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Archive for the ‘Goldwater’ Category

BLANKLEY: No more profiles in caution

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From The Washington Times:

Effort to slow-boil the freedom frogs has failed

The Republican Party must break with its long-established, cautious instincts and make a bold stand for first principles of freedom and constitutional limitations on government – from full repeal of Obamacare to rolling back multitrillion dollar deficits. This is not so much reproach of past Republican conduct as it is recognition of new opportunities.
The post-World War II conservative movement was born in the shadows of towering liberalism. As a result, when conservatism intermittently gained political power via the Republican Party, there were practical limits to how much liberalism they could plausibly try to dismantle. I know – I was there with the Goldwater campaign and with the Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich governing efforts.
For example, in 1982, Reagan’s Department of Education (where I was deputy assistant secretary for public affairs) tried to dismantle the Department of Education. But we could not find even one Republican member of the House Education and Labor Committee to introduce our bill.
A dozen years later, when Speaker Gingrich (for whom I was press secretary) again proposed killing the Department of Education, the opposition (even among Republicans) was so powerful across the country that further effort became futile.
There has been a strong national presumption of legitimacy for most of the statist programs policies and rulings introduced by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon Baines Johnson and the Supreme Court. To challenge them drew sneering ridicule, not just from the usual liberal suspects, but from most mainstream Republican voters.
Creeping statism simply had become normative. A politician who, for example, called for strict adherence of the 10th Amendment was marginalized and rejected as a crank by both American politics and American culture.
As a result, Reagan and Mr. Gingrich and the conservatives who supported them could, by and large, only slow down the growth of government. The only major reversal of statist policy we gained was the 1996 reform of welfare – and that only after two vetoes by President Clinton.
Thus, Republican congressmen, senators and governors – even staunch, principled conservatives – developed the instinct to propose only modestly less statist policies than Democrats did (as, for example, George W. Bush’s Medicare Part D subsidies for drugs.) And we did so for the very practical reason that to do more assured overwhelming opposition by the broad center of the country, which took for granted that the structures and programs of government that had existed since they were born were normal, not unconstitutionally statist.
But the financial panic and economic collapse of 2008, and Washington’s shocking, new proposals, laws, deficits and debt has changed the consciousness of a broad majority of the nation. The incurring of trillions of dollars of national debt in the last year has, almost simultaneously across the nation, induced a common revulsion: How dare Washington indebt and impoverish our grandchildren.
All the following acts have suddenly awakened Americans to their Constitution: (1) The nationalization of car companies and banks; (2) the subordination of the car companies’ legal bondholders to union bosses; (3) the creation of trillion-dollar slush funds (the stimulus package) used for, among other purposes, the corrupt purchase of congressional votes; (4) the mandating of individual health insurance purchase against the will of Americans; (5) the attempt to have Obamacare “deemed” to have been enacted, rather than actually publicly voted on by Congress.
Amazingly, spontaneously, Americans are educating themselves about the details of our Constitution. Last week, I participated in a town hall meeting organized by Sirius Radio network with a large live audience and call-ins from state legislators across the country to discuss the merits of invoking an Article V constitutional convention (much more on that in a later column.) Many members of the audience – regular people from all over the country – held up their pocket Constitutions, which they keep with them.
Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion – every action has a reaction equal in magnitude and opposite in direction – also applies to the political physics of the body politic. The suddenness and radical magnitude of Washington actions these past 18 months has induced an equal and equally radical reaction.
It is in this context that I urge the Republican Party to abandon its – until now – justifiable instinct to be cautious and limited in its call for traditional American freedoms and constitutional limitations on government.
Throughout my political life such caution has been the smart and necessary political practice for the Republican Party – even under Reagan. But now, such caution not only misses an historic opportunity, but such caution is suddenly the single best way for the Republicans to lose in November by failing to be seen as the vehicle for an angry public’s re-seizure of its freedoms.
The unnoticed, Fabian creep of statism these past 80 years – the slow boiling of the frogs of freedom – has suddenly been noticed by countless millions of us freedom-loving frogs. The frogs are jumping out of the pot and are ready to overturn the pots – and the pot handlers.
Everything is on the table to be considered for rollback. It didn’t start with President Obama, but it may begin to end with him.
He has awakened the American people to our heritage of freedom and the people are getting ready to grab back our freedom by the handful.
Here’s a tip to Republican senators: Be bold and explicit. The president’s nominee for the Supreme Court should be defeated by filibuster exclusively because he (or she) will inevitably vote to uphold as constitutional the unconstitutional health care insurance purchase mandate.
Tony Blankley is the author of “American Grit: What It Will Take to Survive and Win in the 21st Century” (Regnery, 2009) and vice president of the Edelman public relations firm in Washington.
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This Past Year

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This past year was a tough one in many ways, enlightening and transforming in others, and frustrating all the same.  In the beginning of the year, we lost my Dad. He was born 1925 in Westbury NY, the 6th child of seven to Italian immigrants (Italian was dad’s first language, but that is another story). Dad left high school to join the Army Air Corps at the age of 18. He was a tail gunner (E-6) in a B-17 and flew 35 missions over Germany as part of the 8th Air Force. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 4 bronze service stars. After the war, he worked for the County of Nassau as a Greenskeeper and did that job for 39 years. He married my mom in 1958, and had two sons as well as two stepdaughters. Dad was a quiet and reserved guy. He rarely drank, never got into trouble, and lived a respectable life. He was my father and a great dad. I will miss my Saturday morning phone conversations with my Dad, his counsel, and his love. He was preceded in death by his wife, and is survived by his sons and stepdaughters, 14 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren. 

Dad never talked about his military service, and most things I know my mom told me or I learned from his military records. All I can tell you that is after getting on board a confederate air force B-17, I have no idea how those guys did it. I would have been very cramped, and by all accounts, I’d guess you would have to have nerves of steel. Politically, by today’s standards, my dad would be considered a conservative and as far as national politics, he always voted republican. In fact, much to Eric Dondero’s pleasant surprise, my dad always lamented Goldwater losing the 1964 election. 🙂 Anyway, dad will be missed and is missed by all who knew him. 
when I lived in NY, I used to consult as a computer specialist, supporting print shops and photographers, as well as graphic artists. Basically I was a Mac expert. One of my clients passed away this year, a man by the name of Carl Limbacher Sr. Over the years I have had many clients, but only a few have kept in touch since my move to the mid-west. Carl and I kept in touch over the years and he and I were kindred spirits politically, and all I can say is that he was a great guy. A veteran of the 8th Air Force like my dad, he was also from the “Greatest Generation”. He believed in hard work, and continued as such with his own business into his 80’s. It was always a pleasure to go to his business and I looked forward to talking with his sons Carl and Chris. If only he had known I would have done it for free. All I can tell you is that Carl will be missed and is missed. You may know his son Carl from News Max, and as “Carl from Oyster Bay”. A great guy as well. I only wish I had his abilities in writing and political commentary. 
This year was also my first year in a new job, which can be stressful, and I also started this blog. The combination of which has turned out to be problematic at one point, and I still have my doubts. I won’t get into it right now, but all I can say is that I would rather do this, if it only paid… 
It also has been an exciting year to say the least. Presidential primaries, the general election, the election of our first black president. We’ve also had an economic crash, bailouts, high drama with banks and the car manufacturers feigning death to take money out of our pockets. Shakespeare would be in his glory. 
So, as we bridge the divide between 2008 and 2009, we must make sure not to get stuck in both places, and concern ourselves with the here and now with full knowledge of our past and plans for the future. Tomorrow will be here soon enough. What will 2009 bring? Heartache? Penury? Impecuniousness? Serendipity? Fecundity? All of the above? Who knows.  I am sure we will be equally entertained, but all I hope for is a better year than the past one. Oh yeah, Cannoli Numero 2 is coming up. Stay tuned. 
Thank you for reading this blog. 

Written by James Lagnese

December 27, 2008 at 3:59 pm

This Past Year

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This past year was a tough one in many ways, enlightening and transforming in others, and frustrating all the same.  In the beginning of the year, we lost my Dad. He was born 1925 in Westbury NY, the 6th child of seven to Italian immigrants (Italian was dad’s first language, but that is another story). Dad left high school to join the Army Air Corps at the age of 18. He was a tail gunner (E-6) in a B-17 and flew 35 missions over Germany as part of the 8th Air Force. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 4 bronze service stars. After the war, he worked for the County of Nassau as a Greenskeeper and did that job for 39 years. He married my mom in 1958, and had two sons as well as two stepdaughters. Dad was a quiet and reserved guy. He rarely drank, never got into trouble, and lived a respectable life. He was my father and a great dad. I will miss my Saturday morning phone conversations with my Dad, his counsel, and his love. He was preceded in death by his wife, and is survived by his sons and stepdaughters, 14 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren. 

Dad never talked about his military service, and most things I know my mom told me or I learned from his military records. All I can tell you that is after getting on board a confederate air force B-17, I have no idea how those guys did it. I would have been very cramped, and by all accounts, I’d guess you would have to have nerves of steel. Politically, by today’s standards, my dad would be considered a conservative and as far as national politics, he always voted republican. In fact, much to Eric Dondero’s pleasant surprise, my dad always lamented Goldwater losing the 1964 election. 🙂 Anyway, dad will be missed and is missed by all who knew him. 
when I lived in NY, I used to consult as a computer specialist, supporting print shops and photographers, as well as graphic artists. Basically I was a Mac expert. One of my clients passed away this year, a man by the name of Carl Limbacher Sr. Over the years I have had many clients, but only a few have kept in touch since my move to the mid-west. Carl and I kept in touch over the years and he and I were kindred spirits politically, and all I can say is that he was a great guy. A veteran of the 8th Air Force like my dad, he was also from the “Greatest Generation”. He believed in hard work, and continued as such with his own business into his 80’s. It was always a pleasure to go to his business and I looked forward to talking with his sons Carl and Chris. If only he had known I would have done it for free. All I can tell you is that Carl will be missed and is missed. You may know his son Carl from News Max, and as “Carl from Oyster Bay”. A great guy as well. I only wish I had his abilities in writing and political commentary. 
This year was also my first year in a new job, which can be stressful, and I also started this blog. The combination of which has turned out to be problematic at one point, and I still have my doubts. I won’t get into it right now, but all I can say is that I would rather do this, if it only paid… 
It also has been an exciting year to say the least. Presidential primaries, the general election, the election of our first black president. We’ve also had an economic crash, bailouts, high drama with banks and the car manufacturers feigning death to take money out of our pockets. Shakespeare would be in his glory. 
So, as we bridge the divide between 2008 and 2009, we must make sure not to get stuck in both places, and concern ourselves with the here and now with full knowledge of our past and plans for the future. Tomorrow will be here soon enough. What will 2009 bring? Heartache? Penury? Impecuniousness? Serendipity? Fecundity? All of the above? Who knows.  I am sure we will be equally entertained, but all I hope for is a better year than the past one. Oh yeah, Cannoli Numero 2 is coming up. Stay tuned. 
Thank you for reading this blog. 

Written by James Lagnese

December 27, 2008 at 3:59 pm