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Archive for the ‘Politics-Future of Conservatism’ Category

The Specter of Betrayal

Posted by Adam Graham on April 29, 2009

Podcast Show Notes

Specter joins the Democrats

Obama’s broken web promise

Can’t keep track of the scandals without a scorecard

Chris Dodd thinks you’re stupid

The White House’s flyover folly

Obama abets union corruption.

A scientific advance makes dialysis easier.

Click here to listen, click here to download. 

 

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Good Riddance

Posted by Adam Graham on April 29, 2009

I take second place to no one on independence voting. But, it is my view that the organizational vote belongs to the party which supported the election of a particular Senator. I believe that is the expectation. And certainly it has been a very abrupt party change, although they have occurred in the past with only minor ripples, none have caused the major dislocation which this one has.

When I first ran in 1980, Congressman Bud Shuster sponsored a fundraiser for me in Altoona where Congressman Jack Kemp was the principal speaker. When some questions were raised as to my political philosophy, Congressman Shuster said my most important vote would be the organizational vote. From that day to this, I have believed that the organizational vote belonged to the party which supported my election.

When the Democrats urged me to switch parties some time ago, I gave them a flat “no.” I have been asked in the last several days if I intended to switch parties. I have said absolutely not.

Senator PHIL GRAMM faced this issue when he decided to switch parties. He resigned his seat, which he had won as a Democrat, and ran for reelection as a Republican. As he told me, his last vote in January 1983 was for the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and he voted for Tip O’Neill with the view that he was elected as a Democrat and should vote that way on organizational control. Even though, he intended to become a Republican and would have preferred another person to be Speaker.

To repeat, I intend to propose a Senate rule which would preclude a change in control of the Senate when a Senator decides to vote with the opposing party for organizational purposes.

One other aspect does deserve comment, and that is the issue of personal benefit to a changing Senator. In our society, political arrangements avoid the consequences of similar conduct in other contexts.-Senator  Arlen Specter in 2001

My first reaction to the departure of Arlen Specter was, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”  and my feeling remains the same. Specter’s career ACU rating was 45%. That means that 55% of the time he voted against the conservative position. I’ll buy the premise that someone who votes with 80% of the time is our friend. Some who votes with us 45% is not.

Specter’s decision to switch parties once again makes a fool of President Bush and Senator Santorum for all their efforts to save Specter. Specter looks like a hypocrite because of his stance in 2001. He knows his seat properly belongs to the Pennsylvania GOP, but acts like its his own personal fiefdom.

Of course, I know one of my front page colleagues has shouted (and I paraphrase), “You freaking idiots! Specter won a Primary 30 years ago! That should be it. Once he’s in, to hell with choosing your Representatives, Specter should be the GOP nominee for life. You don’t have a say anymore and if you challenge an incumbent, you’re an idiot.”

Or perhaps, I take him out of context. I believe that power flows from the governed and I don’t believe an aristocracy of continual re-nomiantion for someone who betrays time and time again the principles for which members of the political party stand.

In his leaving statement, Specter said he was elected as part of Ronald Reagan’s big tent. Of course, the big tent phrase and philisophy was advanced by post-Reagan GOP Boss Lee Atwater. Reagan did however address a situation like Specter’s in 1975:

A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers.

I do not believe I have proposed anything that is contrary to what has been considered Republican principle. It is at the same time the very basis of conservatism. It is time to reassert that principle and raise it to full view. And if there are those who cannot subscribe to these principles, then let them go their way.

I guess all we can say to Arlen Specter is thanks for listening.

Toomey 2010.

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Have We Lost?

Posted by Adam Graham on May 17, 2005

Ralph Zallow has a piece in the Washington Times on Pat Buchahan. Its interesting because the whole of Zallow’s story is Buchanan’s opinion of various issues. Anyway Buchanan declares:

“It doesn’t exist anymore as a unifying force,” he says in an interview with The Washington Times. “There are still a lot of people who are conservative, but the movement is now broken up, crumbled, dismantled.”

He’s right in that sense. “Conservative” can mean anything from Arnold to Alan Keyes and there’s a huge gap in there.

Buchanan goes on to say:

There are “a lot of people who call themselves conservative but who, on many issues, I just don’t consider as conservative. They are big-government people.”

He’s right again. The idea that we have people in the GOP who seriously argue that $300-$400 billion deficit are no big deal is absurd. In addition, there are people whose only issue now is the War on Terror, and throwing everything else aside. Because I don’t think the most important thing in a Presidential Candidate is, “Can they beat Hillary?” I’ve been labeled by many as basically a bad American who doesn’t understand the importance of national defense. (Apparently socially conservative, fiscally responsible leaders can’t defend our nation.)

Buchanan goes on to write:

He suggests that in some respects, traditionalists might be fighting for a lost cause. “We say we won a great victory by defeating gay marriage in 11 state-ballot referenda in November,” he says. “But I think in the long run, that will be seen as a victory in defense of a citadel that eventually fell.”

As he later says, “I can’t say we won the cultural war, and it’s more likely we lost it.”

And there’s where Pat and I part company. Is it me or the older you get do you seem to get more pessimistic. The idea that we’ve lost is unacceptable. Buchanan is weary. He’s been through the ringer many times (most times deservingly). He’s tired but has to keep going, but people are looking for optimism and hope and Buchanan loses not necessarily because folks don’t agree with them, but because he takes such a dark view of everything.

The fight for America’s culture is not over. Until we all throw up our hands, there’s hope that somehow the torch freedom will be livened and America will be restored and we all must pray for that day, not get drowned in doom and gloom.

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