The Good and the Curious from #RSG12

Last week’s Red State Gathering in Jacksonville was impressive. Having the opportunity to listen to some of the luminaries of the burgeoning conservative movement in America, with November’s upcoming and defining general election quickly approaching, certainly had an energizing effect and allowed many of us to see and feel what is happening around the country in a more personal and real way, beyond our own provincial concerns. Speakers such as Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Rick Scott, and David Limbaugh – to name only a few – brought home to the audience not only the immediate seriousness of America’s situation but also the genuine hope just on the horizon as a result of the relentless work of conservative, grassroots efforts.

With all due respect to the Red State organization, however, I have to call them out on one of their endorsements that simply on its face makes no sense – assuming that it is, indeed, business-minded conservatives for which we’re looking in this election.   

Red State has apparently officially endorsed Karen Harrington in the Republicans’ attempt to unseat the seemingly universally-disliked Debbie Wasserman-Schultz from her position in the House of Representatives from Florida’s District 20. Before Mrs. Harrington can get to that point, however, she first has to defeat Ozzie deFaria, a self-made successful man who is truly the embodiment of the American Dream. In fact, on several occasions here at America’s Right, I’ve tried to point out the glaring differences in the credentials between these two candidates. These differences couldn’t be any more stark. I know this because I have family and friends in the district in question, and since they know that I’m a highly-motivated conservative activist, they often look to me for information. I’ve done my research, and truth be told, there’s not a lot of research that needs doing in this case, if you want my honest opinion.

Ozzie deFaria is a pillar of his community and a solid family man, a man to whom both the young people and adults look to as a role model. He’s very actively involved in the life of the social community in his district. Mrs. Harrington has attempted to cast aspersions on his character by referencing a domestic dispute in Ozzie’s past, but what she has never mentioned or bothered to retract is the fact that any charges against Ozzie were summarily dismissed a long time ago. I’d say that that’s a rather important point to consciously omit. Further, while working as an executive for AT&T for fourteen years, Ozzie was personally in charge of handling the company’s multi-billion-dollar acquisitions business.   This is a man who understands how both small and larger businesses operate.     

Karen Harrington, on the other hand, strikes me as anything but a genuine conservative. While there are a litany of issues that speak to my point here – all of which can be seen at doyouknowkaren.com – there are three in specific that should raise the red flag for people who claim to want conservatives in office. First, Mrs. Harrington was a declared “Independent” between 1982-2010, only officially changing that status prior to her first attempt to unseat Wasserman-Schultz, when Harrington was walloped by 22 points. Harrington claims that her switch to the Republican Party was motivated by her realization that “her lifelong conservative values matched up better with the GOP.” On the surface, that strikes me as a bit circumspect and opportunistic.

Second, Mrs. Harrington came out in opposition to Paul Ryan’s budget plan, a plan that was universally hailed by nearly everyone in the GOP as addressing in a common-sense fashion the desperate financial issues that we face as a nation. Not only did Wasserman-Schultz throw Ryan’s plan under the bus, but so did Karen Harrington. Mitt Romney supports it, and as of right now, Paul Ryan still seems to be a serious candidate for Vice-President. Harrington has, therefore, in a defacto fashion, aligned herself with Wasserman-Schultz and against Romney and Ryan.

Third, given last week’s controversy surrounding Chick-Fil-A, during which the First Amendment protections for speech and religion came squarely under attack, it is more than a bit interesting to note that Mrs. Harrington was announced as the Vice President of a gay activist group that actively supports gay marriage, has participated in a gay wedding, and has marched in a gay rights’ parade. Her choices are her own, of course, but allow me to add that I have two members of my own family who are homosexual, and I’m very close to both of them. This has nothing to do with our moral obligation to treat our fellow man with dignity and respect and everything to do with – at least this is the way that it strikes me – trying to come across as all things to all people. I find this rather curious, given that she claims to be a staunch supporter of traditional marriage.

These points, when put up against the information presented at doyouknowkaren.com, would certainly make it easy to view Mrs. Harrington as a political opportunist with her own interests at heart rather than the interests of the people of Florida 20, who will, of course, have to decide all this for themselves. Looking at these two candidates side-by-side, though, makes me genuinely wonder how there can be a choice in the first place.

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