Washington Pols Unworthy of Our Trust

Washington Pols Unworthy of Our Trust

I rarely post in full an article from another blog. This article by Gary Gross on The California Conservative is so on point that I felt it should be restated.

I just finished posting something that illustrates Harry Reid’s and Nancy Pelosi’s diminutive and shrinking credibility here. Now I’m writing another article that illustrates President Bush’s non-existent credibility on immigration reform. I’m basing this post on Thomas Lifson’s op-ed, which is posted on RealClearPolitics. Here’s the first section of Mr. Lifson’s op-ed that jumped out at me:

President Bush is threatening to revive the failed comprehensive immigration bill in “improved” form. He is wasting his and our time. No amount of improving can make the comprehensive approach the best path for America to solve its immigration woes. Instead of a big bang approach to immigration reform, we need to adopt a different sort of change strategy for America, a step-by-step, or iterative approach, learning as we go, passing reforms in a logical sequence, and learning from mistakes along the way.

It saddens me to think that this immigration bill’s most vocal supporters are bent on not taking this issue seriously. My disappointment on their lack of seriousness is only exceeded by my disappointment at their thinking that they know best and their acting like they have a shred of credibility left on the issue of enforcing immigration laws. Here’s Mr. Lifson’s quote that most jumps out at me:

The politicians do not seem to realize how completely they have lost the confidence of the American people when it comes to stemming the flow of illegals across the border.

That statement is spot on. Frankly, I’m not certain that they even care that they don’t have a shred of credibility left. This, I’m afraid, points to another trend that I think will play out during next year’s campaign.

The trend that I’m noticing is an anti-Washington wave building. This week’s polls that showed Harry Reid’s JA approval rating at 19 percent illustrates that point. The fact that President Bush’s JA rating is in the low 30’s is more proof that his policies aren’t well-liked. The fact that Congress’ JA rating is 5 points lower than President Bush’s rating tells me that people see Washington insiders like Trent Lott, Ted Kennedy and John McCain as not worthy of their trust.

Once the trust between politicians and the American people is broken, it’s finished. I’m convinced that that’s why activists’ reactions to this ugly compromise is seen in such a negative light. Polls show that that intensity isn’t exclusive to Republican activists or Democrat activists. The intensity is high and it’s coming from both sides of the aisle.

What this tells me is that candidates that give voters straight, logical answers will flourish. Similarly, those candidates that give evasive answers will be punished. (That’s why I think Hillary won’t do well and why Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney will do well.)

I’d also believe that Republicans will gain from this national mood if they show that they’re serious about reforms throughout the political system. Here’s how I can see that scenario playing out: I can picture Jon Bruning defeating Chuck Hagel in the GOP primary in Nebraska. Based on this report, I can also picture Lindsey Graham getting beaten in South Carolina:

People are talking about newly elected State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel, son of the legendary “Cousin Arthur” Ravenel who represented the 1st CD in Congress for a decade, then came home and ran again for State Senate, from where he sought and found the funds for the new Cooper River bridge which not coincidentally now bears his name, challenging Graham in the primaries next year.I don’t know how Graham is holding on in his upstate base (a very conservative area), but Ravenel would run up large majorities in the Low country and Grand Strand. His father is perhaps the most beloved politician in the state, and he is an attractive and conservative candidate.

Based on what I’ve read about Bruning and based on this information, I think that it’s quite possible to knock off both Hagel and Graham in the primaries and to have Bruning and Ravenel keep those seats in GOP hands in the general election. Defeating Sens. Hagel and Graham would send a definitive message to wobblies throughout the GOP. Equally important is the fact that it’d send the message to voters that we’re serious about cleaning up our image with actions and that we’re serious about doing what’s right for the American people.

If those things happen, the GOP will be (a) charting a new course for America and (b) giving people a reason to trust them on a variety of issues, including the GWOT and immigration.

That’s a goal that’s worth our sweat and hard work. It’s a goal that’s worthy of the party of Reagan.


A Conversation for the Ages

A Conversation for the Ages

My friend, Tom Del Beccaro, who was recently elected to the post of Vice Chairman of the California Republican Party, publishes an online political magazine, Political Vanguard. Today he published an article he wrote relaying a conversation between George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Nancy Pelosi. I am reposting it here because it is so on point.

Washington & Lincoln Sit Down
with Nancy Pelosi


In Washington’s Mt. Vernon sitting room, if time had fewer limits, perhaps this is a conversation they would have . . .

Washington: Good evening Mr. President.

Lincoln: Good Evening Mr. President, but, if you will, please call me Abe.

Washington: Thank you Sir, I shall take advantage of such courtesy. Please refer to me as George. I know your travels were long so please stay the evening if not more.

Lincoln: George, I know of your reputation of being far too kind to travelers. So I shall stay tonight. But I shall not overextend my stay as so many others have.

Washington: I am pleased you will stay. Now, in these moments before Madame Pelosi arrives, pray tell, what are your thoughts of these times in which she lives.

Lincoln: They bear a certain resemblance to mine and yours I must say. This President Bush has many doubters, those looking for peace, disappointed by war, occasionally forgetting that true peace is often just an interlude brought on – not by avoidance – but by vigilance.

Washington: Well said, I know in my own time the prospects of our Revolutionary War were more than doubted. In any case, here she comes; let us see what wisdom she can impart on the ages.

Good evening Madame Speaker.

Speaker Pelosi: Good Evening President Washington and President Lincoln.

Washington: Welcome. We have been anxious to speak with you – to understand your perspective. Let us start, if you please, with your view of the Iraq war.

Pelosi: Thank you for speaking with me. I regret to say, however, that it is a failed war. Too many men have died. Our President Bush misled the American people to get them into the war and he has proven to be a very poor Commander in Chief. It is time for us to leave that country. This war has gone on far too long.

Lincoln: If I may, Mr. President.

Washington: Of course, Mr. President.

Lincoln: Madame Speaker, you recall, I trust, that my critics claimed that I lied to get the North into the Civil War. Indeed, at the time a Democrat parodied me with the following:

“Honest old Abe, when the war first began,
Denied abolition was part of his plan;
Honest old Abe has since made a decree,
The war must go on till the slaves are all free.
As both can’t be honest, will some one tell how,
If honest Abe then, he is honest Abe now?”

I tell you this because the reasons to go to war are always much easier to criticize than to justify. As for those that have given their lives in honor of their Country, my own Union Army lost over 7,000 men in the battle of Cold Harbor – more than twice our losses in the 4 years of the Iraq War.

I could never say, however, that my men or any soldier in service of his Country died in vain. In the case of the Civil War, the world’s last best hope was saved.

It is my view, therefore, that the battles of a war, however painful in losses, are not the final arbiter of its purpose. Even at their depths, there are fights which must be undertaken despite their odds.

Washington: Of that last sentiment I know something. Few believed our Revolutionary War would succeed let alone the many that doubted it purpose.

Pelosi: But this President has fought this war so poorly that it is lost.

Washington: Perhaps I know even more about that sentiment. Indeed, as Commander of the Continental Army I am very proud of our victory. But humility and honesty requires me to confess that I lost more battles than I won. Indeed, I lost the battle of New York, and our Capital Philadelphia and overall spent many a month in retreat. Such are the vicissitudes of War. I too must agree with President Lincoln, however, that losses change not the nobility of your purpose.

Pelosi: Maybe so, but this President has failed to properly equip our soldiers and risks still greater losses.

Washington: Madame Speaker, we founded a nation on much less. My army was poorly clothed. We lived in crowded tents through the desperate cold of winter and ran short of supplies. We did so when we were facing the most powerful army in the world, the army of King George. Would you have wanted us to wait until our provisions were of great supply? If so, that war for freedom never would have been fought.

Remember too that we fought 8 years to give you freedom. Given our population at the time, I gather you would have declared that our losses were catastrophic. The patience of history, I believe, views them otherwise.

Pelosi: But you were fighting for democracy, we can have no assurance there will be democracy in the Middle East.

Lincoln: If I my may speak on President Washington’s behalf in this regard.

Washington: Certainly.

Lincoln: At the time our first Commander fought for liberty, there was no example of a working democracy in the world let alone the over 200 democracies of which you know today. The people of his day were allured by the reasoning of Locke and expected the Enlightenment to reach our shores as it had no where else. But they had no assurances. Indeed, they had no clear example at all. In that light, and against those odds, their achievement ranks among history’s greatest.

Washington: Thank you kind Sir.

Lincoln: Not at all, it is on your path that freedom walks.

Pelosi: I see, but I am afraid that the criticism of our Media will not allow for this war to go forward even if we had your wisdom.

Lincoln: Oh my dear Madame, you know little of our history. I was excoriated by the press of our time. I was called “a slangwhanging stump speaker” and a “half-witted usurper.” Newspapers called my Gettysburg address “dishwatery.” President Washington was described as a “scourge and misfortune.” As for the conduct of the war, I am reminded of General Robert E. Lee’s comments during the Civil War:

“Why, it appears that we appointed all of our worst generals to command the armies and we appointed all of our best generals to edit the newspapers. I mean, I found by reading a newspaper that these editor generals saw all of the defects plainly from the start but didn’t tell me until it was too late. I’m willing to yield my place to these best generals and I’ll do my best for the cause by editing a newspaper.”

Washington: A wise man really, as are many Virginians, wouldn’t you say Mr. President?

Lincoln: Yes indeed.

Washington: Well, it is getting late Madame Speaker and we are understandably tired. We have crossed oceans of time to speak with you today. Before we retire, please know that during my Presidency, I resisted joining a political party hoping to demonstrate that true leadership rises above partisanship. During this important time, we hope you understand as much.

Also, keep in mind that in every age there are pacifists. Often they demand peace at any cost. In those same ages, however, history is witness to those much less refined for which the only realm they know is derived from misused power and the only currency they trade is violence.

It is for that reason I said long ago that “There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet the enemy.” Another great Virginian, our 3rd President, Jefferson later said that Whatever enables us to go to war, secures our peace.” Perhaps more appropriate to your age of terrorism, Jefferson also stated: “An insult unpunished is the parent of many.” In your time, President Reagan understood as much when he counseled for “Peace through strength.”

Keep those sentiments in mind and know that leadership concerns itself little with vanity but, instead, with the greater good of all humanity.