Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Conservative Viewpoint
- A Letter To My Granddaughter

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

If there is one thing that most of us can agree on, it’s how much we dread the telephone ringing in the middle of the night. It is seldom good news. A loved may have been rushed to the hospital. Perhaps it was an accident where a friend or family member had been injured. And then again if the voice you hear is that of a law enforcement official, your worst nightmare may be beginning.

Recently we experienced one of those early morning calls. We had been expecting this one for days. I picked up the phone and heard the familiar voice of our youngest son Greg. “It’s show time Dad! Michelle and I are at the hospital in Cedar Rapids,” he said. “Your new granddaughter will be arriving any time now. I thought you and Mom would want to know.”

I had asked Greg to call me whatever the hour. My wife Marie and I had been sitting on pins and needles for the previous three days.

Amidst the darkness of our bedroom, Marie and I held one another and shared tears of joy as we silently anticipated an event that would once more transform our lives. From courtship and marriage thru that moment, our 40 years together were about to bring us full circle. A loving God would once again allow us to play a vital part in shaping the life of a child dear to us.

While our role as grandparents will differ from our role as parents, our overall desire to nurture will remain the same. Just as we tried to guide ourselves and our sons through the many trials and travails of life that challenge a family, so too will we humbly, gratefully and lovingly accept our new assignment. We taught our sons that without the strength and the living presence of the Almighty God in their lives, the path of life is difficult, if not impossible, to traverse successfully.

As I lay in bed, unable to fall back to sleep, I decided I’d get up from bed to pen a letter to a granddaughter I’d yet to meet. In fact, I didn’t even know her name. But then again, she hadn’t met her new Papa either.

What follows are the words I wrote in those early morning hours, alone in my solitude with pen in hand and more love in my heart than any mortal deserves.

Dearest Granddaughter,

How strange it seems to utter those words. You are our very first grandchild you know, and for that reason you will be forever special.

I just spoke with your Dad, who incidentally happens to be my little boy, and he told me that he and your Mom are anxiously awaiting your imminent arrival. Your new grandparents are too. In fact, we will be joining you at your home in Iowa in just a few days. We can’t wait to hold you in our arms while we look into your beautiful and trusting eyes and tell you much we love you.

When your Daddy was born (and his brother before him) I made this silent pledge to them while I held them in my arms for the very first time. It is also my pledge to you. I promise I will always be there for you, in life and in spirit, and will work diligently to see that you are afforded the best life can offer. I’ll do whatever I can to insure you will have the freedoms and opportunities that I and millions of other Americans have enjoyed for decades.

I don’t plan on giving you great wealth, but rather will fight to insure that you have the tools to earn it, should wealth be your desire.

I will help teach you about personal responsibility. I will reinforce those teachings of your parents as to what it means and why it is important. This is among the most essential lessons you will ever learn

The world is changing dear child, and so too is our nation. The technology that is available today will be old-fashioned before you enter pre-school. You will need to learn to adapt to change. But not all change is good. We’ll give you plenty of guidance, but you’ll need even more than your loved ones can provide.

There are three master works that one day you will be taught to embrace: The Holy Bible, the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution.

The Bible will provide you with the moral guidance and spiritual sustenance all Christians rely on. It will be your compass throughout life and will never fail you if you simply remain faithful.

The Declaration of Independence will educate you about the importance of emulating the convictions of our forefathers whose courage and strength helped establish the freest nation in all the word; a nation you too are now a part of.

And then there is the Constitution. Its all about governance based in God that shows how a free and willing people can come together for the common good. Individual freedoms were guaranteed in this treasured document - your freedoms and mine. We must be willing to sacrifice our lives to insure the integrity of this document prevails forever.

All this is pretty heady stuff for a little girl that hasn’t even been born yet. For now it can wait. It’s time to enjoy all of those things that make little girls so special and forever the apple of their Papa’s eyes.
I’ll love you always,

Julia Marie Steinburg was born a healthy baby at 2 PM on Friday January 29, 2010.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Inner Banks Humor - TOTUS

There has been a repeated and ongoing joke about the President's reliance on teleprompters to give speeches, along with several examples that without his teleprompter, the President is nearly tongue tied.

However two instances this week dramatize this weakness in a most ridiculous way. Our godlike President, the Magic Marxist Messiah, used a TELEPROMPTER to give a presentation to a group of SCHOOL children, and then used it to have a meeting with his middle-class TASK FORCE, one he staffed with HIS PEOPLE, talking about what he hoped they would accomplish. I mean has anyone ever seen a leader have a meeting with his supporters and use a TELEPROMPTER?


One blogger suggested SNL do a skit with Obama ordering lunch from a teleprompter! So appropriate. This man is a bozo.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Al-Pam Republican Club
Sponsors Campaign Workshop

Saturday February 13th from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Paul Shumaker, Political Strategist and Campaign Advisor with Capital Communications, along with Garth Regan, Political Director for Senator Richard Burr, will conduct a Campaign Workshop on Saturday, February 13th for the Al-Pam Republican Club. The workshop will begin at 10 AM and end at 3 PM.

This workshop is for candidates, campaign managers and others interested in all the facets of running a successful political campaign and is open to all Registered Republicans.

The workshop will be held in Hertford NC in the American Legion building Post 126 at 115 Academy St. West.

A Dutch luncheon will be served. Call or email in reservations as soon as possible. Space is limited.

For information or to make reservations, please contact one of the following officers of the Al-Pam Republican Club: Chairman, Jack Piland at (252) 923-0036; Vice Chairman Bob Steinberg at (252) 482-2404; Vice Chairman-Programs Eddy Browning at (252) 793-2292 [email is]; or Secretary Hope Van Dorp at (252) 927-4245.

Directions: It gets a little confusing because the building is on a one-way street.

Coming from the north on US Hwy 17, after crossing over the Perquimans River Bridge, turn right at the stop light in Hertford onto South Church St (State Road 1336).
After crossing the small bridge on S. Church St, take the first left onto King St. Take the second right off King St onto Hyde Park St. Follow it till it dead ends on Market St. The American Legion Post is on Academy St W which will be diagonally to your left. However, it is a one-way street from the opposite direction. So you can either park on Market St and walk to the Post or turn right on Market St and then turn left onto Academy St E which will take you to Grubb St. You can park anywhere on W. Grubb St, Academy St W, or if there's still room when you arrive, in the small parking area next to the American Legion building.

Coming from the south on US Hwy 17, turn left/north onto NC 37 (S. Edenton Road St). Go for 1.5 miles and turn right onto Market St. The first left will be Academy St W. You can park wherever you find space on Market St. Alternatively, because Academy St W is a one-way street in the opposite direction, you can follow Edenton Road St until it ends, turn right onto Grubb St, and the first right will be Academy St W. Again, you can park anywhere on Grubb St, Academy St E, or if there's still room when you arrive, in the small parking area next to the American Legion building. park wherever you find space.

American Legion Post 126 is located at 115 Academy St W in Hertford across from the Perquimans County Library. If the above directions confuse you, please refer to and enter the address keeping in mind Academy St W runs one way from W. Grubb St to Market St while Academy St E runs from Market St to W. Grubb St.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Conservative Viewpoint
- ‘Brown’ Truck
Stops Liberal Agenda

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

Ok America. Wake up. What more proof do you need that only a year into the Obama (“Yes we can”) reign, voters are in revolt. Think I’m being an alarmist? Not when the U. S. Senate seat from Massachusetts that’s been in Democratic hands since 1953 has gone Republican. Former Sen. Teddy Kennedy has got to be turning over in his grave. Like the movie cliché: We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.

How did the little known state Sen. Scott Brown, who drives an old pickup truck with over 200,000 miles on it and who possessed minimal achievements in his tenure as a legislator, win the battle of David vs. Goliath against the Democratic machine? Both parties will be looking for answers over the next several months.

Answers shouldn’t be hard to find. Brown was able to identify with the dissatisfaction voters were feeling with the direction of the country, opposition toward federal government activism and of course opposition to the Democratic healthcare proposals. He convinced a majority of voters he heard them and that if elected he would see these concerns would be addressed in Washington.

Democrats have been tone-deaf to the outcries of a center-right nation over the progressive agenda they are being asked to swallow without gagging. While everyone expected hope and change from this new administration, what they’ve seen thus far is nothing more than the same kind of social engineering liberals have always promoted to develop a utopian nanny state.

With unemployment in double digits Democrats opted to concentrate on cap-and trade to combat global warming. If enacted this would only exacerbate the jobless numbers. One of the great ironies of combating global warming in the midst of the “Great Recession,” is that the world is now in the middle of one of the coldest winters on record.

Next Democrats sought to gut the nation’s healthcare system in spite of 80 percent of Americans saying they are pleased with the insurance coverage they have. While many of these same people recognize there is a definite need for reform, they don’t want a complete makeover. Most voters are also angry at any prospect of a healthcare system that places the government in complete charge of their healthcare choices, while at the same time allowing it to control one sixth of the nation’s economy.

Nonetheless, the majority pressed forward in the Senate and barely passed a healthcare bill by bribing big labor and several Democratic Senators in sleazy back-room deals. This only further alienated an already skeptical and increasingly angry electorate.

What voters have seen from Washington in just over one year has run the gamut; from a failed near trillion dollar economic stimulus package to “Cash for Clunkers;” from wasteful earmarks to a lack of government transparency; from bank bailouts to corporate buyouts, voters have seen it all. In fact, the folks have probably witnessed more government intrusion into the private sector in the last 13 months than they’ve seen in a lifetime.

This current group of Democrats, in many ways akin to their free-spending Republican predecessors, seems incapable of exercising fiscal discipline. But this group has pushed the envelope so far they’ve created a national debt that is unfathomable. Future historians’ may look at this “era of excess” as the greatest fiscal sham ever thrust upon mankind by its overlords.

Many voters have been equally disappointed in this administrations approach to national security. They cannot understand why a president in the middle of a “War on Terror” would opt to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp and release known terror suspects to return to their Middle East origins, to perhaps plot once more against [what they see as ] the Great Satan.

Equally perplexing was the absurd judgment of trying 9/11 terrorists in New York City. That decision was made by Attorney General Eric Holder, who also allowed the accused Christmas Day Pants Bomber to be read his Miranda rights and assigned an attorney, rather than held for questioning as a suspected terrorist.

Brown won against seemingly insurmountable odds because he found himself in the midst of a populist faction that had its origins last year in tea parties and town hall meetings. That grassroots effort was initiated to address the concerns conservatives, moderates, independents and like minded Democrats had with the progressive course being chartered for the nation, and the unwillingness of Washington to listen to their fears.

When they didn’t listen in Virginia, voters reacted by electing a Republican governor (along with a majority in the state legislature). On the same evening in New Jersey, disgruntled voters also elected a Republican governor who defeated a well financed incumbent Democratic opponent.

And then last week in Massachusetts- the state of Kennedy, Kerry and Dukakis, a Republican was elected to the U. S. Senate for a seat that had been occupied by a liberal Democrat for five decades.

The Democratic carnage is bound to continue until this president and members of his party begin to understand the stakes; either move this country back to center right or risk your political careers coming to an abrupt end this November.

Republicans are understandably jubilant about last Tuesday’s election, recognizing the tremendous impact Brown should have on politics and policy. But Brown and his fellow Republicans had best remember it was independent voters who delivered Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts to their column. These voters are vocal, they are organized and they understand, perhaps more than either major party that America works best under two-party rule. In their minds it’s no longer about yesterday and who did what, but rather about America: today, tomorrow and always.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Inner Banks Philosophy

"The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them."
-- Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Conservative Viewpoint
- Why Redistricting Matters

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

Election Day 2010 will be the most serious our state and nation will face for the next 10 years. I know that sounds dramatic, but if conservatives and moderates care one iota about the future its time to take a basic crash course on redistricting.

Once every decade in years that end in zero, states are required by law to take the most recent census data provided to them by the federal government and apply it the following year to help redraw the borders of our state legislative and Congressional districts. The lines are redrawn to reflect changes in population from the previous census.

In 36 states, including North Carolina, the political party controlling the legislature determines how the maps will be drawn. It is a partisan process that is badly in need of reform.

Some states have moved away from this partisan approach. Five of them carry out congressional redistricting by an independent or bipartisan commission. Other states have populations so small they have only one representative in the U. S. House, so Congressional redistricting is moot.

While redistricting was intended to insure fairness, in most states it has evolved into another tool to maintain the status quo of the majority party.

One example is North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District represented by Rep. G. K. Butterfield. It is comprised in some cases of bits and pieces of 23 counties resembling a jigsaw puzzle. It twists and meanders through precincts and counties that are favorable to the incumbent, making him very difficult to defeat. This gerrymandering or trying to get votes unfairly to maintain power is all too common and is destroying any chance the folks have of a true representative government.

When this year’s campaign gets underway in earnest this spring, most voters will be paying more attention to the federal races than those of candidates vying for seats in the N. C. General Assembly. This is a huge mistake for anyone who feels our state and nation are heading in the wrong direction.

There are some incumbents who will once again begin masquerading as conservatives. They understand the state and nation are predominately right-center and to win in many districts that’s how they must portray themselves to the electorate.

Fortunately voters have a fool proof way of stripping the mask from these chameleons. All one has to do is research the most important vote your legislator will ever make; the one they cast to elect their leaders in the House and Senate. It’s the leadership and not the rank and file members who will be driving the legislative agenda for the upcoming session.

Let’s look at three of the conservative imposters representing state House districts from the east who serves in the general assembly; Democratic Representatives Bill Owens from Pasquotank County, Arthur Williams from Beaufort and Tim Spear from Washington County. Spear, according to rumor control, is telling friends and relatives he will be replacing Sen. Marc Basnight, D-Dare, in the state Senate when Basnight steps down early next year due to his lingering illness. If true (and my sources say it is) Spear’s replacement would be appointed (probably from Dare) rather than elected by the good people of Chowan, Dare, Washington and Hyde counties, giving voters no say in the matter.

Spear, along with Owens and Williams voted to support Rep. Joe Hackney, D-Orange, the most liberal member of the N. C. House as their Speaker. Owens and Williams even supported disgraced former Democratic Speaker of the House Jim Black who is now serving a five year prison sentence on a felony conviction.

Owens is the chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee which, among other things, determines what bills will be heard and voted on and which bills won’t. He and Hackney are the most powerful players in the House.

Here are a few bills that never made it to the House floor because of Owens collaborating with Hackney and other liberals to keep them from coming to a vote:

• the Marriage Amendment which defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Sixty eight members of the House have signed on as sponsors of this bill, enough for it to pass. But Owens and Hackney won’t let them vote.

• the Taxpayer Protection Act. This is a bill that would require limiting state spending by basing it on growth and population instead of whim.

• Eminent Domain. Conservatives want a constitutional amendment to provide rock-solid protection for all citizens of this state in defending personal property rights against government seizure.

The “conservative” Democratic leadership in Raleigh has also given us the state lottery and untold increases to our taxes at the corporate and personal levels, killing not only job creation, but the family budget as well.

Absolute control exist over in the Senate where Sen. Marc Basnight, D-Dare, presides, holding out his ring for his minions to kiss while bowing and genuflecting before his political throne before submitting to his will.

They say that folks get the government they deserve. Perhaps, but if this is the best our elected representatives can do for our citizenry, then our state and her people will fail to reach our unlimited potential. No longer should voters accept maintaining the status quo that has for all too long benefited the few on the backs of the multitude.

The road to prosperity can begin this November on Election Day, if conservatives, moderates and like minded Democrats have the courage, conviction and will to elect individuals who are truly committed to bettering the lives of “We the people,” and that means all of us.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hoover Dam Bypass

Shown below is a picture of the bypass for Hoover Dam, now nearing completion. The idea is to allow traffic on the road that currently goes across the top of the dam to pass by without having the risk of someone driving a bomb onto the dam and destroying it.

I have a question though. How can this be considered safe? It doesn't look to me like the bridge is far enough away to do anything but require a bigger bomb... while the risk still remains.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

A Conservative Viewpoint
- GOP Resurgence In 2010?

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

A new study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reveals surprising differences between Republicans and Democrats on issues of spirituality and supernatural phenomenon, including astrology.

Only 14 percent of Republicans at least somewhat rely on the positions and aspects of heavenly bodies to predict or have an influence on the future, while nearly one third of Democrats embrace the practice. Either way one doesn’t have to be a Galileo to understand that the political landscape is ripe for a seismic shift to the right in this year’s mid-term elections.

President Barack Obama and the Democrats swept into office in 2008 when most Republicans in Washington (ironically many of the same group of conservative legislators that saved Bill Clinton’s presidency) lost their fiscal compass and became monetary miscreants. They had plenty of help from their Democratic brethren, but the GOP controlled all branches of government through 2006, and thus had no one to blame but themselves for their resounding defeat. Conservative and moderate voters felt betrayed by their fiscal excess.

One would think there was a lesson to be learned by both parties from the Bush years. It appears Republicans have taken note. Democrats, always willing to push the envelope when it comes to spending, apparently have not. They continue to blame Bush for all that ails us and in fact intend to use that strategy in the upcoming elections. It won’t work.

Obama and the Democrats were elected 14 months ago to fix the mess in Washington but instead they have only managed to make matters worse. Their reckless “largesse” is jeopardizing this nation’s economic prosperity, liberty, morality and super-power status. In fact, things are so bad, that most polls show Democrats trailing Republicans from six to nine percent on the mythical generic ballot-a polling question that asks voters, “If the election were held today would you support a Republican candidate or a Democrat?” This is the same Republican Party that one year ago the media reported dead and buried.

Democrats are beginning to head toward the exits. Senators Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota are calling it quits rather than face an angry electorate. Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who cast the deciding vote to pass the Senate’s heath care bill, is trailing his Republican challenger by 31 points in their 2012 senatorial match up. With the Democrats unpopular and failed stimulus, unemployment still in double digits, anger over the health care bill, breaches to national security, a convoluted foreign policy and national debt spiraling into the stratosphere, more retirements may be forthcoming.

In the House there are members of both parties also opting for a one way ticket home. Republicans are having little problem finding a plethora of quality candidates willing to replace members of their own party who are retiring as well as those willing to challenge incumbent Democrats. However any Republican road to redemption will not be without its own challenges. Its brand image has been diminished and there is a great deal of infighting between conservatives and moderates to see who will ultimately wrest control of the party. Many of these skirmishes will be played out in primaries that are certain to provide ammo to beleaguered Democrats fighting to retain power.

There is another factor that could throw a monkey wrench into the GOP’s optimistic outlook. Democrats believe that the Tea Party grassroots activists will limit Republican gains in 2010. While the movement has no official spokesperson, a convention is planned for later this year with Sarah Palin as the headliner. The Tea Party, once a liberal laughingstock, is now referred to by New York Times columnist David Brooks as “a major force in American politics.”

Many of the Tea Party members I have spoken with and others who I’ve heard interviewed expect to be supporting the GOP this year, but it’s early and anything can happen. Conservative Republicans along with like minded Democrats and independents comprise the bulwark of the movement. These folks readily identify with the politics of Ronald Reagan and not with those of Barack Obama and his progressive counterparts.

Should the Republican Party stray once more from its conservative principles as they did in 2001, all bets are off for 2012. Instead, it’s likely that a formidable third party would emerge, possibly ending forever our two-party system of government. But for now at least, it appears the stars are aligning with the GOP. Like the mythical Phoenix, it appears set to rise from the ashes.

As I have noted on several occasions, I see a problem with the sanctimonious belief by many "conservatives" that their way is the only way. This leads them to believe that conservatism itself can be defined as other self identified conservatives agreeing with them on the issues. Few people have a clue what the polls mean when they indicate conservatives are far more numerous than liberals (or progressives as they like to call themselves now) since conservatives do not have a clue what being a conservative means and thus the word has little shared understanding.

Are you a conservative if you embrace the big government, big spending domestic policies of George W. Bush, just because you think that life begins at conception?

Are you NOT a conservative if you believe you are pro life, but you make room for abortion in the situations of rape and incest?

Are you a conservative if you believe that America should mind its own business and allow the leaders of other nations to wage genocide against their neighbors?

Are you NOT a conservative if you believe that the individual freedom guaranteed by our Constitution means you cannot tell others how to raise their children, even if you disagree with the way they do it?

The term conservative has become a meaningless joke. The poll results support that. The Presidency of George W. Bush supports that.

I find it bizarre that people who support the libertarian ideas of Ronald Reagan are told to get out of the Republican Party and are ridiculed as RINOs by people who are so ignorant of what Reagan believed that will reject specific historical examples of their conflict with his beliefs.

An example of the lack of clarity about the forces in play is the statement in Bob's article above that "there is a great deal of infighting between conservatives and moderates". What about libertarians Bob? Conservatives are not fighting with only one side of their party. They are fighting moderates on the left and libertarians on their right. The refusal by conservatives to even acknowledge the anti government forces represented by libertarians on their right does not indicate to me that they learned the lessons of the last 8 years at all.

You are not a conservative just because you call yourself one.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Inner Banks Philosophy

The past is the cause of the present, and the present will be the cause of the future. All these are links in the endless chain stretching from the finite to the infinite.

If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

-- Ronald Reagan

Saturday, January 02, 2010

A Conservative Viewpoint
- There’s Something About Palin

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

What is it about Sarah Palin? Whether you love her, hate her or are ambivalent, this much is certain: she’s not going away anytime soon. Her recently released book, “Going Rogue,” has already sold in excess of one million copies. Her publisher is preparing to print two million more.

Comparing Palin’s book sales with those of her contemporary political “scribes” is worth noting. In its first week “Going Rogue,” outsold Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “Hillary’s Living History” first week sales by 100,000 copies.

Former Vice President Al Gore’s new book on climate change, “Our Choice,” released on Nov. 3rd has sold 470,000 copies. The late Sen. Edward Kennedy’s memoir, “True Compass,” lags far behind with 169,000 book sales. And former President Bill Clinton’s book, “My Life,” published in June of `04, has sold 2.2 million copies since its release. Obviously Palin’s publishers are banking her book sales will exceed his.

The first time I began to take note of Palin was on TV last August when Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., shocked everyone by announcing the little known governor from Alaska as his running mate. Up to that point no one in the media was certain who McCain would select, least of all Sarah Palin.

The governor stumbled badly early on in the campaign, especially during interviews with Katie Couric of CBS and Charlie Gibson of ABC. It appeared to some she wasn’t ready for prime time. Yet, in spite of her missteps something about Palin began to favorably resonate with millions of conservatives and moderates.

The left, including factions embedded in certain elements of the so-called mainstream media, began to incredulously and unrelentingly vilify the governor and her family at every opportunity. Scrutiny is one thing, but the slander and mud thrown by the left became obsessive-compulsive. It continues to this day. If this woman is nothing more than a novelty act or a sideshow, why does she continue to raise the ire of liberals? To paraphrase Shakespeare, “I think they protest too much!”

I can easily understand why some argued that Palin was not ready to be one heartbeat away from the presidency. One could have made a similarly compelling case against Barack Obama and his lack of qualifications to effectively serve as the nations CEO. While Palin possessed executive experience, a purported advantage over her opponents and running mate that her supporters repeatedly emphasize, in reality her political experience was minimal. Although Palin was not heading up the ticket, her inexperience along with voter unease about McCain’s advancing years, his previous health issues and the fact that some on the right found him not conservative enough, presented dicey challenges for the GOP.

Last year Palin didn’t have a world view or even a vision for the nation that I’m aware of. When McCain scooped her up out of the blue, she faced a learning curve that would have been daunting for any comparable candidate not on the national political radar.

Obama on the other hand stayed on message, articulating his vision for America and the world. Whether or not you agreed with him the prospect of change proved enough to seal the deal in November and in the process sweep enough Democrats into office to help him attempt to enact his progressive agenda.

Interestingly this agent of “change” has learned it comes with a price. Many polls have Obama’s favorability rankings tanking, including last week’s Rasmussen poll which found 53 percent of likely voters disapproving of the way he is handling his job, 43 percent of them strongly.

While there are stark ideological differences between Obama and Palin, they both posses more than an ample supply of charm and charisma. Each is capable of drawing huge crowds, even in venues far from large metropolitan media centers.

Long ago I learned an important lesson. Always sensitive to criticism, I had a very difficult time dealing with it. I would do whatever it took to win any naysayer over short of selling my soul to the devil or relenting on my principles or convictions. As a result I would not be embraced by some. While initially troubling, I’ve learned since that speaking up for what you believe in is not only personally fulfilling, but one’s duty and responsibility. Selling out your core beliefs is not compromise.

We’re seeing plenty of evidence of soul selling in Washington lately. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., compromised his pro-life beliefs last week when he promised to provide the 60th and decisive vote to pass the Senate’s health care bill, which under certain conditions will pay for abortion. In return for his vote Nelson received a “Cornhusker kickback” that has all U. S. taxpayers picking up the full tab for Nebraska’s expanded Medicaid coverage, a funding responsibility of state government.

Sarah Palin may not have the experience of other politicians nor may she be presidential timber. But her core beliefs are steady and in sync with those of many Americans. Folks who love her see something new, fresh and innocent within her 5 foot, four inches, 145 -pound frame. In Palin they also see part of themselves, fighting against a seemingly impenetrable foe with a goal of returning commonsense, principles and sanity to government.

Palin has shown she has spunk, grit, spirit and a tenacity to tell it like it is. Perhaps that’s why she seemingly intimidates many of those on the other side of the aisle who seek to discredit her at any opportunity. If Palin’s message can continue to cut through all of that muck and mire then politics as we know it might just become a thing of the past.