Fresh Opinions from John Fund of the Wall Street Journal
The Texas Tea Party Patriots Pac provided an opportunity to hear Mr. John Fund recently. Having read many of Mr. Fund’s opinion pieces in the WSJ (Wall Street Journal), and listened to him on various FOX programs, I was looking forward to a discourse between a patriot group and Mr. Fund. He had been mentored by the late Robert Novak, who was in a class by himself.
His last trip took him to Berlin. To be a candidate overseas, one must be “approved” by the party leaders. In America, it is a more interesting process. The Democrats use a “Blind date” method of selecting the Presidential candidate. Who is popular? Who has the charisma? They look at everyone, find someone interesting, and decide to “try them out”. After they are elected, everyone gets to know who they are and what they stand for as a President. There were a lot of chuckles when this theory was disclosed. Mr. Fund went on to prove his point by a brief review of some candidates in the last century. There did seem to be a preponderance of evidence to prove the point.
What about the Republicans? Who is next in line? There is a definite pattern of behavior from 1948 through 2008. They tend to nominate whoever has been around a while. This was true with the exception of one candidate. The candidate was Ronald Reagan.
The 2012 role is critical to America’s future. It is of paramount importance the two parties have a different process to select the candidates. He encouraged everyone to not make hasty decisions about who to support as a Presidential candidate. The campaign trail wears on people, and in many cases the people change somewhat under the pressure. Politics are too important to be left to the politicians. Most notably in the 2012 race, is that the wide variety of competition will be good for the process.
After his short talk, there were a lot of questions from the audience. The first one had to do with the powers of the Supreme Court. He pointed out the powers of the Supreme Court were largely defined by John Marshall in the 1820’s. Congress has the right to limit the powers of the Supreme Court. At one point in history, Thomas Jefferson abolished many of the judiciary, who he felt were out of control. Is it the most intelligent view, to be governed by 9 people in black robes?
One question that seemed to resonant was “how do we get back to the Constitution, given the overuse of Executive Orders to circumvent the process”? Mr. Fund pointed out we have executive orders left over from the Truman administration! The way we get back to that point, is by continuing to apply pressure to all the elected officials. He found it shocking that the President spent hours convincing the UN to launch the no-fly zone tactic, and then got on a conference call with a few of the Congressional leaders to state the decision he had already made.
One of the poplular questions at every patriot event, was posited near the end of the session. The query was on what his views about compromise between the House and the Senate. He said we need to be realistic. There is no need to compromise on principles, but there may be times when negotiation on points is necessary to arrive at the best solution for America. The people elected to office have the difficult task of translating principle into policy.
When asked why there doesn’t seem to be any passion coming out of the new people in Washington, now that they have been elected…well the answer was very insightful. Mr. Fund said passion is not always what you want from politicians in Washington. These people need to learn how to write legislation, how to take in all the facts, and develop theories, etc. There is a lot to learn when one goes to Congress. They need to buckle down to learn the job, and get the job done. The campaign is over.
He was supportive of the conservatives in Congress. He said people need to realize the 100B cut in spending was promised in September. October 1 begins the new fiscal year. By the time they took office, many months of the budget had already gone by. The 61B was a prorated figure. The majority of the spending is in the entitlement programs. These programs must be reformed for any substantial budget cuts to be accomplished. The conservatives do not control the Senate and will need to negotiate everything to get it passed. That is the reality.
He did say there is some concern about patriots involved in the tea parties, who want to use it for their personal agenda. Many people are maneuvering for their 15 minutes of fame. These people could be somewhat dangerous to the movement. It is important that everyone question issues and people. The goal is to take back the country.
He did not think the Balanced budget amendment will actually achieve what the people are seeking for fiscal responsibility. His example was an amendment in Colorado. Their law limits government spending and growth to a combination of population plus inflation. A mechanism such as this needs to be in place. Otherwise, the government will simply raise taxes to accommodate their spending habits.
My favorite part of the evening, was his idea about foreign policy. At what point do we change from policemen of the world to night watchmen? In Clinton’s administration, Hillary had become known as the “mad bomber” because she wanted to bomb everything. Well, now she has that power.
On taxes he said there is a very simple solution. When a person is elected to office, they should sign a pledge under oath and penalty of perjury that they will prepare their tax returns with no outside help. The Congress receives $3,000 to get someone to do their taxes. The crowd gasped after this remark. Perhaps then they would realize the complexity of the tax laws.
Driving home, one felt energized there are people out there who do get it. He understood so much of the process, the history, and the nuances. In other words, he had knowledge and common sense. Perhaps we need to list the characteristics we want in a potential candidate for the Presidency.