GOING TO ROANOKE, VA

elephantgop.pngHere I am sitting in my basement wondering who to vote for at Republican Party of Virginia 2014 Convention. I am leaning towards Shak Hill. Why? That is what this post is about.

Hill takes clear stands on the issues. Consider this paragraph from An Open Letter to Virginia Republican Delegates at The Virginia Conservative.

As I’ve written previously, I tried on several occasions to discover where Ed Gillespie stands on the issues.  Although his website contains a multitude of well-crafted videos in a variety of languages, there is very little substantive information of what he will actually do if elected.  For example, I know far more about his family history than I do about his stance on foreign policy.  To me, this deficit is a major problem.

If you don’t know anything about a candidate except the fact he is well-funded by wealthy donors, why vote for him? If all you really know about him is some rich people want him to win, why is that a positive? Yet some think it is. Consider this excerpt from ‘s post, What Happens if Shak Hill Wins the Nomination? at The Bull Elephant.

The goal of republicans across the country is to take back the Senate.  Shak will be of no help in reaching that goal.   Ed Gillespie has raised over $3 million and is well on his way to raising over $20 million, money we need to get our message out to the voters if we are to have any hope of winning the seat.  Gillespie was Chairman of the party with a proven record as a fundraiser.  He is known nationally, in every state.  He knows what he’s doing and will bring in money from across the country.  No national organization is going to waste money on an unknown in Virginia.

But what is Ed Gillespie known for?  THE RIGHT-WING LIBERAL offers this observation in Ed Gillespie – would-be Senate candidate – backed TARP (meaning I can’t support him).

While Gillespie is the most well known, he is also on record defending TARP (a.k.a., the bank bailout), which would be a crippling blow to his campaign (and the party as a whole) should he be nominated. For that reason, he doesn’t make the cut.

That said, Gillespie has one very critical flaw: as White House Counsel in 2008, he was a loud defender of TARP (CNN):

(CNN’s John) KING: You mentioned the economy. One of the last acts was this bailout. And $350 billion of it has been spent on George W. Bush’s watch. The second installment will come on Barack Obama’s. But many Americans, when you travel, they think, where did this money go? Did big banks get it on Wall Street? It is being flushed literally down the toilet? They don’t see the impact on Main Street.

But can you cite specific evidence that the first $350 billion has done anything to begin the turnaround?

GILLESPIE: You can, John. And in fact, if you look at the rates that have narrowed in terms of credit markets, the TED spreads and LIBOR, things, frankly, I didn’t know that much about until about six months ago, they were very — the spreads were high. And that’s not good for the credit markets.

The injection that the Treasury has put into the capital markets has helped ease those. Again, this is a difficult time. But the president said the other night, I believe rightly, that had we not acted boldly and had we not put this money into the financial markets, we would have seen a lot worse of a financial strain on the American people today than what we’re already witnessing.

Now, readers of my blog will know that I’ve been critical of TARP practically since its conception, and I have maintained that it was a terrible mistake. However, there is more to it than that. When Republicans nominate TARP supporters, they are essentially agreeing with the Democrats’ claim that the situation in 2008 was so terrible that President Obama should essentially be given a pass for any economic problems under his watch. It was one of the reasons Mitt Romney’s criticism of the president on the economy was so ineffective. It also damaged his efforts to criticize enlarging government in general.

When the Bush administration started pushing TARP, that started Tea Party activism. The reaction to TARP initiated the movement. Barack Obama’s huge stimulus bills, and Congress’ huge unread bills (especially Obamacare) just increased the horror and intensified the movement. Millions suddenly began to realize just how far our nation had gone down that dead-end road to Socialism (in the guise of crony-capitalism).

With TARP we began to understand we had a crisis created by allowing too much government interference in the economy. With TARP we could see the foolhardiness of letting politicians like President George W. Bush “fix” the problem by increasing government interference. And Ed Gillespie advocated TARP. There is simply no point in supporting any candidate who supported such a blatantly irresponsible raid on our government’s treasury.

Here in this WSJ editorial, How the GOP Should Approach TARP 2.0,  refined his support for TARP –once it became a Democrat program.

As the world awaits the details of the Obama administration’s version of TARP, two things have changed since last fall: First, we’re not facing the same massive, day-to-day market volatility and frozen credit markets that were the context of the original TARP decision. Second, our new president doesn’t have the same instinctual resistance to government intervention as his predecessor. Consequently, the next iteration of TARP is likely to be much more far-reaching. Democrats appear poised to impose many intrusive conditions on our financial institutions.

Note how he said what he said as if it were okay for a Republican administration to start the whole mess. If it was wrong for Democrats to do TARP, it was wrong for Republicans to start TARP. Can you imagine supporting TARP and then criticizing Democrats for their profligate spending? What is the point of taking Gillespie seriously?

Read the rest of How the GOP Should Approach TARP 2.0 by Gillespie. It is all about positioning, not Constitutional principles or just the plain difference between right and wrong.

That’s why I don’t care how much money Ed Gillespie can raise. I don’t want give him a chance to help his donors steal what’s in the Federal Treasury — again.

12 thoughts on “GOING TO ROANOKE, VA

  1. Good post, well reasoned. I hope we meet at the convention. Please stop by The Bull Elephant’s suite on Friday night and introduce yourself. We’ll be open early and remain open late. See you there!

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    1. Thank you for the kind offer.

      Don’t expect to be there until Saturday, but I will look for the bloggers. Got a stop to see the grand kids on the way.

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  2. To ask a variation of the General Zinni question: now what? I would think you would have trouble supporting Gillespie, having identified him as someone who helps his donors “steal” from the federal Treasury. If that were a factual allegation, no one would vote for him, including me. On the other hand, you could go study up a bit on the decisions made in 2008-2009 by the Bush and Obama administrations, read what Paulson and Geithner (and other participants) have had to say about those situations, and re-examine your views on TARP and other measures that were taken in those times of extreme peril to the national and world economy. What were the best (if not necessarily perfect) policy choices knowing what they knew at the time? Would we be better off today if the central government had not taken the actions it did?

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    1. I will do we what I do most of the time I vote. Because the Republican candidate looks to me like the lesser of evils, I will hold my nose and vote Republican.

      Have you ever wondered why through most of the history of human civilization most human beings have been slaves? Because slaves are so much trouble, so-called savages don’t bother with slaves. They may torture their enemies, but they generally don’t enslave them. Civilized people do that. Apparently, knowing how to efficiently manage slaves is one of the things that makes people civilized. And somehow the slave owners always manage to explain how slavery is the best thing for the slaves.

      You want to defend TARP. Fine. Go ahead. When I wrote about in 2008, everyone called it a bailout. You want my opinion of it? Then search this blog with the term “bailout.”

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  3. It definitely was a “bailout”. Was that a bad thing in the circumstances? Would the non-intervention alternative have been better, both politically and economically?

    I have no idea what slavery has to do with it. But I’m against it, let me assure you. I would not favor its reinstatement. It was a good idea to have outlawed it in this country.

    Like

    1. If we are unwilling to protect each others rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (including property rights), then we can protest all we want about being against slavery, the ruthless and strong will still enslave the timid and weak.

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  4. When in doubt, let forth a platitude. You sound like a die-hard Socialist, Tom.

    There will always be variations in temperaments, personalities, abilities, strength (physical and personality) and, of course, in some situations the more aggressive humans will work to the disadvantage of the more timid. Morals and ethics (and I consider religion to be part of that network) are the protection against exploitation. It’s not simply or even primarily a governmental function to even that out.

    But, back to relevance: What non-interventionist policies would you have prescribed in 2008-2009 to address the financial and economic issues of that period? Do you think they would have had a better overall result than the more interventionist approaches?

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    1. Here is a small sample of what you are asking me to do.

      You want to defend TARP. Fine. Go ahead. When I wrote about in 2008, everyone called it a bailout. You want my opinion of it? Then search this blog with the term “bailout.”

      There are times that call for posting again what I have posted before. With the small exception above, this is not one of them.

      Somehow you manage to equate what you call platitudes with die-hard Socialism. Somehow bailing out a bunch of cronies is good public policy and unrelated to Socialism. So it is that I somehow think repeating or even customizing what I have already written for your benefit would serve little purpose.

      Meanwhile, I have other things to do (like sleep) and other things on another day to write.

      Good night.

      Like

  5. I earlier acknowledged it was a “bailout”. My question is whether a non-interventionist approach would have yielded a better result. What say you? What do you think the impact would have been of doing nothing in 2008-2009? Where do you think the economy would be today if TARP had not been enacted.

    I don’t equate platitudes generally with die-hard Socialism. I just equated your particular platitude in this thread with die-hard Socialism.

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