Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | May 30, 2009

Just Say Yes

My guys won at the RPV Convention. 

Attorney General: Ken Cuccinelli is now a state-wide candidate.   He will rock Conservatives with uncompromising confidence – in the truth and the courage to speak it.

Lt. Governor:  Bill Bolling will be Mr. Old Reliable Real Conservative.  The pragmatic stalwart and standard bearer.

Chairman RPV:  Pat Mullins will show the fire is stoked with the experienced party activist and leader.   He might be the Lion in his winter years – and roaring still.

Governor:  Bob McDonnell had a witty catch phrase for crowd involvement – Just Say Yes!  (In my public office-seeking district convention speech I used, “This we’ll defend!”).  He has proposals  plenty 0- like energy independence.  Hope he reveals the taxes to be cut and spending to be cut after the Democrats pick their candidate.

Great time chatting and waving to well-known folks – and meeting some very interesting new ones.

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Responses

  1. Jim: I am afraid we are doomed with yesterday’s results. Cuccinelli is a relic of days gone by and it will be too easy for the Dems to label us as extreme and divisive. The “Don’t Tread on Me” flags were a terrible sign, and I am sure we will see those in TV ads in October. Also, Cuccinelli’s claim that he won’t get a social security number b/c he thinks the government is tracking him won’t help either. I was so hoping that we could get back on our feet this year. I now will wait until 2010 and pray for some sanity.

  2. Please! Let’s see those socalled relics of proudly remembered days.

    Brian – You seem overly concerned about Cuccinelli. Have you considered seeing a good psychologist?

  3. OFL: those days weren’t that long ago. As recently as 2005, we were running hollow men with heads full of buzzwords, individual political ambitions, but no understanding of the skills of governance or the process by which one rationally provides for the education, infrastructure and public safety needs of a large and diverse state. Two of them squeaked out extremely slim victories. Those two men are on the ticket again this time, and the third probably has spent less time and shown less evidence than the incumbents of understanding how to provide a meaningful governance service package to the citizens. The first two show some indication that they learned from their experiences and have spent the intervening years trying to repackage themselves, at least on the outside (I’m not sure how much was on the inside to begin with for one of them, the other’s Army experience gives me hope that he can rise to the occasion) in order to have a competitive chance with the Citizens in the fall. The third has a lot of make-over work to do if he wants to be taking an oath of office in January.

  4. NoVA Scout – We disagree about the qualifications of the people running on the Republican ticket. In fact, I think Cuccinelli the best of the three.

    Consider your talk about “running hollow men with heads full of buzzwords, individual political ambitions, but no understanding of the skills of governance or the process by which one rationally provides for the education, infrastructure and public safety needs of a large and diverse state.” Are you trying to make what is the problem the solution?

    It seems to me that your complaint with Conservatives is that they want limited government when you want BIG AND GROWING GOVERNMENT. Why do you claim to a Republican? If you want to vote for people foolish enough to claim to have the expertise and the skills of governance you desire, you should be voting for the liars in Democratic Party.

    Nobody has “the skills of governance or the process by which one rationally provides for the education, infrastructure and public safety needs of a large and diverse state.” The fools that promise to fix and run everything have to centralize the management of everything. Because no one has expertise or the ability to run everything, that does not work. At the same time, the power is corrupting.

    That is why the Republican Party exists. It is the party of limited government. Thus it is the party that advocates limited management, the party that expects government to do what it must and enabling the People to solve their own problems.

  5. Wrong, OFL. Old Scout here is not going to give you even partial credit for your answer on the purpose of the Republican Party. The Republican Party exists to salvage a working, effective political entity out of the remnants of the Whigs, while incorporating the new energy of the Free Soil party and other smaller groups and form from them a party that opposes the spread of slavery and supports the preservation of the Union.

    If you want to bring it more current, OK. Like you I am a small government conservative. But political parties don’t exist just to embody an idea. A political party is a means by which we offer competing government services providers in a democratic polity. Governance is the end, not philosophy. Competition among aspiring governance providers hones their ideas and ensures that the citizens have a choice.

    I have no idea why you think I want BIG AND GROWING GOVERNMENT [caps in your version] I want nothing of the sort. But I do want, indeed, insist upon, competence. My small government guys are expected to provide quality governance, because I am not of the view that quantity governance is consistent with the principles of human liberty.

    If “Nobody has the skills . . .” to provide technically competent governance, we’re doomed. But you’re wrong about that. I’ve met some extremely gifted people in academia, business, and the military who know how to run complex organizations for the benefit of a large number of people. Let’s find them, and back them for public office.

    I claim to be a Republican because I have a 44 year history of working for Republican candidates who share my conservative values and come from a family that proudly voted for Capt. Fremont and Mr. Lincoln.

  6. NoVA Scout – What Republicans agree upon is stated in the Virginia Republican Creed.
    http://www.pwcgop.org/gopcreed.htm
    If you want to attribute those principles to the Whigs or the Free Soil Party, I don’t really care.

    If you want to claim to be a Conservative, its your privilege to do so. However, I don’t think you speak or think like one. Why? Consider your great concern that “some extremely gifted people in academia, business, and the military who know how to run complex organizations for the benefit of a large number of people.” What good managers do is delegate tasks and they provide for accountability. A gifted manager does such things well. Nonetheless, even a gifted manager has a limited reach. Once an organization grows large enough, its activities must eventually exceed the reach of any manager. Then all a manager has left to exercise control is the strength of the philosophy he advocates.

    The United States government is about as large and complex organization as there is. Because politicians keep making stupid promises, it is becoming more and more of a overreaching, bumbling mess.

    Look again at the Republican Creed. What is the fix suggested by each line of the creed?

    Doesn’t the line endorsing free enterprise suggest limited government?

    Doesn’t the line promoting individual rights suggest limiting the powers of government?

    Doesn’t the line promoting fiscal responsibility suggest cutting government spending?

    Doesn’t the line requiring our leaders adhere to the Constitution suggest limiting the powers of government?

    Doesn’t the line promoting a strong national defense suggest government be focused on its primary task?

    Doesn’t the line promoting faith in God suggest that God, not some extremely gifted people in academia, business, and the military, is our salvation?

    Doesn’t the Republican Creed suggest the Republican Party is the creation of people with a shared philosophy, that the the goal of the party (or the end you will) is to implement that philosophy?

    Yes, extremely gifted people from academia, business, and the military must implement the party’s philosophy. But personnel is policy. What people believe becomes their policy. Without that shared philosophy, even extremely gifted people will have nothing to guide them jointly in the task that they have taken upon themselves. What then when they assume governance of the nation? What will they each seek to accomplish? Will they serve the nation, or will they strive to make the nation serve their individual, personal interests?

  7. OFL, I think deep, deep conservative. If your perception is that I don’t “speak like a conservative”, it’s because philosophical conservatism has been displaced in Virginia (Gresham’s law at work) by facile, bumper sticker conservatism that means virtually nothing. It’s just a marketing gimmick for pols trying to scam those who need labels to organize their not very well-informed thoughts. You haven’t had the opportunity to hear real conservatives speak very much, so when you do, it sounds foreign to you.

    The creed is OK as far as it goes – fairly innocuous – but it doesn’t address the first order of politics: providing high quality governance skills in a democratic society. The goal of the party is to get qualified people elected. Period. Bonus points for getting people elected who know how to run complex organizations, are honest, who understand that big government threatens individual liberty and that expensive government steals from the industry of the individual.

    As for God, His Kingdom is not of this world, and my imperfect, mortal, human guess is that He’d be fairly annoyed if we acquiesced in choosing incompetents to lead us politically (as we repeatedly do) on the theory that we can dump our tawdry earthly obligations in His lap, creed or no creed. I rely on Him to save my soul, and pray that He does not devote much attention to whether we eliminate local property taxes in favor of raising state income taxes. Running hollow men because we expect God, “not some extremely gifted people from academia, business, and the military” (to quote you quoting me), to take care of building infrastructure or refurbishing our universities is not a course I am prepared to advocate (with all due respect to my Lord and Savior and His Father in Heaven).

  8. NoVA Scout – A philosophical Conservative. I suppose that means that in theory you are a Conservative. Nonetheless, any time someone is a Conservative in word and deed you have a “helpful,” philosophical disagreement. It seems you find practicing Conservatives “hollow men with heads full of buzzwords, individual political ambitions, but no understanding of the skills of governance or the process by which one rationally provides for the education, infrastructure and public safety needs of a large and diverse state.” And, of course, the most Conservative of practicing Conservatives show no indication that they have learned anything from their experience.

    I suggest you consider what makes men hollow. Their problem — our problem — comes from not being filled with the Holy Spirit and the love of God. Too few of us have the good sense to even fear God. Yet each of the men and women we elect swears an oath to support and defend the Constitution. If each of these officials did nothing but pay proper deference to God and the oath they have sworn, then each of them would govern as a Conservative. They would carry out the duties of their public office in the fear they might violate their oath of office. They would read the Constitution and take care abide by it.

  9. I have strong religious views, OFL, but I approach this forum politically (primarily).

    I don’t find “practicing conservatives” to be hollow. I just don’t find many practicing conservatives. Instead, in Virginia, I find a cluster of pols who figured out that if the self-apply the label “conservative” to their forehead, there is a adamantine (but eroding) core of voters who will vote for them without their ever having to break a sweat thinking about what really needs to be done to make the governance of the state something that merits the great history of the Commonwealth. Their number is diminishing, because the voters just aren’t buying it like they used to. Maybe this cycle they’ll all get winked out. That would not be a bad thing for Virginia, a state I dearly love. It wouldn’t be a bad thing for Conservatism or the Republican Party either.

  10. NoVA Scout – Because government involves the use of public force against our neighbors, politics and religion must inevitably intertwine. When we fine, jail, or hang a man, it is a moral issue. When go to war, how we justify that war depends very much upon what we believe about God. Even the fact we allow each other to freely practice the religion of our own choice is a religious issue. Except for the fact they lack the means to enforce their will, some of our neighbors have religious beliefs that would not permit such a thing.

    I doubt you will find many who argue that politicians don’t lie. What people debate is which politicians lie. You call yourself a Conservative. I call myself a Conservative. And still we disagree over which politicians can honestly label themselves as Conservative. Why?

    What I think is diminishing is the number of voters who don’t want handouts from Uncle Sam. Instead of relying upon their own initiative and the free market, too many voters believe the political promises of men and women who claim an “understanding of the skills of governance or the process by which one rationally provides for the education, infrastructure and public safety needs of a large and diverse state.” Would a Conservative believe such a claim? I do not think so. Because they understand men lack the requisite discipline, knowledge, and skill, Conservatives believe that government which governs least governs best. Unfortunately, too many believe the foolish lies of ambitious people. So we live in perilous times.

  11. Great discussion, Gentlemen. Thanks for sharing it.

    I may write like a weasel pol (after only 3 weeks before the banner in 07), but I agree with you both.

    NoVa, I think you way underestimate Bill Bolling. And you don’t get the appeal of Ken Cuccinelli or see his depth either.

    You are both Conservatives, but as such you don’t have to agree on every cotton picking thing.

  12. You may be right, JAB. I categorize both Bolling and Cuccinelli as pols who haven’t shown me anything in their non-political lives that makes me think they have much dimension to them. I’d be glad to be proven wrong. It will be an interesting election.


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