A Commentary By Scott Rasmussen
Official Washington hailed the deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff as a significant bipartisan accomplishment. However, voters around the country viewed the deal in very partisan terms: Seven out of 10 Democrats approved of it, while seven out of 10 Republicans disapproved.
Just a few days after reaching that agreement, an inside-the-Beltway publication reported another area of bipartisan agreement. Politico explained that while Washington Democrats have always viewed GOP voters as a problem, Washington Republicans "in many a post-election soul-searching session" have come to agree. More precisely, the article said the party's Election 2012 failures have "brought forth one principal conclusion from establishment Republicans: They have a primary problem."
As seen from the halls of power, the problem is that Republican voters think it's OK to replace incumbent senators and congressman who don't represent the views of their constituents. In 2012, for example, Republican voters in Indiana dumped longtime Sen. Richard Lugar in a primary battle.
This infuriated establishment Republicans for two reasons. First, because they liked Lugar and the way he worked. Second, because the replacement candidate was flawed and allowed Democrats to win what should have been a safe Republican seat.
So, according to Politico, the Washington team is gearing up a new effort to protect incumbents and limit the ability of Republican voters to successfully challenge establishment candidates.
That makes sense to those whose sole goal is winning a majority in Congress rather than changing the course of government policy. Seen from the outside, though, it sounds like the professional politicians are saying that the only way to win is to pick more candidates like the insiders. Hearing that message, the reaction of many Republican and conservative voters is, "Why bother?"
That's why more than two-thirds of Republican voters believe GOP officials in Washington have lost touch with the party's base.
Read this story at rasmussenreports.com ...
Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog
by John Ellis
You really have to wonder about the future of the Republican Party — not only in California, but maybe even the nation — if people like Serafin Quintanar are jumping ship.
Quintanar, 42, is a rock-solid conservative and Tea Party activist. In 2010, he finished a distant third in the 20th Congressional District Republican primary election, which was won by Hanford cherry farmer Andy Vidak.
Next week, Quintanar says, he will re-register as an independent, which in the past was known in official parlance as “decline to state,” but is now called “no party preference.”
In California, a lot has been written about the decline of the Republican Party, and much of that suggested it is out of step with the state’s more liberal leanings and has become too conservative to be viable.
But Quintanar comes from a totally different angle.
“I am not leaving the Republican Party,” he says. “The Republican Party left me.”
Read this story at fresnobeehive.com ...
Pelosi Backed Boehner's Tax Cut Proposal
A new tax on millionaires, if talks fail.
WASHINGTON — Speaker of the House John Boehner's "Plan B" to avert the fiscal cliff would cut taxes for incomes under $1 million — a higher threshold than the White House demands, but one that had a powerful backer, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
In May, Pelosi sent Boehner a letter calling for the immediate passage of a middle class tax cuts up to that level, while [Alleged] President Barack Obama was on the campaign trail calling for taxes to rise on incomes over $250,000. The White House has since revised that target at $400,000 in ongoing negotiations with Boehner, but has shown few signs it would accept the $1 million level.
"Democrats believe that tax cuts for those earning over a million dollars a year should expire and that we should use the resulting revenues to pay down the deficit," Pelosi said in the letter.
A month earlier on The Charlie Rose Show Pelosi went further, noting Democratic opposition to the $250,000 mark.
“In our caucus, there is a school of thought that says let’s get rid of all the tax cuts," she said. "I say, let’s begin by getting rid of tax cuts for people making more than a million dollars a year. I’m not even saying $250,000. The president’s saying $250,000. A million and above. Who can argue with that?”
Boehner's backup plan would not deal with the mandatory spending cuts resultant from the failure of the super committee, while he is still negotiating with Obama for a more comprehensive solution that addresses spending.
“Obsequious praise for small government does the Republicans no good when they too are in favor of big government in their actions.”
Over the next couple of years, Barack Obama wants to raise the national debt to $18.9 trillion or so.
John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and the congressional Republicans want to raise the national debt to $18.4 trillion or so.
The present leadership of the Republican Party has gone from making the case that government is the problem and the American people are the solution to making the case that Democratic controlled government is the problem and Republican controlled government is the solution.
By giving up on making the case that government is the problem and pivoting to “Democrats are the problem,” the Republican Party has failed the American people. Historically, when parties lost, their leadership went and hid for an appropriate amount of time under a rock after an acceptance of blame and a resignation.
The present Republican leaders in Washington, instead of hiding under a rock, have taken to standing on the rock and demanding conservatives self flagellate. Neither John Boehner nor Mitch McConnell are visionaries. They are survivors. They survive by recognizing the biggest threat to them and trying to befriend it or neutralize it.
Right now, both see conservatives as their biggest threat, not Barack Obama. Why? Because while Barack Obama maintains the White House, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell maintain their positions of power. They exist for power, not for vision. The visions they articulate are routinely backpedaled. Remember the pledge to nowhere the House Republicans concocted in 2010 as a second coming of the Contract With America? Within two months of returning to the majority they’d already ditched their pledge faster than a frat boy fleeing a one night stand. Only conservatives wish to hold them accountable for their breach of trust, thus conservatives are the threat.
The very same Republican leadership who paved the way for the rise of the Democrats in 2006 through moral opaqueness on the role of government in the lives of Americans now seek to shut up and shut out the conservatives who continue to loudly point out that the size and scope of the federal leviathan has grown too unwieldy. More troubling, with the removal of the several of the critics within the party from key committees and a clear message that loud voices of conservatism will not get plumb committee assignments, the incoming freshman class and even the current conservative leaders in the House of Representatives have rolled over.
Let us not kid ourselves. The Republicans intend to strike a last minute deal to cave. They will. They are going blind in the bathroom over the idea of bifurcating tax cuts so Barack Obama can veto the tax cut for high income earners and let the rest slide through. It is, as usual, a too clever by half compromise from the GOP, which has spent more time out negotiating itself to the left than negotiating with the Democrats.
The compromise is no longer the issue. It will happen.
The issue is that the Republican leaders who will be in charge in January are the Republican leaders who were directly complicit in the construction of the fiscal cliff and were directly complicit in getting us already to $16 trillion in national debt. Democrats are not to blame; both parties in Washington are.
Obsequious praise for small government does the Republicans no good when they too are in favor of big government in their actions. And having two leaders as the face of the party who have both been in Washington since 1986 does no good restoring credibility when these multi-decade residents of the swamp wink and smile that they really do think Washington is the problem.
Is it any wonder the American people have come to the conclusion that government isn’t so bad when the party of small government keeps expanding it too? The leaders of the party are the message, not the words. And the message does not resonate because they do not practice what they preach.
Until the Republicans change their message, they will keep losing. Changing the message means changing the men. Will 16 Republicans in the House be brave enough to stand up and say the party needs a new Speaker of the House?
This is not about the compromise. This is not about the fiscal cliff. This is not even about removing Amash, Huelskamp, Schweikert, and Jones. This is about beginning again anew — a process that cannot happen when the faces of the Republican leadership have been in Washington since 1986 expanding government while preaching the need for limiting it.
After the election and Romney's loss, the elitist faction of the GOP began to put forth the idea that conservatism must be modernized. Forget the fact that Rick Santorum was kicking Romney's progressive arse, and had he had the funds he would have continued to beat Romney, state after state. Rick Santorum the "extremist" was beating their progressive RINO'S (Republican in name only) behind. Romney was even forced to run to the right of Rick and it was laughable and entertaining, until he managed to push Rick out of the race with back room deals, millions of dollars worth of trash ads, and the thing he's best at....lying.
And yet, the establishment claims that Romney was too conservative. Wow.
Folks, I want to make it clear, because you need to really understand; the Republican party doesn't want conservatives. The RNC rule changes showed that, heck the entire primary showed that, heck everything the Washington Republicans do SHOWS THAT.
The most recent action that is a spit in the face of conservatives is the purging of fiscal conservatives from Committees within the House. A Republican steering committee tasked with making committee assignments stripped Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., and Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., from the House Budget Committee. Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., and Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C. from the House Financial Services Committee.
All four of these men have made it clear that they will not vote to raise taxes, something Republicans are supposed to all agree on, and yet after they confirm their stance they are purged from these committees. Here we are trying to make a deal with a president who doesn't want to budge or compromise on anything, and the folks with backbone, the folks that the people elected to represent them, are being kicked out of committees for doing what they said they would do!!
This is your Republican party. Conservatives not welcome.
Check out this interview Mark Levin had with Tim Huelskamp, one of the congressman booted from the House Budget Committee.
Tim Huelskamp Interview
WASHINGTON – Just one day after tax activist Grover Norquist warned Democrats are coming after the middle class for $3 trillion in tax hikes, another conservative leader says it appears the big GOP strategy is to figure out how to surrender.
Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center, told WND today that the Republican leadership is lacking vision, resents its own conservative base and needs to refocus.
“If the Republicans continue a campaign of presenting themselves as Democrat-lite, they are going to see the losses increase. It will not be long before the Democrats are in complete control,” he told WND in an interview.
The issue isn’t that Republicans are losing but that Republicans are not being Republican – and that’s why they’re losing.
“Whenever a Republican distinguishes himself from a Democrat, he wins,” he said. “Whenever he acts like a Democrat, he loses. … You cannot out-Democrat a Democrat.”
He cited GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney as an example.
Romney was ill-prepared to tackle Barack Obama, as the former venture capitalist epitomized the stereotypical rich, elitist Republican that does not connect with the average person, he said.
And he didn’t make sure voters knew he was different. Bozell said the way Republicans win is when they don’t campaign like Democrats.
That, after all, Bozell said, is what Ronald Reagan did.
Read this story at wnd.com ...
House Republican leaders used a secret criteria list to decide which conservatives to purge from powerful House committees, Breitbart News has learned. As this time, it appears they will keep the criteria list hidden from the public, too. Spokespeople for members of House GOP leadership have refused to discuss details about the list on the record with press. Because GOP Leadership won't discuss the list, it’s unclear what specific criteria the list contained and how much of a role it played in the conservative purge. It’s also unclear which member of House Republican leadership initiated this process.
In remarks to the Heritage Foundation’s Bloggers Briefing on Tuesday, Kansas Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp confirmed the existence of such a list.
“We’ve heard from multiple sources that someone walked in with a list of votes and said if you didn’t reach a particular scorecard of what was considered the right vote – which by the way, in most cases, was not the conservative position – then [they said] ‘we’re going to have to remove you from the committee,’” Huelskamp said.
“All that took place behind closed doors, which is again a problem with Washington, D.C. – whether it’s the budget negotiations, whether it’s everything else, it’s usually done behind closed doors," he explained. "I think, as conservatives, this is where we can win: We’ve got to be willing and able to talk about things in public instead of being afraid of actual public scrutiny.”
Huelskamp later told Breitbart News he thinks House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Whip Kevin McCarthy owe it to the American people to be transparent about this decision making process – and that they should publicly release the list.
“In the name of transparency and openness, they most certainly should release the criteria,” Huelskamp said in an email. “Republican leadership promised America a new era of transparency – they should deliver on it.”
Huelskamp was one of four conservative Republicans that GOP leadership removed from committees on which they’d have the ability to affect fiscal policy. He and Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash were pulled from the House Budget Committee and Reps. David Schweikert of Arizona and Walter Jones of North Carolina got yanked off the House Financial Services Committee.
Read this story at breitbart.com ...
Well, House leadership made sure to elevate like-minded members to leadership; they took care to co-opt the Republican Study Committee; they packed the Steering Committee, which chooses committee assignments, with a bunch of loyalists. Now we’re seeing the effects of those decisions.
Maybe it’s because he’s intent on repealing Dodd-Frank. Maybe it’s because he wants to use his committee assignment to advocate winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Perhaps it’s because of his opposition to the $1 trillion farm bill. Maybe it’s because he’s just too darn conservative to sit on an important committee.
Earlier today, we provided a list of those who made it onto the Super A committees. Well, Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) is a conservative freshman member who was actually kicked off the Financial Services Committee. Members are rarely kicked off committees unless there is a scandal.
David Schweikert is one of those 2010 freshmen who is actually a Tea Partier in deed as well as rhetoric. While many freshmen folded under the pressure from leadership, Schweikert was actually removed from the Whip team because of his conservative dissent during the budget battles.
And who is replacing him on the committee? Our good buddy, Richard Hudson (NC-8), who was handpicked by leadership to run. Hmmm, I can’t remember the last time a sophomore member was replaced by an incoming freshman for no good reason.
Moreover, there are at least seven vacancies on this committee. It’s not like there were too many qualified candidates. Cantor and McCarthy went out of their way to banish Schweikert from the committee, even though he is one of the few remaining freshmen who were reelected. It’s pretty sad they are willing to let their personal vendetta lead their decision to knock off one of the most knowledgeable members on issues pertaining to GSEs and monetary policy from the committee.
Then there’s the case of Tim Huelskamp (R-KS). He is one of the most conservative members of the House. He was told today that his service on the Budget Committee would no longer be appreciated. Maybe it’s because of statements like this.
Update: Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) was also tossed off the Budget Committee.
There are more conservatives who are being left off any A or B level committee as we speak. Some don’t have any committee assignments yet for next year.
It’s becoming clear that there is only one faction that demands ideological purity. And it’s not the faction that upholds the ideology of the party.
GOP lawmakers float immigration reform plan
The Washington Times
By Stephen Dinan
Saying they want to get the conversation on immigration reform started, top Senate Republicans on Tuesday introduced a version of the so-called “Dream Act” to grant young illegal immigrants legal status in the US, though not giving them a special path to citizenship.
GOP Sens. Jon Kyl and Kay Bailey Hutchison said they have introduced a bill that would reward those who take college classes or join the military.
“We have got to get this ball rolling,” said Mr. Kyl, an Arizona Republican who is retiring this year. “We have to have a discussion that is sensible, that is calm.”
Read this story at washingtontimes.com ...
Exclusive: David Lane explains choice: Be faithful to GOP, or faithful to Jesus
The article "Rove Says Romney Lost Because of those Horrible Conservatives" and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Sen. John Cornyn's interview with Politico are helpful as we try to sort through the 2012 election rout.
Politico reports: "During an interview in his Senate hideaway in the basement of the Capitol, Cornyn told POLITICO that the 2012 elections exposed that the GOP had a 'brand problem.'" It's not clear why the prize pupil of Karl Rove - John Cornyn - feels it necessary to bring up the Republican "brand problem." We'll need to go back a quarter-century to gain perspective. Perhaps Ronald Reagan wasn't perfect, but there's a rationale why he removed a sitting U.S. president - Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1980 - and won 49 states for re-election in 1984 - and it wasn't "the economy, stupid." President Reagan bequeathed to the Republican Party the magnificent, "brand" of:
"Until American churches actually function as outposts of Jesus' heavenly empire rather than as cheerleaders for America - until the churches produce martyrs rather than patriots - the political witness of Christians will continue to be diluted and co-opted" ("Between Babel and the Beast," Peter J. Leithart).
The moderate, mercenary GOP chieftains and lieutenants - the evangelists that constructed and maintain the Permanent Republican Majority - truly believe that their political philosophy and "amoral values" trump the principles and foundation laid by America's founders.
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams
Read this story at wnd.com ...
"That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
We're One Nation Under God.
The first sworn duty of every officer of government is to protect the God-given, unalienable rights to life, liberty, and private property of every person, from creation to natural death.
The God-given institution of one man-one woman marriage and the natural family must be protected.
The right of the people to Keep and Bear Arms shall not be infringed.
Our national sovereignty, security, and borders must be defended.
Our republican form of representative self-government must be adhered to.
The oath of office to support and defend the Constitution of the United States must be fulfilled.