Personal Primary Endorsement: 92nd district, Pennsylvania general assembly.
This year, the people of the 92nd district (which includes South Middleton Township and Mount Holly Springs as well as sections of Northern York County) have an opportunity to elect a man of integrity and vision to the state legislature. His name is Mike Wilson: a family man who has served his country in the US military, serves his clients as a practicing attorney, and will serve the people of the 92nd district well as their state representative. He has worked hard throughout his life, whether it was as an MP serving along the demilitarized zone in South Korea, a correction's officer paying his way through Penn State University by working full time, or a practicing attorney who gave his time and talents as a reservist in the military's JAG core. Mike is also a family man; he and his wife Linda are proud to be the parents of Michael, who is 11, and Isabela, who is 2 and a half.
Now, Mike Wilson is ready to dedicate himself to serving the people of the 92nd district, and to ensuring that Pennsylvania continues to move forward into a bright and prosperous future. He wants to eliminate residential property taxes, and replace them with a very broad-based and equitable system whose funds will be solely used to teach Pennsylvania's children. Mike also understands that Pennsylvania must be prepared to educate it's kids not just for today, but for the global economy of tomorrow. That's why he wants to see a revolution in curriculum for Pennsylvania's schools, cost controls designed to make our education system more efficient, and a system of pay for teachers and administrators which will allow local school boards to return their focus to teaching their children. Mike also understands that Harrisburg itself needs reforms, such as tighter lobbyist disclosure and a more merit-based process for assigning key legislative positions. Personally, he guarantees the people of the 92nd district that he will never use his position to line his own pockets. Finally, he believes that transportation improvement is essential for keeping Pennsylvania competitive, so he favors a well-planned, cost-effective railway system.
Certainly, there are other candidates running in the 92nd district who might make decent representatives. Scott Perry is a good politician who has put himself forward as a businessman, leader and soldier. However, I feel that his lack of specific policy goals and the ethical concerns which have dogged him and his business could well hamper him in the post-pay raise climate. Karl Meiss, the former police officer, seems to have been a dedicated public servant, but I cannot support a candidate who has been endorsed by planned parenthood and the PSEA, more commonly known as the Teacher's Union. The other candidate in the race is J. McKiernan, a solid conservative and would-be reformer. McKiernan would be my second choice, but I feel Mike is a strong candidate who has been more active and effective in communicating his conservative message to the people of the district. So my endorsement goes to Mike Wilson, a man of personal integrity, who understands the issues which face the people of Pennsylvania. For more information about Mike visit www.mikewilsoncampaignforpa.com
A. J. Nolte, former chairman Messiah College Republicans.
My appologies for the long absence. I've found a job, and have become (all be it temporarily) the one thing I never ever wanted to be: a Middle East analyst. In particular, I'm focussing on Iraq, with some attention also paid to Jordan, Iran, Syria and Afghanistan. What can I say: Iraq is a fascinating country, and as much as ME politics is still frustrating headache-inducing stuff, this kind of international analysis is way too much fun.
I did want to react a bit to the London bombings yesterday. I was younger and less politically active when 9-11 hit, though it certainly had a profound effect. However, I think the London attacks were almost a second 9-11 for me. I spent last semester studying in Oxford, and I've been through two of the tube stations hit yesterday. I spent a lot of time, especially after I got back, complaining about the Brits and their crampt streets and, among the English, stuffy-seeming reserve. Still, they are a people proud of their history (and not without reason) and they are our cousins, in political heritage at least. The question of what the British will do now has been a hot topic over here, bandied about by far wiser heads than mine. Still, for myself, I think they will try to go on as before. I had a chance to visit the British War Museum when I was there, and saw an exhibit there on the British people's attempt to deal with the Blitz. It seemed to me then, that they were mostly eager to carry on and live as normally as possible. I think this is what their descendants will do as well. And I am optimistic that they will not buckle as did the Spanish. The British are proud of what their empire once was, even if they are afflicted with the same post-colonial guilt as most westerners. This combined with the British stoicism which I found so frustrating at times gives me a certain amount of hope that they will soldier on, for a little while at least. Whether they'll go with us until the war is over, or whether even the US has the stomach to continue this far, is anyone's guess.
Is there conservative hope for Europe?
Although I have primarily focused the attentions of this site on conservatism's fortunes in the United States, conservative movements around the world deserve some coverage as well. I will confess that I am not nearly as well-versed in the politics of other nations as I am in my own. However, in some of my upcoming posts, I hope to give an overview of how conservatism is fairing in various parts of the world. I'll focus mainly on those countries which I know something about, and in which a conservative party or cause is identifiable. For the time being, that means Europe, Canada and Latin America. Let's begin with a brief euro-tour.
The recent votes of the French and the Dutch seem to have driven a major spike into the wheels of the EU constitution, and for this, conservatives may be grateful. The bureaucratic, federalizing junta in Brussels will have to put the breaks on its rapidly-progressing integration project, and the often anti-American and sometimes anti-Christian bias which pervades it. This will give Europe's unsung heroes, the booming free market states of eastern Europe and Ireland, a chance to push for a more trade-oriented union which would function on economic rather than political lines. With CAFTA on tap for the Americas, a trade war may be in the offing, but this is far more manageable than a united anti-American Europe. In any event, the Irish, British and eastern Europeans would have nothing to gain by a conflict with the US and they know it. On top of this, impending elections in Germany and approaching elections in France give rightist movements a real chance to cripple socialist old Europe. Britain's recent election has been a mixed blessing for the right, but it may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. In Northern Ireland however, elections have brought extremists to the reins of power, a fact which may well cause no end of grief to the British, Irish and northern Irish. Just how much time the world will have for a resumption of the troubles in the north is in doubt, but the IRA and UVA may find that the world's attitude toward terrorism is cooler now than has previously been the case.
France: real hope on the horizon?
The failure of the European Constitution last weekend has thrown French president Jacque Chirac into a paroxysm of difficulties. The referendum is seen as much as a repudiation of Chirac as of the constitution. Now, he has tried to bolster his flagging popularity, and his particular wing of France's conservative movement, by nominating his loyal man Dominique de Villepin as France's new prime minister. Americans may unflatteringly remember de Villepin as the man who spoke so vehemently, and worked so hard, to undermine the Iraq war. Chirac hopes that de Villepin can recapture the magic, reminding the French of a time when they were firmly united, behind him. Yet, de Villepin is noxious to conservatives in other ways. He is considered one of the most left-leaning of Chirac's rightist ministers, and his ascension as the standard-barer of the conservative cause might almost make a socialist victory preferable. But de Villepin has a challenger for this role: former (and now returning) interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarko, as he is known in France, campaigned only half-heartedly for the EU constitution by all reports, and will likely be able to distance himself from it fairly easily. He is far more conservative than de Villepin. As the son of Hungarian immigrants, all be it wealthy ones, Sarkozy is an outsider in the cliquish world of French politics, and people seem to like him for it. And interestingly, Sarkozy has some pro-American leanings. It is doubtful that he will ever show America the staunch friendship that Blair has: he must placate the French electorate after all. But Sarkozy would be an improvement both for Americans and for the conservative cause generally. I certainly hope, for entertainment purposes if nothing else, that a clash between de Villepin and Sarkozy emerges. The outcome could have interesting repercussions for years to come in France.
Germany: die Neue dammen Thatcher?
The last time he faced an election, Germany's obnoxious socialist chancellor Gerhard Schroeder found a nice comfortable cloak to pull round himself and Germany's problems: anti-Americanism. After all, the war in Iraq was on everyone's mind, and the Christian Democrats (honorably) supported it. Schroeder won narrowly, and Schroeder stayed in power. Now however, things have changed. Domestic concerns seem more to dominate the German electoral agenda, and the long time social democrat bastion of Northrhein Westphalia has just fallen to the Christian Democrats. Germany's stagnation has been compared to that of Britain in the late 1970s, and the Christian Democrats think they might just follow the British model for fixing things: nominate a woman of steel. At least, that's how Angela Merkel, the Christian Democrat candidate for chancellor in the snap elections forced upon Schroeder by his party's electoral woes, has been build. The comparison may not be considered a flattering one in the German context. Old Europe cringes and twinges at even the thought of an "Anglo-Saxon" model of government. But Germany's economy does need major reform, as unemployment sky-rockets and the welfare state groans. If they elect Merkel, the German people may be in for some tough love. Should she take a Thatcherite line, Merkel may save Germany, but may pay a political price. Still, things look better for the Christian Democrats than they have since Schroeder came to power. Americans could certainly grant a Merkel chancellorship with a certain warmth. As for conservatives, while a wait-and-see approach might be appropriate, the Thatcher parallel is encouraging.
Britain: The Toreys and their Discontents:
Tony Blair's election to a third term as prime minister made American conservatives happy for one reason above all others: Blair's loyalty to his American allies as regards the Iraq war. The reaction for British conservatives must be more mixed. True, Michael Howard was an uninspiring, middle-of-the-road leader, who seemed more Blair Light than Thatcher redux. His woffeling on the Iraq war cost him the respect of Americans, his weakness in standing against Blair's hunting bans, euro-integrationism and shilling to the growing Muslim community in Britain have not won him any love among Toreys, and his failure to win the election have caused him to step down. However, the Toreys did far better than expected, gaining a large number of seats in southern England, one in Scotland and 3 in Wales. The Toreys also have some promising young talent, one of whom could be the next party leader. The Toreys need to start planning for 2009, in which election they will probably face the grim Scotsman Gordon Brown. Brown, chancellor of the exchequer, is more left-leaning and less pro-American than Blair, and his replacement of Blair would be a major loss for both Americans and conservatives. It is imperative that the Toreys find clear, strong leadership which can bring them to electoral success in the inevitable elections. There is still hope for Britain, and the right seems ready for another mobilization, but only time will tell how successful Britain's Toreys will be. One thing is for certain: Northern Ireland will likely remain a worry for Britain in the near future. The radical Democratic Unionist Party won a clear majority of seats from Protestants, while Sinn Fein has become the leading party among the Catholics. The DUP is quite religiously fundamentalist (its party leader has an honorary degree from Bob Jones), and it opposes the peace process. As for Sinn Fein, its links with IRA terrorism are well-known. With the recent up tick in IRA activity, any compromise seems unlikely. Are the Democratic Unionists really just a hard-line anti-terrorist party which will work with northern Irish Catholics if the IRA goes away as they claim? Or are they rather a dangerous party of extremists who have loyalist terrorist links of their own, as their opponents claim? Time will probably tell, but the people of northern Ireland must be careful to keep their conflict under wraps. Might federalists in Europe, desperate to prove their usefulness and necessity, seek to intervene if the conflict heats up? If so, the results will probably not be to the advantage of either Catholics or Protestants in Northern Ireland.
The Rest of Europe.
The rest of Europe seems fairly static at this point. Spain, sadly now in the hands of the socialists, pushes for greater integration and arms such worthies as Hugo Chavez, according to some reports. Italy, still led by Silvio Berlesquoni, remains a US ally and somewhat conservative, for the moment at least. The Dutch have their laissez-fair social and economic consensus, but the political establishment will be shaken by the no vote and the unassimilated Muslim minority must somehow be dealt with (though whether conservatives have a dog in the fight between the social libertine consensus of the Dutch and the traditional but often radicalized Muslim opposition to it is one which deserves to be debated). The smaller countries of western Europe will probably tend to remain socialist (because they can afford it) and integrationist (because it is in their interest). As for the Eastern Europeans and the republic of Ireland, these countries seem focused on overcoming their economically backward pasts, making as much money as possible, and riding along with the European tide, so long as it is profitable and beneficial to do so. On the whole then, conservatives have good opportunities for gains in France and Germany, and could, through shrewd maneuvering, create one in Britain. Northern Ireland must be watched, and watched carefully, and the EU should be kept out, if at all possible. As opportunities arise, conservatives should seize the chance to threaten Europe's anti-American and often anti-religious socialist consensus. Only then, may Europe be saved from itself.
The Four Horseman
One of the greatest difficulties the GOP has had in its ongoing attempt to reach out to the African-American community is a lack of credible candidates. With the exception of J. C. Watts, black Republicans in positions of authority have been scarce in recent years, to say the least. Yet, with party chairman Ken Melmann making outreach to the African-American community a priority and with a marked increase in the number of smaller statewide offices held by black Republicans, this difficulty seems on the verge of being overcome. And as the 2006 election cycle inches toward a reality, prospects look brighter for the GOP where African-American candidate recruitment is concerned. Four candidates in particular seem poised to give the Democrats the headache of their lives: for if the Republicans can dent the African-American percentages currently won by the Democrats, the party may find itself unable to win elections. The fact is, the African-American community is in a position where the Democrats can't win with them and the Republicans can win without them. With Hispanics looking to overtake African-Americans as the largest minority in America within 20 years, African-Americans may have good reason to believe that business as usual is no longer good enough. To drive the point home, the Republicans may draw on the services of four diverse men, whom I like to call the four horsemen of the Democrats' apocalypse: a preacher, a teacher, a football star and a rising star. And best of all, all four have self-identified as conservatives.
To say that black ministers are not normally associated with Republicans is like claiming that ex-military gun-owners tend not to be Democrats: there are exceptions, but not very many. However, Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton had better move over, because the newest shepherd on the political stage might expose them to be more goat like than they'd prefer. His name is Keith Butler. He has previously served as a city councilman in Detroit, one of the few Republicans to hold such office. Now, Butler has moved out to the suburbs, and moved his ambition more statewide. Michigan's female senator Debby Stabenow is considered one of the weaker incumbents in the senate, with pole numbers hovering at or below the 50 percent mark. She has done little to solidify her position, and it is questionable as to just how strongly African-Americans in Detroit feel about returning her to Washington. Could Butler cut into Stabenow's urban base in Detroit? He has been elected there before, despite his Republican label, and he has a reputation as a charismatic and dynamic personality. He'll have to play things a little smarter than the last GOP so-con to come out of the African-American community and run for senate: Allan Keyes. Then again, Butler is undoubtedly a far different person, and Keyes was handicapped by his late drop into a blue state getting bluer to run against inveterate campaigner Barak Obama. An equally good question is whether the white GOP is ready for Butler to run statewide. Michigan has a reputation for divisiveness on racial issues. Then too, the other announced candidate is Jane Abraham, who, as director of the Susan B. Anthony List (the pro-life Republican answer to Emily's List), has her own social conservative credentials. Abraham's other great strength is also her weakness: the seat was her husband's before it was Stabenow's. Abraham has rightly or wrongly gained a reputation as a lackluster senator and campaigner, and as Jeane Carnihan of Missouri can attest, spousal candidates do not always do very well in their husband's old stomping grounds. Of course, either Abraham or Butler might just as easily set their sites on yet another weak incumbent, Michigan's governor Jennifer Granholm. In any case, the GOP cannot but benefit from a Butler run, unless they treat him shabbily, which I doubt they will. After all, a man like Butler, even if unsuccessful, could be most helpful in the inevitable 2008 campaign for Michigan, whoever the nominee is.
J. Kenneth Blackwell is not your ordinary politician. I first became aware of him just before the 2004 election, where his name cropped up in conjunction with Ohio's brewing election controversy. He was also mentioned as a possible candidate to replace Ohio's unpopular country-club Republican governor, yet another in the long line of Tafts to rise to prominence in that state. By chance, I stumbled upon a lecture given by Blackwell at the Ashbrooke Center for Public Affairs, and broadcast on the net, on the subject of religion and liberty. Ohio's secretary of state gave off quite a professorial aura, and spoke with zest and intelligence on a subject which he obviously knew well. I couldn't help but get the impression of a distinguished professor of something or other when I heard him speak. He is obviously smart, and from what he said, seemed inclined toward conservatism. Ohio's GOP definitely needs a shot of that right about now. Although the two senators and the governor are all Republicans, both senators have shown an unconscionable degree of wobbliness where presidential nominees are concerned and Taft, as previously mentioned, has been a disastrous tax-and-spend disappointment. Blackwell does not face an open field. Others, including the auditor general, have also announced an interest. However, Blackwell gained a certain amount of name recognition from the Ohio controversy, though without nearly the negative stigma that the name Catherine Harris carries, perhaps unfairly. Expect the Democrats to nominate a tough candidate, unless, of course, Jerry Springer really does make a bid. Few things would please me more than seeing the professorial Blackwell take America's greatest smutmeister back to school.
The Football Star.
Ed Rendell may seem invulnerable from the outside, but matters are perhaps not as they seem. His use of gambling to raise revenues has angered social conservatives, and its success is doubtful. His fiscal record is not really very impressive, and his comments regarding Bin Laden campaigning for Bush (not to mention his disenfranchisement of military voters) was unconscionable. Then too, there is a sense in the state that Rendell views himself as governor of Philadelphia (affectionately known by some of us in the t as Chicago East), not Pennsylvania. Finally, in order to protect vulnerable incumbent Rick Santorum, the PA GOP may think it wise to mount a serious challenge to Rendell, thereby putting the PA Democrats more on the defensive. Yet, whatever their strengths as candidates, it is not state senator Jeff Piccola nor former lieutenant governor Bill Scranton whose name sets the Republican grass-roots buzzing. Rather, it is Pittsburgh Stealer's legend Lynn Swann. Swann, the go-to wide receiver for the Steelers during the most glorious of their glory days, is seriously mulling a run for governor. He's got charisma and stage presence, he's got Washington connections through his work for the President's physical fitness council and the campaign, and he's got a good chance of bringing a lot of crossover votes in Western PA. It is even possible that his work with Big Brothers Big Sisters might just give him more of an edge with inner-city voters in Philli and elsewhere than his Republican rivals. Of course, what Swann does not have is political experience and a long background of policy knowledge. He is a rookie politician, and while this worked for Arnold in the short California recall campaign where the field was crowded and the incumbent far less popular than Rendell, Swann will need to do even better. He must match his sunny disposition, his ability to generate great sound bites and his great name recognition and fund-raising agenda with a positive policy package which people can get behind. So far, he's talked in dribs and drabs about little common sense tweaking of the system. But small ideas won't beat Rendell, a slick pol who has thrived in the machine politics of Philadelphia and whose fund-raising and policy debate skills are formidable. Swann will need to remember how to be coached, and he will need some exceptionally talented campaign and policy staff. Above all, he needs to stop mulling and start deciding to pass or punt. This might be the longest bomb Lynn Swann has ever caught. Then again, football players tend to do well in politics (Jack Kemp, Steve Largent and JC Watts all come to mind). For Swann' a gubernatorial run might be yet another one of the bone-smashing hard-fought scraps on which life and reputation hang which are the football player's forte. In such scraps, Swann usually comes out ahead.
The Rising Star.
"Talk about a rising star," the promo for the "off the record" interview with Maryland's lieutenant governor Michael Steel reads. In describing Steel so, the folks and GOP.COM have definitely hit on something: Steel is probably the best out of these four candidates and that says a great deal. Raised Catholic, Steel actually briefly entered an Augustinian seminary at one point, before giving up the monastic life for a more worldly calling. Briefly the chairman of the GOP, Steel left this post to run for and shockingly win the lieutenant governor's slot with governor Bob Errlich. Already, this made Steel a spokesman for the GOP where African-American outreach is concerned. He spoke briefly at the convention, and apparently electrified the crowd. Even the likely democratic standard-barer, former congressman and NAACP head Quaisi Mfume has compared a race between himself and Michael Steel for the senate seat of the retiring Paul Sarbanes to a clash between "Hank Aaron and Berry Bonds". Maryland is a very blue state, and Steel is not a liberal Republican. In his first race with Errlich, the GOP'S numbers in heavily black areas did not jump greatly. Yet, Steel would have certain advantages. Undoubtedly, marylander and GOP chairman Ken Melmann would help Steel any way he could, both for African-American outreach and personal reasons. Then too, Errlich's administration has made a conscious effort to reach out to Maryland's African-Americans, and has won praise from such unlikely sources as Deaf Jam Records producer Russell Simmons. Finally, Maryland's white voters, while they might be Leary of a white conservative Republican, might just consider Steel more mainstream than the sometimes radical Mfume, who has never credibly been accused of racial moderation. Steel is likeable, obviously electable and could go far as a Republican senator, even a first-termer. As blue as Maryland is, he should not be counted out.
Whether any of these men will run and make it past the primaries is still a question. Whether any of them can win is perhaps unwarranted speculation right now. However, the fact that four credible African-American candidates for statewide office are being discussed, three in swing states and one in a blue state, is quite remarkable. Republicans should not necessarily give these men preference because of their race: to do so would be to bypass their color-blind principles. However, win or lose, run or no, these four men can be articulate spokesman of the conservative Republican message to a community which needs to hear it.
Mike Rogers, gay activist, terrorist.
I'm not going to rehash my views on gay marriage and all that goes with it for the umpteenth time here. Those of you who know me know that I'm opposed to it, but that I think the issue should be treated with more respect by people on both sides. And those of you who've read my posts on Gannongate know what I feel about the disgusting leftist practice known as "outing". This practice mainly consists of finding a gay conservative Republican and trumpeting this homosexuality to the world. I have no time for it or it's practicioners. Not everything is politics, and I do think people have the right to private lives. The architect of this practice is one Mike Rogers, who cut his teeth by outing a variety of Republican staffers and a Republican congressman or two. Blogger
accused Mike Rogers of being a terrorist. This prompted Rogers to feel "threatened" and to, as a consequence, threaten legal action and a boycott against Gay Patriot's employers. Essentially, Rogers bulleyed gay patriot out of the blogosphere, though the blog (worth a visit by the way) still goes on under new management.
Now, I'm a simple student of politics at a small Christian liberal arts school studying at a little university across the pond called Oxford. I have no employers who may be boycotted, and those inclined to question my sexuality may take the issue up with my girlfriend, or any friends who know me well. As much as a blind man can, I certainly have an eye for ladies. So then, let me, a small-time blogger against whom Mike Rogers' venom has little sting, examine this charge of terrorism. Now, by the dictionary definition, a terrorist is one who seeks to cause terror. It has it's roots in the tactics of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. In more common parlance, it has come to signify a member of any given group of networks which seek to foment this terror for financial gain, political ends or, more likely in my personal opinion, power. It seems highly unlikely that gay patriot meant that Mike Rogers was running guns for the FARC or training in Afghanistan, so I'm going to evaluate the question in the dictionary definition context. What is it Mike Rogers is trying to do to these gay Republicans? Certainly not give them long life, joy or rosey job prospects. I think we can find in Rogers all the makings of a little Robspierre, an ideological fanatic who uses stalinist tactics to stifle dissent and opposition.
First, what motivates this string of outings? Not knowing Rogers personally, I have to generalize a bit from his particular set, which I take to be ravingly fanatical "gay rights" crusaders. Yes, I use the term crusader both deliberately and provocatively, for their fanaticism for their "holy cause" is such that it blinds them to even the possibility that the opposition may have a just cause. Thus, in an irony totally lost on them, they ape the worst and most extreme fundamentalists which they so despise. When we understand this crusader mentality, Rogers' actions take on more logic. Just as the crusaders could not imagine any Christian living under the Muslims still to retain his Christianity (some of them at least must have held such a view), so Rogers and his ilk can't fathom any gay man or lesbian woman not sharing their absolute dedication to "the cause". Worst of all for them are those who actively work for those who promote, or even support, a socially conservative agenda. Their myopia to any cause but their own makes it inconceivable for them that anything else might trump this group identity around which they have built their lives. In a classic case of projection, they assume then that these gay Republicans are somehow ashamed of their gay identity, and are hypocritically working to oppress a group which they are ashamed to be a part of. Why is this projection? Because, like the crusaders of old who felt the need to prove their piety and group identity in battles in the holy lands, these modern gay rights crusaders are proving their absolute group loyalty. Perhaps then, just as medieval Christians were motivated by insecurity and uncertainty of salvation, Mike Rogers may also be motivated by his own self-hatred and insecurities. But then again, I am no psychologist, and I don't really care what psychological conditions, Freudian or not, motivate Mike Rogers to embrace the crusade mentality.
So, to Rogers, gay conservatives are infidels and apostates of the worst sort. And, just as the most violent purges of Robspierre, the Communist Party and Islamic terrorists came against french revolutionaries, party aparachics and moderate muslims respectively, so now Rogers turns his venom on those within his own self-identified group who aren't gay enough for his taste. As he does not have the power to become a crusader, he has embraced petty terrorism. This savaging of one's own, of the very people one has swarn to protect, seems also to be a serious hallmark of all terrorists, not just the ones I have named. Witness, in particular, that the killing which has gotten the IRA in trouble of late was of a Catholic republican (in the northern irish not American sense of the word) and not a Protestant unionist. Mike Rogers may see himself as a noble warrior for gay rights exposing Republican hypocrisy. Yet, in point of fact, he is little more than a jack-booted thug attempting to conduct one of the brutal internal purges which is the hallmark of terrorism. Nothing shows this more clearly than his destruction of the blogging career of Gay Patriot. Like those moderate Muslims who stand up to Al-Qaeda and those brave republicans who risk the IRA, Gay Patriot seems to have had it with the terroristic activities of Mike Rogers and his ilk. So he called a spade a spade. One can imagine Rogers saying, in his mind at least, the line used by all terrorists and bully-boys in this situation: "Don't you know who I am? I will destroy you." And so he did, causing the blog death of gay patriot. However, in yet a last irony, Rogers' actions have proven Gay Patriot vindicated. Mike Rogers is in fact a terrorist, though an altogether small, petty and nasty terrorist who, fortunately, does not have the means to enact violence. Should Rogers be prosecuted under the Patriot Act? Certainly not, for his form of terrorism is of a kind which can't be defeated by tanks and guns. No, Mike Rogers must be brought down by the very people he claims to defend. It is only when a critical mass within the gay community becomes so outraged by Mike Rogers as to demand that he be brought low that his petty terrorism will end. Or, Rogers may find, at some point, that he has hooked a fish too big for him to handle. It is rumored that he is looking into the private life of Condoleeza Rice. Be ware Mr. Rogers, Rice knows how to deal with terrorists, and whatever details you may find in her private life, that's why this social conservative loves Condi. Either way, Mike Rogers' downfall can't come too soon for me. I don't like terrorists very much.
Could reality be almost as good as the dream...
Thanks to Chris Lilik at:
for his link to my "Dreaming in 2006" column. Time now, let's see if the intervening week has shattered the dream (more follow-ups to follow on this subject at some point).
PA: Santorum and Casey are in a dead heat right now. Conservatives are really irritated with Rick, or at least, the intrepid folks at Grassroots PA seem to be. Santorum's woffling on minimum wage issues and, yes, his hard slogging for Spector are irritating. Still, he'll get my vote, because it'll keep the smirks off the faces of Deaniacs and MooveOn types everywhere. And because, well, Bob Casey is Bob Casey. If I 've got to choose between two pro-lifers who are going to raise the minimum wage and who might have tenuous connections to conservatism at times. I'm going to pick the one who's reelection will make Michael Moore more likely to cry in his coffee. I still expect Casey to implode: boring candidates who resort to hard-running negative attacks at the end of bitter primary battles don't win unless they're incumbants. As for the gov race, Lynn Swann is breaking my heart by keeping such a low profile. Run Lynn run! There's another candidate I kind of like: Jeff Piccola. It's not just because he's a central PA man from the next county over: he's real solid on issues like tort reform and school vouchers, and if his swop on abortion's good enough for rock-ribbed Toomeyites like Ted Mehan, who am I to question? Piccola doesn't have name rec or a wild fund-raising base though, and Rendell's shown himself capable of defeating your average politician. So I like Piccola, but I'm not sold on his ability to seal the deal, sadly. C'mon Lynn, just do it!!
Ny: Rudi's thinking of running...against Spitzer that is. Gov does set Rudi up for a possible presidential run, and his mayoral background does predispose him more toward things executive I suppose. I'll be sorry to lose the Rudi Hillary slug-fest. The DA of Westchester county (can't remember her name, sorry) has been talked about by some folks at the WSJ. She's getting good publicity on the Jackson case, and if she handles it well, this could be a platform. I think Randy Daniels would be a spectacular choice though: carve into Hillary's minority base and give her a real fight. Daniels' appearance at CPAC speaks well for him. Can a notable conservative (though I'd like more on Daniels background and issue positions before giving him this label) seal the deal in NY against Hillary Clinton. Conventional wisdom says no. Of course, conventional wisdom also said no to almost every other conservative it's run across.
MD: Sarbanes is retiring, and the ever-obnoxious Quaisi Mfume (he of NAACP fame) is looking to run. Likely Republican opposition? My man Michael Steel. Obama Keyes ain't got nothing on this matchup baby! Steel is a real, smart, electable conservative in a very blue state. Will his bolting hurt Ehrlich? I'm not totally convinced that it will. For those who believe, as one condescending Baltimore Sun article on Steel quoted someone as saying, that the LT Governor was just a "brown face" who helped get Ehrlich over the line in MD, then it would. I think more highly of both of them.
MN: Mark Kennedy seems to have the Republican primary field clear for him. Look for him to raise a lot of money and start building a statewide grass roots. The DFL (yes, Minnesota calls their Democratic party the Democratic Farm Labor party) will have a hard time holding this one, and Polenti's looking solid.
Michigan: Granholm and Stabbenow are both vulnerable. That's the good news. Bad news: the Michigan GOP may just have a recruitment problem. As much as state senator Garcia would be a really really really cool governor/senator, I'm not sure how high his statewide name recognition is yet. I hope we can pull this off...
That's all I have at the moment. I'll post new stuff as I get it. Thanks again to Chris for the plug!
Dreaming of 2006.
November 3, 2006.
Successful young blogger A. J. Nolte woke up late, having been out all night at a victory party. Flushed with exhilaration after the massive Republican victories of the day before, Nolte sat down at his trusty laptop to write about the historic day. After thinking for a few minutes, he began:
“Realignment. There’s absolutely no other word for what happened last night. And I have to say, November 2 2006 has to go down as one of the best days of my life: right next to the free elections in Iraq and Lebanon, and the 2004 reelection of the president. Yesterday was a great day for so many reasons, but let me start close to home. Here in Pennsylvania, there was quite a lot of reason to celebrate. Rick Santorum’s victory against Bob Casey was the first resounding smack to the left to be delivered last night. As my regular readers no, I predicted Casey’s implosion: from the not inconsiderable pro-choice challenge mounted to him in the primaries, to the nasty bind Santorum’s photo perfect “Would you, treasurer Casey, filibuster the next Supreme Court justice?” challenge in the televised debate of September 17, to which Casey gave a faltering and fumbling reply which displeased everyone, right up to Casey’s last-ditched negative campaigning, which tilted undecideds definitively in Santorum’s direction. But this victory was not to be the end of Republican and conservative celebration in PA. Lynn Swann, GOP gubernatorial candidate, swept to victory last night over Democrat incumbent Ed Rendell. Swann’s charismatic speeches and clear, optimistic (dare I say, Reaganesque) platform helped him streak past Rendell’s piddling defenses and score the biggest touchdown of his life (sorry, I’ve been on the campaign trail with him for the past six months: can’t help the football metaphor).
And PA was not the end of GOP success last night. Let’s take a quick tour of the nation shall we?
New York: Hillary Clinton and Eliot Spitzer: who could be stronger than that dynamic duo? Well, it turned out that Randy Daniels, NY’s African-American secretary of state, put a big hurtin’ on Mr. Spitzer (helped in part by the investigative reporting of the WSJ, among others, who discovered massive corruption in AG Spitzer’s office). As for Ms. Clinton, she was no match for Rudi Juliani in one of the nastiest and most high profile senate campaigns in New York history. Congratulations Rudi, and thanks for that “Unlike Ms. Clinton, I’ll put the interests of the people of New York above my personal ambition.”
Maryland: The stunning GOP double victory here marks a turning-point in Maryland’s political history. Let’s begin with Bob Erlic, who risked much and gained more by giving up the governor’s mansion to challenge Democrat incumbent Paul Sarbanes in the senate. Erlic’s victory helps consolidate the Republican trend in this bluest of blue states. As does the victory of Erlic’s former lieutenant governor, the new governor of Maryland, Michael Steel. Steel trounced Democrat challenger, Baltimore mayor Martin OMally.
Ohio: The big news here is the victory of Ken Blackwell, former secretary of state, in his gubernatorial quest. Blackwell joins three other new African-American Republican incumbents in PA, MD and NY, leading some pundits to dub these four GOP rising stars the “four horsemen of the mid-Atlantic.”
Michigan: Upset has a new meaning, as Jennifer Granholm goes down in flames. Her challenger, Hispanic GOP state senator (and veteran, hoo-ah) Valde Garcia of Michigan, helped lead the GOP to their best showing among minorities in Michigan in history. This plus the GOP victory in the Michigan senate race puts this light blue state in a GOP-leaning column.
Florida: Shut out. That’s how the Democrats in FLA must feel after the victory of gubernatorial candidate Tony Jennings and senatorial candidate Eliana Ros-Lehtinen. Ros-Lehtinen’s victory leaves FLA with two Hispanic Republican senators of high quality, and leaves Florida Democrats scrambling for a solution to their sudden crisis.
Virginia: Lucky saves. After George Allen’s announcement that he would not seek reelection in order to focus on his presidential ambitions, VA Republicans feared the worst. But GOP AG Jerry Kilgore held out to win the governor’s race last year, and surprise Republican candidate Linda Chavez coasted to victory over her challenger, former Democrat governor Mark Warner.
Illinois: The nasty primary fight waged by some Illinois Democrats against Rod Blogojivitch cleared the way for former Bears coach Mike Ditka, who won a resounding popular victory in this blue state. A good day for football-playing Republicans.
Oklahoma: How cool does it sound to say Governor J. C. Watts? Well get used to it, J.C. is back in town! That’s five African-American Republican governors, count’em five baby!
Minnesota: My man Tim Polenti held out against disgraced Democrat senator Mark Daton. Best of all though, Minnesota just put another Kennedy in the senate. That’s Mark Kennedy, Republican hotshot. The Republican senator Kennedy will be giving them heck.
Rhode Island: In one of the few losses this cycle, RINO Lincoln Chafee fell to Democrat challenger Jim Lanjovine. However, the new senator is pro-life, and Chafee’s refusal to support the president during the last election limited the dollars the RNSC would spend on him. Chafee has picked up his ball, and blissfully gone home.
Massachusetts: despite spending an exorbitant amount of money, Democrats couldn’t dislodge Mitt Romney, who remains governor there.
Vermont: Jim Douglass, the state’s popular governor, was handily reelected. Meanwhile, Jim Jeffords barely beat back a primary challenge from socialist Berney Sanders, in a primary battle which amused us all.
Texas: Cay Bailey Hutchinson’s challenge to governor Rick Perry looked like trouble. Instead, it ushered in the senate career of Henry Bonilla. With Bonilla, Chavez and Ros-Lehtinen joining Mel Martinez in the senate, it looks like a lonely couple of years for loan Democratic Hispanic Ken Salazar. Texas also added several more Hispanic congressmen, from the GOP of course.
Washington: It seems as if Deano Rasi’s gamble has paid off, as Washington now has him as a Republican senator, and as former senate candidate George Nethercutt will run (and run strongly) against “governor” Gregwar in 2008.
Arizona: Yet another GOP upset here, as congressman Jeff Flake took down governor Janet Napolitano.
Colorado: Mark Holsmann successfully held this governorship. And best of all, Tom Tancredo was knocked off by a pro-life Hispanic, moderate Democrat, who is already talking with the GOP about switching parties. Anti-immigrationism just doesn’t win elections, and Tancredo’s violation of a term limits pledge didn’t help him against his opponent, the only Democrat to be supported this year by the club for growth.
New Mexico: So we didn’t take down Bill Richardson, but the challenge to him launched by Heather Wilson was much more formidable than previously expected. Expect Wilson to take on Jeff Bingaman, and win.
West Virginia: knocking off Robert Bird was sweet wasn’t it? Congratulations to Shelly Capito for putting Bird in his political bed sheets. Also, after a depressing night like last night, Democrats are looking with desperation to West Virginia’s governor, the pro-life tax-cutting tort-reforming DINO Joe Manchin. Manchin is now being talked about seriously as a Democrat presidential candidate.
California, Not only did Ahnold coast to victory against foolish Democrat challenger Barbara Boxer, but Republicans picked up something like five congressional seats as a result of the governator’s redistricting. Three of them (and one of the seats held by a Republican after an incumbant’s retirement), were held by minorities. Congratulations are also in order for Tom McClintock, who will be the new senator from California, and who, not incidentally, is also a Republican.
Congratulations Ken Melmann: the GOP is the majority party, and with the appointment of chief justice Thomas and associate justices Janice Rogers Brown and Michael Luddig, real progress on the reforming of the judiciary has been made. Last night, the GOP took a long step toward securing the future of this country for generations to come.”
Was it really all just a dream…