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Freshmen Republicans to Watch in the 112th Congress

Bookmark and Share    The freshman class of Republicans in the 112th Congress is one that could and should hold a lot of sway. Not only is it one of the largest classes, it was also elected on one of the clearest messages that voters ever sent. That message is to stop business as usual and to cut spending and the size and scope of government. This freshman class was elected to change Washington, D.C., not be changed by Washington, D.C., and for many voters this is the Republican Party’s last chance to get things right. And so, given the sentiments that swept these new lawmakers in to office, they must establish themselves by bucking both Party politics and the political establishment. They must demonstrate that they understand fiscal responsibility, limited government, states rights and a willingness to not tow the Party line when its leaders wander off path.

This will at times be hard to do. The old boy’s political network will tempt them to go along to get along and the desire for power can consume them if they forget what they were sent to Washington for. But considering the extremely strong message that sent these men and women to D.C. they will all be wise to not cave in to the traditional trappings of insider politics and Washington.

Given the caliber of many of the new faces on the Hill, there is a vary good chance that they will in fact have a dramatic, positive, impact on the 112th Congress and the legislation it produces. But of this class, I suspect that some will stand out more than others. The following are the names that are most likely to do so.

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  Justin Amash, MI-3:

This 30 year old Michigander has made a name for himself in the Michigan House of Representatives as a leading advocate for government restraint and his consistent commitment to limited government, free markets, and individual liberty. As a state representative, Amash set new standards for transparency and accountability. And was one of the first state legislators to list his office expenses, staff salaries, and legislative benefits online. He has also earned a wide following among Michigan voters for posting all of his votes, with explanations and an opportunity for interactive discussion, on his official face book page. Amash understands that we live under the rule of law and not under the rule of men and he has a command of the issues effecting our economy and liberty.

Lou Barletta, PA-11:

Lou Barletta comes to office after serving as Mayor of Hazleton, PA. There he demonstrated his expertise on economic matters and budgets but he became most known for his fight against illegal immigration. Hazleton had become ravaged by an illegal immigrant population that helped the small town’s crime rate skyrocket. Barletta went into action. In 2006, he created an ordinance that made it illegal for employers to knowingly hire illegal aliens and for landlords to knowingly rent to illegal aliens. The measure passed the Hazleton City Council but was subsequently challenged in the courts. The case still drags on to this day but in the meantime, the number of both violent and non-violent crimes in the City of Hazleton continue to decrease. Barletta is a hard nosed but cordial gentleman who is sure to take the same kind of grit and determination that he had as Mayor of Hazleton, to Washington as a Congressman.

Cory Gardner, CO-4:

Gardner is a quick witted, high energy legislator. The Denver Post calls Gardner “the GOP Idea Man,” and he has been recognized as one of the Top 40 young Republican lawmakers in the country by Rising Tide, a publication of the Republican National Committee. As a member of the Colorado State House of Representatives, Gardner was a leader on issues such as economic development, healthcare, and education. In 2007, he created the Colorado Clean Energy Authority, which has helped to bring millions of dollars in development to Colorado. With a focus on limited government, Cory Gardner believes strongly that reducing taxes is the best way to grow the economy and provide jobs. As a former leading conservative voice in the Colorado state legislature, he promises to be one in the 112th session of Congress too.

Adam Kinzinger, Il-11:

32 year old Adam Kinzinger is a Captain in the Air Force who has served in the Special Ops, Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, and the Air National Guard. Before his military career, at the age of 20, he challenged a twelve-year Democrat incumbent for the McLean County Board and in a campaign that focused on bringing local government back to the people, he became one of the youngest county board members in McLean County history. Today, Kinzinger has proved that he understands the value of American freedom and is committed to protecting and serving the nation both in uniform and elected office. He has the skills and drive to rise above the political noise, bring government back to the people and to create a lasting positive impact on Congress.

Allen West, Florida-22:

Lieutenant Colonel Allen West (US Army, Retired) is a Bronze Star winner who has also been awarded three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals (one with Valor), and a Valorous Unit Award. With twenty years of distinguished military service, West now aims his fight on Congress where he intends to curb out of control Government spending, work for across the board tax cuts, and combat our economic woes by getting back to basics and transitioning to a flat tax system for both individuals and businesses. West is an aggressive and articulate voice for conservatism and has a deep rooted concern for the proper education of America children. Allen West knows that their opportunities can be endless with the right education and that our nation’s future depends on their ability to take advantage of those opportunities. Allen West is sure to be a thorn in the side of liberals and you can be sure that he will not sugarcoat his opposition to the left side of the aisle.

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Those are five freshmen members of the House whom you can expect to stir things up. They will be joined by several veteran G.O.P. House members who are also worth watching; incoming House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, New Jersey’s Scott Garrett, Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota, Mike Pence of Indiana and Virginia’s Eric Cantor. These five individuals are probably the best chance Republicans have when it comes to keeping to the much touted, conservative pledge to America that Republicans took during the campaign of 2010. But now these five have five exceptional new voices on their side.

In the Senate, things are quite different than in the House. The rules of the Senate allow for one member of that chamber to make more of an immediate difference than House members can. Here, although Republicans remain in the minority, their increased numbers will be made quite formidable as strong conservative voices like Jim DeMint and John Thune join with the following five freshmen senators.

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Marco Rubio-FL:

 Marco is a standout among any group of people. He is a personable, bright, innovative, energetic, passionate and articulate young conservative who went through one of the toughest and longest campaigns of 2010. For much of the race he was the underdog and not the establishment choice. But patience and perseverance allowed him to prevail as he convincingly persuaded fellow Floridians to the commonsense, conservative cause. A son of Cuban exiles, Marco is an important voice in the Republican Party for Hispanic voters and his ability to attract voters of all persuasions is going to continue to make him an important player in national politics, especially national Republican politics.

Pat Toomey-PA:

This former leader of the Club for Growth is probably going to be one of the most ardent deficit hawks the senate has ever seen. He will be a perfect partner with South Carolina’s Jim DeMint in the cause of fiscal responsibility and limited government. Toomey will most definitely be a strict constitutionalist who will have no problem standing up to his fellow Republicans and most definitely not any Democrat, including President Obama.

 

Ron Johnson-WI:

Johnson was one of those TEA Party backed candidates who came out of nowhere to slay a liberal giant—Russ Feingold. His campaign was not the best but voter sentiment in Wisconsin was so soured by the direction that the country was going in that they wanted a definite change. Politically unencumbered, fresh faced, conservative, businessman Ron Johnson proved to be the man that Wisconsin voters saw fit to deliver that change. Expect Johnson to take some time getting his feet wet in Washington, but very soon he will be demonstrating a hard-line on budgetary matters and a very valuable independent streak.

Rand Paul-KY:

Rand Paul is another candidate whose race was particularly hard fought. He was also not originally the establishment choice but strong conservative support and energetic TEA Party backing pushed Rand Paul over the top in the end. Rand has many of the more appealing libertarian tendencies of his well known father, Texas Congressman Ron Paul but is a bit more pragmatic. Rand believes in a strong national defense and understand that the defense of the nation is the federal government’s number 1 priority. He insists that funding of the United Nations becomes voluntary, thereby demonstrating a true and accurate level of commitment of individual member states to the U.N.’s success. He also believes that the United States should withdraw from and stop funding those U.N. programs that undermine legitimate American interests. On the economy, Paul is a true free marketer who views the World Bank and International Monetary Fund as having “outlived their usefulness” and harmful to global economic development. Rand Paul is a staunch proponent of spending cuts, balancing the budget, and lowering taxes. Expect Rand to be a very loud voice and major critic of both Parties and the process they often abuse.

Rob Portman-OH:

Like Marco Rubio, Rob Portman is made of presidential timber. He is an experienced legislator and previously served in two separate presidential cabinet offices—–U.S. Trade Representative and Director of the Office of Management and Budget. During his tenure at OMB, the deficit was cut in half. Portman is experienced, accomplished, and when it comes to the federal budget, he is a persistent hawk who has proposed balanced budgets, the creation of new federal spending transparency laws, and fought hard against irresponsible earmarks. In the senate, expect Rob Portman to be a go-to guy on fiscal matters and a leader in the budget process that is growing in importance as well as debt.

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Only time will truly tell how well these 10 incoming legislators will really do but if they show the same kind of stamina, values and sincerity that they have in the past, they will go a long way in bringing the type of real change that Congress and the nation needs.

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The 2010 Republican of the Year

Bookmark and Share    Believe it or not, there are some Republicans who need not lose an election to learn a lesson. There are some members of the G.O.P. who understand that true Republicans do not legislate like liberals or finance the federal government with Bernie Madoff-like budgeting schemes.

To be honest, while there are practically no such Democrats these days, there are but a handful of such Republicans who hold elected office. But many incumbents continue to play a blame game of pointing fingers at Democrats who are in the majority and doing many of the same things that Republicans did when they were in the majority. That said, there do exist some incumbents who are true to the Republican ideology and practice what they preach. There are people such as Arizona Congressman John Shadegg, a conservative who is trying to get government under control with legislation he calls The Enumerated Powers Act. It would force legislators to reference the specific clause or clauses of the U.S. Constitution that grant them the power to enact any laws or take any other congressional actions.

There are other outstanding House members like Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia, Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota, Paul ryan of Wisconsin, Mike Pence of Indiana and Scott Garrett of New Jersey.

In the US Senate you have leaders like South Dakota’s John Thune, Tennessee’s Bob Corker and Jim DeMint of South Carolina.

When it comes to Governors, standouts include Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, Indiana’s Mitch Daniels, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindahl and Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty. All of them continue to streamline government and budgets, while still operating an efficient and effective state government.

Yet regardless of how great some incumbent Republicans may be or even how well some behind the scene Republicans have advanced the cause, none of them have yet been able to again convincingly persuade, to their side, the vast number of Americans that are needed to change the balance of power, nor have they convinced a majority of Americans to once again have faith in the Republican Party as an entity that truly represents the principles which once made our party great. None of them have been able to round up and organize the incredible mass of Americans who can muster the strength to stop the bandwagon of spending and socialist programming that the current liberal regime of Pelosi, Reid and President Obama have spearheaded. On that measure all have failed.

But if we look beyond incumbent office holders, the promise of those with the skills to turn things around does exist among a number of very promising candidates that we will see emerge in the coming year and beyond.

It is here where we find the Republican of the Year.

Former Governor Sarah Palin, to the chagrin of many leftists, still captures the essential spirit of the conservative-libertarian heart of the GOP. Despite having sacrificed the last year and a half of her term as Governor in order for her successor to carry on the good work she started, unhindered by lawsuits and malicious malcontents, Palin still has potential and she inspires as many, if not more, than she turns off.

Sarah Palin embodies the anti-establishmentarian, fiscal and social conservative values that are the traditional core of the party. However, while the promise and potential are there, this year, Sarah has not promoted policies or the cause as much as she has her successful book, Going Rogue.

So she is not Republican of the Year.

Another person with potential comes from Ohio.

During his eight terms in Congress, John Kasich proved himself to be an exemplary Republican force. He has been on the forefront of reform and conservatism. He has always been above reproach and he has lived by the rules and refused to go along to get a long. He retired from Congress in 2001 but now, 9 years later, John Kasich is seeking to become Governor of Ohio.

His candidacy will be inspirational. It is one based on core conservative beliefs, especially our fiscally conservative roots. He also values life.

Kasich will not spew mere platitudes. Instead he will put forth detailed policies that will define the course he will put Ohio on. Both Kasich’s campaign, and after winning, his tenure as Governor, will ultimately set a new high standard as his leadership becomes a model for others to follow. He will also be an eventual contender for President.

But that is yet to be and unlike the Nobel Prize, the title of Republican of the Year is not based on potential but rather on achievement and the point to which they have presently come.

Based upon that criteria, and with all else considered, the 2010 title of Republican of the Year goes to Marco Rubio.

Who is Marco Rubio?

Well if you have not already heard of him, in due time, you will.

Marco Rubio is a 38 year old Floridian from West Miami who was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2000 and eventually became the state’s youngest Speaker of the House, before term limits retired him from office.

Born of Cuban immigrant parents, Marco was brought up on values rooted in honesty and hard work. He grew up understanding that the potential of America lay not in government control but in personal and entrepreneurial freedom.

As a state legislator Marco gained prominence on several political fronts.

He was the state’s leading champion of lower tax rates and helped craft a state government that was leaner and more efficient when he left office than when he first came to office. Another Rubio achievement was his landmark property rights legislation which became a national model that helped to curtail the horrors of eminent domain abuses.

Rubio’s work was not limited to the Florida Statehouse or his Miami legislative district. During his last year in office, Marco traveled all of Florida in what he called an “Idearaisesr.” These events helped him compile some of the best suggestions for the improvement of life in Florida.

Rubio put those ideas all together in a book called “100 Innovative Ideas For Florida’s Future”.

To date, 57 of those 100 ideas have become legislation.

His impeccable record is enough to make Marco Rubio standout but that is not all that accounts for his being named Republican of the Year.

Two of the main reasons for his getting that title are based upon his ability to inspire those around him, articulate the conservative cause in a way that wins people over, and his willingness to buck the establishment.

With a Reaganesque quality that can give Barack Obama a run for his money, Rubio’s oratory and people skills are incredibly powerful. He conveys a Jack Kemp-like message of personal and economic empowerment along with a heartfelt spin that appeals to not just your better senses, but your emotionally being as well. This is something that the current generation of Republican politicos lack. The GOP has no clear and powerful voice to deliver our message and Marco Rubio provides both the right voice and the right message.

The other reason Rubio is Republican of the Year is because of his demonstrated ability to buck the establishment.

At 38, Marco could easily sit on his laurels and wait for the Republican establishment to tap him for the next elected office they want him to pursue while in their pockets. But rather than wait in line for the establishment to tap him, Rubio is stepping up to bat and fighting for for the ight to lead us effectively.

Florida’s incumbent Republican Governor, Charlie Crist, is a popular figure. He is a favorite of the establishment and he is running for the US States Senate. With a well stocked war chest, Crist’s lucrative campaign fund along with his high name ID and the support of the national Republican leadership, is considered a favorite for not only the Republican nomination for Senate but for the actual Senate seat in question. Yet against all odds, Marco Rubio is challenging Crist.

Rubio is not impressed by the popular Florida Governor. He has seen the once conservative oriented leader turn into a waffling moderate politicians who sold out the Sunshine State by endorsing things such as the debt increasing federal stimulus packages that has promised more than it delivered.

In general, Charlie Crist has proven himself to be a sell out who values political expediency over sound policy and although he still offers leadership that is a step up from that delivered by those rooted in solidly liberal foundations, Rubio knows that Crist is not up to the standards that conservatives should expect.

That is why he has become the GOP’s David in a campaign against the Republican Goliath. Rubio knows his campaign for the US Senate nomination is an uphill battle. He also knows that his challenge to the frontrunner is not winning him any favor from the GOP establishment. But none of this stops Rubio from getting his message out.

In just a few short months, Marco Rubio has gone over the establishment’s head, straight to the voters, and his campaign has taken him from an underdog with poll numbers that once saw him going down to Charlie Crist by as much as 25 or more percent, to where today the race is a dead heat at 43% each. Even more telling is the fact that while Crist’s support has dropped below 50% and his favorability has seen a double digit drop to 19% since August, Marco Rubio’s is now viewed very favorably by 34% of likely primary voters. That is up from 18% in August and a total reversal in direction from Crist.

Underdog Marco Rubio is being outspent and out endorsed by the establishment but with a true adherence to conservative Republicanism, he is tapping into something more powerful than the old boy’s network. He has awakened the grassroots. The grassroots of the Republican Party and the general electorate as well.

While Crist is capturing the pockets of the establishment, Rubio is capturing the hearts and minds of voters. And he is not doing so with money. He is doing so with his message and proven record.

For all these reasons, Marco Rubio is Republican of the Year.

He represents all that our party should, possesses all the qualities and thinking that we are lacking, and he is one of the few Republicans around today who offers the Party the promise of a future based on the principles that are at the heart of our being.

Marco Rubio has taken the true Republican message to the disaffected majority of voters who feel abandoned and who have lost faith.  He has also taken it to fellow Republicans who feel disaffected by their Party and, slowly but surely, he is winning all of them them over. Rubio is reinvigorating many and inspiring many more. He is proving to be the type of Republican that conservatives and disaffected voters have been yearning for.   

in the 1980’s America was blessed with the right man for the right time, when Ronald Reagan became President and steer us toward prosperity and security.  In 2010 another uniquely qualified man is approaching the halls of leadership at the right time, just when we need him. 

Marco Rubi is that man.  He is the future of the GOP and for that reason, Marco Rubio is Republican of the Year.

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Voters Made Clear How Congress Should Vote on Healthcare Reform

Bookmark and Share   Democrats are scrambling to pass a version of health and insurance reform that would have Health Overhaul Capitol Rumblegovernment control it. Currently they are trying to hold true to a scheduled rare Saturday but as more arms are twisted and language in the bill is tweaked, the Hose leadership is suggesting that the vote may not be held until Sunday. This would signal that they do not yet have enough commitments from Democrats to pass it.

Their hope is that the extra hours between Saturday and Sunday will give the liberal leadership the time to hammer out some of their bill so that some Democrats who are still sitting on the fence can be swayed to support the bill.

Much of what has to be hammered out swirls around making sure that healthcare reform legislation uses language that bars any federal insurance plan receiving public subsidies from covering abortion. Socially conservative Democrats being led by Michigan Democrat Congressman Bart Stupak. However; the leaderships need to do this is prompting loud protests from abortion rights group like NARAL who want all abortions legal and paid for by the federal government.

One Democrat who is far from being a social conservative, New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, is also a source for other demands on House leaders’ if they want his vote for their reform plan. Weiner has proposed a substitute single-payer health care plan that would be funded by a 14% payroll tax and a tax on millionaires. The liberal leadership had promised that Weiner’s proposed amendment will come during a markup of the bill when it is in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. However they do not want his amendment ruled in order on the bill itself.

But the wrangling to extort enough support from Democrats to vote for the bill puts the in a catch 22 of sorts. Any change in the language of the bill would require that the final version be placed on line for at least 72 hours before Congress can vote on it. This was a liberal self imposed rule intended to indicate how transparent the Administration and the Democrat Congress are and allow the public to review and comment on proposed legislation. With all the last minute changes that Democrats make up till the moment that they want to vote on bill, they will be violating their own rules—-a rule that they and they President have already violated on several occasions.

While all this is going on, two days after Americans went the polls and rejected Democrat governors, county executives and state legislators, they converged on Washington, in one of the most intense displays to legislation that Congress has ever. The day of protest began with a rally on the East Side steps of the Capitol where an estimated 15 thousand people stood as they heard from members of Congress who oppose Pelosicare. Joining them to officiate were John Voight, Dr. Mark Levin and several others. Each of them made sure that we reminded Congress that each individual of the House were occupying “our” house to which one loud audience member——me——yelled out, “they’re squatters”. I and thousands of others shouted out many emotions but not without first noticing the unusual display of men on the either side of the steps of the Capitol who were brandishing rather ominous looking M-16’s.

This was not a sight seen back in September when hundreds of thousands of us marched on Washington . The sight of the weapons was a little disarming but it did not stop anyone from being quite vocal about their opposition to Pelosicare.

    When the rally was done tens of thousands began to line the perimeters of every building housing the offices of members of the House. Nowhere were the lines longer, deeper and more vocal than those surrounding the Canon Office Building, home dozens of representatives including none other than Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. And once again, here too I noticed M-16 waving Capitol Hill policeman standing just across the street.

But along with the police thousands, crammed every entrance to the Cannon Building, as one by one we slowly passed through security and metal detectors. While online the energetic deafening, spontaneous cheers of “kill the bill” and “Naaaan-Ceeeee”, erupted as we announced “we’re here” to her and her underlings in the House.

As I stood waiting in line to enter the Cannon Building, each and every time I noticed a Congressman walking by and entering or leaving the building, I loudly yelled “hellooooo Congressman”, to which the crowd responded “kill the bill”. In one instance, as loudly as I could I greeted one passing Congressman, whom I recognized by face but not name. As I loudly stated “Helllloooo Congressman” he stopped and pivoted right towards me. I thought “oh know, he didn’t” when suddenly he proceeded to take my hand and shake it. It was Brad Posey of Florida’s 1st District and one of the many members of the Republican conference who are expected to unanimously oppose the government takeover of one fifth our economy with a so called health reform measure.

While remaining on the lookout for Representatives trying to enter or exit the office building, I was soon proclaiming “there’s Congressman Ron Paul“ and soon after him I was pleasantly surprised to catch Rep. Scott Garrett entering the building. Congressman Garrett is the most conservative member of New Jersey’s congressional delegation, and I don’t mean that relative to the rest of the New Jersey Republican delegation. He is a true conservative by any standard. I offered to him my praise and appreciation for his good work.

Every now and then we caught a few Democrats coming and going. They shook no hands nor did they have any extended to them. Instead, whenever seen, they were met with shouts of “kill the bill”.

Once inside, constituents made their way to the offices of their respective legislators, to deliver their messages in person. Of course not a single Democrat had the courage to meet with those who oppose the bill. Instead some cowered in their private inner offices, others simply avoided the Cannon Office Building altogether. They just left their staffs to deal with their concerned voters.

Republicans like Scott Garret however, met with his visitors and opened up his office to them as his staff provided bottles of water and oversized, homemade, cookies to all he entered. Coincidentally, Garrett‘s office was a popular one.

But Garretts’s office was no where near as popular as Speaker Pelosi’s office where after waiting an hour or more to get into the building, people waited on line for another hour or more to get into her office and register their opposition to both her and her bill. Where was Naaaaan-Ceeeee? No one knows but she sure wasn’t around to defend herself or her government takeover.

As the group I traveled with made our way back to meet our bus and head back home, we stood on the street with the East side of the Capitol at our backs. A very light shower began to fall. Suddenly one from our group pointed toward the Capitol building yelling “look”!   As we all turned, there it was,—- a full arching rainbow appeared over the Capitol Dome. Everyone was was taken back. They reached for cameras and snapped pictures while feeling fortunate enough to be there, at the very moment, and have the opportunity to see the unique combination of the symbolic and physical beauty of a rainbow appearing over one of the most powerful places and most powerfully symbolic images in and of our nation. As we continued to stare, many couldn’t help but wonder if it was a sign. And then as we continued to look, the colors of the rainbows intensified and to the great surprise of all the already surprised onlookers, to the right of the original rainbow, a second one appeared. Now laughing at the truly rare sight of two rainbows appearing at the same time, over the building where the fight we were in will take place, I stated in a deep bass voice “and so it was written, kill the bill”.

One woman uttered it almost seems like a miracle to which I responded, “you almost expect to see the hand of God come out from under the rainbows and slap Naaaaan-Ceeeee Pelosi right across the face” .

When all was said and done, on Thursday, Congress saw one of the most intense displays of the size and depth of anger that exists within the population on their government takeover efforts. Republicans seem to understand and as such, they are standing with the American people holding firm in unanimous opposition to the 1,990 health and insurance reform novel that is, at this very moment, being hammered out behind closed doors.

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For Republicans Only: Rebuilding and Reinvigorating the Nation and Party-PART II

Bookmark and Share    In the first part of this series we pointed out that the devastating losses of 2006 and 2008 and the loss of the White House produced a severe shortage of prominent Republican figures on the national stage. reprebrand1Without an individual whom can be that face and without the party putting forth cohesive policy paths, on all levels, the G.O.P. is adrift in a turbulent sea of waves created by a torrent of liberal initiatives.

This situation led us to establish a few things.

First we must get everyone on the same page and identify the problems that face the nation and their causes and then paint a picture of those problems that can be depicted in the form of a common enemy. It was determined that we could easily call that enemy “the government” and show it to be the common antagonist in our lives that all Americans can rally with Republicans against.

We also established that we need a figure who without being a threat to any other Republican’s presidential ambitions, can provide the national voice for the message that the G.O.P. needs to get out.

That person was suggested in Part I, but putting aside exactly who is best suited to be the messenger, let us focus on the message.

Under President Obama, and the Democrat led Congress, it is quite apparent that a significant portion of society is finally beginning to question just how much control they want any American federal government to have over their lives.

This thinking is not new. Such sentiments have been eroding at the popularity of both the Republican and Democrat parties. It also accounts for the fairly significant and deep rooted, loyal base, of national support that Dr. Ron Paul, a Texas congressman has. Even though Ron Paul caucuses with Republicans and runs as one, he is at heart, a libertarian and it is to the libertarian party that we have lost many Republicans.

We must get them back and we can do so if we combat the government enemy by stressing less government, less government fiats upon the people that limit their freedoms, more economic and educational opportunities and more ethical political leaders.

As previously mentioned, this approach, as it was under Ronald Reagan, describes government as the enemy……the common enemy that the G.O.P. can inspire the American people to rally behind in the fight against the enemy.

By making it clear that while we are not proposing that there be no government, we must make it understood that as government is creating more problems than it is solving and spends more than it ever takes in, it must be curbed. It must be reduced in size and scope in order to stop costing the American people more than it is worth and to be effective in those areas which it should and could be effective.

With the government now owning financial institutions, car companies and getting more and more into the business of business, people are becoming increasingly skeptical. This encroaching government control is made even more threatening with the liberal passage of such things as Cap-and-Trade and now socialized medicine. Even senior citizens are beginning to oppose the administrations attempt to control their treatment and coverage in the face of aging and declining health.

All of this will not only begin to deteriorate our national quality of life, it will also start costing more. The more control that government has, the more money it needs to implement and maintain those controls

This message must and can be conveyed in many different ways and in regards to just about every issue that comes up. But in our message, as we unite Americans in combating our “common enemy”, we must also produce alternatives. To gain the peoples trust and recapture the majority in Congress, we must offer policy alternatives that flow from principles. Those principles are the same ones found in the Constitution and they are the principles of freedom. They are also the principles which many former Republicans who are now libertarians have come to realize we are drifting away from with increased speed as everyday passes by.

We must demonstrate that the Democrats are trying to play God by creating a centralized government power structure that overrides state’s rights and individual’s rights and has a hand in every single aspect of our lives.

But before Republicans oppose any action of the President or the Democrat controlled congress, they must have their policy alternative to offer at the same time.

This must be done in such a way that everyone from Republican Governors, and state legislative leaders, members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are all on the same page and speaking the same policy message and theme. To coordinate this, our Republican Senate Leader, Mitch McConnell and our leader of the House, Republican Minority Leader John Boehner must work together. Coordination must also be made with the state Republican organizations and the Republican Governors Association and its mayoral counterparts. The RNC would be the perfect entity for such coordination and through them the RGA, NRSC and NRCC could all be on message and pushing for the same policies. Policies that could be a part of what Republicans could call “The American Agenda”.

In shaping that American Agenda the G.O.P must also politically incorporate other objectives into it.

They must rebrand themselves and capitalize on the displeasure with Democrat overreach, and their corporate welfare and dependency politics. This can be done by showing that the new GOP is smarter, younger and more diverse and more in touch with the founding principles that have to date made America great. In addition to having that one trusted, proven and articulate face of the party conveying our national message, allow the Sarah Palins, Eric Cantors, Bobby Jindals, Aaron Schocks, Michelle Bachmann’s, Cathy McMorris Rodgers‘, John Thunes and a host of other vital young Republicans to be in the forefront. Flood the market with fresh faces that have a clean slate and smart, succinct messages. Then deliver the fresh, smart and forward looking message that will be contained in our “American Agenda”.

That agenda should contemplate the adoption of some policy risks and give thought to making some changes that demonstrate our faith in freedom, attracts young voters and changes the national conversation.

Such can be done by crafting our American Agenda with the following directions:

A). – Consider the legalization of certain drugs :

-Demonstrate that we know that freedom means people have a right to do what they like with their bodies whether it is good or bad so long as it does not take the lives of others or infringe on the rights of others.

B). – Support Domestic Unions :

-Shake everything up and get the state out of the marriage business by allowing churches, mosques and temples to marry those they choose. That is the business of their God, not the federal government.  At the same time, do not seek to have government redefine marriage.  Allow the government to preserve the religious sanctity of marriage while also preserving its constitutional civic responsibilities and perform Domestic Unions that ensure that people who unite contractually are treated equally before the law, as the Constitution requires.

Aside from “shaking things up”, we must  address healthcare and present a renewed commitment on some of those issues the party is traditionally strongest on and implement policy solutions that demonstrate our convictions to our nations Constitution.

An approach to the issue of healthcare should be one that is not based on the failed socialist policy initiatives that our nation has shunned and fought against. That would lead us to adopt some of , but not the only, following constitutionally driven approaches into our “American Agenda”.

C). – HealthCare Opportunities :

-Offer the type of “change” in healthcare that we can live with and have the federal government adjust what it can and should change on the issue. For instance (1) .-Tort Reform.   It will have a drastic effect on the rising cost of healthcare in America. (2).- Portability. The current lack of portability prevents people from keeping their coverage when they change jobs or relocate and often they can not continue with the same coverage they have throughout their lives as other changes in their lives occur. Federal action that would allow for the portability of health insurance would solve this problem and help to stabilize insurance markets, reduce costs and ultimately reduce the fluctuating number of uninsured in America.  ( 3). – Enact a policy toolbox of federal initiatives that states could include and federal funding to the states would be linked to success in reaching the goals. With federal legislative guidelines and financial support, state experimentation would produce a myriad of various solutions and in time the best solutions for each state will evolve into better and stronger healthcare availability options for all states. (4).- Incentivise good health and fitness by offering limited tax credits for gym memberships and fitness equipment.

On those issues that the G.O.P has consistently been strong on, the new “American Agenda” must reinforce those strengths with the following items:

D). – Means-test Everything :

-If any federal social programs are to exist, they must be designed to help those whom are truly needy. Government welfare programs like Medicare for the rich are unreasonable and unacceptable ands we need to make that clear. For those who will rightfully point out that constitutional grounds for any “federal social programs”, are at the very least questionable, they must understand the need for compromises that can help begin to change attitudes and minds. This is one such compromise. If we are to have such programs they must not be abused or overextended.

E). – Taxpayer Bill of Rights & Balanced Budget :

-After the current massive expansion and growth of government by Democrats, people will want government to shrink. By creating a Taxpayer Bill of Rights that will lock government revenues in at population plus inflation as measured by acceptable cost of living indices we can assure people that we will be at the very least stop government from growing. Then add limits on national debt that would force cuts and stop passing the national credit card and its bill to future generations.

F). – Environmental Security not Global Warming: “More Obvious Conservation Methods, Not More Taxes” :

-Call it environmental security and dedicate ourselves to protecting and preserving our environment by funding such things as geo-engineering and sequestration technology but not by sucking the finances of the American people during times of economic hardship for an Al Gore hypothesis that can only be conclusively proven through the evidence produced by the passage of another million years. The G.O.P. must highlight the undeniable, rational pro-environment record that we have extending as far back as Theodore Roosevelt and we must get in the forefront of the issue by demonstrating that the historic Cap-and-Trade measure adopted by liberals is more than irrational, it is dangerous, ineffective and another example of overreaching control that taxes us on air while destroying the long-term health of our economy and individual’s economic prosperity.

G). – Enforce Our Fundamental Belief In National Sovereignty and Freedom :

-The administrations “globalization” policy is a threat to us on many levels. It puts our security, sovereignty, economy and national heritage at risk. We must therefore (1). – Implement an Open Arms-Secure Borders Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill that welcomes and protects legal immigrants, secures our borders and eliminates the tolerance for illegal immigrants who weigh heavily on our law enforcement capabilities, emergency services and economic prosperity. (2). – Declare our united support for an English First, Not English Only Bill. (3).- Make it clear that our government will not excuse, or make excuses for, those enemies of freedom who hinder progress in areas of our interests or seek to inflict harm on us or our allies. The electorate must be clear on the fact that Republicans do not buy in to the Democrat approach to foreign policy which leads us to believe that Americans should feel guilty for defending our nation, the cause of freedom or our national sovereignty, heritage or interests. (4).- Seek to curtail the use of Eminent Domain abuses by eliminating federal funding for any state or municipal projects that use eminent domain to acquire land.  It must be made clear that the constitutional right to property cannot be abrdged.

H). – Energy Independence :

-The government must take advantage of all available sound domestic energy sources while promoting the independent study of advanced uses for clean, renewable energy technologies.

I). – Reform How Government Does Business And Limit Election Spending

-Demonstrate that we not only acknowledge the political culture of corruption and shady tactics but that we stand against it with reforms to prevent it. (1).- Eliminate the public financing option for federal elections. Make it clear that we do not want taxpayers spending money for politicians to lie us in attempt to get our vote. (2.) – At the same time, place a spending limit on all elections for all federal offices. (3.)- Adopt the Enumerated Powers Act which forces all legislative initiatives and federal spending to be supported by the clause in the Constitution that proves it to be a proper measure for the federal government to undertake. (4.) – Pass a bill drafting amendment that prohibits spending measures and regulations that are unrelated to that bill from being tacked on to it.

The Republican Party needs to rebuild itself with an agenda that includes of all the above points.

If it can get everyone on the same page, rebrand itself with fresh faces and trustworthy policy directions and a unified message in 2010 then they can at the very least make inroads to a strong eventual comeback.

With the right people, policies and message we can demonstrate that by trying to be like European nations with unfunded liabilities and the bureaucratization of everything we may actually become like them and spend decades enduring 10 percent unemployment rates and trying to maintain our national identity. We must use our policies and messages to capitalize on the dissatisfaction that Democrats are creating and demonstrate that raising taxes and spending other people’s money is not the best way for our country to go.

Now is the time for us to offer up a second revolution that is made up with ideas that puts an end to bureaucratic governmental licentiousness and unleash entrepreneurship all while offering leadership with a view towards freedom, pragmatism and common sense, all of which the left has abandoned.

But as is the case with any good strategy, its success lies in its implementation and the methods and tactics needed to see it through. In the next part of this series we will address those plans and reveal the logistics needed to grow the seeds of a political revolution to restore freedom to the freest people the world has ever known.

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For Republicans The Question Is Who Should It Be? Take the poll and tell us.

Bookmark and Share    Yesterday,  POLITICS 24/7 began a series called “For Republicans Only: A plan for rebuilding the party“. 

PhotobucketIn it was explained that the G.O.P. must begin to reshape their image, create a concise national policy direction and message, put a face on on the problems that the nation faces and turn it into a common enemy to rally behind Republicans against.   It also pointed out the we must find a voice for the party that could convey our message and recruit Americans in a political battle to combat that common enemy.

The article took us through a national audition of Republicans to find the best people who could be that voice and the face of the G.O.P.. 

Naturally such a discussion involved those whom may be running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 and although the G.O.P. can not wait until 2012 to start getting back on track, it brings rise to the question, who would you like to see be the nominee?

There is a long way to  go between now and then and much can and will happen to change the opinions that you may have today.  But knowing what those current opinions are helps to establish the direction people are looking for the Republican Party to go in.

Awareness of that direction allows us to build momentum in that direction.  It allows us to shape policies that people want and a message that is in tune with  what people want to hear and are willing to pay attention to.

By knowing whom Republicans are currently leaning towards for President in 2012, we are given an indicationPhotobucket of what they are most concerned with and the type of qualities that Republicans voters feel the nation needs in our next President.

Some potential Republican presidential nominees excel in management or economics or both.  Others are more known for foriegn policy experience and abilities or for their anti-establishment, outside-the-beltway image. 

Whatever the attributes are, each candidate is unique and among voters certain unique qualities are more important than others. 

During times of war, people often have a propensity to favor a figure who brings deft military experience to the table.

During times of economic crisis voters focus on someone with a proven and successful background in in the financial market. 

PhotobucketCurrently our nation is in difficult economic times but America is also currently in the middle of a crisis of faith. A crisis of faith in government.   And although it is not always apparent these days, we are also in the middle of a war.

Under these circumstances, by knowing who Republicans favor for the presidential nomination right now, we are seeing within whom they feel is what we need to deal with all that we face as a nation right now. 

So even though there is much work for Republicans to do, not just for 2012 but before next years midterm elections, let us know which candidate you currently think is the leader America needs right now.

Take a moment ot consider those prospects which are potential candidates and let us establish a sense of what the type of party they wish us to be.
                                                                                              

                                                                                                 

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For Republicans Only:

A plan for rebuilding and reinvigorating a down and out party.

Click the image above to read the first part of For Republicans Only

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For Republicans Only: A plan for rebuilding and reinvigorating a down and out party.

Bookmark and Share     It may seem a shame or insincere to have to be political and develop political strategies to get anything done in American politics. But when you plunge into the sea of politics you better be willing to swim. This does not mean that repboatayou can’t be sincere about the issues and their effects on the American people but it does mean that if your gonna swim with the sharks you’d be wise to put on your flippers instead of your running shoes. And that is what this article deals with. It is meant to discuss the political reality behind the Republican Party’s ability to get back into the game and the tools and the political strategies it must utilize to lead again.

As we look ahead you do not have to be a rocket scientist to see that the G.O.P. cannot afford a third consecutive election cycle where they lose another 20 or more seats in congress or any more governorships or state legislative chambers. To do so in 2010 will be lethal.

That is when the census takes place and redistricting begins. By losing more congressional seats we will be making it that much harder to reach a majority in 2012. And to lose any more sway in the states will mean that Democrats will have the opportunity to gerrymander Republicans into minority status for a decade or more.

So Republicans can’t wait for the presidential election of 2012 to help them increase their numbers. They must make their gains now and 2010.

In 2009 it looks like Republicans will do well and pick up Governors in New Jersey and Virginia. But for 2010, the G.O.P. needs to get on message and into gear now.

But how do we expect to make a significant run towards majority status when we will be needing it most in 2010?

Sadly, I do not see signs of a national Republican strategy and message shaping up. After supporting Ken Blackwell for

Mike Steele

Mike Steele

 RNC Chairman, I am not privy to the leaderships plans but from the outside I see no movement in the direction that we must take.

We could just sit back and allow the Democrats to get comfortable. That is how the G.O.P. lost control of things in the first place. After the first four years in control of both congress and the White House, complacency and the lack of a need to get the power that they had, allowed many to stop keeping their noses clean and to cease going that extra mile to make our case.

The same fate will eventually come of the current liberal ruling regime in Washington, D.C..

To a degree, Democrats understand this and that is why they are rushing , at a breakneck pace, to consolidate their power immediately by entrenching some of the most expansive and extensive socialized programs we have ever seen into government. They want to do so before the tide turns on them.

But to regain control of congress essentially by default will not make for a meaningful reason for Republicans to be in control or for an enduring leadership role that will last for any significant length of time.

So what are Republicans to do?

For that answer we should look back to a similar time. A time when Republicans were down and out. It was 1980 and much like now, we had a President who on the national stage spoke softly and carried a very small stick. He was a President who also saw government as the solution to all our problems but had policies which essentially drained every dime out of the American economy and made it so that the government and its people could not afford to do anything about anything.

To counter the Democrats and the “days of malaise” that they had us in, the G.O.P. revamped their image in the eyes of the people and became the innovative and anti-establishment, anti-government party. And they did so by presenting easily understood alternative solutions to those being bandied about by the left. They were also able to focus a spotlight on a common enemy that most Americans related to. This common enemy became something to rally against with Republicans.

Common enemies are a very powerful source of unity and support.

President George H.W. Bush spent the first four and a half years of his eight years in office riding a wave of support because terrorists proved themselves to be an undeniably severe threat to Americans and therefore a common enemy to rally against. This was not some political creation. It was a national reality and while terrorists still remain a collective concern, the lack of thousands of Americans falling victim to them again all at once, has made them a less powerful rallying cry these days but hopefully not any less of a concern.

arepleader10In the 80’s, the Reagan Revolution successfully united a majority of Americans by condensing all the problems that we were facing into a different enemy. Reagan successfully defined government as the enemy. And who was in total control of government? The Democrats.

This theme, this rallying cry, allowed Americans to see that government was not the solution, it was the problem. Over time, the approach increased Republican numbers at every level. From city councils, to state legislatures and governors mansions, slowly but surely, Republicans increased in numbers until a clear majority of state houses and state executive offices were dominated by Republican majorities.

But this message was not just meant for the purpose of having majority control. It was also meant to make a beneficial difference. It was meant to use that power to reduce the size and scope of the government enemy. To reduce government’s tax burden on the people. To eliminate the barriers to economic growth, job opportunities and entrepreneurial expansion. It was also used to rebuild our military capabilities and restore America’s role on the international stage. Defeating the communist enemy was another reason.

With Republican control came the change America needed and that is exactly what the G.O.P. must demonstrate to Americans again. We must convince them that we are currently headed down a road that our nation once ran away from. The road that was plotted for our nation under Jimmy Carter whose increased regulations, increased taxation and government interference created both a deficit of personal economic empowerment and of national morale.

That same Carter-like approach to our federal government is taking place today under President Obama. And at a time when we are again experiencing tough economic times, the liberal tax and spend approach is again making things tougher for all of us.

This case must be made to the people but it cannot be effectively made with an algebraic equation or Ross Perot bar graph. It must be made through a concise, everyday translation that everyone can relate to.

In 1980, during one presidential debate, Ronald Reagan discussed the historic and disastrous inflation rate that the Carter administration brought to bear on us. He spoke of a little girl who when shopping with her mother saw a doll that she fell in love with and desperately wanted. She pleaded with her mother to buy it for her but her mother told her that she had to earn it and with her allowance she must save for it. The former Governor and soon to be President continued to explain that the little girl saved her money until finally she had enough to buy it. But when she went back to the store, the price had increased and she did not have enough money after all. So, disappointed, she went back home hoping to save enough money to buy it the following week. When that next week came, she went back to the store with enough to cover the new purchase price only to discover that the price of that same doll went up again. Reagan described how this disappointing cycle repeated itself for a month and he further explained that this was the effect of inflation and the misery index which was created during the Carter years.

He stated that this was the result of the economic condition that we got ourselves into under the Carter administration and that as hard as we tried to keep our heads above water, the rushing tide of rising costs was a never ending cycle that kept on putting everything out of our reach and like that little girl whose so desired doll was always out of reach because of inflation, so too was the American dream becoming out of reach for all individual Americans.

Reagan helped people to relate to our troubles by encapsulating all of our nation’s problems down to the face of an innocent little girl. And in doing so he made Americans believe that he understood them and their problems.

It allowed him to capture the hearts, minds and votes of the American people.

This is the approach that we again need. Republicans must reconnect and demonstrate that they relate to those not in the political class.

But who is to be the messenger and where are the innovative approaches to come from?

Eric Cantor

Eric Cantor

In looking for such a person we can easily see that the House of Representatives is hardly a place where such a face of national stature can be easily be created. The few promising figures in congress who have the innovative minds and anti-establishment mentality that we need must rise to a higher level of prominence before they have a realistic shot at being the right national messenger. Congressmen like Eric Cantor of Ohio, Mike Pence of Indiana and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin are perfect examples of the type of capable, competent leaders we need. But until they are in a position of greater power and prominence like that of a Governor or Senator, there is little chance for them to command the amount of attention that they need to effectively and properly deliver a nationally captivating message

Mike Pence

Mike Pence

For Cantor, Ryan and Pence, the G.O.P. would be wise to start making room for them as Senators or Governors in the coming years. But that still wont fill the void we have right now.

In looking at the United States Senate, prospects there are thin.

Of the forty Republicans remaining, few have the persona, gravitas and ability to capture the nation’s imagination and trust. McCain is over and was over even before he ran for President. The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, lacks any significant attraction in speech or persona and ideas.

Judd Gregg

Judd Gregg

Among the most promising, somewhat conservative figures, whose personalities and abilities can fit the bill, are possibly Bob Corker of Tennessee but more likely Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and John Thune of South Dakota. Both of these men are consistently strong, sound voices that could emerge as potential standard bearers in 2012 and they could start carrying the banner now by coalescing the party together under the type of “get government out the way” policy alternatives that we could make a message out of.

Gregg though seems always prepared to hang up his hat and return to a quiet life of retirement in the hills and mountains of New Hampshire.

So that leaves Senator John Thune.

He is young, the youngest of them all and I have always appreciated him. In his first run for the Senate, he lost by almost 500 votes that were illegally obtained for incumbent Senator Tim Johnson through a Democrat scheme that involved cash for votes and falsified registrations from two South Dakota Indian registrations.

John Thune

John Thune

But two years later, Thune made history when he defeated the Senate’s Democrat leader Tom Daschle.

Since then, Thune has been a relatively strong conservative influence and he has command of the issues, an energetic and confident charisma and clean record.

After sifting through the ranks of federal office holders, the only other obvious place to find the leader we need is from within the ranks of state leadership.

The governors.

It is here where we also find the most innovative and beneficial ideas in government.

The majority of Republican governors are handling things far better than most Democrat governors like those in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania,

Donald Carcierie

Donald Carcieri

 Ohio, Washington and others. But here too, the right captivating figure is hard to find out of the 22 existing Republican governors.

Mark Sanford was a promising option. His potential was not for any command of communication skills, which he lacked, but because of actual strong policy positions and administrative qualities. That was of course all before he ran off to Argentina and abandoned his state and family for a romp with his “soul mate”.

Donald Carcieri happens to be the most unique of all governors.

He is the Republican governor of Rhode Island, one of, if not the most, liberal states in the most liberal region of the nation, New England.

What makes him most unique there is the fact that he is actually a centrist with a propensity towards conservative positions. He is often in opposition to his Democrat dominated state legislature on such things as the obligations of state workers, separation of powers and illegal immigration. He has even vetoed more than 30 pieces of legislation that they have presented to him. Yet he has still been elected twice.

But we are talking Rhode Island here and Carcieri lacks any great innovative leadership qualities and national appeal.

Haley Barbour

Haley Barbour

I would hope to see Carcieri eventually take one of the two Democrat U.S. Senate seats, like Sheldon Whitehouse’s seat, but I hardly expect him to capture the national imagination.

Of those remaining, the brightest gubernatorial lights are those of Louisiana’s Boby Jindal, Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty, Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, and the best of all of them, Mitch Daniels of Indiana.

Daniels won reelection to a second term as governor by as much as 60% while at the same time, Indiana voters elected Barack Obama for President. In some cases he even got 20% of the African-American vote. That is an unusually high percentage for any Republican anywhere. He clearly has crossover appeal.

He can also be an inspiring speaker who conveys his message with conviction and in a way that makes people trusting of him and confident in him. As a conservative he has refrained from the wholesale selling out of the ideals that many in the G.O.P. have done over the past five or so years. Just one example can be demonstrated by the size of Indiana’s government.

While governments in most other states has increased in size, Mitch Daniels has shrunk both the size and cost of government. Currently the state has about 30,000 public employees. That is the smallest number of state employees since 1983.

Another area of distinction for him is in the area of government budgets.

When first coming into office Indiana had an $800 million deficit but Daniels turned it into a surplus of $1.3 billion. Much of this was helped by his reducing the growth rate of state spending from 5.9 percent to 2.8 percent.

The only problem is that Mitch Daniels has stated that he will not ever run for president. That puts a damper on national hopes for him but they have also been the same words uttered by a few people who are now former presidents

Bobby Jindal

Bobby Jindal

As for Jindal his record in Congress proves him to be an ideally strong conservative. On issues like abortion, immigration, national security, healthcare, energy, education and on just about every other issues he is right where the right wants a leader to be.

As Louisiana‘s Governor he has maintained his conservative credentials and even reigned in Louisiana‘s state budget problems.

On the downside, Jindal has only been in office since 2007 and during that time, his first, and to date, only appearance on the national stage was a response to President Obama’s State of the Union. In it, Governor Jindal put forward the right message but its delivery fell flat and received rapid fire shots aimed at claiming he was done.

Such is not the case but even Bobby Jindal has admitted that he is a little green and needs more seasoning.

That leaves Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty and Mississippi’s Haley Barbour open for discussion.

Tim Paelenty

Tim Paelenty

Both of these men have produced for their states and both of them are more qualified than President Obama was when he was elected President of the United States.

In Pawlenty we have a strong messenger and practitioner of what he himself has termed, Sam’s Club Republicanism, a combination of social conservatism with working family economic appeal.

He has governed well, put spending under control and geared state government more towards that which it should be dealing with such as responsible infrastructure planning, maintenance and construction.

If Pawlenty can raise money and attract some of the top tier consultants which Mitt Romney has already attracted to his camp. And if he can raise enough money to insure that his campaign for the presidential nomination is not under funded, thaen Pawlenty’s record, populist approach and appeal could be quite successful. But to get to that point, he should really start reaching for more national exposure now.

He should start interpreting his alternative policies to the Obama administration and allow himself to become the natural face of the G.O.P.. In him is the ability to not only shape the message that we as a party need to get out but he also has the ability to shape the policies that we can center that message around. If Tim Pawlenty were to take the lead now on issues like healthcare, taxes, the bailout, energy and job growth, many others will line up behind him as they begin to see that Pawlenty is the figure who can part the seas for the rest of them.

The same applies to Haley Barbour of Mississippi.

He has a folksy, “get’er done” way about himself and an appealing record of accomplishment for his state on budgetary control.

Before, during and after the ravaging of the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina, Barbour effectively prepared his state for it and efficiently dealt with its aftermath. Louisiana was the only state to be hit as hard or harder by Hurricane Katrina and in Louisiana’s case it was prepared for and handled so horrifically that its Governor, Kathleen Blanco was practically forced out of office and ultimately rejected even for consideration to a second term in office.

Both Pawlenty and Barbour have the perfect opportunity to step up and become the leader and messenger that we need. Both of them have the unique ability to convincingly demonstrate to Americans that with the right policy direction, rather than being in our way, government can get out of our way and be an effective tool for insuring opportunity, independence and an enduring quality of life with economic freedom and growth.

Mitch Daniels has the ability to do so too and probably better than any of them………….if he wanted to.

Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush

Of course three, now former governor’s have this same ability and opportunity. Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and dare I say it, Jeb Bush of Florida.

Jeb has put off any attempts for the White House for now. After two Bush’s in the Oval Office over the course of sixteen years, the obvious notion that the nation is Bushed out is a pretty safe bet.

As the most conservative member of the Bush family to have served in office, Jeb has been a truly effective leader and one that Floridians would have never let go if they had the chance to reelect.

Palin has promise but after resigning from office early she also now has problems. None of which can’t be overcome. Her chances to be the national face and voice of the party is fifty-fifty, much like her standing among Americans. They either love her or hate her.

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin

Now out of office, Palin must walk a very careful line that seeks to diffuse those that hate her and broaden the numbers of those who love her. She will also have to make sure that she is taken seriously at all times. There will be no room for her to flub on any issue and while using her appealing folksy ways, she must convey a command of the issues and demonstrate a breadth of knowledge and competence that can in no way be denied by anyone who hears her. If she can deliver her small government, Washington outsider, equal opportunity, freedom based policy messages, she could out shop Tim Pawlenty when it comes to being a Sam’s Club Republican.

The largest elephant in the room though is Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

He is definitely running for President and he is by all measures the current frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

In addition to being a successful businessman in his own right, Romney is also a managerial genius. He took the once derailed, scandal ridden, over budget and chaotic build up of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and turned it into a smooth running, ethical and profitable display of organizational perfection.

Beyond that credit is Romney’s term as Governor in a liberal state that is called home by such liberal giants as Michael Dukakis, John Kerry, Barney Frank and Ted Kennedy. The liberal bastion of Massachusetts is no place for a conservative Republican to sprout out from but Romney played politics and outmaneuvered his Democrat opponent.

However; in doing so Mitt created a few problems.

A now long past conversion from pro-abortion rights to pro-life has left many right-to-lifers wondering if he is sincere on the issue. Why right-to-lifers find it hard to believe that someone would agree with them after witnessing a personal family struggle with the issue, itself is hard to understand. But so be it.

On gay rights, previous statements made when Mitt ran against Ted Kennedy for the U.S. Senate and in his actions as Governor during Massachusetts first in the nation “Gay Marriage” fight have critics claiming that on that issue, Romney experienced another political conversion.

The two issues together give Romney naysayers the opportunity to call him a flip-flopper.

But that charge only adds height to Mitt’s biggest hurdle. Obamacare.

As Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was a central figure in the creation of a state run healthcare program that made the purchase of health insurance by state residents mandatory. The concept was based on the principle that if everyone was covered, healthcare costs would be less expensive. The problem is that such a law of supply and demand doesn’t reconcile when a government bureaucracy is over seeing it.

It would be easy to suggest that Romney did the best he could with a liberal state and an overwhelmingly liberal dominated state legislature and that is true to an extent. However Mitt’s fingerprints are allover this one and to make matters worse he was the first governor to implement a plan of this type anywhere. The episode does make the case for the federal government to avoid the creation of a socialized healthcare program. It also makes a case for allowing experimentation within each individual state until an efficient model is found and emulated by all the states. But when it comes to Massachusetts, this episode proves that socialized medicine is not the way to go and for Romney the problem now is that it was his plan which demonstrated why it is not the way to go.

There are other factors involved though.

The state legislature and Romney’s successor, Governor Deval Patrick did tinker with the original program. They tinkered with it a lot and many of the healthcare reforms made in the original plan have changed from what Romney had influenced. Nevertheless the issue is Romney’s to defend against and explain. It exposes his Achilles heal in any 2012.

Romney’s best defense against possible Republican opponents who were or are governors would probably be “I tried and it failed and I learn from mistakes, whereas my fellow governors up here never even tried to make healthcare more accessible and affordable.”

This assessments of Republican leadership prospects leaves us with the following conclusion.

As it looks now, the most likely and promising of likely individuals to choose from will be a field that consists of Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour and John Thune.

Others will run and some from the above mentioned group may not. But if the six that I bring up were to be the field of candidates for the Republican nomination, it would indeed be a hotly contested race that will also undoubtedly inject a great many substantial policy models and directions that will help to fuel the conservative movement.

But that isn’t till 2012.

What will become of 2010?

Short of any of the possibly convincing figures discussed being ballsy enough to attempt to become our national voice right now, as it currently stands, there is no one person who can do it while also having the ability to enjoin all of the party leadership including the senate and house in a national strategy.

Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich

Someone needs to be able to bring all levels of leadership together and get them all on the same page to push one strategy.

It must be a strategy similar to Newt Gingrich’s “Contract With America”.

Critics can malign the “Contract With America” all they want but it worked.

After forty years in the wilderness, Newt Gingrich, along with the help of a faltering Clinton administration, brought Republicans in to the majority in the house. And the new generation that came into power with that “Contract” actually adhered to it, at least for as long as Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House.

As for who can be both the voice of the party and the unifying force for a national Republican strategy, politics being

Mitch Daniels

Mitch Daniels

 what it is will prohibit everyone from getting behind any potential Republican candidate for President. Each camp and their supporters will not permit any one of them to get the attention and credit for bringing us back.

So this role must be played by a neutral party. It must be someone who is not going to run for President in 2012 and who will not put the momentum of the popularity that will come with this role behind any potential nominee until they have won the nomination.

This person must also have the persona we need to effectively be a persuasive point man. They must be respected with a proven record and untarnished by any of the negative stereotypes that the left can easily pin on Republicans.

All of this points to one man. One man who, if he really means what he says, fits all of the qualities that are required for becoming the coalescing figure that wont be a threat to any single Republican’s presidential ambitions or be a threat to any senate or house leaders power over their Republican conference.

That person is Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

If he truly has no desire to run for President, he is the person that can help Republicans deliver a national message which counters the overspending, over controlling liberal government enemy.

With him as the face of the party that delivers a Reagan-like message dealing with the Republican alternatives to the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda, the party can rebuild and have a shot at winning more seats instead of losing more seats in 2010.

The stars would be aligned perfectly if Republican National Chairman Mike Steele could get representatives of the Republican Governors Association and of the house and senate together and onboard, hammer out what could be generally be called “The American Agenda” and let Mitch Daniels be the national point man for it.

This would allow for the type of cohesive leadership plan that, with accurate precision, can get Republicans back on message and working together while the message is being delivered loud and clear through what would be a voice from the heartland. A governor’s voice. One with crossover appeal who has been an effective leader with a proven record, cut state budgets, reduced the size and scope of government, practiced a true commitment to both family and conservative values and whom, if he seriously will not run for President himself, is no threat to any other potential candidate. Daniels is the best man for the job and one of the only people who could do that job as well and as convincingly as him.

With whom that messenger should be established, in Part II, we will deal with exactly what that message must be and the Republican organizational plan to deliver and implement it.

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Is The Tide Already Turning?

rasmussen-trust-20090608

Bookmark and Share    The latest Rasmussen poll of 1,000 likely voters gives Republicans a more favorable opinion than Democrats in 6 out of 10 crucial issues facing our nation. On one of those issues, abortion, Americans are just about as split on who they prefer to handle that issue as they are on the issue itself. 41% of the voters favor Democrat’s position on abortion while another 41% approve of the Republican’s approach to it.

On the issues of health care, education and social security Republicans poll a 37% approval rating in each of the three categories while Democrats poll a positive rating on those issues ranging from 43 to 47 %.

When it comes to national security though, Republicans receive the highest approval rating of either party on any of the ten issues presented to those polled.

51% approve of the GOP’s national security abilities while the party in power can only muster a meager 36%.

With smaller but still significant margins, Republicans also receive higher approval over Democrats on taxes, immigration, ethics and even the issue that many feel cost Republicans at the voting booths…………..Iraq.

These are all pretty good indications of an electorate that is beginning to realize that the Democrat messiah and his apostles really can’t walk on water or turn it into wine. Months into the one party rule of Democrats and the luster of their promise seems to be wearing off.

Perhaps the most telling evidence of that assessment comes from the results dealing with what is considered the most important issue of the moment, the issue du jour,………..the economy.obama_geitner2

On the economy Democrats receive a 39% approval rating while Republicans have the confidence of 45% of the voters.

That is a margin of 6%. Pretty slim., yet pretty significant given the fact that the last campaign cycle largely blamed Republicans under President Bush for the economic stresses that we cycled into.

Such a reversal of opinion can only be due to the fact that after two years in control of Congress and a few months in control of the White House, Democrats are slowly beginning to own the economy that they are manipulating. That and the fact that there are no Republicans in charge of any federal policies help to give ownership of the situation to the Democrats in power. You can argue that Democrats inherited the problem but you would have to look hard to find anything that Democrats wanted to do differently than President Bush other than even more spending and raising taxes.

Now I will not attempt to defend Bush’s spending policies or weak Republican congressional leadership which went along to get along but one can not try to claim that Democrat hands are clean and now, 6 months into the new year, Americans are beginning to realize that when it comes to the economy Democrat hands have as much blood on them as anyone else, if not more.

The public has seen a Democrat push for spending, spending, spending and more spending. Today the federal government is paying for everything from cell phones to the poor to the takeover of the American auto industry. It may have taken a few months but people are beginning to realize that spending is not exactly the way to strengthen our economy, especially when we don’t have the money to spend.

Congressman Eric Cantor

Congressman Eric Cantor

Add to that the rising to the top of newer Republican leaders like Eric Cantor of Virginia and you have a swing in thinking that gives Republicans an edge on an issue that they were recently losing on.

As pessimistic as the American electorate may be about politicians, they are inherently an optimistic bunch that is looking for any excuse to believe that someone in Washington can act responsibly and apply logic to the bureaucracy and legislative process.

This 6% swing in opinion on who can handle the economy best is not a major development. It is after all one poll and we would need a few different polls of a few different pool of voters over a prolonged period of time to actually prove that this trend does exist. But the point is, if democrats continue passing their hail Mary spending policies and Republicans like Eric Cantor can pull the GOP back to their fiscal conservative roots, the electorate might just begin to feel that the grass is greener on the other side of the aisle come the mid term elections in 2010.

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RACE TO LEAD GOP’S FUTURE SHAPING UP

As the McCain led defeat of Republicans sets in, high hopes rise. As the race for President ended, the battle for the GOP’s future has begun.

Several days ago, I disclosed the likely contenders for Republican National Committee Chairman and some of those mentioned are beginning to fire their first shots.

antanuzislogon1One of those touted to want the job, Michigan Republican State Committee Chairman Saul Anuzis, has fired up a web site for the job .

A name that I did not list among the seven most mentioned contenders was former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. I for one, don’t think that Newt has a desire to reenter the political fray. I know and appreciate that he is completely involved in the ideological fight and the battle of ideas that he relishes in the more realistic world of the free, private sector. But I do not anticipate his willingness to actually get back into the political arena.

Would his return be welcomed? That’s not a question for Democrats. They picked the leader of their party when Barack Obama became President-Elect Barack Obama. It is a question for Republicans to answer.

As a Republican myself, I would welcome Newt‘s involvement. He is an asset. He knows politics and he knows the issues. He also puts the party, as well as the nation, before himself. He demonstrated that when after Republicans lost some seats in the House of Representatives back in the late 90’s, he offered his resignation as speaker. He did so because the media made him more important than the issues he was dealing with. He felt that he was such a lightening rod, that his continued role would take away from the issues we had to deal with.

Years later, now that he is not involved in the legislative post he once held, the party leadership role might be just right for him, as well as the GOP.

Of course, the left will begin every campaign that they run in 2010 and beyond, with the name “Newt Gingrich”. They will continue the demonization process of Gingrich and the GOP as they try to put an angelic face on themselves. But, will that have a bearing on the effective direction that Newt could put the party on?

The public image that Democrats will try to create for Republicans with Newt Gingrich’s face as the RNC chairman, would have an impact on initial public perception. But would the negative impact of anti-Newt, liberal propaganda outweigh the positive effect of Gingrich’s leadership for the party?

In the long term, probably not, but this, I can’t I can’t be sure of.

I do know Newt Gingrich understands what the GOP stands for and he knows how to shape the arguments and messages that we need. He is also capable of employing the right people to help the RNC articulate that message. Additionally, he helps reaffirm the base when it comes to where the party is going. Newt represents the conservative political thinking that many feel the party has strayed from……a straying away that coincided with the decline of Republican political preeminence since his departure from the congressional stage. He could also create great cause for many disaffected libertarians to join the Republican ranks.

Right now the party needs direction. Not just organizational direction in setting a strategic plan for future elections but also direction of purpose. We need to make that which differentiates us from Democrats clear. Over the past 5 or 6 years the lines of difference have been blurred. For one thing we had an incumbent Republican President who was about as fiscally conservative as Imelda Marcos in a shoe store. For another thing, we had Republican elected officials who allowed Democrats to get the upper hand when it comes to rhetoric denouncing the wars we are in. Many Republicans backed away from their public defense of our war efforts, fearful that too many voters were questioning it’s worthiness.  The sad fact being that too many elected officials allow themselves to be fearful of perceptions and unconcerned with their convictions.  Too many lack the cojones to use their convictions and stand up to wrongly held public perceptions.  That however, is not a fault possessed by Newt Gingrich

So we need someone who can help distinguish the differences between us and Democrats.
Newt could do for us if he chose to. He could actually energize the forces and he has proven to be capable of organizing national campaigns that promote the application of conservative legislative principles.

It’s difficult to make a decision when you do not yet know all your options, so although I am inclined to embrace Newt Gingrich’s wisdom, innovation capabilities and sense of ideological conviction, I reserve my own final conclusion until I know who else is wanting the job of Chairman. I refer to the word “wanting” because there are groups seeking to recruit some names. I do not want someone who has to be convinced that they should be the chairman of the RNC. I want someone who wants it and wants it for all the right reasons. Someone who wants to do the hard work and wants to fight for our cause.

I admire some of the names out there. People like former Maryland Lt. Governor Mike Steele of GOPAC.

I agree with him on most all issues and I appreciate the messages that he uses in trying to bring the point home. Of course being African-American, if Steele is selected to be chairman, the loony, left, libs will say that his being black was the only reason we picked him, but you know what?……I really don’t care what inconsequential, liberal, loudmouths think. They will be fighting the titular leader of their party, President-Elect Obama, as they try to force him to lead from the left instead of the middle. So they have their own battle to wage. This one is between us republicans……”No Liberals Allowed”….thank you.

In any event I have no objection to Mike Steele for the spot. He is a good, loud voice but based on abilities between him and Newt, I lean towards Newt.
In either case, both of these guys, as pointed out in the Washington Times, have not gone public with their desires. They seem to be wrangling behind the scenes and hoping to create a public yearning for their expertise that makes them humbly answer some sort of call to duty. If Gingrich continues to be coy and Mike Steele makes it clear that he wants the job, he’s got my support.

Two of my favorite choices would be Mitt Romneywho has almost as much of the ideological qualities and articulation abilities that Newt Gingrich has, but without the image problem and baggage. Former Maryland Governor Bob Erhlich is also a talented favorite of mine who has the ability to help us reclaim our ideological strengths. However, neither of these two have indicated the desire to be the new chairman and as for Romney, I would rather see him gear up for a run for President in 2012 then get bogged down in partisan politics. Right now, him and Sarah Palin need to convince me which will best qualified for our presidential nomination, so both should remain focused on that.

In regards to one of those who have made their RNC leadership intentions clear, Michigan Republican State Committee Chairman Saul Anuzis has potential but so does South Carolina Republican Chair Katon Dawson Chairman and Florida’s GOP Chairman Jim Greer. But I do commend Anuzis for naot playing any games and making his intentions clear. Unlike him, Dawson has been using the slogan “Renew, Reform, Restore,” in a survey that he has mailed out to a few hundred national committee members, the members who will elect the new chairman. Greer has been on the phones and testing the water.

All of these people have produced positive Republican results in their states. Of course though, Florida and South Carolina have fairly positive atmospheres for conservative oriented causes and campaigns. Saul Anuzis is relatively successful in a state that is not quite as open and friendly to Republicans as his counterparts in the South. To me, that shows that Saul Anuzis has plenty of grit and the type of underdog tenacity that the GOP needs nationally.

All of this speculation and conjecture is nice but there exists a very crucial question that we, as a party, must answer before we select someone to lead our party. What direction do we want the party to go in? Knowing the direction we want to go in could help us decide which leader is best suited to lead us in that direction.

Part of the answer to that question lies not in the race for RNC Chairman. It lies in the Republican leadership of the house and senate.

If our elected Republicans in congress, the guys on the front line of the ideological battle in government, elect the status quo to house and senate minority leadership, than we can write off any hopes for increasing political power in the near term.

People like Eric Cantor of Virginia need to win election as the Republican whip and I for one would like to Indiana’s Mike Pence assume overall leadership of the house.

On the Senate side, South Dakota’s John Thune is a favorite of mine. He has solid credentials and great vision. Unfortunately, the senate is an institution that offers less opportunities to young guns. Seniority rules there.

The logistics of the fact that US senators are elected from an entire state causes individual senators to be less cutting edge and more moderate than their counterparts in the house, who get elected from a segment of the electorate in their home state, that may have more extreme views than do the entirety of a state. But the legislative leadership that republicans have in congress will have a lot to do with the effectiveness of whoever is chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Our leaders in the house and senate must be leading legislative efforts that are in sync with the direction and message that the party is taking. If we, as a party, are preaching spend less, drill more, reduce government intrusiveness and fight harder, it won’t be believed if congressional Republicans are approving Democrat budgets that are full of increased social welfare and government programs, limiting our abilities to exploit natural resources and accepting retreat on any front in the war on terror.

We need legislative leaders who are of the mind of those who were a part of the ‘94 Republican revolution (which was orchestrated, sponsored and led by Newt Gingrich) that took congressional control away from the liberal party. If our congressional Republicans were of that same thinking now, half the battle would be over.  Mike Pence, Eric Cantor and John Thune are just exceptional examples of that thinking and are the type of legislative leadership we need.

Ultimately, as for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee. I would like to see a power sharing effort that involves Gingrich, Steele, Dawson, Anuzis and Romney.

Together I would like to see them hammer out the road map. Then let Gingrich shape the debate, Mike Steele deliver the message, Katon Dawson and Saul Anuzis organize the ground game and Romney raise the money. Is this likely?………Nope. But it could be ideal.

For now I would be inclined to give Dawson, Anuzis and Steele the inside track and hope that if any one of those three get the job, they will reach out and work with the team that I would like to see work together.

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Don’t say this to a cop

The top 20 things not to say to a cop when he pulls you over.

20. I can’t reach my license unless you hold my beer.

19. Sorry officer, I didn’t realize my radar detector wasn’t plugged in.

18. Aren’t you the guy from the villiage people?

17. Hey, you must have been doing 125 to keep up with me, good job.

16. I thought you had to be in relatively good physical shape to be a police officer.

15. I was going to be a cop, but I decided to finish high school instead.

14. Bad cop. No donut.

13. You’re not going to check the trunk, are you?

12. Gee, that gut sure doesn’t inspire confidence.

11. Didn’t I see you get your butt kicked on cops?

10. Is it true that people become cops because they are too dumb to work at McDonalds?

9. I pay your salary

8. So uh, you on the take or what?

7. Gee officer, that’s terrific. The last officer only gave me a warning.

6. Do you know why you pulled me over? Okay, just so one of us does.

5. I was trying to keep up with traffic. Yes, I know there is no other cars around, that’s how far they are ahead of me.

4. What do you mean have I been drinking? You are the trained specialist.

3. Well, when I reached down to pick up my bag of crack, my gun fell off of my lap and got lodged between the brake and the gas pedal, forcing me to speed out of control.

2. Hey, is that a 9mm? That’s nothing compared to this 44 magnum.

1. Hey, can you give me another one of those full cavity searches?

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