Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ted Cruz and the Oxymorons of Washington

Oxymoron: A figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction

One sometimes thinks the word started with our government: Government Intelligence… Government Efficiency... Government Accountability… In reality, it’s been around since the Greeks first coined the phrase, no doubt adding oxy to a word they probably used to describe their politicians too: Moron.

The Greeks may have invented the word, but the US government has perfected its common use. We have a welfare system whose ostensible goal is to get people back on their feet during hard times yet the numbers of people on the program never seems to go down. We have an education system that spends an ever increasing amount of money to somehow do an increasingly bad job of “educating” our students. Barack Obama has penned an agreement with Iran to keep them from getting nuclear weapons that actually rewards them for bad behavior AND makes it more likely they will get nuclear weapons!

As bad as those things are, and there are countless other examples, this very day we are witnessing possibly the single best example of government incompetence possible. So far this fiscal year the IRS has taken in more money than ever before, $2.6 trillion! Yet somehow they still managed to run a deficit of almost half a trillion dollars. And just two nights ago the utterly worthless GOP introduced a bill that enables even more incompetence in the form of a giant two year spending bill that would also raise the debt limit.  Somehow, Americans watch the middle class struggle while programs for the poor proliferate and the connected rich see their incomes skyrocket as Washington and its regulatory machine smothers more and more of the free market.

This is Washington unhinged. This is how liberalism works… including when enabled by the GOP. The government takes more and more of the citizens’ money, which leaves the citizens with less income with which to live their lives, nevermind have money left over to start businesses as they pursue the promise of prosperity. Seeing the resultant slowing economic growth, the government decides to come to the rescue by creating more regulations and more giveaways to make up for the “failures” of the free markets. It’s a viscous cycle… More government equals less freedom and less prosperity.

And today we have on full display the GOP’s disdain for freedom and prosperity. They seek crony capitalism for the specific purpose of ensuring their continued participation in the Washington cocoon – a comforting place where 7 out of the 10 richest counties in the country are located – out of a total of 3,143 counties! That Washington cocoon provides them with parties to attend, a staff to do their bidding, jobs for friends and family, introductions to the “right” people and of course a golden parachute upon leaving after having done enough favors for big business.

Unfortunately, this is likely a fait accompli as the anointed one, Paul Ryan, the soon to be head squish has jumped onboard. The result of this betrayal of the American people makes it only that much more important that voters look to someone like Ted Cruz to be the next president. We are at a point where the government continues to take more and more of our money, yet continues to demand to borrow even more, and this is while the GOP has both the House and the Senate. Ted Cruz has both the intellect and the intent to thwart the liberal enablers in the GOP. No one else in this race has shown the willingness to fight the GOP establishment the way Cruz has. Today’s treachery puts the nation on notice. If you want a change from the failure of liberal policies and crony capitalism, put someone in the White House who does more than talk a conservative game. Put someone in there who has shown a willingness to fight the leviathan of government and it’s GOP enablers. Someone who's not an oxymoron... That man is Ted Cruz.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Barack Obama as Commander in Chief ... The Pentagon as a social experiment

I’ve probably cited this before, but it’s easily one of the best speeches ever uttered in the movies. In A Few Good Men Jack Nicholson’s Col. Jessep explains life to Tom Cruz’s Lt. Kaffee:
… And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post.
This speech came back to me a couple of weeks ago as I was reading about women being given special treatment so that they would pass the Army’s Ranger school. This is just the latest example of Barack Obama misunderstanding – or more likely, not caring about – the fundamental mission of the United States military.

From Berghdal to troops being kicked out of the military for beating up child molesters to gays in the military to women in combat roles, to the dangerous Rules Of Engagement troops must operate under, the Department of Defense has become a playground for political activism and social engineering rather than what it actually exists for, which is to defend the United States from external enemies.

One reason that liberals like Obama feel like they can manipulate the military is because they see it as simply another arm of the government, rather than the unique entity it is. Wherever on the political spectrum one sits, the general role of government is to protect the freedoms of citizens, prosecute those who violate the laws and support economic prosperity via the issuance of patents & trademarks and enforcing contracts, etc. That definition is pretty opaque, but whether we’re talking about the SEC, the FDA or the EPA, the primary goal is not (theoretically) to be prepared to kill hundreds or thousands or millions of people while putting the lives of thousands of Americans at risk.

That however, is exactly what DOD does. The role of the Department of Defense is to defend the nation from external threats, which often includes killing the enemy in large numbers, often violently. At the same time, by definition, it involves putting at risk the lives of American personnel. That fundamentally makes DOD different than HUD or the GPO or the Education Department.

Given the extraordinarily high risks and dangers associated with putting the military in the field, the primary driver of policy should be to further the mission, not social agendas. But the reality is, Barack Obama doesn’t agree with that. To him, putting women in combat or moving the goalposts so that women can “pass” Ranger school is more about combating the “War on Women” than it is about a military prepared to face real combat.

To Barack Obama, gays serving openly in the military make perfect sense as gays can work in law offices or coffee shops or big box retailers with no impact on operations. But the military is not Wal-Mart, Starbucks baristas don’t train to kill people and in most law offices men don’t spend hours and weeks and years training with one another in close quarters where emotions and tempers and jealousies and hormones come into play and put people’s lives at risk while doing so. It’s true, that on the field of battle when the bad guys are shooting at you it doesn’t really matter if the guy next to you is gay or straight or confused if he’s on your side. The reality however is that 99.9% of a military man’s job is not spent in the heat of battle, it’s spent in the classroom learning, in the field training, on back on base regrouping. It’s in those environments where soldiers and Marines spend most of their time that the problems associated with gays in the military are felt, not in the foxhole.

The perfect demonstration of Barack Obama’s view that all government programs are but tools for his social agenda can be found in something tangential to the Defense Department. In 2010 Obama’s NASA Administrator said the following: “When I became the NASA Administrator — before I became the NASA Administrator — He (President Obama) charged me with three things: One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.

For Barack Obama the Pentagon is nothing more than a vehicle for achieving his progressive goals. That alone makes him an unfit Commander in Chief. Unfortunately the next Commander in Chief will pay the price for Obama’s folly. Not only will he inherit a military with morale at the lowest in years, he will inherit the smallest Navy in a century, a powerful and growing enemy in ISIS that is a direct result of Obama’s incompetence, and most dangerously he will inherit a world that increasingly lacks respect for American strength... which ironically, and unfortunately, increases the likelihood of actually having to use the military.

But on the upside he will have female rangers, gay couples and transgenders openly serving and a JAG Corps that has been cowed into towing the administration's line on Berghdal. No doubt that should make him feel better.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The People's House... A Historic Opportunity To Lead Should Not Be Squandered On A Squish

First there was Eric Cantor. Then there was John Boehner. Now there’s Kevin McCarthy. But somehow conservatives are once again being encouraged to grab defeat out of the hands of victory. This time by electing amnesty advocate Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House.

We’ve been told the House is dysfunctional. Nothing could be farther from the truth. This is exactly how the House is supposed to operate. When someone doesn’t have the confidence of his party and they are in the majority, he should be shown the door. But we’re told that a group of right wing Tea Party types are somehow keeping the people’s representatives from governing. If only that were only true! If it were, Obamacare wouldn’t be funded. It is. Barack Obama’s amnesty wouldn’t be funded. It is. The debt ceiling wouldn’t have been raised like a helium balloon. It was. Unfortunately, the conservatives in the House have had little success stopping the big government policies of Barack Obama, the Democrats and the GOP establishment.

So, now, today, after the three highest members of the House GOP establishment are either out the door or on their way out, members are being encouraged to put a guy who is 100% establishment, Paul Ryan, in charge.

Not only should they ignore pleas to put Ryan in charge of the House, they should select a real conservative from the Freedom Caucus like Jim Jordan or Mark Meadows. In addition, they should immediately call for a Motion to Vacate the Chair and stop Boehner from doing… pretty much anything.

Of course we hear the gnashing of the teeth from the usual quarters of the establishment telling us that this is a disaster for the GOP… that a fight over Planned Parenthood, a fight over the debt ceiling, a fight over the Continuing Resolution will be suicidal for the GOP if they end up in a stalemate that ends up “shutting down the government.” Frankly, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Two years ago we heard the same thing when Ted Cruz shut down the Senate as he fought to defund Obamacare. We were told that the GOP would be blamed for the government shutdown – which, sadly, is nothing even close to a shutdown as 83% of the government still operated normally – and would likely lose all chances to take the Senate and would probably lose the House to boot. Then when the election finally came a funny thing happened… the GOP picked up seats in both houses and picked up the Senate in an historic win.

In 2010 the GOP picked up the House telling the country it would stop Obamacare. Led by the establishment, it didn’t. In 2014 the GOP picked up the Senate telling the American people it would stop Obama’s illegal amnesty. Once again the squishes in the middle buckled. The only reason the House is in turmoil today is because enough Americans voted to stop Barack Obama that something called the Freedom Caucus exists to throw it into that turmoil.

As I quoted Jim Dint saying in 2010 when I wrote in support of Christine O’Donnell for the Senate from Delaware over the despicable squish Mike Castle, “I’d rather lose fighting for the right cause than win fighting for the wrong cause.” What’s the point of winning if the guys you elect do exactly the same things the guys you voted against would have done? The voters have had enough of GOP squishes… as was demonstrated by Mitt Romney’s dismal performance at the polls in 2012. They want leadership that is willing to stand up and say they will fight Barack Obama’s leftist agenda, and then actually do so. Fight on the killing of babies in the womb? Bring it on. Fight to stop empowering government largesse via another debt ceiling increase? Absolutely. Fight to stop the drive to turn the country into a third world banana republic via open borders? When do we start?

In 2010 and 2014 Americans showed the GOP they were willing to support a fight to when they sent Representatives and Senators to Washington who had indeed promised to fight the progressive cancer that has taken over Washington. Once again, once in power however, the party demurred from the fight.  The GOP establishment types were more interested in the perks of office, their privileges in Washington, making sure big donors were happy than actually accomplishing what voters had sent them to Washington to do.  That's the reason the GOP brand is so damaged, not "dysfunction".

We are in a unique moment in American history and for once the GOP has the opportunity to show real leadership when it really counts… i.e. in the run-up to the most important election in a generation. Not only should they not make Paul Ryan or any other amnesty loving establishment squish Speaker, they should find the most vocal, passionate conservative voice they can and proudly follow him as he leads a national debate on whether the future of America is one of prosperity driven by free markets and limited government or malaise and decline driven by government spending and regulation.  In the unlikely event they lose, so be it.  If a prosperous America is to be replaced by a third world banana republic, let freedom's death come after a full-throated defense of liberty rather than following a faux battle where party leaders put on a show for the little people but share cigars and whiskey in the halls of Congress as they divvy up the spoils of power.  

Now is exactly the time for such a full-throated fight, and appropriately enough history has put the People’s House on center stage. The question is, does the GOP have the courage to actually lead in a fight when it counts or would they rather play a paper tiger as Barack Obama sets fire to the United States Constitution?