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Conservatives Richard Falknor on 05 Jun 2014

Unions & Big-Government Republicans Muscle MD County

UPDATE AFTER PRESS TIME! Readers may wish to visit the newly launched website Keep Carroll Conservative here. The Carroll Conservative PAC declares: “This website will expose the fake Republicans that are betraying Republican principles . . . [and] also provides facts about education funding in Carroll County that you need to know to make a fully informed decision.”

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“I think we are going to crush them [the Tea Party] everywhere” –senator Mitch McConnell, March 10, 2014
“Chamber of Commerce President Wants Tea Party to ‘Feel Some Heat’” –Breitbart’s Tony Lee

Many conservatives and just-plain-vanilla Republicans hoped that the “crush” that the good senator envisions and “the heat’ that Mr. Donohue plans would somehow not trouble their part of the forest. 

Alas, it was not to be — moreover the bi-partisan political class has already been having their way nationally with the Republic. 

RedState columnist and Marylander Daniel Horowitz details here in his “House Leaders Pass Another Bill With Democrat Support”–

“Evidently, the fact that Republicans ‘only’ control the House necessitates that they pass bills with Democrats support.  Once again, House leaders passed a bill through the House with only a majority of Democrat support.”

Now a toxic combination** of GOP big-government practitioners and public-employee unions comes to a conservative stronghold in the Old Line State.

The Attack of the Union Body Snatchers

Ann Miller’s Examiner post, “Carroll County teachers unions push for liberal infiltration of the GOP” here, illuminates the Attack of the Union Body Snatchers in that conservative citadel–

“Carroll County’s teachers’ unions CCEA and CASE are collectively pushing a slate of county commissioner and school board challengers whose longevity with the Republican Party and commitment to conservative principles are in question. The unions are urging teachers to switch party affiliation to Republican for the primary in order to vote for their slate, then switch back to Democrat after the primary. See union letter to teachers here.”

. . . . . . . . . .

“The union-backed slate consists of challengers along with incumbent Commissioner Doug Howard and incumbent school board President Virginia Harrison. The opposing ‘non-union’ slate consists of challengers along with incumbent Commissioner Richard Rothschild and Commissioner Robin Frazier. (Not to be confused with union slate challengers Devon Rothschild and Dennis Frazier.) Things sure are complex in Carroll County.
The union candidates are listed in the letter linked above. The non-union candidates are, for commissioner: Robin Frazier, Brian DiMaggio, Lyn Malick, Richard Rothschild, and Cathey Allison. For school board: Bud Nason, George Harmening, and Jim Roenick.” (Highlighting Forum’s throughout.)

Again, Blue Ridge Forum has seen and cautioned about parallel approaches in Virginia, where the GOP establishment brings in public employees and (likely non-Reagan) Democrats to take over Republican county committees.

Jamie Radtke revealed here last March in her Bull Elephant article “Mike Thomas Snuffing Out Conservative Votes with the Help of Democrats”–

“The recent tactics they used to take over the Republican Party only further demonstrates their continued contempt for all things Republican. Last night they coordinated caravans of county employees and Democrats to the Republican Mass Meeting. It is estimated that 100-150 easily identifiable county employees and Democrats were present at the meeting.
They accomplished this unprecedented turnout because Neil Vener, former Commonwealth Attorney for Campbell County, submitted a FOIA request to obtain the emails of all county employees in Campbell County. He then sent out an email to all county employees (The Bull Elephant has exclusively obtained this email) to tell them they needed to come to the Republican Meeting to prevent the REPUBLICANS on the Campbell County Board of Supervisor from ‘blindly cut[ting] taxes and ruthlessly slash[ing] the budget.’ In fact, during the Mass Meeting last night Independent Supervisor Stan Goldsmith stood in the meeting defending the largest tax increase in Campbell County history and he received loud and extended applause. Hardly a Republican crowd!
They assured these county employees and Democrats that they did not have to be a Republican and that the Republican pledge that they would be required to sign was ‘nonbinding,’ so they should not hesitate to sign it.”

Examiner columnist Miller gets to the heart of the matter in Carroll County here when she urges–

This tactic by the teachers’ unions will affect every Marylander. Even if you are in another county, please consider donating to the campaigns of the non-union candidates and pull the rug out from under union control of our free elections. We can all volunteer to make calls to true Republicans to urge them to vote on primary day June 24.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

She explains why–

“With 1500-1600 members of [teachers' unions] CASE/CCEA, pressure to switch and vote could indeed have a big impact on the election outcome. In the 2010 primary for commissioner, the winners won by a margin of 500-900 votes.”

This is an opportunity for Tea Partiers around the Old Line State, as well as other grass-roots activists from libertarians to gun-rights advocates, to pitch in as phone volunteers in this crucial Carroll County primary.

Citizens who want to help out should email this address.

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**A national counterpart of such a combination might be the Republican Main Street Partnership which RedState chief Erick Erickson calls here “Democrat Funded”.

Conservatives Richard Falknor on 21 May 2014

“Obama Republicans”: Will Big Amnesty Prove They Dominate?

“Reagan ran again as the anti-establishment candidate of the future and swamped the lifetime Democrat, ironically with the help of Democrats. Yet the Establishment Republicans simply could not abide by the realigning elections of 1980, 1984, and 1994. By the final years of the last century, some inside the GOP wanted the Reagan Revolution to be over, thus the phrase ‘compassionate conservative.’ George W. Bush ran and lost the popular vote in 2000 without once ever calling for a spending cut or the elimination of one single wasteful federal program. After that, the GOP would continue to embrace the persona of Reagan–they had little choice–but no longer would they embrace the American conservative philosophy of the Gipper. Hence, the stirrings of the Obama Republicans.”   —

Today’s Breitbart brings us Craig Shirley’s challenging post here “Rise of the ‘Obama Republicans.’”

Author and conservative operative Shirley spells out his thesis–

“What has altered the storyline in the past several years is not the emergence of the Tea Party but rather the permanent entrenchment of Big Government Republicans, aka Obama Republicans. President Obama has had that much effect on the national debate, which has had a direct effect on the national Republicans.”
Nast Tammany Tiger

John Boehner:”Hell-Bent” on Big Immigration (thanks to the late Thomas Nast)

His description of “Obama Republicans” parallels earlier such analyses here by scholar Angelo Codevilla on the “Ruling Class” and the “Country Class.”

Shirley declares–

“The new Obama Republicans are members of the bureaucratic classes, are pro-government, pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion, pro-NSA, and pro-amnesty. They are sophisticated, urban, and have utterly nothing in common with the Tea Party Reaganites. Indeed, they are culturally closer to Obama’s and Romney’s view of the world than Reagan’s.”


Last February 19 we asked (with special reference Paul Singer’s campaign contributions in Maryland and Virginia) here in our GOP Ruling-Class Donors: What (Or Whom) Are They Buying?

Hedge-fund billionaire Singer is well known as a backer of gay marriage and amnesty.

And Our Republican Voices in the National Legislature?

Last January 29 we pointed out here in our Not Just on Amnesty: House GOP Leaders Have No Shame!

Today the House of Representatives GOP leaders led most of their flock to approve here the conference report on the nearly $1 trillion farm bill. A core of 63 Republican representatives here would not go along, however, with this raid on the taxpayers.  One of them was Maryland’s Andy Harris.  By way of contrast, not one Virginia GOP House member voted against what is largely a giant food-stamp bill.

Will Big Amnesty Unmask The Obama Republicans?

Long-time Virginia conservative Michael Giere today wonders here in The Immigration Trainwreck–

Will the Virginia Delegation Sign the Anti-Amnesty Pledge?

pointing out–

“On this single issue the gulf between America’s arrogant ruling class – the Washington elites – and average hard working Americans can’t be overstated.”

Can a Plausible Future Be Crafted for the GOP?

Craig Shirley believes–

“The only question now is how long the Tea Party Reaganites stay with a party which is fundamentally opposed to them and despises them.”

Angelo Codevilla declares here in his Forbes article “As Country Club Republicans Link Up With The Democratic Ruling Class, Millions Of Voters Are Orphaned”–

“A new party is likely to arise because the public holds both Republicans and Democrats responsible for the nation’s unsustainable course. Indebtedness cannot increase endlessly. Nor can regulations pile on top of regulations while the officials who promulgate them – and their pensions – continue to grow, without crushing those beneath. Nor can the population’s rush to disability status and other forms of public assistance, or the no-win wars that have resulted in ‘open season’ on Americans around the world, continue without catharsis. One half of the population cannot continue passively to absorb insults without pushing back. When – sooner rather than later – events collapse this house of cards, it will be hard to credibly advocate a better future while bearing a label that advertises responsibility for the present. Why trust any Republican qua Republican?”

Can such a party be saved?

Conservatives Richard Falknor on 23 Apr 2014

Will VA 10 Conservatives Be Orphaned By A Comstock Win?

“By repeatedly passing bills that contradict the identity of Republican voters and of the majority of Republican elected representatives, the Republican leadership has made political orphans of millions of Americans.”(Highlighting Forum’s) — Angelo Codevilla in Forbes

Barbara Comstock, as we have declared many times, is the GOP Establishment favorite to win the April 26 Republican primary election to select that party’s candidate in the November 4 general election for the seat of retiring Representative Frank Wolf.

In her race, Mrs. Comstock has become the Empress of Endorsements by hustling support — not only from many members of the Beltway GOP – but even from a few conservatives who should have done their homework more carefully.

She has, however, shown studied indifference to the Tea Party movement and to grassroots conservatives throughout her district during her primary race.

She touts her own visibility at the 2012 Republican Convention, but she fails to remind us that the dread words “Tea Party” were apparently not authorized to be uttered by the official speakers.

Virginia delegate Comstock, moreover, has not explained why she keeps taking campaign money from gay-marriage and Big Immigration advocate, New York City financier Paul Singer here
While at least two of her conservative primary opponents have expressed deep dissatisfaction with the current House of Representatives leadership, we don’t recall hearing a discouraging word from the good Mrs. Comstock about the Boehner-Cantor Team.

GOP Donors vs. Voters

Last Sunday, National Journal’s Alex Roarty illuminates a Republican schism which is reflected in Comstock’s campaign.

He explains “Why Republican Donors and Voters Don’t Get Along: Even as Democrats attack Republicans for catering to the wealthy, the GOP base is distinctly working-class” here

 “Democrats, who once depended heavily on blue-collar workers, have become increasingly the party of white-collar workers, at least among whites. And as downscale whites leave the Democratic Party, they’ve joined the GOP, whose cultural values often align with their own.
‘Blue-collar whites have been migrating to the Republican Party ever since Ronald Reagan called them Reagan Democrats,’ said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster. ‘It’s a culture that is heavily family based, more small-town and rural. It’s very pro-gun, and very patriotic. We’re talking about a group of folks who see Democratic efforts at gun control as a cultural assault, an attack on their values.’” (Highlighting Forum’s)

Barbara Comstock’s handlers may calculate that if (they would say when) she is nominated, voter dissatisfaction with the Obama Administration is now so high that any plausible Republican will win — even in only an R+2 district like Virginia 10.

But even if only a modest slice of Republican voters feel orphaned by a Comstock nomination, this is a high-risk strategy.

For will Blue Collar voters have confidence that their voices will be heard in the Comstock Circle?

Conservatives Richard Falknor on 05 Apr 2014

Taking Back The House GOP Leadership: Two Powerful Ads

Want to replace Eric Cantor while there is still time?

1776: NYC Patriots tear down statue of George III (via CT Sons of the American Revolution)

1776: NYC Patriots tear down statue of GeorgeIII (via CT Sons of the American Revolution)


Then see Virginia Vision Action PAC’s compelling YouTubes here!

Watch Florida (which covers Mr. Cantor’s part in a coming April 11-13 anti-Tea-Party event), then watch Amnesty.

If you like the approach of these ads and want more people to see these and others like them, visit RINOCantor.com here.

The site puts in plain words what many of us have feared for years–

“Four years ago, Tea Party conservatives put Republicans in charge of Congress.  But since then nothing has changed.  ObamaCare is being implemented and House Republicans led by John Boehner and Eric Cantor are funding it.  Planned Parenthood continues to receive your tax dollars to do abortions.  And our national debt is up from $14 Trillion to $17.5 Trillion.  That’s a 25 percent increase.
Eric Cantor has served as Majority Leader since John Boehner became Speaker.  And he’s going to be the next Speaker unless you act now.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

If GOP leader Eric Cantor loses his June 10 primary, a constructive conservative message will reverberate throughout the GOP nationally.

So winning this primary in the Old Dominion is an imperative — not just for Virginia — but for the entire nation.

Virginia conservatives are at the forward edge of battle to take back the GOP.

But they can’t do it without the support of like-minded Americans around the country!

UPDATE APRIL 6! Virginia Vision Action PAC  (VVAP) ran audios of these two YouTubes, alternating each hour on WRVA, Richmond’s conservative talk radio station, starting at 6:00 AM on Friday April 4 and continuing until midnight. VVAP  reports they are eager to get back on the air with ‘another ad exposing Cantor’s less than conservative ways.’”

* * * * * * * * * *

Faithful readers will recall that Mr. Cantor’s missteps and uncertain principles have been evident for some time.
Start reading from the bottom.
Tea Partiers Stay On Cantor’s Trail Into His Home Turf!
Action Images: VA-MD Tea Partiers Take Message to Eric Cantor
Can Virginia Conservatives Bring Eric Cantor to a Better Mind?
Taxpayers Would Pay Bundles for Cantor’s High-Speed Rail
“Carbon Emissions” What Does GOP Whip Cantor Believe?
Will the New Republican ‘Listening Tour’ Hear the Base?

Conservatives Richard Falknor on 08 Mar 2014

Cruz v. Paul: Two Contrasting Polls & A Look At CPAC Past

The Madison Project’s Drew Ryun reports –

“Today the Senate Conservatives Fund conducted a straw poll opposite that of CPAC. Not only did the number of voters in the SCF poll dwarf those that participated in the CPAC poll (42,000 votes to 2,400 votes), Senator Ted Cruz’s margin of victory was more than that of Senator Rand Paul and Governor Scott Walker combined.”

Declares here the Senate Conservatives Fund

“ALEXANDRIA, VA — The Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF) released the results of its 2016 presidential straw poll today. SCF conducted an online poll for its members who could not attend the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, DC today.
The top three vote winners were U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) with 42%, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) with 17%, and Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) with 10%. Over 41,000 ballots were cast nationwide.
‘The results of the SCF presidential straw poll are unique because they reflect the views of a large group of conservatives across the country,’ said SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins. ‘Our poll shows that Ted Cruz is currently the conservative favorite for president in 2016.’”

Seth McLaughlin and Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times report here in their “Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second” that–

“Previous versions of The Washington Times/CPAC poll showed that the audience that gathers in Washington leans younger and more libertarian than the conservative movement throughout the country, which likely gives Mr. Paul a boost with this crowd here.”


The Huffington Post reminds us here (scroll down) that–

“Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won in 2012, just months before clinching the eventual nomination for president in May. Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who also ran for president in 2012, was a back-to-back winner in 2010 and 2011.”

and recalls here

“CPAC Straw Poll Results 2013: Rand Paul Wins Conservative Vote”

In our view, Mark Steyn said it all here right after the 2006 Congressional election–

“. . . you can’t be in favor of assertive American foreign policy overseas and increasing Europeanization domestically; likewise, you can’t take a reductively libertarian view while the rest of the planet goes to pieces. Someone in the GOP needs to do what Ronald Reagan did so brilliantly a quarter-century ago — reconcile the big challenges abroad with a small-government philosophy at home. The House and the Senate will not return to Republican hands until they do.”

Conservatives Richard Falknor on 19 Feb 2014

GOP Ruling-Class Donors: What (Or Whom) Are They Buying?

VDARE’s James Fulford sheds light here on the troubling questions of giant donors pulling the GOP away from basic conservative principles.

In Fulford’s post “POLITICO: Paul Singer, Plutocrats Plot To Buy GOP. Do They Think It Comes With Voters?” he reports–

“We’ve written a lot about hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer, who the Politico says “has long been a key player in GOP money circles, espousing a nontraditional brand of conservatism that includes aggressive backing for gay marriage and immigration reform, as well as more traditional GOP stances like lower taxes and less government regulation.” [Emphasis added.]

Faithful readers will recall our coverage of how hedge-fund manager Singer helped bankroll the opposition to traditional marriage in Maryland. As Gazette.net’s Daniel Leaderman pointed out here on October 15, 2012–

“Marylanders for Marriage Equality, a group supporting same-sex marriage, raised $3.2 million from more than 9,000 donors, according to campaign finance reports submitted late last week. But Monday, the group announced that another $250,000 rolled in from a single donor: hedge-fund guru Paul Singer, who runs the New York City-based Elliott Management and is a frequent donor to Republican campaigns. . . . ‘Paul Singer demonstrates real leadership yet again on marriage equality,’ state Sen. Allan H. Kittleman (R-Dist. 9) of West Friendship, who supported the legislation, said in a statement Monday. ‘He realizes, like I do, that Question 6 is about fairness and equality under the law — values we all, no matter party, share here in Maryland.’” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

With serious heavy lifting from the state GOP apparatus in 2012, traditional marriage would likely have prevailed in Maryland — even in the teeth of their well-bankrolled opposition.

See our chart here showing how much better traditional marriage did in Maryland than governor Romney in November 2012.

Today we are confronted with Mr. Singer’s donations (via VPAP here) to House hopeful Barbara Comstock and other Virginia GOP luminaries from 2007 to 2013:

$100,000 McDonnell for Governor – Bob
$95,000 Vogel for Senate – Jill
$80,000 Comstock for Delegate – Barbara
$25,000 Cuccinelli for Attorney General – Kenneth
$25,000 Opportunity Virginia PAC
$10,000 Merrick for Senate – Caren
$10,000 Forrest for Senate – Patrick
$5,000 Dominion Leadership Trust
$5,000 Hunt For Senate – Steve”

Does Paul Singer expect  Mrs. Comstock’s help with same-sex marriage, or with amnesty, or with both? 

Or did he make these five individual donations — totaling $80,000 (click on the $80,00 link above) — just because he pegged her as a smooth Washington insider and he liked her McLean political style?

So How About The GOP Supporting
Blue-Collar Workers Of All Ethnicities?

As NRO’s John O’Sullivan explains here on amnesty and expanded legal immigration,what we are seeing is a struggle  between “a political coalition of the Republican and Democrat establishments versus blue-collar workers in both parties  and of all ethnicities.” Sometime Margaret Thatcher adviser O’Sullivan puts the contrasting Ruling Class v. Country Class approaches to amnesty and immigration in a nutshell:  read it all.

And stay tuned on how money advances gay marriage and immigration in the GOP!

Conservatives Richard Falknor on 18 Feb 2014

Is The Beltway GOP OK With The IRS Tea Party Suppression?

“It is an open question – and an irrelevant one – whether Democrats or Republicans were the more responsible for excluding from this ‘omnibus’ bill a proposal to prevent the Internal Revenue Service from harassing conservative groups ahead of the 2014 elections as it did prior to the elections of 2012. The harassing will not stop, and no one can know who trashed the proposal to stop it, because because both parties share a partisan interest in its continuation.”Angelo Codevilla  (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Yesterday Breitbart’s Michael Patrick Leahy reported here that “Pat Caddell Says Establishment Republicans ‘Want the IRS to Go After’ the Tea Party”–

“Democratic pollster Pat Caddell [foregoing link supplied] thinks so, and radio host Rush Limbaugh said it’s plausible. One historian even told Breitbart News the modern GOP resembles a ‘crime family.’”

Leahy’s very useful post continues–

“Reagan biographer Craig Shirley told Breitbart News on Monday that he agrees with Limbaugh that Caddell’s charges are credible.’The Washington Republican party is no longer a political party in the way we understand political parties,’ Shirley said. ‘It more resembles a crime family than a movement of ideas.’”

For new readers, who may be shocked to hear the words “crime family” in this context, we also suggest our October 23, 2013 article on Reaganaut Peter Schweizer’s ground-breaking analysis of today’s Beltway politics, Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets:

          A Rosetta Stone To Understand The Permanent Political Class: “Extortion”

And don’t forget to listen to Caddell’s audio here on the “lobbying consulting class of the Republican party and Republican leadership.”

Faithful readers will recall our January 12 post: Crucial WSJ Report! Tea-Party-Gag Rule: Will Appropriators Wolf & Harris Push Back?  where we cited–

former senior House appropriator Ernest Istook [who] warned here in his “IRS to get ‘license to kill’ groups that oppose Obama agenda”(Washington Times): “Congress can block the regulations. But unless they do that as part of the IRS budget that will pass Congress in the next week or two, there won’t be another opportunity this year to block these regulations.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

In northern Virginia, we have a primary here on April 26 to select the Republican nominee to run in the general election for the House seat now held by retiring GOP Representative Frank Wolf.

Following up on these reports of Beltway GOP ineptitude — or worse — with the IRS, here are two key questions that grass-roots conservatives should ask the GOP contenders in this Virginia 10 primary: 

(1) Do you believe the current House GOP Leadership needs to be replaced? And, if so,
(2) Will you endorse and support Dr. David Brat here running against Eric Cantor in the June 10 GOP primary in Virginia’s Seventh District?

The outcome of these two Virginia Republican contests will have consequences far outside of the Old Dominion leading either toward the revitalization — or toward the growing policy irrelevance of the national Republican Party. (See Mark Steyn’s prescient 2010 post here on such irrelevance: “in office, but never in power”.)

As Mark Levin explained just last Friday (via The Right Scoop) “We need new leaders and a new Republican Party”

“I’ve seen leaders, I’ve worked for leaders. And leaders change events. Leaders affect the future. And they have arguments. They don’t stand there and talk with marbles in their mouths and trash their own party and so forth. Look, we need a new Republican Party. We need new leaders.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Stay tuned!

Conservatives Michael Giere on 12 Feb 2014

Reagan Was Tea Party Before There Was A Tea Party

Ronald Reagan spans post-World War II America like the Golden Gate Bridge spans San Francisco Bay.

No serious discussion of the man or his presidency can fail to acknowledge the immense change he brought to the economy, the defense of American exceptionalism, and the defeat of the Soviet Communism.

Regrettably, it has been fashionable in certain Republican circles to dismiss — sometimes subtlety, sometimes blatantly — Reagan as a relic of the 1980’s with little relevance to the new America. The first Bush Administration set the precedent for this public degrading of the Reagan Revolution about ten minutes after its 1989 inauguration. More recently, we have had a host of “big name” Republicans who have suggested that conservatives have an obsession with Reagan and are embellishing his legacy, and that the party needs to “move on.”

Another popular trend with many moderates, who don’t want to directly dismiss Reagan, but who want to pretend they are really “like him,” is to suggest that Reagan “could never win a Republican primary today, because he was too moderate for today’s conservatives or Tea Party Patriots.”

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is only the latest of many to attempt to foist off this line of political babble. Bush, a presumed presidential contender for 2016 has used this line frequently.  Frankly, for Bush and other big name Republicans who are trying to re-invent President Reagan by the standards of their own weakness, it instead reveals their lack of seriousness intellectually and politically, not Reagan’s. (Interestingly, you never hear Democrat’s trying to dismiss FDR!)

On this week of his birthday – he’d be 103 year old – it’s worth recalling exactly who this man was, and was not.

First and foremost, Reagan was a teacher – a man who could carry a narrative into the public square – who over the thirty years prior to becoming President turned the ear of a whole generation to the foundational concepts of life, liberty and property at a time when cultural Marxism was at flood stage. It was Reagan who for all intents and purposes (with all due respect to William F. Buckley and so many others who labored hard in their lifetimes to re-establish conservatism) drove classical conservative ideas back into the mainstream of the culture, who called communism communism, who rallied middle America back into the fight for individual freedom, and who placed God in the center of his worldview.

Is it too much to say he saved constitutional government for another generation? Perhaps so; but it’s hard to see in the rearview mirror who, besides Reagan, could have rescued the nation, and joined with Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul to save the West.   

Reagan was Tea Party before there was a Tea Party. And those who don’t think so simply have not familiarized themselves with his words, or listened to his speeches in his thirty years prior to 1980.

Reagan was an astute and extremely well read leader, who combined his grasp of the foundational classics with a keen eye on the human condition. His early religious upbringing and his adult battle with the organized communists in Hollywood only sharpened his understanding of the nature of evil contained in Socialism as an ideology specifically, and in the human heart generally. And yet, for all of that, Reagan was a sentimentalist and a traditionalist, slow to punish, and quick to forgive.

In short, Reagan knew what he was talking about and why he was talking about it, and didn’t have to pretend to be someone or something he wasn’t.  That fact alone makes him largely unique in modern American politics.

What other leader in modern times would have withstood the pressure of the entire American foreign-policy establishment and walked out of the meeting with the Soviet dictator in Reykjavik, except Reagan?

But, above all of this, Ronald Reagan stood on the stage of the world as an American leader in the most descriptive sense possible. Perhaps unlike any twentieth century president except Truman, Reagan was an American in the most demonstrative ways possible; in attitude and outlook, in personality and demeanor, and in the uniquely American sense that he believed in our Divine destiny.

He touched the country class — the blue collar, the tradesmen, the shop keeper and the tailor. He touched the whole swath of Middle America, because he carried in him the seed our forefathers planted 238 years ago.

He believed in our goodness, and he believed God had positioned this shining city on a hill for such a time as this.

For this the left will always hate him; and the weaklings will always resent him.

Most of us will just have pride that he was ours for too short a time.

Mike.Giere_.1-4-2012-300-150x150  Virginian Mike Giere has written extensively on politics, foreign policy, and issues of faith. He is a former candidate for the U.S. House in Texas; worked for Ronald Reagan in ’76 & ’80; and served in both the Reagan and Bush (41) Administrations.

Conservatives Richard Falknor on 29 Jan 2014

Not Just on Amnesty: House GOP Leaders Have No Shame!

Today the House of Representatives GOP leaders led most of their flock to approve here the conference report on the nearly $1 trillion farm bill.

John Leech 1852

Cicero returns from Roman Republic to denounce GOP leaders.
(Click on image. Thanks to John Leech, London, 1852.)

A core of 63 Republican representatives here would not go along, however, with this raid on the taxpayers.  One of them was Maryland’s Andy Harris. 

By way of contrast, not one Virginia GOP House member voted against what is largely a giant food-stamp bill.

Yesterday the Heritage Foundation’s Daren Bakst listed here some of the lowlights of this 949-page measure – cautioning that “we won’t know what’s in the farm bill until after we pass it and the public is harmed by its policies.(Highlighting Forum’s)

Among the most redolent provisions Heritage expert Bakst cites–

  • “House Caves on Food Stamp Spending. Food stamp spending has quadrupled since FY 2000 and doubled since 2008. The House bill would have reduced spending by about $39 billion, while the Senate would have reduced spending by only $4 billion. The reported ‘compromise’ is about $8 billion, which is $31 billion less (80 percent less) than what the House sought.”
  • “No Real Work Requirement.  Congress had the opportunity to implement a strong work requirement, putting food stamps on course to promote self-sufficiency for able-bodied adults. But the work provision in the bill is nothing more than a mere work ‘suggestion.’ A strong work requirement is the most crucial reform for food stamps, but Congress has failed to include such a policy.”
  • “Virtually Unlimited Taxpayer Liability. There are two new programs that have been added to replace direct payments, one of which covers even minor losses for farmers.  The potential costs of these programs could skyrocket based on even modest changes in commodity prices.  This is why the House bill had a price ceiling, or cost cap, limiting the exposure that taxpayers would have to pay out for these unknown and costly programs.  The new bill doesn’t appear to have such a cost cap—basically, taxpayers are faced with a blank check while farmers are being covered for virtually any risk.” (Highlighting Forum’s throughout.)

Read all of the Heritage farm bill report here.

The Larger GOP Picture

Yesterday Daniel Horowitz in Redstate sketched here “The State of the Republican Party” making these central points–

  • “Obama is requesting endless debt ceiling increases.  Mitch McConnell and John Boehner have made it clear they agree with his fallacious premise about default and plan to raise it, yet somehow extract concessions.
  • “Obama has doubled down on Obamacare. Yet GOP leaders are owned by lobbyists who have made it clear they will never repeal the law.”
  • “Obama has shredded the Constitution and used illegal administrative power to advance legislation that never passed Congress. The GOP leadership has made it clear they will never use the power of the purse vested in the House to clamp down on those illegal maneuvers.
  • “Obama talks about the endless need to intervene in the private economy, yet Republicans are prepared to pass a $956 billion Farm Bill, which locks in the President’s baseline for food stamp spending and entrenches the federal government into every aspect of Agriculture.
  • “Obama speaks of the need to make ‘investments’ in the nation, yet Republicans respond by passing a $1.1 trillion omnibus bill.”
  • “Obama panders to radical socially liberal interests in order to remake our society, and Republicans are silent on ‘social issues.’”
  • “And finally, Obama speaks passionately about our obligation to open our citizenship and welfare state to illegal immigrants and the rest of the world without limits, yet Republicans respond…..by offering the same!

Policy analyst Horowitz explains

“And the reason is quite simple.  GOP leaders don’t share our values.  To the extent they humor us with some shiny objects it is designed to get the bills to conference so they can inject their real priorities into the final agreement.  Now some House conservatives are getting a taste of what a potential immigration conference committee would look like. We all know that this president is dangerous.  We need to defeat him and his party.  But if we focus exclusively on Obama and the priorities he laid out tonight and ignore the fire within the Republican Party, we are destined to play into his hands.” (Highlighting Forum’s throughout.)

No question that some errant House GOP members — including the Majority Leader — must be defeated in primaries.

But as we presumably learned — after the November 2, 2010 Tea Party-enabled victory in House elections gave us so little in reform — local conservative organizations must also start to insist on week-in and week-out conversations with their House GOP members.

The grass-roots must get at least the same time, access, and inside information from their House GOP members as these United States Representatives give lobbyists from big business, big agriculture, big Federal, state, and local government, big education, and big “social transformation” groups.

A good time to start?

Right after the conclusion of the House Republican retreat starting today in Cambridge, Maryland.

Conservatives Richard Falknor on 23 Jan 2014

Ed Gillespie: Would A Beltway Insider Be A Strong Voice For You?

“Friends, the battle lines are stark and clear. Conservatives will beat the GOP or the GOP will go left. It will go left toward amnesty, left toward common core, left toward Obamacare, left toward abortion rights, left toward gun control, and left toward tax increases and even bigger spending.” Erick Erickson

The Political Class and the Beltway GOP are chattering about the candidacy of Ed Gillespie for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator from Virginia against incumbent Democrat Mark Warner.

But conservative Breitbart’s Tony Lee correctly terms Mr. Gillespie a “Karl Rove ally.”

We looked at the good Mr. Gillespie back in February 2009 here (scroll to bottom)

“In Virginia, will the Bush legacy of disappointment continue? For example, former Bush consigliere Ed Gillespie will be heading here Robert F. McDonnell’s campaign for governor–
‘Gillespie, a former lobbyist and a fixture in national Republican politics for two decades, will be involved in every aspect of strategy, policy development, communications and fundraising, according to senior campaign officials. The Fairfax County resident will also be a frequent surrogate for McDonnell across the state and nation.’ [Washington Post,February 13, 2009]
Conservatives should apply the eyes-wide-open test to Ed Gillespie
Obviously he has more than a merely administrative role in the campaign — one could fairly say he is money-raiser and message-shaper-in-chief. He has a record of helping hike taxes in Virginia, he has a strong record in behalf of more open immigration, and he is, according to the Manchester Union Leader, on record in behalf of larger government.  There are Republicans who can smoothly argue that his way is the only path to victory, particularly in northern Virginia.  His could certainly be the best path to larger contributions from big business.  But is a Gillespie-crafted campaign the only kind of Republican victory Virginia conservatives can realistically expect?  And if so, would they be comfortable with a governorship reflecting those values?”

These questions seem sadly prescient in the light of the McDonnell $6.1 billion tax hike.

Which way today’s GOP: ruling class or country class?

Ed Gillespie has a long history of pushing immigration expansion.

In this endeavor, he will be in tune with the House GOP leadership as they hold their retreat starting January 29 in Cambridge, Maryland.

NRO editor-at-large John O’Sullivan asked last July 30 “What about the Workers?”(click here) clarifying the central amnesty political issue–the effect on American workers of importing low-cost foreign labor.

O’Sullivan explains–

“In a letter to fellow-Republicans on the Hill today, Senator Jeff Sessions declares with admirable straightforwardness that the GOP establishment’s main argument for the Gang of Eight immigration bill — that ‘the great lesson of the 2012 election is that the GOP needs to push for immediate amnesty and a drastic surge in low-skill immigration’ — is quite simply ‘nonsense.’ He is, of course, correct. That is true, moreover, of every other argument advanced in favor of the bill by the Gang of Eight and the GOP establishment. All these arguments have been investigated to death, generally by Mark Krikorian on these pages, but also by a wide range of critics elsewhere, notably Mickey Kaus. I can’t think of a single one that has survived its vivisection — no, vivisection is performed on living things; the correct term for examining these arguments is post mortem. . . .  And as Mickey Kaus points out, its organizer, former Bush II commerce secretary Carlos Guterriez, more or less admits that this is a struggle between Republican donors and Republican voters. In fact it’s worse than that. This struggle pits a political coalition of the Republican and Democrat establishments versus blue-collar workers in both parties and of all ethnicities. And the electoral realities of such a struggle don’t favor the establishments.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

We look forward to posting on–

  • any record of Mr. Gillespie’s since January 2011 (when the GOP took over the House) urging the GOP leadership to start to defund Obamacare and to defund job-killing Federal regulations;
  • whether he agrees with (or repudiates) the Chamber of Commerce’s attacks here on the Tea Party, and their support for Common Core as well as for big immigration;
  • any specific proposals he has to rein in the president’s lawlessness here.

Most important, what in Ed Gillespie’s political record would make him a powerful advocate for both middle-class and blue-collar Virginians hurt economically by Obamacare and by job-killing rules — and whose culture is daily undermined by a revolutionary administration?

Stay tuned.

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