Monthly Archives: April 2009

The Myth of Conservative Witch Hunts

Liberals within the party are – predictably – complaining about the departure of one of their poster boys in Arlen Specter – once again screaming about how the GOP is “demanding ideological purity”, “heading towards extinction”, or else being relegated to a “regional party” in the South. They are, of course, wrong. And quite frankly, after the likes of Specter, Snowe, and McCain – plus the others within the party who acted or voted like Democrats – crashed us into the ground, it is far past time we cleaned house and found our ideological roots again. Specter’s claim that the “far right” is taking over the party and forcing our moderates simply does not stand up to the facts. Thirty years ago, our standard bearer was Ronald Reagan – the father of modern Conservatism. Fifteen years ago, our standard bearer was Newt Gingrich – the man who led a complete Conservative revival that nearly ended the Clinton Presidency, the Frist since Carter and only the second since Johnson. In the last five years, our standard bearers have been Bush, McCain, and McConnell. Does that really represent a Conservative shift? hardly. If anything, the GOP is more liberal today than at any point in the last two decades. And Conservatives in the party are attacked just as much, if not more, than moderates. And finally, if liberals are being forced out of the party, its only because their ideas cannot compete with the ideas of free markets, strong families, and a strong and active military.

Curious as to what Ronald Reagan would say to a self-styled “Reaganite” on this occasion? Ask the Gipper himself – and keep in mind this comes from 1975, long before Conservatives were actually in power:

A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers.

I do not believe I have proposed anything that is contrary to what has been considered Republican principle. It is at the same time the very basis of conservatism. It is time to reassert that principle and raise it to full view. And if there are those who cannot subscribe to these principles, then let them go their way.


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Don’t Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out – Specter Shows True Colors, Changes to DNC

Its about time the Republican Party can finally say good riddance to bad, liberal rubbish in the party. This isn’t a huge surprise, since Specter’s ideological leanings are not even remotely in lock step with the Republican Party. It was Specter, you’ll remember, who first unleashed the tide of big-government, liberal spending on the nation when he sided with the President to pass the Stimulus – a Democratic victory that not only initiated a new period of big government, but which destroyed our chances of seriously blocking Obama’s first 100-days agenda. It was also Specter who, less than a week ago, pleged to work against the surveillance techniques that have kept America safe.

Specter and those like him are what is wrong with the Republican Party – unprincipled “moderates” who’s marriage with the GOP is one of self-serving convenience, rather than an ideological or personal commitment to advance a cause that helps the country.  Specter is switching parties for one reason and one reason only: to save his own head. He has been, and is, unable to defend his politically traitorous voting record among the GOP bloc, and, trailing badly in the primary, has decided he will cross the line and join the DNC where, he hopes, he might have better luck. Don’t count on it though – Specter might be a left-of-center moderate, but he’s no where near the kind of raging liberal who will please the DNC’s base, and with his true colors revealed, Specter will be lucky to make it out of the Primary, much less the general election.

Now is the time to tack Specter to every hated, destructive, pathetic piece of legislation the Democrats want to put through, whether he’s voted for them for not – card check,  abortion, gay marriage, high taxes, weak national defense, socialized medicine, waste, and the kind of strict environmental standards that are doing potentially irreparable damage to the manufacturing industries of the Great Lakes Region. On some of those issues, Specter IS a Democrat. On others, he’s just sleeping with Democrats. But in either case, he is helping to advance a destructive, backwards, anti-progress agenda that is hurting the USA.

There are those – mainly whiny liberals in the party – who will try and point the finger at the Conservative base of the Republican party (see HERE and HERE), claiming that its those who demand some conservatism from their elected leaders are making the GOP into a regional party. They would rather run liberal candidates in liberal states and dilute and damage the strong pro-family, pro-military, pro-growth message of the GOP – all in the name of having a “majority”, than they would work to convince independents of exactly why we need Conservatism, or even better, start taking on some of those Blue Dogs who might be personally center-right or even Conservative, but who are really just one extra vote for a liberal majority.

Make no mistake, Specter does far more damage to the GOP by supporting bills like the Stimulus package than Toomy could EVER do by losing in the general election. The GOP is no more a regional party than the Democratic party is – it just didn’t happen to have the favor of the center in 2008. This has already changed, and by 2010 or 2012, its highly possible, even probable, that the pendulum will swing back in the other direction as Americans get their first nasty does of liberalism since Jimmy Carter was in the White House.

Its far past time the GOP cleaned house, sending those damaging the party and the country packing. Only in doing so, and perhaps experiencing a short-term contraction, will we ever be able to meaningfully grow the Conservative ranks and restore the country to it’s maximum potential of political and economic power.

Adios Specter, don’t let the door hit you in the rear on the way out.

 

P.S. – look for an endorsement of a new GOP candidate in the PA Senate race to be released soon.

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On the Recent Lack of Posts…

Basically, I’ve caught something or other (no, its not swine flu), and that, plus work, plus school has zapped my energy. I’m not ignoring the blog, but the motivation to write things is minimal right now. More once I get over whatever it is I’ve got.

Matt.

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Obama’s First 100 Days

As Obama’s first 100 days draws to a close, so does his best opportunity to pass the mountains of major, controversial legislation that he ran on. So what does he have to show for his efforts? Not much. The Stimulus bill has been passed, signed, and implemented, but job losses have continued at an alarming pace – one that will only increase if any of the major automakers are forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The stock market has made a recovery, but after the 50%+ drop earlier this year, it only had one way to go. And the few major policy victories that Obama has achieved has come at a massive cost to his popularity – his approval rating has fallen while his negatives have skyrocketed.

Internal problems have also plagued this White House far earlier than normal – almost from day one, Obama’s nominees has been embroiled in one scandal after another. Several have been forced to withdraw, and those who haven’t sit somewhere between a running joke and a public embarrassment. Were it not for the current economic crisis, its likely that Obama would have even more vacant positions than he does now. Some have already began calling for the heads of nominees previously confirmed.

Internationally, Obama has had both successes and failures – and more than enough problems to last him the entire four years. Pirates in Somalia, stubborn European governments, and a growing Pakistani Taliban which could place nuclear weapons in danger are combining to give Obama a real test. That ignores the threats that existed when he took office – Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela – which still remain.

Overall, its been a rocky road for the new President, and it remains to be seen exactly how much more difficult things will become for Obama as he moves deeper into the sea of Partisanship that is the current Political climate. I’m not going to call BO a complete failure, but this certainly isn’t the dream ride it looked like on election night.

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Environmentalism’s Internal Rift

We’re used to hearing environmentalists rallying against industry, the corporate world, the Republican party, and just about any other group that doesn’t submit to their agenda. But with Democrats now in power, and more Americans open to the idea of alternative energy (thanks largely to the energy shock last summer – itself a product of environmentalist policies against oil drilling), “green” ideas that were once just that are now becoming reality. But these environmentalist policies are finding an unlikely opponent – in environmentalists. Fox News had the story:

A westward dash to power electricity-hungry cities by cashing in on the desert’s most abundant resource — sunshine — is clashing with efforts to protect the tiny pupfish and desert tortoise and stinginess over the region’s rarest resource: water.”

This development is only the latest in a series of revelations to the tree-huggers that it will be far harder than they thought – if not impossible – to develop an energy policy completely in line with their ridiculous standards. Unwilling to make the move to nuclear power, which actually could provide the United States with cheap, zero-emission energy, the greens are left with only two proposals: solar and wind. Not only are both expensive to build and maintain, but they require massive land use – usually in the desert – as well as plenty of water, which, unlike sunshine or wind, is not exactly plentiful in the sands of Arizona. In these cases, solving (and that is a huge overstatement) one problem leads to several others.

Its about time the global warming crowd got a welcome to the world of unintended consequences.

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What Liberals Consider Torture

A lot has been made over the recent release of the terror interrogation memos by the Obama administration, much of it criticism of the actual release itself – handing terrorists a “what to expect” tourist’s guide to Gitmo that could be used to train new recruits on how to resist (or avoid) such treatments without giving up valuable info. Though certainly not anything that anyone would sign up for under their own free will, the memos reveal measures that fall embarrassingly short of the kind actual abuse most people would associate with Torture.  Nudity, Hunger, and Sleep deprivation are all uncomfortable, and even embarrassing, but do they really count as torture? Being chained to a floor or locked in a box with – believe it or not, bugs – might be uncomfortable or unnerving, but that is the point of the interrogations. Even Water-boarding, used by liberals as a symbol of America’s cruelty to terrorist killers, was used only when a doctor was present and only on the most important suspects (including KSM, the mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks).  The release of these memos, though not the world’s greatest idea, is only further evidence that many on the left will go to any means necessary to protect those who want to kill Americans from even mild physical or emotional discomfort.

Under the new rules issued by the President, all interrogations now have to be conducted under the army field manual, which prohibits torture, as well as many of the harsher interrogation tactics used in the past. For the army, who deals primarily with enemy foot soldiers who don’t often carry the kind of intelligence we need to eventually win the war on terror, these restrictions may work just fine. But for the CIA and other intelligence agencies, who deal with high-profile leaders of Al-Qaeda, those who may have knowledge of new plots and schemes to kill American citizens, “name, rank, and serial number” doesn’t even come close to being an effective interrogation. In fact, its entirely possible – even likely – that by tying the hands of interrogators, President Obama will have done serious damage to our ability to gather the information needed to keep America safe.

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The Challenges for the Tea-Party Movement

Those who had the opportunity to watch, or even better, attend one of the “tax day tea parties” being held acrossthe nation were witness to a rebirth of Conservative grassroots, a massive and critical victory for right-wing organization that now puts it closer to parring the forces of liberalism in the area of internet-based organization. Thousands of emails, telephone numbers, and addresses have obtained, many from those already active in politics, but many more from those waking up to th stench of Obama’s economic policies. Yet challenges remain for the movement, challenges – and the answers to them – that will dictate the future of the movement as either a one-time novelty or a ture political powerhouse.

The first challenge is to establish a clear and coherent message, as well as some leadership or organizational structure that can be used beyond the events of the past weeks to combat Democratic policies on taxes, spending, and other issues. Its easy to call the Tea-Party movement a success, but a success for what? For low taxes? For less spending? For those opposed to Government waste? For Ron Paul supporters? For Conservative Republicans? One of the largest problems with yesterday’s protests was the lack of clearly defined goals and positions, which left the meaning of the movement largely up to the interpretation of those either involved or watching. A quick review of video footage from yesterday’s protests will reveal a wide range of grievances and agendas, some complementary and respectable, others more extreme, and, in some cases, in clear contradiction to each other. Signs for Ron Paul, Sarah Palin, the Fair Tax, the Flat Tax, No Taxes, and other candidates and causes are the direct consequence of the failure to produce clearly defined goals. If the movement is to be a success it must develop a coherent message that moves it from the category of disgruntled citizens letting of steam to the category of organized political activism.

The second challenge for the movement is to avoid hijacking by various groups and causes, most notably the fringe libertarian elements who were clearly present at many rallies. While these groups may share some goals with the broader movement, they have the potential to turn off others, particularly if their views on other issues – which the Conservative grassroots will hopefully expand to address – conflict with the views of the larger Conservative bloc.

Finally, the movement must embrace the participation of, and association with, organized political groups – particularly parties (mostly the GOP), and candidates. Without actively working with, and helping to elect, those politicians likely to support their cause, the movement will attract little besides television cameras. Alone, those participating in the tea parties have little power to directly affect the policies the government enforces, and its unlikely the vast majority of Democrats will be swayed.

Yesterday’s protests were an excellent first step, and provided the Conservative grassroots with an ideal launching groud for further protests, and the opportunity to expand deeper into fiscal and financial issues, as wall as to branch out in support of other causes not directly tied to the economy. If that potential is achieved, the movement will thrive, if it is not, the movement will wither and die like so many grassroots efforts in the past.

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