Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘rinos’

Another GOP “leader” caves to the left

Posted by Richard on March 24, 2016

Today brings yet another example of why many rank-and-file Republicans are so fed up and pissed off that they’re saying “screw all the party politicians, I’m backing Trump.” Press release from Americans for Limited Government (emphasis added):

March 24, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement blasting Sen. Jerry Moran’s (R-Kan.) statement that “the process ought to go forward” for President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland:

“Jerry Moran’s decision to cave on considering Obama’s Supreme Court nominee is incomprehensible.  As the former head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Moran spent the past two years telling America that they needed a GOP majority to stop Obama from fundamentally transforming America.  Now, Moran is opening the door for a Supreme Court nominee who would lock in Obama’s agenda for a generation.  This is an outright betrayal of the very GOP Senate majority which Moran successfully led the fight to achieve.  Jerry Moran needs to understand one simple fact, stopping Obama’s agenda is his job, and pandering to the hard left which demands that he kowtow to their whims is hopefully a misquote rather than his considered position.”

 

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Electoral signs of the times — or something

Posted by Richard on May 9, 2012

I’m not sure what these things mean, but I suspect they mean something.

In the West Virginia Democratic presidential primary, Keith Judd, a convicted felon imprisoned in Texas, got 41% of the vote in his run against President Obama, who got 59%.

In the Indiana Republican senatorial primary, incumbent Sen. Dick Lugar got 39% of the vote against challenger Richard Mourdock, endorsed by Tea Party groups and the Club for Growth, who got 61%.

So a convicted felon in West Virginia managed a better showing against the sitting president than an incumbent senator in Indiana managed against a Tea Party challenger.

Meanwhile in Wisconsin’s run-up to the June 5 gubernatorial recall election, Democratic voters by a wide margin chose Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett over Kathleen Falk to challenge Gov. Scott Walker, even though Falk had the backing of the labor unions who bankrolled the recall effort and made it possible (and who tried to pressure Barrett, who lost badly to Walker in 2010, into not running).

But here’s what’s interesting: The Democratic primary was hotly contested, while Walker faced no meaningful opposition on the Republican side. Nevertheless, 626,000 Republicans turned out to vote for Walker, despite no compelling reason to do so — almost as many as voted for the four Democratic candidates (665,000). That seems like a good sign for Walker.

Make of all that what you will. Being optimistic by nature, I’m inclined to see these as signs that the American people aren’t ready to emulate France or Greece.

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RINO Lugar given the boot

Posted by Richard on May 8, 2012

The French may have embraced socialism, and the Greeks may have embraced default, but Indiana Republicans have embraced Senate challenger Richard Mourdock, who was endorsed by various Tea Party groups and the Club for Growth. Mourdock crushed incumbent Sen. Dick Lugar (dubbed “Obama’s favorite Republican” by Tea Party critics):

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Lugar had just under 40 percent of the vote to Mourdock’s just over 60 percent.

Playing out in a conservative state, the race illustrated the electorate’s animosity toward many incumbents and anyone with deep ties to Washington. That was clear when Lugar, who hasn’t faced questions about his residency in decades, found himself on the defensive over whether he lived in Indiana or northern Virginia. Lugar also was cast as too moderate for the conservative GOP in Indiana, and he took heat for his work with Democrats on issues such as nuclear nonproliferation, underscoring deep polarization in the country as well as a split in the GOP between the establishment wing and the insurgent tea party.

In a statement, Obama praised his former Senate colleague as someone “who was often willing to reach across the aisle and get things done.”

Yet another sign that the Republican electorate is fed up with the ruling party Republican establishment. And that the Tea Party movement is alive and well.

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John “McCain II” Huntsman

Posted by Richard on June 22, 2011

To the delight of the mainstream media, John Huntsman threw his hat into the ring today. They've been promoting his potential candidacy for weeks now. He's the kind of soft-spoken, moderate, reach-across-the-aisle Republican that the Socialist Democrat Party's media shills like. He's the new John McCain.

Of course, if he were to get the Republican nomination, they'd turn on him in a heartbeat, just like they did McCain. 

Huntsman announced his presidential campaign at Liberty State Park, with the Statue of Liberty behind him, right where Ronald Reagan spoke on Labor Day, 1980. And Huntsman evoked Reagan early and often. Rush Limbaugh had the right response to that: "You have to forgive me here but I'm a little resentful of people who are nothing like Reagan trying to be Reagan."

Huntsman may have evoked Reagan, but he channeled McCain:

Let me say something about civility. For the sake of the younger generation it concerns me that civility, humanity, and respect are sometimes lost in our interactions as Americans. Our political debates today are corrosive and not reflective of the belief that Abe Lincoln espoused. I don't think you need to run down someone's reputation in order to run for the office of president. I respect the President of the United States. He and I have a difference of opinion on how to help a country we both love, but the question each of us wants the voters to answer is "Who will be the better president?" not who's the better American. 

As Limbaugh noted, this is the timid Republicanism that the media elites and the inside-the-beltway, ruling class Republicans want the GOP to embrace, and it's nonsense (emphasis added):

The Republican Party is still convinced that in order to secure the support of independents, that they have to be boring. They have to be serious and Milquetoast and cannot be confrontational, cannot be partisan, cannot go into attack mode. Somehow this is going to cause the independents to get nervous and send them running right back to Obama. Now, of course, that's flat-out BS, it's totally wrong. The elections of last November demonstrate that in a real world, real life example. But then there's also this. We're told — and this is a trap, by the way, the left puts this out. It's designed to get us to be boring. It's designed to get us not to contrast ourselves with the left.

They put out this notion, "These independents, these moderates, they don't mess around. They're cut above! And they start hearing this deep partisanship and they're just gonna run away from you guys. They're gonna run right back to the Democrats." Right. Now, the Democrat Party and anybody in it that you want to name today is the most vicious and mean-spirited and exemplifies the politics of personal destruction unlike I've ever seen it practiced in my lifetime.

So Huntsman stood where Reagan stood, tried to evoke Reagan, and then proceeded to talk about civility and being nice, about not running down his opponent, and about how much he likes and respects his opponent. Is that how Reagan approached his opponent?

Not exactly. At that same spot, Reagan issued a full-throated denunciation of the godawful mess Jimmy Carter's policies had made of things. Reagan called Carter out by name, called him a failure and a disaster, and eviscerated his misbegotten policies (which sound eerily familiar today). Then he spoke with optimism about the better future that lay ahead after Carter was sent packing. Listen for yourself.

Part 1 (8:49):


[YouTube link]

Part 2 (9:55): 


[YouTube link]

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GOP’s beltway buffoons prepare to piss away victory

Posted by Richard on October 19, 2010

I've commented before that, on the eve of an anti-Democrat tsunami, the stupid leadership of the Stupid Party might just try to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Should victory come anyway, and the American people give the GOP another chance, they might just try to screw it up again. They're already signaling their willingness to do so

If they recapture the House, Republicans say they are wary of following the example of the class of 1994, which shut down the government in a standoff with President Bill Clinton. Top Republicans contend that passing legislation, or at least making a good faith effort to do so, will earn them more credibility with voters than refusing to waver from purist principles.

Three points: (1) This isn't 1994. (2) Shutting down the government wasn't the class of 1994's big mistake — failing to effectively communicate their reasons, values, and goals (and then abandoning them) was. (3) The last thing the fired-up electorate that's poised to hand them power is interested in is passing legislation — especially the kind of bipartisan BS these clowns seem to have in mind.

"It's pretty clear the American people expect us to use the existing gridlock to create compromise and advance their agenda," said Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.). "They want us to come together [with the administration] after we agree to disagree."

That's got to be one of the stupidest and most incoherent quotes ever uttered. And it makes it crystal clear that Issa and those like him have no understanding of the American people, have nothing in common with the American people, and must hold the American people in contempt.

As Angelo M. Codevilla noted in his critically important American Spectator article, inside the beltway there is little difference between the leaders of the two parties. Both are part of the ruling class and very different from what Codevilla called the "country class." (If you haven't read that article, I strongly urge you to do so.)

The stupid leadership of the Stupid Party is as contemptuous of and hostile to the grass-roots Tea Party movement as their friends in Evil Party are. The establishment GOP leadership may accept Tea Party votes (except when they're cast against the Murkowskis of the party), but they're not about to let unenlightened yahoos from the hinterlands actually control the reins of power or change The Way Things Work in Washington. 

After the election, if it goes as predicted, there's going to be an even bigger battle — a battle for the soul of the Republican Party. The outcome will depend on how many "upstarts" — principled people committed to the values that the stupid leadership merely mouths insincerely — we send to Washington.

The outcome of that battle will also determine whether the Republican Party survives as a major party. Because the "country class" has awakened. And the Tea Party movement isn't going away.  

UPDATE: Read this uncharacteristically long Instapundit post. And note especially this quote from reader Cam Edwards: 

All this talk of third parties has me wondering: why wouldn’t it be easier for Tea Partiers to take over the local party apparatus of the GOP (and to a lesser extent, the Dems as well) instead of creating a third party from scratch? If the same Tea Partiers that have been attending rallies, town hall meetings, candidate forums, etc. turned that same energy post-election to both taking over parties at the local level, as well as running candidates for things like city council, school board, county commission (the offices that won’t make you famous, but can make you effective)… I think it could be shocking how much the political landscape could change by 2012. 

Sounds like a plan to me.

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Another wake-up call for the Republican establishment

Posted by Richard on August 26, 2010

I awake from my recent hibernation to shout "whoohoo!" at the stupendous Alaska Senate primary result. It's not official yet, due to absentee ballots, but it looks like unknown challenger Joe Miller has defeated incumbent Republican (in name only) Lisa Murkowski. Murkowski, of course, had the entire GOP establishment firmly behind her, despite her atrocious record (she supported cap-and-tax and all the bailout and porkulus packages, for starters).

In June, Murkowski had an "insurmountable" 35-point lead in the polls. Then Sarah Palin endorsed Joe Miller and the Tea Party Express began running ads for him (I helped fund those ads). Murkowski's lead began shrinking precipitously, but it was still 10 points a week or so before the election. Final tally (minus absentee ballots): Miller 50.9%, Murkowski 49.1%. I repeat, "whoohoo!"

Jim Treacher took delight in pointing out that Slate's Alexandra Gutierrez (among others) ended up embarrassing herself with her election eve story predicting an "embarrassing defeat" for Palin and the Tea Party Express when Murkowski "trounced" Miller. That turned out not to be reporting or analysis, but wishful thinking.

Whoohoo! 

UPDATE (8/27): Another RINO who doesn't want to accept a "No" from the voters. Check out the latest in the comments. 

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Huckabee for Veep? Yuck!

Posted by Richard on May 13, 2008

If this story is true, John McCain is about to make it utterly impossible for me (and lots of other libertarian, classical liberal, and economic conservative types) to vote for him:

Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is at the top of the list of John McCain's possible running mates, according to a top McCain fundraiser with ties to his inner circle.

Economic conservatives are likely to oppose the choice of Huckabee as McCain's vice presidential candidate, given the populist tone of his campaign and his tax record as governor of Arkansas.

But in his "Capital Commerce" column for U.S. News & World Report, James Pethokoukis points to the fundraiser's disclosure and cites several factors that could make Huckabee a strong asset for McCain.

For one thing, the former Baptist minister is a great campaigner who could garner support in the South among social conservatives and at the same time appeal to working-class voters in the crucial states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Huckabee would also appeal to many more voters on a "he cares about me" level than millionaire investor and possible vice presidential choice Mitt Romney, especially given all the turmoil on Wall Street this year.

<snark>Yeah, that's how "maverick" McCain can solidify the base and restore the Reagan coalition: pick a tax and spend, anti-business, anti-free-trade, populist demagogue who makes people think "he cares about me."</snark> Excuse me, I have to go throw up again. 

McCain's Portland speech on the environment and global warming, in which he embraced "cap and trade" (AKA "ration and tax") greenhouse gas controls, was bad enough. At this point, I'm a long way from ready to vote for him (although I keep making myself read that Obama statement on Supreme Court justices). 

A McCain-Huckabee ticket? I won't vote for that under any circumstances. I'll just cross my fingers that Obama doesn't do too much harm (before becoming the next Carter and being crushed in 2012).

I'll vote for the Libertarian Party nominee. 

Unless it turns out to be this guy instead of this guy.  

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The Republicans’ RINO problem

Posted by Richard on May 9, 2008

In yesterday's Wall Street Journal, Club for Growth president Pat Toomey had a fine op-ed column entitled "In Defense of RINO Hunting." The Club for Growth is frequently attacked by Republican leaders for opposing RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) in primaries. Such prominent non-RINOs as Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich have joined in the criticism. Recently, Rep. Tom Cole, chair of the NRCC and 4th-ranking GOP leader in the House, denounced the Club:

"The problem I have with the Club is I think they're stupid," Mr. Cole said. "They spend more money beating Republicans than Democrats."

Republicans would be better off, the argument goes, if the Club PAC spent its money targeting Democrats instead of liberal Republicans. This is the argument of politicians who care more about maintaining power than using that power to implement conservative policies.

Toomey cited some of the RINOs that the Club was criticized for opposing (including Sens. Arlen Specter and Lincoln Chafee, and Reps. Joe Schwartz and Wayne Gilchrest) and looked at "how these liberal Republicans are serving the GOP today." It's not a pretty picture. 

The sorry record of these RINOs contrasts sharply with that of candidates backed by the Club for Growth: Sens. Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn are the #1 and #2 pro-growth, limited-government advocates in the Senate, according to the Club's latest Congressional Scorecard Senate rankings. The top four in the House rankings — Reps. Flake, Lamborn, Hensarling, and Pence — were all major beneficiaries of Club support, as were such other high-ranking up-and-comers as John Campbell, Scott Garrett, and Tim Walberg. 

Toomey summarized the Club's argument this way:

Winning for the sake of winning is an excellent short-term tactic, but a lousy long-term strategy. Just look at the consequences of the 2006 congressional elections, when the GOP lost control of both houses of Congress.

A Republican majority is only as useful as the policies that majority produces. When those policies look a lot like Democratic ones, the base rightly questions why it should keep Republicans in power. As the party gears up for elections in the fall, it ought to look closely at the losses suffered under a political strategy devoid of principle. Otherwise, it can look forward to a bad case of déjà vu.

Rush Limbaugh also doesn't think much of the current GOP strategy:

The Republican Party, as a party, does not have an attack machine. The Republican Party doesn't even have a defense machine. The Republican Party is just sitting around twiddling its thumbs and hoping people continue to send it money.

Despite Bush fatigue, war weariness, and the current mild economic slowdown, the Republicans ought to be able to do pretty well this year. After all, the Democrats are about to nominate for President a man who is more radically leftist than George McGovern — maybe closer to socialist Henry Wallace. The whole party has lurched far to the left and is controlled by the George Soros / MoveOn.org / nutroots crowd. And approval of Congress ranks below that of the President, thanks to the leadership of Pelosi and Reid, two utterly incompetent ultra-liberals.

But the GOP leadership and many of its elected officials have become so enamored of their perks and pork, and so estranged from the principles of limited government, freedom, and prosperity that the party supposedly represents, that many of its former supporters are disgustedly dismissing the whole institution as RINO. Or Democrat Lite.

If the GOP is going to avoid a thrashing this November, they'd better seize the opportunity the Democrats are handing them, start paying attention to people like Pat Toomey and the editors of Investor's Business Daily, and adopt once again Ronald Reagan's "banner of bold, unmistakable colors, with no pastel shades."

Unfortunately, they've selected a Presidential candidate who's quite enamored of pastels, a "maverick" who loves to "reach across the aisle" and has always seemed much more comfortable talking to his Democratic colleagues and Washington reporters than to the conservative Republican base.

Unless something changes, McCain will have a hard time turning out that base, much less classical liberal / libertarian types like me.

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Porkers

Posted by Richard on November 7, 2007

Monday, the Club for Growth released its 2007 Senate RePORK Card, a scorecard of senators' votes on 15 anti-pork amendments (the House RePORK Card was released back in August). Here's all you really need to know about how sorry the Senate is: only 2 of the 15 anti-pork amendments passed, one to kill a spinach-growers' subsidy included in an Iraq war funding bill, and the other to kill Sen. Clinton's $1 million grant for a Woodstock Festival museum.

PorkbustersNonetheless, some of the scores are interesting:

  • Only three senators received a perfect score of 100% (and were present for a majority of the votes): Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK), Jim DeMint (R-SC), and Richard Burr (R-NC).

  • The only senator receiving a 0% was Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) who voted against all 10 anti-pork amendments he was present for.

  • The average Republican score was 59%; the average Democratic score was 12%.

  • The best scoring Democrat was Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) with an impressive 80%, tying with or scoring better than thirty-nine Republican senators.

  • Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) scored a 53%; Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) scored a 7%, voting for only one amendment.

The House, meanwhile, voted last night to override the President's veto of the pork-laden Water Resources Development Act and to approve the conference report of a monstrous omnibus spending bill. The Labor-HHS-Military-VA conference report not only includes earmarks "airdropped" into the bill without a vote by either chamber, it also includes a Democratic amendment to gut an earlier reform that prohibited "backdoor" earmarks. The veto override vote was 361-54, so most Republicans abandoned their President to protect their pork.

In fact, 42 Republicans sided with Pelosi on both votes. The'yre listed here. The Club for Growth will undoubtedly support primary opponents for some of these people; if you value fiscal responsibility, you might consider helping them. 

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GOP impotence

Posted by Richard on May 4, 2006

Cal Thomas is disgusted with today’s GOP:

GOP impotence in the midst of fuel price hikes may be the final proof that this is a party that has run out of gas. Democrats aren’t any better and should they regain a congressional majority this fall, it won’t be long before they again indulge in the same pandering, unethical behavior and content-free politics that has exposed Republican ineptness.
. . .

How could a party go from a visionary like Ronald Reagan who changed the world, not to mention restoring American optimism, to the tunnel vision of his illegitimate offspring who seem to care less about change than perpetuating themselves in office? They aren’t even doing a good job of that as the fall election results may show, unless somebody or something quickly lights a fire under them. Never has the derogatory phrase, "Republican in name only," applied to so many who have done so little for so few.

Who can blame him for sounding bitter? The President seems completely distracted by foreign matters, and the contemptible pipsqueak Republicans in Congress seem totally bereft of principles, ideas, and integrity. They score the Ozian trifecta: they have no heart, no brain, and no courage.

If it weren’t for this damned war against Islamofascism, I’d take great pleasure in seeing the GOP get the thrashing at the polls that it so richly deserves.
 

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