Posts Tagged ‘Small Government’
Republican Establishment Blames Social Conservatives, Tea Party For GOP Being Viewed As ‘Out Of Touch’
Hmmm…could it be that the reason people think the GOP is ‘out of touch’ is that they keep ignoring the American people’s concerns about massive debt, out-of-control spending, the erosion of constitutional liberties, and massive power-grabs like Obamacare?
Karl Rove has founded an organization for the specific purpose of bulldozing Tea Party candidates and replacing them with those hand-picked by the GOP establishment.
House Speaker Boehner has caved on Obamacare, illegal immigration, and a host of other issues, and even says that “trusts Obama completely.” WTH???
And he’s not the only one. Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have all waved the white flag on Obamacare.
The conservative base has been betrayed again and again by their own party. But who does the party blame for their losses? Their base!
I believe that the disappointing results for Republicans in the 2006 elections and probably the 2012 elections, as well, were in no small part attributable to frustrated conservatives staying at home.
The thinking among many conservatives has been that the party has consistently fallen short by failing to restrain the growth of the ever-expanding federal government and by failing to nominate sufficiently conservative presidential nominees. That is, if we would just nominate and elect Reagan conservatives and govern on Reagan principles, we would recapture majority status in no time.
The main opposing view — call it the establishment view — holds that Republicans need to accept that the reign of small government is over, get with the program and devise policies to make the irreversibly enormous government smarter and more energetic. In other words, Republicans need to surrender to the notion that liberalism’s concept of government has won and rejigger their agenda toward taming the leviathan rather than shrinking it.
I’d feel better if the ongoing competition between Reagan conservatives and establishment Republicans were the only big fissure in the GOP right now, but there are other cracks that threaten to break wide open, too. Our problems transcend our differing approaches to the size and scope of government and to fiscal and other economic issues.
Reagan conservatism is no longer under attack from just establishment Republicans; it’s also under attack from many inside the conservative movement itself. Reagan conservatism is a three-legged stool of fiscal, foreign policy and social issues conservatism. But today many libertarian-oriented conservatives are singing from the liberal libertine hymnal that the GOP needs to remake its image as more inclusive, more tolerant, less judgmental and less strident. In other words, it needs to lighten up and quit opposing gay marriage, at least soften its position on abortion, and get on board the amnesty train to legalize illegal immigrants. I won’t even get into troubling foreign policy divisions among so-called neocons, so-called isolationists and those who simply believe we should conduct our foreign policy based foremost on promoting our strategic national interests.
[...] I belong to the school that believes the Republican Party must remain the party of mainstream Reagan conservatism rather than try to become a diluted version of the Democratic Party. This does not mean Republicans can’t come up with creative policy solutions when advisable, but it does mean that conservatism is based on timeless principles that require no major revisions. Conservatives are champions of freedom, the rule of law and enforcement of the social compact between government and the people enshrined in the Constitution, which imposes limitations on government in order to maximize our liberties. If we reject these ideas, then we have turned our backs on what America means and what has made America unique. What’s the point of winning elections if the price is American exceptionalism?
Rush Limbaugh is calling the Republicans to task for their “blame the conservative base” mentality:
The Republican National Committee released earlier on Monday an “autopsy” of its 2012 election failures and pinned the blame on the party being out of touch with voters, particularly minorities.
Limbaugh said the opposite was true. “We are in touch with the founding of this country. We are in touch with the greatness in this country and its people,” the popular radio commentator said, according to Politico.
Limbaugh said that if the party moves away from championing values, such as traditional marriage, it will lose support among its base.
“If the party makes that [gay marriage] something official that they support, they’re not going to pull the homosexual activist voters away from the Democrat Party, but they are going to cause their base to stay home and throw their hands up in utter frustration,” Limbaugh said.
Limbaugh said it was party leaders who were out of touch with its own base.
Jonathon Moseley writes that the problem isn’t conservative values, but a failure to effectively market them to a new generation:
The Republican Party is violating time-tested, basic principles of sales and marketing. That’s why the GOP is failing to communicate its messages. On Monday, the Republican National Committee released a massive reform strategy, whimsically labeled an “autopsy” or “reboot,” to completely overhaul the GOP. Like Democrats in 1992, Republicans are growing hungry to win in 2014 and 2016.
Here is what is wrong with the Republican Party. This author taught in a sales training seminar firm in Eastern Europe, International Trendsetters. The solutions are overwhelmingly time-tested and proven in real life. This is not theory. Republicans are chronically making classic rookie sales mistakes.
“FAB” — Features, Advantages, Benefits. You must explain how a policy benefits the voter. Bad salesmen talk about features – the radio has a better tuner. Good salesmen talk about how the radio benefits the customer – you will enjoy the music more and set a better mood for your love interest because it sounds better and clearer. People don’t buy a mattress. They buy a good night’s sleep. And maybe good décor.
On Monday, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus explained that we must talk about how Americans benefit from low taxes and lower national debt. We have to talk about how Republican policies will put more people to work, at higher salaries, improve our economy, and strengthen our country. Republicans talk about details — lower taxes, lower regulations, lower deficits. We fail to explain why those details actually matter to the voter.
But isn’t it obvious? No. Classic rookie mistake. It’s obvious to you if you spend lots of time thinking about these things. It’s not obvious to busy people who have other things to think about, which they feel are more important in their lives. Yes, you have to draw them a map.
There is an imbalance between the speaker who is extremely familiar with a topic and the listener who isn’t. The speaker needs to understand how the speaker really sounds to the listener. Republicans skip over too many steps and assume too much. The American voters are smart. But they haven’t spent as much time thinking about your topic as you have. We have to be able to empathize with the busy listener and even remember how we were when we first learned about these issues.
It is amazing that the GOP has been so bad at this, when Ronald Reagan was so good at it. If anyone is thinking of running for office, Step #1 is to listen to every speech Ronald Reagan ever gave. Several times. Reagan “got” it. Then the GOP lost it.
Next, the mind abhors a vacuum. What you don’t say can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion. People have never stopped talking about cuts in education, even while education spending soars year after year. People will assume you want to help the rich by lowering taxes. They will assume you hate immigrants. They will assume you want women barefoot and pregnant. If you don’t explain how GOP policies benefit the listener, their minds will fill in the vacuum with other explanations. If you don’t provide a reason, their minds will provide one for you.
Third, love objections. This is one of the most powerful principles good salesmen know. We view objections with dread. A voter tells you why they don’t like the GOP. Time-tested sales techniques have proven that objections are opportunities. When a prospect tells you what he is concerned about, you now have the opportunity to address his or her concerns.
This is especially true when a voter believes something that isn’t true about Republicans — if they are willing to talk to you, that is. Proven sales experience shows that when someone is willing to tell you their negative views, and talk to you about it, you have an open door to dramatically turn around their perceptions.
Of course you have to treat them as a future friend, not as a current enemy. But the overwhelming majority of successful sales are closed after the third or fourth objection. That’s right, most sales succeed after not just the first negative response, but after several negative issues are raised and discussed. But you have to care about the other person as much as you care about yourself to answer their concerns fully, fairly, and respectfully.
Fourth, “ask for the order” as RNC Chairman Reince Priebus described on Monday. In other words, you have to show up. You are not going to win over any hearts or minds sitting in your office across the street from the Capitol South Metro station (the RNC headquarters). It is common sense that you have to go out and talk to Hispanics, Blacks, and other groups.
The GOP’s “outreach” efforts have often been embarrassing. Republican campaigns appoint leaders of, say, “Korean-Americans for Bush,” then order bumper stickers and campaign pins. And that’s about it. Pretending to be doing outreach, but not really, is a Republican specialty.
Democrats are preparing for a major nationwide fight on the gun issue by purging the party’s moderates–including the very candidates it cultivated in 2006 and 2008 to win seats in conservative districts. Republicans are preparing for a major debate on immigration reform by purging the party’s conservatives, casting opponents of bipartisan legislative efforts as bigots who will doom the party to ongoing electoral failure.
It is true that both parties have shown little tolerance towards moderates lately. Democrats began the purges in 2004, when the left netroots commandeered the Democratic National Committee elections. In 2006, the anti-war movement succeeded in defeating Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary in Connecticut. In 2010, the Tea Party began defeating establishment, moderate Republicans in the GOP primaries before going on to wipe out the Blue Dog Democrats, finishing what the anti-war movement had already started. In effect, Capitol Hill today is divided not by two governing parties but two opposition movements, speaking past one another.
But the Democratic Party has managed to maintain a striking degree of party unity, even amidst grumbling and dissatisfaction with President Obama’s disappointing performance. It has done so primarily through Chicago-style carrot-and-stick patronage dished out by the White House, partly by demonizing Republicans, but also by defeating, silencing or otherwise co-opting the party’s moderates before going into big legislative battles.
[T]he pattern remains the same: the new, netroots-and-community-organizer Democratic leadership dispenses with party’s moderates, while the old Republican establishment tries to marginalize the grass roots conservatives who are largely responsible for the limited electoral successes the party has enjoyed in recent years.
The time for moderation is over. Obama and the Democrats are advancing the most extreme left-wing agenda in American history. From radical left-wing judges and cabinet appointments, to the most radical anti-liberty regulations and legislation ever imposed (Obamacare, HHS mandate, gun control, EPA…). They’ve helped radical Islamic jihadists in their conquest of the Middle East, and armed extremist drug cartels. They’re succeeding because they actually STAND for something – Socialism and the destruction of America as we know it – that their base firmly believes in.
Republicans can no longer afford to be “moderate.” It’s time to give Americans a REAL choice between liberty and tyranny. Block, defund, and filibuster the left-wing extremists at every turn. Run the most conservative, liberty-minded, fiscally responsible candidates, and advance a pro-liberty agenda: school choice, entitlement reform, REAL spending cuts and tax cuts, defunding Obamacare and agencies that impose extreme anti-business regulations, etc. It’s time to actually STAND for something. The time for moderation is over.
Instead of learning from the repeated failures of running “progressive” GOP candidates, Karl Rove and the establishment Republicans once again prove that their primary objective is not to represent their conservative base, but to stay in power at all costs.
The good news is, they are threatened enough by the Tea Party to try and attack it. The bad news is, they may destroy the party and along with it, any chances of winning in 2014 and 2016.
We knew this was coming, no? A month ago, Politico reported that Senate Republicans were planning to intervene more aggressively in GOP primaries in hopes of clearing the field for their preferred candidates. A few days later, Steve LaTourette announced that the Republican Main Street Partnership was dropping “Republican” from its name and would intervene on behalf of centrist candidates from both parties in congressional elections. Now here comes Rove’s group, American Crossroads, pledging untold millions towards electing the most allegedly “electable” candidate in Republican primaries. No more Akins — and maybe no more Marco Rubios, Rand Pauls, and Ted Cruzes too?
The battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party has begun. On one side is the Tea Party. On the other side stand Karl Rove and his establishment team, posing as tacticians while quietly undermining conservatism.
Yesterday, the New York Times reported that the “biggest donors in the Republican Party” have joined forces with Karl Rove and Steven J. Law, president of American Crossroads, to create the Conservative Victory Project. The Times reports that this new group will dedicate itself to “recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts who Republican leaders worry could complicate the party’s effort to win control of the Senate.” The group points to candidates like Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and Richard Mourdock in Indiana as examples of Tea Party primary picks going sideways in major Senatorial battles.
But it is American Crossroads and its ilk that have run the GOP into the ground. Spending millions of dollars on useless 30,000-ft. advertising campaigns during the last election cycle, training candidates to soften conservatism in order to appeal to “moderates,” blowing up the federal budget under George W. Bush as a bipartisan tactic – all of those strategies led the party to a disastrous defeat in 2012. The Tea Party, which may nominate losers from time to time, also brought the Republicans their historic 2010 Congressional victory. If Tea Party candidates lose, it’s because they weren’t good candidates; if GOP establishment candidates lose, it’s because they weren’t good conservatives. The choice for actual conservatives should be easy.
But it isn’t. The Bush insider team that helped lead to the rise of Barack Obama insists that they, and only they, know the path to victory. As the Times reports, Conservative Victory Project won’t merely protect incumbents – it will challenge sitting Congresspeople of the Tea Party variety…
The people who brought us No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, TARP, the GM bailout, Harriet Miers, etc., etc., etc. are really hacked off that people have been rejecting them. In 2012, about the only successful Republican candidates were the ones who directly rejected the legacy of these people.
So now they will up their game. They don’t like being shut out. They blame the tea party and conservatives for their failure to win primaries. They’ll now try to match conservatives and, in the process, call themselves conservatives.
I dare say any candidate who gets this group’s support should be targeted for destruction by the conservative movement. They’ve made it really easy now to figure out who the terrible candidates will be in 2014.
I’m struck by the deep sense of pain and disquiet that has penetrated the very core of our base. They are witnessing a rogue regime that is dismantling every aspect of this country they love so dearly – one limb at a time. They watch helplessly as a malevolent administration, which harbors no respect for our Founders and Constitution, works to destroy our free markets, saddles our children with incorrigible debt, infringes upon our liberties, assaults our family values, erases our borders, appeases our enemies, and abrogates the rule of law. Hence, they see the demise of our Republic, with only feeble resistance to those engendering the decline.
[...] Millions of Republican voters feel disenfranchised and voiceless as the pale-pastel figures in the party rise to the top levels of power. All they want is one party that is willing to take a stand and articulate their values – values which were considered commonsense until recent years.
Over the past few election cycles, a number of us have worked hard to find those few but strong voices in the wilderness. We have successfully elected people like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and a number of congressmen who are committed to fighting for the values of our Republic. Yet, the old power players within the party will not go silently. They obdurately seek to quell any effort to restore the Republican Party as an effective voice for the values of our Republic.
Yes, it is not enough to merely nominate a conservative; we must also find candidates who are savvy, articulate, and have the organization to go the distance. But the minute we choose a candidate who is not conservative, we lose the election before a single vote is cast. Voters are attracted to a show of force and decisiveness; we will certainly never change hearts and minds if we nominate candidates who are indistinguishable from Democrats.
We are looking for one party that is willing to fight for the restoration of our Republic, not jettison every tenant of our Constitution under the false allurement of electoral success. One by one, people like Karl Rove seek to crush another sacred belief of the conservative base. All social issues? Gone. Enforcement before amnesty? No way. Stay strong on taxes? Forget about it. Fight Obamacare? That’s a done deal.
Folks, we must win back the soul of the Republican Party before we can affect any positive change.
I can’t imagine why!
According to a new Pew Research Center poll, the majority of Americans say the federal government threatens their personal rights.
The poll, conducted from Jan. 9th-13th among 1,500 adults, found that 53% of those surveyed think the federal government threatens their own personal rights and freedoms, the highest level found since Pew began polling on this subject in 1995. This outcome also represents the first time since Pew began polling that a majority of Americans saw the government as a threat. In March of 2010, 47% of those polled said that they viewed government as a threat to freedom.
The latest Pew survey also included questions about gun laws. Not surprisingly, given the current national controversy about gun control and Second Amendment rights, 62% of gun owners believe that the federal government poses a fundamental threat to their constitutional rights and freedom.
In addition, the survey found that, over the past two years, the percentage of conservative Republicans who view the government as a threat to freedom has jumped from 62% to 76%. 54% of conservatives consider government to be a “major threat” to their constitutional rights.
Now the question is, what are they going to DO about it?
BoomTown: A must watch!
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“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” ~ Animal Farm
In a recent Sean Hannity program entitled, Boomtown, his 2 guests used the entire hour to show how corrupt Washington DC politics has become. “While one out of every 6 Americans wonder where their next meal is coming from, Washington DC has the highest rate of fine wine consumption in the United States,” said author Peter Schweizer of the Government Accountability Institute. Mr. Schweizer also pointed out that one out of four Americans has a mortgage that is underwater, while 7 out of 10 of the wealthiest counties in the nation are in the DC area. Furthermore, DC now has the highest per capita income in the US, recently passing Silicon Valley. How was this wealth created in a geographical area that doesn’t produce a product or create anything the public wants to purchase? Other boomtowns in our history became prosperous because they offered something to build upon. DC, however, offers nothing but connections to power and patronage. The result is a permanent political class invested in the growth of government as they grow their personal portfolios.
Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, said the best and the brightest now come to Washington because they see Washington as a Tammany Hall that will allow them to get rich off of influence peddling. He noted that Washington D.C. runs the equivalent of a $4 trillion private equity fund every year and essentially doles out 25% of the country’s wealth to those who are connected.
“Nobody has ever turned a camera on them,” Bannon said, indicating he intends to change that in the future. “This is a permanent political class that has now formed an aristocracy. That’s why nothing has changed in Washington.”
Bannon explained people arrive in Washington as country lawyers and then decide to “turn the business of government into a family business” by having their wives and kids work in lobbying.
“And this is how they become a permanent political class,” he concluded.
Hannity mentioned that Washington politicians “kick money back to family, friends, or people that hire them when they retire.”
And Schweizer concurred. He claimed the permanent political class is bipartisan and those who are a part of this permanent aristocracy either marry or are born into it.
Mark Levin makes some sobering and crucial points in his interview with Ben Shapiro on inauguration day:
As President Barack Obama prepares for his inauguration, Breitbart News sat down with radio talk show host Mark Levin, the bestselling author of the blockbusters Liberty and Tyranny, Ameritopia, Men in Black, and Rescuing Sprite. Levin painted a stark picture of the reality facing the country – the rise of tyranny – but he also offered hope in one word: “fight.”
“I don’t think Obama knows exactly what he’s going to go for in his second term,” Levin said, “as he will look for opportunities to exploit as events unfold. I am sure they’ve drawn up a partial a list, and we already know that it includes, but is not limited to, gun control; attacks on the First Amendment such as religious liberty; amnesty for illegal aliens; union expansion; institutionalizing Obamacare; institutionalizing voter corruption; de-industrialization via the EPA; destroying the capitalist-based economy via tax increases, smothering regulations, massive deficit spending, and endless borrowing; and hollowing out our military; etc. This will effect all of us. It will do extreme damage to the nation in many respects. I think Obama sees himself as correcting historic wrongs in this country, as delivering the fruits of the labor of other people to people who he believes have historically been put upon. I think there’s a lot of perverse thinking that goes on in his mind, radical left-wing thinking. He was indoctrinated with Marx and Alinksy propaganda. You not only see it in his agenda but in his words — class warfare; degrading successful people unless, of course, they help finance his elections, causes, and organizations; pretending to speak for the so-called middle class when, in fact, he is destroying their jobs, savings, and future. Obama’s war on our society is intended to be an onslaught in which the system is overwhelmed.”
How to fight that agenda? Levin said the answer certainly doesn’t lie in the current Republican Party leadership. “I think the Republican Party, its apparatus, its so-called leadership, the parasitic consultants, represent an institution that is tired, old, almost decrepit, full of cowardice and vision-less. It has abandoned the Declaration of Independence and any serious defense of constitutional republicanism. The Democrat Party is now a radical 1960s party; it’s the anti-Constitution, anti-capitalism, anti-individual party. It largely controls the federal government, including the massive bureaucracy and much of the judiciary — what I call the permanent branches of the federal government. The Democrat Party represents the federal government, and the federal government expands the power of the Democrat Party. They’re appendages of each other. On the other hand, the GOP today stands for capitulation, timidity, delusion — so mostly nothing. Republicans may speak of the Constitution, limited government, low taxes, etc., but what have they done about them? Next to nothing if not nothing. Even when Bush 43 was president and the Republicans controlled Congress. What did they do? They went on a spending binge. They expanded Medicare, the federal role in local education, drove up the debt, etc. Meanwhile, we are lectured by putative Republicans like Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Tom Ridge, and a conga line of others trashing often viciously NOT Obama and what the Democrats are doing to our nation, but conservatives, constitutionalists, and tea party activists who are the only people left standing for liberty against tyranny in this country.”
But, said Levin, the answer isn’t to start a third party – “The problem is a practical one. If we go third party, I can see the Democrats winning elections for a generation. Given the radicalized character of that party, that would seal our fate, and the fate of our children and grandchildren to, as Reagan put it, 1000 years of darkness. The day may come, perhaps soon, when abandoning the GOP for a new party is the best way to deal with events and stop the rise of tyranny. I think the answer at this moment is for conservatives to retake the Republican Party. Reagan did it, and Reagan was opposed by the Republican establishment every step of the way, including the Bush family. But this is a constant fight, just as fighting the Democrats is a constant fight. After the Reagan presidency, Bush 41 and Bush 43, who’d opposed the Reagan Revolution, immediately dragged the nation back into the Republican mush. In fact, they sought to distance themselves from Reagan and his achievements, using such silly phrases as “a kinder and gentler” conservatism or “compassionate conservatism,” as if all the opportunities, wealth, jobs, and enterprises Reagan’s policies launched were neither kind nor compassionate. There is an intransigence in the Republican Party that sabotages and obstructs those who have answers for this nation based on our founding principles. And so we had a brief eight-year period where Reagan showed us the way and created a foundation on which future Republican presidents could build, and they haven’t. They invoke Reagan because he is beloved by the American people, but they reject his principles and policies. Keep in mind, George W. Bush was the most profligate spender in world history until Obama came along; the Tea Party grew out of the last months of Bush 43 and the early months of the Obama presidency. Yet Bush administration staffers are everywhere today: the media, advising candidates, leading fundraisers, etc. And they arrogantly and condescendingly lecture conservatives about responsible, moderate governance. They also cheerlead for more establishment candidates, like John McCain, Mitt Romney, and the like, who are not only sure losers, but have no grasp of the urgency of our times and the principled agenda necessary to address it.
We may be looking at the beginning of a party split. Tea Partiers are fed up and dumping the party in droves, going unaffiliated, Independent, Constitution party or Libertarian. We can’t accomplish anything if we’re fractured all over the place. At some point the only way to bring back cohesion may be to start an actual Tea Party political party.
Conservative leaders don’t like what they’re hearing from House Speaker John Boehner, the man in the middle of fiscal cliff negotiations.
One day after Boehner mentioned an $800-billion tax hike — half the amount President Obama is seeking — conservative activist L. Brent Bozell III said the Republican Party is no longer the party of limited government, limited spending and limited taxes:
“It is now officially exactly right behind the Democrats — on everything,” Bozell said. “It is time for conservatives to start looking for a new home. There’s precious little left for us here.”
Bozell, the chairman of ForAmerica Inc., also heads the Media Research Center, the parent organization of CNSNews.com.
Should Americans assume that Boehner and House Republican leaders have been misleading the country for more than two years? Bozell wondered:
“It would be impossible to count the times and ways Boehner, Cantor, McCarthy and so many others have told America that tax hikes would kill jobs and cripple the economy. Lo and behold, that’s just what they’ve proposed, $800 billion of them,” Bozell said. “They aren’t taxes, no siree. They are ‘revenue,’ and ‘loopholes’ that are closed (which also begs the question: if loopholes, why were they open?).”
Why shouldn’t Obama demand $1.6 trillion in tax hikes on wealthy Americans, Bozell asked: “The Republican Party has now surrendered its principles, and is in full retreat, the Democrats taste blood, and they’re going for it all. I would too.”
Bozell said it’s no coincidence that just before releasing his proposal, Boehner orchestrated a purge of conservatives from key positions of power in the Republican Conference.
Right now, the strategy is to take over the GOP from the inside, and the only way to do that is to register Republican, become a PCP, work your way up inside the party and knock off their RINO leadership one by one. We successfully did this in Washington County just a few weeks ago. MultCo already belongs to the Tea Party.
We may or may not have to create our own party at some point, but then we’ll have to wade into the sticky side issues of social and foreign policy platform planks, and that could cause just as much division in a party that has united around the three core principles of limited government, free markets and fiscal responsibility.
If it comes to that, I’ll offer this word of warning now: we will have to retain the current GOP platform on social and foreign policy issues. If we don’t, we’ll lose an enormous portion of the party base who aren’t willing to sell out the unborn for economic issues, and we’ll be dead in the water before we even begin. We must keep social issues in the background, but we can’t abandon them altogether. People are leaving the GOP not because they disagree with its platform, but because the current leadership WON’T FIGHT FOR those principles they claim to believe in. By keeping the platform, we can take 90% of the GOP with us in case the Tea Party is forced to split off and form its own party. The only reason the Republican party was successful in its inception was because it adopted the Whig platform in practically everything, except they kept the primary issue – slavery – the primary issue. For us, that primary issue would be three-pronged: fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited constitutional government.
But for right now, our job is to prepare for 2014 and oust as many RINO’s as possible. Do NOT donate to the GOP. Donate only directly to conservative candidates and trusted organizations like the Oregon Tea Party.
The establishment GOP wants the Tea Party to take the fall for the election loss and the current fiscal crisis, and they are doing everything they can to marginalize and attack fiscal conservatives.
The enemies of liberty within the GOP must be dealt with before we can hope to make headway against Obama and the left.
The battle lines are being drawn. The fight for the GOP is on. The seemingly eternal struggle between the right and the Republican establishment has entered its newest phase. In the wake of Mitt Romney being end-run by Barack Obama, GOP get-alongs want to double-down on failure. Moderation — the odor of it — is in DC’s air like cheap, fetid perfume.
But the fight between grassroots conservatives and the get-alongs is different this time — very different. The eternal struggle may prove not to be eternal, after all. If grassroots conservatives fail to take control of the Republican Party, establishmentarians may find that the GOP has become a rump; not much more than the rightwing of the leftwing Democratic Party. Grassroots conservatives will bolt, and with compelling cause.
The newest GOP civil war is more than Bob Taft versus Ike; more than Goldwater versus Rockefeller; more than Dutch Reagan versus Jerry Ford. Statism is nearing existential crisis, and so, as a result, is the good ol U.S.A.
[...] Republicans, for the sake of short-sighted gain, are tempted to accommodate, in part, approaches (illegal immigration, for one) and policies that are leading the nation to profoundly troubled times. It’s at this very point in history that the GOP needs to provide voters with a principled contrast to the Democrats, articulating a vision (yes, vision counts), remedies, and plans that stand in stark contrast to the hardening leftism, cronyism, and corruption that Democrats are serving up.
Conservatives must insist that the GOP be a bold party — a party more than “old and grand,” but grand in what it establishes as its aim for the nation. That aim needs to be high and genuinely grand. Conservatives should call for an American renaissance grounded on founding principles, dedicated to limited, localized government and committed to individual development, opportunity, and excellence. TheAmerican Renaissance Initiative should be proclaimed from mountaintops to barrios; from inner-city Detroit to the affluent suburbs of Philadelphia. Proclaimed confidently, cheerful — without excuses or qualifications.
Would an American Renaissance Initiative be the formula for immediate political gain? Not likely. Realities haven’t ripened; a majority of voters’ perceptions are lagging. Short term, it may prove that sharp contrasts with the Democrats favor them electorally.
But when failure comes to the nation — obvious, grievous failure — the Republican Party will have established clear-cut alternatives to the sickness-inducing ideology of the left. The GOP will have provided remedies and roadmaps out of the nation’s troubles and to better, brighter days. And not incidentally, the GOP’s American Renaissance Initiative needs to include cultural and societal revitalization. There’s a greater hunger for basic traditional values among Americans than many on the right may suspect. Many Americans, steeped in the ways of “progressive” culture have that hunger, but don’t know how to satisfy it. The GOP must show the way; the party must show that the link between a nation’s culture and society and governance are inextricable. Government can’t be virtuous if its culture and society are debauched.
Conservatives can’t count on the Republican establishment to have the boldness to push for an American renaissance. Establishment Republicans have too much invested in the “game,” and that includes livelihoods, careers, and stature. The push for conservatives is to assume full control of the GOP; the party’s infrastructure is valuable and laws in the states are biased toward the two-party system. But if conservatives aren’t successful in taking the GOP from the get-alongs, then it’s time to part company. An establishment-run GOP will be nothing more than a listing ship tethered to the Democrats’ ship steaming off to disaster.
Madison Rising – The Star Spangled Banner
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Politics is always downstream from culture. A voter’s worldview is shaped long before they start seeing campaign ads. They are bombarded with marketed messages from government schools, media, music, movies, art, etc. their entire lives…from people who want to sell them ideas, not just products and services.
Pop culture is an area that was ceded to liberals long ago, and most conservatives seem to underestimate its importance in getting your message out to future citizens long before they’re old enough to vote.
The conservative band “Madison Rising” is calling Republicans out on their willful neglect of this strategic area:
Congratulations to the GOP for losing the easiest election of our lifetimes. Over the past four years, Obama has been exposed as a liar, a fraud, a charlatan and a scam. We’ve seen his policies of racism, divisiveness and class warfare tear at the fabric of our society on a daily basis. We’ve seen the national debt go up by $5 trillion during his watch. We’ve seen the value of the dollar go down dramatically over that same time. We’ve seen ambassadors killed overseas while he sits around and laughs it up with daytime talk show hosts. On top of it all, we’ve seen an endless amount of buyer’s remorse from people who voted for him the first time around and swore they would never do it again. Yet, even with all of this – and an economy in complete shambles – we still lost. The obvious question would have to be how is that possible? Well forget voter fraud, the Electoral College, how much we spent or anything else; at the end of the day the answer is clear and simple – we lost because, no matter how many times they talk about it, Republicansonce again missed the boat on popular culture.
[...] First of all, we need to understand that popular culture trumps politics every time. Why? Simple: logic and rational arguments are not cool, they’re not fun, they’re not easy and they’re not inspirational. Pop culture on the other hand, is – by definition – all of these things. Pop culture is what we do every day. Pop culture influences what we say, what we think, what we watch, how we dress, what we eat, what we buy and how we act. Ultimately, pop culture is what defines us both as people and as Americans.
Right now, as pathetic as it may be, our front line in the culture war is the Tea Party movement. Unfortunately, these organizations and their events are about as far from “parties” as humanly possible. In fact, the whole thing is more like a tea funeral, actually. Sure, they were effective for a year or so as a way of galvanizing support and aggregating people who felt frustrated and alone, but in reality these groups – especially given they way they are currently run – are completely unsustainable. After all, there are only so many times you can stand there and watch the same twenty people screaming at a podium about the same twenty things for four or five hours at a time. Yes, they truly are funerals in every sense of the word – boring, dreary, draining, unappealing, exhausting and most of all – they are killing the conservative movement.
The same thing seems to be true of the RNC itself, as well as the vast array of non-profits organizations that are supposed to be helping us educate voters, grow our base and win elections. From what I’ve seen, they’ve failed miserably at all three. Not only have they failed, they’ve absolutely refused to do anything innovative, to change their thinking in any manner whatsoever or to make any attempt at all to leverage the power of popular culture. Now maybe I’m biased, because you see, the focus of my life is on using popular culture to get pro-American messages out to people. To fill a void in the entertainment industry. To show the world that American culture is alive and well, and that it’s okay to love your country, respect our troops and show some gratitude for all the things we so often take for granted as Americans.
The way I do this is through music. You might have heard of the band I manage – it’s calledMadison Rising. We’re somewhat of an anomaly in the music industry, being a pro-American rock band and all. Turns out we’re not really very welcome in that environment. Fortunately though, that hasn’t stopped us from becoming a #1 best selling artist, spending 15 weeks on the top 100 list on the Amazon music charts this past summer and having over 3 million people already watch our rock rendition of the Star Spangled Banner on YouTube.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that we’ve done all of this with virtually no marketing budget, and with no help, cooperation, exposure, reinforcement or other assistance whatsoever from the any of the conservative organizations that are supposedly so concerned with taking America back, with winning elections and with getting people – especially younger people – aboard with the conservative message. Imagine that – we’re sitting here with the perfect conduit and the perfect vehicle for everything they claim they want to do, yet they’ve completely ignored us.
[...] Pop culture can spread a message. Pop culture is fun. Pop culture is embraced and promoted – consciously and subconsciously – by millions and millions of people 24 hours a day. Pop culture is subtle and habitualized, as opposed to politics which is jarring, boring, repulsive and worst of all – completely ineffective.
Let me make this clear, the biggest problem conservatives face in any election is appealing to younger people. The powers that be need to recognize that the swing vote in every election is the younger demographic and the only way to get that vote is by changing people’s perception of what is cool. If conservatives can’t do that, everything else they do is a complete waste of time.
Mark Levin: Conservatives Must Take Over GOP, Tea Party Only Thing That Stands Between Liberty And Tyranny
In the days after the election, Timothy C. Daughtry observed:
The patriot movement had its Concord Bridge moment in 2010, and now it is facing its winter at Valley Forge. Both liberal and mainstream politicians are waiting to see what the patriot movement does during the harsh winter of a second Obama term.
The left is hoping that the tea party movement is dead. Now is the time to organize, to train, to demonstrate, and to educate a nation in distress. We have to learn how to make the left debate on our terms instead of constantly letting the left define who we are.
Mark Levin says that the Tea Party is the only thing standing between liberty and America’s demise:
Conservative scholar, talk radio host, and former Reagan administration official Mark Levin said conservatives need to first overthrow the Republican establishment to more successfully take on President Barack Obama and the institutional left.
“We cannot get through Obama and the left until we get through the Republican Establishment,” Levin said, railing against establishment consultants who attack the base and politicians who know nothing of “Burkean reform” because they have spent their whole careers “clawing their way to the top.”
In a talk at the Heritage Foundation on Wednesday with his mentor, former Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese, for whom Levin served as Chief of Staff, Levin said the Republican Party is, “devouring the conservative movement,” and the old bulls need to step aside in favor of a new generation of conservatives who are fluent in conservatism.
“It’s time for the old bulls to get out of the way and for the fresh faces who believe in conservatism and liberty and originalist principles to step up,” Levin said, criticizing those like House Speaker John Boehner for “yielding territory” to the left in negotiations.
Levin said the Tea Party consists of constitutionalists, libertarians, Evangelicals, and those who are against the rigged establishment, beltway culture that for too long has not embraced conservatism and, as a consequence, lost national elections (George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney).
“The Tea Party is the only thing that stands between liberty and tyranny,” Levin said. “We have to defeat the Republican establishment mush in Washington, D.C.”
[...] Levin said the Republican Party will go the way of the Whig Party if they do not put out more “cutting-edge intellectuals and artistic” spokespeople for the conservative cause that transcends race or class.
Heritage Action: Stand With Us
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It’s going to take the fight of our lives to get our nation back, but we can do it.
Remember that politics is always downstream from culture. The Left is winning the culture war through their successful takeovers of education, entertainment media and news media. By the time we try to educate voters, they’ve already been indoctrinated for years to accept the Leftist worldview. It’s time to stop playing catch-up and start taking back education, media and the culture at large.
What’s more likely to determine the course of your nation’s destiny? A narrow focus on robocalls in selected Florida and New Hampshire counties every other fall? Or determining how all the great questions are framed from the classroom to the iPod to the movie screen in the 729 days between elections?
Americans missed an opportunity to change course. And now the years ahead will be bitter and difficult. Our politics will be a zero-sum game, where benefits for some mean cuts to others, and a president who promised unity will inaugurate a new era of division.
But it need not be an era without hope. The same principles that built this Republic can save it again. Indeed, those timeless principles are the only solution, the only vision.
Our fault, as a nation, was to forget the lessons of our own success. Having triumphed in a global, decades-long struggle against collectivism and totalitarianism, we refused to celebrate that victory, failing for twenty years to teach its lessons to the next generation.
And as Andrew Breitbart often reminded us, the most important battles must be cultural ones, because culture and media inevitably shape the political choices we make together.
That war must begin anew. And it begins now.
It is not simply a battle over whether the establishment or the Tea Party leads the Republican opposition. It is not just a search for the next presidential contender. And it is bigger than the ongoing fight against the mainstream media–a weakened but still formidable enemy.
The war is a fight for the hearts, minds, and souls of the American people–waged every day, in culture as in politics.
Conservatives need to prepare the ground for their return to power. They need to make the arguments for ending the welfare state. They need to make the arguments for destroying the ascendant — politically savvy — forces of jihad at home and abroad. They need to argue against defense cuts even as the Obama-appointed Joint Chiefs of Staff abandon strategic reason for personal promotions.
And they need to write the books, produce the movies, found the television stations, and prepare the school curricula that will enable a future resurrection of the American dream.
Whenever Republicans water down their message and pick “moderate” candidates to try and appease an extreme Leftist media and avoid “extreme right” accusations, they lose.
Why? Because given a choice between “Progressive” and “Progressive Lite,” most people will pick the real deal. When we fail to present a true alternative, we are essentially communicating that we don’t believe in our own principles and are afraid to admit or defend them. That doesn’t inspire voters – it turns them off.
It’s time for Republicans to grow a spine like Reagan did and unapologetically advance the principles of liberty and limited, constitutional government. We have the winning ideas, if only we dare to communicate them. As Reagan said, “I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things…”
Demography is not destiny and neither is the ever growing leviathan. Many think so now, but they forget the ebbs and flows of the tide of history. Conservatism is not done. The message of freedom and opportunity is not done.
No immigrant comes to the United States wanting to be on welfare. They come for a better life of hard work and success. What conservatives forget is that people forget.
And conservatives have done a terrible job reminding people.
Since Ronald Reagan rose from the ashes of the Goldwater movement, Republicans have articulated a message of freedom and opportunity — a rugged individualism that says if you work hard you can be what you want and do what you want. But people forget.
In the last decade or so, Republicans began to assume everyone just naturally agreed. They stopped explaining. They stopped being evangelists. Worse, conservatism morphed into Republicanism and instead of being about ideas, both became about the acquisition of power for the sake of power. Republicans no longer articulated a core set of principles through policy, but policies designed solely to keep them in power. The party leaders and many of its candidates began to do the same — freedom became a platitude, not a policy.
[C]onservatives must be able to show Americans in this age of a stagnant economy that conservatism has ideas not just to make one prosperous, but also to help the poor and needy. There are those who do depend on and deserve a helping hand. If the GOP cannot show how small government lifts people up and provides for those who cannot, the GOP will fail.
Republicans should not be afraid to be obstructionist, but must be willing to explain that the obstruction prevents the passage of ideas that history once discarded before we all forgot.
These are exciting times for the conservative movement. But the conservative movement must get up and lead now — lead with conservative ideas for the GOP, not a Republican agenda packaged as conservative. We must begin again anew talking conservatism as evangelists, not fellow travelers. We must remember we are not in a permanent decline, but a cycle of politics that is only permanent if we let it be.
Joel Pollak made some interesting observations about what the exit polls were showing during this past election:
Voters’ responses suggest that the American public agrees with conservative policies–but does not trust the Republican Party to implement them.
[...] Larry Solov, CEO and President of Breitbart News Network, said of the poll results:
“It appears the Republican Party has failed to convince voters it is a better vehicle for their conservative values and policy preferences. The problem is bigger than the challenge of winning elections. It requires a significant re-branding of the Republican Party for a new era.”
This election was the last chance to spare America the final degradation of ceasing to be a constitutional republic altogether. That battle has now been lost. The things most needed now are clarity and forthrightness. The danger most imminent now is that, having forsaken the principles of liberty, the nation will simply forget that those principles ever existed. Therefore, from now on, to whatever extent possible, every candidate running against the Democrats in any election must be the most unapologetic, relentless constitutional conservative available. He or she must call out the Democrat as a leftist, a socialist, an authoritarian, and every other simply accurate designation appropriate to the situation. And he or she must be intellectually prepared to prove that case against the Democrat, and to make the moral, constitutional case for individual freedom.
Will this kind of blunt, hard truth lead to victory? Not likely, or not in the short run. The danger, however, is that if the true identity of modern American leftism is swept under the rug in the name of the big lie of “electability” (another word I hope I never hear again), the popular optics will forever belong to the Democrats, who, after all, have actively created a society in their own image and will therefore always appear as the most natural position to their monstrous offspring.
The name of conservatism, and more importantly its proud truths, must never be allowed to slip from the public consciousness. They will do exactly that if the non-Democrat in future campaigns hides from this name and from these truths. [...]
The real alternative to leftist authoritarianism (to be labeled as such at every opportunity) must be presented often and with vigor. Politely asking to be forgiven for not being as exciting as one’s leftist opponent is the surest path to permanent serfdom. The only way out of this morass is to stand firm on principle and speak proudly of the superiority of one’s position. Over time, a new generation may rise up that will find this clear light more appealing than the dull gray of socialism.
Obama is the symptom, not the disease. Government has grown WAY beyond its constitutional boundaries over the past century, and both parties are to blame. The Tea Party is here to demand a return to limited, constitutional government and fiscal responsibility. We are here to hold BOTH parties accountable. 2012 is only the first step in a long road back to sanity! So roll up your sleeves, ’cause we’re just getting started.
Warner Todd Huston has made some interesting observations about why – unlike Republicans – Democrats are always so well prepared and never miss an opportunity to advance their agenda:
Unions and their Democrat handmaidens make politics their lives. They organize every day of the week. They don’t just awake from their drowsy sleep the week before Election Day and say to themselves, “gee, let’s see who I should vote for.”
No, they agitate, organize, and prepare, they push their friends, needle their family, and put pressure on their politicians, every day of the year.
They simply out organize us and they have a permanent infrastructure to win elections.
Political activism is difficult for conservatives, who naturally gravitate towards a “live and let live,” “if we don’t bother them, they won’t bother us” mentality. We prefer to make a difference through ministries and charities, not government mandates. We tend to view government as power-hungry and obnoxious, not as a benevolent savior. We see politics as dirty and distasteful, not as the path to Utopia.
The problem is, we are up against an ideology which views the Almighty State as the solution for almost any problem, and political activism is how they practice their religion. In his book Liberty and Tyranny, Mark Levin calls them Statists, because their goal is ultimately to put the state in the place of God in people’s lives.
Statists go to activist training the way that we go to Bible studies: to learn how to put their faith into practice. They volunteer for phone banks, signature gathering, petitioning, lobbying and protesting the way that we volunteer for ministries and local charities: to make a difference and change the world. They run for office the way that conservatives join the clergy: to help shepherd the flock in the right direction.
While Statists are naturally attracted to positions of power over their fellow men, true conservatives rarely run for political office, preferring to “live and let live.” On the rare occasion when they do, it’s often out of reluctant desperation: because they’re sick of the fact that they can no longer ignore government intrusion in their life, and nobody else seems to be stepping up to the plate.
It’s not uncommon for conservative candidates to be completely unprepared and shocked by the disgusting tactics wielded against them – tactics they themselves would never think of using or stoop to. They’ll find themselves smeared and slandered and their supporters intimidated as they come against a well-oiled machine of Leftist activists seemingly coming out of the woodwork from every direction.
If a conservative candidate manages to survive the onslaught, they’ll often find themselves as the lone conservative on a school board or city council full of dedicated liberals. Even worse: the liberal politicians’ supporters show up religiously for every meeting and session, while most conservatives in the community are at home, usually unaware that there even is a meeting that night (except on the rare occasion when a media-highlighted issue is under consideration).
After a few years of fighting what seems to be a losing battle against overwhelming odds with little support from their oblivious conservative base, many candidates will simply bow out in frustration.
While the conservative electorate is focusing on work, family, and everyday life between elections, Statists are laying the groundwork to win the next battle, the same way that athletes stay in shape for the next game.
When election time comes, conservatives show up to vote as our civic duty, but the Statists have well-trained activists ready to get out the vote, drum up media attention and destroy the opposition.
When the election is over or a hard-fought battle is won, conservatives are relieved to go back to our daily lives and blissfully ignore the dirty world of politics until the next cycle of negative ads pop up on TV again. Statists, meanwhile, are learning from what worked and didn’t work, and adjusting their game plan to win the next round.
As distasteful as it may be, as much as it may go against our nature, it’s time for conservatives to realize that our “live and let live” approach to political involvement will eventually seal our defeat. In the world of sports, the team that is most conditioned, trained and prepared will win, while the team that prefers to spend most of its time off the field will lose. The same applies to the world of politics.
Conservatives, our nation is under assault. Not just during election cycles, but every day. We can’t afford to ride the bench any longer.
Mark Levin did a Q&A session at The Reagan Library last week, in which he explains the main points of his new book, “Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America,” and the serious choice that we face (skip intro to 3:30):
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Please click here to listen to Mark Levin’s excellent comments at the Reagan Library last week about his great new book “Ameritopia.” His wisdom is needed now more than ever.
Consider, for example, the news today about the Congressional Budget Office’s report on Obamacare. Remember when President Obama promised us that under Obamacare if you like your current health care coverage you can keep it? Well, that turns out to be another “you lie” moment. According to the CBO’s new report, as many as 20 million Americans could lose their employer-provided health insurance because of Obamacare.
Couple this latest revelation with the news that Obamacare’s estimated ten year cost is now double the original projection and the fact that Obamacare puts an unelected panel of faceless bureaucrats in charge of cutting Medicare spending to keep costs down (i.e. making life and death rationing decisions about your coverage – decisions which will make it more likely that doctors and hospitals will simply decide not to provide certain procedures because Medicare won’t cover them or will pay too little for them).
Taken all together, you will see that everything we told you about this “mother of all unfunded mandates” is true. If we let Obamacare stand, it will ultimately bankrupt us and rob us of our liberty in a hundred different ways. Repealing Obamacare must be a central theme of the coming election just as it was during the 2010 midterms.
But step back for a moment and ask yourself how our great republic got to this situation where Obamacare was even proposed. Ask how our brave troops fighting so far from home could find themselves in a war that seems so unfocused and without end. How did we get so far removed from our foundational belief in limited Constitutional governance and the great maxim of “Peace Through Strength”? Listen to Mark Levin
and read his “Ameritopia” to open your eyes about the roots of the problems we face today.
King George forgot there was a higher law which no man is above. His yoke of unjust abuses of illegitimate power was finally broken, and replaced with a constitution that limited government to specific enumerated powers in order to preserve unalienable rights and liberty.
The Executive Branch was never designed to execute the powers its modern occupants yield in defiance of the constitution.
The only question is, what are we willing to do about it?
Presidents’ Day, the holiday Richard Nixon designated to celebrate the pomp and glory of the executive branch, is here again. The holiday is an opportunity to reflect on executive authority, and hence, it would be instructive to remember how the founding generation thought presidential powers would be implemented and interpreted while the Constitution was in the process of being ratified.
Proponents had to sell the document to several wavering delegates to the state ratifying conventions. Executive powers received a thorough examination, for these men feared the effects of an oppressive executive over all else. They had, after all, fought against executive abuse for over a decade and the Declaration of Independence was in large part an indictment of the “Tyrant,” King George III. The Articles of Confederation did not have an executive branch for that reason, and though by 1787 the majority of the founding generation considered an executive necessary, they did not want to revive the king of Great Britain on American shores.
Article II is perhaps the most misunderstood section of the Constitution. Alexander Hamilton’s ruminations that the executive needed vigor are often cited as the definitive statements on the issue, particularly by those who believe in executive power, and while he spoke for the nationalists in the founding period, there were many others who feared the potential problems a powerful executive could bring. Benjamin Franklin even said in the Philadelphia Convention that they all trusted George Washington, but were not sure what would follow. The founding generation understood from personal experience what a powerful, vigorous executive could do to liberty. George Clinton, the governor of New York, feared that the Constitution would create an executive that the Founders “heretofore reprobated as odious,” and the famous opponent of the Constitution “An Old Whig” urged the state ratifying conventions to pause “If we are not prepared to receive a king …” In fact, when James Wilson of Pennsylvania first proposed a single executive at the Philadelphia Convention, the men sat in stunned silence, aware that such a proposition would smack of the very government they denounced during the war for independence.
Proponents of the Constitution reasoned that the entire rancor surrounding the executive branch was unjustified. One delegate to the first North Carolina ratifying convention reasoned that the president would never be “maintained in pomp and splendour, at an enormous expense to the nation …” and Charles Pinckney of South Carolina, one of the strongest supporters of the Constitution in his state, insisted that the people of the states had nothing to fear from the executive branch because its powers would be “circumscribed” by the Constitution. The president was there to execute the laws of Congress and serve as head of state, but he was no king. And more famously, Hamilton outlined the differences between the king of Great Britain and the American president in Federalist No. 69, among them that the president could “prescribe no rules concerning the commerce or currency of the nation,” and that the president was in no way the “supreme head” of government.
Today, we spend millions of dollars per year on vacations for the president and his family — Michelle Obama reportedly spent $10 million on luxurious vacations last year alone — while the executive branch routinely violates the Constitution. The Founders’ statements are a reminder of how far we have come from the original understanding of executive power and why Americans should hold our noses while we vacation on Presidents’ Day.