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President Obama’s State-by-State Job Approval Numbers Mean He’s Headed for a 1 Term Presidency

Bookmark and Share Gallup recently released their annual state-by-state presidential approval numbers and the results paint several pretty dismal pictures for the President, pictures that reflects the overall dismal economic condition that that the nation is in.reside
According to the analysis the President received a plurality of approval from residents of only the District of Columbia and 10 states, while his job approval was below 50% in the remaining forty states. Furthermore; in a majority of them, his approval was well below 45%.

This analysis is particularly troublesome given that while the President’s job approval rating nationally is below the 50% mark, the President’s reelection rests not within the national opinion as much as it does within the collective electoral college results that arrived at through the opinions reflected in each individual state. And while a Real Clear Politics average of national polls put the Presidents approval rating at 46.5% and his disapproval rating is at 47.9%, what the Gallup state-by-state analysis shows is that the President’s challenge is actually tougher than the national polls indicate.

Gallup points out that President Obama received a 44% job approval rating in his third year in office, which is down from 47% in his second year. If that trend were to continue, Ron Paul could be nominated by the G.O.P. and probably defeat President Obama handily. But reality dictates that Ron Paul will never see the light of day as a Republican presidential nominee, and that President Obama’s numbers are not likely to trend downward as he embarks upon a billion dollar campaign that will seek to rehabilitate his own image while eviscerating the image of his Republican opponent.

However, if the President finds his reelection effort failing to reverse the trend of his existing numbers and change the opinions that voters have of him now, he is doomed. Based upon the current trend, If the President were to only carry those states in the Gallup poll which he he had a net positive approval rating in 2011, he would lose the 2012 election with 215 electoral votes, to the Republican nominee’s 323 electoral votes.

A White House 2012 breakdown of the Gallup study demonstrates how daunting a challenge lies ahead for President Obama.

Based upon his current state-by-state approval ratings, if we give President Obama each state where his rating is at 50% or above, he would lose the election by winning 159 electoral college votes from D.C., California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont. The Republican nominee would receive 379 electoral votes, 109 more than needed.

But White House 2012 tried to be a bit more realistic and decided to breakdown these numbers down by giving President Obama the benefit of the doubt by assuming he can turn his numbers around in all those states where his approval was as low as 45%.

That was not only generous, it was also responsible for a fairly more accurate picture of things.

Regardless of the numbers, there are some states that will not likely vote Republican regardless of how bad a job President Obama is doing or who the Republican presidential nominee is. States like Washington and Oregon on the West Coast will probably remain dark blue and the president may easily turn around his downward trending approval ratings among the liberal sympathisers of those states. That accounts for 19 more electoral votes. Then you can easily see the President take Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan in the Midwest. That’s 36 more electoral votes. Then because his numbers are barely above 45% in Iowa, let’s say he can pull off some magic there, a state which he won in 2008. That’s 6 more. Then on the East Coast, you’ll find Maine, and Rhode Island remaining true blue. That’s another 8 electoral votes. And throw in Pennsylvania too if for no other than reason than the Southeast portion of the state may still be strongly under the President’s spell. That’s 20 more for a total shift of 89 electoral votes which gives President Obama 248 to the G.O.P.’s 290, a figure that still gives the win to the Republican nominee with 20 more electoral votes than needed.

With 29 electoral votes, this would make Florida the key to the President’s winning reelection. Without it he needs Ohio with 18 electoral votes and at least one of the following other states; Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, or North Carolina.

Those four states are not goof for him right now, but he has better numbers in them than he does in other states like New Hampshire or Arizona.

But even these state’s will be hard for Obama. Currently his job approval is 40.4% in Colorado, 41.7% in New Mexico, 41.3% in Nevada, and 43.7% in North Carolina. Meanwhile his approval numbers in Florida and Ohio are at 43.6% and 42.1% respectively.

While turning these numbers around will not be impossible in the course of the lifetime that politically speaking, exists between now and November, doing so will be quite a dramatic achievement. One that may require not just a well run campaign on the President’s part, but also a badly managed campaign on the part of whoever his Republican opponent is.

On a sidenote, I can not figure out for the life of me how the President’s job approval rating went up in a place like Wyoming. It went up slightly in Connecticut and Maine, but those two states are known for the lunacy of their liberalism and in many cases their socialism. But Wyoming?

As for the final outcome, no one can honestly say they know how the election will end. But based upon a bit of instinct, the issues that will play out during the campaign, and the existing numbers, I offer my own following projections.

It should be noted that if this scenario does come to fruition, there is the potential for an Electoral College crisis, for it offers the possibility of a tie in the Electoral College:

However I do not suspect that such a tie will occur because of the battleground states that I believe this will come down to, I foresee Republicans winning Pennsylvania, Colorado, and New Mexico.

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Santorum Ad Tells Us What the “DEAL” with Newt Gingrich is

Bookmark and Share Fresh off of his poor third place showing in Florida, Rick Santorum is trying to take advantage of Newt Gingrich’s big 15% second place loss to Mitt Romney in the Sunshine State by reclaiming the title of “conservative alternative” to Mitt Romney, the big winner in Tuesday’s primary contest [see the ad below this post].

The ad entitled “Deal”, is a very powerful condemnation of Gingrich which catches you off guard with opening arguments that would have you think the ad is comparing Santorum to his three Republican rivals, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul. It claims that the three politicians in question support legislative policies which are conservative anathema; Cap-and-Trade, amnesty, and the government bailouts. It would be bad enough for Santorum’s Republican rivals to have to wear all three of those issues around their necks, but the surprise comes when it is revealed that three politicians in question are not Romney, Paul, and Gingrich but rather President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Newt Gingrich.

The surprise comparison is twice as debilitating for Gingrich because while you might expect Mitt Romney to be accused of being too liberal, this ad avoids Romney and shockingly puts Newt Gingrich in an entirely differently league, one that puts him directly in the room with iconic liberals Obama and Pelosi.

The ad happens to be one of the most effective of this campaign cycle to date. It is produced well and is quite creative. It also presents Santorum’s case against Newt in a way that avoids being overly outlandish and to the point of being too hard to believe.

Yet while the ad is quite good, it is also indicative of the unfortunate position that Rick Santorum finds himself in. This ad pits him against Newt Gingrich, not frontrunner Mitt Romney, and it signals the fact that Santorum knows he is still competing in a primary within the primary………. the conservative primary within the Republican primary. It demonstrates that Rick Santorum is in a desperate fight to just get in to the race against Mitt Romney.

The good news for Santorum is that it is quite possible that conservatives have not yet ensconced themselves in Newt’s camp and Rick could still possibly win over a majority of them. One most notable conservative to recently go to Santorum’s side is Michele Malkin, a talking head with a considerably large conservative following. But at the same time it is a little late in this race for Santorum to hope his horse places or shows when the only ticket he can cash in on is the one to win.

But hope springs eternal and this ad is has a spin on it that forces me to give Rick Santorum a lot of credit, even though I believe it will help Mitt Romney than it will help Santorum.

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Romney Wins Florida But Newt Makes It Clear That There are “46 More States to Go”

Bookmark and Share As is the norm for Florida, the Sunshine State has again made electoral history. For the first time, the Republican winner of the South Carolina primary, lost the Florida primary. What it means in the long term is uncertain, but what it means in the short term is quite apparent. Nationally, Republicans have no real clear favorite for President yet.

Still, Mitt Romney’s win was significant and he deserve credit for orchestrating it. He spent $17 million to do it, but he did it and in the end, especially with 50 delegates now in his column, that is all that matters. However, while Romney once again becomes the frontrunner for the nomination, you will have to forgive me if do not declare this race over yet.

With little more than 5% of the delegates allocated so far, there is no denying that the race is not over yet, but it was made even more obvious to me after hearing Romney deliver his victory speech, and after Gingrich and Santorum gave their concession speeches.

In his speech, Mitt Romney rose to the occasion and sounded enthusiastic, but humble, and most of all, he sounded presidential. He delivered a speech that allowed people to truly begin to get comfortable with the idea of him being the candidate who can take the fight to President Barack Obama and beat him. He didn’t seal the deal, but his Florida victory speech helped make people more willing to accept the now almost inevitability of his being nominated for president. And now back in the frontrunner position, Romney offered not only a brief glimpse of the potential that exists in his carrying the Republican banner, he even took some steps to put the ugliness of the intraparty battle for the nomination behind him by eloquently making the point that “a competitive primary does not divide us, it prepares us.”

But in his facing the fact that he came in second place to Romney with at least 15% less of the vote than Romney, Newt Gingrich offered a speech which oozed of defiance and held a true thirst for not just beating Barack Obama, but for bringing about the type of reforms that Americans want, but as of late, have not often come to see in either Republicans or Democrats. He also provided some of the best reasons for his candidacy to date.

While limiting his negative attacks to calling Romney a Massachusetts moderate, Newt introduced what was seemingly a very heartfelt, personal contract with the American people, a spin on the now famous 1994 Contract With America that he spearheaded and guided through Congress.

Newt’s personal contract consists of two parts. The first part is conditional and it requires that the people elect conservatives to Congress. If they do that, Newt promises that before he takes office, he will request that on January 3rd, 2013, the new Congress stays in session and immediately repeals Obamacare, Dodd-Franks, and Sarbanes Oxley, three bills that are being viewed as among the most detrimental legislative initiatives effecting our economy. Gingrich vows that if the American people elect strong conservative majorities to Congress, those three measures can be repealed by Congress and on the day of his inauguration, he will sign the legislation to rid us of those massive government burdens. The problem there is that unless it is veto proof majority, President Obama will have the opportunity to veto it before Gingrich has the opportunity to sign it. So Newt might want to hold back on his request for january 3rd vote on those issues.

The rest of Newt’s personal contract is a promise to promptly enact a series of constitutional executive orders that will consist of immediately abolishing the existence of all White House czars, an immediate order to commence construction of the Keystone Pipeline project, an executive order opening the American embassy in Jerusalem and essentially acknowledging that divided city as Israel’s capital, another executive order which would reinstate the Reagan policy that did not allow federal money to fund any abortions, anywhere in the world, and last but not least, he promised to enact an order that repeals any and all of the anti-religious acts enacted by the Obama Administration in what Newt described as the President’s war on religion.

Newt’s speech was far from a concession speech, but what it did do was offer voters some good reasons for why Newt should not give up. With a room full of supporters waving signs that reminded voters that there are 46 more states which have yet to vote, Newt demonstrated that he still has what it takes to continue contesting this election.

The other speech of note came from third place finisher Senator Rick Santorum.

Even though Santorum placed a very distant third with only 13% of the vote in Florida, his speech actually provided a good rationale for his own continued participation in this race.

Knowing full well that he was not going to have a strong showing in Florida, Santorum elected to make his primary night remarks from Nevada, where he is campaigning in advance of that state’s Caucus which takes place this Saturday.

Taking advantage of the very rarely traveled high road in their primary contest, Santorum exploited the bitter battle between Romney and Gingrich by looking like the adult in the room who had his eye on the real prize…….defeating President Obama.

He stated that he was not going to criticize the personal and public successes achieved by both Gingrich and Romney as they have done to one another. Instead he declared that republicans deserve better, and that he was going to focus on the issues important to the American people. However, Santorum did argue that Newt failed at taking the momentum he had coming out South Carolina and converting it in to establishing himself as the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. According to Santorum, Newt proved to make himself the issue and the American people do not need a President who is the issue, but rather a President who can address the issues and solve the problems surrounding them.

All three speeches were actually quite good and they all provided a solid foundation and legitimate reasons for this nomination contest to remain competitive. The problem is that Santorum and Gingrich will still have to find the resources it takes to convince voters that it really isn’t over. If Newt can finally stick to the themes he struck in his speech in Florida, themes based on his being the anti-establishment candidate and a true conservative leader capable of achieving very real and very bold reforms, he can survive long enough to see another victory, but it may not happen for another month or more and the longer he goes without a victory, the harder it will be for him to achieve one.

Right now, the only thing we can be certain of is that Mitt Romney is the one in the catbird seat tonight. The real problem I see here though is that Romney is still the candidate which for numerous reasons, many Republicans seem to be settling for. Such uninspired support makes it quite possible for someone like Newt to turn things around by actually inspiring people and causing voters say, you know what? I don’t have to settle for Mitt. We can do better.”

Until Mitt Romney is willing to stop playing it safe, and proves that he too can be a bold leader, he will remain vulnerable to being overshadowed by the boldness of Newt Gingrich’s vision and red meat agenda. For Mitt it is now a judgement call and a gamble. Does he continue to play it safe and rely on his giant campaign war chest to suppress the amount of support Gingrich and risk the possibility of Newt turning things around again? Or does he step out of his safety zone and make an attempt to prove that he is more than just a wealthy Republican establishment candidate?

My experience with Romney leads me to believe that he will continue to play it safe with the expectation that Newt will be do just the opposite and a loss it all by taking one too many risks.

On a final note, yes I know that I did not mention Ron Paul and that I did not include his concession speech. And no it is not because I am afraid that if I give him any ink, people will flock to his side and elect him President. The reason I did not include Ron Paul is because he has yet to become a significant factor in this election and because he said absolutely nothing new in his speech following his single digit, last place showing in Florida.

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Operation Old TEA Bag: The Democrat’s Hail Mary Pass

Bookmark and Share    The recent special election in New York’s 9th Congressional District did more than just elect a Republican to a seat that  hasn’t been in the hands of the G.O.P. since 1923. It also shed some light on the desperation of Democrats and what direction they will throw the ball in when they try to salvage their 2012 election fortunes with a last minute Hail Mary pass.

In the race that pitted liberal incumbent Democrat Assemblyman David Weprin against retired businessman, Republican Bob Turner, Democrats struggled to find the issues that their candidate could run on to win voters over. Initially they did not even do that. At first it was assumed that as always, whichever Democrat they ran, would sail to victory and succeed sex texting addict Anthony Weiner. But then in August, Democrat polling showed something strange. It showed that Democrat Weprin was not getting the amount of support that Democrats usually get. This then suggested to them that they actually had a real and competitive election on their hands.

So they got to work and started to develop the issues they would campaign on.

What they found was that Weprin and Democrats had no positions on the issues that would excite voters and convince them that Weprin was their man. Even in a relatively liberal district like the ninth, there were no issues which Democrats held a popular position on.

There was the issue of gay marriage which Weprin recently supported the passage of in the New York State Assembly. But with a heavy Hassidic Jewish population in the ninth, legalizing marriage between two people of the same sex was far from popular.

There was the issue of our national debt. On that issue, Weprin held a typical Democrat line which supported big government and big government social programs. But even in a left leaning district like the one that spans the working class neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens, voters know that our debt has become a deepening crisis for our nation and as such, they understand that more government spending is not realistic. That left Weprin with the opportunity to use the traditional liberal language of tax increases to pay for all the spending. But in the middleclass communities of NY-9, tax increases, even for those who earn $250,000 or more, doesn’t really go over well. The ninth congressional district is comprised largely of those people in the middle……the ones who get hit from both ends and are not poor enough to benefit from government social programs, but are not wealthy enough to take advantage of the tax loopholes and credits that the political establishment has arranged for. So these people did not want to hear the Obama “make the rich pay their fare share” rhetoric. Many of them are afraid that a liberal definition of “rich” would include them.

There was the issue of immigration. However on that issue, Weprin has a liberal “Dream Act” position that does not solve the illegal immigration issue that impacts on his district’s residents. They do not want their money going to fulfilling the dreams of illegal immigrants. These people, many of which remember seeing the World Trade Center from their windows and worked within its shadows, want our borders secured.

So like many other issues, that was out.

There was Israel. After all, with a population of Jewish voters that is disproportionately larger than in many other districts throughout the nation, as an Orthodox Jew himself, Weprin could certainly and convincingly argue his support for Israel and ride high on the popularity of that point. Unfortunately though, being a Democrat, most voters linked Weprin to President Obama’s unfriendly policies towards Israel. And Weprin’s argument to voters that they should trust him on israel because he would fight for Israel from within, didn’t have wings.

Short of a total condemnation of President Obama by Weprin, the Jewish vote in his district simply viewed Weprin as a congressional rubberstamp for Obama’s polcies.

The further Democrats went down the list of issues important to the middleclass voters of the ninth, the more they realized that there were no issues which allowed them to present a position that they could derrive district-wide support for.

So what is a candidate with a competitive election ahead of him to do?

Why, resort to the liberal playbook, of course!

That meant scare citizens. That meant to try and distort the Republican position to preserve Social Security and Medicare for those on it and those expecting to soon  be on them.  It meant denying the Republican position to preserve those programs for future generation with reforms that will strengthen Social Security and medicare. It meant do your best to make vulnerable senior citizens believe that if a Republican won, they would deny them the money that many seniors have come to rely upon.

That was a good start but Weprin and his Democrat strategists and Washington puppet masters needed something else to attract some voters outside of the senior citizen demographic. That’s when the orders from Washington came down. And that is when the strategy to run against the TEA Party came into play.

So in early August Operation Old TEA Bag went into effect. That is when Weprin campaign spokesperson Elizabeth Kerr first argued the following:

“Bob Turner’s doing anything he can to distract voters from his plan to end Medicare as we know it, which would cost seniors in Brooklyn and Queens an extra $6,400 every year,” .

And from there, the tactics to scare senior citizens began

Then when the news that Standard & Poor’s had downgraded the country’s credit rating because of fiscal uncertainty came out and  dominated the headlines, Weprin’s campaign defined Bob Turner as a TEA Party extremist and charged that because of their “irresponsible demands”, “Republican Tea Party extremists” facilitated the downgrade and the fallout from it.

From that point on, the Democrat campaign for Congress in NY-9 began.

It was a constant barrage of trying to make the TEA Party the enemy that voters had to unite against.  It was a never ending campaign to define Bob Turner as the TEA Party candidate. In Between those lines of attack was tossed in the same old scare tactics intended to frighten senior citizens that predate the Reagan Administration.

For his part Bob Turner campaigns argued;

“Career politicians like David Weprin have taxed and spent this country into a crisis. They have jeopardized the entire social safety network by irresponsibly borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend,”

And as one Turner campaign aide put it;

“Businessman Bob Turner is running to protect Social Security and Medicare for every American over 55 years old and to put those essential programs on a sustainable path for everybody younger than that.”

But Bob Turner didn’t just defend himself against Operation Old TEA Bag. He spent most of his time denouncing the Obama policies that even urban, middle-class Democrats have lost faith in. Like the days of Ronald Reagan, Bob Turner found himself addressing a new generation of Reagan Democrats. Democrats who do not appreciate the condition of our nation and do not have faith in the direction their Party is heading in under a liberal President.

Yet as the campaign continued and the polls tightened, D.C. Democrats from the DCCC, DNC, and from the state and local Party apparatus, double-downed on their last hope……Operation Old TEA Bag. Even when only days before the special election was to take and polls showed that Turner turned the tables and was now ahead of Weprin, Democrats found themselves desperately trying to make a success of their fear campaign of senior citizens and their efforts to make the TEA Party the common enemy.

The plan was perfect. It even concluded on a  high note…….a recorded phone call from former President Clinton which tied the TEA Party and Medicare together as he stated “and he’ll oppose the TEA Party plan to destroy Medicare” [see the video below].  But ultimately, what Democrats thought was the perfect strategy, proved to be as unsustainable and useless as their economic policies.

Like driving a car on empty it was a last ditch, desperate attempt to run a camping not on any issues,  just on fear. The only problem is that in the end, senior citizens were less afraid of distortions about Bob Turner than they were of the truth about the current direction our nation is headed. In the end, the voters of the ninth district decided that the TEA Party was not their problem. Democrats were.

Unless  Democrats start singing a different a tune, they will still be the problem in 2012.  And just as Operation Old TEA Bag did not work for them in CD-9,  it will not work for them in the 2012 elections.from the top of the Democrat ticket , to the bottom of the ballot.  However, with little else left in their playbook, I expect the Democrats to do little else but resort to scaring senior citizens and trying to run against the TEA Party. 

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Paying Tribute To the Man Who Sold Reaganomics To Ronald Reagan

Jack F. KempBookmark and Share    Today marks the thirtieth anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s signing of the Kemp-Roth Tax Cut Act of 1981. The bill’s official legislative name was the Economic Recovery Tax Act. The legislation was authored by Jack Kemp in conjunction with Senator William Roth. Both men were co-sponsors of the legislation but Jack Kemp was the main architect and  the man  credited  for  “selling Reaganomics to Ronald Reagan.”    Then Congressman Jack Kemp, had introduced the Economic Recovery Tax Act in the House, several times before  the 1981 legislative session, but Democrat Congressional leaders and a Democrat President failed to move on it.

But once Reagan became President, he took the initiative to act on it and successfully pushed The Kemp-Roth bill through Congress. Were it not for Reagan, the economy-saving legislative initiative may never have passed, but were it not for Jack Kemp, it may never have existed in a way that was quite as strong and definitive as it wound up being.

The Kemp-Roth Tax Cut amended the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 and was responsible for encouraging the economic growth through:

  • The reduction of individual tax rates;
  • By expensing depreciable property; and
  • Creating incentives for savings and other small businesses.

The main features of the Act were responsible for:

  • Reducing the tax rates by 25% over three years;
  • Accelerating depreciation deductions;
  • Indexing of individual income tax parameters;
  • Excluding income of two earner married couple by 10 %;
  • Reducing windfall profit taxes; and
  • And expanding provisions for employees stock ownership plans.

Once enacted, the days of malaise that existed under the old tax code during the Carter years, turned into the days of rejuvenation. It took a while to actually turn the economy around but it didn’t take as long as many predicted and once the economy did turn the corner, it took off.

Jack Kemp is no longer with us , but if he was I am sure he would repeat the following words that he once spoke:

“Every time in this century we’ve lowered the tax rates across the board, on employment, on saving, investment and risk-taking in this economy, revenues went up, not down.”

And he would be right.

We need more leaders like Jack Kemp today, but until one is found, we have the Kemp legacy to help guide us, and hopefully we will soon have leaders who will see that light that Jack Kemp, William Roth, and Ronald Reagan once shed upon us with their faith in less government, less spending, less taxation, and more freedom.

Today however, on this thirtieth anniversary of the signing in to law of the 1981 Economic Recovery Tax Act (ERTA), I ask that you pay homage to Jack Kemp by visiting a Facebook page that has been dedicated to him, his life, his work and his legacy. Please visit the Jack F. Kemp Facebook page and press the “like” button. Show your appreciation for him, his leadership and his belief in people more than government, and the free market than the government bureaucracy

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Governor Chris Christie Hospitalized

Bookmark and Share New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the man that many national polls show Republicans wish could be their presidential nominee was rushed to Somerset Medical Center by his security detail early on Thursday. While in route to a bill signing ceremony regarding open space legislation, the Governor experienced difficulty breathing. Early reports indicated that the detour to the hospital was simply an intentional “abundance of caution”.

Early reports from Governor Christie’s spokesman Michael Drewniak suggest that all indications are that “the governor will be OK.” Christie’s deputy chief of staff, Maria Comella, told The Associated Press that the Governor is “fine and in charge.”

Meanwhile Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno is reportedly in his office and Christie’s wife, Mary Pat, is at her husbands side in the hospital . So far everything on Christie’s schedule for Thursday has been cancelled. This includes his monthly appearance on NJ 101.5 for the “Ask the Governor Show”

Christie, who is 48, overweight, and suffers from asthma for which he uses an inhaler, is said to be undergoing a breathing examination, along with an EKG to rule out heart problems, as well as blood tests and chest X-rays to look for pneumonia or other infections. There is no word yet on any changes to his Friday schedule.

The Governor, who has been in office for only 18 months, has taken Republican circles by storm with his frank talk and bold leadership on spending cuts, entitlement reforms, and an unusually courageous approach to unions which have historically run the show in New Jersey. While Christie has repeatedly declared that he is not ready to run for the White House, Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney recently went public with his desire to seriously consider Christie as a running mate in 2012.

As for the rest of the Republican presidential field, there has not yet been any reaction to the news of the Governor’s hospitalization, but Texas Governor Rick Perry, a potential candidate for President did offer the following tweet in his Twitter feed:

Our prayers are with Governor Christie.”

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Who’s Really Trying to Keep Their Promises to the Voters in the Debt Ceiling debate?

Bookmark and Share“Boehner Plan is not a perfect bill. However, the fact Pelosi, Reid and Obama hate it doggone makes it perfect enough- where is their plan?”

That was Florida Congressman Allan West’s tweet today on Twitter.

I find myself always appreciating the 140 or less character comments that Rep. West leaves on Twitter. They are short but powerful, sharp but honest, and unlike some of the innocuous statements that many of his congressional colleagues often leave on Twitter, West’s twitter feed expresses honest emotions that I sympathize with. In the banner of this blog, is a quote from British politician R.A. Butler which states “Politics is largely a matter of heart”.  I believe that.  While our legilsation must be based on law and not emotion, I find that one’s heart must be true to the cause they undertake in politics, for without the passion that comes with such truth, other temptations can achieve the worst results.  I believe that Allan West’s heart is really in the game and I appreciate his passion.  In the case of his recent Twitter comment,  Congressman West demonstrated a sarcastic but frank assessment of the all consuming budget ceiling debate.

He suggests that if leading liberals like President Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid oppose Speaker Boehner’s approach to the debate over raising the budget ceiling, than it must be good.

I agree.

The left represents a continuation of the same tax and spend policies that have gotten us into this mess. Not that Republicans haven’t helped. They have.

In the past, while many Republicans held firmly in favor of tax cuts and against tax hikes, they have not exhibited the same type of vigilance against spending. But in 2006, and again in 2008 Republicans paid a price for their lack of fiscal responsibility. First they lost control of the House and then they also lost control of the Senate and the White House. But in 2010, with the aide of conservatives who were more concerned with policy than politics, and a TEA Party movement that held conservatives accountable, a new crop of Republicans helped take back control of the House. These new Republicans, of which Allan West is one of, accept the fact that a reform agenda must take hold in Washington, D.C. It is an agenda that must reform the way Washington, D.C. does business, how it spends our money, and reforms the entitlement programs that will soon become the largest part of our ever growing national debt.

That is why, while in the past, there was little to no debate over raising the debt ceiling today it is a debate that is front and center. In the past Democrats, including President Obama when he was in the Senate, voted against raising the debt ceiling when we had a Republican President.  And Republicans voted against doing the same when we had a Democrat President. Each Party played politics with the issue and participated in a blame game that allowed the Party out of power to claim that the Party in power supports a larger national debt.

This time though, the new crop of Republican figures who make up the balance of power in the House, are not willing to play politics. These new members are dead serious about doing exactly what they said they would and what voters elected them to do. As a result, the same old sleights of hand that allowed politicians to avoid making the hard decision and to avoid dealing with what creates our debt, are not being tolerated. This time around, the new, true Republicans in the House are holding the Party leadership’s feet to the fire. That accountability has forced Speaker Boehner to hold firm on a plan which offers spending cuts that are greater than the debt hike……… the chief goal of new era Republicans.

According to the Congressional Budget Office in a report released early this evening, the House Republican proposal will:

  • Cut and cap spending by $917 billion over 10 years – that’s more than the $900 billion debt hike;
  • Cut $22 billion in spending for FY2012
  • and hold spending below FY2010 levels until FY2016;
  • Continue reducing discretionary spending each year compared to President Obama’s budget (by $96 billion in 2012, $118 billion in 2013, $115 billion in 2014, $117 billion in 2015, and so on); and
  • Require Congress to draft proposals that produce reductions of at least $1.8 trillion that help protect programs like Medicare and Social Security from bankruptcy.

To this, Senate Democrats and President Obama say no. They instead want Republicans to go along with a plan that is filled with gimmicks and which the Congressional Budget Office verifies will increase the debt limit by more than it cuts spending while also imposing “caps” that actually increase spending. The CBO report also suggests that the Democrat backed plan is a collection of gimmicks and “mostly fake” cuts.

The discoveries in the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the liberal plan find that “savings from the Democratic plan come in at $500 billion less than advertised, lowering the deficit by $2.2 trillion while giving the president an up-front debt limit increase of $2.7 trillion. It also reveals that of the $2.2 trillion, more than $1 trillion comes from “saving” money that wasn’t going to be spent anyway on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The rest comes from slashing defense spending in a way that would hurt our men and women in uniform, and from what the Wall Street Journal calls “mostly fake spending cuts like less government ‘waste, fraud and abuse’”.

Additionally, the report suggests that the liberal sponsored debt ceiling bill imposes what they call “program integrity” caps that actually spend $18 billion more than they save.

Neither the Republican nor the Democrat plan solves the problem to our mounting debt. That is not something which can really be solved in a debate over the debt ceiling alone. It is a problem which requires a national debate over the federal government’s role in our lives. However; unlike the Obama Reid, Pelosi plan, the G.O.P. plan actually cuts more than the President wants us to spend with another raise in the debt ceiling. While that is in truth, only a drop in the bucket, it is still steering us in the right direction. Whereas the Democrat plan simply amounts to another spend-more-than-we-have act that simply exacerbates a debt problem which a former Secretary of Defense considered so severe that it is a national security issue.

In 2010 one of the key reasons Republicans were elected was based upon a promise to reduce our deficit. In 2008 President Obama was also elected in part based upon his promise to “get serious” about reducing debt.

Now in 2011, the question is, who is trying to keep their promise to the voters?

The answer is pretty clear. The people with a plan that proposes to cut more than we want to spend on increased debt are adhering to the mandate given to them. Those people are the House Republicans like Allan Wes,t who are not leaving any room for politicians to hide from the need to finally confront our debt crisis. And so, under these circumstances, it is time for Democrats to stop telling the American people one thing and banks another. It is time for them to stop lying to, and scaring, senior citizens about their Social Security benefits and checks. It’s time for Democrats to either agree to less spending as opposed to more debt and say yes to the Republican plan which does just that. If they don’t, who will really be the Party of “no”?

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DNC Ad Attacks GOP With CPAC

Bookmark and Share  In what can only be viewed as a sign of things to come, the Democratic National Committee is returning to their attempts at demonizing Republicans by trying to paint their conservative base as heartless fiends and maniacal evil scientists who would dare to experiment with such things as the ability for the free market to improve quality and life in America. In a video put out this week by the DNC, clips from CPAC, the American Conservative Union’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

The video uses clips of cheering CPAC audiences as speakers talk of replacing the E.P.A, abolishing the Board of Education and allowing people to opt out of Social Security. After the evil Republicans have their say, Steny Hoyer and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz are spliced in as they discuss how Democrats are making sure that America is competitive enough to insure is a stronger economic future. The video then goes to a clip of President Obama from his State of the Union Address in which he discusses the entrepreneurial spirit of Americans and how as a nation “we do big things.”

What the ad does not tell you is that for Democrats, those big things are big government and big government programs which replace the American entrepreneurial spirit with bureaucratic mandates and regulations that have a return on the dollar that is less than the cost required to implement.

Another interesting thing to point out is that, the way I see it, the DNC seems to also be banking on President Obama’s supposed great oratory skills as means to appeal to the hearts and minds of the American voter. Not that there is anything wrong with that. A President should be able to do so, but one must be able to tap into American sentiments if they wish to be successful at such attempts. One must be Reaganesque if they wish to do that. The problem is we knew Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama is no Ronald Reagan. Nice try though.

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CPAC Fills Keynote Position With Congressman Allen West

Bookmark and Share    This weekend’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference was originally suppose to have former Alaska Governor and G.O.P. vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin  give it’s closing keynote address.  Unfortunately with only a few days notice, Palin informed CPAC that a “scheduling conflict” would make it impossible for her to deliver the address.

Palin is sponsoring a Friday evening event at the conference, so her inability to deliver on her speech, is most likely due to circumstances beyond her control and not some kind of intended sleight.

Nevertheless, CPAC was left with the task of trying to find someone who was both willing to give the closing speech and

Rep. Allen West

 able to make it a powerfully memorable speech that would end the CPAC convention on a high, inspiring note.

Well they have done it.  In fact, with no offense to Sarah Palin, they have probably wound up with a speaker more powerful and articulate than Palin……..newly elected Florida Congressman Allen West.

Now I must reiterate that I really do not mean any offense to Sarah.   In 2007, I was an early activist in the draft Sarah Palin for Vice President effort.  And after the presidential, I even named my new cat Sarah-cuda, or Sarah for short.  So I appreciate Governor Palin and know her abilities.  But when it comes to Allen West, I can’t help but admit that he is probably one of only  a handful of new generation republican leaders who offer the G.O.P. the type of leadership that can keep the Party and more importantly, the nation, strong.

Sarah-cuda

In  previous POLITICS 24/7 posts, I blogged about the virtues of Allen West.  The most recent one highlighted him as one of the ten most promising freshmen in the 112th Congress.

One of the most exciting things about West is his ability to not just articulate the conservative cause, but to excite and inspire you with it.  West is a true believer.  He is a true believer in independence, personal responsibility, including the responsibility to be personally charitable and he is a believer in American exceptionalism.  Allen West believes in peace through strength and limited government.  He believes in free markets that are not held back by undue government regulation and he has true faith in state rights, not to mention God and country.  And when Allen West is given the chance to address those beliefs within the context of the conservative cause, few have more of an ability than him to make you believe that the blood that courses through his veins is red, white and blue, not just red.

That said, I urge all of you to make it a point of catching Congressman West’s CPAC ketnote address, this Saturday, February, 12th, 2011.  He is sure to make you proud to be a Republican and even prouder to be an American.

In addition to Rep. West, CPAC will be featuring dozens of scintillating speakers.  Many of them are potential and likely candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.  The schedule is as follows;

  • THURSDAY, February 10:
    10:00 AM: Michele Bachmann
    1:00 PM: Newt Gingrich book signing.
    2:00 PM: Rick Santorum
    4:30 PM: Paul Ryan
    6:15 PM: A reception co-sponsored by SarahPAC.
  • FRIDAY, February 11:
    10:30 AM: Mitt Romney
    1:30 PM: John Thune
    3:00 PM: Tim Pawlenty
    3:30 PM: Ron Paul
    4:00 PM: Rick Perry
    4:30 PM: Herman Cain
    7:30 PM: Mitch Daniels
  • SATURDAY, February 12
    9:30 AM: Haley Barbour

Allen West should bve delivering his speech at around 5:30 PM EST on Saturday. 

In  the meantime, POLITICS 24/7 invites you to join with our sister site, White House 2012, and participate in its newest poll.  Each year CPAC holds one of the most most highly anticipated and watched presidential straw polls of the year.  POLITICS 24/7 and White House 2012 would like to know who you think the winner of their poll will be. 

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MIKE STEELE TO THE RESCUE

antsteele_rnc_blog_fwa_20090130173241Bookmark and Share     Congratulations to Maryland’s former Lieutenant Governor Mike Steele.

On Friday on the sixth ballot, after a long, hard and well fought fight, he captured enough votes to become the next Chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Although, I endorsed Ohio’s Ken Blackwell for the position, there was nothing that made me object to Mike Steele.

 Since he held office in Maryland, I have been an admirer and fan of his work. For a long time now he has been an articulate defender of Republican ideology who also calls it like he sees it. He had no problem pointing out Republican wrongdoing.

So not only do I not have a problem with Steele, I am excited by his stewardship of our party.

The only reason I preferred Blackwell to Steele was the fact that Blackwell was Ohio’s Secretary of State and as a former Secretary of State I felt that his knowledge with the running of elections could give us an edge in election operations.

That aside, Steele is just as good as Blackwell and in some ways may be even better.  One example is Steele as a speaker.  In that area Mike Steele is a great communicator who has the ability to appeal to our better senses.

With Steele at the helm, our partyhas a good chance to rebuild.  And rebuilding is what we must do.

So I am not only pleased with the RNC election results, I am pumped by Steele’s victory and all that he brings to the table.

Mike Steele is a very likeable guy and an accomplished one too.  Born on Andrews Air Force Base, Mike Steele grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. where he was also active in educational extracurricular activities, In high school he was elected student council president and won a scholarship to Baltimore’s John Hopkins University.

Upon graduation from College he became a seminarian and entered Villanova’s Augustinian Friars Seminary. After a year of teaching economics and world history he left the seminary to pursue a career in law.

That path drew him into politics where he eventually served as the Prince George’s Republican County chairman in Maryland. Along the way, in 1995 he was named Maryland State Republican Man of the Year and in 2000 he became the Maryland Republican State Chairman, the first African-American to serve as a Republican State Chairman.

In 2003 Steele was elected Maryland’s Lieutenant Governor and in 2006 he nearly became a United states senator from Maryland but in a bad year for Republicans, Steele lost in what he made a highly competitive and very close race.

It is Mike Steele’s varied background that has helped to shape him into the well rounded, sound thinking man that he is. He has a feel for what the people want and need and he understands what Republicans need to do.

In the immediate future Steele intends to start the Republican rebuilding process with efforts on three fronts. One will be the special election to fill the vacated seat of New York Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand who replaced Hilary Clinton in the United States senate. The other two efforts are the elections of Governors in New Jersey and Virginia.

Each of these efforts are quite important and not just policy wise. They are important psychologically. After having “hope” used against Republicans in the past election cycle, victories in these places will go a long way in boosting the spirits and hopes of Republicans nationally and I believe that Mike Steele can help us do it.

I believe the best modern day Republican Chairman that the party had was Lee Atwater back in the late 80’s and early in 1990.

Atwater was in touch, in tune innovative, crafty and open to new ideas and new approaches to voters. He also knew what message to run with and how to run with it.

Mike Steele has the potential to meet or exceed the good work of Lee Atwater.

He has indicated that he intends to insure, that one of the most important players in the process, the grassroots, play a crucial role and he has even endorsed a grass root created plan for the party:

That plan is as follows:

The Internet: Our #1 Priority in the Next Four Years

Winning the technology war with the Democrats must be the RNC’s number one priority in the next four years.

The challenge is daunting, but if we adopt a strongly anti-Washington message and charge hard against Obama and the Democrats, we will energize our grassroots base. Among other benefits, this will create real demand for new ways to organize and route around existing power structures that favor the Democrats. And, you will soon discover, online organizing is by far the most efficient way to transform our party structures to be able to compete against what is likely to be a $1 billion Obama reelection campaign in 2012.

Our near loss in the 2000 election sparked the 72 Hour program, after a brutal realization that we were being out-hustled in GOTV activities in the final days. Our partial success in the 2000 election didn’t blind us to the need for change, and our eyes must be wide open now. Barack Obama and the Democrats’ ability to build their entire fundraising, GOTV, and communications machine from the Internet is the #1 existential challenge to our existing party model.

Change is never easy, but as in the post-2000 period, it begins with tough love and a focus on what must be done at the local level.

What’s Wrong — And How to Fix It

  • Recruit 5 million new Republican online activists. Even a compelling message won’t go anywhere if we have no one to communicate it to. The next Chairman must undertake a crash program to grow the RNC’s email file organically — no spam and no “e-pending” from voter files. This will likely require a two-pronged strategy — 1) engaging grassroots Republicans directly in the fight against the Obama agenda, with creative grassroots actions that make Republicans want to stand together with members of their party, and 2) integrating e-mail signups into everything we do at the grassroots level, ensuring that everyone who goes to an event and or is contacted by a volunteer is given the opportunity to join our network.This goal seems daunting, but it forces us to think creatively about creating the sharpest, most compelling messages that will make people want to join us by the millions. If Newt Gingrich and T. Boone Pickens could each build an army of 1.4 million activists around energy, and Barack Obama could recruit 3 million to receive his VP selection by text message, then we know this is possible. If anything, given where the Internet will be in 2 or 4 years, we are low-balling the potential to create a new Republican online army.

 

  • Hold campaigns and local parties accountable. As important as it is that we invest in new technology at the national level, we must remember that the RNC’s primary objective is to win races state by state and district by district, not build up its own brand.To pursue this essential mission, individual campaigns must be held accountable for the number of emails they collect and the money they raise online. As much high-level attention must be paid to candidates’ online strategy as with the number of voter contacts made into a particular district or if the right media strategist is working the race. We must end a sense of dependence on the RNC at all levels — in which the RNC simply turns over its lists — and set goals that the campaigns must find creative and aggressive ways to meet:In target 2010 Congressional races, we recommend setting a standard of at least 5,000 in-district online activists recruited, and a minimum of $100,000 raised online.In target 2010 Senate races, we recommend a standard of 7,500 in-district online activists recruited and $150,000 raised online for each Congressional district.

 

  • A more open technology ecosystem. As tempting as it is to believe that there is a silver bullet to solve all our technology problems, this is very rarely the case. The technology gap will not be solved by funding multimillion dollar white elephants, but by unleashing free market competition among trusted entrepreneurs and volunteers who want to help the party. The RNC should open its technology ecosystem so that trusted partners can develop on top of GOP.com and Voter Vault. We must build a corps of outside technology volunteers who compete to write applications that actually improve party operations — and invest in the best ones. We must look beyond conventional political approaches to the Web, learning from technology hubs like Silicon Valley, and being unafraid to be the first in politics to adopt the changes in technology that are revolutionizing the consumer market.

Changing the Way We Run the Party

Everywhere we look, we see ordinary Americans using the connective power of the Internet to organize and take control of party politics. Look at what happened in our own primary with Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee coming out of nowhere largely with the help of the Internet, winning surprising political and fundraising victories. Before the Internet, Barack Obama would never have defeated Hillary Clinton to become the Democratic nominee and the next President.

The power of traditional connections is being replaced by the power of mass connectedness. Politics is taking place on a grander stage than ever before, with millions, and not just tens of thousands — participating directly in the process. Millions of people can not only vote, but they can organize with each other across geographic boundaries to build political power in real time. Their sheer scale allows them to rapidly outflank traditional power brokers in a way that simply wasn’t possible before.

The Republican Party can no longer survive in a modern era if we resist this new reality. With our power in Washington waning, our grassroots are the source of our greatest strength — not a problem to be managed. To revitalize ourselves, we must invite the crowd back in and tap their energy and creativity.

This isn’t just about the Internet — it’s about recognizing that in a people-powered era, with the power of technology-empowered grassroots movements on the rise — everything about the way we mobilize voters changes. Campaign plans that called for a few hundred or thousand volunteers making phone calls in the final days are hopelessly quaint and limiting in an era when millions of people want to feel connected and involved 24/7.

What’s Wrong — And How to Fix It

  • Rebuilding Our Grassroots Infrastructure. The fabric of the Republican Party at the local level is rending. We saw it this spring when a small and energized base of Ron Paul supporters succeeded in taking over many local party organizations.The reality is that this happened because our existing local party institutions are not all they could be. The Republican Party must be a civic institution again, with a volunteer base that is active year-round and is given real responsibility beyond showing up at a phone bank. In this last election, it should have been possible for volunteer leaders to organize their precinct or neighborhood for McCain, tasking them with knocking on doors, distributing signs, and most crucially, recruiting other volunteers to build the party exponentially. Instead, virtually all volunteer activity was channeled towards driving casual phone contacts, not personal neighbor-to-neighbor door knocks.Our technology should give Republican activists the ability to connect with fellow activists at the precinct level. We must encourage the growth of standalone volunteer communities, giving them the tools to organize themselves online, with the official party taking a step back and not trying to control them. We can’t anyway.Initially, the most important mode of contact will be volunteer-to-volunteer. It is only once we have built this army — one small group at a time — that we’ll be ready to go out in the field and talk to our voters. In the last campaign, the Republican Party banked on its strong get-out-the-vote (GOTV) operation, but even the strongest turnout operation could not have overcome the Democrats’ stronger recruitment, registration and persuasion efforts in the early phases of the cycle.

 

  • Time for a new fundraising model. The ability to raise startup capital precedes virtually everything else on a campaign. But those of us who worked the 2008 campaigns saw how everything — including political travel and grassroots outreach — was subsumed to maintain an aggressive high-dollar events schedule.Contrast this with the new President-elect. In addition to doing high-dollar events early on, he held rallies in major cities and required an e-mail address to attend. The 20,000 e-mail addresses collected at each of these events probably produced hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions down the line, not to mention countless hours of volunteer time. By the end of the campaign, Obama didn’t have to do events, because he could raise virtually unlimited sums from a network of millions that his campaign continued to grow at every opportunity. The campaigns of the future will be infinitely scalable, blurring the lines between fundraising, volunteer recruitment, and message, and require more resources than traditional sources can possibly raise.This means kick starting a generational transition to the new fundraising model. Right now, we cannot compete with the Democrats’ scalable online fundraising machine and if this is not corrected our party will face a long-term financial deficit. A big part of this will be growing a millions-strong network of supporters and giving them something to rally around. Moreover, our candidate recruitment should focus less on a candidate’s ability to collect $2,300 checks or to self-fund than on the strength of their message — which will ultimately attract more small and high dollar donors online and off. Traditional fundraising is still important, but in modern campaigns, it’s more like startup venture capital money than a long-term cash cow. We must change the culture of how we fundraise. The end goal of this effort must be clear: put our 2012 Presidential nominee in a position to raise over 50% of their money from the Internet.

 

  • A 25,000-strong Nationwide Campaign Force. It isn’t just our candidate recruitment that’s wanting. We must replenish our pool of trained campaign workers who know how to win races from school board to the Senate, and who know how to integrate new media into their field and communications efforts.To do this, we propose that the next RNC Chair make it a priority to train 25,000 high-level activists by 2012. A few thousand of these will go on to run races. The rest will form the nexus of a permanent volunteer corps that keeps the Republican Party strong and relevant in local communities. And this training must occur in all 50 states and over the Internet, and not just in Washington, D.C.

 

  • Reorganizing the RNC. In order to accomplish these goals, the RNC’s organizational structure will need to change. It is not enough to have a dedicated eCampaign division if other departments fail to use the Internet to transform how they do business in this new environment. The Internet should pervade everything the RNC does, and leadership on this front must come directly from the Chairman’s Office.

Recruiting a New Generation of Candidates

Thus far, we’ve talked about building a better rocket to launch our party into orbit. But we are mindful of the fact that our candidates are the rocket fuel that gets us there. Without inspiring candidates with clear messages to rally around, all the strategies and tactics in the world will be for naught.

What’s Wrong — And How to Fix It

  • The 435 district strategy. By 2012, the Republican Party will field candidates in all 435 Congressional districts in America, from inner city Philadelphia to suburban Dallas, and our leaders must be held accountable for progress towards this goal. With an 80 plus vote margin separating Democrats from Republicans in the House, it’s time to widen the playing field, not narrow it. While our targeting has gotten narrower, honing in on a class of seats we feel entitled to because they lean Republican, Democrats have been stealing traditionally 60-40 Republican seats right and left. It’s time to return the favor.What’s more, it won’t be good enough to run perfunctory races in safe seats. 2008 showed us that every seat — Republican or Democrat — is potentially a target. If you aren’t seriously challenged this time, chances are you’ll be challenged the next time, or the time after that. Incumbents who don’t prepare for this reality will find themselves scrambling to catch up when the inevitable happens. That means that our party needs to set a new standard that campaigns will be professional and fully staffed in each and every seat.

 

  • But don’t stop at Congress. Building our bench and waging aggressive challenges doesn’t stop at Congress. State party chairs must also be held accountable for progress towards filing in 100% of state legislative races, with funding tied to progress towards this goal. The state houses are our bench, providing future leadership not just in Congress but in governorships and other statewide offices. They will also drive the 2010-12 redistricting cycle. The RNC must play a constructive role in recruiting and training candidates from the state house on up — and not just at the federal level. Just as Major League Baseball could not function without a vibrant minor league ecosystem, we must get back to basics and grow and nurture our party where it works best — closest to the people.

 

  • A “40 Under 40” initiative. Undoing the damage to our party’s brand among America’s youth will take more than new slogans and hip spokespeople. It will mean making young voters the face of the Republican Party, and not just another target group with its own bulleted list of “outreach” talking points. To that end, the next Chairman should commit to a simple goal: working towards a Republican Party where at least 40% of our challenger and open seat candidates for Congress are under 40. Such a party will send a signal to all Americans that the GOP is once again the party of the future.
       

Afterword: The Politics of Us

Obama’s victory could be a blessing in disguise for conservatives. Why? Because Obama’s winning strategy was built on the back of an inherently conservative idea: that we the people, acting together outside of government, can accomplish great things. Or, in the words of the overused slogan, “Yes We Can.”

The irony here is that Obama as President would act in ways that contradict the bottom-up culture that fueled his campaign. In the campaign, it was “Yes We Can.” In the White House, it will be “Yes, Government Can.” Obama’s top-down government control of the health care and the economy will give conservatives an opening to once again recapture the mantle of distributed citizen activism.

Obama campaigned against the establishment, and now he is the establishment.

Consider these contrasts. Like the Internet, free markets are distributed and allow good ideas to rise from the bottom up. The bureaucracies that Obama prefers are inherently top-down and stifling.

And yet Democrats have been allowed to get away with the notion that their success online is fueled by a “bottom-up” culture while Republicans are “top-down.” Ironic — given that Democrats want top-down government control of your life, while Republicans believe in dynamic markets and a strong civil society.

Some people believe our problems are mostly strategic and tactical. Others believe they are policy driven. It strikes us that there is a unifying solution to both, and that is to empower the individual, trust the people.

Just as Republicans must trust individuals and families with their own money, we must trust the volunteers who walk into our headquarters and train them to take responsibility for entire neighborhoods. We must trust the online grassroots who want to take action on our behalf, and who need a decentralized, peer-to-peer volunteer community supported by our campaigns to really be successful. That will require giving up some control — more control than our traditional institutions are used to giving up — in exchange for an exponentially larger and more effective volunteer/donor/activist ecosystem.

Obama tapped the Internet successfully because he made it about “you” and “us” not “me” and “I.” You were invited in. You were a key part of his campaign/movement. Your help was truly appreciated. Republican candidates need to grow more comfortable talking in these terms and focus less on being inaccessible objects of hero worship (the “me/I” strategy).

Because of the Internet, “us” becomes a force more powerful than any in politics. The ability to donate or volunteer instantaneously online gives the millions of “us” more leverage than even the most connected group of insiders. Only “us” will be powerful enough to fund the first $1 billion Presidential candidate. By embracing the Politics of Us, the Republican Party can rediscover its roots as the party of individual liberty and build a truly modern political army.

Aside from endorsing this plan, Mike Steele has his own plans to add to it and through it all Steele will provide a voice of leadership that will be appreciated.

As a commentator on political stories, Steele has been quite convincing when it comes to our true Republican positions on the issues. Over the past two years news outlets have turned to mike for his opinions and always willing, ready and able, Mike presented the republican case quite well.

That is something we need.

We need someone who can properly convey our message and Mike Steele can do that.

So we wish him luck and look forward to working with him as we rebuild and reinvigorate the grand old party in the months to come.

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Late one night a mugger wearing a ski mask jumped into a path of a well-dressed man and stuck a gun in his ribs

give me your money,” he demanded.

Indignant, the affluent man replied,

you can’t do this – I am a United States congressman!”

In that case,” replied the mugger, “give me MY money.”

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