BY KENNETH R. CONKLIN, PH.D. — Hawaii supporters of unity, equality, and aloha for all — i.e., opponents of racial separatism and Hawaiian racial entitlements — are generally not happy with the results of the 2012 election.
Far-left Democrats have been elected to the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and U.S. Presidency who support a culture of dependency based on assertions of victimhood. They support government handouts, identity politics, special rights based on race, communal land ownership, the Akaka bill, and the Hawaiian state-recognized tribe.
There’s an old saying that every dark cloud has a silver lining. Let’s look for some of those silver linings in the dark clouds of the 2012 election.
Following is a shortened version of a much more detailed analysis at
One cloud is that Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney. The silver lining is that we need not waste our time trying to persuade a President to oppose the Akaka bill.
Romney has never said anything about the Akaka bill. As a “severely conservative” Republican, we could hope he would oppose it. But Romney has a reputation as a flip-flopper, even on major issues of conscience such as abortion and the individual mandate for health insurance. If Romney had won, we would need to work very hard to cajole a vacillating, unsteady President Romney to stand firmly against the Akaka bill. Since Romney lost we can spend our efforts where they will do the most good (the Senate).
With Obama we know exactly where we stand. As a U.S. Senator Obama spoke in favor of the Akaka bill on the Senate floor, and voted in favor of cloture in 2006. During his campaign of 2008 and his first term as President, Obama several times reaffirmed his support. There’s no point wasting effort on him.
One cloud is that the U.S. Senate, which Republicans had hoped to dominate, will have only 45 Republicans facing 53 Democrats and two independents (who will probably caucus with the Democrats).
The silver lining is that the Republicans can block the Akaka bill as they’ve been doing for many years, and it takes 60 votes for cloture to force the bill past a hold or filibuster.
The silver lining is tarnished by the fact that the Democrats have always been unanimous in supporting the Akaka bill, and that a few left-leaning Republicans have crossed over to vote with them. Only 5 Republican crossovers would now be needed.
The tarnish is somewhat polished away by the fact that a couple of the Republicans who are now gone either supported the Akaka bill or were not reliable opponents of it, so their replacement by Democrats poses no additional threat to the Akaka bill.
Another silver lining is the fact that the most stalwart opponent of the Akaka bill, Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, who is retiring, has been replaced by Republican Jeff Flake, who has an excellent track record of leading the opposition to the Akaka bill as a member of the House of Representatives.
A small cloud is that the Senator who won the Hawaii election to replace retiring Democrat Dan Akaka is Democrat Mazie Hirono. She pushed the Akaka bill as a member of the House of Representatives and has pledged to continue pushing it as a Senator.
Part of the silver lining is that Senator Hirono will be an ineffective back-bencher. She’s an arrogant far-left machine Democrat, whose work in the House of Representatives and whose previous political activity in Hawaii show that she is incapable of thinking or speaking more deeply than superficial Democrat talking-points.
A major silver lining is the fact that Republican candidate Linda Lingle lost, and by the landslide margin of 62%-37%. Yes, this is good news. Throughout her 8 years as Governor, Lingle made the Akaka bill her top federal priority. She constantly contacted the Republican President and Republican Senators to lobby for the Akaka bill. She made numerous trips to Washington, twice testifying before the Committee on Indian Affairs, personally meeting Senators on the floor during quorum calls, spending an overnight in the White House while lobbying President Bush, etc. For many more details about Lingle’s zealotry in supporting the Akaka bill, see
Lingle’s loss is a silver lining because Lingle will not be in the Senate working tirelessly inside the Republican caucus to persuade her fellow Republicans to abandon their opposition to the Akaka bill. Lingle’s defeat is also a silver lining because her credibility among national Republicans is greatly reduced by her landslide defeat — they wasted millions of dollars they sent to help her campaign, on account of her persuading them that she could actually win. Her greatly reduced credibility among Republicans means that she will not succeed in persuading them to stop blocking the Akaka bill.
Adding some brightness to the silver lining of Lingle’s defeat is the fact that Romney lost the election for President. If Romney had become President, he probably would have appointed the unemployed Lingle to a high post in the Romney administration. Lingle might even have become Secretary of Interior, which oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs where Lingle might have figured out how to add “Native Hawaiians” to the list of federally recognized tribes.
A small cloud is that the U.S. House in 2013 will have a slightly smaller majority of Republicans than in 2012.
The huge silver lining is that the Republican majority remains a comfortable one, estimated at around 235-200. The silver lining is greatly enlarged because the committee that has jurisdiction over the Akaka bill is Natural Resources whose chairman will remain Doc Hastings. In 2009-2010, when the Democrats held power and Hastings was the ranking member, he strongly opposed the Akaka bill. Chairman Hastings has the power to keep the bill bottled up so that it never comes to a committee vote and never has a chance to get to the floor of the House. Also, if Senator Inouye succeeds in attaching the Akaka bill as a rider to another bill, or incorporating it by reference in another bill, Doc Hastings would likely be given the right to appoint a member of the House/Senate conference committee that would have the power to remove such language from the final version.
A small cloud is that both of the Republican candidates for the two Hawaii seats in the U.S. House of Representatives lost the election.
But both Charles Djou and Kawika Crowley strongly supported the Akaka bill, and Crowley additionally supported total secession to make Hawaii an independent nation.
So the silver lining in the defeat of those two Republicans is similar to the silver lining in the defeat of Linda Lingle. The Democrats who won those two House seats will be favoring the Akaka bill and Hawaiian racial entitlements; but at least they will not be working from inside the Republican caucus to undermine Republican opposition to those things.
STATE LEGISLATURE AND OHA
The cloud in the legislature is that conservative Republicans remain vastly outnumbered by liberal Democrats. The House will be 44-7 (a loss of one Republican), and the Senate will remain 24-1.
The silver lining in the legislature is that the lone Republican in the Senate, Sam Slom, is a strong opponent of the Akaka bill and the Act 195 state-recognized Akaka tribe. His many years of experience in the Senate make him effective at discovering and publicizing state giveaways of money, land, and jurisdictional authority.
The cloud in the OHA elections is that all 5 seats (out of 9) decided in this election will be filled by strong supporters of the Akaka bill and racial entitlements. Four of those five seats had the incumbents re-elected.
The silver lining is that Keli’i Akina, Ph.D., placed third out of six candidates for the at-large seat. Dr. Akina is an opponent of the Akaka bill, and an opponent of the race-based state-recognized Akaka tribe. This was his first run for office, so it shows great strength that he placed third out of six candidates, ahead of the (in)famous radical activist Walter Ritte, and behind only two very well-known opponents Haunani Apoliona (who has served on the OHA board for 20 years and was its chair for 10, and who outspent him 4-1) and Cal Lee (well-known highly popular football coach who outspent him 2-1). Perhaps Dr. Akina will try again in 2014. There will be five OHA seats up for election: three of them are at-large in a consolidated contest where the top three vote-getters will win, and another one is the O’ahu seat for which he would also be eligible.
Dr. Conklin, I'm in complete accord with you. The fact that our so called republicans would have advanced the native separatist movement really troubled me when voting. I appreciate your optimism, although I've often said that one could place all our conservatives in my living room, and still have room for a pool table.
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