For all the Democrats who are loud champions of the gay and lesbian community whenever there is a culture battle waging, now is the opportunity to speak out against an ideology that calls for the murder of gays and lesbians. ISIS and the theocracy in Iran (supported with American taxpayer dollars) regularly murder homosexuals, throwing them from buildings and burying them under rocks. This is wrong, it is evil, and we must all stand against it. Every human being has a right to live according to his or her faith and conscience, and nobody has a right to murder someone who doesn’t share their faith or sexual orientation. If you’re a Democratic politician and you really want to stand for LGBT, show real courage and stand up against the vicious ideology that has targeted our fellow Americans for murder.
Up front, let me say that I really do admire Rep. Paul Ryan and thought he was the best decision (not that there’s a lot of competition for the title) that Mitt Romney made during his failed bid for the White House in 2012. Whatever his titular role, he is definitely a thought-leader and a Republican the party turns to on many important issues.
There’s something odd in the way his quest for the speakership has been reported in the press that makes me a little uneasy. (Okay, another caveat: It’s altogether possible that the press isn’t reporting any of this accurately, so that’s why I’m not willing to say simply No.)
Basically he’s requiring that the entire Republican caucus line up behind him before he’d take the job; no clumping together enough factions for a slim majority, he wants everybody on board.
Again, I’m not behind closed doors with Republicans, but best I can tell, that conversation likely went down one of two ways:
A) “Okay guys, here’s my vision. These are my top 3, 5, or 10 priorities, strategies on how to accomplish them, and what life will look like if we’re successful. I’ve put it all out there, and if elected, y’all should be prepared to see me work hard toward these goals. Who’s with me?”
B) “Okay guys, here’s the thing: I don’t want to hear anymore of y’all’s bullshit. And I’m not going to preside over a bunch of guys yelling at each other and not getting along. So if you want me to be your Speaker, I want to see 100% of you behind me, and a pledge that you won’t throw me over the ledge like you did with that guy from Ohio. Who’s with me?”
The concern should be pretty obvious:
If it went down (is going down) like A, that shows true leadership: Putting forward a vision and seeking support
If it went down like B, he’s saying he’ll only become the leader if the group doesn’t need one. What sort of leadership is that?
Again, I don’t know, and I’d like to think that Ryan is an upstanding dude with his head spun on straight. But if the last 20 or so years of politics has taught me anything, it’s that there are no heroes and none of these guys really do anything that isn’t in their own best interest.
What do you think?
-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HQ)
If the Westboro Baptist Street Theater Troupe shows up in Louisiana, Governor Bobby Jindal will make sure they receive state-funded accommodations.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal threatened to “lock up” protesters from the controversial Westboro Baptist Church if they demonstrate outside the funeral of the two women who died this week in a shooting at a Lafayette theater.
“If they come here to Louisiana, if they disrupt that funeral, we are going to lock them up,” Jindal said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
I read that King Abdullah of Jordan (whom I have actually met) is going to personally lead retaliatory airstrikes against ISIS after they burned that Jordanian pilot to death. That’s a very badass contrast to how our “leadership” responds to terrorism.
Brian Williams is reporting that King Abdullah has asked him to be his wing man.
“We cannot stand by and allow our openness to be confused with a tolerance of extremism, or one that encourages different cultures to live separate lives and allows people to behave in ways that run completely counter to our values. Adhering to British values is not an option or a choice, it is a duty for those who live in these islands, and in the end, it is only by standing up for these values that we will defeat this extremism, protect our way of life, and keep all our people safe.”
“I want to say immediately that Russia is far from getting involved into any large-scale conflicts. We do not want and do not intend to do this. I want to remind you that Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations. This is a reality, not just words. We are strengthening our nuclear deterrence forces and our armed forces. They are getting more compact and more efficient at the same time. They are getting more modernized in terms of their supply with the latest armaments. We continue building up this potential and we’ll be doing this in the future.”
“We don’t have a strategy.”
In a country not run by moonbats, the brutal beheading of an American citizen would warrant a more significant response than Obama’s usual hashtag diplomacy. (#BringBackOurHeads)
In a country not ruled by moonbats, you would not find a state governor openly siding with the savages that are looting and burning one of his cities, demanding that a policeman be prosecuted before an investigation has taken place, and, oh, by the way, allowing the accomplice of a thug to walk free.
In a country not run by moonbats, thugs and rabble-rousers would not be permitted to block the portage of a ship engaged in legitimate lawful commerce.
In a country not run by moonbats, the media might find more important stories to cover than the name of a football team.
Canadians are so polite, mild-mannered, modest, unassuming, open-minded. Thank God my family fled that oppressive influence before it could change me.
I might add that Canadians are also extremely efficient. No red tape at all in handling my application to renounce citizenship. They had that thing approved before I even sent it in. The simple truth is that for a very brief time my family lived on the plains of Calgary. That does not make me a Canadian. Although Elizabeth Warren says that it does make me an Algonquin Indian. Of course, my family is Cuban… At first, when he got here, my dad washed dishes for 50 cents an hour. He was so low on the totem pole where he worked that even Marco Rubio’s father bossed him around.
Kind of reminds one of Reagan, don’t you think?
When I first heard that President Obama was asking Congress to vote on a resolution authorizing him to act against Syria, I thought he was doing the right thing, but then the more I considered the issue, the weaker I realized the move was. And the more political.
My gut sense is that Obama really doesn’t want to take action against the Syrian regime.
And perhaps he is hoping that this move will further divide Republicans. And a Republican Party at war with itself can’t do a good job taking the fight during in the 2014 election cycle.
And should a coalition of libertarian Republicans, partisans who put bucking Obama ahead of the national interest and dovish Democrats opposed to any flexing of American muscle manage to defeat the (unnecessary) legislative authorization, Obama will blame not his fellow Democratic, but the opposition Republicans for denying him the ability to act.
My advice to Speaker Boehner would be to ask all House Republicans to make statements similar to this one: “I don’t think the president needs our approval to act. (President Bill Clinton didn’t ask for congressional authorization before initiating airstrikes against Yugoslavia on behalf of Kosovo.) But, the president has asked for our permission. We are voting for the resolution to show we recognize his responsibility in the matter; we hope he will act in the best interest of the country.”
This at least would make it more challenging for Obama to blame Republicans. And the explanation would help prevent this from becoming a precedent, potentially hamstringing future presidents.
Obama could have delivered a speech similar to that Secretary Kerry gave. And with that, authorized our armed forces to attack Syrian airbases. Or he could have explained why it was not in our national interest to act. Instead, he has advertised his indecision on the matter. Never a good strategy for a leader.
ADDENDUM: A test of Obama’s sincerity on the matter will be how aggressively he lobbies Congress on behalf of this resolution. If he doesn’t actively lobby legislators to pass the bill, then he shouldn’t blame them for its failure. (Bear in mind my word choice; “shouldn’t” doesn’t mean “won’t.”)
Dan has written a few good posts already about Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as both someone who should be viewed as a “feminist icon,” and as a woman who who rose to power “by dint of her own striving,” in the words of Meryl Streep. In the second post, Dan asked a rhetorical question about the reception of strong, conservative women in politics: “Why is it that certain conservative leaders, particularly women who capture the public imagination, endure this ‘special hatred and ridicule’?”
Dan’s question reminded me of something I saw at the Daily Caller. On Geraldo Rivera’s radio program yesterday, Ann Coulter claimed that, according to sources allegedly close to Thatcher, Lady Thatcher wanted to meet with Sarah Palin to give her advice about presenting herself more effectively:
“One thing that I know, because I know people who know her, is when Sarah Palin first burst on the scene, she wanted to have a meeting with Palin, because she saw raw political talent, but wanted to teach Sarah Palin to do what she did,” Coulter said. “I just know it from friends of hers — to teach [Palin] to speak proper English. Sarah Palin did not meet with her. And just a year or two ago, when Sarah Palin was promoting some reality show or something, she went to England and she announced to the press that she was planning on dropping by to see Lady Thatcher. And Lady Thatcher put out the word that she would not be available.”
I have no clue as to the reliability of Coulter’s sources in this instance or the veracity of those reports, but regardless of whether the story is true or whether it is merely apocryphal, it does serve to illustrate some key differences among Thatcher, Palin, and the political environment that exists in the U.S. today as opposed to that that existed in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s.
There should be no doubt that the left in Britain hated Thatcher as much as the left in America hates Palin–and has ever since she lambasted Obama in her convention speech in September 2008. But despite that similarity and the fact that both Palin and Thatcher are strong, outspoken conservative women, it strikes me as a sort of revisionist history to suggest, as Coulter implicitly does, that Palin’s situation today might have taken a very different course had she met with Thatcher when she “first burst on the scene,” whenever, exactly, that was.
Thatcher rose to prominence in Britain over many years in the British House of Commons, a branch of parliament known for its particularly rowdy and confrontational style of debate and discussion. Thatcher did well in that environment and successfully managed to become the head of her party there. Thatcher’s history of rising to power through parliament bears some similarities to the manner in which Palin rose to become governor of Alaska and to take on the entrenched interests of her own party.
But the similarities end there. The crucial difference is that Thatcher’s rise to power occurred on a broader political stage than Palin’s did, and given the short timeframe in which Palin went from being a governor to being a national figure, it should be evident that she had few opportunities to shape the counter-narrative that the media and the left started putting out about her shortly after she “burst on the scene.”
Short of advising her not to do an interview with Katie Couric, I can’t imagine what Lady Thatcher could have said or done to help Palin navigate the treacherous waters of the 2008 presidential campaign, and that was especially the case as long as Palin’s fate was tied to that of John McCain, one of the most conciliatory candidates I have ever seen run for the presidency.
After the campaign ended, Margaret Thatcher might have been able to help Palin gain a little more polish, perhaps, but I doubt that would have done anything to change the situation in which Palin found herself, with lawsuit after lawsuit filed against her in Alaska, until she ultimately decided to resign as governor in July 2009. Although the media’s harsh attacks on Palin greatly damaged her image with a large segment of the public at large, I would argue that Palin’s decision to step down as governor had more of an impact on dampening enthusiasm for her as a candidate for the presidency in 2012 among many conservatives.
Palin’s story is still being written. Whether or not she decides to run for elective office again remains to be seen. While I have no doubt that Margaret Thatcher could have given her some excellent advice and guidance, it also seems rather like wishful thinking to suggest that Palin’s political fortunes would be dramatically different today had she met with Thatcher many years ago.
Update: Nile Gardner first reported that the Thatcher-Palin story was a hoax when he wrote about it in 2011. (Hat Tip: Professor Jacobson.) Of course, as The Right Scoop asks, that makes one wonder what Coulter is trying to accomplish by repeating it.
But to me [Margaret Thatcher] was a figure of awe for her personal strength and grit. To have come up, legitimately, through the ranks of the British political system, class bound and gender phobic as it was, in the time that she did and the way that she did, was a formidable achievement. To have won it, not because she inherited position as the daughter of a great man, or the widow of an important man, but by dint of her own striving. To have withstood the special hatred and ridicule, unprecedented in my opinion, leveled in our time at a public figure who was not a mass murderer; and to have managed to keep her convictions attached to fervent ideals and ideas- wrongheaded or misguided as we might see them now-without corruption- I see that as evidence of some kind of greatness, worthy for the argument of history to settle. To have given women and girls around the world reason to supplant fantasies of being princesses with a different dream: the real-life option of leading their nation; this was groundbreaking and admirable.
Why is it that certain conservative leaders, particularly women who capture the public imagination, endure this “special hatred and ridicule”?
Notable that Ms. Streep has grown to admire Mrs. Thatcher even as she hints at her own disagreement with the Iron Lady’s policies. Would it that there were more like her, individuals able to admire their ideological adversaries.
It seemed that any time in the past twenty-one years someone offered a critique of Hillary Clinton, her defenders, more often than not, would, without addressing the particular points of the critique, retort that we were threatened by strong women. Many would not change their tune even as we reminded them how highly we regarded and how much we praised the greatest British Prime Minister since Churchill, Margaret Thatcher.
And unlike Mrs. Clinton, Lady Thatcher made it entirely on her own, without having hitched her star to a prominent politician.
This strong British woman truly earned — and then commanded — the respect of men, on both sides of the Atlantic. And one wonders why so few feminists, interested in seeing women succeed in professions once dominated by men, didn’t hold Lady Thatcher in higher esteem. From the 1970s onward, nearly every leading conservative, including the most prominent American conservative of the last century, adored this leader who just happened to be a woman.
Margaret Thatcher proved that conservatives have always looked up to women who showed their strength in the public square.
If you believe a woman can do the job as good as (if not better than) a man, you need only study Lady Thatcher’s life story.
Rest in peace, Iron Lady! A giant has fallen.
UPDATE: Kudos to the Huffington Post for featuring images of the friendship between two giants of freedom.
House Republicans unveiled an ambitious cost-cutting plan Tuesday that would balance the budget in 10 years without raising taxes, while repealing ObamaCare and overhauling entitlements — a document Democrats are sure to reject but could be used as a negotiating tool in talks with President Obama.
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Budget Committee, is sticking by controversial proposals, including one to give future Medicare retirees the option of using government payments for private health care plans.
Taxes are the vehicle that the Federal Government uses to strip power and freedom from its citizens. That immense power is sapping the private sector right now.
Here is the full text of the Ryan Budget Plan. Read it for yourself. No filters.
So we are enjoying the 105 degrees in Upstate SC and PatriotPartner tells me that NJ Gov. Chris Christie is calling the State Assembly into special session in order to… CUT TAXES.
That got me re-thinking Christie’s chances to get picked by Romney for the VP spot.
After the SCOTUS Obamacare decision, is there really a social conservative that would rebel over Christie’s selection?
If Romney picked Christie, it would drive a knife into Obama’s electoral math.
And even if some of the hardest core SoCons stay home … would it really result in Romney losing any states by choosing Christie?
Just thinking out loud…
“From the last week of August to the last week of December,” writes David McCullough,
. . . the year 1776 had been as dark a time as those devoted to the American cause had ever known–indeed, as dark a time as any in the history of the country. And suddenly, miraculously it seemed, that had changed because of a small band of determined men and their leader.
. . . .
[That leader George Washington] was not a brilliant strategist or tactician, not a gifted orator, not an intellectual. At several crucial moments he had shown marked indecisiveness. He had made serious mistakes in judgment. But experience had been his great teacher from boyhood, and in this his greatest test, he l earned steadily from experience. Above all, Washington never forgot what was at stake and he never gave up.
Again and again, in letters to Congress and to his officers, and in his general orders, he had called for perseverance–for “perseverance of spirit,” for “patience and perseverance,” for “unremitting courage and perseverance.” Soon after the victories of Trenton and Princeton, he had written: “A people unused to restraint must be led, they will not be drove. Without Washington’s leadership and unrelenting perseverance, the revolution almost certainly would have failed.
What accounts for this great’s perseverance against such incredible odds? Perhaps we would know more had his wife Martha not burned all but two of his letters. Perhaps, his strength lay in the cause for which he fought or perhaps in the depth of his love for her.
Whatever its cause, the Father of our Country does provide an example of leadership in tough times, a reminder to keep your head up even as the events — and your enemies — bring you down. That’s not just a reminder for leaders, but for all of us. (more…)
As I mentioned a few days ago, both Bruce and I have read and relished David McCullough’s history of the first year in the life of our republic, 1776. As I listen to this book now, I occasionally feel ashamed of myself for ever having complained when things have not gone as well as I would have liked them to go.
How ever, I wonder, did George Washington hold up in the difficult Fall of 1776 when everything seemed to go wrong, when a general he trusted, Nathaniel Greene, made a bone-headed decision to defend an indefensible fort (Fort Washington lacked a fresh water supply) when another general Charles Lee sought to undercut him, when his army was dispirited, many troops deserting, the remainder forced to retreat across New Jersey with the enemy close on it heels. His situation then was far worse than anything I have ever faced.
Yet, despite all that, as one of the great man’s future presidential successors, James Monroe, observed when joining up with the ragtag army in retreat:
I saw him . . . at the head of a small band, or rather in its rear, for he was always near the enemy, and his countenance and manner made an impression on me which I can never efface. . . . [The great man's expression, McCullough writes, "gave no sign of worry."] A deportment so firm, so dignified, but yet so modest and composed, I have never seen in an other person.
So was Washington in retreat during the Revolution’s darkest hour. Such is the mark of a leader, composed in a crisis, not whining about his sorry situation or blaming others, not even, in this man’s case, blaming the generals who had offered advice which made a bad situation worse. (more…)
Perhaps because I have been listening to David McCullough’s 1776* as I drive around LA that I take issue with the opening of Jay Cost’s Weekly Standard piece on Obama’s Dilemma (referenced in my previous post):
Political winds are funny things. When they are blowing in from behind, leaders look poised, in control, and powerful. When they are blowing into their face, they look overwhelmed, out of their depth, and utterly impotent. We have seen this time and again over the years with presidents.
Following his success in Boston in the spring of 1776, George Washington faced incredibly adverse winds in New York that summer, with an enormous British fleet gathering as he attempted to hold the city. He failed in that attempt, having to retreat first across the East River, then across the Hudson, then through New Jersey and finally into Pennsylvania before turning the tables and undertaking his famous crossing.
After overcoming his initial shock at the overwhelming scale of the British invasion, Washington retained his poise and maintained control over his army. He succeeded as much because he knew how to manage defeat as because of his skills on the battlefield. In short, when the winds were blowing in his face, he stood tall and refused to let himself appear overwhelmed — or out of his depth.
He would not, at least not publicly, whine about the problems he inherited — or the tab left by another general. He appeared resolute in the face of adverse circumstances. George Washington didn’t let the strong winds blow him down.
Time and again, however, the man who currently holds the job Mr. Washington once held has shown his unfitness for the office. He laments the sorry situation he faces. Mr. Washington faced it head on. As did Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III.
Mr. Obama wants us to feel sorry for us as he blames his horrible, no good, very bad predecessor. George Washington didn’t ask for our pity; he sought to earn his men’s respect.
Charles Lane penned a great column on the Gipper’s birthday about a reformist in the traditional of Ronald Reagan. The former editor of the center-left New Republic observed that “The threat to such progressive goals as majority rule, transparent government, a vibrant public sector and equality comes from public-sector unionism“:
Of course, collective bargaining in the public sector is inherently contrary to majority rule. It transfers basic public-policy decisions — namely, the pay and working conditions that taxpayers will offer those who work for them — out of the public square and behind closed doors. Progressive Wisconsin has a robust “open meetings” law covering a wide range of government gatherings except — you guessed it — collective bargaining with municipal or state employees. So much for transparency.
Even worse, to the extent that unions bankroll the campaigns of the officials with whom they will be negotiating — and they often do — they sit on both sides of the table.
Indeed. And the left-of-center pundit commends Wisconsin’s Republican governor for taking on such unions. Read the whole thing!
Maybe it’s just that he’s waiting for others to craft the reforms so he can see how people react before signing on to anything. This way, he accrues the benefit of supporting a popular reform without the political risk of backing a proposal which might alienate his base.
I endorsed Jon Huntsman for President, in part, because of his bold tax reform plan. In his speech last night, the man the former Utah Governor once sought to replace addressed the issue thusly: “It’s time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America. Send me these tax reforms, and I’ll sign them right away.” He went on to repeat his mantra about having the rich pay more.
Note how in the passage cited above, the president asked someone else to write the reforms and send them to him. He failed to offer a plan of his own.
In a similar vein, here’s how he addressed entitlement reform: “I’m prepared to make more reforms that rein in the long term costs of Medicare and Medicaid, and strengthen Social Security, so long as those programs remain a guarantee of security for seniors.”
Prepared to make? Prepared to make, Mr. President? The President of the United States should be doing more than just make preparations, he should be proposing solutions. (more…)
Yesterday, Michael Barone reported that the Baltimore Sun’s television critic David Zurawik lambasted the White House for excluding “local press from the pool coverage of Obama’s recent San Francisco fundraiser [and] Obama for appearing on Jay Leno’s program.”
Zurawik asks us to “check out” the “scripted video exchange about GOP challengers between Obama and his NBC straight man, Leno“:
I used to be merely annoyed by the way some of my colleagues in the press who were so savvy on so many other political matters fell for such phony TV scripted interplay designed to let the president score political points and reach a mass audience free and clear with his message.
But, you know what, with all the pain that so many millions of Americans are experiencing these days, it is way past annoying. It’s outrageous for our president to be playing these calculated, dippy, little TV games when so many of us are in such need of real leadership.
Yes, we are in need of real leadership and the president has failed to provide it. And sometimes, alas, it seems that none of the candidates for the Republican nomination has demonstrated the intestinal fortitude and seriousness of purpose to lead at a time of economic uncertainty at home and increasing turmoil abroad.
“This country,” John Podhoretz reminds us, “is in terrible shape“:
The GOP electorate and the American people . . . know it. You know it. They want solutions. You’re providing comedy.
This is a serious time. It requires serious leaders. Where’s the gravity?
The reason that many on the Right have spent the year hunting somewhere, anywhere, for better candidates to challenge President Obama is becoming ever more plain with each passing day.
Thirty-six years ago, when Republicans were smarting from the shellacking they suffering in the 1974 mid-terms, the man who would later become the greatest domestic policy president of the century encouraged conservatives to be bold and forward-looking:
Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people? (more…)