Monday, March 30, 2009

Obama F's over Chrysler

Leave it to the Obama admin and his foreign car loving taskforce to force this. From Forbes magazing.

The U.S. government has threatened to suspend federal aid for Chrysler unless it secures a deal with the Italian carmaker within 30 days, senior administration officials told Forbes. (See “Obama Takes The Wheel In Detroit.”) Chrysler, along with General Motors, has already received $17.4 billion in federal loans and has asked for billions more.


So you're giving the foreign car maker all the leverage in a deal. Thanks a lot. With "friends" to America like Mr. Obama, our country doesn't need any enemies.

Washington F's over the automakers, but not the banks

I know that the auto industry has never been cool in Washington. There has been few friends among recent presidential candidates and they were long shots like Duncan Hunter and Pat Buchanan. Gore, Kerry, and their Toyota Prius/Pious crowd hates us. Bush wasn't a great friend either. Neither was McCain or Obama. All of them back NAFTA and GATT.

Flash back to last October. We had this massive crash in the financial markets that could be seen eventually a mile away. Thanks to Fannie Mae, Freddic Mac, subprime mortages, and bad decisions, it was bound to happen. After that, there was this rush from Washington and its leaders - Bush, Obama, McCain, Dodd, Frank, Pelosi, Reid, McConnell, and Boehner, to bail out the financial industry. Trillion dollars. This was in addition to the current national debt, and any budget. This bailout did nothing for reform.

Now the auto industry is in trouble and asks for a loan (not a bailout). They however get a double flank from the government. This isn't based on party as much as geography and ideology. Part of this the union leadership bringing it on themselves with their hyperpartisanship alienating some people that would otherwise support them. Part if it is the eco-wing of the democrats and their Priuses with their jihad against American auto industry. This was shown in spades when San Francisco resident and speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi got enough people to oust John Dingell off the commerce committee over the issue of the auto industry. His replacement was the totalitarian Henry Waxman from Hollywood. Part of this is Southern senators like Richard Shelby in Alabama (Thanks for making the rebuilding of the Michigan GOP that much harder you prick) beholden to foreign car plants in his state.

Now we got this micromanagement from Mr. Obama.

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is sending a blunt message to Detroit automakers: To survive — and win more government help — they must remake themselves top to bottom. Driving home the point, the White House ousted the General Motors chairman as it rejected GM and Chrysler's restructuring plans.
..
New directors will now make up the majority of GM's board. Fritz Henderson, GM's president and chief operating officer, became the new CEO. Board member Kent Kresa, the former chairman and CEO of defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp., was named interim chairman of the GM board.

"The board has recognized for some time that the company's restructuring will likely cause a significant change in the stockholders of the company and create the need for new directors with additional skills and experience," Kresa said in a written statement.

The Obama administration move comes amid public outrage over bonuses paid to business leaders and American International Group executives — set against a severely ailing economy.


What has Obama ever run to tell GM to do anything? This jerk's taskforce has only two people that even drove an American car.

This guy said it right.

Machine repairman Don Thompson, a nearly four-decade Chrysler veteran, said the automakers are being punished because of populist anger over the financial bailout.

"They're using us for the mistakes they've made in Washington," Thompson said.



You have this AIG bailout and those bonuses which are oh-so-outrageous now, were known when the reps voted on the bailout. As for the rest of the financial industry and the bailouts, the first one did not work. So what do we have here in Obama's proposed budget - another bailout of another trillion dollars!

It's okay if your the financial industry, but woe to those who build American cars. I'll close this out with this statement. Out of a job yet, keep buying foreign.

Pete Hoekstra's in

It's official. Pete Hoekstra's running for governor, joining the long list of candidates.

The question with Hoekstra is how well is he known outside West Michigan? I think we'll be seeing a lot of him in this side of the state.

This is going to be an interesting primary. A lot of people have filed. With this many possible candidates and assuming their are no candidates withdrawing from the race, there are a few things to look for if you want to predict a winner.

1. Organization. The best organized campaign usually wins. It's the nuts and bolts of the campaign.

2. Ideology, geography, and split votes. If the organization is relatively equal, factors such as geography and ideology factor in. Go back to the 47th district back in 2002 for a geographic split, which along with organization, was a factor in Joe Hune's election to state rep.

3. Crossvotes. Is there a primary among the democrats, or can they crash ours (or vice versa)? Right now, it looks like there will be a primary there with Cherry and Dillon. Crossvotes were a factor when Joe Schwarz won in 2004.

I don't know who is favored right now. Mike Cox and Terri Land have a history of very well organized campaigns. Hoekstra has a major upset in a primary against Guy VanderJaght. Brooks, love him or hate him, has survived in Oakland County. All those things factor in here as well.

It'll be an interesting 2010. What I'd to see is a plan to help Michigan get out of its mess during the Granholm and Obama regimes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Granholm/Obama economy at work

More Bad News.


LANSING -- Michigan's unemployment rate in February increased to 12 percent, the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth announced today.

That rate is up 0.4 percentage points from January.

Total employment declined by 29,000 over the month while unemployment rose by 21,000. The state's labor force recorded a moderate reduction of 8,000 in February.

The U.S. jobless rate displayed a similar trend, increasing by half a percentage point in February to 8.1 percent.

Michigan's February 2009 jobless rate jumped 4.6 percentage points above the state's February 2008 rate of 7.4 percent.

In the same period, the national jobless rate also recorded a significant increase, rising by 3.3 percentage points.


Geez, maybe John Engler wasn't all that bad.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tim Skubick has an interesting theory

Tim Skubick at the Oakland Press has an interesting theory regarding Rick Snyder.

There are rumblings out there that the out-of-nowhere bid for governor launched last week by Ann Arbor businessman Rick Snyder might be a re-do of the GOP flap over attorney general years ago.
A source who is familiar with the GOP primary race for governor recalls that when then Gov. John Engler tried to anoint Scott Romney for A.G., the grassroots in the party rose up and rebuffed the governor and picked John Smietanka instead.
Fast-forward to the 2010 contest for governor and this source says attempts by GOP party chair Ron Weiser to impose Snyder on the party will "backfire. We are a grassroots party and when leadership tires to pick a candidate, the party rebels," contends his source.
To be sure, no one has been able to confirm that Weiser is behind the Snyder potential candidacy, but several sources within the party are shopping the notion and are personally convinced he is.


I'm not convinced it is, but I'm not convinced it isn't either. The thought crossed my mind for a couple of reasons, not the least of which that both Ron Weiser and Rick Snyder are from Ann Arbor. I also think many in State Party leadership fall in love with self-finance candidates no matter what else is out there. Now I don't have a problem with state party asking a candidate to run. As long as they don't jump in regular primary elections and pick favorites, I'm not going to complain about it. Rick Snyder has every right to run for governor. He just has to go through a real primary like everyone else. On the same note, my vote is my vote. These are primary elections and not coronations.

Which is a good thing, as I don't just have doubts on the life issues with Snyder. I have some MAJOR doubts on the fiscal issues based on his ties with Phil Power's Center for Michigan organization. He couldn't tell Jerry Zandstra his view on the business taxes? What about the spending? What about the Headlee tax caps and property tax caps that Phil Power has been after with his "Citizens for Michigan" Constitutional Convention push in 2010? I don't need a gubenatorial candidate using a con-con in his bully pulpit.

The John Smietanka comparison from Skubick brings out another issues. It is a warning at the grass roots. Smietanka was not a good candidate for reasons I don't have to rehash here, and we need to make sure our candidates for governor, AG, and Secretary of State, are good candidates. If Smietanka won in 98, there would be no Granholm today.

I haven't made my decision yet for governor. I'm keeping my powder dry for now.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Rick Snyder for governor? Starts off with two strikes.

The race for governor has already begun, and some buzz has come up regarding one of the unknowns who just announced. Rick Snyder, who is a former CEO of Gateway Computers.

From the Ann Arbor News

Ann Arbor resident and venture capitalist Rick Snyder announced today that he has formed an exploratory committee to evaluate and explore a possible run for governor.
A Republican, Snyder is the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Ardesta, one of the nation's largest investment firms focused on micro and nanotechnology companies.

He was the former President and COO of Gateway, Inc.


Gateway Computers is strike one. I had a real bad experience with one. He was CEO until 1997. 1997 was when I bought mine that ended up being a disaster. I went through three motherboards, and two harddrives. It was one of the biggest wastes of money I ever bought. I'm still sore about that and have not bought a Gateway since, nor do I plan on doing so.

Nick DeLeeuw at Right Michigan has been following the Rick Snyder campaign heavily, and he's not a supporter of him. There are several threads covering his political activity. I don't know Snyder. I never knowingly met him at any political event. Nick said the same thing. He's an unknown. What I've seen so far, has not been a great impression.

Nick found that he donated to the group supporting Proposal 2. Now I found when I was checking Rick Snyder's campaign records, that he said he was an attorney. One thing that Rick and I will agree on then is that ballot language is important. Did he read the language in proposal 2? Can he tell me what "discourage" means? In the proposal 2 link above, I posted the actual language, and not what politicians say it means. That is strike 2, along with his vague answers to Jerry Zandstra.

He doesn't say what he's going to do. He said he was pro-life, but how does he reconcile that with his big check to prop 2 ("Cure Michigan"). His 2nd Amendment answer was better, but still too vague. He did not mention whether he supported more restrictions. Most importantly, he didn't mention his view for the economy. No specific plans? For someone claimed to fed up with professional politicians, he sounded like one there.

On the positive side, he does support the right judges. That's a start, and good enough for me not to shut the door on his campaign completely with strike 3.

Here's my first question for Mr. Snyder. As CEO of Gateway or any other company, did you authorize or outsource any manufacturing to China or Mexico? Is there even the appearance of doing so? If so, you will lose.

As he was the CEO of Gateway Computers, we all know that will be researched faster than Granholm can say crow about a tax increase. Outsourcing is a major issue and one of the major reasons why Michigan has lost so many jobs. Part of the job losses are Clinton'a NAFTA and GATT. While I support true free trade, those two trade agreements were not real free trade and I opposed them. That was one of the reasons why I support Ron Paul in the GOP primary.

Many conservatives in Michigan are not Republicans. Many pro-life and pro-gun conservatives who do not like taxes are not Republicans. They still think democrats are supportive of the "working man." Now while I disagree because Soros and Hollywood own the party, I'm not going to take the Thomas Frank arrogance and BS approach and tell them that they are voting against their best interest like that jackass tries to tell me. I know that I don't know their best interest and don't claim to do so. Nobody votes against their best interest. What the Republicans have to do is convince them so their interest is to vote for the republican. That's called earning their vote. There's a trust factor there that needs to be earned.

On a sidenote related to the paragraph above, there's one thing within the Michigan GOP that drives me up a wall. Too many people, both establishment and among the grassroots fall in love with candidates who can self-finance...just because they can self-finance. Money is important in politics. That's why people like convicted criminal and anti-capitalist George Soros are so dangerous. It isn't however the only thing. This is Michigan. We are a populist state. Even Michigan-born Mitt Romney could not break 50% here in the primary despite 75% the establishment support (partly due to his ability to self-finance). Michigan, especially in important competitive areas like the UP, Northern Lower outside the Lake Michigan coast, Flint/Saginaw suburbs, the thumb, Macomb County, and Downriver do not trust big-business. That was a big worry I had when Dick DeVos was the nominee. Now, I thought DeVos would have been a very good governor, but I had some concerns as a candidate appealing to working class swing voters because of his background. As soon as I saw the attacks on DeVos and China sticking, I knew it was over, and that we were going to suffer another four years of the Matt Millen of governors. Is Snyder going to face the same attacks as DeVos? Is he able to counter them? Will he have to watch his right flank on social issues as well (which DeVos largely was able to avoid). That's the $64,000 question.

I have not made any early endorsements. I have not jumped on any bandwagon. I will say that I have not been impressed with what little I have seen so far, compared to some of the candidates who are probably running. He has to show me something more than vagnueness and political speak to get my support. There is no third strike, and I haven't shut the door on his campaign yet because of the judicial candidates he's supported. However, there's a lot I need to see before I can jump aboard this bandwagon.

UPDATE - I just found he was tied in with Phil Power's "Center of Michigan" crowd as well. Does he support a state constititutional convention as well? What views does he share with Mr. Power? Tax increases?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bernie Madoff - New York Democrat

Bernie Madoff was from the party of the richest 1/2%, the democrats.

There were one or two local token republicans there, but the name on this list shows where his leanings are.

Democrat Senate - $75000
Other names there were Lautenberg, Schumer, Merkey, Matheson, Hooley, Frost, Wyden, Rangel, Obey, and Hillary Clinton.

The infamous vote of confidence

Considering how the market tanks usually when politicians open their traps, this is not what I want to hear.

From ABC

Investors should have "absolute confidence" in money placed with the United States, President Barack Obama said during an appearance with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at the White House today.
...
Obama was asked about Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao's expression of concern Friday that the Chinese investment of approximately $1 trillion in U.S. Treasury bills could be losing value.

"I think that not just the Chinese government, but every investor can have absolute confidence in the soundness of investments in the United States, and that it is not just in U.S.-issued Treasury notes but also in the private sector and the commerce and the industry that has made this the most dynamic economy in the world," Obama said.


With these bailouts, stimulus packages, trillion dollar deficits, and a 10 trillion debt, I can understand the concern about the T-Bonds.

Now as for Obama's "vote of confidence," this guy just recently said that the economy wasn't that bad. Before he said that, he said this was a crisis and the only possible solution according to him, was this massive spending package and a budget that is has a deficit four times higher than the worst of the Bush budgets (2008).

One thing politicians love is a good panic. They can load up radical and pork laden bills to push through when there is a crisis. These wouldn't pass 99% of the year because they are bad policy and bad politics alike. However, when things get rough, it has to be passed in the name of the "economic crisis", "war on poverty", "war on terror", "war on drugs." These bad bills are always the "only solution" that can be considered.

Lastly, this Obama "vote of confidence" reminds me of sports. How often are there public statements and "votes of confidence" in the coaches are followed by a firing?

From the ESPN archives

With three games remaining in another disappointing season, Michigan State has decided that John L. Smith will not return to coach the 2007 season.
....
Smith has been under pressure at Michigan State. School officials gave him a vote of confidence after last season's losing campaign, but were looking for better results in 2006.


At least John L Smith for all his faults at MSU was a competent coach at other schools until he got to an elite conference in the Big Ten and slapped himself in the face. Obama hasn't shown that he's competent in anything outside of giving a speech using a teleprompter. Obama can help matters to some degree by keeping his mouth shut (or resigning, but that isn't going to happen).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Carl Levin oinking at the trough

As dangerously incompetent Debbie Stabenow is, we can always do worse. In fact, worse is no other than Carl Levin who has been in his senate about as long as I've been alive....and I'm in my 30's. Levin is a common denominator with all of the country's problems regarding Congress.

Here's Levin's poor defense regarding Pork.
Michigan is getting tens of millions of dollars in 'budget earmarks' in a federal spending bill that the president is expected to sign today.

Republican lawmakers complain the entire bill contains $5 billion in wasteful spending.

Michigan Senator Carl Levin disagrees.

"They think, 'Gee if you eliminate all those earmarks there would be less federal spending.' That is not the case," says Levin.


That is called government math. If I spend money on a project, it takes money. If the earmarks are taken out, it is less money which is less spending. That is obvious...to anybody but Carl Levin aka Lenin.

Obama signs another "imperfect" pork bill

Just I said about Bush on spending and earmarks, the buck stops at the top. You can say alot of things about me, but on this issue, I am very consistent.

I ripped Harry Reid's pork bill here



I took my own party to task here

And Bush and the Democrats here

Now it's the same as it ever was here.

Here's the latest From USA Today

President Obama said today he would sign an "imperfect" $410 billion bill to fund the federal government through September, but hopes the bill will mark an end to the old way of doing business.

The bill has nearly 8,000 earmarks, which are pet projects inserted by lawmakers to benefit their states and districts. The practice peaked at twice that number a few years ago, Obama said, and played a part in corruption cases.

Among his proposals to clean up and open up the earmark process: All earmarks must be aired on members' websites and at public hearings, and money can be directed to private companies only after competitive bidding.



Yawn. I'll believe it when I see it. The bottom line is that Obama signed this bill, just as Bush signed the other bills. Presidents have this thing called a VETO PEN. 8,000 is a lot of earmarks. If Obama really opposed this, he would have vetoed it. Period, end of story.

New polls are up

I finally updated the sidebar polls.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

City Council member Claudia Roblee, don't mess with my school!

This is got to be one of the stupidest things I've read from the Argus in a long, long time.

The buzz!

Could Brighton High School's mascot be too rough-and-tough looking?

At least one Brighton City Council member thought so and wanted to see something else besides the famed Brighton Bulldog mascot on banners to be placed in downtown Brighton.

"I do not see that banner with the bulldog, the angry-looking bulldog with the spiked collar, as being aesthetically pleasing for our downtown," council member Claudia Roblee said.

Roblee, who has been an active school volunteer, said she would prefer seeing silhouettes of athletes, chess players and debaters on the banners. The school is planning to put up 36 banners along Main Street and Grand River Avenue for the 2009-2010 school year.


If I ever move from Green Oak into the city itself as I almost did in 06, I know who not to vote for right off the bat. I don't know whether she's a Republican, Democrat, or neither of the two. It doesn't matter. Don't mess with the Bulldogs!

I've lived in Livingston County for over 30 years. I've lived in the Brighton area one township away from the city for 27 of those 30 years and am a native of the area. I'm from Brighton, or as I like to say these days, "Old Brighton." I've seen the downtown in the 80's, 90's, and today. I went to Brighton Schools. Now not to go all Al Bundy here, as I unfortunately didn't score four touchdowns in one game, but this disrespect here really ticks me off. I put in a lot of my time for Brighton High as a student, player, and coach. If you object to a bulldog, my teams mascot for as long as I can remember, because it is not "aesthetically pleasing" to our downtown, then you are either ignorant of our community, weak, don't have an appreciation for our history, or all three. I don't know which. Considering that Ms Roblee is a school volunteer, she should know better.

Now, I have nothing against "athletes, chess players and debaters." I've worn all three of those hats at different times myself, but that is all generic. That particular bulldog mascot is ours. Out here, we're bulldogs, and the more intimidating the bulldog, the better. What message does that give to visitors? It's the message of a community supporting its school and their sports teams, which I always thought was positive. Some weak minded yuppies may be offended because it isn't highbrow enough for them like the modern art masterpieces (some of which I have no idea what they are) around town, but too bad. That's not what Brighton was about, and not what it should be about today. Leave the pretentiousness in Royal Oak.

Speaking of Royal Oak, this reminds me too much of this sissified "new urbanism" and wannabe "Royal Oak" stuff that I'm worried about Brighton trying to emulate. First the "annoyance" law, and now this? C'mon. Brighton shouldn't try to be something it isn't. It should be what it is, as that is what made it a great place to begin with. We aren't Novi. We aren't Birmingham. We're not Royal Oak. I'd rather not try and copy those cities, myself.

At least Kate Lawrence came through for us.
"For some of us who graduated from the school district, that's Brighton," Mayor Kate Lawrence said. "I'm in full support."

So, the bottom line is "Go Dogs."


Go Dogs, and time for this suggestion of banners to be chewed up and spit out.

Earmarks. Obama talks a game, but fails to man up when it counts.

Obama talks about fiscal responsibility, but this says it best.
From the Washington Times



President Obama, who repeatedly criticized earmarks while campaigning last year, is supposedly not happy with the 9,000 projects individual legislators tacked onto the $410 billion spending bill, but his boss will sign the bill anyway, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel says.


When it comes to spending, meet the new boss, even worse than the old boss.

Mark Sanford: Plain Right

The "old right" conservative magazine had a good article on South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. Those who have followed this blog know that Sanford was my first choice for 2008 if he was going to run for president. The number one reason is his consistency. Too many Republicans lately have talked a game about being for less government and more freedom and have failed to walk the walk when it came time. The GOP Congress from 2002-2006 the Bush administration showed that. That, more than any reason why, is why we lost elections in the last two elections.

Mark Sanford explained that well in his article for the Politico right after the last election.

Right now, the GOP needs to get its credibility back first and foremost. It needs to stop being all things to all people. It needs to gets its message back and have a credibile messenger for its message. That's not in Washington, unless someone like Mike Pence, Tom Coburn, or Jeb Hensarling take the leadership there. That's with the governors. Governors in 92-93 paved the way for 1994. Welfare Reform (which Obama is destroying) that Clinton finally signed the third time it went to his desk did not come from thin air, or especially Washington. It came from Wisconsin and Michigan. Tommy Thompson and John Engler.

If someone tells me one more time that the answer to the GOP's troubles are due to "charisma" or "new technology", I'm going to kick his arse for short term thinking. The first answer is getting credibility on the basic message of the GOP, limited government (especially federal) and more freedom. The second is branching out to other ideas which are more locally based. That's why we have states, and why until recently, the GOP has been competitive in most states, at least at the local level. Federalization of issues that should be at the state level failed us - as it failed the democrats in the early 2000s (Clinton's war on the West and struggles in the South, Republicans struggle in the Northeast/MidAtlantic and Pacific Coast). Charisma and technology are luxuries and tools. They are part of the tactics, not the message. If things are even up or close, they can help win, but to use a sports analogy, the best video scouting can not help a team who doesn't have the right players. That goes back to credibility. The problem right now is the players in DC and their record from 2002-2008 (06-08 was democrat control, but there wasn't much of a difference overall from the "demlite"[in actions if not words] control after Armey left). The worst thing the Republicans did was when its leadership (if not a majority lot of its members) support that first high profile bailout that Bush wanted. McCain, Boehner, McConnell, Bush. The democrats of Pelosi, Reid, and Obama also supported it too. All that means is that it is a bipartisan piece of trash. We're supposed to be better than that.

For examples of better, go back to the gubenatorial ranks. While there are a lot of differences among them, those are the ones who are successful to various degrees. Sanford, Jindal, Douglas, Pawlenty, Huntsman, Palin, and Daniels. Jindal and Palin get most of the hype (and Pawlenty and Huntsman to a lesser extent), and I like both of them myself (need to see more on Huntsman), but my choice out of all of them by far is Mark Sanford.

From the American Conservative

Mark Sanford is easy to overlook. If Republicans need a champion in the Obama era, there are more colorful candidates than the South Carolina governor. He doesn’t play electric bass, or to the Religious Right, like Mike Huckabee. He has made no attempt to rewrite the GOP’s almost forgotten small-government playbook like Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty or Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal. Though he is popular, Sanford seems incapable of playing a red-meat populist like Sarah Palin. He looks plain, his philosophy is old, and he has an elegiac demeanor that seems incompatible with electoral politics.

But unlike many other Republican politicians of his stature, Sanford recognizes that there are limits to ambition, that government treasuries are not bottomless, and that no ideology can captain the globe. If the promise of “hope” in the form of bailouts fails to revive the American economy, Mark Sanford will be the GOP’s most dangerous man in 2012.

In recent weeks, he has become the unofficial spokesman against Obama’s trillion-dollar economic stimulus plan. Other Republican governors like Arnold Schwarzenegger beg for more federal subsidies, but Sanford has threatened to decline large portions of the bailout, preferring not to bridle South Carolinians with the accompanying obligations. While cable’s talking heads shout at him, he somberly quotes Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek. He worries aloud that the bailouts represent a “crisis of American civilization


I don't hear enough about that part. Obligations. Nothing is free. Besides the government waste that is the stimulus package, there's another cost to accepting the money. Freedom. If someone offers you a few million, but the price is x, it's not free. In order to accept the million, you have to do x. That's called a contract. In this sense, it is a "take it or leave it," contract.

As part of the Gingrich Revolution in 1994, Sanford pledged to serve just three terms. His explanation for the self-imposed limit reveals the two sides of his personality, the brainiac and the bumpkin. He says, “The ‘beta’ is the correlation between an individual stock and the market as a whole. Term limits change the beta of a political decision. Some politicians look at a single political decision and say, ‘Man, this could affect my career for the rest of my life.’ But with term limits, if it only affects you for the next two years, it’s not a life-changing event.”

How many pols follow their term limit pledges these days? Sanford did it by not running in 2000 for re-election to congress. He waited till 2002 and ran and won (in an upset) for governor.

Naturally, Sanford compiled a strikingly different record from many of his fellow revolutionaries. He regularly found himself grouped with Ron Paul and a few other staunch conservatives like Steve Largent and Tom Coburn on the losing end of lopsided votes. “I remember the leadership would come and say, ‘This stuff is okay during the campaign, but we have to govern,’ and I thought it was govern toward a specific end, not just govern to govern,” Sanford recalls.

But principle had its price. He was the lone vote against a bill to halt violence against women, claiming that it was unconstitutional. The first negative ad he faced in South Carolina claimed Sanford was soft on domestic violence.

He was unsurprised by the party’s quick betrayal of conservative ideals: “A lot of people walked in not clear about what they were about philosophically. And if you aren’t totally clear walking in, you’re going to end up very fuzzy in a very short period of time.”



Part of the rest of the story is the "violence against women act" was ruled unconstitutional by SCOTUS. It sounds great to oppose, and I myself come from the old school where men don't hit women (enforced by something a lot stronger than the law), but the Constitution is clear in its power.

As far as the "leadership" comments about governing, Sanford is right. Governing for power's sake is what got us bridges to nowhere and blunders like No Child Left Behind. Governing right with the right messages is what needs to happen, not changes once there is an election.

His record as governor is sound by conservative standards, but thin. He proposed a plan to eliminate the state’s income tax within 18 years, but abandoned the project when political compromise that involved an expanded property tax transgressed his ideology. “He won’t take 10 cents of something he dislikes for a dollar of something he loves,” Folks says. But when staffers advised him to tacitly endorse primary challenges against the moderate GOP legislators who stymied his reformist agenda, Sanford played it safe and backed incumbents. There are limits even to his political will.


Sometimes compromise is the right thing to do. Sometimes it depends on what is possible. Sometimes being a hardliner is the best decision. Governors getting involved in backing primary challengers is usually the most controversial thing that gets pushed. Most don't do it. As far as the tax offer, 18 years to get rid of one traded for another tax? Sounds bad to me. SBT was bad, MBT was worse.

Sanford’s most notable accomplishment as governor may be eliminating an illegal $155 million budget deficit that was hidden by his predecessor. When trying to find the last $16 million, legislators suggested that he had done enough. Sanford replied, “I’m sworn to uphold the Constitution. It doesn’t say come close and declare victory.” He then vetoed 106 pork projects to make up the deficit and was overruled on 105 of them. The next day, he took two piglets and an array of cameramen into the statehouse—his first and probably last attempt at playing rabble rouser. “I don’t like using political instruments that blunt,“ he admits, “but what’s not remembered is that it worked.”


It did work. Sometimes that is what it takes, and what was not mentioned is that he battled the big spenders in his own party. THAT's credibility. It is easy to oppose big spending from the democrats. It's harder, but more important, when it comes from those with the (R) next to their names.

Sanford’s conservative credentials compare favorably to anyone else mentioned as a 2012 presidential contender. He calls the public-education system “a Soviet-style monopoly.” He promoted school choice through tax rebates to avoid the appearance of government control. He passed a “Castle doctrine” bill that was supported by the NRA. He favors a law-and-order approach to immigration, but opposed REAL ID on civil liberties grounds. Though he avoids showy displays of piety, he is reliably pro-life.

But the governor edges closer to pure libertarianism at times. He rolls his eyes at the Columbia sheriff’s department’s zeal in investigating Michael Phelps’s recreational pot use. And he criticizes Alan Greenspan’s management of the “opaque” Federal Reserve. “If you take human nature out of a Fed, it might work,” he explains. “But you can’t. You can have these wise men. But who wants to turn off the spigot at a party that’s rolling?“


I don't have 100% agreement with everybody, but I'm close here. Stay out of my gun cabinent. Don't overspend. Support life. Support border control, but don't take away too many freedoms, and I don't care if Michael Phelps lights up a doobie.

He also deviates from the Republican line on foreign policy. In Congress, he opposed Clinton’s intervention in Kosovo. And he was one of only two Republicans to vote against the 1998 resolution to make regime change in Iraq the official policy of the United States. He says that it was a “protest vote” in which he tried to reassert the legislature’s war-declaring powers. When asked about the invasion of Iraq, he extends his critique beyond the constitutional niceties. “I don’t believe in preemptive war,” he says flatly. “For us to hold the moral high ground in the world, our default position must be defensive.”


I'm a believe in politics stopping at the border. That still goes today with Mr. Obama in the White House. I'll just say that I generally agree with Sanford's principles on this and leave it at that. That aside I think the job in Iraq needs to be finished, and so far Obama seems to be doing the right thing there (leaving Gates there and letting him run it). That's as far as I'll comment until the job's done.

Beyond his rare lapses in ideological or political judgment, Mark Sanford doesn’t seem to have the charisma that conservatives say their message needs. He is awkward in the clubby world of politics. He can regale you with long stories details about a budget skirmish with the legislature, but he has almost nothing to say about USC basketball. He draws lessons from Ayn Rand’s work (“She doesn’t believe in the social compact really”), but is unfamiliar with basic sports metaphors, claiming, “We got the proposal to the 99-yard line.”


What was that I said about kicking someone's arse if charisma was the main problem, again? My attitude is this. I'm voting for either an executive or a representative. I'm not voting for a coach. The only time sports matters (outside of government wanting to ban some of them like the UFC) in my voting is for university trustee as one out of many issues, and I am a major fan of many sports. Sanford doesn't know football like I do. So what.

Close legislative ally Gary Simrill admits, “He’s not the ‘morning in America’ type.” But Sanford’s appeal isn’t about personality. For him, the imperial executive and the celebrity president are linked: “It got to the point of absurdity with this election. Everybody put a lot of hopes and dreams in Obama. But our nation was founded by the rule of law, not by men.” The governing style of movie stars, whether they call their opponents “girly men” or don flight suits for the cameras, led to the present crisis. Official Washington has no memory, demands largesse, and prizes optimism as its cardinal virtue. But Sanford is haunted by the past, tight with a checkbook, and worried about future. If he has any chance, it’s because he sounds a lot like the rest of us.


That says it best. I'm absolutely sick of American Idol politics, whether it be Clinton being a wannabe Rocky, Bush's Top Gun (at least he can fly a plane, but it wasn't needed), or the cult of Obama. In fact, I'm much inclined to vote for someone with a much more businesslike approach to politics than a American Idol BS approach.

For the 2010 gubenatorial and congressional races, we need to go back to the principles and live what we believe. Mark Sanford has set a good example for many to follow and is a good starting point for candidates to build on and perfect.