Sunday, May 31, 2009

Senator Cornyn gets a pat on the back by the LA Times!

Yesterday, I posted about Senator John Cornyn's criticism of Conservatives who are calling Sonia Sotomayor a racist. I took the Senator to task for thinking Republicans can, by being nicer, get a fair shake from the media or from Democrats.

Well, Senator, I hate to say I told ya so, but, as Hot Air is reporting, it did not take long for my words of advice to ring true.

Today the Los Angeles Times lies to its readers about Sen. John Cornyn’s statements on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” Here’s what the L.A. Times says:

Only days earlier, Cornyn said in a radio interview that it was
“terrible” for conservatives to be attacking Sotomayor as a “racist.” But today, the senator did not reiterate those
sentiments and pledged that he and other Republican lawmakers would probe deeply into Sotomayor’s past comments and rulings to see if her heritage colors her ability to make fair decisions.

The hell he did. Yes, he said Republicans would closely
examine her record. But he never said that Republicans would seek to learn whether her
“heritage” would affect her ability to be a fair judge. In essence, the paper is saying, Republicans are concerned that Sotomayor might be a poor judge because she is a Latina. That is an outrageous distortion of Cornyn’s comments.

See where playing nice got you Senator? It got you, and every other Republican, accused of being a racist. It got your statements completely and absurdly distorted! Like I said before, the Left is going to throw accusations at us no matter what we say or do.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Speaking of Returning to Grassroots Conservatism...

One of the issues that Not One Red Cent raises is a return to grassroots conservatism. We believe it's important to distinguish our party from the Democrats and return to those core values that we believe are important; some would even contend that it was straying from those values in the first place that led us to the losses we sustained in recent past elections. As Marco Rubio told Sean Hannity this week, if the Republicans can't be distinguished from the Democrats then what need is there of us?

To that end, I've been keeping an eye on the 2010 Texas Attorney General race. Since Senator Cornyn, and the NRSC, was so quick to endorse Crist in an attempt to hold Republican Senate seats, I'm curious to see whether Cornyn will have a position on the AG race in his own state. Granted, it's just an Attorney General race, but a race like this one is where we spot and lift up our up and coming Republican stars. Ted Cruz seems to be one of those stars.

Jay Nordlinger, Senior Editor of National Review, wrote an introduction to Cruz on May 12. Nordlinger knows Cruz personally and is familiar with his compelling story. Nordlinger is almost giddy over the possibilities of Ted Cruz.

Talk about your "compelling life story," Cruz has it. (Maybe we can nominate HIM to the Supreme Court.) In short, his father is a Cuban immigrant who fought alongside Castro as a teenager. He was captured by Batista forces, imprisoned, tortured and was finally released due to efforts of his father (Ted's grandfather). They came to America.

Ted came along, went to high school, discovered the Free Enterprise Institute, became a great debator and learned a great deal about politics and public speaking. From Nordlinger's article, Cruz says, “The two things that had the greatest impact on me were, number one, my dad, and then this experience” — the Free Enterprise Institute. Of his father, he says, “He drilled into me the value and importance of freedom. He used to say to me all the time when I was a kid, ‘Look, when we were facing oppression in Cuba, we had a place to flee to. If we lose our liberty here in the United States, where do we go?’ So, when I was a kid, there was an urgency to politics.”

Ted went on to Princeton and to Harvard Law School. He distinguished himself and was an editor of the Law Review. He clerked for Judge Mike Luttig on the Fourth Circuit and then Rehnquist. Cruz later served in the Justice Department during the Bush 43 years and the Federal Trade Commission. Nordlinger points out that during his time as solicitor general in Texas, Cruz wrote over 70 U.S. Supreme Court briefs and presented eight oral arguments in that court.

And now he is running for Attorney General in Texas. One issue that has come up this week with regard to the Sotomayor nomination has been that Republicans ought not to fight this nomination because she's Hispanic and Republicans need to court the Hispanic vote. I personally think that race and ethnicity have no place in discussions of qualifications, but the fact remains that some think that it's going to be seen as racist if Republicans oppose her. The issue has also been raised in the Crist/Rubio race - that is, if Republicans need Hispanic favor so much, why would Cornyn endorse Crist over Rubio, a true conservative who happens to be Hispanic.

And so here comes Ted Cruz. There's the whole issue, which Nordlinger addresses in his article, about whether Cuban Americans are considered Hispanic. But if Republicans want to be seen letting Hispanics into the Big Tent, then take a look at the compelling stories of Cruz and of Rubio. But more importantly, take a look at their politics.

Though Cruz has not yet held elected office, we know his position on important issues. With regard to gun rights, Nordlinger points out that Cruz has "successfully defended for 31 States the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, winning in a 5-4 landmark decision before the U.S. Supreme Court" (Nordlinger quotes from the Cruz website).

On border security, Cruz "authored a U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief on behalf of 10 States in Lopez v. Gonzales, urging the strictest enforcement of laws punishing those with prior felony convictions who entered the country illegally." There is more on the Cruz website regarding his stance on abortion, property rights, tort reform, etc.

If a "compelling life story" is the issue by which we are now judging qualifications, Cruz has that one covered, as does Rubio. If ethnicity is now our guide, they both have that one as well. So does Bobby Jindal, (R-La.) for that matter, who the RNC pushed out front a bit too early. But if conservative values and political positions are the guides by which we choose to judge our candidates and our future stars, take a look at both Rubio and Cruz.

(Cross-posted at And So it Goes in Shreveport)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Senator Cornyn to "non-elected" Republicans: Shut Up!

Here we go again folks. Senator John Cornyn, one of the "elite" smarter-than-the-rest-of-us Republicans is upset beause some Conservatives, Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich, are actually calling Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotiomayor on her racist remarks?

A top Senate Republican is taking aim at recent statements from conservative commentators Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich suggesting Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is a "racist."
"I think it's terrible," Sen. John Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told NPR's "All Things Considered" Thursday. "This is not the kind of tone any of us want to set when it comes to performing our constitutional responsibilities of advise and consent.”

For those who may not be aware, here is what Sotomayor said in Berekeley, California in 2001

Since President Obama named Sonia Sotomayor Tuesday as his pick for the Supreme Court, much attention has been given to a 2001 speech the federal appeals court judge gave at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.
One line in particular from that address has sparked sharp reactions from critics: "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

Well, that sounds racist to me. That is a person, of one race, opining that the judgement of a Latina woman would be superior to the judgement of a White male. Hmmm, let us see what Websters says

1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

Well, apply the definition of racist to Sotomayor's remarks. They certainly offer a view that one race has superior judgement to another don't they?

So why would Senator Cornyn take issue with Gingrich or Limbaugh pointing out, as have many bloggers, myself included, that Sotomayor is a racist? I guess he is still stuck in the fairy tale world where if Republicans are nice enough to Democrats, they are in return treated with repect by Democrats. Earth to Senator Cornyn, that doesn't happen!

The Democrats are out to win, not to be liked by Republicans. And the policy of Senator Cornyn, and other Republican "elites" to try to play nice and not say anything to controversial, or extreme, so the Democrats will be nice to us, is working about as well as a screen door in a sunmarine would.

The same "elites", as I have pointed out before, want the rest of us, the Conservatives to play along with them, and just hush up, be quiet. Don't cause a fuss. They expect us to donate money, and vote for the candidate THEY choose for us, like Charlie Crist for example. And if we dare to question them, or if we dare to support a candidate like Marco Rubio or if any Republican dares to actually talk straight about Democrats, as Rush and Newt did, well then they hit us with more "elitist wisdom"

"We are all a product of our upbringing and who we are and I think it’s a fact people do have different backgrounds, but I don't think those background ought to determine what the law is," Cornyn said to NPR of Sotomayor's Berkeley comments.
The NRSC chief also brushed off the Limbaugh and Gingrich statements while noting neither man holds an elected office.
"Neither one of these men are elected Republican officials. I just don't think it’s appropriate. I certainly don't endorse it. I think it’s wrong," he said.

Ah, OK, only "elected" Republicans may speak now, I see. Just like only "NRSC approved" candidates should run is state primaries right Senator Cornyn?

Checking Our 'Core Principles' At The Door

There is an article in RedState written by Sen. John Cornyn, defending, again, the NRSC endorsement of Charlie Crist over Marco Rubio. You have to give Cornyn credit, he is consistent. He is consistently missing the point (intentionally?) and consistently wrong.
While this political environment appears dire and presents short-term setbacks for Republicans, I believe that it also provides us with a real opportunity for 2010. Next November could be a turning point for the future of our Party – but only if we unite and take advantage of this critical opportunity. That means holding the Democrats accountable for their records, providing real solutions, reaching out to new constituencies, and fielding candidates who can win in states where Republicans have traditionally failed to wage competitive races.
Republicans have actually been quite competitive in Florida. Note that it is a Republican senate seat that is coming open. Of Florida’s twenty-five delegates to the House of Representatives, fifteen are Republicans. The Florida Democrats in the House primarily represent the more southernly parts of the state. The southern areas of Florida also have a higher concentration of Hispanics. Thus, Rubio could well have an advantage that Crist would not enjoy in these areas.
Some believe that we should be a monolithic Party; I disagree. While we all might wish for a Party comprised only of people who agree with us 100 percent of the time, this is a pipedream. Each Party is fundamentally a coalition of individuals rallying around core principles with some variations along the way.
No we won’t always agree, but, core principles are called “core principles” for a reason. If we abdicate our core principles, then who are we? We already have Republican senators who don’t share our values. Does the NRSC, in the name of winning, want even more Senators like Snow and Collins, who vote more often than not with the Democrats, against their own party? How does that forward our agenda? If we’re going to check our core principals at the door for the sake of winning then we might as well admit that we stand for nothing.

All of Cornyn’s absurd posturing aside, this is Florida’s race and the NRSC has no business being in it until after the primary. I would also suggest that Cornyn take a long hard look at his motivations, because it appears that he is advocating selling out to win.

Reaction to the RedState post from Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:

But who’s the most qualified to select the candidates who “fit their states”? Would we get a better fit for the state by having a committee inside the Beltway picking the candidates, or the people of the states themselves? It seems to me that the former would tend to produce candidates who fit the Beltway establishment, rather than the actual will of the voters in the states. Frankly, we already have enough Republicans in love with the Beltway; we don’t need another.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Look At What The NRSC's Boy Did Now

Straight from TampaBay.Com, Gov. Crist signs $66.5 billion budget, breaks tax pledge. Yeah, Crist broke his pledge but after all, its not like Crist answers to the voters, right?

It is hard to decide what hit me the hardest in the article but I’ll start here:

Crist's decision to cancel the 2 percent pay cut on state workers earning more than $45,000 was met with cheers from Democratic Senate leader Al Lawson of Tallahassee. He said Crist would look like "a hero." Crist said the veto would protect the economy by ensuring the 28,000 state workers who faced a pay cut would have more money to spend. To make up for the loss of the $56 million pay cut, Crist directed all state agencies to trim their budgets. Salaries could still be among the cuts.

The wages of state workers from the lowest file clerk to the Governor’s personal aides far eclipse what their counterparts in the private sector earn, yet, at the detriment of the private sector, Crist made himself a hero in the eyes of state Democrats by refusing to cut state worker’s wages by a mere 2 percent.

Democrats crowed that next year's budget will be propped up with $5.3 billion in federal stimulus money made available by a Democratic Congress and president. Without it, the state's $6 billion budget hole would have been far harder to fill. The current year budget is $69.5 billion, including $4 billion in stimulus money.

Instead of doing the hard work of cutting the fat out of the state budget, Crist took a drink at the federal trough. However, I have to object to the paragraph above. The money was not made available by the Democrats in Congress and the president. The money was confiscated by every working man and woman in this country. It is one thing for the Democrats to crow, it is nothing short of galling for a Republican governor to join them in the celebration.

As a Floridian let me just say, “thanks, Gov”. November 2010 can’t come soon enough.

Michael Steele's Bad Business Model

Work long enough in the modern job market, and sooner or later you're likely to wind up working for a company that fails. But I've encountered multiple companies that followed a business model whose appeal I have to admit escapes me.

My first such experience was a company that had decided to branch out from running a cell phone franchise to publishing comics and making low-budget films. But they had an original vision of how to do business: they offered a bit less in product than their competitors and charged a bit more for them.

Their idea was, there were people who simply had to have what they were selling but who would not do the legwork to find the best merchandise available at the best price, and that there were enough of these lazy customers careless with their money to make a living off.

Their last project, these respectable married businessman, was to try to save their venture by making a movie about strippers, because strippers were popular and would appeal to people.

Turned out they were mistaken. There were already a ton of stripper movies on the market, many of them in focus. The demand for what they were offering was long since sated. They never realized it, because they based their ideas of what would be hot on what had already been hot. They started behind the curve and only lost ground from there. And they would not listen to people who tried to tell them differently.

With Charlie Crist, Michael Steele and the RNC are offering us their stripper movie. Look! Crist has name recognition! People like Charlie! If we run him, people will like us too!

Except that Charlie with his pro-stimulus campaigning, cost us more, and the public is already rejecting the big-spending governments they've got. Putting a bag over his head and telling him to shake his tired tassels one more time will not make Charlie Crist or other old-news politicians like him the next big thing.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jeb Bush, Jr To Endorse Marco Rubio

The son of former Gov. Jeb Bush has announced that he is endorsing Marco Rubio. Jeb Bush, Jr is highly respected and well liked in Florida and his endorsement will immediately gives the Rubio campaign a huge boost. In announcing his support, he said,

“Florida and our country are at a crossroads. Not only in our economic life, but in who we are as Republicans. My choice was a simple one: Marco Rubio represents the best in what our Party should strive to be and who it must engage – he is young, conservative, and believes in the principles of our Founding Fathers, that individual freedom and liberty are what makes our country great and always will. Marco Rubio is a candidate who can help to bring our Party back on track by reaching out to our youth, entrepreneurs, Hispanics and those who believe that if you work hard enough, anything you dream can be achieved. With Marco, we have a great opportunity to elect a true conservative and a greater obligation to elect a man of principle.”

I predicted in Selling Out To Win that by the end of the summer Rubio would catch Crist in the polls. I’m not sure it is going to take that long. Maybe it is time the NRSC rethinks its position.

UPDATE: Huckabee is also endorsing Rubio. Good for you, Mike.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Battleground for the Conservative Soul"?

The backlash against Cornyn's early endorsement of Crist continues today in the Broward-Palm Beach New Times which is billing the Senate race as The Battle for the Conservative Soul.

Thomas Francis writes,"The national conservative blogosphere is in no mood for moderation, and recently a video has circulated reminding them what they're fighting for in Florida. "

The video in reference, of course, is the Rubio farewell speech to the Florida House that has been widely circulated lately.

Read the whole thing here.

Meanwhile, Clueless Cornyn seems to be sticking to his stock answer as to why he endorsed Crist so far out from the primary. In a Human Events interview posted today, he says,

“Gov. Crist is the strongest candidate that will enable us to hold the seat,” Cornyn told me, “Marco Rubio...[has] a bright future ahead of him, but right now the Mason Dixon poll shows Crist beating him in a primary by 53% to 18%.” By nominating Crist, Cornyn believes, “we won’t have to spend precious resources in Florida” to retain the seat of retiring Sen. Mel Martinez (who has also endorsed Crist).

This continues to be a weak defense or excuse as the Crist lead comes essentially from name recognition at this point and Rubio will certainly change that number in the days to come.

Monday, May 25, 2009

This is no time for nice...

...and peace -- of mind, of heart -- is a luxury we are denied.

Our own party leadership seems determined NOT to learn the lessons of their failures in the past two elections. They prefer instead to blame us, their party, for "having moved too far right," of having abandoned principles they cannot even articulate any longer with a straight face.

If we can overcome these enemies within our own ranks, we are still faced with an opposition party and its compliant media willing to demonize us at every opportunity, and a public jaded and lazy enough in large part to accept their accusations at face value for convenience's sake.

And if we overcome THAT obstacle, we will still be faced with the world our opponents within and without have saddled us with, a world of such catastrophic debt that it beggars the imagination along with everything else, grossly enlarged government involvement in almost every aspect of our lives, from our jobs and our education to the preservation of our very flesh, a world in which at least one and as many as three terrorist states will have possession of nuclear weapons.

So peace... is a memory for our generation now. We need to accept that. We need to embrace it... and, if the generations to come are to have any future at all, we need to thrive in it.

It's time to embrace words written by another man, in another generation, that have become relevant again, with renewed weight because we thought we could forget them:

Give me, my God, what you still have;
give me what no one asks for.
I do not ask for wealth, nor success,
nor even health.

People ask you so often, God, for all that,
that you cannot have any left.
Give me, my God, what you still have.
Give me what people refuse to accept from you.
I want insecurity and disquietude;
I want turmoil and brawl.

And if you should give them to me,
my God, once and for all,
let me be sure to have them always,
for I will not always
have the courage to ask for them.

Corporal Zirnheld
Special Air Service

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Choosing Style Over Substance

The NRSC has reduced itself to becoming the American Idol version of party politics. Who they are for or against boils down to who offers the broadest appeal. Problem is, who are they appealing to? Elections are won when one person gets more votes than the other, and people only vote when a candidate excites them. If the last two election cycles should have taught the NRSC anything, it is that we, the base and backbone of the party, aren’t excited.

Question, did anyone say “I am excited about John McCain” No. He offered a broad appeal put he didn’t actually stand for anything. Did anyone say, “I am excited about Sarah Palin”? You betcha! That is because Gov. Palin takes clear stands on important issues. She understands that leadership isn’t about winning a popularity contest, it is about leading.

The NRSC needs to learn from its mistakes. In the last two elections they got thumped because they didn’t offer Republicans a choice. They have asked us to vote for candidates who are either Democrats or sorta Democrats. In response, an unexcited electorate has stayed home.

It has been said that people vote for the guy they would like to drink a beer with. If you are a Republican, that still holds true. Democrats may sit around awestruck by the slick Sheppard who deigns to guide them to reason but conservatives favor the plain talker who tells them it how it is. If the NRSC really wants to win they need to get off their broad based butts and return to old fashioned telling it how it is. Will they turn off some voters? Who cares? They don’t vote anyway. But we do.

Floridians Want Their Primary Back

Despite the early NRSC endorsement of Charlie Crist for the Florida Senate race, many in Florida are not yet ready to concede the race.

The Tallahassee Democrat has an editorial today criticizing the early Crist endorsement, saying that "the more candidates in a race -- and the more level the playing field -- the better."

Exactly our point. They go on:

"A large field ignites the strong debates necessary for a healthy democracy to thrive, especially with the serious problems the country is facing. Strong-arm tactics to freeze out candidates are a disservice to voters and the cause of good government, and increase public cynicism. Ironically, the national GOP's decision to back Crist could cause blow-back.

"Many Republicans dislike Crist's moderate policies and may flock to Rubio, who is billing himself as the true conservative. That could make for the tough primary that Republican leaders in Washington want to avoid, but give GOP voters what they should have:

"A wide-open contest with the best candidate winning."

The Fort Myers News-Press also weighs in today with this:

"This rush to coronate candidates -- and dissuade prospective contenders from entering primary battles -- is a disservice to voters and the election process. The election is 18 months away. Voters can't be certain yet that Crist would be a better senator than Marco Rubio, who didn't get the GOP's stamp of approval but is running for the seat nontheless.... When political parties throw their muscle behind handpicked favorites, simpy to avoid the trouble and expense of bruising primaries, that limits the public's opportunity to hear strong debates among multiple candidates."

Florida bloggers are picking up the Rubio cause as well as protesting the fact that the NRSC is trying to shut them out of the process. In April, a law student, Tommy Jardon, started the blog Run Marco Run. He says, "I want a conservative who puts the needs of Florida families first, and understands that tax and spend policies will only make us worse off then we are today. Knowing all that has left me one choice in the Florida race for U.S. Senate: House Speaker Marco Rubio."

Jardon has been posting on the progress of Rubio's announcement and the involvement of the NRSC in the race.

The point is that voters want the chance to VOTE and to feel like their vote means something. With the NRSC early endorsement and the early polls indicating Crist's lead, voters may not feel engaged in the process or that they should even attempt to be. The danger of the NRSC endorsement is that it removes the Florida voters from their own primary. Once the primary has concluded, then endorsements should be open. Let Floridians pick their own candidate.

As the campaign plays out the polls will change drastically as Rubio's name recognition grows, and we'll hear a great deal more from both Crist and Rubio, which is as it should be. And hopefully, less from Cornyn.

Is Texas Ready to Fight
'For the Soul of the GOP'?

That's the question I'm asking over at Hot Air Green Room.

There is lots more Not One Red Cent news today:

Friday, May 22, 2009

Great news! NRSC says we can express our opinions!

How very big of NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh! I mean this is quite an honor! Being told by the all-knowing NRSC that we can share our views?

“They’re certainly entitled to express their opinions on this Senate seat and participate in the democratic process just like anyone else,” said NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh. “But that also includes Sen. Cornyn and the other Senate Republican leaders who have expressed their support for Gov. Crist. They’ve endorsed the governor because he’s not only a proven leader but he’s also the candidate to ensure that this seat stays Republican in a very competitive election cycle. So while it’s healthy to have a debate, at the end of the day it’s even more important for all Republicans to keep their eye on the ultimate goal, which is regaining the majority in the Senate.”

Well, let me think on this a moment. It sounds a lot like the NRSC is still telling the grassroots Conservatives to "shut the Hell up" to me. And again, they are throwing out the oft-used "if you speak out, Republicans will lose" card. Really? Well, how has that strategy worked in 2006 and 2008? How DID Moderate McCain do in November?

Yep, he lost big, and those vaunted Republican majorities the NRSC wants to reclaim? How did they get lost to begin with? Hmmm, the GOP strayed from the Conservative principles that got us a majority in 1994, and now the Democrats have large advantages in the Senate and the House. The White House? Yep! That has a Democrat in too! Man, this does not give me much faith in entrusting the selection of our candidates to the GOP leadership.

And the NRSC ought to know that their "Crist can win, Rubio cannot" mantra rings hollow. Recall that almost no one doubted that Hillary was a shoe-in a year before Iowa? And Rudy Giuliani was a definite for the GOP too wasn't he? Study your recent history there GOP.

The NRSC has tried to relegate Marco Rubio to the candidate of "some day in the future". Sort of like many said of a guy named Barack Obama. How long did that logic last when votes started actually being counted? Not very long as I recall.

As I have said before, if Rubio does not get the votes to get the party nod, then OK, the people will have had their say. Then then NRSC would be right to do their best to get Crist elected. But, they have sought to skip the part where WE the PEOPLE decide who is the best candidate!

Could Change For The GOP Look Like This?

Watch this riveting video featuring Liz Cheney shutting down CNN’s Anderson Cooper. This woman is squared away, seriously. Cooper became frustrated early on in the interview and tried to overcome her abundant knowledge on the subject of the torture memos which has become a hot button topic.

He raised his voice and spoke more quickly in order to try to regain control of the interview. No matter what tactic he employed, Ms. Cheney refused be intimidated. It was beautiful watching her tell him face-to-face that he was twisting the facts. Watch it.

NRSC Spokesman Issues
Idiotic Response to 'Not One Red Cent'

Congressional Quarterly covers the grassroots rebellion, and includes this:
"They're certainly entitled to express their opinions on this Senate seat and participate in the democratic process just like anyone else," said NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh. "But that also includes Sen. Cornyn and the other Senate Republican leaders who have expressed their support for Gov. Crist. They've endorsed the governor because he's not only a proven leader but he's also the candidate to ensure that this seat stays Republican in a very competitive election cycle. So while it's healthy to have a debate, at the end of the day it's even more important for all Republicans to keep their eye on the ultimate goal, which is regaining the majority in the Senate."
It's probably not Brian Walsh's fault that this statement is so pathetically lame. There are simply no good arguments for the national committee endorsing a candidate for an open seat, 15 months before the primary.

As for Crist being a "proven leader," Jimmie Bise dismantles it pretty thoroughly, and you could ask Larry Thornberry of Tampa:
These guys clearly miss Arlen Specter already, and are searching for his replacement.
They think they've found him in moderate-to-liberal Florida governor, Charlie Crist, who campaigned in his own state for our rookie president's bank-busting goodie package, aka the stimulus bill. Crist has tried to get the Florida Legislature to adopt a carbon cap and trade program and to force Florida utilities into generating an unreasonable percentage of their electricity using "renewable fuels," the kind that excite environmentalists' erogenous zones but exist in but trifling amounts and are bloody expensive. He also wants California-like auto emissions standards that would cost a packet but provide a negligible improvement in Florida's air.
You'll never hear an encouraging word from Crist on any conservative social issue. He's pro-abortion and thinks marriage-like legal arrangements between homosexuals are fine. He recently put a liberal Democrat on the Florida Supreme Court.
In Crist's speeches, conservatives will wait in vain to hear any of their principles promoted. What they hear are endless lullabies about "bipartisanship," "diversity," and other warm-sounding, non-sequiturs from the Democratic hymn book. These are just the most actionable of Crist's sins against conservative principles.
Yeah, it's going to be really easy winning in "a very competitive election cycle" with a worthless hack like that on the ticket. Maybe the NRSC should reconsider its Crist endorsement. Instead, encourage Lincoln Chafee to move to Florida and run Chafee for the seat. Six of one, half a dozen of the other, right?

But this isn't about Charlie Crist, it's about the NRSC's attempt to subvert the legitimacy of the GOP primary process. Why should any Republican voter in Florida bother showing up for the primary, if the outcome has already been decided by "experts" in Washington more than a year ahead of time? Florida state Republican chairman Jim Greer has already been forced to back down from his endorsement, and this grassroots brushfire has only been burning for 10 days.

Has Cornyn bothered talking to any Texas Republicans about this idea of having Senate candidates handpicked by the national committee? Sooner or later, Texas GOP Chairwoman Tina Benkiser is going to have to say something about this, and she'll have a mutiny on her hands if she doesn't defend the right of Texas Republicans to choose their own candidates.

Someone asked me Thursday about the polls showing Crist a shoo-in, and you know what my answer was? What did the polls say about Hillary Clinton 15 months before the Iowa caucus?

In addition to being "young, hip, Hispanic, and magnetic," Marco Rubio is not stupid. He's hired the David All Group to handle his online strategy, he's got Club For Growth on his side, and his tough line on immigration hits Crist in a vulnerable place, since Mel Martinez's open-borders stance was hugely unpopular with Florida Republicans.

Once the Memorial Day weekend is over, you're going to see a lot more action on this. In the meantime, as Richard McEnroe says, Charlie and his friends can enjoy their pleasure with the porcupine.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Crist's Defense Shows
Why the NRSC Made a Mistake

Charlie Crist took to the pages of the Tampa Tribune today to explain to conservatives why he's one of us. Let's take a look at what the NRSC's Golden Boy had to say.
Soon after his inauguration, the president signed legislation aimed at stimulating economic growth. Many good and decent people opposed this measure, and some even offered proposals to reduce the tax burden and the proposed spending that I would have preferred to see enacted. But the case for doing something to help the economy was overwhelming, and I was glad the president and Congress were able to pass a bill.
I'll note that Crist didn't use his considerable popularity and power as the Governor of Florida to push for one of those alternate proposals. Instead of actually fighting for a solution that involved tax cuts and a drastic cutback of unnecessary spending, the sort of thing that we know spurs economic activity, Crist actually went on the stump and campaigned for the trillion-dollar "crap sandwich" at a time when the alternatives could have used a real push. In other words, Crist opted for the expensive, job-killing, pork-laden, deficit-exploding option just to do "something".

Crist's biggest problem here is that "something" and "nothing" weren't the choices on the table at the time. Indeed, not only did his good friend John McCain have an alternate plan, but so Senator Jim DeMint. When he frames the argument that way, he's being dishonest.

But laying aside his dishonesty, who says that something is better than nothing? If you've been shot in the leg and can't get to a hospital immediately, do you choose to shoot yourself in the head or do you take another option that can stem the bleeding and keep you alive long enough for someone to get you some real help? Well, of course you'd do the latter. Only an idiot, or a politician, would say that causing even more damage is an honorable or intelligent choice.

Let's move on.
But let there be no doubt - I am a fiscal conservative.
Umm....really? Do fiscal conservatives say stuff like this?
"A lot of that $15 billion dollars you sent to Washington, D.C., and my view is we ought to get it back. Florida deserves her fair share."
I don't know. I think a fiscal conservative might think it foolish for the people of his state to send their money all the way to Washington, where the bureaucracy will take a humongous chunk out of it, before sending some portion of it back. A fiscal conservative might say that the needs of any state are best addressed by the state and that the nigh-insane amount of the Stimulus Bill precluded the states from raising revenue themselves. A fiscal conservative might say that a room full of politicians in Washington can never solve the financial problems of a state better than the state's own government can.

What he won't do is puff out his chest and talk about his state's "fair share" of the slop ladled out by the bureaucrats in Washington.

Crist should get credit for the innovative and mostly-conservative reforms he's brought to Florida's health care system and for cutting property taxes. Still, his state is looking down the barrel of a $2.3 billion deficit. The paltry amount of budget-cutting he's boasting about doesn't look all that hot in comparison.
History has demonstrated that deficit spending can be effective in times of economic crisis and war. In addressing the current crisis, the stimulus package would have increased the national debt by less than two percent in 2009.
Crist is correct here, assuming the crisis is brief. Over the long-term, though -- and make no mistake, the Stimulus Bill is not a one-year spending bill -- Keynsian spending does not work. The Democrats' out of control spending leaves us awash in a sea of red the likes of which no nation has ever seen and Crist was a fundamental part of making that happen when he campaigned for the Stimulus Bill that started it all. Coming out now against big deficits and big spending is like yelling for the fire department when the house is already fully ablaze. Crist's protests are far too little and far too late.

So what does he suggest the GOP do to stem the ten-year tsunami of debt? Prepare to be underwhelmed.
There is a better way. Rather than starting down the path of higher tax rates, I recommend the Congress and administration redouble its efforts to reduce government spending. Give the president line-item veto power. Create a bipartisan task force to restructure government for a new generation of challenges. Eliminate duplicative functions across government. Modernize entitlements. Get health markets right.
I'll go on record here as saying the line-item veto is something cowardly member of Congress like because it lets them avoid the hard budgetary decisions. The Constitution is very plain that it is Congress' job, not the President's, to make the country's budget. Shoving that job onto the President, which is exactly what the line-item veto does, is a craven dereliction of duty.

And why does it require a "bipartisan task force" to fix what's broken in the government? Again, this is Crist's way of trying to duck the hard work that might put his political power at risk while maximizing his chance to scoop up some cheap credit for "doing something". The problems with our Brobdingnagian government are not exactly difficult to see. What the GOP has lacked for well over a decade is a leader capable of being honest about the problems who also has the courage to push for a smaller government that's more accountable to the citizens it is supposed to serve.

This, folks, is the man the NRSC has decided to come out early to endorse. It couldn't be more clear to me that John Cornyn and his committee have made exactly the wrong decision. Until they make it right they don't deseserve our support.

A Florida Parable!

Talk about your perfect timing. 

Two Big Pricks Thwarted by Thousands of Little Pricks Acting Together! 

This story is ABSOLUTELY TRUE... with one or two small changes to protect the innocent and piss off people I don't approve of.

A pair of men who sought to violate Florida’s longstanding and well founded law against sex with porcupines found themselves almost losing their manhoods when their victim took exception to their unwanted advances.

The pair apparently sensed a challenge after reading a guidebook to some of the more bizarre and archaic Florida state laws. The express prohibition of sex with porcupines caught their attention in particular, and magnified through the bottom of a bottle of whiskey seemed an irresistible thrill.

Soon they were traipsing off into the countryside to find a porcupine to ravish. Soon they found one, and approached it for sex.

The next day the pair had sufficiently regained their senses to realize that their quill laced penises would need immediate medical attention. They boarded a plane to California, and checked into hospital as soon as they arrived.

There they were unsurprisingly diagnosed with “needles of a porcupine in genitals.”Californian doctors dryly pointed out that things could be worse: “The most positive thing about the situation is that they did not have to stand trial in Florida. They left the state just in time.”Although the pair kept their genitals relatively intact, painful inflammation meant extra treatment was necessary.

Miami-Dade Police have released these photographs of the clueless suspects...

"If you want a figurehead chairman, I'll quit."

"I would have voted for the stimulus."

Boycott NRSC logo, T-shirt, etc.

We have created a T-shirt and offer this logo for bloggers who want to install a link on their sidebars:

The purpose of this blog is to offer a forum for news about the grassroots conservative rebellion against the GOP elite. It's not funded by or affiliated with any candidate or any organization.

This is First Amendment free speech, but if any of the idiots in charge of the national GOP apparatus want to invoke unconstitutional McCain-Feingold restrictions, I'm guessing there will be no shortage of Federal Society lawyers who'd handle my defense pro bono.

In the meantime, anybody who wants to help promote this effort can hit the tip jar.

Marco Rubio on Immigration:
We Must Secure Our Borders

Beth Reinhard reports in the Miami Herald:
In response to a question about immigration, Rubio dropped his previous pleas against harsh attacks on illegal workers. He said he would not have voted in favor of the legislation -- backed by Crist and Sen. Mel Martinez -- that would have allowed illegal workers to earn legal status, which he called "blanket legalization."
"Nothing is more disruptive to legal immigration than illegal immigration,'' he said. "We must secure our borders."
Meanwhile, on the economic front, Charlie Crist was for Keynesian bailouts before he was against them. (Via Memeorandum.) And at Hot Air Green Room:
The question at stake, according to Aaron Marks of The Next Right, is “Who ultimately controls the GOP, the grassroots or the machine?” When the machine is run by “Chairman Bozo,” as Florida conservative Javier Manjarres calls him, the odds favor the grassroots.

Press Release: Conservatives Vow:
'Not One Red Cent' for NRSC

Florida Senate Endorsement
Causes GOP Grassroots Rebellion

WASHINGTON, DC, May 21 – Conservative activists are sparking an online grassroots uprising in response to the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s decision to endorse Charlie Crist in the 2010 Florida Senate race 15 months before the GOP primary for the seat currently held by Republican Sen. Mel Martinez.
Erick Erickson, CEO of the popular site, invited fellow conservatives to join a Facebook group vowing “Not One Penny to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.” founder John Hawkins called for Texas Sen. John Cornyn to resign as chairman of the NRSC. A “Not One Red Cent” blog chronicling the online grassroots protest attracted thousands of readers in its first four days.
Hawkins says the NRSC made a strategic blunder by backing Crist over former Florida Speaker of the House Marco Rubio, a GOP conservative who is also seeking the Senate seat in 2010.
“The leadership of the Republican Party keeps saying we need to get back to our principles and talking about how important it is to attract more young voters and Hispanic Americans,” Hawkins said. “Then, we get a viable, young, conservative, Hispanic candidate running for Senate and they arrogantly try to shove him aside to make way for a better connected, moderate pol who’s more acceptable to the GOP establishment. This cuts to the core of what’s wrong with today’s Republican Party.”
After Erickson reported that he was under pressure from Republicans “begging” him to shut down the anti-NRSC Facebook group, hundreds more conservatives joined the group.
“The NRSC endorsing Charlie Crist, the man Barack Obama calls his favorite Republican, sends a strong signal that the NRSC believes it can take the GOP base’s money, then tell them to shut up,” Erickson said. “It is an admission that the Senate Republicans, after two back to back disasters, have yet to properly diagnose their problems.”
To arrange an interview with the activists leading the “Not One Red Cent” movement, contact Audrey Mullen of Advocacy Ink at 703-548-1160.

LINKED at No Sheeples Here.

Specter: The NRSC's Boy

Sen. Arlen Specter (D, No Kidding) came out to support his old friend, Speaker Nancy Pelosi. According to Specter (D, Don’t Let the Door Hit Ya) the CIA has issues with ‘honesty.’ More to the point, he accused the CIA of lying by omission. This is the guy that the NRSC backed right up until the moment he gave them the cosmic raspberry. Can they pick ‘em or what? Sadly, the NRSC refuses to learn from their mistakes. Its time we teach them a lesson.

h/t Don Surber

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The trouble with elites

Elitism is never a good thing, and if the GOP is to rebuild and regain power, then it is the elites that must go away. The NRSC has forgotten that it is Conservative principles, and not elites, and certainly not moderate, Meghan McCain Republicans that have made the GOP a great party in the past.

Perhaps the elites, or self-styled elites that run the NRSC, and have too much sway over the direction of the Republican Party in general have been looking at polls and listening to the media a bit too much.

They surely have not been listening to their base. And those Conservative principles? They have let those drift into the background. They seem to think those principles are outdated and a hindrance to the rebirth of the GOP. No, no, and no again! Without those principles, low taxes, fiscal responsibility, defense of the unborn, a commitment to defending the Second Ammendment, and the rest of the Constitution, and a strong national defense, the GOP is nothing!

If the party stands for nothing, no one, most of all those undecided on what party they do beong to will ever see any reason to join it. No one likes a loser, or a coward. And surely the members of the NRSC are turning into ideological cowards. They are too afraid of "negative media coverage" or saying the wrong thing, or seeming too "extreme".

Here it is in plain language NRSC, you want to win? Great! You want to defeat the Democrats? Great! Here is the plan, from a simple Conservative.

1- Do not worry about the media "distorting" your message, we all know that is what they are going to do. Stand on the principles of theFounders, because they ARE the principles of Conservatism, and do not waver.

2- Welcome challenges, welcome debate. Our ideology is superior to that of the Left, In honest debate we win. Again, stand on our principles.

3- Stop telling the base to be quiet. Stop this moronic tactic of trying to convince us that any effort to support more Conservative candidates is a recipe for failure. It is not, it never has been. Again, stand up for our principles! Try listening to the menbers of your party for a change.

4- The very worst campaign tactic is to give us a candidate and say, "yeah, they are not that great, but the other guy is REALLY bad!" Again, you have to stand up and believe in Conservative principles. Without those, the GOP is nothing. Stop trying to stop us from being who we are!

5- Remember Reagan, remember 1994! We won, in 1980 with Reagan, and retook the House and Senate in 1994. Do you recall how? By becoming Meghan McCain Republicans? No, with ideals, expressed with conviction backed by deeply held beliefs in our principles!

It is the principles stupid!

The Rebellion Goes Viral!

Rapidly growing support for Not One Red Cent: Cumulative traffic to Not One Red Cent passed the 4,000 mark today, increasing from 448 visits on Day One (Saturday) to 1,369 visits on Day Four (Tuesday).

Eight days after the NRSC's betrayal, and everybody's getting on board the Not One Red Cent express!

VIDEO: What Charlie Crist Is Up Against

Moe Lane is becoming a believer. As I said at the Hot Air Green Room, everybody who has seen this video is asking the same question: Why in the world would John Cornyn and the NRSC back Charlie Crist against this guy?

Hat tips to Pat and Carol.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Making it really simple for the NRSC

Since the National Republican Senatorial Committee seems to have trouble making a distinction between bed-wetting socialists, RINOs and conservatives, I thought I'd make it a bit easier for them. I've taken the latest ratings I could find from several conservative organizations and averaged them out so even the nitwits over at the NRSC can figure it out.

Averaged are the NTU's ratings for the 110th Congress, the ACU's 2008 Senate vote ratings, the Club for Growth's 2008 congressional scorecard, and the CAGW's 2008 Pig Book data. I had to make two minor adjustments. The first was for John McCain, who wasn't rated by the NTU for his failure to actually show up and vote. In order to give him the benefit of the doubt, I substituted McCain's '92 to '07 averaged NTU ratings. As CAGW wasn't able to score Senate votes for Roger Wicker, I used his most impressive House votes for the same year.

While I've labeled the bottom third as liberal, the middle third as squishy and the top tier as conservative, there are no real bragging rights here as the "conservative" bar has been lowered to below the knees for the past few years. To be considered squishy in 2008 is akin to being Benedict Arnold in 1780.

Here are data possibly easy enough for even John Cornyn to understand:


Alabama SESSIONS squishy71.00

Alabama SHELBY squishy57.75

Alaska MURKOWSKI squishy62.75

Alaska STEVENS liberal33.25

Arizona KYL conservative87.50

Arizona McCAIN squishy70.00

Colorado ALLARD conservative83.50

Florida MARTINEZ liberal52.25

Georgia CHAMBLISS squishy62.75

Georgia ISAKSON squishy62.75

Idaho CRAIG squishy64.25

Idaho CRAPO conservative81.25

Indiana LUGAR squishy55.75

Iowa GRASSLEY liberal52.25

Kansas BROWNBACK conservative73.00

Kansas ROBERTS conservative74.00

Kentucky BUNNING conservative87.50

Kentucky McCONNELL squishy58.50

Louisiana VITTER squishy69.75

Maine COLLINS liberal39.00

Maine SNOWE liberal29.75

Minnesota COLEMAN liberal38.00

Mississippi COCHRAN liberal48.50

Mississippi WICKER liberal54.50

Missouri BOND liberal48.50

Nebraska HAGEL squishy66.75

Nevada ENSIGN conservative82.50

New Hampshire GREGG conservative72.75

New Hampshire SUNUNU squishy66.75

New Mexico DOMENICI liberal45.50

North Carolina BURR conservative72.00

North Carolina DOLE liberal49.50

Ohio VOINOVICH liberal47.25

Oklahoma COBURN conservative92.00

Oklahoma INHOFE conservative79.00

Oregon SMITH liberal32.50

Pennsylvania SPECTER liberal36.50

South Carolina DeMINT conservative98.00

South Carolina GRAHAM squishy63.75

South Dakota THUNE conservative79.50

Tennessee ALEXANDER squishy60.00

Tennessee CORKER conservative75.25

Texas CORNYN squishy67.00

Texas HUTCHISON liberal55.50

Utah BENNETT squishy56.00

Utah HATCH squishy68.25

Virginia WARNER liberal35.25

Wyoming BARRASSO conservative91.00

Wyoming ENZI conservative91.00

Behind the Rebellion:
'Not One Red Cent' in the Green Room

Explaining what inspired this site:
We were standing outside the Continental Lounge in Rosslyn, Va., while the young Republican operative explained it to me.
"All they care about is getting their chairmanships back, and they don't care how they get there," said the operative. "They don't want to spend any money, so they were looking for a self-funder."
"They" are Republican senators, and what my friend was explaining was the otherwise inexplicable decision of the National Republican Senatorial Committee to endorse Charlie Crist in the Florida Senate race — 15 months before the primary! . . .

Monday, May 18, 2009

The "Big Tent" is Empty

From Politico: The NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh gives the reaction to RedState’s call for a boycott:

“The Republican Party is a big tent party that welcomes different points of view. Obviously there is a small group of folks who would prefer to see 30 ‘pure’ Republican Senators with a litmus test for candidates," Walsh said.

"They’re certainly welcome to that viewpoint. But we’re focused on rebuilding the party, winning elections and ultimately regaining the Majority so that bills like card check never see the light of day.”

Well, where to start with that? I guess I should send an RSVP but apparently my invitation to the “big tent” got lost in the mail. First, it would help if Mr. Walsh would clarify, is this “small group” he refers to the same small group that came out for the Tea Parties? Is the NRSC downplaying conservatives in the rebuilding process because they believe conservatives can’t win? And most importantly Mr. Walsh, what good does it do the Republican Party to hold a majority if a third of them vote with the Democrats half of the time? We had a majority when Freddie and Fannie first went south. Where were your “stalwarts” then, Mr. Walsh? Where were the fiscal conservatives and small government conservatives when we had the majority? Right now, “thirty pure Republicans” would be a Godsend.

You sound mighty smug Mr. Walsh. Have you even noticed that your “big tent” is empty?

Update: Is it just me or does something stink?

Why Should Republicans Take Advice From John Weaver?

Exactly why should the Republican party take advice from ex-McCain strategist and Jon Huntsman adviser John Weaver?

In a statement to Byron York regarding the Jon Huntsman appointment as Ambassador to China, Weaver says "If it's 2012 and our party is defined by Palin and Limbaugh and Cheney, then we're headed for a blowout." According to York, unless the next Republican candidate is a moderate like Huntsman, or Crist, we're doomed. This from the guy that managed the McCain campaign debacle.

An interesting thing about the York article is his triangulation of the 2012 and 2016 races. York focuses on the removal of Huntsman from the 2012 presidential race by this appointment (read: exile) to China. We are, it seems, supposed to see this loss of Huntsman as a potential presidential candidate as a real blow to the conservative movement.

Some analyists seem to be conceding 2012 to Obama's second term and looking at the Huntsman acceptance of this appointment as a strategic move to position himself for the 2016 race when he will be only 56. Weaver says that he believes "that Huntsman and people like him are the prescription for what ails us." To believe this is to believe that the only way the Republicans can ever regain power is to become like Democrats.

I beg to differ. Huntsman is not as far to the center as McCain, for example, on some issues, but he is no true conservative either. Huntsman's support of civil unions is an example of his centrist views as well as his support of an initiative that supported a regional cap and trade program.

To believe that Republicans must be like Democrats is to ignore the voices of those who attended the Tea Parties. It is to ignore the 13.5 million people who tune in to Rush Limbaugh's program. It is to ignore the energy and the huge audiences that Sarah Palin brought to John McCain's campaign. It is to ignore the shifting views of Americans on issues such as the right to life, which now shows a pro-life favor for the first time since Gallup first polled this issue in 1995.

I contend, like others before me, that there is nothing wrong with the Conservative movement and we could do worse than to have Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh as the faces of our party. Marco Rubio is an energetic, young, fresh conservative face and one would be naive to count him out of the future of the Republican party.

In April, Huntsman was uninvited from speaking at a Republican Party event in Michigan because of his centrist views. Of this rift between Huntsman and the Michigan Republican Party, former Representative Tom Davis said "It says in spades what is the problem with our party: We're driving out the heretics, and they're looking for converts."

The Obama administration is playing the odds; they are already prepping for the 2012 election, according to Matthew Continetti, by "co-opting centrist Republicans like Huntsman." But, as Continetti goes on to say, "what is 'mainstream' changes over time."

The Obama administration can absorb all the centrist Republicans they want. They can have Specter, they can even have Snowe and Collins, because I'm betting by the time 2012 comes, the American public will have had enough. By the time Americans see the true cost of the Obama administration, they'll be done.

Davis's view of driving out the heretics and absorbing the converts reminds me of the conflict between Cassius and Brutus in Act IV of Julius Caesar. Cassius wants to remain in Sardis and wait for the opposing army to come to them, "So shall he waste his means, weary his soldiers / Doing himself offense" and becoming easier to defeat. Brutus wants to march on to Phillipi because to remain in Sardis would enable the enemy to "make a fuller number up" and "Come on refreshed, new-added, and encouraged."

As it turns out, the march to the center advocated by Brutus did them no favors and they were defeated anyway. Had they held their position and waited for the other army to burn itself out they would have been better off.