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Why We Can Have Hope

By no means are the 2012 elections decided.  By all accounts, this election is too close to call, and, as a political analyst (or at least a self-styled one), I am fully aware that attempting to dissect the polls this far out from November can be folly.  Watching the 2010 elections unfold was as elating as watching the vast zombie turnout of the 2008 elections was depressing.  But 2012 is a completely different animal when compared to either of those.

There are a lot of things that point to a good year for conservatives.

To start, Obama’s job approval ratings are stuck.  They’re not even fluctuating as would be usual for a president at this point in a term.  I believe this is because there is a base of said previously mentioned zombies that would vote for Obama even if he came to their house and ate their family pet (which I have heard is not so far-fetched!)  But their numbers are far fewer than they were in 2008.  According to pollster Scott Rasmussen, who is very regularly accurate, Obama’s total approval ratings have been stagnant at roughly 47% since the summer of 2009, with a very few points breaching the 50% barrier briefly.  This would be very bad for any president’s re-election prospects, but it also shows that 47% is likely the low side for Obama, which probably buoys his campaign’s hopes.  The problem for Obama is the stark difference between those who strongly approve of his performance and those who strongly disapprove.  Only 25% strongly approve of this president, while 41% strongly disapprove.  This is a problem for Obama because those who feel the strongest are also the ones most likely to vote.

In 2008, conservatives had McCain on the presidential ticket, who I like on a personal level.  The man is a war hero.  He was a prisoner of war.  He has given a lot to  this country.  But many conservatives, including your’s truly, have a low opinion of him on a policy level.  The media may have slammed him in 2008 as some sort of wild-eyed conservative hack, but prior to that they were drooling all over him as a “maverick”.  McCain was the “rational” conservative that they could love, until he ran against the anointed one.  I refused to vote for McCain and I abstained from voting on the 2008 presidential ticket.  Staying home was a mistake that many of us made, and I don’t believe that mistake will be repeated.  I’m not saying that Romney is any better on a policy level.  There are certainly some things during Romney’s term as Massachusetts’ governor that would give any good conservative pause.  But the last 3 1/2 years has served to open many conservative eyes to the damage to our country that a full-blown liberal is capable of doing, and, while Romney may not be so perfect a candidate, even the hardest conservatives are coming to understand that he would be much prefered to the disaster that is the Obama administration.

In 2010, much like 1994, the public had developed a clear case of “buyer’s remorse”.  We had the wind of the Tea Party carrying us despite, or perhaps abetted by, the media attempts to villainize us at every turn.  With Obama not on the ticket, and Democrats running from him as though he had contracted leprosy, we sailed to a clear victory.  We fell short of taking the Senate, but those were very uphill odds, anyway, and we had the biggest sweep of the House in my lifetime.

Obama is on the ticket this time, and though many Democrats are still distancing themselves from him, we can not count on the afore-mentioned “Obamazombies” to stay home this year.  It’s going to be close, but we have a lot to be excited about.  The Tea Party retains influence, much to the chagrin of liberals and the old-guard media.  National polls show a dead heat between Obama and Romney, and within margin of errors for battleground states.  At this point, this is a great thing for Romney, because polls generally over-sample Democrats, but also because Romney isn’t even legally allowed to spend presidential campaign money until after the Republican convention this August in Florida.  He is still operating on funds from his primaries.  Meanwhile, the Obama campaign, undeterred by a primary contest, has been free-spending like no tomorrow on negative campaign ads in contested states, with little effect on the poll numbers, if any.  Obama has held a record number of fund-raisers, more than our last five presidents combined, and yet some reports have his campaign coffers in the red due to his profligate spending.  Most strikingly, unions, his most historically stalwart supporters, have chosen to reduce direct campaign contributions in favor of contributing to general election funds and Super-PACs, where Romney has a clear lead.

Another cause for hope is that Romney  has yet to choose a vice-presidential candidate.  Choosing a really strong one could be a huge boost for him in the polls, while even an uninspired pick would likely not be damaging, at least not in that area.  Personally, I hope that he doesn’t choose a lackluster candidate like Pawlenty or even Portman, though Portman could at least help in Ohio.  However, unless the Romney camp spins wildly and chooses someone who makes the media have a collective coronary–someone they can easily demonize such as Sarah Palin–there will be very little risk to Romney.

The primary focus in this election for likely voters is the economy, and the Obama economy is a disaster.  He has been able to hide himself from that issue most recently, but as the elections loom closer his ability to do so will wane considerably.  Even the media will not be able to shield him from his dismal economic performance.  Couple that to the fact that his signature health care legislation remains very unpopular, with the Supreme Court exposing his duplicitous claims that his mandate was never a tax, and even the most stalwart Democrat political strategist would have to admit, if only privately, that Obama is in grave danger this year.

As long as we stay vigilant, and there is no major “October surprise” to derail the elections, we have every hope of removing Obama from office this year and taking back the Senate.

Please stay vigilant.

Gun Control in the United States

I’m fine with gun-free zones.  Several places should require citizens to forgo their right to bear arms if they desire entry.  Courts, for example, or police stations and jails.  But for all of those places, the authority requiring that the zone be gun-free is also required to make sure that no guns can enter, through the use of metal detectors, screening, and other techniques.  Even the staunchest second amendment supporter understands the reasons why people shouldn’t  be allowed to carry in such places as Congress, for example.

But movie theaters?

When the government requires that such a place be held gun-free, they should also be required to take reasonable steps to ensure that it remain so, and that burden should be on the government, not the proprietor of the business.  To make such laws and assume that people will follow them greatly affects the law-abiding populace, and leaves them vulnerable to attack from those criminals who simply do not care what laws have been enacted.  Worse, for a criminal, these places become the safest targets; a sure bet that their victims will be unlikely to be able to defend themselves.

Gun control laws in this country have a very sordid history.  I won’t go into the darkness of our distant past, but even the more recent laws, made with good intentions, were nearly always made as an ill-advised, knee-jerk reaction to an unforseen event.  These laws were never thought through, and they have backfired more often than not.  This can easily be shown to be true.  In areas with the strictest gun control, violent crime rates have risen even higher than they already were, while areas that have issued more concealed carry permits see violent crime reductions.

Gun control advocates almost always revert to pointing out other countries (intentionally ignoring Switzerland), where violent crime is lower because guns are completely banned.  We are NOT those other countries.  Guns will never be banned here, and if the liberal goal of banning all guns were somehow reached, it would be a disaster for all of us.  We’ve all seen how well prohibition has worked for drugs.  Our porous borders alone would allow for a tide of guns to come into the country via the black market, were any such ban in place.  This, in effect, would turn the entire country into a gun-free zone and, since  the government would be unable to assure us that no guns are getting in, it would leave us all as soft targets for criminals.

As a country, we have got to start taking a more level-headed approach to dealing with crime and the misery it often leaves in its wake.  We can no longer afford to react emotionally, against logic, and create laws that result with compounded tragedies.

Those are the real lessons that should be learned from the recent Aurora tragedy.

Hello world!

Well, hello world, I guess..!

I’ve apparently decided to start a blog.  I have no idea what will become of it all.  I’ve been involved in politics for a long time, on various political sites, but for some reason, until fairly recently, I’ve avoided most forms of social media.  That is, until I started my Twitter account a few months ago.  Now, like many of you, I am a full-blown Twitter addict!  I guess starting this blog means that I feel I have a little more to say than Twitter allows.

I have no desire to bore anyone with the more personal details of my life.  My moniker is an old one, chosen because the internet often distracts me from what some term as “real life”.  I live in Indianapolis, Indiana.  That’s about it.  I’m not striving to remain anonymous.  My friends and family know who I am, and I’m sure that anyone else could easily figure it out, if they desired.  I guess I am just one for the old-school brand of keeping a personal distance from my online persona.

Hope you enjoy the blog, and if you don’t then feel free to debate me, or ignore me, or curse my existence…  whatever…  =P

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