Weekly Musing 3-3-13
CPAC 2013 coming March 14-16th
The largest conference of conservatives nationwide will take place in Washington DC this March. The venue has moved to National Harbor, just over the bridge from Alexandria. For more information and registration goto:
Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
201 Waterfront Street
CPAC Room Rate: $249/per night. CPAC Student Rate: $219/per night. Reservation links are now disabled. Please call 301-965-4000 to book your rooms.
Birthday Week for a 50+ Guy
This week I celebrate, or more appropriately endure another birthday. I often forget I’m not 29 and then am quickly reminded of that as I climb those set of stairs or walk those extra few blocks.
But you can’t let another year go by without appreciating the blessing in your life: your family, your friends and your opportunities. At this age, one is quicker to realize what is important and what really doesn’t matter. Yes, life is too short…so give it your best!
A Little Controversy From Last Week’s Musings
At the very least, I’m sure some of the 76,000+ subscribers actually read my weekly newsletter:)
I discussed our state convention and the growing factions within the party that are struggling to find their place. The greatest amount of angst came about from my use of the word “maturing” as I described what I hoped “some” would do as they became more and more involved in the party and reached roles of leadership…becoming the “new establishment”.
Some cried I was arguing for moderation, surrender, compromise and/or God forbid – dialogue with the other side. To others, it just confirmed my newly found RINO credential amongst “some” of the new activist. An amazing transition for me, from once being referred to as Attila the Hun to RINO in the span of some 30 years in politics.
So let me share a short story. In 1978 I met a young Congressman from Illinois who was running for President and said: “I would rather stand on my principles and lose – than lose my principles and win”. That was it, I was sold and I was in.
As a movement conservative, who had his roots in anti-Communist protest (Lithuanian immigrants) and studies in Austrian economics I found a venue to express my political views.
I fought the fight supporting candidates like Crane, Kemp, Forbes, Durant and others…and yes joining forces with Reagan, Bush, Bush II, McCain and Romney. Eventually I became a “Buckley conservative”, working within the party to affect public policy.
William F. Buckley argued that if you wanted to make a real difference and actually move public policy, we should support the most conservative candidate who could win. That meant making a judgment call, often times on subjective criteria, in order to insure defeating the far worse Democrats.
And so I expanded my movement conservative activities by supporting and getting involved with the likes of CATO, Heritage, Heartland Institute, Mackinac Center, Advocates for Self Government and proudly wearing my “Viva vonMises” t-shirt (yes, even post college:).
Politically, I became active in the Republican Party. I still remember being elected the youngest member of the MI Republican State Committee in the 80’s when the overwhelming majority of members were moderate and pro-choice. Some 25 years later, as I ending my term as State Chairman of the same organization, we had ALL conservative members and ALL pro-life…without a litmus test, rather just by natural evolution.
So to me, “maturing” is a process where one understands that we (the party) is a “center-right” coalition and in order to win elections and affect public policy we have to build our party, form coalitions and work together. That means as conservatives, libertarians, religious right, neo-cons, Tea Party activists and even some moderates who share more of our views than not – we work together for the good of the country.
In my book, it is rare that a Republican doesn’t offer a better option than virtually every Democrat. Having said that, I am always looking for the most conservative candidate in any given primary who I think can win in the general election…that is, in my opinion. Not always getting my first choice, however, once the primary is over…I support our nominee. Those within our party who argue that if they don’t get their first choice they will/should walk or even vote for the Democrats to prove a point…in my opinion, they are the ones who are in need of some political “maturing”.
Go ahead, fight the fight in our primaries, caucuses and conventions. However, when OUR party ultimately picks OUR nominee – we need to unite OUR party and support that nominee. That’s pretty tough to do after purging, disparaging and disenfranchises others you don’t agree with 100% of the time. Let’s be smart about it.
So, now is it obvious enough that I am no longer interested in running for any public or party office:)
Keep the faith my friends, but don’t let the liberal, loony left win because we shrink our party to an irrelevant minority status.
P.S. When I mean “some” I mean NOT all, not most, but “some”. Primarily it’s the self-appointed leaders, Thought Police for “newspeak” and defining conservatism who hope to have us all drinking “victory gin” in no time:)
World Doesn’t End, Obama Hardest Hit
One reason the grind may intensify is that Mr. Obama spurned GOP offers Friday morning to grant him even more executive discretion than he already has to prioritize federal spending. Or as his own Simpson-Bowles commission put it, he could always choose among the “patchwork of thousands of duplicative programs, nearly impossible to track and even harder to evaluate for effective outcomes.” This he does not want to do.
What he is trying to do instead is implement the sequester as rudely as possible so that he can extract another tax increase. As the President put it, the problem is that Republicans have adopted “an iron-clad rule that we will not accept an extra dime’s worth of revenue.”
But not so iron clad that the GOP didn’t reluctantly consent to 6.2 trillion dimes in tax increases only this January in return for zero dimes of spending restraint. Mr. Obama wants Republicans to commit political harikiri by doing it again. Asking the other party to commit suicide is not typically a good basis for bipartisan accord.
White House Office of Management and Budget
The Presidents perspective…83-page sequestration report:
The Threat to Republicans
A new poll shows the majority of Americans believe the party is “out of touch” and “too extreme.”
A recent poll by the Pew Research Center attracted a great deal of attention because it found that 62 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that the Republican Party was “out of touch with the American people”; only 33 percent disagreed. Even 36 percent of Republicans thought their party was out of touch. Sixty-five percent of independents also held that view, and, unsurprisingly, 77 percent of Democrats. By 52 percent to 42 percent, Americans said the Republican Party was “too extreme.” Conversely, only 39 percent saw the Democratic Party as too extreme, while 56 percent did not.
As Republicans enter this month of budget battles, their leaders seem keenly aware of these numbers. Among rank-and-file GOP members of Congress, it’s a different story. Some acknowledge the party’s problems, but others do not. The divisions in the ranks are reflected in their approaches to sequestration. One group wants to give House Speaker John Boehner a free hand to negotiate a deal. Another faction doesn’t particularly like sequestration but thinks that, for all of its problems, it is perhaps the only way to get meaningful budget cuts. A third group thinks that the cuts slated under sequestration don’t go nearly far enough. Given these divergent viewpoints, it is no wonder the GOP leadership is having a hard time.
Let’s Shed a Tear for Under-Appreciated Bureaucrats
Below(actually above) is the Congressional Budget Office’s depiction of this “sledgehammer.” Does the Washington Post really think that a 1.2 percent reduction in overall spending for the current fiscal year (which means the federal budget would still be larger than it was last year) represents a “sledgehammer of budget cuts”?
Andrew: One Year Later
“The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.” – Lao Tzu
The funny thing is, Andrew would give me an endless hard time for quoting Lao Tzu–pretentious, he’d say.
But Andrew did live larger than life–which made his sudden passing so truly hard to believe and accept. He was a flame that burned twice as bright. It was in his DNA. I know. I knew him since he was less than one year old.
But if Andrew’s flame burned half as long, his legacy will never burn out. To the contrary, it will only burn brighter and brighter. It is one of love and laughter, of an amazing family consisting of his widow Susie and their four extraordinary young children, and of a friend, a patriot and a happy warrior.
GOP 2016: Governors vs. D.C. insiders
Forget the establishment versus the tea party, or social conservatives versus fiscal conservatives. Of all the tensions within the Republican Party, the dynamic that may loom largest for 2016 is this: Washington versus the rest of America.
Here in the nation’s capital, GOP speculation about the next presidential race focuses on a handful of federal officials: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
Can Eric Cantor, the Republican Majority Leader, redeem his party and himself?
Cantor is the House Majority Leader, which means that he is responsible for the mundane business of managing the schedule, the House floor, and committees, where legislation is generally written. He has used his position to transform himself into the Party’s chief political strategist. Cantor is frequently talked about as a future Speaker; he could even be a future President, some of his aides say. Since the election, as Republicans have confronted Obama in a series of budgetary battles—another will unfold this week—few have tried as hard as Cantor to reposition and redefine the defeated party.
Club For Growth’s ‘PrimaryMyCongressman.com’ Escalates GOP Civil War
Conservative advocacy group Club For Growth shows no signs of slowing down its efforts to purge the GOP of alleged moderates, launching a new campaign targeting Republican members of the 113th Congress.
The group’s new site, PrimaryMyCongressman.com, is designed “to raise awareness of Republicans In Name Only (RINOs) who are currently serving in safe Republican seats,” according to a press release announcing its debut this week.
The first round of targets are Reps. Mike Simpson (R-ID), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Rick Crawford (R-AR), Frank Lucas (R-OK), Steve Palazzo (R-MS), Martha Roby (R-AL), Larry Buchson (R-IN), Renee Ellmers, (R-NC), and Aaron Schock (R-IL).
“Big government liberals inhabit the Democratic Party, but they are far too common within the Republican Party as well,” Chris Chocola, president of Club For Growth, said in a statement on Wednesday. “The Republicans helped pass billions of dollars in tax increases and they have repeatedly voted against efforts by fiscal conservatives to limit government. PrimaryMyCongressman.com will serve as a tool to hold opponents of economic freedom and limited government accountable for their actions.”
Republican Reality Check Begins
“We haven’t won a decisive presidential election in 24 years,” says Reince Priebus — the first name is short for Reinhold — in his office. George H.W. Bush’s election in 1988, he points out, was the last time Republicans carried California, New Jersey, Illinois or Pennsylvania. (He could have accurately added another large state, Michigan.) With so many electoral votes off-limits, Republicans have to carry almost every tossup state to win.
America’s Red State Growth Corridors
In the wake of the 2012 presidential election, some political commentators have written political obituaries of the “red” or conservative-leaning states, envisioning a brave new world dominated by fashionably blue bastions in the Northeast or California. But political fortunes are notoriously fickle, while economic trends tend to be more enduring.
Shopping Around for a Better Life
A group called the Free State Project invites us to move to New Hampshire to help create “liberty in our lifetime.” It’s too early to see how that will work out, but that state now has a booming population of libertarians and anarchists. One even got elected to the state legislature after running against his own roommate, also a libertarian, whom he accused of not being anti-government enough.
Americans who want to escape state income taxes and live near better job prospects can move to one of those nine states that I mentioned above.
Interesting Perspective: Why Asian-Americans Have Turned Their Backs on the Republican Party
Regaining the votes of Asian-Americans, like making inroads with Latino voters, will be a slog for the Republican Party. It is not just about a difference in ethnicity. Rather, it is also a difference in attitude. Asian-Americans are generally more economically liberal than the GOP’s older working- and middle-class evangelical base and are less responsive to a message of unvarnished rugged individualism, despite their relative wealth and attainment. And that is a gap not easily bridged. Indeed, a party whose leadership professes a desire to drown government in a bathtub has little appeal these days to most Americans. – See more at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/26/why-asian-americans-have-turned-their-backs-on-the-republican-party.html#sthash.FIuLEIvs.dpuf
Kudos to our SOS Ruth Johnson
New Pew Study Identifies Seven States with Best Election Administration Performance in 2008 and 2010
Seven states performed well in both the 2008 and 2010 elections including Colorado, Delaware, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin. The Pew Charitable Trusts released an Elections Performance Index (Index) that, for the first time ever, examines election administration performance across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The worst performing states during those years included Alabama, California, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia
Citizen for Traditional Values Banquet
CTV’s first annual banquet will feature Hillsdale College President Dr. Larry Arnn. It will be held Thursday, March 14th at 6:00pm in downtown Lansing. For more information and to register please goto:
A 10 part mini-series on the History Channel starting today, March 3rd. Stories from the bible which would be a great way to share our faith and history. Check out and share this trailer.
3FiftyTerrace 100 Yards away from Tiger Stadium
Looking for a great place to tailgate before or after a Tiger’s game…check out Detroit’s newest roof top venue!
Microsoft Surface Pro – I’ve Switched!
I just completed my migration from my laptop to my new Microsoft Surface Pro with the new Windows 8 operating system. It’s a real computer that can run EVERY program, which I loaded with Office 2013 as well. I also synced all my accounts and computers signing up for the Office 365 cloud account. All very slick. It’s sleek, small (2 pounds), with a “regular” key board and a tablet style that allows for maximum portability. Check it out.
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