Goodlatte On Board

Several days ago, I sent a message to the staff of my Representative, Bob Goodlatte (VA-6) regarding HR 1207, also known as the Federal Reserve Transparency Act. Specifically, I wanted to know the Congressman’s opinion on the legislation, and, if he agreed with such legislation, if he would sign on as a co-sponsor.  This resolution (text found here) sponsored by Ron Paul (TX-14) seeks to curtail the vast power of the Federal Reserve by requiring an audit of the system prior to 2011.  I believe that it is an important step to restoring fiscal integrity and making the government and independent agencies accountable to the people.

This evening, while reading an updated list of co-sponsors to the resolution (now over 100 fellow members of the House of Representatives), I was delighted to see that Representative Goodlatte’s name along side Rep. Broun (GA-10) and Rep. Garrett (NJ-5).  Thank you Rep. Wittman (VA-1) too!  What about the rest of the Virginia delegation?  I’m talking about you, Glenn Nye, Bobby Scott, Randy Forbes, Tom Perriello, Eric Cantor, Jim Moran, Rick Boucher, Frank Wolf, and Gerry Connolly.  It’s time for you to make a stand for freedom, limited government, and the Constitution…or are all those things outdated?  Anyway, maybe, just maybe the government will start to shift in the right direction.  Here’s hoping.

One Less RINO

Well…I got home from work this evening and browsed the news.  What did I find?  Senator Specter of Pennsylvania has switched from the Republican to the Democratic Party.  Really his departure comes as little surprise.  After all, I would hardly classify him as a limited government conservative.  Remember, he was one of three Republicans who voted for Obama’s “stimulus package”.  He faced a conservative primary opponent his last election and only garnered 51% of the vote.  For the 2010 election, polls indicated that Pat Toomey (Specter’s 2004 and 2010 challenger) stood an excellent chance to defeat the senior Senator.

When it comes to the important issues of the day, I found myself disagreeing with the Senator on: abortion, affirmative action, immigration, McCain/Feingold campaign finance reform, and the minimum wage.  In order to achieve victory, the party must be about principles and the Constitution.  It is clear that both the Republican Party and the people of Pennsylvania can do better than Senator Specter.

True, this move causes the Democrats to nudge ever closer to the 60 filibuster-proof majority, but I think he will be as much a problem for the Democrats as he was for the Republicans.  Hurrah!  We now have one less RINO!

Life and Politics in the Old Dominion

Recently a fellow by the name of Mark asked me if I could tell him a bit about life and politics here in Virginia.  So, for the out-of-staters and the recently relocated, here are my impressions.  To begin, I need to inform you that I don’t have a whole lot of experience living in other states.  There are only three other states in which I have spent any appreciable time: Tennessee, South Carolina, and California.  Therefore I won’t be comparing Virginia to any particular state.  With that note out of the way, let’s begin.

As of this point I have lived in a handful of locations in the state: Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, Charlottesville, Williamsburg, and to a much lesser extent Virginia Beach.  Geologically speaking, these cities and counties encompass a geographic majority of the state’s regions: the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Piedmont, and the Tidewater.  So if you enjoy the sun and surf of the beach, the gentle rolling topography, or the tranquility of the mountains, Virginia has all three and more.  Although much of the state is still fairly rural, if you enjoy the hustle and bustle of the big city areas such as Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax or the Hampton Roads area should be your destination.  Unlike any other state, cities and counties in this state are politically separate entities.  Virginia has 39 cities and 95 counties.  Cities in Virginia are not necessarily a reflection of a large and concentrated population as cities range from Norton with a population of 3,904 in 2000 to Virginia Beach with an estimated 440,415 in 2008.

Politically and culturally speaking, Virginia is still one of the more conservative states in the Union.  Although it is true that President Obama won the state, prior to his victory, no Democratic candidate for president has won here since Lyndon Johnson back in 1964.  Recently the Democratic Party has enjoyed a string of successes in statewide politics with the election of two Democratic Senators, two successive Governors, present control of the Virginia Senate, and two new members of the House of Representatives.  However, in order to achieve these victories, they have run candidates who are (or pretend to be) far less liberal than the national party.  For example, our senior Senator Jim Webb supports the second amendment right of gun ownership, supports making English the national language, and was against the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill.  When it comes to the culture, most businesses (at least outside the major cities) are either closed on Sunday or operate on abbreviated hours.  In addition, many citizens attend some sort weekly religious services.

Unlike most states, both Virginia and New Jersey have elections every year.  In even years we elect officials to go to Washington, in the odd years we elect them to go to Richmond.  In addition, some localities hold their city or county elections at yet another time.  For example, until recently, the city of Harrisonburg held their elections for city council in the spring.  One can find some sort of election or campaign just about any month of the year.  This year we are electing every member of the House of Delegates, Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General.  Like every other state, with the notable exception of Nebraska, Virginia has a bicameral legislature, which is called the General Assembly.  The lower house is the House of Delegates, consisting of 100 members, and the upper house is the Senate, consisting of 40.  The Governor is a bit weaker than the executives of other states as he is barred by the Constitution from seeking successive reelection.  Our government is less involved and mettlesome than Washington in that our legislature meets only on a part-time basis (typically 30 or 60 days per year).

Recent legislation by the state has been a mixed bag.  While George Allen (R) was Governor, he succeeded in reforming parole and mandating parental notification for teen abortions.  Jim Gilmore (R) won as Governor on the pledge of elimination of the car tax (which, unfortunately, has not be completely eliminated).  In 2003, a number of Republican lawmakers allied themselves with then Governor Mark Warner (D) to raise taxes.  As a result, Republicans lost control of the Senate in the next election, 2007, a body they controlled since 1999.  Back in 2006, Virginia voters approved the Marshall-Newman amendment to the Constitution that defines marriage as between one man and one woman and forbids same-sex civil unions.  Recently Senator Obenshain unsuccessfully attempted to wrest control of liquor sales away from the state.  In Virginia, presently all liquor sales must be done through state-run ABC stores.  Although typically a tobacco (and business) friendly state, smoking will soon be banned in all restaurants.  Speaking of restaurants, as I’ve mentioned in the past, any one worth its salt will serve a good sweet tea.

I could write on for pages and more pages, but I’ve observed that most of the state’s values and traditions remain relatively the same from year to year, to borrow a quote from Bilbo Baggins in The Fellowship of the Ring movie “with change coming slowly, if it comes at all”.

A Conservative Renaissance

In recent times, there has been little for limited government conservatives, such as myself, to be happy about.  If you will recall, back in 2000 Governor George W. Bush campaigned as a “compassionate conservative”, whatever that truly means.  I always have assumed that conservatism, at its heart, is sufficiently compassionate as it promotes the ideals of personal reasonability and liberty, over reliance to a burdensome government that can give you anything you want, albeit inefficiently, but also take away everything you have.  Unfortunately, as a result of the 2001 terrorist attacks, the Bush Administration broke just about all of its supposed ties to limited government conservatism.  It became a sort of conservative dark ages.  As expected, the military budget increased to combat terrorism, however, George W. Bush supported many policies which ran counter to conservative ideals:  immigration amnesty, greater federal involvement in education with the No Child Left Behind Act, attempting to nominate a person to the Supreme Court with little knowledge of Constitutional Law, laying the foundation for a police state through the Patriot Act, and starting a pre-emptive war in Iraq to name the biggest issues.  Unfortunately, as George Bush was a Republican, far too few conservatives were willing to speak against his policies.  I am certain that if a Democrat advocated legislation such that Bush advocated conservatives would have raised a big fuss.  I recall wistfully remarking to one of my professors the hope that the Republican Party would offer a conservative alternative to Bush in the 2004 Presidential election.

The 2008 Republican presidential election didn’t provide a whole lot of hope for conservatives either.  Early front runners like Rudy Giuliani, who was far from a social conservative, Mitt Romney, who supported state sponsored healthcare and has held both points of view on many political issues, and Mike Huckabee, who although a social conservative seemed to forget about limited government and fiscal restraint, filled me with considerable concern.  As you know from reading this blog, I decided to rally behind the only Republican candidate who consistently spoke in favor of shrinking the national government, Representative Ron Paul.  Unfortunately, too many conservatives scoffed at the idea of Paul being their nominee.  Some firmly believed in Bush’s conflict in Iraq while others lumped Paul as being the same as some his more radical, conspiracy-minded followers.  Nevertheless, John McCain became the Republican nominee.  As I have stated in the past, although Senator McCain advocated a few conservative policies, he is not a conservative.  This truth should have become painfully clear as a result of the McCain/Feingold muzzle on free speech, his support for amnesty, and his insistence during the debates of compelling the government to buy up and renegotiate bad mortgages.  Yuck!  Although many conservatives grudgingly voted for McCain, others either stayed home on election day, voted for Obama, or voted for a third party candidate.  Still, I was still surprised by how badly McCain lost.  Conservatism was further removed from the national stage.

For the first time in a long while, I’m beginning to gain a glimmer of hope.  Now I believe that we are only a few years from a conservative renaissance.  “How can that be?” You might ask.  Under Obama and the series of bailouts the state has grown ever larger.  What politician is willing to take a stand for my liberty…for my tax dollars?  Just look at recent events.  More and more states have passed resolutions reclaiming their sovereignty as protected by the 10th Amendment.  We don’t know what sort of legal impact these resolutions will make, if any, but it is clearly an important step if we wish to reign in the federal government.  And consider the tea parties.  In hundreds of locations across the nation, thousands upon thousands of disenchanted citizens gathered to protest excessive government taxes and spending.  Think back to last year at this time.  If the protest occurred then, wouldn’t they have been labeled as radical or ignored completely by media outlets like FOX News?  Have either spending or taxes risen so dramatically between Bush and Obama?  Hardly.  And yet now that a Democrat lives in the White House, conservatives and Republicans of many stripes can band together in opposition to Obama’s policies.

The present time harkens back to 1994 when the Democrats controlled the Presidency, the House, and the Senate.  However, unlike that time, we must nominate and elect principled limited government Constitutional conservatives who will remain true to their values, not be corrupted with the temptations of power and kickbacks.  Then, and only then, we will enjoy the fruits of a lasting conservative renaissance.  Our goals are clear.  Let us not waiver.

Saying Hello to SWAC Girl

I’m pleased to announce we have a new member in our happy conservative blogging coalition, The Jeffersoniad.  For those who don’t know, The Jeffersoniad is a group of conservative and libertarian bloggers from across our great Commonwealth.  In any event, may I present to you SWAC Girl.  I first met Lynn Mitchell, the blog’s author, back in 2006 while working for the RPV.  She impressed me as a very dedicated and passionate activist back then.  Like myself, she is a resident of the Shenandoah Valley.  For those who don’t know Virginia geography, her local politics encompass the neighboring southern county and cities, the cities of Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County, which form her acronym SWAC.  Her blog is a good deal older than my own and, according to her website, it started in the early part of 2006.  Although you might not agree with everything she has to say (heck, a number of you disagree with a lot of what I have to say), I certainly think her site is worth reading.  Right now, she’s got some good stuff up about the recent tea party events, including pictures from the Staunton Tea Party.  Go check it out!

Tea Time In The Burg

I received word earlier today that Harrisonburg will be hosting a Tea Party/Tax Protest tomorrow.  Here are the details:

12:00 to 6:00 PM
At the courthouse in downtown Harrisonburg. (Intersection of Route 33 and Route 11, aka intersection of Market and Main Street, aka Court Square)

Think the government wastes money?  Are your taxes too high?  Were the massive bailouts a betrayal of common sense and the Constitution?  Are you tired of being ignored by the bureaucrats and politicians in Washington?  Do you favor capitalism over socialism?  If you answer yes to any or all of the questions above, then you should attend tomorrow’s tea party.  Unfortunately, I’ll be unable to attend tomorrow, so if you get any good pictures/video of the event, please let me know and I’ll put them up on this blog for everyone to see.

Forget Easter

To all my fellow Christian friends out there, I have what may sound as a radical suggestion for you…forget Easter. “What?!?” you might say.  Don’t you think it is important to remember the resurrection?  Absolutely.  The resurrection is a cornerstone of the faith.  As Paul reminds us “And if Christ was not raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your trust in God is useless.” 1 Corinthians 15: 13 (NLT).

So what’s the deal with Easter?  The problem is that Easter is not a Christian holiday.  It is of pagan origins.  For starters, how many times does the day Easter show up in the Bible?  Unless you have a King James translation of the Bible, the answer is almost certainly zero.  For the record, in the King James version, Acts 12:4 reads, “And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.”  Now even if you hold that Easter and the resurrection of Jesus are related, using the term Easter makes no sense here.  Why would Herod, of whom the above verse references, care about Easter?  Therefore, every (or most every) other translation uses the word Passover as opposed to Easter.

Easter itself is named after a pagan goddess, Eostre, and was a celebration of this goddess and the coming of spring.  Europeans celebrated this rite (or one similar) long before they had ever heard of Jesus.

So how did the most important date in Christianity and this pagan holiday wed?  After all, we know that Jesus’ death and resurrection historically took place before, during, and after the Jewish Passover.  Why then is his resurrection not tied to the dates of Passover?

Prior to the First Council of Nicaea in 325, some Christians celebrated the Resurrection at the same time that Jews celebrated Passover, while others did not.  At the Council, the majority opinion further distanced Christianity from its Jewish roots by detaching the celebration of the Resurrection with Passover.  The dates of Passover, taking place from the 15th of Nisan to the 21st, differed from year to year as the Jewish people use a lunisolar calendar (as opposed to a lunar year used both by the Julian calendar then and our Gregorian calendar now). The celebration of the resurrection was to now take place on the first Sunday after the full moon taking place after the vernal equinox, March 21.

With the Resurrection now divorced from the Passover, as Christianity spread to Northern Europe it supplanted and mutated with the previous pagan religions.  Old gods and goddesses such as Eostre fell out of favor but their holidays and festivities did not.  In order to make the transition easier, many local traditions melded with this new religion.  Thus bunnies and eggs, reminders of fertility, the arrival of spring, and foreign gods now share equal, or even greater time with the true Christian meaning for this holiday.

For example, while suffering with the flu a few weeks back, I visited my local drug store.  Signs wished customers a “happy Easter” and their shelves were filled with related products.  Guess how many mentions or images of Jesus, the crucifixion, and the resurrection I could find?  Zero.  The shelves were stocked with eggs and bunnies created from a variety of chocolates and other sweets.  Given a choice between Eostre and Jesus, clearly paganism wins out in our society.

The resurrection, like the birth of Christ, has become a mere marketing tool steeped in the religions of old!  For my commentary on the Christmas season, read ‘Tis the Season Part 1 and Part 2.

Looking back, it didn’t have to end up like this.  But the willingness to modify Christianity to coincide calendar-wise with old festivals, as well as a refusal to stand up for the true meaning of our holidays has led us to this state.  As opposed to focusing on Jesus, the Messiah, we now have Santa, the Quid Pro Quo Materialist god, and the Easter Bunny, the Chocolate god.

What would be the easiest solution?  Although many might scoff at the idea, change the dates of the commemoration of the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus away from pagan holidays and back to their historic norms (likely sometime in September and the Passover).  Without the present trappings, maybe everyone will recognize Christian holidays as being about something else…Jesus perhaps?

If you want to celebrate both Easter and Christmas for the seasons that they have become, feel free to do so.  Just don’t confuse a Cadbury cream egg or a basket of plastic grass as a sign of anything Christian.

Until next time!

Recapping Bloggers’ Day

Wednesday was the third annual bloggers’ day at the capital, Richmond, Virginia.  The Lt. Governor sponsored the event, and, as such, we spent much of the day either with Lt. Gov. Bolling or his Chief of Staff, Randy Marcus.  All said and done, there were about twenty of us who joined this adventure though some only for part of the day.  Unfortunately, as I didn’t sleep very well the previous night, I was in a bit of a haze until well into the afternoon.

Our first stop was the Lt. Governor’s office.  Here we heard a bit from both Bill Bolling and Bob McDonnell.  I didn’t really join in the conversation; rather I just soaked in what everyone else had to say.  I’m pleased to say that both of the politicians were quite personable and knowledgeable in person, but I guess that shouldn’t come as any great shock.  When it came to the issue of the RPV Chairman, the Lt. Governor stated that it was best to allow the State Committee to decide the issue and that we should have either rallied behind the chairman if he won, or found a new candidate if he was removed.  I only make mention of this point as it is the exact same position that I held both now and prior to the SCC meeting.  When it came to Bob McDonnell, I was glad to hear him talking a bit more about federalism and the 10th Amendment as he discussed issues of significance to the state.  I don’t know if he read my earlier post, but I certainly hope he continues to stress the importance of limited government, both here in Virginia and especially at the national level.  Another surprising issue briefly highlighted was the elimination of the state income tax.  Although I couldn’t tell if Bob McDonnell really supported the idea or not, he mentioned that the state could potentially eliminate the income tax provided they raised the sales tax to about 12.75%.  It was certainly food for thought.

Next we visited the capitol building.  While winding my way around the building, I ran into the Governor, but, of course, he was running off to meet some person or another.  In the large hall, I spied Senator Obenshain on the other side of one room.  Although I would have liked to say hello to him, he was embroiled in conversation with (whom I assumed was) another Senator.  I also passed Delegate Marshall, but he didn’t seem to remember me.  That was a little disappointing as I spent a good amount of time pitching in for his effort at last year’s convention.  But I still support you Bob!  Then it was off to the Senate where Senator Ken Cuccinelli introduced our group of “rabble-rousers” to his colleagues.

Afterward came lunch.  Although I don’t recall the name of the particular establishment, it was a German Restaurant, (always a good idea!)  I was shocked to discover that even though they had tea, it was unsweetened!  Oh the scandal!  It is commonplace for non-southern areas such as northern Virginia or California to have such unpalatable beverages, but Richmond, VA?  Come on!  The folks from Project Virginia graciously covered our lunch, so I think it only fair to give you a link to their work.

After lunch, we heard from a number of groups and individuals:  Chris LaCivita, Project Virginia, Dr. Bob Bosworth of Virginia Tomorrow, Paul Haughton, and also Delegate Chris Saxman.  They discussed a variety of issues ranging from the 2009 races to new technology, ending with an update of the veto session events courtesy of Del. Saxman.

To conclude the day, we enjoyed dinner at the Peking.  As the session still raged on, unfortunately our host, Lt. Gov. Bulling was unable to join us.  Nevertheless, Randy Marcus continued to provide good conversation.  The food was very tasty here, but again, the restaurant failed to offer sweet tea.

With the day finished, I returned to my car and made the two hour and fifteen minute trek back to my car.  It was a tiring day, but profitable.  I got to meet a fair number of fellow loggers, and learned a few new things.  Next time, I hope I’ll be able to sleep better the night before.  Then, perhaps, I can give you a better summary of the day.  If you’d like more information on the day, try wandering around the other Jeffersoniad sites.  I’m sure some of them have a treasure trove of additional information.

Here, enjoy some pictures.  I’m still really tired, so I think I’m going to bed.

Bob McDonnell and Bill Bolling
Bob McDonnell and Bill Bolling
Bob McDonnell
Bob McDonnell
Senator Cuccinelli and Bolling
Senator Cuccinelli and Lt. Governor Bolling
A couple of unusual, but funny, expressions here
A couple of unusual, but funny, expressions here
Senator Norment
Senator Norment
Senators Watkins, Obenshain, and Cuccinelli
Senators Watkins, Obenshain, and Cuccinelli
The Washington Statue
The Washington Statue

Update:  Rick Sincere has a very detailed post concerning bloggers’ day on his site.  It has videos and everything.  If you’d like to learn more, I suggest you check it out.

An Update In The RPV Chairman Struggle

I’d bet good money that you’ve heard the results of the RPV Chairman struggle.  If not, on Saturday the State Central Committee voted to remove Jeff Frederick as Chairman.  It was a close vote (well close in the fact that they voted 57-18, precisely the 3/4th vote that they needed).

Rather than dwell on the particulars of that event, (by the way, Deo Vindice has an interesting write-up of the event) I want to focus on the future.  As I stated earlier, I am deeply concerned that this chairman fight will rage on as many Frederick supporters think he was railroaded out of power.  Although I was concerned about the outcome, the potential fracture in party and conservative unity was a far more important issue.  Well, it looks as if my fears may indeed come to pass.  About fifteen minutes ago, I received an email from the former chairman recounting the recent events.  Here is the email in full:

Dear Fellow Virginia Republican:

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, fifty-seven members of the State Central Committee voted on Saturday to remove me as Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. Their decision effectively overturned the result of the thousands of Republican grassroots activists and volunteers who elected me at the 2008 Virginia Republican Convention.

The difference in the outcome hinged on a favorable proxy vote for me, who was disqualified by the Committee. Had this gentleman – an active Republican who drove all the way from Bath County to attend this meeting – been allowed to cast his vote, I would be Chairman today.

As I told the press corps after the vote, I’m certainly disappointed, yet I remain optimistic.

I ran for Chairman with the hope of changing our Party so we could once again be the majority party in Virginia, achieving real progress for our Commonwealth and our families while remaining true to our principles and values.

Unfortunately, the headwinds against changing course were just too great. Too many are still invested in doing things the old way, giving direction from the top-down instead of building and growing from the bottom-up. When I sought the chairmanship, I promised to put our Party firmly back in your hands – the grassroots of our Party. Of course, that didn’t sit well with long-time Party insiders. Instead of concerning themselves with electing Republicans, they – from the moment my victory was declared last May – focused their efforts on replacing me with someone who would “play ball” with them.

I am disappointed for our Party and our grassroots, since the very same people who have presided over our Party’s decline in Virginia are now back in charge.

Yet, I will not be deterred. I have always said that I am not in this business for me. Philosophically, I fight these fights to further the principles you and I share. Practically, I engage to do all I can to ensure that my daughters have a chance to grow up in the wonderful Virginia in which I had the privilege of growing up.

Amy and I have some decisions to make. Over the next several days, we will be talking amongst ourselves and with close friends, and praying about our next steps. We will fill you in as soon as we make those decisions.

Until then, I want to give my most sincere and heartfelt thanks to those of you who stood by me through these challenging and trying times. It is times like these when you truly learn who your friends are, and I’m humbled by the outpouring of support we have received from every corner of Virginia. You are true friends, and I will never forget all that you sacrificed on behalf of our Party and our principles.

Notwithstanding whatever course we take from here, know that our friendships will endure, and please don’t ever hesitate to let me know how I can repay even just a small measure of the abundant support you all have shown Amy and me.

Our movement to revitalize Republican conservatism in Virginia is far from over. We will be in touch soon.

God Bless,

Jeff Frederick

What I gather from this email is that we haven’t seen the last of Jeff Frederick.  Now I don’t have a problem with this fact as if I were Frederick, I would look to repair my good name too, plus we need more conservative voices out there.  What does concern me, however, is the particular manner in which he chooses to proceed.  As you will note in his email, he mentions that he would still be Chairman assuming a Republican from Bath County was not disqualified from voting.  Will he run for Chairman again?  And will this fight spill over into the May RPV Convention?  According to a recent article in the Washington Post, the answer is yes.

All is calm now…but isn’t that always the case before a tempest?

Update: I want to draw your attention to a post by a fomer Mercer student on the Frederick battle over at RedState.  It is a story I’ve heard before, but it does offer an alternative perspective.

McDonnell on the Trail

As I had the day off on Tuesday, I joined the JMU College Republicans in welcoming Bob McDonnell to Harrisonburg.  While driving to the university, I took a moment to reflect on the choice of location.  Although an event at JMU would bring the students, it may have proven difficult for the locals to participate.  After all, there are very few metered parking spaces and about half the time they are completely full.  Fortunately, I was lucky, finding a space without the typical ritual of circling the parking lot.

In the meeting room hung a prominent sign stating the room had a maximum occupancy of 50 people.  The reason I mention this fact is that there were about 70 or so chairs in the room, and, by the time the former Attorney General arrived, not only were the seats filled, but there were a cluster of folks standing nearby the speaker.  I understand the tactic, getting a smaller room to make the crowd appear larger, it is used in the British House of Commons, but some of the people standing looked a bit uncomfortable at the end of the event.  I should also mention that there were a handful of JMU Democrats in the crowd who wore their group’s shirts and held anti-McDonnell signs.  The local press was also present.

First up, Del. Matt Lohr (R-26) first spoke to the crowd, followed by Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-26), and then, of course, the man of the hour, Bob McDonnell.  The Gubernatorial nominee spoke for about 30 minutes.  During this time, he touched on a number of issues ranging from job creation and tourism to energy policy and offshore drilling.  Although fortunately the Democrats in the crowd were non-disruptive, I think Bob McDonnell dealt with them in a cool and collected manner.  I know that I hate having hostiles in the crowd when I speak in front of a crowd.

However, when it came to stirring up conservatives like myself, with respect to the other speakers, Senator Obenshain clearly stole the show.  As soon as he started speaking, I began to wish that I had taped the speech of the Senator.  He focused his brief time discussing limiting the role of government, exercising fiscal responsibility, and promoting our values.  It was real meat and potato stuff.  Words that would make me reach for my wallet (assuming it had any money in it, of course).  Although all of the issues that Bob McDonnell delved into are indeed important, unless we preserve a government that legislates within its constitutional boundaries, protecting the lives, liberties, and property of its citizens, ever other concern pales by comparison.  Although Bob McDonnell discussed these topics, I humbly suggest that he makes these issues the cornerstone of his campaign.  Conservative principles are not dead, and as the Obama administration continues to shred our economy and Constitution, Virginia voters will be looking for leaders who will act decisively to counter the largess pork and federal mandates spewing forth from Washington.

Here are a few pictures from the event.  Unfortunately most of them did not turn out properly.  If you would like some video of Bob McDonnell, I suggest you trek over to Rick Sincere’s site covering his Charlottesville visit.  Hope you enjoy!

Update: Courtesy of Mr. Orndorff, I’m pleased to show you the speech that Senator Obenshain gave at the Bob McDonnell rally.  Thank you very much for your video sir.