Rick Perry a ‘mensch’

Rick Perry a ‘mensch’

Rosslyn Smith

Last week we heard Gene Simmons of the rock band Kiss
predict that Rick Perry would be the next
president
.
This week country rock cult musician and writer Kinky Friedman
came
out for Perry.

A self described Democrat,  Friedman came in fourth in a six man race when he ran
against Perry as an independent in the 2006 Texas gubernatorial
election,

I have been quoted as saying that when I die, I am to
be cremated, and the ashes are to be thrown in Rick Perry’s hair. Yet, simply
put, Rick Perry and I are incapable of resisting each other’s charm. He is not
only a good sport, he is a good, kindhearted man, and he once sat in on drums
with ZZ Top. A guy like that can’t be all bad. When I ran for governor of Texas
as an independent in 2006, the Crips and the Bloods ganged up on me. When I
lost, I drove off in a 1937 Snit, refusing to concede to Perry. Three days later
Rick called to give me a gracious little pep talk, effectively talking me down
from jumping off the bridge of my nose. Very few others were calling at that
time, by the way. Such is the nature of winning and losing and politicians and
life. You might call what Rick did an act of random kindness. Yet in my mind it
made him more than a politician, more than a musician; it made him a
mensch.

These days, of course, I would support Charlie Sheen
over Obama. Obama has done for the economy what pantyhose did for foreplay.
Obama has been perpetually behind the curve. If the issue of the day is jobs and
the economy, Rick Perry is certainly the nuts-and-bolts kind of guy you want in
there.

Michele Bachmann: The Female Reagan

Michele Bachmann: The Female Reagan

January 24th,
2011

J. Matt Barber, CNSNews.com

From the instant his fruitful eight-year reign ended, Republicans have pined
for the next Ronald Reagan. To date, no man has succeeded in filling the
conservative standard-bearer’s legendary boots. Well, maybe it’s time to swap
boots for pumps. Could he be a she?
Sarah Palin, you say? Perhaps, but there’s actually another outspoken,
attractive, fearlessly conservative Tea Party favorite firing up the
center-right grass roots: Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican.
Forget a Senate run. The buzz inside the Beltway is that Mrs. Bachmann may be
looking to add a woman’s touch to the Oval Office (beyond just sprucing up its
temporary occupant’s eyesore decor). Her spokesman, Doug Sachtleben, has
confirmed to media that the congresswoman is considering a potential
presidential run, saying: “Nothing’s off the table.”
Mrs. Bachmann also hinted at the possibility, recently telling MinnPost.com:
“We’re going to have a deep bench for 2012, I have no doubt, and I think what
people are asking for is a bold, strong, constitutional conservative.”
Read
more
.

GOP prepares as calls for Steele’s resignation grows

EXCLUSIVE: GOP prepares as calls for Steele’s resignation grows

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele speaks at the Rhode Island Republican Party Convention on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 in Cranston, R.I. (AP Photo/Joe Giblin)Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele speaks at the Rhode Island Republican Party Convention on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 in Cranston, R.I. (AP Photo/Joe Giblin)

By Ralph Z. Hallow

Updated: 12:55 p.m. on Saturday, July 3, 2010

     

With Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele facing a barrage of calls to resign, North Dakota Republican Party Chairman Gary Emineth, a social conservative, told The Washington Times on Friday he is quitting his post to prepare a possible challenge of Mr. Steele after November’s midterm elections.

Also on Friday, prominent neoconservatives led by William Kristol and Liz Cheney began a growing chorus demands that Mr. Steele step down now, before the Nov. 2 midterm congressional and gubernatorial elections and before he can decide whether to seek reelection to a second two-year term in January.

Mr. Emineth said what moved him to consider a bid for national chairman is what he called Mr. Steele’s dismal failure with big donors who are giving to other, more trusted GOP campaign organizations as polls continue to show Republicans, if adequately financed, stand a good chance of regaining control of Congress.

“I was shocked at the last RNC meeting to learn how little money we got from our major donors,” Mr. Emineth told The Times.

Mr. Emineth said he is resigning as state chairman to devote more time to his expanding burrito-manufacturing business. Resigning now has the added advantage of freeing him to campaign for national party chairman after Nov. 2.

Like other RNC members, Mr. Emineth has refrained from criticizing Mr. Steele until now, and until now no prominent Republican has called for Mr. Steele’s head.

What suddenly triggered resignation demands from the influential neoconservatives wing of the GOP — its foreign-policy hawks — was Mr. Steele’s saying in Connecticut on Thursday that Afghanistan is President Obama’s war and one that should not have been fought in the first place. (Click here to see the video.)

The social and neoconservative wings of the party, with their shared concern for the safety of Israel and focus on “Islamo-fascism,” have decided that Mr. Steele — the author of numerous gaffes in the past — has crossed the line this time.

On Friday, Mr. Kristol, editor of the neoconservative Weekly Standard, said in an open letter to Mr. Steele: “Your comment is more than an embarrassment. It’s an affront — both to the honor of the Republican Party and to the commitment of the soldiers fighting.”

Ms. Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, told Politico that the “chairman of the Republican party must be unwavering in his support for American victory in the war on terror — a victory that cannot be accomplished if we do not prevail in Afghanistan. I endorse fully Bill Kristol’s letter to Chairman Steele. It is time for Chairman Steele to step down.”

In his missive, Mr. Kristol pointed out that the “war in Afghanistan was not ‘a war of Obama’s choosing.’ … It has been prosecuted by the United States under Presidents Bush and Obama. Republicans have consistently supported the effort.”

Saying on Fox News’ Special Report that Mr. Steele “has to go,” another prominent neoconservative intellectual, Charles Krauthammer, called Mr. Steele’s apostasy on Afghanistan “a capital offense.”

Skepticism about the war is shared by many traditional conservatives such as commentator George F. Will.

“There are, of course, those who think we should pull out of Afghanistan, and they’re certainly entitled to make their case. But one of them shouldn’t be the chairman of the Republican party,” Mr. Kristol said.

Hinting that Mr. Steele’s stand might undermine the war effort, the Democratic National Committee jumped on RNC chairman’s remarks, circulated on a video of his appearance at a small GOP fundraiser in Connecticut.

Among members of Mr. Steele’s own committee, however, the disappointment with him has grown in proportion to the disappointment with his fundraising efforts.

“I have raised more money per capita for my party in my tiny state than New York or any other big state has raised for its party, but North Dakota gets no financial support from the RNC,” Mr. Emineth said,

“The real contribution from a chairman is the ability to raise money from major donors,” said Mr. Emineth. “We raised $400,000 in a single night in Fargo, North Dakota. Chairman Steele has managed to raise only $2 million from major donors all told.”

“At times his hands-off approach to managing the national committee and his miscues have hurt the party,” Mr. Emineth said. “He has been disappointing to many members.”

In later posting the following words on the RNC’s website, Mr. Steele appeared to eat his earlier words on Afghanistan — and stand by them at the same time.

“As we enter the Fourth of July weekend, I proudly remember standing with Maryland National Guardsmen on their way to the Middle East and later stood with the mothers of soldiers lost at war. There is no question that America must win the war on terror.

“During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Barack Obama made clear his belief that we should not fight in Iraq, but instead concentrate on Afghanistan. Now, as President, he has indeed shifted his focus to this region. That means this is his strategy. And, for the sake of the security of the free world, our country must give our troops the support necessary to win this war.

“As we have learned throughout history, winning a war in Afghanistan is a difficult task. We must also remember that after the tragedy of September 11, 2001, it is also a necessary one. That is why I supported the decision to increase our troop force and, like the entire United States Senate, I support General Petraeus’ confirmation. The stakes are too high for us to accept anything but success in Afghanistan.”

 

 

Calls for Steele’s resignation grow louder

Calls for Steele’s resignation grow louder

Rick Moran

The RNC chairman’s comments about Afghanistan were pretty clueless, but I think the growing chorus from GOP heavyweights for Michael Steele to step down is a cumulative effect of his verbal gaffes rather than this particular instance of idiocy.

Bill Kristol:

You are, I know, a patriot. So I ask you to consider, over this July 4 weekend, doing an act of service for the country you love: Resign as chairman of the Republican party.Your tenure has of course been marked by gaffes and embarrassments, but I for one have never paid much attention to them, and have never thought they would matter much to the success of the causes and principles we share. But now you have said, about the war in Afghanistan, speaking as RNC chairman at an RNC event, “Keep in mind again, federal candidates, this was a war of Obama’s choosing. This was not something that the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.” And, “if [Obama] is such a student of history, has he not understood that you know that’s the one thing you don’t do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan?”

Needless to say, the war in Afghanistan was not “a war of Obama’s choosing.” It has been prosecuted by the United States under Presidents Bush and Obama. Republicans have consistently supported the effort. Indeed, as the DNC Communications Director (of all people) has said, your statement “puts [you] at odds with about 100 percent of the Republican Party.”

I think he should have resigned after the fund raising scandals last spring, but GOP insiders thought differently. Now he has not only undercut his own party, but has shown himself to be out of touch with candidates for office who support our mission in Afghanistan.

Steele will likely force the GOP to fire him, knowing how bad it would look for the party to fire one of the few visible blacks in a leadership position. He has banked on this before, but it might not save him this time.

GOP Will Win House and Senate

GOP Will Win House and Senate

Posted By Dick Morris On April 7, 2010 @ 10:17 am In Congress, News, Obama, Politics | 300 Comments

Stanley Greenberg and James Carville claim that the Republican Party has peaked too soon. Incredibly, Greenberg says that “when we look back on this, we’re going to say Massachusetts is when 1994 happened.” Stan’s only claim to expertise in the 1994 elections, of course, is that he’s the guy who blew it for the Democrats. Right after that, President Clinton fired both of the flawed consultants and never brought them back again.

article-1135603-034A1057000005DC-377_468x286

Their latest pitch is that the highpoint of the GOP advance was the Scott Brown election and that, from here on, things will “improve slightly” for the Democrats.

Once again, Carville and Greenberg are totally misreading the public mood. Each time the Republican activists battle, they become stronger. Their cyber and grass roots grow deeper. The negatives that attach to so-called “moderate” Democratic incumbents increase. And each time Obama, Reid and Pelosi defy public opinion and use their majorities to ram through unpopular legislation, frustration and anger rise.

Were Obama’s ambitions to slacken, perhaps a cooling-off might eventuate. But soon the socialist financial takeover bill will come on the agenda, followed by amnesty for illegal immigrants, cap-and-trade and card-check unionization. Each bill will trigger its own mobilization of public opposition and add to the swelling coalition of opposition to Obama and his radical agenda.

And, all the while, the deficit will increase, interest rates will rise and unemployment will remain high.

Read the rest of this entry »

RNC Beats DNC in September Money Race

RNC Beats DNC in September Money Race

Brody Mullins reports on money and politics.

We wrote in Saturday’s paper that the GOP appears to be building fund-raising momentum heading into the 2010 elections.

Here’s another data point: the Democratic National Committee said it raised about $8 million in September. That’s less than the Republican National Committee, which raised $8.8 million in the same time period, and the second month running the RNC has pulled ahead.

Overall, the Democrats are still ahead, with $139.4 million raised to date compared to $125 million for the GOP.

That edge is attributable in part to the Democratic fund-raising arms for House and Senate candidates, both of which out-raised their Republican counterparts by nearly two-to-one margins last month.

The GOP resurrection, meanwhile, is being aided by a rise in small donors. In some of the most competitive 2010 Senate races, Republican candidates raised more than the Democrats did in the most-recent quarter.

GOP gets big bump of donors in August

GOP gets big bump of donors in August
By Fredreka Schouten and Matt Kelley, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Despite being in the minority in Congress, Republican campaign committees outraised Democrats by $1.7 million in August as they have aggressively collected political cash amid the rancorous debate over health care.Republicans also held an edge over Democrats in the amount of money available, when counting debts, as both parties set the stage for the 2010 elections, in which more than three dozen competitive House and Senate seats are at stake.

 

 POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEES: How much money do they have?The GOP spike is a departure. In each of the past four years, the party in power — whether Democrat or Republican — raised more than the minority’s fundraising committees in August, a USA TODAY review of campaign records shows.

 

“Republicans have been able to tap into some of the anger against Democrats in power and translate that into fundraising,” said Nathan Gonzales of The Rothenberg Political Report. “There are a lot of Republicans who wish the election were this November, not November 2010, because they feel like the momentum is on their side now.”

 

In the Senate, where Republicans are far outnumbered, their fundraising committee collected $3.1 million last month, compared to $2.2 million by the Democratic committee. It was the second month in a row that the Senate GOP committee outperformed Democrats — bringing its fundraising total for the year to $26.5 million, just $1 million less than the Democrats.

 

Brian Walsh, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said the committee has attracted more than 70,000 first-time donors this year as voters grew alarmed by President Obama‘s policies. “There are a lot of independents who may have voted for Obama who are now saying, ‘This type of big government spending is not what we signed up for,’ ” he said.

 

The Republican National Committee (RNC) also had a fundraising bump in August, bringing in $1 million more than the Democratic National Committee. Only the House Democratic committee outraised the Republicans in August — by $200,000.

 

For the year, the three GOP committees have $28.3 million in available funds after expenses and debts — about $8 million more than the Democrats.

 

RNC spokeswoman Gail Gitcho said the health-care debate that played out in town-hall meetings in August boosted fundraising. In the first three weeks in August, for example, the party averaged 2,000 donations a day from new donors, she said.

 

Democrats say they are on track for a strong showing in 2010. “We continue to raise the resources we need to accomplish our goals,” Democratic National Committee spokesman Hari Sevugan said. Eric Schultz, a spokesman for the Senate Democratic committee, said his group “will have more than enough funds to be competitive.”

 

Jennifer Duffy, who follows Senate races for The Cook Political Report, said the Republican surge is not a surprise. GOP “apathy turned pretty quickly into activism” after the White House and congressional Democrats moved swiftly this year to pass an economic rescue plan and work on health care and climate change legislation, she said.

 

“If the administration and Democrats in Congress were doing nothing, it might be harder to raise money,” Duffy said. “They have certainly given Republicans something to work with.”

 

She said GOP activists are focused on winning enough Senate seats to deprive Democrats of the 60 votes needed to avoid GOP filibusters of controversial measures.

 

Political cash

 

How much the three political action committees for each party have raised and how much they have left as of Aug. 31 (in millions):

 

Category Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Democratic National Committee Total Democrats
August receipts $2.2 million $3.3 million $6.9 million $12.4 million
2009 receipts $27.5 million $37.4 million $53.6 million $118.5 million
Cash on hand, minus debt $4 million $6 million $10 million $20 million
Category National Republican Senatorial Committee National Republican Congressional Committee Republican National Committee Total Republicans
August receipts $3.1 million $3.1 million $7.9 million $14.1 million
2009 receipts $26.5 million $23.8 million $59.9 million $110.2 million
Cash on hand, minus debt $5.1 million $2.2 million 21 million $28.3 million

Source: Federal Election Commission

Cheney to GOP: “It would be a mistake for us to moderate”

Cheney to GOP: ‘It would be a mistake for us to moderate’

 

Dick Cheney did an interview today with Scott Hennen, a North Dakota radio host, whose staff sent over a transcript (after the jump), defending the Bush administration and advising the Republican Party to stay with its roots.

“I think it would be a mistake for us to moderate,” Cheney said. “This is about fundamental beliefs and values and ideas … what the role of government should be in our society, and our commitment to the Constitution and constitutional principles. You know, when you add all those things up, the idea that we ought to moderate basically means we ought to fundamentally change our philosophy. I for one am not prepared to do that, and I think most of us aren’t. Most Republicans have a pretty good idea of values, and aren’t eager to have someone come along and say, ‘Well, the only way you can win is if you start to act more like a Democrat.’”

Cheney did, however, say it was probably time for his fellow Republicans to shove him off the stage.

“I think periodically we have to go through one these sessions. It helps clear away some of the underbrush … some of the older folks who’ve been around a long time — like yours truly — need to move on and make room for that young talent that’s coming along,” he said.

Cheney also defended the Bush administration’s national security policies, and advised President Obama to fight any effort to prosecute Bush officials.

He responded to a question about interrogation by saying harsh means were a last resort.

“That assumes that we didn’t try other ways, and in fact we did. We resorted, for example, to waterboarding, which is the source of much of the controversy … with only three individuals,” Cheney said. “In those cases, it was only after we’d gone through all the other steps of the process. The way the whole program was set up was very careful to use other methods and only to resort to the enhanced techniques in those special circumstances.”

Full transcript after the jump.

 

 

Hennen: Let’s talk a little bit about the state of the Republican Party these days. Arlen Specter obviously has created a big fuss with his defection over the last week. Does that surprise you?

Cheney: Not really. You know, we’d gone through the exercise here right after we got elected in 2000, and controlled the Senate just by virtue of my ability to cast a tie vote. It was 50-50, and then my vote gave us control of the Senate. They worked hard to switch Jeffords then — and they did — they promised him a committee chairmanship and so he went over to the other side and changed control of the Congress. I always had the feeling though that people looked at that and didn’t really like it. One of the things I thought it did was to build support for the Republican side in the next election in ’02, and we had an extraordinary outcome there where the Administration actually gained seats in the Senate in an off-year election (which almost never happens). So there are often times lasting consequences from these kinds of switches…and they’re not always positive from the side that receives the individual doing the switching.

Hennen: Some people are wringing their hands saying, “This is an example of why the party needs to change, to hear the message of Specter,” that, as Colin Powell said, the Republican Party needs to moderate. Do you think the Republican Party needs to moderate? Is that the message of the Specter defection, or the state of the party these days?

Cheney: No I don’t. I think it would be a mistake for us to moderate. This is about fundamental beliefs and values and ideas … what the role of government should be in our society, and our commitment to the Constitution and Constitutional principles. You know, when you add all those things up the idea that we ought to moderate basically means we ought to fundamentally change our philosophy. I for one am not prepared to do that, and I think most us aren’t. Most Republicans have a pretty good idea of values, and aren’t eager to have someone come along and say, “Well, the only way you can win is if you start to act more like a Democrat.” I really think we go through these cycles periodically Scott, and I’ve been through them before. I remember campaigning across the country with Gerald Ford in 1974 when I was his Chief of Staff. This was the Watergate Election, the first one since Nixon had to resign. It was a train wreck; I mean, we got blown away in every part of the country. In 1976 we lost the presidency. By 1980 Ronald Reagan was president, we’d had a major resurgence in the party and we’d captured control of the Senate, and obviously embarked upon the Reagan Era in American politics. So I think periodically we have to go through one these sessions. It helps clear away some of the underbrush…some of the older folks who’ve been around a long time (like yours truly) need to move on, and make room for that young talent that’s coming along. But I think it’s basically healthy. I don’t spend a lot of time or lose a lot of sleep over it. I just think now is the time for people who are committed to get out there and find candidates they like and go to work for them.

Hennen: Is the Obama administration helping the resurgence or the “renaissance” of the conservative cause by overreaching very early on?

Cheney: I think it will. I watch what he is doing, especially in the National Security area which is sort of my first interest. This whole question of detainees and interrogation of detainees and the Terrorist Surveillance Program and so forth, closing Guantanamo…I don’t think the vast majority of Americans support what he wants to do. I think in fact most Americans are pleased — when they think about it — that we were able to go nearly eight years without another major attack on the United States. They think we handled that pretty well. We were not a perfect administration (none ever is), but I think what we did in the counter-terrorist area was extremely effective. I think Obama needs to be careful because he appears to want to cancel out some of those most important policies. Then you get into this whole thing of closing Guantanamo and of course the bottom line there is “What are you going to do with all these terrorists that are in Guantanamo?”

Hennen: Do you believe the President, the Vice President, this current administration — really believes those things did not work and have not worked, or this is all political? Is this basically pandering to the far left?

Cheney: Well, I think what’s motivated them from the outset has been — as you say — trying to appeal to the far-left in their party. I think that was an issue for them in the primaries on the Democratic side during the last election. I think the situation is that if anybody (who obviously has to have clearances) takes a look at the record, they’ll find that we had significant success as a result of these policies. One way to nail that down is that there are two documents in particular that I personally have read and know about that are still classified in that National Archives. I’d ask that they be de-classified, I made that request over a month ago on March 31st. What those documents show is the success, especially of the interrogation program in terms of what it produced by way of intelligence that let us track down members of Al-Qaeda and disrupt their plans and plots to strike the United States. It’s all there in black and white. It is work that was done by the Central Intelligence Agency after several years of experience with these programs. It demonstrates conclusively the worth of those programs. As I say, I’ve asked the Administration to de-classify them and so far they have not.

Hennen: Yeah, they have selectively have released these memos (which is very interesting, given their past criticisms as well about politicizing intelligence) because clearly, that is what they are doing here. Now they have said, “the President was asked about this during the 100 Day Press Conference the other day, and he said that basically he had read the memos, and basically that he believes we could have gotten this information in other ways, in ways that were consistent with our values and ways that were consistent with who we are.” What is your response to that?

Cheney: Well, I don’t believe that’s true. That assumes that we didn’t try other ways, and in fact we did. We resorted, for example, to waterboarding, which is the source of much of the controversy … with only three individuals. In those cases, it was only after we’d gone through all the other steps of the process. The way the whole program was set up was very careful, to use other methods and only to resort to the enhanced techniques in those special circumstances.

Hennen: Three individuals, right?

Cheney: In the waterboarding in particular — which has been the most controversial — was a total of three individuals. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed being the number one. Of course he was the guy who planned and carried out the attacks on 9/11, which killed 3,000 Americans.

Hennen: I’m sure this is driving the media crazy today, but a CNN story today suggests half the public in a new poll approves of the Bush administration decision to use those techniques during the questioning of suspected terrorists. It also indicates that most Americans don’t want to see an investigation of Bush Administration officials who authorized the interrogation techniques on these suspected terrorists. That can’t be doing the Obama folks any good, because they seem to kind of want to perpetuate this.

Cheney: Well, and they are especially sensitive to polls, I think. Just think about it for a minute: the idea that one administration is going to come in and take power — and then they’re going to turn around and prosecute, (or if not prosecute sanction, lawyers who gave advice that they disagreed with) — to their predecessors. I’ve never heard of such a thing. And talk about putting a wet blanket on anybody in government’s willingness to be bold in their recommendations and so forth. Just forget that. Anybody who sees that kind of thing happen is going to pull their head in and they’ll be reluctant to take responsibility for anything. They’ll be reluctant to recommend the kind of actions that were necessary to defend the country over the last eight years. I hear this talk that there is going to be some kind of foreign prosecution of our guys, and I think they ought to do everything they can to fight that.

Hennen: Our guest, former Vice President Dick Cheney on the Scott Hennen Show and The Common Sense Club today. By the way, there is an incredible double standard here in the media coverage. Is that frustrating to you at all? I look at the recent flap over the photo opportunity for Air Force One above New York City, and I imagine had that happened — not that it ever would — in the Bush administration, how the media would have hyperventilated over that forever! And it’s been forgotten. We’re led to believe somehow the President was mad about it. Is it possible for the White House Military Office now under a political appointee, different from your administration when it was a military officer that held that post, that the White House or some high-level staff didn’t know about that?

Cheney: I would assume that some senior staffer signed off on that. Especially a mission with, with in effect what is the backup for Air Force One, there are two of those planes, big 747’s. Either one can function as Air Force One anytime the President is on it. I used them a couple of times during our administration for special trips. You know, they don’t turn a wheel without a lot of people knowing about it and signing off and approving it. A pilot can’t just go out there and get on board and take it for a spin.

Hennen: These are the kind of things that I think worry people, that essentially you have an ”amateur hour” going on at the White House. There is a lot of angst amongst our audience, amongst our listeners about all of these things … about the apology tour that’s happening all across the world … what’s happening politicizing intelligence … all the way down to Air Force One. Are you worried?

Cheney: Well I think people need to be engaged and making their points as you know them, and talking to their members of Congress. For a while there was this talk out there that we ought to cut these guys some slack and that they shouldn’t be criticized in the early days of their administration. I haven’t spent a lot of time operating according to that proposition. The fact is that I think these are very important issues and it’s vital they be debated and I think they need to be held to account just like any other administration.

Hennen: One example, we got this reach out effort to Iran and these rogue dictators — Ahmadinejad and these individuals like that. We’ve got Roxana Saberi — happens to be a Fargo North grad, a Concordia College graduate — so she’s a hometown gal who’s been a journalist over there, imprisoned right now. The Administration, after all their touchy-feely reach out effort has said, “no success” on getting her released. It doesn’t work to talk nice to these guys does it?

Cheney: It doesn’t seem to.

Hennen: I also wanted to ask you about the economic situation a little bit. Do you look back at all and regret the waning days of the administration and following Hank Paulson’s lead on some of the bailouts that, (now as we look at them) do not seem to be performing in the way we’d hoped?

Cheney: Well I think the jury is still out on where the economy is going to go over the next year or two, but clearly those were some tough decisions. As somebody who’s got a conservative record as I do, and for example worked in the wage price control program back in the ’70s, and not exactly a fan of expanding the size and role of government in our society. What we ended up with that last year of the Bush Administration was a situation in which the experts were telling us that the financial system is near collapse, and that was very worrisome, because the ultimate responsibility for our financial institutions resides with the federal government. It’s been the role of the Federal Reserve Board, the Treasury, the FDIC, all of those regulatory bodies. If the financial system is broken, the government’s got to fix it. There isn’t anybody else that can do that. So that’s why I think a lot of us with a more conservative bent were willing to support or go along with the proposition that set up the programs that were used during the last few months we were in office — in effect to try and shore up the financial system — to get the credit markets working again and so forth. The thing I worry about is when that rationale is used in other parts of the economy that aren’t central to the functioning of our economy. If you’re in agriculture, you need access to financial institutions that work. If you’ve got a car dealership or you’re a babysitter or a homeowner — whatever it is — all of us rely on that financial system for whatever we’re doing. When we get over, for example, into the industrial side and automobiles, and the debate about the future of General Motors and Chrysler in particular, then I think government’s role there is different, and that you don’t automatically think that somehow the government needs to step in or should step in. Maybe Chapter 11 Bankruptcy is exactly the right response to restructure the company and make the changes that are needed so it becomes a viable enterprise … but government doesn’t need to be on that stand set to bail them out.

 

 

By Ben Smith 05:17 PM

We Need Something Stronger than Steele

We Need Something Stronger than Steele

By Selwyn Duke

Most of us place politicians down at the level of used-car salesmen, personal injury lawyers and Hollywood actors.  In fact, they’re much like actors, only their acting is generally a bit better.  But we tend to miss the point about our leaders.  The problem with politicians is that they’re trying to please us.

Mind you, I don’t mean they’re trying to please those of us who read and render commentary. They don’t have to worry about us fringe types – we don’t really command many votes.  We’re like a pesky fly they can’t quite swat (although they’re trying to with measures such as the Fairness Doctrine).  My point is that if they were trying to please God, they would be godly men.  But as the great Alan Keyes has proven, that doesn’t tend to win elections.  So the successful ones try to please the masses, but this doesn’t make them massive men.  It makes them minor men.
A case in point is Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who recently proved his Lilliputian status in a now notorious GQ interview, one showing that the best way to get a politician to change positions is to change his audience.  And the problem wasn’t confined to just what has drawn him the most criticism: Abortion.  But let’s start with that.  Here is the portion of the interview dealing with it:
Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?
Yeah. I mean, again, I think that’s an individual choice.
You do?
Yeah. Absolutely.
That’s pretty clear, right?  Well, this is perhaps where Steele said to himself, “Oops!  Did I really say that?”  So, after opining that Roe v. Wade should be overturned for constitutional reasons, here is what transpired:
Okay, but if you overturn Roe v. Wade, how do women have the choice you just said they should have?
The states should make that choice. That’s what the choice is. The individual choice rests in the states. Let them decide.”
Is this what you call a “save”?  Women have the choice to opt for abortion because they can vote along with the men in their states on the matter’s legality?  So now Steele can go to leftists and claim he has said that abortion is “absolutely” an “individual choice.”  He can talk to traditionalists and say that he has touted states’ right to settle the issue.  He’s pro-choice.  He’s pro-life.  He’s pro-states’ rights.  He’s pro-whatever you want him to be.  He’s for everything and against nothing.
Given how Steele has also stated that Republicans needed a hip-hop strategy, interviewer Lisa Depaulo also asked him about rap music.  And after saying he enjoyed P. Diddy quite a bit, he said,
“I guess I’m sorta old-school that way. Remember, I came of age with the DJ and all this other stuff, so I’m also loving Grandmaster Flash, and that’s not hip-hop, but… Um, you know, I like Chuck D. And I always thought Snoop Dogg was-he just reminded me of the fellas back home. So I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed him.”
But then Steele said he also liked “Bing Crosby, Sinatra, [and] Dean Martin.”  Hey, you wouldn’t want to offend any musically-inclined constituency.  And reiterating his old-school passions, he continued, “I’m a big Pack Rat.  I love the Pack Rats from the 1950s . . . .”  Depaulo corrected him and pointed out that the proper name was the “Rat Pack.”  He’s a great fan, though.
Now, since I guard my tongue, I’ll characterize hip-hop simply by saying it’s cultural trash.  Of course, if I were a hip-hop aficionado, I’d use a different word (I also wouldn’t know the term “aficionado”). I’ll also say that an affinity for hip-hop indicates greatly corrupted judgment and taste, and I’d like leaders who operate on a slightly higher cultural plane.  Then again, it’s also possible that Steele doesn’t really listen to the Pack Rats or the Rap Rodents and was just being a pandering possum.  Perhaps it’s like Hillary Clinton’s statement when running for the Senate in New York, “I’ve always been a Yankees fan.”  No, Hillary (and Steele), actually, you’ve always been a ceiling fan – you specialize in spin.
As for the GOP’s political fortunes, if your only concern is getting people in office with “R’s” after their names, slouching commensurately with the culture certainly helps.  But leave me out of it.  My primary concern is spreading Truth, not spreading R’s.  For if a political movement is to do any good at all, it must represent and extol virtue.  And, for such a movement to succeed, it has only one viable option: Address problems on a cultural level and raise people up morally so that they’ll be receptive to the message (this is why I’ve written so much about the culture).  Trying to present a package of virtue in a wrapping of vice won’t work.
Then Steele said, “And some call them [rappers] urban terrorists, which I think is an offensive term.”  Really?  I find it offensive that he thinks validly labeling cultural terrorists is offensive.  He went on to say,
“But you know, they miss the point of what hip-hop is. Hip-hop is about economic empowerment. You’re talking about a generation of men from, you know, P. Diddy to Russell Simmons and the like who have created empire from their talent.”
Uh, yes, so have the Mexican drug cartels.  So have Larry Flynt and Hugh Hefner (note that pornography is among the most lucrative of rackets).  These are empires of sin, and it’s no secret that vice sells better than virtue.  But is this to be congratulated?  Does it profit a nation to gain the world but to lose its soul, Mr. Steele?
Following up on this topic of “minority outreach,” there was this exchange,
Why do you think so few nonwhite Americans support the Republican Party right now?
Cause we have offered them nothing! And the impression we’ve created is that we don’t give a damn about them or we just outright don’t like them.”
Wrong.  The leftist media have given minorities this impression of the party of Lincoln and abolitionism while casting the party of George Wallace in a positive light.  Steele went on to say,
“I think the way we’ve talked about immigration, the way we’ve talked about some of the issues that are important to African-Americans, like affirmative action… I mean, you know, having an absolute holier-than-thou attitude about something that’s important to a particular community doesn’t engender confidence in your leadership by that community.”
So what is the strategy?  Are we supposed to say, “Look, we were wrong to be right, but here’s why we’re right”?  Are we supposed to embrace open-border policy and affirmative action?  Should we compromise our principles just a bit and offer them an affirmative fraction?
I’m also sick and tired of how conservatives have been cowed into being apologetic.  Who has this “holier-than-thou attitude,” Mr. Steele?  All I see are pandering Republicans such as you.
But this is another example of entertaining corruption.  Securing our borders is a matter of upholding the rule of law, maintaining cultural cohesiveness and public safety.  And opposing affirmative action stems from a desire to be fair and to avoid facilitating irresponsibility and mediocrity.  If people won’t accept this, the remedy is not to lower the principles but elevate the people and make them worthy of the principles.
Steele also played the race card in the interview, saying,
“There are people in this country right now who would look at Barack Obama and still refer to him as ‘boy.’ Period.”
Who would these people be, Mr. Steele?  When was the last time you actually experienced such a thing?  Now, if you mean that someone somewhere in this nation of 300 million people may be so inclined, perhaps, but insignificant fringes don’t warrant mention.  It has been estimated that we have about 100 active serial killers in the country, too, but it would be silly to speak of them as if they’re a political and cultural force.
The interview touched on education as well, and Steele made this comment,
“. . . there’s a black kid who just left a public-school system in which he’s using a ten-year-old book in a classroom that barely has lights, and he’s getting a poor education.”
Yes, he is getting a poor education, but it has nothing to do with lights or books.  It’s a function of a spirit of permissiveness, relativism and corruption that besets our whole culture, leaving schools and families bereft of Truth, love and discipline.
Steele is right about the problem of using a 10-year-old book, however.  Students would be better off using 60-year-old books.  Then they would be exposed to more Truth and less politically-correct social engineering.
If I were a standard commentator, I would now emphasize that Steele is a sub-standard politician.  But the truth is that he is quite standard.  He isn’t evil; he isn’t even Machiavellian.  He’s just an example of what political parties tend to produce: Men of our time.  But what we need are men of the timeless.  Only people who aren’t slaves of their age, and thus can penetrate the veneer of lies obscuring the Truth today, can transform the culture.
And “culture” is the word.  When I say “We Need Something Stronger than Steele,” the “we” doesn’t refer to Republicans, as salvation doesn’t lie in the political realm.  I don’t even mean conservatives.  I mean that we need spiritual and cultural revolutionaries.
As I’ve written before, unless we can take the cultural reins and stop the leftward drift, all is for naught, as the political just reflects the cultural.  And the liberals understand this.  They’ve altered the culture not through the Democrat Party as much as through academia, the media and entertainment.
But effecting such substantive change isn’t easy, and it explains why the chairman of the Republican Party would talk like a 1980s Democrat.  That is to say, politicians pander because it’s easier to change positions than hearts.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/03/we_need_something_stronger_tha.html at March 18, 2009 – 12:42:20 PM EDT

Republicans To Continue Guerrilla War Today

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