Monday, September 15, 2008

Real Change in Michigan – and Washington

by Matt May

Translated from the Latin, the official motto of the state of Michigan declares that "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you." A fitting motto for the state of Michigan might be "If you seek the yield of leftist governance, look about you.
"Hoogendyk can quicken the pace of the sort of self-reliant change
envisioned by the Founders – the change McCain-Palin pledge to bring."
Last week was a perfect storm of the wreckage Democrats have wrought on the state and its largest, once-bejeweled city. Our ineffectual Governor Jennifer Granholm convened a hearing to determine if Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick should be ousted from office, the hearing coming at the request of the city council.

Before its conclusion, Kilpatrick took a plea deal that requires him – among other punishments - to surrender his office, spend three months in jail, and refrain from running for any public office for five years. Defiant as ever, Kilpatrick bid a temporary farewell to the city by vowing to reappear as he invoked the stirring eloquence of Lincoln or Webster: "Y'all done set me up for a comeback." He wasn't kidding. Kilpatrick's mother is the caustic Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick, head of the Congressional Black Caucus. Do not be surprised if she manages to hold on to her seat and retire when her son is allowed to run for office again, and do not be surprised if the dismal voters of that district aid and abet anointing another Kilpatrick to "serve."

While the mayor resigns on his way to the cooler, and the wife of Rep. John Conyers (the notorious head of the House Judiciary Committee) calls the incoming mayor "Shrek" during City Council assemblies and harasses hotel employees during the DNC convention, high taxes are driving those who can afford it and are lucky enough to sell their house out of the state for good. The major American auto manufacturers continue their dance of mutually assured destruction with unions who seem to grow more strident and demanding the more their products are rejected. The public schools turn out functional illiterates unprepared for the next grade level, let alone college – yet their teachers demand higher salaries and more benefits.

Unfortunately the institutional rot foisted upon the state by the Democratic Party and its many enablers is not confined to the borders. This is most evident in the presence of Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow representing Michigan in the United States Senate. Sen. Levin stands for re-election again this November. Should he win, he will begin his 30th year in the Senate. Thirty years. Thankfully someone is standing in his way. His name is Jack Hoogendyk. He is a first generation American and a member of the state legislature. He is the diametric opposite of Sen. Levin.

Most readers are no doubt familiar with Carl Levin. He has been seen in action recently attempting to undermine Gen. David Petraeus, putting him in line with the vile Sen. Levin voted against confirming Samuel Alito to the United States Supreme Court. He voted for $51 million worth of funding toward something called "21st Century Community Learning Centers." He rates an astonishing 0 percent from the National Right to Life Committee and rarely meets an expansion of federal money to public schools he does not like – yet he voted against letting parents of schoolchildren in the District of Columbia utilize vouchers (1997). The list goes on forever because Sen. Levin has been in Washington forever. He is a living, breathing argument for term limits.

It is one thing to vote against someone, especially someone as grimly addicted to power and its privileges as Sen. Levin. But voters – everyone – enjoy being for something more so than against. Those of us who believe in limited government and the freedom of the people have a champion in Hoogendyk, who is a conservative and legislates as one. He has a perfect record on anti-abortion legislation and upholds the sanctity of the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution. He is highly unlikely to strike deals among various "gangs" within the Senate that end up protecting the interest of incumbent senators rather than the interests of their states or the union. Do not look for a Senator Hoogendyk buying into the witch hunt mentality Democrats like Levin have employed in defaming indispensable Americans like Petraeus, Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, and Justice Alito – even if a Democratic president is doing the nominating. Hoogendyk understands and respects the Constitution and the limits that the term "advice and consent" have as outlined in The Federalist Papers.

Hoogendyk can quicken the pace of the sort of self-reliant change envisioned by the Founders – the change McCain-Palin pledge to bring. It is indeed vital that Barack Obama be denied the keys to the White House. Yet little will change if people like Carl Levin are permitted to continue to obstruct, harangue, and impede while expanding the reach of federal power. Real political change is brought about not by one or two individuals, but by a movement of individuals committed to fundamental principals of republican governance. Hoogendyk is one such individual. He deserves the support of not only Michigan conservatives, but conservatives everywhere. Hoogendyk is not Democrat-lite, which means Democrat. He is not Lindsey Graham.

Sen. Obama is correct – though not in the way he means – when on the campaign trail he huffs "Enough is enough." Indeed. Conservatives fed up with squeamish Republicans in Congress have an opportunity to back a real conservative who understands that we live in a democratic republic, not a direct democracy wherein every single need of the people must be promptly addressed by the federal government. Jack Hoogendyk stands for conservative principles and should be supported in his bid to unseat the symbol of entrenched power, Carl Levin.
If Michiganders fail again to vote for real change, we have only ourselves to blame.

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