July 14, 2014 By Big Gipper
Mitt Romney’s quixotic 2012 Presidential campaign was dead on arrival when he insinuated that 47% of Americans will never vote Republican because they enjoy paying no taxes and living on the dole, as if poor people have no goals in life. Such insensitive, out of touch statements apparently come naturally from one born into power and privilege like Mitt Romney. Now we have this doozy from one of Mitt’s very own endorsers Ed Gillespie.
Ed Gillespie said that “a minimum wage job…is where you learn the social aspects of work – it is where you play on the work softball team and go out for a beer after work.”
What alternate universe is Ed Gillespie living in? I do not know of a Congressional Softball League team consisting of 7-11 workers who hit up the Ugly Mug to get hammered after a weeknight game.
Ed Gillespie was not born into power and privilege, but he stopped keeping it real when he hit the big time. To understand Ed Gillespie’s comments is to understand his career history. His grandfather is one of us. His father is one of us. Ed himself is NOT one of us.
Ed “paid his way through college” by being a U.S. Senate parking lot attendant. He and the country club, Cocktail Party wing of the GOP in Washington, DC and Virginia think this is the definition of “starting from the bottom”. Let’s be real folks. Being a U.S. Senate parking lot attendant is NOT the same thing as being a parking lot attendant at PMI in Northeast DC in the hood.
Ed Gillespie’s alternate universe is the exclusive, elitist world of Washington politics, where liberal arts graduates brag about securing minimum wage or unpaid jobs “on the Hill”, pretend they are celebrities, attempt to photobomb C-SPAN, join their office’s beer league softball team, hit up all the “networking happy hours” to get throwed, and chase a “good time” after hours. You should hear about the sex scandals involving Capitol Hill staffers from both parties alike. If hard-working, taxpaying Americans knew what an incestuous, immature fraternity Capitol Hill is, it would destroy their awe and wonder about Capitol Hill and enrage them to vote everyone out and replace them with nobody.
In the name of networking, career advancement, and just straight up arrested development, low level Capitol Hill staffers are bleeding money, partying it up, spending more than a day’s paycheck on alcohol, and living in the red in one of America’s most expensive cities. Meanwhile, the rest of us are closing up shop at one minimum wage job, not so we can hang out with our co-workers at Tortilla Coast, but so we can make it in time to our second minimum wage job.
I don’t deny that Ed has done well for himself. He went from being a U.S. Senate parking lot attendant, to U.S. House staffer, to Presidential advisor, to RNC Chairman, to lobbyist, to “small business owner” working in…politics. Therein lies the problem. Ed Gillespie has never known a job outside of politics. His “minumum wage job” is nothing like our minimum wage job and that distorts his reality.
Americans are sick of career politicians pretending to know the struggles of hardworking, taxpaying Americans. Despite Ed’s overarching attempts to paint himself as a little guy who made it, he is looking more and more like Mitt Romney everyday. We know how badly that ended.
June 14, 2014 By Phil Tran
Like a parasite that just won’t go away, one-time failed U.S. Senate candidate, one term Massachusetts Governor, and two-time failed Presidential candidate Mitt Romney keeps coming back for more. As if prideful ambition was not bad enough, Romney’s diehard supporters from the elitist, exclusive, privileged Cocktail Party wing of the GOP keep building him up like a golden calf in the desert.
Some Republican elected officials of the Cocktail Party persuasion (The “Establishment”) are delusional enough to believe that perennial candidate Mitt Romney can be a unifying force in a deeply fractured party and that he should run for President again in 2016.
It is laughable that Mitt Romney can be a unifying force for the GOP when many of his diehard supporters quietly or openly harbor contemptuous, condescending disdain for Sarah Palin Republicans and Ron Paul libertarians and wish to drive them out of the party.
Don’t believe the Cocktail Party’s rhetoric of “unity”. They are interested in “uniting the party” only if they or their buddies are the nominee in order to secure the votes they need to win so that they and their incestuous Cocktail Party buddies can once again have access to power and privilege in the White House and on Capitol Hill. Beyond that, they will never give libertarians and working-class, populist, blue collar Republicans a seat at the table or staff jobs in the White House and the Hill. Cocktail Party incest and groupthink is killing the movement.
Maybe a third Romney loss is what the GOP needs in order to completely discredit the Cocktail Party Establishment so Republicans can clean house and start anew with fresh young talent not beholden to the traditional power brokers of Washington.
June 11, 2014 By Phil Tran
The Tea Party and libertarian-backed Dave Brat defeated House Majority Leader, next-in-line for the Speakership, and Establishment crony Eric Cantor tonight. This is a victory for the blue collar common folk over the white collar, insular, neocon, out-of-touch, inside-the-Beltway Cocktail Party.
Ideology was not the sole factor in Cantor’s demise. Cantor became a creature of Washington and no longer fit in with nor related to his constituents. Think about it. Was there anything about Eric Cantor’s persona that uniquely represented central Virginia? No. When you think of Eric Cantor, you think of a creature of Washington paying his dues, playing nice, playing the game, following the script, and waiting for his turn to be Speaker of the House.
Americans are tired of politicians going to Washington or Capitol Hill staffers/lobbyists going “home” in order to go back to Washington as Members of Congress to hobnob with their elitist, exclusive, insular, and incestuous group of friends in fancy offices and expensive restaurants. As my fellow blogging compatriot said, this is about “cool kids vs. outcasts”, “insiders vs. outsiders”, “white collar vs. blue collar”, “Fraternities vs. Independents”, “wine vs. beer”, “The Monocle vs. Cracker Barrel”, “clean hands vs. calloused hands”.
There is hope for the rest of us when an unknown, underfunded candidate at a 40-1 fundraising disadvantage can force the House Majority Leader, next-in-line for Speaker of the House (3rd highest post behind the Vice-President), and 14-year incumbent to spend over $5,000,000 running a negative attack campaign in a state-sponsored primary designed to benefit incumbents with huge war chests only to lose 55%-45% on Election Day.
Believe in America. The American Dream is alive and well.
June 9, 2014 By Phil Tran
In the summer of 2013, former Bush Administration official Chuck Floyd launched Conservative Victory PAC with a strictly defined goal of increasing Republican numbers in the Maryland General Assembly. With 7 more Senators and a few more Delegates, the Maryland GOP could exert quite a bit of influence despite still being in the minority. A flashy video and a campaign plan set the stage at the PAC’s launch party in Potomac, MD.
Conservative Victory PAC will work to increase Republican numbers in the Maryland General Assembly by first…going to Virginia to help elect Ken Cuccinelli as Governor???
Of course, questions to Floyd were asked immediately. “Why are we financing Virginia’s elections? They can take care of themselves. We need to keep Maryland donor money in Maryland!” (I agree.)
Conservative Victory PAC’s line of reasoning was that they wanted to do two things in Virginia to supposedly benefit Maryland. First, they wanted to hold fundraisers in Virginia in 2013 to build a donor list that they could use to help finance Maryland races in 2014. Second, they hoped that a show of commitment from Maryland donors and activists for Virginia Republicans would necessitate Virginia Republicans repaying the favor by sending donations and activists to Maryland in 2014.
Both points are interrelated so I will address them as one. These ideas are utterly laughable.
I have worked in Virginia politics. There is a waterfall of utter disdain and contempt from Virginia Republicans toward the great State of Maryland. The constant barrage of negativity from Virginia Republicans against Maryland makes a proud Marylander with tons of Maryland friends and fun times in the state want to cut his wrists.
I have had countless conversations with Virginia activists over the years and have heard more stump speeches from Virginia politicians mentioning Maryland than I care to recount. What do Virginia Republicans truly wish for Maryland? Virginia Republicans want Maryland to die so that they can siphon away all of Maryland’s Republican voters to shore up their own at-risk Congressional seat in the 10th District, to quixotically have a shot at defeating Gerry Connolly in the 11th District, and to try to retake the statewide offices. That is what Virginia Republicans truly want to happen to Maryland.
Even if Conservative Victory PAC provided the needed resources that were a determining factor to put Ken Cuccinelli over the top in 2013, Virginia Republicans were never going to repay the favor. They have their own Congressional races and U.S. Senate race to consume their time in 2014.
Was there a hidden motivation for Conservative Victory PAC’s foray into Virginia in 2013? Could the fact that two of its board members – Lynne Blankenship and Chris Melling – live and work in Virginia have anything to do with this misguided foray into Virginia by a supposedly Maryland-focused PAC? (Trojan Horse alert!)
Also, Conservative Victory PAC has been noticeably absent from the Maryland General Assembly races in 2014, contrary to their stated commitment to such races exclusively back in 2013.
With no outside help and no reinforcements from the RNC, the Maryland GOP has continued to make strides in the right direction in recent years at the local level where it counts the most. There is a healthy and growing farm team of Republicans in Maryland and Maryland did not need Virginia’s help to make that happen.
Give credit to the Democratic Party. The Democrats truly care about all 50 states and will stand their ground to fight for their values in every state, even against insurmountable odds. “Moving” is not in the Democratic vocabulary. I know. I spent a large chunk of my political life working with Texas Democrats.
Republicans, curiously despite being advocates of “stand your ground laws”, have a penchant to flee their home states at the first implementation of liberal government policies. That is not a recipe for long term party growth. Republicans will never see national electoral success on the level with Democrats in the modern era if they continually write off California, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, DC, and Maryland as “lost causes”. Democrats are fighting tirelessly in Texas as Republicans retreat from Democratic states. It is game over for the Republicans if Democrats succeed in flipping Texas in the next ten years.
This is why it is important for Republicans in Democratic states to recruit, equip, and elevate homegrown talent. People who have a longstanding, emotional connection to their home state (and folks like me who will relocate to Maryland in due time!) will be most fit to serve in a disadvantageous political climate. One of the best decisions the Maryland GOP has made in recent years was to start hiring in-state. In-state talent inside the Maryland GOP headquarters has proven to be more loyal, effective, and passionate than the out-of-state hired guns of the past who viewed Maryland as a stepping stone at best for their political careers. Maryland is a neglected and ignored neighbor in the RNC’s own backyard. This actually provides us with the prime opportunity to set an example on how to build a state party free from the RNC’s interference and cronyism.
I believe that each state’s politics generally exist as an independent unit largely unaffected by the political winds of neighboring states. All politics are local after all. It is true that Virginia is less liberal than Maryland. However, that does not mean that should the Republican Party in Virginia establish total dominance in the Commonwealth, that it would create a “rising tide that lifts all boats”.
In the alternative, if state politics are interrelated in some form or fashion, the following would be true. A Democratic Virginia would help build a more Republican Maryland. It would actually be in the best interests of Maryland Republicans to NOT help Virginia and let Virginia succumb to Democratic dominance. With no strong Republican neighbors, the RNC would have no choice but to be fair to all neighboring states with its time and money earmarked for local support. If Virginia was a solidly Democratic state, Republicans relocating to Washington for work would find Maryland more attractive and settle there. Some would plant roots and even register to vote as Republicans in Maryland. A Democratic Virginia will help build a Republican Maryland.
In the interim, let Virginia be the Washington GOP Establishment’s damsel in distress. As we speak, RNC and RPV efforts to hold Republican seats have become much tougher as known Republicans have moved out of Virginia since Terry McAuliffe’s election and as reports indicate that most new residents in Virginia in recent years are Democratic.
Maryland Republicans should be fully committed and invested in their home state. Focus on Maryland and Maryland alone. There is progress being made and if done properly, Maryland could be a true two-party state in ten years while Virginia becomes a solidly Democratic state.
Virginia – sell high. Maryland – buy low.
June 4, 2014 By Big Gipper
No, the Republican National Committee is not paying for the buses to take a group of RNC-connected politicos down to Virginia’s 7th District to help Eric Cantor in his toughest primary battle yet. Cantor for Congress is paying for the buses.
However, a guy I know who somehow ended up on an RNC mailing list forwarded the message below to me. Indeed, Cantor is pulling out all the stops. He is scared. Likewise, the Cocktail Party wing of the Republican Party is pulling out all the stops to make sure one of its own returns to Congress. Because the last thing the country club, Cocktail Party Establishment of the Republican Party needs is a populist in Congress who doesn’t care for private dinners at the Blue Duck Tavern, among other things.
Virginia Republicans, the choice is yours. Most people are making this an ideological battle between the Establishment and the Tea Party. It goes much deeper than that. This is culture war. It is Insiders vs. Outsiders. It is “cool kids” vs. “outcasts”. It is the Fraternity vs. the G-D Independents. You can’t change Washington without changing the culture of Washington.
On June 10th, you can either vote for a Majority Leader who has scripted his life for political power, fame, adulation, and its trappings – from working for Congressman Tom Bliley, chairing six of Bliley’s reelection campaigns, paying his dues in the Virginia House of Delegates, to becoming “next in line” for Bliley’s seat in Congress when he retired.
Or you can choose to change the culture of Washington and vote for Dave Brat, who pursued his interests in life without regard of how the powers who can anoint future candidates perceive him.
My politics are closer to Cantor than it is to Brat, but my cultural persuasion is Dave Brat, not Eric Cantor. Dave Brat will not go to Washington sit at the cool kids table. He is not going to brownnose the Cocktail Party Establishment, its consultants, and its pundits. He will get things done and you will know where he stands.
On June 10th, vote Dave Brat for Congress.
On Jun 3, 2014, at 9:07 AM, Ben Cassidy
Still considering helping out Eric Cantor this Saturday, June 7th? If so, see info below and be sure to RSVP to Molly at email@example.com (cc’d)!
Also, please let us know if you are interested in helping at the polls on Tuesday, June 10. A bus will be departing from RNC (310 1st St., SE) at 8:00am and returning to the RNC following a victory party at Cantor HQ.
Both 6/7 and 6/10 are great opportunities to meet the Majority Leader, network and build-up your resume campaign credentials.
8AM: Depart DC from RNC (310 1st St., SE)
10AM: Arrive at RVA HQ (6002 W. Broad St., Suite 205, Richmond, VA 23230)
12 noon: BBQ lunch with Eric Cantor
6PM: Depart RVA (Dinner provided on the bus back)
7:30AM: Depart DC from RNC (310 1st St., SE)
10AM: Arrive at RVA HQ (6002 W. Broad St., Suite 205, Richmond, VA 23230)
Morning: Volunteer at the polls
12 noon: Lunch!
Afternoon: Volunteer at the polls
6PM: Victory Party with Eric Cantor (dinner and refreshments)
9:30PM: Depart RVA
Paid for by Cantor for Congress
June 7 is the Saturday before Eric Cantor’s primary.
Can you make June 7 about Virginia 7 by helping Eric Cantor win his primary?
If so, we have 20 spots left on the Cantor Express!
At 8:00am on Saturday, June 7th buses are leaving from the RNC (310 1st St., SE) to Cantor for Congress HQ (6002 W. Broad St., Suite 205, Richmond, VA 23230).
Join us in the fight and support a pro-growth, pro-liberty, small government conservative!
In Richmond, we will spend the day dropping lit at voter’s homes, enjoying a VA BBQ lunch at Cantor HQ and meeting Eric.
Buses will return to the RNC early Saturday evening. Meals (bfast/lunch/dinner) and transportation will be provided by Cantor for Congress.
If you can join Cantor for Congress, please RSVP to Molly at firstname.lastname@example.org (cc’d).
If you are unable to make this trip, please share this invite with friends far and wide!
If you can attend, but prefer to drive yourself, please do!
Also we need additional help at the polls on primary day, Tuesday, June 10. Please let us know if you are interested as well.
Paid for by Cantor for Congress
May 21, 2014 By Phil Tran
No, I am not referring to premiere political blogs of the same name. By the end of 2014, there is a small, but very much realistic possibility that we may see a Red Maryland and a Blue Virginia. Let us take a brief overview.
All Politics Are Local
All politics are local. National trends matter, but in the end, all politics are local. Weird things can happen within a state’s election results that will not be explained neatly within the confines of national trends and the limited knowledge of a national talking head on television. Yes, some of these guys are real con men getting paid 6 to 7 figures for talking political nonsense on television. Remember how Karl Rove and others of his ilk got egg on their face in 2012 prematurely writing about the end of Obama’s presidency?
Republican Bob Ehrlich won the race for Governor of Maryland in 2002. He defeated a Kennedy in his race – Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. The Ehrlich-Steele ticket was also one of the most competitive showings for a Republican statewide campaign in the dense and heavily Democratic Montgomery County garnering over 113,000 votes. Being able to secure close to 40% of the vote in Montgomery County was the difference maker in the election for Ehrlich.
Meanwhile, Connie Morella, the longtime Republican incumbent in Montgomery County’s Congressional District lost. Bob Ehrlich and Connie Morella may both be Republicans, but that is where their commonality ends.
Bob Ehrlich is as conservative as you can be in Maryland. His voting record is much more pro-life than he claims to be. Ehrlich is a cultural conservative. In Ehrlich’s recent book which he wrote without the assistance of a co-author or ghostwriter, the chapter entitled “An Insecure Culture” is actually longer and more detailed than the chapter on national security.
Connie Morella is a liberal Republican that would make Nancy Pelosi blush. She supports abortion rights, strict gun control measures, progressive environmental regulations, government funding of contraceptives, needle exchange programs for drug addicts, and legalization of medical marijuana. Morella also opposed many tax cuts, opposed the impeachment of Bill Clinton, and opposed the Iraq War in 1991 AND 2002.
Why did conservative Bob Ehrlich win statewide in his first race for Governor in a Democratic state when longtime Congressional incumbent Connie Morella lost her reelection bid running on her liberal record in a liberal district?
All politics are local. Coattail effects don’t always materialize because each campaign needs to be viewed in the context of its own campaign.
A gubernatorial race is a state matter. In 2002, many Marylanders were upset about the direction of the state. After eight years of Parris Glendening’s Democratic administration, many Marylanders felt it was time for a change. Bob Ehrlich took advantage of this opportunity and presented them with the change they wanted. As a Congressman from Baltimore County, Ehrlich ran on his conservative voting record in Congress and promised Marylanders the change they wanted in Annapolis. Also, so goes Baltimore County, so goes Maryland. Every time a Republican has won statewide in Maryland, Baltimore County has voted for that Republican. Baltimore County is a swing district and a bellwether for the state of Maryland. It certainly helped that Baltimore County overwhelmingly voted for one of their own to be the Governor of Maryland.
A Congressional race is a national matter. In 2002, many Marylanders were upset with Congressional Republicans as they were simultaneously upset with Democratic Governor Parris Glendening. The Bush Administration was beginning to plan for the invasion of Iraq. Tom Delay was a very unpopular figure.
Democratic State Senator Chris Van Hollen ran his Congressional campaign against Connie Morella by repeating this one phrase. “A vote for Connie Morella is a vote for Tom Delay.” The Van Hollen campaign knew that even though Morella was a Republican, she was highly popular with Democrats and was able to easily win reelection every two years since her first election in 1986 because she was a liberal’s favorite liberal. The way to convince Democrats to stop crossing over to vote for Morella was to tie her to Tom Delay.
Never mind that in 1997, Morella voted “present” on the issue of the Speaker of the House, thus denying Newt Gingrich her vote. Never mind the countless instances in which she openly challenged GOP leadership. She was a Republican. Tom Delay is a Republican. Therefore, Morella has to go.
The line worked. Van Hollen won a close election. It also helped that redistricting added nine Prince George’s County precincts where Connie Morella was unknown and Van Hollen ran up the score in PGC.
Fast forward to 2014. Virginia does not have state and local elections on the ballot. There is one U.S. Senate seat up for grabs and all Congressional seats are up for election. Virginia Republicans, who already have a tendency to make state and local elections about Washington, have nothing but federal elections on the ballot with the U.S. Senate race as the marquee event. In an increasingly blue Virginia, Republicans are running against Barack Obama. Make no mistake. President Barack Obama is still a highly popular cultural icon in many segments of the population. Republicans thought that they could unseat Obama in 2012 and were absolutely convinced it would happen. It did not happen. Running against Obama in 2014 in order to maintain and pickup Congressional seats should not be viewed as a solid strategy.
Additionally, while Republicans are expected to flip some U.S. Senate seats, the U.S. Senate seat in Virginia held by Mark Warner is consistently rated as the least likely to flip in 2014 along with Minnesota. Al Franken is running for reelection in Minnesota. That Minnesota U.S. Senate seat will remain Democratic. Mark Warner is running for reelection in Virginia. Mark Warner continues to enjoy broad support from Democrats, Republicans, and independents.
Maryland, on the other hand, does not have a statewide federal election on the ballot. The marquee event is the gubernatorial race. Much of the Congressional races are so heavily gerrymandered to one party or the other that they are an afterthought. All focus is on state and local issues.
This is where Republicans have a window of opportunity in Maryland. Over 50 percent of Marylanders think the state is heading in the wrong direction. When Bob Ehrlich was elected Governor in 2002, the number of dissatisfied Marylanders was actually 39 percent. Many Democrats have soured on Martin O’Malley’s tax hikes and are willing to give Republicans a shot. Republicans are fielding legitimate contenders to flip State Senate and House of Delegates seats. Republicans are fielding candidates at the local levels to build on recent successes at the local level.
Unknown to most observers is that the majority of the counties in Maryland are now dominated by Republicans. In a state where Democrats have had a stranglehold throughout all of the political party realignments in American history, the Maryland GOP is quietly building a farm team for higher office. At the level of government that is closest to the people, Marylanders are starting to learn directly how Republican polices can improve job growth, public education, and the quality of life in their home counties. If you want to know about the long term health of a state political party, don’t look at the top. Look at the bottom. The local level is the foundation. The local level is the here and now and the future.
In regard to internal party issues and “inside baseball” matters, the differences between RPV and MDGOP could not be more stark. The Republican Party of Virginia continues to deal with civil war between grassroots insurgents of the Tea Party and the refined, polite establishment figures of the cocktail party (Editorial: The latter descriptor of the Establishment is NOT a compliment.). There are activists who will not lift a finger to help a nominee because figuratively speaking, the nominee drinks wine while the activist drinks beer.
[Note: Establishment/moderate vs. Tea Party/conservative is a false dichotomy. There are Establishment Republicans who vote like Tea Party people and there are Tea Party people who care more about promoting themselves than conservative principles. The real battle here is cultural. It is between the grassroots who are the kids loitering outside the school on their skateboards while the Establishment is sitting inside the air conditioned school at the "cool kids table" and enjoy favoritism in the classroom as "teacher's pets". [Editorial: The writer takes no sides in this debate.)]
However, on the prettier side of the Potomac, the Maryland GOP is showing a great deal of unity compared to the tenure of previous Chairs and Executive Directors which was often marked by fracture and fleecing. Current Chair Diana Waterman and Executive Director Joe Cluster are Marylanders invested in Maryland. They are working to empower candidates so they can spread common sense policies to move the state forward. They are not using their titles to check off a box for their own political ambitions or agenda and, just as important, they are not mouthpieces or puppets for any faction of the GOP. Everyone is focused on electing a Republican Governor and increasing Republican numbers in the General Assembly. The MDGOP leadership has also built a team of grassroots advisors to do yeoman’s work behind the scenes and start preparing for the numerous City and Town Council elections in 2015 to solidify the party’s foundation and create a formidable farm team to draft candidates for 2016, 2018, and beyond.
Where there is no vision, the people perish. The MDGOP is in better health for the long term than the RPV is. Many events can happen between now and Election Day 2014 and let us not forget the fact that the MDGOP faces more electoral disadvantages than the RPV does. However, anything can happen. If the MDGOP continues to press forward in unity while the RPV is mired in strife at all levels, don’t be surprised if we see a Red Maryland and a Blue Virginia after the election.
May 13, 2014 By Phil Tran
Mitt Romney, the worst Republican Presidential nominee since Wendell Wilkie, is the gift that just keeps on giving. From Redstate:
When conservative candidates lose their bid for elected office, they tend to fade away from public life and are never heard from again. But for Rockefeller Republicans, losing an election is evidently a resume enhancer for them to continue advising and interfering with Republican politics and policy…
Not only did he lose the election to Obama, [Mitt Romney's] status as the grandfather of government-run healthcare completely took the issue of Obamacare off the table for two years – until Senator Ted Cruz and other conservatives were able to bring the issue back to the forefront of political discourse.
Many of us thought Romney would recede back into private life and enjoy his affluent retirement lifestyle and his close-knit family. Instead, he has slowly crawled his way back into public life and is trying to become the kingmaker of the Republican Party. A one-term governor of a liberal state with a moderate record, Romney has never fought and bled for the conservative cause. He has never accomplished anything to earn him the right to play the role of elder statesman in the party…
That Mitt Romney is still relevant in Republican circles illustrates the cultural proclivities of the Republican “Establishment”. The Establishment does have a number of white collar anti-Tea Party conservatives with hardcore conservative Tea Party voting records. I would never paint the entire Establishment as a bunch of moderates because that is actually not true on the whole despite their acceptance of Rockefeller Republicans.
What separates the Establishment from the Tea Party is the fact that they welcome any and all politicians who adhere to their cultural norms. Washington cocktail party circuit. 5 star restaurants. Nantucket getaways. Starched white shirts and white collar jobs. Well-coifed hair. Exclusive parties with Inside the Beltway “celebrities”. Elite northeast private school education. If you vote like a RINO and act like the Establishment, you are welcome in the Establishment. If you vote like the Tea Party but act like the Establishment, you are welcome in the Establishment.
Politics is tribal. A hardcore conservative Republican of the Washington Insider persuasion may disagree with Mitt Romney on several fundamental issues, but will ultimately carry water for him and adhere to his talking points because Mitt is “one of them”.
Sarah Palin was never “one of them”. She is blue collar. She went to junior college and later graduated from Idaho. She does not care to cozy up to the Washington elite. She doesn’t go to exclusive parties and wine and cheese receptions on the Hill. She doesn’t eat foie gras. She eats food she hunts. She hurt her potential after 2008 by refusing to play the game and be “one of them” in a cultural sense.
Washington Establishment Republicans culturally have more in common with John Kerry than they do with “Joe Six-Pack”. While some Washington Establishment Republicans may vote like “Joe Six-Pack” they will always rather have a glass of wine (not beer) with John Kerry/Mitt Romney than the uncouth, unwashed masses.
Wholesale change with Republicans in Washington starts with culture, not ideology. Want a Republican Party that is more Main Street than K Street? Change the culture. Empower blue collar folk to win elected office on Republican principles and groom them for higher office. Washington Republicans will become more representative of the people when it looks more like Southeast DC and less like Northwest Washington.
May 2, 2014 By Phil Tran
Roy Moore, of the Ten Commandments controversy is back on the headlines. The Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court claims, among other things, that because Buddha did not create human beings, the First Amendment only protects Christians.
Social conservatism is quickly dying out in a rapidly secularizing, Western Europe-like America. This is of great concern to honest social conservatives whose motivation to participate in politics is rooted more so on social issues than on fiscal issues. Social conservatives should be even more concerned that bad actors on the fringe are unknowingly aiding and abetting the rise of a socially liberal, fiscally conservative Republican Party.
If social conservatives do not police those who claim to stand up for social conservatism, there will no longer be any party in America that will represent their voices. There will only be a socially liberal, fiscally liberal Democratic Party and a socially liberal, fiscally conservative Republican Party.
Speaking at the Pastor for Life Luncheon, which was sponsored by Pro-Life Mississippi, Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court declared that the First Amendment only applies to Christians because “Buddha didn’t create us, Mohammed didn’t create us, it was the God of the Holy Scriptures” who created us.
Roy Moore spoke at a pro-life luncheon. This is why pro-lifers can’t have nice things.
Also, the First Amendment applies to everyone.
“They didn’t bring the Koran over on the pilgrim ship,” he continued. “Let’s get real, let’s go back and learn our history. Let’s stop playing games.”
The first settlers may not have brought the Koran over, but they were certainly part of warring Christian denominations who wanted religious freedom for themselves and not for others. Baptists, Quakers, Presbyterians, Methodists, Anglicans, and Lutherans did not get along with each other in Europe and none of them got along with Catholics.
He then noted that he loves talking to lawyers, because he is a lawyer who went to “a secular law school,” so he knows that “in the law, [talking about God] just isn’t politically correct.” He claimed that this is why America has “lost its way,” and that he would be publishing a pamphlet “this week, maybe next” that contained copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, thereby proving that all the people “who found this nation — black, white, all people, all religions, all faiths” knew that America was “about God.”
Sometimes I feel like social conservatives hold the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, man-made documents inspired by rebellion and by a failed government in the Articles of Confederation respectively, in much higher esteem than the Bible, the inspired, infallible Word of God. It is like they would replace the Pauline letters in Scripture with Thomas Jefferson if they could.
Speaking of Thomas Jefferson, the first non-Christian President in America (His Deism and denial of the basic tenets of historical, Biblical Christianity would place him outside.) was a staunch defender of religious liberty and would argue that America was for everyone whether they believed in God or not.
Chief Justice Moore later defined “life” via Blackstone’s Law — a book that American lawyers have “sadly forgotten” — as beginning when “the baby kicks.” “Today,” he said, “our courts say it’s not alive ’til the head comes out.”
Pro-life arguments stand up just fine with the backing of medical professionals. Moore does not need to counter judge-made law with the words of another lawyer whose popularity is found exclusively in law schools. Blackstone. Really?
“Now,” he continued, “if technology’s supposed to increase our knowledge, how did we become so stupid?” Discussing Thomas Jefferson’s use of “life” in the Declaration of Independence, he said that “when [Jefferson] put ‘life’ in there, it was in the womb — we know it begins at conception. Why aren’t we going the right way instead of the wrong way?”
“Now if technology is supposed to increase our knowledge, how did we become so stupid?” Good question, Roy. Look in the mirror.
He later said that “you can’t be happy unless you follow God’s law, and if you follow God’s law, you can’t help but be happy.”
Actually, Roy, you don’t have to follow God’s law to be happy. Jesus Christ fulfilled Old Testament prophecies and established the new covenant. No longer are we bound by the law, but we are saved by grace. St. Paul stood up to the Pharisees and spoke at length about this in his letters. All legitimate mainstream Christian denominations – Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, etc. – have always taught first and foremost that we are justified by faith. We are all sinners and there is nothing we can do to save ourselves. That is why Jesus Christ paid the debt we could not pay on the cross and rose again on the third day in fulfillment of the Scriptures. You can follow God’s law if you want. You have free will to do so, but if you do not have faith, it is pointless.
“It’s all about God,” he continued. “We’ve made ‘life’ a decision taken by man,” he said, and “taken ‘liberty,’ and converted it to ‘licentiousness. We’ve taken ‘pursuit of happiness,’ and reduced it to materialism.”
This statement is actually true. Libertine materialism is hurting American culture. Unfortunately, it was spoken by a person with zero credibility so him saying this is a major setback to all pro-lifers who are working tirelessly to change hearts and minds on the issue. People like Roy Moore prey on vulnerable populations, the elderly, and low-information voters and cause them to give their limited resources to fund legal defense teams instead of donating to honest Christian groups to advance their charitable work. Lawyers get rich. Christian stewards get poorer.
The Republican Party will abandon social conservatism in ten years out of electoral expediency. If social conservatives do not get their act together and find fresh new faces to advocate for the movement amidst insurmountable challenges, they will have zero representation in America’s two-party system.
March 19, 2014 By Phil TranMy friend Joe Steffen wrote this great piece exposing Meyer Marks’ denial of payment to a vendor for services successfully rendered. Meyer Marks, who was once a Maryland gubernatorial candidate and is now a State Senate Candidate, enlisted the services of the talented Tex Fischer for his short-lived gubernatorial campaign. Tex charged Meyer $500 for a website, which is a ridiculously low price for a man of his skill set. After Tex successfully completed his work in building a pro-quality website for Meyer, Meyer flatly refused to pay him. Read Joe’s article for the full details.
This is personal for me. Tex Fischer, like yours truly, is a fellow web designer. He is a good one too, who really should be paid a lot more than what he is currently being paid by clients. As vendors and consultants, we have been screwed by too many clients and campaign managers, even with written agreements. In fact, being screwed once is one too many times.
If you go to a restaurant and eat without paying, do you think you can walk away a free man? No. The restaurant will alert the police and you will face prosecution.
Why does the public tolerate campaigns that use and abuse vendors and consultants and refuse to pay them in the end? The sad fact is that some of the good politicians who deserve respect are as deadbeat as the bad ones. Sometimes it is not really the politician who stands in the way of payment but it is the campaign manager or chief of staff who is stiffing the vendor. It is the same thing in the final analysis.
You would think that politicians in a party that purports to support hard work and small businesses would pay vendors and consultants their full market value correctly on time. This is not the case in too many instances. If legal action is an ineffective deterrent because it is too costly for the vendors and consultants, public shame needs to be left on the table as a deterrence.
Meyer Marks is blacklisted.
March 12, 2014 By Lil Hill
So Republicans and conservatives gathered for their annual drunken debauchery, err…CPAC, and decided in a meaningless, but otherwise telling, straw poll on who their next Presidential nominee should be.
Rand Paul ran away with the straw poll. Ted Cruz was a distant second. The people who barely registered a blip after Paul and Cruz are even wackier if that is even possible.
So conservatives have a love affair with Rand Paul. Let us see. Is it this Rand Paul who thinks white-only lunch counters should be legal in the name of “liberty”?
That sound you hear? It is the sound of Democrats dancing in the streets for 2016.
Regardless of who Republicans ultimately nominate, they better hope Hillary Clinton is the nominee for the Democrats. Because if Hillary is not the nominee, we are looking at a President Andrew Cuomo or Martin O’Malley who both will be even more left wing than Hillary is.