Archive for the ‘True Conservative’ Category
According to the Wall Street Journal’s Political Diary (subscription only) Saul Anuzis, the Michigan GOP Chair who famously wanted Ron Paul barred from all GOP debates, is campaigning for the RNC chairmanship:
On the Republican side, the jockeying to replace current GOP Chairman Mike Duncan has begun. Mr. Duncan has been a competent administrator and fundraiser but the widely perceived need for new blood in the wake of the party’s second consecutive drubbing at the polls makes him unlikely to be re-elected.
Several candidates are lining up to replace him. Michigan GOP State Chairman Saul Anuzis is actively campaigning on a platform of reinvigorating the party’s grass roots and returning to basic conservative principles. South Carolina Party Chairman Kalton Dawson is touting his fundraising abilities as he rounds up votes among fellow RNC members.
But several insiders believe the next RNC chairman must have some star power and an ability to get on national talk shows at a time when the new Obama administration will dominate media coverage. Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, now chairman of the GOPAC conservative training academy, is allowing friends to make calls on his behalf. Mr. Steele is already a fixture on cable TV news shows and well known in Washington D.C. conservative circles.
But some Republicans are touting someone with an even bigger media profile — former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
According to another article, Anuzis “wants the party to invest in the latest technology to reach young voters and to expand the GOP message to more voters” and says “the party needs to do a better job of using the latest technology to raise money.”
So a year and a half after Anuzis demanded Ron Paul kicked out, he says the GOP needs to do a better job reaching young voters and using the “latest technology” (i.e. the internet) to raise money. Irony anyone?
As evidenced by by this silly Washington Post commentary titled “McCain’s Problem isn’t his Tactics. It’s GOP Ideas,” the left (joined by their big government allies in the GOP) will do their best to portray Republican electoral failures as evidence of the failure of limited government conservatism.
As Matt Welch observes: “This critique requires a significant leap of logic − that George W. Bush, and his would-be GOP successor John McCain, practice and/or believe in limited government principles.”
But just because the argument is dead wrong, doesn’t mean it isn’t still very dangerous.
Left unanswered, the argument could mark the extinction of the limited-government torch that has been carried by elements of the GOP since at least Barry Goldwater’s run for President. (Sure, the torch for limited-government hasn’t necessarily been burning brightly, but its very existence gives the GOP a potential for conservative/libertarian policy-making that is wholly absent from the Democratic Party.)
That’s where Ron Paul comes in. When McCain fails to beat Obama (something I believe is very likely to happen) and Republicans lose seats in both the House and Senate (something I’m certain will happen), Republicans will ask themselves the obvious question: Why?
If they decide that a decade of abandoned limited-government principles is responsible, there may be hope yet for the Grand Old Party. Otherwise, we’ll see a self-fulfilling prophecy of two permanent parties of big government, where one will always win.
If there is one thing the Campaign for Liberty, and the greater Ron Paul movement should focus on between now and November it should be showing that not only has the Republican party abandoned its limited government principles, but that the betrayal of those principles is the largest reason for the party’s demise.
I often argue with a friend of mine who is a McCain supporter about McCain’s ability to bring conservatives who are upset with the catastrophe of the Bush presidency back into the fold.
This clip of McCain on Morning Joe highlights the problem I see for McCain:
Responding to the impassioned plea of an women in the audience for reducing the tax burden McCain says he thinks taxes should be “kept low” and later repeats a number of times that he wants to “keep taxes low.”
But McCain fundamentally misses the point…. taxes aren’t low. Depending on whose statistics you use the average American is paying 30 or 40 percent of their income to the government (a number that doesn’t include the hidden tax of inflation, or the future taxes of deficit spending).
Does McCain really think that paying 30 cents to the government out of every dollar earned is “keeping taxes low”? If he does, he completely misses the point of the lady who confronted him.
Here is her exact quote: “You tax when we’re born. You tax us when we’re dead. You tax us when we sleep. You tax us when we eat. You tax us every which way. Get off of our back!”
Note she isn’t complaining about hypothetical tax hikes that President Obama would impose. She makes it quite clear that she holds McCain personally responsible (hence the use of the word “you,” not “them” or “the Democrats”).
By suggesting that our current tax burden is low, McCain misses one of the driving forces of the conservative movement, and shows why so many fiscal conservatives will never trust him.
Yesterday the AP wrote an article about the potential for Bob Barr to be “the Ralph Nader of 2008.”
Sure, the sum of John McCain and Bob Barr’s vote totals could end up being enough to win the presidency, despite McCain losing to Obama, but it is foolish to assume that absent Bob Barr, McCain would receive those votes.
The AP, and other commentators who spout this “Nader of 08″ garbage, fail to realize an important point: elections are not about voter preference, they are about who you are motivated enough to go to the polls and vote for.
Political parties don’t spend millions of dollars to ensure that their candidate is preferred, they spend millions to get out the vote (GOTV). So long as we don’t have mandatory voting (and let’s hope we never do), elections are not a zero sum game… then the McCain + Barr = Obama calculus simply doesn’t add up.
Frustrated conservatives who might vote Barr are going to do so because they aren’t persuaded to give their vote to McCain (or Obama). Voting for a candidate who you know won’t win - such as Bob Barr or Ralph Nader - isn’t something that people will do lightly, and the decision to do so says far more about McCain then it does about Barr.
If McCain loses, it will be because of his own failure to get out the conservative base. Years of betraying conservative values and contempt for the Republican grassroots will be the reason otherwise likely Republican voters may take the step of going to the polls for Barr.
Don’t believe me, just look at the list:
- McCain-Feingold free speech restrictions
- Opposition to tax cuts and using class warfare rhetoric to oppose them
- Joining with Ted Kennedy to push for amnesty for illegals
- Joining with Joe Lieberman to impose regulations on carbon emissions that will devastate the economy
In other words if McCain does lose by a small margin, the real ”Nader of 2008″ will be McCain.
In his Evans-Novak Political Report, Robert Novak - who has the pulse of the Conservative movement - examines potential problems for McCain. Novak (and co-writer Tim Carney) see problems for McCain with libertarian and evangelical factions of the conservative movement:
- Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), who garnered significant chunks of the Republican primary electorate in the late primaries, has made it clear he will not endorse McCain. Paul’s loud and enthusiastic following is small, but if they stay at home or vote third-party in tight states, they could help Obama. McCain will have trouble appealing to limited-government conservatives, but when contrasted with Obama, he could win back many of the Paul followers.
- The key question on the libertarian side of the ledger will be the strength of former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr, the Libertarian nominee. Barr lacks the rock-star quality of Paul, and his mixed record on foreign policy, domestic security, and gay marriage will turn off some of the libertarian purists. Will he appeal to disaffected small-government conservatives?
- Barr sees his strongest region being the Mountain West, where Nevada and Colorado sit on the edge of the McCain-Obama battle. Barr could tip those states in Obama’s direction if he gets just 2 percent.
- The fear of Barr swinging his home state Georgia to the Obama column is overblown. Bush won 58% in Georgia in 2004, and a higher black turnout in 2008 would be partially offset by the white Democrats who vote Republican. Also, remember that Barr lost a GOP primary to end his congressional career, so he is hardly Georgia’s favorite son.
- On the religious conservative side, McCain is also facing difficulties. Ineptitude and insensitivity resulted in insults to two evangelical leaders, the Rev. John Hagee and Focus on the Family’s James Dobson.
- Hagee has told friends that McCain “threw [him] under the bus,” by soliciting his endorsement, and then disowning him after news came out about a previous offensive-sounding comment about Hitler (Hagee actually has very strong ties to the Jewish community, but many groups objected angrily to the comments). McCain’s rush to disavow Hagee while Hagee was searching for a more gracious exit route shows the nominee’s clumsiness.
- McCain also bungled an opportunity to patch things up with Dobson, who is very influential. Dobson had said last year that he could never vote for McCain, but this spring, he reached out to the nominee. Dobson wanted a meeting in Colorado Springs, but McCain demanded a meeting in Denver. No meeting ever happened.
- There is little in McCain’s record as a senator to upset evangelicals, but little to excite them either: He opposes gay marriage, but voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment; he votes pro-life on most issues, but he is hardly vocal about it. To evangelicals, however, he doesn’t come across as “one of us.” These missteps can emphasize that problem, depressing turnout in a constituency that has been a core of GOP presidential victories starting with Ronald Reagan.
- Add to this McCain’s un-conservative tastes, as exemplified by the two men he would most like to name as his running mate: former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.). Either of these VP nominees would destroy his conservative support, and McCain surely knows that.
I have to throw some props to radio talker and friend of the rEVOLution Jack Hunter for his great analysis of the coming election.
Democrat Bob Conley offers conservatives a real choice in November
Lindsey Graham vs. Conservatism
BY JACK HUNTER
Like most South Carolina conservatives last Wednesday morning, I shook my head in disgust over Sen. Lindsey Graham’s triumph in the Republican primary. We all knew it was going to happen, but being reminded was no less painful. It seemed as if the Palmetto State was destined to forever endure Graham, a man that Quin Hillyer, editor of The American Spectator calls the “Worst Republican Senator.”
The following Thursday morning, still bummed, I took notice of a headline in The Post & Courier that read “Dems seem to back conservative.” The article focused on the potential challengers to Graham in November in the Democratic primary, of which Bob Conley was victorious. I knew nothing about Conley and assumed he was just another standard liberal Democrat. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Tonight Ron Paul will giving a speech “of great importance” at the Texas GOP convention.
JustinTV will stream it live , so do your best to tune in:
UPDATE: Lew Rockwell has the details of the announcement:
Tonight, at a campagn rally adjacent to the Texas state Republican convention in Houston, he will thank all his donors and volunteers, and announce that he is closing down his presidential campaign, and is no longer a candidate for president.
But Ron will still hold his grand rally in Minneapolis on September 2–where he will NOT endorse McCain–and continue his efforts to change the Republican party. He will also, more importantly, step up his educational work for Americans in all walks of life, and all ages from home schoolers to seniors, in the principles of freedom, peace, sound money, Austrian economics, and the free market. Ron’s special targets, as always, will be the warfare state, the Federal Reserve, and the income tax.
Ron will continue to speak on college campuses. And with his own TV studios in Arlington, VA, and Clute, TX, he will also be a frequent commentator on YouTube and many other venues about the outrages of the central government, and what to do about them. His book, The Revolution: A Manifesto, remains on the bestseller list, and he is already working on his next one.
The successor organization to Ron’s presidential campaign and its remaining $4.7 million is his Campaign for Liberty.
And ABC has an article up.