Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bring Back Jesse Helms

Lots of people are missing former US Senator Jesse Helms these days. In a letter to the editor of the American Spectator, former Republican White House aide Joseph P. Duggan says conservatives need to ask themselves, "What Would Jesse Do?" While the mainstream media are sure to criticize Republicans if they fail to jump on the Obama bandwagon, Duggan reminds us that the former Senator from North Carolina was politically rewarded for acting as a roadblock:

For his success using the "hold" to delay or kill legislation and objectionable nominations for ambassadorships and policy positions, Helms was known by both friend and foe as "Senator No." ... The Senate needs a new conservative champion of foreign policy realism who will, to paraphrase Bill Buckley, stand athwart extremist nominees and noxious legislation, yelling "Stop!"

Meanwhile, in the Civitas Review, Helms Center President John Dodd attempts to answer the question, "What Would Jesse Say?" Dodd makes the case that Republicans did not lose power because they failed to work with Democrats -- but rather because they were too willing to compromise conservative principles:

[Senator Helms] would point out that we have far too often strayed from our principles on key issues in order to seek more political power. This has allowed the opposition to coopt conservatives on important issues, like the need for fiscal restraint. Senator Helms would remind us that, although we should be willing to compromise our preferences, we should never be willing to compromise our principles.

Here's hoping the next generation Jesse Helms is out there right now, about to make a big splash in North Carolina politics.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Welfare State

This can't be good: According to the Treasury Department,
North Carolina is receiving more funds from the TARP bailout than any other state except New York: $28.5 billion!

Of course, to say that North Carolina is receiving it is a huge misstatement. Almost all of that money is going to Bank of America. The mega-bank is essentially being rewarded for unfair competition - using unsustainable business practices to put all our homegrown local banks out of business. Now it's up to the taxpayer to sustain the Charlotte empire. They're taking us over with our own money.

Meanwhile, Gov. Perdue just appointed career bureaucrat Dempsey Benton to oversee the new federal "stimulus" money coming into the state. [This after Benton's dismal failure as Director of Health and Human Services during which, among other things, the state's mental health system was revealed to be a giant scandal.]

The State of North Carolina gets $6 billion (not the $25 billion that Bank of America gets, showing us exactly where we fit in the pecking order) to "rebuild the state’s infrastructure, including highways and schools." Again, North Carolinians are coughing up tax dollars to the federal government, which it uses in return to take ownership of our critical infrastructure. Evidence of this is that one of Benton's assignments will be to "establish lines of communication with federal and state agencies." In other words, he will be working to make our state agencies part of the federal government.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Monumental Ignorance

Columnist Peder Zane of the News & Observer is calling on Gov. Perdue to tear down the Confederate monument in front of the State Capitol. Zane refers to the Confederate monument as "Raleigh's most prominent piece of public art, a signature symbol with an ugly past representing values and ambitions that no longer reflect who we are."

What values and ambitions might those be? State sovereignty? Self determination? If those values no longer reflect North Carolina, then the solution is not to tear down Confederate monuments, but to build more of them. As Stephen Parsons writes, "that is a cause worth remembering with honor."