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Has HRC called on Democrats* to Discipline their Unruly Children?

Many on the left, including as we recently learned, the leadership of the supposedly non-partisan Human Rights Campaign (HRC), have called on former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to lead by example and publicly rebuke her teenage daughter for using an offensive slur that teens today (alas!) regularly use when communicating with their peers.  HRC Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz wants proof that the charismatic reformer is doing the work that all parents should be doing

As a mother, she should know to speak up when a child makes hateful remarks, particularly in this cyber age. Anti-LGBT bullying needs to stop and Sarah Palin should be a part of making that happen.

As a mother, Mr. Sainz, isn’t that a bit sexist?  I mean, maybe in the Palin family, it’s the father who does the disciplining, instructing his children on how to conduct themselves in public fora and in private situations.

Okay, Mr. Sainz.  If you believe that parents in the public eye should publicly rebuke their children, first provide examples of similar requests your organization — or its allied left-of-center interest groups — made of your ideological confrères, that is, when you called on prominent Democrats to discipline their unruly or otherwise imperfect progeny.

I.e., in the public eye.

Nancy Pelosi: from powerful Speaker to impotent Minority Leader?

Recalling that she served as Minority Leader in the House when her party won back its majorities in 2006, outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi somehow seems to think that she’s capable of a do-over, oblivious to how, given the recent elections, redistricting is all but certain to favor Republicans.

Much as we Republicans enjoy deriding the San Francisco Democrat, we do recognize that she was an effective Speaker, particularly in the heyday of her party’s power in the heady days after President Obama’s inauguration when people thought it was a new dawn for the type of liberalism she espoused since at least she moved west to the City by the Bay.  She was able to push through a number of controversial initiatives, holding enough of her fractious caucus together to support measures of questionable value and extraordinary cost.

That was before November 2, 2010 when Democrats, at least those not “purposefully oblivious” to the reality of the results, finally recognized the political cost of those votes.

Recognizing that cost, those Democrats will be hard pressed to stand by their party’s leader.  In order to save their seats, many are likely break ranks to support conservative initiatives put forward by the incoming majority.

It’ll be interesting to see how many of Mrs. Pelosi’s caucus vote for her for Speaker when the 112th Congress convenes in January.  And how may vote with the Republicans when, in the words of incoming Speaker John Boehner, the House moves “quickly enough” on repealing and replacing Obamacare.

What’s the Matter with California?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:36 pm - November 23, 2010.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,California politics

I just finished Steven Malanga’s, Shakedown: The Continuing Conspiracy Against the American Taxpayer, a book which should be must-reading for any serious student of public policy. In it, he gets at how various government programs have weakened our economy and compromised American culture.

If California’s governor-elect were serious about fixing the state’s multitudinous problems, he’d insist all incoming members of his Administration read the second chapter, “California’s Road to Serfdom.”  They don’t need to buy the book; they can find it online as “The Beholden State.”  Herein Malanga gets at the problem engendered by the folks who helped bankroll Jerry Brown’s campaign — as well as paid for the the Democrat’s Get-Out-the-Vote effort:

Consider the California Teachers Association. Much of the CTA’s clout derives from the fact that, like all government unions, it can help elect the very politicians who negotiate and approve its members’ salaries and benefits.

And it’s not just the CTA.  In contract negotiations, various and sundry unions those advocating on behalf of public employees negotiate with those who depend on public employee unions’ largesse to fund their campaigns.  In such situations, government officials tend to lose sight of who pays public employee salaries.

No wonder California officials recently acknowledged “that the state faces $20 billion deficits every year from now to 2016.”  To get a handle on the state’s budget woes, our political leaders from the governor on down are going to have to take on these unions.  Maybe Brown will, as some have suggested, have his “Nixon-in-China” moment and be able to confront those so instrumental in returning him to the governor’s office.

To get an idea of the problems, we face here in the (once-)Golden State, read the articles referenced above as well as these pieces:

Jennifer Rubin, California, There it Went

George Gilder, California’s Destructive Green Jobs Lobby

Joel Kotkin, California Suggests Suicide; Texas Asks: Can I Lend You a Knife?

Allysia Finley, California: The Lindsay Lohan of States

GOProud: Necessary Antidote to Faux (i.e., PC) Outrage of HRC

Ever since I was elected Vice President of the Capital Area Log Cabin Club, a number of gay people — and not just Republicans — have told me of their hope that Log Cabin would emerge as an alternative to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and offer a different perspective from the stale leftism and Democratic partisanship of the large gay rights organization.

Yet, while some members of Log Cabin, including club presidents like myself (when I helmed the Northern Virginia club), faulted HRC, the national officers of the organization seemed excessively wary of losing their standing with the organization (or perhaps just losing invites to HRC’s Christmas party).  They didn’t take on HRC despite its relentless shilling for the Democratic Party, that party’s candidates and its platform.

That is one reason we’re particularly grateful to have GOProud around.  In a piece yesterday in the Daily Caller, our pals Christopher Barron and Tammy Bruce, on behalf of this fledgling organization, take HRC to task for its eagerness to bash Sarah Palin.  Guess because Democrats and the Beltway media loathe that good woman, it’s the proper thing for a left-leaning organization to do.  (And the sure way to secure invitations to all the important Washington holiday parties).

For days now, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which holds itself out as the “largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization,” has shamefully used the issue of anti-gay bullying as part of a cheap political smear against former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. HRC, never shy about doing the bidding of the Democratic Party, issued a November 18th release blaring, “HRC to Sarah Palin: Two Days of Silence, Will You Speak Up?” Is this a release demanding Palin speak out about an issue of substance affecting gay people? No, this childish call-to-arms is about trash talk issued by a 16-year-old in a flame war on a social networking site. (more…)

Leaning toward Jeb for 2012

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:18 pm - November 23, 2010.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Noble Republicans

If, Matt Lewis writes, “his name were ‘Jeb Smith,’” Jeb Bush “would be the 2012 front-runner today” (via Glenn Reynolds).

This echoes something Fred Barnes quipped, “if he were Jeb Smith, we’d all be talking about him for president.”  Indeed, as I survey the potential contenders for 2012, Jeb leads the pack, with Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and Indiana’s chief executive Mitch Daniels also in the mix.  If it weren’t my concern (and that of many Americans) about establishing a political dynasty, I would have no qualms about backing the former Florida governor.

Jeb is a real fiscal conservative having, as Stephen Moore reminds us in the Wall Street Journal’s Political Diary (available by subscription), “regularly received an ‘A’ on the Cato fiscal report card on governors, which stands in contradistinction from his sibling’s shaky spending record.” Incoming Florida Senator and Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio is a protegé of the younger Bush.

Calling Jeb the “outstanding governor” of the decade, Michael Barone outlined that good man’s accomplishments:

Operating in a state where liberal newspapers, teachers’ unions, and trial lawyers maintained a continual barrage of criticism, Bush and the Republican legislature produced the nation’s best education reform and major changes in healthcare, while Bush himself proved masterful in handling hurricane relief. One reason for the federal government’s poor response to Hurricane Katrina was that the feds were used to dealing with Jeb Bush and Florida’s competent local officials; dealing with the hapless New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco was quite a different thing.

The Floridian could, as Peter Robinson put it  in 2008, “reunite the disparate elements in the GOP“.  I’d rather he weren’t the brother of one president and the son of another, but Jeb Bush established a remarkable record as governor of a large, swing state.  He has the temperament to lead and a record of policy reform and fiscal restraint.

Imagine him facing off in a debate against his brother’s successor.  If he had a different last name, he would be my first choice to lead the GOP ticket in 2012.  So maybe we should considere the man and his accomplishments, rather than his family background.

Let’s hope Tim Scott’s grandfather gets to vote for his grandson’s bid to fill Strom Thurmond’s U.S. Senate seat

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:45 am - November 23, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,American History

Since I mentioned Tim Scott in a post I wrote on the high number of racially motivated attacks on black Americans, I wanted to share with you something I read about the election of this fine man to Congress.  Politico reported than the “89-year-old grandfather” of the Congressman-elect  ‘was with him [on the] Tuesday night . . .  he won a seat in South Carolina’s 1st District“.  Born in 1921, Scott’s grandfathter would have thus, according to the Second Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution (later amended by the 26th), been eligible vote in 1942 .

Four years later, Strom Thurmond would win election as governor of the Palmetto State.  It’s highly unlikely that Scott’s grandfather voted in that election despite his eligibility, given that Southern states then prevented most black citizens from registering to vote.

Sixty-four years after Scott’s grandfather likely was unable to vote in the contest electing Strom Thurmond to the chief executive officer of South Carolina, that old man would see his grandson defeat Thurmond’s son in the Republican primary for a congressional seat in that very state.

And given dissatisfaction on the right with the man who succeeded Thurmond in the U.S. Senate, four years hence, Tim Scott could well be the conservative choice to fill the U.S. Senate seat of the one-time champion of segregation.

Let us hope Tim Scott’s grandfather is around to vote for him in that election.

Homicides Spiked in Oakland When Jerry Brown was Mayor

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:21 am - November 23, 2010.
Filed under: California politics

Don’t think this story will get much coverage in the Golden State, but it should:

St. Louis overtook Camden, N.J., as the nation’s most dangerous city in 2009, according to a national study released Sunday. . . .

Detroit, Flint, Mich., and Oakland, Calif., rounded out the top five.

Now, maybe Oakland owes its ranking on this list to its current mayor who like his predecessor is career politician.  The outgoing and current mayor, Ron Dellums, was preceded by a Mr. J. Brown, the once (and alas) future governor of the (once-)Golden State.

Now, perhaps crime accelerated under Mr. Dellums and his predecessor had nothing to do with the California city earning the ignominious distinction.  But, this might be a matter of concern for Californians.  So, let’s look at the record.  To be fair to Jerry Brown, the number of crimes committed in Oakland did decline by 13% while he was mayor, but there was a “57 percent spike in homicides his final year in office“.

More reporting to come on the rising tide of anti-Semitism?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:00 am - November 23, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Media Bias,National Politics

Seems you can’t open a newspaper or turn on the TV news and not face some story about the rising time of Islamaphobia, with those narrow-minded Americans (outside California and New York of course) blaming terrorist attacks on Muslims in general and lashing out at all members of that faith.

Well, the latest report on hate crimes presents a narrative at odds with that in the MSM:

Blacks and Jews were the most likely victims of hate crimes driven by racial or religious intolerance in the United States last year, the FBI said Monday in an annual report.

Out of 6,604 hate crimes committed in the United States in 2009, some 4,000 were racially motivated and nearly 1,600 were driven by hatred for a particular religion, the FBI said.

Blacks made up around three-quarters of victims of the racially motivated hate crimes and Jews made up the same percentage of victims of anti-religious hate crimes, the report said.

Anti-Muslim crimes were a distant second to crimes against Jews, making up just eight percent of the hate crimes driven by religious intolerance.

Do hope the rising tide of anti-Semitism does get more attention because it is a real problem.  And not just here in the United States.

And the ugly stain of American’s original sin, slavery, still endures, alas, with many black Americans still targeted.  We’ve come a long way since the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement, but still have a ways to go.

That a black man could win the Republican primary for Congress in the heart of the Confederacy shows how far we’ve come.  Tim Scott won his primary — and general election — with mostly white votes in a region once defined by its racial divide.  (More on that election anon.)