Friday, December 31, 2010

GOProud Chairman Christopher Barron Defends Gay Conservatives On MSNBC


Many people in the media and on political blogs have been talking about how some social conservative groups are boycotting the the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) because they have invited a group of gay conservative activists known as GOProud to attend the event in February. Gabriel Malor, writing a post on  Ace's blog, explains that this isn't a complete boycott by social conservative groups since many of them still plan on attending the event. I don't think any fireworks will happen this year as it did last year when a social conservative named Ryan Sorba made a fool of himself by during his criticism towards the organizers of CPAC for inviting gay conservatives to the largest conservative forum in America.
In any event, GOProud Chairman Christopher Barron did an excellent job of explaining how a gay man can be a conservative on MSNBC. As you can tell by the watching the video above, the fill in host Cenk Uygur is flabbergasted over the idea that a gay man could be a conservative despite the fact that many conservatives are opposed to gay marriage and the repeal of DADT. I liked that Christopher Barron explained his support for conservative ideas and principles but I don't agree with his claim that the conservatives are united on the idea of gay conservatives or on issues that are important to gays and lesbians. However, as Hot Air points out, there is a split among conservatives that appears to be a generational gap in terms of support for gays: 
"There may be, as RCP argues, a generational gap on this question in Congress, with senators in their early 50s — even conservatives ones like Richard Burr — more prone to siding with the left on gay issues than older Republicans are. That’s perfectly in keeping with national polling showing more tolerance for gays among younger demographics. Which is to say, per Uygur’s critique, while the GOP hasn’t traditionally welcomed gays, it’s far more likely to do so in the future."
Despite the disagreement among conservatives about allowing gay conservatives to come into the fold, the Republican party has been making great improvements among gay voters. As I pointed out in a previous blog post, Republicans made history in the 2010 elections with gay voters:  
"In 2008, only 19% of gay voters supported Republican candidates in 2008. In 2010, it jumped up to 31% of self-identified gay voters supported Republican candidates for the U.S. House." 
Unless something big happens, the future for gay conservatives is looking good for them. Christopher Barron is absolutely correct that conservatives, as a whole, are more tolerant of gays than liberals are. Tammy Bruce, a well known lesbian conservative talk show host explains:  
"So, when it comes to my comfort level as a conservative who happens to be gay, here's what I know: while many conservatives are people of faith and their religion promotes a very different point of view than mine on homosexuality (and a few other things!), I have found conservatives to be more tolerant, more curious and more understanding of those who are different to them than I ever did when ensconced in US liberal leadership.
Are there religious extremists on the right? Of course, but they are marginalised and rejected. As an example, this year at CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Conference), considered the premier, annual conservative gathering in America, a speaker stepped up to the podium and began verbally to attack gays and lesbians. He was summarily booed from the stage by a conservative audience that refused to allow such bigotry to continue.
As you might have gathered, I prefer the honest, decent and genuinely accepting friends and family I have in the conservative world. We don't always agree on everything, but isn't that the point? – being able to be yourself, make choices that best suit you, without fear of punishment or retribution. My friendships and relationships in the conservative world are not predicated on political correctness and enforced conformity of thought. They are based, instead, on mutual respect, honesty and understanding – concepts many modern liberals should consider revisiting."
While Cenk Uygur laughs at Christopher Barron for being a gay conservative, the laughter masks the fear  that many liberals have over the truth that the Republican party are pulling gay voters away from the Democratic party and that many gay people are finding themselves at home with conservatives. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

2012 Competitors Vacationing In Hawaii For Christmas


Mitt Romney and President Obama are both in Hawaii for their Christmas vacation: 
"President Obama isn't the only politician vacationing in Hawaii this Christmas.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), a possible 2012 rival for the president, is also spending the holidays in the Aloha State.
Romney and his wife, Ann, are on a two-week break with their five sons, five daughters-in-law and 15 grandchildren, according to the Boston Globe.
The Romney clan is on Maui while Obama heads to Oahu on Wednesday night to catch up with his wife and daughters, who left on Saturday."
Since they are on separate islands, I doubt Obama and Romney will run into each other. However, Hawaii isn't not that big of a state. Given that Romney is probably talking with family and advisors about running for 2012, the fact that Obama is celebrating Christmas nearby will certainly come up in his conversations with people. 
I wonder what is on both of their minds knowing that their political rival is celebrating Christmas in the same state you are in.
What do you think is on their minds as they enjoy Christmas in Hawaii?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mitt Romney Hinting He'll Run In 2012?

Mitt Romney is creating quite a stir on the internet with his Christmas card he sent out for this year:  The card shows Mitt Romney with his wife and 14 grandchildren along with a surprising caption for the photo: 
 Is that Christmas card a joke or not? It is real.
Nate Gunderson of MittRomneyCentral.com - a site dedicated to promoting Romney for the 2012 race - confirmed via e-mail to POLITICO that the card reproduced on the site is genuine ("I received one of them myself", he said).
I am also a team member of Mitt RomneyCentral and if Nate Gunderson says that the card is genuinely from Mitt Romney, then the card is no joke.
The message stating "Guess which grandchild heard that Papa might run again?" is certainly a tease. However, I personally think that it is an admission that he will run in 2012. Why would a politician say something like that and not run? To say it and not run just strikes me as an odd thing to do. 
I am predicting that Mitt Romney will make his announcement to run sometime around late January to mid February of 2011. 
When do you think Mitt will make his announcement for 2012?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Barak Obama & Sarah Palin: Both Are Too Inexperienced To Be President

I have nothing against Sarah Palin. I'm just opposed to her running for office right now. She can run sometime in the future after she gets more experience under her belt. Noemie Emery's Washington Examiner article, "Obama, Palin Met Fame Before They Could Grow" explains how Obama and Palin are alike: 
"Two years ago, two superstars lit up a dazzled political universe -- young, stunning, lissome, and bursting with talent -- and were propelled ahead of their time into prominence, after a minimal time on the national scene. Two years later, it seems as if this has done them no favors: President Obama is widely seen as "overwhelmed" by his office, and Sarah Palin is meeting resistance establishing her credentials as a possible candidate against rivals with rather more seasoning.
On election day 2008, Obama had been in the Senate for less than four years, two of which he had spent running for president, and Palin had spent less than three years as governor of one of the country's most remote and least typical states."
It is true that Obama and Palin are both inexperienced politicians who peaked too soon. The only difference is that Obama is President and Palin is not. However, I think that if Palin becomes President in 2012, she too will be overwhelmed with the position of being the President of the United States just as Obama is currently in over his head with his current job.
Palin supporters think that despite her short resume, she won't face the same outcome as Obama. That is wishful thinking. Many Palin supporters state that she is surrounded by talented and intelligent people and that she's doing all she can to study and learn the issues. I'm sorry...but "studying" will never give you the knowledge you need that only experience can provide.  It is not a substitute for experience. Neither  is  it  the equivalent to experience. And it never will be.
Obama is the perfect example of what happens when you let someone who is not qualified for the position obtain the job. Barak Obama getting "on the job training" has been a political disaster for the Democratic party and for America as well. We cannot have a president who is learning how to be president while working as the President. Neither can we afford to have some one who is "studying" up on the issues in order to appear qualified for the White House.
Noemie Emery points out that some of the greatest presidents needed time to grow and get experience before they became leaders of America: 
"Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy were younger than they (42 and 43) when they became president, but their records of service were longer, and deep. Roosevelt was a state representative, police commissioner, governor of New York, and vice president; Kennedy spent 14 years in Congress, eight of them in the Senate, and been observing diplomacy at the highest of levels since he was 19."
The same principle is true for Republicans such as Ronald Reagan: 
"Eight years of this sort of semi-obscurity was what Ronald Reagan had in his two terms as governor, in the last stage of his transition from Hollywood-actor-plus-activist into full-bore political star.
Like Kennedy, he had 14 years from his first run to the White House, and the first 10 were spent finding his feet. Like Kennedy, they were spent in semi-obscurity, mildly famous -- as a former film star; as a celebrity's son who was a war hero -- but hardly the object of media frenzies."
If Palin and Obama were ever to be truly successful politiicans, they needed to earn time on the slope before going down steep black diamond courses. Noemie Emery feels that for both of them, its too late for that now to obtain the experience needed for the job:
"Obama and Palin needed the six years or so of semi-obscurity they were about to embark on before ambition -- and John McCain -- intervened. Instead, their growth was checked at a critical moment, and, as it seems now, won't be resumed quickly -- not in the presidency as Obama is learning, or in a media frenzy, as Palin has found. 
They are famous for life; they will always have money; what they can never have back are the years washed out by destructive celebrity. "She's been microwaved, she needs now to marinate," somebody once said of Palin. But the time for slow-cooking is gone."
I disagree. For Obama its too late. For Palin, she has plenty of time to gain the experience she needs if she doesn't run in 2012.  I am not saying she should never run again. I'm just saying that if Palin wants to be in the White House, it would be prudent for her to run in 2016, 2020 or 2024. Then she will be ready. And she will have my support if she wins the Republican nomination.
During the 2008 campaign, many people pointed out that Obama was not qualified for the job. Obama even addressed that issue himself and admitted he wasn't ready to be President:
Despite Obama's own words and criticism from Republicans, Democrats and news columnists; the Democratic party scoffed at the complaint. But looking back, I think Democrats wished that they took that criticism seriously. I fear that Republicans, who were correct to point out Obama's inexperience, will forget their own criticisms of Obama and make the same mistake with Palin as Democrats did with Obama. 
Thanks to Obama, we know know what happens when an inexperienced person attempts to work in a position that is way of their league. Lets not make that same mistake with Palin in 2012.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Palin and Huckabee: The Establishment Doesn't Like Us Because We're Not Wealthy

Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin are crying about how they're not included in the "cool" crowd of the Republican party because the're not rich like them. Their complaints are silly. 

Mike Huckabee just mortgaged $ 3 million dollars to pay for a new home in Florida. Sarah Palin makes plenty of cash from her books and television appearances. The fact that they complain about the establishment is all a bit silly. 

Listen to Sarah Palin complain about the political bourgeoisie within the Republican Party. She makes this complaint after Barbra Bush's stated on Larry King Live that she would like to see the former Alaskan governor stay in Alaska and after reports of "establishment" Republicans who don't want Sarah Palin to run in the 2012 election began circulating in the press. The key quote is below:
"I don't think the majority of Americans want to put up with the blue bloods. And I say it with all due respect - because I love the Bushes - but the blue bloods want to pick and chose their winners, instead of allowing competition to pick and choose the winners."
What does Sarah Palin mean by calling Barba Bush a "blue blood"? John Hayward provides us with the meaning to this term in his Human Events essay "The Blue Bloodbath":
“Blue blood” is a term that resonates with a frustrated nation, weary of serving at the pleasure of an insular ruling class.  The inheritance of power, through family or party machinery, is of far greater concern to middle-class Americans than the inheritance of wealth.
Mike Huckabee also whines about the Establishment as he talks about how he gets snubbed by the "country club" conservative elites:
"It's about, again, to be blunt, the kind of country club attitude that we're not sure there are certain people we really want as members of the club and we're not going to vote them in. And we don't mind showing up to events to put up signs and making phone calls and going door to door making those pesky little trips that we don't like to do, but we really don't want them dining with us in the main dining room."
Crying about the Establishment is and not getting the proper respect is not what mature, aspiring, politicians do. And complaining about the elite of the Republican party isn't their problem. Its easy to use them as a straw man to knock down those who oppose you whether it the Bushes or somebody else. 

Too be sure, elitism exists in all sorts of places. It can pose a problem for a political party as Hot Air explains:
"Elitism is the tendency of an entrenched political class to assume that they can make better decisions for individuals and have a better understanding of individual interests than the individuals in question.  It makes no difference if the elites attended Harvard, Yale, Princeton, or Cal State Fullerton.  It is fundamentally anti-democratic, as it negates the entire idea that an individual can govern himself, and should govern himself.  If the prevailing assumption is that individuals cannot govern themselves individually, it’s a very short hop to the notion that a group of individuals cannot be relied upon to choose their own political leadership, either."
There is a danger in targeting the establishment as the barrier to your political success.  Mitt Romney discusses the danger underneath the complaints made by Palin and Huckabee:
“The populism I’m referring to is, if you will, demonizing certain members of society: going after businesspeople, going after Wall Street, going after people who are highly educated, people who are CEOs. That kind of ‘All of our problems are due to that group’ is something that is unproductive.’’ 
Why is it unproductive to lay blame on one group of people? It is unproductive for the simple reason that politicians rely on creating class conflict as a way to win a political office. To create a conflict between classes, you have to get one group to envy, despise, mistrust or look down on another group. Todd Dittmann's American Thinker essay "The Dead-End Politics of Envy", explains how why class envy is a dangerous idea:
"Class envy, albeit one of the two foundations of the modern Democratic Party's soul (identity politics being the other), is very divisive and fuels mob rule.  It is a tool that exploits happy people who were previously neither aware of their forced group membership nor of their antipathy toward other groups.  It is a tool used in previous tyrannies but one that should remain on the historical scrap heap."
Essentially, class envy is not concept that brings about positive change in society but only a negative and destructive change in society since it introduces dissension and conflict in society by pitting one group against another to obtain the desired outcome or to achieve political power. As Mr. Dittmann noted, class envy is one of the tools that Democrats use to maintain power. I think class envy is no longer strictly in the domain of liberalism but now has seeped into conservatism as well. I'm not the only one who thinks this. While one blogger thinks that class envy is occurring on the part of the Establishment towards the TEA party, I think its the other way around: 
"...Are we witnessing a corresponding politics of envy on the right that turns the concept on its head as members of the GOP Ruling Class — the "blue bloods" called out by Sarah Palin this week in a radio interview with Laura Ingraham — awaken from their comfortable stupor to the sound of pitchfork-bearing members of the Country Class at the gates?"
Complaining about the establishment is childish and immature. However, getting people to support you by stirring up anger towards the rich and powerful is no laughing matter. Yet, certain politicians like  O'Donnell, Huckabee, Palin and Pawlenty exploit class envy to mobilize political support. One Los Angeles columnist writes about why Sarah Palin's complaint of the Bushes are silly and why she resorts to class warfare to draw support for her:
"Palin probably doesn't envy Mrs. Bush (why should she, she's a rich and privileged woman herself now) but she shrewdly uses others' envy of elites like the Bushes to stoke her fans. In politics, such maneuvers are called "class warfare," and when convenient, both sides use it and/or decry its divisive nature."
Politicians like the idea of pitch fork bearing country class members stomping towards the gates of the ruling class. With such anger, they can ride the wave of anger to political office. Which is why they they are presenting themselves as the champions of the middle-class and tea party, solid conservatives. 

Yet, as Ace explains, there's a glaring logical fallacy in their argument:
"Do the elite engage in the fallacy of the argument to authority, offering their status as the credentialed elite as a reason to support their ideas? Yes, they do. But what bothers me about this whole damn anti-elitist panic is that it replacing one appeal to authority with another appeal to authority which is nearly as odious, and actually a bit more when you add in the hypocrisy factor.
The old appeal to authority is rotten and horrible, you should not credit anyone who says "listen to me because I hail from the credentialed elite;" that's why we need to replace it with a new appeal to authority: "Listen to me because I hail from the striving low-to-middle class."
What?
I do not see the great benefit of replacing one regime of sneering dismissiveness based on happenstance of birth with an opposite regime of sneering dismissiveness based on happenstance of birth."
I'm not defending the political elite here. But like Ace, I don't buy into the notion that just because we certify that someone is not a part a certain group, it makes them qualified to lead us. What we're seeing is a form of elitism not from the top but from the bottom based on the argument that we’re better than you because we’re not rich ivy league people.

Not only is their argument flawed, but there's s a good reason to mistrust politicians who have no problems using class warfare and class envy to achieve political power
"For many in Washington (and in statehouses), ideas are to be trotted out at election time and when the cameras are on, while they focus on the acquisition and administration of political power. While they may believe in the primacy of the Constitution, in limited government, or have deeply held personal beliefs on social issues, they use the ideas to win elections, rather than wanting to win elections to advance the ideas."
While the quoted article above was made towards conservative elites, it applies equally to the blue collar conservatives as well. These who have no problems using  liberal tactics of stirring up class anger among the public towards those who stand in their way of political office are not to be trusted. They may advance conservative ideas but only to win elections at any cost.

Karl Rove was invited on the Laura Ingram show to address the complaints made by Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee of elitism within the Republican party.  Listen to the exchange between Rove and Ingram below:


Karl Rove wins the debate with this key point:
"I think it would be healthy for the party for us to have everybody jump in, and let them go out there and spend the next year making the case for themselves and making the case against President Obama and let people know what they got and show them that they can unite the party and reach outside the party like Ronald Reagan did."
That's how conservative politicians should run. As Karl Rove noted, complaining about the establishment is "unnecessary."  There's no need to whine about not being liked by the Establishment or that the Elite is keeping you down. There's no need to resort to class envy either. Let it remain a device used by the Left.  

Conservatives should stay with the well worn path of relying of winning elections on their own merits simply by making the case for themselves. They make a poor argument for themselves when they complain about the establishment and use class envy to divide conservatives from one another based on wealth and status. Just get out there and just compete in the realm of ideas.
All you have to be is the best hard working individual you can be and let the public vote.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Hanukkah!!

The economy, both at home and in most of the developed world, is still shaky. Most of us still wonder exactly how close we came to another Great Depression, and some are still waiting for the other shoe to drop.
It feels that with every passing day of the last decade, our personal lives, like the Hanukkah top known as a dreidel, spin faster and faster. That’s the world of Hanukkah 2010, a world that needs Hanukkah and the opportunity it provides ─ to remember, reconnect, and renew.
This is not a Jewish thing, anymore than the world needing the beauty and promise of the Christmas story, even though we are not all Christian and will not all agree about the theological meaning of that story. This is about an ancient holiday which promises ways of helping us through turbulent times.
On Hanukkah we remember that we have it within us to play the game of life as much as the game plays us.We reconnect to the source of that ability, wherever we may find it. 
Hanukkah is a time of heroes, of people who made miracles happen and no matter what the cynic may say, heroism is not dead and there really are still heroes in our world.
In fact, today’s real heroes may be much closer than we realize. They may even be staring back at us when we look in the mirror. And that’s where the story of Hanukkah comes in.
Most of us, Jewish or not, have some knowledge of the story of brave, strong Judah Maccabee fighting to liberate the Temple in Jerusalem. But do we recall that he was a small town boy with few material or institutional resources at his disposal when he began his career? In all likelihood there was little special about Judah and his family until circumstance and their own determination presented them with a challenge which they saw as an opportunity.
In a culture that too often substitutes celebrity for heroism, and cynicism for sophistication, we need to recall that part of the story, also. It's the part that reminds us that everyone is already a hero, or at least has the capacity to be one.
Each of us, according to Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, is a living Hanukkah candle capable of spreading our own inner light in the world and living a story of heroism by doing so. Each of us can live our most deeply held values in ways that not only improve our own lives, but contribute to the lives of those with whom we live and work.
Rabbi Kook knows that true heroism begins with a sense of our own capacity and the need to resist the urge to minimize either it, or the obligation to rise up and make use of it in the best way we can.
What do we have in common with Judah Maccabee? A potential for heroism. In an age when people question whether there really are heroes anymore, Hanukkah reminds us that there are always heroes and we are they -- if we give ourselves permission.
I think its a powerful message that is applies to all of us. We often forget the true meaning of the holidays we celebrate as it gets lost in the lights, parties and shopping sprees but as the Rabbi points out, the meaning of these holidays grow more and more important as time marches on. His message may cliché but the point is worth repeating. The lessons embedded in these holidays will help us overcome the challenges that will come in the new year and we would be foolish to ignore them. 
He also makes a powerful point about heroes which goes does has a strong relationship to why we forget the true meaning of significant holidays. We often celebrate the superficial at the expense of the significant. We grant  rock stars, actors and actresses, sports figures and politician high status in our society while the true heroes fade into obscurity. When tough times hit, we don't look to rock stars, actors and actresses, sports figures and politician for moral and spiritual leadership. We may look to them as a means to escape our daily troubles but they will be in the same boat as the rest of us when the tough times come. True heroes provide leadership, guidance, support and safety in good times as well as bad. But they're extremely valuable, yet always in short supply, when the hard times come. Just as we need to remember the true meaning of the holidays, we need to remember the real heroes.
I believe it is possible to balance the fun and seriousness that comes with these holidays. We can remember the lessons of these festive times and reflect on them in our private moments. We can also enjoy the company of people that we cherish in our lives. We can also enjoy the more flashy and festive parts of the holidays as well. Just don't ever lose sight of the meaning in the fun. 
Speaking of finding joy in Hanukkah, I figured it would be fun to post all the awesome songs about Hanukkah for you to enjoy: 





Monday, November 22, 2010

George H.W. Bush A Fan Of Mitt Romney Too!?

Recently, I wrote a blog about how George W. Bush was a secret fan of Mitt Romney. It appears that George H.W. Bush and his wife are also fans of Mitt Romney. They expressed their opinion of him on the Larry King Live show
Both Bushes mentioned former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as a possible Republican contender for a likely race against incumbent President Barack Obama two years from now.
"He's a reasonable guy," George Bush said of Romney. "He's a conservative fellow, that's good. But no, I think he'd be a good president, a very good president."
I guess the entire Bush clan are big fans of Mitt Romney!

How TEA Party "Leaders" Are Betrarying The TEA Party

Recently, a Utah Tea Party leader and a national Tea party leader have spoken out against Mitt Romney for various positions that he has taken. Having TEA party leaders giving or withholding endorsements troubles me. This isn't a new concern of mine. I've expressed my concern on this issue in a previous article.
I have some new additional concerns that I did not express in the earlier article. Lured by the temptation of political power, these leaders are betraying the very principles of what made the TEA Party so successful  and powerful in the first place.
One of the most popular books among the Tea Party movement is "The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations" in which the book argues that leaderless organizations are more effective than governments and corporations in making positive changes to society. Politico explains why the book was a political bestseller in 2009:
"The book was first published in 2006 — three years before the tea party movement burst onto the scene with mass protests against what it regarded as President Barack Obama’s unchecked expansion of government. But the idea that scrappy starfish groups can beat imposing spider institutions resonates deeply with tea partiers, who have vigilantly enforced their occasionally chaotic structure against would-be leaders, an eager GOP, and conventional Washington wisdom questioning whether an infrastructureless group can succeed in Big Money electoral politics."
By having people who are claiming to be "official" representatives of the Tea Party movement, they are transforming and diluting the movement that made it so effective. The power behind this group is that it was a leaderless grassroots movement in which like minded people who were outraged about the growing size and scope of the federal government as well as the financial irresponsibility that came along with increasingly expansive government. Nobody was elected to the the official spokesperson. And there was never an intent to have spokesperson for the group. And while some of these groups and many individuals have had a positive overall effect, they do NOT represent the movement. But by becoming an organized political organization, the voices of millions of people will be ignored because its much easier to get a single representative on television rather than talk to a wide variety of people to get their feelings on a particular issue.   
You would think that Mitt Romney possesses the qualities TEA partiers dream of in their 2012 candidate. Braden at BlogCritics.org: Dear Tea Party, Mitt Romney is Your Friend explains why this is: 
"Based on issues alone, it would be logical to conclude that Mitt Romney is in agreement with the vast majority of Tea Party principles. He balanced the budget for four consecutive years in a blue state without raising taxes. Isn't that what the TEA in Tea Party stands for, Taxed Enough Already? The very premise of the Tea Party movement is in accordance with Romney's record.
But what about RomneyCare? RomneyCare, signed into law by Romney in 2006, is a state-based healthcare plan with striking similarities to ObamaCare. However, unlike ObamaCare, RomneyCare did not raise taxes. But the bigger and more important difference is that RomneyCare was a state program and not a federal one. If states' rights and federalism are truly important to the Tea Party, they would readily recognize this distinction. And on top of all this, Romney has consistently voiced his support for the repeal of ObamaCare."
Braden doesn't make the point explicitly, but essentially what he's saying is that there is a growing inconsistency between what the TEA party movement stands for and what they're willing to support. There are many within the movement who claim fidelity to the Constitution, federalism, the 10th Amendment, and the will of “The People” but only when it suits them. Thus, the comments from the local and national TEA party "leaders" is nothing more than them cherry picking conservative ideas they want support and don't support.
RomneyCare is 100% a state rights issue. Mitt Romney proposed a health care plan that would apply  Massachusetts and only to Massachusetts. Moreover, the people of Mass overwhelmingly supported RomneyCare then and they support it now. 
Braden thinks that reason behind opposition to Mitt Romney within certain ranks of the TEA party movement is based on irrational fear. I think its based on irrational anger. The American people have every right to be upset with Obama instituting his health care plan despite overwhelming opposition to it. However, what is bizzare is their anger towards Mitt Romney.
Here's why I find the anger towards RomneyCare so irrational. After the conservative wave of in the Congressional elections of1994, Bill Clinton decided to boost his popularity by stealing a conservative idea: welfare reform. Conservatives had twice attempted to pass welfare reform but he vetoed them. However, Clinton got Congress to pass the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, also known as the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. Not only did he steal the idea but his plan was conservative to the core. He is still proud of signing the law
I don't recall conservatives getting mad at Newt Gingrich for partnering with Bill Clinton on reforming welfare. In fact, it was liberals and progressives who were mad at Clinton for signing a conservative piece of legislation. Even three members in the Clinton Administration were so angry at Bill that they resigned after the law was passed. Why were they so upset with Bill Clinton? They were not upset with the conservatives who were successful on their third attempt to reform welfare based on conservative principles but they were upset with him because he abandoned liberalism and progressive ideas when he signed the law.
In contrast, what Obama did was to take a conservative idea, corrupt it by changing the conservative idea into a progressive one, and foisted it on the America people. Liberals and progressives are happy with Obama. Its no mystery why Conservatives are unhappy with Obama. 
But they're also unhappy with Mitt Romney. That is a mystery to me. Unlike Bill Clinton who abandoned his party's beliefs and principles in signing the conservative welfare reform into law, Mitt Romney didn't abandon or betray any conservative principles when he created RomneyCare. Mitt got his idea for state wide individual mandates from the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation and simply integrated that idea into his health care plan. After all, the idea for individual mandates was alternative proposal to HilliaryCare during the Clinton Administration.
Thus, the only explanation I can think of is that they're angry for Romney simply because Obama used and corrupted Romney's plan. Now that Obama corrupted the conservative idea of individual mandates, many conservatives who were once for it are now against it. If Obama hadn't perverted the conservative idea of individual mandates, many conservatives would have been supportive of RomneyCare. And that, to me, is irrational anger towards the former governor of Massachusetts.
The truth is that if Obama hadn't used Romney's plan but looked around and used another conservative governor's plan, many would be pissed with that governor. In fact, Obama would have created ObamaCare without or without using Romney or any other conservative health care reform plan. He could have attempted to pass a similar version of HillaryCare. I  contend that Obama simply claimed that he used RomneyCare as a template knowing how toxic his health care plan was to the American people just as a political tactic to hobble a potential 2012 candidate who could be his challenger in the general election. 
In the end, conservatives, independents and tea partiers should not be angry with Mitt Romney at all. When it comes to health care reform, Mitt has consistently stood for conservative principles. He hasn't abandoned or betrayed those ideas at all. Instead, conservatives, independents and tea partiers should be angry at those who claim to lead and speak for the TEA party because they are the ones who are abandoning, diluting and twisting everything that the TEA party stands for as they express their opposition to Mitt Romney. 
I'm not saying people shouldn't criticize or opposes Mitt Romney. People are free to do so. All I'm pointing out is the inconsistency in the so called "leaders" of the TEA Party which ultimately betrays the purpose, beliefs and goals of the TEA party movement. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Obama Did Not Use RomneyCare As A Template

T. S. Eliot once said that “immature poets imitate, mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different." This quote is equally applicable to politicians, especially in light of the national debate on the similarities and differences between Barak Obama and Mitt Romney's healthcare plan. 
Democrats are starting to realize that Obama doesn't know what he's doing as President of The United States. One of the clearest signs of Obama's inexperience is his creation his universal health care plan. The creation and passage of ObamaCare is his only project that he can truly call his own. It is his only major legislation that he's been able to pass in Congress. ObamaCare is what historians will use to judge Obama's competency as the 44th President of the United States.  The President claims that he used Mitt Romney's plan as a template in creating his nationalized health care plan. It is clear that Obama and his administration did not understand what they were doing when they attempted to replicate Romney's plan on a national level.
A relevant analogy is the difference between a licensed and unlicensed doctor who performs a surgery on a patient. There is a real difference in the skill, knowledge and experience between them. An inexperienced person who attempts to replicate or imitate a task or project done by an experienced person will always end up making major errors because they did not seek to take the time to obtain the necessary knowledge needed to successfully accomplish the task.
There is a clear difference between RomneyCare and ObamaCare. One health care program was created by a man who has plenty of experience in both the private and public sector where he worked as a businessman before becoming the governor of Massachusetts. The other health care program was created by a man who used to be a community organizer, law professor and a senator for only three years prior to becoming the 44th President of the United States.
If Obama really used RomneyCare as the template for ObamaCare, he didn't pick it apart to see how it works.  Inexperienced people are too much of a hurry to take the necessary steps, they just want the final product. What they never learn is that the final product will always be inferior to the thing they are copying because they never take the time to understand how it all works.
Let me explain the various ways Obama's inexperience shows that either failed to understand RomneyCare or didn't use it at all. 
Understanding The Origins
Romney, like a good poet and politician, stole a great idea and made it into something better. Mitt Romney got his idea for RomneyCare after hearing the Heritage Foundation propose the idea of individual mandates as a  conservative alternative to Hillary Clinton's attempt to nationalize the United State's health care program in the 1990s. Conservative think tanks and politicians opposed the idea of a universal health care. They wanted individuals to be responsible for their own health care, not the government. 
Had Obama studied RomneyCare, he would have known where Mitt stole the idea from. He would learned about why Mitt was fond of the idea enough to swipe it as his own when he was governor of Massachusetts and that Mitt opposed HillaryCare for the same reasons he would later oppose ObamaCare.
If Obama is going to steal or imitate an idea from Mitt, he should learn where Mitt got his ideas from. If he had done his homework and understood the origins of where Mitt got his idea, he would not have created a federal heath care program since the origins of RomneyCare doesn't come from Mitt but conservatives who opposed HillaryCare. 
Laying the Foundation
Before any project is to be done, you must lay the proper foundation. In fact, laying the foundation is more important than erecting the structure or program itself. Without the proper foundation, the project will never be successful because the surface that is upholding the rest of the structure is defective in some way or another.
An experienced leader knows that the laying down the proper foundations for a health care program requires that he first determine if the government is financially stable enough to undertake the project to see if he can do it. An inexperienced person will disregard the cost and simply go ahead with the project.   
Before Romney unveiled RomneyCare to Massachusetts, he first had to make sure that the state was financially stable enough launch his ambitious health care plan due to the fact that when Mitt entered into office in 2003, he was a left with a massive deficit of approximately $3 billion. It took 2 years for Mitt Romney to put Massachusetts back into financial health. By 2005, Mitt Romney had a budget surplus of $1 billion.  Having a budget surplus of $1 billion in 2005 allowed Mitt Romney to confidently to unveil his health care plan in 2006.When Mitt Romney introduced his health care plan on Beacon Hill, he made sure that his proposal wouldn't undermine all his hard work of whipping the state into financial shape. Thus, when his plan was presented, it was estimated to cost less than 1.5% of the state budget. By the time he left office in 2007, he left the state had a $ 2 billion surplus.
In contrast, President Obama did not work to make sure that America was in good financial shape before enacting ObamaCare. He simple went full speed ahead with his health care plan. ObamaCare was passed in Congress in March, the national debt was approximately $221 billion. Unemployment was 9.7%. Gallop reported that underemployment was at 20%. America's Triple A credit rating was under serious threat of being downgraded. Even more astonishing is the fact that after the passage of ObamaCare, it was estimated to cost the nation 2 trillion dollars.
Clearly, Obama did not use RomneyCare as a template. If he did, he would have followed Mitt Romney by getting the US economy in financial shape before implementing ObamaCare. Laying the foundation is crucial for the success of the program and for the state or country you lead.However, Obama has done it the other way around: ObamaCare first and now he's attempting to fix the U.S. economy. Like many poor imitators before him, Obama was much of a hurry to be bothered in understanding the details of RomneyCare. He was simply impatient and wanted get it through Congress.
Size Matters
If Obama really used RomneyCare has a template, he wouldn't have created a 2,000 page legislative and bureaucratic monstrosity seen as represented in the chart below: 
In contrast, RomneyCare is a slim and simple 70 pages long. A simple side by comparison demonstrates this fundamental difference between the two health care plans as outlined in this picture below: 
Had Obama really used Mitt Romney's health care plan as a template, he would have noted the small size of the former Governor's health care plan. He would also have paid attention to the simplicity of Mitt's plan. Its clear that either Obama ignored these facts or he didn't understand how important they are in the overall scheme of Mitt's plan.
Legislative Intent
Another strong piece of evidence that Obama didn't use RomneyCare at a template or made a poor attempt to imitate is the failure to understand the intent behind RomneyCare. Listen to Mitt Romney explains the intent of RomneyCare during his interview with Sean Hannity beginning at 4:30 time mark of the clip below:

As stated by Mitt in the interview, the intent of Romney's health care plan was to introduce free market principles into the state's health care system. Make it work more like a market. 
In contrast, the intent of ObamaCare was to grow the size of the goverment. Listen to Obama's intent behind his health care plan in his interview with John Stewart on the Daily Show.  If you don't want to watch the entire thing, go to approximately the 8 minute mark and listen. Watch the video below:
As the President stated himself, the "change" in the nation's health care program was to simply make it a framework that will allow for future growth of the federal government. His example of Social Security is used to drive this point home. Social Security was initially sold as support for widows and orphanages but later the "structure" of this program blossomed into a massive entitlement program. He points out that the same is true for every progressive piece of legislation, which includes ObamaCare, in which it started out small but it was never intended to be small. It was designed to allow them to make further "progress" which is another way of saying expanding the government. The implication that Obama is making is that ObamaCare will eventually grow into a single payer program over time.
This isn't the first time Obama has admitted that he wants a single-payer system:

If you couldn't clearly hear what he said in the above clip, here's the what Obama said when he was running for President:
“I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that’s what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.”
Implementation
Perhaps the biggest evidence that Obama didn't use RomneyCare as a template for ObamaCare is that he failed to understand how Mitt's health care plan actually works. In Massachusetts, everyone is covered through the private sector. They are required to purchase their own health care plan with their own money. Even in instances where an individual relies on the state for assistance in health care, insurance coverage is paid by the state to a private company. Furthermore, the only federal involvement in Mitt’s entire health care plan is that RomneyCare takes Medicaid funds and state money that was normally applied for emergency rooms and simply redirected that money to allow the poor to buy private health insurance so that tax payers  are not footing the bill for those people who are with out insurance. 
In contrast, ObamaCare provides coverage to the citizens via the Unites States Government. As you remember, it was Obama and the Democratic party who wanted the program to be a single payer program during the congressional debates prior to the passage of ObamaCare. Even though the single payer program didn't happen, Obama was able to get Congress to approve government provided universal health care that would unfold in stages over a number of years. That's how "progress" towards bigger government works. It works piece by piece, increment by increment and years by years. RomneyCare does none of that.
Perahaps the biggest lesson that Obama failed to learn from RomneyCare is that it was never designed to be replicated on a national level. Mitt Romney explains that Obama missed that point entirely
"If what was done at the state level, they applied at the federal level, they made a mistake. It was not designed for the nation." 
Conclusion
Like an inexperienced and unlicensed doctor who fails to get the adequate medical training, fails to prepare for surgery by skipping the process of scrubbing himself before surgery and finally botching the surgery, Obama failed to learn the lessons of RomneyCare from inception to implementation and miserably failed to  make the needed corrections in our nation's health care. Its clear he doesn't know what he's doing with regards with health care.
Rather than being a skilled politician who takes his political rival's ideas and makes it into something better or something different, he defaced it. There are too many essential and crucial details in Mitt's plan that Obama either ignored or overlooked. Just as an illegal doctor is in hurry to get the surgery on his innocent patient over with so that he won't be caught committing medical malpractice, Obama was too much in a hurry to pass his progressive piece of legislation without understanding any aspect of Romney's plan. 
ObamaCare is not even an immature imitation of RomneyCare. Obama doesn't follow Mitt's plan at all at any stage. Not in the getting the country in financial shape before proposing such a plan, not in legislative intent or in the actual implementation. Why? Lets not forget that ObamaCare isn't really Obama's idea. The legislation didn't come from the White House but Congress. Essentially, Obama let Congress create, draft and pass the bill. All he had to do was sign it. Which is essentially akin to allowing the illegal doctor's secretary peform the actual surgery. I don't think the Democratic Congress who wrote the bill looked at RomenyCare either.
Despite Obama's claim he used RomneyCare as a template for his health care plan,  I don't believe Obama (or the Democrats in Congress) because the they never followed any aspect of Mitt's plan.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Who Did George W. Bush Secretly Root For In The 2008 Elections?

Matt Latimer (front) standing with President George W. Bush.
George W. Bush's reluctance to involve himself in political affairs after his Presidency is. Bush stayed out of the limelight during the 2008 Presidential elections.  However, Matt Latimer, a former speech writer for the Bush administration, has written about his experiences in the White House. The memoir, "Speech-less: Tales of a White House Survivor", reveals Bush's private thoughts on many subjects including the 2008 elections:
Latimer said Bush liked Mitt Romney best and that he was "clearly not impressed with the McCain operation." Latimer said the former president wanted to appear with McCain at a campaign event in Phoenix, but after he was told the then-Republican nominee couldn't get enough people to show up, he called it a "cruel hoax."
"'He couldn't get 500 people? I could get that many people to turn out in Crawford.' He shook his head. 'This is a five-spiral crash, boys.'"
Bush presumed Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic nominee, according to Latimer, and was extremely critical of Barack Obama. Latimer said Bush was "ticked off" after one of Obama's speeches and he said the future president wasn't "remotely qualified" for the challenges of the job.
"(Bush) came in one day to rehearse a speech, fuming. 'This is a dangerous world,' he said for no apparent reason, 'and this cat isn't remotely qualified to handle it. This guy has no clue, I promise you,'" Latimer said.
Latimer also made the controversial assertion that after Sarah Palin was tapped as McCain's running mate, Bush reportedly asked whether she was "the governor of Guam" and said that she was "not even remotely prepared." A former Bush and Palin aide has challenged the accuracy of the charge.
It appears that Bush was a Mitt Romney supporter and thought he was the most qualified candidate out of all the 2008 GOP contenders. 
The burning question I want to know now is this: is Bush still a Mitt Romney supporter for the 2012 elections?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Orrin Hatch: I'm Confident Mitt Romney Will Run In 2012

Orrin Hatch has stated on Friday night that he's confident that Mitt Romney will run again in 2012: 
"Sen. Orrin Hatch said Friday night he anticipates Mitt Romney will seek the Republican nomination for the White House in 2012, saying in an interview Romney "would be my preference."
Hatch, a Republican, appeared at a gathering in Wanship hosted by The Save The American Republic, a conservative organization that is active in Summit County and elsewhere.
Hatch said in an interview with The Park Record Romney has not informed him of his political plans in 2012. But Romney, who helmed the 2002 Winter Olympics and owned a mansion in Park City until recently, has the background in economics that a president should possess, Hatch said.
"I'm quite sure he's going to run," the senator said.
Hatch mentioned his support of Romney while addressing the crowd of approximately 100 people at the Wanship Fire Station, but it was a brief interlude during remarks that touched on a range of issues over several hours."

Monday, November 8, 2010

2012 Presidential Election: Who Is Running And Who Is Not

Although the 2012 election hasn't started yet, the Presidential election season begins the day after November 2nd. Even though its too early to know, its fun to see who the potential 2012 candidates might be. 
Republicans
George W. Bush has stated that his brother, Jeb, will not be running for President in 2012 even though he would like his brother to bid for the White House. Although Chris Christie is popular with many conservatives, he has stated that there is a "zero chance" he will run for President in 2012. But he might throw his hat in the ring in 2016. Jim DeMint has declared he's not running for President in the upcoming election either.  
While we've listed those who aren't running, there are some people who are considering a run. Donald Trump says he's thinking about it although I'm not sure how serious this idea is. The idea of having a businessman run for President hasn't never been successful. Just look at Steve Forbes and Ross Perot. Interestingly enough, the Boston Herald thinks Scott Brown should run. Former New York governor George Pataki is thinking about running in the next election. All other potential candidates such as Mitt Romney, Mike Pence,  Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and others have not stated one way or the other if they are running.
Democrats
Hillary Clinton has stated that she will not run in 2012 or 2016. I take that to mean that the Clintons will never seek the Presidency unless Chelsea Clinton decides to run far, far into the future. However, some are looking to Howard Dean as a potential challenger to Obama but his office shut that rumor down very quickly. Others have floated the idea of having Russ Feingold challenge Obama in the next election but he gave a Sherman-like statement that he's not running either
The interesting thing is that some Democrats are looking for someone else other than Obama to run despite the fact that Obama has stated he wants to run. The Democrats should seriously entertain the idea of Obama being a one term President and have a Democrat run against him since his poll numbers against potential Republican challengers don't look so great.
I've created a simple list of the potential 2012 contenders As you can see, the Republican side is quite crowded with potential contenders. Do you see anyone that I should add to the list? 
UPDATE (11/8/10): I received an e-mail from someone asking me if Evan Beyh  was considering running in 2012. The answer is no, he's not running.  
Republican
Democrat
Christ Christie
Jeb Bush
Jim DeMint
Mitt Romney
Sarah Palin
Ron Paul
Mike Huckabee
Tim Pawlenty
Haley Barbour
Paul Ryan
Mike Pence
Rick Santorum
Newt Gingrich
Rick Perry
John Thune
Mitch Daniels
Bobby Jindal
George Pataki
Donald Trump

Michelle Bachman

Gary Johnson 

Scott Brown

Fred Karger

Herman Cain (dropped out of the race) 
Hillary Clinton
Evan Beyh 
Howard Dean
Russ Feingold
Barak Obama















Sunday, November 7, 2010

11 Interesting Facts About The 2010 Midterm Elections

The Republican Party made the 2010 midterms elections one of the most memorable elections in history.  I'd like to share 11 interesting facts about the 2010 elections with you: 
1. The Republican tidal wave that washed over the entire United States was huge. The British newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, reports how big that wave was: 
"The Republicans increased their seats in the House of Representatives by the biggest margin since 1948, with a significantly bigger win than 1994, gaining 61 seats. They surely would have taken the Senate as well, had all of the seats been up for re-election, instead of just 37. At the gubernatorial level the GOP now controls 29 governorships compared to just 19 for the Democrats. Republicans also picked up 680 seats in state legislatures, the highest figure in the modern era according to figures provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures." 
The Republican wave in the House isn't over as some races have yet to be decided
2. The 2010 election has severely diluted the Democrat's power in Congress. The Washington Times explains how much power the Democrats have loss in Washington D.C.: 
"Republicans defeat three major committee chairmen and at least seven lawmakers who claimed 20 years' seniority or more in Congress.Democrats have already shed 376 years of congressional experience, and that could go as high as 430 years if five other Democrats lose races in which returns show they are trailing."
3. The loss of power for the Democrats didn't just occur in Washington D.C but in state legislatures across the country. Here's the facts from ABC News:
"Republicans haven't controlled as many state legislatures since 1928."
"Republicans took control of at least 19 Democratic-controlled state legislatures Tuesday and gained more than 650 seats, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The last time Republicans saw such victories was in 1994, when they captured control of 20 state legislatures." 
4. The Republicans also made history in several state legislatures as detailed from the same article linked above:
"In Minnesota, Republicans won the Senate for the first time ever, while in Alabama, they took control for the first time since reconstruction." 
5. This will be the first time that a father and son will serve in Congress at the same time. Rand Paul, the newly elected senator of Kentucky is the son of Ron Paul, who a congressman from Texas.
6. Republicans not only made history in national and state legislatures but in several governor's races. For example, Nikki Haley whose parents immigrated from Punjab, India has became only the second Indian-American to be a Governor of a US State after Bobby Jindal of Louisiana; and also the first Indian-origin woman governor.
7.  Three states elected their first female governors: Mary Fallin in Oklahoma, Susana Martinez in New Mexico and Nikki Haley in South Carolina. Susana Martinez is the first Hispanic female governor.
8. Speaking of women, House Republicans won the most female voters in this election with women splitting their votes 49-49 for Democratic vs Republican House candidates which is the record for House Republicans since 1982. 
9. Republicans also made history with gay voters. In 2008, only 19% of gay voters supported Republican candidates in 2008. In 2010, it jumped up to 31% of self-identified gay voters supported Republican candidates for the U.S. House.  
10. Evangelicals turned out in big numbers for this election. According to one survey, the largest single constituency in the electorate in the 2010 midterm elections were self-identified evangelicals, who compromised 29 percent of the vote and cast an astonishing 78 percent of their ballots for Republican candidates.
11. The 2010 midterms elections was the most expensive election campaign in modern history. Take a look at the numbers:  
  • Meg Whitman ran the most expensive campaign in the country in which she spent more than $160 million of her own money only to lose to Jerry Brown.
  • GOP Rep. Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota both spent and raised the most cash of any House candidate in the country. It is projected that she raised $11 million and spent more than $8 million.
  • The total amount of money spent during the 2010 election is projected to be $4 billion.  
Update (11.8.10): 12. The Senior voters turned out in droves for the Republican party:
"Seniors voted last week by an almost 60-40 split for Republican House candidates, after splitting evenly between Democrats and Republicans in the 2006 midterms."