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Karl Rove and the GOP Socialists

Crossroads, Chamber attack Reaganites.

By Jeffrey Lord – 1.2.14

Happy New Year.

It’s war.

While America was celebrating the holidays, the Wall Street Journal ran a page one story the day after Christmas headlined as follows:

GOP, Business Recast Message
Republican Leaders, Allies Aim to Diminish Clout of Most-Conservative Activists

The story said this right up front:

Meanwhile, major donors and advocacy groups, such as the Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads, are preparing an aggressive effort to groom and support more centrist Republican candidates for Congress in 2014’s midterm elections.

Translation?

Karl Rove (i.e., architect of the American Crossroads SuperPAC), the Chamber of Commerce, and the Washington GOP Establishment have declared war on the Reaganite conservative base of the Republican Party.

Welcome to the 2014 election.

An election which, by all accounts, both historically and in terms of the specifics of President Obama’s sinking ratings, should be a winner — a big winner — for the GOP.

Unless.

Unless there is a deliberate, willful attempt to sabotage the GOP from within. Using the GOP Establishment as a launching pad to ensure that Reagan-style conservatives — the base of the Republican Party — are defeated by Establishment, statist Republicans. Republicans who will in turn so anger the GOP base that the base simply refuses to turn out in November. Thus handing President Obama and the statist forces of Big Government a victory they should never have had and in fact would be unable to earn on their own.

Or? Worse?

The GOP Establishment wins under the ruse of being… honest, they promise, cross-their-hearts-and-hope-to-die… conservative. And then they do the inevitable… the usual… GOP version of the Socialist Deal. Being “realistic”… seeking (Margaret Thatcher’s hated word) “consensus.”

Harrumph, yada yada yada and all of that.

This isn’t rocket science.

Let’s be candid here, shall we?

This is the latest round in the GOP civil war that has been ongoing for decades.

And, while that WSJ story does not mention Mr. Rove by name, the name of American Crossroads — the Rove-created SuperPAC — is mentioned front and center in this story.

We have discussed Karl Rove and American Crossroads before (here and here).

Back in February of 2013 the New York Times ran this story on Mr. Rove’s Crossroads group, describing it as follows:

The biggest donors in the Republican Party are financing a new group to recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts who Republican leaders worry could complicate the party’s efforts to win control of the Senate.

…The group, the Conservative Victory Project, is intended to counter other organizations that have helped defeat establishment Republican candidates over the last two election cycles.”

The Conservative Victory Project, which is backed by Karl Rove and his allies who built American Crossroads into the largest Republican super PAC of the 2012 election cycle, will start by intensely vetting prospective contenders for Congressional races to try to weed out candidates who are seen as too flawed to win general elections.

The backlash against American Crossroads was considerable. The very fact of the New York Times piece signaled the Reagan base of the GOP — these days called the Tea Party — that the GOP Washington Establishment was out to undercut Reaganites as the war against GOP statists picked up steam.

Now that 2014 has arrived, the WSJ story indicates the war on Reagan conservatives by the Bush/Ford/Rockefeller wing of the GOP is on again in earnest. Over at Breitbart, Tony Lee reported another aspect of this story, headlined as follows:

Karl Rove’s Crossroads Reloading Against Tea Party

Reports Lee:

Even though Karl Rove’s American Crossroads brand has been damaged after the group declared war against conservative candidates, the group will reportedly try to influence the 2014 midterm elections by bullying campaigns and creating groups that, on the surface, do not seem to be affiliated with them.

According to the New York Times, Crossroads “appears to be testing” its “new approach” in Kentucky. The Conservative Victory Project, the group formed to take on conservative candidates, has stayed out of Kentucky’s Senate primary between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Tea Party challenger Matt Bevin. Instead, a group called “Kentuckians for Strong Leadership” is curiously backing McConnell while getting most of its cash from Crossroads donors. It is “legally separate from Crossroads”; but Stephen Law, the president of Crossroads, sits on its board, and the two groups share a treasurer.

Crossroads may set up “similar groups in races in which its brand may be less appealing to voters or donors.” The Times notes that this is an approach Crossroads may have to take because Rove’s organization has been so tarnished among the conservative base that candidates fear donors will not contribute to any group associated with him.

In other races, Crossroads has been threatening Senate candidates, saying the group and its affiliates will not support them if they accept support from other super PACs. According to the Times, Law warned a Republican West Virginia Senate candidate (Rep. Shelly Moore Capito) that if her campaign formed its own super PAC, Crossroads would not offer it support.

So even if it appears on the surface that Mr. Rove and the GOP Establishment have taken a pass on primary X, in fact Crossroads, the Chamber and other tentacles of the GOP Establishment may be well present and accounted for by another name. Actively seeking to sabotage conservative candidates exactly as the Breitbart story pinpoints in detail with the Kentucky Senate race.

Let’s be clear.

This isn’t some petty squabble over the personality of candidate A versus candidate B. This is decidedly not about the ineptness of, say, Missouri’s Todd Akin (whom we urged to withdraw after his rape nonsense). Notice that none of the losing moderate candidates from 2012, whether Mitt Romney at the top or in various Senate or House races, are being cited by the Establishment as problems.

This is about whether the Republican Party will abandon its Reagan/conservative base — the base that elected Reagan in two landslides, Reagan’s vice president (running as Reagan’s heir) in a 1988 landslide, the Gingrich Revolution in 1994 and made John Boehner Speaker of the House in 2010 — to become Republican socialists, a paler version of the Obama/statist party. Obama Lite. Unwilling not only to challenge the President’s left-wing agenda but insisting on acceptance of that agenda — just a cheaper, better managed version of it.

This is exactly how the nation got into its $17 trillion debt in the first place — not to mention repeated GOP defeats at the polls — with too many Republicans using their time in office not to keep pledges of limited government but rather to grow the government. And the debt and deficit that went along with it.

As we have noted before, this fight is a mirror image of the battle that occurred in Britain between the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the “wets” — moderates — of her own British Conservative Party.

After the Tories lost the 1974 elections to Labour, in 1975 as she prepared to challenge Edward Heath — the Gerald Ford of British Conservatives — Mrs. Thatcher penned a column for the Daily Telegraph that said, in part, this:

Indeed, one of the reasons for our electoral failure is that people believe too many Conservatives have become socialists already. Britain’s progress towards socialism has been an alternation of two steps forward with half a step back…And why should anyone support a party that seems to have the courage of no convictions?

Americanize Thatcher’s point and this is exactly the problem posed by Mr. Rove, American Crossroads and the Chamber of Commerce.

To Americanize Mrs. Thatcher: Indeed, one of the reasons for our electoral failure is that people believe too many Republicans have become socialists already.

Exactly.

Again, as pointed out before in this space, Mr. Rove is a symbol of this problem. When the Ted Cruz-Mike Lee-led effort to defund Obamacare was gaining steam, the GOP Establishment was out there saying that the way to do this was not to defund Obamacare but to win elections that gave the GOP control of the White House and Congress.

Left unsaid was the fact that once upon a time, when Mr. Rove himself was the White House Deputy Chief of Staff in the Bush 43 era, the GOP did in fact have control of the House and Senate both.

Was, to pick one example, the Department of Education abolished? No. In fact, Mr. Rove boasts in his memoirs of expanding the Department with the passage of No Child Left Behind, legislation that was passed by partnering with then-Senator Ted Kennedy, the “Liberal Lion” of the Senate. And oh yes, a GOP Congressman named…John Boehner.

In other words, given 100% control of the federal government, something Reagan never had, the GOP went out of its way not to limit the growth of the federal government — but to expand it. As it were, the GOP Establishment joined hands with the other side.

This is exactly the problem Margaret Thatcher spent a career fighting. Not to mention Ronald Reagan. As Mrs. Thatcher’s ally, the late Sir Keith Joseph called it, this was the “socialist ratchet” effect. Assuming office on a so-called “conservative” platform, British Conservatives and American Republicans immediately settled in to assimilate the last spurt of government growth from the preceding Labour or Democrat administration — and then expand it.

Which brings us back to these stories in the Wall Street Journal and at Breitbart.

What these stories are exactly describing is a massive war on the conservative base of the GOP in 2014 by the people Ronald Reagan labeled the “fraternal order” or “pastel” Republicans.

And what happens if they succeed? Assuming they don’t ignite a furious backlash that costs the GOP the election?

The Republican Party can control every last seat in Congress after 2014 and the White House in 2016 — and it will not make a lick of difference. Because just as occurred when Rove was a man with clout in the White House and John Boehner was on an earlier ladder of the GOP House leadership passing No Child Left Behind with Teddy Kennedy — the Washington GOP Establishment will do everything they can to fight efforts to limit the size and growth of the federal government.

Why is this?

The answer is as simple as it is blunt. Follow the money.

The major industry — the trough, if you will — in Washington, D.C. is the big, bloated federal government.

And groups like the US Chamber of Commerce wallow in this trough. A few days before Christmas Mark Levin spent some time focusing on this issue, correctly pointing out that the Chamber, the epitome of the GOP Establishment, was “not about capitalism, they’re about cronyism.”

Over at OpenSecrets.org, one learns that the Chamber has been busy funneling its nominally conservative cash to…yes…Democrats. Specifically the Democratic Governors Association and the Democratic State Attorneys General Association. And here in the Los Angeles Times — back in 2010 — was this story headlined:

Republican-leaning U.S. Chamber of Commerce buys ads supporting Democrats

The story went on to say:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been a powerful ally for Republican candidates in this year’s midterm campaigns, quietly moved across the aisle this week and bought ads touting nearly a dozen Democratic House members.

Mind you, 2010 was the year of the Tea Party rebellion that gave the House GOP its majority and produced Speaker Boehner. And the Chamber of Commerce was out there giving some $1,899,772 for those “nearly a dozen Democratic House members” — all of whom had cast their votes to make Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House.

This kind of thing is exactly why Mark Levin said the Chamber is “not about capitalism, they’re about cronyism” and continued:

We need to shake up that place like it’s never been shaken before. And the problem with groups like the United States Chamber of Commerce is they’re not conservative, they’re about business. They’re not about capitalism, they’re about cronyism. The reason there is a United States Chamber of Commerce is so they can get Congress to cut deals for them, or the White House to cut deals for them, or the bureaucracy to cut deals for them. That’s what they’re there for.

Mark went on to say of the Chamber:

They’re part of the problem. The idea that big companies are necessarily conservative is absurd. Who do you think funds the left? Who do you think funds the Democrat Party? Or, all their little organizations? Big businesses do. Corporatists do. They’re trying to buy favors. That’s what they do…

Mark is correct.

But it would be considerably wrong to leave the impression this is simply about the Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads.

The fact of the matter is that Washington is laced with Republican lobbyists who are paid big bucks to lobby the federal government for client A or B. They may even give lip service to the idea of “limited government.” But to seriously limit the government would be to cut off a very handsome way of living for these GOP lobbyists. Which is why when serious conservative Republicans — today’s Tea Party members for example — actually make it to Congress, the GOP Establishment gets the cold sweats.

Which brings us back full circle to the real problem, as seen in this story in the New York Times from the period of the 2013 government shutdown headlined:

Business Groups See Loss of Sway Over House G.O.P.

Reports the Times:

WASHINGTON — As the government shutdown grinds toward a potential debt default, some of the country’s most influential business executives have come to a conclusion all but unthinkable a few years ago: Their voices are carrying little weight with the House majority that their millions of dollars in campaign contributions helped build and sustain.

This kind of reality terrifies the GOP Establishment. Listen to this quote from — shocker — the top lobbyist for the Chamber of Commerce, Bruce Josten. The Times quotes him this way, bold print for emphasis supplied here:

“What we want is a conservative business person, but someone who in many respects will be more realistic, in our opinion,” said Bruce Josten, the top lobbyist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the single biggest lobbying organization in Washington.

….“The name calling, blame gaming — using slurs like jihadist, terrorist, cowards, that kind of language — it does not get you to a deal,” Mr. Josten said of the advice he is giving to Democrats and Republicans.”

Catch the phrases? The words “more realistic” and “deal”? This isn’t simply Inside-the-Beltway language — this is the coded language of what Reagan once disparaged as the “fraternal order” Republicans. It is exactly what Margaret Thatcher was referring to when she said “too many Conservatives have become socialists already.”

Mr. Josten, Mr. Rove, the groups they are connected to are speaking the language of Republican socialists.

What Mr. Josten is saying in his own fashion is that he has accepted the “socialist ratchet” method of governing. He wants — and the Chamber he represents wants — no part of reversing this Leftist governing assumption. Josten’s job, the Chamber’s role, is simply to be in Washington and make “deals,” to be “realistic.”

The $17 trillion debt? The $90 trillion in unfunded liabilities? Hey, no big deal. Let’s manicure the next budget deal a tad and move on.

And ever further into the hole.

This was exactly the method of government Ronald Reagan — perhaps one of the first modern Tea Party activists before there was a modern Tea Party — saw as the problem. And that problem is now getting worse by the day, setting up Americans for a massive economic free-fall.

Let’s cut to the chase, shall we?

These various stories that popped up in the Wall Street Journal and at Breitbart over the holidays about Karl Rove, American Crossroads, and the Chamber of Commerce are about, to Americanize Thatcher, nothing more-or-less than Republican Socialism.

They are not about changing Washington — they are Washington. They talk a great game about limited government, but as noted, when they had 100% charge of the federal government in the Bush years they set about not limiting government but expanding government.

The real reason these people will be out there trying to defeat Reaganite conservatives/Tea Partier candidates is precisely because these candidates in victory have shown themselves to be a direct threat to the Washington way of doing business. So job one for the GOP Establishment is to deliberately pick Republican socialist candidates — candidates who are perfectly happy to talk the talk but once in Washington will refuse flatly to do what they promised to do.

As the 2014 election year proceeds, we will have many opportunities to spot these Republican Socialist candidates and their backers at work out there, just as our friends at Breitbart put a spotlight on the behind-the-scenes machinations of American Crossroads in the Kentucky Senate race.

The 2014 elections should be a bumper year for the GOP.

But it will quickly turn to disaster if those who are intent on making this year a victory for Republican Socialism get their way — and in turn drive the Reagan conservative base away from the polls.

Suffice to say?

The battle is on.

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Surprise! Debt-ceiling deal gives Obama a blank check: Loophole will allow government to spend WITHOUT LIMIT until February

By David Martosko

It’s the ultimate sweetheart deal for a free-spending federal government: Wednesday night’s debt deal didn’t actually raise the limit on America’s credit card, but instead removed it entirely until February 7, 2014.

Whether through legislative sleight-of-hand or something less sinister, the law of the land now permits the U.S. to run up new debts for 16 weeks without consequences, and forbids the Treasury Department from enforcing the debt limit that ordinarily keeps spending from spiraling out of control.

Some observers noted on Wednesday that when Congress burned the midnight oil to debate a deal that would save the U.S. from crashing through its existing $16.7 trillion debt ceiling and risking a credit default, there was no debate over exactly how far to raise it.

House and Senate negotiators only discussed how long the agreement would last.

The result has left the Treasury free to accumulate as much debt as it needs to until the deal expires, The Daily Caller noted on Thursday.

The Bipartisan Policy Center estimated that if the government had extended its debt ceiling in this fashion through the end of 2014, as one Republican proposal suggested, the federal government’s debt would have ballooned by $1.1 trillion.

At that rate, the national debt will likely grow by at least $282.5 billion on its own by the time Feb. 7 rolls around, bringing the total close to an even $17 trillion.

But there’s no guarantee it won’t grow even faster, especially if the legislative initiatives President Obama outlined Thursday morning were to cross the finish line by year’s end, as he demanded in his first public remarks since signing the debt-limit hike law shortly after midnight.

Obama said he wants Congress to give him a new budget deal, a 5-year farm bill and a comprehensive reform of America’s immigration laws, all before New Year’s Day.

Any one of those three could be a colossal budget-buster. Under ordinary circumstances, a hard-and-fast debt limit might serve as a check against runaway spending; but with no ceiling, Democrats could raid the Treasury to give the president what he wants, without fear of practical roadblocks getting in the way.

Republicans, too, could take advantage of the spending loophole. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell demonstrated on Wednesday that he’s willing to accept expensive pot-sweeteners in exchange for a tidy solution to a messy problem.

When Obama signed the debt-bailout package into law, it included more than $2 billion in new spending for a dam project in McConnell’s home state of Kentucky, answering for some the thorny question of why the Senate’s top Republican would be so eager to make Democrats look good by negotiating a deal when tea party conservatives in the House were refusing to do so.

According to the conservative Heritage Foundation, Obama and Congress have already used the trick of ‘suspending’ the debt ceiling for a fixed period of time once before – running from February to May of this year.

That deal added $300 billion to the national debt in 102 days. The deal that went into effect Thursday covers 114 days.

The only requirement for that earlier agreement was that the Democrat-led Senate produce a formal budget for the first time since President Obama took office, which it did.

‘No savings were accomplished,’ says Heritage.

‘Suspending the debt is less transparent to the American people,’ the group explains, adding that ‘a calendar date is not nearly as scary to constituents as a figure in the trillions of dollars.’

The coming battles over a year-long federal budget, including Democrats’ demands for new taxes and an expected Republican push for spending cuts, could actually reduce deficit spending; but with no credit limit holding them back, lawmakers could see a perfect storm for committing to hundreds of billions in new earmarked projects calculated to please constituents back home.

The farm bill, too, is likely to rack up record spending on programs like food stamps, which fall under the Department of Agriculture’s budget: The Obama administration has already doubled the number of Americans receiving these entitlements since January 2009.

But immigration could require the biggest blank check of all.

While Obama and congressional liberals want to put 11 million illegal aliens on a path to citizenship, conservatives have consistently argued that the nation’s borders must first be secured. That, Democrats have countered, is simply too expensive to contemplate since it would likely involve building thousands of miles of new high-tech fences and staffing the Mexican border with thousands of guards whose salaries no one has contemplated yet.

Capitol Hill sources tell MailOnline that without a fixed debt ceiling over their heads, everyone in Congress might suddenly find it workable to give both parties what they want.

‘I can’t speak for the whole Republican caucus, of course,’ said a policy staffer to a conservative GOP House member, ‘but some of us want a border fence badly enough that we’ll look the other way if it adds a few hundred billion to the national debt.’

‘And once that’s in place, the biggest impediment to a citizenship path disappears.’

Since President Obama took office, new deficit spending has added about $43,000 to the national debt for every household in America.

That reflects a 60 per cent increase in the debt from where it sat on his first Inauguration Day, at $10.3 trillion.

At current rates of growth, Obama will leave office with national debts twice the size of those accumulated by all the previous U.S. presidents combined.

Read more:

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Leaked Emails: Boehner Worked With Reid to Save Lawmaker Subsidies

Tuesday, 01 Oct 2013 12:23 PM
By Sandy Fitzgerald

House Speaker John Boehner Monday called on colleagues to ban an exemption lawmakers and staff receive for health insurance, but he and his aides had worked for months with Democratic leaders to save the subsidies, leaked documents and emails show.

The documents were provided to Politico, which revealed Tuesday morning that Boehner and aides were working closely with Democratic rivals to protect the payments.

Roll Call had earlier reported that Democrats were mulling divulging the private communications between Boehner Chief of Staff Mike Sommers and Reid Chief of Staff David Krone as proof that Boehner was trying to protect the payments.

The revelations are sure to cause more friction between Boehner and more conservative members of the House of Representatives, who have been pressing for all Obamacare exemptions for Congress to be scrapped.

The documents show Boehner and his aides discussed the matter with the offices of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, and others. Further, the documents show that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell knew of the discussions.

A possible legislative solution was drafted, the documents show, and they continued to push for a solution from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Further, Boehner and Reid asked for a meeting with President Barack Obama to lobby him for help, the documents show. The meeting never happened, but a senior Boehner aide was able to speak to White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough about the Speaker’s wish to retain the employer subsidy.

Obamacare requires lawmakers and staff to join insurance exchanges, and the debate over whether they should continue collecting the employer contribution from the federal government has been the source of many heated discussions.

The OPM ruled that lawmakers and their staff could not receive employer payments once they went into the subsidies. The office reversed its decision, saying the employer payments could continue.

But Boehner put the issue into the government shutdown debate, attaching an amendment ending the subsidies to a House GOP funding bill.

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel told Politico the White House should solve the problem, and that “we always made it clear that House would not pass any legislative fix.”

He said Boehner was aware that Reid and the White House had been discussing the issue and that the speaker’s “fix is repealing Obamacare.”

Boehner’s office said the leak shows how concerned Democrats are.

“Any emails from Mr. Sommers will reflect the Speaker’s position: he voted against ObamaCare, and he wants to repeal Obamacare,” Steel said. “If the Senate Democrats and the White House want to make a ‘fix’ to the law, it would be their fix. The Speaker’s ‘fix’ is repeal. This is just a desperate act by Harry Reid’s staff to protect their own subsidy.”

Reid communications director Adam Jentleson, meanwhile, said his boss worked closely with Boehner and was grateful for his help.

Roll Call reported the communications could back up Democrats’ claims that Boehner’s decision to add an amendment revoking the contributions was a shot at vulnerable Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2014, such as Kay Hagan of North Carolina or Mark Pryor of Arkansas.

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Senate Republicans actually do have the votes to stop Obamacare

By Robert Romano

“I want to be absolutely crystal clear — any bill that defunds Obamacare is dead. Dead.”

That was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) telling reporters last week that there would not be the votes to pass a House Republican plan to defund the health care law via the continuing resolution.

Something he and his colleagues might consider, however, is that that really cuts both ways.

Republicans have 46 members in the U.S. Senate, more than enough to defeat cloture on any continuing resolution that will ultimately result in Obamacare being funded.

To do so, they will first have to block a parliamentary maneuver by Reid to proceed to the continuing resolution in a manner that will allow the defund Obamacare language to be stripped out with a simple majority vote.

According to Breitbart.com’s Matthew Boyle, “They could refuse to grant cloture in the first place until a unanimous consent agreement is reached in the Senate that any amendment added to the bill post-cloture would also be subject to a 60-vote threshold. They could also require Reid to fill what is known as the ‘amendment tree,’ a list of amendments that is the maximum of what could be considered on a bill, with amendments other than that one, before agreeing to grant cloture.”

But, reports Boyle, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) refuses to commit to using all the tools in his parliamentary toolbox to do just that. He would be well advised, however, that consciously voting to proceed to any bill that invariably winds up funding Obamacare — even if the amendment to strip the defund language is to be agreed to post-cloture — is just the same as proceeding to a bill where the defund language had already been removed.

Yet, Senate Republicans appear to be content with playing dumb and pretending they will be voting to proceed to legislation that defunds Obamacare — when everyone already knows it in the end it will not.

For example Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said, “It doesn’t seem to make much sense to vote ‘no’ on a bill that contains the defund-ObamaCare provision. I don’t know anybody in our conference who’s for ObamaCare, so I think they’d vote ‘yes’ to get on a bill to defund it.”

That doesn’t sound like Senate Republicans are really committed to the defund strategy. But even if they aren’t — Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) called it “the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard of” — there is another case to be made for waging a filibuster.

It would strengthen the GOP’s hand. When it is clear that there are neither the votes to fund Obamacare nor to defund it in the Senate, it would force Reid and the White House to the negotiating table.

While many observers have suggested that Reid and Obama will never compromise, history suggests otherwise.

The continuing resolution passed in March 2011 was a compromise largely negotiated by House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) that resulted in some small cuts to the budget. Sequestration was another compromise in exchange for raising the debt ceiling by $2.1 trillion in August 2011. The tax deal in December 2012 was yet another compromise in exchange for avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff.

This speaks not only to the willingness of Democrats to make a deal, but also to the utility of Republicans using these leverage points, whether they be continuing resolutions, debt ceiling increases, or otherwise, to achieve major concessions.

As Sen. Ted Cruz noted on Fox News in an interview with Neil Cavuto, “I know for sure that you lose 100 percent of the battle that you begin by surrendering, and all these Republicans who say we can’t win, if they want, these various pundits who want us to surrender, that will make sure we can’t win.”

Cruz is right. Consider the alternative offered by the Washington, D.C. establishment, which frowns upon any confrontation over the continuing resolution or debt ceiling. They fear anything that smacks of a government shutdown or risks default. They would apparently just have Obamacare opponents simply capitulate.

But surely to constituents of Republican senators — who have sworn up and down they oppose Obamacare — submission to a law that will force them onto government-run, taxpayer-funded health insurance is untenable.

They will intuitively understand what this fight is all about, and come 2014, 2016, and subsequent election cycles, they will likely collect political scalps, or attempt to, of any senator whom they perceive forced them onto Obamacare.

In a stark warning to senators, Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens defined the choice facing the so-called deliberative body: “The message for the Senate is very simple: If you vote to fund Obamacare via the continuing resolution, you will own the health care law. If you vote to invoke cloture on a continuing resolution that funds Obamacare, you will own it.  And if you vote against a continuing resolution that defunds Obamacare, you will own it, too.”

So, the choice belongs to each and every senator. They can stand with the American people, and block cloture on any continuing resolution that funds Obamcare, or they can roll over and let it be implemented.

But they would be well-advised that should they surrender, the American people will not forget — and they are not forgiving.

Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.

Related Posts:

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Budget: The Power of One Man’s Conviction

By: Daniel Horowitz (Diary)  |  March 7th, 2013 at 01:02 PM

What was it about Rand Paul’s filibuster that has captivated conservatives all over the country and reinvigorated their desire to fight for our Constitutional Republic?  The irony is that the drone issue was not even one of the most popular issues among many conservatives until last night.  I suspect that many conservatives don’t necessarily agree with some of Paul’s assertions about targeting terrorists like Al-Awlaki overseas, although we are all (everyone except for McCain and Graham) concerned about targeting Americans on American soil.  Yet he has become an overnight sensation, not just among his core libertarian base, but among the broad conservative movement.

Conservatives have been starving for a fighter; longing for someone who will do something drastic, engage in a media savvy fight against an imperialistic president who has no respect for checks and balances and an invidious disregard for the separation of powers.

We have witnessed this president shred the Constitution and implement his radical agenda by administrative fiat.  We the People stand by flummoxed and frustrated at the lack of courage among Republicans to counter the president with anything more magnanimous than a press release.  We have seen him abrogate our immigration laws, grant administrative amnesty, and let criminal aliens out of jail.  Yet nobody has used their position and identified a point of leverage at which to take a stand and draw extended scrutiny to the issue or any other breach of authority.

Finally, when administration officials began asserting that the president might even have the power to launch drone strikes on American soil, Senator Paul decided he would hold up a major nomination to command the  attention of the entire country.  Many of us sat back and watched the impassioned speeches from Paul and the stirring words of Ted Cruz.  We wondered why we had not witnessed this sort of spirited opposition during Obamacare.

Yet that is exactly the point.  Most of these senators are new to Washington.  They have charted a new path forward, one that is not paved with backroom deals but with forthright demonstrations of courage and commitment to the principles that buoyed them into office.  Instead of cutting a deal to invoke cloture and having Brennan’s nomination sail to confirmation, Paul has united a fractious Republican Party against this – that is everyone except for Obama’s dinner companion Lindsey Graham.

Republicans have repeatedly entreated us to the tired bromide that they only control one-third of one-half….. What these banal bulls of Washington dealmaking don’t understand is that with complete control of the House and a filibuster strength minority in the Senate there is a lot they can do.  With the ubiquitous nature of C-Span and social media, Republicans can use critical leverage points to seize on winning issues and put Obama in the defensive position.

That’s why yesterday’s act of cowardice on the CR in the House was so incomprehensible to many conservatives.  Even if they planned to ultimately cave on Obamacare to avoid a shutdown three weeks from now, why not initially bring it to the floor under an open rule and debate Obamacare for a few days?  Let’s at least draw attention to the injustice of Obamacare at a time when many people are feeling the pain of higher insurance premiums.

We are also told that the juggernaut of a biased media is too powerful to overcome were we to force some sort of a dramatic battle over critical issues, such as Obamacare or illegal immigration.  It’s true in fact that the media is incorrigibly in the tank for the left, and there’s nothing we can do about that.  But one thing about the media is that they are impressed by a show of force and stimulated by something new and exciting.  Rand Paul proved that last night, as even some mainstream media reporters gave him positive coverage.

When the CR comes before the Senate, conservatives should hold it up at least for a day or two to educate the American people on the ramifications of funding Obamacare.  When the nomination of the new radical nominee for EPA director comes before the Senate, they should take turns launching filibusters into the night, educating the public on how that agency has cost jobs and raised the cost of living on the working class.  They should draw attention to onerous policies like ethanol mandates.

We didn’t send Republicans like Mitch McConnell to Washington to cut backroom deals and to passively and blithely ignore the injustices that are perpetrated by the statist class on a daily basis.  Nor did we send Republicans to Washington to echo those injustices, like John McCain and Lindsey Graham do on a daily basis. It’s no coincidence that this effort was initiated by the disciples of Jim DeMint.  And with the 2014 election cycle beginning now, it’s incumbent upon all of us to help send reinforcements to the ranks of our fighters.

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Chart of the Week: Government Spending Drives Debt Limit Higher

Twitter / Heritage: Chart of the Week: Government ….

Texas Hold’em: To Hell With It, Let’s Jump Off the Fiscal Cliff

Obama must not know Texas Holdem.

by Derek Hunter

We’ve all heard about the “fiscal cliff.” But what does it mean? The media won’t bother to explain it in any detail, and people aren’t looking it up on their own. So, a great many Americans think it’s a physical place, a vacation destination of some sort. I understand people are busy with their lives, but a majority of Americans just voted to re-elect President Obama, a man whose failed leadership created this harmonic convergence of economic mess that is the fiscal cliff. So I say, “To hell with it; let’s jump.”

President Obama is still in campaign mode, traveling the country to sell his unserious proposal of $1.6 trillion in tax hikes, more insane spending and a laughably small amount of spending cuts. So much for a “balanced” plan. But the president couldn’t even be bothered to deliver his “plan” to Congress himself. He sent Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, an alleged financial wizard who claims he “misfiled” his taxes because he couldn’t properly use the near idiot-proof TurboTax.

Democrats are unwilling to take seriously the coming crush of entitlement spending. They took entitlement reform off the table before negotiations even began, and their megaphones in the media don’t put down their pompons long enough to report honestly about any of it.

The House of Representatives has passed an extension of the current tax rates, and the Democratic-controlled Senate has done exactly nothing with it. The Senate could vote to just extend the current rates they support and deal with it in a conference committee, but it won’t. It won’t do anything because the party that controls the Senate doesn’t want anything done.

What few leftists will tell you is they want tax rates to increase on everyone. That’s why the president campaigned on extending them for the middle class for only one year, not permanently. They know, just like hiking rates on top earners, that will harm the failing economy, but they don’t give a damn. They want more money.

Liberals have no interest in even inching toward a government that lives within its means because, unlike every other individual, company and entity in the world, government is the only entity that can simply vote itself more means. Max out your credit cards, then tell Visa you’re raising your own credit limit, and let me know how that works out for you.

Republicans should start now, raising a lot of money and running ads about how Democrats are unserious and responsible for taxes going up. Spend money to explain the situation to the American public. The media never will report it, and Republican leaders, such as John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, don’t have the bully pulpit or ability to communicate Ronald Reagan did. So paid media is the only option.

In the meantime, the people voted for Obama, so let them have Obama. Just make sure to pin every ounce of failure on his chest like a scarlet letter.

Yes, sequestration will cause serious cuts in defense spending, but the military can handle it. Liberals become aroused at the prospect of cutting defense, and liberal voters in Virginia and Maryland would be hardest hit as defense contractors lay off Obama voters in those blue states. I say good. Sometimes voters have to take their medicine, even if it’s a suppository.

It won’t be easy, but the military will adapt. That’s what the military does, and that’s why it is the best in the world. And half the automatic sequester cuts will come from domestic spending – bureaucracies also filled with Obama voters, who will be less able to deal with them. If they can’t adjust their spending to absorb the cuts, they’ll have to lay off people. Again, good.

If Republicans refuse to extend unemployment benefits, these newly unemployed Obama voters eventually will get to experience first-hand the lifestyle their vote empowered. Welfare state overlords on welfare. Can you think of a better education for bureaucrats than to be forced onto the very programs they administered, so they themselves experience the soul-sucking, aspiration-killing impact of what they’ve done to others? Karma is exactly what they say it is.

Or, if Republicans don’t have the “intestinal fortitude” for this (which leadership hasn’t displayed in years), the House should pass a middle-class tax cut but keep the top rates the same. And make them permanent. That would force Democrats to reject an actual middle-class tax cut, not the “keeping-rates-the-same” nonsense they’re now trying to sell to the American people as a tax cut.

We know Democrats aren’t interested in cutting taxes for the people they claim to fight for, so call their bluff. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama like lying about middle-class tax cuts, so pass the bill and see how they react.

But none of this will work if Republicans don’t start a smart, aggressive, expensive and sustained ad campaign that circumvents the media. The key word is “smart,” and it’s also the catch. The Republican Party needs to treat itself like Keith Richards and embrace failure and go with all new blood. If the party doesn’t shed those who brought us the debacle of Nov. 6, no strategy will work. Just like voters who re-elected a failed, incompetent president expecting a different outcome, Republicans can’t retain the same failed team and expect to win.

Democrats have no interest in addressing our massive deficit and out-of-control spending; it’s up to Republicans. The question is this – do Republicans have the will? We’ll all have to have to take our medicine sooner or later. If we don’t take advantage of the opportunities now, that suppository will end up being like a cyanide pill.

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Paul Philosophy Gains Steam with GOP Establishment

Libertarian ideas of smaller government, cutting domestic spending and a balanced budget not only run in the Paul family, but are starting to take a hold with mainstream Republicans as well.

Just ten years ago, the budget and domestic spending would not have been as high of a priority to many within the party other than Senator Rand Paul’s (R-Ky) father, Senator Ron Paul (R-Texas).

When the younger Paul proposed his latest take on the FY 2013 United States Budget, it was seen as the “most radical” of today’s four proposed Republican budgets by many on the left. But it was also seen as a refreshing change by many on the right.

Most surprising about the Paul Budget is not that it made it to a vote at all, but that 17 of the Senate’s 47 Republicans voted for a budget that was supposedly too radical.

Today’s vote got a ‘yea’ from Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senator John Thune (R-SD) just to name a few.

The Paul budget most notably called for the elimination of the Departments of Education, Energy, Commerce and Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which is seen as a large step by mainstream conservatives in getting the nation’s finances back on track.

According to the American Spectator, the Paul budget will also reduce federal spending by $11 trillion relative to President Obama’s budget, reduces discretionary spending to 2008 levels, and reduces foreign aid at $5 billion per year.

Theoretically, the Paul budget will not only balance the federal deficit in five years, but it would actually achieve a $111 billion surplus by 2017. If that wasn’t juicy enough for most conservatives, the Paul Budget would also repeal Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements.

Super committee defense spending sequesters would also be ended, and the Federal government would also be required to end ownership of any failed private sector companies and stop bailing corporations out.

Despite the spending cuts that will be seen as ‘hefty’ by those on the left, the Paul budget sets out to prove that many items can be cut without touching entitlements.  A separate bill addressing Medicare has yet to be drafted.

None of the senators were available for comment.

Source:  Paul Philosophy Gains Steam with GOP Establishment.

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