservative, Mitt Romney, Obama Administration, Politics, Republican Party, The Grand Old Party, The White House

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