Jeb Bush: Soft on Crime in the name of Love

Jeb Bush, in what he viewed as a heroic act, sided with the liberal media, the major unions, big business, and the majority of the Democrat Party and stated that illegal immigration is a crime on the books but is really just “an act of love.”

The full quote is:

“Someone comes to this country because they couldn’t come legally, they come this country because their families, a dad who loved their children was were worried that their children didn’t have food on the table.  And wanted to make sure their family was intact and they crossed the border because they had no other means to work to be able to provide for their family. Yes, they broke the law but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love, it’s an act of commitment to your family”

Based upon Jeb’s constant stuttering and inability to finish a full thought without starting a new one — a Bush family trait — this comment seems not to have been prepared. It’s very likely what the former Florida Governor actually believes.

It’s compassionate conservatism 2.0, rather than just expanding the federal bureaucracy to help the disenfranchised poor, Jeb would go one step further and actually negate criminal activity for tens-of-millions of people in the name of compassion. These people are, after all, natural Constitution-loving, law-and-order Republicans in the making.

But if you’re going to start excusing crimes, why should Bush stop with illegal aliens? There are a lot of crimes that are misdemeanors that one could are argue are done in the name of love.

Like shoplifting. In Texas, shoplifting is broken down into three different classes as a misdemeanor, the most severe being Class-A, where a criminal steals from $500 to $1,500 in property.

But what if a criminal was stealing food for his family? Or clothes? Or school supplies? What if they were just stealing property to give away as Christmas gifts to the disenfranchised? Could all of this be forgiven under the Presidency of Jeb Bush?

There are myriad different laws across the country that are misdemeanors; could someone be forgiven if acting against the law with the correct intent? In New York, misdemeanors include assault in the third degree and inciting a riot – maybe if Al Sharpton felt like inciting another riot, Jeb Bush would let him off since it was in the name of social justice.

After all, according to the philosophy of Jeb Bush, someone, such as an illegal immigrant who commits a crime by breaking into the United States, is not likely to go on and commit any other future crimes.

Jeb’s statements were not only idiotic — that blanket amnesty of crimes would not result in more crimes (See Reagan’s amnesty in 1986). They also go against the Republican Party’s ideology and politics in favor of being soft on crime.

Republicans have done remarkably well running tough-on-crime campaigns; Ronald Reagan defeated incumbent-Governor Pat Brown in the 1966 election for California Governor. Richard Nixon won the Presidency in 1968 after Republicans had suffered defeats in seven of the previous nine elections; Nixon’s tough on crime policies would help create the new majority, the Republican coalition that would deliver victories in six of the next nine elections. Rudy Guiliani won two elections for Mayor of New York City — against a six-to-one Democrat advantage — primarily due to his policy on crime.

Jeb Bush is very conscious of his image problem, he’s a Bush and he’s a Republican, but if blanket amnesty and soft-on-crime-policy is Jeb’s way of making the new Bush and the new Republican, it’s going to be met with the same results as Mitt Romney and John McCain.

Originally published in


There’s a familiar story of a man who has nothing, wins the lotto, and lives the same lavish lifestyle that he once criticized rich people for. Then, in just a few short years, he’s back in poverty, with only memories of good times.

Bill de Blasio won the lottery: a weak Republican opponent in an overwhelmingly liberal city that hadn’t elected a Democrat mayor in two decades. There was fatigue over the Bloomberg and Giuliani years. Most New Yorkers couldn’t fathom a time when Times Square was littered with prostitutes, the Lower East Side with AIDS-infected heroin addicts, and Brooklyn with race riots.

De Blasio’s moderate Democrat opponents were seen as being too close to Bloomberg, and his more liberal opponents were mired in scandal: John Liu for his shady fundraising and Anthony Weiner for (insert your own joke here).

And so the people’s mayor was elected to right the injustices cast by evil Republicans over the last 20 years. Income inequality, police brutality, and Justin Bieber’s career would all be things of the past.

It appears, however, that his words were in vain.

Within weeks of his inauguration, de Blaiso gave a get-out-of-jail-free-card to his friend Bishop Orlando Findlayter. He was a member of de Blasio’s transition team who was stopped and arrested by police for two open warrants. One phone call from the mayor and Findlayter was spared a night in prison.

Several weeks ago, leaving a photo-op in Queens, the mayor’s driver recklessly sped through side streets and blew past stop signs, even as de Blasio was pressing to lower the city speed limit to 25 mph.

On March 2, it was reported by the New York Post that the mayor hadn’t registered his $1.1 million rental property in Brooklyn, three months after that same paper first pointed it out.

When asked by the press about these incidents, the mayor was evasive. He doesn’t believe that if you live by the sword, you die by the sword. It’s not easy being the people’s mayor, suffering the fate of the voiceless 99 percent.

Cronyism aside, de Blasio has not shown he’s prepared to tackle the job of New York City’s most powerful leader.

As of February 28, de Blasio still has to appoint heads of more than a dozen city offices and agencies — Buildings, Cultural Affairs, Consumer Affairs, Corrections, Parks, and Finance, just to name a few.

The mayor also hasn’t been able to deal with the old-as-time issue of snow. This is New York, not Atlanta where a dusting can prompt dozens of car accidents. New Yorkers are used to snow; nonetheless this year brought a lot of severe weather. States of emergency were declared at least three times. The mayor placed warnings to stay off the roads, except if you attended or taught at public schools.

Despite hazardous conditions, the public schools remained open, to the ire of parents, teachers, and students. New York’s own Al Roker tweeted, “I knew this am @NYCMayorsOffice @NYCSchools would close schools. Talk about a bad prediction. Long range DiBlasio forecast: 1 term.”

Roker is not known for his politics, and although he apologized for saying one term, he didn’t apologize for the criticism. It’s what many New Yorkers were thinking.

School Chancellor Carmen Farina stated that schools had to remain open because many New York City students depended on public schools for a hot lunch. Farina said that many schools experienced more than 60 percent attendance.

It does not surprise this writer that many parents look at public schools as a babysitting program for their children. That’s a reality of the day and age we live in. The troubling aspect is that the school chancellor looked at this with a sense of pride. In blistering conditions, when only three-fifths of the student body could attend school, the city babysitting agency must stay open to feed the hungry.

What do these children do on the weekends? Or over the summer? Or on the newly declared city holidays for Islamic holy days?

Governor Cuomo also slapped down the mayor in his push to tax the rich in order to mandate universal pre-K. This was just another setback for de Blasio’s political agenda.

Since de Blasio has become New York City’s mayor, the rich are planning to flee, homicide is on the rise, and the chancellor of our public schools has made it clear that the number one priority is to chaperone children.

This is fate of the soon-to-be-former safest big city in America, where hipsters and the Walt Disney Company were once safe to frolic.


Published in The American Spectator 

Liberty Republicans grow up

It’s often said that growing up involves making peace with your elders. The time spent from adolescence to adulthood is paved with the brutal realities of coming to terms with the establishment. Similar events occur for a political movement, populist uprisings must either accomplish their goals quickly, or seize power and become part of the establishment, or fade away.

The liberty movement, comparable to the tea party but with greater emphasis on a modest foreign policy, sound currency, and civil liberties is certainly making that leap from adolescent troublemaker to being a grown up. As Senator Mike Lee has said, “it has taken us some time to move from our ‘Boston moment’ to our ‘Philadelphia moment’.” In other words, from a protest movement to a party that can govern.

While Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee have already started to make that transition as elected statesmen, several other candidates who ran and lost their first time around are making a new attempt with a more tempered tone.

Possibly the most promising of these candidates is Clint Didier, a two time Super Bowl-winning football player turned U.S. Senate candidate in 2010. He was endorsed by Congressman Ron Paul and Governor Sarah Palin and was the favorite of both the liberty movement and the tea party. Unfortunately, he was in a primary battle against a popular establishment state-senator Dino Rossi. Rossi had run for Governor twice before, coming up short by 119 votes out of more than 2.7 million cast, one of the closest elections in American history.

Didier lost in 2010, but beat the establishment candidate in several eastern counties in Washington State. He became the party’s nominee for statewide office in 2012 in an unsuccessful bid for Commissioner of Public Land.

This time around, he is running for Congress in Washington’s 4th district, currently represented by Doc Hastings, who is retiring. Didier won the congressional district in his 2012 general election. He has high name recognition and can easily draw support from the party as their former general election nominee for a statewide office as well as from the grassroots. It also helps that the 4th district is a safe Republican seat, so his fight will be in the primary.

Another former statewide candidate is Debra Medina. Mrs. Medina made headlines in 2010 as a nurse who jumped in the race for Texas Governor running on the issue of property tax reform. Her high polling from the grassroots propelled her to the debates with Governor Perry and Senator Hutchinson. After a gaffe on the Glenn Beck show her rise to the governor’s mansion was stunted, and she received a respectable 19 percent against the sitting governor and Senator.

Mrs. Medina is now in a race for Texas Comptroller. She is the only candidate in the race who has run for statewide office before and claims that she still has a connection with the 275,000+ voters who cast their ballot for her in 2010. Which gives a strong advantages to her other opponents, two of whom are in the state legislature. And she’s got a good case; Medina now has a double-digit lead on her opponents, 39 percent to 26, 24, and 11 percent respectively.

Voter turnout will be smaller than her previous run for governor, as is the case most of the time for down-ballot races. While she has not been the favorite amongst many in the establishment, support from her 2010 base could promote her into a runoff if no primary candidate receives over 50 percent of the vote.

Even though she has been lagging in fundraising and endorsements, grassroots and high name ID is Medina’s hail mary pass for a victory this cycle. Also benefiting her this election cycle: she’s been free of any gaffes or Glenn Beck interviews.

Also running for statewide office is Curtis Coleman, a businessman who founded Safe Food Corporation; he retired from it in 2009 and ran for U.S. Senate in Arkansas in 2010. He flew under the radar, coming in fifth in the Republican primary and receiving a paltry 5 percent of the vote.

In February he announced his bid for the vacant Governor’s mansion. Even though there have been no primary polls, Coleman has begun to build a strong coalition, receiving the endorsements of Congressman Ron Paul, several elected state representatives and local politicians, Tea Party organizations, as well as Christian ministers and business leaders.

This broad coalition may prove affective as he campaigns on the issues of economic development, states’ rights, and social conservative family policies. Certainly if nothing else, having endorsements from such a wide range of people makes his bid legitimate.

That is, after all, what all populist movements look for in the end, for their ideas and candidates to become mainstream. It can be a painful process to get there, involving two or three Christine O’Donnells before you get a Rand Paul or Mike Lee. But, if the liberty movement is going to survive outside think tanks and college campuses, it is essential.


Originally Published in the


In the wake of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s statement that “extreme conservatives” have no place in New York State because “that’s not what New York is about,” Mayor Bill De Blasio quickly agreed.

But Cuomo and de Blasio are not only proving their own prejudice, but also their ignorance of history. New York State and New York City have been home to some of the most extreme, misfit, rebellious, groundbreaking, status quo-shaking right-wingers in American history.

Libertarianism owes as much to New York City as it does to the rugged individualism that came out of the West. Ayn Rand, the mother of objectivism, moved to New York City in 1926. She wrote both The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged in New York. She lived here and died here.

Another notable New York libertarian is the father of Austrian economics Ludwig Von Mises. It was in New York that he wrote his landmark work Human Action. Murray Rothbard and Milton Friedman, two other economists whose opinions and theories totally reject the tax-and-borrow policies of Cuomo and de Blasio, are products of New York.

Dorothy Day, another New Yorker, famous for her works of charity and her organization, The Catholic Worker, was profoundly opposed to the sexual revolution of the 1960s and was vehemently pro-life. Likewise, Susan B. Anthony, who fought for women’s suffrage, deplored abortion and has a pro-life PAC in her name. Anthony called New York State home for more than half a century.

Outside politics, many conservatives who influenced our culture came from New York. Johnny Ramone was the father of American punk rock music, creating the Ramones from his hometown in Queens, New York, and going on to influence an entire genre of music. Ramone was also a staunch conservative, citing Ronald Reagan as “the greatest president of my lifetime.”

Other pop-culture icons who are conservative and native New Yorkers include daytime TV queen Susan Lucci, comedian Adam Sandler, and actor Sylvester Stallone.

Conservative opinion writers and pundits like Jonah Goldberg, Michael Savage, Peggy Noonan, Samuel Huntington, Sean Hannity, Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, and Bill Kauffman all trace their origins to the Empire State.

Nonetheless, if the governor and mayor do not want us, maybe conservatives and libertarians who are considered too extreme should leave.

If conservatives who voted for a right-wing candidate for president—Romney, Gary Johnson, or Virgil Goode—left the state, they would number 2,544,026 strong, resulting in New York losing four more congressional districts. If they were to move to the states that border New York—New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts—those would all become Republican states. Conservatives are plentiful enough in New York that we could turn the liberal Northeast red.

If conservatives left the state, they would take with them some of the largest donors to charity and culture. Central Park’s famous Wollman Rink would not be in operation if it were not for Donald Trump who built it in three months, after the city had failed to open it in nearly three years.

The Koch brothers, who are vilified by liberals on MSNBC, are some of the largest donors to the arts, education, and medical research in New York City. They gave $100 million to the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, $30 million to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, $25 million for the Hospital for Special Surgery, $20 million to the American Museum of Natural History, $65 million for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and $100 million to the Lincoln Center. They’ve given millions more to the New York City Ballet and New York City Opera, though the exact amounts aren’t public information.

So despite the fact that the mayor and governor might wish we were gone, we are New York—from the farms and towns of Upstate and Western New York to the affluent neighborhoods of the Upper East Side and all the various ethnic enclaves of the five boroughs.

This writer’s family came to New York more than 150 years ago. As a born-and-raised New Yorker my beliefs and philosophy do not negate my sense of place and heritage. To quote Muley Graves from The Grapes of Wrath, “That’s what make it ours, being born on it, and working on it, and dying on it.”

Published in The American Spectator


The scandal of The George Washington Bridge and Chris Christie is one of the most overhyped political dramas of the last decade. We live in an era where political vindictiveness and a bully government seem ubiquitous—the IRS scandal, TSA, NSA—and gross human error is epidemic—Fast and Furious, Benghazi, Hurricane Katrina. The Christie scandal has gotten coverage due to a slow news week rather than the actual size of the offense.

While this doesn’t bode well for trust in government, the real story is about how the image of Christie has been radically altered in our celebrity culture that builds people up in order to destroy them.

After a crushing defeat by President Obama in 2008, with the further losses of both the House and the Senate, Republicans were in desperate need of a hero. Christie rose through the ranks, winning a governorship in an overwhelmingly blue state, despite a third-party candidate. This gave Republicans their first net gains in governorships since 2003.

The Tea Party surge of 2010 and the 2012 election left Republicans with control of 30 governorships—the largest majority since 1999. Of these governors, none has been the reliable newsmaker, cause of ire, and last best hope for the Republican Party, all at the same time, like Governor Christie.

His war against the teachers’ unions had early presidential race watchers abuzz. Ann Coulter said, “If we don’t run Christie, we’ll lose,” Joe Scarborough called him “a man of all factions,” and Glenn Beck said, “We need more Chris Christie common sense porn.” He was immediately hailed as our new Reagan.

As governor, Christie’s policies were mixed. His stance on illegal immigration, support for some gun control, and appointment of liberal judges hurt his reputation with conservatives who were paying attention—a very small percentage of the population.

None of his actual policies, though, really damaged him with the base. Much of the love for Christie from both Republicans and independents is based on his image: He is the Teflon governor.

Christie’s fall was embracing President Obama during a natural disaster that left hundreds of thousands of Jersey residents without homes or electricity. Had it not been an election year it might have been called an act of leadership, but with the presidential election just days away, it was the greatest betrayal. Just as Judas sealed Christ’s fate with a kiss, Obama may have sealed Christie’s with a hug. Those same conservatives who loved him in 2010 suddenly hated him just three short years later.

The right’s biggest issue with Christie, as is their biggest problem with all likely conservatives who have the ambition of running for president in 2016, is that no single candidate is pure enough. Right now conservatives are holding RINO trials in the same way that Puritans attached rocks to women’s feet to see if they were guilty of being a witch—no Christine O’Donnell reference intended. None can survive such a test.

Not even Ronald Reagan could have lived up to the shadow his legacy cast, and certainly not Rand Paul, Chris Christie, or even Ted Cruz. Conservatives need to stop looking for a savior; the reason we tend to be religious is that we found ours in faith. Politics is about pragmatism and coalitions. Idol worship of politicians is for heathens and atheists.

The overwhelming fear of Northeast establishment Republicans is overhyped. The Northeast—if you include New Jersey and Pennsylvania—has three Republican governors, and the only one from New England is a Tea Partier. The establishment, as it was defined in the 1940s, does not exist. All our candidates for president are pro-life. The only difference in our candidates is what faction of the right they come from, not whether they are right-wing.

The fear of a Christie presidency and loathing of the man himself needs to be relaxed on the right. He’s not perfect, he’s not Reagan…but he never said he was. It’s time for the right to stop eating its own.

And as far as the George Washington Bridge is concerned, those responsible should be punished. It looks like Christie is showing more leadership than our president and actually firing those claiming responsibility. Obama should follow suit on the multiple scandals that cloud his administration. At the end of the day, the only surprising part of this was that a New Jersey politician closed a bridge instead of blowing it up.

Published in the American Spectator

12 Reasons Why Amnesty Will Hurt Low-Income Workers

At the Center for American Progress, President Obama unveiled his administration’s plans for tackling economic inequality during the last three years in the Oval Office. The President referred to it as the “defying challenge of our time”

The President cited the economic inequality’s causes as a combination of problems cited by both liberals and conservatives. While Obama used usual tropes about weakened trade unions and trickle-down economics, he also referred to other factors often cited the absence of church and community groups, a higher percentage of single parent-households, and drug addiction as other factors which contribute to income inequality.

Yet if the decay of social cohesion and economic inequality are devastating America, then one of his principal policy ambitions, immigration reform, which includes amnesty and an increased chain migration of 33 million new immigrants over the next decade, will only further devastate low-income Americans in a multiple of ways.

Reduce social capital

President Obama cites social capital as an essential element in the fight against income inequality.  According to Harvard Professor Robert Putnam’s landmark work Bowling Alone; ethnic diversity decreases trust, community activism, charity, and quality of life.  The arrival of 33 million new people, mostly from the third world, will lead to further civic decay.

It will cost trillions, depleting resources.

According to The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector, the cost for amnesty is at least $6.3 trillion.  Most of this cost is absorbed in Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, education, welfare benefits, and social services like police

There will be an increase in ethnic politics

Tribal politics and group rights are contrary to individual rights and become political norms during times of mass immigration.  This works both ways as native Americans and new immigrants feel isolated when race, class, values, ethnicity and language become fodder for political machines – see the Irish vote in Massachusetts in the 1930’s or the Italian vote in New York City during the same time.

Displacement of low-income neighborhoods

Low-income city neighborhoods are the first to experience mass influxes of new immigrants. The transition of a neighborhood’s culture, ethnic breakdown, language, and religion causes massive displacement amongst low-income families who move from neighborhoods they’ve lived in for generations.  The displacement has not only leads to white-flight to the suburbs, but also black flight in places like Los Angeles and Houston.

Amnesty will depress wages

The majority of the 33 million new immigrants that would benefit from amnesty would be low-skilled labor. The Congressional Budget Office stated that wages would decrease over ten years. Mass immigration is already hurting many low-skilled laborers, The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights stated that both legal and illegal immigration accounts for forty percent of the 18-point percent decline for African American employment levels.

Employment will decrease amongst low-skill domestic labor

The addition of 33 million new permanent job seekers would increase the already strained native work force.  According to the Center for Immigration Studies, “the native-born population increased by 16.4 million from 2000 to 2013, yet the number of natives actually holding a job was 1.3 million lower in 2013 than 2000.”  The CBO has also stated that low-skilled labor would see their jobs decimated by amnesty.

There will be another wave of illegal immigration

In 1986, Ronald Reagan passed the last amnesty bill.  The million expected new immigrants grew to three million.  A new amnesty will have the same results.  The CBO has stated that illegal immigration would continue at 75% the rate even after the Rubio-Schumer Immigration Reform.  In twenty years time, we will expect another amnesty bill.

Mass immigration and amnesty will lead to greater class division

The Obama election was unquestionably a referendum about the class divide- Does the 47% ring a bell?  President Obama and Democrats milked the grievance of the working-poor and scapegoated wealth producing Americans.  That class divide will increase exorbitantly as 33 million new, low-income immigrants become new voters.  According to an ImpreMedia/Latino Decisions super-majority of Hispanics, most new immigrants support raising taxes on the wealthy.

The gap between the rich and the poor will increase

Since the 1960’s, America has been importing poverty as their central immigration policy.  Amnesty and immigration reform will only increase America’s adoption of the world’s poor.  According to The Heritage Foundation’s 2006 study, 1/3 of all immigrants live in families that the head of the household lacks a high school education, first-generation immigrants comprise 25% of America’s poor but only 16% the population.  Using those standards amnesty would increase first generation immigrants to 40% of the nations poor.

Amnesty will exacerbate racial/cultural divisions

Cultural diversity is a two way street, it can lead to many benefits but can also lead to violence when a massive change in demographics takes place.  People can harbor ill will to a new immigrant group that are culturally isolated – Koreans and Orthodox Jews were victims of two different riots in the 1990’s.  Hispanic and Black gang warfare is also well noted in Los Angeles.

Entitlement costs and eventually taxes will increase

Currently the average household without a High School diploma uses $46,582 while paying only $11,469 in taxes.  This is the case for the overwhelming majority of new immigrants, illegal aliens, and benefits of mass amnesty.  Large entitlement programs would also suffer from this tax gap, including Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare.

The existing school system will be overloaded

Despite having some of the best schools in the world, America also grapples with massive over crowding in the inner cities as well as a large language barrier in some heavy immigrant areas.  The importation of millions of new children would require billions in new spending to increase classroom sizes, which would take years to complete and the children currently in schools will be lost in the meantime.

Ryan James Girdusky writes from New York City. Follow him on twitter @RyJamesGand check out his other articles at

Published in The Federalist

Obamacare is the Democrats’ Iraq War

The Iraq War and Obamacare are unique in American politics. Both were the signature moments of the respective presidencies and would also be their undoing.

None of the last few presidents who were reelected had a better second term than they had a first. However, for most presidents that was due to scandals and corruption: Watergate, Iran Contra, Monica Lewinsky.

None involved legislation signed by a president and with the exception of Watergate, none would define the legacy of the Commander-in-Chief.

For President Obama and President Bush, their hubris in wanting to remake the world would prove to be their downfall. The defining parts of their presidency would in fact destroy their image and trust with the American public and cause huge losses in elections for their parties.

Democrats learned their lesson earlier on than Republicans.

The beginning of the Iraq War was met with overwhelming support by the American people, however after three years of sectarian war Americans soured on it and support dipped from 75 percent in April 2003 to 32 percent in May 2006 according to a ABC/Washington Post poll.

Unlike the war, Obamacare was never popular; polling constantly showed that a majority or plurality of the population opposed the Affordable

Care Act. Democrats suffered huge losses the 2010 midterms but after holding on to the presidency and Senate they thought the worst was behind them.

Support for the ACA increased during the 16-day government shutdown to an all time high of 43 percent while opposition fell just below 50. Likewise, Democrats had a 6-point generic voting advantage in the upcoming 2014-midterm elections.

The implementation and the president’s response changed everything — support fell to just 38 percent while opposition grew to 57 percent. Similarly Democrats dropped in the generic polling by seven points, to a 1 percent disadvantage to Republicans. This was all in less than a month.

It was a radical about-face that caused 39 Democrats to vote with the Republicans in favor of a law that would alter Obamacare despite President Obama’s statements that he would veto such proposal.

A majority of Americans lost trust in both presidents and the only people left supporting both of their quagmires was their base.

Such a fate is now awaiting the Democrats who have chosen to stand with President Obama on the Affordable Care Act.

The Washington Examiner‘s Phil Klein has written that the Iraq War made Obamacare possible. “Exit polls showed that 56 percent of Americans who voted in that year’s (2006) midterm elections opposed the Iraq War.” Had Democrats not seized on that opportunity to gain and then grow their majority they never would have had the chance to pass the ACA.

If Mr. Klein’s thesis is true, Republicans will await a golden opportunity in 2014 and 2016, perhaps even better than the Democrats did in 2006 and 2008.

A very small percentage of Americans were directly affected by the war. Without a draft, a large majority of Americans did not have a direct relations involved in the war. There was a gigantic divide between those who suffered the most and those who did not suffer at all.

Obamacare is different. Many analyists are saying that between 50 and 100 million Americans will have to either lose or change their current insurance policies. Anywhere from 1/6 to 1/3 of the nation will know someone who was negatively affected by Obamacare.

Generally the president’s party does disastrously in the second term off-year election. 2014 will prove much worse than that for Democrats.

Published in

Dead Hipster Walking

Last Tuesday’s election was a good day for Republicans in New York State. Republicans retained control of bellwether Nassau, Rockland, and Westchester counties by sizeable margins, and won the mayor’s race in three notable cities: Glen Cove, Peekskill, and Binghamton. The Grand Old Party even took control of the Erie County legislature for the first time since 1977.

Then there was the election in New York City.

Warren Wilhelm Jr., now known to the world as Bill de Blasio, won an election that, for all intents and purposes, he ran in unopposed. Republican Joe Lhota’s campaign wasn’t poorly run as much as it wasn’t run at all. In the end the largest voting bloc was apathy. Voter turnout was at it’s lowest in a half-century.

The down-ballot effect was devastating for the GOP. In 2009 Republicans were able to win five city council seats; this year they held onto just three.  In the city council race I managed voter turnout was at a record low, down nearly 30 percent from where it was in 2001, the last time we elected a new mayor.

Wilhelm has already made his commitment to the far-left well known. Charter schools will be forced to pay rent, crisis pregnancy centers will be shutdown, and police will have more to fear from a career-ending lawsuit than criminals.

Crime, corruption, and decay have been the legacy of New York City Democrat mayors. This was the ungovernable city, broke and crime-ridden in the 1970s and 1980s. And for the first time in 20 years, it’s all back again.

Ironically, it’s neighborhoods like Red Hook, Brooklyn, and Harlem—former heavy-crime areas-turned-yuppie paradises—that are the future victims of our new Democrat mayor.

Hipsters walking around their bohemia who have no idea of the city that existed before them—they and their communities will be the first to suffer, the first to start reversing into decay. The decades of gentrification will result in a tribal backlash of native New Yorkers who view these yuppies and hipsters with disdain.

Surely a De Blasio administration will make people rethink that they should have voted for Anthony Weiner.

Published in The American Spectator

Losing New York City

Joe Lhota is going lose his bid for Mayor of New York, in one of the biggest defeats for a Republican in New York City since Roy Goodman received only 4 percent of the vote in 1977. Lhota’s candidacy is suffering with the problem of a very smart man with very bad handlers and seemingly no message at all.

Messaging is everything in politics, as this writer’s mother told him all throughout school, “you get in trouble not for what you say but how you say it.”

For the last twenty years Republicans had a message to run on: vote for us and we won’t let the City go back to the time of David Dinkins, when crime was rampant and quality of life was poor. And so Republican mayors turned New York City into the safest big city in America. Times Square, once overrun with prostitution and crime, is now a playground for tourists and the Walt Disney Company.

Even neighborhoods that were once considered extremely undesirable are now too expensive for almost everyone to live in. The Lower East Side’s Alphabet City, the location for the musical “Rent,” was once a drug-infested bohemian playground for struggling artists. It’s now a chic enclave for hipsters and millennials who work in the financial industry. Even Redhook, which was notorious during the early 90’s for crime has become a trendy neighborhood, covered with postindustrial buildings, cobblestone streets, and community gardens.

Joe Lhota’s problem is that for many voters, this is the only New York they have ever known. According to a New York Times poll, nearly one in five New Yorkers don’t have an opinion of David Dinkins, including over 40 percent of voters under the age of 45. To run against the decay of the 1970’s and 1980’s requires a population that remembers 80s New York, which to many voters only exists in Martin Scorsese movies.

Lhota also suffers from an image problem. Voters don’t know Lhota like they know Democrat Bill DeBlasio. DeBlasio’s son Dante is nearly as popular as his father is, meanwhile most New Yorkers probably couldn’t tell you if Joe Lhota is even married, if he has children, or what borough he comes from. There was never a moment where the campaign tried to sell Lhota as package, as a product of New York, or as much of anything besides Rudy Giuliani 2.0.

On the issues New Yorkers also don’t know what to make of Lhota. His book on policy issues was released on October 10th, less than a month before Election Day. His 33-point plan to power up the economy was released on its own more than two weeks after his victory on primary day, on a Friday without advanced notice. Media relations-wise, his campaign has been completely incompetent.

His plan was too complex and didn’t come out with any concise message for voters to hold on to. For one thing, 33 points is far too many. Voters can’t remember that much information; they like simple thoughts with clear messaging like Hope and Change, “The Rent is Too Damn High,” and “Head On, Apply Directly to the Forehead.”

Both his campaign manager and political director have never managed a citywide race. Other consultants on his campaign, some of whom I know, are only in it for the paycheck.

In addition to the tangle of messaging issues, there has been nearly no coalition building on his behalf. Not even with some of the Democratic mayoral candidates who lost in the primary in part by DeBlasio’s negative campaigning. In a city that is 6-to-1 Democrat to Republican, that’s a big mistake.

If you’re going down, you should go down swinging, and yet Lhota seems to be pulling his punches. In the last mayor debate when asked the question if DeBlasio would make the city of New York less safe, Joe Lhota couldn’t definitively say yes.  DeBlasio meanwhile spent his entire time during the debate calling the pro-gun control, pro-gay marriage, and pro-choice Lhota a “tea party member.” When you’re forty points behind in the polls, you don’t pinch, you punch.

Lhota’s campaign has been a case study in how not to run a race and DeBlasio’s win will not be so much a wave election as a candidate running unopposed. And New York City will move out of the twenty years of safe streets and economic growth under the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations into a very uncertain future.
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Cutting government is not scary

It’s been seven months, and the president’s warnings that sequestration will “hurt our economy,” “increase unemployment,” and “add hundreds of thousands of Americans to the unemployment rolls” never came to fruition. Americans had more reason to be nervous about the series finale of Breaking Bad than they did sequestration. President Obama canceling White House tours proved to be the worst damage the general public suffered. The American public has come to learn that cutting government isn’t scary, and we should do it more often.

Polls seem to show they’re starting to get the message: In March, a CBS poll found that 53 percent of Americans thought the sequester would personally affect them, but just two months later that same polling company found that 69 percent of Americans said they have not been affected by the sequester.

Many government agencies that predicted massive layoffs and furloughs have eliminated waste in other areas. According to the Washington Post, “most major agencies have reduced, or eliminated altogether, original furlough projections.” Those agencies “discovered cost-cutting measures had made their situation less dire than originally anticipated.”

There’s a substantial amount of waste and unnecessary spending in a $3.54 trillion budget, and often the only way to find it is to cut the overhead.

And even though the mainstream media promoted sob stories about how the general public would be hurt by the IRS now employing 10,000 fewer people than it did two years ago, Americans haven’t begun to riot.

In fact, long-term trends show that Americans are growing fonder of cutting spending. According to the Pew Research Center, support for cutting spending has increased exponentially over the last quarter of a century.

Since 1987, support for decreasing funding has increased in nearly every sphere of the government: healthcare, by 700 percent; environmental protection, by 500 percent; Social Security, by 300 percent; scientific research by more than 100 percent; and education, by 100 percent. Despite Democratic fearmongering, the American public has grown more austere since Ronald Reagan was president.

So in response to the sequester’s amazing success of reducing government spending by $85 billion, Senate Democrats have proposed increasing next year’s spending by $90 billion. Nancy Pelosi concurs that there’s nothing else that can be cut.

Americans understand budgets; they use them every day in their personal lives, and they know it’s likely there are more places to cut – especially in a budget the size of the federal government’s.

Congress is set to raise the debt ceiling this month, and the House is set to keep the sequester cuts in place. They should, however, look to cut more.

For starters, the $18 billion in waste reported last year by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK): For years now, Senator Coburn has put together a booklet outlining how government wastes money, but so far Congress hasn’t been proactive in fighting against this spending.

If they wanted to go further, they can start eliminating federal programs that duplicate other federal programs. Senator Coburn again has been leading that charge for years. According to him, those duplicate programs cost an astonishing $395 billion annually.  This would be a tremendous savings with very little actual effect on the public, because all the affected programs already exist in other departments.

And if Republicans want to be really ambitious, they will pursue the goals laid out by Senator Rand Paul in his 2014 budget, which puts the country on a five-year path to a balanced budget. Paul’s budget includes abolishing the departments of Education, Energy, HUD, Development and Commerce, as well as implementing tax and entitlement reform.


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