Scott versus Scott

Welcome to our blog. Here we will debate the days most serious topics and allow users the chance to discuss the topics as well. The range of topics will vary, but one thing will remain certain, the debate will rage on. Scott Lesinski is a proud conservative and Scott Jones is a proud liberal. However, the roles will switch on some topics. Stay tuned.

Scott Lesinski is currently an actuarial associate for a large human resources and insurance consulting firm in Saint Louis. He is also an avid student of US history and enjoys following current events, with an eye to their contextual relationship to the past. He is also, in fact, a former student of Mr. Scott Jones. Scott is working toward his FSA credentials, which is akin to earning a PHD in Actuarial Science.

Scott Jones is currently a high school social studies teacher at a high school in suburban St. Louis, MO. He teaches World History, AP American Government and Senior American Foreign Policy. He has a BS. Ed. (Secondary Social Studies) from the University of Missouri - Columbia and a M.A. (History) from Southeast Missouri State University. He is currently working on a dissertation in character education to earn a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Tomorrow is Election Day 2009 and it is promising to be very important. While there is not a whole lot going on here in St. Louis, three races on the east coast are shaping up to have a real impact on the future of the Republican Party. Those races are for Congress in the NY 23rd district, Governor of New Jersey, and Governor of Virginia.

In NY 23, the Congressional seat is being decided between Democrat Bill Owens and Conservative Party Candidate, Doug Hoffman. Until this weekend, a third contender was in the race, “Republican” Dede Scozzafava. I put her party in quotes because she truly was a RINO – Republican In Name Only. She dropped out over the weekend amidst souring polling data and endorsed…Democrat Bill Owens. Why would the Republican drop out and endorse the Democrat in lieu of her seemingly partner in arms, conservative Doug Hoffman? Because she belongs in the Democrat party. Personally, I would have preferred for her to remain in the race and for Hoffman to still have won; I think that would have been an even stronger message, but I’m happy she’s out as well because it all but sews up the race for Hoffman.

Scozzafava’s nomination for the Republican ticket represents the biggest problem the Republicans have in modern politics. She is a very liberal Republican at best, she has ties to ACORN, she’s pro-Choice, and she would have essentially been another Democrat for Pelosi to strong-arm. The Republicans need to avoid candidates like Scozzafava like the plague if they hope to win back a large percent of seats in 2010 and if they ever want to stand a chance at winning back the Whitehouse in 2012.

Now, I know the argument. I was tuning into to Allman in the morning on 97.1 FM talk today and his guest was Curtis Sliwa, NY talkshow host whose show is on 12-3am. Sliwa’s argument was that Republicans can’t go around telling people that if you don’t pass this XYZ litmus test then we don’t want you in the party. He warned against this kind of politics. His message has broad appeal amongst the countryclub “blue blood” conservatives and moderate republicans…basically, they want a “Big Tent”.

We, on the conservative side are constantly being told by Democrats and the beltway Republicans that the “Era of Reagan” is over. We have to come up with policies to attract Hispanics and Blacks and Women, etc etc. The argument ends up being that for Republicans to win, we have to play the same identity politics that Democrats have been playing for 50 years, and we can’t have our own completely different ideas, we just have to begin with the Democrat premise and then promise not to be quite as bad as Democrats.

Look folks, when voters are given the option between Liberal and Liberal – light…they’re going to go for the real deal every time. Case in point: John Sydney McCain. McCain was the BlueBlood Republican dream…Moderate, war hero…able to “reach across the aisle”, big proponent of “bi partisanship”. He lost 53%-46%.

On the other hand, let’s examine the last great Conservative president, Ronald Wilson Reagan. Reagan may not have had a “Big Tent”, but it sure was crammed full. Ronald Reagan mapped out the blueprint for huge Republican electoral victory, yet we are constantly being told to forget Reagan. However, just last week, as Pelosi nuked us with her 20 pound, 1,990 page “healthcare” debacle, she invoked the “greats” of the Democrat party…FDR and LBJ. Liberals don’t forget their successes, why should Republicans?

Ronald Reagan won two electoral landslides, winning all but 1 state in his second term. How did he do it? He inspired people. He told us that we were the last best hope of man on Earth and he believed it. He cut taxes and encouraged freedom and enterprise. He stood stalwart against the advance of communism and helped bring about the demise of Soviet socialism. He made Americans proud to be Americans. He represented the spirit of the American Founding. He laid bare the Statist’s intentions and he pointed out the concession we make in the face of oppressive government…that we would admit that a small intellectual elite in a far distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

People will debate the full merits of the Reagan presidency; however I wish to examine his electoral results and tie that back to the Republican party of today. Why, when there is such evidence that America is ready for real, staunch Conservative leadership, would the Republicans continue to flip the bird to their constituents and appoint ultra liberal RINOs as candidates?

Gallop unveiled their most recent opinion research survey last week: 40% of the country self identify as Conservative, 36% as moderate, and only 20% as liberal.

Tea parties are sprouting up everywhere; the level of activism from normally quiet people is at a fever pitch. Yet somehow, the Republican establishment has managed to completely overlook all this and they keep up with this idea that Reagan conservatism can’t win at the ballot box. I am, quite frankly, dumbfounded. It seems to me that with the Democrats out there racing each other to the far left, that Republicans would naturally look at those 40% of Americans who are really outraged and ready and waiting for Conservative Leadership and see a ballot box - daisy cutter. Instead, at least to this point, it appears all they have is disdain for those of us who favor individual responsibility, lower taxes, strong defense, smaller government, and more freedom.

Hopefully the elections on Tuesday will deliver a sharp blow to the face of the Republican establishment. If Hoffman, Christie (for Gov – NJ), and Bob McDonnell (for Gov – VA) manage to win, it will mean some serious tides are turning against the Democrats and Obama. All the Republicans will have to do in 2010 is run real conservatives and I predict an electoral bloodbath for Democrats. We shall see.


  1. I should have mentioned at least the local election items. In Saint Louis, there are two things to be concerned with.

    1) Smoking ban.

    I personally will vote No on the smoking ban, because I feel that a Yes vote is hipocritcal. I am constantly preaching about less government intrusion on personal freedom, so it would be hipocritical for me to vote to use government to take away freedoms from others just because I don't like smoke. Its not about whether I want to be around a smoky building; I can choose to go or not. Its about the freedom of the business owner to set his/her own rules at his/her own place of business.

    2) The E-911 tax.

    I'm also voting NO on this one. While I agree that our first responders need to have the best equipment, government needs to learn to budget. The whole, "its ONLY 1 tenth of 1 percent!" argument only lasts for two or three budget requests...those tenths start to add up. Plus, this bill has no sunset provision on the tax, so after the new equipment is paid for, its just a permanent addition to Government. Boy, it sure would be nice if when my wallet was looking a bit low I could just go and steal some more money from my neighbor, but unfortunately (actually, quite fortunately) that is not the world in which we live. In this recessionary time, Government needs to prioritize just like we do. Let them cut their own spending elsewhere to make budget room for the upgrades and stop raiding my wallet.

  2. Scott,

    I don't think a vote on a smoking ban is hypocritical to being for freedom. I don't know why you don't see the non-smokers freedom to breathe clean air as less important than the smoker's freedom to smoke.

    If you want to smoke in your own home and invite other smokers to smoke with you, that is freedom and privacy. However, when you go into public, there is automatically less freedom (i.e. traffic laws).

    The public is a negotiated space of freedom that respects all people. I am not opposed to smoking freedoms, but I don't think their freedoms should trump my freedom.

    This is why we have public law.

    A vote for a smoking ban isn't a vote against freedom. It is a vote for a public law so that people of opposing views on smoke can coexist in an orderly way.

    Your logic of not voting for the smoking ban because it limits freedom is actually a logical argument against all public law.

    Just as the governments have the power to keep restaurants from refusing to serve people because of the color of their skin (another law that trumps freedom in the name of orderly and just society), governments have the right to regulate public behavior that creates the most order.

    The smoking ban does just that.

    For me that is no problem.

  3. Scott,

    Here's what I believe is different between this smoking ban and the other examples you gave, specifically banning the practice of racial discrimination when it comes to whom a business will serve.

    Racial discrimination is illegal in this country. We have made it a matter of law to ban that practice in all cases (in fact, we even encourage a version of reverse discrimination in order to "make up" for past greivances). Therefore, you cannot, as a private business owner, engage in a practice that is already illegal.

    Smoking is, at least for now, a legal activity. Since smoking is legal and restaurants and other business owners are private citizens who own private businesses, I dont even think that we ought to be able to VOTE on this matter. What a private business does, within the bounds of the law, is that private business's business.

    I would fully support any effort to bring a vote on whether to allow smoking bans in say, Forest Park (or other publicly owned lands/buildings). The Public owns that space and has the right to decide matters such as the treatment of smoking.

    However, I am staunchly against anyone telling The Waffle House that they have to ban smoking in their restaurants when like 95% of the people who go there smoke. I know that when I go there and for that reason, I don't go there very often. Its the same way with bowling alleys.

    Honestly, there aren't too many places that I even feel bothered by smoke. Most of the restaurants out there have already banned it because they feel that it is a better business decision to do so. But for the few that do not, its their business, not ours.

    BTW, this logic is bringing me to a different conclusion about the treatment of marriage in general by the government. Just FYI.

  4. Okay, let me pose a question...

    Second-hand smoke is a public health issue. Unless you completely discredit ALL science (at which point this is useless), the evidence damning second-hand smoke is absolute.

    Does the government have the responsibility to intervene on public health issues (i.e. quarantines that protect the public, mandating immunizations, etc)? Do the people have a right to insist on public health standards?

    I say yes. You say smoking is legal - ok. I have no problem on people having the freedom to do whatever they want in their own homes (a forthcoming post on freedom is coming soon). However, once that person enters into a space inhabited by others, they no longer have the same freedoms and are subject to laws (morality) of the group.

    If the group decides (either by overwhelming support of a fiat or a dirct vote), then restriction is always the moral choice since it is chosen by the group and individuals must comform to the rules of the group. This isn't about freedom, it is about social norms and standards (some of which are universal, but most are just social creations).

    More on this soon...

  5. Just like to point out Owen won in New York. This district has historically been represented by the Republican Party

    In fairness, the Democrats lost in New Jersey in the gubernatoral race, generally a Democratic state and in Virginia a generally Republican state that had become a bellweather state in the last few election.

    RESULT - impossible to predict this impact on next November. It does promise to be interesting, even though it is light years away in terms of politics.

  6. I know the smoking ban passed and personally, I'll benefit from it, however, I still do not agree that it can be morally enforceable as you are stating.

    Nobody is forcing you to go to an establishment that allows smoking to eat. You can just as easily head on down to whatever other place you want to go to that disallows smoking.

    By your logic, if I wanted to open up a restaurant and call it "Smokey's", under the expressed premise that it was a refuge for smokers to dine at, because of this group electing a smoking ban on public places, my business is not allowed. I simply do not understand why you must force this rule onto private business owners. Vote with your feet and dollars, do not use the force of government to inflict your desires on other people.

    As for the elections, we can say that conservatism won the day. I know you'll be tweaked by it, but Rush said it great...Obama losing New Jersey is like Stalin losing Moscow...that governorship cannot be overstated. Hoffman lost in a close race and had there been a primary and had the Republicans supported a real conservative from the get go, he may have won that race.

    Scozzafava is not a "moderate" republican as the news media will have you believe...she is more liberal than Bill Owens. In fact, early on, he ran attack ads against her attacking her for pushing too much taxation! We'll see in 2010, since this is just for one year.

    If you want to bury your head in the sand and say these results have no bearing on november 2010, please, be my guest, but as the vast majority of previously Obama supporting independents voting for Christie and McDonnell will tell you, Obama hurt the cause, and more specifically, his healthcare debacle really hurt the cause.