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Guest Post by Tara Wall

Tuesday, January 27, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
Readers know that from time to time I publish guest op-eds. Tara Wall is a rising star on the right, ensconced now at the Washington Times. She will contribute an occasional piece here as well.

Paterson’s Doghouse Could Give GOP The Blues by Tara Wall
Okay, so Democrats have been the gift that keeps on giving in recent weeks. The freak show called Rod Blagogevich and circus surrounding the the New York Senate seat have made for great fodder as of late. If nothing else, it has given Republicans (even some Democrats) something to gloat about.
However, in spite of the admitted “leaks” coming out of New York Gov. David Paterson’s office and the quicksand speed with which he selected his pick for Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat, Paterson could be a lot smarter than he’s getting credit for.
Paterson’s pick of Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand says much more about the supposed novice’s political prowess, than even he may realize. She may be youthful and virtually unknown, but a blip on the screen? Not even close. [# More #]
Reacting to the selection process, The New York Times found that, “Mr. Paterson had inadvertently pulled off something staggering: alienating three of the most powerful political families in state and national politics at the same time,” [the Kennedy’s, Cuomo’s and Clintons]. Oh no, he’d better watch out now! It’s not just a woman scorned, but a Kennedy woman and lapdog liberal newspaper.
For liberals, it’s not enough that Paterson vacillated between choices (his prerogative), but that he had the audacity to pass over their royally appointed one. The man must be deranged. At the very least, he just doesn’t have what it takes to be governor, right? After all, he is the default governor. That seems to be the suggestion. “It wasn’t fair to any of the candidates,” that Paterson reportedly knew his selection days before announcing it, said New York Representative Carolyn McCarthy. Boo hoo.

To take it one step further, one could argue that the underlying suggestion (and hypocritical liberal, white-guilt double-standard) is that a black man can’t be trusted with such an important appointment. Where’s the Rev. Al when you need him? (Oh yes, he’s too busy placating her highness, Ms. Kennedy). Instead of saying out loud what those foaming at the mouth are thinking, Paterson’s integrity and decision-making skills are immediately called into question (his own apologies didn’t help). “Some basics of appointment protocol and discretion appeared to have been abandoned,” The Times chided. That’s code for: he’s an idiot who can’t even keep his mouth shut. And even worse still, is that Paterson (a black man) selected a “conservative” Democrat over entitled Camelot royalty. Oh, the horror.

Commentators, politicos and pundits have gleefully given their constant sideline play-by-plays of the unfolding drama. Yet, in the midst of all the gloating is a point of caution for Republicans. Particularly those who are eyeing the seat with any hope or inkling of recapturing. If they aren’t careful, this New York Senate seat could remain in the “blue” column for many years to come.
Ms. Gillibrand favors offshore drilling, voted against the $700 bailout bill last year, enjoys a 100 percent NRA rating and favors tough immigration enforcement. All tenets of the conservative platform that make her an attractive “Blue Dog” for Upstate New Yorkers. Furthermore, the latest Quinnipiac survey found that 46 percent of New Yorker voters approve of Paterson’s pick. What is more telling, is that “Republicans approve of the selection by a larger margin than Democrats. Republicans approve [of Gillibrand] by 56 percent-27 percent.”
This could spell trouble for Republicans in 2010. While liberal Democrats and the Kennedy clan will be looking for retribution, should she garner just minimal Republican support, Gillibrand will be difficult, if not impossible to beat.

_______

Tara Wall, a former newscaster and GOP spokesperson, is a conservative columnist, CNN political contributor and deputy editor for The Washington Times.

Tara writes about.. party politics, liberal media bias, faith in the public square, racial double-standards and national policy under the newly anointed.. err appointed administration.

You can also read her blogs at: www.tarawall.com
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Speeding The Recovery In Housing

Tuesday, January 27, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The sharp drop in November’s home prices reported today explains yesterday’s data on the surge in home purchases in December. There are buyers who have been waiting for “the bottom” and for interest rates to fall, and the conditions have arrived. November’s prices brought out December’s buyers.

But will those conditions endure and the buying continue? The key to a recovery in housing is confidence on the part of the buyers that others are buying as well, which is why the House GOP’s proposal of a tax credit for the purchase of a new home on which a real down payment has been made is the best idea among many that would help change the House pork bill into a serious stimulus package. The House GOP proposed a $7,500 tax credit on the purchase of a new home, but as the Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders noted on my program last week, an effective incentive to enter the market should be priced by region.

Whatever the details, the House bill as drafted by the Democrats does nothing to support the housing market much less ignite the sort of recovery that would lead a crucial sector out of the recession. The House GOP should continue to makes it pitch, and their Senate counterparts should insist on including and expanding this proposal in any final bill. When housing recovers, every American home-owner benefits, as does the broader economy.

GOP House Leader Boehner On The (Non)-Stimulus, The Alternative, and Rush

Tuesday, January 27, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Here’s the transcript of my conversation with John Boehner from yesterday’s program. The House GOP is firming up its opposition to the Pelosi package of payoffs and political gestures, and there is no way that the House bill should get more than a handful of GOP votes as those who do vote for it will be signaling a complete indifference to core principles of the party. I also asked the House GOP’s leader about the president’s shot at Rush Limbaugh:

JB: Well, I don’t want to characterize what went on in the meeting at the White House. That’s not really appropriate. But it was just, it was really just a casual remark as though some of us were taking instructions from Rush. Now I like Rush, but he’s a talk show host, and I’m in the policy-making business. And the President already heard what we had to say, and it didn’t come from Rush Limbaugh. It came from us. And I’m the one that outlined the kind of wasteful spending in here that I don’t think will achieve the objective.

HH: Do you think the conservative base, that listens to Rush, listens to me, listens to the other talkers, are behind you?

JB: I do. I think a lot of Americans, probably more than half the American people, are looking up at some of this spending and wondering what in the world are they doing? Or they’re saying “Oh. My. God. There they go again.”

Boehner and Limbaugh are on the same side, but President Obama is clearly more worried about Rush and the conservative media network than he is about the Congressional GOP, at least for the moment. It will be up to the GOP Senate to send a message that its cooperation depends at least in part on the attention paid to the Republican views in the House. If the GOP allows itself to get rolled on this enormously wasteful and counterproductive giveaway, it will have wasted a gift that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid gave them: The chance to quickly define themselves again as a party serious about economic growth and disciplined spending.

J.P. Moreland On Today’s Program

Monday, January 26, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The evangelical movement in politics is pretty smashed up after November’s vote, and uncertain as to direction and leadership. I am going to devote a few conversations over the next few weeks to the repair of that project, and kick off that series tonight with Professor J.P. Moreland of Biola University’s Talbot School of Theology. Moreland is one of the most prolific and influential of evangelical thinkers, and his new book, The God Question, is a response to the rise of secular absolutism in the public square. Even if you aren’t a believer, you will want to listen in. The transcript will be posted here later.

The God Question: An Invitation to a Life of Meaning (ConversantLife.com?)

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