Chris McDaniel

Sorry, Washington Republicans, but it’s absolutely acceptable to criticize candidates who want grow the federal government

Voters are often told that conservatives should not challenge Washington-backed big government Republicans, because doing so could lead to Republican defeat. Yet it often seems that Washington Republicans don’t follow their own advice. It prompts the question, when does the Washington class really view it as appropriate to criticize Republican candidates?

Mississippi is one example. Washington Republicans asked Democratic voters to support their candidate, Sen. Thad Cochran, in his primary election. This was a violation of Mississippi law, so conservative state Sen. Chris McDaniel is challenging the result.

This prompted Ann Coulter to write that Chris McDaniel was a “sore loser” whose supporters “don’t care that they’re gambling with a Republican majority in the Senate.”

This is not the first time Ann Coulter has complained about conservatives from the South or other locations around Middle America. Last October, she complained that conservatives in Minnesota had not done enough to help Sen. Norm Coleman win re-election against Sen. Al Franken, writing, “The inability to distinguish Coleman and McConnell… from Obamacare-ratifying Democrats is…insane.”

Today in Liberty: Harry Reid doesn’t care about religious liberty, Ted Cruz wants a voter fraud investigation in Mississippi

“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” — Benjamin Franklin

— Harry Reid plans to address Hobby Lobby: Though Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) says the Senate will tackle legislation to address the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case in the coming weeks. He didn’t offer specifics, but The Hill notes this morning that Democrats on Capitol Hill are planning to introduce legislation before that August recess to amend the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and reverse the decision. “At least three pieces of legislation being prepared by Democrats would help maintain access to free birth control for women affected by the court’s ruling,” The Hill explains, “though staffers provided few details on Monday.” Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) is reportedly “leading the push in the upper chamber.” Sen. Dick Durban (D-IL) plans to introduce legislation to require employers to disclose whether prescription birth control is covered by in their plans. That legislation is odd given that Hobby Lobby, for example, objected to two forms of over-the-counter birth control. Two House Democrats are also working on legislation to amend the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The measures being crafted by congressional Democrats have no chance of passage, but this is a wedge issue, so they’re going to play it up to motivate their base. Because politics and elections.

The shameless, unprincipled Republican Establishment may have lost by winning in Mississippi

Haley Barbour and Thad Cochran

Conservative Republicans are still smarting from last Tuesday’s defeat in Mississippi. Evidence seems to be mounting that pro-Thad Cochran allies used rather unsavory tactics to draw out traditionally-Democratic voters to swing the election in Cochran’s favor.

But the focus of this post isn’t really those tactics or the legality of non-Republican voters casting ballots in open primaries. Instead, Republicans — both moderate Establishment-types and grassroots conservaitves — should seriously consider the fallout from Cochran’s victory — because of those tactics. They could have broad implications against incumbents, particularly when the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) gets involved in the race.

Writing at The American Spectator, Scott McKay notes:

As such, the staffers say, it wasn’t until Wednesday, when the fallout began to descend, that Cochran’s tactics became an issue. And now, several senators are more than a little uneasy with those tactics, which they feel responsible for since they raised money for Cochran.

There is now special consideration being given to the NRSC’s practice of engaging in incumbent protection and favoritism. Said one staffer:

Today in Liberty: Obama gives a middle finger to Congress on Iraq, GOP establishment may lose by winning in Mississippi

“I believe that every individual is naturally entitled to do as he pleases with himself and the fruits of his labor, so far as it in no way interferes with any other men’s rights.” — Abraham Lincoln

— What dystopian country does Obama think he runs?: President Barack Obama says he has constitutional authority to send American troops to Iraq without congressional approval. “This action is being undertaken in coordination with the Government of Iraq and has been directed consistent with my responsibility to protect U.S. citizens both at home and abroad, and in furtherance of U.S. national security and foreign policy interests, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive,” Obama wrote in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). “I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148). I appreciate the support of the Congress in these actions.” As a reminder, the War Powers Resolution doesn’t give a president carte blanche to bomb a country or deploy troops whenever he pleases. It lays out very specific conditions in 50 USC § 1541(c) under which the White House can utilize its powers: a declaration of war, specific statutory authorization, or a national emergency created by an attack on the United States. The 2002 Iraq war resolution is, basically, irrelevant in the current situation, meaning that President Obama should seek authorization before sending advisers or troops to Iraq or approving military strikes against ISIL.

Today in Liberty: IRS scandal is worse than we imagined; SCOTUS issues big win for cell phone privacy

“Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple — get a warrant.” — Chief Justice John Roberts

— Oh, wow, the IRS scandal just got a lot worse: Emails released by the House Ways and Means Committee reveal that disgraced IRS official Lois Lerner targeted Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), referring him to the agency for examination. “We have seen a lot of unbelievable things in this investigation, but the fact that Lois Lerner attempted to initiate an apparently baseless IRS examination against a sitting Republican United States Senator is shocking,” Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) said in a press release. “At every turn, Lerner was using the IRS as a tool for political purposes in defiance of taxpayer rights.  We may never know the full extent of the abuse since the IRS conveniently lost two years of Lerner emails, not to mention those of other key figures in this scandal. The fact that DOJ refuses to investigate the IRS’s abuses or appoint a special counsel demonstrates, yet again, this Administration’s unwillingness to uphold the rule of law.” Basically, Lerner received an invitation to an event that was intended for Grassley, and it looks like Grassley received hers. The group sponsoring the event, the name of which was redacted, offered to pay for his wife to come along. Lerner suggested that it was inappropriate and wrote: “Perhaps we should refer to Exam?”

Today in Liberty: Battle over Ex-Im Bank builds; MSNBC host thanks David Koch… really?!

“The Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of people.” — Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

— Lots of Ex-Im Bank news from Capitol Hill: House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) demurred when asked about the future of the Export-Import Bank. “My job is to work with our members to get to a place where the members are comfortable,” Boehner told reporters. “Some people believe that we shouldn’t have it at all. Others believe that we should reauthorize it with significant reforms, and we’re going to work our way through this.” He’s not saying that the Bank is doomed, but he isn’t throwing his weight behind it either, which is significant. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), however, said that the upper chamber should vote on reauthorization. “I think we ought to take it up,” McConnell said. “That’s the whole point of what we’ve been talking about here. The fact that there are dissent and disagreement is not unusual. It’s a country of 315 million people, lot of different points of view. They expect us to debate these issues and vote on them here in the Senate.” House Democrats are making a push for reauthorization, introducing legislation that would extend the Export-Import Bank’s charter for seven years. Because cronyism.

Today in Liberty: Obama secretly argued against your Constitutional rights; Republicans will decide Cochran vs. McDaniel today

“Political success over time is determined by the number and effectiveness of activists on either side.” — Morton Blackwell, founder and president of the Leadership Institute

— You have no constitutional rights: Because they can be revoked by the federal government whenever we’re at war. At least that’s what the Obama administration argued in the July 2010 legal memo it used to justify the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki. “We do not believe that [al-Awlaki’s] U.S. citizenship imposes constitutional limitations that would preclude the contemplated lethal action under the facts represented to us by DoD, the CIA and the Intelligence Community,” the memo says (begins on p. 67). “Based upon the facts represented to us, moreover, the target of the contemplated operation has engaged in conduct as part of that organization that brings him within the scope of the AUMF.” More here. Two things about the memo. Once we begin sacrificing constitutional protections, for whatever reason, we begin going down a very dangerous road. But let’s remember that this isn’t the first step down that road, just the most recent. The other point is that David Barron, the author of this memo, was recently confirmed by Senate Democrats to serve on the First District Court of Appeals.

Defeat Thad: Democratic operative working with pro-Cochran PAC to turn out voters for a Republican runoff

The runoff strategy for Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) and his Republican establishment supporters wasn’t exactly a secret. They know Cochran needs to get Democrats to crossover to beat Chris McDaniel in the June 24 runoff, so, naturally, they’ve hired a Democrat.

The Jackson-based Clarion-Ledger reports that the so-called “Mississippi Conservatives PAC” is working with a Mississippi Democrat to get African-American voters to support Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) in Tuesday’s runoff:

A Democratic political operative says he is working with Mississippi Conservatives PAC to drum up votes for U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran.

James “Scooby Doo” Warren said he has put together a get-out-the-vote (GOTV) plan and is “putting it in place across the whole state.” Warren said he is not working with the Cochran campaign itself but for the PAC and Bishop Ronnie Crudup Sr.

Crudup is the pastor at New Horizon Church, which shares an address and chief financial officer with a newly formed super PAC that ran print advertising in the primary supporting Cochran.

Today in Liberty: Email privacy reform bill hits the magic number, Senate Conservatives Funds goes on the air for Chris McDaniel

“Since this is an era when many people are concerned about ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice,’ what is your ‘fair share’ of what someone else has worked for?” — Thomas Sowell

— Email Privacy Act hits majority support: We mentioned in Tuesday’s Today in Liberty that the Email Privacy Act was very close to 218 cosponsors, a majority of the House of Representatives. Well, it happened. “The Email Privacy Act from Reps. Kevin Yoder (R-Kans.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) gained its 218th cosponsor late on Tuesday, giving the sponsors hope that the bill could move this year,” The Hill reports. “The sponsors have been talking with House leadership and House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) about moving the bill forward, according to Yoder.” The Email Privacy Act would close a loophole in the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act that allows law enforcement agencies to access emails and other electronic communications older than 180 days without a warrant.

Thad Cochran’s consultants and supporters are exploiting him to line their own pockets

Thad Cochran

To Whom It May Concern:

Few things are more valuable to a man than his dignity — especially when that man has given more than four decades of his life in public service to the people of his home state.

Thad Cochran is a good man.

No matter your personal opinion of his voting record, Senator Cochran has worked tirelessly to be the most faithful of sons to the state of Mississippi. Many believe — this author included — that Senator Cochran has done what he believes is best for the people of his state.

Unfortunately for Senator Cochran, ambitious people in positions of influence have forced a long and grueling primary process upon the senior senator from the Magnolia State. These ambitious and ruthless people are knowingly exploiting a man who has become as vulnerable as one of our own grandparents.

In recent weeks, it has become increasingly apparent that Senator Cochran’s faculties aren’t what they used to be.

At first, Senator Cochran made an odd joke about doing indecent things to animals as a child. Then, Senator Cochran didn’t remember making those comments.

And then, Senator Cochran didn’t know Eric Cantor lost his primary. On this point, the author can give Senator Cochran a pass. Candidates locked in tough races don’t often focus on other campaigns.


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