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Ted Cruz Continues to Impress

Posted by V the K at 8:10 am - March 10, 2014.
Filed under: Leadership,Tea Party

Ted Cruz’s performance at the annual Gridiron Dinner apparently went well.

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?

Congress shouldn’t let Obama Pass the Buck On Syria

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.”)

RELATED:  Shortly after posting this piece, I caught a related editorial in the Washington Times: (more…)

Could Margaret Thatcher have changed Sarah Palin’s political fortunes?

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.

Lady Thatcher’s success won “by dint of her own striving”

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:18 pm - April 9, 2013.
Filed under: Leadership,Strong Women

Via Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt, caught this in Meryl Streep’s statement about the passing of perhaps the greatest woman of the last century:

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.

Emphasis added.

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.

Margaret Thatcher: Feminist Icon

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:18 pm - April 8, 2013.
Filed under: Leadership,Strong Women

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.

Screen shot 2013-04-08 at 3.15.46 PM

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.

RELATED: Muscular Feminism: Margaret Thatcher didn’t just talk. She did things.

UPDATE:  Kudos to the Huffington Post for featuring images of the friendship between two giants of freedom.

The World Has Lost A Giant

Rest In Peace, Margaret Thatcher.

20130408-093741.jpg

-Bruce (@GayPatriot)

Ryan Unveils GOP Budget Set to Put US on Sane Fiscal Path

Faster, please.

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.

-Bruce (@GayPatriot)

Did Christie’s VP stock rise this week?

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…

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

What was the source of George Washington’s Strength?

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…)

George W on my mind

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:37 pm - June 17, 2012.
Filed under: American History,Great Americans,Great Men,Leadership

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…)

Real leaders don’t whine when facing adverse winds

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:40 pm - June 14, 2012.
Filed under: American History,Great Americans,Great Men,Leadership

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.

RELATED: The Resilience of George Washington, David McCullough, John Adams and 1776

* (more…)

Scott Walker: progressive reformer

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!

Obama: leading from behind on reform

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:05 pm - January 25, 2012.
Filed under: Leadership,Obama Incompetence,Real Reform

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…)

The Republican Need for Bold Colors & Seriousness of Purpose

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…)

A leader shows how to handle the “birther” issue

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:40 pm - October 26, 2011.
Filed under: Leadership,Noble Republicans

Until President Obama authorized the release of his birth certificate, politicians and pundits could legitimately ask why he was withholding the document.   To be sure, there was abundant evidence that he was indeed born in Hawai’i and thus met the constitutional requirements to serve as the nation’s chief executive, but it did seem strange that his team had spent so much money (and effort) to keep the deed under wraps.

Now that we’ve seen the certificate, the issue should be behind us, yet some reporters seem intent in asking Republican candidates about the issue.  And those candidates, well, just don’t answer as directly as they should, saying bluntly that the issue is behind us.  Barack Obama may meet the constitutional requirements to serve, but has not demonstrated the political mettle and personal demeanor necessary to lead this nation, particularly at a time of economic uncertainty.

Yesterday, in what she calls, “a rare intervention into electoral politics since his departure from the Florida governorship,” blogress Jennifer Rubin shows elucidates how a Republican leader handles the issue:

In an exclusive statement to Right Turn, [Jeb Bush] e-mailed me: “Republican candidates should categorically reject the notion that President Obama was not born in the United States. It is a complete distraction from the failed economic policies of the President.” And that was it.

In two short, declarative sentences he told his party that this way lies madness. The country, the party and the conservative movement are at a crossroads. Our economic future and the viability of a Republican Party that is both responsible and forward looking are at stake. This is not the time for foolishness. That is the essence of the message.

Once again, Rubin nails it.  Read the whole thing.  And this too.  And this.

UPDATE:  Via NRO, Charles Krauthammer offers advice similar to that offered by the successful former governor of the nation’s third largest state:  ”The answer is:  The case is closed. It’s a quick, short answer. You don’t say: I’m not sure, I don’t know, and you start up on this issue.

Herman Cain’s Plan To Revive The American Economy

Common sense solutions from my candidate for President….

Herman Cain in Wall Street Journal: “My Plan to Revive Economic Growth”
Published: Thursday, September 15, 2011

Last week, President Obama unveiled his eagerly anticipated jobs plan. After 43 minutes of his speechifying, Americans were left wondering: We waited 30 months for this?
Indeed, it seems Mr. Obama’s first term has been spent advancing a legislative agenda that pays no mind to our ailing economy and the Americans whose sufferings are casualties in his ideological war. After a failed stimulus package, preferential industry bailouts, and the disastrous government overhaul of the health-care industry, it seems the plight of the American worker has remained an afterthought.

This is the worst jobs recovery since the Great Depression. If the Obama administration’s aim was to merely tie for last place with the previous worst recovery, it would have created eight million more jobs, based on comparative data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If our recovery were more typical of the postwar era, as former Sen. Phil Gramm reported on this page in April, we would have 14 million more jobs today.

As a longtime leader in the business community, I know firsthand that government does not create jobs. It can only create the conditions in which businesses operate. These conditions can spur growth, or they can suppress it. The conditions imposed by the current administration have suppressed growth.

Still, there is hope. That hope begins with economic certainty, a sort of assurance the president seems unwilling to provide. I, on the other hand, have proposed a plan that would stabilize and grow our economy:

“Cain’s Vision for Economic Growth,” also known as the 9-9-9 Plan, is founded upon three guiding economic principles: Production drives the economy. Risk-taking creates growth. Units of measurement must be dependable.

The plan begins with restructuring the tax code to include the broadest possible base at the lowest possible rate. The elements are:

• A 9% corporate flat tax. Businesses would deduct purchases from other businesses and all capital investment. The resulting gross income is taxed at 9%.

• A 9% personal flat tax. Individuals would deduct charitable contributions, then pay 9% on the rest of their income. Capital gains are excluded.

• A 9% national sales tax. This levy would be placed on the consumption of all new goods. Used goods purchased would be excluded.

My plan would also permanently eliminate taxes on repatriated profits, as well as payroll taxes and the estate tax.

All of these measures would free up capital, spur production, and incentivize risk-taking, thereby fueling the economy and creating jobs. The plan has been designed to be revenue neutral initially, and then revenues would grow in line with the economy.

But these policies must be coupled with sound money. A dollar must be worth the same tomorrow as it is today. Stabilizing the dollar’s value starts with the federal government taking significant measures to rein in its spending and pay down the national debt. Americans must be assured that the federal government will live within its means and get serious about eliminating our crippling debt. Repealing ObamaCare, Sarbanes-Oxley and the Dodd-Frank bank-regulation bill would be critical steps.

Finally, my plan promotes enterprise zones, also known as “empowerment zones.” Coupled with tax reform and monetary stabilization, empowerment zones would revitalize inner cities by providing tax credits to businesses that hire workers living and working in underprivileged areas.

Some of the most tragic unemployment numbers can be found in minority communities and in urban centers around the country. Empowerment zones would create a whole new generation of wage-earners providing for their families. The late Jack Kemp, a secretary of the department of Housing and Urban Development and a dear friend, was one of the first lawmakers to propose empowerment zones. He understood the tremendous economic benefits they would provide.

Each job lost today is not merely a statistic. Americans are struggling to determine whether to pay their mortgages or buy groceries, whether to buy school uniforms or pay the electric bill.

Such despair is unfitting for the greatest nation the world has ever known. After all, it is inherently American to work, to risk and to dream. Our government’s policies should encourage that, not stifle it.

Mr. Cain, a Republican, is running for president of the United States. He is a former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and a former chairman of the board of directors to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

HERMAN CAIN FOR PRESIDENT

I am proud this morning to announce my support for Herman Cain for President.

This is a personal decision by me and does not reflect the views of my co-bloggers nor should be construed as an official endorsement by GOPROUD of which I am a board member.

Now that I’m done with that disclaimer….let me shout this from sea to shining sea — AMERICA NEEDS HERMAN CAIN!!!! I have been flirting with the Cain candidacy for over a year now. I had the pleasure to meet him at CPAC and I have been closely following his campaign long before most people knew his name.

I felt it was important to declare my preference publicly today as I have decided to become actively involved in Team Cain to assist in the South Carolina primary and beyond. I owe my readers the transparency of knowing why I am writing about certain things and not to be confused by my intent.

Why Herman Cain? Well, haven’t been this excited about a Presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan in 1984 (the first year I was old enough to truly know anything and make a difference).

Some will now say, “now Bruce….there will never be another Ronald Reagan!” And that is true. And I am NOT equating Mr. Cain to Mr. Reagan. What I am saying is that Mr. Cain excites me with his common sense ideas, love of country, and ability to connect to the American psyche. Choosing a President has always been a “gut feeling” thing for America. I have a great feeling about Herman Cain.

Herman Cain has been plucked by destiny to arrive at America’s electoral doorstep at just the right time. He has a solid business background, is an inspirational leader of people, and understands the complexities of the world economy. He wasn’t a community organizer, he is a jobs and growth creator. He wasn’t a concocted creation of America’s radical left and academic centers of power, he is a true child of the American Experience. He has never scoffed at American values, he embraces our nation’s special place in the history of mankind and knows we are teetering on the edge.

Mr. Cain is familiar with rescuing failing enterprises, which to me is his most important qualification. In a sheer coincidence to the timing of my announcement, Daniel Henninger wrote this yesterday in the Wall Street Journal:

Does a résumé like Herman Cain’s add up to an American presidency? I used to think not. But after watching the American Idol system we’ve fallen into for discovering a president—with opinion polls, tongue slips and media caprice deciding front-runners and even presidents—I’m rewriting my presidential-selection software. [Emphasis added.]

Conventional wisdom holds that this week’s Chris Christie boomlet means the GOP is desperate for a savior. The reality is that, at some point, Republicans will have to start drilling deeper on their own into the candidates they’ve got.

Put it this way: The GOP nominee is running against the incumbent president. Unlike the incumbent, Herman Cain has at least twice identified the causes of a large failing enterprise, designed goals, achieved them, and by all accounts inspired the people he was supposed to lead. Not least, Mr. Cain’s life experience suggests that, unlike the incumbent, he will adjust his ideas to reality.

No other GOP candidate can bring the fight to Obama over the sorry state of the American economy than Herman Cain. Our other choices are, I’m sad to say, more of the same old thing — career professional politicians. Yes, even Ron Paul, folks.

So there you have it. My big announcement. Herman Cain is the first Presidential candidate I will actively and ENTHUSIASTICALLY campaign for through blood, sweat, money & tears since Ronald Reagan in 1984. That’s a long time of being unmoved by GOP nominees, don’t you think?

There will be more to say about Herman Cain and the issues. But I wanted to stand up today and proudly declare my support for the 45th President of the United States of America and the next true heir of the American Experience — Mr. Herman Cain.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Why Tyler Clementi Still Matters

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:54 pm - July 8, 2011.
Filed under: Gay America,Individuation,Integrity,Leadership

It has been nine months now since Tyler Clementi’s suicide dominated the news.  And I fear many of have forgotten that sensitive young man’s difficult transition to college life.

While it has become easier to come out America today (than it was twenty years ag0), it will always be difficult to be different, even if we do achieve the “full equality” to which many gay activists aspire.  To be sure, young gay people currently have a plethora of places to go for guidance and support.  Through the “It Gets Better” videos and other social (as well as traditional) media, they have testimony and images of older gay people who are open about and comfortable with their sexuality.

They still, however, face the challenge of being different at a period in life when many aspire to conform to their peers.

One concern I’ve had with those videos, the most enduring legacy of the suicide, is that they lack the personal contact that many young people need at difficult moments as they take their first steps on their path of adulthood.  They have just a face and voice on a screen and not a hand on their shoulder or a kind word directed to them personally.

It’s important that we always remember that for as much good as those videos may accomplish, we must also always pay attention to the personal.  We may feel good about recording our experiences for such a video, but we do better when we take the time to listen and respond to a young person in need.

If my experience as an uncle has taught me anything, it’s that an older adult’s encouragement of and interest in a child, adolescent or young adult can help give them the strength to weather life’s storms.  And this applies most particularly to those who differ from the social norm.

RELATED: On Tyler Clementi & the Importance of Mentors

What bold choices, Mr. President?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:48 pm - June 8, 2011.
Filed under: 112th Congress,Leadership

On Monday, Jennifer Rubin wondered about the president’s contention on his latest road tour that “he’s made tough decisions that will pay off over time“.  Rather than make bold choices, she contends the president . . .

. . . is intentionally avoiding them. His budget did not pass the laugh test. His budget speech 2.0 was a partisan attack on the House’s budget plan and failed to present a scoreable, specific budget. He refuses to put forth a coherent plan of his own to restructure entitlements.

In the past, President Obama yielded to Congress, letting House Democrats write his “stimulus” (er, the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act) and Senate Democrats craft his health care overhaul.  Given that history, it is no wonder the president has failed to put forward a coherent plan of his own.  The Democratic leadership in Congress hasn’t put forward its plan, so he has nothing to go on.

As Ed Morrissey observes:

Republicans have taken great pains to continually refer to the number of days since Senate Democrats have produced a budget, now at Day 769 and counting.  Democrats have begun to chafe at Harry Reid’s strategy of attempting to grab a world record for punting, especially since Democrats have to argue in next year’s elections for voters to trust them with leadership for the next two years.

Perhaps, the president is also chafing, waiting like the Senate Democratic caucus for its leadership to move.  Wouldn’t a bold decision-maker prod Harry Reid et al. to act?  A man who touts himself as making bold choices does so not just in word, but also in deed.  Releasing such a budget proposal with real reforms would just be the kind of deed a bold leader needs to undertake; a real leader is willing to risk opposition, to risk criticism for the sake of the country he loves.

Newt’s Loose Lips Sink His Presidential Ambitions

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:18 am - May 19, 2011.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Leadership,Media Bias

As part of his apology tour, Newt Gingrich demonstrated why, despite his keen political insight and abundance of ideas, he is not presidential timber.  As if we didn’t know already from, to paraphrase Brit Hume, the promiscuity of his pronouncements.  Unlike the heroes of many Westerns (indeed of many myths), the former Speaker doesn’t know when to hold his tongue.  Great leaders also know to use their words sparingly — and so make them, when spoken, more significant.

You’d think Gingrich would have learned something in his 22 years (since his 1989 election as House Republican Whip) on the public stage.

Just look at how he explained his controversial statement (of which all those who follow Republican politics are now familiar) on “Meet the Press.”   As per Ed Morrissey who participated in a blogger conference call with the soon-to-be former presidential candidate, “Gingrich opened by saying that his remarks on MTP were not intended to be controversial, but says that David Gregory and the venue are partly to blame.

Blaming the venue and a talk show host known for his hostility to Republicans?!?  Where has Newt been for the past forty-odd years?  Had he ever seen Gregory in action in the Bush era?  The NBC journalist has not been particularly successful at concealing his bias.  When he agreed to go on “Meet the Press,” Gingrich should have been prepared for a hostile round of questioning.

Calling Gregory’s question asking “whether Republicans ‘ought to buck the public opposition” and “really move forward to completely change Medicare” ”tendentious“, Michael Barone provided an answer that should have come naturally to the lips of a seasoned political professional:

The smart response would have been to challenge the premises of Gregory’s question. The Ryan plan is not necessarily unpopular; public sentiment depends heavily on how poll questions are worded. And the plan wouldn’t completely change Medicare. The current system would remain in effect for everyone now 55 and over.

But Gingrich accepted Gregory’s premises. “I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering,” Gingrich responded. “I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate.”

So a former Republican speaker of the House who wants to become a Republican president has just given Democrats a warrant to label a major Republican proposal “right-wing social engineering” and “radical change from the right.”

I had once been a fan of Newt Gingrich, having interned for him before he became Speaker.  He has a first-rate political mind.  Without his leadership in the early 1990s, Republicans would likely not have won back the House.  But, he never learned verbal discipline.   (more…)