Tag Archives: GOP

Doug Smith: Text of address to Cabell County GOP event

7 Feb

gop event

Doug Smith is an historian and Associate Editor for Free State Patriot.  He recently addressed the Cabell County GOP at an event sponsored by the Cabell County Republican Executive Committee.  The following is the text from his oratory.



I used to love football. Up until it became a political football, instead of a sport, I was crazy about the game. My 3 favorite teams were Green Bay, Marshall, and anyone playing WVU.

Vince Lombardi often said “When you continue to be defeated, go back to the basics. “So in his first practice with the Pack, after they blew a 4th quarter lead to lose the 1961 Championship game, he began with:

Gentlemen, this is a football. To which Wide Receiver Max McGee responded, “Slow down, Coach. You’re going too fast. “

I’d like to explore for a few moments the GOP penchant for losing fights they have in the bag, by taking Lombardi s advice to go back to the basics. Perhaps to start winning on conservative issues, we need to begin by understanding, and being able to defend, what we believe and who we are as conservatives. When I say defend, I do not mean to make excuses, as in GW Bush’s “compassionate Conservative.” This falsely implies 1: that to be conservative is to lack compassion, and 2: that compassion is the only worthwhile attribute.

On the 4th of July 1976, the 200th birthday of the United States, I walked down to pier 7 of the Navy Submarine Base, New London, CT, and reported aboard USS Gato, SSN 615, a 594 Class Nuclear Attack Submarine. Gato was the newest in the class of faster, silent, deep-diving Submarines, capable of operating at depths greater than 400 ft at speeds more than 25 knots. We carried 16 high speed Mk 48 anti-ship torpedoes, and up to 6 SubRoc anti-Submarine Rocket propelled Nuclear Warhead Depth Charges, with a variable yield from 1.5 to 250 Kilotons depending on the target. They had a kill radius of 5 miles. In plain terms, that means anything within 5 miles in any direction of ground zero simply ceased to exist.

By way of comparison, Little Boy, the bomb that devastated Hiroshima had a yield of 5 Kilotons.

Our mission was to hunt down and track Soviet Ballistic Missile Submarines, which had the capability to wipe out American cities. In my 5 years on the boat, I saw valves stamped “made by De Laval, of Huntington, WV”. They were cast out of K-Monel and Ni Cu produced at International Nickel, in Huntington, WV. That could account for a projected Soviet Submarine ICBM target map I saw with a circle drawn neatly around the Nickel Plant. They say that all politics is local, and regardless of the philosophical questions involved, all war in ultimately personal.

Given the nature of our weapons, and our mission, it was reasonable to ask the question: Do you have any problems firing a nuclear weapon and killing every man aboard an enemy submarine? Or perhaps an enemy task force, with hundreds of men? If the order comes, and your hand is on the switch, will you fire the weapon? And they do ask. Given that those 200 Russians 20 miles from us might be the ones launching a missile at Huntington, 1000 miles away from us; the answer was easy for me as a 20-year-old sailor. Darn right, I will. (Being a Submariner, talking to a Submarine Officer, I confess I may have phrased it a bit more colorfully at the time.)

At 63, as a somewhat faded and careworn old Chief Petty Officer, my answer is unchanged. Assuming things were so dire they would take me back on a boat again. That is because of my conviction the United States is the finest and freest country in the history of the world; that she has done more to free people and raise them out of poverty and misery than all the nations and empires that have ever existed. She is

Infinitely worth fighting for, worth killing for, worth dying for. That is why we were still out there. Despite the loss of the Thresher, the lead boat in our class, with a loss of all hands. We closed the hatch, and we submerged, and we spent months on end ready to go to war on 2 minutes notice. “A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” John Stuart Mill. But the sad reality is that going down to the sea in ships is an adventure for young men.


How can I defend that conviction about America when I am no longer wearing the uniform? There are many things I can do: work hard, be honest, be a good neighbor. But to be a good citizen, part of the task is to defend and support those ideals and principles that led to the founding of the country, and subsequently to all, and it is a very great all, the good she has done.

I believe those principles are best guarded and nurtured by the collection of beliefs and ideals that is Conservatism.

Abe Lincoln was our 1st Republican President, and he considered himself a conservative. He was certainly one Republican President for whom Republican and Conservative were synonymous. That is not always the case. Lincoln was certainly the first POTUS to follow that philosophy to preserve the vision of the Founders of the United States against those who rejected it in favor of an elitist form of government. Lincoln once said:

“What is conservatism? Is it not the adherence to the old and tried against the new and untried?”

I take his words to heart. While he was not the first conservative, (that distinction belongs to Edmund Burke, he certainly believed that this American ideal and experiment, 87 years in, was worth conserving, and was willing to pay a terrible price to see it endure.

I have been a Republican since the Gipper ran for POTUS while I was a young sailor and that Old Peanut Farmer was my C in C. I love and appreciate what Reagan stood for. I hate the capacity of my Grand Old Party for snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory. Reagan agreed to amnesty in exchange for border security for which we are still waiting. Bush 41 made a deal with Ted Kennedy (Marylin Monroe and Mary Jo Kopechne and the Bay of Pigs fighters will tell you making a deal with a Kennedy is not going to end well for you) to break his promise of no new taxes in exchange for cuts in spending, for which we are still waiting. I don’t know about you, but after a decade of We will repeal Obamacare, root and branch, if you just give us the House. And the Senate. And more of the Senate. And the White House. And more judges. And we still wait for the border security Ted Kennedy promised Reagan, the spending cuts Ted Kennedy promised George HW Bush, (as far as I can tell, the only promise Ted Kennedy ever kept was “ Mary Jo, baby, I’m going to take you for the ride of your life), and the repeal of Obamacare. The GOP is so good at losing, you have to either decide that they are indeed the Stupid Party, or that they are not serious about their principles and RINO s like McCain and Flake are more mainstream than we like to admit. Now, I for one, am about ready to stop kicking that football.

To quote Ricky Ricardo, Lucy, you got some “splaining” to do!

When the Left wins, we get, predictably, higher taxes, more regulations, more abortions, more illegals, more political correctness (which is a high-sounding way of rejecting common sense), more Congressmen with $ 90,000 dollars in cold cash in their freezers, and the 40-year cancer on our culture and body politic that is the Clintons. When we win, we get, what? A few marginal victories but lose on the big issues. We pass lots of meaningless bills to repeal Obamacare, right up till we actually have the power to do so, and then we fold like a cheap suit.) If the Left wins, even a slight majority, we go along with their Ginsberg and Kagan Justices, and their whole agenda with a somewhat apologetic “Well, elections have consequences, they did win.” When WE win, we somewhat apologetically say, well, you have to understand how politics works. After all, we only have one half of one third of government and there is only so much we can do.” Odd how such restrictions did not seem to matter to a Democrat House, or, for most of my lifetime, a Democrat WV Legislature.

It has been said that Republicans are the stupid party, Democrats are the evil party. The GOP can always be counted on to do something stupid. The Democrats can always be relied upon to do something evil. Occasionally, the GOP is stupid enough to compromise with the Democrats, and then we get something spectacularly both stupid and evil.

So, do we really continue to lose because we are stupid? Well, let us entertain a different theory.

T.S. Eliot said “the tendency of liberals is to create bodies of men and women-of all classes-detached from tradition, alienated from religion, and susceptible to mass suggestion-mob rule. And a mob will be no less a mob if it is well fed, well clothed, well housed, and well disciplined.”

William F Buckley said the conservative movement is an alternative to the liberal establishment that is based on principles of “freedom, individuality, the sense of community, the sanctity of the family, the supremacy of the conscience, the spiritual view of life.”

Conservatism as we know it began around the time of the French Revolution. Men like Edmund Burke saw that while there was much to criticize about Parliament and King, the barbaric fanaticism of the Mob rule in France tore at the foundations of civilized society and was not the way to go. Robespierre, the man who made the Mob, and egged them along to murder King Louie, Marie Antoinette, and 16,000 more Frenchmen in the terror, may have had a few moments to reconsider his position before the guillotine proved the problem of the Mob. We will never know, of course, because, to paraphrase the poem “A tisket a tasket a head in a basket, cannot respond to the questions we ask it.” Burke s “Reflections on the Revolution in France” influenced leaders both in England and in America to establish governments that would preserve justice and freedom.

. Our American War of Independence was not so much a revolution, as a separation from England. Adams, Hamilton, and Madison, did not desire to depose the King and tear down society in England, but to maintain and expand self-rule and freedom in American. The Constitution, written with an understanding of history and human nature, and recent bloody experience of the horrors of the French Revolution,     followed by a war of conquest by Napoleon, caused our founders to create arguably the most successful conservative device in all history.

Conservative leaders, ever since Burke and Adams, have subscribed to certain general ideas that we may set down, briefly, by way of definition. Conservatives distrust what Burke called “abstractions”—that is, absolute political dogmas divorced from practical experience and particular circumstances. They do believe, nevertheless, in the existence of certain abiding truths which govern the conduct of human society.

Perhaps the chief principles which have characterized American conservative thought are those outlined by DR Russel Kirk in his 1956 book “The Conservative Mind.”

Men and nations are governed by moral laws; and those laws have their origin in a wisdom that is more than human—in divine justice.

John Adams said “Our Constitution is made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. “At heart, political problems are moral and religious problems. The wise statesman tries to apprehend the moral law and govern his conduct accordingly. We have a moral debt to our ancestors, who bestowed upon us our civilization, and a moral obligation to the generations who will come after us. This debt is ordained of God. We have no right, therefore, to tamper impudently with human nature or with the delicate fabric of our civil social order.

Variety and diversity are the characteristics of a high civilization. Uniformity and absolute equality are the death of all real vigor and freedom in existence.

Conservatives resist with impartial strength the uniformity of a tyrant or an oligarchy, and the uniformity of what Tocqueville called “democratic despotism.” The PC mob that becomes hysterical at any thought that might differ from their own are a moribund piece of society. They can be “ safe and comfortable” in Orwell’s 1984 or Huxley’s Brave New World, but they have no idea how to live in Adams and Madison’s society of free people.

Justice means that every man and every woman have the right to what is their own—to the things best suited to their own nature, to the rewards of their ability and integrity, to their property and their personality.

Civilized society requires that all men and women have equal rights before the law, but that equality should not extend to equality of condition: that is, society is a great partnership, in which all have equal rights—but not to equal things. The just society requires sound leadership, different rewards for different abilities, and a sense of respect and duty.

Property and freedom are inseparably connected; economic leveling is not economic progress.

Conservatives value property for its own sake, of course; but they value it even more because without it all men and women are at the mercy of an omnipotent government.

Case in point, ask Suzette Kelo In 2000, the Town of New London, Ct, acting on a promised 1000 new jobs and 1.2 mill new taxes, exercised eminent domain to take homes in the Fort Trumbull area, including Kelo s, for Urban Renewal, with the specific purpose of giving the land to a developer for $1 a year, who would, after development, bring Pfizer, who received 10 years of tax breaks on their existing facility, and other tenants. The only “public purpose” was more money for New London. She sued. The case was heard by SCOTUS in 2005, Kelo vs New London was decided 5-4 for New London, with O’Conner, Scalia, Rehnquist, Thomas dissenting this grab of power and loss of rights as a total misreading of the Constitution. The Town subsequently spent 78 million to demolish the property, (a private party bought and moved the little pink house, as a monument to the stupidity) only to have Pfizer backed out, after their 10 year tax breaks expired, instead losing 1000 jobs. As it turned out, the property was only ever used as dump for Hurricane Irene debris. As of today, had the deal gone through, and Pfizer paid the 1.2 mill a year, New London would still be down 56 mill. 42 states enacted laws restricting takings. Not, I might add, WV.

Power is full of danger; therefore, the good state is one in which power is checked and balanced, restricted by sound constitutions and customs.

So far as possible, political power ought to be kept in the hands of private persons and local institutions. Centralization is ordinarily a sign of social decadence. “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant.”
John Stuart Mill

The past is a great storehouse of wisdom; as Burke said, “the individual is foolish, but the species is wise.” The conservative believes that we need to guide ourselves by the moral traditions, the social experience, and the whole complex body of knowledge bequeathed to us by our ancestors.

The conservative appeals beyond the rash opinion of the hour to what Chesterton called “the democracy of the dead”—that is, the considered opinions of the wise men and women who died before our time, the experience of the race. The conservative, in short, knows he was not born yesterday.

Modern society urgently needs true community: and true community is a world away from collectivism.


Real community is governed by love and charity, not by compulsion. Through churches, voluntary associations, local governments, and a variety of institutions, conservatives strive to keep community healthy. Conservatives are not selfish, but public-spirited. They know that collectivism means the end of real community, substituting uniformity for variety and force for willing cooperation.

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.”
― Mark Twain

In the affairs of nations, the American conservative feels that his country ought to set an example to the world but ought not to try to remake the world in its image.

It is a law of politics, as well as of biology, that every living thing loves above all else—even above its own life—its distinct identity, which sets it off from all other things. The conservative does not aspire to domination of the world, nor does he relish the prospect of a world reduced to a single pattern of government and civilization.

Men and women are not perfectible, conservatives know; and neither are political institutions.

We cannot make a heaven on earth, though we may make a hell. We all are creatures of mingled good and evil; and, good institutions neglected, and ancient moral principles ignored, the evil in us tends to predominate. Therefore, the conservative is suspicious of all utopian schemes. He does not believe that, by power of positive law, we can solve all the problems of humanity. We can hope to make our world tolerable, but we cannot make it perfect. When progress is achieved, it is through prudent recognition of the limitations of human nature. We understand that the desire for the perfect is often an impediment to the achievement of the excellent. We have seen the results of Utopian schemes played out over and over, and see the results now in the streets of Caracas. (And, parenthetically, hear them espoused in the halls of Congress.)


Change and reform, conservatives are convinced, are not identical: moral and political innovation can be destructive as well as beneficial; and if innovation is undertaken in a spirit of presumption and enthusiasm, probably it will be disastrous.

All human institutions alter to some extent from age to age, for slow change is the means of conserving society, just as it is the means for renewing the human body. But American conservatives endeavor to reconcile the growth and alteration essential to our life with the strength of our social and moral traditions. Lord Falkland said “When it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.” They understand that men and women are best content when they can feel that they live in a stable world of enduring values.

Chesterton’s Fence

In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.


Conservatism, then, is not simply the concern of the people who have much property and influence; it is not simply the defense of privilege and status. Most conservatives are neither rich nor powerful. But they do, even the most humble of them, derive great benefits from our established Republic. They have liberty, security of person and home, equal protection of the laws, the right to the fruits of their industry, and opportunity to do the best that is in them. They have a right to personality in life, and a right to consolation in death. Conservative principles shelter the hopes of everyone in society. And conservatism is a social concept important to everyone who desires equal justice and personal freedom and all the lovable old ways of humanity. Conservatism is not simply a defense of “capitalism.” (“Capitalism,” indeed, is a word coined by Karl Marx, intended from the beginning to imply that the only thing conservatives defend is vast accumulations of private capital.) But the true conservative does stoutly defend private property and a free economy, both for their own sake and because these are means to great ends.

No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

Edmund Burke, 1729-1797


Mark Caserta: Candidates should avoid brokered convention

11 Mar


Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot Editor

  • 3.11.16

In addition to being plagued with mammoth egos and juvenile behavior, the Republican Party is certainly in a political pickle right now. And it could get much worse.

Now, I plan to support the GOP nominee and the constitutional process – period. Besides, in my estimation, any of the four remaining candidates are more qualified than either of their Democrat opponents.


The problem is the voters may not be the ones choosing! The GOP could be facing their first “brokered convention” in nearly 70 years.

What is a brokered convention? Here’s how it works.

During the primary and caucus season, a candidate seeks to win enough votes to be awarded a simple majority of the available delegates during the first official vote of the party’s nominating convention. For the Republican Party, the magic delegate number is 1,237. Of the GOP’s 2,472 available delegates, the majority are “pledged” delegates, meaning they will be bound to vote for a particular candidate at the convention.

Here’s where it could get nasty.

If during the first vote at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 18-21 the delegates are split among candidates and there is no clear majority, the convention is then considered “brokered.” The Republican National Committee will then press the proverbial “reset” button, releasing all delegates from their pledged candidate and enabling them to cast a vote for the individual of their choice.

A “no holds barred” nomination process then ensues with self-serving party leaders bartering back room deals to wangle a candidate they feel could garner the necessary delegates. Subsequent voting would then take place until one candidate receives a majority.

Now, here are some points to consider regarding this process.

First, it renders months of primary and caucus voting null and void, taking the American people completely out of the process, which could have huge ramifications.

Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, for all intents and purposes, are out of the race. A brokered convention, controlled by the so-called GOP “establishment,” would be their only hope of winning the nomination.

And this same establishment hates businessman Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz. A brokered convention would most assuredly not result in either of these candidates receiving the Republican nomination.

Additionally, given the poor caliber of the Democrat candidates, I believe the jury is still out on their presumptive nominee. While Democrat leadership certainly doesn’t want to show its “down card” this early in the process, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry or former presidential candidate Al Gore could easily step up as party “benefactors” and become formidable candidates.

My political “Xanadu” rests with Rubio and Kasich dropping out after the March 15th primaries, reducing this to a two-man race. I believe the changing dynamics would result in a Cruz nomination before the GOP could orchestrate a brokered convention and sidestep voters.

Regardless, unless the equation changes, a brokered convention may be inevitable. And the American people would just watch from the sidelines.

Here’s hoping candidates simply do the right thing.

Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident.

Mark Caserta: Republicans must support their nominee

22 Jan


Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot Editor


As I watch members of the GOP cannibalize their own day after day, I can’t help but wonder if we might be witnessing the total collapse of the Republican Party as we’ve come to know it.

Following President Obama’s final State of the Union address last week, the Republican response was given by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. Now, typically, the response is used to offer the GOP perspective of the state of the union, often in stark contrast with the president’s. But this address was very different.


A significant portion of the governor’s speech took aim at Republican leaders and their rightful ownership of the dysfunction of Washington.

“We as Republicans need to own that truth,” she added. “We need to recognize our contributions to the erosion of the public trust in America’s leadership. We need to accept that we’ve played a role in how and why our government is broken.”


Well spoken, empress of the obvious. While confession is good for the soul, only substantive solutions will change the ebb and tide of this political storm.


But then, and possibly for the first time ever in a state of the union response, Haley and the GOP establishment she represented proceeded to challenge the Republican presidential front-runner, Donald Trump, and his hardcore stance on immigration.


“Immigrants have been coming to our shores for generations to live the dream that is America. They wanted better for their children than for themselves,” she said. While the immigration system must be repaired, she said, “During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation. No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country.”


While I’m no fan of “the Donald,” how can the GOP be so short-sighted! Heaven forbid that Trump would indeed win the Republican nomination, but stranger things have happened. What if he’s successful at carrying this torch to his final destination? What if Americans really feel they’ve exhausted all other options? Where will Republicans be then?

It’s very telling that not only are half of Americans willing to give a neurotic liar and a professed socialist a shot at the presidency in order to perpetuate their progressive, leftist regime, a significant portion of the right are considering a paradigm shift in their conservative mentality simply to get our nation back on track. Hence, the Trump factor.


The one condition most Americans can surely agree upon is the state of our nation is in no way being improved by the listless group of elected officials who have lied and bamboozled their way into office only to sell their constituencies down the river. And the GOP is falling exceedingly short in presenting a unified front with real solutions to our nation’s woes.


And if Republicans refuse to support their party’s nominee in 2016, it may indeed be the end of the Grand Ole’ Party in the U.S.


Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: Republicans simply lied to the American people

1 Oct

Voters were betrayed


Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot Editor


Last November, Americans sent a stern message to Barack Obama and the Democrats when they handed Congress over to the Republicans. Promises were made for GOP “guns to be a-blazin” when they controlled both legislative bodies. No doubt, these vows impacted the huge Democratic losses.

So what has our Republican-controlled Congress accomplished for the American people since gaining control? Well, it’s as though the elections never happened!

Let’s look at a few of the promises turned foul.


Virtually every GOP candidate running in 2014 promised to do everything possible to repeal Obamacare, beginning with its defunding. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged that he, too, would support defunding and repealing the president’s signature healthcare law. A 2013 Newsmax article by Todd Beamon shares McConnell’s commentary from an exclusive interview.

“I don’t think it was a waste of time,” the Kentucky Republican said. “The American people do fully understand that still, not a single Republican in the House or Senate favors this awful new law — and if they will send us enough additional new members to get rid of it, we will.”

But when Republicans had their chances through defunding efforts, leadership buckled. McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner even criticized members of their own party who pushed the effort. A May blog in “The Hill” by columnist Brent Bozell went as far as to say “Boehner and McConnell could cost the GOP the White House in 2016”.

And as with Obamacare, the Republicans running in 2014 promised voters they would put a stop to Obama’s unconstitutional executive order granting amnesty to millions who entered the country illegally. Even now, a vast majority of voters who gave Republicans the Congress are still against Obama’s illegal actions, including 42 percent of Hispanic voters born in the United States, according to a December 2014 Gallup Poll.

But once again, Republicans sold out the American people. After a timid attempt to defund the part of the Department of Homeland Security bill that funneled taxpayer dollars to fund Obama’s illegal actions, members of the GOP argued within their own party, while Democrats stood firm. In the end, the “cromnibus” funding bill that included paying for illegal executive amnesty passed with GOP support.


 Conservative voters were also promised by Republicans in the last election to pass a ban on abortions past the 20-week mark. For the first time since the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban was enacted in 2003, there was opportunity to restrict the murder of the unborn. The bill had already passed The House once in 2013.

But at the last moment, a number of Republicans withdrew their support claiming they feared it would alienate too many Americans, especially women, even though the majority of Americans support the ban according to a 2013 CBS News poll.

So what needs to happen? Well, part of it already has. John Boehner, sensing mutiny in the GOP camp, is resigning as House Speaker. I believe Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should be the next to go.

It’s time for honest leadership — with a backbone.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: Next president must meet these criteria

13 Aug



Aug. 13, 2015 @ 12:01 AM

So, which candidate do you like for president in 2016?

Usually, as the presidential election debate season begins, friends and family will begin asking me questions akin to the one above. Most of the time I’ll accommodate them with whom I believe possesses the best qualifications for the job, but this year is different. With so many qualified GOP candidates, it’s just too early to say.


But from a conservative’s perspective, any candidate on stage last week at the GOP debate in Cleveland would be better than the “community organizer” we have now. As we all should be doing, I’ll simply be watching and listening the next few months to the platforms of the candidates so I’ll be prepared to make the best choice.

However, I waste no time sharing who we don’t want in office. The best the Democrats have to offer so far is a scandal-ridden Hillary Clinton and the self-declared socialist senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, who’s gaining on Hillary in some polls.

But I don’t believe the Democrat Party’s eventual nominee has yet emerged. I believe someone will have to step up to salvage the party’s 2016 chances. Perhaps, the “king of gaffe,” Joe Biden, or the great “flip flopper” John Kerry will be the one. But right now, Democrats are quaking in their boots at the thought of challenging a highfalutin Clinton for the presidency. It is, after all, her turn.

Our nation has been on a slippery slope for over 6 years. It’s imperative we choose the right candidate for our next president, for the next president surely will have hands full redressing America from Barack Obama’s “fundamental change.” These are some inherent qualifications we must demand.

Our next president must have integrity. I’m amazed at the lies we’ve been told by President Obama, yet his own party never calls him out. Remember the “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan” promise? We must demand the next president be truthful with the American people at all times!

Our next commander-in-chief must be savvy in military and foreign affairs. We must regain the respect around the globe that our inept “diplomatic” policies have destroyed. Currently, our enemies don’t fear us – and our allies don’t trust us. We should adopt Ronald Reagan’s policy of “peace through strength,” not peace through appeasement.

Jobs and the economy must be a priority. Our next president must understand business and economics. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 46 million people or 15 percent of the population are living in poverty. And the labor force participation rate is the lowest it’s been since 1978. Yet, Democrats continue to leverage deceptive numbers regarding both the economy and the unemployment rate. It doesn’t matter that good-paying jobs are becoming exceedingly scarce and families are hurting.

Finally, the next president for whom you vote must be a God-fearing man. Progressives are tenaciously attacking anything that remotely resembles morality and God’s Word.

They must understand it will take more than a man to return America to greatness.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Rand Paul blisters Obama and Clinton, calls for GOP diversity

21 Sep


By Cathleen Decker contact the reporter

Fewer than 50 days before an election that may give Republicans control of the Senate as well as the House, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Saturday skipped past those contests entirely to focus on one in which he may play a more central role — the 2016 presidential race.

Paul, the featured speaker at the California Republican convention, made no mention of the party’s national advantages this year. He blasted President Obama and potential Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton as insufficient present or future commanders-in-chief. He insisted that the GOP must dramatically expand its reach in order to win presidential contests — a strategy that coincides with his pre-presidential efforts.

He accused Obama of confounding the Constitution when he expanded Obamacare, moved against overseas targets without specific congressional authorization, and announced plans — since delayed — to use executive action to change the nation’s immigration laws.

“It is a terrible tragedy, it is a danger to us as a country, and we need to do everything we can to stop him from abusing our laws,” Paul said. He said later, “We have a president who basically has created a lawless atmosphere in Washington.”

Speaking about Clinton, he used her famous 2008 primary ad, which argued that she more than Obama would be the president capable of answering a phone call about a middle-of-the-night crisis:

“I think she had a 3 a.m. moment. She didn’t answer the phone, and I think it absolutely should preclude her from being [president],” he said after detailing what he termed her failings leading up to the 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. (His final word was obscured by applause from the strongly anti-Clinton crowd.)


Those were the easy targets, however.  Paul’s more passionate appeal was one that he has forwarded across the country in such unlikely venues as UC Berkeley. Paul’s argument — that the party needs to expand from its older and white base, groups amply represented among the delegates — was framed as one that could reverse the party’s long record of thumpings in California and its national presidential losses.

We’ve got to go out and we’ve got to broaden our party, and when we do, we’ll be a national party again. We will win again.- Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)

“When our party looks like America — with earrings and without earrings, with ponytails and without ponytails, with tattoos and without tattoos — when we look like the rest of America — white, black, brown — we’re going to win again,” he told an audience gathered near LAX. “We’ve got to go out and we’ve got to broaden our party, and when we do, we’ll be a national party again. We will win again.”

Paul suggested a freshening of the GOP message — he did not, he said, mean to suggest that the party “dilute” its principles and “be more like Democrats” — in order to attract young voters and the Latino and African American voters who have spurned the party in California and elsewhere.

He specifically cited issues he has pressed for months, including the NSA’s mining of data from cell phones, what he termed excessive sentences for drug use and expanding the ability of voters to cast ballots.

“What you say or do on your cell phone is none of the government’s damn business,” he said.

But as he made his argument there was a bit of a reality check in the room — Neel Kashkari, the party’s nominee for governor.

The child of immigrants from India, Kashkari has conducted an unusual campaign: He spent time posing as a homeless person to underscore his criticism of Democratic policies on poverty, and he marched in a gay rights parade in San Diego.

And he remains the longest of long shots in November, trailing Democratic incumbent Jerry Brown by 21 points among likely voters in a recent USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

The same poll found that state Republicans were the antithesis of Paul’s vision of a diverse party: 74% were white and only 25% either Latino, African American or Asian.  (Among Democrats, half were non-white, far more similar to the state overall.) Almost 6 in 10 state Republicans were 50 or older, meaning that the party serves to suffer as its members are replaced by younger voters who are far more likely to be Democratic or nonpartisan.

In an interview after his speech, Paul lauded Kashkari’s candidacy and described him as someone who “could be the face of a new GOP.” But when reminded of Kashkari’s distant second-place standing, he acknowledged that change could be slow in coming, even if the Republican party follows his advice.

“We became the minority party in California over, what, 20 years?” he asked. “It didn’t happen  overnight. To reverse it takes a while, but I think he’s saying and doing all the right things.”

“Without trying,” he added, “we’ll never win. “


For political news and analysis, follow me on Twitter: @cathleendecker

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