More Spending Is Needed?

An image one of my Facebook friends either created or found.
An image one of my Facebook friends either created or found.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted on H.R. 3547, also known as The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014.  This bill appropriates a staggering 1.1 trillion dollars, including increasing discretionary spending by $24 billion.  As Heritage Action points out, “On top of increasing overall spending the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill irresponsibly increases funding for failing programs like Head Start, funds flood insurance subsidies, and pays for ineffective green energy projects. Additionally, an Obamacare funding loophole could provide subsidies to health plans that cover abortion.”

The final vote was 359 in favor and 67 opposed.  Unfortunately, my representative, Bob Goodlatte, voted for this increase in spending, as did the entire Virginia delegation.  Although a small group, there were a number of representatives willing to oppose this bill, including some of my favorite members of the house: Justin Amash, Paul Broun, Scott Garrett, and the return of Mark Sanford.

As our nation spirals further and further into debt, one would like to see Congress, especially the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, take a stand against increased spending.  At the end of the day, only three Democrats and sixty-four Republicans were willing to do so.

Sanford’s Deepening Hole

With every new revelation offered by South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, I am continually amazed at the sheer audacity of his remarks. It seems to me that he has stuck his foot so deep in his mouth that he should be choking on leather. Perhaps some newcomers to this blog might find it strange to focus on Mark Sanford; after all, he is the Governor of South Carolina and not Virginia. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Mark Sanford and I share many of the same political philosophies and he was (yes, was) my choice for the Republican nominee for President. Now that he has ensnared himself in this web of adultery, his support from people such as myself is quickly vanishing.

Rather than taking the traditional mea culpa: begging for forgiveness from his wife, his children, and his constituents, he instead goes so far as to call his mistress his “soul mate” and, though apparently grudgingly, concedes the need for reconciliation with his family. Even the sexual deviant, President Clinton, when caught both in an affair and lies associated with the event, pretended that he was sorry. However, this shocking twist clearly illustrates that despite his rhetoric, Mark Sanford’s primary motivation in life is the happiness of Mark Sanford, everyone and everything else be damned.

As I recall from the Monica Lewinsky scandal, many of Bill Clinton’s supporters argued, “what does his personal life have to do with his ability to perform his job?” Now, as both a social conservative and a Christian, I do expect our leaders to serve as moral examples to the general public. Don’t we seek the very best of us to guide and represent our interests in government? But, even if you disagree, I ask you, how can you trust a man who cheats on his own family? Don’t those very relatives rely on him far more than the voters of South Carolina can, or ever will? It is true that Mark Sanford has damaged and betrayed both the conservative movement and the people of South Carolina with his sin, however these marks pale in comparison to the damage inflicted upon his family. Governors come and go, and someone somewhere will claim the mantle of limited government conservatism for 2012; but the family unit is the bedrock foundation of our society, our religion, and our state. Therefore, until and unless Governor Sanford admits his guilt, turns away from his errant path, and seeks the forgiveness of his wife and his children, he will know neither true happiness nor peace. Will he rise above this wrongdoing? Or will he plunge further into the depths of selfishness? Therefore, I implore you, the reader, to pray for Mark Sanford and his family.

So Much For Sanford

I’m sure that you’ve heard the news by now. Governor Sanford of South Carolina travels to Argentina to continue an affair. When I first read the story, I figured his faked story was true; he wanted some time off, so he went hiking in the Appalachian Mountains. After all, we all need time to unwind, relax, and just get away. Then again, the odd part about the story was that he should have been reachable, should his office have needed him and he should have appointed someone to tend to the affairs of South Carolina (no pun intended) while he was gone.

But no…he wasn’t hiking during the Father’s Day weekend. He was in Argentina cheating on his wife. I cannot tell you how disappointed that news makes me. Although I haven’t written that much about Mark Sanford, I really did admire him for his commitment to the same limited government principles that I share. I hoped that he would run for President in 2012 to restore both the Republican Party and the nation too. But now…but now he has tarnished himself greatly. Like former Speaker Gingrich, he has proven himself to be a hypocrite, condemning Bill Clinton for marital indiscretions and then committing adultery himself. There will be no Mark Sanford for President committee. Heck, there might not be any champion of the Constitution next time around. He has squandered his political future, his family, and my hope. I don’t know what else there is to say.

Graham Vs. Sanford

This evening, I received a rather interesting email from the folks at Campaign for Liberty.  Embedded within were two video links from South Carolina politicians.  One is Senator Lindsey Graham and the other is Governor Mark Sanford.  The comments that they make really strike at the conflict over the future of the Republican Party.  Before I continue, you should watch both…

The first point I’ll make concerns Lindsey Graham.  Notice that when a member of the crowd calls him a hypocrite, he doesn’t deny the claim, only pointing out that “I’m a winner pal.”  Now perhaps he touches on the subject during the obvious gaps in footage, but don’t you think it strange that he immediately counters with such a line?  Is he saying, “I may be a hypocrite, but as long as I keep getting reelected, it doesn’t matter”?  Is that the kind of politician you want representing your interests in Washington?  Then he goes on to bash Libertarian ideas and calls himself a Republican.  Note that he doesn’t say he is a conservative, but simply a Republican.  He then touts the merits of winning.  Now, perhaps you might think from my earlier article, The Minority, that I hold winning in high esteem and that I dislike Libertarian ideas too.  It is true that winning is important.  If you are unable to achieve victory in an election then you will find it difficult, if not downright impossible to promote your philosophy and agenda.  However, one should never sell out one’s constituents or principles for the mere sake of victory.  If you do, then you seek to serve only yourself and your own ambitions.  As for our Libertarian friends, I would argue that I have more Libertarian leanings than your run-of-the-mill Republican.  You all have points with which I agree as well as ideas to which I am opposed.  Regardless of your own personal feelings about Libertarians, how many administrations, either Republican or Democrat, have actually successfully reduced the size and scope of the federal government?  As far as I can tell, these days it is all about advancing one facet of the government over another.  As either a Conservative or a Libertarian, doesn’t such a realization deeply disturb you?

Then, we have the response by Mark Sanford.  Unlike Graham, he embraces overarching Libertarian principles and is proud of the supposed slur.

Now, I’m not suggesting for a moment that the Libertarians and the Republicans merge, because there are a number of issues of great distinction between the two, especially when it comes to some important social issues.  But, I do think that the Republican Party must reclaim the mantle of fiscal responsibly and uphold the distinct rights of states and individuals made subservient to the federal government.  People like Governor Sanford display this conviction in both word and deed.  On the other hand, politicians like Senator Graham seem to concern themselves with maintaining their own power and advancing the federal government to suit their own designs.  Given a choice, I know which of the two I’d prefer leading both the Republican Party and the nation.