CURL: Time for a new Republican Party – Washington Times

CURL: Time for a new Republican Party – Washington Times.

By Joseph Curl

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Republican Party did not lose last Tuesday’s election. It was obliterated, crushed, slaughtered, massacred, squashed, annihilated — and, let’s hope, extinguished.

For the party of Lincoln, it’s been a week of sifting through the carnage: What went wrong? How could a party that just a decade ago controlled all of government have been so completely nullified that an incumbent Democrat who was quite possibly the worst president in a century handily defeated the Republican nominee?

The soul searching followed the standard stages of grief: There was denial. (Former electoral wizard Karl Rove made a fool of himself on Election Night by declaring Ohio still alive long after the state was lost.) Anger raged — Rush Limbaugh blamed it on the ignorant entitlement society. Some began bargaining: Next time we’ll reject a moderate candidate, and if we can just talk Sarah Palin into . Depression followed; one Fox News host gave viewers directions for the fastest route to Canada.

But so far, there has been little of Stage 5: acceptance. To reach that stage, Republicans are going to have to know the full, brutal truth, so here it is: The Grand Old Party is an antiquated throwback to another time and place, so pathetically out of touch with America that it has become a parody of itself. And if it doesn’t change — fast — it will go the way of the Free Soil Party (buried).

Consider just one fact: Mitt Romney lost blacks by 94 percent, voters younger than 30 by 63 percent, Hispanics by 54 percent, Asians by 53 percent and Jews by 39 percent.

In “The American President,” commander in chief Andrew Shepherd, a die-hard liberal who by movie’s end will seek to overturn the Second Amendment, takes aim at his conservative challenger, Bob Rumson. He cuts to the core of the GOP’s problem today: “I’ve been operating under the assumption that the reason Bob devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that he simply didn’t get it. Well, I was wrong. Bob’s problem isn’t that he doesn’t get it. Bob’s problem is that he can’t sell it!”

He can’t sell it: The Republican Party’s problem in a nutshell.

How on Earth not? The party stands for smaller government, far less federal spending, individual freedom, less intrusion, a strong national defense, lower taxes and supply-side, business-friendly economics. Far more than half of America believes in just the same tenets: Make no mistake, the nation is still solidly center-right.

But the GOP as it exists today almost completely prevents like-minded Americans from considering the party because it puts front and center ideologies that many categorically reject. While it espouses an ideology of individual freedom, it rejects that tenet for anyone not a white heterosexual male — women, blacks, Hispanics, gays, young people.

Take abortion. Who in 21st-century America really thinks abortion will be outlawed? Only hard-core, right-wing Republicans. And they actually put forward as members of their party two men who think such things as “legitimate rape” exist or that pregnancy from rape just may be “God’s will.” Mitt Romney tried to scrub those absurd views off him, to no avail. And for good reason: They are real beliefs of some in the Republican Party. (Um, the guys who pronounced them were party nominees.)

The Republican Party — which, by the way lost women to President Obama by 12 points — needs to run away from its archaic stance. Yes, object to abortion. Yes, work to make it rare. But move on: Abortion is here to stay. (And while you’re at it, GOP, it might just be time also to abandon that vaunted “abstinence-only” policy that has been such a dismal failure.)

Second, gay marriage. On this, simply — who cares? America 2012 has enormous problems. Is this really an issue that matters to — anyone? Christians, two men getting married doesn’t affect your marriage in any way. Get over it. The Republicans are on the wrong side of history on this issue, and Mr. Obama swept in millions of young voters by his tolerance. It’s time to walk away.

On both issues, the GOP can make a clean break: As the party of individual freedom, the GOP can simply say it now sees that Americans — especially women — do have the right to choose their own path. In fact, the party espouses the freedoms enshrined in the Constitution, always has, so the turnabout won’t even raise an eyebrow.

Such a recalibration would allow the millions of Americans who believe in the core Republican tenets to give the party a real evaluation at election time. Gone would be the hypocritical stances that invalidate the party for many voters before they can even weigh its differences with the Democratic Party.

If the Republican Party continues to press the notion that its biggest difference with Democrats is that it will fight to outlaw abortion and gay marriage, the GOP is done for good. Simple as that.

Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at jcurl@washingtontimes.com.

GOP platform opposes U.N. tax plans – Washington Times

 

GOP platform opposes U.N. tax plans – Washington Times.

Levies infringe on U.S. rights, supporters say

TAMPA, Fla. — Republican platform writers put the party officially on record Wednesday opposing attempts by the United Nations, some backed by Democrats in Congress, to assess a special tax on all Americans and to give the money to Third World nations.

“The United Nations has proposed three global taxes and a global monetary governance mechanism to raise $400 billion a year to aid developing countries,” the Republican National Committee says in a resolution passed in the opening session of its annual meeting preceding the party’s presidential nominating convention that begins here Monday.

The resolution cites in particular reports that Ottmar Edenhofer, an official with the U.N.’s major international panel dealing with climate-change issues, “claimed that climate-change policy was a way to redistribute wealth globally.”

The move also could have the practical effect of complicating the ability of the U.S. to participate in such international accords as the Law of the Sea Treaty, which the U.S. Senate has never ratified, and successor agreements to the Kyoto global-warming pact.

The RNC’s resolution, which puts the national GOP in the center of the global wealth-distribution controversy for the first time, says the world body also has proposed a carbon tax, a currency transaction tax and a billionaires’ tax, “as well as allocation of the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights,” which have been proposed by some as a replacement for the U.S. dollar as the common currency all nations use for international trade.

The Congressional Budget Office issued a report earlier this year asserting that the financial transactions tax could kill jobs in the U.S. Such a move, financial experts say, could also undermine the nation’s long-standing role as the dominant global financial power.

The transaction tax was sponsored by Rep. Peter A. DeFazio of Oregon and Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, both liberal Democrats, late in 2011. Citing similar taxes imposed in Europe, the two said the measure could raise revenue for the Treasury while simultaneously curbing excessive financial market speculation.

“The first step on the long path to recovery happens when we rein in the excessive speculative activity that has destabilized our financial system,” Mr. DeFazio said at the time.

Republicans here said the tax could cause American stock traders to move their businesses offshore and create ways to avoid the tax.

Approved by the standing resolutions committee, the document will be presented to the full 168-member RNC for approval Thursday.

“The United Nations has not evidenced its capability to properly handle foreign aid and has in face been shown to be wasteful and scandal-ridden, ” the GOP resolution notes.

The resolution’s sponsor, Demetra DeMonte, an RNC member from Illinois and a founding member of the RNC’s Conservative Caucus, said the U.N. appears bent on encroaching on U.S. sovereignty.

Jeff Grossman, a delegate-at-large to the national convention, said he “wished the resolution had gone further.”

“In truth, the U.N. has no authority to impose a tax on the citizens of the United States,” said Mr. Grossman, who supported Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential primaries.

He argued that the GOP must take the stand it did Wednesday because “it would be a violation of America’s sovereignty and of the Constitution to ratify such a tax.”

 

The Need For Speed and Detail On the Pledge of Repeal – Hugh Hewitt – Townhall.com

The Need For Speed and Detail On the Pledge of Repeal – Hugh Hewitt – Townhall.com.

Do you trust the Congressional GOP to do everything they can to repeal Obamacare if Mitt Romney wins the presidency and if at least 51 GOP senators are elected and the House GOP majority maintained?

Do you trust them to move as quickly as possible to do so?

I do, because the political consequences of failing to do so would be so immense as to cost the GOP their newly won majorities in 2014. If empowered by the voters, the failure to repeal Obamacare will result a massive repudiation of the GOP by its own base.

But large numbers of voters don’t see it the way I do. (I hear from them Monday through Friday, on air and off, in person and via the new media.) These activists point to a disappointing 2011 as their reason for skepticism. They point to a series of House votes in 2011 that did not cut spending as deep as they had expected and to the negotiations over the supplemental appropriation in the spring and then the debt ceiling in the summer which did not bring home even one major symbolic victory like an end to NPR funding.

Millions of voters worry that the old line “party of appropriators” will take their time in the spring of 2013 and cut deals just like the Democrats did in the run-up to the passage of Obamacare. They believe that the Beltway culture is one of elitism and privilege and that whatever excuse can be offered for inaction will be offered while the fundraising and lobbying goes on and on.

There is a credibility gap, and that gap could cost crucial votes in the handful of states which Mitt Romney needs to win to get the White House back in responsible hands.

Governor Romney needs to huddle with Speaker John Boehner and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell and come up with a strategy that combats this suspicion, which is deeply held and far wider than most GOP insiders want to admit. That suspicion is going to hobble turnout and it is already a dead weight on enthusiasm and contributions.

They need a very well publicized joint appearance at which they put out a firm pledge of repeal that is accompanied by a detailed plan and a timeline, one that gets into the “tall weeds.” They all need to resist the temptation to argue that the public isn’t interested in the “tall weeds.” The public is very interested in just that set of weeds, and reacts extremely negatively to vagueness and obfuscation because it smacks of condescension. “Reconciliation,” which is the process by which repeal of Obamacare will be accomplished, is a lot less complicated than the average business of running a business, and it is aggravating in the extreme to be treated like children and told that the details are too obscure to be trotted out. Social media has empowered the public, allowing very smart people to translate Congress-speak into plain language, and the lack of detail gets translated into charges of deceit even when those charges aren’t deserved.

One example from Tuesday, July 3.

South Dakota Senator John Thune is one of the GOP’s very brightest young lights and extremely popular with the grassroots because he took down Tom Daschle and is always ready, willing and able to engage in the battle of ideas in the media. Thune is on the short list of possible Veeps, and a probable Number 2 or 3 in the GOP’s new Senate leadership in 2013 if he isn’t replacing Joe Biden as Vice President.

But after his appearance on my radio show Tuesday –the transcript of our conversation is here– the email and tweet traffic was very negative, and for a very simple reason: He didn’t have a clear and concise answer to the most important question on the minds of center-right voters.

Specifically, Senator Thune didn’t have a date by which a GOP Congressional majority will have sent a repeal of Obamacare to the White House. He and I tried to explain why the process is complicated by the budget process, and Senator Thune offered up an assurance as to how it might turn out to be quicker than the usual D.C. timetable would ordinarily permit, but the total effect was to telegraph the truth that the GOP hasn’t laid out a plan of repeal, only the vaguest of commitments to try and get it done.

That didn’t fly with my audience, and it won’t fly with any audience that favors repeal. The GOP needs an answer. The GOP needs a date and an explanation of the date.

Here is what the senator said when I pressed him on a timetable:

 

I mean, you have to have a budget first, which is something the Democrats haven’t done for three years now. But if we come in, the Budget Act, there are certain timelines that we have to hit if you’re following the law. And you know, you’re looking at April 15th, May 1, May 15th, when all this has to be done by. So I guess my thing is if we have leadership in the White House, which I believe we will, and leadership that I think will lead us to fairly quick action on the budget process, then Congress, and if we hit our deadlines, pass, and we could actually have something done early next year. Now I say early. It may be we’re talking in the spring time frame, but I think given the way that Washington works, that would be a pretty significant accomplishment.  

When I replied that such an apparently slow timetable would be a disaster, the senator replied that perhaps it could be done sooner, but the audience didn’t hear the commitment to move as quickly as possible, but the lack of a commitment to speed in the sense they think of speed.

In the real world the typical pace of Congress and the slowness of the legislative process is driving frustration higher and higher. People pressed to the wall by a lousy economy don’t see any sense of urgency among the people who are asking for their votes and often their money.

And they have reason to be suspicious of vague pledges.

The GOP won big in 2010, but not much changed as to process much less as to result, and the mantra that “we only control one half of one third of the government” left people angry not with Democrats but with Republicans who often sounded weak when they didn’t sound eager to deal. The GOP leadership would vanish into backrooms for months at a time and then emerge with explanations for failure, and the result was predictable –a loss of confidence in the convictions of the Congressional GOP. The GOP generally has those convictions but some key players don’t, and the communications effort was awful even among the true-believers.

All of that can be blamed on the complexity of the process and the MSM’s willingness to provide cover to the president and Harry Reid –no budget from the Senate in three years!– but the explanations sound more like excuses when the opportunity now presents itself now to lay out a plan, one with big, bold promises and full of “date-certains.”

We don’t need another “Contract with America” and certainly not another “Pledge to America” which turned out to have been written in words that proved very elastic, but it would be extremely useful if the GOP’s big three plus two –House Budget Chair Paul Ryan and the GOP senator on the Finance Committee who would be the chair in 2013 (I think it is Orrin Hatch)– came out with a jointly authored plan on repeal, one that promised to move repeal by specific dates and which laid out the steps of the elaborate Congressional dance so the public knows what has to happen and sees that the GOP’s nominee and his Congressional allies are planning on getting it done if they are given the votes to do so.

This is an easy thing to do, unless someone doesn’t really want to get repeal done. Governor Romney has everything to gain from such a move, as do the four leaders mentioned, even if some GOP committee chairs and staff would prefer to fudge for a variety of reasons. Majority Leader Eric Cantor is certain to back repeal on a schedule as will the freshmen of 2010 and any Republican senator hoping to replace retiring Whip Jon Kyl can also be counted on to back such a plan.

So just do it. Let the voters see that the commitment to repeal isn’t just campaign rhetoric. Let them see the kind of commitment that can be easily repeated and easily remembered.

Make them an offer they can’t refuse.

GOP Congress Breaks ‘Pledge To America’ – Freedomoutpost.com

What are the Republicans in Congress thinking? Seriously. What was in their collective minds when they passed a bill worth billions of dollars in stimulus to all sorts of true free loaders?

According to John Hayward at Human Events,

On Friday, the House and Senate passed an omnibus spending bill, which is a bit like passing a kidney stone, except it’s much more painful and expensive. This particular bill included a number of measures to address three entirely different topics: student loan rates, highway construction, and flood insurance.

Those three subjects have nothing to do with each other, but packaging them together made it far more difficult to vote against any specific portion of it. Oppose the extension of those famous subsidized student loan rates, and you’re against highway construction. Express reservations against all that highway spending, and you’re against low-interest student loans and flood insurance.

 

Political pressures had been cooked up to make each of those individual votes difficult; load them into the same omnibus, and the resulting legislative vehicle is nearly unstoppable. In the end, only 52 Republican members of the House, and 19 Republican senators, voted against it. Big Government got bigger, and Broke Government went further into debt.

I’m sorry, did you say it makes it “far more difficult to vote against any specific portion?” How about elected representatives vote the entire monstrosity down? How about they stop giving the people’s money away to thing they should not be giving to in the first place?

Look, there is no question that students need some loan relief. However, they knew what they were getting into when they took the loan. Just like anyone who takes out a loan, they know what their responsibilities are. If they chose to believe the lie that a certain education will reap them a certain job, pay and lifestyle rather than working in the real world, then I’m sorry, but the fact is government should not have been and should not be in the business of providing student loans in the first place.

Student loans continue to remain above ten percent now. Yes I agree they need relief, but my goodness can people not vote with a clear conscience and kill something that has all sorts of other pork crammed into it? Oh that’s right, then somebody wouldn’t get what they want would they? Politics as usual. The GOP sells the American people out once more for political expediency instead of principle.

Congress is not thinking of the massive student loan bubble. Instead they are just adding to the circumference of the massive air pocket. After all, they aren’t going to pick up the tab. That’s for you and I. They will just point fingers at one another and claim it was the other party’s fault and most people will pull their team’s jersey over their heads and join with them instead of realizing what has actually taken place.

Did anyone remember the Pledge to America that the Republican Congress gave in 2010? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Seems they forgot too. they promised to “end the practice of packaging unpopular bills with ‘must-have’ legislation to circumvent the will of the American people. Instead, we will advance major legislation one issue at a time.”

I think someone’s nose is growing. Someone’s pants are on fire. There are three items in this Frankenstein bill. They are mixing flood insurance, student loans and highway construction in one bill! They have broken their promise.

So who are the Republican who kept their promise? Well there were fifty-two of them in the House and nineteen in the Senate.

Find those Republicans, via the links above, who voted for this monster bill and vote them out when they come up for re-election.

How Romney and Our Republic Can Win – Chuck Norris – Townhall Conservative Columnists

How Romney and Our Republic Can Win  – Chuck Norris – Townhall Conservative Columnists.

Last week, I showed how the Republican Party likely would lose the presidential election in November if it were to use conventional campaign tactics. However, I also explained an unconventional strategy that could usher in victory for the GOP and our republic — a tactic used by President Abraham Lincoln.

This week, I want to elaborate more on Lincoln’s concept of a team of rivals — and who could be a part of it — and also share with you the inspiring dream my wife, Gena, had that we both hope comes true.

For those who missed Part 1, a book that highlights Lincoln’s brilliant action is titled “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,” by Doris Kearns Goodwin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian. Lincoln’s idea and action was simply this: Once elected, Lincoln brought together his former GOP competitors (each representing a political faction in the country) and created a united force that ultimately healed the divisions in the land and propelled America forward.

Why couldn’t that happen again, especially in a country as divided as ours? And why couldn’t the GOP nominee propose such a plan to boost his election probability?

The past GOP presidential competitors were and are a unique blend of gifted and talented people. How often did you think and hear others say during the GOP debates, “There are strong elements I like in all of them”? You may not have wanted to see all of them at the desk of the Oval Office, but wouldn’t you want to see most help the next president in some capacity?

Who doesn’t appreciate the resolve and moral resiliency of former Sen. Rick Santorum and Rep. Michele Bachmann? Who wouldn’t want to see our country benefit from the business background and leadership of Herman Cain? Who doesn’t like the emboldened constitutional spirit and frugal fiscal passions of Rep. Ron Paul? Who wouldn’t value Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s advocacy for jobs and against frivolous lawsuits via tort reform? Who wouldn’t want to see the foreign affairs experience of former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman better America’s global relations? And who wouldn’t want to utilize the brilliance, bold ideas and experience of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich?

And what do you think would be the reaction of President Barack Obama and the entire Democratic Party, as well as their mainstream media minions, if the collective group above stood with Mitt Romney and said: “Vote for Mitt and you’ll get all of us in his next administration. All for one, and one for all.”

I recognize that candidates cannot choose Cabinet members or others in their administration before they are elected, but that does not mean they cannot pledge to. That is why I would ask Romney these two questions: If elected president, would you appoint your Republican rivals as a part of your administration, to utilize their skill sets as President Lincoln did with his rivals, in order to unite and restore our republic? And would you be willing to parade them on the campaign trail against President Obama to rally the country by showing a united GOP front?

Leadership guru John C. Maxwell says, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” For too long, too many of our politicians (especially presidential candidates) have expected us to sacrifice our political preferences and convictions and simply rally at their sides merely because they are the nominee. They show the way but don’t go the way of sacrificial leadership, which might make it easier for patriots of different persuasions to follow them. Politicians’ pride prohibits public swells.

It’s time for Romney to show in sacrifice (not merely in promise) that he is willing to serve our country for the next four years not only as president but by appointing his rivals to significant positions. I believe wholeheartedly that his sacrifice would galvanize the GOP base and others against the Obama campaign machine.

Incidentally, about six months ago, Gena had a dream that Romney was the GOP nominee, and during his first public debate with President Obama, up arose this team of GOP rivals behind Romney, who surprisingly introduced them. The action did rally the country behind him, and then he defeated Obama.

And for those who might call us “dreamers” for such an idea, very well then. We consider it an honor to join the ranks of all those who have dreamed for a better way, day and time — men such as George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.

We always will prefer the way of wisdom of great leaders and visionaries, including the words summarized well in “The Angels’ Little Instruction Book,” by Eileen Elias Freeman: “Pay attention to your dreams — God’s angels often speak directly to our hearts when we are asleep.”

Last week, I showed how the Republican Party likely would lose the presidential election in November if it were to use conventional campaign tactics. However, I also explained an unconventional strategy that could usher in victory for the GOP and our republic — a tactic used by President Abraham Lincoln.

This week, I want to elaborate more on Lincoln’s concept of a team of rivals — and who could be a part of it — and also share with you the inspiring dream my wife, Gena, had that we both hope comes true.

For those who missed Part 1, a book that highlights Lincoln’s brilliant action is titled “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,” by Doris Kearns Goodwin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian. Lincoln’s idea and action was simply this: Once elected, Lincoln brought together his former GOP competitors (each representing a political faction in the country) and created a united force that ultimately healed the divisions in the land and propelled America forward.

Why couldn’t that happen again, especially in a country as divided as ours? And why couldn’t the GOP nominee propose such a plan to boost his election probability?

The past GOP presidential competitors were and are a unique blend of gifted and talented people. How often did you think and hear others say during the GOP debates, “There are strong elements I like in all of them”? You may not have wanted to see all of them at the desk of the Oval Office, but wouldn’t you want to see most help the next president in some capacity?

Who doesn’t appreciate the resolve and moral resiliency of former Sen. Rick Santorum and Rep. Michele Bachmann? Who wouldn’t want to see our country benefit from the business background and leadership of Herman Cain? Who doesn’t like the emboldened constitutional spirit and frugal fiscal passions of Rep. Ron Paul? Who wouldn’t value Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s advocacy for jobs and against frivolous lawsuits via tort reform? Who wouldn’t want to see the foreign affairs experience of former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman better America’s global relations? And who wouldn’t want to utilize the brilliance, bold ideas and experience of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich?

And what do you think would be the reaction of President Barack Obama and the entire Democratic Party, as well as their mainstream media minions, if the collective group above stood with Mitt Romney and said: “Vote for Mitt and you’ll get all of us in his next administration. All for one, and one for all.”

I recognize that candidates cannot choose Cabinet members or others in their administration before they are elected, but that does not mean they cannot pledge to. That is why I would ask Romney these two questions: If elected president, would you appoint your Republican rivals as a part of your administration, to utilize their skill sets as President Lincoln did with his rivals, in order to unite and restore our republic? And would you be willing to parade them on the campaign trail against President Obama to rally the country by showing a united GOP front?

Leadership guru John C. Maxwell says, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” For too long, too many of our politicians (especially presidential candidates) have expected us to sacrifice our political preferences and convictions and simply rally at their sides merely because they are the nominee. They show the way but don’t go the way of sacrificial leadership, which might make it easier for patriots of different persuasions to follow them. Politicians’ pride prohibits public swells.

It’s time for Romney to show in sacrifice (not merely in promise) that he is willing to serve our country for the next four years not only as president but by appointing his rivals to significant positions. I believe wholeheartedly that his sacrifice would galvanize the GOP base and others against the Obama campaign machine.

Incidentally, about six months ago, Gena had a dream that Romney was the GOP nominee, and during his first public debate with President Obama, up arose this team of GOP rivals behind Romney, who surprisingly introduced them. The action did rally the country behind him, and then he defeated Obama.

And for those who might call us “dreamers” for such an idea, very well then. We consider it an honor to join the ranks of all those who have dreamed for a better way, day and time — men such as George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.

We always will prefer the way of wisdom of great leaders and visionaries, including the words summarized well in “The Angels’ Little Instruction Book,” by Eileen Elias Freeman: “Pay attention to your dreams — God’s angels often speak directly to our hearts when we are asleep.”

Who for VP? – Tea Party Nation

Rob Portman - Caricature

Rob Portman - Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Who for VP? – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

There is one particular name that is now popping up among Republican insiders and the GOP establishment as the leading candidate to become the Vice Presidential nominee.

 Who is it?

 From Buzzfeed:

 There is no doubt in the minds of Republican National Committee members that Mitt Romney will be their standard bearer in the fall, and already consensus is building behind one potential vice presidential nominee — Ohio Sen. Rob Portman.

 In an informal survey of more than half of the Republican State Chairmen and national committee people at this weekend’s State Chairman meeting at a resort here, two-thirds said they believe Portman is the most-likely and best-qualified running-mate for Mitt Romney. The committee members spoke to BuzzFeed only on the condition of anonymity.

 “He’s from Ohio, and we need to win Ohio, it’s that simple,” said one state chair.

 Portman, a former Congressman from the Cincinnati area who was director of the Office of Management and Budget during the George W. Bush administration, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010. And the warmth Republican elites express for him stems much from a desire to avoid another risky, flamboyant pick like Sarah Palin as it does for his ability to help carry an important swing state.

 “Romney needs to make a safe pick, and keep talking about the economy — and that’s Rob Portman,” said one committeewoman from the West.

 Portman’s seeming inability to overshadow the vanilla Romney gives him a rare qualification — and potentially a leg up over the rest of the field.

 “He’s not going to be Palin — he’s not going to be fighting to get in front of cameras, [Portman] knows his place,” he one Midwestern committeeman.

 “He was born to be the guy standing next to the guy,” said another member. “He’s the type of guy who ran for vice president of his high school student council.”

  You have got to be kidding?  Portman is a non-distinguished moderate.  You have to ask the question, is Romney really serious about winning the nomination?

 Assuming this is true, it is classic Romney and classic GOP establishment.  They are solving for X.    Instead of the passion of patriotism and the desire to help save the nation, all this is, is simply a business problem.  It is simply a math problem.

 No, there is much more than that.  Romney has not reached out to the conservative wing of the Party.  He does not seem to care.  TPN surveys have shown a quarter of conservatives say they will not vote for Romney. 

 While we have not yet surveyed it, the number who will not go out and campaign fir him is going to be much higher.

 Who the hell does he think is going to be the boots on the ground?  Members of the country club?

 Here is a clue for Romney and the GOP establishment.  It is conservative activists who do this. 

 Romney is worried about someone who will help him win Ohio?  He had better worry about the Conservatives who are not going to be out working for the campaign.

A Tea Party Senate Takeover – Michelle Malkin – Townhall.com

A Tea Party Senate Takeover – Michelle Malkin – Townhall.com .

The tea party isn’t dead. It’s just looking down ballot. While fiscal conservatives remain split over the GOP presidential candidates, grassroots activists are coalescing around a stellar slate of limited-government candidates looking to reinforce and reenergize the right in Washington.

And in the spirit of the modern-day tea party movement, no entrenched incumbent — Democrat or Republican — is safe.

Utah was Ground Zero for the movement’s first major electoral upset. In April 2009, this column first reported on a Salt Lake City tea party protest of 2,000 Utahans who repeatedly booed GOP Sens. Bob Bennett and Orrin Hatch for supporting the $700 billion TARP bank bailout. In May 2010, the three-term, 76-year-old Bennett got the boot at the GOP state convention. Young conservative lawyer Mike Lee, who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, went on to win the seat.

Now, young conservative entrepreneur and renowned state pension reformer Dan Liljenquist is taking on Utah’s other big government Republican barnacle, 77-year-old Hatch. Liljenquist excelled in the private sector as a global management consultant and business strategist; he also helmed a privately owned call center company that grew from two to 1,500 employees since its 1995 founding. Liljenquist was elected to the Utah Senate in 2008, where he spearheaded state pension and Medicaid reforms that earned him the non-partisan Governing magazine’s 2011 “Public Official of the Year” award.

The 36-year, six-term Hatch was first elected in 1976 on an anti-entrenched incumbent platform. Hatch’s campaign line then against his opponent Frank Moss: “What do you call a Senator who’s served in office for 18 years? You call him home.” Now, Hatch is clinging to power after almost four decades in government — and vainly attempting to claim the tea party mantle to stave off Liljenquist’s David vs. Goliath primary challenge.

Hatch co-sponsored the $6 billion national service boondoggle and dedicated it to his good friend Teddy Kennedy, with whom he also joined hands to create the ever-expanding SCHIP health care entitlement. He slobbered over corruptocrat Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, supported tax cheat Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner from Day One, lavished praise on Joe Biden’s manhood, and embraced and defended Attorney General Eric Holder’s nomination because, he said, “I like Barack Obama, and I want to help him if I can.”

In Indiana, another aging liberal Republican dinosaur is fighting for his political life by masquerading as a tea party standard-bearer. The six-term 79-year-old Sen. Dick Lugar — who prides himself on being Obama’s favorite Republican — hasn’t lived in his home state since 1977. He supported the Obama stimulus law, job-killing environmental mandates and the taxpayer bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as the auto and banking industry bailouts.

Richard Mourdock, Indiana’s former state treasurer, offers a fresh alternative with widespread support from both grassroots activists and local and state GOP officials. While others hedged their bets, Mourdock took the federal auto bailout head on, lodging a court complaint against the Chrysler bailout to expose its illegal abuse of shareholders and punitive impact on Indiana citizens. He was elected to the treasurer’s office in 2006, a tough year for Republicans, and was re-elected handily in 2010. Before politics, he worked in the private sector for 30 years managing businesses in the energy, environmental and construction industries. He’s never had a Beltway zip code.

In Texas, young attorney Ted Cruz is making waves in the GOP race to replace retiring GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. The former Texas solicitor general is a 10th Amendment scholar who doesn’t just speak the tea party’s language. Cruz has put constitutional conservatism into action, winning many of the 40 cases he has argued in front of the Supreme Court. Cruz isn’t afraid to challenge the GOP establishment. In 2008, he successfully battled the Bush administration and meddling globalists all the way to the high court to prevent international law from superseding American sovereignty.

The GOP needs just four seats to take control of the Senate. With inspired and inspiring free-market candidates like Dan Liljenquist, Richard Mourdock and Ted Cruz, 2012 bodes well for the tea party footprint on Capitol Hill. Remember: Entrenched incumbency is the disease. Fresh blood is the cure.

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is malkinblog@gmail.com.

WOLF: Panicked GOP insiders land in bizarro world – Washington Times

 

Mitt Romney - Caricature

Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

WOLF: Panicked GOP insiders land in bizarro world – Washington Times.

The 2012 Republican primary race has passed well beyond the rabbit hole into some extra-dimensional bizarro world where up is down, black is white and the allies of the candidate who disavowed Reaganism would have us believe that the leader of the “second stage of the Reagan Revolution” is somehow insufficiently Reaganesque.

It’s no secret that the GOP establishment backs Mitt Romney. The same folks who gave us John McCain and Bob Dole have picked their winner. When Mr. Romney is down, their panic shows. They start floating desperate ideas like late-entry candidates or a brokered convention. They also pull out the long knives for Newt Gingrich. After the former speaker’s decisive victory in South Carolina, insiders launched an all-out assault upon him. Unmasked and panicked, the GOP establishment unleashed the tactics of the left upon the right.

GOP insiders first dredged up 2-decade-old debunked partisan ethics charges that damaged Mr. Gingrich’s reputation until the Internal Revenue Service finally exonerated him. Mr. Romney couldn’t resist seeking cheap points by joining the discredited Democrats who started the whole sordid mess. Mr. Romney featured, of all people, Nancy Pelosi with her innuendo of Mr. Gingrich’s supposed wrongdoing, ironically blasting out an email slur just as Mrs. Pelosi was backing away from it. Then came something even worse: the salacious insinuation that Mr. Gingrich somehow betrayed former President Ronald Reagan.

The anti-Gingrich onslaught reached an apogee on the Drudge Report as Romney allies fed one negative story after another, amassing an impressive 10 pieces on the influential website at one point. A screaming headline claimed that Mr. Gingrich had repeatedly insulted Reagan. The unseemly issue of Mr. Gingrich’s second marriage managed to resurface. To cap it off, Ann Coulter, the surprising new head cheerleader for the moderate movement, enjoyed seeing her latest anti-Gingrich missive prominently featured.

Unfounded charges that Mr. Gingrich, a man who was once criticized for being a “Reagan Robot,” insulted the Gipper barely pass the laugh test and definitely didn’t pass the Nancy Reagan test in 1995. Video of the former first lady honoring the speaker quickly surfaced: “Barry Goldwater handed the torch to Ronnie, and in turn Ronnie turned that torch over to Newt and the Republican members of Congress to keep that dream alive.” Today, it is the GOP insiders who are the ones trying to extinguish the Reagan dream.

Meanwhile, Mr. Romney’s allies who are pushing this false narrative that Mr. Gingrich is insufficiently Reaganesque couldn’t care less that it is their candidate who disavowed Reaganism. “I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush,” boasted Mr. Romney. “I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush.” Of course he’s not. Why is that? Mitt’s answer: “I’m someone who is moderate and my views are progressive.”

There are numerous reasons to support the former Massachusetts governor – he’s an intelligent and exceedingly capable man – but claiming that Mr. Romney is more conservative than Mr. Gingrich simply is not one of them. Mr. Romney would carry the Reagan torch like filmmaker Michael Moore would carry the baton in the final leg of a 4 x 100 meter relay – begrudgingly. And only at a pace that avoids the pitchforks behind him.

Sarah Palin understands what’s at stake here: “[T]his whole thing isn’t really about Newt Gingrich versus Mitt Romney. It is about the GOP establishment versus the Tea Party grass roots and independent Americans who are sick of the politics of personal destruction used now by both parties’ operatives with a complicit media egging it on.” In 2010, establishment Democrats learned the hard way that grass-roots Americans demand fundamental change in Washington. In 2012, it seems that establishment Republicans, the recent beneficiaries of the Tea Party movement, have yet to learn this lesson.

We’ve reached a before-and-after moment in American politics: Republicans will no longer win elections without Tea Party support. So it’s simply stupefying, then, that the establishment would go to such lengths to demoralize their own lifeline.

Consider the simple math behind Republicans’ decidedly bad losses in 2006 and 2008. Their voters, conservatives in particular, simply didn’t show up. Then in 2010, they did. What changed? In 2012, in Iowa and New Hampshire, fresh off the heels of a multimillion-dollar establishment onslaught against Mr. Gingrich, GOP primary voter turnout had basically flat-lined from 2008, on pace to secure President Obama’s re-election. But in South Carolina, Mr. Gingrich masterminded a dramatic surge that was fueled by his bold and brave stand against the establishment. The result? Voter turnout shot up an astonishing 35 percent above 2008 levels as 155,000 new voters went to the polls to support Republicans.

In Florida, the Republican empire is striking back. Somewhere, way beyond the soon-to-be-forgotten distractions of Cayman bank accounts and trumped-up ethics charges, is a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party. Mr. Gingrich may be an imperfect vessel for Tea Party support, as the former Alaska governor has said, but in truth, if you connect the dots between the ideals of the Reagan Revolution, Mr. Gingrich’s Republican Revolution and the Tea Party movement, you get a straight line. The GOP establishment is right to fear Newt Gingrich and the Tea Party, just as they once feared Ronald Reagan.

Dr. Milton R. Wolf, a Washington Times columnist, is a radiologist and President Obama’s cousin. He blogs at miltonwolf.com.

My Endorsement for President – Chuck Norris – Townhall Conservative

My Endorsement for President – Chuck Norris – Townhall Conservative.

Our republic as our Founding Fathers created it is under assault from extremists outside our country and anti-constitutionalists inside our country. Combine that with the flailing American economy and global markets and you see that Western civilization is on the brink, as experts and all the GOP presidential candidates agree.

President Barack Obama has tried and failed miserably to fix our economy, deepening us and our posterity into more than $6 trillion of additional national debt — something he criticized former President George W. Bush for as “unpatriotic” and “irresponsible.” Yet the unemployment rate remains at a higher level than it was when Obama was elected, and the dollar is as unstable as the Middle East.

Now is not the time to be mincing through minutiae and fighting with fellow party members. Rome is burning, and we need to appoint the best firefighters possible to rush in and put out the fire. What’s critical at this point is to appoint a commander in chief who can clearly lead America to a more solvent and secure future.

No man or candidate is perfect. We all have skeletons in our closets. If buried bones become unforgivable bones of contention, the world will never know another Benjamin Franklin or King David. We must remember that we’re electing a president, not a pastor or pope. The mainstream media and a billion-dollar campaign coffer are on the president’s side, so we need a veteran of political war who already has fought Goliath, because he will be facing Goliath’s bigger brother.

In the past few editions of my weekly column, I detailed 10 questions to find our next president, in no particular order of importance. I proposed that the name of the candidate that fills the majority of the answers deserves readers’ votes.

1) Who is most committed to follow and lead by the U.S. Constitution?

2) Who has the greatest ability to rally, unify and mobilize citizens across political and societal spectrums?

3) Who has the best working comprehension of America?

4) Who has the best ability to influence a volatile world away from the brink of destruction?

5) Who has clear and present moral fortitude?

6) Who has the best chance of beating President Obama, in and outside of debates?

7) Who has the best abilities to lead Washington politics and politicians?

8) Who has the best plan and leadership ability to restore America’s economy?

9) Who is the most fiscally prudent?

10) Who has demonstrated the highest regard for human life?

My wife, Gena, and I sincerely believe that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is the answer to most of those questions and deserves our endorsement and votes.

We agree with our friend and governor of the great state of Texas, Rick Perry, who suspended his campaign and endorsed Gingrich. He said Newt “has the heart of a conservative reformer.” We believe that Newt’s experience, leadership, knowledge, wisdom, faith and even humility to learn from his failures (personal and public) can return America to its glory days. And he is the best man left on the battlefield to outwit, outplay and outlast Obama and his campaign machine.

I would only challenge and call on Newt to fulfill the rallying strategy he outlined in South Carolina in November by utilizing the expertise and skill sets of the other GOP presidential candidates (even those who have bowed out) in his future administration. Newt explained:

“I do approach this whole campaign, I think, differently from everybody else. We have a number of friends who are also running. We have no opponents except Barack Obama. I think that’s very important. I think (Abraham) Lincoln was very wise, as was captured in a book called ‘Team of Rivals.’ … Literally everybody who was his opponent ended up in the Cabinet because he needed all of them in order to be able to put together the political power during the crisis that we faced. I would say the same thing. I don’t know of a single person currently running who wouldn’t be a very effective member of an administrative team and who doesn’t have real talent and, in some way … a unique strength. So I don’t have any opponents on the Republican side.”

As Gov. Perry said during his “strategic retreat” (citing Gen. Sam Houston) from the GOP presidential race, “this mission is greater than any one man.”

I’m tired of watching our country be torn to shreds by those who think the answer is more government debt and control. I’m tired of being in bondage to a tax system that robs U.S. citizens as the king of England did before the Revolution. I’m tired of watching our sovereignty be sold by foreign loans and loose borders. And I will not sit back and merely watch this decay and degradation of the U.S. and then hand it over to my children and grandchildren to deal with.

That is why Gena and I have committed the rest of our lives to help Old Glory rise again to its heights of splendor. And that is why we are endorsing and standing with Newt Gingrich, because we believe he can lead all of us who have committed to the same.

If you’re ready to keep fighting the good fight and once and for all restore our republic, then I invite you to join Gena and me by endorsing, rallying behind and voting for Newt Gingrich as GOP nominee and then president of the United States.

Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris is a columnist and impossible to kill.

WOLF: Newtering Obama’s re-election strategy – Washington Times

WOLF: Newtering Obama’s re-election strategy – Washington Times.

Failure of Gingrich’s anti-capitalism attacks doesn’t bode well for president

The White House cannot be happy with the recent developments in the GOP primary race. In a bizarre turn of events, the very campaign strategy that the Democrats are just salivating to use against the now presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, had its first test run in New Hampshire, and it failed. Miserably.

It’s hard to fathom why the usually brilliant Newt Gingrich would attack Mr. Romney from the left while at the same time claiming to be the conservative alternative to him. When comparing governing records, indeed, Mr. Gingrich is more conservative and accomplished than Mr. Romney. It’s puzzling, then, that the former speaker of the House would align himself with the Occupy Wall Street protesters to accuse Mr. Romney, a founding partner at Bain Capital, not of illegality or even deception but of not being “fair.”

Conservatives, rightly, were quick to defend the free market. “Attacking Gov. Romney for participating in free-market capitalism is just beyond the pale for any purported ‘Reagan Conservative,’ ” declared the conservative Club for Growth. Rush Limbaugh, the godfather of talk radio, went even further, saying the attack “sounds like left-wing social engineering,” a reference to Mr. Gingrich’s earlier ill-advised swipe at conservative Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s Roadmap for America’s Future.

Mr. Gingrich, while claiming to believe in the free market, revealed contempt for it by claiming Mr. Romney sought “clever legal ways to loot [his own] company.” The former speaker should be reminded that in America, a business owner is free to withdraw his own capital from his own enterprise. That’s not looting, Newt. Looting is when the government, under the guise of fairness, does it for you.

Not to be outdone, Texas Gov. Rick Perry decided to add to this theater of the bizarre with his own attack on free enterprise. His new insult to Mr. Romney – calling him a “vulture capitalist” – belongs on an Occupy Wall Street protest sign, not in a Republican primary. So Mr. Perry, the newly self-anointed arbiter of which investments are virtuous, claimed Mr. Romney “picked the flesh off the carcass” of a company while 150 people lost their jobs.

Mr. Perry, do you even listen to the words that are falling out of your mouth? If your own description is correct, if a company is dying – or is already dead, a “carcass,” as you say – wouldn’t the smartest course of action be to save whatever can be salvaged? Think this through. Would you prefer instead that those 150 people stay with a carcass of a company? And how exactly would they receive paychecks from their dead company? Government bailouts? Subsidies? Propping up dying companies is Obamanomics.

Blaming the venture capitalist for the failure of a company is like blaming the transplant surgeon for the car crash that, while sad, supplied lifesaving donor organs to desperate souls. At least in the business world, as opposed to the unforgiving practice of medicine, the employees of a dying firm can go elsewhere for work, and their lives go on. Surely we’d all agree that workers are better off moving to viable companies than being stuck in dying ones.

The simple truth is that in a free market, not all businesses succeed, but our economy as a whole can still thrive when resources – both capital and labor – are freely redirected from failing ideas to successful ones. In fact, the same is true in politics, and we’re witnessing it now.

Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Perry risk converting their viable campaigns into, well, carcasses by touching the new third rail of GOP politics: the free market. Meanwhile, the capital and labor – in this case, donations and volunteers – are fleeing to the Romney campaign, which is mounting a vigorous and even unapologetic defense of free enterprise. While it may be unlikely that the author of Romneycare has become the defender of the free market, regardless, when freedom wins in the marketplace of ideas, America wins, too. But not everyone is happy.

President Obama should be very worried by the backlash against these attacks, real or perceived, on free-market capitalism. The White House’s divisive class-warfare strategy of running against free enterprise, against the “1 percent,” was given a test run by Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Perry, and it failed miserably. Not only was Mr. Romney given the opportunity to preview that line of attack and prepare accordingly but, more importantly, the voters soundly rejected it.

Democrats will claim that these Republican primary results do not necessarily reflect the sentiments of general election voters, but not so fast. New Hampshire has an open primary, and 45 percent of its primary voters were “undeclared” as to political party. Independent voters are unquestionably rejecting the assault on free enterprise. What’s more, Mr. Romney received a higher percentage of voters, despite the large GOP field, than either Mr. Obama or Hillary Rodham Clinton did in 2008.

Democrats are right to worry, and conservatives have renewed reason for optimism. The 2012 election is beginning to be more about enduring principles and less about imperfect politicians. Will we accept Mr. Obama’s statist march toward the second-class fate of a European-style social welfare state? Or will we once again embrace those principles of limited government and free enterprise that destined America to become the greatest nation on earth?

Dr. Milton R. Wolf, a Washington Times columnist, is a radiologist and President Obama’s cousin. He blogs at miltonwolf.com.

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