Out With The Old. In With The New.

ImageLast week should have been a wake up call for the GOP.  They received more positive press than they have in a very long time on the heels of Senator Rand Paul’s 13 hour ‘fillibuster’ in which he ranted and raved against the vague policy of the use drones on American soil.

Standing with Senator Paul and lending their assistance to the filibuster were a couple of the newer members of the GOP Senate.  Most notably Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.  Young Senators who seem unafraid to take on the establishment.  The next day the ‘establishment’ was markedly upset and doing what they could to disparage the younger Senators stand against an administration who felt the need to not only not define a very dangerous policy, but who refused to answer simple questions regarding it when asked.  I am of course speaking of Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

What, I asked, would drive 2 influential Senators such as McCain and Graham go on the offensive against members of their own party who had taken a very popular stance and received more positive press for the Republicans than they have had in a couple of years?  Could it be jealousy?  McCain and Graham were both at a dinner with President Obama at the time of the filibuster reportedly trying to iron out a compromise to end sequester spending cuts.  Were the established GOP lead dogs upset that they were upstaged by their younger counterparts?  Whatever the reason for their attacks and name calling the day following the filibuster one thing became clear.  The old dogs need to retire to a shady spot under the porch if the GOP is to ever shed the “Old white man’s party” perception that it has. 

Youth and newness can be a good thing for a party that needs to do some serious reputation rebuilding after years of a war of rhetoric for the public perception that they have been losing and losing badly.  I find it reprehensible for Senators with the clout within the party that McCain and Graham have to try and make illegitimate the best positive polling the party has had in recent memory.  I have to wonder.  Are they dumb, senile or so full of themselves that they feel the need to take shots at their own when the spotlight is shone elsewhere within the party?

Regardless of the reasoning for their name calling outbursts, what happened with the filibuster should serve as notice the the GOP leadership.  There is a youthful movement within the party.  That movement is part constitutionalist, part libertarian, part tea party and part conservative.  If you don’t come to grips with it and learn to embrace what it brings to the table in regards to helping erase the perception of the ‘old white man’s party’ then be prepared to stare at the outside of the White House for a very long time.

Republican Convention to Show Video Tribute to Ron Paul

   Bookmark and Share  During a 10 AM press conference call, Romney Campaign Strategist Russ Schriefer announced that the convention will be having a video tribute to  perennial presidential candidate, retiring Texas Congressman Ron Paul.   (audio of the entire press conference call can be heard in the video below this post.)

According to Schriefer;

Congressman Paul’s people came to us and said they would like to do a short tribute to him and we said absolutely, it would be a good time to do that.” 

Schrieffer noted “that while Governor Romney and Congressman Paul certainly disagree on many issues” they have “a lot of mutual respect between the two of them”.  Schriefer also stated that Senator Rand Paul will be speaking at the convention on Monday night and then made a point of stating that the Romney campaign looks forward to his speech.

With approximately 177 delegates and about twice as many when including alternate and unbound delegates, the often raucous and obnoxious Paul fanatics could try to disrupt the convention.  Attempts to get the G.O.P. to adopt such things as their isolationist foreign policies and reckless cuts in defense strategies could cause delegates to stage various protests.  So the Romney campaign’s willingness to show a tribute to Ron Paul is most likely a gesture to those delegates.  But it will also help to leave the door open for tens of thousands of other diehard Ron Paul libertarians who up to now, have vowed to oppose Mitt Romney.  By embracing the efforts of Ron Paul by paying honor to his decades in the House, the Romney campaign is giving at least tacit approval to many of the economic efforts the Congressman has been in the forefront of.   And under Mitt Romney, the G.O.P. is seriously considering some of Ron Paul’s big ideas such as a comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve, issues of Internet freedom, and even  opposition to indefinite detention of U.S. citizens.  Combined with Romney’s willingness to publicly credit Ron Paul for his contributions to the conservative movement, that may be enough to make discerning pauliacs who realize how disastrous a second Obama term would be, to consider casting their vote Romney instead of adding it to any anti-Romney vote total.

According Schriefer;

“We feel we’re in a good place.  We know that not everybody is going to agree with us all but we know that as the Republican Party, we’re going to unite and beat Barack Obama in November.”

During the press conference call, Schriefer outlined what he hoped the overall accomplishment of the convention would be and the sub-themes of each day and how they will drive a complete messages by the time the convention is over.  Monday will discuss how Americans can do better by addressing the failures of the Obama Administration over the past four years and the things that Mitt Romney will do to make things better. Tuesday will carry the theme “We Built It”.  That involves showcasing the fundamental philosophical differences between President Obama and Mitt Romney which is that while President Obama believes in government, Mitt Romney believes in entrepreneurship and the individual.

The third night of the convention will operate under the theme ” We Can Do Better”.  That theme will focus mainly on what Mitt Romney will do as President and the final night will tell Mitt Romney’s story under the banner of “We Believe In America”.  Schriefer states that on Thursday night, Romney’s story will be told in a way that will convince Americans that Mitt Romney is uniquely qualified to take on the problems that this country is facing at this time.

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First Night of the Republican Convention Will Feature Paul, Cruz, Huckabee, Arturo Davis and Anne Romney

Future First Lady Anne Romney

Bookmark and Share   On Monday, the Republican National Committee released the official schedule for the first day of the Republican National Convention which will kickoff on Monday, August 27th, at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, in Tampa Bay, Florida (see the itinerary below this post). The schedule includes more than 34 speakers that span both the afternoon and evening sessions, but the most coveted speaking slot that closes out the first night of the convention will go to Mitt Romney’s wife Anne.Leading up to the future First Lady will be a host of high profile stars, rising stars, and even a former Democrat, Congressman Artur Davis.

Before running for the Democrat nomination for Governor of Alabama in 2009, Davis represented Alabama’s 7th Congressional District from 2007 to 2011, and was one of President Obama’s earliest supporters. In fact he was the first politician outside of Illinois to endorse Obama’s run for President.

Three years later, Davis, an African-American, is now a Republican and probably one of the best examples of the current popular sentiments of disappointment that most Americans have with President Obama, a point that will dovetail quite well with the the theme for the first night of the G.O.P. convention……”We Can Do Better”.

Also speaking on Monday night will be conservative stars such as Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, T.E.A. movement sweetheart, Texas Republican U.S. Senate nominee Ted Cruz, and the ever popular former Governor of Arkansas and 2008 candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Mike Huckabee.

Interspersed within that list of high profile leaders are other powerful but less known speakers such as Barbara Comstock and Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

Luce’ Vela Fortuno

Perhaps one of the most intriguing orators scheduled for Monday though is Luce’ Vela Fortuno, the First Lady of Puerto Rico.  In what seems to be a decision to have Luce’ Fortuno introduce Anne Romney, the G.O.P. is obviously trying to appeal to Hispanics and specificall Hispanic women.

The Party could have easily had a more widely known and politically established female Republican figure such as Condoleezza Rice introduce Anne Romney to the American people.  Instead they chose to go with the lesser know First Lady of Puerto Rico, whose husband, Luis Fortuno, will be making a prime time speech to the convention in one of the two nights following Luce’s prime time remarks.  But the decision to go with Luce Fortuno is a good one.   As most of us know  by now, first impressions are lasting impressions, and by having Luce Fortuno introduce Anne Romney, many Hispanic Americans men and women alike will be left with a first impression of Anne Romney that at least has a positive subliminal connection to one of their own, A Hispanic woman who is a leading figure in Puerto Rico. `

While many similar, not so subtle, political strategies will play out throughout the night, expect each one of those who speak to bring home the overriding theme of the evening……. “We Can Do Better”.    ``

According to R.N.C. Chairman Reince Priebus, “Republicans reject the notion that America’s ‘new normal’ consists of 42 months of deep unemployment and greater debt, Americans know we can do better than joblessness, poverty and debt, and this convention will present our vision for a brighter, better future and it will lay out an optimistic, achievable plan to make it happen.   ``

Probably no four words could better sum up the conclusion that is shared by millions of Americans as they look back on the past four years,” said Convention CEO William Harris. “We can do better than this, and the country knows it.”   ``The convention will host 2,286 delegates and 2,125 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories. It will also include approximately 15,000 credentialed media—an international press corps second only in size to this summer’s London Olympic Games—as well as a global audience that will witness a “convention without walls” thanks to the G.O.P.’s  Internet and social media efforts.

GOPElephantRight.jpg GOP Elephant Right image by kempite Stars01.gif picture by kempiteGOPElephantLeft.jpg GOP Elephant Left image by kempite

Schedule for Monday, August 27, 2012

*As part of its “convention without walls” program to make the convention open and accessible, Republican officials also released today the convention schedule for Monday, August 27 through the convention’s mobile app – Tampa 2012 (http://connect.gopconvention2012.com).

2:00 pm

  • Chairman of the RNC Reince Priebus
  • Color Guard
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • National Anthem:  The Oak Ridge Boys
  • Invocation
  • Opening procedural steps, appointment of convention committees
  • Welcoming remarks, and House and Senate candidates and RNC auxiliaries
  • RNC Chairman Priebus
  • RNC Co-Chairman Sharon Day
  • Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn
  • Convention Chief Executive Officer William Harris
  • Chairman of Tampa Bay Host Committee Al Austin
  • Republican Congressional Candidates
  • State Delegate Barbara Comstock (VA)
  • Representative Tim Griffin (AR)
  • Republican Senate Candidates
  • Republican National Committee auxiliaries
  • Consideration of convention committee reports
  • RNC Chairman Reince Priebus
  • Committee on Credentials Chairman Mike Duncan
  • Committee on Permanent Organization Chairwoman Zoraida Fonalledas
  • Convention Permanent Chairman Speaker John Boehner, Presiding
  • Official Convention Photograph
  • Committee on Rules Chairman John Sununu
  • Committee on Resolutions Chairman Governor Bob McDonnell
  • Committee on Resolutions Co-Chairman Senator John Hoeven
  • Committee on Resolutions Co-Chairman Rep. Marsha Blackburn
  • Roll Call for Nomination of President of the United States
  • Roll Call for Nomination of Vice President of the United States

7:15 p.m. Recess

7:45 p.m.  Reconvene

  • Remarks by Speaker John Boehner
  • Remarks by Governor Rick Scott (FL)
  • Remarks by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus
  • Video
  • Remarks by Senator Rand Paul (KY)
  • Various Speakers
  • Remarks by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA)
  • To Be Announced
  • Remarks by Artur Davis and video
  • Remarks by Senate Republican Candidate Ted Cruz (TX)
  • Musical Act
  • Remarks by Governor Nikki Haley (SC)
  • Remarks by Mike Huckabee
  • Remarks by Mrs. Luce’ Vela Fortuno
  • Remarks by Mrs. Ann Romney
  • Benediction by Sammy Rodriguez and adjournment.

About the 2012 Republican National Convention

The 2012 Republican National Convention will be held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum August 27-30, 2012.  Nearly 50,000 visitors are expected to come to the Tampa Bay area for the event, including delegates, alternate delegates, media and other guests.  For more information about the 2012 Republican National Convention, become part of the virtual convention at www.ConventionWithoutWalls.com, visit our website www.GOPConvention2012.com and check out our official blog, Conventional Wisdom, at www.gopconvention2012.com/blog/.

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White House 2012’s Series “The Herd”: Could Rand Paul Be the Ticket for Mitt Romney?

Bookmark and Share  The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious names that Mitt Romney may consider for Vice President.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believethat  will be at least considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Romney, White House 2012′s coverage also includes each potential nominee’s voting records, as well as a listing of their public statements and links to their web sites.

Today White House 2012 offers a look at Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

Born Randal Howard Paul (1963-01-07) January 7, 1963 (age 49) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kelley Ashby Paul (m. 1990)
Relations Ron Paul Carol Wells Paul (parents)
Children William, Robert, and Duncan
Residence Bowling Green, Kentucky
Alma mater Baylor University (1981–1984)Duke University (M.D., 1988)
Occupation Ophthalmologist (Physician), Politician
Religion Presbyterian(baptized Episcopalian)

Rand Paul, the son of Texas Congressman Ron Paul, rode a wave of anti-establishment, T.E.A. movement sentiments in Kentucky that allowed him to defeat his establishment backed Republican opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson by more than 20% in the state’s primary. Grayson was even backed by the state’s senior Senator, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Paul went on to win the senate against in a a hard-fought battle against Kentucky Attorney General, Democrat Jack Conway (D) by with a mix of his father’s Libertarian and continued energetic support from the T.E.A. Movement.

Rand’s swearing in to the Senate and his father’s swearing in to the House of Representatives marked the first time in congressional history that a child served in the Senate while the parent simultaneously served in the House of Representatives but Rand soon set out to become his own man and make his own mark on politics. After being assigned to serve on the Energy and Natural Resources, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Homeland Security and Government Affairs, and Small Business committees, Rand established the Senate Tea Party Caucus and his very Paul’s first legislative proposal was to cut $500 billion from federal spending in one year. It included proposals This proposal include an 83% cut in funding of the Department of Education a 43% cut the Department of Homeland Security. Other measures in his spending bill included making the Department of Energy ia part of the Department of Defense and totally eliminating the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In total, his bill would dismantle seven more independent agencies, put an end to financial international aid spending, cut the food stamp program by 30 percent and reduce defense spending by 6.5 percent.

Since then, Paul was one of only two Republicans to vote against extending three key but controversial provisions of the Patriot Act, the provisions allowing for roving wiretaps, the search of business records and for conducting surveillance of “lone wolves”.

Later in the year Paul was one of only nine senators to vote against a bill designed temporarily prevent a government shutdown that cut $4 billion from the budget. His reasons for his opposition to the bill was based on his belief that it did not cut enough from the budget and a week later, Rand Paul voted against the Democratic and Republican compromise budget proposals to keep funding the federal government and On April 14, Paul was one of 19 senators to vote against a budget that cut $38.5 billion from the budget and fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.

During the debt ceiling crisis, Paul stated that he would only support raising the debt ceiling if a balanced budget amendment was enacted and became a supporter of the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, which was tabled by the Democrats. On August 3, Paul voted against the inevitable bill that came before Congress to raise the debt ceiling.

Some of Paul’s other initiatives in the Senate include calling for a no confidence confidence in Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, blocking legislation that would have supposedly strengthened safety rules for oil and gas pipelines because he felt the bill was not strong enough. he also blocked a bill that would provide $36 million in benefits for elderly and disabled refugees, because he was concerned that it could be used to aid domestic terrorists. This was in response to two alleged terrorists, who came to the United States through a refugee program and were receiving welfare benefits, were arrested in 2011 in Paul’s hometown of Bowling Green. Paul lifted his hold on the bill after Democratic leaders promised to hold a congressional hearing into how individuals are selected for refugee status and request an investigation on how the two suspects were admitted in the country through a refugee program.

Rand Paul is most certainly a promising figure, but at this point in time, much of his reputation is that of his father’s. For the anti-establishment, libertarian types, Rand Paul offers the hope that unlike his father, who has been in Congress for more than two decades and achieved absolutely legislative accomplishments to limit government in its size and scope, or to reduce spending, prehaps Rand Paul’s being one of only a hundred members of the U.S. Senate, will enable to actually put some of his promised and ideas in to action. That has yet to be seen and much like former Senator Barack Obama, with less than two years in office, it might just be prudent to give time the opportunity to tell us who Rand Paul really is and what he is actually capable of.

But Rand Paul’s popularity, especially among the T.E.A. movement types who Romney is not very popular with, could help Romney does make Rand Paul a real possibility for Romney to pick as Vice President. If Romney wants to win the presidency, he will need to get out the Republican in record numbers and Rand Paul could help do that. Another intriguing consideration is that the addition of Rand Paul to the ticket might just get many of Ron Paul’s lunatic fringe followers to actually vote for a Romney-Rand Paul ticket. Many Ron Paul who will not be voting for the Republican candidate, regardless of who it is or could have been, will think twice about throwing their vote away on the doomed to failure Libertarian ticket now being headed by former G.O.P. presidential candidate and New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson.

But picking Rand Paul to get Ron paul voters to vote for him, would be a mistake for Mitt Romney.

While Rand Paul will help among fiscal conservatives and can add to the ticket a degree of the anti-establishment popularity that Romney lacks, Rand is still too untested for the national stage. Furthermore, despite what some believe, Ron Paul’s following is not quite as large as they would believe, which is perhaps why Ron Paul has failed to win the presidency as the Libertarian nominee in 1988, and has now twice failed to win the Republican presidential nomination.

Furthermore; Rand Paul has provided a lot of material of which the left will use to distract voters with He has given them plenty of material to exploit and dominate news cycles with in attempts to paint Rand Paul as an out of touch, extremist. Such a situation would end up creating a din of sensationalized headlines so loud and so often, that it would drown out such things as Romney’s proposals to tackle create jobs, grow the economy, cut spending, and tackle the enormous, Obama dominated spending deficit. Rand Paul’s record may be short, but it is rich with both scripted and unscripted, controversial remarks that would provide the left with an abundance of material to exploit and distract voters with. That combined with the fact that there are many more accomplished and experienced potential vice presidential nominees who can also appeal to the anti-establishment and T.E.A., movement voting blocs, and what you have is no real need for Romney to take a chance on Rand Paul.

Pros:

  • Rand Paul can attract support from among some Libertarians and from some of his father’s militant followers who would otherwise avoid voting Republican
  • Rand Paul’s presence on the ticket would add an anti-establishment flavor to the ticket that Romney sorely lacks
  • Rand’s nomination for V.P. would help assure conservatives that Romney is more open to reform and more committed to extreme actions to solve our spending and budget problems than he has demonstrated so far

Cons:

  • Rand Paul’s coming from Kentucky does not help to put a state in play for Romney. Kentucky has no chance of going for Obama in 2012 and even though Rand represents a Southern state, he has not yet established the type of popularity that would allow him to be a substantial regional influence for the Romney Ticket
  • Rand has been quite prolific when it comes to saying controversial things. Between those remarks and and his record, the left would be able to use Rand as a tool to distract voters with on a daily basis.
  • Rand Paul lacks legislative and foreign affairs experience
  • There are more accomplished and qualified potential candidate two can help the ticket far more than Rand Paul
  • Although not as isolationist as his father, some of Rand Paul’s positions significantly clash with basic conservative national defense positions

Assessment:

Thinking about picking Rand Paul for Vice President is more of a novelty than a serious consideration. This is especially the case when you realize that with no legislative accomplishments of his own yet, there are several far more deserving candidates who are just as strong on the same issues that make Rand Paul initially seem like a good choice for Romney.

Rand Paul presence on the ticket would also become more of a distraction than a benefit. A slew of controversial comments will be combined with his limited voting record and used by the left and the Obama campaign to try and make a Romney-Paul ticket look out of touch and extreme. And in doing so, each new news cycle would be dominated by a Paul oriented, liberal attack line rather than any focus of the Romney campaign to bring attention to the real issues and Obama’s record.

For example Paul recently voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. Now he did not do so because he supports violence against women. Of course he doesn’t. But he voted against it because the bill contained langauge and measures that he believed were not appropriate and in some cases passage of the bill included passage of measures that were not germane to the issue. But take that vote and combine with something like the much discussed incident that came up in Paul’s senate race. The Aqua Buddha incident in which an anonymous woman claimed that back in college, Rand Paul and a friend tied her up, tried to force her to smoke pot, and then took her to a creek, where they blindfolded her and forced her to bow down and worship something they called the “Aqua Buddha.” That incident came out in the campaign and was discovered to have no truth to it, but since when did the truth have anything to do with news headlines and the impressions of others that liberals create? So just as an example, put those two stories together for a liberal media outlet and what you have is a false claim being combined with a false impression of Paul’s reasons for voting against the Violence Against Women Act, and a story that a Romney-Paul be spend three days explaining away and being taken off message.

For that and all the other reasons outlined above, Rand Paul is probably not even being considered as a viable option for Vice President by the Romney campaign. But that hasn’t stopped certain political circles and media outlets from declaring that Rand Paul is at least a possible dark horse nominee. So White House 2012 included Rand Paul in this series merely to address existing speculation. In the final analysis, Rand Paul has about as much of chance to be nominated for Vice President by Mitt Romney as does Hillary Clinton or Al Gore.

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Recent Key Votes

HR 2072 – Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012

Legislation (Nay), May 15, 2012

S 1925 – Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act

Legislation (Nay) April 26, 2012

More Key Votes

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Rand Paul On the Issues

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Reality Check

As we head into Michigan and Arizona, the Republican party needs a reality check.  Fortunately, here it is:

Rick Santorum

The media is doing their best to paint Santorum as some sort of radical conservative religious whacko.  Hardly.  Santorum on social issues is saying what most Republicans are thinking.  The thing is, conservatives are scared to death of Obama winning re-election and many will gladly sacrifice what they believe to take the candidate everyone is telling them can win.  But here’s the thing, Obama’s economy has about a 26% approval rating and any Republican looks amazing economically next to Obama.  If Obama wins, it will be because he runs an incredible marketing campaign, race bates, and paints his opponents as somehow more socially radical than he is.  It won’t be because Obama saved the economy, unless moderates and independents are even more gullible and stupid than we thought.

What should keep Republicans up at night about Santorum is his passion on Iran.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want Iran to get a nuclear weapon.  I think they will use it on Israel if they do.  But America is not ready to commit to another war.  I think we would have to see another 3,000 US civilians die on one day before the majority of Americans get the stomach for what Santorum has been talking about.  That includes what he has talked about with central America.

Mitt Romney

Romney is uninspiring by design.  His economic plan is a mixture of timid populism.  In the end, what he is running on is his record of creating a great deal of personal wealth and success, as well as his management skills.  But Warren Buffett, another populist, has also made great personal success through good management, and I think he would be a terrible President.  If this election were solely about the economy,the DNC would be looking for a new candidate and Romney would already be the GOP candidate.  The fact is, as long as Romneyites continue to downplay social issues, they will continue to loose the support of the majority of conservatives who actually care about social issues.  Believe it or not, many Americans on both sides of the aisle hold the value of their social and religious issues higher than the economy.   For example, many pro-lifers would sacrifice a great deal of wealth to stop the murder of the unborn.

What keeps Republicans awake at night about Mitt Romney is the fact that even his economic plan has been as malleable as his social stances.  What was supposed to be Romney’s conservative strength has instead turned into calls to raise the minimum wage and tax the rich to redistribute to the poor.  In each case, this was a reaction from the Romney campaign to criticism from the left.

Newt Gingrich

Newt is the smartest candidate and he has the best ideas.  It is no secret that I believe this.  But Newt is easily destroyed by opponents and the media.  He has tried to run a cheap campaign with little or no ground game, which makes victory as visionary as a base on the moon.  Part of Newt’s problem is that now his electability is questionable instead of Santorum’s.  Newt isn’t going to win anything until he re-establishes himself as the only electable anti-Romney.  Every time Santorum wins another state, Newt’s chances dim even more.  Get ready for things to start looking real bad as Santorum wins Arizona and maybe Michigan.

What keeps Republicans awake at night about Newt Gingrich is how easily he is destroyed by negative campaigning and how weak his campaign structure is.  If Newt can’t beat the unelectable Santorum and uninspiring Romney in every state, how would he propose to beat Obama?

Ron Paul

No one ever thought Ron Paul would win, except maybe his 10% who also think that being obnoxious will win people over.  However, it has been noted that Paul seems to have a cozy relationship with Mitt Romney.  Perhaps Paul also thinks only Romney can beat Obama.  Or, as some have suggested, maybe Paul has a secret deal with Romney to secure a VP slot for him or his son.  Actually, a Romney/Rand Paul ticket would be an incredibly smart idea and might be the only thing that can bring the extremes of the Republican party back together.  The only thing, of course, other than Obama himself.

What keeps Republicans awake at night about Ron Paul is his Iran policy.  Yeah, maybe we aren’t ready to go to war in Iran like we did in Iraq.  But I also don’t think most Americans are ready to stick their heads in the sand and pretend that Iran isn’t a threat.  I think fewer Republicans have an appetite to continue the World America Apology Tour under a different name.

Barack Obama

The real reality check for Republicans should be a refocusing on Barack Obama.  Believe it or not, there are people out there who support him.  After Solyndra, Fast n Furious, reversing Mexico City policy, forcing religious organizations to provide abortion pills, Obamacare, and everything else Obama has done, there are actually cars on the road with Obama 2012 stickers on them.  Somehow, Obama still has a shot in this race.

What should keep Republicans awake at night about Barack Obama is that despite all that he has done to this country and to the rule of law and constitution, there are people who still support him.  The media refuses to vet Obama, even ignoring his radical social positions on abortion.  Meanwhile, in desperation Santorum is releasing economic plans that are going ignored by the party and media.  GOP candidates are doing a great job of getting their message out.  Unfortunately, their message is that each other suck.  Let’s hope that Republicans will find a way to inspire the entire base, and expose Obama on fiscal AND social issues.

CPAC’s Conservative Message

Despite Romney’s strawpoll win, the anti-establishment message of CPAC came through loud and clear from various speakers.  Alan West, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, and even at times the Presidential candidates: the only way we can truly be free is by reclaiming the role of the church and community from the Federal Government.

For several years now the conservative movement has allowed private charity to flirt with and even get in bed with the Federal Government under the understanding that private organizations can use federal dollars much more efficiently than government bureaucracies.  Then along came Barack Obama.  It makes me think of Star Wars and Darth Vader’s line “Pray I don’t alter the deal any further”.

The problem is that conservatives abandoned their principles.  Trusting a pro-family, pro-conservative President in George W. Bush, we signed on to faith based initiatives.  Perhaps we never expected a President who would leverage those relationships to gain control over Christianity and use Christian institutions to spread liberalism.  We never expected a President who in three short years would be to the point of forcing Christian institutions to provide abortion pills or suffer the consequences.

The Government cannot protect our sacred institutions.  The government is using our tax dollars to control our sacred institutions.

The problem is that only one candidate in this has talked about the sort of shrinking of government necessary to get the government out of the charity and faith business altogether.  While he has appeared impotent when pressed, Ron Paul is the only candidate who will actually say that the government doesn’t belong in the insurance business or the charity business.  Mitt Romney would bring us back to the George W. Bush days when faith based initiatives allowed faiths to still manage themselves.  Newt and Santorum would certainly respect religious freedom, but would also strengthen the ties between government and faith based organizations with the same deadly good intentions W had.

This is not an endorsement for Ron Paul, but it is an acknowledgement that when it comes to the responsibility of Christians and community, Paul is more in line with the 2010 freshmen, and older wise sages like Huckabee, who must rise to the top if conservatism and freedom of religion is to survive in our country.  Perhaps Newt, Mitt and Rick will be persuaded by Paul on this like they were on the Fed.

Rand Warns Father to Chill

Update:

Ron Paul has not yet ruled out a 3rd Party run, but at least one of his best supporters is encouraging him not to.  Rand Paul warned in a New Hampshire radio interview that Ron Paul running as a third party candidate would be a bad idea.  Citing Perot’s failure and the TEA Party’s commitment to reforming the Republican party, Rand suggested that a Ron Paul 3rd party run would mean an easy Barack Obama victory in 2012.

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