Tag Archives: mike huckabee

Ron Paul Wins CPAC 2012 Presidential Straw Poll

Bookmark and Share   As the political atmosphere turns its turbulent winds of unrest against the Administration of President Obama, anger and dissatisfaction within the American electorate has forced them to focus and rally for a change from the change that Barack Obama’s promised false hope produced. As a result, the annual Conservative Political Action Committee conference in Washington, D.C. saw its largest gathering ever.

Amid countless speeches from the likes of Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey, J.C. Watts and rising star Marco Rubio to Mike Pence, Liz Cheney and Mitt Romney, countless rally cries for change are echoing from throughout the ballrooms of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel and into the political world.

Along with insightful and inspiring, pep-like speeches to motivate the conservative forces, there are countless workshops and organizational training classes that are aimed at allowing dedicated activists to focus their energies on the development of increasing effective grass development and activism.

Among one of the highlights of the annual conference is the CPAC Presidential Straw Poll. The results of the straw are a clear signal of whom the base of the Republican is most energized by and a hint of who has the base’s momentum as we move closer and closer to the presidential election.

For the last three years, former Governor Mitt Romney has taken that honor. Last year he won the CPAC just a day after he withdrew from the Republican presidential nomination contest that ultimately went to Senator John McCain.

This year the CPAC ballot consisted of eleven names Mitt Romney, Indiana Congressman Mike Pence, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, former Alaska Governor and GOP Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, South Dakota Senator John Thune, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Texas Congressman and perennial presidential candidate Ron Paul, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. A twelfth option was offered on the ballot in the reform of a space for voters to write-in any other preference that they may have.

Just moments ago, in what can only be seen as a surprie upset, the results of the straw poll were released and this is how it turned out:

  1. Ron Paul                     31%
  2. Mitt Romney            22%
  3. Sarah Palin                  7%
  4. Tim Pawlenty             6%
  5. Mike Pence                  5%

Of the 10.000 people in attendance, only 2,400 cast a straw ballot and from the looks of things, the ever dilligent Ron Paul had his very loyal, vocal militant supporters passing out as many ballots as possible.  

So although Congressman Paul can claim this victory, most people, including those in attendance at the CPAC conference, will tell you that no one expects Ron Paul to be the nominee of any major party in 2012. 

Two good signs from this poll though are that even without a corrdinated push for a ballot position thi year, Mitt Romney remains to be a favorite.   The other optimistic sign is Mike Pence’s 5th place showing. 

As a relatively unknown Indiana Congressman, Mike Pence has made quite a name for himself, especially in the area of fiscal conservatism.  Apparently that is beginning to catch the eye of many.

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Political Winners and Losers of The Week

Politics 24/7 Winners and Losers

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Week of 11/30 – 12/06/09

LOSERS

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 Senator Max Baucus PhotobucketPhotobucket

Democrat Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus admitted to sending a nomination for his girlfriend and former staffer, Melodee Hanes to President Obama for the job of US Attorney for Montana. The admission came only after a news outlet that that covers events involving the US Department of Justice, discovered the relationship between Baucus, Hanes, and her nomination. Were it not for the discovery by a third party, Senator Baucus would not have admitted to anything. Hanes was not ultimately selected for the job by President Obama and since Hanes did not get the position, it is not an issue. However, what is at issue is the integrity of another powerful Democrat. Any politician who is sincere and above reproach, would recuse themselves from making such a nomination, with the understanding that even if their girlfriend was the most qualified person for the job, the romantic involvement would not, given the circumstances, provide the greatest sense of confidence in the nomination. Patronage is nothing new and this incident is not necessarily a scandal, especially compared with the improprieties of other Democrat leaders like Charlie Rangel, but it does show that Max Baucus is just as much a part of the problem in Washington as the rest of them.

Mike HuckabeePhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

In a story that ended this past week and began the week before that, the former Republican Governor from Arkansas and GOP presidential hopeful who turned into a Fox News Channel T.V. show host, lost any chance of aspiring to the presidency of the United States anytime soon. As governor Huckabee pardoned and commuted the sentences of more criminals than all of his three predecessors put together, a  few of those whose sentences were expedited by him were found to have committed violent rapes after being freed early. The issue was a mark against him in his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. But now another criminal offered leniency by Huck, killed 4 police officers in Washington state after his early release from prison. No matter what, Mike Huckabee bears a burden of responsibility for the process that made this possible and no matter what reasoning or excuses that may be made, the early releases of prisoners by Huckabee have expedited the deaths of a combined total of at least five, if not more people, as well as several rapes. Huckabee’s leadership failed those people and their families and failed to protect all of us. At the very least, Huckabee should suffer a dashing of any hope of becoming President of the United States and to call him a loser of the week is an understatement.

The EconomyPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Nationally, Democrats are boasting the virtues of the fact that we only lost 110,000 jobs in October. The fact that October typically brings large numbers of seasonal holiday hiring’s and that we still lost more than  a hundred thousand jobs does not seem to matter to Democrats. They ignore the fact that jobs are still being lost and that the imploding economy held down seasonal hiring. They also ignore the continued hemorrhaging of jobs in areas associated with a sustainable rebound in activity, including trade, transportation, utilities, construction and manufacturing. And while the Administration celebrates there only being 110,000 jobs lost, they fail to embark upon any policies that will truly increase any longterm job growth and establish sustainable  economic growth. Instead they promote government spending which produces no return on the dollar and no long term promise. Adding to the liberal celebration over things “not being worse” is the Administration’s proven doctoring of the books, ala Recovery.org which recorded jobs in places that don’t exist, and  you have liberal slights of hand that do not include 100,000 jobs deleted from the rolls of those looking for a work because they gave up. In the end what you have is no reason to party or to be optimistic about current economic policies. No matter what, despite White House spawned celebrations that areextolled by a media hypnotized by the President, the economy was a loser this week and if things keep going this way, it will be losing for a long time to come.

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WINNERS

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General Stanley McChrystalPhotobucketPhotobucket

After a long awaited decision, President Obama has agreed to send the man on the ground and in charge of the war effort in Afghanistan, the forces that he requested to get the job done. McChrystal was smart though. He didn’t just request the troops. Several weeks ago, frustrated by no signs of the President’s  commitment to the cause, McChrystal allowed his position on more troops  to “leak” out. Word quickly spread that the man who knew what he was doing and what needed to be done in Afghanistan was ready to resign if he didn’t get what he wanted. Such “leaks”  do not happen by chance in the covert world of military planning and operations…………..at least not unless of course they are intentionally orchestrated. The events helped put the issue of Afghanistan on the front burner and consequently put in motion the chain of events that spurred the President into action. Shortly after the “leak”, the President met with McChrystal and all of sudden convened meetings with his war council, among the first of his administration. McChrystal did not get the full compliment of forces that he officially requested but something tells me that the good General is a good poker player and that heexaggerated his numbers intentionally so that he would wound up with what he really needed. On this one, it’s McChrystal one, politicians zero.

The TalibanPhotobucket

Although President Obama finally moved on his commitment to the war in Afghanistan, which he calls a war of necessity, he provided the main enemy, in the war there, with some crucial information. President Obama told the enemy when they can expect the pressure to be taken off of them by letting them know that the US will begin to pull out of Afghanistan in 18 months. That type of itinerary is not exactly the one that should be shared with those who we are trying to keep in the dark on things. Perhaps that type of public timeline is a good way for a “community organizer” to let his volunteers knows how long they have to get their message out but it is not the way a President should organize a war effort. Of course this timeline could always be moved up. Problem is, in 18 months, if President Obama back pedals on this one, his liberal base, which wants us out as soon as yesterday, will be quite angered an not at a very good time. That will be only 18 months before his reelection effort. Not a good time to have your base of support pissed at you. President Obama would have been best served, and would have best served us, by not letting the Taliban know how long they have to hold on and how long they need to stay hidden under their rocks and in their caves.

Carly FiorinaPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

The former CEO of Hewlett Packard recently declared that she will be seeking the opportunity to run against California’s US Senator Barbara “Call Me Senator” Boxer and this past Saturday she made it clear that she is a force to be reckoned with. After winning her own battle against breast cancer, Republicans turned to Fiorina to give their response to the President’s weekly Saturday address. With the ongoing healthcare debate taking center stage, her response was one that resonated loudly, clearly and much more profoundly than anything President Obama has ever said on the issue. In her six and a half minute address, Fiorina highlighted a recent government medical panel’s conclusion to delay mammogram tests by a decade in an attempt to save costs. Quite eloquently and with a tone of calmness and dignity that Barbara Boxer could only find in others when it is pointed out to her,  Fiorina explained how the same Preventive Services Task Force that recommended women put of testing, is the same task force that the current healthcare reform bill empowers to influence the coverage and preventive care that government run healthcare will allow for or provide. She also pointed out that the bill specifically authorizes (sec. 4105) that the Secretary of Health and Human Services deny payment for preventive services that this same Preventive Service Task Force recommends against. She adds, “do we really want government bureaucrats dictating how we prevent and treat something like breast cancer”? She also points out that “there is a reason why American women with breast cancer have a higher survival rate than women in countries with government run health care.” All in all, Carly Fiorina delivered one of the most powerful speeches against government run healthcare that this most recent debate has yet seen. (See the video below for yourself) And at the same time, she just gained herself the confidence of a lot of people who are looking for the right person to fire that silver bullet into the career of the nasty, flippant, onoxious, and arrogant, liberal queen of mean, Barbara Boxer.

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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

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

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Can-Do Conservatives of America

We all know that politics is chock full of special interest groups. In fact, in some cases, it can be said that special interest groups are a part of the problem and that they present a roadblock to the greater good of the people. That case can be made when our legislative leaders allow themselves to cater exclusively to special interests. Doing so causes them to lose sight of the big picture and the comprehensive effects of their legislation on society as a whole.

yes-wecanBut not all so-called special interest groups are self absorbed, greedy blocks of voters seeking more than their fair share. Some don’t exist for the purpose of more money or attention. Some exist simply to make sure that their concerns are not ignored. They make sure that their concerns are taken into consideration.

Recently, I came across such a group.

It is a group of people who share in common something that crosses all religious, ethnic, sexual and class boundaries. Rich or poor, black or white, gay or straight, male or female, these people have disabilities. They are impaired by handicaps that steal them of things that we take for granted, like seeing or hearing or mobility. They are the truly less fortunate among us in America. They are the people who no matter what the shape of their 401k is or how good or bad the economy is, they have other or additional, ever present, hurdles to overcome.

Yet these same people believe that the only disability in life is a bad attitude. In fact, these people are defying their adversities and the term disability, altogether.

They call themselves Can Do Conservatives of America and they are organizing themselves to make sure that their voices are heard and that their good example is made.

The group’s creator is a 26 year old conservative from Lawrenceville, Georgia who describes himself as someone who has been “blind since birth and blessed with other handicaps”. His name is Brian Donegan and he is relatively new to politics.

His first foray into politics took place this past year when he volunteered for his favorite Republican candidate during the primaries. In the time following the primaries Brian noticed attempts by both major political parties to reach out and appeal to different groups. But he also noticed that those attempts failed to target the disabled.

So with a “can do” attitude and his conviction to ideological principles, Brian created a coalition designed at organizing the efforts and message of conservatives with disabilities.

Mr. Donegan describes the principles of Can-Do Conservatives as follows:

We are looking for a hand up, not a hand out. We are in favor of  liberty and freedom to pursue the American dream like anyone else.

We resolve that we cannot have the freedom to pursue the “American Dream” under socialism.

We are in favor of less but competent government that allows us to retain our dignity while getting the help and assistance we need.

We are in favor of an economic system that allows us the freedom to move up the economic ladder through hard work and determination, most especially getting the Fair Tax enacted.

We are in favor of reforming Health Care by focusing on preventative care that will lower the cost and burden on the individual.

We are in favor of passing a Veteran’s bill of rights. They are our heroes and deserve all the thanks and help we can give them after serving and fighting to protect our freedom.

We are in favor of reforming education to allow the freedom to choose how our children are educated to increase competition in order to improve the system so everyone wins.

Now you may disagree with some of those points and you may even oppose the conservative ideology that Brian believes in but one thing you can not do is deny Brian Donegan credit. As a blind man, not only does he have more clarity of purpose and sense of civic duty than many others, he has the ability to make us see more clearly.

Despite having a handicap that makes life tougher than it may already be for some, Brian is doing more than pontificating and sitting on the sidelines. He is setting an example and taking part in shaping our nation, not just complaining about it. He is also going a long way in achieving the goal set out by disabled poet Robert Hansel who once wrote “ We, the one’s who are challenged, need to be heard. To be seen not as a disability, but as a person who has, and will continue to bloom. To be seen not only as a handicap, but as a well intact human being.”

Brian is doing just that. Despite the fact that we should be the ones going out of our way to assist people like Brian, he is proving to be intact and he is advancing a cause greater than self.

Brian is what being American is all about.

No matter what the circumstance, no matter what the condition, being an American is something special. Being American is something that is suppose to unleash the power of freedom like no where else and Brian Donegan is demonstrating to us all that the power of freedom can overcome just about any situation or diversity. The power of freedom gives everyone the opportunity to be whole and productive people.

Brian Donegan is an inspiring figure.  I am glad to have him in the ranks of the Republican Party and I am heartened by his taking part in advancing a conservative ideological cause and strengthening the cause of freedom in America. 

If you would like to lend a hand in this effort, you can begin by reaching out to Can-Do Conservatives of America and their officers on Facebook by clicking here.  Initiated only a few days ago, Can-Do Consevatives have already begun to make their presence known and are getting a great response.

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Why should you never iron a 4-leaf clover?

You don’t want to press your luck.

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THE REAL REPUBLICAN DEBATE

After licking our wounds from this past election, the blogosphere is packed with suggestions and commentary regarding how to rebuild the Republican party. Many Republican activists and enthusiasts are debating who will be the face of our party as we go forward. At times I too have been eager to want to put forward a name that best represents us, but doing so does not help us establish the solid foundation that we need to build upon.
Louisiana Governor bobby Jindal

Louisiana Governor bobby Jindal

Aside from the race for leadership of the party, activists are caught up in a struggle over who is next, who is going to be our candidate for President and who we must rely upon to deliver our message and carry us forward? There are those who are demanding that we pin our hopes on Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, while others debate the future of Sarah Palin or other party figures like Romney and Huckabee.

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

I have an appreciation for all of the above mentioned named people but I have an even greater appreciation for what my party stands for regardless of the name of who we discuss and there in lies what the real debate should be about.

Former Governor Mitt Romney

Former Governor Mitt Romney

We, as a party, need to be less concerned with the face of the party and more concerned with the heart of the party. We need to reestablish that which was the source of our political preeminence beginning with the ‘94 Republican revolution and the ending of its dominance which culminated in the 2006 elections when we lost control of the senate and house.

Former Governor Mike Huckabee

Former Governor Mike Huckabee

The 1994 Republican revolution ushered in 73 new Republican House members and 11 new Republican Senators. The largess of that freshmen class of Republicans influenced the leadership of congress with the “power to the people” sentiments that they brought to government. It was a sentiment that believed, as elected officials, they needed to make sacrifices for the people and live by the same rules that they created for the people.

This meant getting rid of special privileges and reversing the practices that allowed members of congress to abuse power. It also meant a strong adherence to conservative fiscal, foreign and law and order policies. Many in this class quickly became a part of a new informal group dubbed “New Federalists” and set an agenda of widespread U.S. government cuts in many departments and also intended on privatizing, localizing, consolidating and even , eliminating many departments and agencies. This federalist direction was part of their success.

At least up until 2002.

In my estimation our fall from power as a party came about not due to what we stand for but due to a lack of attention to coordinated efforts in clearly defining what we stand for and a backing away from those intentions.

After winning the White House in 2000, with total control of all three branches of federal government, many of our elected officials became complacent. With that White House win also came the loss of the “power to the people” spirit that ushered in our majorities in 1994.

Former Florida Rep. Joe Scarborough

Former Florida Rep. Joe Scarborough

After winning the presidency, many of those who were a part of that ’94 federalist style, freshmen class slowly left office. Many of them believed in term limits and felt, that in truth to their beliefs, they must step aside and move on. So by 2002, gone were many of the freshmen of the ‘94 GOP revolution. Gone were the strong federalist tendencies of John Kasich , J.C. Watts, Joe Scarborough and their like. And with them, the “power to the power” legislation and message slowly departed as well.

Former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts

Former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts

Slowly, congressional Republicans became complacent with their power. Slowly they lost touch with the people and lost their message. In 2004, the effects of this loss of spirit were not dramatically pronounced. Republicans maintained what power they had, including the White House, but the erosion was beginning. By 2006 it had set in. Our federalist influences were gone and so was our power.

And that is what we must get back in order to regain power. The “power to the people” message and federalist intentions which defined the ‘94 freshman Republican class was what helped to bring us to power.

In 1994 we did not win simply because we were not Democrats. We won because of the anti-establishmentarian mentality that we represented. We were also able to point fingers of blame at Democrats who controlled the establishment. We were able to point to the pay raises and special privileges that Democrats afforded the governing class while offering only a lack of attention to the needs of the people that democrat policies seemingly overlooked.

But by 2006 it became clear to the people that we were the establishment and that we were not responsive to their needs. By 2008 an exclamation mark was added to that sentiment.

So here we are today, wondering how to gain back our majority status.

Many are trying to achieve that goal by appointing one name or another as the name that will propel us back into power. Yet, the truth is that no one name will restore faith in our party.

We can fondly mention the Reagan name and we can offer up Mitt Romney as a the new bearer of the Reagan torch or Sarah Palin as the Republican savior and Bobby Jindal as the leader of the next revolution but no matter what name may be put forth, it is the what our party stands for that is more important than who represents it.

So I propose that we stop linking our fortunes to any one figure and start clearly defining our party. Not redefining it, but clarifying it’s definition.

Doing that requires those Republicans who still remain in office to get back on message and adopt a stronger adherence to federalist tendencies in their legislative initiatives and voting records.

Beyond generalities, that means controlling spending and maintaining an aggressive posture with those foreign elements whom threaten our security and would weaken the threads of freedoms delicate fabric. It means reducing the size of a costly and inefficient government and the bureaucracy that makes government inefficient.

Under the auspices of Homeland Security, Republicans, during the Bush administration, have tried to excuse away budget deficits. Although Homeland Security did account for one of the largest reorganizations of federal government in our history, it did not create an excuse for avoiding budget cuts in other areas or streamlining departments and cutting waste.

In light of this, we must create a legislative agenda that reflects our political ideology. For too long the G.O.P. has been overshadowed by the War on Terror. That effort must not be diminished nor should any focus be taken away from it. However; our efforts must simultaneously embark upon the same domestic agenda that brought us to power in the mid ‘90’s and that we lost track of during the security agenda of this current decade.

Former Ohio Rep. and Future Ohio Governor John Kasich

Former Ohio Rep. and Future Ohio Governor John Kasich

So put aside the name of your favorite potential Republican nominee four years from now. Focus on the clarity of our message and how best to shape that message. Let the great work of Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin, as a governors, speak for themselves and see what it shall bring. Let people like former congressman John Kasich reemerge on the frontlines of the political battlefield as he throws his hat in the ring for Governor of Ohio. Let the candidacies of the best and brightest develop as we help to recapture the spirit and agenda which brought us to power but strayed away from.

Through that agenda, the best of our leaders will emerge and victory will again be ours.

 

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“The IRS announced that obese Americans are entitled to certain tax breaks.

Apparently, under the new rules, you’re allowed to claim two or more chins as dependents.”

~Conan O’Brien

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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.

punchline-politics21

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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THE NEXT 2 YEARS COULD BE CRITICAL FOR REPUBLICANS

antlinesjpg

The GOP is literally at a make or break point that could a establish a fait accompli   

As we enter into the closing year of the new millennium’s first decade, the approaching official national census process is where some, if not a large portion of the battle for our political future will take place.

After the census has been taken in 2010, every legislative district from which we elect council members in local and city governments to state legislators and members of congress will be redrawn based upon the population shifts determined by the census.

This means that once those figures have been established, during 2010, state legislatures will spend the following year redrawing new legislative districts.

Despite laws that try to regulate how legislative maps can be drawn and try to eliminate gerrymandering, redistricting is primarily a political process that is left up to the political party or parties with majority control at the time that redistricting occurs. That said, the powers that be use their majority status to creatively draw new legislative districts that favor their party. A handful of states have separatecommissions that draw the district lines.  Some of those grant veto to the states governors and some don’t.  But regardless, even those commissions, involved in those 6 or states, contain a degree of politcal leanings.

In either event, by using a range of election results from over the last 8 years or so, party leaders establish where their favorable votes come from. Using that as their basis, they draw districts that contain a plurality of population centers that favor their party.

This allows the majority political party to substantially consolidate power by creating new election districts that are likely to send more of their kind to their county seats and state capitols as well as those who we send to congress.

Regardless of the laws that are designed to take political influence out of the redistricting process and despite the various state redistricting commissions that are set up to oversee the process, it is an entirely political process. You must understand that the politicians create the new districts maps themselves or appoint the redistricting commissions regulating the process. Even when the courts have to step in, it remains a political process…….Who appoints the judges that make the rulings on this type of stuff?…..The politicians. So no matter what, it is a fact that the redistricting process is a political process. To pretend it isn’t, is a demonstration of naiveté that should prohibit one from even discussing politics. The only arguable point may be the varying degree of politicization that the process holds for one state or another.

Keeping that in mind, in one sense the census will, or could benefit, Republicans on the national level.  Having the majority in various state legislatures is key though. 

Areas such as the Northeast will see a decreased sizes in population. That will result in several Northeastern states losing congressional seats. The region has practically no congressional Republicans left. Connecticut’s Chris Shays was one of the last few holdouts and his overreaching attempts to appeal to  Democrat by essentially voting like a Democrat didn’t hack it. Republicans did not like his trying to be a liberal and liberals did not find him liberal enough so he’s out.

But the loss of seats through redistricting in the Northeast, where Republicans don’t have many seats, will favor Republicans where they are still strong….the South and West.

The census will show a strong increase in Southern population and so will the West. That means the representation lost in places like New Jersey and New York will be added to places like Florida and California, where the increased population will get increased representation. Except for California that bodes well for Republicans, but not in and of itself.

The party in power of each individual state legislature will ultimately determine the final redistricting maps. The party in charge at the time will create new districts that favor themselves and increases their own pluralities in their state capitol. They will do the same with their own states congressional delegation to washington, DC, as they draw congressional districts that favor their party as well.

So that means, if, for example, New Jersey has A Democrat Governor and a Democrat majority in the state senate and the state assembly, which they do now, Democrats will make their existing state legislative districts more favorable to electing Democrats. They will also draw congressional districts that are inclined to do the same. In fact, with the possible loss of one seat due to relatively decreased population growth, the Democrat dominated state legislature would probably emaciate one of the rare congressional districts that Republicans have held, forever, in Northern New Jersey. In the recent 2008 election, incumbent Republican Congressman Mike Fergusson retired and his seat was won by a Republican state senator named Leonard Lance. After redistricting, he and his seat will probably be gerrymandered out of existence.

This all points to the following .

  • The GOP Must Act Quickly

We need to select a Republican National Chairman who has a vision of inclusiveness and a passionate command of the issues and ideological fervor that is rooted in the conservative foundation that has always been the basis of our most productive legislative sessions and our most successful election cycles. That person must also have the capacity for exceptional organizational development and cutting edge thinking that can exploit the internet and the grassroots. The new chairman must also be willing to act quickly and accept the fact that we need to prepare for the redistricting process that begins in 2010.  Any loss of time leading up to 2010 will wreak havoc on our prospects for the decade to follow. (Newt…..are you reading this?)

  • A Bottom Up Strategy

The new Republican National Committee Chairman must immediately focus on and direct all resources to local and state legislative elections. This may sound out of place for the “national” committee, however, by the time the end of 2010 rolls around, it is the state level which will strongly effect our national prospects in the redistricting process that occurs at the start of the next decade.  By electing more officials on the bottom of the ballot, in stste elections, we will be better able to effect races further up the ballot.

By spending the next two years establishing strong candidates to run strong campaigns for state senate and assembly seats, we will increase control of the state legislative bodies that are ultimately responsible for the redistricting that they will undertake after the 2010 census results. With that power and opportunity we will be able to draw new congressional districts that are favorable for increasing Republican pluralities in the newly drawn seats that will be up for grabs in 2012.

Without control of the redistricting process Democrats will have the opportunity to gerrymander more Republicans out of office and make it even harder to get elected into office . That will only make the decade to come more difficult for us to increase our state legislative and congressional prospects.

The new chairman of the RNC, whoever it may be, better be willing to utilize the little time we have between now and then wisely. The once every decade redistricting process that the new chairman should prepare us for could have more of an effect on GOP prospects and our regaining majority status in congress than any of the elections that will follow

 punchline-politics21

GOOD ANSWERS

I guess I would have voted with the majority if it was a close vote. But I agree with the arguments the minority made.
–President Bill Clinton, on the 1991 Gulf War resolution

“I’m not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president.”
–Hillary Clinton commenting on the release of subpoenaed documents

I haven’t committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law.
–David Dinkins, New York City Mayor, answering accusations that he failed to pay his taxes.

Things are more like they are now than they ever were before.
–Former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower

The streets are safe in Philadelphia. It’s only the people who make them unsafe.
–Frank Rizzo, ex-police chief and mayor of Philadelphia

I have lied in good faith.
— Bernard Tapie, French politician accused of fixing a soccar match involving the team he owned, when his sworn alibi fell apart in court.

I don’t need bodyguards.
–Jimmy Hoffa, labor leader

Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.
–Mayor Marion Barry, Washington, DC

The police are not here to create disorder. They’re here to preserve disorder.”
–Former Chicago mayor Daley during the infamous 1968 Democratic Party convention

China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese.
–Former French President Charles de Gaulle

 

 

 

 

 

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WHO WILL LEAD REPUBLICANS BACK INTO POWER

As the GOP recovers from a drubbing at that ballot box that served them with an eviction notice at the White House and a foreclosure on many seats in the house and senate, a reorganization is in order.

Crucial to a successful reorganization is the selection of it’s next national chairman.

Florida Senator mel Martinez

Florida Senator Mel Martinez

After the losses which cost them their majorities in the house and senate during the 2006 midterm elections, the powers that be, hastily installed Florida Senator Mel Martinez as the new chairman. At the same time they also elected Mike Duncan, a veteran political strategist and former Treasurer General Counselor to the RNC, to run the “day to day operations” of the national committee. In other words Duncan was actually the Chairman and Senator Martinez was to be the face of the party.

It was an arrangement that did not last long.

A few months into this arrangement, Senator Martinez stepped down and Mr. Duncan had the title all to himself. Not that it mattered. Whether it was his fault or not Republicans were outspent, out argued , outmaneuvered and voted out.

Outgoing RNC Chairman Mike Duncan

Outgoing RNC Chairman Mike Duncan

I will not blame Mike Duncan for the hemorrhaging of Republicans in this election cycle. That began before he took office, less than a year ago, and it simply continued for the time period that he was in office as chairman. It is more than likely that no individual chairman of the RNC could have prevented the losses Republicans suffered but we do know that the chairman did not help prevent them from happening.

So I do not blame Mike Duncan but I do harbor ill will to the party officials who gave up after 2006 and installed quick replacements to head up the Republican party. It was quite apparent that the party was simply trying to just get through the last two years of President Bush’s term in office. The RNC leadership were more like caretakers than leaders. They did not seek to adopt a leadership that was cutting edge and enthusiastic about revolutionizing the capabilities of the party organization and preparing us for the mother of all elections, the presidency.

It is the same complacency that helped cost Republicans their majorities in congress. Elected officials lost the anti establishment thinking that won them favor back in 1994. After becoming “the establishment” they slowly began to forget that government was there to work for the people not for the people running government.

So here we are saluting a new President-Elect, a new Democrat President-Elect. One who will be partnering with a majority of legislators who are also Democrats.

It might sound depressing to fellow Republicans but the truth is it is that for a number of reasons it is not depressing:

  • Can’t Get Much Worse -We have just about bottomed out. It truly can’t get much worse so the prospects for improving our numbers in the next election are good.

 

  • Liberals Gone Wild -With Democrats in total control of government, there is little to hold them back and prevent them from showing their true colors. When those true colors come out, Americans will realize that the direction they offer is too sharp a turn to the left for their tastes. The last time they had total control was in 1993 when Bill Clinton was President. After two years of liberals gone wild, Americans gave control, of both the house and senate, to Republicans for the first time in forty years. It was something that Republicans could not achieve on their own. It took the combined left leaning radicalization of today’s Democrat party to bring that about and it is about to happen again. In fact the greatest challenge that the new President will face comes from his own party. He will be struggling against them and fighting them in an effort to lead from the center rather than the left.

  • The War – Although the economy helped push the war off the front burner, the changing tide of the surge in Iraq also made the war less of an issue because violence and combat was down and it was being won. The war in Iraq did not help Republicans in this election cycle but not because it was unnecessary, as democrats claim,  but, as I explain in the link referenced here*, Americans became weary and leery of the war. While the surge was delayed and the administration wavered, violence spiked as a result of a resurgence of radical Islamic terrorists in Iraq. That is when Democrats successfully exploited a declining resolve to continue an effort that people were beginning to think was becoming a quagmire. Since the increased deployment of troops into Iraq, the situation improved and there is light at the end of the tunnel. As a result, despite the cries of candidate Obama to end the war, President Obama will not be withdrawing all of our forces from Iraq anytime soon.  Now that he has seen the national security data that demonstrates the dangers of his misguided promises as a candidate, as a President he will not be so quick to screw things up. Ultimately Republicans will be proven right on the issue.

 

  • The Economy – Typically our economy goes through cycles of growth and contraction every ten to fifteen years. More accurately, just about every 11 years, we encounter economic turmoil brought on by the cumulative effects of industrial shifts, world events and other related circumstances. That being said, it is how we maneuver through these cycles that determines their severity and the length of time that we endure them. The liberal propensity to raise taxes and redistribute wealth during these times does not help. Those policies simply deepen the crisis and draw out the cycle. If the knee jerk, liberal tendency towards more taxes and an expansion of government does occur, Republicans will be able to stem their losses and start increasing their numbers. The current crisis that we are experiencing is not a result of Republican economic policy. It is a result of their complacency and unwillingness to differentiate themselves from liberals when it came to spending. Our own President had no problem with cutting taxes, a good thing, but he also never cut spending and neither did fellow Republicans in congress.

All of this allows for those Republicans, who are in office, to offer alternatives to the counterproductive liberal agenda that will undoubtedly dominate national policy. To effectively achieve that, Republican members of congress need to reestablish their fiscally conservative roots and inherent sense of an offensive strategy when it comes to national security. The fact that, as Republicans, we choose to eliminate threats rather than tolerate them will be made much clearer with liberals in control and it must not be ignored.

Now that Republicans are not in control we now have the luxury that Democrats had. The luxury of not having to defend our leadership. Democrats will now have the chance to be held accountable for everything that happens. They will have to take blame for the results of increasing taxes, increasing unnecessary regulations and increasing the size and cost of government. With their leadership comes responsibility. With responsibility comes credit as well as blame. After eight years of taking blame for all that is not liked, Republicans can now luxuriate in being able to place blame on Democrats as they have done to Republicans.

But while those Republicans elected to congress do their job by providing alternatives to liberal policies and maintaining their role as the loyal opposition, our political leaders must hit the ground running.

The question now is, who is best suited to reorganize and reinvigorate Republicans? The person needed to rally Republicans must be articulate. But a good speaker is not all that we need. The person who is made the new chairman of the party must have a passionate desire to advance the cause, incredible organizational skills, the ability to delegate responsibilities to the right and most qualified people, endless energy and stamina as well as creativity and resourcefulness and a proven record of success.

The new chairman needs the same type of vision and commitment to conservative principles that the freshmen members of congress who were elected in the 1994 Republican revolution had. The new chairman must have a vision which understands that the best government is the government that gets out of the way and allows freedom to flourish by defending it at home and abroad and by insuring that opportunity is available to all.

Currently, there are seven frontrunners. They include:

Steele

Mike Steele

Michael SteeleGOPAC , former Lt. Governor of Maryland and unsuccessful candidate for US Senate in 2006.

Chuck Yob

Chuck Yob

Chuck Yob – Successful Michigan businessman, GOP fundraiser and Michigan National Committeeman

Saul Anuzis

Saul Anuzis

Saul AnuzisChairman of the Michigan Republican State Committee

Alec Pointevint

Alec Pointevint

Alec Poitevint – Georgia’s Republican National Committeeman

Katon Dawson

Katon Dawson

Katon DawsonRepublican Party Chairman of South Carolina , the state that had the best performance for Republicans during this election cycle.

Jim Greer

Jim Greer

Jim Greer – Florida’s Republican party Chairman

Chip Saltsman

Chip Saltsman

Chip Saltsman – A former Chair of Tennessee’s GOP and the former campaign manager of Mike Huckabee’s failed candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.

Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee

Speculation has not only Huckabee’s former campaign guru on the list, Mike Huckabee himself is rumored to be a potential contender. So is one of Huckabee’s former opponents for the GOP presidential nod, Mitt Romney.

Of all these names the one person who I believe could do the most for the Republican National Committee is Mitt Romney.

antrom11

Mitt Romney

Romney has been successful at every job that he has undertaken. He is passionate. He is articulate, savvy and has an eye for recruiting those who are the best at their jobs. Mitt Romney could do wonders for the party. He would be able to provide the GOP’s highly rated, get out the vote, 72 hour program with great improvements and he would create a top notch center for Republican organization, communications, fundraising and creative strategy.

Problem is that I want Mitt Romney to be able to run for President. I am looking forward to either him or Sarah Palin being our 2012 nominee. Becoming the political leader of the party does not help him establish the bipartisan image that a Presidential nominee needs. If he did as a good a job for the party as I think he would, having been the chairman of the party he rebuilds, could help him get the party’s nomination though.

However, I feel that a truly smart RNC chairman would involve Mitt Romney and utilize his expertise. Doing so would keep Romney free to expand his nonpolitical credentials while still allowing for his Midas touch to assist behind the scenes.

As for the other names mentioned, Mike Steele, Katon Dawson and Jim Greer are the only names that really interest me. Each of them have demonstrated ideological superiority to one extent or the other and have achieved outstanding results for Republicans.

Former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich

Former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich

One name not mentioned but is at the top of my list, is former Maryland Governor Robert Erhlich. After losing reelection in the 2006 GOP sea of change, Bob Ehrlich has not been discussed much. That is a shame because he happens to be one of the best in the newer generation of conservative politics. He was the first Republican to be elected governor of Maryland in almost 60 years. Through it all Ehrlich maintained his principles and conservative ideology. Not once did he try to win favor by acting like a democrat. Instead, he successfully implemented conservative ideology into government application. He also happens to be articulate and effective in his ability to explain and deliver the conservative message.

 

Sometimes referred to as a Kempite Republican, Bob Erhlich could be just what we need to rekindle our spirit and rally the cause.

Whoever the grand poobahs of the GOP hierarchy install as chairman, it is my greatest hope that they recruit the right people to carry out the mission that is ahead.

Patrick Ruffini

Patrick Ruffini

People like political Internet champion Patrick Ruffini who could incorporate the most cyber savvy organization politics has ever seen and Ralph Reed who is a master at reaching out and organizing the grassroots.

Ralph Reed

Ralph Reed

Being the minority party is not a problem to be feared. Becoming the minority is what we needed to fear and now, we are there.  So the worst is over. Now we have the chance to take advantage of what Democrats took advantage of for a long time, minority status and the ability to place blame on the powers that be that comes with it.

From here we can only come back, and if we take the right steps, we can come back quickly. To do so will require that our first steps be the right steps . In this case that would be done by picking the right person to map out our future and recruit the brightest lights to help illuminate the fast track to the reinvigoration that the party is capable of.

punchline-politics1

 

Q: What’s the problem with Barack Obama jokes?


A: His followers don’t think they’re funny and other people don’t think they’re jokes.

 

 

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