WHAT IS GOING ON? I’m not quite sure even how to categorize the state of media, politics, and culture currently, but it seems to be somewhere between frantic boil– and feeding time in the zoo. Being said, I feel the need to jump in. I’m not sure who is going to actually read this; BullMooseRepublicans.com probably has (despite REALLY good writing, though I am biased) currently the worst readership ratings on the internet. I say this not as an insult to you the readers, but to us the writers. Why would people continue to visit this blog day after day, when it is day after day of dead air? Given that this is an editorial format, allow me to exercise a little full-disclosure. I work, I travel for my job, I am a student, I am engaged, I attend Church and try to be as active as possible, I work on OpenBSD, and I try to have somewhat of a social life. So when the political scene goes stale, so does my desire to write, and when life seems to have more pressing matters than blogging, this is the first to get kicked to the side. I think the best way to remedy this is to not just constrain myself to political and news talk, but words of wisdom, advice, life experience, and other things, presented in a professional and educational manner, but not just what Democrat is annoying what Republican on what talk show today.
But I digressed in amazing form…
One of my favorite things about being a Republican was that our party always seemed to have a sense of unity that the democrats couldn’t ever really get a grasp of. A sense of unity not just for the party, but for our country. However, as we are in President Bush’s 2nd term and the first inning of Decision 2008, a lot of politicians have forgotten their party and possibly their country due to the President’s sinking approval ratings. Call it cowardice, or call it trying to get re-elected, it is really taking away from one of my favorite things: Being part of a cohesive group of people, who can rationally work through differences for the good of the Nation.
The newest and possibly most divisive issue is that on immigration reform. As a Bully, I fully support immigration; legal immigration. I also think a Nation should have sovereignty, borders, language, and pride in it’s flag, but we should let anyone in our little group that wants to come, long as they should be a legal, upstanding citizen. President Roosevelt said it best (three days before he died)…
“In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile…We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language…and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”
President Roosevelt felt we would be “brought to ruins” by a “tangle of squabbling nationalities.” Doesn’t it seem that his nightmarish forecast has become a part of today’s almanac?
Indeed, maybe it doesn’t just stop at nationality? Maybe it could even be applied to political affiliation? Who is your allegiance to? The GOP? The ACLU? or the United States?
Dare I even bring up Harriet Miers? This is the part that has made me turn away from news for awhile. Harriet Miers, without knowing or trying, has dismantled the Political process. Her nomination to the Supreme Court has put us in a political bowl-of-jello, where every step is wobbly, and in bad taste. For the Republicans, it has divided us, it has weakened our resolve, it has fallen short of the promised strict constructionist, and now with people calling for the withdrawal of her nomination, makes this Administration look clueless.
For the Democrats, it makes them look two faced (at once they call for her withdrawal, and yet, if she her nomination is voided, they will say it’s out of sexism), it shows they have no respect for American law (all they care about is Abortion), and it shows that Chuck Schumer has no real position on anything. He simply says whatever will keep him paid.
And as for me, it has caused me to pay less attention to politics, but has strengthened my resolve to speak softly, and carry a big stick. And by that I mean, get done what needs to get done, and end all of this mindless back-and-forth.
I apologize for the lack of updating, but, to be honest, I didn’t want to speak much about the hurricane. I had nothing to say. It seems painfully obvious to me that anyone and everyone should be focusing on finding solutions, helping people, and rebuilding in the wake of this disaster, instead of finger pointing, blaming, and playing politics. Unfortunately, opportunist being what they are, have monopolized the news, until I have nothing to say.
Everyone should be ashamed. We ought to be finding homes and jobs for displaced people and families. As of this minute 60% of New Orleans is still under water. The levees still need to be rebuilt, and made better. Then I hear Michael Moore is going to be making a movie about Hurricane Katrina and Bush’s willful destruction of New Orleans. Here is a very serious question for Michael Moore: How about you take all your money and your Hollywood buddies, and your political buddies, and all you millions of dollars, and pick up a hammer and get to work?
When I started writing this, I felt numb, because I thought it was obvious what people should be doing, and I was indifferent to the news. Now I’m mad. To really focus my thoughts on all the vultures who are taking advantage of this to further their political agenda, and to Michael Moore who sees another chance to make up some tripe about conspiracies and anti-Bush lunacy just to make Moore money, is shameful.
All of their energy could be helping find homes for people, find jobs, find food, water, loved ones. It could be rebuilding cities, clearing out water, or finding a better levee system. But apparently the usual political suspects, (especially Michael Moore) have decided the best thing they can do to help is evaporate all the remaining flood water with all their hot air.
Contributing to Feed the Children, Soldiers Angels, and donating to Churches in the New Orleans area are great ways to help our fellow citizens affected by Hurricane Katrina. I urge all of you, to donate what you can (even $1 to feed the children supplies seven pounds of food), and if you can’t please keep them in your prayers.
Pat Robertson could take you by the hand, and show you time and time again how to blow any shred of credibility you have. Just this month alone he said that we (the United States) should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez
You know, I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it”
and misquoted Senator Barbara Boxer. It’s sad because he has done a lot of good in his career, but it’s time to step away from the mic. It seems his off-the-wall, almost braindead statements are just getting more frequent, and less intelligent. It’s an important lesson for anyone in the public eye, and it’s one Robertson should’ve learned a long time ago.
Last week I noticed a few stories that raised the issue of immigration. Specifically, these stories cited the dueling declarations by the Governor’s of Arizona and New Mexico declaring a “State of Emergency” due to unchecked immigration on their borders with Mexico. These declarations make available emergency monies to be spent for increased border security.
Further, the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reported that the Bush administration is, “planning a new push to change the nation’s immigration laws,” when Congress returns in September. It is alleged that this push will be similar to the President’s previous initiative for immigration reform with an emphasis on visas for guest workers coupled with incentives offered to guest workers to return to their home nation’s after said visas expire. As reported by the Journal, the plan is to tie these measures to increased enforcement of existing laws, and more support for border security.
Similarly the Capitol Hill based newspaper The Hill reported last week on an immigration bill introduced by Senators John McCain and Ted Kennedy. The Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act (S.1033) , is being embraced by Democrats across the country and many expect it to play a major role as part of their strategy for the 2006 midterm elections.
More alarming though is the article’s closing statment, “Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), who is known for taking a hard-line stance on immigration, has said he may run for president as a way to inject the issue into the race.” If recent commentary by James Lileks is any guide I can only imagine the coverage such a candidacy would receive.
However, my largest concern with the President’s proposed inititive is one of policy; by embracing guest worker visas I fear we abandon the mechanism of immigration that has served America so well. I am an American because three generations ago my ancestors were able to escape Europe to seek a better life – they came here to stay and my life would be unimaginable had they not.
Perhaps the solution lies in a more rigorous selection process of would be citizens, or a 21st century equivalent of the Homestead Act. Whatever the solution, we would be wise to not rush blindly down a path embraced so disastrously by other nations who’s guest worker programs have created a nightmare of exploitation.
You’ve just got to love Howard Dean. I’ve believed him when he says he hates Republicans. I don’t cry myself to sleep over it, but my bi-partisan side has been frustrated – when he ran for office, he inspired quite a few young people to become involved in his campaign. Even though they weren’t Bull Moose Republicans (not many are), more involvement is always a good thing – especially when voter turnout among young Americans is so low.
Now that he’s Chairman, it’s all-hate-all-the-time. I thought a party Chairman’s role was to convince people to volunteer and contribute because they believed in a cause – Now that he’s Chairman, it’s all-hate-all-the-time. I thought a party Chairman’s role was to convince people to volunteer and contribute because they believed in a cause – not because they disliked others…
One of Dean’s main goals – and the yardstick by which his performance will be measured – is fundraising. Thanks to McCain-Feingold, parties have to work a little bit harder these days, raising larger number of small donations from individuals. Last week Dean outlined his plan – calling for Democrats to mobilize and do just that. From an AP article, a big part is:
Reaching out to smaller donors is needed to “buy back our government from the corporations that have paid George Bush to run it,” [Dean] said.
I’ve been attributing Dean’s statements of late to a bad temper, but now I think there might be a strategy behind it… I came across an interesting article on the History News Network by Robert Mutch that discusses the history of the parties’ efforts to raise an ever increasing number of small donations. It’s a great read. Here’s the relevant part to this post:
… the recent campaign was especially rancorous. What looks like the long-desired democratization of campaign finance more likely reflects the less-desirable passions of a bitterly divided electorate. If the rancor continues, small donations probably will, too.
… In the long run, though, we need less rancor. And that means finding another way to persuade small donors to keep on giving the way big donors always have. That will be the hard part.
Could Dean be throwing mud to raise more money? It would make sense, but how sad.
When he ran for President, Dean claimed to be someone who could bring some sense to the Washington establishment. Now that he’s leading part of that establishment, his barbs promote that same divisiveness that continues to turn off so many Americans and poison Washington. But heck, those attack ads won’t pay for themselves, folks!
I think I’d feel better believing he just had a bad temper.
The southern lawyer is unusually blunt about his conservative critics. “There’s a group in America on both sides of the aisle. They’re small, but they’re loud … It’s not enough to agree with them on the issues. You gotta hate who they hate,” he says. “I’ll never be comfortable with them, and they’ll never be comfortable with me.”
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., would do better than Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., against potential 2008 Republican presidential rivals John McCain and Rudy Giuliani but she would still lose, a Gallup Poll showed Wednesday.
As regular readers now know, we’ve returned to blogging after taking several months off. Thanks to our newest member of the team, Rob Musial, for making our return possible. Volunteers like Rob have always been the fuel of our organization.
Given it’s been some time since we regularly posted, I thought I’d start off with a little bit of history. Our organization is just five years old – our goal, as Rob has discussed in his previous post – is to bring new ideas, new faces, and new energy to the Republican Party - a party whose core ideology we believe is in the best interest of our country’s future. Since our founding, we recruited members in every state, and seen our site grow almost exponentially in popularity – and we did all of this without raising very much money. It’s a true sign of the power of volunteerism.
This past year has been a tough one for “the Moose.” Bill Fusz, without question our most prolific blogger, has joined the military. Because of laws forbidding political involvement during military service, our country’s gain is our loss, and we’ll miss his wit and intelligent commentary. Bill is a great friend and a great leader, and I’m quite certain we haven’t heard the last from him.
Last night the Daily Show (I admit to being a fan despite Jon Stewart’s increasingly outspoken support of Democrats) aired its first “Indecision 2008” segment. I guess it has begun already, folks. While the election is mercifully more than three years away, the debate about who should lead their respective parities has begun. And unless Dick Cheney changes his position, for the first time in decades the race will not include a sitting President or Vice President.
We hope the 2008 race will not just be about the candidates, but about the parties, and what they should represent. We hope to add our voice to that debate. We believe our Four Pillars – Economic Opportunity, Civic Responsibility, Government Accountability and Support for New Americans – speak to addressing the overriding, overarching problems in our society. They not only reflect the proud heritage of the Republican Party, but the appropriate guiding principles for its future.
We hope that you’ll visit this blog regularly as we work to spread our message. If like Rob you’re truly motivated and want to help out, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. And thanks for stopping by!
Many people have asked me just what are the goals of the Bull Moose Republicans. What exactly makes someone a Bull Moose Republican and what are our ideals. I simply point these people to the ‘four pillars’. But a lot more people seem to be asking just what are my goals as a member of the Bull Moose Republicans. I think this question deserves a bit of word space for a few reasons. I would say the main reason is quite simply, I did not found this current group. I donated money in it’s earlier years, I’ve always tried to keep up-to-date with their site and news, but I was by no means a founder.
The original founder was Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt was my political mentor for many reasons. With his feet firmly planted in conservative ideals, he still was never afraid to think, to rationalize through what would be best for the country. He wasn’t guided by blind party lines. He followed ideals, not labels. He founded the Bull Moose Republicans (not today’s group, but the original party) as his own realization of Republican ideals with a blend of his own conviction and thoughts. I looked into this idea of Bull Moose Republicans on the internet one day, and was pleasantly surprised to find a group of people that shared in this same goal. Fast-forward a few years, and here I am, writing for the Bully Pulpit. What would I like to achieve with this?
Chiefly, I would like to get more ideas. America’s whole government is based on the belief that every citizen counts. Your idea counts. I would like to hear (or read) it. As conservatives, we all share a common thread or two, but everyone has a different perspective. I think this front-page-blog format is a great way for people to share, to breed new ideas, to refine what works and what doesn’t work. Also, I think too many parties are falling into the title game. Pundits are quick to support ideas (even though sometimes half hatched) because they belong to the same political affiliation. I am a member of the RNC, my local county GOP, and the Heritage foundation, but I’d like to think if someone in my network of people acted in a manor befitting of someone who isn’t thinking, that I would question it.
Finally, it’s about expression. It seems that there are far too many people who are just standing by, watching the world head in a very dangerous direction. It isn’t just about politics or news, but in entertainment, family, and legal issues. Not enough people on the side of responsibility and truth are speaking on the things that are happening. I want to talk about what is going on, and again, see what you have to say about it. Jon Sims and I are trying to get this blog and this group active for the sake of the communication of truth. So enough of my mission statement, I thought my introduction was long overdue, and I wanted to answer a few of the questions I’ve been getting. I hope to hear from you all! -Rob Musial.
Two days after writing the entry on blame, I hear this on the radio by David Aikman…
Whenever the West has been threatened by totalitarians,
people have arisen to claim it was the West’s fault
. In the 1930’s idiotic intellectuals visited the Soviet Union, then under the Stalinist terror, and claimed it was a social paradise. After them came people who thought Hitler was someone who should be placated by serving him pieces of other people’s countries. All these people earned the despicable label of “appeasers.”
Now, in the wake of London’s suicide bombings, the mayor, an extreme leftist Ken Livingstone, has joined the appeasement brigade. Suicide bombers have sprung up, he said, because of the West’s interest in Middle East oil or because Israel still occupies the territories of Arabs who want to destroy it. Meanwhile, Livingstone has welcomed to London an Arab imam who recommends the beating of wives and the murder of homosexuals.
I was going to post my review on Steve Forbes’ new book Flat Tax Revolution, but I woke up this morning to some news that struck me more deeply than taxes.
BROOK PARK, Ohio -- The rash of violence in Iraq this week has taken an especially brutal toll on a Marine battalion based in this working-class town: Twenty members from the unit, including one with ties to New Jersey, were killed over two days.
Brook Park is my hometown. I grew up there, I rode my bike past the battalion’s headquarters. I was afraid some of my high school friends might have been involved. Thank God they were not, but I won’t forget the initial feeling. Hearing my small suburb’s name on cable news, thinking some of my childhood friends might have been killed, it was something I never thought about. Call me cold hearted (please don’t actually, because it couldn’t be further from the truth) or just called me a seasoned pundit, but my next thought was The left is going to have a field day with this…
Pat Wilsox, who said some of the reserves from the battalion frequent the doughnut shop she manages, threw her hand over her heart when she heard the news that the unit had suffered more losses. “Oh my God,” she said softly. “I’m all for protection but this is getting a little bit ridiculous.”
Statements like that are what the left loves to read. To drum up support they use it to say We the people over here are the victims, and we’re the victims of Bush’s government!(even though the original remarks were never meant to convey that) Rather than blame the IED that killed the marines, or blame the terrorists, they blame the real victims. It’s the United States’ fault. It’s the Marines’ fault. and I can just hear it now, It’s George Bush’s fault! The left further uses this to push withdrawal from Iraq, the end to this war, and hand a victory to terror.
Why is it so hard for some people to see things for what they really are? The terrorists/insurgents/guerrillas made an IED to kill American soldiers. Look at the London bombings.
There are people out there who actually blame the British government. It is enough to make you feel crazy. When the government of a nation that has just been victimized by terrorists, gets blamed for the actions of the terrorists, you have to shake your head in horrified amazement.
One of the things that attracted me to the Bull Moose Republicans was the idea of personal responsibility. It’s such a rare concept, that I had to be part of a group that advocated it. It is not anyone’s fault but the terrorists who build the bombs, the IEDs, and other weapons to kill civilians and soldiers there to liberate and protect. THEY are the ones responsible, and they are the ones that must be dealt with, and as sad and hard as the realities of war are, we can’t lose sight of what we have committed ourselves to accomplishing.
read the full newsday article about the attack on the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines here
So says RNC Chairman Kenneth Mehlman to students at Howard University, according to BusinessWeek. The short article continues to highlight the importance of the African American vote in 2006, as Democrats must defend four of seven seats in states with a larger African American population.
It appears the GOPs focus is recruiting more socially conservative churchgoers, a strategy that worked for President Bush in Ohio last year, where he won 16% of the African American vote (compared to his overall average of 11%).
It’s great to see the leader of the RNC talk the talk, but it’s not enough. To give African Americans a real choice, we need a concerted effort to nominate, listen to and work with African American leaders at every level – starting at the grassroots.
I totally wasted one on Jon a few weeks ago, but hopefully the Moosers find helpful. My problems with the current political news aren’t all on the Democrats side, but I feel like the GOP isn’t wrestling with the biggest issues either, but small incremental efforts. Social Security reform, particularly the kind we’re talking about now, was pushed by Bill Clinton ten years ago, too - not really revolutionary. What the president and GOP leadership have been about domestically since the election is slow-it-down basketball.
It’s a “conservative” strategy certainly, and one that college b-ball fans from Arizona probably remember with a certain regret from this past March. Coaches in the big dance would get a big lead in the first half, then spend most of the time in the second half slowly dribbling down court, passing the ball around, then shooting right before the shot clock. The idea was to keep the clock running and keep the other team from building any momentum. For fans, it was mind-numbingly boring; what a fan wants to see his team do when it’s winning is keep winning, keep scoring, take the momentum and turn the game into a full fledged blowout.
Besides boring though, this brand of slow-down ball lost a lot of games for its practitioners, notably Arizona against Illinois in the Elite Eight. Let’s hope the same fate doesn’t befall the GOP in ‘06.
I hate to say this, and it certainly isn’t the way to respark a blog I suppose, but I have to get it off my chest: politics bores the hell out of me right now. Each newsday is a litany of the same few issues (say it with me now) - Social security, John Bolton, judges. The real crazy types, as I learned on Inside Politics today with the soon-to-be-retired Judy Woodruff, are Newt and Hillary, joining forces to support better health care through using computers.
What’s the problem? I don’t think it’s entirely the issues we’re dealing with, though the first two certainly don’t get my blood flowing, but the lack of any meaningful debate. The Republicans put forth a proposal, and Democrats simply say no. The GOP continues to hammer away. At least one Democrat gets the idea-deficit. John Zogby over at H-Bomb writes
The Democrats are merely playing defense. To their credit, the Democrats are playing this defense well. The GOP may very well lose on personal accounts, on John Bolton’s nomination, and on the so-called nuclear option to get up and down votes on judicial nominees.
But what are the Democrats offering to the American people? Where is their plan? They are merely reactive. The Republicans produce the ideas, the Democrats merely react by saying no. If we examine the last several months’ offerings from the great liberal magazines, all we see is criticism of the President, criticism of the GOP leadership, criticism of the religious Right, criticism of fellow Democrats, just plain criticism – without one goddamned new idea to appeal to the middle class and the non-ideological middle.
Good defense may be enough to stop the other team from scoring, but in order to win – to continue the sports metaphor – you gotta be able to put the ball in the hoop.
I’ll try to keep you out there in the blogosphere, and myself, entertained here. That’s all I promise.
The Washington Post today looks at the President throwing out the first pitch, as the Nationals (or “Nats,” perish the thought) have their home opener. The first president to do the honors was TR’s successor, William Taft. As the article points out, back then, and until the last incarnation of the Senators left town thirty-some years ago, the president would always throw out the first pitch at the District’s first home game, but taken the show on the road ever since. Nice to see an old tradition return, along with MLB to D.C.
Today’s papers include Bill Clinton blasting political consultant Arthur Finkelstein, a GOPer who was organizing fundraising efforts to prevent Sen. Clinton from being nominated in 2008. One certainly can’t fault the former president for “standing by his woman,” and after further revelations this weekend of the close bond he is forming with The Presidents Bush, perhaps he wanted to show he’s still a staunch Democrat. But the following quote is troubling:
“… He went to Massachusetts and married his longtime male partner and then he comes back here and announces this,” Clinton said at a Harlem news conference.
“I thought, one of two things. Either this guy believes his party is not serious, and is totally Machiavellian in his position, or there’s some sort of self-loathing there. I was more sad for him.”
Let’s be clear first off: there are anti-gay statements or plain insensitive statements made by Republicans all the time. Alan Keyes’ statement last year at the GOP convention, and particularly the way he directed it towards Mary Cheney, comes to mind immediately. But for a party that claims to defend gay rights to have a former president out in front, lacing political comments with pity and condescension, seems to give the lie to the concept of tolerance. There’s been a big debate lately about this on the left, whether or not it’s fair to out gay Republicans. Finkelstein’s marriage came out recently in the NYTimes. Reasonable people may have different opinions about that, but to talk about the “self-loathing” of a gay Republican seems to be the worst sort of gay-baiting.
I missed blogging this last week (hmm, probably because I wasn’t blogging at all…), but David Brooks has a brilliant rejoinder to the claim that the GOP is all about message discipline, whereas poor Dems can’t get over their “fly your freak flag” diversity:
The theory is that liberals must create their own version of the conservative pyramid. Conservatives have formed their foundations, think tanks and media outlets into a ruthlessly efficient message machine. Liberals, on the other hand, have been losing because they are too fractious, too nuanced and, well, too freethinking.
Much as I admire my friends on the left for ingeniously explaining their recent defeats without really considering the possibility that maybe the substance of their ideas is the problem, I have to say that this explanation for conservative success and liberal failure is at odds with reality.
Conservatives have not triumphed because they have built a disciplined and efficient message machine. Conservatives have thrived because they are split into feuding factions that squabble incessantly. As these factions have multiplied, more people have come to call themselves conservatives because they’ve found one faction to agree with.