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Blogging Without Core Principles

By Greg L | 16 May 2012 | Virginia Politics, Blogs | 29 Comments

There’s quite a bit of chatter bouncing around the Virginia blogosphere about how the appointment of Tracy Thorne-Begland as a judge was shot down this week, most of which has wrongly claimed — and without any supporting evidence whatsoever — that anyone opposing this nomination was simply a bigot. Quite a few Republicans, most of whom should have known better since they’ve seen this tactic from the left over and over again, got roped into that ridiculous meme and became their ideological pawns.

Some actual truth might be a useful thing to add to this discussion. In fact, let’s see what the evidence shows us.  I’m sure if all Republicans are bigots as some allege, that ought to show up in the record, right?

Delegate Scott Lingamfelter’s remarks, which I encourage everyone to watch in their entirety, don’t even mention that Thorne-Begland is gay, as that fact is pretty much irrelevant to the discussion. His sole concern, and a point on which I wholeheartedly agree, is that Thorne-Begland violated his oath of office, numerous directives of the Department of Defense, and longstanding policies in order to promote a political agenda while wearing the uniform and in doing so demonstrated he is unfit to be a judge. When Republicans have done this (such as Faisal Gill) I have been dogged in my determination to hold them to account, and when homosexual activists do that I will act no differently.

Of course the concepts of honor and duty are entirely foreign to many on the other side of the aisle from where I sit. They have no comprehension of the idea that honor and duty would constrain someone from any action, whether noble or ignoble, so of course they will ignore that point. They have no frame of reference in which to evaluate such ideas as in the liberal mindset it’s the ultimate intentions that entirely define the morality of any particular course of action, not the means by which you strive to achieve an objective.

What I utterly fail to grasp is how some Republicans, a number of which even like to cloak themselves with the term “conservative” from time to time, have fallen prey to this same moral failure. No, it’s not a temporary lapse in judgment provoked by a well packaged liberal talking point. No, it’s not a nuanced point of intellect encouraged by a desire to ensure fairness and equity to all. No, it is a complete moral failure precipitated by either complete ignorance of such core concepts as duty and honor, or a deliberate decision to cast those principles aside in order to obtain the approval of others. Since the first act of these individuals was to run to Wordpress and make sure as many people had a chance to read their empty words, I’m going to stick with the latter until proven otherwise.

Here’s a tip for my “fellow” “conservatives.”  When the left starts screaming about bigotry as they are so prone to to doing, take a minute to check the facts before you cozy up to them.

UPDATE: Delegate Rich Anderson’s floor remarks are embedded below. For some insane reason these are being called “horrifying” by a liberal activist who decided to start attacking Delegate Anderson’s facebook page at the same time Delegate Anderson was in Indiana comforting a terminal liver cancer patient who may only have hours to live, and doesn’t really have time to respond to someone saying less than truthful things about this speech. Judge for yourself — who would ever say this is “horrifying?”

When attacking Delegate Anderson on his facebook page didn’t yield the intended results, liberals turned to his wife’s facebook page, posting comments such as “Ruth Anderson is married to a disgrace… I’m surprised she shows her face in public with him.”  The next time liberals want to grace us with yet another lecture on civility I’m going to enjoy hurling this back in their faces.  This is beyond deplorable.

UPDATE 2: Delegate Mark Dudenhefer’s remarks are now available and embedded below. Someone please explain to me how this somehow constitutes bigotry. Never mind, I know why the left is trotting this tired old smear out again — because they can’t argue the point and have to resort to lies and name calling as they try to bully people around.

Anyone who is lending support to this utter outrage hoping that they’re going to actually cause some good in politics really needs to think about how it feels to be one of those “useful idiots” Vladimir Lenin talked about.

UPDATE 3: One of the bloggers pulling this stunt lost his race in the 11th CD to represent it at the National Convention.  Go figure.  There are actually consequences in politics?  Yes, there are.

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  1. Thad Hunter said on 16 May 2012 at 1:50 pm:
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    Like the post!

  2. Anonymous said on 16 May 2012 at 2:12 pm:
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    That is a good speech. The speeches that were given by Delegates Anderson and Dudenhefer were even better.

    Greg, any chance you can post those speeches also?

  3. Fed Up Conservative said on 16 May 2012 at 6:26 pm:
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    If you really believe his being gay had nothing to do with the vote then I have a bridge to sell you. Please send me a check.

  4. Fed Up Conservative said on 16 May 2012 at 6:43 pm:
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    Now I await your retort how I’m a “pretend” conservative or something to the effect.

  5. Liberalism is a mental disorder said on 16 May 2012 at 7:29 pm:
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    I love how the libtards and people who like to pick names for the purpose of making people think they are something other than what they really are (actually, theyre the same folks) make this all out to be an issue about ghey people. It’s like we’re on the second iteration of “GOP’s War on Women!!!” BS.

    Forget facts, libtards have an agenda to push. If it has no relation at all to reality, that doesn’t matter a bit.

  6. NoVA Scout said on 16 May 2012 at 8:30 pm:
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    That last comment had a lot of words. Did they mean anything? It’s clear some parents can’t keep little kids away from the computer, even on school nights.

  7. Greg L said on 17 May 2012 at 1:02 am:
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    I’ll make a point of asking the author to type more slowly so you can keep up, NoVA Scout. I know, sometimes it’s hard. You’re doing your best and we appreciate the effort.

  8. Fed Up Conservative said on 17 May 2012 at 3:38 am:
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    Liberalism. I assume you’re talking about me. Not that it matters but I am a republican and have been my entire life. Voted for Reagan, Bush, Bush and McCain. But the recent times have me wondering which direction our party is heading. I don’t have time to list everything I see wrong with our party but I am far from being the only one who is embarrassed by some of the actions of some republicans. Not to say the dems are doing any better. In fact, politics in general as of late does nothing but turn my stomach.

  9. Brian Schoeneman said on 17 May 2012 at 11:04 am:
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    Greg, as a blogger with core principles, I have to disagree with you here, like I did on my column at Bearing Drift.

    I simply don’t buy the idea that what he did 20 years ago in a protest against a rule that he believed was unconstitutional makes him unfit to sit on the bench today. I respect Delegate Lingamfelter very much and I respect his service, but I do not feel that Thorne-Begland’s decision to sacrifice his career in fighting for what he believed in - and what is, today, no longer a Navy policy - makes him unfit to sit on the bench.

    He has earned the job, with over a decade of faithful service to the Commonwealth, and managed to survive multiple layers of vetting until Bob Marshall brought this issue to the surface and forced attention to it.

    Nobody is perfect, and we cannot expect judges to be perfect. Even the best judges have lost cases, made mistakes, made errors, some of them significant. Look at Roger Taney. They aren’t superhuman.

    Had Thorne-Belgand’s breach of regulations been about any other issue, I think Delegate Lingamfelter and others points would be valid. But they aren’t. This wasn’t a situation where he was refusing orders under fire, a mutiny, or something that is legitimately a breach of good order and discipline. It’s different.

    I would have been much prouder of our members had they said everything Scott, Rich and others had said, and then voted for him, recognizing that Bob Marshall’s ridiculous rhetoric had turned this into a far larger issue than one man’s getting a black robe. Marshall has given our party a black eye for far too long on these issues, and I would have liked to seen his colleagues give him a clear rebuke through the vote.

    We didn’t, and now we’re all bigots in the eyes of the nation.

    Sometimes one core principal has to take precedence over another.

  10. Logical Thinker said on 17 May 2012 at 12:46 pm:
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    Brian, that’s why you weren’t elected to the House. Conservatives were not excited about you.

  11. Logical Thinker said on 17 May 2012 at 12:47 pm:
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    Brian, that is, but I do think you have a “brain”….

  12. Brian Schoeneman said on 17 May 2012 at 1:14 pm:
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    No, it’s not. I wasn’t elected to the House because I ran against David Bulova. Any conservative who thinks a liberal is preferable to me is not thinking logically at all.

  13. Liberalism is a mental disorder said on 17 May 2012 at 1:27 pm:
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    How can anyone tell the difference??? Forced unionization policies? Support for abortion? Or maybe redefining deviancy as normal, and the normal as deviant?

    Oh, I know. Your “principles” make you different.

  14. Brian Schoeneman said on 17 May 2012 at 1:32 pm:
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    I don’t support forced unionization. I’m pro-life. So I don’t know where you got that from.

    I don’t have a problem with gays.

    My principles are my principles. I’m generally conservative but I also think for myself. I’m sorry if that threatens your worldview, but most folks who know me trust my judgment and know I’m a Republican and always will be.

  15. sandy said on 17 May 2012 at 2:48 pm:
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    Some of you should read “Rules for Radicals”. You can find many answers that the Liberals are using.

  16. Logical Thinker said on 17 May 2012 at 3:44 pm:
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    Brian, ir may not be “logical” but that is why Obama is the president today, because conservatives didn’t vote in the numbers they needed to. You underestimate–significantly–the complete disgust conservatives have with moderates like you in our party. It may hurt to hear this, but it’s true. The Tea Party movement is a direct result of rule by moderate Republicans who lost their way in their zeal to offend no one.

    If you try to be all things to all people in due time you will be nothing to anybody.

  17. Brian Schoeneman said on 17 May 2012 at 8:15 pm:
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    I don’t underestimate it at all. I know how difficult it is for some folks to tolerate views that don’t match their own. I deal with that every day.

    I get called a moderate by the far right. And the far left calls me a right-wingnut extremist. Both sides can’t be right.

    What I find frustrating is the claim that “moderate Republicans” lost their way and this caused the Tea Party to rise. That’s just bad history.

    What’s also said is that despite the fact that you and I probably agree on 80% of things, you’ll spend more time heckling me than the Democrats. That’s a shame.

  18. NoVA Scout said on 18 May 2012 at 6:24 am:
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    I resent the presence of sensible, reasonable Republican using complete sentences on this Blog. What the hell is Brian Schoenman doing here?

  19. Anonymous said on 18 May 2012 at 6:52 am:
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    Logical Thinker is a prime example of why the Dems as silly as they, only have to let the Reps sink themselves.

    Greg, BS. Lingamfelter was making excuses for his rejecting the man simply on his sexuality Begland saw what was right and what was wrong and took a stand. If he was wrong why did DOD change the policy? Honor and duty doesn’t mean you follow blindly. Did he endanger anyone by how and when he took a stand? Nope, he didn’t.

  20. Logical Thinker said on 18 May 2012 at 6:56 am:
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    It’s not “bad history” Brian, and when you say that it merely confirms that you have never really engaged the tea party at an honest level. By that I mean sit down and talk to folks. I have and a consistent theme and frustration they have are centered on GOP moderates caving in. This is not debatable.

    On your second point, you are wrong there too. I am not heckling you. I am pointing out to you (if you go back to the original post) that if you aren’t willing to stop the placement of liberal judges on the bench, which this Thorne guy was, and if you think that a guy who puts is person positions above his oaths is principled, even if it happened in the 90’s, you shouldn’t be surprised when conservatives question whether you are the same sort of moderate that caved in on spending discipline and other issues important to conservatives. You may not want to be thought of that way, but you make it clear that you would have voted for this guy. Think about Lugar and other establishment GOP folks who are now done. One word. Moderate.

  21. Greg L said on 18 May 2012 at 7:49 am:
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    Anon, I’m so impressed that you’re a mind reader. I’m not. I depend on what elected officials say and do, rather than having some unnatural ability to peer into their heads and discover motivations that conform to what I want them to be saying, but are not.

    I hope some day you apply your extraordinary talents to Mr. Obama. I can’t at all figure out what’s going on inside his head at all and would love to have a mind reader like yourself spend some time with him.

  22. Anonymous said on 18 May 2012 at 2:01 pm:
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    Yeah, I’m a mind reader compared to you. All of a sudden you DON’T question the motives at the same time you cast your “radical leftist” garbage without actually pointing out the radicalism? You seem to question everything said by people you claim are liberal. IMO - quite hypocritical

  23. Anonymous said on 18 May 2012 at 2:04 pm:
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    Logical thinker, have you taken any of those oaths that might get you killed or you another expert on them who is actually a chicken hawk?

  24. Brian W. Schoeneman said on 18 May 2012 at 2:21 pm:
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    LT, I know that the Tea Party blames moderate Republicans for caving in. The bad history is that they have this belief. When did this happen? When, since the 1970s, have moderate Republicans controlled the Republican party in a time when we had power in the House or Senate? Jamie Radtke has been blasting George Allen for the put of control spending during his time in office - how can anybody call him a moderate? Tom DeLay was a moderate? Eric Cantor? It’s just bad history, with people creating myths out of mid-air. Blaming moderates is scapegoating, and bad scapegoating at that.

    And, frankly, I don’t see how anybody would really look at my stances and call me a moderate, anyway. I am pro-life, and pro-2nd amendment. I got the VCDL endorsement and an AQ rating from the NRA. I believe in smaller government, cutting spending, cutting regulations and getting the federal government back to core principles. I want taxes kept low and I want individual freedoms protected. What is moderate about any of that?

    Am I pro-union? Yes. Why? Because unions are private entities and I would rather a group of workers contract and negotiate withi their employer over things like wages, benefits and working conditions than see the government march in and dictate to both sides. Do I have a problem with gays? No. I believe that government should keep its nose out of the private lives of individuals to the greatest extent possible. What two consenting adults do is none of my business and none of government’s either. Do I have strong opinions about moral issues? Sure. But I don’t believe in government legislating on them. I show people what I believe by living my life the way I think people should live theirs. If they want to follow my example, great. If not, that is their choice. But I will never legislate my personal morality on anyone.

    Perhaps it’s because I don’t view the other side as evil that I get called a moderate. Maybe it’s because I care more about solving problems and getting things done rather than playing word games and demanding the impossible from electeds. I don’t know. Some of my best volunteers were Tea Partiers and they helped me because they liked me and knew they could trust me.

    Lugar wasn’t a moderate either. He was an out of touch politican who spent too long in Washington and worker out his welcome in a state he hadn’t lived in for decades. Mourdock won’t even call himself a Tea Partier when asked point blank.

    Regardless of whether I would have voted for Thorne-Begland in the beginning, the second that Bob Marshall stood up and made this about being gay, I would have voted for him, for no other reason than to prove to the rest of Virginia and the country that Republicans in Virginia aren’t bigoted homophobes. Because my belief in non-discrimination, something our party was founded on, is that important to me. Better a liberal sit in the bench than to vote alongside hatred and prejudice.

    If that makes me a moderate, so be it.

  25. Logical Thinker said on 19 May 2012 at 7:03 am:
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    You say “I know that the Tea Party blames moderate Republicans for caving in. The bad history is that they have this belief. When did this happen?”

    It happened to our pocket book when the last administration let spending get out of control (with people like Tom Davis) who thought that was the way to keep republicans in power, it happened with the bank bailouts under Bush, it happened when we ballooned the government with the TSA (and its unionized members), it happened when we build a huge DHS (the most ineffective agency ever—DoD should have this mission), it happened when we imposed a very expensive and ineffective “no child left behind” policy that has cost states millions for no benefit, it happened with a huge expansion of Medicare, it happened with NO effective action to secure our borders, rather pandering to illegals, and it happened when the GOP failed to have the guts to stand up to all of this and demand, not request, not negotiate, not grovel, but demand reform by shutting down the government if necessary.

    Moderates say “oh no, we can’t do that we’ll be seen as obstructionists!” Well one day when we have pandered ourselves into unfathomable debt, loss of fundamental freedom, and the continued destruction of family as the basis for all civilization, maybe we will put up a statue to the moderate that will say “They Came, They Saw, They Sat”.

    I don’t intend to and I would suggest, Brain, that you rethink your views or they may model the face of that statue on you.

  26. Jay said on 19 May 2012 at 10:28 am:
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    Gay judge = thumbs down vote in VA. Trailblazing philosophy that’s decades behind other first-world Western European countries.

    I’m sure this speech plays well in the trailer park - but it’s been quite a howler amongst the educated.

    Look, VA doesn’t want/like/care about/is disgusted by gay judges. Just say so - don’t attempt to put the square peg in the round circle. Show some heart and guts. . .alleged principles of what some Americans call ‘conservatism’. . .

  27. Jack Slimp said on 19 May 2012 at 1:19 pm:
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    The reality is that laws are ultimately based upon what is considered good. The catch is: how is “good” defined. If everybody is GOOD (Godly good), there would be little need for laws. A nation’s legislation is based upon what is considred morally good and right. Therefore, it is unreal to request “Don’t legislate morality.” Such an imperative actually decrees, “Don’t legislate moral principles that conflict with my moral principles.”
    The United States was founded upon Christian principles which defined right and wrong, good and evil, Godly and ungodly. Evil equaled sin, and good equaled righteousness.
    During the last 50 years, our governing has spiraled away from our founding principles and we often refuse to recognize ungodly actions as sinful. Indeed, our legislators today rarely consider God’s laws and consequences in their deliberations. And now the nation has enough problems to threaten cultural destruction.

    ISAIAH 5:20
    Woe to those who call evil good and good evil

  28. Logical Thinker said on 19 May 2012 at 6:39 pm:
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    Jack, right on…

  29. Brian Schoeneman said on 20 May 2012 at 5:08 pm:
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    Logical Thinker - you’re right about when it happened, but you’re wrong about who did it. George W. Bush was no moderate. Denny Hastert, Tom DeLay, John Boehner, Roy Blunt, Eric Cantor, Don Young, Trent Lott, Rick Santorum - these guys were no moderates. Tom Davis was a committee chairman and ran the NRCC. His primary responsibility was getting Republicans elected and he did. The leadership of the party was invariably mainstream conservatives, not moderates. Moderates rarely could get that high because they were willing to cross the party on votes and that’s the quickest way to being defined as “unreliable” which means you will be shut out of leadership.

    TSA, DHS, the Wars, Medicare Part D, etc. were all the ideas of mainstream conservative Republicans, not moderates. There may have been 30-50 actual moderate Republicans in both the House and Senate combined during that period. The bulk of the party were conservatives of all stripes from the mainstream to the radical (like Ron Paul).

    It wasn’t moderates who did this. The entire party lost its way. It’s not like the Democrats were winning every vote with a handful of moderate Republicans helping. It was mostly Republicans - some of the very same people you applaud today for sticking to their guns - who voted for TARP, the wars, Medicare Part D and all the rest.

    That’s where the history is bad. You all are blaming the wrong people.

    I don’t believe in compromise for the sake of compromise. I would rather get something positive done than something done period. If getting something done moves us in the wrong direction, it’s worth than doing nothing. But in my experience, and I’ve had some, legislating is a game of inches, not miles. And if we have to give the Democrats something they want in order for us to get what we want, as long as it moves the ball forward, we should be willing to do that. The question is, always, if what we give away is more damaging than what we want. It’s always a question of cost/benefit analysis.

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