Archive for January, 2010

Embracing this Scott Brown moment

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

I went to an election watch party last night (hosted by congressional candidate Ed Martin, Jr. (R-MO-3)) and enjoyed the shared euphoria of watching the announcement of Scott Brown’s stunning victory in Massachusetts. I enjoyed watching conservative commentors on Fox News revel in the news. In the days leading up to the event, I enjoyed the blog posts and tweets of many dedicated principled conservatives looking forward to Brown’s election.

The reasons for the excitement were – and remain – clear: Scott Brown would be the crucial 41st Republican senate vote to block the government takeover of health care and its attendant gutting of Medicare. He is also positioned to stop the job-killing cap-and-trade bill, Obama’s weak U.S. anti-terrorism policy and other liberal nonsense coming out of the Obama Administration and the Pelosi-Reid congress. This election (on top of the 2009 gubernatorial victories in Virginia and New Jersey) has every indication of being the key momentum changing event that gives conservatives a genuine shot at taking back congress later this year.  Ripple effects by noon the next day included the withdrawal of controversial TSA nominee Erroll Southers and an announcement that Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) would consider a challenge to entrenched purple-state Sen. Evan Bayh. And it’s mostly because of Scott Brown.

But, after a courteous period to allow the euphoria to be enjoyed, we must also have a bit of a reality check: Scott Brown is what principled conservatives deem to be a RINO (Republican In Name Only). He is pro-choice (albeit opposed to partial birth abortion and taxpayer funding of abortions), he favors gay marriage, and he speaks the RINO language of “independent thinking” and bipartisan cooperation. This is why President Obama was so gracious in calling Brown to congratulate him and play nice. Obama knows that Brown voted for the now-failing Massachusetts health care plan in the state legislature, and thinks that his messianic persuasion will be able to bring Brown over to the dark side on health care and other important parts of Obama’s agenda (and provide cover to other RINO senators to do the same).

Health care was the key issue in the campaign and is the overriding issue for all of America right now. Brown specifically promised to be the 41st vote needed to block the health care takeover, and he must resist Obama’s charms. I believe Brown is up to the task, and Obama will fail once again.

Assuming Brown holds fast to his promise and saves American from the health care debacle, I cauti0n my fellow conservatives not to forget this historic moment the next time Brown or any other RINO punctures our idealism by joining Democrats on an important vote. There are several RINOs in the U.S. Senate, and we need every one of them.

I have written about RINOs twice within the past 6 months. In July I provided empirical data supporting why conservatives need to be more accepting of the RINOs in their mist, especially in areas like Massachusetts, Maine and increasingly liberal suburban areas where a principled conservative probably won’t carry the electorate. Parties don’t own any particular electoral district, the people do. And if the people in a particular district want more liberal representation, we need to be cool with offering that district a representative who will be liberal when they want him or her to be but still support the conservative side more often than a Democrat would. My July post pointed out how even the most conservative Democrat in the entire U.S. House voted with his Democrat colleagues more often than the GOP’s worst RINO.

The special election in NY-23, where Republican insiders nominated leftist Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, posed a special challenge to that reasoning. In that case I blogged how conservative activists were right in abandoning the ACORN-backed leftist GOP nominee and supporting Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman. But this was a rare case where supporting the conservative over the RINO in a 3-way contest was the right thing to do, even though the Democrat won the theretofore Republican district and immediately voted for cap-and-trade and health care deformed. Scozzafava would have voted the same way, and the party has an excellent shot at retaking the seat (with a better nominee) later this year.

The unfortunate fact is that, while the U.S. has a conservative plurality, it does not have a conservative majority. In that context, conservatives must be accepting of RINOs in districts where a true conservative is unlikely to prevail. (RINOs from conservative areas where there is no significant danger of a divided party losing the seat to a Democrat – think Utah – should be taken out.) Conservatives who channel 19th Century Sen. Henry Clay (“I had rather be right than President”) when sticking with principles at the wrong time have a political death wish. Conservative principles are of only intellectual value if you aren’t in a position to enact them into legislation.

So I ask my fellow conservatives today as we enjoy the tide-turning win in Massachusetts, “Are you OK with this pro-choice RINO, Scott Brown?” I am.

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Clinton admits Democrat goal to stifle dissent

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

A Democrat friend received a fundraising letter from former President Bill Clinton seeking funds for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Clinton’s letter confirms that Democrats’ purpose is to ignore and silence everyone who disagrees.

Clinton opines [emphasis added],

If we can strengthen our Democratic majority in Congress, think about what President Obama will be able to do.

He won’t have to debate whether or not the GOP [statements] about health care reform are true; he’ll be able to focus on putting [Democrat health care proposals] into action.

He won’t have to debate whether or not global climate change is real; . . .

He won’t have to debate whether or not privitizing Social Security is a bad idea; . . .

The key to it all: Obama “won’t have to debate.” Enough of this democracy bullshit, say Clinton and the Democrats, let’s just do it.

This is consistent with another DSCC mailer that I discussed in a post last month. That mailer distributed refrigerator magnets with the DSCC slogan, “Silence GOP lies.” The key word was “Silence” (the verb, not the noun). Not debate, not counter, not refute, but silence! To put that in full context, that earlier letter ominously concluded, “We want change–and we won’t let anyone stand in the way.

Democrats’ campaign to suppress patriotic dissent was first noticed last summer, when SEIU thugs beat down people attending Rep. Russ Carnahan’s (D-MO) staged town hall meeting. Then the party coordinated verbal attacks designed to demonize citizen dissent. The Democratic National Committee aired a television ad depicting town hall audiences as “angry mobs.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid accused the protesters of trying to sabotage the democratic process. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer published an op-ed piece calling the protests “un-American.” Former Sen. Jean Carnahan (D-MO and mother of both Rep. Carnahan and a daughter likely to face voters’ wrath this year) characterized Obamacare protesters as “hordes that take up pitchforks,” accusing them of “mob hysteria” and “remarks that border on treason.” Treason! Last month, Reid took the senate floor to compare Republicans who oppose Obamacare to lawmakers who opposed abolishing slavery, an ironic statement after this week’s revelations of Reid’s racially insensitive comments about then-candidate Barack Obama.

In November, a network of liberal groups known as Velvet Revolution started an ad campaign offering $100,000 (later increased to $200,000) for dirt on Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donahue, in retaliation for the Chamber’s opposition to climate change and health care legislation.

D.C. Democrats are dedicated to the use of intimidation and, if necessary, force. We must use every legitimate means to stop them from muzzling our country.

Democrats making hay while the sun shines

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

Noted conservative blogger Erick Erickson (redstate.com) recently came to a conclusion I had been nursing for some time. Here is my own formulation.

With the Presidency, a comfortable margin in the U.S. House and a working filibuster-proof margin in the Senate, Democrats are doing what Republicans failed to do when they controlled Congress and the Presidency (albeit without 60 votes in the Senate): they are seizing the opportunity to enact their agenda into law, perhaps in ways that it may not be possible for a later congress to repeal. They are consciously imposing their agenda without regard to documented public opinion and – as Erickson notes – without regard to the risk of losing their seats and control because of their actions. They are putting principle (warped principle, to be sure, but still the principles that drive them) ahead of their personal job security. Erickson noted more succinctly than I, “[T]he Democrats can effect a permanent policy shift in the country and are willing to take the hits to do it.”

The decision of  Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) to forego reelection is a case in point. While his decision possibly hands Republicans a senate seat Democrats likely would have retained with Dorgan running for reelection, it also signals that Dorgan is now free to vote the liberal party line without any concern over political repercussions – or the will of his conservative North Dakota constituents. Screw them! Recent House retirees like John Tanner (D-TN) from districts where McCain beat Obama are similarly free to tote Speaker Pelosi’s line with impunity.

Democrats are consciously risking their political futures because they know these two years are realistically their only chance to accomplish what they want. And, more ominously, they believe (perhaps accurately) that what they do now cannot later be undone, even after they lose control. Even if Republicans were to take EVERY Democrat senate seat this election (a virtually impossible feat), they would still lack the 60 votes necessary to pass repeal – or anything else the Democrats are willing to sabotage. Once health care deform is passed, once they have successfully looted $500 million dollars from the Medicare trust fund, can conservatives realistically overturn it? How would they restore Medicare as we know it after all the money accumulated for half a century is gone? And once entitlements have been created, count on result-oriented liberal judges to treat the new handouts as unalienable rights.

This is the liberals’ hour, and they are seizing the opportunity. This is why they fought so hard to steal the Minnesota senate election for Al “Stuart Smalley” Franken.

After the health care takeover, watch for Congress and the Administration to push aggressively to pay off organized labor with card check, to pay off environmentalist wackos with the previously stalled cap-and-tax business killer, and to grant full amnesty and accelerated citizenship (and voting rights!) to illegal aliens who, with the stroke of Obama’s pen, won’t be illegal any more, so they can vote to rescue Democrats at the ballot box. They’ll do it this year because it’s their last chance – and because even a new Republican majority won’t be able to act until it’s too late.

Erickson speculates that Democratic reps who make the ultimate electoral sacrifice for passing the liberal agenda will be rewarded with ambassadorships and other cushy federal appointments.

Republicans need to nominate candidates who, when they win and take control, will make the same principled sacrifices as the Democrats are this session.

2010 St. Louis conservative news and blog sites

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

St. Louis, in the middle of “fly-over country,” is a hotbed of good conservative blogging, videography and investigative citizen journalism. Most bloggers also appear on Twitter (my twitter name is TheUnablogger – don’t forget “the” or you’ll get someone else). I tweet whenever I have a new blog post, and most other bloggers do the same, so you can track of new posts by following the blogger on Twitter. Some other tweet little details of their daily lives (consistent with Twitter’s original purpose “What’s happening?”), but I don’t.

For those who would like more news (not screened by the main stream media) and conservative commentary, here is a list of conservative blogs from the St. Louis area that I enjoy. (Liberal bloggers: compile and post your own list.) The name of the blog is a link to it. If they have YouTube channels or Twitter accounts, those links follow.

johncombest.com (John Combest)
The first web stop in the morning for most political insiders. No commentary, just a priceless collection of daily links to Missouri political stories from web sites of Missouri newspapers, radio and tv stations.

Gateway Pundit: Jim Hoft   Twitter
Important political stories usually break here. I have even seen his blog cited on Fox News. So thorough, I don’t know how Jim has time to do anything else. Frequent guest on Allman in the Morning on 97.1 FM.

24th State Twitter
Important investigative journalism. Recent revelations include left-wing looting of the Jefferson County 911 system and Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s ties to ACORN. Frequent guest on The Dana Show on 97.1 (see next blog).

danaradio.com: Dana Loesch   YouTube Twitter
Dana is the epicenter of nearly every conservative happening in the St. Louis area. She hosts The Dana Show (Week nights at 7 and (for a little longer) Sundays at 8 p.m.) on 97.1 FM (also available online in live stream). She is a frequent national guest of Greta van Sustren on FoxNews and recently guest-hosted Michael Savage’s nationally syndicated radio program. Her blog provides breaking news and her incisive commentary besides plugging the show.
Update: The Dana Show now airs weekdays, 2-4 p.m., still on 97.1. Marc Cox now does the Sunday show, and Sean Hannity’s syndicated program airs in Dana’s former weeknight time slot.

Live Out Loud: Dr. Gina Loudon  Twitter
Gina’s keen insights on politics and human behavior can be read on her blog and heard every Tuesday morning on McGraw Millhaven’s show on KTRS 550 during morning drive. Her Political A List spotlights courageous stars across party lines.
Update: Gina got her own radio show on June 28, and now airs Monday through Friday, 4-6 p.m. during evening drive, on KJSL TruthTalk630, AM630.

Sharp Elbows: Adam Sharp   Twitter
Brash videographer regularly confronts BS-spewing liberals. Frequent guest on The Dana Show.

Reboot Congress: DSM   YouTube Twitter
A super videographer. Videos are imbedded in his blog.

St. Louis Tea Party Coalition
Where to find what’s going on in the local tea party movement.

Americans for Prosperity/Missouri: Carl Bearden   Twitter
Frequent collaborator with the tea party movement. Good source of news.

A Traditional Life Lived: Michelle Moore   YouTube Twitter
Michelle has video documentary for most important local conservative events. She provides commentary from a feminine conservative perspective.

The Black Sphere: Kevin Jackson   Twitter
Commentary from a local African American conservative. Frequent guest on Allman in the Morning on 97.1 FM.

Hennessy’s View: Bill Hennessy   Twitter
Co-founder (with Dana Loesch) of the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition

Gateway Patriot: Curtis the Conservative Teen  Twitter
Conservative college student, occasional guest on The Dana Show.

Middle Class and Mad as Hell: Middle Class Joe Twitter
Relevant news that the MSM won’t report

St. Louis Conservative
Good comprehensive conservative coverage

Bob McCarty Writes: Bob McCarty  Twitter
“BMW” offers solid analysis, especially on economic issues, and includes an extensive blogroll on the sidebar

While I’m at it, here are a couple good blogs from the Kansas City area:

The Source: Jeff Roe

The Missouri Record: Patrick Tuohey   Twitter