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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Fighting Over Diplomacy

By: Carlton Huffman

At this state of a lame duck president’s administration any attention or semblance of relevance is welcome. This is all the more true for President Bush whose negative rating has surpassed that of Richard Nixon at the height of Watergate. This week in Israel, honoring the 60th birthday of the Jewish state, the President lashed out at any idea of negotiating with Iran, Hamas, and Hizbollah; an idea surely to be warmly received by his audience. However his criticism ended up pitting the president and John McCain against the Democrat’s golden boy Barack Obama who believes in opening a dialogue with the Iranians.
The tough talk of McCain and Bush does have a sound basis in fact and logic. After all it is the Iranian Quds force which is training and arming Shiite extremists to kill American soldiers on the ground in Iraq. It is just as true that Iran’s president has made apocalyptic threats towards Israel and robust threats towards the United States should we intervene. With Iran seeking to arm itself with modern weaponry it would seem that our diplomats would have little to say to the Iranians in any presumptive talks.
On the flip side however so to does Barack Obama have a sound point with rich historic examples to draw upon. Despite the fact that Red China and Mao saw to the killing of 37,000 Americans in Korea and supplied weapons and support to the North Vietnamese Richard Nixon had no problem negotiating with the same man he once called a monster. FDR had no problem negotiating with “Uncle Joe” who remains the biggest mass murderer in history and had signed the Molotov-Ribbentropp agreement with Hitler that started World War II in the first place. Time after time Americans have sat down and dealt with our enemies in a diplomatic way to assuage differences and avoid potential conflict with dramatic results in the course of world events.
While the president is tempted to label Iran as the new Nazi Germany the comparison just doesn’t add up. Israel has at least 300 nuclear warheads, including missile submarines, alongside our arsenal of over 3,000 warheads that could make Iran the one who is wiped off the map. Just as we needed China to help negotiate a settlement to get us out of Vietnam, America needs to negotiate with Tehran to at least set the basis for the region’s future without American troops on the ground. We will not be over there forever and Iran will still be there regardless of the outcome. It is in both our nation’s interest to sit down at the table while America negotiates from a position of strength. Talk alone never solves a problem but so in fact does not talking.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Pre-Mortem Look at the GOP

By: Carlton Huffman

The third congressional special election loss for the GOP this past Tuesday has resounded like a political earthquake on Capitol Hill. When a district in Mississippi that went for President Bush by 65% is lost by 8 points the Republicans in DC have finally pushed the panic button. The irony is that the party didn’t have to be in this position, all it would have taken was to listen to just one sitting on the evening news or one listen to talk radio. Instead like the lookout on the Titanic, they have just spotted the iceberg and it’s far too late to turn the ship.
It is amazing how quick political fortunes can turn in a few years. Four years ago President Bush won reelection, Republicans expanded their majority in Congress, and gas was only $1.75 a gallon. Now the party of Reagan is hanging on by a thread just hoping to survive past Election Night this November. It would be tempting for the party to lay the blame on the man who will be out of power on January 20, 2009. Yet the blame rests not on George Bush alone, but on the party that enabled him, this writer included. Without popular support George Bush couldn’t have gone into Iraq, spent the country into a deficit, and signed every free trade deal he could get his hands on. Instead of demanding a change in course, the entire party attached its fortunes to those of President Bush and trusted in his judgment to lead the country
As a result of the party’s investment of trust we have seen the GOP brand sink to its lowest state since Watergate in 1974. It would be a blessing if the only transgression were a burglary and a subsequent cover up. Instead the list goes from an unpopular war to a sinking economy in addition to a party plagued by broken promises and betrayed principles. No longer when you say sex scandal to voters think of Bill Clinton but instead they think of David Vitter, Mark Foley, and Larry Craig among others. 2006 was no aberration but a vote of no confidence in Republican leadership for the country. Instead of changing its ways the party circled the wagons and chose to blame every congressional woe on Nancy Pelosi. Meanwhile gas and food prices spiraled up, the value of the dollar keeps going down, and confidence in government has sunk to it’s lowest in polling history.
I hope that Republican readers won’t take away from this writing a feeling of impending doom or anger at yours truly. The anger should instead be directed at the national party in DC who has substituted slogans for action and clings to the mantle of Reagan while betraying everything he ever stood for. It may be too late to save the Republican Party in 2008 from the chickens coming home to roost for the actions of the last eight years. It is however never too late to prepare for the future by demanding a change in the party’s attitude. A return to the basic principles of limited government, economic nationalism which puts America first, and the values passed down to us from Scripture must be the foundation for the party’s long term survival. If not then our party will go the way of the Whigs and the Know Nothings in the history of those past doomed parties left behind in our nation’s journey.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Beware the Trial Lawyer

By: Carlton Huffman

Just as the Trojans should’ve been wary of Greeks bearing gifts, so too should the 10th District be wary of trial lawyers in centrist attire. North Carolina saw this story before with John Edwards promising to be a centrist Democrat who would work with Jesse Helms for North Carolina’s benefit. Instead we got 6 years of John Edwards voting for every left wing piece of legislation that came in front of him, not to mention chronic absenteeism due to Edward’s forlorn 2004 presidential campaign.

Now I’m not one to say Daniel Johnson has plans to use the seat of incumbent Patrick McHenry as a launching pad for higher office. Yet one has to wonder that should nationalized health care or global warming legislation come up for a vote, would he stand with the 10th District or Nancy Pelosi and her far left cohorts? For that matter where does Johnson stand on halting illegal immigration, or would he instead vote for amnesty upon getting settled into his DC office? For those Republicans who may have voted for Lance Sigmon or be dissatisfied with our current Congressman, let’s remember that John Edwards was a poor steward of the public trust once he got to Washington no matter how nice his rhetoric sounded in 1998.

Barry Goldwater said it best in 1960 when Richard Nixon won his party’s nomination over the objections of conservative Republicans. He said “let’s grow up and unite” and we should in 2008 do the same. We have a duty to keep the power of the grubby hands of Washington bureaucrats who would seek to control every aspect of our lifes. The best way to do that for this district in November is to reelect Patrick McHenry to another term in Congress.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hillary Clinton, Blue Collar Gal

By: Carlton Huffman

You couldn’t have convinced me of it no matter what you tried. To think that Hillary Clinton could go from raging feminist to an avenging angel for religious, gun owning, blue collar Democrats boggles the mind. Just one year ago in talks with friends and colleagues I heard not once but several times over, speculation as to whether Hillary Clinton was indeed the Antichrist. Now, after an extended battle with Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton has traded in her blue state image for a blue collar and win, loose, or draw, has accomplished something very rare in American politics.
Ever since Hillary’s debut to the national scene in 1992 she has not been an endearing figure to the folks. For those not in the Beltway/New York City centered world, Hillary Clinton was the antithesis of Middle America. From the day she sneered at the thought of staying home and baking cookies to her paranoid rant on a “vast right wing conspiracy” Hillary Clinton was accurately seen as a scheming, calculating, liberal cause championing, would be gun grabbing blue state politician. From gun control to healthcare, from illegal immigration to homosexual causes, Hillary Rodham Clinton was the perfect bete noire for the Republicans heading into 2008.
Then however Barack Hussein Obama happened. Bringing in the young voters and college educated voters calling for change that eluded Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, and bringing along the black vote that liberal champions Gary Hart and Howard Dean never captured, Obama rocked the Clinton machine to its core. Dodging the bullet on Super Tuesday and left on a 12 state loosing streak, Hillary Clinton’s only hope was appealing to the one group that had eluded her all along, the working class white voters or Reagan Democrats. By bashing Obama for his seeming duplicity on NAFTA, railing against his elitist attitude towards small town America, and capitalizing on Obama’s own problems stemming from his 20 year relationship with his rabidly racist pastor Jeremiah Wright has seen Hillary become the champion of the very people who once despised her. She spoke and Ohio and Texas listened by saving her candidacy with white, working class, blue collar voters carrying her to victory.
In Pennsylvania Hillary completed her transformation that began in the fields of Ohio and the plains of Texas on March 4. While Obama won the votes of those who never attended church, Hillary won those of all groups who at least went to church for Easter and Christmas to those in the pews every Sunday. The same gun owners in Pennsylvania who were probably horrified by her calls for gun control in the last days of her husband’s presidency helped complete her 10 point rout of Obama in the Keystone State with 63% of their votes and making Hillary the Blue Collar Gal.
Hillary’s journey now brings her to the capitol of ACC basketball and barbecue. While she faces an uphill battle in the same Democratic field that served up Harvey Gantt to be beaten by Jesse Helms, she has a chance. With King of the Hill Easley at her side and Obama still unable to shake off Reverend Wright, Hillary can still put up a fight in Carolina and keep this race going to Denver. Republicans would do well now to work to recapture the votes of these blue collar Democrats who gave the Republicans the keys to the White House with only two interruptions from 1968 on. If not, they might as well let Bubba and his newly reinvented Blue Collar Gal pick out the curtains in the Oval Office again.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Wright Kind of Ad

By: Carlton Huffman

It is rare to see the Republican establishment, whether in Raleigh or Washington display much wisdom these days but NC GOP chairwoman Linda Daves has displayed plenty. Her decision to air an ad featuring Barack Obama’s hate filled pastor, Jeremiah Wright, and linking Obama to Democratic gubernatorial candidates Bev Perdue and Richard Moore was just what the doctor ordered. Her decision to resist the pressure of John McCain and the national Republican Party and continue airing the ad is something to actually make Republicans feel proud again and I hope we will see more of this wisdom in the future.
Rightly or wrongly you are judged by the company you keep and Barack Obama has certainly displayed very poor judgment in the company he has kept. To continue to attend a church where the pastor spews conspiracy theories such as the government creating AID’s to kill blacks and blaming the United States for September 11 is just the tip of Obama’s iceberg. He has ties to former domestic terrorist William Ayers who bombed the Pentagon during the Vietnam War as well as ties to communist radical Frank Davis. Combined with his “bitter” comments about small town America it is clear that Obama has a very warped view of the United States and is a dangerous radical, the likes of which our nation hasn’t seen since Socialist presidential candidates Eugene Debs and Norman Thomas.
Considering that the Democrats crucified Trent Lott for merely speaking kindly of Strom Thurmond’s 1948 presidential run, it is amusing to see them act with injured piety when their hero Obama receives criticism for very legitimate reasons due to his associations. It is also contemptuous that the North Carolina Democratic Party is labeling this ad as part of a New Southern Strategy akin to Richard Nixon’s 1968 presidential run. Let’s set the record straight about the Southern Strategy; forced busing of children to promote diversity was and is still wrong, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act rest on fragile grounds when it comes to their constitutionality, and Richard Nixon and George Wallace were both right for criticizing the federal government’s actions in the mid to late 60’s. The ad correctly questions the wisdom of Perdue and Moore for choosing to associate with a radical presidential candidate who would make George McGovern feel in good company.
I hope that the North Carolina Republican Party runs this ad all the way to May 6 and beyond for it’s true and raises legitimate questions of not only Barack Obama but of the two gubernatorial candidates who embraced him at the height of Obamamania. As for Linda Daves and the North Carolina GOP, keep up the good work in showing how to fight back. John McCain and the national Republican Party would do well to quit complaining and to start taking notes.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pope Out of Line on Immigration

By: Carlton Huffman

The recent visit of Pope Benedict has been a time of great excitement for America’s Catholics and it is indeed a momentous occasion for all persons of the Christian faith. The Pope’s steadfast stances on the social issues that have plagued other denominations are refreshing and much needed to combat the culture of permissiveness that turns a blind eye to the murder of the unborn and the excusing of homosexuality as socially acceptable. The Pope has however engaged in unacceptable meddling in America’s domestic affairs by asking the Catholic community to welcome illegal aliens into their fold in a bold attempt to boost parish membership.

In addressing Catholic bishops in Washington the Pope stated "I want to encourage you and your communities to continue to welcome the immigrants who join your ranks today, to share their joys and hopes, to support them in their sorrows and trials and to help them flourish in their new home." In all due respect to the Pope these illegals are not home, they have come into our national home in violation of our law and ought not be welcomed by the Catholic Church in the same manner that legal Italian and Polish immigrants. It is to the disgrace of any church or denomination that aids and abets criminals and illegally breaking into this country is just as much a crime as breaking into a bank or private home. While all people deserve to be treated with dignity, no person of faith ought to assist in lawbreakers who day by day take from the Treasury our hard earned tax dollars that so many of us spent time recently documenting.

While the Pope ought to be lauded for his stances on abortion, marriage, and in healing the damage to the Catholic Church after the clergy abuse scandals the pontiff ought not to let church politics bring confusion to the faithful regarding the issue of illegal immigration. This issue is not one that ought to pit the conscience of a person of faith against the just laws of the United States regarding entry into this country. Our nation alone has the authority to determine whose national home this is, not the Pope.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Obama takes oil company donations; is against guns

Obama says he doesn't take money from lobbyists, PACs or oil companies, but opensecrets.org shows that he does.In Feb. he received $115,163 from lobbyists, $222,309 from oil and gas, $700,177 from insurance, $528,765 from Pharmaceuticals/Health Products, $6,793,380 from Securities & Investment, $1,380,108 from Commercial Banks, and $43,600 from Casinos/Gambling.

As for guns, http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/ - rather than create a national registry, “I do think we have to do a better job sharing information between local and federal officials,” Obama said. He differs with McCain and Clinton about whether people should be allowed to carry concealed guns.

Clinton and McCain oppose outlawing it. “I am not in favor of concealed weapons,” Obama said. “I think that creates a potential atmosphere where more innocent people could (get shot during) altercations.”

Ban semi-automatics, and more possession restrictions

Principles that Obama supports on gun issues:
* Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.
* Increase state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
* Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms.
Source: 1998 IL State Legislative National Political Awareness Test Jul 2, 1998

In an article published on Townhall.com <http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/AmandaCarpenter/2008/04/03/obama_comes_out_against_concealed_carry> , he said:
“Barack Obama ignorantly believes that legally-armed Americans are as reckless and irresponsible as the criminals with whom his political sympathies evidently law (sic).”

He went on to say:
“He has been insisting for months he supports the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, but here he is now campaigning in Pennsylvania, stating essentially he would prefers Americans not exercise that right.”

Keep guns out of inner cities--but also problem of morality.

I believe in keeping guns out of our inner cities, and that our leaders must say so in the face of the gun manufacturer's lobby. But I also believe that when a gangbanger shoots indiscriminately into a crowd because he feels someone disrespected him, we have a problem of morality.

Not only do we need to punish that man for his crime, but we need to acknowledge that there's a hole in his heart, one that government programs alone may not be able to repair.
Source: The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama, p.215 Oct 1, 2006

Obama did not hunt or fish as a child. He grew up in Hawaii and now lives in a big city. And as an Illinois state legislator and a U.S. senator, he consistently backed gun control legislation.

Finally, Obama didn't vote against the war, because he wasn't a Congressman and couldn't vote.