Friday, November 7, 2014
GOP Aced Midterms; Now Must Govern
GOP Aced Midterms; Now Must Govern
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 7, 2014
How good of a good night was election night for the Republican Party? As midterms go, the GOP aced theirs.
Republican governors were elected in dark blue Illinois (Bruce Rauner), Maryland (Larry Hogan), and Massachusetts (Charlie Baker); re-elected in blue Michigan (Rick Snyder), New Mexico (Susana Martinez), Wisconsin (Scott Walker), and purple Florida (Rick Scott). The GOP has taken the Senate by storm and added more than a dozen House seats to their lead – their largest majority since before WWII. In addition to Martinez, a Hispanic, South Carolina and Oklahoma reelected Nikki Haley and Mary Fallin respectively – all Republican women. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, the first Hispanic elected statewide – a Republican, won reelection.
In the Senate, the GOP successfully defended 15 seats – two of which will complete terms due to a retirement and an appointment, as well as flipping seven Democrat seats. In Oklahoma, James Lankford won election to replace retiring Senator Tom Coburn, and in South Carolina, Tim Scott won the seat to which he was appointed in 2013 following the retirement of Jim DeMint, currently president of The Heritage Foundation. Scott became the first black candidate to win statewide office since Reconstruction – again, a Republican.
Other new Republican faces include Tom Cotton from Arkansas, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, Cory Gardner from Colorado, who moves over from the House, David Perdue from Georgia, the former CEO of Dollar General and Reebok, Joni Ernst from Iowa, a veteran of the war in Iraq and the first woman from the Hawkeye State to win election to either house – again, a Republican. Montana voters are sending Steve Daines to the Senate, and Nebraskans voted in Ben Sasse. In North Carolina, state house speaker Thom Tillis won election, as did former South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds. In West Virginia, US Rep. Shelley Moore Capito will move across the Capitol to become the first female Senator to represent the Mountaineer State – again, a Republican.
Back on the House side of the Capitol, the GOP can boast the youngest member-elect in Elise Stefanik (NY-21) at age 30. Also, member-elect Mia Love (UT-4) will become the first black, female Republican to serve in the House as well as the first Haitian-American.
The Republican Party, thanks to a maligning so-called mainstream media, finds itself on the defensive regarding the nature of its candidates, which is unfortunate because this is not the America Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned – that people should be judged on the content of their character, not the color of their skin. As more and more Americans come to truly understand and embrace that notion it will become unnecessary to cubbyhole people.
All that said, it is time for the GOP to lead and govern or 2016 will be a repudiation which could start at the top of the ticket with the election of another Democrat president and a loss of the Congressional majorities. While “no” is sometimes the right answer, the GOP must put forth as aggressive an agenda possible to not only right the wrongs of the Obama administration and the Democratic led Senate, but also to return the United States to a position as global leader.
With appreciation to John McLaughlin, “Issue One:” Repeal Obamacare. If there are salvageable aspects of the law, keep them – such as pre-existing conditions will not be penalized. Eliminate the tax on medical devices and allow for health insurance to be procured across state lines, just as other insurances can be accessed. If repeal is not possible, and it is; at the very least, Congress must unfund as much as possible to weaken the program. It should no longer be law of the land – a purchase not all people want, mandated by government. Back to the Supreme Court it must go. For those who want to remain on Obamacare, to paraphrase Obama, if you like your Obamacare, you may keep your Obamacare.
Repealing Obamacare will have a positive effect on the economy. No more limiting employees to 29 hours per week in order to not be required to provide them the evils of Obamacare. No more capping employment totals at 49, again, to avoid providing workers with Obamacare. Eliminate any policy covering birth control or abortions. An employer’s religious freedoms are sacrosanct and should be respected. With these amendments, employers will have more freedom to hire more workers for a greater number of hours. This will boost confidence in the economy spurring greater demand for goods and services as well increasing production, thus putting more people back to work, and removing them from government rolls.
Issue Two: Immigration Reform. Obama continues to threaten executive action to ensure immigration reform actually becomes a massive amnesty, just like the one seen in 1986 that failed so miserably. As long as foreigners have incentives to sneak across the borders into the United States with few if any actual ramifications, they will continue to do so. Foreigners must be disincentivized to first, keep them in their countries of origin, and second, to encourage as many who are here illegally, to repatriate themselves to their native lands.
What needs to stop is the issuance of drivers’ licenses under the guise of safety. Supporters of this ridiculous notion are convinced that if illegals secure drivers’ licenses, they will be required to purchase auto insurance. This leap does not pass muster. Illegals already broke the law by entering the United States sans permission. What makes people think that illegals will suddenly decide to follow the law and pony up for insurance? Already criminals, the illegals will have a valid form of identification which will permit them to break more laws, such as register and actually vote – thus committing voter fraud, apply for and receive government assistance such as welfare, food stamps, and Medicare/Medicaid.
In order to stem the tide of illegal immigration, all incentives must be removed. In addition to the above, illegals must not be permitted to attend public, private, parochial schools, or colleges and universities. No admittance to hospitals or medical treatment for non-citizens or illegal immigrants.
Amend the 14th Amendment to the Constitution that in essence allows for anchor babies to become automatic citizens. As with the concept of fruit from the poisonous tree preventing evidence from a bad/illegal search being admitted into a legal proceeding, so too should children born to illegals not be granted citizenship. That was not the purpose of the amendment when it was ratified in 1868. (Amendments 13-15 pertained to ending slavery, granting citizenship to former slaves, as well as voting rights to male former slaves.)
Stricter background checks must be conducted prior to approving any application for legal admittance into the United States or before granting citizenship to legal immigrants. On the other hand, with technology as advanced as it is, speed up the process to grant admittance or citizenship quicker in an effort to encourage more legal immigration. Return to the days of health exams and quarantine or return to ones country of origin.
Preventing any amnesty is vital. Obama’s first obligation is to the American people – period. If necessary, a writ of mandamus was suggested by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, also a former federal attorney. “A writ of mandamus is an order from a court to an inferior government official ordering the government official to properly fulfill their official duties or correct an abuse of discretion.” (www.law.cornell.edu/wex/mandamus) Short of that, the Congress must have the temerity to impeach Obama.
Issue Three: Prevent Iran from EVER obtaining nuclear capabilities – for any purpose – under any circumstance. The United States should conduct no business with Iran, impose economic sanctions against this parasite until it chooses to comport itself as an appropriate member of the community of nations.
Former Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman said Iran will not just go after Israel, but also the Arab world, Saudi Arabia, the Sunnis, and are a threat to civilization as a whole. Iran repeatedly refers to Israel as the “Little Satan,” and the United States as the “Great Satan,” and has demonstrated its repeated lack of trustworthiness. Iran has denied the Holocaust, while simultaneously aiming for a second one.
Issue Four: Keystone Pipeline. This should have been a no-brainer in the first place. More than 20,000 immediate jobs would be created, with more further down the road. This pipeline would reduce American dependency on Arab oil; reduce the prices of fuel in the United States, opening up more purchasing power for consumers and ultimately more jobs for Americans outside of the pipeline business. People will drive more, take more local and domestic vacations, be able to afford more larger purchases again, such as automobiles, additions on homes, as well as be able to contribute more to charity.
Obama, in his typical stubbornness, rejected the pipeline out of hand because he fell prey to the green, environmental, and ecology lobbies. Yet, unions, one of Obama’s strongest groups of supporters, endorsed and still endorse the Keystone project and were summarily rebuffed by Obama.
Issue Five: Fix the VA. Calling it scandalous and disgraceful that even one military veteran should be shunned, treated with disregard and disrespect while his or her health – mental and/or physical, deteriorates awaiting treatment while illegals receive red carpet treatment at any hospital is beyond offensive and objectionable.
Dozens of veterans have died awaiting proper treatment that the American people have become aware of, while how many countless others are still unbeknownst to Veterans Administration officials. The men and women who wear and have worn the uniform of the United States military deserve better, and for each person complaining the money is not there, see Issue Two above.
Issue Six: Grow the Military. Return the military to its former level of heightened awareness and preparedness. Grow its size to numbers amenable to requirements as outlined by the generals, commanders, and leaders of the various branches – they know best, Obama and Congress should listen to them. The military must be prepared to fight ISIS and any other terrorist operations impacting the American way of life. President Ronald Reagan knew what he was talking about when he called for “peace through strength.”
Issue Seven: Lower Corporate Taxes. The United States needs to be more business friendly in order to keep corporations headquartered in this country, paying more taxes because of higher incomes, not because of higher tax rates. When tax rates are reduced, more money stays with the business, and in turn, that business can hire more people, make greater investments in materials, construction, research, and development. As the businesses grow, they will pay more money in taxes, not because of higher tax rates which limit growth, but because the lower rates encourage growth.
There’s plenty to keep the GOP busy once the new members are inaugurated. In the interim they need to prepare for the 114th Congress in order to hit the ground running January 5th. During the lame duck session, the Republicans, while still in the minority in the Senate, should do their level best to ensure the Democratic majority does not instill further damage upon the American people on their way out the door.
Get busy. No time to rest on the laurels. Roll up your sleeves and get to work. And get to work does not mean capitulating or surrendering to the Democrats or Obama. Saying “no” is not obstructionist as Obama would have people believe, but instead, protecting the people as the legislative branch is forcing the executive branch to adhere to the Constitution. We the people are watching.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.