November 2007

When voting in the February 12 Republican primary, citizens will be asked to sign an oath stating, “I, the undersigned, pledge that I intend to support the nominee of the Republican Party for president.” If one refuses to sign the oath, they will not be allowed to vote.

I was so shocked when I heard this story, that I thought I must have misunderstood. I actually saw it on the news a couple of days ago, but didn’t research it further as I thought it was so outlandish it couldn’t possibly be true. Several news organizations have picked up on Virginia’s “oath,” however, and it seems I didn’t misunderstand. The Virginia Republican Party really is this slimy and stupid.

Supposedly, the Party is requiring such an oath because of “crossover” voters. In the “Communist-wealth” of Virginia,  just as in Tennessee, one does not register to vote as a member of a particular political party. So, a Democrat can vote in a Republican primary and vice versa. This does pose a problem as Democrats can “cross over” and vote for the Republican who would be less likely to beat said Democrat’s candidate of choice. With enough people doing this, the outcome of an election could be greatly effected.

The way to solve this problem is not by forcing voters to sign an oath, but to require – as many other states do – voters to register with a particular political party. When one registers to vote he/she will register as either a Republican, Democrat, or Independent. You may then only vote in the primary for the party with which you are affiliated. Problem solved.

My guess is that the party is trying to plan ahead for a Giuliani nomination in ’08. There are legions of Republican voters who will vote third party if Rudy Giuliani gets the Republican nomination for president, and I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that this is the real motivation behind the “oath.”

Some have argued that the oath is “just a piece of paper.” There is no one to enforce the oath, so you can simply sign it with no intention of abiding by it. For some, that may be fine. I, however, don’t make promises of any sort that I don’t intend to keep. If I even had an inkling that I may not be willing to vote for the Republican nominee (and, if it’s Giuliani, I will not), then I cannot, will not, sign that oath. I would then not be allowed to vote in the primary.

This oath is an affront to our voting process and I am shocked that anyone with any sense would find it acceptable.


Check out my latest post for Power Talk 870’s Good Morning Tri-Cities Blog:

The Winners and Losers of the CNN/YouTube Debate 

I didn’t get home last night until almost 9pm, so I missed the first half of the debate, although I did frantically call my husband to ask him to watch and give me a play-by-play. From what I understand, all I missed during the 8 0’clock hour was a fight between Romney and Giuliani and some wacko question to Ron Paul about the NAFTA Superhighway. Which, by the way, was the only mention of Ron Paul during the CNN after-coverage. Thanks a lot.

All in all, I think Huckabee killed the debate. Every time the man opened his mouth, I looked at my husband and said, “Man, that was a good answer!” He is clearly a skilled debater and, being a former minister, a smooth and charismatic speaker. In all honesty, if I didn’t know his record, his performance last night would have swayed me.

Although I missed Romney’s rebuttal of Huckabee’s excuse for his giving taxpayer dollars to the children of illegal immigrants to go to college, that was apparently the only chink in his armor for the night. In case you missed it, the question concerned why, when Huckabee was governor, he gave taxpayer-funded scholarships to the children of illegal immigrants to go to college when the children of military personnel were not eligible for such assistance. Huckabee gave some kind of “I don’t want to punish the children for the acts of the parents – do unto others” kind of answer. Romney told Huckabee that it wasn’t his money to give. Score one for Romney.

I think Huckabee most likely won over a number of evangelicals last night. He was the only one who unapologetically said that he believes every word of the Bible. He nailed the “What would Jesus Do about the death penalty?” question, except for the fact that he did not mention that the bible actually prescribes the death penalty. During this answer he did explain why Christians are pro-life and pro-death penalty in an incredibly eloquent manner. Again, in case you missed it, he explained the fundamental difference between putting someone to death who has been deemed guilty in a court of law of a heinous crime and the killing of an innocent life that has not only not been deemed guilty of any wrongdoing, but that has not even had the chance to be born. Score one for Huckabee.

My husband was clearly swayed by Huckabee’s evangelical swagger last night. Not being as in to politics as I, he wasn’t aware of Huckabee’s record as governor or his support of cap-and-trade environmental schemes. I honestly hate that Huckabee did so well last night, because his record simply doesn’t reflect what he said in the debate.

As for the other candidates:

Every time Giuliani answered a question I thought I was watching the CNN/YouTube Democrat debate. I’ve never in my life seen such an unapologetically liberal Republican getting so much attention. The boobs at CNN were practically salivating all over themselves – “You mean we could end up with a Presidential race between two Democrats! Our dreams have come true!” His “I believe the Bible but I don’t believe the Bible” answer was pathetic. Next!

Romney solidified his position as the most confusing candidate in the race. “I believed that then, but I don’t believe that now.” “I know I did/said that as governor of Massachusetts, but I was wrong.” I don’t know what the man believes. At least, however, he actually accepts his record for what it is and says he was wrong about it, unlike Huckabee who seems to be ignoring his record as governor of Arkansas.

Thompson was unimpressive – I can’t remember even one of his answers. My husband said, “Dear Lord! He looks like he’s about to keel over!” Seems to me that the Thompson campaign is about to crash and burn.

Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter were impressive, but I feel that they – much like Ron Paul – were largely ignored. While I know that the idea was to ask the questions randomly and give everyone somewhat equal time, it still seemed like the “front-runners” were given most of the air-time. Similar to Thompson, I can’t really remember much of what Tancredo or Hunter said. Although I think it was Tancredo who gave the fantastic answer to the “gays in the military” question. A retired military man with an impressive record asked why, as a gay man, he wasn’t allowed to reveal his sexual orientation while he was in the military. He wanted to know why the Republicans didn’t believe that those in the military were “professional” enough to work alongside gays. Again, I think it was Tancredo (it might have been Hunter) who answered unapologetically in favor of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” I can’t do justice to his answer here, but, take my word for it, it was a good one.

Finally, my man, Ron Paul. I’m clearly biased here, as I felt like a nervous mom watching her son on stage. Every time he was asked a question I found myself thinking, “Oh please do well, Oh please do well!” I don’t feel that Dr. Paul has the debating skills that some of the other candidates – namely, Mike Huckabee – do. While I know Paul’s record and enjoyed his answers in the debate, I don’t feel that it was a winning performance. I am also quite perturbed by some of the questions given to Paul. The NAFTA superhighway question seems to have been picked to make him look like a kook, although (according to my husband, as I missed this part of the debate) he gave an incredibly intelligent and thorough answer. I also was irritated by the last question offered to Dr. Paul in which the “YouTuber” said “While we all know the Republicans are not going to give you the nomination…” A statement like this on national television is enough to sway public opinion, and I can’t help but wonder if it was picked for that very reason.

All-in-all I had a blast watching the debate. Again, I’m disappointed that Huckabee did so well, as the vast majority of Americans are not going to take the time to look at his record. I, however, have not been swayed:

Ron Paul in ’08!

Much to my amazement, fellow Young Republican, Todd Smith, has announced that he will challenge good friend, Matthew Hill, for the Republican nomination for the 7th district State House seat. I got the news just a few minutes ago and the shock hasn’t quite worn off, but here’s what I see so far:

As a friend and former supporter of Representative Hill, why would Smith challenge Hill if he thought he was doing a good job? (as Smith reportedly believes). There’s apparently been something going on behind the scenes for Smith to suddenly (and quite early in the non-campaign season) announce that, although Matthew’s a “good friend” and “neighbor”, he will be seeking to run Hill out of office.

My guess is that some shrewd financial backers have gotten their hands on an individual with some serious ambition. Word on the street is that Smith is being bankrolled by the very people who funded Fred Phillips’ campaign in 2006, i.e., Jim Powell and his ilk. Which makes one wonder why Smith is running for the Republican nomination as opposed to the Democratic nod.

I noticed in the JC Press article that Smith talks a lot about “economic development,” which is really a sneaky way of saying “tax increases,” and points to his experience with the Millennium Center. Smith says, “I’ve also worked for Johnson City as liaison to the Public Building Authority, in charge of economic development projects like the Millennium Centre — which recently had the best financial year in its history.” What Smith fails to mention is that “the best financial year in its history” actually means that it only lost $187,000 last year and has never actually turned a profit for the taxpayers who paid for it.

The fact that Smith is reportedly receiving money from road builders might also be why he is so itchy to pave over what little farmland we have left in the area. Smith says that he would like to work on expanding infrastructure in Gray, Boones Creek, and the Okalona Road areas. Bye-bye cow pastures!

Whatever Smith’s motives, I hate to see politics destroying friendships. Smith is someone with whom I worked (more so before my little family addition!) and I can’t help but feel blindsided. I can’t imagine how Representative Hill feels (despite his thick political skin).

I’ll certainly be keeping my eye on this campaign as the season approaches, and I’ll also keep a close eye on Representative Hill as he heads back to Nashville in January.

In today’s Washington Post, writer Robert Novak referred to Mike Huckabee as a “false conservative.” I don’t disagree with Novak’s assessment, but it seems to me that the Republican field is filled with false conservatives. Unless, of course, you want to redefine “conservative” as someone who panders to standard Republican special interests rather than someone who limits the size and scope of government.

Guiliani, Huckabee, Romney, Thompson, McCain – they’re all the same, really. Your standard, run-of-the-mill politicians who will give us four more years of standard,  run-of-the-mill, George Bush style “Republicanism,” which isn’t Republicanism – let alone conservatism – at all.

It’s enough to make an average gal lose interest in politics…but I, of course, am no average gal.

Each and every candidate in the Republican field can claim to be the “real conservative,” the “true conservative,” the “Christian conservative,” the “southern conservative,” or whatever they want to call themselves, but the fact of the matter is that not a one of them (other than Ron Paul) is really – down deep inside – a conservative when it comes to controlling the size and scope of government. Even those who seem to be somewhat conservative in some areas, advocate policies in which the Federal Government has no business meddling. Again, Ron Paul is the only exception.

So, we can throw around this “conservative” title, but it simply doesn’t fit Mike Huckabee or any of the other “front-runners.” Ron Paul should really be the only one using the term with a straight face…

Another nail in the coffin of the global warming scare:

We Are Set on a Course of “Planet Saving” Madness 

As I sit at my computer, waiting for all this food to digest, I find myself thankful for politics. It makes for fabulous conversation around the dinner table.

We could have talked about how my husband dropped the turkey back into the grease-filled pan as he removed it from the oven, splashing grease all over my always spotless kitchen. Or how, later in the day, my dog decided to drink all the turkey grease she could by licking the floor and the inside of the oven door.  Or we could have discussed this or that wayward family member. Or even how much skinnier I am this year than I was last Thanksgiving (hey, I was somewhere around 34 months pregnant this time last year!)…

Instead, much to my mother’s dismay, we discussed politics. We talked about how much we dislike (and I’m cleaning up the language here) George W. Bush. We talked about idiots who say that they’ll vote for Hillary Clinton “if it comes down to it.” We talked about Ron Paul and how we’re all going to vote for him even though we don’t really think he’ll get the nomination. We talked about foreign policy, the war in Iraq, Communism, trade policy, and various and sundry other things that just make my eyes sparkle.

While my 10-month-old ate his very first “real” (i.e., not pureed) turkey and pumpkin pie, I got to sit around and complain about the state of our country and how much better America would be if we were running things.  That, my friends, is what Thanksgiving is all about for me.

And the food was fantastic, as well (my sister and I are fabulous cooks, even if I do say so myself).

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow political junkies.


Next Page »