Category: Republicans

First Presidential Debate, October 3, 2012

Debate, Podium, President, Discorse, PoliticsThe most impressive thing about Wednesday night’s Presidential Debate is what it was not: a contentious barrage of angry epitaths like those being thrown throughout the blogosphere or even in some of the Republican Primary Debates. Both men were smiling, civil, and even appeared to be listening as the other spoke. President Obama carried on the same criticisms of Romney’s plans, and the Governor politely said that the President’s information was wrong. They both agreed with each other regarding areas of common ground. We suspect that the rules holding applause had a positive impact on the cordial nature of the debate, although it certainly didn’t hurt that Moderator Jim Lehrer’s folksy demeaner and attempts to steer the conversation helped keep the discourse on an even …


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 …


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 …


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 …


Should elected party officials endorse candidates before the primary?

Earlier this week, I received a press release with the following redacted endorsement:
xxx, Iowa– xxx County Republican chairman xxx today endorsed xxx for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

This notification stirred me to think about the question “Should elected party officials endorse candidates before the primary?”. As Chairman of the Polk County Republican Party for the period 2009-2010, I made a personal decision that I would not endorse primary candidates for local or statewide offices, but my tenure did not cover a presidential cycle. Should the rules be different for Iowa’s “1st in the Nation” presidential caucus?

I don’t believe there is a clear answer to this question. The best I can do is to share some anecdotal experiences from my time as Chairman …


Still The Gold Standard: Barry Goldwater’s “The Conscience of a Conservative” 50 Years Later

“The Conservative also recognizes that the political power on which order is based is a self-aggrandizing force; that its appetite grows with eating. He knows that the utmost vigilance and care are required to keep political power within its bounds.” – Barry Goldwater

Evidenced by the fact that I recently finished re-reading Barry Goldwater’s The Conscience of a Conservative on a kindle—much has changed since it was first published in 1960. However, by the staggering parallels that its content has to the political realities of 2011, one could say that not much has changed at all.

Anyone who chooses to invest the few hours necessary to read this book will become apprised of the historical context in which the political and ideological battles of our …


A New Year, A New Congress

Out with the old, in with the new, goes the standard cliche every year about this time.  No, this is not a reference to Nancy Pelosi’s age, although incoming House Speaker John Boehner is 9 years younger.  Speaker Boehner does represent a new attitude and the resulting optimism is being reflected in the markets and the broader economy.

Consider:

  • Retail sales, Christmas sales, were up significantly over 2009
  • Consumer and business confidence for November and December have inched higher
  • Jobless numbers are moving downward, evidenced by today’s ADP employment report that suggested 297,000 new private sector jobs were created in December (this is a big number!)

This is not a coincidence.  This is, however a direct result of increased optimism in the country due to …


The Big Spanking

Our grandchildren were over last weekend–two boys ages 5 and 3.  At one point the 3-year-old was telling me about being disobedient and how Daddy had to give him a big spanking.  Now I know my son and I’m sure that he was providing gentle discipline, but the point wasn’t lost and can be applied to last week’s election.

Much has been made of the Republican’s gains in the House and Senate, and their effective control of Congress.  This was clearly a repudiation of the Obama, Reid, and Pelosi policies of economic stagnation.  Make no mistake about it, this was about the economy.  The Democrats insistence on spending taxpayer’s money ineffectively, squandering it, actually, passing huge and unpopular bills, and their complete lack of caring …


Energy Leninism? Or Just Plain Leninism?

leninAs goes Energy, so goes the country.

“The worse, the better,” Vladimir Lenin is said to have observed. What Lenin meant was that the worse social conditions became in Russia, the more likely he and the Bolsheviks could foment a communist revolution. President Barrack Obama’s White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel recently updated Lenin’s maxim, saying, “Never allow a crisis to go to waste.”Last Friday, the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives took those maxims to heart when they pushed through their 1,200-page American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act by a vote 219 to 212. The bill is supposed to address the twin crises of economic recession and climate change by creating millions of new “green” jobs. Instead of an


We Forgive You. Now Git.

governorsanford-officialportraitI’m saddened, frustrated , and absolutely disappointed.  The story of Mark Sanford was a roller coaster that dumped me off a cliff at the end.  Allow me to take you through this sequentially.

I’ve spent the past 36 hours dramatically changing my thoughts about how I might speak to the unusual story of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s mysterious disappearance.   Mark was the head of the Republican Governor’s Association (now headed by Haley Barbour), and considered a potential candidate for the 2012 Presidential nomination.

First I thought, after hearing that he had been missing for several days after driving off in a bodyguard’s SUV, that this guy was a little weird.  I could, at that point, conceive of only one type of circumstance that might …


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