March 29, 2014

Massachusetts Republican Convention 2014

Filed under: politics by Victoria Liberty @ 7:59 pm

Photo courtesy of Charlie Baker 2014

I had the honor of being a delegate at this past Saturday’s Massachusetts Republican Party State Convention at the Agganis Arena at Boston University. The 2,500 delegates voted to officially nominate the following candidates:

  • Patricia Saint Aubin for Auditor
  • David D’Arcangelo for Secretary of State
  • Brian Herr for Senator
  • John Miller for Attorney General
  • Mike Heffernan for Treasurer
  • Karyn Polito for Lieutenant Governor
  • Charlie Baker for Governor

The last nomination was the only one that was contested, and has proven to be a source of some controversy (more on that later).

This was my first convention, and it was for the most part an exciting and enjoyable experience. After attending a Women for Baker breakfast, where we heard from the gubernatorial candidate and his wife, among others, I followed the crowd of fellow delegates as we gradually trickled into the arena and sat according to our towns. Sprinkled throughout the seats were large signs bearing the names of districts, such as First Suffolk, Fifth Middlesex, and Cape and Islands. A stage was set up in the middle of the hockey rink, with the jumbotron above and a black curtain behind, closing off half the arena. At 9:00, the BU ROTC color guard presented the flag, along with a fife and drum corps. Then the day began with short speeches by State Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, House Minority Leader Brad Jones, State Rep. Keiko Orral, an Abraham Lincoln impersonator (yes, really), and many others. Throughout the day, we also got to watch a moving tribute to Governor Paul Cellucci, who passed away from Lou Gehrig’s disease last year, a presentation about a new campaign program called Mass Victory, and the awarding of the Edward W. Brooke Award to former State Sen. David Locke.

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March 8, 2014

Rand Paul wins CPAC straw poll again

Filed under: politics by Victoria Liberty @ 10:05 pm

For the second year in a row, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) won the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) straw poll. He received 31% of the vote, followed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) with 11%, Ben Carson with 9%, and Governor Chris Christie with 8%. In addition to their support for Paul, the CPAC attendees took a libertarian stance on several different issues. According to Politico, 75% expressed opposition to the NSA’s surveillance programs, and 78% believe the best way to solve the government’s budget problems is by cutting spending. A plurality (41%) expressed support for full legalization of marijuana, 21% supported legalizing marijuana for medical purposes only, and 31% supported keeping it illegal.

Sen. Paul gave an inspiring, pro-liberty speech which you can watch above, as well as tweeting some of the highlights, which you can read below:

 

 

 

 

 

October 2, 2013

Thoughts on the government shutdown

Filed under: politics by Victoria Liberty @ 11:47 pm

shutdown

Whenever the subject of the government shutdown comes up, countless people criticize the Republican Party and Tea Party movement, accusing these groups of “throwing a temper tantrum” over the Affordable Care Act (AKA ObamaCare) and shutting down the government because they could not get what they wanted. ObamaCare is the law, these people point out, and not only did the Supreme Court uphold it, but voters re-elected the president who championed it and the legislators who voted for it. On the Daily Show, Jon Stewart even yelled, “It’s an [expletive] law!” and compared the Republicans’ actions to the Giants (hypothetically) threatening to shut down the NFL after losing a football game.

What proponents of these views are completely missing, however, is that whether or not something is a law has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not it is right.

There are objective moral principles, and first among those is the principle of individual liberty. To require individuals to purchase a product or service from a company, as the Affordable Care Act does, is simply wrong. It is wrong regardless of what judges think about its constitutionality, regardless of how legislators vote, and regardless of the opinions of the public. Although democracy is a good way of deciding on some disagreements, fundamental rights – such as the right to decide how to spend one’s own money – should never be subjected to majority rule.

This is why Jon Stewart’s analogy is, frankly, one of the dumbest I’ve ever heard. Whether or not individual rights should be respected is not a game, like football is. Losing a game is never fun, but as long as the rules were followed and the refs made the right calls, you can’t really complain about the outcome. On the other hand, laws that violate people’s rights are wrong regardless of how they came about, and we should fight against them with every means available.

Instead of basing moral beliefs solely on the laws that happen to be on the books at a particular time, people should think for themselves about what is right and what is wrong. There are plenty of existing laws that should be abolished, and plenty of laws that should exist but don’t. I admire lawmakers such as Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, who have not stopped voicing their opposition to ObamaCare, despite the (incorrect, in my opinion) decisions made by the Supreme Court and by voters in the 2012 election. Standing up for what you believe in is not a “temper tantrum,” it is honorable and brave.

May 8, 2013

Mark Sanford’s victory

Filed under: politics by Victoria Liberty @ 10:10 pm

Mark Sanford crop

This is just a short post to congratulate South Carolina’s new congressman-elect, Mark Sanford. Although he’s obviously not a perfect person, I am glad that the voters gave him a second chance. Endorsed by both Ron and Rand Paul, Sanford, a Republican is a greater advocate of fiscal conservatism and individual liberty than his rival, Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch. Additionally, as strange as this may sound, I agree with publisher Larry Flynt who also endorsed Sanford, saying, “His open embrace of his mistress in the name of love, breaking his sacred marriage vows, was an act of bravery.” Although it wasn’t right of Sanford to use government funds to visit his mistress, Maria Belen Chapur, or to lie about it, it was brave of him to eventually tell the truth about what happened, and to leave a marriage that was not making him happy.

Another reason why I’m glad Sanford won is because he is an underdog. Not only did his scandalous personal life put him at a disadvantage with voters, but his ex-wife decided to report him to the police for trespassing when he went to her house to watch the Super Bowl with his son. As a result of this, the National Republican Congressional Committee abruptly stopped funding his campaign. Sanford was outspent by Busch’s campaign, as well as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Majority PAC. Plus, Busch was even listed on the ballot twice, under both the Democratic and Working Families parties.

Sanford will soon begin his term in Congress and is planning to marry Chapur, whom he has called his “soul mate.” I hope that both of these things work out for him.

April 7, 2013

Lynch should be praised for ObamaCare vote

Filed under: health,politics by Victoria Liberty @ 10:05 am

Stephen F. Lynch, 2008 cropped

Although I’m planning to vote for a Republican in the U.S. Senate special election, I have to say that I admire Democratic candidate (and current congressman) Stephen Lynch for one thing: his vote against the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.

Lynch opposes the law because it failed to include a public option, a government-run insurance plan that may have been a desirable and affordable option for many people, while including something that harms individuals and benefits only insurance companies, the individual mandate that everyone purchase health insurance. At a recent debate he said, “What the insurance companies wanted, they wanted 31 million new customers. We gave them everything they wanted. It was like a hostage situation where we not only paid the ransom, but we let the insurance companies keep the hostages.”

Jeff Jacoby at the Boston Globe wrote an excellent column on the subject, in which he explains as follows:

He was the sole member of the Massachusetts delegation to oppose the bill, and he did so in the face of personal entreaties by President Obama, by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and even by the widow of Senator Ted Kennedy, who had died just a few months earlier. He did so even though it angered many of his labor-union allies, and despite the president’s enormous popularity in Massachusetts. In the end Lynch was one of just 34 Democrats in Congress – and the only one in New England – to vote no.

Before long he was facing a serious re-election challenge within his own party, the first since he was elected to the House a decade earlier. (The Boston Globe, which had warned Lynch against making “a grievous error” by voting no on ObamaCare, endorsed his opponent in the Democratic primary that fall.) Now, as Lynch and fellow Representative Ed Markey – who says passing the health law was “one of the most important votes of my career” – compete for their party’s nomination in the Senate race, that 2010 vote is back in the spotlight.

What do you call it when a congressman opposes a bill it would be far easier to support, infuriating much of his political base and putting his electoral prospects at risk? Richard Kirsch, a key strategist for the progressive coalition that spent $47 million to get ObamaCare passed, has been calling it “cowardice.” I do not think that word means what he thinks it means.

I agree wholeheartedly. Many people may disagree with Lynch’s position, but only someone who doesn’t understand English could call it cowardice. Taking an unpopular position that results in criticism and puts you at odds with your friends, allies, constituents, the media, the public, the leaders of your party, the President of the United States, and the grieving widow of a widely loved and admired senator is the very opposite of cowardice. No matter what you think of ObamaCare, you have to admit that Lynch’s vote was courageous.

March 17, 2013

Rand Paul’s CPAC victory

Filed under: politics by Victoria Liberty @ 11:08 pm

Following in the tradition of his father, Ron Paul, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) won the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll this weekend. He received 25% of the votes, defeating 22 other high-profile Republicans, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (2nd place) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) (3rd place). (Ron won the same poll in 2010 and 2011.) Rand also gave a wonderful speech, which you can watch above or on YouTube.

My favorite part of his speech were the closing lines, which went as follows: “Our party is encumbered by an inconsistent approach to freedom. The new GOP will need to embrace liberty in both the economic and the personal sphere. If we’re gonna have a Republican Party that can win, liberty needs to be the backbone of the GOP. We must have a message that is broad, our vision must be broad, and that vision must be based on freedom. There are millions of Americans, young and old, native and immigrant, black, white, and brown, who simply seek to live free to practice their religion, free to choose where their kids go to school, free to choose their own healthcare, free to keep the fruits of their labor, free to live without government constantly being on their back. I will stand for them. I will stand for you. I will stand for our prosperity and our freedom, and I ask everyone who values liberty to stand with me.”

March 6, 2013

Rand Paul is awesome.

Filed under: politics by Victoria Liberty @ 10:32 pm

Rand Paul

Image credit: Gage Skidmore

As you know by now unless you’ve been living under a rock, Sen. Rand Paul (R-TX) filibustered almost all day today. He is blocking the Senate from voting on President Obama’s appointment of John Brennan as director of the CIA, in protest against the Obama administration’s policy on drone strikes against American citizens. He offered to stop if Obama or Attorney General Eric Holder officially stated that they would not use drones to kill U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. But they did not, so on he went. Starting at 11:47 a.m. and still going strong at the time of posting, Sen. Paul spoke all about the Bill of Rights and the principle of due process. He (or his aides) also live-tweeted the speech. He received support from Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR). Although Brennan is still likely to be confirmed eventually, Sen. Paul most certainly achieved his goal of bringing attention to the cause of freedom and the possibility of extrajudicial assassinations of American citizens. 

Didn’t have time to watch the whole speech? Here are some of the best quotes from it:

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