Monthly archives "November 2010"

The Golden State and The Lone Star State

From 1989-1991 our family lived in Tallahassee, FL–host community to Florida State University.   Head football coach, Bobby Bowden, lived around the corner from our church and worshiped with us occasionally.  His Seminoles destroyed the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Fiesta Bowl of 1990.   The next spring, Nebraska Head Coach, Tom Osborne, turned his squad over to his assistants, swallowed his pride, came to Tallahassee,  and observed Bobby’s spring training to learn how he did it.

Ironically, the next year, NE and FSU met in the Orange Bowl for the national title and FSU won by a whisker.  No blow out this time.   And Osborne, who had never won a title, won two championships before he retired.

Our most populous state and second largest both in acreage and in number of residents are a study in contrast.    One is bankrupt and the other is thriving.   Texas Governor, Rick Perry, was on FOX after the mid-term elections and spoke about the hundreds of California companies who relocated in the Lone Star State just since January 1, 2010.

Why have these businesses done this?   Because Texas does not punish success with high taxes, and it is business friendly which means, among other things,  Texas does not over regulate.   Texas has also learned what California has not–no state or nation, no matter how wealthy, can support a huge welfare program.    The late Milton Friedman pounded on this during the Reagan Administration.   Bill Clinton was dragged into this conclusion by Newt Gingrich and the new Republican Congress elected in 1994.   Clinton signed Welfare Reform which assured his second term and led to a stronger economy.

What did California do in the mid-terms?    Returned the ultra-partisan Barbara Boxer to the U.S. Senate and Jerry Brown to the Governorship.    Brown could learn as Tom Osborne did by leaving spring training (also known as the transition time) in the hands of staff and fly to Austin to spend time with Governor Perry.   The leaders of New York and Illinois, states also headed for insolvency, might consider the same.

However, pride will prevent this.   Besides the Far Left lives in denial and does not believe in the Texas approach.   But this is key to our recovery beginning in 2011 under the Republican House and in 2013 when the GOP captures the Senate and the White House:   We must not bail out CA, IL, NY or any other state.   First, we cannot afford it.   Second, this is buying drinks for the alcoholic.   It will go right on.   They must take the cure if they are to recover.

My father is a WWII marine.   He has the biggest hand in the county and was not afraid to employ it when I needed discipline.   I did not like it at the time but now thank him for it.   The adult grown ups are in the GOP.  They must discipline the adolescent Democrats in CA, IL, NY and beyond.    If not these children running around disguised as adults will never grow up and they will ruin the country.   Are all ready to be led by real men and women?   Churchill told Britain he had nothing to offer but blood, toil, sweat and tears.   The Brits got behind him and they were vital to stopping the Nazis as we prepared to enter WWII.  

Demosthenes (384-322 B.C.)  was a Greek statesman and orator.   He was asked how Athens could halt their decline.   His answer was both simple and profound and sage advice for our land today as well.   Demoshtenes said,  “Stop what you are doing now.”  Are we ready to stop what we are doing  now?   I hope so.

Eutychus 

A Pyrrhic Victory

In 1876 Republican Rutherford B. Hayes defeated Democrat Samuel Tilden for the Presidency by an electoral vote of 185-184, though Tilden had 260,000 more votes.   Thomas Nast was a leading cartoonist of the time.   He tended to support the GOP and created the symbols of the elephant for the Republicans and the donkey for the Democrats.   He called the Hayes’ victory Pyrrhic.   His cartoon in Harper’s Weekly depicted a battered elephant at the graveside of the Democrats with bandaged head, arm and trunk supported by a crutch with the caption, “Another such victory and I am undone.” 

A Pyrrhic victory is one that comes at such price that it sows the seeds of future defeat.   It is named for a Greek general, Pyrrhus, who defeated the Romans in battles in 280 and 279 B.C.     However, he lost so many troops which he could not replace that future victories would not be his.   Meanwhile, Rome had near infinite number of fresh men to replace those lost.   A similar thing happened in the American Civil War.   The South won early but the North had overwhelming numbers of men to replace those lost.   The South did not and, thus, could not win. 

One wonders if the Democrat victories in the Senate races in CO, CA, NV and in the Governor’s races in CA and IL will not also be Pyrrhic both for their party and for the people.   CA and IL are largely bankrupt.    Voters in those states returned the Party and people who helped put them there.   In the Golden State this is especially grievous.   Even the liberal San Francisco Chronicle refused to endorse the ultra partisan Sen. Boxer as she has not been good for CA.    What do voters do?   Send her back.   Jerry Brown was there at the beginning of the CA fall but now he is back.  

This state has to be allowed to collapse under the weight of voter choices.   We cannot afford to bail them out for who will bail out the United States?    If the nation cares to contrast our largest state with our second largest population wise:    High tax and regulation CA is collapsing;   TX, which is sensible on both, is thriving.   Maybe CA should mess with TX in terms of learning from the Lone Star.

Nevada chose Harry Reid again.   I wonder if the donkeys really are pleased to have the high voiced whine of Harry Reid as their face in the U.S. Senate.   Must be as there he is.   This is the man who said of Iraq, “This war is lost.”   This was even as combat was continuing there.   He is such a silly man maybe he is right for the donkeys.

In IL, Pat Quinn, who took over for disgraced Governor Rod Blagojevich, narrowly won the election over Republican Bill Brady.   The Democrats control IL and have the state in a pickle similar to CA.   Bill Brady is an acquaintance of ours and was their hope out of the slew.   But voters turned to Quinn.   They too must be allowed to sleep in the bed they have made for themselves.

In CO we had a choice between a powerful, plain spoken man named Buck and an Obama yes man named Bennet.    We said no to power and yes to weakness.   This was not a time for timidity but big outside money won out.   The Centennial State will regret this choice but at least we are not bankrupt yet as are CA and IL.   But with a new Democrat Governor named Hickenlooper we may be on our way.

Some commentators say CO is now blue in the manner of WA and OR.   I am not so sure.   Rubberstamp Bennet won by less than 1% over Ken Buck.   It was a race that might have gone either way without such charming men as Evilbucks George Soros funding a lying, distorting,  Michael Bennet.

This is where I think the victories by Democrats in these few states was Pyrrhic.   The nation is suffering.   IL and CA are on their knees.   CO, while still upright, has been staggered as well.  The Senate and Governor’s Mansions in CA and CO are held by Democrats.  So are most of the Congressional Seats.   In IL there is a Democrat Governor and their Senior Senator, is Majority Leader, Dick Durbin.    You may recall in the summer of 08 he said our troops were acting like Nazis.  At that time his Senate colleague was a man named Barack Obama.   What a pair these two are.

We have freedom of choice in our land and we have chosen.   We do not, however, have freedom to choose the consequences of those actions.   I do not wish ill on these states (my family has lived in CO for 6 generations) but we reap what we sow and we have sown to the wind.   Sow to the wind and reap a whirlwind.  In CA and CO the Democrats have full control of the biggest offices and in IL two out of three.   They bear full responsibility for the coming storm.

But it is not too late.   In 2012 we have another chance to right the listing ship.    And that year we must turn away from Barack Obama, now in India with a 200 million dollar a day entourage.    It is almost like Nero fiddling while Rome burns except today it is Barack twittering while Washington teeters.   Let us make 2012 like 1980–a clean sweep with an elephant stampede and the donkeys out to the parched pasture on the backside of the desert they have created.

Eutychus

Reflections

In 1956, Adlai Stevenson faced President Eisenhower for the second time in a run for the White House.   Like the first campaign, Stevenson lost in a landslide.  After he said, “I am too old to cry, but it hurts too much to laugh.”   Our candidate for the U.S. Senate from CO did not prevail and it hurts.   The difference is the race here was very close which makes it more painful.

I have written political commentary off and on for 40 years.  We were closely involved in the Buck vs. Bennet race.    I have not seen a candidate work so hard as Ken Buck did.   Last week in a single day he moved from Northeast CO to the Arkansas Valley with stops all along the way.   The next day Mr. Buck worked his way north, finishing in the Denver area with several Metro rallies.   For the past two months our District Attorney accepted no salary as he was on the road campaigning.   This is quite a sacrifice.   He also had a fine team of volunteers who tirelessly phoned, walked in parades, knocked on doors, wrote editorials, posted blogs and, yes, prayed for the candidate and the campaign. 

One moment seemed particularly poignant in the months of this Senate race.   It was the final debate, October 22, 2010.   One of the moderators asked about abortion.   Ken Buck said he stood for life, God bless him.   Michael Bennet indicated he wanted his own daughters to have the right to choose.    Carried to a logical conclusion, our newly minted Senator, without batting an eye, was saying he was quite willing to have a grandchild sacrificed on the altar of abortion.

About 45 years ago a new cigarette was introduced especially for women.   The brand was Virginia Slims.   Their theme line was:   “You’ve come a long way, baby.”    Our nation has come a long way since 1973 and Roe vs. Wade.   The late Byron White is perhaps the greatest athlete ever who was a native of CO.  Born in Fort Collins and raised in Wellington he was a scholar athlete at the U of Colorado and later played in the NFL.  He was a member of the 1930’s all Decade team.   He was named to the Supreme Court by John Kennedy in 1962 and remains the Coloradan who rose highest in our Federal System.

The very gifted Justice White said of Roe v Wade, “This decision is an embarrasment to sound legal thinking.”   Amen!  Like Virginia Slims we have come a long way, baby–a long way toward our own national destruction.   Romans, Chapter 1, describes the downward descent of a sick society.   The last verse, Romans 1:32, reads, “. . . they not only do these very things, but also approve of those who practice them.”

It was at the Battle of Bull Run, 20 miles SW of Washington, D.C. on July 21, 1861, that General T.J. Jackson won the sobriquet of  “Stonewall.”   Union General Irvin McDowell was pushing the Confederates back, but Robert E. Lee would note that one of his generals, Jackson, was standing like a stonewall.   Because Jackson stood tall the South prevailed in the Battle of Bull Run.

God has not given up on us.   He is still raising up men who stand on principle like a stonewall.   Ken Buck is such a man.  While he did not prevail in the Senate race he still stands tall.   My wife and I are proud to have been part of his campaign.   Proud of Ken and Perry, their family and the campaign they ran.   As PBS commentator, Mark Shields, is fond of saying, “Politics ain’t bean bag.”    Indeed it is rough and tumble but it can be run without darkness and distortion. 

A farmer approached a college president and asked if his son, about to enter the university, had to attend all four years.   “Can’t he finish in a semester instead?” inquired the farmer father.    The college president said, “It depends on what you want your son to be.   You can grow a squash in a semester but it takes a hundred years to grow an oak tree.   We are seeking to turn out oaks here at our university.”

Ken Buck is an oak.    And he is a man whose life and career honor God.   Despite the hard work by the candidate and the many volunteers, the Senate door did not open.   God then has another plan for him.   And because it is of God it will be something greater than the United States Senate.  Thank you, Ken Buck.   Job well and honorably done.

Eutychus