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Small Government Principles Key To Republican Revival

While many Democrats saw their sweeping victories last fall as the sign of a new era of liberal ascendancy, polling taken then and since shows that despite Barack Obama’s brief period of popularity, America remains a center-right nation.  Conservatives outnumber liberals in every state, with nearly twice as many Americans identifying as conservative than as liberal.  If Republicans could hold those conservative voters and bring in just over one-third of moderates, they would win the same popular vote majority Democrats received that fall.

But, up until quite recently (like, um, last month), Republicans have had a problem not just with moderates, but also with conservatives. Many just weren’t convinced we would stand up for any of the principles near and dear to their hearts.

As Michael Barone explains there “are more conservatives than Republicans“.  That expression alone explains why Republicans have had such difficulty the last two election cycles.  Not all conservatives (including a number of very good bloggers ) don’t consider themselves Republican and have regularly (indeed quite frequently during W’s second term) expressed their displeasure with the GOP.

For at least the past six months, since the first Tea Parties in February, growing numbers of Americans have publicly expressed their opposition to increased government spending, a concern the Democratic presidential candidate tapped into in his successful bid for the White House.  With a Republican President and Congress not holding the line on spending, many of those conservatives become disenchanted with the GOP and either didn’t bother to vote or registered their disapproval by pulling the lever for a Third Party candidate or even the Democrat.  (In 2008, Obama got 20% of the conservative vote, up from John Kerry’s 15% four years previously.)

By building on what Peter Wehner and Michael Gerson call the “durable national consensus hold[ing] that American interests are served by the promotion of free trade and classical liberal ideas” that Republicans can hold onto the conservative base while winning back many of the moderates they lost in the last four years and so recapture the majority.

In a piece just published in Commentary, Wehner and Gerson find that President Obama, “by indulging his seemingly limitless faith in the power of government to solve every human ill.” has given the GOP a path to revival.

To be sure, this is not all they say is essential to Republican rebuilding.  (more…)

Obamacare: Not the Only Path to Health Care Reform

Every now and again, I include something up in a blog post, hoping some supporter or critic will catch it and build on it. Last night, I did just that, linking a Washington Post/ABC News Poll, to help set up this post.  One of our critics noted that the poll, which i cited in order to show that an overwhelming percentage of Americans are happy with their health care, also showed “over half still think the system itself still needs reform and/or alteration.”

He’s right.  While most people are happy with their current health insurance, many do want reform.  But,just because people support reform doesn’t mean they support the reforms proposed by the Democrats.  And yet, all too many supporters of such plans believe that those who oppose such plans do nothing.  (That said, I, along with a majority of Americans, believe doing nothing would be better than passing the plan currently in Congress.)

Even when free market advocates outline reforms they favor, albeit reforms different from the Democrats’ proposals, Obamacare advocates say such libertarian entrepreneurs are trying to “kill reform.”

The basic point is that we have a pretty good system with some rather serious flaws.  We also have the problem that about 15 million people who lack coverage but would like coverage. (Yes, Democrats do put forward a higher number, but they include many who are eligible for coverage but don’t know about it or who opt not to have coverage due to their youth and/or general good health.)

We don’t need a general “overhaul” as President Obama (and his supporters) often say, but we do need to “mend” this system.  The guiding principle for our elected officials should be how to reform a system while preserving all that is good about it–all that makes so many so happy with the coverage they now have.

Is The United States In a “Low Grade” Civil War?

It is a chilling question and one that has been troubling me for about two weeks.  I read the “low grade civil war” phrase as a declarative statement from a commenter on a news story about the Congressional Town Hall meetings and it has been rattling in my brain ever since.

I’ve been wanting to post about this question and today seemed like the right time since now I’m not the only one worried about this question.  In today’s Washington Times, actor/activist Jon Voight makes this statement:

“There’s a real question at stake now. Is President Obama creating a civil war in our own country?” Mr. Voight tells Inside the Beltway.

“We are witnessing a slow, steady takeover of our true freedoms. We are becoming a socialist nation, and whoever can’t see this is probably hoping it isn’t true. If we permit Mr. Obama to take over all our industries, if we permit him to raise our taxes to support unconstitutional causes, then we will be in default. This great America will become a paralyzed nation.”

“Do not let the Obama administration fool you with all their cunning Alinsky methods. And if you don’t know what that method is, I implore you to get the book ‘Rules for Radicals,’ by Saul Alinsky . Mr. Obama is very well trained in these methods.”

Now this is old news to anyone who really studied Obama’s past.  And I’m not as concerned about this kind of argument, nor the “birthers” distraction.

Here are my real fears about the United States heading into a civil war:

  1. There is a clear distinction between those who want a more authoritarian/socialist nation versus those who want to preserve the capitalist/democratic America we live in.
  2. There is a clear distinction between those who understand the principles and guidance and importance of the representative legislative process versus those who hide behind the Constitution as an excuse to create laws from the bench.
  3. There is a clear distinction between those who favor strong national security vs. those who want a borderless, global government.
  4. There is a clear distinction between those who hold US Constitutional principles dear (1st, 2nd, 10th Amendments in particular) and those who are ignorant or want to subvert those principles.
  5. There is a clear distinction between those who want to maintain a sensible fiscal policy versus those statists in Washington who spend our tax money with reckless abandon.
  6. There is a clear distinction between those who see themselves as Americans first versus those who want to segregate themselves into communities and ignore the national identity.
  7. Despite his promises, surveys show that Americans have elected one of the most divisive Presidents since Richard Nixon.

These are serious issues that fundamentally challenge the formation of the Republic itself.  Don’t buy into the childish arguments that every criticism of the Federal Government is based in racism.  That is ignorant and simple-minded talk.

I hope I am wrong, but my perspective has been reinforced by my reading of a 1997 book called “The Fourth Turning”.  I’ll do a review later, but needless to say — it is a chilling book that talks about unmovable historical cycles.  We are in The Crisis period now, according to the authors.

I’m anxious for a vigorous and respectful discussion on my question posed here.  No Americans in 1773 knew there would be a Revolution; no Americans in 1857 knew there would be a bloody Civil War; no Americans in 1928 knew there would be a global Depression and a 2nd global war.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Unhinged Larouche Democrats Not Representative of Obamacare Opponents

Over the past forty-eight hours, a number of my Facebook friends have linked the AP article reporting the unhappy Barney Frank’s takedown of a LaRouche Democrat for asking her fellow Democrat why he “supports what she called a Nazi policy.”  Not aware of her background (because the AP didn’t divulge it), it seems my friends see this unhinged woman as representative of the growing number of Americans gathering to protest Obamacare.

When they promote this article, these friends and others only further misconceptions about the protesters while making the mean-spirited Massachusetts Democrat seem like a knight in shining armor standing up to an angry mob of astroturfers.  To be sure, they have indicated they wish to point out the excesses of some of those protesters–and they are right to do so–and right to criticize them for it. Despite the President’s flaws, he, like his predecessor, is not another Hitler nor are their policies akin to those of the German National Socialists.

Let us hope that the promotion of this article does not serve to delegitimize the overwhelming majority of protesters who have genuine concerns about a major government overhaul of an industry with which most Americans are happy.  (Well over twice as many Americans are satisfied with the health care they receive than approve of the job Congress is doing.)

And anyway, if they’re going to feature the nuts addressing Barney Frank, why don’t they feature some of his nutty statements?

Instead of referencing articles which suggest unhinged leftists asre emblematic of a growing movement, it would be nice if the media and other supporters of Obamacare actually took the time to listen to those taking to the streets and participating in the townhalls so as to better understand what really drives them.

(Oh, and, as to that article, the AP still has not corrected its erroneous description of left-wing activist Sheila Leavitt as a physician.)

BOMBSHELL: ACLU Accused of Passing Personal Information about CIA agents to Al-Qaeda

Just when you think the American liberal left can sink no lower to weaken their own nation….

WASHINGTON POST: The Justice Department recently questioned military defense attorneys at Guantanamo Bay about whether photographs of CIA personnel, including covert officers, were unlawfully provided to detainees charged with organizing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

Investigators are looking into allegations that laws protecting classified information were breached when three lawyers showed their clients the photographs, the sources said. The lawyers were apparently attempting to identify CIA officers and contractors involved in the agency’s interrogation of al-Qaeda suspects in facilities outside the United States, where the agency employed harsh techniques.

If detainees at the U.S. military prison in Cuba are tried, either in federal court or by a military commission, defense lawyers are expected to attempt to call CIA personnel to testify.

The photos were taken by researchers hired by the John Adams Project, a joint effort of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, to support military counsel at Guantanamo Bay, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the inquiry. It was unclear whether the Justice Department is also examining those organizations.

Both groups have long said that they will zealously investigate the CIA’s interrogation program at “black sites” worldwide as part of the defense of their clients. But government investigators are now looking into whether the defense team went too far by allegedly showing the detainees the photos of CIA officers, in some cases surreptitiously taken outside their homes.

American liberals want to defend terrorists at all costs and provide them with Constitutional protections.  But in doing so, they deny those same protections to American citizens.  The irony is rich if it weren’t so serious.

Abraham Lincoln would have called these acts of treason.  I doubt the self-proclaimed reborn Lincoln at 1600 Penna will feel any sympathy, except for the ACLU.

As Michelle Malkin says:  Privacy for jihadi, but not for thee.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Why isn’t Maureen Dowd preening any more about the absolute “moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq”?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:23 am - August 21, 2009.
Filed under: Bush-hatred,Liberal Hypocrisy,Media Bias

Maybe because she wrote those words in 2005 when Cindy Sheehan was protesting outside George W. Bush’s vacation retreat in Crawford, Texas.  Now that Mrs. Sheehan intends to camp out near Barack Obama’s summer retreat in Martha’s Vineyard, her political theater can no longer serve, to borrow John Hinderaker’s expression, as “a vehicle to return the Democrats to power.

UPDATE: Linking Byron York’s piece on how the media want the anti-war movement to go away, Glenn opines that they only “boosted it in the hopes of hurting Bush. Now that there’s a Democrat in the White House, the useful idiots are no longer useful.

Instead of demonizing opponents of his health care overhaul, why doesn’t the president just address their arguments?

In a recent post, I linked Victor Davis Hanson’s Corner post on Obama sudden “creepy” invocation of religion where the Clio of punditry offered this thought about the President’s unpresidential attitude toward critics of his plan:

Rather than demonize opponents as callous and disingenuous, all the president has to do to refute their supposed scare tactics is to explicitly assure the public that abortion receives no state funds in his program, that illegal aliens are not included in his proposed new blanket coverage, and that autonomous government panels will not withhold federal health-care coverage, in the case of the elderly, on the basis of perceived cost-benefit considerations.

Obama’s attitude reminds us yet again of the hypocrisy which has come to define the man.  You’d think a man who ran for president promising to be a new kind of politician, “trying to break is a pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame,” would instead of demonizing his opponents, address their arguments.

Hanson has selected some of the chief (but not the only) objections raised by critics of the various Democratic health care proposals.  Why does Obama choose to malign straw men instead of addressing these objections point by point?

Maybe it’s because he’s trying to distinguish himself from his predecessor?