I understand that I am but a small minority in Reston, but one would think Janet Howell would do me the favor as a constituent and at least PRETEND to uphold the rules of the Senate. Oh well, I guess thats what I get for living in Reston. What's really incredible was the ensuing verbal smackdown Chuck Colgan put on Sens. Howell, Barker, Petersen, et al
"When we take a subcommittee and let a subcommittee decide whether something will pass or fail, that's wrong," Colgan told his colleagues. "When you do that, you are disenfranchising the people who sent that legislator here."
Ouch, Mr. Speaker.
As for what Chap Petersen wrote, its both assinine and proof that Democrats still don't understand what is going on out there. Nobody wants to seceed from the Union, its ridiculous. What folks like Sen. Obenshain and Del. LeMunyon are trying to do is balance the power between the federal government and the states. Democrats from the president on down absolutely refuse to consider entitlement reform, and its frustrating because local politicans like Petersen should be screaming from the rooftops about this. Instead, Sen. Petersen's saves the passion he should have for real reform to issues like child obesity and the state-manded PE classes. Fine. I could use some Phys Ed myself, but I would think the fact that a gigantic portion of Virginia's budget is eaten up by unfunded federal mandates would be a more pressing concern of a state senator. I will even conceed the dubious constitutionality of Del. LeMunyon's propossal, but the manner in which he dismisses the overall concern show a politician who either lacks seriousness or doesn't really care about anything past making sure kids get PE. And to answer the senator's quetsion, yes we did use that clout and DID elect three new congressmen (almost four), and god willing a new senator and a new president will follow. Yet that assumes that is where the problem is, or all of. The overwhelming size of the federal government is unsustainable and unmanagable, and electing three new congressmen isn't enough anymore to curb the power within that bureacracy. Trust me, not having Periello, Nye, and Boucher in there to vote for more government run health care and cap n' tax. But I'm shocked that after having go to Richmond year after year and plug the Medicare and Medicaid mandates put in the budget, not EVERY delegate and senator isn't up in arms over how much money unfunded mandates cost the state and really prevents the General Assembly from doing the work of the state.
An unserious man in serious times is a dangerous thing.
In some ways, I find Jim Webb a fascinating throwback of a politician. He's a Democrat through his populism, but really his overiding philosophy is an odd hodgepodge of old-fashioned populism with a streak of conservative, muscle-flexing foriegn policy. He is perhaps the last true Reagan Demcorat who is still a Democrat.
I see so many of us writing him off, assuming he doesn't want to be in the Senate. I wondering if its not the opposite. I think Webb actually does enjoy the Senate, he just doesn't enjoy campaigning. Webb's politics are hard to campaign against in many respects, because he's pro-gun and doesn't come across as particularly strident in any positions. His military background and sterling accomplishments in Vietnam give him a built-in credibility with a lot of Virginians that its hard to fight.
I see George Allen going with the tried and true "he votes with the Washington liberals" line, but I think that is lazy and I hope Sen. Allen, should he be the nominee, consider a different course of attack. The contrast between the two in 2006 was startling and its still there. While Allen certainly made big mistakes, when voters looked at Webb they were impressed I think by his past. He's hard to really campaign against. Rather than campaigning against Webb as a typical "Washington liberal," which he is not, our candidate must articulate a competing vision of the role of government in our lives and use that to hammer Webb with. Yes, we must hang the four years of Democrat overrule around his neck, but that can't be it alone.
Senator Webb will be a formidable candidate if he runs again. I hope all Republicans realize this.
Piggy-backing off of Brian's post wondering about Webb's future, I have to wonder just exactly what Gov. Bob McDonnell would do should a Senate vacancy arise. Brian seems to assume that he would name Allen right away, but is that smart? Of all people, McDonnell is someone who does not like to rock the boat inside the party and usually does things pretty cerebrially and without notice. I've blogged about this question before, but it bears repeating now that Allen is officially in the race.
I still think Gov. McDonnell will name a place-holder rather than directly name Allen. While I'm not sold that Jamie Radtke is some Virginia version of Marco Rubio, I think him taking sides would anger many Tea Party folks and those further down the Republicna spectrum from where the governor sits. I would be shocked if Allen were made senator by McDonnell if Webb did leave to serve in the cabinet.
What do you all think? Would McDonnell hand a seat to Allen if Webb went to the DOD. Or would he find a elder statesman placeholder like Thelma Drake that everyone can support in the interim?
And he's in. I've spent a ton of time talking about how I hope for a new, fresher alternative so I'm not going to get into all of that again. Needless to say, six years ago Allen had the worst possible timing for running for reelection, but now things have turned completely around. If it remains just him and Jamie Radtke, I'm not sure I won't turn around on everything I've said and vote for Allen. Radtke is just not vetted and too untested. But here is some advice . . . you can't beat George Allen by casting him as some big government squishy moderate. Thet man once said he wanted to punch Democrats soft teeth down their whinny throats. He ain't so squish. To beat Allen, you have to make this a choice between old vs. new. You can't out-conservative George Allen because his record, particularly as governor, suggests otherwise. The problem for Jamie Radtke is now that conservative voters are a little more savy than before after having watched the Millers, Bucks, O'Donnells, and Angles of the world crash because they just were not ready. Allen's been taken down before and has lived to tell about it. There is nothing that Radtke can do that Allen hasn't been through already.
Good luck to him, its not that I don't want to see the guy do well. And I'm not here to attack just for the sake of attacking, I do have my reasons. But if he is in the nominee, I really don't have an issue voting for the guy.
But I've made clear my preference is for Corey Stewart, should he decide to run.
From Slate, here are the top 10 conservatives to watch in 2011:
Florida Gov. Rick Scott
New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte
Kansas Sec. of State Kris Kobach
Tea Party Express Chair Amy Kremer
Florida Rep. Allen West
Ohio Gov. John Kasich
Illinois Rep. Allan Kinzinger
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli
Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson
Texas Railroad Comissioner Michael Williams
This got me thinking . . . what about here in Virginia? Who are those coming up on the Republican side that will become the face of the party in the next ten years? Unlike above, I haven't put any numbers on anyone and would love for folks across the commonwealth to throw a name of someone I don't know. But here are 10 I can think of . . . mostly politicians but a few other names.
Americans for Prosperity Chairman Ben Marchi - Marchi has just left the organization to join the Senate campaign of George Allen, but make no mistake Marchi took this organization and helped turn it into a force for limited government. AFP has become a huge player in Virignia, to the point that they got a direct rebuke from Gov. McDonnell over his plan to borrow for more roads. Look for him to become a major player in state party politics for a long time.
Prince William County Chairman Corey Stewart - If Corey runs for the US Senate, I will support him. So my bias is out there. But clearly Stewart is cutting ahead in line of a lot of folks in an odd way. As one of only three directly-elected county chairman Stewart is using that as a bully pulpit for immigration reform to create a statewide profile without being elected to state or federal office. If anyone in Virginia mirrors the rise of local candidates to statewide office in other states, its Stewart.
State Senator Bill Stanley - A politically connected lawyer with a deep interest in party matters, Stanley's recent election to the state senate gives him a hightened influence not only in party matters but should also give him some sway in the state senate. As the commonwealth becomes more and more suburbanized, Southside is losing more and more influence but a young, ambitious elected like Stanley who's been active in the party structure has a bright future.
State Delegate Jim LeMunyon - He's certainly trying to make a name for himself by first penning a national op-ed arguing for a constitutional convention to reign in Washington, and then by becomeing a vocal champion of the state repeal amendment offered by Speaker Howell. LeMunyon is positioning himself a the House's leading voice for the state taking on and limiting federal influence.
Secretary of the Transportation Sean Connaughton - A former county chairman, federal official, and now head of probably the single most improtant department in state goverment, he also once ran for statewide office (losing the LG nomination in '05). Connaughton has built a very impressive resume of local, state, and federal service and provides perhaps a new hope for the erstwhile Davis/Herrity wing of the Northern Virginia GOP. He is tied to the success of the McDonnell Administration's transportation policy, and so far so good. He would make a very impressive congressional candidate in 2012.
State Senator Mark Obenshain - The man with the golden name, Obenshain is starting to make serious moves statewide with a new PAC and a suite at the RPV Advance that was held in Tyson's Corner this year. The son of the conservative godfather of the state GOP, Obenshain has always been on the radar for higher office, but the timing seems to be right for him to start to make his move. Along with Bolling, Cuccinelli, and Ryan McDougle; Obenshain was one of the very few true conservative senators in the state senate at a time when it was run by establishment, moderate barons like Potts, Stolle, and Chichester. Attorney General seems to be on his radar, but he is one to watch.
ex-Tea Party Patriots Chair Jamie Radtke - She's made the leap from congressional staffer to tea party organizer to now US Seanate candidate. She has already won the support of RedState's Erick Erickson so win, lose, or draw Radtke will be making news this year as she challenges Geroge Allen for the GOP senate nomination. She built up a big army last year, but there was never a concentrated statewide race to send it into battle. Now she is going up against the most succesful Republican of the modern era. Her campaign and its performance will be a test of how strong the Tea Party will be in this presidential year.
RVP Communicatiosn Director Garren Shipley - Not much has been said lately about the RPV and its media operations . . . a stark upgrade from the chaos, controversy, and musical chairs of state party chairman. I think a big part is bringing in Garren Shipley to run communications. As an actual former member of the media who covered Virginia politics, his expertise has helped I think Republicans and McDonnell get their message out. Its no secret that we have made gains in the House of Delegates and Congress, along with all three statewide offices, with this RVP team in tow and Shipley is a big part of it. I suspect he will become a much-in-demand media and communications guru for Republicans for the next decade.
Retired Birgadier General Bert Mizusawa - Mizusawa has the personal story and military credentials to become a political force if he can find the right office to run for. Just as important was the fact that after a nasty primary, Bert seems to have come out with little-to-no ill will from folks in and around the 2nd district. He has the kind of sterling resume that many would kill for, and he's already being talked up again as a dark-horse US Senate candidate . . . pretty good for a guy who got 18% in a congressional primary.
Because apparently some polls out there show Ron Paul almost tied with Texas LG and estalbishmnet show-pony David Dewhurst for the US Senate. From the looks of it, the race is going to be a big one. Conservatives's hearts will be beating for either Michael Williams or Ted Cruz, while other Republicans will get to choose between Dewhurst, Tom Leppart, Michael McCall, or Roger Williams. With all those major names, Ron Paul with his hardcore cadre of supporters could easily make a run-off, and then who knows. The only thing is that Paul will be close to 77 by 2012. But then again, this is the US Senate. That's practically middle age.
Of note: Paul ran for the US Senate once before . . . losing the Republican primary to Phil Gramm in 1984 after Sen. John Tower retired. Little-known fact, when Paul retired from the House to run for the Senate, he was replaced in the 22nd district by . . . Tom DeLay.
Could the Minnesota Nice displayed here be what folks are looking for? Pawlenty is an interesting candidate in that he might be essentially making the argument that boring is good. I like Jon Stewart as an interviewer, he's liberal but he asks good questions and lets his guests answer.
Its not that I don't agree with almost everything she says, the way the media really worked up a frenzy after the Tuscon shooting about right wing motivations that a) had no proof, and b) ended up being false. But there is a bigger problem here. As inventive as she has been using Facebook and Fox News almost exclusively to get her message out, to maintain a rigorous and grueling presidential campaign you can't have such a hostil relationship with the press. They follow you around all day and night, always pressing for quotes, clarifications, and nosing around for a story. I'm sorry Governor, I know it sucks, but its their job.
It is a stone cold fact that the media bias against Republicans is real. Its laughable for anyone to suggest otherwise, but for Palin to become a serious presidential candidate she needs to figure this out. The best Republican ever with the media was Ronald Reagan, and he did it by killing them with kindness. And here is the thing about Palin . . . she is truly a compelling personality and the media does get that. She needs to understand that the main goal for the media is their story, and they will get it with her or without her. Reagan got that. Palin has the humor, the timining, the charm, and the prescence to be an effective candidate. But time and again she lets herself get sucked into these media squabbles that she just can't win. I mean, she can get her point across and it be correct, but its a war she can't win.
Look, she has reason to be paranoid about the media. From the beginning with stories about her newborn child really being he daughters were disgusting. And it just has not stopped. Too many "reporters" have gone out of their way to not just report stories, but dig deep for dirt just because she is Sarah Palin. After all, nothing scares liberals like a powerful, effective, conservaive women. But Governor Palin, should she want to run for president, has use her natural charm and skill instead of putting her fists up every time cricticism comes her way.
She's still young, politically speaking, and will be around for a long time. But in the last week, this should be a teachable moment for the governor. There are limits to her style right now, and the point no longer is whether she is right on the facts or not. She needs to figure out how to play the game better.
Congratulations to newly-elected state senator Bill Stanley, a politician as conservative as you could possibly get. Senator Stanley should be a new conservative ally in the state senate with Mark Obenshain, Ryan McDougle, among others.
Now its our duty to make sure fellow stalwarts like Scott Martin and Steve Hunt join them.
Without beating an over-discussed topic (the flaws of the current field, that is) it’s sufficient to say that the consensus of many of these so-called “analysts” is the following: Marshall is too conservative for the general populace, towing around the baggage of a plethora of silly bills and silly statements; Allen shall never be free from the ever-ringing sound of the word “macaca” which will surely seal his fate in all future contests; Corey Stewart is the all too often labeled “one-trick pony” with a resume that’s too undeveloped to sell state-wide; And Jamie who? …need I say more about her/him/whomever?
So all that aside, WHAT ABOUT BILL? I submit to you that our dear Lieutenant Governor, Bill Bolling, is quite possibly our God-send solution to this lackluster and risk-laden field.
Yes. Yes. A thousand times, YES. Look, I would be shocked if this happens. I wrote something about this a while back and I was assured by those folks high up in the Bolling command that this will not happen, at all. Bolling's personal ambition has always been to be governor of Virginia.
But I would submit to anyone associated with the Bolling operation to think about this. Look, we can all agree that Ken Cuccinelli's shadow is cast across every major Republican from the governor on down to the newest delegate. Not only has he activated an incredbile conservative base across the commonwealth, he has created a political operation to max that vote out that is incredibly impressive. He is now a national figure and and has access to money that almost nobody else in Virginia has. If he chose to run for govenror in 2013, he would be incredibly hard to beat in a priamry.
That's not to say Bolling couldn't win a primary, but do you want to put yourself through that? And unlike some, I really think Ken DOES want to run for governor, but has to figure out a way to do it without pissing people off who really do appreciate Bolling for his sacrifice in 2009. Cuccinelli really does have very keen political sense and knows not to just charge head-first into this. A lot will have to do with the outocme of the Obamacare lawsuit, and if he can get it to the Supreme Court before 2013 he might think his work is done.
But I would also submit to those who remember just how awesome Bill Bolling was as a state senator. He was Ken before Ken. Then-State Sen. Bolling was THE leading conservative in the staet senate (never an easy task), and I remember him being the leader of the opposition to the Warner tax hikes when everyone - including not a few Republicans - were telling us we had to do this to save the state from being swallowed up by the very earth itself. I remember when he ran for lieutenant governor for the first time, Tom Davis recruited Sean Connaughton to challenge him because he thought Bolling was too conservative, and many thought he would be a drag on the ticket.
So Bill Bolling doesn't have to take a backseat to anyone in having proven conservative bona fides. I'm 10000% sure nothing will come of it, but Bill Bolling for US Senate just makes so much sense on a million different levels. Here's some:
We get a candidate everyone can rally around
Conservatives don't have to sacrifice their principles
He has no serious baggage
He's run statewide twice already, going 2-0
Moderates and establishmnet types love his work ethic and everyday-issue oriented approach he takes
He was a great senator once before
He's has experience at every level of government from local board of supervisors, state senate, and state executive;and
And probbaly most importantly, HE CAN WIN. He's tea party and he's establishment, he's conservative and practical, and he's Virignia Republican's Happy Warriror.
I would encourage someone to be a good friend to LG Bolling and suggest that he deserves to be rewarded for all his work and sacrifice, and he could do America, Virignia, and conservatism a world of good by running for the US Senate.
I agree with everything Brian wrote here, I've been trying to decide should I write some tirade against liberal bloggers out there blaming talk radio, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party for the actions of a deranged madman; or should I write about the need to reexmine our political discourse? Its hard for bloggers to come out and be the arbiters of discourse considering so many of us use our forum and get fired up. I've done it. But seriously, anybody with a brain or common sense or mildly plugged into the real world know that nobody wants to see anyone lose their life, much less be a victim of such a grizzly crime.
So while my fellow loudmouths point fingers at the left or the right, I'm content with the idea that you just can't explain the motivations of a mad man, and someone willing to do something so ghastly - their motivations cannot be explained in the context of regular thinking. Its natural to find blame, to want to figure out why someone would do this - but for such a horrible and senselessa act its impossible to understand it.
I'm going to spend the next few days praying for Rep. Giffords and all the victims, I'll let others spew their hate and look for blame where none exists.
Its phenomenal. Taylor's argument is that the War of 1812 was a North American civil war and he traces the migration of post-Revolution loyalits, land scavnegers, and other malcantents into Canada's two major British provinces Upper Canada (now Ontario) and Lower Canada (now Quebec) and really show how the War of 1812 is a continuation of the Revolution. You see many British officials in Canada dream of reunining America with Britian. He talks about Irish immigrants and their effects on American politics and support of Republicanism. Then of course there are the native populations that themselves faced incredble internal turmoil about supporting the Americans or the British or neither.
The War of 1812 doesn't have the volumes written about it the way some of our other wars do, but wiht the Batlte of New Orleans and Andrew Jackson, there is enough there that is gets its fair share. THIS book, however, is like nothing I've ever read about this era. Debates about democratic liberty vs. mixed constitutional paternalism are the heart of the American-British/Canada division. New characters like John Graves Simcoe and William Duane and Daniel D. Tompkins emerge here from obscurity. I'm only 100 pages in and I'm hooked, its not often these days that I find a new book that I learn new things on almost every page. GO GET IT!
Del. Dave "Abuser Fees" Albo is looking to tax out-of-state corporations while Gov. Bob McDonnell is trying to bring businesses here in order to boost transportation money. Of course this solves nothing because Virginia's standard for transportation spending is still based on road miles and not overall usage - which means the rest of the states roads look great but there is never enough for us no matter how much we tax.
Of course, Del. Albo (Barley-R) has never had a problem with taxes, fees, or any way for the government to take more of our money or possibly help his law firm. On top of all this, Albo had this to say when pitching his latest scheme to get more of our money and more control in Richmond:
Albo sent the proposal to his Republican colleagues in the House Wednesday with a note explaining that it is not a tax increase.
"This is not a tax increase on Virginians,'' Albo said. "They've got to vote for this. I can get 51 votes in the House and I'll get every reasonable Republican."
But some conservatives will consider taxing corporations that are currently not taxed a tax increase.
Ben Marchi, state director for Americans for Prosperity, said the proposal will reduce the state's competitive edge and put Virginia's transportation problems on non-Virginians.
"This is a disgusting display of arrogance from tone-deaf politicians who clearly did not hear the voters this past November,'' Marchi said.
Albo has always been looking to get other people to pay for bigger government and the mistakes made by both parties in Virginia. Instead of fixing the problems, I guess we just want to perpetuate them and have non-Virignians pay for them? And I can't wait for Albo to explain what makes a "reasonable Republican."
Something matriculating in my mind as Ken Cuccinelli has done two things last year . . . 1) become the national leader in fighting Obamacare, and 2) refusing to rule out running for governor in 2013. These two points will have major implications in the 2012 GOP Primary here in Virginia for president. I have no doubt that Mitt Romney will be running for president in 2012 (again). In 2008, Gov. Romney had no stronger supporter in the commonwealth than Lt. Govenror Bill Bolling. There were no other really definitive endorsements in the state other than Tom Davis for John McCain. Most of the other major Republicans laid low, with Bob McDonnell and George Allen backing Fred Thompson, who sputtered out long before their endorsement mattered.
Of all the major Republicans in 2008, Bolling was most agressive in his support for any of the 2008 GOP candidates. At the time, Romney had positioned himself as the conservative alternative, winning the endorsement of the National Review. But things have changed in the last few years. As Barack Obama pushed Obamacare and its socialistic tendancies towards forced mandates and federal enforcement, eyes turned to Massachusetts where its last Republican governor installed a similar system sans the federal enforcement. But Romneycare is a major shackle on the Romney for President bandwagon, but its doubly-so here in Virginia.
Virignia is the epicenter of the anti-Obamacare revolt among states, with AG Cuccinelli captaining the ship. As his signature issue, it puts the health care debate under a super-hot spotlight in Virginia, and will eventually put a spotlight on Bolling's support of Romney. Now, the bet is that Romney does become the nominee. If that happens, sure Bolling's early 2008 endorsement will be huge. But if health care drags Romney down, he could be dead weight that drags Bolling down as well as Cuccinelli champions the the demise of government healthcare.
As much as I love an open primary, I sincerely dread the thought of a Bolling vs. Cuccinelli primary, even moreso than McDonnell and Bolling last time around. Mostly because I appreciate so much the sacrifice Bolling made in running for reelection - it was that decision that was the catalyst for the GOP renassiance that took place later that year. And while others have made headlines, its been Bill Bolling who has been criss-crossing the commonwealth over the last year working to bring business, keep business, and support business all across the state. His work hasn't been headline-grabbing but its been relevant and vastly undereported by both the new and old media. And I still haven't forgotten Bill Bolling the state senator who was the conservative leader in a chamber so riddled with mushy, squishy, fake Republicans. It was Bolling who lead the fight against the Warner tax cuts, comparing them to the end of the Wizard of Oz and what was behind the curtain.
But he can't beat Ken, and he will never beat him if he has to wear Romney's colors all over him should Mitt fail in his aspirations (which I think he will). I have no idea what Ken will do, my heart begs him to run for reelection, but gut says he wants to be governor. There is pressure on the back bench as well as we've seen folks like Mark Obenshain, Barbara Comstock, Jill Vogel, Corey Stewart, and Jeff McWaters pop up in conversations about statewide offices. The GOP has a deep bench that, watching how conservative tea party candidates leapfrogged standard procedure, one wonders how long they will be willing to wait.
Its clear that Bolling is going to run for governor, everyone knows this. But for him, more than anyone, the future is full of landmines and traps. Its not fair because of his sacrifice, and that good will runs deep in the party but I'm not sure it runs as deep as the support Ken has over the party.
Now, Virginia falls a week after Super Tuesday so I'm not sure the commonwealth will be that hard-fought over because I think we will pretty much know who our nominee will be after that - our party has a way of figuring it out pretty quickly. And I also think Mitt Romney will not get very far this year, so perhaps Bolling will be relieved of having to make the decision of reaffirming his support of 2008. I really don't think Romney will survive very far with the likes of Thune, Daniels, Barbour, Pawlenty, Palin, and Pence breathing new and fresh life into the party.
Am I even right to think that Mitt Romney is such a huge liability in Virginia Republican circles?
Two of the sweetest words I've ever typed. The next? "Ex-Speaker Pelosi."
Anyways, I actually have a lot of confidence in Boehner, who comes from a background that will allow him to understand and empathize with the folks struggling out there in a way the daughter of a Baltimore mayor/wife of a billionaire/ San Fransisco ideologue just can't. Nevermind a never-had-a-real-job president. He also really gets the message sent by the country this year - "Republicans, your on probation. You can have the keys back, but you must be different." Today was low-key and not terribly celebratory, fitting of the mood of the country. I have high hopes for the Speaker, if only because he's not his predecessor.