Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Senator Specter Defects

So the ugly side of politics shows itself once again today as the political opportunist Arlen Specter announces that he will become a Democrat.  After voting against his party one too many times, he knew that he would not survive a Republican primary election next year.  So the 79 year old man said, "Oh wait, I guess I'm really a Democrat now."  What a crock.  A guy who was first elected when Reagan became president says that the party is too conservative now.  Wow!  What did he think Reagan was?  We only wish that today we had a party leader as conservative as Reagan was.

Why did he finally change parties?  How about this April 24, 2009 Rasmussen Poll of Pennsylvania Republicans?  It shows Specter losing to Pat Toomey by a margin of 51% to 30%. The handwriting was on the wall and there was nothing Specter could do in the Senate in the next year to undo the Republicans' disgust with him. 

I've disliked Arlen Specter since he became a prominent opponent of Robert Bork in 1987.  He attempted to redeem himself with Republicans in 1991 when he defended Clarence Thomas' nomination to the Supreme Court.  Not coincidentally, that was just one year before he had to face Republican voters for re-nomination to this Senate seat.  He angered a lot of feminists, but he satisfied Republicans so he kept his seat.  And remember how he voted during the 1999 Trial Of President Bill Clinton?  He invoked Scottish law to say that Clinton was neither guilty nor innocent.  Huh?  Always thinking he's the smartest guy in the room and the world revolves around him!  But face it -- this guy will do whatever it takes to keep his position of power and is there anything worse in political life than that?  Republicans bent over backwards for this guy in the last five years.  The Republican leaders ignored party principles and supported Specter over a conservative Republican congressman in the 2004 primary and they allowed him to take over as chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 2005 despite virulent opposition from mainstream Republicans.  And this is how he repays them.  Thanks a lot, Arlen.

There have been other defections in the past decade.  But at least Vermont's Jim Jeffords jumped to Independent and not Democrat and Connecticut's Joe Lieberman had his nomination taken away by far left Democratic ideologues in 2006.  He then won fair and square as an Independent.  Neither of these guys looked at the next year's election and said, "I better jump to the other party because I have so angered my own party that they will not support me."

Does this really change the balance of power in the Senate, as many have written today?  Only if you believe that Specter would vote with Republicans in the future.  He hasn't so far, so what will really change?  

Another Prime Time Press Conference

So, on Wednesday night, our President will have a prime time press conference to celebrate the completion of his First 100 Days.  He seems to like these shows in front of the American people.  That's fine.  But I never understood why every single broadcast network felt compelled to carry the show.  That's why I was happy to hear that Fox has decided NOT to air the news conference on its broadcast networks.  They'll refer you to its Fox News Channel to view it.  Instead, (and I love the irony of this), they'll be airing the Drama Series "Lie to Me" in its regular time slot.  (Easy and lame joke coming here . . .  "as opposed to airing the Reality Series "Lie to Me" which you will be able to see on the other broadcast networks and cable news channels." )

My favorite local newspaper, The Washington Times, wrote an April 29 editorial on the Obama press conference.  Check out their thoughts on the matter.  (Thay also could not resist the "Lie To Me" joke.)

President George W. Bush tended to schedule these Press Conferences in the middle of the day and would often just give a couple of hours notice for them.  Although I enjoyed his playful banter with the press and felt he did a good job at them, most observers felt that he was not successful in these venues.  So, he chose to do them at a time when most people would not see them.  And let's face it, the broadcast networks would not have obliged President Bush by airing his Press Conferences in prime time -- especially not on a monthly basis!

If Preseident Obama chooses to continue with these prime time appearances, I suggest that the broadcast networks should simply rotate coverage of them.. CBS one month, then NBC, then ABC, then FOX.  It's good for Americans to hear from their President, but we shouldn't have it forced upon us as though we are in the 1970s Soviet Union.

(updated 4/29/09 9:45 AM)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Washington Post published my letter today!

When I got a little bit angry at Ruth Marcus' column about Sarah Palin in last Monday's Washington Post, I sat down and wrote Ms. Marcus a letter.  Then I decided I should send a version of that letter to the Letters to the Editor section.  The letter was published today -- the Sunday edition.  Cool!  Usually if I get a letter published, it will be on the Saturday Free for All page which prints 15 or so letters.  Sunday's paper only has room for about five letters, so this  was great.

Here's the link to the Post-edited version of my letter:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/25/AR2009042502495.html 

They basically deleted my whole second paragraph, but that's okay.  I liked my original letter better, but their version effectively highlights the issue of the confirmation of Kathleen Sebelius as HHS Secretary.  So, that makes it more newsworthy rather than just a rant about abortion.

Here's the letter I originally sent:

Dear Editor:

Today's Ruth Marcus column on Sarah Palin was predictable.  The "Ah-ha -- she just said that she thought about the CHOICE of abortion!" argument.  We all have choices every day,  We can choose to obey the traffic laws or not.  We can choose to be civil and polite to others or not.  People choose to do illegal drugs.  People choose to have affairs.  Some of these things are illegal.  Some are perhaps immoral.  It doesn't take away the choices we have.

The sad thing about this column and others like it that will inevitably come out is that the authors are so timid that they cannot even dare to be so bold as to "know when life begins."  That is such a biological fallacy.  Certainly elementary biology teaches us that when sperm meets egg and cell division begins that life has begun.  Whether that life has any value is the moral and legislative question.  But certainly the biological question is answered.  The pro-choice movement deceives itself when it tries to pretend that there is no life in the objects it wishes to have the right to choose to abort.

It would have been refreshing if, instead of writing another "bash Sarah" column, Ms. Marcus could have considered the work of Kansas late-term abortionist George Tiller and his enthusiastic support for our next Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius.  Why was he giving her so much campaign money over the last ten  years?  What does it say about her that she is so supportive of the pro-choice movement that she cannot even draw a line in the sand that says life has begun by 28 - 36 weeks after conception?

John B. Ramsey

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lazy Effort at a blog, huh?

So, I set this site up in November and I have zero posts since then.  And it's supposed to be about politics?  With all the changes going on, I should have written a lot, but it's just not a big priority right now for me to get online with my views.  

Anyway, since this account is linked up with some other Google accounts, I saw the Blogger page and took a look.  So, I'll make a quick entry.

Three months into the Obama term and what has happened?  Promises of massive spending, efforts at governmental control over private corporations, governmental threats to the free speech rights of conservatives.  A lot worse than I had imagined!