Archives for August 2012

Republicans complain about “birther” charges against Romney

Donald Trump

This weekend, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus complained that the media is taking Mitt Romney’s “birther” joke far too seriously, saying, “Nobody seems to have a sense of humor anymore.” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who will speak tonight at the Republican National Covention, also says that the joke isn’t a big deal.

Romney himself has said that the joke wasn’t intended to be a shot at President Barack Obama, but the defense is falling on deaf ears. Romney and Republicans have essentially asked for criticism over the issue any by associating themselves with Donald Trump, the billion real estate mogul who has championed this absurd conspriacy theory.

During a press conference on Sunday, Trump, who backs Romney and was supposed to have a role at the RNC before Tropical Storm Isaac altered the schedule, again pushed the birther issue:

Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Sarasota, Fla., Donald Trump said Mitt Romney’s birth certificate quip in Michigan last week may have been a lighthearted joke, but that the issue of President Obama’s birth certificate is far from settled.

Romney avoids floor fight over delegate rule

With concern rising over rule changes dealing with selection of state delegates to future conventions and talk of a floor fight growing, Team Romney has struck a deal with Ron Paul to avoid any embarrassment today:

Republican Party officials struck a last-minute deal Monday night in an attempt to avert a messy convention floor battle with supporters of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).

Supporters of the libertarian lawmaker were spoiling for a fight over an attempted change to the GOP delegate rules aimed at limiting their ability to gain delegate slots at future conventions. But the bigger concern for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign was assuaging concerns from a number of powerful longtime party stalwarts that the new rule infringed on states’ rights to determine their own delegates.

In an email to Republican National Committee (RNC) members, James Bopp, an Indiana delegate and GOP power player, said he and other conservative power brokers had reached an agreement with Romney’s emissaries to end the dispute, which threatened to be a distraction on the first full day of convention events.
[…]
Under the agreement, a bound delegate must vote for the presidential candidate that they are required to vote for under state law or state party rules, leaving the actual selection of delegates up to the states.

Previously, a proposal would have given presidential candidates the power to veto delegates sent by the states — a change that had Paul supporters crying foul, seeing it as an establishment attempt to stifle the upstart contingent.

Part 1: Tea Time with Max Pappas- Rep. Tom McClintock of California

Here is Part 1 of Max Pappas’ interview with Congressman Tom McClintock of California. The Congressman talks about his inspiration for getting into politics, and how he has fought against the big-government policies of both parties for his entire career.

It looks like FreedomWorks’ video team had a lot of fun with the introduction animation. If he can develop the mid-Atlantic accent, Max would certainly make a fine replacement host for William F. Buckley’s Firing Line:

Georgia Tea Party Patriots not happy about RNC rules

Tea Party Movement

Julianne Thompson, one of the founders of Georgia Tea Party Patriots and a convention delegate, has written an open letter to Republican National Committee on rule changes made that would allow the party’s presidential nominee to revoke delegates. You can read the letter in its entirety below:

Chairman Reince Preibus, members of the Rules Committee, and the entire voting delegation of the 2012 Republican National Convention:

As a National Delegate to the 2012 RNC, I am extremely disappointed that a rule would be passed throug committee that essentially strips the grassroots of all of it’s representative power by ridding State Parties of their ability to choose whom they will send as delegates and alternates to represent their State to the Republican National Convention. The rules change would allow the Presidential nominee sweeping new power to override that process and choose their own National Delegates. The rule also allows the RNC (with only a 3/4 vote) the power to amend the party’s rules without a vote by the full Republican National Convention.

The GOP is the political Party of the grassroots. Our national delegates are the boots-on-the-ground that get Republicans elected. We are there for County meetings, State Conventions, National Conventions, and most importantly we spend our time and money canvassing our neighborhoods, going door to door, making phone calls, writing personal endorsement letters, and getting-out-the-vote for Republicans. We are the worker bees, and we are the heart and soul of the Republican Party.

Ron Paul turned down speaking role at RNC

Ron Paul

Supporters of Ron Paul are all around Tampa. Even though their guy won’t be the nominee, they did come out for the Paul-themed events. Many still believe it’s unfair that Ron Paul didn’t get a speaking slot during the Republican National Convention, but in a recent interview, Paul explained that he turned down a coveted spot because he refuses to back Mitt Romney:

Republican Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian leader who competed against Mitt Romney in the GOP primary, isn’t speaking at the Republican National Convention because he isn’t willing to give Romney his full endorsement, Paul told the New York Times.

In an interview with the Times, Paul said that he was offered an opportunity to speak at the convention this week on two conditions: that he let the Romney campaign vet his speech, and that he give Romney his full support. He declined the offer.

“It wouldn’t be my speech,” Paul said. “That would undo everything I’ve done in the last 30 years. I don’t fully endorse him for president.”

Romney still not giving conservatives a reason to like him

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney, the soon-to-be crowned Republican nominee, and his campaign haven’t done much in recent days to calm the nerves of conservatives. As mentioned earlier today, Romney’s people have been heavily involved in rules changes that are the beginning of the end of grassroot activism in the party process. Romney once again defended his health care reform law, which was the blueprint for ObamaCare and the main reason many GOP primary rejected his candidacy out of hand.

Another slap in the face of grassroots activists came from Avik Roy, who advises Romney on health policy. During an interview on MSNBC, Roy weighed in on some of the platform positions forged, hinting that they posed a problem to a candidate trying to run close to the middle and that activists wouldn’t have much pull inside Romney’s presidency:

Avik Roy, a health care policy adviser to the Romney campaign, said the GOP platform — which includes provisions like a “human life amendment” to the Constitution that would ban abortions with no exceptions for rape, incest or to save the life of the mother — should not be considered a reflection of Romney’s personal views.

“I think it is a statement of what activists in the party, the consensus among activists in the party believe should be the core of activist conservatism,” Roy said. “But that is different from what a candidate who is appealing to the center of the country is going to try to do.”

Where Has The Anti-War Movement Gone?

The anti-war movement has all but disappeared. You would think that with both major party conventions coming up, they would take the opportunity to demonstrate, especially with the media being concentrated at the conventions. However, there are no plans to demonstrate and in fact you don’t hear a whole lot about the war in Afghanistan anymore. Short of putting Cindy Sheehan’s face on a milk carton, we really need to find where the anti-war movement has gone because 2,000 American soldiers have now died in Afghanistan. If war was bad when George W. Bush was president, why isn’t it bad now that Barack Obama is in the Oval Office?

Not only has Obama expanded the war in Afghanistan and kept Bush’s Iraq withdrawal timeline; he even started a new war in Libya. Plus, the Obama administration appears to heading down the road to war with both Syria and Iran. Obviously, the wars have not stopped. American soldiers have not stopped dying overseas and drone strikes certainly haven’t stopped all over the world. Why has the press and so-called anti-war activists ignored the ongoing wars?

The only unfortunate conclusion to make is that the anti-war movement were either at best pawns of the Democratic Party or they really don’t have a problem with war in general, but only with wars launched by Republican presidents. This isn’t just a phenomenon confined to the left, because the right only generally believe in limited government when a Democrat is president. All this means is that when a Republican is elected president and decides to go to war, it will be easy to dismiss war opponents as partisan hacks. It will be just a way to silence debate and opposition by the War Party.

More hand wringing on guns

Second Amendment

Shootings will continue to make headlines.  Recent incidents such as the Aurora, Colorado shooting and events Friday at the Empire State Building continue to put guns and gun rights under a spotlight.  One of the latest columns I’ve come across was spawned from the Huffington Post.  In it, writer Marian Wright Edelman says she thinks it’s time for “common sense gun control”.

Every time another mass shooting happens in the United States, the debate over gun control comes fleetingly to the forefront — until political fear paralyzes courage and action. Inevitably, some people repeat the argument that the solution to preventing mass shootings is not better gun control laws — even control of assault weapons, which have no place in nonmilitary hands — but getting even more Americans armed. The apparent fantasy result would be something straight out of Hollywood where every single time a bad person stands up with a gun a good person with their own gun would quickly rise up out of the crowd, shoot the bad person, and save the day.

Edelman spends a good bit of time talking about mass shootings, invoking not just Aurora but also Columbine, Virginia Tech, and a host of others.  After all, we must prevent these horrible events.

I don’t think anyone believes that these events aren’t horrible.  However, I want to point out some things to Edelman.  After all, she is writing from a position of emotion, rather than actual facts.

Crony Chronicles: I Want To Be A Crony

Cute children with a serious message:

Rule changes threaten GOP activists

Tropical Storm Isaac isn’t the only thing on the minds of many conservatives who made the trip to Tampa for the Republican National Convention. There is also some concern over what is being viewed as a power grab to give unprecedented influence to estasblishment Republicans over the platform and rules beginning in 2016:

The Republican National Convention Rules Committee voted 63-38 to approve a new rule allowing granting the Republican National Committee — and Mitt Romney — sweeping new powers to amend the governing document of the GOP.

The move came at the encouragement of Mitt Romney supporters on the committee, including Romney’s top lawyer Ben Ginsberg, who stressed that it would grant “flexibility” to Romney and the committee to adapt to changing political environments. The rule allows the RNC to amend the party’s rules without a vote by the full Republican National Convention. And it offers the Republican Establishment a new tool to keep at by Tea Party initiatives that threaten to embarrass or contradict party leadership and stray from a planned message.

Romney, as his party’s nominee, exerts significant influence over the RNC, which is made up of elected party officials from all 50 states, while the larger Convention Rules Committee is larger and has a more grassroots membership.

“This is necessary for the world in which we find ourselves in,” Ginsberg told the committee, adding that it is “important for the political survival of the party in the electoral context,” for the committee to be able to change the rules as it sees fit in the intervening four years between conventions.


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