Friday, February 19, 2010

Ambassador Scozzafava to the Rescue?

Like a cold and wet blanket, conservative bunnies everywhere were sickened by the neverending Dede Scozzafava junk that comes across our desk. In her latest interview she labeled Conservatives as Sexist, a zinger that would make Keith Olbermann proud. It is about par for the Dede course, but is she talking about the same sexist who drives a thousand miles and waits 15 hours in the cold outside a bookstore just to get a glimpse of the former GOP VP candidate, Sarah Palin? (I never thought I would have to remind my readers that Palin is a female who also happens to be beloved by Conservatives.)

I'm predicting that the next line out of Scozzafava's mouth after she reads this post will read something as incredulous as "all Republican Rabbits are Racist."

Poor Dede is so far in the dumps that she is begging the President through the media to make her the next Ambassador to Haiti. Of course Dede doesn't think she will get the assignment because, "people in this business have short memories" and she now seems to be questioning whether the national Democrats even remember her endorsement of Bill Owens in the critical final hours of the NY-23 special election last year.

But the problem isn't really the short memory of the current administration. It is that the President is actually smart enough to not put a person of such colossal incompetence in such an important diplomatic position. Being an ambassador requires something called loyalty, which hasn't exactly been Dede's strong suit of late. And if you think Haiti is messed up now just imagine if Dede were there running things. For crying out loud, I can see Dede's solution to the problems in Haiti right now: more government spending and abortion on-demand services in every working telephone booth around the country. This woman has already proven she can't deliver anything short of a pepperoni pizza or an embarrassing press conference under pressure.

And because I am so sick and tired of Scozzafava's rants I am going to say something that someone should have said a long, long time ago. Dede should just stop playing footsies with the Democrats already. Everyone is sick and tired of it. As a rabbit concerned with the future direction of our country, I am asking politely that she just leave the Republican Party and stop pretending to be something she clearly is not. Dede should just leave the GOP and spare us her paranoid delusions. When she is done with that, conservatives everywhere are ready to hear her apology. Addressing controversy is about all Scozzafava is good for these days, besides a good laugh.

Hoffman Making Big News At CPAC Today

We heard several reports today by e-mail and news stories that Doug Hoffman was in Washington today building support with conservative activists at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. Mr. Hoffman even won an award tonight, "Courage Under Fire," at the national conference which draws thousands of conservative activists and donors from around the country.

In addition, we learned that Doug Hoffman joined Dick Armey to launch the Contract From America, an effort that emulates the Contract for America that Newt Gingrich promoted upon the Conservative Revolution in 1994.

Below are two links to stories we found online from Hoffman's participation at CPAC today. It looks like Doug Hoffman might be the first candidate to make his true intention to run for Congress in NY-23. He does so making the case that he is a uniter of the various fractions of the Republican, Conservative and Tea-Party movements and he also offers a smart alternative to Representative Bill Owens, who Hoffman says is vulnerable because of his votes on government take over of health care and higher spending.

"Owens has violated every one of his campaign promises. From health care to spending, he's vulnerable." Hoffman points to Scott Brown's Senate win in Massachusetts as proof that conservatives can win in the northeast this year. "But he wasn't the first guy to drive a truck on the trail... Look for me in my '55 Chevy."

"We feel very very good about it [the Hoffman campaign for the 23rd]. I think the fact that Bill Owens violated three campaign promises the day he was sworn in, like voting for the health care bill, is going to give us a lot of leverage. I intend to reunite the Republicans, Conservatives, the teaparty groups and the other activists in defeating Bill Owens this year."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Presidents Day

Happy Presidents Day! For those of you who don't know, George Washington's birthday is actually on February 22nd. Abraham Lincoln's birthday is on February 12th. And Ronald Reagan's birthday is on February 6th. For some interesting background on Presidents Day check out this article that I found online today.

I thought it might be fitting to give a quick recap of a speech I heard from Assembly candidate David Kimmel, who hosted a Lincoln Celebration Dinner in Plattsburgh on Friday night. I'd say there were about 90 people in attendance for the dinner, including Doug Hoffman and a few members of the UNYTEA Party that Mark Barie organizes. Below are some excepts of Kimmel's speech titled, "A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand," which I encourage you to check out.
My speech tonight is titled, “A House Divided against Itself Cannot Stand.” Some might think it is a speech about Republican politics. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it is noteworthy that we have Republicans, Democrats, Conservatives, Independence, and Independent voters in the room... Some people forget that the Republican Party had only recently replaced the Whig Party when Lincoln gave his famous speech. I think today’s prospective candidates ignore this similarity to their own peril. In fact, I submit that a Nation that ignores its own history is on a perilous path. And it’s in that regard we can learn a lot from Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech.

Lincoln gave the speech in 1858 during the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates. He was actually running for the U.S. Senate. He said: “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other...” We can learn much from this speech and this man.

A house divided against itself cannot stand…It will become all one thing or all the other...

In hindsight we know these words were prophetic. However, in 1858 there were those who discouraged this speech. Every generation has a Chamberlain who exclaims “peace for our time.” Every generation has those who believe the words “can’t we all just get along” are better than addressing the issues of their time. There were those in Lincoln’s day as well.

As you examine the speech you realize that Lincoln wasn’t being provocative or inciting. He was speaking the truth. It cost him the election in 1858. People were doing everything possible to avoid the impending war between the states. But you cannot avoid the inevitable by ignoring it. You could not avoid the war by ignoring slavery any more than you can avoid terrorist attacks by avoiding the word terrorism or the term “War on Terror.” The simple truth is: we must face the problems of our day head on, unless it is our desire to pass the problems we have created on to the next generation of Americans.

We know this was no mere anomaly. When Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation most of his cabinet was against it. They complained the timing was wrong. They claimed it would incite the South to fight harder. They complained it would alienate moderates in the North. All of this sounds familiar. We see in these decisions that Lincoln possessed an abundance of two great leadership traits: decisiveness, and initiative. It is essential that our leaders possess the bravery and fortitude to exercise these traits in order to make the right decisions because they are right, and not just politically expedient.

Abraham Lincoln was also a student of modern history. In 1812 Abigail Adams invoked these same words, “a house divided…” in a private letter to her friend regarding the enemies of our young country. In 1850 Sam Houston invoked these same words when discussing The Compromise of 1850, also about slavery.

We learn from Lincoln that it is important to know our own history and the words of our founders. As we study our founders we learn that they rejected big government. They embraced free markets. They warned against providing welfare, in favor of promoting it. They agreed that the people were the great “safe depositors” of the ultimate powers of society. They embraced virtue and discouraged vice. They rejected “influence” and acknowledged it as the antithesis of government. “Influence” was not bad government. It was “no government.” Still today, whether in Albany or Washington, we gage our politicians based on their ability to peddle or distribute influence. We consider our vote based on our belief that someone can or cannot bring home the bacon, somehow forgetting that the bacon was ours to begin with...

Today we stand on a precipice. Whether in Washington or Albany, politicians are spending the hard-earned money of our children’s children’s children. We will either be a free United States or one enslaved to debt. We will either be free to determine our course and live the dream our founders envisioned, or we will be a nation of mediocrity, bound to the state in return for our daily bread. We will either promote the general welfare of the people or provide it. Ladies and gentlemen…we cannot be both...

As I look at you tonight I am hopeful. I see great New Yorkers who are alert. I see people from New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts who have rejected the alternate narration of those who seek to remake the United States. I see the great people of the North Country who are committed to the preservation of our State and Nation. I see people who are ready and able to show our leaders the way. And if our politicians will not abide, I see people who will show them the door.

Kimmel draws some interesting parallels from Lincoln's "House Divided" speech and government's approach to providing the general welfare of its people today. He also suggests that our founders were weary of big government approaches to policy-making. It sounds like a theme the Tea Party movement is united against. Kimmel's reflection on Lincoln's leadership qualities, the need to be decisive and avoid political expedient decision-making, foreshadows what he believes to be Albany and Washington's inability to make the tough and difficult decisions for the future of our state and country.

While I don't think Kimmel is suggesting that our country is as divided and torn over the growth of government as it was over the question of slavery, I do think he might be tapping into the national sentiment that our leaders need to make some tough decisions regarding how to deal with the size and scope of our government. And Kimmel is right that those decisions ultimately lay in the hands of the people who are the "great depositors of the powers of society." The people will decide if we follow the current path we are on, or if they will entrust a new set of leaders committed to challenging the status quo in state and federal government. It is a great question for citizens everywhere to ponder as we celebrate this Presidents Day.