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The return of the unicorn

By Michael R. Shannon
web posted May 23, 2011

Recently an intrepid reporter tracked down a creature long thought to be extinct along these shores. It appeared in the guise of Retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. John W. Douglass a man who claimed in an interview that he's a "conservative Democrat."

Unfortunately for his family, Douglass suffers from delusions. What else can account for a man who the HuffPost says "campaigned vigorously for Hillary Clinton and then Barack Obama" describing himself as a "conservative."

I can see a so–called "conservative" Democrat holding his nose and voting for Obama — because he's been raised to believe the GOP is the real Evil Empire — but actually aiding and abetting?

Douglass intends to wrest Virginia's 10th district seat currently held by Frank Wolf from Republican hands and present it to the Democrats. Gen. Douglass — who evidently is unaware Congressional candidates do not have access to air strikes — appears to believe he has a chance against the 30–year incumbent.

But any voter who genuinely supports Douglass because of his claimed "conservatism" is in for a rude awakening. That's because, in the unlikely event he actually wins and Dems take control of the House, the first vote Douglass casts in Congress will be to elect Nancy Pelosi as Speaker.

This is the equivalent of a vegan going to work for the Hormel Company where he can facilitate change by working within the system to bring his pro–broccoli viewpoint to the table.

However, we don't have to wait until after the election to learn Douglass is just another bait–and–switch Democrat. (Where's Obama's Consumer Protection Agency when you really need it?)

Douglass is strangely silent on abortion, Obamacare, illegal immigration, out–of–control spending or the deficit, all of which are legitimate conservative issues.

What he has strongly supported in the past is the always promising, never effective early childhood education. Genuine conservatives know this boondoggle as the subsidized daycare and government expansion program. Head Start, Smart Start or Maxwell Smart, these programs have never been proven to be effective. Any gains among program participants disappear by the third grade.

What guarantee's Democrat support is feminist agitation, teacher union pressure and the fact it's cheaper than Kiddieland because the taxpayer foots the bill.

Douglass' views on energy and gas prices aren't any better. A conservative would be saying, "Drill, baby, drill. Here, not Brazil." Authentic conservative Republicans in Richmond support ending the 30–year ban on offshore oil and gas drilling because more supply will eventually lower prices and gas drilling alone will create an estimated 2,600 new jobs.

Douglass on the other hand wouldn't even poke Mother Earth with a spoon. And his solution to high gas prices reveals the Democrat's basic lack of familiarity with capitalism. He wants to confiscate legitimate oil company profits and redistribute the money to subsidize HOV–clogging Prius owners: "It's wrong for these big oil companies that are making record profits that are coming right out of the wallets of working people here in the 10th District," he said.

"If we take that money and spend it somewhere (!), it would be a lot better in incentivizing people to go into hybrid or electric cars or convert to natural gas or whatever it takes to put our country on a solid energy footing."

You'd think that since Douglass operates a Fauquier County winery he would know that all profits come from "the wallets of working people" regardless of whether they are buying Boone's Farm or Bogle. The same goes for oil companies.

It's conceivable Douglass only marks his wine up a buck or two a barrel, regardless of cost. This would account for his ignorance of percentages. Oil company profits are simply a percentage of the price of a barrel of crude. If the underlying price of oil increases, the amount of profit per barrel increases, too, although the underlying percentage remains the same. This is how supply and demand works.

Robin Hood or robbin' hood energy policy that takes from the proven and productive to give to the unproven and unreliable is hardly a roadmap for energy independence.

Douglass' "green energy" is an illusion, just like his conservatism. In truth it is heavily subsidized, boutique energy paid for by taxing "working people" who aren't brie and Chablis Democrats boasting of their "green" credentials while waiting for the sun to grow this year's grapes. ESR

Michael R. Shannon is a public relations, advertising and political consultant with experience around the globe. He is also a popular speaker and can be reached at michael–shannon@comcast.net.


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