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Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Wonder what you would find if you frisked President Obama’s plans for 2012?

Answer: He’s running for re-election! I know, shocking right?

Don’t be confused folks. The video posted above is actually President Obama’s first political advertisement. Hot Air reports:

Barack Obama is running for President in 2012, but he may be the last person we’ll actually see on this campaign.  The Obama 2012 team released its first web ad this morning, but other than a couple of long-distance clips, Obama himself is nowhere to be seen.  Equally absent — any hint of issues or claims of accomplishments.

How much trouble does O-12 face? They couldn’t even find enough enthusiastic people to fill out a commercial. In 2008, it was all about the passion, and yet only one person even mentions this, and only to say that Obama’s too busy to work that magic again. One of the last voices we hear in the ad comes from a North Carolina man who admits that he doesn’t agree with Obama on “everything,” but that he “respects” Obama. Yes, that’s the kind of momentum one longs to see at the start of a presidential campaign.

The advertisement is so boring that some people are even comparing it to a DeVry University ad. Haha.

On the Republican side of things, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty released a rebuttal to President Obama’s campaign ad. Check it out below:

Now that’s more like it!

Also, the Republican National Committee launched their own ad along with a new landing page: HopeIsntHiring.com. In all honesty, the RNC needs to stay away from the gentlemen who did the narrating on that one, because he doesn’t fit the intensity of an attack ad.

Let the election season begin!

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Run Tim Pawlenty, run!

Politico reports:

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee on Monday, taking the first concrete step toward a 2012 run. He made the announcement on Facebook, posting a video with the dramatic camera angles and crescendoing music that we have come to expect from the former governor. Pawlenty made a post on his Facebook wall this morning telling visitors to return at 3 p.m. for a special announcement. In keeping with the theatrics of the video, a countdown clock ticked down the seconds until the announcement.

Obviously this was not a surprise to those who have been paying attention to the political scene on a regular basis, but it was important that Tim Pawlenty threw his name in the ring as a presidential candidate before any of the other bigger names. Unfortunately for T-Paw, the news of his formation of a presidential exploratory committee has the potential of quickly fading out relevance  due to the 24/7 news cycle and chaotic events occurring around the globe.

On the bright of it all, Tim Pawlenty’s political advertisements are absolutely amazing and I can’t wait for more to come in the future!

Right now, Tim Pawlenty and Mitch Daniels are the two realistic candidates I have my eye on for the 2012 presidential race.

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Wonder what you would find if you frisked the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)?

Answer: They are being hit with a RICO lawsuit!

Big Government reports:

After years of being harassed by the purple people beaters, one company has finally said ENOUGH.

In a press release issued Thursday, Sodexo USA announced that the company has filed a civil lawsuit against the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act., accusing the union of engaging in an “illegal campaign of extortion.”  The lawsuit representing Sodexo is Hunton & Williams – the same firm SEIU and its allies have accused of launching a “dirty tricks” campaign against them in retaliation for their anti-Chamber of Commerce campaigns.

One of the largest food services and facilities management companies in the world, Sodexo is the provider of choice for most schools, universities, companies, hotels, prisons and other facilities that outsource their cafeteria and food catering operations, and for those that outsource industrial cleaning services.  SEIU has been incessantly battering Sodexo since 2007, in its desire to unionize some of its nearly 400,000 employees, many of them hotel and food service workers.  Exacerbating the tensions was a longstanding turf war between SEIU and UNITE HERE over hotel and casino workers, which often spilled over into SEIU’s antics prior to the settlement the warring unions reached this past summer.

Sodexo USA has filed the lawsuit in an attempt to halt the over-the-top harassment from SEIU, alleging that many of the acts are very serious and outside of the normal realm of union tactics, including acts of ” SEIU blackmail, vandalism, trespass, harassment, and lobbying law violations designed to steer business away from Sodexo USA and harm the company.” [emphasis added]

Aside from some of its usual corporate smear campaign tactics, certain organizers in the SEIU subscribed to some especially nasty, and frankly repulsive, tactics:

The complaint alleges that the SEIU, in face to face meetings, threatened Sodexo USA’s executives that it would harm Sodexo USA’s business unless they gave in to the union, and then carried out its threats through egregious behavior, including:

  • throwing plastic roaches onto food being served by Sodexo USA at a high profile event;
  • scaring hospital patients by insinuating that Sodexo USA food contained bugs, rat droppings, mold and flies;
  • lying to interfere with Sodexo USA business and sneaking into elementary schools to avoid security;
  • violating lobbying laws to steer business away from Sodexo USA, even at the risk of costing Sodexo USA employees their jobs; and
  • harassing Sodexo USA employees by threatening to accuse them of wrongdoing.

This is only the beginning. It will be interesting to see how this lawsuit turns out.

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Hmm… So whatever happened to that so-called “new civility” we needed in America?

The DCist reports:

Paul Craney, the executive director of the D.C. Republican Committee, got quite the surprise when he came into the office today — someone had shot out the windows of the party’s headquarters at 1275 K Street NW with what appeared to be small caliber pellets.

“All I can say is that whoever did it either is targeting glass windows or the D.C. Republican Committee,” said Craney in an email this afternoon. Craney told us that the damage occurred around 1:30 a.m. last night, when the building’s security company left him a message about a glass break — but he didn’t notice the damage until he went and got lunch today, at which point he tweeted about it. Craney said that the headquarters’ neighbors were not hit by any of the projectiles.

Police were contacted by the building’s landlord and the incident is under investigation.

I am so glad that I moved to Washington, D.C. two weeks ago, because it appears we Republicans are being hunted around here, haha.

As Jonah Goldberg – from The National Review – pointed out: If it had been the DNC office that would prove the tea parties are [fill in the blank].”

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Her defeat to US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is not slowing Sharron Angle down.

Politico reports:

After unceremoniously crashing the Nevada Senate race last year — raising record amounts of money and becoming a headache for establishment Republicans while also endearing herself to tea party activists nationwide — Sharron Angle is returning for an encore performance with a run for the U.S. House.

[...]

Chris LaCivita, who served as political director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 2010 election cycle, described Angle’s Senate campaign staff as severely incompetent.

“It’s a huge problem [for the party] if she has the same cast and crew,” said LaCivita. “She brings a lot to the table — she has an enormous fundraising base. But you can have all the money in the world and if you have the wrong people spending it, it’s mitigating.”

But, he added, “As long as she doesn’t have the ‘Dinner for Schmucks’ crew around her, I think she’s the frontrunner.”

Although I did not support Sharron Angle in the Nevada Republican primary, she was not that bad of a candidate. As mentioned above, she definitely had a awful campaign team surrounding her. Also, it is hard to ignore the fact she was going up against the Senate Majority Leader and his enormous campaign war chest. Ms. Angle’s image as a so-called “extreme right-winger” would have been formed whether she was one or not. Let’s face it, demonization was the only efficient campaign strategy Democrats had during the 2010 midterm elections.

Hey, at least she’s actually doing something right this time: She actually has a working website online.

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Wonder what you would find if you frisked President Obama’s re-election campaign?

Answer: He is expected to raise a whopping $1 BILLION and that money has to come from somewhere.

The relationship between labor unions and the Democratic Party is one that needs to watched.

AFSCME (a public employees union) was biggest outside spender of the 2010 midterm election:

The 1.6 million-member AFSCME is spending a total of $87.5 million on the elections after tapping into a $16 million emergency account to help fortify the Democrats’ hold on Congress. Last week, AFSCME dug deeper, taking out a $2 million loan to fund its push. The group is spending money on television advertisements, phone calls, campaign mailings and other political efforts, helped by a Supreme Court decision that loosened restrictions on campaign spending.

[...]

Previously, most labor-sponsored campaign ads had to be funded by volunteer donations. Now, however, AFSCME can pay for ads using annual dues from members, which amount to about $390 per person. AFSCME said it will tap membership dues to pay for $17 million of ads backing Democrats this election.

Labor unions were created to be a vehicle to get workers more of the profits they help create. Government workers, however, do not generate profits. They merely negotiate for more tax money. Unfortunately, when government unions strike, they strike against the taxpayers who fund their salaries, pensions, benefits, etc.

Props to the Republican National Committee for releasing this political advertisement. It’s refreshing to see them take a firm stand on this issue.

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Wonder what you would find if you frisked some SEIU protesters at the pro-public union SEIU rally outside the Colorado Capitol in Denver?

Answer: They decided to harass an African-American Tea Partier who was participating in the counter-rally.

The Blaze reports:

During a pro-union rally at Colorado’s State Capitol yesterday, some alleged SEIU union supporters got into a shouting match with a black Tea Partier. But the conversation wasn’t just a loud, heated exchange. It got very personal when two union supporters ganged up on the conservative, one of them calling him “uneducated” and another asking him if he has any children “that he claims”.

According to RedWhiteBlueNews.com, the woman in red was later asked what she meant by her comments about the man’s children. “She said the black conservative was such a ‘free spirit’ that she assumed he would possibly not own up to the responsibility of being a father,” the site says.

Notice how the SEIU protester calls the Black conservative “uneducated” while also claiming he is “emmoral”… The only uneducated person in the video clip above is the SEIU protester. It’s pronounced “immoral” by the way.

Typical and classless.

*UPDATE* – February 23, 2011 – 1:23 PM.

The same group of protesters, who called the Black conservative “educated”, chanted “U-S-A” while waving a Mexican flag:

Oops!

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Wonder what you would find if you frisked the Democratic Party two years ago?

Answer: They passed the failed $787+ billion Stimulus Package.

Props the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) for the advertisement.

The Speaker of the House Blog reports:

Two years ago today, President Obama signed the trillion-dollar “stimulus” amid promises it would keep unemployment below eight percent and create jobs “almost immediately.”  Today, the Obama Administration has little to show for its trillion-dollar, taxpayer-funded “investment” except for more red ink and more out of work Americans.  Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the budget-busting, job-destroying failure that is the President’s “stimulus”:

  • U.S. Debt on February 17, 2009: $6.48 trillion
  • U.S. Debt today: $9.5 trillion
  • Number of jobs the “stimulus” was supposed to create: 3.5 million
  • Private sector jobs lost since the “stimulus” was signed: 1.8 million
  • Obama Administration’s projected unemployment rate at the two-year mark of the “stimulus”: 7 percent
  • Actual unemployment rate: 9 percent

Do you remember this chart the Obama administration presented to the American public before the failed Stimulus Package was passed into law?:

I realize the chart above is a little outdated, but the unemployment rate is still above 9 percent. Also, just two years ago, our national debt was $10.79 trillion and now it has topped $14 trillion. That’s equivalent to adding an additional $39,660 per household.

Just like the political advertisement said above, “two years of liberal economics have failed America.”

It’s time ignore the spin and wake up to reality: The Stimulus Package has FAILED.

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Wonder what you would find if you frisked President Obama during his press conference on his latest budget proposal?

Answer: He accidentily dropped the S-Bomb.

Haha. Oops:

“Bring annual domestic spending to its lowest s*** — lowest share to the economy since Dwight Eisenhower.”

It happens…

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We face an enemy, lethal to liberty, and even more implacable than those America has defeated before. [...] I refer, of course, to the debts our nation has amassed for itself over decades of indulgence. It is the new Red Menace, this time consisting of ink. – Gov. Mitch Daniels

As some of you might know, Gov. Daniels is one of my top choices to run for president in 2012. To watch the entire speech, click here.

Here is the transcript to his great CPAC speech:

David Keene, George Will, good friends, thank you for the enormous privilege of this podium. Even a casual observer of American public life knows how many great ideas have been born here, how many important debates joined here, how many giants of our democracy appeared on this platform. When David broached the invitation, my first reaction was one I often have: “Who cancelled?” But first choice or fifteenth, the honor, and the responsibility to do the occasion justice, is the same. I am seized with the sentiment best expressed by Hizzoner, the original Mayor Richard Daley, who once proclaimed a similar honor the “pinochle of success.”

We are all grateful to our co-sponsors, the Reagan Foundation and the Reagan Ranch. How fitting that we convene under their auspices, as we close this first week of the centennial. Those of us who served President Reagan were taught to show constant respect for the presidency and whoever occupies it. But, among us alums, the term “the President” tends to connote just one of those forty-four men, that great man with whom God blessed America one hundred years ago this week.

The prefix in “cosponsor” is meaningful tonight. It is no state secret that the two foundations have not always been co-operative, or co-llaborative, or co-llegial. So it is a tribute to the stature and diplomacy of David Keene that they have come together to produce so warm a moment as this. I am now converted to the view that yes, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be solved. Well done, David; Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded for far less.

I bring greetings from a place called Indiana. The coastal types present may think of it as a “flyover” state, or one of those “I” states. Perhaps a quick anthropological summary would help.

We Hoosiers hold to some quaint notions. Some might say we “cling” to them, though not out of fear or ignorance. We believe in paying our bills. We have kept our state in the black throughout the recent unpleasantness, while cutting rather than raising taxes, by practicing an old tribal ritual – we spend less money than we take in.

We believe it wrong ever to take a dollar from a free citizen without a very necessary public purpose, because each such taking diminishes the freedom to spend that dollar as its owner would prefer. When we do find it necessary, we feel a profound duty to use that dollar as carefully and effectively as possible, else we should never have taken it at all.

Before our General Assembly now is my proposal for an automatic refund of tax dollars beyond a specified level of state reserves. We say that anytime budgets are balanced and an ample savings account has been set aside, government should just stop collecting taxes. Better to leave that money in the pockets of those who earned it, than to let it burn a hole, as it always does, in the pockets of government.

We believe that government works for the benefit of private life, and not the other way around. We see government’s mission as fostering and enabling the important realms – our businesses, service clubs, Little Leagues, churches – to flourish. Our first thought is always for those on life’s first rung, and how we might increase their chances of climbing.

Every day, we work to lower the costs and barriers to free men and women creating wealth for each other. We build roads, and bridges, and new sources of homegrown energy at record rates, in order to have the strongest possible backbone to which people of enterprise can attach their investments and build their dreams. When business leaders ask me what they can do for Indiana, I always reply: “Make money. Go make money. That’s the first act of ‘corporate citizenship.’ If you do that, you’ll have to hire someone else, and you’ll have enough profit to help one of those non-profits we’re so proud of.”

We place our trust in average people. We are confident in their ability to decide wisely for themselves, on the important matters of their lives. So when we cut property taxes, to the lowest level in America, we left flexibility for localities to raise them, but only by securing the permission of their taxpayers, voting in referendum. We designed both our state employee health plans and the one we created for low-income Hoosiers as Health Savings Accounts, and now in the tens of thousands these citizens are proving that they are fully capable of making smart, consumerist choices about their own health care.

We have broadened the right of parents to select the best place for their children’s education to include every public school, traditional or charter, regardless of geography, tuition-free. And before our current legislature adjourns, we intend to become the first state of full and true choice by saying to every low and middle-income Hoosier family, if you think a non-government school is the right one for your child, you’re as entitled to that option as any wealthy family; here’s a voucher, go sign up.

Lastly, speaking now for my administration colleagues, we believe in government that is limited but active. Within that narrow sphere of legitimate collective action, we choose to be the initiators of new ideas or, as we have labeled ourselves, the Party of Purpose. In President Reagan’s phrase, “We are the change.” On election nights, we remind each other that victory is not a vindication, it is an instruction, not an endorsement, but an assignment.

The national elections of 2010 carried an instruction. In our nation, in our time, the friends of freedom have an assignment, as great as those of the 1860s, or the 1940s, or the long twilight of the Cold War. As in those days, the American project is menaced by a survival-level threat. We face an enemy, lethal to liberty, and even more implacable than those America has defeated before. We cannot deter it; there is no countervailing danger we can pose. We cannot negotiate with it, any more than with an iceberg or a Great White.

I refer, of course, to the debts our nation has amassed for itself over decades of indulgence. It is the new Red Menace, this time consisting of ink. We can debate its origins endlessly and search for villains on ideological grounds, but the reality is pure arithmetic. No enterprise, small or large, public or private, can remain self-governing, let alone successful, so deeply in hock to others as we are about to be.

Need I illustrate? Surely the consequences, to prosperity, world influence, and personal freedom itself are as clear to this audience as to any one could appear before.

Do I exaggerate? I’d love to be shown that I do. Any who think so please see me in the hallway afterward, and bring your third grade math books.

If a foreign power advanced an army to the border of our land, everyone in this room would drop everything and look for a way to help. We would set aside all other agendas and disputes as secondary, and go to the ramparts until the threat was repelled. That is what those of us here, and every possible ally we can persuade to join us, are now called to do. It is our generational assignment. It is the mission of our era. Forgive the pun when I call it our “raison debt.”

Every conflict has its draft dodgers. There are those who will not enlist with us. Some who can accept, or even welcome, the ballooning of the state, regardless of the cost in dollars, opportunity, or liberty, and the slippage of the United States into a gray parity with the other nations of this earth. Some who sincerely believe that history has devised a leftward ratchet, moving in fits and starts but always in the direction of a more powerful state. The people who coined the smug and infuriating term – have you heard it? – “the Reagan Interruption.”

The task of such people is now a simple one. They need only play good defense. The federal spending commitments now in place will bring about the leviathan state they have always sought. The health care travesty now on the books will engulf private markets and produce a single-payer system or its equivalent, and it won’t take long to happen. Our fiscal ruin and resulting loss of world leadership will, in their eyes, be not a tragic event but a desirable one, delivering the multilateral world of which they’ve dreamed so long.

Fortunately, these folks remain few. They are vastly outnumbered by Americans who sense the presence of the enemy, but are awaiting the call for volunteers, and a credible battle plan for saving our Republic. That call must come from this room, and rooms like it.

But we, too, are relatively few in number, in a nation of 300 million. If freedom’s best friends cannot unify around a realistic, actionable program of fundamental change, one that attracts and persuades a broad majority of our fellow citizens, big change will not come. Or rather, big change will come, of the kind that the skeptics of all centuries have predicted for those naïve societies that believed that government of and by the people could long endure.

We know what the basic elements must be. An affectionate thank you to the major social welfare programs of the last century, but their sunsetting when those currently or soon to be enrolled have passed off the scene. The creation of new Social Security and Medicare compacts with the young people who will pay for their elders and who deserve to have a backstop available to them in their own retirement.

These programs should reserve their funds for those most in need of them. They should be updated to catch up to Americans’ increasing longevity and good health. They should protect benefits against inflation but not overprotect them. Medicare 2.0 should restore to the next generation the dignity of making their own decisions, by delivering its dollars directly to the individual, based on financial and medical need, entrusting and empowering citizens to choose their own insurance and, inevitably, pay for more of their routine care like the discerning, autonomous consumers we know them to be.

Our morbidly obese federal government needs not just behavior modification but bariatric surgery. The perverse presumption that places the burden of proof on the challenger of spending must be inverted, back to the rule that applies elsewhere in life: “Prove to me why we should.”

Lost to history is the fact that, in my OMB assignment, I was the first loud critic of Congressional earmarks. I was also the first to get absolutely nowhere in reducing them: first to rail and first to fail. They are a pernicious practice and should be stopped. But, in the cause of national solvency, they are a trifle. Talking much more about them, or “waste, fraud, and abuse,” trivializes what needs to be done, and misleads our fellow citizens to believe that easy answers are available to us. In this room, we all know how hard the answers are, how much change is required.

And that means nothing, not even the first and most important mission of government, our national defense, can get a free pass. I served in two administrations that practiced and validated the policy of peace through strength. It has served America and the world with irrefutable success. But if our nation goes over a financial Niagara, we won’t have much strength and, eventually, we won’t have peace. We are currently borrowing the entire defense budget from foreign investors. Within a few years, we will be spending more on interest payments than on national security. That is not, as our military friends say, a “robust strategy.”

I personally favor restoring impoundment power to the presidency, at least on an emergency basis. Having had this authority the last six years, and used it shall we say with vigor, I can testify to its effectiveness, and to this finding: You’d be amazed how much government you’ll never miss.

The nation must be summoned to General Quarters in the cause of economic growth. The friends of freedom always favor a growing economy as the wellspring of individual opportunity and a bulwark against a domineering state. But here, doctrinal debates are unnecessary; the arithmetic tells it all. We don’t have a prayer of defeating the Red Threat of our generation without a long boom of almost unprecedented duration. Every other goal, however worthy, must be tested against and often subordinated to actions that spur the faster expansion of the private sector on which all else depends.

A friend of mine attended a recent meeting of the NBA leadership, at which a small-market owner, whom I won’t name but will mention is also a member of the U.S. Senate, made an impassioned plea for more sharing of revenue by the more successful teams. At a coffee break, Mr. Prokhorov, the new Russian owner of the New Jersey Nets, murmured to my friend, “We tried that, you know. It doesn’t work.”

Americans have seen these last two years what doesn’t work. The failure of national economic policy is costing us more than jobs; it has begun to weaken that uniquely American spirit of risk-taking, large ambition, and optimism about the future. We must rally them now to bold departures that rebuild our national morale as well as our material prosperity.

Here, too, the room abounds with experts and good ideas, and the nation will need every one. Just to name three: it’s time we had, in Bill Simon’s words “a tax system that looks like someone designed it on purpose.” And the purpose should be private growth. So lower and flatter, and completely flat is best. Tax compensation but not the savings and investment without which the economy cannot boom.

Second, untie Gulliver. The regulatory rainforest through which our enterprises must hack their way is blighting the future of millions of Americans. Today’s EPA should be renamed the “Employment Prevention Agency.” After a two-year orgy of new regulation, President Obama’s recent executive order was a wonderment, as though the number one producer of rap music had suddenly expressed alarm about obscenity.

In Indiana, where our privatization of a toll road generated billions for reinvestment in infrastructure, we can build in half the time at two-thirds the cost when we use our own money only and are free from the federal rulebook. A moratorium on new regulation is a minimal suggestion; better yet, move at least temporarily to a self-certification regime that lets America build, and expand, and explore now and settle up later in those few instances where someone colors outside the lines.

Finally, treat domestic energy production as the economic necessity it is and the job creator it can be. Drill, and frack, and lease, and license, unleash in every way the jobs potential in the enormous energy resources we have been denying ourselves. And help our fellow citizens to understand that a poorer country will not be a greener country, but its opposite. It is freedom and its fruits that enable the steady progress we have made in preserving and protecting God’s kingdom.

If this strikes you as a project of unusual ambition, given the state of modern politics, you are right. If it strikes you as too bold for our fellow Americans to embrace, I believe you are wrong. Seven years as a practitioner in elective politics tells me that history’s skeptics are wrong. That Americans, in a vast majority, are still a people born for self-governance. They are ready to summon the discipline to pay down our collective debts as they are now paying down their own; to put the future before the present, their children’s interest before their own.

Our proposals will be labeled radical, but this is easy to rebut. Starting a new retirement plan for those below a certain age is something tens of millions of Americans have already been through at work.

Opponents will expect us to be defensive, but they have it backwards. When they call the slightest spending reductions “painful”, we will say “If government spending prevents pain, why are we suffering so much of it?” And “If you want to experience real pain, just stay on the track we are on.” When they attack us for our social welfare reforms, we will say that the true enemies of Social Security and Medicare are those who defend an imploding status quo, and the arithmetic backs us up.

They will attack our program as the way of despair, but we will say no, America’s way forward is brilliant with hope, as soon as we have dealt decisively with the manageable problems before us.

2010 showed that the spirit of liberty and independence is stirring anew, that a growing number of Americans still hear Lincoln’s mystic chords of memory. But their number will have to grow, and do so swiftly. Change of the dimension we need requires a coalition of a dimension no one has recently assembled. And, unless you disbelieve what the arithmetic of disaster is telling us, time is very short.

Here I wish to be very plainspoken: It is up to us to show, specifically, the best way back to greatness, and to argue for it with all the passion of our patriotism. But, should the best way be blocked, while the enemy draws nearer, then someone will need to find the second best way. Or the third, because the nation’s survival requires it.

Purity in martyrdom is for suicide bombers. King Pyrrhus is remembered, but his nation disappeared. Winston Churchill set aside his lifetime loathing of Communism in order to fight World War II. Challenged as a hypocrite, he said that when the safety of Britain was at stake, his “conscience became a good girl.” We are at such a moment. I for one have no interest in standing in the wreckage of our Republic saying “I told you so” or “You should’ve done it my way.”

We must be the vanguard of recovery, but we cannot do it alone. We have learned in Indiana, big change requires big majorities. We will need people who never tune in to Rush or Glenn or Laura or Sean. Who surf past C-SPAN to get to SportsCenter. Who, if they’d ever heard of CPAC, would assume it was a cruise ship accessory.

The second worst outcome I can imagine for next year would be to lose to the current president and subject the nation to what might be a fatal last dose of statism. The worst would be to win the election and then prove ourselves incapable of turning the ship of state before it went on the rocks, with us at the helm.

So we must unify America, or enough of it, to demand and sustain the Big Change we propose. Here are a few suggestions:

We must display a heart for every American, and a special passion for those still on the first rung of life’s ladder. Upward mobility from the bottom is the crux of the American promise, and the stagnation of the middle class is in fact becoming a problem, on any fair reading of the facts. Our main task is not to see that people of great wealth add to it, but that those without much money have a greater chance to earn some.

We should address ourselves to young America at every opportunity. It is their futures that today’s policies endanger, and in their direct interest that we propose a new direction.

We should distinguish carefully skepticism about Big Government from contempt for all government. After all, it is a new government we hope to form, a government we will ask our fellow citizens to trust to make huge changes.

I urge a similar thoughtfulness about the rhetoric we deploy in the great debate ahead. I suspect everyone here regrets and laments the sad, crude coarsening of our popular culture. It has a counterpart in the venomous, petty, often ad hominem political discourse of the day.

When one of us – I confess sometimes it was yours truly – got a little hotheaded, President Reagan would admonish us, “Remember, we have no enemies, only opponents.” Good advice, then and now.

And besides, our opponents are better at nastiness than we will ever be. It comes naturally. Power to them is everything, so there’s nothing they won’t say to get it. The public is increasingly disgusted with a steady diet of defamation, and prepared to reward those who refrain from it. Am I alone in observing that one of conservatism’s best moments this past year was a massive rally that came and went from Washington without leaving any trash, physical or rhetorical, behind?

A more affirmative, “better angels” approach to voters is really less an aesthetic than a practical one: with apologies for the banality, I submit that, as we ask Americans to join us on such a boldly different course, it would help if they liked us, just a bit.

Lastly, critically, I urge great care not to drift into a loss of faith in the American people. In speech after speech, article upon article, we remind each other how many are dependent on government, or how few pay taxes, or how much essential virtues like family formation or civic education have withered. All true. All worrisome. But we must never yield to the self-fulfilling despair that these problems are immutable, or insurmountable.

All great enterprises have a pearl of faith at their core, and this must be ours: that Americans are still a people born to liberty. That they retain the capacity for self-government. That, addressed as free-born, autonomous men and women of God-given dignity, they will rise yet again to drive back a mortal enemy.

History’s assignment to this generation of freedom fighters is in one way even more profound than the tests of our proud past. We are tasked to rebuild not just a damaged economy, and a debt-ridden balance sheet, but to do so by drawing forth the best that is in our fellow citizens. If we would summon the best from Americans, we must assume the best about them. If we don’t believe in Americans, who will?

I do believe. I’ve seen it in the people of our very typical corner of the nation. I’ve seen it in the hundred Indiana homes in which I have stayed overnight. I’ve seen it in Hoosiers’ resolute support of limited government, their willingness, even insistence, that government keep within the boundaries our constitutional surveyors mapped out for it.

I’ve always loved John Adams’ diary entry, written en route to Philadelphia, there to put his life, liberty, and sacred honor all at risk. He wrote that it was all well worth it because, he said, “Great things are wanted to be done.”

When he and his colleagues arrived, and over the years ahead, they practiced the art of the possible. They made compacts and concessions and, yes, compromises. They made deep sectional and other differences secondary in pursuit of the grand prize of freedom. They each argued passionately for the best answers as they saw them, but they never permitted the perfect to be the enemy of the historic good they did for us, and all mankind. They gave us a Republic, citizen Franklin said, if we can keep it.

Keeping the Republic is the great thing that is wanted to be done, now, in our time, by us. In this room are convened freedom’s best friends but, to keep our Republic, freedom needs every friend it can get. Let’s go find them, and befriend them, and welcome them to the great thing that is wanted to be done in our day.

God bless this meeting and the liberty which makes it possible.

Although he did not touch on social and national defense issues, this was a great speech that will help get his name out there.

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