the whitestick papers

looking at politics from a different perspective

Posts Tagged ‘Obamacare

Romney: Obama’s “Mini Me”?

with one comment

Repeatedly over the past few months, Liberty Movement members – the name supporters of perennial minority Presidential candidate Dr. Ron Paul give themselves – have derided Republican nominee Mitt Romney as virtually indistinguishable from Barack Hussein Obama.  Pointing to the government health care program instituted on his watch in Massachusetts and quoting his statement that he’d repeal Obamacare and replace it, they claim Romney’s very nearly as progressive as the President, and not someone lovers of liberty should support.

It’s not the intention of this article to defend Mitt Romney; he’s said what he’s said and has to live with the consequences.  It’s also not the intent to convince the Liberty Movement that Romney is something other than what he is.  The intent is to look more closely at the differences between his ideology and that of President Obama, investigating, however briefly, the question of whether Mitt Romney is merely a scaled down version of the current inhabitant of the White House.

Whatever else Wendell Mitt Romney might be, he’s a businessman.  More to the point, he’s a capitalist, familiar with and an advocate of the free market, both in word and deed.  While the Democrats demagogue his connection to Bain Capital, everything about that relationship reflects an understanding and appreciation for letting the market, not government, determine winners and losers.  To paraphrase a line from Game of Thrones, “In the game of business you either win or you go bankrupt.”

This is, at its core, the fundamental fact of American success as a nation; of American economic strength even in the face of progressive efforts to win the hearts (and votes) of the citizenry using snares disguised as safety nets.  And it means that, whatever progressive tendencies Romney has, they are incidental; they’re a political addition, and not necessarily part of his core belief structure – his ideological DNA, if you will.

By contrast, Barack Obama is unquestionably a socialist.  At the same time, he’s not a typical socialist; he’s done and said things that are at odds with most American socialists.  There’s his aversion to the American flag; declining, in that famous photo from the 2008 election, to salute it even as other socialists on the stage did so, and it’s removal from his press room and Oval Office.  There’s his catering to Occupy Wall Street, his bowing to leaders of other countries, his apologizing for America.  There’s no other socialist in the national political spectrum that have gone to this level, and it reveals something key about the man.

The recent documentary book and subsequent movie, 2016: Obama’s America, in turn largely based on Obama’s autobiography, Dreams From My Father, builds a strong case for the President being a different sort of socialist.  It shows that, for the President, socialism is a means to an end; the fulfillment of an ideological commitment to the overturning of the world’s last colonial power.

Rare here in the United States, and even virtually unknown in Europe, anti-colonialism is common in third world nations like Obama’s father’s native Kenya.  It’s prevalent in Indonesia, where “Barry” spent his formative years and in Hawaii, where he lived with his activist grandparents.   Obama’s mother was enamored of his father, an anti-colonialist polygamist, and left her second husband after he began adopting capitalist ideas.

Anti-colonial ideology blames every problem and ill on the colonial masters, and there’s a lot of abuse that’s taken place under colonial rule to justify that point of view.  However, unlike the American Founders, anti-colonialists don’t want just independence from the “mother country”; they want it driven out and all its influences destroyed.  In this scenario, the United States is the last – and, possibly, the most evil – of the colonial powers.

So, America needs to apologize for its past and current colonial efforts.  It needs to recognize and even bow before those who have overthrown their colonial masters and established their own rule.  Its symbols are offensive and shameful, not promoted publically and proudly.  And, most of all, its ability to be a colonial master must be undercut, and the best way to do that is by ruining its economy and increasing its debt.

You don’t have to change your mind about Mitt Romney’s supposed similarity to Barack Obama.  You do, however, need to consider the difference.  You’ll make your own choice as to what’s really important to you; the parallel or the disparity.

See the movie.  Read the book.


Written by Jeffrey S. Smith

4 September 2012 at 11:39 am

The power of an engaged citizenry

leave a comment »

Even though not a single citizen voted on it, on 16 December 2010 the citizens of the United States showed they had dramatically changed  how the political elites in Washington DC thought of them.  A massive omnibus spending bill, riddled with special interest spending of all sorts and made necessary by the inaction of the sitting legislators who were too afraid to pass spending bills before Election Day, was withdrawn in the face of citizen opposition.  Although now called a “lame duck session”, this is the same group of Senators and Representatives who blatantly disregarded the consent of the people less than a year earlier to pass Obamacare.  They did it then in spite of spirited and vocal opposition, using backroom deals and parliamentary tricks but flinched now, even though many of them won’t hold their seats in a little over a month and it’ll be nearly two years before any of them face another election.  (For information on the bill and its aftermath, go here:

The date of this citizen victory is interesting.  It’s probably just coincidental – it’s unlikely Senate President Harry Reid would do it on purpose – but 16 December is already a significant date in American history.  After blocking transfer of taxed tea from England from the ships to the dock, a group of citizens stormed the ships and tossed the offending crates into Boston harbor.  The Boston Tea Party took place 16 December 1773 and is the event most directly tied to the War of Independence.  Today, a ideologically- (rather than personality-) driven citizen rebellion that ironically has come to be known as the Tea Party Movement saw the results of their growing impact on politics in America.

For years, we’ve heard people say their vote doesn’t make any difference.  It may even have been true –at the time.  It isn’t any longer.  The close elections of Ron Maurer vs. Susan Castillo last May, Chris Dudley and John Kitzhaber this November and a number of other close elections in Oregon and around the country demonstrate the importance of even a few votes.  Every person who can be registered should be; if you’re reading this in Oregon and not registered, change that today – you can do it online at so there’s really no excuse.  If you’re registered and don’t always vote, we do it by mail here so there’s really no excuse.  If you live elsewhere, it’s not all that difficult to register and to vote, so you really don’t have an excuse, either. Your vote matters; do it.

But, more importantly, the decision by the arrogant and dismissive Senator Reid to recognize the will of the people, as expressed by the unwillingness of Senators from both parties to conduct business as usual in the face of citizen input and even though some of them had supported it in committee, shows the power of each individual citizen in this country when we band together and exercise our authority over government.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident…that to ensure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just power from the consent of the governed…” reads, in part, a key section of the Declaration of Independence.  The Ninth and Tenth Amendments of the US Constitution codifies this by stating the federal government has no power except those stated in the document and, if it’s not given there, the people or the states have the power.   The political elite believes and acts as if they have all the power but, in reality, the power rests with the people.   Thomas Jefferson noted, “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty,” and, until recently, it would be safe to say most Americans feared their government.

For too long we’ve allowed the politicians and bureaucrats, the special interests and public employee unions, the elite and those not affected by the laws they pass or administer to rule over us without regard to the consent of the governed.  But on the 237th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, we got a glimpse of the tremendous power an engaged citizenry can have.

May their tribe increase!

Written by Jeffrey S. Smith

18 December 2010 at 3:01 am

Posted in Events

Tagged with , , ,

Why we lost the big ones in Oregon

with 2 comments

All things considered, we did all right in Oregon.  We brought both chambers of the legislature back from a Democrat supermajority to dead even in the House and nearly even in the Senate.  We’d have tied up the Senate as well if Jackson County hadn’t kept “discovering” and counting votes until they got the result they wanted, but we’re not going to correct that problem until we have a Secretary of State that isn’t corrupt.  Keep that in mind for 2012.

We did, however, lose the big races in Oregon, bucking a trend that saw the US House overrun by Republicans , the Senate all but tied up, a host of Republican Governors and even a bunch of new Republican-dominated state legislatures .  The “Remember November” tsunami may have turned into a red tide in Oregon, but part of the problem is we had a seriously uphill battle in several cases.  Blumenauer and DeFazio were going to be hard to beat no matter what, and both Lopez and Robinson did an excellent job getting the results they did.  We all knew Telfer and Huffman started off trailing so badly after the Primary that they’d have a tough time catching up and their campaigns never seemed to catch fire.  So what happened there isn’t much of a surprise.

However, the three races we could have, or even should have, won we didn’t.  And it looks like the reason Dudley, Cornilles and, to a lesser extent, Bruun fell by the wayside is essentially the same reason Huffman fell flat.   They bought into what the “certified smart” folks have peddled for years, which has led to defeat after Republican defeat.

NW Republican (  has done an excellent job detailing the underpinnings of the Dudley defeat, and there’s no reason to restate those here.  This writer had only minimal contact with the Bruun race and would only be able to comment on what seems to be the case rather than from personal and objective observation.  However, having been a fixture in the Washington County Victory effort and in persistent contact with the Cornilles campaign since he first announced some 16 months earlier, there’s a lot a careful and experienced observer can report.

From the beginning, Rob did exactly what he should have to gain the office.  He went through established channels – former Senator Gordon Smith to Representative Greg Walden – to get to the folks back east.  He made a public announcement, worked the party leadership, contacted the principal donors and ran a campaign focused on November rather than May.  His nomination was a given before the official filing date in March and, despite a good showing, his Primary opponents never stood a real chance.  Doug and John won’t like hearing that, but that’s the way it is.

The problem is Rob paid a lot more attention to folks brought in from DC in April and July rather than those who have lived and campaigned in the First District for years, even decades.  There are folks here who know what it will take to beat David Wu and, frankly, it’s the same sort of thing that pushed Republicans over the finish line all over the country. But it’s something the “certified smart” specialists from the consulting firms avoid like progressives avoid tax cuts.

In a word, it’s leadership, and Rob was never allowed to show his.

A leader says “This is the direction we need to go,” and defines specific things he’ll do if elected.  In this cycle, repealing Obamacare and extending (or even expanding) the Bush tax cuts would have garnered interest and intensity.  However, the “certified smart” mantra is never make a statement your opponent can use against you.  As a result, Rob campaigned on a message of “Well, I’m not a Democrat” (designed to catch a ride on the Tea Party surf) and refusing to commit to repealing Obamacare, even if Republicans had a veto-proof majority.

Rob Cornilles is one of the best candidates to run since the Democrats took control of Oregon’s First District some thirty-odd years ago.  He’s amazingly able, bright, clever, dedicated, determined, energetic and engaging.  He really needs to run again, either for Congress or for some other office.  At 44%, he by far did the best against David Wu since Molly Bordanaro came up short with 47% when the two newcomers ran against each other in 1996.  During his concession speech, he said we hadn’t seen the last of him in politics – and that he’d make an announcement in the upcomings weeks along those lines.  It’s not too much to hope that means this is just the first race he enters.  If he does it right, he will win.

Rob’s leadership ability is clear from his successfully creating and then filling a niche in a niche industry.  We definitely need “citizen legislators” with a business background, not just in Congress but at all levels.  The hope is he’s learned from this experience and, while keeping an ear open to the folks from Back East who funnel so much money into these elections, he’ll also take the advice of people who live here.

If so,  next time it could be Wu giving the concession speech…

Written by Jeffrey S. Smith

10 November 2010 at 11:57 am

This is how we win

leave a comment »

Demo at the Demo

Outside Democrat Headquarters

Last Friday (12 Mar 10), I got a note from Organizing for America (OFA), the ongoing campaign arm of the Obama White House, encouraging me to take part in a “grassroots” event held in my area two days later, on Sunday evening.  As I often do, I used it to prompt Republican Party and Tea Party friends to get the word out to their networks to call their US Representatives to oppose the health care package to be voted on this coming week.

One of the recipients, Tom Cox, picked up on a comment in the message that it’d be neat to arrange a rally and, by that evening, word was coursing through Facebook, Twitter and other social media that we were going to hold a “Demo at the Demo”, a reference to the fact the event was taking place at the headquarters of the Democratic Party of Oregon.

When I got there Sunday evening, there were ten to twelve people on the sidewalk across the street, but that quickly swelled and, by the time we hit our announced starting time, it was well over 50 people.  Final estimates ranged from 80 to 150 total; not bad for less than 60 hours; it would have been great with just ten or twelve but it was exciting to get than many.

Moving across and, to some extent, into the street (not a major thoroughfare by any reckoning), we broke into small groups and discussed why we were there.  Then the best of each group, according to the vote of the group, went to the microphone and let us know their response – great practice for when the media finally pays attention to these grassroots efforts.

We then heard from candidates who were there – John Kuzmanich (, Doug Keller ( and Marc Delphine ( as well as local talk radio star, Victoria Taft ( and others.  We chanted a little; took pictures, held signs and just generally had a good time.  As we left, we picked up litter and debris, making the place look better than when we arrived.

Oh, and the massive response OFA was looking for?  Well, as best we could tell, only three or four people showed up.  At least, that’s all the more that came through the crowd to get in while we were there.  Clearly, despite President Obama’s claims to the contrary, the majority of Americans are not in favor of this version of health care reform.

The only way to defeat tyranny is to stand up to it.  If every American who opposes Obamacare, Cap and Trade, bailouts or nationalization of American industries would just show up at something like this, it would stop the slide to socialism.   You don’t have to be there every time, but make a commitment to be there any time you can.  Get informed and get active.

Yesterday, we let the Democrats know we surround them.  We outnumber them and are motivated enough to get out of our easy chairs on a Sunday afternoon to exercise our First Amendment rights.  It’s not a time to be silent; let your voice be heard whenever and wherever you can.  Samuel Adams said it best, “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.” This is how we win.

Written by Jeffrey S. Smith

15 March 2010 at 10:42 am

Posted in Events

Tagged with , , ,

%d bloggers like this: