Archive for the ‘Inside the Beltway’ Category

Each week, people are bombarded with another scandal. Right now, the NSA surveillance is the one capturing the people’s attention most, followed by the IRS targeting of conservatives placing second. According to this article, distrust with the federal government is killing immigration reform:

On immigration, there is broad popular support for comprehensive immigration reform. Most Americans believe legal immigration is good for the country, but most do not trust the government to enforce any provisions in the new law that would improve border security and reduce illegal immigration. Only 7 percent believe that enforcement is “very likely” to happen.

This is not just Republicans grumbling about Barack Obama in the White House. The same skepticism was there when George W. Bush was president. Unless the government does something to address the border problem, it will be there for the next president, as well. Because of that distrust, prospects for passing serious immigration reform this year are slim indeed.

That isn’t good news for Sen. Schumer and the Gang of Eight. As Scott Rasmussen says, support for immigration reform is broad, with an asterisk. The American people want it provided the border is secured. They don’t want a 21st century replay of Simpson-Mazoli.

Change is needed in Washington but not the type Democrats and Republicans are pushing:

Many in Washington are frustrated by the public distrust. They dream of public relations programs to overcome it. What’s needed, though, is for the government to change its behavior so that it can earn the trust of the people it serves.

The concept of doing the right thing is, unfortunately, a foreign thing in DC these days. Slick PR games won’t cut it. People are demanding solutions. Washington’s insiders are pushing PR gimmicks. That’s why the disconnect between real people and DC is growing.

If DC doesn’t start doing what the American people expect of them, starting with protecting them from terrorists and illegal immigrants, immigration reform will still be a problem a decade from now.

This morning, I wrote that Wednesday’s hearing on Benghazi will be explosive. This article assures us that President Obama, Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rice will be feeling the heat. Here’s some information that’s certain to increase the heat on the administration:

The account from Gregory Hicks is in stark contrast to assertions from the Obama administration, which insisted that nobody was ever told to stand down and that all available resources were utilized. Hicks gave private testimony to congressional investigators last month in advance of his upcoming appearance at a congressional hearing Wednesday.

According to excerpts released Monday, Hicks told investigators that SOCAFRICA commander Lt. Col. Gibson and his team were on their way to board a C-130 from Tripoli for Benghazi prior to an attack on a second U.S. compound “when [Col. Gibson] got a phone call from SOCAFRICA which said, ‘you can’t go now, you don’t have the authority to go now.’ And so they missed the flight … They were told not to board the flight, so they missed it.”

The Obama administration has insisted that there weren’t military assets that could’ve reached Benghazi. Gregory Hicks’ testimony contradicts the administration’s spin. Hicks’ testimony also demolishes the credibility of the ARB’s report on Benghazi. That report didn’t point the finger at anyone. Instead, it spoke of the systemic failures that happened that day.

If Hicks’ testimony is that Lt. Col. Gibson was prevented from putting together a rescue operation, then someone had to have given that order. We know that because a special operator told Fox News’ Adam Housley that special operators were prepared to respond quickly.

It’s impossible to predict with any certainty whether other networks will start covering this scandal. What’s totally predictable, though, is that Hicks’ testimony will put a big hit on the Obama administration’s credibility on Benghazi. It will also hurt the ARB’s report, which cited “systemic failures” for the poor response for Benghazi.

This wasn’t a systemic failure. This was about Hillary Clinton failing to do her job. It’s about Leon Panetta failing in his responsibility to have troops prepared for the anniversary of 9/11. It’s about President Obama ignoring the needs of the diplomats in Benghazi.

In short, it was a human failure.

According to this Weekly Standard article, Dianne Feinstein’s anti-Second Amendment bill would exempt government officials:

Not everyone will have to abide by Senator Dianne Feinstein’s gun control bill. If the proposed legislation becomes law, government officials and others will be exempt.

“Mrs. Feinstein’s measure would exempt more than 2,200 types of hunting and sporting rifles; guns manually operated by bolt, pump, lever or slide action; and weapons used by government officials, law enforcement and retired law enforcement personnel,” the Washington Times reports.

In other words, the elitists have a right to protection but Main Street doesn’t have the right to self-protection. That’s typical elitist behavior. Compare that with ‘evil’ Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America:

FIRST, require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the Congress;

Liberal elitists villify Speaker Gingrich and sing praises to Sen. Feinstein, which is odd considering the fact that Sen. Feinstein apparently thinks elitists like her are entitled to special treatment.

Why shouldn’t Main Street Americans be entitled to self-protection with the weapons Sen. Feinstein wants to ban? Don’t Main Street Americans contribute mightily to the health of this nation? Shouldn’t they be entitled to the same protection as elitists like Sen. Feinstein?

I’d love hearing Sen. Feinstein argue against that argument.

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Moments ago, I received an email telling me that Sen. Rick Santorum endorsed Lee Byberg in his race against 11-term Congressman Collin Peterson:

“Lee Byberg is a passionate conservative and Patriot Voices looks forward to supporting his race for Congress. He is a committed fighter for life at every stage, supports free enterprise, will repeal ObamaCare, and believes we must change our burdensome tax structure.”

I’m asking readers of this blog that have time or treasure to consider helping Lee Byberg defeat Collin Peterson. I haven’t seen any polls of the district but I know people in CD-7 aren’t thrilled with a number of Collin Peterson’s votes.

To those readers of LFR living in CD-7, keep working hard. Expend as much energy on this great cause as is physically possible. Eliminating Oberstar in 2010 was a great victory for conservatives. Defeating Peterson in 2012 would definitely be a highlight for conservatives, whether they’re in Minnesota or across the nation.

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This article highlights what happens when a politician comes along that doesn’t need their help:

You’ve heard them on television and read them on POLITICO, cheerful, defiant statements from Republican political professionals about Mitt Romney’s bold masterstroke in tapping Paul Ryan as his running mate, and turning the 2012 presidential race into a serious, far-reaching debate about budgets and the nation’s future.

Don’t buy it.

Away from the cameras, and with all the usual assurances that people aren’t being quoted by name, there is an unmistakable consensus among Republican operatives in Washington: Romney has taken a risk with Ryan that has only a modest chance of going right, and a huge chance of going horribly wrong.

I won’t paint all consultants and operatives with a broad brush. What I’ll do is highlight the fact that some consultants and operatives don’t have the integrity to criticize Paul Ryan on the record.

They’re gutless wonders, plain and simple.

Let’s get to the caveats: No one is asserting that Washington operatives in either party are oracles or seers. What’s more, it is not as if there is anything like unanimity in GOP circles about the merits of the Ryan pick, though the mood of anxiety and skepticism is overwhelming.

TEA Party activists and other conservatives don’t give a rip what the idiots inside the DC echochamber think. We just don’t. If you aren’t in touch with the heartland, your opinion isn’t worth a thing.

The political class hate Newt Gingrich. They hate Sarah Palin. They didn’t like Ronald Reagan, either. Apparently, they hate Paul Ryan, too.

TEA Party patriots and other conservatives love Newt, Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan because they don’t sugarcoat things. That’s why they don’t need armies of consultants. They think for themselves.

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Dana Bash’s article for CNN illustrates perfectly the type of angst that the TEA Party is fighting against:

Washington (CNN) — Newt Gingrich might have led Republicans to their first House majority in 40 years in the 1990s, but the prospect of the former House Speaker becoming their presidential nominee is producing significant GOP angst.

“If he’s the nominee, it’s a disaster. There is no way to sugar-coat it,” said one GOP congressional strategist describing the tension after Gingrich won South Carolina.

“There is a reason most people who know him best aren’t supporting him,” said a former House colleague still serving in Congress.

Asked why he had endorsed opponent Mitt Romney if he had served with Gingrich for so long, a House Republican replied with a smile, “Because I served with Gingrich for so long.”

Those GOP congressional sources and many others spoke on condition of anonymity because they believe Gingrich, who is running against the “Republican establishment,” will only turn the criticism into his advantage.

“The less they talk to the better,” said one of the GOP sources concerned about Gingrich, “it only feeds into his narrative that the establishment is out to get him.”

Whether these depraved people talk on or off the record is essentially irrelevant. That they’re talking is what matters. We The People think highly of Newt. We don’t think that highly of the DC GOP Establishment.

PS- There’s alot more TEA Party activists than there are DC GOP Establishmentarians.

Now that money’s pouring into the pro-Newt SuperPAC, Mitt will have serious competition on Florida’s airwaves:

A super PAC supporting former House speaker Newt Gingrich has made a $6 million ad buy in Florida, underscoring the new dynamics of the presidential race.

A new ad from the group claims former Massachusett governor Mitt Romney “invented government run health-care.” It paints the Republican candidate as an ally of Barack Obama through clever use of old clips. The spot repeats one 2002 clip in which Romney says “my views are progressive” three times.

Up until this week, Romney and his supporters were alone in the Florida ad game. Restore Our Future, a pro-Romney super PAC, just bought $4.5 million of time in the Sunshine State; altogether the group is has spent about $9 million there.

That the DC GOP Establishment doesn’t like Newt is a good thing for him. It isn’t that being a politician is automatically negative. It’s that the anti-Newt Establishmentarians aren’t conservatives. It isn’t that they’re small government conservatives. It’s that they want the money flowing to their cronies.

A high percentage of Newt’s supporters are TEA Party, limited government conservatives. They want a United States that’s committed to the principles of the Founding Fathers, the Constitution and the Federalist Papers.

That’s the division that’s driving things. The difference now is that Newt’s catching up with Mitt in terms of staffing and funding. Newt won’t catch Mitt’s money but he’s caught up with Mitt’s staffing in Florida.

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If ever an indictment against was to be written about Washington insiders, you could certainly do alot worse than starting with this article in the National Journal.

The large Republican presidential field, along with the dramatic surges and collapses of several of its candidates, may ultimately be much ado about nothing. That, at least, is the conclusion of the Republican strategists surveyed in this week’s National Journal Political Insiders Poll, who almost unanimously identified Mitt Romney as the most likely candidate to win the nomination. In the five times the GOP Insiders have been asked that question in 2011, Romney has never surrendered the top spot.

It’s apparent these Washington insiders don’t count trustworthiness, leadership and consistency as important characteristics in presidential candidates. If they did, they would’ve disqualified Mitt months ago. It’s apparent that the insiders consider having a spine optional, too.

This part is quite frightening:

Democratic Insiders, meanwhile, largely believe Republicans are on the right track, with more than two-thirds of them naming Romney as the strongest candidate the GOP could nominate for the 2012 election.

It’s proof that Democratic insiders are as out of touch with America’s heartland as GOP insiders. Seventy-one percent of Democrat insiders said that Mitt Romney would be the toughest candidate to run against, followed by 19% saying Gov. Huntsman would be the toughest, with Gov. Perry and “Other” each collecting 5% of Democrat insiders’ votes.

This isn’t insanity. It’s outright stupidity. The 2010 GOP landslide wasn’t won because Republicans recruited a great crop of squishy moderates. The GOP landslide was possible because they recruited great conservative candidates.

By picking Huntsman and Romney, the 2 most liberal GOP presidential candidates this year, Democratic insiders are either saying that 2010 didn’t happen or that it was just an aberration.

Without a fired up base, the GOP candidate can’t win. Without a solid conservative at the top of the ticket, the GOP loses alot of independents. With Romney as the GOP nominee, the TEA Party won’t enthusiastically support the GOP candidate. It’s that simple.

If these GOP insiders don’t care about winning, they should just admit it so we can ignore their opinions. If the GOP insiders like a flip-flopping, spineless, leadership-challenged candidate, that’s their right.

Here’s a little advice for the insiders from both parties: spend the next 2-3 months away from DC, away from the campaigns. Get into your cars and drive to Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Missouri, Iowa, West Virginia and Wisconsin. That’s what Salena Zito is doing, which is why she’s staying so connected with political reality.

While you’re away from DC, actually listen to real people. Find out what’s important to them. Don’t reflexively accept the Beltway’s conventional wisdom as Gospel fact.

If the DC insiders from both parties did that, most of the crap that’s happening in DC would be ridiculed until Beltway CW became a laughingstock.

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If people doubted that Newt Gingrich was gaining traction, this information should put an end to that speculation:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has raised more money in October than during the previous three months combined, he told reporters Tuesday as he laid out his vision for his campaign’s turnaround.

During the previous fundraising quarter that spanned July, August and September, Gingrich raised $800,000.

With fundraising totals like that, it’ll be surprising if Newt isn’t soon seen as a top-tier candidate by inside-the-Beltway pundits. Activists are already warming up to him, with some committing to support him with others giving him a first serious look.

If Newt’s debate performances continue, which I suspect they will, his recent fundraising spike will continue. If that happens, which is a big if, Newt will have caught fire at the right time. It’s always better to finish strong than to start strong, then fizzle.

“If we continue to improve at this pace, I think we’ll be able to run a full-blown campaign to be totally competitive in terms of advertising and other things, by the time we get to early January,” Gingrich said.

A fully-funded Gingrich would be a difficult opponent, both in the GOP primaries and in the general election. He’s easily the smartest man on stage in terms of policy, whether the subject is national security, tax reform, regulation reform, implementing free market solutions to the nation’s biggest problems or on comprehensive energy policy.

“There was an unedited opportunity to listen to me and to decide that I had, that I actually represent a campaign of real substance,” he said of his role in GOP debates. “Given the press coverage of June, July and August, that was sort of a great surprise to people.”

The DC pundits started with an animus towards Gingrich, most likely because he wouldn’t play their games as Speaker. The new storyline that’s popped up this week is that Newt’s yesterday’s news, which I regard as the DC media’s latest attempt to downplay Newt’s solutions.

The more people see the top-tier GOP candidates, the more they’ll discard the DC media’s charicatures. They’ll start forming their own opinions of the candidates. I’d argue that that’s what’s fueling Speaker Gingrich’s rise.

Frankly, I think the DC elites don’t know which box to put Newt in. He’s a voracious reader, reading everything from Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock to Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.

It’s difficult to say that someone who’s both a world class historian and a futurist “yesterday’s news.” As more people get to studying Newt, the more impressed they’ll be. That doesn’t guarantee him the nomination victory.

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Love her or hate her, Sarah Palin is a force of nature. SarahPAC’s video of her visiting the Iowa State Fair shows why she’ll be a force to be reckoned with when she gets into the race:

First, the production quality of the video is high. Most importantly, her conduct is fantastic. It’s telling that Wolf Blitzer said that Gov. Palin made it a priority to talk with everyone. It proves that Gov. Palin means it when she talks about trusting the American people instead of relying on government.

America has always thought of itself as a nation of problem-solvers since its inception. Despite the liberals’ best attempts to create a mindset of dependence, and their attempts were intense and sustained, Americans thirst for the thrill of achievement.

Sarah Palin gets that. President Obama doesn’t.

This video sets the stage for Sarah Palin to get into the race. Had she been a candidate in Iowa, Gov. Palin would’ve dominated Iowa Straw Poll. It wouldn’t have been a close fight like it was between Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul.

People that think she can’t win a general election fight with President Obama are wrong. Look at the reaction she got across the country in 2008. She drew huge crowds wherever the campaign went. She’s a conservative’s conservative. She’s a big believer in the private sector and free markets. She’d unleash America’s energy producers. She trusts the people.

These are things that large majorities of people agree with.

Sarah could raise the money that’s needed to defeat President Obama. She’s the type of feisty candidate that alot of people, conservatives included, are looking for. Most importantly, she’s the type of person that won’t let the Beltway deter her.

Let’s remember Gov. Palin’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention:

I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.

But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion. I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country. Americans expect us to go to Washington for the right reasons, and not just to mingle with the right people.

Where Sarah differs from Michele Bachmann is that Sarah Palin has a list of accomplishments where she took on the old boys club and the backroom operatives and finished the fight on top. She took on a corrupt oil company and won. She took on corruption within the Republican Party of Alaska and won, too.

I don’t know if Sarah Palin will win the GOP nomination. In fact, I don’t know for certain that she’ll get in, though I’m confident she will. What I’m certain of, though, is that she’ll frighten the Obama campaign because a) people don’t agree with President Obama much and b) she’s the anti-Obama.

Only 26% trust President Obama’s handling of the economy. President Obama’s economic policies rely on the federal government spending lots of money. Both in the 2010 midterms and in recent polling, people are rejecting that economic model. They’re rejecting it because it’s failed. They’re rejecting it because they’re tired of waiting for the economy to start growing at a robust rate.

Either way, Republicans and independents can’t wait for November, 2012 to get here. They can’t wait to rid themselves of this long national nightmare and this administration. They can’t wait until the incompetence, corruption and cronyism is part of history, not part of the current administration.

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It’s now official: Charlie Crist has a million reasons to be worried that his done deal Senate seat isn’t inevitable after all. In an email to supporters, here’s information on why Crist should be worried:

Today, I want to thank you for the support you’ve given my campaign for U.S. Senate. Because of your generosity, we raised almost $1 million during the third quarter that concluded last week.

That’s a very big number for someone running against the NRSC’s hand-picked liberal candidate to replace RINO Mel Martinez.

This is a strong statement about the direction you believe our Republican Party, our state and our nation should take. It is also an encouraging reminder about how piece by piece, supporter by supporter and idea by idea, we are building a movement that will only continue growing and gaining momentum as we move forward.

Charlie Crist thought that this would be an annointing, that people wouldn’t notice his liberal policies, ranging from raising taxes to campaigning with President Obama for the less than stimulating stimulus bill. Considering the numerous bad decisions he’s made, why should Florida Republicans want Charlie Crist representing them in the United States Senate? Should they get excited at having another go-along-to-get-along RINO serving in the Senate? Should Florida Republicans get excited about having someone represent them that agrees more often with President Obama than with principled conservatives?

The answers to those questions is an emphatic HELL NO!!!

Florida Republicans, however, should be very excited about the possibility of having a charismatic, well-spoken, principled conservative like Marco Rubio representing them and fighting for them in the US Senate.

I’m betting that Florida Republicans would prefer a conservative who they don’t have to worry whether he’ll vote with the liberal extremists or whether he’ll cast the right vote. I’m betting that Florida Republicans will want to know that they’ll have someone who represents their priorities, not the priorities of K Street lobbyists and spendaholic liberals.

We don’t need more go-along-to-get-along types. They aren’t the solution; they’re part of the problem. We must insist on principled conservatives who defy inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom. We must insist on that because they’re the only people who put their constituents’ priorities ahead of all others’ priorities.

Florida, this isn’t a difficult decision. It’s a choice between someone whose loyalty is to himself (Crist) vs. someone whose loyalty is towards his constituents (Rubio).

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Cross-posted at California Conservative