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- BOOK REVIEW: “Get Out Of My Life, But First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl To The Mall?: A Parent’s Guide to the New Teenager”
- Remembering Gary Condit by Gregory Hilton
- How Has The United States Senate Changed Since the 19th Century by Gregory Hilton
- The Timeless Message of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" by Gregory Hilton
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Category Archives: Mitt Romney
As soon as the polls close this year, the 2012 presidential campaign will begin in earnest. There has been remarkable GOP unity since Barack Obama’s election, but this will be difficult to maintain next year as Republicans join competing bandwagons of the presidential contenders. Similar to 2000 and 2008, Republicans are expected to divide themselves into economic, social and national security camps, with significant overlap in each category. Continue reading
A Bad Decision by the American Conservative Union: The John Birch Society Co-Sponsors CPAC by Gregory Hilton
The annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is one of the nations most prominent right wing gatherings. The event is organized by the American Conservative Union (ACU) and the three day CPAC conference begins on February 18th. For the first time in CPAC history the John Birch Society (JBS) has become a co-sponsor.
In my view the inclusion of this extremist group tarnishes the entire event. The keynote speaker is radio host Glenn Beck, and the conference will also hear addresses from Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC), Tom Coburn (R-OK), John Barasso (R-WY), Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA).
The annual presidential straw poll has been won by Romney for the past three years, and always receives prominent media coverage. My fear is that the news media spotlight will on the JBS role which will district from the positive CPAC atmosphere.
I can not understand what motivated the American Conservative Union to reach out to the JBS. Last year there was a very strong libertarian presence at CPAC. Many of these libertarians were very vocal about their opposition to America’s role in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was strange to hear this anti-war rhetoric at a conservative conference. It was similar to having CPAC co-sponsored by Code Pink.
This week JBS is attacking former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) because she is an “internationalist rather than a constitutionalist.” They go on to say, “The real question is whether or not Sarah Palin really represents grassroots conservative America or if she is a creature of the ‘establishment.’
“On this point, certain questions present themselves. For one, why would a Council on Foreign Relations-run McCain campaign pick Palin to begin with? And why would Palin, if she is anti-establishment, run on McCain’s establishment ticket?” They also say Palin’s “support for our troops” shows how she has “entered unconstitutional waters.”
In preparing for his 1964 presidential campaign, the late Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) thought it was essential to excommunicate the John Birch Society from the conservative movement. In discussing the JBS, Goldwater said “We cannot allow the emblem of irresponsibility to attach to the conservative banner.” Now ACU wants to attach the JBS and to bring them to the head table.
The JBS was established in 1958 and reached its peak in 1965 with 60,000 members. The founder was candy maker Robert Welch and his brother’s company is best known for the “Sugar Daddy.” Welch often spoke of the dangers of fluoridated water which he claimed was a Communist-backed plot to weaken the minds of the American public.
The organization was long headquartered in the birthplace of Joe McCarthy, Appleton, Wisconsin. For the past five decades they have attacked and defamed practically every major political figure in the United States.
In his book “The Politician,” Welch said President Dwight Eisenhower was “a dedicated and conscious agent of the international communist conspiracy,” and the U.S. government was “under operational control of the Communist party.” He later amended this statement to say Communists only had “50-70 percent” control of the government.
The JBS does not denounce its late founder and continues to promote his strange speeches which are now on Youtube. Among the few national candidates the JBS admires are isolationists Pat Buchanan and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). The Texas lawmaker refused to endorse John McCain in 2008 but he readily endorses the John Birch Society as a “a great patriotic organization.” He was the keynote speaker at their 50th anniversary celebration.
JBS is often described as a radical right wing group, but in foreign policy many of their “anti-war” positions are readily embraced by the extreme left of the Democratic Party. The Society believes “just four years from now. . . the United States may cease to exist as an independent political entity” because of the North American Union and the Council on Foreign Relations. The North American Union does not exist and never has, and the Council is a think tank which has never taken a position on any issue.
The JBS says it number one selling DVD, “9/11 Press For Truth,” presents “some of the most glaring discrepancies, lies, and cover-ups concerning the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil.” The DVD says Israel and President Bush had advance knowledge of the attack and building 7 at the World Trade Center was actually destroyed by dynamite. They claim the Bush Administration allowed Osama bin Laden to escape.
The below link is to an FBI report on the JBS which has now been made public. The report explains why the late FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and his top subordinates routinely described them as “irrational”, “extremist”, “irresponsible”, “fanatics” and “lunatic fringe”.
Many officials of the White Citizens Councils were prominent JBS members — including Medford Evans. According to the FBI document, the JBS routinely circulated falsehoods about numerous people, organizations, and issues. The JBS and its surrogates have been sued for libel and lost. A common theme in JBS articles and seminars is that there is a secret conspiracy to establish a one world government.
They promote many books and DVD’s on this theme which dates back to their founding. They believe the United States is being manipulated by a small group of bankers and investors. There is no evidence to support their claim so they point to organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bilderberg Group, an annual conference of 130 people in the Netherlands. No resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued.
These organizations are not promoting a one world government and they have no desire to infringe on the sovereignty of the United States. They have been attacked for decades by the JBS because of the participation of prominent people.
The best selling JBS book is “The Invisible Government” by Dan Smoot. It claims World War II was staged by international bankers. They say the same thing about every subsequent military conflict. For example, the September 16, 1996 issue of the “New American” says: “Not only was the Gulf War undeclared, unconstitutional, and unwarranted, but there are many indications that it was as phonily fomented as its predecessors.”
The JBS believes affluent individuals of various political beliefs are secretly working together, and their goal is make American citizens into slaves. In their view this is all part of a massive conspiracy to defraud the American people of their economic well being and freedom. They say the UN is part of this conspiracy to “overthrow” the U.S. Constitution. Another JBS claim is that the Christian faith is a primary target of this imaginary conspiracy.
The JBS was cast out of the conservative movement in 1963 when a 5,000 word essay by William F. Buckley, Jr., received prominent attention. Buckley’s warning remains valid today: “How can the John Birch Society be an effective political instrument while it is led by a man whose views on current affairs are, at so many critical points . . . so far removed from common sense?”
PHOTO CAPTIONS: The John Birch Society will be joining Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and participating in “Conservatives Against War” events at next months CPAC conference. The JBS was exiled by the right wing for four decades, but now the American Conservative Union has decided to welcome them back. It is very bad decision.
(2) The John Birch Society believed President Kennedy was guilty of treason because among other things he sent troops to Alabama to desegregate schools.
Several Key Senate Democrats Probably Want the GOP’s Scott Brown to Win the Massachusetts Special Election by Gregory Hilton
If State Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) wins the special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s vacancy on January 19th, several Democrats might be relieved. The Senate balance would become 59 to 41, and a few moderates would no longer be on the hot seat. They would not be pressured to provide the crucial 60th vote necessary to pass the health care reform bill and other legislation.
Among lawmakers who might breath a sign of relief if the GOP’s Brown wins are Senators Blanche Lincoln (AR), Ben Nelson (NE), Joe Lieberman (CT), Kent Conrad (ND), Mary Landrieu (LA) and Evan Bayh (IN).
These lawmakers worked as a team to stop the House passed version of the public option.
Lieberman spoke for many of them, “If the public option plan is in there, as a matter of conscience, I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote because I believe debt can break America and send us into a recession that’s worse than the one we’re fighting our way out of today.” The Senators won on the public option, Nelson and Landrieu cut lucrative side deals with Majority Leader Reid, but since then the lawmakers have had to cope with outraged voters back home.
Nelson is running 30% behind Gov. Dave Heineman (R-NE) in a hypothetical 2012 matchup, and has said it was a mistake to take up health care this year. Lincoln is 10 points behind her GOP challengers, and Lieberman has seen a 25% drop in his approval rating. It is no wonder all of these Senators are far from happy with the health care bill which passed the Senate.
The pressure on them to once again vote in favor of health care reform is enormous. Every one of these Senators has already made statements questioning the fiscal soundness of the bill. The lawmakers are also well aware of the gimmicks used to get the bill through the Senate. The increased taxes go into effect immediately but people will have to wait until 2014 for benefits. They also realize the bill is not deficit neutral, nor will it save money in the long run.
Finally, if Brown does win on Tuesday he should thank Senator John Kerry (D-MA). Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) was in office when Kerry began his 2004 presidential campaign. Democrats thought Kerry could win the presidential election, and they did not want Romney to have the power to appoint a Republican to fill a Senate vacancy until 2006. They changed the law to require a special election rather than a gubernatorial appointment in the event of a vacancy. If the law had not been changed Gov. Deval Patrick (D-MA) could have immediately appointed a Democrat to fill Ted Kennedy’s vacancy.
Today Glenn Beck said it was “Romney’s turn” for the 2012 GOP nomination. I believe in the First Amendment and the separation of church and state, but many listeners said they could not support Romney because he was a “Mormon and not a Christian.” Beck is also a Mormon and Romney’s religion is certain to have a prominent role in the 2012 campaign. The Constitution does not stipulate that a President must accept a certain version of Christianity, or any religion.
This is not the first time this has happened in American politics. In 1908 the GOP presidential candidate was William Howard Taft, a Unitarian. His religious beliefs were criticized because his church did not believe in the Trinity. Taft was easily elected by defeating William Jennings Bryan who was making his third attempt for the presidency.
The dictionary defines a Christian as “one who professes belief in Jesus as Christ.” Mormons are Christians and the official name is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Mormons describe themselves as Christians and they believe Jesus is the son of God who atoned for the sins of mankind. The Book of Mormon says “Jesus Christ Himself is the chief corner stone” of our faith.
Most Mormons I know are better Christians than the rest of us, and they certainly have good morals. They do not agree with some of my beliefs, but neither do the Democrats! The bottom line is that Mormons are Christians and the Scripture says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and ye shall be saved.”
LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley addressed this topic: “Are we Christians? Of course we are! No one can honestly deny that. We may be somewhat different from the traditional pattern of Christianity. But no one believes more literally in the redemption wrought by the Lord Jesus Christ. No one believes more fundamentally that He was the Son of God, that He died for the sins of mankind, that He rose from the grave, and that He is the living resurrected Son of the living Father.”
The Mormon church uses two sources as its primary authorities: the Book of Mormon and the Bible. The Christian church uses the Holy Bible alone as its authority from God. Joseph Smith is not recognized as a prophet.
Regarding life after death, the Mormon church maintains that although there is temporary punishment for those that are most wicked, Jesus Christ will establish a new kingdom that will consist of three levels: the celestial kingdom, the terrestrial kingdom, and the telestial kingdom. The Christian church holds that there are only two possible fates after death, heaven or hell. These locations are final, both physically and spiritually.