Congressman Akin’s Big Mistake

Posted in Uncategorized on August 20, 2012 by republicanrambler

Todd Akin is in hot water.

Over the weekend, in an interview with local St. Louis reporter Charles Jaco from FOX 2, Congressman Akin made a statement which he now, I’m sure, deeply regrets. He said, and I’m paraphrasing here, that “legitimate rape” rarely caused pregnancies, and he stated that doctors had explained to him that women’s bodies could shut out pregnancy in cases of rape.

Let me be very clear from the beginning: there is no excuse for what Mr. Akin said. His comments were not only scientifically inaccurate, but emotionally inconsiderate. As someone who has very vocally supported Todd Akin for months now, I will be the first to admit that Todd Akin stuck his foot in his mouth, down all the way to the heel, maybe even up the ankle.

With that said, he’s since apologized. With that said, he’s admitted his mistake. With that said, he’s come back from the brink.

Still, the internet and Twitterverse today are alive with rumors, speculation, and demands that Todd Akin should or will withdraw from the election. GOP Senators Johnson and Brown have demanded he withdraw from the race. The Romney campaign has openly condemned his remarks, though they did not go so far as to call for the Congressman to withdraw. NRSC has asked for him to withdraw, and Crossroads have withdrawn their ads.

Todd Akin’s back is against the wall. He will, at least for the time being, receive little funding on the national stge. He is now the black sheep of the party; the lowest caste; the untouchable. The fact of the matter is that Todd Akin has been blacklisted.,,

But SHOULD he have been?

Everyone knew that Akin was very Conservative, especially on religious issues. Everyone knew that he was against all kinds of abortion. Everyone knew that, when asked,this would be his position.

Did Todd Akin screw up? Yes. Does he deserve rebuke? Yes. But his statement, while misinformed, while inconsiderate, wasn’t malicious. Todd Akin was saying this for base political gain. Todd Akin says less for base political gain than any politician I’ve ever seen. He is a man who firmly believes in what he says, whether or not others agree with him. He’s voted against party lines, against the personal requests of President Bush, because he believed the votes were wrong. He believes abortion is wrong.

What Todd Akin said was indefensible. He has apologized. Clearly, what he said was not what he intended to mean. If you want to disagree with a politician because of his beliefs, that’s fine. But if you want to quarter a man because he misspoke, even egregiously so, you have another problem.

I’ll rehash here what I said on Twitter:

I hope you won’t judge me harshly for still supporting Akin. I’m not supporting his comments. I’m supporting the decent man who made them.

A Shiny New Era is Tiptoeing Nearer

Posted in Uncategorized on August 8, 2012 by republicanrambler

Well, after the dust has settled, after the votes have been cast, and after the last ounce of mud has been slung, the Missouri Republican Senate Primary is finally over and we have a winner…

That winner is Congressman Todd Akin.

Let me pause for a moment, and revel in the victory (please indulge me, it has been a long campaign).

Okay, now that that’s done with, let me explain why this is phenomenal news for the Republican party. In the coming days and months, you will hear early and you will hear often that Akin’s victory played directly into Claire McCaskill’s diabolical hands. See, Mrs. McCaskill is the democratic incumbent, and she is widely considered one of the, if not the most vulnerable Democratic Senators up for reelection in this coming election.

If you’ve been following the Republican primary, especially if you’ve been an Akin supporter, you might also know Mrs. McCaskill for her not-so-vicious “attack ad” against Congressman Akin in the weeks before the GOP Primary.  As soon as this ad was released, the same day that the McCaskill camp released attacks against the other two GOP candidates which were, shall we say, not so nice, people were pointing out Mrs. McCaskill’s obvious attempt to control the GOP results.

Well, through some combination of her ads and Akin’s own campaigning, Senator McCaskill got her wish, but I have to say, as the old adage goes, “be careful what you wish for.”

See, the going logic here, as I’ve said, is that Todd Akin is, of the three candidates in the GOP primary, the smallest threat to McCaskill. The thought is that McCaskill, being vulnerable on her record, can lure voters to her side by painting Congressman Akin as an extremist who would destroy our government. There certainly is some truth to this viewpoint, as Akin is by far the most conservative of the three candidates. There is something forgotten, however, in Senator McCaskill’s logic, something which may make her regret her softball attack ads come November.  Here is the single thing which McCaskill and her camp have not factored into their grand “weakest opponent” strategy:

Come election day, Todd Akin is not a man easily beaten.

Todd Akin has a history of winning elections he has no business competing in. He did it in his 2000 Primary, where he first ran for his current Congressional seat. Congressman Akin was up against some serious competition in that campaign, among them then state senator Franc Flotron and then-former St. Louis County Executive and local Republican Idol Gene McNary. Todd Akin, then a lowly and unknown state representative, had no business running in that race, but he did, and he won by a few hundred votes.

Turn the calendar to yesterday, and Congressman Akin was again victorious against all odds. Outspent and viciously attacked by little known businessman and former supporter John Brunner, Akin faced perhaps his toughest challenge yet. Furthermore, he had to face former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, who, while not on the same financial plain as Brunner, was thought to have outstate votes monopolized. In a campaign where he was thought of as the weakest general election candidate, in a campaign where he was outspent dramatically (Brunner spent more of his own money on the campaign than Akin’s camp spent at all) Congressman Todd Akin again prevailed, this time not by a few hundred votes but tens of thousands, with a six percent margin.

Perhaps, dear reader, you’ll want to attribute this margin to Claire McCaskill’s aforementioned ads, and certainly there is some base to that argument. I won’t sit here and deny that ads being run statewide calling Todd Akin the most conservative member of Congress didn’t help, but let me explain something to you that helped quite a bit more:

Todd Akin’s people.

See, Todd Akin supporters are not run of the mill political supporters. Todd Akin is not a run of the mill candidate. Sure, one could call him an extremist, being as far to the right as he is, and one could call into question his commitment to his religion, but it is exactly that commitment which makes him so dangerous.

Todd Akin supporters see him not only as a candidate in an election, but as a soldier for God. Todd Akin supporters truly believe that he is not only the best candidate for the job, but that he is a divinely selected and guided candidate for the job. Call it cultish if you wish, though you couldn’t be more mistaken, but Todd Akin’s own religious devotion, and as a result the near-religious devotion of his supporters, manifests in election victories.

Todd Akin supporters don’t quit when the going gets rough. Todd Akin supporters don’t see a negative poll and think “well, this thing is over.” Todd Akin supporters think to themselves: “this may be discouraging, but it’s just evidence that I haven’t told enough people about Todd.”

Expect to hear about Todd Akin, folks. Expect to hear about him not only from ads on TV and the Radio, not only through debates, but from your kindly, elderly neighbors. If you attend church, expect to receive Todd Akin literature there. If you attend Chamber meetings, expect to hear about Todd Akin there. If you go to the grocery store and see an old friend, expect to hear about Todd Akin there.

In the eyes of his supporters, Todd Akin has not been selected only by the Republican voters in the great state of Missouri, he has been selected by God Himself. You may sling what mud at that statement you wish, but it makes Todd Akin supporters the most loyal and committed electorate I have ever seen, and I can guarantee you that come November, just like yesterday, and just like August of 2000, underdog or not, Todd Akin will be elected the next senator from the state of Missouri. I say this not only because he was recently my boss, not only because I am a Republican, but because I have met his people, and having sat in a room with them last night as election results rolled in and Mr. Akin was declared the winner, I can only imagine the words that rang out across that ballroom will ring louder and clearer across Missouri in the coming months:

“We want Todd! We want Todd! We want Todd!”

Tastes Like Chicken

Posted in Uncategorized on August 2, 2012 by republicanrambler

A few weeks ago, the President of Chick-Fil-A made a statement. In that statement, he basically said that he, due to the content of his religion, opposed gay marriage. Admittedly, Dan Cathy, the aforementioned President, used stronger language than most might giving the same opinion; he argued that we “invite God’s judgment” when we support gay marriage. Still, that was the end of Cathy’s statement, and, one would have thought, the end of the issue.

Of course it was not. The statement by Mr. Cathy went viral, and immediately inspired outrage and fury on both sides of the issues. Those for gay marriage were outraged at Cathy’s statement, demanding boycotts of and apologies from Chick-Fil-A. Over time, mayors of both Boston and Chicago stated that they would not welcome Chick-Fil-A into their cities to preach messages of hate. Protests were staged, boycotts were organized, and anger was spewed.

On the other side of the argument, those against gay marriage were outraged by the furor over Cathy’s statements. They argued that the boycotts were themselves messages of hate, and what had started as simply a statement of one person, and arguably one company’s, religious beliefs had somehow become a battle over gay marriage, religious freedoms and first amendment rights.

Now, quickly, let me tell you why you’re all wrong.

I want to clarify, quickly, that I am a strong-believing Christian, but that I also believe that in America, according to the first amendment, the government has no right to keep anyone from marrying. I strongly support the separation of church and state, in fact it’s the only thing that allows us to practice our religions in this great nation, and we cannot be selective about how it is employed.

With that said, let me explain why this argument is ridiculous. The original statement, the sound bite that sparked a thousand pitchforks, was a man’s personal statements about his own beliefs. At times, yes, he used the word “we,” but I believe he was referring to the other higher-ups at Chick-Fil-A. At the very most, he was stating that his company’s official position is to oppose allowing homosexuals to marry…

That’s it…

He didn’t say he hated homosexuals…

He didn’t say he disliked homosexuals…

He certainly didn’t say he discriminated against homosexuals. In fact, this same company which has now been cast as righteously prejudiced and homophobic, discriminates against homosexuals neither in its service or its hiring practices.

Chick-Fil-A is a company, and it’s owner made a statement about how, because of his religion, he opposed gay marriage, and it started a firestorm.

Suddenly, Chick-Fil-A was the Berlin Wall of homophobia, which absolutely had to be destroyed. But let me explain something to you: Cathy’s was not a message of hate, no sir. Just for point of reference…

this is a message of hate…

this is a message of hate…

this is a message of hate, a message, no less, which emanates from the twitter account of the Mayor of San Francisco. And Mayor Lee is far from alone. Across the country, so-called “Progressive” Mayors have bravely stepped forth and spouted angry threats against the unabashed homophobes over at Chick-Fil-A, daring them to open in their cities, and threating to not allow them to do so.

Let me tell you something. In this great nation, founded on principles of freedom and independence, there is absolutely nothing wrong with expressing your religious views in simple words, no matter what they are. If I say, “I like bananas,” and Dan Cathy says “I’m opposed to gay marriage,” the statements are of absolutely equal stance in the eyes of the Constitution.

What is distinctly not constitutional is the idea that the mayor of any municipality would consider it their job or their right to ban a business based on its religious beliefs, no matter the circumstance. A few years back, there was uproar about the idea of opening a Muslim community center a few blocks from Ground Zero, and I’ll bet the same mayors considering banning Chick-Fil-A today are the same that would have fought for the rights of the Muslim center then.

The fact of the matter is that whatever your opinion on gay marriage is, and I’ve clarified mine, this has gone absolutely too far. What was once a simple statement of religious belief has become a war over the first amendment, and these men who hold office are unquestionably in violation of the constitution with their statements threatening Chick-Fil-A.

Whatever you’re opinion, I hope you can at least understand that. 

A Conservative, Collegiate Manifesto

Posted in Uncategorized on July 30, 2012 by republicanrambler

Disclaimer: I’m angry. This blog would probably be much better filtered and thought out if I had taken time to calm down and think things over, but as a result it would have been less raw, and thus less real. Please take this for what it is, a very angry rant about what is wrong with our government and some ways we need to fix it.

Today, I filed my tax return. The reasons I did so so late are not important, however I filed an extension and thus followed the proper procedures. For the first time, I had to pay the government money. I actually made less money this year than last, but because I had not taken enough out for taxes already, I had to send in a (digital) check.

Here’s the problem. I’m a college student. I made less than five thousand dollars last year, and barely more than four of that came from wages that I “earned.” The rest, five thousand and change, came from two sources: 1.) A job I do for my college to earn scholarship (a long and annoying story in itself) and 2.) Scholarship I earned as a high school student, and have continued to earn in College, which exceeds tuition and goes towards room and board.

Here are the issues with those two sources: First, the “scholarship job” doesn’t actually pay me, it “pays me” through the scholarship I already earned.  Second, the fact that scholarship towards room and board is taxable short of a punishment for academic success; to argue any differently is to argue falsely.

Here’s why I’m angry. Right now, America needs some academic success. In a country which is continuing to sink deeper and deeper towards economic depression.  People need to be encouraged to go through higher education and get degrees that will help stimulate our economy.

Instead, I’m being told that I’m not doing my part. Instead, I’m being told that I need to give a little extra. Instead, I’m being told: “not quite enough.”

The amount of tax I paid is $200. I have no problem saying that because, hey, it’s all of our money now! The amount of tax I paid is literally nothing to the federal government. I hate using the word literally in a non-literal context, but here I am not. The United States probably spends $200 every nano-second or so. It sounds hyperbolic, but it simply isn’t.

$200 in my life, however, is enormous. $200 in my life is about half of what I’ll probably have to pay for textbooks in the coming semester. $200 is two phone payments. Living a life where I’m mostly confined to making money during the summer, right now $200 is a whole lot of money to me.

Here’s my point. The fact of the matter is that what was once a country which encouraged individualism, hard work, and success has become a country which breeds laziness, submission, and dependence.  The government pays people who don’t work; pays people who have too many kids and can’t support them; pays people who make bad decisions, but it takes money from me.

This is why we absolutely must remove President Obama from office. I’m not saying that paying taxes is wrong. I’m not even saying that I shouldn’t have to pay taxes. I am, however, saying that it is wrong to punish me financially for trying so hard to succeed, whereas others are supported for their failures.

I’m not blaming President Obama. I’m not saying that he made these tax codes happen. I’m sure these tax codes existed long before he was in office, and even if they didn’t, he didn’t craft them himself. I’m saying that President Obama would see no problem with my story. If I told the President this story, if President Obama read this blog, he would say: “you’re just doing your part and giving a little to make life better for all of us.” That’s wrong. Everyone else can make life better for them. It’s what I’m trying to do for me. And the fact   of the matter is that the government doesn’t make it any easier for them to succeed by supporting their failures than it does for me by taking the money I’ve earned. 

… but Mr. President… have Pity On the Businessman…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 18, 2012 by republicanrambler

Okay, this time, he’s gone too far.

I sighed when he said “It’s not a tax.”

I said “calm down” when he told us to “spread the wealth around.”

These were political statements, sure, and perhaps insights into the President’s less open political views, but these weren’t insidious attacks against the very heart of what this country stood for. I wasn’t about to jump on the bandwagon and say that his comment about spreading the wealth was proof positive of his out of control socialism.

I didn’t dare ask, as I heard one person say: “Where’s Joe McCarthy when you need him.”

These are exactly the kind of needless ad hominem attacks that I’ve called for us to suppress in previous blog posts. Sure, Obama’s words were suspect, but there’s plenty of suspicion to wring out of his record, why should we focus on such small mistakes.

Well, that’s out the window. This one is not a tiny gaffe. This is a statement that spits in the face of everything this country has been built on, and it is an absolute affront to the intelligence of the American businessman. It gives us insight into just how much President Obama thinks that big government is the white knight of American society, and it is perhaps the biggest proof to date that this man must be removed from office.

If you don’t know by now what I’m talking about, I’d like to commend you for managing to get an internet connection in a cave so remote. Furthermore, I’d suggest you get a glass of water. It’s hot out there, even, I imagine, in caves.

Seriously, though, what I’m referring to is this. At a campaign event in Roanoke, VA last Friday, President Obama gave an impassioned speech about American society. His point was to explain that everyone’s lives have been impacted by something the government’s done for us.

I get that. I’m not arguing. I am by no means an anarchist. I recognize the importance of public education and infrastructure. That’s fine.

Where the President crossed the line was where he said these words, now so memorialized by conservative pundits that you can most likely say them with me:  

“If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Hold the phone. Okay, now hang up the phone, sprint to the polls, and vote for Mitt Romney.

 Are you kidding me? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Somebody else built my business (hypothetically in this case, I don’t have one yet)? I’m supposed to believe that because the government graciously paid for my K-12 education and allowed me to drive on their roads that it built my business?

I’m sorry, but this is a fallacy. It’s a fallacy that flies directly in the face of the capitalism on which America’s economy is built.

My father had a business. He and his partners built that.

Mark Zuckerberg has a business. He and his partners built that.

Warren Buffet, the liberals’ great, rich savior, the man who wants his tax bracket to pay more taxes, definitely has a business. And I guarantee you, he built it. He built it during the great depression, in fact. He built it in a time where this great country and its government were struggling just to survive. I wonder what Mr. Buffet would say if he was told that the government built his business. I wonder if he would gladly fall in line with his perfect president, or if he’d have the stones to say what needs to be said:

“Mr. President,” he should say, “I built my company. I built it from the ground up. I built it in the worst economic depression in American history, with absolutely no help from the government. Sure, I had infrastructure, such that it was at that time. Sure, I had public education, though the same story goes there. Still, my advantages were no different from the people in my age bracket that don’t have a business. My advantages were no different from those people whose groceries and health care the government pays for because they haven’t fought hard enough or been given the right opportunities to get where I am in life. I feel sorry for them, sir, I do, but they had the same advantages from the government, and I built I business. I built a business. *I* built a business, sir, and they did not. The government did not. My neighbor did not. Nobody built my business but me, and I’ll proudly stand behind it both as a testament to my personal success and a statement about what makes America great.”

I challenge any business owner to stand up and make this speech. Please, feel free to use exactly my words. I would be honored. This time, the President has gone too far. This time, he’s spit in the face of the American citizen. This time, he’s truly insulted our intelligence. This time he’s proven that it is he, not Mitt Romney, who is truly out of touch with the American people.

And this time… this time he will not, he should not, he must not be elected President of the (Great) United States of America.

Hypocrisy, thy name is… hypocrisy, I guess…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 13, 2012 by republicanrambler

I want to ask liberals a question, so if you’re a conservative, you can tune act now. Actually, if you’ve made it this far, please keep reading, because you’re the only ones reading anyway.

Here’s the question: what tax bracket, exactly, do you think Barack Obama is in?

Here’s the reason I ask: liberals want to make a big deal about how “rich” and “out of touch” Mitt Romney is.

“How can he represent Americans,” they ask. “He can’t possibly associate with the common man, the poor, and the uninsured this election revolves entirely around!”

Now, I’m not here to argue that Mitt Romney isn’t incredibly wealthy. I’m not here to argue that his wealth is actually a positive rather than a negative, though I could, would, and have. I’m not even here to argue that the wealth of the candidates shouldn’t be at issue in the Presidential election. Here’s my only point:

How is Barack Obama different?

Before you start to argue, shut up, the question was rhetorical, and this is my time to talk.

I get that Mitt Romney has a LOT of money… A LOT of money. I also realize that, by comparison, Barack Obama does not have as much money, right? But he still has a LOT off money… right? RIGHT?

Argue all you want, but here’s the simple fact: in every other argument, liberals see the wealthy as those making above $250,000. That’s where the tax bracket cutoffs are supposed to be,  and thus that’s where we are supposed to define the upper class (A.K.A. the WEALTHY).

News flash: Barack Obama made $1.7 million dollars in 2010.

News flash 2: The year before that, in his most successful year, he made $5.5 million!

Final News flash: BARACK OBAMA IS WORTH AS MUCH AS $10 MILLION NET!!!

Now, I know $10 million does not equal Mitt Romney’s wealth. I’m only asking you to look at you own hypocrisy. If $250,000 a year is rich in one context, it’s rich in all contexts. Take of the rose-colored shades, liberals. Sure, Mitt Romney’s rich, but so is President Barack Obama.

Don’t tell me the President’s a man of the people; he’s certainly done nothing for me. 

Ad Hominem: ICYMI

Posted in Uncategorized on July 11, 2012 by republicanrambler

Tweeted a little, well, rant, I guess, is the only appropriate word. It was about ten tweets, so I thought I’d repeat it here:

Due to the nature of my internship, I’m not allowed to really discuss who calls into the office or what they say, and I get that…

I respect people’s privacy, and understand that their Congressman is supposed to be their Rep in gov’t. I get it. That said, though…

I’ve got to say something quickly here, and I’ll try to be as brief as possible

As Americans, we have got to stop fueling our political debates with sad, pathetic, worthless Ad Hominem attacks.

I’ve gotten called twice in as many days by a guy who wants to do nothing but berate and insult me for my political views…

Because I represent the Congressman, I’m really not supposed to argue with him, and I don’t, I bite my tongue.

All I’m saying is, rather than attack each other, why don’t we act like adults and have reasonable, fair discussion. Debate, like we usedta?

Ad hominem attacks are pathetic.

And just to clarify, I’m sure this happens as much if not more to Democrats. There’s bad fruit on both sides of the aisle.

All I’m saying is, let’s grow up and stop attacking each other. It leads to hurt feelings, not solutions, and life’s too short for that.

Alright, I’m off my soapbox. Sorry for the rant, tweeps.#stilllovesayingtweeps.

Thanks, everyone, that’s all I have to say. If you want to follow me, it’s @StephenGround