Category ArchiveThe Dawn Patrol
The Dawn Patrol Richard Falknor on 18 May 2013
UPDATE AFTER PRESS TIME! Andy Harris (click here) says “This has been a great week to be a Republican”. You may be the expert on that, Dr. Harris, but it has not been a good week for America: the IRS and the Department of Justice running wild and for some time, the House struggling to get a handle on the Benghazi disaster after eight months, the Pentagon at war with Christians in our military, and now the Obama Administration trying to shut down free speech in our universities. Too bad Republicans do not control the House of Representatives with its power of the purse and investigative tools. Then the GOP surely could have stopped or exposed much of this, and shown the president to be the anti-constitutional zealot he is.
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House Speaker John Boehner chose Maryland’s sole Republican Representative, Andy Harris, to give the Weekly Republican Address released this Saturday morning, May 18 (click here for entire text and audio).
Dr. Harris said, in part–
“This week marked the third time in three years that the people’s House has listened to the people and voted for full repeal of the health care law. Now it’s time for the Senate to listen to the people as well.”
Dr. Harris doubtless is a dedicated legislator. Here you can see him questioning Attorney General Eric Holder.
But did Dr. Harris’ prepared text this morning have to pass muster with the Speaker’s staff? In short, is it simply the House GOP Leadership’s party line?
No Time for Beltway Doublethink in Our Present Peril
We are in a national crisis where our liberties as well as our pocketbooks are gravely threatened.
This is not only because of the revolutionary drive of president Barack Obama and his mind-meld network in and out of government.
It is also because the Beltway GOP — and the House GOP Leadership in particular — neither recognize Mr. Obama’s ‘transformational’ challenge for what it is, nor understand how to cope with it. Nor do they have a demonstrable commitment to right-sizing government, to expanding the circle of liberty, and to preserving our culture.
Among conservatives from distinguished talk radio voices to ordinary citizens in Tea Parties across the nation, these truths – sadly– are now commonplace.
As Mark Levin revealed (12:16 in video) to Sean Hannity, The Landmark Legal Foundation brought the current IRS scandal to the Congress last year — but instead was only able to induce the crucial Treasury Department IG to investigate.
Former Reagan Justice Department official Levin wonders why House committee chairman didn’t start calling witnesses before the election. He speaks of Congress’ “passivity and timidity.” They were relatively “dismissive.” At that time, he recalls, Congress only “fired off” a few letters of inquiry and asked a few questions.
Was there an enemies list, asked Hannity? “There was an enemies list, but it only had one enemy on it: conservatives and specifically the Tea Party,” replied Levin.
We wonder what members of the House and Senate (of either party) were egging the IRS on against this ‘enemy’.
Obviously Fortitude Is Not the House GOP Leadership’s Strong Point.
Bear in mind that from the time Republicans took back the House in 2011, the Leadership’s mantras have been “we won’t shut down the government” and “we are only one-half of one-third of the government.”
Constitutional expert Andrew McCarthy addressed these timid arguments here:
“In weaving their story that Obama alone is the catalyst of our crisis, the Republican establishment counts on the constitutional illiteracy of the electorate. The inescapable fact, however, is that all taxing and spending bills enacted by the federal government must originate in the House. The GOP’s all purpose abdication mantra, ‘We’re only one-half of one-third of the government,’ would be laughable if our straits were not so dire. When was the last time you heard the left-leaning bloc of Supreme Court justices say, “We can’t impose our policy preferences on the country. After all, we’re only one-half of one-third of the government”? When was the last time President Obama restrained himself from issuing executive orders conferring, say, privileges on illegal aliens, by explaining that he is only is only one-third of the government (a third, mind you, with zero constitutional authority to confer anything). In constitutional law, the pertinent issue is never what percentage of total power is allocated to a branch. The question is: Which branch is given supremacy over the relevant subject matter. On the subject matter of taxing and spending – including the task of setting the parameters of the government’s authority to borrow and spend – Congress is supreme and the House has pride of place.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
Dr. Harris’ official text today suggests the House is doing all it can to get rid of Obamacare:
“This week marked the third time in three years that the people’s House has listened to the people and voted for full repeal of the health care law. Now it’s time for the Senate to listen to the people as well. Together, we can fix our healthcare challenges to build a new generation of prosperity and opportunity for ourselves and our children.”
This is not optimism, but dissembling.
Something can and will change — but only when the Speaker decides to play hard-ball with the Obama regime by passing and sticking to a continuing appropriations resolution that contains policy riders to defang Obamacare.
Wanted: An Alternative Harris Report
Perhaps Dr. Harris had to put his name and give voice to the official Boehner position in today’s Weekly Republican Address.
But now he should consider giving his own “independent” report to his many fans across Maryland.
He might address whether Speaker Boehner plans in the next appropriations bill (must-pass legislation) to–
- defund or at least defang Obamacare;
- defund major job-killing EPA regulations;
- defund HUD and DOT programs enabling “smart growth” in Maryland;
- defund Federal programs supporting abortion.
Dr. Harris has a big values following in Maryland.
He should also talk about whether the House Armed Services Committee will seriously probe the Pentagon’s war on Christians (click here).
Yes, he and others have signed a letter (click here and scroll down) protesting what the Pentagon is doing against Christians. But that should be a prelude to pushing for a major committee investigation, not a substitute for doing more.
A Major Assault on Our Free Speech
Dr. Harris has a long affiliation with a Maryland institution of higher learning – the Johns Hopkins University.
He should therefore promptly speak to one of the very recent enormities of the Obama Revolution reported in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal “Feds to Students: You Can’t Say That: The Justice and Education departments issue a dangerous new speech code for colleges” click here.
This Administration is intent on ultimately curtailing speech for everyone. Countering these projects is what we mean by protecting the circle of liberty.
How do we check this move against free speech in higher education? Cut off Federal money that supports formulating and enforcing speech codes.
But all the talk about protecting life, getting rid of Obamacare, encouraging jobs and stopping stifling regulation, is so much “Professor Luftmensch” — without confronting the Obama Leviathan over appropriations.
Of course, Representative Harris shouldn’t be expected to do it all by himself. Even with the help of other like-minded House members, it will be an uphill push against a GOP Leadership with governmentalism in their DNA and whose Washington, D. C. megaphone is aided by their many political consultants.
But Andy should be frank with us when the House GOP Leadership again decides to flee from a confrontation with the White House.
And whatever the Leadership’s position, he should try to cut next fiscal year’s money in ways to expand the circle of liberty.
After all, he is now on the Appropriations Committee — and thereby a “cardinal” of the House.
The Dawn Patrol Richard Falknor on 02 May 2013
UPDATE MAY 2 AFTERNOON! Readers will be anxious to learn what weight the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation gave to “spine” and to membership in the Virginia “Fight Club” in their “high-information” evaluation of statewide GOP candidates. This morning RedState chief Erick Erickson (click here) in his “Rush Limbaugh and the Need for Spine” showcased these qualities: “The way I see it, Rush Limbaugh is a fighter. The guys who have taken to actually fighting on values like Rush does, i.e. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul have been putting all the points on the board. They’re keeping the fight against Obamacare alive just as the GOP is trying to cave and public animosity for the law grows. But for those three, we’d have gun control legislation. On the House side, the Republican Fight Club of Congressmen Amash, Bridenstine, Broun, Gohmert, Huelskamp, Jones, Massie, Pearce, Salmon, and Yoho have been the only ones leading the fight to stop the Republicans from expanding government at a time distrust of government is a commonly held sentiment.” We would not want to think of the Old Dominion’s Federation as Karl Rove Tea Partiers. (Highlighting Forum’s)
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As many readers know, Corey Stewart is a leading candidate for the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor (click here).
He has just been endorsed (click here) by The Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation.
More than a few of the folks who are behind these dangerous practices and initiatives now live in northern Virginia. (Click here for Andrew McCarthy’s National Review article “For a preview of the Ground Zero Mosque, check out Virginia.”)
Consequently we were troubled when sources sent us this Muslim American Citizens Coalition & Public Affairs Council (MACCPAC) program from March of last year where Mr. Stewart was a panelist. (Click here.) An extract follows–
“The breakfast session was addressed by national and local Muslim leaders including Congressman Keith Ellison, US Deputy Special Envoy to OIC Arsalan Suleman, and Muslim leaders such as Asma Hanif (Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations), Corey Saylor (Council on American-Islamic Relation), Dr. Abubaker Al Shingieti (International Institute of Islamic Thought), Naeem Baig (Islamic Circle of North America; and American Muslim Taskforce), Haris Tarin (Muslim Public Affairs Council), Imam Dr. Yusuf Ziya Kavakci (Islamic Association of North Texas), Dr. Aziz Siddiqi (Islamic Society of Greater Houston), Dr. Mohammed Riajul Islam (Muslim Ummah of North America; and Muslim Forum of the Pacific North West), and Wasim Entabi (Virginia Muslim Civic Coalition).”
. . . . . . . . . .
“The second panel was titled ‘All Politics is Local’. Moderated by Rafi Ahmed, the panel speakers were Corey Stewart (Prince William Board of County Supervisors), Attorney Asim Ghafoor (Former Legislative Assistant to Congressman Ciro Rodriguez), Attorney Salman Cheema (Board member of Virginia Muslim Political Action Committee). It was followed by an interactive discussion on Virginia Anti-Shariah Legislation by Robert Marro (Govt. Relations Advisor, MACCPAC). The panel was followed by an enthusiastic speech by special guest speaker Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).”
But read the entire MACCPAC program here.
Here are cameos by experts on just some of the organizations or people (or both) who took part in this session–
For Keith Ellison click here.
For “OIC” click here.
For “International Institute of Islamic Thought” click here.
For “Islamic Circle of North America” click here.
For “Muslim Public Affairs Council” click here.
For “Sheila Lee Jackson” click here.
What was a Republican politician — subsequently ‘vetted’ and endorsed by a large Tea Party network for statewide office — doing by blessing this gathering through his participation?
On a deeper level, where does Mr. Stewart stand on whether Shariah is compatible with our Constitution?
Does he understand the real dangers behind the civilization jihad?
Does he understand the current danger the OIC poses to free political speech? Does he believe criticism of Islam should remain protected by the First Amendment?
Alarmingly, what did he promise his hosts? What did they ask him for?
Conservatives considering supporting Corey Stewart need to insist that he go fully on the record on how he views these troubled waters in which he has been fishing.
And How Long Has Stewart Kept This Kind of Company?
From another source came this apparently 2008 extract (click here) from Muslimlinkpaper.
“Corey Stewart, Chairman of Prince William County, was not up for election this year, but stated, ‘I support the Mosque expansion and many of the other plans that the Muslim Association of Virginia have in mind for the future.’”
Readers will want to weigh (click here) any “Correlations between Sharia Adherence and Violent Dogma in U.S. Mosques.”
One wonders what kind of a ‘vetting’ process (click here) these Tea Partiers allowed themselves to be drawn into. Providentially they were not in Texas or we might not have a senator Ted Cruz. And who vet these vetters? As the founders would ask — quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
The Dawn Patrol Richard Falknor on 29 Apr 2013
A campaign post from Republican lieutenant-governor primary candidate Susan Stimpson last week (click here) highlights a serious problem in the mindset of so many Virginia GOP apparatchiks.
Stafford County Board of Supervisors chairman Stimpson explained–
“Recently I spoke at a local Republican committee’s dinner. The Chairman gave his remarks before the candidate speeches began. He proceeded to warn us not to question our fellow Republicans for raising taxes and opening the door to Obamacare expansion.
He said that we need to remember that we can disagree but we are all Republicans and even the worst Republican is better than the best Democrat.
He also said we have to keep building our coalition so we can win elections.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
Countered Simpson –
“The candidate speeches began. Getting glares from the Chairman to my right and the Delegate to my left, I introduced myself, talked about my husband Dan being a career Marine and how the first fifteen years of our marriage as a military spouse shaped and tested me.
. . . . . . . . . .
Fellow Republicans, as painful as it is to say this, the Republican leadership of Governor McDonnell, Speaker Howell and Senator Norment is wrong for raising our taxes and expanding entitlements. They didn’t do what they said they’d do.
And now we have the largest tax increase in Virginia’s history and we have put Medicaid expansion on the table by taking the authority out of each General Assembly member’s hands and giving it to a super committee. If you don’t believe me, then why did every single Democrat Senator vote for this ‘transportation plan’ and 15 Republican Senators vote no?
Needless to say, my words were not what they wanted to hear. But it needed to be said.
The lesson here: don’t dare and shame the people into silence. I will speak out on their behalf.
In the speeches that followed from my fellow candidates, there was deafening silence on the tax increase.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
In candidate money-raising, Mrs. Stimpson is not leading the race.
Below is an extract from VPAP’s latest report on Republican lieutenant governor candidates–
“Totals reflect amounts raised by each candidate’s primary campaign account. At least one candidate in this race raised additional money through another type of committee. Show all committees
Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (Republican)
Earl Walker Jackson, Sr (Republican)
Scott Lingamfelter (Republican)
Steve Martin (Republican)
Pete Snyder (Republican)
Corey A Stewart (Republican)
Susan B Stimpson (Republican)
Current through 03/31/2013”
But for carrying the conservative banner fearlessly during a contested Virginia primary election, Susan Stimpson stands out.
This is a time when candidates typically hide under a smokescreen of bloviation. They certainly don’t bell the statist cats who are prominent Republican incumbents.
Nor is it enough to denounce the giant tax hike and Medicaid expansion without naming their authors and enablers. These big-government incursions were not put into place by Martians.
Conservatives among the six other GOP candidates in this race still have time — before May 18 –to follow the Stimpson example.
The Dawn Patrol Richard Falknor on 19 Apr 2013
That is, with Mr. Pope’s help, Mrs. Waterman may well be elected in her own right as Maryland’s next GOP chairman.
Consequently Mr. Pope will then remain on the key Rules Committee of the Republican National Committee. There he had been complicit in serious political mischief last August by helping ram through the Romney rules changes (click here and go to 2:27:54 on the CNN tape to hear John Sunnunu praise Pope’s role) in Tampa during the Republican National Convention. (See Glynis Kazanjian’s Maryland Reporter account of Pope’s incendiary reappointment to the Rules Committee here.)
We don’t pretend to have a crystal ball telling us this weekend’s outcome.
But we don’t need one to know that the cost of a Pope-Waterman victory could be an even more irrelevant state GOP.
And winning the loyalty and releasing the energy of the grass roots is not the strongest suit of these two Maryland figures.
But let’s look at this state election as part of the larger national context.
The goal of Establishment Republicans at all levels: keep control of the party “apparatus” at all costs — and avoid sharing power with Tea Partiers and other distasteful outsiders.
The serial capitulations to the Obama Administration of the current House GOP leadership after the historic Tea Party victory of November 2010 are no secret. And the wiles of Mr. Boehner’s circle to keep power among House Republicans are a case study in how to maintain GOP Establishment control (and, of course, big-donor primacy) even after a national electoral victory in the House that would have been impossible without the populist grass roots.
As Angelo Codevilla wrote last January in a Forbes article (click here) –
“By repeatedly passing bills that contradict the identity of Republican voters and of the majority of Republican elected representatives, the Republican leadership has made political orphans of millions of Americans. In short, at the outset of 2013 a substantial portion of America finds itself un-represented, while Republican leaders increasingly represent only themselves.” (Italics in original; highlighting Forum’s.)
Michael Dresser (BaltSun) put it very well Thursday when he declared in his post “Maryland GOP lays down the law on bloggers” (click here) –
“It seems curious that an organization that struggles to get media attention in a Democratic-dominated state would try to limit coverage in any way, but, hey, those bloggers are in some cases renegade Republicans who have the temerity to think the party could be run a bit better. Anyway, here’s the memo.” (Highlighting Forum’s)
Read the entire post to see the Maryland GOP memorandum in question.
Savvy GOP operatives, on the other hand, would instead be reaching out to conservative and libertarian bloggers with ‘special blogger briefings’ – not shunning them – especially if these GOP apparatchiks wanted to market their differing point of view.
What Happened in Tampa Didn’t Stay in Tampa
Last August 29, we wrote in our “Tampa: Couldn’t They Wait Until 11/7 To Trample The Grass Roots?” about the Republican National Convention (click here) –
Freedom Works Dean Clancy in his “Romney’s ‘RNC Power Grab’: What Really Happened” concludes “The noes clearly had it, but the party bosses gaveled the dissenters down anyway.”
Here are a few excerpts from analyst Clancy’s post –
“Yesterday, the Republican National Committee in Tampa adopted some rules changes that shift power from the state parties and the grassroots to the RNC and the GOP presidential nominee. Former Governor John Sununu of New Hampshire touted the new rules as providing ‘a strong governing framework’ for the party over the next four years. But in fact the the new rules should be very troubling and disappointing to conservative grassroots activists, because they move the national Republican Party away from being a decentralized, bottom-up party toward becoming a centralized, top-down party.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)
“The Romney rules effectively disenfranchise grassroots delegates, and will thus tend to weaken and splinter the party over time. They specifically represent a blow to the Tea Party and the Ron Paul movement, and force grassroots conservatives of all stripes to contemplate their future within the GOP.”
“Party sage and long-time RNC member (and conservative activist) Morton Blackwell led a last-minute effort to stop the changes — an effort the FreedomWorks For America strongly supported, together with Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. Phyllis Schlafly and RNC for Life also got involved, while Michelle Malkin, Mark Levin, and Rush Limbaugh helped sound the alarm. But the Romney camp and RNC insiders won the day, successfully imposing their will with the help of their control of the gavels and superior knowledge of the process, and perhaps some dirty tricks.” (Today we have added the highlighting.)
But let’s bring this lamentable account up to the present.
Last Monday veteran Virginia National Committeeman Morton Blackwell wrote members of the Maryland Republican Central Committee–
“Mr. Pope and Mrs. Waterman have made clear that they support the radical, destructive power-grabs that occurred at the national convention.
You would be well-served to elect a principled Chairman who works in the interest of the conservative grassroots.
Don’t you want a Chairman who will work to make the Republican Party about the grassroots ultimately telling the RNC how to operate, instead of the other way around?” (Underscoring in original.)
Readers should consider the entire Blackwell letter here.
We don’t mean to point to Mr. Pope and Mrs. Waterman as the sole authors of the Maryland GOP’s disarray. Other Party notables also bear significant responsibility for the catastrophic (in our view) failure of the Maryland GOP to secure, then spend significant resources to defeat the same-sex marriage law and the so-called Dream Act which were referred to the ballot — through extraordinary effort — last November. A major push to kill these two measures would have brought many independents and conservative Democrats into the Republican fold. (Here is our chart showing how much better the statewide opposition to these measures did — even with barely visible state Party support — than Mitt Romney.) Former governor Bob Ehrlich’s discomfort (to put it charitably) with conservatives and with smaller government (click here and here) hardly helped advance the Maryland GOP. And the bizarre support given to the 2009 Senate confirmation of the now-besieged Thomas Perez for assistant attorney general by the current House of Delegates GOP leader (click here) and by Mr. Ehrlich’s state chairman (click here) further muddied the Maryland GOP waters.
A visiting Martian anthropologist could reasonably ask exactly what this alien Republican tribe stands for?
As GOP state central committee members gather today and tomorrow to shape their Party’s future, they would do well to consider Angelo Codevilla’s counsel (click here) about the need for conservatives — what he calls the ‘country class’ — to fashion a party of “disparate elements acting all [for] one and one for all.”
“There will be no alternative to all the country class’ various components acting jointly on measures dear to each. For example: since the connection between government and finance, the principle that large institutions are ‘too big to fail,’ are dear to America’s best-connected people who can be counted on to threaten ‘systemic collapse,’ breaking it will require the support of sectors of the country class for which ‘corporate welfare’ is less of a concern than the welfare effects of the Social Security system’s component that funds fake disability and drug addiction – something about which macroeconomists mostly care little – and vice versa. Similarly the entire country class has as much interest in asserting the right of armed self-defense as does any gun owner, because the principle of constitutional right is indivisible. Nothing will require greater unity against greater resistance than ending government promotion of abortion and homosexuality. Yet those whose main concerns are with financial probity cannot afford continuing to neglect that capitalist economics presupposes a morally upright people. All this illustrates the need for, and the meaning of, a political party: disparate elements acting all [for] one and one for all.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
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The Dawn Patrol Richard Falknor on 01 Apr 2013
“In weaving their story that Obama alone is the catalyst of our crisis, the Republican establishment counts on the constitutional illiteracy of the electorate. The inescapable fact, however, is that all taxing and spending bills enacted by the federal government must originate in the House. The GOP’s all purpose abdication mantra, ‘We’re only one-half of one-third of the government,’ would be laughable if our straits were not so dire. When was the last time you heard the left-leaning bloc of Supreme Court justices say, ‘We can’t impose our policy preferences on the country. After all, we’re only one-half of one-third of the government’? When was the last time President Obama restrained himself from issuing executive orders conferring, say, privileges on illegal aliens, by explaining that he is only is only one-third of the government (a third, mind you, with zero constitutional authority to confer anything).” – Andrew McCarthy (Highlighting Forum’s)
Conservatives nationally don’t have much time to begin a serious effort to turn the House GOP leadership around.
For the House of Representatives is in recess only until early next week when the GOP leadership will return to push their agenda.
(Virginia has eight GOP House members including the GOP majority leader. Maryland has one; nonetheless, some Marylanders have national professional networks that have already touched GOP members in many states on matters such as defunding Obamacare.)
But first, let’s review the strategic situation.
- The House has the central role in controlling the public purse which is the way the founders designed our government — based based on centuries of struggle by the House of Commons to gain fiscal ascendancy. Again, as Andrew McCarthy points out–
“In constitutional law, the pertinent issue is never what percentage of total power is allocated to a branch. The question is: Which branch is given supremacy over the relevant subject matter. On the subject matter of taxing and spending – including the task of setting the parameters of the government’s authority to borrow and spend – Congress is supreme and the House has pride of place.”
- The current House GOP leadership is, and has been, conflict averse (to put it charitably) in dealing with the Obama administration. They have made it clear since the Tea Party election of November 2010 that they don’t wish to “shut the government down,” whatever that self-serving slogan means in practice. What is worse, many House conservatives who were outspoken just last year are inexplicably silent.
- It is clear that the House GOP leadership is seriously contemplating bringing to the floor gun-control and immigration (amnesty) bills where, with a small core of GOP leadership loyalists, and nearly all Democrats, these measures may well pass.
- The House GOP leadership has not seriously challenged this administration’s usurpation of constitutional powers. This is clearly seen in the administration’s ignoring the immigration laws without consequence.
- The House GOP leadership apparently only knows (and certainly sees) as their highest national role, “deal making.” Consequently they cannot articulate an alternative national narrative to counter that of the president. They were hoping for the election of a GOP (big-government) Caesar to replace the revolutionary Caesar now in office. Presidential Caesarism seems to be what they are comfortable with — relieving them of the pain and hard work of proposing alternative or improved paths no matter who is chief executive.
- The House GOP leadership is not planning to defund Obamacare and prosperity-killing EPA regulations. They may well try to pass amnesty and gun-control legislation. But what chance will there be to roll back this growth of Leviathan if conservatives deferentially wait until 2015 — presuming the election of yet another Republican-majority House — or until 2017, when a newly elected Republican president may take office who may (or may not) try to uproot these enormities?
What must be done?
The first step is to bring home — promptly and effectively — to House GOP members that they should be as responsive to their conservative base as they are to their leadership and to the campaign contributions to which the leadership gives them access if these members do as they are instructed.
That GOP leadership still believes “the base has nowhere else to go,” and tries to comfort rank-and-file GOP members with that hoary maxim.
Conservatives must quickly find ways to disabuse them of that notion.
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Readers may wish to re-visit some of our current related posts:
The Dawn Patrol Richard Falknor on 15 Mar 2012
Conservatives with their intellectual roots in the Founders and Republicans whose traditions were shaped by Abraham Lincoln’s searing Civil War experience should know — more than anyone else — that we cannot ‘delegate’ our own moral responsibility as citizens for sending fellow Americans into harm’s way, nor our responsibility as citizens for seeing that they are properly led and supported.
This means paying a lot of public attention to the wisdom of the initial decision and how long it should be continued and insisting that the decision’s objectives be clearly stated and re-stated by whatever administration is in the White House.
This is not some deceitful Ron Paul-like argument for other-worldly isolationism. Nor is it an argument too often heard from GOP voices that the president ‘listen to the generals.’ It took Lincoln whom Eliot Cohen calls “the greatest of American war presidents” some time to get his generals into line with his strategic vision — until, after watching U. S. Grant’s earlier victories, Lincoln appointed him to overall command in March 1864.
Diana West pegs the Administration’s — and maybe the military establishment’s — overall Afghanistan tone when she writes –
“Could this be another new descent into dhimmitude — disarming US forces, [for the Secretary of Defense's visit] too, in deference to Islamically aggrieved and disarmed Afghans?”
So what can we learn about the killing of the sixteen Afghans by a U. S. soldier?
Michael Yon’s Take on the Killing
“The mass murder in Afghanistan was predictable. Twice in the past three weeks, I published that it was coming. Why was I able to write this with sad confidence? I’ve spent more time with combat troops in these wars than any other writer: about four years in total in country, and three with combat troops.
About 200 coalition members have been killed or wounded from insider attacks. Afghan President Hamid Karzai is tantamount to being Taliban and has not bothered to apologize. Instead, Karzai whips up anti-U.S. fervor at every opportunity. Twice, Karzai has threatened to leave politics and join the Taliban.
Even our most disciplined troops — not the few problem troops — have lost all idealism. They have not lost heart for the fight. Mostly, they just don’t care. They fight because they are ordered to fight, but they have eyes wide open. The halfhearted surge and sudden drawdown leave little room for success.”
Read the entire Yon post here.
Ralph Peters’s View on the Killing
Ralph Peters asks in his “Soldier Murders Afghans, Generals Murder Soldiers” (Accuracy in Media) –
“What are our goals? What is our strategy? We’re told, endlessly, that things are improving in Afghanistan, yet, ten years ago, a U.S. Army general, unarmed, could walk the streets of Kabul without risk. Today, there is no city in Afghanistan where a U.S. general could stroll the streets. We may not have a genius for war, but we sure do have a genius for kidding ourselves.”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
“It appears that the staff sergeant who murdered those Afghan villagers had cracked under the stresses of a war we won’t allow our troops to fight. But the real madness is at the top, in the White House, where President Obama can’t see past the November election; in Congress, where Republicans cling to whatever war they’ve got; and in uniform, where our generals have run out of ideas and moral courage.
That staff sergeant murdered sixteen Afghans. Our own leaders have murdered thousands and maimed tens of thousands of our own troops out of vanity, ambition and inertia. Who deserves our sympathy?”
In war, soldiers die. But they shouldn’t die for bullshit.”
Read the entire Peters post here.
A Military Policy For A Post-Obama World?
Now is the time for conservatives to envision a military policy appropriate for our Republic in a post-Obama but even more dangerous world.
We suggest readers might find Eliot Cohen’s “Supreme Command” instructive to see how Lincoln ran perhaps the first of the modern wars.
Also instructive is the role the British Navy once played in policing the waterways of a prosperous and largely peaceful world between 1815 and 1914. The British Navy’s crucial performance in suppressing the slave trade was strongly supported by British voters but was a Herculean task often carried out with insufficient resources.
Theirs was not an easy task, as Paul Johnson points out in “The Birth of the Modern” –
“One problem the British faced was the sheer extent of the trade. The Atlantic passage got the most attention, but there was an enormous volume of slaving throughout the Indian Ocean, most of it in the hands of Arabs.” . . . “With the exception of the Masai and the Somalis, all the tribal groups of East Africa were milked by Arab slavers. The hinterland, wrote one British naval captain, was like a vast hunting preserve, which the Arabs worked in the slaving season each year ‘as you might work a [grouse] moor after the 12 August.’”
We see newer, grass-roots conservative activists properly eager to absorb free-market economics and — against government overreach — to understand the basic principles of our constitutional government. Of course, this founding document also gives great prominence to “provid[ing] for the common defense.”
Thus we caution that military affairs and how they are (and should be) managed in our Republic — as well as Anglo-American military history — are not some niche academic disciplines nor minor specialties in think tanks.
Rather these matters (see foregoing Victor Davis Hanson link) are essential for grass-roots conservatives to ‘learn, mark and inwardly digest’ for their own survival.
The Dawn Patrol Richard Falknor on 21 Jan 2012
Last month we expressed some reservations about Speaker Newt Gingrich as GOP presidential nominee in The Green Newt: Going to War With the Army We Have?
However we also wrote –
“The former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, can hit breathtaking home runs — as he did with his exposure of the invented history of Palestine, and he articulates our coming defense needs better than the other GOP candidates. . . .Certainly many Republican primary voters are at their wits end as they view the destruction wrought daily by the profoundly radical Obama Administration from illegal immigration to national defense. They sense the GOP Establishment candidates’ lack of stomach for fighting tough enough politically to stop the Chicago Way. But these primary voters certainly grasp that the former Speaker relishes the ‘sting of battle.’”
Tonight RedState chief Erick Erickson explains “Newt Gingrich Wins. What It Means: Mitt and Newt will both have trouble beating Barack Obama. Mitt’s trouble will come from Obama. Newt’s trouble from himself. But right now, the base doesn’t care.”
Influential conservative voice Erickson continues –
“Newt Gingrich’s rise has a lot to do with Newt Gingrich’s debate performance. But it has just as much to do with a party base in revolt against its thought and party leaders in Washington, DC. The base is revolting because they swept the GOP back into relevance in Washington just under two years ago and they have been thanked with contempt ever since.
Adding insult to injury, the party and thought leaders now try to foist on the base a milquetoast moderate from Massachusetts. Newt Gingrich can thank Mitt Romney and more for the second look he is getting. Base hostility will now be exacerbated by Mitt Romney’s backers now undoubtedly making a conscious effort to prop up Rick Santorum to shut down Newt Gingrich.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)
“And as much as people cited the positives from Gingrich’s performance, there was much more concern expressed about Romney’s negative performances. The rationale is simple: what if Romney can’t hack it in a debate with Obama? Failing to mount a defense of conservatism on the debate stage and in the public square - a failure that reminds conservatives of much of the worst moments of George W. Bush’s tenure – was one of the most significant reasons Rick Perry is back home in Texas today. [Underscoring Forum's.] Conservatives have no interest in people who become shrinking violets on the stage. Consider this quote from an evangelical voter in The State, the largest newspaper here:
‘No one does not have baggage. Newt’s was just exposed more because of his time in politics,’ she said. ‘I think it’s time for a bulldog president. Grab ‘em by the pants leg and don’t let go until you draw blood. That’s Newt.’”
Writes Domenech – -
“In sum: South Carolinians are wary of nominating another uninspiring moderate guy who can’t defend himself or conservatism in the public square. They’ve seen these candidates, and their ads, for more than a week now. And with a field down to four, the momentum is swinging Newt’s way because of his ability to defend himself, his record, and conservative ideas in the debates and the public square. This is something the voters I spoke to believe is essential for any nominee – and it is something that, at least in this state, Romney has failed to do.”
And if Newt Gingrich becomes president?
As we earlier counseled --
“A realistic conservative goal then must be to ensure that the GOP leadership in both chambers of the next Congress fully understands the Green [or any other statist] menace and keeps the next GOP president right with wise conservation not Green corporatism; and when the president goes wrong, acts to set him right.
And enough of undiscerning Congressional GOP “team playing” with a Republican White House – we saw the fiscal costs of that during the previous administration!
The Dawn Patrol Richard Falknor on 21 Nov 2011
Republican stalwarts want to elect one of their own as president in November 2012. Conservatives (those within the GOP, and some without) want to change the course and size of government starting in January 2013. Many independents — including voters who gave up on the GOP because of that party’s flirtation with governmentalism over much of the last decade– want to see president Barack Obama voted out of office in November 2012.
All these groups share the essential goal of replacing Mr. Obama in the White House.
For conservatives and some independents, however, replacing Mr. Obama in the White House is just the beginning of the journey toward smaller, right-sized government. A newly elected Republican president is unlikely to change the course and size of government without a principled and smart GOP leadership in the Congress.
Do we have such GOP Congressional leadership now?
Here is today’s Wall Street Journal editorial “Balanced-Budget Bust: The House GOP loses its constitutional amendment ploy.”
The WSJ declares –
“Symbolic gambits rarely work in politics, and so it went Friday for House Republicans on their balanced-budget amendment. Not only did they fail to pass the amendment, but they succeeded in giving Blue Dog Democrats political cover as fiscal conservatives. Other than that, Speaker Boehner, how was the ploy?
Republicans had hoped to be able to put Senate Democrats on the spot by passing a balanced-budget amendment in the House without any spending or tax limitation provisions. Instead, Democratic leaders whipped against the vote, and Republicans fell 23 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to amend the Constitution.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)
Conservative organizations, moreover, had written the speaker
“A vote on either a strong BBA or a weak one would meet the requirement of the Budget Control Act. Neither might pass, but a vote for a weak one would give cover to Members who have no intention of stopping the growth of government. That would deprive the voters in 2012 of the ability to hold accountable Members who are not prepared to vote for a strong BBA with teeth sufficient to take real bites out of big government.
Therefore, the undersigned organizations and conservative leaders urge you, the House Republican Leadership, to make sure that House vote on a balanced budget amendment required by the Budget Control Act be on a strong BBA, not on a weak one. Grassroots conservatives across America will be watching carefully to see how you handle this opportunity.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)
CNS quotes House budget panel chief Ryan –
“’I’m concerned that this version will lead to a much bigger government fueled by more taxes,’ Ryan said. ‘Spending is the problem, yet this version of the BBA makes it more likely taxes will be raised, government will grow, and economic freedom will be diminished.’
‘Without a limit on government spending, I cannot support this amendment,’ he said.”
Are the House GOP leaders principled? Are they smart? Do conservatives want to work to get those leaders changed in 2013? Earlier?
The Dawn Patrol Richard Falknor on 02 Nov 2011
This evening Mark Steyn in “The Cuts Begin to Bite!” (NRO) pointed out –
“The prevailing bounds of American politics do not allow for meaningful course correction. Instead:
1) Months are expended in a dramatic media showdown over the debt crisis with network anchors warning of ever more looming deadlines over footage of various eminences shuttling between the White House and the Capitol.
2) At the last minute, a deal is triumphantly announced.
3) The deal allegedly saves $1 billion from FY2012 – or approximately what the Government of the United States borrows every five hours. So in less time than it takes to run the press release for the breakthrough deal off the photocopier, we’ve borrowed back all the money it saves. But hey, it’s a start. And it’s the thought that counts.
4) Months later, the actual bill goes through, and – whaddayaknow? – the cheeseparing austerity package of spending cuts turns out actually to increase spending by $10 billion.
5) Lather, rinse and repeat.”
Mark Levin warned last Thursday that –
“Once again Speaker Boehner is deliberately forgetting that conservatism is what won the House for Republicans and he is now trying to compromise with the Democrats on Obama’s spending bill. Instead of setting hard guidelines and demands, Boehner is selling us out and saying that he is willing to look at a balanced budget amendment. This will only cause massive more spending in this welfare state that continues to grow and has no limit in sight from our current politicians.”
Steyn asks –
“Where were you exactly 12 months ago? November 2nd 2010. America held an election that day. Remember that? The shot heard round the world? But apparently not in Washington. Doesn’t November 2nd 2010 feel a lot further away than 12 months ago?”
But read his entire post here.
These seasoned commentators aren’t making this up. Conservatives around the nation have been watching the flawed performance of the Congressional GOP leadership for some time.
Meanwhile the Republican Congressional chieftains continue their business as usual.
Someone needs to convince the Beltway GOP that betraying the base could leave Mr. Obama in office.
But maybe the Beltway GOP calculates their candidate can win without the unwashed conservatives of their own party — that there is some vast assembly of independents who are really “moderate” and just want big government run a lot better and more efficiently.
There was once another presidential candidate and a governor of Massachusetts , we recall, who thought along the same lines.
The Dawn Patrol Richard Falknor on 22 Oct 2011
Yesterday we learned from long-time investigator Ken Timmerman that the Obama Administration put us all in some immediate jeopardy by removing references to Islam in training materials for the law-enforcement and national-security communities — references that some questionable Muslim groups find offensive.
Timmerman elaborated –
“Now the Obama administration is establishing an advisory panel to vet terror-training materials for law enforcement and the intelligence community ‘that is comprised of people from the same organizations that are cited as unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation terror fund-raising trial,’ according to [Frank] Gaffney.
Reviewing these decisions at a forum about Sharia on Thursday, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew C. McCarthy said the effort to include such groups as reviewers of training materials would have a ‘paralyzing’ effect on law enforcement.”
But what will Virginia GOP politicians – - like governor Bob O’Donnell or state senate candidate Dick Black — do to help roll back this peril-filled scheme?
Are There Dots To Be Connected?
Meanwhile — back at the campaign trough — Virginia governor Bob O’Donnell plans to star in what looks like a very fancy money-raising event next Wednesday for pro-Ground-Zero-mosque David Ramadan, a candidate running for the first time for a seat in the House of Delegates of the General Assembly.
Click here for the details of this festivity.
But what is so special about this race that the good governor takes time for a not-yet-elected candidate running for a seat in a chamber in which his party already enjoys a commanding majority?
Here is some food for thought.
Mr. Ramadan gave in 2008 and 2009 a total of $20,000 to the McDonnell for Governor campaign. Mr. Ramadan’s business affiliate, Howard Heavin, CEO of Texas-based Curves International, gave a total of $50,000 to the McDonnell for Governor campaign in 2008 and 2009.
By happenstance, on July 1, 2010, the governor of Virginia appointed “David-Imad Ramadan” to the Board of Visitors of George Mason University.
But let no one say that candidate Ramadan — who obviously deserves such an industrial-strength money-raiser — has not been generous to other GOP candidates and the GOP itself. Some might speculate, of course, that next Wednesday’s money-raiser is also an opportunity for Mr. Ramadan to market the governor to Ramadan’s own wider circle of friends.
In addition to David Ramadan’s support for the governor, since 2005 he has contributed $40,000 and change here and here to other Virginia GOP candidates for state office as well as to the state and local GOP.
Is the lesson for campaign-cash-strapped Virginia Republicans: stay on David’s good side?
But we would like to hear from governor McDonnell and the elected members of the “Host Committee” for next Wednesday’s event at The Tower Club — delegates Kirk Cox, Tag Greason, Greg Habeeb, Joe May, and Tom Rust — what they plan to do to oppose the Obama Administration’s scheme to remove references to Islam in law-enforcement and national-security training material.
And — not least of all — we would like to hear Mr. Ramadan’s own views on the Obama Administration scheme.
More specifically, do these GOP politicians support allowing this Obama scheme to extend to the Virginia security community?