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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Coming Crackup of the Democratic Party?

      The Coming Crackup of the Democratic Party?

No, I haven’t been drinking and as far as I can tell, I haven’t lost my mind (perhaps I’m not a good judge of that).  Yes, I know the Democrats are just coming off a huge election victory.  Nevertheless, I believe the Democratic Party is as unstable as Ozone.  You remember high school chemistry, don’t you?  Oxygen (O2) is stable, but Ozone (O3) is unstable and tends to break down into Oxygen. 

The Democratic Party is constructed differently than the Republican Party.  It is a party of special interest coalitions—unions, blacks, Hispanics, homosexuals, prairie radicals (the anti-war crowd), feminists, enviro-crazies, and assorted die-hard Democrats that haven’t noticed that their party is no longer the party of Harry Truman.  Their route to political success is satisfying the gimmie, gimmie, gimmie demands of these often conflicting constituencies.

The Republican Party, on the other hand, is focused on the individual and has a common philosophy of limited government, a strong national defense, maximum individual freedom, and a moral America.  (No, I’m not saying that all Democrats are immoral—but they do have a different standard of morals from the Ten Commandments.)  Yes, there are groups in the GOP who are more interested in one aspect of this vision than the other parts, but when led by a true conservative, they not only rally behind that individual, but work in a semblance of harmony together as they did when Ronald Reagan was President.

Accordingly, Ronald Reagan ran as a conservative and governed as a conservative and won twice with overwhelming majorities.  This is the Republican Party’s formula for victory and it works because it appeals to a majority of Americans, regardless of their race, education, financial status, age, or other unimportant characteristics.  It’s about a common philosophy, not about what one group or another can get out of government.  Conservatives believe in American exceptionalism and preserving the nation as the beacon of freedom and the land of opportunity.  It is an inherently stable political formula.

The truth is that the Democrats have always had trouble holding together their coalitions.  In 1948, George McGovern bolted the Democratic Party to work for and vote for Norman Thomas who ran for President on the Socialist Party ticket.  By the way, Thomas dissolved the Socialist Party after he recognized that all the planks of his Socialist platform had been adopted by the Democratic Party.  In fact, he said, "The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism, they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened."  In this one case, I have to agree with Norman Thomas, but I’m getting off the topic.

In 1948, the Roosevelt coalition not only split to the left with George McGovern, but it also broke off to the right with Strom Thurmond heading up the Dixicrat Party ticket.  In 1968, the Democratic Party imploded with the anti-war prairie radicals attacking the Democratic President, Lyndon Johnson.

OK, so that’s old history.  What does it have to do with today?  Here’s the problem with being a far-left candidate for President supported by a patchwork quilt of weirdos and lefties:  You have to run to the right promising tax cuts, a strong national defense and strong support for the Second Amendment to win the election.  However, if you don’t govern far to the left, your coalition not only breaks up, it turns on you.  The far-left will tolerate running to the right and advocating tax cuts and a strong national defense in order to get their guy elected, but they won’t tolerate for a minute his failing to fulfill every wild, left-wing wish on their list.

If Obama goes far-left, he will run into opposition from within his own party (the so-called “blue dog” Democrats) and he will lose millions of Americans who will conclude they have been duped.  However, if he doesn’t govern far-left, his various special interest groups will turn on him.  What a pickle! 

If Obama doesn’t immediately pull out of Iraq—Whammo!  He will get pounded by the far-left.  If he does pull out of Iraq and undercut our victory there, he will lose the confidence of the majority of the American people.

If he doesn’t immediately close down Guantanamo—Whammo!  He will get slammed by the left!  If he does shut “Gitmo” down and terrorists are set free, he will get slammed by the American people.
If he doesn’t silence talk radio by re-imposing the inappropriately called “Fairness Doctrine,” he will get slammed again.  If he does shut down talk radio, he will lose more support.

If he doesn’t sign anti-gun legislation into law, he will be condemned by the left.  If he does sign anti-gun rights legislation, he will lose a critical element of his die-hard Democrat base.

If the economic plight of minorities doesn’t quickly improve under President Obama, he’ll be labeled a turncoat and worse.  If the general economy slides into a deep recession or a depression, he will own it.  This is not 1932.  The guy in office will carry the blame.

If he doesn’t sign protectionist legislation the unions want, they will abandon him.  If he does sign protectionist legislation similar to the disastrous Smoot-Hawley bill signed by Hoover, he will send the nation into a depression.

Here’s another small observation.  Big victories like Johnson in 1964 and Nixon in 1972 typically lead to overreaching and thus to political disaster.  Can a Chicago machine politician really run a scandal free administration?  Not likely.

For these reasons and others, I think the Obama Administration has big problems ahead.  Yes, they will tax and tax and spend and spend, but that will only drive the economy downward and alienate more of the folks who voted for him.  Yes, the Dems will probably pass some form of socialized medicine.  But there will be a heavy price to pay in four years, maybe even in two years.  In fact, don’t be surprised if the GOP does well in Virginia’s 2009 off-year election.

The Republicans may have their problems, but at least they have shining stars on the horizon who have a coherent conservative philosophy.  These stars include Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, among others. 

It will certainly be interesting to watch.  Getting elected President and being adored by the mainstream media is the easy part.  Now comes the hard part—governing.  President-elect Obama and all elected officials certainly need and deserve our prayers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Good Decisions vs. Bad Decisions

            Good Decisions vs. Bad Decisions

Let me get this straight.  A bunch of bankers made bad decisions (encouraged by liberal Democrat politicians) to give loans to people who couldn’t afford them.  Now you and I (who apparently did not make bad decisions) are supposed to bail them out with our hard earned dollars so they can make more bad decisions.  In other words, those who made good decisions are supposed to bail out those who made bad decisions.

Do you and I need any more reason not to put our trust in government?  The marketplace makes very good (not perfect) decisions in regard to the allocation of resources and in regard to what products and services consumers want and need.  The government (at all levels) inevitably makes bad decisions because they are driven by politics, not the marketplace.

What you and I need is less, not more, government (which also translates into more, not less, individual freedom).  We don’t need liberal politicians using the power of government to mandate loans to individuals who can’t afford them.  When someone or some company makes wrong decisions they should go out of business.

I have a little sympathy for US auto makers (just a little) because it was the government that created scarcity in the supply of oil by not drilling and thus drove up the price of fuel.  Our domestic manufacturers were making good money selling SUVs and now, because of government interference, they are going bankrupt.  You can argue that they should have seen the handwriting on the wall, but they didn’t.

Sorry, no bail out for the auto companies or steel or whoever else has their hand out.  Government interference in the marketplace, including so-called “stimulus packages,” only drive the economy further downhill.

Jack Kemp has said, “If you subsidize something you get more of it.  If you tax something, you get less of it.”  The inclination to tax producing Americans more and successful businesses more will simply result in a worse economy.  Or to put it more simply, if you tax success, you get less of it.

What will happen?  Who knows?

Higher taxes will surely make the economy worse.  Just how foolish or how wise will the new Congress and the new Administration be?  Hold on to your hat (or should I say wallet), it’s going to be a wild ride!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

John McCain

                            John McCain

There’s no doubt about it, John McCain is an American hero.  He was faithful and loyal to his country even under the most awful and difficult circumstances.  He loves the United States of America and has proven that he would be willing to lay down his life for his country. 

Perhaps, however, his decision to enter into politics was not the right one for him.  He certainly has good intentions, but the erratic political positions he has taken during his time in Congress present a picture of a man with little or no political philosophy.  His rudderless performance inclines me to believe that he is not well-read.  He clearly has no coherent political philosophy.  It has been said that Ronald Reagan could “govern from inside a closet.”  Why?  Because he had a well-formed philosophy of life and understood history and human nature.

It must be very confusing to be in office and not have any understanding of the foundations of a free society.  “What position should I take on an issue?”  John McCain, like liberal Republicans before him—Dewey, Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Dole, Bush 1 & 2—confuse intelligence for understanding.  The last smart, intelligent, articulate counselor in the room holds sway and determines their course of action. 

Those few liberal Republicans who win not only fail as Presidents, but also set the stage for the decline of the Republican Party as we witnessed in the most recent election.  In 1952, liberal Republicans stole the nomination from Robert Taft and instead selected the war hero, Dwight Eisenhower.  Ike, a likeable fellow, proceeded to expand government dramatically.  Nixon, an early hero of the right, turned out to be a cardboard hero, who was fortunately defeated by John F. Kennedy, a rare tax-cutting Democrat.  When Nixon was eventually elected President, he once again expanded government far beyond that of Kennedy and took foreign policy initiatives that Hubert Humphrey could never have gotten by with.  Ford was absolutely lost in office and didn’t even know that Poland was a part of the Warsaw Pact.  Bush ’41 abandoned the successful policies of Ronald Reagan to return to the failed policies of raising taxes.  Dole provided further evidence of moderate Republican failure at the polls.  Bush ’43 was successful in being elected by waltzing in the shadow of Ronald Reagan, but then allowed government to grow exponentially under his failed administration.

Could John McCain have won if he wasn’t an advocate of amnesty for illegal aliens?  Could he have won if he had not participated in the obstruction of the nomination of conservative judges?  Could he have won if he wasn’t on the anti-intellectual side of the global warming debate?  Could he have won if he had not opposed tax cuts?  Could he have won if he had advocated drilling in ANWR?  Could he have won if he did not have a track record of expanding government?  Could he have won if he had attacked Jeremiah Wright?  Could he have won if he had opposed the bail out?  Could he have won if he had presented a choice, not an echo, to the American people?

We will never know.

But we do know this—liberal Republicans from Dewey to Nixon to Ford to Bush ’41 to Dole to McCain lose elections.  The voters aren’t stupid.  Why vote for an imitation liberal when you can have the real thing from the Democratic Party?  Even when liberal Republicans win, the country loses, just not as much as it does when a Democrat wins.

If the Republican Party is to have a future, it must nominate candidates from the courthouse to the White House who believe in limited government and present a choice to the voters.  What good does an endorsement from The Washington Post or The New York Times do in the primary, when you know you will be savaged by them in the general election?

We must quit listening to counsel from those who do not have the best interest of the Republican Party at heart.  Our rallying cry must be, “No more liberal Republican losers!” 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President-Elect Barack Obama

   President-Elect Barack Obama

Congratulations to President-Elect Barack Obama on his huge election triumph.  And congratulations on a victory speech which focused on bringing America together. 

It is now evident from the results that the Obama campaign had a wonderful “ground game” in getting out their vote, that they had an incredible fund raising machine, and we know, of course, that Barack Obama is indeed an articulate and moving spokesman.

The results show something else.  America is clearly not a racist nation as has been portrayed by news commentators and by Senator Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright.  America is truly a wonderful land peopled by citizens who are imperfect, yet have a long history of optimism and good will.  Politically speaking, it is now clear that being an African-American was actually a benefit to Obama being elected President.  Yes, there is a tiny minority of people in our land that engage in hatred, for that is what racism is all about.  While such racism is to be deplored, the reality is that no government can eradicate sin.  In the 1930s, Stalin boasted of the “New Soviet Man” who would be devoid of the evils of human nature, but we all know that effort failed and resulted in one of the worst tyrannies in the history of the world.  Those who seek utopia always create a living hell on earth.

A victory of the size achieved by Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress will call up the word “mandate,” but a mandate for what is the question.

It was certainly a mandate for change, but what change?

President-Elect Obama does not have a mandate for many things that are the goals of his leftish allies in Congress or those of his past friends like David Ayres and Bernadine Dorn. 

He does not have a mandate to raise taxes.

He does not have a mandate to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms.

He does not have a mandate to abandon our valiant troops in Iraq or Afghanistan.

He does not have a mandate to curtail free speech by re-imposing the un-“Fairness Doctrine.”

He does not have a mandate to undermine the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman.

He does not have a mandate to block domestic drilling.
How do I know this?  In his words and writing, Barack Obama said he would not raise taxes, not abridge the Second Amendment, not abandon our troops, not curtail free speech by driving talk radio off the air and said he would support offshore drilling.

The fact is that Obama ran to the right in order to get elected.  He was aided and abetted in his election by an ineffective Republican nominee who ran to the left, rather down the road to victory followed by Ronald Reagan.

If Barack Obama is to unify our nation and not end up as a one-term, failed administration like that of Jimmy Carter, he must abandon his radical views of the past.  He must move to the real center of our nation—a God-fearing people who believe in America’s promise and a government of laws under the United States Constitution.  His prayer at the Wailing Wall gives some small hope that this young man will govern wisely.  Here are his words:

“Lord, protect my family and me.  Forgive me my sins and help me guard against pride and despair.  Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just.  And make me an instrument of Your will.”
If he can put behind his radical past, the Obama Administration can be a successful one.  Yes, this is hard to imagine, but we must hope and pray that this will be true.

In Romans 13:1, I am admonished by Paul to do the following:

“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

I plan give my new president the respect he deserves as the duly elected leader of our nation and I intend to pray for him—for his health, his safety, and for Godly wisdom so that America may remain the land of the free and the home of the brave.