My Picks

Send in the Clowns

th

After weeks, of blaming Republicans for the sequestration procedure that he, himself crafted, the President and his sidekicks have  taken their “chicken little” impressions to increasingly absurd heights.  Read more in The White House Court Jesters of Sequester and for more on the “draconian spending cuts” read Earth to New York Times

A Response to Cass Sunstein

While we all make bad decisions from time to time, history has shown us that governments make even worse decisions.  Thomas Sowell reminds us that Ivy League elitists and progressive politicians have a history of disastrous ideas, from the government-sponsored crop destruction of the 1930′s to their long-forgotten infatuation with Hitler, Mussolini, and the Soviet Union. Shepherds and Sheep

An End to Section 5 ?

An interesting look at another one of those antiquated laws most people have never heard of .  A Ruling on Racial Progress

Why Doesn’t He Call?

After selling out American workers to help re-elect Obama, several major unions are wondering where there cut is.  Unrequited Love

Is Satire Dead?

In a culture where the writers are hopelessly biased, the viewers are depressingly disengaged, and the real-life politicians are cartoonishly ridiculous, does satire still have a place? Sa-tired by Jim Geraghty

True the Vote

Watchdog group True the Vote just completed a massive study on election turnout and guess what?  Turns out the liberal claim that voter ID laws “suppress the vote” is absolute garbage.  Not an earth shattering revelation to those of us who live in reality, but seeing the data in black in white settles the argument once and for all.  The Voter Suppression Narrative

Secrets of the Human Mind Unlocked!

If you were wondering what the President’s  “our scientists are mapping the human brain” comment meant, wonder no longer.  Science has revealed the mind of a voter.  The Human Brain Part I

Posted in Links, What I'm Reading | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Case for Life, 40 Years Later

This week marks the 40 year anniversary of our country’s war on unborn babies. It is tragically poetic that the most pro-abortion President in our nation’s history took his oath of office, for the second time, this same week.  The man who was re-elected this past November serves as a glaring reminder of just how broken our culture is. Many in the Republican party who have taken this election to mean that it is time to throw in towel on abortion.  I would like to argue that this fight has never been more important than it is right now.  We need not wait for 2016. We don’t need a politician to save us (they tend not to be the most reliable guys anyways). What we need is cultural change.  Our problems with the economy, education, violence, and almost anything you can think of are mere symptoms of the complete moral decay that is taking place.  How foolish of us to think that we might better fix the other problems by ignoring the greatest injustice of modern-day America.  For four decades, legalized abortion has played a destructive role in almost every facet of our society.  Today, on a day when many will join the March for Life in DC, I ask that you would consider the importance of standing up for the unborn and fostering a culture of life in our nation.

The biggest child killer out there

Before we go any further, let’s get this out of the way.  Yes, abortion kills babies, not skin cells, not clumps of tissue.  Babies.  With 3D imaging, neural mapping, and the countless other medical advances since Roe, it is no longer debatable.   Even people representing the pro-abortion groups out there, like NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and the Democratic Party don’t make that argument anymore.  They make lots of silly arguments about viability, “forced pregnancy,” and whether or not a child would be “better off” having been aborted than being born poor/unwanted/the daughter of a crackhead/etc.  But the only time they even try to use the dead skin cells argument is when they are talking to scared little girls, behind the closed doors of an abortion clinic. Among reasonably informed adults, it is a settled issue.  As far as the loftier argument about quality of life are concerned it’s really pretty simple.  Would anyone argue that we ought to round-up everyone, regardless of their current age, who was born poor, neglected/abused, born to drug addicts, raised in foster care, adopted, sick, or handicapped and execute them?  Surely, if death in the womb is preferable to a life under those circumstances then those people have suffered enough already.  We should do the merciful thing and kill them, without asking for their opinions on the matter, and put them out of their misery.  Of course, if you think that is a grotesque suggestion, than you really don’t believe that whole “better off having never been born” idea at all.  So let’s drop the charade.  There is only one issue on the table here.  We must decide whether or not a woman should be allowed to kill her baby because she doesn’t want to be a mother. Everything else is just misdirection.

Since 1973, just over 55.8 million American children have lost their lives at the hands of a “healthcare worker.” To put that in perspective, the Holocaust claimed the lives of somewhere between 11-17 million.  On average, we kill 3,500 babies a day with legal abortions. That’s one every 24 seconds. The number of children killed by guns in the US is about 115 each year. According to abortion advocates, 1 in 3 women will have an abortion in her lifetime. That means that the likelihood of a child dying at the hands of his mother is higher than his odds of being killed by a kidnapper, terrorist, drunk driver, cancer, AIDS, or any of the other terrible things that lurk in our world. Mothers top them all. We saw the President of the United States brought to tears (well, in that teary-eyed politician sort of way) over the Sandy Hook shooting.  He trotted out a bunch of kids who had the pants scared off of them by some liberal parent on a gun rant.  They pleaded for the lives of other children.  And yet, the President (and I’m willing to bet their parents too) supports policies that lead to more child deaths than if there was a Sandy Hook shooting every single hour of every single day.  If we want to get serious about protecting innocent life, than we have to start with the largest threat to innocent life.  If every weapon in the world magically disappeared, if EPA regulations gave us the safest drinking water imaginable, and if cyber-bullying was a distant memory, we would still be guilty of doing nothing to stop the one thing that is really killing children in droves.

It hurts women

The first time that I remember grasping the true horror of abortion was when I was a teenager.  I was at my after-school job and out of nowhere one of my coworkers burst into tears.  She was in absolute hysterics.  After a while, she calmed down enough to tell us that she was pregnant.  She was in her early thirties and already had one boy, so like the teenage idiot that I was, I blurted out “so, what’s the big deal?”  She said she was thinking about how she was going to tell her son that he was going to have a new brother or sister when it hit her, he had another sibling whom she aborted more than a decade earlier, while she was in high school.  She said she had never really thought of the first baby that way before, an older sibling to her son.  As the thought replayed itself in her mind that day, she also started to think about the sonograms from when she had her son.  That was the point where she became completely overwhelmed.  She kept crying “I can’t believe I did that.”  That conversation has stuck with me all these years, partly because I regret that I was so young and didn’t know what to say, but mainly because I remember trying to put myself in her shoes.  A scared teenager who doesn’t want to tell her parents, she doesn’t want her life to change and a smiling adult in a lab coat says, “We can make this all go away.  It will be like it never happened.  Don’t worry, you aren’t doing anything wrong.” I can see why a frightened girl would make such a choice.  I can’t understand why any responsible adult would offer it.

The problem is, something does happen in an abortion and most women realize one day or another that they did do something very wrong.  Speaking openly and honestly about the brutality of abortion isn’t rude and it isn’t obscene.  It is the best way to stop a vulnerable woman from making a terrible decision.  Teenage girls who have had abortions are 10 times more likely to commit suicide than their peers. Studies show that 60% of women who have had abortions become suicidal at some point and they are 6 times more likely to actually commit suicide than women who have had live births and/or miscarriages.  A 2010 study of post-abortive women showed that 52% of those who underwent early-term abortions and 67% of those with late-term abortions were diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder according to the official American Psychological Association standards. There is nothing good that can come from the emotional trauma of an abortion. Post-abortive women must either come to terms with the guilt of taking their child’s life or  harden their hearts by denying the reality of what happened.  Either way, exercising one’s “reproductive rights” comes with a hefty price tag.

It Keeps Getting Worse

If there’s one argument that liberals hate the most, it’s probably “the slippery slope.” To them, it is just a way for us to frighten people into agreeing with us.  But the thing is, it’s true. Societies are not stagnant.  They are continuously in motion. The decisions we make set our feet on one path or another, and legalized abortion has sent us down a pretty dark path. Before the Roe v. Wade decision came down, it was estimated that as many as 10,00 women a year might get an abortion, were it legal.  In the US today, that number sits at about 1.2 million a year.  40 years ago, many people bought into the idea that they were just removing some tissue in the early stages of pregnancy.  They rationalized that surely a baby only a few weeks old didn’t count.  Today, only 36 states have  restrictions on abortion after a certain point in the pregnancy (usually about 24 weeks).  Of those 36,  27 allow for exceptions to the ban if a woman’s “mental health” (which includes stress and depression) is at stake.  Only 9 states require that late-term abortion be medically necessary. Some of the still legal methods include: Induced Labor- where labor is induced prematurely so that the child will die, and the more common Dilation and Evacuation- where a woman’s cervix is dilated and the abortionists uses tools to dismember the baby and remove him piece by piece (there is no anesthesia for the baby even though they are past the age of “viability” and capable of feeling pain).  The only difference between the legal methods and the banned Dilation and Extraction method (partial-birth) is that in a partial-birth abortion the baby is dismembered after birth. President Obama has been a long time supporter of legalizing this brutal practice in which a baby is born breach with all but the top of his head out of the birth canal before the doctor punctures his skull and remove the brains (also without anesthesia).   The official Democratic Party Platform states their unequivocal support for abortion at any stage, without restriction, and without exception for partial-birth.  Even with the ban in place, some states refuse to enforce it. One famous example is in Kansas where (under the direction of our current Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius) officials refused to prosecute Dr. Tiller who once joked about the “sloppy medicine” of live babies “slipping out” during abortions. He professed to have killed 60,000 babies and openly performed partial-birth abortions on underage girls, citing reasons like they didn’t want to miss prom. He even used these procedures to cover up the abuse of girls, as young as 12, without ever reporting their rapes to the authorities.  Far from being seen as the monster he was Dr. Tiller received numerous awards, was honored at a gala with the governor, and, since his death, has become an iconic hero of the left.  This week alone there were several articles in major newspapers chronicling the “brave” doctors who carry on his legacy. Every pro-choice group like Planned Parenthood has at least one page of their website dedicated to his memory.  There’s even a Dr. George Tiller Courage Award given each year.  Idolizing someone who was very open about the fact that he was killing viable babies, is a pretty far cry from the “safe, legal, and rare” standard that we used to hear.  Now, the more brutal and inhumane the methods are, the more “brave” and “courageous” the doctor is.

There also used to be a time when feminists said, “if you don’t like abortion, don’t have one.” But we are no longer free to keep abortion out of our homes.  Only 22 states require a parental consent before an abortion is performed on an underage girl.  Of those 22, most have a near 100% record of “judicial bypass” to parental consent.  This process consists of a girl requesting a form (available at her local abortion provider) and then appearing in a private meeting with a judge and a clinic worker to show that she is mature enough to make a decision without her parents.  The whole process, from application to abortion, typically takes no longer than four days.  There is no requirement that the girl’s parents be abusive, neglectful, or otherwise unfit.  The only requirement is that she doesn’t want to tell them. I can’t think of a greater threat to the sovereignty of adults in their own homes than the government interfering with their ability to parent their children.
But, that isn’t the only way the government forces abortion into our lives. To many of us, the good stewardship of our money and resources is a responsibility that we take very seriously. The Obama administration has poured millions of our tax dollars into abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood.  Furthermore, the new healthcare law requires pro-life business owners to check their freedom of religion at the door, by requiring them to provide coverage for abortifacient drugs.  Businesses like Hobby Lobby are now facing fines of $1.3 million a day for refusing to cave on their beliefs.  And the current official Democratic Party platform echos the President’s desire to provide abortions for all women “regardless of ability to pay.” Which means that we will be paying for it.  There is no such thing as “personally pro-life, but publicly pro-choice.”  Every day that abortion is legal we go further and further down this awful road.  It leads to increased barbarism and decreased religious freedom.  We can’t afford to stay on it any longer.

It Destroys our Culture

Is it any wonder that a society that says it’s OK to kill another person because their existence would be inconvenient raised a generation of envious little narcissists?  Just think about it for a moment.  With one court decision, we sent the message that a.) we should not have to suffer the consequences of our own bad choices, b.) we have no obligation to anyone but ourselves, and c.) we are entitled to be “happy” even if comes at the expense of another person’s life. Why should the self-entitled brats of the Occupy Wall Street movement or the “spread the wealth around” Obama-voters surprise us?  We taught them it was OK to kill someone to get what they want.  And we’re surprised that they feel entitled to someone else’s money?  They think that they’re entitled to take someone else’s life! The effects of legalized abortion are far-reaching and can be seen in many aspects of our society.

One of the big selling points of abortion, is the belief that limiting the number of “unwanted” births would cure or at least greatly reduce many of society’s ills.  In the early days of Roe, it was assumed that fatherless homes, divorce, generational poverty, child abuse, and many crimes were often consequences of unwanted pregnancy.  The problem is, since 1973, all of those problems have gotten worse. Even those who worried about unwed mothers dropping out of high school were wrong.  The dropout rate immediately increased after Roe and continued to increase until the close of the century. Shockingly, legalizing an irresponsible way to cope with the consequences of irresponsible behavior, did not magically make people become more sexually responsible either.  The infection rate of STD’s, particularly non-curable viral disease like herpes and HIV, have exploded since Roe v. Wade. Currently, about 20% of the US population is infected with an STD and about 12 million more are infected each year (this doesn’t include HPV which affects about half of all adults and 80% of women in their lifetime).  And far from eliminating single-parenthood homes, now almost half of all births in the US are to single mothers, with the majority (53%) of mothers under age 30 being unwed.

Still, there are other effects on society which are slightly harder to quantify, but no less disturbing.  Consider that as abortion has increased in acceptance internationally, respect for the value of human life has decreased.  All three Benelux (the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg) countries and Switzerland have legalized euthanasia or assisted suicide.  The nation of Belgium just killed two twin adults, who weren’t in pain and were not terminally ill, because they didn’t want to be blind. Here in the US, things aren’t much better.  Assisted suicide is legal in Washington, Oregon, and Montana.  Our own President said on national TV, that once a person is past a certain age we should just “give them a pain-pill” instead of medical treatment…and then we elected him to run our healthcare system! Speaking of which, I don’t really have to mention all of the “end of life” planning, “quality of life” planning, and “cost-effective treatment” panels in ObamaCare, do I?  And the growing lack of respect for life goes far beyond the elderly and infirmed.   Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom all have maternal filicide laws which automatically decrease the penalty given to a mother who kills a child under 1-year-old.  In the UK, largely the inspiration for our new medical system,  there is no medical assistance for premature babies who are less than 23 weeks old (premature babies have survived as young as 19 weeks) or weigh less than one pound. There are heart wrenching stories of mothers begging for doctors to help their babies who were one or two days under the limit and survived for hours without any assistance.  There is the story of one, now healthy six month-old little girl, who met the standard of 23 weeks, but fell short of the weight requirement.  It was only because a nurse left a pair of scissors on the scale with her that her life was spared. And before we dismiss this as some other country’s problem, keep in mind that we just re-elected a President who personally voted against the Born Alive Infant Proctection Act citing reasons like, these newborns shouldn’t be considered “persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a – child, a nine-month-old.”  Do we really believe that in a nation where states allow late-term abortions and assisted suicides and the people elect an anti-life President like Barack Obama, that we will somehow stop ourselves short of the UK system?  We’re inches away right now!

The most rewarding fight

Some of the most firmly pro-life people I know have given up on the public fight to end abortion.  If you find yourself in that mindset, I would like to offer some encouragement.  It took over 200 years to put an end to slavery in this country.  At that time, it was so taboo for politicians to talk about slavery that the now infamous “gag rule” was put in place in Congress where all motions regarding slavery would be immediately tabled, with no discussion. But as the politicians were flooded with petitions from citizens who prayed for an end to slavery, a few of them were encouraged to speak up.  John Quincy Adams, mentor of Abraham Lincoln, took it upon himself to drive his fellow representatives mad by introducing a petition to end slavery every time Congress was in session.  He once introduced 350 petitions in a single day, petitions that he knew would be tabled without vote or discussion.  Congress fired back and attempted to officially censure him.  After petitions from citizens poured in, the representatives backed down and dropped the censure.  Adams responded by introducing another 200 petitions to end slavery the following day.  I am sure that after 200 years, many people believed that the fight had been lost long before.  How sad it is for us, should we give up after a mere 40.  Furthermore, the people of that day did not just wait for the right President or the right politician to save them.  They prayed, they talked, they wrote books, they sent letters, and they signed petitions.  They worked to change the culture, despite having no guarantee that things would go there way.  They did it because it was the right thing to do.

We don’t need to wait for the perfect President.  We don’t need to wait until Congress is full of “our guys.”  Those things are nice, but without a culture of life, they won’t matter.  Most politicians are driven entirely by their desire to keep their jobs.  A people that value life will produce politicians that at least pretend to value it too.  And unlike movements to reform the way we think about taxes or big government which require a huge national shift to get any results, making the case for life yields results when just one person changes their mind.  Even if we never live to see the day when legalized abortion is struck down in this country, we should be motivated to speak up because we never know who is listening. Even the most uncomfortable of arguments are worth it, if through hearing the truth, one mother decides not to take a life.  And if we’re really pro-life, that one life should be reason enough to fight on.

Posted in Articles, Calls to Action, National Politics, Social Policies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What Will the 2013 GOP Look Like?

The struggle between the socially liberal elites and the socially conservative base of the Republican party has been growing in intensity over the last few years.  The re-election of Barack Obama has prompted more left-leaning Republicans to say that it is time to throw in the towel on social issues and just focus on the economy.  They would say that in order to win elections, we have to drop the more divisive issues.  Those of us on the right believe that social issues have never been more important than they are right now because the real problem with our country is a rotting culture.  We would say that the even economic issues like the renewed calls for redistribution of wealth and a growing dependency on entitlement programs are a symptom of our broken culture.  Winning an election by dropping the social issues would be a hollow victory that produced no real change.

So, I want to know what you think. What will happen with the Republican party this year?  Will GOP politicians realize that it will take a hard-right stance to slow down the Obama machine (after all, they sure aren’t abandoning the social issues)? Will the more “moderate” elites force the party to abandon social issues and risk the loss of their own voter base?  Will the party become even more divided?  Or will things continue on exactly

as they are now?

 

Posted in National Politics, Polls, Social Policies | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Picks

Thank you for your patience.  I’ll be back to regular posting after the holidays.  In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been reading lately:

Union Violence in the Age of Obama

Michigan is finally taking steps towards economic recovery and the unions aren’t happy. You can read all about the left-wing outrage in Michelle Malkin’s There Will be Blood.  Meet the pro-union, Obama-appointee whose arrogance led to a national resurgence in  Right to Work  advocacy in the Wall Street Journal’s Michigan and the Wisdom of Solomon . And Townhall tackles Jimmy Hoffa’s Personal and Hypocritical Class War.

South Korea Picks a President

This is an interesting article about the South Korean election and how ghosts of the old dictatorship, war, and decades of poverty still linger on.  Democracy, Gangnam-Style

Taxing the Poor

Thomas Sowell explains how the Government’s Shell Game Taxes the Poor.

Ambassador Wintour

Anna Wintour, the inspiration for the super-cruel fashion editor of the Devil Wears Prada, is apparently being considered by President Obama as a possible choice for his next U.S. Ambassador.  National Review has done a parody of the proposed appointment in The Ambassador Wore Prada.

Tackling the Rape Exception

For those of us who love Ann Coulter, but were disappointed to see her throw in the towel on the rape-abortion exception, Mike Adams responds to her comments in What’s Good for the Noose is Good for the Pander

 

 

Posted in Links, What I'm Reading | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Benghazi: The Cultural Impact

The Presidential election is only a few days away.  As with any election involving an incumbent, the result will not only tell the story of which candidate’s message resonated more strongly with the American people, but it will also be a referendum on the current administration.  In the end, it will either be a ringing endorsement of the last four years or a stern rebuke.  Obviously, issues like the economy and ObamaCare will carry the most weight in determining the outcome, but I would like to suggest that another area ought to be considered with equal care. Whether we are speaking about the cronyism of the bailouts or the scandal-plagued Department of Justice, this Administration has been marked by corruption and deception to an unfathomable degree.  And in the wake of Fast and Furious, when many of us said that we were witnessing the worst scandal to involve a United States President, the White House outdid themselves with the 9/11 embassy attacks.  I submit to you that while Benghazi may not rank high on the average voter’s list of priorities, the endorsement or rebuke of the President on this particular issue will have wide-sweeping cultural ramifications.

The Lynch-Mob

Leading up to the string of attacks on our embassies, the now infamous YouTube video, had been viewed by just about no one.  It hadn’t gone viral.  It wasn’t the subject of blog posts or a conversation starter in online forums.  It had been viewed less than a hundred times.  And yet, when the tragedy took place, our leaders boldly pointed the finger at the video’s creator.  Ambassador Rice immediately began making the rounds on television shows to push the White House narrative.  Hilary Clinton repeatedly, even during a memorial service for those killed in the attack, blamed the “disgusting and reprehensible” video.   The President himself blamed the video in numerous interviews and speeches, including high-profile appearances before the UN, on Letterman, and the View.  He called the film’s producer a “shadowy character” and bizarrely proclaimed, to an international audience at the UN, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” Jay Carney insisted that despite the fact that numerous attacks were made on the anniversary of 9/11 and protesters were shouting “Obama, Obama we are all Osama,” that the events were not aimed at “any policy of the United States or the government of the United States or the people of the United States.” He reiterated the official position, they were “in reaction to this movie.”  And for weeks, this went on.  The President’s most faithful celebutants followed suit.  George Clooney said “Freedom of speech means you have to allow idiots to speak, and that’s the unfortunate thing.”  Bette Midler whined, “Who are the idiots who made the video and put it on YouTube? When do we meet them? They should be charged with murder.”  That was the general consensus among left-wing pundits and pop culture icons.  Whoever this “shadowy” guy was, he was evil, and a murderer, and we should know his name.  And then, we did. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was forced to hide out with family members. The calls went out for his arrest. Free speech is great, but surely we could arrest him for something.  Before long, investigators brought him in for questioning to determine if they had grounds to charge him with anything, or what the ACLU and the liberal writers of Law and Order usually like to call a “fishing expedition.”  Sure enough, they found something. He was arrested for violating the terms of his probation because he directed the film under an alias and accessed the internet without permission from his probation officer.  And while arresting someone for violating their probation is both common and just, holding a non-violent offender, without bail, certainly isn’t.  At this time, more than a month after we knew for sure that his video played no role in the Benghazi tragedy, he sits in jail because he is still considered a “danger to the community.”  No one has offered him so much as an apology.

Mr. Nakoula may very well be a petty criminal and a first-rate jerk, but he did not deserve to be falsely accused by the leader of the free world of causing American deaths. The President knew, from day one, that there was no protest leading up to the attack, and he encouraged an entire nation to funnel their rage squarely on the head of one man.  His administration encouraged a lynch-mob mentality, putting the personal safety of both the filmmaker and his family at enormous risk, when they knew all along this man didn’t deserve it.  He was a crook and a liar who made a tacky low-budget movie.  He was unsympathetic and an easy target.  It is the sort of situation that we used to watch unfold only in third-world countries and oppressive regimes like the Soviet Union.  The government messes up and instead of taking responsibility, offers up an unlikeable nobody as the fall-guy.  It’s the sort of thing that we used to look at and say, “man it would be terrible to live under a government like that.”  And while the story has a somewhat sunnier tone because the truth, or at least some of it, has come out, it is important to remember that this is through no action of the Obama Administration.  It was not until documents and emails were leaked to the press that the President and his cabinet acknowledged that this was a terrorist attack, totally unrelated to the YouTube video.  We should be terrified to think that our leaders would knowingly allow an innocent party to take the blame for their own incompetence, but this is so much worse than that.  They invented the story, actively promoted it, and then fanned the flames of outrage both here and abroad.  So much for “innocent until proven guilty.” Allowing such people to have four more years is a frightening proposition.  If you think it took a lot of arrogance and disdain to pull something like this in the first place, imagine how it will be when those responsible believe they got away with it.  They will only be emboldened to do it again, perhaps more carefully, and the fragile trust between the people and our representatives will be utterly shredded.

The Press

The President was not alone in pushing the movie-review-gone-wild theory. He couldn’t have done it without an enthusiastic press.  I can’t fault them for the amount of coverage this story received early on.  It is a big story and it deserves a lot of attention.  The problem is that almost every network, except for that one liberals hate so much, ran full-steam ahead with the video story, without ever raising an eyebrow. They forgot the investigative part of “investigative reporting!”  Consider that this is the same media who told us not to jump to conclusions when a lunatic shouting “Allah Akbar” shot up Fort Hood.  The same reporters who pronounce the word a-lleg-ed-ly in slow-motion when discussing Michael Jackson.  These same “journalists” helped spread the story that one man set off an international string of riots, with ZERO supporting evidence. Our society romanticizes the press as these relentless seekers of truth.  The heavyweights of network news write biographies and speak at college graduations about how they took on the government and “spoke truth to power.”  But, in reality, they’re not only afraid to speak truth to power, they’re afraid to ask it a question.  The President of Libya put his standing as an ally and millions of dollars in U.S. aid at risk when he came forward and disputed President Obama’s claims only days after the attack.  And yet, no one (outside of conservative media) was very interested in looking into it. At that point, long before the piles of damning evidence that we have today came out, any journalist worth his salt should have been all over this story.  Even if they were certain our President would be proven correct, a credible news organization would have thrown every available resource into finding out why the two stories didn’t match. They should have found it odd, that the despite White House claims that an investigation was under way, the FBI was blocked from investigating until October.  This was the sort of story that journalists are supposed to drool over, but they weren’t even curious.

Before long, it became obvious that President Obama had made fools of the mainstream media.  The story he gave them was proven to be absolutely false.  And while a few reporters claimed to be “upset” that they were misled, they still weren’t willing to ask any tough questions.  There were emails showing unanswered requests for security, live-streaming video of the attack, orders to stand down, testimony that everyone knew from the beginning it was a terrorists attack, and word that nearby US troops were not sent to stop the 7 hour attack.  When finally given a chance to question the President, the best Mika Brzezinski could muster was, “Why has it been so easy for the Administration’s critics to say it does not have its story straight on Benghazi?” The President then blathered on about how much it “offends” him when people say that and, by the way,  he’s got “a pretty good track-record” when it comes to stuff like this.  And that was good enough for Mika.  From one network to the next, the story was the same.  As soon as it turned out that this was going to make the President look bad, they either dropped the Benghazi story in favor of more Mitt-romney-binders-of-women jokes or spent all their investigative powers determining how bad the President’s feelings must hurt right now.  With the election on the line, the press tossed aside any pretense of integrity and went into full-on campaign and cover-up mode.  This sent an important message to the White House, no matter what the charges, most of the press would rather help advance liberalism than help spread the truth.  To appreciate the cultural significance of re-electing Barack Obama, you need only to picture two things; a government that doesn’t fear the press and a press that thinks the people don’t notice.

The Military

Perhaps the most culturally significant aspect of the Benghazi tragedy is an apparent disregard for human life, particularly the lives of our soldiers.  As disturbing as it was to hear about the horrific death of our Ambassador and to find out that we had been lied to about the events leading up to the attack, it was nothing compared to the shock I felt when I read about the final hours of the lives of Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.  What we know so far is that the former Navy SEALS were about a mile away from the consulate when they heard the gunfire.  According to reports, they requested to go to the aid of the Ambassador Stevens several times and were told to “stand down.”  They went anyways.  Despite being overwhelming outnumbered, they did their best to protect the people in the consulate.  During the seven hour attack, with help less than an hour away, no one else came.  Sources who have heard the audio tapes of communications from the annex say that Woods can be heard begging for air support.  None came.  And while White House officials can argue about who did or did not give the order to “stand down,” there is no dispute that live-streaming video of the attack was playing in the Situation Room.  And still, they sent no one.  Help was literally a phone-call away.

The President has yet to answer as to whether or not he was in the Situation Room, but we know that he was in the White House at the time.  So, either he was somewhere else in the building for seven hours and didn’t bother to check out what was going on, or he was watching the live feed and didn’t bother to intervene.  The President continues to claim that he both sprung into action and was totally unaware of anything that happened.  He was strategizing with his staff, but he isn’t sure if he was in the room with them.  The safety of the men and women stationed there were always his top priority, but he can’t recall ever reading their numerous requests for security before the attack.  He immediately started an investigation into what went wrong, but blocked the FBI investigators from going in until October.  He claims to be wrecked with grief over the loss of life in Benghazi, but when the bodies of two heroes who risked their lives to save others made it home, he was still talking about a stupid YouTube video.  According to Charles Woods, Tyrone’s father, Secretary Clinton came up to him at his son’s memorial service and swore that the Obama Administration would see the people who caused this tragedy brought to justice, the ones who made the video.  If not for the leaks coming from distraught sources on the inside, we would have never known of the heroics which took place that day.  Barack Obama and his staff would have robbed the grieving parents of even that small comfort.  And for what?  For national security? To keep some secret that could save millions of lives?  No, because on day one they invented some silly story about a movie and they wanted to keep it going.

The men and women who volunteer for oversees military and security duties, know the risks going in.  They know that they will serve with and under imperfect men.  Men who will at times experience lapses in judgement and maybe even courage.  They don’t expect everything to go according to plan, but they also don’t expect to be abandoned by their President.  It is tragic every time a soldier dies in defense of this nation, but it unconscionable for one to die because of a cheap political maneuver.  We are a nation that respects and admires our soldiers.  We cannot place them in hands of a commander that doesn’t lead them with the same level of respect and admiration. You can tell a lot about a nation by how they treat their soldiers.  If we allow this President to serve another four years, I shudder to think what it says about us.

I’ve heard a few conservative pundits, Glenn Beck most notably, respond to the Benghazi revelations with some variation of the same phrase, “I no longer recognize my country.”  And I think there is something to that.  The tragedy which unfolded in Benghazi is not an isolated story, but one that embodies the shift that has taken place in our nation.  Four years ago every major network started their evening news with total death count from the Iraq war.  Does anyone even know how many have died since then? Would you be surprised to know that more have died in the last four years than in George W. Bush’s two terms in office? Four years ago, covering Cindy Sheehan was a staple for network news.  Today, no one is interested in interviewing Charles Woods. Four years ago, our elementary-aged children knew about the massive breach of trust Richard Nixon committed with Watergate.  Today, how many adults don’t have a clue about the misdeeds of our sitting President?  Four years ago, Americans would have been screaming in the streets if they thought for even a second that the White House had watched Americans die in real-time and did nothing.  Four years ago, we would have demanded the resignations of anyone who dared to blame an international tragedy on an innocent man.  When we vote on Tuesday we are not just voting between two candidates.  We are delivering our verdict on the last four years.  We will either tell the President that we don’t mind turning a blind eye to negligence, incompetence, and deceit or we will tell him that we’ve been watching all along.  The country that allows the Benghazi tragedy to stand is one that is foreign to me.  On November the sixth, I hope to see a country I recognize.

 

 

Posted in Articles, Calls to Action, National Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is the Romney Bounce Here to Stay?

Since last week’s debate, Mitt Romney has made enormous gains in every major poll.  He has pulled ahead of the President both nationally and in most of the swing states.  Even states that were considered “solidly blue,” like Pennsylvania where he’s only down by two points, might be within his grasp.  This change in the polling numbers raises an important question: Are voters only temporarily enamored with Mitt Romney because of his debate performance or did the debate reveal something about each candidate that has permanently shifted momentum in Romney’s favor? What do you think?  Is the Romney bounce here to stay?

Posted in Polls | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Showdown in Denver

Tonight’s the night.  We have officially reached the first debate and the last leg of the 2012 election. Opinions on what Mitt Romney ought to do range from one extreme to the next. Should he play up on the Mr. Nice Guy thing?  Or should he come out swinging? Will he look like a “birther” if he hit’s too hard? How will he make himself look warm and approachable?  For my part, I think we’re over-thinking this a bit.  When it comes to how he approaches Barack Obama tonight, Mitt Romney has the upper-hand.  He doesn’t need to play a role or come up with snappy insults. If he is willing to just speak the truth plainly, he can land serious blows to the President’s credibility and come off looking like the only adult in the room.

I believe that Barack Obama is vulnerable to attack on many fronts, his unpopular healthcare bill chief among them. But I think RomneyCare might cause that issue to come out as a draw in the eyes of the viewers.  So, excluding ObamaCare, I came up with a list of the top four areas that I would like to see Mitt Romney attack tonight.  They are in no particular order.

1. Foreign Policy

Yes this is a domestic policy debate, but they always at least touch on foreign policy. And this should be an easy place for Mitt Romney to gain the upper-hand.  And yes, I know, Obama got Osama.  But, let’s face it, it’s not as though that was a difficult decision to make.  I’m not aware of any pro-Osama wing of American politics and I’m certainly not aware of anyone who held or ran for the office of President that would have made a different decision.  It was the right thing to do, but in terms of a judgement call it’s right up there with being anti-cancer.  Nevertheless, let’s grant the President that one victory.  And only that one, because on every other issue, where he has been forced to take a side, he has taken the wrong one.  He has slighted our allies in the UK and Poland.  He has snubbed, ignored, bad-mouthed, and been a down-right lousy host to the Prime Minister of our only real ally in the Middle East, Israel.  But, boy is he a charmer when talking to Hugo Chavez.  He keeps warning Netanyahu not to go to war with Iran, but has refused to draw a line in the sand with Ahmadinejad.  War in Iraq, not worth it. But in Afghanistan, where no has been successful, ever, he thinks we should stick around for a while.  The pro-American/Western protesters in Iran, who wanted to overthrow an evil regime dedicated to wiping out Western society and all of Israel, weren’t worthy of our support, but we went all-in for the Muslim Brotherhood backed “Arab Spring.” Stopping the worst people in the world from building nuclear weapons is important to him in speeches, but never in actions. Tearing down our  missile defense system, on the other hand,  is something he doesn’t want to talk openly about, but something he may be willing to do “after the election,” when he has “more flexibility.”  He doesn’t want to engage in the trade war we’re already in with China by taxing their goods, but he’ll punish American business with higher taxes.  He doesn’t want to build a pipeline to our ally Canada, but gave Brazil $2 billion dollars to develop their oil fields. His administration warns that tea-party members could be potential terrorists, but he calls the Fort Hood shooting “workplace violence.” It’s all upside-down.  He has taken the position opposite to that of common sense on every issue.  Romney doesn’t need to make the case that Barack Obama has bad motives or that harbors some sort of anti-Western sentiment. He just needs to show that, whatever the reason, Barack Obama’s instincts are off when it comes to foreign policy.  Maybe it’s intentional, maybe he’s just naive.  It doesn’t matter.  Mitt Romney’s only concern should be conveying to the American people that President Obama can’t be trusted to protect our interests against foreign bodies.  Mitt Romney may lack experience, but he at least knows our friends from our enemies.  Barack Obama’s only “experience” is in making bad decisions.

2. Corruption

This ought to be a big issue in the next three debates. Actually, it ought to be a big issue everywhere. Presidents Nixon, Clinton, Kennedy, and Bush have all drawn accusations of running a corrupt administration, some justified and some not.  But even Nixon’s Watergate and Clinton’s Whitewater/Lewinsky scandals pale in comparison to the dealings of our current White House resident.  We’re talking about an administration where the Solyndra, GSA, Delphi, GM bondholders, Boeing, and numerous ACORN scandals are the “little stuff.”  The Department of Justice has racked up a lengthy list of scandals in the past for years, the most well-known being the Fast and the Furious debacle. The body count from that one now sits at about 300.  Three hundred.  When was the last time a President was accused of letting hundreds of civilians die in order to pass a new regulation?  Yeah, Nixon’s not so bad now is he? It’s so outrageous that many Americans flatly refuse to believe it’s true, despite the overwhelming evidence and lack of any alternative explanation from the White House.  They just simply say, “Nah, it can’t be true.”  This is where Romney needs to force an answer from the President.  “If this wasn’t a set-up to push for gun control, what was it?  If it was supposed to be a gun-monitoring operation, why was ‘monitoring the guns’ prohibited? Why would you use Executive Privilege to protect documents you claim to have never seen? And if this wasn’t done with your knowledge and approval, why haven’t you fired anyone?”  He should carry that same tone into the discussion of the recent wave of foreign policy scandals.  “Mr. President, if you’re Administration wasn’t behind leaking classified documents, why won’t you demand or even allow a special prosecutor to investigate?  The lives of both Americans and confidential foreign informants are now at risk because of the leaks, don’t you want to know who’s making you look bad?”  The recent attacks on American embassies and the death of Christopher Stevens deserve similar scrutiny.  “Do you really expect Americans to believe that uncoordinated, unplanned attacks spontaneously erupted in 27 locations, on the anniversary of September 11th, in response to a video that most of the protestors have neither the computers nor the internet access to have seen? Why did your administration first claim to have had no prior warning before the attack when that has been proven to be untrue?  Why were the warnings of the coming attacks and the request for more security from Ambassador Steven ignored?  Why weren’t American citizens warned to flee those countries before the attack?”  It might be a bit abrupt, but these circumstances demand a direct line of questioning. The implications of these scandals are so outrageous that asking about them publicly and on live TV is the only way to get people to pay attention.  We don’t want to believe that a sitting president could be involved with something so reprehensible, so it’s easy to brush them off as conspiracy theories. That is, until someone forces you to think about it logically for a second.  When that happens, the corruption of the Obama Administration quickly goes from a tinfoil-hat fantasy to the only plausible explanation. If Romney can force a discussion on even one of these issues, viewers will see for themselves, without the filter of the media, that the President cannot produce a credible defense of his actions.  And when all of the evidence suggests that our Commander and Chief has willingly allowed people to die for some political aim, he better have one heck of an explanation.  And from everything I’ve seen, he doesn’t.

3. Abortion

Popular wisdom would lead you to believe that abortion is one issue that could really hurt Mitt Romney and he should avoid it at all costs.  But here’s the thing, that isn’t possible. There is no way that he gets out of this debate without the moderator and Barack Obama attacking him as an anti-choice extremist.  It’s going to happen. But instead of backpedaling this issue, like Republicans often do, he ought to hit back hard.  The Democratic party has adopted the most extreme position on abortion that we’ve seen.  Not only is it morally repugnant, but it is about as un-American as you can get.

The official DNC platform for 2012 includes “unequivocal” support of a “woman’s right” to have an abortion, at any stage of the pregnancy, “regardless of ability to pay.”  Furthermore, it goes on to say that Democrats will “oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.” It would be easy to brush this off as a typical pro-choice position, but it isn’t.  For one thing, there is a big difference between something being legal and something being a right.  Saying that a woman has the right to have an abortion means she is entitled to it, that it already belongs to her, as is confirmed by the “regardless of ability to pay” line. That means that if she can’t afford it, we must provide it for her. The Democrats aren’t even denying that’s what it means anymore, they are celebrating it.  This is their big push for women’s healthcare “access.” Now add that with the reference to opposition of “any and all efforts to weaken” that right.  Democrats have quietly supported state efforts to eliminate minor-consent laws for some time, and have been pretty successful doing it.   Currently, only 24 states still require that a parent gives consent, many of which either don’t enforce the law, or have a near 100% record for judicial bypass of parental consent.  For parents who are fortunate enough to live in a state that still enforces these laws, this platform is a frightening development. The unqualified opposition to restrictions on abortion seems to signal a move toward a more aggressive nation-wide approach to removing parents from the equation, a notion that does not sit well with most voters.  According to Gallup, 71% percent of Americans believe that anyone under 18 should be required by law to have parental consent before obtaining an abortion and a CNN poll found that 61% of Americans oppose using any tax money to pay for abortions.  But that’s only the start. We also have the left’s renewed crusade for late-term abortions,  and that’s where the numbers get really bad for the Democrats.  The same Gallup poll mentioned above showed that 64% percent supported banning all abortions, except to save the mother’s life, in the last six months of pregnancy.  And, in all of the polls conducted by Gallup since 2000, support for third-trimester abortions has never risen above 10%.  Ten percent. Now ask yourself, of those 10%, how many of them actually know what a partial-birth abortion is?  I’m guessing not many. In fact, I bet that number would be cut in half if people were actually informed about what happens in a late-term abortion (if you aren’t sure yourself, there is an excellent, but not overly graphic, description here).  You would be hard-pressed to find people on the street who though taxpayer-funded, partial-birth abortions for unaccompanied minors was a grand idea, but somehow the Democrats managed to pack a three-day convention with speakers who all hold the same view. Yeah, the same group of people who booed God and Israel, stood up and cheered for speakers from organizations like NARAL and Planned Parenthood, all of whom are open supporters of the radical abortion agenda.  The only person to the left of the DNC’s official platform, is the President himself who voted twice to allow doctors to kill babies after they’re born alive!   The last thing Barack Obama wants is to have to clarify and defend his feelings about unborn children. Mitt Romney must be willing to turn the discussion back around. “I am pro-life and I make no apologies for it.  What about you Mr. President?  Care to clarify your positions on taxpayer-funded abortions, partial-birth abortions, and parental notification?  Where exactly do you stand on forcing people to violate their religious beliefs and contribute financially to abortion?” This election has pulled the veil off of the “personally pro-life, but publicly pro-choice” position.  It’s not possible.  The Democrats are actively trying to force all taxpayers into participating, at least financially, in the killing of unborn children.  They are undermining parental rights by passing out the Morning After Pill in school and allowing children to obtain a sometimes fatal procedure without their parent’s knowledge.   There is nothing “enlightened” or “moderate” about a voter who overlooks abortion in November and it is naive and irresponsible to think otherwise.  When the abortion issue comes up, Mitt Romney needs to make it clear that one way or the other, we are all voting on abortion this year.

4. The Economy

Under the leadership of the Obama Administration, the average household income has dropped to 1995 levels, while the cost of living sits firmly at 2012 levels.  The we’ve-got-to-spend-money-to-save-money experiment has, shockingly, resulted in jaw-dropping debt.  Stimulus I, Stimulus II, Omnibus, the “Jobs Bill,” and Quantitave Easing I,II, &III have failed to lower unemployment, but have succeeded in increasing our debts to China and drastically devaluing our currency.  The President’s “green jobs” initiatives have failed to create jobs, but instead have resulted in a series of taxpayer investments in bankrupt and abandoned companies.   His tougher stance on fossil fuels has not ignited innovation for “more sustainable” energy, it has, big surprise, led to higher energy costs. “Saving the auto industry” turned out to mean “ripping off investors to pay off unions.” And what did we get for our investment in Government Motors?  A Chevy Volt that costs taxpayers $250,000 for every one sold.   The point is, when it comes to the economy, the presidency of Barack Obama has been an abject failure. And that is the point that Mitt Romney has to make.  It doesn’t matter if the viewers think the recession was all George W. Bush’s fault, President Obama has done nothing right in dealing with it.  Under his care, every aspect of the economy is worse off than it was before.  And there is absolutely no logical reason to think that a second term will make things better.  The Democrats had complete control of both houses of Congress for two years; the President could have passed any bill he wanted. And he did.  President Obama did exactly what he wanted to do and, according to him, got the results he wanted to get.  He says things are looking good. Now, he wants to do more of the same.  We’re not talking about a “Phase Two” where we switch things up a little bit, we’re talking about a Stimulus 4, a fifth year with no budget, and more “investments” in non-existent green jobs.  The only thing that might be a little different this time is all of the new taxes we’re going to have to pay to cover the cost of ObamaCare and make up for the first four years of operating without a budget.  It’s simple.  If four years of Obamanomics left us with higher unemployment, lower wages, and soaring cost-of-living expenses, why would four more years be any better? Barack Obama didn’t inherit this mess.  He ran for office.  He applied for the job, competed for the job, and interviewed in a series of debates for the job.  He failed to do the job he was hired for. Period.

I fully recognize that tonight’s debate will require a much gentler touch and sophisticated tongue than I am able to employ.  I just hope that Mitt Romney won’t overthink this too much.  He can’t be overly concerned with his image.  The left will paint him as an out-of-touch, cold-hearted, rich guy no matter what he says.  He is going to have a lot jabs thrown his way tonight and he shouldn’t be afraid to hit back.  He may not be able to convince people that Barack Obama is a dyed-in-the-wool Marxist, but he doesn’t have to.  He just has to show that the economy has been destroyed under his care.  He doesn’t need to convince people that the corruption in the Obama Administration is part of some large shadowy conspiracy, but he does need to call the President out on his dishonesty and publicly ask for the truth.  He doesn’t need to ascribe motives to Barack Obama’s foreign policy or his abortion policy.  All Mitt Romney needs to do is to shine a light on the things that the media has glossed over the last four years.  The viewers will draw their own conclusions from there. The facts are on his side. He doesn’t need to convince people that President Obama is the Manchurian Candidate, just that he’s a lousy President.  And who wants four more years of that?

Posted in 1 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Picks

“You Will Pay for That”

Rep. Gohmert gives House speech hammering the President for snubbing our allies and appearing weak to our enemies. While lacking the glitz of a campaign stump speech, the Congressman’s words give us a rare glimpse of one of our politicians dropping the politically correct language and saying what he believes.

Israel Out, Iran In

Why has the President continued to reach out gently to Iran while our ally is being cast aside?  The Abandonment

Media Hypocrisy

After the attacks on Libya and Egypt, the media jumped on Romney for making a public statement of support for our men overseas and condemning our attackers.  But was he really the one politicizing this tragedy? Wait, Who’s Political?

Libya, the Anti-Iraq

Libya, not Iraq, ought to be remembered as the great foreign policy disaster of the last decade.  Libyans Commemorate 9/11

Sandra Fluke – Face of a Nation?

What does the elevation of someone like Ms. Fluke say about the population of our country? A Nation of Sandra Flukes

Pittsburgh’s “Second Bill of Rights”

Apparently spending $20,000 per city student and getting nothing in return wasn’t enough for Pittsburgh City Council.  Now, they want to spread their terrible ideas for city planning by demanding that the federal government adopt their proposed “second Bill of Rights.”  Council is Off Its Rocker

A Change of Heart

Mike Adams made the mistake of thinking like a liberal four years ago in an article he wrote about the best way to spread the pro-life message.  In this two-part piece he explains why he was wrong and the importance of having a consistent, exception-free, message   Problems Solutions and Trade-offs  and Part Two

Posted in Links, What I'm Reading | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is it Finally Safe to Get Excited?

We have the Republican nominees for President and Vice President.  The platform is final and the convention is in the rear-view mirror.  So far, the Romney/Ryan ticket has done just about everything right.  So why is it that I find myself and other conservatives still trying to suppress our enthusiasm?  We’ve gotten pretty much everything we could have wanted out of this campaign, but many of us are still holding our breath.  Are our fears of an impending let down justified?  Or could it be that we really do have an excellent ticket, but years of luke-warm messaging and an anti-conservative sentiment from the party elites has us too pessimistic to believe it?  Are we setting ourselves up for disappointment or is it finally OK to get excited about this thing? Well, I can’t tell you what will happen in November, but as for my feelings on the Romney/Ryan ticket… I think it just might be time to break out the streamers.

During primary season, I was not sold on Mitt Romney as our nominee.  He was not my first, second, or third choice for 2012.  Not that I ever thought he was a bad choice, I just didn’t think that he was the guy to take on such an important election.  He appeared to lack the conviction of someone like Rick Santorum, the charisma of a Herman Cain, and couldn’t hold a candle to the debate skills of Newt Gingrich. And although I never thought he was the flip-flopper people called him, I didn’t know if he felt passionately enough about anything to put up a fight for his beliefs. Even in the Spring,  after he had clearly captured the nomination, I couldn’t shake a nagging suspicion that as the campaign heated up, he was going to let us down.  I knew what a smart and capable man he was, but a lot of questions remained about his character.  Would he put the same effort into convincing Democrats and Independents that he was a moderate, as he had spent in the previous months convincing us that he was conservative?  Would he spend so much time insisting that Barack Obama was a “nice enough guy” that he wouldn’t get around to saying what a bad President he has been?  Would he distance himself from Republicans to the point that voters wouldn’t see the difference between a vote for Romney and one for the Democrats? In other words, was he getting ready to John McCain this thing?  Thankfully, he was not.

The GOP is notoriously bad at defending itself against attacks from the other side.  That was one of the most frustrating things about George W. Bush’s presidency.  There were so many times when we knew that the Democrats were distorting his record and smearing him unjustly, but he wouldn’t respond.  And while an argument can be made that it is more honorable for a sitting President to stay above those sorts of discussions, the Republicans ran their campaigns the same way.  Accusations of a GOP conspiracy to trample minorities, kill off the elderly, and enslave women went unchallenged in election after election.  The entire party seemed to have this bizarre philosophy that if they just pretended not to hear these smears, the voters would too.  But those of us who live in the real world saw how allowing the Republicans to be painted as a bunch of bigots and greedy CEO’s had made an impression on our coworkers and family members. For some, the only thing they knew about politics was that they would never ever vote for a Republican. So we feared that if a rich, white, up-tight candidate like Mitt Romney wasn’t willing to confront these things head-on, the Republican’s image problem was about to go from bad to much, much worse.  Thankfully, he knew that too.  Instead of trying to downplay his success, he has used his story to illustrate why he’s the best person to fix the mess we’re in.  When the Democrats tried to portray Bain Capital as an evil company that destroyed lives, Mitt Romney highlighted the businesses that were saved, and the multitude of jobs that were created under him.  Instead of trying to balance out his dorkiness and penchant for saying “gosh golly” with contrived edginess, he showcased the positive impact that a lifetime of clean-living has had on himself and his family. His straightforward approach allowed him to go from being seen just as a competent guy to coming across as a really likable guy.  He’s gotten himself in front of a camera and corrected the facts whenever his record has been distorted. And when his policy proposals have been twisted and misrepresented, he has fought back hard in TV, radio, and online ads. In fact, he has used every lie about his policies as an opportunity to a.) call out the Obama campaign as dishonest, b.) explain his positions in more detail, and c.) contrast his vision with that of the current President. By simply responding honestly and forcefully to attacks, Mitt Romney is leading the discussion on those issues that used to put Republicans on the defensive.

The next big test of Romney the Candidate was who he would select for the VP slot. Not only was it his first major decision as a presidential candidate, but it would be used  to gauge where he really stood personally and what sort of people he would fill his cabinet with. Imagine the backlash if Mitt Romney had picked one of the more liberal Republican options instead of the conservative Paul Ryan. Remember, there were even a few pro-choice names thrown around by the press early on.  Most of us would have seen that as evidence that Romney was insincere and lacking in character.  A very large portion of the Christian and Tea Party vote would have sat this election out altogether. In order to shake the “Massachusetts Moderate” label, it was imperative that Mitt Romney select someone who was an outspoken conservative, both fiscally and socially.  And he needed to stand behind him 100%.  For a while, there seemed to be an unspoken rule among Republican power brokers that a conservative candidate either had to have a pro-choice wife or a liberal running mate to appeal to moderates.  Even the technically pro-life John McCain felt the need to distance himself from his more conservative running mate at every turn.  But Mitt Romney has rejected that tactic completely.  Although, many may have considered Paul Ryan to be a more conservative person than Romney a few months ago, the two have presented a united message that is pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-marriage, and protects the rights of parents and churches.  Instead of using the VP pick to convince voters that he was merely willing to work with conservatives, Mitt Romney used it to prove that he is one.

Beyond securing the support of conservatives, the Paul Ryan pick was a brilliant strategic move in that it took one of President Obama’s biggest weapons away from him.  Earlier this year, the White House made it clear that the “Ryan Plan” would be a centerpiece of their bid for re-election.  Because it is the highest profile Republican budget plan, it provided the President’s team with an easy target.  They were free to paint it as a cold-hearted bill that will kill off seniors and starve the poor, without having to worry too much about a response.  After all, what news network is going to be interviewing the Congressman from Wisconsin when there’s a race for President going on?  It wouldn’t matter what sort of plan Mitt Romney officially came up with, Democrats would tie it to the Ryan Plan. That would mean that Mitt Romney and his VP would be forced to either explain and defend a bill they didn’t write or distance themselves from it and appear to be retreating from the GOP’s signature proposal. Having Paul Ryan on the ticket does not, as some Democrats claim, draw unwanted attention to the Ryan Plan.  It provides an opportunity for the man who is probably better than anyone else in the country at explaining budgets, to defend a really good budget bill.  It allows the guy who tore apart Barack Obama’s smoke and mirrors healthcare plan in six minutes to have a national stage.  If Mitt Romney wants to be President, he needs someone by his side who can explain the intricate details of finances and complicated legislation to people who only tune into politics once every four years.  He had to have a VP who could show, with cold hard facts and figures, the looming debt crisis and what it would take to avert economic catastrophe.  And there is no one who can do that job better than Paul Ryan.

After the VP pick, there was no denying that I was excited.  I thought the campaign was going much better than expected, and his selection of Paul Ryan gave me even more confidence in both Romney’s character and his odds of winning in November.  But even as I was saying to myself, “wow, this is going really well,” I kept thinking “it’s bound to go South at any moment.”  And most of the conservatives I know felt the same way.  “Things are going perfectly, but any day now he’s going to ‘move to the center’ and start bad-mouthing Evangelicals.”  Or “yeah, but just wait until the convention.  They’ll probably stick a bunch of liberal garbage in the platform just to even things out.” And then, the official Republican platform was released.  And it was good. Really, really good.  Freedom Works, a leading conservative think-tank and advocacy group, released their “12 for ’12″ policy suggestions prior to the official GOP platform.  Of the 12 points, 11 1/2 made it into the final platform.  Just about everything that conservatives could have possibly wanted is in this thing.  It includes support for a human life Amendment (also known as a Personhood amendment which states that unborn children are recognized as persons, which entitles them to the same protections as other persons) and legislation to clarify that the 14th Amendment applies to the unborn as well,  a defense of traditional marriage, an increase in  school choice, an aggressive approach to reigning in Congress’s power to raise taxes, a balanced budget amendment, renewed support for protecting the sovereignty of our courts and legislature from foreign governing bodies, a dedication to protecting the Second Amendment, a commitment to protecting religious freedom in the workplace and public life as well as in private, entitlement reform, defending private property rights, and a commitment to protecting our currency that may even include a return to the gold standard.  We really couldn’t ask for much more.  As for the convention, despite a tepid first night, it hit all the right notes too.  The speakers were unafraid to say what has been going wrong with the country and were equally bold in saying what should be doing.  It was not the luke-warm, Democrats-are-nice-guys-too garbage that we are used to getting from the RNC.  Clear lines were drawn and almost every speaker made it a point to say “this is what they believe in, this is what we believe in.”  They were willing to make fun of some of the more outlandish things that the President has said and done and correct the record on the many lies and distortions that have come from the White House.  And Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan were no exception.  Both of them were direct in calling out the President and the Democratic leaders on their failures and explaining what the two of them would do differently.  One of the best things to come out of the convention was their commitment to lead on the fight for reforming Medicare.  It’s an issue that Republicans have run from.  Instead of trusting that Americans could sort through the facts, they hid from Democratic smears and ceded an argument that they should have easily won. Medicare is bankrupt and Obamacare takes another $700 billion dollars out of it. As Paul Ryan said, “Ladies and gentlemen, our nation needs this debate. We want this debate. We will win this debate.”  It’s about time.

Now, I know there is still time for this campaign to fall apart (debate season is just around the corner after all), but maybe it’s time that we conservatives allowed ourselves to get excited.  I’m not saying that we go all “Hope and Change” and start crying when we see pictures of Mitt Romney, the last thing I would ever want is to see a cult of personality develop around our candidates.  We don’t expect a man, or a couple of men, to save us from disaster and bring happiness and sunshine to all.  And we certainly know that, once elected, politicians don’t always live up to their promises.  But those things are beyond our control right now, and we do have a lot of things going for us this election.  We have two squeaky clean candidates with normal families, without any known scandals in their past.  Not even a divorce.  That’s a rare thing in American politics.  They are willing to defend the traditional values that we hold dear and they seem committed to addressing serious issues like entitlement reform and our impending debt crisis. They are skilled speakers who can clearly explain the issues of the day and make their case to the voters.  And they are bringing a boldness that many younger voters have never seen from the GOP before.  They aren’t afraid to call a lie, “a lie.”  When the President says or does something that is ridiculous, they don’t pretend that it is a different but valid approach, they say “that’s ridiculous.” This is a far, far cry from the approach taken in 2008.  That campaign was excruciating to watch.  While Barack Obama was accusing John McCain of being an ill-tempered out-of-touch old man whose party wanted to enslave women and starve poor people, Sen. McCain was calling Barack Obama a nice guy with good intentions and a decent-enough plan for America. We knew it was a doomed campaign in July and watching him amble along through the fall was like watching someone commit suicide one papercut at a time. Here we are in September and, other than a minor misstep here and there, this has been a great campaign. And what’s more important, the proposals put forth by Mitt Romney and the platform presented by the RNC give us every indication of an honorable and impactful four years if the Republicans are successful this fall.  No, I am not so foolish as to believe that the same elitists in the RNC and Republican establishment who have looked down their noses at pro-life conservatives for decades have magically been converted.  I think they are still as ashamed of us as they’ve always been.  But, I do believe that the pressure put upon by them by the “Teavangelicals” in the last two years has pushed them to at least pretend that they’re with us now.  This is the best the chance that conservatives have had in a long time to have real influence in the agenda of our party and make real changes in Washington.  And if the right-wing doesn’t turn out in droves this election, it will probably be the last time for years to come that we have such a chance.  The RINOs on top will be all too happy to point out that conservatism failed in 2012 and a more “moderate” approach is in order.  This is it guys.  Political parties and politicians are certainly not infallible, so we have every reason to expect some disappointment.  We can’t possibly know what will happen in November either.  But we do know that we have two competent men who appear to be giving themselves the best possible shot at success this fall. We know that we have a good platform and candidates who aren’t ashamed to push for the preservation of traditional values and the implement of bold conservative initiatives.  It may not be the perfect ticket, but the last time I checked, perfect politicians were in short supply.  For now, we’ll have to settle for two decent guys with a solid plan, who haven’t let us down yet.

So, yeah, it’s OK to be a little excited.

Posted in Articles, National Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Picks: Get to Know Paul Ryan

It’s been one week since Mitt Romney announced that Paul Ryan will be joining him on the Republican ticket this fall.  I, personally, am thrilled with the pick.  But, if you’re still not sure how you feel about him, or you’re just sick of listening to everyone else’s commentary, here are some videos where you can see Paul Ryan in his own words and get to know the candidate a little better.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Links, National Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment