Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Archive for November, 2006

Romney 2008?

Posted by Ryan on November 21, 2006

While obviously testing the waters before leaving the Massachusetts Governor’s mansion, Mitt Romney has been very public lately on distinguishing himself from McCain and Guiliani as the “conservative” candidate.

Though late to the pro-life point of view, Romney’s Mormonism seems to be what the press is honing in on– the typical religion baiting on the Left and MSM.  Romney seems right on immigration, gay marriage, detainees, and is ARTICULATE on the issues and taking his opponents to task.  Let’s see who else joins the fray in the next few months, but for now Romney looks the best to date.


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Repainting the Map

Posted by Sal on November 20, 2006

Much has been made of the Red State / Blue State divide in the past two Presidential elections.  One of the tactical advantages for the Democrats in 2006 was the fact that they ran credible candidates (albeit of the Blue-dog variety) in the Southern “Red” states.  Additionally, in this election, moderate and liberal Republican incumbents in blue states lost big, especially in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Hampshire. 

For the Conservative agenda to be spread effectively and to create a truly national movement, the Republican Party must attempt to make inroads into blue states by running good, credible, conservative candidates and back them with effective campaign finances and muscle.  Conservatives can win in blue states. 

All three members of the Axis of Right originally hail from Rhode Island.  I have lived in New York, and have now settled in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts.  I’ve had the privilege of voting against both She Who Must Not Be Named and the Senior Balloon.  Gauvin has lived in both RI and New York, and Ryan in RI and New Jersey.  The reason Republicans don’t win in these states is due mostly to poor organization and the watering down of principles. 

Conservatives can and do win in blue states.  Gov. Mitt Romney in MA, and two-time elected Gov. Don Carcieri in RI are prime examples of this.  As Gauvin has said, most Rhode Islanders are Conservatives who think they’re moderates and vote for liberals, and I think this applies to most blue states, with the exception of some areas of New York and California.  The people vote for Democrats, yet if you peg them on issues from Government spending to taxes, they instinctively lean towards conservatism. 

The problem is that in these states there is basically no organized Republican Party, or a poorly-run party (as in New Jersey).  This year, for example, the Republicans in Massachusetts ran a candidate against the Senior Balloon that I hadn’t heard of until I saw his name on the ballot.  Kerry Healy, the Lt. Gov. of the state, was a good conservative candidate, but lost a badly-run campaign to Deval Patrick, who had absolutely nothing to say of substance the entire campaign except for catch-phrases like “Hopes and Dreams”, “Magic can Happen”, and “Together we can!” 

The field is ripe for the picking.  Republicans need to focus on building the party by electing Republican state legislatures in these states.  From here, a party could be built that could challenge the Democratic establishment and color the blue states red.   

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Fox News Comedy Show

Posted by Mike on November 20, 2006

Newsmax reports that the Fox News Channel is planning a Saturday night comedy show which will target the left’s “sacred cows.”

I like this idea, but are they going to make every episode about She Who Must Not Be Named?

Posted in Politics, Pop Culture | 1 Comment »

Avoid That Russian Tea Room

Posted by Mike on November 20, 2006

It is well established that democracy is not an integral part of Russian tradition. For centuries, Russians favored strong, centralized leadership in the form of a tsar. After the monarchy fell, Communism was imposed on the people by one political party. Some Russians even today wax nostalgic for Stalin. Today, people are increasingly concerned that Vladimir Putin represents a return to Russia’s anti-democratic past.

The family of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko recently released photos of the former agent suffering from the effects of thallium poisoning. Litvinenko, a known critic of Vladimir Putin, recently fled Russia for London. While in London, Litvinenko investigated the recent murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskya, also a well-known Putin critic. Apparently, Litvinenko met with Russian agents for tea on November 1, 2006 prior to his meeting with a member of “the Italian underground” who allegedly provided Litvinenko with information concerning Politkovskya’s murder.

Naturally, accusations are flying from Putin opponents that the Kremlin was somehow behind the poisoning. They point to the long list of Putin opponents who have met unfortunate incidents. These include Litvinenko, Politkovskya, and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko. That Clinton list is looking less impressive every day. (That was a joke, we do not subscribe to the Clinton list theory).

At this point there is no evidence that Putin or the Kremlin was behind the poisoning. In fact, they vehemently deny it. However, one would think that Putin would gain much credibility by getting to the bottom of these incidents.

Source and Photo: BBC

Posted in Anything Else, Politics | 2 Comments »

Obrador Doing a Job Mexicans Didn’t Want Him to Do

Posted by Mike on November 20, 2006

Still not over his election defeat on July 2, 2006, Mexican socialist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador “was “sworn in” today as Mexico’s “legitimate” president.  And you thought Al Gore was nuts.  Undoubtedly a sore loser, at least Gore’s parallel presidency was limited to his bathroom mirror, Daily Kos, and NJ teacher union thugs.       

Democracy requires losers to accept the will of the people.  Otherwise, it cannot function and may not survive.  In Gore’s case, American democracy was too well established to overcome.  Mexico, however, is only beginning to overcome its tradition of fragile democracy.  Thankfully, it appears that most Mexicans refuse to give Obragore the time of day.  Of course, stay away from Oaxaca


Posted in Politics | 2 Comments »

Constitutional Options

Posted by Sal on November 20, 2006

Gov. Mitt Romney, a potential 2008 Republican Presidential Candidate, is making a major issue of the MA Legislature’s failure to vote on a proposed amendment that would ban same sex marriage.  Romney is initiating a lawsuit with the
Massachusetts’s Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), claiming the Legislatures violated the constitution by not having an up-or-down vote on the matter.  The lawsuit is probably doomed to failure, however, as it was the SJC that forced same-sex marriage on the Commonwealth in 2003.  Odds are, unfortunately, that Same-sex marriage is here to stay in the People’s Republic, without ever having been voted on by the people or their representatives. 
So much for Democracy. 

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments »

Return of the Draft?

Posted by Sal on November 20, 2006

Rep. Charles Rangal, Chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, is again introducing a bill to reinstate the draft.  He reasons that America would not have gone to war had a draft been in place, as it is easier to send other people’s sons and daughters to war.  This ignores some very basic facts: 

  1.  An all-volunteer armed services has been nothing but beneficial for the country.  Because of it, we have the best trained, most capable, and most intelligent military personnel in the world (despite what John Kerry thinks). 
  2. The all-volunteer armed services ensures that those who are there want to be there. 
  3. Troop levels are up in an all-voluteer military, in spite of 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

This is another example of more brilliant legislation from the Democrats.  The next two years are going to be a wild ride. 

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments »

What Kissinger Actually Said

Posted by Mike on November 19, 2006

The internets are buzzing tonight over Henry Kissinger’s statement that military victory in Iraq is impossible. The headlines leave the impression that Kissinger has leaped on the Pelosi/Murtha surrender bandwagon; however, his comments suggest no such thing. To his credit, Kissinger expressly rejected the idea of immeidate withdrawal, recognizing the reality that such a move would only destabilize the region.

Kissinger, the architect of the Cold War detente policy subsequently abandoned by President Reagan, did call for engagement with other nations in the region in hopes of securing a diplomatic solution. He recognized that U.S. forces must remain in Iraq until progress is made, but that ultimate victory is impossible. With all due respect, Kissinger’s approach to Iraq today is as wrong as his approach to communism was in the 1970s.

Since our enemies in the region are a band of Islamofascist terrorists without allegiance to a particular state, engagement is impossible. True, many terrorists receive funding from state sponsors, Iran in particular. However, the notion that President Ahmadinejad is a rational actor who would honor an agreement even if he were to enter into one is naive at best. Even if Iran somehow applied pressure and cut off terrorist funding (fat chance), the remaining terrorists would still view their jihad as a religious obligation and remain vigilant.

The only realistic strategy, one that war proponents recognized would be difficult all along, is to train Iraqi forces to manage their own affairs and crush terrorist thugs while doing so. The people in the best position to know where the terrorists are and what they are up to are the Iraqi people themselves. Only when they have faith in their own security forces can the terrorists identified and fumigated out of the country.  No one wants to live in a country as Iraq is now.  The Iraqi people will seize the moment.  The U.S. should not abandon them again.

Kissinger’s words will be interpreted as an endorsement of the McGovern wing of the Democrat party on Iraq. They are nothing of the sort. Nevertheless, Kissinger’s suggestions are still misguided.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment »

New and Improved

Posted by Mike on November 19, 2006

Welcome to the new home of the Axis of Right. Although our look and address has changed, we will continue to provide our thoughts on politics and anything else. If you’ve never seen us before, welcome. If you enjoyed our old site, welcome back.

On behalf of the Axis of Right, welcome. We hope you enjoy the new site.

Posted in Anything Else | 1 Comment »

They have learned nothing

Posted by Sal on November 17, 2006

The Republican party has learned nothing. The House today elected its leadership by keeping John Boehner and Roy Blunt in both key leadership positions, the House Minority Leader and House Minority Whip. With this, the party has stated that it’s business as usual, and that they have learned nothing from the 2006 elections. There is no great spokesman, no Mike Pence to lead the party to a bold new era of Conservatism. The Republican party feels that the status quo is fine. A news flash: its not.

Boehner and Blunt are insiders who helped take the party to its first real defeat in 14 years. Boehner came into his role 8 months ago, preaching reform and change in the congress, in order to maintain our majority in the elections. His leadership tenure is marked by inaction, half-measures, and half-hearted earmark reform. Roy Blunt is an old-guard establishment figure left over from the DeLay era, an era whose time has past.

My hopes for ’08, at least on the congressional side, just diminished tremendously. Yes, there is the possibility that without Hastert, as the leader of the minority, Boehner will be better than he has previously. It is possible that he could surprise us all. Blunt is less important, as his job is to rally votes, not set policy.

I’m hoping for change going forward, but right now I’m concerned that it’s just going to be more of the status quo. I feel like the Republicans have learned nothing.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments »

Milton Friedman (1912-2006)

Posted by Mike on November 16, 2006

Milton Friedman, one of if not the best economist in history, passed away yesterday at the age of 94. Friedman, a Nobel Prize winner when the award actually meant something, explained that free markets with minimal government interference were essential in fostering economic prosperity. This view could not have been articulated at a better time.

Prior to Friedman, it was practically Gospel, at least according to the Gospel of Keynes, that government tinkering in the economy was not only appropriate but necessary. Friedman removed the stigma from the point of view that economic freedom and economic prosperity go hand in hand.

Great leaders, including Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher largely followed Friedman’s philosophy, and doing so, empowered American and British citizens to transform stagflated economies into engines of prosperity. The effects of these policies can still be felt decades later.

We have lost a giant. May Milton Friedman rest in peace.

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Pollution was the Cure All Along!

Posted by Ryan on November 16, 2006

A moment of Zen:

“I can’t believe it! Now pollution can HELP global warming! Good thing too, because I almost bought a hybrid. Upon hearing this news I am instead going to buy the biggest “SUV” I can find from any “Big Corporation,” that does business with “Halliburton” (I didn’t want to leave Halliburton out of this!).

“Now that I can be a big polluter I am willing to do my patriotic duty, as a member of the world community, to stomach the huge gas prices (which should be going up since Karl Rove’s price reduction tactic for the Election backfired) in order to drive a car that can help produce enough smog to block out those pesky sun-rays that are killing us in a most irreversible way. We can even help the polar bear! Everyone loves polar bears (except seals, maybe)! I might even start burning my trash.”

But seriously, that sounds about as ridiculous to me as those who embrace radical action be done about global warming without even considering the financial and political motives behind the alarmists and their calls for power to control politics and industry. That, to me, is scarier than any extra inch of water at the beach in 2050– “follow our paradigm or YOU’LL ALL DIE!!!” type stuff.With all these mixed messages, the whole debate might as well be an inside joke amongst the scientists themselves on who’s going to believe what–and who ends up lobbying the most grant money to stay behind their university desk another two years.Pic from Ecotourism Blog.

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Investigate Laura Ingraham?

Posted by Sal on November 16, 2006

Sen. Pat Leahey wants to start an investigation on Laura Ingraham’s encouraging her listeners to jam Democrat phone lines on election day that were set up to report “election abuses”.

Now, obviously she shouldn’t be investigated, but it would be fun to watch her and the Senate Judiciary committee square off in a Senate hearing! I’d pay to see her take on Diane Feinstein, Patrick Leahey, Ted Kennedy, Rich Feingold, Joe Biden, Herb Kohl, Dick Durban, and Chuck Schumer! She has nothing to lose politically!

Thanks to K-Lo at the Corner for this one.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments »

The GOP Has a Lott to Learn

Posted by Mike on November 15, 2006

Former Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott was elected to the position of Senate Minority Whip earlier today by a vote of 25-24 over Lamar Alexander. The stupid party has learned nothing from last week’s thumpin’.

The conservative side of America has long contained both those who care about politics as a means for achieving policy objectives and those who seem to view politics as merely sport where their team should achieve and maintain power. The Axis of Right considers itself as part of the former. We condescendingly refer to the latter as “party people.”

Despite the differences, both camps share the objective of winning the back the majority. Doing so requires common sense policy which empowers Americans to make their country a better place. However, it also requires a marketing strategy that effectively targets and persuades those who normally do not pay attention to politics until a week or so prior to an election.

Trent Lott was unfairly demonized for complimenting Strom Thurmond at his 200th birthday party. Ryan has written about Lott’s comments compared to those of others on the left. I won’t rehash. That said, Trent Lott is not the best face to put on the Republican party. He was an ineffective Majority Leader who rolled over to Clinton’s demands for exorbitant spending from 1998-2000. Ditto for his stint from 2001-2002.

The GOP needs someone who will support a common sense conservative agenda. Lott did not do so toward the end of his reign as leader way back in the 1990s. There is no guarantee or even likelihood that he will do so now. He is also damaging to the GOP brand. The stupid party lives.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment »

Democrat Corruption

Posted by Sal on November 15, 2006

Nancy Pelosi has promised to “clean house” of corruption. Looks like she’s going to have some work to do. First, Jack Murtha, her hand-picked choice for Majority Leader, has ethical issues (note that he is responding to those issues by crying that he is being Swift-Boated; you can’t make this stuff up!) Also, prosecutors have leads that show involvement of six democrats in illegal activity with Jack Abramoff, along with Karl Rove.

Good luck Nancy! Let’s see if you’re as hard on your own party’s “Culture of Corruption” as you were on the GOP!

UPDATE: According to this ABC story, Harry Ried, the newly-elected Senate Majority Leader, is at the forefront of the Jack Abramoff investigations. If he has to bolt because of this, his seat would be filled by Gov. Jim Gibbons (R) would name his replacement and tip the balance of power to the Republicans.

Look to Ried to hold on as long as possible because of this.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments »

Republican Stupidity

Posted by Sal on November 13, 2006

It appears the Republicans are not learning the lesson of 2006, and are pushing towards the center as opposed to embracing conservatism. Three key indicators of this:

  • The White House has announced that pro-amnesty Florida Senator Mel Martinez will head the RNC as RNC chair, while still holding his Senate seat. This is a bad decision. Michael Steele would have made a much better choice, and Sen. Martinez will further anger the conservative base of the party.
  • It looks like Boehner is gaining steam to remain as minority leader. While most people think Blunt is out at Whip, Boehner appears to have a lock over the more conservative Mike Pence.
  • Kay Bailey Hutchinson is poised to become the head of the Republican Policy committee in the Senate, the committee responsible for pushing major policy initiatives. Hutchinson is not pro-life, pro-amnesty, and is not what the party needs at this point.

All these signs point to bad things for the Republicans. The Democrats may be self-destructive, but the Republicans are not positioning themselves to do any better in 2008 if the above trends are any indication.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments »

The Democrat’s quandary

Posted by Sal on November 13, 2006

Having won both houses of Congress, the Democrat’s face a rather large internal struggle for the future of the party. An LA Times story today chronicles how left-leaning blogs, organizations such as the ACLU and, and liberal activists who helped fund the Democrat’s in 2006 see the party as owing them, and are looking for passage of such left-leaning policies as gun control, policies that provide funding for poor people to kill their unborn babies, the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, repeal of the Patriot Act, Universal Health Care, and policies that discourage the outsourcing of jobs oversees. The Democratic leaders, however, see these issues for what they are — politically explosive issues which would lead to their inevitable defeat in 2008. If they don’t pass some of this legislation, they could discourage their base and cause them to stay home in 2008, or support some third party candidate.

Let’s not forget what happened in 1993, following the election of Bill Clinton, and the first completely Democrat-controlled government since the Carter administration. Clinton pushed too far and alienated the country with debates over Gays in the military, Hillary-care, and Nanny-gate. This paved the way for the Republican Contract with America and the 1994 Republican Revolution. Let’s face it, as much as Bill Clinton was a total scumbag and instituted many a bad policy, he was a very shrewd politician. I would dare to say that San Fran Nan and Dingy Harry are much less shrewd than he is, and will have a difficult time balancing the appeal to their base and the attempt to stay in the center. It should be fun to watch.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments »

Cut-and-Run Has Begun

Posted by Ryan on November 12, 2006

Misreading the polls and last week’s election, al-Reuters reports on Senator Levin’s remarks on “This Week,” saying that the Democrats plan a phased withdrawal in the works for Iraq. As usual, President Bush quietly reiterated his rejection of a timetable for troop withdrawal. Whooptie-do.

In Dreamland, I’d love to see a battle on this where the Democrats are pitted against a President committed to victory. However, I have zero confidence in President Bush’s political skills at the moment, but phased withdrawals are also tied to the appropriated funds that make them happen. If Bush wants to keep us there until the job is done and the Dems want us to leave ASAP, who funds the troops in the meantime? I’d love to get the Dems on record refusing to fund the troops! But, I think Bush will drop the ball as more conservative principles are compromised in his “new tone” spirit since I highly doubt that fight will be picked, even given the grave stakes.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment »

European Liberal Loonies

Posted by Sal on November 10, 2006

Not two days after Rummy’s resignation, a group of Europeans is trying to bring him up on War Crimes charges in Germany. What gives Europeans the moral high-ground? Are they putting Al Sadir, Bin Ladin, or Sadaam on trial for war crimes? Have they brought suit against Hezbollah? The only thing more loony than the loony American left is the loony European left. The very idea of putting Rummy on trial for war crimes when there are so many real thugs out there who are guilty of war crimes, is a pathetic example of why European culture is on the decline.

I know there are good, common-sense Europeans out there; I just wish they’d assert themselves more.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment »

More Fallout

Posted by Ryan on November 10, 2006

Tuesday, the Democrats were able to beat Republicans without an agenda (very embarassing). Here’s some international and national fallout to think about:

  • Al-Qaeda is joyfully claiming to be winning the war because of the election results, saying they have a 12,000 person army to fight Americans on their way to blowing up the White House.
  • George McGovern is meeting with 62 “progressives” in Congress on how to cut-and-run in a Vietnam-style way.
  • Al-Qaeda is borrowing leftist talking points about a “lame-duck” Bush and knocking Rumsfeld.
  • Many in Europe are gloating, just two years after calling 62 million of us “dumb,” our intellectual superiors in Old Europe are lecturing us on Rumsfeld and America’s influence in the world,while doing nothing themselves but talk and obstruct. That’s not apt to change.
  • Arabs rejoice while some see this as justice being done (while so many of them have sat by and watched everything happen right next door without lifting a finger to help, and perhaps even supporting the violence).

Picture lifted from Rush.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment »

Why Liberals don’t believe in Democracy

Posted by Sal on November 10, 2006

The People’s Republic of Massachusetts has adjourned it’s legislative session without voting on a proposed ballot measure to define Marriage as between a man and a woman, after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court forced the legislature to allow gay marriage in 2004.

No matter what one thinks of the issue, how can anyone argue that the people don’t have a right to vote on such a controversial issue? This is how the left consistently enacts unpopular policy. With Roe v. Wade in the 1970s, to this today, the courts have been used to thwart the will of the people.

If the ballot measure came up for a vote and lost, I’d accept defeat. I’d try to convince my fellow citizens that they were wrong, and bring it up for a vote again, but the people would have spoken. In the case we have today, the people of MA are being denied their say, and the MA legislatures are abandoning their constitutional duty to vote on the measure. As Gov. Mitt Romney said:

One hundred and seventy thousand citizens followed our Constitution’s process to petition government. They followed the prescribed process to place an item of importance before the voters. They asked for democracy. But today, by effectively avoiding the constitutionally required vote on same sex marriage, 109 legislators disgraced their oath of office. Each of them swore to follow the Constitution. The Constitution plainly states that when a qualified petition is placed before them, they “shall” vote. By not voting, we have witnessed the triumph of arrogance over democracy. Whether or not you favor same sex marriage, you should be very concerned that the rule of law and the sovereignty of the people have been trampled. I salute the 87 who voted for democracy, who voted to follow their oath of office.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment »

Steele for GOP Chair

Posted by Sal on November 10, 2006

Rumers are flying that with Ken Mehlman stepping down from his post of RNC chair, that Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, the Senatorial Candidate from Maryland, is being asked to become the new chair. This would be a great move. Steele is well-spoken, conservative, and a stark contrast to Howard Dean. Having him as the face of the Republican Party. He ran a very effective and hard-fought campaign in Maryland, and despite his loss, remains someone who could make political waves in years to come.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments »

Lincoln Chafee Post-Mortem

Posted by Sal on November 10, 2006

Gauvin, Ryan, and myself, having grown up in Rhode Island, are very familiar with the legacy of the Chafee family and Lincoln Chafee in particular.

Lincoln Chafee is stinging from his defeat in the Senatorial election, and blames the Conservative wing of the Republican Party for his defeat in an interview in today’s Providence Journal. Chafee is now contemplating switching parties, and a possible run for governor. Chafee finally comes out and says what we knew all along; Lincoln Chafee is a Rockefeller elitist Republican who has utter disdain for the direction his party has gone.

Lincoln D. Chafee yesterday said a lot of people had been coming up to him “and saying, ‘We’re sorry you lost, but glad the Congress switched’ ” from GOP to Democratic Party control. Asked if deep down, despite his personal disappointment about the outcome of Tuesday’s election, he felt the same way, Chafee looked into the TV cameras and said: “To be honest, yes.”

Well Linc, you got your wish. You will not be missed. Good riddance.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments »

Pelosi Already Speaking

Posted by Mike on November 8, 2006

Prior to yesterday’s poll closings, the mainstream media treated now Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi as she who must not be named. After all, drawing as little attention as possible to their leader was an essential element of the Democrats’ campaign strategy. Congrats to them for pulling it off.

With the next election more than two years away, Pelosi now feels comfortable with living up to her new title. On tonight’s episode of Special Report, Pelosi referred to the Iraq war, a major front in the war on terror and the major issue which propelled her to victory, as “not a war to be won but a situation to be solved.”

Oh . . . OK . . . I’d stick with the silence strategy Nan.

Good catch by Mona Charen.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments »

Now we have two Democrats in PA

Posted by Sal on November 8, 2006

Arlen Specter is a fool. He has totally misunderstood the meaning of this election, and wants to drive the Republicans into further electoral irrelevance by having the party move to the left. From an AP story today:

Sen. Arlen Specter, the moderate conscience of Pennsylvania Republicans, on Wednesday urged the party to re-evaluate its priorities in the wake of nationwide election losses and called for a more progressive agenda that changes the strategy in Iraq and puts more emphasis on education and health care at home.

In addition to the war, which he called a key factor in the losses of fellow Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Rick Santorum and others, Specter said his party will have to become “a lot more progressive and a lot less ideological.”

This is just what we need to do. Become clones of the Democrats. That’ll differentiate us in the 2008 election.

The wrong Senator from Pennsylvania was defeated last night.

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments »

So long, Mr. President

Posted by Sal on November 8, 2006

I have been an ardent supporter of President George W. Bush throughout his presidency. I have supported him on the war, on taxes, and have overlooked some of his deficiencies (i.e. on Campaign Finance, Education, and Perscription Drugs). Granted, I thought they were wrong at the time and said so, but it did not affect my support of the President as a whole. In the last 12 months, three things have contributed to change my opinion.

Harriet Miers: The most ill-advised Supreme Court nominee possible, it is only due to the Conservative base that she withdrew and the name of Sam Alito was submitted in her stead. On one of the two most important issues of our time, Bush botched this one big time and was saved by his base.

“Comprehensive” (sic) Immigration Reform: This one takes the cake. I could be persuaded to potentially go for a guest worker program, but the President’s support for the McCain/Kennedy bill left me steaming.

Today’s Press Conference: The final nail in the coffin. Bush’s first post-election press conference sounded like a surrendur cry. Instead of standing up to the Democrats and realizing that his base didn’t turn out, he’s trying to appeal to the liberals and take his party down in the process. His calls of working together on Democrat issues made me want to lose my lunch. His knee-jerk reaction to firing Rummy following the loss was also ill-advised. The Bush administration is now catering to the left-wing of the Democratic party. This is a recipie for disaster for the party and for 2008.

The Republican’s chance in ’08 now hinges on leadership change in the house. Mike Pence has announced his candidacy for minority leader, and made some very good observations on the role of a minority party:

Our mission has now changed. Our mission in the Majority was to pass legislation reflecting Republican principles. The duty of the Republican Minority in the 110th Congress is to defeat the liberal agenda of the Democrat Party and become the majority in Congress again. We will only defeat the Democrat agenda by presenting a positive, conservative message in vivid contrast to the big government liberalism of the new Majority.

This is in stark contrast to George W. Bush. Pence’s vision is the way to go. George W. Bush’s is the way to complete annihilation of the party. At this point unless he demonstrates behavior contrary to today’s press conference, other than the war on terror, I think we need to look at Bush as a liability to the Conservative Movement. We need a full frontal assault on liberal ideas and policies, and offer conservative alternatives for the next two years. I have a sneaking suspician that the Republican candidate in 2008 will have to run both against the Democratic nominee/party as well as against President Bush.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment »

The Rumsfeld Era Has Ended

Posted by Ryan on November 8, 2006

Donald Rumsfeld resigned his post of Defense Secretary today, a day after Repubhlicans got their butts handed to them in the midterm elections. Politically timed? Perhaps. Rumsfeld has served for six years– years longer than the average Defense Secretary. Robert Gates, former CIA director, was nominated to replace him.

Whereas I could say glowing things about Rumsfeld, as well as some very critical things, I am still in a post-election malaise here, today. So suffice it to say that I believe history will look back to the first decade of the 21st century as one of transition and tough choices that students will argue about in classrooms and people will write books about for decades. Rumsfeld will be a part of that, and as time goes on his part in all of this will be more clear, and probably positive as the dust settles on Iraq in the next few years.

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Analyzing the Loss

Posted by Sal on November 8, 2006

Well, my predictions were way off.. At this point, the Democrats have picked up 27 house seats (giving them a 12-seat advantage over the GOP) with 14 seats still undetermined, of which several are bound to add to the Democrat’s win column. Over in the Senate, the unthinkable happened with the Democrats almost clearing the table by winning Missouri, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Montana and Virginia are still too close to call, but the Democrats are leading in both and it is unlikely that either will shift. This brings the Senate into the precarious position of having 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and 2 Independents who caucus with the Democrats, giving the Dems 51-49 control of the Senate. So in all likelihood, barring some major shift in Montana or Virginia, we will be seeing both Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi.

The Drive-by Media will try to tell us that this is a sweeping mandate for the Democrats and against the war. They will tell us that the Reagan Revolution / GOP revolution is dead, that Conservatism has failed, and that the Democrats are “back in power.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. Conservatism did not lose last night, the GOP did.

The GOP over the past eight years (really since the resignation of Speaker Gingrich) has become complaisant and addicted to power. They have spent like there is no tomorrow, they have pushed for amnesty for illegal immigrants, corruption is rampant, and conservative principles get deadlocked in the walls of congress. The Democrats won yesterday due to an unpopular war and unpopular president, but they also won because they fielded many Blue-Dog Conservatve or Moderate-Conservative candidates. We may end up seeing another situation as in the 1980s, when the Blue-Dog Democrats joined with Reagan on many issues, defying Tip O’Neill and the hard left. America is still Conservative; exit polls and other data confirm this. This was more a vote against the GOP and their complacency with power, and a struggling war than for the Democrat agenda.

Ever the optimist, I like to look at the silver lining in everything. One of the tenants of Christianity is that God can bring good out of evil. I believe that this election presents the Conservative movement with an opportunity to get back to its roots and come back stronger in the end. The country is still conservative. The GOP needs to convince the country that it is still conservative.

In the next section I’m going to look at some Silver Linings and Damn Shames of this election.

Silver Lining Section

  • RINOs: Two RINOs lost their elections, Mike DeWine and Lincoln Chaffee, proving that bowing to the New York Times and the liberal establishment can’t save you as long as you have an (R) next to your name. The key is to be unabashedly conservative, and live or die on those principles. Their being forced from the Senate this year will make things easier to push Conservatism the next time the GOP takes control of the Legislative Branch.
  • Divided Government: Bush is more likely to veto spending measures, and the Democrats are less likely to get things passed. Bush can effectively battle on the budget the next two years since he doesn’t have to worry about earmarks for his party.
  • Leadership Shake-up: There will be a leadership shake-up in the house. Mike Pence and John Shaddeg, prominent members of the House Study Committee (a conservative caucus in the House) are planning on challenging for the GOP leadership, and one or both of them will likely succeed. This shake-up could be just what the Republicans need to do to get back on message.
  • Pelosi and Reid: They are now the face of the Democratic party, at least until a nominee is chosen for President in early 2008. This is a wonderful opportunity for the GOP to highlight liberalism at its worst.
  • She-who-must-not-be-named: This could make her ascendancy to the Presidency more difficult. Two years of Democrats may give a potential GOP candidate something to run on, and the she will have to defend the record of the Senate.

Damn Shame

  • Santorum and Allen: Two Conservative stalwarts. Santorum a great leader in the House, Allen a potential Presidential nominee, both with careers now ended.
  • John McCain: He was on Fox News last night speaking at how the Republicans need another leader like Reagan to lead them to Victory. Trouble is, McCain fancies himself as another Reagan but is nothing like another Reagan. This unfortunately solidifies his position as GOP front-runner.
  • Investigations / Impeachment: The Dems will begin a long series of drawn-out investigations that could help cripple the Bush Presidency in its remaining two years. The Lieberman factor could play into this however, as he is for the war and could hold a very powerful position in the new Senate.

Overall, we need to look at yesterday’s defeat as an opportunity, not a tragedy. It is an opportunity to cleanse the GOP and bring it back to its Conservative roots. We may have lost the battle last night, but the war is far from over. We as Conservatives need to spend the next two years making sure that we stick to our principles, fight liberalism at every turn, hold ground, and get ready for 2008.

All is not lost. Remember 1992. Everyone thought Conservatism was dead. Clinton was in power, the Democrats had both houses of Congress, an incumbent with former 90% approval ratings had been ousted from the White House. Then Newt came out with his Contract with America, fought a hard campaign, and changed politics forever. The effects of the last 12 years remains even today. It will not be as easy for the Democrats to maintain their majority as it was before 1994. We can and must win back the seats of Government, but on the same Conservative principles that propelled Ronald Reagan to two highly successful victories, and propelled the GOP to take the congress in 1994. This is an opportunity for us to cleanse the party, expose the Democrats as who they really are, and effect real change on this country. We have a long way to go, but we can and must prevail.

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Salinger’s Election-day Predictions

Posted by Sal on November 7, 2006

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing election-day predictions for days, and was undecided until this morning. Truth is, I’ve always had opinions on the subject, being a student of politics, and never a forum. Since this is the first election cycle that I have a forum to do so, I will make my election-day predictions, for better or worse. Feel free to comment.

Senate Races

Arizona: No-brainer, Kyl (Republican Retention).

Tennessee: Corker will pull this one off with a comfortable margin. He’s pulled ahead of the 50% mark in the past few weeks, making this one look safe for the Republicans. (Republican Retention)

Rhode Island: As much as it pains me, Chaffee will get another 6 years in the Senate. He was counted out in the Laffee primary, but then pulled ahead. Recent polls have placed +/- within the margin of error. The Republican ground campaign should push him over the edge. (republican Retention).

Maryland: This one is my sleeper pick of the year. Steele has run a great campaign, and the endorsement of Steele by prominent leaders of the Black community in recent days will give Steele a bump that is not measured in polls. (Republican Pick-up)

Virginia: This one is tough. I like Allen, and think that he does have a shot, but I think he’s run a horrible campaign. He’s oscillating back and forth so much, I just think that Webb will have it. (Democrat Pick-up)

Montana: Burns was all but written off by almost everyone. Now, he’s within striking distance. The momentum is with him, and undecideds seem to be breaking to him. I think he takes this race (Republican Retension).

Missouri: The stem-cell controversy will help propel Talent to a very close victory over Claire McCaskill. I place this race as the most likely to enter litigation after the fact. (Republican Retention)

New Jersey: Keane has been stalling, and Corzine’s popularity is up. Look for this one to go to the Dems. (Democratic Retention)

Pennsylvania: Rick Santorum deserves much better. He is one of the few real leaders in the Senate. He’s the right Senator in the wrong state. I do think that he’ll do much better than the polls anticipate, bringing his margin of loss to within 5. (Democratic Pick-up)

Minnesota: This one is a no-brainer. Klobuchar’s lead is consistently in double-digits. (Democratic Retention).

Washington: What looked like a potential Republican pick-up early, has turned into a runaway race for Cantwell. (Democratic Retention).

Michigan: Karl Rove yesterday said that this race would surprise and that Mike Bouchard had a shot. I frankly don’t see it, but the architect has been right before. I still pick this one for the Dems. (Democratic Retention).

Ohio: Stick a fork in DeWine, he’s done. With the anti-Republican mood in Ohio, he can forget it. (Democratic Pick-up).

Final Analysis: Republicans +1, Democrats +3. Net gain +2 for Democrats.
Final Senate Breakdown: 53 R, 45 D, 2 I. I know this is optimistic, but that’s how I see it at this point.

House of Representatives: I’m not going to go into an analysis of each individual race up for grabs. Suffice to say, there are about 65 seats “in-play”. Of these, Democrats need a net-gain of 15 seats (keeping in mind that 11 of the 65 are Democrat-held seats). With the tightening of the generic ballot and the general distrust I have lately for polls, pundits and predictions, I’m going to predict that the Democrats gain +12 seats, leaving the Republicans nominally in control by 3 seats. I also fully expect the final results of the house not to be known for days.

Finally, to all readers of Axis of Right, get out and vote, even if you feel it doesn’t matter. Elections can have surprises, as in 2000. We need to continue the revolution begun in 1980 with the election of Ronald Reagan. Go vote!

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You Two Have Met, Right?

Posted by Ryan on November 5, 2006

Saddam’s going to die. Couldn’t have happened to a bigger [expletive], as we all agree he’ll rot in Hell after he swings from the gallow’s pole.

Of course, this will have Election 2006 fallout. While the Dems still want to scream about WMDs and Abu Graib, the specter of truth and reality sets in that even though WMD stockpiles have not been found, Saddam was still a mass-murderer. Bush could have sold the war on humanitarian issues alone, which doesn’t change the notion that when I hear people scream against the Iraq War, they are also inferring that mass-murder Saddam Hussein should:

  1. still be a mass-murderer in power plotting against the West and his neighbors,
  2. and that we should risk the destabilization of the current regime through their “premature evacuation” strategy.

It’s a morally difficult position for some. Not for me, though. I’d hate to think what its like being a “jail-bride” in Hell.

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