A video guide to those evil Republicans

December 16, 2011

In this latest installment of Firewall, Bill Whittle shows how it is that Republicans, whose party favors limited government and free markets, and was founded in opposition to slavery, can yet be the party of greed, fascism, and racism.

The answer is simple: because the Democrats say so.

Bill’s longer answer, however, is much more entertaining:

To go into more depth about the issues Bill raises, let me recommend two great books:

On the Democrats’ real history regarding race, there’s Bruce Bartlett’s meticulously documented “Wrong on Race: the Democratic Party’s buried past.”

On Fascism being a form of Socialism and both coming from the leftist, statist end of the political spectrum, Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change” is essential reading.

Meanwhile, I have to get back to being evil.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


California: US Senate race debate

May 9, 2010

Thursday night a debate was held at the Museum of Tolerance among the three candidates for the Republican nomination for US senator: Chuck DeVore, Carly Fiorina, and Tom Campbell. I wasn’t able to attend, but the debate will be broadcast this morning at 11AM on KABC. In the meanwhile, Meredith Turney of Flash Report provides her analysis of the debate:

Unsurprisingly, all three camps have claimed victory for their candidates’ performance. I think each candidate was able to deliver on their respective strengths. However, each performance should be analyzed based on each candidate’s ability to win not only the primary, but the general election.

I would never support Tom Campbell in a Republican primary if I had a choice of someone more conservative, which both DeVore and Fiorina obviously are. This was most clearly elucidated when the candidates were asked whether they support someone listed on the no-fly list being allowed to purchase a firearm. Campbell immediately responded, “No.” While DeVore and Fiornia affirmed their belief in the Second Amendment right to bear arms and the due process of law (those on the no-fly list haven’t been convicted of a crime). Taken aback by his peers’ response, Campbell retorted, “It seems somewhat unusual to take that position, except perhaps in a Republican primary.” Republican primary voters won’t miss this slap at their conservative, Second-Amendment-supporting reputation.

(…)

With the election less than a month away, voters are just now beginning to pay attention to candidates. The senate race has been overshadowed by the far more expensive governor race. Polling numbers show Campbell neck-and-neck with Fiorina, and DeVore trailing both. But there is still a large group of undecided voters. As conservatives begin to examine the positions of each candidate, they will immediately rule out Campbell and begin focusing on the other two candidates. When it comes to conservative positions on major issues, DeVore and Fiorina are both appealing. It then becomes a matter of who can beat Barbara Boxer in November. Based on Democrats’ attacks on Fiorina during the primary season, it looks like Boxer would rather not face Fiorina this November.

Carly may have the edge based on the “Whom does Boxer tell us she fears most?” factor, but it’s not as if she is without weaknesses, such as her un-conservative fondness for representation by gender, her prior lack of interest in that most basic of a citizen’s duties – voting, or her controversial record while head of Hewlett-Packard. I can’t get rid of this nagging feeling that she’s a dilettante running for the nomination because she has nothing else to do, and that as a senator she’ll lack conviction to the principles she’s professed.

She has, however, picked up the endorsement of major conservative groups, as Sarah Palin pointed out in her endorsement.

As I’ve said before, my choice is Mr. DeVore; he has both the positions and the consistent track record. I’ll vote for him in the primary, and I think he has as good a chance as any of beating Senator Boxer (D-Moron). I’ll be interested to see the debate to get a better handle on all three candidates and to gauge my own comfort at voting for any of them in November.

RELATED: Following up on yesterday’s post about the Palin endorsement, I note Erick Erickson of Red State voices thoughts similar to my own: luv ya, guv, but I’m staying with Chuck.

UPDATE: I just noticed this was the 3,000 post on this blog. What a windbag I am. 🙂


Of Palin, DeVore, Fiorina, and endorsements

May 8, 2010

Like many on the Right, I was taken by surprise by former Governor Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Carly Fiorina for the Republican nomination for Senator from California. As a supporter of both Palin and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, who’s also running for the nomination and who shares many of the Governor’s beliefs, I had expected her to endorse him, should she choose to get involved at all. Not surprisingly, her announcement set off a minor storm on the Right, both in California and nationally. This post, then, is about two things: the endorsement itself and how the Right should take it.

SHE DID WHAT??

Governor Palin issued her endorsement on Thursday; you can read it on her Facebook page, including the update she added after receiving a lot of criticism.

Why’d she do it?

Not being a party to the inner workings of either the Palin, Fiorina, or DeVore camps, I’m not going to speculate about “real” motives. (Then why are you blogging, dude? I thought that was the whole point! -Tito I’m trying to be reasonable for a change?) All I have to work with are the Governor’s own words, so, out of courtesy to her and lacking contrary evidence, I’ll take them mostly at face value.

“Mostly?”

Yeah, there are a couple of things that bother me. Well, three actually. In no particular order:

First, Governor Palin lists several reasons for supporting Carly Fiorina in the pre-update portion of her post, all meant to show Fiorina’s a genuine conservative whom the conservative-libertarian Right can support. Okay, but almost all those also apply to Assemblyman DeVore, who also seems to have been more consistent in his beliefs than Ms. Fiorina. So, what’s the difference that tells me I should give my vote to Carly? Sarah doesn’t say, largely ignoring Mr. DeVore in her post.

Second, Palin refers to Carly’s growing up “…in a modest home with a school teacher dad…” Huh? Pardon me, Governor, but Carly Fiorina is the daughter of Joseph Sneed III, who was an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Texas since graduating from UT in 1947. Subsequently, he taught at Cornell and Stanford law schools, was the Dean of Duke’s law school, and served from 1973 until his death in 2008 on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Fiorina was born in 1954, when Judge Sneed was made a full professor at UT, and three when he took up his position at Cornell. I would not call this a “modest upbringing” in the way most people understand it, certainly not like Governor Palin’s own youth. Not wanting to believe the Governor was being deliberately misleading in that statement, I can only assume she took biographical information from the Fiorina campaign and ran with it. This speaks of sloppy, superficial research at best, and calls the rest of her endorsement into question.

Third, when Palin referred to Fiorina in her endorsement as a “commonsense conservative,” I had to ask how it was conservative for Carly Fiorina to endorse legislative apportionment on the basis of gender, rather than individual merit. That’s corporatist, not conservative. And it’s something I find antithetical to everything American politics should be.

I’ve yet to receive a good answer to any of these.

Of the aftereffects of the endorsement itself, there’s no doubt that it was good for Fiorina and a body-blow to DeVore, who actively sought Governor Palin’s  blessing. And there’s no doubt that it sent shock waves through the conservative populist (“Tea Party”) movement here in the Golden State and nationwide. And this leads to the next section.

HOW DO WE DEAL WITH THIS??

To paint with a bit of a broad brush, there have been three general reactions to Palin’s announcement:

Puzzled, but willing to give the governor a break: “Now why would she do that? It doesn’t make sense, but I’ve admired her to this point, so I’ll have to think about this for a bit.” I fall into this group, along with quite a few Righty bloggers.

Hurt, betrayed, and ticked off: “OMG?? WTF?? Sarah Palin endorsed that RINO McCain toady? Then she’s not a Tea-Party, grassroots conservative! She’s just a… a… she’s just a Republican politician!” Followed by wailing, gnashing of teeth, and the tossing of souvenir caribou jerky into the garbage. Seen mostly on Twitter. (Including from some DeVore aides. Joshua Trevino, you need to walk back that “sheepdog” comment. It’s insulting both to Governor Palin and conservatives in California, and you make Mr. DeVore look bad by reflection.)

Ticked off at those who criticize Sarah Palin: “How dare you? The Governor is perfect! She’s one of us! She shakes things up! YOU’RE THE REAL RINO!!” Seen mostly at dedicated pro-Palin blogs, such as Conservatives for Palin. And before anyone comes after me with a 10-gauge, C4P does a great job defending the governor from the lies and slanders that have been thrown at her by the Left, the mainstream media (but I repeat myself), and the establishment Right. However, they have a bad habit of reacting to even legitimate criticism or questioning of Sarah Palin like a bunch of coked-up wolverines. (Adrienne Ross, your implication that DeVore is using state-paid staff to subsidize his campaign is definitely tendentious, as anyone can see who reads the article you linked.)

Here’s my take: an endorsement should be taken merely as a guide or a suggestion to be considered, not as holy writ to be obeyed blindly. And I don’t think Sarah Palin wants Stepford Wives for followers. We in the Center and the Right, who believe that progressives such as Barbara Boxer are backhanding the Constitution, spitting on the Founders, and running this country off a cliff, have to remember that our real political foes are on the progressive-statist Left, not each other. There is room to reasonably disagree. Or, as the great philosopher Rodney King once put it:

“Can’t we all get along?”

I support Sarah Palin. I like her record; I like what she stands for. And, 95% of the time, I like her judgment. I plan to vote for her and campaign for her should she run for President. But, as a conservative, I recognize that no person is perfect – not even Sarah Palin. I think she made a mistake with this endorsement, picking the second-best candidate. But I see this neither as a betrayal of “true conservatism” nor as a divine revelation. It is the recommendation of one very smart, very savvy politician whom I admire greatly – and with whom I disagree in this particular case. I can take her opinion into account, look at the web sites of all three candidates, and still make my own choice.

Which is to vote for Chuck DeVore.

If Carly wins, or (God forbid) Tom Campbell, I can vote for them, too, with a clear conscience. Any of the three is better than Barbara Boxer.

Any of them.

So let’s put down the long knives, remember what unites us, and aim for the gold ring in November, not the brass one in June.


US and UK: not the same conservatives

April 20, 2010

British blogger Mike McNally writes in reply to Anne Applebaum’s article in The Washington Post chiding Republicans for being too far to the right and too angry, telling them they should be more like the British Conservative Party under David Cameron. McNally’s reply: “Surely you’re mad?

Contrary to what Applebaum, who describes herself as “a fully paid-up member of the mushy political center,” would like U.S. conservatives to believe, the contrast between the current British and American political scenes could not be more dramatic. In America, what could be a defining battle between statism and individual freedom is just getting started. And while in Britain there’s little difference between the parties, the differences between Republicans and Democrats have never been starker.

Applebaum writes: “The history of the Tories shows that if by exciting your base you lose the center, then you lose the next election too.” Leaving aside the fact the she’s comparing apples to oranges, it seems as if commentators like Applebaum and Frum are living in what we might call a pre-3/23 world. They obsess about “the base” and “the center,” but on the day Obama signed the health care bill into law, against the wishes of a majority of the American people, such distinctions lost much of their meaning. Increasingly, you’re either for Obama and his agenda, or you’re against him.

And Applebaum apparently hasn’t been looking at the polls. Obama’s approval ratings are in the tank. The Democrats’ favorability ratings are at an all-time low. The GOP is enjoying leads on the congressional ballot that are virtually unprecedented. Maybe she also missed the elections in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

Why at this stage would Republicans want to change the way they speak? As it happens, mainstream political opposition to Obama, Pelosi, and Reid has been remarkably civil, given what’s at stake, but if you can’t get angry at the prospect of your country being irreversibly damaged by the most arrogant, incompetent, and out-of-touch president and Congress in history, when can you get angry? This is no time for mushy centerism and rebranding exercises. America needs the conservatism of Thatcher, not Cameron.

I don’t know enough about British conservatism to place them on a scale, though they seem like “Labour-lite” from this distance. American conservatism, on the other hand, is largely classical liberalism – small government, free markets, low taxes, broad individual liberty. Given the mood of the electorate, I have to agree with McNally that the Republicans would be crazy to want to imitate the Conservative Party.


“Control the people?” Dingell’s gaffe

March 24, 2010

Michael Kinsley once said that the definition of a “gaffe” is when a politician accidentally tells the truth. Michigan representative John Dingell (D-MI) may well have committed one when he said during a radio interview that ObamaCare’s benefits will take time to implement because it takes a while to control the people:

Let me remind you this [Americans allegedly dying because of lack of universal health care] has been going on for years. We are bringing it to a halt. The harsh fact of the matter is when you’re going to pass legislation that will cover 300 [million] American people in different ways it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.

And in case you don’t believe your lying eyes, here’s audio, courtesy of Hot Air:

At least he’s an honest statist, unlike his leader in the White House. Even if he didn’t mean to.

I’ll give Mr. Dingell half a point for being right about the Republicans: in the time they controlled Congress, they really did not do much to address problems in the health care system, thus ceding the issue to the Social Democrats*. However, it is an absolute untruth to say they have presented no plan during the current debate nor offered any cooperation. Republicans regularly asked to be included in negotiations and drafting, but were mostly excluded in repeated acts of high-handed arrogance. Ironic, to say the least, given the Democrats used to whine about being cut out when Tom Delay was Republican Majority Leader.

And they have a plan. It has been available for months. It was presented ably at the so-called “health care summit” with the President and the congressional Social Democrats, particularly by Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI). So, for Dingell to claim the conservatives have done nothing to help is … well, he either hasn’t been paying attention or he’s lying.

Maybe John will accidentally tell us the truth one day.

*(I’ve decided it’s wrong to refer to the Democrats as a “liberal, democratic party.” They are neither liberal in the classical sense of the phrase, nor are they really democratic these days. Instead, the Democratic Party is more of a statist, progressive party with much more in common with European social democratic parties. Hence it seems more accurate to call them “Social Democrats.” Or maybe “Progressive Statists,” as the mood takes me. Regardless, they’re sure not the Democratic Party anymore.)

LINKS: Sister Toldjah.


Don’t give up

March 21, 2010

So, the House is almost certain to pass this monstrosity of a health-care bill tonight after making an utter travesty of legislative process and representative democracy.  But, as the great Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Power Line lists some reasons for optimism. Here’s one:

The health care bill’s taxes will go into effect promptly, but its substantive provisions are, for the most part, deferred for four years. This means that we have plenty of time to repeal the legislation. Sure, it will take a new Congress and new President. But repealing this disaster of a bill will by a rallying cry for the American people for years to come. Moreover, even if the Republicans only take over the House in November, and not the Senate, won’t it be possible to throw roadblocks in the way of the bill’s implementation? Won’t budget appropriations be necessary to sustain the various federal tentacles the bill seeks to establish? What will happen if the House simply refuses to fund them?

Go read the rest, and take heart. Even now, attorney generals in several states are preparing legal challenges to push back against Leviathan. The odds aren’t good, but one or more may hit a bulls-eye and gut the bill or have it thrown out altogether.

Fight on.