May 13, 2010

GOP's 13th Congressional Primary Debate

The one and only GOP debate prior to the primary election next week was held in Montgomeryville Wednesday night.  The event was hosted by the Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots as the challengers to Allyson Schwartz lined up to face each other and state their case for representing the party against the incumbent this fall.  Josh Quinter called for 6 debates with the two endorsed Republicans, Dee Adcock and Brian Haughton, before the May 18th contest.  He only got one, but took full advantage.

Quinter was predictably well-armed with solid arguments for most of the sometimes ridiculously-complicated questions from moderator Steve Highsmith.  The topics were seemingly convenient for the lawyer, lobbed right into Josh's wheelhouse.  His knowledge on issues such as the Georgian/Ukrainian oil pipeline effect on American on energy policy and the historical effect of the Monroe doctrine on American influence in the Western hemisphere forced this politically-interested commentator checking my Blackberry for facts on the subjects myself.  I doubt the average voter has knowledge of, let alone concern with, these obscure issues.  Still, Josh impressed.

Dee Adcock is the favorite in this race based primarily on his war chest and the endorsement of the Montgomery County GOP Committee which combine to give him a natural numbers advantage.  He's not a seasoned lawyer or politician - and he'll tell you that himself - but after months of practice and several town hall type events to polish his skills, Adcock seems a lot more comfortable in front of a crowd of politically saavy voters.  Last night Dee showed he's making progress.

Brian Haughton makes no bones about his lack of political acumen.  But what's refreshing is his acceptance of this fact.  When the Georgian/Ukrainian pipeline issue was raised, Haughton simply stated, "I'm not informed enough on the issue to give you an answer on that one".  The audience applauded Brian's honesty as though they realized the question came from the world of politically obscure issues few of them think about regularly.

All 3 candidates have their flaws.  Quinter still identifies with the lawyer crowd, sometimes talking down to the audience as he tries to impress them with his knowledge.  That will work in Blue Bell, but not in Mayfair.  Adcock must learn to trust his knowledge and speak more from his heart.  If he has any chance to be Schwartz, he needs to sharpen his responses and find the fire in his belly.  Haughton has the opposite problem from Quinter - his shtick works in Philly, but the suburban crowd needs to see him take this process more seriously.

While no official polling exists on this race (seen as safely in the D corner so no one is paying attention to it), Quinter seems to be surging at the right time.  But will he make enough of an impact to erase Adcock's natural advantage?  Doubtful. However, Haughton may be the primary beneficiary of Quinter's surge.  If Philadelphia republican voters turn out on Tuesday, Haughton's natural advantage there may be the key to the race.

Is there an upset in the making?  After all, it is a numbers game.

May 3, 2010

Ordering Pizza, after Obamacare

How much will Obamacare change our lives?

This may provide a clue...

May 1, 2010

'Nut-Jobs' and Civil Discourse

Some threw tomatoes to support the wife of fallen Philly police officer Daniel Faulkner. Others may throw eggs at a local campaign office.  Some will go so far as to rush a stage attempting to put a pie in Ann Coulter's face.

Civil discourse has many forms.

Some take a sledgehammer to a car in the parking lot at Lincoln Financial Field to show their opinion of the Dallas Cowboys.  Sure it's a violent form of civil discourse, but no one gets hurt. 

Commonwealth Foundation has an article about the civil discourse of 2nd Amendment supporters who want to take aim at an old car, covered in anti-freedom slogans, with their (brace yourself) guns.

Shocking, I know. 

But that's nothing compared to the reaction by the left, who would have you believe this kind of discourse is dangerous.  'Right-wing-nut-jobs', that's what Alan Colmes believes these people are.  Joe Hoeffel (progressive) says they can't talk straight while hoping they shoot straight.  Keith Olbermann thinks they lack an ability to read.

Name-calling and insults: what you turn to when you have nothing else intelligent to say.

Arcadia Hosts Tea Party Patriots Panel

Arcadia University held a Tea Party Patriots Panel on Thursday night.  National Coordinators for TPP, Jenny Beth Martin and Diana Reimer, joined Nate Wingham - Grassroots Activist, Jamal Greene - Journalist, Mike Gaske - Fundraising Director, David Webb - Editor Tea Party 365 and talk show host to discuss a variety of issues ranging from what unifies the TPP to their position on endorsements.

The event was well attended with well over 100 in the small theater.  A dozen or so students, most whom were there to challenge the organization's activities, joined the diverse audience of activists and local coordinators in a 2 hour question and answer session designed to inform the crowd about the movement.

Most of those in attendance were there to find out what inspired the grassroots effort, what they can do to help and how the movement plans to keep the pressure on Washington.

Some of the questions from the students seemed pointed to rehashing the Bush years.  They questioned the constitutionality of the Iraq war, wiretapping, and even defense spending.  While the panel appreciated and answered the questions, it was clear to most the students weren't interested in learning about the organization, but rather to fight old battles with the guests to the campus. 

To the students credit, they stuck around and engaged several people with political debate after the event was over.  While they have clearly bought the left's argument on several issues, they weren't obnoxious or completely dismissive - just uniformed.  Not unusual for young skulls full of mush.

The event wasn't aimed to be a rally to rail against a specific issue, it was meant to inform.  Hopefully the students in attendance saw a different side to the movement; unlike the portrayals by the main stream media of an angry, racist group.

The highlight of the evening was a re-reading of "Why I am a conservative" by Jamal Greene.  Greene's initial speech was a hit at the Tax Day Tea Party on April 15th - see the YouTube clip below - but there's nothing like hearing it in person. 

It made this Tea-Bagger proud!