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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Obama's Legacy of Incompetence

The entire world celebrated the history that was made when Barack Obama was first elected President. Since his election as President Obama has continued to make history, but in ways the world is not so inclined to celebrate. One such way is making it to Judicial Watch’s “Top Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” list for his seventh straight year, and we all know he has destroyed previous records for running up the national debt. These days he is solidifying his place in history in another way, one which only Jimmy Carter will be pleased about, as the single most incompetent human being to ever hold the office of President of the United States (and possibly any other country).

Although his title cannot be disputed with a straight face, in the past few years it has been difficult to pin down exactly which of his many failures most qualified him for the top spot. Certainly his handling of the economy has negatively impacted the most lives in this country, but Obamacare, the crown jewel of his first term in office, is running a close second and has been a major contributing factor to our economic woes.

One failure that had the potential to negatively impact the life of the President and his own family is highlighted by the problems with the Secret Service which have recently come to light, as we learn that Obama’s choice to lead the world’s most elite security force told Supervisors in the organization “We need to be more like Disney World”. Apparently the President learned of this suggestion and applied it across his entire administration, because it has become a Mickey Mouse operation led by Dumbo and staffed by appointees who strongly resemble Goofy.

  With so many failures to choose from, the only way to rate them in severity to rank them not by the number of people they have negatively impacted, but by the number of lives lost either directly or indirectly due to his policies.

Let’s begin by looking at gun control. Although his efforts to limit our freedoms protected by the Second Amendment have largely failed, those efforts have resulted in a number of deaths. In order to justify additional gun control laws, the case first has to be made that current laws are ineffective in reducing gun violence, so the Obama Justice Department under the leadership of Attorney General and Chief Race Baiter Eric Holder prosecuted 25 percent fewer gun violation cases in 2013 according to a report in the Washington Times. Although the lack of enforcement of federal gun laws probably resulted in deaths, the number would be hard to quantify. Another failure on this front would include the administration’s effort to falsely claim guns from the U.S. were responsible for drug cartel violence in Mexico. The infamous Fast & Furious scandal has demonstrably resulted in the deaths of at least one American, Border Agent Brian Terry, as well as hundreds of people in Mexico. A related failure, which is more accurately described as willful negligence rather than incompetence, is the failure of the administration to hold anyone accountable.

I cannot begin to count the number of people worldwide who have died as a result of President Obama’s foreign policy failures, but we can begin with the four Americans who died in Benghazi and continue counting from there. His meddling in Libya and Egypt led to widespread instability across the Middle East, and at the very least his policies have failed to prevent deaths in Syria. In Iraq the administration’s failure to secure a Status of Forces agreement with the Iraqi government set the stage for ISIS to flourish in the region. Despite the President’s half-hearted efforts to stop the advances of the dangerous terrorist organization that Obama mistakenly thought was the “JV team” because he couldn’t be bothered with his intelligence briefings, reports this morning suggest Baghdad is now in danger of falling into their hands.

As I write, we see the potential for many more deaths here in America. The President’s failure to secure the border, and in fact his eagerness to encourage illegal immigration, has allowed a large number of diseased illegals into the country which is most likely a contributing factor to an increased number of TB cases as well as the new “mystery virus” infecting children across the country. Additionally, there are reports confirming evidence terrorists have infiltrated the U.S. across the southern border. Perhaps more troubling is the administration’s failure to restrict air travel from African nations with widespread Ebola outbreaks, resulting in at least one confirmed case of the disease in Dallas and potentially another in Hawaii. The administration has assured us that they have the situation under control and that there is little to no chance the infection will spread because it requires close physical contact with an infected person. Of course, this is the same administration that assured us that we could keep our doctors, that there wasn’t a shred of corruption in the IRS, it didn’t make any difference that four Americans died in Benghazi and that they died because of a YouTube video, and that ISIS was the JV Team. Forgive me if I’m not particularly reassured by their assurances. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bridging the Conservative/Libertarian Divide

GOP Factions

Ending the Progressive stranglehold on the GOP is going to be absolutely necessary if we are going to elect a President who will get America back on the right track. Progressives, who like to refer to themselves as “moderates” regardless of which party they are in, are currently able to maintain their hold on power because the other two major factions of the GOP are divided between Conservatives and Libertarians. This divide has to be overcome, and I believe that is entirely possible. For purposes of illustration, I will refer to the Progressive, Conservative, and  Libertarian factions as the Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul wings, respectfully.

The Jeb Bush wing is the ‘big government’ crowd that disagrees with the Democrats only on how to do big government rather than pushing for smaller government. These are the people who are fine with government run healthcare, as long as they are the ones that get to run it. They are also the ones that are pushing the same immigration “reform” plan as that supported by Democrats, with the caveat that it also includes an illusion of increased border security to give them cover. I also refer to this faction as the Republican wing of the Democrat Party,

The Rand Paul wing is obviously the more Libertarian leaning Republicans who have not yet jumped ship to the Libertarian Party. This faction believes in strict adherence to the Constitution, fiscal conservatism, personal responsibility, and freedom of the individual. All of these are things that Conservatives believe in as well, but Libertarians are inclined to take these principles in a different direction than their Conservative counterparts, promoting an end to the War on Drugs, abortion rights, and non-interventionism.

The third corner of the triangle is formed by Conservatives who also believe in strict adherence to the Constitution, but also believe that still leaves room for drug laws, abortion restrictions, a strong national defense, and a foreign policy that defends American interests abroad and supports our allies. Conservatives are more inclined than their Libertarian counterparts to promote socially conservative positions.

I don’t have numbers available to confirm my suspicions, but I firmly believe the Progressives are outnumbered by the Libertarians and Conservatives. Despite our numerical advantage, the Progressives continue to control the GOP because our strength has been diminished by our differences rather than bolstered by the common ground we share. This is a problem I believe we can fix, and I believe we can do this in time to give us a much better outcome in 2016.

I fall squarely within the Conservative faction, but I lean to the Libertarian side enough that I can recognize the validity of some of their arguments but not so much that I am willing to abandon the Conservative positions I take, and I believe there are many more in both factions who could say the same thing. The key to joining forces is to recognize the fact that we can work together without agreeing on each issue

Let’s take the War on Drugs, which Libertarians correctly point out we have been losing since day one. As a Conservative I see a critical need for laws against dangerous drugs for which there are no compelling medical uses, and restrictions on dangerous but necessary drugs, but I also recognize the limitations placed on the legislative authority placed on Congress by the Constitution. One solution to this quandary would be to amend the Constitution, but that is not the only solution. We do have another 50 constitutions guiding another 50 governments that are quite capable of deciding for themselves which, if any, drugs they want to ban or regulate. The only role the federal government would need to take in this issue would be to control what drugs are transported into or out of the country, and to regulate the interstate transport of these drugs.

The same principle would be applied to even the more contentious issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion, leaving foreign policy as our only major point of contention. I’m not saying Foreign policy is an insignificant issue, but it can be worked out as well. Certainly the policies advocated by either faction would be a vast improvement over the current failed policies.

Both sides want what they want, and have good reasons for wanting it. The question is, do we want it enough to work together to regain control of the GOP? If we can do this, I believe we can agree on a winning ticket that will attract voters from the Libertarian Party along with the younger voters who find the Libertarian message attractive, without alienating the traditional Conservatives including the religious right.

We are much stronger if we work together, and that strength will enable us to defeat the Progressives in both parties and turn this country around.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The End of Harry Reid's Roadblock

Tomorrow marks the 1st of October, and the beginning of serious campaigning for the U.S. Senate in many states across the nation. Although public opinion polls taken thus far cannot be ignored, those numbers are likely to change significantly over the next five weeks and I don’t expect those changes to bode well for Democrats.

The period of time between primary elections and the beginning of October gives candidates an opportunity to shift gears from running within their own party to a more broad-based campaign. Fences are (or should be) mended with inter-party rivals, messages are honed, money is raised, and attention is shifted to the new opponent from the opposite party.

Candidates with plenty of money will begin spending that money in hopes of weakening the opposition early on, and those with more limited resources will generally sit tight and save their money for the last few weeks when average voters have finally turned their attention to politics. By this point each candidate has had a chance to test various approaches on focus groups and ran a few ads to gauge voter response, but the bulk of the political ads will be run between now and November 4th.

This explains why political polls will change in the coming month. Average voters pay little attention to political campaigns until the time nears to make a decision. While they often have a general sense of which way they might lean, they often are not particularly attentive to the details of each candidate’s positions until Election Day draws close. It is during this time that the effectiveness of a candidate’s political advertising is so important. Voters are also now more likely to attend campaign events, making public appearances by candidates crucial to success.

The point to all of this is to explain why I believe we are about to see the end to Harry Reid’s roadblock in the Senate end. Since 2007 Harry Reid has served as Majority Leader in the Senate, and since 2011 when the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives he has accomplished nothing except to serve as a roadblock to everything Republicans have tried to do. Americans citizens are expressing a rapidly growing dissatisfaction with their approval rating of Congress at an all-time low, and Harry Reid is responsible for a large portion of the decline (although John Boehner has a share in the blame as well).

Harry Reid’s roadblock does not exist by accident. Republicans were handed the majority in the House of Representatives in the 2010 election because Democrats lost the war of ideas. Reid knew that he could not allow debate on Republican bills because Democrats were on the wrong side of every major issue and a public debate would only make that worse. Time has not been on his side however, because even without debate in the Senate, Obamacare is more unpopular than it was then, the economy has failed to recover and unemployment remains a serious concern to voters, despite Democrats’ efforts to convince us otherwise.

Harry Reid’s roadblock is a roadblock to economic recovery and Republican candidates are in an excellent position to make that case. Democratic candidates on the other hand, are in a not-so enviable position of having to defend their positions on Obamacare and their support for Obama’s policies which voters largely recognize as abject failures. Americans don’t feel Obama’s economic recovery because it doesn’t exist, and the number games being played to make unemployment seem lower are lost on those who can’t find work.

Once again, many of us are not particularly enthusiastic about the candidates we have to choose from, but Harry Reid’s roadblock in the Senate needs to be taken down, and that can only be done with a Republican majority. I plan to enthusiastically cast my vote to make that happen.