Conversations with Robert: The Bachmann Agenda

November 10, 2011

A friend and I were having a discussion last week, and politics crept in, as it usually does.  It was a robust conversation, with attempted comparisons between the current Occupy “rallies” and the Tea Parties (he considered them at least somewhat if not heavily fringe), and concerns about the crop of Republican candidates, with particular attention given to Michelle Bachmann. My friend (let’s call him “Robert”) ultimately had to leave, but I subsequently sent him an email with links to information he was bound to find interesting and which would no doubt change his point of view about the Tea Parties, at least.

His response, via email, covered his concerns about Ms. Bachmann, and in particular, his reference to a statement she made, which he originally described as Bachmann “wanting to do away with the entire federal government.” In his email, Robert remarks:

Re: the point about Michele Bachmann:  I found it, and it was pretty much as I vaguely remembered it in the discussion at your house.  She both did and didn’t take a position, the logical implications of which would be fatal to the Fed govt… The context was a recent debate when she was asked how she would have responded to the young Tea Party guy in CA who asked how much of his money he should get to keep… Her answer: “I think you earned every dollar, you should get to keep every dollar that you earn. That’s your money, that’s not the government’s money.”   Period.  End of sentence.  My mouth dropped a bit, and I remember thinking. ‘Zero money for the government??  Even for MB, that’s pretty wiggy. ‘ 

A few sentences later, she did qualify the remark: ‘Obviously we have to give money back to the government so that we can run the government…’

My (charitable) interpretation is that the categorical ‘you keep 100 % of your earnings remark’ was just a misstatement… Even so, it does say something about her ideologically driven antipathy to govt.  

Robert cites Gawker on this, so I went to the link and discovered two things: first, it wasn’t a few sentences later, as Robert said; she followed up “it’s your money” directly with “Obviously we have to give money back to the government”. Naturally, I didn’t find that on Gawker, but searched out the text of her answer and found it that way.

The second thing is that Robert competely missed the tenor of the rest of Bachmann’s comment, by discarding it, in which she actually says this:

“Obviously, we have to give money back to the government so that we can run the government. But we have to have a completely different mindset and that mindset is: the American people are the genius of this economy.”

I see nothing in any of that that implies an “ideologically driven antipathy to govt.” So there’s that.

Back to Robert’s email and a bit of reiteration. He wrote:

My (charitable) interpretation is that the categorical ‘you keep 100 % of your earnings remark’ was just a misstatement–which would not be uncommon for the woman who confused John Wayne and John Wayne Gacy, and Concord NH and Concord MA.  Even so, it does say something about her ideologically driven antipathy to govt. 

Oh, Robert. I’ll see your John Wayne vs. John Wayne Gacy and raise you Obama’s “57 states“, “corpsman“,  the “Austrian” language, and throw in Joe Biden’s three letter word, “J O B S” for good measure. They’re called gaffes, and everyone makes them. I don’t believe that Pres. Obama really thinks there are 57 states, do you?

Back to Robert’s email:

My charitable interpretation is strained a bit, in view of a remark she made in NH last June when campaigning with a libertarian who was advocating a total one-year moratorium on Fed income tax.   MB’s take?  According to an account in Forbes:  “Bachmann called the notion “awesome” and went on to say that if taxpayers could keep their own money, it would been great for the economy.”  To my knowldege, there was no ‘wouldn’t it be nice…but that proposal isn’t very realistic’ language to go along with the “awesome.”

Well considering she was a guest there, she’s a good enough politician to know that it’s not a good idea to call someone else’s idea stupid. In fact, she made reference to, and praised, a similar (and far more reasonable) proposal made by her colleague in the House, Louis Gohmert. And everything else aside, if there were a one-year moratorium on federal income tax for individuals (with that loss of revenue being made up in other ways), it would, in fact, give a huge boost to the economy.

Continuing with Robert’s email (stick with me, he’s almost done):

More broadly, as someone who self-identifies as a Republican, I hate to see the party captured by two particular currents:  a)  blind and rigid hostility to government–and to tax revenues needed to make it operate.  (I am well aware of the standard argument here about there being plenty of revenue, just too much spending.)…[we’ll get to his second current–anti-scientism– in another post.]

Once again, I don’t know of any of the current crop of candidates, or any other leading Republicans, for that matter, who has a “blind and rigid hostility to government”. And if you’re well aware of the argument about there being too much spending, well, what’s your argument against it?

All that said, I’m not sure Ms. Bachmann is the best candidate. I’m glad she’s is in the race. If she ends up being the Republican nominee, I’ll vote for her wholeheartedly. If elected, I think she’d make a decent president. But I’m keeping an open mind, and I hope my friend Robert is, too.

And if he’s not, watch this space for more conversations with him!

Stoutcat


The Media Really Do Think We’re Idiots

November 7, 2011

Back in mid-October, Business Insider ran a snarky little article, entitled, “Tea Party Or Occupy Wall Street? Bet You Can’t Tell The Difference“. Glynnis MacNichol starts out with this facile comparison:

Ever since the Occupy Wall St. movement caught the mainstream media’s attention the group has frequently been dubbed the Left’s version of the Tea Party… Certainly the coverage often sounds the same. Namely, a lot of cable hosts and newspaper pundits broadly speculating in bold terms what it might all mean

For the most part their conclusions fall along partisan lines and sound something like this:

  • The [fill in the group] is irresponsible, uneducated, dangerous and isn’t at all representative of the country.
  • The [fill in the group] is a true American patriot, voicing the opinion of many, about the reality of the country, and is being treated badly by the press.

Sadly, Ms. MacNichol doesn’t bother to go any farther than her compatriots and delve into why one group might be considered dangerous while another might actually represent a majority opinion. She compounds her error by presuming her readership is as ignorant as she is:

Check out the signs we pulled from protests from both groups (some in 2009, some in the last month) and see if you can correctly choose which sign belongs to which group.

It’s not as easy as you think. [Emphasis mine]

Actually, if you’ve been paying any kind of attention, it really is quite easy. Click the link to go to the “bet you can’t tell the difference” slideshow. If you’re not a complete moron, you should be able to distinguish which are which with little trouble. My comments for each photo below. But take the quiz first: bet you can tell the difference!

 Click here to see photos and guess which are which.

Click MORE to see my comments.

Read the rest of this entry »


Post Card From Martha’s Vineyard

August 19, 2011

Front

Back

Let’s be fair here. The President must be exhausted. And why not? Consider:

  • He’s just spent 3 solid days on board one of the most luxurious buses you and I could possibly pay for.
  • Correct me if I’m wrong, but did he get even ONE round of golf in during the past 3 days? I don’t think so.

"Greyhound One"

It gets worse: The travel agency that booked this 3-day tour – for some reason – did NOT book him into any urban areas where blacks and Hispanics are suffering from unemployment rates as much as two or three times the national average. I know how disappointing that must have been for him to have the travel agency neglect to have those areas represented. As that hilarious giant of the comedy world, Janeane Garbagefellow, would say (probably on Bill Mahr’s show), “This is racism… straight up!”

What’s that? The Obama administration set the itinerary? Oh… well, I’m sure there was a good reason the President didn’t want to speak to blacks and Hispanics from the inner cities most affected by his failed economic policies.

But as the President would surely point out, the real problem here, folks, is you and I. 

You see, when the President said he was going on a “listening tour,’ you and I mistakenly thought he meant HE would listen to US. But as we all saw the other day, that was clearly a miscommunication: when a member of the tea party asked the POTUS his views on Vice President Biden referring to tea party members as “terrorists,” after a brief exchange, Obama walked away saying, “You obviously don’t want to listen…” (emphasis mine).

And therein lies the crux of the problem. During those three days, Obama was the one who did the vast majority of the talking, expecting the crowd to simply listen and accept.   In other words, this was a political campaign trip in taxpayer-funded sheep’s clothing… aboard some mighty expensive luxury buses.

Net results: zero jobs created or saved in the US, a bunch of jobs created or saved in Canada to outfit some very expensive (and taxpayer-paid) buses.  Apparently all because we didn’t want to listen.  Got that?

And now we’re upset because Obama is taking the rest of August off on vacation? Maybe we should re-think our logic here.

As Erick Erickson wrote at Redstate this morning in his “Open Letter To Anyone Who Thinks Obama Should Not Go On Vacation” :

“Mr. President, you take as much vacation as you want. In fact, if you want to leave the country and go visit your relatives in Kenya or just go for a safari or go see your old stomping grounds in Indonesia or, heck, take the family to see penguins in Antarctica or even go to Bora Bora, I’d be glad to have you take say . . . the next twelve months off.

“And even better, I’m sure we can find some people to fund your vacation other than the American taxpayers who you’ve been using to fund your political campaign bus tour.”

I have to agree with Erick but with one caveat: Please… oh please... take Joe Biden with you.

Gerry Ashley


Guess Who’s Channeling Gen. Anthony McAuliffe

August 16, 2011

Allen West, who is one of our very favorite Tea Party Congressmen, had a General Anthony McAuliffe moment yesterday, when he gave a pithy one-word response to the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’  request that he stop associating with Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, Joe Kaufman, and Joyce Kaufman, and others whom the Hamas-linked group considers to be anti-Islamic extremists (which, entre nous, they are not).

Rep. West’s response evidently baffled Nezar Hamze of CAIR, who said:

“When I first saw that, I wasn’t sure if he was calling me nuts, or he was calling my concerns nuts.”

Rep. West’s response also confused those reporters assigned to write about the incident. Miami’s local CBS station reports:

West has not fully explained his position, but in other letters to CAIR Florida, he has said he is neither anti-Islamic nor anti-Muslim.

Then CBS4 News discovered that during World War II, General Anthony McAuliffe famously wrote a one-word letter to the Germans in response to a surrender ultimatum. The word used: “Nuts!” [emphasis mine]

Discovered? Isn’t that the kind of thing reporters should know about–or at least be willing to find out about before they file a story? Shouldn’t they be up on historical references? Did none of them watch Band of Brothers? Better yet, isn’t this be the kind of thing that should still be taught in schools?

In one fell swoop, Rep. West made the whiners at CAIR look like ill-educated rubes, and proved to the country once again that he is an intelligent and worthy leader.

Dare we say — West for Pres/2016?

Stoutcat

H/T: Atlas Shrugs


Joe Biden vs. Tea Party “Terrorists”

August 7, 2011

As most of you know by now, during last week’s debt debates, our Vice President agreed with an elected member of Congress that members of the Tea Party “acted like terrorists”. While the Representative, Mike Doyle (D-PA) should most definitely be ashamed for saying such a thing, for the Vice President of the United States to agree with him is absolutely unconscionable.

While the office of the Vice Presidency may not be worth a bucket of warm spit, the current office holder is proving that he is worth even less than that.

In reading a variety of commentary around the internet about Mr. Biden’s deplorable decision to tar staunch American patriots with the brush of terrorism, I came across a post from a blogger in Delaware, Joe Biden’s home state. The blogger, Evan Queitsch, has written an open letter to VP Biden, and has done an eloquent job of portraying Tea Partiers and their goals and ideals. It is such a good piece that I requested (and received) permission from Mr. Queitsch to re-publish the letter, and have done so in full below. I urge you to visit his blog, DE Conservative, for more interesting posts.

Mr. Queitsch’s letter starts after the break. I hope you will read it all.

Stoutcat

Read the rest of this entry »


Ted Williams’ Redemption Metaphor: People, Not Government, Make America Work

January 10, 2011

 

 
Is there anyone among us who, by now, hasn’t seen or heard of the miraculous turn of events for radio voice-over artists Ted Williams? Williams, who was raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, NY, had worked in Radio as a disc-jockey and voice-over artist until (by his own admission) cocaine, crack, and alcohol took over and cost him his career and home leading to 10 years of homelessness and his eventual redemption recently.

For those who have somehow not seen or heard  his story, the below video will bring you up to date…

But there’s a second, even more significant story that is, perhaps being overshadowed by Williams’ own story. And while it is directly related, it could well-define the future of this country.

Read the rest of this entry »


A Modest Rebuttal, Tea Party Style

October 21, 2010

 

The headline of the article in my local newspaper says it all:
Tea Party a stammering, stuttering ruse“.

In a “Guest Commentary” by one Thomas P. Johnson, sandwiched in with ignorant, incorrect notions about debt under President Bush vs. massively increased debt under President Obama and the not-so-subtle accusation of racism inherent in the author’s statement that “Republican leadership responded viscerally to a new Black president…” we find the typical uninformed jeremiad about the Tea Party movement, in which Mr. Johnson repeats all the tired talking points he picked up from MSNBC and mainstream news outlets: we are a “sub text [sic] of the Republican Party”, we carry “racist signs”, we are “a creation of Dick Armey and Tom DeLay”, “a shadow of the RNC!!1!” and the like.

In short, in Mr. Johnson’s view, Tea Partiers are racist, dumb as a post, and being manipulated by shadowy politicians and lobbyists for nefarious purposes.

To begin with, Mr. Johnson, if you’re relying on the mainstream media to prove any of your points, you might want to reconsider.

For example, if you’re looking for stupid: Is it someone like Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, who insisted that the phrase “separation of church and state” is contained nowhere in the First Amendment (it’s not)? Or is it her opponent, candidate Chris Coons, who sniggered at her perceived stupidity, while not being able himself to enumerate the five rights protected by that same amendment.

 Or perhaps it’s someone like Sarah Palin, who admonished a gathering of Tea Partiers in Nevada not to get overconfident, suggesting that they not “party like it’s 1773”, only to be mocked by the usual lefty blogs, as well as more mainstream types like Gwen Ifil of PBS, who subsequently tweeted to her eager followers: “Sarah Palin: party like it’s 1773! Ummm,” proving who the stupid one really is. (In case you’re a bit hazy on American history, the first Boston Tea Party took place in… that’s right, 1773.)

So let’s leave off with the “stupid”, shall we? Now, on to “racist!”

Just last week, the Washington Post wrote about a study done at the 9/12 rally:

“A new analysis of political signs displayed at a tea party rally in Washington last month reveals that the vast majority of activists expressed narrow concerns about the government’s economic and spending policies and steered clear of the racially charged anti-Obama messages that have helped define some media coverage of such events.”

I have attended the two Boston Tea Parties in the past two years, and found no evidence of racism at all, and before you try to make the point that the groups are made up of all white people, I will refer you to my blog posts on the subject, which are complete with photos and video of a racially diverse crowd.

Why, even our esteemed Vice President, Joe Biden, concurs that we are not a racist group, and says that President Obama agrees. And that little tidbit was reported by none other than the all-white guys at MSNBC back in July.

That takes care of “racist.”

What’s next?” Oh, right, all the rest of that stuff. Did you know that a study done just six months ago reported that 40% of Tea Partiers are either Democrats or Independents? So much for “shadow of the RNC.”

In short, we’re Americans. It’s a safe bet that you know quite a few of us, but due to your disdain of and antipathy toward us, we probably don’t feel comfortable sharing our views with you.

On average, we’re pretty bright. We’re a diverse, loosely organized group, with lots of differing ideas, and no specific platform other than a desire for limited government and fiscal responsibility, support of free enterprise, and a love of the Constitution.

And when we disagree with someone, we bring facts to the discussion, not thinly-veiled innuendo, vague denunciations, and unsubstantiated accusations.

Also: we can see November from our house.

Stoutcat


Nice Work If You Can Get It

October 12, 2010


As a stong supporter of the Tea Party movement and a self-proclaimed “Mama Grizzly,” I understand the importance of ridding our government of entrenched incumbancy which leads mainly to greed, entitlement, and corruption. Thus we see Tea Parties calling for term limits to root out those clinging bitterly to their power base.

Because we might as well face it: being in Congress is a good gig. The pay is pretty sweet, and gets better the longer you stay, what with automatic cost of living increases and all. Leadership positions pay better than rank-and-file, of course. But even as a lowly freshman Rep, you get a personal staffing allowance, expenses, and of course, franking priviliges! You also get travel benefits (both foreign and domestic) and, depending on your seniority, can frequently bring along family members on junkets er, Congressional delegations. Plus there are recesses galore–even more than teachers get!

In short, it’s nice work if you can get it. And these days, you can get it if you try.

As a small-government Conservative, however, I take exception to the Tea Party’s notion that term limits are the only solution which will rid us of these meddlesome priests of legislation. Term limits smack of nanny-statism, implying that we the people are too stupid to vote out the venal, the corrupt, and the incompetent. And while that may in fact be a fair cop, perhaps we deserve what we get until we smarten up and vote in some fresh blood.

As an antidote to term limits and lifetime incumbencies, why not simply defund Congress? A Congressman, asking to be elected in order to earn a small stipend, with no retirement benefits and no other emoluments to reward his behavior, won’t be able to afford to be a public servant for very long, and thus after a term or two would go back to being whatever s/he was before: lawyer, lobbyist, administrator, whatever.

In fact, making Congress a low-paying job would likely bring our legislators closer to “the people.” Why, if we do enough, they may actually qualify for food stamps, just like nearly 40 million of their fellow Americans–and they won’t even have to give up their soda!

Face it. Congress isn’t going to change unless we the people force it to. The media won’t help; they have a vested interest in keeping the Old Guard in charge.

It’s up to us to make that change, and we can either do it by insisting that Big Brother protect us from our own stupidity, or we can man up and get the job done ourselves. By voting out the entrenched grime of decades, we can vote in new men and women with new (old) ideas about public service to the nation.

But we can’t have it both ways. We’re either a term-limited nanny state, or we’re that vibrant Republic, the shining city on the hill.

What’s it going to be, Tea Partiers?

Stoutcat


GOP Party Unity? Not So Much

September 23, 2010

 

With Republicans set to make what might be record gains in the mid-term elections, I can’t help but reflect that we seem to be saddled with the sorriest bunch of sore losers ever seen within a political party.

Remember Dede Scozzafava, from last year’s special election in New York? Despite being “an ACORN-friendly, union-pandering, tax-and-spend radical Republican,” she was the Party establishment’s choice in the attempt to pick up the House seat left open when John McHugh was appointed Secretary of the Army. When Doug Hoffman, a dark horse solid conservative, started to surge in popularity, dear Dede withdrew from the race and gave her supporte to Bill Owens, the Democrat in the race.

Sore loser and traitor.

When Christine O’Donnell, to the amazement and dismay of the party elite, took the Primary last week in Delaware, did her opponent, Mike Castle, congratulate her and throw his support behind her, working to get a Republican in that Senate seat? Not a chance. Not only did Mr. Castle refuse to endorse her, but the NRSC promptly leaked that it would not support her either. After some serious outcry from the common folk, Sen. Cornyn (head of the NRSC) flip-flopped and allowed as how he guessed they’d send her money after all.

Sore loser and flip-flopper.

When Joe Miller in Alaska surged past Lisa Murkowski to take the primary in that state, Murkowski, a sitting Republican Senator, toyed with the idea of running on the Libertarian ticket, running as an Independent, and finally decided to run as a write-in. Against her party’s chosen nominee and clearly against the will of the people of her state. And when the NRSC threatened to strip her of her post on the Senate Energy Committee, it’s likely that she threatened something… what? — to vote with the Democrats if that happened? — because you’ve never seen such quick backpedalling:

“We all respect the system, and she still is a Republican senator,’’ said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah.) after the closed party caucus. “It’s just a matter of good taste.”

Sore loser, party traitor, and possible blackmailer.

And those are just a few. Ed Morrissey wrote a great article for the Washington Times last week, outlining many more in the Sore Loser Party, ending with the following gem:

“If the Republican Party wants to survive, let alone succeed, it has to stop acting like sore losers and start acting like a party that wants to win elections on principle and not just strategic posturing.”

To which I say, it’s not even strategic posturing. I say it’s behaving like a spoiled child or a drama queen; maybe both. There never was a party as adept at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, due in no small part to its penchant for sore loser-hood.

Party unity, my a**.

Stoutcat


Remember In November – Billboard #2

July 18, 2010

Here’s number 2 in our series of suggested Billboards to help people “Remember In November.”

Click to view full size. You are free to download and circulate as you like.

If you missed our first billboard, you can see it by clicking here.

I would only point out that, although the Billboard is a display of satire, please don’t become complacent regarding the significance of this mid-term election. It’s one of the most important and decisive elections this country has ever faced: America is under attack from within. We’ve seen the evidence mounting:

  • After only days in office, President Obama and the Democratic Congress (backed by a few traitor Repubicrats) teamed up to ram through Congress and sign a stimulus package we were told had to be done immediately in order to cap unemployment at 8.5%. The bill was never posted for the 5 days Obama assured the American public (during the Presidential Campaign) on the Internet for us to read before he signed it. To date, unemployment has gone as high as 10% (much higher in areas of the country) and currently sits at about 9.5%. It was recently reported that only about 1/3 of the money has been spent, yet the lame duck congress (after the election and before the new congressmen take their seats in January 2011) is expected to pass yet another stimulus package. Many think Obama is using this money as a slush fund to buy support from legislators.
  • Barack Obama and Congress teamed up to shove health care reform down our throats, against the will of the majority of Americans. In doing so, the government has taken control of over 1/6th of our economy in one fell swoop. Implementation begins with new steep taxes in 2011, but actual benefits will not be provided to the masses until 2019.
  • In a stunnng accusation,  former Department of Justice employee J. Christian Adams details how the Department of Justice (under Obama appointee, Eric Holder) is racially biased against whites claiming that Holder was told by officials in the Obama administration to back off prosecutions of blacks who commit crimes against whites, but aggressively prosecute cases where white(s) allegedly have committed crimes against blacks. A black elected official in Noxubee agreed, during a deposition,  that racially discriminatory behavior against whites occurred. “But you got to understand,” he explained, “now it’s payback time.

No, what we need to understand is that we have a chance in November to START turning America’s ship back to a democracy. But we can only do it if everyone legally eligible to vote exercises that right.

Gerry Ashley