Archive for the ‘Elections & Campaigns’ Category.

Shot Heard ‘Round the World

Let’s hope it’s heard in DC.

Amazing history made tonight in Massachusetts. Scott Brown is the first Republican elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts in 38 years.  40-55% voter turnout — in a special election. In January.

What’s more ironic? That a Republican won in Massachusetts on a platform, in part, against Obama’s healthcare plan, or that he replaces the very man who pushed so hard for so long for that very bill, and for whom the bill is named??

And in case you were watching MSNBC or CNN and therefore missed Senator-elect Brown’s acceptance speech, see this text  (from The Corner). (It is missing his jokes about his daughters, alas.)

as prepared for delivery:

Thank you very much.  I’ll bet they can hear all this cheering down in Washington, D.C.

And I hope they’re paying close attention, because tonight the independent voice of Massachusetts has spoken.

From the Berkshires to Boston, from Springfield to Cape Cod, the voters of this Commonwealth defied the odds and the experts. And tonight, the independent majority has delivered a great victory.

I thank the people of Massachusetts for electing me as your next United States senator.

Every day I hold this office, I will give all that is in me to serve you well and make you proud.

Most of all, I will remember that while the honor is mine, this Senate seat belongs to no one person and no political party – and as I have said before, and you said loud and clear today, it is the people’s seat.

Continue reading ‘Shot Heard ‘Round the World’ »

Scott Brown — Republican

Really, it’s the only thing Coakley in Massachusetts has to run on .. Scott Brown is Republican! Scott Brown would vote against the healthcare bill! How can a Republican hold Teddy Kennedy’s seat? Teddy KENNEDY’s seat?

Can’t we all just get along?

So this is what we’ve come to?  Patterico is fighting with Jeff, The Crunchy Cons are fighting with Paleo (which is to say Palin) Cons, and we’re all fighting over whether Rush is the right person to lead our party, or our movement, into the next phase.  Iowahawk has a particularly funny sendup of the whole thing;

My reference, obviously, was to the self-styled luminaries of “populism” who hang like a millstone around the Republican neck — the Sarah Palins, the Plumbing Joes, the Bobby Jindals, the Rush Limbaughs, the motley middlebrow state college pretenders to the conservative throne. A shared contempt for these arriviste oafs unites the Nassau summitteers perhaps even more than our shared fondness for a snifter of well-behaved armagnac VSOP.

uh-huh.

All of this is singularly un-helpful and, as Ace points out;

This is fundamentally an unserious and unimportant issue. And those who keep fighting it are apparently happy to dwell on the trivialities and distractions that Obama has admitted he’s cooked up for precisely the purpose of distracting you.

Ta-daa.

So what’s the real issue?  The Republican Party lost the last election and hasn’t had an impressive showing in an election since, when ’96?  I mean beating Gore was good (and thank you George Bush for that), and beating Kerry was fine, but other than Bush, the GOP hasn’t had a solid win in a long time.  We’d been losing our Congressional majorities for ten years before we lost them.  And figuring out who’s right and what we need to fight about involves figuring out why we’re on a ten year slide even though at the beginning of the decade it looked like the Democrats were the one who were going to have to re-design their party.

I think the answer can be found at the Coyote Blog

Seriously, looking back on it, did the Republican Congress between the ‘01 tax cuts and prescription drug disaster and when they were tossed in ‘06 leave any kind of legislative footprint behind?  Jeez, Republicans are whining now about all kinds of stuff, but what were they doing for 6 years?  Offshore drilling is a classic example.  They whined about the Democrats blocking more drilling last year, but what did they do about it the previous years when they controlled Congress and the White House?  I honestly think they were waiting for Bush to do something by executive order and take away any political responsibility off their shoulders.

The GOP didn’t lose because they pursued a Conservative Agenda, and they didn’t lose because they didn’t.  They lost because they didn’t do anything of note.  They were perfectly happy to fiddle away and allow Bush to take the lead and take all the heat as their majority burned around them.

Congressional Republicans, as long as they were acting on a conservative agenda, were fine, and even when they departed from that agenda they were fine, as long as they were seen to be doing something.  During Bush’s Presidency, they decided that their best bet was to keep their heads down and let Bush make all the decisions and take all the flak.  If things went well, they get Presidential coat-tails and if things went poorly, then they could claim they didn’t really support that program after all.

I’m sure in the media firestorm that followed the Iraq War and the wiretaps and all that jazz, it seemed wise to stay as far away from Bush as possible, while at the same time not curtailing his agenda.  But outside of the beltway bullhorn, the American people want their Congress Critters to do something, to stand for something, to lead us somewhere.

Without that leadership, the Congress was easily painted as nothing but a lobbyist’s shopping mall.  Scandals got painted with a broad-brush (excepting Democratic scandals of course), and the whole stinking lot of them got thrown out.  They didn’t get thrown out because of the War or the Economy or even their “Conservative Agenda”.  They got thrown out precisely because they couldn’t be seen to be doing anything at all.

So that’s the congressional problem.  The other problem was that the GOP relied entirely upon the Bush White House’s communication efforts to set a message and get it to the American people and they failed miserably.  The Bush communication team has got to become an object lesson in how not to speak to the American people (and the world for that matter).

Yes, as conservatives we are always going to be fighting an uphill battle against the media titans, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done effectively.  Congressional and National GOP leaders left the field entirely to Bush (again, probably because they weren’t sure whether he was a liability or an asset, so they chickened out and hoped to gain some or lose little), and this proved to be a disaster.

So, what about Rush, and his five little words (“I hope President Obama fails”)?  Patterico and company are right in that the media is going to twist our words to our opponent’s advantage at any oppurtunity so we shouldn’t make it easy for them, but Jeff Goldstein is right in that it doesn’t matter how “nuanced” we become, the media and the democrats and the victim’s leagues are going to twist our words anyway.

It is impossible to speak in a way that cannot be misinterpreted, especially when your interpreter is trying to paint you as maliciously as possible.

Conservatism does best when it speaks most clearly and directly to the American people, when it sets an agenda and follows it.  The Contract with America may be derided in newrooms, but it is still loved whenever conservatives get together to talk about what they have done right in the past.

A new contract may not be what is necessary, but neither are mincy words and milquetoast RINOs.

Rush is Rush, let him be Rush.  And when the media approaches our remaining Congressman with the question “what do you think about what Rush said?”  The answer should be, “I’m here to talk about what our President has done, not about what some media personality has said…” and then get back on the topic of Obama embarrassing the country with his diplomacy or destroying our economy with his socialist agenda.

Happiness in Obamaca

The economy might be crashing, automakers are seeking government aid (hey why not? Let’s just socialize them!), and Obama is set to reverse certain executive orders that will be a definite set-back for those of us who care about bioethics, but WHATEVER.

People here are super-happy. But serious too. I actually walked down toward Grant Park on Election Eve on my way to a party for the, uh, other side (which was, ironically, literally ON the other side of the street), and felt myself enveloped by the smiles and general good mood.

If I was a sophomore in college, I might say the experience was “surreal” — and hey it really was!

After at least six years of Bush-hatred and people who angrily disdained the American flag because Bush was prez and the GOP was in charge, I walked past street vendors happily hawking t-shirts (‘Yes We Did” T-shirts! Two for Ten!), and cardboard fans sporting Barack’s smiling face. American flags were passed out to children, who waved them un-ironically. People sweeping behind me discussed how it was their first time voting, or it was their friend’s first time voting.

“This is the closest this country will ever get to revolution,” said one young man. (I hope so, I thought.)

There were happy giggles. It felt like the Fourth of July, except a more patriotic Fourth than I’ve actually ever experienced in Chicago. And overall there was an extreme and surprising sense of CALM.

It was in a way extremely refreshing to see so many people engaged in the political process, but so very, very sad to know that the man in whom they had invested such “hope” for “change” is, after all, a pretty typical socialist. I was reminded of the Evita museum in Buenos Aires, which commemorated a woman who  was revered almost religiously for giving out welfare from the back of a truck  (and yes, yes, she died tragically young…but so do lots and lots of people.)

Lane said below that we’ll survive… I hope so. We must remember that even in a terrible year for Republicans, McCain got 46% of the popular vote. And I don’t think that’s just from racists.

I’m happy Obama won, in a way. The best teacher, they say, is experience. May we learn lots the next few years.  And can everyone finally accept that we ARE post-racial?  (Though I suspect a Michael Steele or Condi Rice election would not have produced the same weeping reactions from Jesse Jackson and others.)

But for now I’m going to enjoy the good mood, even if I can’t share it. And I’m going to savor the last couple months of having a president who, though I disagreed with how infrequently he used the veto pen the first 6 years and some other things he did or didn’t do, has worked to keep our country free of attack since 9/11. Thank you, Mr. President.

Who else thinks Chicago will be a MAJOR target now?

A few more thoughts on the election…

Well, it’s over. Thank God. It had to end one way or another, but it’s over. At last, local channels can finally reclaim their airwaves and run more Luna Carpet commercials instead of those awful political ads. I can’t say I’m happy about it. Pretty darned upset, actually, but now the Dems and libs finally have what they wished for. And we all know how that saying goes. “Be careful what you wish for…” Indeed.

I am still scared about an Obama presidency. Lots will happen, not much of it good. We as a country are certainly in more danger than ever before. With great dread I predict at least one terrorist attack on our soil before 2012. Since I can’t do much else to change our foreign policy, let’s all say a prayer for Israel, who needs more luck than we do at the moment. It may not be around much longer. I fear greatly for my savings and my 401K, now in the clear sights of the Democratic Congress. I fear for the vitality of my business and the financial future of my family. I fear for the personal safety of my home and loved ones.

But, on the upside, now we get to watch the Dems run the country and self-destruct when their Obama-god turns out to be a human after all, and not a great one at that. I for one will be first in line to say “told you so” when the economy continues to tank, gas goes back up, and the financial industry smolders. Somehow, we must control the damage as much as possible by getting some backbone into the GOP left in Congress. How? No idea. I leave that up to smarter, wiser men than I. In the meantime, I seek to take extreme perverse pleasure in watching the liberals drive the Democratic party into the ground. Good luck guys! And have fun! See you in 2012!

I voted, yay!

Go, Fight, Win!

Ezra Levant is optimistic.  I am less sanguine than he, but we can win this thing, so get out there and vote!

Voting en masse

While in the predicted long line at the poll this morning, I should have been happy to see so many citizens excited to vote (well, as excited as you can get at 6:30AM), and in a way I was. This is the ideal of a democracy — people eager to cast their ballot (even if it means getting good-naturedly bullied by the woman at the door ensuring everyone was in the right line).  I remember how excited Iraqis were when they got the vote. (I also remember that that would not have been possible for them had we not gone in, but anyway.)

And though I was pretty certain that I was the only one in my precinct voting the way I did, it  is always a good day when we can exercise our rights. Would I like it better if people understood the issues, and had reasons other than “change” for their vote? Yes.

But that is less the problem of politics, and more of our cultural zeitgeist opposed to real debate  – it’s so yicky and confrontational and in love with soundbites.  But this is our responsibility as citizens.  And we must consider what we share — a love of country and a desire for justice.  We just have different approaches.

I hope.

Apocalypse Eve (not now, please)

Chicagoans are PSYCHED. Well, 95% of Chicagoans and 100% of academics are (obviously).

I spent the last day and a half in Hyde Park (HYDE PARK) listening to one academic after another (who, may it be noted, have NOTHING TO DO professionally with political philosophy or government work, but when does that ever stop anyone), get all glowy and happy and hopeful at the very thought that one of their own could be in charge of the USA.  Maybe even the World.

Why do I torture myself this way? I don’t know … why do I live in Chicago?

But I need to smarten up. Once Obama is elected, everything will be better. Our racial wounds will be healed, energy will be free (hey, wind is free!), and perhaps MOST importantly, the NEH will be funded the way nature intended -  to the same degree as the Defense Department. Someone (a student) actually said this. I am not making this up. Even the NEH guy thought that might be pushing things a bit too far.

One humorless academic from a university in a nearby state (hey these were nice people so I’m not going to name names), was even careful to make sure that all the photos in his presentation featured African Americans, in order to honor what he said he was sure would happen tomorrow. That’s nice. Then I looked around the room and there was not ONE African-American in attendance. That’s what we call…ironic. But everyone smiled and felt sooo good about themselves.

And then it was announced that the school I attend will close at 3 tomorrow, so that faculty and students can be sure to vote and to make it to the rally on time (okay they didn’t say THAT, but talked traffic. Whatever). Other offices are closing early — heck didn’t even Obama say that no one should have to work tomorrow — let it be so.

The port-o-lets are all set up in Grant Park, and the CTA will be running until at least 2AM. Chicago is ready — are you?

First Principles

So Fred Thompson’s latest video pretty much says it all. Watch it if you haven’t already. And pass on!

Fred and First Principles (and why they’re important now)

Deja Vu

Not too bad… these debates were indeed rather repetitious.