Monday, December 31, 2007
In Democratic Party tradition, the $450,000 is known as "walking around money." It goes to individuals -- usually in cash -- who are supposedly getting out the vote for the Democrat, Rendell in this case.
Gee, does some of that vast sum of money get spent to pay people to vote for someone like Rendell? Of course it does.
But isn't buying votes illegal? Technically, yes. However, it occurs all over the country, mostly in heavily Democratic areas -- and usually in mostly Black areas.
How did Rendell do in Philadelphia? He won 79% of the vote there. He prevailed statewide by 57% to 43% -- even though he carried only TWO counties outside the Philly metro area. The massive vote for Rendell in Philly obliterated the large vote against him outside his home turf.
How did Philadelphia do under Mayor Rendell? It became the Misery Capital of the U.S., with extremely high rates of poverty, murder, and hopelessness, as well as an educational system in a state of collapse. A man with no sense of irony, Rendell called it "The Philadelphia Miracle."
Does John Murtha buy votes? Surely you jest: of course he does.
In a previous column, I noted that Murtha spent nearly $1.6 million on his campaign in 2004 -- when he was unopposed. He got 100% of the vote.Could he won if he had spent, say, $0? Yes, and he still would have gotten 100% of the votes cast, because there was no one opposing him.
But why would companies, executives, unions, and lobbyists have given him $1.6 million IF HE HAD NO NEED OF THE MONEY?
I regret to inform you that they gave him the money "for services rendered." He designated tax monies -- YOUR tax monies -- to various organizations that rewarded him with his "cut" -- that is, his portion of the tax monies. If you have another explanation, I'd love to hear it. I'd also love to hear Murtha's explanation, although that will not happen in the lifetime of anyone reading this.
In his campaigns, Murtha spends lots of monies on private investigators. Among other tasks, they exert a lot of energy trying to dig up dirt on Murtha's opponents, perhaps including yours truly, but certainly including opposing candidates.
He also sends money to various printers, political hacks, and old friends who make sure Jack Murtha gets re-elected until the time when God in His infinite wisdom "takes him home."
John Murtha is not a candidate who has anything so mundane as a campaign slogan, but if he did, it might be: "You scratch my back; I scratch your back." Or, if he went for just a few words, it could be: "Let's make a deal."
People ask me: "Why on earth would the good people of the 12th District vote for such a corrupt cynic as Murtha?" Many people do so out of habit. Others have given up on politics and don't vote at all -- one reason the 12th has the lowest vote totals in Pennsylvania. Still others are afraid that without Murtha an economically distressed area -- which most of the 12th is -- will collapse and start resembling the economies of Somalia or North Korea.
In fact, the greatest barrier to economic growth in the 12th -- a beautiful area with hardy people -- is Murtha himself. What companies are going to invest in an area where the federal representative and his cronies always have their hands out for "donations?"
Even in Murtha's hometown of Johnstown, the Median Household Income is about half the total for the U.S. as a whole. Population has been declining in Johnstown for 60 years -- it has lost an additional 6% in this century. It has many buildings named after John Murtha and his relatives, but not many local residents actually working in those buildings. The young people get good educations at the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown and other institutions, but after they graduate, most of them leave to find real jobs.
My bet? That John Murtha will not buy able to buy enough votes this year to win in the 12th congressional district. Lt. Col. Bill Russell is his worst nightmare -- and the best hope for the people in this long-neglected district.
I wrote the following to a (small) conservative group that spends a lot of time deciding the (long) list of Republican candidates they won't vote for. In politics, there's always one candidate who better than the other one, so we vote for the best one -- period.
I usually find out that people unwilling to compromise their "principles" are the ones that really don't have any. Having a bunch of ideological crochets and misinformation is not a sign of principle. There's an old saying that we "all have a right to our own opinions, but we don't have a right to our own facts." So-called principles based on fear and isolation aren't worth a pistachio nut.
I've spent more time than I should talking about the pros (many) and cons (some) of Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and other candidates. My strong impression is that most people know very little about those candidates or their histories. Instead, they have half-baked opinions mostly based on the latest uproars from Michael Savage or Rush Limbaugh, two highly verbal individuals who lack any sort of basic education or ability to look at any issue in a balanced way.
Somebody recently wrote about how young people (ages 18-30) don't matter. I have worked with conservative (mainly Christian) young people on politics for nearly 40 years. We Republicans and conservatives got skunked in 2006 by younger voters voting for Democrats. The young people apparently assumed the Democrats cared about them while we didn't. There's some truth in that assumption.
We conservatives have written off a majority of the American people: Hispanics (legal ones, the largest minority group), Blacks (the second largest minority group), young people, women professionals (teachers, businesswomen, doctors, lawyers, and journalists), gays/lesbians, people who are pro-choice, and on and on. We can't win much of anything (outside Mississippi and Alabama) with that strategy.
I mentioned that Republicans and Democrats had equal numbers in 2004. Now, the Democrats (the liberals!) have a 10-point advantage.
People can say what they want, but shouldn't we be talking about ways to make the Republican Party (or whatever) more competitive? People telling me that voters were disappointed in Republicans so they voted Democratic aren't really helping much. They're essentially saying we should do more of what turned people off in the past. That makes no sense.
We need to be smarter about how we look at politics. We need fewer opinions (mistakenly called "principles") and more facts. We also need to get more in touch with the American people -- and less in touch with people who share our prejudices.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Right now, the congressional candidate who has the most money wins 94% of the time. Is that really what the Founding Fathers had in mind?
In my blog, I write regularly about John Murtha's financing, which is basically bribery money. In 2004, when he had NO opponent (he got 100% of the votes cast), he spent nearly $1.6 million on his "campaign."
Can any of my readers figure out how he "spent" $1.6 million in a race with NO OPPONENT?
(Hint: It's going to pay off supporters for their votes and donations. Yeah, I'm saying he's transferring back money that orginally came about as earmarks. Yikes.)
Apparently, he has spent nearly $1,000,000 in 2007 (for a race in 2008). Think your very worst thoughts about where that money is going. The exact figures should be out in approximately 10 days on http://www.opensecrets.org/.
The best way you can do something about this situation is to send a contribution to William Russell.
James H. said the following in the Comments section:
Let em say this about Campaign Finance reform. I think the key to reform is not limiting money but it being very transparent!!!
If I wish to spend my money promoting political cause x I think that is sacred. I think that should be protected.
As to Murtha. I guess after last year and his weird comments on troop deployments I can never understand why people would vote him in. I suppose as Tip O'Neil said All politics is local and he must have an angle there that I am not seeing a thousand miles away.
The following is my response:
James: I hope there is a debate about campaign finance. Some of the donations (so-called) are transparent. In Murtha's case, they are from people (UPMC, PMA Group, CTC) who have benefited from huge handouts (earmarks) and are paying Murtha back for them.
If Murtha accepts a bag-full of money from the PMA Group, it's illegal. If it comes in the form of checks, it's legal. The Democratic Left (George Soros and friends) is winning the fund-raising battle. As long as that happens, "democracy" becomes something of a sham, a process designed to re-elect incumbents unto something approaching eternity.
All that said, I hope you'll contribute to William Russell, which you can do by going to: http://williamrussellforcongress.com/. He's an outstanding candidate.
My Fellow Conservatives, Please Grow Up!
Like my fellow conservative Cindy, at The Pink Flamingo, I must be part of a declining breed: i.e., someone who'd rather win an election with a good candidate than lose one with an ideologically pure individual. On one board, someone was writing about how Republican presidential candidates had to be more conservative. I wrote the following:
My response is that the candidates seem to be running for President of the United States not the President of Alabama and Mississippi. I've just been reading the wonderful Almanac of American Politics about the election of 2006. All the Democrats in the House (more than two-thirds of them) who voted against the border fence got re-elected -- not most of them, all of them.
Many of the Republicans who voted for it (and all but six did) lost. That scenario is of course the opposite of what some people are assuring us will happen in 2008, though there's no poll evidence to suggest they're right.
Do we really need to make ourselves into a permanent minority? We're very much headed in that direction.
Look at it this way: in 2006, many Republican conservatives (in the upper house, Sen. George Allen, Sen. Jim Tallent, Sen. Mike DeWine, Tom Kean, and Sen. Rick Santorum) lost. Who won against them? Oh, the Democratic liberals. Anyone who ignores that development has nothing to say on the political situation.
However, I will support the Republican nominee (whom I assume will NOT be either Ron Paul or Tom Tancredo).
Friday, December 28, 2007
Traditionally, liberal, the "netroots" (or "nutroots," as some call them) have been better than we conservatives at online politics. That's changing -- as it must if we're to say competitive.
In 2004, Joe Trippi ran the successful Internet campaign for Howard Dean, and it was a tremendous success. In Trippi's book The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, he says that Dean's "Meetup" site had 600,000 participants. The Dean Campaign rasied more than $50 million, much of it coming from people online.
No Republican Campaign has come anywhere close to those numbers, although Ron Paul is setting some records of his own. In one day, Paul raised a total of $10 mllion from people contributing online.
To defeat John Murtha (who will spend $4 million-plus in this election cycle), Bill Russell needs to raise at least $500,000 -- preferably more. As usual, the Murtha campaign will throw money at his supporters in ways that are of questionable legality. In contrast, the Russell effort will be scrupulously legal and very efficient, with every dollar aimed at finding and getting votes.
In terms of contributions, Russell is doing well online, but needs to keep doing better. Correction, those of us campaigning online have to do better. We have to keep spreading the message that Murtha can be beaten -- and will be with the supportive of the conservative online community.
Yes, John Murtha will receive many millions of dollars from lobbyists and companies that he's essentially bought and paid for with federal dollars, a percentage of which are returned to him in the form of campaign contributions.
You can check out the malicious mess that is the Murtha Campaign by going to http://opensecrets.org and keying in the name "Murtha." You'll see that for the 2008 election, he'd already spent by last September 30, a total of almost $700,000. By the December 31 Federal Election Commission reporting date, Murtha will have spent more than a million dollars.
I assure you the contributions didn't come from lobbyists and companies committed to Good Government.
How can those of us committed to Russell overcome that avalanche of payoffs to "The Prince of Pork?" We can do it by outsmarting him in the campaign, which luckily won't be that hard. We can also do it by making the maximum use of an inexpensive medium -- the Internet. For example, this particular communication is not costing me anything, aside from the blood, sweat, and tears always involved with writing.
What do we need? At least 30,000 people online backing the Russell Campaign by advocating his candidacy (relax, we apparently have more than 1,000 already). Of the 30,000 as many as 2,000 should be bloggers. We also need 3,000-plus people to go the Russell web site and contribute money. A lot of contributions of $20, $50, and $100 will go a long way toward defeating Murtha.
Politics isn't brain surgery. It consists of the three M's: message, mobilization (of supporters), and money, which is necessary to get the message out and to mobilize thousands of people to win this race.
What can you do? Be one of those people that spreads the message; also, be a person who asks others to join you in volunteering to help Russell.
The third part is the most important. We conservatives need to start out-contributing the liberals.
Go the Russell web site and so what you can to make sure this outstanding candidate has the support he needs. Trust me: you'll feel good about it.
Russell, a husband, a father of two young children, and an Army Ranger who saw action in Desert Storm, the Balkins, and Iraqi Freedom is the Voice of the Future, for America generally and PA's 12th District specifically.
I've suggested another slogan, perhaps for bumper stickers: "Support Our Troops . . . Elect Russell." In fact, our troops -- in their role of killing or capturing terrorists -- will play a major role in advancing our country's future. We can't afford another 9/11 -- materially, psychologically, or spiritually. If we couldn't stop al Qaida from launching terrorist attacks against the U.S. and our allies, we would have a very uncertain future.
One critical way we can support our troops is to vote for soldiers -- and their staunchest supporters -- running for federal offices. That's why this blog is backing Iraq War vets like Bill Russell (PA), Eric Egland (CA), and Duncan Duane Hunter (CA), as well as the only female veteran in Congress, Heather Wilson. I'm also supporting Melissa A. Hart (PA), who's not a veteran but is a true Warrior in her commitment to our military, and I'm supporting Rep. Jean Schmidt of Ohio for the same reasons. We need ALL these people in the Congress, and I urge you to visit their web sites.
It's important that we get Representatives and Senators in Washington, DC who are familiar with the situation we face in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Russell, Egland, Hunter, Hart, Schmidt, and Wilson are people who know what must be done to protect America -- and to turn around the dangerous situations in the MidEast (e.g., Iraq and Iran) and Pakistan.
In the past, Jack Murtha has received significant support from veterans and their families. But with Murtha's defeatist -- and demonstrably false -- statements about the Haditha Marines and others, there's no excuse for ANY veteran voting for him. A vote for Murtha is a vote against American soldiers and veterans.
Frightened people -- and Murtha is one -- in Congress are trying to turn military victory, which we're achieving, into political defeat. As Bill Russell has pointed out, they are trying to turn Iraq into another Vietnam. Murtha wants to "redeploy" soldiers in war zones to faraway Okinawa. He might as well call for a disbanding of the military. He's basically inviting al Qaida to turn Iraq into a terrorist playground.
Active duty soliders and veterans in the 12th District -- as many as 50,000 individuals -- understand that Murtha now has "blood on his hands." His statements, so comforting to America's enemies, domestic and foreign, have certainly led to the deaths of many Americans -- and others.
Calling American Marines "cold-blooders killers" is not the kind of statement any decent human being makes. It was false in every particular, and it did nothing but benefit the enemy.
People who truly support our troops will not back Jack Murtha. They will not give him money -- basically payoffs for his federal handouts -- and they will not give him their votes.
Everyone who believes Murtha Must Go should volunteer to join Team Russell. Also, patriotic Americans must provide Russell the funds he needs to win. Hundreds of people have contributed to the campaign -- and many thousands more will do so. Today is the time to do so.
NOTE: I'm getting questions about Melissa Hart, who is running in my own district (PA 4th) against Jason Altmire, a pseudo-conservative Democrat, to regain her seat. You can contribute to Melissa, a wonderful conservative, by sending a check to the following:
People With Hart
PO Box 435
Wexford, PA 15090
At the same time, please send a check to:
William Russell for Congress
PO Box 630
Johnstown, PA 15907
Please look at your contributions as an Investment in America's Future.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Many people have contributed to Bill Russell and many, many more will. If you haven't contributed yet, do at the Russell web site. If you'd like to send a check by mail, it should go to:
William Russell for Congress
P.O. Box 630
Johnstown, PA 15907
It's critically important to raise "early money" in order to establish a foundation for victory. This is a national effort that's getting support from all 50 states.
I've written many columns here on exactly how Murtha can be defeated. However, the key to victory lies with people like you who believe deeply that the Murtha era must come to an end for the good of our troops and the country as a whole.
Lobbyists and other who have benefited from Murtha's government handouts are pouring money into his campaign. These people need to be confronted with the error of their ways, as their "contributions" are compromising our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as causing economic harm to the country.
To defeat both Murtha and the special interests that support him, people of moderate and conservative views need to step up and back an outstanding American, Lt. Col. William T. Russell. The total focus of this campaign is victory on Election Eve.
Team Russell needs your strong support. You'll be part of an army of volunteers.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Hello Palin fans,
In yet another big media development, the Draft Palin Movement was mentioned (and linked) this morning in a Associated Press story by Steve Quinn. The story just hit the front page of Yahoo! News' "U.S. News" section, and has also been added by a number of news outlets, the most prominent (so far) being FoxNews .com, TheNew York Times, Newsweek.com andTownhall.com.
The story details Palin's meteoric rise, and includes quotes from Claremont McKenna University professor John J. Pitney pegging her as a VP candidate. Folks, we have just broken another glass ceiling by getting national-level mainstream media coverage!
Take a bow, Adam -- and all the others (like Trish Houser of Alaska) associated with this great movement. In my own blog's support for military people (including Gov. Palin's son, Track), veterans, and their families, Gov. Sarah Palin, a Blue Star mom, occupies a special place in my heart. Is she a "female Reagan?" No, she's better.
I strongly urge Sarah -- the nation's most popular elected official -- to come to PA and other states and campaign for strongly pro-military candidates, including William T. Russell (12th Congressional District) and Melissa A. Hart (4th Congressional District). I look at the faces on Mt. Rushmore and I hope I live long enough to see two new figures added: Ronald Wilson Reagan and Sarah Heath Palin.
Note: Sarah has also been endorsed for the Republican nomination for Vice President by Emily Zanotti of The American Princess blog, Pulitzer Prize nominee Les Kinsolving of WorldNetDaily, Mayor Sam of California's Second City Blog, Cindy at ThePinkFlamingo, and many, many more bloggers.
Then, we found out that Gov. Palin will be appearing in the February issue of Vogue. This means that Sarah Palin will literally be staring thousands (if not millions) of women in the face right as the primaries end and VP speculation heats up.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Unless the "bacon" is a metaphor for low household incomes through the district, then it's the wrong term. The median household incomes in the 12th District are among the lowest in Pennsylvania. Population in 12th District has been in a steady decline -- including Murtha's hometown of Johnstown -- a sure sign of economic distress.
What I'm saying about median household income will come as news to quite a few people in the 12th. If John Murtha has been so good for the district, why are economic conditions so bad?
If you have any doubts about what I'm saying, go to the web site dedicated to outlining conditions in towns across America. It's called epodunk.com.
Fill in the names of towns in the 12th, including Johnstown, Windber, Latrobe, Monongahela, Monessen (hometown of Joe Namath), Waynesburg, and even beautiful Washington, PA. Check the median household incomes against the national averages -- and against Pennsylvania averages. The web site use data from the U.S. Census Report.
William Russell's campaign manager (Larry Stiles) tells the story of meeting two middle-aged women in Johnstown. Both of them were quick to sing the praises of Congressman Murtha. But when Larry pressed them about economic conditions, one woman said, "Well, the kids get a good college education, but when they graduate from college there are no jobs for them, so they all move away."
If you're a corporate executive, a lobbyist, or a cancer surgeon in the 12th, John Murtha probably done well for you. If you're member of the other 90%, he's done little or nothing for you.
What's wrong with that picture?
What's right with the 12th District in this election cycle is William T. Russell.
The people in the 12th District are wonderful, and the area is beautiful. It deserves better than Jack Murtha.
Stephen R Maloney
Monday, December 24, 2007
"The problem with a lot of people is that what they know is true . . . isn't." (Mark Twain, who never met Jack Murtha but certainly knew his kind)
When Lee Atwater ran Republican campaigns in Columbia, SC during the early 1970s, he faced a situation where registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans by more than two-to-one -- by 44% to 18%. Atwater won most of those campaigns by convincing voters that the "conservative" Democrats running against his candidates really weren't . . . conservative Democrats. (See John Brady's book Bad Boy)
Most people in PA's 12th District believe that Jack Murtha is "pro-military." He isn't.
His condemnation of the Haditha Marines -- without evidence and without any sort of charges being lodged -- is an anti-military act. Clearly, by making unfounded statements damaging to American soldiers and the effort in Iraq, he harmed our soldiers and encouraged al-Qaida, which was quick to publicize his words.
He thought he was advancing his chances to be Nancy Pelosi's "number two" in Congress, but he didn't even come close to winning. Steny Hoyer, now the Majority Leader, and other Democrats emphasized that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) had him pegged as one of the nation's most corrupt congressmen.
Thus, people who want to vote for Murtha because he's a friend of the military are dead wrong.
Some citizens want to vote for Murtha because he "brings home the bacon," that is, procures lots of federal handouts for his district. However, most of 12th District was an economically depressed area at the beginning of Murtha's career -- and remains such now. As the Almanac of American Politics points out, the median household income (MHI) in the 12th is about the same as in inner-city districts of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
I live in the 4th District, one that contains many aging mill towns, and the MHI here is above $43,000. In the 12th, the number is just above $30,000. Some bacon! Of course, the congressman does everything in his power to perpetuate the Myth that he's been an economic savior for the District. He hasn't.
Thus, people who want to vote for Murtha because he's been a force for economic revival are dead wrong.
Most Democrats in the 12th are conservative not only on military affairs but also on social issues. They believe Murtha is one of them, a "conservative Democrat." In fact, he's not.
Yes, he votes against abortion, but he's also voted in favor of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. As far back as the Clinton era, he voted to fund international efforts (led largely by Planning Parenthood) that involved pro-abortion measures.
Yes, he does vote (like just about every other Pennsylvania congressman) for Second Amendment rights. That has earned him the support of the NRA and other gun-rights organizations who sometimes wear blinders.
However, how does his supposed support for gun rights square with the kind of people he backs for leadership positions in Congress? Murtha ran Nancy Pelosi's campaign to become minority leader -- and was a staunch supporter of her for Speaker of the House.
Nancy Pelosi is opposed to gun rights. She is pro-abortion. In fact, she voted against the ban on partial birth abortion. Like Murtha, she even opposed President Bush's drug plan for seniors -- one that's saved my wife and I more than $4,000 in two years. He's financially supported other Democratic candidates, such as Jason Altmire, who also voted against the Bush drug plan but cast his vote for Pelosi as Speaker.
People in the 12th who vote for Murtha on the basis of his being a "conservative" Democrat are kidding themselves. He's done everything he can to ensure that far-left, anti-military Democrats like Pelosi, Obey, Rangel, and Waxman have the maximum degree of power.
In terms of back-room deals, Murtha is little different from Howard Jefferson, the Democrat who gave new meaning to the term "cold cash." Murtha procures hundreds of millions in earmarks, special projects, for companies that don't need the money. They've rewarded him in this century with roughly $10 million in campaign contributions. Go to OpenSecrets.org, type in the name "Murtha," and you can see the process for yourself. Murtha has spent millions of dollars in contributions paying off supporters. They hand the money to him, and he hands it back to them.
A few Democrats in the 12th will ignore Murtha's misdeeds, but more and more of them are ready to "Embrace the Future" and support Lt. Col. William Russell. It's about time.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
It's critical that the Russell Campaign comes as close as possible to contacting every one of them. Any veteran who's been paying attention to Murtha's antics is not going to vote for him. In this case it's the Warrior, Russell, versus the Wimp, Murtha.
With his despicable comments about the Haditha Marines, Murtha is going to learn the full meaning of an old saying: "Sin in haste, repent at leisure."
In additions to the vets, there may be 100,000-plus family members (mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, and cousins) of current or past soldiers. Again, it's necessary to contact as many as possible. Face-to-face contact is the best kind.
Mailings can be expensive. Sending out 100,000 letters will have a postage cost alone of $41,000. That's going to be a lot of money for the Russell Campaign, one that frankly needs your money. One key is to holding costs down is to send mail to the "right" people, who are those will read it and tend to react positively.
Mass mailings over the Internet are relatively inexpensive, but tricky. It's not easy (or sometimes, even cheap) to get e-mail addresses for a lot of people, although the Russell Campaign should have tens of thousands by next fall.
Successful political operatives are pack-rats. They save everything, especially names, home addresses, phone numbers, voting preferences, and e-mail addresses.
The major focus should be on contacting Democrats and Independents*. Russell is not going to have a problem attracting Republican supporters. They will find him rather than the other way around.
The most important "Democrats" are those who have a history of voting for Republicans, especially in presidential elections. Such people tend to congregate in certain zip codes, and so they're not especially hard to target.
Murtha does not have a lock on District Democrats, who have a 2.2 to 1.0 registration edge. In 2006, Democrats apparently went for Murtha by 3-2, which is a far cry from the registration picture. A good number of Democrats aren't Murtha fans. Another segment of Democrats apparently has given up on voting. (Compared to adjoining districts, the 12th has very low vote totals.)
If Russell can turn the Democrat vote ratio for Murtha from 3-2 into 4-3, then on election eve, John Murtha will turn into the political equivalent of Pumpkin. That won't be an easy task for Russell, but it's certainly not impossible. Of course, some people would vote for Murtha if he was sporting an orange jump suit (pumpkin-colored?) and shackles, which he probably should be.
*"Independents" is sometimes a euphemism for people who aren't very interested in politics and are unlikely voters. Those Independents who do vote have a tendency to split roughly 50-50. With a strong campaign of volunteers, Russell should be able to move that to 60-40 in his favor.
You can contribute to William T. Russell by going to: http://williamrussellforcongress.com/. If you'd prefer a mailing address, it is:
William Russell for Congress
P. O. Box 630
Johnstown, PA 15907
Saturday, December 22, 2007
. . . and a lump of coal for John Murtha, who loves his office but not his country
When Murtha said, "The surge is working," what he really meant is that he is very concerned about Russell's candidacy.
I urge everyone who believes "Murtha MUST go" to visit Russell's web site. He needs thousands of volunteers around the nation, including those who will join "Bloggers 4 Russell," a rapidly growing group that will eventually include more than 500 bloggers.
Most of all, at this early stage, he needs financial support. People who've never contributed to a campaign before are giving $20, $50, and even $100 or more. Personally, I've given more than $400 and will contribute more, even though I'm not exactly in the category of "affluent." Murtha collects huge bag-fulls of cash from lobbyists and various companies that benefit from his shameful "earmarks."
To counteract that situation, Russell needs many small contributions ($200 or less) from perhaps 10,000 people who love this country and are deeply disturbed by the antics of Murtha.I appeal to everyone to put this appeal on their blogs or to send it to their e-mail lists. Unity and enthusiasm are keys to winning against Murtha.
Lt. Col. Russell, who was born on a military base, has devoted an entire lifetime to supporting and protecting the U.S. Now, it's our turn to support him. Many people have volunteered to solicit financial support for the Russell Campaign. I hope you'll join them.
John Murtha has said that being a congressman is all about "making deals." On the other hand, William Russell believe that being a congressman is all about making this a better -- freer, more secure, more prosperous -- country.
To win, Russell needs to add just ONE PERCENT to the votes George Bush received in the district in 2004. That's certainly not an impossible task. Please visit http://williamrussellforcongress.com/ -- and do so today.
Friday, December 21, 2007
In my previous column, mainly devoted to John McCain's, I wrote about Mike Huckabee's unfortunate comment that Jamie Spears's pregnancy was a "tragedy." Now, my comments seem to be controversial with some Huckabee supporters (of whom I'm not one). Here's my additional comment.I wrote a column today with two parts, one about John McCain, the other about Mike Huckabee's criticism of Jamie Spears, who is pregnant at age 16. Mike called the pregnancy a "tragedy," which is a rather wild misuse of that word. He then apparently complimented Miss Spears on not choosing to have an abortion. Which is it, Mike? A good thing or a bad thing? Is she being irresponsible -- or is she demonstrating real courage.Later, I heard that Nikolodeon (which run Jamie's show directed to pre-teens and young teens) was planning to have a special (with Linda Ellerbee) on teen pregnancy. I wish Mike had suggested something like that approach, rather than being the clueless Southern Baptist minister we all have come to know and love. I've been on the scene with several teen pregnancies (including two in my own family) and the very last thing you should say to any mother-to-be is that being pregnant is a "tragedy" or even the the result of "bad behavior." Frankly, most young girls who are "with child" don't regard it as a tragedy but more like a blessing from God. That's the way members of my family looked at it, and abortion was never a consideration. Why does Mike Huckabee regard it as some terrible developing? Characterizing a teen pregnancy or any kind of pregnancy as some awful, tragic event is a great way to induce young women to have an abortion. Frankly, when a woman (or a girl) is pregnant, the "horse" has left the barn, and decent people (even Baptist ministers) have to move into a supportive role. If Mike is this easily horrified by something that happens 800,000 times per year (teen pregnancies), he needs a basic course in reality. The time to condemn Miss Spears ended at the moment of conception.Parents and friends who tell pregnant children that it will be the ruination of their lives are a major cause of abortion in the U.S. Pregnancy is NOT a tragedy. So, wake up, Mike. What I hope Jamie Spears will do is to advise other teens to avoid becoming pregnant when they are 17 or younger. At the same time, I hope she'll urge those teens who do become pregnant to carry their child to term -- and to bring him or her up with the support of family and friends. I also hope she'll take courses in parenting. In the past, she's been the rational, practical member of the Spears family, and I hope those qualities manifest themselves in the future.
As always, comments are welcome.
Addition on Abortion:
I've written a couple of times on the issue of abortion (and the related issue of embryonic stem cells), and I'm very impatient with candidates, like Huckabee, who are members of what I call "Pro-Life, Inc." Those who people who identify themselves as "pro-life," but propose no practical solutions to the problem.
Huckabee proposes a constitutional amendment, apparently to overturn Roe v. Wade. There will never be such an amendment in our life. The last serious Human Life Amendment (see Wikipedia) was in 1983. It needed 67 votes to pass, and it got 49. It's doubtful that such an amendment would get more than 40 votes.
There are practical ways to reduce the number of abortions -- and increase the number of adoptions -- in America. The candidates who seem most likely to do such things are Rudy Giuliani and John McCain.
Mike Huckabee's comments about Jamie Spears irritated me. He seems to have little understand of WHO gets abortions and WHY. Until we grasp such facts, little will be done to confront the conditions (such as poverty and parental pressure) that cause women and girls to have abortions.
What happened -- see Christopher's perceptive comments -- is that abortion is for many people, including Hollywood starlets, the approach with the fewest consequences. Some evangelical (not all of course) with a highly judgmental approach actually encourage pregnant women to have abortions.
If women, especially teenagers, are told that the worst possible thing that can happen to them is get pregnant, then they'll "take care" of that in short order. A child is either a gift from God -- or not. I choose to believe that "is" is the correct answer.
My experience has been that when girls get pregnant at a young age, they need support -- sometone to turn to who won't judge or verbally attack them. Often, they get the opposite from family and "lovers." Learning how to take good, basic care of a child isn't brain surgery or rocket science, but it's not something people know by instinct.
Many of the problems with teens in our society -- abortion, crime, poor performance in schools -- are not beyond solution. Most young people appreciate someone who's there to listen to them and to answer questions. They need a friend, not a persistent critic.
I believe Jamie Spears's mother loves her -- and that she loves her sometimes irritating older daughter. However, the evidence suggests she probably won't win the Parent-of-the-Year Award.
Teenagers like people to listen to them, although they often don't reciprocate. I wish parents and teens spent more time talking to each other -- and not at each other.
Anyways, I wish all mothers well. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it, and they're that "someone."
As a POW, my captors would tie my arms behind my back and then loop the rope around my neck and ankles so that my head was pulled down between my knees. I was often left like that throughout the night.
One night a guard came into my cell. He put his finger to his lips signaling for me to be quiet, and then loosened my ropes to relieve my pain. The next morning, when his shift ended, the guard returned and retightened the ropes, never saying a word to me.
A month or so later, on Christmas Day, I was standing in the dirt courtyard when I saw that same guard approach me. He walked up and stood silently next to me, not looking or smiling at me.
After a few moments had passed, he rather nonchalantly used his sandaled foot to draw a cross in the dirt. We stood wordlessly looking at the cross, remembering the true light of Christmas, even in the darkness of a Vietnamese prison camp. After a minute or two, he rubbed it out and walked away.
That guard was my Good Samaritan. I will never forget that man and I will never forget that moment. And I will never forget that, no matter where you are, no matter how difficult the circumstances, there will always be someone who will pick you up and carry you.
May you and your family have a blessed Christmas and Happy Holidays,
As many of you know, I'm giving John McCain another look. I continue to believe that he and Rudy Giuliani would be outstanding presidential choices. I'm also hopeful that both of them would lean toward Gov. Sarah Palin when they're considering vice-presidential choices. Finally, on the basis of their past performance, both McCain and Giuliani would be willing to campaign for Melissa Hart and William Russell in their efforts to win congressional seats.
Mike Huckabee and Jamie Spears
I heard on CNN that candidate Mike Huckabee described the pregnancy of 16-year-old Jamie Spears (Britney's younger sister) as a "tragedy." Frankly, that's a misuse of the word "tragedy," which is not a synonym for every unfortunate event that occurs in the world.
The sad thing is that there's no solid evidence that young Miss Spears is ready to have and care for this child. Huckabee did salute her -- and wisely so -- for apparently never considering an abortion.
I wonder if her responsible behavior in choosing to have the child doesn't over-ride the irresponsible part: getting pregnant at age 16. At this point, all we can do is wish her and child well -- and provide whatever support we can for this young-mother-to-be.
The untold story in this event is what steps, if any, Miss Spears and her family are willing to take to ensure the child is loved and well-cared-for. Is she, like her older sister, intends to continue "partying" and devoting her life to a series of pointless activities, then the child truly will need our prayers.
I hope Jamie decides from this point on to be a role-model for the 800,000 American teenagers who become pregnant annually. In avoiding the easy way out of having an abortion, she may in fact be off to a good start.A
s for Mike Huckabee, he needs to read up on the concept of tragedy. I suggest he start with Aristotle's "Poetics." Also, as a Christian minister, he needs to emulate Jesus Christ in staying away from judgmentalism. "Nor do I condemn you . . . Go and sin no more."
Thursday, December 20, 2007
That same year, Murtha’s fundraising for his “campaign” added up to $2.3 million. His “expenditures” on the “campaign” totaled $1.56 million.
So, he spent more than a million-and-a-half dollars to vanquish a non-existent opposition. Huh?
It wasn’t as if he was expecting a well-financed contender to raise lots of money and contest vigorously for the seat. In 2002, Murtha raised $2.4 million and got 74% of the vote. His opponent, Republican Dr. Bill Choby, raised only $17,000 and got just 25% of the vote.
Let’s focus on the $1.56 that Murtha “spent” in the uncontested year of 2004. As you’ve noticed, I’ve been putting lots of words in quotes, including “campaign,” “expenditures,” and “spent.”
The reason I’ve done so is that such concepts don’t apply to Murtha.
In this century, Murtha has raised (and most spent) nearly $10 million. Although he comes from one of the poorer districts in the Mid-Atlantic region, he’s one of the biggest fundraisers in Congress. He raises about twice as much as the average U.S. congressional representative.
To hold his seat, given the huge Democratic edge in registration, he didn’t have to raise $10 million. In fact, he probably didn’t need to raise anything.
The $1.56 million he spent in 2004 is a giant red flag. How does someone spend such a huge amount of money in a race that’s already decided before the election season even begins? How does an unopposed candidate in a safe district spend more than candidates locked in tight races?
I mean: WHERE DID ALL THE MONEY GO?
To understand, you need to know how Murtha conceives of being a federal representative. It’s merely a matter, as he’s said, “of making deals.” Campaign funding? He gets large earmarks, federal dollars, for companies that really don’t need them, and they reward him with giant contributions. They’re so grateful for all your federal dollars that they name buildings after him.
And what campaign expenditures – all those millions that never had to be raised or spent? Those are also payoffs to various people – printers, writers, photographers, billboard companies, private investigators, and others – who are financially dependent on Murtha.
The monies are basically payments for votes by various companies and their employees. “You scratch my back, and I scratch your back.”
It doesn’t really cost great piles of cash to campaign against nobody, as happened in 2004. The expenditures are really reminders to people of whom they’re dependent on: that is, Murtha.
In short, you give to Jack Murtha, and he returns the favors. The “expenditures” are a form of vote-buying. It's like a big recycling project, with dollars going back-and-forth.
What I’m telling you here is something that’s well-known in the 12th congressional district. Increasingly, the people in that area think it stinks, which it does. What does isn't exactly what The Founding Fathers had in mind.
Like Diana Irey before him, William Russell is a breath of fresh air. He needs and deserves your support.
POLITICS: THE FUNDAMENTALS AND VICTORY
In the generally wonderful OpenSecrets.org, you'll read that, in federal races, the candidate who spends the most money wins 90%-plus of the time. That statistic is somewhat misleading.
William T. Russell is not going to spend nearly as much money as John Murtha, who may end up forking out $4 million. I don't know how much money Russell will raise, but it won't be anywhere near Murtha's financial numbers.
If Russell does everything right, he should win anyway. One thing he definitely needs is to try to shake every hand in the district.
The best way to get someone's vote is to ask for it. Ask enough people -- say, 100,000 of them -- and you will do well. The key is to convince enough Independents and, especially, Democrats that Lt. Col Russell is an outstanding person, a good man.
He's a Republican, a fact he won't emphasize in this Democrat-intensive area. He needs to share the other positive aspects of his story -- that he's a husband a father, that he's basically spent a lifetime in the military (born on an Army base), that he has defended American interests in Desert Storm, the Balkans, and Iraqi Freedom. Also, he's firmly asserted that he doesn't want any buildings named after him, unlike his narcissistic opponent.
John Murtha is an angry guy who's not aging well. He's widely known as a bully, especially in his dealings with younger congressmen and congresswomen. His major accomplishment is getting large handouts of federal money for companies that don't need the assistance. He's been a major supporter of people like Pelosi and Waxman, who have nothing in common with the people of Murtha's district. He's sold out to every lobbyist with a bagful of cash.
If Russell can get these points across, this could be real horserace.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
The Economist continues: "Mr. Obama cannot change his experience deficit, but he can change his substance deficit. His economic policies (like those of the other Democrats . . .) are crowd-pleasing stuff. He is iffy about free trade. He wants health insurance for all -- and expects the rich to pay for it. He wants schools to get better, but he panders to his leftist base by eschewing merit pay for teachers and independent charter schools."
Also, "On Iraq, he affects not to have noticed that the 'surge' in and around Baghdad is producing palpable successes, and clings to the idea, beloved of his Party base, that all troops should be withdrawn even before he putatively takes office."
The Economist frames its comments on Obama as being helpful. In fact, they're a devastating critique of the candidate's naivete and his penchant for demagoguery.
What about his stand on education? He refuses to take on the Teacher's Union and he refuses to support any real sort of choice for parents and students. Instead, he offers a vague "hope" that schools will somehow (perhaps by magic?) get better.
In other words, eights years of an Obama presidency would offer Americans an endless stream of rhetoric about the importance of education. But, aside from the teachers getting more money, NOTHING would change. Bad teachers would get the same pay as good ones. Parents would have no real opportunity to send their children to better schools.
On Iraq, Obama appeals to the small, activist segment (20%) of his Party that tells pollsters they think it would be best if the U.S. loses the War in Iraq. Like most Democratic presidential candidates, Obama seems to have no understanding of what motivate the mass murderers who call al-Qaida their "spiritual" home.
Yes, Obama "panders" to his Party's Leftist core. Apparently, that's his nature, and he would be a disastrous choice for America. He's so bad that he makes Hillary Clinton look good.
How do Obama's political and intellectual failures relate to someone like William Russell, who's opposing John Murtha? In fact, Murtha's approach to problems -- in Iraq, in education, in health care, in economic development -- closely resembles Obama's. In other words, the solution is to pay off some interest groups, such as the bosses of the Teacher's Union.
Russell wants to improve education and to resolve the situation in Iraq in a way favorable to the United States. The way to improve educational performance in America is to reach out -- to teachers, to parents, and to students -- to find ways to do things better. The implicit assumption of someone like Obama is that things can't be improved, which is ridiculous.
In fact, we shouldn't underestimate teachers. My mother was one for many years, and I also taught for 10 years. Granted, most teachers -- like "most" people generally -- are average. Many of them fear that steps designed designed to reward excellent teachers will somehow come at the determinet of the "average many."
But a rising tide lifts ALL boats. What do teachers generally -- the average and the above-average -- recommend to improve their own performance? What do they suggest to make them more a part of an economy and a society based on merit? In fact, most people in any occupation want to learn ways to make themselves better at their job.
What about identifying the best teacher in every school? Then, assign them to one or two teachers that are less skilled. In other words, let the top teachers share their expertise and mentor their colleagues. This happens all the time in business, but only rarely in education.
On Iraq, the real question (for Obama, Murtha, and others) is this: Where do we fight al-Qaida and how do we fight them? Presumably, the answer is NOT that we confront them in the streets of New York. "Redeploying" the troops to Okinawa, Murtha's solution, is a suggestion that's pitiful rather than helpful. If there's a better way to fight al-Qaida, then people like Obama and Murtha are obligated to tell us how -- and where.
In other words, let's come up with "win-win" solutions to our society's problems. We don't need to follow Obama's (and Murtha's) assumption that the only "problem" the world faces is how to make sure he gets elected.
(Note: I'm going to stick with this topic through Friday. One of the reason that so few people in the 12th Congressional District of PA vote is that they've given up hope. They clearly don't believe that their vote counts -- that it matters. A major underlying reason Russell is running is to explain to people that they should vote and, specifically, that they should vote for him.
One reason I like Rudy a lot is that his actions -- along with those of Police Commissioners Bratton and Kerik (yes, the much-maligned Bernie) -- dramatically reduced the crime rate in New York City. There are many people in local, state, and federal government that seemingly believe high-crime-rates are something that "just happens." They are dead wrong.
In New York, Mayor Bloomberg, elected twice as a Republican, and Commissioner Kelly have continued the policies of Rudy Giuliani and earlier commissioners. They have had tremendous success at keeping crime -- especially the murder rate -- down.
I heard the other day that New York City is on track to have fewer than 500 murders this year, putting it about on a par with Philadelphia, a much-smaller (and Democrat-controlled) city.
How many murders were there in NYC before Giuliani and Bratton iniated their crime-fighting policies. There were 2,494 -- nearly five time as many as are projected to occur this year.
Gee, how on earth did that great accomplishment (a pro-life achievement, by the way) occur? It happened because Giuliani and Bratton had an extremely insightful view into why and where crimes occurred.
Specifically, they understood what happens when neighborhood have broken windows, when begarrs are panhandling, when public urination runs rampant, when public drunkeness is tolerated, when sex parlors open up, and where groups of drug users congregate. What happens is people assume nobody cares about the neighborhood. Good people move out -- and bad people move in. Crimes proliferate, and murders become a way of life.
Giuliani and Bratton understood that it's critical to "sweat the small things." You can read the whole story in Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point. There was an epidemic of crime -- and Giuliani innoculated the city against it. The approach is still paying great dividends and saving thens of thousands of lives. Other cities -- Philadelphia being one, Pittsburgh another -- should emulate "America's Mayor."
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
“Embrace the Future”
The holidays are in full swing, and we're all making lists and shopping for gifts for our friends and family. Add Bill to your list and make sure that he has a Merry Christmas and a happy election season! We are counting down the 7 days leading to Christmas with a variety of important items the campaign needs to roll full steam ahead into the 2008 election season.
Your gift will be the difference in how the 2008 election season starts for Bill. His campaign needs the resources to travel, run ads on TV, host rallies and contact voters directly. The contribution you make to Bill's campaign will buy tangible things that will go a long way towards making Bill's bid for Congress successful.
Your gift of $1000 will make a day on the bus possible. $500 today will allow the campaign to run four television ads in the 12th Congressional District. Even your gift of $50 or $25 can make a big difference in what we're doing. These are things that Bill's campaign needs and this is your opportunity to give Bill a gift that will really help him in his bid for Congress.
Bill has a vision for a secure, unified and prosperous 12th Congressional District and America, but we can only make it real if his campaign has the funds to win. Making a contribution to Bill's campaign in the 7 days leading to Christmas will ensure that. Give his campaign a Christmas present that will help carry Bill to victory!
“You know, I am a strong consistent common sense conservative, but the most important issue facing our country and will be for a long time, is national security, and the safety of our people. I've spent a lot of time both in and out of the 12th Congressional District traveling, and talking to leaders. I know the country and the community we live in and I know what we need to do. I know that it's going to require strong leadership.”
Thanks for your help.
PS: Give Bill a Christmas gift of $1000; $500; $100 or even $50 or $25 to help him beat Mr. Murtha.
Larry Stiles, USMC-Vietnam Veteran
William Russell for Congress
P.O. Box 630
Johnstown, PA 15907
Please volunteer for William Russell for Congress at http://williamrussellforcongress.com
PAID FOR BY WILLIAM RUSSELL FOR CONGRESS
Here's how the Bloggers 4 Russell will work: When we get to approximately 100 Bloggers 4 Russell, they'll all be asked to make modest contributions to the Russell Campaign -- and to ask their thousands of blog visitors to do the same. Such requests for donations will be made in January, March, and May, times when it's essential that Russell store up enough monetary "acorns" to get his message across and mobilize supporters (the Three "Ms," message, mobilization, and money). As we get above 200 Bloggers 4 Russell, they'll be asked to contact bloggers and friends in PA and -- especially -- in the 12th congressional district. As the campaign goes into the spring and summer, there will be a heavy emphasis on the state and district. My personal goal is to play a role in soliciting 1,000 volunteers for Russell who will work in the district, making calls, registering and canvassing voters, stuffing envelopes, answering phones, and the like. If Russell can get 1,000 active volunteers -- people who collectively influence tens of thousands of votes -- he will win, much to Murtha's amazement.
Note: Be sure to read the column below on "President Hillary Clinton."
Huckabee is the "candidate of the evangelicals." The problem is that evangelicals make up one-third of the REPUBLICAN voters. What a Hillary Clinton or an Obama would be targeting would be the other five-sixths of the vote (two-thirds of the Republicans, plus the Independents and Democrats).
What exactly is Huckabee's appeal, say, to young professional women (teachers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, journalists, MBA-types)? His personality and policies are are going to a problem with younger voters, young female professionals, urban "Yankees," gays/lesbians, union members, Blacks, and Hispanics.
We hear a lot lately about the high "unfavorable" ratings Hillary Clinton has. But that view can be very misleading.
If you remember the 2004 poll situation, there was a great deal of discussion about how Bush's approval rating never got above 49%. Well, even with high disapproval numbers, he won the election by nearly 3 million votes (although the electoral college was close).
Kerry won NY, NJ, PA, and CA -- and they add up to a huge total in electoral votes. Mrs. Clinton would have a good chance of winning those states, plus IL, MI, and MN, in addition to MA and all the other New England states. She should also do well in the Pacific Northwest.
In presidential years, we Republicans can't keep riding on the razor's edge and expect to keep winning. We're now hearing how Hillary's favorable rating is only 47%-48%, etc. Well, that's about where Bush was in 2004. Hillary has very high negatives in states the Republicans would be expected to win (GA, UT, ID, AL, MS, and the like).
However, in many of the largest states, her favorability ratings are not that bad. The Republican candidate will have a tough time in the states where the Hispanic vote will be significant, including Colorado, Arizona, NM, and NV.
To get the nomination, Mrs. Clinton will have to win at least one of the early primaries -- IA, NH, or SC. She should be able to do so -- probably Iowa.
The problem with conservatives is that they tend to be egocentric. They say, "Well, I can't stand Hillary, therefore she has no chance of becoming President." What I think (or you think) is not translatable into national attitudes. Tens of millions of Americans think Hillary Clinton is just fine.
The upshot? If Mrs. Clinton can win the Democratic nomination, she has a good chance of becoming President of the USA.
NOTE: IF YOU GO TO MY OTHER SITE (HTTP://CAMP2008VICTORYA.BLOGSPOT.COM) AND LOOK AT THE BLOGROLL, YOU'LL DISCOVER A RAPIDLY GROWING NUMBER OF "BLOGGERS 4 RUSSELL." IF YOU'D LIKE TO JOIN, PLEASE LEAVE YOUR BLOG'S NAME ON THE "COMMENTS" SECTION OR E-MAIL ME AT TALKTOP65@AOL.COM. THE BLOGGERS ARE GOING TO BE AN IMPORTANT FACTOR IN RUSSELL'S WINNING. BE SURE TO VISIT HIS WEB SITE AT: HTTP://WILLIAMRUSSELLFORCONGRESS.COM.
Monday, December 17, 2007
In the December 8 - 14 issue of The Economist (http://economist.com), the publication makes the case for John McCain as Republican nominee for President. It's a compelling case.
The publication notes: "Mr. McCain is such a familiar figure that it is easy to forget how remarkable he is. He fought heroically in Vietnam, spending more than five years as a prisoner of war, when many other politicians of his generation discovered . . . that they had 'other priorities.' He has repeatedly risked his politicla career by backing unpopular causes."
In addition, "Mr. McCain's qualifications extend beyong character. Take experience. His ranges of interests as a Senator has been remarkable, extending from immigration to business regulation. He knows as much about foreign and military issues as anybody in public life."
As The Economist also points out, McCain may be the only Republican who can prevail in a general election over either Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Hussein Obama.
On the other hand, what does The Economist have to say about Mike Huckabee, who's become the flavor of the month? It says, "Mr. Huckabee is indeed an attractive candidate -- a good debater and a charming fellow. But he is woefully lacking in experience. He knows next to nothing about foreign and military affairs, and his tax plans are otherworldly."
The publication continues: "A presidential debate between Mr. Huckabee and Hillary Clinton would be a rout."
Right now, there are two outstanding candidates on the Republican side, and Mike Huckabee is not one of them. If Republican voters are wise, they will see that the race should come down to two individuals: Rudy Giuiliani and John McCain. And may the best man win.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Note: The following (in italics) is a comment by the Rev. (?) Don Spitz, a strong Huckabee supporter, to my column below. The Rev. Spitz is one of the first supporters of a major candidate to endorse mass murderers (Paul Hill and Olympic Park bomber Eric Rudolph). I believe he helps me make my point. By the way, I'm personally opposed to abortion in just about all its forms, but unlike the Rev. Spitz, I don't confuse myself with God Almighty. I believe that constiutionally, abortion is a matter for the states to decide, which would happen in the unlikely case that Roe v. Wade is overturned, a point lost on Mike Huckabee and Don Spitz, a leader in the Army of God Terrorist Organization.
Rev. Don Spitz said...
Paul Hill and Eric Rudolph did the right thing in stopping those babykilling abortionists. You on the other hand, support the murder of helpless babies. You are much worse.SAY THIS PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I am a sinner and am headed to eternal hell because of my sins. I believe you died on the cross to take away my sins and to take me to heaven. Jesus, I ask you now to come into my heart and take away my sins and give me eternal life.
I see that Larry Perrault, a staunch supporter of Gov. Mike Huckabee, has begun attacking me again on his blog. Larry generally spends his time writing endless columns devoted to establishing that Gov. Huckabee didn't really say what he said and didn't do what he did. Larry despises every other Republican candidate and has said that if Mike doesn't get the nomination, he will sit home on Election Day cuddling his blankie and his binky.
I don't think Mike Huckabee is a bad man, but he's a careless individual. He tends to surround himself with supporters, such as Larry, who are theocrats, people who would be much more comfortable in John Calvin's era than in 21st century America.
Some of Huckabee's supporters are anti-Catholic, such as Rev. Rude of Iowa, who denounced Sam Brownback for being too, well, "Catholic." Most evangelical Protestants have made a peace, perhaps an uneasy one, with Catholicism, but many have not.
As Mike zipped up the lips of Rev. Rude, he failed to make any sort of definitive statement about evangelicals who are strongly anti-Catholic. I have no idea what Mike's specific thoughts are on Roman Catholicism, and that's something he must address. He certainly needs to speak forcefully about what he's done, if anything, to eradicate the Rev. Rude types from his campaign. Saying that he's pleased Rude "apologized" is not enough -- by far.
Huckabee has recently made anti-Mormon statements, directed at Mitt Romney, in an interview with the New York Times. Mike doesn't seem to understand -- or care? -- that Mormons are an important element of the Republican Party in states like Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, and California. Mike needs to apologize for raising the canard that Mormons believe that "Satan and Jesus are brothers." Remember, Mike, there are six million Mormons in America, and almost all who are of age vote.
One of the biggest problems Mike will face is his support from America-haters like Dr. Laurence White, a Lutheran pastor in Houston. (Dr. White is Larry Perrault's favorite preacher.) In his essay "God and Caesar," White talks at length about how contemporary America is as bad -- or worse? -- than Nazi Germany in the late 1930s. White suggest that he is like the German preachers (he doesn't mention Catholic Germans) who were persecuted and executed by the Nazis.
On September 25, 2007, on his blog, Mike Huckabee reprinted Dr. White's column entitled "The Election Cannot be About Electability," which used some material from "God and Caesar." Huckabee's supporters chimed in with responses about how America is rapidly descending into Hades.
Frankly, it's not possible to understand an important segment of the Huckabee constituency without reading "God and Caesar." It's an amazing political document, and it's not something Huckabee will be sending out with his Christmas cards.
In a previous column about "God and Caesar," I said the following: "I quote the piece extensively, and my conclusion is that White is (1) basically calling for a violent revolution by Christians against American civil society; (2) encouraging "pro-life-killers" like Paul Hill and Eric Rudolph; (3) writing a document that sounds uncomfortably like an American Mein Kampf in targeting certain groups and institutions -- including homosexuals and the public school system -- for supposedly destroying the moral core of society."
If a Rudy Giuliani, a John McCain, or a Mitt Romney were associated with someone as odious as Dr. White, their campaigns would soon come to an end. A Laurence White is the equivalent for a candidate of an anvil around the neck.
What Laurence White and Larry Perrault fail to understand is that this is in fact a "government by, of, and for the people." Sometimes, the people will disagree with us on important issues, including abortion. That doesn't mean we can ignore them -- or treat them with contempt.
It means that politics in a free country is a dialogue that goes on . . . and on . . . and on. The kind of contempt for others -- even those who are "wrong" -- that went on during Calvinism and the Inquisition is not appropriate in 2007.
If Mike Huckabee wants to win the nomination and the presidency, he needs to outline exactly where he stands on other religions, including not only Catholicism and Mormonism, but also Judaism and other faiths practiced in America. He also needs to repudiate -- to condemn -- people like Rev. Rude, Rev. Laurence White, and Larry Perrault. Otherwise, he will be carrying around the political equivalent of a time bomb.
I know where serious candidates like Giuliani, McCain, and Romney stand on such issues -- they're in favor of tolerance, respect, and basic decency. But do we really have any idea where Huckabee stands? Mike, it's put up or shut up time.
Let me add this about the Rev. Don Spitz: he exemplifies the kind of craziness that's gathered at the edges of the Huckabee candidacy. The Don Spitzes, Paul Hills, Eric Rudolphs -- and their intellectual mentors, such as Rev. Laurence White -- are just plain dangerous.