In which I talk about Thing 1′s birthday, school choice, feminism, abortion, and have a chat with Stephen Bannon, the director of Fire From the Heartland: The Awakening of the Conservative Woman.
Conservatives, especially conservative women, can take quite a beating. Just ask Sarah Palin, Nikki Haley, Christine O’Donnell, Michele Bachmann, or Michelle Malkin, just to name a few that deal with constant attacks on everything from their politics to their parenting to their femininity.
Mashed up bag of meat with lipstick, anyone?
Sure we conservatives like guns and babies and the founders, but liberals have taken some of the core principles of conservatism and twisted them into something untruthful.
Allow me to clarify, and explain the reality behind some of thoseConservative Truths you think are so awful.
1. Conservatives Love Religion
Freedom of religion, that is. Crosses, menorahs, the Ten Commandments, and even those “COEXIST” bumper stickers don’t offend us. What is offensive is the left’s attempt to push around anyone that chooses to participate in religious rituals or traditions. They’re not “holiday” trees, people, and nobody is forcing you to decorate one, let alone celebrate the birth of Christ.
2. Conservatives Don’t Believe in Welfare
The problem with welfare is that it’s a system comprised of involuntary redistribution of wealth and rampant fraud. As earners are taxed more and more heavily, their ability to give to charity, expand their businesses, or even just purchase cool stuff (creating manufacturing and retail jobs) shrinks. Which means more people on welfare, to be supported by fewer earners. To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, the problem with welfare is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.
3. Conservatives Think Men and Women Should Be Treated Differently
Equality does not mean sameness. Whether it was God or evolution that created us, conservatives understand that men and women are inherently different, and that we complement each other. At the same time, our gender doesn’t hold us back. Women have already achieved workplace equality, and we don’t need to open our own doors to prove our self-worth.
4. Conservatives Don’t Care Who’s Gay
Or more specifically, conservatives don’t care whether someone is gay or straight. We’re all about freedom of choice and expression on the right side of the aisle, and we truly believe all men were created equal. Sexual orientation doesn’t make one person better or worse than another, it just makes them different. Remember, equality does not equal sameness.
5. Conservatives View War as Necessary
The left labels Conservatives as warmongers, but this simply isn’t true. I don’t think anyone actually likes war and violence (aside from sickos like Chelsea King‘s murderer John Gardner), yet conservatives recognize the need for it at times. There are some seriously bad people out there that would destroy us without thinking twice if they had no fear of retaliation. War is a necessary evil in the fight for peace. I seriously doubt Osama bin Laden would’ve called off the 9/11 attacks if only President Bush had sat down for a chat with milk and cookies with him.
6. Conservatives Hate Abortion
Anti-abortion and anti-woman are not synonymous. Conservatives empower women to make their own choices, especially about their bodies, and then empower those same women to overcome any negative outcomes that those choices might result in. Women have a right to choose whether or not to have sex, and children (even unborn ones) have the right to live. Isn’t every baby a blessing — especially to adoptive parents?
7. Conservatives Like Money
Why not? Money makes the world go round, after all. Conservatives are capitalists, which means that we understand that it’s in man’s basic nature to want bigger and better things. To some people that’s a life of luxury, and to others it’s a life of philanthropy, but both take money. Getting back down to that conservative value of free choice, we believe that it’s up to the individual to decide how to spend their money, even if we don’t agree with it.
8. Conservatives Don’t Believe the Government Is There to Ensure Health and Prosperity
The preamble and article 1 of the Constitution refer to the “general welfare” of the people, and the government’s role in promoting it. When did this become a directive for the government to provide all sorts of welfare programs? The founders came from oppressive governments, and did not believe in a system that gave special treatment to privileged groups or individuals in society. The government is there to protect our rights to life, liberty, and property, not to provide a lifestyle.
9. Conservatives Believe Liberals Just Don’t Get It
Winston Churchill said, “If you are young and not a liberal you have no heart, and when you’re old if you are not conservative you have no brain.” Liberals truly want to help people, and their tender, bleeding hearts believe that government is the one to provide that help. As they grow and mature and gain wisdom through the years, they begin to understand that welfare and big government and peace talks with terrorists just don’t work.
10. Conservatives Have Legal Sex
I guess we don’t need to throw anything illegal (Drugs? Hookers?) into the mix to have crazy sex. We’re hot enough as is, in both looks and personality.
(To hear the other side of the story, read 10 Biggest Lies About Liberals)
Cross Posted at The Stir
Good news everyone! The recession is over! Even better, it’s been over for 15 months. Wait, what? This is certainly news to me.
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the brains behind figuring out the beginnings and endings of recessions, the recession that began in December 2007 ended well over a year ago in June 2009.
“In determining that a trough occurred in June 2009, the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity. Rather, the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month.”
So the recession is over, has been over, yet economic conditions remain unfavorable. And bureaucrats wonder why people are weary of them. As a side note, I wonder exactly how much money was spent determining that the recession has ended despite lack of evidence other than some GDP statistics?
Washington can say the recession is over as much as it likes, but that’s not going to help anyone out there looking for a job or struggling to pay the bills.
The recession will be over when employers can actually hire employees again without being scared that our nanny-state government is going to pass some ridiculous law at midnight declaring that they now have to purchase health insurance for each of their employees.
Prosperity will flourish when people are allowed to keep and spend more of their own money. When the Bush tax cuts are extended indefinitely. When the government gets its big nose out of America’s business and businesses.
The National Bureau of Economic Research says the recession is over. I believe that like I believe the check’s in the mail.
Cross Posted at The Stir
Some days I marvel at the backwards world we live in. Earlier this week I read about Ines Sainz, Mexico’s Hottest Reporter, becoming distraught because virile, athletic men wolf-whistled at her as she romped around their NFL locker room in a tight blouse and even tighter jeans.
The horror! How dare those men treat Ms. Sainz like an attractive woman obviously showing off her beautiful body in the men’s locker room? According to so-called-feminists like Joy Behar, grown women who choose to dress provocatively, post pictures of themselves in bikinis on their employer’s website, and traipse through an NFL locker rooms need to be protected from men’s raucous wolf-whistles.
Meanwhile in Michigan, a 6-year-old has been kicked off her cheerleading squad because her parents didn’t want her to participate in chanting a risqué cheer. The questionable cheer was, “Our backs ache, our skirts are too tight, we shake our booties from left to right.”
Jennifer and Duane Tesch’s daughter Kennedy was unanimously voted off the Madison Heights Wolverines flag football cheerleading team on Tuesday night, after they voiced concerns over the suggestive words of the cheer.
“I don’t even have the words,” Jennifer Tesch told FoxNews.com. “I can’t believe their solution to this was to remove my daughter from the team. She’s going to be devastated. She’s going to be crying.”
Let me get this straight. On one hand, we have 32-year-old sexpot Ines Sainz crying foul at men whistling in a complimentary way at the sensual look that she works hard to project, and we’re all supposed to come to her rescue. On the other hand, we have 6-year-old Kennedy Tesch getting kicked off of her cheerleading squad because her parents didn’t want her to wet some pedophile pants with a suggestive cheer, and we’re called prudes if we question it?
Am I the only one that sees something wrong with this picture?
How backwards is our world that grown women who freely flaunt their sexuality are afforded more protection than little girls on a cheerleading squad?
Cross-Posted from The Stir
Without much preamble and hardly any ado, I present to you 50 dumb quotes from those on the left side of the aisle. From crazy ideas about toilet paper usage to freak-outs over balloons, this list will make you laugh and shake your head in disbelief (and maybe even vote Republican in November?).
1. Sheryl Crow on Environmentalism: “I propose a limitation be put on how many sqares [sic] of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don’t want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required.’”
2. Joe Biden on culturalism: “In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7/11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”
3. Whoopi Goldberg on 43-year-old Roman Polanski raping and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl: “I know it wasn’t rape-rape. It was something else but I don’t believe it was rape-rape. He went to jail and and [sic] when they let him out he was like “You know what this guy’s going to give me a hundred years in jail I’m not staying, so that’s why he left.”
5. John Conyers on the Health Care Bill, which he voted for: “I love these members, they get up and say, ‘Read the bill … What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?’”
6. Former DNC Chairman Donald Fowler on possible delay of RNC convention due to Hurricane Gustav: “Plus they think the hurricane’s going to hit (starts laughing) New Orleans about the time they start. The timing, at least it appears now, that it’ll be there Monday. That just demonstrates God’s on our side”
7. Barack Obama: “I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go?”
8. John Kerry on the troops: “You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”
9. Howard Dean: “We know that no one person can succeed unless everybody else succeeds.”
10. Rosie O’Donnell: “Don’t fear the terrorists. They’re mothers and fathers.”
11. Al Gore: “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.”
12. Congressman Hank Johnson on Guam: “My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize,”
13. Alan Grayson on Health Care: “The Republican health care plan: don’t get sick … The Republicans have a back up plan in case you do get sick … This is what the Republicans want you to do. If you get sick America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly!”
14. Nancy Pelosi on the economy: “every month that we do not have an economic recovery package 500 million Americans lose their jobs.”
16. Wanda Sykes: “I think Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker but he was just so strung out on Oxycontin he missed his flight … Rush Limbaugh — I hope the country fails. I hope his kidneys fail, how about that? He needs a waterboarding, that’s what he needs.”
17. Bill Clinton on ordinary Americans: “African Americans watch the same news at night that ordinary Americans do.”
18. Barack Obama on a tornado that killed twelve people: “In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died – an entire town destroyed”
19. Harry Reid on Iraq: “This war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything.”
20. Kanye West: “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”
21. Joe Biden on the economy: “The number one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S.”
22. Bill Maher on Christianity: “I think religion is a neurological disorder.
23. Joe Biden on History: “When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.”
24. Ted Rall: “Over time, however, the endless war in Iraq began to play a role in natural selection. Only idiots signed up; only idiots died. Back home, the average I.Q. soared.”
25. Michael Moore on terrorism: “There is no terrorist threat. Yes, there have been horrific acts of terrorism and, yes, there will be acts of terrorism again. But that doesn’t mean that there’s some kind of massive terrorist threat.”
26. Henry Waxman on Environmentalism: “We’re seeing the reality of a lot of the North Pole starting to evaporate, and we could get to a tipping point. Because if it evaporates to a certain point – they have lanes now where ships can go that couldn’t ever sail through before. And if it gets to a point where it evaporates too much, there’s a lot of tundra that’s being held down by that ice cap.”
27. Marion Barry, former mayor of Washington, DC: “If you take out the killings, Washington actually has a very very low crime rate.”
28. California Senator Barbara Boxer: “Those who survived the San Francisco earthquake said, ‘Thank God, I’m still alive.’ But, of course, those who died, their lives will never be the same again.”
29. Wesley Bolin, former governor of Arizona: “We’d like to avoid problems, because when we have problems, we can have troubles.”
30. Senator Chris Dodd, while on the campaign trail: “Eight more days and I can start telling the truth again” Sen. Chris Dodd, on the campaign trail.
31. Melissa Lafsky, Huffington Post blogger: “[Mary Jo] would have thought about arguably being a catalyst for the most successful Senate career in history … Who knows — maybe she’d feel it was worth it.”
32. Joe Biden on the passage of the Health Care Bill: “This is a big f…ing deal!”
33. Bill Clinton: “It all depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”
34. Jerry Brown, former governor of California, and current candidate for the same position: “The conventional viewpoint says we need a jobs program and we need to cut welfare. Just the opposite! We need more welfare and fewer jobs.”
35. Democratic Convention producer Don Mischer, overheard on CNN having an apoplectic seizure when the balloons failed to drop from the ceiling of the Fleet Center in Boston: “Go, balloons. I don’t see anything happening. Go, balloons. Go, balloons. Go, balloons. Stand by, confetti. Keep coming, balloons. More balloons. Bring them. Balloons, balloons, balloons! More balloons. Tons of them. Bring them down. Let them all come. No confetti. No confetti yet. No confetti. All right. Go, balloons. Go, balloons. We’re getting more balloons. All balloons. All balloons should be going. Come on, guys! Let’s move it. Jesus! We need more balloons. I want all balloons to go. Go, confetti. Go, confetti. Go, confetti. I want more balloons. What’s happening to the balloons? We need more balloons. We need all of them coming down. Go, balloons. Balloons. What’s happening balloons? There’s not enough coming down. All balloons! Why the hell is nothing falling? What the f— are you guys doing up there? We want more balloons coming down. More balloons. More balloons.”
36. Marion Barry, former mayor of Washington, DC: “I am clearly more popular than Reagan. I am in my third term. Where’s Reagan? Gone after two! Defeated by George Bush and Michael Dukakis no less.”
37. Bill Clinton: “I have never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. I’ve never had an affair with her.”
38. Joe Biden, on the mother of Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen, who is, in fact, still alive: “His mom lived in Long Island for ten years or so. God rest her soul. And- although, she’s- wait- your mom’s still- your mom’s still alive. Your dad passed. God bless her soul.”
39. Al Gore on zoology: “A zebra does not change its spots.”
40. Rod Blagojevich, former governor of IL: “I’m blacker than Barack Obama. I shined shoes. I grew up in a five-room apartment. My father had a little laundromat in a black community not far from where we lived. I saw it all growing up.”
41. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on the newly passed health care law: “We actually have not required in this law that you carry health insurance.”
42. Congressman John Dingell on freedom: “The harsh fact of the matter is when you’re passing legislation that will cover 300 million American people in different ways, it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.”
43. Former Congressman Eric Massa: “Now, they’re saying I groped a male staffer. Yes, I did. Not only did I grope him, I tickled him until he couldn’t breathe and four guys jumped on top of me. It was my 50th birthday.”
44. Congressman Charlie Rangel on our troops: “If a young fella has an option of having a decent career or joining the army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq.”
45. Radio personality Ed Schultz on elections: “If I lived in Massachusetts, I’d try to vote ten times … Yeah that’s right, I’d cheat to keep these bastards out. I would. Because that’s exactly what they are.”
46. John Kerry on health care: “I’m going to be honest with you — I don’t know a lot about Cuba’s healthcare system. Is it a government-run system?”
47. Congresswoman Maxine Waters on socialism: “Guess what this liberal would be all about? This liberal will be about socializing…uh, um…Would be about, basically, taking over, and the government running all of your companies.”
48. Senator Harry Reid on Barack Obama: “…light-skinned,” and with “no negro dialect.”
48. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on national security, after a man attempted to blow up a commercial airplane with a bomb in his panties: “The system worked.”
49. Nancy Pelosi on legislation: “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
50. Joe Biden to Missouri State Senator Chuck Graham, who is wheelchair bound: “stand up … Chuck, stand up, Chuck, let ‘em see you!”
Cross-Posted from The Stir
At the Red State Gathering last weekend, I met a super nice guy named Loren. He introduced himself, and told me he was a fan of my work. Which made me grin like an idiot, because I love when people tell me they like me. If I ever stop loving it, put me in a hole in the ground and start shoveling in the dirt, because it obviously means I’ve died.
Anyway, we got to chatting, and Loren was really encouraging and sweet. And not in that creepy I-just-want-to-get-in-your-pants way, but more like a big brother telling his kid sister to “Go get ‘em, Sport!” In fact, I think Loren and my brother Greg would get along splendidly.
We saw each other off and on throughout the trip, and got together with the peeps that put the whole shebang on at an afterparty on Saturday night. Loren took a picture on his droid, then asked how everyone in it spelled their twitter names so he could tweet it. I happened to know, and I’m terribly impatient, so I grabbed the phone, tagged the tweet, and sent it out for him.
A few minutes later, I checked my own tweet stream. I saw that my twitter friend IHeal had tweeted me. And then I saw the tweet I had just sent from Loren’s phone. I found him in the crowd and grabbed his name badge, which he happened to still be wearing, and checked the last name.
“L-Heal. Not I-Heal,” I said.
“Um yeah,” said the poor guy staring at the confused girl.
I pointed to my hair and said the only thing I could, “Blonde.”
Follow Loren on Twitter. And if you meet him, try not to act like a goofus like me.
Last Thursday I decided to attend the Red State Gathering in Austin. Which started Friday.
It might have been the most impulsive thing I’ve ever done. Well, aside from getting married. But that’s worked out rather well, so maybe impulsiveness is good.
Before I booked my last-minute flight, I figured I better make sure I could get into the dern thing. I texted Caleb Howe and asked if I could come. He let me know my name was on the list. Awesome.
I booked my flight, booked a sitter for the kids, and let Ashley Sewell know that I would love to share a hotel room with her.
Fast-forward 24ish hours. I got to Austin a couple of hours before Ashley, but she told me that she had added my name to the room so I could get a key. I went to check in, letting them know that I was sharing a room with Ashley.
“We have you in your own suite, Mrs. Erikson, would you like me to add Ashley Sewell to the reservation?”
“You have me in my own room? A suite? Wait, what? Why?”
“I have a suite booked for Jenny Erikson, that’s you, right?” the very nice lady behind the counter asked me. She obviously thought I had come in on the short bus, and was trying to point me in the right direction.
“Yes… is there another Jenny Erikson booked?”
“Are you Jenny Erikson with Red State?”
“I have you down for a suite. Would you like me to add Ashley Sewell to the reservation?”
“Wait a sec. Speaking as someone that doesn’t have the funds for a suite by herself, who’s paying for this room?”
“It’s taken care of,” she told me. I know Caleb said he’d hooked me up, but I had been thinking along the lines of a press pass. Red State likes me, but not that much. Knowing something fishy was up, I decided to take the key and check out the room. I called Ashley on the way up.
“So it appears that Red State has comped my room.”
“No idea. But I’ll take it. I’m headed there now to check it out.”
“Wait, they seriously comped your room?” She asked again incredulously. My thoughts exactly. We were still speculating on it when I got to the room and fumbled with the key card. I walked into a suite all right. And saw an open suitcase. And then heard the toilet flush. And then RedState’s Managing Editor and CNN contributor Erick Erickson walked out of the restroom.
“Ash? I’m going to have to call you back.”
So yeah. That happened.
P.S. Erick is a super nice guy, and I really appreciate his ability to laugh at the situation.
P.P.S. I think my name has now been officially changed to “Jenny Erikson, No Relation.”
I met Rick Perry last night. The governor of Texas. It was very cool.
I saw him again today, and he said, and I quote, “Hey Jenny, good to see you again!”
Granted, I was wearing my name tag, but don’t take away this moment for me, mmkay?
It is hard to believe that it was only a year ago that I was packing my suitcase, jamming down my nerves, and getting on a plane to Nashville for the very first Smart Girl Summit. I had had become involved with Smart Girl Politics, and occasionally talked to some members of the leadership team, and I had been a guest on an RFC podcast or two, but I was nervous to finally meet some of my online activist friends.
The whole experience was amazing. I won’t bore you with the details right now, but you can read my write-up from the conference here.
Within a few weeks of the Summit, I was off and running with a Smart Girl Politics Podcast. The Smart Girl Report has played nearly every week, first on RFC Radio, then on FTR Radio when the latter acquired the former.
For 43 episodes, I have done my best to get listeners fired up for activism, as well as introduce them to conservative politicians and others fighting the good fight alongside Smart Girl Politics. With the support of the organization, The Smart Girl Report has become more popular than I ever dreamed of, and I owe a debt of gratitude not only to SGP for taking me under their wing, but also to every single person that takes the time each week to tune into the show.
As with all good things, my time with The Smart Girl Report has come to an end. It is important to notice that I did not say my time with Smart Girl Politics has ended, only my involvement in producing and hosting the podcast. While remaining on the leadership team of SGP, I will continue to broadcast each week, only under my own name.
The nature of SGP’s non-profit status combined with my growing conviction in political punditry has led me to the conclusion that it is time for this little birdie to leave the safety of the nest. I am standing on the edge looking out, grateful for the mama bird that has taught me to fly, but oh so nervous that my baby wings won’t work.
When I stepped on that plane last year, to my very first political conference, I was scared. But I knew that I could make a difference just by showing up. By letting others know that they weren’t alone. By holding a hand, sharing a smile, and offering a word of encouragement.
I can only hope that I’ll be able to share and connect even more with my listeners without the restrictions that come with representing a branded organization, even one as fabulous as Smart Girl Politics.
Thank you everyone for such a beautiful year. I have a feeling the best is yet to come for all of us.