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According to Potomac Watch columnist Kimberly Strassel’s column, it’s time to strip a handful of GOP senators of their cover for repealing the ACA.

Strassel’s column starts by saying “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at this point has busted pretty much every move in his effort to rally 50 votes for an Obama Care replacement. He’s listened. He’s negotiated. He’s encouraged. He’s cajoled. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Months later, still lacking a majority, the time has come for the Kentucky Republican to execute the final, clarifying move. It’s time for Mr. McConnell to make this all about his self-interested members. Up to now, this exercise has been about trying to improve health care and the federal fisc. The House bill isn’t perfect—no bill ever is—but it amounts to the biggest entitlement reform in history. It repeals crushing taxes. It dramatically cuts spending. And it begins the process of stabilizing the individual health-care market and expanding consumer freedom.”

In other words, it’s put-up-or-shut-up time for “Ohio’s Rob Portman, Nevada’s Dean Heller and West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito”, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, Utah’s Mike Lee, Kentucky’s Rand Paul, “South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham and Louisiana’s Bill Cassidy.”

Ms. Strassel is right in saying “any Republican who votes against moving forward, ‘motion to proceed, ‘will forever be known as the Republican who saved ObamaCare. The Republican who voted to throw billions more taxpayer dollars at failing entitlement programs and collapsing insurance markets. The Republican who abandoned struggling American families. The Republican who voted against a tax cut and spending reductions. The Republican who made Chuck Schumer’s year.”

It’s time to play hardball. It’s time to tell these senators that they have to either stand for conservative principles or get primaried. It’s time they were told that it isn’t enough to talk a good game. It’s time that they walked the walk, not just talked the talk.

Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor to lay out his course of action:

The time for playing pretend is over. The time for making life better for Americans is now. The time for demanding the perfect is over. The time for rejecting major improvements is proof of foolishness.

Susan Collins, Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Rob Portman torpedoed health care reform. Rather than working constructively, this quartet told us what they objected to without telling us what they were for. Oh, they had a laundry list of demands. Yes, they threw around phrases like free market principles. Unfortunately, they didn’t put those principles into legislative language.

Of this quartet, only Sen. Lee has a bright future — as a Supreme Court justice. Sen. Paul is virtually worthless. Jonah Goldberg’s article highlights Sen. Paul’s duplicitousness. Recently, he told Chris Wallace why the Senate bill wasn’t good enough. Jonah explained it, saying “Every time healthcare proceedings move one step in Paul’s direction, he seems to move one step back. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas offered an amendment that would open up the market for more flexible and affordable plans, like Paul wants. No good, he told Fox’s Chris Wallace. Those plans are still in the ‘context’ of the Obamacare mandates. ‘My idea always was to replace it with freedom, legalize choice, legalize inexpensive insurance, allow people to join associations to buy their insurance.’ Sounds good. Except a provision for exempting associations from Obamacare mandates is already in the bill.”

Susan Collins and Shelly Moore-Capito aren’t helping, either:

GOP Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia said Tuesday they will vote to block repeal without an adequate replacement. Opposition from one more Republican senator would be enough to sink the measure.

Sen. Collins hasn’t put forward a single substantive proposal yet. It’s time she stopped being an obstructionist. It’s time she started solving problem.

I don’t want Collins and Capito thrown out. I just want them to start being more solutions-oriented. Add Lisa Murkowski to that list, too. At this point, I consider Sen. Murkowski and Sen. Collins as representing the special interests rather than the people living in their states. If you don’t believe me, think of it this way. They announced that they’d vote against slowing down rising health insurance premiums if they didn’t get promised that Planned Parenthood got fully funded.

At some point, don’t Republicans have the right to insist that Republicans act like Republicans at least half the time? At this point, Collins and Murkowski aren’t meeting that minimal threshold. Reagan used to say that your 80% friend isn’t your 20% enemy. That’s right. Still, your 50% friend isn’t a reliable friend. They’re people I wouldn’t trust.

Britta Arendt’s article tells the story of a fantastic candidate making an impressive closing argument:

With his signature spark of energy, McFadden lit up the room during his stop at the Sawmill Inn as he raced in for a brief visit. “I love to be here in Grand Rapids where there’s the convergence of mining and timber,” said McFadden.

A vote for Mike McFadden is a vote for building pipelines and opening mines. A vote for Al Franken is a vote for more IRS investigations and being the environmental activists’ friend.

It’s a vote against mining and logging jobs. It’s a vote against farmers getting their crops to market.

Most importantly, a vote for Mike McFadden is a vote for the most qualified candidate in the race. Al Franken knows government’s nooks and crannies. Mike McFadden understands health care policy, energy policy, regulatory policy and foreign policy.

It isn’t just that we can do better. It’s that we can’t afford 6 more years of Sen. Franken’s partisanship and not getting important things done. Sen. Franken hasn’t done anything constructive to make PolyMet a reality. He’s done nothing to grow Minnesota’s companies.

That’s because he’s spent too much time doing what he’s told by President Obama, Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer. That trio don’t have Minnesota’s best interests at heart. They definitely don’t have the Iron Range’s best interests at heart.

If he’s elected, Mike McFadden will hit the ground running in DC. It’s apparent that he’ll find natural allies in the Senate in Ron Johnson, Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst and Cory Gardner.

When asked of his thoughts regarding the proposed federal listing of the long-eared bat as an endangered species because of the threat of the white-nose syndrome which could potentially shut down summer logging and timber operations, McFadden said “It’s a false choice, environment or jobs. I reject that.”

Continuing on the environment topic, McFadden addressed the proposed PolyMet mining project and said, “Science needs to be based on facts not emotions. Extreme environmentalists can cause decisions to be caught up for years in regulatory review and, in the meantime, people lose hundreds of jobs. I am running against someone who has done nothing to expedite the PolyMet project.”

Al Franken is one of the Environmental Left’s best allies. He’s repeatedly gone to bat for them, albeit quietly so he can pretend to be the miners’ friend.

Al Franken won’t fight against environmental extremists because he’s one of them. Mike McFadden will fight against the environmental extremist base of the DFL because he doesn’t owe them anything and because he he’d rather see all Minnesotans prosper than pander for special interest contributions for his next campaign.

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To: Sen. Chuck Schumer
From: Gary Gross, uppity peasant
Subject: TEA Party beliefs, Democrats’ projectionism

Sen. Schumer, In your post for Huffington Post, you accuse TEA Party activists of making “‘government’ the boogeyman.” You then say that the plutocrats running the TEA Party have convinced Americans “that government is the explanation for their ills.” Let’s address those accusations, starting with the last accusation first.

I expect US senators to use verifiable facts to support their accusations. That’s what Tom Coburn, Mike Lee and Ron Johnson, your Senate colleagues, did in putting together their video series. As you know, Sen. Coburn’s series is titled Sequester This, Sen. Lee’s series is titled Cut This, Not That while Sen. Johnson’s series is titled Victims of Government. Their videos provided documented proof of foolish spending and examples of the federal government being used as a weapon against the American people.

Sen. Schumer, it isn’t that plutocrats have convinced TEA Party activists that government “is the explanation for their ills.” It’s that people like Sen. Coburn, Sen. Johnson and Sen. Lee have given people of all political stripes proof that government isn’t working for the people.

Furthermore, government itself is giving people proof that government is creating more problems than it solves. Jim Geraghty wrote this post about how the Anything But Affordable Care Act is hurting young people. Included in Geraghty’s post is this graphiic:

Sen. Schumer, how can say that insurance plans with giant-sized deductibles are affordable? Do you seriously think that 30-year-olds can afford $10,000 annual deductibles? In Vermont, it’s worse by orders of magnitude.

Next, let’s address your first accusation. You’ve accused the TEA Party of turning the government into a boogeyman. That’s interesting considering the fact that Democrats have accused TEA Party activists of hating women and minorities while accusing them of being astroturf organizations. That’s pretty rich coming from a politician making these accusations in front of an audience at the Center for American Progress. It’s rich because CAP is essentially funded by George Soros, the plutocrat that makes his money by manipulating currencies.

You’ve accused the Koch brothers of funding ALEC for their nefarious purposes. Among other things, ALEC has advocated for cutting wasteful spending and pension reform. Considering Sen. Coburn’s citing of the GAO report of tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending and Detroit’s dilemma, I’d argue that those reforms are long overdue. Rather than vilifying ALEC, it’s more appropriate to praise them for wanting government to live within its means.

Of course, that’s if you’re interested in being the taxpayers’ watchdog. At this point, there isn’t much proof of that in your lengthy record.

Sen. Schumer, it’s time you started listening to the American people instead of listening to the DC echochamber. Government is the problem. Limiting its intrusion into our lives is the solution. I could easily triple the size of this letter if I wanted to cite more things that government does poorly. Perhaps I’ll do that in a different post.

Until then, consider the possibility that government, especially under this administration, is a) exceptionally incompetent and b) is too intrusive for the people’s liking.

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Scott Rasmussen’s column highlights the fact that elected politicians hate the inevitable shift away from centralized government. Here’s the key portion of Mr. Rasmussen’s article:

As society became more centralized, so did the government. Politicians were happy to ride the wave of societal trends as it brought them more power and money.

But the trends changed starting in the 1970s with the launch of cable television networks. That gave individuals more choices in the 1980s, and the Internet expanded those choices in the 1990s. Now we’ve reached a level of personalization powered by more than 100 million smartphones. The culture of individual choice and customization is so strong that no two of these smartphones are alike. We have different apps, music and more.

Over the past 30 years, as society has moved away from centralization, the political class has resisted. Government has grown ever more centralized. In fact, the federal government today directly controls a far larger chunk of the nation’s economy than it did just a generation or two ago.

That disconnect exists partly because politics and government always lag behind. It’s also partly because politicians are not thrilled with riding the new wave that disperses power away from the political class.

There’s no question about whether the political class will attempt to resist this inevitable dispersal. It’s predictable that they’d fight to keep the power they’ve accumulated.

The political class is totally out of step with the rest of America, especially in America’s heartland. That’s the single biggest factor for Washington, DC having the terrible ratings it’s got.

For instance, Senate Democrats have pledged to craft legislation that’d postpone the penalties required by the Affordable Care Act. There isn’t a Democrat-sponsored bill that would implement the proper policy perscriptions that would fix the Affordable Care Act’s underlying problems.

That’s a perfect example of the political class ignoring the policy preferences of the people. The political class isn’t about fixing problems. They’re about doing things so they can say ‘We tried.’ The tipping point is fast approaching that says trying isn’t good enough. Successful solutions are what’s required of the political class from this point forward.

Trey Gowdy is one of my new GOP heroes in the House of Representatives. He’s fighting to get the truth about the Affordable Care Act. He’s consistently questioned why the administration has said one thing, then delivered something totally different. This video is proof that Rep. Gowdy, (R-SC), doesn’t fit in with the political class:

“We were promised a state of the art website but we got an abacus and a sun dial. I want to know what we got for our money. I want to know if this thing can be fixed in 2 months, why didn’t you have it up and running in the 3 years you had prior to Oct. 1st.”

Rep. Gowdy is a straight shooter. Most importantly, he’s doing everything he can to protect the taxpayers from the government’s ineptitude. That’s why he’s one of the good guys in Congress. He’s the type of congressman who’s interested in a) protecting taxpayers and b) providing solutions to today’s biggest problems.

It’s incumbent on all TEA Party activists to find people like Congressman Gowdy and talk them into running for public office. The more Trey Gowdys, Jim Jordans, Mike Lees, Rand Pauls and Tom Coborns we have in Congress, the better.

That’s the only way to stop the political class from ruining America.

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DC’s chattering class has been talking about how Sen. Cruz’s talkathon (filibuster?) was all show that hurts Republicans. If I read another quote about how foolish it was, I’ll be ill. Thankfully, Michael Walsh gets it:

After his disgraceful attacks on Cruz, including his reach-across-the-aisle, dog-in-the-manger response today, this should be the end of Senator John McCain as a voice of influence in the Republican party. Ditto his mini-me, Senator Lindsey Graham. Indeed, the entire Old Guard of business-as-usual “comity” fans passeth. When you care more about what the other side thinks, it’s probably time either to switch teams or step down.

This is the difference between the Democrats’ old guard and the GOP’s old guard. Sen. McCain thinks Democrats care about comity. They don’t. Whenever they have a chance to stick the knife in, Democrats (think Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi) stick the knife in, give it a twist, then revel that they railroaded the McCains and Grahams of the world.

There is new leadership in the GOP, whether the party wants to admit it or not: Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Jeff Sessions, and the others who stepped into the breach to spell the senator from Texas.

Another person who should be included in that list is Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. Sen. Cornyn is another senator who signed his political death warrant during this debate. Keeping him around is fine but he needs to be run out of the Senate GOP leadership team.

Had the old guard been smart, they would’ve embraced Sen. Cruz’s talkathon. Instead, they criticized him. Someone from the old guard even sent Chris Wallace opposition research to do a hatchet job on Sen. Cruz. If they find out who sent the opposition research, that person should be primaried the next time he/she is up for re-election.

The Cruz faction in the Senate, and its allies in the House (whose leadership is now up for grabs) must now press their advantage. The louder the Democrats squawk, the more they are wounded; the one thing they’ve long feared is a direct assault on their core beliefs as translated into actions, and the deleterious effects of Obamacare, just now being felt by the population, are the most vivid proof of the failure of Progressivism that conservatives could wish for.

Carpe diem isn’t just a nice slogan. It should be the TEA Party’s rallying cry now through the first Tuesday in November, 2014. The Democrats’ worst nightmare in 2014 is that they might be forced to defend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka the PPACA.

The PPACA is so unpopular that, in lots of House districts, Democrats wouldn’t have a chance of winning if the PPACA is the chief issue.

Back in their glory days, the Packers and the USC Trojans were dominant. It wasn’t because they fooled people with their playcalling. When the game was on the line, USC called Student Body Right or Student Body Left. The Packers ran sweeps led by Paul Hornung or Jim Taylor. Everyone knew what was coming. It didn’t matter.

The Democrats know what’s coming. They can’t stop it because they voted for a bill that’s less popular than Wall Street.

This is a great idea:

Make Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin into the faces of the Democratic party and watch the votes peel away from the Left.

Having Reid as the other face of the Democratic Party isn’t bad for Republicans either.

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