Thursday, January 28, 2010

They Have Earned That Authority?

Have you heard? The George Washington University College Republicans reneged on being a co-sponsor of a speaking event by Meghan McCain. Why? Because she came out for marriage equality.

Apparently, they were approached by the university's LGBT-rights group to ask to be a co-sponsor of the event. The CRs agreed. Then, under the midst of the Prop 8 trial, she (and her mother) publicly came out for marriage equality.

What do the GW CRs do? They renege on their co-sponsorship and send out a press release about it. I suggest you do a Google search about all of this; I have gotten so many Google Alerts for "College Republicans" related to this story, which I used for reseach, that it is not even funny.

I would suggest you read the press release, it really is quite humorous. First off, I wonder if they could have chosen an even worse title? The release's title says that they were originally for "GW Marriage Equality Week." Next, a gay-rights group approached them for co-sponsorship and they didn't raise an eyebrow? (They claimed that they were duped.)

However, my personal favorite part of the press release is:
Ms. McCain’s views on marriage equality align with neither the Republican Party nor her father’s personal stance. Though we fully supported John McCain’s candidacy for President, we feel that Meghan McCain’s last name is not near as important as the message she advocates.

I had no idea that the GW College Republicans have the authority to speak for the whole of the Republican Party and Sen. McCain.

Meghan McCain, herself, wrote a response to the claims that the GW CRs were making:
Seriously, how many 25-year-old women do you know that have the exact same world view as their 73-year-old fathers? Besides, a simple Google search would have tipped off these young Republicans to my very vocal and active support of LGBT rights and marriage equality in this country.

The rest, I guess, speaks for itself.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

TelePrompTer-in-Chief? (Part 2?)

Why does the American public have selective memory when it comes to party affiliation. Republicans like to mock President Obama using a the TelePrompTer and stuttering and stumbling his words when he is not -in essence, saying that he cannot create an original thought on his own. That's fair. However, wasn't that the case as well with President Bush by liberal rivals?

I sympathize with President Obama and President Bush. Not to make any accusations, but I myself have a speech impediment. Anyone who has ever seen me in class or personal discussion knows that I stumble over my words. I take pauses looking for words, I use interjecting phrases like "umm." I am not a good public speaker. I am, however, a rather good writer. I know the point I am trying to make. However, I jump back and forth from thought to thought and, in the end, clean it up so it all flows together. (This, among many reasons, is why I am not a good debater, or, for that matter, interviewee - as was the case a few years ago when I was questioned by a Newsday reporter about a dredging project in my town.) Right now, this is my 2nd paragraph; I have the first two sentences of what will likely be my 3rd paragraph already in place.

What we see on CNN, of course, is not the full interview. It is 8 seconds! How much of a cohesive, coherent, and concise argument can you make in in, say, 2 or three sentences? For that matter, how fast can you contemplate an argument/response that will fit into that 8 second time frame that will leave a lasting impact on the audience that will not be lost in the shuffle of the day's news cycle? It is a skill that I, for one, have yet to have mastered. When you give a speech, you want something that focuses on your directed audience, but still is quotable in a larger context. How often have we seen quotes taken out of context hurt politicians? Each sentence has to, in itself, be independent of all of the others, but still work together when combined.

(Think of my reasoning like this: the speaker is a squad leader in the Army; each sentence is a soldier in the squad; you, as the squad leader expect from you troops that they work well independently and as a group.)

Okay, maybe using a TelePrompTer versus some paper was a poor choice when speaking to school children, but, honestly, when you insult someone for not being a good public speaker, try to consider how hard creating political soundbites can be.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I Will to the Best of my Ability, Preserve, Protect and Defend the Constitution

It's 2010, do you know what that means? The census. You know, that form that you fill out once every 10 years that wants information on where you live, your average annual income, and number of people in your household, you know, minor details that you fill out commonly (i.e. when you file for a loan, some raffles, you buy a car). Well, guess which member of Congress will not be filling out this year's census? You guessed it: (your's and my favorite) Michelle Bachmann.

For the past 3 weeks, I have been wanting to write this post, but I was waiting for Rick Sanchez to post the video of his segment on CNN about this. I finally gave up. However, I did find this:

Let me go point by point:

ACORN will be 'finding out all of this information'
ACORN will not know this information. Their role is simply to get the word out on the census' importance and impact (source
It is up to a $5000 fine
Only if you lie on it (better than jail-time for purgery)
28 Page Survey?!
Has she ever been to college? (Let alone do homework for it?)
Does the Federal Government really need to know our phone numbers?
  1. You don't think they have them already
  2. I myself, in response to this, googled Rep. Bachmann and was able to learn of her street address. Her phone number is, however, unlisted.
Mental Stability?
I'm not going to even bother responding to this. It is a futile waste of energy.
Are you a U.S. Citizen?
Representative Bachmann, have you ever been to New York City? If so, did you ask every proprietor of a bodega if they were a U.S. citizen? I'm guessing, on the later, 'no.' Many major cities have illegal immigrants. Wow, what a big suprise!!! However, they are still contributing to the economy. Which is more important: keeping illegals out or stimulating the U.S. economy?
If you fail to respond, you will receive contacts from the census bureau
When I first learned of that case 10 years ago, it was explained to me that it is a necessary evil in order to get readings as accurate as possible. Oh no! Statisticians are doing their jobs!
Internment Camps
Wow. How to explain this one? Well, it is times like these I wish it was possible to tell people that reading census forms in order to single-out an individual is illegal. Wait?! What am I doing?! THE PRESIDENT NOR THE CONGRESS HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR PERSONAL CENSUS INFORMATION - IT IS ILLEGAL FOR THEM TO HAVE IT WITH IDENTIFYING INFORMATION.

Now the reason I wanted Rick Sanchez's video is this: as he explained, guess which state has actually lost population. Minnesota. From the 2010 census, which representative is bound to lose a seat due to reapportionment? Michelle Bachmann.

I think that that all speaks for itself. My only question is if Rep. Bachmann has ever read the Constitution's Article I, Section 2.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

He Won; There, I Said It

Okay. Scott Brown won. He won fair and square. He has taken the seat that was once held by John F. Kennedy and Edward Kennedy will be taken up by a Republican.

On November 4, 2008, I saw friends writing "America is doomed" and "I'm moving to <fill in country>." I really cannot stand sore winners or sore losers. In regards to this, I wrote a Facebook note, calling their bluff. They thought the country would die under Obama and wanted to leave; I told them "bye-bye." I knew they wouldn't leave. Eight years prior, Democrats said the same thing about a Bush-Cheney win; and, yet, the country has survived.

This evening, I have seen tweets showing the other side of the coin that I hate: sore winners. I have seen people saying "Obama fail" "Suck it <fill in Democratic politician>." Some tweets have actually been directed at yours truly.

He won. For all of my efforts (and those of countless others), Scott Brown beat Martha Coakley. He did it, I admit.

However, I am reminded of the closing scene of Hillary Rodham Clinton's memoir Loving History. She went through Inauguration Day 2001 and how, one of the things she admired most about this nation. I do too. Over a year ago, Americans wanted a change in direction, so they elected Obama; now, they didn't like what has happened and wanted a reform. The voice of the American public is a voice to be rekoned with. If they don't like the direction of the nation, they make a change in however they can. They change mayors. They change state legislators. They change congressmen. They change presidents. They make a change. And that was what they did.

To my friends who supported Scott Brown, I commend you. You guys ran a fantastic campaign. You went from 20 points below to winning by 6-7 points.

One election, though, does not cause a 180-degree shift in policy in the nation. Look at what happened in President Obama's first 100 days (when he did NOT have 60 votes in the Senate): we have the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, re-authorization of SCHIP (paid for by an increased tax on cigarettes), hate crimes now include sexual orientation/gender/gender identity/disability, HIV/AIDS is no longer a reason to exclude immigrants, and expanded AmeriCorps.

Yet, to those Brown-supporting friends, please do not say that all of the changes that were requested in 2008 are over. Yes, the Democrats no longer have a filibuster-proof majority, but are those 8 senators suddenly chopped liver? No. There is still plenty of bipartisan legislation that can be passed. And, if anyone has been following my tweets, according to Massachusetts election law, they cannot certify an election until at least 10 (if not 15) days after an election (see So, there are 1-2 weeks for health care reform to be passed.

As I type, I am watching one of my favorite West Wing episodes, "2162 Votes." The final line of the episode is said by Republican Presidential Nominee Sen. Arnold Vinick (CA), after the end of the Democratic National Convention, "Okay, let's go win this thing."

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) has said that the 'conference committee' was "95% done" with hashing out the House and Senate bills on health care reform. We have a maximum of 15 days to pass this thing without any political controversy. Therefore, Okay, let's go pass this thing.

But, after Sen.-elect Brown is sworn in, I pray that he will be there, putting in his 2 cents, and assisting in making strong, bipartisan legislation for which his predecessor was infamous.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Polling Data

I had an interesting conversation with a Republican friend today. He mentioned about how President Obama has the lowest approval rating for the first year of a presidency in American history. I thought for a moment and came to an epiphany on why this is.

It has been said that a President can only achieve his/her goals in the first 100 days. For the next 8 months, if the agenda runs over, poll numbers begin to fall. After the first year of a presidency, 435 members of congress and 33 senators are running for re-election. Voters have a short-term memory (unless there is a major scandal). If the elected official in question has gone on the record with a controversial vote, he/she may be toast. They have to appease their constituencies within those 11 months. The next two years are dicey depending on the outcome. But, whatever the case, since the President is the figurative and literal head of the party, if the party and/or the President mess something up, both take the heat.

Now, it goes without saying that the health care bill has been one of the most contentious issues in the past century. The President began to push health care reform in the late spring. It's January now. It has taken 6 months. The lack of efficiency led to less support (and its ability to, hence, fester) has caused Democratic members of Congress and the President to in polling numbers.

Though I am not an expert, it seems that since 'Rome wasn't built in a day,' the Democratic party has taken the heat in support.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

College Democrats of America "Yes We Serve" Campaign

Hey everyone,

I hope you all are having a good vacation and are ready and pumped for school to restart.

As most of you know, I am a board member of the College Democrats of America Faith Caucus. Currently, the caucus is working on the "Yes We Serve" campaign(that was the letter writing campaign to the troops overseas). Due to extenuating circunstances, it was extended. So, no longer is it for simply the holidays, but, simply, for appreciation of our nation's members of service. If you could, write out a simple letter to the troops (it can be as long or as short as you want, but, a simple "thank you for defending the nation" is sufficient) and then email that letter to me at by Friday 1/15 at noon so I cam forward it to the proper people. I apologize for the short timeline, but it has now become time sensitive.

Thank you all so much,
Seamus Campbell
Technology Director, College Democrats of America
Communications Director, College Democrats of America Faith Caucus
Director of New Media, College Democrats of Fordham University

College Democrats of Fordham University

Friday, January 1, 2010

Republican = Conservative?

I have never understood why the Republican party is so rooted in conservatism. I understand that that is their base and all, but why are the two synonymous? Conservatism is an ideology while the Republican Party is a political party. The two are not the same. An ideology is a mindset. A political party is a group of people with similar views and a set platform that presents candidates for public office.

The Democratic Party is made to look like a laughing stock because of (conservative) Blue-Dog Democrats. Meanwhile, the Republican Party keeps on trying to be conservative. This is the year 2010 -1980 was 30 years ago. Society has changed in 30 years. Okay, Reagan was a conservative Republican. However, that was then, this is now. A popular republican Twitter hashtag is "rebuild;" I have asked some friends what this means, I am always told (in some stubstance) 'rebuild the [Republican] party and restore it to its conservative roots.' Here is where the argument always fails, each time that I have heard it, I am told that we should follow Reaganesque policies and attachment methods. I will admit, Reagan was a fantastic orator and got many people to follow him. But, society has changed. Therefore, policies must change.

One of the main reasons I enjoy being a member of the Democratic Party is that we enjoy our differences. We don't follow an ideology and platform like a dogma (look at the RNC's "Purity Test"), we, in essence, (in my personal interpretation) say 'hey, here is our party platform, we create and vote on it every 4 years, embrace what parts of it you will; if you feel that you are a Democrat at heart, we will support you.'

The exact opposite is the case with the Republicans. Look at the recent race in New York's 23rd Congressional District. Dede Scozzafava is a moderate Republican who supports abortion rights and same-sex marriage. However, she is also against President Obama's health care plan, cap-and-trade, the Stimulus Plan, and has a "A" score from the NRA. 'She is a moderate on social issues?! She isn't one of us!' Screamed conservatives. Who did Scozzafava endorse after she dropped out of the race? Well, he Republican brethren dropped her for Conservative Party member (who didn't even live in the district) Doug Hoffman. Why not Democrat Bill Owens? Well, she did just that.

Dear Republican Party,
If you want to rebuild, move to the center. Embrace moderates and liberals. You can be Republican and support gay and abortion rights. You can be a Republican and be for gun control. You can be a Republican and support 'Obamacare.' Being a member of a political party does not entail one to 'drink the Kool-Aid.' Rebuild your party! Embrace difference my Republican brethren! Welcome to the year 2010!