Category: Politics

Healthcare Fallout: Obama’s Growing List of Coalitions

The bedrock of winning elections at every major level of politics is building coalitions of supporters for whom you can count on to head to the polls and cast a vote for you.  Especially in a country as large and non-monolithic as ours, coalition building on some level is a requirement for victory and often explains why politicians are so willing to speak often, but say very little.

A close look at President Obama’s effort in this area reveals that he has elevated this process to an art form—but far from art, what he has created is an ugly picture beneficial to himself, but terrible for America.

While the Supreme Court’s ruling on Thursday to uphold the Affordable Care Act certainly carries the negatives of …


In the Age of the Selfish Voter

In a Representative Democracy, voting for a particular political candidate or philosophy is the most impactful way a citizenry can change their country.  While the “who” a person votes for is what actively shapes a Republic, digging into the motivation behind that vote is far more telling, and ultimately reveals far more about ourselves and where we are heading.

As government involvement in Americans day-to-day lives has expanded, the possible motivating factors at play driving each citizens vote has also expanded—and the effects of this have been devastating.  Boiled down to the most basic level, there are two motivations that influence a political vote—you can vote in what you believe is in the best interest of the country, or you can vote in your own …


Finally… Something We Can Agree On

The following is an op-ed I wrote some time ago that was edited slightly and then published by the Des Moines Register.  After turning on the television, which was tuned to MTV, while babysitting my young niece and nephew recently I was reminded how unfortunately relevant this piece still is.  The sections which are redacted below are ones that the Register was uncomfortable printing.  This perhaps make the point most poignantly.

 

The following words were spoken on the floor of the U.S senate by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin in the heat of the recent debate on The Fairness Doctrine:

It takes away the authority of the Federal Communications Commission to basically determine that radio and television stations use their Federal licenses in the public


And Then There Were Four…And Then There Were Two

In the week leading up to the South Carolina Primary the headline became—and then there were four.   Following the results of Saturday’s vote, it is becoming increasingly clear that the headline going forward will be—and then there were two.

At the heart of the wild ride that this nominating process has been is a reality that Newt Gingrich referenced in his victory speech Saturday night.  The four candidates left are all from different backgrounds and each is giving voice to unique portions of the Republican ideology.  Like most Republicans this cycle, how this cast of characters interplays with my specific political stances has made for a very difficult decision in where to place my support and who to root for.  Here is


Willie Nelson and Walking Toward Gingrich

“After carefully considering the whole situation, I stand with my back to the wall. And walking is better, than running away…and crawling ain’t no good at all”

Willie Nelson—Lyrics to “Walking” (1974)

While not known for his astute political analysis, with these lyrics Willie Nelson has managed to perfectly describe the conundrum myself and millions of other voters face in selecting a candidate to support for president amongst the Republican field.

For months now GOPers have been carefully considering the whole situation, and have yet to settle on anyone. With the voting only two weeks away a majority of those undecided now officially are standing with their backs against the wall.

In this regard I am no different—laid here are the reasons I am currently …


Why I am Caucusing for Ron Paul

“I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom…..And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents’ “interests,” I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.”
– Barry Goldwater, Conscience of a Conservative

Perhaps more than any other politician of the twentieth century, Barry Goldwater captured the essence of the American spirit – ferocious independence. This spirit depends upon the Constitution for its life and energy. Without our Constitution, our nation is nothing more than another geographic location; nothing but more …


Why the Des Moines Register Shouldn’t Bother Endorsing A Republican This Year

While not big news that Iowa Republicans don’t wait with bated breath for the Des Moines Register to anoint a Republican candidate the cream of the presidential crop, in recent years their recommendations have barely risen above laughable fodder. Since we could all use some comic relief from this seemingly endless campaign season, let’s take a look back at the Register’s recent forays into Presidential advocacy. What follows are two main reasons, among many others, why they should stick to merely reporting on the political pulse of Iowa—instead of trying to alter it.

Reason #1 – A Sketchy, Schizophrenic History

While nearly all the data on editorial board endorsements show that they have a miniscule impact, if any at all, well over 70% of newspapers …


Observations on the October 18th Las Vegas/CNN Presidential Debate

The purpose of this post is to provide a high level summary and personal opinion about the Republican Presidential debate held last night, October 18th, in Las Vegas.  The moderator was CNN’s Anderson Cooper.  The debate included: Speaker Gingrich; Governors: Perry and Romney; Senator Santorum, Representatives Bachmann and Paul: and businessman Herman Cain.

I prefer to not label people as “winners” or “losers” so I will define my analysis in terms of how candidates met my personal expectations.

Exceeded Expectations: 

Speaker Gingrich – As usual, Newt had the wittiest and most concise observations. More importantly, he chose to stay out of the mudslinging featured by the lower tier candidates.

Best Moment – After virtually every other candidate attacked Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax proposal, …


Bloomberg Debate Re-Cap: What We Thought We Knew…All Holds True

This piece was written by Justin Arnold-Editor of The Conservative Reader:Iowa and John Bloom-former Chairman of the Polk County Republican Party and Conservative Reader contributor.

Since the field of Republican candidates seemingly spent the entire month of September participating in high-profile debates, one would think these exercises would eventually become monotonous and lose their luster. Proving how high the stakes are, and how intense the opposition to our current president is, the exact opposite has been the case.

Instead what has transpired is that Republican excitement has counter-acted the law of diminishing returns. This has been proven by both the dramatic surges and plunges of the candidates following the debates and in the number of people watching them (over 12 million watched the last Fox …


A Sweeping Declaration of Intent: Gingrich unveils new “21st Century Contract with America”

If ever there is going to be a moment for former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to create momentum and change the flat trajectory of his presidential run—now is the time. One day after the release of a Fox News poll, which surprisingly showed him gaining substantial ground in the race, Gingrich took to the stage at the Principal building in Des Moines to unveil his newly minted “21st Century Contract with America”.

Updated from the 1994 version, this new contract will serve as the backbone of his campaign and its acceptance or rejection will determine his fate one way or the other.

In the world of presidential politics such fate is largely decided by three things—the style, the substance, and …


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