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Tag Archive: Republican Party

In Case You Need to Know How to Vote on Tuesday…

Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2012 (9:51 pm), by John W Gillis


The coveted MaybeToday.org Election 2012 endorsements and voting guidelines are here at last. Readers will certainly want to use these statements to inform their own decision-making prior to the upcoming election. For example, any of my neighbors in Precinct 8 of lovely Natick Massachusetts could print out this post and take it with them to the Morse Room in the Morse Institute Library next Tuesday, for use as instructions on precisely how to cast one’s votes (I think that would be legal, but I have to admit I’m not sure – please check with the voting officials before pulling this out at the polls! It might be classifiable as campaign-related material, although I have no involvement with any campaign). Others may find it less directly applicable to them in places, but hopefully still plenty helpful. Don’t forget to share it with your friends – or enemies, I’m not picky – I’m bi-partisan!

For President of the United States: Republican Mitt Romney gets my vote, and my unhesitating endorsement. I admit to starting out this campaign season as a simple anti-Obama voter (sensibly enough, I would hope the reader would admit), but I have grown considerably in my opinion of, and confidence in, Mr. Romney, and I look forward to seeing him inaugurated in January, which I am quite confident will be the outcome of this election. I have been particularly impressed with the graciousness with which he has tolerated the slanderous campaign against him by the Democrats. He has been a model of the idealized leading citizen envisioned by America’s Founding Fathers. Go Mitt!

For U.S. Senator from Massachusetts: incumbent Republican Scott Brown gets my vote, as well as my reluctant endorsement. I’m not a big fan of Scott Brown, but as was also the case when he ran for this seat in the 2010 special election, he represents the only even remotely sane option on the ballot. Of course, this is often the case with Republicans running against Democrats, but challenger Elizabeth Warren truly represents the worst of the Democrat Party. She is a relentless “I’m on the side of the little guy” demagogue who, as a professor at Harvard Community College University, pockets a salary of over $300,000/year for teaching a single course, while calling for the government at all levels to increase tax-supported “funding” to schools in order to make education “more affordable” to the kind of people who do her laundry. At the risk of sounding “sexist” by mentioning her physical appearance, I must say that her startlingly high cheekbones remind me of a legendary American cultural hero I once saw on a $3 bill (I think it was Chief Wild Eagle), but that’s just not enough to convince me she has what it takes to execute an honest political office. Good grief.

For U.S. Representative from the Fifth Massachusetts Congressional District: Framingham Republican Tom Tierney gets my reluctant vote, over perpetual incumbent Ed Malarkey. I would vote against Ed Malarkey purely on account of his idiotic (hence, predictably successful) campaign to double-down on the screwball idea of Daylight Saving Time – a social engineering adjustment that cost businesses billions of dollars in wasteful compliance costs when it was implemented a few years ago, and continues to screw up the works for various information systems today. However, Ed has much more to answer for than that. Tierney, for his part, looks to be almost as bad a candidate as Malarkey. He’s the very definition of a RINO, who I have to assume registers as a Republican only for the chance to (repeatedly) get on the ballot and garner some anti-Malarkey votes. On the other hand, at least he’s had a real job. Nonetheless, he will be trounced once again by party-line voters who have no idea who he is, and that will be no great loss, except as an opportunity to put a genuine alternative to insipid progressivism on the ballot for this important seat.

For Governor’s Councilor, Second District: I will be abstaining, as this Council should simply be abolished.

For Massachusetts State Senator, Second Middlesex & Norfolk District: I will also be abstaining on this choice, as incumbent Democrat Karen Spilka is running unopposed for her fifth term in the Massachusetts Senate. As a rule of thumb, I do not vote for candidates running unopposed, unless I specifically want to encourage them. I have no such desire to encourage Ms. Spilka.

For Massachusetts State Representative for the 5th Middlesex House District: Republican challenger William Callahan of Natick gets my vote, although I’m not sure why, except that he’s not seven-term incumbent, Natick Democrat David Linksy. Linsky isn’t a bad guy, but he’s very much the insider, and he strikes me as too much of a typical liberal: the sort who seem incapable of understanding that there might be actual alternatives to threadworn liberal solutions, habitually dismissive of those who don’t “get it”, where “it” is nothing but the pious orthodoxies of post-modern liberalism. It’s time for David to return full-time to private law practice. As for Callahan, he told a local newspaper that he was running on a “transparency” message, but I’ve found it almost impossible to find out anything about him other than that he’s ex-military (National Guard – retired as a colonel). Whatever. If he’s willing to run and serve, he’s worth a shot.

For Middlesex County Sheriff: Ernesto Petrone gets the nod over Democrat Peter Koutoujian, for no other reason than that Petrone is unaffiliated with any political party, which means that we belong to the same non-party. Let’s face it: one less Democrat occupying a political office in Massachusetts is a step toward establishing a more truly democratic (small-d) political environment in the state.

For Middlesex County Clerk of Courts: Democrat Michael A. Sullivan is running unopposed, and the “No Voting for the Unopposed” rule is to be applied.

For Register of Deeds, Middlesex Southern District: Maria Curtatone is running as an unopposed Democrat, which almost disqualifies her from consideration on two counts right away. But she goes down swinging wildly on strike three, when the 48 year-old identifies herself in a biographical sketch provided to e-the-People as “the proud parent” of two children. This smacks very clearly of the fashionable, transgressive, “post-gender” pieties that are coursing through the atrophied veins of the Democrat party and other lodes of progressive group-think these days. Any woman who has neither the sense nor the decency to identify her relation to her children as “mother” should be kept out of public positions of influence, as far as I’m concerned.

On QUESTION 1 – Right to Repair: I am advocating a NO vote on this question, seeing as compromise legislation has been worked out and signed into law since this question went on the ballot – otherwise, I would have supported this effort. The compromise agreement should be honored.

On QUESTION 2 – Legalizing “Doctor Assisted Suicide”: NO. This is such bad law that it is hard to know where to start in criticizing it. The sick, the despairing, and the dying do not need to be told that it is time for them to put themselves out of our misery. The medical profession is already fatally compromised by its embrace of abortion, but this would further erode the premise of its existence. Suicide is a tragedy, and those who destroy themselves – and mark my words: suicide destroys the self, not the evil circumstances of pain, suffering, and whatnot – they have absolutely no idea of what the personal consequences of such a self-repudiation are. I imagine they suppose it “ends it all”, but that would require that the human being be purely material, having no spirit (i.e. intellect and will). That is a dubious assumption, to say the least, and you cannot make the spirit to be as if it never was, simply by killing the body. This is beyond foolishness; the worst sufferings are spiritual, and everybody with a shred of honesty and self-awareness knows it. Why is it that, just when the human race finally has the technology to effectively ameliorate so much of the pain and suffering that have long defined the descent into death for the ill, it has suddenly become fashionable and “compassionate” to promote self-obliteration on account of the fear of pain and suffering? I smell a rat.

On QUESTION 3 – Medical Use of Marijuana: NO. That this is nothing more than a Trojan Horse should be fairly evident to everyone eligible to vote on Tuesday, unless they’re stoned. The War on Drugs might be a disaster, but marijuana’s War on Intelligence is no suitable replacement.

“The family is at the center of Santorum’s economic vision”

Posted: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 (11:39 pm), by John W Gillis


Quote of the Day for Wednesday, January 4th, 2012:

James Pethokoukis writing earlier today at the American Enterprise Institute’s Enterprise Blog, in an article called: Santorum vs. Romney is a conflict of conservative visions:

I don’t think Santorum believes tax reform is unimportant. True, throughout his Iowa campaign, Santorum has, in the words of David Brooks, been “picking fights” with supply-siders. Yet Santorum wants to sharply cut tax rates on labor income, capital income, and corporate profits.

Nor does Santorum think cutting the size of government is unimportant. He says he would cut federal spending by $5 trillion within five years and implement Representative Paul Ryan’s entitlement reforms. That’s a pretty Tea Party-friendly agenda.

All necessary but not sufficient for Santorum. He isn’t satisfied with an economy that’s more efficient and competitive if it doesn’t result in stronger families. As it says on his campaign website: “Rick Santorum believes that to have a strong national economy, we must have strong families.” The family is at the center of Santorum’s economic vision. GDP growth is a means, not an end.

Pethokoukis is absolutely right about the difference between the two competing economic visions on the so-called right of our nation’s political divide (so-called because they share a revulsion for the politics and ideology of the left), and it is one major reason why I am supporting Rick Santorum.

Making common cause against leftism does not make either flank of the opposition “right wing”, nor does it make them jointly conservative. A conservative vision of society is not one rooted in the liberal idea of the dog-eat-dog free marketplace of autonomous individualism, but one rooted in love, duty, and prudence. The conservative idea of society is an organic unity, flowing out from intimate interpersonal union, and nourished by virtue and wisdom (i.e. tradition) at each step along the way: from marriage to children to family to community to culture. Some form of this idea has been the stabilizing force in all the world’s great cultures.

The Republican Party reflects a smorgasbord of actors and ideas conservative, liberal, and libertarian. That’s OK – there’s nothing wrong with coalition politics, though it’s a little dangerous to principle when too many people naively or stubbornly insist there is an alignment on values. There is not. There is also much that could be said concerning the affinity between libertarianism’s misappropriation of the term “conservative” and the relentless linguistic manipulation that notoriously characterizes leftist efforts at obfuscation and agitprop, but this is neither the time nor the place to pursue that…

Someone’s set of values will prevail in this election cycle, and in Santorum, Republicans and their enablers have an opportunity to propose an economic vision that rejects the “creative destruction” so central to libertarianism for a sober humanism, one which also rejects both the irresponsible fiscal libertinism of “moderate” modern-day liberalism, and the criminal imbecility of socialism and state-sponsored redistributionism.

Santorum is right: GDP growth is a means, not the end; the end is human flourishing in freedom.

Partisanship & Compromise

Posted: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 (11:44 pm), by John W Gillis


Marveling after the recent election at how, as usual, every single candidate or question I supported on my election day ballot went down to defeat, I was doing a little post-election pundit reading, and was struck by another glaring contrast – one that got me thinking about the competing political visions that dominate our public conversation. This time, it was the tone of a pair of where do we go from here ruminations.

The first was from Michelle Malkin: the mischievously entitled “Take Your Olive Branch and Shove It, Democrats”. I find Malkin to be clever, shrewd, and insightful, but I cringed when I saw this article title. However, not having the fortitude at the moment to resist gawking at the car crash I expected to find, I read the article.

It was a bitter lashing-out, primarily directed toward President Obama, whom she observed had presided over “an Us vs. Them freefall” ever since conning his way into the Oval Office two years ago by passing himself off to a weary American people as The Great Uniter, uniquely qualified to lead the country into a post-partisan and post-racial promised land.

How anyone ever fell for that shtick, I’ll never understand to my dying day – every time I’ve ever heard him open his mouth, he has tried to carve out political camaraderie by marginalizing or demonizing some scapegoat or dissident group. During my adult life, I’ve never witnessed a more divisive character in that noble office – though I suppose he’d find a kindred soul in Richard Nixon, whom I remember as little more than a cartoon character from my youth.

But Malkin found worse than hypocritical the late-breaking calls from the Democrat party leadership for compromise, after their repudiation by “voters who have been maligned by the ruling majority as stupid, unwashed, racist, selfish and violent” for the past two years. She wasn’t buying it, and wasn’t hiding her disdain. I was sympathetic, but disturbed by her bitterness.

At that point, I was ready for the next article I found, posted by Joe Scarborough over at Politico, entitled: “Give Hyperbole, Partisanship a Rest”. He began with a customary conceit, wagging the finger at “extremists of all stripes,” and expressing his hope that a certain liberal political comedian can help the country bridge the breech that has opened up more and more in recent years between Washington’s political camps. It was a self-serving feel-good piece certainly, but I was worn out from the partisanship of the election push, and pretty sympathetic to the message as I read.

But then Scarborough started telling a story about how he, referring to himself as a “young, conservative Republican,” made a trip across the proverbial aisle in his freshman year to strike up a friendship with “60’s radical” Rep. Ron Dellums. Dellums asked him: “Why is it that all you guys with energy are conservative? Back in my day, you would have been on my side!” The answer Scarborough gave him floored me:

“When you think of Republicans, you associate us with Vietnam, Watergate and segregation. When I think about Democrats, I associate you with Iranian hostages, 20 percent interest rates and malaise.”

Now, it’s one question whether anybody old enough to remember which of the two major political parties was primarily responsible for U.S. involvement in Vietnam, or for that matter which was the party of the KKK, would actually associate Republicans with those things (my own experience with partisanship suggests: yes, alas; facts are of little consequence in these matters). But a better question is, how can any “young, conservative Republican” freshman congressman associate the Democrats with something as frivolous and irrelevant as the political failures of the Carter administration? Mind you, this conversation occurred in 1995! 

It may be another 15 years later now, and I may not be a Republican, but when I think about Democrats, I think about leftist policies; I think about liberalism leaning harder and harder toward socialism. And the first real problem I think about is legalized abortion, not political dilemmas. Politics have real consequences; it is not just a game to determine who gets to hand out the goodies, and who gets their pockets stuffed.

There are real serious reasons to oppose the Democrats, and I’ll happily put a separate post together to identify some of them. But I’ll say this much about Joe Scarborough’s crusade to span the great partisan divide: it’s a sham. He might be all smiles and handshakes, but he’s a completely empty suit with nothing but trivial platitudes to offer in exchange for his healthy paycheck. If you can’t come up with a serious reason to oppose your opponent, then what are you doing in the game – other than looking for an angle to cash in on?

In the end, even though Malkin’s snarl was off-putting, at least you know where she stands, and why she thinks its important to stand there. That is, at least you can trust her. Not so Joe.

Victory & Grace: A Contrast in both Style & Substance

Posted: Thursday, November 4, 2010 (11:25 pm), by John W Gillis


There are lots of good reasons why lots of good people deeply dislike long-time U.S. Congressman Barney Frank; so many that exposing his victory speech this Tuesday night seems a bit like piling on. Yet, there it stands: a testimony to his character. Sore losers can be embarrassing enough, but what to make of such a sore winner?

Here is Frank in full Barney mode: self-serving, self-pitying, self-absorbed, self-righteous; with nothing better to say after being elected to a 16th term (if my math is right) representing the people of Massachusetts than to take pot shots at his political adversaries, and turn the screws of partisan division with whatever facts or fables might be at hand.

Perhaps the most astonishing aspect of this to me is the fact that he was opposed by a candidate who conducted himself as a gentleman – just a solid, decent guy. Sean Bielat focused the campaign on Frank, to be sure, but he stayed focused on the legitimate issue of Frank’s recklessness and ideological blindness in his comically poor oversight of Fannie May and Freddie Mac just before their notorious collapse – as well as on his long-standing support for the misguided social engineering policies that predictably produced the massive mortgage defaults at the low end of the housing market which finally drove the economy over the edge three years ago. I guess Frank considers being held accountable for the consequences of one’s public acts & policies to comprise a smear campaign. Unfortunately, too many voters in MA-4 must, too.

As for the “tone” of the overall campaign atmosphere created by the rest of the Republicans in Massachusetts, maybe I don’t frequent the same places Barney does, but I, after having been pretty well plugged in to the process for the past two years, have no idea what he is talking about. Granted, I don’t watch much TV, but the only candidate I saw that was really skewered by the Republicans was independent gubernatorial candidate Tim Cahill – a relentless negative ad campaign underwritten by the RGA (not the Republican candidate, for all that’s worth) that I think ultimately undermined Charlie Baker’s campaign by both focusing on the wrong problem, and making Baker look mean. But the real smear campaigns, as far as I can see, were run by the Democrats! The only real “beneath the dignity” smear campaigns I came across were nasty ad hominem attacks against attorney Bill Hudak, who ran for Congress in MA-6; Sandwich State Representative Jeff Perry, who ran for Congress in MA-10; and (with slightly less vitriol involved) Framingham’s Mary Z. Connaughton, who ran for State Auditor. All three ran as Republicans.

Regardless of what had transpired, if our civics are going to be conducted in at all a civil manner, legitimate election outcomes need to be accepted with a certain amount of graciousness – especially victories, for crying out loud. The cantankerous old man with the forked tongue could take some lessons in personal behavior from the young man who just won election to the U.S. Senate from Florida: Marco Rubio. I see Rubio as one of the real bright lights emerging from the conservative wing of the Republican party, along with folks like Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, newcomer Congressman-elect Allen West from FL-22, and maybe even Sarah Palin – though she’s pretty heavily damaged goods politically because of the “dumb bimbo” narrative applied to her, yet she’s still very effective at producing the results she wants – the big dummy!

Anyway, here is Rubio’s victory speech Tuesday night. You could hardly construct a more polar contrast to Frank’s contemptuous screed. He begins by graciously acknowledging his adversaries – with some particularly kind words for the Democrat challenger – and then he goes on to humbly call his constituents – not just his circle of supporters! – to a united common cause of committing our society to its future generations. Barney Frank, I pray you’re taking notes:

But then again, perhaps it’s unrealistic to expect a man whose values include explicit support for the legalized killing of inconvenient children to take seriously an invitation to build a society ordered toward the well-being of children…

McCain/Palin ’08? I Can Live With That

Posted: Saturday, August 30, 2008 (11:44 am), by John W Gillis


Sarah Palin? Even if I had known who she was, I don’t think I would have seen that coming. I had been hearing the whispers of Tom Ridge and Joe Lieberman as possibilities, and saw how McCain’s logic might have steered him toward them. He’s never really been conservative, and has always been ready to play the maverick, and I could see how he might consider the constituency-broadening appeal of a pro-choice running mate. I hate to say it, but I don’t think the prospect of a pro-choice VP would have concerned McCain. And it would have built bridges into new voting constituencies that would have made him very hard to beat this year.

Of course, the social conservatives would have been furious, but what could they do? They still would have voted for McCain (this year) – the alternative would be an Obama presidency (enough said). I could really see McCain doing this – it seemed like a move that would be right down his alley. It would have worked in 2008, but very possibly could have fractured the Republican base for years to come. It would have marked a potential parting of ways of the pro-life movement and the Republican party – a marriage that is more circumstantial that intrinsic to Republicanism, anyway.

I think there are a lot of Republicans who would like to be rid of true conservatism – much of what they consider the kooky religious right of the party – in order to pursue unmitigated Republicanism – which is really good old fashioned liberalism, as confusing as that may be to moderns who don’t have a grasp of European history over the last, say, 350 years. Some might argue that Libertarianism already offers that option – which is a pretty good argument, but I think most modern Republicans are looking for a greater level of social conservatism than Libertarianism embraces, even those who could do without the religious framework.

Anyway, so I got to wondering whether the Republican party or the pro-life movement (and traditionalism in general) would fare worse in such a split, if it were to turn radical. I wondered if the social conservative movement was coherent enough, apart from the Republican party, to pull together a political force that could compete for serious political office in this country. I’m not sure it is, but I do think such a scenario would have provided an opportunity to put a political platform together that was not so beholden to economic liberalism as the Republican party is. The idea that the corporate consequence of unmitigated personal greed and self-interest will somehow produce the common good is a rather idolatrous proposal, after all. I also wondered if it might provide an opportunity for the “religious right” to divest itself of the statism particular to political conservatism, which tends toward slavish subservience in the face of any form of state-sponsored violence, and seems incapable of honest, objective evaluations of judgment criteria such as just war theory.

So I saw a potential opportunity for social conservatism in the U.S. to cleanse itself of some dubious bedmates. More specifically, I saw a potential opportunity for the development of a political force that was rooted in Christian values that cut across the lines of modern liberalism and conservatism.

Since I know more than a few of them – including some very dear to me – I often wonder what it would take to get Christians out of the Democratic party, with its unabashed commitment to the destruction of innocent human life, its open hostility to marriage and the family, and its infatuation with using state power to achieve its ends – in a nutshell: with its relentless misanthropy. Honestly, I don’t know what it would take, because they usually think they are taking the moral high ground themselves, standing up for the little guy (as long as the guys aren’t too little I suppose, but we won’t go there, since many of these folks try very hard not to think about that much). Still, to offer them a political alternative that was not wedded to economic Darwinism might be enough to open the eyes of many of them to the innate misanthropy of the Democratic platform.

But all this may have been wishful thinking. It’s entirely possible that a Republican party divorced from its Christian conscience would only join forces with the Democrats in fostering a more and more radically progressive and intolerant form of political liberalism, hostile to any kind of religious values in the public square, and effectively outlawing Christianity as anything more than a privately held neurosis. Given the political vibrancy of the “values” constituency in the U.S., this might seem far-fetched, but one doesn’t need to look far to see its manifestations in countries not too different from the U.S. Making the outrageous claim that marriage is a covenantal bond between a man and a woman just might get you hauled before a Human Rights Commission on hate crime charges in Canada, and convincing a pregnant woman not to subject her baby to a brutal death in an abortion clinic will now apparently get you two years in prison in Great Britain. It’s a brave new world out there…

All of this is moot now, however – at least for the time being. McCain managed to make the kind of reach-across gesture I imagined him doing, but he did it without courting the pro-abortion vote. In fact, in picking a mother of a Down’s Syndrome baby, he picked the anti-Obama, a woman who could be the poster model for true human decency, respect, and dignity. You don’t build a bright new future by killing it one baby at a time, Mr. Obama. I don’t know much about Governor Palin yet, but I really like what I’ve seen so far, and I think this may have been a master stroke of political genius by McCain – a man I didn’t really expect that from. Before she’s done, Sarah Palin may be the first woman president of the United States. I can sure think of worse fates.