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Thankfully, the GOP primary in Kentucky is history. I’m thankful because I won’t have to hear that Matt Bevin is the TEA Party-backed candidate. Articles like this one will disappear, which, by the way, is terrible news for Alison Lundergan-Grimes. More on Lundergan-Grimes in a minute.

The truth is that, altogether too often, TEA Party-endorsed candidates are terrible candidates who shouldn’t be allowed near a general election ballot. While Bevin wasn’t as terrible as Todd Akin, he wasn’t a top-tier candidate:

They pointed to an exaggeration of his educational credentials on his LinkedIn page and apparent previous support for the financial bailout as evidence.

And Bevin wasn’t helped by a series of high-profile unforced errors, at one point suggesting that legalizing gay marriage could lead to parents being able to marry their children and speaking at a pro-cockfighting rally that he said he was unaware was related to cockfighting, and then later backtracked on that statement.

Simply put, TEA Party organizations haven’t done a good job vetting candidates before supporting them. Candidates that think gay marriage will lead to wierd marital relationships isn’t qualified to run for the state legislature, much less run for the US Senate.

That isn’t to say I’ve suddenly ‘gone establishment’. I still passionately believe in the founding principles of the TEA Party movement. I believe as strongly today that TEA Party principles are the remedy for this nation’s ills as when I was organizing TEA Party rallies.

This year especially, I’ve been disappointed with some of the TEA Party’s endorsements. I didn’t hesitate in criticizing Sarah Palin for saying that Julianne Ortman was “a conservative champion” at a time when Ortman was enthusiastically telling Minnesota media outlets that she opposed full repeal of Obamacare.

It’s time that the so-called TEA Party leaders did their research before shooting their mouths off. It’s time they started picking candidates that don’t tie themselves into knots on the most basic of questions. The point I’m making is that the TEA Party shouldn’t feel obligated to run a candidate in each of the races. If the so-called TEA Party candidate is a terrible candidate, the TEA Party shouldn’t endorse a candidate in that race.

It’s time for the TEA Party to take that next step. It’s time they started picking top-tier candidates who won’t fall apart like Mr. Bevin did. Until they do a better job of candidate screening, they’ll continue losing races they could’ve won.

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A loyal reader of LFR sent me the text of an article in the Legal Ledger about what happened after Sen. Julianne Ortman proposed raising taxes in 2011. Here’s the key part of the article:

The letter comes after a few days’ worth of news reports and speculation about some willingness to raise taxes within the GOP Senate caucus, whether it be by broadening sales taxes, eliminating tax breaks, or other means. Taxes Chair Julianne Ortman was at the center of the speculation after she made comments calling tax expenditures government spending. Ortman has told us in the past that she fully intends to review and eliminate some tax breaks, although she disavowed any express wish to raise total revenues. She also mused favorably about how some states have been able to broaden sales taxes and lower rates.

In turn, it seems GOP communications staff kept Ortman under wraps most all day Thursday. After her Taxes hearing Thursday morning, the head of communications for the caucus, Michael Brodkorb, was seen waiting in the wings with another communications staffer to lead Ortman away. In response to a question directed at Ortman, Brodkorb simply replied: “No comment today.”

At the time, the House and Senate GOP caucuses were saying that they were committed to balancing the budget without raising taxes, which they accomplished after Gov. Dayton shut down the state government for 2 weeks.

First, Sen. Ortman’s proposal was terrible policy because it didn’t do anything to fix out-of-control DFL spending increases. Giving the DFL additional revenue is like putting out a fire with a little extra gas on the fire. Secondly, when Sen. Ortman went rogue, she did so without telling her colleagues. That’s the fastest way of stabbing her colleagues in the back.

It was her way of saying that her priorities were more important than her colleagues’ priorities, that her priorities mattered and that their policies didn’t. When Sen. Ortman went rogue, House and Senate GOP leadership were in the process of negotiating with Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk and then-Minority Leader Thissen. Her proposal cut the legs out from under the GOP leadership.

The lesson to be learned from this is that Sen. Ortman a) isn’t a team player, b) isn’t “a conservative champion” and c) can’t be relied on to do the right thing in holding down taxes.

Minnesotans don’t need someone who will fit right in with the DC Surrender Caucus right alongside John McCain and Lindsey Graham. We need someone principled who will fight for smart policies that grow the economy, create jobs and make Minnesotans’ lives better.

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It’s often a big deal when Sarah Palin endorses a candidate. Much pomp and circumstance accompanies Ms. Palin’s endorsements. It’s perfectly within Ms. Palin’s First Amendment rights to endorse the candidates she chooses. I’d just respect Ms. Palin’s endorsements if she’d do her homework, which she didn’t do with her latest endorsement:

A 12-year state senator, Ortman is challenging Democrat Al Franken in Minnesota. Palin contrasted her qualifications with those of the incumbent, whom she labeled a “clown.” (Franken had a successful career as a comedian before entering politics.)

Ortman “is a conservative champion. … She is running a grassroots campaign against a well-funded favorite of the Washington GOP establishment whose policy record is a blank slate,” Palin said in her endorsement.

Is a politician who won’t repeal Obamacare, who’s proposed raising taxes and who’s voted for Cap and Trade “a conservative champion” just because Sarah Palin says so?

By contrast, the candidate that Ms. Palin criticized as being a “favorite of the Washington GOP establishment”, Mike McFadden, favors repealing Obamacare, reducing regulations, simplifying our tax code and limiting government spending.

The reality is that Mike McFadden has laid out a legislative agenda that’s conservative. Altogether too often, Julianne Ortman has voted against common sense conservative principles because she’s been a go-along-to-get-along legislator for nearly 12 years.

The proof is clear. Contrary to Ms. Palin’s endorsing statement, Julianne Ortman isn’t “a conservative champion.” She’s the type of politician that Ms. Palin has railed against in the past.

That’s why Ms. Palin’s endorsement rings hollow. That’s why I’m questioning Ms. Palin’s endorsement. If she doesn’t want her credibility questioned, she needs to prove that she consistently stands for conservative principles.

This time, Ms. Palin didn’t stand for conservative principles.

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Just when President Obama, Vice President Biden, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton thought it couldn’t get worse, it did. This article provides the salt for these clowns’ open wounds:

First, Sarah Palin. In 2008, the Alaskan conservative warned that Putin was on the prowl. Quote: “After the Russian army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of moral indecision and equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.”

Wow. Mrs Palin not only got the country that Putin would threaten right, she also predicted the reason behind it. Obama’s “indecision and equivalence” over Iran, Egypt and, most importantly, Syria, has probably encouraged Putin to believe that there would be next-to-no Western response to an attack on Ukraine.

This was highly predictable. It’s only surprising to the children at Foggy Bottom and in the West Wing. They either didn’t see this coming or they didn’t care. History won’t award a gold star to any of these fools for their decisions prior to Russia’s invading Crimea. (A dunce’s cap for each is the better fit.)

Unfortunately for the Feckless Foursome, the humiliation doesn’t (and shouldn’t) stop there:

Second, Mitt Romney. Romney’s foreign policy approach was broadly mocked in 2012. The country was keen to withdraw from overseas conflict in the wake of Iraq and Afghanistan and Mitt’s vague neo-conservatism seemed out of step with the public mood. Sometimes, said the critics, it came off as something that his advisers were coaching him to say; a nod and a hint to AIPAC rather than a strongly held belief. Rachel Maddow concluded, “It’s not just that Romney is uninformed; it’s that he hasn’t figured out how to fake it.”

Romney confirmed the sceptics’ worst fears when he described Russia as America’s “number one geopolitical foe.” Barack Obama lashed out with some adolescent sass: “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because. The Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”

Actually, people who lived through the 80’s are praying that we’d that type of leadership back. That was when Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John-Paul II brought down the Soviet Empire. That was when Jeane Kirkpatrick and Lech Walesa contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The Feckless Foursome didn’t notice or didn’t care that Putin still thinks that the collapse of the Soviet Union was “the collapse of the century“:

Mr Putin therefore went out of his way to extol the virtues of democracy and talk up Russia’s potential for foreign investment. He lamented, however, the collapse of the USSR in 1991, calling it “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe”.

That’s quite the contrast in sobriety. The Feckless Foursome insisted that Russia was a friend that didn’t have expansionist goals, despite Putin’s expansionist rhetoric. While Rachel Maddow was making herself look stupid, Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin said unpopular things that turned out to be 100% right.

Finally, I’d love asking Mrs. Clinton how that reset button thingy is working out lately.

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When I saw that Al Hunt had written this article, I thought it would be another screed about the loss of civility in politics, that ‘the right’ was villainizing the word compromise and other familiar complaints whenever Republicans are beating Democrats in a debate.

Instead, I saw an article that’s fairly reasonable, especially considering it’s written by a hard left lefty:

This year, Tea Party activists are winning Republican Senate primaries and are favored to win seats in the fall. They include Ted Cruz in Texas, Deb Fischer in Nebraska and Richard Mourdock in Indiana. Primaries over the next 10 days in Missouri and Wisconsin could catapult others.

Cruz, a former law clerk to the late Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, handily defeated the Texas lieutenant governor last week. He’s considered a virtual shoo-in in the general election.

Fischer, who won an upset victory against a more established candidate, has been embraced by the Tea Party, as has Mourdock who knocked off six-term Republican Senator Richard Lugar in Indiana. Facing tough Democratic opponents, they are favored in states that are decidedly Republican.

Of the 3 races, Mourdock faces the toughest fight. I’d be surprised if Cruz doesn’t win by at least 15 points. I’d be surprised if Deb Fischer doesn’t win by 12 points or more.

If all these Tea Party-backed Republicans win in November, it means Mitch McConnell, the current Republican Senate leader, will be in the majority. From day one, however, the Kentucky senator will be looking over his shoulder. The real power may be South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, who stood up and supported a number of these Tea Party candidates in the 2010 elections.

Another politician who benefits: Sarah Palin. The former Alaska governor endorsed Mourdock, Fischer and Cruz when they were underdogs.

Hunt is exactly right in saying that Gov. Palin and Sen. DeMint will exert considerable influence on the Senate’s agenda. If Sen. McConnell recognizes that, he could make this a productive Senate.

In fact, McConnell could earn some points with the TEA Party by saying he’d support Jim DeMint over John Cornyn if Sen. DeMint ran for the soon-to-be-open spot created by Jon Kyl’s retirement.

Increasing the number of influential conservative voices in the Senate is the fastest way of righting this nation’s economy. Despite President Obama’s spin, this nation’s economy isn’t headed in the right direction. It won’t improve until President Obama is fired by the voters this November.

Increasing the TEA Party’s influence in the Senate will dramatically hasten the economy’s recovery.

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It’s safe to say that last night’s Tribute to Andrew Breitbart was a great event for a great man. As good as that event was, the next event was even better because it was, in many ways, a continuation of the tribute.

Sarah Palin rocked the house with her speech, which focused on the “lamestream media.” She talked about the lamestream media camping out at the local diner to find out “the dirt” about Bristol Palin. She talked about how they learned that Todd Palin wasn’t a registered Republican. She said that Todd “had never been a registered Socialist” in reference to President Obama.

Gov. Palin said that bloggers and others who use social media were needed because “those independent-minded bloggers have the courage to report the truth.”

Gov. Palin presented the indictment against the lamestream media but it was Michelle Malkin who prosecuted the case. Ms. Malkin said that she wasn’t willing to call the radical left “good people who conservatives disagree with.” She said that the radical left were criminals, after which she rattled off a lengthy partial list of the disgusting behavior of the OWS crowd.

Ms. Malkin also talked about the Kimberlin scandal. She said that “Everyone in this room should have their backs”, a line that drew a major round of applause.

After Gov. Palin presented the indictment and Michelle Malkin prosecuted the case, Occupy Unmasked delivered the conviction against the radical left. Occupy Unmasked is a Citizens United production. Stephen Bannon directed the documentary.

First, Occupy Unmasked is a stinging closing argument against the radical left and their protectors. People like Dylan Ratigan, then of CNBC, and Tasha Lennard, still of the NYTimes, did their best to populate Zucotti Park and activate the radicalism of the OWS criminals.

Footage of the criminals assaulting the police and committing acts of vandalism was incredibly powerful. Ties to major labor unions, aka the Teamsters and the SEIU, exposed the OWS ‘movement’ as being the biggest astroturf effort in the radical left’s history since the anti-war movement of the 60’s and 70’s.

Notice that I didn’t call these thugs protesters. The rapists, the murderers, the vandals and the people that created the disgusting public health hazards aren’t protesters. They’re convicted criminals or are awaiting trial. It’s ironic that some of the thugs awaiting trial are trust fund babies, future members of the 1%.

With the amount of footage created by citizen journalists of the crimes, there isn’t any doubt that the people awaiting trial will be convicted. Strong eyewitness testimony will seal these criminals’ fate.

The courts have convicted the OWS thugs. The lamestream media, President Obama and Nancy Pelosi would have the people believe that these criminals are people frustrated with current economic conditions. They’d have us believe that the OWS movement isn’t what it is: an attempt by the radical left to bring down the capitalist system and to throw the Constitution out.

I strongly recommend everyone who wants to know the truth and the details about the OWS movement should get a copy of David Bossie’s and Stephen Bannon’s documentary. Follow this link to preorder Occupy Unmasked. You’ll be glad you did.

Last night’s events and speeches were a stunning indictment, prosecution and conviction of the radical left.

It’s the type of tribute to Andrew Breitbart that he would’ve loved.

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This video brightened my afternoon almost as the 70 degree weather outside:

I wouldn’t doubt that Mitch Berg will get upset with the video, though not because he’d disagree with the message or music. I’m betting that he’ll be upset that he didn’t think of it first.

Seriously, though, the video is a reminder that President Obama’s anti-energy policies have hurt the nation. High gas prices are crippling family budgets, both by eating up families’ earnings and by adding to grocery bills.

That’s before talking about how President Obama’s moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico has destabilized gas prices. The truth is that you’d have to try hard to get gas and electricity prices much higher.

Unfortunately, Steven Chu, President Obama’s anti-energy secretary, has been working on policies that would make energy prices much higher for years. That’s his Holy Grail achievement.

Thankfully, most people disagree with President Obama’s and Secretary Chu’s anti-energy policies. Thankfully, Republicans have great spokespeople on the subject of drilling. When Sarah Palin talks about “Drill, Baby, Drill”, the American people understand that increasing oil production is the fastest way to cheap energy. When Speaker Gingrich talks about “Drill here, drill now, pay less”, the American people agree with him.

If President Obama insists that his policies are the right policies, then he’ll get thumped because the American people disagree with his anti-energy policies.

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I’ve long had great respect for Mark Levin. This year, my appreciation for him has grown because he’s willing to take on the GOP’s biggest windbags. When Mitt Romney used sleazy tactics against his GOP opponents, Mark Levin yelled stop. Now Ann Coulter’s attempting to savage Sarah Palin. Once again, Mark Levin is there to set the record straight:

There was a time when Coulter was a principled conservative. She immediately lost credibility with the conservative movement when she endorsed Mitt Romney. She’s lost credibility by attacking a true conservative heavyweight in Sarah Palin.

Coulter saying that certain individuals become celebrities and are allowed to profit off that status and yet still interfere in GOP politics is laughable. She’s been a well-paid conservative speaker for years. She’s constantly in self-promotion mode.

Now, she’s shilling for a RINO named Romney while insisting that she’s a conservative. Ms. Coulter will always attract loyalists. This time, she’s shrunk the size of that base of loyalists. She’s seen as a windbag, not as a serious conservative.

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When Mitt spoke to the CPAC crowd, he told them that he was “severely conservative.” This Hill article quotes Sarah Palin saying that she isn’t sure about Mitt’s conservatism:

In a blow to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, Sarah Palin said Sunday that she’s “not convinced” the former Massachusetts governor is conservative enough to do Republicans’ bidding in the White House.

Palin, the former governor of Alaska, said the GOP presidential field remains wide open because Romney’s past positions on healthcare, abortion and other issues have been moderate-to-liberal, leaving Republicans confused about what he’d do as commander-in-chief.

“Most voters in the GOP, and Independents, we will want to see that candidate who we can trust will just inherently, instinctively turn right, always err on the side of conservatism,” Palin said on Fox News Sunday. “I am not convinced [Romney is that person]. And I don’t think that the majority of GOP and Independent voters are convinced, and that is why you don’t see Romney get over that hump.”

Despite Mitt’s winning CPAC’s straw poll, Mitt’s trouble is still with conservatives. Despite Mitt’s description of being “severely conservative”, the reality is that he’s got a lengthier list of liberal ‘accomplishments’ than conservative accomplishments.

When thinking Mitt’s liberal ‘accomplishments, think harsh, expensive CO2 emission limits regulations on power plants. Think O’Romneycare. Think of his not understanding the Second Amendment.

Mitt’s inability to talk fluently about these things creates alot of anxiety with conservatives. With more liberal accomplishments than conservative accomplishments on Mitt’s record, why wouldn’t conservatives, especially TEA Party activists, question Mitt’s conservative credentials?

It’s worth asking this simple question: Did Ronald Reagan ever need to highlight his conservative credentials? Did Milton Friedman? Thomas Sowell? Mark Levin? They didn’t because it was apparent that they were staunchly conservative.

If a presidential candidate feels the need to describe himself as “severely conservative”, it’s likely that he realizes that a) he isn’t a conservative and b) he needs conservatives’ votes this November.

It’s different, too, in that Mitt wasn’t attacked by Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich. Mitt was attacked by Sarah Palin, the woman with the most conservative credibility in America, even more than Michele Bachmann.

If Mitt doesn’t fix his conservative problem ASAP, he’ll be badly damaged. There’s no sugarcoating this problem.

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If this poll is right, then Mitt’s in trouble:

In the three days leading up to Thursday’s debate at the University of North Florida, First Coast News and St. Augustine-based Dixie Strategies commissioned the Dixie Strategies/First Coast News Public Opinion Survey, a poll of Republicans throughout the state who described themselves as “likely” voters in the Jan. 31 primary.

When asked, “If the Republican Presidential Primary were held today, for whom would you vote?,” 35.46 percent of the 2,567 likely voters polled selected former House speaker Gingrich, and 35.08 percent selected Romney.

I’ve never heard of this polling company but 2,500 likely voters are 2,500 likely GOP primary voters. That’s a huge sample, one with a tiny MOE, possibly in the 2.5-3 range.

I think there’s a decent chance it is true. Wednesday, Mitt Romney and the GOP Establishment took aim at Newt. Thursday and Friday, 4 of conservatism’s biggest voices, Rush, Sarah Palin, Mark Levin and Michael Reagan, blasted Mitt’s team for their disgusting assault against Newt’s Reaganite credentials. Bloggers dispersed that message far and wide Thursday and Friday.

Most importantly, the message that Newt was a steadfast supporter of President Reagan’s policies and priorities, along with steadfast TEA Party support, certainly has the potential for being a game-changing force.

Mitt’s Alinskyite attacks, coupled with Sarah Palin’s and Mark Levin’s harsh criticism of Mitt and the GOP Establishment might well be all that’s needed to push Newt to victory in the Florida GOP Primary. If that happens, expect the Establishment’s long knives to get longer and sharper.

In their mind, this is an existential fight. They’re right about that. It’s time to get rid of their corruption, cronyism and appeasement.

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