Friday, February 26, 2010

The Unpresident and the Scandal of Champagne, Cigars, and Canadian Women

Republicans are their own worst critics. Some may spin losses into victories and bad showings into acceptable, but by and large when the GOP performs badly, its rank and file have much less problems than Democrats in letting their party know.

That is why the chorus of support for the Republicans in the health care summit yesterday was so gratifying. You could follow comments on Facebook, normally the home of the more anti-party conservatives and there was general agreement on two things. First, the Republicans conducted themselves much better than could be expected, since their role was ritual slaughter. They remained feisty, got ideas on the table, and neither lost their cool, nor capitulated.

Second, they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams in making Obama look like an ass. Check that. They allowed the president to do that all on his own.

He was blatantly rude to John McCain. McCain tried to perform his usual role of trying to explain to Obama where the Republicans were coming from in the spirit of genuine bipartisanship that rankles more conservative and libertarian folks. Obama cut him off to remind him that the presidential campaign was over. A shocked McCain responded that he was reminded of that fact daily.

Then the rudeness took a bizarre turn when Obama cut off his own vice president, then seemed to snub Biden's approach at the end of one of the meetings. In the very next session, Biden gave a monologue that struck many as incomprehensible. Remember what Obama once said "Nobody messes with Joe."

This was supposed to be, as Biden predicted, "pure theatre" but Obama was supposed to be the director, producer, and star of the stage. Republicans were supposed to perform their roles as teh black hat villains of the piece, perhaps even shouting "you lie!" again. But it was Obama who blatantly accused the Senate Minority Leader of lying, not disagreement over interpretation, but of lying.

Obama seemed to be looking for that gotcha moment, such as when Lloyd Bentsen attacked Dan Quayle over a mention of John F. Kennedy, or Reagan announced that he was paying for the microphone and he would set the rules. Obama even announced at one point that he could be late because he's the president and does not need to count time. In a campaign, taking risks to sound feisty scores points. At this point, Obama looks more like that arrogant ass of a professor that most undregrads try to avoid because he revels in making anyone around him look stupid while showing off his intellect.

Right now, almost all of Obama's political polls have fallen below 50%. The only one that remained high was likeability. Being likeable helped get George W. Bush re-elected despite a lot of misgivings over his policies and especially the war. Did you ever see Bush publicly insult an elected official in either party, or speak about anyone disrespectfully? Certainly in private he could show his temper and did, but he never spoke down to people.

Obama constantly speaks down to people, both Republicans and Democrats. He showed unnecessary disrespect to Bill Clinton in front of a congressman from Arkansas who was what they used to call an FOB (friend of Bill.) The only people he deems worthy of respect are the guys on his staff who are even more disrespectful and rude. Even during his campaign, reporters complained of the rudeness of Obama and his staff, compared to the unfailing politeness and access of McCain and his people. At this stage, a conflict between Obama and McCain in the media might not go Obama's way.

The problem Obama faces on the heels of this so-called summit was his utter lack of presidential decorum. If the goal was to play hardball, put a hardball player in charge of the meeting. Try to rise above the fray. At least act like a president instead of a cranky professor or an irritated sewer committee chairman.


One more thing. The IOC needs to back off of the Canadian women's hockey team. They won a gold medal in the Olympics. Before this year that was considered a cause for celebration. Last week an American athlete was dispatched home after a picture turned up of a girl kissing the gold medal hung around his waist. This week the hockey team celebrated with champagne and cigars in the locker room (provided by whom? Probably some Olympic committee somewhere!) They were asked to return to the ice for pictures and they complied, some bringing their champagne and cigars with them.

The swig of champagne to celebrate a victory is traditional, at least in North American team sports. These women may never get the chance again to be world champions. What harm does it do to relax for five seconds and let these girls enjoy the moment? What harm would it do for the IOC, for once, to just keep its mouth shut when someone wins and enjoys it?

Now the IOC is investigating the drinking and smoking in public, especially since one of the women was 18 and under the British Columbia drinking age of 19. Yes, this is the big scandal. Not the death of an athlete on a dangerous track. Not the questionable judging of a number of events. Not the weird snub of an American skater for whatever reason. This is the big scandal.

The IOC is considering banning the Canadian team, today the pride of the host nation, from the closing events. If they do this, every Canadian holding a ticket should refuse to show as well, but not give the ticket away or sell it. Let the mass of empty seats be a protest.

Not Sure What To Make Of This, But It's Definitely Peculiar

The link below is to a Washington Times story about a strange event tucked deep within the American military establishment. The US Missile Defense Agency, for some darned reason, decided that it needed a new logo. It paid some company somewhere a lot of money (because our government has lots just lying around extra) to come up with something that looks like a cross between Obama's campaign logo and the Iranian Space Agency's emblem.
Why don't you all just pay some more money and add something that looks like a hammer and sickle? Our government HAS to stop wasting money on stupid crap. I'm not even all that irritated about the logo. I just don't understand the continual waste of money on crap that we do not need.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Without So Much As a Bayh Your Leave . . .

Recently Evan Bayh, the U. S. Senator who has worked most closely with Republicans over the years, announced in anger that he did not intend to seek another term. He described the growing acrimony within Congress as one reason, but also made veiled references to the overbearing nature of Obama. He was one of several Democrats who declined to run in 2010. One included a Democratic Senator from Arkansas still fuming over derogatory remarks made by Obama about President Clinton.

The "huff" from Senator Bayh was well documented and leading press outlets gave it a great deal of coverage. Much more coverage than any other Democratic congressman who announced his intention to not run. In politics things like this often happen for a reason.

Could that reason be that Senator Evan Bayh intends to run for President of the United States?

In 2012, the only way for the Democrats to hang onto the White House is to dump Obama. His arrogance, unpopularity, and failures do not recommend him for another try at the office. Democrats are abandoning him in droves. Now Bayh's nomination is not a sure thing. Many liberal Democrats see him in the same way that conservative Republicans see John McCain. There is respect, but also a sense that he is not committed to their principles.

He, however, represents one of their best chances of keeping the presidency. The midterm elections should be a guide. If, as is expected, Republicans make huge gains and even capture one house (in the process deposing Harry Reid) then all bets are off on an Obama renomination. He will probably have a primary fight once again. I would not doubt to see Hillary Clinton resign shortly after the midterm elections and woo Terry McCauliffe back into activity.

In any event, Obama is toast if these midterms go as most expect.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Senators Oppose Passing Legislation with the Nuclear Option in the Senate

The Nuclear Option is passing legislation in the Senate with only 51 votes. Senators oppose it as a power grab. Listen to them in their own words.

Got to Get This Off My Chest. I am Damned Proud to Be a Republican

I have to get this rant off my chest. I am tired of Republicans running around being attacked by Democrats for being too extreme and libertarians for being moderate. I'm tired of seeing good Republicans get bashed when they stray outside what some people say is the party line. And I think I know what the problem is.

It is about what we are looking for as a group to move us forward. We are looking for that once in a lifetime individual to capture the attention of all factions and lead the troops against the ramparts of Democratic socialists. We have the energy, the desire, and the fear of worse things in the future driving us, but we have lost our sense of what defines us. Part of that comes from people shying away from the word "Republican." We should remember what our party has stood for over the years and allow our history to help unify and define who we are.

Friends, let me say this. I am damned proud to be a registered member of the Republican Parties of West Virginia and the United States of America. I am always proud of that. I have identified myself as a Republican my entire life and I do not see that changing.

Why am I proud? My party freed the slaves and preserved the Union. It fought for civil rights for blacks. When recessions hit and Republicans held power, they generally (except for Herbert Hoover) stepped back and allowed for self-corrections that took less time than Democratic interventionism. My party supported the fight for freedom in Iraq and deposed one of history's most evil dictators. My party saved this nation from the malaise of Carter and when it seizes power from Obama it will be morning in America yet again. My party understood the evil and brutality of Communism and is fully responsible for setting in motion the events that led to hundreds of millions getting a chance at freedom. When an Iraqi, a Pole, an eastern German, or others in countless countries vote, they can thank in part the Republican Party. When a Democratic president called for America to respond to the Soviet threat and also provide aid to war torn Europe, the Republican Party responded.
For all this and more I am proud to be a Republican. This is what we are missing. Some concentrate on the hairs breadth differences that separate us, or the few who vote and act in ways that we do not like (but often do it for political rather than ideological reasons.) I want us to concentrate on our long history. There are times when we have not always lived up to our ideals. But they guide us nevertheless. Our forefathers of the Founding generation laid down principles that life, liberty, and property were to be protected by the government, not threatened by its lawless policies. We stand by those ideals even as others declare them anachronistic.

Today I am prouder than ever to be a Republican. They declared us dead in 2009, but we defied the pronouncements of the Left. Why? Because we want what the people want. We want an America where hard working people keep the rewards of work and risk. We want an America where anyone can dream of being rich, then work hard and make it happen, a place where wealth is a goal, not a dirty word.

We are Republicans. We are back. We should be proud of who we are, where we have come from, and where we are going.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thank You Keyser Police Department!

Thank you very much, Keyser Police Department. Last week a six month investigation came to fruition. Officers rammed their way into a home on lower D Street and found large amounts of cash and different kinds of drugs. They arrested individuals from Keyser, New York City, and elsewhere.

One reason for concern here is that the lower end of D Street is one that it's usually pretty difficult to drive through. It's one of those Meccas in town where young kids congregate and play. Of course these are kids whose parents keep an eagle eye on them regardless of what they are doing. However it has to be disconcerting to all the parents of children in the neighborhood that this was found in their midst.

I cannot fathom the foolishness of the drug dealers, though. Let's say you have drug money to rent or otherwise obtain a home. Why on earth do you put your crackhouse in a place that is within a quarter mile of the residences of several police officers, including the chief herself? Do you think that these people driving home from work or chatting with their neighbors are not going to see or hear something about you?

I'm not going to be overwhelmingly worried. My kid is one of the ones that is down that way every so often. I realize that parents are always keeping an ear to the street, that the kids are good and well behaved, and that the dealers want to keep a very low profile. However I am thankful that Keyser has a police department that is on the ball. Hopefully this bust sends a message that this sort of enterprise will not be tolerated in this town.

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

Colin Powell recently made an appeal to both major political parties to try and return to a spirit of bipartisanship and work together. I think this man has good intentions, but he has grown out of touch with the current political environment.

The fact is that at this point, the left has embarked on such an extreme path, Republicans have to fight tooth and nail because all of their ideas are bad. Left wingers embarked on an ideological blitz in Obama's first year, thinking they could shove at least some socialization into the American system. American voters wised up and started strongly opposing the whole program. The Republican Party, with a tradition of bipartisanship on most issues, followed suit.

There are three problems with working with Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.

First, the left is not operating from a philosophical foundation that has any basis in the traditions of our Founding Fathers. They honestly believe that they have the right to determine how much money you should keep. The rest they want to disperse in any way they see fit, in many cases to individuals and groups that they know will respond by voting for them in the next election. Asking the conservatives and libertarians in America to cooperate with the Left is like asking the police to work hand in hand and sing Kum Bayh Yah with criminal gangs who intend to break into people's homes to steal their valuables. The Left is all about theft. They want your money. How can we, in good conscience, work with these people?

Second, cooperation with the Left would destroy the Republican Party as we know it. Republicans lost credibility by forgetting their small government pledges while they ran Congress. The Left has helped the GOP regain momentum again because it has alienated the majority of the people in the Unietd States. Americans do not want socialized health care, cap and trade, 401k confiscation, or any other left wing big government program. What if the GOP did what it has historically done in most cases when fighting with liberals, bending over, receiving a smack with a paddle, and exclaiming "thank you sir, may I have another?" The party loses every shred of credibility because the people are demanding that someone stand up for them. They want someone, somewhere to stand up to the thieves stealing and wasting our money and exclaim STOP! If that someone is not the Republican Party, they will find someone who will.

Third, we are winning!!!! Time is on our side, yes it is! Democratic incumbents who have followed Obama in lockstep find themselves with primary opponents. Many have dropped out either in fear of losing to Republicans or out of disgust with their own party. What seemed impossible three weeks ago is now very possible, maybe even likely. Republicans could control the Senate, perhaps both houses after November.

With the people behind us, demanding that we keep moving aggressively against the left, why stop now? Colin Powell belongs to an older generation of Republicans with more gentility than aggressive spirit. He is a historical figure to be admired, not a political expert to be followed.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Miss Me Yet?

The billboards are going up all over and related merchandise cannot stay on the shelves in some parts of the country. What is so popular? An image of a cheerful, smiling George W. Bush beside the slogan "Miss me yet?

It seems like so long ago that Democrats basked in the glow of poor poll numbers. They loved to hate Bush. They ignored the successes in homeland security, diplomacy, and a strong economy for much of his presidency and focused on what they didn't like, his down home Middle American personality. They hated that, and by extension hated us for liking him.

The smile in that picture is poignant. It reminds us of a time when our home values were rising, our stocks were in good shape, and we had confidence that the government had no intention of taking too much of our hard earned money. We all felt that way five years ago, at least about our prospects as individuals and as a prosperous economy.

The economic slump has been upon us now for years. The Fed tells us it is recovering, but jobless numbers either remain the same or get worse depending on who you are. Meanwhile Obama has destroyed the hard earned respect Bush created in the world while spending way too much of our money, demanding more in taxes from almost all of us, and making us subservient through debt to our ideological enemies. What has Obama done that inspires hope or confidence? Jack squat.

The unthinkable only a year ago is now being openly debated at CPAC. Discussions are taking place in the serious media about a presidential run by Dick Cheney. I cannot imagine a more difficult candidate to sell. He is opinionated, abrasive, and has a perpetually cocky look on his face. His speeches are blunt, honest, and have zero finesse by design. In other words Cheney is the kind of person that we claim we want as president, but never elect.

Why are people talking like this? Because we do miss the Bush years. We want the confident and strong America that he always talked about. We would like to have that without the tendency towards government solutions that Bush all too often embraced. We have also seen the alternative, a country led by incompetent and arrogant left wingers hell bent on driving us over a cliff despite public outrage. People are also remembering that times started going tough when the Democrats took Congress. Cheney is the most visible of the former administration.

Dick Cheney as president? He is not my first choice personally, despite the fact that I have mentioned him twice in the past week. Then again, I am not sure who my first choice is. That may be the other opening Cheney needs if he intends to run.

Sunday, February 21, 2010