Republican Resurgence

Barack Obama has been in office for just one year, but already it is beginning to look like he may be a one-term wonder. He is not doing very well on a number of fronts, and Tuesday’s Massachusetts election results is one of the biggest indications of this yet.

Obama’s personal approval rating has been the lowest of any President in his first year (dropping to just 47 per cent before Christmas), and he is in trouble with the American electorate in various areas. But most stunning of all has been the Republican victory on Tuesday, giving the GOP 41 Senate seats, enough to now stymie the Obama agenda, including his flawed health care bill with its abortion funding provisions.

Against all expectations – and against all odds – a Republican has won the seat held by the recently deceased Ted Kennedy. Massachusetts is one of the most leftwing states in the nation, and the Democrats in general and the Kennedys in particular have held a vice-like grip on the New England state.

So when Republican Scott Brown beat Democrat Martha Coakley by a healthy margin (52 to 47 per cent, with one per cent going to an independent), this was quite an accomplishment. This seat had been held by Democrats for 46 years. And registered Democrats there outnumbered the opposition by three and a half to one (with only 12 per cent registered Republicans). So this was certainly a substantial win.

And this has not been the only recent GOP victory. They also won governor races by large margins in New Jersey and Virginia in November 2009, where Obama had won big in 2008. Even the Democrats are starting to get nervous. For example, New York Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner said Democrats had to listen closely to the message voters delivered in Massachusetts: “If we’re having a problem in … Massachusetts, we’re going to have problems all over the country,”

There has been plenty of conservative commentary on this big win. Here is a small sampling. Ann Coulter summarised the outcome this way: “The Democrats have no natural majority because they have no fundamental principles – at least none that they are willing to state out loud. They are like a drunken vagrant who emerges from the alley to cause havoc every few years. They are the perpetual toothache of American politics.

“To be sure, the fact that 52 percent of Massachusetts voters are racist, sexist tea-baggers – i.e., voted for a Republican – means only that the Democrats just went from having the largest congressional majority in a generation to the second largest. But this was ‘Teddy Kennedy’s seat.’ And it was in Massachusetts. Now, no Democrat is safe. But the country just got a lot safer.”

Writing just before the final figures were in, Michelle Malkin noted the differences between the candidates, and the parties: “Brown channeled the energies of taxpayers of all stripes who are disgusted and angry – yes, ANGRY! – with the culture of corruption in Washington. That is how Brown has struck common ground with his insurgent center-right-indie coalition: by stepping up to oppose the Dems’ plans to rig the game and undermine representative government, instead of sneering at ‘Teabaggers.’

“While a self-satisfied and entitled Coakley vacationed or partied with D.C. lobbyists, Brown drove around in his GM truck, shaking hands in the cold outside Fenway Park – earning the scorn of Coakley and Obama, who mocked Brown’s truck six times at the Boston rally this weekend to the delight of blue-nosed Democrats.

“Rep. Frank griped at the Coakley-Obama rally that Coakley ‘let it become a personality contest and that was a mistake.’ The supreme irony in hearing Beltway Democrats snipe at Coakley over her effete, out-of-touch attitude is that their commander-in-chief at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. suffers the same fatal flaws. Exactly one year after Obama was inaugurated, the Massachusetts meltdown mirrors the White House meltdown. For the sake of their political survival, Democrats need to stop promising change and start promising self-correction.”

Long standing political activist Richard A. Viguerie said this: “Scott Brown’s election to the Senate is another example of the energy and passion that has been brought to the Republican Party in the past year by new conservative leaders. Brown’s victory would not have happened without the leadership of Tea Party activists, talk show hosts, bloggers, and others using the Internet. These new conservative leaders are forcing backbone and spine into the old and tired Republican Party leaders, who in early 2009 were afraid to publicly disagree with or challenge President Obama and his agenda.

“This conservative Republican Senate victory in Massachusetts would not have been possible 25 years ago before the new and alternative media–talk radio, cable TV, Internet, bloggers, etc. The next battleground for these new conservative leaders against the establishment big-government politicians will be in Republican and Democratic primaries. These new conservative leaders are gearing up to challenge the political establishment regardless of party.”

Pro-lifers were basically pleased with the outcome. Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said, “On the heels of last fall’s victories by Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie, Scott Brown’s victory is just the beginning of the consequences Congressional incumbents will face this November. Anyone who votes to advance health care legislation that funds abortion on-demand should consider themselves on notice.”

Concerned Women for America president Wendy Wright claimed that “Obama’s and liberal congressmen’s arrogance cost them something they care about – the Senate seat once held by Ted Kennedy.” And Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life made this remark: “Americans love freedom. If Washington ignores the will of the people, as the Democratic party has been doing in so many issues, the people respond at the voting booth to reclaim their own voice. When the people feel powerless to change the minds of those in power, they change those in power.”

Pro-life activist Randall Terry however lamented the fact that Brown was in favour of Roe vs. Wade. “Granted, he is against federal funding of child killing; and his vote may help kill the health care bill. In that light, I quote Winston Churchill: ‘If the devil himself invaded Germany, I would at least give him an honorable mention in the House of Commons’.”

But with the Democratic stranglehold on the Senate now broken, the chances of pro-death legislation automatically going through have taken a real dive. Obama’s job has just got a whole lot more difficult. Indeed, this election was in many respects a referendum on the Obama presidency. Hopefully the pendulum will keep swinging to the conservatives. If so, we may in fact see a Republican in the White house in 2012.

[1111 words]

43 Replies to “Republican Resurgence”

  1. So, a pro-choice Republican is better than a pro-choice Democrat?
    Murray Bentham

  2. Thanks Murray

    All things being equal, a pro-choice Republican would not be better than a pro-choice Democrat. But things are not equal here. A somewhat half-hearted pro-choice Republican is better than a pro-choice Democrat. And when you add a number of other Republican positions on various issues which are better than the Democrat positions, then he is better still. And when he breaks the 60-seat majority stranglehold in the Senate, then he is even still better.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  3. Pardon the question, but can you be a little bit pregnant?
    Murray Bentham

  4. Thanks Murray

    I will pardon it, even though I am afraid your attempt at being cute has not been successful! As stated in my article, he is inconsistent on these issues, and he opposes federal funding of abortion – unlike most Democrats – so he will be a key player in the vote on Obamacare.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  5. The thing that many Americans overlook is that public health in Western Europe and Canada works.
    Michael Webb

  6. Thanks Michael

    Does it? Have you ever lived in Western Europe, as I have? Or Canada? You need to let your leftist theories match reality.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  7. Bill, not everything opposed to the private health rorts and insurance exclusionary clauses that leave your fellow Americans to die, is therefore a “leftist theory”.
    Canadians, Germans, French etc would be wondering what the panic in the USA about alleged ‘socialism’- the catchcry of medical and insurance lobbyists for donkeys years in the USA.
    Michael Webb

  8. Thanks Michael

    No I didn’t think you had lived there. So let me keep calling your bluff: please supply us with the names and details of all the Americans who have died in said manner. And you will have to do better than citing old discredited Michael Moore films.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  9. Bill, as you so often remind us “ideas have consequences’; however, in this election not many were aware of this truth until the election was over. Good News indeed.
    Stan Fishley

  10. This would be a more impressive result if there were real differences between the political parties.

    Forex, every president from Nixon (& many before) have enacted rules from the same big-picture scenario: individuals are nothing/replaceable; religion is fine (we have lots, help yourself); the Constitution is a fine document & can be safely admired from a distance rather than respected in any real way… etc…

    Leon Brooks

  11. Thanks Leon

    Sorry but I am with Thomas Sowell on this one: “Some people say that there is no real difference between Republicans and Democrats. Whether that is said because of being too lazy to examine the differences or because it makes some people feel exalted to say, in effect, ‘a plague on both your houses,’ it is a dangerous self-indulgence.” He goes on to note some very real differences between the two parties.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  12. Michael, while I’d say it’s true from my experience that many American’s don’t have much of a clue about what is outside their borders, you may have got this idea abut European and Canadian healthcare from Michael Moore’s “Sicko” but like all of Michael Moore’s ‘documentaries’ they are leftist, shallow, biased and often fictional. Moore’s simplistic portrayal of the different health care offerings around the world in contrast to America’s may be interesting movie-watching but is hardly descriptive or illuminating in any depth of the issues at work in worldwide health or the systems that support them. There was a much more informative (actual) documentary shown on ABC about health around the world which dealbt with the some of the different systems and the issues in much better detail. Needless to say there’s no magic blue pill for health care.

    Murray, I think most of us would agree that we want to see the pro-life agenda solidly supported by as many politicians as possible, I think we’ve got to take comfort in knowing that while some of them aren’t going to campaign for a repeal of Roe vs Wade, MPs like Brown are winding the pro-choice agenda back – and this can only be a good thing. There are very few monumental changes in politics that aren’t achieved incrementally.

    As to whether this result spells the end for Obama, I’d say that he is a cunning political animal backed by very strong political groups that know how to use wall street, and activist organisations to win elections. Much as I want to hope that this term will be his only one, he knows how to make big statements, he’s going to keep spending his way to the next election and he’s got a lot of options left in spinning another story for the American public. And don’t forget that a war that is made to look inevitable while he’s in power could very well save his presidency. Here’s hoping he fails.

    Garth Penglase

  13. Yes, I think Garth is right. Obama is probably like a cat who has only lost one life so far, and has several more; the investment in him, by lots of powerful far-left organisations and theorists, over decades, isn’t just going to melt away (sadly) – but nothing lasts for ever. When Iran has it’s bomb – not long now – the West’s political ideas and nature will change radically (when Obama-like appeasement is seen as futile, his kind will be swept away). A bit like the 1930s over again? Well, maybe.
    John Thomas, UK

  14. Mort Zuckerman, The Daily Beast columnist is no conservative but deeply regrets voting for Obama;

    “In the campaign, he said he would change politics as usual. He did change them. It’s now worse than it was. I’ve now seen the kind of buying off of politicians that I’ve never seen before. It’s politically corrupt and it’s starting at the top. It’s revolting.

    Five states got deals on health care—one of them was Harry Reid’s. It is disgusting, just disgusting. I’ve never seen anything like it. The unions just got them to drop the tax on Cadillac plans in the health-care bill. It was pure union politics. They just went along with it. It’s a bizarre form of political corruption. It’s bribery. I suppose they could say, that’s the system. He was supposed to change it or try to change it.”

    Damien Spillane

  15. Michael,
    one of the problems we have in dealing with so-called “socialised medicine” is the furphy built into the name “health-care system”.

    The system is dealing not with health but with sickness and injury.

    A health system would be aimed more at prevention than cure (notice how we have forgotten the old proverb ‘an ounce of prevention…’?), and would encourage self-care, self-reliance and so on.

    Sorry to be abrupt – have to dash off to work to help pay for the Australian ‘sick’ system. 🙂

    John Angelico

  16. I lived in Queensland during the 1960’and 1970″s.
    We had a very effective health system up here backed up by gambling taxes (including Golden casket etc).

    My brothers flew their wives into Brisbane when having their children and it was a good free public health system

    Hanlon, Gair and Joh all ran free and efficient free public hospitals systems in Queensland and I dont see why, if taxes and duties from tobacco and gambling were not redirected where they should be into health, that we couldn’t repeat that same success story.

    It was only after the introduction of medibank in the 1970’s changing to medicare later on, that funding became an issue for Queensland hospitals.

    Since then revenue streams that once supported many public utilities have been flogged off and taxes have had to increase to make up the shortfalls.

    One wonders what revenues or taxes will have to be increased when our jewell in the crown (Qld Rail coal division) is flogged off for a quick buck this year.

    Tony Zegenhagen

  17. Michael Webb should consider this:

    From Ann Coulter:

    The most revealing international comparisons look at cancer survival rates, because of the universally extensive record-keeping for this disease.
    A European study found that, compared to 18 European countries, the U.S. had strikingly higher five-year survival rates in all 12 cancers studied, except for one: stomach cancer. Even there, the survival rates were close — and the difference was attributed to the location of the cancer in the stomach.

    For all types of cancers, European men have only a 47.3 percent five-year survival rate, compared to 66.3 percent survival rate for American men. The greatest disparity was in prostate cancer, which American men are 28 percent more likely to survive than European men.

    European women are only 55.8 percent likely to live five years after contracting any kind of cancer, compared to 62.9 percent for American women.

    In five cancers — breast, prostate, thyroid, testicular and skin melanoma — American survival rates are higher than 90 percent. Europeans hit a 90 percent survival rate for only one of those — testicular cancer.

    Most disturbingly, many cancers in Europe are discovered only upon the victim’s death — twice as many as in the U.S. Consequently, the European study simply excluded cancers that were first noted on the death certificate, so as not to give the U.S. too great an advantage.

    There are no national registries for heart disease, as there are for cancer, making survival-rate comparisons more difficult. But treatments can be measured and, again, Americans are far more likely to be on medication for heart disease and high cholesterol — medications that extend the lives of millions, developed by those evil, profit-grubbing American drug companies.

    To get to the comparison they like (America is not as good as Sweden!), liberals have to slip in the orange of “life expectancy,” and hope no one will mention monster truck races, Krispy Kremes and Virginia Slims. As the old saying goes: Life doesn’t last longer in socialist countries; it just feels like it.

    This page provides an overview of her series and links to her 7 articles. (embedded in each summary)

    Why are there companies in Canada who organize for people to go to the US for treatment they would otherwise wait months for? Why do so many medical innovations come from the US? And then – the absolute acid test – why don’t the politicians proposing this plan go on it themselves if it is so good?

    Check out this video and read the ‘more info’ link (it’s small) on the right:
    Watch to the end, it has a clever twist.

    If the European and Canadian models ‘work’, then why the clearly better cancer survival rates? And for all the ridiculous bloat in those 2 monstrous bills from the House and Senate, the Democrats are too spineless to go after tort reform because they are scared of losing lawyer support (Howard Dean is on record for saying that). Nor would they consider being able to purchase insurance across state lines. And supposedly insurance companies not covering pre-existing conditions is a bad thing, but everybody would understand you can’t purchase house insurance the day after it burned down and expect to claim. The whole approach of the Democrats (note how the Senate bill was the first bill of such scope – 1/6th of the US economy – in the history of the country to be voted on strict party lines, including Social Security in 1935 and Medicare in 1965) is one of abject denial of simple facts about human nature, economics and the level of medical care, not to mention engaging in sleazy politicking (ie. huge size of the bills, Christmas Eve vote, shutting video coverage out of negotiations – promised by Obama in election-mode, etc.) Americans value freedom, and are increasingly understand that the current administration is about taking it away but by bit. Some may have good intentions, but there’s a road to somewhere that’s paved with lots of those.

    Closer to the heart of the topic, it seems that the reaction to Brown’s victory in Massachusetts is generating 2 kinds of responses in lefties – either panic due to such a clear repudiation of the Obama hopey changey machine, or flat out denial by trying to spin it that voters want ‘change’ more than ever… So far, it seems that the administration is opting more for the second response which – if they continue down that road – can only result in a bloodbath for the Democrats when the mid-term elections come up in November. But there are some who understand that Obama’s presidency may be over already. This from Germany. As for that list, Bill – it’s frightening that we have such clear evidence that there is a elitist, compulsive liar in power in the White House. May the American people wake up and re-establish the godly principles that made them so strong on the world stage. I know a lot of people criticize the US (and frankly, the way they write their dates backwards and are still stuck using fahrenheit for temperature and miles for distance is archaic), but the reality is, without a powerful US, the world is considerably worse off.

    Mark Rabich

  18. I loved this part of Ann Coulter’s piece. Ne’er a truer word spoken about the cycle of politics in the US.

    “…when Republicans win political power, they hold onto it long enough to govern. The Democrats keep being smacked down by the voters immediately after being elected and revealing their heinous agenda.

    As a result, for the past four decades, American politics has consisted of Republicans controlling Washington for eight to 14 years — either from the White House or Capitol Hill — thus allowing Americans to forget what it was they didn’t like about Democrats, whom they then carelessly vote back in. The Democrats immediately remind Americans what they didn’t like about Democrats, and their power is revoked at the voters’ first possible opportunity.”

    You’ll get that in a country that, by and large, values freedom based on a heritage that acknowledges God. If only they could reign in that schizophrenia… But, I guess this is just a reflection of our human nature and echoes similar cycles of failure and restoration throughout history.

    Mark Rabich

  19. Bill,

    “Some people say that there is no real difference between Republicans and Democrats. ”

    You can quote Sowell all you like but just what has the Republican Party effectively done against the widespread practice of abortion over the last twenty years? Still the abortion juggernaut rolls on. Just how conservative are conservatives these days? Just how was a nation with a large Christian majority captured by a noisy minority’s culture of death?

    John Snowden

  20. Thanks John

    But if you think there is no difference, you really are not very up on US politics. There are plenty of lines of demarcation. For starters, why do you think there is such a big fight between Republicans and Democrats on Obamacare? The abortion funding provision is a key battleground there.

    Which party has been seeking to limit legal abortion? Which party has been fighting against late-term abortion? Which party has fought on the ESC issue? Which party has battled against a host of pro-death measures? Indeed, if the two parties are so close here, why has Obama overturned so many previous Republican laws and bills on abortion and initiated so many new ones?

    Does that mean that the Republicans have been perfect on the abortion issue? Of course not, and there is plenty of room for improvement here. Much more needs to be done. And of course a small minority of Republicans might be pro-death, just as a small minority of Democrats might be pro-life. But it really is rather silly and unhelpful to suggest that the two parties are morally equivalent here.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  21. For those like me who never did Politics-USA-101, what is GOP and ESC?
    Peter Newland

  22. Thanks Peter

    GOP stands for the Grand Old Party (the Republicans). ESC you should know from the abortion debate: Embryonic Stem Cells.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  23. In response to Mark Rabich, I hear a lot of people criticising the US and although I am an Australian, I get so sick and tired of all the America bashing that goes on. The hyprocrisy of these individuals beggars belief! All the politics aside, it is young American men that are doing the dying on battlefields, not these armchair experts who seem to know all there is to know about America. It is one of the greatest countries on the earth and for those who live there and are only to happy to put the boot into their country – pack your bags and move to North Korea or somewhere like that and see how long you last. I agree with you Mark, we are a lot better off with a powerful US, not the one of appeasement that Obama would have but thank God for the resilience and the spirit of the American people who love their country, why shouldn’t they stand up for what they believe in? I pray to God that he will once again bless this great country and that the people who know how blessed they are to live there will loudly proclaim God’s blessings on their country from the rooftops. God Bless America.
    Steve Davis

  24. Bill, there is no bluff involved. The American health system is costly and for those who cannot pay for insurance, they receive poor treatment. Even for those who have insutance, there are lots of exclusionary clauses and if you have the misfortune to need urgent treatment and the hospital that is closest is not part of the insurance plan, you will get turned away.

    More comprehansive coverage for the average worker in Germany, France, Scandanavia and Canada then in the USA. It has been that way since post WWII era and still is.

    Michael Webb

  25. Thanks Michael,

    No, I didn’t think you would answer that one either. When a person makes wild claims, is challenged, and is unable or unwilling to reply, well, that sounds like bluffing to me. That is one way to avoid an evidence-based argument: simply make silly and reckless assertions, and when challenged, change the subject.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  26. Bill, I read that litany of lies (“Lies of Obama”) with growing deja-vu – almost all of the commentary applies, with a few variations in the specific examples, to our own PM!

    Australia, the laid-back land of the long weekend;
    USA – home of the brave and land of the free!

    John Angelico

  27. Bil,,

    You have taken a very narrow view of the American political situation. I have lived and worked in America and travelled there many times on business over the last 25 years. Over the last decade I have observed a significant change. The series of disasters and government failures over 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina and the financial crisis have dealt a devastating blow to Americans’ self-confidence.

    America is in crisis – 10% unemployment, urban blight, decrepit infrastructure, and a healthcare system that benefits the fortunate but fails the weak and the vulnerable. The car industry is virtually bankrupt, as are many state governments. California, once the shining light of modern progress, is in serious trouble, and dare I point out that it is in Republican hands.

    Many companies have gone bust, and when that happens employees not only lose their health insurance, but often their pension funds as well. It’s a crazy system.

    Campaign financing is a major scandal, and the political system is so hamstrung by delaying tactics and filibustering that neither party can progress any reforms.

    In the meantime, Americans see China emerging as the major world power, and other countries seem to be riding out the financial crisis much better than America.

    Americans turned to Obama because they thought he might fix everything and restore America to its former glory, but they have become disillusioned because in 12 months nothing much seems to have changed. And so they are turning back to the Republicans. But the GOP is in a terrible mess, with no strong leadership and few answers. Wall Street seems to have learned nothing from the crisis, and is back to business as usual, with Republican support.

    While Republican victories might seem like good results to rusted-on supporters, prospects for Americas’s future are murky.

    The world needs a strong America. But I share the despair of my American colleagues that America will ever be the nation it once was unless there is bipartisan support to address and fix the problems. I hold out little hope of this happening because the divisions are too deep and the Culture Wars too entrenched in the American psyche.

    Richard Martin, NSW

  28. It is a question of levels of access to quality health care Bill and access for many is reduced or denied because they do not have the money to pay for surgery and other procedures in the USA.
    Here are some stats from 2007:

    The percentage of heath costs paid for by the USA Government is only 45%. compared to 67% for Australia, 69% for Canada, 79% for France, 81% for Japan, 81% for Norway, the UK and Sweden ( and the list goes on).

    So it is plain that the average worker andfamily ( life’s underdogs) are not looked after by ultra privatisation and private minded types. Social democracy wins for the average person. Where social democracy fails is when you have modern Labor govts that have gone along with the Republican/Coalition big business agendas these past 40 years.

    Michael Webb

  29. Thanks Richard

    Given that I am American, I might know a little about my own country, but I will leave it to readers to decide who is being “narrow” here. As to the rest of your remarks, did I ever say anywhere that America is perfect and problem-free? Of course it has all sorts of issues to deal with, just like any nation, including Australia. The question is whether one side of politics is somewhat better placed to tackle these issues than the other.

    As to the culture wars, as has been documented many times, they were started by the secular left. So if you want to see “bi-partisan” solutions to some of these problems, then you should be encouraging the left side of politics to pull back their attack dogs.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  30. Thanks Michael

    Yet again I have to call your bluff (you are making a bit of a habit of this!) There is not one American who is denied basic health care. Even the poorest of the poor cannot be denied emergency care. So please spare us this foolishness. In order to avoid future embarrassment, perhaps you should consider junking your collection of Michael Moore videos!

    And what exactly does the percentage of government subsidies have to do with anything? Such figures would only appeal to someone who thinks governments are the only ones able to efficiently and capably fix things. Only socialist ideologues could be that silly. I’d much rather take Reagan’s view on this sort of jaded thinking: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help’.”

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  31. Absolutely Steve. Agree with your all the way regarding the US. A powerful US is a good thing for the world, and we would have been overcome by evil forces any number of times during the last century if it weren’t for the US and their willingness to fight for what is right and good. Just as Australia has stepped in in the Pacific. And let’s not forget the US support of Israel which has been significant and helped to held back a reign of terror that the Arabs would gladly bring if they could.
    Garth Penglase

  32. Just to address one of Richard’s comments: It can hardly be said that California is “in Republican hands”. Arnie is the archetypal RINO. The problem with American politics (as it is with most of the West) is not the lack of bipartisanship, but the tendency of the conservative side to want to compromise with the liberal agenda.

    Ewan McDonald

  33. Leftists fail to realise that health care in Canada is free as the air — but you have to wait months and even years for it. Some cancer patients wait so long that their disease has progressed so much that it’s no longer treatable.

    Even in Australia, one of my chess club mates had a “free” keyhole surgery on his knee, but he suffered for 2.5 years while he waited. My wife had the same sort of surgery within a month, privately.

    As for Murray Bentham’s facetious question at the top, I recommend Greg Koukl’s 2007 article When Compromising Is not a Compromise
    by Gregory Koukl

    Let me state it plainly: If you are pro-life and intend on casting a “conscience vote” for a third party candidate, you might as well be voting for the “pro-choice party” [true in America’s primitive “first past the post system; not true under Australia’s superior preferential voting]. It will have the same ultimate impact on the safety of the unborn. Voting pro-life principles isn’t always voting for a pro-life candidate; a principled vote might mean voting for the viable option that will either advance the pro-life cause better or hurt it the least.

    If you sleep more comfortably at night because you’ve voted your principles, then I believe your conscience is well-intended, though misinformed. You’ve chosen to make a moral statement instead of choosing to have a moral impact.

    As one pundit put it, it’s better to have a second class fireman than a first class arsonist. There is no victory or honor in voting for the first-class fireman who had no chance of winning when, in the end, your “conscience vote” actually allowed the arsonist get elected.

    The primary election is the place to vote for our first-class fireman, a pro-lifer who can win the general election. But if a second-class fireman is nominated, a principled pro-life vote isn’t compromised by voting for him over the first-class arsonist.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  34. Agreed Ewan, agreed. The two sides of politics agreeing to abortion. However, they sadly, in my humble opinion, agree on too much else as well eg economic rationalism and privatisations that have harmed and impoverished the wage an average salary earners of the Western world, as well as of the East.
    Michael Webb

  35. Richard,

    One thing you should be aware of is that many conservatives are fed up with the conservative-Lite agenda proliferated by far too many in the Republican party. Those politicians even have a name – RINOs (Republican in Name Only) – and are the subject of derision by many who consider principles as more important that just party affiliation. So bringing up guys like Schwarzenegger as if they represent a failure of those principles is rubbish. You should be aware that many conservatives are already skeptical of Brown and what he stands for, but saw the bigger picture of the rejection of Obama’s extremist agenda. They also realize that in a blue state like Massachusetts you may have to take what you can get.

    The reason that states like California are failing is because they have walked away from sound economic principles and acted as if money grew on trees. You mentioned the failure of the US car industry. Here’s a breakdown of the voting habits of those in Detroit:

    2008 General Election results-DEM: 96.93% GOP: 2.65%
    2006 General Election results-DEM: 95.05% GOP: 4.33%
    2004 General Election results-DEM: 93.61% GOP: 5.93%

    Remember, this is not so much about Democrats v Republicans, it is about the general principles. Detroit is run by leftists (has been for almost 50 years now) favouring government interference in people’s lives and as a result is in shambles. Unions own the schools and industries and the wealth created by the booming car industry decades ago has disappeared. Obamacare will do to health care in the US the same thing that leftist policies have done to everything else they have ever touched anywhere in the world, and that is increase poverty, destroy freedom and create a closed loop of constituents who continue to vote in the people who created the mess they are in because they are now dependent on them. No-one who cares about the poor should allow themselves to be misled by the ‘health care for everybody’ lie. Health care costs money and that money has to come from somewhere. And when the money runs out there are only 2 solutions – higher taxes and/or rationing.

    For more on Detroit, read this:
    and you can also watch this:

    As some say, ObamaCare will be just like other government run stuff – “All the efficiency of the post office with all the compassion of the IRS.”

    Mark Rabich

  36. What would Michael Webb prefer? Economic irrationalism and nationalisations? As for me, I would prefer services from those who must please customers to stay in business, rather than those who must please politicians and bureaucrats. A couple of quotes from Thomas Sowell:

    It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.

    Mystical references to society and its programs to help may warm the hearts of the gullible but what it really means is putting more power in the hands of bureaucrats.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  37. Yes to both of your questions Jonathan. What has actually worked yet has been taken away from us in just one generation.
    Proper regulation is neither minimalist nor the opposite i.e., over regulation. Proper regulation is about putting the local population first before worrying about globalists.

    It is also about putting citizenry and the common good first, before that of private customers.
    Customers come in second as far as the common and national good are concerned. Private business on the small and medium scale can best look after your and my custom for most goods and services but not all eg post, banking, rail, ports, tollways, national insurer, health, education. Retail, plumbing and 80% of things can be left with the private sector under lwas and regulations that prevent mergers and other big boy behaviours.
    Michael Webb

  38. So who regulates the regulators? The problem is, when buying and selling are regulated, the first thing bought or sold is the regulator. Over and over again, the regulators were captured by special interests, to the detriment of the consumer and the country. Nationalized industries have always provided rotten service, and impoverished the country as a whole. Just think of the pre-Thatcher UK that was “the sick man of Europe”. The worst industries in the US are the nationalized ones like rails (Amtrak) and mail (US Postal Service). But why would anyone but a leftie expect good service from organizations who don’t have to provide it to succeed?

    Who is the “country” anyway if not the large number of consumers? But according to lefties, “common good” is what the elite want, not what millions of customers vote for with their own money.

    “local population first before worrying about globalists” protectionism now? Haven’t you learned anything from Smoot–Hawley tariff bill in the US, one of the major causes of the Great Depression? But this really means favoring special interests over that off large numbers of customers. It also means loss of jobs in industries that use the protected goods because of the higher costs. There is also collateral damage to other industries, since customers have less money to spend because they are coerced into paying more for protected products.

    In words, many see a need for “social justice” to override “the dictates of the market.” In reality, what is called “the market” consists of human beings making their own choices at their own cost. What is called “social justice” is government imposition of the notions of third parties, who pay no price for being wrong. —Thomas Sowell

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

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