Devin Nunes

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.”

A Divide and Conquer Trade Policy

Written by Simon Lester, Trade Policy Analyst for the Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.

California Rep. Devin Nunes has proposed what seems like a neo-con approach to trade policy:  Trade with our allies, not with our perceived enemies.  His goal is to make trade policy part of our general foreign policy, which, in his view, should focus on making alliances with our friends and isolating our enemies.

This is a bad idea, for many reasons.  I’ll explain the details of his plan a bit more, then I’ll go over all of the problems I see with it.

As he explains over at NRO, Rep. Nunes would like to create “an alliance of free-trading nations.” He supports the Trans Pacific Partnerhship (TPP) negotiations, and would also like to see U.S.-EU and U.S.-Brazil free trade agreements. He then talks about “distinguishing friend from foe,” and singles out Venezuela, the Gaza Strip, Russia and Egypt as countries who are “hostile” to the United States.

In support of his approach to trade/foreign policy, he has introduced in Congress the Economic Freedom Alliance Act, which is made up of several specific pieces of legislation to accomplish the various elements of his plan.

It would be easy to ignore this proposal.  It’s just some legislation introduced by one Congressman.  However, note the similarities with part of Mitt Romney’s economic plan:

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