Saturday, November 17, 2012

People who live in glass houses...

The election is over and conservatives are still trying to make sense of the election results. Why do we still have the same balance of power in Washington, D.C. after the election?  How did so many incumbents keep their jobs when the economy is so bad and the fiscal cliff is looming?  There are several issues being raised by conservatives that have me thinking. Maybe it is time for us to look inward and get our own house in order .. before we start championing candidates for the 2014 mid-terms.

You should vote straight-ticket GOP  

The GOP promotes straight-GOP ticket voting habits (of course) because it increases the likelihood of their candidates winning in races that are competitive because of the coattails of other GOP candidates on the ballot. This increases the power of the GOP in government. Many who call themselves conservatives believe this is a laudable goal, but I disagree. Voting straight-ticket sends the message that we are choosing the party to govern us, not the candidates who happen to be in that party. It does not allow for voters to hold incumbent candidates accountable for their voting records while in office.  It perpetuates the status quo .. keeping incumbents in office (even when they are doing a lousy job).  91% of representatives in the U.S. House were re-elected (this is with a 9% approval rating). Could it be that every single Republican on the ballot is the best option in an election cycle?  Perhaps .. but voting without thinking by clicking 'all Republican' is never what our Founders intended when they gave us this government of 'we the people'.

The exact same behavior happens inside the Democratic party. The Democratic Party has a full-on propaganda campaign against Republicans at every level.  Republicans are being painted as racists, crazy, intolerant, and haters of working men and women. The number of voters choosing to vote straight-ticket-Democrat has risen because of this demonizing of the GOP. I heard a complaint this week from a Republican voter about Jesse Jackson, Jr. (Democrat), who was easily re-elected earlier this month after being on medical leave (for months) for treatment of bipolar disorder and other medical issues. Jackson is also facing multiple legal problems, including a reported federal probe into possible misuse of campaign funds. The GOP voter lodging the complaint said that the only way Jackson got re-elected was because "the democrats don't even care who the candidates are, they all just vote straight-ticket-Democrat."  Ironically, this GOP voter cast a straight GOP-ticket.

People are too dependent on government

The number of people on food-stamps in this country has skyrocketed. Government programs are now giving away free birth-control, free cell phones and free or reduced-cost housing. The list goes on and on of the benefits the government is handing out with plans to include even more give-aways in the future. I hear complaints from conservatives daily about how more Americans are growing lazy and unproductive and blame these government programs for our decline as a nation and for bankrupting this country.

But what about us? How many of us are currently accepting some sort of hand-out or assistance from the Federal Government? I currently have a FHA loan on my house. Could I have afforded a conventional (more expensive) loan? probably. If I am going to lambaste these government programs, perhaps it is time to refinance this house into a conventional loan.

How many of us are taking advantage of some federal program that cost taxpayers money? If we aren't willing to give up the freebies or benefits we currently enjoy, how can we expect to convince a majority of voters to do that in 2014? ...or 2016?

The mainstream media is in the tank for Obama

This is probably the one that angers conservatives the most. The Benghazi scandal has been totally mishandled by the media. Liberal news outlets have been openly promoting Obama since he first came on the scene. Mistakes made by this president have not only been glossed over by the mainstream media, but it appears they are actively covering up his mistakes. There is really no excuse for their behavior .. and I believe it has permanently damaged the little credibility that remains with the legacy media.

But what about conservative news?  Weren't the majority of conservative 'news' outlets openly campaigning for Romney during this last election? Even most of the new media blog sites had jumped onto the Romney bandwagon. If we are going to be pointing fingers at a liberal mainstream media that is producing propaganda to prop up their dear leader, then we had better not turn around and do the exact same thing!

It is time to put our house in order. Perhaps another four years of Obama is the motivation we need to turn ourselves into better citizens before the next election cycle rolls around. We can't afford to stay on this path to tyranny and destruction. The only way we can restore the America that we love is if those of us who are willing to tell the truth will lead the way in practicing what we preach.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Survey of the Wreckage ...

Well, the votes have been counted (if you want to call it that), and it appears that we will have another four years of destruction and despair courtesy of our commander in chief. The lamenting within the conservative movement and the GOP is ongoing, which isn't unexpected. Fingers are being pointed in every direction. The establishment is blaming the tea party, the liberal media is saying Republicans are too conservative to govern, some even suggest that the balance has tipped and those taking from the government now out-number those paying the taxes, but I suppose I have a different view of the landscape.  Here is my summary of the debacle of the GOP in this year's presidential race.

What was missed by all the political elites in this election cycle is just how poorly Romney was playing within the conservative base of the Republican party. I am sure the talking-heads chalked up all those nasty speeches about Romney emanating from Gingrich as Santorum as pure political bluster. Could it actually be that those messages had a ring of truth to them?  Was the GOP establishment ignoring the cries from the conservative base because they just wanted to continue to believe their own lies?

So what exactly was so bad about nominating Romney as the standard-bearer for the GOP?  He was, after-all, a really nice guy. Romney had the cash, the organization, the GOP birthright by being the 'next in line'.  He was well groomed, articulate, handsome. He had the business credentials that would appeal to the Wall street execs.  He had a lovely family, a beautiful wife .. and honestly the Romneys looked just like those family portraits you see adorning the frames in the gift-shops.  Well I am sure I'll incur the wrath of all establishment types and their minions, but I am not about to shut up now.  If we don't learn from our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them.  Oh wait, I forget..  the GOP nominated McCain in '08.  Perhaps Republicans will  never learn.

Here are the top 5 reasons Mitt Romney was destined for failure as the GOP nominee:

Nobody trusts a serial flip-flopper

When a person changes positions on one or two issues, that is evolving. When they change positions on every core issue, sometimes in mid-sentence, that is called spineless. Romney was everything to everyone .. which means he was nothing to everyone. You have to have a set of core principles that guide you. If voters don't sense that, they don't trust you. Even with Obama's incessant lying, he still beat Romney on trust, because regardless of what actually happened during the last four years of the Obama administration, no one doubted that Obama deep down was an uber-liberal. I'm still not sure what's at Romney's core.

Nominating Mr. 1% plays into the liberal narrative

When the liberals talk day and night about how the Republican party is nothing but a bunch of uppity elite super-rich white men, it isn't exactly genius to nominate a man who fits that model exactly. Romney is very white, very rich, and very out of touch with the average Joe. He also was a great target for incessant ridicule online. The constant stream on Google + and twitter about how "Romney only cares about his rich friends" was repeated day and night for months. No matter how Romney might have felt in reality, his resume' provided all the liberals needed to keep that story front and center. Democrats did a good job making sure that was the message heard most often about Romney.

Isn't Mormonism a cult?

The fact that Mitt is a Mormon is a touchy subject. Even bringing up the topic is like throwing a grenade. Well, the election is over, and Mitt lost. I can't help but believe that there were Christians who were very uncomfortable voting for a person who is not a Christian. I know of few (actually none) of my Christian friends who believe Obama is Christian. But, at least Obama professes that he is one. I am not sure how these individuals who had an issue with Mitt's faith voted; perhaps they stayed home.  Not having the enthusiastic support of evangelical Christians is a disaster for any GOP nominee. Evangelicals make up one of the largest block of campaign workers. Now, there were plenty of evangelicals working on Romney's campaign, for sure, but there are reports that up to 21% of evangelical Christians voted for Obama. One has to wonder how Mitt's faith played in the hearts and minds of Christian voters.

Nobody wants to drink a beer with Romney .. er coffee... er ..?

Romney isn't a pal.  He comes across as very sophisticated and 'proper' .. but that means he comes across as stuffy and unapproachable by the average voter. The sad truth is, few voters actually vote for leaders based on issues, they choose who they like and trust.  The race for the presidency is the biggest popularity contest of them all.  If you don't look good, sound good, and seem like a person who is 'fun' to be around, there is a large block of voters who will never vote for you regardless of your stand on the issues.  We live in an 'American Idol' culture where everything is based on who is likable.. not who is most talented.  We have to face it, the only way a Republican is ever going to win, is if they are liked by people who have no knowledge or interest in politics. Hmm, I wonder if Tim Tebow is interested in running?

Ignoring the Tea-Party is really NOT so smart

The final nail in the coffin was dissing the tea-party. Sarah Palin was not invited to speak at the GOP convention in Tampa. Some say.. "well, there were other tea-party types speaking so the GOP embraced the teaparty in Tampa", well..  I say hogwash. There is little doubt the elites inside the GOP have great disdain for the teaparty. They continue to blame Sarah Palin for the loss in 2008. They believe (wrongly) that the teaparty is dragging down the GOP. What about 2010? Did they forget how the teaparty brought in new faces and brought the GOP back into power in the House of Representatives? The teaparty increased the GOP margin in the Senate? And this is how the GOP thanks them? ..being dismissed, dissed, disrespected? The teaparty was railroaded at every turn by the GOP establishment during the nomination process to get the 'anointed' Romney into position while continuously ridiculing those candidates who would challenge him. Did the GOP party bosses honestly believe these people who had been treated so poorly would turn around and campaign for their candidate?  Sadly, many did, and, in my estimation, some of those people lost a lot of the passion that once made the teaparty movement so powerful. But, many more decided to reluctantly go along, or just stay out of the Romney campaign altogether (I was in the latter group). If the elites think they can win without us, then by all means, they should be given the opportunity to try. I guess we see how well that worked out. The teaparty is all that is left of Reagan's conservative coalition. If the GOP succeeds in stamping out the movement, it will be the end of the GOP. The elite succeeded on one front. They have definitely soured much of the teaparty on the GOP.

This election is over. I am sure the pundits will be talking about this race for many years to come. Calls to 'moderate' and be more 'reasonable' will be the talking points to the GOP inside the beltway. Hopefully someone with good sense can break through the elite narrative to knock some sense into these people before we lose the whole country. Perhaps it is already lost.