Tag Archives: Republican

Debate – Congressional District 1 – Sep 18th – Manassas, Virginia – Congressman Rob Wittman (R)

2014 District 1 Candidates’ Forum ‏
September 18, 2014

Where

Wyndham Garden, 10800 Vandor Lane, Manassas, Va 20109
Moderator Dr. Stephen Farnsworth

Candidates

Congressman Rob Wittman (R)
Norman Mosher (D)
Gail Parker (I) Green Party

Forum: 7:45 PM — Open to the Public

Social 6:30 PM — OPTIONAL
Dinner 7:00 PM — OPTIONAL

* RESERVATIONS are required for dinner: $25 PWC-100 members ; $30 non-members/guests

* To make a reservation, contact: secretarycommitteeof100@gmail.com no later than NOON, Monday, September 15.

About Congressman Rob Wittman | About Norm Mosher (D) | About Gail Parker (I)

Congressman Rob WittmanAs a Member of the Republican Study Committee, he is a leader in the fight against massive government spending and has offered numerous amendments to cut spending. Rob serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Natural Resources, where he is well-positioned to represent the needs of the First District. He has quickly earned a reputation for being an advocate for our men and women in uniform.

On the Armed Services Committee, Rob serves as the Chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee, and also serves on the Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces. In addition, as Co-Chair of the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus and Chairman of the Naval Academy Board of Visitors, he is a staunch advocate for a robust Naval fleet and a healthy domestic shipbuilding industry. Rob has also earned a reputation as a strong supporter of our veterans and is fighting for full concurrent receipt of veterans’ disability and retirement benefits and recently led the effort to ensure the cut to veterans COLAs was overturned.

A champion of the Chesapeake Bay, Rob serves on the House Natural Resources Committee, to which he brings his professional expertise in water quality, the environment, fisheries, and other natural resource issues. He is a leading voice for the Chesapeake Bay – for its economic, environmental, and recreational attributes – and has passed legislation increasing the accountability and effectiveness of Bay clean-up. He also Co-Chairs the House Chesapeake Bay Watershed Caucus to educate others in Congress about the Bay.

Congressman Rob Wittman

Prior to his election to Congress, Rob served most recently as Field Director for the Virginia Health Department’s Division of Shellfish Sanitation. Earlier, he worked for many years as an environmental health specialist for local health departments in Virginia’s Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula regions. He holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy and Administration from the University of North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Virginia Tech.

Rob has served in several levels of government, from Town Council to the United States Congress. Rob won his first campaign for public office in 1986 when he was elected to the Montross Town Council, where he served for 10 years, four of them as Mayor. In 1995, Rob was elected to the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors and was elected its Chairman in 2003. In 2005, voters in the 99th Legislative District elected Rob to the Virginia House of Delegates, where he served until he was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2007. Rob’s wife, Kathryn, a teacher at Cople Elementary School in Hague, is a Westmoreland County native whom he met when he spent high school and college summer recesses working in a Leedstown tomato cannery and on a Reedville fishing boat in the Northern Neck. They live in Montross and have two children: a daughter, Devon, son-in-law Daniel Gooch, and son, Josh, and his wife, Tiffany. Rob and Kathryn are proud grandparents to three wonderful grandchildren, Morgan, Mark, and Macon.

Rob is an avid hunter and fisherman, and when possible, he enjoys spending time with his four yellow Labrador Retrievers.

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April’s Fools – paper or plastic? They both carry the goods.

For April Fools Day I am going to pretend that I belong to all political groups.

As a Democrat I am going to rob from the rich and give to the poor.

As a Republican I will rob the poor and give to the rich.

As a Libertarian I will decry both, support lower tax laws and socially responsible groups that want to raise taxes.

As an Independent I will just cry. Please, I’ll pass on both the tea and coffee. Anyone got a beer?!

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So Am I An Independent Or Just A Disgruntled Republican?

An independent votes for whomever appeals to them.

I was a disgruntled Republican as a Republican, and then I left.

I became a Republican way back on November 16th, 1979 when Ronald Reagan announced that he was running for president. Even joined the Reagan campaign staff; one of my treasures still today is an invitation to his inauguration for my work on the Reagan campaign.

But even as a Republican I voted for Democrats as president, for the Senate, for the House, in my state legislature, for governor and for whomever appealed to me as having a clue and that I felt like voting for … so I was independent even as a Republican.

As a Republican I spoke no ill of another Republican. That was Reagan’s 11th Commandment and law enough for me.

Back in late 2009 I publicly declared that I am no longer ‘Republican’. Here in Virginia it doesn’t really matter since we don’t register as members of parties, so it meant something to me at least that I was willing to be public about it — and especially since I was writing as a blogger for ‘RepublicansUnited.us’.
As an independent I spend at least 51% of my time sending flaming arrows towards Republicans by name and by issue. Probably closer to 60% or 70% in reality.

As an independent, I don’t criticize Democrats as much because to me they are  just acting like normal Democrats so why expend the energy — a remaining bias from my ‘R’ days.

Am still conservative. Still fighting the good fight. But I no longer care what party you belong to. Stupid is stupid. Brilliant is brilliant. So stop showing me stupid and start showing me brilliant.

Yes, I am thoroughly independent. If you want my vote then forget ‘wink, wink, nod, nod’ — show me some ideas and the footnotes supporting them.

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Republican Gains & The Pelosi Barometer … If 2010 Were Today

A recent Gallup Poll shows that Republicans made some significant gains in brand identity over the summer (1). Republican-friendly voters have risen 3%.

Per Gallup, 42% of Americans now identify themselves, or lean, towards being Republican. Republicans started 2009 off with just 39%.

Republicans last held a 42% identity ranking in late 2006 — so while the most recent 2009 numbers are an improvement, this is also the same level of public support as during the disastrous 2006 elections.

History: Based upon the 2000 and 2004 elections, Republicans must run at least toe-to-toe with the Democrats in voter party self-identification popularity to have a chance at winning. With voters almost evenly splitting their loyalties in 2000 and 2004, only Florida’s questionable votes pushed Republicans over the top in 2000, and Ohio slid in at the last minute in 2004 to give Bush a win over Kerry. In each election Republicans were virtually tied with voters equally identifying with each political party (2 point difference in 2000, 0 point difference in 2004). (1, 2)

Curent Poll Interpretation: After a brutal summer of debate in which Republicans and friends were constantly on attack against the Democrats, the Democrat’s current lead of 6% essentially means: Republicans would soundly lose if an election were held today.

Other polling puts the current situation into more specific perspective. If the 2009/2010 elections were held today (3):

  • Senate: Republicans would lose 2 seats (Kentucky and Ohio) and gain 1 seat (Colorado).
  • House: Republicans would gain 2 seats; winning in Idaho, Maryland and New Hampshire but losing Alabama.
  • Governors: Republicans drop one governorship: winning in Michigan and Virginia, but losing in Hawaii, Rhode Island and Nevada.

The challenge for Republicans is to attract more independents, just as it is for the Democrats to do so. Neither political party can win without the independent vote.

Many Republicans are counting upon 2010 to upset the Democratic control of Congress. History suggests that it should.

About Republican chances in 2010, David Moore of Pollster.com (aggregator and analysis of various polls) has a different interpretation: “It would be a political miracle if the Democrats did not lose seats in the 2010 Congressional elections, yet the polls so far suggest that scenario is doubtful at best.” If Moore is right then Republicans must reach out to even more independents, and Democrats too, if it hopes to keep in 2010 what congressional seats it already has.

The Pelosi Barometer: Perhaps one of the most interesting barometers that I pay attention to is the popularity of Nancy Pelosi. More than any other Democrat, ultra-conservative Republicans and their allies love to attack and to mock Nancy Pelosi. Bad news for ultra-conservatives: her popularity is rising, and rising faster than that of Republicans. So while the Republicans have moved forward by 3% with the general public since January 2009, Nancy Pelosi’s popularity has risen 7% just since August 2009 (4). With numbers like that, Republicans should have a lot to think about.

Sources:

1 – Washington Post, Morning Fix: Republicans’ Independent Gains?, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/morning-fix/morning-fix-republicans-indepe.html

2 – Pew Research, Fewer Voters Identify as Republicans, http://pewresearch.org/pubs/773/fewer-voters-identify-as-republicans

3 – Pollster.com, Likely Voters and Mid-Term Elections, Part I, http://www.pollster.com/blogs/likely_voters/

4 – Rasmussen, 57% View Pelosi Unfavorably, But That’s An Improvement, http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/congressional_favorability_ratings

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Civil War v2.0 – Talking Our Way Into A Fight

It was San Angelo, Texas and I was stationed at Goodfellow Air Force Base. A favorite hangout was the New Dixie Club — a great place to drink, to dance and to just be a people watcher.

One evening I stepped into the restroom. Immediately upon entering someone grabbed me and threw me against the wall and started pounding, all the while screaming “I hate f**king Air Force people!”

“But I’m Army” say I, and with that I heard “Then you are OK” and out they walked.

That person didn’t know me. They didn’t care whether I was good, bad or even lying. I was just a target of opportunity.

TALKING OUR WAY INTO A NEW CIVIL WAR

Within the Republican party there are new targets of opportunity: each other.

Thomas Sowell (TownHall): “As if it is not enough that they have been decimated by the Democrats in the past couple of elections, the Republican survivors are now turning their guns on each other.”

Sowell was quick to identify the perps of this new war, “At the heart of these internal battles have been attacks on Rush Limbaugh by Republicans who imagine themselves to be so much more sophisticated because they are so much more in step with the political fashions of the time.”

Moderates are the attackers? Non-conservatives are inflamming the base by first selling out the party and now defaming its few remaining defenders?

Hello?! I didn’t start anything that night in San Angelo, and I don’t remember being part of any mob now in 2009 launching attacks on rightwingers. And since I’m conservative in both mind and spirit then I surely am not part of any attack there either.

On August 17th there was this headline on the ‘DownWithTyranny’ blog: Texas Republican Civil War Officially Kicks Off. Obviously favoring Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson’s run for governor against Texas’ incumbent, Gov. Rick Perry is described as a “… far right extremist and secessionist …”

Bailey is described as a Reagan big tent conservative, but she let loose with a full volley. The target has been engaged. Perhaps the war has begun. Perhaps it will be a real war.

Texas Republicans have many issues facing them, but words like civil war and secession seem to be what has them all fired up — with 48% both supporting and opposing Texas becoming its own independent nation (Salon).

In Georgia, back in April, state Senate Resolution 632 passed by a 43-1 vote; the resolution threatened to to secede from and even disband the United States citing Jeffersonian principles.

The strange thing is that most of the ‘states right, Jeffersonian principles, and civil war’ debate seems to be between Republicans, either for or against.

Now talk is cheap, but resolutions and continuous use of “brother against brother” language (GOP12) is dangerous; worthy of great thought and consideration as being more than a passing fad.

As Americans we need to think before we speak. The next attack on Fort Sumter, whether political or actual physical act, will not be so easy to end as Civil War v1.0.

Be careful of what you wish for. I’ve walked the battlefields of Fredericksburg, Manassas and Gettysburg. There are monuments everywhere to the valiant, the sometimes vain, and mostly to those that died for plans and strategies that someone else devised.

Best regards,
Bill4DogCatcher.com

Sources:

TownHall, Thomas Sowell, ‘The Republican Civil War’, http://townhall.com/columnists/ThomasSowell/2009/03/17/the_republican_civil_war

Down With Tyranny Blog, ‘Texas Republican Civil War Officially Kicks Off’, http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2009/08/texas-republican-civil-war-officially.html

Salon, ‘Half of Texas Republicans favor secession’, http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2009/04/23/texas_secession/

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ‘Georgia Senate endorses radical idea’, http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/opinion/stories/2009/04/16/bookmaned_0416.html and you can read the original “ADOPTED” version here: http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2009_10/pdf/sr632.pdf

GOP12.com, “This is a civil war, brother against brother”, http://www.gop12.com/2009/08/this-is-civil-war-brother-against.html

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Note to Progressive Republicans: Teddy Roosevelt Left A Message. It is 1912 Again.

Lately I’ve taken to calling myself a RINO. It is almost a source of pride with me at this point. It bothered me at first. No longer.

“The death-knell of the republic had rung as soon as the active power became lodged in the hands of those who sought, not to do justice to all citizens, rich and poor alike, but to stand for one special class and for its interests as opposed to the interests of others.” — Theodore Roosevelt, 1903.

I am a realist about things in life. My party is in disarray. It will stay that way for many years to come. It will be a decade or longer before the Republican Party possibly heals the internal rifts that grow with  each day.

The Republican Party now has three major factions: centrist Progressives (45%), traditional Conservatives (35%), and ultra-Conservatives (20%). All are conservative in the core sense: belief in smaller government, stronger national security, minimalist government intrusion into our personal lives and our freedoms, and fiscal responsibility.

Within both the progressive and conservative base are even more fracturous alliances: social conservatives, paleoconservatives, neoconservatives, fiscal conservatives, and libertarians (which also straddle the world of classic liberalism).

Bottomline: the primary fault line runs about 45% Progressive and 55% Conservative. We Progressives see ourselves as conservative, but to those further right we are just RINOs.

Even before Barack Obama won the presidency there were calls to strengthen the Republican Party throught purge of all but its most conservative members. There is seldom a day that goes by without a renewed call to oust us RINOs – a witch hunt really since we embrace the same core conservative beliefs as other Republicans.

Since the 2008 elections, we Progressives have spent a great deal of time wondering how best we can help our party heal, how to make it better, stronger, electable. My conclusion is that we cannot. Not immediately.

Roosevelt calls out to us: Stop trying. There are just times when there is no sense pursuing the conversation. Pursue your own course. Reach for success on your own. Do not chase the conservatives asking them to accept you. They won’t. They have no need for you. They have no care for your cause. They are self-absorbed. Proudly wear the moniker of “Progressive”.

So our course must be Roosevelt’s course. Just as he declared independence  from the Republican party leaving Taft to make his own case to the American people,  we Progressives must let the Conservatives sink or swim based upon their own merits. It is with deep sorrow that the party that Reagan helped build to such great success is now a regional political party.

For now, and for perhaps as much as a decade, we must focus on supporting other Progressives as long as they embrace and support minimalist government intrusion into our personal lives and our freedoms, minimalist government, strong defense and fiscal responsibility.

And we must preserve our faith in what makes us Progressives: “Justice consists not in being neutral between right and wrong, but in finding out the right and upholding it, wherever found, against the wrong”, Theodore Roosevelt, 1916.

So on issues like health care, the environment, national security, the economy and the protection of individual freedoms we must be reformers. We must realize that there is no difference between an overreaching government and non-competitive businesses which monopolize or control the marketplace. Both seek what isn’t theirs. As Progressives we must seek balance (not guaranteed outcomes) so that every American has the opportunity to live free, to prosper, and to grow America as its people believe fit — not special interests whether left or right, whether government or industry. All must be accountable to we the people.

We must also support those Conservatives that are open-minded and worthy of our support — meaning that they support our causes where we are compatible, and us theirs.

“There is not a man of us who does not at times need a helping hand to be stretched out to him, and then shame upon him who will not stretch out the helping hand to his brother,” said Roosevelt.

We too are conservative and if that tent is large enough then we’ll be there.

But for now, we should stop trying to figure out where we fit in the Republican party. It is a waste of effort.

The Party will find us again when recurring electoral defeats finally move the party from denial back to reality. It won’t be easy. While we should speak no evil of a fellow Republican, we should not hesitate to point out what is right and what is not.

If we want the people to believe us then we must be believable.

“The death-knell of the republic had rung as soon as the active power became lodged in the hands of those who sought, not to do justice to all citizens, rich and poor alike, but to stand for one special class and for its interests as opposed to the interests of others.” — Theodore Roosevelt, 1903.

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So what is … a Left-Winger, a Liberal, a Moderate, a Progressive, a Conservative and a Right-Winger?

American politics are so much fun.

The more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. The one that’s out always looks the best.” (Will Rogers, Illiterate Digest,1924, “Breaking into the Writing Game”)

One of the things that really bothers me about American politics is the passion for tagging someone: ‘Oh, he’s a left-wing socialist … or they’re a bunch of conservative right-wing fascists’ … or whatever.

What happened to just being plain about it?

Why not just say: ‘He’s a wuss that refuses to take the same position as me.’

Be a man about it. Just admit that the other guy is a moron because he doesn’t want to do it your way.

We Americans are just so into ‘us and them’. ‘Them’ is always the bad guy.

Republicans have long possessed a lockstep mentality (or did until recently). That’s probably the reason that they are so late to the game with proposed solutions when the call for ideas go out.  However, with things being what they are we really need the Republicans to get into the game so we can come up with American solutions to the problems facing us all.

Hopefully the Republicans find out soon what the party line is … or start thinking on their own.

Democrats on the other hand span the spectrum of beliefs. They come available and ready for all occasions.

As a party, the Big D challenge is that many of them generally hold in poor regard anything to the right of the center. Not that you can always blame them when a key statesman for the other side is known as Darth Vader and ‘my way or the highway‘ is considered an entire political philosophy.

Historically the Democrats have opened themselves up to critique. The tail often wags the Democratic dog. (And the same can be said for the red R dawg, too).  As Will Rogers once noted about his own political views: “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.

On Sale. Cheap! Political Labels Are Now Meaningless

Once upon a time you could call someone a liberal and it would almost end the political career of that person. Not any more. The Republicans so misused, overused and abused the term that since 99% of America is now labeled liberal then what’s to hate about being liberal?!

Of course, the remaining 1% of real Americans are arguing about what is a Republican?! Good luck with that.

Recently, many Democrats have taken the same tack by smearing right of center folks as being conservative and right-wing. Conservative and Right-Wing are being used interchangeably.

Technically that may be true; conservatives are normally to the right of center.

I am conservative and NOT right-wing … just as many liberals are to the left of center, or even in the center, but are not left-wingers.

Definitions of Left, Center & Right Americans

Left-wing and Right-wingers often sound like liberals and conservatives. The difference is that the wingers are not afraid to trample truth in order to achieve their political goals. “Propaganda” looks like gospel compared to what these folks put out. Propaganda is the truth with a little but important lie stuck in there somewhere. It is political spin. The facts and the tales that come out of the mouths of wingers are usually much closer to a big fat lie than it is to being good quality propaganda. Wingers have logic and veracity issues cloaked as liberalism or confused with being conservatism.

Liberals and Conservatives both have principles and represent what is best in America. They just disagree. And while they may see truth differently, they both try to put America first. America is not a victim when these two meet — preferably over a beer or some other wholesome American pasttime. America is blessed because at the end of the day we all, liberal and conservative alike, are challenged in our views and there is wisdom and answers from both — with compromise usually encouraged upon us by moderates and progressives.

Moderates are absolutely the finest blending of red, white and blue. Moderates are perhaps the most practical of all Americans — their focus is on consideration of the facts and selecting the best solutions. Unlike liberals and conservatives they seldom have the hurdle of needing to get past their pride before getting on to finding an answer. Moderates seldom lead the way forward, however — which is hard to do when you are standing in the middle of American’s political intersection with heavy traffic coming and going both ways — the probability of the blue car hitting me is .04% less than that big truck coming … so I’ll … oops, need to recalculate. God bless them and protect them.

Progressives share many of the same challenges that moderates do, except they’ve figured out how to run like hell across the street when they see the lights change. Progressives are proactive, and made up of liberals, moderates and conservatives. Progressives live in the land of ‘why not?!’ … and are usually at the forefront of coalition building. Progressives often lead from both the left and the right at the very same time — because they are goal focused, yet take in consideration the bigger picture of not just tomorrow but the day after, too.

Warning: Progressives tend to be American independents. Don’t include them in your little party unless you are prepared for the occasional food fight. “I don’t think so” and “you are full of … stuffing” are two of their favorite phrases. Blend in some moderates that believe they are being taken advantage of and your party will be a big l-o-s-e-r.

I know that my definitions won’t suit everyone. But if you hear or read me using a political label then … please see above.

Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.
-– Will Rogers

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