The 2014 Senate “Race to the Top”

Senate Election Polls - 10-14-14All midterm races bring with them a certain amount of opportunity to be gained – they either validate a President’s policies and leadership, or provide a referendum. In the last century, we would be hard pressed to name a President more polarizing than our current one, and as a result, these midterms will, without question, make a statement about his presidency.

Three weeks from tonight, we’ll have a pretty good idea on what that statement will be.

However, I don’t want to discuss quite yet what I believe will happen that Tuesday night. The race for Senate control has certainly been a revealing one, and here are two things that I believe conservatives should note in particular:

  • For starters, as bad as this presidency has been, Republicans are likely going to lose a few states that they have historically held. This testifies to the age-old truth that you cannot and should not run on the strategically nonsensical philosophy that “You won’t govern like the other guy…” People want leadership and they need reasons to pull the handle FOR someone, not just go to vote knowing who they DON’T want. Too many Republican leaders have recently run (and led) on the strategy that they’re NOT President Obama, which begs the question: if they really feel they must point that out, perhaps they have more in common than they want to let on??
  • Secondly, not all Democrats are as extreme as our current President and recently retired Attorney General, and they’re proving that by shying very far away from them during this election style. You won’t find Democrat candidates for Senate booking the Obamas to come and join them on the campaign trail. They know the Obamas are unpopular, extreme, and a recipe for failure. What conservatives need to be doing is defining their opponents based on their party affiliation and tying them to their leadership in spite of this fact. Conservative candidates should be confident enough in their beliefs to not only define and describe their leadership principles and style, but also to define their opponents’ principles in a way that keeps them on the defensive. The best defense during campaign season is a good offense.
Continue Reading

The Year of Pajama Boy

I love “End of the Year” Reviews. There’s always that bittersweet aspect of looking back over the previous 12 months and reevaluating your highs and lows that gives you a great perspective when closing out one year and looking to the next.

Much like Pajama Boy in the above picture, as he looks back over his shoulder, thinking “happy, happy, happy” thoughts about the rollout of Obamacare…

My favorite Review always comes from the inimitable Dave Barry. His ability to combine actual headlines with slapstick humor provides the best laughs when looking back over the foolish mistakes our society has made over the last 52 weeks. I’m currently waiting impatiently for him to release this year’s summary, and primarily what is sure to be some gut-wrenching, cry your eyes out, mockery of Pajama Boy. No pressure, Dave.

One of my all-time favorite writers in general is Peggy Noonan, with her capable and constructive observations of trends both cultural and political. Her latest review was published in today’s Wall Street Journal, and the highlights include the political word of the year (hint: it’s related to the rollout of Obamacare), the sentence of the year (hint: it’s related to Obamacare), and nice, plain words of the year, which have nothing at all to do with Obamacare. It’s worth a read, even if she fails to mention the poster child of the year (see  Pajama Boy below).


Speaking of the President, I even appreciated his summary of 2013, for what it’s worth. Despite his “rosy spin on a difficult year,” the President did admit the mistakes he could afford to admit politically, and even said that they “screwed it up,” though he was only referring to the start of his health care law, not the entirety of the behemoth. I’m guessing they corrected the start once his PR team landed on the brilliant idea of the Obamacare poster boy: Pajama Boy.

I really do hate to be hating on Pajama Boy so much (ok, that’s a lie – I’m enjoying it immensely), but just so your impression of him isn’t only being formed by my cynicism, allow me to share with you the thoughts of Rich Lowry, over at National Review Online:

Perhaps the goal of OFA was to create a readily mockable image to draw attention to its message, in which case Pajama Boy was a brilliantly successful troll. The right immediately Photoshopped him into the Mandela funeral selfie and emblazoned his photo with derisive lines like “Hey girl, I live with my parents” and “How did you know I went to Oberlin?”

But it’s hard not to see Pajama Boy as an expression of the Obama vision, just like his forebear Julia, the Internet cartoon from the 2012 campaign. Pajama Boy is Julia’s little brother. She progressed through life without any significant family or community connections. He is the picture of perpetual adolescence. Neither is a symbol of self-reliant, responsible adulthood.

And so both are ideal consumers of government. Julia needed the help of Obama-supported programs at every juncture of her life, and Pajama Boy is going to get his health insurance through Obamacare (another image shows him looking very pleased in a Christmas sweater, together with the words “And a happy New Year with health insurance”).

Two paragraphs later, Lowry hammers home the final nail into the coffin:

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote long ago of the infantilizing tendency of all-encompassing government. “It would be like the authority of a parent,” he wrote in a famous passage, “if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood.” If you wanted to illustrate what Tocqueville was getting at in one meme, Pajama Boy would be good way to do it.

So at the end of a year highlighted by the poor and “botched” implementation of a terrible healthcare law in which we find the President a bigger liar than when President George H. W. Bush uttered his “Read my lips” promise, we find ourselves inspired  and with the cockles of our hearts warmed to no end with an image of a perpetual adolescent longing to talk about getting that new health insurance.

Take heart, friends: 2014 can only get better. The Year of Pajama Boy is coming to a close.

Continue Reading

A Fighter for Texas Lieutenant Governor

Two weeks ago I began a new chapter in my life with the addition of a new job. Instead of just reading, thinking, and talking about politics, I am now actually working actively to change and improve the political landscape in Texas. I am proud to join the Todd Staples Campaign for Lieutenant Governor, and know that he is the right man for the job.  In addition to continuing to sell Real Estate, I will be serving as their East Texas Field Representative, traveling all across East Texas to visit with folks about the future of our state and the importance of choosing conservative, Godly leaders like Todd Staples. Staples has served Texas well as a City Councilman, a State Representative, State Senator, and currently as our Commissioner of Agriculture. He serves with conviction and purpose, and always has Texans’ best interests at heart. I encourage you to visit his website – – to learn more about the Commissioner and his commitment to the future of Texas.

Continue Reading

Doomsday Conservatism

This is the best case of a “blind squirrel finding a nut every once in a while” analogy as I’ve seen in a book. John Derbyshire, conservative atheist that he is, finds more than a few nuts in his book, We Are Doomed, an effort to “reclaim conservative pessimism.” He correctly identifies many problems that Americans, and more specifically Republicans, have created in our attempt to ignore reality and push a blindly optimistic, pro-America agenda. And while I don’t agree with much that Derbyshire lays out here (for instance, he has a kooky and largely unhelpful chapter on human nature and psychology), there’s too much solid cultural critique to ignore.

Below is a collection of some of my favorite quotes. And these are just a few of them – I left out the ones that require greater context to understand and appreciate. But hopefully there’s enough here to give you an idea of the value of this book and convince you to pick up a copy the next time you get a chance. (Quotes in bold are personal favorites.)

  • On Diversity:

    • “The present-day cult of Diversity of course encompasses much more than race and ethnicity. Feminists, Muslims, homosexuals, the disabled, the obese, and a host of lesser identities also clamor for the attentions of the diversity managers.”
    • Quoting Samuel Huntington, “The [American philosophical-Constitutional] Creed is unlikely to retain its salience if Americans abandon the Anglo-Protestant culture in which it has been rooted. A multi-cultural America will, in time, become a multicreedal America, with groups with different cultures espousing distinctive political values and principles rooted in their particular cultures.
    • “Having spent his [Robert Putnam] entire professional life in the warm, perfumed soak-bath of political correctness that is the modern American university, he had completely internalized the notion that diversity is a good thing, from which nothing could possibly come.”
    • “I want to emphasize the difference between mere diversity – a neutral condition that might be present in any society, and reacted to in all sorts of ways – and the cult of Diversity, the particular way we, present-day Americans, have chosen to deal with our diversity.”
    • “As columnist Ilana Mercer noted when remarking on the Putnam study, ‘When an academic ‘discovers’ what ordinary mortals have known for eons, it’s called science.'”
    • “The remarkable thing about the Diversity cult is that all the circumstances of the actual human world refute its tenets, wherever we look. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that there has never been an ideology so heartily and jealously embraced by all the main institutions of a society, that was at the same time so obviously at odds with the evidence of our senses. It is as if the entire Western world had committed itself to the belief that human beings can fly by flapping their arms.”
    • “Diversity-the-ideology is in fact a very pure example of the kind of magical, counterfactual thinking that has led conservatives astray. By letting this ideology triumph unchallenged – even, in some deplorable cases, embracing  it -we have surrendered key political positions: equal treatment under the law, allegiance to one nation, freedom of association, public education in one language… By holding firmly to a pessimistic, realistic view of what is and is not possible in a society of different ethnicities, we might have maintained the principles of a free republic, and saved ourselves much trouble and expense.”
  • On Politics:

    • “There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.” – John Adams, 1772
    • “We have lost our republican virtue, and shall lose our republic, unless we return to the unillusioned view of human nature subscribed to by the Founders. That view was the common one of their century, a far wiser century than ours. Perhaps never in human history did civilized men expect less of each other.”
    • “Prophecies of political doom, like all other considered thoughts about U.S. politics, generally lean to one side or the other: a Hamiltonian doom of presidential Bonapartism, or a Madisonian one of ‘legislative usurpation’ (Federalist 48).”
    • “‘Self-government means self-support,’ said Calvin Coolidge. Well guess what: People aren’t all that keen on self-support. Welfare statism has caught the United States in its suffocating embrace, and it is not going to let go. It never has, anywhere.”
    • “Our republic began with the Cincinnatus ideal. Government office, even the highest government office, was a service and a sacrifice, not a path to personal enrichment.”
    • “In his autobiography, Obama described this one experience of private-sector work as making him feel ‘like a spy behind enemy lines.’
      These are our masters: lawyers, bureaucrats, and race hustlers who regard creators of wealth as the enemy. By looking for to much from politics, by putting our optimistic faith in their bogus stories about expertise and competence, in their promises to ‘fix’ things and ‘improve’ things, in their vapid talk of bringing us ‘hope’ and ‘change,’ we have sold our birthright to hacks, frauds, and cynical time-servers – ‘public servants’ who don’t even pay their income taxes. Feugh!”
Continue Reading