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27th August
2014
written by Sean Noble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doug Ducey won a commanding victory in Tuesday’s Arizona Republican primary election.  It was the most crowded Republican primary for Governor in state history, and yet Ducey won by an astounding 15 points. He exceeded everyone’s expectations, including mine.

Now Ducey faces Fred DuVal in November.  Polling shows this race as basically tied with a large number of undecided voters.  This is not surprising, but the contours of the race haven’t really been set, so we’ll see movement in the numbers within a week or so.

The biggest upset of the night was Mark Brnovich defeating Tom Horne in the Attorney General race.  Mark was outspent by a large margin, but Horne’s negatives were an anchor around his neck.  Mark was a tireless campaigner with amazing energy that provided primary voters with a strong viable alternative to Horne.

The other big upset was Diane Douglas defeating Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal. It was an old-fashioned, school principal office spanking.

In the Secretary of State race, Michele Reagan won by a strong margin and will dispatch her Democrat opponent, Terry Goddard, in November giving yet another losing effort.

Jeff DeWit, the singing phenom, won big and will become the next Treasurer of Arizona because the Democrats didn’t even bother to field a candidate.

Finally, Doug Little and Tom Forese proved that running as a team has benefits – both receiving almost the exact same number of votes for Corporation Commission and will face two radical leftists for the general.

Let’s look more closely at the primary race for Governor. My firm, DC London, did independent expenditure work in the race, and one of the more satisfying outcomes was how good the polling was.  We relied on two different pollsters, David Flaherty at Magellen Strategies and Brock McCleary at Harper Polling.  Below is a chart of the two latest polls by each of them respectively and the election result.

   Candidate

Aug. 19-20  (Harper) 

Aug. 25  (Magellan)

Election Result

Ducey

32

33.3

37.3

Smith

19

23.4

22.3

Jones

16

17.2

16.7

Bennett

14

9.4

10.5

Thomas

7

6.3

8.3

Riggs

2

3.3

4.5

Undecided

10

7.2

NA

The most interesting thing in looking at the polls and the results of Tuesday is that Ducey captured the majority of the late undecided voters.  Those late deciders have by described by the late political wizard Steve Shadegg as “Indifferents.”  The Indifferents are people who don’t really pay attention to politics and may or may not vote.  They usually make up their mind in the last three days or so of an election.  In this day and age with early voting, some of them are the folks who get their early ballot, set it on the counter and then realize weeks later on Election Day they need to fill it out and drop it off at the polling location.

They are important voters because in close elections, they determine the outcome.  Ducey didn’t need them to break heavily in his favor, but it turns out they did, which created a spike in his numbers.

In a six-way race, it is unusual for one candidate to get the majority of the undecided.  In Ducey’s case, he added four percent to his margin, leaving only three percent of the vote to go to other candidates.  Interestingly, the beneficiaries of those remaining voters were Thomas and Riggs, although it did them no good.

Now the Democrats will begin to spin that they are in a strong position to win these statewide races.  Obviously, I beg to differ.

Ducey has won statewide in a general and has become a very strong candidate.  DuVal has run for office once before, and it didn’t work out well. He finished 4th in a Congressional primary in which he garnered a whopping 8,600 votes. Not much of a base of support to jump into the big leagues.  He will actually suffer from not having had a primary opponent.  He and his campaign will likely make a couple missteps that they wouldn’t otherwise make as a result of not being in a day-to-day battle.

Felicia Rotellini couldn’t beat Tom Horne when he was weakened by some scandal four years ago.  She will have a difficult time matching Brnovich’s energy and passion.

Michele Reagan is a bright star in state politics and voters will go with her youthful enthusiasm over perennial candidate Terry Goddard.

When it’s all said and done, Arizona will remain a strong Republican state for the next four years.

 

 

21st August
2014
written by Sean Noble

 

 

 

 

 

My firm, DC London, commissioned a Arizona primary election poll of likely voters in the Republican primary next Tuesday.

 

Here are the top lines (crosstabs here):

 

Governor

Ducey – 32%

Smith – 19%

Jones – 16%

Bennett – 14%

Thomas – 7%

Riggs – 2%

Undecided – 10%

 

At this point, Ducey is all but assured a victory. The only question is how will the rest of the field shape up.  My prediction is that Jones has a little surge at the end and captures the second place spot, while Smith continues to slide and ends up in 3rd.  The greatest mystery of this election, for me, is what happened to Ken Bennett?  He started the race with the most name ID and at 15% of the vote (which at the time was way ahead of everyone else) but he has not moved the needle even a little.

 

Attorney General

Brnovich – 40%

Horne – 37%

Undecided – 24%

 

Given that Horne has essentially 100% name ID, the majority of the 24% of undecided are likely to go to Brnovich – so I suspect Brnovich will win by more than six points.

 

Secretary of State

Reagan – 32%

Pierce  – 30%

Cardon – 15%

Undecided – 23%

 

This race will likely be the one that goes later into the evening before we know the winner.  Reagan’s small lead is within the margin of error, so it’s a toss up.

 

Treasurer

DeWit – 23%

Pullen – 21%

Hallman – 19%

Undecided – 37%

 

This statewide race has the largest number of undecided voters, so it really could go about any way at this point.  DeWit is getting a bit of attention with this video that has the makings of going viral.

 

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Douglas – 39%

Huppenthal – 34%

Undecided – 28%

 

It appears that the anti-Common Core message is resonating for little-known Diane Douglas and I think she will upset Huppenthal.

 

Corporation Commission

(Combined total for first choice and second choice)

Little – 43%

Forese – 35%

Mason – 34%

Parker – 31%

 

While the second position appears to be a toss up between Forese and Mason, it’s clear that Little will win and Parker will lose.  The decision by the pro-solar folks to try to demonize Little as a “lap dog” and somehow supportive of Obama, seems to have backfired.  And the hits on Parker by the Free Enterprise Club appear to be working.  So the two candidates who have largely been ignored, find themselves basically tied.  Will make for an interesting night.

 

 

15th August
2014
written by Sean Noble

My firm, DC London, commissioned a poll for the Arizona Governor’s primary race.  Here is the memo with links to the results.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To:       Interested Parties

From:  Sean Noble

RE:      Update on State of the Governor’s Race in Arizona – Aug 15, 2014

DC London commissioned a GOP Primary voter statewide poll conducted by Harper Polling. (Top lines and cross tabs)

The findings show that Doug Ducey is in an excellent position to win the Governor’s race by a strong margin.

Here are the current numbers:

Ducey             32%

Smith              21%

Bennett          14%

Jones               12%

Thomas          7%

Riggs               3%

Undecided     10%

 

Below is a comparison of the ballot test in the last four Harper polls:

 

                                       June 27          July 21      July 29       Aug 15

Ducey                         33%                23%         26%                32%

Jones                           15%                21%         15%                12%

Smith                          14%                13%          15%                21%

Bennett                      12%                12%           12%                14%

Thomas                      3%                  7%             11%                7%

Riggs                           2%                  1%              5%                  3%

Undecided                 22%                22%          16%                10%

Ducey enjoys strong support from all corners of Arizona. He leads Smith in Phoenix media market 29-23, in Tucson market 44-12 and Yuma market 25-16.

Doug Ducey will not only win the primary, he is the best choice for Republicans to win the general in November.  His strong lead in the polling and his strong favorable image rating will ensure that Arizona remains in Republican control to stand up to the failure of Washington, D.C. and the Obama administration.

In the Attorney General race, Mark Brnovich has a solid lead over Tom Horne:

Brnovich         41%

Horne             35%

Undecided     24%

A Brnovich primary win will send the Democrats back to the drawing board on trying to figure out how to take on someone who would be the most qualified person ever on day one to walk into the AG’s office.  Felecia Rotellini and her liberal allies have miscalculated their opportunity and will face a formidable candidate in Mark Brnovich.

 

 

14th August
2014
written by Sean Noble

Arizona has had a lively Republican primary this year.  Here are my endorsements for statewide office:

Governor – Doug Ducey

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doug Ducey is the most exciting candidate for Governor we in Arizona have had in a long, long time.  This is an easy call.  Why? He is a successful business leader, a strong conservative, a man of faith, and, most of all, a genuinely great human being.  And, his opponents just don’t stack up.

 

*Disclaimer – I am the Chairman of Conservative Leadership for Arizona, an Independent Expenditure Committee formed to support Doug Ducey for Governor. Of course, I wouldn’t have done that if I didn’t completely support Doug, but figured I’d give the disclaimer anyway.

 

Secretary of State – Justin Pierce

Pierce is a very capable leader who is an up-and-comer in Republican politics.  He deserves your vote.

Wil Cardon does not rise to the level of a serious candidate.

 

Attorney General – Mark Brnovich

I have often commented that Mark Brnovich will be the most qualified individual to ever walk into the AG’s office on the first day.  He is a constitutional scholar, a former prosecutor, former head of a state department, and a tireless advocate for freedom.  He will be a breath of fresh air so sorely needed in the AG’s office.

Tom Horne has abused his office and, if by some miracle he wins the primary, will lose badly to Democrat candidate Felicia Rotellini in the General Election.

*Disclaimer – Mark Bronivch is a client of my firm, DC London. For what it’s worth, I was supportive of Mark running for AG long before he became a client. 

 

State Treasurer – Jeff DeWit

Current State Treasurer Doug Ducey has done a great job running the treasurer’s office, but if you listened to Hugh Hallman or Randy Pullen, you’d think it was a mess.  Jeff DeWit is the only candidate who acknowledges that things are working well in the treasurer’s office and will carry that legacy forward.  He has the right kind of background for managing the state’s investments and will serve well.  He is another strong rising star for the Republican Party.

 

Corporation Commission – Doug Little and Tom Forese 

The corporation commission race this year is a team effort.  Doug Little and Tom Forese are running as a team and Lucy Mason and Vernon Parker are running as a team.

The Mason/Parker team feels like the resurrection of the Democrat team from 2012 of Busching, Newman and Kennedy that dubbed themselves “Arizona’s Solar Team.”  Mason and Parker are unabashedly supportive of taxpayers subsidizing the solar industry and have been supported by the solar industry.  Billionaire crony king, Elon Musk, is the majority shareholder of a company called SolarCity – a rooftop solar system leasing company that is completely dependent on government subsidies to stay afloat.

Given my strong opposition to subsidies and special treatment by government, I think it would be bad for Arizona to elected Mason and Parker.

 

17th June
2014
written by Sean Noble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service informed the House of Representatives’ Committee on Ways and Means that they had “lost” nearly three years worth of emails from Lois Lerner, the disgraced IRS official at the center of the scandal involving the IRS targeting of conservative and tea party groups, because her computer crashed.  Naturally, many were skeptical of the claim given its questionable convenience.

Many also arrived at the logical conclusion that if the IRS had actually “lost” Lerner’s emails, then surely they would be able to recover them from the emails of other officials at the IRS that she was communicating with. Yet, today the IRS announced that it has also “lost” the emails of six other high-level officials at the center of the investigation into the suppression of conservative groups by the agency.

The Obama administration promised to be the most transparent administration in history, little did we know this would mean they could make things disappear entirely. Given the convenient details of the misplaced emails this is clearly not a computer problem, as the IRS claims. This is a fundamental failure of leadership at the highest levels and a betrayal of the nation’s trust. ‘It’s a glitch’ may as well be the 21st Century version of ‘I am not a crook.’

As Charles Krauthammer said, “Nixon was a piker to the Obama Administration when it comes to concealment, hiding, or pretending that they can’t find stuff.”

Think about it.  Why didn’t Nixon use the excuse that the recording system crashed? Maybe he wasn’t as corrupt as our current administration.

The overly convenient and lousy excuses coming from the Obama administration are generally reserved for guilty adolescents and banana republics. It’s clear that the administration has moved from obstructing the activity of conservative and tea party groups to stonewalling Congress by whatever means necessary.

The rampant cover-up by the IRS of its targeting of conservatives is beyond outrage. If this were a Republican administration, Democrats would have already drawn up articles of impeachment.  You doubt that? Democrats introduced six different impeachment resolutions during President George W. Bush’s tenure in the White House. Republicans have introduced exactly zero impeachment resolutions against Obama.

I think it is past time for a special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate the IRS from top to bottom. It’s clear that a deceitful administration will not police itself.

11th June
2014
written by Sean Noble

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a seismic event on Tuesday night in the 7th District of Virginia as sitting U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost in a landslide to a virtually unknown tea party candidate. It’s quite rare for a Member of leadership to lose an election. The most recent examples are when John Thune beat Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle for the Senate in 2004 and when Speaker Tom Foley lost to George Nethercutt in 1994. Before that, you have to reach all the way back to 1952, when the sitting United States Senate Majority Leader lost to a young, upstart businessman named Barry Goldwater.

Sometimes politics is just crazy interesting.  Cantor losing is crazy interesting.

How did it happen?

The immediate conventional wisdom being pushed by the D.C. chattering class is that Cantor’s willingness to support comprehensive immigration reform was THE reason.  Conventional wisdom is pushing the narrative that the tea party is racist and will not tolerate anything but the strictest enforcement bills coming out of Washington.

Immigration may have played a role, but it was far from the only – or even biggest – reason for Cantor’s loss.

Fundamentally, the reason Cantor lost is because he came to embody all that base Republican voters despise: ladder-climbing insider, close ties to K Street and Wall Street, too focused on Washington, and generally being out-of-touch with his district.

Cantor’s schedule on Election Day is the perfect microcosm of what went wrong.  Most candidates I have worked for – including candidates for Governor, Senate, House, down to state legislature – spend Election Day getting out the vote. That means going to headquarters and joining volunteers making calls to voters, stopping at a few polling locations and shaking hands, etc.

Cantor started the day doing a fundraiser in D.C. Then stayed in D.C. until votes concluded around 3 p.m. Then, drove down to his district, presumably in time for the “victory” party.  There was no personal touch of voters in the district. No urgency of making sure he did everything he could to ensure victory.

Secondarily, he lost because he thought he could bury his opponent with TV and did nothing to build grassroots support. In fact, he worked against much of the grassroots in the district by trying to replace various precinct and party leaders with loyalists.

His ads tended to be over the top or too cute by half – and over-using the “liberal college professor” claim.  Even his positive ads were over-produced – the best ads politicians can do for themselves most of the time is look right into the camera and talk to voters like adults.

The biggest shock of the night was how shocked he and his team were by the outcome.  You only get stunned in politics when you don’t have your finger on the pulse of what is going on around you.

I’m sure there will be mountains of analysis done on top of what has been written so far, but it doesn’t change the fundamentals: if you lose touch with your constituency and get caught up in the insider game in Washington, it can catch up with you.

12th May
2014
written by Sean Noble

The kidnapping of more than 200 young girls by the terrorist group Boko Harem in Nigeria is horrific.

We can debate how we got to the point that this terrorist group was able to pull this off.  We can, in part, blame Hillary Clinton, who, while she was Secretary of State, worked against listing Boko Harem as a terrorist group, despite strong evidence of their close ties to Al Qaeda.

We can also blame this administration’s general position on terrorism – or probably better said, lack of strong position against terrorism.

Case in point:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seriously? The reaction by the greatest nation on earth to the horrific kidnapping of more than 200 young girls is a twitter hashtag? What, exactly did they expect to accomplish with a Twitter hashtag and a profile picture?

Even what the President said about it is incredibly disappointing:

“I have this remarkable title right now, the president of the United States,” Obama said, “And yet every day when I wake up, and I think about young girls in Nigeria or children caught up in the conflict in Syria — when there are times in which I want to reach out and save those kids.”

What Obama doesn’t seem to understand is that he has more than a “remarkable title” – he has remarkable responsibility that he is supposed to employ.

But, when you think about it, the vast majority of President Obama’s tenure has been more style than substance.  It isn’t about doing something, it’s about projecting – expressing opinion rather than doing the hard work of affecting actual change.

In a word, our president is a slacktivist.  Like so many other high-minded liberals, he thinks that tweeting something out, or creating a hashtag about an issue is actual activism.  Well, it’s not.

It’s past time for this administration to understand that we can’t conduct foreign policy with a hashtag. #Seriously

 

30th April
2014
written by Sean Noble

This was originally posted at AmericanEncore.org

At colleges and universities across the country there are designated “free speech zones.”  College administrators limit political speech and activity to one area.  As Virginia Postrel explains:

A “free speech zone” is a tiny portion of campus, usually far away from the main thoroughfares, where students are allowed to hand out leaflets or hold protests and rallies only after they have filed the proper paperwork and given plenty of notice.

Designating a limited “free speech zone” does much more than keep noisy demonstrations away from quiet study spaces. It’s a way of squelching spontaneous action or immediate responses to controversial news. Free speech zones, says FIRE president Greg Lukianoff, “teach students that speech should be contained by officials, controlled and feared, rather than celebrated, utilized and engaged.”

Putting aside the absurdity of free speech zones, it must be discussed how loosely some campuses define controversial or political speech. As this blognoted earlier this week, American values and knowledge of our freedoms have eroded because anti-American forces have been institutionalized.  Our schools, colleges, media and even some in our government are actively working against American ideals.

Last week we learned just how far we’ve come from Reagan’s call for “informed patriotism” when the University of Hawaii told a group of students that they weren’t allowed to hand out copies of the U.S. Constitution.  The college administrators explained their decision by saying:

The University policy [for events] says that RISOs [Registered Independent Student Organizations]can’t approach people. We run a diverse campus and people can feel intimidated and it’s like they [the students] can’t say no. We have a free speech zone for students to use and it’s between the theater and new student services building….

This isn’t really the 60’s anymore. People can’t really protest like that anymore, times have really changed since the movement back then…

Indeed, times have changed.  University of Hawaii administrators are acknowledging the rules of exercising our freedoms have changed, but are unrepentant about their role in it.  In the 1960s, students rightly protested unjust laws.  Today, students are barred from handing out copies of the supreme law of the U.S. on the rights of citizens and the responsibilities and limits of government.  Current campus rebels aren’t breaking the law, they’re educating fellow students about it!  What’s more, the administrators claim students can feel “intimidated” by those who are sharing a document that limits government and grants rights to U.S. citizens.

These students at the University of Hawaii and students across the country who are standing up to campus administrators give me hope in the resurgence of the defense of our freedoms.  I’m also grateful to organizations like the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for representing students in their fight against college administrations.  It’s not just enough to support fellow Americans, we must also encourage them to continue speaking out and using the tools we have to ensure that they can always do so freely.

 

 

23rd April
2014
written by Sean Noble

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Arizona Republic ran a lengthy story on the front page of a recent Sunday edition about the 1964 presidential campaign of conservative icon Barry Goldwater.

Here is the lede:

“Barry Goldwater’s insurgent presidential bid 50 years ago was a spectacular failure as a political campaign.”

What jolted me was the “50 years ago” phrase. 50 years! That’s nearly a lifetime. And yet his campaign was one of the most consequential efforts of the modern-day conservative movement. As George Will has quipped, “Goldwater won the election, it just took 16 years to count the votes,” in a nod to the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.

It was Reagan’s epic speech “A Time For Choosing” that launched his national profile.

In that speech he said:

Not too long ago, two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, “We don’t know how lucky we are.” And the Cuban stopped and said, “How lucky you are? I had someplace to escape to.” And in that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there’s no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.

And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man.

This is the issue of this election: whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down: [up] man’s old — old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.

***

You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, “There is a price we will not pay.” “There is a point beyond which they must not advance.” And this — this is the meaning in the phrase of Barry Goldwater’s “peace through strength.” Winston Churchill said, “The destiny of man is not measured by material computations. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we’re spirits — not animals.” And he said, “There’s something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty.”

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.

We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.

We will keep in mind and remember that Barry Goldwater has faith in us. He has faith that you and I have the ability and the dignity and the right to make our own decisions and determine our own destiny.

Thus, Goldwater’s loss was America’s, and the world’s, gain with the election of Reagan in 1980.

When you look back at Goldwater’s convention acceptance speech, at this moment in time it is downright prophetic:

Now, my fellow Americans, the tide has been running against freedom. Our people have followed false prophets. We must, and we shall, return to proven ways– not because they are old, but because they are true. We must, and we shall, set the tide running again in the cause of freedom. And this party, with its every action, every word, every breath, and every heartbeat, has but a single resolve, and that is freedom – freedom made orderly for this nation by our constitutional government; freedom under a government limited by laws of nature and of nature’s God; freedom – balanced so that liberty lacking order will not become the slavery of the prison cell; balanced so that liberty lacking order will not become the license of the mob and of the jungle.

Now, we Americans understand freedom. We have earned it, we have lived for it, and we have died for it. This Nation and its people are freedom’s model in a searching world. We can be freedom’s missionaries in a doubting world. But, ladies and gentlemen, first we must renew freedom’s mission in our own hearts and in our own homes.

***

I know this freedom is not the fruit of every soil. I know that our own freedom was achieved through centuries, by unremitting efforts by brave and wise men. I know that the road to freedom is a long and a challenging road. I know also that some men may walk away from it, that some men resist challenge, accepting the false security of governmental paternalism.

And I pledge that the America I envision in the years ahead will extend its hand in health, in teaching and in cultivation, so that all new nations will be at least encouraged to go our way, so that they will not wander down the dark alleys of tyranny or to the dead-end streets of collectivism. My fellow Republicans, we do no man a service by hiding freedom’s light under a bushel of mistaken humility.

I seek an American proud of its past, proud of its ways, proud of its dreams, and determined actively to proclaim them. But our example to the world must, like charity, begin at home.

***

I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

The beauty of the very system we Republicans are pledged to restore and revitalize, the beauty of this Federal system of ours is in its reconciliation of diversity with unity. We must not see malice in honest differences of opinion, and no matter how great, so long as they are not inconsistent with the pledges we have given to each other in and through our Constitution. Our Republican cause is not to level out the world or make its people conform in computer regimented sameness. Our Republican cause is to free our people and light the way for liberty throughout the world.

Ours is a very human cause for very humane goals.

Arizona should be proud of producing the father of modern-day conservatism.  Barry Goldwater was a principled and stalwart defender of freedom every moment of his political career.  He saw the future of the conservative movement in Ronald Reagan, and it is now the time for conservatives to redouble our efforts to groom the conservative leaders of the future.

The future of our country depends on it.

6th March
2014
written by Sean Noble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember these words from President Obama? “Gov. Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that al Qaeda is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia.  The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”

The foreign policy of the 1980’s brought down the Soviet Union, it would appear that Obama’s foreign policy is bringing it back.

We are fewer than two years past that debate and Russia has invaded Ukraine, a sovereign nation.  The Ukrainian people took to the street to demand freedom and democracy and to protest a government that allowed neither.  When the government attempted to violently crush the demonstrations the people overthrew the government.  As we know, “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin however, contends: the government in Ukraine, the people’s government, is illegitimate because the leader, Yanukovych, was illegally overthrown;  that Yanokuvych remains Ukraine’s legitimate leader;  that Russia has a right to use military force in Ukraine because the ousted Yanukovych (the legitimate leader according to Russia) formally asked for Russian for assistance in quelling the revolt.

To which the President of the United States responded, “President Putin seems to have a different set of lawyers making a different set of interpretations but I don’t think that’s fooling anybody.”  Well, there’s a strong statement from a powerful man.

In 1982, the USSR-controlled Polish government declared Solidarity, the first non-communist union in the Soviet Bloc, to be illegal.  Ronald Reagan let the world know where America stood:

“I know Poland is a faraway country in Eastern Europe. Still, this action is a matter of profound concern to all the American people and to the free world… The Polish military leaders and their Soviet backers have shown that they will continue to trample upon the hopes and aspirations of the majority of the Polish people. America cannot stand idly by in the face of these latest threats of repression and acts of repression by the Polish Government…The Polish regime should understand that we’re prepared to take further steps as a result of this further repression in Poland. We are also consulting urgently with our allies on steps we might take jointly in response to this latest outrage… when anyone is denied freedom, then freedom for everyone is threatened. The struggle in the world today for the hearts and minds of mankind is based on one simple question: Is man born to be free, or slave? In country after country, people have long known the answer to that question. We are free by divine right. We are the masters of our fate, and we create governments for our convenience. Those who would have it otherwise commit a crime and a sin against God and man.”

Strangely, in his February 28 statement about events in Ukraine, Obama never uttered the word “freedom.”  Instead, he said,

“Throughout this crisis, we have been very clear about one fundamental principle: The Ukrainian people deserve the opportunity to determine their own future… we are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine.  Russia has a historic relationship with Ukraine, including cultural and economic ties, and a military facility in Crimea, but any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing, which is not in the interest of Ukraine, Russia, or Europe.  It would represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the Ukrainian people… the United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.”

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

The nation that once said big things, did big things, and led the world, now confronts Russian aggression with talk of “lawyers” and “people deserving the opportunity to determine own future.”  The world perceives America as weak and perception is reality.

What happens when America is weak? The world is less safe.  Syria crosses “red lines” with impunity, Iran and North Korea flex their muscles, Russia invades neighboring states, and al Qaeda does not—contrary to Obama’s 2012 campaign spin—run.

America has suffered terrorist attacks at home, Fort Hood, the Boston Marathon, and abroad, Benghazi—for which no one has been brought to justice.  Are we safer today than when Obama took office?

No, we are not.  Since our nation’s birth, the fundamental purpose of our government is to defend its people, to ensure our liberty.  If Obama fails to perform this most basic purpose he should not pursue vast domestic undertakings like Obamacare.  Because, if Obama cannot keep our nation free and safe, health care will be the least of our concerns.

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