Thursday, November 30, 2006

Energy Reform is Answer to Iraq

Sometimes, as the popular idiom goes, it is difficult to see the woods for the trees. I was having dinner with a group of Republican friends on Tuesday, and when Iraq was brought up, I could not help but launch into my patented tirade regarding the extent to which general reluctance to fight a hard war had doomed the effort. Staying on message should be worth something, even if it gives all of my friends indigestion. Nevertheless, on the way back to the apartment, your favorite Colorado blogger and mine Frank Morroni once again hit the nail square on the head. In his unnervingly casual style, Frank reminded me of the only real and permanent way to win a war against fundamentalist Islam: pass comprehensive common sense energy reform.

Lest this answer's beautiful simplicity disturb your cynical sensibilities, consider the following
5 Step Rooney Rationale to reengage a serious discussion of energy policy:

1. We Can't End 1,500 Years of Muslim Infighting: Islamic history is very complex, but here is a basic summary. Since the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632 A.D., Muslims have been fighting over who is the rightful heir to the Prophet's legacy. Is it or isn't it Ali? It no longer matter, as Sunnis, Shias, Wahhabists, Sufis and a greater devolution of various schools and minor sects harbor ill-feelings that will not soon dissipate. This kind of hate, hardened in the hearts of men by centuries of institutionalized brainwashing and bad theology, will not easily find its resolution in the arrival of western generals.

2. We Can't Always Clean-up Europe's Messes: As with most international debacles, including two world wars, the Balkans, Africa, Vietnam and the Middle East, the fingerprints of European imperialist mischief can be easily discerned at every step. Iraq is but the most recent of a long-line of poor sociopolitical arrangements facilitated by European colonial ambitions. Perhaps Iraq should never have been one country, but now it must be to counterbalance Iran's insanity. That does not make Iraq any less dysfunctional, comprised of multiple cross-cutting ethnicities and religions not cleanly divided by region. And I have yet to hear a practical plan of resettlement.

3. Half-Hearted Wars are Immoral: Although I remain convinced that a general like MacArthur or Sherman, allowed the proper strategic liberties, would have been able to clean house in Iraq, such a situation failed to materialize. Now, with the war spiraling out of control, western countries have lost the will to fight on. If we are not going to fight to win, as Rush Limbaugh recently asked, "Why wait to cut-and-run? Get the troops home for Christmas." Amen.

4. Damn Right This is a War for Oil: Whenever the professional protesters of America invoke the mantra "War for Oil," how can I help but scream back "Damn right!" America is too fat to ride bicycles, and I do not see anyone in congress walking to work or working by candlelight. If we did not need regional fuel reserves to power our economy, the Middle East would be little more than a distant backwater that geography buffs alone could properly identify on a map.

5. Energy Reform Makes the Middle East Irrelevant: An America with an adequate number of refineries, extensive nuclear power supplies, the license to drill ample oil reserves and actively making strides toward cars that run on hydrogen cells is an America safer than any administration could achieve with a million man army. President Bush has made some form or another of this argument, but Congress killed energy reform with the same recklessness exercised when spending your federal tax dollars on state rodeos and bridges to nowhere. If the wacko environmentalists love wildlife as much as they profess to, let them dodge bullets in the desert. The rest of us would prefer to make use of the bounty God gave us in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaskan Wildlife Preserve, and other, more hospitable, domestic locales.

I hate to acknowledge truth in anything Frank says. We are college roommates, and I can not take the resulting ribbing between quarters of Madden 2006. However on this issue, Frank clearly sees the woods; both Frank and I have come to realize that this country is indeed dangerously distracted by a tactical argument that seems to ignore the larger strategic elements relevant to our war against Muslim extremists. Ironically, it is only appropriate that solid legislation is the superior remedy to bombs, boots and ballistics for the world's greatest democracy's most dire policy dilemma. Why kill your enemy when you can bankrupt and starve them into irrelevance? Damn the trees! Full speed ahead to American energy self-sufficiency.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Republic Square Contest: Name the Baker Report and Win a Shirt!

The Baker Report is being positioned by the talking heads as the definitive analysis on Iraq. In reality, everyone seems interested in little else than surrender and no one has offered a solution. Victory, however defined, isn't even on table. So, in the spirit of the current cut-and-run "oh shit, let's get outta here" attitude of the world's last great superpower, try your hand at naming the Baker Report! If our leaders insist on selling us up the river to crazed Islamic jihadists, we might as well create a reason for distracting/comforting laughter.

The winner will receive a free t-shirt from the store, providing the lucky contestant with bragging rights and at least one less Christmas present in need of purchasing.

My pick is "Peace in Our Time." It's a classic, yet always popular with the kids/academics/sweaty-palmed armchair generals in Congress.

Let's hear what you think...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Forcing the Issue

A new Israeli poll shows Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party decisively leading Prime Minister Olmert's faltering Kadima unity movement. Disillusionment over the government's handling of the war with Lebanon seems to be driving Israelis to seek new leadership, much as the Iraq War dealt a blow to the GOP in America.

But while America has chosen to retreat from its current aggressive stance in the world, Israel appears headed on a fatefully divergent course. Netanyahu is comparing Iran to 1938 Germany, as a country endeavoring upon a new Holocaust. If his party ascends to power and the Middle East continues to deteriorate, the United States may not enjoy the luxury of choice regarding its current military entanglements.

Others will force the issue for us.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Lincoln's Holiday is a Prayer for His People

When the United States of America was mired in the nightmarish throws of the American Civil War, the horrible realities of warfare became brutally apparent for a weary President Abraham Lincoln. Previously favoring a "soft war," concentrating on destroying armies and minimizing civilian strife, the events of 1862 proved cathartic for the embattled war time president. He realized that the disastrous Union defeats at Bull Run, Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg foreshadowed the possibility of a bloody and endless generation, precluding expeditious American reconciliation. Worse still, the Union was losing its will to fight under the weight of mounting setbacks and casualties. Lincoln fully expected to lose the 1864 election, and America was on tract to surrendering the South to history. A losing war was ripping the United States asunder.

Considering his options under the dim candlelit glow of White House nights, Lincoln resolved that his only remaining solution was to wage an all-out"total war" against not only the armies of the Confederacy, but to take that war to Southern towns, farms, cities and plantations. The Civil War ceased to be exclusively about reunion, as battle alone seemed unlikely to accomplish the task. This was to be a war to remake the South, shattering the southern slavocracy perpetuated by a backwards social and economic system. It was to become a war to set men free, and create a new union that would fulfill the lofty promises of the Declaration of Independence yet unfulfilled. The proud South would not yield to arguements for brotherhood and peace; the sword alone would rescue America from Europe's fractious fate.

As contemporary Americans cram turkey and stuffing down their gullets, they seem to have decidedly less for which to be happy than this time last year. America looks dangerously weak in the world, and superpowers cannot afford to appear weak. Our leaders and generals are fighting a losing strategy, our enemies around the globe are emboldened, and morale on the home front is more frigid than the holiday cranberry mold. What would the great leaders of the Civil War, which killed nearly 1,000,000 American civilians and soldiers, impart to us in these uncertain hours of self-doubt, concern, and indigestion? The Thanksgiving commemoration began at Lincoln's initiative, declared as a national day of prayer in 1863 in the interest of restoring national unity, morale and purpose in the middle of the bloodiest and most devastating conflict in our entire national history. Today, this beloved feast renews its original meaning as a moment of clarifying grace for a wounded country. Lincoln reaches across the fabric of time to remind Americans of all the blessings, advantages and opportunities the nation he saved continues to offer its citizens and the world. Yet these benefits are not idle treasurers to be squirreled away and squandered within the safety of our walls.

Engaged in a modern war against the tyranny of bellicose Islamicism, America's only option, as Lincoln determined over 143 years ago, is to recognize and boldly pursue the necessary course to save American civilization. Sherman was relieved of duty early in the Civil War, believed to be crazy for suggesting the measures and cost in lives and fortune required to preserve the union. Now, those that suggest the War on Terrorism is a global struggle that must cripple radical Islamicism are castigated as the sanguine stalwarts of a discredited conflict. Yet not one critic of this war has been able to intelligently challenge that we are in real danger. Forward thinking Americans are coming to realize nothing short of resolute commitment to a total war in Iraq and Afghanistan will win a war for which there is no turning back. As Sherman stormed to the Sea to break the spirit of as Grant described it "the worst cause for which men have ever fought," western armies must breathe fear into the hearts of terrorist organizers and radical theocrats that will respond only to bullets and bombs shredding their empire of death and lies. "Enshrined" in the hearts of his countrymen, Lincoln's Thanksgiving prayer cries out for his nation to collect the resolve to do what it must to deliver his cherished Union from new threats.

To make good on Father Abraham's historical call to arms is to start fighting for our values like we mean it, with fully engaged measures and full-throated words of defiance to retain the reigns of our American destiny. Sherman observed that "War is Hell," and so it must be for those who challenge our liberties and values until their end.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ebenezer Edwards Grinches Wal-Mart

With the Holiday shopping season just one week away, the Associated Press has shed light on one of our favorite liberal's gifting habits.

Fmr. U.S. Senator, Vice Presidential candidate and golden-haired leftist rockstar John Edwards (D-NC) has long validated his "progressive" credentials by bashing the one American institution substantially combating inflation- Wal-Mart. But when it comes to finding a cool new Playstation 3 for the Edwards family tree, where does Pretty John turn?

That's right; Wal-Mart is claiming that Edwards attempted to procure the expensive game station via a staff aide through a local superstore for that horribly affordable and competitive Wal-Mart price. Hypocrisy abounds with these people, folks... even at Christmas! I suppose a company that enhances the purchasing power of average Americans is evil UNLESS a multimillion dollar trial lawyer and hippie-windbag needs a yule tide fix for his kid. Humbug!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Uncomfortable Truth of American Economics

U.S. Senator-elect Jim Webb (D-VA) actually raised some good points in today's Wall Street Journal opinion section.

The DOW is at an all time high, economic growth is marching along and unemployment is near the floor. Then why are Americans upset enough about the endangerment of the American Dream to vote into office 28 more Democrats? The truth is that America's economic success has not greatly improved the standard of living for Americans. As Webb illustrates, "hidden costs" resulting from astronomic health care, education and insurance increases have strained the American pocketbook. Sure, both parents have historically well-paying jobs, but these hard-working adults are finding it somehow harder to meet the demands of modern life. Webb is not incorrect when he warns of a "protectionist backlash," one that would doom the U.S. to the economic dark ages. What can be done?

Tax cuts of the Bush mold are a nice start, but who do they reach? The greatest Liberal lie of all is that the "rich" have been successful in shifting the tax burden to a hapless middle class. Even after the Bush cuts, the richest 1$ pay more than a 1/3 of federal income taxes, while the top 50% shell out nearly 97%! The class distinctions of which Webb is so thoroughly wary have been created by the same big-government tax 'n' spend shenanigans entrenched by years of federal fiscal liberalism. Many estimates suggest the top 50% of Americans will pay 100% of the taxes by 2010. Is that democracy? Are we truly fostering an egalitarian economy? Double taxation via corporate and income taxation give the average wealthy entrepreneur reason enough to avoid direct reinvestment, low-income Americans remain without the educational tools to participate in the market effectively, and the middle class continue to get screwed by chasing a social mobility that is increasingly too expensive.

Republicans did not lose this election simply due to angst over Iraq. The real story is more complex. In order to enjoy a reasonable chance of retaking Congress in the near future, Congressional Republicans must offer a real contrast between the Liberal Democratic vision for America and a Conservative Republican map for progress. The Democratic sweep of rust-belt congressional seats should serve as a morbid example of America's doubts about free market policies. Sherrod Brown, Bernie Sanders and other newly-ascended kooks will push for an attempted return to 1956, when you "grew up to do what your daddy had done" whether you liked it or not. Pelosi, Jim Webb and their leftist cohorts will rant about college loan reforms and text book price hearings for the first 100 days; it won't be long before they gloss over the real problems plaguing our nation's health and return to their darker socialist tendencies.

Republicans must again embrace the conservative pragmatism championed by Ronald Reagan to regain the trust of the American people and save them from a class-segregated tomorrow Nancy Pelosi is anxious to engage.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Civil War and Reconstruction

And I'm not talking about 1865.

The 2006 midterms resulting in Democratic victory have predictably set in motion a tough fight for control of the Republican Party:
  • Leadership of the House looks to be attainable for the long-ostracized super-conservative Mike Pence (R-IN). Flake is also a candidate, but Pence's superior name recognition with the base makes him the most prominent choice to one day be speaker.
  • The Senate is somewhat less clear. Mitch McConnell seems to be the establishment candidate, but John Kyl and Kay Bailey Hutchinson are also in the leadership mix. Not to be discounted is Trent Lott, who has made a real recovery and is once again a major power player in the Senate.
  • Michael Steele is too excellent a resource to waste. Reports whizzing around Washington regarding his possible ascension to chairman of the RNC are premature. Nevertheless, Steele would provide a fresh perspective and renewed vigor that the national party desperately needs.
  • NRCC Chair is going to be a critical post to fill, presented with the fundraising and organizational demands of trying to retake at least 15-20 House seats. The primary candidates are Phil English (R-PA) and Pete Sessions (R-TX), with Tom Cole (R-OK) joining the fray this afternoon. While not the odds-on favorite, keep an eye on Sessions. I've had the opportunity to meet some of Rep. Sessions' people and they are aggressive.
  • NRSC Chair is in the air. John Thune (R-SD) was the obvious choice, but the popular freshman senator and current Inner Circle Chairman turned his nose up at the seat. So have most other GOP senators, wary of a difficult Senate cycle ahead in which the GOP has many more defenses. Look to Norm Coleman (R-MN) as a strong candidate.
Should be interesting. Get some popcorn if you're not faint-of-heart...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Death Toll

We didn't get back until about 4:30am Wednesday morning, and I have developed some sort of bad head cold from marching around in the wet and damp weather. My CR chapter worked our fingers to the bone, but failed to save Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R, PA-8) from the wave of apathy and discontent that swept the nation November 7, 2006. Fitzpatrick and his family are great people who this country can ill afford to lose as community representatives. It's going to take some time to digest the disaster, but here are some initial observations/notes of analysis on the past 48 hours:

  • The GOP has taken a serious hit on the state government level, including 6 governorships in OH, MD, NY, CO, AR and MA. In addition to the direct effects yet to be felt on the local level via future legislation, the Republican infrastructure for a 2008 presidential campaign has been weakened.
  • Republicans look to have lost 30 House seats, which while consistent with 6-year itch losses for the White House party, is still significant particularly in the age of gerrymandering. Some Republicans fully deserved to lose their seats; others (notably Mike Fitzpatrick) most certainly did not. Surprises included the loss of seats belonging to Republicans previously considered safe, including Melissa Hart in and JD Hayworth, who have now been unceremoniously tossed to the curb. A tiny bit of good news for Republicans is that they look to narrowly stay above the 200 mark, a psychologically important level of representation.
  • Perhaps most disastrous is the Senate, where 7 seats appear to have fallen. Additionally, many great GOP challengers like Michael Steele never had a chance. A real shame. Losing two seats in "Dixie" also presents a serious demographic problem for the GOP.
  • President Bush's life is a living hell. He has to present the State of the Union speech this winter with Nancy Pelosi grinning from behind. Rumsfeld's resignation is too late, and now appears to be more a sign of surrender than a response to a concerned electorate. Bush normally preforms best when his back is to the wall, but the Dems are now in the drivers seat and he will have to react.
  • Washington, DC is about to get a lot more Democratic. Power changes result in mass firings, as the victors cut the losers funding for staff. Additionally, K Street will conform to match the new environment.
We'll discuss more in the coming days. For now, I need some Advil and a good night's sleep.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

NO MISTAKE: John Kerry Speaks for Democrats

The last 24 hours has seen a rush by Democrats to create distance between their respective campaigns and John Kerry's idiotic ramblings. Whether or not they are successful remains to be seen, just as any rallying effect on the GOP base will be hard to gauge. But make no mistake: John Kerry speaks for national Democrats.

Moderate Democrats are as plentiful in the modern Democratic base as polar bears in Africa. Voting for Democratic congressmen, or staying at home to protest the lack of a border wall, is an endorsement of radical, leftist stewardship of our government.

Look at this man (if he could be called one with his $1,000 nails and hair)... does he deserve to have a Senate committee chairmanship? More importantly, what have we as the American people done to deserve such a cruel fate?

Sit on your hands and John Kerry, the man who has such a disdain for our military, would be the chairman of the Foreign Affairs subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs. That'll help dealings North Korea and China. Still want to make a point because you're angry over healthcare reform? Save it for the primary!