In Defense of Incrementalism

My latest at PracticalPoliticking.

It’s fashionable of late for conservatives to rally around whichever politician takes the firmest and most flamboyant public stance, regardless of diplomacy or discretion. This approach might be suitable at a fundraising event or CPAC, but it’s less constructive when real victory requires political acumen. It’s furthermore fashionable to ostracize Republicans who understand that it takes a majority to advance conservative policy.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky primary challenger Matt Bevin illuminated the bizarre absurdity of this disconnect, stating recently on Glenn Beck’s radio show that he would be “willing to risk losing the Senate if we could keep America,” as if the country can be improved with Harry Reid controlling the upper chamber and retaining the ability to block any House legislation he so desires. The attitude that “if Republicans just grew a spine …” plays well for talk radio ratings and bolstering email lists, but reality remains that governing requires winning, and winning requires a great deal more than appealing to the base’s emotionalism with reckless abandon.

Too many seem content with allowing politicians to pound the podium with shallow platitudes such as “It’s time to stand up and fight!” while the crowd applauds and everyone pretends as if something meaningful was accomplished.

Read the rest here.

Making the Moral Case for Conservatism

My latest featured column at PracticalPoliticking.

President Obama won re-election almost solely due to the fact that voters believed he cared about them more than Mitt Romney did. Most every exit poll revealed that voters saw Romney as the more competent leader in matters of economy, foreign affairs, and the government’s fiscal crises.

While politically frustrating for conservatives who believe a candidate’s merit – and indeed the merit of policy in general – is judged by the ramifications of his ideas and not his propagated personal charity, this type of cognitive reasoning is at least interesting from a sociological standpoint. 52% of voters saw what they believed were two distinct options – competence or compassion – and chose compassion.

This decision represents a lot of things, some good and some bad. A society that values helping others is inarguably admirable. But – and here’s the big but – voters are being grossly mislead regarding what policies actually do improve quality of life for the maximum number of people.

Read the rest here.

The Brashness of the Abortion Caucus

My latest post in The Ring at PracticalPoliticking.

Mere procedural victory wasn’t good enough for Representative Wessel-Kroeschell, however. She wanted her voice on record in opposition, and so it is.

“I want to let you know that we as women know about babies. We love them. We adore them.”

Right. So much so, that the women who died as a result of webcam abortions deterred the determined Wessel-Kroeschell not a smidge, and that the babies she claims to “love” and “adore” should very well be done away with for the inconvenience they create in a woman’s life.

What we have here is a pure, unadulterated admittance that the act of abortion takes a human life, that it’s justified because raising kids is sometimes difficult, that the act of webcam abortion has killed several women but should be continued, and that the vast majority of Iowa Democrats support all of this anyway.

Read the rest here.

Another Blow to Big Labor

My latest post in The Ring at PracticalPoliticking.

Last evening when most Americans were either spending Valentine’s Day with their significant others or halfway through their second can of Pringles watching House of Cards, auto workers in Tennessee were busy delivering the latest blow to the stumbling, bumbling, crumbling Big Labor movement.

Workers at the major Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga rejected the United Auto Workers efforts to unionize them by a razor-thin margin. The nay’s took it 712-626.

Reporters tweeting reaction couldn’t believe the tears (literally) and general dispirit of the union activists and the UAW bigwigs.

President Obama chimed in with token support, saying that only those “more concerned about German shareholders than American workers” could have the audacity to oppose forcing plant workers to pay dues that serve mainly as pocket liners for union bosses and the Democrat politicians they support.

Read the rest here.

Introducing: The Ring

The Ring is a new feature at PracticalPoliticking that will be used for shorter blog hits, quick commentary, links to especially prescient videos, and that sort of thing. Below are the three posts I’ve made there so far.

Washington Free Beacon: Why won’t the media won’t say our name?

The conservative website Washington Free Beacon has a video up highlighting the refusal of most mainstream media outlets to mention WFB’s name this week. Of course, the Free Beacon made headlines with its story on Hillary Clinton, using the words of one of her best friends.

The report doesn’t exactly present the former Secretary of State in a flattering light, which is probably the reason MSNBC and others couldn’t bring themselves to mention by name the very popular site that actually ran the story.

Republicans Might Be Wimps, But It’s Not Because of Immigration

Bill Press, over at The Hill, argues today that the only reason we aren’t getting comprehensive immigration reform this year is because, in his words, “Republicans are wimps.”

I argue that he’s only half right.

Unilateral Abuse

A couple of days ago the Heritage Foundation’s Foundry ran a good short piece on seven times President Obama threw off the shackles of the antiquated theory of separated powers and declared “I can do whatever I want.”

The implication being, of course, that a silly thing like checks and balances and the pesky fact that Congress is a co-equal branch of government with the Executive won’t stop him from forcing politically-beneficial executive orders on businesses and families across the nation.

The article was well timed, as it turned out, since just last night the President signed an executive order raising the minimum wage for federally-contracted workers starting in 2015 to $10.10 an hour, and has threatened to extend the reach of his contrived unilateral powers to all government workers and even into the private sector if Congress doesn’t do it for him.

GOP Should Postpone Immigration Talk

My latest as PracticalPoliticking.

One of the tenets of the conservative worldview is that no public policy exists in a vacuum; that there are always consequences foreseen and unforeseen. Additionally, the merits of a particular policy are arguable even amongst like-minded people, and must be weighed against potential public and political ripple effects.

While all policy is debatable between political parties and within them, even relatively good policy may be detrimental if issued with poor timing.

The Republicans Party’s bizarre insistence on thrusting immigration reform back into the limelight at what seems like the most inopportune of times provides a sparklingly clear example of this.

Without contesting the intricacies of the specific proposed legislative points for the time being, it’s quite obvious there is no slam dunk immigration position for conservatives at present.

Whatever your position regarding immigration policy, it may hardly be said that the GOP or conservatives in general have a coherent or settled endorsement. Were Republicans to control the White House and Senate in addition to the House, they still would not agree on any singular immigration legislation that would manage to avoid infuriating large swaths of the base.

Read the rest here.

More Obamacare Numbers, More Disappointment

My latest at PracticalPoliticking.

Coming off the least watched State of the Union address in decades, President Obama could use some good news. Unfortunately for him and his party members up for reelection, he won’t find it in anything related to his signature legislative achievement.

Evidence is mounting that shows even uninsured Americans, those that ObamaCare was designed to assist, are joining the majority of Americans who already opposed the massive government health insurance law.

According to the most recent survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 24% of uninsured poll respondents said they viewed the so-called “Affordable” Care Act in a favorable light, while nearly twice that amount disliked the law. Considering the President’s so-called “Legacy Legislation” was billed primarily as a way to help millions (purportedly) in desperate need of health insurance, a 47% disapproval rating amongst that very group is remarkable.

And it only gets worse from there.

Read the rest here.


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