Thursday, May 26, 2011

Confessions of an Active Eastern Panhandle Republican

Bill Maloney is our party's nominee for governor. After his nomination, I put up some information about him and tried to say some favorable things about his campaign.

I have a few problems though.

As an active Republican, I know Betty Ireland and Clark Barnes. I know Ireland and Barnes to be good and ethical people. They have spoken at our dinners, socialized with us, shared their vision of what this state ought to be waaayyy before they ran for governor. We have been much obliged to these folks over the years for being there for the Republican Party almost any time we asked.

We don't know Bill Maloney. At least not over here.

We did not see much of him here. All I have heard about are the negative ads and backbiting with the Ireland and Barnes campaigns. Fair or unfair, insiders are not happy. Insiders don't decide primary elections, but they do help an awful lot in the general elections. Most of us could not take sides during the primary and actively help our man or woman of choice. But now the question is, can Maloney win the hearts and minds of the party insiders, the ones who do the walking, the talking, the phone calls, and everything else?

Party "insiders" always have a bad name. Images of insiders make you think of smoke filled rooms and machinations to try and get around the honest voters. This isn't the case. "Insiders" are simply folks who devote a lot more time to organizing, fundraising, and other aspects of party and campaign needs. They are usually the same small businessmen, professionals, students, and others that you see every day. And very few of them smoke. They have experience and commitment. These are the people that help make campaigns work. And for Maloney to have a victorious campaign, he must work hard to get as many of them enthusiastically in his corner as possible after a contentious primary. David McKinley had to do the same thing, and he healed wounds very well. Maloney needs to do the same

I want to see a Republican in the governor's mansion. An October victory could start a momentum swing that could help Republicans equal in 2012 their gains in 2010. But I really want to know more about Bill Maloney. The Potomac Highlands has areas which could serve as a strong Republican base. He needs to come here and talk to our active Republicans and tell us his plans, both for the campaign and for his tenure as governor. He needs to smooth over relations with his competitors for the nomination, also. Barnes and Ireland particularly have strong following among the active committee member Republicans whose help will be very important between now and October.

In other words, he has a huge job to do. But we need to see him in person.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Origin of Our Debt Problem

A long, long time ago, our c ountry and the rest of the industrialized world enjoyed rapid explosions of production, wealth, and standards of living connected to the Industrial Revolution. Like a cart pulled by a team of Clydesdales, industry broughtus into the 20th century fast and strong. People had high expectations for the social utility of the money that could be made. They also assumed that no matter what happened, companies would always want to manufacture in the good ol' US of A.

Expectations and assumptions became part of the problem. We always assumed that the team could pull more weight, add more burdens, and would still be able to muscle through. Bureaucracy, stringent environmental regulations, taxes, and thousands more requirements from three and sometimes four separate levels of government have taken their toll. Manufacturing has left our shores for more congenial environments. The wealth created is being siphoned off quickly by our government because it assumes that our economy will always be able to handle the burden.

Well, our industrial economy no longer can. The horses are foaming and stumbling. They need relief from the weight we have demanded that they carry. Democrats want to throw off thimblefulls and moderate Republicans propose cupfulls. We need to toss a lot more off of the cart to get the economy moving efficiently again.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Obama's Neville Chamberlain Moment

Supporters of Barack Obama cannot be enjoying the two-step they have to perform to stay with their guy.

Not that long ago, their champion soared in the polls (well, maybe not soared) after the killing of Bin Laden. Most Americans cheered the kill and gave the president at least partial credit for the decision to kill and not capture. Now, Obama wants our most important Middle East ally to hand over their fortified frontiers to an enemy that has vowed to destroy them.

In some ways, this looks like the Munich Conference of 1938. Neville Chamberlain eagerly signed over to Hitler the fortified boundary lines between Czechoslovakia and Germany. He called the policy appeasement and promised that it brought "peace in our time." All it brought was an accelerated timetable to start World War II because Europe's biggest terrorist sensed weakness in the Western Democracies.

Many Palestinians want peace, but much of their leadership remains bent upon the destruction of Israel. At least Chamberlain had the excuse of believing (falsely as it turns out) that Hitler had superior strength and would have declared war to get what he wanted. Obama has nothing to fear from Palestinian rock throwers, but he might sense that the Moslem vote will put him over the top in Michigan and that Jewish voters will overlook his abandonment of them.

This is a pattern though. Obama dislikes our allies and embraces our enemies, even if they are terrorists or dictators. It is amazing that he made such a major foreign policy speech without any consultation with Israel. It simply shows that our nation, yet again, has no direction or cohesion in foreign policy. And that Obama is bound and determined to leave us friendless when he exits office in 2013.

Randy Moss Gives Back

Fame is fleeting, even for NFL superstars. You only get one chance to make a good first impression. Randy Moss made several bad impressions even before he started his professional career and these have tarnished his image ever since.

Moss beat down a high school student the spring before he graduated from high school, went to jail, and lost his chance to play for the legendary Lou Holtz at Notre Dame. Other issues lost him a scholarship to play for Bobby Bowden at Florida State. Choice number three, Don Nehlen's West Virginia Mountaineers, passed on him and he ended up playing two years with Chad Pennington and Marshall.

Since then he has been accused of being an individual in a team sport, putting himself first, often holding back on giving full effort. But those are on the field and in the locker room issues. Off the field, he has been giving back. For the past few years, he has run smoothie stores in Charleston, often extending employment offers to troubled kids. Moss often tells reporters that when he wants to kick back and relax, he goes back to his hometown of Rand.

Last week, Moss traveled to Salem to meet the children incarcerated there. Often times we forget about these kids who come from some pretty rough places and have done some pretty bad things. Moss didn't forget. He spoke to every child there, including those in the maximum security wing. He talked about his misdeeds and how you rise above them.

We're quick to condemn when they screw up. But let's remember to praise when they give back to their communities and their state.

Thank you Randy Moss. Well done.