Archive for Republicans

Life’s Not Fair; Get Used To It

Posted in politics with tags , on November 10, 2008 by nighttwister

From the time my children were little, I’ve worked hard to get them to understand this concept. I’ve repeated it so many times that I know they now cringe any time they say “That’s not fair!”, because they know what’s coming as soon as those words leave their mouth. It’s something that I believe we’ve forgotten as a party, and need to embed in our political subconscious.

For as long as I can remember, the mainstream media organizations have treated the parties differently. They are only too willing to cover stories for one that they are also perfectly fine with ignoring for the other. I give you three examples of this phenomenon.

Breaking the Public Trust
Over a year ago, William Jefferson (D-LA-2) was indicted for accepting bribes. Six months ago, Ted Stevens (R-AK) was indicted for accepting for falsely reporting income. Both leaders have broken the public’s trust, but Congressman Jefferson’s bribery charges are much more serious. Yet, even before Senator Stevens’ conviction, the media treated his the more serious, while mostly ignoring Jefferson’s problems.

Sexual Misconduct
Consider the difference between how congressman Barney Frank, who’s partner was convicted of running a prostitution ring from his house was treated vs. congressman Mark Foley who sent inappropriate emails and instant messages to underage congressional pages. Personally, I consider the latter to be worse since it involved minors, but even senator Larry Craig was treated worse by the media for his actions.

Gaffes
The recent Presidential campaigns highlighted the differences in how the candidates were treated when they misspoke. Every gaffe from Obama (57 States) and Biden (TV in 1929, 3 Words) were mostly ignored, while the media was more than willing to invent things and propagate rumors about missteps by McCain and especially Palin.

The fact is, we are not on an even playing field, and we never will be. The media is now openly the propaganda wing of the Democratic Party; the general public admits this, yet it makes no difference in how they vote.

This is the political arena in which we toil, and it is not going to change any time soon. Some think it is enough to enlighten the masses. Surely, once they realize how unfair the playing field is, they will demand that it change. As we have seen in the last election, this just isn’t the case. We need a new strategy to work in this environment. To that end, I make the following proposals:

Stop whining about how unfair things are.
People don’t like to hear others whine, even if they have a legitimate case. Sure, the traditional media is against us. Whining about it not only doesn’t change that; it just turns people off. Instead, we need to do our best to get our story out in other ways, such as letters to the editor, blogs, conservative radio, and word-of-mouth. We can also use these means to answer the slurs against conservatism in general, and our candidates in particular.

Find a modern way to tell our ancient story.
Sure, it’s a cliché, but I think everyone here will agree that conservatism works every time it’s tried. I’ve heard many times over the course of the past few months that it’s much easier to sound-bite liberal talking points than conservative ones. Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter. We must find a way to communicate conservative points, and why they are better than liberal ones, in thirty seconds. It won’t be easy, but I believe it can be done.

We need to hit some singles first.
Sorry for the baseball analogy, but it is my favorite game. When you’re down eight runs, it’s not the time to hit the long ball. There aren’t any eight-run hits in this game. We’re down about as low as we can be, so it’s time to concentrate on the issues we think we can win. This means we’ve got to stop whining when our pet issue isn’t being addressed. For instance, how about we concern ourselves with making sure that women considering abortion have access to all the information they need before making that decision instead of going straight to the Human Life Amendment? There are other examples I could give, but I believe you get the point.

We need to be positive.
I hear people all the time saying we need to stop the negative campaigning. Sure, people love a good train wreck, but ultimately the positive message won this time (empty as it may have been). We’ve got to stop talking about what’s wrong with the other side and start talking about what’s right about ours. We need to constantly promote the positive conservative message of freedom, opportunity, and prosperity.

We have to break up the circular firing squad.
We need to stop attacking each other. Every issue cannot (and doesn’t need to) be addressed at the same time. That means your issue may have to wait. If we continue to attack each other when we don’t get our way, or disagree over the minutiae of each minor point, we’re never going to progress. Also, we also need to call out conservative pundits when they aren’t being conservative. We need to do what we can to let people know that certain experts don’t represent us. We have to be relentless about this like RedState was about Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic for supporting the other side. We’ve either got to run these people out of business or force them to fully and openly admit they are not of us.

I believe we’ve got to constantly remember that life’s not fair, and we had better get used to it, otherwise, we’ll never be able to promote the freedom and opportunity that conservatism brings again.

Night Twister

What is a “New Democrat?”

Posted in civil rights, Constitution, Economy, Elections, healthcare, national defense, Obama, politics with tags , , , , , on June 25, 2008 by Randy Streu

The Democrat movement of old is pretty well a corpse now.  Gone are the days of John F. Kennedy.  Gone are the days of those Democrats who, though they were wrong, at least used words that made some level of sense when discussing economics or foreign policy.  The kind of Democrat with whom you could respectfully disagree without being called a fascist, a racist, a bigot, a misogynist or a neanderthal — and for whom the conservative has his own list of less-than-flattering epithets.  No… sadly, this is the time of the “New Democrat.”  As the Republican Party slides further Leftward, so, too, does Democrat culture.  Both parties are now so far removed from their own pasts that I’ve heard it said JFK himself would be a Moderate Republican, were he alive today.

The “New Democrat” is like a younger, more extreme version of the Old Democrat.  Where the Old Democrat favored tighter federal regulation over what was still a largely free-market system, the New Democrat, the Obama Democrat, favors something closer to full-blown socialism.  Where the Old Democrat, though as unwilling to change his stripes as the old Republican, could be approached rationally, the New Democrat relies largely on emotion for policy, and on name-calling for opposition.

The key identifier for the New Democrat is, I think, irrationalism.  Either an unwillingness or inability to see the irony in their positions:

The New Democrat sees an Orwellian “Big Brother” in the government’s attempts to keep tabs on known terrorists and associates through wiretaps — but has no problem with income penalties or wage garnishments for government programs.

The New Democrat believes abortion should be legal because “It’s a woman’s right to do what she wants with her own body” — but thinks seatbelt laws, smoking bans and federally mandated healthcare are A-Okay.

The New Democrat thinks people who do nothing all day are entitled to tax-payer money, but believes people who invest time, money, risk and effort into a successful product ought to be forced to bear the burden for those who don’t.

The New Democrat defines “Racist” as somebody who opposes giving preferential status to a job or college applicant based on race or gender — rather than on the “content of their character.”

The New Democrat believes the Government should be kept out of the Bedroom — but not out of the Board Room.

In short, if it increases Government, the New Democrat is all for it.  If it increases individual freedom, initiative and responsibility, it is anathema to the New — the Obama — Democrat. 

Alan Keyes Leaves GOP; Nobody Shocked

Posted in Elections, politics with tags , , , , on April 24, 2008 by Randy Streu

I think at this point, pol watchers have been waiting for Alan Keyes to make his departure from the GOP — especially given the presumptive nomination of John McCain as Republican POTUS candidate. 

Keyes disagrees with McCain — and many other Republican leaders, including President Bush — on the issue of border security.  And, he says, it was this that prompted his departure from the party.  Keyes may be headed for the Constitution Party.

Keyes announced his departure during a speech in PA, saying, “The Republican Party has come to a dark and confused place.” 

Constitution Party National Committee Chairman Jim Clymer extended an invitation, which Keyes is considering.

Really, it may be a good fit.  The Constitution Party needs some higher-echelon conservatives to begin the migration, and it will be interesting to see, in the coming months, whether Keyes will start a mass rightward shift of Conservatives out of the GOP, or whether Republicans will stick it out and give McCain the chance to prove himself.

The Constitution Party nominates their candidate for POTUS this weekend, and it will be interesting to see, especially during this time of strife within the Republican Party, what happens.  If the Constitution Party selects a contender this election, I believe there may indeed be a shift.

For me, however, though I have considered seriously the prospect of rescinding my GOP membership in favor of the Constition Party, I am also tempted to give John McCain a chance to prove himself to the Conservatives.  Though I am tired of the two-party system and would love to see a mass movement toward a Conservative stronghold like the Constitution Party, I do wonder if this is the time to shake things up — or if the alternatives to McCain are really dangerous enough force the compromise.  This isn’t my dilemma alone; many Conservatives are wondering whether the Reagan movement is on its way out of the Republican Party. 

Pols like Governor Daniel telling Conservatives to “let Reagan go” doesn’t help this feeling of displacement.

Sadly, I don’t have any solutions for Conservatives today.  I don’t know whether we should rally behind McCain, or look for a home elsewhere.  I know what my gut says — and I know what my brain says in response.  I do believe that, if the Republican Party continues to leave behind Conservative values, it will ultimately be time for a mass migration — perhaps to the Constitution Party.  And I believe that, not only will this send a strong message, but will also create a new, strong Party behind which Americans everywhere can stand. 

I just don’t know if now’s the right time.

What’s a Conservative to Do?

Posted in Economy, Elections, First Amendment, Fred(!), Hillary, immigration, John McCain, Mitt Romney, politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 8, 2008 by Randy Streu

It was with a heavy heart that I watched Fred Thompson bow out of the race.  A heavy heart as I finally made the decision on Super Tuesday to vote for the nearest candidate left to a true conservative: Mitt Romney.

It was with a heavy heart that I watched Romney get his ass handed to him on Tuesday, and then read his concession speech today.

It was with a heavy heart that I read John McCain’s speech to Conservatives, and began to understand that this arrogant SOB is the only chance we have left against a Dem-led White House.   The speech in which he acknowledged his differences with Conservatives on particular issues, but then dismissed those issues as unimportant.  Issues like the First Amendment and border security.  Issues like the Bush tax cuts. 

To his credit (I guess), McCain did not apologize for his decisions in these matters — merely acknowledged that they failed to line up with the views of the Conservative base.  He still believes the Conservative base is wrong on these issues.  He fails to see how McCain-Feingold attacks the fundamentals of Free Speech.  He promises constructionist judges — but won’t say how he will find judges who are both “strict constructionists” and will uphold McCain-Feingold (because such individuals don’t exist — the two are mutually exclusive.  This leads one to wonder, then, which ideal will be the guiding principle).  He promises to secure the borders first, if elected, but will not backtrack on McCain-Kennedy amnesty for those already living illegally within our borders.  He has not acknowledged any wrongdoing regarding his blatant and false smear against Romney on the Iraq issue.

Today, he said the right things.  I am not convinced — and don’t expect I will be — that he is the right man.

But, we conservatives are told, now is not the time to “abandon” the Republican party.  Now is not the time to let our principles stand in the way of a Republican victory.  There’s a war on, after all, we’re told.  An economy that threatens to collapse.  Could we be so callous, so … so selfish, that we would sacrifice the US to the will of the Democrat party, simply to “make a point?”

So, with a pat on the head (or a smack on the face), we’re told to hang on to those principles until 2012, perhaps.  Or maybe 2018.  The Republicans haven’t abandoned Conservatism, we’re told.  But we really need a win right now.  And if we Conservatives weren’t so damned picky, we could have this thing in the bag.

Fine… so we hang our ideals and vote for McCain.  We beat the Democrats.  And then what?  When do the Conservatives get their party back?  When do get to fight for our own values without being labeled as “traitors” to the party that is even now betraying us?  When do we get to fight the leftward motion of the Republican party, or failing that, leave?  2012?  Assuming there isn’t a similar crisis that demands our loyalty?

McCain spent the last few years of his career betraying Conservatives.  Now he’s asking for our loyalty?  How many times does this dog have to bite before we’re allowed to put it down?

I haven’t yet made up my mind about whether McCain gets my vote in November.  I know he’s not getting my money.  He hasn’t earned my support.  He hasn’t yet earned my vote.  A few paragraphs of pretty words and a call for Conservatives to make nice doesn’t undo McCain-Feingold, or the Gang of 14, or his opposition to the Bush tax cuts, or McCain-Kennedy.  The looming spectre of a Democrat president may well be enough to scare me into pulling the McCain lever.  But neither McCain nor his supporters should make the mistake of taking the vote as anything other than that.

It’s not a mandate to continue pulling the crap he’s been pulling.  It’s not an invitation to urinate all over Conservative principles in the interest of “bipartisanship.”  Conservatives aren’t voting for the Maverick.  They’re voting against the Democrats, plain and simple.  It’ll be a hollow victory for all involved, if victory it is.  A marriage of convenience with divorce looming ever-so-near on the horizen.

So congratulations to John McCain.  He may or may not get my vote, but he has effectively won the nomination.  He hasn’t won my mind.  He hasn’t won the heart and soul of the Republican party.  In spite of the fact that most Conservatives can’t stomach the man, he has a victory.  Maybe it’ll be enough.  Maybe fear of Hillary and Obama will be enough to unite and mobilize the Republican voters.  It’ll have to be.  Because McCain isn’t.

Are We Watching Conservative Republicanism Die?

Posted in Constitution, Economy, Elections, Fred(!), Giuliani, healthcare, immigration, Mike Huckabee, national defense, News, politics, Ron Paul, Second Amendment, Stupid Media, taxes with tags , , , , , on January 8, 2008 by Randy Streu

I’m beginning to think the liberals and the media (but, as some would say, I repeat myself) have finally won.  Or, perhaps, are about to.  When I look at polls, when I listen to people talk (both of which are horrible, horrible methods with which to gain information — and I understand that) it seems people actually want the government to do their thinking for them.  They want the government to deny them liberty and force charity, or health insurance, or social security — or whatever.  They are truly beginning to believe that the average citizen, perhaps, shouldn’t be trusted with weapons — Second Amendment be damned.

This is what happens when you stop thinking with your brain.

What’s been really demoralizing to me personally is that this disease of liberal stupidity (to risk being redundant again) is striking in the Republican party — even harder than in the past.  I’m demoralized because, frankly, I don’t have the strength to start a new party which will stick to Goldwater conservative principles, the Constitution — and not force us to retreat from a war that we’re winning.

For example, as we move along in the primaries, we start looking at what sort of impact the Republican candidates are going to have in New Hampshire.  Why?  More importantly, why would conservatives wish to use a traditionally blue state (in which even many of the Republicans are liberal) to gauge the outcome of the Republican ballot?  Fred(!) Thompson has wisely chosen to skip this state altogether and move along to SC.  Why?  Simply put, because that’s when the Republican race begins.  I’m not going to harp on this point — Limbaugh touched on it today, and better than I could.

My point is that the Republican party seems to be under the impression that pandering to the Left, that producing a liberal candidate and winning the election is, in fact, winning.  Folks, I’m here to tell you, giving up liberty is not winning.  Period. 

Allowing the government to have any control over your personal life, including whether or not you and your family are covered by health insurance, is a loss of liberty.

Allowing your tax dollars to subsidize abortion, welfare, amnesty (even in the form of educational aid) or whatever, instead of those thing for which the federal government was actually formed is, in fact, loss of liberty.

And for what, Republicans?  To get a president with the (R) next to his name?  What good will that do, if the choice simply brings us further down the Left, after all?  Just what the hell is the point of having a Republican president if he governs like a Democrat?

I’ll close with words of wisdom from Fred Thompson.  “I believe conservatives beat liberals only when they challenge their outdated positions — not embrace them.”

-Streu-