Charles Krauhammer judges last night’s GOP presidential candidates’ debate:
We agree. (But not with Krauthammer’s comment that Carly Fiorina “had a severe demeanor”, which earned her an A- instead of her well-deserevd A in his judgment.)
We were very impressed with the way she supported her cogent arguments with concrete facts and figures.
This kid, 13-year-old CJ Pearson from Georgia, would obviously do a better job in the White House than its present incumbent.
Eminent domain: The compulsory purchase of private property by government “for public use”.
Eminent domain: Sheer robbery.
From Truth Revolt:
The Sheahan family has owned a 400-acre mine in the Nevada desert town of Groom, 83 miles northwest of Las Vegas, since 1889. This was long before the construction of a secret United States Air Force military base in 1950s commonly known as Area 51. But the family is suddenly facing eviction if they refuse to comply with the military’s demands. …
The Sheahan’s may have just spent their last Labor Day on the property. They [had] until [last] Thursday to accept the payment offer from the Air Force or be evicted from their property through eminent domain. However, the Sheahans say the $5 million offer would be shared by 20 people and is “woefully inadequate” to cover 400 valuable acres that includes a silver mine, and all of the mineral, water, and timber rights.
“We want them to leave us alone,” mine co-owner Joe Sheahan said. “This is our property. It’s legal. These are patents that were signed by Ulysses S. Grant. This is not new stuff.”
Co-owner Barbara Manning added, “And we are not their threat. We have been trying to be really good neighbors for all of our lives and so have our grandparents and our parents.”
The mine has been unable to be worked since 1954 when the on-site mill was blown up and destroyed, believed to be caused by a jettisoned engine from an Air Force Jet. But at least once a month, family members take turns visiting the property to carry out maintenance, or just to simply get away.
Though the family has been allowed to stay on the property for nearly 60 years alongside the military testing base, it is now considered a security risk. From the report:
The Air Force now says that private land ownership in the testing area is incompatible with security and safety concerns.
This is a different line than the family was given back in 1984 when the Air Force sent them the following in a letter:
The Air Force could only terminate your rights through condemnation or purchase of the property. We have no intention of initiating such actions.
The Las Vegas news outlet states that the Sheahans [were] hoping for Congress to step in to help them avoid eviction … But none of Nevada’s Republican or Democrat congressmen would respond to statement requests. The same goes for Senator Harry Reid and Republican Senator Dean Heller.
The use of eminent domain to confiscate this property may arguably be justified on the grounds that national security takes precedence over property rights.
But eminent domain is too often used to assist powerful commercial interests. The government seizes property and then sells it to private developers, claiming that the new owner will be serving “the public good”.
One entrepeneur who has taken advantage of eminent domain through such a process is Donald Trump.
From the Washington Times, by David Keene:
Conservatives are by their nature a fractious bunch, but through time they have consistently rallied around certain shared values. At times, national defense questions have dominated the national debate and the debate within the movement while at other times, social or economic issues have seemed to define the movement. In fact, however, while the public focus has changed based on circumstances, the basic views of all these hyphenated conservatives have never varied. The organizers of CPAC have for two decades polled attendees as to their core beliefs and have found a consistent belief in free markets and limited government as the dominant definer of the movement.
It’s time for conservatives who share these values to begin questioning the wisdom of the current fascination with Donald Trump. It is true that the man is successfully channeling the conservative frustration with our elected leaders and the media elite. Applauding his willingness to stand up to the false gods of political correctness is understandable as is the outrage at the way the oh-so-comfortable establishment has reacted to him and his rhetoric, but none of that can possibly justify elevating the man to the presidency of the United States. In fact, based on his public statements he is far more philosophically inconsistent or, dare we say it, “liberal” than any of the “establishment” candidates that so frustrate us.
More important perhaps is the matter of temperament. There is always a lot of talk about the “judicial temperament” required of judicial nominees, but the temperament of those we consider elevating to the presidency is even more important. A president’s inclination to abide by the constraints imposed on the office by the Founders is, as we have learned in recent years, directly related to his own concept of his place in the world. The current occupant of the Oval Office finds constitutional limits roadblocks to be bypassed or ignored. Listening to the Donald, one cannot escape the conclusion that he, too, sees himself as too important to be constrained by the scribblings of a bunch of dead white men. That alone is a reason to be skeptical about the man.
One only need go back to his reaction to the Supreme Court decision in the 2005 Kelo case giving government the power to expand the eminent domain power to allow the taking of private property not to build highways, but to give it to others so they can make money and the government can collect more tax money. … It didn’t trouble Mr. Trump, one of the few public figures in the country to publicly praise it. “I happen to agree with it 100 percent,” he said while conservatives around the country were tearing their hair out to find ways to restore the balance between individual property rights, government power and the public good.
Mr. Trump’s position then was predictable. He often entered into “partnerships” with local governments and got them to use their power to go after homeowners standing in the way of yet another Trump Tower, park or monument, and he couldn’t understand why private citizens should be able to stand in his way. A man who thought that way then and continues to think that way, regardless of whether he deserves applause for his positions on this or that issue is not one to be trusted with the awesome power of the presidency.
But it looks more than possible that Donald Trump could be the next president.
And he has some very good ideas. Just to start with, he wants to build a wall on the border with Mexico; hit ISIS hard; and make everybody richer (except hedge fund managers).
We think he would build the wall.
We hope he would destroy ISIS.
And wouldn’t it be luvverly if he made us all richer?
(Hat-tip for the Washington Times article to our highly valued commenter liz.)
There is lkely to be a Republican president in 2017, but perhaps more because the Democratic Party has dissolved into its own corrupt mess and has no plausible candidate to offer even to the vast uninformed section of the electorate that usually votes for it, than because the GOP has a really good candidate to nominate.
We are quoting this almost in full because we like it:
From Townhall. Kurt Schlichter questions the GOP candidates for the presidency:
CNN’s Republican debate on September 16th will be conducted with dignity and gravitas by questioners like Hugh Hewitt and Jake Tapper, who will treat the candidates with a level of respect and courtesy that many of them just don’t deserve. They have to. I don’t.
On behalf of all infuriated conservatives, I demand the right to interrogate the candidates myself. I get to ask a question and a follow-up, and here are the rules. First, answer the damn question. It insults me when you think I’ll somehow forget what I asked, so bewitching is your oratory. Second, answer, then stop talking. If you use more words than the Gettysburg Address (272) you are so, so very wrong. Third, no clichés. If you use the phrase “for the children,” I get to slap you.
You support amnesty and Common Core, you won’t undo the Iran sellout of Israel on your first day in office and – as we always expected – you’ve come out in support of more gun control. Since you have adopted Hillary’s platform, why are you running as a Republican?
Why are you so damn special that despite there being 320 million other Americans, we can’t do any better than a third Bush?
Dr. Ben Carson:
You’re proud of not being a politician, but what makes you think D.C.’s establishment won’t chew you up and spit you out?
You’re a guy with tremendous accomplishments, morals, and character. Why do you even want to go to Washington?
Can you name one person you aren’t related to who wants you to be president?
In fact, are you even supposed to be here on stage tonight?
Let’s deal with the elephant in the room – what the hell were you thinking snuggling up to Obama?
Other than talking incessantly about killing terrorists – which is cool – in what way are you even remotely a conservative?
You’re the only female running in the GOP primaries. Would you even be on this stage if you were a dude?
You were a senior officer in a huge corporation that did a lot of government work. Why should we conservatives believe you won’t be just another crony capitalist shafting us and stealing our money for the benefit of your corporate pals?
Conservatives detest you, and the feeling is mutual. Are you in this as some sort of establishment stalking horse to make sure a real conservative doesn’t derail Jeb! by snagging South Carolina’s delegates?
Anything else interesting that you’d like to tell us tonight?
You decided to go along with Obamacare in Ohio. Why, as a conservative would I ever support you in the primary over someone committed to the destruction of that socialist atrocity?
Like many, even most, conservatives, I think you’re a smug, sanctimonious jerk who hides his self-righteousness behind a vague, unfocused aura of pseudo-Christian progressivism. Why should I allow you to spend four to eight years in my face telling me how I don’t measure up to your allegedly Jesus-inspired standards?
Since I really have no idea why you’re running, let me just ask you this: Who’s more badass, Captain Kirk or Picard?
My family is half Cuban, and we loved you and your life story until you lied to us about amnesty – no, that’s not an invitation for you to try to convince us how your past embrace of amnesty was not really an embrace of amnesty. You lied to me once – why should I ever believe anything you ever say again?
Here’s your chance to be clear – do you agree with me and most conservatives that America has zero moral obligation to illegal aliens, that they should receive no government benefits, and that they should leave our country?
I think you are a genius lawyer and a true conservative, but you are off-putting to people who aren’t movement conservatives … Do the math for me – how can you possibly win 270 electoral votes?
Wouldn’t you better serve conservatism as Chief Justice Ted Cruz?
[As with] your father, I can listen to you for a couple minutes, find myself nodding in agreement, and then BAM! you say something nutty, usually about foreign policy. How can I be sure you will do the most important thing a president must do – relentlessly and ruthlessly kill America’s enemies?
Chemtrails. Are they a thing?
The idea behind your campaign seemed to be that you’re a normal guy who would return us to normalcy, but we conservatives don’t want normalcy anymore. We want vengeance. Will you commit to ruthlessly annihilating liberalism wherever you find it?
More specifically, will you commit to destroying all federal government employee unions?
You combine a love of big government with a kind of religious paternalism that evokes an unholy love child of LBJ and Elmer Gantry. Can you sketch me out a scenario where you win the general election that doesn’t involve someone releasing tapes of Hillary gleefully vivisecting corgi puppies?
You play bass. Really, is that a president’s instrument?
[Tell us] as an Asian-American, can the GOP win over that growing minority group by addressing the systemic racism they face because of Democrat-dominated universities’ admissions policies?
I think you’d be a good president, but I don’t think you can win. Shouldn’t you agree to come on board with someone up here on stage who might win and agree to be his/her HHS secretary?
You lost your Senate seat in Pennsylvania back in 2006, meaning you have failed in every election campaign since 2000. Why is this time different?
My country is falling apart and, like most conservatives, that’s my No. 1 priority. Why should I vote for you and re-fight the gay marriage battle that we’ve already decisively lost instead of saving our Constitution from these leftist creeps?
Yeah, it’s been a lot of fun watching you make the GOP establishment wince by raising subjects like illegal alien thugs that the elite wants hushed up. We’ve had some laughs. But if you are elected president, you will be the commander-in-chief. This is a no gotcha question – I led soldiers for 27 years, so this is personal to me and to millions of conservatives whose sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers serve. Can you give me one good reason why you are worthy of our trust to lead and to safeguard the lives of the incredible men and women of our armed forces?
I don’t have a follow-up to that question, because at the end of the day, no other question really matters.
Yes, an avatar of vengeance – that’s what America needs now.
We conservatives have much in common with libertarians. We share a number of important principles and values with them: individual freedom, small government, low taxes, and a free market economy.
The chief political argument we have with libertarians is over foreign affairs and the use of military force.
It is a very good idea for conservatives and libertarians to meet and talk.
But we were disappointed when we read this from Townhall, by Daniel Davis:
Conservatives and libertarians put their love-hate relationship on display today, as a panel of five gathered at the Cato Institute to discuss the issues in Charles Cooke’s new book, The Conservatarian Manifesto: Libertarians, Conservatives, and the Fight for the Right’s Future. The mood was jovial and upbeat, yet sophisticated and thick with well-reasoned argument. It was an encouraging showcase of big-tent conservatism, and a sign of the future debates that will dominate the GOP.
The panelists included Charles Cooke (National Review), Ilya Shapiro (Cato Institute), Katherine Mangu-Ward (Reason), Ben Domenech (The Federalist), and Trevor Burrus (Cato Institute). The panel spanned the conservative-libertarian spectrum.
Charles Cooke began the event by describing what he means by a “conservatarian”. He said there are really two kinds of conservatarians: (1) A conservative who rejects the big-government, “compassionate” conservatism of the Bush administration, and (2) a conservative who generally embraces the GOP’s party platform, minus the social issues (like same-sex marriage, or marijuana). The GOP’s ranks have swelled with both of these types of conservatives in recent years, particularly in protest to the Obama administration’s overreaches, but also due to a more socially liberal youth population. Cooke said this is not necessarily a new development (same-sex marriage notwithstanding), but is actually a reversion to Republican values from the 1980s and 90s. He said the Bush years were something of an “aberration” in the conservative movement, and that “the center of gravity has moved back” toward the values of Reagan and Gingrich.
Katherine Mangu-Ward described the conservative-libertarian relationship — which developed most fully in the post-WWII era of “fusionism” — as an often “abusive” one. She expressed the libertarian frustration that conservatives seem eager to band with libertarians when Democrats are in power, but when Republicans regain power, they are almost as quick to throw off the libertarians. Mangu-Ward acknowledged the real philosophical divisions between conservatives and libertarians, but stressed that the two can, and must, work together on a host of public policy issues.
Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow at Cato, called himself a “big tent” conservative and a “classical liberal”. Shapiro is a libertarian legal scholar who supports same-sex marriage, but said that “it takes all kinds” in a party like the GOP. He highlighted two criticisms that Charles Cooke makes in his book, one of libertarians and one of conservatives. First, libertarians are often naively eager to strip down important institutions that give order and meaning to society, and they overestimate the ability of logic to satisfy particular needs. But second, conservatives tend to place too much faith in the inherent authority of history and society’s institutions. Ilya strongly backed both of these critiques and maintained that the conservative-libertarian fusion tends to correct the excesses found on both sides.
Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist, offered two problems that plague the conservatarian movement. First, the post-WWII “fusionist” movement failed to shore up federalism. Instead, states systematically lost their power to the federal government as “successful” state policies became nationalized. States began to depend on federal grants, largely derived from taxpayers in other states — and this amounted to a simple socialistic form of wealth redistribution. Second, he said that “social liberalism” no longer means what it used to mean. It once meant true tolerance and a negative view of liberty. [What? – ed.] Now, it often denotes positive liberty where true personal “freedom” requires wealth redistribution and personal affirmation. [What again? – ed.] He derided the toxic culture of political correctness, which silences dissent and punishes the dissenters by forcing their conformity. [Agreed – ed.]
Cooke responded by heartily affirming Domenech’s call to focus on restoring federalism, which allows states to act as the founders intended: as laboratories of democracy. Mangu-Ward cautioned that conservatives are rarely full-blooded federalists and that “fair-weather federalism” would likely win the day. Cooke responded that this is largely inevitable, as perfect adherence to federalism is not always practical.
One interesting question came when Trever Burrus, a scholar at Cato, asked why libertarians consider themselves to even be on the right, rather than the left. Mangu-Ward responded that the “power of inertia” is very real, and that fusionist-era conservatism created the political context for libertarians to remain on the right. She also said that libertarians simply agree with conservatives on far more topics than with liberals, though there is a small bit of room for certain libertarians in the Democratic Party.
What a weird question Trever Burrus asked! The Left is collectivist – wanting the very opposite of individual liberty. If libertarians do not stand for individual liberty, what do they stand for? If they are not freedom-lovers to the bone, what are they?
Perhaps the biggest gulf between the panelists could be felt on the issue of immigration. Cooke, a conservative more than a libertarian, noted that it is very difficult to have a big welfare state while having a large, free-moving labor population — namely, the illegal immigrants. He said the U.S. needs stricter immigration policy, not simply out of practical need but also out of a concern for cultural continuity. He noted the uniqueness of the American identity — for instance, the fact that foreigners can truly become “American” after living here and adopting American values. This, he said, is simply impossible in other countries where national identity is primarily ethnic and cultural. He said that America’s immigration policy should be informed, at least in part, by a commitment to maintain this unique identity, and that a libertarian open-border policy would jeopardize that identity. He said we must ensure that this “fragile cultural setup is here for our kids”.
We can see the sense of that argument.
The panel event at Cato was an inspiring show of political unity in the midst of frequent philosophical disagreement. Thankfully, the conservative-libertarian alliance looks stronger than ever. Conservatives can expect it to dominate Republican politics in the decades to come.
Perhaps the report covers too little, or is not accurate. However that may be, we found very little of interest in it.
We do think conservatism should be libertarian (and in our dreams atheist). But how can those who call themselves Libertarian be the allies of Conservatives in a time war?
And this is a time of war.
We want to hear from Libertarians how they propose to stop the jihad, defend us from Iranian nuclear attack, stem the flood of racist hatred released by Obama and the Democrats, restore the universities to forums where ideas are promoted and criticized and debated freely, big government is shrunk, taxes are lowered, the economy is released from government regulation, and the law is enforced.
We consider ourselves libertarians with a small “l”: atheist libertarian conservatives.
We are not, however, to be counted among Libertarians because we part company with them on a number of issues that have arisen in our experience.
Some libertarian organizations are historical revisionists – in particular, Holocaust revisionists. One group told us they do not believe the Holocaust ever happened, or if it did, “the numbers of those killed could not have been anywhere near as large as is alleged”. This is not just ignorant, it must be maliciously intended too.
Libertarians have maintained that it’s okay to use children for pornography “if you pay them”. This is so vile, we can only hope most Libertarians do not agree with it.
Libertarians keep themselves under-informed about foreign affairs, and are absurdly pacifist. In America many are isolationist. We believe the US needs to be very strongly defended, and that defense sometimes requires a pre-emptive strike. We also believe in the Pax Americana, which means at present that this single super-power has a duty to protect the non-Islamic world from the forces of savage Islam – with arms if necessary.
Now a well-known Libertarian, a candidate for the presidency, is making a case for isolationism by falsely accusing the Republican Party – of which he is a member – of creating the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL).
We quote from an AP report. (Find it all at the New York Post here.)
Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul is blaming his own party for the rise of the Islamic State group.
The freshman senator from Kentucky said Wednesday that the GOP’s foreign policy hawks “created these people”. …
“ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately,” Paul said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
“They created these people. ISIS is all over Libya because these same hawks in my party loved – they loved Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya. They just wanted more of it.” …
Paul favors less military intervention abroad, wants a dramatic reduction in U.S. money to foreign governments and stands in opposition to the Patriot Act and the US policy behind drone strikes. It all makes him something of an outlier on foreign policy and national security in the GOP field. …
We agree with him that there should be a reduction in money to foreign governments: a reduction to zero. But that is an issue on which he has changed his mind (or says he has):
Sensitive to being branded an isolationist in the race, he has scaled back some of his positions, no longer calling for deep cuts in the Pentagon budget, for example, and no longer proposing the elimination of foreign aid, including to Israel. …
Bobby Jindal, Governor of Illinois and a possible rival of Rand Paul as a presidential candidate, “described Paul’s comments as ‘a perfect example of why Senator Paul is unsuited to be commander in chief'”:
“We have men and women in the military who are in the field trying to fight ISIS right now, and Senator Paul is taking the weakest, most liberal Democrat position,” Jindal said. “We should all be clear that evil and radical Islam are at fault for the rise of ISIS, and people like President Obama and Hillary Clinton exacerbate it.”
We don’t think of “evil” as a force separate from human will, but we do agree of course that Islam is the cause of the rise of ISIS, and that Obama and Hillary Clinton have helped it rise.
In his interview earlier, Paul described Iraq as “a failed state” …
Which it is …
… and criticized Republicans who condemn his foreign policy as weak.
Which it is.
The Left likes to believe – as Obama and Harry Reid often iterate – that it is “on the side of history”.
Is history then stuck with those stale and failed ideas of a Marxian stamp propagated by the likes of Kenneth Galbraith, John Maynard Keynes, or the bone-headed strategies of Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Priven?
Or tending back to the Dark Ages with a resurgence of Islam?
Surely not. A civilization that has put a man on the moon; has invented the computer, the internet, the driverless car; that watches the expansion of the universe; that can replace a faulty human heart with a new one; that has used liberty to become rich, knowledgable, and ever more inventive, is not going to go back to communism or the law of the seventh century desert?
Quo vadis then?
The maliciously lefty and deeply nasty New York Times notices a rise in libertarian opinion in America.
Libertarianism has been touted as the wave of America’s political future for many years, generally with more enthusiasm than evidence. But there are some tangible signs that Americans’ attitudes are in fact moving in that direction.
The NYT goes on to substantiate its claim with figures and a chart.
It defines a libertarian, fairly enough, as “someone who believes that the government is best when it governs least”.
There have been visible shifts in public opinion on a number of issues, ranging from increasing tolerance for same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization on the one hand, to the skepticism over stimulus packages and the health-care overhaul on the other hand, that can be interpreted as a move toward more libertarian views.
The Tea Party movement also has some lineage in libertarian thinking. Although polls suggest that many people who participate in the Tea Party movement have quite socially conservative views, the movement spends little time emphasizing those positions, as compared with economic issues.
The perception that the Tea Party – whose chief issue is the need for fiscal responsibility – has “some lineage in libertarian thinking” is remarkable for that newspaper. It seldom removes its red blindfold long enough to replace it for a short time with blinders. For it to see something that is actually there but not obvious is a lucky moment of illumination worth a cheer or two. The author of the article is Nate Silver. Perhaps he found some cunning way to let that uncongenial revelation slip past editorial oversight.
Or perhaps he and his editors think that libertarian thinking is bad anyway. If we didn’t know that to be the case already, there’s a hint of it in what comes later.
The libertarian opinions, revealed by a CNN poll and quoted in the article, are these:
Some 63 percent of respondents said government was doing too much — up from 61 percent in 2010 and 52 percent in 2008 — while 50 percent said government should not favor any particular set of values, up from 44 percent in 2010 and 41 percent in 2008.
The author, apparently not happy to accept what the poll reveals, comments:
Whether people are as libertarian-minded in practice as they might believe themselves to be when they answer survey questions is another matter. Still, there have been visible shifts in public opinion on a number of issues, ranging from increasing tolerance for same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization on the one hand …”
So a tolerance with which he has sympathy …
… to the skepticism over stimulus packages and the health-care overhaul on the other hand …
So a skepticism he condemns …
… that can be interpreted as a move toward more libertarian views.
How confusing for Nate Silver! Libertarians like some of the things he likes. But they also dislike things that he holds dear.
Well, actually, that is the case with us too.
We welcome the spread of libertarian sentiment.
We too see no reason why marijuana should be illegal.
As for same-sex marriage, we think it is an hilarious farce, but would on no account oppose it. A 12-year old boy once defined marriage for us as “a legal union between two or more things”. Why not more than two? Why not things or beasts as well as humans? If – as the argument goes – they love each other? (Well, we said it’s a farce.)
Where we are strongly with libertarians is on the issue of economic freedom. As our contributing commenter Don L often recommends: accept that the Austrian School is right and allow no government interference whatsoever in economic activity – and abolish the Fed. We also advocate keeping taxes (flat-rated) very low. So low that they cannot sustain a government that does much more than it absolutely has to do – protect the liberty of the people, from outside enemies, and domestic criminals. And enforce the law of contract.
But we too have some quarrels with libertarians.
There are those among them who outrageously condone the corruption of children, even the use of them for pornography “as long as they are willing and are paid for their services”!*
Quite a large number of libertarians are historical revisionists, and some who ridiculously and with evil intent deny that the Holocaust ever happened.**
And most libertarians want America to take no notice of what’s going on in the world beyond its borders, except for trade and vacations. As if ignorance is a protection from a world full of expansionist tyrannies and ideologies.
No. None of that.
But a libertarianism that holds individual freedom as the highest value, and knows that it is only possible under the rule of law; and at the same time is committed to preserving the best of everything America has achieved in the past, is a libertarianism that we can – and do – embrace.
* We cannot link to articles that discuss this. Access to them is “forbidden”.
**Although the article we link to here does endorse what we say that some libertarians deny the Holocaust, it goes too far in criticizing Reason and its sponsors.
We’re not just wondering what the Republican Party stands for. We’re also wondering why it exists at all.
An entirely different conservative party is badly needed to oppose the evil Left. (It would be splendid if a conservative party came to power that would exclude religion from its political thinking, but to wish for that – we fully realize – is to be far too unrealistic.)
John Hinderaker at Powerline writes:
It is almost unbelievable how badly Congressional Republicans have botched their opposition to President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty and the funding of the Department of Homeland Security. The House, under John Boehner’s direction, did the right thing: it passed a bill that fully funded DHS, but barred spending to implement the amnesty that has now been declared illegal by a federal court. The action then moved to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried repeatedly to bring the House measure to the floor for a vote. Four times, the Democrats filibustered the DHS funding bill.
As a result of the Democrats’ filibuster, DHS was in danger of running out of money. That put Republicans in a strong position. All they had to do was … nothing. If they didn’t blink, pressure on the Democrats to fund DHS would prove irresistible. It’s not for nothing the voters gave the GOP a majority, right?
Instead, Mitch McConnell backed off. He gave in to Harry Reid’s demands, even though Reid was surely bluffing, and the Senate passed a “clean” DHS funding bill that did nothing to block the illegal amnesty. That put the House in an untenable position. With the clock ticking down to the last hours before DHS ran out of money, it was now Republicans–not Democrats–who were standing in the way of funding the Department.
Having been sold out by the Senate, House Republicans bowed to the inevitable. John Boehner tried to pass a three-week funding extension, but didn’t have the votes. At the last possible moment, the House fell back to a seven-day extension, with Democrats providing the needed margin of support. The seven-day extension can have no possible purpose other than to give Republicans an opportunity to beat an orderly retreat.
If the Republicans wanted to arm their enemies, they couldn’t have done a better job. This is the New York Times triumphant account:
Republicans vowing to govern effectively as a congressional majority failed a fundamental test Friday, when House leaders managed to narrowly pass only a seven-day funding extension to avert a partial shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security just hours before money was to run out.
That’s a news story, not an opinion column. But it’s hard to blame the Democrats for exulting. They were in a corner; they had no cards to play; the voters have ejected them from the majority in both chambers; their objective was to keep alive a patently illegal program that had already been declared so by a federal judge. And the Republicans still couldn’t manage to pull out a victory.
Politics is like anything else: if you want to succeed, you have to be good at it. As best I can tell, Washington Republicans aren’t.
We need new leadership, and we need it now.
Here comes a future political leader.
We quote from The American Mirror:
President Obama may enjoy the approval of 84% of blacks, but don’t count CJ Pearson among them.
Pearson, a 12-year-old middle school student in Georgia, has more informed opinions than many adults.
The student posted a YouTube video yesterday in which he seeks to “applaud Mayor Rudy Giuliani for his comments about President Barack Obama” [that Obama does not love America].
CJ Pearson says:
Here’s the truth of the matter: I don’t want to be politically correct. I don’t care about being politically correct at this point.
President Obama, You don’t love America. If you really did love America, you would call ISIS what it really is: an assault on Christianity, an assault on America and downright hate for the American values that our country holds. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion and every single thing that our country stands for.
I hope that one day people will get enough guts to speak out against your downright hatred for this nation. …
But here’s what you need to realize: here in America, we don’t back down to terrorists. We fight them on their own battleground and we annihilate them till the very end.
Here in America, we don’t allow the government to take away what we work for but we continue to work harder so that we may continue to succeed.”
Pearson is executive director of a group called “Young Georgians in Government”.
His Facebook page says he is “committed to fighting for conservative principles and engaging young people in the political process.”
“Most young people really don’t have an interest in government or politics, but we need to pique that interest. We need to make sure they know that the decisions politicians make are going to affect them,” the student told ABC 6 in a profile story last December.
We overlook the reference to Obama’s “assaulting” Christianity. We assault Christianity too – but far more intelligently than Obama does, of course.
We like everything else CJ Pearson says.
The Tea Party is pleased with the results of a Drudge poll that favors Scott Walker to be the Republican Party presidential candidate:
With all the caveats about this being a non-scientific online poll, it has to mean something that Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker is murdering every other GOP contender by massive margins among those Drudge readers motivated enough to vote. Although voting continues, as of this writing nearly 70,000 total votes have been cast. Walker captured a whopping 45% of them, 31,211 votes. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is in second place with 15%, 10,054 votes. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is in third with 13%, 9297 votes.
Dr. Ben Carson came 4th with 8%. “Establishment favorites Jeb Bush and Chris Christie sit at 5% and 2%, respectively.”
But Jonah Goldberg thinks that Scott Walker is not so much wanted for what he is as for what he isn’t. In other words, he’s the candidate nobody objects to.
He writes at Townhall:
Vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavor in America, not because it is the best … but because it is the least objectionable. Put another way, vanilla is the most acceptable to the most people; it’s not many people’s favorite, but nobody hates it.
And that’s why Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is the vanilla candidate.
A new Des Moines Register poll has Walker in first place – narrowly – among likely Republican caucus-goers. With Mitt Romney included in the poll [but since dropped out of the competition], Walker was the respondents’ first choice with 15 percentage points. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was second with 14 percentage points and Romney third with 13. With Romney out, Walker rose to 16 percentage points and Paul to 15. First place in a tightly packed field is better than any of the alternatives, but it’s not that big a deal this far out.
The big deal is the vanilla factor (which sounds like a terribly boring spy novel). According to the Register story that accompanied the poll, 51 percent of caucus-goers want an “anti-establishment candidate without a lot of ties to Washington or Wall Street who would change the way things are done and challenge conventional thinking”. Meanwhile, 43 percent prefer a more establishment figure “with executive experience who understands business and how to execute ideas”.
Walker is in the golden spot. He can, like Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day listening to Andie MacDowell explain the perfect man, reply “that’s me” to almost everything Republicans say they want. Executive experience? Challenge conventional thinking? Anti-establishment fighter? “Me, me, me.”
Respondents looking for an establishment candidate said Romney was their first choice. Those preferring an outsider said Paul was their first choice. But both groups said their second choice was a big scoop of Walker.
Of course, this can all change. No matter how palatable it is, people can still grow weary of vanilla, and Walker may melt under the pressure. …
Walker won three elections in four years, “in liberal Wisconsin!”, so Jonah Goldberg thinks it unlikely that he’ll “melt”.
Our question is: What are the chances that a “vanilla candidate”will succeed against an unscrupulous candidate with all the ill winds of the Left behind her leathery wings, like Whatshername?
It seems John Bolton is considering entering the race. Now there’s a man we could support. If not President, he’d make a great Secretary of State; he understands foreign affairs and America’s role in the world better than anyone else within the circle of the political horizon.
We also like Ted Cruz, a political heavyweight. We agree with much that we’ve heard him say about most issues – barring religion, of course.
We know that some of our readers disagree with us about Ted Cruz.
We hope our readers will tell us whom they favor at this point, and why.