Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Herring to Run For Re Election

Well, Attorney General Mark Herring has announced that he will be running for re election, instead of running for Governor in 2017. By doing so he leaves the Democrat nomination for Lt. Governor Ralph Northam.

I am surprised I thought, and looked forward, to him and Lt. Governor Ralph Northam battling it out for the Democrat gubernatorial nomination. A fight that would no doubt drive them to the left of Bernie Sanders.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Politically Correct's latest Target? J.E.B. Stuart High School

Well, after the June murders in Charleston South Carolina, in which a rebel flag waving racist nut killed several black people, I knew that it would not be long before the politically correct crowd would demand Virginia rename its schools and remove any symbol of the old confederacy.

There is a petition drive demanding that the county rename J.E.B. Stuart High School in Fairfax. James Ewell Brown Stuart was a confederate cavalry officer. He was one of the best on either side of the civil war or if you prefer the war between the states. He was known for his military prowess, not his views on slavery and secession.

Of course the name J.E.B. Stuart High School had nothing to do with the shooting in Charleston, but in these politically correct times it may be a great opportunity to change the name to something more politically correct. As Saul Alinsky might say, "Never let a crisis go to waste." Thankfully for us they have suggested Thurgood Marshall High School. Hey, I have a suggestion, how about Barack Obama High School? Or Bella Abzug High School?

As Fairfax County grew in the 1950’s the demand to build more schools increased and in the late 50’s it was decided that a new high school was to be built in eastern Fairfax County. This became J.E.B. Stuart.

Why was it named for Stuart, if not for racist, pro slavery reasons? Three reasons, first Stuart’s record demonstrated that he was one of the best cavalry officers of the war; second he was a native Virginian, and lastly the location of the school.

What is across the street from J.E.B. Stuart High School? Munson’s Hill, and as every Virginian knows that was the location of two of Stuart’s greatest accomplishments.

After the battle of Manassas Stuart and his men camped out on Munson’s Hill. The trouble was that they soon discovered that Union forces were watching them from the air using hot air balloons. So Stuart had an idea, he would use “Quaker guns”, that is tree trunks that look like, from the air, cannons. At night Stuart lighted extra campfires to make it appear his forces were bigger than they were. The cautious Union General McClellan overestimated the enemy and withheld an attack.

So Stuart performed one of the most brilliant moves in the history of warfare nearly 100 years earlier just across the street from where the new High School was to be built. Wouldn't it seem fitting to name the High School after him?

In addition Stuart was promoted from Colonel to General on Munson's Hill on September 24th 1861.

Now today I would not advocate naming a school after J.E.B. Stuart, but at the time it made sense. I do not support changing the name today.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Trump The Populist

Donald Trump is a populist along the lines of William Jennings Bryan, not a conservative in the mold of Edmund Burke.

Populism is a political phenomenon when a huckster runs for office on a few “popular’ issues. For the most part they take positions, which are not well thought out, but are vote winners. In addition the populist adopts a cause at or near its peak in popularity.

Imagine a populist going into a grocery store of ideas. They take a red basket and fill it with a few liberal positions and a few conservative positions there is no ideologically consistent theme, but every position is popular.

William Jennings Bryan is perhaps the most famous of the populists. His main issue was the gold standard. The masses thought the gold standard unfairly benefited the rich bankers back east. Bryan seized on the issue and won the Democrat nomination in 1896. In fact virtually his entire nomination speech was on abandoning the gold standard, it was known as the “Cross of Gold” speech.

However, Bryan lost the general election to the Republican William McKinley. Bryan spent the rest of his life trying to latch on to another popular issue.

The last major Presidential candidate to run on a platform of building a wall at the southern border was Patrick Buchanan in 1992. As a student I volunteered for the campaign. I spent many hours addressing envelopes, licking stamps, answering phones. Those were the days before self adhesive stamps. I had to use a sponge to moisten each one. I continued volunteering for Buchanan until the convention. I even went to Houston for the Republican convention that year to root Pat on. I was a member of the Buchanan Brigade!

We could have used Trump’s help 23 years ago, but, he didn’t join the strengthen the border movement until 6 months ago.

Trump has no ideology. He has never been a committed conservative, yes, he may have voted Republican many times, but he does not understand conservatism.

He is a populist. Some examples:

In the Fox GOP debate Trump claimed that “Washington is run by stupid people”, this is a very populist notion. And if Washington is run by smart people, like him, all will be well. But a conservative would tell you that Washington is not run by stupid people, rather smart liberals and progressives committed to weakening America and expanding the Federal government. This is by design and we need a principled conservative President who will roll back the tide of the Federal government.

Along these lines Trump said last week that he would appoint Warren Buffet to the cabinet. Buffet is a Democrat and an ardent Obama supporter. But the populist Trump believes that putting smart people in charge is the answer. Buffet is a smart person so Trump wants him in the cabinet. Wrong, putting conservatives in office is the way to restore America to greatness.

Last week Trump attacked Jeb Bush for taking campaign contributions claiming that a candidate becomes beholden to a contributor once he accepts the check. This is populist nonsense.

People give money to a candidate because they believe in that person. They want the person to win because they agree with him or her on the issues.

Trump believes that people contribute to a candidate because they want to buy influence. This is populist twaddle. People contribute because they want people who share their values in office.

The more Trump talks the clearer it becomes that he is a populist. Conservatives should should stay far away from him.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Levin Questions Trump

Well Mark Levin's special guest on tonight's show was Donald Trump. Now most all the questions were softballs, but for the most part they were substantive, and relevant. I thought Trump did fine.

But still Levin went easy on him, didn't ask the tough questions Trump needs to answer. Here are some obvious questions a conservative would ask:

"Mr. Trump you claim that the country is headed in the wrong direction, and has been led for years by stupid people. That being the case why did you give money to Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi?"

"Mr. Trump before you announced your candidacy Bill Clinton called you. Did he encourage you to run?"

"Mr. Trump, you have claimed to be "very very rich" what is your net worth within a hundred million dollars."

"Mr. Trump today you said you would appoint Warren Buffet to your cabinet. Mr. Buffet is a Democrat, and an Obama supporter. Are there other Democrats you'd appoint to the cabinet?"

"Mr. Trump you caused an uproar by saying John McCain was only a war hero because he was captured. What is your military background? Where in Vietnam did you serve?"

Ok, well that last question was gratuitous, but these are questions Trump needs to answer. Sadly the so called conservative media will not be pressing Trump. He is good for ratings and can help them sell books.