What Arizona Teaches Us About Politics of Illegal Immigration

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Immigration

If you only listened to the media and Republican consultants during the days following the election, you would hear the following erroneous premises about the Hispanic vote and the issue of illegal immigration.

1)      Our opposition to the circuitous cycle of amnesty and open borders is the sole reason why we are losing the Hispanic vote.

2)      Immediate and unconditional support for illegal immigrants will win us back those votes.

3)      An aggressive campaign for their vote on social issues will not help win them over.

4)      We would somehow be able to get to the left of Democrats on the issue without encouraging a bidding war (Democrats: “We’ll allow for chain migration of all your relatives.”)

Aside for the fact that these assertions are far from being inviolable truths, there is one other point that has been overlooked throughout the entire post-election debate: the other 90% of the electorate.

Obama ran a wedge-issue campaign in which he used illegal immigration to galvanize Hispanic turnout at the ballot box.  But wedge issues cut both ways.  While Obama can use them to make gains with some demographics, he should lose at least as many with the rest of the electorate.  However, Republicans never rubbed the issue back in his nose.  Hence, Obama enjoyed the gain of employing wedge issue attacks without incurring the loss.  That is…except for one state.

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21 Thoughts and Observations on the Election

Thursday, November 8th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Family Values, Immigration, Obamacare

1)      Obama won by running a divisive wedge issues-based campaign in the right locations, in conjunction with a killer ground game.  He ran up huge margins with blacks in VA and OH.  He played the amnesty card with Hispanics in CO, NV, and FL.  He played the war on women card with white women in NH, WI, and IO.  But wedge issues, such as immigration and gay marriage cut both ways.  While Obama can use them to make gains with some demographics, he should lose at least as many with a surge in Evangelical voters who are against gay marriage and blue collar workers who are against illegal immigration (and gay marriage).  Romney conceded those issues and didn’t return the favor of the wedge.  Hence, Obama enjoyed the gain of employing wedge issue attacks without incurring the loss.

2)      Romney won 32% of the Jewish vote.  Believe it or not, that is the highest share since 84/88.  At least some people are moving in the right direction.

3)      For all the talk of Republicans facing an insurmountable demographic juggernaut with single women, minorities, and youth, the talking heads fail to explain that Democrats are losing their own demographics.  Romney won Independents by 5 points, and he won whites by the largest margin since Reagan.  However, it’s clear that there is more room to grow in those two demos.  To the extent that Obama gains on social issues, such as immigration and marriage with some of his demos, had Romney fought back on those issues, he could have driven up turnout more among his favorable demos.  This is born out of the fact that Romney failed to turn out 2 million voters that McCain turned out (who himself underperformed Bush’s vote total by 2 million).  Based upon exit polling data of Republicans as a share of the electorate, Bush received about 41.66 million Republican votes and Romney got 35.28 million votes.  Romney’s number will grow before the election results are completely certified, but there’s a large gap to make up.

4)      Where are those disaffected Republicans?  Why are they not voting?  Is it because our message is too coherently conservative?  Are they overlapped with the Evangelicals who didn’t turn out?  According to Dave Wasserman of Cook Report, turnout in OK, KS, MO, TN, WV, IN, was likely down at least 5% from 08.  There simply was no GOP enthusiasm.  Maybe an even more moderate candidate like Jon Huntsman will stir up their juices.

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A Constitutional Republic, Not a Democracy

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Issues

In case anyone needed a lesson in understanding the difference between democracy and a Constitutional Republic a.k.a. Europe and America, tonight’s results should serve as a clear message.  This is democracy in full force.

Why did we need a constitution?  Why are popular elections not a sufficient means of preserving liberty?

A pure unbridled democracy is a political system in which the majority enjoys absolute power by means of democratic elections.  In an unvarnished democracy, unrestrained by a constitution, the majority can vote to impose tyranny on themselves and the minority opposition.  They can vote to elect those who will infringe upon our inalienable God-given rights.  Thomas Jefferson referred to this as elected despotism in Notes on the State of Virginia (also cited in Federalist 48 by Madison):

An ELECTIVE DESPOTISM was not the government we fought for; but one which should not only be founded on free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among several bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits, without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.

Thus, a constitution that limited and divided the power of government was necessary to preclude elected officials from imposing tyranny on the people.  This is why they adopted a constitution with limited enumerated power, divided and checked across several branches and levels.

In other words, tonight’s narrow majority victory for Obama and the Democrats should not be so consequential.  Pursuant to the society we are supposed to be, elections are not the end all; the Constitution is the end all.  Elections should not be so consequential.  Forty-eight percent of us should not be forced into the tyranny of a government-takeover of much of our lives just because 50% vote for insidious characters who want to grow government for their own sake.

Yet, we no longer live in a Constitutional Republic.  We live in a pure democracy – one that is similar to Europe, in which the majority can pretty much vote for people who will vitiate the Constitution and implement any form of tyranny it pleases.  Screw the minority.  Yes, so much for minority rights, progressives.  As founder John Witherspoon noted, “pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state – it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage.”

Yet, there is still one element of our Constitutional Republic that has been preserved; the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches and the separation of the individual states from the federal government.  We have held onto the House with roughly the same strong majority, plus we have added a number of new conservatives.  Additionally, we have picked up some state legislative chambers, increasing our majority control over a record number of state governments.

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A Programming Note for Tonight and Tomorrow

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Elections, News

As we all know, there is a lot at stake today in our country.  It’s not just the presidential elections.  There are important Senate races, House races, state legislative battles, and ballot questions.  We will be breaking down the results of all the important results late tonight and tomorrow.  The House race results, in particular, will change the orientation of the chamber, even if the partisan split remains essentially unchanged.  Between redistricting and retirements, there will be dozens of new members.  We will sift through the rubble to see how this affects the conservative members in Congress.

Here are our pieces on the other offices and questions at stake tonight.  You can use this as a guide and a checklist to see how we are progressing:

State Legislatures



Ballot Questions

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Tom Price for GOP Conference Chairman

Thursday, November 1st, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Elections

As soon as we’re finished with the national elections next week, we as conservatives must assert ourselves over the congressional leadership elections.  Even if we win the political elections on November 6, we must win the policy elections in Congress.  There will be a number of important races to focus on over the next few weeks, including committee assignments, committee chairmanships, and the race for RSC Chairman.  For now, I’d like to focus on the race for Conference Chairman – the 4th ranking position in the Republican leadership hierarchy.

Unfortunately, the top three slots are locked up.  It appears that nobody is willing to challenge Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, and Majority Whip McCarthy for their respective positions.  However, with Rep. Jeb Hensarling (TX) vacating the position of Conference Chairman next term (to become Finance Committee Chair), there is an important opportunity for the conservative movement to demand a seat at the table.

Traditionally, the #4 spot was the one position that the GOP moderates were willing to cede to conservatives.  The past two chairmen – Jeb Hensarling and Mike Pence – have been former RSC chairmen.  Well, there is another former RSC chairman vying to replace Hensarling – Dr. Tom Price (Georgia).  However, he is being challenged by Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, the current vice chairman of the conference.

Here’s the deal: if McMorris-Rodgers is allowed to move up to conference chair, we will not have a single conservative voice at the leadership table.  She scores an average 62% conservative rating and a -19 on the Madison Performance Index.  That is exactly in line with Kevin McCarthy (62%), and only slightly better than Eric Cantor (58%).  She is cut from the same cloth as the others and will never provide an alternative conservative perspective to the ‘go along to get along’ echo chamber.  She has worked hand in glove with Cantor and McCarthy on all the budget capitulations.

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The Future of Marriage Will be at Stake Next Week

Thursday, November 1st, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Family Values

The most important issue for conservatives on election night, aside for the individual elections, will be the question of gay marriage. Maryland, Minnesota, Maine, and Washington – all blue states – will be holding ballot referendums on gay marriage.  In three of those states, we will be playing defense.  If the ballot question passes, gay marriage will be recognized in those states.  In Minnesota, we will be playing offense by proposing a state constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Over the past decade, we have won 32 times – a 100% success rate whenever the issue was placed before the people.  However, after 6 years of indefatigable campaigning from the homosexual lobby and criminal insouciance from our side, we face an uphill battle in preserving marriage.  It’s especially rough that the landscape this year includes blue to very blue states.

Nonetheless, the polls are tightening up, and if past history is any indication, we always overperform the polls on this issue.  If you have any friends or relatives in these states, please advise them of the following information:

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Important Ballot Questions at Stake

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Elections

With all the focus on the presidential race and some of the congressional elections, there are a number of important state ballot questions that we must not overlook.  Many of us claim that conservatism is not on the ballot in many states where the candidates for Congress are underwhelming.  However, there are a plethora of ballot questions that deal with taxes, marriage, and Obamacare – issues that are of great concern to conservatives.

Here is an informal list of some important ballot questions – some good and some bad.  We’ll update this post next week to reflect the results of the ballot initiatives and referendums.

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The 47%

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Elections

One of the most portentous comments ever made by a candidate concerning his own campaign prospects was Romney’s off-the-record remark about Obama having an automatic 47% floor of support.  The media attack dogs lambasted him for his “out of touch” sentiments.  The reality is that Romney hit the nail on the head months before the pollsters would coalesce around that number.

Let’s confront an inconvenient reality: anyone who votes for Obama at this point is either inexorably dependent upon socialism or incorrigibly out of touch with American values.  It’s not just the economy.  Obama’s egregious disregard for the situation in Libya – one that he created in the first place – and the insidious cover-up of the attack that is continuing to this day, should be sufficient reason to dissuade any judicious voter from supporting him.  Yet, despite Romney’s surge and likely win next week, Obama is still garnering exactly ……47% of the vote.

Yesterday’s Pew national poll had Obama at 47%.

Today’s NPR/Democracy Corp. poll (Democrat) has Obama at 47%.

Rasmussen has had Obama at 47% for over a week.

GW/ Battleground is predicting a 52-47% win for Romney.

Even in blue states like Minnesota and Oregon, Obama is now at…. 47%.

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Freedom’s Slate

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Elections

We’re in homestretch of this election season, and everyone who yearns for liberty, limited government, and free markets is making a robust effort to push Romney over the top.  However, we must not lose sight of some important congressional races.  Here are a number of candidates who are not just better than their opponents; they are actually true conservatives.  They also need our help in the closing days of the campaign.

If you are looking to spend your money on people who share your values and who need the money (yet have a decent chance of winning), these are your choices.  Some are more reliably conservative than others, but all of them provide strong contrasts to their opponents, and have at least an outside-to-even shot of winning:

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Handicapping Races for Control of State Legislatures

Friday, October 19th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Elections

As we’ve noted earlier, there is a lot at stake this November outside of Washington.  Throughout Obama’s tenure, Republican-led state governments have been critical in fighting against his administrative power grabs and violations of the spirit of federalism.  That is why it’s so important that we control as many branches of state government as possible.

Earlier today, we posted a quick overview of the state of play for the governors’ races.  Here is a brief overview of the races for control of state legislative chambers.

In 2010, Republican enjoyed their most auspicious gains, not in Washington, but in state legislative races.  They won over 720 seats, flipping 20 legislative chambers.  At present, there are 98 state legislative chambers with partisan orientations (Nebraska has a unicameral, non-partisan chamber, although they are unofficially majority Republican); Republicans control 59, Democrats control 36, and 3 chambers are tied.  The breakdown is as follows: Senate- 28R/19D/2T House- 31R/17D/1T.

Despite the large gains of 2010, Republicans are not overexposed, and they have a chance to extend their gains and net some more chambers.  It’s an arduous task to handicap control of state legislatures because they hinge on the outcome of multiple races, but my best estimate shows 14 chambers in play; 9 D, 4R, and 1 tied in Oregon.  The slanted playing field provides us with an ample opportunity to pick up more seats.

Here are the GOP pickup opportunities:

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