Thursday, November 4, 2010

Watching the Andrew Johnsonization of the President

In 1865, Andrew Johnson entered the White House after the assassination of President Lincoln. High hopes surrounded the presidency even without Lincoln. Some wanted punishment for the South, others wanted leniency. Some called for treating blacks fairly and getting them a new start, others were not as concerned.
Lincoln wanted lenient treatment for Southerners, but also did not impede the progress of his military's seizures of Confederate military and government officials' property for redistribution to blacks. It seemed like a fair punishment for taking arms against the Union, although it was not yet clear whether or not Confederates would face trial.
Johnson followed the leniency policy and forget about the blacks, taking control of Reconstruction. Northerners grew increasingly angry that the South seemed to face no punitive measures for starting the war. Those concerned about the fate of blacks saw legal proscription and impoverishment approaching for them.
Republicans stepped in by 1866 and started blocking Johnson. He reacted wildly, ranting about individuals such as Charles Sumner. Johnson actually made a national figure of the radical Thaddeus Stevens, representative of Pennsylvania, by condemning him so often. Moderates who might have compromised with Johnson recoiled at his bitterness and lack of decorum in speechmaking. The summer and fall of 1866 found Johnson speaking through hecklers and physical threats to support Democratic candidates. Republicans increased their majorities substantially. From 1867 until the end, Congress put Johnson in a box, but overplayed their hand in trying to impeach and remove him from office.
Are there enough angry Democratic moderates in both houses to join with the GOP and put Obama in his place? That remains to be seen, but a repudiation of Harry Reid by a coalition of Democrats and Republicans would be a great start.
Something to watch for. Wait and see if Hillary Clinton doesn't leave office within six months.

Generally Speaking, George Will Says It Better Than Almost Anyone. Obama's Interpretation of the Election

Will is, in this piece, writing on the theme articulated by F. A. Hayek, that planning leads to a government of, for, and by appointed experts, not the people or their elected representatives. Shriking government means getting rid of many of the expert planners. If it is too complicated for Congress and the President, we ought to sometimes argue whether the government should be involved at all.

In my experience, it is difficult for some leftists and liberals to hold a discussion. They believe that their principles are right and people will come to their side if they will only use reason. They do not understand that others can use reason and come to opposing conclusions. I understand the logic behind liberal and left wing arguments. I disagree with their conclusions about human nature and their lack of belief in individual rights.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More Election Thoughts. Picking Up Seven in the House

Another Republican triumph that emerged this morning was the fact that the GOP picked up seven House of Delegates seats.
This shows that the message about Democratic control of the State Legislature for eighty years combined with consistent last place economic finishes is bearing fruit. West Virginians would call for the heads of a WVU or Marshall coach that always finished 4th or 5th, but have historically not voted differently when Coach Democrat always had us in last place.
Controlling the State Legislature will go a long way twoards changing the dynamic of this state and making it more prosperity friendly. We took a first step towards that change this year. Let us hope that 2012 gets us farther towards that goal.

Election Thoughts

First thought. Congratulations to the Mineral County Republican Executive Committee, Potomac Highlands Patriots Tea Party, volunteers, and candidates. This was a huge amount of effort that resulted in a conservative sweep in Mineral County. Great job, folks!

Mineral County's closest race was between Gary Howell and Charles Messick. Howell won by about ten percentage points. Richard "Doc" Lechliter defeated Wayne Spiggle for county commission by about twelve points. The other Mineral County numbers and percentages were much, much higher.

Thank you Lauren Ellifritz, Mineral County Clerk. Last night we saw that there was a very heavy turnout. Her staff, helped by Rose Ann Maine, Mary Margaret Rinehart, Janice LaRue, Cindy Pyles, and others made the election night go very, very smoothly. Thanks again, Lauren and everyone else!

Thank you to all the volunteers who got almost all the signs up last night. Some people do not mind them, but to other citizens they are an imposition that they tolerate becauseof the season. Getting the signs up quickly ensures that we retain their goodwill.

The narrow John Raese defeat, if seen from August, should be considered a Republican victory of sorts. Joe Manchin successfully deflected the message of the race away from his pro Obama statements and towards Raese himself and the Republican campaign. That is why he ultimately won. That all being said, who would have predicted that this race would have gotten this close three months ago?

Across the state, we saw some legislative setbacks. Craig Blair, a well known GOP figure, may have lost in his bid to jump from the House of Delegates to the State Senate in the Eastern Panhandle. The race is still statistically 50-50 with the mercurial John Unger leading by a few hundred votes. Mitch Carmichael's delegate race was much closer than it ought to have been in a district that is mostly Jackson County, but at this point he looks to have won. Former delegate Debbie Stevens was unable to regain the 46th from incumbent Stan Shaver. Republicans also failed to do well in the 57th and 58th districts in Jefferson County. Republicans certainly did better across the state in areas where they have not enjoyed success for some time. Over the next two years, the party needs to focus on local committees and get them up to the fight in every single county. Gary Howell's brief tenure as Mineral County chair demonstrated what can be done on the local level. Thousands of voter guides were distributed on foot and through the newspapers. Door to door walks were done on behalf of several candidates. The committee organized sign distribution and pick ups in a systematic fashion. Unopposed candidates, such as Krista Dixon and Lauren Ellifritz, remained involved throughout the fall with party functions. This is evidence of what can be done by the committees across the state.

Also do not forget the Tea Party. They held dinners and had some of the largest Tea Party rallies in the entire state. They participated in candidate walks. They raised money and paid for billboards in Keyser and the northern part of the county. Their activity was an essential part of victory last night for Republicans in this county. It could not have been done without their work and support. When Tea Parties and Republicans get behind good candidates instead of sniping at each other, they can do great things. The Tea Party brought people into politics who might otherwise have not been involved. Republicans need to recognize how essential the Tea Party movement has been and follow through on promises made to fight for smaller government and the expansion of freedom.

David McKinley, barring any surprise in any recount, seems to have won a slender victory over Mike Oliverio. This was a seat held by Democrats for a very long time. It reflects frustration with federal anti-mining and industrial policies combined with the growing affluence of Morgantown and Fairmont. McKinley is the star of the moment and the biggest success of this election, so long as Democratic lawyers don't find a way to steal the victory from him.

So both locally and across the state, we have a lot of work to do. Election day may be closer than we think. There is a chance of having a special gubernatorial election early next year. In any event, 2012 is closer than we think.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stop Reading! Go Vote

This means you!!!

Potomac Highlands Conservative will return tomorrow.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dude, Where's My Money? or "Da Planes, Boss! Da Planes!"

Forty planes, folks. Forty of them. Barack Obama is taking forty planes to India.

Why? They claim it is for security. Security? We need to pay for forty planes???

When James Madison went to war with Algiers, we only sent ten ships. These were enough to win the war. Now we need forty large planes to protect one man? I don't care what party the president is from or who he is. No one needs forty planes worth of protection.

They say that he has to take several specially made vehicles to form his motorcade. Fine. Wouldn't all of them fit on one or two C-130s? You could probably stuff a lot of the security detail on those planes as well.

Indian media have already pointed out that Obama will be the first to use a teleprompter in the Indian Parliament, many making that reference with obvious scorn.


Speaking of scorn, Jon Stewart called the president "Dude" on his show the other night. We have come a long way from George Washington, who while president once greeted his friend's friendly and public slap on the back with a look of cold anger and scorn. A president must be accessible, but also dignified. When presidents feel that they have to appear on comedy shows, this is what they should expect to happen. Of course this is a desperate Obama. He would have done more for his image to appear on Hannity and answer tough questions honestly.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

If You Are Still Thinking of Voting For A Democrat For House of Representatives This Year, Consider This . . .

Nancy Pelosi has a $19,000 per MONTH apartment in Washington D. C.

Guess who pays for it?


Vote David McKinley and Spike Maynard for Congress on Tuesday. Pelosi is unacceptable!