Dennis Prager, on why the left doesn’t just disagree with, but truly hates Sarah Palin even though she has done nothing wrong and hasn’t harmed anyone.
by Chuck Norton
For some reason the establishment GOP will not learn the lesson of George Bush 41, Bob Dole, the 2006 mid terms, John McCain, and now Mitt Romney. How many times will they push the same failed strategy and tell people that it is the only way to win? How many times will we be told that Dole, McCain and Romney must be chosen because they are the only “electable ones” only to watch them lose?
UPDATE – Zo: We ran a dull example of conservatism vs the shining star of leftism (video) – LINK
Editor’s Note – Romney lost the “cultural charisma” and the “popularity contest” voters – We put up a guy who is a dullard against the shining star of leftism. Think about this for as moment:
Nixon had more charisma than McGovern
Carter had more charisma than Ford
Reagan had more charisma than anybody
Clinton had more charisma than Bush41
Clinton had more charisma than Dole
No one has less charisma than Gore – Bush wins
Kerry and Bush have about equal charisma but Kerry was a stuffed shirt flip flopping (sound familiar) joke and everyone knew it.
McCain vs Obama – are you kidding me (but wow look at those Sarah Palin crowds)?
Romney vs Obama on likability Romney loses to the low knowledge voter.
One of the greatest Mass media theorists of all time Marshall McLuhan said “The medium is the message” and that is what so many Republicans are missing.
Doubt me??? – Marco Rubio vs Joe Biden. Allen West vs Joe Biden. Mike Pence vs Joe Biden.
Bottom line on the cultural charisma factor: who would make a better president, Captain Kangaroo or rapper JZ? The answer is obvious, but who would low knowledge voters pull the lever for?
Bush got over 62 million votes in 2004 when people were not all that excited about him. Mitt Romney got just under 57 million.
Mitt Romney got fewer votes than John McCain and everyone acknowledged that many conservatives stayed at home because they did not trust McCain’s inconsistent leadership and his bad habit of trashing conservatives on the Sunday morning talk shows. Conservatives also stayed home in 2006.
Stop right there and let those numbers sink in. We are a nation where the people self identify as conservatives more than liberals almost two to one. Yet look at the exit polling of those who actually voted: 35% identified as conservative, 25% as liberal and 41% as moderate.
The math does not lie. More conservative men stayed home, evangelicals turned out but in lesser numbers than in previous elections. Even in bastions of conservatism such as Elkhart County Indiana, and counties in North Florida had more conservative voters stay home.
My establishment Republican friends are not going to like this, but the math is what the math is. In 2010 Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Marco Rubio and Allen West were the top of the political narrative. Women, who are to be swing voters, voted in heavier numbers for GOP/TEA Party candidates in nine of the top ten swing states than in any election since the 1984 Reagan landslide. This time women broke for the Democrats.
Just to give an example of what went wrong, look at the moral clarity of the messaging in 2010 vs 2012.
This was the prevailing political message in 2010:
Watch as Allen West sets the record straight on the war on terror where the other politicians are afraid to just tell it like it is:
By contrast Mitt Romney was pro-abortion before he was pro-life, against the Second Amendment before he was for it, was for Obama’s stimulus before he was against it, changed his stand on global warming alarmism depending on who was in front of him, was against the wildly successful Contract for America, and while campaigning went along with the Democrats in their disrespectful words against Ronald Reagan. Quite a difference.
So before we explain what went wrong it is very important to explain what the problem is not.
The problem is not that Republicans need to abandon conservatism and behave more like liberals as evidenced by the exit polling where almost every policy question favored Republicans:
Is the country moving in the right direction? – No
Should the government cut spending? – Yes
Should the government raise taxes? – No
Should Obamacare be repealed? – Yes
Should America use more of it’s own energy resources? – Yes
This demonstrates that on policy, those who voted, even engaged moderates, support conservative policy.
The problem is not that conservatism alienates independent voters, in fact every indication is that exactly the opposite is true. America’s Republican Governors are arch conservatives on policy, from taking on the government unions to school choice and fiscal responsibility. Independent voters vote for these governors and this election day such governors are in 30 states.
The elite media and some in the GOP establishment are blaming the TEA Party, but what they aren’t telling you is that establishment GOP “moderates” took a real beating this election including states such as Hawaii, North and South Dakota, Connecticut, and Virginia. Senator Scott Brown also lost his seat. The elite media may focus on Todd Akin in Missouri and Dick Mourdock in Indiana each losing their Senate races when they should have been an easy win. They self destructed because they engaged in some very undisciplined communication and turned enough voters off to cause some to split their ticket. Their loss had nothing to do with being conservative or traditional. Mike Pence won the Indiana Governor’s seat and he is as conservative as it gets.
Moderates also voted for Michelle Bachmann in Minnesota and for Jackie Walorski in Indiana’s Second District who again are both as conservative as they come and TEA Party favorites. Both won in swing districts.
About messaging: Jackie Walorski went after her Democrat opponent as the liberal fraud that he is, as he is nothing like he presented himself. She took off the gloves AND WON in spite of the fact that there was a 10% drop in turnout in Elkhart, the “conservative county” in her five county district. Walorski was willing to blast her opponent hard with the truth and was unafraid. If she had done so in 2010 she would have beaten Joe Donnelly back then. Michelle Bachmann did the same thing.
The problem is not solely because America is turning more brown. New Hampshire is as white as it gets and the same problems appeared there as in the rest of the country.
The problem is not that Republicans are willing to talk about about “social issues”. In fact quite the opposite. Why? It is Democrats who went nuts on social issues to paint Republicans as people who want to ban birth control. So we have no choice but to engage and fight back and our reluctance to do so in a smart, disciplined manner cost us lots of women’s votes. We surrendered on this issue because we didn’t fight back at the Democrats dishonesty hard enough.
To run on only economics is to expect that people really understand economics. Excuse me Mr. Voter could you please explain to me what the debt to GDP ratio is and why it is a threat to your standard of living?
The problem is not because of the power of incumbency…you know because beating the incumbent in the White House is so rare…unless of course we remember that Carter beat Ford, Reagan Beat Carter, and Clinton Beat Bush, and Obama, who was a sitting duck and ripe for defeat, only squeaked by.
UPDATE II – Ronald Reagan dealt with liberals in the Republican Party who said the exact same things –
The “GOP establishment” has to come to terms with some uncomfortable facts
The evidence shows that we had the wrong man at the top of the ticket whose campaign made some major mistakes.
Mitt Romney had high negatives in several swing states including Ohio and Florida after the primary. Why? This is what happens when you have, as Newt Gingrich said, “A Massachusetts moderate who passed Romneycare” who runs a dishonest scorched earth primary and has adjusted his views every election year. The GOP establishment crammed him down our throat with massive amounts of corporate and PAC money.
Remember this guy?
In Florida, where Romney played those brutal ads against Newt it seems many stayed home on November 6th. Romney also ran dishonest ads against Rick Santorum so more evangelicals stayed home. This explains why we did good in polling and poor on election day. The disillusioned participated in the polls, got pegged as likely voters and stayed home on election day. How can you trash conservatives again and again and then expect them to show up for you? And to ad insult to injury say that “we should not be too strident in our criticisms” of Obama’s failures.
Weekly polling for two years tells us 61% of the people want Obamacare repealed, but too many voters simply didn’t believe that Romney was serious. Newt Gingrich warned that this very thing would happen. This very writer knows plenty of people who are conservatively minded who have said, “there is no difference between the two parties” and they essentially believe they are all big government big spenders. More and more blue collar Republicans no longer feel like they have a political party to call home.
Speaker of the House John Boehner’s lack of effectiveness in cutting any spending at all also served to undermine 2010 Republican freshman who tried to cut at least some spending were unable to largely because of Speaker Beohner. Libertarians in Indiana got 6% of the vote in some races, which is another indicator of this reasoning.
Another indicator is that traditionally the GOP has received about 80% of it’s donations from individuals in amounts of less than $200.00. This was not the case with Mitt Romney, although in the last weeks small contributors did donate more heavily, but none the less this indicates a problem with the base.
Below is a video of a disillusioned white male voter who I am told is a former Army Officer who worked in psychological operations (psych-ops). Granted the man in the video is a bit on the paranoid tip, but his sentiment that it no longer matters who you vote for is not uncommon among the millions of conservatives who stayed home, especially when one considers how many times the GOP “establishment” has failed to deliver it’s “limited government” campaign rhetoric:
[There is a way to tap into this sentiment and turn it into energy for votes without alienating moderates, but someone will have to hire me to get that information. Gotta make a living – Editor]
The Republican primary was so long because the people were on a search for the “Not-Romney” candidate. In fact, you probably once favored voting one of the other candidates precisely because of the problems mentioned above. Odds are you who sit here reading this very page was against the idea of Mitt Romney being your nominee so how could it be a surprise that so many Americans never warmed to him?
One reason why people are so upset, and either not voting or protest voting for Libertarians is because they are sick and tired of politicians promising the world and delivering more suffering.
We have never witnessed polls like this, Americans are showing a clear contempt for both political parties and after seeing this it becomes clear why Tea Party is polling ahead of both Democrats and Republicans. Also note the massive disconnect between the political class the the governed.
Speaking as a political scientist, these numbers show that the government is losing its legitimacy (please be sure you know what that word means in poli-sci terms before you comment). This can only mean big changes are ahead.
There is also an indicator that independents may be more conservative than Republicans now, if this trend continues it changes everything.
The founding document of the United States, the Declaration of Independence, states that governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Today, however, just 21% of voters nationwide believe that the federal government enjoys the consent of the governed.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 61% disagree and say the government does not have the necessary consent. Eighteen percent (18%) of voters are not sure.
However, 63% of the Political Class think the government has the consent of the governed, but only six percent (6%) of those with Mainstream views agree.
Seventy-one percent (71%) of all voters now view the federal government as a special interest group, and 70% believe that the government and big business typically work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors.
That helps explain why 75% of voters are angry at the policies of the federal government, and 63% say it would be better for the country if most members of Congress are defeated this November. Just 27% believe their own representative in Congress is the best person for the job.
The bottom line is that much of the blue collar in this country used to be solidly in the Republican Corner, but they feel like they have been lied to and taken for granted. Since the 2003 Bush tax cuts there have been ZERO domestic policy victories for this group of voters. That is why they are disillusioned and believe that no matter who they vote for government will just gets bigger and the economy will just get smaller. They feel squeezed and while they know that the Democrats are bad, they no longer have confidence in the Republican party. That is why these voters are staying home.
Messaging and policy must be bold, simple and provide a stark contrast
This time it just wasn’t.
Red State explained this problem rather well.
The question that many of these politicos have not answered is this: how could we possibly be more moderate than we already are? We ran with Dole in 1996, and we lost; we ran with McCain in 2008, and we lost; we ran with Romney, and we lost. Romney took the issue of Obamacare off the table and barely attacked Obama directly for much of anything. There was no potent conservative philosophy that was offered to provide voters with a sharp distinction between the parties. The Republican convention was a pathetic Oprah show and the entire campaign was basically an advocacy of Obama’s policies, albeit with less enthusiasm. And let’s not blame the loss on Paul Ryan and Medicare reform; he outperformed Bush and McCain with seniors.
For all the talk of the need to moderate in order to win, Obama ran the most divisive, radical, and negative campaign, while Romney ran a relentlessly positive campaign with incessant promises to work with the other side. People are attracted to a show of strength, not a promise of bipartisanship, which smacks of insecurity in one’s own virtues and ideas.
For those of you who may not remember, this is how to set a bold contrast with vision – LINK. When one does not run on big ideas they run on small things and that is what both Obama and Romney did.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz gets it as well and comments on why so many blue collar Republicans stayed home again:
All of the money in the world won’t help if you keep using the same failed strategy
Obama was a sitting duck, ripe for defeat and after all of the money spent they still couldn’t win in this ripe of an environment.
The Republican strategist who created the model for the outside money groups that raised and spent more than $1 billion on the Nov. 6 elections saw almost no return for their money.
Rove, through his two political groups, American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, backed unsuccessful Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney with $127 million on more than 82,000 television spots, according to Kantar Media’s CMAG, an ad tracker based in New York. Ten of the 12 Senate candidates and four of the nine House candidates they supported also lost their races.
The results have angered some Republicans who blame Rove for “sidelining conservatives” and diverting money from them.
“Right now there is stunned disbelief that Republicans fared so poorly after all the money they invested,” said Brent Bozell, president of For America, an Alexandria-based nonprofit that advocates for Christian values in politics. “If I had 1/100th of Karl Rove’s money, I would have been more productive than he was.”
The Rove group also spent $622,400 on ads attacking Nelson in Florida, $513,000 on McCaskill in Missouri, $486,000 on Kaine in Virginia, and $466,000 on Jon Tester in Montana. Those Democrats all won.
American’s for Prosperity (AFP), a group that used a more traditional bold, conservative, contrast communications strategy, and is willing to back some TEA Party candidates, made $754,000 in ad buys in Nebraska and Nevada and saw its preferred Republican candidates win those races.
The GOP must get media savvy and learn & understand that when the other side gives you an opportunity to land a hay-maker, take it
Seize the day. In the third debate Mitt didn’t capitalize on the disaster of Benghazi, and instead spent too much time trying to appear unoffensive in some type of attempt to appeal to female voters. We saw what that got us.
In 2004 women voted for President Bush because he made them feel safe and when you feel safe why make a change? Remember those “security moms”? Time after time Obama left himself open for a hay-maker punch where he was vulnerable and Romney wouldn’t seize the day. If Romney would have went after Obama on Benghazi the elite media would have been forced to talk about it, but instead the elite media has clammed up and has been trying to keep this huge scandal under the rug until after the election.
How can they pay all of these “communications strategists” and not a one of them understands that a president or a presidential candidate can set the media agenda. He can essentially make them talk about what he is talking about and get his message out even against an unwilling press.
In the debate, Obama hit Mitt Romney on equal pay for women, but Obama has paid women less in both his campaign staff and his White House staff. Romney should have delivered a knock out punch with that kind of opening, and followed it up with the fact that the Obama Administration is once again targeting women’s health care screenings for rationing while fully acknowledging that the result will be more dead women.
Even though the government response to Hurricane Sandy has been slower than Katrina and essentially a disaster, President Obama went and used Governor Christie as a campaign prop and it worked. While Obama was seizing the day, Mitt Romney was suspending his campaign and running a small food drive. Here is an idea, how about Mitt Romney returns to his home of Massachusetts to offer his services to Governor Patrick or to work as a government liaison with the Red Cross to help flood victims. That just may have helped Scott Brown win his Senate Race.
Speaking of the elite media…
The GOP must learn that the elite media is out to destroy you and is in the tank for the Democrats to a level that is truly astonishing. CBS News had in their possession classified emails that showed that the order to stand down and essentially let our people get slaughtered in Benghazi while Obama watched in the situation room came from the White House. CBS sat on those emails and only released the story on their web site when Glenn Beck threatened to out the network and those involved for covering it up.
The time for trying to make the media like you is over, dealing with dishonest reporters individually and embarrassing them into doing their job is the best you can hope for. The approval rating of the elite media is right up there with syphilis so embarrassing them Newt Gingrich style is a win.
Elite Media bias counts for up to five points in the election, which is more than enough to to swing most races towards a Republican win, we cannot afford to simply surrender those five points any longer.
Newt Gingrich vs CBS’ Scott Pelly:
Newt Gingrich Blasts the Elite Media for Bias and Anti-Christian Bigotry:
Newt takes NBC’s David Gregory to school:
Newt vs. NPR’s Juan Williams on the “race card”
Newt vs Piers Morgan on Class Warfare
You will notice that every time Newt took on the elite media who did the people believe? Did they Believe Scott Pelly and George Stuffingenvelopes or did they believe Newt Gingrich. The answer is obvious as demonstrated by the North Carolina Exit Poll where Newt dominated the numbers including independents, evangelicals, and women. As Ron Paul has demonstrated, the young graduate to those with a big vision and big ideas.
When one is not afraid of the elite media in the slightest and simply refuses to take any of their crap you can engage them and use them to get your message out, just as Newt Gingrich did in his lengthy interview on foreign policy on CNN.
If the nominee had dealt with the elite media as effectively as Newt Gingrich much of that five points from media bias would have been averted and that alone would have reversed this election.
The GOP must not let the elite media pick their nominee, or millions in the base will not show up. Remember in 2008 when the elite media sung the praises of John McCain until the day after he secured the nomination and then went after him scurrilously. The elite media did the same with Mitt Romney. They trashed everyone but Mitt, until he secured the nomination. Which brings us to the next lesson.
Define yourself early and WIN the battle of the narratives
Remember those ads that accused Mitt Romney of causing the death of the wife of a steel worker, when in fact it was an Obama fund raiser who was in charge of Bain Capital at the time because Romney had already left to run the Olympics?
Obama started running those ads in swing states such as Ohio and Florida before Romney even secured the nomination. The elite media knew it was a lie but the reporting of it was essentially to say how brilliant the lie was and what a brilliant campaign Obama was running. Mitt Romney did not engage the media or run ads to fight back. Romney’s negatives were already high because of the scorched earth primary he and his allies had run and the “dead wife”adds from Obama drove those negatives up even further.
Romney didn’t start campaigning in Ohio in earnest until just about the time of the debates. Too late, many people had already made up their minds.
This was why the first debate was such a shock to the country, as Romney showed that he was not the evil, bloodthirsty, knuckle-dragging bastard that the Obama Campaign portrayed him as, but by then it was too little too late.
There were so many narratives to hit Obama on. One example is an EPA that has become truly imperious and tyrannical. One EPA official even said that they like to crucify companies like the Romans did to people, just to set an example. Take the countless horror stories and jobless from his outrageous eco-extremism and take that suffering and pin it on Obama as he so well deserved. Obama’s policies are truly cold and heartless and his corruption in the green sector to enrich his friends is well documented. The fast and furious scandal, which resulted in the brutal murders of hundreds of Mexicans and at least one American federal agent should have been used to turn Hispanics away from Obama. A scandal is a gimme to the opposition but yet once again, Romney would not seize the day.
The biggest narrative of all that was not even challenged, is that the economic collapse was Bush’s fault. Well facts matter and someone needs to stand for the truth.
1 – The Bush Administration lobbied congress almost 20 times for mortgage reform since 2001
3 – Obama took huge money from the mortgage industry to help preserve the status quo.
4 – When Obama was a lawyer for ACORN he participated in one of those bogus CRA lawsuits to force banks to give bad loans. The people he represented of course could not afford the payments and most lost their homes.
5 – Clinton Administration officials such as Janet Reno and Andrew Cuomo said on video that they wanted to use (read abuse) the CRA law to act as an affirmative action program for home loans, whether they qualified for the loan or not wasn’t important.
Voters have a limited attention span
Why would Mia Love and other fantastic candidates lose? The answer is coat tails. The top of the ticket sets the narrative and unless something unusual happens such as the Todd Akin or Dick Mourdock situation that gets huge press that catches the voter’s attention. If we are milquetoast at the top even the best of candidates pay the price down the ticket and we saw this happen in spades in this election. For most voters their time and attention only allow them to pay some attention to one or two races on the ticket. The rest are at the mercy of those at the top.
Walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk
Remember that ridiculous job killing light bulb ban that Republicans blamed Democrats for? Well the bill was co-authored by “conservative republican” and self proclaimed guardian of small business Fred Upton. Upton was primaried and as a result he is now behaving himself. Upton sponsored the bill to reverse the ban, but it should never have been an issue to begin with. It is NOT the job of Congress to micromanage the lives of the people.
There were so many problems with ballot counts that favored Democrats that I could fill the page with the links. Other blogs are doing that so I suggest that lawmakers read up and citizens make them listen. We control most of the countries governorships and state legislatures so the time to put teeth in our election laws and procedures is now.
We also need to put some teeth in the law and punish officials who election after election just seem to “OOPS” forget to send those military ballots out on time. In fact Obama sued the state of Ohio to try and prevent military ballots from being fully counted.
George Soros is using his empire to rig state vote counting the other way so for the integrity of the vote we need to push back hard.
Florida and Ohio were so close that if vote fraud could have been nailed down and military ballots counted we would have a President Elect Romney today.
[Editor’s Note – I was pretty tough on Karl Rove in this piece. For the record I like Karl and we have chatted a little, but Karl, for your own good you should listen to this piece.]
Their coverage of McCain/Palin was not even this negative.
Lets talk about Sarah Palin for just a moment. People now realize that Sarah Palin has been correct on issue after issue. She was right about ObamaCare, she was right about how radical the Obama Administration would be, she was also right when she predicted the rise of food prices very early on. Even the Wall Street Journal trashed Palin for the food prediction, but time after time she has been shown correct. The result is that more and more people doubt the elite media and truly understand just how vicious a partisan attack machine it has become.
Media bias has gone from bad to ridiculous.
During Mitt Romney’s overseas visit earlier this week, 86 percent of the coverage on ABC, CBS and NBC “emphasized Romney’s perceived gaffes,” according to a content analysis of 21 major news stories by the Media Research Center, which also compared Mr. Romney’s trip to a similar excursion made by President Obama in 2008.
The results: The broadcast networks committed 53 minutes of almost entirely negative coverage to Mr. Romney, and 92 minutes of “gushing” to Mr. Obama.
“The near unanimous negativity of their coverage is as outrageous as it is transparent,” observes the center’s founder Brent Bozell. “It’s impossible to look at the fawning coverage of Obama’s trip in 2008 compared to the sliming Romney has taken in 2012 and not see a clear agenda on the part of the liberal media.”
by Chuck Norton
I know what the Romney camp is thinking: They have conservatives locked up so they don’t need Palin; since she is polarizing some independents won’t like her. That thinking while having some merit is still very wrong headed.
Independents have voted for TEA Party candidates in droves in 2009 and 2010. Sarah Palin was the driving force behind it. People tell pollsters what they want to hear very often. People who intend to vote GOP and don’t want their friends to know have a history of lying to pollsters. On the other hand I know LOTS of conservatives who intend to stay home this November. The travesty from Chief Justice Roberts helped to motivate them, but make no mistake, there is still a real problem that true conservatives have with Mitt Romney.
If Palin is a master of one thing it is political payback. When Gov. Christie said something stupid about her she let him have it so hard that he never did it again. If Sarah Palin is not invited to the convention with a prominent roll there will be a price to pay and she WILL exact it. She may even stage her own event nearby to suck the wind out of a key Romney event. Palin is far more charismatic than Romney, she knows it and so does the media. She may even rip up the Republican establishment “Good Ole Boy” network at her event. Palin has a long and very effective history of doing just that.
Canadian Free Press:
In the roughly three years since she quit as the state’s chief regulator of the oil industry, Palin has crushed the Republican hierarchy (virtually all male) and nearly every other foe or critic. Political analysts in Alaska refer to the “body count” of Palin’s rivals.
“The landscape is littered with the bodies of those who crossed Sarah,” says pollster Dave Dittman, who worked for her gubernatorial campaign. It includes Ruedrich, Renkes, Murkowski, gubernatorial contenders John Binkley and Andrew Halcro, the three big oil companies in Alaska, and a section of the Daily News called “Voice of the Times,” which was highly critical of Palin and is now defunct.
The bottom line is that Sarah Palin is still the most powerful figure in the Republican Party and too many in the beltway still haven’t managed to accept that. Palin is also a fund raising machine who can help Romney raise funds for the election. In either case, if you guys at the Romney camp think you can out-smart her, you can’t. Just the attempt will raise her ire and you will only end up paying a heavier price.
Our friend John Hawkins made this fun, but important post on something that many of us take for granted. This reminder of what a Republican should not be is always timely. Everyone should print this one out and keep it in their wallets 🙂
The mainstream media is awash with criticism of Republicans, but it always denounces the wrong people. If you listen to the media, you’d think the GOP is being wrecked by people like Jim DeMint, Allen West, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party. In other words, the real problem with the Republican Party is supposed to be the responsible conservatives who put their country first, want to keep us from going broke, and actually represent the people who elected them. Wrong answer, buddy. You want to know the types of Republicans that are hurting the GOP?
1) The Sell Outs: Liberals love pundits who claim to be conservatives, but tell them what they want to hear about the Republican Party. So, if you have no integrity, like say David Frum, David Brooks, Meghan McCain, Joe Scarborough, or Kathleen Parker, you call yourself a Republican, but spend most of your time criticizing your “own side.” Nothing on the Left ever seems to get you as agitated as the things the people “on your side” do. Liberals get a pass for the same sort of comments that infuriate you when it comes out of the mouth of a conservative. That’s because when you’re a performing seal for the Left, you have to be tame and balance a ball on your nose just the way the Lefties like or they might stop giving you fish.
2) The Purists: Of course, you can go too far in the other direction, too, like the members of the “I’m more conservative than you” club. These are the people who tell you there’s no difference between the Republican Party and the Democrats. They take their ball, go home, and don’t vote in the general election when the candidate they support doesn’t win a primary. Issues like electability, the chances of actually passing legislation, and what the general public wants are never taken into consideration. This is how you end up with people who think we can do better than Scott Brown (71% ACU rating) in Massachusetts or that we can just decide to never raise the debt limit again, even though we’ve already spent all of the money. If you want to have it your way, go to Burger King because you’re not ever going to get everything you want in politics.
3) The Appropriators: If there’s one defining difference that separates Republicans from Democrats, it’s spending. Republicans want less of it, Democrats want more — well, at least that’s how it should be. Yet, there are big government Republicans. There are Republicans who love earmarks. There are Republicans who think it’s fine to fritter taxpayer money away, but they just want to waste a little less than the Democrats. These people are not just killing the Republican brand; they’re helping to ruin the country.
4) The Bubbleheads: One of the idiosyncrasies of D.C. Republicans is that many of them are smart people, they’re well informed, they have inside info, and they consider themselves to be conservative — yet they have no idea how out of touch they are with the base and the rest of the country. This is how you end up with Republicans supporting Bridges to Nowhere, increased National Endowment of the Arts funding, or pushing comprehensive immigration reform and Harriet Miers. The average talk radio listener or blog reader has a better read on politics in some areas than senators and congressmen because they’re not mired in that D.C. bubble with aides, consultants, pollsters, and lobbyists all pushing the same monolithic way of thinking. If you’re a Republican in D.C. who doesn’t get that, you’re part of the problem, not part of the solution.
5) The Compromise Fetishists: There’s nothing wrong with compromise per se. Republicans should be willing to compromise with Democrats — if it’s on a bill that will make the country significantly better overall. How many bills are there fitting that description that have been passed in the last decade or so? Certainly no more than a handful — and none have been passed during the Obama Administration. That’s because “compromise” in D.C. usually starts with the idea that Democrats get 90% of what they want and then Republicans negotiate to see how badly they’re going to lose. Yet, we hear some Republicans lauding compromise like it’s a worthwhile goal in and of itself. A compromise on a bad bill isn’t a win. Did Republicans make a mistake by refusing to work with the Democrats on the stimulus or Obamacare? Should they have worked with Obama to raise taxes, pass comprehensive immigration reform, or to do another stimulus? Of course not! Half of stupid is still pretty stupid, stupid.
Editor’s Note: Since Steve Schmidt is in the news for his lies portrayed in the film “Game Change” it seemed like an appropriate time to go back to my old college blog and repost what I wrote about him early on.
From the beginning of Steve Schmidt’s and Nicole Wallace’s lies starting as early as October 2008, campaign staffers have gone on the record setting the record straight:
Tom Van Flein
Patrick Hynes (Whose name does not appear on a current list going around the internet but wrote a piece expressing such in 2009)
All have gone on the record saying that Schmidt’s allegations are lies. Is it any surprise that Schmidt is portrayed as the hero of the film? Senator McCain himself has gone on the record stating in no uncertain terms that Schmidt’s allegations in the film are nonsense. There is another high level staffer who worked for McCain who made it very clear to this writer privately that Schmidt was the problem in the campaign and is just not truthful. I wish said staffer would go public, but has chosen not to.
Aside from covering up for their loss to a half of one term Senator with no executive experience and the dreadful communications strategy Schmidt and Wallace engineered for the campaign, Schmidt, as you will see below, has had a long term hostility for religious conservatives; Wallace worked for CBS and is a long time personal friend of Katie Couric. Considering Schmidt’s and Wallace’s previous record, it is obvious that these two high level staffers were not properly vetted and ultimately Senator McCain is responsible for the mistake of hiring them in the first place.
In September 2009 I wrote a followed up article to the piece below when Sarah Palin herself commented on the false allegations – McCain’s communications machine was incompetent. Liberal McCain staffers had a hostility to Palin’s base and thus misjudged it. May have cost them the election – LINK. Worth the time to read to be sure.
Note – I just saw this interview of Nicolle Wallace on the Rachel Maddow Show saying that Governor Palin has not talked about policy since the end of the 2008 campaign. This is a prime example of the level of dishonesty that we have even in GOP circles. Sarah Palin has taken substantive positions on her web site, on her PAC web site, in the Wall Street Journal, and in countless interviews with Greta Van Susteren and Chris Wallace who are not softball throwers by any stretch. Chris Wallace even said last fall that he threw every policy question in the book at Palin and she was not hit each one out of the park. Other web sites such as PalinTV have lists of her positions along with explanations, sourced evidence and video. This very writer has reported on several of the policy positions and predictions that Sarah Palin has staked out and her predictions about ObamaCare, food and energy, inflation, monetary policy, and other issues were well ahead of the curve.
Everything below is from my old college blog, July 2009:
How Steve Schmidt blew up the McCain campaign and is attacking Sarah Palin to keep the heat off of himself.
Is Sarah Palin is the biggest threat to the corrupt, big government, crony capitalist kickback establishment culture in modern political memory? But what about Ronald Reagan…– While eventually Ronald Reagan was able to create a massive power-base from the ground up with massive popular support, he never went after the elite media or after bad apples in the GOP like Governor Palin has.
With lobbying, corruption, and crony favors in Washington now at an all time high the Democrats have become the party of Wall Street, corrupt crony capitalist, big government “A”; and while there are still some honest hold outs (Bachmann, DeMint, Paul, Sauder, Pence, etc) much of the GOP leadership is still the party of big, corrupt, crony capitalist government “B”. The exit polls in the last election showed this very clearly when voters said that the Republican Party used to stand for something but had lost their way.
Voters had learned that most Republicans in Congress circa 2008 were not the same stock that took over Congress in 1994 and worked so well with President Clinton in 1996 and 1998 to balance the budget, reign in spending, cut taxes and pass the hugely successful (and popular) welfare reform package that helped so many people get back to work. It is no secret that John Kasich, the GOP House Budget Chairman who was the architect of that success has been none too pleased with the House Republicans’ lack of leadership and financial discipline since 2004.
After taking devastating electoral defeats in 2006 and 2008, some wings of the Republican Party still have not learned their lesson. For example: Eight Republicans voted for the 1300 page, corporate favor and pork lined energy tax bill that amounts to the largest tax increase in U.S. history. A bill that almost no one had read when they voted for it.
Members of that big government wing of the Republican Party talk about small, common sense government at election time, but history has proved beyond doubt that they do not govern that way. While not at election time the big government wing bashes the more Reaganite and fiscally responsible wing of the GOP in the media. Of course, the elite media being very hostile to conservatives, goes along with such bashing gleefully. John McCain was the elite media’s favorite Republican because he was happy to be used as a tool to bash people in his own party. John McCain used to say that the elite media was his constituency. McCain learned just how far that gets you when you run against a far left Democrat. McCain was praised by the elite media until the primary battle was over and hours after McCain had the nomination secured the NY Times (in an article that got them sued for libel) printed a baseless and unsourced thinly veiled allegation that McCain was having an affair with a 40 year old lobbyist. That was just the beginning (LINK).
Did the big government wing of the GOP learn it’s lesson in the face of two stark defeats in recent election history? The big government wing seems desperate to stop another 1994 like “Republican Revolution” and is back to currying favor with the elite media by bashing conservatives. The target of targets for months has been Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
Vanity Fair published an unsourced, half truth filled attack piece on Palin (LINK) by Todd Purdum that has been refuted/exposed reasonably well by National Review (LINK) and the Weekly Standard (LINK). Todd Purdum wrote a similarly unsourced nasty hit piece on the Clintons late in the last primary (LINK) [when you follow the link also be sure to compare the Obama picture with the Clinton picture which presents a narrative all it’s own – Editor].
Here is what Bill Clinton had to say about Purdum and about some of the elite media’s biased coverage (LINK with audio):
“[He’s] sleazy,” he said referring to Purdum. “He’s a really dishonest reporter. And one of our guys talked to him . . . And I haven’t read [the article]. There’s just five or six blatant lies in there. But he’s a real slimy guy,” the former President said.
When I reminded him that Purdum was married to his former press spokesperson Myers, Clinton was undeterred.
“That’s all right– he’s still a scumbag,” Clinton said…
“You know he didn’t use a single name, cite a single source in all those things he said.. It’s just slimy.
It’s part of the national media’s attempt to nail Hillary for Obama. It’s the most biased press coverage in history. It’s another way of helping Obama. They had all these people standing up in this church cheering, calling Hillary a white racist, and he didn’t do anything about it. The first day he said ‘Ah, ah, ah well.’ Because that’s what they do– he gets other people to slime her. So then they saw the movie they thought this is a great ad for John McCain–maybe I better quit the church. It’s all politics. It’s all about the bias of the media for Obama. Don’t think anything about it.”
“But I’m telling ya, all it’s doing is driving her supporters further and further away– because they know exactly what it is– this has been the most rigged coverage in modern history– and the guy ought to be ashamed of himself. But he has no shame. It isn’t the first dishonest piece he’s written about me or her.”
Clinton goes on to say exactly how a piece like this gets generated. A writer decides that they want to write a hit piece, talk to a few political enemies of that person and report every allegation against them as fact with no attempt to present some objective truth. In fairness, while the Clinton’s do not always tell the truth, he is spot on in these comments. When Hillary Clinton’s communications advisor Howard Wolfson says repeatedly that they have to come on Fox News to get a fair shake, when Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity are going after NBC News for their bias against Hillary, well you know it’s bad. Hillbuzz and PUMAPAC, both sites of those who supported Clinton in the campaign, have done a meticulous job of reporting on the outrageous media bias against Hillary and Governor Palin.
Enter Steve Schmidt
When asked by NBC news about his “sources” Purdum said , “I don’t want to get into sources and methods”. Of course he doesn’t. Politico.com was able to track down some of the unsourced comments back to former McCain chief campaign strategist Steve Schmidt (LINK).
The vitriol also suggests the degree to which Palin remains a Rorschach test not simply to Republicans nationally but within a tight circle of elite operatives and commentators, many of whom seem ready to carry their arguments in 2012. Was Palin a fresh talent whose debut was mishandled by self-serving campaign insiders, or an eccentric “diva” who had no business on the national stage?
Politico’s instincts are spot on, and it is very likely Steve Schmidt who is fueling the “hate Palin” flames behind the scenes in the elite media.
So why would Schmidt and a handful of other big government Republican’s want to keep attacking Sarah Palin? There is a long list of reasons, but let’s start with Schmidt.
Schmidt was on the verge of winning the election for his candidate until McCain suspended his campaign to help pass the TARP crap sandwich bailout bill. Up until that weekend McCain/Palin’s numbers were on the rise in spite of being outspent by the Obama campaign. Sarah Palin gave the most effective political speech at a convention in 30 years, and John McCain said at the convention that he was going to name names, the corrupt and the pork spenders were going to be outed by name and he promised that we would “know who they are”. McCain wasn’t serious. When McCain voted for that bailout bill with hundreds of pork amendments on it, it was if he took a stake and drove it through the very heart of his own brand. The “maverick” fight the corrupt spending brand for the McCain ticket was destroyed. All credibility was lost. The emperor had no clothes.
The number one rule of any campaign is to never, ever, ever violate your own brand and the McCain campaign did just that with Steve Schmidt at the helm. Schmidt either created a campaign brand that wasn’t honest, or he failed to keep his candidate from sabotaging the campaign brand, both of which means that Schmidt should never run a campaign again. If McCain was dead set on sabotaging the campaign brand Schmidt should have resigned to help save his career.
This writer believes that suspending the campaign and the decision for McCain to support the bailout was supported by Schmidt and he didn’t make the connection that he was about to trash his own brand. We would know if Schmidt had fought hard with McCain to keep him from those actions because it would have been leaked [by the way what is stopping McCain from naming names now, the corruption and corporate favors from Congress now are off the chart, where is the outrage? – editor]
Schmidt is trying to keep the focus off of his failure by keeping the ball on Palin and he hopes that by continuing to trash her in Washington circles that he can get a job with one of the other 2012 presidential candidates.
Schmidt has an ideological axe to grind against Palin as he has made it very clear that he very much opposes religious and social conservatives (LINK). Schmidt supported McCain when he was the poster child for the so called “moderate lets get along and play nice with Democrats that we know full well are corrupt” Republican. The type of Republican that voters have tossed out of office for two elections in a row.
Palin is anything but that type of Republican.
Sarah Palin outed and very publicly tore down corporate corruption ring that owned much of the Republican Party machine in Alaska. Much of the Republican machine in Alaska still hates her for that (LINK, 2). While some Republicans talk about “naming names” Palin fights corrupt people in her own party fearlessly and ruthlessly. If Governor Palin is ever President Palin you can expect to see some Republicans and Democrats being carted off in handcuffs.
Palin used her overwhelming popular support to force very tough new ethics laws in Alaska and she made real cuts to state government spending. Palin cut off the money train for plenty of the corrupt in Alaska, especially in the so called competitive bidding process that lent itself to cronyism before the reforms (like why it is she stopped that bridge project in Ketchikan – LINK). These are not the kind of reforms a big government wing of the GOP would like to see implemented, because they have gotten wealthy just talking about them and doing the opposite. The prospect of a Palin presidency is bad for them because she means business.
Schmidt, as the Politico article link above makes clear, is very hostile to Bill Kristol, the editor of the Weekly Standard. The Weekly Standard is a very influential conservative publication that holds Republicans who talk one way and govern another to account. The Weekly Standard was quite favorable towards Governor Palin’s record in Alaska.
It is not enough that Sarah Palin is the embodiment of everything the corrupt, big government wing of the GOP opposes, because there are some in the GOP who are very dedicated to those ideals as well. They fear her because Palin has demonstrated the ability to generate larger crowds than Obama has on campaign events and has also proved that she is a fund raising machine the likes of which the Republican Party has never seen. They have to destroy her now, if they can, because if Sarah Palin hits the stump in earnest she will be able to outspend her opponents by real margins and that is what the smear campaign against her is all about.
By the way, notice how her detractors never talk about her accomplishments as Mayor and Governor? They never get into policy that she has pushed for and executed. Think about it.
And what did the lovely Governor of Alaska do to deserve this morning thrashing? Um … she had the gall to be the subject of a Vanity Fair hit piece by Todd Purdum.
That’ll learn her.
Look, I worked on the McCain campaign. Palin had her shortcomings, but she also brought some incredible strengths to the campaign. And perhaps the McCain staffers who continue to trash the governor are deflecting attention away from how remarkably screwed up and dysfunctional the operation was even before the Palin pick. What I don’t understand is this: Why would anyone hire a bunch of campaign staffers after watching how viciously they are attacking their former employer?
UPDATE II – National Review concludes it was Schmidt too – LINK.
UPDATE III – Tammy Bruce commentary –
UPDATE IV – Glenn Beck commentary –
Rush Limbaugh was trying to use absurdity to demonstrate her absurdity and went to far; then there is Bill Mahar who donated $1 million to President Obama’s SuperPac and he regularly uses the words c*nt, tw*t, b**ch, boob, etc to describe female politicians he doesn’t like.
Now this is not justification for Limbaugh’s mistake, but when I look at the facebook pages of those having a fit about Limbaugh, I see nothing about Bill Mahar, or so many others. In fact, as far as the elite media goes, they were blaming Sarah Palin for the Arizona shooting and that went on for days… and these are the people acting as if they are the civility police.. please.
Much of the time, those shouting *civility* are the biggest hypocrites imaginable. Here is a great piece of evidence of just what I am talking about:
For the second time in a week Sarah Palin has spoken out about the dishonest and unfair attacks against Newt Gingrich.
We have witnessed something very disturbing this week. The Republican establishment which fought Ronald Reagan in the 1970s and which continues to fight the grassroots Tea Party movement today has adopted the tactics of the left in using the media and the politics of personal destruction to attack an opponent.
We will look back on this week and realize that something changed. I have given numerous interviews wherein I espoused the benefits of thorough vetting during aggressive contested primary elections, but this week’s tactics aren’t what I meant. Those who claim allegiance to Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment should stop and think about where we are today. Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, the fathers of the modern conservative movement, would be ashamed of us in this primary. Let me make clear that I have no problem with the routine rough and tumble of a heated campaign. As I said at the first Tea Party convention two years ago, I am in favor of contested primaries and healthy, pointed debate. They help focus candidates and the electorate. I have fought in tough and heated contested primaries myself. But what we have seen in Florida this week is beyond the pale. It was unprecedented in GOP primaries. I’ve seen it before – heck, I lived it before – but not in a GOP primary race.
I am sadly too familiar with these tactics because they were used against the GOP ticket in 2008. The left seeks to single someone out and destroy his or her record and reputation and family using the media as a channel to dump handpicked and half-baked campaign opposition research on the public. The difference in 2008 was that I was largely unknown to the American public, so they had no way of differentiating between the lies and the truth. All of it came at them at once as “facts” about me. But Newt Gingrich is known to us – both the good and the bad.
Read more HERE.
Rush Limbaugh on the Todd Palin endorsement:
Sarah Palin’s husband is endorsing Newt Gingrich for president, Todd Palin told ABC News today.
But Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and John McCain’s 2008 Republican running mate, has yet to decide “who is best able to go up against Barack Obama,” Todd Palin said.
Palin said he has not spoken to Gingrich or anyone from the former House speaker’s campaign. But he said he respects Gingrich for what he went through in the 1990s and compared that scrutiny in public life to what Sarah Palin went through during her run for the vice presidency.
Todd Palin said he believes that being in the political trenches and experiencing the highs and lows help prepare a candidate for the future and the job of president.
He did not criticize any of the other candidates and said his “hat is off to everyone” in the Republican race.
But Todd Palin did point to last summer, when a large portion of Gingrich’s staff resigned and the candidate was left, largely by himself, to run the campaign.
Gingrich’s ability to overcome the obstacle and still move up in the polls showed his ability to campaign and survive, according to Todd Palin, who said Gingrich is not one of the typical “beltway types” and that his campaign has “burst out of the political arena and touched many Americans.”
Does this mean that McCain wasn’t serious about his rediscovered Reagan Conservatism on the 2008 campaign? It would seem so by how Steve Schmidt and some other liberals hired by McCain to run his campaign treated Sarah Palin. Or it could mean none of that and these ads meant nothing to John McCain at all other than a means to winning an election.
This schizophrenic messaging completely takes McCain’s endorsement credibility and tosses it right out the window. It also speaks volumes about how the GOP elites view messaging to GOP voters and is another example of why the GOP communications strategy and brand needs new blood.