Political Diatribes

Another conservative take on the world around us

Archive for the ‘Wisconsin’ Category

Obama’s Response to a World’s Chaos

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on February 23, 2011

It started in Tunisia, and is being dubbed the The Tunisia Revolution. The official word is that the revolution was initiated due to economic conditions (high food prices, inflation, and unemployment) along with a boiling-point reaction to corruption and general suppression of freedom.

Then came Egypt. Buoyed by the successful ouster of the Tunisian President, we are told that some Facebook revolutionaries ushered in the eventual ouster of long-time leader, President Mubarak.

Both of these events should rightfully be highlighting the news, but we can’t keep up with new unrest. Even while Egyptians were taking to the streets, there were new uprisings in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, China, and Sudan, among other areas of the globe.

And then our eyes turned inward, to Madison, Wisconsin in what could be a harbinger for similar knockings of heads in other states as they battle their budget woes.

But even this was only front and center for aa few days, when the next – and as of yet most significant as it pertains to U.S. interests – domino in the Middle East looks to be falling. Libya is falling out of Gadaffi’s control and this has the largest economic implications to the U.S. in terms of rising oil costs. It also comes with the most humanitarian baggage, including a literal execution of protestors and an ordered military bombing campaign against civilians. Further, there are indications that the unrest is turning toward a conclusion of a radical islamic state.

All this means that, what would normally be headline news for the entire 24-hour news cycle, rockets fired at Israel is almost an afterthought.

So many big things are happening in so many places that it’s impossible to figure out what is the most important and/or impactful story of the day, hour, or minute.

A turbulent world is nothing new, but one doesn’t have to be a sociopolitical analyst and Ivy League graduate to recognize that something strange, interesting, and possibly dangerous is going on. Some of this unrest can be looked at with positivity – people standing up for their rights, and a desire for freedom. Protests in and of themselves are not a bad thing. I am not here to say that Armageddon is a breath away, but if one doesn’t pause and realize that much of this is a high-risk balancing act taht can get ugly in a hurry, then I’d be remiss in not pointing out the sand around that person’s head.

But, our President has a plan.

Well, not on Libya yet, due to scheduling issues with Hillary Clinton.

But other than that, he has a plan.

This plan is the way back to sanity. In the face of rising oil prices, Middle East conflict and instability, domestic unrest over labor issues, unprecedented bedget deficits and runaway debt, here’s the answer: No more defense of the Defense of Marriage Act!

In these difficult times where energy is required elsewhere, it only makes sense to consider the family unit a low priority, don’t you think? Now is the time to raise this issue. As for the rationale:

“[T]he President has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny,” Mr. Holder said. “The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the President’s determination

.

Thank the heavens for the guidance of President Obama and the Administration. Let us defend to the death the Constitutionally-suspect Health Care Reform bill, let us challenge the Constitutionality of the Arizona Illegal Immigration Bill, and let us publicly flog in a verbal manner the Supreme Court at the State of the Union address the decision to strike down the unconstitutional campaign finance law. But Defense of Marriage? No way.

One wonders how the President found time to deal with this issue with his around-the-clock attention being given to the Libyan turmoil.

What a multi-tasker.

Posted in Barack Obama, Egypt, Libya, Middle East, President, Wisconsin | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on November 4, 2010

The Biblical version of this might be “To whom much is given, much is expected.” But the title above comes from my beloved Spider-Man. One of those things that just always stuck with me after reading it as a kid. It may only be a comic book, but it always struck me as filled with wisdom.

So, I don’t have a lot of time to provide an in-depth analysis of the 2010 mid-term elections. I hardly need to do so, since there are thousands of such opinions out there, many of whome will echo my own thoughts.

So, real quickly, let me just say “It was a very good night on Tuesday.” Speaking from a central Wisconsin perspective, it is the first time in my entire lifetime that my district has gone Republican. Sean Duffy defeated Julie Lassa! And on top of that, Ron Johnson defeated Russ Feingold. This was simply a pipe dream mere months ago, and I never even seriously thought there was any chance that old Russ would fall. The capitol went GOP, as well, with Scott Walker defeating Barrett. I don’t even know how to respond, this is such an unusual trifecta.

But it doesn’t end there. Both statehouses flipped from Democrat to Republican.

We all know by now that, nationally, the House had a historic number of seats switch from Democrat to Republican. We also know that the Senate will stay in Democrat hands, but there will be a minimum pickup of 6 seats, which is nearly double the norm for a mid-term election.

But my take on this is not one of euphoria, though I will admit it is one of relief. If these guys do nothing but stop the flood of horrible agenda items crammed through in the last 2 years, it will help us greatly.

But here’s the deal: This isn’t like the old days. Believe me, I am a dyed-in-the-wool conservative and that means I almost always end up on the side of the GOP. That’s true in the general election. In the past, I think many of us – even myself to an extent – believed that the GOP would live by its core principles and it didn’t necessarily matter who the individuals were. In the past, sins of incumbents were often forgive because, well, this or that GOP incumbent has the best chance in the general election, even if not perfect.

I’m not saying perfection is demanded, but I am saying that any abandonment of core principle is not going to be tolerated. The Tea Party movement needs to stay focused, needs to hold all of our politicians accountable, and needs to stay on message. And this message needs to be harsh. We need to be willing to stand up and say “Hey, we supported you, we elected you, and you let us down. We’ll find somebody else next time.”

In fact, that threat needs to be there even if it means we lose the general election. A big deal is being made in some circles about how the GOP could have won the Senate if the Tea Party hadn’t been so… so… principled in Delaware and Nevada. Imagine that. The largest criticism of the Tea Party is that they put forth candidates who didn’t win in the general election, even though they knew that candidate would have a more difficult time in the general election. And the reason they did it was because, out of principle, they couldn’t support someone that did not see things the same way the Tea Party did. That may not be the most strategic, but it’s the most principled approach. And even in that losing effort, it sends a clear and strong message: if you go off the reservation, we won’t save you.

Besides, who really cares about not winning the Senate? They wouldn’t have veto override power of a Democratic President, so whether they have a slight majority or a slight minority is, quite honestly, close to irrelevant. Others have delved into that analysis, and I won’t do it again here. But it’s a point worth noting in the context that the criticism of the Tea Party for “costing the GOP the Senate” is entirely a red herring. The analysist know it wouldn’t matter, in real terms. They also know that there may even be some political value in not owning both the House and the Senate. But it’s all they’ve got right now to try and undermine that movement.

It won’t work, mainly because the Tea Partiers don’t care. I can guarantee you that there aren’t a whole lot of Tea Party supporters wringing their hands today and wondering “If only we had supported the other guy in the Primary…”

Nope, Tuesday was a victory for the GOP, and it’s because of the zeal of the Tea Partiers. More importantly, it was a victory for America. But it’s only one game. Whether or not America is on its way back to being a Championship team depends on whether or not those who campaigned on Tea Party principles govern in the same way, and whether or not the movement that put them there continues to be vigilant, watch ALL of our elected officials, and approach 2012 the same way it approached 2010, without regard to party of incumbents who fail to pass the test.

Posted in Elections, Opinion, Politics, Sean Duffy, Tea Party, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Congressional District 7 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Can Obey Be Coakley’d? – From the National Review

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on January 23, 2010

I’ve already suggested that the answer is “yes.” Now, the National Review asks the same question. See full article here.

Among the beneficiaries of this invigorated sense that no seat belongs to an individual or his party, regardless of rank, tenure, or his family’s place in the American imagination, is Sean Duffy, a Republican running for Congress in Wisconsin. This 38-year-old father of five, currently serving his fourth term as Ashland County district attorney, is effectively reminding Democrat David Obey, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee (who was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1969, before Duffy was born), that his congressional seat is not his, but the people’s. This former reality-TV star — Duffy and his wife, Rachel, were both cast members of The Real World — may benefit from the new real political world created by the election of Scott Brown.

Go to the article to see a short interview with Duffy. The more national press for Duffy, the better. As far as I’m concerned, this is a national campaign as much as it is a local one. Yes, I live in District 7, and there are local issues. Many of these are important. But there is too much at stake at a national level to ignore that element of it. Obey is one of the drivers of economic policy and spending that is affecting all of yus – not just those in District 7.

I present here the final few questions that Duffy responded to:

Q: What does Senator-elect Brown mean for your race?

A: If Scott Brown can win in a state that President Obama won by 26 points, I can win in a district that Obey won by just 20 points against an unknown, underfunded challenger in the Democratic landslide of 2008. It means there is not a single Democrat in the country who is safe. And, as the author of the failed stimulus bill, David Obey will be at the forefront of the debate about jobs, the economy, and wasteful government spending. If he continues to tax and spend our country into bankruptcy, he’s going to get Coakley’d.

Q: What are you hearing most on the trail?

A: People want a job and a paycheck. People want real answers, not more political spin and inaction. They want government to live within its means and to stop intruding into their daily lives. Voters want to remain in control of their lives and health-care decisions, and they want a congressman who will bring common-sense Wisconsin values to Washington — not the other way around. Unfortunately, Dave Obey represents all that is wrong with Washington.

Q: What’s the most important lesson of this race?

A: Presented with a clear choice, Americans reject the fiscally irresponsible agenda of Obama and Obey.

Q: What are you offering the voters instead?

A: We are running on a message of free enterprise, job creation, and fiscal responsibility. My philosophy is resonating with Wisconsin voters.

The Wall Street Journal has recognized Obey’s part in playing left-wing politics:

We had been encouraged a year ago by Mr. Obama’s selection of Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff because we thought he would have learned from the Clinton failure of 1993-1994 and knew enough to stand up to the Congressional left. How wrong we were. Mr. Emanuel and his boss have instead deferred to Congress’s liberal barons on every major domestic policy.

These committee chairmen are all creatures of the Great Society and what was called the New Left of the 1960s and 1970s. They have spent their lives in government and know almost nothing about the private sector or how to grow an economy. They view the Reagan era as an historical aberration, and they have stayed in Washington for decades precisely in wait of this moment to realize 40-years of pent-up policy ambition. They believe this is their 1965, or 1933.

While Mr. Obama campaigned as a young postpartisan Democrat who wanted a new era of comity in Washington, his victory has instead empowered these ancient left-wing warriors. These are the men who have run Washington this past year, and they are Mr. Obama’s de facto cabinet.

And who is one of these ideologues?

Wisconsin’s David Obey, elected in 1969, is the House Appropriations chairman who steered the $787 billion stimulus to focus on Medicaid expansion and other transfer payments that have done nothing for economic growth.

The consequences?

It is the combination of all of these and other policies that has ignited the political revolt we are now seeing in Massachusetts, and first saw last November in Virginia and New Jersey. Had Democrats modified their agenda to nurture a fragile economy and financial system, they could now claim their policies worked and build on them later.

Instead, their frenetic agenda has frightened voters and businesses about the vast expansion of government power and enormous tax increases to come. The resulting uncertainty and the anticipation of higher costs for labor, taxes and energy have undermined what ought to be a more robust pace of job creation and overall recovery.

The lesson of Mr. Obama’s lost first year is that an economic crisis is a terrible thing to exploit. As they have each time in the last 40 years that they have had total control of Washington, Democrats are proving again that America can’t be successfully governed from the left.

And if America can’t be governed well from the left, and Obey is one of the entrenched 40 yearers driving this failed agenda, it’s simply time for him to go.

Posted in Dave Obey, Sean Duffy, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Congressional District 7 | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Massachusetts and Wisconsin District 7

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on January 21, 2010

The Old

The Old - 40+ years in Washington

The New

The New - Fresh, energetic representation

What can we take from something that happens in Massachusetts? Quite a bit, actually.

Lesson: If a Republican can actually win a seat in a Democratic stronghold – a seat held by Democrats for nearly 60 years – then it can happen here.

It won’t come easy. Scott Brown rode a wave of discontent, and was a gainst a Democratic candidate who, by all accounts, did not run a strong campaign. But even so, he won by getting out there and working hard, and the message he presented was a conservative message in large part. OK, let’s not appoint him a savior or anything… there are some issues where he is center to left, but the key issues that were the focus of the campaign were clearly conservative versus liberal in nature. And the conservative won.

Lesson: No matter where you are, or who you are running against, it is best to stay true to your core principles and not water them down. Sure, you need to present them well and make the case for why those ideas make sense, but you don’t run from them.

So, can it possibly be that a Congressman who holds a powerful seat in Washington, and who has been there for over 40 years, can be beaten?

Lesson: Yes!

How? Well, first we need to be respectful and honest. Clearly, Dave Obey once represented Wisconsin interests well. You simply do not remain in office as long as he has without there being a reason for it. I may not agree with many of his policies or ideas, but many here did. There is no reason to demonize him on every issue. However, it is quite fair to point out where he has gone wrong. The fact is that Dave Obey last met any reasonable challenge 12-14 years ago against a candidate named Scott West. I know Scott, and he’s a good guy. He would have been a fine COngressman. He had a good message and worked hard, and it is the closest race I can ever remember against Obey. Having said that, he was not all that dynamic. But there was still a positive response to his message. Had he presented more charisma, I think he could have won. Plus, that was during a time where Obey hadn’t really done a whole lot to irk people, other than policy differences.

Since then, there has been no serious contention for his seat. Truth be told, prior to that race, there had been no serious contention for years. In fact, I’m 42, and in my memory, that is the only close race I can remember for this seat.

That may be refelctive of Obey’s strengths, but it is just as much a factor of weak candidates due to a perception of invincibility.

I believe that times have changed. 2009-10 has brought general discontent with trillion dollar stimulus packages and health care reform. Dave Obey cannot hide from his part in this mess – in fact he assisted the drafting of the stimulus package, enriching his son’s department a mere $3 billion in the process. Massachusetts voters – and I believe thinking people everywhere – are not in favor of the health care overhaul. Add to that some general issues that simply does not reflect his constituents: general tax policy, social issues such as abortion, etc. and the time has come where people who are paying attention will recognize that he is not representing Central Wisconsin, but instead throwing his lot with the Democratic machine.

Sean Duffy provides us with an option, possibly unlike any other in my lifetime. Younger blood, energetic, truly representative of central Wisconsin values, a bit of star power, good presence, and a beautiful family to boot… it is time for real change in our district this coming November.

For those of you who are not from Wisconsin, this race could have national implications, and support from a broad base is needed. We’re talking about the possible ouster of a very key House Democrat here, currently the chair of the Appropriations committee. How sweet would that be? And believe me, this is possible. If you don’t believe it, take a look at Massachusetts.

In that spirit, I share the new e-mail from the Duffy campaign:

It was the vote heard ’round the world.

Last night, in the place where freedom in America was born, Scott Brown stunned the political establishment to become the 41st vote against the Democrats’ stranglehold on Washington. Scott Brown’s election, to Ted Kennedy’s seat no less, was a decisive rejection of the government’s takeover of health care and Washington’s disastrous spending spree.

Our Massachusetts victory is also a lesson that the right to represent the people is always earned, and never given. After 40 years of one party control of Massachusetts’ two Senate seats, the citizens of that state finally said “Enough.”

Here in Wisconsin, we are challenging our own 40-year political machine. Dave Obey first came into office the last time Massachusetts had a Republican Senator. And with your help, he will leave office this year in an historic sea-change election.

Let’s show Dave Obey that Massachusetts was not just a blip on the radar or a bump in the road. Today, we can show him that no Democrat is safe — and especially not the one who has been responsible for giving us trillions of dollars in new spending, waste, and debt.

Please contribute $40 to end Obey’s 40 year reign.

We are strongly positioned to give Dave Obey the race of his life and end his political career this November. The Wall Street Journal recently featured our campaign as the leader of the “new Young Guns” who are fighting to clean up Washington and end the creeping march of government intrusion in our lives.

In Massachusetts we fired the first shot, but the real battle lies ahead. Help me defeat the Appropriations Chair and secure another historic victory for our party and our country.

Let’s roll!

Sean

Click the link above to contribute.

Posted in Dave Obey, Elections, Massachusetts, Politics, Sean Duffy, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Congressional District 7 | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Wall Street Journal Highlights Duffy

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on January 11, 2010

Read article: here.

Through the tall trees of northern Wisconsin, Republican Sean Duffy is stalking a giant. The 38-year-old district attorney is talking fiscal responsibility, job creation, entitlement reform. He’s scoring Washington for higher taxes, and for a health-care takeover. He’s Facebooking and Twittering. He comes across as a serious yet positive reformer, a combo that has caught the public’s eye.

He’ll need that eye, and more, since his Goliath is one David Obey, Democratic head of the Appropriations Committee, the liberal bull who has occupied Wisconsin’s Democratic-leaning 7th congressional seat since before Mr. Duffy was . . . born.

Seriously… Hope and change people… Put your money and vote where your mouth is. Obey may have at one time served Wisconsin well, I suppose. But the term “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely” is appropo here. Nepotism in the gargantuan stimulus bill is a major issue, but he simply has strayed from Wuisconsin values. Wisconsinites in District 7: don’t allow yourselves to be bought. Don’t exchange principle for the promise of earmarks – pork – the purpose of which is to buy votes. We’ve been prostituted long enough.

Time to put principle on the front burner: Support Duffy. At the very least, check out his site: http://duffyforcongress.com/.

I don’t really do facebook or twitter, but apparently he’s active on both, so look him up there as well.

Posted in Dave Obey, Elections, Sean Duffy, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Congressional District 7 | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Support Sean Duffy to Unseat Dave Obey

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on December 18, 2009

I did something I almost never do a couple days ago.  I contributed to a political campaign. 

Until now, I have felt the hopeless realization that Dave Obey will be me Representative until either I die or he dies.   This is the man who violated the trust of Wisconsin’s citizens by playing such a large part in the stimulus package getting passed.  This is the man who included Billions in the “crucial” stimulus package for an exercise in nepotism.

Obey does not fairly represent our voters, and hasn’t for some time.

The issue is that, for years now, there has been no viable candidate step forward to take him on. While I’m firmly entrenched in the “Anyone But Obey” camp, even I have to admit that the GOP candidates have been pretty weak.

For the first time in a while, I feel like we have a very strong candidate, and I fully support him. His name is Sean Duffy.

Today’s politics are seldom just a local thing. Please help, no matter where you are, drive Obey out and Duffy in. You can contribute here.

I’ll be trying to get the word out more on this site on reasons why it’s time for a real change.

Posted in Dave Obey, Elections, Politics, Sean Duffy, Wisconsin | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

It’s Time for Dave Obey to Go

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on February 7, 2009

Stimulus-National Parks

Photo credit: Lawrence Jackson (AP). Dave Obey, looking like he has just screwed over Wisconsin - and everyone else.

For a stalwart of the House who has been re-elected in his Wisconsin District for 40 years because of name recognition and lack of viable candidates as opposition, Dave Obey flies under the radar pretty well. Even in his District (in which I live) you could ask 1000 people what they know about him and you’d maybe get a handful of people who really know anything about him.

He could be the most powerful no-name in Washington.

And he is an embarrassment to Wisconsin. But we don’t know it.

Oh, to be fair, there are certain things he has represented us well on. We are a rural and farming community with a lot of blue-collar workers. Any viable candidate will need to recognize the make-up of the district which he or she represents. But in a multitude of other ways, he is the antithesis of what we are about. We are not spendthrifts here who shun fiscal responsibility. We are not liberal on social issues. We are not socialists.

Dave Obey is all of these things. And he has the means of direct influence in Washington to help enact exactly the opposite of the issues we truly hold dear.

So, am I saying that the Wisconsin District is stupid for continuing to vote for him? No. They are not stupid. I would say that they are not properly informed. And that is not entirely their fault. The last time there was any remotely viable candidate to oppose Obey was probably 15 years ago or so, when an opponent named Scott West actually gave him a run for his money. Other than that little glimmer of hope, there has been nobody that had any money to compete. The seat has never looked endangered, so the Republican Party never bothers here. So, for decades, there has been little to no informational campaign that highlights Representative Obey’s issues.

Case in point is the recent stimulus behemoth. From NPR:

U.S. Rep. David Obey (D-WI), the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, helped write the bill and says he doesn’t like being asked about earmarks.

“We simply made a decision, which took about three seconds, not to have earmarks in the bill,” he says. “And with all due respect, that’s the least important question facing us on putting together this package.”

Leaving out the earmarks does mean Congress will have less control over how the money is spent. But, Obey says, “So what? This is an emergency. We’ve got to simply find a way to get this done as fast as possible and as well as possible, and that’s what we’re doing.”

That doesn’t mean Congress will be responsible if the money is spent badly, he says.

“The person who spends the money badly will be responsible. We are simply trying to build as many protections in as possible,” Obey says. “We have more oversight built into this package than any package in the history of man. If money is spent badly, we want to know about it so we can hold accountable the people who made that choice. And guess what? Regardless of what we do, there will be some stupid decisions made.”

That may not sound all that bad, but the most important point here is that Obey was instrumental in putting together a $900 billion spending bill. And there isn’t a lot of control over how the money that will trash our dollar will be spent. And his response: “So what?”

Oh, but there’s oversight so that after “stupid decisions” are made and the money’s already spent, then they’ll hold people accountable.

Whoop-de-doo.

But there’s more. As this source explains:

House Republicans are questioning a section of the economic stimulus package that routes nearly $2 billion to national parks, saying the money could be a hidden pet project for Obey’s son. Craig Obey, a senior vice president of the National Parks Conservation Association, is a top lobbyist for the nonprofit group, which made public appeals for funds to repair and maintain national parks in the weeks before the House passed the bill.

That is pretty sleazy. $2 billion! When talking about the staggering amount of $900 billion, perhaps we start to lose sight of how big each billion actually is. Think, everyone. It takes a $1000 coming from one million people to total a billion. And Mr. Obey recklessly pushes through $2 billion in pork as a favor to his son? Is this what the people of Central and Northwestern Wisconsin want out of their Representative? No way.

This is egregious. It is mortgaging our future. And all he says is “So what?”

I am calling on the new RNC Chairman, Mr. Steele, to start today in developing a campaign strategy against Dave Obey. Pound his efforts in passing this bill over and over and over. Even if there is a short-term bump from this spending, we all know it’s irresponsible. Go with that. Over and over.

Anyone and everyone – in Wisconsin or not – let’s figure out a way how to get this guy out. Start today. I’ll help however I can. 527s, PACs, whatever. I know nothing about all that, so we need legal people and political people and RNC people and strategy people and advertising people and grassroots people…

Pass it on.

Anyone who has anything at all that I can post regarding comments by Dave Obey or votes by Mr. Obey that can help me get the word out here, send them to me at geezep@yahoo.com, or post a comment.

Anyone with contact information for anyone who could actually help organize any kind of campaign, let’s do it.

And no, I won’t be running. My wife would kill me. But I will help where I can.

Posted in Dave Obey, Elections, Opinion, Politics, Wisconsin | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »