Archive for April, 2009

Obama’s “swagga” takes over moderate CNN

April 30, 2009

And people wonder why conservatives believe the media overdoes its love for President Barack Obama. I could not believe this segment actually aired, especially on CNN, a channel I tended to think of as most in the middle. If Glenn Beck had done this exact same segment, the liberals would have screamed for head and riots would have taken place. Fast forward in the video to the :46 second mark. Words can’t even describe it. Kyra Phillips and T.J. Holmes on the report for CNN.

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BREAKING NEWS: Supreme Court Justice Souter Retiring

April 30, 2009

News broke late Thursday night that Supreme Court Justice David Souter intends to retire within the next year, giving President Barack Obama a chance to make his first impact on the nation’s highest court. Souter has often been associated with the liberal side of the court, so because Obama’s choice will likely be a judge that has a tendency to rule in favor of the liberal position anyways, it is unlikely that the next Supreme Court Justice will bring much change to the Court. In the past 14 years, only two new judges have been named as new Supreme Court Justices. Former President George W. Bush appointed Associate Justice Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John G. Roberts to the panel of judges. Roberts, who as Chief Justice is the highest judicial officer in the nation, was confirmed on September 29, 2005, and Alito was confirmed on January 31, 2006.

Obama will clearly look to pass a liberal judge and because he will have 60 Democratic senators, it should be a fairly easy task. The Senate also only needs a majority vote to approve. Politico has a story up on who Obama could choose and a list of other factors that will go into his decision. Being Harvard Law student, it would make sense that Obama would look for someone from that academic area. It would also make sense that Obama would attempt to nominate a minority, as Clarence Thomas is the only current minority serving as a Justice.  

Although nominees for the role as a Supreme Court Justice are made by the president, the judges still need to be confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee as well as the entire Senate. While many veteran Justices passed the Senate vote with ease, recent nominees have faced lots of opposition. Alito was formally opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Senator John Kerry attempted to have him blocked as well. After much debate, Alito was approved by the Senate with a vote of 58 to 42. Roberts also faced initial opposition but was passed with a vote of 78 to 22. The case of Roberts was unique because President Bush originally nominated Roberts to replace the retiring Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Conner. After Chief Justice William Rehnquist unexpectedly died, Bush withdrew the original nomination and renominated Roberts to become the Chief Justice.

The real interesting debate will be if a Justice that tends to vote conservative retires or passes away. Obama would then have the power to nominate another Justice that could potentially swing the Supreme Court towards the left. Antonin Scalia, widely considered to be a conservative Justice appointed by Ronald Reagan, will be 74 years old this year.

More Articles for Thursday

April 30, 2009

Our Jekyll and Hyde President   Victor Davis Hanson writes in the National Review about how President Obama seems to have two different personalities when it comes to foreign policy. His first personality is a weak, apologetic president who has infuriated many Americans for his constant “confessing” of all of America’s sins, attempting to win enemies over and those who don’t think highly of us to begin with. The other side of Obama’s foreign policy personality is a strong believer in force and reminiscent of the Bush administration. He has taken on right-wing military gurus like Jim Jones and also kept Robert Gates as the Secretary of Defense, who served the same role under Bush. He has also approved of gunning down Somalian pirates and using Predator missiles, both things you wouldn’t expect from a president who so strongly objects to enhanced interrogation methods of captured terrorists. Hanson wants to know what Obama’s agenda is behind all of these actions and which type of personality Obama actually has. Hanson also wonders if Obama even knows what his foreign policy personality is going to be.

Tough Questions   The debate over enhanced interrogation methods rages on as President Obama refuses to say the Bush administration authorized torture but refuses to rule out the possibility of prosecuting them. National Review puts together an defense expert team of conservative views that continue to talk about these methods, how effective they were and if we really needed to use them.

Fact Checking Obama’s Recent Statements   The Associated Press does some fact checking on recent statements made by President Obama, some during the prime-time press conference and others made while he was in Missouri. Too often we believe everything politicians say, so the AP does a nice job here of putting in context the truth of Obama’s words. One of the things I brought up last night, the number of jobs actually created by the stimulus plan, is also disputed by the AP fact checkers, saying that saved jobs have been counted as jobs created by the Obama administration and they still have no actual formula that can truly count how many jobs have been created.

The Media’s Overreaction to Swine Flu

April 30, 2009

Over the past week or so, the popular item of the media has been swine flu and its coverage of this new epidemic has been relentless. I guess it is good that the media has been letting people know about it, but at the same time swine flu has been completely overblown. It seems that on every channel there’s another “health expert” estimating this could be the one that takes out millions of people. Of course, the hosts are quick to point out that they don’t want to freak people out or make them panic, but then they have these experts come on predicting catastrophic results. Vice President Joe Biden went around the morning broadcast talk shows saying that people should basically avoid confined places, like traveling on airplanes. That, of course, kills the airline industry even more, which is in dire straits as it is. American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith said Biden’s advice borders on “fearmongering”.

On a quick side note, I understand that a lot of people were turned off by Sarah Palin’s perceived lack of intelligence, but I am fairly certain she could not do worse than Joe Biden. Has he done anything have significance? He has basically been nothing but an issue for President Obama, with people constantly trying to cover up for statements made by the VP. Check out this list of Biden’s flubs over the past year and a half

Again, in regards to swine flu, there has been a ridiculous amount of hype for the disease that really has barely done any damage. It seems as though once every year or so, scientists and the media get fired up and freak out over a potential sickness or disease. Remember bird flu? Remember West Nile Virus? How about SARS? None of those diseases wound up causing any large damage to Americans. They were overhyped by the media and caused way more panic and anguish than it should have.

According to stats I found on CNN’s Jack Cafferty’s blog, they really downgrade the significance of swine flu. Although the World Health Organization has graded this outbreak at a level 5 pandemic alert, the second highest level, there have only been 257 confirmed cases of it worldwide. Not just Mexico or the U.S., but the entire world. And out of 300 million people in the United States, only one person has died of swine flu so far. Since January, there have been 13,000 deaths connected to seasonal flu in the United States. Why has there been no rampant media coverage of that? Swine flu is also being found in more countries because doctors are now actually looking for it. Scientists also believe that in the current form of the swine flu virus, it won’t be as harmful as the regular flu virus. The fact that it is called swine flu has done huge damage to the pork industry as well. Countries have blocked pork imports from Mexico and the U.S. because they believe the swine flu virus comes through pigs, which is actually false in this case of the virus.

While many people believe that the media, newspapers in particular, is changing or dying, this example of an overblown virus shows that the media still has plenty of power over the people of this country. President Obama did a great job of simply stating that people should wash their hands, cover their mouths while coughing and stay home from work or school if they are sick. If people calmly start doing that, swine flu will become irrelevant, just like every other potential disease epidemic in the past few years.

Daily Articles for Thursday; Conservative opinions on Obama’s 100 days

April 30, 2009

100 Days: ‘Harry, I have a gift’   After delivering an outstanding speech as a freshman senator, Barack Obama was greeted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The senator of Nevada congratulated Obama on his performance and Obama responded “Harry, I have a gift.” Yes, even the staunchest conservative can realize that when Obama has his teleprompters in front of him, he has the ability to turn words into magic and make everyone believe that he is with them and understands their side of the problem. Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal points out that Obama’s gift might end up hurting him in the long run. Henninger points out that Obama’s habit of making everyone hear what they want to hear has already misled some top aides, leading to what seems to be an unclear view of policies and contradiction on issues like the AIG bonuses and the enhanced interrogation memos. Going back to Obama’s days at the Harvard Law School, he had the same ability to connect with people on both sides of an argument, leading Al Gore’s former chief of staff Ron Klain to comment that that style of leadership is more effective running a law review than it is running a country. In the next few years, we will truly see how effective this style of leadership is.

The Real Culture War Is Over Capitalism   A truly fabulous article by Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute. Brooks points out that the real social issue in America today is free market economics, not abortion or same -sex marriage. The issue is whether or not believe that free enterprise and capitalism are still the building blocks our economy should be built on. Small businesses and entrepreneurs are what make this country so great, showing the ability to be creative and work hard and eventually create a viable company from scratch while having minimal interference and taxing from the government. President Obama, according to many economists, seems to be against these principles and instead favors a system in which the government is the big player in the economy and that redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor is the way to go. Liberals agree, while conservatives believe that capitalism is still the best thing our country has, even though there may be severe drops every 25 to 30 years or so. Brooks argues that “fairness” is protecting merit, freedom and hard work, not taking from the minority to give to the majority to make financial situations closer to equal. Poll numbers seem to indicate that many Americans still agree with Brooks. He also points out that it is not fair for politicians to reward companies who performed poorly, banks that cheated and homeowners who didn’t pay mortgages. The companies and banks that did things right and the homeowners that took care of their mortgages are being treated unfairly. A universal health-care plan, Brooks says, will make going to the doctor about as enjoyable as going to the local DMV. Free market based options for health care are still the way to go but if people and politicians don’t stand up for capitalism soon, we may not see them ever again.

UPDATE: GOP leaves social issues behind on new council

April 29, 2009

 

Virginia Representative Eric Cantor is said to be the mastermind behind the new GOP initiative, National Council for a New America

Virginia Representative Eric Cantor is said to be the mastermind behind the new GOP initiative, National Council for a New America

UPDATE (4/30): Fresh off Ben Smith’s blog on Politico, the new GOP council created by Eric Cantor, called the National Council for a New America, has released the set of issues they will be speaking about in the town-hall meetings across the nation in the upcoming weeks. The list includes the economy, health care, education, energy and national security. Notably missing are the social issues that have been a problem for Republicans, like same-sex marriage, abortion and immigration. I would have to say this is a fabulous decision by Cantor, showing the signs of a young, promising decision by one of the new leaders of the Republican Party. While many people agree with the GOP on these social issues, just as many people disagree on the left and both sides are prone to getting heated and defiant on these issues. The point of this council is to listen to all people, which includes conservatives, liberals and, most importantly, independents. Social issues are not very high on the priority list of the majority of Americans. They want to hear the solutions that the GOP has to the economy, energy independence and health care. If the GOP can regain the trust of Americans on these issues, they will be able to talk about social issues at a later date. The council needs to be able to not only come up with alternatives to the liberal agenda taking place in Washington right now, but they need to present them in an articulate, simple fashion. At the same time, Republicans cannot come across as disagreeing with the president just to disagree. Obama is still three times as popular as any important GOP politician so Obama will get the benefit of the doubt from the people if the council members present anything less than stellar ideas. Cantor understands this and has made a wise decision to focus on the relevant issues. 

ORIGINAL STORY (4/29): After taking shots from President Obama, seeing a veteran Republican senator defect to the Democratic party and basically seeing their image and named destroyed, the GOP looks like they have finally stood up and began their attempt to recreate the Republican brand. With the full report coming from CNN’s John King, the GOP will announce Thursday their intentions to began an initiative called the National Council for a New America. This council will include a “National Panel of Experts”, which include some of the biggest names in the Republican Party.

 

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour will all be members of the panel, as well as Arizona Senator John McCain and former Florida Givernor Jeb Bush, brother of former President George W. Bush. The panel will hold town-hall meetings across the nation with the America people to listen to them and reconnect with voters, as well as pass on legitimate alternative solutions promoted by the GOP. The panel will report to the Republican congressional leaders, including House Minority Whip Eric Cantor. Cantor is said to be the mastermind of this project.

Will this be the start of the Republican Party’s movement to reshape its image? Will it be effective? How will Democrats respond? I am looking forward to the official announcement of this panel and how it will affect Washington.

Recap of the Obama conference

April 29, 2009

 

President Barack Obama at tonight's prime-time press conference

President Barack Obama at tonight's prime-time press conference

Although most of the questions went as expected and there was not much of outright significance that was said, the prime-time press conference for President Obama was a very interesting display of Obama’s idea of where the country lies and what he expects from it in the coming years. Obama started off talking about the growing concerns on swine flu, simply instructing Americans to do simple things like wash your hands, cover your mouth while coughing and staying home from work and school if you are sick. Obama, in his always calm, comforting demeanor, told the American people that everything the government could do to combat the illness was being done and even gave credit to the Bush administration (gasp!) for doing a good job of building up resources to fight this illness. Obama had no plans of quarantining Mexico, even though many believe that is where swine flu originated from.

 

While the conference got off to a rather subdued start, it took conservatives’ favorite reporter, Jake Tapper of ABC News to ask the tough questions. Tapper was able to elicit a straight-forward condemnation of the Bush administration’s enhanced interrogation policies from Obama, specifically labeling waterboarding as torture and something that America will no longer participate in under his watch. Obama made the strange analogy of Churchill not torturing WWII prisoners while London was bombed to “smithereens”, because it was not good for the character of Britain. I am curious to hear if Americans would really care if CIA interrogators got a little tougher with prisoners while our nation was being bombed left and right and civilians were dying.

Obama also said that the same information could have been extracted from detainees using other methods. Obama offered no specifics of how this would have been done and conveniently ignores the fact that the memos state that every other interrogation method had been used and Khaled Sheikh Mohammed would reveal nothing. Another reason Obama is against waterboarding is that it was a recruiting tool for al-Qaeda to establish how evil Americans were and that it damaged us in the view of people around the world. Al-Qaeda did not know about waterboarding before 9/11. Terrorists didn’t know about waterboarding when they attacked the U.S.S. Cole. Waterboarding was not on their minds when countless other terrorist attacks took place around the world. Al-Qaeda operatives now know how far CIA interrogators will go to get information from them. Why will they ever give up information now?

With the defection of Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter to the Democratic Party, Obama was able to get in a shot at the Republican Party, saying “Simply opposing our position on every front is probably not a good political strategy,” going on to mention that the American people voted for him and Democrats in November. The thing is, poll numbers clearly show his policies are far less popular than he is. Americans voted for Obama and his image in November, not his policies. Obama’s articulation and majestic way of speaking was able to seduce many independent voters, as well as the fact that Obama was not President Bush or a Republican, which had their identities and image ruined in the media. In regards to the Republican Party opposing every one of Obama’s policies, it is hard for conservatives to go along with the most far-left president in our nation’s history. Republicans are betting that if they continue to stand tall to Obama and stick to their principles, they will come out looking great when these economic policies fail to resurrect our economy. It is a very risky maneuver, one that Arlen Specter wanted no part of. At the same time, it seems to be the only option. Republicans still won’t make any headway going toe-to-toe with Obama because the American people still believe in him, but it might not be that way forever.

Obama continues to promise that we will see economic progress because of his policies, pointing out that 150,000 jobs have already been created because of his stimulus bill. How does he have the ability to measure that statistic? Where are we getting these numbers from and how do we know it is the stimulus package that did this? He will continue to preach for patience for Americans, but it won’t last forever. Obama has wagered that expanding the role of government will appeal to people and help our economy, but he has said that he will withdraw the government from the operations of car company GM as soon as possible. I will have to believe it when I see it. Although he models himself after Lincoln, Obama is far more similar to FDR. Both believe that the government needs to be large to help people and that spending money is the way to get out of a recession. While many credit FDR’s plan with getting us out of the Great Depression, many economists argue that it actually lengthened the depression and that industrial expansion due to WWII got us out of the Depression. 

Overall, Obama had a typical Obama performance. He flowed in his opening statements and he just sounds intelligent and confident, something the American people want right now. If his economic plans don’t start producing results, however, Americans might start looking in a different direction. Political power is something that can change very quickly in Washington. How much patience will Americans have with Obama before they look for a different kind of change?

What might happen at Obama’s 100 Day Press Conference

April 29, 2009

 

President Obama will hold a prime-time conference tonight at 5 PM Pacific time on the 100th day of his presidency

President Obama will hold a prime-time conference tonight at 5 PM Pacific time on the 100th day of his presidency

 

 

Many times, prime-time conferences are overrated. There isn’t actually a lot of news that comes from these meetings with the press. No one expects President Obama to announce anything of outright significance tonight. It seems as though the goal of the Obama administration is to keep the president in the public’s eye as often as possible, judging from his unprecedented appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, as well as features on ESPN and constant statements released by his staff. It seems to be working, as the public seems to still have an overwhelming loyalty to Obama and his image, even if they are not completely on board with his policies.

Politico put up an article on what kind of questions President Obama will have to answer at the press conference tonight. I would have to agree with many of those questions and that President Obama will have to bring some legitimate answers to the event. I would have to imagine many people are wondering what we are doing to combat swine flu right now and if things are going to get any better soon. Obviously, we need to be careful about swine flu, but many people predicted imminent disasters with the threat of bird flu and SARS and neither of those amounted to much in America. Rush Limbaugh brought up an interesting point that swine flu has spread in Mexico because Mexico has government socialized health care. The Mexican government has been unable to provide the families of victims with medicine to help.

Obama should also be asked about the torture memos and the opportunity to prosecute Bush administration officials. Someone needs to ask Obama why he initially said he wouldn’t do that because he wanted to “move forward” and then changed his mind to allow Attorney General Eric Holder to prosecute the officials if he so desires. Why the sudden change? Was it because of pressure from the far-left, the group that built and supported Obama to turn into the political machine he has become?

Obama should also field a question about the ongoing military operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan suddenly defending the Taliban. Will there be consequences for Pakistan? What is the next step in Afghanistan?

Overall, it will be interesting to see what the attitude of reporters will be in this press conference and which reporter get questions. Will they toss up softball questions for the president on his 100th day as commander-in-chief? Or will they ask tough questions that demand real answers? The press conference begins at 5 PM Pacific time on every major broadcast network, except for FOX, who President Obama took a few shots at today.

Articles for Wednesday; Coverage of Obama’s 100th Day in Office

April 29, 2009

We’re Here, We’re Queer and We’re Hypocrites   Although this article is a little bit dated, I really liked it and felt it needed to be talked about. Conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart writes about how the gay community has gone on the attack on those who voted in favor of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in liberal California. While gay leftists have attacked the Mormon Church, who won’t fight back, they have also gone after businesses that supported Prop. 8, the director of the California Musical Theater in Sacramento and evangelical churches across the state. So far, however, gays have yet to go after the groups that were the deciding factor in passing Prop. 8, the 70% of African-Americans that voted for Prop. 8 and the Hispanics who also were heavily in favor of the bill. Why is this? To paraphrase commentator Bill O’Reilly, I don’t see any gay protests in the middle of Compton or Richmond. Gay blogger Perez Hilton criticized Miss California winner Carrie Prejean for standing up for her beliefs in the Miss USA contest and saying that marriage should be between a man and a woman, calling her a “dumb b****” and saying that Miss USA needs to represent all Americans and she abandoned gays and lesbians with that statement. Prejean also took heat from many voices in the media. But here is a quote from a well-known and beloved politician about his feelings towards marriage: “I’m a Christian… I do believe that tradition and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.” The politician is…. President Barack Obama! The president also represents all Americans. I would only hope that Perez doesn’t display a double standard and instead calls out President Obama for his views. But, I am not going to be holding my breath waiting for that to happen.

Obama at 100 Days   The Washington Times gives us an interesting perspective on how the media plans to cover President Obama’s evening press conference. Guess which cable news network isn’t covering it? By golly, Fox News is the correct answer! The truth of the matter is that there probably won’t be any newsworthy material to come out of tonight’s press conference. Obama has already shown a desire to have as many prime-time press conferences as possible and the media has welcomed that plan with open arms.

Barack’s in the Basement   You know how the entire world loves President Obama and everything he does? It has pretty much been decided that Obama is the new world leader, loved and respected by all according to media sources. His popularity poll numbers are through the roof and he is rebuilding America’s image in a positive fashion. Except for the fact that his popularity poll numbers, in reality, aren’t through the roof. Don’t worry, I was tricked as well. The Washington Times informs us that the Gallup Poll’s survey numbers for Obama in April are only higher than President Bill Clinton’s numbers at this point in a term since the Gallup began polling in 1969. Yes, even the guy that came before Obama had higher numbers than our current president (Dubya with 62%, Obama with 56%).

The Liberal Hour   The Wall Street Journal recaps the rapid change that has taken place in Washington since President Obama and his Democratic Congress has taken over. He has now taken over the economy and wars in the Middle East as his. It will be squarely placed on Obama’s shoulders from here on out. While he and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel believe that “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste”, is Obama actually going to be able to successfully tackle every issue he has thrown on his plate? It seems unlikely and even more unlikely that we will have the funds to do so. But at the same time, Obama has made it clear he has no problem spending money he doesn’t have.

President Obama’s prime-time press conference will begin at 5 PM Pacific time. It will be aired by ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC and CNBC, which will cost the broadcast networks about $10 million in the advertising losses. FOX will not be airing the broadcast. In November of 2001, FOX also declined to broadcast a prime-time speech by George W. Bush, so there is somewhat of a precedent for FOX’s decision.

Did Specter deliver the Knockout Blow for the GOP?

April 28, 2009

 

RNC Chairman Michael Steele has a long road ahead of him in rebuilding the image of the Republican Party

RNC Chairman Michael Steele has a long road ahead of him in rebuilding the image of the Republican Party

Although the outbreak of swine flu has affected many throughout North America, Democrat Fever seems to be the most rampant disease running through Washington. Tuesday morning marked the exit of Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter from the Republican Party, slightly more than a month after he had assured Republicans he would be running as a member of the GOP for the 2010 elections. With Specter’s addition to the Democratic Party and Al Franken appearing destined to win the long-protested senatorial race in Minnesota, the Democrats will have a filibuster-proof 60 seat majority in the Senate, which means Republicans will need a few moderate Democrats to oppose party lines if they want to have any hope of stopping the left wing’s agenda.

 

For those who have followed Specter over his career, many do not see this move as a surprise. Although Specter is one of the most veteran Republicans in Congress, he has voted with Democrats on about 60% of the issues. He helped Democrats pass their mammoth stimulus bill through the Senate last month, drawing the ire of many Republicans who stood their ground and opposed the bill because it went against basic right wing principles. Clearly, this is not a move that happened because Specter suddenly had an ideological awakening. He had leaned to the left for many years and with the way the GOP has fallen apart so quickly, Specter made this move to save his political career.

Specter realized that he was going to be in trouble if he entered the 2010 Republican primaries for the Senate seat. Former Congressman Pat Toomey was ahead of Specter by double digits in polls taken last month. Toomey is a fiscal conservative, as well as a new, young face that Pennsylvanians seemed to be shifting towards. Specter will eventually have to take him on in the actual election, but now he doesn’t have to worry about struggling through the primaries. The Republican tag has also had a very negative effect on politicians, especially after the way they were dominated in the 2008 elections. Although ethically it is a very questionable move on Specter’s part, it does make sense if he wants to keep his political career alive. I think the funniest quote of the day has to be from Specter’s statement, where he said he is “not defined” by his party. So why did he even change his party affiliation?

The other issue that is brought up is the lack of moderates among Republicans in Congress. Maine Senator Olympia Snowe remarked that moderates are not treated very kindly in the GOP now and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham has criticized conservatives for being too strong in their beliefs and not welcoming enough new people to the party.

Excuse me? Conservatives are too strong in their beliefs? The theory for conservatives is that being honest and strong in our beliefs will attract people and new voters. I do not believe that the majority of Americans want the government to be an all-providing entity, like Democrats seem to desire. The problem is that the fiscal conservatism that conservatives preach has not been practiced by Republican politicians in Washington. Of course, the same goes for Democrats, but since they advocate government spending, it wasn’t such a big deal. As such, the GOP has paid for their mistakes and quite honestly, they have deserved it.

The fact is, Democrats have done a better job of reaching out to independents and getting a message across. The liberal media did a great job of smearing President Bush and the Republican label over the past four years, making it “cool” to be a Democrat. Many Democrats rode the coattails of Barack Obama to victory in 2008 and many of them won simply because they weren’t of the evil, Republican ilk.

The image of the Republican Party has been damaged to a great extent, but it can be fixed. It will take lots of time because President Obama has the trust and adoration of the American people right now. If his stimulus package doesn’t start working soon though, Americans will start to grow impatient. Obama’s magical words and impressive demeanor will only buy him so much time before Americans start demanding results. When that time comes, Republican leaders must be ready and willing to voice alternatives to the public. If there are leaders that can be articulate and convincing in conservative values and beliefs, like the Great Communicator Ronald Reagan was, Republicans might be able to make a run for control of Congress in 2010, setting them up to truly challenge the Democrats in 2012.