18 February 2010
Lieutenant Colonel Allen B West (US Army, Retired)
Greetings Wheels on the Road (WOTR) readers, fellow South Floridians, and all Americans, time for another monthly political assessment….with a bit of satire. Speaking of satire, I am writing this missive to you all from beautiful, sunny, cold, and snow packed Washington DC. I am here for the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) where I will have the distinct honor to speak.
Being here, I would almost postulate that DC has seen more snowfall recently than the Winter Olympics venue in Vancouver.
If we could just get President Obama and former Vice-President Al Gore to apologize to God reference “man-made global warming/climate change” perhaps we would not all be freezing, even in South Florida!
Coming to DC is always an experience because I always seek to find out what the politicians up here are drinking, so as to avoid.
Yesterday, Wednesday 17 was the anniversary of the “American Economic Recovery Act” legislation, better known as the Stimulus bill. I listened to the President and the pundits and just wondered, if we stimulated the economy, why is unemployment in Florida close to 12%?
Now today, I understand that the President is signing an Executive Order….how many is that now in first year….that establishes a panel to discuss how to reduce the deficit. LOL LOL LOL
Earth to President Obama, I can answer that, STOP SPENDING! Of course the President is lauded as being insightful, deliberative, and pragmatic. Heck, wish he had been those things a year ago before he tripled our national deficit and allowed the Nancy Pelosi Congress, and my good buddy Congressman Ron Klein, to vote for a $1.9T increase of our national debt, to $13T.
What is in the water up here?
That brings me to the topic of this month’s piece, “They’re Running”. In these last few weeks we have seen several members of the US Senate and House call it quits. Most recently Senator Evan Bayh and Representative Patrick Kennedy, a Kennedy, have said they have had enough. We have seen in Florida Senator Mel Martinez, Representative Robert Wexler, and Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart all quit on their promise to serve the people. Why is it that all of a sudden these individuals are stepping down?
Simple answer, the American people are FINALLY starting to hold elected officials accountable and that is such an amazing paradigm change. The reelection rate for Congressional incumbents has always remained rather high in America, now they feel challenged, actually scared.
What angers me the most is that these individuals have brought us to the edge of the abyss and now walk away? They are completely complicit but yet find these inexcusable reasons for stepping down. I would prefer they all just said, “I have failed the American people”. However, that would require the very intangible ingredients missing in Washington DC; Honor, Integrity, and Character. As Plato warned, we are truly being governed by our inferiors, and in some cases criminals.
What should unhinge everyone who shall read this is that the American taxpayer will be providing a retirement salary to all these individuals, full 100%. It took me 22 years and a few trips into combat zones to earn a 55% retirement off my base pay. It takes a member in the Senate and House just 6 years to earn their full salary retirement for THE REST OF THEIR LIVES!
Therefore, realize that the inept, incompetent, and oft time corrupt individuals who granted themselves automatic pay raises, caused the economic morass in which we find ourselves, and quit to leave the American taxpayer holding the bill. This bill falls not only upon us but our children and grandchildren for this debt and deficit, and also to fund their retirement.
Why not quit, they have made for themselves the most excellent of schemes.
But there is another side of “They’re Running” and that is the solution, an awesome shift which we have not seen since post-World War II. That is the resurgence of former Military who are running for Federal level political office. It has truly become en vogue to mention that you have prior military service, as opposed to touting that you are a career politician and lawyer.
Groups like Combat Veterans for Congress and Iraq Veterans for Congress are thriving with close to 20 candidates out there, Senate and House. And of course, yours truly is counted in those ranks.
America is once again looking for those Men and Women who clearly understand the ideals and principles which made this Country great. Moreover, the American people are seeking those who have taken that special oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic and bear true faith and allegiance to the same”…and have put their lives on the line to honor that oath.
America is turning to those who have a lineage of service, sacrifice, and commitment to that which is greater than them. Americans are rejecting the self-serving politician whose interests are no longer in alignment with that of the people.
However, let me issue a word of caution, test us and make sure we are indeed American Warriors and Patriots, not just former uniform wearers. This past Sunday I was appalled at the interview of National Security Advisor General James Jones, former Commandant of the US Marine Corps (and it is not pronounced corpse Mr President) by Chris Wallace of Fox News. I find individuals such as Representatives Patrick Murphy and Joe Sestak repulsive. Former Army Generals Colin Powell and Wesley Clark have lost all my respect and regard…therefore, never believe that having served in the Military gives a carte blanche, because even we have self-serving persons whose commitment may have been well intentioned at one time……but have lost their way.
This 2010 election cycle represents an impeccable awakening of the American people, regardless of what the mainstream media and liberal progressive pundits assert. It is an awakening causing the ruling class presumed intellectual elite politicians to run away.
However, based upon yesterday’s New York Times front page article, the left is already preparing for their assault on grassroots movements, Tea Party, in order to marginalize their influence. I offer them a word of caution; Americans are on to your game, hence why your viewing and reader subscriptions are faltering. It is funny to me that far left groups such as ACORN, Code Pink, SEIU, and anarchist groups can roam about freely spewing their venomous version of protest being applauded, while concerned Americans are attacked.
Finally, I know the liberal progressive political mantra is personal attacks aimed at character assassination, since they are unable to articulate principled solutions. When dealing with former Military combat Veterans running for office, stick to the issues….Congressman Ron Klein……because we are unlike your typical politician. We welcome an attack and we will fight back, as we always have done, to protect the Constitution of the United States and the American people.
It might be best for ole Ron Klein to run away as well.
Steadfast and Loyal!
LTC A B West (USA, Ret)