Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Mind Made Up -- Fred for President -- But is it Too Late?
I started out with great enthusiasm for Fred Thompson. But then the news said that he was lazy, unmotivated, dead in the water. Then the focus was on Huckabee and how he was the underdog, great at winning debates, inspiring the masses, etc. Then Bhutto was assassinated and every hour, several times an hour, every "expert" said that McCain was now going to get a boost. And he did. I didn't realize right away how much I was being manipulated. Until now.
The more I look into McCain and Huckabee's actual records, which everyone seems to push to the way-side, the more disenchanted I become. Why are FOX news and their contributors devoting so much energy touting McCain as the front-runner and the candidate most likely to beat Hillary? Have Republicans become so hell-bent on defeating Hillary that they are willing to endorse someone so much like her just to beat her? Where is the sense in that?
Then there is Huckabee. Another man who says one thing and does another. He raised taxes in Arkansas but we're supposed to believe he will lower them for the whole country. When he talks, he sounds more like a liberal sympathizer than a candidate truly ready to take on the problem of illegal immigration. And that is only the beginning.
The turning point in the race for me was the last Republican debate I watched in which Fred Thompson finally found his voice and told America exactly what Mike Huckabee was all about. My jaw dropped to the floor. I give FOX credit in at least allowing Luntz to interview his focus group which decided hands down that Fred won the night. But it was not before long that the lineup of McCain supporters started getting more air time and one program after another discounted Thompson's chances. It led me to wonder who is really pulling the strings and whether the American people are really willing to let themselves be duped into nominating an aisle-crosser who is more concerned with "making everyone happy" than standing up for the conservative movement. Yes, John McCain is a war hero but he is not running for General. He is running for President. No one seems to realize that those are very different jobs. Yes, the war in Iraq is important but it's not the only issue our country is facing.
So here I am. I've finally made up my mind. But will it matter? That is to be seen.
But with every political analysis segment I watch, the more I'm led to believe it's a lost cause.
Hopefully Thompson will continue to run on his merits as the only true conservative in the race and ignore all the pundits. I'm about to.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
The Republicans have bigger problems and disparities between their so-called frontrunners, which just about change as often as the headlines on Fox’s news ticker.
I have to admit… I am disenchanted. Just about every time I think I’ve found my man for the job, I am left wondering what I was thinking.
First there was Fred Thompson. What with all the buzz about how strong a candidate he’d be and all my years of watching Law & Order, I thought, now there was someone who could get the attention of people on both sides of the political fence. That illusion was shattered when I watched him deliver his address via Jay Leno while the other candidates were duking it out in New Hampshire. He ceased to be taken very seriously after that. I waited patiently for him to make a comeback but he seemed as drab and unenthusiastic as the pundits had characterized him to be. That ship has since sailed for me.
Then there is Guiliani. Now, I have to be honest… Everytime I think of voting for him, I recall the phrase about not trying to beat the Democrats by acting like them. Guiliani leaves a lot to be desired in terms of social policy from where I sit (which is far to the right of him). Nevertheless, as a former New Yorker who lived through 9/11 and who saw him go from the cover of every tabloid bashing him to being a great leader during a crisis and going on to be Time’s Man of the Year, I have to admit that I have a lot of respect for Guiliani as a person and a leader. Also not to mention that he is a fellow Italian-American and so a little part of me roots for him to succeed. But I can’t really factor that in, can I? Then I would be no different from all the women who will vote for Hillary only because she shares the same anatomy, or from all those who will vote for Obama or Richardson, Huckabee or Romney just because they are of the same race or religion. I’ve come to believe that there is a lot more to being a good President than sharing such characteristics with supporters. Nevertheless, I respect Guiliani’s no nonsence, honesty. I disagree with him on abortion but I admire his honesty and that he does not change positions just to get votes like some others in the ring (See Mitt Romney). Nevertheless, I fear that a Guiliani Presidency would take Republicans too far from our core issues and move us ever closer to being little different from the other side.
Then there is Mitt Romney, who I must admit, I have not for one day entertained as being a candidate I could support. For all his money and spending in Iowa and for all his negative attack ads against anyone who presents a challenge in the polls, I cannot help but distrust him. Now, I know this is just intuition, but I can’t help but feel like I’m being conned every time I hear the man speak. I don’t believe that he has a genuine bone in his body. He is too much of a politician for me. Far too polished. And I’ve heard him sound a little more like Bill Clinton than I ever expected a Republican candidate to sound like. (See his argument for the definition for the word “saw” after his gaff on the campaign trail during which he said he saw his dad march with MLK).
Then there is Mike Huckabee and I have to admit that I’ve all but been a walking Huckabee ad since far before he was characterized as a frontrunner. While watching him in the debates, I was enchanted with his wit, his sense of humor and his passion. Of all the candidates, you could really see that he believed what he was saying. And I believed him and in him. He made me want to just get up off the sofa and do something… I dunno, maybe hold a sign or something like that. He motivated me unlike any of the others that he shared the stage with and the more I listened to him speak, the more convinced I was that he could motivate the rest of the country. (I am naïve, aren’t I?) That was until last week when two things dawned on me and the rest of the country. First it was his bashing of the Bush administration’s handling of foreign policy which spurned even Condaleeza Rice to speak out as to how absurd his remarks were and then it was his blaring inexperience with regards to foreign policy following the assassination of Bhutto. No longer could I look at Huckabee as that next great hope. He began to become like Romney for me, someone I could not help but doubt. Both politicians yes, but both lacking in too many ways to count.
And now, I find myself liking someone that my father would likely disown me for liking. The last in the bunch. The candidate who had all but dropped from the radar until now: John McCain. He has the toughness and brutal honesty of Guiliani, the foreign policy chops that everyone else seems to lack. The years and years of experience that no other candidate can match. He’s been serving in the Congress since I was a year old. He has an honorable record of service and can honestly say he fought and suffered for our country. And he has electability and the ability to draw people from the left and center. But he, like the rest of the flock, leaves much to be desired with regards to his views on amnesty for illegal immigrants, not to mention his former enterprise with Feingold that I will not even get into right now.
In short, I have no idea who I should support. I don’t know what issue is my hill to die on, so to speak. If it’s abortion, that rules out Guiliani. If it’s illegal immigration, that rules out Huckabee and McCain. If it’s foreign policy, that only leaves McCain. It’s a really tough call to make when so much is at stake and I hope that eventually the right can make up its mind and rally around someone to the extent that the Dems have. I just hope we make the right choice in the end.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
A Sad, Sad Day in American Politics
To say I am disenchanted is to make a gross understatement...
It's a sad, sad day indeed.
Saturday, July 01, 2006
What Ever Happened to the American Way?
For my full review and comments, click here.
Friday, May 12, 2006
The Grave Truth About An Urban Legend
A website which validates or debunks various "urban legends" has "confirmed" something very disturbing about infamous mom Cindy Sheehan.
Sheehan, who has publically exploited her son's death - who died fighting for his country with honor - to call attention to herself and voice her liberal views, has supposedly failed to honor him in death in an even BIGGER way. According to snopes.com, she has been so busy getting herself arrested in various media photo-ops that she's neglected buy a headstone for her son's grave.
If this is true, it certainly says a lot about how obsessed (and sidetracked) extremists can become when given a little bit (or a LOT, in this case) of attention...
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Needed: A Lesson In Federalism
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” –Article X, U.S. Constitution
Where the Constitution is silent, the states should speak. That has always been my understanding of federalism: that states are best suited to handle their own affairs than bureaucrats in Washington.
I’ve always believed that lawmaking is best left to democratic majorities than to men in robes, so I did not expect that in undertaking a reading of a book by one of the most brilliant legal minds of our generation, I would come to doubt or misunderstand my own convictions.
For the past however-many weeks, I’ve been engrossed by Robert H. Bork’s “The Tempting of America.” It has challenged my ideas and has put my understanding of the Constitution to the test, but what it’s done that I did not expect was confuse my understanding of federalism, which has always been rooted in the same principles it contains.
A hypothetical came to mind – and I realize that this is a far-fetched outcome on the slipperiest of slopes, but I hoped that conservative reasoning would help me find a solution to the potential, albeit hypothetical, problem.
First, I must add a disclaimer. I disagree that the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause was intended to take the power from the states to vary in their lawmaking. I believe that it had everything to do with slavery and nothing to do with limiting the 10th Amendment. That said, here is the potential problem which I hope might inspire some feedback from those of you better versed in Constitutional Law and federalism than me.
[Now remember, I did say this would be far-fetched, but I believe it must be in order to illustrate my confusion.]
Imagine that a group of deviants were to move to a state and form a majority with the sole purpose of forming state laws that allowed them to live their deviant lifestyles legally. Under the concept of federalism which I explained earlier, so long as these laws do not go against anything specific in the Constitution, they should be allowed to express their morals as a democratic majority in the state. But what if this group of deviants had a perverse agenda and wished to enact laws that seriously damaged society?
My initial argument against this was that the hypothetical couldn’t work because we are assuming that people are unreasonable and irrational, but surely, there are a good number of people in this country who could be classified as such. So what check would there be to their power? Surely, anyone in the state who feels threatened by the newly expressed morality would vote with their feet and go elsewhere, if only to protect themselves. What recourse would there be for the minority who stays? Who would protect them?
Now, I’m not for a moment saying that I prefer rule by Judges to rule by democratic majorities, but what about this hypothetical? Should rule of a majority be preferred even if it is oppressive? Am I beginning to sound like a liberal? (gasp.)
I do not believe that Supreme Court Justices or federal judges should be able to undo state laws that do not raise constitutional questions. I do believe that a state should be able to have it’s own interests as expressed by the people. But who protects the minority? Would the people in the country have to vote a constitutional amendment to outlaw whatever the people of State X enact in order to preserve morality? Is there a solution consistent with conservative principles? Does federalism solve the problem or must we really advocate that a judge has a better sense of morality than a democratic majority? In this sense, one would hope a judge would, but I'm not sure I'm ready to jump to that conclusion. I don't think the Founders did.
Friday, April 14, 2006
What the Washington Post, and all the other liberal rags that have jumped on the anti-Christian bandwagon don't realize is that Christians do believe that Judas betrayed Jesus. However! We also believe that Judas was doing God's will, because Jesus came to die and He knew that. He knew it was God's will for everything to happen as it did and that's why He wept at Gethsemanae. That's why He went to the cross. Any Christian with even a basic understanding of the Bible - and even those who don't believe but have read it or are familiar with the stories - knows this. This is no big shock, sorry Slate!
In particular, the New York times, in an article last week, made two statements that really annoyed me in their coverage of this "discovery."
1. "As the findings have trickled down to churches and universities, they have produced a new generation of Christians who now regard the Bible not as the literal word of God, but as a product of historical and political forces that determined which texts should be included in the canon, and which edited out." I would love to see the evidence they got to support this rhetoric, as I find it hard to believe that this trickle down (which happened a day or so before this article was printed) occurred and produced, overnight, a new generation of anything.
2. "For that reason, the discoveries have proved deeply troubling for many believers. The Gospel of Judas portrays Judas Iscariot not as a betrayer of Jesus, but as his most favored disciple and willing collaborator." Who are these many believers, you wonder? So do I. But don't expect to find them anywhere in the article because not even the writer knows.
This is yet another instance where rhetoric is more important - and sells more papers - than facts. Happy Good Friday!
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
On the Illegality of Persons
This, on the other hand, does seem promising for any other group of people that circumvents the law to realize the prospects (under Visconti's warped views) of coming together in masses... Right now, somewhere, the members of the North American Man Boy Love Association are celebrating! First illegal aliens, then pedophiles. Watch out world!
But this is not to make light of the issue of illegal immigrants, because it is a serious one. Yesterday, as I was returning home from work, the Mall and my Metro station were flooded with groves of Mexicans gathering for "La Marcha." To be honest, it was a little moving on one hand to see such solidarity, as they waived their American flags, until I got to thinking on it longer. If immigrants want so much to be American and assimilate into American culture and society, then why can't they do it legally like all other immigrants have in the past? If immigrants want to be Americans, they must appreciate and respect the rule of law, and if they break it, they should be tried and treated like any other person who calls themself American. I don't think this is such a foreign idea.
My family came here from Italy to Ellis Island and so I have a soft-spot for those who come from other countries and try to make a life here and live the American dream. But my relatives came here legally, they paid taxes, they didn't hide behind employers willing to pay them horrible wages in exchange for keeping their secret. It would seem to me that if Mexicans are such an organized political class and so desperate for acceptance in America, they would want to do so in a legally valid way. Unfortunately, until they are put on a path to citizenship, they remain in voilation of our laws and our laws should not only be respected, they should be enforced.
It also seems to me that Mexicans are too willing to accept being used, for the most part, because they are exempt from minimum wage requirements promised to citizens of this country. Why not become citizens the right way? R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Perhaps, if they were legitimate citizens, like everyone else, they would be treated with fairer employment practices like every one else. If this is what they really are after, anyway...
Maybe I'm missing something...
Sunday, April 09, 2006
The article , entitled "Pro-Life Nation," also sheds light on the secretive methods women in El Salvador use to obtain back-alley abortions, trying, whenever possible, to make the concept of valuing life seem as archaic and oppressive as possible.
The New York Times has never made a secret of it's liberal agenda and by trying to apply it's values to a country that is focused more on protecting human life than catering to convenience it makes it's own preference all too clear.
This is not to say that I don't sympathize with the women who are victims of rape or incest or have ectopic pregnancies that are criminalized by no real fault of their own. Still, I can't see why it's so hard to understand a culture of valuing life. But that's the New York Times, isn't it?
All the news that's fit to print, and then some...
Thursday, March 16, 2006
When Congress passed McCain-Feingold in 2002, it opened the door to seriously undermining the principles of free speech and association. Now, the regulations that have already been applied to TV and radio may soon extend to the Internet as the FEC begins the process of applying campaign finance law to the blogosphere. In an effort to protect bloggers, the House Administration Committee unanimously reported the Online Freedom of Speech Act (HR 1606) to the House floor. Although a vote was expected today, the bill failed to make it to the floor and will be rescheduled for after recess.
The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the people … to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Nevertheless, in 2003, five Supreme Court Justices ruled that reducing the “appearance of a corrupting influence” of political contributions was more important than deference to the Constitution.
In 2002, the FEC voted to exempt the Internet from regulations under McCain-Feingold, but a U.S. District Judge overturned that decision last fall, claiming that excluding the Internet from the coordinated communications regulation would severely undermine the law. Now the FEC is under a court order to finalize rules that would apply McCain-Feingold to the Internet. They were expected to announce these regulations next week, but may wait on the 1606 decision.
As blogs have increased in popularity, millions of Americas go online everyday to express their political view-points, challenge the media’s depiction of certain issues and engage in open debate – blurring the distinctions between bloggers and journalists. This is good for democracy. Given how widespread the use of blogs and other online forums have become, regulations on Internet speech would be especially burdensome. Imposing restrictions on Internet communications would not only undermine the First Amendment, it would deal a huge blow to grass roots advocacy.
If Congress fails to act and the FEC is forced to regulate Internet communications, bloggers could face many obstacles to exercising free speech. Any activity that involves advocating for a political candidate including linking a home page to a politician’s website, reiterating or reproducing a portion of a candidate’s campaign material, or emailing information in support of a political candidate around election time could put a blogger in jeopardy of violating federal election laws.
Let's hope those voting have more sense than those on the Supreme Court who upheld this horrible bill in the first place.