Author Archives: Matt Vespa

About Matt Vespa

I'm a staunch Republican and a politics junkie who was recently the Executive Director for the Dauphin County Republican Committee in Harrisburg. Before that, I interned with the Republican Party of Pennsylvania in the summer of 2011 and Mary Pat Christie, First Lady of NJ, within the Office of the Governor of NJ in 2010. I was responsible for updating his personal contact list. My first political internship was with Tom Kean Jr's. U.S. Senate campaign in 2006.

Deciphering Susan Rice Without Being Racist

I’m almost at the mark! I’m so excited.  I just have one more jar of Ovaltine to drink before I’m able to send in my application for the James Clyburn Racial Code Word Decipher.  It’s going to be useful – as we all try to make sense of the various racial code wards that have been hurled at Ambassador Susan Rice for her incompetence less than adequate job performance.

Racism is, and will always be, an effective tool employed by liberals.  Racism is anathema to American society.  So, when one person cries racial discrimination – Blacks, Whites, Asians, and Martians come out of the bushes, like perverted voyuers, to listen.  Additionally, the person who has been accused must explain how they aren’t racist to the public.  In politics, that’s perfect.  One candidate hammering away at the opposing side’s economic record, like in the case of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, is inhibited from continuing to do so once the racism accusations start flying.

In the case of Ambassador Rice, she’s been accused of being ‘incompetent’ and ‘lazy’ from Republicans.  Democrats say that’s racist and sexist. However, no one dares think about the alternative situation where a Republican Ambassador to the UN would have been chastised heavily from Democrats – and rightfully so.  There’s no excuse to misled the American people on the Sunday morning talk shows.

Concerning Rep. Clyburn, this is how he frames the whole situation:

“You know, these are code words,” Clyburn said. “We heard them during the campaign. During this recent campaign, we heard Senator Sununu calling our president lazy, incompetent—these kinds of terms that those of us, especially those of us who were grown and raised in the South, we would hear these little words and phrases all of our lives, and we’d get insulted by them.”

The Washington Times’ Kerry Picket noted this as well.  In fact, she even went into the past, and dug up liberal accusations of incompetence that were thrown at then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  Of course, you have to cite the worst of the worst, which is what Picket did quoting left-wing blowhard and editor of The Nation Katrina Vanden Heuvel – who wrote in November of 2004.

Last July, the Washington Post devoted much of its front-page to a well-reported story indicting National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice for her role in misleading Congress and the public in the run- up to the Iraq war. The bottom line: Rice was either incompetent or a liar.

Even sources described as “generally sympathetic” to the NSC adviser questioned her many shifting and contradictory statements regarding Iraq’s alleged uranium purchase and the WMD (non)threat. But Rice’s dogged loyalty to Bush served her well, and she stayed put.

Gasp! Ms. Vanden Heuvel – that’s racist!  However, this plays into the mindset of liberals, which is conservative women, especially those who are minorities, aren’t really people.  They’re the confused ‘others’ wondering through the woods, and looked down upon as semi-mentally retarded.  It’s how liberals view most people who aren’t of the liberal persuasion.  Hey, some people like to work hard, and pay taxes – I don’t blame them.

This perverse untermenschen category liberals have for conservative women extends to their affiliates in the D.C. non-profit and lobbying circle with groups like NARAL Pro-choice America and the National Organization of (some) Women.  As far as I’m concerned, conservatives should continue to hammer away at Ambassador Susan Rice, and do everything possible to block her nomination for Secretary of State.

Originally posted at The Young Cons.

Sen. Leahy – What Are You Doing!?

Do Democrats see the United Kingdom as a model for their version of the surveillance society?  What on earth could Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) be thinking offering legislation that gives authorities access to personal information with no more than a formal written request and the contents of those communications with nothing more than a subpoena?

According to Declan McCullagh of C|Net, Sen. Leahy thinks it’s perfectly fine for law enforcement officials to troll your emails, twitter, and Facebook without a warrant.  It’s a perverse exploitation of the law, which hasn’t caught up to 21st Century standards – and any American who values their liberty should be appalled by this gross incident of congressional overreach.

McCullagh wrote today that:

Leahy’s rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission — to access Americans’ e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge.

It’s an abrupt departure from Leahy’s earlier approach, which required police to obtain a search warrant backed by probable cause before they could read the contents of e-mail or other communications. The Vermont Democrat boastedlast year that his bill “provides enhanced privacy protections for American consumers by… requiring that the government obtain a search warrant.”

Leahy had planned a vote on an earlier version of his bill, designed to update a pair of 1980s-vintage surveillance laws, in late September. But after law enforcement groups including the National District Attorneys’ Association and the National Sheriffs’ Association organizations objected to the legislation and asked him to “reconsider acting” on it, Leahy pushed back the vote and reworked the bill as a package of amendments to be offered next Thursday. The package (PDF) is a substitute for H.R. 2471, which the House of Representatives already has approved.

Here are the revisions:

✭ Grants warrantless access to Americans’ electronic correspondence to over 22 federal agencies. Only a subpoena is required, not a search warrant signed by a judge based on probable cause.

✭ Permits state and local law enforcement to warrantlessly access Americans’ correspondence stored on systems not offered “to the public,” including university networks.

✭ Authorizes any law enforcement agency to access accounts without a warrant — or subsequent court review — if they claim “emergency” situations exist.

✭ Says providers “shall notify” law enforcement in advance of any plans to tell their customers that they’ve been the target of a warrant, order, or subpoena.

✭ Delays notification of customers whose accounts have been accessed from 3 days to “10 business days.” This notification can be postponed by up to 360 days.

Now, this afternoon, The Hill reported that the senator had no such intention to support a bill with warrantlees searches.

CNET has it wrong,” an aide tweeted from Leahy’s account.”Sen. Leahy does NOT support an #ECPA exception to search warrant requirement [for] civil enforcement [for agencies] like FTC, SEC.” A Judiciary Committee aide confirmed to The Hill that Leahy “does not support broad carve-outs for warrantless email searches.” Leahy is pushing a bill that would revise the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986. The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Leahy’s measure next week.

But we must remain vigilant. As long as Federalism remains under threat, we must keep a close eye on bills, from both parties, that seek to make us safer – while sacrificing our freedoms in the process.

After The Election, Pro-life Americans Find Themselves in the Minority

On May 23, 2012, Gallup released a poll that showed that people who identify themselves as ‘pro-choice’ was at a record low of 41%.  Additionally, Americans who described themselves as pro-life, at the time, constituted 50% of the population.  That nine point margin in America’s ongoing culture war has flipped.  Pro-choice Americans are now 54% of the population, compared to 38% who are pro-life, according to Rasmussen.  As Allahpundit of Hot Air posted on November 15, “elections have consequences.”  However, it begs the question, where did all the pro-lifers go?

For one thing, we’re a liberal democracy – a republic to be exact.  As such, governments are based on public opinion, and opinion is shiftable sand.  Therefore, there are no permanent victories in democracy.  Conservative commentator George Will has spoken about this ad nauseum, and aptly made the observation that Sen. Barry Goldwater, who lost in the ’64 presidential election, knew about this aspect in American society.  Hence, why people say Goldwater didn’t lose in 1964, it just took sixteen years to count all the votes.  Reagan’s win in 1980 was the reaffirmation of Goldwater’s conservative conscience.

However, it cannot be denied that some Republican senate candidates made rather irresponsible remarks about rape and abortion on the campaign trail, which hurt the pro-life movement.  Richard Mourdock in Indiana and Todd Akin in Missouri are the two names that comes up frequently in this discussion.  Without a doubt, they paid a heavy price for their poorly constructed narratives that moved those leaning towards the pro-life argument, towards the pro-choice camp.   Allahpundit reaffirms this claim, citing a CNN poll from last August showing that, “[Abortion was] nice and steady there in the mid-20s for ‘legal under any circumstances’ over the past five years — until suddenly, in August of this year, the number jumps. Why? Well, what else happened in August this year? Right: Todd Akin opened his yapper about “legitimate rape” and women’s supposed biological defense mechanisms against it and that was the beginning of the end for Republican chances to take back the Senate. How big a deal was it? Weeks later, the NYT poll was seeing more support for the idea that abortion should be “generally available” than it had in over 15 years.”

So, if some people, who are pro-life, are wondering why they lost popular support, they need only to look at some of the politicians selected to support their cause in Washington D.C.  We need to be smarter.

 

Health Care Reform = More Money, Bigger Hospitals, and Less Private Practices

For a while, conservatives have known that Obamacare would be a dose of bad medicine.  However, given the axiom that bog government helps big business, the same could be true with the medical industry.  Tim Carney at The Washington Examiner aptly pointed out today, from Bloomberg, Obamacare favors big hospitals, and smashes small practices.

In his column, Carney wrote that “Bloomberg report[ed] today on how Medicare payment rules have led to hospital consolidation, with small practices selling out to big hospitals.”  Additionally, Carney cited the point about consolidation:

Simon Gisby, a principal in the life science and health care practice at Deloitte Corporate Finance LLC in New York, said the trend fits with changes starting to take place under the 2010 Affordable Care Act designed by the Obama administration to overhaul health care.

This consolidation means higher costs, the article explains. Some academic studies have confirmed that hospital consolidation means higher costs, and at least one has pinned some of the blame on Obama’s Affordable Care Act:

hospitals are able to extract higher private payments when they hold more market power…. Now provisions of the ACA are encouraging further consolidation of hospitals and physicians, and the final antitrust review regulations from the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have eliminated the proposed mandatory review of certain prospective ACOs.

So, at the end of the day, it’s business as usual – with a splash of dependency.  Big government helping big business gain more power at the expense of the taxpayers.   Can we all agree that this overhaul of American health care was never meant to curb costs?

Justice Alito Stresses Federalism As Refuge from Usurpatory Government

 

With the Supreme Court and the future of constitutional government in doubt, it’s always reassuring to hear from the voices who espouse those views.  I’m an ardent optimist.  I have faith that the electorate will correct their decisions made on Nov. 6, and constrain this president’s pernicious agenda of implementing a hyper-regulatory progressive state.  The Federalist Society’s 30th Anniversary Gala last Thursday night featured Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who detailed how the legal opinions of those on the left threaten America’s constitutional bedrock: federalism.

To put it simplistically, the federal government is supreme in its sphere, as is the state government in their defined area.  There is overlap – and confusion.  However, Alito gave a robust defense of the doctrine.  While it’s seen better days, federalism in Alito’s view, promotes energetic and productive competition, protects liberty, and encourages experimentation.  He also reiterated that you do not have to buy the various treatises on constitutional law that run over a thousand pages –  and cost a considerable amount of money – to understand that congressional power is limited.  You just have to read the plain text of the U.S. Constitution to understand that point.

He then went on to detail various cases that have threatened this principle of federalism.  From the government being able to attach GPS monitors surreptitiously to your vehicles and calling it a search under the Fourth Amendment to facing the regulatory nightmare of having wetlands being designated in one’s backyard, the fight to keep the Madisonian experiment in limited government, and the principles of federalism un-imbrued continues with fragility.

We have four liberals, four conservatives, with Justice Alito included, and moderate Justice Kennedy on the bench, which isn’t a firm legal defense of the principles conservatives wish to see blemished.  And more fights will come.  One fight in particular that was highly salient – which was described more in depth by Justice Alito, concerned Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC.

In this case, Cheryl Perich was hired by the Hosanna-Tabor Lutheran Church and School, taught some lessons, contracted narcolepsy, took a leave of absence, and was subsequently replaced.  She sued under the American with Disabilities Act, however, the ministerial exception gave more latitude to religious institution in terms of hiring and firing processes.  The Court ruled unanimously that such an exception applied here, and therefore, discrimination lawsuits brought against religious institutions aren’t valid.

Well, The New York Times, to no one’s surprise, didn’t take too kindly to the decision.  But, the argument for Perich and The New York Times is disturbing.  Should courts be allowed to review cases, and make decisions based on legal and religious doctrines?  Is it up to a judge and jury to decide a termination?  If accepted, government would have been able to go deep into the dynamics of religious institutions, and the doctrines that guide them.  That’s gross overreach.For jurists to decide cases based solely on church doctrine, if this argument were accepted by the Court, and not law is insane.  As Justice Alito said at the dinner, it’s a “chilling” foray into this plausible episode of government intrusion.

This nation proudly and robustly defends the right to free speech enshrined in our First Amendment.  However, this case, and Citizens United, shows how some people on the left will try to alter the Constitution to fit their model on how they feel government should operate – or feel whole again.  Citizens United, the more controversial of the two cases, was boiled down to the government making the case the speech articulated or disseminated by the privileged few is protected, but isn’t for other parties in the country.  That’s perverse, and it doesn’t stop there.

Justice Alito concluded with a warning about the alternate vision we’re fighting against in the judiciary.  It’s a vision where federalism offers no refuge.  It’s an insufferable progressive state that stomps on religious institutions and freedoms.  It’s a government that can willingly seize private property.  Justice Alito vociferously made the case that the U.S. Constitution wasn’t meant to be malleable with a dependent, entitled society.  It was designed for the citizens operating within a socioeconomic fabric that stressed freedom and independence.  This document embeds certain rights, so that they can’t be easily removed from the political landscape.  Therefore, as Justice Alito alluded to, it’s integral to the survival of our freedom, and our commitment to be an open and prosperous society.

 

Gallup Results Present Problems For Both Agendas

Gallup has released some interesting poll findings showing that both sides of the aisle have their work cut out for them if they’re going to keep Americans happy.

Released Thursday, the Gallup results show that only 37% of Americans favor a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, while 62% want to see measure that will halt illegal immigration.

And, 70% want the tax code simplified to lower rates and an elimination of deductions and loopholes, while less than half (47%) support Pres. Obama’s proposal to increase taxes on those households with incomes of $250,000 or more.

Not good news for liberal politicians seeking to open borders and raise revenue.

Conservatives have challenges, too. Fully 88 percent of Gallup respondents support saving the biggest entitlement programs, while 72 percent says there needs to be spending cuts.

As the fiscal cliff looms, while sequestration means massive cuts to the nation’s military, only 29 percent favor this.

So, it seems that Democrats don’t have popular support to pursue their push to raise taxes, and Republicans don’t seem to be pushed by Americans to support legislation that calls for amnesty.  The alternative Dream Act from Sen. Marco Rubio, which already splits the conference, is a prime example.

Lastly, Americans want to see a simpler tax code and spending cuts, but don’t want government messing around with their Medicare.

Let the political maneuvering, on both sides, begin!

Originally posted at CNS News.

Sen. Mike Lee and Senator-Elect Ted Cruz: ‘Our Ideas Work, Their Ideas Don’t’

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Senator-Elect Ted Cruz (R-TX) were adamant about two things when they addressed The Federalist Society’s discussion about constitutional law and the Supreme Court yesterday: “our [conservative] ideas work, their [ liberal] ideas don’t.”  Furthermore, our ideas have been winning the argument, which explains why law schools are limiting the amount of speakers – invited by Federalist Society – chapters that can come and articulate such views across the country.  Both men viewed that we must return to the government our Founders envisioned, and must guard against the progressive regulatory state advocated by our adversaries in Congress.  With the re-election of Barack Obama and the full implementation of Obamacare – the stakes couldn’t be any higher to keep the Madisonian experiment alive.

Sen. Lee first remarked about his election to the U.S. Senate in 2010, after beating incumbent Republican Bob Bennett at the state party convention.  Then, he went into rather humorous anecdotes about how security didn’t recognize him as a senator for the longest time during his first session in Congress.  However, he looked forward to two events this year that he thought would transform government, and make it more palatable to the Founder’s vision.

The first event was on June 28, the day of the Obamacare decision, which he received – along with most conservatives – warmly at first.  The court was articulating a position defining limits on the Commerce Clause – making this the third time in the last seventy-five years where the Supreme Court has done so.   However, as the reading of the opinion continued, more wind was blowing in liberal sails, as the senator described it.  The Court rewrote the law.  To make a long story short, the penalty was constitutional under the taxing authority, which was a position that wasn’t argued by the government.  Concerning the Medicaid expansion provisions, the Court ruled that the government had unjustly coerced states into accepting stipulations on the program’s funding, and that the Secretary for Health and Human Services cannot cut off the revenue stream – which funds the program – to states who refuse to expand coverage. In all, it was a limited purpose victory.  The second event was on November 6, which we know did not turn out well for conservatives.

Sen. Lee agreed that we won the argument for a limited proposal victory, but we also lost a lot too.  It showed that the Court can rewrite laws, and we lost the opportunity to write laws of our own choosing.  The checks on Congressional power was stipulated by judiciary and political restraint.  The judicial restraint has been compromised.  They seem, as Senator Lee put it, “unwilling” to exercise that check on power.  Second, the political check is rendered useless since Congress can pass unconstitutional laws, but if the Supreme Court can rewrite it – then what’s the purpose of that check on government power.

Sen. Lee believes that the Court acted in a manner where everyone got a little of what they wanted – but ended up hurting the American people as a result. Nevertheless, he feels that America’s best days are ahead.

Senator-Elect Ted Cruz also reiterated anecdotes on the campaign trail.  His win is almost a miracle.  He was polling sub 5%, and within the margin of error when he first began.  This highlights the trials and tribulations of any statewide campaign, especially one where you’re outspent three to one in a $ 50 million dollar primary, as in the case of Cruz, which is somewhat of a well-known characteristic within political circles.  It can be nasty, and Cruz’s opponent, David Dewhurst, dished out $35 million dollars in attack ads – but failed to clinch the nomination.  Why? He didn’t have the grassroots infrastructure needed to win.  This is the way politics should be decided, according to Senator-Elect Cruz.

Cruz is a good friend of Sen. Mike Lee, and thanked him for his early support in the beginning of his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.  In the wake of conservatives’ devastating defeat on Nov. 6, he said we much ask ourselves what went wrong, and what does this mean for the future of conservatism?  He was steadfast in the view that what conservatives have done in politics – we must now do in the law.  First, we must win the argument, which conservatives are doing – albeit very slowly.

The Senator-Elect was amused by the fact that the media was detailing how Republicans lost in 2012 because they weren’t like Democrats.  If they had acted, like the political left, things would’ve been great.  Well, conservatives lost because we didn’t make the argument.

The president said that he inherited a bad economy, and that it was all George Bush’s fault.  This message was pervasive. However, Cruz said that President Obama forgets history.  Between 1978-79, unemployment was in double-digits, interest rates were at 22%, gas lines around the block, and the Iranian hostage crisis – which probably left then-President Jimmy Carter regretting leaving peanut farming. But, Ronald Reagan won in a landslide in 1980.  He reduced taxes, regulations, and the scope of government, which led to an economic boom.  Again, playing into the narrative of these two men being “our ideas work, their ideas don’t.”

However, there’s a reason why Obama voters believe this economy is still Bush’s fault.  Why?  Mitt Romney’s campaign team didn’t respond.  Concerning the fatuous ‘war on women,’ the Senator-Elect vociferously denied Republicans want to curb or deny contraceptives to America’s women.  He doesn’t know a single Republican who thinks that way.  He quipped that he has two daughters, and he’s glad he doesn’t have seventeen.  However, you cannot own, change, or destroy a damaging narrative, if you don’t respond. First, win the argument, then you win the election – which is what Senator-Elect Ted Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee plan to do in the U.S. Senate.

Rebooting America’s Papa John’s Appreciation Day Has Arrived

It’s time to show appreciation for America’s job creators and investors.  Justen Charters, Founder of Rebooting America, has declared today as Papa John’s Appreciation Day to combat the left-wing hate hurled at the pizza chain for their proposed changes to services in the wake of Barack Obama’s re-election, and the looming imposition of Obamacare.  This included increasing costs on pizza and cutting employee hours, which is the byproduct of the president’s health care overhaul.  It’s about to turn us into a nation of part-time workers.

Nevertheless, in a written statement, Charters said that:

this is about standing up for a business owner who told investors and the American people that Obamacare will hurt profits. This is about turning the attempted boycott by the left on it’s head and supporting free markets and free speech. Boycotts only hurt employees, they don’t help them. The narrative from the left in the elections tried to pushed the theme that conservatives do not care for the poor. We can debunk that, if you simply visit our event page and see that we are asking those who are in the financial position to do so to give a pizza to a homeless person or somebody who is down on their luck. And before I forget, This is not just about Papa Johns. Papa Johns is an easy enthusiasm creator because everyone loves pizza. Other companies like Olive Garden and Red Lobster have also come under attack for taking the same stand as John Schnatter.

Stand up for economic freedom, and make your night Papa John’s.

Originally posted on The Young Cons.

Jon Corzine’s ‘Global’ Disaster

There was a breaking development that occurred on The Hill today.  A member of the financial sector made a poor decision, bankrupted a company, and was formerly an elected official.  No, it wasn’t Mitt Romney – it was former Democratic Governor of New Jersey Jon Corzine.  Corzine, who hedged against the European debt crisis, incurred losses in the billions, which lead to the collapse of MF Global.

One mystery that plagues this investigation is Mr. Corzine’s David Copperfield act that wiped $1.6 billion from Global’s client fund, which occurred days before the whole firm crumbled.  Dina ElBoghdady of The Washington Post reported about this episode in financial malfeasance that cost people their jobs, and their savings – but it wasn’t too important since they relegated the piece to page 18 in today’s edition.

Furthermore, it took Ms. ElBoghdady six paragraphs to even mention that Mr. Corzine was a Democrat because they party of progress doesn’t dabble in such unscrupulous activities like this.  The report about Mr. Corzine’s epic failure at MF Global was released today by the House Financial Services oversight subcommittee, but didn’t mention any felonious activity conducted on behalf of the former Democratic governor.   They’re going to leave that to other prosecutors, who have launched their own investigations.  In all, “farmers, ranchers, and ther customers may never get back over $1 billion of their money as a result of [Corzine’s] decisions, Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Tex.), the House panel’s chairman, said in a statement.”

So, if Democrats and liberals hate Mitt Romney for being a rich man who devours companies, then shouldn’t they be picketing outside Corzine’s residence castigating him for his negligence?  If any Republican acted as horribly as Corzine has done in managing a firm, like MF Global, this would be on the front page – and dominating the news cycle for weeks on end.

Jon Corzine is worse than a vulture capitalist.  He’s an incredibly incompetent manager of people’s resources, which explains his failure as a governor.

Government Stands In The Way of Energy Independence

In a striking blow for the environmental left, the International Energy Agency released a report last Monday detailing how the United States is on track to outpace Saudi Arabia in oil production.  This surely puts the Obama administration in a bind concerning their green energy monomania that has dominated their energy policy for the past four years.  Heritage compiled a nice butcher’s bill of the president’s green energy investments.  However, the most important part about this development is that it proves that the United States can be energy independent, and we have the resources to achieve that feat.  However, the boot of government is trying to centralize and control those resources to expand their dependency agenda.  It’s hard to oppose someone when they have their finger on the power switch.

Elisabeth Rosenthal wrote in the New York Times on Nov. 12 that “the United States will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading oil producer by about 2017 and will become a net oil exporter by 2030…that increased oil production, combined with new American policies to improve energy efficiency, means that the United States will become “all but self-sufficient” in meeting its energy needs in about two decades — a “dramatic reversal of the trend” in most developed countries, a new report released by the agency says.” However, it’s hard to meet that goal when the government decided to cordon off 1.6 million acres, worth about 1 trillion barrels worth of oil, for conservation

 Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), reiterated that exploration and development of federal lands is a necessity to meet our goal of energy independence. When I asked him about how this report will effect the narrative disseminated by government officials and left-wing enviroementalists, Pyle said, “unfortunately, it seems part of the divide.  Those who want restrictions have their best success in manipulating policies on public lands – the very places where they don’t live and work. High prices also get people’s attention, but then it becomes a blame game – politicians always point the finger at everybody but themselves and oil companies are probably the only group besides lawyers who are less popular than politicians.  But we are making headway!”

Dan Kish, Senior Vice President for Policy at IER, claimed that the political left will respond by trying “to federalize hydraulic fracturing regulation, which is being done by states in a very professional and knowledgeable way.  Take fracking away, the oil and gas production drops. They also always seek to drive up the costs of activities so as to make them uneconomic, and there is no shortage of levers they use for that.   Since the myth of energy scarcity is their justification for federal programs the like, this doesn’t fit the agenda.  They will fight it by trying to scare people.”

They’ve already begun with Jacob Weissmann’s asinine Nov. 13 piece in The Atlantic. Basically, he says that we can’t drill our way to independence, Saudi Arabia is just too good at this oil production stuff, and we need to conserve to “insulate ourselves from rising gas prices.”   Sadly, Weissmann never factored in oil + increased coal production, since we are the Saudi Arabia of coal.  Also, natural gas via The Marcellus Shale is another major area of energy development.

Weissman isn’t looking at it through a larger scope.  In 1.6 million acres alone, we have 1 trillion barrels worth of petroleum.  In 1944, we were estimated to have about 20 billion in proven oil reserves, but we’ve produced 176 billion barrels between 1945-2010.  Concerning coal, we have enough to power our country for 485 years.  We have the resources to become energy independent, but government feels otherwise. As Pyle and Kish told me before, the War on Energy isn’t about conservation. It’s about control.

Democrats Want To Go Off The Fiscal Cliff

During the president’s Nov. 14 news conference, he channeled the Sandy response as a “metaphor” for how the federal government should operate. “It’s been aggressive and strong and fast and robust and a lot of people have been helped because of it…that’s a pretty good metaphor for how I want federal government to operate generally, and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure it does,” said President Obama.  This is American liberalism.  The ignorance they have towards how government should operate still pervades their ranks today.  Government isn’t suppose to move fast, be aggressive, or be robust. It’s functions are few and defined, as stipulated by Madison – who championed the experiment of limited government that is the bedrock for our republic.

As such, we know the president wants to raise taxes on the job creating and investing class.  It’ll inhibit economic growth, and it’s effects on the overall economy will probably be de minimis at best.  All of his other policies have produced the same insipid results.  Why should this be any different, especially when the president feels that a 3% hike on people making $250,000 or more will have a serious impact on the federal debt and deficit.  George Will reiterated a good example on This Week highlighting the 250k illusion a while ago reiterating that a Chicago school superintendent of twenty years experience, who is married to a Chicago police captain of twenty years experience is almost rich in the eyes of the president.  Nevertheless, according to liberals, tax increases will save us from the fiscal cliff.

As we approach the fiscal cliff, the perverse characteristic that pervades this debate is that liberals want us to go off into the abyss.  If we do, they’ll get the tax increases, they’ll get the revenue, and they’ll get the defense cuts all liberals lust for with disconcerting enthusiasm.  David Brooks, who wasn’t acting like a squish for once, reiterated this view last week on the PBS NewsHour and NPR’s All Things Considered.  Furthermore, and most importantly, liberals and their entitlement programs – the last bastions of progressive legislative achievement – will remain intact.

 

Demographics Poses A Challenge to Republicans, But It’s Not Unwinnable

Demographic shifts, Hispanic outreach, and how to make inroads with the youth have dominated conservative circles after a resounding Obama win last week.  It’s a discussion conservatives must have if they are to survive as a national political force.  Mitt Romney lost Hispanics, with almost 75% of them voting for the president, and young, single women.  Again, single women voted overwhelmingly for the president 67% to Romney’s 31%.  Some Republicans say that it was Romney’s disastrous ground game, while others say it was the party’s spring to the far right.  Regardless, the shifting demographics show that Texas, a reliably Republican state, could go blue if conservatives don’t expand their grassroots and outreach operations, especially in the Hispanic community.

Chris Wilson at Yahoo! News wrote on Nov. 13 that “the Census Bureau provides detailed estimates of population growth by race and ethnicity through 2050. The Hispanic population is expected to triple between 2008 and 2050, while the total number of white, non-Hispanic Americans will remain stagnant.”  As such, the largest bloc of guaranteed electoral votes for Republicans could go to the Democrats, which would be the death knell for the party.  They would be down, based on 2012 Electoral College, 142 electoral votes just coming out of the gate.  That is if Republicans surrender Pennsylvania to the Democrats, which may be in the works.  The state hasn’t gone Republican since 1988, and has become more of a money pit in national contests.

Yet, with all the talk about how Republicans should alter their strategies to win, which is oddly enough coming from liberal media outlets, it seems conservatives knew about these obstacles eons before Barack Obama came onto the political scene.  In fact, the AEI discussion of shifting political demographics, which was hosted back in August of 2011, seems to have been prophetic in their analysis of the changing American melting pot.

Ruy Teixeira [,senior fellow at the Center for American Progress,]  argued that trends would favor Democrats. To back his claim, he cited the growing Hispanic population and the decreasing influence of religion. Michael Barone [, of The Washington Exmainer,] agreed with Mr. Teixeira, but concluded instead that demographics of the preceding decade would not necessarily continue in the same direction. In one example he referenced lower inflow of Mexican immigrants to U.S. due to economic problems.

However, it’s undeniable that the Millennial generation is the most liberal generation, who will soon give Democrats a +20 party identification advantage by 2020.  Furthermore, Americans who identify themselves as secular are the fastest growing ‘religious’ group in the U.S.  By the mid-2020s, they’ll constitute almost 25% of all adults in the country, which may make some aspects of Republican social policy unpalatable.

This is not to say that we should liberalize.  We just need to be smarter, and target certain demographics who are more malleable to the conservative cause that will produce the results we need to win.  Hispanics is where Republicans and conservative should focus their energy.  However, we must tread carefully in our messaging because they’re the Democrats’ demographic to lose at this point.

Originally posted at The Young Cons.

Repeat After Me: We Didn’t Lose Because of Social Issues

I admit that I really haven’t become much of a social conservative until about the last eighteen months.  I mostly took libertarian position on issues like gay marriage and abortion – some of which I still maintain.  However, being an adoptee and seeing the utter rot inherent on the political left, especially when it comes to abortion – I found my libertarian ‘pro-choice’ position untenable.  Yes, I still think government regulation of the market inhibits its full potential, thereby making it a perverse action on behalf of the state.  It’s immoral for government to curb systems that lead to greater economic freedom and liberty for its citizenry.  Yet, I was also disturbed with government being in the home – and regulating social behavior amongst consenting adults.

Then, the 2012 election happened. The Democrats decided to manufacture a false narrative called the ‘War on Women,’ a consensus concerning taxpayer-funded abortion was in the works, and a thirty-yeard old liberal activist named Sandra Fluke burst onto the scene demanding free birth control.  Unsurprisingly, all of this coalesced into an orgy of depravity called the Democratic National Convention, which should have been more appropriately called Abortion Fest.  Even ABC News’ Cokie Roberts was unnerved by the abortion-centric rhetoric exhibited by liberals during the DNC.

Every decent American should, since the Democratic Party platform endorsed taxpayer-funded abortion.  However, that wasn’t an extreme position.  Republicans protecting life, even in the cases of rape and incest, was apparently the extreme position, despite the fact that such circumstances are responsible for less than 1% of all abortions.  If anything, albeit in a grotesque way, that encapsulates the “safe, legal, and rare” characterization Democrats have used to describe abortion.  A phrase that wasn’t included in their party platform in2012, although it’s been used in prior elections.

Nevertheless, after hearing Rebecca Kiessling‘s story – she was conceived during a rape – and the litany of botched abortions performed by Planned Parenthood, I’ve shifted more towards the pro-life camp.  As an adoptee from South Korea, I have no backstory concerning my conception.  I could be a product of rape.  I just don’t know.  Regardless, every life deserves a chance.  My birth mother surely exuded this virtue.  She gave me up for a better life here in the United States.

However, this brings us to the heart of the matter. Should we boot social conservatives from the movement and the Republican Party?  The answer is NO!  Yes, what Mourdock and Akin said imploded their senate campaigns, but Denny Rehberg failed to unseat Democratic incumbent  Sen. Jon Tester in Montana.  Rick Berg failed to secure his senate bid in North Dakota.  George Allen lost in Virginia.  Tom Smith got smoked in Pennsylvania.  Connie Mack won’t be going into the upper chamber representing Florida.  Are social issues responsible for all of these failed senate bids?  No. By the way, Mourdock lost to a pro-life Democrat.

Now, while Mourdock and Akin win the creepy award for 2012 ( no one likes 60+ year old men talking about rape), everyone seems to blame the people who vote reliably Republican and listen to liberals on how to reform the party.  An interesting op-ed piece was published in The Wall Street Journal on Nov.11 by Sarah Westwood, who is a rising sophomore at George Washington University.

The article articulately details the grievances that the more liberal wing of young Republicans have with the ‘Old Guard.’  Westwood states that Republicans need to do a better job reaching out to younger voters, which is true, but we also need to reach out to Hispanics and single women as well.

As a member of this all-important demographic [young voters], I know that neither I nor (almost) anybody else coming of age today supports the Republican social agenda. That’s the way the country is moving—so just deal with it. Modernize and prioritize.

Though it may be painful, though it may be costly at the polls in the short run, Republicans don’t have a future unless they break up with the religious right and the gay-bashing, Bible-thumping fringe that gives the party such a bad rap with every young voter. By fighting to legally ban abortion, the party undercuts the potential to paint itself as a rebel against the governmental-control machine.

Embracing a more liberal social agenda doesn’t require anyone to abandon her own personal values; it’s possible to keep faith and the party too. But the evangelical set essentially hijacked the Republican Party in the 1970s; now we need to take it back. Thawing the icy attitude of our most vocal, radical voices—including the raucous right (a la Limbaugh)—could let a fatally fractured party put the pieces together again.

The GOP won’t survive if it doesn’t start courting young voters. Simple math dictates that the Republican Party can wrest power away from the left only if it builds an army of fresh young members into its base. Democrats are the ones doing that now.

It seems Westwood wants to liberalize the party, return it to the Rockefeller/Thomas Dewey days, and ensure electoral disaster.  Conservatives gladly put an end to their reign after the Goldwater insurgency in 1964.  No, Goldwater didn’t lose – it just took sixteen years to count all the votes.  Nevertheless, who said we were fractured?  Our party was firmly behind Romney.  The problem was Romney’s ground game ( Project ORCA) failed miserably to maximize turnout in key states.  Yes, our coalition needs to expand to remain competitive, but it rests with smart messaging, not moderation.

And concerning purging Limbaugh – you must be insane if you think marginalizing any conservative in the media is a smart move.  If anything, we need more conservatives fighting the liberal media on a daily basis.  Westwood is right that Republicans need to change tactics and maximize outreach to expand out base of support, but moderation and becoming more liberal isn’t what’s going to bring us success at the polls.  Concerning the ‘old guard,’ Westwood is right that some folks need to go.  Karl Rove is on my list.  However, we must also factor into account that youth turnout probably won’t be as high in 2016 when Obama isn’t on the ballot.

Conservatives, like myself, take pride in staying ‘stop!’ in the face of changing times.  We say ‘not so fast’ to liberals – asking them about the efficiency within these government programs, especially if they come with a high price tag.  Coupled with inquiries about a bill’s constitutional basis and long term effects – it’s this form of inquisition that has usually been effective in demolishing liberal programs for decades.  We take pride, and idolize the Madisonian principles of limited government that was the original bedrock for our fledgeling republic.  And they’re the principles we need to resurrect after this egregious expansion of the state under the Obama administration.  This, coupled with aggressive prioritization of winning Latinos, is where we need to start.

We need to admit that in 2012 we were outplayed, outsmarted, and outmaneuvered.  But kicking out social conservatives would make the Republican Party even smaller, according to Erick Erickson. Furthermore:

Mitt Romney won about a quarter of the hispanic vote and a tenth of the black vote.

Those numbers may not sound like much, but in close elections they matter.

A sizable portion of those black and hispanic voters voted GOP despite disagreeing with the GOP on fiscal issues. But they are strongly social conservative and could not vote for the party of killing kids and gay marriage. So they voted GOP.

You throw out the social conservatives and you throw out those hispanic and black voters. Further, you make it harder to attract new hispanic voters who happen to be the most socially conservative voters in the country.

Next, you’ll also see a reduction of probably half the existing GOP base. You won’t make that up with Democrats who suddenly think that because their uterus is safe they can now vote Republican. Most of those people don’t like fiscal conservatism either — often though claiming that they do.

If you really need to think through this, consider Mitt Romney. He is perhaps the shiftiest person to ever run for President of the United States. He shifted his position on virtually every position except Romneycare. Of all the politicians to ever run for office, he’d be the one most likely to come out and, after the Republican convention, decide he’d changed his mind. He’d be okay with abortion and okay with gay marriage.

Had he done that, he’d have even less votes.

Erickson noted, “the problem is social conservatives have gotten so used to thinking of themselves as the majority they’ve forgotten how to speak to those who are not and defend against those who accuse them of being fringe, most particularly the press. Couple that with Mitt Romney’s campaign making a conscious decision to not fight back on the cultural front and you have a bunch of Republicans convinced, despite the facts, that if only the social conservatives would go away all would be fine.”  That’s simply not true.
In one last point against liberalizing the party, this is the second time in a row that Republicans have nominated a moderate candidate, who was handily beaten in the general election. Full stop.

Originally posted on The Young Cons.

 

Changing Demographics Threaten Republican Texas

 

Yes, demographics talk will dominate the political discourse – and it should worry us.  Immigration, as an issue, and Republican ineptitude to convey  a sensible policy to ameliorate our perceived anti-immigrant leanings, ruined the Californian Republican Party forever.  Furthermore, New York and Pennsylvania are, to coin a term from Senator-elect Ted Cruz, “unalterably” Democratic.  Based on the last presidential election, we’re already down 104 electoral votes coming out of the gate – and with Texas’ demographic realignment, we could see the Lone Star state revert back to it’s Democratic leanings.  Thus, the largest bloc of guaranteed electoral votes for Republicans would either swing to the liberals, or be up for grabs.  That would be 142 electoral votes Democrats would lock up just because their people showed up to vote.  Not only is that unacceptable, but it’ll spell the end of the Republican Party winning presidential contests.

Ted Cruz, who was featured in Ryan Lizza’s  Nov. 19 piece in The New Yorker, has a grim warning.

If Republicans do not do better in the Hispanic community,” he said, “in a few short years Republicans will no longer be the majority party in our state.” He ticked off some statistics: in 2004, George W. Bush won forty-four per cent of the Hispanic vote nationally; in 2008, John McCain won just thirty-one per cent. On Tuesday, Romney fared even worse.

“In not too many years, Texas could switch from being all Republican to all Democrat,” he said. “If that happens, no Republican will ever again win the White House…if Texas turns bright blue, the Electoral College math is simple. We won’t be talking about Ohio, we won’t be talking about Florida or Virginia, because it won’t matter. If Texas is bright blue, you can’t get to two-seventy electoral votes. The Republican Party would cease to exist. We would become like the Whig Party. Our kids and grandkids would study how this used to be a national political party. ‘They had Conventions, they nominated Presidential candidates. They don’t exist anymore.’ ”

As Republicans plan to have a long discussion on how to court Latinos more effectively:

…Ted Cruz argues that Hispanics can be won over by appeals to traditional values of hard work. “I’ve never in my life seen a Hispanic panhandler,” he said, as we rode out of San Antonio. “In the Hispanic community, it would be considered shameful to be out on the street begging.” He added, “They have conservative values. Hispanics don’t want to be on the dole. They’re not here to be dependent on government.” He rejected the idea that Republicans needed to go back to the Bush-era policies on immigration. “I think those that say that, for Republicans to connect with the Hispanic community, they need to adopt amnesty and not secure the borders, I think that’s foolishness.”

Many Republicans in Texas suggested that the fact that Cruz is Hispanic is enough for him to win votes in that community. To prove the point, some mentioned Quico Canseco, a Republican who won a Texas House seat in 2010 in a Democratic district by running as a Tea Party conservative, and whose reëlection bid this year was closely contested. His district is sixty-six per cent Hispanic and spreads some six hundred miles, from San Antonio to the western edge of Texas. It includes most of the state’s border with Mexico. Like Cruz, Canseco, both in 2010 and in 2012, ran as an opponent of the kind of immigration reforms championed by George W. Bush. A few days before the election, when I interviewed Canseco, who is the son of Mexican immigrants and was born in Laredo, a border town that is ninety-six per cent Hispanic, he gave no hint of moderation on any of the immigration issues that have become so important to conservative Republicans in the past few years.

However, that’s just one congressional district.  Like women, Hispanics aren’t a monolithic voting bloc.  Cubans tend to vote Republican, although Mitt Romney lost this demographic by two points this year in Florida.  That should alarm all of us.  What inroads we have left with this demographic are crumbling rapidly.  Puerto Ricans lean Democratic – and Tejanos lean Republican due to their history in the state’s roots, according to Lizza.  It may be a multi-tiered outreach project.  If so, that’s great.   So, let’s dial down the secession petitions – and work on our comeback.

Romney’s Presidential Hopes Dashed By Less Than 500,000 Votes

Ouch! From Richard Nixon to Al Gore, candidates who have suffered defeats in close presidential elections, either in the Electoral College or popular vote, probably have felt the feelings of disappointment, shock, and frustration that Mitt Romney is experiencing right now. While President Obama secured re-election with a majority of the popular vote and an Electoral College landslide, analysis done by Jim Geraghty at National Review and Michael Patrick Leahy at Breitbart detialed some numbers in key states to show just how close Mitt Romney was from becoming the 45th President of the United States.

Geraghty wrote yesterday that:

…according to the results this morning on the New York Times’ results map:

Florida: 73,858

Ohio: 103,481

Virginia: 115,910

Colorado: 113,099

Those four states, with a collective margin of, 406,348 for Obama, add up to 69 electoral votes. Had Romney won 407,000 or so additional votes in the right proportion in those states, he would have 275 electoral votes.

Obama’s margin in some other key states:

Nevada: 66,379

Iowa: 88,501

New Hampshire: 40,659

Similarly, Leahy over at Breitbart crunched these numbers.

Despite losing the popular vote 51% to 48%–not a landslide for Obama by any means, but on the other hand not the “neck and neck” outcome many predicted–Mitt Romney would be President today if he had secured 333,908 more votes in four key swing states.

The final electoral college count gave President Obama a wide 332 to 206 margin over Romney. 270 electoral college votes are needed to win the Presidency.

Romney lost New Hampshire’s 4 electoral college votes by a margin of 40,659. Obama won with 368,529 to Romney’s  327,870.

Romney lost Florida’s 29 electoral college votes  by a margin of 73,858. Obama won with 4,236,032 to Romney’s 4,162,174.

Romney lost Ohio’s 18 electoral college votes by a margin of 103,481. Obama won with 2,697,260 to Romney’s 2,593,779

Romney lost Virginia’s 13 electoral college votes by a margin of 115,910. Obama won with 1,905,528 to Romney’s  1,789,618.

Add the 64 electoral college votes from this switch of 333,908 votes in these four key states to Romney’s 206, remove them from Obama’s 332, and Romney defeats Obama 270 to 268.

Overall, voter turnout was down, from 131 million in 2008 to 122 million in 2012. Obama won 7.6 million fewer votes than he did in 2008, and Romney won 1.3 million fewer than McCain in 2008.

Romney improved his vote total’s over McCain’s by the slightest amount in three of these four states, but in Ohio, he actually had 81,000 fewer votes than McCain in 2008.

Could things have been different if ORCA actually swam – you bet!  However, it didn’t.  All I will say is that it would have been a lot closer than the result produced last Tuesday night. Furthermore, it shows how the axiom “if it isn’t broken, why fix it” should be re-applied to Republican campaigns – and how we should never again centralize the local operation of getting out the vote, especially when HQ was located in the far reaches of Boston, Massachusetts.
For decades, presidential campaigns were successful setting up infrastructures in each respective state, and in each respective voter precinct conducting strike lists to increase turnout.  Volunteers would give their lists to the local HQ who would attempt to contact the voters who haven’t shown up.  It’s worked – and we shouldn’t mess with it, even though the preparation beforehand is cumbersome.  We tried it the digital way, and look what we got.
Originally posted on The Young Cons.