Leaders, Followers, Fence-Sitters, and Obamacare

Monday, September 16th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Issues, Obamacare

When conservatives look for elected Republicans to stand for our values, we are not just looking for someone who might vote with conservatives when convenient; we are looking for someone who will give voice to conservatives.  Hence, we are looking for leaders – people who will articulate the message, fight the conservative battles, and move the polls.  We have no need for more followers, fence-sitters, and finger lickers.  The recent developments in the fight to defund Obamacare serve as a quintessential example of this divide between the leaders and the fence-sitters.

After several months of hard work from Jim DeMint, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Tom Graves, Mark Meadows, and some of the outside groups, there is tremendous momentum behind using the budget bills to force the issue on Obamacare once and for all.  Obamacare is now more unpopular than ever.  It is so unpopular that Republicans are viewed as more favorable on healthcare than Democrats.  This has never happened in years.  As Erick Erickson noted earlier today, when the leadership void is filled, the polling begins to move.

Naturally, all of the establishment followers and fence-sitters are joining the bandwagon of fighting Obamacare on the budget bill (or “the next fight” – the debt ceiling).  However, they want us to believe that they have a “smarter” plan to accomplish it.  They will push to delay the law for one year or focus on some other aspect of Obamacare.

Let me submit that without the efforts of the conservative leaders, the GOP establishment followers would never be talking about fighting Obamacare in any form.  They are terrified of brinkmanship – be it over defund or delay – and had no intention of ever picking this fight, even as Obamacare goes into effect next month.  Their call for delaying the law is just the latest subterfuge to undermine the fight and capitulate to Democrats while concurrently co-opting the fight against Obamacare – as if they were supportive of the effort all along, albeit with a craftier strategy.

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Get Ready for the Shiny Objects

Friday, September 13th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Debt, Obamacare

Just because the ‘dog and pony Cantor CR plan’ was pulled from the House floor doesn’t mean that we have won the issue.  Leadership is committed to not fighting Obamacare in the CR (or the debt ceiling for that matter, despite their empty rhetoric to the contrary), and they have telegraphed that message to the Democrats.  Everything they conjure up over the next few days will be designed to distract conservatives with shiny objects in order to make an end-run around conservatives and extricate themselves from this debacle.  Leadership wants to get out of this jam quickly so they can move onto some more important things like passing amnesty.

You will hear incessant talk about locking in the sequester cuts we already locked in.  You will hear talk about delaying Obamacare for a year and offsetting the savings with a patch of the sequester cuts.  What you won’t hear is a unified plan to pass a CR and completely defund Obamacare, putting the pressure on the Senate to pass something that doesn’t offend the vast majority of the American people.

As for the sequester, Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell have made this the shiny object of the debate.  After meeting with his Democrat counterparts this morning, McConnell put out his signature mealy-mouthed statement, tossing in a non-sequitur about the sequester – all the while refusing to take a stand on defunding Obamacare in the CR:

“We need to start by keeping the cuts we’ve already agreed to. It’s time to get serious about the challenges we face and reposition America for growth and prosperity in the 21st Century.”

As we stand at the precipice of implementing the worst law in American history, we are talking about some random discretionary cuts, much of which comes from the military, as the hill to die on this year.  The simple fact is that if you are focusing on some budget number instead of the job-killing, price-hiking, liberty-destroying law, you are either out of touch or not conservative.

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Madison Project Supports Tom Graves’s Bill To Defund Obamacare

Friday, September 13th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, News, Obamacare

Yesterday, Rep. Tom Graves (GA) showed Republicans exactly what it means to defund Obamacare.  He put together a budget CR that completely funds the government for a full year while delaying and defunding Obamacare until 2015.  We fully support the Grave’s bill and this approach to tackling the budget deadline and Obamacare.

Despite strong pressure from leadership to fall in line, Graves has remained steadfast in leading House conservatives towards a path to defunding Obamacare.  The framers of the Constitution intended the House to lead the way with the power of the purse.  They need to pass this bill immediately and dump it on Harry Reid’s desk in the Senate.  If he desires to force a shutdown in order to throw people off their health insurance and chase doctors out of the field of medicine, that is his prerogative.

Below is the full writeup of the bill, along with the list of co-sponsors. We will be updating the list of co-sponsors as the names are added.  Please contact your representative and request that the he/she sign onto the Tom Graves CR:

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GOP Follower McConnell Looks to K Street for Bailout

Thursday, September 12th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Elections, News

Senate Minority Follower Mitch McConnell doesn’t have enough time to lead the fight against Obamacare in the budget bill or against Obama’s Syrian escapade [until it was dead], but he evidently has time to cozy up with his K Street fundraisers:

K STREET TURNING OUT FOR MCCONNELL: More than half a dozen prominent K Streeters are hosting a fundraising dinner Sept. 26 for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s reelection effort. Former Rep. Bill Paxon; Smitty Davis and Geoff Verhoff of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld; former Rep. Phil Gramm and Mike Solon of US Policy Metrics; former Rep. Susan Moliari of Google; Maria Cino of Hewlett-Packard; and former Rep. Lauch Faircloth are all listed as hosts on the invite. Cost to attend: $5,200 for hosts; $2,600 to co-host; and $1,000 to attend. [Politico Influence]

It’s no surprise that Mitch McConnell fails to lead on any contentious and important issues for conservatives.  The special interests of some of these K Street groups are often at odds with the conservative values of Kentucky.  Naturally, McConnell wouldn’t want to risk losing all those millions in pay-for-play cash.  These companies all want amnesty for illegal aliens and corporate welfare.  Instead, McConnell uses the millions in special interest campaign money he gets from K Street to smear his conservative opponent.

Kentuckians are tired of K Street insiders running our country and subverting our Republican form of government.  That is why McConnell is having trouble defending his seat from a liberal Democrat in a state Republicans carried by 23 points last year.

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Finger Lickin’ Frauds and Fence Sittin’ Scoundrels

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Elections, Issues, News

One of Newton’s laws of motion states that “every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.” Conservatives would be wise to internalize that law when observing the behavior of the Republican Party.  They will not change on their own.  We need an external force to supplant the current leadership of the party – a mixture of rudderless and duplicitous characters.

Sadly, instead of fighting for the American people against the federal healthcare takeover, Republican leaders are blithely ignoring the October travesty.  Instead of fighting every day in September to stand on the side of job creators, workers, and consumers, Republicans initially tried to clear their schedule to help Obama with his unpopular and deleterious distractions.  House leadership already embraced the Syria nonsense before it blew up, and Mitch McConnell was sitting on the fence until it became clear that the issue was dead.

Meanwhile, House leadership is attempting to make an end-run around the base by passing a CR defunding Obamacare with instructions to separate out the defund portion when it reaches the Senate. The new dog and pony strategy will allow the establishment Republicans to vote to defund Obamacare, thereby saving them from primary challenges, all the while ensuring that the bill magically breaks apart on its way to Obama’s office.

Folks, we are not winning this battle.  Nor will we ever win anything so long as our party is controlled by finger lickin’ frauds and fence sittin’ scoundrels.  Newton’s other law of motion is that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  That is not the case in Washington.  For every aggressive action from the left, we never see and equal and opposite reaction from Republicans.  We can’t fight truculence with fence sitting and equivocation – or worse – a team that actually works to complement the forces of the left.

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McConnell on Syria: Following from Behind

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Foreign Policy, News

The debate over the ridiculous Syria intervention is a superlative example of Mitch McConnell’s modus operandi in the Senate.  Despite his status as leader of the Republican conference, McConnell fails to lead on the most contentious issues, even those for which the public strongly sides with conservatives.  He waits until the very end, when the bill is no longer in dispute or is destined to pass, in order to voice his opinion.  Throughout the process, he declines to whip up support for the conservative positions – the entire purpose of being party leader.

The question conservatives should be asking is what is the purpose of being floor leader if McConnell is always going to wait until the issue is already won or lost to take a position – much less attempt to marshal support from others?  Here are some of the headlines from the past week:

“On Syria, McConnell Remains Lone Hill Leader on the Fence

“Sen. Mitch McConnell mum, Sen. Rand Paul rails on Syria attack

“Mitch McConnell: Capitol Hill’s last undecided party leader on Syria”

“Vulnerable Senators Straddle The Syria Fence

Taken as a whole, instead of waking up every day to see how he can best fight for Americans, McConnell spends his time plotting the path of least resistance that will best preserve his power, while concurrently retaining his image as a conservative. 

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Bryan Smith for Congress in Idaho’s Second District

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Elections, News

Last year, The Madison Project started a national conversation about the lack of elected conservatives in Congress – even from some of the most conservative parts of the country.  One of the most obvious examples of Republicans wasting a solid red state is Congressman Mike Simpson’s representation of east Idaho with his progressive values.

We have long dreamed of replacing Rep. Simpson with a constitutional conservative.  Now we have the chance with Idaho Falls attorney Bryan Smith.

Congressman Simpson doesn’t feel as comfortable in Idaho as he does in Washington, D.C..  And that feeling is mutual.  Republicans in south Idaho have been looking to the northern part of the state for conservative leadership from Congressman Raul Labrador, often wondering why they are stuck with a progressive.  Rep. Mike Simpson is the embodiment of what is wrong with Republicans in Washington.  As a Cardinal on the House Appropriations Committee, Simpson worships big government and has always been a reliable vote for any backroom deal that helped expand the size and scope of the leviathan.  Additionally, Congressman Simpson is extremely weak on social issues fighting against conservatives on: abortion, marriage, guns, and illegal immigration.

Idaho Republicans are ready for change; they are ready to send two Republicans to Washington who will force Idaho values on the federal government, not the other way around.  And gauging by the amount of grassroots support that Bryan Smith has already received, it looks like Simpson’s days are numbered.

While Smith has never been elected to any prior office during his distinguished career as a top Idaho attorney, he has already used his natural gifts of passion and persuasion to fight corrupt government at the local level.  Last year, Bryan Smith forced the Idaho Falls city solicitor to resign after exposing his pay-for-play corruption of directing superfluous city lawsuits to his own law firm.  He also single-handedly organized against a planned property tax hike that was slated to go towards an increase in government salaries at a time when city employees were already enjoying higher salaries and more benefits than their private sector counterparts.  And in 2008, Smith was part of the group that defeated the moderate state party Republican chairman.

Conservative Idahoans have long sensed the vulnerability in Simpson, but a strong challenger had not emerged until this year.  When the Club for Growth solicited challengers to come forth as part of their “Primary My Congressman” program, a number of people in the district submitted Bryan’s name.  Sensing that nobody else could mount a serious challenge, Bryan heeded the call.  He jumped in immediately, raised an impressive sum of money from within the state, and organized a solid campaign.

Not only is Bryan a full-spectrum conservative – from fiscal issues to social issues, guns to illegal immigration – he is willing to fight for those values.  He has watched the failure of the Boehner House in restoring our Republic and is committed to shaking up the core of the establishment when he goes to Washington – even if that means “eating lunch by himself.”  He is willing to articulate the message that rugged individualism, free markets, and productivity raises the level of prosperity for all Americans; that Washington central planning has foisted upon us a 50-year failed experiment in fighting poverty. Our only regret is that we cannot clone Bryan and support him in other races across the country.  Bryan Smith brings a degree of ideological fervor and viability to the race that few conservative challengers are able to match.

The simple fact is that we will never win this fight to restore our Republic if we cannot elect constitutional conservatives from the most conservative parts of the country.  Bryan Smith is giving us a golden opportunity to turn over a slam dunk House seat and elect someone who has no fear of the GOP establishment.  This is why we are proud to endorse Bryan Smith in his fight to repaint Idaho red.  This will take an army of grassroots support within Idaho, and if the past few months are any indication, Bryan has come a long way in accomplishing that goal.

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Madison Project Responds to McConnell’s Deceptive Ad

Monday, September 9th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, News, Obamacare, Press

For Immediate Release:

September 9, 2013

Contact: press@madisonproject.com

Madison Project Responds to McConnell’s Deceptive Ad

 

Washington, D.C. – The Madison Project PAC released the following statement regarding Senator Mitch McConnell’s deceptive ad on defunding Obamacare:

“This is yet another example of Mitch McConnell talking one way in Kentucky and acting quite differently in Washington,” said Daniel Horowitz of the Madison Project.  “It is extremely deceptive of McConnell to claim to be supportive of defunding Obamacare when he’s actually undermining the conservative led effort to defund by pressuring senior senators to take their names off the Sen. Mike Lee letter. As a career politician McConnell knows that a standalone bill will never pass the Senate, thereby leaving the law intact for dependency to take root.  He is merely using ceremonial actions as a political human shield to feign opposition to Obamacare even as he refuses to join the effort to defund Obamacare in the budget process.”

In reality, there is not much of a difference between McConnell’s position and that of Democrat Allison Lundergan-Grimes on Obamacare.

Lundergan-Grimes: “there are many things wrong with it, but instead of trying to repeal it nearly 40 times and wasting our taxpayers’ money, we should be talking about solutions.”  7/18/13 The Courier-Journal

McConnell: “There are a handful of things in the 2,700-page bill [Obamacare] that probably are okay.”  8/13/13 WYMT – TV

Senator McConnell has still refused to explain which parts of the law are “okay.”  How can the law be repealed “root and branch” if there are parts of it that are “okay?”

“We have seen the same dynamic play out over and over again,” said Drew Ryun of the Madison Project.  “Whether it’s fighting the debt ceiling, amnesty, radical nominees, or Obama’s new escapade in Syria, McConnell refuses to lead when it counts, relying on ritual actions and tepid statements to fill his vacuum of leadership.”

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/


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Mitch on the Fence With His Finger in the Wind

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Foreign Policy

If you want a glimpse into how Mitch McConnell operates, take a look at how he is dealing with Obama’s Syrian escapade.

With the implementation of Obamacare set to take effect in just four weeks, President Obama is seeking to distract us all with intervention in a Syrian civil war – one which involves elements on both sides that are enemies of the United States.  Senator McConnell has failed to lead the fight to defund Obamacare, and now he is declining from taking a definitive position on Obama’s Syrian escapade.  Senator McConnell has, thus far, issued his typical innocuous statement, declining to voice his view on the issue and take a leadership role.  McConnell owes it to his Kentucky constituents to divulge whether he believes there is any benefit to spending time and resources siding with one enemy over another in Syria.

Senator McConnell is always proud to tout his “clout” as GOP Leader.  It’s time he project that clout and actually lead an opposition to this ill-advised intervention for the failed Arab Spring.  As GOP Leader, does McConnell plan to whip up votes against the war resolution?  Does he plan to stand with Rand Paul and Matt Bevin, and categorically oppose this deleterious distraction?  Or will he, once again, squander his position of power to quietly cheer for the vote while voting against it once it appears to have enough votes to pass?

So far, McConnell is the only GOP leader not to take a position on getting involved in the civil war.  Contrast that to Bevin’s clear vision on the Arab Spring.

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Letting Allah Sort Out Islamic Civil War in Syria

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Foreign Policy, News

This commentary is posted at FoxNews Opinion

As bankrupt as elected Republican leadership is in Washington vis-à-vis domestic policy, they are completely clueless as it relates to foreign policy.  While America continues to become an economic and moral wasteland under this regime, Obama is attempting to spend American treasure helping one nefarious side of an Islamic civil war in Syria – one which involves Iran-allied supporters of Hezbollah (Assad regime) vs. predominantly Al-Qaeda affiliated rebels.

Astoundingly, most GOP leaders are either siding with Obama or are totally insouciant to this reckless fomenting of an Islamic insurrection.  Instead of fighting Obamacare, they are allowing Obama to distract from the upheaval at home by focusing on this inane escapade in Syria.

Most media figures discuss the current foreign policy debate in broad platitudes pitting so-called neo-conservatives vs. libertarians, hawks vs. doves, or interventionists vs. isolationists.  But these labels are non-sequiturs to the reality of the current debate.  Most mainstream conservatives are not Ron Paul libertarians who don’t support any war on terror.  Quite the contrary, we support a robust intervention to repel Islamic terrorism when it threatens our interests.  But in the case of Libya, Syria, and Egypt, we are actually intervening on behalf of our enemies.

Granted, Syria is more complicated than the other two examples.  Bashar Assad is a sworn enemy of the United States, the closest ally of Iran, and a prolific exporter of terror.  In a perfect world, it would be great to overthrow him and stick it to Iran (and their Russian allies).  But the reality is that the strongest elements of the insurgency are saturated with Al-Qaeda affiliated extremists, backed by Pan-Islamist Turkish President Recep Erdogen, much like the insurgencies in other countries.  Why place American money and weapons in the hands of people who will be just as adversarial to our interests as the current regime?

This is not a matter of opposing intervention for the sake of isolationism; it is a matter of not supporting intervention that is either superfluous or deleterious to our national interests.  A “hawkish” stance towards Assad is a dovish stance towards Al-Qaeda.  As Sarah Palin noted, in a battle with Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah on one side and Al-Qaeda and Turkey on the other, let Allah sort it out.

This should be a slam dunk opportunity for GOP leaders to oppose a wrongheaded and unpopular intervention, while shifting the focus back to the Obamacare civil war at home.  Yet, House leaders are either ambivalent or downright supportive of Obama’s planned strike on behalf of Al-Qaeda.  In the Senate, Mitch McConnell put out his signature mealy-mouthed parsing of words, declining to take a stand on any contentious issue.

“Today the President advised me that he will seek an authorization for the use of force from the Congress prior to initiating any combat operations against Syria in response to the use of chemical weapons. The President’s role as commander-in-chief is always strengthened when he enjoys the expressed support of the Congress.”

So much for the clout and power of being “GOP Leader:”

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