Friday, March 21st, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Economy
Next week, Senate Democrats will restart their effort to create a de facto permanent unemployment entitlement for those out of work for up to 73 weeks. Unfortunately, instead of uprooting the entire premise of the Unemployment Insurance (UI) extension, many Senate Republicans are prepared to go along with this scheme as long as the 5 month cost is offset through some notional promises of more revenue in year 2024.
This represents a lost opportunity. The Democrat request for a UI extension in light of their Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, labor and environmental regulations on the economy is akin to someone injecting a painful disease into a patient while simultaneously demanding a constant flow of morphine. It’s time for Republicans to stand firm and pin the tail of long-term unemployment on the donkey. The message should be resoundingly clear: stop creating a permanent part-time economy with Obamacare and there won’t be a need to create dependency with fiscal morphine.
The Hill reports today on the findings of a Brookings Institute study detailing the state of the long-term unemployed:
A new study released Thursday finds that only about 11 percent of the long-term unemployed returned to full-time steady work a year later.
The study found that people out of work for at least six months are having an increasingly hard time reconnecting with the labor force.
It concludes that even if the unemployment rate returns to normal levels long-term unemployment will remain a problem in the economy and that “the long-term unemployed are an unlucky subset of the short-term unemployed.” […]
Between 2009 – 2013, the authors found that a sharp decline in job openings coupled with a decrease in labor force withdrawal rates accounts for the sharp rise in the number of long-term unemployed workers and the overall rise in the unemployment rate.
So what is the answer? What is the panacea? Do we subsidize even more individuals to stay unemployed or do we address the factors that have created the shortage of jobs?
That’s the choice Republicans need to communicate to the American people instead of getting mired in a dispute of which phony offsets to use in paying for the wrongheaded policy.
Republican leadership should block any UI bill unless Senator Harry Reid agrees to hold a debate on the real issues that cause unemployment. They should push full repeal of Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, and Obama’s new labor and environmental regulations. They should push Senator Ted Cruz’s new energy bill that will unshackle the private economy to create jobs. They should demand votes on lowering the corporate tax and repatriating foreign income – policies that Democrats claim to support.
Alternatively, they can agree to give amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants and double our record-high level of immigration and guest workers. After all, isn’t there a labor shortage in virtually every sector of the economy – both high-skilled and low-skilled?
Obamanomics provides Republicans with an opportunity to create a bold contrast. Will they actually bite?
Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Debt, Economy
Earlier this year, we were entreated to a vivid example of how neither party is committed to shrinking the federal government and bolstering private enterprise when they passed a five-year Farm/Food Stamp bill. CBO pegged the 10-year cost of the bill at $965 billion, up from $604 billion in 2008. Yet, the politicians sold it as an $8 billion cut because it fell short of the notional $973 billion baseline.
Aside for the raw cost of the bill, the structural changes on the agriculture side and the lack of reforms on the food stamp side actually made the bill even worse: At the time, we noted the following:
Moreover, any projected score on food stamp spending is meaningless. The food stamp program is part of mandatory spending, and given the fact that this bill fails to structurally reform the program on a large scale, the 10-year cost will continue to rise as more people are encouraged to join.
On the agriculture side, this bill is an even bigger joke. Drafters of the bill are boasting how they are abolishing $5 billion in direct subsidies. The problem is that this bill creates new subsidy programs, which will be even more expensive and market-distorting – and they will be permanent law, not subject to reauthorization.
The Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) would guarantee shallow loss off of record revenue farmers have been enjoying over the past few years. The shallow loss program would kick in when revenue dips below 86% of recent year amounts The Price Loss Coverage (PLC) would trigger subsidies when prices for certain commodities dip below target prices. For many crops, prices are already beginning to drop towards the cusp of those trigger levels. Hence, the cost of these programs will probably spike much higher than originally projected when CBO scored the bill with the higher prices.
Less than two months later, both predictions have come true. With regards to food stamp spending, the lack of structural reforms is precluding the actualization of even the notional baseline savings. Here is a report from NPR explaining why the “savings” from food stamp “reforms” never got off the ground:
The cuts were related to a program known as “heat and eat.” In the past, it had allowed the participating states to give low-income households as little as $1 a year in home heating aid so they’d qualify for more food stamps.
States said it made the program and got help to those who needed it. But the maneuver was called a loophole by both Republicans and Democrats. So last month, Congress agreed to raise the amount of utility assistance states would have to pay to trigger the provision — to more than $20 a year.
The idea was that many of the states that use “heat and eat” would decide it wasn’t worth their while. The expected result? Some 850,000 food stamp recipients would have their benefits cut an average $90 a month, which is where the savings would come in.
Turns out, Congress was wrong.
The “heat and eat” program covers 16 states, plus the District of Columbia. Six states — Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Oregon and Montana — have already declared that they will boost home energy benefits to avoid the food stamp cuts. Two other participants — Vermont and D.C. — are actively working to do the same thing.
With regards to the farm subsidies, Heritage Action has cited a new analysis from the University of Missouri’s Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute confirming our worst suspicions – the new subsidy programs will cost more than the direct payments and more than CBO originally projected:
Despite the elimination of direct payments, the new farm bill is going to pay off better than the 2008 law for many growers and could be more costly to taxpayers than the Congressional Budget Office estimated, according to an analysis released Thursday that provides the first up-to-date look at the bill’s impact.
According to economists with the University of Missouri’s Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, the cost of the farm bill’s new Price Loss Coverage program will start at $2.1 billion for this year’s crops and increase to $3.4 billion by 2018.
CBO had estimated the PLC would cost roughly $1.6 billion to $1.7 billion a year through 2019. The CBO analysis was based off a forecast issued last year when market prices were higher. PLC will trigger payments when prices fall below fixed levels, or reference prices.
Every Republican running as a conservative this year must take notice. This is just one example of how the GOP establishment has no intention of fighting for limited government, and to the extent that they entice rank-and-file members into supporting shiny objects, there is always a catch.
Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Immigration, Issues, Obamacare
The defeat of former Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Bob Bennett (R-UT) in their respective primaries in 2010 has engendered a new paradigm in GOP politics. No longer do liberal Republicans run honestly on their records in the primaries. That would create a recipe for instant defeat. Instead, they lie their way through the primaries, painting themselves as conservative heroes, and often tainting their conservative challengers as unreliable conservatives. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was the first to pioneer this strategy in 2012. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has followed this strategy to a tee. The two most recent examples are Reps. Mike Simpson (R-ID) and Renee Ellmers (R-NC).
Simpson is close to being unseated by Bryan Smith in Idaho’s Second District. In an act of desperation, he went up on broadcast television with an ad that touts his support for a balanced budget amendment, spending cuts, repealing TARP, and defunding Obamacare. Meanwhile, he tosses the meaningless, yet derogatory, label of “personal injury lawyer” at his opponent.
To anyone who knows Simpson’s record, this is possibly the most dishonest ad ever run during a campaign cycle. He obfuscates all of the consequential votes he’s taken that have actually been signed into law, such as massive spending increases, debt ceiling increases, and funding for Obamacare, and replaces them with vacuous show votes that he knew at-the-time would never pass. Most egregiously, he has the impertinence to say that he voted to repeal the Wall Street bailout while failing to mention that he voted for the original bailout that was signed into law!
Nobody who has followed Simpson’s career – supporter or opponent – believes he is a conservative. Even the American “Conservative” Union gave Simpson a failing grade of 46% last year. Yet, he has the superior firepower to completely lie to his constituents about his voting record while co-opting the conservative message – a message he has been repudiating for years.
Next up is Renee Ellmers running for reelection in North Carolina’s Second Congressional district. As we noted a few weeks ago, Ellmers is one of the most ardent supporters of leadership and a passionate supporter of amnesty and open borders. After a major dustup with Laura Ingraham over immigration, her liberal allies sense that she might be vulnerable to Frank Roche in the May 6 primary. Breitbart is reporting that FWD, which is funded by Mark Zuckerberg and run by McConnell acolytes, is up with ads promoting Ellmers as……tough on the border and against amnesty!
“Renee Ellmers is a conservative fighter for North Carolina,” a narrator reads in the television version of the ad, while pictures of Ellmers move across the screen. It continues:
“Ellmers voted for a Balanced Budget Amendment to cut the debt and stop the wasteful spending in Washington. She’s protecting Fort Bragg and Pope Airfield from massive defense cuts and working hard to secure the border and fix our broken immigration system once and for all. No amnesty, period.”
The ad then lists the D.C. phone number for Ellmers’ congressional office and advises viewers to “call Congresswoman Ellmers and tell her to keep fighting for conservative solutions.”
Folks, you can’t make this up!
One would think that with Ellmers proudly supporting “a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented” and with the polling for such a proposition supposedly skyrocketing to majority support, they would eagerly and honestly promote her real beliefs. Yet, they know that their views don’t sell at the ballot box, so they have to co-opt our views – even as they fight to the death against our solutions. That is why they are touting Ellmers as against amnesty and that is why Mike Simpson is running against TARP.
Undoubtedly, many establishment Republicans will win reelection. We cannot change the entire political class in one election cycle. However, not a single one will win reelection running on their true beliefs. They will overwhelm us with their liberal campaign cash, ironically, promoting positions that are antithetical to their actions in Washington.
This just goes to show that, despite their unlimited resources, the members of the political class are a bunch of cowards. They lack the courage to come out of the closet and propagate their big government views during the primaries.
Monday, March 17th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Immigration
What happens when the opposition party is so committed to implementing amnesty – to the extent that they are willing to destroy their own base? The President will take the prerogative to implement amnesty on his own without fear of reprisal.
I never thought we’d live to see the day when the rule of law is suspended by administrative fiat to the point that Democrats openly tout their illegal plans:
Schumer, one of the leaders of the Senate’s Gang of Eight that pushed through a comprehensive immigration package last year, said it is clear where the issue of immigration reform is heading.
“They can either help pass comprehensive reform, which will greatly reduce the flow of illegal immigrants, grow our economy by bringing in needed workers in high-tech and agriculture areas, and provide a hard-earned path to eventual citizenship for the 11 million in the shadows,” he said in a Facebook post, “or they can sit idly by and watch the President greatly curtail deportations while 11 million continue to live in limbo here in America.”
Indeed, Obama has already ordered a review of deportations and has transferred DHS funding from a border fence to increased salaries for bureaucrats. This comes on the heels of the President’s pledge that Obamacare sign-ups will not be used to track down illegals for deportations.
What’s even more appalling than Democrats openly bragging about flaunting the law and vitiating our sovereignty is the complete callous disregard by Republicans.
What if citizens would stop paying taxes, or refuse to participate in Social Security? If the executive branch can countermand a law of Congress, why can’t the voters – those who grant Congress its authority – do the same?
The irony is that we are all compelled to obey laws that we don’t like, even those of dubious constitutional authority. Yet, the President is able to disobey one of the few core functions of the federal government while granting handouts to those who come and stay here illegally!
Senator Sessions has compiled a full list of actions this president has taken to violate laws passed by Congress and erase our borders while endangering our national security. Yet, instead of spending millions on ads educating the public about Obama’s malevolent and imperial actions, they are actually spending millions promoting Obama’s open borders agenda in an appallingly deceptive manner. Groups like FWD, run by McConnell allies, are running ads attacking House Republicans for not supporting amnesty.
Parting question: If Obama feels he can act unilaterally to alter America even before the midterm elections, what will stop him from pushing the envelope after November, when he officially becomes a lame duck?
Thursday, March 13th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Press
Fort Worth, TX – The Madison Project PAC released the following statement in response to Congressman Mike Simpson’s (R-ID) appallingly dishonest TV ad:
“Simpson acts as if tossing around the vacuous stereotype of ‘personal injury lawyer’ against his opponent affords him the license to obfuscate his voting record and misleads the voters in Idaho,” said Daniel Horowitz of the Madison Project. “There aren’t enough shyster consultants in Washington who can produce honest ads to rehabilitate his liberal record. He dishonestly uses ceremonial votes that he knew would never be signed into law to obscure the consequential liberal votes he cast that were actually signed into law.”
Here are the facts:
Wall Street Bailout: Simpson has the unbridled temerity to suggest that he voted to repeal the Wall Street Bailout, while refusing to mention the fact that he voted for it in the first place [RC #681, Oct 3, 2008]. Although Simpson declines to cite the roll call vote to ‘repeal’ TARP, there was never a full repeal bill and it was never signed into law.
Balanced Budget: Simpson touts his vote for a Balanced Budget Amendment. That is lovely, but it is meaningless for him to support something that never had a chance to become law while supporting endless debt ceiling increases, which ensured that our budget would never balance. The examples of votes he’s taken to bust the budget are too numerous to list. A partial list can be viewed at SackSimpson.com.
Cut Spending: Simpson claims to have cut trillions in spending, but as a chief appropriator he has never met a spending bill he didn’t like. He even voted against the $100 billion in spending cuts promised by the GOP Pledge to America in 2011 [RC #103, Feb 18, 2011]. Mike Simpson was one of just three Republicans to vote against cutting off taxpayer funding for the radical liberal and corrupt ACORN [RC #397, June 2, 2011].
Obamacare: Simpson has the nerve to suggest that he voted to defund Obamacare, but he has always opposed the only consequential means of actually defunding the law, which is by objecting to any budget that contains funding. [RC# 550, Oct. 16, 2013]
The Madison Project endorsed Bryan Smith (R-ID) against Rep. Mike Simpson. To view our endorsement click here.
The Madison Project supports and raises money for conservative candidates that have demonstrated a commitment to full-spectrum conservatism. The Madison Project website can be found at http://madisonproject.com/
Thursday, March 13th, 2014 and is filed under Blog
Yesterday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a bill to authorize loan guarantees for Ukraine, similar to the bill that passed the House last week. The loan guarantee bill doesn’t directly increase spending; rather it adds Ukraine to the list of countries eligible for Economic Support Fund (ESF) grants. ESF grants have already been appropriated and are used as “walking around cash” for the State Department to send to allied countries in need of assistance (although the money often goes elsewhere). However, the bill does transfer extra funds into the Treasury in order to cover any potential default on the loan.
Let’s put aside judgment on the underlying bill for a moment; the more critical issue at hand is the International Monetary Fund (IMF) “reform” provision. Senate Democrats tacked on a provision that would weaken our sovereignty within the IMF, ostensibly increasing our quota and limiting our power. Here is how the Heritage Foundation describes the reform package:
“In 2010, the IMF board, with support from the Obama Administration, proposed a series of reforms that would increase the voting power of certain emerging-market nations and double the amount of member countries’ national “quota” contributions that are the primary source of funding for IMF loans.
The U.S. has the largest quota of any country in the world and also the largest single-nation voting share (16.75 percent). It has been the only country in the world with veto power at the IMF. Due to the constitutional role of Congress and U.S. veto power, this IMF reform package must therefore be approved by Congress before it can go into effect.
The reform package would change the rules for election of the IMF executive board, and the U.S. would lose the right it has heretofore enjoyed to appoint its own representative to the executive board—and that is where all the power is at the IMF.”
This “reform” package is similar to some of the treaties that are pushed through the United Nations by those in the world who want to attenuate our power. It would also cost us another $315 million.
GOP Senators Corker, McCain, Johnson, and Flake joined all the Democrats in supporting the bill. The other committee Republicans opposed it. Now everyone is wringing their hands over the impasse.
In comes Senator Mitch McConnell to cut a raw deal on a bill we don’t have to pass in the first place. The Hill has the details on the deal:
Republicans have long opposed the reforms, which they see as reducing U.S. influence in the IMF. They’ve sought to get a deal from the administration in which they’d agree to the reforms in exchange for the White House backing off on new regulations to govern 501(c)(4) tax-exempt groups that were at the center of the recent IRS targeting controversy.
The IRS rules, released after the tax agency acknowledged it improperly scrutinized conservative organizations, seek to clarify what would be considered political activity for tax-exempt groups.
The GOP offered a similar deal during a fight over an omnibus spending bill.
I’m hearing from a number of Senate sources that indeed it is Mitch McConnell who pitched this deal during the omnibus and is doing so now with the Ukraine bill. Politico also seems to confirm this through Senator Bob Corker. This is a quintessential McConnell backroom deal – to preemptively surrender on a definitive and immediate bad policy in exchange for mitigating a looming threat.
The IRS regulations have not yet been promulgated and they are illegitimate. We should not pay ransom on something Obama has no authority to do in the first place. We should fight the IRS regulations as part of a separate effort. If need be, we must use the power of the purse and fight them in appropriation bills for the IRS. Oh, I forgot, McConnell doesn’t believe in that.
Moreover, Obama has no leverage to pass the IMF bill. It cannot pass the House, and the Ukraine bill is not a must-pass bill. In fact, many conservatives would have rather we pass a bill eliminating the restrictions on exporting natural gas so that we can immediately lower the cost of energy in the world markets. The House should also attach a provision to pull out of New START. That would weaken Russia’s leverage and promote economic growth in one shot. That is the true conservative approach to peace through strength. But what can you expect from leadership?
Granting some loan guarantees to a weak country (that might use the money to pay off Russia anyway) is at best the most palatable option presented to House members by leadership and at worse, something to oppose. Even if you support the package, it is certainly not a hill to die on. We should not agree to weaken our power on a bill that was designed to project our power. If Obama insists on passing the IMF package, Senate Republicans should make it clear that we don’t care about passing a Ukraine bill while House Republicans should pass a bill dealing with energy exports.
However, from McConnell’s vantage point, this is a win-win scenario. He gets to evince power on the issue of campaign finance (which he likes solely because he is a campaign animal, not a believer in the Constitution), while empowering the world powers at the IMF. For McConnell, the IMF package in not a concession; it’s an ideal. In 1998, he sponsored and led the $18 billion IMF bailout package throughout the legislative process. Now he gets his IMF bailout and can claim credit for saving the Tea Party from the IRS – all in one backroom deal.
Who knows? This might even turn out to be “one of the Senate’s finest moments.”
Finally, does anyone think this behavior will change were McConnell to become Majority Leader? Obama will still be president in 2015 and will be as aggressive as ever. Now he knows how to pick McConnell’s lock. All he needs to do is threaten illegal action on one of McConnell’s white whale issues, and Mitch will oblige with a concession on legislation.
Does this man deserve a promotion?
Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Immigration, Obamacare
Republicans have held the Pinellas County-based 13th congressional district since 1971 when the late Rep. Bill Young was first elected to the House. However, with the death of Young creating an open seat, Democrats sensed an opportunity. Due to the changing demographics, President Obama carried this district by four points in 2012. Alex Sink had a good deal of name recognition left over from her 2010 bid for governor and was flush with campaign cash. Meanwhile, Republicans had to start from scratch with a competitive primary.
Despite being outspent 4 to 1 on a campaign level and being embroiled in intra-party friction with the national committees, Republican David Jolly held the seat last night. There is no lack of commentary and analysis attempting to read the electoral tea leaves and what this portends for November. But one factor that has clearly been overlooked is the issue of immigration.
There are obviously many variables that contribute to a victory or loss in a congressional election. In this case, Obamacare was probably the most prominent factor because it consumed the lion’s share of the dialogue on the campaign trail. However, we were told by the supercilious party elders that if we don’t embrace amnesty we will not win in competitive parts of the country. FL-13 has become the quintessential swing district, yet the Republican won, even though he drew a sharp contrast with the Democrat on the issue of immigration.
While Democrat Alex Sink candidly ran on the open borders agenda by disclosing that the motivation behind amnesty is so that we can all keep our housekeepers, Jolly categorically rejected amnesty. He ran an ad proclaiming that he is “in favor stronger borders. Not amnesty.” In a tight race, you don’t waste time or money on ads that don’t have a central issue at stake.
Again, Obamacare was clearly the biggest issue in the campaign. Furthermore, there is no telling how reliable Jolly will be after he is in Congress for a few months. But the notion that we must support amnesty to remain viable is clearly laid to waste by this victory in a Florida swing district.
Politico aptly notes that Jolly did not choose the squishy route in order to win a swing district:
Jolly, meanwhile, spent much of the race casting himself as a solid conservative, hammering home his opposition to Obamacare and tough-on-immigration views. Jolly allies believed that if they could limit Republican defections and take a chunk of independents, they could win.
Remember, Jolly contended with a moderate in the primary and attacked her from the right for being weak on Obamacare. She also supported amnesty and an array of liberal issues.
Consider this: if running as a conservative on the issues, including the issue of immigration, is a pathway to victory in an Obama +4 district, imagine the results in a district Romney carried by 10, 20, or 30 points.
But don’t expect the wizards of smart within the Republican Party establishment to ever consider that the reality of the immigration issue might be in conflict with their conventional wisdom. There is too much money invested in that fallacious premise.
Monday, March 10th, 2014 and is filed under Blog
Even though we are in an election year, it doesn’t mean we should shy away from articulating bold solutions to the problems with our flagging system of governance. Many members of the Republican Party leadership think Republican candidates should sit on the ball and run out the clock until the election, choosing to avoid any contentious policy issue and focus only on banal, non-controversial items. This is a grave mistake.
As Ronald Reagan showed us in the ‘80s, conservatives must embrace a bold contrast between the two competing ideologies. In fact, an election year is the quintessential time to eagerly promote our values and policy solutions and explain why they foster a better economy and society than the policies of the left. In 2010, conservatives around the country ran on a bold platform, buttressed by the new energy from the Tea Party, and we won in an historic landslide. Now is not the time to stand for nothing.
Nobody has been standing on bold solutions more than Senator Mike Lee (R-UT). While many Republicans blur the differences between the parties and tepidly accept some of the premises of liberal ideological governance, Senator Lee has gone on offense. During his response to this year’s State of the Union Address, Mike Lee laid out our first principles in plain language but also weaved them together into specific policy solutions. He explained exactly how free markets and limited government help the very people for whom Obama claims to protect. He argued our views from a position of strength and went on offense against Obama’s class warfare.
That is why we are honored to host Senator Lee Wednesday night at 7:45 PM EDT in a tele-townhall to discuss some of his solutions to the problems engendered by a post-constitutional federal government. The Madison Project has been promoting a number of conservative ideas over the past few years and Senator Lee is proposing some new reform proposals that build upon those ides. In addition, we will be joined by Erick Erickson, Editor-in-Chief of RedState.com, and one of the leaders in the grassroots conservative insurgency.
Among the topics of discussion will be:
- How shrinking the federal government and fostering free market competition will benefit average American families while interventionist policies raise the cost of food, fuel, and healthcare – often to benefit well-connected special interests;
- Ideas for eliminating corporate welfare and corporate favors;
- Defending traditional marriage, especially through the prism of the 10th Amendment and religious liberty; and
- Why abolishing the federal gas tax and devolving transportation responsibility to the states will save money and improve infrastructure.
We all share the goal of defeating Senator Harry Reid (D-NV).. But acquisition of political power is not an end in itself, and we must be prepared to use Republican control of Congress and eventually the White House to limiting government, restoring our free market economy, and promoting freedom and a stronger civil society.
Monday, March 10th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Elections
One of the more trenchant lines delivered from the podium at CPAC last week was Sarah Palin’s zinger regarding the GOP “Beltway Boys”: “You didn’t build that. The Tea Party did.” Palin was referring to the GOP House majority acquired through the 2010 midterm elections, but the same observation is apropos for the potential to win a Senate majority this year.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never met someone who shares the worldview of the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin or Senator Mitch McConnell’s NRSC minions at a phone bank or door-to-door canvassing event for Republican candidates. And I’m referring to general elections as well as primaries.
The relationship between the grassroots and the establishment during elections years has always been one-directional. When we beat the establishment in primaries, they often decline to endorse our candidates in the general election and actively work against them. However, when our candidates lose, we work our tails off to ensure that the Democrat is defeated.
We all united behind the goal of defeating Pelosi in 2010, even in states where the Republican candidate was a hackneyed old-bull or establishment tool.
In 2012, when the GOP nominee was an anathema to everything we have been fighting for, we mustered the gumption to organize for him/her in a united effort to defeat Obama. Ironically, it was some of the biggest establishment cheerleaders who turned on Romney when the going got rough in the general election.
This year we stand at the precipice with the united goal of defeating Senator Harry Reid, the worst Senate leader in American history, a man who has completely gutted the Senate as a deliberative body. We all know that when the chips are down in the fall, it is the grassroots who will be working indefatigably to defeat Democrats, even in states with milquetoast Republican candidates.
We have always built the majorities, yet the GOP beltway boys have always dismantled our majorities and disenfranchised us by voting with Democrats on key policy initiatives. As such, it’s only fair that we have a say in choosing the nominees for whom we will work our butts off to elect in the fall.
An indeed, if we don’t work hard in the primaries, Republicans might still win back the majority (although if McConnell wins the primary, he might cost us the majority by losing his seat), but here is what to expect from the anointed leader:
“This election season, Republicans led by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky are taking a much harder line as they sense the majority within reach. Top congressional Republicans and their allies are challenging the advocacy groups head on in an aggressive effort to undermine their credibility. The goal is to deny them any Senate primary victories, cut into their fund-raising and diminish them as a future force in Republican politics.
“I think we are going to crush them everywhere,” Mr. McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, said in an interview, referring to the network of activist organizations working against him and two Republican incumbents in Kansas and Mississippi while engaging in a handful of other contests. “I don’t think they are going to have a single nominee anywhere in the country.”
If only McConnell showed such moxie against Reid and Obama on passing liberal legislation and raising the debt ceiling!
But let’s travel together into a fantasy land for a moment and assume that McConnell is personally a genuine conservative. Let’s assume that he is merely hamstrung by being in the minority, but will fight like hell for conservatives as the newly-minted majority leader. At best, he is likely to preside over a tenuous majority of 51-52 seats. Facing such a united Democrat opposition, wouldn’t he want the most reliable conservative votes in order to navigate through the legislative process?
Yet, McConnell has said he will work to reelect every single liberal incumbent and ensure that conservative grassroots are defeated “anywhere in the country.” Again, let’s assume that McConnell is chomping at the bit to push a conservative legislative agenda; why in the world would he want to reelect Senators like Lamar Alexander, Thad Cochran, and Lindsey Graham from bright red states like Tennessee, Mississippi, and South Carolina?
Putting aside those “troublesome” groups like Heritage Action for a moment, these members have terrible scores even from McConnell’s pro-amnesty allies at the American “Conservative” Union. Cochran and Alexander each scored a 60 and Graham scored a 68. And in the case of Graham, not only does he often vote with Democrats, he actually relishes dissenting from the party and spearheading liberal initiatives while whipping votes for Senator Chuck Schumer. Lindsey Graham is a nightmare for any party leader who wants to push a united conservative front.
The other backbenchers can be picked off at any moment. And even those like Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) will clearly revert to his Kathleen Sebelius days were he to win his primary and no longer fear a reprisal from conservatives. Wouldn’t a committed conservative leader of a small majority – even one who is not necessarily a Tea Party type – want reliable fighters like Milton Wolf and Chris McDaniel, especially given the fact that they hail from states with no viable Democrat challenger?
But, alas, we must relinquish that tantalizing thought and return to reality. Indeed Mitch McConnell is not committed to one iota of a conservative agenda.
It is precisely because he is a finger lickin’ fraud – one who evinces a conservative image back home but stabs us in the back in D.C. – that he wants people like Graham, Alexander, and Cochran to remain in the Senate. He wants them to be reliable votes for “must-pass” Democrat bills that he doesn’t want to publicly support.
It is precisely because, as George Will has suggested, McConnell wants to pass amnesty, that he would never support real conservative candidates.
It is precisely because he supports the agenda of K Street and his money-bundlers that he needs liberal Republicans to muddle up the conference.
It is precisely because McConnell becomes even more liberal when in the majority that he doesn’t want any bold reformers pushing bold legislation during a presidential cycle.
And it is precisely because of the prospect of McConnell presiding over a majority populated by failed politicians that we must take action now.
It’s time to build an enduring majority.
Monday, March 10th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Elections
The open U.S. Senate seat in Georgia has created a number of vacancies in the state’s U.S. House delegation, providing Republican voters with an opportunity to utilize this red state to elect constitutional conservatives. With Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) vacating the seat in the First Congressional district, we can either move this seat to the right or elect a failed career politician. Our choice is to elect Dr. Bob Johnson, a career Army Ranger, surgeon, small business owner, and articulate conservative grassroots candidate.
For those who are looking for the prototype of a Tea Party candidate, Dr. Johnson is the superlative example. He spent most of his adult life in the military as an Army Ranger and a doctor. He also served as a surgeon in a military hospital for four years. After retiring from the service in 2001, Johnson opened up a private practice specializing in head and neck cancer surgery.
Although he never engaged in politics until he announced his bid for Congress last year, his intuitive common sense and impressive background has imbued him with a strong set of conservative principles and policy ideas, the likes of which we’ve seen in few candidates this cycle.
Dr. Johnson is the epitome of a candidate who doesn’t need, or necessarily want, this job. He is pledging term limits and plans to return to private life after serving in Congress. In fact, he continues to work as a surgeon while campaigning on nights and on weekends. But he realized that the country is deteriorating and that there is no viable alternative party in Washington. By default, this seat would have lurched even farther to the left with state senator Buddy Carter (R-GA) as the presumptive nominee. Johnson feared that south Georgia would be stuck with another Boehner yes-man instead of a fighter for constitutional free-market policy solutions and conservative traditional values.
Speaking with Dr. Johnson about the issues was a pleasure because he moves beyond the talking points and commits to specific solutions.
As a veteran and a physician, Johnson recognizes that he is well qualified to speak out on foreign, military, and veterans’ affairs.
He has articulated the problems with the void of free market healthcare financing (even before Obamacare) more than most other candidates. To that end, he will boldly push for reforms of our broken government-run veterans’ healthcare system and will not be intimidated by the Democrats’ use of veterans as political human shields. In fact, he will boldly pin the blame of poor quality healthcare on the failing VA system and advocate for a more private system with better quality care, cheaper costs, and quicker delivery.
As someone who is uniquely experienced in counter-terrorism, Johnson will fight GOP leaders on their policy of open borders and their myopic immigration priorities. Johnson will have no problem telling the insecure establishment politicians and their overpaid lobbyists they can’t buy amnesty with K-Street money.
As someone who worked on national security issues in the military, Johnson is running to fill the vacuum in the Republican Party on military and foreign affairs. He will fight against the administration’s war on the military, which includes the downsizing of our core assets, dyslexic rules of engagement, and social experimentation.
As a strong Christian and believer in the 10th Amendment, Dr. Bob will not shy away from speaking out against unelected judges redefining marriage and coercing private citizens to accommodate the alternative lifestyles of the radical left.
Despite working as a full-time surgeon, Johnson has been outspoken on every legislative battle during this campaign, letting voters know exactly where he would stand in the current intra-party divide.
Johnson will fight for us every day of his self-term-limited tenure in Washington. But if we don’t rally behind him, we will be stuck with liberal Buddy Carter. Carter is the quintessential career politician who has spent years in Atlanta pushing tax increases on transportation, energy, and the internet. He advocated against fighting Obamacare on a state level and doesn’t seem to be too outraged by the law, noting during his campaign kickoff speech that the law “so far is not so bad.”
The contrast cannot be any starker and the choice is ours to make. Over the years, we have ignored quiet open-seat House races like this one and have paid dearly by electing the wrong Republicans. It’s time for the movement to take yes for an answer and rally to Dr. Johnson for the May 20th Primary and the ensuing runoff.