Elections 2009

A tale of three Novembers

Snapshot of a Fast-Changing Political Landscape: What sets America apart from other countries is the extraordinary reservoir of idealism that has been a constant in our national life from the very beginning. The national narrative-a.k.a. The American Dream- has always been about individuals and groups who achieved remarkable things against great odds. Cynics for whom the glass is always half empty call the dream a myth but Americans know better for they have seen it fulfilled in their own lives or those of others for generations. Throughout our history the stories of Horatio Alger, Abraham Lincoln and countless others have reinforced our belief in the boundless potential of the common man and our deep conviction that such aspirations are no relic of the past but rather a living legacy for our children and grandchildren. A parallel theme to this American idealism is a recurring naivete in our initial assessments of politicians who seek to be our leaders. Through endless elections we have seen the triumph of hope over experience in our susceptibility to slogans like “ ending business as usual or “eliminating waste in government” or “driving out the special interests”. We tend to believe that if ordinary Americans can do extraordinary things then it is quite reasonable to expect politicians to deliver on their promises. Accordingly new Presidents invariably enter office with high approval ratings and even higher expectations.

A corollary to these themes of idealism and naivete is that when the politicians fail to deliver results or worse do things that contradict their promises we commonly feel disappointment, even anger, a sense of betrayal, and a righteous determination to punish those who have proved themselves unworthy of our trust (i.e. “Throw the Bums Out”)

The speed with which the people can turn on their elected leaders is in direct proportion to how high the initial approval ratings and how wide the subsequently perceived gap between expectations and performance.

In accord with the above political axioms America is now at the mid-point of one of the most dramatic transformations in all of our history. While the truth of this assertion cannot be fully known until at least November 2010, already the extraordinary events of 2009 culminating in the recent elections and the imminent climax of the proposed health care revolution give abundant evidence that a decisive turning point in our nation's history is at hand.

In the day following his narrow election in the tumultuous year of 1968 Richard Nixon told the story of the little girl who asked him to “Bring Us Together”. While that mission didn't end too well for Nixon, nonetheless that little girl's three words represented an enduring aspiration and expectation that Americans have for all their Presidents.

In 2004 a relatively unknown Barack Obama electrified the Democratic convention by insisting that there should be “ no blue states or red states, but only United States of America” Four years later candidate Obama-aided by the Perfect Storm of an unpopular war, a more unpopular President, and an apparently collapsing economy- with rare eloquence offered Americans the shining vision of a “post-partisan America” where old wounds racial and otherwise would be healed and the country would be “positively transformed”.

That vision and the visionary that inspired the nation on that sunny January Inauguration Day seemed almost too good to be true. And so it has proved.

Barack Obama's first year approval ratings though still respectable have fallen further faster than any other President in over half a century. Support for his ambitious agenda has plummeted even more precipitously. Instead of the promised “post-partisan” America our body politic is more polarized than at any time since the Vietnam /Watergate era.

The frighteningly unprecedented explosion of deficits, and the national debt so threatening to future generations and the vast societal redesign inherent in both Obamacare and Cap and Trade is not the “positively transformed” America that people thought they were being promised in the 2008 campaign.

Only events of the next twelve months punctuated by the mid-term elections will accurately measure the forces of political disaffection now clearly moving across the nation. Nonetheless current polling reveals growing majorities opposed to the “extreme makeover” of healthcare, seeing the country as on the “wrong track”, and deeply concerned about runaway spending and debt.

All this spells certain trouble for those who currently rule the political roost. What is equally certain is that just one year ago no one foresaw this extraordinary turn of events.

William Moloney's columns have appeared in the Wall St. Journal, U.S.A. Today, Washington Post, Washington Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Baltimore Sun , Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post.


That was the week that was

Last week was truly remarkable. Republicans swept three state elections; then an Islamic extremist holding the position of an Army psychiatrist murdered 13 persons and wounded 31 others at Fort Hood, Texas; the House of Representatives defied the will of the American people by passing a comprehensive health insurance bill; and free people celebrated the 20th anniversary of the demise of the Berlin Wall back in 1989. These events reveal the contrast that exists in this country and throughout the world between those who value freedom and those who do not. The most encouraging development is the growing awareness of our citizens that the future is won only by doing the right thing.

Reversing the results in last year’s elections, voters gave solid margins of victory to Chris Christie in New Jersey and Robert McDonnell in Virginia in their gubernatorial races, but also Republican candidates for the remaining statewide offices in those states and in Pennsylvania. President Obama campaigned in the first two states, despite the growing unpopularity of his administration.

Democrats have tried strenuously to spin the dismal results as merely local contests, irrelevant to the debate over their health insurance and environmental "cap and trade" proposals. But there is no doubt that it gave the Blue Dog Democrats in Congress incentive to resist party pressure to support these budget-busting and tax-increasing measures.

All good Americans are appalled and horrified at the shooting rampage of Major Nidal Malik Hasan, who shouted "Allahu Akbar" before he opened fire on his fellow soldiers and civilians prior to his scheduled deployment to Afghanistan. The news coverage has been remarkably vapid. The same articles which make it perfectly clear that Hasan is an Islamic extremist who could not bring himself to make war on his "fellow Muslims" and regards himself as a soldier in the radical Islamic cause, describe the shooter’s motives as unclear.

Sorry to say, the President himself has set the tone for this mindless and irresponsible attitude, asking people not to rush to judgment about a man and an incident that are as transparent as anything can be. We are learning, too, that "political correctness" or the blind indifference to if not covert sympathy with those who reject Western civilization, has infected the highest ranks of the U.S. Army.

No religion per se makes anyone ineligible for American citizenship or for participation in any civil government, but if the believer’s highest loyalty is to a doctrine that calls for the destruction of constitutional safeguards for human rights, there should be little doubt that he cannot be trusted with any responsibilities or respecting the rights of other citizens.

Notwithstanding weeks of polling date that reveal a solid majority of Americans opposed to government health care (AKA socialized medicine) and Republican election victories in three states that voted Democrat in 2008, the House of Representatives approved a bill of nearly 2,000 pages that would micro manage existing health insurance coverage and impose massive costs on the American people.

Despite considerable rhetorical blather about bipartisanship, the Democrat leadership managed to win over only one Republican representing a traditionally Democrat district in Louisiana and lost 39 Democrats representing traditionally Republican districts, passing the bill by a narrow margin.

It is evident that Democrats are desperate to pass some form of health care legislation, even if they lose seats or lose House control in 2010. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was not deterred by the strong indications that her Senate counterparts lack the votes to pass the legislation, even if it followed her lead in dropping coverage for abortions. She is unmoved despite the fact that she is defying the consent of the governed.

Meanwhile, celebrations are in order on the anniversary of the removal of the infamous Berlin Wall, an event which President Obama either feels is beneath his notice or perhaps understands as an achievement for which he cannot claim credit. No greater contrast exists between Presidents who steadfastly supported the freedom of Berliners and of all Europeans during the Cold War years and the current President who feels more comfortable talking to Asian and Latin American despots than supporting leaders of free nations long allied with the West.

One cannot imagine a President Obama making the courageous decision of Harry Truman to supply Berlin during a long Russian blockade or the uplifting defiance of President Reagan in demanding that Mikhail Gorbachev "tear down this wall!"

The future of freedom is best entrusted to its dedicated friends.

Voters said 'No you won't!'

Isn’t it amazing how bad policy, bad people and bad politics can turn a message of hope, into, just a mess. You’ve heard it all…Hope and Change…Yes we can….Change we can believe it…No more Bush…blah, blah, blah. Turns out they were actually messages of destructive change, that will forever change our country….and not for the better I’m afraid! Editor: Rob "Sunny" Roseman now does a daily commentary on 560 KLZ in Denver at 755am, during the Laura Ingraham show. This piece will air tomorrow.

Well, Tuesday's election turned out to be the beginning of real change…. Yes we can, turned into no you can’t and no you didn’t! We began the process of turning it into No You Won’t….not with my money at least!

Your hope and change turned into “We hope we don’t lose”….a work in progress by Obama, Pelosi and Reid.

As the old song says…..Hear me roar…No, we don’t want your form of European Socialism….No, we don’t want your out of control spending, your government control of our medical system, our corporations and banks. No we don’t want jobs created by the government, and for the government!

Now let’s take a look at what really happened the other day……The so called “Independents” that mistakenly bought the lies and voted for Obama and his gangs…well, they turned around and by a margin of 2 to 1 voted for the conservative message of turning the government back to the people. Except for the ones with the Obama stickers still on their cars…the ones that didn’t get turned in with the cash for clunkers program…..the rest came to their senses, and woke up. They’ve seen who and what these people really are about….they have finally forgotten about Bush!

Now we have a chance to defeat Crap and Trade. Now we have a chance to defeat Obamacare! Reid is already talking about delaying a vote til after the first of the year. If you were a moderate or conservative Democrat, would you be willing to walk the plank with Pelosi and Reid…..I don’t think so.

If the conservatives can put together a cohesive message….we’ll stop these horrible bills. Bennett, Polis, Salazar and Udall…..As Richard Pryor said….the gig is up. If you vote for these bills….we will make sure you lose your JOBS! And no government bailout for you!

I’m the inconvenient Sunny Roseman. Have a great day.

Boggs & Rush for Jeffco Schools

Jefferson County Schools, large and influential, are electing three board members this month. Laura Boggs and Rick Rush deserve your vote if you think education should be more competitive and less unionized, says our friend Ben DeGrow, policy analyst for the Independence Institute. Candidates run from districts, but all voters in the county can vote for any candidate.

The teacher union is supporting Sue Marinelli over Boggs and Paula Noonan over Rush, along with the unopposed incumbent Robin Johnson.

Here's the official election rundown from district website.

Teacher's Desk: Support Seawell for DPS

IEP meetings continue, and I may soon turn into a pumpkin. Meanwhile, Denver Public Schools are holding a school board election and I have an endorsement for the at-large seat: Mary Seawell. The reason I am endorsing Mary is simple. She supports doing whatever it takes to ensure student academic success. This includes programs and process in regular district schools, charter schools, magnets and innovation schools. That is the fair-minded philosophy that the Denver School Board needs. This is the attitude that is needed for someone who will be making the decision of our charter schools’ renewals and the charters of new charter schools.

Her opposition is clearly anti-charter school without results-based plans to improve student achievement. He regurgitates trite, worn-out arguments.

I like Mary for another reason. She was part of the team that built the Denver University’s new MBA in educational leadership. The program is a much needed resource and is a combination of traditional school leadership training coupled with marketing and entrepreneurship. Other states’ universities have “charter school principal programs,” and I am thrilled that Colorado now does too!

Kathleen Kullback is a licensed special educator at Colorado High School Charter, a Denver alternative high school, and a former candidate for the State Board of Education.