Call it what it is: amnesty

Michelle Malkin’s latest roundup on the Republican Senate’s immigration wuss-a-palooza says it all.
I also like this handy visual retort to the open borders crowd:

gringo_bush.jpg
© 2005 Jay D. Dyson
(click image to enlarge)

As I said yesterday, build a wall first and deal with the rest later. I’ll let Michelle rip the amnesty deal for me. My temper’s too short on this subject to write anything temperate right now.

Painting Ohio’s 13th District a nice deep red

Tell Hugh Hewitt I did my duty. I gave a copy of this …

Buy this book!

… to Congressional candidate Paul Burtzlaff last night.
Paul Burtzlaff photographHe’s running for the open seat in Ohio’s 13th Congressional District, which was vacated this year by Sherrod Brown. A conservative Republican, Burtzlaff is a former Navy chaplain who’s now a Lutheran pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Westlake, OH. I’m a parishioner there, so I know the man well and endorse him heartily. His honesty and integrity are beyond reproach, so you can trust him to follow through on his promises (much like somebody else we all know).
He’s strong on national security, and his campaign is also emphasizing his commitment to improving education and bringing jobs to Ohio. He’s never run for public office before, so he’s no member of the Washington “in crowd”, nor is he one of the Ohio GOP establishment elites who brought us candidates like Bob Taft and Jim Petro. Burtzlaff is refreshingly straightforward and open about his policy positions, so you’ll always know what he believes and why. He doesn’t flip-flop, either.
I’ll be supporting Paul Burtzlaff’s campaign, and hopefully before long there will be some seriously meaty information to publish about this candidate. For instance, although there’s no press release yet, Burtzlaff just won the endorsement of The Ohio Right to Life Society, and he will also be the focus of a Meet The Bloggers session on Saturday the 15th if the MTB crew agrees to the date (details coming soon).
Keep your eye on Paul Burtzlaff. The results of the May 2nd Republican primary might just surprise you.

Armstrong Williams fallout continues

Thanks to conservative pundit Armstrong Williams (who secretly took $250,000 from the Bush administration to hawk the No Child Left Behind Act, and claimed that others did too), minority conservative pundits are catching major hate from the venomous wing of the loony Left. Not that the lefties were sweet and kind before, mind you, but it’s still a nasty display of racism and bile from the folks who claim to be champions of downtrodden minorities.
Not only did Williams do something wrong and unethical … he’s given fuel to the mouthbreathing moonbats, and hurt the rest of the conservative movement much more than Michael Moore ever could. Way to go, Armstrong.

Armstrong Williams payola

I’ve been thinking about how to express my disapproval of conservative commentator Armstrong Williams, who recently admitted taking money from the Bush Administration to become a booster for the No Child Left Behind Act. But now I don’t need to worry about finding the words. They turned up on Michelle Malkin’s blog because she thought of them first.

Attention, Ohio GOP: your bus may be leaving

The outgoing Republican president of Colorado’s Senate digs through the entrails of the Democrat election victory there and identifies some themes that look eerily familiar to Ohio conservatives.

It was motivation, above all, that powered this Democrat victory. Democrats were driven and hungry from decades in the political wilderness. Republicans were complacent and soft from too long in power. Their motive for winning was to get in there and do things. Ours, it often seemed, was merely to stay in there. These attitudes translated into discipline and unity for Democrats, indulgence and disunity for Republicans. GOP factionalism was endemic and fatal.
The message gap was a consequence of this motivation gap. Democrats talked about making Colorado a better state, about not letting Republicans cut cherished programs, and about the GOP’s supposed obsession with “gays, guns, and God.” Republicans talked about … what? Other than denying their charges and hurling some back, we pretty much punted. Republican candidates picked their own issues locally. Churchill would have called it a pudding with no theme.
Our campaign had what one analyst termed a sort of Nixon-Ford tiredness and blandness. I had considered, back in 2003, framing a conservative Contract with Colorado to provide a single, statewide framework for all 75 state Senate and House races. But after sizing up the competing intra-party fiefdoms and tensions, I decided not to start that fight. Mea culpa; I should have fought.

“A Nixon-Ford tiredness and blandness” pretty accurately describes our own Governor Bob Taft, scion of a powerful old Ohio family and a politician whose strongest claim to conservatism seems to be the (R) appended to his name. He opposed the recently-enacted concealed carry legislation, opposed the gay marriage ban, and didn’t earn himself the nickname “Governor Tax” by accident.
Three Republicans have announced their intent to replace Taft when term limits force him to step down in 2006: State Auditor Betty Montgomery, State Attorney General Jim Petro, and Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (toward whom I’m leaning at the moment, since he’s been burnishing his conservative credentials).
Ohio Republicans need to find a bona fide fiscal and social conservative to take Bob Taft’s place. Once we have that candidate identified, we need to round up support early, before our tired and unimaginative party leaders anoint someone more “safe.” Pushing a bland pudding with no theme on Ohio voters isn’t going to get Republicans elected to state offices. Just look at what happened in Colorado.
Then we need to identify districts with retiring or vulnerable Representatives and Senators in both parties, and cajole some conservative businessmen, military vets, and civic leaders to step forward and run for office. A truly conservative Legislature will cut our high tax burden and rein in spending, while returning our government to the pro-family and tough-on-crime stance that Ohio voters obviously want.
Party discipline matters, but party survival’s more important. The Ohio GOP has gotten fat and lazy. It’s time to clear out the deadwood before the Democrats do it for us. My Senator lives two streets away, so I’ll start the grilling here. Who’s with me?

Fishing for liberals

In an article just published by The Sentinel (a conservative publication at Ohio State University), conservative student columnist Stephen Dronen relates his encounter with volunteers conducting a Democrat voter registration drive … and his resulting experiment in liberal-baiting.

I took to the streets to see if my appearance had any bearing on their action. First dressing as I normally do; dressed in a pair of khaki chinos, a light blue Oxford, and a pair of brown Doc Martin�s, I entered the hostile territory. Not to my surprise, I walked right past the activists amidst a haze of “Stop the Bush Imperialists”, “No Blood for Oil”, and “Not My President”! It was as if they didn�t even see me.

The first phase of my testing was complete; they had failed to approach me during three opportunities. Enter phase two: undercover. Garbed in a borrowed Pearl Jam t-shirt, a set of torn jeans, a pair of Birkenstocks, some thick rimmed “emo” glasses, and the quintessential hemp jewelry, I returned to the scene of the crime. It is amazing how different the experience was, as I was double teamed from the second I entered the intersection where two hours earlier the same people failed to realize I was even in their presence.

It’s an entertaining read, so help yourself.
Hat tip: The Open End

My wish list for the next four years

Now that we’ve won the election, it’s time to capitalize. I offer three lists as starting points for thinking about what to do next.
Here’s my off-the-cuff list of top political priorities that President Bush and the Republican Congress ought to pursue between now and 2008.

  1. Redouble the war effort. It’s no quagmire. We have the initiative now, so let’s exploit it.
    • Reaffirm the Bush Doctrine. Then beef it up by repealing Section 2.11 of Executive Order 12333, which forbids assassination as a foreign policy tool.
    • Stick Osama’s head on a pike. No arrest. No trial. Sure, as a martyr he’ll be an inspiration to terrorists, but he already is. His continued respiration makes us look weak. Kill him, kill his followers, and humiliate his fans.
    • Crush the insurgency in Iraq. That means flattening Fallujah for starters.
    • Seal our borders.
    • Use profiling to catch the enemy here. That means looking more closely at:
      • People from countries that support terrorism
      • Muslims
      • Men of Middle Eastern appearance between the ages of 16 and 40.
    • Topple the governments in Iran, Syria, and North Korea. Use diplomacy, sanctions, and internal instability if possible. Otherwise use force.
    • Field new weapons systems tailored for this war.
    • Kill obsolete weapons systems. Pork be damned.
  2. Stop worrying about offending American leftists and don’t let them drive your policies. Unabashed conservatism wins and “the new tone” loses. We won, so start governing like it.
  3. Stop worrying about the media’s opinion of you. They’ll never like you, so get over it. It’s our votes you need, not theirs. Besides, the blogosphere’s here to stay, and the media dinosaurs will either evolve or die … and either way, you win.
  4. Appoint and confirm conservative judges.
  5. Cut taxes, regulation and especially spending.
  6. Pass the Federal Marriage Amendment.
  7. Boost military pay (especially combat pay).
  8. Replace the tax code with a national sales tax (or at worst, a flat tax).
  9. Expand the majority in the Senate and House in 2006.
  10. Europe is about to come crawling for our forgiveness, because they’re realists and they know we’re in the driver’s seat for good. Be polite, give them some of the financial action, but never defer to their judgment on anything.
  11. Move the federal budgeting process to a two-year cycle.
  12. If the Partial Birth Abortion Ban dies in the Supreme Court, pass it again and keep fighting.
  13. Consider a newer, better GI Bill; ask the troops what they want.
  14. Leave the United Nations. It’s rotten to the core, and has long outlived its usefulness. This will help with #10, above.

As for the military, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

  1. Add at least two divisions to the Army.
  2. Ease up on deployments for the Reserves & National Guard.
  3. In recruiting, continue the shift from “here’s what you’ll get” to “here’s how you can serve“, because we want warriors and not half-hearted mercenaries.
  4. Get sophisticated in your recruiting. If your efforts look half-assed, then you’ll get the recruits you paid for.
  5. Keep women from combat.
  6. Cultivate frontline warriors among noncoms and junior officers. Get the combat lessons they’ve learned into institutional memory now, before they leave the service.

Last, a list for the conservative blogosphere.

  1. Destroy the credibility of the mainstream media.
  2. Repeat #1.

I’ll add to the lists and expand them as things come to mind.

Brief update from the trenches

Today I attended a three-hour training session for Republican election observers in NE Ohio. We hailed from Cuyahoga, Lorain, and Erie Counties (see map), and this was just one of three training sessions taking place today in NE Ohio alone. Although I won’t reveal any strategy or data that Democrats might find useful, I do have some interesting tidbits to share.

  • Pay close attention to news about Ohio’s new provisional ballots. Remember the dance of the hanging chads? To win Ohio without a court fight, President Bush must take this state by a wide enough margin to make all provisional ballots irrelevant.
  • The GOP expected no more than 300 volunteers at today’s poll observer training session in Westlake. Over 400 of us showed up, reportedly blowing away the attendance figures at a corresponding statewide Democrat confab hyped as a demonstration of their grassroots support. Keep in mind that there were two other GOP sessions in progress simultaneously, and you’ll begin to get a sense of the scale of our motivation.
  • We 400 observers are mostly average citizens getting involved in a campaign for the very first time. I saw plenty of retirees, college kids, housewives, small business owners, and accomplished professionals. Very few were experienced political operatives. All of us are taking Tuesday off to keep watch over the electoral process. We’re well-trained, we’re on rock-solid legal ground, and we’re motivated. Dear left-leaning friends: you’d be wise not to try any funny business. We won’t interfere in the election, but we’ll sure as hell catch you if you do. We know how to spot every trick in your playbook. You’ve gone a bridge too far, and managed to fire up more of the Republican base than in your worst nightmares.
  • Ohio law has permitted poll observers for something like 70+ years, but we’ve never used them and never challenged a vote … until the left forced us to react to their blatant intent to win at any cost. Feel free to thank ACORN, the NAACP National Voter Fund, MoveOn.org, America Coming Together, The Media Fund, George Soros, Peter B. Lewis, Senator John McCain, Senator Russ Feingold …
  • There are 78,000 GOP volunteers hard at work in Ohio. Young Republicans from out of state are knocking on doors (including mine, which is how I know) to get out the vote, and total political neophytes are burning up the outgoing phone lines at jam-packed local Bush/Cheney headquarters.
  • Democrats have filed lawsuits seeking to forbid more than one GOP observer per polling place. This is significant because many polling places contain voting facilities for multiple precincts. If the Democrat lawsuits succeed (as of 5 PM today the outcome was still up in the air), you’ll see polling places where a single overworked GOP observer tries to keep an eye on several precincts at once. That’ll be a situation ripe for exploitation by fraudsters.
  • At least one person tried to infiltrate today’s training session in Westlake by posing as a Republican who dropped in at the last minute to volunteer. His name wasn’t on the list and he couldn’t identify any references. He threatened to volunteer at the Kucinich call center unless we let him in. Odd threat for a “Republican”, eh? He left unhappy.
  • Infiltrating a political campaign carries stiff criminal penalties in Ohio. Mr. I-Love-Dennis-Kucinich ought to thank us for saving him from spending Christmas in the pokey.
  • Watch the Ohio poll results for a last-minute Democrat surge. Conservative SW Ohio and moderate Central Ohio report their results promptly, but heavily Democratic Cleveland always reports its results late in the evening and can tip the balance for the whole state. I’ll leave you to speculate about the reasons for foot-dragging by NE Ohio Democrats when they’re counting votes.
  • 20,000 Republicans turned up in Westlake last week to hear President Bush speak, and only two dozen lethargic Democrats managed to show up to protest. It’ll be raining hard in NE Ohio on Election Day. Rain discourages potential voters who aren’t motivated. Re-read all of the bullet points above and … you do the math.

Buckle your seat belts, folks. It’s gonna be a wild ride.

UPDATE (11/1, 9:00 AM): Thanks to a Clinton judge, we’re on hold. We’ll see what the 6th Circuit has to say.
UPDATE (11/1, 9:00 PM): Rock ‘n roll. Also, see Power Line for news from a blogger who’s an election lawyer in the trenches tomorrow (don’t miss their post on the limousine liberal Clinton-appoinrted judge we observers just thumped, too).

The Ant and The Grasshopper

Just got this in the ol’ e-mail inbox. It’s a well-circulated retelling of an old fable, but it’s still funny.

Classic version:
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building His house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he’s a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.
Moral: Be responsible for yourself!

Modern version:
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he’s a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.
Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he and other unfortunate grasshoppers are cold and starving. CBS, NBC, ABC, and CNN (FOX was noticeable by their absence) show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.
America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?
Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing a duet version of “It’s Not Easy Being Green.” Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant’s house where the above media film the group singing “We shall overcome.” Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray for the grasshopper’s sake.
Senator Tom Daschle and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi exclaim in an interview with ABC’s Peter Jennings (a Canadian) that ants have gotten rich off the backs of grasshoppers, and both call for an immediate tax hike on ants to make them pay their “fair share.”
Finally, the EEOC drafts the “Economic Equity and Anti-Grasshopper Act,” which Congress passes with a veto-proof majority and makes it retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.
Senator Hillary Clinton gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that ex-President Bill Clinton appointed from a list of socialist-leaning, wealth-redistributing attorneys. The ant loses the case.
The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant’s old house, crumbles around him because he doesn’t maintain it.
The ant disappears in the snow. The grasshopper is found dead in a drug-related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.
Moral: Vote Republican

Who better to expose Kerry than another Democrat?

Zell Miller uncorked a 55-gallon drum of whupass on John Kerry in his keynote speech at the Republican Convention tonight. He didn’t wait for applause, he didn’t smile, he didn’t joke. He looked and spoke like a man on a mission, animated by cold determination to protect his family.
A few key nuggets from a speech I’ll be remembering in 2024:

It is not [the Democratic leaders’] patriotism – it is their judgment that has been so sorely lacking. They claimed Carter’s pacifism would lead to peace. They were wrong. They claimed Reagan’s defense buildup would lead to war. They were wrong.
And, no pair has been more wrong, more loudly, more often than the two Senators from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry.

The B-1 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, dropped 40% of the bombs in the first six months of Operation Enduring Freedom. The B-2 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, delivered air strikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hussein’s command post in Iraq. … I could go on and on and on: Against the Patriot Missile that shot down Saddam Hussein’s scud missiles over Israel, Against the Aegis air-defense cruiser, Against the Strategic Defense Initiative, Against the Trident missile, against, against, against.
This is the man who wants to be the Commander in Chief of our U.S. Armed Forces? U.S. forces armed with what? Spitballs?

For more than twenty years, on every one of the great issues of freedom and security, John Kerry has been more wrong, more weak and more wobbly than any other national figure. As a war protestor, Kerry blamed our military.

George Bush wants to grab terrorists by the throat and not let them go to get a better grip. From John Kerry, they get a “yes-no-maybe” bowl of mush that can only encourage our enemies and confuse our friends.

Right now the world just cannot afford an indecisive America. Fainthearted self-indulgence will put at risk all we care about in this world.

The Democratic nominee can’t even claim that Republicans were smearing him; it was a point-by-point exposure and debunking of Kerry’s voting record, administered by a fellow Democrat.
Beautiful.

UPDATE: Redstate has anecdotal evidence that Zell’s speech worked.

How to embarrass the TV networks

I keep hearing rumblings about the major TV networks deciding not to cover the Republican National Convention tonight. It’s opening night, for goodness’ sake. If this is true, it really puts the networks’ bias on display (especially after they refused to cover the SwiftVets controversy for days). If I were running the RNC, I’d be thinking of ways to turn the situation to the GOP’s advantage by embarrassing the networks.
So how do you embarrass a news network that’s ignoring you? Break a big story. Any story. Just make sure it’s something so big that they’ll be forced to cover it, and watch the networks scramble (cursing all the while) to get their reporters on the scene.

Whistling past the graveyard?

A journalism professor from Harvard’s Kennedy School wrote an editorial yesterday in the factually-challenged L.A. Times. The piece makes some accurate observations on the different roles of mainstream media vs. blogs, but also takes potshots at the typical blogger as a “blustering know-it-all in a bar.”
We’ll see.