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October 30, 2009

Sarah v. Mitt, Mike and Mike

Grant Ellis at American Thinker notes that Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Mike Pence – all named as potential candidates for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination – have all refused to take sides in the congressional race for New York’s 23rd district.

Ellis goes on to say this about Sarah Palin’s unashamed endorsement of conservative Doug Hoffman:

You have to look no further to see why conservatives are so passionate about their support for Palin. Regardless of the arguable notion that she has yet to fully mature, she commands a degree of respect that eludes all others currently on the conservative scene. The reason? She is unwilling (and perhaps unable) to couch her views in muted, plausibly deniable tones. Regardless of the outcome of NY23, Palin wins. She drives debate. She leads. She is "out there" when and where others fear to tread.

C’mon Mitt, Mike and Mike – show us why you’re more worthy of the conservative vote than Sarah is.

(Via Texas for Sarah Palin)

Newt digs his heels in, scolds conservatives for demanding that the GOP stand for something

GOP savior-wannabe Newt Gingrich is confident that a future GOP majority containing the likes of Dede Scozzafava is a goal worth spending what’s left of his political capital.

He’s so confident of this, he’s willing to wag his finger at conservatives who think that the Republican Party ought to stand for something.  The Hill reported October 27:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) late Monday had some choice words for Republicans supporting Conservative Party party candidate Doug Hoffman (N.Y.), accusing them of conducting a "purge" of the GOP.

[…] "This idea that we're suddenly going to establish litmus tests and all across the country we're going to purge the party of anybody who doesn't agree with us 100 percent; that guarantees Obama's reelection, that guarantees Pelosi as Speaker-for-life," he told Fox News last night.
This is such a worn, clichéd argument. Gingrich’s ridiculous hyperbole (“we're going to purge the party of anybody who doesn't agree with us 100 percent”) is unworthy of him.

Gingrich is fighting a straw man.  Are there any prominent conservatives saying that 100 percent agreement is a requirement for their endorsement?  I’m not aware of any.

Does Gingrich think there any principles worth drawing a line in the sand and saying: I will not vote for any candidate that crosses this line

What if there was a candidate running on the GOP line who agreed with Newt on every issue, with the teeny, tiny little exception that he supported the right of neo-Nazis to gas all Jews in America?Would Gingrich scold conservatives for backing an independent candidate against this Republican? 

If not, then I have no choice but to conclude that he doesn’t consider any of Dede Scozzafava’s negatives – such as her enthusiastic support of the right to kill one’s preborn child –  to be troubling enough that he would withhold his endorsement of her.

So, Mr. Gingrich: Should we support anybody that manages to snag the Republican nomination, no matter what they believe?  What price should we be willing to pay to regain a GOP majority?  Should we care how that majority will govern, or is gaining and maintaining power the highest value of the GOP?

October 26, 2009

Newt packing his bags for an ego trip?

Newt Gingrich continues to drop hints that he’s considering a run for the 2012 GOP nomination.  The latest comes from an October 25 appearance on C-SPAN:

When asked what factors would help him decide one way or the other, this is how he replied:

"Callista [his wife] and I are going to think about this in February 2011. And we are going to reach out to all of our friends around the country. And we'll decide, if there's a requirement as citizens that we run, I suspect we probably will. And if there's not a requirement, if other people have filled the vacuum, I suspect we won't."

Mr. G, you’ve alienated so many of your conservative admirers through your bizarre choices in recent years (such as when you swallowed whole the premises of the global warmists, or when you wholeheartedly endorsed a Republican candidate who is more liberal than many Democrats in the district she seeks to represent).  Whatever you mean by the bizarre phrase “requirement as citizens that we run”, you can’t possibly be anticipating the acclamation of conservatives.

Get a clue, Newt.  The reason you’re getting so much media time now is that the left sees you as a means of fomenting disunity on the right. 

Please.  Ignore the voices in your head, and focus on the reality of your situation.  This isn’t about you.

(Via Politics Daily)

October 23, 2009

Dems in Congress have no clue about the constitutional basis of their power

A reporter for CNSNews has been asking prominent congressional Democrats: Where does the Constitution authorize Congress to order Americans to buy health insurance? 
All of the proposed health care “reform” bills have this mandate, so obviously the majority think they have the power to  make the purchase of a product a “condition of lawful residence in the United States” (in the words of the Congressional Budget Office, which notes that such a move by Congress is unprecedented).
Of course, no such power is granted to Congress, but you wouldn’t know it asking congressional leaders.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer thinks that the health care mandate is no different from a general tax law:
Hoyer, speaking to reporters at his weekly press briefing on Tuesday, was asked by CNSNews.com where in the Constitution was Congress granted the power to mandate that a person must by a health insurance policy. Hoyer said that, in providing for the general welfare, Congress had “broad authority.”
“Well, in promoting the general welfare the Constitution obviously gives broad authority to Congress to effect that end,” Hoyer said. “The end that we’re trying to effect is to make health care affordable, so I think clearly this is within our constitutional responsibility.”
Hoyer compared a health insurance mandate to the government’s power to levy taxes, saying “we mandate other things as well, like paying taxes.”
The section of the Constitution Hoyer was referring to, Article I, Section 8, outlines the powers of Congress, including raising taxes, but not the purchasing any type of product or service. The opening paragraph of Section 8 grants Congress the power to raise taxes to, among other things, “provide for the … general welfare of the United States.”
Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy simply asserts the authority:
CNSNews.com: "Where, in your opinion, does the Constitution give specific authority for Congress to give an individual mandate for health insurance?"
Sen. Leahy: "We have plenty of authority. Are you saying there is no authority?"
CNSNews.com: "I’m asking—"
Sen. Leahy: "Why would you say there is no authority? I mean, there’s no question there’s authority. Nobody questions that."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is flabbergasted that anybody would question Congress’ power to legislate as it pleases:
CNSNews.com: “Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?”
Pelosi: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”
CNSNews.com: “Yes, yes I am.”
Pelosi then shook her head before taking a question from another reporter. Her press spokesman, Nadeam Elshami, then told CNSNews.com that asking the speaker of the House where the Constitution authorized Congress to mandated [sic] that individual Americans buy health insurance as not a "serious question."
“You can put this on the record,” said Elshami. “That is not a serious question. That is not a serious question.”
The question obviously caught Pelosi by surprise, and her answer amounted to “Who let this guy in here?” Later, her staff gathered its wits and fell back on Congress’ old friend, the omnipotent ‘Interstate Commerce Clause’:
Pelosi's press secretary later responded to written follow-up questions from CNSNews.com by emailing CNSNews.com a press release on the “Constitutionality of Health Insurance Reform,” that argues that Congress derives the authority to mandate that people purchase health insurance from its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce.
Okay, I’m convinced.  How about you?

October 21, 2009

GOP continues its drift to the left

Clueless GOP leaders have apparently come to the brain-dead conclusion that John McCain lost to Barack Obama last November because McCain was too conservative.

Otherwise, why have they spent so much time since then promoting moderate and left-leaning candidates and policies?

In the latest affront to the party’s conservative base, GOP leaders are heavily promoting the candidacy of one Dede Scozzafava in New York’s 23rd congressional district special election.  As National Review notes, Scozzafava falls to the left of many Democrats in this conservative-leaning district:

In spite of its having gone for Obama in 2008, the district’s history suggests that it is basically conservative; Ms. Scozzafava is basically not. Boy, is she not: Not only pro-choice and in favor of homosexual marriage — common if distasteful concessions to the secular liberals’ agenda — she also supports some of the most odious items on the Left’s wish-list, including the “card check” initiative that would put a big cudgel in the hands of Big Labor while effectively disenfranchising millions of American workers who may not desire to become Teamsters, SEIU members, or similar. She signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge to oppose tax hikes but immediately declared that she was not bound by having done so. It is no surprise that she is supported by the public-employees unions, ACORN — and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas Zúñiga. (Really.)

You may agree with all of these policy opinions, but if you do, chances are strong that you aren’t a Republican.  Ms. Scozzafava may not feel herself overly bound to that label either:

It may be too generous even to say that Ms. Scozzafava is a RINO — Republican In Name Only — inasmuch as she has emanated mixed signals about her commitment to remaining a Republican post-election. (Her spokesman now affirms to The Weekly Standard that Ms. Scozzafava is a “vote for John Boehner to be speaker of the House of Representatives,” if she is in office in 2011; earlier, her campaign had declined to answer that question.) It is entirely conceivable that Ms. Scozzafava will be tempted to switch to the party whose values she shares. She will be especially vulnerable to that temptation if she should face a tough primary challenge in 2010; given that Ms. Scozzafava is to the left of a great many Democratic voters, to say nothing of the typical Republican, the GOP bosses who foisted her upon the party have all but ensured that she does face such a challenge. They very well may have created the next Arlen Specter.

Not an original thought, but it bears repeating: Voters faced with a choice between a Democrat and a Republican who acts like a Democrat are most likely to pull the lever for the real deal.

UPDATE: I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Newt Gingrich is trying to salvage Scozzafava’s campaign

Once a reliable champion of the conservative view of things, he’s taken a nasty pragmatic turn in recent years.  This was most apparent when he publicly conceded just about every premise of the climate change alarmists, choosing instead to work for free-market remedies.

Now he wants us to believe that conservatism is best served by enthusiastically supporting whoever the GOP throws at us, no matter how odious.

The CQ article linked above ends with a perfect summary of the GOP’s strategy for keeping conservatives on their leash:

The GOP hope to convince conservative voters that a vote for Hoffman is a vote for the Democrats.

They say that a vote for Hoffman is tantamount to a vote for the Democrats. 

Then again, a vote for Scozzafava is a vote for someone who is indistinguishable from the Democrats.  A vote for Scozzafava is another vote in Congress for the Democrat agenda.  A vote for Scozzafava sends a message to the GOP leaders that conservatives care more about party than they do about principle, and that the party can run whoever it pleases without consequence.

Tell me – how can a vote for Scozzafava be anything but a disaster for conservatives?