What Is Character?

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Worry about your character, not your reputation. Reputation is what people think of you. Character is who you are.

—John Wooden, legendary coach of basketball and character

Everyone admits that President Trump cares more about his character than about his reputation. Only a man concerned with his character would tell the truth.

Reputation is what people think of you. Character is who you are.

The Stoics teach us that reputation is beyond our control. Trump understands this. Mitt Romney does not.

What things are not under your total control? Your body, property, reputation, status, Because they are not under your total control they are weak, slavish, subject to restraint, and in the power of others. They do not concern you because they are outside your control.

—Epitetus, The Good Life Handbook, translation by Dr. Chuck Chakrapani

I get it. Young Republicans are trained to say “Yes’m” to any charge of racism. Like cowards. Or something that starts with “p” and rhymes with cat. Or something. Use your imagination.

Republicans worry about their reputations. Never their character.

Republicans live for the praise of the fickle world, not their true nature.

Republicans crave what they cannot have. They cannot control their reputations.

It takes courage to speak the truth.

It takes courage to speak the truth when your culture craves lies. When the culture wants its narrative reinforced. When the culture’s narrative is a lie, the culture demands confirmation.

And a culture in need of reinforcement punishes truth.

Donald Trump told the truth about Charlottesville. Trump spoke truth in every sentence and every syllable. But cowardly Republicans like Mitt Romney seek to control what others think about them by denying the truth Trump spoke.

What did Trump say that was true?

  • Racism is reprehensible
  • Nazis are horrible
  • Violence to suppress opposing views is criminal
  • Terrorists on the right and terrorists on the left clashed in Charlottesville
  • All terrorism is reprehensible

All true. 100% true. Undeniably true.

Never did President Trump defend racists or Nazis.

Never did President Trump justify their violence.

If you believed the lying headlines on HuffPo, Politico, Business Insider, and Vox, I urge you to feed your character by reading or hearing what the president actually said. Think for yourself. Like a grownup. Don’t skim the headlines like Mitt Romney. Don’t rhyme with cat.

The great family man Romney literally praised Antifa terrorists. To bolster his reputation. His reputation among people who called him a racist and a fascist in 2012 and consider him a fascist today.

Romney tweeted in praise of Antifa terrorists, justifying their violence because, in Mitt’s view, Antifa opposes racism.

No, not the same. One side is racist, bigoted, Nazi. The other opposes racism and bigotry. Morally different universes.

Really, Mitt? You’d be beaten to death and burned in a trash barrel if your Gucci loafers accidentally carried you and your Orvis gingham blazer into an Antifa riot. But, whatever, tough guy. You Mormon gansta you.

Character is who you are, not what people think of you.

Character is telling the truth, not to power, but to the pansies who want to hear lies that make them feel good about themselves. They’re everywhere.

Character is Charles Bukowski, not Mitt Romney. Per Mark Manson in The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***:

See, despite the book sales and the fame, Bukowski was a loser. He knew it. And his success stemmed not from some determination to be a winner, but from the fact that he knew he was a loser, accepted it, and then wrote honestly about it. He never tried to be anything other than what he was.*

. . .

Bukowski didn’t give a fuck about success. Even after his fame, he still showed up to poetry readings hammered and verbally abused people in his audience. He still exposed himself in public and tried to sleep with every woman he could find. Fame and success didn’t make him a better person. Nor was it by becoming a better person that he became famous and successful.

Yet Charles Bukowski was a far better man than Mitt Romney. Because Bukowski was true. True to his character. Honest.

Bukowski cared more about his character than his reputation.

He could control his character. Not his reputation.

Romney doesn’t swear or drink or womanize. He just lies and cowers. And praises the terrorists he’s afraid of.

I realize I’m putting my reputation at risk by writing this truth. Americans hate the truth. And punish truth-tellers. But I’d rather die scared with honest men of character like Bukowski than live in smug shame with grinds like Mitt Romney.

Which rhymes with cat.

*Emphasis added.

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

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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.

Did Lloyd Smith and Jo Ann Emerson Plan This All Along?

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In an open Republican primary in Missouri’s 8th Congressional District, a solid conservative would beat an establishment “my turn” Republican, hands down. And the Missouri GOP would hate it.

That’s why I smell a rat.

Would you be surprised to learn that Jo Ann Emerson and Lloyd Smith had this switcheroo planned months ago?  You have to admit that the timing is suspicious:

  • Emerson wins a certain re-election
  • Smith announces he’s stepping down as Missouri GOP Executive Director
  • Emerson announces she’s resigning to become Queen of Lobbyists
  • Missouri’s GOP Establishment breaks hips to tell reporters “Lloyd Smith’s our man!”

This is exactly how the Republican establishment does things.  They think the people of MO-8 are too stupid to pick the right candidate in a primary, so they make backroom deals  to appoint a deal-maker for them.

Shenanigans.

If that’s what’s going on here, It’s disgraceful.   Missouri’s 8th deserves better, but I’ve heard from sources that Emerson waited to announce her resignation until Smith was confident he had the votes among 8th District Republican committeemen and committeewomen to cost into the job.

You think Lloyd Smith tats will be the rage at SEMO next semester?

I’m sure Mr. Smith is a good guy. I have nothing against him as a person, and I’m sure he’s done some good for conservatives in his career.

I’m also pretty sure it’s his turn. Just like it was Mitt Romney’s turn. And John McCain’s. And Bob Dole’s.  And Gerald Ford’s.

America doesn’t need the next guy in line, and the GOP can’t afford another me-too, milquetoast faceless name in Congress.

At a time when the GOP desperately needs to energize some young people and excite its conservative base, I find it unfathomable that anyone would even mention Lloyd Smith.

Energy? Leadership? Charisma? Action? Accomplishment?

As Missouri GOP’s executive director, Smith failed to flip a single statewide office in 2012 even with Romney winning 54% of the vote.

Moreover, Smith was frozen by the Akin fiasco, doing nothing to contain the damage. He couldn’t keep Republicans from bashing Akin, and he couldn’t get Akin to gracefully exit.

You Can’t Squeeze A Union Card Between Lloyd Smith and Jo Ann Emerson

Smith was Jo Ann Emerson’s chief of staff.  That’s about the most damning thing one can say about a Republican operative.

Jo Ann Emerson’s specialty has been handing out your tax dollars to businesses and unions who hand them back to her. How fitting that she resigns from Congress weeks after being re-elected to become a lobbyist for one of the beneficiaries of Emerson’s crony capitalism gravy train.

John Fund at National Review writes:

In her congressional career, she often shied away from stringent budget-cutting measures and privately deplored bans on earmarks. In 2011, the National Journal found that she was only the 200th most conservative member of the House.

And remember, Lloyd Smith was her chief of staff. Here’s a few more highlights of Emerson’s miserable Washington career:

So why has the liberal Emerson kept her job in a very conservative Congressional District?

Incumbency.

And, if there was backroom deal to replace Emerson with Smith or some other party boy, it’s because there’s no way Smith would win an open primary.

But once he’s in, he’s in for life.

I hope grassroots conservatives in MO-8 put a lot of pressure on the 80 Republican Committeemen and Committeewomen. The GOP will throw a lot of favors, offers, and promises their way to get the appointment they want.

This will be a test of whether or not the Tea Party has any clout at all in Missouri.

Stop The Crazy Talk: Vote Fraud Didn’t Cost Romney The Election

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I wrote yesterday that if you need someone to blame, blame me. Don’t blame bogeymen.

reality-check

Yes, vote fraud is real. Voter rolls in most states need to be cleaned up. Voter intimidation should be harshly prosecuted.

You can sign up at True the Vote or Missouri Precinct Project to take effective, useful action. These organizations do vital work, and they both need more volunteers.

Using vote fraud, however, as an excuse for secession or for blocking the Electoral College vote is neither effective nor useful. In fact, it makes us sound like the idiots the left wants us to be.

Please knock it off.

Try Critical Thinking Instead of Knee-Jerk Emotions

I read a piece American Thinker that made me want to jump out a window. Selwyn Duke tries making the case that Romney lost because of voter fraud.

His case is weak.

I won’t bother with his points about anecdotal evidence, since they’re anecdotal. They can’t be proven one way or the other.

Instead, I looked at the numbers.

Romney Got No Votes In Some Philadelphia Divisions

True, this is odd. It may will be that Romney votes were thrown out. But there are two problems with blaming Pennsylvania’s outcome on this anomaly.

1.  We’re talking about a predominantly or exclusively Democrat area. Had Obama received less than 98 percent of the vote, something would have been wrong. So we’re talking about, at most,  a 2 percent problem in a small area.

2.  The total vote in these Philly division was less than 20,000 votes. Suppose that 2 percent intended to vote for Romney. That’s 400 votes. It doesn’t change the results. It doesn’t even come close.

Military Overseas Ballot Requests Way Down

Duke also cites a drop in requests for absentee ballots by armed forces serving over seas. He points a report that in Virginia and Ohio, requests for military absentee ballots were down by 70 percent:

Frankly, it is inconceivable that military interest in voting could’ve dropped so drastically given conservatives’ passion this election season.

There are several problems with Duke’s argument.

  1. Over 83,000 troops came home. Thirty percent fewer troops are serving overseasin 2012 compared to 2008. And a LOT of them are stationed in Virginia.
  2. The drop in requests was for the entire election cycle, not just the November 8 election. Obama was unopposed in the primaries.
  3. The drop is in requests.  The DoD can’t make people request an absentee ballot. (I was the Voting Rights Officer on USS Woodrow Wilson—it’s not always easy to get people to vote.)

I agree that the DoD did a poor job getting ballots to troops. But the problems were with ballots that had already been requested.  Let’s wait to see  how many military ballots were cast before we lose our heads.

Secession and Disrupting the Electoral College Doesn’t Help Conservatism

If you believe the election was stolen, I get why you want to take extreme measures.  But your extreme measures don’t win any hearts and minds. They make us look nuts.

Read Erick Erickson’s blog about rolling up the welcome mat at RedState. Clearly, I’m not the only one noticing the crazy talk around here.

Our mission is to win-over people who want what we want:

  • A strong economy
  • A smaller, fiscally responsible government
  • A safer world
  • A sustainable immigration policy

These are things that almost everyone in America can agree on—everyone except the far left nuts.

Reagan attracted big numbers with 3 of those 4 pillars. Immigration wasn’t as big a deal then, because our population still had some organic growth going on.

Companies and nations fall when they refuse to face the realities of their situations. The conservative movement is supposed to be the embodiment of hard, cold looks at the national condition. Let’s keep it that way, okay?

Don’t Expect Boehner To Play The Black Knight

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The GOP didn’t really have a plan in place in case it lost. It certainly didn’t have a plan for getting snotclobbered. And if you try to spin Tuesday’s results as anything less than a good old-fashioned ass-kicking, you’re deluding yourself.

Black-Knight

Republicans Got Creamed

I know Michelle Malkin found 20 things that went right on election night, but there about 60 million things that went wrong. Let’s take a look:

  • Obama was re-elected handily in a terrible economy with American prestige at its lowest level since Carter’s administration
  • Republicans lost ground in the Senate despite a huge number of open seats and unpopular Democrats (McCaskill)
  • Stupid comments by Senate candidates set back the pro-life movement 20 years
  • In Missouri, Republicans lost every statewide race except Lieutenant Governor
  • Liberal ballot initiatives dominated
  • Conservative turnout was low except for Evangelicals
  • Conservative mega-donors broke the bank on this election and came up less than empty

Boehner Told House Republicans There Will Be No Fiscal Cliff Fight

Considering all this, it comes as no surprise that John Boehner told House Republicans that there will be no death match over the Fiscal Cliff.

Their party lost, badly, Mr. Boehner said, and while Republicans would still control the House and would continue to staunchly oppose tax rate increases as Congress grapples with the impending fiscal battle, they had to avoid the nasty showdowns that marked so much of the last two years. (source: NYTimes)

That’s a bitter pill for Tea Partiers and conservatives, but it’s probably unavoidable.

Mitt Romney and many other Republican candidates for federal offices campaigned without any big ideas for people to champion. They made the election about policy differences, and the status quo won.

You can say that bitter fights over debt and budgets are part of that status quo. You’d be missing the point, which is this:

The only card in Boehner’s hand is shutting down the government. Voters—even some who voted for Romney—would see that as a repudiation of the election and the people, not of Obama. Boehner would look like the Black Knight in Monty Python And The Holy Grail.

There’s a chance, of course, that Obama would cave and hand the Republicans a victory. But there’ a good chance the subsequent unemployment, the stock plunge, the recession, and the starvation horror stories would land squarely on Republican shoulders. (Do you think media would see an Obama capitulation as anything but statesmanlike sacrifice to help the most vulnerable?)

Republicans simply won’t take the chance that 2014 will be a referendum on government shutdowns by a party that just got its ass handed to it on Nate Silver platter.

Game Theory and History Help Explain

Here’s a SlideShare I’ve put together to explain the Republican position. I looked back at Reagan’s 1981 budget battle with Congressional Democrats.

Pay attention to how that battle turned out. (Best viewed full screen)

Bottom Line: The Republicans cannot choose a strategy first. They must force Democrats to make the first move.

Here’s My Electoral Map Prediction

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Yes, I’m feeling a wave toward Romney.

Bill Hennessy Electoral Map

My gut tells me this year is a lot like 1980.

1980 Was A Dead Heat

The final Gallup poll that year had a dead heat. Time Magazine’s November 3, 1980, called the race a dead heat. So did Newsweek.

The press was hoping John B. Anderson, a former Republican Congressman running for president as an independent, would siphon votes from Reagan. He did siphon votes from Reagan, but not nearly enough. America was fed up with Jimmy Carter.

What appears to be a dead heat to pollsters could, in fact, be a landslide for Romney. And I think that’s the only way Romney wins.

Romney Must Win Big To Win

In a close race, Democrats will cheat, steal, and defraud. They will fight it in the courts, discover ballots in trunks, and sue to let people vote until they get the numbers they need.

For Romney to win, the race must appear hopeless to Democrats before midnight Tuesday.

That’s exactly what I think will happen.

What do you think?