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Archive for Republican Party

Unquestioned Reality

sequestered 2-9-2013-b-hummel

Last week was the celebration of (Republican) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic speech, of his hope and dreams of an America where race is inconsequential. Unfortunately, (Republican) Dr. King would be rolling in his grave right now at the way an entire political party has decided to use false allegations of racism against their opponent to stir up a fever pitch of fear and hate against them. It’s absolutely disgraceful to (Republican) King’s memory and legacy and it’s sickening.

Racism is a terrible thing, whether it’s white on black, Polish on Jew, or black on white. All of it God frowns upon. And false allegations of racism are nothing more than a form of racism, pitting one race against another with false fears and making that divide even greater.  Since Obama’s election, everybody was hoping that this signified the end to racial disharmony. Instead, it has only gotten worse and he has done nothing but watch his cronies stoke the flames of racial rage.

I’m a huge fan of (Republican) Dr. Martin Luther King. I grew up in a mixed race neighborhood and experienced the beauty of being exposed to different cultures. So I was looking forward to last Wednesday as being a day of unity. Instead, what I saw from other political cartoons and heard from liberal commentators on the day when we’re supposed to be coming together as races, horrified me.

Saw one cartoon that had Republicans hanging black people. No other explanation. That was their premise, no need to provide any evidence. Several others equated the Republican desire for voter ID as somehow not allowing blacks to vote. *

But the straw that broke the camel’s back was one cartoon that had all these gravestones and plaques with an elephant with a shotgun standing among them. On them were written: Jim Crow, No Japs (a reference to Japanese internment), No Irish…. And in the far corner was a border agent hauling off a Mexican.**

This is a working editorial cartoonist, working with a respected paper, drawing this. The obvious wrong in this cartoon was that what was written on the tombstones were DEMOCRAT INITIATIVES! Japanese interment… (Democrat) FDR’s idea! Jim Crow laws, written and propagated by the Democrat party! And the sign that said no Irish…? Not quite sure what he was referring to there.

It’s one thing to falsely accuse somebody of something, but to lie about history to try and gin up hatred for one party?! Absolutely disgusting!

The Democrats have found a goldmine. Racism is a crime of the mind and it is nothing that can be proved or disproved. If you accuse somebody of tweeting his junk to young gals, he will demand you provide evidence of such accusations. But with racism, no evidence is needed, nor can any be provided, for or against. You can’t say, “well open up my brain and peer in and you’ll see I’m not a racist…” Without the need for a smoking gun, the accusations stick and the despicable tactics work.

The other problem is that the public is slowly starting to believe these false charges, despite any evidence. They take them as truth without questioning whether or not there’s a motive behind them. Fear and hate then creeps into their mind, blocking their ability to look at the arguments of any issue. If only there were a way to convey this in a cartoon…

*An aside… Really? So being in favor of rule of law is racist? I’m sorry, isn’t it MORE racist to assert that somehow blacks are incapable of getting photo IDs?

**Another aside… Now the accusation is that Republicans are wholesale racists because they oppose amnesty. This is a case where there is broad and intentional misunderstanding about the ISSUE. We sit and tell a Sudanese refugee, brutally torn from his murdered family, to wait three years and to pass all these tests in order to enter our country. He dutifully does so, desiring to honor the laws of the new country he is about to come into. And while he sits and waits, we just let millions of Mexicans gain instant citizenship simply because they broke the law and snuck in. Talk about fairness, this is not fair to the Sudanese! I’m not a hardliner on this issue (read any of my previous columns and you’ll see), but I understand that a desire to implement rule of law and order to our immigration process is not in any way racist.

Western Conservative Summit Review

allen west

 

Western Conservative Summit, was, in a word, pretty dang awesome (okay, so that’s a few words). Just for reference, this past weekend Centennial Institute hosted the fourth annual Western Conservative Summit, a three-day gathering of like-minded conservatives (think CPAC of the West). The house was packed to the gills as we listened to big name guest speakers (like Allen West and Dick Morris) come in and encourage, train, brainstorm, inspire as we work to sway the country for the next few elections.

Most of the speakers were very optimistic about the future of the conservative movement.

Other observations that really stuck out for me:

Despite unfounded accusations to the contrary, the conservative and Republican movement is NOT a racist movement. (Never has been, check the history). This year, much more than last, the summit was an ethnically diverse event. Attendees and speakers were represented by all different races and colors, black, white, Hispanic, Indian, Asian, German, you name it. Not that race is important, as conservatives, it’s all about the content of your character that matters.

The Youth Vote

What WAS still missing was young people. While there was a large student delegation representing CCU, when you removed them, the amount of gray heads in the room was overwhelming. This was an issue that was addressed ad nauseum by many of the speakers. Why are the youth voting Democrat and how do we change this? True, a lot has to do with the liberal brainwashing centers otherwise known as public education, but it’s more than that. Deep down, most young folk are libertarian at heart. Nothing about liberalism is libertarian, except on social issues, and even there, the data is showing that the younger generation is actually MORE prolife than the baby boomers!

The problem is, they are believing the false narrative proclaimed about Republicans and Conservatives by the media, and Republicans do a lousy job at discrediting it. I loved what one student speaker said: Democrats and Liberals show up at college campuses all the time. If Republicans just simply showed up, who knows what kind of difference they could make (and not three months before the election, that comes off as disingenuous.)

And there may be some evidence to this. They shared some polling data from the last election. Overwhelmingly respondents voted Romney as better able to handle everything from the economy to foreign policy. Yet they voted Obama as being more likable and ultimately that’s what guided their vote.

The Third Party

Ted Cruz and several others lambasted the Republican Party for their willingness to cave in to Democrat demands, at the detriment of the country (all for the sake of perceived political gain). A few times the term “Democrat Lite” was used to describe much of today’s Republican leadership and the party in general. If there’s no distinction between Republicans and Democrats on voting day, the public will pick Democrat every single time.

Because of this, a question was posed to Jenny Beth Martin. She was asked if the Republicans continue to look more and more like Democrats, would the TEA Party break off and form a third party. She would not say no.

Use the Force, Luke!

Comic relief was provided by Jonah Goldberg and Bill Whittle. Whittle mentioned that the term “conservative” has a bad connotation for young people, and calling yourself one means instant turnoff. He suggests we change the term to something more appealing, you know, something like “rebel alliance.”

While I laughed out of my seat on that one, it does anger me that our language has to be defined for us. If it has a bad meaning, then we need to be out there changing that meaning. Conservative means freedom, it means liberty, it means charity, it means being allowed to make your own decisions. Whittle also reminded us (and encouraged us to remind our socialist utopian friends) that it’s socialism that has a history of 100 million dead on its hands. History proves that nothing good has ever come from socialism. It goes against basic human nature and requires force to be implemented.

About this illustration

So what does this have to do with the portrait of Allen West you see above, you’ve probably been asking as you’ve slogged through this editorial? I was given the unique privilege and opportunity to create painted caricatures of the speakers. The idea occurred only two weeks before the event, but because of my chalk art gig in Crested Butte the following weekend, I ended up having 7 days to work on this project.

I knew I wanted to develop a new illustration style. I’ve been playing around with a rough and painterly new modern look. I’ve been trying to represent the most amount of information with the largest brush strokes I could. I also start with a textured painted background, which I like to let come in and out of the composition, as I use more opaque paints to bring out the highlights in the foreground.

This new style allowed me to work a little faster than normal. If you do the math, that’s 2 pieces a day. Each piece took an average of 4 hours each. In addition, I still had to keep working on other client obligations. Those 7 straight days I worked roughly 12 hours each and I just cranked out those paintings. I really didn’t have a whole lot of time to think much about the painting. I just had to do it.

Each painting has a story. As I roll out all 14 over the next two weeks, I’ll reveal the story behind each one.

Allen West was the first of this experiment. I decided to add the slight indication of an army camo netting above him as part of the picture.

I then had the opportunity to meet him in person, which was way cool, because I absolutely admire the man. It was a long line, and they were cycling us through fairly quickly, so conversation was out of the question. If you had the chance to say just one thing to one of your heroes, what would you say?

When it was finally my turn I said to him, “Your courage is an inspiration to us all.” Then after the photo, I concluded by saying, “May God continue His blessings upon you.” At that, Mr. West grabbed my hand firmly and looked me straight in the eye and said, “Thank you. That means so much to me. And please, don’t ever forget to pray for me.”

Such is the man, and other events and run-ins with him the next few days solidified just how humble this guy really is. He accepted the above painting with honor, a Benjamin Hummel original, now in the home of former Congressman Allen West.

IRS Scandal

In case you live under a rock, or in case you get your news from MSNBC, the big scandal of the day is that the IRS is targeting conservative and Tea Party groups.

Yawn. This is news? I mean, I guess it is in the fact that it’s finally being reported, but no doubt this has been suspected for a long time.

My biggest frustration with all of this is the Democrats. When are you going to start cleaning house? What boggles my mind is that honest, hard working, freedom loving Americans are so loyal to their own party, that they are unwilling to rid it of corruption as it has taken over. I’m sorry, using the IRS as bullies to shut down political opposition (aka speech) during two election cycles is tyranny. There is nothing else you can call it. Sure it’s your guys doing it, so you’ll look the other way, but you same people screamed foul at W for barely even sneezing!

The Republicans have NOOOO problem jettisoning politicians the moment they are accused of wrong doing, whether or not such accusations are even true. Remember Tom Foley? Tom Delay? Dan Maes? Why can’t you Democrats do the same?

Of course, these attacks by the IRS are justified according to Democrat Harry Reid. According to him, because these conservative non-profit groups are sometimes fronted by rich (gasp!) people, they shouldn’t be allowed to qualify like the liberal non-profit groups (fronted by rich people). So, let me get this straight, rich people shouldn’t have free speech protection? Actually, yes, I’ve had some liberals tell me, and with all sincerity, they say money should be removed from speech so that it becomes fair. Then they pat themselves on the back for being so freedom minded.

Money does make speech easier, but guess what, it exists on both sides. Need I remind you that Democrats have outspent Republicans on every major national election since 2006? Money is speech and there shall be NO law restricting it!

Other prominent liberals have justified these IRS attacks by saying violent and racist groups like the TEA party should have extra scrutiny placed on them. WHAT?!? I’m confused. Do these liberals really believe that the TEA party is racist and violent, or are they just saying this as a convenient way to quickly demonize and dismiss their opposition? Every time a liberal tries to pin the TEA party as violent, I ask them, based on what? Can you name for me an actual violent incident involving a TEA party member? I can tell you how many times TEA party members have been falsely accused after any number of terrorist attacks, only to be quietly exonerated later. (Gabby Giffords, Aurora shootings, Boston bombings.) Perhaps they only remember the first media accusations and not the later correction?

And the charges of racism? Sooooo… let me get this straight. Smaller government and fiscal responsibility are racist?

This is a tactic often used by dictators. Falsely accuse your political opponent of the worst possible immorality you can think of. (In America, right now, that’s the charge of racism.) Then because they are so immoral, you can justify perpetrating whatever injustices against them you want, you know, like IRS harassment. It’s how Hitler got an entire German country to turn against the Jews.

What are your values? Forget party allegiance. Take the time to investigate the people on your side and those from the other side. When anyone, Republican or Democrat, engages in unethical activities in order to gain political power, the entire nation should be holding them accountable, not just the opposing party.

Side Note: Phew! Sorry this is so long. But it’s like the adage, a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can even put on its shoes. Lies are easy to spread as one liners on Facebook, Twitter and anywhere else. “The TEA party is racist.” Once it’s out there and people start believing it, just saying “no they’re not” will not suffice. Unfortunately, it requires long documentation and rational explanation in order to set the record straight and even then, people are slow to believe. That’s the beauty of cartoons sometimes. They can hammer home a truth much quicker and more poignantly than words.
Post Script:  Even I was subjected to harassment by the Obama campaign. Back in 2008, I posted Obama’s position on Orphan Works based upon a Newsweek article. A week later, I received a phone call (area code New York City) from a lady claiming to be on the Obama election campaign, telling me they were going to sue me for libel if I didn’t take down that post, citing a Time article in which Obama was quoted as taking the opposite position. Of course, I took it down, but does that mean Obama might have read some of my cartoons? Cool.

Sequestered

Here are a few facts.

  • Congress has not passed a budget in close to four years.
  • Congress has never denied raising the debt ceiling limit when asked.
  • When the Republicans proposed raising the ceiling to a level lower than the Democrats, they are said to be making cuts.
  • Every time we approach a new deadline, what should be done is not and Republicans and Democrats, under a spirit of beautiful and wonderful bipartisanship, pass bandaid measures that kicks the problem down the road a few more months, ensuring only that the problem will continue to grow.

ENOUGH ALREADY! STOP SPENDING!

Neither side wants to be the side to rob grandma of her means of living through entitlement cuts. This is the untrue accusation that crops up every election cycle. So neither side seems to have the political courage or moral fiber to do the right thing.

One observation I have made through all of these impending deadlines we have encountered over the past four years, from fiscal cliffs to debt ceilings, is that the Democrats seem scared to death to have the deadlines pass without another “bandaid” fix. It’s as if the Democrats don’t want the sequestering to occur and the closer to the deadline we get, the more irate they become. I find it fascinating. Why could this be? Could it be a clue for the Republicans?

The Republicans must believe that if we go into sequestering that somehow they will get the political sword for it. Certainly polls indicate that this will be the case and we’ve got a media that is more than ready to write that story and broadcast it 24/7. But if this truly was the case, then I would believe that the Democrats would be a lot more casual about these approaching deadlines. I don’t think we’d see Obama come out shaking his finger at Republicans accusing them of not being willing to come together for the good of the country. Perhaps the Democrats do have something to lose.

Here is what I suspect. This new deadline includes several mandatory cuts. What do we know about government spending? Once it starts, it’s nearly impossible to stop. It becomes an unchecked cash flow from that point forward. This sequestering will automatically stop a lot of that spending. The biggest issue I believe is not that these programs will loose money. That’s not what the Democrats are worried about. No, it’s that when the cuts do go into place, we will discover that all of that spending wasn’t necessary in the first place! Those in charge, Republicans and Democrats alike, are not allowing these deadlines to lapse. Wishful thinking, maybe, but should the cuts occur, I think it becomes much harder to sell additional spending to the general public. This could potentially pay huge dividends in the upcoming midterms.

I am sick of party allegiance. Seriously folks, I don’t care if you are a Democrat or a Republican, don’t you care about out of control spending?

Blame a Republican

When I listen to the Media, Occupy Wallstreeters, and hard-core Liberals, all I hear is that the Republicans are to blame for everything! Can’t get a job, must be the Republicans’ fault. Don’t like the weather? Must be the Republicans’ fault. Sick of paying high gas prices? That’s definitely a Republicans’ fault, because they want to mine for domestic oil! Have an ingrown toe nail? Somehow that’s the Republicans’ fault as well.

What’s really frustrating is that we have a “blame-Republicans” president. With a Democrat congress, he’s had practically carte blanch for all his ideas for his first two years, yet every time he gets up to speak, he never talks about the issues, it’s always the Republicans fault. Remember, your misery is to be tied to the Republican party and nothing else. If you sit on your bum, smoke pot and can’t afford to buy a trip to Europe, remember class, who we are to blame?

 

 

 

Crossing the Aisle

I originally created this cartoon three years ago. It never made it to my blog for some reason, but considering all the craziness in Washington right now, today seemed as good as any to put it in.

Baggage Handler

I didn’t even mention Jeremiah Wright, Saul Alinsky, or any of his other associations. I also didn’t mention Obama’s wanton disregard for the rule of law and the constitutional process, appointing czars who write legislation without the consent of Congress. Also included in the list of abuses are his executive orders and his so-called recess appointments, too important to wait for congress, says he, in defense of them. If they were really that important, don’t you think he would be able to get them through a left leaning congress?

What’s also disgusting is the way the left and the media will turn a blind eye to these aforementioned charges, while they work to completely destroy any Republican they perceive as a threat… but never on policy, only on trumped up allegations and character assassinations. Look at how viciously they attacked Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain. I fear to think about what they’ll do to Rick Santorum, now that he’s showing some promise.

Should be an interesting election season.

 

 

 

Civilty

Civility

Funny how so many urge for a coming together and bipartisanship, yet when push comes to shove, they refuse to compromise their own values and simply expect the other side to cave.

That’s fine, in fact, I prefer people with opinions, even if they are in direct opposition to mine, over those who prefer to remain wishy-washy over issues and choose to remain ignorant on the hot topics that are affecting our nation today.

The Elephant in the Room


My purpose in doing these cartoons and commentary is to get you, the readers, to just maybe understand why I hold the opinions I do about policy matters. I’m not a hateful individual who wants this country trashed and could care less about the poor. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I believe conservative policies and the freedoms contained therein have been proven more effective than their liberal counterparts. Nor am I partisan. If a Republican does something I consider unethical, I’ll be among the first to oppose them (after found guilty–I’m a strong believer in innocent until proven guilty.) This cartoon was based on a recent piece on Jon Caldara’s blog, chastising Republicans for getting us into this big government spending mess in the first place. To understand more about this cartoon, read his article at: http://www.joncaldara.com/2009/04/tea-parties-were-protesting-republicans-too/

The Day After the Election


Those of us who have been through a few election cycles know that nothing really ever changes. The candidates make feel-good promises that could never really be implemented without some sort of consequence, and yet we buy into it, follow the hype, buddy up to our candidate and hammer in those yard signs. It seems both sides make the move to the center, contrary to how they historically have voted. This year the Democrats have especially done so, but to be fair and objective (like there is such a thing, anywhere), this toon lampoons both sides.

Tax cuts, strong defense, limited spending, pro small business, wait a minute, those are Republican talking points! Use the federal government to stop corporate greed? Now my side is sounding like Democrats! Anecdotally, I occasionally hear individuals talking about how they will support a certain Democrat candidate because they promise to reach across the aisle and be bipartisan. When it was brought to their attention that said candidate was one of the most liberal in the House or Senate and has yet to reach across the aisle, according to readily available congressional records, those people merely replied with, “but now they say they will this time.”

A liberal will always be a liberal and a conservative will always be a conservative and a campaign promise is not worth a whole lot. It amazes me how some people vote based on what a candidate says rather than what a candidate has done.

Republicans in Love

And after the hoopla that was the Democrat Party, the biggest news ever was… John McCain chooses Sarah Palin as his running mate. Sarah who? A female vice presidential candidate on the Republican ticket? Unheard of! What a way to upstage Obama!

After initially learning about who she is (and reading her Wikipedia page) the social conservative branch (a big branch at that) of the Republican party went nuts. Is she for real? Can this be too good to be true?

Some are accusing McCain of choosing her only because she is a woman. There may be some of that, but if that was the case, why not Condoleezza Rice? And don’t tell me the reverse isn’t true. I know of prolife Republicans who are voting Obama simply because he has African blood.

Truth is, she is a no nonsense, gun totin’, sports fanatic, business owning, middle American woman, beauty queen, someone hard working Americans feel they can relate to and trust. As this election heats up, we’ll learn more about her, for better or for worse. But for now, Republicans couldn’t be happier

The RINO Party

Reagan Wigs

Iowa Caucus 2008

The Major Leagues

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