August 29, 2007

The Problematic Nature of Ad Nauseum Entertainment

I'm unsure as to what point in time some deity far up in the sky looked down upon human creation and decided that we must have political debates nearly as many times as one changes their socks. With the 2008 presidential election cycle already underway it seems like someone holds a debate for the candidates nearly every week.

I remember very clearly having been Chairman of the University of Miami College Republicans during UM's hosting of the first presidential debate in 2004. The university set up a variety of events celebrating the occasion and with the descent of the national media on the Coral Gables campus the atmosphere was nothing short of electric. I can't remember how many times I was asked in press interviews if this new-found excitement would lead to an increase in student interest in politics.

The short answer was of course, no - as soon as the cameras all left so too did the student-interest. Unfortunately, the actual debate hardly lived up to all its pre-debate hype. Without recapping the whole thing, President Bush seemed distracted and John Kerry was given credit for a win he never really achieved - he just avoided being completely uninteresting for 90 minutes. And did America learn anything new from that experience other that its never a good idea to lean forward on a podium and tap your foot when you're speaking to an audience?

So here we are after not only endeavoring upon the earliest possible start date of a presidential election cycle - and the 4,000-plus debates already held by MSNBC alone - but we now also find ourselves on the eve of the first presidential debate organized by Spanish language network Univision. As if we haven't heard enough one-minute length responses from each of the 89,000 people running for President from both parties (that's 89,002 if you count Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinic), now we get to hear those same one-minute length responses with a voice-over by a Spanish-speaking translator.

Now this is all well and good. If the new benchmark of a group's political clout (or apparent political clout) is to be able to organize a presidential debate and have at least all of one party's candidates show up (in this case the Democrats), then clearly the Hispanic community have that kind of emerging and/or apparent clout. I say apparent because I think Hispanics - like almost all other groups in this country - are hardly monolithic in their interests and voting habits.

My question however returns to my original point - we've had so many of these things in the ten months since the 2006 election, is there really any benefit to derived from it except that which is borne of bragging rights? As the complaints of several candidates and many in the news media seem to indicate, there are far too many candidates in the running and far too little time for any of them to be more specific in their answers than what would amount to a shadow of a sound bite.

In the twenty-plus years I've been watching debates I have yet to learn anything new about a candidate from a debate beyond how they perform under spotlights. Sadly debates seem to be nothing more than mere pageantry; just one more form of entertainment in a nation that already has too much.

May 25, 2007

Mahoney unhappy in new job

It appears that Rep. Tim Mahoney, present resident of the 16th Congressional District is not completely happy with the whole being a congressman thing.

Apparently frustrated by the "glacial" pace at which legislation moves, Mr Mahoney has expressed to The Hill newspaper that being a congressman is not "the best job I ever had".

Of course if you feel that unfulfilled being in Congress Tim, we'll be more than happy to take the responsibility off your hands. I mean why wait another 18 months, anyway?

January 14, 2007

Say what?

Well there are scare tactics, and there are scare tactics...


January 06, 2007

The Brave New World of designer people

The Abraham Center of Life, LLC of San Antonio is about to become the first company to make designer embryos commercially available.

According to an article in today's Washington Post, customers can order specific embryos after reviewing, "detailed information about the race, education, appearance, personality and other characteristics of the egg and sperm donors".

No uproar from the left as yet. Just wait until customers can breed out whatever aspects are determined to cause homosexuality.

They might even see that a bigger societal problem than Wal-Mart.

[Washington Post]

December 19, 2006

President Guliani?

Although I like him personally, I find it hard to believe that Republican primary voters are going to give the presidential nomination to someone who is pro-life, pro-gun control, and pro-gay rights.

Now before liberals write in here and claim that this just goes to show how the Republican party is on the path of the suicidal, perhaps they might answer a question.

Would the Democrats ever nominate someone for President who was pro-life? Or even seriously contemplate it?

[Washington Post]

December 15, 2006

A new take on Tim Johnson

As Senator Johnson reportedly recovers at GWU medical center, speculation abounds as to whether he will continue in office through the remainder of his term or be replaced by a Republican, thereby shifting control back to the Republicans.

Such speculation is the nature of politics, particularly with such a slim Democrat majority in the incoming 110th Congress.

Liberal columnist Eleanor Clift has a somewhat more expansive take on it: it's called "Democrats, take what you can quickly in case another one of you gets sick".


December 10, 2006

And this is news... why?


The only thing surprising about this story is that it took as long as it did to be publicly announced.

Imagine that... European Socialists looking forward to working with the Democrats.

Will wonders never cease?

November 16, 2006

Pelosi - 0; The Universe - 1

Everything may not be as harmonious as once thought in the House that Dean built.

In what can only be interpreted as a snubbing of the lordess and savior of humanity Nancy Pelosi, the incoming House Democrat caucus refused to anoint her close ally Rep. John "Abscam" Murtha as the next House Majority Leader.

By a 149 - 86 vote Democrats chose Steny Hoyer, the current Minority Whip as the next House Majority Leader.

Could this spell trouble on the horizon for the Democrats? Will Pelosi be able to keep those new Conservative Democrats in line?

Stay tuned...

November 14, 2006

The Real Death Rattle


Now that the elections are behind us and the Democrats have scored a resounding tactical victory by re-taking the Congressional majority, there are a few important issues that need to be pointed out:

First, I’m not going to congratulate anyone nor am I going to sit here like the President and the incoming Democrat Congressional leadership and talk about how I plan on trying to work with the Democrats.

Anyone that believes President Bush or presumptive House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Democrat leaders Harry Reid and Dick Durbin are going to find common bi-partisan ground is indeed spending too much time being… well… stoned.

They’ll talk about it for now so as to sound conciliatory in their victory and our defeat, but in the end it’s just meaningless blather. What may have seemed bitter partisan rivalry in Congress to this point will be remembered as a quaint period of gentile pleasantry compared to what’s coming.

If 2006 was indeed a reverse of 1994 it’s the least we can do for them after all the acceptance they showed us back then.

Second, you’re not going to see a lot of whining on our part.

Two years ago the level of bellyaching and crying, not to mention the lack of an ability to take responsibility for their own loss made Democrats and liberals look like the big bunch of oversensitive babies they almost always reveal themselves to be. One only had to look at all the claims about moving out of the country as well as the ranting that the electorate was just stupid to see this.

As of this writing I’ve met no one on my side of the aisle that talks about moving out of the country once the Democrats take over in January nor does any one of us think the electorate was stupid for giving the majority to the Democrats.

When you ask a Republican or a Conservative why we lost our majority we don’t claim that it was divisive issues or faulty voting machines or any other outside influence. To a person we place the blame squarely on ourselves.

Find me a Democrat or a liberal who ever blamed themselves for their own electoral misfortune… and I’ll show you someone who is about to switch parties.

Third, and of course most important, the election was a complete and total repudiation of liberalism. In spite of the fact that the most liberal members of the House and Senate Democrat conferences will ascend to the top of the new Congressional majorities in January, they owe their positions not to a triumph of liberal ideas, but to a triumph of conservatism.

As I’ve mentioned before liberal ideas are not popular regardless of what you may have heard from the likes of Howard Dean. Those Democrat candidates that stunned the political world by helping to bring about a Democrat majority in the House and Senate – candidates like Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania, James Webb in Virginia, and Heath Shuler in North Carolina – did so not by campaigning on typical liberal values like those you might hear slung about in the breezeway, but on issues such as national defense, fiscal conservatism, gun ownership rights, and traditional family values.

Democrats en masse fled from issues such as entitlement spending, universal health care, and cuts in defense spending that liberals have championed for years.

Governing is an entirely different matter than opposing. Republicans found this out the hard way. Although many liberals and Democrats are celebrating Tuesday’s victory – as well they should be expected to – they’re also celebrating people who are against most of the values they hold dear. When all is said and done, they may be the victims of their own success.

And success always seems to be something Democrats fall on by accident.

November 03, 2006

In retrospect

As we head into the final weekend before the mid-terms and party activists on both sides are mobilizing for that last push I think it's helpful to examine a couple of things.

About a month ago while speaking to the Florida Fed. of College Republicans State Board of Directors, State Rep. Adam Hasner (R - Dist 87) made an excellent point that many conservatives have been harping on for some time now.

In contrasting the situation the Republican Congressional majority faces with that of the Republican majority in the Florida legislature Rep Hasner highlighted the difference in course the two legislative majorities have taken. In the case of the majorities here in Florida they've stayed pretty true to the principles that placed them in the majority and have led to the prosperity we've experienced under Governor Bush.

In the case of Congress, Rep Hasner pointed out a very important truth: they've screwed up nearly everything that gave them the majority in 1994.

I'll be honest, I've not been too overly excited about this election cycle. Part of it's because we're pretty solid here in Florida and we've got a great candidate for Governor leading our ticket. There was however something else that I could never quite put my finger on until Hasner's statement.

They have screwed it up. And that was what's been sort of bothering me just underneath the surface.

I worked very hard on the '94 campaign. I lived in Georgia at the time and following my departure from the Marine Corps in January '94 I became very active in my local Republican Party as well as several campaigns, including my Congressman, the then House Minority Leader, Newt Gingrich.

It was an exciting time as you might remember. The party had been doing a good bit of soul-searching following Bill Clinton's victory in 92' and Ronald Reagan's exit from the center stage.

In Newt we found someone with a vision of how things could be better and we were ready to follow him to victory. While we felt we'd do well on election night, we never imagined how well we'd do and thus a new era had arrived. It worked well for awhile, but something changed, at least at the national level anyway.

Some in our party have said that the road to continued Republican prosperity is to move to the middle. I've never accepted that and in fact I would say that the exact opposite is true. We only lose when we move away from our conservative principles. I think that was true in 1992 and I think it's why we've found ourselves in trouble in 2006.

A good analogy as to the course the GOP Congressional majority has taken is the progression of Presidents during my term of military service.

The first year and a half I was in the Marine Corps Ronald Reagan was President. The next four years was under President George HW Bush. My final year Bill Clinton was in the White House.

In the beginning they stayed true to their conservative principles. And then they started moving away from it. Now, we're somewhere we never should have gone.

Don't get me wrong, I still very much support President Bush. While I'm not prepared to call him a moderate, he's been a disappointing conservative.

This is not me predicting doom and gloom, nor is it me throwing in the towel. This weekend College Republicans from across our state are hitting the campaign trail and helping to make that last final effort. We're going to be out as always working to elect good men like Clay Shaw and Joe Negron as well as the next Governor of Florida Charlie Crist.

Hopefully regardless of how this election turns out it'll serve as a reminder of what we, as conservatives, are really all about.

November 01, 2006

The Kerry Bomb explodes again

Sometimes people just make it easy to dislike them.

Obviously I never liked the guy in the first place. It was an absolute pleasure watching him go down in flames in 2004. Anybody who thinks being that nuanced is a virtue deserves to crash and burn.

I would, however, expect that someone who ran with their Vietnam experience on their sleeve would not say something so obviously right out of the asshole playbook.

Apparently to someone like John Kerry only those who can't hack it in college join the military. Interestingly enough that was the most common attitude I encountered from High School guidance counselors and many High School students when I was a Marine Corps recruiter.

As someone who chose to go into the military right out of High School instead of College, I find what he said to be the height of insulting to anyone who made the same choice I did.

Its even more insulting to the officers who went to college and then volunteered to serve our country in uniform, especially when there are many other more financially lucrative professions in the work place.

Even though I'm State Chairman of the Florida Federation of College Republicans, I'm not going to follow in line with the White House on this one. You see, I'm not interested in John Kerry's apology. It only comes under pressure and means nothing.

On the upside, at least Dick Durbin has some competition on publicly rendered stupidity.

October 07, 2006

Democrats still the 'Seinfeld' party

We've seen this before. In 2002 the Democrat's message was, "get back at em for 2000". In 2004 it was, "Bush sucks. I'm not Bush. Vote for me", Now it's, "Republicans suck. We're not Republicans. Vote for us".

And that friends is the extent of it.

There's no cohesive message beyond this. Even when speaking about Iraq - admittedly a troubling endeavor with many people to say the least - the Democrats really have nothing new to say. In fact what they do say is so not new it's reminiscent of what they've said in every conflict since Vietnam - it gets tough... run away.

In Congressional races that are tight it has, as in most cases, more to do with the individual character of the contest between two individuals than with any one national policy. This is not me invoking Tip O'Neill outright, it's just to say that the local character of any particular race is what ends up being most important.

Admittedly, the Democrats are poised to pick up enough seats to take back a majority in the House of Representatives and will in all likelihood close the gap in the Senate, barring an outright takeover there as well. But is this because their ideas are now, after all this time, just that much more appealing?

Not hardly.

Their ideas didn't resonate all those other times because their ideas aren't popular nor practical. They aren't resonating now either. To the extent that the situation in Iraq has had an effect on this election cycle, it's simply because the situation there looks consistently bad, not because the Democrat's alternative on Iraq has any great appeal. Could that be because there is no coherent Democrat alternative on Iraq... other than running away very fast?

Winning enough seats in the House because the current majority has problems is hardly an affirmation that anything liberals stand for is worthwhile, which it's not. They will of course convince themselves that this is not true, that they've won the philosophical governance argument for all time just like they did in 1992... two years before they lost it again.

On my radio show the other day a caller tried to put forth the notion that the opposite was true - that in fact it was precisely because Democrat ideas are more attractive to the American people that the Republicans will lose their congressional control. It seemed of course lost on this individual that what the Democrats do campaign on remains essentially unchanged since 1992, and that's the last time it did them any good.

In the final analysis if the Democrats do take over one or both houses of Congress it will be in spite of themselves, not because they've won anybody over. This will still give them control of the legislative branch of our government, but when all is said and done that's a flimsy foundation upon which to rest a so-called revolution.

July 30, 2006

Cindy Sheehan follow up

Chavez_sheehan_1I'm really beginning to believe that Cindy Sheehan has moved beyond the desire to bring the war in Iraq to an end and instead is determined to bring this country to an end.

She finds common cause with heads of state that wish to bring harm to our nation, speaks about our troops as if they themselves were worse than Al Quaeda, and calls the war in Iraq a "war crime".

On top of all that (although it seems rather tame compared to the rest) she proclaimed President Bush "our George III" on July 4 this year.

Its almost sad watching her lose her mind. Almost.

Of course in her world the fact that Chavez has been elected 8 times means he's not a dictator. In her book I guess that would make Saddam Hussein and the NSDAP of the 1930's the epitome of grassroots campaigners.

In fact as you'll see, she'd prefer to live in Chavez' Venezuela than the USA.

Somebody call William Shatner; we may need some inexpensive airline tickets very soon.

July 28, 2006

When 15 minutes of fame is far too long

CindysheehanjIn the beginning of Cindy Sheehan's journey into the annals of liberal deification, I did feel a little sympathy for her.

After all, her son had been killed. I mean how could you not help but feel at least some sense of sadness on her behalf. No matter whether someone agreed with the war or not I always felt that it was important to remember that they were losing a loved one. I remember how sad my own mother was when I told her I was leaving for the Persian Gulf in 1990 and how happy she was when I came home.

So at least I gave it a try with Cindy Sheehan.

After about the third or fourth solidarity hug with Hugo Chavez and her warm comrade-like embrace of Cynthia McKinney in Atlanta last week (and that required some real nausea control right there) I think its safe to say Ms. Sheehan has used up whatever goodwill she may have been entitled to.

Imagine my lack of surprise when MSNBC reported that Sheehan has recently purchased a lot in Crawford, Texas from which she intends to stage anti-war/anti-Bush rallies.

From Anti-war activist/Gold Star mother to Presidential Stalker - The Cindy Sheehan story.

Can you say Lifetime movie of the week?


July 27, 2006

PEER Review welcomes - Mr. GOP

Patriot. Author. Party Man. Please allow me to introduce the newest member of the PEER Review FL field team, Mr. GOP.

Mr. GOP served 6+ years in the US Marine Corps and has a keen interest in Middle East history, which he now studies at the graduate level at the University of Miami. He is a regular contributor to The Hurricane and also the current State Chairman of the College Republicans of Florida.

Having already filed three posts - Crap, Unimpressive, and Rationalization - I think we can safely say 1) he calls 'em like he sees 'em, and 2) he is already a regular contributor. Unabashedly Republican, unafraid and uninterested in liberal dogma, Mr. GOP will make a fine addition to the PRFL family.

Let me be the first to say, Welcome.

Mr. C

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