Friday, September 9th, 2016 and is filed under Blog, Elections
No matter where you are on the Donald Trump phenomenon (Evangelist, Apostate, Unbeliever), it’s clear that he is part of a chain reaction, a cause and effect if you will, caused by the elites in Washington, DC.
The pattern has been this. Campaign cycles come, Republican politicians dust off the old playbook, make red meat promises (“I will rip out Obamacare root and branch!” or “We will end illegal immigration!”) to gin up the conservative grassroots, win, retreat from said promises under the guise of, “We just don’t have the numbers that we need to make progress here in Washington, DC-you don’t know how things work here,” attempt to govern like moderate liberals and then, as the next election cycle approaches, dust off the old playbook and lather, rinse, repeat.
And on and on this pattern has gone until the American taxpayer realized that maybe it was time to take the red pill and see how far down the rabbit hole things go.
Here’s what reality looks like. We are a nation that is now $19.3 trillion in debt. Illegal immigrants continue to pour in through our southern border at an ever increasing rate. Unemployment numbers are decidedly well above 5% and it appears in less than 10 years, the non-tax paying American populace will be over 50%.
Yet in Washington, DC, the GOPe fiddles as the nation burns.
To tell the grassroots that they shouldn’t believe their lying eyes.
To shift the blame from their poor performance and broken promises that gave rise to Donald Trump to “the conservative commentariat industry” that seeks to hold them accountable (read: fulfill campaign promises).
In other words, they would like to continue doing things the way they have always done them with no repercussions.
That is simply not possible.
In the chaos that is the 2016 election cycle, some takeaways have emerged.
One, the Republican Party as we know it is rotten from the inside out. Josh Holmes and others quoted in the article linked above have taken and continue to take corporate contracts to work for policy items that accomplish three things: make themselves a lot of money, help corporations crowd out the American taxpayer and continue to plow the American economy under (and the American taxpayer, but we already said that).
Yet this is the same “crop of influential Republican consultants” who want to take the party back over and “enact their principles.” What, we wonder, are their principles? Is it really to roll back Obamacare? We would offer this in response to that. While the name Billy Piper might not ring a bell for many readers, he is the former chief of staff to Mitch McConnell (Josh Holmes’ predecessor, slightly taller, less hair than Holmes). While Mitch McConnell was out promising to uproot Obamacare, guess what Piper was doing? Lobbying for it and not just for it, but the expansion of it to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars in lobbying fees. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, too.
Why would Piper do this even as he actively remains a part of McConnell’s inner circle?
See the three reasons given above.
Another takeaway is that the Republican Party is comfortable being a “little less liberal” version of the Democrat Party. Maybe we should add “extremely” in front of “comfortable.”
They don’t believe in limited government-“It’s here to stay, might as well work with it!” They don’t want free market healthcare because a bevy of former staffers from leadership offices are making hundreds of thousands lobbying for it (see Piper, Billy). They don’t want to stop illegal immigration because corporations like the cheap labor (electoral results and demographic shifts in favor of the Democrats be damned) and corporations fund their war chests.
If there is a lesson to be learned from 2016, it is this: the GOPe gave rise to Donald Trump after years of broken promises. Their hope was to use him as a vehicle to further empower themselves. As an electoral apocalypse looms, they are now pivoting to the blame game.
We cannot and must not let them. Their chickens are coming home to roost and it’s about time.
Friday, October 2nd, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Family Values
Listen as the Madison Project’s Drew Ryun breaks down the Presidential race, the GOP Establishment and other topics with Steve Deace, the Rush Limbaugh of Iowa.
To hear Drew’s interview, click here.
Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections
It has been the chatter along the political grapevine today as the State Department released more of Hillary Clinton’s emails. One in particular was of note and it was from Sid Blumenthal, a close Clinton confidant and an evident user of a pocket thesaurus.
In his email to Hillary, Blumenthal wrote:
Boehner is despised by the younger, more conservative members of the House Republican Conference. They are repelled by his personal behavior. He is louche, alcoholic, lazy, and without any commitment to any principle. . .
He’s a would-be DeLay without the whip. He’s the one at the end of a lash. . . [McConnell] relatively in the same position in the Senate.
Sometimes you cannot make this stuff up. While intended for a different audience, Blumenthal aptly summed up what the GOP Establishment has become.
They are drunk-on the facade of power.
They are banal-they fear a government slowdown versus defunding Planned Parenthood and protecting innocent life.
They are lazy-talking points are much easier to churn than actual action, because you might have to intellectually defend the latter.
As Erick Erickson wrote the other day, the GOP is teetering dangerously on extinction. It is a party birthed in the midst of righting a grievous wrong. It stared down evil and won. When faced with defunding Planned Parenthood, the taxpayer funded organization that doesn’t just abort babies but sells their parts as well, the GOP is confused as to what the steps of action needed are.
These are the symptoms of the lazy, the banal and the drunken.
The GOP’s answer in the face of this evil should be simple: Others may choose to fund it, but it is inherently un-American ethical to force taxpayers to fund something they are fundamentally opposed to. Therefore, in light of ALL the evidence that has been presented, we feel it is our duty to defund Planned Parenthood of all federal dollars.
This fall is make or break for the GOP with the 2016 Presidential election looming and during it, fortunes will rise and fall.
Monday, August 24th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections
In one of his seminal works, The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis writes of “men without chests.” They are the types that many would call intellectuals, the types who would rather talk about issues endlessly that actually do something about it.
For, as Lewis writes, to take action has repercussions. It is, as he writes, akin to:
When a Roman father told his son that it was a sweet and seemly thing to die for his country, he believed what he said. He was communicating to the son an emotion which he himself shared and which he believed to be in accord with the value which his judgment discerned in noble death. He was giving the boy the best he had, giving of his spirit to humanize him as he had given of his body to beget him.
Lewis correctly deduces that the “modern” era has produced a generation of men without chests and he concludes his essay with:
[W]e continue to clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs is more ‘drive’, or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or ‘creativity’. In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.
While it may be needless to say, conservatives are faced with GOP leaders that are devoid of chests. Make no mistake, they are spin masters. They are intellectuals.
But when it comes to actual action, they wouldn’t have the slightest idea what to do. Conflict in any form comes and they melt away, unlike Ted Cruz during his confrontation with a misguided Ellen Page this past weekend (seriously, what was she thinking? Pick on Jeb Bush. Or Ben Carson. But Ted Cruz, a former Harvard debate champion and solicitor general of Texas. . . .?).
Which is why, as they actively work to tamp down on any talk of attaching a rider to the Continuing Resolution this fall that would defund Planned Parenthood, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner’s finest moments might likely end in catastrophe.
There are epochs in American history when we face wrongs that this country has engaged in and make them right.
Slavery comes to mind.
We as Americans have also stood down great evil across the world throughout our nation’s short history.
Defeating Nazi Germany and the horrors embodied by this evil empire was one of our finest hours.
As we are presented with a growing evil in our midst, we must face the question: will we as a nation continue as we have or will we change? The issue of Planned Parenthood is not an insignificant issue. It is one that must rise to a national debate. We are all engaged in it whether we want to be or not because each year, Planned Parenthood receives hundreds of millions of our taxpayer dollars. For fiscal year 2015, that number rose above $800 million.
Yet the response from the Republican leadership of McConnell and Boehner is that, “We must avoid a government shutdown at all costs!”
Since when, we ask, did the jobs of a few government desk clerks and keeping national parks open supersede the lives of thousands of innocent children (read this excellent paper from Heritage on a government shutdown if you doubt us)?
These chidden are not just being aborted each year-they are being killed so that their organs may be used for profit and medical experimentation, all in the name of science.
Just last week the Daily Signal compiled all the Planned Parenthood videos. Watch them if you can.
In a world today that disavows right and wrong, good and evil, you will be presented with a conclusion you may not be comfortable with: evil exists and you fund it.
As Senator Ted Cruz writes in USA Today, every effort must be made this fall to defund Planned Parenthood. Not by show votes that McConnell and Boehner know will go nowhere. No, those will not suffice.
A concerted effort must be made by the Republican Party to end this atrocity. That effort must be centered around the must pass Continuing Resolution. If the government shuts down over this (again, read Heritage’s paper on what a shutdown really is), then let it shut down.
Let the Republicans lead-they were given the majority for fights like this.
If they do not lead, then maybe it is time for them to go the way of the Whigs and for conservatives to start a new party.
Monday, July 27th, 2015 and is filed under Blog
Senate Majority Mitch McConnell sold out conservatives once again
All last year, McConnell pledged that if the Republicans took the majority in the U.S. Senate, he would change the way the chamber operated, that he would not operate it like Senator Harry Reid.
Newsflash: he is far worse.
What is taking place in the U.S. Senate right now is high stakes drama as the Batman and Robin team of Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are forcing Mitch McConnell to expose who he really is – a big government liberal who masquerades as a Republican.
Right now McConnell is forcefully defeating any efforts by Ted Cruz and Mike Lee to repeal Obamacare, defund Planned Parenthood and to keep the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) from being reauthorized (for the best breakdown on the events in the Senate, read Tim Carney’s article.).
If anyone thought a Republican majority in the Senate was going to be a conservative one, this is the ultimate slap in the face.
Not only is Mitch McConnell working overtime in ways that Harry Reid never did to muzzle U.S. Senators, he is aggressively pushing to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank under the guise of “Every Senator deserves the right to offer an amendment.”
That is unless it is a conservative Senator attempting to offer conservative amendments.
This is outrageous and it must be stopped. Call Mitch McConnell today and tell him this can’t stand: 202-224.2541.
We can’t continue to let Mitch McConnell run the U.S. Senate like a Democrat.
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections
Let’s just say that over the last two election cycles, especially in 2014 and 2015, the cat and mouse game between the GOP Establishment and the outside conservative groups has moved from a few forearm shivers thrown here and there to a full on brawl.
And it’s a good thing.
For too long the GOP leadership has attempted to co-opt conservatives and make them part of The System (who can forget Trent Lott’s infamous quote to this affect in the Washington Post? He said what Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and all the Establishment talking heads were thinking back in 2010.).
The problem is, the harder the GOP hits, the stronger we outside groups become as well as the Members of Congress we helped elect because the GOP Establishment is on the wrong side of history. We will see this play out in the Mark Meadows scenario. We just saw it today with Ted Cruz’s op-ed backing away from TPA because of the wrong-headed “leadership” of Mitch McConnell.
Ever since the Bush Administration, the conservative movement has taken on a battered spouse syndrome, afraid to challenge the GOP, either at the party level or in the halls of Congress. Dissenters were quietly strong armed or beaten back into submission with threats of drying up campaign donations.
This has given rise to the new generation of conservative groups like Heritage Action, the Senate Conservatives Fund, the Madison Project and a newly reinvigorated Club for Growth. Members like Mark Meadows and Ted Cruz can now openly disagree with GOP Leadership and their tactics because they know the vast majority of Republicans are conservatives who stand with them. They also know the outside groups have their backs and the threat of drying up campaign funds is a hollow one.
With the events of the past few days, it’s apparent the GOP Establishment is throwing off any more attempts at smoke and mirrors. They are all in with the corporations and big business and will do whatever it takes ram their bad legislation through.
It is time for conservatives to gear up. 2016 presents a fantastic opportunity for us, but it’s not going to be easy. It’s time to shed the old persona and put on the new.
We are the Republican Party and it’s time we took back what is ours.
Monday, June 15th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Uncategorized
There is a discussion going on in Washington, DC currently and it goes to the make-up of the House Republican Caucus.
The question in everyone’s mind is: how conservative is this caucus?
If one were to look at the current leadership, one could come up with the conclusion: not very.
To some extent, this is a fairly accurate description. Leadership should reflect the Members.
But we think that conclusion misses part of the picture.
Years ago, when current Madison Project Chairman Jim Ryun, was a Member of Congress, if one belonged to the Republican Study Committee (RSC), one was de facto a conservative. No questions asked.
Over the years, the RSC has become a watered down resume builder for many Members so they can go home and tout it to their constituents (“Of course I am conservative-look, I belong to the RSC!”).
If one were to look at current RSC Members like Cathy McMorris Rogers (a 59% on the Heritage Action scorecard), Frank Lucas (also a 59% on the Heritage Action scorecard) or Kristi Noem (a 60% on the Heritage Action scorecard) among many others, however, one wonders why it even exists anymore.
It is this current state of affairs that gave rise to the House Freedom Caucus, the new bastion of conservatism in the House of Representatives. It is this caucus that has forced John Boehner and other members of the GOP elite to operate in ways that we already knew they were inclined to, but were never forced to.
Now, instead of negotiating with their own caucus first, Boehner and Co. go directly to the Democrats to ram more big government legislation through.
The problem right now for conservatives in Congress is not that they aren’t conservative enough. It’s that there are not enough of them. Which is why we need to 1) protect the good conservatives already in Congress and 2) reinforce them with others. The political math involved in this is very real and it is very simple.
We need more good folks in Washington, DC and we need them now.
So if you haven’t already checked out our Madison Project Candidates Page, do so today and learn more about the candidates we are convinced will do two things in the next Congress-vote for new leadership in the GOP Caucus and continue to push for legislation that turns this country around.
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Uncategorized
As hard as it may be for some to believe, what politicians say and what they do are often times two different things.
Take for instance the GOP Establishment’s pledge to do all that they could to stop Obama’s executive amnesty. They said what they thought the voters wanted to hear and they were correct.
Instead of fighting it, however, they aggressively pushed to pass the Department of Homeland Security bill that executive amnesty was attached to, even having one of their outside groups, the American Action Network, run misleading ads in the districts of conservatives like Jim Bridenstine and Tim Huelskamp to attempt to force them to vote for the bill.
Or, more accurately, potentially set them up for defeat in 2016.
We fully realize it is hard for those not familiar with Washington, DC to decipher what exactly goes on there and what politicians really mean when they say certain things.
As our friend Daniel Horowitz over at the Conservative Review noted, many of the same promises to stop executive amnesty were broken when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, agreed to bring up President Obama’s nominee for Attorney General, Loretta Lynch. Lynch has been outspoken in her support of Obama’s executive amnesty order, even going so far as to say that illegal immigrants had a right to work in the United States “regardless of how they came here” during her confirmation hearing.
Could Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have partially fulfilled his promise to stop executive amnesty by keep Lynch’s confirmation vote from the floor? Yes. See the tactics Harry Reid (D-NV) employed for years as Majority Leader.
Did he? No. Today, Lynch received 66 votes for cloture, which means 12 Republican Senators voted to bring her confirmation to the floor for a vote.
To some extent, many of those Republican Senators are the usual suspects: Hatch of Utah, Flake of Arizona, Graham of South Carolina, Ayotte of New Hampshire and Kirk of Illinois. But there are others among them who are likely going to vote against Lynch on the floor of the Senate and then message to their constituents: “I did the right thing and voted against Obama’s radically left Attorney General!”
But in reality, they didn’t.
There are two votes on the Senate floor and the hardest one, the one that Senators should be judged by, is the cloture vote. Mitch McConnell and Co. knew full well that the big hurdle to clear was the cloture vote. After that, thanks to the support of the aforementioned Senators, her confirmation would proceed without a hitch after cloture and the Senators who needed to message to their home states that they voted against Lynch would be released on the final vote.
Among them, apparently, is Senator John Cornyn of Texas who has become a master at this tactic: vote for cloture, vote against final passage and then message to his home state how he fought as hard as could to stop an Obama nominee or bad legislation when in reality, the opposite was and is true.
This should be yet another wake up call for conservatives who think the GOP is fighting for them in Washington, DC. At this point, we would be happy if they did nothing.
They are not. They are actively working against their base and with the other half of the ruling class, the Democrats, to cram nominees and bad legislation through, proving yet again to conservatives that the current GOP leadership is not for them, they are against them.
Monday, April 20th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections
Just a few months into the 114th Congress, it became clear that the newly minted GOP majorities in the House and Senate are failing and failing badly. Elected to change the direction of this country, the GOP swept into power in January and promptly shifted direction, away from the grassroots conservatives who elected them and towards K Street and the Chamber of Commerce’s checklist of things to accomplish in Washington, DC. Few, if any, of them have anything to do with repealing Obamacare, stopping illegal immigration or reducing the size and scope of government. On the contrary, many of the K Street/Chamber checklist items seem intent on locking many of those things in for years to come, rather than stopping them.To date, the GOP majorities have:1. Not held Democrats accountable for Obamacare.
2. Stripped conservative language from the DHS bill to pave the way for Obama’s unlawful executive amnesty.
3. Approved $500 Billion in Deficit Spending.
4. Funded Obamacare.
5. Walked away from Medicare reform.
6. Ruined the Pain-Capable Abortion Ban, the only pro-life legislation likely to be seen this session.
Rather than role back government and aggressively mitigate the damage done by the Obama Administration, the GOP leadership is so fond of bloated government, socialized healthcare and growing the debt that just last week, they worked to pass a $500 Billion debt increase to fund Obamacare and “gift” states into submission to the federal government with Medicaid expansion.
Going forward, things have to change or the current GOP majorities will undermine any chance a conservative Republican has of winning the White House in 2016. Here’s what must happen:
1. Strong Economic sanctions against Iran and Russia, not allowing this Administration to kowtow to either regime. Thanks to the GOP “leadership” in the Senate, namely that of Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee (R-TN), the only action the Senate took last week was to paint itself into a corner when it came to reining in the lawlessness of President Obama.
2. We need simple, short, effective legislative strikes from conservatives. During the government shutdown in 2013 short, simple bills showed their effectiveness at putting the Democrats on their heels in spite of their media cheerleaders (recall this Harry Reid meltdown?), yet leadership continues to allow large bills to move forward and crippling amendments to kill good legislation. There are core conservative principles even Democrats can be forced to vote for, such as Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) ban on terrorists entering the country (once again, an issue with Iran).
3. Expansion of offshore drilling and petro-chemical exports. Taking money away from Russia when Russia is helping our enemies is a good thing and a free market is the best market. Stop crippling American business and putting money in Putin’s pocket. And enough of this Keystone nonsense. It is a shiny object. Let’s move America forward with some real reforms.
4. Make sure the Senate does not approve Loretta Lynch. McConnell and gang should be able to whip a Republican Majority. Make no mistake. She will be worse than Eric Holder and much more militant.
5. Replace Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Dan Coats (R-IN), David Vitter (R-LA), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) (see our statement on Rep. Ron DeSantis here) with solid conservatives. If we cannot remove Mitch McConnell (R-KY), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Thad Cochran (R-MS), we must install strong conservatives intent on turning this country around. Time is running out.
Tuesday, March 17th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Issues
For those that have missed the memo, we here at the Madison Project love being agitators for freedom.
We want to hold elected officials accountable even as we work to elect better and better Members of Congress. We work to advance conservatism as frequently and as purely as possible, be it reducing taxes, ending abortion or working towards dismantling Obamacare.
So it is no surprise that over the past 10 years as Madison Project has brought to the public’s attention the voting record of Democrats and Republicans, we have been attacked by both parties.
The usual GOP talking points against the Madison Project (and Senate Conservatives Fund, the Club for Growth and Heritage Action) is that the Madison Project is “hurting the party” and forming “circular firing squads” that are “not helpful” to the GOP majority. By hurting the party, what the GOP Establishment is saying is, “You’re hurting our chances to advance the issues important to corporations and their lobbyists by calling us out and electing conservatives.”
If our work is hurting this current iteration of the Republican Party, count us in.
As we have said in the past, it is we and our conservative allies who actually represent and work towards the principles and ideology which the GOP claims to represent and advance. We are the free market conservatives who believe in liberty and reducing government, not growing it and giving corporations a leg up on the backs of the American taxpayers.
Over the last few election cycles, it is the Madison Project that has helped add some of the most stalwart conservatives in both chambers of Congress: Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, Congressman Jim Bridenstine, Mark Meadows, Ron DeSantis, Tim Huelskamp, Dave Brat, Jody Hice and many others.
Conservative grassroots activists worked overtime last fall to elect a Republican majority on promises of rolling back Obamacare and stopping illegal immigration.
Now sitting under Republican majorities, these promises have not only been vacated but actually reversed where we’ve seen Republican leaders working with Democrats to actually help to enact these dangerous policies.
For years we have warned that it’s not just about having a Republican majority in both chambers. It’s about having conservatives eager to fight and advance the Republican Party platform. It’s not just a vote, it’s a voice.
The recently passed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill is the perfect example. The House of Representatives passed a good bill, replete with riders that stripped funding for Obama’s executive amnesty order and sent it to the Senate.
The Senate, under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s “leadership” stripped the riders from the bill and sent it back to the House.
Here is where it should have been easy: Boehner and the House Republicans should have stripped the bad language out, put the conservative language back in, and sent it back to McConnell.
Instead, 100% of House Democrats and 75 Republicans, including the Speaker, and most of “leadership” and members with all-important seniority, voted to fund executive amnesty behind the fig leaf of, “If we don’t, the Department of Homeland Security will shut down and we will be totally exposed to terrorism.” Nothing could have been further from the truth.
The simple workaround would have been to pass a continuing resolution that would have fully funded DHS while holding the line on amnesty. It is now abundantly clear to everyone that John Boehner and Mitch McConnell never intended to fight amnesty. After all, their friends on K Street and at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce were pushing for it.
If this doesn’t make it abundantly clear that it is time for new leadership, we’re not sure what will.