Sunday, May 18, 2008

Is GOP Brand "Dog Food?"

On Tuesday, I'll be taking a very rare day off, but a new column will be up on this blog bright and early Wednesday. I invite to go either to and/or to: Both of them are (relatively) new and GOOD!

Okay, I've now had more than 50,000 (!) visitors to my various blogs. My goal is get 150,000-plus additional visitors by Election Day. If I can somehow accomplish that, as well as get many other bloggers to "adopt" the candidates, those could be major factors in getting one (or more!) my "underdog" congressional candidates elected. You can read about several outstanding candidates on: Keep coming back and tell your friends and supporters this site exist. Any ad revenue I can generated from Google AdSense will go to John McCain and other top-flight Republicans.

If you'd like to read about some truly superb Republican candidates, please visit my Pennsylvania blog. I'll reprint this column there, but generally they are distinctive. The column on my "Hillary" blog basically deals with Mrs. Clinton's options now that Obama appears certain to win the nomination.

It’s come to my attention (and how!) that a lot of Republicans are concerned about Rep. Tom Davis’ recent 20-page memo proclaiming the Republican Party as the equivalent of a “dead man walking.” He said if the “Republican Party brand” was a “dog food” it would be pulled from the shelves.

Davis is a 7th term Republican congressman from Virginia’s 11th District (Fairfax County, just outside DC). He’s retiring this year on a huge pension and life-time health benefits for him and his. As a congressman, he’s as “Beltway as it gets.” He’s one of a handful of Christian Scientists in Congress.

I hope he doesn’t regard his leaving as one of the operative causes of what he sees as the demise of the Republican Party. His comments don’t frighten me; they irritate me.

If the Republican Party has its troubles – and it does – people like him are responsible. He’s one of the Republican “leaders.” Tom Davis, whose voting record is half liberal, half conservative, voted for most of the big spending bills he now decries.

He loved his “earmarks,” those wasteful “special projects” made famous by Alaska’s “Bridge to Nowhere.” He never realized that no Republican congressman or congresswoman anymore can support earmarks, because they are invariably wasteful spending that adds to the budget deficit.

Tom’s constituents are presumably creating uproar over gasoline prices reaching $4 a gallon. However, Tom voted against drilling in ANWR, one of a number of Republicans who did so. Tom is one of those Republicans who think it’s a good idea to drill for and produce oil in other countries, but not in ours. People in Mideast call that hypocrisy, and it’s one reason they refuse to produce additional oil to satisfy our needs.

As I suggested earlier, Tom is one of those who uses the hip phrase “Republican brand.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “History is the lengthened shadow of a man (person).” Well, Tom, a political Party is the extension of the people in it. It is not “Frosted Flakes” or a Hyundai car.

If you have excellent people, you have a great Party. If you more than your share of Mark Foleys (of nasty e-mail fame), or Duke Cunningham (now in jail for bribery), or Bob Ney (also in jail), you have a Party that needs to rethink who it is and what it wants to be.

The Democrat’s “brand” is doing very well either. Right now, the national approval rating for Congress is lower than George Bush’s. It’s at 22%. That figure is a vote on the performance of people like Tom Davis. It’s a failing grade and one people like him richly deserve.

The Republican “brand” (i.e., the people running for office) in Pennsylvania is very strong. That’s because the people – Melissa Hart, Marina Kats, Tom Manion, Toni Gilhooley, and Mike Livingston – are outstanding human beings. Their life stories are tales of heroism and perseverance in the face of adversity.

Tom Davis one of the rudderless “leaders” who helped create the mess in Washington. Now, he’s turned around and, for the first time in his life, discovered there . . . a mess.

Spare us your lectures Tom. In Pennsylvania we’re planning to send a much better grade of people to Congress. They are going to solve problems – in national security, in spending, in terrorism threats, in education, and in crime – that you barely touched in your 14 years in the House. He walked many miles in the halls of Congress, but he left no footprints.

The Republican congressional candidates are going to take back seats we lost in 2006 –and add a couple of surprises for the Democrats.

(More on this and related subjects in coming days. The columns will be on my Pennsylvania blog and on the two national ones. My emphasis will be on ways to solve our great national problems. Your comments are welcome.


Abraham Lincoln, the Republican Party's second presidential nominee

On this day in 1860, Abraham Lincoln won the Republican Party's presidential nomination. Easily overlooked is the fact that both he and the 1856 nominee, Georgia's John C. Fremont, were southerners.

John Marshall Harlan, Republican dissenter from the Plessy v. Ferguson decision

On this day in 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court issued the Plessy v. Ferguson decision, which declared "separate but equal" to be constitutional. Dissenting from this infamous decision was Justice John Marshall Harlan, who wrote:"Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens."

After commanding a U.S. Army regiment during the Civil War, Harlan was elected Attorney General of Kentucky in 1863. Running on the Republican ticket, he lost two races for Governor before President Rutherford Hayes (R-OH) appointed him to the Supreme Court in 1877.

President Eisenhower appointed his grandson, John Harlan II, to the Supreme Court in 1955.

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