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Feinstein believes White House responsible for intelligence leaks

Just as in 2010, this year, a left-of-center Democratic woman is running for reelection to the U.S. Senate from California.  And while two years ago, I devoted much space on this blog (and donated several hundred dollars from my pocket) to defeating the liberal up for reelection, this year I have all but ignored the Senate contest.

Now, to be sure, I will not be voting to reelection Senator Dianne Feinstein, indeed, have not voted for her in 2000 or 2006, years she was up for reelection when I resided in the (once-)Golden State.  Unlike her junior colleague, Mrs. Feinstein has both shown respect for her ideological adversaries and actually accomplished some things during her Senate tenure.  (Said accomplishments likely related to that respect).

Not only has Senator Feinstein, on occasion, showed respect for her ideological and partisan adversaries, but she has also dared, from time to time, to take issue with her party.  As chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, she does tend to put concern for national security ahead of partisan politics and has done so again this week, diplomatically adddressing intelligence leaks from the White House:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Monday that someone at the White House was responsible for the recent leaks of classified information.

“I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks,” Feinstein said in an address at the World Affairs Council, The Associated Press first reported.

Feinstein said she was certain that President Obama had not disclosed any of the classified intelligence, but believed others in the administration were responsible.

This puts the California Democrat at odds with senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod who “has denied that the leaks came from sources in the White House.”  Feinstein’s contention that the president himself did not leak the classified information led Ed Morrissey to quip, “That’s why a President hires staff and appoints political players — to do that kind of work for him.

“Leaks”, that 2010 CPAC blogger of the year adds (more…)

Is Mitt Romney following Jerry Brown’s lead?

Yesterday, Jennifer Rubin cited yet another article detailing just how much the Obama campaign has spent in “swing states” (something we discussed here):

The extent of that effort is only now becoming clear. The Associated Press reports: “President Barack Obama’s campaign has spent nearly $100 million on television commercials in selected battleground states so far, unleashing a sustained early barrage designed to create lasting, negative impressions of Republican Mitt Romney before he and his allies ramp up for the fall.”

. . . .

Virtually all of the ads were viciously negative, and judging from the number of Pinocchios they’ve racked up, continually and materially false.

But it didn’t work. Romney and Obama are still deadlocked.

And another batch of swing state polls shows a tight race in 4 “swing” states, including Colorado, Florida, Ohio and Virginia, with Obama’s approval at or below 46 in each state.

In the summer of 2010, it seemed every time I looked up at a TV monitor, I saw one of Meg Whitman’s ads, many (if not most) of which attacked her Democratic rival in the California gubernatorial contest.  That rival, a Mr. E. G. Brown, Jr. kept his powder dry — to the consternation of some of his partisan allies.

Come September, however, he and his union allies, took to the airwaves.  Mr. Brown defeated Mrs. Whitman by nearly 13 points.

Wonder, if given, Mr. Obama’s negatives, Mr. Romney has chosen to keep his powder relatively dry until more people start paying attention to the presidential contest.  Given those deadlocked polls and Mr. Romney’s current fundraising success, this could be bad news for Mr. Obama.

But, then again, Mr. Brown received in 2010, as Mr. Obama is receiving now, a generous assist from the legacy media.

Poll: majority believe Obama has changed country for the worse
Numbers show Unemployment Rate Drops in states with GOP gov

“A new poll for The Hill”, reports Sheldon Alberts in that journal, “found 56 percent of likely voters believe Obama’s first term has transformed the nation in a negative way, compared to 35 percent who believe the country has changed for the better under his leadership.

Meanwhile “every single one” of the 17 states elected new Republican governors in November 2010 . . .

. . . has seen its unemployment rate decline since January 2011. Three of them have had unemployment drop by more than 2% (Michigan, Florida, and Nevada). The average drop in the unemployment rate in these states was 1.35%. For a comparison, in January 2011 the U.S. national unemployment rate stood at 9.1%. It is currently 8.2%, meaning that the national unemployment rate has declined by just 0.9% since then. Based on these percentages, it can be said that the job market in states with new Republican governors is improving a full 50% faster than the job market nationally.

By contrast, the “average drop in the unemployment rate in” states which elected a new Democratic governor “0.95%, approximately the same as the drop seen nationally.”  (H/t Weasel Zippers via a formerly left-leaning lesbian reader’s Facebook page.)

Wonder how much many more jobs would have been created had the president, through his big-government policies, not changed the nation for the worse.  Mr. Romney would do well to highlight some of the Republican executives’ successful policies to better contrast them with the president’s failed agenda.

With just such a contrast, the presumptive Republican nominee can help make the elecction “a referendum on the incumbent” — and his policies.  If it is just such a referendum, as Ed Morrissey writes, looking at the Hill poll, “as re-election efforts almost always are — then Obama’s going to need to keep that champagne on ice permanently.

Ignoring failure of Senate Democrats to pass a budget,
liberal political scientists blame GOP for Washington gridlock

Yesterday, thanks to a left-of-center Facebook friend, caught a Washington Post piece where two left-of-center political scientists blamed Republicans for Washington gridlock.

Unfortunately, they didn’t mention the failure of the Democratic Senate to pass a budget for the past three years.  Nor did they consider that Republicans in the current Congress thought that they owed it to those who elected them to hold the line on government spending as they face off against a Democratic president who believes more government spending (and greater regulation) is the only way to face pressing social and economic problems.

Messrs. Mann and Ornstein (said political scientists) lament, for example, that Republicans are committed to the small government principles of Ronald Reagan:

Republicans often dismiss nonpartisan analyses of the nature of problems and the impact of policies when those assessments don’t fit their ideology.[*] In the face of the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, the party’s leaders and their outside acolytes insisted on obeisance to a supply-side view of economic growth — thus fulfilling Norquist’s pledge — while ignoring contrary considerations.

Um, guys, could it just be that they just don’t believe that increasing federal spending will lift us out of an economic downturn?  The authors do reference the Great Depression, but fail to point out that neither the big spending policies of then-President Herbert Hoover nor his successor, a Mr. Franklin D. Roosevelt served to end said downturn.  They didn’t call the depression great because it ended in the early 1930s; they called it great because it lasted through the entire decade.

Does seem that Mann and Ornstein have ignored some contrary considerations about the success of Mr. Roosevelt’s New Deal.

The political scientists reveal their bias from the get-go, beginning their article by noting that “Republican congressional leaders or other major party figures, including the remaining presidential candidates” failed to condemn Congressman Allen West for alleging that roughly 80 of his Democratic colleagues were Communists.  They fail, writes Karl at HotAir to provide “links to all the op-eds they did about the extreme statements about Republicans being Un-American, comparing them to fascists, Nazis, racists and so on made by” leading Democrats. (more…)

Americans prefer budget cuts as means to cutting deficits;
media prefer Obama as candidate in general election

Take a gander at Yahoo!’s headlines in this screenshot I took at 10:24 PST (1:24 GayPatriot blog time):

Note the last one. By clicking on that headline, we don’t get a news story, but an opinion piece by a former official in the Carter administration. Just took one google search to determine Mr. Shapiro’s politics. Yeah, his USA Today bio claims that “Since 1979, his only partisan activity has been voting”, but the tone of his column suggests otherwise.

Perhaps, Yahoo!’s editors includes that column in their headlines because they wanted to balance out yet another poll (and this one which tends to lean left) showing that American prefer budget cuts to spending hikes as a means to reduce the deficit: “Cutting government programs is favored as the way to reduce the budget deficit by more than twice as many Americans as those who favor raising taxes, said a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

As per the last headline, expect more such coverage of Romney, with various media outlets styling opinion pieces critical of the presumptive Republican nominee and praising the Democrat as news.  But, the Reuters/Ipsos poll shows us just how out of touch is the incumbent, a Democrat who, since his election, has favored increasing government programs — even after voters repudiated this approach in the 2010 elections.

Is Obama campaigning for the GOP?

This report sure suggests as much, Obama to intensify defense of health care reforms:

The White House is preparing a campaign to publicly defend President Obama’s health care reforms just weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court weighs arguments on its constitutionality — a case that could redefine the scope of the 2012 election and mobilize voters on both sides.

Now, to be sure, this campaign is related to the coming arguments before the Supreme Court (shouldn’t they then be trying to sharpen their legal arguments rather than appeal to the public?), but said campaign will once again put the unpopular initiative into the spotlight.

Last time, Obamacare came to the forefront of our national discourse, Republicans won big in congressional elections:

It’s not easy to lose 63 seats in a House election. Before 2010, the last time it had been done was when Joe DiMaggio was still patrolling center field for the New York Yankees. It’s even harder to pull off such a feat when exit polling shows that Americans were inclined to blame the prior president (a member of the other party) for the poor economy. This raises a question that Democrats and the media have been avoiding for the past 16 months: Just how did the Democrats do it?

new academic study says the answer can likely be reduced to one word: Obamacare. The study, which was conducted by scholars from Dartmouth and elsewhere, finds that “supporters of health care reform paid a significant price.”  (more…)

Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Meg (Whitman)

California slipping toward bankruptcy, again:

California is going broke. Again. The state controller has estimated that the state will run out of money sometime this month. California will need to find $3 billion in cuts or revenues to keep the state in the black through the rest of this fiscal year.

And next year looks even worse. California’s Legislative Analyst Office projects that, even with billions in one-time revenues from Facebook’s impending IPO, Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget will run a $6.5 billion deficit.

Must be George W. Bush’s fault.

RELATED: Victor Davis Hanson, In California, Whom Will They Blame?

NY TIMES: Earmark Ban Already Having Important Impact

Well, well, well…. (h/t – Instapundit)

Even Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio, who made battling earmarks a cornerstone of his Congressional career since his election in 1990, said he would not have predicted that Congress could kick the habit.

“Think of this fight we have had for 20 years,” Mr. Boehner said in a recent interview. “If somebody would have asked me, ‘Will you ever get there?’ I would have had my doubts.”

But through a confluence of events, Mr. Boehner and the rest of the anti-earmark crowd did get there; the impact of the decision by leaders of the House and the Senate to ban earmarks for at least the next two years is already being felt.

When House Republicans were searching for cuts to offer Senate Democrats as part of a temporary spending plan to avert a government shutdown, they were able to reach into accounts set aside for earmarks and find nearly $2.8 billion that would have previously gone to water projects, transit programs and construction programs. No earmarks, no need for that money, and the threat of an imminent shutdown was eased.

Lawmakers said the absence of earmarks also allowed for a more freewheeling debate on the House floor during consideration of the Republican plan to slash $61 billion from this year’s budget since Democrats and Republicans were not caught up in protecting the special provisions they had worked so hard to tuck into the spending bill.

ACTUAL change you can believe in.  Boehner’s Congress has already shown to be a better steward of our money than every Congress in a generation before.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Another Democrat calls it “war” when Republicans advance their agenda through the legislative process

Well, if you’re at war,Democrat, why are you fleeing to the safety of another jurisdiction instead of manning the battlements as most people do in such conflicts.

Do these guys have any regard for popular elections?

“It sounds like war to me, and I think that’s what he’s declared this (legislative) session,” [Indiana House Minority Leader Patrick] Bauer said.

He said Democrats are ready to negotiate but won’t return to the Statehouse until Republicans stop pushing their “radical agenda.”

Um, Patrick, so, you’re telling Republicans elected to a majority in last fall’s election that their agenda is “radical,” so you’re going to take your marbles and run away?   Last fall, Indiana voters elected more Republicans than Democrats to the Indiana House, ending your term as Speaker.  That means, you no longer get to set the agenda.

And just like his Wisconsin counterpart, Jon Richards, he describes majority Republicans’ attempts to advance their agenda as war.  What is it with these Democrats, can’t they accept it when Republicans win elections?

Just amazing that Mr. Bauer, after forty years in the legislature, many in the minority, could call it “war” when the party that won a majority of seats in the most recent elections, moves to advance its agenda through the legislative process.  If the agenda were so radical, Bauer should be able to peel off enough Republicans to vote against it.  Failing that, he and his fellow Democrats should easily be able to persuade Hoosiers to reject Republicans in 2012 and replace them with less radical Democrats.

But, no, Indiana House Democrats, like their Wisconsin Senate counterparts, are acting like spoiled children who can’t get their way and run for the hills, er, the state of Illinois.   Don’t see any Republicans running away in states where Democrats are in control.  Nor did we see it in 2009 where there were a lot more such states. (more…)

Those undemocratic Democrats

My, my, my, my, what is it with Democrats in Midwestern States.  They see their party lose seats in the state house and when a bill comes up, they oppose, they run for the hills, er, a neighboring state.

Now, they’re shutting down the legislature in the Hoosier State:

Seats on one side of the Indiana House were nearly empty today as House Democrats departed the the state rather than vote on anti-union legislation.

A source tells The Indianapolis Star that Democrats are headed to Illinois, though it was possible some also might go to Kentucky. They need to go to a state with a Democratic governor to avoid being taken into police custody and returned to Indiana.

The House came into session twice this morning, with only three of the 40 Democrats present. Those were needed to make a motion, and a seconding motion, for any procedural steps Democrats would want to take to ensure Republicans don’t do anything official without quorum.

All to protect the power and perks flowing to public employee unions through their privileged bargaining positions.  Oh, yeah, and the cash that flows from the state treasury to the public employee unions and into Democratic campaign coffers — and for ads on their (i.e. Democratic candidates’ behalf.

Somehow, I just don’t think these will play well with Indiana voters — or those in other jurisdictions.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  ILoveCapitalism offers:

I love how all this exposes the Democrat leaders’ real agenda. Not civility. Not unity. Not bi-partisanship. Not post-partisanship. Just clinging to political power – and its companion, political money.

When Democrat leaders say words like unity, civility, bi-partisanship, etc., they really mean that Republicans should cave into them; let them win. If Republicans win – and apparently are serious about their principles – then it all flies out the window

Questions for those defending the flight of the Wisconsin 14*

Despite my best efforts, my fellow Californians last November elected Jerry Brown to a 4-year term as governor.  And despite their low view of the state legislature, Golden State voters simultaneously returned Democrats to power there, even electing a dead Democrat to the state Senate.

Whether we Republican like it or not (and I do not like it, not one little bit), voters have empowered the Democratic Party to address our state’s manifold problems.

With this as background, I ask my liberal friends who are cheering the protests by public employee unions and their national Democratic allies in Wisconsin as well as the flight of that state’s Senate Democrats, how would you feel if minority Republicans behaved as your current “heroes” are behaving?

How would you react if Tea Party protesters, taking successive days off from work and shutting down important industries, besieged the state capitol in Sacramento, sporting signs comparing Governor Brown to Hitler, Stalin or Osama bin Laden and his policies to Nazism, Communism or Islamic extremism (or used a sexual slur to refer to the Democrats’ union allies)?  How would you feel if the Republican National Committee were helping organize these angry protests while their participants said there rallies were akin to recent uprisings against dictators?

How would you feel if Republican legislators walked off the job and fled to Reno, preventing the state legislature from reaching a quorum and acting on legislation in line with promises Brown made on the campaign trail?

Please, please, please, please before you praise the Wisconsin 14 and the union protests, answer those questions.

*and the pro-union protests.

Will Wisconsin voters oust Senate Democrats who shirk their duty?

Kudos to Governor Scott Walker and Republican in the state Senate for standing up to the obstructionist Democratic legislators who have decided that the best way to serve Wisconsin is to flee to Illinois.  Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is playing hardball, saying that

. . . his chamber would meet Tuesday to act on non-spending bills and confirm some of the governor’s appointees even if the Democrats don’t show up — a scenario that should outrage their constituents.

Senate Democrats acknowledged that the 19 Republicans could pass any item that doesn’t spend state money in their absence. The budget-repair bill they have been blocking requires a quorum of 20 senators to pass, while other measures require only a simple majority of the chamber’s 33 members.

Of those 33 members, 17 were elected last November to a 4-year term, 11 of them, Republican and 6, Democrat.  The remaining 16, 8 Democrats and 8 Republicans, will be up in 2012.  Republican challengers are going to have an easy time crafting campaign ads against those 8 Democrats.  They’ll just remind voters that when the chamber to which they were elected voted on important matters facing the state, the Democrats were hiding outside the state.

Come 2013, look for an even more Republican Senate in the Badger State.

The “relevant discussion took place last November”

So says Moe Lane (via Little Miss Attila) in a short post that’s well worth your time.  Seems the unions know they’ve lost and are trying to find a way to save face.

Guess to the “milk cartoon” Democrats, elections are only over when Democrats win them.

Oh, and the concessions have caused Stacy McCain to quip,  ”So after all this protesting, now the unions want a ‘compromise’? Yeah, they’re losing this battle and they know it.”  (Via Instapundit.)  Just a reminder, they may have lost the battle for people’s hearts and minds, but they still haven’t lost it legislatively.

Recall that on Main Street USA, Democrats lost the health care battle, only to win it on Capitol Hill.  Still, a high school friend of Glenn Reynolds wonders if this is, “the high water mark of Liberal America? Will their push be broken? Is the tide turning? All eyes seem turned to the Wisconsin Capital, waiting for a result.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Louise B nails it:  ”The only reason the unions are agreeing to the financial cuts now is because they know if they keep the collective bargaining, they can reverse the financial cuts later.”

UPDATE:  Apparently, Wisconsin voters were aware of Scott Walker’s stands on unions when they elected him to office:

He has never tried to disguise his stance on the issues of the day, and if it can be said that “[u]nions have always been his piñata, over and over,” then one can hardly be taken by surprise by his stance on unions in general, or on public sector unions in particular.

And despite–or because of–this stance, the voters of Wisconsin elected him Governor in 2010, with a 6 point, 124,000-plus vote margin between himself and his opponent. Not a landslide, but not inconsequential either, especially given the fact that Walker has not shied away from stating clearly his public policy views. In doing so, the voters not only elected Walker, they endorsed his views, views he clearly articulated throughout his career in public life.

The relevant discussion did indeed take place last November.  Via Instapundit.  Read the whole thing.

Former Top House Democrat:
Pelosi’s direction, “unrepresentative” of message American people sent in 2010

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:21 pm - February 15, 2011.
Filed under: 112th Congress,2010 Elections

Via the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential, we learn just how House Minority Leader treats those Democrats who didn’t back her in the vote for Speaker in the current Congress:  you lose your seat at the Democratic leadership table.

Rep. Dennis Cardoza suspected that his January vote against fellow California Democrat Nancy Pelosi for Speaker might cost him the informal leadership post he’s held for more than three years. He was right.

. . . .

“I felt that there was no soul-searching about why it happened after the election,” he explained. “I felt like the Speaker — because so many of the moderates had been defeated — that she tacked and the Caucus tacked hard left. It was so unrepresentative of what the message was of the American people and of my district, that I couldn’t — in good conscience and good faith — any longer support her candidacy.”

Emphasis added.

In defeat, Dems & GOP do same thing: blame Republicans

When Republicans and Democrats lose elections, they do the same thing, albeit in a slightly different manner; they blame Republicans.  Shortly, after their loss of Congress in 2006, Republicans began engaging in a bit of introspection, introspection which was intensified when they suffered further setbacks in 2008, coupled with the loss of the White House.

Introspective, many Republicans asked what had they done wrong (AKA “blaming” Republicans).  This week, we learned (yet again) that Democrats were doing something quite similar, pointing to Republican actions which caused their defeat in the 2010 elections.  And former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi trotted out the standard villain from their catalogue of demonology:  George W. Bush.

The San Francisco Democrat showed just how in denial she is on the day she handed over the gavelto the new Speaker, Republican John Boehner, when she listed her accomplishments, without considering that perhaps it just might have been those “accomplishments” which cost her that gavel.

Fascinating how the party accused of lacking the capability to admit its errors is the party which engages in introspection and the party supposedly composed of such smart folk is the one that refuses to question the merits of its policies — or accept that its policies (rather than the failings and/or machinations of its adversaries) could prevent its election.  Or secure its defeat.

House Republicans’ Job: “not to mollify Beltway pundits”

For there to be a real change in the legislative landscape in 2011, Republicans elected to represent congressional districts or states in Washington must remember that they serve the people in those various jurisdictions and not the permanent denizens of the nation’s capital, a notion which many elected Republicans neglected in the past.

In her post on Republican investigations into Administration misconduct, Michelle Malkin reminds those Republicans of their duties:

Just a humble reminder: [Incoming House House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell] Issa’s job — and this goes for every GOP House leader — is not to mollify Beltway pundits.

Their job is not to manage White House p.r. and “reach across the aisle” and “get things done” for the sake of bipartisanship.

Their job is to protect taxpayers’ best interests, rein in a bloated, out-of-control federal government, and abide by their oaths of office.

Republicans need remember that Americans did not embrace the GOP this fall so much as they rejected the Democrats.  They gave us back our House majority on a kind of “trial basis.”  Should Republicans stand up to the Beltway establishment and for over-regulated individual and entrepreneur, they may well lose favor with the in-crowd in Washington, but retain the good will of the taxpaying folk beyond the Beltway for years to come.

Andrew Cuomo Takes a Step in the Right Direction

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo may well be one of the luckiest men in politics.   The son of a politician well loved in Democratic circles, he was tapped as Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development with little experience to qualify him for the job.

Just as he waltzed into that job, he practically walked into his current job.  When the then-scandal plagued incumbent bowed out of the race, Cuomo’s path to the Democratic nomination was unobstructed.  The Republican nominee imploded almost from the moment he first opened his mouth after he won his party’s contest for the Empire State’s top job.  Not just that, the GOP is all but dead in New York State.

To win, he just needed to keep his name on the ballot.  Now in office, he seems to be as politically skillful as he was lucky.  Although his party is beholden to the public employee unions, he knows he needs to stand up to them if he’s to solve the state’s fiscal problems.  And  with word that he’s seeking “a one-year salary freeze for state workers as part of an emergency financial plan he will lay out in his State of the State address on Wednesday”, it’s look like he’s prepared to do just that:

“The governor said during his campaign that the difficult financial times call for shared sacrifice,” said a senior administration official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the governor’s address. “A salary freeze is obviously a difficult thing for many government workers, but it’s necessary if the state is going to live within its means.”

While the immediate budget savings from the freeze would be relatively modest — between $200 million and $400 million against a projected deficit in excess of $9 billion — achieving it would be politically meaningful.

And because such a step would not require legislative approval, Mr. Cuomo could achieve it while bypassing the Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, and the Democratic-controlled State Assembly, labor’s most powerful allies in Albany. (more…)

On ObamaCare, House Republicans Got the Mesage

Incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor will be introducing a bill to repeal Obamacare.

He’s doing this exactly as it should be done, using simple language (well, as simple as legislative language gets) for total repeal.  The bill is short enough that the average Congressman could in the time it takes to make a latte.

Indeed, I’ve already read the whole thing — which is something that most Congressmen who voted for the original bill probably can’t say.

Will Tea Parties Transform Legislative Landscape in 2011?

2010, Bob Cusack reports at the Hill, “was the year of the Tea Party“:

. . . the Tea Party was in many ways a net asset for the GOP as Republicans grabbed control of the House and cut into the Democratic majority in the Senate. 

However, there was collateral damage as Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) and other Senate GOP hopefuls seen as the party’s best chance of winning general-election races were ousted in primaries. Some blamed Tea Party candidates for costing Republicans a Senate majority to go with their new majority in the House.

Now, the question will be whether 2011 becomes the year where the Republican House, consistent with Tea Party principles, rejects big-government programs and passes legislation repealing the statist initiatives passed in the 111th Congress while scaling back those federal programs which helped create the financial mess of 2008 and the ongoing economic downturn.

Let us hope that the powers that be in Washington, including some who held significant sway over Republicans like Castle, do not hold the influence they once did over elected Republicans.  And that instead Tea Party principles, nearly identical to those of a great man whose centennial we celebrate this year, guide those election officials.

2010 was indeed the year when the Tea Party helped transform the electoral landscape.  Maybe 2011 be the year when it transforms the legislative landscape. (more…)

Waxman Upset Republicans Intend to Fulfill Campaign Promises

To many on the left, including a number of leading members of the Democratic Party, whenever Republicans try to block big-government initiatives, they’re engaging in obstruction, as if progress requires ever more state interference in our lives.

They never seem to grasp that we believe the best way forward is with the least amount of government necessary to establish justice and insure domestic tranquility.  Progress comes not from the machinations of legislators and bureaucrats but through the actions of individuals and the private institutions we form in order to improve our lot and enjoy the benefits of mutual association

When conservatives try to legislate according to such progressive ideas, even if they know they are unlikely to see such legislation enacted given the conditions of the 112th Congress, Democrats are quick to describe their motivations as duplicitous or otherwise underhanded.  Just listen to what my Congressman (who himself has not worked in the private sector since the president was in grade school) has to say about the incoming House majority:

“I think what [Republicans are] going to do is try to keep on dramatizing the issues that they think are helpful to them,” [Henry] Waxman said. “The next two years I expect all their actions to be campaign oriented…. They’re all about messaging, they’re all about power, they’re all about politics. What they don’t seem to be concerned about is governing.”

So, you mean, trying to push the issues that matter to conservatives does not manifest a concern about governing?  Wonder why ol’ Henry just can’t accept that maybe, just maybe, they seek convey the message that they have heard those voters’ concerns as they use their power to act in accordance with the popular will and to advance the national interest.  I think that’s what called trying to govern. (more…)