Daily Archives: March 18, 2007

President Chuck Hagel ?

“Hagel is criticized for what many see as grandstanding on the Iraq war, but his critique of the problems we face there has been more right than wrong since our forces landed there.” “He may be right or wrong on Iraq, but no one can question his base conservatism or his devotion to a strong United States.”
American Conservative Union Chairman David A. Keene, quote from the Washington Times

“Beware those who cry for war the loudest, for they are those who have never known the horrors of combat.”
Marine Warrant Officer I served with.

President Chuck Hagel?
By: Joe Leonardi

Senator Chuck Hagel has left the door open to enter the Presidential primary free-for-all. The Senator’s non-announcement, announcement not with standing — his record, on most issues, is one I agree with. One glaring disagreement is his record on immigration which, to me, is abysmal. However, his epiphany concerning Iraq demonstrates how reasonable people now look at the war and his opposition to President Bush’s Blunder can influence me to overlook our difference on immigration.

Though I remain excited about Senator Thompson’s possible entry into the presidential primary, with the four year mark of our involvement in Iraq approaching, I think the person to go with may very well be Senator Chuck Hagel. The moment is RIGHT for a Republican who is not afraid to tell the President; enough is enough!

On politico.com Dante Scala; a political science professor at Saint Anselm College is quoted as asking “If you’re that dead set against Bush and the war, why wouldn’t you just give to a Democrat? ” Well Mr. Scala, because there are Republicans out here whose brains still function! We want a conservative Republican who has enough sense to question the sending our young men and women to a war zone just because President Bush is too egocentric to admit he made a mistake. We Conservative Republicans are tired of being led by a President who has squandered our trust and faith and has demonstrated that he is not a Ronald Reagan, movement conservative.

I recall an old saying in my Navy days, “Republicans want a large military but don’t want to use it. Democrats want a small military but want to sent it everywhere.” Sound familiar? This is exactly what President Bush has done.

Instead of using his “political capital” to advance conservative ideals and actions, he tossed said capital out the window in a failed effort to get John Bolton confirmed to the U.N. Then, what little capital remained famously went into the Harriet Miers fiasco. No Mr. Scala genuine conservatives, not the neo-cons who have co-opted our party, would welcome a Republican that does more than claim to be a conservative. (just a side note, can you ever imagine a true leader like President Reagan publicly stating he has political capital and now he’s ‘gonna spend it?’ )

There is a misconception that the Republican base strongly supports the president on Iraq. If that were the case Republicans would have held the Senate and the House. The truth is that most middle American Republicans do not support the President’s Iraq policy. I know, I ran for Congress and I met with and talked to over twenty thousand people, most of them Republican. Many angrily bent my ear relating their disgust for President Bush and how they were going to show it by either voting against Senator Rick Santorum or not voting in the Senate race at all. We all saw what happened; former Senator Santorum, is currently a Fox news contributor and Bobby Casey is now Senator Robert Casey.

If the beltway insiders keep ignoring the world outside D.C. and hold steadfast that most Republicans are on President Bush’s side, we are going to loose more than the White House in 2008. Senator Chuck Hagel may be what the Republicans need and perhaps President Charles Hagel can lead Republicans back to conservatism.

Joe Leonardi

8 Comments

Filed under Chuck Hagel, Conservative, Election, Fred Thompson, hagel, Iraq, NeoCon, President, Primary, Reagan, Republican, Veterans, War

Where is the outrage?

“Our troops are counting on their elected leaders in Washington, D.C., to provide them with the support they need to do their mission. We have a responsibility, all of us here in Washington, to make sure that our men and women in uniform have the resources and the flexibility they need to prevail.” President George W. Bush

“A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards. More than that no man is entitled, and less than that no man shall have.” Theodore Roosevelt

Where is the outrage?
By: Joe Leonardi

As a veteran, as a former congressional candidate, as a doctor and as an American; the incident at Walter Reed Army Hospital, specifically Building 18, still has me enraged. What I don’t understand — is where has the anger been from conservative commentators, republican politicians and most importantly from the White House? Where — is the outrage?! Oh wait, approximately two weeks later we were told “the President is angry.”

Conservative, entertainment commentators tell the American people, “You can’t support the troops without supporting the war and/or the President.” What a gargantuan pile of balderdash. Of course, you can support our armed forces without supporting President Bush’s blunder in Iraq. My questions to the Limbaughs, the Hannitys and yes even President Bush and Vice President Cheney is where is your support for the troops? How do you serve those who guarantee your freedoms? While Limbaugh and Hannity cower behind the lines throwing bombs at veterans, like Senators John Kerry and John McCain who actually served, the military had our wounded heroes sleeping in housing barely worthy of a slum. How do you justify having placed our heroes in roach infested, rat teeming, holes in the ceilings, mold abounding berthing without nary a whimper from the right? HOW?

Well I’m on the right and to quote a famous movie, “I’m as mad as hell!” Not only should our soldiers, sailors, airmen or marines have never been treated in this ghastly fashion, I’m mad as hell that the President of the United States hasn’t been mad as hell. Mr. President, you and the Vice-President artfully dodged serving in the war of your generation, Vietnam, yet without hesitation you continue to send those who volunteer off to combat. President Bush, you have been playing up the Commander in Chief role from every dais you can find, perhaps it is time stop the talk and walk the walk.

Do I think the President should have known first hand what was going on in Building 18? No, I am not stupid enough to think that the President knows everything that goes on at every base in the nation. However, once he learned how his troops were being treated, or should I say mistreated, he should have come out to the military and the American people to express his anger and disdain.

Two weeks after it had been made public, scapegoats were fired and then, suddenly, reporters told us the President was angry. These are your troops Mr. President, tact and diplomacy be dammed, where is your outrage? I don’t want to be told about it, I want to see it.

Building 18 represents a horrible disrespect to our service men and women. Building 18 doesn’t even meet the most minimal criteria President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed in the above quote. Building 18 demonstrates, from those proclaiming it the most, an overt lack of support for our troops.

More telling than Building 18 though, is the lack of leadership, the lack of immediate moral repulsion and the lack of non-calculated outrage from the man who is their leader.

This all demonstrates a truth I was told in my Navy days. A Marine warrant officer once said to me, “Beware those who cry for war the loudest, for they are those who have never known the horrors of combat.” In retrospect it is fitting that General Colin Powell was nick named the “Reluctant Warrior” and President Bush rattled from his Secret Service provided safety, “Bring it on.” Well, Mr. President, they brought it on, now please take care of our heroes.

Joe Leonardi

8 Comments

Filed under Conservative, Iraq, President, Republican, Veterans, Walter Reed, War

A Republican to vote for!

“After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood.”
Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson

A Republican to vote for!
By: Joe Leonardi

I must admit; this pre-primary season I have been more interested in the Democratic goings on then those of my own party. The current crop of Republican hopefuls just aren’t doing it for me. I wouldn’t donate a dime to any of their campaigns, put a sign in my yard, make a phone call or volunteer thirty seconds of my time for:

Senator John McCain; I voted for the Senator in the 2000 primary. Back in those days John McCain was a straight shooting, tell it like it is maverick. Though conservative, he over-sold his soul to President George W. Bush in hopes of getting his blessing. I used to be a huge John McCain supporter but he lost me.

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani; This is the guy I want to, want to vote for. I loved Ruddy as the mayor of New York City. I went to the city many times during the reigns of error of both Koch and Dinkins. Crime ran rampant and I avoided many neighborhoods and sections of the city, especially Times Square. Then came the Ruddy era. Crime dropped, Time Square porn was eradicated and you felt safe walking the streets. On September 11th terrorist struck America. Throughout our greatest tragedy the Mayor of New York led his city with determination and courage. While the President and Vice-president were in undisclosed locations Mayor Giuliani was in the shadow of the towers leading his people. And when the towers crumbled, Ruddy almost got swept away in the rubble. Rudy Giuliani the Mayor is someone we all should respect. Unfortunately I have two problems with the Mayor. First, I am pro life and I’m just not buying the whole “I will appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court” spiel. Second, as a conservative with very strong feelings on the second amendment, I would have a great deal of difficulty voting for Rudy. His record on gun control is something that I simply can not over look.

Mitt Romney; I don’t know enough about him and I am really not interested. He just doesn’t spark my curiosity.

Those I could support if they go for it:

Newt Gingrich; Former speaker, leader of the Republican resurgence and author of the Contract with America. The Speaker has been a long time political idol of mine. I had the opportunity to meet him briefly while I was running for Congress. He is politically impressive. My concern about Newt right now; is his lack of decisiveness concerning whether or not he is going to run. When word got out that I was considering a run for Congress, I put together my small group at the time, rented a room and made the announcement. It is one thing to weigh your options, but to be coy for the better part of a year, that I have trouble respecting. I don’t care for fence sitters. If you want to be President Mr. Speaker get off your @$$ and announce.

Now, internet fueled, speculation puts us on notice of another Republican candidate who may be entering the fray. Currently it is just speculation. I have read about him on a few conservative blogs, on line magazines and now on The Hill. Because of all this conjecture and growing comparisons to Ronald Reagan, I decided to check out the former lawyer turned actor, turned Senator, turned actor playing a lawyer. Conservatives perk up, Senator Fred Thompson maybe someone we can vote for without reservation.

I agree with the bulk of Senator Thompson’s voting record. I am aware that even among conservatives we are going to have disagreements however, he appears to be a strong movement conservative. There are also the intangible factors; he has a commanding presence, he is articulate, educated and able to communicate. He appears to be like-able and perhaps most important — he seems — presidential.

Senator Thompson please speak and let yourself be heard, we are listening.

Joe Leonardi

11 Comments

Filed under Conservative, Election, Fred Thompson, President, Primary, Reagan, Republican