On the Liberty Amendments

Mark Levin, radio host and author, had the perfect plan to regain individual liberties from the elite political class in Washington.  As an example, let’s take term limits.  I remember in the 90’s after a series of House scandals (money laundering with the post office and free overdrafts with the bank), people were screaming for term limits.  Many states like Ohio voted for term limits on their state Representatives and Senators.  Some tried to limit the terms of their federally elected officials, but that was deemed unconstitutional.  Full disclosure, I voted with the 30% who opposed term limits.  I felt that people should just run better campaigns against an incumbent who has become out-of-touch, and part of me still believes I was right.

Returning to federal term limits, Congress would never pass an amendment limiting their power.  They would never repeal the 17th Amendment that allowed Senators to be elected by popular vote.  I can’t remember when I first heard it, but President Obama was going through the variety of patriots who serve America – “teachers, nurses, factory workers, and political servants.”  Ouch!  The Constitution does everything it can to prevent a political class, and yet that’s exactly what we have now.  The counties around Washington DC are the richest in the country as former Congressmen become lobbyists to help write thousand-page bills that only they understand.  As I tell my liberal friends, Congress is incapable of delivering on their most well-intentioned promises.

And now, the punchline of “The Liberty Amendments.”  We don’t need Congress to pass an amendment!  Here is the Wikipedia summary, but if 34 states agree to a State Convention to Propose Amendments, then it happens!  Through our state representatives we can propose term limits for Congress and the repeal of the 17th Amendment.  Levin also proposes a method to overturn a Supreme Court interpretation (why should a single guy or gal tip a 5-4 vote that the rest of us have to live by?) and a way to limit federal spending.

On September 28th in Ohio, I will be at the We The People Convention in Columbus.  The Article V Convention will be a major point of conversation as well as the Kasich Medicaid Expansion proposal, Common Core, and the Agenda 21 push in northeast Ohio by the Sustainability Communities Consortium, also known as VibrantNEO.  Follow me on Twitter @OdieMoats which I have streaming on the right of this page and I will try to live-tweet the event.  State Treasurer and 2012 Senate candidate Josh Mandel is for the Liberty Amendments in general and I hope he can help Ohio citizens to lobby their State Reps and Senators to propose and affirm Ohio’s role in an Article V Convention.  I look forward to the meeting and to help cut the legs off of the Washington elite.

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GOP: The Surrender Party

Our elected Washington DC Republicans are just as useless on vacation as they are when working.  The Democrats have started the month of August completely owning the two issues on which conservatives should be arguing: Amnesty and Obamacare.

First we have stories that 40 GOP members are going to vote for a path to citizenship regardless of border security.  (http://www.breitbart.com/breitbart-tv/2013/08/08/Dem-Rep-Gutierrez-I-ABSOLUTELY-Have-40-to-50-Republicans-Willing-To-Vote-Yes-On-Immigration).  Republicans should have been able to keep the argument on the border.  Hell, even John McCain ran on border security just 12 months ago.  And we don’t have good enough technology to secure the border?  Bricks and stone worked for the Chinese, why can’t we start there?  But instead, the straw man argument of deportations and the borderline bigoted argument that only Mexicans will do certain jobs seem to have won the day.

Then we can’t seem to do anything about Obamacare, which Harry Reid admits is a path to single-payer.  (http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/08/10/Reid-obamacare-first-step-towards-single-payer).  Congress breaks the law by subsidizing themselves, exempts many federal employees and many unions and Democrat supporters.  Where’s the GOP?  They are opposing Mike Lee!  They say that they will eliminate Obamacare… when they get 60 Senate votes!  I won’t hold my breath.

Elections have consequences, and those conservatives who stayed home are just as much to blame as the spineless Republicans in Congress.  If I were John Boehner, I’d be EXCITED to have one-half of one-third of the government!  The Democrats wouldn’t whine about it, they’d be charging up their base.  The base is ready to be charged, but first they need to insist on new leadership.  To that end, check out my new website, http://www.gopprimarycentral.com and lets support conservative nominees so we don’t end up with squishy leadership.

The Ohio GOP Leadership Choice

Being in the Tea Party is a lot like being one of the Spartans in Frank Miller’s “300.” We live, think, and breathe conservative principles while facing a massive establishment which see principles as secondary to political advantage. This lets Karl Rove throw himself on stage again with “the answer” which he can provide for a price.  This lets Reince Priebus be re-elected as National GOP chairman after leading Republicans to crushing national defeats in 2012. When the defeat was studied, the party chose the autopsy to be done by the same people who did the shooting! Nice line, huh?

I can’t take the credit – the line was said by Tom Zawistowski, Tea Party leader and candidate for the Ohio GOP Chairman. (http://www.wkyc.com/video/2316658322001/0/Between-the-Lines-April-21st).  At the risk of repeating myself, I think the Republican Party in Ohio is in trouble.  The 2010 elections were a very welcome and necessary exception to the rule.  George Voinovich was Ohio’s Governor in the 90’s, and the GOP was strong and had a very good bench.  Ohio’s next Governor, Bob Taft, was a double-A player thrust in the major leagues, and the bench grew old and ineffective.  The Democrats regained their strength in 2006 with the election of Ted Strickland, but they had a double-A player themselves as Attorney General Marc Dann treated the office like a frat house and left in disgrace.  Despite this Democrat scandal and Ohio’s crushing economy during his tenure, Strickland was a few counties short of being re-elected in the powerful GOP year of 2010.  If he had, it likely would have cost us a congressional seat or two in 2012 through redistricting.  It really is that close!

Bob Bennett was an agreeable Ohio GOP leader in the 90’s and he helped to usher in the Voinovich administration, but he couldn’t do much to keep the party’s strength.  He left in 2009 to be followed by Kevin DeWine, an insider who had battles with a more conservative John Kasich.  When DeWine left, Bennett was convinced to take the post again and now the mantle has fallen on Matt Borges.  Borges was quickly ordained as the next GOP leader with endorsements by Kasich, Portman, and other GOP leaders.

But things were unsettled in the grassroots.  There was a smell of establishment with the choice, and the stench of failed promises.  Kasich had strong conservative credentials, but then backed Medicaid expansion which takes from the empty federal Obamacare program to increase Ohio’s Medicaid rolls.  Portman is a credible Republican, but then tries to prove his compassion by leading the GOP charge to support gay marriage.  And now we’re supposed to trust them with this choice?

Many conservatives are supporting Tom Zawistowski (http://toledoteaparty.com/conservative-group-leaders-message-to-ohio-gop/), and it is up to the 66 members of the GOP Central Committee to make its decision by Friday, April 26.  Many of these members have loyalty or allegiance to the leaders like Kasich and Portman, as well as to the countless insiders who can choose which wheels get the grease.  But if we can learn from recent election failures, it is that poor handlers, inept campaign staff, and an apathetic grassroots effort can hurt an election as much as the candidate.  The elections of 2014 and 2016 will be much more important than this one, but the Ohio GOP will set that stage.  If we continue to play politics-as-usual, I’m afraid we will continue to lose.

The following are other articles I’ve gathered about Tom Z and the upcoming election.

http://www.portagecountyteaparty.com/
http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/2013/04/22/ohio-republican-party-latest-update.html
http://www.examiner.com/article/borges-greased-for-ohio-gop-chief-post-despite-deters-gruttadauria-entanglement
http://www.nbc4i.com/story/22042671/gop-leaders-tax-liens-concern-ohio-officials
http://www.thebrennerbrief.com/2013/04/22/apr-22-the-brenner-brief-radio-show-latest-boston-bomber-news-ohio-medicaid-expansion-and-more/
http://cincinnati.com/blogs/politics/2013/03/21/conservatives-reject-gop-leadership/

Splitting the Homosexual Baby

Sorry for the ugly metaphor, but gay marriage looks more and more like the “lady parts” of 2014 and probably 2016.  It will be contraception coverage, out-of-the-country back-of-the line immigration policy, and elderly getting drugs from Canada all wrapped into one.  Three or four years ago, Book of Virtues author Bill Bennett was on the Daily Show and conceded that the left would likely win the argument on gay marriage.  Opposing it is obviously consistent with traditional values, however there is no conservative argument to persuade people who dismiss traditional values.  Marriage between a man and a woman is just another in a long list of Republican medieval social views, and these voters see no other valid choice but to vote Democrat.

Today, our Republican Senator Rob Portman came out in support of gay marriage (op-ed here) after reconsidering his position given that his son declared that he was gay.

In discussing this issue with some married friends, I asked to what degree the federal government rewarded them for their marriage.  The tax code, Social Security transfers, and that was about it.  Would you rather share these benefits with gay partners or give them up?  The one couple that had only one income-generator admitted that they needed to have the Social Security continue for the non-working spouse if necessary.  But the double-income couples quickly said they would give up federal marriage benefits instead of expanding the definition of marriage.

Despite my hardline economic Tea Party views, I am lukewarm to a few social issues and gay marriage is one.  If two men or two women want to commit to each other and call themselves married, then what does it matter to me?  The Bible that tells me that homosexuality is wrong is the same Bible that tells them that homosexuality is wrong.  Unfortunately, I just don’t feel that any unsolicited testimony from me is going to change their minds.

Gay marriage DOES matter when my tax dollars goes to support this lifestyle.  Our tax dollars are supporting a whole host of unhealthy activities including Planned Parenthood and the ever-growing food stamp dependency.  Conservatives have obviously lost that argument long ago and, with more converts like Portman, we will lose this argument as well.  Is there an argument to be made that doesn’t include the term “traditional family values?”

I think so, and so does Rand Paul.  (I am a growing fan of Rand Paul, but didn’t want to be too obvious so far before 2016 so I buried him here in the sixth paragraph.)  Here are some articles about his position from the Independent Journal and Slate.  It essentially states that the federal government should NOT be in the business of defining marriage, let alone redefining it now that progressive social norms are pushing a homosexual agenda so strongly.  By eliminating the marriage benefit, then you are equalizing heterosexual and homosexual couples in the eyes of the government.  If we consider marriage to be essentially a spiritual relationship, then the legal contract is secondary.

The legal contract, of course, is still important and it will take much work to satisfy all involved, but now the government is not talking about marriage but a contract.  I should be able to allow my Social Security benefits to be shared with Person X, and here’s our contract to back it up.  Insurance companies and private businesses will set their own rules (as they do now regarding gay marriage), but again we are talking about  a legal contract from a Justice-of-the-Peace and not a priest affirming their commitment before the eyes of God.

I agree with the Reagan analogy of the 3-legged stool: conservatism stands on the legs of economic freedom, strong foreign policy, and traditional values.  The media and now Generation Y think that promoting traditional values means enforcing traditional values.  I would listen, for instance, to Rick Santorum talk about family values and then he would throw out an aside that the government wouldn’t force itself into personal lives.  Well I heard that aside because I was listening for it!  Younger votes and certainly low information voters either missed it or ignored it and said, “There goes those medieval Republicans again.”  GOP candidates must learn to argue for traditional values without compromising those values.

Without The Rand Paul Moment…

I was pretty excited with the Rand Paul 13-hour filibuster, and I was not alone.  #StandWithRand was a trending twitter topic through the whole day and the day after.  It was the first time in a long time that an elected member of the GOP went on offense.  Boehner and the Republican House continue to warble, “We’re waiting for the President to lead.”  Obama IS leading the GOP House – like the Pied Piper leads his mice!

Most confusing are the wet-blanket conservatives like Michael Medved and others who say things like “it didn’t change anything” or “he should have filibustered Hagel” or “he should have filibustered the next day also.”  If Paul didn’t filibuster on Wednesday, then the primetime news would have been the Obama dinner with the 12 Republican Senators.  What did they say?  Is this the new tone?  Is Obama moderating?  Are the Republican Senators going to trump the tea-bagging teenagers in the House?  And what did they eat?

The next day, McCain and Graham would have taken to the Senate floor saying how reasonable the President is and that this is the time to put partisanship aside and work together for America.  The Senate doesn’t need all of the GOP on board, just a few key folks and some of their finger-in-the-air followers to compromise on sequester, continuing resolution, or whatever budget issue.  Who knows, Rubio might have even gotten McCain’s back on this one.

This would have put Boehner on the defensive and we all know how that story ends.  “To hell with Amash!  To hell with Chavez and Goehmert!”  He might be reluctant, but eventually Boehner would cave.  Obama would get a budget he can be proud of… for a day.

Then what about these GOP governors who are still declining the Obamacare Medicaid expansion?  Kasich, Scott, McConnell are all helping the poor unfortunates in their states.  Why not the rest?  This is a CRISIS must be resolved now before Republicans cause the deaths of thousands!  Lather.  Rinse.  Repeat.

Rand Paul took the air out of that Obama dinner for this week.  But what about next week?  It takes continuous work and effort to stop the Alinsky method.  Paul showed us how to do it, now can others join in to turn around this progressive ship?

Senate Tea Party Beats Establishment: #CrushRove

I don’t think we should mind internal discussions or even fights when finding Republican standard-bearers on any level, as long as we all come together afterwards.  Karl Rove recently created an American Crossroads subgroup to support more electable candidates, implicitly suggesting that Tea Party candidates like Akin and Mourdock (it’s always those two, isn’t it?) were doomed from the start.  After the Tea Party uproar, Rove has been appearing on Fox saying he gave personal money to Rubio, $x million to such and such, millions to this other one, and so on.

Rove may be able to personally say whatever, but he has become the face and voice of the establishment.  And it’s difficult and time-consuming for a generic interested member of the public like myself to follow the money.  Who is giving money to Rove?  Who have THEY personally given to in the past?  Rove has said he didn’t have an interest in the Texas Senate primary because “it didn’t matter who won” (which is dead wrong, by the way), but I’ve heard that a bunch of Crossroads donors supported Dewhurst over Cruz.   Let’s take a look at a wider list of Senate races in 2010 and 2012 and see if we can put things in context.  This is going to be a long post – but at least it’ll get this information out of my head and onto paper.

** 2010 was the first year of tea party challenges, and the standard GOP candidates were not prepared for what was to follow.

  • Alaska: Joe Miller beat Lisa Murkowski in the primary.  Karl Rove said that Murkowski was going to lose her write-in campaign, but she surprised many people by winning this three-way race.  Miller is no fan of the establishment, nor they of him, and he has recently written about Rove’s War on the Tea Party.
  • Arizona: J.D. Hayworth took the Tea Party mantle to challenge John McCain.  Rove sang about McCain’s tough stance on the border and spending in predicting his victory, and McCain won handily.
  • California: Chuck DeVore was the Tea Party favorite, but many in GOP including Sarah Palin backed Carly Fiorina.  She went on to lose to Barbara Boxer.
  • Colorado: Ken Buck surprised many by defeating GOP favorite Jane Norton.  He barely lost the general election to Michael Bennett.
  • Connecticut: Linda McMahon ran as an outsider which made her more “tea party” than Rep. Rob Simmons.  She won the primary, but lost the election.
  • Delaware: Christine O’Donnell beat out long-time Representative and establishment favorite Mike Castle.  When Castle lost the race, he would not endorse O’Donnell and Rove routinely dismissed her and her candidacy.  She went on to lose in the blue state of Delaware.
  • Florida: Another successful Tea Party challenge to an establishment candidate who would not back the GOP primary victor.  This time, though, Marco Rubio beat the Democrat and also former GOP Charlie Crist in the general election.
  • Kentucky: Rand Paul ran as an outsider much like his father, Ron Paul, and he defeated McConnell’s pick of Trey Grayson.  He then went on to win the seat pretty comfortably.
  • Missouri:  Roy Blunt was definitely the Washington insider in this race, and the Tea Party complained loudly yet could not mount any type of primary challenge.  Blunt won the primary and also the general.
  • Nevada: The Tea Party had another primary victory with Sharron Angle beating GOP chair Sue Lowden.  She later lost to Harry Ried in the general in a race that was not as close as the polls had suggested.
  • Pennsylvania: The Tea Party candidate Pat Toomey, who barely lost to Arlen Specter six years earlier, succeeded in chasing him from the GOP in 2010.  Specter lost the Democrat primary and Toomey won the general election.
  • Utah: Who can forget this solid red state with a establishment incumbent who had a questionable record.  Mike Lee beat Robert Bennet in the “primary” and coasted to a general election victory.  (Actually I forgot this in the initial post and added this state AND Wisconsin the next day.)
  • Wisconsin:  Ron Johnson is associated with the Tea Party and faced no serious opposition in the primary.  He was the brave soul who took on Democrat incumbent Russ Fiengold and won!

So in these 13 races with an establishment vs. tea party element, the tea party won ten and the establishment three.  Two of the three establishment candidates won, McCain and Blunt, while Fiorina lost in the tough state of California.  Additionally, a third establishment candidate victory came when Murkowski won her write-in campaign.

Of the ten Tea Party candidates, five won: Paul in Kentucky and Lee in Utah, and then Toomey, Rubio, and Johnson in the blue states of Pennsylvania, Florida, and Wisconsin.  The Democrat wins were in Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, and Nevada.  The fifth Tea Party candidate to lose was Joe Miller in Alaska.

Parsing this 2010 election as blue state versus red state, I count eight blue states and five red.  Of the red states, Republicans won all five with three establishment candiates (Murkowski as write-in, McCain, and Blunt) and two tea party (Rand Paul and Mike Lee).  Of the blue states, the establishment lost California, tea party candidates lost Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, and Nevada.  But, and this is important, the tea party won in the big blue states of Pennsylvania, Florida, and Wisconsin.

** 2012 showed that the GOP was more prepared in fending off challengers from the very beginning, but it was also a presidential election and many tea party folks may have been busy looking for the non-Romney and may not have adequately prepared for the Senate elections.  In choosing these races, I’ll move beyond those with solidly defined “Tea Party” challengers and also includes races that were close or competitive.

  • Arizona:  Tea Party Jeff Flake easily won a GOP primary and then squeaked by the general election.
  • Connecticut: Linda McMahon again was not exactly Tea Party, but her GOP opponent was definitely establishment.  She won the primary, but lost the general.
  • Florida: Rep. Connie Mack IV seemed to have good conservative credentials although he is also establishment in that his father is a former Senator.  He lost in the general election to incumbent Bill Nelson.
  • Indiana: Richard Mourdock was endorsed by many Tea Party-types, and Richard Lugar did not react well to losing the primary.  His supporters were enthusiatically passive about Mourdock and the Democrat ran a very conservative campaign.  This was a seat that the GOP should have held, but it was not.
  • Massachusetts: Scott Brown stunned the nation when he won the seat vacated by the death of Ted Kennedy.  In this election, he faced progressive favorite Elizabeth Warren in the general election and lost.  Like McMahon, he may not be Tea Party in policy but he also is not establishment.
  • Michigan: Again like Connie Mack, Pete Hoekstra is conservative and was endorsed by Tea Party favorite Michele Bachmann, but he also was a long-time congressman.  In the GOP primary, challenger Clark Durant seems to have views that are very consistent with the Tea Party but he finished with under 35% of the vote.  Hoekstra lost to incumbent Debbie Stabenow.
  • Missouri:  Not to go through this again, but Todd Akin barely won a three-way contest against two superior candidates.  Claire McCaskill was the most vulnerable Democrat incumbent, but Akin was the GOP’s most vulnerable challenger.
  • Montana:  John Tester may have been the second-most vulnerable candidate, and his race was much closer.  The GOP picked Denny Rehberg who as a 20-year politician was definitely establishment.  He lost to Tester by four points while the Libertarian candidate garnered over six percent of the vote.
  • Nebraska: Deb Fischer went from third place to first place in the GOP primary.  Her opponents were Jon Bruning, considered to be establishment, and Don Stenberg.  Stenberg was endorsed by FreedomWorks, but he was also had lost two previous attempts at a Senate seat.  Fischer got an important endorsement from Sarah Palin and went on to win the primary, and then the general.
  • Nevada:  Incumbent Republican Dean Heller won the Senate outright after being appointed to the seat vacated by John Ensign.  There was no serious challenge in the primary, and he squeaked by with a 46-45 win in the general.
  • New Mexico: Five-term congresswoman Heather Wilson was challenged by a Tea Party candidate who had trouble gaining traction.  Wilson won the nomination handily, but lost the open seat.
  • North Dakota:  In an open seat that was listed as a strong Republican pickup at the beginning of 2012, Rick Berg lost the race by less than 3000 votes.  Berg was challenged in the primary by an “Americans for Prosperity” candidate.
  • Ohio:  John Mandel is a young Generation X candidate who has feet in both camps.  He was an early pick of Jim DeMint’s Victory Fund, and he also received endorsements and support from the GOP establishment.  He lost Ohio by six points.
  • Pennsylvania: Tom Smith was a Democrat for many years, but so was Ronald Reagan and so was I.  One of his GOP challengers, though, was Sam Rohrer who was endorsed by the Tea Party.  Smith ran against incumbent Bob Casey and lost.
  • Texas:  In a classic tea party vs. establishment race, Ted Cruz forced Lt. Governor David Dewhurst into a runoff when Dewhurst only received 44% of the vote in the GOP primary.  Cruz was second with 34%, but he handily won the runoff a few weeks later and then also won the general.
  • Virginia: George Allen has a long political history in Virginia, including the unfortunate “makaka” incident that cost him his Senate re-election six years earlier.  In the primary, he was challenged by a conservative activist, but Allen went on to win easily.  In the general, incumbent Tim Kaine beat Allen by six points.
  • Wisconsin:  In another classic tea party vs. establishment race, we can only wish that this one ended up in a runoff.  Instead, long-time establishment Tommy Thomson won a four-way race that included one candidate endorsed by the Club for Growth, and another candidate endorsed by FreedomWorks.  With 34% of the Republican primary vote, he went on to face Tammy Baldwin in the general election and who won the race by five.

Phew!  So a longer list, and there were a few candidates that are difficult to categorize as either tea party or establishment.  Regardless, the GOP lost a tremendous opportunity to pick up seats.  I listed here 17 of the 33 races up for contention, of which we only won four!  Of these 17, I have five who I couldn’t classify as either tea party or establishment.  I simply don’t know enough of their politics or maybe they were a little of both.  I have in this unknown category: Linda McMahon, Scott Brown, Pete Hoekstra, Todd Akin, and Tom Smith.  I have five Tea Party candidates: Jeff Flake, Richard Mourdock, Deb Fischer, Josh Mandel, and Ted Cruz.  Establishment candidates make up the remaining seven: Mack, Rehberg, Heller, Wilson, Berg, Allen, and Thompson.

So the verdict?  Well the unknowns didn’t win any seat, so that takes care of that.  Of the establishment candidates, ONLY ONE of the seven won and that was incumbent Dean Heller of Nevada.  Of the Tea Party, THREE of five won their races (Flake, Fischer, and Cruz)!  Well the Tea Party seems to be the clear victor in this categorization, even if you want to throw some of those unknowns into the tea party.

Let’s look at the blue state vs. red state results.  And as much as it hurts, I’ve got to put states like Virginia, Florida, and Ohio in the blue state category.  So of the 17 states listed, 10 are blue states and 7 are red.  Of the blue states, again only Dean Heller won.  The blue states ran five establishment candidates (Mack, Heller, Wilson, Allen, and Thompson), four unknowns (McMahon, Brown, Hoekstra, and Smith) and then tea party John Mandel.  So two years earlier, there were distinctly Tea Party candidates in the blue or swing states of Florida and Pennsylvania who won their race.  Two years later with more opportunities, there is only Josh Mandel.

The seven red states had THREE victories – and yes, the same three Tea Party folks listed above (Flake, Fischer, and Cruz)!   The remaining four red states that lost Senate bids had two establishment candidates (Rehberg and Berg), one unknown (Akin) and one Tea Party (Mourdock).  So as Mitt Romney was winning Montana and North Dakota, the GOP establishment was not successful in gaining a seat from Democrat hands.  And then there’s Akin and Mourdock… it’s always those two, isn’t it?

** So the sum total of both 2010 and 2012 elections: establishment won four of eleven races and tea party won eight of fifteen.  Tea Party by a nice margin!  Looking at blue states, the establishment has a record of 1-5, and tea party has a record of 3-5.  Four unknowns were in blue states, so you can categorize them as you wish and the Tea Party will still have a better record.  For the red states, establishment candidates are 3-2 and tea party folks are 5-2.  BaZinga!  Based on this compilation, the bold colors of the Tea Party has a stronger record than the pastel establishment in both red and blue states.

This brings us to today.  Barely a month into the 113th Congress, we are apparently itching to fight for the composition of the 114th.  The next election will see “Obama coat-tail” Senate candidates that include 21 Democrats.  Can we pick off some of those incumbents and gain seats this time?  I count seven Romney states that have Senate seats held by Democrats (AK, AR, LA, MT, NC, SD, WV).  Democrats can only count Maine’s Susan Collins as a potential pickoff.  I also see six swing states that Obama carried that have Senate elections (CO, IA, MI, MN, NH, NM).

How about some red state rable-rousing? Well Georgia is going to be an open seat where the Republican, no matter who it is, will be the favorite. The Democrats may run a strong candidate so this is not an “in-the-bag” seat, but it is a tea party opportunity. Lindsey Graham? Well Tim Scott will also be running for the full term of his seat so Tea Party energy might go in that direction. Lamar Alexander and John Cornyn? Mitch McConnell? Oy vey! There are babies in bathwater, so we better be careful.

I’m still not over the November loss to Barack Obama.  What good are the Rush Limbaughs and Mark Levins and the Tea Party if we end up with a 2012 result?  The conservative turnout wasn’t there, either because they stayed home or because they don’t exist.  And I’m afraid that they may not exist – that elections will continue to be won by the votes of people who accept government as the answer to life’s ills.  Conservatives may simply be outnumbered.

Despite the CurrentTV propaganda that the Tea Party is the financial domain of the Koch brothers, I see the Tea Party as the true grassroots who can win despite being outspent in television advertising.  Karl Rove still thinks money equals support or the difference between winning and losing.  One thing is sure – the GOP disunity that results from this chasm benefits the Democrats.  Unity will equal victory.

Finding a Common Premise in the Gun Argument

As much as people say they hate politicizing tragedies like Sandy Hook Elementary, it only took hours before political arguments were being made.  And much too quickly and eagerly, people begin debating their conclusions before deciding whether or not they agree on the premises.

Everybody agrees that what happened in Newtown, CT is a tragedy.  NOT everybody agrees that it could have been prevented.  This, I think, is the root of the argument’s divergence.

Will banning assault weapons and their magazines prevent their use in crimes?  If the answer is yes, then I am all for it.  I certainly have no use for an assault weapon and it is my belief that nobody else in the country has a need for one as well.  From my world in my perspective, nobody needs assault weapons.

But I respect and understand that the world does not exist solely from my perspective, and I do not believe that banning assault weapons will eliminate assault weapons.  And when somebody making the gun-ban argument concedes this point, then we need to move the discussion elsewhere.  If the argument is to continue on gun limits, then it must be with the admission that it will not prevent this type of violent crime.  Neither new laws nor existing laws will stop people intent on breaking the law.

On ABC’s This Week, Mayor Cory Booker went down this fine line, and I want to thank him for the retweet :).  And looking at some of his other mentions on Twitter, I’m not the only Tea Party-type to agree with argument that legally armed people are not the problem with violent crime.   I’ll even link to his article on the Huffington Post where talks about laws regarding second-hand gun shows, mental health, gun trafficking.  But before I stick on my “Booker for Senate” button, we ought to make a clear line between responsibly sacrificing liberty and actively promoting tyranny.

For over a century, we’ve given progressives inch after inch and they have never relented from their goals.  There is a vocal minority that wants to ban all guns.  This minority was vocal decades ago and they are vocal today.  Even if they get temporarily silenced at this time by a responsible majority, they will see any gun ban as one of a long line of victories.

So am I a TeaParty nutjob for putting everything into a Liberty and Tyranny framework?  Progressives think so – Progressives in BOTH parties think so (and I’m talking about you, Steve LaTourette)!  When I hear arguments on talk shows, I hear conservatives speaking from this framework and liberals “just wanting to do something.”  I hope Booker can speak with the language of liberty.  Maybe it will encourage Republicans to do the same.