My Interview With Mattie Fein
I had the pleasure recently of meeting and interviewing congressional candidate Mattie Fein.
Mattie is running in the 36th district in California in the Los Angeles area against Jane Harman.
Mattie is a mother, successful businesswoman, and longtime politico.
(Disclosure: She is a Republican Jewish brunette, and perhaps the hottest woman in politics. Yes, that absolutely caught my attention because I have a pulse. Her stunning beauty notwithstanding, her substance is just as impressive.)
With that, I present the incredibly impressive Mattie Fein.
1) What is the Mattie Fein story? What made you decide to enter the political arena and Congress?
Our family has always been transfixed at our political history: a revolution in favor of “We the People,” a struggle to break down caste-like discrimination, and profiles of courage during both war and peace. The nightly table discussions involved domestic and international politics, economy, defense, etc. It was always assumed that I would enter the political arena. As for currently deciding to run for Congress, the political culture of the United States has degenerated into drivel or blather expounded by egomaniacs who would have been evicted from the Constitutional Convention of 1787 for ignorance and arrogance. Only a collection of mental midgets could assert that the way to job creation and prosperity is to celebrate trillion dollar government budget deficits and hundreds of billions for profligate banks or insurance companies that starve private enterprise of credit needed to start or expand operations. These government extravagances are job, business, and labor killers. If there are better ways to drive the United States to ruination, they do not readily come to mind.
2) What 3 political issues are you most passionate about?
Less government is better government. The individual is the center of society and the Constitution’s universe. Upholding and defending the Constitution as envisioned by the Founding Fathers and as required of every government official.
The rule of law is King, the King is not the law. That creed is what has made the United States a beacon to all who cherish unalienable natural rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Ensuring the United States is absolutely invulnerable to attack with strengthened missile-defense and upgraded human intelligence and analysis while upholding the Constitution. There is no conflict between toughness on terror, civil liberties and the rule of law. Indeed, the rule of law encourages the people to confer muscular powers on government by safeguarding against their abuse.
3) What can ordinary citizens do, besides donating money and voting for you to help win the War on Terror? What obligations do we have, and how can we help?
The best defense against terror is the unflagging loyalty of the American people to their government and way of life. That’s how Reid and Abdulmutallab were foiled; brave men and women who refused to allow a terrorist attack to weaken their strength of love and loyalty to America and innocent people, and to protect and defend it. United States Chief Prosecutor at Nuremberg, Robert Jackson, elaborated: “The privilege of opening the first trial in history for crimes against the peace of the world imposes a grave responsibility. The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated.” There has to be a realization that we are fighting an ideological war. This is a war against western civilization and freedom of inquiry fought by sub-human, savage tactics evocative of the Third Reich. We should follow the exhortation of courageous Todd Beamer on hijacked United Flight 93 on a day of abominations, “Lets’ roll!”
4) It is one thing to ask people to have faith in God. It is much tougher to ask people to have faith in Government. What does our government do right? What does it need to do better so people can start believing in their government again?
Free public education is what the government does right, even if the task is often ineptly executed. No civilized democracy can be preserved in a state of ignorance. To awaken public confidence, the government needs to uphold the Constitution, including its stipulation for limited government; impose a flat income tax; slash spending to a ceiling of 10 percent of GNP; demand on a balanced budget and, refuse big bank bail-outs that rip-off the American taxpayer. In addition, the government should reward civil servants based solely on performance, not on political affiliation or longevity. The Government also needs to gain the public’s confidence by honoring law by evenhanded, not flukish enforcement.
5) With regards to foreign policy, what have we done right, and what have we gotten wrong, in the last 8 years, and what steps need to be taken to improve the situations that require improvement?
What we have done right is to strengthen defenses through anti-missile systems, spy satellites, and strengthening border security. We strengthened our ties to India through exchange of civilian nuclear technology and market-opening measures, and put a wedge in their relationship with Russia, particularly with regard to military ties and equipment. India has supported us at the IAEA (Atomic Energy agency) against Iran, where Russia has balked.
The United States has stumbled by failing to upgrade the standards and rewards for intelligence agents and analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency to improve human intelligence and National Intelligence Estimates. Career agents are retiring and we have failed to recruit the best and the brightest to replace them. New agents have stayed for shorter periods in the agency to leave and lobby on K Street for other countries. The U.S. also miscalculated the Iran situation and the sophistication and tyranny of the regime to develop technology and brutalize its people.
6) The American dollar seems to be in free fall, and homeowners are seeking bailouts at taxpayer expense. Should government get involved, and is this even a problem at all? If so, what needs to be done?
These are concocted problems. Government is as clueless about how to promote economic growth as it is about manufacturing a perpetual motion machine. A plunging dollar makes exports more attractive and boosts employment among exporters, for example, Boeing or Lockheed. Homeowners are not seeking bailouts at taxpayer expenses. They are simply seeking the same status as other debtors in bankruptcy—including owners of business property or vacation homes—who may ask bankruptcy judges to modify their mortgages based on the totality of the equities. It ill behooves banks who have preyed on the American taxpayer with hundreds of billions in bail-out money to cry about the sanctity of contracts and the fairness of the operations of the free market.
Adam Smith writing in Wealth of Nations in 1776 has proven infallible: “Little else is required to carry a state to the highest degree of affluence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice; all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things. All governments which thwart this natural course, which force things into another channel, or which endeavor to arrest the progress of society at a particular point, are unnatural, and, to support themselves, are obliged to be oppressive and tyrannical.“
7) What would be the main qualities and criteria you would look for with regards to potential Supreme Court justices? Could they disagree with you on major issues, and still be qualified? How do you feel about how they ruled on the DC second amendment case?
A Supreme Court Justice should conceive their task as interpreting the Constitution according to its original meaning intended by the Constitution’s makers, not as a homonym of its text in 1787 or as an opportunity to issue the equivalent of papal encyclicals in accord with evolving standards of decency. Thomas Jefferson put it this way: “The Constitution on which our Union rests, shall be administered by me [as President] according to the safe and honest meaning contemplated by the plain understanding of the people of the United States at the time of its adoption–a meaning to be found in the explanations of those who advocated, not those who opposed it, and who opposed it merely lest the construction should be applied which they denounced as possible.” Justice Antonin Scalia correctly held in District of Columbia v. Heller (June 26, 2008) that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms protected an individual right to possess handguns in the home for self-protection against encroachments by the federal government. It seems to me implausible, however, that the Second Amendment was intended to handcuff gun regulation by the States via the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
8) Do you support the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive action? Do you feel that it may be necessary to take pre-emptive action against Iran? What is the Fein Doctrine?
The Fein Doctrine is to construct invulnerable defenses against foreign aggression coupled with a promise to incinerate any aggressor into pre-Stone Age subsistence. I would say The Fein Doctrine is a combination of The Reagan Doctrine regarding technology and security defenses including Reagan’s reaction after the disco-bombing in Lebanon, with The Golda Meir Doctrine post-Munich Olympics of 1972. One has to remember that after Munich, war wasn’t waged with thousands of Israeli troops in foreign countries pursing Al Fatah. Israel employed a “search and destroy” mission featuring Mossad-IDF collaboration that eschewed troop deployments in the thousands. Nor were troops needed against Argentina to apprehend, prosecute, and convict, and execute Adolph Eichmann. This is not to say that we should not or would not engage our troops when deemed necessary as prescribed to the theory of Jus ad bellum or criteria for war.
The Fein Doctrine also adheres to the intent of the Constitution’s makers, who unambiguously fastened on Congress’ exclusive responsibility for deciding on war or peace. In contrast to the Presidency, Congress does not enhance its own powers in wartime, and has no reason to artificially inflate danger. Under the Constitution, war is justified only in response to an actual or imminent attack corroborated by ocular evidence. Obviously 9/11 was an extraordinary event and an actual attack on U.S. soil, like Pearl Harbor.
Pre-emptive action against Iran short of war should consist of covert actions to assist the resistance to the regime by providing money, communications equipment, and political skills in the same way the CIA supported Lech Walesa’s Solidarity against the Polish Communist Party and Serbia’s student movement Otpor against Slobodan Milosevic. Where we failed was to not have human intelligence starting 30 years ago to sabotage uranium enrichment programs for non-civilian use in Iran. I don’t care how many drones we have in the Middle-east, there is no replacement for the human-intelligence network. We must remember that putting aside the nuclear issue, Iran is still the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world. However, we are running out of time concerning the advancement of their missile program. As their testing becomes more advanced and more frequent, I believe we are crossing the Rubicon with regard to taking a more assertive action against their nuclear sites. This does not suggest waging war on Iran or against its people. This is about the regime breaking international laws and their nuclear program.
I know people refer to The Bush Doctrine but this to me is still a kaleidoscope of strategies without a clear definition of victory beyond, “I”ll know it when I see it.” Clauswitz advised that, “War is the continuation of politics by other means.” War without a sharply defined and tangible political objective is brainless. If democratic regime change is part of the Bush Doctrine then why did we endorse Iraqi and Afghan regime’s constitutions that enshrined Sharia as the highest law in the land?
9) What Americans call 9/11, Israel refers to as every day life. Israel is then asked to show restraint. What is your view on Israel taking preemptive action, including a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities if necessary? What about with regards to the disputed territories such as Gaza? What about against Damascus, who funds Hezbollah?
Israel’s right to self-preservation authorizes bombing or even a ground invasion of Iran if the Supreme Leader threatened to destroy Israel with nuclear weapons which Iran is on the verge of acquiring. Ditto, for military action against Gaza if the government there is unable or unwilling to prevent use of its territory to launch strikes against Israel. The United States invaded Mexico in 1916 for over 12 months because of Pancho Villa’s cross-border raids and banditry. If Hezbollah declares or initiates war against Israel and Syria joins as a de jure or de facto ally, then Israel would be entitled to make, borrowing from Churchill, “ the rubble dance” in Damascus.
10) Attempts to partially privatize social security and fix the ticking time bomb of Medicare have been met with hysteria about throwing old people on the street and leaving them to die. The issue was demagogue by the demagogic party in 1995. Do you favor any privatization of social security? If not, why not? If so, how can it be framed in terms that do not frighten seniors?
The American people should have a choice as to whether they contribute to Social Security in the future. Those who opt out would pay no social security taxes and receive no benefits. Those who opt in will pay social security taxes and receive benefits. The idea that some Americans are too stupid to save or insure against old age is insulting on its face and betrays a paternalism that would have nauseated the Founding Fathers. I believe in less government not more. I also believe that Americans should have a right to chart their own financial course. As for the existing plan, current social security recipients would continue to receive their promised benefits, but for others still in the work-force the choice should be their own.
11) If you had 5 minutes alone with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, what would you say to them or ask them?
First, Congress by statute could have amended or repealed any law thought to handcuff the United States in defeating international terrorism. Why did they believe that being tough on terror meant not going through the proper channels in Congress? One can uphold the Constitution and congressional prerogatives and be tough on terror. The two ideas are not in conflict. Congressional oversight also does not conflict with this. Second, I would ask about the truthfulness of the suggestion that Iran, after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, promised to abandon its nuclear weapons program to be confirmed by international inspectors, but was told by the U.S. to go to hell.
Third, the President is under the law, not the law himself. Transparency and oversight in government is the coin of the realm. I would remind them and Congress that a nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.
12) Who are your 3 political heroes, American or worldwide?
George Washington, Benjamin Disraeli, and Golda Meir. They understood that it is nice for a nation to be loved, but indispensable that a nation be feared.
13) Many people associate Judaism with liberalism, but you are an unabashed Jewish Republican. How does your Judaism synthesize with your conservatism?
Moses was no liberal. He did not emancipate Jews from the Pharaoh by friendly persuasion. I would also say that as a Jewish Conservative, there still exists, among some in the Republican Party and the Christian-right in the party, a malodor of anti-Semitism. This may be shocking or will be met with disbelief, but I know that to be true. I am truly impressed by many Christians for their support of Jewish causes derived from the Bible. But in other arenas Christians occasionally turn hostile. I shudder whenever I hear that the United States is a “Christian” nation, and that crosses in government veterans’ cemeteries speak equally for fallen Jewish and Christian soldiers. In the eyes of the Constitution, there is only one race or religion. It is American!
14) Many on the left preach compassion but you as a conservative actually live it. How do you balance the rough and tumble world of politics with raising your children?
My children provide the balance with their love and support. As kids from a political family, they understand the rough and tumble aspect and are protective of me. I allow a separation between family and politics which includes the internet social networking groups involved with my campaign. The children deserve their privacy and I keep my children out of the political arena unless they decide otherwise. My son will be more involved as things progress with the campaign. I work very hard not to have my political life spill-over to their personal lives.
15) Without delving too deeply into your personal life, what would you want Americans to know about Mattie Fein the person? 100 years from now, what would you want people to remember about you, and what would you hope the history books say about you?
Only a mausoleum-like personality frets over how they will be remembered a century after their epitaph is written. However, if I had to select one it would be “She lived her life in primary-colors, never pastels.”
16) Do you get bored with the marriage proposals that you get inundated with on a daily basis, and does your share of the 18-40 year old male vote decrease when they find out you are unavailable?
My focuses in my life presently are my children, my parents, and my campaign. I would hope the 18-40 year old demographic you speak of won’t hold that against me!
I will not hold that against her, but I will hold it against the people of the district if they fail to rise to the occasion and give them real leadership in congress for the first time in a generation. Mattie Fein is the real deal.
Now being smart, savvy, and gorgeous is a good start, but it is not enough in politics. Send her lots of money and give her your vote.