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Why Jefferson-Jackson?

Posted by Ed C on Sunday, June 15, 2008

Throughout the county, local Republican and Democratic parties hold annual fund raisers / dinners. The Republican events are usually called Lincoln Day (or lately Lincoln-Regan.) For the Democrats, it is usually the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner. I can understand the nod to Thomas Jefferson, but why Andrew Jackson?

Maybe this entry from Wikipedia on Campaign Finance Reform provides the answer:

In order to gain votes from recently enfranchised, unpropertied voters, Andrew Jackson launched his campaign for the 1828 election through a network of partisan newspapers across the nation. After his election, Jackson began a political patronage system that rewarded political party operatives, which had a profound effect on future elections. Eventually, appointees were expected to contribute portions of their pay back to the political machine.

Does union dues count as a required contribution to the political machine? It appears that the patronage system, partisan newspapers and the political kickbacks started by Andrew Jackson are alive and still celebrated by today’s Democratic party.

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Posted in Democrats, Ed C, General | 5 Comments »

The Myth of the Racist Republicans.

Posted by Ed C on Sunday, September 16, 2007

On Saturday, Hilliary Clinton spoke to a NAACP banquet in North Charleston, SC. She outlined her civil rights agenda, “Promoting Civil Rights and Fighting Discrimination in the 21st Century” Some of my favorites:

“Restore professionalism and remove politics from hiring, case deliberations, and policy decisions across the Department of Justice.”

Do you think she will accomplish by hiring Republicans? Just as in Maryland where firing a Democrat is crass partisanship, but firing a Republican, well that’s okay. (O’Malley firing illegal over GOP ties) MD democrats spent 13 months and $1.1 million of public money to find out that Gov. Ehrlich did not fire anyone illegally. We are still waiting to see if the O’Malley administration will be held to the same standard.

Sen. Clinton proposes the following:

Direct the Attorney General to submit – within 90 days of taking office – a report that recommends how to rebuild DOJ’s traditional role in defending civil rights and the rule of law, and that reviews charges of improper, politically motivated hiring to determine whether laws were broken.

How do you think she will do this? Well, we can look at the past Clinton administration to see how they handled it before (from the Wall Street Journal) :

Congressional Democrats are in full cry over the news this week that the Administration’s decision to fire eight U.S. Attorneys originated from–gasp–the White House. Senator Hillary Clinton joined the fun yesterday, blaming President Bush for “the politicization of our prosecutorial system.” Oh, my.

As it happens, Mrs. Clinton is just the Senator to walk point on this issue of dismissing U.S. attorneys because she has direct personal experience. In any Congressional probe of the matter, we’d suggest she call herself as the first witness–and bring along Webster Hubbell as her chief counsel.

As everyone once knew but has tried to forget, Mr. Hubbell was a former partner of Mrs. Clinton at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock who later went to jail for mail fraud and tax evasion. He was also Bill and Hillary Clinton’s choice as Associate Attorney General in the Justice Department when Janet Reno, his nominal superior, simultaneously fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys in March 1993. Ms. Reno–or Mr. Hubbell–gave them 10 days to move out of their offices.

Also at the time, allegations concerning some of the Clintons’ Whitewater dealings were coming to a head. By dismissing all 93 U.S. Attorneys at once, the Clintons conveniently cleared the decks to appoint “Friend of Bill” Paula Casey as the U.S. Attorney for Little Rock. Ms. Casey never did bring any big Whitewater indictments, and she rejected information from another FOB, David Hale, on the business practices of the Arkansas elite including Mr. Clinton. When it comes to “politicizing” Justice, in short, the Bush White House is full of amateurs compared to the Clintons.

As Sen. Clinton and the Democrats try to paint Republicans as racist, maybe a little history will help. In a 2004 book review for the Claremont Institute, The Myth of the Racist Republicans and in a recent Weekly Standard article, The Party of Civil Rights, Univ. of VA associate political science professor Gerard Alexander. (h/t PowerLine) provides some context:

A myth about conservatism is circulating in academia and journalism and has spread to the 2004 presidential campaign. It goes something like this: the Republican Party assembled a national majority by winning over Southern white voters; Southern white voters are racist; therefore, the GOP is racist. Sometimes the conclusion is softened, and Republicans are convicted merely of base opportunism: the GOP is the party that became willing to pander to racists. Either way, today’s Republican Party—and by extension the conservative movement at its heart—supposedly has revealed something terrible about itself.

And from the conclusion:

The point of all this is not to deny that Richard Nixon may have invited some nasty fellows into his political bed. The point is that the GOP finally became the region’s dominant party in the least racist phase of the South’s entire history, and it got that way by attracting most of its votes from the region’s growing and confident communities—not its declining and fearful ones. The myth’s shrillest proponents are as reluctant to admit this as they are to concede that most Republicans genuinely believe that a color-blind society lies down the road of individual choice and dynamic change, not down the road of state regulation and unequal treatment before the law. The truly tenacious prejudices here are the mythmakers’.

And from the conclusion of Prof. Alexander’s Weekly Standard Article:

It took no time at all for individual commentators to point out these problems, but it took decades for the intellectual orthodoxy to develop serious cracks. In the 1980s, Reagan administration lawyers challenged head-on the most expansive racial preferences and the assumptions that justified them. Welfare came under withering scrutiny from scholars like Charles Murray, and, in the 1990s, politicians and voters from both sides of the aisle enacted welfare reform to propel more of the poor into the labor market and toward lives of greater self-sufficiency. Just in the past few years, scholarship has begun to document some perverse effects of affirmative action programs. In 2005, the fortieth anniversary of the Moynihan Report was noted with articles that validated the original conclusions and condemned the smear that greeted its author.

In the end, the position that has best stood the test of time is the long-standing conservative proposition that improving individual capabilities–through quality education–is the best means of reducing socio-economic disparities, with the additional virtue of not being zero-sum, as racial preferences and minority set-asides are.

In the half-century since the 1957 Civil Rights Act, dramatic gains occurred in many areas, but rigid intellectual orthodoxies heavily contributed to the terrible worsening of problems in other areas. Maybe after 50 years, America is finally prepared to have a debate–driven by facts and not ideology–on how to tackle the remaining racial disparities.

If you can find the time, please read the both articles.  With that, I’m off to listen to Micheal Steele and support GOPAC.

Posted in Democrats, Ed C, Republicans | 19 Comments »

The 06 Election was about corruption, unless you’re a Democrat?

Posted by Ed C on Sunday, December 10, 2006

From the Washington Times, Democratic Rep. William J. Jefferson was reelected in a run-off election. With 68 percent of the the precincts reporting, Jefferson leads 59 to 41 percent over Rep. Karen Carter.

Remember way back in November of 2006 (Yes, last month.) CBS News reported that:

A key factor in the Democratic takeover of the House was the scandals plaguing Republican incumbents.

At least 13 seats that switched from Republican to Democrat involved Republicans mired in scandal. Although high profile scandals involving Jack Abramoff and Mark Foley touched the most races, numerous isolated scandals also affected incumbent House Republicans.

Well, I guess that does not matter if you’re a Democrat (or is it if you are from Louisiana?)

Rep Jefferson is the subject of a 19 month federal bribery investigation. No charges have been filed against Rep. Jefferson, and he denies any wrong doing but…:

  • In May 2005 The FBI searched Rep. Jefferson’s Washington home and found $90,000 in marked bills.
  • Louisville businessman Vernon Jackson pleaded guilty to paying Mr. Jefferson $400,000 in bribes and was sentenced in September to seven years in prison
  • A former aide to Mr. Jefferson, Brett M. Pfeffer, also pleaded guilty in the bribe scheme last January and was sentenced to eight years in prison

So, (and this is off the top of my head) the 2007 Democratic Congress will include:

  • Alcee Hastings: Federal Judge impeached for bribery and perjury.
  • Jack Murtha: Unindicted co-conspirator in the Abscam investigation.
  • William Jefferson: Under federal bribery investigation.

Politicians of all stripes should be held to the highest ethical standards and neither party should accept this kind of behavior. As Republicans we need to ensure that our candidates follow the law and demonstrate ethical behavior. No nuance, no parsing of words.

This is not acceptable (from Slate):

“It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the–if he–if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not–that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement….Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.” – Bill Clinton, Grand Jury Testimony

We need to stand firm, no excuses, no claim that “they” do it too. Hopefully the voters will follow.

Posted in Democrats, Ed C | 23 Comments »

Congressional Earmarks to Continue?

Posted by David Keelan on Tuesday, November 28, 2006

On the evening of November 8, 1994 I spoke with my brother (as liberal as they come) about the GOP take over of Congress.  He said to me “You got what you wanted.  How do you feel?”  I told him I was cautiously optimistic.  He replied the only difference between a GOP congress and a Democratic Congress is where they spend the money.  What their spending priorities are.  At first I was happy to tell him – you were wrong.  The longer the GOP stayed in power my brother proved to be correct.

Twelve years later the voters sent a get well card to the G.O.P.

“You spent like Drunk Democrats.
But now I’ll bet, you’re sober.
I hope you will learn a lesson during
Your two-year hangover.”

What disappointed me most about the most recent GOP congresses was the pork barrel and earmark spending.  “Bridge to no where anyone.”  Newt Gingrich has been decrying the spending habits of these GOP wannabes for years.

If conservatives wanted the GOP congresses to go crazy spending our money, driving up deficits, and acting like the party in control then we would not have elected them in 1994.  They were more interested in being the party in power rather than reform.  In 2006 the voters said enough is enough and sent them packing.

In my mind it will be years and years before voters ever look at the Republican party as fiscal conservatives.

I spoke with my same brother over Thanksgiving and he asked me again.  How do you feel now that the Democrats are back in control.  I told him I was cautiously optimistic.  Maybe the Democrats will bring some sanity back to spending.

Then I read this…

Even before the Democrats become the majority party in Congress, there are signs that little of importance will change. New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick recently wrote a front-page story in which he quotes Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) on “earmark reform.” Inouye said, “I don’t see any monumental changes.” Inouye will take the gavel from the current chairman of the defense appropriations subcommittee, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK). The two have what Kirkpatrick calls an “unusual bipartisan camaraderie while divvying up projects.”

Ok, defense appropriations.  The devil is in the details.  Defense is one of our top priorities – the Consitution says so.  I am willing to wait and see. 

They are not alone. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) indicates she, too, will jump on the gravy train because “what is good for the goose is good for the gander.” Nice. So much for Democrats’ commitment to reform. Apparently, the only “reform” will be to use their majority status to funnel more of our tax dollars to the pet projects of Democrats.

I don’t claim that these two speak for the majority of Democrats.  I think it is foolish to say that earmarks will disappear, but will Democrats spend with abandon?  However, they should let history be their guide.  They got botted in 1994.  The GOP got the boot this year.  It was about fiscal responsibility then and it will be two years from now.

This is not to say that Iraq and ethics had nothing to do with the results of November 7, 2006.  They were a big part of it.  However, Iraq, ethics, and spending created a perfect storm that swept the GOP out and the Democrats in.  Can the Democrats avoid the same fate?  I think they can if they are fiscally conservative.  If not 2008 will be a very interesting year.

Posted in Democrats, General | 3 Comments »

Independent and Demcorats and Republicans!

Posted by David Keelan on Monday, October 30, 2006

Talk about committment.

Mary Catherine Cochran, President of Howard County Preservation, continues her very public support of Chris Merdon for Howard County Executive.

She has announced that she will be holding an open house in her home for those who have not made up their mind on the County Executive race.

Saturday, November 4th between 4:30 and 6:00 p.m.

  • affordable housing
  • agricultural preservation
  • historic preservation
  • environmental issues
  • education
  • development and zoning

Post a comment here and I will forward to the host.

On another note I spent Sunday afteroon repairing GOP campaign sigs that blew down during the wind storms.  We were pretty lucky in that most survived.  I didn’t see many Democratic signs being repaired.

Merdon has updated his 4X8s as Dave Wissing pointed out.

Posted in County Executive, Democrats, Howard County, Merdon | 4 Comments »