Why Is Erick Erickson Protecting Reince Priebus?

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UPDATE:

Welcome, Donald Trump fans! Thanks for reading.

Yes, it’s true, I have had disagreements with Erick in the past. I try to assess the situation, not just the person. It’s possible to disagree with someone on one subject and to agree with them on another.

If anything, Erick showed consistency by rescinding Trump’s invitation to Red State. Erick didn’t want the event to descend into chaos led by my friends over the Barbour episode; he doesn’t want a descent into chaos led by Donald Trump.

Some will call me a hypocrite. Go ahead. I’ve been called worse. And being seen as inconsistent on this matter is better, in my view, than siding with boorishness in an attempt to appear narrowly consistent some marginally important prior position. If I must be narrowly and reflexively consistent, I will remain consistent with my belief that the United States deserves and requires leaders of remarkable character, temperament, intelligence, creativity, and charm. I want it all in my next president. And Trump lacks several key ingredients.

Please continue reading. Thanks


Call it the hand of God.

I was supposed to go to RedState Gathering this weekend, but things didn’t work out at the list minute. Now, I’m glad I wasn’t there.

Red State Gathering is blogger Erick Erickon’s annual conservative gabfest. This year, it was in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Reince Priebus and Erick Erickson at RedState. Photo by anonymous Tea Partier

Reince Priebus, RNC Chairman, was one of the speakers. Priebus is under heavy pressure from Missouri’s Ed Martin and others to investigate Henry Barbour’s role in political attack ads that accuse the Tea Party of racism. So far, Priebus has blocked any such investigation.

Reince Priebus is running cover for Thad Cochran and Henry Barbour who called you, dear read, racist.

Traditionally, speakers at events like RedState Gathering take questions from the audience. But Erickson saw that Tea Party Patriots were armed with signs and tough questions for the Priebus .

I asked Erickson, via Twitter, why he protected Priebus from questions. Here’s Erick’s response.

Erickson’s answer is nonsense. No, Priebus did not authorize Henry Barbour’s attack on the Tea Party. He is not responsible for Barbour’s actions. 

But Priebus is solely responsible for his own response to irrefutable evidence that Henry Barbour funded the ads. Erickson has made himself culpable in the cover-up by protecting Priebus who is protecting Barbour. (Priebus and Barbour go way back, as we shall see later.) It’s typical Republican Establishment “cover your ass” nonsense.

Erickson has not responded to my follow-up question: 

Priebus is Chairman of the RNC, for God’s sake. He’s in charge. He needs a blogger to protect him from Tea Party Patriots? Give me a break.

Enter Ed Martin, Stage Right

Meanwhile, Missouri GOP Chairman, Ed Martin, has risked his entire political future by filing motions of censure against Henry Barbour and the Mississippi Republicans who shamefully libeled tea partiers, plagiarizing the vilest tactics from the Al Sharpton playbook.

I realize it’s considered bad form to set up a guest for humiliation in some circles. I get that. But if you’re going to allow Priebus to speak, you have to let him feel the heat for his failure to investigate the shenanigans in Mississippi. By blocking the investigation, Priebus is protecting the bad actors and further alienating grassroots conservatives.

Of course, we all know why Priebus won’t investigate Mississippi. As the Spectator pointed out, Henry Barbour and Reince Priebus are old buddies:

Martin’s request for an investigation would be, one thinks, a no-brainer. This is, after all, the party of Lincoln. Race baiting has no place in the Republican Party, which came to be in the first place because of its staunch opposition to slavery.

But there’s a problem: Take a look at this link to a site for a lobbying group called Capital Resources, which includes a bio for one of the group’s partners, the aforementioned Henry Barbour. If you scan down a bit there is a series of bullet points describing Barbour’s background. The very first one reads as follows: “Helped run RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’ campaign for chairman.”

Here’s the most depressing part of this whole sordid story. When faced with the choice of offending the Tea Party or the Establishment, Erickson decided to protect the Establishment.

Maybe Erickson was just being a good and gracious host. That’s what I want to think. But to those of us who’ve been in the streets fighting the establishment, this feels like another sell-out.

Ed Martin Moves to Censure Henry Barbour Over Racist Mississippi Ads

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Go Ed!

A few weeks ago, hunkered down at my laptop in my hotel room in Jacksonville, Florida. I was exhausted from seven hours of travel and a time change. But I had to take a moment to recognize Ed Martin’s commitment to all the best the Republican Party stands for.

Ed is determined to expose the GOP establishment’s willingness to do anything to destroy grassroots insurgents. Thad Cochran’s forces in Mississippi threw ethics, morality, and decency to the wind in their quest to stop a Tea Party candidate from unseating the 128-term Cochran.

So I can’t tell you how proud I was when I saw this Daily Caller article by Missouri GOP Chairman, Ed Martin. He explains why he wants the GOP to censure Barbour:

I’ve been asked why I’m involved in Mississippi. I’m not. I’m involved in Missouri, where the use of racist political ads is a common Democratic campaign trick. The most relevant was in 2004, when the George Soros-funded 527 organization, America Coming Together, distributed a flyer with an image of a black man being hosed by a white fireman. The text next to the image linked U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft (a Missouri Republican) with an effort to keep African American voters from the polls

While a Democrat has acknowledged placing some of the racist ads in Mississippi, Martin points out that Henry Barbour–a Cochran crony–has dirty hands, as well.

In Mississippi this June, Henry Barbour’s PAC funded ads by a man named Bishop Crudup with the same lie. Using images from the Civil Rights era, one Barbour flyer states that the “Tea Party intends to prevent you from voting.” The flyer was heavily distributed to black neighborhoods in clear echoes of the Soros-funded message against Republicans in 2004. The Democrats and their operatives with bylines in the media regularly accuse Republicans of voter suppression. This is the first time in my experience that a Republican has done so.

When Tea Partiers see such despicable behavior from big-name Republican establishment figures, we worry that we were used in 2009 and 2010. For the record, we delivered the House to the GOP that year, denied Obama a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

Here’s Ed’s specific action:

I have filed two resolutions for the RNC members to consider at our meeting this week. One censures Henry Barbour for his role in the race-baiting ads. The other censures any Republicans who were involved in the racist ads. I hope my fellow RNC members consider this serious matter carefully and state forcefully that we will not tolerate racist conduct by any of our members.

Ed Martin will need our support more than ever. Please don’t confuse him with the Republican establishment. His noble fight for justice in Mississippi shows his mettle.

Go, Ed!

UPDATE: ConservativeHQ has a great story on Ed’s noble effort

7 Fascinating Results In The Missouri Primary

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CORRECTION: My sincerest apologies for an inexcusable error in this post earlier. I erroneously congratulated my friend Martin Baker in the US House 1st District primary. I understand that Martin was about 500 votes short. I failed to verify information I received on the race, and I apologize for my irresponsibility.

Well, this got people talking. (See the comments.)

Yesterday was the Missouri Primary. Congratulations to Rick Stream and Jay Ashcrofton their wins in contested races for St. Louis County Executive and State Senate District 24, respectively. Both men face important races in November, and I’m proud to support each of them. The only one I can vote for is Rick Stream, and I will do so with gusto. (Make that a long “u” in “gusto” and it rhymes.)

Now, for some interesting numbers. Most of the comparisons are to the 2010 primary, the most recent non-presidential Congressional election year.

St. Louis County Is Losing Voters

Source: St. Louis County Board of Elections

I know Charlie Dooley drove a lot of people out of the county during his reign of error, but I was a little shocked to see
registered voters down by over 12,000 since 2010. Registrations are also down 2,600 since 2012. Are you startled that the county’s lost 10,000 voters in just two years? Maybe MOPP’s voter roll clean-up efforts had something to do with it. I’d love to know if those losses are concentrated in a particular area or party, or if they’re evenly distributed.

Republican Ballots Were Way Down, Too

Source: St. Louis County Board of Elections
Yes, the Democrat race for County Executive drew a lot of attention, and I’ve received some anecdotal evidence of Republicans crossing over to vote in that race. But I expected the combination of low Democrat voter enthusiasm and the Amendments to draw Republicans and right-leaning independents to the polls. Didn’t happen. Which tells me GOP voter enthusiasm is really low. But look at the trends. Since 2010, Democrat ballots have inched up while Republican ballots have dropped.

I realize that the dynamics are different every year, but that GOP drop seems worrisome. Or maybe the Tea Party effect in 2010 skewed that year’s numbers. Still, with a 12,000 drop in registrations and consistent drop in Republican ballots, the St. Louis County GOP should be concerned.

 Amendment 5 Failed in St. Louis County But Passed Overwhelmingly Statewide

Amendment 5 protects Missourians from 2nd Amendment abuses by the state and by the federal government. (And there was some spirited debate on that issue in the comments, too. With the big Democrat vote surge in St. Louis County, you might have expected that Amendment to suffer. And it did. County voters were out of step with the rest of the state with Nays 59 percent to Yeas 41, the mirror of the statewide vote of 61-39 Yea.

The “Right to Farm” Amendment Barely Passed

I called this the “meh” Amendment. My friend Ed Martin was strongly in favor, but I really don’t think the courts will let it stand. It’s basically just an affirmation of our love of farmers, which I agree with. But the language is as vague as Obama’s patriotism. I expected it to pass fairly easily, but it passed only 50.2 to 49.8.

The Tea Party and the ACLU Can Make Beautiful Music Together

I know a lot of people on the right have issues with the ACLU, but we probably have more in common with the organization than we have differences. So I was proud to fully endorse Amendment 9 to extend 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure to electronic data. And that Amendment blew everything out of the water with 75 percent voting Yes.

Missouri Doesn’t Want More Boondoggle Projects

Very glad to see Missourians shot down the so called “transportation sales tax” increase. The 3/4 cent sales tax hike, purportedly to fix ailing roads and bridges, would have been the biggest tax hike in Missouri’s history. Luckily, a lot of mayors and county executives tipped their hands and let us know they planned to build greenways, parks, bike trails, and butterfly houses with money. And Show-Me Institute informed us that Missouri’s roads are in the top 10 in the whole country. That money-grab failed 59 to 41 percent. The only bad news on this Amendment was that Jay Nixon agreed with us.

Missouri Is Turning Libertarian

The combined results on Amendments 1, 5, 7, and 9 show that Missouri, like much of the country, is becoming more libertarian. That’s good news. Libertarians (lower case L) distrust government and other large institutions. We oppose crony capitalism and favor free market capitalism. We believe that people created the government, and people can tell the government its just powers. While many of my fellow pro-lifers dislike some of the libertarian social stands, if we don’t reign in government abuses of civil liberties, our views on abortion and other issues won’t really matter. Because we won’t be allowed to voice them.

On To November

But first, let’s take some time to remind our Congressional delegation that we won’t tolerate extending Export-Import Bank. In fact, I’d caution some of our Republican Congresspeople to look at yesterday’s results carefully. A lot of traditional Republican voters–including those who provided that GOP surge in 2010–are ready to bolt in November. And I’m one of them. Missourians are notorious ballot splitters, and voting Libertarian on a few races might be just the message our Washington delegation needs.

 

Here’s Why John Danforth’s Attack On Ed Martin Is So Bad for the GOP

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Old Jack Danforth is a troubled man.

“You once called me a ‘warped, frustrated old man.’ Well, what are you, but a warped, frustrated young man?”
John Danforth Attacked Ed Martin for Supporting Rand Paul

Danforth’s wiry frame got bent all out of shape because the chairman of Missouri’s GOP stated the uber-obvious in an email to friends: the McCain-Graham angry old man meme ain’t sellin’ no more. What is selling is Rand Paul’s courageous demand for a statement on the limits of executive power.

On Wednesday, Ed Martin sent an email to Missouri Republicans praising Paul’s courage and rebuking McCain and Graham’s defense of unlimited presidential power.

On Thursday, former Senator John Danforth responded with an email criticizing Martin and accusing the chairman of the Missouri GOP of kicking people out of the party.

Martin’s email praised the courage and consistency Senator Rand Paul displayed in his famous 13-hour filibuster. It also derided McCain and Graham for their childish and un-Senatorial attacks on fellow Republican Paul. Why Danforth felt a need to reply, and why he felt a need to exaggerate Ed Martin’s message, tells me there’s  more going on here than just an angry, irrelevant old man spouting off.

Missouri’s Republican Establishment Is At War With the Grassroots

You sit around here and you spin your little webs and you think the whole world revolves around you and your money. Well, it doesn’t, Mr. Potter. In the whole vast configuration of things, I’d say you were nothing but a scurvy little spider!

–George Bailey to Mr. Potter

When Ed Martin won the race for MOGOP chairman, the establishment was stunned and horrified. Martin appeals to conservative and libertarian grassroots activists, not the smoky room king makers that Danforth favors.

I think the Establishment believed they could intimidate Martin by threatening to cut off donations to the MOGOP and to Republican candidates who won’t do their bidding.

With Martin continuing to display his populist independent streak, the Establishment called out their version of Mr. Potter to play bad cop, keeping the others’ noses clean.

This Could All End In Disaster for Missouri Republicans

Danforth  and his cronies are playing with fire. In November 2012, 90,000 votes were cast for Libertarian candidates in Missouri. Most of those votes came at the expense of Republican votes.

If the grassroots–and especially young voters–get the feeling that the GOP is a private club for the rich, they’ll flee to the Libertarian Party in 2014. And if the RNC installs rules meant to block non-Establishment presidential candidates at their April meeting in Los Angeles, 2016 could be the Republican Party’s last national election.

It’s All Happened Before

Before the modern Republican Party emerged from the abolitionist movement in 1858, America’s other major party was the Whigs.  Abraham Lincoln led the Whig Party in Illinois. But the Whigs were never a cohesive party of consistency around some set of principles. Instead, they were united only by their opposition to an imperial presidency. From the History Channel:

The Whig party was founded by individuals united only in their antagonism to Jackson’s war on the Second Bank of the United States and his high-handed measures in waging that war and ignoring Supreme Court decisions, the Constitution, and Indian rights embodied in federal treaties. Beyond that, however, there were Whigs and Whigs. Some played the demagogic anti-Catholic game; others scorned it. Some spoke critically of working people; others, admiringly. Detailed studies of the Whig party in the states and biographies of such Whig leaders as Clay, William Seward, Daniel Webster, and Horace Greeley reveal dissimilar policies from one state to another and important differences in the character, beliefs, and actions of the leaders.

It seems that opposition to Barack Obama is the only thing that unifies Republicans. But many of us realize that Obama won’t be on the ballot in 2016. So what will the GOP stand for?

Within the GOP today, I see two large factions. One is the Establishment personified by McCain, Graham, and Danforth. The other is, for lack of a better term, the Tea Party faction united on the principles of free markets, Constitutionally limited government, and fiscal responsibility. The Establishment stood around befuddled in 2009 and 2010 as the Tea Party did the work to regain control of the House and dozens of state legislatures. And that Tea Party success is what started the current rift.

Leading up to 2012, the Establishment, recognizing that the rabble were within striking distance of seizing their  party, went on the offensive–not against the Democrats, and not in support of those basic, simple principles. The GOP Establishment went to war against its own grassroots base.

Like the Whigs of 1856, the Republicans of 2016 seem poised for a horrible fall. The millions of rabble who want the party to stand for three simple principles don’t understand why Danforth and his spiders insist on keeping the party a closed country club. We don’t understand why Danforth won’t invite in the libertarian kids. They won’t steal his millions, I promise.

Who’s Kicking Who Out, Mr. Danforth

With that background, isn’t it sad that Danforth’s vitriolic email to wealthy Republican donors accused Martin of doing exactly what Danforth and his scurvy spiders have been doing for years: deciding who may and may not call themselves Republicans.

In 2005, Danforth all but called for the expulsion of Christian conservatives from the GOP’s ranks. And he did so in that Republican of Republican rags, the New York Times.

Isn’t it sad that a man whose tent is closed to Christians and, now, libertarians accused Ed Martin of minding the gate?

Ed Martin understands that young people smell hypocrisy better than old men like Danforth. And even Bill Hennessy.  Ed’s email simply praised Rand Paul’s courage in raising a vital question that Danforth should also be asking: is there a limit to Executive Power?

McCain and Graham–and, by proxy, Danforth–seem okay with unlimited executive power to assassinate American citizens.  They apparently were content to leave the American President with absolute power. And if they oppose such tyrannical power, they are unwilling to confront the President on the matter.

That puts them at odds even with Attorney General Eric Holder.  Forced by Senator Paul’s 13-hour filibuster, Holder admitted that the President lacks the Constitutional authority to order the assassination of Americans on American soil.  That’s an admission the White House refused to make for months until Senator Paul forced its hand.

Neither McCain nor Graham nor Danforth lifted a finger to press this fundamental human right and this enormous Constitutional question. Rand Paul did, and Ed Martin was right to point out it out.

Those Scurvy Little Spiders

I’ll leave you with George Bailey’s speech to Mr. Potter as the board of Bailey Brothers Building and Loan met to dissolve the firm upon George’s dad’s death.

Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you’re talking about… they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn’t think so. People were human beings to him. But to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they’re cattle. Well in my book, my father died a much richer man than you’ll ever be!

John Danforth and his nest of scurvy spiders should consider that their money can’t buy blind loyalty from the rabble they so despise. There are more of us than there are of them. Nothing guarantees that a political party will last forever, and the arrogance of the Establishment threatens to destroy the party that men like Danforth seem to love more than the country that party’s supposed to serve.

Shane Schoeller Is The New MOGOP Executive Director And That’s Great News For Missouri Republicans

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Shane Schoeller narrowly missed winning the job he and I wish he had: Missouri Secretary of State. Shane lost—along with every other non-incumbent Republican for a statewide office.

Missouri GOP Executive Director Shane Schoeller

Shane Schoeller becomes the new Missouri Republican Party Executive Director. Party Chairman Ed Martin made the announcement on February 28, 2013

The good news is that Missouri Republican Chairman, Ed Martin, has tapped Shane Schoeller as the party’s Executive Director.

There were some fabulous candidates under consideration, which made the selection process difficult.

“Shane’s a good solid conservative and he has connections across the state,” Ed Martin told me by phone this morning. I agree.

Those connection will be important after the disastrous 2012 election. Despite success in growing their numbers in the Missouri legislature, Republicans lost every statewide race except Lieutenant Governor.

Ed Martin and Shane have a huge job in front of them, and it won’t be easy. The GOP Establishment has shown little interest in seeing them succeed. Meanwhile, the grassroots movement of 2009 and 2010 feels exhausted after keeping an unappreciative GOP alive for four years—with little help from the party itself.

I wish Shane all the best. It won’t be easy, but I’m ready to help him succeed.

Now read Shane Schoiller’s op-ed in today’s Missouri Times

Bill Radles Endorses Ed Martin for Attorney General

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I Endorse Ed Martin

Dear Friends,

This is an email to encourage you to remember to do all you can to get Ed Martin elected Attorney General of Missouri. I know there are a lot of races and it is easy sometimes to overlook some of the down-ticket offices. But the Attorney General is an extremely important office. He is the chief law enforcement official of the state. He is responsible for seeing to it that our laws are faithfully enforced and our constitutional rights protected. Kris Koster has shown that his principles will vary with the political winds. All he is concerned about is his own political advancement. We do not need that sort of man in such an important position.

Ed Martin is a true conservative. He believes deeply in the limited role of government and understands that the primary role of government is to protect our liberties. Ed is a courageous fighter of corruption. He will stand up for our rights regardless of the political pressures. The Democrats have poured a vast amount of money into this race because they have an agenda they wish to protect. We need to get this state back on track and electing Ed Martin is an important step in that direction.

As an experienced attorney, I can attest to the importance of this office. Ed Martin is the man to, at long last, restore integrity to the Attorney General’s office.

Sincerely,
Bill Randles

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