When Obamacare became law in 2010, the overwhelming response of the Republican party was “Repeal Obamacare”. It was Obamacare, coupled with the Obama’s Economic Stimulus (borrow and print) Plan, that caused voters to reject President Obama’s agenda. The 2010 mid-term elections returned control of the U.S. House back to Republicans in order to prevent Obama from further transforming America into a socialist nation. Our own congressman, Greg Walden, benefited from this shift in power and was promoted to U.S. House leadership, where he echoed the “Repeal Obamacare” mantra as he traveled Oregon’s 2nd congressional district.
In 2012 Mitt Romney led the charge against Obamacare with the slogan “Repeal and Replace”. The idea was that Obamacare was bad, but Republicans needed to be seen as the party with a better idea, and not just return the health insurance system back to the broken system before Obamacare. Congressman Walden stood alongside Romney, encouraging everyone in the district to join him to fight Obamacare and to replace it with a better, Republican health insurance plan. Leading up to the 2014 mid-terms Congressman Walden ran campaign ads asking for online donations to “Fight Obamacare”.
This all sounds so good, and that’s why I’m worried — and you should be too. Are we victims of the old “bait and switch” tactic?
Klamath County — at or near 10% unemployment for over six years straight. Many are homeless. Many are on State or Federal subside programs while at the same time almost everyone employed by a government agency has not felt one drop of the economic tragedy since the housing collapse of 2008.
So the leftists go to work. They are going to bring economic prosperity through more programs, better public school buildings (not education), more parks and improved public safety. But that is not how the real world works. Improving those items are nice, and may earn one accolades by fellow citizens because it all sounds so wonderful and noble. However, that is not how to build a local economy.
On Monday we lost a great, conservative county commissioner and replaced him with a moderate politician. Kelly Minty-Morris was sworn into office on Monday as the next Klamath County Commissioner. Even though the Commissioner seats are now non-partisan, as a Republican Minty-Morris joins two other Republicans in office: Jim Bellet and Tom Mallams.
We see this change from Linthicum to Minty-Morris as an unfortunate setback for conservative values in government. Linthicum continually opposed ballot measures that restricted the people’s liberty and/or raised taxes (which if you think for a moment are one in the same). He fought hard to make government do with less, so that the people could do more. However, the three commissioners now in office (for the next two years) may claim they hold these same principles, but in practice it is far less certain.
Three reasons to worry:
Tomorrow, the U.S. House of Representatives will face the most important vote they will encounter for the next two years. On Tuesday, January 6, 2015 the House will vote for their next Speaker. The reason this is the most important vote cast by each Representative is because of the enormous power the Speaker has on how the U.S. House of Representatives is governed. If you get on the Speaker’s naughty list, chances are you will not get a good committee assignment, your bills will never make it out of committee and do not expect any funding to come your way for re-election.
The Speaker’s position is also very important from a PR perspective. Not only does this office wield the gavel when it comes to legislation, this is the office that the DC Press look to when there is a divided government in order to find a contrary opinion to the President’s. It is therefore crucial to have someone in power who can clearly articulate the conservative point of view and why it is best for the country.
Finally the Speaker’s office is powerful because it was made that way by the Founders. They put the order of Presidential succession:
Here we stand. The U.S. Constitution has been trampled on by our President, issuing yet another executive order making law — without Congress — that those who had broken the lass of our land and entered the country illegally were now welcomed guests — with no doubt an invitation coming shortly to become citizens.
The challenge we face is two fold:
- How are we going to stop President Obama from doing further damage via his fiat pen?
- Who is going to undo this damage when President Obama is out of office?
The first question is, will our Republican led congress do anything of substance to stop Obama? This means more than using Obama’s actions for a GOP fundraisers or for raising the hackles on the back of our necks so we support the GOP. No, Obama took action. Now it is our turn. But will the GOP do likewise — take real action — to stop this and future unconstitutional acts? Congress controls the purse, so there is an wide swath of pressure they can place upon the White House — but will they take real action or will they just talk? Watch your congressman, watch your senators and watch the upcoming candidates for the 2016 GOP nomination. Talk is cheap. Real, substantiative action is what we need.
... and Emotional People Will Vote Yes
It has been interesting to watch the latest round of “we need more money for the children” telethon. Of course I’m talking about the advocates for Bond Measure 18-99. If passed, the Klamath Falls School District (KFSD) will get a loan of $36,000,000 that the tax-payers in the district will be on the hook for the next 20 years. The economic impact is that over $2 million each year will be transferred from the citizens of Klamath Falls to the special interest consortium of banking, construction and real estate.
The Yes crowd’s claim is that this bond measure will benefit the children. It is a pure emotional plea. There is no real thinking behind it. In the final analysis it is some personal feeling that drives the Yes vote. In reality this bond measure does nothing for the children except to make their parents poorer while doing nothing to fix the real problem in Klamath County — education.
Public teachers often get a pass. They get to claim their main reason for being a public school teacher is that they care about the kids and that they love teaching. While they may complain about the work at times, how difficult students can be, if we dare challenge this core motive — caring for children — we are instantly made out to be demons with horns and pitch fork.
However, it is my belief that for most public school teachers this is a smoke screen, that caring for students and their education is not their core motive. So how do I prove to you my hypothesis, that most public school teachers really care more about something else than their students and their education? It can be done with two simple questions.
Yes, I'm serious with that question: Are Conservatives Smart? I don’t mean in an IQ kind of way, but more in a street-smart, politically-savvy kind of way. The more I travel conservative circles and hear responses from those who claim to be conservative, the more I am inclined to think we conservatives are not politically smart.
One such item that bothers my colleague, G.W. Washington, and myself is the inability of conservatives to see the long-view on the political landscape. Conservatives are mostly about the next election. Rarely, if ever, have I been in the presence of conservatives and learn about their 20-, 10- or even 5-year plan. Why? Because most conservatives do not think that far ahead. Conservatives are easily angered by liberals and progressive policies, vowing to do all they can to get rid of the bums in Washington, Salem or Klamath Falls. However, if doing so requires building a strategic 10-year plan, all bets are off. Conservatives can not seem to seem to see beyond hill just in front of them.
This is why conservatives play defense so much of the time. We seem to be always voting “No” to liberal agendas. Very rarely are conservatives putting ballot initiatives together in order to move their agenda forward. Where is the ballot measure to make County Commissioners partisan again? Where is the ballot initiative to require 50% of voters to approve any sort of new tax or levy? Where are the ballot initiatives to lower property taxes? Where are they? Of course every now and then there are exceptions. But you will see this play out if you look at your November ballot. Notice that there is not one conservative agenda on the ballot — all of the ideas and ballot measures are progressive ones.
Problem: Your general ballot for congressman, governor, senator, state representative, county commissioner or city council person does NOT contain a conservative candidate. The general election is between a moderate Republican and a Democrat (who is liberal — that pretty much goes without saying). The common retort is to “vote as conservative as you can”. In other words, hold your nose and vote for the Republican, because it will be better than having a Democrat in office — or so the thinking goes.
This has been the conventional wisdom for about 50 years. Let me ask, how’s this advice working out? Do moderate Republicans deliver on conservative agendas? Are we moving in a more conservative direction as a country and as a community?
This advice, while helping ease our conscious, does little to help to move any conservative agenda forward, and actually does much harm. Why? Because moderate Republicans are not in the business of upsetting the status quo. Moderate Republicans find their home in better managing the current systems put in place by liberal Democrats. Think about it. Where is the outcry from the National Republican party over Obamacare? At first opposition and repeal language was loud and large, but recently have you heard anything? If asked, the GOP will say they can't do anything until the have control of the Senate. But stop and think, is this the overarching theme from the Republican party for their Senate candidates? Do you think once in control of the Senate the GOP will repeal Obamacare? Or do you think the GOP will instead try to make Obamacare better and more manageable? Will they work with the President on some sort of compromise to get something done? If you guessed the second answer, you're getting it. Moderate candidates and legislators are all about being liked and getting along. That’s how they get re-elected — which is their #1 goal that supersedes all other policy matters. Fighting to tear down a bureaucracy is not in their nature and therefore they won't take a stand unless there is complete political cover for such an action. Why? Because tearing down a government program means people benefiting from the program become upset. When people get upset they make a lot of noise and demonize the person taking away their freebie. Moderates melt in such conditions like an ice cube on the equator. Therefore moderates avoid any such activity of undoing government programs and bureaucracies put in motion by Democrats.
When the Founders Fathers passed our Constitution in 1787, the idea of a representative republic was a grand idea — an experiment — as no one in power had ever executed such a distributive model for governance. At the end of the constitutional convention, Ben Franklin answered the question about what form of government the convention had created by stating, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
Franklin, as well as the others in attendance, knew this idea of a representative republic would only work as long as regular citizens served as our representatives. Our first president George Washington set the example of returning to private life after only two terms as President. Washington said when being asked to run for a third term, “I had rather be in my grave than in my present situation, I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world; and yet they charge me with wanting to be a king.”