Response to the article, Hunter has no clothes…ahem…conservatism, published by Eric Andersen last month (Dec. 19).
I am not going to hide the fact that I am disappointed with the positions and statements/comments from some of my friends recently about Congressmen Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa in connection with their votes on the recently passed budget.
Those statements were in and in response to the article, Hunter has no clothes…ahem…conservatism, in this same venue by my friend Eric Andersen.
What is especially disappointing is that Eric and those who share his views unfairly accuse the above mentioned Congressmen for lacking devotion to the constitution.
Andersen lists some of the votes of these “offenders of the constitution” and the votes that “takeaway or infringe on our rights.” However, he fails to provide the context and, most importantly, he and other friends like Brian Brady and Michael Schwartz fail to provide an alternative. In other words, what is your vision my friends? What are the specific steps in this reality, in this political landscape, that you would have taken or are suggesting our Congressman should take? And please, enough with generalities.
While I don’t speak for the Congressmen, but as someone who agrees with many of above mentioned votes (including the budget vote), I can attempt to state in a rational way as to why they voted the way they did.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Congressman Hunter (as do others) recognizes national debt as the most important issue of our day and wants to solve it for our and future generations. He agrees with the stated explanation and reasoning of Congressman Paul Ryan — who negotiated the budget deal.
The reasoning is as follows. Due to Obamacare and other issues, President Obama’s and Democratic Party polling numbers have taken a serious nose dive. I think all agree that low poll numbers usually translate to the electoral defeats and conversely, high poll numbers translate to electoral victories. Yet, Democratic numbers have rebounded and GOP numbers went down substantially during the government shutdown. Despite denial by some on the GOP side, the shutdown never had chances of success and its continuation would have resulted in political disaster for Republicans.
As a result, Congressman Ryan and others decided not to help the Dems by throwing a lifeline (another shutdown) and decided to take that issue off the table. By doing so, they are concentrating their efforts on further attacking Obamacare on its merits, while highlighting its many failures and unconstitutionality, and at the same time going after Obama and the Dems on many other issues of the day where they are very vulnerable such as: Eric Holder and his gun running fiasco, the President’s ignorance of the constitution by appointing a record amounts of czars, high unemployment and economic stagnation, and a disastrous foreign policy (Iran, Russia, Syria, etc.).
We have to win elections in order to solve our most serious problems. For that reason and for that reason only Congressmen Hunter, Paul Ryan, Darrell Issa and many others voted for the budget. It is a chess game, where you calculate a few steps ahead in order to get where you’d like to be. The above mentioned Congressmen as well as many others want to do precisely that.
I think it is unfair, unjust and simply wrong to attack them on that issue.
I challenge you again to provide step by step solutions to solve the fiscal crisis we are in.
There were other issues and votes for which my friend Eric Andersen criticized Representative Hunter. One of them was about Hunter declaring on Fox News that the President should have the right to attack without declaration of War. Were all of you who commented on Eric’s article against the first Gulf War? Were you against attacking Afghanistan, in which Osama Bin Laden planned the 9/11 attacks?
In a recent conversation my friend Anderson suggested not to get involved with Russian President Vladimir Putin, for example. Eric said, “Let him do whatever he wants and eventually Putin and Russia would collapse under their own weight.” Do you know how naive that statement is? Do you know how much irreparable damage dictators can do when there is nobody to stop and/or deter them?
Let’s try another issue where Congressman Hunter was so “determined to violate our constitutional rights by voting on the NSA issue.” I am concerned about NSA’s tactics and performance. I think we should better regulate and control its activity, but I am not ready to scrap the NSA altogether, because although it looks like the agency had serious violations, at the same time it does and can continue to do an important job to protect the American people from terrorist attacks. In my opinion Congressman Hunter holds a similar position. Is that so unreasonable and unconstitutional? We can and should correct the mistakes, but not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Eric, when you attack the Congressman with your “facts,” maybe you should take little bit more time and research his reasoning and explanation, then provide that for your potential audience as well. Otherwise you are making it sound like Congressman Hunter wants to approve NSA’s surveillance on anyone, take away our rights, get the nation further in debt and attack the whole world for no reason, just for fun.
I know it irritates some of your followers, but I’ll ask it anyway: Congressman Hunter and his family through generations have been ready to pick up arms and go in harm’s way to take part in wars they created for their amusement? My guess is you will say that nobody questions their patriotism, but they don’t know any better … BUT YOU DO?!
Let me bring up another issue. Congressman Hunter voted for HR 347 and you allege that “it takes away free speech.” It does no such thing. It is a slight update of an existing law originally enacted in 1971. In the old version it was not a federal violation to jump the fence and run across the White House lawn. This bill makes it a federal violation. The bill also allows the Secret Service to expand a little bit the perimeter for the President and others protected by the department. It is much to do about nothing.
It would be interesting for your followers to know that vote for the bill was 399-3 in Congress. It might be also interesting to point out that your favorite Congressman Tom McClintock (whom you use as an example of comparison) also voted for the bill. So, McClintock, Michele Bachmann, Renee Ellmers and 396 other Congressmen voted to infringe on your first amendment rights?
I think we need to “primary” Tom McClintock! Possible candidates: Christine O’Donnell (Delaware) or Ken Buck (Colorado). That is right, those are atrocious candidates given to us by Jim DeMint (the current president of the Heritage Foundation).
You did not provide this context because it would ruin your punch line. I suspect just like the HR 347 issue, your article is full of unsubstantiated, unfair, one sided allegations that are far from truth and from reality.
On another issue, during a recent San Diego County Republican Party meeting we were discussing an endorsement in the 52nd District for the Congressional race between Carl DeMaio and his fellow Republican Kirk Jorgensen. At that time you, Eric, said that because DeMaio was not against abortion you cannot “swallow” (that is the word used by you) that position and therefore cannot vote for him. Since then we know that DeMaio won the endorsement by 2/3 of the committee. During a recent conversation I asked you about the fact that you knew, despite Mr. Jorgensen being a great man, that he did not stand a chance of winning this election against the well-known (in San Diego)) and well-funded Democratic Congressman Scott Peters; and therefore were you ready to “swallow” (again using your word) Scott Peters’ pro-abortion stand and all the other stands that are in lockstep with Obama? Your response was something like, “Let them win, they will collapse under their own weight.”
That is your strategy, domestically and internationally, my friend?
Let dictators go unchallenged and have them do whatever they want with subsequent adverse effect on the national security of the United States?
And domestically let Democrats take more seats, unless we have puritan challengers possibly blessed by Ayatollahs from the Heritage Foundation?
Since you are using in your article phrases such as, “People like Hunter and Paul Ryan do more harm than any foreign invaders,” then I guess I can use the term Ayatollahs, describing my former friends from the Heritage Foundation. They are full of themselves.
By the way, the head of Heritage Foundation’s division that dishes out those ratings so important to you, wasn’t he (“Conservative Icon”) Rudy Giuliani’s campaign manager? He probably saw the light after he was christened by Godfather DeMint.
Some other issues where we disagree: I disagree with Ron Paul’s wing of the party on foreign policy. I also disagree with the suggestion that cocaine and marijuana must be legalized. I know, not all Ron Paul supporters agree with legalization, but I know you do, Eric. You told me so on a recent bus trip for a party function.
I am sorry, but I do not agree with that vision. I strongly agree with you, however, on the fact that the national debt issue must be our top priority to be resolved. The above mentioned Congressmen also agree. We just disagree on how we get there.
I fought for Freedom and Democracy since I was youngster in my native country of Georgia. My grandfather was killed by communists after many years on the run while he was fighting for the Freedom of Georgia and against communist Russian domination. He wanted to see his son while he was dying from his wounds in a Soviet Gulag. Guards respected my grandfather for his courage and allowed him to do so. Grandfather told my father (who was eight years old) to tell his future children that he died for our FREEDOM. He died that night. Our family wasn’t even given his body. Right after that, communist authorities arrested my grandmother and sentenced her to 25 years in jail/gulag just because she was grandpa’s wife. She was released seven years later.
While I was growing up, she would tell me those stories. From an early age, whatever ways I could, I fought for FREEDOM. Initially with my anti-Soviet writings in school and later being one of the student leaders of the largest opposition groups in what was then Soviet Georgia. I literally fought at the barricades against Soviet soldiers that Moscow had sent to crush our dissent. Sixteen of my fellow country men and women died that night of April 9, 1989. A few more died later in the hospital, including my 70-year-old university professor, with whom I shared a hospital room.
Some of us swore at that time to never give up fighting for FREEDOM. I am trying to do that to this day.
Who did the most to help us achieve our Freedom? Ronald Wilson Reagan. Yes, that Ronald Reagan who would not win a primary today if many of my friends had anything to say about it. Reagan achieved destruction of the Soviet Union as we knew it, via Peace Through Strength. But by today’s — and I repeat — today’s Heritage Foundation ratings standards, Reagan would not approach the 50 percent mark.
I think it is sad and unfair that we are shrinking our tent instead of enlarging it. Instead of concentrating on defeating those who truly do not care about national debt, you and your followers are attacking good conservatives like Duncan Hunter, Paul Ryan and others, just because you disagree with or don’t understand the tactics they use to achieve the same goal, all the while not offering any specific alternative on how to get there.
Happy New Year. God Bless.
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Tsipouria is president of US-Georgia Friendship Association, a 501(c) (3) organization.