Dorothy was starting to well up in the backseat. She was having trouble understanding how I could be taking my wife and newborn baby to a fund-raiser on our way home from the hospital. We got to the dinner and by then Dorothy was in tears, and I left her with Justin and went inside. Little Peter was sleeping peacefully and Dorothy just sat there and poor Justin didn’t say a word. He was mortified. I was inside maybe fifteen minutes, said a few nice things about Marty, and hurried back out to the car. I felt bad for Dorothy, but it was a million bucks for the Democratic Party and by the time we got home and the kids had their new little brother in their arms, Dorothy was all smiles and we were one big happy family again. Nobody ever said life with me was easy.
Really Terry? Do you have no sympathy? Where is the natural love and care a husband has for his wife who just gave birth? If you can’t even understand and value your wife’s needs, how can you possibly value the needs of Virginia’s citizens over your own personal ambition? What man stops at a work function on the way home from his wife’s giving birth and live’s with himself? Imagine his response when the next tragedy happens in Virgina. “I felt bad for X, but it was a million bucks for the Democrat Party. Nobody ever said life with me as governor would be easy.”
I don’t know if Mark remembers this, but the first time I met him was election day November of 2005. I was in Harrisonburg for the weekend doing GOTV for the Republican ticket and helping Matt Lohr win his delegate race. I was passing out literature at a polling location, and what I saw of Mark Obenshain that day impressed me.
This was the state election in between the two votes by the General Assembly on the state marriage amendment. While a bunch of homeschoolers and Mark Obenshain were manning the poll for the Republicans, a militant lesbian couple was manning the polls for the Democrats. They were furious with Obenshain for supporting the marriage amendment and got in his face to make sure he knew it. Obenshain’s response was one of kindness, but conviction. He defended his vote, took the time to explain why, and never had the slightest hint of responding in kind. As a highschooler just getting involved in politics, I was impressed. The qualities he showed that day are exactly why we need to nominate Sen. Mark Obenshain to run for Attorney General on May 18th.
This year, the Republican Attorney General nominee will be attacked viciously on social issues by the Democrats. With the successful implementation of the TRAP legislation, passage of the ultrasound legislation, and other efforts, the Democrats are up in arms over the “Republican assault on a Women’s right to choose what to do with her body.” At a time when many Republicans are afraid to stand up for the unborn and traditional marriage, Mark Obenshain will be an effective communicator on these crucial issues.
Over the last eight years, I’ve watched Mark Obenshain lead in the fight for conservative values. No senator worked more closely with Sen. Ken Cuccinelli than Mark Obenshain. They would team up for key procedural votes, and carry each others proxies in committees. After Ken Cuccinelli, no one in the General Assembly did more to get the Property Rights Amendment passed than Mark Obenshain. Along with being a dedicated conservative, Mark Obenshain is also a bridge builder. He was elected as the conservative voice on the senate leadership team, and has put together a broad coalition for his bid for Attorney General.
I appreciate Rob Bell’s work in the House of Delegates. As a homeschooler, I definitely appreciate his hard work to pass the Tebow Bill. While there is little difference between the two candidates on the issues, there is an important difference in focus. Rob Bell has been running as the “tough on crime” Attorney General candidate, while Obenshain has been running as the pro-liberty candidate. Honestly, I think penalties are high enough for a lot of crimes, and we probably need to start thinking about whether penalties are too high. Obenshain on the other hand talks about the need to “expand the realm of Liberty in our lives.” At a time when the Federal Government is encroaching on our freedoms, we need an Attorney General dedicated on protecting them.
I look forward to helping Mark Obenshain win the nomination on May 18th, and the election in November.
In 2008 when Ron Paul ran for president, many conservatives had to examine libertarianism and what it meant. One thing that became very clear is that libertarianism is built on a very different philosophical foundation.
One of the greatest advances in political theory of the era of America’s founding was the idea that our rights come from God. In essence laws and rights are moral, and find their basis in a transcendent moral order. Thomas Jefferson made this abundantly clear in the Declaration of Independence when he wrote:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
Why are government’s instituted? To secure the rights that God has bestowed on us. No more. No less.
This concept is at the heart of conservatism. Conservatives throughout history have believed in the importance of a transcendent moral order. Recently that has been articulated by thinkers like Edmund Burke, T.S. Eliot, Richard Weaver, and Russell Kirk.
Traditionally libertarianism has rejected this idea. Libertarianism is built on the premise that you can do whatever you want as long as you don’t harm someone else. Nowhere was this more clearly seen than in the Supreme Court’s 2003 case Lawrence v. Texas which dealt with homosexuality. Here the libertarian think tank Cato teamed up with other organizations to get the Supreme Court to throw out state laws regarding homosexuality, and overturn the recent Supreme Court decision, Bowers v. Hardwick.
While criminalizing homosexuality is probably a bit outdated, the reasoning Cato encouraged the Supreme Court to use to reverse itself was horrendous. “Morality is not a basis for law.”
As Scalia pointed out in his dissent, this reasoning throws the door open to legalizing a number of other sexual practices that are currently banned.
State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers’ validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today’s decision; the Court makes no effort to cabin the scope of its decision to exclude them from its holding.
I would also add that the reasoning in Texas v. Lawrence also established the basis for the effort to legalize pedophilia, or as some would say, “destigmatize adult-child love.”
While I hope libertarian thought can develop to somehow include a strong defense for traditional values, it is this history that makes conservatives very suspicious of libertarians on social issues.
“Willie, why bring up political theory and court cases in an article about Rand Paul’s stance on the life issue?” Because it is important to understand the foundations of the two philosophies, particularly when discussing an area of politics where they can lead to very different conclusions.
For Ron Paul, his belief in the importance of a limited government and state’s rights were trumped when it came to the issue of life. He claimed he was pro-life, but believed it was an issue that should be left to the states. This is despite the fact that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution states “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The amendment ends by giving congress power to enforce the amendment through appropriate legislation. One would think this would give a constitutional pro-lifer the clear ability to push the federal government to protect the unborn. For many pro-lifers, this is the constitutional basis, however, it is one Ron Paul rejects.
It was when introducing this act, that he gave some very confusing statements about abortion. The interview is below, and the full article is entitled “Rand Paul Isn’t 100% Pro-Life Anymore,” which traces Rand Paul’s pro-life record.
Yes this was my FB profile picture for over two weeks.
While I applaud Rand Paul’s efforts to protect life, this interview is confusing at best. Statements about the existence of thousands of exceptions, the place of a family making a private decision, and even the possibility of early term abortions are alarming to conservatives who have been fighting for the right to life for years. Maybe Rand Paul was just referring to thousands of situations where a woman’s health was in danger. Maybe… It is a possibility, but one that makes little sense. There have traditionally been three exceptions talked about for abortion: rape, incest, and life of the mother. The idea of thousands of “exceptions” is ridiculous because few people could name one hundred possible exceptions. The idea of thousands of “situations” only makes sense if Rand Paul believes in a “health of the mother” exception that is so big you could drive a train through. If he believes in a “life of the mother” exception, there are really only a few “situations” where a mother’s life is at risk which may result in a few thousand cases a year.
I have a lot of appreciation for Rand Paul. I think he has pushed the party in a much more liberty minded direction. He is also clearly willing to fight aggressively for what he believes in. Unlike his father, he is much saner, and is a bridge builder. In a lot of respects, we need someone like that in the White House.
However, Rand Paul has a lot of work to do to woo cynical pro-lifers, and this hurt him. In 2008 in Virginia, pro-lifers lead the way in almost defeating Jim Gilmore in the U.S. Senate nomination contest because he wasn’t ideologically pure on the life issue. We will not embrace someone we aren’t sure about. Pro-lifers have been burned by politicians time and again, and need a politician to prove himself before they will embrace him.
In light of these comments, I would like to see Rand Paul be very explicit about where he stands on the life question. As someone new to the pro-life movement he needs to prove himself. Does he believe in a “health of the mother” exception, “life of the mother” exception, or any other exception? What about early abortions should be private between a patient and doctor? Rand Paul also has a clear grasp for constitutional law as he demonstrated during his filibuster. Another important question is does he agree with Justice Stevens dissent in Bowers v Hardwick which was cited by the majority in Lawrence v. Texas to rule out morality as a basis for laws?
One way Rand Paul could establish his pro-life views is by having an in-person in-depth interview with prolife stalwarts like the leaders of Americans United for Life, Susan B. Anthony’s List, Tony Perkins, Penny Nance, Wendy Wright, and Mike Farris, and let them ask him hard questions. If he wants to be a pro-life leader he needs to learn to think and talk like a pro-life leader. Sitting down with people who have been in the fight for decades would help him understand the issue, learn to communicate about it better, and enable them to see where he really stands on the issue.
It will be interesting to see what Rand Paul continues to say and do about the pro-life issue in the coming years. Like I said, I have a lot of respect for him. I’ve been impressed, and in some respects he may be the type of bold fighter we need. However, his recent comments are definitely concerning, and I need to see him do more than just explain them away.
Ken’s speech at CPAC today resonated with me. He spoke out against crony capitalism, and called for the simplification of the tax code as he stood up for the entrepeneur. On the social justice side, he believes in fighting for all of the vulnerable in society. He is one of the few elected officials and politicians to make human trafficking a major focus. He also believes in fighting hard for those who have been wrongfully imprisoned. After a couple decades of “law and order” conservativism, it is time to stop throwing everyone in jail, and Ken gets that. He’s a populist who will fight hard on social justice issues as he protects liberty. That’s my kind of conservative, and I think that is the kind of conservative who resonates with many regardless of party.
Today Bill Bolling sent an email to supporters discussing his thoughts on running for Governor. He asked them to fill out a survey and tell him if they would support his bid to be an “Independent Republican” This is all as Bill Bolling prepares for his big March 14th announcement, presumably announcing an independent bid.
While I quickly received multiple emails from activists encouraging me to tell Bill Bolling not to run, some are definitely supportive of Bill Bolling. Bolling claims people in the business community are encouraging him to run, more than likely people like Bobbie Kilberg and Gary Shapiro. Blogger and activist Lynn Mitchell also quickly came out in support of Bolling.
Conservatives on the other hand are talking of supporting independents in the wake of the tax fiasco. Many people are saying it may be time to run independents against Republican Delegates who won by 5% or less and voted for the tax hike. The goal is to thin out the caucus and give conservatives a chance at leadership posts.
So what happens when Republicans support Independents?
We have situations developing where local committees could be cleared of a number of moderates as well as conservatives. There is the potential for independent efforts to develop of independents who can’t stand each other. On the one hand is people who feel like Ken Cuccinelli is a loon and has driven them out of the party, on the other hand are those who feel betrayed by the recent tax hike.
Two other thing to watch is how many people are willing to support independent efforts before the state convention, and will the credentials committee remove them as delegates?
Much like 2009 began as a year of turmoil within RPV, so is 2013. Hopefully conservativism does even better this November than it did four years ago.
Much is being made of the upcoming vote this weekend by State Central to move to a convention to nominate the Republican statewide candidates for 2013. Bill Bolling is campaigning aggressively for a primary even though most primary polls have him losing overwhelmingly to Ken Cuccinelli in a primary. Cuccinelli on the other hand is not campaigning publicly for a convention, though he campaigned aggressively for many of the state central candidates who are now pushing for a convention.
There are two main reasons I have to support a convention. The first is cost. As fiscal conservatives, we should not force localities to foot huge bills for our party’s nominating process. This fact is compounded when you realize that we will probably only have a low double digit voter turnout if we have a primary. It is also forces the campaigns to spend much less money on the nominating process and allows them to save more for the general election. Secondly the convention enables us to both insure only Republicans vote, and it helps the campaigns identify and recruit activists.