Kate Obenshain: 2011 Winner — The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

Kate Obenshain, 45, is the former chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia , and previously served as Chief of Staff for then Senator George Allen (R-VA). She is a UVA graduate and the mother of four children. Her brother is a State Senator and her late father was also the GOP State Chairman.
This is from the August 2011 “Elle” magazine article “The Best and the Rightest.”
“Last winter, conservative activist Kate Obenshain came to Smith to give a speech titled ‘The Failures of Feminism.’ While roughly 50 people lined the walls in silence wearing placards that read ‘Feminist,’ Obenshain left Smith convinced that her detractors had been edified, if not converted. ‘What surprised them was that I was willing to give some ground,’ Obenshain says. ‘I used to think there was no such thing as sexism.
‘Well, there is. But it comes from both sides. Sarah Palin has withstood tremendous sexism from flaming leftists. But I distinguish with students between offensive or irritating sexism, and illegal sexual harassment. There are times when we have to absolutely stand up, and other times when we have to blow past it.’
“As an example of ‘an irritant,’ Obenshain cites frat boys yelling out rude comments to girls. ‘The radical feminists say you have to make a big deal about every incident and sue the university; that’s ridiculous. Don’t walk by the frats when the boys are hanging out drunk!
‘These young women are suffering,’ continues Obenshain, who is on the college-lecture circuit under the auspices of the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, a Virginia-based non-profit that promotes conservative women’s networking and leadership.
‘The feminists have told them they have the same needs and wants as men. They don’t get asked out on dates; guys just hook up with them, and they wake up the next day and realize they were used. I have girls coming up to me crying, saying, ‘Thank you so much for making it okay for me to have a different set of values than what I’m taught.’”
You can read more about the contest rules and background at: The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

Jill Holtzman Vogel: 2011 Winner — The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

Jill Holtzman Vogel

State Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel of Virginia was first elected in 2007 and is now the Deputy Whip. She previously served as Deputy General Counsel at the Department of Energy. Vogel, 41, is the mother of five children, and was named a ‘top lawyer in her field’ by “Washingtonian” magazine when it profiled “Best Lawyers.”
She will not have a difficult re-election contest this year, but the Senator says the stakes are still vital. According to Vogel, “The stakes are very high because state politics drive policies at the national level. Given what’s happening in Washington, D.C., and in the Obama administration, we are the front lines.
“In Congress, the Democratic Senate can unfortunately trump anything done in the GOP House. Reforms are stalled on Capitol Hill, but states are going forward with reforms and meaningful change. The battle in the states is what will save this country.” Her major goal this year is obtaining a GOP majority in the Virginia Senate.
You can read more about the contest rules and background at: The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

Conservative vs. Libertarian – Gregg Hilton Debates John Grigsby of the Northern Virginia Tea Party

Editorial Note: John W. Grigsby of Hillsboro, Virginia is a self-described “long time libertarian activist, formerly a ‘liberal’ one.” He is founder of the Northern Virginia Tea Party and says his mission is to “replace the GOP establishment .” He is a vigorous supporter of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. Grigsby says the Texas Congressman “is imperfect, like all people, but Ron Paul and Gary Johnson are my two top choices, and I’m grateful for them.” Continue reading

Saying Goodbye to Senator Jim Webb: An Unusual Democrat


The Washington Post  describes Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) as a “poet-warrior,” and today he announced his retirement. The Senator was confronted with dismal poll results, a demoralized party, the opposition of organized labor and high negative ratings.

He was a liberal heart throb in 2006, but the national left wing money he received back then was unlikely to reappear in 2012.  The Senator raised little money for a re-election campaign, and had been keeping a low profile. The last time he narrowly defeated incumbent Senator George Allen (R) who has already announed a comeback.

Webb’s 2006 slogan was “born fighting,” and soon after the election he wrote a book entitled A Time to Fight. He is a Vietnam veteran who served as Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of the Navy. He switched parties to challenge Allen, and the focal point of his campaign was his strong opposition to the Iraq War. Throughout the campaign he wore the combat boots of his son who was then serving as a Marine in Iraq.

On election night he won a 900 vote victory and for the first time took off the boots. He held them over his head in front of cheering supporters. Webb then accepted President George W. Bush’s invitation to a White House reception in honor of new Members of Congress.  The President greeted the new Senator by saying, “How’s your boy?”

“I’d like to get them out of Iraq,” Webb responded. “That’s not what I asked you,” Bush said, “How’s your boy?” Webb broke off the conversation by saying, “That’s between me and my boy.”

In 2006, Webb claimed the Iraq war could never be won, and spoke favorably of splitting the nation into three sections. Webb’s anti-Iraq War rhetoric continued on Capitol Hill, but he toned down his comments when the surge succeeded. Webb said Sunni Iraqi Arabs would never fight alongside Americans to defeat al-Qaeda, but that is exactly what happened. Webb’s plan to dismember the nation would have been a disaster.

The Senator does deserve credit for voting in favor of every military appropriations bill. As the Daily Kos has noted, the liberal donors who vigorously embraced him last time were unlikely to return.

Now President Obama has endorsed all of Bush’s war on terror policies, and Webb has moved significantly to the right. Webb says his party should not be rejecting Reagan Democrats.

The Senator also believes Democrats were rejected in large part in 2010 because of ObamaCare. His comments are welcome, but he voted for it and never participated in any effort which would have led to a compromise.

He did not join the Wyden-Bennett discussions because he was afraid of the backlash. The Senator deserves credit for taking a lead role in favor of extending all the Bush tax cuts, and the Obama administration finally took his advice.

Webb’s greatest moment was union card check, but it also doomed his re-election. Democrats had a supermajority in 2009 and the GOP filibuster appeared to have failed.

The only reason we were able to stop the legislation was because of Webb and Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA). Specter had been in favor of card check, against it, and then in 2010 he once again supported it.

It no longer mattered because the election of Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) changed everything. George Allen must now be considered the frontrunner, but he could be damaged by a divise GOP primary. The Republican website Red State has already come out against him, and his principle opponent has been successful in raising money.

While Republicans are battling each other I hope they will remember why Webb won in 2006, and why Obama easily carried Virginia in 2008. They were successful with independent voters.

Obama received 53%, but since then the state has elected a Republican Governor and three new GOP Congressmen. Virginia and Florida will be top Democratic battleground states in 2012. Obama has to focus on these states because it is highly doubtful he will once again be able to carry Indiana, North Carolina and Ohio.

Former Gov. Tim Kaine (D-VA) is now Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and has emphasized the importance of Virginia to the Obama campaign.

Jim Webb was definitely our opponent, but today it is best to remember his good points. They were reflected in his comments regarding the recent celebration of Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday:

As someone who held three different positions in the Reagan administration, I am thinking of a lot of very fine people with whom I had the opportunity to serve. Cap Weinberger, whom I met and worked with every day, was one of the finest people I ever worked with. John Herrington, the director of White House personnel, brought me into the Reagan administration and later served our country as secretary of energy.

I had three different positions in the Reagan administration, first as a member of the National Advisory Committee and then spending four years to the day in the Pentagon as assistant secretary of defense and then as secretary of the Navy.

It was truly an inspiring time in my life to have worked for an individual who had the leadership qualities that Ronald Reagan demonstrated. He knew how to inspire our countrymen. He knew how to bring strong personalities together to work toward the good of the country and for its future.

He knew how to make hard decisions. One of the great qualities that he had was that he was never afraid to take responsibility for the consequences of any of those decisions. That motivated everyone who served in his administration.

If we go back to that time period — 1980 — our country was in tremendous turmoil. We were demoralized in the wake of the fall of South Vietnam and the bitterness that affected so many of us along class lines, particularly among those who opposed the Vietnam War and those who had fought it and what we were going to do in terms of resolving those issues here in the country and the impact it had on our reputation internationally.

Inflation was rampant, sometimes in the high teens. People were saying that the presidency was too big of a job for any one person. Our military was overworked, underpaid and dramatically underappreciated.

The Navy had gone precipitously from 930 combatant ships during the Vietnam War down to 479 at the same time our country assumed obligations in the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf.

The Soviet Union was in a state of high activity, diplomatically and militarily. It had invadedAfghanistan, threatening instability in that part of the world. It had a massive naval build-up in the Pacific. Our national self-image was in a crisis state. Who were we as a country? Did we really have a future?

Ronald Reagan campaigned based on our national greatness, on the intrinsic good of our society and on restoring our place at the top of the world community. I can vividly remember in the summer of 1980 when Ronald Reagan made a speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention and just mentioned, as he was so wont to do with symbolic phrases, that Vietnam had been a noble cause.

He had the media following him around the country mocking the comment, only five years after the fall of South Vietnam. But for those of us who had stepped forward and served in order to attempt to bring democracy to South Vietnam, that was a great moment of inspiration.

Once he was elected, Ronald Reagan governed with the same sense of certainty about the greatness of our system and the goodness of our people. He convinced strong, talented people to join his administration.

With George Shultz as secretary of state and Cap Weinberger as secretary of defense, he brought two lions into his Cabinet who didn’t always agree but who were able to combine fierce, competitive intellects with decades of valuable experience.

When Ronald Reagan left the White House, our military had been rebuilt, our people had regained their pride in our country and in their optimism for its future. The United States was again recognized as the leading nation in the world community.

The failed governmental concept that had produced the Soviet Union was on the verge of imploding, not because of external attack but at the hands of its own citizens who could look to the West and see a better way of life.

To paraphrase an old saying, you never know when you’re making history. You only know when you did. Ronald Reagan did make history, and I was proud to be a small part of it.

TRIVIA: Webb was defeated in a 1967 USMC Brigade Welterweight Boxing Championship Fight by Ollie North.

BOOK REVIEW: "The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932-1968" by Kari Frederickson, 336 pages, UNC Press

Reviewed by Gregg Hilton
This is an important and thought provoking book. The author is a professor of history at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and her effort resulted in the Harry Truman Book Award from the Truman Presidential Library. She is a liberal but there is no bias in her account of this period.
The Dixiecrats (or southern Democrats) were predominantly conservative, but the movement also included many racists. She accurately quotes them and that was enough to prove her point. Her account begins with Franklin Roosevelt’s election in 1932, but as she readily acknowledges, the Democratic Party’s Solid South really began with the end of Reconstruction in 1877. Continue reading

The First Virginia Tea Party Convention: “Constitutional Conservatives” Claim George Allen is a Liberal

This flier was distributed at the convention while George Allen was speaking on Saturday. Many members of "Virginians for Constitutional Government" are firm foes of the Bush Administration. Photo by Dave Weigel

Over 2,600 people attended the first Virginia Tea Party convention on Saturday. The theme of the two-day gathering at the Richmond Convention Center was “The Constitution Still Matters.” The convention was addressed by Gov. Bob McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Reps. Ron Paul (TX) and Steve King (IA), as well as former Senators George Allen (R-VA) and Rick Santorum (R-PA). Continue reading

Will Liberal Democrats Listen to the Message From Massachusetts?

Republicans throughout the nation are thrilled with the victory of United States Senator-elect Scott Brown. Only 11% of Bay State voters are Republicans, and this seat has been in Democratic hands for 57 years. Brown will fill Ted Kennedy’s vacancy and be the first Republican in the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation.
No one is claiming the Bay State is turning Republican but voters did send a profound message. Democratic elected officials are asking themselves if they can not win in a state which they carried by 26 points in 2008, where in the world is it safe for a liberal to be a running for federal office in 2010?
Brown raised over $12 million online which a a new record for a Senate candidate. He raised about $1 million/day during the final week. In claiming victory at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel last night, Senator-elect Scott Brown (R-MA) said:
“I thought it was going to be me against the machine. I was wrong. It’s all of us against the machine. You have shown everyone now that you are the machine.” Predicting a cascade of election surprises throughout the nation, Brown said, “Let them take a look at what happened in Massachusetts. What happened here can happen all over the country. When there’s trouble in Massachusetts, there’s trouble everywhere, and they know it.”
If Democrats now moderate some of their views it would be a boost to their outlook in the 2010 election. There is a battle underway between liberal and moderate Democrats, and health care is now the focal point. The reactions of some prominent Democrats and journalists to Brown’s victory appear below:
Terry McAuliffe, former Chairman, Democratic National Committee, “This is a giant wake-up call. We have to do a much better job on the message. People are confused on what this health care bill is going to do.”
Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA): “It would only be fair and prudent that we now suspend further votes on health care legislation until Senator-elect Brown is seated.”
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI): “It’s probably back to the drawing board on health care, which is unfortunate.”
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN): “Many of our people are in denial, but if you lose Massachusetts and that’s not a wake-up call, there’s no hope they will wake up. We can not have the furthest left elements of the Democratic Party attempting to impose their will on the rest of the country. . . Moderates and independents even in a state as Democratic as Massachusetts just aren’t buying our message. They just don’t believe the answers we are currently proposing are solving their problems. That’s something that has to be corrected.”
Mayor Thomas M. Menino (D-Boston): “I never thought I’d see the day when a Republican replaces Ted Kennedy. I think Scott Brown caught the wave of anger that’s out there, and the wave of anti-Obama.”
Former Mayor Raymond Flynn (D-Boston): revealed after the vote that he had supported Scott Brown. He said, “People feel like their vote is being taken granted with this powerful, one party state, and with one-party government in Washington. People want a little coalition, and a little respect… I don’t know how you regroup from something like this. There are going to be a lot of problems in the Democratic party from here on out.”
Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo (D-KY): who is running for an open U.S. Senate seat, “The President is especially unpopular in eastern Kentucky. An Obama visit would not help Democrats.”
Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA): “It is really time now for Democrats to shift their attention to issues that will enjoy broad public support.”
Rep. Allen Boyd (D-FL): “When it happens in Massachusetts, it really throws us a curve. It’s a big deal for a lot of members here.”
Politico: “Think back a year ago and imagine someone saying Obama would throw his support behind Democrats in New Jersey, Virginia and Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts — and lose all of them. Think back a year ago and imagine someone saying he would celebrate his first anniversary without having gotten health care, financial regulation or energy legislation signed into law. And that less than 50 percent of the public would hold a favorable view of his presidency.”
The New York Post editorial entitled “Heck of a Job, Brownie!”: “This is the fifth time in three months that Obama has focused his star power to effect political and policy outcomes — losing each time. It didn’t work in Virginia and New Jersey, where he roller-skated in for Democratic gubernatorial candidates Creigh Deeds and JonCorzine last November. Or in Copenhagen, when he popped in to tout Chicago as host for the 2016 Olympics.
“Or in Copenhagen again, last month, at the global climate-change conference. And now this. . . Brown won. Coakley lost. But, obviously, so did Obama. Here’s hoping the president understands why.”
The New York Times: “What happened in Massachusetts on Tuesday was no ordinary special election. Scott Brown shocked and arguably humiliated the White House and the Democratic Party establishment. . . States do not come more Democratic than Massachusetts, the only one that voted for George McGovern over Richard Nixon in 1972. . . Most ominously, independent voters seemed to have fled to Mr. Brown in Massachusetts, as they did to Republicans in races for governor in Virginia and New Jersey last November. It is hard not to view that as a repudiation of the way Mr. Obama and Democratic Congressional leaders have run things.”
The Los Angeles Times: “The Democratic Party’s defeat in Massachusetts on Tuesday — the loss of a single, crucial Senate seat — will force President Obama and his congressional allies to downscale their legislative ambitions and rethink their political strategy.”
Dr. Stuart Rothenberg, GOP political analyst, “This is the biggest political upset of my adult life.”
I am also wonder if some prominent Democrats will now retract some of their comments about the moderate Brown. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called Brown a “far-right tea-bagger,” Chris Dodd (D-CT) said he was a”right-wing radical,” and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) claimed he had “right-wing views” and “radical record.”