Tag Archives: GOP

Elephant Dung

How Missouri Republicans Made Jay Nixon Look Like a Statesman

gop-elephant-dead_thumb.jpgYou know how reckless and tone-deaf Obama is about Army deserters? Missouri’s House and Senate Republican leaders are just as clueless and irresponsible about money.

Yes, I said it: the Missouri Republican legislature is about as conservative and principled as Susan Rice on a Sunday talk show.

By going on a votes-for-cash spending spree on the last day of the General Assembly, the House and Senate handed Jay “Idiot” Nixon a PR prize worth its weight in pork.

I’d itemize the garbage that our Republican legislators crammed into the budget, but Jay Nixon already did it for me, as quoted in The Missouri Times:

“While this Friday free-for-all will benefit a select few special interests, its far-reaching fiscal impact has thrown the budget dangerously out of balance,” Nixon said. “From special breaks for fast food restaurants to power companies, the only thing these giveaways have in common is that they were not accounted for in either the state budget or in the budgets of the cities, counties, and fire districts they would affect.  By going on a $776 million special interest spending spree, members of the legislature have broken their own budget, and I’m prepared to fix it.”

Jay Nixon will veto those outrageous giveaways, and I support that veto.

This Is How Majorities Are Lost

Think no one cares about the Missouri budget? Think again.

I was talking to a relative last week. “What’s going on with the Tea Party?” he asked. So the conversation shifted to politics. As I was telling him about our Tea Party/Heritage Action Social coming up on June 19, he interrupted.

“What the hell are those guys doing in Jefferson City?” he said. “It’s like a bunch of Tom Delays.”

BOOM! The idiotic spending and special favors that helped bring down the GOP majority in Congress in 2006 has infected Missouri Republicans now. And people know it.

Corruption Knows No Party

Missouri has about three fiscal conservatives in the Senate. Maybe a handful in the House. The free market folks in thedead-elephant.jpg Senate have some power to enforce principled fiscal responsibility. They’re outgunned and under-appreciated, but they do what they can. They’re likely to block a veto override on their own party’s folly.

The House is a different story. Because of House rules, members can either sell their votes to the highest bidders, as House leaders often demand, or they can sit out their sentences in feeble obscurity. In the Republican House, money talks and principle walks.

Arrogance Abounds

A friend of mine told me a story about his conversation with a former Republican State Representative. The Rep listed all the great pork projects and special tax breaks he’d managed to shove through for friends and donors. My friend was appalled.

“How is that different,” my friend asked, “than the Democrats doling out welfare for votes? How is what you’ve done not transferring wealth from one citizen to another?”

The Rep looked perplexed, as if my friend had asked, “since when is two plus two four?”

The Rep took a breath and said, “The difference is, we spread the money around to the right people.”

That’s the arrogance of power among Jefferson City Republican “leaders.”

They’re In It For The Wrong Reasons

Last year at a lobbyists’ reception for the Missouri House GOP contingent, a former Republican staffer (turned lobbyist) told a story.

He referred back to a time a decade or more earlier, when the GOP was struggling to take and hold the Legislature. A new class of Republican freshmen gathered in Jefferson City for orientation. Someone asked the group what their goals were in politics.

“One said he hopes to be Speaker,” the lobbyist said. “Another said Governor.” Some laughs. “One even said ‘President.'”

The speaker paused for effect. “Then someone said, ‘a hundred and nine elephants.'”

Pop the champagne! The crowd goes wild! The Republicans assembled went ridin’ into the bar, a-whoopin’ and a-stompin’. “A hundred and nine elephants! That’s a good one.”

Does it bother you that not a single member of that freshmen class of Republicans in the Missouri House expressed an ambition or vision that bigger than himself?

Wouldn’t you expect at least one member of every Republican class would say “make Missouri great?” Or “freedom?” Or “fairest tax state in the country?” Or “help my district?” Or “keep Washington off our backs?”

Nope. Not a one. Apparently, the Missouri Republican House members have no room for duty, responsibility, or altruism. Only for cynical self-interest. Their motto should be, “What’s in it for me?”

Reagan Never Left the Democrat Party

Ronald-Reagan.jpg

Before you bring up the 11th Commandment, consider this:

When Ronald Reagan made his famous speech on behalf of Barry Goldwater in 1964, the Gipper was still a Democrat. Endorsing the conservative Republican Goldwater over his own party’s sitting President was the ultimate act of betrayal.

But Reagan never saw it that way. “I didn’t leave that other party,” Reagan would say. “They left me.”

As a Republican, Reagan was just as willing to call out and undermine errant members of his own party. The 11th Commandment Brigades conveniently forget that Reagan ran against fellow Republican President Gerald Ford in 1976. Reagan’s remarkable challenge nearly toppled the sitting President at the convention in Kansas City. Reagan’s challenge further damaged Ford’s grip on the White House and undoubtedly contributed to Ford’s loss to Jimmy Carter in November. (Here’s a link to CSPAN’s great retrospective on the 1976 GOP Convention, beginning with Senator Paul Laxalt of Nevada naming California, Texas, Georgia, and MISSOURI as the four states supporting Nevada’s nomination of Reagan in compliance with convention rules.)

For Reagan, principle came before party. While I don’t know this for a fact, I have a strong suspicion that, were Reagan a member of that Missouri House freshmen class, his answer to the question “what do you hope to accomplish” would have been more visionary than “self-aggrandizement.”

Where Do Principled Conservatives Go Now?

Now that our nearly veto-proof Republican majority in Jefferson City has made Jay Nixon look like a statesman by comparison, where do principled conservatives go? Where do libertarians (with a lower-case “L”) go?

Every time Republicans in JC sell out to Prostitutes in Business Suits, free market conservatives rip another GOP bumper sticker off their cars. Every time a Republican Senator schemes into law a benefit for his own family, another libertarian-ish Millennial turns away. Every time the GOP tells us what a great thing China Hub (under whatever name) will be for Missouri, a small business owner loses faith in the American Dream.

Here it is 2014, an election year. Normally, I’d be gearing up to Beat. The. Democrats. But my heart’s not in it this year, if you want to know the truth. Why beat Democrats if Republicans will only borrow and tax to help their donors? Why knock doors and design Twitter GOTV campaigns if Missouri’s Republicans renew the Export-Import Bank of Boeing? Why work for a party that doesn’t even want our help? Or a party that takes us for granted the way the Democrats do African-Americans? Why support cronyism?

Look, I’m not ready to launch a new political party in Missouri. But I’m reading about the process. I didn’t jump back into the political game 2009 to re-instate the failed establishment practices of the 109th Congress–the one that kicked off a Democrat wave in 2006.

After the rush of that first Tea Party, I thought we were building a coalition to focus on the proper role of government–free markets, fiscal responsibility, constitutional limits, rule of law. Instead, the Republicans we’ve elected to represent us in Jefferson City and Washington have, by and large, reverted to big government establishment practices that reward their friends at the expense of the people.

America needs an Anti-Establishment Party. The Republican Party moved in that direction from Goldwater through Reagan. But, as Jack Kemp warned, with George H. W. Bush’s election, the Reagan Revolution ended.

The Republican Establishment Rejected the Tea Party

Elephant Dung
The Establishment and the Tea Party

When the GOP lay on its deathbed after the 2006 and 2008 elections, the Tea Party gave the Republican Party a heart transplant. The beast roared back to life, sweeping the 2010 election. Then, as is so common with transplants, the host rejected the new organ.

I am still on a mission to build and support an anti-establishment party. It could still be the GOP, but it’s no longer my job to reform the Republicans. They’re old enough and rich enough to reform themselves.

My job is, as a cell in this viable heart, to find a qualified recipient–a party that will accept the principles on which our republic was founded.

If you’d like to share in that mission, please come to Scarecrow on June 19 at 6:30 p.m.

Americans prefer the GOP budget over the Democrat budget by a large margin

Trust Is a Bigger Problem for GOP Than Marketing

The GOP’s self-examination on the 2012 election debacle rightly identifies marketing and messaging and lack of a ground game as contributors to that mess.

Trust

 

But the GOP’s self-exam missed a potentially fatal problem for the party: the American people simply do not trust Republicans on the budget.

Read this paragraph from The Hill carefully.  Read all of it. It should tell you everything you need to know.

More voters trust the Democratic Party than the Republican Party on budgetary issues, according to the results of a new poll for The Hill — even though a strong majority actually prefer Republican fiscal policies [emphases added].

Now do see how bad things are for the Republicans?

Marketing Can’t Fix Trust

Bad marketing is fairly easy to fix. The world is full of marketing scientists, strategists, and copywriters. It’s just a matter of humility and money.

But marketing can’t fix a company that people just don’t trust. And, right now, people don’t trust the Republicans. What’s worse is that the GOP did not identify trust among its seven problems.

Are Republicans Incompetent Or Threatening?

Trust comes in two forms: Warmth and Competence. According to researchers, social animals—like people—must evaluate others on two scales with these questions:

  • Do they mean me harm or good?
  • Are they competent to deliver on their intent?

The Hill poll did not delve into this question, but we know this much: 55 percent of Americans believe that the GOP is lying about the Ryan budget (threat) or incapable of carrying it out (incompetent) or both.

Here Are the Numbers on Budget Preferences

The Hill designed their poll so people wouldn’t know which party proposed which budget solutions. When presented this way, here’s how people responded:

The Hill Budget Poll

The Ryan Budget beats the Patty Murray Budget by a whopping 55-28. Even among women, Ryan’s budget wins 51-27.

But now look at which party people trust to fix the budget problem:

The Hill Budget Poll-Party

While 55 percent prefer the Republican budget, only 30 percent trust the GOP on budgetary issues.

The GOP Needs To Learn More About The Trust Issue

Marketing begins with research, and The Hill poll gives the Republicans an immediate challenge: find out if people think they’re insincere, incompetent, or both.

In the past, the party and politicians and pundits would simply argue with people, telling the public it’s wrong. That doesn’t work.

And better messaging won’t either. Not until the Republicans know why people don’t trust them.

How the GOP handles this trust issue will tell a lot, and quickly, about its future. If they choose to fight public opinion before understanding it, the Republican candidate for President in 2016 might not finish in the top two.

 

Now read about one of those “stuffy old men” who contribute to the GOP’s image

battleground-d4-2012_thumb.png

Republicans Lose Because They Don’t Attract Enough Conservatives

For 20 years, the Battleground Poll of States (now the Politico/GW Battleground Poll) showed a freakish consistency about ideology.

2009: 59% Conservative

battleground-d3-2009

2012: 57% Conservative

battleground-d3-2012

 

With almost 60% calling themselves somewhat or very conservative, how could Barack Obama get re-elected? How could Republicans fail to gain the Senate in 2010 and 2012? Come to think of it, how do Democrats win at all?

The answer is simple: being conservative doesn’t make you Republican, but being Democrat makes you a liberal.

Look at responses to question d4:

battleground-d4-2012

Only 40 percent of respondents called themselves Republican (of some type), while 43 percent identify as Democrats.

Now, look again at ideology.  Thirty-seven percent identify as liberal. So Democrats would appear to win over all liberals, all “moderates” and at least half those who don’t know or refused to answer question d3.

Meanwhile, at least 30 percent of self-described conservatives do not identify with the Republican party.

When you look at voter turnout, it seems clear that what Republicans are missing is 30 percent of conservatives.  They just don’t vote.

Why?

Because the Republican Party isn’t conservative in their eyes. So they stay home or vote third party.

Becoming More Liberal Isn’t The Solution

We hear a lot of Republicans saying the GOP must become more liberal. The Battleground Poll seems to disagree. Instead, the GOP needs to become more consistent in its defense of freedom and its promotion of liberty.

That means:

  • Reducing the size and scope of the federal government
  • Ending the Republican love affair with crony capitalism
  • Flattening the tax code until we convert to a simple consumption tax
  • Eliminating income taxes eventually
  • Scaling back the war on drugs
  • Eliminating the Department of Education
  • Reducing foreign investments
  • Scaling back the power of the federal reserve

When libertarian and young voters look at Republicans, we see a party that worships government as much as the Democrats. Republicans are just as quick to hold Congressional hearings on issues that belong to the states alone. Republicans crave the power of committees and brag about bringing home pork to their districts and states.

As I demonstrated, young people can smell a scam more readily than older voters, and they smell one when the GOP talks about reducing government. Government grew under Bush and a Republican Congress. It grew under Reagan and a Republican Senate.

The only real rollback of government power came under Clinton and a Republican Congress with welfare reform.

Republicans Will Never Win Over The Middle

With 57 percent of voters calling themselves conservatives, the GOP has no need to win over the middle. Instead, they need to win over all 57 percent of conservatives.

Even you argue that those 57 percent are unequally distributed, you can’t argue that they all voted in 2012. If they had—and if they had all voted Republican—Romney would have captured a popular vote landslide. But he didn’t.

If the Republican Party were authentically pro-liberty, pro-freedom, and pro-people, it would wipe out the Democrats election after election. But its inconsistency has the GOP on the verge of extinction.

The Best Grilling Of Bernanke Came From Senator Elizabeth Warren And Republicans Should Be Ashamed

I agree with Republican Senator Corker that inflation is a danger in the future. But inflation doesn’t win the hearts and minds of most Americans right now. No one’s worried about it except economists and economics geeks.

The death of the community and regional bank, however, does bother people. As does the printing of money that goes straight into the 5 biggest banks in history . . . and stays there.

The US Government bailed out those 5 “too big to fail” banks in 2008 and it’s been propping them up with our money ever since. That was one of the driving forces behind the birth of the Tea Party movement in February 2009.

Four years later, the Fed, Congress, and the White House still support banks whose managers cannot operate at a profit. And the only Senator to point out the lunacy of this practice is a liberal Democrat from Massachusetts?

I realize that the Democrats are far worse practitioners of crony capitalism than the Republicans. That doesn’t excuse the GOP.

If the Republicans want people to see them as in-touch with the mood of the country, they should attack crony capitalism relentlessly. Republicans must advance sound macro economics, but they must also stress cases that win over voters. Future inflation won’t do that, but crony capitalism will.

By failing to gage what messages will work, the GOP is in the odd position of standing for nothing while being perceived as too extreme.

Insula-BS.gif

Why GOP Pandering to Young Voters Backfires

Marco Rubio gave the Republican response to the State of the Union address for two reasons.

First, Rubio’s Cuban, and the GOP wants to court Latinos.

Second, Rubio’s relatively young, and the GOP wants to stop the bleeding when it comes to young voters.

But there’s a fundamental problem with the Republican approach, and it stems from the GOP’s least favorite discipline: behavioral science.

Young People Are Naturally Skeptical

You hear about scams that target older folks all the time. If you’re like me, you’re tempted to blame it on media sensationalism. After all, ripping off a retiree on Social Security pisses us off a lot more than stories of scamming a 24-year-old single guy.

But 80 percent of scam victims are over 65. It’s not sensationalism by the media to drive up ratings. And it’s not senility. It’s the human brain and aging.

Insula-BS

In a study, researchers found that older people are far less able to detect a scammer than younger people are. Follow-up investigations using functional MRIs that watch the brain while it’s working revealed that a part of the brain that signals danger declines as we age.

From “Why Old People Get Scammed” in Science Magazine:

In the study, appearing online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the“untrustworthy” faces were perceived as significantly more trustworthy by the older subjects than by the younger ones. The researchers then performed the same test on a different set of volunteers, this time imaging their brains during the process, to look for differences in brain activity between the age groups. In the younger subjects, when asked to judge whether the faces were trustworthy, the anterior insula became active; the activity increased at the sight of an untrustworthy face. The older people, however, showed little or no activation.

Aging depresses our bullshit detectors. And the Republicans better come to grips, because their message isn’t selling among people with strong BS detectors—people under 30. Like it or not, they are tomorrow’s voter.

Pandering might work with the elderly, but it becomes less effective as you move down the age scale.

Young People Are Cynical Idealists

Instead of pandering with Marco Rubio and amnesty, why not take John Mackey’s advice? That advice is simple: find your purpose.

Mackey is the co-founder of Whole Foods Markets. He’s a dyed-in-the-wool libertarian equally uncomfortable with the big brother government as with crony capitalism. His employees are young and cynical, but at the same time visionary and idealistic.

Mackey offers five big questions to help organizations their purpose:

  • Why do we exist?
  • Why do we need to exist?
  • What is the contribution we want to make?
  • Why is the world better because we are here?
  • Would we be missed if we disappeared?

Republicans should focus on that last question: would we be missed if we disappeared? They should ask people under 30 who call themselves fiscal conservatives, “would you miss the GOP if it disappeared tomorrow?”

More and more, the answer in my head is “not really.” (Frankly, I have almost the same response when applying the question to the tea party movement, and we need to fix that, too, or stop existing.)

If the Republican Party doesn’t provide a viable alternative to planned economies and regulated lives, another party will fill the void.

Let’s be honest: America and the ideals of liberty and free market capitalism need a vibrant, purposeful political engine more than they need a network of grassroots activists. And nature abhors a vacuum.

Imitating Reagan Isn’t Enough

Cynical idealists respond to people who demonstrate a clear sense of purpose and a commitment to making life better. Young people flocked to Reagan (as compared to many other Republican candidates), both as governor of California and as President of the United States. They may not have agreed with him, but they recognized a shared worldview: trust, but verified.

Trying to recreate the Reagan Era is as futile and counterproductive as trying to rebuild the Berlin Wall. But we can learn something from Regan’s vision.

Reagan simultaneously cast a jaundiced eye on our institutions and systems while maintaining in his mind’s eye the shining city on the hill. He was a cynical idealist, and it worked. The cynical idealist made the world better – for a time.

Science confirms that saying the right things but doing the politically expedient might endear you to the oldest voters, but it makes the youngest puke.

As long as the GOP believes pandering to the young will cure its problems, more and more people will come to realize we wouldn’t really miss the party if it disappears tomorrow.

 
Update: Rush Limbaugh agrees
 

Mackey, John; Sisodia, Rajendra (2012-12-25). Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business (Kindle Locations 886-887). Harvard Business Review Press. Kindle Edition.

Dan Gilbert

Why The Sequester Is Worse Now Than It Will Be After It Happens

Welcome Dr. Gina Show Listeners!

Republicans should announce “the sequester won’t be so bad” and shut up, and science tells us why.

Obama, the Dems, liberal pundits, the press, and even John Boehner are running around yelling about how horrible the sequester will be.

In some deep recesses of our minds, we agree.  “Oh, my God! We’re all going to do die!”

Fear-mongering only works in the future because, in short, nothing is as bad (or as good) as we think it will be when we think about it.

Meet Affective Forecasting and Your Impact Bias

That’s a shorthand explanation of affective forecasting—or predicting how happy or sad something will make us. Marketers and politicians want us to predict our future feelings Dan-Gilbertabout some event and to apply impact bias to that prediction.

Impact bias is the tendency to overestimate how good we’ll feel if we get what we hope for or how bad we’ll feel if we don’t. Here’s a great, short video by Dan Gilbert explaining the importance of affective forecasting.

Obama uses the science of psychology better than anyone, and the Republicans refuse to even consider it a science. This is one of the reasons why Obama beats the GOP at almost every turn.

The Sequester Won’t Be As Bad As Any Alternative

If the Republicans try to strike a deal with Obama, they will do so under the duress of extreme impact bias. In other words, their imaginations will make monsters of the sequester, and their minds will agree to a deal that mostly benefits Obama.

Obama and his advisers study the science of human behavior. Republicans don’t. In every negotiation, Obama has knowledge that Republicans lack – knowledge he uses to take advantage of the GOP.

The losers in these negotiations are the public in general and the young in particular as the GOP trades their future wealth and choices to the President.

So think about something else and let the sequester happen. It won’t be nearly as bad as you think it will when you think about it.

This Is The Infographic That The Whole Republican Party Is Freaking Out About

The 3 million McCain voters who didn’t vote for Romney?

They’re dead.

Voters Die

[Click image to view full size. Please forward, download, and print. This is important.]

To survive, the GOP needs to stop being afraid of Millennials and tell them truth: they can move out of mom and dad’s house, they can drop out of school, they can quit their dead-end job with the idiot supervisor. But they can’t get away from government and debt.

If you want freedom, it doesn’t emanate from Washington, DC.   It starts here.

The Republicans also have to stop pandering. It’s weak and annoying and convinces no one.

It’s time to bring professional, scientific marketing and messaging to work for our country. And that means a lot of money shifts from the traditional consultants to people who actually know what they’re doing.

ACTION

Please forward this infographic to your friends. Share it. Download, print, and hand out. This is important.

The Conservative Base Is Dying And Taking Your Freedom With It *CORRECTION*

Consider these numbers:

  • 9.8 million
  • 11.6 million 16.8 million
  • 55%
  • 61%

Between the 2008 and 2012 elections:

Between those years, neither the GOP nor conservative leaning organizations did anything significant to deal with this demographic cliff. We know the cost.

What was Obama’s popular vote margin?  About the same as the difference between deaths and new voters. (1.8 million difference in dead voters vs. new voting age, and 1.07 difference in vote.)

For the next four years, there is only one objective: inform the kids.

On this front, there’s a glimmer of hope. According to a Harvard Institute of Politics survey, the youngest of those 11.6 million new voters, are becoming fiscal conservatives:

In one poll, for instance, he found that 42 percent of 18- and 19-year-olds identified as “conservative,” compared with just over one-third who said they were “liberal.” By comparison, those proportions were nearly flipped for 22- to 24-year-olds: 39 percent said they were “liberal,” and a third called themselves “conservative.” It was much the same for older twentysomethings.

Obama’s disastrous economy has a lot to do with this “schism” between younger and older Millennials. Though 51% of voters blame the nation’s economy on George W. Bush, the 18- and 19-year-olds were 14 or 15 when the economy crashed.  They were less aware of the good times of the 00’s and more aware of Obama’s inability to fix things.

Crush Sensibilities

Knowing these facts–the death of aging conservatives, which will continue, and the matriculation of school-trained Democrat voters–I see no reason to consider the past. It’s time to focus exclusively on the future.

The future I see involves a three-pronged strategy to reform conservative politics:

  • Marketing
  • Psychology
  • Messaging

This is a moral duty. I won’t waste more of my time placating the sensibilities of the establishment. That’s both the GOP establishment and the Tea Party establishment. (Yes, there’s a Tea Party establishment, and it stopped helping the situation in 2010.)

I need your help. 

If you want to help advance liberty and slow tyranny, statism, authoritarianism, whatever, then follow this link and tell me. Tell me you want to help.

**UPDATE**

I’m not the only one talking about the Republican problem of targeting seniors instead of talking to kids. Allahpundit:

 The advantage of relying heavily on senior citizens, as the GOP does, is that they turn out reliably on election day. The disadvantage is, er, that they die, just as 18-year-olds — most of whom are pro-Obama — are coming onto the rolls.

The GOP needs a Cadillac-like makeover, and it needs one now.

*Based on data from US Census Bureau

Part 3: Todd Akin Needs to Lead or Get Out of the Way

, member of the United States House of Represe...
Todd Akin: member of the United States House of Representatives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Part 3 of 3 |  Read Part 1 |  Read Part 2

Before we get too far down the Akin rally road, let’s get some solid advice to Mr. Akin.

His principles, his spine, his grassroots do no good if Missouri turns blue.  He cannot advance his causes from his house in Wildwood.  Failure to take the Senate makes Obamacare permanent, at least in our lives.

Todd Akin, wonderful man he is, has a lot of responsibility.  As a candidate, he needs to grow and fast. Particularly following news that he trails Claire McCaskill by 10 percentage points according to Rasmussen.

He hasn’t helped himself in the aftermath. He has no message except “I’m sorry.”  He is letting the RNC drive the narrative.  He’s blaming the “liberal media,” but that institution seems happy to let the GOP tear him apart.

If he’s content to spend his last half million and then next 10 days apologizing, then he might as well quit now.

Here’s what he has to do:

1.  Get out of his bubble and deal with the reality he faces.  He’s shut himself off from the messages he doesn’t want to hear.  That’s human nature.  But to win, he has fight his own inclinations to cocoon.  He has to hear from people who love him but think he should drop. He needs to hear from people who hate him but think he should fight on.  He needs to hear from writers, marketers, and artists who know how to hit the brain beneath the prefrontal cortex.  He needs GOOD COUNSEL, not just “amen.”

2.  If he will leave the cocoon he’s in, he needs to hear this: as long as the message is about rape and abortion, he’s toast.  If he stays on THIS message and stays in the race, he will lose, most of the Missouri GOP statewide candidates will lose, and MIssouri may go blue. Drop the apology.

3.  He needs to bring on people he’s NOT comfortable with.  People who will challenge.  Brilliant strategists and wordsmiths who can craft an argument.

4.  He needs to know his 3 points for every press interaction and stick to them.

5.  He needs to STOP EVANGELIZING and start CONNECTING with the people who don’t already agree with him on everything.  They have to agree with him on ONE thing.  That’s it.

6.  He needs to memorize this: “I am pro-life without exception.”  That’s the end of the pro-life message.  Every additional word he utters loses 10,000 votes.

7.  He needs to memorize this response to every question about abortion:  “Every child conceived should be born into an America that has room for him or her to grow into a loving family, a good home, effective schools, and a lucrative career of their choice.” That’s it.  Nothing more. It sets up the case of the economy

8.  Every answer to every question must get back to the economy and the economic wreck advanced by Barack Obama with the enthusiastic support of Claire McCaskill.

9.  He must PROSECUTE this campaign the way a great general prosecutes a battle. Survival’s not enough.

10.  He must ignore winnability. That’s our job. His job is to make people like him, trust him, vote for him, or stay home.

Every big name in the GOP has called for him drop out. Until he leads, the calls will continue.  I know he’s shown great spine, but spine is not leadership. If he leads, they will follow.

He can put people on their heels without being a jerk.  He has it in him.  Apologizing isn’t leadership.  Leaders lead. His rival is Claire McCaskill. She is remarkably unpopular.  His nemesis is Barack Obama.  He is loathed in Missouri.

Get the message back on track.  Be a leader.  Win.

There’s one question I ask every politician who asks for my support:  why do you want this job?  The answers reveal tons about the person.  Right now, his answer seems to be “because I made a mistake, and I’m sorry.”  That’s weak.  It’s a loser’s answer.

I can’t feed him HIS answer.  But I can tell him the one’s he’s got ain’t working. Even among some of his staunchest supporters.

Colonial-Flag-13-Colonies

Hey, Candy Crowley: Tea Party Groups Resemble the 13 Colonies, Not the Balkans

Analogies say more about the speaker than about the subject.

Candy Crowley told KMOX Radio listeners on Friday that Tea Party groups resemble the Balkans without guns.

Wrong. Crappy analogy, Candy.  The diverse and autonomous, often quarrelsome, Tea Party groups remind me of the original 13 colonies.

The colonies were divided on just about every subject imaginable. The disagreed on slavery, on economics, on agraculture, manufacturing, cities, names — name it.  But they agreed one thing: they hated tyranny and loved liberty.

Our Tea Party groups don’t always get along with each.  We often disagree on tactics, on scope, on message.  Some want to do nothing but rally while others network and others clean up voter rolls.  We’re a mess.

Except for one thing:  WE ALL FRIGGIN’ HATE TYRANNY AND TYRANTS!!!  We LOVE LIBERTY!! And when we smell tyranny and tyrants, when tyrants attack our brothers in liberty, well, then, to quote Quentin Tarantino’s fictitious quote of Ezekiel 25: 17:

And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know My name is the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon thee.

(You can just I hear Samuel L. Jackson, can’t you?)

Now, some background.

CNN’s Candy Crowley, a St. Louis native, talks politics on KMOX every Friday morning.  On May 4, 2012, she talked about the dust-up between Tea Party Express and several Missouri Tea Party organizations, including St. Louis Tea Party Coalition. Here’s what she was talking about.

The Tea Party Express planned to stop at the Victory Field House on Hwy 141 and I-44 in Fenton on Wednesday, May 2.  Ed Martin, Republican for Attorney General, and Cole McNary, Republican for State Treasurer, share the Field House as a grassroots HQ. Many GOP candidates have a presence there.

According to sources at the Field House, Tea Party Express planned to invite all Missouri candidates to the event.  The Field House made open access a condition, because TPE had already endorsed Sarah Steelman in the GOP primary for US Senate. My sources said they were assured that John Brunner and Todd Akin, Steelman’s opponents, would be invited.

As the event drew near, the Field House was unable to get hold of TPE.  Then TPE ran a series of ads on KMOX equating their visit to the Field House with Steelman.  That’s when Ed, Cole, and crew pulled the plug on the event and, instead, hosted a  little barbecue for volunteers.

I was late and had to stand in back. :-)

Ed Martin Speaks at Field House
Ed Martin addresses packed house at Victory Field House.

H/t to Craig Niehaus for the idea for this post.

elephant-stampede

Tea Party Activist Calls for Stampede

I blogged about the battle of the Tea Party’s future going on around the Lake of the Ozarks recently.

I received this response from Freida Keough, St. Louis County Director of Missouri Precinct Project:

My answer: We have 56 positions for committeemen and women in 28 Townships for St.Louis County. Did you know that 35 new individuals filed for these positions in addition to the incumbents. Coincidence? I don’t think this happened because people felt they have nothing else to do. I think people are doing this because they have been energized by the tea party movement and are realizing that if you want to change things you need to get in the game from the ground up. And this did not just happening in St.Louis. It is happening across the state. This is very encouraging and I believe pretty soon we will see changes in the Missouri Republican Party. At the last Central Committee meeting in Clayton, four new committee people were appointed.

Ever heard of Raging Elephants? Stampede

Missouri Precinct Project (MOPP)

“Let’s MOPP ‘em up in ’12”

www.moprecinctproject.org

[email protected]

Thanks, Frieda!

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The State of the GOP

by Bill Hennessy and Jim Durbin

John Knowles’s classic novel, A Separate Peace, begins memorably:

I went back to the Devon School not long ago, and found it looking oddly newer than when I was a student there fifteen years before . . . as if a coat of varnish had been put over everything for better preservation.

I get precisely the opposite feel when I look at the Republican Party.

Republicans Return to Disarray

Less than two years after the Tea Party carried Republicans to historic gains in Congress and state housesTea Party 2009 around the country, the Grand Old Party looks much older than grand. Its skin is coarse and leathery. Pachyderm-ish.Or like the broken, bleeding hands of a North Dakota railroad worker in January. It’s as if a coat of Elmer’s Glue had been put over everything to blister and peel and crack like mud under the burning sun.

Across Missouri, people were driven away by heavy-handed party regulars. The disenchanted were mostly newcomers to politics.

Most infamous of these events was the St. Charles County debacle in which the county chairman ruled with an iron fist, inspiring a rebellion that ended with police riot squads clearing the premises and arresting two caucus-goers. Ready to lead, indeed.

In Illinois, a wealthy young man from a prominent family unleashed a tidal wave of lies—flat out, ridiculous, and cruel lies—against a decent and honest opponent.  Meanwhile, the Illinois GOP insiders threatened and cajoled anyone who dared support the young heir’s opponent. At a Lincoln Days dinner in Madison County, I heard a small business owner explain the sticker on his chest: “I’m not supporting him, but they’ll go after my business if I don’t wear this.”

Liberty my foot. The Illinois GOP is every bit as capable of totalitarian control as the Obama administration. It feels like the Republican Party is more interested in protecting the power and redistributive entitlements of its long-time insiders than in growing its base. The party fears new blood (except their properly schooled off-spring), the way closed country clubs of the 1970s feared blacks, Jews, and Catholics.

Where Does the Money Go?

Did I say “redistributive entitlements?”  Yes, I did. When it comes to government spending, the biggest difference between the Republicans and Democrats is to whom they redistribute our money. Democrats buy votes with tax dollars; Republicans buy donors.

Now, I admit, I’d rather live in a nation led by Republicans than one ruled by Democrats. Republicans tolerate more personal liberty and more economic growth. They are more open to learning and to experimenting with better methods than are Democrats. Republicans remain naturally skeptical of experts who’ve never accomplished anything in real life.

But only slightly.

Republicans do not tolerate real competition between businesses. They championed TARP as much the Democrats did, and TARP was the crown jewel of anti-competitive legislation. Nor do they welcome newcomers into the party—at least not newcomers who want an equal say in things.

I realize that people who’ve worked on Township committees for 20 years want to have more influence than some guy who accidentally wanders into his first caucus looking for a public toilet. But rigging the process to produce results that were predetermined by a small cadre of insiders doesn’t help Republicans win or grow the base—it helps launch third parties.

After the Tea Party dragged the GOP across the finish line in 2010, to borrow Mike Leahy’s line, the GOP wanted nothing more to do with us. They’ve quietly toiled to let us know our kind isn’t welcome.  We’re like Irish and Italian immigrants a century and a quarter ago. “We’re going to vote now, dear. Be a good little immigrant and take out the trash.”

If the Republicans don’t wake up and grow up quickly, come November they will find themselves the most exclusive club in America—on their way to joining the Whigs.

Who Held the Line?

The GOP in Missouri wasted the biggest influx of new blood into the political fight in 30 years. Now you understand why so many young people support Ron Paul.  The Democrats are destroying the country, but who has the stomach to work with Republicans?

In 2008 and 2009, Republicans across the country gave up. They let Al Franken steal a seat. They let Arlen Specter slip through their fingers. They embraced the idea of 40 years of Democratic Rule.  Heck, even Roy Blunt was touring the state hoping to stop Robin Carnahan from being the 60th Senator.  They had given up.

  • While the Republican Establishment cut deals with Democrats, The Tea Party stood in the gap and said “No more.”
  • While the Republican Establishment cowered behind city walls, we charged into the streets and parks and hearings and town halls declaring, “we created this government, not the other way around.”
  • While the Republican Establishment ducked its head and buried its wallet and worried about its political future, our flesh and blood held back and reversed the tide to historic victories across the country.

It was the Tea Party that held back Obamacare from fast track implementation in August of 2009.  They were ready to pass it, and we stepped up in the townhalls and said HELL NO!  We were telling them it was costly and unconstitutional long before the CBO and the Supreme Court got involved.  We were right then.  Do you remember?

It was the Tea Party that made a national mission out of Scott Brown’s election in Massachusetts. And if the Supreme Court overturns ObamaCare, it will be because the Democrats rushed the bill through the Senate knowing Brown was the 41st vote for freedom.

It wasn’t just healthcare shoved down our throats.  The Republicans couldn’t stop the stimulus. They put up token resistance and then a bunch of them voted for the omnibus budget a few weeks later (allowing Claire McCaskill to vote against it because Kit Bond voted for it). They ducked the debt ceiling fight.  They refused to defund Obamacare or the czars.  They were given a huge majority in the House of Representatives – the power of the purse, and what have they have done with it?  The debt continues to grow as the Senate refuses to even consider a budget.

Now it’s March, 2012. In Missouri, the Tea Party candidates have been driven out and redistricted and co-opted.  What exactly is a Tea Partier supposed to fight for in Missouri?  Where’s our skin in the game?  Who can we stand behind?

The Republicans don’t appreciate what was done for them.  They will.  They will wake up this fall to empty phone banks, small events, and the full attention of a press eager to prove 2010 a historical anomaly.

Come October, the Occupy Crowd will hound them at local events, and the social media will be all leftwing, all the time.  The Republicans will have lost the narrative, and they will once again be playing defense.

And they’ll put a coat of varnish on the state capitol and talk about the ebb and flow of politics, as the debt tsunami approaches.  The Tea Party was willing to fight alongside Republicans.  We never signed up to fight for them.  The danger is not that Tea Party voters sit on their hands and let Obama stay into office.  It’s that across the nation, publicly funded groups like the unions and the new ACORN and Occupy and Color for Change are preparing for 2012.  The Republicans, in their arrogance, have decided to tell a million volunteers and donors to stay home.

As patriots with families and businesses, we have choices on how to use the limited time God has granted us.  We are forced to choose where to apply our time and attention.  Is that focus to be placed on working with candidates and fighting the mainstream media?  Or is it shoring up our homes, finances, families, and communities for whatever comes next?