Archive for the ‘Politicians’ Category

Article for Thursday and commentary

May 7, 2009

Should the GOP forget Reagan?   It certainly seems like a silly idea to forget about the greatest politician to have been a part of your party and Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal addresses exactly how ridiculous it is. Many pundits have questioned what the Republican Party should do as it crumbles apart, with most saying that it needs to become more moderate and welcome in more people. True conservatives, however, would argue just the opposite. The GOP tried to run the moderate candidate in John McCain and they got blown out. George W. Bush acted like a Democrat when it came to spending and he was heavily criticized. Republicans are now trying to figure out what their next step should be in rebranding the GOP image.

I initially thought that the listening tour, called the National Council for a New America created by House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, was a good idea. After listening to the opinions of other conservatives, however, I realized that listening is the last thing Republicans need to be doing. Republicans need to start telling Americans exactly what their plans, ideas and policies are.

Americans want the same things that Americans have always wanted. The most important thing is to have the ability to have a job and to provide for their family. People want a fair chance to earn success when they work hard and that is exactly what the American Dream is all about. Republicans need to get to work and tell Americans how their economic policies will take care of this first want and to convince people that their plans will benefit everyone. They don’t need to become more moderate, they just need to do a better job of articulating policies and convincing people their ways will help them out.

The second thing that Americans want is leadership from their politicians. Whether or not you like his policies, everyone can agree that President Obama is the undisputed leader and voice of the Democratic Party. It can be argued, and has been, that Obama’s style of leadership does not work for a president, but any leadership is better than the zero leadership shown by GOP members. Someone needs to step up and present not only forceful opposition to President Obama’s policies, but articulate conservative policies to the American people and let them know how those policies will assist Americans.

The third thing Americans want from politicians is consistency. Being called out for “flip-flopping” is not a good thing in the political world. People want to know exactly where their representatives stand on issues. Staying on message is another thing President Obama excels at and Republicans have recently struggled with. Conservatives and fiscal responsibility have usually been connected to the Republican Party, but Republicans have not acted fiscally responsible at all as of late. They need to re-establish themselves as the party of fiscal conservatism and get back to the message that won them so many voters.

Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp were fabulous at articulating policies, staying on message and providing leadership. The last thing Republicans should do is stray away from Reagan. While it is very sad to see a great person and politician like Jack Kemp pass away, the names of Kemp and Reagan are now back on the minds of conservatives, which has to be a good thing. Maybe Jack and Ronald will be able to provide some more guidance from up above in a time when Republicans desperately need it.

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Closing Gitmo: Easier said than done

May 6, 2009

One of President Barack Obama’s first actions as president was to sign an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison for terrorist detainees in Cuba within a year. There have been many allegations of mistreatment of prisoners and one of Obama’s campaign promises was to immediately close down the facility. As it is with most campaign promises, however, saying the facility will be closed is much easier than actually closing it. There are still many questions about what to do with prisoners and whether some prisoners should still be held. The longer these questions go unanswered, the more the pressure builds on Democrats to take care of their promises.

President Obama had requested from the House $81 million to take care of the closing of the facilities, but House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey, a Democrat from Wisconsin who had a big hand in the stimulus bill, refused to give the White House the money because of a lack of details in Obama’s plans. Now without financial backing, there are lots of questions about what Obama can do and Republicans have jumped all over the confusion amongst Democrats.

Nobody seems to know what to do with these prisoners. Terrorists are not normal criminals and they should not be brought to the United States. They are enemy combatants out to destroy everything America believes in and they have no business being held in prisons across America. It is highly unlikely that Americans would be comfortable with terrorists being transported into areas near them. Once they are moved to America, the ACLU will file lawsuit after lawsuit on behalf of the terrorists and national intelligence secrets will be compromised. At the same time, Obama has promised transparency and he had no problem releasing the enhanced interrogation method memos.

There is a reason that these detainees have been kept at Gitmo. They are flat out dangerous and insane. No other countries want to take any of the prisoners, as Obama found out when he asked leaders at the G-20 meetings last month to hold a few of the prisoners in their own countries. If prisoners are released, it is entirely possible that the released terrorists will meet up again with al-Qaeda operatives and commit more acts of terror and violence. If a released detainee were to come back and harm Americans, Obama would be in a serious p.r. nightmare, something he has yet to experience.

Americans believed in Obama’s promise that he would close Gitmo. He talked a big game about reforming America’s image with Gitmo’s closure. Let’s see if he will be able to back up his talk.

The far-left bashing of Palin continues

May 6, 2009

On the Rush Limbaugh Show on Tuesday, Rush Limbaugh pointed out that while many have proclaimed the Republican Party to be dead, critics in the media and from far-left group have continued to bash Sarah Palin. They have called out problems in her family that have nothing to do with her, as well as making constant critiques of her in her job as Alaska and her role in the Republican Party. Palin has constantly been derided as being dumb and making stupid comments. She has been repeatedly treated unfairly in what the media portrays to Americans. True, Palin did not fair well in interviews during the 2008 election, but she was unexperienced and this was to be expected. Palin quickly improved her off the cuff communication skills, delivering a solid showing in the vice presidential debate. While journalists across the nation were dispatched to Alaska to dig for dirt on the unknown Palin, rarely was there any effort to look for background info on Barack Obama.

So the question is, why is there such a dislike for and determination to degrade Sarah Palin? Rush Limbaugh believes that it is because the far-left fears her. This seems like a pretty reasonable explanation to me. If she is as dumb and clueless as the media and far-left wants us to believe, why don’t they just leave her alone? Why is there a constant need to bash her? If the Republican Party is dead, the the liberals should just move on and find something else to talk about. While I hear lots about President Barack Obama, I hear far more about the demise of the Republican Party than I do about the Democratic Party, who is actually in power.

You really don’t hear too many liberals bashing Republicans like Mitt Romney, John McCain, Newt Gingrich and Eric Cantor. After Bobby Jindal gave an awful delivery in his televised address to the nation, the media has forgotten about him and the liberals have ignored him. Palin, however, continues to attract negative attention from liberals. I believe, as does Limbaugh, that this is because liberals view her as a threat and they must attack her at any cost. Limbaugh is the same way in that liberals see him as a threat and need to cut him down. Obama’s own administration has attempted to turn Americans against Limbaugh because he presents such a strong and articulate message for conservatives. That strategy backfired and Limbaugh has only gained more listeners. The far-left despises Limbaugh’s ability to connect with Americans and spread his message. The same goes for Palin, as she is just as conservative as Limbaugh.

While the GOP tries to come up with ideas to change their ways in Washington, the real answer is still in Alaska. Palin has the ability to connect with the religious right, national security hawks and fiscal conservatives all at the same time. She also has the rare characteristic of a being a small-town mom and can connect with ‘Main Street’ America. Being from Alaska gives her the chance to come into Washington as a true outsider, something that will play well with Americans that are sick of politics as usual in our capitol. She is an electrifying speaker and is a well-known, young personality. She needs to improve her abilities to adequately handle interviews and she also needs to gain experience in the foreign policy field. Those things can be fixed over the next few years and Palin will improve as a politician with experience. There is a reason that the liberals despise her. The GOP needs to unleash the one weapon of theirs that Democrats are afraid of.

Can you please help the kids, Mr. Obama?

May 5, 2009

 

President Barack Obama sends his daughters Sasha and Malia to the Sidwell Friends School instead of a public school in Washington D.C.

President Barack Obama sends his daughters Sasha and Malia to the Sidwell Friends School instead of a public school in Washington D.C.

Ever since Barack Obama came onto the political scene, he has had the rarely found ability in a politician to connect with the youth. His campaign references to Lil Wayne, his love for basketball and his fresh, youthful appearance have all contributed to making a never before seen connection with the youth of America, resulting in huge voter turnout for him in November. Obama has long talked about making college available for all kids and bring prices down. Who doesn’t like the sound of that? What is bothersome, however, is his current hypocrisy to look out for the kids in the Washington, D.C. area.

 

Currently, the Washington, D.C. public schools system is a mess. It is nearly impossible for kids to get a decent education out of the schools currently available there. That is why the Opportunity Schools Program has been such a blessing for minority families living in that area. OSP is a program that allows kids to earn scholarships to attend better, private schools in the area. The voucher they earn is worth $7,500 and over 1,700 kids currently use those vouchers. 99% of those kids are either Hispanic or African-American and the Department of Education has found that these kids in the program have improved in many academic areas. While 1,700 kids use the scholarships now, more than four kids apply for each of the scholarships, which has become known as a lifeline out of the disastrous D.C. public schools system.

So what is the big problem? Congress wants to destroy this scholarship program. In an amendment sponsored by Democratic Senator Dick Durbin in the omnibus spending bill passed in March, OSP will no longer receive funding. It was determined that the program would be eliminated for the 2009-10 school year, but members of Congress will have a chance to debate the issue this month. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has prevented and been opposed to the program from giving out scholarships next year as well. Does Duncan’s daughter attend any of the D.C. public schools? Of course not. Duncan moved out to Arlington, Virginia, so his daughter could attend school there, where the Arlington public schools system is far superior to the system in D.C. Do Obama’s daughters attend a D.C. public school? Of course not. They attend the prestigious Sidwell Friends School, a private institution.

How can Obama be such a strong supporter of the public schools system if they aren’t good enough for his own daughters? Shouldn’t everyone have an equal chance to get a great education? Maybe Obama supports the public schools as a politician because of the Democratic Party’s decades-long alliance with the teachers’ unions. Why has the Republican Party gotten no credit for standing up for equal education for Africa-Americans and Hispanics? The media has long branded the GOP has a party that will cut spending on education as soon as they get a chance to. Where has the media been in its coverage of this education issue?

Obama has also promised to bring down the cost of college tuition for everyone, even going as far as to say he wants it to be free. Obama’s beliefs about economic equality come back into play here. Currently, you can earn much more money at a job if you have a degree. This is because not everyone has one and if you do, it shows you have put in extra work and have that education to complete your job. If everyone has a degree, however, the extra pay that comes with a degree won’t be there anymore. Everyone with a degree will be gunning for white-collar jobs, which brings those wages down. When that happens, there won’t be as many people trying to find blue-collar working jobs because they will have degrees. That means that blue-collar job wages will go up. Economic equality and social justice, in President Obama’s eyes.

For a private Catholic school in California, the price of tuition is somewhere near $9,000. For a child to go through a public school, it will cost taxpayers about $14,000. The pay for teachers does not correlate with the performance of students. The correct method of education should be for families to receive a $10,000 dollar voucher to send their kids wherever they want to go to school. Instead of throwing more money at public schools, teachers should be rewarded for excelling in their jobs and helping students perform better on tests. With the current system set up by teachers’ unions, teachers only get paid more the longer they work. This is not fair to students and it is not fair to the teachers who work harder and are better at their job but get no financial reward.

With the power and popularity President Obama currently has, all he has to do is say the word for the Opportunity Scholarship Program to stay in place. Instead, he has continued rooting for public schools in an area where public schools have failed. If he can’t send his kids to those schools, why should anyone else have to? Hypocrisy among politicians is often a grilling point for media members, especially when there are Republicans acting as hypocrites. It is a shame that nobody in the media will call out President Obama for the hypocrisy he is displaying right now.

Check out William McGurn’s article in the Wall Street Journal for more info on the Opportunity Schools Program.

Should GOP leaders be teaching conservatism?

May 4, 2009

 

Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh believes Republicans need to teach Americans about conservatism and Ronald Reagan

Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh believes Republicans need to teach Americans about conservatism and Ronald Reagan

It has been widely documented that the Republican Party has totally come apart over the course of the past two elections. The reasons for the collapse, however, are greatly disputed. Some say that the party has drifted too far to the right, not wanting moderates to become part of the party. One of the people that believes this is senator Arlen Specter, who has just changed sides to the in power Democratic Party. While many suspect this was purely a move based on political perseverance, Specter contends that the Republicans had moved too far to the right. Others, like radio host Rush Limbaugh, believe that in reality, Republicans have become too moderate and there doesn’t seem to be a difference between most of their policies and those of the Democrats. Limbaugh says that GOP leaders have forgotten the principles of Ronald Reagan and conservatism and that has led to their demise.

 

Conservatism has been a concept that many people no longer understand. It is based on what the Founding Fathers wrote about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This focuses on people keeping and controlling their private property, which includes income and real property. This is the first point of the Republican Party’s platform, which is otherwise known as fiscal conservatism. GOP leaders need to teach people what fiscally conservative ideas actually are and what the differences are between them and the Democratic Party’s economic ideas. The fact is, Republicans have not ran a truly fiscally conservative president since Ronald Reagan. George H.W. Bush raised taxes. His son, George W. Bush, spent out of control. Although they were both Republicans, neither of them were truly conservatives and this hurt the image of the party that Reagan had spent eight years building up. Younger voters don’t remember the values of Ronald Reagan and many people have no idea what his values actually are. This is why GOP leaders need to get back to actual fiscal conservatism and teach people what that means and how a free market empowers and helps everyone instead of a government tearing down some to give hand outs to others.

Lots of pundits argue that the religious right has taken over the Republican Party and this has turned voters off because of their “controversial” views on social issues. My question is, when did it become controversial to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman? When did it become controversial to oppose the killing of innocent children? In reality, more people share the views of the religious right on social issues than the media would lead you to believe. In a recent Pew Research Center poll, views on gun rights and abortion seem to be turning towards the conservative point of view. California recently voted in favor of Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in what is thought of as a vastly liberal state. According to exit polls, African-Americans and Hispanics, two minority groups that are largely thought of as being excluded from the Republican Party, were a huge part of passing Prop. 8. GOP leaders could connect with these two groups on these social issues and then proceed to help them understand how fiscal conservatism and a free market will benefit them.

Republicans tried to become moderates with the nomination of John McCain in the 2008 election and they got destroyed. Instead, Republicans need to re-educate Americans on conservatism and how it has worked in the past, instead of liberal ideas that have never in history been able to work. As a start, I would suggest these leaders and other people who want to learn about conservatism read the book “Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto” by talk radio host Mark Levin. It is a simple, brilliant way of breaking down conservatism and how it relates to the Founding Fathers of our nation and how it is undisputedly a better option than Statism, which is the term Levin uses to describe liberals. Congressman Eric Cantor of Virginia did a great thing by organizing the National Council for a New America and making sure GOP leaders listen to the concerns of Americans. It would be a better thing, however, if these same leaders taught the basics of conservatism to those same American people.

Articles for Monday; former Congressman Jack Kemp dies; Lincoln Quote

May 4, 2009

Capitalist for the Common Man   This past weekend, former Congressman Jack Kemp, 73, passed away. Although I didn’t know it until I started reading a few of his obituaries, Kemp was one of the originators of the tax-cut theory to help an economy. Kemp was a staunch believer in slashing taxes across the board to help out individuals, families, small businesses and big businesses as well. The Wall Street Journal details in an editorial his accomplishments. Kemp also had the rare ability to bring many sorts of people in to the Republican Party and was known as a working-class man that could connect to anyone. His eternal optimism inspired Republicans and he was almost named the presidential nomination for the Republicans in 1980. Instead, Ronald Reagan was given the nomination and Kemp went on to help Reagan start the greatest economic boom this country has ever seen. In a time where Republicans are lacking ideas and the ability to get their ideas out, Jack Kemp was a man who was a leader in both of those areas. If there was ever a time that Kemp was needed most to be a lightning rod, this would be it. Hopefully, some Republicans will look back on Kemp’s writings and speeches and learn something from them.

National Review’s Goodbye to Jack Kemp  

Weekly Standard’s Article on Jack Kemp   Fred Barnes does a nice job of actually listing the many accomplishments of jack Kemp. He points out that even though Jack Kemp didn’t attend the most prestigious of school for economic study (he majored in physical education at Occidental College) but he was still able to come up with revolutionary ideas. His energy was unmatched by any and he was a great supporter and assistant of Ronald Reagan.

Intrusion of Reality   Mark Steyn, who is often a guest host for Rush Limbaugh, writes about how Barack Obama’s first 100 days seem to forget about many realities. For example, a man in California wrote to thank Obama for getting him over 300 extra dollars each month because of the stimulus package. What he forgot to ask, however, is how that is going to be sustained over time. Eventually, with socialized health care and federalized payments for education, taxes are going to kick in. Obama might just send those taxes on to the next president and let him deal with them. Either way, as Steyn points out, America is drifting closer and closer to a European style of government, one which has parties debate on who can offer the “best services”. This style is ultimately unsustainable. And anyways, remember when Americans took pride in working to earn things and not be handed entitlements by the government? Why have those years passed us by? Margaret Thatcher once said, “The facts of life are conservative.” Let’s hope that someone in Washington has the courage and ability to remind us of that soon.

“Property is fruit of the labor…property is desirable…is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.” -Abraham Lincoln 

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.

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.