Archive for November, 2010

Let the statesmen step forward

When George Washington resisted the American crown, he implicitly forced us to work together. No one can say “I’m all right” or “you’re all wrong” with any intellectual honesty. Each can simply stand on the courage of her convictions.

Lest we forget, there is a difference between conviction and perfection. All of us can have the former. None of us can have the latter. Not in this life; not in these clay pots.

Tragically, these clay pots inhabit a divided society, and not just in a politically partisan sense. Husbands divorce wives. Parents leave children. Churches split. Business partnerships dissolve.

Relationships are largely measured in months, not years, much less decades.

It should not be. The failure of modernity, technology and science to solve all ills must not deter us from believing in the possibility of constancy, of cohesion.

By God’s grace, families can commit to each other for life. And Americans can commit to each other for the future. We can find ways to work together. We must or we will wither from within.

Some are reading and saying, “Hallelujah! He’s repenting of the error of his ways! He’s going to favor a tax increase to pay for some sorely needed service in some segment of society!”

If only it were that easy. If we’ve learned anything in our decades of American prosperity it’s that money doesn’t solve every problem. In fact, it solves very few and even creates its fair share.

Most problems weren’t created by a lack of cash and most won’t be corrected by an infusion of it. What we need are an infusion of character, an influx of commitment, a dose of humility.

We witnessed an historic political repudiation on November 2nd. Those elections will have consequences. They will stop the liberal steamroll that barrelled over the land for the last twenty months.

But the elections of 2006 and 2008 continue to have consequences, too. Personally, I don’t like them like I will like those of 2010. But my countrymen put a president in the White House and a majority in the Senate. I must respect those decisions even though I did not advocate them.

So, no, Senator McConnell. Our goal should not be to make Mr. Obama a one-term president. That is not a large enough story to live in. Our goal should be for America to reach its potential and retain its status as a – if not the – world superpower.

Elections are intra-squad scrimmages. The more intense they are, the more competitive we will be on game day, assuming our team unites and pulls in the same direction.

We the coach have selected our starters. It’s time for them to be statesmen, not politicians. It’s time for them to play together as a team.

Our rank in the standings depends on it.

The great reprimand of 2010

Some pundits described this fall’s election season as “anti-incumbent.” Such feel-good spin from Democrat sympathizers was misguided. Tuesday’s vote was, in fact, anti-Democrat.

In Texas, a herd of incumbent Democrats suffered defeat: 3 U.S. Congressmen; 21 Texas House members (including Democrat ringleader Jim Dunnam); 1 state education board member; and 1 court of appeals justice.

Among state and federal races, no incumbent Republican lost. No Democrat won a statewide office.

2010 was not the year of the challenger. It was the year of the conservative. Not just in Texas.

Save for a few Democrats who ran as moderates against much of Mr. Obama’s agenda (e.g., Manchin in West Virginia; Shuler in North Carolina), only the most left of center regions of the country favored Democrats.

Liberals sought solace in California and New York, citing success there as proof of their viability. But even in California, their marijuana legalization proposition went up in smoke.

Democrat strategist Bob Beckel compared election night to his ex-wife, “bad, but not as bad as it could have been.” Poor lady.

It’s actually hard to imagine the bloodbath being much worse. Ten governorships went from blue to red, most critically in a slew of presidential battleground states (Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, etc.).

A Republican won President Obama’s own former senate seat. Ouch, but not unlike the pain Democrats felt in January when liberal lion Ted Kennedy’s seat of 40-plus years turned Republican.

In the words a spiritual mentor of mine often uses, Democrats “wasted their pain.”

The pain was mitigated somewhat in Nevada where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid retained his seat, but arguably only because of (1) his value to the gaming industry and (2) his rather weak opponent.

At least six senate seats did switch from D to R. While Democrats didn’t lose the upper chamber numerically, they lost it philosophically.

Senators not up for re-election this year clearly saw their pending fate if they continue down the trail blazed by Messrs. Obama and Reid.

Republicans captured the U.S. House in historic, record-setting fashion. Even legendary newsman Tom Brokaw recognized the magnitude. “This is a huge defeat for Obama,” he told NBC’s Brian Williams.

But Obama didn’t get it. On Wednesday he said the Republican tsunami was proof that he hasn’t made enough progress. No, Mr. President. It’s proof that you’ve made too much progress – at a lot of wrong things.

Mr. Reid’s post-election comments weren’t much more cogent. Voters were ill, he said, because of the sagging economy. Partly, but mostly because of the gratuitous spending and expansion of the federal government.

A timely case in point: My mail Tuesday night included a letter from our family’s health insurer. It announced a rate increase needed to cover services required by Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act.

Rarely has a law been so misnomered. And rarely have a law’s authors been so handily reprimanded.

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