Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Priebus has earned right to speak on GOP's behalf about conservatism

Hugh Hewitt

Twenty years ago this week, the famed "Contract with America" was put forward by the House and Senate Republicans of 1994. The Contract committed to voters that, if given legislative majorities in the upcoming elections, the new GOP-run Congress would, within the first 100 days of the 104th Congress (1995–96), propose tax cuts, a permanent line-item veto, measures to reduce crime, and constitutional amendments requiring term limits and a balanced budget.

The power of the Contract was not in any of its particulars, but in the promise of speed, action and urgency. Now as the country rounds into the homestretch of the 2014 election contests, the GOP has the wind at its back as the issue set has shifted dramatically in its favor. Adding to existing dismay with Obamacare (extremely high in places like Minnesota) there is a pervasive and deep reawakening of the fear that America has not kept up its defenses, nor its important role in the world.

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The drift of Obama has created a draft in which GOP candidates across the country are moving forward and past their Democratic opponents, even when the latter are deeply established incumbent D.C. "lifers" like Sens. Mark Pryor in Arkansas, Mary Landrieu in Louisiana and Mark Udall in Colorado.

The Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus is already well and rightly known as a agent of massive change within the party, and the "Reince reforms" on the scheduling of caucuses and presidential primaries, the organization of debates, the selection of Cleveland as the site for the 2016 Republican National Convention and an early convention date, are all powering increasing optimism that the GOP will be in a good position to challenge the Hillary Leviathan come Nov. 2016.

But to match the Democrats in credentials and stagecraft in the race to replace Obama in the White House over the next two years, the GOP must retain its majority in the House and gain one in the Senate. And the majorities would not only produce achievement and stagecraft but perhaps also crucial breakthroughs, such as a restoration of some critical funding for the Pentagon and steps on border security that are a necessary precondition to regularization of the millions of illegal aliens in the country.

To set the stage for the climate of urgency and action, Priebus is said to be preparing a key speech for Thursday of this week in which he will lay out a template reminiscent of the vision document of 1994. He is not a legislator of course, but he is the leader of the party nationally, and has earned the right to speak on the party's behalf about the key pillars of conservatism, as governors and state legislators join with incumbents and challengers for federal office. Priebus is actually the only Republican positioned to speak into the media vacuum on behalf of the Grand Old Party right now, so Thursday's address will be an important one.

Let's hope it stresses not just speed in D.C. and a commitment to deep reforms, but an ongoing recognition that a free people are best left to decide for themselves how to use their time, their money and their land, educate their children, choose their health care, and worship their God as they see fit. The military's needs have to be front and center, and the reform of a bloated entitlement state, but mostly Priebus needs to capture the spirit of serious and fast reform, and a refusal to stand by for the last two years of Obama's epic fail bemoaning but not acting.

Watch that space. It will be interesting indeed.



If Republicans run as Republicans they will win

Political pollsters have a tough job. They have to create formulas to determine if the person who they are interviewing is likely or unlikely to vote, and it is within this calculation that their reputations are made.

Typically, those who are likely to vote in an off-year election are pretty set. They are the people who always vote in elections, and a few others who are motivated by specific issues. In a wave election, the numbers of those motivated by specific issues escalates changing the electoral landscape as the candidates who are beneficiaries of this increased participation sweep to victory.

The 2014 election is rapidly looking like something new and different. Democrats are reportedly demoralized by the failed Obama Administration and general fatigue. Republicans, on the other hand, in an orgy of expectation that the primary elections believed the key to taking the Senate was getting the “electable” candidates nominated.

And get them nominated they did.

The establishment got their candidates. Now, they are staring in the face of a potentially disastrous election where their chosen ones dramatically underperform all reasonable expectations, the result of their attacks on their own political party’s base to cement primary victories.

One state party chairman has privately bemoaned that social conservatives in his state openly question why they should bother voting at all. Given the national party’s desire to kick them out of the big tent to make room for a hoped for influx of pot smoking hipsters, who can blame them?

Across the nation, tea party conservatives question the wisdom of being tied to a Republican Party that wants them to just shut up and vote for whomever the establishment decides, and it is this indecision on whether to vote at all, that is at the heart of the GOP’s polling woes.

Conservative voters who have traditionally been amongst the most likely people to vote out of a sense of civic responsibility are disgusted. They are tired of being attacked by the so-called conservative party, and really tired of being treated like second class citizens by the donor and consultant class that controls the official party.

The good news for the establishment is that conservatives want to forgive them for their attacks. They desperately want to vote Harry Reid out of the Senate Majority Leader’s office. They still believe that voting Republican is their best chance to limit the size and scope of government, and to get the runaway federal branch under control. They want to rein in the lawless executive branch and restore constitutional government.

They want to believe that the Republican Party is still the conservative political party and is not just a different gang of thieves looking to plunder America’s pocket books.

Conservatives still believe that America is the greatest country in the world, and that our system of government along with the free enterprise system provides the pathway to future prosperity. Conservatives believe that freedom is worth fighting for, even though, they hate having to do it.

Conservatives believe in the rule of law, and that those who come to our country illegally should not be rewarded for their crimes, being put ahead of those who are waiting in line and following the rules.

The Republican Party has the answer to turn these conservative voters who are currently wondering whether it is worth turning out to vote this election for candidates who have proven to despise them.

All they have to do is read and repeat to conservative voters their own political party platform, and pledge to govern by it. If the Republican establishment candidates actually ran as Republicans, the number of likely voters would swell, and the promise of a sweeping victory in November would be realized.

The next few weeks will tell the tale of whether the national Republican Party truly wants to win a transformative election that is impossible for the left to overturn in the vastly different political environment of 2016, or if they are content with at best a one or two seat majority in the Senate and a pick-up of six to ten seats in the House. A result that is highly likely to be erased in two years.

If Republicans run as Republicans in the final weeks of this election, they still can turn this into a rout. But then, they might have to govern as conservatives, and perhaps they fear that even more than being backbenchers.

Should be an interesting five weeks and change.



For Voter ID Opponents, This Was a Stunning Blow

On Friday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals dissolved the injunction that had been issued against Wisconsin’s voter-ID law by a federal district court in April. The court told Wisconsin that it “may, if it wishes (and if it is appropriate under rules of state law), enforce the photo ID requirement in this November’s elections.” In reaction, Kevin Kennedy, the state’s top election official, said that Wisconsin would take all steps necessary “to fully implement the voter photo ID law for the November general election.” The appeals court issued its one-page opinion within hours of hearing oral arguments in the appeal.

As I explained in an NRO article in May, the district court judge, Lynn Adelman, a Clinton appointee and former Democratic state senator, had issued an injunction claiming the Wisconsin ID law violated the Voting Rights Act as well as the Fourteenth Amendment. Adelman made the startling claim in his opinion that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 2008 upholding Indiana’s voter-ID law as constitutional was “not binding precedent,” so Adelman could essentially ignore it.

However, that was too much for the Seventh Circuit. It pointed out, in what most lawyers would consider a rebuke, that Adelman had held Wisconsin’s law invalid “even though it is materially identical to Indiana’s photo ID statute, which the Supreme Court held valid in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008).”

It was also obviously significant to the Seventh Circuit that the Wisconsin state supreme court had upheld the state’s voter-ID law in July, since the three-judge panel cited that decision, Milwaukee Branch of NAACP v. Walker, too. In fact, the appeals court said the state court decision had changed the “balance of equities and thus the propriety of federal injunctive relief.”

In other words, there was no justification for striking down a state voter-ID law that was identical to one that had been previously upheld by both the Supreme Court of the United States and that state’s highest court.

This decision is only on the appropriateness of the injunction that was issued. But in a bad omen for the plaintiffs, the Seventh Circuit said the “state’s probability of success on the merits of this appeal is sufficiently great that the state should be allowed to implement its law, pending further order of this court.” The appeal “remains under advisement” and the court said that “an opinion on the merits will issue in due course.”

This is also another big defeat for Attorney General Eric Holder, who announced in July that the Justice Department would be intervening in this lawsuit. The Department lost a lawsuit that claimed South Carolina’s voter-ID law was discriminatory in 2012, and a federal judge recently refused to issue an injunction against North Carolina’s voter-ID law in another lawsuit filed by Justice.

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, who is in a hard-fought reelection campaign, said after news of the Seventh Circuit’s action came out that “voter ID is a commonsense reform that protects the integrity of our voting process.” Echoing similar claims by state representative JoCasta Zamarripa of Milwaukee, Dale Ho, a lawyer at the ACLU, claims this will cause “chaos at the polls,” despite the fact that there has been no such “chaos” in any of the other states that have implemented voter-ID laws over the past ten years.

What this decision means is that, as Governor Walker said, at least in Wisconsin, it will now be “easier to vote and harder to cheat.” And it adds to the long string of losses suffered by opponents of voter-ID laws. Slowly but surely, voter ID is getting implemented across the country.




The View is a television show that, apparently, a lot of women watch. Currently, Rosie O’Donnell, who was once famous for something–I have no idea what–is one of the hosts. Still, many women watch. So this video of The View’s women grappling with the Obama administration’s response to ISIS terrorism is noteworthy.

I want to highlight O’Donnell’s contribution near the end: We are bombing Syria because Syria has so much oil, so there is a “financial incentive.” What the Hell is this supposed to mean? Why are liberals obsessed with oil? And what, exactly, is the “financial incentive”? Here is the clip, then some further comments:

Click here for video

O’Donnell’s comments are astonishingly foolish. For one thing, Syria has very little oil: it produces less than 1/2 of 1% of the world’s petroleum. Whereas we, the United States, are the number one source of fossil fuel energy. And how would bombing ISIL give the U.S. access to more oil, at rates somehow cheaper than those at which we can develop our own endless petroleum resources? At over $1 million per Tomahawk missile, isn’t this doing it the hard way? Not to mention that, on a best case scenario, we won’t own whatever minimal amounts of oil may be beneath Syria’s soil. (This is a minor, legalistic detail that doesn’t occur to low-IQ liberals.)

So what is the point? What do Syria’s tiny petroleum reserves have to do with our bombing of ISIL? It seems obvious that the answer is: Nothing. Yet liberals are so stupid, or, to be charitable, so irrationally wedded to outmoded memes, that they can’t resist babbling about oil, even as North Dakota produces more petroleum than Syria could ever dream of. What, exactly, is the “financial agenda” behind our effort to retaliate against ISIS brutality?

That would be a fun question to pose to poor Ms. O’Donnell. There is none, obviously. Just as “oil” had nothing to do with our overthrowing Saddam Hussein. But liberals aren’t smart. They can’t let go of a theme they have settled on, no matter how foolish it may be. Is Rosie O’Donnell an extreme case? Probably. But, to paraphrase John Lennon, she isn’t the only one.


There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Truly I believe Politico must have hacked into this blog. I have seen more RINOisms packed into this column than I have seen here before. If this is what we can hope for in the future the GOP is doomed.