“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Single Editorial Changes My Primary Vote

As June draws near, the New Jersey Republican party will select a candidate who will try to oust the failed Democratic governor, Jon Corzine.

As of a month ago, I don't think I really had any clear notion of whether I'd vote for Chris Christie, a former US attorney, or Steve Lonegan, a former Bergen county town mayor.

Beginning about a month ago, televised ads on cable channels began to appear in large numbers for Christie. It painted him as a desirable, attractive conservative candidate. He even appeared on Neil Cavuto's program on Fox News last week. In that appearance, Christie roundly criticized his opponent, Lonegan, as wanting to raise taxes.

Then I read this weekend Wall Street Journal's editorial, written by a columnist for the local newspaper. According to that piece, Christie is really a traditional New Jersey GOP moderate, in the vein of Whitman and Kean. That is, they are socially liberal and spend too much money, but want to cut taxes.

But even that isn't the worst of what I read about Christie. According to the Newark Star-Ledger's Paul Mulshine, Christie has had some questionable dealings with law firms during his years as a US attorney. It is alleged that sweetheart contracts were let to old colleagues, and that Christie's brother, Todd, was given a lighter sentence than others found guilty of illegal front running, in deference to Mr. Christie's position and influence.

There's always the question of Mr. Mulshine's own objectivity, given that the Star-Ledger is hardly a conservative paper.

But, in just a few minutes, my certainty about voting for Christie vanished. I'll have to do some digging online now to get a better sense of both candidates.

As bad as Corzine is- and he's totally inept- I don't want another rerun of Christie Whitman's moderate politics. This state needs serious damage control and repair, and fast. A moderate masquerading as a conservative just to win the GOP nomination for governor is not going to get the job done.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Who Cares What Colin Powell Thinks About The GOP?

A lot has been made this week of Colin Powell's somber judgments about the Republican party. Powell is the toast of the liberal media for claiming that the Republicans have lost their way and need to moderate, return to the political center, etc., etc., etc.

Excuse me, but didn't Powell support Wonderboy in the last election? Hardly what I'd call a solid conservative, is he? He cut and run over race.

And, if memory serves, Powell was the wimpy moderate at State who tried to mess up president Bush's strategies in his first term.

Powell has served in Republican administrations, but the further he's gotten from his army years, the more centrist and placating he's become. Nobody has ever accused him of having a strong conservative orientation.

As a British conservative guest on Hannity noted on Wednesday evening, nobody has ever heard Powell articulate a clear vision on anything. How can he possibly counsel the GOP on this?

Instead, as that guest, and Ann Coulter noted on O'Reilly, earlier that evening, the GOP is not the same as the size of group of Americans who consider themselves conservatives. The number of registered Republicans has always been less than the base that votes for the party's candidates. Especially in those states, one of in which I was raised (Illinois), which allow for voters to register as independents, but vote in the primary of their choice.

As one Fox News pundit noted, Reagan, and other successful candidates, succeed by moving the center to their end of the spectrum, not by moving to the center. For example, it was noted that Dole, McCain and Bush senior all lost election or re-election as moderates. The more the Republicans listen to the NY Times and move left, the more they get creamed.

Powell is completely wrong. Which is why the liberal media is playing up his comments so much. But Colin Powell is no conservative, and probably not a Republican, either.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

New Haven's Fire Department Reverse Racial Discrimination Case

Funny how the New Haven fire department's little reverse-racism case has left the media so quickly, isn't it?

Only two weeks ago, an editorial on the subject appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

The case, if you've forgotten, involves a test given by the New Haven fire department to promote members to the ranks of lieutenant and captains. Among the highest-scoring candidates, who would have been promoted, were latinos and whites, but no blacks.

So the New Haven civil service board threw out the results as racially unacceptable.

Of course, we all know that, had the opposite occurred, and no whites, nor latinos were promoted, it would have been business as usual, and the results would have been certified.

Isn't this a natural case for the First Rookie to swoop in and declare New Haven wrong, in the spirit of post-partisan racial healing?

Not on you life. Wonderboy's racist solutions still only cut one way- and it's not a colorblind way.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Blaming America

The Wall Street Journal's Dorothy Rabinowitz wrote a wonderful column on April 22nd entitled "Obama Blames America."

Her editorial catalogues the new low to which our current president has sunk in his serial and expansive, named criticism of those who have preceded him in the office, including George W. Bush and Harry Truman.

The president's lengthy confessions of imagined sins of America to audiences abroad speak, once more, to his self-delusional rock star image, which evidently has replaced, if it ever were present, the self-image of representing our country as its senior statesman.

I believe Ms. Rabinowitz is correct when she closes her piece with the passage,

"Since that bridge too far to Europe, ordinary Americans, including some who voted for Mr. Obama, have shown evidence of a quiet but durable resentment over the list of grievances against the United States that the president brought to the world's attention while overseas. There are certain things that can't be taken back. There are images that are hard to forget. Anger of this kind has an enduring power that could, in the end, haunt this presidency."

It's a big mistake for a president to presume a mandate that was never given, nor won. Despite Wonderboy's remonstration to Republican Congressman Eric Cantor that the former can ignore the latter's suggestions because "I won," it doesn't work that way, for long, in our democracy.

He didn't win a mandate to repudiate every, or any, former presidents' actions. As many of my friends, and several pundits have remarked, that is a distinguishing characteristic of a banana republic, i.e., the criminalization of policy disagreements.

Most Americans didn't vote for a president so that he could accuse their country of imagined sins, simply to curry favor with foreigners. Anyone who criticizes Harry Truman's decision to use the atomic bomb merely displays his incredible ignorance of the realities of the time, and of the history of that era.

Can you imagine those overseas speeches in which he blames America for various sins being used in upcoming campaigns?

Such a person is, I think, simply unfit to hold the office of president. As Ms. Rabinowitz suggests, these faux-confessions are very likely to have a seriously negative effect on this president in the next months and several years.

Monday, May 4, 2009

What's In A Name? The New Progressives

It's funny how the manner in which something is named can be so important, yet misleading.

Take, for example, the early-twentieth century "Progressive" movement. In reality, as a recent Wall Street Journal book review noted, as has Judge Andrew Napolitano on Fox News, the movement was nothing less than anti-Constitutional.

Would many Americans have flocked to the "anti-Constitutionalists" banner? Probably nowhere near as many as backed the Progressive movement.

In fact, the term has become so twisted and misunderstood that Hillary Clinton labeled herself a "Progressive," and, in the same speech before Congress, went on to heap accolades on the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, as an earlier Progressive who was as important to our Republic as Thomas Jefferson. But a guest on a Fox News program discussed her recent book about Sanger, exposing the latter as a proponent of eugenics. The discussion revealed that Sanger's movement was primarily aimed at one group controlling another's reproductive rights. The author displayed photos from her book showing Sanger speaking at Klan rallies. Stripped to its essence, the birth control movement was- and still often is- all about limiting the propagation of the poor, or anyone else considered unfit by those who can exercise such control.

If Planned Parenthood were called, instead, "Birth Control for the Lower Classes," how many in this country would back government funding for its initiatives?

The fight over abortion is similar. Mainstream media always refer to those supporting the delivery of fetuses as "anti-abortion," rather than "pro-life." Using the 'anti' descriptor conveys a sense of negativism and nihilism.

For those of us with good educations who are well-read, these names are less misleading. But for many others who vote, the naming conventions matter. It sounds modern and sensible to be 'progressive,' until you learn more about some of the values and explicit intent of the founders of the movement, including Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.

There's an unfortunate strain of rights-trampling populism in our country's history that seems to raise its ugly head in times of economic strains. The socialism of FDR occurred at such a time, as did Huey Long's companion campaign for the common man. In no time at all, the good of the masses is used as a reason to begin removing protections for individual rights to property and liberty which are enshrined in our Constitution.

Thus, it's troubling, yet not surprising, to hear Hillary Clinton declare herself a new Progressive. The values she's displayed since her husband's presidency certainly align her with those who would strip us all of our individual liberties for the benefit of the masses.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Real Problem with Wonderboy's Agenda

I wrote this post Friday on the topic of the speed and nature of Wonderboy's administration's efforts to engineer social change in the US.

However, in discussing this again, at length, with a friend this weekend, he related Ben Stein's comments on a recent appearance on Neil Cavuto's Fox News program.

Stein noted that the underlying problem with this administration, the prior one, and the Congress, is its unconstitutional behavior.

The takings of AIG, summary firing of GM's CEO, without being a shareholder, and forcible injection of government into our large banks, are all basically violations of the Constitution.

Friday's Glenn Beck program reiterated this. His studio audience, drawn from tax day tea parties, unanimously voiced a dissatisfaction with the manner in which neither party, nor the major media, will listen to the concerns of average voters. Or their complaints that so much of the federal government's recent behavior is simply not constitutional.

This seems to be the primary concern. If there were open, long and deep debate about major policy changes, e.g., energy, health care, financial industry structure, transportation, large deficit spending, that would be one thing. If Congressmen were spending significant time with their constituents and state governments discussing the costs, benefits and merits of these programs, at least voters would feel that their elected representatives were seriously airing the impacts of changes.

Instead, the whole matter has the feel of a unilateral federal imposition of some disembodied will on an unconsulted electorate.

The nature of recent federal action, including president Bush's last year, has been ever more intrusion by government into the private sector, rather than erring on the side of more personal freedom and rights.

With Bush, it was, I think, more accident and short-termism than carefully planned federal expansion. With Wonderboy, I think it's the latter. And so, I think, do a lot of other voters.