Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Long Awaited September Senate Handicap, Part 1

Welcome to the first edition of The Republic Square's Senate race tip sheet. Every month we'll explore the top Senate races in the nation, with the kind of insight and edge that you will only find one place on the web: The Republic Square!

In this installment we explore: PENNSYLVANIA!

The buildup for this race started almost immediately following the close of the polls in 2004. Incumbent Republican Rick Santorum faces a strong challenge from State Treasurer Bob Casey, Jr., the son of a popular former governor. Both candidates have extremely high name-recognition.

Santorum is no stranger to tough campaigns, unseating incumbent Harris Woffard in 1994 and holding off popular Congressman Ron Klink in 2000. He is also no stranger to controversy, having made public comments regarding same-sex marriage that drew national attention. Santorum's lightning rod status has made him a target for national Democratic fundraisers. There are also rumblings that Democratic insiders would see the defeat of GOP Conference Chairman Santorum as partial retriburion for the ousting of their own Senate minority leader two years ago.

Casey's reputation is one of a pro-life Democrat, a powerful positive in heavily Catholic Pennsylvania. Otherwise, his platform is more or less the anti-Republican message that is being emailed to the talking heads by the DNC. Polls have consistently showed Casey with a comfortable lead, but more recent surveys show a tightening race. Santorum has the reputation for being a better "on the trail" campaigner, and he is expected to far outpace Casey in their televised debates. These factors could give Santorum some momentum, but he does have a large hole to dig himself out of.

Other factors contributing to this race are the undeniable Bush fatigue in the Keystone State as well as the momentum for incumbent Governor Ed Rendell. A stronger push is expected in the coming months from Republican Lynn Swann, but a major effort will be necessary from both campaigns to stem the anti-GOP wave that has covered Pennsylvania in recent elections.

In the end, Santorum will have much to overcome. National Democratic fundraisers have been salivating for two years at the prospect of taking down Santorum and PA Democrats have thrown their best candidate (minus Rendell) into the battle. This could easily be the closest watched race in the nation on election day.

TRS Assesment: Leans Democrat, but stay tuned.

P.S. Comments are especially encouraged on posts regarding political races. If you live in Pennsylvania, or any future state we profile, please share your insight (or tell us what we've got wrong in our analysis). That's what TRS is all about.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

When We Learned to Love the Bomb

57 years ago Tuesday the Soviet Union detonated its first atomic weapon, "First Lightening", in the woods of rural Kazakhstan. With a terrible glow and a mighty roar, the Cold War became a frigid reality for the inhabitants of a shaken globe. In recognition of their gruesome victory, Joseph Stalin and the Politburo awarded the responsible soviet scientists the prestigious "Order of Lenin." Relieved, the soviet team realized that they had narrowly escaped the sure penalty for failure- certain death by immediate execution or indirectly in the labor camps of bleak Siberia.

The onset of the Atomic Age was frightening, as it represented the coming of a different era in human history. An old, pre-WW2 system of nation states was fading before a new bi-polar order. It was the struggle between the United States and the U.S.S.R., democracy and communism, free commerce and agrarian labor, freedom and servitude. While the Iron Curtain had already slammed closed in the days immediately following Berlin's collapse, the first Soviet nuclear test presented a moment of historical and political clarity. Harry Truman understood the urgency of his station in time, and answered the Soviet's challenge by testing the world's first hydrogen bomb "Mike" in 1952. Our course, generated by Truman's initiative, led to ultimate victory over communist Russia.

It may be worth remembering, 15 years after the demise of the Soviet Union, that we are again in a period of great and tumultuous historical transition. The crash of two towers in New York which we will commemorate soon, smoking and smoldering embers still yet unsettled, has signaled yet another violent change in the political order of the planet. A world balanced between two powers has mutated into a battlefield of interests seeking the security of a symbiotic geopolitical arrangement. New technologies and attitudes have accelerated events, perhaps too quickly to comfortably comprehend. Consequently, the next 10 years may very well determine the make-up of the world's political identity for the next 100 years. Change is not an option. How we handle it is.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Shays Missteps on Iraq

Having newly joined the Republic Square Blog I've decided to begin by discussing Iraq the issue dominating headlines throughout the nation, the issue that will decide the fate of the GOP House in the upcoming election. There is an increasing perception espoused by the media that the war in Iraq is going horribly wrong and that an immediate withdrawal will rectify the current Iraqi political climate. Put simply it won't, an immediate withdrawal may cleanse American hands of the turmoil in Iraq, but this answer is only a short term vacation from reality and indicates to the people of Iraq that we do not value their security and have lost hope in their future. Illustrating this perception is Christopher Shays (CT-4). In a 2003 letter sent to Donald Rumsfeld Shays states that "unfortunately Americans are receiving mixed messages from the media and the administration. My experiences in Iraq have provided me a crucial understanding of the challenges the coalition faces and a perspective on what it will take to bring stability and progress to this long-oppressed nation." Yet Shays own recent calls for a timetable for the withdrawal of troops in Iraq is itself a mixed message. Once an ardent supporter of the war in Iraq, Shays is now calling for a timetable, not a timetable for victory but a timetable for defeat. In a state that was affected as much as any by the attacks on our nation, Shays should be more attuned to the importance of securing a peaceful middle-east and ending the inner religious violence that has plagued Iraq. Although errors have been made in post-war Iraq, leaving the nation would be a mistake. In many places US and coalition forces are the only units ensuring order and stability. By leaving the US will not help end the violence, it will instead serve to create a power vaccuum that will invite ethnic and religious conflict. Chris Shays should take his own advice and stop sending mixed messages to the American public and instead stay the course in Iraq. Hopefully Shays will learn a valuable lesson from the Iraq debacle (his opponent rejected a timetable for troop withdrawal), never change your position based on a perceived public outcry; support the commitment the United States has made to the Iraqi people, a commitment that will one day pay dividends for Iraq and the security of our own nation.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Reports of Santorum's Death are Greatly Exaggerated

Nothing would make liberal pundits happier than to bury the political career of Sen. Rick Santorum. In that spirit, his enemies have gone ahead and picked out the plot, carved the headstone, and retained the caterer.

The problem is that this corpse still has a pulse. This week, race front runner Bob Casey agreed to hold a series of debates this Fall for the hotly contested PA Senate seat. The Casey concession is the clearest sign yet that this race is a toss-up. While poll rolling averages still has Sen. Santorum down by a few to several points, Pennsylvania's junior senator has everything to gain from a head-on, knock-down drag-out brawl with the less experienced and woefully ineloquent Casey. As Pennsylvanians return from the Jersey Shore, tanned and refocused, they will witness a veteran political fighter contrasted against someone who (no offense) has thus far coasted on an excellent family name. At that point the race becomes exclusively local, and turnout may be the ultimate broker of victory.

Do not be mistaken: Rick Santorum is still in extreme peril. He may very well lose, weighted further by a weak GOP gubernatorial campaign. But when analyzed in the context of the larger picture, the competitiveness of Pennsylvania's senate seat is disastrous news for Democrats. Santorum was target numero uno for Chuck Schumer and the DSCC. If a member of the Republican leadership can hold on in a blue state against the Pennsylvania equivalent of a Kennedy in Massachusetts, then the much anticipated title wave of disapproval is little more than a passing breaker for the GOP and a very much living Rick Santorum.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Iran is Cruisin' for a Bruisin'

Whenever I would fight with my little brother or act in an obnoxious manner (imagine that), grandmom would feign an aggressive stance and admonish, "You are cruisin' for a bruisin', mister!" I clearly understood who was in charge, and hastened to apply the brakes to my immaturity. Iran, however, is that dumb kid in the schoolyard or spoiled younger cousin that just does not know when enough is enough. Yesterday, Iran announced that it is ready to get "serious", agreeing to hold talks with western powers regarding its illegal nuclear program. Predictably, European diplomats are glowing over the prospect of lengthy summits with expensive food and private Olympic sized pools. But is Iran capable of being serious on this issue? Or, like any other little monster that has not been put in its place, is she willing to push the West to its limits? Perhaps beyond?

Iran needs a bruising, folks. But who will step up? In fact, who is left? If I were the president of Iran (an amusing thought), I would not be overly concerned at the prospect of a serious objector. The world community, in its reaction to Iraq, has publicly declared that conflict is not to be a part of any western-led Middle East solution. And anyone who thinks Amhadinejad is blind to this development is engaging a wild fantasy. The Jerusalem Post has suggested in this morning's edition that Israel may be willing to deliver a long-overdue bloody nose to the Iranian bully. However, even Israel seems weaker and less determined in the wake of its retreat from Lebanon. At the same time, America is busy fighting wars on both of Iran's borders, with virtually no support from a cowering global community. Where is the will to fight? Was World War II democracy's last great stand?

The enemies of freedom are on the march, and by all indications, will continue to strengthen unabated. The possibility that free nations will take the Iranian threat seriously and begin to meet this dangerous challenge head-on diminishes every day, as more and more Americans and Europeans refuse to stand up for their civilization's right to exist. Worse, more and more people insist that any percieved threats exist only in George Bush's head. Sigh. I believe in miracles, but realism forces this observer to assume that Iran will be allowed to play its games until North Korea wakes one day to find a new, nuke-slinging ally. Let's pray that someone will break Iran's nose before an ICBM becomes our only recourse.

Incumbents out in the cold?

I had intended for my first contribution to The Republic Square to be a handicapping of the top Senate races this year, but this nugget from USA Today caught my eye. I should know better than to give America's McNewspaper any of my time, but there's nothing more laughable than tremendously slanted regional news.

WASHINGTON — Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski's defeat in his state's Republican primary is the latest sign that incumbents are facing tougher races than usual, political analysts said Wednesday.

Murkowski got 19% of the vote Tuesday, placing last in a three-way race. His loss sets up a fall contest between Republican Sarah Palin, 42, the former mayor of Wasilla, and Democrat Tony Knowles, 63, who held the governor's seat for two terms from 1994-2002. Murkowski was burdened by a number of controversies of his own making, including his decision to appoint his daughter, Lisa Murkowski, to succeed him in the U.S. Senate. Even so, the decisiveness of his defeat is an indication of the “surly” mood of the voters, according to Jennifer Duffy, an analyst with the non-partisan Cook Political Report.

“Generally speaking, incumbents get the benefit of the doubt from voters,” Duffy said. “They're not getting it this time."

Murkowski lost for one reason: his appointment of his daughter to his Senate seat (to which she was reelected in 2004, defeating the aforementioned Tony Knowles). While I will grant that the current climate does not favor congressional incumbents, the primary defeat of an already unpopular governor in a politically squirrely state does not seem to me to be the harbinger that the Beltway reporter from the USA Today leads us to believe. After all, it was only 1990 when Alaskans put Independent Walt Hickel in the big chair in Juneau.

By my count, Murkowski is the third incumbent in any federal or gubernatorial race to lose this year. He joins Cynthia McKinney (big surprise there) and Joe Lieberman, who's primary defeat has been discussed ad nauseum (including right here at TRS). In each of these cases, it would seem that the electorate dispensed of the incumbent for a very specific reason. I thus find it difficult to reach the same conclusion as Jennifer Duffy (who I normally agree with in assesing electoral politics).

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Frank Morroni Joins The Square!


The Republic Square Blog welcomes Frank Morroni as an associate blogger. Frank is an experienced Republican campaign and hot-air dispensing pundit, and will specialize in Election '06 updates. He also has the same poly-sci degree as yours truly, and therefore, can't make things any worse than they already are for you, the suffering reader. Welcome Frank!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Peace is NOT an End

The newest fad among lefties is to adopt the phrase “waging peace” as an anti-slogan against the perceived policies of the Bush Administration. While this hardly represents a new ideological direction for a group of people who still insist that “real communism” has never been given a fair shot, it is worth noting the extent to which the meaning of peace has been mutated in our culture.

Peace, according to, represents a state characterized by an “absence of war or other hostilities,” an agreement to achieve such an arrangement, or my personal favorite, to attain “freedom from quarrels or disagreements.” While the first two definitions are uncontroversial, the later seems rather ostentatious. Is it possible to have a workplace or household, let a lone a country or world, without “quarrels or disagreements”? With few exceptions, most faiths and philosophies deny the absolute realization of, as the herald angel famously sang, “peace on earth, and mercy mild.” It is not that peace is disagreeable. No one finds conflict, particularly of the violent variety, an acceptable first option for redressing grievances. Nevertheless, the more realistic among us (mostly those who missed the 60s), find attempts at a world without conflict a dangerous fiction.

Why is universal peace impossible? Human nature precludes the ability to deal with all persons in a rational, non-violent matter. Many of the world’s inhabitants have been brought up with value sets, or under circumstances, that make them immune to diplomatic overtures. What do Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and Hitler truly have in common? All of them were or are insane, and despite the media's efforts to humanize them, are without exception persons incapable of operating within the bounds of civilization. Basic, contractual agreements that lift men out of the state of nature, like agreeing that impulsive murder and seizure of another’s property are illegal, are forever lost on such degenerates. Then why is believing in perpetual peace dangerous? Even beyond the nutcases discussed above, human nature is universally unconquerable. Someone somewhere, defying every anti-nuclear or anti-SUV treaty the UN can muster, will try to maim someone else in pursuit of treasure, power, sex, property, resources, or even the divine right to spread their religion with the butt of a gun. Sure we are a leap above the animal kingdom. Not far enough, however, to expect that everyone will play by the rules that most follow under normative circumstances. Hence men have to be willing to forcibly assert the rule of law to preserve life. That’s why we have administrators, police, courts, and military to execute laws.

Now, my aim isn’t to paint an overly dark picture of the human condition. Most humans are good at their core, and working to make the world more civilized in a noble goal. In fact, the world is a place more full of hope thanks to democracy. Our current system of elections, courts, and free markets provide a humanizing mechanism for civilizing conflicts. The problem arises when too many western democratic leaders, thinkers, and voters begin to view peace as an acceptable end to human history, as both a possible and sustainable aim that makes confrontation forever unnecessary. For subscribers to this ideology of neopacifism, war is no longer acceptably waged to free a people or protect national interests. Now the aim of every battle must be “peace,” or by our earlier definition, creating a world or region devoid of “quarrels or disagreements.” Conflict avoidance is the order of the day because antiquated ideas of individual freedom, justice, life, liberty, happiness, etc, are all subordinated to the desire to bypass hostile and unpleasant confrontations.

How did westerners, the descendents of the martial Romans, develop such an intense, wholesale distaste for conflict? It begins at childhood. How often do we read articles describing baseball leagues where everyone wins, teachers that let kids run amok, and school councilors and authorities that pride mediation over punishment? Fighting, arguing, teasing, bullying, and other practices are deemed more intolerable than cheating, lying, stealing, or general academic laziness. The home front merely reinforces these foolish notions. Parents try to be their child’s best friend, giving timeouts and refusing to raise their voices. Maybe if I had grown up in a postmodern parenting environment I would be less confrontational (and more palatable to you the reader), but better adept to face the real world? Doubtful. As a consequence of this bizarre cultural development, adults are displaying an equally moronic approach to confrontation. You need look no further than today’s politics. The Senate’s “Gang of 14” was hailed as peacemakers, inventing a fake “tradition” to protect the glorious Senate, accomplishing nothing but to undermine a democratic debate. Maybe I wanted to hear senators, elected to defend the interests of their constituents and the country, have an actual discussion over what that best interest might be! Whenever two candidates ferociously argue a controversial bill or issue, media pundits immediately bemoan the “incivility” of politics and plead for someone, anyone, to make everyone shake hands and have a picnic on an arbitrary common ground. One wonders why liberals have been so effective in making Americans feel guilty about Iraq. After all, saving the lives of millions of Middle Easterners and protecting our civilization from destruction does little to alleviate the discomfort caused by fighting for it.

A generation is now graduating college that knows nothing of the necessity of confronting those with whom no bargain is attainable. It is my generation; a group of students with all the benefits of a society that has not known real conflict for decades- until now. Faced with the challenges of the War on Terrorism, many Americans seem curiously and frighteningly confused by the challenges at hand. 9/11 horrified us, but the subsequent analysis and response has been woefully inadequate. Some think that the battle against terrorists can be won through economic and verbal diplomacy. Then simply give jihadists a time-out in Gitmo, but don’t dare feed them gruel or forget to leave a mint under each pillow! Others react to our current situation by feeling guilt. It must be something we did, just as it must have been my fault when little John Doe hit me in 3rd grade because I wouldn’t let him play with me. Therefore, let’s apologize to the mullahs, abandon Israel, and operate under the assumption that America should be the world’s patsy because, after all, it’s our fault! How did your oil money get in my pocket, Mr. Hussein?

We must stop treating peace as an end unless we want others to determine an end for us. Peace is a state of affairs that can allow for freedom, justice, life, liberty, happiness, love, humanity, the arts, virtue, and many other wonderful things, to flourish. But a peace that keeps millions under the steel boot of oppression, leaves families under constant threat, and does nothing to advance the causes upon which this nation was founded is not acceptable. It is time to relearn that conflict is not always bad. In fact, they *gasp* often have positive outcomes. To avoid the responsibilities we have in the world and to ourselves, simply to give idealists some temporary security, is to wage stupidity.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

GOP Gains Steam in New Polling

Just a Senate polling update for today, fellow citizens:

- Santorum at 41%, trailing Casey by 6pts. 8% is still undecided... a strong debate performance could swing a cliffhanger to Rick. (Strategic Vision)

- Lieberman up BIG in CT, leading Lamont 53% to 41%. Heavy support among Republicans and stronger than expected Democrat support seem primed to carry Joe to another term. if the anti-war wave cannot succeed in CT, November may look different from current prediction models... (Quinnipiac)

- Kean trails Menendez by 2pts (42%-40%, well within the margin of error) in New Jersey. The key to this race is how much has yet to be decided by the electorate, as a whopping 18% of likely voters remain undecided, and even larger numbers express no opinion regarding either candidate. With his job approval among the lowest in the Senate, Menendez may have trouble hanging on. (Quinnipiac)

- Despite Rep. Ford's dashing young image, he is finding trouble gaining traction in a very red state. Corker leads Ford 48% to 42% out of the primary gate. Dems would probably need this pickup to have any hope of capturing the Senate in '06. (Rasmussen)

The moral of the story is keep the faith! The GOP has an uphill battle, but new polling suggests that a Dem landslide is anything but a lock. That hasn't stopped K Street from hedging their bets by taking on more liberal lobbyists, but influence peddling is a conservative (little "c") business!

Long live the Republic!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bobby Jindal, MD


Rep. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) delivered his own child Tuesday evening. The congressman and former LA gubernatorial candidate followed 911 instructions and safely facilitated the 8lb, 2 ounce and 21 inch long baby's entrance into the world while his two younger children slept!

We are all big fans of Rep. Jindal here at The Republic Square, and can't help but think that Louisiana missed out big by passing on this guy for the comparatively worthless Kathleen "the Hurricane" Blanco. For God's sake- he is a conservative, intelligent, family-oriented baby delivering machine!

Congratulations to Jindal and his wife.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Key to GOP Victory '06, Tip #1: Bush is No Failure

As Republicans head into their toughest congressional election in 12 years, nervous incumbents have decided to agree with the leftist portrait of the president as a complete failure. President Bush has been remanded to the corner of the political sphere like a crazy uncle at Thanksgiving. Surrendered to his enemies, Bush's antagonist biographers have gleefully judged Iraq, the War on Terrorism, and all policies he championed as unpleasant remnants of a fast-fading nightmare. Accepting, not to mention endorsing this rubbish, is an unfortunate and damning strategy for Republicans. To agree with Rolling Stone and the rest of the liberal cabal that Bush is one of the nation's great failures is to forsake the truth of what has been accomplished over the course of 6 years.

As president-elect, George W. Bush inherited a country without focus. While the 90s saw great economic prosperity, President Clinton undertook little preventative maintenance on the American homestead. By January 2001, the American economy was already grinding to a halt, the seeds of corporate greed were already sown, and Al-Qaeda was already concluding its planning for the 9/11 attack, having been buoyed by years of lax scrutiny. George W. Bush inherited a weakening America, but unlike his predacessor, chose to act boldly. Unfortunately, as with any neglected property, costs are augmented by long periods of disrepair. The recession, 9/11 attack, and collapse of several major corporations represented the price of complacency in a changing world. Rather than redefine America's place in the global economy or in world security, Clinton was busy tinkering with the definitions of "is" and "sexual conduct."

Circumstances forced President Bush to confront more than any American leader had been compelled to shoulder since FDR simultaneously fought depression and fascism. Nevertheless, the country's 43rd head of state displayed determined and inspired vision. He insisted on economic strategies that would grow the American economy and market. He sought to transform a judiciary astray and an educational system broken. Most importantly, Bush will be remembered as the first western leader to fully appreciate and respond to the threat of Islamic fascism. He acted quickly and decisively to neutralize the Taliban and put terrorists and their supporters on the defensive. Yet, the difficulty of the job at hand has disarmed perspective. FDR's struggle to restore the American economy and the longevity of western democracy was not realized for twenty years long after his death. 5 years into the War on Terrorism, Americans have chosen to assume the worst about Bush and his legacy. Conservatives, typically indignant over government expansion and spending, have abandoned the President to the cold ravages of a history written by one, hostile side of the ideological spectrum. A roaring economy and no major attacks since 2001 have done little to earn Bush respect among his contemporaries.

Certainly, Bush has made mistakes that have served to damage his position. But worst president ever? A complete failure? Moronic wannabe leader of a weakened state? Hardly. History will record that President Bush was a good man and president who, at worst, confronted enormous, perilous challenges with great vision and less-great strategies. Now, when we stand on the brink of Americans choosing to go back to a pre-1994 mode of government, one that gave birth to the dangers of the post-9/11 world, is there really any doubt that President Bush has done much right? And if America is better for confronting terrorism head-on when his Democratic opponents refused to acknowledge a defined threat, how can we honestly believe that electoral victory is contingent on being complicit to a sad and dangerous lie about our president?

I'm not suggesting that 8x10 glossies with Bush, plastered on prime time TV ads, is a wise strategy for endangered Republicans. My contention is best articulated as a plea for Republicans to remember that he who bangs the table loudest defines political reality. If the GOP accepts the liberal judgement of Bush and the past 5 years as gospel, then what sane citizen would vote for term extensions? Iraqi quagmires and economic morasses are not the ingredients for electoral stability. Thus, the key to victory in November is a firm, united, and powerful renunciation of liberal myths about American success over recession, terrorism, and pessimism in a new and uncertain epoch of U.S. history. These United States are safer, wealthier, and stronger for Republican leadership, representing an outcome less certain under increasingly loony Al Gore or perpetually unimpressive John Kerry. For campaigning GOPers to accept a version of history that accepts anything less than the triumphs of the Bush years is to seal their doom.

*picture by Ken Hendrickson... click picture for link to site


-Santorum pulls within single digits of his opponent in the PA Senate race- after a great ad-blitz discussing positive accomplishments. Keep the faith!

-Bill Clinton hates being 60. Too many jokes are coming to mind.

-Dem Senate hopeful in MD promises to cure cancer. Why didn't we think of that?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Lieberman Loss Spells Trouble for Menendez in NJ

The conventional wisdom this election goes something like an LSAT logic problem:

"Congress and the President are unpopular. The GOP has a majority in both chambers and controls the White House. Therefore, Congress will soon have less Republicans."

The problem with this configuration of variables is that it leaves out the X factor- in this case, the equally low approval ratings of Democratic leaders. Joe Lieberman is not the only Democrat experiencing the angst of angry voters. Sen. Daniel Akaka from Hawaii is in danger of losing his primary, Sen. Cantwell is faltering badly in Washington State, and the Canadian-immigrant governor of Michigan looks to be on the way out. The mood of the nation is too complex to be simply " anti-Republican." Republicans just happen to have the unhappy distinction of owning more seats. No, voters are in an anti-incumbent mood this time around the electoral block, and Democratic incumbents in swing areas should be just as frightened as their GOP colleagues.

Case in point, Robert Menendez of NJ is in great peril. Recently appointed after the departure of now Gov. Jon S. Corzine, Menendez is undergoing a tough challenge from independent-minded Republican legacy Tom Kean, Jr. Typically, my home state is a Democratic lock for statewide contests. However, the Dems have an ironically similar situation in Trenton to that of the Republican debacle in DC. Recent budgetary problems (which kept me away from my beloved casinos) and sales tax hikes (which is draining my wallet faster than the slots) have seen the blame fall on the legislature also controlled by Democrats. After an equally long tenure of Democratic rule in Jersey, corruption and taxes remain out of control. SOMEONE has to take at least some of the blame eventually, and Menendez should not assume that he is automatically immune from general discontent just because of his well-oiled machine. After all, appointed officials make the most vulnerable candidates for reelection regardless of party or position.

Recent Republican losses in Jersey have been due, in part, to weak candidates. Kean may be stronger than Menendez can handle, and Sen. Bob should be wary lest he soon join Lieberman and others on the retirement golf circuit.

News, if you please:

-Terrorists nearly strike America's airways, but terror is the unavoidable result. Many subsequent arrests in the US, UK and Italy. Terrifying and timely reminder that elections matter.

-Israel agrees to UN brokered ceasefire with Lebanon. Mission accomplished or botched? Time will tell.

-National disgrace Cindy Sheehan goes down in Crawford, TX from her self-induced fast. All I can ever think when Cindy rears her ugly head is how sorry I feel for her late son. The woman's personal situation makes humor almost impossible.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Principles, not Lieberman, Frighten Liberals in Wake of Primary

The two-party system took one to the chin Tuesday night, as three-term Senator Joseph I. Lieberman was defeated 52%-48%. An extreme-left upstart toppled a respected moderate statesman, raising serious questions about the future credibility of the Democratic Party. Yet no one, including Lieberman, seems to be depressed over his loss. Except, of course, for an awkward-looking Democratic leadership whose pained countenance contrasts strangely with Ned Lamont's used-car salesman grin. What is going on here?

Sen. Lieberman has the potential to be the ultimate spoiler for the '06 election cycle, and the mainstream Democratic leadership is all too aware of the consequences. In the heat of a contest where most indicators point to the Republicans losing their shirts, Lieberman now becomes the ultimate chink in the Democratic Armor going into the final stretch of the battle for Congress. Most seem to agree. Dick Morris and Eileen McGann argued today that Joe has tactical and policy advantages going into a three-way fight. ABC's the Note reports on, among other things, how Democratic senators are already divided on whether or not to support their old colleague. Even major news outlets seem torn between running with a fantastic political underdog story and slamming Lieberman for the vile, Bush-loving poor-sport they take him to be.

Yet even the most skilled analysts seem to be glossing over the crux of the current wave of Joe-mentum. Lieberman scares the Left because he represents a bold, underlined, seventy-two font sized footnote attached to the Democratic triumph already authored by Liberal pundits, reading:


A good conservative has to be cautious not to overstate the situation by canonizing the junior senator. Lieberman has been wrong on quite a few key and critical issues. However, what separates Joe from other Democrats and earns this observer's respect is a firm and passionate allegiance to his core beliefs and convictions. Particularly of relevance here, Sen. Lieberman's courageous choice to back the war to save Western civilization has earned him the ire of the liberal mobs that are currently completing their hostile takeover of the Democratic Party. He had opportunities to flip-flop on the war, as so many of his one-time supporters have done. But Joe Lieberman stuck to his guns on capital gains tax cuts, affirmative action, and numerous issues that led to rejection by the same party that almost made him Vice President six short years ago. He believes what he says and says what he means, embodying a trait absent from modern Liberals.

Now Joe Lieberman, once held up by his party during the 2000 election as a model of civility and statesmanship, has thrown down the gauntlet, struck his colors, and declared himself a rebel against the far-Left insurgency. As an Independent with intense media focus, he may become to many Americans the convincing and definitive example of why the Democratic Party is not to be trusted with stewardship of the U.S. Government. For this reason, more than any other, Lieberman will undergo an assault unwitnessed in modern political history. Whether or not he survives, let alone wins, the crucial lessons uncovered by the betrayal of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman are invaluable. Lieberman now has the awesome opportunity and responsibility to shine a light on the moral bankruptcy and unprincipled state of the liberal movement, and consequently, stop it before it consumes the Capitol.

Other News from Around the Globe:

-Israel steps up Lebanon invasion, posting thousands of new troops on the border. Meanwhile, an Iranian dictator spews garbage about Bush, America, and Western values. But, we're not at war. Right, Ned Lamontites?

-Cynthia "Rocky" McKinney goes down for the count. Throw in the towel- a victory for common sense.

-Check out Hillary's new look... ?!

Until next time, long live the Republic!

Monday, August 07, 2006

West Won't Fight?

"What if liberal democracies have now evolved to a point where they can no longer wage war effectively because they have achieved a level of humanitarian concern for others that dwarfs any real cold-eyed pursuit of their own national interests?"

The NYP's John Podhoretz, quoted above, raises a stark and troubling dilemma that is confronting the United States. Quoting Podhoretz in her Globe column, Cathy Young toys with the notion that democracies can become, in effect, unable and willing to engage in violent confrontations in the Middle East or anywhere else. Young determines that such reasoning, while thought provoking, is dangerous and counter-intuitive for a society as morally advanced as America.

I offer another reason, less complex, for the West's war jitters: we aren't scared. While terrible and scarring, 9/11 and its 3000 dead represent but a week, month, or year for persons in Israel, the Sudan, or other parts of the globe challenged by the carnage of warfare. 9/11 was an emotional tumult that awoke a country to the possibility of ominous horizons, but the threat seemed distant, abstract, and shockingly, easily fixed for far too many westerners.

Stubborn to the end, my friends, I refuse to believe that Americans or any people are somehow "above" self-defense! Human nature, while able to be shackled, cannot be overcome. Certainly, one of the 21st centuries great lies is the notion that war can somehow be easy, if not entirely unavoidable to begin with. The first Gulf War buoyed this fantasy, and now, Europe and the U.S. are faltering perilously before the dangers of Islamic fascism. But fantasies are not the result of achieving moral purity, but arise when the endangered subject feels no threat.

I am not negative by nature. Yet, as a reader of history and observer of my fellow men, I cannot help but think that only a nation as embattled as Israel, or as threatened as 1941 Russia, can appreciate and tackle attempts at its ultimate destruction. If the fateful and dark day dawns when New York City or Los Angeles resemble besieged Tel Aviv, Americans won't be restricted by liberal notions of "high purposes," dressing suicide up to appear acceptable to academic scrutiny. Americans, realizing the threat to their lives, liberties, and mortal happiness, will wage war decisively, passionately, and with impunity.

Other News-nuggets from the WORLD at-large:

- Santorum and Lieberman, according to new polling posted at, appear to be closing on their respective opponents. May be too late for Joe, but Santorum still might have a shot at keeping his seat warm for the GOP.

- The mayor of LA apologizes for appearing to take Israel's side in the current conflict, after angering Islamic citizens of his city. I'm glad I don't try to please everyone... looks exhausting!

- Bob Ney, embattled OH GOP congressman, bows out and hangs it up... the lobbyist scandal fallout claims another victim.

-Castro is still alive. I guess only the good do die young, Mr. Joel.

Until next post,