Conservatives are at it again: shooting our own.
When Conservatives decide not to vote for Republican candidates, Republicans lose. Conservatives lose. The Democrats, socialists, and atheists win. Obama wins.
Where Republicans voted in 2008, we won new offices. Where they voted in 2010, we won majorities. Conservatives made the difference in the winning races and in the lost races. Not only did we have fewer Republican victories in those races where Conservatives didn’t vote, the races were decided by the least knowledgeable among us or by the Dems.
More than before, in conservative blogs and forums, I’m reading good men and women declare that they will never vote for Romney if he’s nominated. They remind me that they were the ones who refused to vote for John McCain in 2008, or who (like me) voted for Sarah Palin and McCain just benefited as a side effect.
I certainly wish that Conservatives had found themselves working hard to force McCain to keep his promises for that last three years instead of watching Obama keep his.
And here come the third party rallies!
The problem is certainly the “GOP elite,” and their support for Romney — that’s why Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum couldn’t get a foothold, right? And why Newt Gingrich is still so far behind?
How many votes do you suppose the “elite” have, anyway?
Talk about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, yesterday, Rush Limbaugh warned Conservatives what may happen if the Republican nominee doesn’t win. Yes, he titled the post of the segment “A Warning to the Republican Establishment,” ending with a prediction that the Republican Party might never recover if “they screw this up.”
The warning to the rest of us is ignored:
If this doesn’t pan out to big-time electoral victory the way the establishment has it figured, then what will their excuse be? And I think I know. I think that if this campaign goes on and if it results in Obama winning, I think what the establishment is going to do is blame us. They’re gonna blame us conservatives for once again being too rigid and too demanding and too narrow and unrealistic and all this, and telling us that we’re the reason that Obama won.
Why not? That’s exactly what happened in ’06 and ’08. (And don’t forget Rush’s own Chaos.) The media and the Left ate it up! The lesson learned was that no one can count on Conservatives. That’s why we repeatedly watch people who should be our champions “pander” (Rush’s word) to the “middle,” the “undecideds,” the independents.
Why not learn instead from successes, like the 2000 election, a victory that the Dems never saw coming? A good friend recommended that I re-read David Horowitz’ “How to Beat the Democrats.” One of the lessons is,
Lesson 3: There Is No Natural Conservative Majority (But You Can Create One through Political Action). The critical role Republican unity played in the election leads to a third lesson: There is no “natural” conservative majority.
. . . Such facts are no cause for conservatives to despair. What they are is a reality-check. If the conservative mission is to restore basic American values, the way conservatives fight the political battle will determine its outcome. There may be no current conservative majority in America, but there is a potential majority, if Republicans have the will and intelligence to create one.
David Horowitz (2002-10-06). How to Beat the Democrats and Other Subversive Ideas (Kindle Locations 842-843, 861-863). Spence. Kindle Edition.
Do we have the will? The intelligence? Can we forget the animosity we have had for each other the last year? Are we willing to say, “Let him who never had a change of heart cast the first stone?”
An estimated 56% – give or take – of the Republican National delegates have been decided, but 44% have not. The numbers aren’t set in stone, yet, depending on what happens to the delegates who went to candidates that dropped out or in States like Iowa, where the actual choice will be made at caucus in June. “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
I’m sure that I won’t see Conservative blogs pulling their anti-Romney posts, but I hope to see a few willing to be positive and work together to ensure Primary victories for the remaining Conservative in the Republican Primary, in order to deny Romney an easy nomination. Is their motto, “Anybody but Romney,” or is it, “Anybody but Obama?”
I believe that Governor Sarah Palin had the potential and many opportunities over the last 3 years to unite us in much the same way that Ronald Reagan did when he built his coalition between 1976 and 1980. The fact that she did not isn’t because Governor Palin herself is divisive, but because we Conservatives are a cantankerous and factious bunch who tend to eat our own and fight over degrees of commitment to the principles we hold dear.
“We’ll keep our God, we’ll keep our guns, we’ll keep our Constitution.”
Palin gave what should be a unifying, landmark speech at the Conservative Political Action Convention (CPAC). She warned against turning on our candidates,
“We know that the far left and their media allies can’t beat us on the issues, so instead, they distort our records,” she said. “They’ll even attack our families. Let’s not do the job for them. OK, Republicans? OK, independents?”
The news contains report after report about Palin’s passionate speech to an overflow crowd who cheered her with even more passion. Human Event’s Tony Lee is not the only one who asked, “. . . how many who were listening to the speech were coming to the realization that Palin should be the GOP nominee for president?”
The problem is that Palin refused to be the candidate. Worse, she still has not supported any of the candidates, and her words at CPAC are being used to “do the job.”
Palin delayed her announcement about whether she would run for too long, adding to – or at least enabling – the very division and conflict within the Conservative movement that she told us to avoid in her CPAC speech.
While Mitt Romney,Herman Cain, Michelle Bachman, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum were visiting Iowa and New Hampshire long before announcing their candidacies, Palin coyly deferred any commitment to running. The very loyal and enthusiastic Palin supporters went on the attack against anyone who looked like a possible candidate in their hope that she would run. The rhetoric continued even after the announcement that she would not run, with those same supporters interpreting Palin’s comments to justify building up or tearing down through many re-shufflings of the front-runners.
And now, rather than calling for unity among Conservative voters, Palin seems to be supporting a brokered convention. Well, just as I called for her to make a decision about running for President, I’m asking her to use her power and skills to bring us together behind one of the Conservatives, whether an announced candidate or not.
I have a little crush on Big Government’s Andrew Breitbart. In “The Undefeated” documentary on Sarah Palin that was released last year by Steve Bannon, Mr. Breitbart chastised the rest of the Republican men for their failure to defend and protect Governor Palin. And Mr. Breitbart delivered my favorite line of the entire week in his speech on the “silver pony tail gang,” that morphed from the anti-war movement to the Occupiers : “Ask not what the candidate can do for you, ask what you can do for the candidate!”(full video here)
Governor Palin, please join Mr. Breitbart and me in our march against the Occupiers and Barack Obama.
I have a new expletive or two for really, really, really bad “screw ups”: one is CPAC and the other is the name of one particular rude CPAC staffer I encountered.
I’ve had a miserable time at CPAC, the only shining moments were Governor Rick Perry’s speech, Andrew Brietbart’s rant about Obama and the “silver pony-tail gang”, and the Presidential Banquet with Paul Ryan’s talk and the privilege of meeting some wonderful Conservatives. I was especially struck by one panelist’s comment that the proof that faith and family are priorities and that the proof is that the TEA Party hasn’t literally formed a third party.
I’ll complain about the Convention itself later, but, first, the Politics!
Here at CPAC, virtually everyone who finds out I’m from Texas told me they were rooting for Perry and/or that he was their first choice. The exceptions were one who switched over from Sarah Palin, two that were interested in Cain, and one Ron Pauler; all but the Pauler had supported Perry while he was in the race.
Governor Perry’s speech was extraordinary and had more passion and truth than all the current candidates’ speeches. He gave the boldest speech so far.
For the Powers That Be, all the candidates should have acted like they were at CPAC. Early in the speeches, we needed to hear their conservative ideas, social issues, and self-criticism of their past mistakes, preferably with a passionate conversion story, preferably one that made us all know how strong and permanent the change has been. At CPAC convince us that you could smell the brimstone and feel the singe of the heat.
Instead: We got Santorum’s very sad-faced family and 20 minutes of foot-stomping and whining without any substantial plan, Romney’s wide-eyed gaze at us, and his assumption that he’s already won and we’d better study his 50 page plan. Newt not only had his friend introduce Saint Calista, but Newt himself gave us big government plans to *replace* the EPA with a new Federal bureaucracy and *reform* the FDA, both of which should be abolished and their regulations returned to the States.
And now, to my own rant about the Conference: I have a new expletive or two for really, really bad times: one is CPAC and the other is the name of the incredibly rude staffer I encountered on Thursday
My husband and I have attended several very large conventions (The Texas Straw poll in ’07, the Value Voters Summit in DC in ’08, American Academy of Family Physicians with up to 10,000 in attendance, the National Pawnbroker’s Convention, and the Texas Republican State Convention, etc.) The system and facilities for CPAC2012 are the worst I’ve ever experienced.
The Marriott’s too small, the ballroom was set up wrong, and no one could have designed a more dangerous traffic pattern, even without the Mormon missionaries standing shoulder to shoulder, blocking traffic in the halls and lobbies.
I could never recommend that anyone pay for “Platinum Package.” Several people have said that they should have saved the money and gone “Diamond.” And it turns out that there’s another level of Very, Very Important People, but none of the rest of us get to even glimpse them.
I’m told that all previous CPACs offered less security rules and presence and more access to the Candidates and celebrities. That access was exactly why I asked my husband to buy me the “Platinum Package” tickets for my birthday this year. I also signed up for Blogger credentials (free), as well.
Well, there was no access.
The bloggers were divided weeks ago into the in-crowd and the rest of us.
And money can’t buy happiness, either. I’ve been in more lines this week than I thought possible, and there has been very little of the promised “special lines.” Even the “VIP entrance” is a joke: I’ve been stopped more than half the time and then still fight the fire-hazard crowds in the single in/out aisle. On the first day, I couldn’t find and empty chair in the “Platinum/Diamond” area until after noon. The Platinum Balconies offer little or no view and the food is available for very limited times.
The opportunity to hear the 3 main candidates in one day and to meet some great Conservatives is the only benefit I’ve seen this week at CPAC. (You can follow my tweets @bnuckols )
I’ll give you something to be hysterical about: Rosanne Barr has filed the paperwork to run as a candidate for President. For the Green Party. We can laugh all day about her taking votes from Ron Paul AND from Barack Obama.
Unfortunately, I don’t mean hysterical-funny. I mean the more common definition of a psychiatric condition involving emotional excesses.
We don’t have a vaccine for hysteria, although Michael Fumento called for one back in 1999 in his op-ed on the hullabaloo surrounding the anthrax vaccine. I used the reference when writing about the HPV vaccine, back in October, 2011.
Now that we’re getting down to the pure, partisan politics in the Republican Primary election for Presidential candidate, I think we all need to take a look at the destructive nature of hysteria on our Conservative priorities. We want a President and Congress that will cut spending, cut government interference in our lives and businesses, and protect our inalienable rights. It is still absolutely true that the worst of the Republican candidates will be much more likely to give us what we want than Barack Obama.
The Conservatives I know fall into two camps, both of which are inappropriate in my opinion. Either they believe that Mitt Romney already has the nomination for Republican candidate sewn up or they’re angrily vowing not to vote in the Primary or the November election.
Dr. Jack Kelly at the To The Point blog (behind a pay wall) is in the first camp. He’s already moved on to nominating the future Romney Administration VP (Marco Rubio) and Secretary of State (John Bolton).
Over at FreeRepublic.com, there are plenty of FReepers in the second group. They have spent months vowing not to vote for Romney if he’s nominated. “No Romney, No Way!” and “FUMR!” are all over the place.
Let’s not forget that we still have a long Primary season ahead of us. Less than 5% of the 1100 eventual delegate votes are determined. We should each remember that Obama is much more our enemy than any of the Republican candidates. We should also each continue to support the candidate that best reflects our values, even if it’s our own version of “FUMR!”
‘Way back in history – In the Spring of 2010 – a wide variety of Conservative, independent, grass roots organizations (mostly from the Tea Party and 912 groups) held meetings in cities across the US. I attended one with Comal County (Texas) Republican Women and Tea Party members, in Austin, Texas, sponsored by the Austin Tea Party on April 15, 2010. Within a couple of weeks, my friend chartered and filled a big ol’ bus full of men and women willing to pay for their seat on the bus, meet very early in the morning, and give up a day to hear Newt Gingrich speak.
The former Speaker (and current candidate for Republican nomination for President) told us about the initiative for a “grassroots-generated, crowd-sourced, bottom-up call for real economic conservative and good governance reform in Congress.”
In the heat of our very long Primary build up, I’m afraid that we might have forgotten the Contract and how it came to be, from the idea that began in Houston, Texas, to the document, below. I encourage everyone to visit the website, take a look at the names of the sponsors and to remember the Contract and why we were excited by it ‘way back then. (The numbers in parentheses represent the strength of support from the participants.)
We, the undersigned, call upon those seeking to represent us in public office to sign the Contract from America and by doing so commit to support each of its agenda items, work to bring each agenda item to a vote during the first year, and pledge to advocate on behalf of individual liberty, limited government, and economic freedom.
Our moral, political, and economic liberties are inherent, not granted by our government. It is essential to the practice of these liberties that we be free from restriction over our peaceful political expression and free from excessive control over our economic choices.
The purpose of our government is to exercise only those limited powers that have been relinquished to it by the people, chief among these being the protection of our liberties by administering justice and ensuring our safety from threats arising inside or outside our country’s sovereign borders. When our government ventures beyond these functions and attempts to increase its power over the marketplace and the economic decisions of individuals, our liberties are diminished and the probability of corruption, internal strife, economic depression, and poverty increases.
The most powerful, proven instrument of material and social progress is the free market. The market economy, driven by the accumulated expressions of individual economic choices, is the only economic system that preserves and enhances individual liberty. Any other economic system, regardless of its intended pragmatic benefits, undermines our fundamental rights as free people.
1. Protect the Constitution Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does. (82.03%)
2. Reject Cap & Trade– Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures. (72.20%)
3. Demand a Balanced Budget – Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike. (69.69%)
4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform – Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words—the length of the original Constitution. (64.90%)
5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government in Washington – Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in a complete audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities, or ripe for wholesale reform or elimination due to our efforts to restore limited government consistent with the US Constitution’s meaning. (63.37%)
6. End Runaway Government Spending – Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth. (56.57%)
7. Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care – Defund, repeal and replace the recently passed government-run health care with a system that actually makes health care and insurance more affordable by enabling a competitive, open, and transparent free-market health care and health insurance system that isn’t restricted by state boundaries. (56.39%)
8. Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above” Energy Policy – Authorize the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation, lowering prices and creating competition and jobs. (55.51%)
9. Stop the Pork – Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark. (55.47%)
10. Stop the Tax Hikes – Permanently repeal all tax hikes, including those to the income, capital gains, and death taxes, currently scheduled to begin in 2011. (53.38%)
If Governor Perry drops out, most of the Nation will never get a chance to vote for our candidate, or to influence the Republican primary at all. I’m afraid that the voices that claim that the “Powers That Be” really determine our candidates will be proven right.
Now, I’ll admit to being an early supporter of Governor Rick Perry. I’m still convinced that the Governor is the right man for the job. And he’s the only one of the remaining candidates who still has a job – and the only one who hasn’t been running for President for over a year.
Part of the reason that Romney is always in front is the script that he IS the front-runner. And part of the reason that Governor Perry is trailing is the repetitive script that he can’t win because he got in so late and made mistakes in his first couple of debates. I’d think more people would have noticed how fast Rick Perry learned debating, and how much he has improved in such a short space of time. But no: the consensus is he goofed up in September, so it’s all over.
The reality is that it’s still January. Even after South Carolina and Florida – the first “winner take all” primaries – just 5% of the Delegates to the Republican Convention will be determined. No one can possibly be declared the winner of the Republican Primary until late March. With less than 50 delegates out of the 1144 needed to win, half of the 2288 total, the race is – and should be – still on.
While both Santorum and Gingrich are Conservatives, their histories are no less tainted than any other candidate, and some of those votes and actions will need to be defended. Neither can speak authoritatively about working in the private sector, creating jobs, serving in the military, or upholding the Second Amendment. Worse, both have a long record of “crossing the aisle” and forgetting to come back.
Gingrich has been married three times and has a very public history of adultery. He muddled his response just last month as to when life begins and the balanced budgets he brags about depended on the Sustainable Growth Rate.
Santorum has a lack of executive experience, as well as the specter of his support for Senator Specter (who turned Democrat) and his loss in Pennsylvania. He also voted against the Right to Work Act because, as he said last week, Pennsylvania is not a Right to Work State.
And then, there are the wives. Apparently, there was a “war” over the wives at that meeting of Christian leaders last week. As the Republican platform supports the Defense of Marriage Act, the wives will become an issue when their husbands go up against Obama.
Governor Perry has had well over 11 years of experience running Texas, both as Lieutenant Governor and Governor. He understands what it means to be required to balance a budget, work with a contentious Legislature and fight for laws not only in the House and Senate, but in the Courts and in public opinion. He understands the ramifications of regulations and appointments to regulatory bodies.
He’s the only one of the five remaining candidates other than Paul who has served in the military, having volunteered to serve in the US Air Force near the end of the Viet Nam War, becoming a pilot for over four years and retiring as a Captain.
On the social issues, there’s no one with a better record than Governor Perry: he has been married to one wife, and has always been pro-life, pro-family, pro-gun, pro-state’s rights.
Governor Perry doesn’t just say these things because he believes it’s what Republicans and Conservatives want to hear. Governor Rick Perry, in his books, Fed Up! and On My Honor, and in his years of service to the State of Texas, has proven that he understands and believes in Conservative ideals.
I spoke as a surrogate speaker for Governor Rick Perry at a small precinct caucus in West Des Moines, Iowa, tonight. The 72 voters who came to the little elementary school gym weren’t representative of the “undecided” that I’d been hearing about all week. The neighborhood caucus goers had come ready to vote. Unfortunately, the tally came down to Romney/Santorum/Paul/Gingrich and then one little old vote for Governor Rick Perry. To give me credit, the lady who said she voted for Perry wouldn’t have if I hadn’t been there.
As of 9 o’clock, it looks like Iowa has decided not to decide, with the top 3 slots getting just under 25% each and Speaker Gingrich and Governor Perry vying for 4th slot. I’m disappointed in the outcome, but only surprised that the Ron Paul crowd is so strong and the Iowa voters seem so fickle.
(I was treated to classic Ron Paul voter behavior: half the signs I’d put up were knocked down and the surrogate speaker was told to behave when he snorted at me when my candidate got few votes.)
Conservatives understand that we shouldn’t make the perfect the enemy of the good. Personally, I’m reluctant to criticize Republican candidates before even one vote is cast in the Primaries. But Conservatives also know that if we ignore our principles for expediency, we risk losing both. if we learned anything in 2008, that is.
Even Erick Erickson of Red State says he’s ready to go “none of the above.” But “none of the above” won’t cut it this year. We are fighting an incumbent that is almost guaranteed the black, gay and pro-abort vote, not to mention all of the many people who can only survive by the redistribution of tax money!
We have an opportunity to vote our principles in Rick Perry. If you can’t bear Governor Perry or don’t believe his experience in governing Texas is indicative of his ability to govern the United States, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum are good options. In contrast, Gingrich or Romney would just be the latest version of “it’s his turn.” We need the consistency and the radical DC outsider that is Rick Perry.
I know that many Conservatives have either been divorced and remarried or have loved ones who have been divorced. Others have family members who are homosexuals. We might even have family members who have been convicted of crimes – and I’m not saying that either of the first two are crimes. However, we understand that messy personal lives are not the ideal, and we prefer that our leaders be someone that we can not only admire, but who will demonstrate that they hold – and live – our principles as their own.
The Newt is everything that we have been fighting since McCain was nominated. The ability to debate does not equate to the ability to govern.He has been selling himself as the next in line, ever since Obama’s inauguration, according to the report in the Real Clear Politics’ Election 2012: the Battle Begins. The story is that Gingrich hosted a dinner for Republicans on the night of the inauguration.
Worse, if Newt Gingrich is the Republican nominee, we won’t have the family values and principles that the base of the Conservative Republicans have rallied ’round. I’m not sure his history of serial adultery can stand up to opposition of same sex marriage. If marriage is plastic enough to support Newt’s history, then why not?
I’d like to believe the Catholic conversion that went along with this latest marriage is a good place to reset Newt’s sexual morality and ethical credentials. However, Gingrich can’t even stay on point on when life begins, telling us one thing on Friday and begging Catholics to tell us he meant something else on Sunday.
If Conservative bloggers are willing to go with pretty talk, will Conservative voters follow? I don’t think so. I believe that the TEA Party has proven that we are outside the influence of Party politics. We work from the Republican Party only as long as the Republican Party will honor our principles and at least appear to support *us.*
I am somewhat afraid that the TEA Party is too busy deciding whether personal lives and a true understanding of first principles – life, liberty, “first do no harm” – are important if their property is secured. I’ve watched in disbelief as uncertainty about the flavor of the month’s views on abortion, when life begins, true marriage and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is justified because of some mistaken idea that giving up ideology will give us the White House.
It’s indeed time to make the decision to support principles or not. But few of us will vote in New Hampshire, Iowa or South Carolina. Our choice of which candidate to support is only urgent if we are blogging, writing, advocating and donating money.
Whether your biggest fear is that Obama wins, or that Romney wins, the next 2 or 3 months are the time to support Conservatives. Don’t choose to advocate for or donate to the “electable” candidate long before your own before your primary, for pity’s sake!
Edited at 15:00, 12/8/11 to add last 3 paragraphs, and on December 25 to correct mispelling.