Archive for the ‘Tea Party’ Category
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When John McCain suspended his campaign after finally having some positive momentum post-Palin’s electrifying RNC speech, I knew it was over. It was quite possibly the dumbest political move I had ever seen and at that point, politics had been my focus for only three years.
Disheartened and discouraged, I soldiered on because Barack Obama would be, well, what he was: Bad for the economy, bad for international relations, and generally contemptuous of anyone who did not see things his way. It’s been worse than I imagined.
I joked on Twitter that I’d vote for a roasted turnip over Barack Obama.
My choice lost the GOP primary. I thought I was stuck voting for a turnip. I’ve been wrong. It has been a pleasant surprise.
Mitt Romney has shown himself to be an able, flexible, proactive campaigner. He’s had the press nearly universally against him and cheerfully plowed forward.
Strategically, Mitt is never put off by Obama’s silly mind games. The press’ obsession with Romney non-gaffes over Obama’s actual missteps has been … I’m at a loss for words. Put it this way: The press has so staked its existence on Barack Obama that it has decided to go down with the ship. No rats flee. No rats even attempt modest objectivity. And still, Mitt stays on his positive, pro-American message.
Policy wise, Mitt seems technocratic. That is, he doesn’t dislike government, per se, he dislikes how it is managed, and by golly, he’s going to do some restructuring.
Romney’s urge to reorder should comfort Democrats terrified that the business of government is going away with a Republican. President Romney sees a bureaucracy worth saving. That should inspire Dems, but no.
The Democrat position seems to be “Just as I am Lord.” Please, leave every bloated agency fat and inefficient. Keeping the agency and trimming the fat? Unthinkable.
Now, I go to the kill-the-agency-then-burn-it-in-a-fire school of government thought. I’m likely to be disappointed by Romney’s trimming of the verge.
Still, trimming is better than growing.
Here’s what’s surprised me about Mitt: I thought he was more of a nobless-oblige driven blue blood like George W. Bush. Oh, I know GW is from Texas. But underneath is a north-easterner who feels, like Obama, that the little people just can’t quite take care of themselves. It lead to many maddening policies.
Mitt is not that guy. Mitt’s midwestern sensibilities have hung on more than I thought. In addition, choosing to be a self-made man has given him confidence not only in himself but in people.
There’s an underlying lack of faith that statists have in people. They believe people incapable of self-sufficiency. Thus, laws have to be written to “protect” the citizen from himself. Mitt doesn’t seem to believe that. He has a live and let-live attitude and a firm faith in people. The attitude is refreshing.
When I get discouraged at the economic misery, I remind myself that multiple states have enjoyed quiet but quite solid turn arounds with good policy. Wisconsin and Indiana come immediately to mind. Bobby Jindal has been righting the Louisiana ship. This is happening all over America and it’s encouraging. California is a notable exception. Illinois seems to be a few disastrous steps behind.
Still, those turnarounds remind me that America is not lost. The situation is dire. There can be no doubt that whomever is elected faces some nearly impossibly difficult choices. My concern is that Barack Obama would just avoid them and his indecision would be a decision.
Mitt Romney will make the decisions. Some will be tough. They are bound to displease someone–all big decisions do, but what choice do we have? Doesn’t it feel like time is up?
So, it was easy for me to vote for Mitt Romney. Not as a defensive position, but as a positive decision. Maybe Mitt is just the man for the season. Maybe he can manage this failing state out of its bankruptcy. I say maybe not because I doubt his abilities but because the task is so formidable.
The media, left, and poll watchers seem 84% convinced that Barack Obama is a shoe-in. Or, it’s tied 48-48. 47-47. The models have Obama running away with the electoral college.
In my bones, I don’t believe this. Some states are going to be lost, no doubt. But this guaranteed result? Bah.
Vote. I feel good about my Mitt vote and you should, too.
After the amazing Ted Cruz triumph over Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, a couple political Twitterati including Rick Wilson and David Weigel mused that success has 1000 fathers . The implication, of course, that everyone wants to share in the success and no one wants to admit they were part of a losing effort.
That’s true, of course. As I tweeted: Winning > Losing. And it’s fun to be on the winning side.
In thinking about Ted Cruz’ win, though, his success really did have a thousand fathers. More, actually.
I could probably list 100 people, easily, who put it on the line, and early, for Ted Cruz. I’ll admit I came on board after Jim DeMint because of my love for both Michael Williams and Ted Cruz. Both are great conservatives. It was a matter of who could win. It didn’t take long for Ted to demonstrate that he was the guy.
Jim DeMint lead the way. Mike Lee pushed everyone far and wide for Ted. But that really wasn’t the beginning.
Ted Cruz spoke at Texas Americans for Prosperity events and was introduced to grassroots there. After that, Ted did the hard work of attending CPACs, multiple Tea Parties, and all sorts of conservative gatherings.
Every Texas Tea Party leader and many tea partiers themselves knew Ted personally. He and his campaign manager John Drogin gutted it up day in and day out doing the hard politicking that it takes to win when you don’t have millions to burn.
Club for Growth, Freedom Works, and Sarah Palin [her analysis here], to name a few, came in and fortified and energized Cruz supporters, pushing Cruz enough to rob Dewhurst of the primary victory and forcing a run-off.
And here is why Citizen United is so very, very important: Without SuperPACs, incumbents are nearly untouchable.
How many important donors could give to these PACs and not risk the wrath of the very powerful powers-that-be? Many. Otherwise, they’d have to curry favor with someone like the Lt. Governor or sit on the sidelines for fear of losing and being punished for disloyalty.
PACS give donors both big and small the ability to fight for politicians who represent them without fear of reprisal should their fight be lost.
So, Ted Cruz success had thousands of fathers, but mostly Ted Cruz succeeded because he is a great candidate, the right man for the time, and worked his tail off doing the old fashioned work of politics — earning one vote at at time.
Ted’s victory speech here.
This little shindig will be across the street from the hotel at a bar along the river walk. Meet up at the hotel lobby around 7 pm and then come over to the bar!
Past Blog Bashes have helped launch the political careers of folks like Mike Lee and Mia Love both of Utah. The Blogbash at Redstate will be a celebration of these successes!
Ted Cruz looks good going into the run-off election with Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst to be the Republican nominee for the United States Senate. How did this happen?
Well, Ted is a great candidate first of all: smart, principled, and hard working. He has been working the grassroots circuit for years. I first met Ted maybe three or four years ago when he was speaking at an Americans for Prosperity event in Austin. Since then, he’s faithfully attended Teaparty after Teaparty event. Ted knows every significant grassroots activist in Texas personally.
Ted’s hard work gave him name recognition among the around 30% of the most faithful, devoted conservative leaning political faithful in Texas. They came through and voted for him in the primary but Dewhurst still beat him with his higher name recognition and money, but I knew pretty assuredly that if Ted got into the run-off, Team Dewhurst was in big trouble.
Why? A couple reasons:
1. Most Republican voters have already voted and won’t come back out to vote.
2. The most dedicated will vote.
3. In a head-to-head, Cruz’s name recognition will increase.
The Dewhurst camp made a bad decision when they went so negative on Ted Cruz: The criticism was so outrageously over-the-top that people were forced to go look up the truth. When they went to investigate, many liked what they saw. I’m not sure if the negative ads didn’t help Ted Cruz.
Thursday night of last week, FreePAC, Freedom Works political action committee taught a stadium full of people how to get out the vote. [My interview with Matt Kibbe here.]
After that, there were rousing speeches from all sorts of Cruz supporters. Following the speechifying, Senators Jim DeMint, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul, Republican usurper Richard Mourdock of Indiana (who beat incumbent Senator Lugar), and FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe gave a press conference. There were a couple reporters there and then about 20 bloggers.
[Aside: Journalists ask stupid questions. I got to roll my eyes in front of them instead of online. Example: "Do Republicans want to win the Presidency more or the Congress more?"]
The FreePAC event lasted late and so early Friday, I drove back to The Woodlands, Texas and then went to the TeaParty event where many state TeaParty leaders showed up and endorsed Ted Cruz. Also there: Senator Jim DeMint and former Alaska Governor Ted Cruz.
Combined, these events and others like them around the state have the troops riled for a big turnout tomorrow. The energy certainly seems in Ted Cruz’ favor.
At #FreePac, the inaugural educational, inspirational event sponsored by Glenn Beck and Freedomworks, FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe joined me to answer a couple questions.
It seems like FreedomWorks mission has shifted. What are you guys doing?
It’s a real shift away from coming up with an idea and just emailing it out to people and saying hey let’s do this. Now, it’s more driven from the bottom up and asking people, ‘what do you guys need to do to take the next step’.
It’s not a protest movement anymore. It’s not a get out the vote movement. It’s evolving into a real social movement.
That’s what different. This is more an institution building exercise.
It’s part community. It’s part values. And it’s part celebrating some of the elected officials that have actually stuck by their principles–guys we helped get elected in 2010.
Why are you harassing Dewhurst? [The Texas Republican in the runoff with grassroots candidate former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz]
In Texas, pretty good is not good enough. We are going need a deeper commitment to principle. Just voting right 70 or 80% of the time is not good enough.
We keep hearing that the Tea Party is dead. Is it?
A lot of it is wishful thinking. Bu I also think a lot of it is a little honest confusion about who we are today. We’re not a protest movement anymore, so if you’re looking for a big march on The Mall, you’re not going to find it. How do you report community by community, household by household, walking precincts for Ted Cruz? We won’t know until after the election.
They were shocked by Indiana. And they’re like that’s a one-time deal. Now they’re saying, ‘Of course Ted Cruz is going to win.’ Well, go back and read the record, nobody, …they were laughing at us.
How do you feel about the Teaparty guys who got elected in 2010? Some folks are disappointed in their performance.
I think that as a class they’ve outperformed any significant Freshman class, certainly the Class of 1995 which pretty quickly crumbled.
And this is what people need to understand, it’s not just about electing better people with better principles, it’s about creating a constituency who creates better incentives for them to do the right thing, because once you get into the Washington Bubble, all the incentives are wrong. Everybody comes to your office–they want an earmark, they want this, they want that…if we who believe in freedom don’t continue to show up and support them when they do the right thing, guess what? They’re going to change. So the burden is on us.
Don’t expect your Senator to do the right thing left to his own devices.
Is this the beginning of new events for FreedomWorks?
Yes. This an experiment but the key is to figure out how we can create institutions to bring people together. Can we do this on a regional basis, because Glenn [Beck] wants to do this on a regional basis, but you have got to find a way to do it that’s economical because the American Airlines Center is expensive.
The Republican Party gets one last chance. It is this election.
A Republican Party that has been unwilling to cut spending has now let go through Congress legislation to shut down lawful, legal businesses because cigarette industry lobbyists and a Senate Democrat wanted it done.
We’re not ready for a third party and both this site and me will continue advocating for conservative Republicans, but if the GOP doesn’t finally get a clue, I won’t be surprised to see it implode. By the way, this year fewer and fewer Republican candidates are signing the tax pledge on the advice of Republican members of Congress. This is another warning sign that the Eric Cantor led Republican conference is going far afield from what those who vote Republican actually want.
The GOP better get back to its pro-liberty roots quickly.
Let me put a finer point on this: If the Republican party cannot find its spine should Mitt Romney get elected; if the Republican part has the power to enact the party planks and refuses to do so, this will be the last time people vote Republican.
I repeat: THIS IS THE LAST TIME.
Why? Because a Republican party that sends the Republic over the edge just more slowly is unacceptable.
There are many people who have had it. Count me among them.
The Republicans may scorn this. They may think this is more caterwauling from the cry baby peasants.
No. This is just the way it is now.
American cannot afford the practices Erick alluded to and Americans who care about the country aren’t going to help support evil in their own name.
As it currently stands, voting for either political party means that taxpayers and their children are voting against their own interests. Between taxes, regulation, government overreach, and a generally surly attitude pointed at the common citizen, Americans are sick of being treated like servants to the government.
So, this is their last chance. I’ve been saying this for three years now. The Republicans are still not listening. They’re unprincipled, weak, and unclear in their communications because they have no convictions.
They have one last chance at redemption. And should they fail, they will be removed from power because the Republican party will be gutted. And America will suffer for a couple decades (probably), but Americans won’t care.
You know why? Because they’re already suffering.
Beware those with nothing to lose but shackles. Beware those who still believe in liberty.
This combination is called a patriot. And the patriots are restless.
A Twitter bud says this:
@MelissaTweets Sorry you left out the fact that neither party wants to cut spending and which is why the one in power blames the other.
— Poetmaggie (@poetmaggie) July 7, 2012
It is the spending, stupid. I thought that went without saying, but clearly it needs to be said.
Chief Justice Roberts, in writing the final Obamacare opinion, made an argument for Obamacare that Obama and his minions refused to: It’s a tax. So, Justice Roberts found that Obamacare wasn’t okay under the Commerce clause but it was a-ok under the constitution’s provision allowing Congress to levy taxes.
Obamacare is, according to Justice Roberts, the biggest middle class tax hike in history and therefore, constitutional.
Leftists praise the ruling. Conservatives, many of them, are disheartened.
And then there’s these guys who look admiringly at John Roberts for being politically savvy and outmaneuvering the President. You can read Tom Scocca of Slate here, Ezra Klein of the Washington Post here, and George Will here.
Ezra Klein summarizes the Evil Genius argument:
By voting with the liberals to uphold the Affordable Care Act, Roberts has put himself above partisan reproach. No one can accuse Roberts of ruling as a movement conservative. He’s made himself bulletproof against insinuations that he’s animated by party allegiances.
But by voting with the conservatives on every major legal question before the court, he nevertheless furthered the major conservative projects before the court — namely, imposing limits on federal power. And by securing his own reputation for impartiality, he made his own advocacy in those areas much more effective. If, in the future, Roberts leads the court in cases that more radically constrain the federal government’s power to regulate interstate commerce, today’s decision will help insulate him from criticism. And he did it while rendering a decision that Democrats are applauding.
I am not persuaded by this thinking, more on why in a minute.
Erick Erickson had a more reasoned response to the ruling (and I have noted that many conservative lawyers are walking this line, but as I’ve said before, and will repeat here, lawyers don’t think like normal people. They think in the constraints of the law and not in the constraints of morality — what is right and wrong — and this skewed perspective can be technocratic and miss the overarching point. I’m not sure that my conservative lawyer friends are quite missing the point, but I feel murky about this parsing). You can read Erick’s nuanced view here.
One point Erick makes is that Roberts is trying to keep the Supreme Court above the partisan fray. That is all noble but is the opinion constitutional?
Sorry if this question makes me literal, but that’s all I care about. The constitution being upheld is of paramount importance. By attempting to be “non-partisan”, Roberts is conceding that he was influenced by President Obama and the left’s fit-throwing. The toddlers won and so the finding becomes a partisan affair.
Today, Ben Domenech came on the Malcolm & Melissa podcast with Andrew and Me and he noted that if Roberts was politically influenced (and it seems he was), that the Right is going to have to reconsider its longstanding aversion to trying to bully courts into decisions the way the Left has traditionally done. He sees that outcome as profoundly troubling. [Aside: It was a great podcast and I'll link it as soon as it's produced.]
The Obamacare ruling makes the hated legislation an election and taxation issue. Some say that Roberts delivered the White House to Romney.
Consider this: Only 47% of American workers even pay Federal Income Tax. The non-tax payers have little vested interest in caring about this tax hike. It won’t affect them. As Avik Roy of Forbes pointed out, 67% of Americans already have subsidized health care. The abused American tax payer is already in the minority. The Democrats were playing the odds with this legislation and they know it. They gambled and time after time, they’ve won.
In addition, the Evil Genius argument not only counts on the American people and Congress to overturn Obamacare, it assumes that Congress will be bound by a tightened Commerce Clause interpretation.
When has a Democrat majority felt constrained by, well, anything? Look at how they were willing to ram Obamacare down America’s throat. There is no constraining statists. The Commerce Clause won’t do it, either. In addition, Roberts gives Congress essentially unchecked taxing ability.
Will a Republican Senate and White House overturn Obamacare now known as Obamatax?
If, if, IF.
From the beginning, I’ve felt that if Obamacare passed, repealing it would be nigh to impossible. No, this Supreme Court decision didn’t surprise me.
And in this way, Justice Roberts is right: Voters should be careful about who they elect. Voters shouldn’t be so cavalier about voting for big government Dems.
Voters, and Congress who represents them, need to be more circumspect and take responsibility.
Maybe that’s why I’m despondent: Personal responsibility seems like a quaint, old-fashioned American notion. Trusting Congress is folly.
This video captures it: Excellent job Ben Howe:
Tonight, I had the very special opportunity to talk to former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz. Ted is running for U.S. Senate but first he must win a very expensive and very challenging primary against an opponent who is spending a million dollars a week to beat him. He’s still confident.
Ted received another big endorsement — this time from Governor Sarah Palin. He’s also been endorsed by Rand Paul, (and just now, RON Paul!!), Mike Lee, and a bunch of other people.
What Ted needs is your vote and money.
Have a question about Ted Cruz? He answers it here. Everything from social to fiscal to economic issues. Listen and share!
People like to separate fiscal conservatives from social conservatives. It’s impossible to do.
The nut of Sandra Fluke’s argument is this: pay for my contraception. If it doesn’t work, pay for my abortion. If I decide to have the kid, but not work and do something like “community organizing” or “reproductive rights activism”, pay for my lifestyle choice. [More on Sandra Fluke here.]
And herein lies the problem with a purely libertine argument: Someone has to pay for all this freedom.
True personal liberty comes with a lot of personal responsibility.
The way it stands now, though, feminists are pushing for the state to take care of everything.
At the least, a man should pony up a condom to have sex, but no. A woman is too afraid to have this discussion, evidently, and refuses to force the man to buy and wear a condom. Were she mature enough to have this conversation, her sex life would be “free” so long as the condom wasn’t defective or broke.
Then, of course, whether the woman is on the pill or using condoms, there’s always contraception failure. The woman will have to live with the STD or baby consequences. And again, she’ll want the taxpayer to pay for that, too. Antibiotics and prenatal care aren’t free, after all. Worst, she wants people of conscience to pay for her abortion. They, in turn, feel forced to pay a hitman to kill an innocent person.
A truly “free” woman would pay for her choices, but the fact is, that these choices can all be very expensive.
In the past, when sex was more the provenance of two monogamous and committed people, the man and woman would negotiate these things. And if a “mistake” did happen, the man would “do the right thing” and marry the woman.
Old fashioned? Maybe. Cost effective for the taxpayer? Absolutely. Good for the fabric of society and for that child? No question.
Barack Obama and his merry band of slutty misfits want to have all the fun and none of the responsibility of the consequences should things not go just the way they’re supposed to in the sexual arena (and when do they ever?).
So, in the last year of a horribly failed presidency, President Obama wants the focus to be on “contraceptive rights” when there are no such thing. It’s a great way to distract from the statist policies he’s employing: He wants to diminish the role of faith in the public space, and in the place of men/husbands/fathers, he wants an all-powerful state to pay for, mold, and control the next generation. Or kill them.
If this fight feels primal and visceral, it is because it is. The cultural war that the left has started has had dire public policy consequences. The welfare state has failed.
We have a nation of fatherless children living in poverty because their mothers bought the feminist lie that having sex like a hound-dog man, outside of marriage is “empowering”.
Single mothers are faced with the bitterness of powerlessness.
Defend that, liberals. Explain how living in poverty, alone, with multiple children, no education, an STD and no father is better than a two-parent family, feminists.
Answer: It isn’t.
There will be no apologizing from me. The feminist movement as symbolized by the useful idiot Sandra Fluke has lied to and cursed a generation of women. Meanwhile, putting future generations of responsible tax paying men and women on the hook. [Update: Dana Loesch on faux rage.]
The culture war is a fiscal war. And America’s children are the losers both ways.
Teri Cristoph of Smart Girl Politics to Women: You’re Being Used. Teri says:
Knowing that women voters are leaving Obama, the left has deliberately waged a war designed to scare them into thinking their birth control will be taken from them. EMILY’s List calls these disenchanted women voters “defectors” and they’ll stop at nothing to get them back.
The use of the word “defector” by the left is supremely insulting. A defector is someone who switches allegiances, usually in a manner deemed to be traitorous. Got that? If you are a woman who voted for Obama in ’08 but don’t like what he’s done as president and don’t plan to vote for him again, you are considered a traitor by the left. Newsflash: Women are not born with a genetic allegiance to the Democrat party and its liberal causes. Plenty of us prefer to think for ourselves.
Democrats are running scared knowing that a significant number of women are wise to the fact that the economy has tanked, true unemployment is around 25 percent, and our president is wholly unequipped to deal with any of it. They also know that women voice their discontent at the ballot box. So they are waging this war against women. They use people like Sandra Fluke to distract from the real issues at stake this election season. They use women as pawns in their political game.
Yes, there is a war against women in 2012 and it’s certainly no fluke.
UPDATE & ASIDE:
What Rush Limbaugh should have done in the face of the attack by Mean Girls (emphasis on girls–women don’t act irresponsibly and then want to be personally bailed out):
There are many conservatives who unfortunately allow the left to take their morality and use it to stifle their dissent. Limbaugh should have gone on the attack. He should have said “no apology” and exposed her for the partisan hack that she is. Do I care if Fluke fucks 50 guys? No, but I do care if she uses her position to gang up with other mean girls (and guys) to ram a political mandate down the throats of companies who do not believe in what she is peddling.
Standing up to mean girls is hard. I am in the process of writing a book on men’s attitudes towards marriage and society and it is damn hard to get individual men to be interviewed. If I ask questions on the internet or in an anonymous setting, I am flooded with comments from men. I recently had over 3200 men answer a poll about paternity fraud, but try to get just a few men to talk in person? That’s tough. And most are very concerned that their name will not be published. I don’t blame them. The mean girls are out in society in full force.
If Rush Limbaugh can’t stand up to the mean girls, who can?
More on Fatherhood from LaShawn Barber.