Tag Archives: 2010 midterm election

The Top Ten Political Events of 2010

Bookmark and Share     2010 saw its share of disasters and fighting. In Haiti a 7.0 earthquake killed 230,000, left 300,000 injured, and a million more homeless. In Afghanistan, America continued to fight for stability and in doing so, saw its highest casualty numbers of the war.

2010 also saw its share of corruption and scandal. Charlie Rangel was censured for his abuses, General Stanley McChrystal was relieved of duty after strongly criticizing Administration policies and officials in a Rolling Stones profile and former Senator and Democrat vice presidential candidate, John Edwards, finally admitted to being the father of an illegitimate child and by year‘s end would see the loyal wife he cheated on, die of cancer.

In politics, 2010 was certainly a year that produced plenty of suspense and surprise. It was a year that saw political power shift, military might flexed, history made, and environmental havoc wreaked. It was a year that challenged the popularity and abilities of President Obama, challenged the American people with economic austerity and the world with nuclear threat. The following 10 events are indicative of just how much so. They are happenings that have either been initiated by politics or had a profound effect on the politics that shaped, or will shape our world.

The order in which they are presented is based upon a combination of media attention, dramatic change, and a mix of both short and long term effects on our nation and the world. Two political eves which were runner ups to the list included Wikileaks and passage of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange proved that one man and a keyboard could make dozens of  many powerful world leaders cringe all at once?  And in doing so he has created some serious freedom of speech and information issues.  As for DADT, it was one of the most dramatic military policy changes in decades and whether you believe it to be a civil rights issues or a military decision, it was profound . 

Two other political  issues which fell short of the top 10 list included the nonevents which were the continued lack of a decision by the Obama Administration regarding how to try enemy combatants and if, how and when to close down the prison at Guantanamo Bay.On these two issues, President Obama has proven to speak before he thought and in trying to placate his disenchanted liberal base, has not found a suitable way for reversing his original positions, positions which the truth of reality have forced the President to stall admitting that he was wrong to initially want.

But as for those events which involved the situations handled and decisions made or carried out by political figures, legislative bodies or voters, here are the top 10.

 

10. – End To Combat Mission In Iraq

On August 31st , the long war in Iraq was “officially’ declared over. In getting to this point, President Obama continued the Bush policy and timeline which brought us to that point. To his credit, President Obama did invoke the name of former President George W. Bush and offered him praise by stating that no one could doubt his predecessors “support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security.”  In a prime time address to the nation, President Obama declared that “Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibility. Now, it’s time to turn the page.” But to say the least, the page remains dog-eared, as approximately 50,000 troops are left in Iraq for the foreseeable future to advise and assist Iraqi security forces.  

9. Shelling of South Korea

On November 23rd, North Korea fired a barrage of artillery shells at the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, killing two South Korean marines and two civilians and leaving dozens of families homeless. The unprovoked attack prompted South Korea to scramble F-16 fighter jets and return fire. It also forced Seoul to place its military on its highest non-wartime alert level. The attacks also proved, once again, how absolutely erratic and dangerous the North Korean regime is. In March, again unprovoked, North Korea fired on and sunk a South Korean ship. That event killed 46 sailors . It is said that the secretive and reclusive North Korean regime performs stunts like this and makes threats of even bolder military action, all in the name of posturing for negotiations. But at some point in time, violence can not be accepted in negotiations and if North Korea keeps pushing in this fashion, it will eventually force others to push back. Between these two incidents, its nuclear ambitions and its long range missile capabilities, Pyongyang proves to be a disturbing threat to peace and stability in the increasingly important region of Asia. With its burgeoning economies, the world can little afford war on the Korean peninsula. Nor could we afford the risk of drawing China and our Japanese ally into a war. If 2011 sees North Korea acting the same as it did in 2010, expect the current focus on the Middle East to shift further East.                            

 8. –Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions

In 2010 it became more apparent than ever that Iran was close to becoming a nuclear power, a fact that could change the Middle East and life as we know it.  It became quite clear that Iran had the ability to enrich uranium and experts now believe that it could produce enough highly-enriched uranium for a bomb anywhere from within a few months to two years. As usual, talk seems to do little to prevent Iran from developing nuclear capabilities and after 18 years of hiding their nuclear enrichment program, UN Security Council resolutions ordering Iran to suspend development have failed to stop Iran from moving ahead. If some kind of arrangement is not soon made to keep Iran from gaining the ability to develop nuclear weapons, the situation could fall upon Israel, the small nation which Iran’s President has promised to push off the face of the earth. But if Israel were to act, how would the surrounding nations of Islam deal with its aftermath?

7. –  The Ground Zero Mosque

Whether or not anyone has the right to build a mosque in the immediate area surrounding ground zero of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, was never the question. But whether or not it is appropriate, is the question. Should a religious house of worship for Islam, rise from the rubble of the attacks that extremists waged in the name of Islam? For the left,….. the politically correct, sensitive left, it should be easy to understand that the answer is “no“. However, regardless of political correctness it is true that our Constitution permits freedom of religion and there exists no legal right to prohibit the building of a Mosque in an area that is zoned for such construction. This situation dominated the news and politics for months as it consumed headlines and our attention.  And till this day, many are still trying to find a compromise that would allow for the construction of this mosque, but in a location other than ground zero.

 

6. – Unemployment

In November it rose and as it went up, the hopes of our sluggish economy picking up steam anytime soon went down. Despite promises by President Obama that his stimulus package would soon get unemployment down to a still too high 8.00%, it is rising and worst of all, it comes during the holiday season, when employment usually ticks up, and unemployment ticks down. But although November was particularly bad, unemployment ruled the headlines and the economy throughout the year and has placed millions into dire straits and highlights deeper troubles within the economy. Through it all the political Party in power not only failed to effectively combat unemployment, they at times seemed to go out of their way to convince the American people that they aren’t even capable of doing anything about it. Nancy Pelosi called government spending a jobs bill and Harry Reid once even said that it was a great day in America because only 160,000 Americans lost their jobs during a particular month. The long standing high unemployment rate will keep on weighing down President Obama and until he understands how to allow free enterprise to create jobs and what the real economic engine of America is, he will continue to simply tinker with the numbers and miss his target of his still too high 8% unemployment rate .  Although, when compared to 10%, it would be an improvement.

5. – The Arizona Immigration Law

The bill simply enofrced fedral laws at the state level, yet the Obama Administration and liberal illegal immgration advocates lost control and flipped out.  They called it unconstitutional and subsequently took Arizona to court over itsx new law.  For months this story fueled itself with large protetsts by by pro-illegal immigration groups and  SEIU union members,  and counter protests that energized an already energetic TEA Party movement.

 

4. – Gulf Oil Disaster

It was the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history and it was the first real crisis of the Obama Administration. How did they handle it? Miserably. The first reaction to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico was slow and initially directed toward blaming it on George Bush. But as time went on, and it was shown that haphazard application of regulations assisted the disaster, it was also discovered that BP, the owners of the facility gave President Obama a million dollars in campaign donations and shortly before the Deepwater Horizon blew up, receive a safety award by the Obama Administration. But the more egg that was on the President’s face, the more oil lapped onto the Gulf shore states, particularly Louisiana, a state that is in many ways still reeling from Hurricane Katrina. For months the oil gushed from the under see pipes that once flowed to the top of the Deepwater Horizon. In all, between April 20th when the rig exploded and July 15th when the gusher was finally plugged, a continuous flow of a total of 4,300,000 barrels of oil was said to have poured into the Gulf. The episode had a profound effect on the economies of the Gulf states, closed down the fishing and shrimping industries and left Americans lacking the confidence in President Obama’s ability to effectively handle crisis. 

   3. – 2010 Midterm Elections

Two years ago, left wing commenators and pundits claimed the G.O.P was dead and going the way of the Whigs.  But in what proved to be a tidal wave election of historic proportions, Republicans won a remarkable 691 state legislative seats, shattering the old record which was held by Democrats in the post Watergate election of 1974, when they picked up 629 seats. Along the way, those numbers allowed the G.O.P. to increase thier stregnth by winning control of 18  various state legislative chambers and control of both state legislative chambers in 26 states. In addition to that, Republicans elected 7 new Governors bringing the total up to 29 G.O.P. Governors and allowing for complete control of state government with majorities in the the statehouses and the upper and lower houses of as many as 21 states, a sign that does not bode well for Democrats in the upcoming redistricting process.  In all, Republicans now have the largest majority for the Party since 1928.   Beyond state government, Republicans picked up a total of 63 House seats and 6 U.S. Senate seats. The historic number of House pickups was one of the largest number of seats gained in an election in over a generation and give the G.O.P. one of it largest majority margins ever. The 2010 election produced a truly profound political change. It not only gave Republicans control of the House and many statehouses and legislatures, it also gave them the ability to determine the political landscape for the next ten years as they take a very large upper hand in redistricting. In the years to come, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Obama will surely learn to regret having misread the American people quite as much as they did during 2010.

 2. – Election of Scott Brown

This event seems to have faded away in the hearts and minds of most but truth be told, the election of Republican Scott Brown to replace Ted Kennedy as one of Massachusetts two U.S. Senators, was quite profound and a sign of just how dissatisfied with the direction of the nation, voters had become. In fact it was the beginning of the 2010 midterm elections and a sign of what was to come . After channeling voter anger and capitalizing on disenchantment with the President’s agenda, underdog Scott Brown made Massachusetts political history after by pulling off an upset victory and becoming the first Republican elected to the senate from Massachusetts since Edward Brooks was first elected to the position in 1966. But more than that was the legacy of Ted Kennedy which Brown had to in many ways, run against. Ted Kennedy was the third longest U.S. Senator in history. He held the seat for more than 5 decades and during that time became known as the Liberal Lion. But in the wake of the anti-liberal sentiments sweeping the nation, even Ted Kennedy’s legacy could not help Scott Brown’s liberal Democrat opponent, State Attorney General Martha Coakley, to pull this election out. The selection of Scott Brown was a true sign of things to come and proof that the national political map was going to turn not Republican red or Democrat blue, but TEA Party ‘Brown”. Eight months later it did. 

1. – Passage of Obamacare

The passage of health reform probably had more impact on politics than it did on healthcare. At least once it’s repealed in whole or found unconstitutional by the courts.  It certainly had a profound effect on the balance of power in America. After more than a year of closed door, partisan negotiations, the health reform bill was passed in the face of unprecedented political opposition to it which increased every day that the debate continued. It was finally approved after unprecedented amounts of kickbacks and political payoffs were offered to legislators in exchange for their vote for the unpopular bill and even though liberals did not feel it went far enough, and that moderates and conservatives believed it went too far. Yet on  Sunday, March 21st, Obamacare passed despite the fact that it actually raised healthcare premiums and after the House even considered passing it without voting on the measure, and instead, just deeming it passed. The entire process regarding the healthcare bill, from its debate to its actual vote, demonstrated all the worst of a legislative process which Democrats were abusing. It demonstrated how unwilling Democrats were to listen to the people and most of all, it showed just how antithetical to the Constitution and the American free enterprise system that the federal government has become. So much so that their attempt to take control of 1/6 of the American economy fueled the birth of a Taxed Enough Already movement that would be the downfall of Democrats and a wake up call for Republicans. The unsavory passage of Obamacare was an example of left wing liberalism being so extreme that it forced many Americans to see that government was less divided by left and right than it was between right and wrong. The result was an electorate that forced Republicans and Democrats to look at the Constitution of the United States and refer to it before they passed laws that went beyond the rightful power of the federal government. And on November 2rd, the result was a resounding rejection of Obamacare, Democrats and the Obama agenda. All in all, passage of the healthcare reform bill was in many ways historic. It was one of the most significant and sweeping social programs since LBJ and even FDR. It was also one of the most incoherent, convoluted, unenforceable and unconstitutional pieces of legislation ever to be made into law, and it prompted a most historic transfers of power in the House of Representatives.

With all that, 2010 ends on the same note that it began. It ends with us having hope, hope that our political leaders will act responsibly. Hope that our economy will improve and that rogue nations and regimes will see the light. As 2010 ends, we hope that 2011 will be a year where the lessons of years past are remembered and that we as a people, move in the right direction rather than the wrong one.

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This Halloween, The Ghost of Elections Future Appears

Bookmark and Share   I’m not much for Halloween. I never really was. Even as a child I felt kind of silly getting into costumes and I was even more uncomfortable going door to door trick or treating. I was uneasy knocking on doors and asking for things. As I grew up, that unease relaxed as I no longer felt the need to humor adults by doing it and showing some sort of glee for the Halloween tradition.

Not long after that though, I found myself almost liking going door to door, but by that time it was for far better reason than candy. It was for votes. When it came to getting petition signatures or getting out the vote, although I still wasn’t completely comfortable, I felt more confident with what to me was a greater purpose for bothering people than just asking for candy corn or Milky Way bars.

But as I grew older, I found myself amid my college crowd of friends and grown ups who were not wandering the streets in search of candy, but were still into the whole Halloween costume concept. Conforming to society based upon a certain degree of peer pressure which created a desire to not be the dork totally left out of the social scene during October’s last weekend, I again succumbed to the season traditional. But this time, as an adult, gone were the Planet of the Apes masks or Werewolf costumes. Being of a political mind, I normally resorted to what came natural to me ………. political oriented costumes.

One year, when I was a leader within a county Young Republican organization, my home state of New York was running a most horribly embarrassing candidate for Governor. He was a multimillionaire, originally from Canada, and his name was Pierre Rinfret. Pierre was a joke. He was abrasive, ignorant, agenda-less and just an all around mistake that was inflicted upon Party regulars by Party elders. In many ways, he was a lot like current New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Palladino. That year, angry and embarrassed by my Party’s decision, I ran a write-in campaign for governor which gave people a choice to write-in the name of my local Republican state senator instead of voting for Mario Cuomo or Rinfret. Then, the weekend before the election, came the YR’s Halloween Party. The costume I chose to don was my standard work attire and accessories …… a suit and tie and my attaché case. But in addition to that was a curly haired rainbow wig, a clown nose and a name tag that read “Pierre Rinfret – Bozo the Candidate”.

Since then I continued to try and avoid Halloween as much as possible, especially the costume thing. But whenever it was unavoidable, I chose to craft a costume of a political nature. The last time I could not avoid the festivities, I found a red velvet, …… make that imitation velvet, ….. ladies devil costume, got cheap, low healed, red ladies shoes, contoured the outfit with imitation breasts, and then bought a Hillary Clinton mask which I proceeded to alter with the addition of horns to its scalp. The heals were tough to pull off but the bitchy attitude and point I wanted to make were easy.

Now, as another Halloween approaches, I find myself faced with possibly being unable to get out of Halloween this year too. To be honest, as usual I really don’t want to go through the hassle of making an ass out of myself and looking like a fool, but apparently far too many of us adults like the practice. So if I absolutely can’t get out of this year’s particular commitment, once again, being consumed by the all important elections of 2010, which are just three days away, I have decided to go as the “Ghost of Elections Future”.

For this I will wear a simple, but macabre, grim reaper-like black robe and hood that hide as much of the face as possible and in both arms I will carry a tombstone …….. cheap Styrofoam tombstones that you can still find in any toy or party store. On these synthetic stones, I will imprint two names. One will bear the name “Reid” and the other will read “Pelosi”.

Now I know some of you will consider this ‘politically incorrect’ and see it as a breach of sensitivities. Some of the more liberal among us will accuse me of suggesting that Pelosi and Reid be killed. To be clear, that would be ‘dead’ wrong. I wish not for anyone other than Osama bin Laden, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and mebers of Al Qaeda and the Taliban to die. I wish no Democrats any ill will and to those who would try to claim my costume does convey such a sentiment regarding Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, I will say, get over yourselves and get real. It is a joke which does not suggest their deaths but represents the end of their political reign of ridiculousness in Washington. I will also remind them that as supporters of Pelosi and Reid, I would expect that they of all people should know a joke when they see it. After all, Pelosi and Reid are two of the biggest jokes we have seen in decades and after two years in complete control of government, this Halloween, it is easy to see that they were no “treat”, because with them in charge, we were all tricked.

So if you see the “Ghost of Elections Future” at this Saturday night’s biggest Halloween bashes, instead of getting insulted, just take it as a reminder of things to come and start getting ready for the scariest of all days for Democrats this year ………Election Day.

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Republicans Can’t Let Voters Forget the Other Issues in 2010

Bookmark and Share    The economy is not the only issue Republicans must raise as we embark on the closing weeks of the 2010 midterm elections.

While it is the most important issue of the day, we would be remiss to ignore that which will be important to people tomorrow. President Obama is aware of the many pitfalls that he and his Party have created and they hope to keep some seats by intentionally allowing issues other than the economy to stay on the back burner and out of everyone’s view.

For instance, not long ago President Obama’s Justice Department under the inept leadership of Attorney General Eric Holder, was suppose to hand down a decision on whether or not the 9/11 five which included Khalid Sheik Mohammed, would be tried in New York City courtroom, a different federal court or in a military tribunal, the forum appropriate for such a trial of enemy combatants.

For weeks the issue raged on. New Yorkers protested against the trial being held in NYC and pundits and voters clamored about in rage over how the Obama Administartion was trying to prosecute the War on Terror. But the Obama Administration decided to run out the clock at least until the halftime buzzer went off. They have refused to make a decision and instead have joyfully allowed other issues to push it off the front page until the midterm elections are over..

The same situation exists surrounding the prison at Guantanamo Bay, a prison that President Obama promised to close down three years ago.

Furthermore; as the economy continues to frustrate people and throw many into poverty, the issue of immigration is once again losing some of the punch that it packed just a few weeks ago. Aside from a last ditch effort to entice the minority community to vote for Harry Reid with his “Dream Act”, the Obama Administration itself will not act on immigration issues during these closing weeks of the 2010 elections. They hope that voter anger the Administrations handling of illegal immigration will wind down and that people will forget how Democrats gave a standing ovation to the President of Mexico when he came to America and denounced the state of Arizona during a joint session of Congress.

President Obama and Democrats hope that you will forget about Obamacare as much as possible. That is why you will see no Steven Spielberg-like commercials produced that have inspirational music playing over scenes of Democrats triumphantly passing a government takeover of healthcare and 1/6 of the economy.

Right now Democrats are facing the fact that the economy is killing them and they are doing their best to stop the hemorrhaging based on that issue alone. But they would not be able to handle other issues that they have affected over the past few years too.

They could not withstand commercials that show the people of Arizona being sued for prosecuting immigration laws, while illegal immigrants run across the American border. They would not be able to effectively respond to ads that demonstrate how terrorists are being granted rights that they do not have by risking the lives of the people whom we are suppose to be protecting.

The opinion that social, legal and moral issues should not be a part of the existing debate in the closing weeks of this campaign season is dangerous. All of these issues are intertwined with the economy and the positions of Democrats and the Administration of President Obama. They all have a common denominator, they are all examples of freedom being taken away.

So while the G.O.P. should not lose focus on the economy, they would be doing us wrong by not explaining that the economic war on free enterprise that the President’s policies have created, are just one example of the many policies which demonstrate how out of touch Democrats are.

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Democrats Exploit Gays on the Issue of DADT

Bookmark and Share  I regret the fact that the U.S. Senate saw fit to deny gay men and women the right to serve in the U.S military openly and honestly.

The defense of our nation is a most noble cause, one which should command great respect for those whom choose to take up that cause, with great sacrifice of and risk to themselves . Among other things such as time with family and friends and the creature comforts of home, military service requires that you give up some, some, of your individuality and even some of your freedoms, all in order to dedicate yourself to a unique code of conduct that is designed to enhance survival of ones self and their fellow service members. But amid all these sacrifices, a soldier should not have to sacrifice who they are and live under the added pressure of fear that they will be found out to be gay.

The necessary sacrifices that our men and women who serve in the armed forces make, are done so with a sense of responsibility to this nation and all that represents. That representation includes equality, something which clearly does not exist in the military. Yet the blood that a gay person sheds for their nation is just as red as the next person, and the pain and anguish suffered on the field of battle is just as intense for a homosexual as it is for a heterosexual.

But for some reason the military and many elected officials refuse to acknowledge these facts. Instead they choose to treat gays in the military as second class citizens.

This is not acceptable. It is not the type of treatment and respect that someone who serves our nation deserves.

Much of the opposition to gays in the military stems from the premise that homosexuals will create discomfort upon fellow troops and threaten unit cohesiveness. Proponents of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that Republicans refused to repeal, claim that the existence of openly homosexual service members can lead to apprehension and resentment in units, and ultimately threaten military readiness and morale.

Opponents like myself claim that if a man or woman is brave enough to face down the enemy in combat, they should have the courage to stand in defense of this nation by the side of a fellow American who just happens to be gay.

Military service has little to do with sexual activity. In fact, sexual activity is shunned and not allowed on bases while serving on active duty. That fact should be enough to alleviate any concerns about homosexuality. But in addition to that, the DADT compromise is not working. Even former President Clinton, the architect of the 1993 compromise, has admitted that the policy is “out of whack” and “Isn’t working as it should”. Since DADT was enacted, discharges of gay and lesbian troops have increased by 67 %. Much of this has had to do with voluntary declarations of homosexuality, as an increasing number of homosexuals in the military have begin to challenge the policy by openly declaring their sexual preference. And some of the high average also has to do with sinister motives which allow rivalries to turn into accusations made by fellow soldiers who take advantage of the DADT policy by using it to make false charges.

Then there is the fact that our armed forces face recruitment shortages, and by discharging homosexual service members in large numbers, they are losing men and women who are ready to serve our nation.

None of this is helping our nation’s cause.

For that reason, I regret the filibuster which would have overturned Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.. And while I know that my Party, the Republican Party, is being described as the leaders of the filibuster against DADT, there are several corrections that need to be made.

The vote to end the filibuster including, several Democrat votes such as Pryor and Lincoln. It is also important to understand the real reason behind the filibuster. which was not based solely on DADT. Much of it was based on the fact that Democrats played a political game. Harry Reid decided to attach repeal of DADT and his immigration proposal called the Dream Act to a defense authorization bill.

For their part, before Republicans could debate the merits of either bill, they argued that neither bill had anything to do with a vote on defense appropriations. And they were right.

If Democrats were at all sincere about their supposed efforts on behalf of the gay community, they would have made the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell a standalone bill that would have been debated on its own merits. Instead Democrats under, Harry Reid, decided once again to exploit gay men and women by turning DADT into a wedge issue in the upcoming midterm elections. Rather than actually stand behind repealing DADT, Democrats simply created a scenario that forced the GOP to mount a filibuster more against process than any issue. In turn the Democrat plan is to motivate gays to come out in November and vote against Republicans for what they will describe as a vote against homosexual rights.

Hopefully the homosexual community will have the intelligence to understand that while they may not have benefited from Republican action on the issue of DADT, they were actually used by Democrats who decided to exploit their political naivety and sacrifice gay rights in the military for electoral power in November.

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Republican Tells Pelosi To “Give Me That Damn Gavel”

Bookmark and Share    I have to say that I find Florida is really beginning to impress me insofar as the type and quality of patriots and genuine conservative Republicans that they are putting out on the campaign trail.

For quite sometime now, I have been a supporter and diehard fan of Marco Rubio, the young former speaker of the Florida state legislature and conservative underdog who is running for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination against popular incumbent Republican Governor Charlie Crist. Rubio represent the next generation of real Republicans and if given the chance will soon emerge as a leader of not just a political Party but the nation. So far his campaign has been a “Rocky-like” story that has Rubio doing to Crist what Rocky did to Apollo Creed, but in this case Rubio is likely to be the winner by a knock out.

With a way to go yet, Rubio has so far shocked the political establishment and is currently ahead of Governor Crist by as much as more than 25% in some polls.

But beyond Marco Rubio, Florida has several other outstanding candidates running for various offices such as Bill McCollum who is seeking to become the next Governor of the Sunshine State. But one of the most stellar candidates to come out of Florida is a candidate for the House of Representatives from the 22nd congressional district.

Lieutenant Colonel Allen West (US Army, Retired), is the Republican who will be opposing liberal Democrat Ron Klein and he is dying for the opportunity in January of 2011, to look Nancy Pelosi in the eye and say…“give me that damn gavel!”

Allen West describes his plight as one that is fighting the “dishonest tyranny” of an Administration that will lie while saying that all they are doing is for the betterment of the people when all they are really doing is “making us slaves.”

And while Allen West opposes this Administration and their radical liberal agenda, his opponent, incumbent Ron Klein, can be described as nothing other than a undistinguished, knee-jerk, big government, tax and spend liberal who has never opposed an idea or piece of legislation that his master Nancy Pelosi has thrown down for him to approve. Klein is truly nothing special and his only hold on to his congressional seat is based upon the gerrymandering that created his district along the lines of predominantly Democrat registered populations. But under the existing political environment, the most positive characterization that one can claim of Klein’s chances of getting reelected to his once safe seat, is to place his election contest in the “leans Democrat” column.

Part of the reason for the unusually competitive race facing Congressman Klein, is his opponent, Lt. Col. Allen West.

In his military career, West served in several combat zones, including in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he was battalion commander for the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, and in Afghanistan, where he trained Afghan officers to take on the responsibility of securing their own country.

His service, talent and dedication earned a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals (one with Valor), and a Valorous Unit Award, he received his valor award as a Captain in Desert Shield/Storm, was the US Army ROTC Instructor of the Year in 1993, and was a Distinguished Honor Graduate III Corps Assault School. He proudly wears the Army Master parachutist badge, Air Assault badge, Navy/Marine Corps parachutist insignia, Italian parachutist wings, and German proficiency badge (Bronze award).

But beyond his military career, West has the experience of a lifetime of conservative values that have propelled him and his family to independence and success and now he intends to bring that experience to Congress.

On the issues, West is a fiscal conservative with his own ideas on how to properly reform healthcare and reduce federal spending and the size of government, reform our tax structure and adopt a flat tax , stimulate the economy and create jobs through the private sector, initiate strong anti-illegal immigration enforcement and policies and seek to have the U.S. Border Patrol placed under the Department of Defense so that proper training, equipping, and better personnel resourcing can be provided and allow for a lateral transfer of members of the military, with experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, into the USBP for their expertise. West emphasizes that last proposal by making it clear that he does not trust our homeland security under Janet Napolitano.

In addition to being a strong and innovative leader for and of the people, Allen West knows how to present his case and seems to thrive on the prospect of any challenge, on any issue, that his opponent might want to address.

Currently, liberal fears of losing Klein’s seat have the hidden prejudices of the left rearing its ugly head. West is African-American and as he points out in the video clip provided with this post, they have been calling him everything from a traitor and an Oreo to an Uncle Tom. Such disrespect and hate is certainly not something that a hero and patriot like Lt. Col. West should have to endure. But the conduct of the left is simply a sign of the fear which is forcing them to show their true selves and it is not pretty.

But West is undeterred.

Knowledgeable, convincing, passionate, articulate and quite commanding, Allen West is a dynamo on the campaign trail. If he can raise the money to compete with the financial resources that the liberal lobby of special interests and big unions finances Klein with, West could just pull off one of those surprise wins that helps get Republicans closer to taking control of the House back from Democrats. But what’s more is, West won’t just be another Republican vote. He is the type of leader who will not be seduced by Party powerbrokers or impressed with leadership titles. His entire adult life has been spent defying the forces that oppose him and after having stood up to entire brigades of enemy military combatants, I doubt there is question in that someone like Republican minority leader John Boehner will easily intimidate Lt. Col. West.

Like Marco Rubio in his race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, West’s race for the Florida’s 22nd Congressional District seat is an uphill battle but West has been climbing and conquering hills his whole life. So this race may be tough but with Allen West as his opponent, this time around, it won’t be any easier for Klein either.

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86 Year Old Sen. Lautenberg Diagnosed With Cancer. But Democrats Have Him Running For a 6th Term, 4 Years From Now.

Bookmark and Share  On Monday Senator Frank Lautenberg was hospitalized after he became light headed, dizzy and fell at his home in his Cliffside Park, New Jersey home. Doctors reported that the Senator was suffering from a treatable stomach ulcer and would have a full recovery.

Now it was announced that the ulcer was caused by B-Cell lymphoma,….. stomach cancer.

The Senator will undergo chemotherapy treatments and as was the case with his earlier discovered ulcer, Doctors say the cancer is treatable and that the Senator will have a complete recovery.

Let us hope so.

Regardless of differences of political opinion, as a Senator, Frank Lautenberg has made sacrifices. Life in the public eye requires sacrifice and it also opens one up to criticism of everything they do in life. So those of you who do not think that serving in high elected office is work and requires sacrifices, try living your life on a national stage and having every move you make scrutinized and used against you. I do not write this in the hope that you have sympathy for your public officials but empathy is a different story.

So while I do not like Frank Lautenberg’s politics or political conduct, I do hope that the Frank Lautenberg whom I have not known personally, the Frank Lautenberg that is a friend and father, I hope he has a full, speedy and painless recovery.

But on the political side there exists some concerns here. Especially in light of a remark made by a Lautenberg spokesman when he stated that the 86-year-old Senator will finish out his current term and plans to run for reelection in 2014.

At 86, in 2014, Senator Lautenberg will be 90. At the end of a record 6th term, Lautenberg would be 96 years old.

Now Frank Lautenberg had already retired from the senate in 2000. But then in 2002, after Democrat Senator Robert Torricelli was censured by the Senate for ethics charges, Torricelli was losing his own reelection to Republican Doug Forrester. So with only 30 days to go before the election, Democrats convinced Torricelli to pull out of the race and allow another Democrat to run in his place.

The problem though, was that according to election law, candidates could not be replaced on the ballot at any point that was thirty days or less before the election date.

So the case went to court.

In the mean time Democrats found Frank Lautenberg to be the only Democrat who had the popularity and name ID that could beat the Republican nominee, Doug Forrester, in a thirty day campaign. So they pulled him out of mothballs and decided to have him take Toriicelli’s place on the ballot.

In the end, the state supreme court ruled that although it was against the law to switch candidates this late in the game, the need for there to be two candidates on the ballot who were actually running, meant that insuring that the democratic process went on, overrode the law that prevented any party from switching candidates this late in the game. So in what was quite an historic decision, a state supreme court set presedence and sanctioned the breaking of the law.

30 days later, Frank Lautenberg won the election and assumed his  nonconsecutive, fourth term in office.  In 2008 he was elected to his fifth term and now he is talking about his sixth term.

Senator Lautenberg has already been seen as bit overwhelmed by his job. Until he began his campaign for reelection in 2008, you really had to look hard for any signs of life from the Senator. And during that campaign, he often came across with rambling statements that at best, sounded incoherent.

Now the octogenarian Senator who served three terms, retired, and was brought out of retirement and allowed to run for a fourth term under very controversial conditions, is falling down with stomach ulcers and being treated for cancer.

This Monday, a crucial vote on a jobs bill will be taking place. For Democrats, Frank Lautenberg’s vote is crucial in allowing them to cut off debate and proceed to a vote. But the aging and ailing Senator will not be able to assist them.

Democrats are now playing a dangerous and unscrupulous political game. They did this before with Frank Lautenberg when they illegally replaced his name on the ballot when it looked like they were going to lose with the candidate they had legally nominated. Now nine years later, they are attempting to keep the seat in Democrat hands even if the Democrat serving can not effectively represent his constituents in Washington.

Now that Republican Chris Christie is Governor, Republicans will fill any vacancy in the senate. So Democrats will do everything possible to insure that that does not happen. Even if it means keeping the seat warm with an aging and ailing, formerly retired, Senator  who can’t properly represent the people of his state.

Is this just partisan politics or is it pathetic? I think it is both.

But control of the United States Senate could be in the balance here. With midterm election projections showing as many as eight to ten seats possibly switching from Democrat to Republican hands, every seat will be essential to their hold on power. If Frank Lautenberg’s health forced him to resign, that additional loss could seal the deal and put the G.O.P. in control of the Senate.

With candidates like Wisconsin’s Russ Feingold trailing people like Republican Tommy Thompson, Barbara Boxer of California having very close numbers against her likely opponent, the retirements of North Dakota’s Byron Dorgan and Indiana’s Evan Bayh, the possible retirement of Maryland’s Barbara Mikulski, a bloody Democrat primary against Kirstin Gillibrand in New York, and seemingly likely losses in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Colorado, Nevada, Arkansas, North Dakota, Delaware and Indiana and Illinois, the loss of a seat in New Jersey is frightening the hell out of Democrats and they will do everything they can to prop Frank Lautenberg up no matter how ineffective, incoherent or incapacitated he is.

The question becomes, is that really for the good of the people? Is this need to hold on to power at all costs,  really  in the best interest of  the people of New Jersey or the nation as a whole?

But to make matters even more politically distasteful and shady, a bill sponsored by Sate Assemblyman John McKeon, an Essex County Democrat, seeks to change the law that Democrats benfited from and now require the Governor of New Jersey to temporarily fill U.S. Senate vacancies with a members of the same party as the person whose seat they fill. 

Desperate people really do call for desperate meaures.

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A Perfect Political Storm Is Brewing In New York

Bookmark and Share    A perfect storm is a unique combination of circumstances that allow two or more weather fronts to meet and mix with a moisture rich air mass. The perfect timing and combination often produce storms of unprecedented power and devastation. Although the term is often reserved for meteorological references, it can also be applied to events unrelated to weather. For instance, the recent events that allowed a Republican to be elected to the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts is a prime example of a metaphorical use of the phrase “perfect storm”. A unique set of circumstances that brought voter dissatisfaction, and a perceived liberal arrogance together with a good Republican candidate and a bad Democrat candidate, made for a perfect storm that emaciated the filibuster-proof majority that Democrats held over the nation.

That same type of perfect storm is brewing in the political atmosphere of New York State. It takes a vulnerable liberal incumbent, an aggressive former Tennessee Congressman and a former Republican Congresswoman and puts them together to create a scenario that, if all the timing is right, could make for a scenario that recreates in New York, the same type of political Nor’ Easter that we saw in Massachusetts.

After being picked to fill Hillary Clinton’s vacated senate seat by New York’s unpopular Governor David Paterson, Kirsten Gillibrand is seen as one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the U.S. Senate. Ironically her vulnerabilities are more exposed among fellow Democrats than  it is with the loyal Republican opposition.

Initially, Gillibrand is most vulnerable to fellow Democrats who want to be the next U.S. Senator from New York.

Gillibrand remains largely unknown as a Senator. So far she has failed to become the champion of any issue and being picked by an unpopular Governor is not helping her. That is why everyone who is anyone looked at challenging her for the Democrat nomination.

Congressman Steve Israel was looking at launching his candidacy. So were several other state figures. But at the behest of President Obama, they all bowed out. The White House does not want to lose what is currently  a safe seat because of a bloody primary battle. This was especially the case when it looked like the most popular Republican in the state, Rudy Giuliani might be the G.O.P. nominee against Gillibrand. But Giuliani declined to run, again. That essentially left the road to winning the general election clear for Gillibrand……..so long as she was not dragged through the mud in a primary.

The White House did a good job at discouraging competition. Most New York Democrats heeded the President’s  advice and dropped any challenge to Kirsten Gillibrand. All except for one……former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford.

Ford is actually using his disobedience with the White House to his advantage. After getting much attention regarding his possible challenge to Senator Gillibrand, President Obama went very public in trying to deter Ford from actually running. But as Ford embarks on his” listening tour” of the state, he is taking that very public presidential demand and telling people that he will be an independent leader who will not take orders from anyone, including his fellow Democrat, President Obama.

Ford has billed his listening tour as a tool to help him to decide on whether or not he will run. But while shaking hands at a diner in Tappan, New York, he introduced himself by saying “I’m Harold Ford and I’m running for the U.S. Senate”. This Freudian slip was repeated quite a few times and each time, after he let the cat out of the bag, he quickly corrected himself and stated, “I’m thinking about running for the U.S. Senate”.

So it looks like Ford is actually going for it. He is just going through the motions at the moment and using the suspense to get a great deal of free publicity and exposure.

I did not think Ford would actually go through with a primary challenge to Gillibrand. Despite her low name I.D. and less than stellar approval ratings, Gillibrand’s negative ratings are among the lowest of any Democrat in the state and in just one year’s time, she has built quite a large war chest. With over $7 million raised since last February, she has raised more than any other senators with the exceptoion  of Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid and her New York colleague, the state’s senior senator, Chuck Schumer.

Given her support from the President along with her potential for getting her numbers up and her hefty fundraising abilities, I did not think Harold Ford would go for it. Especially given the fact that he will be labeled as a carpetbagger.

But Ford is extraordinarily power hungry. That is why he is no longer a Congressman from Tennessee. He gave that seat up when he chose to try to move up the political ladder by running for the U.S. Senate in that state.        He lost.

The decision to run for that senate seat came shortly after Ford tried to became the Democrat leader of the House of Representatives.

He ran against Nancy Pelosi.         He lost that too.

So now, with his Tennessee political fortunes exhausted, he moved to New York where he became a consultant for Merrill Lynch. That Wall Street name will be something that won’t help him if he does run. But I believe Harold understands that he could overcome that negative by going with the anti-incumbency sentiments and existing anger with the establishment. President Obama’s public attempt to discourage Harold Ford from running simply adds to this strategy. That is why Ford just might be able to get a lot of traction by claiming that he will not take orders from anyone.

If President Obama’s approval ratings continue to drop, and fails to even inspire Democrats, as was the case in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia, Ford’s opposing the President’s wishes will be to his advantage.

It is a gamble, but Harold Ford, Jr. is banking on distancing himself from President Obama and while he makes a run  from the President and to the left of the political spectrum, he will hype up the fact that Kirsten Gillibrand is the President’s senator but he will be the people’s senator. The scenario is interesting and very plausible. But essential to it working will be Ford’s fundraising ability.

Winning the Democrat nomination for statewide office in New York is currently viewed as the real fight, because with Rudy out, there is little chance of a Republican winning. Unless of course the Democrat primary between Ford and Gillibrand leaves the winner bloody. If that happens, whether the nominee be Gillibrand or Ford, one Republican might be able to turn things around.

Former Governor George Pataki is considering a run. Against Gillibrand, he could possibly pull it off, but if his opponent were to be the independent minded Harold Ford,  Pataki’s chances are diminished greatly. But Pataki is not the potential game changer. That person is former Congresswoman Susan Molinari.

Susan is the daughter of long serving, popular, former Republican New York Congressman Guy Molinari. When Guy did not get a position in President George H. W. Bush’s administration, he retired from Congress. Back then President Bush told Guy that he could not afford losing him in the House. Leaving was Guy’s way of saying “screw you”. So off he went. Guy then went on to become Borough President of Staten Island, the most Republican of New York City’s five counties. Replacing Guy in Congress was his daughter, City Councilwoman Susan Molinari.

For the longest time, Susan was the only Republican in the New York City Council and as such was already fairly well known. But after serving in Congress she soon became a darling of the Party.

Moderate in her politics, Susan played up her pro-choice stance with liberals and women while simultaneously playing up her defense and fiscal policies with conservatives. Both had an appreciation of her. But in 1997 after marrying Buffalo, New York’s former Congressman, Bill Paxon, Susan decided not to run for a urth term in Congress.

Now she is thinking about coming out of retirement.

Her father has said that after no star candidate emerged to challenge Gillibrand, “All of a sudden I think, the best candidate in the entire country is my daughter”.

I know Susan, and I can tell you right now that she is not “the best candidate in the entire country”, but she could be one of the best positioned Republican candidates in New York to take a U.S. Senate seat away from Democrats.

If a bloody Gillibrand is the inevitable nominee, Susan will help to split the women’s vote, especially suburban soccer Moms. If Ford is the badly bruised winner of the primary, he will have severely depleted his campaign war chest and he will have also gone through a campaign that will surely have labeled him an outsider. Put up against native New Yorker, Susan Molinari, who can easily raise a substantial campaign fund, Tennessee Ford will find himself having a tough time beating her. Molinari will, again, get a substantial number of votes from women, she will hold down Democrat numbers coming out of New York City and she will be able to go toe to toe with Ford on who is more independent. In addition to all that, Harry will also have a tough time reconciling the more liberal  Harold Ford of New York’s 2010  senate race, with the more conservative Harold Ford who ran in 2006 for the U.S. Senate from Tennessee.  Many of his positions hav changed.  Gay marriage is just one example.  Among the more conservative Tennessee electorate, Harry was opposed to same sex marriage.  Now, among more liberal New Yorkers, he is for same sex marriage.  Which Ford would New Yorkers really be getting? 

Kirsten Gillibrand will have all this amunition too but here’s where another part of this perfect storm comes into play.

Governor Paterson is African-American.  He is going to be challenged for the gubernatorial  nomination by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, an Itsalian-American.  This situation is going to have an effect on a Gillibrand-Ford race. 

Paterson is currently expected to lose to Cuomo, but one thing is for sure. Race will play a role and  African-American New Yorker’s will be coming out for Governor Paterson.   

While at the polls,  a great many of them are likely to cast their senate primary vote for Harold Ford, Jr., who is also African-American.  So no matter how much Gillibrand may attack Ford for flip-flopping, Ford can count on attratcing many black voters away from Gillibrand.

 As a Republican, I for one do hope that Ford runs. By making a strong bid for the Democrat nomination, he will do much more good for the G.O.P. than he will for Democrats and if he wins that nomination, he will make it pretty easy for Susan Molinari to walk right up the middle and into the senate chambers of Washington, D.C..

Now all Republicans have to do is make sure that Susan Molinari becomes their nominee. If she does, New York might pull off a Massachusetts-like surprise that will add to the already substantial gains in Congress that Republicans are heading towards. But one without the other will not work. If Republicans don’t properly seed the storm clouds, their electoral drought will be long lasting.

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