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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.

Source

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.

Source

Reagan’s House Heroes Stop Plan B

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By Jeffrey Lord on 12.21.12

Call it a Reykjavik Moment.

An Air Traffic Controllers Moment.

Both of which were Reagan Moments.

Moments in American history when, under extreme pressure, Ronald Reagan simply refused to buckle. Against all the chorus shouted from the media and congressional bleachers — that he had failed by walking out on a bad deal with Gorbachev or recklessly fired striking air traffic controllers who were striking against federal law — Ronald Reagan never blinked.

And the fact that he didn’t blink made America — and the world — an infinitely better place.

Thursday night 13 conservative House Republicans defeated the Rule for the vote on Speaker Boehner’s highly controversial “Plan B.”

Those conservatives, by name (an asterisk denoting those who will not be returning to Congress next year) are:

Justin Amash of MI
Paul Broun of GA
Trent Franks of AZ
Louie Gohmert of TX
Tim Huelskamp of KS
Walter Jones of NC
Jim Jordan of OH
Andy Harris of MD
Jeff Landry of LA*
Thomas Massie of KY
Ron Paul of TX*
Jean Schmidt of OH*
Joe Walsh of IL*

Let’s not forget here that in terms of pressure, a great deal of it was coming from the GOP House Leadership. Congressmen Amash, Huelskamp, and Jones were removed from their committee assignments for not cooperating with the Leadership.

And make no mistake….the talk radio stars jumped on this, each in their own way. Rush was there. Hannity was there. Levin was there.

Then there was the great Brent Bozell from For America (as reported at Breitbart) pounding away just Wednesday at a Capitol Hill presser saying:

I’m going to make a prediction, right here and now, and write it down – and call me on it. If the Republicans support this tax increase, they will lose control of the House in the 2014 elections,” Bozell said.

They will lose control of the House. Not only that, but a whole lot of members who thought they were safe and who thought they could get away with this will lose in their own districts. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this one out. This is precisely what happened to them six years ago and they’ve already forgotten that message. The Republicans were tossed out of the majority when they broke their word on spending. Now they’re breaking their word again but it’s not just spending. It’s taxes on top of that. Fiscal conservatives will not stand for this. This is a terrible bill. This is a terrible box Republicans have painted themselves into, in this corner. They’ve got to try to get themselves out of it. But going for higher taxes and trying to play “Democrat-lite” is the worst possible solution and the negotiations that are going on right now between the Speaker’s office and the Obama administration is the stuff of Keystone Cops. It is embarrassing how badly this has been negotiated. Real fiscal conservatives would simply walk away from this mess.

What is the take away here?

This was a botched GOP House Leadership issue. It is exactly what happens when the governing principle is deal making and not principle.

House GOP Members began to realize that, intended or not, they were perceived as trashing the legacy of Ronald Reagan.

It is worth remembering as Washington slows momentarily for Christmas, the words of Reagan’s old friend and House ally the late Jack Kemp. On November 3, 1991 — and I was there — Kemp stood up at a reunion of Reagan alumni at a pre-dedication ceremony for the Reagan Library. Reagan was there as Kemp said that Reagan’s tax cuts had ignited:

…the most expansive, noninflationary economic growth and entrepreneurial revolution this country has seen in the 20th Century:

  • 21 million new jobs were created
  • 4.5 million new businesses were started
  • The federal deficit came down from 5.5 percent of GNP to 1.5 percent
  • Federal spending fell from 25 percent of GNP to 21 percent
  • GNP grew by one-third
  • Revenues increased by 40 percent
  • And the Wall Street Journal called the 1980’s a decade of minority capitalism — there was an 80 percent increase in Hispanic businesses; 60 percent for Asians; and nearly 50 percent for Black-owned businesses.

Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas remarked to Sean Hannity Thursday afternoon that he had a colleague tell him he, the colleague, was “sick” of hearing about history. To which Gohmert astutely and correctly replied: History matters.

Indeed it does.

Mark Levin has noted repeatedly the problems with a Boehner Speakership, as have I in this space and many others have as well. (As Peter Ferrara did here.)

He’s a good soul, but he’s an affable deal maker when history at this moment calls for much more. In Levin’s words:

I just don’t think he’s up to the monumental task of saving the country from Obama’s designs. It’s time for the Republicans to seriously reassess what they’re doing.

Amen. As the Thursday night debacle illustrates.

America is being dragged backwards by the day by this President. House Republicans won an election. And they weren’t elected to sit idly by and let America go under.

Three cheers for those thirteen GOP House conservatives for standing up, Reagan-style, for principle.

They had a Reykjavik Moment.

An Air Traffic Controllers Moment.

They had a Reagan Moment.

And whatever happens next, the Reagan Thirteen are heroes.

Source

Exposed: Harry Reid should not be allowed to manipulate Senate rules to further stifle Senators’ freedoms

By James Christophersen

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) accidentally drew back the curtain on fabricated tales of Republican obstructionism and revealed the dark secret of Democrats who have been promoting “gridlock” in the U.S. Senate for nearly a full four years.  It happened so quickly anyone who blinked missed it.

Upon filing for Senate consideration of the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) Act, Sen. Reid immediately “filled the tree” by offering the maximum amount of amendments permitted under the rules and filed cloture on the bill before any other Senator could speak, offer debate or filibuster the bill.

Senator Reid essentially asked the Senate to consider a bill then immediately asked to end consideration on that bill, all within the space of a mere two minutes.  Some have speculated this parliamentary slight-of-hand may have made history with its sheer speed.

While proclaiming the need for filibuster “reform” and complaining of its over use by the minority, Senator Reid continues to apply these tactics, limiting debate and preventing Senators of both parties from submitting their own ideas through amendments.  His actions essentially produce a “majority filibuster” which prevents the voices of citizens throughout every one of the 50 states from being heard through their Senators.

Yet, even while setting a new speed record, Sen. Reid’s tyrannical control of the calendar is nothing new.  Reid has spent the last four years turning such bold obstruction into regular operating procedure for the Senate – with Tuesday marking the sixth-ninth time Sen. Reid has launched a majority filibuster.

These actions are atrocious in their violation of the purpose of the Senate in our federal government and their steamrolling of two key rights of all Senators.

On the official Senate website, the Senate Historian notes: “All senators have two traditional freedoms that, so far as is known, no other legislators worldwide possess. These two freedoms are the right to unlimited debate and an unlimited opportunity to offer amendments, relevant or not, to legislation under consideration.”

Since Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has successfully manipulated standing Senate rules to severely stifle (and in many cases, entirely eliminate) the second of these unparalleled freedoms by routinely “filling the amendment tree,” only one of those freedoms remains.  With Reid’s iron-fisted control of the process — frequently preventing even Senators from his own political party from offering their own amendments — it is no wonder Senators of all stripes question the wisdom of removing their remaining freedom. In fact, it is a wonder Majority Leader Reid does not face a mutiny from within his own party.

But the story gets much, much worse.  Because Reid cannot capture enough votes (despite a Democratic majority of 55 Senators) to institute his radical rules change under the existing rules (which requires 60 votes), he has proposed a method that ignores the rules entirely.  Instead, Reid’s grand plan is to pretend the “Standing Rules of The Senate” simply do not exist during the first day of a new Congress – and only during the first day.

This runs into a major problem through a simple reading of Rule V, Section 2, which itself clearly states that (emphasis added): “The rules of the Senate shall continue from one Congress to the next Congress unless they are changed as provided in these rules.”  Furthermore, this rule was initially adopted, at the will of the Senate itself, in recognition of the Senate’s unique place in our legislature.

For Majority Leader Harry Reid to completely ignore the rules in order to re-write the rules (something he promised he would never do) in the name of political expediency would violate matchless freedoms of every U.S. Senator while also violating the Constitution itself.

Ultimately, this boils down to three observations.  One, the pervasiveness of majority filibuster and obstructionism of their own agenda has helped slow action in the Senate.  Two, this atrocious behavior by the Senate Majority Leader snatches away exceptionally unique freedoms and rights of Senators from both sides of the aisle, and all deprived Senators should demand reform.  And three, Majority Leader Reid’s proposal, if carried through, would irreparably depart from the rules and Constitutional provisions guiding our “most deliberative” legislative body.

This is the essence of the current debate between totalitarian forms of government and conservatives: whether existing rules can be ignored for political or popular expediency, or whether the rules must be followed in order to protect the unique freedoms and force compromise which truly moves our nation forward.

Regardless of what reforms are needed in the Senate, the rules are the rules – and those rules must be followed in order to bring about credible, positive and lasting improvement.

Source

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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