Thermometers or Thermostats?

An alternate title could be, “Act or React.” I read an article this morning in the Washington Times that accurately reflects the state of the GOP. Yes, as expected, if comes down to a confrontation of US vs. THEM.

The ‘US’ in the sentence above is the GOP outside of Washington. The ‘THEM’ is the Washington GOP elite who have lost their goals, focus and independence. All of those elites, at one time or another, espoused conservative viewpoints. However, as soon as they arrived in Washington, those conservative principles fade. Yes, there are a few who still retain those principles, like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and to a lesser extent Rand Paul and Marko Rubio. But more and more, it seems they are the exceptions rather than the rules.

The Washington elite are thermometers. Cruz, Lee, and others are thermostats. Thermometers react. Thermostats act. It’s a major difference.

Conservatives frustrated by GOP’s compromises, lack of leadership

News from the Front

At times I feel like channeling Edward R. Murrow. There aren’t too many people who still remember viewing and hearing him. I’m one of those.

Murrow had a news program, See it Now, on CBS in the 1950s. Mom and Dad didn’t have a television on The Farm at that time. Instead, we’d drive over to Grandma’s place and watch TV there. Dad liked to watch Murrow and Dragnet. Mom liked listening to Murrow on the radio but she was never a TV fan. She’d rather read.

Imagine…instead of hearing Murrow say, “This is London,” as he would report during World War II, imagine him saying, “This is…,” and then pick a US location. Somewhere in Texas, Missouri, anywhere except Washington. In our version of history, image reporting as it was during WW II. Think of the parallels. Britain is now the  United States. In the imagined parallel, Washington must be Berlin. With that world in mind, we have two items in the news today; news from the front.

Conservatives forces are making gains on the continent…er, in Washington. Reports from the field have conservatives strengthening their positions as they advance on establishment positions. After a successful counter-attack led by Senator Ted Cruz, we have this news release.

Conservative insurgents strike blow against GOP Establishment

By TIMOTHY P. CARNEY | JANUARY 14, 2014 AT 6:30 PM

Sen. Ted Cruz is shown. | AP PhotoCold cash, together with control of institutions, is what makes the Establishment the Establishment. But in the current Republican civil war, the insurgents have secured their own money pipelines, and they control their own institutions – which means the GOP leadership and its allies in the business lobby have a hard fight in front of them.

The firing and hiring of conservative staffer Paul Teller makes it clear that the anti-establishment has built its own establishment.

Teller was a House staffer for more than a decade, and was longtime executive director of the conservative Republican Study Committee. The RSC always exerted a rightward pull on party leadership, but it is nonetheless a subsidiary of the party.

After the 2012 election, the Republican Establishment captured the RSC, in effect, by getting Congressman Steve Scalise elected chairman. Scalise is a conservative, but he is also a close ally of the party leadership – much more so than his predecessors Jim Jordan and Tom Price. Scalise immediately swept out most of the RSC staff.

Last month, Teller was accused of working with outside groups such as Heritage Action to whip RSC members – and Scalise showed Teller the door.

In the old days, this might have been a disaster for Teller. He had lost his job and landed on the wrong side of the party leadership. Anyone who picked up Teller would be spitting in the eye of the Establishment. But this week, Sen. Ted Cruz announced he had hired Teller as deputy chief of staff.

The Establishment no longer has the power it once had to demand obedience.

How did the party leadership maintain such power in the past? Basically with money. Party leaders had a near monopoly on access to money, both in terms of raising funds for candidates and landing jobs for individuals.

Floor leaders and committee chairmen have always been the GOP’s main contact point with corporations’ political action committees and lobbyists. If a member stays on the good side of party leaders, the leaders make a phone call to a lobbyist who throws the member a fundraiser.

Similarly, if a staffer always played nice with the Establishment, that brought with it job security: Even if your boss retired, you could land on your feet, as the leadership would recommend you for a job in another office, or K Street would hire you.

You can see how this would make dissenting staffers and members watch their words and actions. Sure, members were allowed to vote against the leadership – as long as the leadership didn’t need your vote. But at the end of the day, you had to play ball, otherwise you got no money for re-election, and no jobs for you or your staff.

But Teller landed on his feet — and today any conservative staffer disposed to fight the party leadership can hold out the same hope. The GOP Establishment has lost its monopoly, and the insurgents now have many bases of power – and thus many sources of money.

Conservative activist groups have always existed inside the GOP, but because they couldn’t raise and distribute large amounts of money, they functioned mostly through moral suasion – which means they were largely powerless. Eventually, these Beltway conservative groups grew dependent on the GOP, and instead of holding the party accountable, they often ended up being the establishment’s liaison to the conservative base.

Today’s conservative groups are fully armed, though. Thanks to advances in Internet fundraising and changes in campaign finance laws, the Senate Conservatives Fund, FreedomWorks, and the Club for Growth can raise and spend enough money to compete in GOP primaries with the Chamber of Commerce and lobbying firms.

Beyond these new pipelines of campaign cash, the insurgents now control institutions – institutions they created, and ones they took over. Jim DeMint, who founded the Senate Conservatives Fund in 2008, left Congress in 2013 to head the Heritage Foundation.

Heritage used to be a faithful ally of the GOP – at least when it counted most. Under DeMint, Heritage is a scourge of the GOP leadership and an enforcer of a hard limited-government line.

And the Senate offices of Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul are three insurgent beachheads on Capitol Hill. Being a senator doesn’t merely give one a vote — it gives these men the budget to staff a congressional office. As they gain seniority, the Tea Partiers will get control over budgets for committee staffs.

When a member’s re-election, or a staffer’s ability to pay the mortgage, doesn’t depend on the Establishment’s favor, the Establishment may need to find a new way to gain conservatives’ loyalty.

Another news report from the Front exposes an attempt by enemy agents to infiltrate conservative support organizations. The target of these infiltrators was to misdirect funds and reinforcements from conservatives. The infiltrators, funded and organized by liberal operatives, were exposed as reported below.

The “Republican Main Street Partnership” is Democrat Funded

Erick Erickson (Diary)  | 

Steve LaTourette, a former congressman and friend of John Boehner, runs the “Republican Main Street Partnership”. Note the word “Republican.”

As the left-wing Talking Points Memo reported a month ago, LaTourette and his Main Street Partnership have created an affiliated SuperPAC called “Defending Main Street PAC.” Along with the Chamber of Commerce and Republican Leaders, the Main Street Partnership wants to take out troublesome conservatives.

Defending Main Street PAC plans to raise $8 million in this election cycle; by contrast the Senate Conservatives Fund handled $12 million in 2012 and expects to raise even more this time around.

Note, first, that LaTourette spoke with a left-wing site to reveal his plans. Note second that Defending Main Street PAC has had to release its year end campaign finance numbers.

According to its fundraising report, Defending Main Street PAC received its money from a Democrat donor, a group of unions, and an Indian tribe.

More specifically,

  • Bonderman, David gave $30000.00 – the Los Angeles Times referred to him as “David Bonderman, a significant contributor to Democrats, “
  • Laborers’ Political League Education Fund gave $100000.00
  • The Chickasaw Nation gave $50000.00
  • International Union of Operating Engineers [EPEC] gave $250000.00
  • Laborers’ International Union Of North America (LIUNA) PAC gave $150000.00
  • MEBA PAF gave $15000.00 (Marine Engineers Beneficial Association)
  • Working for Working Americans-Federal gave $250000.00 (Building Trades / carpenters PAC)

In other words, the “Republican” Main Street Partnership’s affiliated PAC intends to use George Soros connections and Democrat back groups’ money to defeat conservatives.

More troubling, the Republican Main Street Partnership has a lot of ties to Republican leaders. Again, folks, it is us versus them. You pick.

It is no longer sufficient nor wise to assume anyone claiming to be republican is working for our benefit and is a conservative. All too many ‘Pubs, elected using the Tea Part and other grassroot organizations, have turned out to be turn-coats. Instead of listening to and following the demands of their constituents, those who elected them, these turn-coats parrot the establishment line. In many cases, the turn-coats talk and agree with their constituents at home, while voting, in lock-step, with the establishment in Washington.

It is worse. The local party officials quake in fear of these turn-coats. They point to their massive campaign funds, funds gathered with the help of those local dupes, and declare the turn-coats are unbeatable. That may be true, if the local and state party organizations don’t disavow and work to present primary opponents to remove these traitors in our ranks.

Failure of the county and state parties will likely result in a repeat of 2012 in 2014 and 2016. The conservatives, feeling unrepresented and seeing no real difference between the two national parties, stay home. The dems retain the Senate, and may take back the House. It will be Pelosi back as Speaker and a repeat of 2008 through 2010.

Will it take a repeat of of 2012 to make the ‘Pubs listen? Or, in disgust, will conservatives leave the party forever, creating a new party that speaks for them. Only the republican officials can say.

It’s 1856, ‘Pubbies. Think on that.

Aftermath

If nothing else, the government ‘shutdown’ and debt struggle has allowed us to definitively weed the the useless pols in Washington from the productive Congressmen. Of the Missouri congressional delegation, four voted to support Reid and Obama—that’s what the vote really was all about. Those MO Congressmen were Lacy Clay, representative from St. Louis, Emmanuel Clever, representative from Kansas City, Claire McCaskill, democrat senator, and Roy Blunt, GOP establishment senator. Roy Blunt’s votes validate the ‘Replace Roy Blunt‘ movement that is growing in the state.

The Senate passed the ‘Run up more debt’ bill by a vote of 81-18. It’s easier to document who, among the GOP senators voted against the bill—and against Reid, Obama and McConnell, than it is to document those who supported Reid and Obama.

Sens. Ted Cruz (Tex.)
Marco Rubio (Fla.)
Rand Paul (Ky.)

These first three are expected to be front runners for a conservative presidential candidate in 2016 according to WaPo. I have my strong doubts about Rubio. He’s burned all his bridges with the Tea Party and grassroots conservatives.

Sens. Charles Grassley (Iowa)
Dean Heller (Nev.)
Ron Johnson (Wis.)
Pat Toomey (Pa.)
Sens. Mike Enzi (Wyo.)
Pat Roberts (Kan.)

Two Senators face strong opposition in the next election. Liz Cheney is said to be running against Enzi and Milton Wolfe against Pat Roberts.

Sens. Tom Coburn (Okla.)
John Cornyn (Tex.)
Mike Crapo (Idaho)
Mike Lee (Utah)
Jim Risch (Idaho)
Tim Scott (S.C.)
Jeff Sessions (Ala.)
Richard Shelby (Ala.)
David Vitter (La.)

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who would probably have voted, “No,” did not vote. He was recovering from heart surgery. (From The Washington Post.)

There is a graphic, if you follow the link above, that depicts the actual breakdown by political party.

The House—John Boehner approved the Senate bill. Boehner had to enlist Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats to get that approval. In the end the Senate bill passed in the House on a vote of 285 to 144.

Locally, I was gratified to see all of Missouri’s GOP Representatives voting against the Senate bill and Boehner. The only two MO representatives who voted yes were democrats Clay and Cleaver. I have had some harsh words for GOP Representative Vicky Hartzler over her votes on the massive Ag bill earlier this year. I have to applaud her for her votes on this bill. She stayed with her constituents.

The votes from the Kansas congressional delegation was more mixed.

Kansas:
• Sen. Jerry Moran — Yes
• Sen. Pat Roberts — No
• Rep. Kevin Yoder — No
• Rep. Tim Huelskamp — No
• Rep. Lynn Jenkins — Yes
• Rep. Mike Pompeo — No
Kansas City Business Journal

To say I’m disappointed in Senator Jerry Moran and Representative Lynn Jenkins is an understatement.

So where do we go from here? As usual, Erick Erickson from Red State has thoughts on that.

Much cynicism has been expressed over the past month about the effort, led by Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, to fight Obamacare. It was about money or defeating Republicans or something other than what it was about — undermining Obamacare with a united front.

It was always about undermining Obamacare, despite the claims of others. But, those of us who were in this fight against Obamacare have been quite open that we knew there were side benefits. This fight would expose conservative activists to the frauds they have funded.

Men like Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, and others have preached a great sermon against Obamacare, but now conservatives who supported them see that these men have refused to actually practice what they’ve been preaching. They’ve refused to stand and fight with the rest of us.

The fight was always about Obamacare. Today we know we must keep fighting and fight harder against even our own supposed side. But we always knew the fight would force the charlatans of the GOP out of the shadows into disinfecting sunlight. It has happened as I wrote it would almost a month ago.

Now conservatives can keep advancing. They should not be disheartened.

In reality, the GOP of a decade ago would never have fought like it has fought now. The party that gave us No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, and TARP would never have stood for two weeks embarrassing Democrats with short term spending bills.

Ted Cruz and Mike Lee may not have been able to strike a death blow to Obamacare today, but they were able to fight a fight that would have been impossible before them. They have now made it less and less possible for Republicans to collaborate with Democrats to fix or stabilize Obamacare.

So we must advance. Two Republicans in the Senate caused this fight that their colleagues would have surrendered on more quickly but for them. Imagine a Senate filled with more. We have an opportunity to replace Mitch McConnell in Kentucky with a better conservative. We should do that. We have the opportunity to send a strong conservative from North Carolina and we should do that. Same in Colorado. Kansas looks to be in play. Chris McDaniel will declare his candidacy for the Senate in Mississippi. Conservatives will rally to him quickly. Tennessee could be in play too.

The establishment has given conservatives a brilliant opportunity to advance against them and then against the Democrats. As Obamacare now goes into full swing, conservatives can show that they tried to stop it while Mitch McConnell and so many others sat and watched from a cozy booth the Capitol Hill Club leaving the fighting to others while they did everything possible to undermine the fight.

As more Americans watch Obamacare fail them through the Republican primary season, conservatives will be able to put the focus on Republicans who funded Obamacare instead of fighting it. Whether they like it or not, Republicans in Congress will find their names on ballots in 2014. They cannot hide or escape fate.

Conservatives must advance — ever advancing against the Republicans who have folded in the fight against Obamacare. We will not win all the fights. But Ted Cruz and Mike Lee show we do not have to win them all. We just need reinforcements.

The last time the major leaders of an American political party tried to compromise their way to power, the party broke apart giving us the Republicans. This fight too will break apart the GOP. There will not necessarily be a new party from it, but there will be a fundamentally altered party of new faces fueled by a grassroots movement now able to connect with each other and independent from Wall Street and K Street funders.

Never before have the people been less dependent on a party apparatus to play in primaries. Conservatives now have groups like Heritage Action, Senate Conservatives Fund, Madison Project, Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, For America, and others to fund and rely on.

Grassroots upset about this fight should be encouraged. We’d have never gotten this far with the GOP before 2010. Imagine now the possibilities in 2014 if we make examples of a GOP that refused to fight Obamacare.

2014 must now be about advancing, ever advancing, even through the ranks of the GOP to have the fights that must be had.

Republican leaders in Washington want you to get off the field.  Instead, get involved and get even. — Red State.

Our enemies have chosen us. Now it is time for us to choose their replacements.

 

 

 

Back again…

I’m late! I’m late! For a very import…

Oh, wait, wrong theme.

Today’s theme is not from Lewis Carol. Hollywood, or rather, the TV networks, is defiling Lewis Carol’s work with a dark, trashy TV series based on his book. It seems that everything coming from liberal Hollywood and their media sycophants is trash. Now, they’re trashing Alice in Wonderland—another TV series Mrs. Crucis and I won’t be watching.

But, getting to today’s topic, Boehner is in a spot of trouble. His sell-out of conservatives has backfired. He was about to schedule a vote on a GOP establishment plant that surrendered all to Reid and Obama, until it hit a stumbling-block. The House conservatives rebelled. Boehner didn’t have the votes.

Now, Boehner’s plan B is to adopt the democrat Senate plan, one endorsed by Mitch McConnell, and pass that in the House leveraging democrat votes. Let me restate that. Boehner, a supposed GOP congressman, will depend on House democrats to vote for a democrat plan from the Senate over the objections of House GOP members.

Why is Boehner still Speaker? He certainly isn’t a republican. If you follow the rule of: If it talks like a democrat, acts like a democrat, votes like a democrat, it must be a democrat regardless of which party he’s a supposed member.

Erick Erickson, writing in Red State, had this to say.

Bridge Burning and Bridge Building

By: Erick Erickson (Diary)  |  October 16th, 2013 at 04:30 AM

House Republicans have signaled they are giving up.

They’ll merge their ideas with Mitch McConnell’s ideas. The result will be a funded government, raised debt ceiling, and nothing done with Obamacare.

Throughout this fight, Harry Reid has outsmarted Mitch McConnell. Repeatedly, Reid used the Senate’s rules to toss aside numerous proposals from the House while McConnell looked on not knowing how to fight back.

Reid knows how to beat McConnell. If Reid fights hard, McConnell backs down and tries to blame others. McConnell’s lieutenants attack Ted Cruz so “the Leader” can deflect from his own legislative impotence. And he continually is one step behind Reid in his knowledge of how to use the Senate’s complicated rules to win a fight.

You will see no defunding of Obamacare because Republicans are giving up.

You will see no delaying of the individual mandate, even though the Obama Administration cannot fix the website. Republicans have given up this.

You will not even see Republicans hold the line on ensuring Obamacare go into effect as designed by forcing the end to all exceptions, exemptions, and delays granted by the President without congressional consent.

No, the GOP intends to fully fund Obamacare and let Barack Obama have all the power to exempt his friends and delay portions for patrons of his campaign.

So I intend to fully fund Heritage Action for America and the Senate Conservatives Fund. The latest Pew poll shows that more Americans want their own member of Congress thrown out of office than at any time in recent memory.

We only need a few good small businessmen and women to stand up and challenge these Republicans who are caving. If they refuse to fight for us, we must fight them. It is the only way we will finally be able to fight against Obamacare.

I am tired of funding Republicans who campaign against Obamacare then refuse to fight. It’s time to find a new batch of Republicans to actually practice what the current crop preaches.

The irony in all of this is that Obamacare’s individual mandate is going to be delayed. Just wait. Liberals are already whispering that it has to happen. They can’t get the computers up and running. People aren’t signing up. They whole process is broken.

But they also do not want to cave in to the GOP. So they will wait.

Barack Obama will wait for the GOP to surrender, then he will issue the delay himself, just like he did with the employer mandate.

Any bridges remaining between Barack Obama and the GOP will start burning. Any remaining good will goes away.

And conservatives will use this all as a millstone around the necks of those who caved. The GOP will vote to fund Obamacare. The GOP will not fight to delay Obamacare.

But then the President will do it. So what good is the GOP? It is time to fight this out in primaries in 2014. Given just how poorly Crossroads performed in 2012, I like our odds with Heritage Action, Senate Conservatives Fund, Madison Project, Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, For America, and others.

Basically, what Erickson is calling for is defunding the GOP establishment. Heritage Action is getting credit for blocking Boehner’s vote last night—along with conservative House members. The time has arrived for the ‘Pub congressmen to stand up and declare themselves. “We are conservative and we support defunding Obamacare, reducing actual spending, not just reducing the amount of spending increase, we support down-sizing government and eliminating departments and agencies that are doing actual harm to the country.

The rest of the GOP should just admit, like McCain and Graham, that they’re democrats and come out of the closet.

The GOP establishment is about to burn it’s last bridge with their core across the nation. Let them and be done with it. We’ll know whom to support and whom to primary out of office.

Monday’s Moments

Mrs. Crucis and I attended final services for a WW II veteran on Saturday. He was 93 and passed on his birthday. He flew B-29s in WW II, flying 35 missions over Japan.

We didn’t know him all that well. In fact, we had only met him once at another funeral. But at that funeral, we had a long conversation. We talked about flying, airplanes, travel and many other topics. Last year, he and his daughter went back to Saipan and Tinian, airbases he flew from during WW II. They met another old veteran and were interviewed by the local Okinawan and Tinian newspapers.

He had a full military funeral. Two Army troops came down from Fr. Leavenworth to present the flag to his daughter. The American Legion provided a firing party for the last salute and some local pilots flew over in formation. In all, it was a very moving experience.

Fare thee well, Lee Florence.

***

I was going to say, “Interesting,” but it isn’t. I’m not surprised by this paragraph from Rasmussen at all.

Belief that the Republican Party has a plan for the future has tumbled 20 points since last year, but nearly half of voters still believe neither major political party represents the American people. — Rasmussen Reports.

Last Friday and over the weekend, Boehner, Cantor and other GOP so-called leaders, went to Obama, cap in hand, with a plan to fund the government, fund Obamacare, raise the debt limit and dissolve the Sequester spending limits. It was a near-complete surrender.

Obama turned them down.

Why? Obama demanded the debt limit be raised for a full year, not just two months. Boehner and his quislings caved, giving Obama all that he demanded and Obama refused, demanding more, and more, and more.

It’s evident the shutdown was carefully planned by Reid and Obama and they are not giving in until they’ve destroyed the GOP power in Congress. And, he is near success.

The only leadership being shown in the House, is coming from the Senate—Harry Reid for the dems and Ted Cruz with Mike Lee for the ‘Pubs. It is a sad state of affairs with House ‘Pubs have to look to conservative Senators for leadership because they are receiving none from Boehner, Cantor, Ryan and the other establishment clones.

***

An opinion-piece appeared over the weekend in the Washington Times. It echoes the opinions of many, including me, that the GOP is disintegrating. There is a ground-swell building across the country to remove, not only the GOP establishment, but every elected Representative and Senator possible in the next election.

What does it mean? A repeat of the 2008 election most likely, but it will also mean the death-knell of the Republican party—just like the end of the Whigs in 1860.

PHILLIPS: The last days of the Republican Party

Saturday, October 12, 2013 – Judson Phillips: Cold, Hard Truth by Judson Phillips

WASHINGTON, October 12, 2013 — The Republican Party was born in the darkest days of the American Republic.

In the next few days it will die.

The Republican Party saved the Union and abolished slavery. The Republican Party stood against Franklin Roosevelt’s internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and against Jim Crow laws in the 50’s.

On a hot summer day, the most famous Republican of the Twentieth Century stood before one of the great icons of tyranny, and over the objection of his cowardly, country club Republican advisors, Ronald Reagan demanded, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

In 1975, Reagan told conservatives to raise a banner of bold colors, not pale pastels.  Today’s Republican banner is the colorless banner of John Boehner’s freshly laundered white flag of surrender.

The Republican Party will die of suicide by cowardice.

It would be unfair to say that the leaders of today’s Republican Party lack the courage of their convictions; they have no convictions from which to draw courage.

For the leadership of the Republican Party — the Establishment, as conservatives like to call it — the signs should be obvious.  The GOP has lost the popular vote in five of the last six elections.  The base complained loudly about most of the nominees, yet the Establishment insisted that President Dole, President McCain and President Romney would be loved by the people.

They weren’t.

The Establishment has been openly disdainful of the base that puts Republicans in power.  Some of that base, such as Tea Party members, aren’t even members of a country club. Many of them are blue-collar workers, they have convictions, and they want to see the party act on them. Perhaps most shocking of all, many of them are outspoken Christians!

This must be horrifying to Northeastern, liberal, Establishment Republicans. How can they possibly face their Democrat friends, knowing that most of their base believes in Jesus Christ as something more than a swear word.

The Republican leadership in Washington was pushed into this fight. They did not like it.  House Speaker John Boehner and Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor had already worked out a plan to surrender with style. The conservatives could even have another meaningless vote against Obamacare they could take back to the home folks.

When Boehner, Cantor, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were forced to fight, they screwed it up. McConnell punted and put the onus of the fight on the House Republicans.  Neither Boehner nor Cantor had the stomach for a fight.

The issue was Obamacare. It was a train wreck. It is a train wreck. The base wanted Obamacare delayed for a year and the base did not want the debt ceiling increased. 

Delaying Obamacare should have been the mother of all no brainers, especially after its roll out on October 1. The government spent $643 million for a website that does not work. This alone should have been enough for the GOP to get a message to the American people and rally support.

Boehner and Cantor stumbled around like newly castrated cattle, trying to figure out what they were missing and why.

They never did.

They could never get on message and the Democrats destroyed them.

Now Boehner, Cantor and McConnell are surrendering. Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid know the Republicans will never fight again and they can have anything they want.

Actually, that is not true. The Republicans are willing to fight again.

This fight is against their base.

Establishment Republicans, former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu and former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour have declared war on the Tea Party. Establishment Republicans are now vowing to primary Tea Party Congressmen. Michigan Congressman Justin Amash already has an opponent and Establishment Republicans are looking for a “pro-business” candidate to primary Iowa Congressman Steve King.

In 1858, Republican Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” That is what is happening today in the Republican Party.

Conservatives are expected to line up and support moderates when they win the nomination, as conservatives did in 2008 with John McCain and 2012 with Mitt Romney. But when a conservative wins, support is optional for the moderates of the party. This is happening today in Virginia, where conservative Ken Cuccinelli won the nomination that was supposed to go to moderate Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling. Bolling has pointedly refused to endorse Cucinelli, and according to some reports is preparing to endorse his opponent, Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

After the elections of 2006 and 2008, the Republican Party was on the political endangered species list. The same Establishment geniuses who thought Mitt Romney and John McCain would be good nominees destroyed the Republican brand and lost control of the White House and the House and Senate to the Democrats.

Along came the Tea Party and saved the GOP.

How did the GOP show its gratitude?

The establishment told the Tea Party to go away and let the professionals handle government. These were the same professionals who screwed things up to begin with.

If the Establishment wants a war with the Tea Party, the Tea Party should welcome that war.

All the Tea Party has to do is leave the GOP and the GOP will quickly be relegated to the status of the “Rent is too damn high” Party.

That last paragraph is telling. Too many ‘Pubs think the Tea Party is dead because the big rallies of 2008 through 2010 are gone. The truth is that the Tea Party has been organizing. Just look at the political clout of Americans for Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation and the Tea Party Express.

Those are the a few of the biggest Tea Party organizations, but most of the Tea Party is independent local groups. Many limit themselves, concentrating on local and state issues. Cass County has not had a group until a month ago. That group is now organizing, gathering members and strength.

The ground work exists for a third party. All that is needed is some trigger—a trigger that will force those conservatives to leave the GOP for a NEW party. No, not the Libertarians or Constitutionalists. They have no organization and all too many of their members have alienated themselves from the Tea Party conservatives by supporting abortions and legalizing drugs.

Many conservative politicos, like Cruz and Lee, along with their supporters in office, will come over, too. Why should they stay when Boehner and McConnell act like two dictators suppressing any contrary opinions?

The creation will be messy. It’s unlikely the new party will win many elections the first time around. The original Republicans didn’t do well against the Whigs in 1856, either. But the second election, after a few years of organization and consolidating power, the Republicans won. And the new Tea Party, or whatever it is named, will, too.

Friday Follies for October 11, 2013

The Shutdown continues. The Washington GOP leadership is quaking in its collective boots. Boehner and his pet House buds went to the White House yesterday with a debt limit deal—give Obama everything he wants for two or three months. Obama, apparently told Boehner that only acceptable solution, to Obama, was complete GOP surrender on everything. No debt limit deal.

Now, Boehner has no idea what to do next. Obama will invite Senate ‘Pubs in for a meeting. He expects McConnell to kow-tow like he expected Boehner to do. Will McConnell? Perhaps. But he has no power either. All spending bills—budgets, fund allocations, debt limit increases, must originate in the House. All the Senate ‘Pubs can do is to cheer them on, like Cruz and Lee have been doing—cheering for change, cheering to defund Obamacare. On those issues, McConnell could not care less.

But, outside the beltway, people—voters, are watching and they don’t like what they see. They are seeing a complete power grab by Obama and Reid. They don’t like it. Neither do they like the aimless, wishy-washy, sometime leadership by the House GOP. Boehner is completely ineffectual as a leader. Given his preference, he’d rather just cave than actually put up a fight. A leader and a fighter, Boehner is  not.

Scanning the internet headlines this morning, I found these three articles. All speak to change coming to the GOP, to politics-as-usual, to the country.

Third Party Sentiment Grows

Gallap conduct a nation-wide telephone poll last week of 1,000 voting age adults. No one party was selected over the other. Sixty percent of the respondent said a 3rd party was need, neither party was responsive to their voters.

In U.S., Perceived Need for Third Party Reaches New High

Twenty-six percent believe Democratic and Republican parties do adequate job

by Jeffrey M. Jones, October 11, 2013.

This article is part of an ongoing series analyzing how the government shutdown and the debate over raising the debt ceiling are affecting Americans’ views of government, government leaders, political parties, the economy, and the country in general.

PRINCETON, NJ — Amid the government shutdown, 60% of Americans say the Democratic and Republicans parties do such a poor job of representing the American people that a third major party is needed. That is the highest Gallup has measured in the 10-year history of this question. A new low of 26% believe the two major parties adequately represent Americans.

Trend: Perceived Need for a Third Major U.S. Political Party

The results are consistent with Gallup’s finding of more negative opinions of both parties since the shutdown began, including a new low favorable rating for the Republican Party, and Americans’ widespread dissatisfaction with the way the nation is being governed.

The prior highs in perceived need for a third party came in August 2010, shortly before that year’s midterm elections, when Americans were dissatisfied with government and the Tea Party movement was emerging as a political force; and in 2007, when the newly elected Democratic congressional majority was clashing with then-President George W. Bush.

A majority of Americans have typically favored a third party in response to this question. Notably, support has dropped below the majority level in the last two presidential election years in which Gallup asked the question, 2012 and 2008. Support for a third party was lowest in 2003, the first year Gallup asked the question. That year, 40% thought the U.S. needed a third party, while 56% believed the Republicans and Democrats were doing an adequate job.

The article continues with the statement that democrats and republicans equally felt the need for a new party(s). When voters from both sides feel the same way, the leadership of both parties need to heed the news.

Red State Secession

Pat Buchanan has a column out at the WND website. Like most of Buchanan’s writings, he wanders around the world for half the column until getting to the point. He may be slow getting to that point but when he does, he is accurate.

Is red state America seceding?

Pat Buchanan covers many movements across U.S. to divorce from urban rulers

In the last decade of the 20th century, as the Soviet Empire disintegrated, so, too, did that prison house of nations, the USSR.

Out of the decomposing carcass came Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Moldova, all in Europe; Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Caucasus; and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in Central Asia.

Transnistria then broke free of Moldova, and Abkhazia and South Ossetia fought free of Georgia.

Yugoslavia dissolved far more violently into the nations of Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Kosovo.

The Slovaks seceded from Czechoslovakia. Yet a Europe that plunged straight to war after the last breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939 this time only yawned. Let them go, all agreed.

The spirit of secession, the desire of peoples to sever ties to nations to which they have belonged for generations, sometimes for centuries, and to seek out their own kind, is a spreading phenomenon.

What are the forces pulling nations apart? Ethnicity, culture, history and language – but now also economics. And separatist and secessionist movements are cropping up here in the United States.

While many red state Americans are moving away from blue state America, seeking kindred souls among whom to live, those who love where they live but not those who rule them are seeking to secede.

The five counties of western Maryland – Garrett, Allegany, Washington, Frederick and Carroll, which have more in common with West Virginia and wish to be rid of Baltimore and free of Annapolis, are talking secession.

The issues driving secession in Maryland are gun control, high taxes, energy policy, homosexual marriage and immigration.

Scott Strzelczyk, who lives in the town of Windsor in Carroll County and leads the Western Maryland Initiative, argues: “If you have a long list of grievances, and it’s been going on for decades, and you can’t get it resolved, ultimately [secession] is what you have to do.”

And there is precedent. Four of our 50 states – Maine, Vermont, Kentucky, West Virginia – were born out of other states.

Ten northern counties of Colorado are this November holding non-binding referenda to prepare a future secession from Denver and the creation of America’s 51st state.

Nine of the 10 Colorado counties talking secession and a new state, writes Reid Wilson of the Washington Post – Cheyenne, Kit Carson, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington, Weld and Yuma – all gave more than 62 percent of their votes to Mitt Romney. Five of these 10 counties gave Romney more than 75 percent of their vote.

Their issues with the Denver legislature: A new gun control law that triggered a voter recall of two Democratic state senators, state restrictions on oil exploration and the Colorado legislature’s party-line vote in support of gay marriage.

If America does not get its fiscal house in order, and another Great Recession hits or our elites dragoon us into another imperial war, we will likely hear more of such talk.

Talk of secession has been around since the founding of the nation. Legally, it was settled by the Civil War—once a member of the union, the United States, always a member. No breakaway allowed.

That hasn’t stopped the talk, however. When the federal government and its leader(s) actively ignore, conspire to ignore, and violate the law and the Constitution, the illegality of secession loses meaning.

The South lost the Civil War for a number of reasons—lack of population, lack of industry, lack of capital and lack of allies…the South was outnumbered, out produced, outspent, and alone. The conditions today, are not the same. If the central government falls into turmoil and disarray, breakaways may succeed…for awhile.

Take that! You establishment buzzards!

Ann Coulter has a new book out, one written in her usual sharp and biting tongue. This time she’s aiming at the ‘Pub establishment, not the dems. The subject is a change for her. She has a reputation for being a GOP establishment shill—most of the income to her consulting company, comes from the GOP establishment. She won’t be winning new customers with this book unless it is from the Tea Party or the dems.

New Ann Coulter book rages at GOP with ‘change or die’ theme

By PAUL BEDARD | OCTOBER 11, 2013 AT 10:38 AM

Best-selling conservative author Ann Coulter, who has used her nine books to launch vicious attacks on Democrats, is turning her guns on Republicans in a new book out Monday, calling Florida Sen. Marco Rubio a hypocrite, urging donors freeze contributions to the GOP, and demanding that only governors or senators run for the party’s presidential nomination.

Her point in “Never Trust a Liberal Over 3 — Especially a Republican” is to shake the party out of its doldrums in time for the 2014 and 2016 elections.

“Elections matter. We’re trying to make the country a better place. But if our candidates don’t win, we can’t do that,” she writes. “This isn’t a game. We aren’t picking basketball brackets. Bad things happen when Republicans lose elections and Democrats have veto-proof majorities,” she adds in the book provided in advance to Secrets.

While she is most noted for skewering liberals in her weekly columns and nine previous New York Times best sellers, “Never Trust” puts her on a path for a head-on collision with the establishment Republican Party and even a favored 2016 presidential candidate as she urges the GOP to purge itself of failed tactics, lazy consultants, and gripless potential candidates.

Take Rubio. He is one of the party’s leading 2016 candidates, but Coulter dresses him down for promising effective immigration reform while campaigning for the Senate but spitting out a more liberal alternative once elected.

She quotes him slamming amnesty for illegal immigrants as a Senate candidate in 2010. “And then he got to Washington and his big legislative initiative was a path to citizenship for illegal aliens! Yes, Rubio’s plan to solve the problem of illegal immigration from Mexico is to bring them all here,” she scolds.

The fashionable pundit pummels the party for wooing untested politicians for president. “Why are any congressmen or businessmen showing up in our presidential primaries? They are never going to get the nomination,” she says.

The solution is a governor, just like four of the last six presidents. “I don’t care if it makes you feel good, conservatives: Do not ever, ever considering running a presidential candidate who has not been a senator or preferably a governor. No, not even our beloved Ben Carson. What are we concentrating on? That’s right: winning.”

What Coulter overlooks at this point is that our last two Presidential candidates met Coulter’s criteria. McCain was a US Senator and Romney was a Governor. Neither worked well for us.

And to grab that gold ring, she demands that musty political consultants be swept out of the GOP. She blames them for losing four Senate seats the Republicans thought they should have won in 2010 and 2012.

“Republicans were screwed by campaign consultants fleecing deep-pocketed candidates rather than doing the work of electing Republicans,” she says. “Republicans should refuse to give money to the party until we have the names of these people [failed consultants] and a blood oath that they will never be hired again.”

Coulter takes shots at Tod Akin and Marco Rubio alike. I didn’t vote for Akin in the Primary, I backed another. But, after he won that primary election, I backed him. Akin lost, not so much for what he said, but because his party turned on him and caused his campaign more damage than his opponent, Claire McCaskill.

Akin was betrayed by his party. The dems, if that had happened to one of their candidates, would have closed ranks and rallied around him. That, too, is another failing of the GOP.

 Change is coming. It is coming to the GOP, to the central government, for better or more likely worse, and to the nation. Hiding from these trends, ignoring them, will not prevent those trends nor the coming events. The days of the ostrich response is over. The time to prepare, for any or all the scenarios, has come.

Friday Follies for October 4, 2013

I feel vindicated. Earlier this week, I created a scenario for the creation of a new political party. Today, I saw the article below that appears to mirror those first steps I formulated on this post.

House and Senate conservatives have formed a caucus all their own, separate and apart from moderate Republicans and their own GOP leaders. Their meetings, held in person and over the phone, have helped the relatively small band of lawmakers maintain a united front and outsize influence in a budget debate that led to a government shutdown.

At the meetings, they have shared information and ideas, developed strategy and discussed how to frame the fight over Obamacare as part of a larger budget debate. They met in person most recently last Monday evening, according to Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa — just hours before the government shut down.

The private pow-wows have enabled conservative lawmakers to coalesce around some of the hallmark proposals of the government-funding fight, including the notion that they could fund government programs one at a time. — The Washington Examiner.

On Monday, I speculated that Congressional conservatives from both houses would form a caucus in defiance of the leadership of both parties. It appears now that my speculation was accurate.

***

The new conservative coalition of Senators and Representatives have clout, as Harry Reid found out this week. Reid was disappointed that Boehner reneged on a secret deal he had made with Reid. Reid thought Boehner would support funding Obamacare in the CR in return for some nebulous promises from Reid. But, when the time came for Boehner to betray his party and House members, he didn’t. The pressure from House and Senate conservatives was too great.

Harry Reid puts John Boehner and his speakership in the crosshairs

By STEVE CONTORNO | OCTOBER 3, 2013 AT 1:35 PM

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday accused House Speaker John Boehner of reneging on a deal reached in September to fund government and said the Republican leader has put his political future ahead of the country.

Reid said that when he and Boehner met in early September, the Republican leader wanted a clean continuing resolution to fund government at $988 billion, or sequestration levels. The Nevada Democrat said Boehner then backed away from that agreement after conservatives in the GOP caucus flipped.

“We didn’t like it. But we negotiated, that was our compromise. The exact bill that he now refuses to let the House vote on, that was our negotiation,” Reid said. “I didn’t twist his arm. He twisted mine a little bit to get that number. Now he refuses to let his own party vote because he’s afraid to stand up to something he originally agreed to.”

On Wednesday, Reid offered Boehner an out by promising to negotiate a host of Republican objectives, like tax reform and the health care law, in a bicameral budget committee after the House passed a measure to fund government with no strings attached. Boehner immediately turned it down as a disingenuous proposal.

“I thought we had something he couldn’t refuse,” Reid said Thursday.

Reid’s Don Corlene tactics failed. Boo. Hoo.

***

The IRS has been targeting selected conservatives for some time. Evangelist Franklin Graham, and conservative Christine O’Donnell are two from that list. Now, another conservative has been audited by the IRS, suddenly, after his famous speech before Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast, Dr. Ben Carson.

The long line of conservatives targeted by the IRS

By John Solomon and Ben Wolfgang, The Washington Times, Thursday, October 3, 2013

Tea party groups, Franklin Graham, Christine O’Donnell, a pro-marriage group. And now Dr. Ben Carson.

The list of conservatives targeted by the Internal Revenue Service for audits, tax-exempt reviews or tax privacy breaches keeps growing, raising fresh questions in Washington about whether a scandal the Obama administration has blamed on bureaucratic incompetence and coincidence may in fact involve something more nefarious.

The latest revelation came Thursday from Dr. Carson, the renowned neurosurgeon who told The Washington Times that he was targeted for an audit just months after he gave a speech in front of President Obama that challenged America’s leadership. The agency requested to review his real estate holdings and then conducted a full audit.

In the end, the IRS found no wrongdoing, Dr. Carson said, but it raised his suspicions about being singled out for his speech.

“I guess it could be a coincidence, but I never had been audited before and never really had any encounters with the IRS,” Dr. Carson said in an interview. “But it certainly would make one suspicious because we know now the IRS has been used for political purposes and therefore actions like this come under suspicion.”

The article continues at the website.

***

For weeks, since the last debt limit fight, Obama has threatened to take unilateral action to raise the debt limit citing Section 4 of the 14th Amendment as justification. He’s threatening to take action again to remove Congressional power of the purse.

If Congress Won’t Raise the Debt Ceiling, Obama Will Be Forced to Break the Law

Wouldn’t it be better to save the nation from default by invoking the Fourteenth Amendment, than to stand by and do nothing?

Back in 2011, I found myself writing (and writing and writing and writing and writing) about Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment. Afterwards, it seemed like a bizarre interlude: The brief crisis about the debt ceiling surely would not repeat itself in our lifetimes. After all, President Obama was handily reelected, the Democrats held onto the Senate, and the Republicans must surely have learned their lesson.

Or not so much.

Regardless of how the current shutdown crisis ends, it seems there will be a second debt-ceiling crisis two weeks from now. And the questions are flying again: Is the debt-ceiling statute unconstitutional? Can Obama “invoke” Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment and assert authority to breach the debt ceiling to pay “the public debt of the United States, authorized by law”? Or can one party, decisively defeated in a nationwide election and controlling only the lower house of the legislature, threaten the full faith and credit of the United states — and the health of the world economy — in pursuit of its short-term partisan advantage?

The world has heard enough from me on this subject, but three nuanced analyses are worth looking at. The first, by Henry J. Aaron of the Brookings Institution, notes that the debt-ceiling crisis threatens not just the president’s constitutional duty to make payments on the public debt but also the accompanying requirement that he spend money lawfully appropriated by Congress, either as part of a yearly budget or as part of statutes authorizing “entitlement” payments like Medicare or veterans’ benefits.

Failing to do any of these things would be a default on the president’s duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” The president may not be able to obey all three sources of law; if so, Aaron argues, he should make the payments and ignore the debt ceiling. “The debt ceiling is the fiscal equivalent of the human appendix — a law with no discoverable purpose,” he writes. “If Congress leaves the debt ceiling at a level inconsistent with duly enacted spending and tax laws, the president has no choice but to ignore it.”

Aaron’s argument echoes the elegant analysis last fall by law professors Neil Buchanan of George Washington University and Michael Dorf of Cornell. These two prominent scholars concluded that paying appropriated monies and interest on the debt represents the “least unconstitutional” option open to a president when Congress refuses to approve a debt-ceiling increase.

The writer above is a liberal, as you probably noticed. Like all liberals, he sees the Constitution as an impediment—unless it can be twisted to their advantage. Section 4 of the 14th Amendment gives the President NO POWER to unilaterally raise the debt, nor spend federal funds not authorized by Congress, specifically by the House of Representatives. To do so would eliminate the Balance of Powers in the Constitution; the balance deliberately designed to constrain the excesses of government.

If Obama and the congressional dems follow this path, it can only be corrected by counter-balancing force. I would much prefer we don’t go there!