All posts by Daria DiGiovanni

Author of Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal, copy director and partner in Parasol Creations, and co-host of Conservative Republican Forum.
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Tin Foil Returns for 2012

I have been documenting the many serious problems with a Ron Paul candidacy for years, from his sick propensity to blame acts of Muslim aggression on the USA to his unabashed support for the Ground Zero Mosque to his courtship (if not outright admission that 9/11 was an “inside job”) of 9/11 Truthers to his Daily Paul’s conspiratorial rantings about the Israeli Mossad.

I’ve also documented his orchestrated influence on CPAC and the straw poll by taking the Democrat/Labor Union approach of paying for his rabid, pot-smoking, college-aged supporters to attend the annual conference and stuff the ballot box. Thank goodness, this year Young Americans For Freedom finally gave him the boot.

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about Ron Paul is the blind devotion he inspires in his faithful supporters, none of whom can tolerate an iota of criticism about their guy, as evidenced by the comment thread following my Parcbench post from last year: Palin, Paulnuts and the Tea Party Movement.

Tea Party darling Sarah Palin, the woman who put money, time and support behind Tea Party Republican candidates in the lead-up to the 2010 midterms and continues to put Obama on the defensive? A shill of the NWO, of course, because she understands that Islamic Jihad is a very real threat to our existence.

Conservatives who recognize the need to resist Sharia Law, which is in direct opposition to the document that the self-proclaimed “Defender of the Constitution” claims to love so much? Why, Neo-Cons, of course. Which by the way, is an anti-Semitic slur. And don’t even bother trying to explain to the Ron Paulers that one of the limited duties ascribed to the federal government in the United States Constitution is the protection from enemies, foreign and domestic. They’ll tell you that Al-Qaeda is nothing more than CIA fantasy, as more than one of Paul’s Tin Foil brigade have argued with me in the past. Or that, in spite of the fact that Jihadists have been attacking Western Civilization for centuries, it’s American Foreign Policy to blame for their murderous rampages.

But don’t take my word for it. Let’s allow Ron Paul to speak for himself, shall we?

Ron Paul on the CIA:

Ron Paul on the Christmas Day 2009 Bomber:

Ron Paul on 9/11 Truthers:

Note: Paul continues to dance around the question as to why he continues to appear on Alex Jones, while allegedly denying he believes 9/11 was an “inside job”. He also decries “pre-emptive war” in his defense of the freak who once harassed Michelle Malkin with death threats.

I can hardly wait to listen to his whiny voice in the debates, decrying alleged American Imperialism and our ally Israel while promoting his wacky isolatism and foreign policy — a philosophy he shares with those as far to the left as Sheila Jackson-Lee and Dennis Kucinich. Here’s what he had to say about the latter in 2007:

Finally, here’s another video from the Giuliani vs. Paul battle with respect to Islamic Terrorism from the last presidential primary:

In all fairness to the Ron Paul faithful however, the Trump Chumps seem to be giving them some stiff competition when it comes to blind devotion — but that’s a topic for another post. I’ll say one thing for American politics: it sure draws out a colorful cast of characters. Too bad we’re living in perilous times that demand sanity, leadership and moral clarity, three qualities sorely lacking in Ron Paul for all of the reasons I’ve noted.

Daria DiGiovanni

Author of Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal, copy director and partner in Parasol Creations, and co-host of Conservative Republican Forum.

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An Independent Inquiry

As a Constitution-loving, i.e. conservative American who fully embraces the concepts of limited government, personal responsibility, individual liberty and strong national defense, I have a very important question for the election-tilting segment of our population known as “swing voters”: What exactly do you believe in? By that I mean, what is your specific political philosophy, beyond your strong, obvious distaste for having a party affiliation?

After all, those of you who self-identify as “independents” and/or “moderates” comprise 30% of our voting electorate and as such, you possess the power to inflict serious consequences upon our country simply by pulling the lever at the voting booth. So I think it’s only fair that you enlighten us as to how you arrive at a conclusion to either vote for or against any given candidate.

Just to clarify, I am not referring to anyone who subscribes to a belief system outside of the framework of a political party. I’ve bumped into many self-described “independent conservatives” on twitter and Facebook (along with a few who self-identify as “independent liberals”). Fair enough. These folks know what they believe; they simply choose not to affiliate themselves with Republicans, Democrats, or any other existing political party as a mechanism through which to translate their beliefs into public policy.

I respectfully disagree with this approach, but I do respect and understand where they’re coming from, given that most politicians have consistently proven that their thirst for power surpasses any consideration of principle.

But at least for now, I remain a strong advocate for reforming the GOP from within – an admittedly challenging task – because at this point in time, it’s the only major political party in which to find honest-to-goodness, grassroots conservatives like Jim DeMint and Michele Bachmann. These two upstanding individuals exemplify the meaning of statesmanship and integrity, as they fight for what’s right both within and outside of their own political party.

Among other revelations, the fight against Obamacare and subsequent ramming of this highly unpopular legislation down our throats dispelled once and for all the myth of the “conservative Democrat”. And the Tea Party Movement is as much a reaction – if not more – against the fiscal recklessness of the Bush Administration as it is against Obama, Pelosi, Reid and their plundering band of socialists hell-bent on “fundamentally transforming America”.

Still, I can understand why an avowed liberty-loving, Constitution-supporting, gun-toting, Bible-believing American would either revoke their membership in the GOP, or avoid registering in the first place. And although I despise the political philosophy of liberalism, I can at least give props to an independent liberal for knowing what they believe, even if I vehemently disagree with it.

However, being an “Independent” for its own sake is another matter entirely. Aside from the haughtiness of declaring themselves “above the fray”, what do these people really believe in? And why don’t they pay attention to things that matter – you know – crucial realities like past associations, personal character, record of (non) achievements, etc. – even during non-election years? Or is it simply too much to ask of residents of a free country to actually know what they believe and why, and to do their homework before participating in a process other citizens of the world can only dream about?

On today’s EIB broadcast, Rush Limbaugh (who shares the same frustration) had an opportunity to explore this very topic with a caller named Gail, who’d admitted to being an independent voter now disillusioned with Obama. In his own inimitable way, the “lovable little fuzzball” led her through a process of self-discovery and awareness I wish every non-affiliated voter – along with every member of the RINO establishment – could’ve heard. Read/ listen to the entire thing here.

In the end, Gail realized her core beliefs were in alignment with Tea Party activists and registered Republican primary voters who’d chosen O’Donnell over Castle, Paul over Grayson, Rubio over Crist and Miller over Murkowski. And therein lies the crux of the matter: if you are an “Independent” who possesses core conservative beliefs, the only way to ensure the ascension of a candidate who most accurately reflects them is through the primary process. And the more informed, engaged citizens involved in those healthy, competitive contests, the better to ensure clear-cut choices in the general elections.

But what would I know?

I am just a lifetime member of the Republican Party actively fighting to restore our Constitutional Republic – along with millions of others from coast to coast. And while claiming “independence” from an oppressive monarchy was a bold, wise and righteous choice for our principled Founders, declaring moral superiority as a personality-driven vs. issue-driven voter is not only irresponsible, it’s downright dangerous in the age of Obama.

Daria DiGiovanni

Author of Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal, copy director and partner in Parasol Creations, and co-host of Conservative Republican Forum.

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‘Misunderestimating’ the Revolution

How revealing an election result can be in the age of the Tea Party Movement. In spite of the massive paradigm shift that has taken place in American politics over the last 19 months, the reactions of the political class on both sides of the aisle to the Delaware senate primary have demonstrated a stunning obtuseness and palpable condescension among those who consider themselves the intellectual superiors to everyday Americans.

Commonsense conservative Christine O’Donnell’s impressive victory over liberal Republican Mike Castle might have been a “small wonder” for conservatism, but for GOP elites, it’s nothing short of a “capricious” (to use Charles Krauthammer’s descriptor) move by purists who evidently don’t know what’s good for them – or more to the point – most beneficial to Beltway Republicans.

How dare those Delaware peasants, in exercising their Constitutional right to vote in their party’s primary, select the candidate that most reflects their values and the vision set forth by our Founding Fathers? Don’t they know it’s more important for the Republican Party to win at all costs, even if it means sending a 30-year, Obama-supporting incumbent back to Washington?

In the aftermath of the Small Wonder State’s colossal primary results, elites to the left and right wasted no time in trashing Christine O’Donnell and her supporters. “Objective” Fox Analyst Karl Rove – while failing to disclose the details of his interest in the Mike Castle campaign (a detail later revealed by the leader of Delaware’s 9/12 Project at O’Donnell’s victory party) – repeatedly rehashed old, tired and previously explained talking points concerning O’Donnell’s student loans, IRS liens and finances.

On the Special Report panel, Charles Krauthammer, apparently channeling his inner Charlie Gibson (minus the headmaster glasses),   derided Delaware yokels and their enablers, Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint. Actually, he initially condemned only Palin until Brett Baier reminded him that O’Donnell had also been endorsed by the senate’s staunchest conservative from South Carolina.

Right of center blogs including National Review and The Weekly Standard joined in the game, also obviously unaware that the Tea Party locomotive had been roaring full-steam ahead toward principled conservatism (and mowing over the concept of “squishy moderation” in the process), while they were busy playing Beltway politics as usual.

So it was no surprise when O’Donnell’s righty detractors took the bait set by smug, arrogant and angry lefty blackmailer Bill Maher. Recalling that Delaware’s new Republican senatorial candidate had been a frequent guest on his show during the 1990s and early 2000s, the decidedly unlikeable Maher promptly threatened to release one video appearance after another until Christine O’Donnell (who’s politely  declined up to this point) agreed to an interview.

And in a testament to his dismissal of conservative Christians as militant, unforgiving and perhaps sexually repressed stuffed-shirts, Maher released an old video in which the now 41 year-old O’Donnell had admitted to “dabbling in witchcraft” as a high school teenager. In the twitch of a nose, she “magically” transformed from puritanical freak with an anti-masturbation agenda to a handmaiden of the Devil.

Well, at least that was what he’d been hoping for.

But a funny thing happened on the road to socialism: Americans recognized the culpability of both parties in helping to bring the United States to the brink of collapse. Whether big-spending, “big tent” Rove Republicans who introduced the oxymoron “compassionate conservatism” to the electorate – along with a host of unconstitutional legislation and government expansion – or liberal Democrats who sold “hope and change” as a centrist platform only to ram onerous bills like Obamacare down their throats (polls and the will of the people be damned), voters declared a pox on both parties.

At the same time, they understood that the only place to find commonsense conservative candidates was in the GOP, and that these would-be citizen governors — much like the rest of us — are far from perfect. Thus, instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, the Tea Party movement organized and coalesced around the most conservative candidates they could identify in the primaries and – if said candidate prevailed, threw their support behind them in the general election. And in the state of Delaware, they rallied around the imperfect, but principled Christine O’Donnell – the only clear, conservative option in the race.

For years, conservatives have dutifully supported the moderate victor (McCain in 2008, Bush in 2000 & 2004, Dole in 1996, G.H.W. Bush in 1992) in spite of their misgivings – all in the name of party unity. Admonished by their GOP superiors (some of the same people who long ago ceded pop culture, media and public education to the left, to the detriment of American freedom) that the Reagan era was over, they’d hold their noses and vote for the guy with the “R” after his name, grudgingly reminding themselves that he was at least marginally better than the Democrat.

But now that the shift has taken place in reaction to the radical Obama agenda, now that the country is rediscovering its Founders and the principles they outlined in the watershed document known as the US Constitution, so-called pragmatic Republicans are refusing to return the courtesy.

In the case of O’Donnell, rather than adhering to the old axiom, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”, hypocrites like Karl Rove cannot stop attacking her – over a week after the election. Charles Krauthammer smugly advised Palin and DeMint to hit the stump in Delaware on O’Donnell’s behalf since they’re the ones who wanted her so badly. I suppose in Charles’ mind, Delaware primary voters are incapable of making their own decisions and thinking for themselves.

Tea Partiers, recognizing the chicanery from left and right, promptly responded by donating nearly $2 million (as of this writing) to O’Donnell’s campaign. Will she win? It’s definitely not out of the question. And even if she doesn’t, the message to the GOP is loud and clear: either reform or die as a party. Better an honest, avowed liberal than a back-stabbing, deal-making, power-hungry RINO.

It will undoubtedly take more than a few election cycles, along with a concerted effort to reeducate and redefine pop culture, before we get the country back to its intended framework of a Constitutional Republic. In the meantime, elites on both sides of the aisle are on notice to stop ‘misunderestimating’ the power and determination of ordinary Americans who’ve had enough.

Daria DiGiovanni

Author of Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal, copy director and partner in Parasol Creations, and co-host of Conservative Republican Forum.

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O’Donnell the Rainmaker

Fresh off of her impressive victory over Mike Castle in Delaware, Christine O’Donnell has accomplished yet another astonishing feat — raising over $1 million dollars in just 24 hours! No doubt fueled by both a strong desire to send another commonsense Tea Party conservative to D.C.,  and intense anger over the GOP establishment’s disgusting attacks (while the NRSC has grudgingly come around, Karl Rove & Charles Krauthammer can’t seem to stop trashing her), online patriots nationwide logged onto her site and donated — in such strong numbers that her website crashed several times on Wednesday.

In an interview on Sean Hannity’s radio show, O’Donnell thanked Tea Party Americans for their support and solicited their patience while her tech team transitioned her online home from primary to general election mode. Earlier that day, she appeared poised, confident and optimistic in an interview with lamestream media member George Stephanopoulos, who wasted no time exploiting Karl Rove’s untoward remarks from the night before.  To her credit, O’Donnell never backed down and never became defensive, answering for what feels like the umpteenth time, questions about IRS tax liens and student loans.

And once again, O’Donnell noted the IRS mistake, well-documented and posted on her website. But my favorite response was this:

We’ve addressed all of this stuff on our website. It took me 12 years to pay off my college loans. I’m not a trust fund baby. Most Delawareans can relate to having to work hard to pay for their own college education. I was never dishonest about that.

Attention Rove, Krauthammer and the rest of the dying GOP establishment: Most of us here in the real world can relate to Christine’s financial troubles. If you’re really trying to destroy her, criticizing her for taking 12 years to pay off student loans and for being harassed by the IRS are probably not your best options. Talk about elitist condescension. For guys who are supposed to be so smart, you really have no clue as to the mood of the country right now.

But as I said the other night, before the NRSC came around and sent her money, the grassroots would fund O’Donnell’s campaign. And $1 million in 24 hours is pretty nice work. Never underestimate the power and determination of American patriots determined to take their country back.

Daria DiGiovanni

Author of Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal, copy director and partner in Parasol Creations, and co-host of Conservative Republican Forum.

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Small Wonder for Conservatism, Sour Grapes for GOP

In what might possibly be the most stunning upset victory of this entire primary season, grassroots conservative candidate Christine O’Donnell handily beat 30-year incumbent establishment Republican Mike Castle 53.1%-46.9% to become the Republican nominee for US Senate in Delaware. But just as the thrill of victory engulfed the hearts of Tea Party activists from coast to coast when the race was called for O’Donnell, the vile taste of sour grapes proved too much for establishment Republicans to overcome.

First, there was Karl Rove, who could barely contain his contempt for O’Donnell as he bantered back and forth with Sean Hannity, claiming he didn’t know enough about her. Which is sort of interesting when you consider that the Delaware Republican Party supported her in her 2008 bid. Was Karl just not paying attention back then?

When Hannity testified that he’d interviewed Christine on several occasions and found her to be a competent candidate, Rove reiterated the same tired, old garbage about wanting to know how she pays her bills. Newsflash for Rove: Many Americans can relate to struggling to make ends meet, especially in this depressed economy. If anything, that only makes her more sympathetic to Americans who are sick to death of career politicians becoming millionaires on the public dime.

Rove’s sorry performance drew the ire of a local Delaware 9/12 activist and O’Donnell supporter, who admonished him publicly at Christine’s victory party,  ”No one is going to tell us how to take care of business!”

His rallying cry echoed the sentiments of conservative activists nationwide.

But Rove wasn’t the only one crying in his Merlot.

In the most shocking demonstration of sour grapes, the sore losers at the NRSC wasted no time announcing there would be no funding for O’Donnell — before she even had a chance to make her acceptance speech. Yeah, the same NRSC that, in kneejerk fashion, endorsed establishment RINO Charlie Crist over principled conservative  Marco Rubio waaay back in May, 2009.  And sent their lawyer off to Alaska to help incumbent RINO Lisa Murkowski (another ungracious loser) in her failed attempt to find enough votes to prevail over Tea Party Republican Joe Miller.

Which only confirms what patriot activists already know: the establishment GOP simply doesn’t get it.

While they’re still playing politics as usual, they’ve failed to grasp the enormity of the paradigm shift that has occurred in the wake of Obama. It had been simmering for quite some time with the push-back against amnesty and excessive government spending and growth under the Bush administration. When Obama inherited what was basically a pre-socialized country– thanks in part to the passage of onerous legislation like TARP — he drove the country full-throttle toward government control of nearly every aspect of American life, inciting a peaceful, but powerful revolution that has only grown in strength and number over the past 19 months.

So that’s ok NRSC, keep your money. We The People will fund Christine’s campaign, just as we’ve done this entire year for grassroots candidates, beginning with Scott Brown in Massachusetts. It’s about principles, not party. We care about our country, and we will support candidates who will stand up for the Constitution and our God-given right to liberty. Republican Chairmanships don’t interest us all that much, and we no longer have use for the GOP’s outdated, monarchical “next in line” practice. So you can either reform, or become an historical footnote.

We tried to tell you revolution was brewing.  You should have listened.

Daria DiGiovanni

Author of Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal, copy director and partner in Parasol Creations, and co-host of Conservative Republican Forum.

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The Battle of Delaware

On the heels of Joe Miller’s stunning upset of Lisa Murkowski in Alaska, a previously obscure primary in the state of Delaware has incited passionate disagreement and unpalatable mudslinging — and not just in the predictable ruling class versus country class way we’ve come to expect from an unrepentant GOP establishment that won’t go gently into much-needed reform. To be fair, Republican elites have grown accustomed to conservative capitulation to the concept of “electability” over the years. Not even the stunning momentum and staying power of the Tea Party movement seems to have resonated with many of them, at least not when the battleground happens to be a  ”safe” Northeastern state.

Nicknamed “Small Wonder” it will be no small feat in Delaware if Tea Party-backed, upstart challenger Christine O’Donnell prevails against 30-year RINO incumbent Mike Castle on September 14.  In addition to Tea Party Express, O’Donnell has been endorsed by such conservative heavyweights as Mark Levin, Michelle Malkin, Tammy Bruce, Jim DeMint, and Michele Bachmann. Prominent righty bloggers like Dan Riehl of Riehl World View and Melissa Clothier of Liberty Pundits have also backed O’Donnell’s candidacy.

But the divisions this race has exposed on the right side of the aisle are telling, more so for their sheer vindictiveness than anything else. It’s not really a surprise that establishment-embracing publications like National Review and The Weekly Standard would partake in the “electability” rationalization, in spite of the fact that — among other things — Castle voted for Cap and Trade in 2009; the $26 billion Edujobs/BigGovJobs bailout just weeks ago; and the TARP bailout in 2008, as Michelle Malkin notes in a must-read column.

None of Castle’s supporters seem to have an answer as to why it took him until July 30 to sign onto the repeal of ObamaCare, though Mark Levin wonders if the relentless pressure from Christine O’Donnell had anything to with his motivation. Had he not been facing a challenger in the primary, would he have opposed Obamacare at all? And why, Levin asks,  does his opposition come with a caveat, i.e. he’d consider repeal if we had a different president? With two years to go in the Obama term, this stance seems mighty contradictory to me.

But the most disturbing aspect of this entire primary spectacle is the concerted effort by O’Donnell’s detractors on the right to tar her as some kind of mentally unbalanced loon. William A. Jacobsen discusses this phenomenon in a post entitled Nuts and Sluts in Delaware:

The nuts part of the attack is being used against Christine O’Donnell in Delaware by the local Republican establishment, and also by two leading conservative magazines, The Weekly Standard and National Review. If O’Donnell is so nuts, why did the Delaware Republican Party nominate her to run against Joe Biden just two years ago?

If O’Donnell wins tomorrow, you can be sure that the Democrats will seize on the nuts attack from Republicans, and take it to the next step by sexualizing O’Donnell (it already has started).

By signing on to the nuts defense directed at conservative women, the Republican establishment has adopted the most pernicious line of Democratic Party attack.

As if condescension for O’Donnell’s financial status wasn’t bad enough (how dare an everyday Jane who’s not a multimillionaire — thanks to years at the public dole — run for office?!), many on the right have now taken a page out of the Alinsky playbook and given the left plenty of fodder to marginalize her, should she win on Tuesday.

And what’s with the defeatist attitude anyway?

It seems many alleged conservatives are miffed that O’Donnell’s primary challenge might succeed, because in their minds, it’s a foregone conclusion she’ll lose in the general. Not so fast, urges The Other McCain, polls are not necessarily predictive. While I agree, I’d also point out that even if Democrat Coons were to beat her, I’d rather have an avowed liberal making bad voting decisions than an alleged Republican. Let them own the debacle. If this is what it takes for the GOP to finally get it — even after Joe Miller, Rand Paul and Sharron Angle —  it’s worth the sacrifice.

The GOP conveniently forgets that the reason for their thumpin’ in 2006 and 2008 was because they’d abandoned all fiscal principles to the point where it was nearly impossible to distinguish a Republican from a Democrat. To paraphrase conservative Republican candidate for US Senate in Florida, Marco Rubio, Americans deserve bold, clear choices, not wishy-washy sides of the same big-government coin. (It’s no coincidence that the NRSC threw him under the bus in May, 2009 only to wind up with egg on their faces when anointed RINO Charlie Crist bolted from the party, either).

In a year when anything can happen, I suspect Americans who happen to live in Delaware feel the same way, and they deserve an opportunity to select their candidate in their primary.  Win or lose in the general election, the organized attempt by the Delaware GOP and some prominent righties to impugn Christine O’Donnell’s character has been a distasteful reminder of why more everyday Janes and Joes don’t even bother to run for office.

It is my fondest wish to follow-up this post with a victory celebration after the votes are cast tomorrow. Not only will it be great to have a real conservative in an important senate race, it might be kind of fun to witness the reaction of O’Donnell’s enemies. Ultimately and rightfully though, the choice belongs to registered Republican voters in the Small Wonder state.

Daria DiGiovanni

Author of Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal, copy director and partner in Parasol Creations, and co-host of Conservative Republican Forum.

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Politics and the Smart Girl – Part 2

In part 2 of the interview, Parcbench’s own Daria DiGiovanni asks Ashley Sewell about the upcoming Smart Girl Summit.

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DD: Is there a conference this year?

AS: Absolutely! It takes place on September 30 – October 1 in Washington D.C., the Second Annual Smart Girl Summit. At this two-day conference, we’ll have speakers, training sessions and discussion panels. Liz Cheney is coming back again this year, along with SE Cupp, Tammy Bruce, and many other noteworthy women so we’re very excited. I encourage everyone to visit our website to get more information.  http://www.smartgirlsummit.com/

DD: Wow, that’s a pretty impressive line-up.

AS: Yes, we’re thrilled to have the participation and support of these prominent conservative women. Smart Girl Politics has really become a staple in the conservative women’s movement. We give women the information and advice they need to take their country back, one community, one person at a time. I am only 26 and do not yet have children, but like so many other women, I am concerned for my nieces and nephew — what kind of country they are going to inherit. That’s my primary motivator right now, and I am doing everything in my power to help ensure that America remains the land of opportunity for future generations.

DD: Can you share a little bit of your experience as a conservative woman? Has there been anything that’s stood out?

AS: Well, as I mentioned, I am a graduate of Baylor University, the largest Baptist school in the world. In my experience as a college student, I only ran into one outspoken liberal professor as the rest were either conservative or non-confrontational in their views.

However, the liberal professor provided me with my first encounter with intimidation when he instigated an in-class abortion debate between me and a good friend. My friend stood firm in a woman’s right to choose in all circumstances; as a Christian who is reverent of all human life, I simply could not agree with her. So this professor, who for whatever reason liked to pick on me anyway, pitted us against each other, and it was the most divisive thing I have ever experienced. We went into class as friends and came out not even knowing each other anymore; she never spoke to me again.

The professor also asked for a show of hands as to who was conservative/Republican; I would say that 95% of the class responded affirmatively. Then he asked those who leaned liberal/Democrat to raise their hands. He then announced in no uncertain terms that the conservatives were all starting out with a “C” and would have to work their way up, while the liberals would all start with an “A”. At the end of the semester of this political science class, every conservative wound up with a “C” grade, but my pro-abortion, liberal friend got an “A”.

As bad as this was, it jump-started my political activism, along with my world cultures courses. And other than this incident, my collegiate experience was pretty tame.

DD: Do you have any advice for other conservative women?

AS: Yes, recognize and respect your own power; use it wisely. As much as it’s a cliche, you’re not alone so don’t be afraid to jump in! We live in a catty, judgmental world, but you can’t let that stop you from doing the right thing for our country. Our freedom and our nation are just too important to worry about what other people might think.

Don’t ever underestimate the power of your own voice, because there’s definitely a ripple effect. In my own life, as I’ve grown in my political involvement so has my dad, and it has been such a special experience for me. I have also realized that I can never again be afraid to stand up for what I believe in, because by having the courage to do so, I may be inspiring someone else to do the same.

DD: Ashley, it has been a real pleasure speaking with you. How can our readers reach you if they’d like to continue the conversation and get more involved with SGP?

AS: Thank you for your time! I’ve enjoyed it, too. And I welcome anyone (girls AND guys!) who wants to get involved to contact me via the Smart Girl Politics social media site, http://www.smartgirlpolitics.ning.com/AshleyLSewell.  My email and Twitter are also open to them: sewell.ashley@yahoo.com and @TXTrendyChick.

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For more information on the Smart Girl Summit 2010, visit their website www.SmartGirlSummit.com.

Parcbench’s in-house Smart Girl Daria DiGiovanni is the author of Water Signs – A Story of Love and Renewal.

Daria DiGiovanni

Author of Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal, copy director and partner in Parasol Creations, and co-host of Conservative Republican Forum.

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Politics and the Smart Girl – Part 1

Parcbench’s own Daria DiGiovanni sat down with Ashley Sewell to talk about politics and why it’s never too soon to get started.

sgplogo_vertical-150x150Little did Ashley Sewell realize when a woman approached her to take a photo of her sign at an Arlington, Texas Tea Party in April 2009, that she would end up becoming the Southwest Regional Coordinator for Smart Girl Politics (SGP), an online conservative grassroots movement for women that in a very short span of time, has grown from a blog with seven followers to a social media phenomenon with 40,000 members. Her responsibilities with SGP also include writing for their online magazine, Smart Girl Nation, and covering events like CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) and the Right Online Convention. I recently spoke to Ashley about her own political awakening and motivation for transitioning from a successful sales representative to a full-time activist and blogger.

DD: Tell me a little bit about you and your background.

AS: I was born in a suburb of Fort Worth, Texas, one of four children, eventually attending Baylor University as an International Studies Major, which is a fancy term for Political History. I was intrigued by Chinese history, via a World Cultures course I’d taken, focusing on the Mao period, 1949 through 1976.

When I graduated, my surgeon father was curious as to what I planned to do with my expensive new degree, since — as you might imagine — there aren’t exactly an abundance of opportunities for International Studies Majors. But right out of college, I ended up taking a sales position with a medical staffing company, where I worked for three years. That was the impetus for my political involvement today.

DD: How so?

AS: Well, at age 24, after having been at my job for two years, I went to file my income taxes only to discover I’d been pushed into the next bracket; thanks to being hard-working and diligent, and putting in 60 hours a week, I was “rewarded” by being forced to give even more of my money to the federal government. This was my first encounter with the real world, and it inspired me to attend the Arlington, Texas Tea Party in April of 2009.

DD: So prior to that, you hadn’t been active on the political scene at all?

AS: No, I’d definitely been politically knowledgeable, but certainly not politically active. My dad is a surgeon and because of government meddling in medicine, I was very much aware of the consequences of government interference in the private sector.

DD: At at the Arlington event, you were approached by someone from Smart Girl Politics, due to the sign you were carrying. Can you describe it for our readers?

AS:  Although I was quite serious about participating in a serious cause, I do believe a sense of humor in the face of adversity and challenge is very important. So true to my upbeat personality, I crafted a humorous yet provocative message on my placard, stating “Welcome to the USSA”. I was the only one at the rally with this type of sign. I’d also incorporated the Obama “O” logo from the 2008 campaign, so it drew some attention. Julie Wallis from SGP came up to me and asked if she could take a photo, which I happily obliged. That led to a discussion about Smart Girl Politics, and the next day, I looked up their site, which I absolutely loved. I joined immediately and became the Southwest Regional Coordinator. Because I also love to write, I started contributing to Smart Girl Nation as well.

DD: What is involved in being a regional/state coordinator, and how is this working out for SGP?

AS: I am so proud of our state coordinators — the group we have in place is really, really strong. We give them the autonomy to manage their groups as they see fit and to run with their ideas. Our Arizona group is especially notable, because they are by far the most active, setting up debates and hosting meet and greets to attract new members. It’s wonderful to see because our mission is to get our members out from behind their computer screens and into their communities, where they can truly make a difference in getting our country back.

DD: You know, I remember reading about the Arizona SGP group cleaning up the Arizona border on Michelle Malkin’s website. I was so impressed by the story and photos.

AS: Yes, we were so proud of them for that effort, and that’s really the kind of thing we want to inspire more of at Smart Girl Politics. Our main focus is to educate and empower women so that they can implement efforts within their own communities — such as the border clean-up — to effect meaningful change. To that end we have programs like SGP 101, which are brief online tutorials on everything from voter registration to how to walk a precinct.

Michelle Malkin was actually a featured speaker at our first Smart Girl Summit last year, and the outpouring of support from her and other prominent conservative women has been so encouraging.

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Parcbench’s in-house Smart Girl Daria DiGiovanni is the author of Water Signs – A Story of Love and Renewal.

Daria DiGiovanni

Author of Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal, copy director and partner in Parasol Creations, and co-host of Conservative Republican Forum.

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Palin, Haley and the Palmetto State Primary

When it comes to Sarah Palin, one thing’s for certain: her critics on both the left and right are incapable of constructive criticism. To the everlasting shame of the current state of our cultural and political landscape, we’ve become tragically accustomed to the depraved, illogical and relentless attacks on her from the Obama-worshipping crowd hell-bent on destroying their messiah’s most vocal, principled and courageous opponent.

But as the reaction of many Facebook conservatives to the South Carolina primary results indicates, at least some on the right have either lost the ability to respectfully debate on substance, or fallen victim to a less virulent, though equally unattractive strain of Palin Derangement Syndrome. If they are disappointed in Palin for endorsing Nikki Haley, it necessarily follows that her entire proven track record of reform, good governance and principled leadership suddenly disappears in puff of self-righteous indignation.

Thus the woman who successfully triumphed over Alaska’s “Corrupt Bastards Club” (CBC) is chastised as a “sell-out”, a self-serving member of the establishment and—most reminiscent of our friends on the Left—a dumb hick who, on second-thought, really doesn’t bear that much of a resemblance to Ronald Reagan after all. Never mind that Reagan often endorsed candidates with whom he had a few policy disagreements.

One of the most passionate South Carolina Palin-bashers decries her fellow Palmetto State voters for not considering the issues when pulling the lever, blindly voting for Nikki Haley simply because Sarah Palin—carpet-bagging endorser who has no business getting involved in state races anyhow—told them to. Forget the smug dismissal of the 65% who voted for Haley, it seems to me this Barrett supporter’s anger is more than a little misplaced.

Was South Carolina’s good ol’ boy GOP establishment “sticking to the issues” when they embarked upon a smear campaign against Nikki Haley, wherein the married mother of two was falsely accused of adultery with at least two different men, ethnically slurred as a “raghead” thanks to her Sikh ancestry, and insidiously accused of not really being a Christian? Talk about validating the Left’s perpetual stereotype of the Right as nothing but a bunch of Bible-thumpin’, racist yahoos! For that offense alone, I’d have voted for Nikki Haley over Gresham Barrett, yet the Palin-bashing/Haley-hating/Barrett-loving Facebook crowd conveniently overlooks these glaring campaign realities.

But since they’re all about “sticking to the issues”, let’s look at a major one shall we?

As Ed Morrissey of Hot Air noted the other day, the albatross of TARP has been weighing heavily on many incumbents who supported this decidedly anti-conservative, anti-capitalist legislation—Gresham Barrett being just one example. Perhaps in addition to the slimy political tactics that made their state a laughingstock during this campaign, South Carolina voters were simply disgusted with Barrett’s go-along-to-get-along mentality. Along with other members of the GOP “bi-partisan” establishment, Barrett’s TARP vote helped pave the way for the Obama Administration to floor the accelerator on the road to a massive 13-trillion-dollar US National Debt.

Further, South Carolina voters might have also been motivated to pull the lever for Haley because of her Palin-esque efforts to shine the light of transparency on the South Carolina legislature by mandating roll-call votes—a crusade for which proud bigot Jake Knotts tarred her as “f*&)*@ing raghead”, among other repugnant smears. If this is what passes for acceptable political discourse in the minds of Barrett supporters, condemning Palin for backing Haley is the least of their offenses.

Daria DiGiovanni

Author of Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal, copy director and partner in Parasol Creations, and co-host of Conservative Republican Forum.

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Hey Newsweek, looks like we’re all conservatives now!

Or more accurately, according to the latest Gallup poll, 42% of us self-identify as  conservatives now, a full seven percentage points ahead of moderate (35%) and a whopping 22 percentage points ahead of liberal (20%). I am picking on Newsweek for an obvious reason — their egregious cover story on February 7, 2009 in which they prematurely touted the triumph of socialism in America as a result of Barack Obama’s “historic” election. Eighteen months later, the joke’s on them.

If the magazine’s editors failed to recognize in their drunken Kool-Aid euphoria that the “hope and change” illusion was a necessary construct of the Obama campaign in order to win over a center-right country, they’re sure getting it now. Formerly besotted Americans have quickly sobered up as a result Obama’s reckless spending, blatant disregard for the US Constitution,  Chicago-style thuggery (“you’ll get government healthcare and like it, peasants!”), endless apology tours and perilous lack of leadership in the aftermath of the Gulf oil disaster — just to mention a few in an ever-expanding list of grievances.

And if the 2010 elections we’ve seen thus far are any indication, the petulant-child-who-would-be-president is in for a very rude awakening come January, 2011. If the speculation about Obama hating his job now is accurate, just wait until he’s dealing with a conservative majority in Congress.

Come to think of it, Newsweek’s not the only one who needs a reminder: Hey RINOs/GOP Beltway-insiders/DC go-along-to-get-along crowd, ignore this Gallup poll at your own peril. I suspect the number of self-described conservatives will only increase as we inch closer to November — which cannot get here quickly enough.

Daria DiGiovanni

Author of Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal, copy director and partner in Parasol Creations, and co-host of Conservative Republican Forum.

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