The lesson already from Supreme Court deliberations over the constitutionality of Obamacare is that unlimited government makes most Americans queasy, says John Andrews in the April round of Head On TV debates. No, replies Susan Barnes-Gelt, the big takeaway is conservatives' inconsistency, suddenly favoring the very judicial activism they long opposed. John on the right, Susan on the left, also go at it this month over Romney vs. Obama, the Trayvon Martin shooting, Secretary of State Scott Gessler, and the urban freeway wars. Head On has been a daily feature on Colorado Public Television since 1997, with sponsorship by Centennial Institute since 2009. Here are all five scripts for April:1. SUPREME COURT WEIGHS OBAMACARE
John: President Obama’s takeover of the health care system, one-sixth of the US economy, will either be approved by the Supreme Court or struck down as unconstitutional in whole or in part, very soon now. Already, it’s making us think about why unlimited government power over our lives is a dangerous thing.
Susan: You can’t have it both ways – until healthcare hit the Supremes – your chronic complaint was activist courts. Now it’s nanny-state government. Seems to me “of the people, for the people and by the people” is the benchmark we’ve lost sight of.
John: Government by the people requires a constitution that maximizes freedom and responsibility while minimizing paternalism and bureaucracy. Lincoln, whom you’re quoting, would be horrified at how badly Obamacare violates that. So would the Founding Fathers. This law worsens health care and tramples liberty. It needs to go.
Susan: Healthcare run for the benefit of insurance companies and for-profit hospitals serves stockholders not people. The lopsided costs, compared to the rest of the world are the primary driver of our budget deficits. Obama’s plan saves nearly $150-billion over the next decade and delivers better care.
2. ROMNEY VS. OBAMA, THE MAIN EVENT
John: One man started as a leader in the free enterprise system. The other started as a community organizer among the discontented. One man makes no apologies for America’s goodness and greatness. The other travels the world apologizing and wants to transform America. Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama, the 2012 campaign now begins.
Susan: Bring it on. Romney is so out of touch with the typical American that his rants ring hollow. How does a guy with an elevator for his cars relate to Americans at the gas pump? Romney is adept at making money, lacking conviction and blowing in the wind.
John: A president seeking a second term must convince voters he did well in his first. In Obama’s case that’s hard. The 2008 candidate of hope and change is running this time on fear and resentment. His record of economic stagnation and foreign policy weakness leaves no choice. America needs President Romney.
Susan: Which Willard Romney? ? The guv who set the standard for public healthcare in Massachusetts? The one who refused to take on Limbaugh’s screed against women? The guy who doesn’t worry about poor people, old people or the family dog? Or the compromising, tax avoiding, entirely opaque one percenter ?
3. TRAYVON MARTIN CASE
Susan: Florida’s Stand Your Ground law led to the slaying of unarmed 17-year old African American teenager Trayvon Martin by self-appointed neighborhood vigilante George Zimmerman. In a travesty of racism over law, It took 6 weeks to charge Zimmerman with 2nd degree murder.
John: Much of the media has allowed speculation to outrun the evidence in this tragic case, Susan. Not on this program. It now appears Martin was the aggressor in the bloody brawl that cost him his life. It appears Zimmerman was not racially motivated. America’s liberal guilt industry has disgraced itself on this one.
Susan: The brutal slaying of an unarmed teenager is hardly a cause célèbre of the liberal media. The unwillingness of the police to arrest this guy with a record of erratic, gun-toting behavior – is shameful to the left, the right and the center. Good for the prosecutor for finally bringing charges.
John: Evidence, Susan, evidence. Not paranoia, proof. Not fantasy, facts. The country doesn’t need more reckless racial inflammation right now. The Florida authorities are moving appropriately. Justice will be done. Is there too much violent death in this country? Absolutely. Young blacks, young Latinos especially. But they’re mostly killing each other.
4. GESSLER RECALL?
Susan: Colorado Democrats are working to recall Secretary of State Scott Gessler following his attempt to disenfranchise thousands of Colorado voters – including members of the armed services. His claim that 5000 undocumenteds voted in 2010 remains entirely unsubstantiated. He is a state official behaving like a partisan political hack.
John: The priority for liberals is to make voting easy. The priority for conservatives is to make it honest. Coloradans in 2010 had a clear choice between incumbent Democratic Secretary of State, Bernie Buescher, Mr. Easy Vote, and Republican challenger Scott Gessler, Mr. Honest Vote. Gessler is doing exactly what he campaigned on.
Susan: Prior to his election, Gessler worked for a highly partisan conservative law firm. His agenda as a public official, is consistent with his partisan commitment to restrict the voting rights of the military serving abroad, minorities and seniors. And unfortunately, you’re right the voters got what they paid for.
John: Susan, come on. Partisan this, partisan that. Your party, the Democrats, has the trademark on voting irregularities and stolen elections down through the years. LBJ in Texas, JFK in Illinois, Gore in Florida, Franken in Minnesota, Gregoire in Washington State. Secretary Scott Gessler is a standup guy to protect Colorado from that.
5. I-70 EXPANSION THROUGH DENVER NEIGHBORHOODS
Susan: The proposed expansion of I-70 through Denver neighborhoods – Globeville, Swansea, Elyria – is moving into its 9th year. Consensus by impacted neighbors remains elusive – despite attempts to buy them off with a new school, rec center and clean street lights. Time for the Mayor and the Governor to step up.
John: You liberals hate the automobile, so I initially disregarded this Globeville stuff. But as a conservative, not just politically but culturally, I believe that big engineering projects exist to serve the human community, not vice versa. So if we can widen the freeway less disruptively, why not? Persuade me, Susan.
Susan: I think you are persuaded. The issue is efficiency, safety and economics. Demolishing the core city with high-speed freeways is expensive, dangerous and the worst possible land use policy. Urban corridors are key to job creation, small business development and commerce. Highways and cities don’t mix.
John: Stop sloganeering, or you’ll unpersuade me. Highways and cities do mix. How else can18-wheelers move the lifeblood of commerce from one metropolis to another? How else can people get around a big metro area – and don’t say white elephant transit. Still if there’s a 270 solution for longsuffering historic Globeville, explore it.
I like Rick Santorum. I voted for him. I even donated to his campaign. I believe that he is a credible conservative who could provide a striking contrast to Barack Obama and who could resonate with blue-collar voters.Santorum is a good person, but a good person must also recognize when he's fighting because he has a chance to win and when he's fighting just to be fighting.The Santorum campaign is now unmistakably fighting just to be fighting.It's time for Santorum to suspend his campaign so that Republicans can focus on our most imperative mission for 2012 - defeating Barack Obama and his destructive, irresponsible agenda and debt and dependency.
Whether the candidate we rally behind is Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum isn't as important as ensuring that someone other than Barack Obama takes the oath of office in January 2013.
It is now obvious that Mitt Romney will win the Republican nomination. Santorum's campaign no longer has a path to victory. The official delegate count from the Republican National Committee, as reported by state parties, shows Romney with 573 delegates to Santorum's 202 and Gingrich's 132. Romney is more than halfway to the nomination, while Santorum - even by more generous calculations - doesn't even have one-fourth of delegates needed to win.A brokered convention is neither likely nor desirable because it gives the Obama Machine five more months to plot, scheme and attack the Republican nominee, while Republicans waste time and money fighting each other.Republican primary voters have clearly selected Romney as the preferred candidate. Now all Republicans must work to be sure that Romney has every advantage we can give him to defeat Barack Obama. Romney has prevailed because he's a very competent leader with a campaign organization that is far superior to those of his Republican rivals. That may not be immediately inspiring to some, but it demonstrates that Team Romney is capable of doing the heavy lifting necessary to prepare for even bigger battles ahead.The question we must ask is why would Republicans want Romney to expend time, energy and valuable campaign resources against other Republicans at a time he's now under full-scale assault from the Obama Machine.Now is the time for honorable conservatives to put aside personal pique and remember that the next seven months are a battle for the future - a battle to save the American dream for our children and grandchildren.
In 2008, Romney's conservative credentials caused Santorum to endorse him over John McCain as the best candidate to battle Obama. Although Santorum himself wasn't a candidate in 2008, neither was his judgment clouded by the pressures and pride of his own candidacy.Mitt Romney may not be Ronald Reagan - who is? - but he's not Barack Obama, either - not by a long shot. Romney is committed to stopping runaway spending, restoring policies that create jobs and renew prosperity, and preserving America as a beacon of freedom to the world.On those scores alone, he represents a stark contrast to Barack Obama and a leader we can rally behind.
(CU Grad Student) I’ve been like most Republicans…riding the wave after wave of candidates. Let me be more frank, I’m a recovering Perry supporter, who rode the Cain Train, and hesitatingly got off on Newt Station. So now, I believe in Mitt. Why?
[Editor's Note: '76 Blog is editorially neutral in elections and between parties. We welcome all points of view. Readers who support a different GOP contender, or Obama for that matter, are encouraged to submit posts to Centennial@ccu.edu.]
Karthik's post continues: There are three key reasons why I’m supporting Mitt. Before I begin, let me give a few more identifiers. I’m a proud Army officer, a conservative with not so hidden sympathies with the Tea Party and its principles, a man who seeks Biblical guidance, and the son of Indian immigrants dating a wonderful woman who is the daughter of Mexican immigrants - - easy to follow I’m sure. Those are my biases and here’s why I believe in Mitt.
1. It’s about fundraising…Obama raised $40 million in cash
Let’s face it, we are facing a fundraising machine. What caught my eye most, more than the primary, was the almost footnote-like headline above - - Obama raising $40 million dollars. I think this statistic deserves further scrutiny. A recent article (above) cited that more than 440 fundraisers collected at least $75 million to help Obama win a second term. Notables in this illustrious group include movie producers Jeffrey Katzenberg and Harvey Weinstein, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, and actress Eva Longoria.
There is only one candidate that has been able to compete with this kind of funding - - Mitt Romney. Let’s face it, money has a huge influence in elections and in an election that will likely reach a billion dollars (can you believe it?), we need a candidate that can fundraise at the level of Obama. Romney is the only one coming close to Obama’s fundraising level.
2. It’s getting nasty out there
Every election, we wonder - - can our elections get any nastier? Simply put, they can. The Florida primary has been recorded as the most negative campaign ever. Drawing differences between candidates is integral, but campaigns have become fixated on character assassination and personal attacks. Succinctly, we are destroying ourselves and are setting the path for a candidate to limp into a general election against the Obama machine. It’s time for tea partiers, social conservatives, neo conservatives, and liberty lovers of all backgrounds to coalesce around a candidate or face a reality of a general election with a candidate so denigrated by a bitter primary that he would begin a general election far behind Obama - - a position we cannot be in if we intend to win this thing!
3. Florida Primary - - it’s not only big, it’s indicative
Other than the 50 delegates, Florida is indicative because of key Republican groups, including a large Hispanic population. Florida is also unique because it is the first primary where only registered Republicans can vote. Romney’s ability to win Florida big clearly illustrates that he has the ability to coalesce these groups on a state wide basis. He’s done it a microcosmic level, the only candidate that has done this thus far, and based on this, I am confident he can do it on a macrocosmic, national level. That’s what we need more than anything; someone who can bring the party together.
I’ll admit it; I love Newt’s big ideas and vision, Santorum’s compassion for the sanctity of life and for manufacturing, and Paul’s insistence that we truly shrink government and audit the Fed. Romney has had issues with his stances on life and “Romneycare,” but he is the only candidate that can unite the party . Above all, he will give our party, and all its groups, a seat at the table, which will define his presidency. Let’s be cognizant that Ronald Reagan, a unanimous favorite of conservatives, also had issues when he ran from California, including pioneering no-fault divorce.
My girlfriend always reminds me: “Sometimes you have to put your big boy pants on and make a decision.” It’s my time to wear those said pants.
It’s decision time here in Colorado and I hope we can make our decision based on who best can beat Obama. For me, the answer is clear. That’s why I believe in Mitt for 2012.
Karthik is serving as the Legislative Aide to a state representative from House District 14(Colorado Springs) after recently completely his tenure as Staff Assistant to the Centennial Institute, a state based think tank located on the campus of Colorado Christian University in Denver, Colorado. He has been accepted and will pursue his higher education aspirations at the University of Colorado with a combined Master of Public Administration/Juris Doctor program. He has voluntarily reassigned to the 1/157th Infantry Battalion Colorado Army National Guard in order to pursue his aspirations of deployment. These views are solely his and not reflective of any other organization.
Thursday, 13 October 2011 15:38 by Admin
Obama's class warfare theme, learned from Alinsky and abetted by the Occupy Wall Street movement, won't save him in 2012, says John Andrews in the October round of Head On TV debates. Don't underestimate its Main Street appeal, replies Susan Barnes-Gelt. John on the right, Susan on the left, also go at it this month over No Child Left Behind, the GOP presidential contenders, the PERA pension fund, and Aurora's lavish land development subsidies. Head On has been a daily feature on Colorado Public Television since 1997, with sponsorship by Centennial Institute since 2009. Here are all five scripts for October:
1. DESPERATE OBAMA TURNS TO CLASS WARFARE
John: Barack Obama learned his lesson well from radical agitator Saul Alinsky. If you’re losing an argument, change the subject, target a convenient enemy, and go on the attack. His economic mess and failed flirtation with socialism spell certain defeat in 2012. The solution? You guessed it – vicious class warfare.
Susan: “Occupy Wall Street’ is catching fire across the country. People of all ages, political persuasions and backgrounds are demonstrating against myopic greed and corruption. Obama’s populist rhetoric is a lot more resonant with the concerns of Main Street than the vapid rhetoric of the status quo.
John: Envy, resentment, divisiveness, scapegoating, and victim politics, all used as a smokescreen for the failures of Obama and his Democrats, won’t work, Susan. This poisonous stuff isn’t the American way. It demeans the Presidency. Obama should be ashamed. The Tea Party patriots, not the Occupier socialists, will win in 2012.
Susan: Oh please – you sound like a plutocrat. The tea partiers and the occupiers have more in common than you acknowledge: utter frustration with a corrupt system controlled by special interests and lobbyists. No transparency, no commitment to the future –education, vital infrastructure. Chaos reigns while the establishment dozes.
2. LATEST ON PRESIDENTIAL RACE
John: I love our American system of self-government. Incompetence can’t hide, and the people can’t be denied. Voters get a chance to clean house. Obama’s utter failure gives Republicans an opening. Palin and Christie stood aside. Cain and Perry are interesting but not dominant. The next president could be Mitt Romney.
Susan: You assume that Mitt – for universal health care; against universal health care; for Roe v. Wade; against choice; ant-school voucher; pro voucher Romney. Will the real Mitt please stand up? The value voters control the primaries and once they find him, maybe they’ll buy his multiple choice approach.
John: Forecasting the presidential race 7 days ahead, let alone 7 months when the Republican nominee emerges, is like forecasting Colorado weather. Good luck. But the awful economy, along with Obama’s weak leadership, makes any Republican formidable. Romney, Cain, Perry, Gingrich, Bachmann – I’ll take any of them over Obama.
Susan: And don’t forget Pallin, Paul and Huntsman. Oops – not Huntsman, the sole Republican contender who is reasonable, experienced and moderate – just like most of the country. No wonder the guy who might be electable is in single digits with the Republican base. Obama – 4 more years!
3. TREASURER SUES PERA
John: It seems like shaky pension plans are everywhere you look. The exception is pensions that aren’t. Unwise decisions and the recession are to blame. It’s not purposeful. But Colorado pension officials should cooperate with State Treasurer Walker Stapleton for a solution. I hope he wins his lawsuit for key information.
Susan: Amazing – you and I agree on this one. State Treasurer Walker Stapleton has every right to ask for all the information he needs to assess the health of the state pension fund. PERA’s forecasts are hopelessly optimistic. Colorado public employees and taxpayers will pay the bill for insolvency.
John: State employees not only get a sweet deal on their retirement, they also have ironclad job security and a much less competitive work environment than Joe and Jane Lunchpail out in the real economy. No wonder the PERA board is obsessed with secrecy. Government workers are soaking the taxpayers.
Susan: Don’t try to lump the PERA board and their secrecy in with hard working public employees. Unfortunately, more than a decade ago when fools believed a hot economy would never cool, reckless decisions inflated benefits and softened restrictions. Treasurer Stapleton must continue his scrutiny.
4. GAYLORD PUBLIC SUBSIDY
Susan: The $300+ million public subsidy to Tennessee-based Gaylord Entertainment from Aurora, to build a private convention center in is the richest in the history of Colorado. What’s the public purpose in a 1500-room private hotel/conference center? Tennessee-based Gaylord’s private facility should be built on their dime – not mine!
John: Amen, Susan. The massive giveaway to Gaylord is not responsible government, it’s crony capitalism – as bad as anything Obama did for GE or Solyndra. Thank goodness for elections. Aurora voters can cancel this obscenity by electing Jude Sandvall as mayor. The other candidates, unfortunately including Republicans, all support it.
Susan: Not one resident showed up at the public hearing September 26, when the city council unanimously approved this fat giveaway. Whoever Jude Sandvall is, he’s completely MIA in the debate. Shame on the citizens of Aurora for allowing Ed Tauer and his colleagues to make a deal behind closed doors.
John: You can call the Gaylord subsidy crony capitalism or corporate statism. It smells bad either way. Hard-working Aurora taxpayers don’t belong in the hotel business. Government at every level, federal, state, and local, is way out of bounds. I wrote the book “Responsibility Reborn” to rally Americans against this madness.
5. NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND
Susan: The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, attempted to standardize public K-12 curriculum and force accountability. A decade later, this well-intentioned effort hasn’t demonstrated results – annual improvement in reading and critical thinking. The law needs reform. More and more states try to opt out of the program.
John: No Child Left Behind was one of the worst things that Bush and the Republican Congress ever did. Their first mistake was forgetting that schools are a state responsibility, none of Washington’s business. Their next mistake was letting Ted Kennedy write the bill. Waivers aren’t enough. Let’s repeal the whole thing.
Susan: Well John, you’re half right. NCLB must be repealed and recrafted. And yes, public education is a state mandate. On the other hand – every student from Maine to Mississippi from Oregon to Iowa, to must meet basic standards if America is going to compete in the ever-shrinking global economy.
John: Those basic standards in No Child Left Behind aren’t being met, which is why educators in Colorado are now trying to move the goalposts to legitimize mediocrity. The next president should abolish the Department of Education, take on the teacher unions, and push for educational excellence through the free market.
(Centennial Fellow) Here's what I want readers to do. Put your hands together with fingers interlaced and pointing downwards next to your palms and bring the heels of the palms together. Then stick your two index fingers and thumbs up until the next to last paragraph while I talk to you about corporations, Republican Mitt Romney and a widespread misconception. It's that corporations are reptiles. Recently, when presidential candidate Romney was confronted by Democratic demonstrators, he said taxing corporations is taxing people, that corporations are people. Though he happens to have made millions as a corporate whiz, many responded with derision, including a TV reporter who committed a gaffe by calling it a gaffe. Please. Someone or something has to own those corporations, run them and work in them. The only creatures we know of with enough brainpower are people, unless there is such a thing as corporate-caused Darwinian devolution, leaving these souls with rough, green skin, long tails, sharp teeth and barely more alertness than TV reporters. I don't think so. I do think I can identify two sources of the confusion. One is the legal fiction that a corporation is a person with an accountability of its own. While this device accomplishes vital purposes -- for instance, by making purchases of corporate shares more likely through non-liability for debts -- it's a fraction of the reality, like defining a marriage as only legal advantages instead of the uniting of two people. The bigger picture is that when corporations go broke and close down, lots of everyday Americans (aka, people) find themselves unemployed. Shareholders (aka, people) also lose. When the firms do well in a non-scary economy, they will often expand and hire more workers (aka, people) while stock values go up, giving succor among others to retired baby boomers (aka, people) relying on invested savings. People are absolutely affected by corporation taxes (including those known as consumers). It's also the case that people continue to be full-fledged citizens in an association. Many corporations are small, non-profit and sometimes organized as a means of people having their rightful say in public affairs. Even people in corporations out to make a buck -- thank God for them -- are similarly entitled to free speech and other liberties sometimes undermined by judges and politicians. That thought brings us to the next reason for saying corporations are not people -- the political objective of dehumanizing them, of making it seem that while government is by, of and for the people, corporations are sly, alien and against the people, commonly led by CEOs with marginal homo sapiens ratings. Let's concede some CEOs behave atrociously while adding that you can also find villains among legislators, TV reporters, columnists, you name it. I'll agree, too, that campaign donations can cause corrupt politicians to bow deeply. But you really don't understand American politics if you don't get it that pleasing voters is a more significant determinant of action, that the government delivers considerable pain to corporations and that the main reason for cronyism is intrusiveness. Control too much as an institution vastly more powerful than all corporations put together, and those who are controlled try to influence you back. Corporations are primarily friends, providing us with such desirables as food, clothing, shelter, the highest productivity of any nation in the world and wages (aka, money). Government coercively takes much of that money to spend wastefully. Fiscal recklessness now has us in one of the most threatening predicaments of recent times. Now, let's come back to those two hands of yours, saying first off that some may think of churches as just buildings. Not so. Recall the childhood rhyme, saying, "Here's the church, here's the steeple," and then turn your hands upside down with the fingers sticking in the air and conclude, "open the doors and see all the people." People -- good people, people you know, maybe you yourself, definitely the errant TV reporter -- also constitute corporations.