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For Republicans Only: Rebuilding and Reinvigorating the Nation and Party-PART II

Bookmark and Share    In the first part of this series we pointed out that the devastating losses of 2006 and 2008 and the loss of the White House produced a severe shortage of prominent Republican figures on the national stage. reprebrand1Without an individual whom can be that face and without the party putting forth cohesive policy paths, on all levels, the G.O.P. is adrift in a turbulent sea of waves created by a torrent of liberal initiatives.

This situation led us to establish a few things.

First we must get everyone on the same page and identify the problems that face the nation and their causes and then paint a picture of those problems that can be depicted in the form of a common enemy. It was determined that we could easily call that enemy “the government” and show it to be the common antagonist in our lives that all Americans can rally with Republicans against.

We also established that we need a figure who without being a threat to any other Republican’s presidential ambitions, can provide the national voice for the message that the G.O.P. needs to get out.

That person was suggested in Part I, but putting aside exactly who is best suited to be the messenger, let us focus on the message.

Under President Obama, and the Democrat led Congress, it is quite apparent that a significant portion of society is finally beginning to question just how much control they want any American federal government to have over their lives.

This thinking is not new. Such sentiments have been eroding at the popularity of both the Republican and Democrat parties. It also accounts for the fairly significant and deep rooted, loyal base, of national support that Dr. Ron Paul, a Texas congressman has. Even though Ron Paul caucuses with Republicans and runs as one, he is at heart, a libertarian and it is to the libertarian party that we have lost many Republicans.

We must get them back and we can do so if we combat the government enemy by stressing less government, less government fiats upon the people that limit their freedoms, more economic and educational opportunities and more ethical political leaders.

As previously mentioned, this approach, as it was under Ronald Reagan, describes government as the enemy……the common enemy that the G.O.P. can inspire the American people to rally behind in the fight against the enemy.

By making it clear that while we are not proposing that there be no government, we must make it understood that as government is creating more problems than it is solving and spends more than it ever takes in, it must be curbed. It must be reduced in size and scope in order to stop costing the American people more than it is worth and to be effective in those areas which it should and could be effective.

With the government now owning financial institutions, car companies and getting more and more into the business of business, people are becoming increasingly skeptical. This encroaching government control is made even more threatening with the liberal passage of such things as Cap-and-Trade and now socialized medicine. Even senior citizens are beginning to oppose the administrations attempt to control their treatment and coverage in the face of aging and declining health.

All of this will not only begin to deteriorate our national quality of life, it will also start costing more. The more control that government has, the more money it needs to implement and maintain those controls

This message must and can be conveyed in many different ways and in regards to just about every issue that comes up. But in our message, as we unite Americans in combating our “common enemy”, we must also produce alternatives. To gain the peoples trust and recapture the majority in Congress, we must offer policy alternatives that flow from principles. Those principles are the same ones found in the Constitution and they are the principles of freedom. They are also the principles which many former Republicans who are now libertarians have come to realize we are drifting away from with increased speed as everyday passes by.

We must demonstrate that the Democrats are trying to play God by creating a centralized government power structure that overrides state’s rights and individual’s rights and has a hand in every single aspect of our lives.

But before Republicans oppose any action of the President or the Democrat controlled congress, they must have their policy alternative to offer at the same time.

This must be done in such a way that everyone from Republican Governors, and state legislative leaders, members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are all on the same page and speaking the same policy message and theme. To coordinate this, our Republican Senate Leader, Mitch McConnell and our leader of the House, Republican Minority Leader John Boehner must work together. Coordination must also be made with the state Republican organizations and the Republican Governors Association and its mayoral counterparts. The RNC would be the perfect entity for such coordination and through them the RGA, NRSC and NRCC could all be on message and pushing for the same policies. Policies that could be a part of what Republicans could call “The American Agenda”.

In shaping that American Agenda the G.O.P must also politically incorporate other objectives into it.

They must rebrand themselves and capitalize on the displeasure with Democrat overreach, and their corporate welfare and dependency politics. This can be done by showing that the new GOP is smarter, younger and more diverse and more in touch with the founding principles that have to date made America great. In addition to having that one trusted, proven and articulate face of the party conveying our national message, allow the Sarah Palins, Eric Cantors, Bobby Jindals, Aaron Schocks, Michelle Bachmann’s, Cathy McMorris Rodgers‘, John Thunes and a host of other vital young Republicans to be in the forefront. Flood the market with fresh faces that have a clean slate and smart, succinct messages. Then deliver the fresh, smart and forward looking message that will be contained in our “American Agenda”.

That agenda should contemplate the adoption of some policy risks and give thought to making some changes that demonstrate our faith in freedom, attracts young voters and changes the national conversation.

Such can be done by crafting our American Agenda with the following directions:

A). – Consider the legalization of certain drugs :

-Demonstrate that we know that freedom means people have a right to do what they like with their bodies whether it is good or bad so long as it does not take the lives of others or infringe on the rights of others.

B). – Support Domestic Unions :

-Shake everything up and get the state out of the marriage business by allowing churches, mosques and temples to marry those they choose. That is the business of their God, not the federal government.  At the same time, do not seek to have government redefine marriage.  Allow the government to preserve the religious sanctity of marriage while also preserving its constitutional civic responsibilities and perform Domestic Unions that ensure that people who unite contractually are treated equally before the law, as the Constitution requires.

Aside from “shaking things up”, we must  address healthcare and present a renewed commitment on some of those issues the party is traditionally strongest on and implement policy solutions that demonstrate our convictions to our nations Constitution.

An approach to the issue of healthcare should be one that is not based on the failed socialist policy initiatives that our nation has shunned and fought against. That would lead us to adopt some of , but not the only, following constitutionally driven approaches into our “American Agenda”.

C). – HealthCare Opportunities :

-Offer the type of “change” in healthcare that we can live with and have the federal government adjust what it can and should change on the issue. For instance (1) .-Tort Reform.   It will have a drastic effect on the rising cost of healthcare in America. (2).- Portability. The current lack of portability prevents people from keeping their coverage when they change jobs or relocate and often they can not continue with the same coverage they have throughout their lives as other changes in their lives occur. Federal action that would allow for the portability of health insurance would solve this problem and help to stabilize insurance markets, reduce costs and ultimately reduce the fluctuating number of uninsured in America.  ( 3). – Enact a policy toolbox of federal initiatives that states could include and federal funding to the states would be linked to success in reaching the goals. With federal legislative guidelines and financial support, state experimentation would produce a myriad of various solutions and in time the best solutions for each state will evolve into better and stronger healthcare availability options for all states. (4).- Incentivise good health and fitness by offering limited tax credits for gym memberships and fitness equipment.

On those issues that the G.O.P has consistently been strong on, the new “American Agenda” must reinforce those strengths with the following items:

D). – Means-test Everything :

-If any federal social programs are to exist, they must be designed to help those whom are truly needy. Government welfare programs like Medicare for the rich are unreasonable and unacceptable ands we need to make that clear. For those who will rightfully point out that constitutional grounds for any “federal social programs”, are at the very least questionable, they must understand the need for compromises that can help begin to change attitudes and minds. This is one such compromise. If we are to have such programs they must not be abused or overextended.

E). – Taxpayer Bill of Rights & Balanced Budget :

-After the current massive expansion and growth of government by Democrats, people will want government to shrink. By creating a Taxpayer Bill of Rights that will lock government revenues in at population plus inflation as measured by acceptable cost of living indices we can assure people that we will be at the very least stop government from growing. Then add limits on national debt that would force cuts and stop passing the national credit card and its bill to future generations.

F). – Environmental Security not Global Warming: “More Obvious Conservation Methods, Not More Taxes” :

-Call it environmental security and dedicate ourselves to protecting and preserving our environment by funding such things as geo-engineering and sequestration technology but not by sucking the finances of the American people during times of economic hardship for an Al Gore hypothesis that can only be conclusively proven through the evidence produced by the passage of another million years. The G.O.P. must highlight the undeniable, rational pro-environment record that we have extending as far back as Theodore Roosevelt and we must get in the forefront of the issue by demonstrating that the historic Cap-and-Trade measure adopted by liberals is more than irrational, it is dangerous, ineffective and another example of overreaching control that taxes us on air while destroying the long-term health of our economy and individual’s economic prosperity.

G). – Enforce Our Fundamental Belief In National Sovereignty and Freedom :

-The administrations “globalization” policy is a threat to us on many levels. It puts our security, sovereignty, economy and national heritage at risk. We must therefore (1). – Implement an Open Arms-Secure Borders Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill that welcomes and protects legal immigrants, secures our borders and eliminates the tolerance for illegal immigrants who weigh heavily on our law enforcement capabilities, emergency services and economic prosperity. (2). – Declare our united support for an English First, Not English Only Bill. (3).- Make it clear that our government will not excuse, or make excuses for, those enemies of freedom who hinder progress in areas of our interests or seek to inflict harm on us or our allies. The electorate must be clear on the fact that Republicans do not buy in to the Democrat approach to foreign policy which leads us to believe that Americans should feel guilty for defending our nation, the cause of freedom or our national sovereignty, heritage or interests. (4).- Seek to curtail the use of Eminent Domain abuses by eliminating federal funding for any state or municipal projects that use eminent domain to acquire land.  It must be made clear that the constitutional right to property cannot be abrdged.

H). – Energy Independence :

-The government must take advantage of all available sound domestic energy sources while promoting the independent study of advanced uses for clean, renewable energy technologies.

I). – Reform How Government Does Business And Limit Election Spending

-Demonstrate that we not only acknowledge the political culture of corruption and shady tactics but that we stand against it with reforms to prevent it. (1).- Eliminate the public financing option for federal elections. Make it clear that we do not want taxpayers spending money for politicians to lie us in attempt to get our vote. (2.) – At the same time, place a spending limit on all elections for all federal offices. (3.)- Adopt the Enumerated Powers Act which forces all legislative initiatives and federal spending to be supported by the clause in the Constitution that proves it to be a proper measure for the federal government to undertake. (4.) – Pass a bill drafting amendment that prohibits spending measures and regulations that are unrelated to that bill from being tacked on to it.

The Republican Party needs to rebuild itself with an agenda that includes of all the above points.

If it can get everyone on the same page, rebrand itself with fresh faces and trustworthy policy directions and a unified message in 2010 then they can at the very least make inroads to a strong eventual comeback.

With the right people, policies and message we can demonstrate that by trying to be like European nations with unfunded liabilities and the bureaucratization of everything we may actually become like them and spend decades enduring 10 percent unemployment rates and trying to maintain our national identity. We must use our policies and messages to capitalize on the dissatisfaction that Democrats are creating and demonstrate that raising taxes and spending other people’s money is not the best way for our country to go.

Now is the time for us to offer up a second revolution that is made up with ideas that puts an end to bureaucratic governmental licentiousness and unleash entrepreneurship all while offering leadership with a view towards freedom, pragmatism and common sense, all of which the left has abandoned.

But as is the case with any good strategy, its success lies in its implementation and the methods and tactics needed to see it through. In the next part of this series we will address those plans and reveal the logistics needed to grow the seeds of a political revolution to restore freedom to the freest people the world has ever known.

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For Republicans Only: A plan for rebuilding and reinvigorating a down and out party.

Bookmark and Share     It may seem a shame or insincere to have to be political and develop political strategies to get anything done in American politics. But when you plunge into the sea of politics you better be willing to swim. This does not mean that repboatayou can’t be sincere about the issues and their effects on the American people but it does mean that if your gonna swim with the sharks you’d be wise to put on your flippers instead of your running shoes. And that is what this article deals with. It is meant to discuss the political reality behind the Republican Party’s ability to get back into the game and the tools and the political strategies it must utilize to lead again.

As we look ahead you do not have to be a rocket scientist to see that the G.O.P. cannot afford a third consecutive election cycle where they lose another 20 or more seats in congress or any more governorships or state legislative chambers. To do so in 2010 will be lethal.

That is when the census takes place and redistricting begins. By losing more congressional seats we will be making it that much harder to reach a majority in 2012. And to lose any more sway in the states will mean that Democrats will have the opportunity to gerrymander Republicans into minority status for a decade or more.

So Republicans can’t wait for the presidential election of 2012 to help them increase their numbers. They must make their gains now and 2010.

In 2009 it looks like Republicans will do well and pick up Governors in New Jersey and Virginia. But for 2010, the G.O.P. needs to get on message and into gear now.

But how do we expect to make a significant run towards majority status when we will be needing it most in 2010?

Sadly, I do not see signs of a national Republican strategy and message shaping up. After supporting Ken Blackwell for

Mike Steele

Mike Steele

 RNC Chairman, I am not privy to the leaderships plans but from the outside I see no movement in the direction that we must take.

We could just sit back and allow the Democrats to get comfortable. That is how the G.O.P. lost control of things in the first place. After the first four years in control of both congress and the White House, complacency and the lack of a need to get the power that they had, allowed many to stop keeping their noses clean and to cease going that extra mile to make our case.

The same fate will eventually come of the current liberal ruling regime in Washington, D.C..

To a degree, Democrats understand this and that is why they are rushing , at a breakneck pace, to consolidate their power immediately by entrenching some of the most expansive and extensive socialized programs we have ever seen into government. They want to do so before the tide turns on them.

But to regain control of congress essentially by default will not make for a meaningful reason for Republicans to be in control or for an enduring leadership role that will last for any significant length of time.

So what are Republicans to do?

For that answer we should look back to a similar time. A time when Republicans were down and out. It was 1980 and much like now, we had a President who on the national stage spoke softly and carried a very small stick. He was a President who also saw government as the solution to all our problems but had policies which essentially drained every dime out of the American economy and made it so that the government and its people could not afford to do anything about anything.

To counter the Democrats and the “days of malaise” that they had us in, the G.O.P. revamped their image in the eyes of the people and became the innovative and anti-establishment, anti-government party. And they did so by presenting easily understood alternative solutions to those being bandied about by the left. They were also able to focus a spotlight on a common enemy that most Americans related to. This common enemy became something to rally against with Republicans.

Common enemies are a very powerful source of unity and support.

President George H.W. Bush spent the first four and a half years of his eight years in office riding a wave of support because terrorists proved themselves to be an undeniably severe threat to Americans and therefore a common enemy to rally against. This was not some political creation. It was a national reality and while terrorists still remain a collective concern, the lack of thousands of Americans falling victim to them again all at once, has made them a less powerful rallying cry these days but hopefully not any less of a concern.

arepleader10In the 80’s, the Reagan Revolution successfully united a majority of Americans by condensing all the problems that we were facing into a different enemy. Reagan successfully defined government as the enemy. And who was in total control of government? The Democrats.

This theme, this rallying cry, allowed Americans to see that government was not the solution, it was the problem. Over time, the approach increased Republican numbers at every level. From city councils, to state legislatures and governors mansions, slowly but surely, Republicans increased in numbers until a clear majority of state houses and state executive offices were dominated by Republican majorities.

But this message was not just meant for the purpose of having majority control. It was also meant to make a beneficial difference. It was meant to use that power to reduce the size and scope of the government enemy. To reduce government’s tax burden on the people. To eliminate the barriers to economic growth, job opportunities and entrepreneurial expansion. It was also used to rebuild our military capabilities and restore America’s role on the international stage. Defeating the communist enemy was another reason.

With Republican control came the change America needed and that is exactly what the G.O.P. must demonstrate to Americans again. We must convince them that we are currently headed down a road that our nation once ran away from. The road that was plotted for our nation under Jimmy Carter whose increased regulations, increased taxation and government interference created both a deficit of personal economic empowerment and of national morale.

That same Carter-like approach to our federal government is taking place today under President Obama. And at a time when we are again experiencing tough economic times, the liberal tax and spend approach is again making things tougher for all of us.

This case must be made to the people but it cannot be effectively made with an algebraic equation or Ross Perot bar graph. It must be made through a concise, everyday translation that everyone can relate to.

In 1980, during one presidential debate, Ronald Reagan discussed the historic and disastrous inflation rate that the Carter administration brought to bear on us. He spoke of a little girl who when shopping with her mother saw a doll that she fell in love with and desperately wanted. She pleaded with her mother to buy it for her but her mother told her that she had to earn it and with her allowance she must save for it. The former Governor and soon to be President continued to explain that the little girl saved her money until finally she had enough to buy it. But when she went back to the store, the price had increased and she did not have enough money after all. So, disappointed, she went back home hoping to save enough money to buy it the following week. When that next week came, she went back to the store with enough to cover the new purchase price only to discover that the price of that same doll went up again. Reagan described how this disappointing cycle repeated itself for a month and he further explained that this was the effect of inflation and the misery index which was created during the Carter years.

He stated that this was the result of the economic condition that we got ourselves into under the Carter administration and that as hard as we tried to keep our heads above water, the rushing tide of rising costs was a never ending cycle that kept on putting everything out of our reach and like that little girl whose so desired doll was always out of reach because of inflation, so too was the American dream becoming out of reach for all individual Americans.

Reagan helped people to relate to our troubles by encapsulating all of our nation’s problems down to the face of an innocent little girl. And in doing so he made Americans believe that he understood them and their problems.

It allowed him to capture the hearts, minds and votes of the American people.

This is the approach that we again need. Republicans must reconnect and demonstrate that they relate to those not in the political class.

But who is to be the messenger and where are the innovative approaches to come from?

Eric Cantor

Eric Cantor

In looking for such a person we can easily see that the House of Representatives is hardly a place where such a face of national stature can be easily be created. The few promising figures in congress who have the innovative minds and anti-establishment mentality that we need must rise to a higher level of prominence before they have a realistic shot at being the right national messenger. Congressmen like Eric Cantor of Ohio, Mike Pence of Indiana and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin are perfect examples of the type of capable, competent leaders we need. But until they are in a position of greater power and prominence like that of a Governor or Senator, there is little chance for them to command the amount of attention that they need to effectively and properly deliver a nationally captivating message

Mike Pence

Mike Pence

For Cantor, Ryan and Pence, the G.O.P. would be wise to start making room for them as Senators or Governors in the coming years. But that still wont fill the void we have right now.

In looking at the United States Senate, prospects there are thin.

Of the forty Republicans remaining, few have the persona, gravitas and ability to capture the nation’s imagination and trust. McCain is over and was over even before he ran for President. The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, lacks any significant attraction in speech or persona and ideas.

Judd Gregg

Judd Gregg

Among the most promising, somewhat conservative figures, whose personalities and abilities can fit the bill, are possibly Bob Corker of Tennessee but more likely Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and John Thune of South Dakota. Both of these men are consistently strong, sound voices that could emerge as potential standard bearers in 2012 and they could start carrying the banner now by coalescing the party together under the type of “get government out the way” policy alternatives that we could make a message out of.

Gregg though seems always prepared to hang up his hat and return to a quiet life of retirement in the hills and mountains of New Hampshire.

So that leaves Senator John Thune.

He is young, the youngest of them all and I have always appreciated him. In his first run for the Senate, he lost by almost 500 votes that were illegally obtained for incumbent Senator Tim Johnson through a Democrat scheme that involved cash for votes and falsified registrations from two South Dakota Indian registrations.

John Thune

John Thune

But two years later, Thune made history when he defeated the Senate’s Democrat leader Tom Daschle.

Since then, Thune has been a relatively strong conservative influence and he has command of the issues, an energetic and confident charisma and clean record.

After sifting through the ranks of federal office holders, the only other obvious place to find the leader we need is from within the ranks of state leadership.

The governors.

It is here where we also find the most innovative and beneficial ideas in government.

The majority of Republican governors are handling things far better than most Democrat governors like those in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania,

Donald Carcierie

Donald Carcieri

 Ohio, Washington and others. But here too, the right captivating figure is hard to find out of the 22 existing Republican governors.

Mark Sanford was a promising option. His potential was not for any command of communication skills, which he lacked, but because of actual strong policy positions and administrative qualities. That was of course all before he ran off to Argentina and abandoned his state and family for a romp with his “soul mate”.

Donald Carcieri happens to be the most unique of all governors.

He is the Republican governor of Rhode Island, one of, if not the most, liberal states in the most liberal region of the nation, New England.

What makes him most unique there is the fact that he is actually a centrist with a propensity towards conservative positions. He is often in opposition to his Democrat dominated state legislature on such things as the obligations of state workers, separation of powers and illegal immigration. He has even vetoed more than 30 pieces of legislation that they have presented to him. Yet he has still been elected twice.

But we are talking Rhode Island here and Carcieri lacks any great innovative leadership qualities and national appeal.

Haley Barbour

Haley Barbour

I would hope to see Carcieri eventually take one of the two Democrat U.S. Senate seats, like Sheldon Whitehouse’s seat, but I hardly expect him to capture the national imagination.

Of those remaining, the brightest gubernatorial lights are those of Louisiana’s Boby Jindal, Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty, Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, and the best of all of them, Mitch Daniels of Indiana.

Daniels won reelection to a second term as governor by as much as 60% while at the same time, Indiana voters elected Barack Obama for President. In some cases he even got 20% of the African-American vote. That is an unusually high percentage for any Republican anywhere. He clearly has crossover appeal.

He can also be an inspiring speaker who conveys his message with conviction and in a way that makes people trusting of him and confident in him. As a conservative he has refrained from the wholesale selling out of the ideals that many in the G.O.P. have done over the past five or so years. Just one example can be demonstrated by the size of Indiana’s government.

While governments in most other states has increased in size, Mitch Daniels has shrunk both the size and cost of government. Currently the state has about 30,000 public employees. That is the smallest number of state employees since 1983.

Another area of distinction for him is in the area of government budgets.

When first coming into office Indiana had an $800 million deficit but Daniels turned it into a surplus of $1.3 billion. Much of this was helped by his reducing the growth rate of state spending from 5.9 percent to 2.8 percent.

The only problem is that Mitch Daniels has stated that he will not ever run for president. That puts a damper on national hopes for him but they have also been the same words uttered by a few people who are now former presidents

Bobby Jindal

Bobby Jindal

As for Jindal his record in Congress proves him to be an ideally strong conservative. On issues like abortion, immigration, national security, healthcare, energy, education and on just about every other issues he is right where the right wants a leader to be.

As Louisiana‘s Governor he has maintained his conservative credentials and even reigned in Louisiana‘s state budget problems.

On the downside, Jindal has only been in office since 2007 and during that time, his first, and to date, only appearance on the national stage was a response to President Obama’s State of the Union. In it, Governor Jindal put forward the right message but its delivery fell flat and received rapid fire shots aimed at claiming he was done.

Such is not the case but even Bobby Jindal has admitted that he is a little green and needs more seasoning.

That leaves Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty and Mississippi’s Haley Barbour open for discussion.

Tim Paelenty

Tim Paelenty

Both of these men have produced for their states and both of them are more qualified than President Obama was when he was elected President of the United States.

In Pawlenty we have a strong messenger and practitioner of what he himself has termed, Sam’s Club Republicanism, a combination of social conservatism with working family economic appeal.

He has governed well, put spending under control and geared state government more towards that which it should be dealing with such as responsible infrastructure planning, maintenance and construction.

If Pawlenty can raise money and attract some of the top tier consultants which Mitt Romney has already attracted to his camp. And if he can raise enough money to insure that his campaign for the presidential nomination is not under funded, thaen Pawlenty’s record, populist approach and appeal could be quite successful. But to get to that point, he should really start reaching for more national exposure now.

He should start interpreting his alternative policies to the Obama administration and allow himself to become the natural face of the G.O.P.. In him is the ability to not only shape the message that we as a party need to get out but he also has the ability to shape the policies that we can center that message around. If Tim Pawlenty were to take the lead now on issues like healthcare, taxes, the bailout, energy and job growth, many others will line up behind him as they begin to see that Pawlenty is the figure who can part the seas for the rest of them.

The same applies to Haley Barbour of Mississippi.

He has a folksy, “get’er done” way about himself and an appealing record of accomplishment for his state on budgetary control.

Before, during and after the ravaging of the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina, Barbour effectively prepared his state for it and efficiently dealt with its aftermath. Louisiana was the only state to be hit as hard or harder by Hurricane Katrina and in Louisiana’s case it was prepared for and handled so horrifically that its Governor, Kathleen Blanco was practically forced out of office and ultimately rejected even for consideration to a second term in office.

Both Pawlenty and Barbour have the perfect opportunity to step up and become the leader and messenger that we need. Both of them have the unique ability to convincingly demonstrate to Americans that with the right policy direction, rather than being in our way, government can get out of our way and be an effective tool for insuring opportunity, independence and an enduring quality of life with economic freedom and growth.

Mitch Daniels has the ability to do so too and probably better than any of them………….if he wanted to.

Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush

Of course three, now former governor’s have this same ability and opportunity. Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and dare I say it, Jeb Bush of Florida.

Jeb has put off any attempts for the White House for now. After two Bush’s in the Oval Office over the course of sixteen years, the obvious notion that the nation is Bushed out is a pretty safe bet.

As the most conservative member of the Bush family to have served in office, Jeb has been a truly effective leader and one that Floridians would have never let go if they had the chance to reelect.

Palin has promise but after resigning from office early she also now has problems. None of which can’t be overcome. Her chances to be the national face and voice of the party is fifty-fifty, much like her standing among Americans. They either love her or hate her.

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin

Now out of office, Palin must walk a very careful line that seeks to diffuse those that hate her and broaden the numbers of those who love her. She will also have to make sure that she is taken seriously at all times. There will be no room for her to flub on any issue and while using her appealing folksy ways, she must convey a command of the issues and demonstrate a breadth of knowledge and competence that can in no way be denied by anyone who hears her. If she can deliver her small government, Washington outsider, equal opportunity, freedom based policy messages, she could out shop Tim Pawlenty when it comes to being a Sam’s Club Republican.

The largest elephant in the room though is Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

He is definitely running for President and he is by all measures the current frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

In addition to being a successful businessman in his own right, Romney is also a managerial genius. He took the once derailed, scandal ridden, over budget and chaotic build up of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and turned it into a smooth running, ethical and profitable display of organizational perfection.

Beyond that credit is Romney’s term as Governor in a liberal state that is called home by such liberal giants as Michael Dukakis, John Kerry, Barney Frank and Ted Kennedy. The liberal bastion of Massachusetts is no place for a conservative Republican to sprout out from but Romney played politics and outmaneuvered his Democrat opponent.

However; in doing so Mitt created a few problems.

A now long past conversion from pro-abortion rights to pro-life has left many right-to-lifers wondering if he is sincere on the issue. Why right-to-lifers find it hard to believe that someone would agree with them after witnessing a personal family struggle with the issue, itself is hard to understand. But so be it.

On gay rights, previous statements made when Mitt ran against Ted Kennedy for the U.S. Senate and in his actions as Governor during Massachusetts first in the nation “Gay Marriage” fight have critics claiming that on that issue, Romney experienced another political conversion.

The two issues together give Romney naysayers the opportunity to call him a flip-flopper.

But that charge only adds height to Mitt’s biggest hurdle. Obamacare.

As Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was a central figure in the creation of a state run healthcare program that made the purchase of health insurance by state residents mandatory. The concept was based on the principle that if everyone was covered, healthcare costs would be less expensive. The problem is that such a law of supply and demand doesn’t reconcile when a government bureaucracy is over seeing it.

It would be easy to suggest that Romney did the best he could with a liberal state and an overwhelmingly liberal dominated state legislature and that is true to an extent. However Mitt’s fingerprints are allover this one and to make matters worse he was the first governor to implement a plan of this type anywhere. The episode does make the case for the federal government to avoid the creation of a socialized healthcare program. It also makes a case for allowing experimentation within each individual state until an efficient model is found and emulated by all the states. But when it comes to Massachusetts, this episode proves that socialized medicine is not the way to go and for Romney the problem now is that it was his plan which demonstrated why it is not the way to go.

There are other factors involved though.

The state legislature and Romney’s successor, Governor Deval Patrick did tinker with the original program. They tinkered with it a lot and many of the healthcare reforms made in the original plan have changed from what Romney had influenced. Nevertheless the issue is Romney’s to defend against and explain. It exposes his Achilles heal in any 2012.

Romney’s best defense against possible Republican opponents who were or are governors would probably be “I tried and it failed and I learn from mistakes, whereas my fellow governors up here never even tried to make healthcare more accessible and affordable.”

This assessments of Republican leadership prospects leaves us with the following conclusion.

As it looks now, the most likely and promising of likely individuals to choose from will be a field that consists of Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour and John Thune.

Others will run and some from the above mentioned group may not. But if the six that I bring up were to be the field of candidates for the Republican nomination, it would indeed be a hotly contested race that will also undoubtedly inject a great many substantial policy models and directions that will help to fuel the conservative movement.

But that isn’t till 2012.

What will become of 2010?

Short of any of the possibly convincing figures discussed being ballsy enough to attempt to become our national voice right now, as it currently stands, there is no one person who can do it while also having the ability to enjoin all of the party leadership including the senate and house in a national strategy.

Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich

Someone needs to be able to bring all levels of leadership together and get them all on the same page to push one strategy.

It must be a strategy similar to Newt Gingrich’s “Contract With America”.

Critics can malign the “Contract With America” all they want but it worked.

After forty years in the wilderness, Newt Gingrich, along with the help of a faltering Clinton administration, brought Republicans in to the majority in the house. And the new generation that came into power with that “Contract” actually adhered to it, at least for as long as Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House.

As for who can be both the voice of the party and the unifying force for a national Republican strategy, politics being

Mitch Daniels

Mitch Daniels

 what it is will prohibit everyone from getting behind any potential Republican candidate for President. Each camp and their supporters will not permit any one of them to get the attention and credit for bringing us back.

So this role must be played by a neutral party. It must be someone who is not going to run for President in 2012 and who will not put the momentum of the popularity that will come with this role behind any potential nominee until they have won the nomination.

This person must also have the persona we need to effectively be a persuasive point man. They must be respected with a proven record and untarnished by any of the negative stereotypes that the left can easily pin on Republicans.

All of this points to one man. One man who, if he really means what he says, fits all of the qualities that are required for becoming the coalescing figure that wont be a threat to any single Republican’s presidential ambitions or be a threat to any senate or house leaders power over their Republican conference.

That person is Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

If he truly has no desire to run for President, he is the person that can help Republicans deliver a national message which counters the overspending, over controlling liberal government enemy.

With him as the face of the party that delivers a Reagan-like message dealing with the Republican alternatives to the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda, the party can rebuild and have a shot at winning more seats instead of losing more seats in 2010.

The stars would be aligned perfectly if Republican National Chairman Mike Steele could get representatives of the Republican Governors Association and of the house and senate together and onboard, hammer out what could be generally be called “The American Agenda” and let Mitch Daniels be the national point man for it.

This would allow for the type of cohesive leadership plan that, with accurate precision, can get Republicans back on message and working together while the message is being delivered loud and clear through what would be a voice from the heartland. A governor’s voice. One with crossover appeal who has been an effective leader with a proven record, cut state budgets, reduced the size and scope of government, practiced a true commitment to both family and conservative values and whom, if he seriously will not run for President himself, is no threat to any other potential candidate. Daniels is the best man for the job and one of the only people who could do that job as well and as convincingly as him.

With whom that messenger should be established, in Part II, we will deal with exactly what that message must be and the Republican organizational plan to deliver and implement it.

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Palin Resigns From One Job But Is It To Get Another?

PalinU4

Bookmark and Share  To hear that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is resigning in two weeks is shocking news. At least to those of us not in her family.

The reasoning for this was explained by her husband Todd Palin as he stated that the Governor wants to dedicate more time to issues important to the nation and not just Alaska.

Her brother believes that Sarah Palin concluded that her and her staff are having to defend themselves against so many unfounded ethics complaints that she believes too much time and energy is having to be spent on defending herself and that she is not able to spend as much time and energy on the business of the state as it should properly receive.

I believe the answer is a mix of the two explanations.

Sarah Palin’s entrance on to the national stage made a significant splash.

Liberals automatically tried to write her off as a small town mayor. Feminists reared their hypocritical heads and tried to admonish her for being a conservative and Alaska Democrats dedicated all their time to trying to tarnish the rising star of their state’s Republican Governor.

As a result she became a target of frivolous and false charges and accusations that have cost millions in legal fees and countless hours of defense. This indeed absorbed much of her time. It was time taken away from her responsibilities. And it was all because petty partisan players wanted to insure that Sarah Palin has no political future.

Given these circumstances, I believe that the Governor sincerely decided to put an end to all that was distracting the state leaders from the important business at hand and to the opportunity that her continuing as Governor afforded liberals who tried to turn every breath she took into an ethics charge.

By resigning, not only is the excuse that partisan players have to throw accusations at her gone, but it gives Alaskans the opportunity to continue building on her substantial work with a strong successor in Lt. Governor Parnell and her the opportunity to move on.

What resigninging is for may just be for bigger and better plans. It may possibly be a plan to devote three years to earning the Republican nomination for President.

Sarah Palin may just have been planning to run for the nomination ever since the conclusion of the 2008 election but now she may also be fed up with all that was thrown at her in an attempt to deny her of that chance. She may be fed up with the politics that is being used against her and decided to double up her efforts.

If this is an opening statement in the 2012 election race for President it is quite dramatic. It is also risky. Some will accuse her of not fulfilling her responsibilities to the people of Alaska. Others will understand that Democrats have made Sarah Palin more the issue than the issues themselves and that by stepping down as Governor, all that she has so far accomplished can be built upon and all that must still be done can be done without the distraction of every liberals favorite target being in the way.

And through it all Sarah Palin just might now have the time to take ownership of the conservative mantle as she becomes free to take up the causes and issues important to her and our nation.

However this plays out, Sarah Palin is pissed and like they say, hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn. So believe me, Sarah Palin is not going to leave the national stage quietly. In fact I think she may have just jumped on the stage and is about to open the curtains.

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AND YOU THOUGHT BERNIE MADOFF WAS A CRIMINAL

antscrewedBookmark and Share       Maybe, just maybe Republicans are getting back on track.
Not a single Republican in the House of Representatives voted for the $819 billion so called economic recovery package.

For that I am proud.

I am proud of the fact that Republicans objected to what is the largest bill of its kind in history. A bill that is suppose to be considered a stimulus package but is actually a liberal spending program that is filled with pork, patronage and pathetic excuses.

More than 70 percent of all the spending that was approved in this bill should have been individual expenditures that were taken up, debated and voted on in their own right.

Most of the spending in this historic bill is not at all related to stimulating the economy and that which is designed to stimulate the economy will not take effect for years as is the case for monies dedicated to highways and school construction.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office states “much of the stimulus may not come until after the economy has begun to recover”.

According to the C.B.O. $5 billion of the $30 billion set aside for highway spending would be spent within the next two years. About $2.6 billion of $18.5 billion for renewable energy programs would be spent by then. About $907 million of a $6 billion plan to expand broadband access in rural and other underserved areas would be spent by 2011.

In the mean time where is some of that money immediately going?

Well $335 million is going towards the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, $2.4 billion is going to a cap on carbon transmissions, $16 miliion for a smoking cessation measure, $50 million to the National Endowmnent for the Arts, $1 billion to Amtrak, $7.7 Billion to federal buildings, $600 million to federal cars and $400 million is going into the studying of global warming.

That does not include a myriad of personal pet projects that Democratic lawmakers are pumping into their own districts to help assure their reelections nor does it include the overnight doubling of the department of Educations budget.

This is not stimulus it is social engineering.

Under the auspices of an economic emergency Congress just approved the delivery of the worlds largest Christmas gift. Of course like everything else Congress does, it is late but to make matters worse it is defective.

For those of you who thought that Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme was a scandal of epic proportions, well you just witnessed a government ponzi scheme that makes Madoff’s offenses seem like petty theft.

Very little of what this program was meant for is what it is going towards. Very little.

So I am proud of congressional Republicans. They stood together and they stood on principle and voted against this federal economic scam. I only wish they kept their principles when they were in control of Congress and held the majority. If they had, perhaps today they would still be in control of the house.

As for liberals, had they scaled this scam back and put the money into infrastructure development and other operations that would have trickled out into the private sector and created jobs through the private sector, it would not be a scam and I might say that they were on the right road to recovery. But they didn’t. Under their leadership and design this stimulus package has little to do with stimulus and everything to do with expanding the size of government, expanding government programs and increasing government control .antscrewed3

On top of that, does anyone not see how much of this money will be wasted and unaccounted for?

The government is going to spend it. The same government that could not monitor the lending practices of their own FannieMaes or FreddieMacs. The same government that loses 20 cents on every dollar that they spend .

Ladies and gentlemen, we have just witnessed the world’s greatest and most elaborate crime. Without a single call to the police we just wittiness 244 Democrats in the House of Representatives rip us all off.

Those of you liberals who approve of this crime may claim that Republicans created the need or opportunity for this scandal to arise. You will claim that Republican policies got us here but I can assure you that Republicans did not create the crisis and after this vote, we did not make it worse.

Much of the economic crisis that we are experiencing was ushered in not because of the low unemployment rates that existed for the past 6 of the last eight years. This problems was ushered in by a banking crisis that largely began after an over inflated housing market bubble burst. The inability to pay back loans in this area created a tightening of the lending markets and that tightening cut off the flow of money as we knew it.

Much of the problem could have been avoided if Barney Franks and Chris Dodd took John McCain’s advice and reevaluated our lending practices and if we put a stop to the Clinton initiatives which forced banks to hand out sub prime loans to people who could not afford to pay these loans back, but they didn’t.

So here we are today, witnessing the same people who created the problem offer up their solution to the problem.

Well ladies and gentlemen they didn’t solve anything, they simply made the problem worse and robbed us blind in the process.

It just goes to show you that even getting screwed these days costs a lot more than it used to.

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Dear Abby, My husband is a lying cheat. . . .

. . . He tells me he loves me, but he has cheated our entire marriage. He is a good provider and has many friends and supporters. They know he is a lying cheat, but they just avoid the issue.

He is a hard worker but many of his co-workers are leery of him.

Every time he gets caught, he denies it all. Then he admits that he was wrong and begs me to forgive him. This has been going on for so long, everyone in town knows he is a cheat. I don’t know what to do.

Signed Frustrated

————————————-

Dear Frustrated:

You should dump him. Now that you are a Secretary of State, you don’t need him anymore.

Submitted by Marianne, Columbia, Md.

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 antcap1234

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ALSO

Help Shape New Jersey’s Republican Comeback In Jersey. Draft Senator Jennifer Beck for Lieutenant Governor.

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JACK KEMP – A POLITICAL ICON BATTLES CANCER

antjackkemp8x10aIt has been reported that Jack Kemp has cancer.

His office released the following statement:

“Mr. Kemp has been undergoing tests to determine the origin of the disease and the options for continued treatment. He will continue to serve as Chairman of Kemp Partners and plans to remain involved in his business, charitable and politically related activities. Mr. Kemp and his family are grateful for the thoughts and prayers of friends and appreciate respect for their privacy at this time”.

The disturbing news hits POLITICS 24/7 hard. For me Jack Kemp, has been a shining example of the type of leadership we expect, want and need in government and the news causes reason for me to pause.

As a young man Jack F. Kemp spent 13 years in professional football, playing quarterback for the San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills. He led the Buffalo Bills to the American Football League championships in 1964 and 1965 when he was named the league’s most valuable player. He also co-founded the AFL Players Association and was elected it’s president for 5 consecutive terms.

After a period working for the Reagan gubernatorial campaign in California during 1966 and as special assistant to Reagan when he was Governor, Kemp in 1969 worked for the chairman of the National Republican Committee. In 1970 Kemp was elected to Congress where he represented the people of Buffalo, New York in the state’s 38th district and served their until 1989.

Barely in my teens, my political interests were inspired by Ronald Reagan. They grew each day for the eight years thatant952 he was President but during the mid 80’s I also came to appreciate a Congressman from my home state of New York.   My own Congressman was Scmuck Schumer and not exactly a heroic political leader. But Jack Kemp was and  although Kemp was from Buffalo and I was from Brooklyn, the distance did not takeaway any sense of the Congressman’s impact on me.

Many casual voters outside of Buffalo may not have heard of him at the time but those involved in the issues shaping America sure did. Especially those who considered themselves “movement conservatives“. They considered Jack Kemp a leading figure.

A movement conservative is one who supports all or nearly all conservative principles with a coherent philosophy, and who advances broad conservative goals both individually and through teamwork. At the time, I did not know it, but I was one and Jack Kemp was one of the movements leaders.

Kemp’s credentials increased in In Congress where he became increasingly interested in economic ideas and was a keen supporter of supply-side economics and especially of large cuts in direct taxes, which he argued, would pay for themselves. Kemp was also a strong and vocal advocate of deregulation and enterprise zones. In 1978, together with senator Roth of Delaware, Kemp sponsored a 30 percent across the board tax cut which was in large part enacted in the 1981 Reagan budget. It is said that he sold Reaganomics to Reagan. Kemp’s vigorous promotion of supply-side economics made him a well known, if not controversial, politician and earned him a popular following among the Republican rank and file.

In addition to being a fiscal conservative Kemp has also been conservative on cultural and foreign affair issues. In one debate with Mario Cuomo, Kemp said of himself, “I am not a hawk but actually a heavily armed dove“.

Over time, I came to appreciate Jack Kemp more and more. I followed his voting record and read the speeches he offered on the floor of the house in the congressional record. His words were always inspiring to me. Although those speeches were often intermingled with words that I needed to lookup in the dictionary, once I did, they made sense antkempsellingreaganomicsand they were supported by all that freedom in a free nation meant.

On top of that, his voting record always matched his rhetoric. Jack Kemp meant what he said and said what he meant.  With jack Kemp it was not rhetoric, it was reality.

Later, while working on Kemp’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, I learned that I was not alone in sometimes having to look up the meaning of something Kemp said. While gathering the mornings news clippings for the campaign’s press secretary, I stumbled upon a piece in a local paper that wrote “although very passionate about economic policy, Congressman Kemp often finds himself speaking to an audience of reporters and voters alike, who have a glazed look in their eyes that is brought about by his discussion of intricate policies and use of technical terms that Kemp uses with the familiarity that we have with the alphabet“.

After reading that I was actually relieved to know that I wasn’t quite as ignorant as most. I was just as ignorant as everyone else.  As the Reagan years were winding down I geared up to take the Reagan revolution to the next level and I prepared to make sure that Jack Kemp became our next President. The man to carry the torch into the future. I even developed a report which proved that Jack kemp would be the Republican presidential nominee and that Jean Kirkpatrick would be tapped as his running mate.

I was also a fan of Ambassador Kirkpatrick and the relatively close ties that she and Kemp had at the time, seemed to me, to make them a perfect and likely ticket.

antkemp1988As the 1988 campaign began, I found myself traveling to campaign for Jack Kemp in New Hampshire and eventually became a low level field director. I will never forget sitting on campaign busses traveling to every Notch from Dixville to Zealand and relaying between the state’s North White Mountains and Great North Woods to its southern sectionss of Portsmouth and Seabrook in the Seacoast region and Nashua, Concord and Manchester in between. I was often honored beyond belief to sit next Jack Kemp on the campaign bus and have the opportunity to brief the would-be-President on events at our next stops and update him on how the door-to-door events at previous stops went.

Although Kemp did win in Dixville Notch, when all of New Hampshire’s votes were counted, Kemp came in third behind then Vice President George H.W. Bush and Kansas Senator Bob Dole, but ahead of evangelist Pat Robertson, Reagan’s former chief of Staff, General Alexander Haig and Delaware’s former Congressman and Governor Pete DuPont, respectively.

Suffice it to say, I was devastated.

In 1989 President George H. W. Bush appointed Kemp to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development when he formed his administration. In this role Kemp was perceived by many as a maverick rather than a collegial member of the administration. Yet he successfully implemented many policies and programs which won over friends and foes alike. One of Kemp’s most effective creations was the introduction of urban enterprise zones.

antdolekempjugateWith his maverick image in place, in 1996 the Republican nominee for President, Bob Dole picked Kemp to be his Vice Presidential running mate. The selection was something of a surprise, not least because Kemp and Dole had policy disagreements in the past and had been rivals in 1988. Dole had generally been skeptical of massive tax cuts preferring to emphasize deficit reduction but the electoral dynamics of 1996 converted Dole to the merits of tax cuts. In this context Kemp was an ideal vice presidential choice. He symbolized vigorous tax cuts and was able to generate enthusiasm among Republican activists. Kemp was well known nationally because of his football career and visionary economic and defense policies; and it was hoped that Kemp’s energetic style and manner would balance Dole’s age.

Maybe it did or maybe didn’t but either way Americans wanted a second term of Clinton and Gore and whether they ended up liking it or not, they got it.

antdolekempcampaignitems

Just as was the case in the 1988 primaries, I was disappointed but just like before, I remained a fan of Jack Kemp.

I feel that there are few people who have actually been involved in politics on par with Kemp. Sincere, principled, hard working, innovative, persistent, consistent and scandal free, Kemp and his leadership has influenced our nation much more than your average politician and he helped take what was once a fringe wing of American political thinking and turned it into mainstream policy.

All of his leadership and accomplishments led me to pick up the moniker ‘Kempite”. On the internet, one must often come up with a user I.D. and since all of my online activity involves politics, I felt there was no name better to choose from other than Kemp’s.

So today, from the bottom of my heart, I offer my wishes for a speedy recovery for Secretary Kemp and it is the greatest hope of all of us that he defeats this bout with cancer with the same level of energy and success that earned him his victories and honors in the N.F.L. and that moved America over to his way of thinking in politics.

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And Be Sure To Also Sign The Petition To

REPEAL THE CONGRESSIONAL PAY HIKE

Sign the Online Petition – To Repeal The Automatic Pay Raise That Congress Is Receiving Congress

Pass The Link On To Family, Friends and Co-workers

http://www.gopetition.com/online/24301.html

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THE TOP 10 POLITICAL HAPPENINGS OF 2008

With the new year here, we have the opportunity to reflect on the year gone by and to thank the passage of time for resolving some situations. While some happenings in 2008 came and went, other events of 2008 still require time, time that will absorb much of 2009 and even beyond.

So today, before we forge ahead with the rest of this new year, we reflect on the events that shaped politics and the politics that shaped events, by presenting to you the 10 most significant political stories of the year that helped to get us where we are today.

TONY SNOW

TONY SNOW

10. – THE DEATHS OF TIM RUSSERT and TONY SNOW

TIM RUSSERT

TIM RUSSERT

Both of these men loved politics. For a time they were both involved in politics on different sides of the aisle and at a different times they covered politics. Tony Snow started in print and broadcast journalism delivering political news and commentary and ended his career in politics as the Press Secretary for President Bush. Tim Russert began in politics working for a political legend, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York and ended covering politics on NBC. As host of Meet The Press, Tim became a part of every American household and despite his personal left leaning tendencies Tim Russert was respected for probing questions that were leveled at liberals and conservatives alike. Tony Snow was also a partisan. For decades he was a favorite in conservative circles, yet when delivering a news story people of every party carefully listened to the insightful delivery of facts that he presented. His last major endeavor was one that helped provide the White House with the ability to properly convey the right messages. Tony served as Press Secretary for 17 months. Probably the most understandable 17 months of the Presidents two terms in office. Tim Russert died after suffering a massive heart attack on Jun 13th at the age of 58 and Tony Snow died after battling colon cancer on July 12th at the age of 53. In life they shaped politics and political opinion. In death, they left us a legacy of lessons and examples to follow.

9 . – IS  THAT CAMPAIGN MONEY IN YOUR POCKET OR ARE YOU JUST GLAD TO SEE ME

FORMER NY GOVERNOR ELLIOT SPITZER

FORMER NY GOVERNOR ELLIOT SPITZER

The Empire State helped to set a tone for 2008 when early in the year, New York’s Governor, Elliot Spitzer got caught up in scandal. After serving only 14 months in office the rising Democrat star found himself standing next to his wife announcing his resignation. Suspicious transfers of money in and out of Spitzer’s bank account led federal investigators to believe that he might be taking bribes. However their probe discovered that for over several years Spitzer wasn’t taking bribes, he was paying out at least $80,000 for prostitutes. The period covered his tenure as New York’s Attorney General as well as his brief time as Governor. The happiest people of all in this episode were David Paterson and New Jersey. As Spitzer’s Lieutenant Governor, Paterson, became New York’s first African American Governor, and the nation’s first legally blind one. New Jersey was just happy to know that they were no longer the only state in the region to lose a governor because of sexual scandals and illegal conduct.

8. – WEEKEND AT KIM’S

NOT WANTED but is he dead or alive?

NOT WANTED but is he dead or alive?

Around August rumors began to circulate that North Korea’s obscure and, to put it kindly, eccentric leader, Kim Jong-Il, was dead. Since then no reputable sources have either seen him or heard from him. Not that that is unusual, few people have ever heard or seen Kim Jong-Il, but what is unusual are recent decisions that Kim Jong-Il supposedly made to eliminate efforts to develop nuclear power. Did Kim make that decision? Is North Korea really abandoning nuclear ambitions? Or is North Korea propping up Kim Jong-Il, like a bad, out of sync, Korean version of “Weekend At Bernie’s” while a different, unknown, brain dead ruler is pulling the strings and, at the same time, trying to pull the wool over our eyes? All jokes aside, the sensitivity of the situation is a dire one. Chaos on the Korean Peninsula could create a ripple effect that no one can afford. Dramatic events could alter sensitive relations with South Korea and negotiations with the United States. All of which could result in tensions throughout the world including those involving hard feelings between North Korea and Japan. And let us not forget North Korea’s greatest ally, China. With their booming economy, the Chinese are ambitious. Knowing who is in charge of things could be helpful in 2009.

7. – BID WELL FIDEL?

BID WELL TO FIDEL?

BID WELL TO FIDEL?

In 1959 Cuba took on the face of Fidel Castro. Just 90 miles off of our shores, Cuban communism and Castro were too close for comfort. As much as we didn’t like it, invasions, coups and even assassination attempts did not eliminate Castro’s hold on power. However, time did reduce Castro’s influence. As time changed most of the world, Castro and Cuba didn’t but the logistics which helped to make him a thorn in our side did change. The, once feared communist Soviet-Cuban relationship lost it’s potency as the Soviet Union lost it’s hammer and sickle. As time went by, our concerns with Cuba focused more on human rights for Cubans than defense from Cuba. So it was still welcome news when, in February, we discovered that an ailing Fidel Castro was resigning from office. Not that it mattered much. Before stepping down, Fidel told the Cuban Communist Party that they were too elect his brother Raul to be the new Commander in Chief. The event did not change things very much but after almost 50 years in power, and events such as the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Elian Gonzales and other disconcerting situations, as minor as the effects of this change may be, Fidel’s painstakingly slow departure from the world stage is welcomed and ranks as the seventh most dramatic political occurrence of 2008.

6. – THE GEOGIAN-RUSSIAN WARant1georgis1a2

It was not a battle that reshaped Europe again but the surprising developments that caused the Russian Army to invade a neighboring, breakaway Republic with internationally recognized sovereignty, gave us all a glimpse of reality. It may not be the Soviet Union anymore but a bear by any other name is still a bear and the vulnerabilities of newly formed and reformed European nations and those with relatively new freedoms still offer some new Russian leaders the same old reasons for wanting control. The incident helped to demonstrate that freedom in parts of Europe is still a fragile concept.

ROD "How much do 'ya want" BLAGOJEVICH

ROD "How much do 'ya want" BLAGOJEVICH

5. – THE EBAY APPOINTMENT

2008 ended with a story that will carry well into the first months of 2009. As President-Elect Obama vacated his seat in the U.S. Senate, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich began a private auction process to determine who will fill the vacancy. As investigators, under the direction of federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, investigated Blagojevich for numerous improprieties, they discovered that he was basing his appointment to the senate seat on who could give him the most for it. Blago wanted either a “cushy union” job, a high paying cabinet position or at the very least an enormous financial campaign contribution. After being arrested the Illinois state legislature began impeachment proceedings against Blagojevich and he began digging in his heals refusing to resign. The events have the potential for drawing in some big name co-conspirators and participants. From Rep. Jesse Jackson, jr. to President -Elect Obama’s incoming Chief of Staff, Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuelle, many reputations may yet be questioned in this scandal. And to make things even more interesting, Blagojevich took the opportunity to raise the stakes and named Roland Burris, a long time, old line, liberal Chicago Democrat party machine hack to replace Barack Obama. Not at all concerned with peoples faith in government, or the integrity of the process, Burriss accepted the tainted appointment and in doing so, puts the United States and it’s Democrat leader, Harry Reid in the position of denying to seat someone that would be the only African American in the United States Senate. So coming in as the fifth top political occurrence in 2008 is the story that will keep on bleeding and keep us reading…..the process to replace a Barack Obama in the senate. 

4. – BRINGING OUTSIDERS IN

GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN

GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN

One of the most important political decisions made in 2008 was John McCain’s selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for Vice President on the Republican ticket. It was a controversial choice for some and one of the only right decisions made in the opinions of others. No matter how you see it, it remains one of the most spoken about political stories of the year. Beyond the newsworthiness are the implications. For many it was a sign of the fact that government needs thinking that is as far removed from the Washington D.C. mentality as Alaska is from Washington D.C itself. Many Americans are tired of Washington politics and want common sense as opposed to the one hand washes the other, old boys bureaucracy that we perceive as screwing us more than helping us. Sarah Palin embodied, and still does embody, that thinking. She is a political outsider who became a Governor by opposing the political class while representing the working class. Without abandoning conservative Republican principles, Sarah Palin fought against corrupt Republican and liberal politicians. Although picking Sarah Palin for Vice President may have been the right decision for John McCain, trying to restrict and control her wasn’t. By trying to script Sarah Palin, the McCain campaign lost out on the greatest advantageous quality Palin brought to the ticket…….her anti-establishment, outsider qualities. As McCain lost the election for President, Sarh Palin won exposure. Exposure that has made her a person who conservatives look forward to advancing the cause and for Americans to have to consider for national leadership in the future. So at number four in 2008 is the selection of Sarah Palin for Vice President. Thank you senator McCain!

ant1oil23. – “OILS WELL” IN THE ECONOMY?

The price of oil ranks third on our list of top stories. As prices for a barrel of oil soared to heights in excess of 150 dollars a barrel , gas prices flew up to over 4 dollars a gallon and the ripple effects raise the cost of everything from milk, eggs and bread to lumber, air fares, and life in general. The high cost of energy generated heated debates over domestic oil drilling, and pushed issues like immigration and terrorism off of the front burners in the race for President. Based upon the duration of the immediate negative effects of the price of oil combined with its ripple effects on the economy, its control of the political agenda and the long term policy initiatives that it created, oil prices is number 3 in ‘08. It is also likely to become a top story again, at least around August of ‘09, when the now delightfully low prices we see rise back up. 

2. – THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA 

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA

Putting all political opinion aside. Barack Obama ran a long hard campaign, that Republican strategists are dissecting in order to reproduce in elections of their own. The Obama campaign not only effectively tapped into voter dissatisfaction they organized it and organized it well. Their utilization of the internet was exemplary and their ability win favor through eloquence and style over substance and fact was political perfection. Despite some pitfalls such as Bill Ayers, ACORN, Rev. Wright, admitting a desire akin to socialism by stating that he wanted to spread the wealth , Barack Obama won big. To do so his campaign raised historic amounts of money and more than just raising that money, they spent it right and put it to good use. A use that mobilized the forces well enough to produce his substantial victory. The election of President-Elect Barack Obama comes in second on out not only because of how he won but because he did win. His victory marked the election of America’s first African American President. Like ant other first, it is notable and in this case it is profoundly notable. It demonstrates an undeniable ability for our nation to overcome racial differences and the evidence of decency overcoming prejudice is promising. The effects of President-Elect Obama’s leadership are yet to be seen but the lessons learned and points made by his election are unquestionable.

ant1bailout21 . – BAIL OUT MANIA

POLITICS 24/7 considers the 700 billion dollar bailout that the federal government approved to be the most profound and important story of 2009. Not only was the suggested need for this bailout indicative of our wrong ways of the past, it signaled a continuation of wrong ways in the future. Our promotion of spending as the answer to all of our problems has created generations ands a government that spend beyond our means. The 700 billion dollar bailout meant to solve our problems didn’t solve our anything, it just provided a quick fix. It did however, create more problems. It has called upon more people and more industries to put their own hands out. The bailout set in motion a sense of government control that has taken freedom, with all of it’s risks and promises, out of the free market and it has helped to move America closer to the socialism that we have fought against in the past. Many major events come and go in politics. What we once saw as earth shattering developments often become something that we later laugh about but we fear that bailout trend established in 2008 is no laughing matter for any time.

2008 was an intense year. There were many events and some of the most dramatic ones did not involve politics. Human nature played a role in all of them though and hopefully our better instincts will drive the events and politics of 2009.

With that in mind we wish everyone a happy new year and hope that our better instincts help to make each and every day better than the last.

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THIS WEEK’S WINNERS and LOSERS

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With the election results in,  Politics 24/7 presents to you the Winners & Losers, a weekly wrap up of the week’s luckiest and most down trodden, the best and the worst, the top and the bottom.

In this, the innaugural edition of Politics 24/7’s Winners & Losers, we feature the lucky recipeints in the election week  results.

LOSERS

  1. HILLARY CLINTON –The concept of President-elect Barack Obama dashes Hillary’s hopes for  possibly 8 years by which time a presidential run for her will probably not be in the cards.
  2. RICK DAVIS -The man in charge of John McCain’s presidential campaign failed to pull any rabbits out of his hat and looks for others to put the blame on. He sucked and there is no need to look any further to find blame.
  3. THE MEDIA -Since they turned against Hillary during the primaries, they spent the rest of this election proving that they were in the tank for Barack Obama.  They used this election to prove that they are more biased commentators than unbiased newsbreakers.
  4. ELIZABETH DOLE -Despite the anti-republican atmosphere, the North Carolina Senator was one of those few, rare republicans who could have kept her seat.  Complacency and overconfidence while in office, a poorly run campaign and a desperate last minute attempt to win that tried to exploit religion in a harsh tv ad, ended her career on a low note.
  5. PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH -No matter what,  he gets the blame for Republicans losing and for the poor economy that helped put the nail in the coffin of Republicans running throughout the nation. Whether it’s his fault or not, he presided over the events we experienced and the buck ( or in this economy, the 25 cents which is the the equivalent of a buck), stops with him.

 

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WINNERS

  1. PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA -You may disagree with him but he won and he is now our president.  Should he be?  Maybe. Maybe not, that has yet be seen, but he established a campaign that did all the right things, established an exceptional ground game that didn’t just get him elected but won him a special place in history and allowed the United States to thankfully prove that although racism may exist, we can overcome it.
  2. NANCY PELOSI & HARRY REID -As the leaders of the house and senate, they accomplished nothing during the past two years that they were in power.  In fact their lackluster, liberal, leadership only helped hinder the Obama campaign.  But despite it all they are rewarded with increased majorities and now they have one of their own in the White House.  For Reid and Pelosi everyday will be Christmas for at least two years.
  3. THE TWO DAVIDS David Plouffe & David Axelrod, Barack Obama’s campaign manager and media strategists, respectively, orchestrated an effort that avoided landmines, sidelined the Clintons and made history. Their efforts may not have created the greatest and most creative presidential campaign we ever saw but it worked and achieved a first in American politics.  There’s lots of power and money in their futures right now. 
  4. JOE THE BIDENHe wasn’t going anywhere in  his own right and as he approaches the end of his long political career, second banana isn’t the worst way to do it.
  5. JOHN McCAIN & SARAH PALIN -Like him or not, he ran hard for what he believes in, served the nation in many different ways and did so above and beyond the call of duty.  His campaign wasn’t very well run but that’s to be expected from a person who is less interested in politics than he is in getting good things done for the people.  As for Sarah Palin, she can either build upon her fifteen minutes of national fame and re-enter national politics in as few as 4 years or she can just continue holding statewide elected office in Alaska for as long she wants  Can you say Senator Palin?  Either way, her future is bright. 

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CONGRATULATIONS PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA AND AMERICA!

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Together, we must offer sincere congratulations to President-Elect Barack Obama.

When, in a few short months, he becomes our 44th President, we must also accord to him the respect and support that an American President deserves from the American people.

Unlike many liberal elitists who have stated their desire to move to another country because a liberal did not win the White House, I do not entertain thoughts of fleeing the land that I love because Senator Obama won this election. I do not lose faith in my nation because of the conclusion that our democratic process reaches. Contrarily, I take pride in my nation’s ability to once again, participate in a peaceful change of power.

On top of that, in this particular case, there is an even greater sense of pride that I feel because of my nation’s ability to overcome long standing, wrongly held, racial biases. Unfortunately Barack Obama’s victory does not mark an end to racism but it does signal our true ability to overcome it.

In that sense, this election was a remarkable confirmation of America’s promise and for this, I am proud.

Admittedly, I may not be pleased with President-Elect Obama’s meteoric rise to power but that is not now, nor has it ever been, based on his color. Although leftists have tried to describe opposition to the Obama candidacy as something rooted in racism, the truth is that my displeasure has been based upon the diverging directions of policies that we have. Those differences will continue to actively fuel my civic duty as a responsible citizen and oppose President-Elect Obama on those initiatives that I feel are mistakes and support him on those that I believe are right and beneficial.

Despite philosophical and policy differences, his actual initiatives are to be judged, individually, and on their individual merits. Yet, regardless of those differences, I proudly embrace President-elect Obama and his future presidency.

On the foreign front, as my President, Barack Obama might be tested, as Vice President-Elect Biden antobvic4mentioned. If that is so, any nation that might try to test him should know this……

Baracak Obama will be President of my nation and as such any threat against him is a threat against me. Neither President-Elect Obama or I take kindly to threats and neither do the rest of the Americans behind our soon to be President. So think carefully, very carefully, because although the face of the US presidency may have changed, the people haven’t. The American people are still the most generous, resourceful, feisty, vibrant, innovative people that you will come across and the materialization of any threat will encounter harsh and lasting consequences, sooner or later, by the American people on the ones responsible for those threats.

Domestically, despite differences on the issues , we must understand that President-Elect Obama is not the enemy and that his best interests are our best interests. The debate on taxes, energy education, immigration, and how best to defend and protect our nation may get rough but we need to recognize that the election is over and that we are one. As such we need to work as one. We should not need a 9/11 crisis to bring us together only in times of crisis. We should tackle all issues with the same unified vigilance that we have always employed during times of crisis. This does not mean we cannot disagree, it just means that we should allow the democratic process to resolve our differences the very same way that this election did, through vigorous debate of the issues and by arguing our approaches to the issues in the most convincing ways possible.

The election is over and no matter what, President-Elect Obama has won. He will be the President not of republicans or democrats, liberals or conservatives but of all of us who proudly call ourselves Americans.

The euphoria of victory for President-Elect Obama, will be short lived. Once the reality of the awesome responsibilities overtake the moment, euphoria will be replaced by burden. As with most Americans who have become President, I am sure that Barck Obama will rise to the occasion and to do so, he could use our good wishes and genuine support. It is the same type of support that one time President-Elect Bush could have used and it should not be denied to this President-Elect.

With that said, let the campaigning to determine who should lead us in the work that lies ahead come to a close and let the democratic process of governance begin.

Excelsior!

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What Is Politics?

A little boy goes to his dad and asks, “What is politics?”

Dad says, “Well son, let me try to explain it this way: I’m the breadwinner of the family, so let’s call me capitalism. Your Mom, she’s the administrator of the money, so we’ll call her the Government. We’re here to take care of your needs, so we’ll call you the people. The nanny, we’ll consider her the Working Class. And your baby brother, we’ll call him the Future. Now, think about that and see if that makes sense,”

So the little boy goes off to bed thinking about what dad had said.

Later that night, he hears his baby brother crying, so he gets up to check on him. He finds that the baby has severely soiled his diaper. So the little boy goes to his parents’ room and finds his mother sound asleep. Not wanting to wake her, he goes to the nanny’s room. Finding the door locked, he peeks in the keyhole and sees his father in bed with the nanny. He gives up and goes back to bed. The next morning, the little boy says to his father, “Dad, I think I understand the concept of politics now.”

The father says, “Good son, tell me in your own words what you think politics is all about.”

The little boy replies, “Well, while Capitalism is screwing the Working Class, the Government is sound asleep, the People are being ignored and the Future is in deep poo.”

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IS INTIMIDATION SHAPING THE ELECTION ?

antpantherj1ACORN offers cigarettes to register the homeless to vote multiple times. Identification is not needed to prove you are who you say you are when voting. New Yorkers register false addresses in Ohio to change that states results. Mickey Mouse is even registered to vote for Obama in Florida. Members of the National Football league are erroneously registered to vote in Nevada ……

These are just some examples of the fraud being used to put Barack Obama over the top in the 2008 and election. Examples like this are widespread. They have sparked countless federal and state investigations but now, during the final hours of our historic quadrennial election, intimidation kicks into high gear.

Confirmed reports have just been released detailing that two Black Panthers have been guarding entranceways into polling places in Philadelphia. One brandished a nightstick. When asked to remove himself from the property the Obama enforcer refused.

Philadelphia police had to escort the Black Panther away.

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Nothing that occurs in the Obama campaign is random. Voter fraud is sponsored by the Obama/Biden campaign through coordinated activities with ACORN and so is their “Give Over Your Vote” effort.

Is there a racial component to all this? Well liberals will accuse the delivery of these facts to be racist propoganda. But when considering the facts in this case, critics of voter intimidation would say that a Black Panther guarding the entrance to a polling site has a racial component to it. The Obama enforcers refusing to leave while shouting “you can’t stop a black man from winning this election” just confirms it.

If Black Panthers with nightsticks are being used as poll workers, I can’t wait to see what type of people will be used to fill out the presidential cabinet of a Barack Obama administration.

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McCAIN DEFEATS OBAMA ?

antpaper1All indications are that by as early as 8:30 pm, on the east coast, we will be having to get accustomed to hearing the words “President-Elect Obama.”

The only question that seems to really remain is whether or not Obama will win by a landslide or not. It won’t make a difference how much he wins by, a win is a win, but having already baptized Barack Obama as the King of Kings, the media needs to create some kind of suspense.

Yet, despite the polls I have a feeling that polls are a bit off.

We know that all the polls have been recalibrated to make up for assumed higher democratic turnout as well as a higher than normal number of first time, younger and African-American voters. In trying to adjust their polling results for these anticipated factors, pollsters have intentionally polled more democrats than usual. That would of course account for more positive results for democrats than for republicans.

Given the current political atmosphere such tweaking of the polls probably does reflect the actual voter turnout and help to make the poll results more accurate. Probably, but not definitely. I have a feeling that many of theses polls, which already have a liberal bend to them, may have been bent toward the left much further than necessary .

If that is the case, it still does not mean that Obama is not favored in this election. He is, but I don’t think by quite as much as the polls would have us believe. I hope not anyway.

In fact “hope” is what I am really going on here. Hope and a sense that not quite everyone is convinced that Barack Obama is the great savior that liberals make him out to be. In fact I do believe that many people see Barack Obama as an unaccomplished blowhard who only has experience with running his mouth.

The hopeful sense of something not being right with the polls and that most people do not trust Obama, leads me to make a hail Mary pass and predict McCain to be the winner. This sense of hope is reached because I do not believe most people trust Obama’s experience and believe him to be sincere. I also think they do not appreciate his promise to spread the wealth through increasing the size and scope of government.

Additionally I believe that Obama has not closed the sale in these final days.

Given the undeniably negative atmosphere for republicans and the undeniable popularity of state and local democrat candidates further down the ballot, Obama should be ahead by a lot more than he actually is. Given the popularity of local democrats, Obama’s poll numbers are much lower than they should be.

So it is with more of a sixth sense than facts that leads me to predict that John McCain will win with 286 electoral votes to

This leap of faith gives McCain the most hotly contested states of Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and antlastmap6Pennsylvania. If he can actually win Pennsylvania and Virginia it would also indicate that other hotly contested battlegrounds states like Missouri and Nevada are also likely to trend towards McCain, so I also call them for him.

Is this likely? If you believe in some of the polls, no, its not. But I believe in miracles. I have made myself believe that even though McCain’s campaign sucked and never properly articulated our case, the right combination of people in the right number of states know that this election is less about personalities and more about ideologies. I believe that enough people know that the differences between Obama and McCain are wide. They understand that on the economy one moves to socialism and the other tries to strengthen our economy. That one wants to raise taxes and spread a small amount of wealth while the other wants to lower taxes and spread the opportunity to achieve greater wealth. I still believe that most Americans prefer the candidate who waves the American flag more than the candidate who wants America to wave the white flag of surrender.

If such sentiments do exist, maybe people are not voting as much for McCain or Obama as they are for the principles that they represent. If that is the case than I truly believe that most people support the American way over the old Soviet way. I believe most people believe more in John McCain’s way than Obama’s way.

All of this causes me to feel that we just might relive a “Dewey Defeats Truman-like episode in history.

ant-trudew7The problem with that thinking though, is that back in 1948 polls were only taken up till the week before the election. The data that the media was basing their projections on did not include the seven days leading up to the election. They did not capture the undecided voters who broke for Truman during the closing days of that election.

Today, polls are being taken and interpreted up to the very last minute. That makes up for the mistakes that were made when The Chicago Tribune erroneously declared that Tom Dewey beat President Harry Truman. But a boy can dream, can’t he? History does repeat itself, occasionally. So maybe, just maybe we can be experiencing a little déjà vu. Maybe the apparent tightening of the polls in these closing days are being undervalued and causing pollsters to underestimate the depth of support for John McCain’s candidacy.

My heart tells me McCain does it. Logic tells me that Obama will be President. But, like millions of Americans who are voting for Obama based on his appealing to their hearts more than their heads, on this one, I am going with my heart and believing that Senator John McCain will win and spare our nation from a costly education in socialism.

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Twas the Night Before Elections . . .

Twas the night before elections
And all through the town
Tempers were flaring
Emotions all up and down!

I, in my bathrobe
With a cat in my lap
Had cut off the TV
Tired of political crap.

When all of a sudden
There arose such a noise
I peered out of my window
Saw Obama and his boys

They had come for my wallet*
They wanted my pay*
To give to the others*
Who had not worked a day!*

He snatched up my money
And quick as a wink
Jumped back on his bandwagon
As I gagged from the stink

He then rallied his henchmen
Who were pulling his cart
I could tell they were out
To tear my country apart!

On Fannie, on Freddie,
On Biden and Ayers!
On Acorn, On Pelosi’
He screamed at the pairs!

They took off for his cause
And as he flew out of sight
I heard him laugh at the nation
Who wouldn’t stand up and fight!

So I leave you to think
On this one final note-
IF YOU DONT WANT SOCIALISM
GET OUT AND VOTE!!!!

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