Editor's Note: Looking at the trend of 2012 campaign donations, listening to the 2012 campaign rhetoric, and reviewing the Obama administration's favoritism to giant corporations, CCU History Prof. Bill Watson asked us to publish again the following post by him that originally appeared on this same blog in January 2010. Word for word, unchanged from what he wrote then, it is still on target as another crucial election day approaches. Please read and heed:
By Bill Watson: We so often hear that the Republicans are the party of the rich, the party of the pampered elite, the party of big business. Why do we unquestioningly accept this falsehood, instead of asking why big business is so cozy with the Democrats?
GE, Microsoft, Comcast and Time-Warner gave overwhelmingly to the Democrats. The big Wall Street banks: Goldman Sachs, J.P Morgan Chase, Citigroup, also gave much more to Democrats [opensecrets.org], as did the big insurance companies (MetLife and AIG). [Congressional Quarterly’s Money Line] Of course all the big unions and George Soros front groups gave huge amounts to the Democrats. Even the University of California gave $3 ½ million to the Democrats, money that should have been used to make up for their budget shortfall, due to the financial problems of the state of California. According to opensecrets.org, the only one of the top 38 donors to political parties who favored Republicans was the National Auto Dealers Assn. Perhaps they saw what would happen to them, if the Democrats had control of our government.
Why do the wealthiest regions in the country vote for the Democrats? The prosperous east and west coasts are the strength of the Democratic Party, the poorer “flyover” regions vote overwhelmingly Republican. If there are states in the middle occasionally voting Democrat, it is those states which are playgrounds for the rich: Colorado with Boulder and Aspen, and New Mexico with Taos and Santa Fe. The wealthiest neighborhoods, Beverly Hills and the Hamptons, go overwhelmingly for the Democrats. The three wealthiest states in per capita income (Maryland, New Jersey and Connecticut) vote regularly for Democrats, while it is usually the poorer states (like Mississippi, Alabama and Oklahoma) that vote Republican.
So where does the Republican Party get their financial support? It comes from millions of regular people like you and me. Not the rich elite, but we who work hard for our incomes and still believe in an honest day’s work.
It is time for us to speak the truth. It is the Democrat Party which is the party of the rich, the party of the elite, and the party of big business. The Republicans represent regular Americans, the middle class, those who still believe in American values of hard work, family, faith and freedom. We are the ones who pay the taxes, so that the government can give away our hard-earned money as special perks to unions, big businesses, and special interests who line up at the trough of government largess.
(Denver Post, Sept. 25) Why are the Democrats so afraid of democracy? Do they worry that the will of the people won’t go their way? So it would seem.
Several Colorado court cases illustrate the pattern. The Fenster suit to annul the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, the Lobato suit to increase education spending, and the ACLU suit to block school choice in Douglas County, all ask unelected judges to substitute their wisdom for that of we the people. Dems are orchestrating each of them, token GOP support notwithstanding.
Preferring litigation to legislation is not the only symptom of Democrats’ voter-phobia. The negative propaganda blitz is another. If you’re a liberal and you fear a conservative election wave, crank up the shrill charges and count on echoes from your media allies. Slime the opposition voters until they are delegitimized in public opinion and demoralized in their hearts.
America has never seen this tactic more desperately deployed than in the all-out attack on the Tea Party movement. Which makes sense from the left’s point of view, since the country has not experienced such a surge to the right since the rise of the conservative movement itself, 35 years ago under Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. Off balance, the Democrats reached for a stopper: race.
A nonpartisan responsibility backlash from the heartland against the bipartisan irresponsibility of Washington, a citizens’ outcry to stop us going off the cliff fiscally and constitutionally – that and nothing more – this phenomenal new force in national politics had to be branded with bigotry when status-quo defenders realized other smears (terrorists, extremists, nihilists, saboteurs) weren’t scary enough.
It started last year – unsuccessfully – and just recently we in the Tea Party had Congressional Black Caucus stalwarts Maxine Waters calling us intimidators who could go to hell and Andre Carson likening us to a KKK lynch mob, while the Rev. Jesse Jackson tagged segregationists in the 1950s as “a tea party” no different from today’s.
On what evidence? None. The sum total of racist incidents ever documented at Tea Party rallies is one jerk with the N-word on a sign in Houston in 2009. Denver saw a bigger and better sample this July, when I held the gavel as hundreds of Tea Party activists from 25 states gathered for the Western Conservative Summit – and a less racist group you could not find.
They gave the presidential straw poll victory to Herman Cain over a dozen white candidates. Listening to Cain, a black businessman, speak against the mess in Washington, the Summit delegates saw character, competence, and charisma – not color.
Meanwhile in Colorado Springs, a young entrepreneur transplanted from Chicago, Derrick Wilburn, has founded the Rocky Mountain Black Tea Party. Its mission, one learns at www.RMBTP.org, is “bringing together persons of color to educate, inform, and encourage true diversity of political thought and expression.”
The group’s well-attended monthly meetings prove that “black and conservative are not mutually exclusive,” says the cheerfully counter-cultural Wilburn. He’s a registered independent who was, like so many Tea Party activists, apolitical until Obama’s leftward lurch alarmed the bejesus out of him two years ago.
Democratic scare-mongers like Reps. Carson and Waters could journey to the foot of Pike’s Peak and learn that the R we care about as Tea Partiers isn’t race, or even Republicans as such. It’s renewed responsibility – restraint in spending and recovery in the economy, so the United States does not become Greece.
We want to use our votes to make sure the land of opportunity isn’t driven into decline while our least-fortunate fellow citizens remain trapped at the bottom. You’d think Democrats, minorities in particular, would want that too. But if it threatened the incumbents’ power and privilege, maybe not. Their party sure has trouble living up to its name.
('76 Contributor) The U.S. House of Representatives will soon vote on a proposal to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare. So this is a good time to discuss the continuing obfuscation — what I have called “purposeful ignorance” — of one, not untypical, Member of Congress, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo. Bennet cast a decisive vote enabling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to secure Senate passage on Christmas Eve, 2009.
Bennet was appointed to the Senate two years ago when Ken Salazar became Pres. Obama’s Secretary of Interior. Bennet could be the poster child for Laurence Johnston Peter‘s observation of organizations, the “Peter Principle,” holding that people ultimately achieve through promotion positions for which they are incompetent.
Bennet has the moneyed, educational background of a patrician. He was widely reported as successful in both private and public sector jobs prior to his appointment to the Senate. His performance there, however, has been whiny, ineffective and hypocritical (again, hardly untypical). Nonetheless, Coloradans narrowly voted in November 2010 to give him a six-year term.
Our file contains a dozen or more emails and letters to Bennet. Nearly every one has elicited a form-letter reply, none responsive to any question, suggestion or objection we had stated, nor assistance we requested. (Udall, by the way, is no better, but we have a larger file of Bennet communications.)
Congressional Budget Office. Bennet’s form letters about what he calls “health reform” usually have a litany of (unsupported) claims about what Coloradans want, etc., etc.
And they always appeal to authority about which we continue to hear a great deal from the ObamaCare left, the Congressional Budget Office, CBO.
This is a convenient dodge as the CBO is officially nonpartisan and its work is generally respected. However, most citizens are unaware of the game that can be played to get a favourable “score” from the CBO, estimating future fiscal results of legislation.
Reid’s bill that was ultimately signed by the President in March 2010 comprised more than 2,000 pages and had dozens of references to existing statutes, some of which were amendments. In short, this was a work of mind-boggling complexity.
(Many of us will remember forever the statement last March of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., “…but we have to pass the bill so that you can, uh, find out what is in it — away from the fog of the controversy.”)
CBO “scoring” must be confined to what is within the four corners of the legislation being proposed. Reid & Co. went through Byzantine legislative gymnastics in late 2009 to arrive at a set of conditions on which the CBO would “score” their legislation as having a positive effect on the Nation’s deficit decades out into the future.
U.S. House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., appeared last week, January 6, on Fox News Channel’s “On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren” and discussed this very subject, characterizing the Reid directions underlying CBO’s “score” as “smoke and mirrors.”
Of course they were smoke and mirrors. CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf said as much — with more careful language, to be sure — in his blog posted November 19, 2009. Among our letters to Bennet and Udall was one dated Dec. 1, 2009, 22 days before their fateful votes to approve Reid’s bill, including a link to that posting and discussing its implications as to dubiousness of the “score.”
More than a year later, Dec. 16, 2010, a letter to us from Bennet repeated the same, tired, challenged claim about CBO scoring:
“Health reform was fully paid for. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that health reform will reduce the federal deficit by $143 billion over the next decade and with further deficit reductions the following decade.”
I wrote back:
“Once again, you appealed to the $143 billion deficit reduction ‘score’ obtained from the Congressional Budget Office [at the time you voted for ObamaCare] in late 2009.“There is enclosed an excerpt from a letter I wrote to you at that time — December 1, 2009 — when we had begun to receive your CBO-supported argument about costs. A link was provided there to the CBO director’s blog, from which anyone reading at about ninth grade level could understand that the ‘score’ CBO had provided was little more than hot air. The director narrowly avoided outright cynicism as to Congress’s ever following through on major cost cutting that underlay the ‘score’ his office had been obligated to produce…
“We can be sure that a great many of your constituents haven’t the time, perhaps not even the interest, to understand the $143 billion myth you continue to purvey. However, Senator, you understand it, and I have written in detail to you enough times that you know I do as well. Therefore, my wife and I find it insulting to continue to receive from you this fatuous claim.” (Emphasis in original.)
I wrote above that Bennet’s performance as a U.S. Senator has been whiny and ineffective. Three days before casting his critical vote in favour of Reid’s bill, Bennet had delivered a speech on the floor of the Senate strongly decrying the pressure, deal-making and other methods used by leadership to get the requisite favourable majority. One of Bennet’s problems was that something like the notorious deals used to buy other senators’ votes hadn’t come his way for Colorado.
In the run-up to the election this past fall, The Denver Post published a comically tepid editorial endorsing Bennet’s election. Included was this:
“On Dec. 21, 2009, for example, [Bennet] made an impassioned speech on the Senate floor, blasting Washington lawmakers for their dirty dealing as they patched together a health care bill larded with special deals. It was an eloquent speech and a devastating indictment on all that’s wrong with Washington. Then, three days later, he voted for the bill. The current health care bill is law because of Bennet’s one vote.That vote, and his speech, epitomize his short Senate career. So much potential, yet not enough spine.”
Spine isn’t all Bennet lacks. He hasn’t enough character.
(Centennial Fellow) Give at least this much credit to the liberals "progressives" (LPs) in the Democratic Party: they don't let little things like losing 63 seats in Congress discourage them.
For LPs, a Robin Hood tax policy – one that extracts higher taxes from the successful and industrious and spends it on expensive social welfare programs for the slothful and underachieving – is an article of faith that cannot be compromised.
(No one in the political mainstream disputes the need for a "safety net" to help those who are disabled and truly in need, but for LPs, turning the safety net into a hammock is political strategy, not an economic one. If more people depend on government, then more people will vote for the party of dependency.)
Showing for the first time a Clintonesque inclination to put his desire for re-election ahead of his desire to transform America into just another declining economy run aground by bloated social welfare programs, President Obama recently agreed to forestall for two years a return to Clinton-era tax rates. The LPs came completely unhinged.
OK, even more completely unhinged.
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, the goofiest man in America with a microphone, sanctimoniously blathered to his infinitesimal audience of economic illiterates that the erstwhile messiah is not simply wrong but "g**-d***** wrong."
Adam Green of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee said, Obama "has shown a complete refusal to fight Republicans throughout his presidency . . . and millions of his former supporters are now growing disappointed and infuriated by this refusal to fight."
Refusal to fight? Perhaps Obama doesn't fight well or doesn't fight smart, but from the perspective of anyone to the right of Howard Dean, Obama certainly doesn't appear to pull many punches.
He ignored public opinion to ram ObamaCare down our throats. Before the election, he told Hispanic voters, in unpresidential fashion, to "punish their enemies" (read: vote against Republicans). Even after reaching agreement to extend the current tax rates, he referred to Republicans in Congress as "hostage-takers."
Now the LP faction that propelled him into office muses about a primary challenge in 2012. This is all just so much talk. Democrats will oust the first black President about the same time the Nobel Committee honors Sarah Palin.
Obama, they say, is "demobilizing the troops and demoralizing the public" – still ignoring that "the public" isn't whacko liberal – because he's finally recognized that he'd better knock off the bigger government, higher taxing, more intrusive, debt-exploding poppycock if he has any desire to salvage a second term.
It's hard to say who is more devastated: the Left, by Obama's compromise with political reality, or Obama, by the realization that even he can't sell the Left's socialist agenda to mainstream Americans.
For the Left, class warfare is a rare battle worth fighting. The evil rich – job creators, entrepreneurs, investors – must be punished by higher tax rates that take money away from job creation and innovation and give it instead to government bureaucrats.
So many liberal progressives make a career working for government or for nonprofits that rely on government, they fail to grasp that the middle class cannot prosper without someone creating middle class jobs – not on yet another extension of unemployment benefits.
They ignorantly seem to believe that the evil rich stash their cash under a mattress. Any other investment – whether in a bank account, the stock market or back into their business – generates more jobs and, hence, more tax revenue.
If growing government truly bolstered the economy, then our economic engines would be roaring after the trillion-dollar stimulus enacted by Obama and the Democrats in February 2009. Instead, job creation is stagnant as employers cautiously weigh impending tax increases, direct and indirect costs of ObamaCare, and uncertain implications of the Federal Reserve's Monopoly money policy.
As Ronald Reagan said, "The problem with our liberal friends . . . is that they know so much that isn't so." Fortunately, the rest of us still have a vote.
Centennial Institute Fellow Mark Hillman served as Colorado senate majority leader and state treasurer. To read more or comment, go to www.MarkHillman.com.
('76 Editor) My column yesterday, two posts below this one, didn't have room for several important quotes from sources I talked to. I will add them here. First, as a valuable reference, don't miss Isaac Smith's comprehensive bibliography of published material about the Colorado Democracy Alliance and related groups. It's a sort of election transparency primer, which Smith has authorized Centennial Institute to release for the first time. Election Transparency - A Primer Naturally I approached Adam Schrager and Rob Witwer, since they literally wrote the book on this whole thing. Schrager declined to comment for the record, other than referring me to a buzz in the left blogosphere last month about what is being called "the Western Firewall," a Democrat-saving difference from the Rockies to the Pacific. But when I put this question to Witwer -- "How did the 2010 election results verify or modify your analysis of new political realities as presented in The Blueprint"? -- he replied as follows:
The 2010 elections show that all the advertising in the world doesn't add up to much if the infrastructure isn't there to support it. Campaign finance reform all but killed political parties, and the infrastructure they once provided is now being outsourced to nonprofit organizations. Colorado Democrats figured that out earlier, and have implemented it more effectively, than their GOP counterparts. Here in Colorado, Democrats withstood the national tidal wave and saved the top two prizes: the U.S. Senate and Governor's seats. They also held on to their majority in the state Senate. 2010 was never going to be a good year for Colorado Democrats, but with superior infrastructure and a relentless ground game, they minimized their losses -- and pulled off an upset or two in the process. To win in the twenty-first century, you need a thriving network of nonprofits to build the kind of infrastructure necessary to sustain a succesful political movement. All the TV ads in the world won't help if your side doesn't have a political infrastructure in place. TV just isn't enough anymore, and heavy spending on ads quickly reaches the point of diminishing returns. To win, you need a network of coordinated groups to provide a social media presence, thorough opposition research, a campaign of non-stop pressure on the mainstream media, databases full of detailed information on voters, and an army of door-to-door vote-getters.
On the CoDA side, mastermind Mike Huttner would not go on record either, asking me to work instead with Kjersten Forseth, who recently took over for him as interim executive director of ProgressNow Colorado, the granddaddy of all infrastructure groups. I'll quote my exact query as put to her by phone and then by email, to show how specific I was inviting her to be -- and then her admirably robotic, terse and utterly uninformative reply. These people are drilled!
Andrews: On page 208 of "The Blueprint" by Schrager and Witwer, they quote Mike Huttner as saying: "I believe Colorado's progressive infrastructure will work as a buttress [against] the potential tidal wave against Democrats in November." So my question to you is, did that indeed occur to the benefit of Bennet, the state Senate, and the Perlmutter race? If so, what specifically provided the benefit? And what role did the progressive infrastructure play in bringing to light McInnis's problems, thus throwing the GOP nomination to Maes?
Forseth: ProgressNow Colorado had a very successful year exposing candidates' extreme positions and actions. ProgressNow cut though the political rhetoric and backpedaling so voters were able to make informed decisions about their candidates.
Mark Hillman, the former state senator and treasurer who is now Colorado's Republican National Committeeman, had this to say:
The recent election verified that CODA is invested for the long-haul. Just as they seek to maximize Democrat gains in favorable years, their strategy is to minimize Democrat losses in unfavorable elections, like 2010. CODA had far more influence on the 2010 election than either the Democrat or Republican state parties. Wealthy Democrats, labor unions and trial lawyers are committed for the long-haul and it's paying off. Republicans can't be competitive year in and year out unless business leaders and wealthy donors are willing to make that same commitment.
Finally, an experienced GOP player and observer, speaking on background, reinforced much of what Hillman and Witwer had said, when he wrote to me as follows:
At the statewide level, we remain too dependent upon an impotent, irrelevant State Party for basic functions and messaging. The Dems abandoned their Party a decade ago and ran everything through the unions and interest groups. If you ask a high-level Dem when was the last time that the Democratic Party ran its own GOTV effort, he'll say they never did. It was always the unions.
But it's notable that our state legislative leadership made gains for the past two cycles (net +1 in 2008 and +7 in 2010). The House has done particularly well, gaining 8 seats since 2008. That kind of success for the Dems from 2000-2004 was national news, but our gains are practically unreported in comparison. The bottom line is that it took us 4 years to figure out how the Dems play in legislative races post-Amendment 27, and now our House leaders know what to do to be successful and have shown repeated success for the first time in over a decade. By comparison, it seems Senate leaders still have some learning to do. They aren't raising as much money, they are in-fighting, and they spread their money too thinly over five districts. McNulty, enroute to becoming Speaker-elect, raised the money, and only invested in a race when he knew he had enough money to fully compete.
(Denver Post, Dec. 5) What is CoDA? If you said a rock group, a wonder drug, or a state agency, you’re wrong. It’s the Colorado Democracy Alliance, today’s smartphone successor to the old dialup state Democratic Party. CoDA’s coup in turning Colorado blue is related in this year’s most important political book, “The Blueprint,” by Adam Schrager and Rob Witwer.
What is infrastructure? If you said the streets and sewers in our cities, or the shovel-ready projects in Obama’s imagination, wrong again. It’s the stealthy political network of message groups, ethics watchdogs, litigators, voter registration cadres, and money conduits that the left wins with while the right eats their dust. Ken Buck and Tom Tancredo have said infrastructure was one reason they lost.
What reduced Scott McInnis from favorite to fiasco overnight? If you said investigative journalism, or
Maes’s magic, or Scott’s own bumbling, nope. Infrastructure operatives dug up the McInnis plagiarism story, then CoDA groups spent $500,000 on TV ads alerting Republican voters. Maes nominated, Tancredo in play, Hick in control, game over.
All of this is quite legal. But Schrager, a 9News reporter, and Witwer, a former GOP legislator, explain in their book that CoDA hoped to remain a secret forever. A leak from whistle-blower Isaac Smith, a young idealist who was “fed up with both parties,” in his words, ended the secrecy in 2008. Yet too many in my party are still sidetracked on vetting fantasies or RINO name-calling, when they ought to be memorizing “The Blueprint” and organizing to fight back.
CoDA’s godfathers include billionaire Tim Gill, who boasted to The Atlantic in 2007, “They won’t know what hit them,” and propagandist Michael Huttner, who correctly predicted to Schrager and Witwer that “Colorado’s progressive infrastructure will work as a buttress” to limit the damage here in 2010, regardless of Dem losses elsewhere. They still want a low profile for their brainchild; Huttner wouldn’t comment for this story.
Yet much as we’re soothingly told, Oz-fashion, to “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,” there are two important reasons why everyone in Colorado should gain a working knowledge of the CoDA infrastructure and the new electoral landscape. Both are American as apple pie, nonpartisan as Li’l Abner: a fair fight and good government.
Unless conservatives climb back to parity with liberals’ sophisticated machinery, in this era when campaign laws have neutered the old party organizations, we’ll keep losing the biggest races to candidates like Michael Bennett and John Hickenlooper who care little for limited government or free markets. We’ll see GOP newcomers like Congressman Cory Gardner and Treasurer Walker Stapleton beleaguered with infrastructure attacks from their first day in office. Not fair.
And unless all of us as citizens, left, right, and center, equip ourselves with honest awareness of who is doing what to whom, we’ll be left with that uneasy feeling of suckers at a carnival shell game. When Democratic dollars tip Republican primaries for Maes in Colorado and Sharon Angle in Nevada, it smells corrupt, even if legal. Not good.
Such manipulation ultimately endangers America. As former Gov. Dick Lamm, himself a Democrat, wrote in recommending the Schrager-Witwer book, CoDA presages a brave new world “where winning is everything and there is no moral bottom line.” Do we want that?
“It was unethical at best,” Isaac Smith says of the CoDA scheming he stumbled upon as a Bighorn Center intern. “And so hypocritical,” he adds, what with his employers’ sanctimonious advocacy of Amendment 41 and the talk of getting big money out of politics. Out of sight, maybe; but hardly out.
You hear about government transparency, where spending is in plain sight. Shouldn’t we also have election transparency and open politics? Read “The Blueprint” over the coming holidays. It will wise you up for the razzle-dazzle of 2011.
(Centennial Fellow) If we see the competition for power between Democrats and Republicans as a main theme, then modern American political history is exactly one hundred and fifty years old.
This history can be neatly divided into three distinct eras: Republican dominance 1860-1930, Democratic dominance 1930-1980, and Republican restoration 1980 to present.
Each of these eras was launched by a charismatic President who took office in traumatic circumstances, undertook great tasks, persevered through great turmoil, overcame formidable opponents, and successfully delivered the country to a rebirth of its competence, confidence, and prosperity. Accordingly Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan who delivered us respectively from Civil War and slavery; Depression and World War; and domestic economic chaos, and foreign policy humiliation made a deep and enduring impression on their countrymen who raised them to iconic status despite the abuse heaped upon them during their Presidencies. Finally, they changed the way Americans thought of themselves and the political parties that they held to judgment every two years.
While the Age of Lincoln has largely receded into the mists of history, the Age of Roosevelt remains very much with us. The political landscape established by FDR endured for half a century because the Democrats were truly a “Big Tent” party. They brought together elements from every region of the country, reconciled philosophical opposites (e.g. rural southern segregationists, and urban northern civil rights advocates), and united them in an overarching common purpose: delivering the votes that would keep the Democratic Party in power in perpetuity.
The Roosevelt Coalition crashed and burned in the 1960’s in a perfect storm of mismanaged war, racial conflict, and cultural upheaval. The party then began a baleful long march in an increasingly leftward direction in the process shedding the Southerners, conservatives, and even moderates who had been important players in the Democrats Big Tent Era. This trend would win increased influence and eventually complete dominance for the Liberal Progressives who had been a loud but relatively small element in the Democratic Party going all the way back to the 19th century.
During this period Republicans were reinventing themselves as an essentially conservative party espousing free markets, individual freedom, and strong defense. Success came slowly, but in 1980 the combination of the disastrous Carter regime and the optimistic, inclusive, and principled leadership of Ronald Reagan brought triumph to the Republican Party as evidenced by the Gipper carrying 93 of a possible 100 states in his two Presidential runs. Thanks to the migration of the “Reagan Democrats” the GOP was now the true “Big Tent” party while the Democrats drifted increasingly toward European style socialism and an unending parade of Left and further Left Presidential candidates.
During the thirty years of the Reagan Era the GOP has held the White House for 20 years, the Senate for 18 years, the House for 12 years, and an edge in Governorships, and State Legislatures as well.
The extended Republican ascendancy has provided one vital advantage to Democrats: it has enabled them to portray themselves not as they actually are or in terms of what they really wanted to do but rather as a make-believe party of reasonable moderates espousing all good things for all good people while almost never being fully responsible for delivering the goods and always being in a position- aided by a liberal media- to blame the Republicans for everything.
Only twice in this 30 year period (1992-94 and 2008-2010) has the country got a brief glimpse of what the Democrats are really like and where they want to move American society when they get both hands on the steering wheel (i.e. control of White House and both houses of Congress). Both times the American people recoiled in horror and punished the Democrats severely in historic mid-term elections.
After the Republican blow-out of 1994 the people allowed Republicans to retain control of Congress for a dozen years and were satisfied with the Republican President for the final six years of that period.
Republicans however ultimately did not meet the test of good stewardship. Domestically they became almost as addicted to big government, big spending, and perpetuating their own power as had the Democrats before them. On the international front they launched an invasion of Iraq that in the end they could neither win nor adequately explain to the American people.
This lamentable track record gave the Democrats all the opportunity they needed and in consecutive election cycles the people ousted the Republicans from control of Congress and the Presidency.
Once again the Democrats controlled all the levers of power, but they apparently had learned nothing from their debacle of 1992-94, and with unprecedented ideological fervor renewed their crusade to transform America into the statist paradise of their dreams. In doing so they exposed themselves in all their naked arrogance and contempt for the American people and the democratic institutions that had sustained the country for over two centuries.
Nemesis quickly followed. Impervious to being mocked by the elites, the people rose up in all their sovereign majesty and once again demonstrated that in the world’s one true Exceptional Nation, the people will always be bigger than the government.
In the Republican landslide the most striking element was not the Senate, or even the stunning turn-around in the House, but rather the unprecedented gain of nearly 700 legislative seats and control of 56 of the nation’s 99 legislative chambers; an ascendancy not reached since 1928.
This electoral tsunami at the base of the political pyramid cannot be explained merely as a rejection of bad policy and legislation at the national level. Rather it suggests that a highly attentive populace has seen the true character of the Democratic Party and its unchanging statist mission with a new clarity and they have clearly rejected it. For the Republicans the election was not their victory but their opportunity to redeem themselves.
The only real victory on Nov. 2nd belongs to the American people who saw the Democratic record for what it was- an existential threat to the American Democracy and its handmaiden, the American Dream.
Let Freedom Ring!
(CCU Student) The tides have turned, but sadly worldviews have not. Politico.com released two intriguing articles this past week. The first article pertains to Barack Obama’s interview on 60 Minutes. The other discusses Nancy Pelosi’s views post-election.
I am all for a well-rounded proposal on any issue. But for once I want to hear the “how”! Most reoccurring during the previous two years and, proposals by the political left have pervasively (arguably“intentionally”) tiptoed around the ‘how’-question regarding virtually any idea, bill, plan, etc. Under crossfire and criticism our president, speaker of the house (now former), and many other elected officials of the Democratic Party have misconstrued reality and invited us into an imagination land in which ideas do not have to be clearly documented.
In its true essence, man’s proclivity to differ in opinion with another is a fact of life. I wholeheartedly believe when humans compete, the best will prevail. Yet, the precedent set amongst the upper echelon is not persuasion, it is manipulation. Obama’s statements on60 Minutes display his position is a manner of persuading and not just leading (his exact words)—which sincerely worries me!
Use of the word, “persuasion” in its general connotation does not worry me. But my opinion shifts when used in the context: persuasion to support a ‘plan’ that’s reasoning fails to stress solid statistical proof, documentation, statistical data, etc.
Once upon a time, persuading somebody to a side was accomplished by laying out the facts—period! When all the incontrovertible information was laid out on the table, the chips will fall where they may. However, what we have experienced in this country by many of our elected officials has NOT been leadership, it has been a hybrid form of intellectual manipulation.
Former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi recently said, “Driven by the urgency of creating jobs & protecting [health care reform and Wall Street reform], Social Security & Medicare, I am running for Dem Leader.” Intensely read over this and take the words carefully—then pair it up with virtually any speech by Pelosi or Obama—then put the ratio of “statements” compared to “statistical [numerical, economical, financial, etc] evidence”. These numbers will be astonishing. Point blank, when ideas sound too good to be true, they often are; yet the overwhelming majority has fallen for it.
I believe in America. I believe that when the current administration’spromises are not fulfilled, the citizens are worse off than they were two years ago, and the United States is even further in debt, more people will wake up. But once citizens wake up, when will America collectively begin to realize that their lives are better off handled by themselves and NOT by omnipotent moral busybodies whom they believe have their best interest in mind? Therefore, I implore you not tobe persuaded! Do what Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly encourage: “Look at the facts for yourself.”
(Denver Post, Nov. 7) Chastened. ///
The one-word opening paragraph was a Denver trademark for the late, great Gene Amole, columnist for a paper that is no more, classical DJ for a station that is no more. You missed something special if you weren’t around when he was writing for the Rocky and broadcasting for KVOD.
Old Gene would not have gotten too wound up about the raucuous 2010 campaign and the odd election that mercifully terminated it on Tuesday. Neither should we. In electing some honorable people to represent us, while leaving the big political parties chastened, we did a pretty good day’s work for self-government.
The improvement was incremental, but all durable improvements in a free society are. Americans know that in our bones. It’s one of the things that make us a conservative-leaning nation. We instinctively sense the advantages of divided government as a brake on official mischief. Hence the wave of ticket-splitting in Colorado last week.
The same voters who extended Democrats’ lease on the governor’s office and the US Senate seat, elevating John Hickenlooper and retaining Michael Bennet, crossed over to support Republican challengers for two congressional seats and two constitutional posts – favoring Cory Gardner over Betsy Markey, Scott Tipton over John Salazar, Walker Stapleton over Treasurer Cary Kennedy and Scott Gessler over Secretary of State Bernie Buescher.
Citizens wisely refuse to give more than two cheers for either the Republicans or the Democrats as a trustworthy political brand. Each has forfeited trust on too many occasions. The chastening effect upon both parties’ leadership is only an inference so far. But if they’re not doing some introspection after this tough election cycle, the denial is beyond incurable.
Dems had a governor, in Bill Ritter, so vulnerable they had to hustle him offstage. The GOP had two gubernatorial finalists, in Scott McInnis and Dan Maes, so flawed that a force of nature named Tom Tancredo swooshed into the vacuum. Speaker Terrance Carroll’s majority in Denver got a similar pink slip to that of Nancy Pelosi in Washington. Republicans put a weak appointed senator seemingly down for the count, but they couldn’t knock him out.
As the red and blue twin dinosaurs lumbered through their paces again this year, I think something encouraging began to happen in people’s attitude about the whole ritual. Too often, politics is like that king in the Book of Daniel who conditioned his subjects to kneel before the golden idol on a trumpet call. It’s a con game to distract us from self-reliance. A better politics happens when folks get up on their hind legs and take responsibility. And isn’t that what the Tea Party and the 912 groups are all about?
Within a month of Barack Obama’s inaugural address calling for “a new era of responsibility,” many people began to conclude that his transformative collectivist vision for America was actually the height of irresponsibility. Grassroots organizing took off, inspired by the patriots of 1773 and soaked with bipartisan skepticism for government insiders. Colorado’s cranky electorate with its mixed verdict on Nov. 2 is one result.
Personal responsibility is the price of individual liberty. Personal responsibility is the antithesis of paternalistic bureaucracy, paralytic regulation, PC thought control, and profligate fiscal follies. It underlies the “Send me” spirit of the Tea Party. The new political force preaching responsibility and repentance to both parties, envisaged in a series of columns here since mid-2007 (I called it Element R) is now upon us.
Obama’s policy indiscipline and blame habit have long since discredited his faux-responsible pose. Moving into 2011, Americans will insist on the real deal. The Republican-Democrat duopoly, resuming business with a plate-full of state and federal problems, is on notice from the responsibility movement to get serious. That, or face an even stiffer chastisement next time.
Poor Bubba. Not only is he exposed as Obama’s messenger boy in the sleazy Sestak affair, but now friends report he is absolutely livid over the devastating portrayal of him in the new HBO drama “The Special Relationship” in which Dennis Quaid’s spot on Clinton tries hiding behind every international institution- U.N., NATO, EU – to avoid a decision on the Kosovo genocide until he is shamed into action by a decisive and principled Tony Blair.
This fact based revelation of Clinton’s proclivity for appeasing dictators- in this case the murderous Serbian Milosovic- eerily parallels Jimmy Carter’s contemplated sell-out of West German and South Korean freedom in response to rampant Soviet aggressiveness until a leaked White House document (Presidential Review Memorandum-10) caused a Congressional uproar that sent Peanut Man ducking for cover.
Clinton and Carter however were minor leaguers compared to their ideological descendent Barack Obama who has taken appeasement to unimagined new heights. Just a glance at current headlines suggests just how much damage this multitasking appeaser can do in a very short time.
Iran – Americans were incredulous when Iranian dictator Ahmadinejad arrogantly announced he would no longer discuss his nuclear program until the United States agreed to discuss giving up its own nuclear weapons. Now just a few months later the United States voted with Iran to hold a United Nations conference on a “Nuclear Free Middle East”. The wording of the resolution however makes clear that the real problem is not Iran getting nuclear weapons but Israel having them.
Korea – When a North Korean submarine sent forty-six South Korean sailors to a watery grave the United States promptly demanded that “something be done” – by someone else. Hillary Clinton spoke ominously of a “possible U.N. resolution” and swiftly high tailed it to Beijing to petition the Chinese for help. China as is their recent habit simply said “No” and declared that things should be resolved by the two Koreas “without outside interference”. Happy to cede this wobbly stage to Hillary, Obama much preferred acting tough with British Petroleum than with North Korea’s lunatic dictator Kim Jong-Il.
Mexico – Just so we won’t think Obama only apologizes for the U.S. when abroad, he stood beside visiting Mexican President Felipe Calderon at the White House and decried Arizona’s “misguided” illegal alien control law. To add insult to injury Calderon the next day had the temerity to stand before a joint session of the U.S. Congress and add his own denunciation of Arizona while omitting to mention Mexico’s far more draconian treatment of illegal aliens. For this shocking breach of diplomatic protocol Calderon received a standing ovation from Democratic lawmakers.
To round out the picture that same week Assistant Secretary of State Richard Posner- former head of an Open Borders advocacy group- told visiting Chinese officials that “abuses” like the Arizona law demonstrated that China wasn’t the only country guilty of human rights violations.
Syria – Touting the virtues of “engagement” with this charter member of the “Axis of Evil” Obama appointed a U.S, Ambassador to Damascus for the first time in five years at the very same time Syrian dictator Bashar Assad was busy shipping advanced rockets capable of reaching Tel Aviv to the Lebanese terrorists of Hezbollah.
Israel – As if the above item wasn’t enough to justify Israeli citizens booing Rahm Emanual in Jerusalem just days later when a Hamas affiliate in a purposeful provocation attempted to run Israel’s blockade of Gaza Obama promptly expressed his “regrets” and joined the usual leftist suspects at the U.N. in calling for an investigation.
What’s next- a joint Obama-Chavez family vacation on Martha’s Vineyard? What will it take to make the mainstream media see that for Obama and the Democrats “engagement” is simply a synonym for “appeasement”? Is it not obvious that this serial apologizing and appeasing has gained us absolutely nothing by way of gratitude or cooperation, but has instead earned us what such weakness has always merited: contempt and ever bolder provocations?
Americans, however, should not view this sorry record as random blundering, or simple incompetence. What we are seeing is a consistent, carefully thought out realization of a long held Progressive/Liberal vision of the way the world ought to be: All global problems- legal, political, or military- should be handled in a collectivist manner by the long yearned for World Government. Liberals have long understood that reasons of short term political safety precluded openly advocating this vision, but any objective analysis of the historical and intellectual underpinnings of the Progressive Movement show that such is their goal.
In keeping with this vision, Progressives have always given the highest priority to the “transformation” ( a favorite Obama word) of American society as a necessary precondition for the New World Order. The United States historically as a sovereign independent country pursuing its own national interests is seen as a Bad Thing – spawn of war, racism, imperialism etc- and a major obstacle to the evolution of the Better World to Come.
Thus appeasement abroad is no more an aberration than the entire Obama domestic program of fast-tracking America toward dramatically expanded government, ever shrinking private sector, wealth redistribution, and the conversion of the population from freedom loving entrepreneurial individuals into a collectivist mass of dependents.
Recall those words of long ago: “None So Blind as Those Who Will Not See."
William Moloney is a Centennial Institute Fellow and former Colorado Education Commissioner (1997-2007). Hiss columns have appeared in the Wall St. Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, Washington Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Baltimore Sun, Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News and Human Events.