FRC Says No Rice Please

In their Monday email, the Family Research Council rained on the Condoleeza Rice parade.  Describing her as a “non-starter”, Tony Perkins said that she is not pro-life, pro-marriage or a strong defender of religious liberty.  Perkins also noted that the Family Research Council would only accept a candidate who was strongly pro-life, not just someone who “checks the ‘pro-life box'”.

Will FRC stop promoting Mitt Romney if he chooses Condoleeza Rice as his VP?  No.  They supported Bush even though Cheney supported gay marriage.  But now is the time to use their leverage as a group representing a large segment of fundamental Christianity and steer Romney towards a more socially conservative choice.

Condi is a great and extremely qualified candidate.  But Romney should carefully consider the promises he has made regarding his VP selection process.  If he is looking to shake the Etch-a-sketch image one of his staffers foolishly gave him, than now is a perfect time to take a principled stand.  On the other hand, Romney may do the calculations and figure he will pick up more independents with Condi than he would lose from his base.

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TEA Party’s New Mission

John Roberts, what were you thinking.  If this question went through your mind at about 10:30am on June 28th, that puts you in good company.  In fact, the whole ruling on the healthcare law frankly seems odd.  First they ruled that it wasn’t a tax so that they could proceed with deciding if it was constitutional or not.  Then they ruled that it was a tax so that they could say it is constitutional.  Then, in a twist of irony after Obama’s recent decision to stop enforcing immigration laws, the Supreme Court ruled that the Federal Government couldn’t penalize states for not implementing Obamacare.  After this whirlwind, what we ended up with is the biggest regressive tax on the middle class in our nation’s history.

And that is when the sleeping giant woke up.  Suddenly we were reminded that we are Taxed Enough Already.

In 2010, Conservative Constitutionalists and TEA Party activists had a reason to live.  Democrat policies were rejected by voters in a massive conservative sweep.  But after two years of being beaten down by mainstream media and the Republican establishment, and the influx of special interest commercialism into the TEA Party, the heartbeat of the movement was faint.  You can feel free to disagree with me, but let’s be honest.  The rallies had turned into book tours and the infighting had handed victory in the primary to Mitt Romney.

Every Republican knows that Romney will do great with the economy.  Shoot, most Democrats know it, but won’t admit it.  Despite this, many conservatives have become purists and would still struggle to pull the lever for Romney.  I suggested a while back that many conservatives will be more willing to open their wallets to conservative PACs than to Romney.  Many conservatives will vote for Romney, but won’t put a Romney bumper sticker on their car.  Many are voting for the candidate named Not Obama.

And then the unthinkable happened.  The chief justice Bush appointed joined the majority and ruled Obamacare constitutional.  Even Justice Kennedy knew better.

Now 2012 has all new meaning.  It is no longer the establishment RINO versus the unpopular liberal.  It has become what it was in 2010, a referendum on Obamacare.  So far, conservatives are up 1-0 when it comes to elections on Obamacare.

Eugene Robinson, in an article suggesting that the Supreme Court decision will heal America, said that the decision was bad for Mitt Romney.  I think we can say with confidence that this sentiment is wishful thinking on the part of the Left.  The election is no longer about Romney.  It is no longer about RINOs or Republicans either.  As of 10:30am on June 28th, this election is about one thing:

 

The VP Matrix

Excitement continues to brew about who Mitt Romney might choose as his Vice President.  Today a story hit the news circulation that Marco Rubio is not being vetted, but Tim Pawlenty is being given serious consideration.  Romney found himself on the defensive this evening.  But before you get too excited about a Marco Rubio candidacy, or too upset about it, you may want to take a breather and consider who Romney is and what kind of campaign he is running.  Flash and splash are not the orders of the day.

Mitt Romney’s campaign need do no more than promise a stronger economy and let Obama continue to create a weaker economy.  In fact, Mitt Romney’s tour through small town USA promoting the private sector and values of competition is exactly where he needs to be.  Obama is spouting a controversy mixed with a gaffe every day.  Why jump in front of a train wreck?  Romney’s VP choice will be about as blockbuster as a sandwich from a WaWa vending machine.

Get out your VP scorecards and consider the following:

Mitt’s VP choice will not be a fresh face.

Mitt Romney is not looking for a candidate with little national experience.  Nor is he looking for a candidate who everyone on the far right loves.  Romney doesn’t need a shot of adrenaline or steroids.  The last thing he needs is someone who is going to distract from the national disaster of the Obama Presidency.  Romney does not need a divisive TEA party figure.  He certainly doesn’t need someone who could be perceived as inexperienced.  If Romney picks a veteran, the media will be cautious about trying to embarrass them as a rookie.  But media types smell blood in the water when there is fresh meat.  Even a studied, prepared candidate might not be able to field a trick question like “do you support the Bush doctrine”.  However, a veteran is less likely to be asked that question.

Obama’s inexperience took a back seat in the media when McCain brought in Palin

This is bad for Allen West, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Susana Martinez, Scott Walker, and Paul Ryan.  Could be good for Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty, Jeb Bush, Condi Rice, or Rudy Guiliani.

Mitt’s VP choice will not be old and tired.

The death knell for a Republican candidacy, fair or not, is being old and grey.  Nothing plays into stereotypes of Republicans more than an old, grey haired, slow talking wrinkly man.  While Romney doesn’t need a shot in the arm, he also doesn’t need something contributing to the stereotypes more than he does already.  Right now Romney is Reaganesque in his looks and style.  But an older veteran running mate would turn his campaign into the old rich white people’s ticket.  Again, it may not be fair or right, but don’t expect a VP over 55 years old.

Don’t expect Newt Gingrich, Fred Thompson, or Rob Portman.  Could be good for Bobby McDonnell, Nikki Haley, Chris Christie

Jack Kemp and Bob Dole combined had nearly two centuries of experience

Mitt’s VP choice may not be female or minority.

There is this idea that the only way to defeat Barack Obama is by running a female or minority VP candidate.  Aside from that strategy failing miserably with Sarah Palin, the problem is that Republicans pay far less attention to race and gender than Democrats do, and Democrats virulently hate conservative women and minorities.  We have seen in recent years just how much visible hatred has been directed toward Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, Allen West, Nikki Haley, Michelle Bachmann, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, etc.  There is a clear desire on the left for female and minority Republicans to fail.  In Mitt Romney’s case, he is not looking for diversity for diversity’s sake.  That’s not to say he won’t pick a female or minority candidate, but if he does it will be someone respected by both sides and unassailable.

This makes Allen West, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, and Susana Martinez less likely.  However, it doesn’t necessarily knock Condoleeza Rice out of the running, although she will carry the stigma on the left of being chosen for diversity’s sake.  Again, might not be fair, but since when were politics fair.

Mitt’s VP choice will not be controversial.

It’s bad when your VP candidate has almost as many quotable gaffes as Joe Biden

Mitt Romney is not looking to cause trouble for himself.  He doesn’t need a loudmouth or a controversial character.  Don’t expect any candidate who is going to make serious waves.  As I said before, Romney doesn’t need a distraction from the freak show of the Obama economy.  Expect a well respected candidate who is as smooth politically as Romney himself.

You can scratch the Donald, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Allen West, and Newt Gingrich off your list.  This is a strike against Jeb Bush and Condoleeza Rice as well.  But it favors Mitch Daniels, possibly Bob McDonell, and John Thune.

Expect a strategic pick.

Romney’s not going to choose a popular governor from a red state.  But he might choose a popular candidate from a purple or blue state.  And there are a few to choose from.  Rubio would lock of Florida.  Bob McDonnell could secure the nearly must win blue state of Virginia.  Tim Pawlenty could inspire votes from the teetering Great Lakes states.  Rick Snyder of Michigan could really bring in some blue states, but he is likely disqualified for being old and a fresh face at the same time.  Brian Sandoval might help swing Nevada to Romney while also providing the opportunity to highlight Harry Reid’s role in the destruction of our economy.

This set of criteria will hardly provide a definite pick.  In fact, some points are contradictory.  But it should provide some ideas for people who are looking at the potential VP picks.  I could hardly make a prediction even based on this criteria.  But I do believe it comprises the factors that Romney will be looking at when making his pick.

Fundraising Apples and Oranges

The media is shocked to see the pronounced dead TEA Party raking in cash.  They shouldn’t be.  At the same time, the media is making hay out of Obama contributions compared to Romney’s.  This is a false comparison.  Romney fundraising compared to Obama fundraising is apples and oranges.  Here’s why:

Romney has not positioned himself as an inspiring political figure.  He hasn’t made the election about himself.  He has made it about Obama’s record.  In fact, it should be no surprise at all at all that TEA Party conservatives who consistently split their vote in the primaries for the non-Romney candidates would rather give to the TEA Party than to Romney.  Have no fear, they will vote non-Obama in November.

Obama on the other hand is one of the few inspiring characters left in the Democrat party.  Don’t expect massive donations to a DNC run by Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.  Don’t expect people to be inspired to give when they see Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid’s face.  But when Obama starts flashing Forward and talking about how nobody believed in America but him and how he shot Bin Laden and brought our troops home from Iraq, that sells.  Democrats aren’t going to shell out for DNC 2012 congressional elections or DNC superpacs, but they’ll buy Obama T-shirts and bumper stickers and pay for a one in a million shot at having a dinner with the President.

When political commentators measure campaign cash, really they should compare Obama to generic conservative groups and Romney to DNC pacs and superpacs.  In the end, the people who vote for Obama in 2012 will probably vote “D” down the line, and the people who contribute to the TEA Party and other Republican groups will show up to vote against Obama.

Establishment Turns On Tea Party Again

If you need another reason why the conservative movement must insist on purging every last establishment Republican from office, I give you Indiana. It’s Richard Lugar versus Richard Mourdock, the incumbent versus the challenger — RINO versus conservative.

If you missed it, over the weekend, Tea party backed candidate Richard Mourdock collected a Palin power endorsement which means, of course, establishment-man Lugar didn’t. Almost immediately after Palin’s endorsement Mourdock also capitalized big on some sweet national exposure with an interview by Breibart.com. Lugar didn’t. Polls as recent as last week show Mourdock is surging, Lugar not so much. It looks like this vote is going to be close. So what’s a concerned RINO establishment to do?

You guessed it — beg their Democrat step-brothers for help.

Indian’s GOP primary is open to all voters, so the call has gone out. The Young Guns Network, a group led by former aides of Eric Cantor, dropped some change (a cool $100,000) on a mail campaign calling for Democrats to vote for Lugar in the May 8th primary. This follows the $25,000 donation to Lugar’s campaign made by Cantor himself.

This is not the first time the establishment has stood on the street corner, flashed some skin and prostituted themselves out to Democrat voters for a GOP primary. Just a few months back, it occurred during some Romney-Santorum battles. That puckered a few holes. This will too.

You could see this coming. The November 2010 elections put the fear of God into the entrenched RINO Republicans. They realized then, apparently for the first time, that conservatives were serious about bringing their miserable masquerade to an end. But more, conservatives were done waiting. So the RINOs circled the wagons and have worked as hard to discredit conservatives as they have their pretend enemy, the Democrats.

Make no mistake, the battle for the soul of the Republican party is on. As the election year progresses there’s going to be more dirty tricks. It’s a high stakes game. There will be high drama and plenty of mud and muck — everything you want from politics. Combine this with a presidential election that is arguably the most important in the history of the country and you have a major election year — epic.

Strap yourself in because we’re just getting started.

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In The Conservative Crosshairs: Richard Lugar

Richard Lugar is a longtime senator from Indiana but hasn’t owned a home there since 1977. And it is this type of paradox, a political career’s worth, that has Sen. Luger in the conservative’s cross-hairs.

Sen. Lugar was born and raised in Indiana and graduated first in his class at Shortridge High School in 1950. He attended Denison University and went on to obtain a second Bachelors degree and a MA from Pembroke College, Oxford, England. He was also a Rhodes Scholar. He did a stint in the United States Navy from 1956 to 1960 and achieved the rank of Lieutenant, Junior Grade.

Back in Indiana, he served on the Indianapolis Board of School Commissioners from 1964 to 1967. He was elected mayor of Indianapolis in 1967 at age 35, and served two terms. In 1976, he was elected to the Senate and has been serving Indiana since. This feat makes him the longest-serving Senator in Indiana’s history. TheIndyChannel.com reported in March of 2009, Luger holds a 98% attendance record.

If we stopped here, we see a man that has met with success and has a nice resume. But the current political environment demands we look further into our representatives’ voting records, and it is here, the paradoxes of Richard Lugar begin to accumulate.

Lugar loves of pork, so much in fact, he voted against the Republican majority for a permanent ban on earmarks in 2012. He also voted for the Wall Street Bailout. And the Auto bailout. He has voted to raise the gas tax and he voted for the tax hike in 1990 under George H. W. Bush. Incredibly, he also voted for Cap and Trade, and the ethanol mandate. But there’s more.

DailyKos.com reported on April 9, 2012, Senator Lugar has an F rating from the NRA. He also has an F rating from Gun Owners of America. He is a longtime supporter of the DREAM Act, and even introduced his own version (S. 2205) in 2007. Clearly, this is not the type of voting record that earns one a nomination into the conservative hall of fame.

A final factor to consider is Lugar’s relationship with Obama, perhaps started during their visit to Russia in August, 2005. Lugar is on record praising Obama and his foreign policy in a speech at the National Defense University and Lugar was named an honorary co-chairman of the Obama-Biden inauguration. Many conservatives feel the relationship is a bit too chummy.

So now we know the real Sen. Richard Lugar. He represents Indiana but stays in hotels when he returns “home” to his Indiana constituency, because he hasn’t owned a house there for thirty years. He is a political porker and has no problem spending obscene amounts of money. Nor does he have a problem raising taxes to do so. He doesn’t like guns, he supports amnesty for illegals and plays in the sand box with pals like Obama and Biden. He is a member of that group of politicians that hide behind the label “moderate” (see my piece The Moderate Illusion) in hopes of being able to eat from both plates. Their objective is to perpetuate their careers, not perpetuate America. And that is why he is in the conservative cross-hairs. The RINO hunt is on.

Can the conservative movement really take down a six-term incumbent? Many think it’s a long shot. But polls show the primary race between Lugar and Richard Mourdock, the conservative challenger, is much closer than expected. Will Lugar survive? Or has the time come for this RINO to be put down. On May 8, the Indiana voters will let us know their decision.

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Tea Party Must Push For Voter ID

In this country you need to show an ID to purchase cigarettes or alcohol, buy a gun and enter certain buildings. Oh and you need an ID to apply for welfare and food stamps. Yet, in many places in America you don’t need an ID to vote. How can this be?

A new video seemingly shows just how easy it is to perpetrate voter fraud in this country. Citizen reporter and activist James O’Keefe has released a video showing a man enter a polling station and stating he is Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General of the United States. Consider this for a moment. A bearded white man merely claims he is someone else, in this case the second most powerful black man in the country, and, as the video shows, he could have voted under that name. Can it be any more shameful?

Holder, of course, has claimed numerous times there is no cause for concern about systematic voter fraud. Indeed, the government has fought hard against States trying to require personal ID to vote. The right to vote is critical to the American system. The ability to cast a vote for a particular individual to represent you is a luxury not provided in many other parts of the world. The integrity of all aspects of voting — ballot accuracy, instructions, vote counts, reporting  and who is voting– must be protected from abuse at all costs. We are all provided one vote. Call me crazy, but I don’t want some one to have the ability to violate my right to use that vote by merely claiming to be me. Government exists to protect our rights. A personal ID must be required to cast a vote and must be enforced by the government. There is no justifiable counter-point to make. None. Citizens that argue against this point are clearly naïve and need education. Worse, leaders that argue against this are obviously promoting voter fraud. It is scandalous and these people should be immediately removed from their place of authority for not fulfilling their oaths of office.

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