McConnell Hosts Fundraiser for North Carolina’s Charlie Crist at Home of Fannie Mae Lobbyist

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Issues

Senator Mitch McConnell has been awfully quiet lately.  After making it clear in October that he would never again fight Obamacare in the budget or a debt ceiling increase, he has fallen off the face of the earth.  Harry Reid pulled the nuclear option in the Senate, yet McConnell has not threatened to hold up the deals on the farm bill or new budget conference.  In fact, he hasn’t commented on them at all.  He hasn’t even commented on Obama’s Iran capitulation, an issue in which he presumably shares our views.

So what is Mitch McConnell doing as the most powerful Republican in Washington?

He’s fundraising for Thom Tillis, the Charlie Crist of North Carolina, at the house of a Fannie Mae lobbyist.

“A Washington, D.C., fundraiser scheduled for this week for North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, a Republican candidate for Senate, will feature a few big GOP names, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., are also slated to attend, according to an updated invitation sent out Monday and obtained by the Washington Examiner.

Thursday’s breakfast event will be at the home of Geoffrey Gray, a lobbyist who has represented Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, among additional interests in banking, financial and other sectors. The event is $500 to $1,000 per head and up to $2,500 for political action committees.

McConnell’s political action committee has donated to Tillis’ campaign, but the appearance at the fundraiser of the Senate’s top Republican is an important, visible stamp of approval for Tillis’ candidacy. McConnell’s colleague, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., endorsed another Republican in the North Carolina Senate primary, physician Greg Brannon. Still, Tillis, the favored candidate of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, holds a considerable fundraising advantage.”

McConnell has a habit of endorsing the most liberal candidate in a primary, as he did with Trey Grayson, Charlie Crist, and Arlen Specter.  Thom Tillis, the current Speaker of the North Carolina General Assembly, fits right in with those names:

  • He opposed the state’s marriage amendment, which won with 61% of the vote last year.
  • As Speaker, he is blocking conservative efforts to halt Common Core in the state.
  • He voted for green energy mandates in 2007.  Then when the bank he owns, Aquesta Bank, became one of the few institutions engaging in solar energy loans, Tillis blocked conservatives from repealing the mandate (after Republicans took over the general assembly).
  • He is a pay-for-play venture socialist at its worst.  In fact, he could put the people on K Street to shame without ever having served in Washington. He supported a Democrat to serve on the University of North Carolina Board of Governors because he gave a lot of money to Tillis’s campaign.  He has also pushed expansion of toll roads for his special interests and has recruited primary challengers against conservative representatives who oppose them.
  • He dramatically watered-down the Republican Voter ID law.

Not surprisingly, his views on illegal immigration will be colored by special interests.

Thom Tillis will fit in very well with Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove in Washington.  There is no reason why Senator Kay Hagan should win reelection next year, but conservatives are not exactly excited about replacing her with someone like this.

Mitch McConnell is the defacto head of the NRSC, and there’s no reason they should be supporting Tillis so early in the campaign.  Aside for being the most liberal Republican in the race, there is no evidence that he would be the strongest candidate.  In fact, his laundry list of sleazy pay-for-play special interest connections will give the Democrats more than enough fodder to distract from Obamacare and keep the seat.

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Emerging Ryan-Murray Deal: More Taxes to Fund Obamacare and Increased Spending

Monday, December 9th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Debt, Issues, Obamacare

James Madison was very adamant that the power of the purse be preserved in the body of government that is closest to the people – the House of Representatives – as a way to redress all grievances against harmful government interventions.  We have a law that is woefully unpopular and universally regarded as unworkable, yet Republicans have made it abundantly clear to the Democrats that Obamacare will never be part of the budget negotiations ever again.  We have a president who is illegally usurping the power of Congress on an array of issues, yet Republicans have preemptively abdicated their authority to reassert their power through the budget process.

Consequently, Democrats are on the cusp of getting everything they want in the upcoming budget bill.  When Democrats are fully committed to growing government and Republicans are publicly committed to surrendering their leverage on budget bills, we are left with a one-sided deal.  It’s that simple.

After taking Obamacare off the table, despite the fact that it is demonstrably more of a political liability for Democrats than it was in October, Democrats moved in for the kill on the sequester.  They figured that Republicans were so scared of a budget showdown, they’d give them anything they desire.  Evidently, that even included items that Republicans already have in the big, such as the sequester.  The sequester is already the law of the land, yet Paul Ryan has agreed to abolish the sequester for 2014 and 2015.

At issue is the scheduled sequester cuts for 2014 that will trim back discretionary budget authority from $1.027 trillion to $967 billion.  The emerging deal will likely reinstate most of that spending for the next two years.  Ryan and Murray plan to offset the spending with tax increases on airline tickets.  Air travel is already very expensive because of the cost of fuel (thanks to our anti-energy policies).

In addition to the expensive cost of air travel, passengers are already hit with taxes and fees that jack up the cost of air travel by 30% of the base cost.  Do we really need more airfare taxes in order to fund Obamacare and undo the only spending cuts we’ve ever secured?

The undercurrent of this agreement is the emergence of a dynamic that Republicans want to end all of the budget battles once and for all.  That would explain their eagerness for a two-year repeal of the sequester.  It also coincides with their decision to push off the debt ceiling indefinitely.  Even though the debt ceiling law will be reinstated in February, the Treasury will be able to use “extraordinary measures” to delay the deadline until the summer.

So why is there such a rush to eliminate all of our points of leverage?

Who know?  But The Hill has already posited that the end of budget fights will be used to pave the road for an amnesty bill next year.  This theory is even more plausible given that Paul Ryan is the lead negotiator on the budget, and in light of recent reports that Boehner will push amnesty (thanks to his new staffer) after the filing deadline for primaries passes.

Even if conservatives don’t have the stomach for a full defund fight, the worst thing they can do is enable leadership to permanently obviate their future leverage.  Rather than passing a permanent new appropriations bill for the rest of the year, conservatives should demand another clean short-term CR with one condition attached.  They should write instructions forcing both houses of Congress to pass each of the 12 appropriations bills separately for the next fiscal year (FY 2015).  As we’ve noted before, this will allow us to isolate funding for Obamacare in one or two bills without the rest of government funding getting encumbered in the imbroglio.  At least we will have the opportunity to fight Obamacare next September without the specter of a full government shutdown.

Ultimately, the future of the Republican Party will boil down to the following question: Is their desire to pass amnesty stronger than their will to fight Obamacare?

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GOP Must Shut Down Senate

Monday, December 9th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Issues

It takes only an inch of snow to shut down Washington, but even the nuclear option cannot get Republicans to shut down the Senate.

Several weeks after Harry Reid changed hundreds of years’ of Senate rules by abolishing the filibuster for all judicial and executive appointments, Republicans have all but forgotten about it.  They could have threatened to block every piece of legislation until the rules are restored, but instead they are fully cooperating with a budget bill to fund Obamacare and increase spending, along with a farm bill to grow government intervention in the agriculture sector.  They might even help Democrats pass a bill that can be used as a vehicle for more gun restrictions.

Needless to say, without any fear of reprisal, Democrats plan to jam through a number of Obama nominees before the end of the year on a party-line vote.

Democrats will attempt to pack the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the second most important court in the country, with Obama’s radical nominees.  On Monday evening, the Senate will vote on Patricia Millett.  They might try to push through two other D.C. Circuit nominees, Robert Wilkins and Cornelia Pillard, later in the week.  Republicans had been blocking all D.C Circuit nominees because the court is currently split between Republican and Democrat appointees, and unlike other courts, this one actually has a very light caseload burden.  The addition of three more liberals would be devastating for conservatives because this court has original jurisdiction over many of the constitutional issues arising from political fights in Washington – both in Congress and with Executive overreach.

The Senate will likely vote on the nomination of Congressman Melvin Watt (D-NC) to be the next Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).  Conservatives strongly oppose Watt because during his career serving on the House Financial Services Committee, he has been a consistent advocate for expanding the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into the private housing market.  He worked hand-in-glove with Barney Frank to push the affordable housing agenda, which forced banks to underwrite risky loans to those who could not pay them back.  He helped bring down the housing market, and by extension, the entire economy.

It would be a disaster for Watt to serve as the top regulator of those failed agencies as director of FHFA.  It’s akin to appointing the arsonist as the fire chief.

So what should Republicans do?

They could start by suspending all negotiations on end-of-year legislation, such as the budget deal, farm bill, and extension of Medicare doc fix.  But more importantly, as we’ve noted before, in order for the Senate to function members must agree to unanimous consent on a variety of procedures.  Without a unanimous consent agreement, no standing committee can conduct business after two hours from the time the Senate convenes.  With only two weeks left of this session, Republicans can completely shut down the Senate by denying these UC agreements.

Even after the nuclear option, 45 Senators have the ability to wreak havoc on the majority.  Just one senator has the ability to slow down the Senate.  It’s all up to Mitch McConnell.  He can end the year with a bang or a bust.

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Madison Project PAC Endorses Barry Loudermilk in Georgia’s 11th Congressional District

Thursday, December 5th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Elections, Press

For Immediate Release:

December 5, 2013

Contact: Mary Vought


Madison Project PAC Endorses
Barry Loudermilk in Georgia’s 11th Congressional District

Fort Worth, TX The Madison Project PAC, the first conservative PAC to endorse Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Matt Bevin (R-KY), announced today that it is supporting state Senator Barry Loudermilk for Congress in Georgia’s 11th district.

“Barry Loudermilk is a true gem for conservatives in this election cycle,” said Drew Ryun of The Madison Project.  “As an expert on the history of our Founders and Founding documents, Senator Loudermilk understands that the only path to fundamentally restoring our Constitutional republic is over the heads of leadership in both parties.  In the Georgia Legislature, he has stood firm on his principles even when facing opposition from leaders in his own party.  In particular, he has been a stalwart on gun rights, fighting illegal immigration, defending the unborn, protecting individual privacy, and opposing all tax increases.  This is exactly the type of leadership we need in Washington.”

“Barry is one of those rare Republicans who has been a leader both on issues of family and faith while at the same time defending individual liberty and personal privacy,” said Daniel Horowitz of The Madison Project.  “His personal life and legislative career are the true embodiment of his campaign motto: ‘faith, family and freedom.’ Loudermilk is the only candidate in the GA 11th Congressional district race who will consistently uphold all conservative values even in the face of adversity from establishment Republicans.”

The full endorsement can be viewed 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

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Barry Loudermilk for Congress in Georgia’s 11th District

Thursday, December 5th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Elections

If conservatives ever hope to build an enduring majority within the House Republican Conference, they must capitalize on opportunities to win open seats in addition to knocking off fair-weather moderate incumbents.  Georgia’s open Senate seat has created a number of vacancies in the House delegation, one of which is Georgia’s 11th district.  With Rep. Phil Gingery (R-GA) retiring to run for the U.S. Senate, there’s no reason this “red” district should elect anyone other than a conservative all-star and make it a conservative stronghold for years to come.  There is no better man to do this than state Senator Barry Loudermilk.

We are in the midst of a battle for the heart of the GOP party.  There are many factions that want to jettison traditional values from the party’s platform.  There are other factions who want to support endless amnesty and open borders.  Some want to turn our party into the Libertarian Party.  And there are others who are pro-life statists, politicians who give lip service to social issues but support the growth of government.

Barry Loudermilk is one of those candidates who is inviolable on every policy issue.  He feels just as comfortable advocating for abolishing the Department of Education and reforming the Federal Reserve as a he does speaking about traditional values and the civil society.  Hence, Barry does not believe in ‘pick-and-choose’ conservatism.

More importantly, he understands the political dynamic in Washington and has committed to completely fighting against the GOP establishment and seeking new leadership within the party.  While we often look for political newcomers to run for Congress, Loudermilk’s experience in the Georgia state House and Senate are actually advantages – he has a record of standing up to the big government bosses within the Republican Party.

After serving in the Air Force for eight years, Loudermilk developed a burning passion for his country and the Constitution.  In 2004, he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives and served until becoming a state Senator in 2011.  Fighting officious government starts at the local level, and in the state House Loudermilk led the way on privacy issues, such as red light cameras.  He fought the corporatists who stood to benefit from the cameras and passed a law drastically curtailing their use (he tried to eliminate them completely).  He also fought “nanny state” laws such as smoking bans and draconian driving laws.  In 2009, he helped lead the fight against a bipartisan sales tax increase, under the threat of losing his position on the House Transportation Committee.

In the state senate, Loudermilk fought for cutting benefits for illegal immigrants, expanding right to carry laws, and clamping down on abortion clinics.  He also worked against a bipartisan bill to establish an electronic database of all prescription drugs dispensed in the state.  Throughout his time in Atlanta, Loudermilk has voted against numerous tax increases and efforts to grow the size of state government.  He was one of only three Republicans to oppose the governor’s hospital bed tax scheme, and faced reprisal from party officials for leading the opposition.

While serving in the state Legislature, Loudermilk has remained focused on his own small business, an information systems technology company.  Loudermilk is a true citizen legislator.

What is unique about Barry is his depth of knowledge about our founders, founding documents, and founding history.  He is particularly scholarly and articulate in educating the public about the role of Judeo-Christian values and the importance of the civil society in our founding documents and how they are indispensable to preserving liberty today.  His passion for these values is best encapsulated in his inspirational book, “And Then They Prayed.”

Speaking with many conservative activists across the country, there is always a fear that newly-elected conservatives will become part of the establishment after a year or two in Washington.  With Loudermilk’s solid foundation and record, we are quite certain he will help change Washington instead of Washington changing him..  That is why we are honored to make Barry Loudermilk our first endorsement in an open congressional seat for 2014.

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Chamber of [Government-run] Commerce Circles Wagons Around McConnell

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Issues

It’s not surprising that the Chamber of Commerce is running ads on behalf of Senator Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.  After all, the Chamber of Commerce is Mitch McConnell – in the sense that they both share an ideology of power instead of principle.

As we’ve explained before, the Chamber of Commerce is not conservative, pro-free-market, or even necessarily pro-growth.  They support the special interests of big business.  Period.  When those interests intersect or overlap with free-market, pro-growth policies, such as advocacy for tax cuts and lower regulations, they will side with conservatives.  But when those interests require the stewardship of big government intervention, they will side with the forces of statism.  Hence, they are not paragons of free-market commerce; they support government-run commerce, albeit with tendentious policies towards their interests.

Their special interests support illegal immigration, corporate welfare, increased gas taxes, and an internet sales tax.  It’s not surprising that Chamber money pours into K Street coffers to lobby for those goals.

That is essentially the same description of Mitch McConnell’s tenure in the Senate.  Birds of a feather flock together.  It’s no surprise that many of McConnell’s former staffers work or lobby for the Chamber.

The bizarre thing about their ad touting McConnell as a warrior for coal is that they overlook his biggest failure in halting the war on coal.  Earlier this year, Republicans had the opportunity to force the EPA to stop administrative cap and trade on the coal industry by holding up the nomination of Gina McCarthy as director of the EPA.  McConnell cut the deal to allow her through by delivering 60 votes to Harry Reid.

Now, of course McConnell was not one of those votes, but he made sure not to whip against her.  Had he been a man of honor and respected among his conference, he could have appealed to the moderate within the conference to hold up the nomination until Obama agreed to halt the war on coal.  He could have had private conversations with Senators Susan Collins and Lamar Alexander explaining the painful job losses in Kentucky as a result of the War on Coal.  But, alas, those conversations never took place.  McConnell had no desire to fight the war on coal using the only leverage point Republicans held.  He just wanted to personally vote against McCarthy and give speeches.

It is clear that the war on coal will never abate until we have new leadership within the party.  And the coal industry will never grow again unless it places it’s faith into fighters for free markets, not the Chamber of Commerce.

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The GOP: A Choice, not an Echo

Monday, December 2nd, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Issues

Well, it appears that we are on the same page as the establishment with one important goal.  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told the Richmond Times-Dispatch  “America needs a Republican Party.”

Amen!  We’ve been saying for years that America needs a bold choice, not a faint and pathetic echo.

Unfortunately, it seems that Cantor plans to achieve that goal by counterintuitively acting more like the Democrats.  After discussing flat wages and anemic job growth with the Times-Dispatch, Cantor said that one of his first priorities is to pass amnesty for young illegal immigrants, opening up the spigot of welfare and Democrat voter registration for years to come.

Ironically, we will never raise the level of income unless we end this circuitous cycle of illegal cheap labor from the third world.  Granting citizenship and benefits to the children before shutting off the current flow (which has grown stronger thanks to promises of amnesty) will only exacerbate the problem.  Moreover, this is not exactly why we need a Republican Party.  If the goal is to pass amnesty before enforcement, let’s leave it to the professionals in the Democrat Party.

Let’s walk through the logical conclusion of the so-called Kids Act.  Once all of the kids are granted amnesty by Congress, there is no way the immediate family members will ever be sent back.  Also, any illegal can potentially be a guardian of an amnestied child.  Hence, the Obama administration would immediately suspend all deportations, and enjoy an act of Congress to buttress their administrative maneuvering.

What would this mean for the future?

We would basically extend our anchor baby policy to include anchor teenagers, essentially telegraphing the message that as long as you come here illegally with children; the entire family is welcome forever.  This will cause a mad rush for the border and engender an epidemic of visa overstays.

Additionally, once they obtain green cards or citizenship, they will be eligible to bring in more family members and spawn more chain migration.  Again, Republicans might start out with something blocking family members and chain migration, but that will never stand in the long run.  Those provisions will either be inserted into conference, or inevitably revised down the road.

What’s the next item on Cantor’s agenda?

He also said that he does not expect a 2014 repeat of this year’s partial government shutdown. He is not optimistic about reaching a grand bargain on the federal budget, in part because of Democrats’ insistence on more tax increases, but he is hopeful that a deal can be struck to lift some of the sequester cuts, especially those hitting the Pentagon, in exchange for an equal amount of longer-term savings in areas such as six-day postal service and federal employee benefits.

So House leadership has joined Senator Mitch McConnell in jettisoning any demands on Obamacare for the budget bill in January.  Cantor is now  also part of the ‘repeal it in 2017’ crowd.

So there you have it, folks.  If we merely hold our fire during the primaries and just elect anyone with an R next to their name, we will have Mitch McConnell as Senate leader and possibly Eric Cantor (if Boehner calls it quits) as Speaker of the House.  What an encouraging thought.  Poignantly, McConnell also shares Cantor’s alacrity for amnesty, according to George Will.

Last week, in a wide-raging interview with the Washington Examiner, McConnell insinuated that he will fight back against the Tea Party.  He is enlisting his amnesty associates at the Chamber of [government-run] Commerce.  McConnell suggested that conservative groups led by Senate Conservatives Fund are misleading Republicans about unrealistic outcomes with a Democrat Senate and Democrat president.

What he doesn’t tell you is that Democrats lack 60 votes in the Senate, and he has ostensibly handed over the conference to Harry Reid whenever he needs the votes.  This is not going to change with superficial GOP control of the Senate…unless we first change the Republican Party and make it an actual second party, one that will fight the Democrats with as much gusto as they dish out.

The Cantor/McConnell vision of pre-emptively surrendering every budget battle, using Obamacare as a vacuous talking point, and passing amnesty might please the Chamber of Commerce and D.C. Special Interests.  But it doesn’t pass muster with those who are looking for a choice, not an echo.

As Eric Cantor said, “America needs a Republican Party.”

We need a Republican Party that will end Obama’s immigration lawlessness and protect America first – before pandering to special interests.

We need a Republican Party that will categorically write off corporate welfare and phase out the current regime of subsidies across many sectors of the economy.

We need a Republican Party that will make it clear to the opposition party that they will never blink first, and that they will do everything it takes to vanquish Obamacare.

We need a Republican Party that will fight just as hard, if not harder than, the Democrats to restore our Republic.

It’s time we create one in the 2014 primaries.

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Jack Kingston has Surrendered on Obamacare

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Obamacare

Democrats are stewing in the misery of Obamacare’s disastrous side effects.  We have a solid point of leverage coming in January to fight Obamacare in the budget.  As we’ve explained, we have stronger leverage this time around than we did in October.  However, that leverage is only predicated upon a united Republican Party committed to getting rid of Obamacare.  Sadly, the recent comments by Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) suggesting that we should help fix the law serve as a vivid illustration of why we failed the battle to defund the law:

“A lot of conservatives say, ‘Nah, let’s just step back and let this thing fall to pieces on its own.’ But I don’t think that’s always the responsible thing to do,” he added.

“I think we need to be looking for things that improve healthcare overall for all of us. And if there is something in ObamaCare, we need to know about it.”

Kingston was speaking prior to a field hearing in Gainesville, Ga., of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight focused on ObamaCare.

While he had some criticism for the law — he said he believes the demand on Medicaid could overcrowd the system — he also expressed hope that Democrats would bring to the hearing some good feedback they’ve received on ObamaCare.” [The Hill]

Good feedback?  According to the latest polling on Obamacare, Americans disapprove of the law 65-32%.  Nothing in the country ever polls worse than that.  Almost as many people believe in UFOs.

Sure, we should go on offense with healthcare policy and explain how anti-market interventions are hurting the uninsured.  We should make insurance portable by allowing a national market and by eliminating the government-created disadvantage for those who buy insurance on the private market.  We should expand tax-free health savings accounts.  We should have less mandates like community rating and guaranteed issue, not more.  But we should never acquiesce to a permanent structure of government-run healthcare.

Coming to terms with Obamacare is nothing new for Kingston.  At the beginning of the year, he said “I don’t want to go in there saying, ‘By golly, there’s a new sheriff in town.’” “Obamacare has been the law of the land, and it is getting implemented. We have to work in that context.”

The scary thing is that Kingston is the chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on healthcare.  What is ever scarier is that he wants to be the next U.S. Senator from Georgia.  We all know that the Senate has a way of turning those who are conservatives into statists.  See Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) for a vivid example.  If Kingston is starting out his campaign with a mindset of surrender on Obamacare, it is clear he will never move this seat one inch to the right from Senator Saxby Chambliss.  And that is an extremely low bar to cross.

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Obama’s Iran Deal: If you Like your Nukes you can Keep Them

Monday, November 25th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, News

Evidently, when negotiating with Iran, President Obama thought he was dealing with Obamacare.  He ostensibly told them they can keep their bombs if they like them.  Indeed the Iranians like their centrifuges, and now that the sanctions will be suspended for six months, they can continue creating bombs and exporting terror with more breathing room.

Let’s first recognize the most salient part of the Geneva deal.  Iran is not required to destroy a single centrifuge it has already produced.  Even with the future promises to curtail their nuclear program, the Iranians probably have enough material to create a bomb.  They are just working on a warhead and delivery capabilities, which will not be curtailed by the Geneva deal.

Moreover, are we supposed to believe the promise of the world’s most prolific terror funders concerning future uranium enrichment?  What will happen if they violate the terms of the agreement after six months?  Does anyone think that Russia and China, which have permanent veto power over any sanctions, would agree to re-impose the international sanctions on a rogue Iran?  This deal is eerily reminiscent of the one Bill Clinton cut with the North Koreans in the ‘90s.  That did not work out too well.

This deal is also an imprecation to the many American soldiers who were killed by Iranian bombs in Iraq.  It is a disgrace to all those who perished in the Beirut bombing in 1983.  This deal fails to recognize all of Iran’s other terror-related activities that are killing Americans around the globe even today.  We are ostensibly rewarding their international terror with economic benefits that will further facilitate their proliferation of Islamic jihad against the West.

If Reagan’s motto was peace through strength; Obama’s motto is chaos through feebleness.

It’s amazing how Obama said during the government shutdown that he would not negotiate with terrorists.  Well, maybe if we change the name of the Republican Party to the Republic of Iran he would change his tune.

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Senate Republicans Can Retaliate. Will They?

Friday, November 22nd, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Issues

Who can blame Harry Reid for pulling the nuclear option, eliminating the filibuster on judicial nominees?  He has punched Senate Republicans in the face all year and they have failed to respond.  In fact, Senate Republicans have turned around and fought their fellow Republicans in the House, jamming them with bad legislation which they helped Harry Reid pass out of the Senate.

Throughout the past few years, aside for a few judicial nominees, Republicans have been willing to grant Democrats a super-majority on major liberal initiatives.  They helped Reid pass amnesty.  They gave him the votes for the massive farm/food stamp bill.  They were all in the tank for the deceptively-named Violence Against Women Act.  They recently gave him the 60 votes for ENDA.  And most importantly, they stood shoulder to shoulder with Reid against House Republicans during the most important time when conservatives were united behind defunding Obamacare.

So why would Harry Reid fear reprisal from Republicans?  What would stop him from pulling the nuclear option?

When he threatened the nuclear option earlier this year, Republicans agreed to let through the most radical nominees for Obama’s second term cabinet.  Reid figured he’d go all the way this week.

And based on Mitch McConnell’s reaction, his wager was correct.  Instead of fighting fire with fire, McConnell is basically saying we can’t do anything until after the elections:

“The solution to this problem is an election,” McConnell said at a Thursday press conference after the Senate voted to go nuclear, changing the rules of the filibuster.

“The solution to this problem’s at the ballot box,” McConnell said. “We look forward to having a great election in November 2014.” […]

“I don’t think this is a time to be talking about a reprisal,” he said. “I think it’s at time to be sad about what’s been done to the United States Senate.” [Daily Caller]

I’m sure Harry Reid is scared to death.

There is one simple thing Republicans can do to retaliate.  They can start by ending the Democrat super-majority on legislative issues.  They can easily pledge to filibuster every piece of legislation and deny all requests for unanimous consent until the rules change is overturned.

How would Harry Reid respond to a complete shutdown of the Senate?  Would he abolish the filibuster even for legislation?  Let him try.  But for now, he has nothing to fear from just eliminating the filibuster on judges because he knows Republicans will not retaliate.  Reid knows that there is not a single issue where McCain, Corker, Graham, and Alexander will now withhold support simply because they were stiffed with the nuclear option.

Just an hour after Reid blew up the Senate, Republicans rewarded him by not objecting to the first unanimous consent.  Every day, standing committees need consent to conduct hearings.  This is a prime opportunity to grind the Senate to a halt until Reid changes his ways.

Harry Reid has identified a soft target.  And until we change GOP leadership in the Senate, he will keep punching.

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