The State of the GOP

I hear a lot of complaining about the Republican Party these days. I share their frustration. How could it come to this? As the fourth year of the Obama era begins the state of the union is shaky at best. In 2008 an inexperienced leftist who donned a centrist disguise beat a weak opponent partly because the electorate was in such a state of shock that they were willing to ignore myriad red flags. I refer to his ultra-liberal voting record, murky background, radical friends and shady political pals. A lapdog media wasn’t interested in doing any vetting — opting instead to just cheer-lead.

The recent State of the Union was full of the same old stuff: congratulating himself for perceived accomplishments and complaining about Republican obstructionism. It’s pure trash and he knows it – but he’s betting that the American electorate will swallow it once again.
Anyone curious enough to look beyond the pliant press would have found that Obama’s speech was in many instances a word-for-word rehash of his previous “SOTU’s” here:

LINK

Further analysis shows his tax claims to be demonstrably false, here:
LINK

With evidence like that this election should be easy right? Obama is a now known quantity and the mask has been ripped off the entire Democrat Party. They marched in lockstep to shove Obamacare down our throats, bypassing an honest legislative process and ignoring the will of the people, including those in uber-liberal Massachusetts who voted for Scott Brown on that issue alone. They have reclaimed the crown as the biggest spenders – quickly eclipsing the Republicans of the previous era. Annual deficits are now running $1.5 TRILLION and we have nothing to show for it.

We should be planning our election night parties – and yet…

It is a mess. Many are fearful that we’re paving the way for Obama to be re-elected. From a very large field full of flawed candidates we’re left with a clueless Mitt Romney fending off desperate attacks from a flailing Newt Gingrich and the Republican Party seems to be doing the Democrats’ dirty work for them. We’re told by self-proclaimed experts that Romney is the only “electable” candidate and yet the guy has no track record of winning. The one time he did he passed a government-run health care bill that paved the way for the mess we’re trying to get repealed.

While Newt’s failures as Speaker of the House have been misrepresented – and his major victories diminished – Mitt is mostly given a free pass. Santorum is the non-Romney of the month but he is a lightweight punching out of his weight class. Ron Paul is given exactly the attention he deserves: credit for his criticism of our dangerous fiscal / monetary policy and scorn for his dangerously naïve foreign policy. Has anyone noticed that he is attracting the youth vote?

But how did the Republican Party let this happen? Well, let’s think about it for a minute. Who is the Republican Party? It’s the candidates who run as Republicans and the people who vote for them. It’s the current crop of elected officials who still self-identify with the party and caucus with them. Let’s not forget the Murkowskis of the world who are only Republican when it’s convenient, or the traders like Jeffords and Specter who changed teams. It is also the RNC – but they really only get involved AFTER the primaries, funneling money where it is most needed in closely fought general elections.

The candidates are a reflection of what we as voters demand. For too long we settled for mushy compromising centrists like Bush and McCain who did nothing to curtail spending or the rampant encroachments on our freedoms. I am not letting the Republicans in Congress off the hook. Spending bills start there. We have a President – not a king. Obama is clearly irritated by that. But the Republicans have not stood united as a party and held their ground. They should have been there all along saying. “We simply cannot afford this level of spending. We can’t defend our country and fund out-of-control entitlement programs. We cannot suspend the laws of economics to give houses to those who cannot afford mortgage payments. We will destroy our economy if we do.”

Nope. They reached across the aisle and danced around the third rails of politics and took the easy way out. McCain was one of them and Newt Gingrich was too. Romney pretends to “Mr. Private Sector” but he didn’t trust it to deal with the health care industry. It is no wonder attacks on him have stuck.

So the Tea Party was born. They are more loosely organized than the GOP. They do not have the big money yet. They only have a few true believers in office now; young leaders like Marco Rubio. Old phonies like Newt are merely pretenders trying to harness their energy. But the Tea Party activists at least have clear principles: smaller, efficient government; low, flat taxes; balanced budgets: strong foreign policy; free markets.

The debates are a disgrace. Who agreed to this? The RNC? This was a blown opportunity to clarify what the GOP platform is to be. We should be discerning not just where the candidates are different but where they agree. Liberal TV commentators should not be involved. Their slanted, “gotcha” questions waste precious time and give the Democrats advantages they should not be granted. Who lets the other team into the huddle?

Who are the party “leaders” who convinced Chris Christie and Paul Ryan not to run? Why didn’t those candidates seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? If Romney wins and does well, he is odds-on to run again and make it an 8 year wait for GOP contenders. Then maybe the pendulum swings left again. If Romney wins and lacks the will to make the bold moves we won’t get the recovery we need. Voters will tire and be susceptible to more “hope and change”. There are lots of ways that it adds up to a 12 year wait for these rising stars. This is their best chance and our best chance.

Now we are in a primary cycle where the voters are unanimous in their support for “none of the above” Not Romney and not the non-Romneys either. I think a brokered election would be thrilling and historic — but wait – the GOP wants to screw that up too. Their idea of a “White Knight” late-entry candidate?

Jeb Bush. (Crickets)

Are they tone deaf? Sure, I know all about Jeb. He’s the smartest Bush. That is beyond irrelevant. This country is not in the mood for another Bush while still suffering from a great deal of the fallout from the financial crisis that began during his brother’s term. Sorry Jeb.

I am still optimistic. True change does not happen quickly in a world still suffering from an epidemic of incumbency. Only we can impose the term limits that are so desperately needed.

They say we get the government we deserve. I am sure I am not the only one who feels I deserve better than this. I work, pay taxes, get informed, get involved and then vote.

There is a battle for the soul of the GOP. There is a call for return to core principles as opposed to watered-down liberalism or “compassionate conservatism”. The Democrats are in a state of denial about theirs. Obama is being attacked from the left for not doing enough. Incredible. “Moderate” Democrats don’t seem bothered that their party has been taken over by de facto socialists.

The silver lining in this mess is that at least Republican voters are showing that they care about character as this search for the non-Romney goes on. Democrats were too eager to embrace scripted charisma in an empty suit. We can do better. We will. Hopefully soon.

Pat Duggan

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Our Narcissist in Chief

I’ll give Obama due credit-but no more. He did authorize the raid but I am sure he solicited LOTS of advice. Good. That’s better than shooting from the lip-and missing, like he did with the Iran revolution, Libya and when he stated that “the Cambridge Police acted stupidly”. He took a risk. This could’ve gone badly like Jimmy Carter’s infamous crash in the desert.

All that said Obama has squandered much of the good will he could have garnered from this. Right from the start his speech was arrogant. Bush was constantly harangued by the left with that term so I’ll be specific when I use it. Some examples from the speech:

“And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta…”

“I met repeatedly with my national security team…”

“I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action…””

“Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation …”

“Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was…”

I think I’ve made myself clear.  😉

Yes, he did give credit to the Special Forces. He gave no credit to George W. Bush and made no mention of the interrogation methods employed that Bush authorized and that Obama and the left en masse decried.

Something needs to be acknowledged here. Our Constitutional Republic functions with continuity despite elections every two years. Yes, those elections have consequences and they bring change. But not everything wraps up neatly in such time frames-especially wars. Getting Bin Laden has been a priority for 9 years. As this news broke we knew that the details would be revised and that some time would pass before a clear picture emerged but it looks like Bin Laden may have been in this compound for as long as six years. Much of this was a function of timing and good luck and persistent work by intelligence organizations. Obama got to finish a job Bush started. More than a little credit is due. Obama could look presidential in all this. Instead he looks petty.

Once again the left is gloating and projecting endless election victories as a result of this exciting yet singular event. The 2010 midterm elections were a quick interruption of that day dream. They are slipping back into it. They may wake up soon in a cold sweat to discover $5 or $6 gasoline and a Middle East still in flames.

Pat Duggan

Published in: on May 4, 2011 at 2:02 pm  Comments (1)  
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Unhappy Anniversary

So here we are a year after they “passed” the Obamacare bill; a giant leap toward a socialist health care system in the US. Now that we “know what’s in it”, 55% favor repeal. A year ago the same Rasmussen poll had 53% favoring repeal-so we haven’t significantly moved the needle. This is unacceptable; an utter failure of Republican leadership.

Where should we be? The past year should have been used to educate the electorate. It is not too late. How should we shape the debate? Here’s some key points that need to be hammered home. It’s worth noting that Mitt Romney is NOT the right messenger to deliver this message.

Health care is not a right. If a politician doesn’t understand this they need to study their Constitution. Health care is a combination of goods and services produced by hard working people in a market. No one has a right to someone else’s labor-or the fruits thereof. Only with that clarification can we move on to an intelligent discussion on how to put incentives in place to increase the supply of these goods and services, thereby meeting demand and driving down price. Eliminating the FDA would be a good place to start.

Insurance is a risk management tool for managing unplanned events. It works well for insuring against car accidents, home fires, burglaries and floods etc. The government, through the tax code and myriad mandates, began distorting the health insurance market decades ago to the point that it is no longer functioning. A few simple steps backwards and we can restore sanity. People will come to understand that just like food and housing, health care-especially maintenance-is a basic necessity, and one they need to budget for. There is no free lunch.

The GOP needs to be the party that admits that government does not make things cheaper. There is a very obvious reason that everyone has a cell phone in their pocket, when just a few years ago they were big and expensive-but not everyone has health insurance. If we unleash the same free-market forces that drive innovation in technology markets we can fix this mess.

Pat Duggan

Published in: on March 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm  Comments (3)  
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Victory in Wisconsin

Polls regarding the recent Republican victory in Wisconsin are close, with some indicating public disapproval of the union busting maneuvers. Take them with a large dose of salt.

Polls can be worded in ways that promote a desired outcome. Emotions are running high and misinformation is being spread.

The public doesn’t officially weigh in until the next election. Between now and then the Republicans will have time to more fully explain the budget numbers. As more tax payers come to understand that public sector unions expect us to pay ever-higher taxes to perpetuate their gold-plated compensation packages, sentiment will shift and solidify on the side of Governor Walker and the elected majority.

The hypocrisy of the “flee-baggers” stands in glaring contrast to the honorable Republicans who cast their losing votes on Obamacare and then looked for constitutional methods to fight back while preparing for the next election-which they won handily. That process continues with efforts to de-fund that Obamanation led by Rep. Michele Bachmann who has helped to expose $105 billion in costs buried in the bill.

The Tea Party energizes new Republicans by demonstrating rock-solid support for this brand of tough, no-nonsense politics.

Pat Duggan

Published in: on March 14, 2011 at 3:07 pm  Comments (3)  
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The Language Police Are Here

Until Barack Obama demonstrates a basic understanding of the mathematics involved in the Social Security system, I think he should be banned from using the words “sustainable” or “unsustainable”.

Published in: on March 13, 2011 at 2:47 pm  Comments (1)  
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Obama Screws Another Ally: Israel

With all the turmoil in the Middle East this seems like the worst possible time to throw our key / only ally in the region under the UN bus.

We should be withdrawing from the UN and aligning with an organization of free countries. Instead we host this reprehensible club that provides a stage for the world’s worst oppressors to deliver anti-U.S. and anti-Israel / anti-Semitic rants.

I thought we won World War II? I thought we were committed to honoring the victims of the Holocaust by assuring that it would never happen again?

Even if we disagree with Israel we should deliver that message in private.

We should never send such a message via the forum that plays host to  tyrannical dictators hellbent on the destruction of the free nation of Israel.

Obama and his gang are doing irreparable harm to this great nation. It is getting harder to decide if the foreign policy or economic blunders are worse.

LINK

Pat Duggan

Published in: on February 16, 2011 at 10:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Obama Pivots Back

Well that didn’t take long. Obama presented his budget proposal today. It is an insult to the intelligence of the American people. Government spending, taxes, deficits and their impact on the economy are of concern to all tax paying Americans-but apparently not to the President. There was no pivot to the center-just pandering to the voters and a compliant media.

I am not going to go into detail on the numbers or post one link. Any reader can simply go to his favorite news page or turn on the TV. The specific numbers simply provide a laugh track.

The government is currently running ANNUAL deficits of 1.5 TRILLION DOLLARS. Obama is proposing overall spending increases on top of an already inflated base to set a new spending record. He is also proposing myriad tax increases, including a hike in rates in two years when he just admitted that would be harmful for the economy. He combines the tax hikes with  puny spending cuts in targeted programs and voila! He claims he will reduce the deficit by 1 trillion over 10 years.

This is Orwellian double-speak. The deficits and debt are increasing. Period.

The GOP should denounce this for the stinking pile of crap that it is. Every serious Democrat should renounce this. The 2012 campaign starts now. Obama just gave the challengers are huge head start.

Pat Duggan

Journal Calls Obama a Liar?

I don’t know about you but when I heard Obama tell O’Reilly “I didn’t raise taxes once. I lowered taxes over the last two years.” I had a Joe Wilson “You lie” moment.

The Wall Street Journal sets the record straight here:

LINK

The Journal also points out that taxes on businesses are in fact, taxes on consumers. This is a concept that gets so little attention. If a tax is slapped on at the cash register or included in the wholesale price before you get to the register the effect is the same: you are paying more for that item. That is what is meant by those who say, in reference to the corporate income tax, “corporations don’t pay that tax-they collect it.”

Liberals want us to join them in hating greedy, faceless corporations. When we do we have been played for suckers because it is we that pay the higher prices. And when those same corporations relocate or hire overseas we suffer lost job opportunities and domestic tax revenue.

Big businesses bring economies of scale and other efficiencies that bring us cheaper goods. Instead of demonizing them-imagine living in a world without them.

Pat Duggan

Published in: on February 9, 2011 at 3:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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State of the Union? Desperate.

I don’t like watching the State of the Union speech. It doesn’t matter who’s President. This is political theater at it’s worst. I knocked out a few shows that were taking up space on the DVR then returned in time to see some recap commentary and Paul Ryan’s response.  I read the speech quickly this morning. This is the only way to go.

As I type this 24 hours later this speech has been fully dissected from every angle and I’ve heard / read some smart observations, witty commentary and just pathetic defense of this truly awful speech. One quote pretty much sums it up, from Sen. Jim DeMint, “It’s hard to take the President seriously.”

LINK

Seriously. The State of the Union?

  • Unemployment is 9.4%
  • Foreclosures are at record levels
  • A record number of Americans are upside down on their mortgage
  • This year’s budget deficit is projected to pass 1.5 TRILLION DOLLARS (LINK)
  • Entitlement liabilities exceed 100 TRILLION DOLLARS
  • States face a public pension shortfall of 2.5 TRILLION DOLLARS
  • China, Russia, North Korea, Pakistan and now Iran have nukes

I could go on and on, but the point is made. We face serious problems.

There was not one serious solution put forward.

Obama does not write these speeches and his magical reading of the teleprompter could not convert this tripe into something palatable. Even Democrats surely know that all of this is, to use an over-used word, unsustainable. We deserve better. We deserve the truth. Obama talks up high speed rail when we are going off the rails at high speed.

I’ll finish with the first quotable comment I heard, just moments after the speech ended, from our friend Mike Ashton at the E-piphany blog LINK:

“He even mocks his own policies” LINK

Pat Duggan

 

Published in: on January 26, 2011 at 10:55 pm  Comments (1)  
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An Awful Bill That Improves Nothing

While the Dodd-Frank bill is certainly a financial regulation bill it is not reform in any positive sense. Many of us need look no further than the names attached to it to know something wicked this way comes. Yet another 2,300 page monstrosity this joke does nothing to address the core of the financial mess: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and hopelessly Utopian left wing housing fantasy made policy through misguided laws like the Community Reinvestment Act.

It does expose flash-in-the-pan Senate sensation Scott Brown as a fool. He joins Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins in the useful idiot department. I am not shocked. His surprise victory did not derail the Obamacare disaster. He supported the now-imploding Massacare mess prior to his opportunistic conversion. Please remember that when tempted to support pretty boy Mitt Romney who signed that bill.

Add one more item to the repeal list.

Pat Duggan

Published in: on July 16, 2010 at 8:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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