Tag Archives: George Allen

House GOP Doesn’t Listen Any Better than Walmart

New GOPOccasionally the wrong person takes a column to heart.

Earlier this month I wrote that Walmart doesn’t help its PR efforts when the company acts in a manner that only serves to reinforce its reputation as the Simon Legree of retail. (Details here.) In this instance an Ohio store had a display in the employee break room asking for donations to help other Walmart employees that had fallen on hard times during the Thanksgiving & Christmas season.

Asking employees who earn an average of $12.83/hour to contribute to other employees is a touching testimony to the innate decency of the Walmart workforce, but it also calls up unfortunate images of the widow’s mite particularly in comparison with the wealth of the Walton family.

The column concluded with a look at Walmart’s Associates in Critical Need Trust. This is a fund that dispenses up to $1,500 to employees suffering severe financial setbacks. (This does not include a bad losing streak in connection with the Powerball lottery.)

I liked the sound of that, until I learned that once again these donations are no skin off the Walton family’s stock certificates. This trust is funded by voluntary payroll deduction, again from the $12.83/hour employees.

And that’s when problems began at the Shannon household.

My wife announced that unless the Walton family stops being so selfish (they have $144 billion in Walmart stock) and makes a major contribution to the Trust we will be boycotting Walmart. Generally I have no problem with boycotts. It’s an individual decision that uses the market to bring pressure on a merchant. No government intervention required. Colonists did it during the run up to the Revolution.

For taste and political reasons, I never darken the door of Starbucks (homosexual marriage is “part of the corporate DNA”), Caribou Coffee (Sharia–compliant finance) or Chipotle (one of the nation’s leading employers of illegals).

On the other hand I’m also cheap, so I regularly shop at Walmart, in spite of linguistic encounters with Walmart employees that graphically illustrate what retail shopping is going to be like after John Boehner decides it’s safe to grant illegals amnesty.

The wife says Target is going to be the windfall beneficiary of Shannon shopping dollars in the future. But I have mixed emotions regarding that store, too. All too often in the Sunday advertising circular the clothes younger models wear contribute to the sexualization of tweenaged shoppers. Young girls are hard enough to shop for without major retailers urging them to dress like pint–sized Kim Kardashians.

This is not a problem encountered when viewing the frumpy models in a Walmart catalog. I don’t know for certain whom it is wearing those dowdy clothes, but most of them appear to be related to Fred and Ethel Mertz. Regardless of age there are no sex symbols in a Walmart catalog.

Besides the Target food section is mostly full of do–it–yourself yogurt mixes and it is about one third the size of Walmart’s. (Although, credit where credit is due, Target does carry Malt–O–Meal.) I do hate sneaking around behind my wife’s back. The fact that my future secret assignations are with a major retail chain and not a hoochie mama is probably a commentary on the dullness of my existence, but I plan to continue to visit Walmart.

On the other hand I won’t be visiting Republican members of the Virginia House delegation. Last week I wrote about the shameful Boehner/Ryan sellout they tried to spin as a “budget deal.” (Details here.) This capitulation raises taxes (fees), increases spending and negates the sequester.

Ryan is so proud of himself. The good congressman says he’s increased Pentagon spending by $2 billion, which means all the Coffee Colonels there can go back to using the Keurig instead of making do with Nescafe. In return for all this bounty Ryan agreed to let the Democrats increase their spending by $22 billion! That’s an 11 to 1 ratio and we’re on the short side.

GOP apologists talk about future spending cuts contained in the deal, but with these big spenders the cuts always remain in the future, just over the horizon, like a mirage.

You can’t bind a future Congress to a deal made today. Heck this Congress can’t even bind itself. Who do you think negotiated the original sequester?

Now Boehner is flush with positive MSM coverage and has declared war on the TEA party. He’s tired of having Obama hand him his hat, so the great strategist turns on his base. Now maybe Karl Rove will return his phone calls.

At times like this the favorite criticism of the TEA party centers on Senate candidates. The TEA party supported candidates that lost and that cost Republicans the Senate.

Establishment Republicans never foist a loser on the electorate. Just look at the great work being done by President Romney and Senator George Allen. Not to mention that paragon of tanning, Senator Charlie Crist from Florida. All these worthies are (or were, Crist became a Democrat this year) establishment Republicans with the full support of party elders.

The TEA party is not a monolithic closed structure resistant to outside ideas — wait that sounds like Boehner’s cabal — it’s a loosely affiliated collection of like–minded conservatives and tin foil distributors. (Just kidding.)

There is no national body that selects candidates. Local groups support local candidates.

The TEA party–backed candidate lost in Missouri because establishment Republicans in that state utilize a primary system that doesn’t have a runoff if no one gets 50 percent of the vote. That’s how Todd Akin becomes your nominee with fewer than 35 percent of the vote. Akin and his gynecological theories could have never won a runoff. The TEA party candidate would not have survived the primary if Missouri Republicans ran the party like Texas Republicans.

In Delaware, Christine O’Donnell was simply mislabeled. She would have had no problem winning as a Democrat. If Patty Murray of budget deal negotiating fame can win her first race running as “a mom in tennis shoes,” O’Donnell would have had few problems as “a mom who’s not a witch.”

Country club Republicans conveniently overlook the fact that TEA party energy is responsible for Boehner sitting in the Speaker’s chair today.

This wretched budget deal has now passed the Senate where Republicans with primary opponents voted against it as a sop to people like you and me. There was never a doubt as to House passage. If you want to see how your house member voted you can check here and here.

I’m sorry to say the deal passed with every GOP member from Virginia voting ‘yes.’ These Republicans are either too timid to vote conservative or they simply aren’t conservatives.

Regardless of the reason for their failure, I’ll be happily boycotting every one of these politicians until they’re out of office. No money and no votes from the Shannon household and I urge every conservative reading this to do likewise.

This is a boycott every conservative can get behind.

Consultants Who Think They Are Kingmakers

Boyd Marcus (the Karl Rove lookalike on the right) when he still consorted with Republicans.
Boyd Marcus (the Karl Rove lookalike on the right) when he still consorted with Republicans.

Boyd Marcus (the Karl Rove lookalike on the right) when he still consorted with Republicans.

A Virginia consultant no voter ever heard of endorses a candidate for governor nobody really likes and somehow it’s on the front page of the Washington Post’s Metro section. It reminds me of what Democrats formerly called the ‘Shrum Primary.’  That was the jockeying Democrat presidential candidates went through to try and persuade Bob Shrum to join their campaign as lead media consultant and strategist.

It wasn’t quite like a barefoot Emperor Henry IV standing in the snow begging the forgiveness of Pope Gregory VII, but it was close. The Shrum spectacle went on for a number of presidential elections until someone noticed (keep in mind Democrats are often blind to the obvious) that Shrum candidates were never called Mr. President after the election.

There is a larger question regarding both of these instances — who cares and how large does your ego have to be to think someone does?

This week’s ‘newsmaker’ is Boyd Marcus, described by the Posties as “a veteran Republican political consultant.” Marcus is famous as the architect of George Allen’s U.S. Senate victory over incumbent senator Tim Kaine last November. At a time when madcap TEA Party candidates were discussing women’s private parts or God’s plan for rape, ‘mainstream’ George Allen was cruising to victory.

Wait, my mistake. That’s what Marcus assured us was going to happen after ‘electable’ Allen (he can raise money, you know) got the nomination. So when November came around, Marcus and the rest of the Allen brain trust were perched inside the Mitt Romney Momentum Express bus waiting for the acceleration to kick in. They are still waiting.

It’s completely in character for Marcus to move from Republican Allen’s rerun Senate candidacy to a revenge endorsement of Democrat Terry McAuliffe in this year’s Virginia governor’s race. Marcus, who formerly only worked in Republican campaigns, says he is proud to endorse McAuliffe because Terry is the only candidate for governor willing to cut him a check.

Whoops, another mistake on my part.

For public consumption Marcus said, “I was looking at the candidates, and I saw Terry McAuliffe as the guy who will work with everybody to get things done.” Then McAuliffe wrote him the check. And what a deal! If only endorsements for the Democrat money–man were all a simple financial transaction! McAuliffe wouldn’t have to waste time shaking hands and pretending to be interested in what some Virginia hillbilly thinks about the deficit.

The McAuliffe campaign also issued its own bizarre Marcus quote, “I’ve never before supported any Democrat, but this election Terry is the clear choice for mainstream conservatives.” Translation: McAuliffe is the clear choice for self–involved turncoats whose support is for sale.

The real reason Marcus decided to monetize his political sympathies was his candidate for governor in Virginia — Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling — dropped out of the race when Ken Cuccinelli supporters in the Republican Party changed the nomination format from a primary to a convention. This completely upset the Bolling applecart consultants and all.

In spite of the fact Bolling had been light governor for eight years he and Marcus somehow overlooked the importance of building an organization during his two terms. No real connection with the grassroots means no delegates at the convention. So TEA Party fave Cuccinelli walked away with the nomination.

That meant Marcus lacked a meal ticket this fall. Cuccinelli certainly wasn’t going to hire him and there were no wealthy Virginia RINOs running for other statewide offices available to aid his cash flow.

An operative with even a shred of integrity would simply sit this one out. What one doesn’t do is what Marcus did — sign on with a candidate that is the antithesis of everything for which the Virginia, and for that matter national, Republican Party stands. This is what the average American hates about politics: The mercenaries and their candidates who ‘grow’ in office and have infinitely malleable principles.

How many pro–life bills does Marcus think uber–Democrat McAuliffe is going to sign? How many taxes will McAuliffe be willing to cut? How much government intrusion into the free market is McAuliffe going to prevent? And how often will McAuliffe oppose public employee union attempts to put one over on the taxpayer? Will McAuliffe fight Obamacare and the Medicaid expansion? Will McAuliffe be a voice against pressure from the left to legalize illegals?

In a nutshell, none, none, none, never, no and no. The things McAuliffe will get “done” involve abortion, alternate lifestyles, amnesty and helping Hillary gear up for 2016.

The vast majority of Virginia Republicans really believe in the party’s platform. They don’t change their positions like Marcus changes his socks. Marcus’ politics of petulance is one of the many problems with GOP ‘leadership’ today.

I know a little about changing political parties. Up until about 2000 I was a Democrat, but as I experienced more of reality and the Democrat party decided to embrace unreality, we drifted apart. I made the change official in the 2002 election and I stopped working for Democrat candidates and limited myself to Republicans.

Switch–hitting in baseball is fine (and leftists would have you believe it makes for an exciting marriage) but in politics it only indicates opportunism and a lack of core beliefs.

It will say a great deal about Marcus if he tries to work for Republicans in the future. And it will say even more about any Republican who hires him. Conservatives beware.

The Media Beats a Dead Macaca

Macaca, the Republican gift that keeps on giving. (Washington Post)

Macaca, the Republican gift that keeps on giving. (Washington Post)

Former Virginia GOP Senator George Allen has always been more politician than movement conservative. Allen throws us the occasional social issue vote — he opposes abortions, except in the politically expedient case of rape and incest, and he’s on record as supporting gravity and man/woman marriage — but George is also a big spender and crony capitalist, which come to think of it, is also politically expedient.

But after watching his performance in the Fairfax County Chamber’s Senate Candidate debate with former Governor Tim Kaine, one starts to wonder if he’s much of a politician.

In 1994 Republicans took the House after Hillarycare collapsed. In 2010 Republicans took the House in response to Obamacare. A majority of the public still opposes Obamacare and wants to see it repealed. Discussion of and opposition to Obamacare should be a given for any conservative Senate candidate.

Yet during the debate Allen uses the leaden euphemism “healthcare tax bill” instead of the more obvious Obamacare.

This is a mistake on two levels. “Healthcare tax bill” is a term that only saw light after Chief Justice John Roberts applied for asylum at the White House and ruled Obamacare constitutional. To understand the term a listener must be reminded of the decision — something conservatives want to forget — and then connect it with Obamacare.

So it’s a descriptor that’s once removed from the topic at hand. Secondly this bloodless term has none of the baggage and negative connotations that Obamacare has acquired. So why use it at all unless your goal is to discourage your own vote?

Does some consultant think that using Obamacare will alienate independents? Good grief, even Obama embraces Obamacare as a label. And is that also why Allen talks about reforming the “healthcare tax bill” rather than repealing it?

Even in Minnesota — a state that sent Al Franken to the Senate! — a majority of likely voters want Obamacare repealed. In 2010 Virginia voters didn’t defeat Democrat incumbent Congressmen Glenn Nye, Rick Boucher and Tom Perriello because they wanted to send Obamacare to rehab.

Voters want it sent to Restland.

Consultant–pecked candidates pledging to tinker around the edges of Obamacare are everything that’s wrong with conservative politics today. It sucks the enthusiasm out of your own base in a futile effort to seem less threatening to people who won’t vote for you anyway.

However, I know this discussion is inside political baseball. Readers are really asking: What about Macaca? The term Allen used to describe a Democrat tracker during the Senate re–election campaign he lost over six years ago.

It just so happens 34 minutes and 31 seconds into the debate Macaca reared its ugly head (on second thought this particular topic might not be the best candidate for personification, so let’s just say the question appeared).

Holy smoke! What’s the statute of limitations on stupidity? George Allen is a serial apologizer for his Macaca comment. Allen personally endowed the Macaca Studies chair at the University of Virgina. He journeyed overseas and built a school in Macaca’s village. The entire Allen family sends him a non–denominational “Season’s Greetings” card every winter solstice.

What more does the media want?

Why does the MSM have a memory like an elephant for Republican mistakes, but when a Democrat sounds like a jackass interest dies in a month? In mid–August Vice Buffoon Joe Biden tells a campaign audience full of blacks that Republican policies are designed “to put y’all back in chains.” By mid–September the controversy is gone.

By comparison, what would the MSM would do if Paul Ryan told an audience of Jews that Democrat policies on Iran are designed to “put y’all back in the ovens?” Let me save you the trouble. For the next decade demonstrators dressed as kitchen appliances would appear outside Ryan events as the media jostled each other for the chance to interview the burner with a brain.

And should Ryan participate in a debate, he would be peppered with penetrating questions from Anderson Cooper, just as soon as Andy was able to remove his Jenn–Air costume.

If George is paying attention, there’s actually a lesson in semantics buried here among the bias. The debate questioner didn’t ask George about “an unfortunate slip of the tongue” during a campaign rally. She asked about Macaca because she knew the word had impact, would put Allen on the spot and would reaffirm her caring credentials among peers and watching Democrats. (Save your email. I know this is redundant.)

Obamacare does the same thing for public policy. The word is motivational. It shows conservatives that Allen is on their side and the unpopularity of the issue puts Kaine on the spot.

Allen’s consultants appear to be telling him otherwise, but I suggest if he has any doubts, George should call former Congressmen Boucher, Nye or Perriello and ask whoever answers the phone if Obamacare is a good word for Republicans and a bad one for Democrats.

Finally a Democrat on the Right Side of Taxes

The Widow's mite of Biblical fame.

The Widow’s mite of Biblical fame.

Tim Kaine — known here as Gov. Flowmax after closing Virginia’s interstate rest stops — occasionally comes down on the right side of an issue. During the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce debate between Senate candidates Kaine and former Sen. George Allen, Kaine observed that he would be “open” to the idea of everyone paying some level of federal income tax.

Subsequent media and online coverage was dominated by the charge that Kaine wants to tax everyone. Republican websites instantly pounced on the tax statement in an effort to put Kaine on the defensive. This is typical of today’s politics where candidates and consultants go for short–term political advantage at the cost of long term damage to the country.

Readers of last week’s column know I think it’s a good idea for every adult to pay federal tax. Otherwise some enjoy Taxation Without Participation where those who don’t pay federal taxes are happy to vote for politicians who will increase the taxes of those who do.

There is no government free lunch, although it may seem like it as long as the Chinese allow Uncle Sam to run a tab. If everyone pays, then everyone is aware of the cost of government when taxes increase. Normally Democrats oppose this.

The whole idea of some individuals being exempt from responsibility is another of the modern “progressive” ideas that have done so much to damage the nation. “Forward” into oblivion one might say.

Contrast “progressive” tax policy with Biblical tithe policy. God — who one would think knows something about the human heart and fairness — did not exempt anyone from paying their obligation. Luke 21:1 – 4 relates the incident of the widow’s mite: And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”

The widow’s poverty did not exempt her, in fact it served to glorify her. Yet modern man, who evidently has a more finely attuned sense of justice than God, doesn’t think everyone should contribute to the nation’s upkeep. What’s more, the widow paid the same percentage tithe as those in “their abundance.” Proving God doesn’t believe in “progressive” tax rates either, but that’s a topic for another column.

Kaine was also asked if he supports eliminating charitable and mortgage interest deductions. Kaine answered that he supports broadening the base and rather than enduring a political battle over each deduction, he supports setting an aggregate total.

What this innocuous phrase means is Kaine wants the federal government to decide what’s a reasonable amount for you to give to charity. I’m sure if Kaine has his way the federally–approved donation deduction will be somewhere between the widow’s mite that Joe Biden delivers by motorcade each December 25th and the 30 percent Mitt Romney has donated to charity in 2011.

If instituted, the fed’s final decision on what’s allowed will be closer to the 3 to 5 percent charitable average for the US. For Christians who give a 10 percent tithe, this means they will be paying taxes on at least half of the money they donate. Proving Leviathan tolerates the worship of God as long as you save some Mammon for it.

This is a curious policy for a Catholic like Kaine to support, but it’s not the only issue where the former governor has a secular take on his faith. When the subject came up Kaine didn’t come right out and say he supported “abortion.” After all, this wasn’t the Democrat National Convention where abortion is part of the party platform.

Kaine’s genuflection came when he declared support for a woman’s right to exercise “constitutional choices.” But certainly not the “constitutional choice” that allows a woman to carry a concealed weapon. Kaine’s bloodless euphemism is just his feeble attempt to conceal the ugly truth of abortion.

Kaine will tell you that as a Catholic he is personally opposed to abortion, but is not willing to impose his beliefs on others. This is a classic dodge that weaselly Southern Democrats have been using for over 200 years.

Before the Civil War Democrats claimed to be personally opposed to slavery, but unwilling to impose their beliefs on the planter aristocracy.

The outcome in the one case was involuntary servitude, in the other involuntary death. I fail to see any improvement in Democrat philosophy over the years.

It’s a real shame that Tim Kaine is not willing to extend his “open” to everyone paying taxes to being “open” to everyone being born.