This Is Why Turning People Off Is A Terrible Idea

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Sometimes a cause’s worst enemies are its best friends.

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In 1995, 56 percent of American described themselves as “pro-choice.”  At the time, Michael Kinsley on CNN’s Crossfire declared the debate over.

Then something strange happened. Americans started changing their minds.  The pro-life movement whittled away at public opinion.

By May of this year, Gallup found “pro-choice” to be at an all-time low:

The 41% of Americans who now identify themselves as “pro-choice” is down from 47% last July and is one percentage point below the previous record low in Gallup trends, recorded in May 2009. Fifty percent now call themselves “pro-life,” one point shy of the record high, also from May 2009.

pro-life-pro-choice-chart

I’m sure someone, somewhere mimicked Kinsley by declaring the debate over again.

Since May, the winds have shifted. In fact, those describing their views on abortion as “pro-choice” have returned near their record high at 54%.

Why this shift?

Well, it happened just after Todd Akin’s infamous “shut the whole thing down” comments in August. While I can’t say for sure that Akin’s comments triggered the shift, I can’t point to any other major abortion news that coincides with the shift.

As Allahpundit points out:

[S]uddenly, in August of this year, the number jumps. Why? Well, what else happened in August this year? Right: Todd Akin opened his yapper about “legitimate rape” and women’s supposed biological defense mechanisms against it and that was the beginning of the end for Republican chances to take back the Senate. How big a deal was it? Weeks later, the NYT poll was seeing more support for the idea that abortion should be “generally available” than it had in over 15 years.”

Akin didn’t try to sabotage the pro-life movement, of course. He is sincerely and devoutly pro-life. He’s so pro-life, in fact, that he’s willing to say anything to advance his cause.

And that’s the problem.

Sometimes our greatest gift to the movement is to shut up or to give strategic answers.

No, that’s not lying. You tell the truth; you just tell in a way that doesn’t turn off the people who don’t yet see things exactly the way you do.

Why is this so important? Because if your statement turns people off, you lose your ability to influence minds. And influence, not being “right,” is the only weapon we have in public debate.

Not only did Akin’s ridiculous comment end his political career and hurt chances of flipping control of the Senate, he set back his beloved pro-life movement almost 20 years.

When I urge conservatives to think critically and act strategically, it’s not squishy; it’s the only path to victory.

Life As You’ve Known It Is About To Change

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You have a choice. You can drive that change, or you can be swallowed by it.

In a free society, people have liberty to do anything except a few prohibited things.

In a totalitarian society, people have liberty to do nothing except a few permitted things.

In a free society, the people have a black list of things they must not do, and government has a white of a few things it may do.

In Barack Obama’s America, the government has the black list and the people live by a short white list.

You have a choice. You can live in a society where a few things are prohibited but everything else is up to you. Or you can live in a society where you must get permission to do anything.

Yes, the choice is that stark. It’s up to you whether your society is free or controlled.

And voting is not enough. If you want a free society, you must bring others like you to the polls.

We can help you do that.

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday St. Louis Tea Party’s Liberty HQ is open all day. We can provide everything you need to sustain the free society, including a walk list—paper or smartphone—so you can call out others to vote for freedom with you.

Come to 9966 Lin Ferry Dr, St. Louis, MO 63123, at Lindbergh and Tesson Ferry, to control your destiny.

You are not alone. But you will be if you don’t act.

Turns Out The Guy Dumping On The Middle Class Is Joe Biden

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A couple weeks ago, Joe Biden made the news by declaring that the middle class in America has been getting dumped on ever since he and Obama took their oaths of office. The statement marked the first time Biden got something right since that day. What Uncle Joe failed to mention was that he has been in charge of the White House’s Middle Class Task Force since January 30, 2009.

Middle Class Task Force - The White House

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I clipped the press release from whitehouse.gov in case it gets disappeared before Biden’s date with Paul Ryan on Thursday.

This was Joe’s charter, straight from the release:

Washington, DC- President Barack Obama today announced the creation of a White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families to be chaired by Vice President Joe Biden.  The Task Force is a major initiative targeted at raising the living standards of middle-class, working families in America.  It is comprised of top-level administration policy makers, and in addition to regular meetings, it will conduct outreach sessions with representatives of labor, business, and the advocacy communities.

[Join me at St. Louis Tea Party GOTV HQ for the VP Debate Watch Party, Thursday at 7:30 pm.  Address is 9966 Lin Ferry Dr., St. Louis, MO 63123]

Obama has destroyed the middle class in America, and Joe Biden apparently managed its demise. Check out this devastating chart from WSJ.com:

middleclasswages

Why am I surprised? The Obama administration also promised to focus on poverty, and it succeeding in increasing that horrific measure to its highest level since President Johnson launched the War on Poverty. Whatever Obama looks at seems to increase, which tells me he doesn’t really look at jobs.

But you can do something about the middle class’s decline. Get involved in STLTPC’s efforts to get out the vote in 2012 for candidates who know how to lead, including Ed Martin for Attorney General and Todd Akin for US Senate.

 

Excellent Commercial by Ed Martin for Missouri Attorney General

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Ed Martin’s new TV commercial is excellent for many fundamental marketing reasons. Ed’s energy, commitment, and love of people shines through.

Still, the commercial is a waste of time and money unless people see it.

Here’s how you can helpbuy air time. If you want an Attorney General who will protect Missouri’s sovereignty and treasury, you can simply buy air time for this ad.

And there’s more you can do. Get involved in GOTV projects. Visit the Victory Fieldhouse in Valley Park (141 at I-44), the AFP Field office in St. Peters, MO, or the St. Louis Tea Party-Madison Project Liberty HQ in South County.

  • Put bumper stickers on all your cars, front and back
  • Put up yard signs for Ed Martin, Todd Akin, and other great candidates
  • Call some of the 1.2 million Missouri conservatives who don’t vote consistently
  • Go door-to-door to get out the vote of people who believe what you believe but don’t always vote
  • Donate to conservative candidates who don’t get big checks from billionaires

If you weren’t the kind of people who work hard to keep America strong, I wouldn’t bother asking.

St. Louis Tea Party’s HQ is open Noon to 8 pm Monday-Friday and Noon to 3 Saturday.

See you there!

How to Write Yourself Into the Great American Novel

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A couple years ago, a lot of folks believed that victory in 2010 would be a cakewalk. Led by Tea Party activists, the GOP picked up over 800 legislative seats, state and federal, in the 2010 off-year election. Rumors of the Republican Party’s death had been greatly exaggerated.

Or so it seemed.

Novels and action movies involve a hero’s quest. The main character hopes to accomplish something. Dorothy wants to return to Kansas. King Arthur seeks the Holy Grail. Dirty Harry hunts the psychopath Scorpio.

But in every plot, something goes wrong. The protagonist adjusts. Something else goes wrong. Then something seems to go wrong, but really doesn’t. Then something really big goes horribly wrong.  Then the protagonist rallies and seems sure to achieve the quest.  And just when everything seems fine, the monster comes back to life, the ex-wife shows up with a million-dollar lawyer, the hero’s father dies and leaves everything to the evil twin.

This biggest setback always comes just when victory was so close, when the hero has nothing left in the tank, when the last bullet’s been fired, when the sidekick’s dead.

Does the hero fold?

Never. The hero finds a second wind, a super energy pill, or a powerful new ally. Sure,the monster came back to life, but its bullet-proof shell is compromised. The sidekick we thought was dead was only stunned.  The hero took a bullet for the ex-wife’s lawyer in Afghanistan in 2002, and the lawyer withdraws. Dad’s will is a forgery.

The hero and his team get a new life and they make it count.  They put down the monster for the last time.

Writers don’t create a long series of setbacks and recoveries to meet some arbitrary  word count requirement. They do it because that’s how life works. They do it to keep us reading, because stories without conflict and resolution, setback and recovery, disaster and resilience, are boring. The story is in the resurgence. The victory is sweeter for its enormous costs.

Todd Akin’s “six seconds of foolishness,” as Newt Gingrich says, was such a setback. It was a setback for Todd, of course, but also a setback for conservatives, for the Tea Party movement, for the heroes of this tale.

We improvise, adjust, and overcome.

When Romney says something crazy or a judge suspends a voter ID law, we brace ourselves and soldier on.

Dorothy didn’t give up her quest to get back to Kansas. Arthur didn’t give up his quest for the Holy Grail. And Dirty Harry didn’t give up on his quest to bring Scorpio to justice.

We wouldn’t have watched the movies if there’d been no resistance, no setbacks, and no anguishing, desperate moments. Americans live for the challenge, the fight, the hard-won victories.

In 2012, we have the chance to craft an epic novel. We have worthy, ordinary heroes, a vicious and committed foe, and noble quest.

Our quest is restoring the republic. Our foe is Barack Obama and his Committee of Evil Czars.  Our heroes are . . . well, one of them is reading this blog post right now.

With only a few weeks to go before the election of our lives, let’s pick up the plot in this novel. The big monster hasn’t shown himself yet. The really bad thing hasn’t hit us.  But it’s coming soon.  And we’re ready.

Want your character to play a role in the climax and celebrate in the denouement?

You can write yourself into the action:

Chapter 1:  Grand Opening of St. Louis Tea Party/Madison Project GOTV HQ, 9966 Lin Ferry Rd., St. Louis, MO 63123 on Saturday, September 29.

Chapter 2:  Canvassing for Conservatives any evening or Saturday. Stop by the GOTV HQ to get started between noon and 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Chapter 3: Dialing for Voters.  You can do this from home with a phone and computer, but we need you to first stop by the GOTV HQ to get started.

Chapter 4: The After Party, October 18 at 7 p.m. at Pio’s in St. Charles.  Guest speakers is one of the HOTTEST social media conservatives in America, Raz Shafer.

Chapter 5:  Election Day.  We will need to help people get to the polls.

Chapter 6:  Election Night Watch Party–more to follow.

Afterword: TBD

P.S.  Like the Freddy Kruger movies, the monster always returns. So does the hero. Our mission doesn’t end on November 6, only this quest. There will be more.

The Karl Rove School of Sanctimony

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When I read about Todd Akin’s unfortunate comments to Charles Jaco, my first thought was uncharitable.  “I could just kill him.”

“I could kill him,” is an idiom. Its cousins include “wring his neck” and “poke his eyes out.” Idioms hyperbolize our emotional reaction to an event.

I was angry because Todd Akin gave the left a great talking point in the infamous interview. I like Todd Akin. I voted for him.  I want him to beat Claire McCaskill, and, if not him, someone. So his hideous PR failure Pissed. Me. Off. In fact, I’m still feeling a bit uncharitable, but that’s my problem at this point.

Karl Rove attacked Akin almost immediately.

Karl Rove, who directs a lot of campaign money through Crossroads GPS, vilified Akin. Rove promised to pull Crossroads funding from Missouri. He predicted that Akin would lose his race against Claire McCaskill for the US Senate by largest margin in modern history.

All fair and good. Akin put a safe Republican Senate pick-up at risk by his failure to check his tongue. Akin’s error put at risk four years of hard work by millions of Americans and jeopardized Todd’s favorite causes, including pro-life.

Rove Gone Wild

But at the Republican National Convention, Karl Rove drove right off the rhetorical Chappaquiddick Bridge.

“We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!”

Roves comment was not an idiom. It was an original thought. He said “murder,” not “kill,” indicating intent and planning.

Even more malevolent,  “we should,” which Rove said, is not “we could.” Could implies ability; should implies duty.  Karl Rove essentially said, “We are obliged to murder Todd Akin.”  Or at least to defeat him in November.  (Todd Akin has since accepted Rove’s apology, for which I tip my cap to both men.)

So much for Karl’s sanctimonious excoriation of Todd Akin.

But he was joking of course.

Or was he?

In charity, we assume Rove isn’t plotting Akin’s physical assassination. But he might be plotting Akin’s political assassination.

Rove implied he prefers Claire McCaskill to Todd Akin.  That’s fine.  He’s entitled to support whoever he wants for the US Senate.

What irritates me most about Rove’s comment, though, is exactly what irritated me about Akin’s.  In a world where Republicans are held to a God-like standard by the media, saying idiotic things in public hurts the cause.

Rove committed precisely Akin’s sin.

He said something stupid that reached public ears.

For that, Rove deserves the same excoriation he’s advocated against Akin.  My guess is, though, Karl’s wealthy friends will protect him.